Monday, May 28, 2012

Last Sunrise at the beach for a while~ Expect the Unexpected

One more day I made it out for sunrise. When I got on the beach the sky didn't have a cloud in it except for the bank on the horizon. I did not hold out much hope for an interesting shoot, but I began to make pictures. As I worked the sky changed and in almost two hours on the beach the sky went from blah to cloud filled with all  kinds of light in between, at the same time the breakers changed from moderately large to small...these shots were all made today in an hour and a light and the environment changes when you stand still to notice!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Channeling Maxfield Parrish ~ Daybreak

Today was a lazy day at the beach. After my sunrise shoot, I rested most of the day and watched the Indy 500. What an exciting race and awesome finish!
The bulk of my beach house chores are done in preparation for the rental season, so I took a day off and played with the images I made this morning. This set of images was shot shortly after the sun rose and the light of the sun was playing on the surface of the breakers, shore and surf. All the images had similar color tones because they were shot close together.
I ran them through Snap Art3, rendering some highly colorized images, reminiscent of Maxfield Parrish image "Daybreak", with an azure blue and golden orange yellow. I remember studying his work in school. As these  images developed, I realized they had similar saturated colors. I always enjoyed the intense "Parrish" blue and gold of the "Daybreak" image he painted. While these do not really have the "Parrish" blue or cobalt which he used profusely they do contain the turquoise blue and golden orange yellow he often used in his landscape paintings. Tomorrow will be my last chance for a while to shoot the sunrise here at the beach, so I just might get out for sunrise tomorrow too. Every day is different! Different light, different sky different seas! One thing constant about the shore is constant change!

Surf Play ~ ISO 50

Today's sunrise was not as interesting as yesterday. Even less clouds and no sea fog...but I stayed...I made shots as always of the early sea, but what I had the most fun with was experimenting with the Low 1.0 setting or ISO 50 on the D4. (Now if Nikon could just get the focusing screen changed i would be a real happy camper with this camera).
Once the sun was bold on the horizon I made the ISO adjustment from 100 to Low 1 and started to make shots of the surf as it rolled and crashed on the shore. Losing one full stop of exposure allowed me to slow the shutter in brighter light, which I enjoyed. I love those dreamy kind of shots. It looks like it is going to be a hot day as it is already 75 10:00am, maybe I will even get my toes in the surf today.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pastel Sunrise ~ South Bethany Beach

Today was the first morning I made it out for sunrise at 5:00am in the past week. Its been gray and overcast for several days but finally the low front has drifted out. I was hoping to catch some departing storm clouds on the horizon this morning, but they must have really moved fast overnight. Instead there was a low hanging sea fog, which softened the light as day came on.

One of the features I really like on the D4 is the Multiple Exposure Continuous shooting option. On my old D2x I had to reset for each multiple exposure I made now the menu option is available to set the the camera to keep making multiples so you can shoot sequences...maybe that was in the D3 too, but it is a feature I like. The shot above is a 9 shot multiple exposure.

In what seemed like no time at all the sun broke and changed the light. There was not a soul on the beach but me, it was a beautiful sunrise after all. Maybe I will make it out tomorrow morning too!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Delaware Bay ~ Cape Henlopen

On a foggy day by the sea life goes on~ Children play~ Fisherman fish and photographers make pictures. While walking around the fish pier in Cape Henlopen State Park on Wednesday, with Dick and Dorine, the fog came rolling in. I love the human activity that takes place at this location~ people doing what they do....Dick spotted the activity on the beach of the park employees with their fish nets stretched out and engaged with what appeared to be school children learning about ocean life. He even said they made a fish prayer, which I missed. I enjoyed the simplicity of the shore, the foggy effect in the atmosphere and watching people enjoy the sea. Clamming is a frequent activity at this spot. I also loved the young boys with heir feet in the muck raking for clams. The old man in the hat, turquoise tank and military boots was a grin. All processed with Snap Art3 from Alien Skin. I really like their in program layer option, which allows you to select three different effects in the image, in the image below, I used an in program layer to apply a smaller brush effect to the man and his reflection, while making a selection separately for the beach and the water.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Silver Lake, Rehoboth, Delaware

Silver Lake in Rehoboth, DE has always been a location I visit when I am at the beach. It is just beautiful; ringed with outstanding homes, tall pines, beautiful gardens, Adirondack chairs and lakeside gazebos. Silver Lake is also a refuge for birds. All these elements make the lake great for photo opportunities. Yesterday morning was fog filled. I headed out early to meet Dorine and Dick Maclauchlan in Lewes, DE giving myself time to stop at Silver Lake and make a few images in the fog. Normally you can see distracting elements around the lake but the fog really cleaned up the background and allowed the lakeside gazebos to stand out. An added bonus was the beautiful shore, lined with plantings in bloom on one property which I used as foreground elements in this shot. I also made a Snapart3 version of each of these shots just for fun! It was a great fun filled day of variable weather conditions....more later.
Snapart3 Version

Original Shot Processed in PS
Snapart3 Version

Processed with PS and Nik Color Efex Pro~ for selective blur

Snapart3 version

Processed with PS and Nik Color Efex pro for selective blur effect

Snapart3 Version

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lewes, Delaware~ HDR Workshop with the Coastal Camera Club

D4 Bracketed shots combined in Nik HDR Efex Pro, processed in PS and then added a touch of Snapart3
Its been a busy several days...Thursday night, before I left for the beach, I visited the Silver Spring Camera Club in Maryland, and  made a presentation on iPhone Photography...which always amazes photographers who are not using the iPhone, with what it can do both when capturing images and processing with the photo it amazed me when I started to explore photography with the iPhone!
Friday I packed out and headed for the beach. Saturday I hosted the homeowners assn meeting and Sunday conducted an HDR workshop for the Coastal Camera Club in Lewes, Delaware. Whew!
Sunday morning, I arrived early at out meeting point and walked around the Little League Ball field. Nothing like a hometown ball field from 1957 to get the juices and imagination flowing...I just loved the look of this ball field with the sight of the Marina in the background. I made a few bracketed images so I had some files to demonstrate in the afternoon session.The light was variable from dark gray skies to peeks of blue. It was a great day working with several members of the club! Thanks!

In addition to the Ball field the historic Lewes Life Saving Station sits adjacent to the property and provided another fun subject to work with using bracketed shots for HDR processing.
These images were made with a Nikon D4, bracketed shots 5 stops of light apart and processed in Nik HDR Efex pro. I ran that file through Vintage Scene, an app for Mac Desktop, and finished the image in Nik Silver Efex Pro, for the monochrome conversion.
Photographic images don't have to be just straight shots! I like to consider image files a beginning. Pixels are a medium, like paint to a painter, to be utilized to achieve your vision.
I was asked a great question by one of the workshop participants when processing images with HDR software, he said, "are you trying to achieve the look of the scene as it was?"
My answer to that was no, I am trying to achieve the look of the scene in my mind. I don't think your image has to represent the "reality" of the scene as you see it with your eyes when you are standing in front of it. A processed image is an interpretation of the scene, based on the vision of the image maker. I encourage experimentation with software, say what if....just like experimenting with your camera in the field...lots of choices for image capture...say what if....and have some fun!
Now I have a few days to get the beach house ready for the rental season before heading back to Baltimore.
Tomorrow I am looking forward to meeting Dick and Dorine in Lewes for some iPhone fun! But first I have to organize and download the 3000 images off of it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fort Miles, Cape Henlopen, Delaware ~ Topaz Adjust and Vintage Scene

In Battery 519 under the sand dunes.
Image captured with D4 ISO 5000, D-Lighting activated, 28-300 lens VR activated, single shot,  handheld amazing!
Processed with Topaz Adjust: Vintage Scene and Photoshop
Sunday after my beach workshop, one of the participants and I headed north to Cape Henlopen. He had tried to find the light house location on Friday and ran out of time searching, so I said I would be happy to drive there and show him. As we pulled into the park I noticed a sign that said parking for Fort Miles I questioned and found out that yes, there was a whole WWII reenactment at the camp going on in the afternoon, so we stayed. We even got an unexpected tour of Battery 519 with some of the participants. It was fabulous! I enjoy history and particularly WWII because my dad was in the war, and met my mom in if it were not for the war, you might not be reading these words and I probably would not be writing them! Dad served in the Army in the European theater and landed on the beach D-Day +1.
Anyway, I made some pics of these guys, they were great and so into it. All the images I treated with a Desktop APP for Apple users. It migrated from the iPhone APP of the same name. Many of the iPhone apps are now offering desktop versions that process tiff files. Vintage Scene was one of the first! I tried very hard when making these images to eliminate any object that was not of the era so that when I processed them, they would look like the real deal from yesteryear!
Let us "Never Forget!"
I chatted with a few of the fellows who are responsible for organizing the event and all the props and gear are privately owned and hauled in for the weekend annual event. Which now I will make a plan to incorporate every year into my schedule to visit! It was amazing to me all the "stuff" they had there of vintage era, from bicycles to soda pop bottles to bunks and trunks, guns and vehicles.
The other amazing thing is this group, in conjunction with Delaware State Parks, is slowly restoring Battery 519 to its WWII days with private funds!! and Sweat equity! A super worthy endeavor! You can go here to make a contribution! Click here for more info!