Photo Blog

Photography and assorted thoughts


Schwabacker Landing by Alpenglow

I was out the other night after sunset, and shot Schwabacker landing after sunset.
I was remembering Doug Johnson’s comment about watching for merges.


Selective Focus

Here’s what the Chalk Art Festival meant to me this year.

Last year I was photographing the chalk artist’s hands, since as far as I was concerned, that’s where the magic happens.
This year I was taking a class on using the lensbaby, and came to the conclusion that the selective focus would explain my feelings about the festival.


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.


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.


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.
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.


Watching the water in the Smokies

Living in Front Range one of the things that you don’t get to see is a lush environment. But for my last major photo trip I went to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, where you do get to see it.

Roaring Fork

Roaring Fork

I think this was along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, so it was literally just yards off the road. But it looks like something you could have photographed in the 1800s. Of course in those days, with the emulsions requiring so much light, that the water would have been even softer. The pictures would have probably been in black and white. Then again our modern lenses have so much more clarity.

Here I was enamored of the flow of water tumbling around the rock.


A few more meters down the road I came to this.

We ended spending about 45 minutes in this section of the park. We all had a great time exploring our individual vision.
One of the things you find at a workshop is that you can be standing right next to someone, and your shots look entirely different than their shots.


Photo Workshops

A few weeks ago, I went to the Great Smokies National Park with Tony Sweet. We were blessed by good weather. Tony and Susan Milestone are great folks to take a workshop from. In addition to being familiar with terrain at the workshop, they’re very interested in finding ways that you can advance as a photographer. One of the avenues that Tony introduced me to, was infrared photography.
This shot, was a infrared pan at Foothills Parkway. As Tony pointed out, infrared is wonderful to bring out the texture in the clouds.  I like the clouds but I also enjoy the patterns of light in valley below.

This was 8 pictures stitched together, and the camera that Tony let me use was a LifePixel converted super color Nikon D800 with a Really Right Stuff panning head.


Meetup at the Forney

This morning, the folks at the Forney museum held a tripod event for the Front Range Photography Meetup. They had some docents who were kind enough to join us, and were helpful and educational. One of the folks at the meet up had suggested that we might want to consider flash for some these pictures.
This vehicle was built primarily of wood, including the roof. It had been lovingly restored. The docent pointed all this out to me, and was kind enough to allow me to get a good shot.


Dawn Patrol

I went out with the American Photo Treks folks to take pictures of the Cranes at Monte Vista and get a few Milky Way shots. This was a morning to appreciate having a long lens since we couldn’t get that close to Cranes.
Since we were up to take pictures of the Milky Way, it was no problem to get dawn pictures. Here I was using my 80-400mm lens.
Typically the Cranes start their day by going to the water, then afterwards finding food in the prairie, and ending up their day by going back to the water.
All of the photographers were speculating what the cranes must have thought with that line of photographers all pointing their long lenses at them.

When we were staying in Monte Vista, we stayed in a Best Western that had a novel concept. They had a drive in theatre next store, and the rooms all had the names of movie stars associated with them. They had a tie with drive in, where you had an audio feed of the movie and you could listen to the movie and watch from your room.


Studio Lighting Classes

Last night I took a class from Bill Murphy, Digital Photography Lighting Basics Workshops.  He had a mixed group, some folks who had lots of experience and some who were getting started. Bill has a nice instructional style, and while others were concentrating on the lighting, I was also picking up posing tips.

Here we able to slow down the shutter, and since the majority of the light was coming from the strobe allow the hair to fly out while stopping her motion. I was using back button focus, so the camera didn’t go crazy trying to find focus.

I was testing out some gear yesterday, but not in this shot. This is my reliable Nikon 24-70.

I agree with Thom Hogan, being willing to take classes leads to better photography more than just buying new gear. Of course buying new gear can lead you to new capabilities.