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on Nov 13, 2019 in B&W Photography, Random Thoughts

Going Way Back in My Past

I was very fortunate to take a leap back in time to what once I thought would be my photographic career, architecture. I had just finished my first year of school and architecture photography really appealed to me and I was pretty good at it. Obviously that’s not how life unfolded but I still have a sweet spot for it. This past weekend in Austin I had the opportunity to revisit the old flame and a few things came back to mind. The photo we were after is what you see below, what we used to call a Dusk & Dawn, a photo just when the sun sets and the lights come on. It really only takes a few moments to make that photo but you always arrive early just because. Because you wanna find the right spot, make sure everything is how you imagined it and to simply enjoy the passing of light. There is a time though when you’re waiting for that Dusk & Dawn when it’s...

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on Jul 17, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone, B&W Photography

Just Take ONE Step Forward

There are times that you just gotta shoot! Time is everything and waiting and takin time to make everything perfect, you lose the shot. But those times when you do have time, one thing that can often improve your photograph is simply takin one step forward. Literally, place one foot in front of the other and move forward. How can something so simple work? It comes back to what I call the dance. That’s excluding elements that take the eye away from the subject while including those elements that support the subject. Taking one step forward is just one method of doing the dance that works. Here is a simple, gorgeous, sweeping vista that was literally right alongside the highway. I stepped out with the Z7 / Z14-30 that was in B&W (Monochrome) mode as it was that kinda light and drama. I took the first shot (bottom image) as things were moving quickly. I didn’t like the bush on the left and felt I wasn’t inviting the viewer...

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on Jul 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

Dead Center Continues

I have a thing for barns, especially lonely old barns. And in Montana, it’s pretty easy to find them. The challenge is finding them when light and mood makes it worth stopping and photographing them. In the past week, I’ve been able to photograph over a dozen as the skies just keep performing. And they all have ended up being dead center in the photograph. Dead center you say? I thought that was bad! You’ve probably read or heard that dead center is bad. Did you know that dead center is the most powerful form of composition we have, if … if the elements in the frame support it. In photographing the lonely barn or building then, being lonely in part supports being dead center. The sky is what really makes it all work. I wish I had a formula for you when it comes to the skies, but I don’t. The main element in skies I look for is mood which is a combination of lights and darks....

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on Jul 9, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

Big Sky Country

When you put your camera up to your eye, how do you arrange the elements? How do you expose? And most importantly, how do you tell the story of your subject, your find? These are very common questions that either goes unasked in the picture making process or, if asked, stump the photographer. Perhaps putting the photograph into simple terms might help in this quest. Been up in Montana shooting, such a gorgeous place with a great history. How do you put that into a photo? You might by summing it up with three thoughts: big sky, the west, romance. With those thoughts, you might go wide rather than long. You might find a subject that looks old and western and you might tie that all up in black and white. For me, this meant shooting with the Z7 / Z14-30 and putting it into B&W mode which then turned the whole process to a basic, “point and shoot.” That’s simple and with that simplicity, fun! It starts in...

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on Jun 14, 2019 in B&W Photography

Ben & Marykate

I got up at 01:00, drove to the airport and headed off to Spokane to spend the weekend with the kids. I had planned on doing a couple of more pilot portraits for my long term project while in Spokane so brought my studio lights, the Profoto B10 kit (now three heads). When I touched down, Brent informed me that if I wanted to get one of the pilots, I needed to shoot it that night as he was heading out to fly and then off to a conference for a week. I reached out to the pilot, made the plans for 18:30 and I soon found myself at the airport again, a different one and for a lot more fun. Little did I know, I’d be running into “competition” (in a fun way)! We arrived at the hangar only to find Brent’s flight instructor Ben, having his engagement photo being taken (Congrats again Ben & Mary Kate!) by the bride’s to be mom. While the kids looked nice...

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on Mar 4, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography, Digital Darkroom

ACR / Split Grad Anger

I posted this photo on my IG account on the 1st. It’s a real simple click taken jumping out of the truck shooting the Z6 / 180-400VR hand-held and then hopping back in the truck out of the -16 temps. The photo is right out of the Z6 which was set to Monochrome (here are my in camera B&W settings). The only “Post” was done in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) using the Split Grad to make the clouds look angier. Below are those settings. And that’s it, easy...

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