The Oregon Coast – Through Their Eyes

Today I present another installment of “Through Their Eyes.”  This time the images are from the participants on my Oregon Coast Tour.

 

Terry –  A rigid and angular railing dreams of dancing the jitterbug.

Karl – Since the Oregon Coast workshop was focused on Black and White, long exposure photography, I assume that most of the workshop participants would pick B&W images.  So I thought I would be a little different.  The sunset of the eventing prior to the workshop was absolutely stunning!  This image just came to me after the sun went down below the horizon.  What a gift!  I was able to create some great B&W, long exposure images on subsequent visits during the workshop.  Thank you John and Cole!

Mark – “The Old Man and the Seals”:

I didn’t see this when I passed by the tree the first time.  I really didn’t see it as I was returning, either.  This is one of those Gifts from the Deity that rules Black and White photography.  (Who is that?)  I owe “Herm” a thank you note.  On the second pass I was, maybe, 10 feet beyond the tree.  And then, for no good reason, I turned around.  My first thought was, “How could I not have seen that?”  I would argue the tree found me.  There are seals sunbathing on the island below.  Thus the title. 24mm, f/5.6, 87 seconds.
 
 

Linda – Sea Stack…A pillar-like mass of rock detached by wave action from a cliff – lined shore and surrounded by water. These shores in Oregon were mesmerizing.  So unique and fabulously beautiful.  Rough and sensual at the same time. So inspiring!!

                   “I have to get inspired by something that touches my soul, or rocks my soul…Steven Tyler
 
 
 
Carla – “There were so many beautiful images but I chose this one because I loved the monoliths! This was taken on one of our sunset shoots and it was quite a memorable experience for me. On this trip I focused on black and white, but this one screams for the color of that glorious sunset!”
 
Barbara
 
 
Jamie – I learned to look at the world in a different way on our Oregon Coast workshop, in black and white.  And I learned to slow down time with long exposures.   Both goals of my trip.  This image is one of my favorite captures using both black and white and a two-minute exposure.  For me, it captures the majesty and magic of the Oregon Coast.
 
Roxanne – What I found fascinating about the Oregon Coast was the vast and varied array of topographical and geological features. This photo, Stone Seals, for me, captured the mythical spirit and scale of Oregon’s stone fossils. 
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Glacier National Park Through Their Eyes

Time for another in the “through their eyes” series. This post features images from the participants on my recent workshop to Glacier National Park.  Remember to click on the links to see more of any one particular participant work.

 

Sai  – “I like this photo because of the different shades of the mountains which creates a sense of depth and distance.  The smoke from forest fires certainly help to create this image.”

Roxanne –  “Here’s what I have to say about Glacier: it is overwhelming. In the best sense. Unlike the feeling of being overwhelmed by life’s everyday responsibilities, the vastness and immensity of nature humbles us, centers us and brings us home to who we are. For me, this photo epitomizes this sentiment.”

Bob – “The photo I’ve attached is from Sun Point, taken Friday afternoon, technically after the workshop ended. It was ferociously windy on the point that afternoon. Here’s why it’s my choice: The ridge in the background, the texture of the rock in the foreground, the gesture of the trees, the haze from the fires all convey something of the scale and character of the park. Massive mountains were shaped by even larger forces through history, and even today, wind, water and fire were still at work in the park during our visit.”

Ray – “I made this image amidst dramatic weather on our first morning at Glacier NP. Using a long lens, I isolated just the peak and cloud to share the power and the magic of the place.”

Steve –  I actually photographed this area about a year ago, but, wasn’t entirely happy with the result. This time, it looks more like what I wanted. I like the bidirectional ambiguity with the visual direction going up (like flames) but the water flowing down (like water). Of course the image was thoroughly Kimmerlized, using things taught at the workshop.

Penny – I love the constant change and interplay of clouds and light……..

Terry – “Sculptured shapes, intriguing lines, and a considerable contrast in texture all in one image.  What’s not to like?  I traveled and shot in the Canadian Rockies several years ago, but it felt like I brought a different set of eyes to Glacier, and I’m pleased with the result.”

Jan – I was drawn to this cliffside tree that was surrounded by so many dead trees.

James – The image was taken at Avalanche Creek on the trail.  I like the color tones, balance and feel of the image.  If you look at the rocks in the center of the image and use your imagination the rock on the left looks like a woman’s face with the grasses and bushes framing her face as she looks slightly downward as if she is talking to a child, whose face appears on the rock across the water.  (I know it sounds goofy but that is what I see when I view the image.)  The rushing water between the rocks separates both sides and draws your eye into the center of the image.

Ginny – This image is from Sun Point on our last day in Glacier.  I love it because of its shape and the fact that the weathered branches stand out next to the dark backgrounds of the lake and the foreground.  It speaks to me of both tenacity and beautiful aging.

Judy –  It’s a multiple exposure of the burnt-out dead trees, the evergreens and the rocky cliffs…  I can smell the smoke.

Posted in Chuck Kimmerle, Through Their Eyes Tagged , , |

Nik Software No Longer Supported, Now What?

I’ve been hearing a lot of this lately….  Google has announced they will no longer support the Nik Suite!  What am I going to do?  What software is there that will replace this?  How will I do this or how will I do that?  HOW WILL I SURVIVE WITHOUT NIK SILVER EFEX!!!???

Okay, look,  I too was disappointed with the announcement for a minute. Did it ruin my day? No. Will it affect my photography? No. Will my images suffer? No. If you think the loss of Nik software will affect your images, take a deep breath, breathe….  Maybe, this will force you to finally learn about Luminosity Making and use it! It is awesome! Maybe you’ll find an even better way to convert your b&w images!  Maybe there is an even better tool than Tonal Contrast.  Maybe, you will start to focus more on your vision, composition and image capture than your processing.  And maybe, just maybe, your work will get better without Nik!

 

 

All sarcasm aside, please don’t use the loss of software as an excuse.  Rather, embrace the opportunity to learn something new. Dig out the software package you purchased, but, never really explored because you loved Nik so much. MacPhun has Luminar and just released its beta version for Windows Users.  Topaz has a plethora of tools including their new Studio product.  Alien Skin has Exposure X2 and On1 has Photo Raw.  Each of them have wonderful tools that will help you craft your images. I used to use Silver Efex exclusively for my b&w work. After learning how Chuck Kimmerle and Cole Thompson process their work, I now use Lightroom and then go into Photoshop where I use selections along with dodging and burning techniques.  I like the b&w work I am producing now better than when I was using Silver Efex Pro.  I used to use Tonal Contrast from Nik a lot. It was my goto tool. Now I use Topaz Clarity or Topaz Detail 3 and am totally satisfied with the results I’m getting. Embrace the opportunity!

 

Posted in Chuck Kimmerle, Cole Thompson Tagged , , , |

The Palouse – Through Their Eyes

Time for another in the “Through Their Eyes” series.  This one is from the wonderful and lush Palouse.  This year, I co-led an early spring workshop with my friend Rad Drew and then led my own after that.  I’ve combined both groups in this post.

I have already filled my 2018 Palouse workshop, however, Rad and I have agreed to co-lead another next year the week after mine! We have room and would love to have you along!  You can find the details, and, sign up by clicking this link on Rad’s site.

Remember to click on the images to make them bigger and on the links to see more of their work!

 


 

Jamie C. – It’s of special significance to me because it is an iconic image of American farmland I was hoping to capture when I signed up for the workshop.  But more importantly, it was how I got the shot that is the real story.  John and Steve took us to the farm location for a late afternoon shoot but clouds filled the sky and the image would have been flat.  Then it started to rain — and we dashed out of there before we got stuck in the mud.  But on the drive back to town the skies cleared and thanks to a last minute decision by John and Steve we went back to the farm location and was able to get this wonderful shot.

Jo J. – Because who doesn’t like a halo over a church?

Linda A. – “The image is from a classic spot — Steptoe Butte — but giving it a bit of an abstract treatment emphasizes the curves, shadows and colors of the scene. The elements that remain convey the essence of that beautiful landscape.”

Jamie C.  – I love this image because it combines the rolling beauty of the Palouse wheat fields, with a few artist touches inspired by my fabulous week in the workshop.  

Roxanne S.  (@Tuesdaywoman on Instagram) – It’s the quintessential Palouse shot, I suppose, and even though there are so many shots of the rolling hills of the Palouse, this one makes me smile because it’s mine. It has the lush green rolling hills and a lone tree and for me at least, that lone tree feels like a true subject with personality. That tree’s got Chutzpah standing all by itself in a sea of rolling hills. 😉

Sue M. –   I love wild flowers and this image captures the beauty of the Lupines with the beauty of the Palouse in the background.  To me it captured some of the essence of what is the Palouse.

Marlene M. – Although the iconic landscape shots were what sparked my interest in visiting the Palouse, it is this image to which I keep being drawn. For me, it conveys a sense of lonesomeness, of yearning.

 

Joe P. – I like this photo because of extreme contrasting colors and light.

 

Penny C. –  I love that only the tops of the crests and ridges are aglow; as the sun was sinking lower, this lighting was brief and lovely.

Melony P.R. – This was my second trip to the beautiful Palouse. The beauty here rivals my favorite place on Earth, Hawai’i.   Yes, the landscape takes your breath away, as does the abandoned houses and old barns, cars and trucks that have been in families for generations. But in addition to all of these items that I love to photograph, the ones that capture my heart are the fabulous people that are lucky enough to call the Palouse their home. I find it difficult to photograph people, but on occasion, I get a photo that I like. I got two photos of Palouse icons this trip and years from now when I recall these images, my heart will smile.

Linda C. – I like this image because it shows the wonderfully, sensuous rolling hills which are trademark Palouse.

Shirley W. –  I absolutely loved the grand vistas revealed around every curve of the dirt roads winding through the Palouse.  But having grown up on a dairy farm, seeing the decay and demise of so many family farms made me a bit sad.  This photo, with the lilies still growing as the house falls to ruins and the tattered drapes flap above them, spoke to me of hope.

Lois M. –  I chose this one because it is what I had in my mind’s eye before the photo trip. Rolling hills, light and shadow, beautiful color. And I had fun adding my own touches to it.

Andrea P. –   I call this, “Curves”.  It’s special to me because the first pictuees of the Palouse I ever saw were of undulating hills and beautiful contrasting colors.  That’s what I wanted to see (and I did!!).  This image is, for me, the Palouse!

Dorothy B. – It is from our morning at Steptoe and I love the light on the hills, and of course the crop duster flying through.

Terry R. – Hard to pick one, but this one I did pick because it is distilled to the simplicity of the light on the land and the amazing sky – the essence of the Palouse.

Susan R. – (@image_sir on Instagram) I like it because it reminds me of what the Palouse is…barns, rolling hills of wheat, Canola fields and beautiful scenery.

Andrew M. –

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The Smoky Mountains Through Their Eyes

Yet another installment of “Through Their Eyes.” This time, from The Great Smoky Mountains!

Patricia –  My favorite is the mountains because I was hoping to capture the iconic shot with the rolling hills and a colorful sky.

 

Terry – After the rain, the soothing sound of water rushing over the rocks.

Cam – April Morning:  I chose this photo because it depicts the quietude and simplicity of a spring morning in Cade’s Cove.  This restored farmhouse reminds us that people lived and farmed this land long before it became part of  one of the most visited national parks in the U.S.  The spring greens are offset by the white of the house and the flowering dogwood, with traces of red throughout.

Norma – I love the greens and the moss on the rocks.  I find I very calming and peaceful.

Robin – I chose it because the amount and variety of greens in the landscape were unbelievable.  Just incredible.

Posted in Smoky Mountains, Through Their Eyes Tagged , , , , |

Free Celebrate What’s Right with the World Themed PDF!

It is an honor and privilege to be associated with my friend Dewitt Jones, and, his Celebrate What’s Right With The World Project.  Yesterday, he announced my “Featured Artist” FREE PDF portfolio.  Yes, it’s FREE.  All you have to do is click on THIS link and then choose my Themed Celebration at the top left.  Please share this with your friends.  Did I say it’s free? Well, it is! And why not spread some joy and celebrate whats right with the world!

The blog image is from the Smoky Mountains. Taken as I was looking for new things during my pre-workshop scouting.

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Charleston Through Their Eyes

I am excited and pleased to present participant images from my Charleston Low Country Workshop. Remember to click on their links to see more of their work!  Here is Charleston (Low Country) Through Their Eyes.

Megg M.

“I Loved this particular spot for it’s serenity, and, it represented what I had always thought of as what “the South” was like.  The trees of South Carolina captured my heart!”

Janice C.

“The city of Charleston is built on layers of contradictory growth – the fringed wagons, pulled by Percherons, carrying visitors with their ever-present iphones; the gentility of a patina-d iron gate reflected in the luster of a black jaguar;  the moss-draped plots of the Magnolia Cemetery where, if you turn just right, you can see the stunning ultra-modern wires of the Ravenel Bridge…Here are more layers, found in the sunrise at Folly Beach.  Somehow, it all works.” 

Louise S.

“Egret mating ritual in the Magnolia Gardens in Charleston.  What fantastic opportunities to view beautiful birds and alligators, to look with awe at ancient trees, and to sample the joys of Southern cooking and Southern hospitality.  Charleston is a city not to be missed!”

Terry S.

“Azaleas may be the best known plant of the Low Country, but I am fascinated by the persistence of Spanish moss.  It’s understated grace thrives in places azaleas wouldn’t.”

Joyce O.

“Loved this iconic view of the Oak Alley at Tomotley Plantation. I wanted something in the foreground, but since there was nothing I decided to get very low and use the grass as an anchor. Originally visioned this as a B&W (which is very much out of my box), but decided I liked the beautiful color version better. Which do you prefer? Taken with my Fuji X-T1, 55-200 lens at f20”

Image by Joyce

Image by Joyce

Scott O.

“This is one of the supports of the Ravenel Bridge. Most interesting, especially considering the wind at the top was probably 40+ mph! Couldn’t use tripods, and balance looking up was difficult. I lamented the lack of clouds, but seeing the final result believe blank blue was much better. Was a fun as well as challenging location. Fuji X-T2, 18-55 lens @ f9, 1/500 sec.”

Image by Scott

Carrie T.

“It’s difficult to pick one favorite image from a place like Charleston that has so many creative photo opportunities  In the end, I chose an image that highlights the symmetry of reflections and the diversity of color and texture.”

 

Carolyn Beauchamp

“I fell in love with the Spanish Moss that was everywhere in Charleston.  I loved the way the sun would shine through the moss, as it waved gently in the breeze.  John asked me why I chose this view, of the arch of tree limbs, at Tomotley Plantation.  I loved the way the large branches on the right and the left framed the low arched branches below.  Also, the way the sunshine lit up the leaves on that first arched branch, and made the Spanish Moss glow, made me move over a bit to the right to take this shot.”

Ed D.

Tomotley Plantation was my favorite spot because the arching branches of the Oak trees lining the entrance road, with their Spanish Moss swaying in the gentle breeze, made for a very inviting and relaxing environment.  It was a shame we couldn’t strategically place a model deep within the arches for some human interest and focal point.
 
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Honor Your Vision


 

Recently, on Facebook, I tried an experiment.  I posted a picture and asked for feedback.  I don’t normally ask for feedback.  In addition, I shared my thoughts on the image.  I said, “So much here that I normally would not include.  The bush, the background and going vertical in the dunes.”  So, in effect I was saying to my audience, I know this COULD be flawed.  What happened?  Some loved it, but many did not.

I’d like to make some observations in hopes that we could learn together. As soon as I gave permission by asking, “I think it works, you?” I knew I was going to get feedback.  Now what? My friend Cole Thompson asks in his excellent lecture, “Why would you ask others opinion about your vision?”  I believe this to be a fair question.  Who knows more about my vision than me?  Why would I give someone else permission to tell me how I should see or interpret a particular scene? More importantly, what happens when I get feedback, especially feedback that goes against my choices or my vision?  If you are “normal” you may feel a little knot in your stomach, or, you might even wince. You might feel dissapointment. My guess is, the next thing you will do, is question your choices, or, your vision.  Hum, maybe they are right? Maybe it is too centered, has too much processing, is not balanced, should be a square, etc, etc.  These are the dangerous waters of which we need to be careful.  Again I ask, who knows more about your vision than you? I fully understand the need for feedback as we are learning our craft, however, at some point, I believe we need to stop asking for it and learn to trust in our vision.

 

My dear friend Nancy used to say “fight for your vision.”  I choose to word it differently, suggesting you honor your vision. Nancy would say the following during a “critique” session on her workshops. “If I give feedback that you don’t agree with, fight for your vision!” Essentially she was saying, her opinion is just that, her opinion and could be wrong. And furthermore, she wanted you stand up for (honor) your vision.  

After a discussion with Dewitt Jones about the idea of critique sessions, I no longer do them.  Rather, I choose to do image celebrations!!  In these, I am happy to share everything I adore about the presented images, however, I try my best to steer away from telling the image maker what they should or should not do to make it better. I feel doing so is imposing my vision on theirs. If I feel compelled to offer a suggestion, I will typically start by saying, might you consider…  I find this to be a much softer approach and is my attempt to honor their vision.

While I understand the desire for feedback, especially as you are learning your craft, I would encourage you to trust that you know what your vision is, what you like, and how you want to present your images. Try to ween yourself from needing the feedback or approval of others. Rather, honor your vision.

Posted in B&W, Inspiration Tagged , , |

Death Valley #3

Another group of images from Death Valley and The Alabama Hills.  The first image is unique, in that it includes vegetation that normally try to avoid.


The next image, as pointed out by a viewer on Facebook, has a finger in the right side of the sky.  As I was making this image, I was feeling the presence of my friend Cindy who has passed away on this day. Now I see Cindy in this image telling me, all is well. This image is very outside of my comfort zone. I was shooting directly into the sun. But, I had to go with with I was feeling and ended up with a number of images that I like.  This is just one. 

 

The image below has become another favorite.  Love the bright shape at the top right.  Love the hint of light and details to the left of that…

Another with lots of tones which I am very much drawn to.

Posted in Abstract, B&W, Cole Thompson, Death Valley Tagged , , , , |

There is ice in them there hills!

While in The Alabama Hills, an excited participant was eager to show me what he had found.  When I saw it I fell in love!  I adore ice patterns and these were great!

 

I thought these would make a great Tryptic too!

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