Category Archives: Uncategorized
Recently, I received an email from Victor Alcantara in Germany. He happened upon my website and was drawn to my images wanting to use them in a slideshow for a recorded piano performance he would share on YouTube. He had put together a rough draft using the small jpeg’s from my site and wanted permission to use them. (How refreshing that he would ask!) I offered larger files in exchange for a copy of his and his partners CD which is excellent. I wanted to share the final version of the YouTube video. I think you’ll find it relaxing and well done, and you’ll recognize most of the images too!
The blog image is another made in the Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley. I’ll have more to say about the tour with Cole Thompson as I post more images over the next few weeks. For now, suffice it to say, I’ve not been this motivated or inspired in awhile. Cole was just tremendous!
Fuji X-E2 – 35mm at f/8
This street scene feels more organic to me. I was on the other side of the street hangin’ out. I’m sure they were aware of my presence, however, I did not jump in and start taking pictures. Rather, I hung back looking at other things knowing full well I wanted this shot. Eventually after they forgot about me, I was able to raise my camera in their direction and make this image.
I found having a small camera is indeed a benefit for street photography. People do not seem to mind near as much as those having the big guns. I also learned having a fixed focal length is not a hindrance at all, in fact I would say 80% of my shooting on this trip was with prime lenses. Having the 1.4 f/stop on the 35mm and 23mm lenses is great for many situations.
I said before I left for this trip, that I wanted to focus more on the people of Cuba. I believe I did this, however, I’m not sure I succeeded. Sure, I made some nice images I like, but when I look at others work, I feel I am falling short. ”Street” photography is not easy, it takes patience and timing. And then there is the idea of capturing the moment unaware versus engaging the subject. I tend to want to get permission which means engaging with the people. What I do know is, I will get better at this type of photography over time and with much practice.
This triptych was created on the first day. A happy moment to be sure! Remember to click on the image to view it bigger.
More thoughts on “street photography” and the people of Cuba as I continue to post over the coming weeks.
Fuji X-E2 – 14mm prime ISO 3200 handheld f/11
I just arrived back home today from another successful trip to Cuba. Tony Sweet and I brought group to visit Havana and Trinidad to meet the people and make photographs. I’ll have much to blog about over the coming weeks, but for now, I wanted to share a favorite from Trinidad.
On this evening, we were able to watch and outdoor wedding in the late day light. The golden glow was magical to say the least. This was the car that either brought them or was waiting to take them away. When I opened the image in ACR, I didn’t make one adjustment. In Photoshop, I used Perfectly Clear for a very minor adjustment and then Nik Viveza to darken the sky just a touch. With it being handheld at ISO 3200 I did use Nik Define to remove the little bit of noise. Very little processing on this. Its good to be home!
For the last 5 days I’ve been in Florida at Disney World with my wife. She is a big fan and its fun to see her act like a little kid. I’m not as big of a fan but did indeed have fun! Of course, I had my trusty Fuji X-E2 taking snapshots for memories while also looking for other situations that might present themselves. As soon as we entered Epcot, this image presented itself. I ran to the other side of the structure and waited for the clouds to fill in to the right places. Its good to be home, however, I do miss the 80 degree weather as we came home to snow.
Another take on the Cottages on the Cape.
ThinkTank Photo Bags
I use a ThinkTank roller and the Urban Disguise shoulder bag offered below. Love them both.
Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced an exciting Black Friday special that actually starts now! With this special offer you get a $50 rebate on their renowned rolling camera bags. And, should you order a roller plus one of their popular Urban Disguise shoulder bags you are eligible to receive a $100 rebate! And, to top this off you’ll receive free shipping not only on these items but on all Think Tank Photo gear!
To partake of this special holiday offer simply click here and you’ll be directed to Think Tank’s roller page. There you will find a link you can click to download the rebate form. Really easy!
Think Tank’s rolling camera bags are renowned for being the best made, most innovative rollers available. Each comes with easily configurable inserts, innovative security measures, and Think Tank’s “No Rhetoric Warranty.” The rollers are sized so as to make it easier for you to roll your valuable photography gear onto airlines as carry on, as opposed to having to check it.
A former employee of Nik has popped up at MacPhun Software. I’ve been a fan of MacPhun for their great iPhone and iPad apps. Now the PRO versions of their excellent SnapHeal and Intensify are available together starting today for $20.00 off. Click here to save $20.00. Oh and you get a free SD card delivered free with the software on it as well as a digital download. And you get a chance to WIN a Macbook Air! How cool is that?!
I’ll be posting a tutorial about Intensify shortly
Another former Nik employee is working for Athentech the makers of the amazing Perfectly Clear. Again, I was introduced to Perfectly Clear via the iPhone where it worked wonders. For Black Friday, they are offering the desktop “PRO” version for $99 instead of $159. I have started using Perfectly Clear on almost every image to see what it will do. Oft times it does just what I was hoping in one click! Pretty amazing software really. Click here for the Black Friday deal. (The deal starts on Friday so check back for the $99 deal)
Not far from our hotel along the Androscoggin River is a magnificent wall of color. At first blush there seemed to be just one composition, just one shot, the wall of color, however, that is almost never true. So again, like the last post, I submit what were for me, three right answers.
All images taken with the Fuji X-E1 and 55-200mm lens including the square which was shot in-camera as a square. This is another feature I really like about my Fuji’s. I can even shoot square and B&W while not losing the original full frame RAW capture.
As promised, we brought the group to the basin pond for first light. We didn’t have fog, however, we still has great photo opportunities! This scene jumped out with the shore being lit with the early morning gold light and the background and its shadow still in shadow. It was a tremendous first day.
I don’t know about you but I’m excited about fall color being right around the corner. My tour partner Dan and I will be in New Hampshire the first week of October and then I’ll be in the Pocono’s for a week long workshop and then the annual weekend gig. Hidden Lake in the Delaware Water Gap is arguably one of the finest locations for fall color that I’ve seen. I’ve been to this location so many times I’ve lost count, however, you can count on my being there again this year. The images below are all from this location.
Its not too late to join Dan and me in New Hampshire. There are two spots left for the Pocono week and there is room on the weekend gig as well. I hope to see you this fall!
This scene was found while scouting the Palouse for new locations. Initially, I was frustrated because I could not find a worthy foreground subject for the amazing sky. In the direction Dan (my tour partner) was shooting, the sky was not near as interesting. He was shooting with a long lens and isolating his subject. I was drawn to the wide angle opportunity because of the tremendous sky. Then it dawned on me, THE SKY IS THE SUBJECT! I know this, and actually tell people this all the time, however, I too can become sidetracked by my expectations. I didn’t need a killer foreground because the sky was so good. Don’t get me wrong, I would have preferred it, however, this foreground was all I had and it was my job to make something of it. I liken this unto being out for a drive without your camera and you come across a killer scene with cherry light. What do you do? Drive on, or shoot it with the iPhone in your pocket? Well, if the best camera at that moment is the iPhone and its the only one you have? I’d encourage you to shoot it. That is what I did with this scene in Italy.
Again, we were scouting and running on a schedule. I purposefully left gear in the car so we would stay on task. All I had was the iPhone. It turned out to be a favorite of the trip and is hanging on a friends wall in her office. Someone else has made a painting from it and is winning awards. I’m glad I had the iPhone to make the capture.
He was pointed in the opposite direction and was shooting with his 70-200mm lens as that is his comfort zone. My point is, you need to shoot what you are attracted to. Shoot was appeals to you and do not worry about what others are excited about. Stay focused on and follow your vision. Dan ended up with a KILLER image and I’m pleased with mine. Trust me, when I see Dan focused and working a scene, it is VERY hard not to run over and see what he is doing because he does it so well. That said, I have learned to follow my heart, my vision and my instincts. And then I run over to see what Dan is shooting! :)