"For the artist communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human, himself nature, part of nature within natural space." Paul Klee

Friday, January 28, 2011

Braving the Cold and Blustery

The date was set, the time was set, the location was set...just the weather wasn't set!
However, my intrepid subject was determined to make this happen and so was I.

So not only did we endure a very cold shoot but boy was it windy!
Every so often (too often) a devilish whirlwind would kick up the dust and debris and it was "Cover your eyes!"
Techy stuff - the main light was an off camera Speedlight on a C-stand, 8 to 10 feet away zoomed out to 85mm. These shots were at noon straight up on a very bright day. In order to play down the ambient light I worked with shutter speeds.
ISO 320 worked well in the open shade with stops in the f11 to f16 zone, shutter speeds twixt 160 and 200.

A heartfelt thanks to Lisa for being such a brave soul...believe me it was cold and very windy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Eastlake Sunrise

I've had several students ask me about this shot so I'll post what settings I used. However, when it comes to sunsets and sunrises, your mileage may vary. Experiment, please.

I was trying to use the colors of the sunrise as the primary elements in the composition. Since I wasn't worried about depth of field...mostly the desired look with the correct exposure I played around with some familiar settings. This particular shot comes right from the camera like this without using P/S.

ISO 160 with -0.7 exposure compensation @ f4.2. An shutter speed of 1.3 seconds was just enough to let the water of the lake move through the frame and smooth out creating a glassy mirror effect. The movement of the clouds didn't hurt. With a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds I'm on tripod using the timer to eliminate any shake.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Silver Rocks

Trying to get these rocks to retain their silver look took a little tweaking in P/S. Since it was such a white color they really reflected a lot of the surrounding colors...blue, green, yellow.
By isolating the rocks and jiggling with the RGB levels I managed to attentuate the reflected hues...pretty much I think.
Image was shot on a tripod using ISO 500 with -.07 exposure compensation, a healthy f20 and 1.3 seconds with the lens set to the widest 18mm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Foggy Morn Encore

Another shot from this morning's trek in the fog. Camera specs are the same.

Foggy Morn

This picture was taken about an hour ago (7:30am). The fog was quite heavy at first. You really couldn't see anything. My shots were sheets of grey. In this shot the fog just started to lift so the bank way in the background is still deep in fog. The tiny dots to the right are ducks. About five minutes later the fog was gone.

When you shoot something like this the light is extremely bluish. To compensate I set the camera to "shady". ISO 400, 1/60th @ f5.6. Also you can not use auto focus because the camera can't see well enough to lock onto anything. So here the camera is set to manual all around.

Monday, January 17, 2011

RadioActive PlayGround

So it's an off day. I'm playing around with some shots from Saturday's playground shoot.
I've come up with the "Radioactive Playground". I've taken some other shots and am trying to duplicate what I did but I didn't take notes as I was just flying thru P/S. It's an off day so maybe I'll figure out the formula...

Anywho, if you actually happen to see a playground like this...don't let the kids near it. I've warned you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Rusty Old Friend Mack

I've been taking shots of this truck for over a year now. Well, before you think that I'm wacky-doodles...there's probably been at the most (only) six visits to this forgotten (and might I add lonely) hunk of automotive detritus. Actually it's an old Mack! I've shot it on both sunny and cloudy days, in the rain, and even at night with an on camera flash. It used to be in one piece but over time it's been vandalized, hammered, abused, and who knows what. And it's also been weathering nicely...getting rustier, funkier, and slowly creeping outwards to create a bigger footprint.

I guess it's my "haystack" (Monet-like) or one of many haystacks that I continue to retread to see what else I can make of found stuff. Kind of an on-going abstract art project. Today was a full coverage cloudy day. Using aperture priority with a trusty f5.6, ISO 200, the camera chose 1/32oth. I expect someday I'll go there and find it's been carted off....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Come On Snow...We're Waiting

If it's gonna be this cold at least it could snow. The weatherman said we might see flurries today but it wasn't going to stick. So far no flurries -- so not even a chance of stickies. Maybe tomorrow. I'd sure like to get some snow shots this year.

This picture is from last year, February 23 to be exact...about an inch of snow and it melted in a couple of hours. ISO 200, f5.6 at 1/125th.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Warmer Colors for a Cold Morning

This morning it's 34 outside, cold, damp, gray, and foggy. I need some summer colors. I like the little green guy on top of the flowers, he just sat there until I took his picture. His bright green skin contrasts nicely with the flowery orange/reds. I think he was trying to protect his turf.

I needed something bright and a reminder of summer colors this morning. ISO 250 with -.03 exposure compensation, 1/125th @ f5.6.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sunrise on the Savanna

Sunrise on the African savanna?? No...just a sunrise in Cedar Park. Same kind of look and feel without the lions lurking about.
ISO 200 at 1/80th of a sec, f4.5 tripod mounted with a little fill flash from the popup flash to give me some features in the bottom third.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Big Tree Country

Don't know how this translates to my blog reduced in size and all but printed large on semi gloss paper it looks pretty darn cool. As you know I'm a sucker for trees...I can really get into each of their unique personalities...(maybe I've been walking alone in the woods too much).
I love the light around them, behind, and the beauftiful shady hue underneath the long overhanging branches.

In this case I wanted a different look so I used an on camera flash pumped up a couple of notches to blast the tree trunk with some daylight color (that's an uncorrected flash) thus dampening down that blue hue you usually see. The camera was set to ISO 400 manual mode f7.1 at 1/1ooth hand held.

People Pix

Here is a selection of some of my favorite people pictures of the last several years. The top one is my son, Stefan, in front of a much visited lily pond.
Cheri with her trusty Nikon D90, a wonderful photographer in her own right and in the dashing green scarf is Hillary, my very first people portrait with my new (at the time) D80.

And two pix from Adriana and Dans' wedding last year.
I think all these particular shots really bring out the best in their subjects. There seems to be a inner glow happening...at least...to me.
Trying to get a picture of someone in "their best" is sometimes difficult but in the end very rewarding.

Thanks for stopping by.