Photo Blog

Photography and assorted thoughts

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Milky Way over the Plains

I went out a few weeks ago with the American Photo Treks group. to take pictures of the Milky Way over the plains.  I tried out a new lens to see if that made it easier.

This was a 20 mm lens and I used a shutter speed of 15 sec.  I could have gotten away with 20 sec according to the 400 rule, but I’m beginning to think that I should do the math and calculate the star’s rotation rate by how far away the star is from true north.  Then, I’ll write an app for my iPhone.

And I did shoot this in color but came to the conclusion that I didn’t need the color for what was important in this picture.  I used NIK silver efex pro 2, and the noise reduction in DXO optics.

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Painterly Photos

I’m in the process of working through Kathleen Clemmons class on Creative Live, Creating Painterly Photos. In the class she talks about using Lensbaby lenses to accent the focus, just where you want it to be.  Here, I was working with the Lensbaby Velvet 56, which is a different style of Lensbaby.  There’s no bellows or rotating mount for this lens.  So it’s a softer focus style lens.  

We were photographing a show from the Denver Orchid society, and I believe that this one came in second place.  It was nice of the folks at Tagawa garden center to allow us photographers access.

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Flashpainting

   This weekend we went to Wings over the Rockies to take some pictures before they let the public in.


Last month Erik Holladay showed us his technique of using a hot shoe flash with remote triggers to construct pictures of airplanes in a dark hanger. I went back and extended the technique a little using a 600 W battery powered strobe. So instead of taking 4 or more pictures blended in photoshop, this only took two pictures.

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Some folks have the best imaginations

    I was walking downtown and ran across this.

bicycle stand
I’m trying to figure out if this was a clever piece of marketing, or just a joke. There wasn’t wasn’t the room for a bicycle’s front wheel. Then again, you could lock your bike to it. But I did enjoy the eat Denver on it. It was in front of a nice looking restaurant.

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Birds at Night

Last year I was taking pictures of the cranes at Monte Vista, and we all wondered where the birds went at night.


I found the answer later in the year when I taking the exposure values class at Hudson Gardens and Scott pointed out these birds. I never really thought I would be taking pictures of birds three hours after sunset.

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Holiday lights part 2

Tonight I went out with the Denver Photo Hikers for my last round of capturing the the holiday lights for the 2016 Season.


Here I was using my 16-35 lens.

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Merry Christmas

   I originally was going to title this, Keeping True to Your Concept.  But since it’s Christmas today…

Last week, I took a class from Mike’s Camera talking about Exposure Values.  One of their sales associates/instructors, Joe Klocek,  was telling me that the night photography class was an advanced class that they taught. Since I like night photography, I thought I’d take that class.

While I was walking around with the rest of class, I was trying to figure out what these Christmas festivities meant to me.  As another of my instructors said, you should photograph what interests you.  So I was walking around with the class reminiscing about decorating the Christmas tree, and realized that the lights were my thing.  So I looked at the trees, and thought why not a simple composition, just the lights and the trees.  So I took this picture.  There were other things in the background, but I was focused on something simple.

It’s easy to expand the subject here, since there was lots of multicolor lights in the background, but I finally just said, no, this was my original concept, so I will stick to it. 

There were other photos I took that night that I was happy with, but this was the concept that stuck with me.  Those other photos are posted on Facebook, but I really don’t have much to say about them.

This leads to a discussion of night photography.  There are folks who specialize in Astro-Landscape photography, but currently I feel more of a calling to urban night photography. 

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Jenny Lake

I did a bit of work on some of my pictures from Grand Teton National Park, and ended up using Tonality Pro on this shot.

 

Jenny Lake At Dawn

Jenny Lake

What stuck me as odd, is that I think of Tonality Pro as a black and white conversion tool, but in this case I felt that it gave a better view of the sky.
And I think I amused one of my photo instructors when I had my tripod on rocks and was up on my toes to get this. I was trying my best not to extend the center column, even though in this case I probably could have gotten away with it since it was bright enough for my shutter speed to be 1/60.

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Even the Zombies are glued to their screen these days…

I’m interested these days in how much folks are more interested in how the outside world sees them, than what’s going on in the world they live in.
jstachowski-20161022-9926-email
Here’s these folks went to some trouble to create their look, but they spent a lot of time on Facebook trying to see how the world perceives them.

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Art for Art’s sake

Earlier today I was out taking pictures at Union Station with Jason Odell, and his Mile High Cityscapes class and ran across this piece of art.

Lola at Denver Union Station

Lola


A few weeks ago I took a tour of artwork that the city has commissioned and Brandon mentioned that they had installed a piece of artwork at Union Station. If you’re looking for it, it’s a bit out the way, since I was installed on the bridge from Union Station in front of the stairs leading down to the platform. Brandon said on our tour that 1% of the funds for civic improvement projects go to public art. This piece was by Christian Moeller, and called Lola. It depicts both the imagery of person waving goodbye to someone on the train, and a swiss railway clock.