Light is everything. It creates the mood and tension in an image. Clouds are the intermediate palette upon which to base your background. Clouds can bring tension. Or they can direct light toward your subject. It is often fleeting to have the right light. Blink and it’s gone. I try to pay attention and take advantage whenever I can.
Pointillism. It’s noise. Technically there is too much noise from the digital sensor. You can Photoshop. But, for the most part that would be more work. I like fog. It’s hard to photograph. But it does give a dramatic and different effect. Then there is timing. The early morning light changes quickly. Don’t give up; keep at it; things are sure to change if you wait a few more seconds.
Photoshop does photomerge. It will combine photos to produce a panorama. It’s a bit more complicated than iPhone. Apparently if you shoot a series vertically and try to merge them, you get a good amount of distortion. Sometimes that’s a good thing. It’s not realistic, but it is a function of the method. Okay!
Wide angle distortion. It’s what comes from holding the camera in one place and rotating. One could pan as you walk but then it would be work.
By now you must have guessed we were in Scotland. It’s taken time to get to posting about the trip. Majestic! It rains, therefore, it’s foggy. If it’s not raining it’s about to rain or it just stopped raining. Nice!
Dave was in Kauai. He knew I had been there. I reminded him that he had been there too, in a technical sense. 1980’s, Lisa was about six months pregnant. We traveled there for a meeting. To make a long story short, I pulled my slide after consulting my database. And Dave passed me his pic of now. How nice! Similarity. We’re reconnected after so many years. iPhone vs Nikon. It’s all the same. Only a few decades have passed. It’s nice to have a database.
No man is an island. Ha! I missed the better shot. You don’t go back. That is an unfortunate rule. Like time, the trip is one way. I saw a house on the island. You can too. But very dimly/poorly as opposed to the home I saw as I passed initially. There is no access except over water. No bridge or path. Nice! It’s appealing in ways and probably loses its charm once you’ve done it more than a few times. I wonder how they got the building material over – slowly. And what about fuel and power? Hmmm? Great idea, lot of work.
These eastern clouds were being lit by setting sun in the west. It had been storming earlier in the day. I shot out the car window as we traveled down the highway south. South is always down, right? We’d been using a map that day. My companion folds hers. It doesn’t help. Two GPS devices, two iPhones, one map later and we still have a frantic scramble at the next turn. Kidding!
There is something to be said for cropping. I never considered panoramas until Dave showed me his iPhone shots. Easy!…on an iPhone. Pretty easy in Lightroom too. You have to have a good substrate with which to work. Then, it’s effective. Right image – right tool. Nice trick.
Here’s a puzzle the internet did not solve instantly. Why are these haystacks covered? It’s not hay? Ok, but why are they covered? I’m sure I asked someone at the time. But, I’ve forgotten the answer. An internet search turns up Monet or haystack cookies. Geez! My attention span is short. It’s a mystery now. I took the picture because it was different. It has stood the test of time. Maybe they did it just for me to come along and take a picture. Hmmmm…nah!
Bright sunny day! Most beach shots are boring. It’s a horizontal view with some people and the waves breaking behind them. That would be my average. A bikini keeps the interest. But otherwise it’s not too exciting. The water in the Atlantic is cold! – for me! I’m spoiled. I’ve been in the Red Sea. I’ve been in the Caribbean and Hawaii. I’m not dropping names and destinations. I’m just comparing an ice bath to a nice warm one. I choose the warm waters. So, this is Long Island. It’s beautiful. The sand beaches are wide and the best I’ve ever seen. The rest of the world has narrow beaches. Really! But I stopped going in the water shortly after “Jaws” came out. And the cold keeps me out. Nowadays I am a great admirer of the beach. Just give me warm waters to float in. Better yet, give me a good dive spot.
I live at a cross road. Morning skies are always interesting. Count ‘em. Too numerous to count. I’m in the middle of tbings, but not really. I liken it to living on a golf course and not playing a single round. I’m ok with it. I don’t mind not having to battle TSA and crowded planes and baggage claim and… Sure, I’ll fly again. Meanwhile, I enjoy the myriad of jet trails that cross my skies. Of course, as a kid (8 or so) I used to run from under planes passing overhead with the belief that I did not want to be there if someone overhead flushed the toilet.
To see the “arches;” it was on my bucket list. Half hearted. But yup! We got to the park about an hour before dusk. Right at sunset we arrived in the parking lot nearest to “Delicate arch.” It’s the emblematic arch on all the photos. You can hike (too late and too chilly) or you can get a view a short walk from the parking lot. It was a long telephoto lens shot. I was disappointed not to get closer. Oh well. But then… looking at the shot, it seems I did come away with an image. And I got the sunset glow. Well, ok! You take what you can get. It was better in retrospect. Decent!
The other quintessential image is balanced rock. It is solid and not reinforced as the strata might suggest. The minerals that leached through the rock gives it a stratified look. To me it looks like they used concrete reinforcement. But no. At some point it will fall over. Everything changes over time. Hey! I saw it before it keeled over. Yay!
Okay, this post would/should follow the post of Feb 14. I got ahead/behind myself. And I remember Ginny’s admonishment. “More people.” But I’m behind on going into the/my archives. Soon…she jokes there are pictures decades old that she is still waiting to see.
When I took these slides they were quintessential images for me. They were framed by my (then) father in law and remained on display for many decades. Pictures fade. I printed and framed these slides many years ago. The dunes faded to a monotone. The house (print) has faded to near ghostly. Kodak paper – it fades with exposure to light over time. Unfortunately, I (Kodak) printed in a format they had at the time – 8X12. It’s an odd sized print. Fortunately, there is someone who will print it. I can frame it again. My darkroom (no more) went with the last several moves. I Photoshop now. Luckily, my index system allowed me to find the (digitized) images in about five minutes. Amazing. The slides were taken back in 1981. Would you believe the house is gone? It was in a park/preserve and the house has since gone away. I visited decades later and discovered that this circumstance can never be again. I was sort of shocked that I could not return and that things change. I don’t know why I was surprised. I returned to the spot and the picture (house) was gone? I could never recreate the atmospheric conditions. So, why was I shocked? At least I got the slides. They are all stored away at the moment. Luckily, I digitized them. Crazy. I found the files/slides in a few minutes. ? Yeah, I did it with my database. There are too many images (>400k) to just cull. Lightroom would never be able to save me. Over the years, first on index cards, then Microsoft Works, and now Excel. My file system allowed me to track down the appropriate image in minutes. Neat! I wish I had digitized a few friendships too.
The thing about this image is that I had every opportunity to make it right. Ooops! The right side is way over exposed. I know that. I knew that. I should know that. I should have known that. Did I miss any tenses? Missed! Darn! There probably won’t be a next time. Getting the falls in the winter with the ice is an image I’ll likely not have a chance to do again. The important thing – did I learn from this mistake? Oh bother… another regret.
A long long time ago… I saw this image in a travel brochure. It was a winter view of the falls with ice and snow and … oh my! It has been on my bucket list of images. Remember I’m a photo opportunist at heart. So it was not OCD enough for me to make a special trip. I was just keeping the image on my list. The point is to shoot the image yourself. Otherwise the internet will provide you with far better shots than I got. I did not hike down to the ideal location to capture the image. My OCD does not extend forever. I could have done better. I wonder why I did not go further. Time was limited. It was slippery. But, I was there, And, this is my shot. Done.
I got a water view! I’ve been here two years. Yup. Really. We went out to clean up the grass in the back. It’s invasive and obstructs the water view of the pond. After cutting back the grass, look! There’s a park bench. A real honest to goodness park bench is there right on the water. It’s in good shape. It’s mine. I thought it belonged to the neighbors. Nope. Mine. It’s on my property. I never saw it nor knew it was there. Imagine? It was 65 degrees on January 12. Right, there’s no global warming. Say it again and click your heels three times. “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
I’m on the move this week. Forgot to post in advance. There is some great and grand weather in the Midwest. It’s a few days after the election. I’m still shocked and surprised. I’ll begin to post again in the next few days as time permits. Meanwhile I’d prefer to keep my thoughts to myself. For change it might be better to follow the adage: “if you have nothing nice to say…” So, let’s just talk about the weather.
My years in Maine afforded me many pictures of the countryside. I liked to drive the back roads and see spring bloom. These are wildflowers until someone tells me they are weeds. Most likely they are. Ha! I’m not saying. But the color and the season are so cheerful and full of hope. It’s been a while since I was cheered by a sight like this. Remember, the Middle East is desert and barren. Mostly garbage strews my view. I would have accepted a bright blue sky day but you can’t have everything. I did not hop out of the car. I just shot from the open window as we wound our way up the hill to park to see the sheep. Oh yay!
Every night is not excellent. So you go with what nature gives. You need to be on the spot. But clouds are not always cooperative. But as with many things, it is location, location, location.
Then you just have to make lemonade if you are given lemons. I’ve shown you the fountain before. It’s a jet engine and touted to be the world’s tallest fountain. I take pictures of it ‘cause it’s there. Like Everest baby, like Erverest.
This is the fulfillment of a childhood desire. Once, I almost visited Niagara Falls too. We were only 40 miles away during a rugby tournament with Jules. She refused to go. It was too far. We were headed back to Hamilton College in the other direction. Oh well, at least half my dream has come true. I had seen pictures as a kid. I had always wanted to visit. And until now my travels did not bring me here. Amazingly a day after Thanksgiving the parking lot was full of cars from many states away – as far as Michigan and beyond. I find it fascinating to imagine that one would find themselves in the middle of West Virginia at this time. Tech: to get an image where the water is silky smooth, use a long shutter exposure. I’m lazy and don’t travel with a tripod. Handheld I still managed a decent image, good enough to post even if it’s not exhibition quality. The image I remember seeing is in winter with bright blue sky and the ice formed and partially covering the falls. I am an opportunist and will not wait until the snow and ice form. So, for now this is my trophy memory. I’ve now been there and another wish fulfilled.
Two days after Thanksgiving I was on the beach. Come to think of it I was on the Pacific side beach a week before. But it was 70 degrees. The clouds and evening sun were gorgeous. Surfers were in the water. The internet said the temp was 60 degrees in the water. I dive in 80 degree water. Nope, this was cold water. Nonetheless people were enjoying the surf and sand. There ain’t no global warming. Nope, I have to hand it to the Tea Party and the Republicans who made this fairy tale real. Oh? Do I sound political. Hey! How about Trump? Let’s not go there…
Here’s a new variation on an old subject. Jules and I walked the beach and the sun sets due west. I was watching the afterglow and noticed the window reflection. Voila! A new perspective and it was an unexpectedly extraordinary find. It’s neat to find something you have never seen before in a scene you have shot so many times. Yup, an old dog learns.
Don’t quit your day job. The mantra repeats in my mind. I’d be a wedding photographer if I could. Then the bridezilla stories abound on the wedding complaint sites. Oh, well, everyone gets rain. But! I sold a picture! My second! See? Don’t quit your day job. How’d they find me? This blog. Who knows? Out of the blue…can we purchase the photo we found on your blog. I hope they do not mind my showing the cover mock-up for the book. They wanted a high resolution digital file. Ah! My images are numbered. This was a slide. Roll number and frame number were not too hard to locate. And then I had several copies of the digitized image. However it was a real stroke of luck to find a high res Tiff file. Yup, luck! The original slide was buried in a box somewhere in storage. No, it would not be possible to find it. So serendipity, the publisher just happened to ask for a file I had. Most of my images sit redundantly backed up on four external hard drives. And now to payment, the publisher wanted bank information to transfer the funds. Identity theft?
After contacting the author of the book to be sure it was all above board, we settled on credit card accepted by my cousin Amy, who is a professional with a business. Done. Sold one! The last one I sold was in 2012. Nope, don’t quit your day job.
You can make many choices when you shoot an image. And if you do, it’s no big deal. Film was expensive. A digital image is not. Horizontal or vertical, crop or zoom, you have many ways to capture an image. Why not experiment. Of course if you are perfect, no need. I take single images often. And at other times I am a redundant shooter. Many times I get a wide angle overview. I tend to edit for the close up. This is usually the shot less seen.
But in a scene (word play) one must remember the key elements. The shot of the Bixby Bridge has been done many times. It is the bridge for which the image is famous. So you have to have the bridge.
Even so there are still choices. Of course the choice is yours. Or else I pick and there is only one image today. Ah, too many choices….
Jules discovered this trick in Photoshop while we were editing our underwater images. It’s a shortcut. Command shift L. Hit all three keys at the same time and you autolevel. It punches up color like nobody’s business. Really! It works so often that it is the first thing I do with underwater shots. Suddenly the image has contrast and looks so much better. How? I really don’t understand how the algorithm does its magic. And if you ask Jules, she would faint to speak of a mathematical term. She artistic. Which means she only needs to know the end result and how to do it. How and who figured this all out? Well, it was the good fairy.