Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting out....about grab shots....take them!

Original file (without Snap Art 4 filter)
F-8 ISO 100 1/60 sec at 300mm VR on Normal Processed with Snap Art 4
I was reminded the other day by a follower of my blog that I had not posted for quite some which I replied.."Oh you noticed?" well he said, "I just figured you have been busy and that's a good thing." Truth is I have been busy. I spent the entire month of May tethered to the house while my only full bathroom underwent a renovation down to the wall studs and floor boards. In the evening I ran out to the gym every day to shower. The the first week of June I had guests at the beach house for a week. So for one entire month I did not make a single frame of "Big Camera" images and I only used my iPhone in the garden during the day when the construction workers were here.

However this past week I have been out shooting with my morning field workshops sponsored by Capital Photography Center. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens was the first workshop this past weekend and all my shots there were handheld using the my D4 and the Nikon 28-300 lens. The lens is not great (its a little soft, has chromatic aberrations, distortion and vignetting) all of which can be adjusted except for the softness,  but it allows me a degree of variability to help workshop students find compositions without me lugging a lot of gear into the field, changing lenses and slowing down the education process. It is not possible to really take time for personal shooting while teaching but whatever grab shots I get; I sort through and try to brush up to an acceptable result. This shot, the last one I made that day, happened to be a favorite. All but the green lily bud was submerged under the water and I really enjoyed the distortion effect the water created. The natural arrangement of the spray of stems, and the colors of the pond water as a background worked for me. It was a bold sunny day so the stems and leaves under the water were illuminated. While shooting with a polarizing filter, I demonstrated the power of a polarizing filter to cut glare from the waters surface. After making adjustments to the photo image file I ran it through Snap Art 4 and applied a painterly filter. I am heading out west to do some personal shooting before my Palouse Photo tour gets started. So hopefully I will get back to making a few more posts! Thanks for following! Hope to see you in the field!

Friday, April 25, 2014

I always ask: What is it that I love about this scene?......The Marsh..

Capture: Nikon D4, Lens 24-70  f-16 1/30 sec at 35mm ISO 100
Processing: Nik Sliver Efex Pro 2, PS CC
When I go out shooting and when I get to my location, and unpack my gear, I stand still. I ask myself what do I love in this scene? Then I turn around 360, walk around with out my camera and then I begin to see. I went hoping for a beautiful sunset over the marsh and arrived early enough to really enjoy the edge of bay and shore. After a long hard winter last years marsh grasses were laid down in beautiful patterns and textures reflecting the movement of the water, wind and snow that fell and compressed the reeds. The small new growth shoots were just beginning to show. I also loved the curves of the foot path along the shoreline. The late afternoon light was illuminating the grasses and so I went to work drilling down to what I loved about the scene. I did not go out with the intent to capture the grasses, but they did speak to me. I loved the way nature created the textures and patterns.
Since the scene was monochromatic for the most part, I converted the images to Black and White using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.The sun did set without any spectacular colors and clouds and I used the marsh grasses to add interest.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Impressions of Spring: Multiple Exposures ~ Swipes

The tulip beds in South Bethany, De. are in full bloom and they gave me an opportunity to make some hand held multiple exposure shots. I enjoy the multiple exposure shooting option in the D4 and especially love the continuous series feature which lets you keep shooting in multiple exposure mode.
Initially I stopped to shoot some beach houses with my iPhone but wandered over to the flower beds with the tulips. As always its windy at the beach and tack sharp tripod assisted macro shots are often hard to achieve so while the wind was blowing it was fine for creating these images. I started using my iPhone and the app Average Camera Pro to create multiple exposures on the iPhone and I was seeing some fun results so I said..."Self, get your big camera out!" So often lately, I am shooting with the iPhone on the run and kick myself later for NOT getting the big camera out for a little higher quality image!
So note to self, if it's an iPhone shot, its a shot! So get the big camera out more often! I am looking forward to shooting with a group of "Big Camera" Photographers at Sherwood Gardens this Sunday, where I will be demonstrating these shooting techniques,  macro and general shooting options, on my workshop sponsored by Capital Photography Center. I have a few spots open if you want to come out on Sunday and do some flower shooting! Click here for the link to more info and registration. Sunday looks perfect for shooting these beauties, lightly overcast and 65 degrees.
 And..... while I was at it, I made a few selective swipes!
In camera "swipe".

In camera "swipe".

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fells Point and the Privateer Festival

Drum and fife corp from Fort McHenry
The workshop group had good fun in Fells Point this morning. The Privateer Festival is happening. In the early morning we made the usual water reflection and harbor shots but as the morning wore on the costumed Privateers started arriving. I helped the group find shots and work with their camera settings. Everyone enjoyed capturing images of the people, even when a few said they didn't photograph people...the Privateers changed everything. The Festival runs through Sunday so if you can get down there, I suggest you check it out! The harsh sun was difficult to work with but we grab some shots anyway. I decided to process all the images here with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 using the Antique Plate II filter, then in OnOne perfect effects I added the faux emulsion borders. All images were captured with the Nikon D4 fitted with a 28-300mm lens.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A little beach walk in Black and White...Nik Sliver Efex Pro 2 for conversion

Last Sunday my friend Annette and her husband Steve day tripped to the beach. We met in the afternoon for a couple hours and did some shooting in the brilliantly blue sky, wispey cloud afternoon. Not the best time but we had fun and whenever the light is so bright I always think monochrome conversion. The shadow play on the sand is fabulous with strong lighting. When processing images with Nik Sliver Efex Pro 2, I enjoy using the color filter options like in old film days choosing a red filter to create a dark sky. Catching folks doing what they do interacting with the beach and each other is fun too. Then there is the occasional beach creature like the horse shoe crab which makes a cool subject to play with at the waters edge. So don't run away from the sun, work with it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Plant scapes in Black and White Nik Silver Efex pro 2

Saturday I led a group of photographers at the Howard Rawlings Conservatory, in Baltimore, on a photo workshop sponsored by Capital Photography Center. I was helping participants make compositions, use their cameras and understand more about photography. Afterward I made a few images in the Palm Room. The textures of the trunks and the fans on the palms were wonderful and the light was soft so I had to take the opportunity to at least go home with a few shots. While processing I decided to use a square format and convert the images to monochrome. I applied a border which emulates emulsion from the Perfect Photo Suite by On One. (RE: The border, I think iPhone photography is influencing my Big Camera Vision)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Excuse me while I swipe the sky!

Sunday I spent the day with a fellow photographer and friend Annette Conniff, rambling through Maryland shooting ice, snow and winter scenes. We planned to end the day on Kent Island hoping for a beautiful sunset on the icy Chesapeake Bay. As we stood out in the 15 degree afternoon watching the sky, we had hopes of the sunset we envisioned, as a bank of clouds moved in, but they moved in too fast and too heavy for the kind of sunset we had envisioned. As the sun was just about to set, it broke through on the horizon. So I made a traditional sunset shot, shooting at f-22 to catch a star burst. Then I went into swipe mode....and had some real fun creating the following abstract images moving the camera from left to right across the horizon as the exposure was in progress.