Photo Blog

Photography and assorted thoughts

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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.
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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.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

I made it back to the alluvial fan in Rocky Mountain National Park a few weeks ago. The fact that the National Park Service had declared it a free weekend to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the park service made it much more popular than when I was there last.
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I had to wait until it started raining before everyone cleared out of the scene.

Here I was studying how a long lens compresses the scene. Here I was using my 70-200 at 200 mm. Years ago I had used my 24-70 and the fan looks more dynamic here. I also kept in mind something that Efrain Cruz mentioned to me, that you don’t want the water to go completely white, you want a variety there.

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Making your photos unique

Last night I went with the Metro Denver Digital Photography Learning group to do some macro work.  I ended up using a technique that Tony Sweet was teaching in his Fine Art Floral Photography Course from BetterPhoto.  Note:  I don’t think the course is offered anymore.

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Here, I was experimenting with combining multiple shots into one. In the Nikon D810, you can combine multiple shots into one raw image. You could do this in photoshop, but it’s easier to do in the camera. The nice thing is that with the auto gain option it makes it easier to adjust, or in this case not adjust.

I don’t think I would call this journalism, but this is what it looked like out of the camera. However if you shoot in raw, you have to post process your photos.

And for the folks who want to know the particulars of this image. I used my 70-200 at about 200 mm about as close I could get.

If you want to know more about the technique, Kathleen Clemons teaches it in her “Creating Painterly Photographs” class on Creative Live.

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Seize the Night Part 1

Just got back from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography class at Crater Lake.

Milky Way at Crater Lake Park HQ

Milky Way at Crater Lake Park HQ

I took this picture with a Nikon D810A, the astronomical version of the D810. It’s tuned for night photography work and has a slightly different filter in front of sensor. So if it looks like we have more deep reds, the filter allows more light from the Hydrogen Alpha spectrum. It felt like it had about one stop better ISO performance than my D810 which was the real reason I rented it.
We had been photographing star trails over Crater Lake, and as many people say, once you’re done with your first picture, look behind you to see what else you’re missing.
One of our instructors, Gabriel Biderman, was lamenting that now that more people are using led lights, the night photography scene was getting less interesting. So I liked the interplay of the milky way, with the spill of the light from the park building. Our other instructor, Matt Hill, converts most of his night shots to black and white, so he likes the purity of the new LED lights for his black and white work.

Both Gabe and Matt are part of a venture, National Parks at Night. In this case they were offering this class in conjunction with RMSP.  One thing about National Parks at Night is that they will only offer one class at each park.

If you want to learn night photography, these guys are some of the best instructors teaching night photography.  I suspect that they must have had the motto, leave no one behind.  For the folks in the class who had never done this before, they spent the time to make sure everyone got what they needed.

And the spoken motto was Carpe Crater!  Or seize the crater.

Gabe’s phase he keeps saying is Carpe Nostrum, or Seize the Night!