Thursday, December 16, 2010

Insights as an artist

For me, art has always been about a few things; 'getting lost in creation', self expression, communication, relaxation, witnessing to others, and maybe some sort of romantic thought process that others may truely see me for what I am, not to mention leaving something behind for loved ones when I am gone and having some sort of legacy. I consider photography as much as a valid art form as anything else, as much as illustration, fine art, design, photography has it's own place among them. I have never understood why so many argue that and I probably never will.


I guess it all started when I was just a kid, I would sit and draw things for hours, usually WW2 airplanes, as my grandfather was a p-38 pilot. I would get lost in doing it and not have a car in the world about anything else. To this day, I still get like that when it comes to post processing my photos...I turn the music on, I unwind, and I dive in. I try not to get to distracted by things on line, so I kind of disconnect from it all, or at least try my best to, when I do. It's always been in my blood, this whole creativity thing. When I was younger they discovered that I had severe learning disabilities, and never ever thought I would be able to read or write because of them. Some things I still have trouble with, math as example being one of those, but what they did find is that my right brain (the creative side) was compensating for the left side (the analytical side) It is kind of funny to see the reaction on peoples faces when I explain to them how I remember things like phone numbers and names, and how I relate it all to color, or how I still play video games at 41 years of age. (I love TF2!)


I see the world very differently I think than many others do, except maybe fellow artists. There are always photographers and always will be photographers who will try to capture a scene as best as it looked like. I tend to do this with mostly all my wildlife shots, as example. But for ever landscape I shoot, I generally have 2 versions of the same scene, sometimes 4 or 5 depending on processing. I almost always have a B&W version of a color shot at the bare minimum, but sometimes and quite often, I also have a more artistic version that involves split tones or a version done with a more retro feel with square cropping and such.Some balk at that and say it is "overcooked" or whatever, but I keep moving along, reminding myself that these same also are generally not my tager market either. I do what I want to, I do what I like, and I do what I enjoy, and I have found the images that are of a more creative nature tend to do better in certain markets than ones which are not, CD covers, greeting cards, etc. At least that has been my experience, your results may vary.


"The Road That Never Ends-cross processed-00076-2""The Road That Never Ends-00076"



I remember reading commentary from an up and coming landscape shooter whose work is quite good, he shoots very realistic, and he said (paraphrasing here) "I don't understand why so many people post song lyrics under a photograph in their artist description. How does a song relate to a photograph?? I don't get that". Ahhh and here is where we separate the artists & creatives from the ones who aren't. Music is visual, at least to me it is, take a look at this set of lyrics below from U2's "Red Hill Mining Town" as example;

We'll scorch the earth
Set fire to the sky
We stoop so low to reach so high
A link is lost
The chain undone
We wait all day
For night to come
And it comes
Like a hunter child

Now I don't know about you all but I see a LOT of visual symbolism in that. For me, songs have always fit photographs and vice versa. From spot photos used in an editorial or a fictional story, to a CD cover used for a musician, it has always been that way. Can you imagine for example, the Eagles "Hotel California" or The Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers" without those photos on the covers? How about Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run"? I can hear maybe a few of you say "but John these aren't songs, they are covers of LP's", fair enough, but to that I would add single releases, which do have covers just like their long play counterparts.


Often times it goes deeper for me, it goes in to what I want the person looking at my work, the viewer, to feel, rather than just documenting a scene as a whole. I want to evolke an emotional response out of the viewer, and sometimes I want that to be a kind of shot that has processed in such a way. I want to stop the viewer in their tracks and make them think, and see the world in a different way, see the world in a beautiful way. I want to have people forget about the days pressures and stress, and be able to get lost when viewing my work. It is THAT emotional impact which I strive for, and the message that I want to get across in my work.You always hear about all these battles about HDR and if it is right or if it is wrong, I have never quite understood that. I have always been of the opinion that if you try to lasso and put restraints one a creative medium, it suddenly becomes no longer creative. There is no right and there is no wrong...something that a lot seems to have forgotten about these days, sadly.


Capitol Liquores, Denver, ColoradoCapitol Liquores, Denver, Colorado-split toned








Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is B&W Nature Photography dead?

I wonder if B&W nature photography has gone the way of film...basically dead. I also wonder why more people don't shoot in B&W with traditional nature photography. It is something that has really mystified me in the last few years. I also wonder if digital isn't partially to blame for certainly is a possability I suppose, but at the same time, it has also come full circle in a sense. I see a lot of kids these days who shoot retro themed images, mimicking the look of old skool Polaroid's using Polardroid software (a great free stand alone program by the way) and I see a lot of great Lightroom and Photoshops that many are using on their work these days. But in the traditional nature photography realm...not so much.

I was rather astonished a couple years ago to hear some rather very high profile and well known nature photographers say on deviantART that they simply don't like B&W images. This had me scratching my head, knowing that they all have Ansel Adams listed as one of their favorites, and I kind of wondered if maybe this wasn't more or less a result with being frustrated with the medium itself. Make no bones about it, B&W is harder than color photography, without question, it takes a different eye, and different train of thought, and a different take on a scene as a whole.

I firmly believe that one of the best things that someone can do to better themselves as a photographer is to buy an old manual SLR like say a Minolta x370 which you can have for a song on ebay, and a roll of Tmax and go to town. You gain a lot with knowledge about exposure this way. You also gain a lot with training your eye in seeing things like it hasn't before, not to mention it is just a good creative exercise.

I just wonder what Ansel would say today...and I wonder why more don't shoot B&W. The same goes for seeing photographs which are done in tints and tones, like sepia. I remember reading how Ansel was shown a copy of Photoshop before he passed, and was completely taken by it. . All I can say is thank goodness for photographers like Clyde Butcher who keep the spirit alive. He, in my humble opinion, is the second coming of Mr. Adams himself.  The next time you are out shooting, make yourself a promise to process a few on B&W (don't shoot in B&W mode in camera...just say no to lacks in so many ways I won't even discuss it here) and try it out and see what you get! Who knows, maybe you will find a new love in a whole other style with photography.

"Moonset Over The Towers" Garden Of The Gods Park, Colorado
I wanted a shot that spoke traditional, something that seemed very nature, so I decided to shoot this scene using my Sony a550 and my Minolta 18-200mm, with the sole intention of converting to B&W inside Lightroom3 and a tad touch up with Photoshop CS 5. I really liked how teh scene looked in the viewfinder, and how it had a very almost alien landscape look and feel about it.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How does one get photography burnout?

Ok, honest question here, just how does one get photography burnout? I don't understand this and I don't think I ever will. I am fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful states in the country, Colorado, yet I hear people say this all the time. It confuses me, in all honesty. To me, photography is like going to the bathroom, you just do it. It is never a question of "I am not sure, I am kind of sick of shooting", or "I have shot there so often I am not sure I want to go again". Each and every time I return back to a location, I see something new, I see something which I would have never seen if I hadn't gone to begin with, and that my friends is half the battle, just getting out of bed, or dragging your butt to the car to get there to begin with. We only live once, so we had better make the most of it, right? For myself, that means bringing my camera just everywhere I go.

A good shot doesn't just randomly happen while sitting around at home on the couch, you have to get to the location first. I see a lot of folks who literally go in to hibernation and I just don't get it...really I don't. As an artist, I NEED to be creative, if I am not,  I go literally insane. I see beauty in everything and all around me, from when I walk in my backyard, to when I am sitting next to a waterfall up in the Rocky Mountains. It is the drive to capture it all on the camera that I enjoy, it is in my blood, it is in my every waking thought with "how can I capture this, how can I be a better photographer, how can I make the scene look best as a whole?"

Maybe it is just me, but I doubt that it is, in thinking this. Granted I have some extra drive in that photography is my sole income, but make no bones about it, I must create and shoot as often as I can. I don't just do it for the income and to pay the bills though, I do it for me. I do it for the sheer love, the experience of seeing things most people will never see in their lifetimes. I do it because I enjoy it. Isn't that what it really all boils down to? The enjoyment? So how are people getting burned out?

You know, it's rather freezing cold outside this AM, I think I will go get bundled up and go for a walk. Of course I am bringing my camera with me, too.

I have always loved capturing the textures during autumn and getting in kind of close to explore them. I decided to use my Sigma 28-90mm Macro on this shot, as it has some nice macro abilities about it. I wanted to not only capture the textures, but the light and color as well. Shot in my backyard, beauty in nature resides all around us!
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

The problem with 'community' based photography websites

Social networking, photography, and the art of self is, after all, an art unto itself. In order to get your work seen, you MUST get it out there in front of people, right? Right! It is rather a mandatory thing to do, be it on Facebook, twitter, etc etc. But, there are a few downsides to doing it as well, and depending upon the path you take, you may or may not have this happen to you.

Photography 'community' websites, or, art community websites. The good, the bad, and the downright awful. There are some which are great and there are some that make you want to shoot yourself in the head after awhile. Joining and exploring them can be painful, or fun, depending upon the route which you take, and which ones you join. That being said there are some serious problems with most of these which I have discovered.

Who is your target market that you want your work to be seen by? Is it a group of people who's average is 15-19 or is it an older audience who is say in their 30s-50s on average? Determining factors for sure, especially if you plan on selling your work on these sites. Do you want to promote your work to a community or do you want to go outside and promote it to the whole world to see? You can use a photography based community website as a sort of home base, but be aware that some of these sites are encased in advertising that actually 'talks' and makes noise, flashes, and can be infested with malware causing not only you problems on your computer but everyone you send a link to. I don't know about you, but for me, that is the last thing I would want my art to be associated with on a professional basis.

The clique factor. believe me, there is a huge clique factor on photography based community websites, sans RedBubble and Flickr, as I have never seen it happen there. Others though I certainly have. Again, it all depends which site you join, and the dynamics of the site as a whole. There is also the whole issue of disrespect that one can get from members as well, because being outright attacked by a group of trolls is just the 'in' thing to do for the younger generation these days on the internet it seems.

And then there is the factor of egos running amok and wild, like the Sox & Martin dragster from the 60s. It can get very out of control, and on some of these websites, it actually leaves people with a very bad taste in their mouth. One example would be on deviantART where I was accused of manipulating one of the photos by a group admin whose group I submitted the photo too. She declined it and basically said I manipped the shot.

Now let's be honest here, any photographer who takes their work seriously would be pretty offended by that kind of accusation, without question. And this is standard affair on these 'community' based websites. I see these sort of things happen a lot, and it makes me sad, because many times when it is happening, it is being said by someone who has no clue what they are talking about to people who also don't have any idea about photography who are just starting out, and now think their work pretty much sucks, losing confidence in their ability and in their photography. Not good. Not good at all, but it happens a LOT of the time.

So what is one to do then? The answer is quite simple, though it depends on what it is YOU want out of a photography community website. So let's examine this some shall we?

* Who is it that YOU want your images to be seen by?--- Is it an entire community or is it the whole internet? If you look, most serious photographers have a photoblog that they work off which is often ran alongside their own personal website. This is pretty much standard affair in this day and age, publishing their work on facebook, twitter, etc. It is hard work at times, but the rewards can be great. If you want to hear things like "hey great shot!" and have some nice compliments on your work, then a community based website would be better perhaps for you.

* "But John what about other community based websites?"--- First off, flickr. I am not entirely sure I really consider flickr a community based website. Maybe? Maybe not. Flickr is it's own unique entity and is unto itself. Would I recommend it? Yes, very much so. that beings aid if I had to really recommend one single community based website, RedBubble gets my nod. It is clean, easy, 100% free, no advertising anywhere, and they give you a free professional based website as well, called a "bubblesite" which is entirely separate of the community itself. An example of which is my own bubblesite here
I like the ability to have people able to buy my art directly without ever having to sign up to be a member of the site itself, RedBubble handles the printing, shipping, etc and I call the markup %. Again, 100% free unlike so many other sites which charge you in order for YOU to make a profit (usually anything above 10-20%) The average age of RedBubble is 30s-50s and is pretty much strictly photography & fine art focused. This means less drama like on other sites, and it means people who are there for the art.

* Photography forums--- If your goal is to REALLY get valuable feedback on your work and improve as a photographer, you may wish to skip photography based community websites all together and instead head for another community based website completely different in style than the others. Forums. there are truly some fantastic ones out there, and in many cases these are are far FAR better for bettering yourself as a shooter. You can get critiques, feedback, and thoughts on your photography, while having it done in a very respectable manner (read said nicely to you) Which one you join depends what it is you want and at what stage you are at as a photographer. Again, these are all 100% free.

If you are just starting out or consider yourself at an intermediate stage, then these below you may wish to examine:

The Photo Forum
Digital Photography School
Photo Camel
Digital Grin
Photography Review
Photography Corner

If you consider yourself to be on the advanced amateur to professional level, then the sites below would be for you.


Nature Photographers
The Luminous Landscape
Fred Miranda
Photo Migrations
Juza Nature Photography Forums
Bird Photographers

I hope all this helped at least someone out there. What you do with your work, just make sure you take the path which is best suited for YOU as a photographer. Choosing the right path can help you grow as a photographer and better your craft, and quite quickly at that too!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Wildfires Of Boulder and published by The AP

For anyone who has been watching the news lately, one of the headlines has been the Fourmile Canyon Wildfire, which is burning above and behind Boulder, Colorado. This week has been a pretty a busy one for Colorado shooters who have been busy getting photographs of the fire. I have always wanted to photograph a forest fire, and well, I did. It is very bittersweet, seeing something so beautiful yet also very deadly and destructive at the same time. Photographing it from a distance gave us a unique view and vantage point, and using a super telephoto like my Tamron 200-400mm really made for some interesting things.

What floored me the most is when I came home and I posted one of my images on twitter using TwitPic Before I knew what was going on, I started seeing tons of people "re-tweet' the photo I took, and by the next morning it went pretty much viral, landing in front of the photography editors at the news desk of The Associated Press & The Huffington Post. After speaking with The AP's editors in NYC, the photo is now on the AP news wire and being shown all over the world, from Fox News to Yahoo News, to AOL News, to newspapers country and world all over.

Needless to say I am pretty speechless.

I have a whole gallery of photographs from the Fourmile Wildfire located on my website here  if you wanted to see them all. I still have a LOT to process yet and those will be up in the coming days. For now, here are a few below. Please click for larger version.

This is the image which has been published by The Associated Press after going viral on Twitter.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

August means one thing...SUNFLOWERS!

Make no mistake about it, I have a complete love affair with Sunflowers and Sunsets, and every beginning of August I try to find where the fields are at, this year Longmont, Colorado seem to play host to the largest fields I have seen in quite some time now. Still, there are others that haven't even reached their blooming point yet, and are about a week out still, one of those fields is the field which I call an iconic location, where many photographers show up, often in droves, shooting. Thankfully we met the property owner earlier this week who said we can come back and actually on get on the property and shoot once they are in bloom. Something that will give us a unique vantage point compared to everyone else.

There is just something about standing, looking at these flowers for as far as the eye can see just about, with the Colorado Rockies playing a backdrop to these endless fields. Next up, around the corner, Fall will be here, and that is my other busiest time of the year, and I am dearly looking forward to it!

So I thought I would share a few shots with you all to show you all what I have been up to. If you must know, these were shot on my Sony a550 using a variety of lenses, tripod, filters, remote shutter, etc. Clicking on teh links will take you to the larger images on my website.  So who wants to come out and shoot these next year?


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Using a super telephoto for intimacy

It used to be I didn't have anything longer in my arsenal than my Minolta 70-300 which I dearly love, but in all honesty I don't use it a lot these days, since I got my Tamron 200-400mm. I really love this lens and having had it for a about a year and a half now, I can fully say that I use it a lot. This past full saw it put through it paces while photographing the Elk Rut in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. It is a big lens and built like a tank, it isn't the fastest at f5.6 continuous but it is sharp. Best thing about the Tamron 200-400mm lenses, is that they can be had for a song over at KEH usually around the mere $200 mark or less. Sure they are used, but you aren't going to get a lens at that price/performance, let alone focal length from anything else pretty much. So if you are looking for something tio start you off in wildlife photography, then I highly recommend this lens.

that is just the thing though. Wildlife photography. That is what generally most think of when you start getting up there in focal length like 400mm. It is pretty much a natural. however, one thing this lens has that many others don't, is 1:2 Macro ability. Close focusing goodness, which, as I have come to find out, can make for some very interesting images at 400mm.

This has opened up basically a whole other world of photography for me, with a whole other shooting style, being able to do things which before, I had never really done, either because I didn't have the focal length, or because I honestly failed to ever see it/notice it. As photographers, we are always evolving, looking for ways to shoot differently, to be more creative with our work, and to try something which we have never tried. When I first got this lens, my sole intention was birding, and it then that I realized what I had been missing on one of the first photoshoots I ever did with the lens. I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera, and I locked on to something which I wasn't trying to lock on to, some cat Tails in a marsh, and then, it just sort of came to me. The wheels in my head started turning, and I started scanning at 400mm with the lens, seeing things, seeing the intimate details of nature which I had never noticed before.

One of the fun things to do with this lens is landscapes from a distance, it is amazing what you can see which the naked eye can not, it has opened up a whole other world essentially which I otherwise would have completely missed. The trees on the mountainside, subtle changes in light, winter weather conditions, etc. Florals also can be a lot of fun, especially in what would be otherwise harsh lighting conditions, where I would never even think of doing a landscape image. Backlighting can be fun to work with.

So the next time you are out with with a super telephoto, don't forget to take a minute and notice the smaller, more intimate details around you. You very well might be amazed at what you find!

Images below shot using my Tamron 200-400mm lens on Sony and Minolta dslr's.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Springtime In The Rockies

Springtime in the Colorado Rockies, a time of the year which I have always loved. Recently went up to the Mount Evans Wilderness area to try and capture the change of the seasons and to see if winter was still holding on. In some places it certainly was, to say the least. Though Spring was certainly in the air and the combination of the 2 seasons made for some interesting conditions. What astonished me was a couple tourists wading through the river where I shot the long exposure shots at....folks that water is freezing cold! Probably barely above freezing, and the result of spring melt off from the thanks I will pass with doing that anytime soon in bare feet! A great time though, and it was nice to experience the resulting conditions!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How art touches us

This post in it's original form, appeared originally in my journal on devaintART located here I have modified it some the re-write here.

Today, while checking my comments on my work on deviantART, I was stopped cold in my tracks by a comment that left on one of my photographs. I came upon a comment left by =Wrath-n-Ruin that really just stopped me cold in my tracks.
It was left on my photograph "The End Of The Day" which is below here.

=Wrath-n-Ruin "I just wanted you to know that I bought this print for my mother a few days after my father died to remind her of him (sunflowers were his favorite)...she never got the chance to frame it because she died a mere 7 weeks later, but she loved it dearly. She loves it so much, in fact, that the flowers we used for their funerals were inspired by this piece.

This picture now hangs above their photos in my bedroom.

I can't even express to you how much I love this photo and the meaning it now holds for me and my family, which makes it all the more special. When I presented the print to my mother, she said that it reminded her of hope, that there is still beauty even in the darkest of places. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful piece."

Never in my life....would I have ever thought that one of MY photographs would have that kind of power, and I don't even know what to say, I am beyond floored. Literally speechless, completely.

Art touches us in so many ways, like few things in life ever can. It touches our soul, it touches our hearts, it has the ability to take us somewhere else, if even for just a little while, to let us get away...and it leaves us with a forever lasting impression. Few things in life can do this on such a regular basis. Few.

When I read that comment, I was left feeling completely smacked upside my head. Not knowing how I should respond to her, in fact, I haven't yet. Maybe I will just link her to this journal, I don't know....I mean how to your respond to something like that? That isn't a comment, that is a reality check full of power.

Comments like that, make being an artist worth it all. To know, that one of my own photographs touched people like that, is just a serious "wow" moment that leaves me laying on the floor.

I just wanted to share this all with you. Amazing, what one single piece of art can do isn't it? Art=life, as I have always said.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

The Long Landscape

  A couple days ago I had the chance to once again shoot up in Rocky Mountain National Park. Naturally I jumped at the chance at being able to visit one of my favorite photo destinations. What awaited was a display of Winter battling Spring in full force, with snow showers, full on snow storms, combined with sunlight at times, making for just very dramatic atmosphere. I really love the time of the year in the Rockies of Colorado.

  It got me thinking though as I was shooting around Hallet Peak, as I shot with my 400mm surveying things, panning for interesting detail and composition. Today I thought that i would take a few minutes and write my thoughts down and share some examples of this photo shoot with you about the title of this blog post "The Long Landscape"....

  How many of you own a lens that is 300mm or greater? Usually we think of such lenses for shooting things like Birds, Wildlife, etc...but how many of you have actually tried shooting a landscape with it? Zoomed all the way in at max focal length? In a sense it is kind of like macro photography, how the goal is to capture things which the human eye often can't see, only this time we can sometimes see it but we don't have the ability to really notice the fine details and intimacy with the human eye. It is literally like shooting a whole other world, noticing things we would have missed otherwise.

  When I was looking through the viewfinder while shooting, I kept saying out loud "wow...just wow!" because of the things I was seeing that I couldn't see without a long lens. The trails from the snow tumbling down the mountainside, the Pine trees completely untouched by man, sitting at 12,000 feet high, and how thyey are battling the early Spring snowstorm. The light as it reflected against the falling snow....the finer details.

  Often times shots like this can give an excellent sense of emotion, atmosphere, and as I said, intimacy. I often find that compositions in shots that are done in this style can be stronger and also more powerful. The ability to get in close and really work the scene with a ling lens, studying it, taking your time, and really examining it, can be incredibly rewarding.

  So next time you are out shooting a scene, try it and see what you get! You may very well be shocked at what you find when looking through a long lens! Here are a few examples that I recently took using this technique. Focal length was between 300 & 400mm using a Tamron 200-400mm on my Sony a550.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Photography Community websites & Limits

I was recently saddened to see that one website I love, started going to a more private community, allowing those who are not paying members to only post a message once in 48s hrs. A couple of weeks ago I tried to post a reply to someone in a thread which they had started to share information with them, but was unable to do so.

I understand that every website requires money to run, but I wonder why a photography community, where the sharing of information is essential, with things like locations, equipment, processing, would do something like this? Wouldn't it kind of actually hurt the community as a whole? I would imagine it would. After all I was unable to share information with one photographer who was looking for info on how to get to a specific place. It seems rather counter-productive.

Though I am sure that many of the paying members are unaware of this, I wonder what their thoughts would be about it? I have always loved that site, and it is one of the "Go to sites" on the internet as far as nature photography. There are others, like Fred Miranda Photo Migrations Bird Photographers and Nature Scapes All of which are very high end professional nature photography forums.

I guess I will have to start hanging on a more regular basis at those sites above I also mentioned. Photography is learning experience, one that never ends, it is also about sharing information, and when you are unable to do that, you lose a lot. Not only within the community you are a member of, but also your own personal knowledge as well.

Shot in rural Castle Rock, Colorado, this Horse just seemed to echo what rural Colorado life is like. Captured on my Sony a550 using a Tamron 200-400mm lens

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In The Glow

  If there is but one time of the year I look forward to, then surely it must be Autumn. I was sitting here just going through my archives, browsing away inside Bridge, when I came upon a boatload of images from the last couple of years that I just have never processed. Honestly, I think i may have forgotten about them, tucked away in a sub-folder on my external hard drive. Kind of funny, it was like finding a gold mine, and I just sat and stared, remembering how gorgeous the Rocky Mountains really are during the Fall months.

I suppose we as photographers always have that certain "thing" we live for. For me, it is the later part of September to very early October. I am not so sure that a day doesn't go by when I am not thinking and looking forward to that time of the year. below is one of the "lost shots" that I just finished up with. I hope this coming year can be as good as the years past, we'll see!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Field Report 3/14/10-Washington Park/St Vrain State Park, Colorado

  What started out as a cold beautiful morning with the sun rising over Washington Park in Denver would soon turn into a very cloudy, cold, blustery, day with virtually no light at all, just gray. I have always found these conditions to work great during Autumn, but this time of year, not so much. It presents a great challenge when shooting, trying to have images that stand out with almost completely flat contrast and light is not what I would call exciting. Many photographers I know would have packed up their gear and called it a day. Instead I took this chance to try and better myself and work with what I had.

I nearly froze myself at Washington Park, but I think I got a few keepers off at least. St. Vrain though I did get a few that I am fairly happy with. If anything it presented me with something I had never seen before; a Rookery of Great Blue Herons, and according to the Ranger at the park, there are between 150-200 birds there. I wouldn't doubt it, the trees were just lined and filled with GBH's. It was honestly out of my range though using my 400mm but I did take quite a few overview shots just to remember it by. Also just to the south of the Rookery were 2 Bald Eagles, watching and observing all the Heron's which just put a great touch on an already incredible scene. I came to the conclusion that I seriously need to buy a 1.4tc very soon.

St. Vrain was rather neat to shoot at. The conditions were less than ideal, but the chance to see nesting Great Horned Owls was enough to make it worth it's wild. Though I couldn't get any shots of them, as they flu away but seeing them made it worth it. The Red-Wingled Blackbirds are starting to become abundant again. One of my favorite all time birds, I have always loved their song which reminds me of growing up in rural Wisconsin when I was a kid. Not to much in the way of migratory birds yet but that is expected to change in the next week or 2.

All in all, a fun time and one that I was always remember. A few of the shots I have thus far processed are below.

Washington Park sunrise, Denver, Colorado

Great Blue Heron rookery, St. Vrain State Park

Red-Winged Blackbird, St Vrain State Park

Red-Winged Blackbird, St. Vrain State Park

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recent work and catching up on processing

Ahhh how times flies, it does seem though that winter is good for one thing; getting caught up on the backlog of  photographers to process! I thought that I would share a few with you all and what I have been up to as of late. All of these can be purcashed as framed and matted prints and posters over on my RedBubble site. If you are interested in them, simply click the photo.

"Summer Memories"
For this shot I really wanted to try something different and well, this is the end result which you see here. I went ahead and mimicked Cokin filters inside Photoshop to get the look and feel I wanted and desired. It is a 4 exposure blend HDR output through Photomatix.

"Winter Rising"
Now this is a shot which has eluded me for a long time. I wanted wanted a shot of the Moon rising over a cliff face like this, and finally after years I was able to get it. It is interesting to note the compression a 400mm lens can give you, thus making the moon look quite large.

"Alpine Winter"
I have to admit, this shot was a bear to expose for with the light being so diffused and trying to balance it all evenly. Not to mention I was being pounded with wind from the inevitable snowstorm that was fast approaching. Standing at close to 13,000 feet on the alpine, with this kind of weather coming in, is the last place you want to be. Needless to say I didn't stick around to long. Worth the challenge though I think!

So that is what I have been up to as far as processing goes. I will share some more later on
Happy shooting!
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