"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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Afternoon PIctures

Driving home from Bastrop this afternoon, around 5pm, the afternoon sun was brilliant and bathing everything on my right in this glorious sunshine. I wanted to get home but had to stop and grab a couple of shots to capture this light.

Since the sun was very bright I used an ISO of 100. With the camera in program mode it chose f5.6 at 125th for the garage and f6.3 at 1/160th for the round "tondo".

Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Autumn's Jewels

Another photograph from this morning's walk by the lagoon. This one is the last shot before I went back to the car. Another small sign that autumn is here.
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The Stage is Set

This idyllic scene will be featured in one of my upcoming shoots. Details are too sketchy to
set down on paper. But something special will come of it. I'm sure. I hope. mmm?

I have a lot of images in my head that I would like to try and produce. This will be one of them. The important thing to remember for anyone trying to develop a photographic idea like this is the importance of planning. So far I have the location, the time (early morning with the sun coming thru the trees), the camera settings (both white balances of daylight and fluorescent),
and the choice of lens/focal lengths. With a little more planning and patience this should all come together in the next month or so. Yes, patience is one of the virtues one must practice for this kind of shooting.
The specs so far are as follows, Nikon D80 with lens set to 35mm (DX, making a normal setting), ISO 320, 1/80th of a second at f4.5. Color set to VIVID in camera.

So stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Digital Black and White

Well as you can see from these last two posts, I've been of a homebody of sorts lately. The last picture posted was one of Stefan watching tv and this one he's just doing his homework right after school. Earlier in the day I had been reading a blog where several photographers were going back and forth on shooting in black and white with a digital camera. You can take the shot in color and convert it in post or you can set your camera to shoot in black and white.
These two were taking the conversation to another level. I mean comparing black and white film to digital, etc etc etc... it went on for quite a bit taking side roads all over the place. Ho hum.

You know I just don't get that analytical about it. Nor do I worry that much about d-min or d-max. I just take d picture. If it looks good it's alright by me.

I do prefer setting the camera to b&w only because it forces me to think in black and white and I look specifically for those kinds of situations.

I think b&w looks a lot better if there's a healthy amount of white in the scene. Contrast!! Contrast!! In this situation the light coming thru the window was being filtered by a white sheer curtain, there's the white t-shirt and the white pages of the book.

I think it's a pretty decent looking b&w image. I added a glow to it in post to enhance the whites and that's about it. It actually looks pretty stunning when printed to a warm MOAB paper!

As always I have other shoots in the planning stages and some classes to boot. So stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Using Color Temperatures in Photography

While I was cleaning my camera after a rugged day of shooting in dusty fields, I noticed my son watching TV. What I noticed was the different color temperatures. This is something photographers should be more familiar with. It can add depth and interest to your photographs.
The blue light you see is the high color temperature emitted by a flat screen TV, probably

around 7000 Kelvin. Since the back of his hands are facing away from the screen - they are lit by the incandescent house light which is around 2600 Kelvin. You can see the distinct difference if you look at the left hand which has a circle of blue in the middle which is catching the higher temp.

If you're not familiar with color temperature, I suggest you google "kelvin scale" and "Lord Kelvin" the inventor of the system himself.

I added a velvety soft after brush to the image to reduce the harshness otherwise the colors are from the camera. Shot wide open (f1.4) for reduced depth of field, hand held at 1/5th of a second.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rain Lighting

Right after it rains there is this beautiful light that just spreads out all over. The heavy overcast clouds act like a huge soft box pouring soft scrumptious light everywhere. These were taking on the side of the house with just the available light. The other thing that happens is the rain water soaks into wood, trees, and the soil making these textures darker and creating excellent contrasting situations with surrounding objects.

The cactus was shot at ISO 800, f5.6, 1/60th of a second and the donkey ears at ISO 400, f.56, 1/80th of a second.
The cactus looks like it has paddles of light - the glow at the bottom is that wrappy/bouncy light you get with this kind of lighting...natural glows.

Watch for this light over the next couple of days as the rains continue. Even into the evening the light should be very interesting. Great light for portraits also! That soft light just wraps itself around your subject. Grab a loved one and try it.

At least you'll have a record of the first big rain after four months of 100 degree weather.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lakes, Lagoons, and Cienegas.

In the autumn, my favorites haunts are around lakes, lagoons, and cienegas. The waters feed the trees well and they proceed through a regular cycle of colors. This despite the drought we've been having here in Central Texas.

As you can see by the bottom shot, the trees are not quite there yet. But I'm planning on going back in about a month. I should see a full spectrum of autumn colors, especially the dogwoods.
Check your local area (google satellite views are good) and locate some reservoirs of water...some may be hidden.

The top picture was shot with ISO 200 at f5/ & 1/125th of a second. The bottom was f10 at 1/30th of a second. I used a Ray Singh Blue/Gold Polarizer on both.

Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Expanding Your Ideas

Last week I posted some shots I had made of dried flowers arranging them more or less straight up as if they were in the ground or perhaps a vase. Bits and pieces of the flowers
would fall on my setup table and that got me thinking about using these parts to design an totally abstract composition. Now I don't know if I was entirely successful but it was a lot
of fun and maybe I can use this same method in the future on another project.

Sometimes you just gotta go for it, play around, and try a few new approaches. See what happens. Experiment. Results may vary. Hope you can do the same on your next project.

Thanks for stopping by.