Photo Blog

Photography and assorted thoughts

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Waiting for the right time

   This morning when I was photographing I was struck by a comment by Tim Cooper, that much of landscape photography is waiting for the right clouds.  I was out with the American Photo Treks crew this morning and the clouds didn’t cooperate with us.


About the time the the core of Milky Way was about to rise the clouds rolled in. But we took pictures and waited, and almost when the moon was about to rise, the clouds were somewhat more favorable. Not perfect, but better than it was earlier.

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Waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge

Last week I went to the Columbia Gorge to shoot waterfalls.  It was a class with Rocky Mountain School of Photography, and taught by Doug Johnson.  Doug had many excellent suggestions.  One of those was just how much rain gear you should wear while shooting the waterfalls.  My thought was it didn’t matter just how much it was raining, the spray off some of the waterfalls was intense.

Horsetail Falls

Doug was commenting that most people kept asking him how much photoshop he was using, since no one believed it was that green. And it really was that green, Oregon and the West Coast have had an incredible amount of precipitation this year.

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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.