I fear it’s just me, but I love these shapes in the canyon walls. Just a play of light and color.
I went to one side of the Arch, got real close again with an ultra wide angle, shooting 9 image HDR handheld and finished with CEP4 and like it. Great little 10min shoot. I like those that produce fun and solid clicks!
Chris in his wonder jacket was perfect for a sense of scale. Now you know the arch isn’t really big. Now Chris looks small in the frame, that’s in part because he didn’t want to be a model. It was also to show scale and still say big. I took that further by shooting with a 16Fish. Why isn’t Chris bowing shooting with that lens? He is dead center as is the horizon line so there is no bowing. Oh yeah, it’s a 9 image handheld HDR as well. Scale is captured, how about pizazz?
Photo captured by D3s, 16Fish on Lexar UDMA digital film
We decided to check out Sand Dune Arch even though the sun was pretty high in the sky. It turned out to be the perfect time, if you don’t mind doing a 9 image handheld HDR. The tops of the rocks were in full sun, the bottom in total shade. Shooting a 9 image HDR you know that range of light was huge. Photomatic Pro had no problem assembling the parts and then the rest of the finishing was done in PS. The one problem? No sense of size, no sense of wonder. Can that be fixed?
Photos captured by D3s, 16Fish on Lexar UDMA digital film
We’re in Moab this week and having a great time! We scouted yesterday in Arches which is the land of great rocks! I came with the mind set of doing a lot of B&W and the light made it real easy to do. These are really simple clicks, shoot and convert in SEP2 to B&W. There will be more as the week goes on and I’ll explain more as I go.
Photos captured by 14-24AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
My bud RC is an excellent shooter who is constantly taking his photography and pushing it. In the process, he pushes us, at least he pushes me. He does a lot of HDR portraits and while not my style, I am aware of what he does and I really like it. So yesterday out at Broken Arch when I saw Chris standing there in his yellow jacket, I thought, RC! This is a 9 image handheld HDR that I actually kinda like. Chris’ attitude is what makes it for me. I wish the sun wasn’t behind a little bit of cloud cover because I couldn’t get a star burst, just a giant blinkie. Will I do this again? If the opportunity arises but I won’t seek it. It is good to know that I can get close though. Thanks RC!
Photo captured by D3s, 16AF on Lexar UDMA digital film
We’re announcing our 2012 Fall Tour 6-14 Oct, 2012. We’re going to be in ME & NH spending half the time out of Freeport, ME and the other half out of Mt Washington, NH. We’ll be picking you up and dropping you off in Portland, ME. This will be a special adventure featuring fall color, sea ports, Americana, people, landscapes and some surprises thrown in. You have the option of signing up for one week or the other or, if you’re crazy enough, join us for the whole time. The price for just one week is $1995 and for both, $3550. We actually have a couple of
suicidal smart folks who have signed up for the whole thing (they’ve traveled through eastern fall color with us before) so we only have 6 seats left (the max we take is 8). The price includes transportation to and from the airport and during the adventure, our wit and instruction and one helluva good time. If you’re interested in going, give us a call at 661.204.1506. We look for to adventuring with you!
We are pleased to announce our next Photoshop for Shooters 5-6 May, 2012 held in Mammoth Lakes, CA. The title for this workshop might not be the best at describing what the weekend is all about, but it’s short and sweet. It we had to come up with a workshop name that described the workshop, it would be something like this. Learn to get the most from yourself every time you put that incredible tool to your eye to get the most from it and then finish that with the knowledge of the digital darkroom workshop. See, that workshop name just doesn’t sing. Here it is plain and simple, I want to help folks with their photography and the vehicle we’re going to use in this class is Photoshop to help improve your captures! Did you know you can use Curves in Photoshop to learn about Exposure Compensation in the camera? If not, then you might wanna attend. The camera and the computer, they go hand in hand and knowledge of both is so important I feel to get what you see and feel reaching the heartstrings you’re sharing your photography with. And that’s the end game to all of this, grabbing heartstrings.
Wanna learn more, you might wanna read what those who have attended have to say….click here…or simply call WRP @760.924.8632 or 661.204.1506 to register. We are very honored to be sponsored by NAPP, Nik Software and OnOne Software and we have more dates coming in 2012.
Sharon & I had a marvelous couple of days the beginning of the week as we played host and tour guide to our good friends Adam & Brandon. They are part of the incredible Kelby Training video crew and they were out with us in the Sierra filming my latest class on fall color. We were filming exactly one year to the day from last year when the fall color on the eastside was spectacular, just hitting its peak. As you can see, the peak has come and sadly, gone. It’s one of our favorite times of year here with the color, light, nip in the morning air and the excitement of the snow to come. This is a favorite grove of Aspens of mine where I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of decades shooting. I feel like I know these trees personally.You look close enough, you’ll recognize some of them from my book Captured.
I know, I know, it’s a waterfall. Like the grove of Aspens, I know this waterfall really well. Family legend has me falling in when I was a little Moose making quite a scene. Adam & Brandon being from FL haven’t seen the Sierra before and in fact, this was Brandon’s first visit to CA! Waterfalls are pretty darn rare in FL so since I had the opportunity to share a favorite with them, I did. Filming was complete so they grabbed their cameras and I took along one as well. We got there and the sun was out making for spotty light, not to appealing. Then the sun went behind the clouds and I liked what I saw. So I closed the lens down to f/22, ISO to L1 and made this hand held 1/2sec shot to blur the water. The trunks are what make it for me along with the spots of color. And the best part are the memories of taking this while creating the class with our dear friends from FL. Perfect!
Photos captured by D3x, 24f1.4AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
Ever been to Disneyland? Well this little depot in Westport reminds me of Disneyland so when Scott asked if we could stop, it as brakes on, bat turn left! Now the drama in the light and clouds weren’t there like our first visit and I knew it wouldn’t be the same. It never is. But I knew there was fun to be had here and when I think of having fun and goofin in photography, I think Fisheye! So I grabbed the 16mm and when a shootin. You see what I came back with. Both are 5 image hand held HDR that were then finished with Photomatic Pro and CEP4. Now did I run home and make 24×30 prints of these and hang them on my wall? What do you think? Did I have a blast with my friends Scott, Jeff, Chris & Kevin shooting these? Oh man, were we ever immature and laughing out heads off! Will these photographs always remind me of that moment in time? You bet! And for that reason, they are totally successful and will never be deleted. Not photographically my favorites but as life memories go, they most certainly are!
Over a matter of 18min, the sunrise blossomed and lots of pixels died! Our Tuesday morning shoot last week was in the gorgeous little town of Westport, NY and the photo gods were smiling on us. The clouds to the north were killer and the water, the perfect mirror. But how to make the photograph? First was placement of the tripod. There were actually many options, I went with this on the gamble the clouds would end up as you see them, making a great shaped especially when reflected in the water. Now there are two elements you can’t see that I saw in the viewfinder. There was a green lawn on the left and part of the dock structure in the bottom right corner. As you can see, they have both been dealt with in post. Next was the range of light, about 8 stops. The only way I know of dealing with that really easily is HDR, these are five image HDR images. But then there is that magic ingredient I tend to use in about every photograph I take. Time! yeap, I had faith looking at the wind and clouds that if I hung in this one spot, I would a set of images I really like. And water like this that is just a mirror, I can shoot all day and never get bored!
Photos captured by D3x, 14-24AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
I was very fortunate to get a whole bunch of page space in the latest Shutterbug Expert Photo Techniques issue. I have two special pieces, one on cloud photography and one on aviation. The clouds has everything from taking to finishing and the aviation is all about the taking and excitement. And there is a lot more great information in this special issue from other shooters. It’s on the newstand now, check ‘er out!
OH HELL YA!
But here’s the problem that rages inside my head. I’m a competitive SOB and I hate to loose. I hate to have a location beat me, I hate for another photographer to get a shot I didn’t because of a mental attitude and I hate not shooting. So, while I get bored with water pretty damn fast, its’ then I dig down and go into the super secret, highly trained, not known mode of, artsy fartsy photography! What’s the difference? First, I’m not a artsy fartsy photographer, not much fluff in the ol Moose. So when I start looking for that kind of photograph, I’m really pushing myself. It’s the same transformation I must make if I’m going to, shudder just thinking about it, shoot flowers! I wouldn’t like put these images in my portfolio (the in thing at the moment) but they will work themselves into a slideshow, some slow piece of music that’s real sappy. These are really simple clicks and other then ACR, nothing done special to finish them. Now how many of these “types” of shots did I take this morning to come up with two I like? A lot which speaks to my inability to make them. Will I push myself to get better at these? Not any time soon!
Photos captured by D3x, 70-200VRII w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film
Coming up with just one click that expresses all you are seeing and feeling can be a real challenge! I can’t say I push myself to tell it all in one photograph, but I try to edit while shooting so I’m not approaching a scene shotgun style. The question comes to my mind then, “What has grabbed my attention?” In the top shot I like the three waterfalls for sure but I also like the feel of the water in the foreground. But it’s not a strong enough like to stay with that so I zoomed in closer. I would have loved to be physically closer and shoot across the top of the water to the falls but since we were on a bridge, getting closer wasn’t an option. I zoomed in but it wasn’t strong enough. A piece of the pump house and a bridge were in the frame (been removed here) was part of the problem. But more was the fact that I wasn’t smacking you, the viewer of my image with the subject. The bottom frame, that’s the one I like the best. It’s tight on the subject with much of the unneeded elements removed. And the subject, that Milky Way Caramel in the water comes out.
Finishing was pretty straight forward. In ACR I worked the Highlights, the whites to make them as clean as I could. That makes the “caramel” visually pop more. After that, I used CEP4 Detail Enhancer to pull out the detail in just the rock. If your wondering about shutter speed, it’s real fast, 1.5sec. That water is ripping! mtc…
Photos captured by D3x, 70-200VRII w/1.7x on Lexar UDMA digital film
“So, what do you see here?” I was hit with that question a lot this morning and rightly so! This is Ausable Chasm, a gorgeous geological feature that mother nature has graciously filled with a river. Back in time at this spot the energy of the water was tapped, hence the seen before you. Now the water has this really cool look to it, what I call the “Milky Way Stretch.” With all the fall leaves in the system, the water has a stretched caramel look to it. That instantly got my attention and upon that I built my photography. This top shot is a wide image of the gorge from the bridge that spans it.
The top shot was taken with a 24-70, the bottom with a 70-200 with a 1.7x attached. The photos I saw this morning are these two extremes, from wide to long. All image finishing done in ACR, mother nature didn’t need any help here! mtc…
Photos captured by D3x, 24-70AFS / 70-200VRII on Lexar UDMA digital film
With such a rich and gorgeous area, we took the gang to Giant Mtn Roaring Brook and it was a huge hit! I came back with a lot of images I like from this one locale, from shooting straight up, across the brook and then up the hillside. I didn’t even photograph all this short trail has to offer but I got in the licks I could.
These are two simple clicks I took while walking up the trail. I went up with just the 14-24AFS lens but these two scenes needed more lens. So what I do quite often with the D3x is to go into DX Crop mode. This crops the image right at the point of capture and makes the lens attached a little more versatile. Then the post was pretty simple. In just layer I used CEP4 Detail Enhancer and Tonal Contrast to finish the images. Total fun!!! mtc….
Photos captured by D3x, 14-24AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
Probably as much as railroad tracks, photographers flock to moving water. The allure is obvious, you can create motion in a still photo. But just “milky” water doesn’t make a photograph. There is more to it then that and during our DLWS in Lake Placid last week where we had three water shoots. I’ve received a number of compliments on my images from the shoots with a follow up question of, “How did you get that?” If there is one “trick” to this is what my bud Joe McNally loves to make fun of. I realize I’m photographing bubbles!
The first thing you need is a slow shutter speed. You can do that in a number of ways from lowering Aperture and ISO to attaching a Polarizer or ther filter. Or my favorite way, no light! These shots were taken in the rain at the time the sun was officially setting. It was dark! So getting a slow shutter speed was easy. Now what we’re recording as “flowing water” is actually the bubbles in the water created as it tumbles over rocks. Rocks then are the next key to making this kind of shot. You need rocks to create the bubbles and you need them visually as a sharp element. Without this, everything is blurry to the mind’s eye and that ain’t good. After finding these two prime elements I then personally take a bunch of test shots. I find it hard to predict what the design element of the water will be in advance so I shoot possible candidates and once I find one I like, I go to work.
I normally go through five or six test locations before I find one I like. Once I have the one, I shoot a bunch with varying shutter speeds to look at the final effect of the blur on my LCD. Blur is a combination of water speed vs shutter speed. Once I have the shutter speed dialed in for the particular shot, I will shoot at least a dozen of the one scene. Later at the computer I will select the one I like the best on the pattern of the “bubbles” and finish it.
Finishing can be any number of steps based on the image. You have here everything from dust removal to CEP4 Detail Enhancement, White Neutralizer, Darken/Lighten Center and Silver Efex Pro 2 to a simple Adjustment Layer > Curve. The before and afters are here so you can see where I started to where I ended. mtc…
Photos captured by D3x, 70-200VRII on Lexar UDMA digital film
There is NOTHING like being at 5000 feet, look out the door and having a B-17G parked right there! I’ve lost count how many times I’ve done it, about to do it two more times shortly and I can’t wait! It’s like no other experience I’ve had as a photographer! To celebrate our first year of Air2Air Workshops, as a big thank you to the participants of our last two upcoming events, I’m going to personally make a 24×30 of their favorite image from the workshop. And we just got an opening in our TX and two in our AZ workshop. It’s short notice but if you can join us, as a thank you I’ll make two 24×30 prints for you (that’s a $500 offer)! The B-17G will be at both workshops flying right here through your viewfinder. Come and join us! 661.204.1506