Saturday, January 31, 2009

BCC Mentor Shoot

This morning 12 members of the Baltimore Camera Club, Barb, Arthur, Suku, Nate, Jim, Karen, Steve, Annette, Buzz, Erroll, Mike and myself met in Ellicott City. It was pretty cold out again but we made out way up Main Street looking for some interesting subject matter.
The windows started drawing us in, with their eclectic mix of merchandise and interesting reflections. Some were shooting reflections and others were shooting into the windows capturing interesting comps with the antique objects. I was just helping folks understand their cameras and helping with compositions. I had my gear with me but since it was a mentoring event and I was a mentor, I felt I should help those that came out in the cold to learn. After walking halfway up Main street, I spotted some leaded windows over a shop window which begged me to get my camera out and see what I could do with that difficult subject. Once the camera was out of the bag I continued making some compositions as the others were now finding their own subjects and were comfortable with their camera settings.

It was a bright blue sky day and there were lots of reflections going on. All these images are multiple shots combined in Photomatix and processed in Photoshop.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Longwood Gardens

I took a trip to Longwood with Barb and Tony. I didn't go with a specific objective in mind, but I did have several lenses with me including the Lens Baby. After walking around outside a little while observing the snow and ice covered landscape, I made my way to the conservatory. There I met several of Tonys' friends from Pennsylvania. I walked around the conservatory for a while observing all the rooms filled with orchids and decided to get my macro lens working. Barb was doing some HDR work with the architecture of the building, Tony was doing HDR pans in the Orchid room and I was working with some flowers, until it was lunch time when I mounted my 17-55mm lens and made a couple bracketed exposures in the large room with the water pool.
When I started processing these images my eye led me to the duo tone process in photoshop.
Seemed I shot mostly white flowers for their shape and delicacy in which the soft overcast light was creating shadows in the petal folds. I also was stopped by an agave in the desert room and made an HDR exposure there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowy Barns

I got lucky and unlucky today, sometimes that's how it happens, a part for the washing machine was not shipped, so after waiting for two hours until 2:00 in the afternoon, the repair man said he could not fix the machine. I left downtown Baltimore thinking about how the farm I shot two weeks ago would look in the snow we had in this morning and even though I had not eaten lunch, I decided to stop at home and get my gear. I headed up 95N to Rt 155 and an hour later I was standing in the snow making images of that pastoral scene in the snow! Steve was on the road all day making images in the snow. He even ran into Arthur at Loch Raven in the morning. Steve called just as I was heading north to see where I was. Good thing. He spotted an old barn and directed me there as well, after I had shot another barn.

There is something about old barns that just moves me. Maybe its a desire for a simpler time, or maybe because they have long been a subject of artists interest embedded in my brain and I am recreating those images in my own way. I often wonder why they became abandoned, all though I am sure it was because the farmers just couldn't cut it or the family moved on when a parent died who was the tender of the farm. It was a short but wonderful afternoon in the snow, before the light faded and it was time to go. As a photographer it is always a good thing to revisit places as there is always something else to see, or the light is different or the conditions have changed.

Waiting for the washing Machine Repair Man

Wow, too bad this repair was already scheduled we had some snow today. Maybe if they get here soon enough I can get out and shoot. I brought my laptop and a book on Photoshop Layers to the rental house to play and learn a little bit more on techniques. Here is a series of images I worked with to get the Lynnwood Whistle Stop Poster, I just loved that little town and its abandoned depot. Now I see why graphic designers spend lots of time working on one project. This was just play but it does take a long time to step through the process. First: capture the images: Then process them in Photomatix individually and do adjustments on them in Photoshop individually. Then bring them all into Photoshop again and work with layers to get the poster..combo.

I don't know what I'd ever do with this but it is a learning process. The other thing I find is the amount of files I am keeping on a single image can become very confusing: First all the raw files, then the tone mapped files, then the adjusted Photoshop files, then the re-sized files then the final files...I have to work out a system for that!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photo Expenses

Today, I had another one-to-one session at The Apple Store in Towson. I want to design my own web, so Devlin and I spent an hour working in iweb. This will be a long process But he is a very good and knowledgeable instructor. I spent lots of time tonight looking at other photographers sites getting ideas about how I want to set mine up from a design perspective; so many choices. Imac has some templates but I wanted to customize my site. While there I decided I needed to start getting external drives to back up files, and I needed a converter for the plug in so I can run the projector from the Mac. So I went and purchased a Lacie Hard Disc and the converter plug.
Tonight I also processed this image from Kent Island. It is fun to take a traditional photo and convert it to an artistic rendering.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Processing

Today just did some organizing of files and burning some discs. Went back and looked at processing some more images, from the weekend in Thurmont and Kent Island.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kent Island St. Michaels

Today Jim and I went to Kent Island in search of the old oyster and fishing boats that ply the bay. We left Baltimore around 8:00am, I needed a little sleep after yesterdays full day of shooting. Jim's wife Mary was participating in the Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point, so he was free for the day of shooting. We arrived on Kent Island around 9:00 and shot until 11:00 under overcast skies. The ice breaker boat had been in the harbor and cleared a channel but the moored boats were surrounded by the ice. We left Kent Island and headed to St. Michaels and got a bite to eat before searching for the ship Jim was interested in shooting at the Boat Museum. We enjoyed a tour of the restoration area and then went out shooting.
I made a couple shots, but the wind was whipping on the point and I just wandered around looking at the museum displays, until it was time to leave at 3:00. We walked back to the car and I put my gear away, when I pointed out pretty shot to Jim. He decided to shoot it, as I sat in the car, I talked myself into getting my gear out again and shooting it as well. Jim reminded me how I missed a photo opp a week ago because I left too soon. The sun was low and the hulls of the three boats were drifting creating beautiful alignments of three hulls in the ice and water. I like that shot better than any other I made all day long so Thanks Jim for reminding me, to get that shot.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Linwood Thurmont

Annette, Barb and myself headed out to Carrol and Frederick County today. Our first stop was Linwood, Maryland a small rural town with classic farms and old abandoned train supply buildings for the Midland Railway. We traveled down the route 77 east of Thurmont and found an old abandoned barn by the tracks. We spent several hours creating images.
All these shots are HDR, some with artistic applications in Photoshop. I did take a couple straight shots which I have not processed yet, but it was an HDR day as we had bright blue skies and all our scenes were very high contrast.
We had a nice lunch in the Cozy Restaurant and went on to shoot some icey river shots in the Catoctin State Park. It was a full and fun day, and Annette's birthday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Orchard

Tuesday was a beautiful unexpected snow event and I was on the road in Frederick county, Maryland when after a morning of snow the clouds broke in the afternoon. Heading up a country road the orchard laden with snow begged me to pause and create some images.

I wanted to use Photomatix to process these images so I was bracketing in the field. The straight orchard shots were actually a little disappointing. I envisioned them in an artistic way as opposed to a straight shot when I was shooting and I did not like the orchard as an HDR shot, so I played with some artistic options in Photoshop and I like the ink pen rendering.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Photo Poster

Well I gave the camera a rest today and just did some home maintenance stuff, while watching the Inauguration. What is it about a still photo that is more poignant than all the moving images on TV? Like the photo that was captured of a child giving her dad a thumbs up after the swearing in? How beautifully that image captured the moment.

I just processed a few more abandoned shots today and following Scott Kelby's instructions in his book on Photoshop for digital photographers made a photo poster image from selected sections of the Abandoned shots.

I also noticed the the Lower Susquehanna River Keeper commented on the icy shots from the river. Check out the link below, to the lower Susquehanna River Keeper to learn more on the issues and concerns of the Susquehanna.