Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lonaconing Silk Mill Rerun

This past weekend I joined a group of photographers on Sunday at the Silk Mill with the purpose of capturing more images of the mill before it is no longer a viable place to capture images of a bygone era....and to have some fun with friends! It was very cold and a typical winter weekend with snow showers and high winds on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning the mill was bitter cold....a perfect temp to enhance the mood of the day. With each successive visit I make; there is further deterioration and more attempts by Herb the owner to shore up the roof with new supports. Thankfully we have not had a heavy snow winter, but the little bit of snow on Saturday melted off the roof forming icicles outside the tall mill windows. The shadows of the trees and icicles cast upon the tall mill windows felt ominous. The light in the mill is always dramatic because of these tall windows. The walls are shifting such that the windows are beginning to come out of their casings. The large wooden ceiling supports are showing signs of is sad to watch after many visits the deterioration...and see Herb, the owner, desperately trying to hang on to it or sell it off.
 This cart is a subject I have not shot before. I first saw Chuck Robinson shoot this on a prior visit just before we left and I had it on my shot list to get this visit. Repairs and maintenance to the silk machines must have kept several mechanics busy making repairs. This cart remains with the materials and tools just the way it was the day the mill closed in 1957.

These wooden parts of the spinning machines have fascinated me for their form and utility on past visits but I have not seen an opportunity to capture them in a composition I liked. This trip I worked hard to get a pleasing shot of these pieces. Working between the rows of machines is tight and the tripod legs are hard to maneuver, but I was satisfied with this shot of the spinning parts.
I put together a small You Tube colletion of images both DSLR and iPhone from this trip which can be viewed here:
Karen L Messick You Tube Silk Mill.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Student Work

On Saturday I led a macro photography workshop at The Howard Rawlings Conservatory in Baltimore. We had a great group of enthusiastic photographers eager to get close to their photographic subjects. Even with harsh sunshine we were able to create appropriate light by using diffusers and reflectors, modifying the light falling on our subjects. The images in this blog were sent to me from two of the students that attended, and with their permission are published here. I always enjoy seeing how photographers make interesting and unique compositions. Macro photography can be trying, as precision in framing and small working distance to subject often requires a bit of contortion if your subject is not moveable. These are terrific examples from tack sharp edge to edge compositions enhancing linear shapes to minimal focus engaging light shape and soft form as an image design alone. Thanks Brian and Beth for sending your images.
Join me April 13, for a few hours of early bloom outdoor shooting instruction in Sherwood Gardens, Baltimore through Capital Photography Center or you can check out my workshop schedule on the sidebar of my blogs.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Annapolis Morning

Single shot processed in Photoshop~Filtered in SnapArt3 and blended with original.
 Last night I made a pre-meeting presentation on using SnapArt3 with your photographs to the Baltimore Camera Club; it was fun to share. Having SnapArt on my mind....I processed a few images tonight from my shoot in Annapolis harbor this morning. When I arrived the harbor was fogged in. I met Bill the President of the Annapolis Digital Photo Club at the harbor and made a few shots. We walked to the end of the dock as I was hoping for some interesting light to happen. The fog was clearing just as the sun began to rise. There was a moment, just a moment where there was a pretty pastel color palette in predawn water and sky...and then it was gone! Poof!
Single shot~Processed in Photoshop filtered in SnapArt3~Pastel, Blended in Photoshop original and then with a separate file of just a water reflection.

I will be conducting a small group workshop for members of his club at the Annapolis harbor in a couple weeks. If you belong to a camera club, I would be happy to consider planning a workshop for your membership; just give me a shout out! As the sun broke through the clouds and became strong and clear, I started looking for my usual favorite subjects there, cool reflections in the water, where the water distorts the reflection in a fun abstract way.
Straight shot water reflection, processed in Photoshop

And then there are the popular dock bars which sit empty now waiting for summer to arrive. I also made shots of the back streets as we walked but I was really drawn to processing the water images first. Thanks Bill for sharing Annapolis with me this morning!
Dock Bar: HDR image, processed in Photoshop filtered in SnapArt3~Colored Pencil and blended back with original.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Calla Lilies in Black and White

Last year, I wrote a similar post when I made a photo run to Longwood Gardens for the Orchid Extravaganza. This year was somewhat disappointing compared to past year's Extravaganzas. Last year the pool in the exhibition hall was filled with orange orchid arrangements and overall the colors on display were more exciting. It appeared to me that there were a lot of soft yellow and white moth orchids which blended into the conservatory decor. After wandering through the conservatory checking out each room allowing my camera to acclimate...I decided to start making images in the desert room of the blue agave in the sun. The agave were casting interesting shadows against their own leaves. (I have not processed those shots yet).
In the East Complex of the conservatory, there was a well attended horticultural event in progress. After making shots in the desert room, I wandered around among the crowded conservatory just looking, the next location where I actually set my tripod down was where the Calla Lilies were planted in the Orangery. I decided to make several compositions there. I love Calla Lilies for their beautiful shapes on strong stems. It was a blue sky day so the shadows were strong as well as the sun light streaming through the conservatory roof. I decided to work with that light and not fight it but embrace it. Normally I like to work in soft diffused light for flowers, either natural or with a diffuser disc. Having strong sunlight on the white flower allowed me to make an exposure for the bright part of the flower, rendering the back ground black with a few hints of vegetation. Not my normal soft flower shots but its good to try something different every now and then. I was shooting with my 200mm macro. I enhanced the borders of the images with some vintage brown toning in OnOne PhotoFrame Pro and processed the images to black and white with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. Tonight I am heading to Delaware to make a presentation for the Delaware Photographic Society on my New Mexico images "Creating a Sense of Place" shot with the big camera and iPhone..should be fun. If you live near by I hope you can attend.