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!

, , , , ,

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

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

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!
JohnTechnorati Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chasing The Light

I don't shoot much during the dull times of mid day light, and I imagine many who take their nature photography don't either. Of course, now and then the situation arises where it is ideal, I find that to be a rare thing. One of the things I have always told people, that the easiest thing to do to improve their photography, outside of buying and actually USING a tripod, it to shoot during the times of the day when the light is the absolute best. There is nothing else that will have such a dramatic impact on your images as this, and it is 100% free as well. If I may, I would like to share a quote with you all that really rings home;

"Hate to break it to you, but serious photographers don't get a lot of sleep. Show me an award-winning, breathtaking landscape--a pond shimmering in the woods, golden clouds surrounding a mountain peak--and I'll show you someone who got up at 4:40 am to be ready with a tripod as the sun rose." David Pogue, NYT

  Now if that doesn't say it all, I honestly don't know what does. If you take a look at some of the best shooters today, guys like Ian Plant, Guy Tal, Jesse Speer, and the images that they produce, you will see almost everything is done with exceptional lighting taken during the morning or late in the day when the light casts it's golden hue, in and around Golden Hour. In fact, there is an online calculator for finding the exact times of when Golden Hour is and I would encourage you all to check it out "The Golden Hour Calculator" What makes this site unique is that is specific down to the exact location in teh world where you live and or shooting at.

Now go get busy and take some of the best shots you have taken with dramatic light, as I said it is teh easiest and cheapest way to improve your photography! below are some of my personal selections from my photography that show dramatic lighting.

Technorati Tags: , , ,