Saturday, August 16, 2014

Palouse, creative image processing with Flypaper Textures...


Not Exactly Twin Barns...
As I am wrapping up processing my images from the Palouse there were a few that I thought lent themselves to processing with Flypaper Texture overlays. I find in using texture overlays it is important to experiment in Photoshop with many layers, using blend modes, masking, levels and curves, saturation hue etc..while combining several different textures in one image. The folks at Flypaper have some great tutorials on their site which can provide ideas for processing images with their textures. If you want to try using textures and purchase from Flypaper; you can use the link provided on this blog sidebar for a discount on their textures.

Lone trees with lots of sky are great for laying in a couple texture layers as are back-lit soft background teasel. I had a great group of photographers in the Palouse and look forward to doing some personal work in Spring of 2015 with a tour in Spring of 2016. If you would like to be added to the list for a Palouse Tour in Spring 2016 shoot me an e-mail at karenmessick@aol.com or join my mailing list for monthly updates.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Palouse in Monochrome.....

Abandoned Grain Bin

The Palouse begs to be captured in color with red barns, brilliant blue skies, yellow fields of wheat and green bean fields woven into a rolling landscape. The colors are so strong that it sometimes overwhelms the image. I picked up a book by a photographer George Bedirian called "Palouse Country" and I thought it was odd to be a photography book of the Palouse, with all the images in black and white, but after turning a few pages I understood why. He captures light and texture so beautifully and black and white allows the viewer to really see what he is enamored with in the Palouse. George Bedirian is the associate editor of Washington State Magazine and long time resident of the Palouse. I was immediately drawn to his images.  So, I began processing a few more of my shots from the Palouse in monochrome, some I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and some I simply converted in Photoshop.
The Old Weber House





















I was asked today if I ever felt uneasy rambling the Palouse alone and I said no, not even once, even as I rolled down dusty two tracks in the middle of nowhere! It just felt good. When I got out of the car sometimes the only sounds I heard was the wind blowing through the wheat or the bees buzzing the wild flowers! Now that's special!
Barn Grasses

I like textures and the simplicity of yellow grasses against an old red barn were beautiful in the summer light.
Longhorn Bull
I found a ranch with a small herd of Texas Longhorns grazing as the wind blew the grasses and wheat.
Patterns of the Palouse

The texture of harvested crops on rolling hills against a barren sky was perfect for a monochrome conversion!  I will be leading a tour of the  Palouse again in Spring 2016...if you think you might be interested please join my mailing list (you can scan the bar-code on the sidebar of this blog) or e-mail me for updates as plans become finalized. I have left the Palouse but the Palouse has not left me! Its a great place, with wonderful people, working hard to farm the land.
Harvesting

High Tension Wires 




 



Even high tension wires in the rolling hill landscape made for a good monochrome conversion.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Experience Music Project Museum


While visiting my daughter and her husband in Seattle, my nephew and I enjoyed a day in City Park visiting the Experience Music Project Museum and the Chihuly Glass Garden. I was not carrying much camera gear, just the D4 and the 28-300mm lens a good walk around lens. I enjoyed the museum and making a few shots of the totally rad architecture of the building designed by Frank Gehry.
Friend and fellow photographer John Barclay has made images of this building and I enjoyed looking at them. So it was on my shot list! The building reflects color amazingly but I decided to convert my images to Black and White using Niks SIlver Efex Pro 2. I loved the many values of light the metal reflected. Zooming in to segments of the building thus creating abstract images out ot the shape and design was my goal. While doing that my nephew suggested a few swipes! Brilliant...so I made a few and left them in color and converted them into square images. We had a great day we had! I went into the way back machine looking at the Jimi Hendrix exhibits!! What a time that was....I kept saying...imagine what kind of music he would be making now had he not died so young!





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wide Angle Close Ups, Serendipity, Breaking the Rules, and Compositional Choices!


Nikon D4 Lens 17-35 2.8 at f16 1/100 sec ISO 100


It has been a busy summer and updating the blog has been challenging, but I have a minute and wanted to share some thoughts and a couple images from the Palouse.

I just wrapped up my Photo Tour in the Palouse and now that I am in Seattle visiting family I have a minute to review some of my scouting images. The first day I was in the Palouse I was lucky to have beautiful Palouse skies! As I was rambling some back roads I came across the scene in this image. The tall pines in the field with great sky stopped me in my tracks. When I got out of the car and observed the scene I also loved the small daisies in the foreground along the road so I chose a vertical orientation for this shot with a wide angle at 17mm. This allowed me to include the daisies along the road and the great developing sky which was circulating above the pines just wrapping them into the image. I enjoyed the distorted effect of the wide angle close up even after applying "Lens Correction" in Photoshop.


Now for breaking the rules..when I reviewed the image above I saw that it was bifurcated...
"split in two visually creating distinct areas horizontally of sky and  land"...but I think it still works, normally for a composition I would try to use the rule of thirds and divide the frame either one third sky two thirds land or two thirds sky and one third land, but with the dynamics of the sky and foreground with daisies, given my low wide angle perspective and lens choice, I enjoyed the resulting image. But I also shot it horizontally!! as I loved the leading lines in the sky and vegetation that draw you into the image.
I am in the process planning a "Spring Green" Photo Tour in the Palouse in 2016. Registration will open in December 2014 so if you are interested mark your calendars or shoot me a note to get on the list....there is no other place in the USA quite like the Palouse!
Also if you are looking for a great photo adventure in spring of 2015 Join David Blecman and myself for a Magnificent Mediterranean Photo Tour Cruise. For more details and information and registration click here. 
As always your comments and thoughts are welcome!!
Happy Shooting!
 

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 time...to 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".