As many of you are aware, I have been struggling a bit lately. Trying to find a direction for my photography. In some ways, I feel as though I've lost my photo mojo for the moment. So, I am going to try a little experimenting. This will be an attempt to rediscover what I enjoy about photography and have some fun with it.
A prime example is this image that I took yesterday morning on the way to work. The first twenty minutes of my drive winds through local farm country and, at this time of the year, I catch the light just prior to the sun's rise. When I saw this scene, I was struck by the saturated colors that looked as though they had come from the brush of Maxfield Parish, the American painter from the last century. I share a fondness with his work with my sister. She has often displayed prints of his work on her walls. This image is no Maxfield Parish and is not even similar to his work. However, his colors inspired my take on the scene. You just never know where inspiration will come from. Maybe that's why it is inspiring.
As part of my work flow, I often switch to black and white to get a good look at the tones. I find that the colors can sometimes be distracting and seeing the image in black and white helps me during the process. While, I have no intention of using the image in black and white, I thought it was interesting and that you might like seeing the converted image as well.
Have a fantastic Friday folks.
The subject of this month's Exploring with a Camera is the lights of night.
As a reult, I have been keeping my eye open for any intersting night light scenes and have come up with a couple of new ones as well as some older shots.
Of course, I am just as likely to creat one from whole cloth when I feel the need. The image above is just such a figment of my imagination, as it was shot in broad daylight.
If you are a photographer interested in interesting monthly challenges, check out Kat and crew by clicking on the following button.
Today's post is an opportunity for you to show off your photoshop skills. I will provide the photo and your job is to tap into your creativity and process the photo any way that you feel. Want to change the colors? Go ahead and do it. Want to composite in some people in the window? Go for it.
The image shown above is your challenge. Just to give you an example of some of the possibilities, here is my take on the scene as though it was taken at night.
Show us what you can do. Simply download the image and have fun. Post a link to your creative take on the scene int he comments. Good luck!
|Lake Experiment 1
Do you ever get inspired to try out new techiques in your photography? I am always in pursuit of some hidden or undiscovered photography knowlege. I am convinced that after years of experience, I still have a lot to learn.
During a recent foggy morning outing, I decided to experiment with low contrast images. My goal was to create images that were recognizeable (no abstracts) while at the same time, use a minimal number of tones.
|Lake Experiment 2
This is a new approach to landscape photography for me. The images certainly lack any sense of drama. On the other hand, they have a serenity and calmness to them that stands out. While they were shot in color, black and white seemed to be the way to go. I made the conversion from color in Aperture, adding 15% sepia to the images in the process.
|Lake Experiment 3
Sometimes the value of an experiment is in the learning that the process triggers. Other times, it's in the end results. For me, I am pleased with the results in these images. It's taken me some time to get used to the low contrast tonality of the images. However, I am beginning to think that they can stand on their own. They certainly bring a new look and feel to landscapes. I think the emotional content has changed as well. I suppose that you could say that they have grown on me.
What do you think about the results of the experiment? Would you take this approach to your landscape images? What recent photography experiments have you conducted?
This is Sheep to Shawl weekend at Carriage Hill Farm. That means that the sheep are being shorn, some of the ladies are spinning the merino wool into yarn while others are weaving the yarn into shawls on the loom.
My good friend Debbie told me that she would be working her great wheel and asked me if I would like to come in early to take photos before the public arrived. I was pretty excited because I had never seen the great wheel in use and we would be shooting in the natural morning light from my favorite window.
The challenges started very early. The morning turned out to be rainy and the light from the window was weaker than normal. I had to run back to the car to get my tripod. I had hoped to shoot a little more agile, but I would rather be tied to the tripod than get shaky shots. I really don't like to shoot handheld slower than 1/30th of a second.
While Debbie prepared to spin, I set up the camera gear.
The great wheel is also called a walking wheel because the spinner walks back and forth while spinning the wheel by hand.
The larger wheel causes the spindle to spin very fast, adding a lot of twist to the yarn, perfect for wool.
Debbie made fast work of the wool and before long, she had a skein ready to go. For me, the shoot was as much about post processing as it was about taking the photos. I converted the images to black and white and thought they looked pretty good, I decided that they could use a little warmth. I decided to then add a little sepia tone, finally deciding on only 15% level. I didn't want the images to be brown.
Finally, I wanted to throw the viewer back in time and anchor them there. So, I added a vignette to each of the images.
I hope you like the images. Drop me a comment to let me know what you think.
Sometimes I just can't let go of an image. I know that someplace inside of the photo I took, there is a better image. In the case of Sisters, i knew that the real picture was located around the horses heads and the wonderfully contrasting light.
After allowing my thoughts to steep in my head for a couple days, I cropped the photo into a portrait aspect ratio instead of a landscape image. The photo now tells a different story, one that I prefer over the wider landscape shot.
What do you think? Is this an improvement?
This barn is located just a few minutes from my parent's home in northern Georgia. My Uncle Eddie has had his eye on this barn for some time and though he has photographed it on several occasions, he has never been happy with the results. He asked me to give it a try so that we could compare results.
We packed up our gear and made the short drive. Unfortunately, the gorgeous morning light was on the back side of the building and we had to shoot the front in shade. We tried several angles and lenses & out of the dozen shots that I took, this is my favorite.
Now, I am looking forward to seeing Uncle Eddie's results.
Sunday, I began using the new 50mm f1.8 prime lens. What better test than to find someplace dark & in which I could never shoot hand held in the past? Sounds like the bottom of the barn to me.
In the winter, the sheep and young pigs are moved to the barn so that they can stay warm. This is a dark area and in the past, I've always needed a slow shutter speed and a tripod due to my Len's wide open aperture of only 3.5.
With the new lens and its aperture of 1.8, I could shoot hand held with shutter speeds fast enough to get nice crisp images. It's amazing what an extra couple of stops can do for you in low light situations.
Yesterday, I was in the botton of the barn at Carrige Hill and looked through a small dirty window and noticed just how dirty it was.
When focusing through the dirt to the farm yard beyond, the effect was to soften the image. It felt as though I was seeing through the haze of a dream. Who would have thought that dirt would be such an interesting filter.
Have a woderful week folks.
I always really enjoy the beginning of a new project. There is a level of excitement and anticipation that is full of promise. Soon the work begins and routine sets in. Then, as the project nears its conclusion, the excitement returns as the results begin to show themselves.
This image is the first in a new project and I wouldn't normally show it to you, but I am very pleased with the results. In this case, my excitement comes from the subtle tones and shadow of motion that came from a little experimentation and dozens of shots before I got what I want. I think my parents were right when they taught me that hard work always results in the joy of a job well done.
The project? Hold your horses, more on that later.