Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Almost Christmas

Here are a couple of recent images; the top one of the bicycle was taken in Boston after dark but a streetlight illuminated the bike beautifully..night photography has become a lot of fun since I took a night photography workshop with Lance Keimig..I highly recommend his night workshops, even if you only have time for a two day workshop.  The second image is strictly a reflection of trees taken this autumn..I liked the blue/gold interplay of trunks and leaves...Since buying the new Canon 5D Mark III,  I am continually impressed with its low light capabilities..the images are amazing at ISO 12,800, there is no visible noise..unlike my Mark II which I found lacking at ISOs over 1000...the manual for the Mark III is long, almost 300 pages, but the camera has a lot of changes and is quite different in controls compared to the Mark II..however, the batteries are the same..Yay!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

photographing dams

These two images were taken yesterday at the Ponagansett road dam in Rhode Island...it is a very cool place to photograph in fall and winter..after a heavy rain, the water can be fascinating; in winter, with ice coating the rocks, it is absolutely beautiful.  Fortunately, the day was cloudy therefore perfect for shooting the rapids below the dam..the top image had a cooling filter in PS, the lower is the actual color of the water.  I like both images; they were taken with my new Canon 5D Mark III..it is quite a different camera from my Mark II, which I really loved...it seems to me that Canon jammed as much stuff into this camera as possible..
in camera hdr and multiple image merges..that is stuff I can do in PS..but the camera focuses so much faster than the Mark II it amazes me..also, it has been amazing in low light.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zion with two lenses

Yes, you can photograph Zion with only two lenses...These images were taken a couple of weeks ago in Zion National Park;  I did bring three lenses with me and a Lowepro flipside 300 backpack..As I have gotten older, it's not an option for me to carry a lot of lenses and a heavy bag.  That's not fun to hike around with  a lot of lenses unless you're in your twenties. The lenses I brought with me were:  Canon 24-105mm F4L and the Canon 70-300mm F4-5.6L.  It was all I needed to cover just about any circumstance..the panorama above was taken on a tripod, leveled and instead of using my 24mm tilt/shift,  I turned the camera on the tripod base and took three overlapping images and photomerged in PS. This is a liberating experience, to travel light and not miss a lens...the 17-40mm was in suitcase in case of equipment failure as was the 70-200mm.

Sometimes it seems that we take way too much equipment and spend too much time figuring which lens to use;  this was simple:  wide angle, mid range zoom, or telephoto..and it worked.  The skies were not really dramatic until the last day, but there were some lovely areas to shoot..I recommend the waterfall at Emerald pools shot from below in the corner, looking up-you eliminate all the tourists, and there are loads of them, from the image...so many areas are photogenic, and a lot of them are not busy or you can just wait, as I did on the Virgin River, until the crowd thins...it's easy to clone out a couple of people...Flanagan's Inn was a great place to stay, right next to the park and it had a great menu..

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Galilee harbor


I am a member of the Photographic Society of Rhode Island and the mentoring chair for that club.  It has been a lot of fun teaching and learning from people who are members.  When I started photographing digitally 7 years ago, this club was a connection with other digital photographers and it was where I learned much about photography.  It
has almost 80 members and is a very active organization with field trips, workshops, and top notch presenters..We have had Jack Dykinga, Paul Caponigro, Dave Middleton, and many others..last Saturday the club went to shoot in the harbor at Galillee, RI...late afternoon sun is difficult; it can be so harsh and hard to deal with the extreme contrast. Above are a couple of images that I did like; the rusted dock with feathers and a little green plant really appealed to me, as did the bottle cast away on some line..it is always fun to shoot regardless of conditions..if it is really bright summer light,  I often take the infrared camera with me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lance Keimig night workshop

This past weekend, I attended a Lance Keimig night photography workshop.  I have taken night images along the coast of lighthouses and the ocean, but this was my first experience photographing in the city at night. It was an incredible learning experience as the camera settings were almost totally different from day shooting: keeping the ISO around 100, using bulb most of the time, working with white balance to compensate for different lighting situations..and a lot more.

Attached are a few images from the workshop;  this has given me the inclination to continue to try night photography more often.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Along the road

Sometimes, the most amazing images can be made if you have a camera in the car.  I was coming home at sunset and tried a little camera movement with these trees against the setting sun...shook the camera a little as I took the image;  really like the result of this experiment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tales from Patagonia

Returned from Patagonia (Los Glacieres in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile) a couple of weeks ago...unfortunately,  our workshop leader had a flu-like virus which moved through most of us within a few days.  I was exposed to it on the first Sunday in El Calafate, and by the Thursday of that week, was feeling really sick...things got a lot worse for me, although I did drag myself out to shoot until I couldn't get up out of bed anymore by the last weekend...my fever just wouldn't quit; finally, saw a doctor the following Wednesday:  it was pneumonia.  She loaded me with antibiotics and wanted to admit me to the hospital in El Calafate, but I knew that the next day I was flying back to the US and didn't want to be hospitalized in Argentina, so she gave me antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents:  it was enough for me to make it home and to my doctor...
It was disappointing for me, because by the first weekend, after only 5 or 6 days, photography was no longer a priority..I just wanted to get well and couldn't find energy to even eat..it was probably the sickest I've been in years...but that's life,  and stuff happens.  Fortunately, I did get a few images before I couldn't function..and even when I was very sick,  I forced myself to shoot the sunset you see above..it was taken at Torres del Paine..the whole workshop seems a blur to me now...
One thing I will not forget is the force of the wind in the steppes...it was strong, wild and dangerous.
forgot to mention that there was an extensive forest fire in Torres del Paine National Park a few months ago..every tree was blackened or dead..I would not recommend going there until it has recovered since you are limited in your palette, there is almost nothing green left near Los Cuernos.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Patagonia, here I come!

Flying out today to an Ian Plant workshop in Patagonia...this will consist of two weeks of shooting in Argentina and Chile at the National Parks.  I have always wanted to see Fitz Roy and finally will have that chance.  The lens selection has been driving me crazy:  was only bringing three lenses but now it has increased to five..had to have the fisheye..you never know what can happen with that lens...Was originally leaving my 17-40mm behind and taking the 24-105mm but I love the wide angle lens..it is my favorite lens;  a 7mm gap doesn't seem like much between 17 and 24 but it makes a big difference in images..at least to me it does.
Hoping for great light and fascinating skies..that's all I want...is that asking too much?

Friday, February 17, 2012

new lens: Canon 24-105mm L IS

This image was taken with my new Canon 24-105mm lens...I had read varying reviews about this lens...I was hesitant to purchase it after finding that some photographers said it was soft and had some barrel distortion...this is a test image taken at a brook behind my house:  this was shot at max extension of 105mm.  I am very pleased with the clarity of this lens; the results at 24mm were also excellent. Using a Cokin P filter holder presents a problem at 24mm with vignetting of the corners...but it is something I can correct with Photoshop.
The reason I purchased this lens was simple:  traveling.  I usually take my 17-40 and 24-70 with me along with the 70-300 or 70-400 but if I can leave the first two lenses at home and just take two it would be much lighter in my backpack. I'm not getting any younger and carrying three lenses plus my little Fisheye is tough in the mountains.
I will be taking this lens with me to Patagonia next month after a thorough test beforehand...but so far,  it seems to be just what I need.