Category Archives: Color

Leaning Towards You

_DSF5180In keeping with the previous post, this image was made in the same location with yet another leaning tree. So, once again, what are your thoughts on this composition? How do you feel about the direction of the leaning tree as compared to the one in the previous post? (image show below)

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Leaning into you

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A favorite stand of Aspen. What drew me to this was the more open feel as opposed to a wall of color. To me this is much more interesting as it adds a graphic element, and a sense of story. A wall of color can be pretty but tends to look more like a postcard. 

I’m curious, how do you feel about the leaning tree on the left side of the frame?

 

Horse in the Aspen

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While waiting for the clouds to move and light up the grand landscape we were focused on, off to the right this little scene was happening. I waited for soft diffused light to illuminate the horse and the pasture. Of course a stand of colorful aspen didn’t hurt either.

As a side note. This was shot with the 16:9 aspect ratio available with my Fuji X-T1. I use the three different choices (1:1, 16:9 and 2:3) often as a way to pre-visualize how it will look. I do not lose any data as the full 2:3 raw file is left intact. But, when I open it in Lightroom, I see the in-camera crop which is nice. If I want to see the full 2:3 image, I simply click the crop tool and there it is.

Cades Cove Does Color Too – Perfectly Clear 50% off Mothers Day Sale

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The other day, a blog reader asked that I show the color version when I post a b&w image so she could compare. I posted a different version of this scene the other day in b&w. For the color version here, I’ve added the gravel road and trees on the right to my composition. 

The last thing I used for my processing of this image was Perfectly Clear from Athentech. If you are interested in this great piece of software, twice a year they offer it at 1/2 price.  Starting this Friday the 9th and ending on the morning of Monday the 12th, simply click this link and you’ll be sent to a page where you’ll be able to pick up your preferred version for 1/2 off.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good this program is. A “no-brainer” at half price.

Color Versus B&W

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I love this picture in color, AND, I love it in B&W.

 

 

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I asked my wife which she liked best, she said, “I like them both, however, they each evoke a different emotion. They create two very different moods. The color is full of life and happiness making me want to go there. The B&W is full of mystery, drama  and wonder.  What lies beyond the fog?” I am frequently suggesting that B&W is a choice, and should be used with purpose. I believe the two versions here illustrate my point well.  Neither is better than the other, however, each creates a very different response from the viewer.  That is of course unless you’re Cole Thompson to which color is noise or Chuck Kimmerle who sees color as the anti-christ.  Which do you respond to?

A note for the Fuji fans out there.  I shot the entire trip to the Smokies with the X-E2. To say I am happy is an understatement.  I wanted to shoot the new X-T1, however, the Really Right Stuff “L” bracket did not arrive in time. The good news is they started shipping this week. This was shot with the 10-24mm zoom at 10mm which is effectively 15mm in the full frame world.  Very happy with this wide angle zoom from Fuji.

Zabriskie Point – Death Valley

When we were in Death Valley, our focus was the dunes, however, we decided to take one run at Zabriskie for sunrise.  It is an iconic spot not to be missed.  We picked the right day as we were treated to a great moment.  By far the best sunrise light and clouds I’ve seen there.  I’ve included a color and B&W version.

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Dreaming of Spring

With the threat of another snow storm in the air, I decided to immerse myself in some images from Longwood Gardens taken a few years ago.  I can’t wait to spend a day there next month when the tulips are placed along the fabulous garden walk.  Its been a tough winter here in the northeast. We are ready for some warm weather!

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For the bottom picture, I used Alien Skin Snap Art to give it the painterly feel.  Snap Art ROCKS!

A breath of color

My friend Stan had the great idea of going to Longwood Gardens to stimulate our senses with a breath of color having endured this winter of endless cold and snow.  So, here is a splash of color to compliment my recent series of B&W images.  Don’t worry, I have more B&W images to come. I even have one from Longwood!

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Fuji X-E2 – Fuji 60mm Macro at f/22

Processing inspired by Kathleen Clemons.  Nik Color Efex Pro, Glamor Glow, Soft Focus, Darken Lighten Center, and Viveza

More on Photo Celibacy

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Recently I featured a terrific post written by my tour partner Dan Sniffin about his ideas with regard to photo celibacy which Cole Thompson tries to live by.  Dan’s article was written before we spent the week with Cole and the group.  The tour started with a wonderful lecture by Cole titled “Why B&W.”  In it he spoke not only about B&W but also more about his ideas on photo celibacy.  But what happened after the talk was quite powerful. I asked the group to respond to Cole’s ideas specifically about celibacy. What did they think? It was one of the most stimulating discussions I’ve been part of.  Some agreed, others challenged Cole with good honest questions. Some spoke about the need for a basic understanding of technique. We spoke about technique versus vision.  We spoke about the value of others opinions.  We spoke about rules and guidelines and much more. It was a stimulating hour of discussion!  I’m not sure we resolved anything but we carried the spirit of the discussion with us throughout the week. In fact, I am still pondering on the matter and would like to continue the discussion here.  

I am reading a book suggested by Chuck Kimmerle titled “Why People Photograph” by Robert Adams.  These quotes resonated in lieu of our discussion.

“I really didn’t have much to teach. I didn’t even believe in it. I felt so strongly that everybody had to find their own way. And nobody can teach you your own way…. in terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it.  If you don’t’ do it you don’t know what might happen”  Harry Callahan,1991

“Can photography be taught?  If this mean the history and techniques of the medium, I think it can….. If, however, teaching photography means bringing students to find their own individual photographic visions, I think it is impossible. We would be pretending to offer the students, in Wililam Stafford’s phrase, “a wilderness with a map.”  We can give beginners directions about how to use a compass, we can tell them stories about our exploration of different but possibly analogous geographies, and we can bless them with our caring, but we cannot know the unknown and thus make sure a path to real discovery.” Robert Adams
 
“Even now I don’t like to discuss work that isn’t finished, because until it is revised over the span of a year or several years there are crucial parts that are present only in my minds eye, pieces intended but not yet realized……  “Art is made by the alone for the alone.”” Robert Adams with inserted quote by Luis Barragan.
 
“I knew I didn’t want to study at length contemporaries’ pictures, fearing that their work might come close to mine and blur my vision.”  Robert Adams
What do you think?  Are vision and technique connected?  Can you achieve your vision without some guidelines about good composition?  Can vision be taught?  Does looking at others work influence yours?  

With regard to the blog image from the Alabama Hills. Yes, the recent tour was focused on B&W and my folder of images is 99% B&W, however, that did not stop me from processing this one in color!  Why color versus B&W?  I wish I had a good answer, sometimes color just makes more sense and I run with my gut feeling.  In the dunes, I can’t imagine anything but B&W yet I’ve seen some wonderful images that are color.  So color or B&W becomes a creative choice, there is no right or wrong.  

Favorites for 2013

Each year as I look back through my images, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people I was able to share my passion with.  To all who came on a workshop, a tour or attended a lecture, thank you!  You have enriched my life.  I am also reminded of the amazing places I was able to see.  2013 brought me to Cuba, Iceland, The Palouse, Charleston, New Hampshire, Death Valley, Cape Cod and Cape May!  Wow what a year!

I’m looking forward to 2014 where in addition to the tours  I do with Dan Sniffin,  I will be co-leading a special workshop in Hawaii  with with National Geographic photographer Jonathan Kingston  and guest lecturers Dewitt Jones and Rikki Cooke .  Look for our official announcement in January.  The workshop will be in early December.

Here are some of my favorite images from the past year.  You’ll notice I’m drawn to varied subject matter which includes the Palouse, my granddaughter Abby, the gentle waves of the dunes, the warm people of Cuba and the wonderful Experience Music Project building in Seattle.

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