Holly crap, what a morning! On our scouting we found this way cool out of the way fishing hub that just oozes great images. Well we arrived this morning just as the thunderheads were breaking and great light was warming up. Looking to the east, I was lucky to be in the right place as the sun burned through. It was a great scene that there was no way could be captured with a single click. This is a 9 image HDR image and I’m quite happy the way the feel of the sun burning through comes through in the image.
Shooting beside my good friend Tom, we turned to see this killer light on this boat I expected to sink any moment. The light from the shadow side of the boat to the blue holes in the sky was 8stops, HDR again. This time just a 5 image set to bring in all the detail in the scene.
Here’s the shot of the morning for me. I’d seen this on our scouting but didn’t have the time or light to explore it. When I saw the clouds disappearing, I buzzed over to see if my mind’s eye could be matched up with reality. I got in place just in the nick of time. Again, HDR had to be used to capture the range of light. This is a 8 image set. Then I simply went into Silver Efex Pro to finish it. It was just a great morning, one that rewards you for getting up so bloodly early!
Photos captured by D3, 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
After working the Currituck Lighthouse, I headed over to the Whalehouse. It’s a cool, old building that with the morning light and clouds just grabbed my attention. The range of light in the scene was 7.5 stops so I had to use HDR to capture the detail in the clouds which were what really made the whole scene. I also used the 24PC-E because the drama of the architecture was lost using a straight 24mm lens.
After I finished the above photo, my good frinds Scott Kelby and Jeff Snyder came around from the backside of the Whalehouse. They told me there were some real cool rocking chairs on the backside. I went and checked them out. They were cool but even though I played with them for a while, I just couldn’t make anything come to life. That’s OK, I really like the overall shot of the Whalehouse.
Photos captured by D3, 24 PC-E / 14-24AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
DLWS Outer Banks (OBX) started hot and heavy today at Currituck Lighthouse. This is a cool lighthouse built very untypically, pretty far inland and is unpainted brick. It’s a neat lighthouse and with the success I had the other day, I decide to stay on the track and shoot off in the distance to include the trees surrounding it. I started by shooting underexposing -2 to make sure the scene was looking nightish because I knew I would be adding the light beam (yes, that was done in PS). That underexposure created noise which was easy to deal with using Dfine so the rest was a cake walk.
Then we had the briefest touch of color which I exploited in NX2 and then finished in PS by adding the beam. What’s a lighthouse without a light, just a house!
Photos captured by D3, 24-20AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
The challenged continued, how to make the best possible photo of this cool lighthouse. The challenge is to have a “normal” looking lighthouse, not have it tilting over or disappearing into nowhere while removing unwanted elements around while still including those that are important. Up close didn’t work for the lighthouse but did for removing unwanted elements. What happens when we move back? Walking back so now we’re 150 yards from the lighthouse, it is perfectly straight but yuck, look at all the crap to the right! I’m still not happy with this. More to come.
Now here’s a photo I like. The interior of the lighthouse is just got the most juicy light, every candle just dripping with romance, mystery and depth. Just frame and click.
Photos captured by D3, 24PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
After photographing the exterior of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, we climbed the 265 steps to go to the top. Getting to the top was tough. Not because of the climb, but because of the amazing, amazing light ascending the interior. The lighthouse wasn’t made for tourists, so the stairs are narrow and even our carrying one camera was a concern to the rangers. Carrying a flash for any light modifying gear was out of the question. So when Drew (good kid!) stopped for a moment to shoot, after he was done I asked him to pose and I took the shot.
The trick was to have a spot of light on his right cheek. Then using NX2, I simply dropped a Color Point on that spot on his cheek, used the slider to brighten the entire face and used the warmth slider to bring up it. I’m no expert in NX2, but the 20sec finishing works for me. (Of course, had to be a photographer to make all the other elements work and relied on the DD for just the face.)
We then kept on exploring. Late in the afternoon we came to Bodie Island Lighthouse (note this has bands, Hatteras has stripes). This is another very cool lighthouse that we couldn’t go in, darn. As soon as we pulled up, I knew it would be a B&W image with the clouds, so that’s how I shot it. I can’t wait to go back, it has so much character!
Photos captured by D3, 24PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
The DLWS staff started its scouting (what we call goofing off together) today for our upcoming DLWS Outer Banks event. We headed down to the tallest lighthouse in North American, tallest brick lighthouse in the world, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It’s one very cool lighthouse! It’s also a challenge to photograph with its 265′ height and surrounding landscape. To eliminate the “stuff” one gets really close to the light house. You get close and then….
Watch this brief Moose Cam which explains it.
Photo captured by D3, 14-24AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
We try to do something special the last shoot of each DLWS. We’d done the rainforest, rainbows, dramatic beaches and canyons so what was left? Fire! Paul is a fireknife dancer here on the island that lit up the night with amazing skill and athletic abilities. The folks at the restaurant not to mention the DLWS gang had one helluva show.
McNally once again worked his magic with light. All of these images are lit with flash, I’ll defer to Joe’s napkin diagrams to explain his stragies. But Joe’s such a genious, he made it possible for everyone to shoot through his system by setting up a couple of banks of speedlights and having 4 SU-800s for foks to trigger them. Just that part of the shoot was cool for me.
All of these are a one flash solution to the lighting. What Joe can do with just one light is simply amazing. Paul’s ability to perform with fireknives still has me shaking my head. He performed and modeled for 90min! He said his hands had so cramped up he couldn’t sign his name on the model release when he was done. It was a spectacular end to a spectacular week.
We want to extend a special thank you to the staff of the Kauai Hilton, our hosts for this event. Jaye & Jodi went beyond the extra mile!
Photos captured D3x, 200VR / 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
Wednesday afternoon at DLWS, Joe McNally uses the whole afternoon to teach small flash. Normally he starts in the classroom, going through a couple of flash scenarios and than takes the class outside for the finish. It’s one of the DLWS participants who is often the model for all of this. Being in HI, we decided to do it all outside and with a Hawaiian hula dancer. Anela is a sweet highschool junior who did just a great job. And if that opportunity for the DLWS gang wasn’t enough, they had Joe & myself in the pool with our 200f2VRs photographing her (it’s the 1st time in 33 events I had time to participate, darn special!). I did hear a chant go up for a moment, something about lighting them up, dropping the SB-900s in the water. I’m very happy to report that the only thing to go swimming was the model, joe and myself, no gear!
Joe does one helluva a job teaching flash, making it look so easy and the results so killer. Both of these photos were lit with flash but you’d never know it looking at the photos. I’ll leave it to Joe’s napkins to illustrate and explain his lighting strategy. I just love the opportunity to shoot next to Joe, he is so generous to share with me what has taken him decades to master. He is THE definition of a pro, thanks Joe! Other than his floating around with a inflatable green crocodile life preserver, Joe was all pro!
Photos captured by D3x, 200f2VR on Lexar UDMA digital film
Holly cow, another DLWS has come and gone! And what an event it was. We took the DLWS gang down to Hoopii Falls, a really great place the staff had visited last week. It requires walking down a hill of slipper than snot mud. Needless to say, some folks kissed the ground (cameras and folks taking no hits). Than if that wasn’t enough, when we reached the bottom, we were in time for a major down pour. Did that affect our gang, not for a second!
It is an absolutely gorgeous creek feeding the falls! The top photograph is looking down the creek, the bottom photo is looking up the creek, both taken from the same locale. Both images were taken using the HDR technique I’ll be teaching at the upcoming Photoshop World. The reason why was because of the light coming through the canopy above. I had a 11 stop range of light to compact. Oh yeah, just as many fell trying to slip up the hill as coming down. And the mud, it was worth it! I have a MooseCam from the shoot and more images. I’m hoping that I get a little caught up and get it up in a timely matter so stay tuned.
Photos captured byD3x, 24PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
The luck-skill just keeps on building. The Waimea Canyon which has been socked in ever since we’ve arrived had its veil of fog lifted this afternoon in glorious splendor.Racing literally up the hill, we reached the first overlook just has the gorgeous rainbow had appeared. 45min later the rainbow was still present, not changing very much. That made for a ton of great images!
At the same time the clouds slowly passed by with just the right aperture to let a beam of the sun paint the walls of the canyon. Wow! We moved down to another vantage point for a different perspective and what did we find, another rainbow. Double Wow! I was in a rut, shooting with the 45PC-E the entire time with a .6/2Stop split grad attached. It was simply a wonderful afternoon and good fortune smiled on us.
Photos captured by D3x, 45PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
The DLWS luck-skill continues as the perfect, perfect weather graced our morning shoot. Heading out to Ha’ena State Park, we arrived in time to greet the day.
There was so much to photograph, from Palm Trees and Napoli Coast to breaking waves and Monk Seals. It was simply, gorgeous.
The angry skies and fierce waves really caught my attention. I’ve been needing just such a photo so I worked the bright spot in teh clouds and followed it with the waves in the foreground. I had waited out into the surf and simply had a great time. All these images were finished using just NX2.
Photos captured by D3x, 30-700VR, 45PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
It was a classic Kauain sunset and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. We went out to Spouting Horn blow hole, a really cool and beautiful place. You can watch outriggers go racing by, sea turtles riding the surf, the sun set and the blow hole explode. It’s simply gorgeous. Here, check it out in a little MooseCam action.
We are having a great time, really great time with some mighty fine and fun participants. We will be putting up dates for our Santa Fe March 2010 event. If you’re interested as these things fill quickly, give the office a call and Sharon will keep you in the loop.
Photo captured by D3x, 14-24AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
We here on Kauai having just a miserable time in the sun, surf, mai tais and, oh yeah, photographing waterfalls in rainforest canyons. It’s just an awful job, but hey, someone has gotta do it. One of the concepts we work on here at DLWS is understanding what the eye sees, what the camera sees and captures and then melding these two into what you, the viewer of the images sees and is taken by. Color Cast is an important lesson. This photo here of ‘Opeakea Falls is a good example of this. Here you see before the color cast has been removed.
This is the photo after the cast is removed. You might be saying it’s a subtle thing, it is and subtlies when added up make for big drama and then the brass ring you need to grab as you close the digital darkroom.
Photo captured by D3x, 200VR on Lexar UDMA digital film
In scouting for DLWS shoots, the staff took a hike. I wanted to find rainforest and man, did we find it. I’ll blog more about it this week. I’m still on our soul search with the D3x, taking it’s resolving power on the search as I incorporate its amazing information into the information I use in what becomes a photo. I shot this photo composed for B&W. It’s pretty obvious but now, I don’t know. The detail in the leaves on the forest floor really have me intrigued with all the detail that was captured.
Then I look at the B&W and I just love the detail that leaps out in the bark. A new adventure in B&W begins? I’m so confuuuused!
More to ponder in life. Image was finished with a 2sec trip to Nik Silver Efex pro.
Photo captured by D3x, 24PC on Lexar UDMA digita film
The DLWS Staff is back together today and started to work very, very hard in fine tuning our shoots for next week. So after stopping to get a shaved ice, to the sand we headed.
We literally drove to the end of the road, parked and walked the beach. Seriously, here’s the MooseCam, see for yourself.
Photos captured by D3x, 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
MooseCam captured by P6000 on Lexar digital film
We kinda took the day off, I spent the morning putting together a little video (105MB) of our Yellowstone DLWS. If you watch it, you’ll see how and where some of the images I blogged were taken. You’ll hear the sounds of Yellowstone, the wind, water, steam and boiling earth. And, you’ll find out why Joe is cocking his head (and it’s not from what he learned this week). For your enjoyment….
Photo captured by D3, 45PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
Moose Cam captured by P6000 on Lexar UDMA digital film
It might have been the warm temps, might have been the excitement of not being in the office, could have even been McNally having an adverse effect on me, whatever it was, I was in a artsy fartsy mood this week. This is by far the more traditional type of art from snow, the wind blown sculpture created by snow on a rock. The trick here for me is to find this “art’ in the shade so the shadows are real soft then finishing in the digital darkroom using white point/black point. Then there is the untraditional…
This is Patrick Richard Harry, a ~really~ nice guy who was a participant at our Yellowstone DLWS (we will be returning in 2011). At first introductions, I warned him he would be a model, but I never thought by me. We were at Fountain Paint Pots when a minor irruption occurred and Patrick was standing right there. The rest was real simple. I just lined up his hair with the steam, stopped giggling and clicked. Both images though have a couple of things in common, shape, color and whimsy. Just havin fun!
And speaking about art, check out the bottom image in Jake’s latest posting…WOW!
Photos captured by D3, 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film