"In the still water of the fountains one saw the splash of human faces, ignited by these gold and scarlet stars as they rose hissing into heaven like thirsty swans." from Justine by Lawrence Durrell.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Radish Purplish Reddish





Got the itchy shutter finger again this morning. Went out to some old haunts. I shoot these same cacti in the spring when they're covered with big yellow blooms. Now the bulbs have turned...? I'm not too sure of the color but that's what fascinating about nature...comes up with the weirdest stuff. The color reminds me of a radish. So we'll go with radish purplish reddish.

Shot these with the D80 (with polarizer) set to ISO 400 and aperture priority @ f5.6. Large clouds were skirting by so the light is different in each one. The top one was 1/5ooth of a second, the middle one is 1/250th and the bottom was at 1/125th.
Nature note: for the top one I held the camera at arm's length down into the cactus pointing up to include the sky. So I really couldn't see the shot..needed several to get the feel. After a couple of these shots the barrel of the lens was covered in needles which also invaded my fingers. Took about 15 minutes to pull them all out. And at home with the tweezers for a couple of stubborn ones. I think someone once said you have to suffer for your art! So beware if you try this! Don't be like me...wear thick gloves.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunset on the Bricks


I was on my way to class one evening last week - when I stepped out of the car I noticed the fading sun was glowing orange yellow and really punching up the colors on the brick building. I walked around to the side and found this tree. I thought the juxtaposition gave it an oriental feel. Maybe that's just me. Anywho, I shot in the vertical to promote the scroll effect. The only other thing I did was juice the green in Photoshop because it was being swallowed by the orange and yellow rays. Nikon D80, ISO 200, f5.6 @ 1/80th of a second. Thanks for the visit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Abandoned Trucks and the FSA




In response to the economic depression of the 1920's and 1930's, the American government formed the Farm Security Administration as part of the New Deal. One arm of the FSA was a team of photographers, Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and others. Their job was to visually document the results of this economic disaster. They produced hundreds of images well preserved and available for viewing on line. If you're not familiar with their work, I suggest you google the FSA and check it out.

One of the iconic images of that era was the old battered and abandoned Chevy or Ford truck left to rot after it gave up the ghost. Since then hundreds (if not thousands) of photographers have taken that shot of the old truck left out in the field covered with rotting paint and smothered with weeds. With the FSA shots, the dilapidated hull of a farm truck was supposed to stand for something. Don't know if all the subsequent pix mean anything at all...maybe it's the beauty in decaying things of which I have admittedly have been a purveyor.

Usually I tend to shy away from images that have been taken over and over. I mean, who needs another shot of a waterfall from Yosemite. I thought Timothy H. O'Sullivan did a pretty good job to start with. Not to mention, Ansel Adams.

But hey, here I am trying my hand (eye) at yet another visual of an abandoned truck. I knew of this truck and have tried to capture it in different (creative?) ways but was never satisfied. One night I was passing by and said, "Why don't I try and hit it with my flash!" So I stopped and extended my flash out to 85mm, using an ISO of 500, 1/6oth of a second @ f5.6. I took a series of rather spooky shots with lots of black negative space. Here's two of the results which I imagine can be added to the on-going plethora of unimportant vehicular imagery.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can go look for a waterfall.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

any way the Wind blows




Ok, here's another fern shot. This one is from August of last year. As I've mentioned before I really like abstracts so this one combines that with the natural. I shot this under a bridge in Austin. The plant was in the sun about 15 feet from the underside which is totally underexposed. Shot hand held with ISO 250, exposure compensation of -0.3, 1/400th of a second @ 5.6 with the Nikon D80, 18-135mm lens set at 85mm. Under the bridge (may I use the word charming?) was this charming piece of street art. Thanks for checking it out.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Beauty of Light


I was reviewing the pictures from last week and noticed this one. The symmetry of the leaves looked interesting and they were backlit which added some detail. But then I noticed light coming from some other directions and also the hot spot in back bottom right. This is just light from the sun coming through the trees and bouncing around. Some of it may be bouncing off the water which is just to the left of frame. All from one light source. Pretty cool. Specs are ISO 200, 25oth @ f5.6 with a 50mm Nikkor.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

That's All For This Week.



Today I went back to the Lily Pond for one last time. At least for now. I changed lenses on the D70 to the Nikkor 18-135mm, brought along a circular polarizer and a Ray-Singh Blue/Gold Polarizer. This was shot with ISO 200 at f16, 1/5oth of a second @ 112mm on a tripod.



There were some nasty gusts of wind and I think the sensor picked up some dust. A few of the photos had a couple of tiny dots in the sky. I cleaned off the sensor when I got home and ran a check and all seems to be well again.

So now I'm going to go back over all the D70 shots this week and pick out my favorites (I may have already done so)...maybe I'll wait a couple of days and revisited them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day Three with the D70







OK, day three just shooting with my D70. Like I said in a post of a few days ago, I'm shooting with the D70 this week because I originally purchased it as a back up a few months ago and didn't use it that much. So far I've been real pleased with the results. Can't wait to print. I think these files will print beautifully up to 12x18.



All of these pics were shot at ISO 200 using a polarizer on my cheapie Nikkor 28-80mm. The bldg with what looks like a Mark Rothko on top was 1/80 of a second @ f.56 @ 28mm - the painted cactus was 1/100th of a second @f5 @ 31mm and the Lily Pond was 1/50th of a second at f13 (aperture priority). It seems to me that there is a lot of lush greenery out there...more than last year, I think the amount of rain we got earlier this year is being sucked up by the brilliant solar engine and is coming through the grass, and trees, and everything...making a splendid background for red, blue, and yellow things to pop out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day Two with 6MP







Today I went back to Hamilton Pool but this time took the trail that leads down to the Perdenales. The run off from the pool creates this meandering stream that tumbles down the hillside through thick trees, brush, and rocky crevices, a pool here and there, and then it would tumble down some more. Photographically it's a bit of twisty thing, too. There is a good tall canopy of branches that keeps most of the sunlight out but here and there you've got shafts of bright sunshine coming through hitting water, rocks, and spots of foliage. So you've got an f stop of 4 in the bluish underbrush and 16 if not 22 in the hot spots. I had to be very selective in framing.

The wide shot (shows how thick it was) is on a monopod at 125th of second. The leaves on bark was at 200th of a second. Both were shot with an old Nikkor 50 1.4 attached to the D70 set at f5.6. The abstract (there doesn't always have to be a subject, does there?) was with the Nikkor 28-80mm f3.3 set at f4.5, 2oth of a second at 50mm. I was set at ISO 200 for all.
More D70 adventures to come.



Monday, August 2, 2010

Working with 6MP




I decided to shoot all this week with my Nikon D70. I recently purchased the body used from Adorama for 214.00 plus shipping. It is intended as a back up camera but I thought I'd put it through some ground work. For those of you who aren't familiar with this 6MP camera it was introduced by Nikon in 2005, five years ago, that's a long time in digital years.


Today I went to Hamilton Pool (I just happen to be out that way) - the shot of the pool was at f7.1, 28mm, hand held at 1/13th of a second. The trees which were on the path going down to the pool were shot at f4.5, 31mm, hand held 1/80th of a second with -0.7 exposure compensation.
ISO was 200 and I used a polarizer for both. I was shooting around noon time.
The plastic lens is a 2001 Nikon 28-80mm f3.3 purchased on ebay for 60.00. So...we'll see what we can do together.

The rest of the week will be super hot with temps in the triple digits. I'll need plenty of water, suntan lotion, and a good hat. Nothing beats a good hat. More pics to come!