Word and Image

Posts tagged “Landscape

An Old Dog Learns

IMG_0154Sunset Pacific Ocean – due west.

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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.


Sold

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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?

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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.


Bixby Bridge – Your Call

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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.

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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.

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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….


Do This

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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.

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With or Without

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How do you like your landscape, with or without? The conventional wisdom is to use a foreground element to give depth to the image. So the presence of flowers and a fence helps to convey depth to a scene. I like both images. No particular preference for me. It’s a nice view on the California coast. Yay! But Nat Geo will only publish one. Which? Hey, it’s my blog so I can show you two. Yes, mine.

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Jump Again

_DSC2923Yes. Photoshop is my preference. No tripod or remote. Go for it. Please don’t say anything that we are wearing the same clothes as in the prior jump picture recently. It’s the same day. If you did not notice all the better. I’m old and don’t get high off the ground. The trick? Just bend your knees. You look so much more athletic. Nope, one of the kids taught me the trick. Yes, Pfeiffer Beach again.


Choosing

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Well I was at Pfeiffer beach with this neat hole in the rock wall. Somehow it was not too picturesque. My fallback was a good shot of Jules. Priceless.

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Nepanthe

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I think there was a movie with this name. It’s the name of a restaurant in Big Sur too. It was a place Jules planned for lunch. Wonderful. The clouds rolled in over the mountains and provided a photo op as we ate. It was special. Jules knew her way around and knew what makes dad happy. Great clouds – no rain. Drought, remember?_DSC2666

 

Clouds or daughter, lunch or picture? Gee it was a tough call. I figured it was better to stay in the family.


With Without

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Shooting scenery or shooting family? Tourist shots often leave you with too small a shot of the loved one or not enough scenery. The choices are simple. Execution is hard. Maybe not.

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Foreground? Flowers or family. Depth of field. Confused?

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Under the circumstances if I am alone and without another person, landscape is a good shot. And foreground flowers give depth to the image. And if I have someone in the foreground, then Jules needs to be bigger than a dot. It works. Which? Ha! I didn’t say did I?


Jump

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It’s fun. We’ve been doing this for years now. I don’t jump too well. Old man. The secret is to bend your knees. You look a whole lot more graceful. We were stopped along the road to take some pictures of the rugged California coast.

_DSC2564It was a crisp clear day. Photo ops were everywhere. Gorgeous. Too much beauty, we were on overload. So details here and there made things interesting. _DSC2517And then there is always jumping. If you do it right it looks like you are over water and it’s really dangerous looking. No we were not that good.

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Someone expected we would be by. They left messages in rocks down below. It was as if they knew we’d be by for the view.


Morro Bay

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On the California coast, it’s a quaint town worth a visit. We almost kayaked. The water was so inviting and peaceful. _DSC1964But we had a plan. So Jules pushed us on up the coast. This was a fun 10 minute stop. Yeah, we were on a mission. And it was a long way to Big Sur and the camp trip._DSC2003

I did what dads do. I followed the instructions of my knowledgeable daughter.


Old Barn

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Somewhere there is a series on signs painted on old barns. I just take them where I get them. We actually pulled over to the side for me to get this image. I did not have my long telephoto. So I settled for a medium range shot. I was not that intent that I would hike a mile to get closer. And it’s not really an old sign. Still, it’s old enough to have missing letters. That’s old right?


Dawn

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I am not an early riser. And I am pretty lazy. I shoot images when they conveniently present which is to say that I will not get up, travel, and brave the elements to get a spectacular sunrise. However, I can readily appreciate one when I look out the window to check the weather. I usually have a camera close by. So there! Yes, yes, it would be a much better shot without all the distracting branches. Did I say lazy?


Tygart River Bridge

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It doesn’t look forlorn. Maybe it’s been rebuilt. I played here as a kid. On the right there was cliff to climb. I almost inadvertently touched a diamondback rattle snake there. The bridge seemed higher then. There were rocks below and we once found a dead dog. My brother John fished for blue gill and spent many an afternoon alone here.

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To the left was a cornfield. The houses are new. And along the bank was a rope swing that hung out over the water. I was a kid. We were forbidden to swim in the river. But that rope swing was so tempting. So I was the first of my cohort to grab that rope and have a swing. I landed back on the shore. I remember I was the brave bold one to try it first. We spent a lot of time and never got wet. The houses look like they have been there forever now. Water view, everyone wants one.


House On The Hill

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It’s been here forever. Well, at least it’s been around since I was a kid many many decades ago. If you look closely there’s a fourteen year old mowing the lawn. I don’t know how old she is but fourteen was the number that popped in my head when I shot this image. No one lives here? It is an event venue. So you can have your next party. I like the house but an event does not appeal.

 


Lincoln Memorial

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I tried for a shot that would stand apart from others I have seen. Nope, it is hard to do different. The lighting, perspective, and the setting are iconic so that it’s been done before. I had brain lock and did not do more than get a documentary image.

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Still, you don’t give up. I got the clouds and the reflecting pool of the Washington mall that gave me a dramatic image. Sometimes the take home shot is not in the direction you are peering.


Capitol

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The last time I was in Washington the national mall was under construction. It still is but it is a different part. The White House has new security. It seems that people can climb over ten foot high fences without too much problem. I always knew this until I got older and could not any longer. And now, the Capitol is under scaffolding. Well darn, that just messes up a good picture. It was a fine spring day with gorgeous clouds and scaffolding. Ugh.

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Inside they are repairing the rotunda. It seems that there is water leaking. How nice. I’ve had that problem in my apartment too. Nice to know our government has the same issues.


Hydrangea

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I did not realize that hydrangeas were the big fall flower. I’d lived several years in Maine and don’t recall autumn full of hydrangeas. But it seemed that everywhere I turned there they were. Pretty nice! Oh, and it seems they were all the same color. Yes, they all seemed to be this dusty pink shade. A nice stone wall to go and I am all set.


On Golden Pond

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There was a play on Broadway that became a movie that had a haunting theme song. I saw the Broadway play. The movie starred Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, and Catherine Hepburn. Henry won the academy award in his last film. Jane accepted on his behalf. The song is in my playlist. Dave Grusin composed it. So I was moved when we passed Golden Pond. I wasn’t looking for it. The pond just came up and bit me. But all the significance of the play, the movie, and the sound track are now linked in this image. We didn’t stop long. I just filled the tank. Looking at the sign in the gas station it announced where we were. That led me to take the image. A moment. A fraction of a second in shutter speed time.


Black Eyed Susan

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This, too, was an evening shot. The blue cast and the soft focus is a contrast to my usual preference for bright sunshine and rich color. Yes a little fog goes a long way. It’s the same time frame as the foggy lighthouses.


Bug Light

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It’s known as the Portland bug light or the breakwater light. Fog – and it was evening. I got my money’s worth from the spiffy f2.8 lens. My shots were decent. Clarity was not the goal and the overall softness of the image works. The breakwater is a fair hike. And in near darkness over uneven rocks this was a bit of a challenge. The trip back was the more interesting walk.

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Bailey’s Island

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This is a stop for tourists. The shack is filled with lobster buoys just waiting for the camera. I have photographed it many times. It looks to me like there are fewer buoys than on previous visits. But I am happy to stop each time. The road has no place to park. Fortunately I have not been there in the summer season. So I just pull off to the road’s shoulder and hike over. Yes, it’s way cool. Thanks for the photo op.

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Pemaquid

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The lighthouse became a special setting. It sort of represents quintessential Maine. The first thought I have of Maine is the sea and the coast and then of the lighthouses I have visited. So when I traveled there with Colleen we visited all the lighthouses I remembered. Of the ones we saw this was the one she thought called to her. There is a certain point of view that most photographers miss. The reflection of the lighthouse in the pool is the special shot of this location. We spent an afternoon just sitting and smelling the “coffee” (actually the sea). In that time I watched a parade of photographers, some with tripods and serious gear, traipse up and down the rocks never looking at the image waiting patiently before them.

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I set up this shot. No, I did not use a tripod. And yes, I used Photoshop. I more or less estimated the perspective and distance. I kept the focal length the same. Post production put us both in the image. Hey, it worked.

 


Boothbay Harbor Bridge House

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It’s a fairly famous location. And it has been for sale for a while. It still had a sign when I passed most recently. The house sits in the middle of a footbridge in Boothbay Harbor. It retails for $700k+. I suppose the terms and price are negotiable. You would of course be living in a goldfish bowl. One buyer bemoaned the fact that you could not park and unload your car conveniently. Me? I like walking around in my underwear at home. This would be a real issue here.

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