Dead Trees

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I don’t know why, I am attracted to dead trees. Add to that some fog and I believe you have the potential for a photograph. (remember, clicking on the image makes it much bigger for better viewing)

Foggy morning

Skeleton trees

Heart races

Images appear

Posted in Abstract, B&W Tagged , , , , |

Colorado Aspen

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One of my favorite scenes from our recent trip to Colorado.  I’m sharing both the “straight” image (above) as well as the multiple exposure (below).

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Posted in Colorado, Creative Tagged , , |

Photograph what makes your heart sing.

In my lectures, I teach that we should photograph what makes our heart sing. What makes yours sing? Now go photograph that! As for me? I adore my grandchildren and these two little munchkins make my heart sing!

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Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , |

One Magical Day

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While co-leading the Cape Cod workshops with Betty Wiley, we were treated to some of the best light I have ever seen. “Cherry light” as some might say. What I found interesting was when I want to process the images, very little needed to be done. In thinking about this, it makes sense. Our sensors are optimized for “perfect” light and this was as close to that as I’ve seen, thus little to no processing was required. The light was that good! (Don’t forget much bigger images if you click on them)

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Add to the great light our new friend Mike Orbe and his RED Dory, and you have the makings of an epic morning. But it didn’t stop there!

After the red Dory shoot, I had breakfast with the group and the workshop was over. Being tired, I decided to take an afternoon nap. I awoke about 3PM and wondered what I should do. I peeked out the window only to see thick overcast skies. Maybe I’ll stay in and relax I thought. Then about an hour, later I reconsidered. I’m here, just go and see what happens. The drive to Paines Creek did not looking promising, however, when I arrived this is what was beginning to brew. (below)

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At this point I was glad I decided to go. And then this happened (below) just before the sun went down. This is what I call the backside sunset, looking away from the sun. The sky and the ocean were screaming with color and someone just happened to leave a lone boat out there just for me! How nice of them.

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And then, I decided to look at the sun and see what it was going on in that direction, are you kidding me??? 

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Heck I’m not going anywhere at this point, I am giggling I’m having so much fun. I turned around one more time to see what the backside was doing and what do I see? The grasses in the foreground lit up with the same quality of light I had in the morning with Mike’s Red Dory! The sun had decided to make one last appearance just before it disappeared below the horizon. It lasted for about a minute and was amazing. A magical day on the Cape!

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Mike Orbe, the owner of the red Dory, owns a wonderful Woodshop in Brewster called Capt. Mike’s Woodshop. It is located at 20 Long Pond Road, at the junction of Rt 137 and 6A. Please go visit if you’re on the Cape. Wonderful items for sale and Mike is a gem of a guy! 

Betty and I are planning another Cape Cod workshop in 2015. If there is enough interest, we will do two back to back again just like this year.  Having grown up vacationing on the Cape, I love it and can’t wait to go back. 

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Posted in Cape Cod, Workshop Tagged , , , , |

Repeated Opportunity

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Repeated opportunity is a good thing. Going back to a place that you are drawn to is a good idea. Awhile back, I posted a shot from Owl Creek Pass that is similar to today’s image. That image was taken during our scouting time before the group arrived. After that wonderful moment I said to Dan (tour partner),”too bad the group was not here for this! The odds of that happening in a few days when they arrive are slim.” Then on the day we took the group, THIS HAPPENED! It was as good or better! So glad we went back. I know I’ll go back again on my next visit, I want to see what else might happen!

If you’ve not read Chuck Kimmerle’s recent thought provoking blog post, you can and should read it here.  After you read it, come back and share your thoughts about this image. Is it cliche? Does it matter? I’m interested in your thoughts.

[Tweet “Cliche or not? And does it matter?”]

Posted in B&W, Colorado Tagged , , , , |

Foggy Fall

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This image has an interesting story. I was at a favorite location but disappointed with the foggy conditions. I waited, and waited for the dense fog to lift, but it never did. Trying to practice what I preach, I let go of my expectations of vibrant reflections in the lake, and shifted my thinking to be open to what was there. I found this colorful stand of trees and fell in love with the mood the fog created. Another right answer!

As a side note, be careful when setting your black and white point in this type of image. It is easy to overdo the black point which will eliminate the mood of the fog. For this image I backed off of my black point with purpose to make sure the mood was retained.

Posted in Color, Fall Color Tagged , |

Topaz Webinar Follow-up – Discount code

Thank you, to the almost 2,000 people that signed up for my Topaz Webinar on Tuesday afternoon. From the feedback, it seems to have been successful. My friends at Topaz have made the special webinar discount code available to share on my blog. If you want to save 30% on any Topaz products including the new Impression (which I love) or the full suite, use the code barclayweb13 at check out. The discount code is only valid through Saturday, November 1st.

The blog image below from Childs Park in PA, is one where I used Topaz Clarity in my demo. Clarity allowed me to add subtle local contrast adding “pop” to this image. It also gave me the ability to add vibrance and saturation to the colors making them look as I recall when shooting it.

 

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Posted in Color, Fall Color, Topaz Software Tagged , , , , , |

Topaz Webinar Today 5PM EST

There is still time to register and attend my Topaz webinar this afternoon. Here is a link to do so, https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/361809535. I’ll cover the new IMPRESSION as well as DETIAL, CLARITY and B&W EFFECTS 2.  And because many are asking in my workshops, I’ll touch on my approach to RAW processing before I use Topaz plug-ins.  Hope to see you there! 

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This image is my homage to my friend Bill Strom who passed from cancer three years ago. One of his last projects was to photograph color behind fallen leaves. Miss you Bill!

 

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Posted in Abstract, Color, Fall Color, Topaz Software Tagged , , , |

Aspen and Evergreen

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Fell in love with this stand of aspen. Thinking about my last post and the idea of breaking a pattern, here we have another good example. It would have looked nice as a lush stand of aspen, however, with the evergreen added to the composition, I believe it makes for a stronger one. I’ve added a multiple exposure version below.

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Posted in Abstract, Colorado Tagged , , , , |

Leaning in or Leaning out? Further discussion.

Thanks to all who shared their thoughts about the last two posts.  I posted the two leaning tree images, as they generated an interesting discussion in the field while making them. When Dan (tour partner) showed me the first image (below) with what some of you see as a tree leaning out, I too had the same reaction. It felt like the tree was leaning out of the frame. He responded by saying “I see it as an element that is directing the eye into the frame.” Commenter Rad, has done a good job of articulating what Dan and then I ultimately saw, thus prompting me to make the capture. “The leaning out image for me has a circular, repeating motion to it. I find my eye following the leaning tree into the frame at the bottom, across to the yellow trees on the right, and then up and to the left to do it all over again. The vertical lines are less figural and play a supporting role to the lead characters of the leaning tree and the two yellow trees on the right.” So, at this point, I would argue that the leaning tree in the first image is actually leading the eye into and not out of the frame.

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Now, lets look at the other image. This one, most agree, has the tree leaning into the frame.  Again Rad does an excellent job breaking down what my eye is doing.  “The one leaning in takes me in a clean, horizontal but staccato ride from left to right. It’s about the horizontal line of color contrasted with the staccato rythym of the vertical lines of the trees. I can almost hear it as a cymbal crash, followed by a drum beat with a thread of yellow “melody” holding it all together. For me it flows in one direction – left to right- and exits at the right.” Man, I love the drum and cymbal analogy! Thanks Rad.

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I think it instructive to reiterate what commenter Frank said as it is why I added the leaning tree to each composition. “This is a great example of a comp(composition) based on a pattern and a break in pattern, with all the verticals except for one. ” Frank is correct about adding an element to break a pattern. Pattern images are fine, however, when we add an element that breaks the pattern, we add visual interest. This element may direct the eye in a very clear way. Other times it may simply break the pattern giving the eye a place to go and then bounce back to the pattern. I’ve cloned out the leaning tree in the image below to illustrate. I think the leaning tree makes for a more interesting and impactful image.

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As evidenced by the varied comments, there appears to be no right or wrong image. We each see or read images differently. Ultimately, you need to decide what works best for you. And fight for your vision by the way. Just because someone does not agree, this does not make them right and you wrong. 

Lastly, I believe discussions like this are important. Not enough people carefully assess their (or others) images. Doing so allows you to make a more thoughtful decision about your composition in the field. 

Which image do I prefer? The second one.

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Posted in Colorado, Fall Color, Inspiration Tagged , , |