Friday, May 23, 2008

Only In Colorado

Only in Colorado can one go on a photoshoot and be driving through a blizzard in the mountains, only to come back down to Denver 2 hours later and have to start ducking Tornado's & Hail! The image below was captured as I was coming back down into Denver on a rural stretch of country where I would dearly love to own a piece of land someday.....enjoy!

Thunderstorms On the Farm
Captured yesterday 5/22/08, outside of Chief Hosa, Colorado. Some of you mayhave had about our crazy weather here in Colorado yesterday withTornado's and all that jazz,....well, here is a story for ya all......

The storm you see in this photo is the very storm which would spawn a Tornado outbreak north of Denver and basically level the town of Windsor, Colorado. I drove through this storm while heading to Lake Dillon, to do some shooting, which is pretty high up in the mountains.While going through it in the mountains, I basically drove through ablizzard. I knew that if this storm kept heading East, it was going to be bad as Denver was warm and the humidity so high, 94% which is rare,because it usually stays at about 10%....all that and the storm colliding with said air makes for some dangerous conditions.

Heading back, after Lake Dillon, I detoured some when I saw this barn and just had to get it...the rain stopped for just a second, which added somenice atmosphere for the scene as a whole. Especially with those storm clouds! It was so quiet, almost spooky, just the thunder is all ya heard and the occasional Blackbird.

Monday, May 19, 2008

An interview with yours truely!

A couple of days ago, watcher and friend *LadyAnubis noted me asking if she could do a news article interviewing me. Totally completely shocked, I jumped at the chance. It is pretty in-depth and has been posted and is here check it out and make sure to fav it giving her props for doing it! She should do more of these as her questions were very good in asking me about photography. So a heads up!

Tired, sore, and exhausted, I sit here as AOL Radio belts out "Mean Eyed Cat" from Johnny Cash. And after I am done writing this, I am heading back to bed. I WAS going to go shooting early again this morning, but honestly, I am just to damn tired. So I will save it for later today and maybe hit up golden hour in th evening which is rare for me to do, I am a morning shooter. yesterdays photo shoot in Rocky Mountain National Park turned out nice! 4 Gigs worth of photos, and the light and weather was just perfect as can be. Was able to get 1/2 up Trailridge which shocked me, I thought it would be fully closed until next weekend, but just above the 2 mile marker, they closed it. Needless to say have a TON of shots...and I mean a TON. The Elk were down pretty low, they are getting their summer coats now, losing their winter ones...not the prettiest sight to photography, but their antler's are starting to come in nicely. Got a few really nice shots of em as well. I also learned my lesson and now know I need a 8ND filter while trying to photograph a waterfall. my Polarizer combined with my 4ND wasn't dark enough to get the exposure I really wanted...oh well, that will be on order this week. I also never really thought about using my Minolta 50mm f1.7 as a landscape lens, until yesterday. Sheesh, I need to start doing that! Tack sharp! Also used my 75-300 a lot for landscapes....which I never use for that kinda experimented some. Came away thinking that the new Tamrom 70-200mm F2.8 which just came out is going to have to be a MUST do...especially for wildlife. All in all a great photoshoot, got in before the tourists and out as they were arriving!

Hope you all are having a nice weekend and getting some shooting in!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

What IS a beautiful photo?

I almost feel compelled to write this, after Thursday evening. I was on here, bored, killing some time for a few minutes when I decided to browse the photography>artistic nudes area, which I NEVER do. But I figured I would see how fast it would take til I filed a report for a porn picture. Well after about 1 minute, I saw this shot that got my attention. It was of a gal who was in her 30s, very overweight, who took some nude self portraits. These weren't snapshots, but were artistically done, she obviously has skill in lighting and posing. I thought to myself " I am going to click on this just to see what people are saying", and ya know, I shouldn't have. What I saw not only disgusted me but pissed me off as well. A few deviants were really going off on her, saying some of the meanest, crudest, and rudest things you can imagine....about her weight and how disgusting she is. I sat in total shock.

But then I started reading her watchers comments and seeing how they defended her and how she would respond with nothing but actually nice words to these people.

Ya know what? I sat and I wrote her a length reply about how I respect her, for everything she does and everything she stands for. She certainly has more balls than I do, I will say that! I couldn't do what she does! I think it's people like her that the world needs more of. Someone who breaks down sociological stereotypes, and makes people think. She basically threw herself to the Wolves on DA, but the message she was sending was loud and clear. And the comments she received indicated that....people these days are sad....and so is humankind.

So with this, seeing all this, I had to ask myself, what is a beautiful photo? What makes people stop and look, longer at one shot than another? What blurs the line between subject matter interest and technical perfection? Can YOU see through the lines, when a model who weighs 400 pounds is nude, and see the beauty within the contained the photo? The lighting, the shadow, the exposure? Or are YOU blinded by societies social blinding of Paris Hilton and what beauty is?

Think about'll get it......maybe....


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just a few thoughts

I spose I kinda have to tread lightly with this post as I really wish to talk about a few things that might be offensive to some, but ya know, it's my blog and these are my thoughts.

Popularity on isn't all what it is cracked up to be. With a page there fastly approaching 200k views, with closing in on 3,000 watchers, I find it not only hard to keep up, but downright nearly impossible. It also isn't easy when someone you hold dear to you gets mad because you no longer see the comments right away that they leave for you. Comments get buried ultra fast and it can take me over 2 weeks to get through comments...but why on earth should I be held accountable for not seeing someone's messages right away?? It isn't my fault that I get inundated with feedback...sigh...this has really left a sour taste in my mouth....

Balancing my time between DA, RedBubble, and Flickr, along with the ther sites I am on is becoming liek a job....not to mention all the stock sites I sell my work on. There just isn't enough hours in the day honestly and ya know, it sure as hell isn't helping my health any.

I think it's tiem I just do some shooting and leave the stresses of the net behind me, so with that in mind, Rocky Mountains, today here I come!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Great Postwork vs Image Manipulation Debate!

Desert Light Landascape in HDR

The Sandia Mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico at dusk....the light simply shines this tme ofthe year in the "Land of Enchantment" as the storms start to blow in, leaving traces of snow on the peaks

Before I start this, please keep in mind I am talking about photo-manipulation.

Ok enough is enough, I have had it and well it is high time I speak my mind. I 'spose I was a tad astonished at some of the replies I have seen lately floating around DA how "HDR is image manipulation" and so forth. So here I am, about to address this and other issues which fall under "The Great Postwork vs Image Manipulation Debate!"

Now I am sure that a few of us (maybe more than a few) are aware of the controversy that started a couple months ago about one of DA's biggest and most popular photographers who seemingly took part of an image, added in areas and mirrored parts of the image. Yet, the photo was submitted under the photography category. Myself along with a couple other photographers were quite amazed by this and we asked ourselves, "isn't this technically a manip?" I still technically hold true in saying that yes it was.

So what defines a manip from a photo you ask?? Well personally, MOST hold to the notion that if can be done in the traditional darkroom, it isn't a manip. Well, hate to tell 'em, but I would wager a guess that people who have said this have never actually spent time INSIDE a real darkroom. I have seen things done with film that is utterly mind blowing, long before Photoshop came onto the scene, when B&W was hand developed in the sinks. Image manipulation in the actual darkroom is just about endless. My take on it is this---if you change the scene so much to where you are adding elements which didn't readily exist when the photo was shot, then you creating a manip. I see nothing wrong with taking out a powerline, cloning out dust spots, burning ad dodging, using gradients (as the same can be attached to the camera lens itself) and so forth. Basic stuff pretty much. And I see nothing with HDR processing either. The minute you start adding in an entire crowd of people into a scene, well, hello manip! The minute you start having to mirror the left side of an image so the right side matches, hello manip! I think you can see where I am going with this huh?

The one thing though that I am having a VERY hard time understanding is how some see HDR as a manip. Say again???? Yes, some see it as a manip. All because it is done with software and not with a camera. It isn't? To have an actual HDR you have to have multiple exposures of a shot, correct? Generally you do that in the camera, though you can do it in a good RAW converter as well. Ohhh yeah.....RAW files, gee, those have to be converted using software to, so are all us RAW shooters then image manippers as well? Give me a break. The whole purpose of an HDR image is to catch the dynamic range in a photo which the camera a can not, to see things how the human eye sees them. And it is with that I think why so many have an issue with HDR and the way it often looks. Now don't get me wrong, I have seen stuff that is so overprocessed it looks like someone Skittles just went to take a shit! But people are used to seeing traditional photos that don't have so much dynamic range in them, after all, our brain and eyes know what they know and have been trained for YEARS that a photograph looks a certain way...flat. HDR challenges this and changes how we see things, and in that, people jump to the conclusion that it is wrong.

Here is the bottom line and the real deal folks. Look, if you are using PS to make your photo look so much BETTER then chances are you are more a photoshopper than a photographer. Sure, we must edit in RAW and all that, but if you are going totally overboard in PS and don't have a single clue how to even switch your camera to where it is shooting in RAW, NOW would be a damn good time to start investing in your self by READING YOUR CAMERAS MANUAL!!!!! First and foremost, is the camera, always, forever. The shot itself, the click of the shutter. Pay attention to cropping in camera, and maybe you won't be accused of image manipulation in the future. Always the camera first, take your time shooting, setting up your shot, don't rush it. Study your manual and get to know your camera inside out. Treat it like it is your lifeline! Photoshop is always second, no questions asked, and is meant to compliment YOUR photos, not add to them!

/off my soap box for now.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Early Morning Creative Drive

"Morning On the Colorado Plains"
A Sunrise Morning greets travelers on Colorado's E-470 Tollway Highway, coming and going to Denver International Airport; DIA. Pike's Peak stands like a sentinel in the distance along the Front Range

Ya know, as odd as it seems, we all have our most creative times of the day. I used to be a nightowl spending late nights painting and drawing when I was in art college. Now it seems I have come full circle in a way. I 'spose having trouble sleeping tends to do that to one's soul and mind, but there is something to be said to be awake when your side of the world is all but asleep. It is quiet, it is serene, and it is tranquil. I find these early morning hours the best time fro my creative juices and blood to be flowing. I generally use this time to edit my photographs, browse photography sites, answer comments and questions on my DA and RB accounts, and become inspired.

Strange though, and how it became like this I shall never know. I will say one thing though, it certainly has allowed me to catch some sunrise images..has it ever!