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on Aug 18, 2017 in Landscape Photography

London’s Canals

Our good friend Michael arranged a photo walk while we were in London with the Nikon Users Group. It was a great day, 9 miles along the canals of London. Many don’t even know they exist. Built back in the 1920s to move commerce around the country (there are over 300 miles of canals), today they are home to many as well as a path back through time. These boats are actually home morred in place for a while until the move to another location, different scenery. Every manner of ingenuity is used in making these boats a home. That includes from tomato gardens to solar panel to sun decks, all in the space of a postage stamp. It was a photographic rich target that just kept on providing amazing possibilities! Knowing how busy such a locale could be, I went fast in lens selections. Attached to the Df might have been the 24f1.4, 50f1.4 or 105f1.4. All three lenses used to create these images, all shot at f/1.4....

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on Aug 15, 2017 in Landscape Photography

Gorgeous August Night on the Thames

It was simply a gorgeous night to walk the Thames with friends and family! How do you incorporate the delightful temp, the sea air smell, the sounds of people enjoying the outdoors and of course, the view, in a photograph? What you see above is how I went about that challenge. Shooting with the Df / 24f1.4 hand-held, I got up high so I could have them in the foreground but not a dominant silhouette. I then crank the ISO up to 3200 (even though shooting at f/1.4) and shot as the kayakers floated by. I used the lights of the bridge and tower to move the eye through the frame and the folks in the foreground for scale and story. The rest I hope the viewer fills in with their...

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on Aug 14, 2017 in Landscape Photography

Blackbury Camp

Jolly Ol England has been just that this past week! Not really sure where they get it from, the kids are into history as much as the old man so we’ve been visiting some really cool English Heritage Sites. This was the first because it was one of the oldest. Blackbury Camp is one of the really early “forts” created for defenders using ROCKS they would throw at their enemy. They dug to create a “ditch” in front of the mound they were making from the ditch spoils. Back in the day, which was 4000bc, the location was completely barren of trees. Now the hilltop is a gorgeous forest. So for me, here’s the deal when it comes to traveling, family and taking pictures. Being a history buff, I wanted shots of the site while at the same time the photos saying what a peaceful, quiet and gorgeous locale out in the middle of England. When a local showed up to walk his dogs and we said hello, he...

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on Aug 7, 2017 in Landscape Photography

Move the Eye Thru the Frame

There are many ways to give our one-dimensional landscape photos visual depth. One quick and easy of doing it is by including the sun. Just knowing this though isn’t your salvation because including the sun has its own ying and yang. The first thing to think about is the sun will be the brightest element in the frame. The eye will go to it with missile speed and lock onto it. Now that can be good, that could be bad. The difference between the two is the visual path you create to and from the sun in your frame. This is the hard part because the power of the sun is great but not so great it can’t be used in your favor. That’s the challenge and at the same time how you bring visual depth to your photo. There are two examples here of that happening but in two totally different ways and there are much more, probably infinite the possibilities. Here’s what you gotta watch out for...

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on Jul 12, 2017 in Landscape Photography

My Luminar “Procontrast” Preset

It’s SO cool to see so much excitement and curiosity about MacPhun’s Luminar! The Windows Beta should be available shortly to all and right now only the Mac version is available for purchase. Knowing Nik was going, I’ve been using Luminar since last October. In that time, I have been working to recreate in Luminar my favorites in Nik which is not really fair to Luminar because, in many ways, it does a better job (for example with the following Procontrast Preset, I can tweek a whole of small details you can’t in Nik and that’s huge!). For example, I’m posting here for the first time my Preset for what I call Procontrast. Procontrast is a Nik Color Efex filter I’ve used since I was part of the team that developed it. It is essential to my workflow! There is no easy or clean way at this time to share my Luminar Presets like I have in the past for Nik recipes. So for right now, watch Scott Kelby’s...

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on Jul 11, 2017 in Landscape Photography

“Are Those Clouds Real?”

This question came in not once, but twice over the weekend in response to an Instagram photo I posted. I take that as a great compliment! There is a reason my bud McNally calls me “Dances with Clouds” and that’s because I can’t pass up a good cloud. And that’s where it all starts the challenge for many, determining if it’s a good cloud or not. There are a couple of key elements in my approach to a romantic cloud photograph and that does it have character and will finishing bring out that character? What’s cloud character? In my mind that comes from the shape(s) in and about the cloud that shades of blacks, whites, and grays create (foreground earth is key here as well). The way the light plays on the shape and texture in the cloud is key! To see this I think you need to have a vivid imagination which I have. I’m not talking about seeing a face or critter in the clouds but rather,...

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