Bars of Light

wm e RGP_8536

ss 1/80 f 4.5 ISO 500

About this photograph:  I am teaching a teen photography camp this week.  I have 15 students ranging from 11 to 15.   The camp sessions are from 9am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday.  During the morning hours, we simulate a classroom setting and I teach the students about photography.  Thus far we have reviewed manual settings and the technicalities of cameras, which none of the kids had previously been using, composition and light.  Today well talk about posing human subjects.   After the lessons, we venture outside to experiment with cameras and use the information learned.   After talking about light yesterday, we took a hike to a near by covered bridge.  In between answering questions and guiding the teens on how to use their cameras, reminding them of compositional “rules”, and pointing out light and it’s qualities, I took a few shots myself.  This photograph is taken of one of the walls of the bridge.  I noticed the light peaking through the slats, between the boards.  Instead of focusing, I intentionally decreased the focus so that I could create a bit of blur to capture the circles of light in each strip, which the shallow depth of field helped create.  As I was shooting, my intent was to convert the file to black and white.  I do think I like that edit better than the original, but the green and white strips of light are also appealing to me.

To see the photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia. Which do you prefer?

Independence Day ~

wm e RGP_1871 bw vintage

“Those who won our independence… valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

~ Louis D. Brandeis

I took the liberty to play in Photoshop this morning and create a unique, vintage American Flag to post for Independence Day.  I cropped and rotated the flag and added a layer of texture using Adobe Paper Texture Pro.  Opacity was adjusted on the layer level.

For comparison, I included the original below.

wm e RGP_6237

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

“Bashful”

wm e RGP_7336

Last week when I was coming home from a run I noticed that my beloved peonies had all but wilted and the petals been discarded. At the time, there were only a few remaining flowers. Spring has been so rushed and harried with work and activities for the kids that I had almost missed the joy of photographing the peonies.  That afternoon, instead of ironing and doing the banking, I cut the last of the living peonies and did some still life work. This was a time to be inspired, to create, take a deep breath and recharge my soul.

I didn’t have time to go to the studio, which means I didn’t have any back drops to use.  I knew that for some of the shots I wanted a white back drop.  I could have used a white table-cloth, or a sheet and hung them from a door, but, I didn’t feel like going to the trouble and I knew I could create the white back drop myself using light.

Using my Nikon D800 and my Nikkor 105mm 2.8 lens I set out to create.  I grabbed some props, antique prescription bottles, an antique miniature milk bottle, a white cheese cloth, a black stool, some ribbon, and some sheets of music.  I don’t know how long I moved around in front of my front door playing and creating.  I lost all sense of time and felt so relaxed.

To create the white back drop effect I used only natural light.  I metered my exposure on the flower so that it would be properly exposed and the backlight would be blown out.  To avoid flare, I angled my lens down just enough to allow some haze, but to eliminate flare.  I wanted this shot to be flawless and dreamy therefore colorful flare spots were not welcome.  My settings are below for your reference:

ss 1/100 f 5.0 ISO 400

I could have worked with the above scenario for hours.   But, alas, the kids needed to be picked up from school and driven to activities, and, honestly, my equipment is so heavy that after a considerable amount of time, my neck and arms begin to tire.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my equipment and the Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses that I have give me great flexibility when working in the various areas of photography that I focus on.  I do love them, but I have recently been evaluating mirrorless cameras, especially for travel and street work.   Lighter weight cameras and lenses would be fabulous when having to hold or carry them for any length of time.   In addition, I just recently came across a new camera that I found interesting.  Light, is a compact camera that appears to have many features.  I don’t know that it has the flexibility I need, but I think it is worth checking into for travel and street work.  I thought I would share the link with you in the event you might have interest in a compact camera that appears to have a lot of great features.

To compare this photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia.

To view more of the photographs from this still life session, check back on the blog soon or follow me on Instagram.  I post to Instagram much more frequently there.

Never Stop Fighting…Every Day

Last week I posted a photograph of a wilted flower on Monochromia.  Sue was curious what the photograph looked like in color.  Last week I was preparing for my daughter’s first communion and the celebration and had family in from out of town thus preventing me from getting extra time to create a second post.   With that being said, I thought I would post the lily in color in addition to posting a color version of the image I posted on Monochromia today.  Which do you like best?  Do you find the black and white versions more appealing, or the color versions?  When you visit Monochromia, you will also find fabulous quotes that accompany the images.  I would love to hear your thoughts as to which version of each image is best accompanied by each quote.

wm RGP_4398 C

Never Stop Fighting

SS 1/60 F 3.5 ISO 400

wm RGP_4417 C

Every Day…

SS 1/250 F 5.6 ISO 400

Lensless

wm e RGP_2237 c wm e RGP_2237

I had no intentions of posting today, but I was nominated for the 7-day nature challenge on Facebook by another photographer.   I posted photographs from my archives the past two days and the photographer then reminded me that I was supposed to post photographs of the snow like everyone else.  Well, I honestly tire of looking at pictures of the snow after about a week or so of repetitively seeing them.   But, to make the photographer happy I decided to go out and shoot this afternoon.  I climbed through at least two feet of snow and played.  It was warm, 40 degrees F and it felt great to be outside and playing with my camera.  I felt somewhat like an animal on the prowl as I searched for my subjects.

While I was photographing a pine cone using back lighting and creating beautiful bokeh I remembered an article I recently read about lensless photography.   Because I had the time and was on a mission to create some unique winter images I decided to try it.  The above photographs are the results.

Do you love the hazy effect as much as I do?  I feel like I captured my prey.  One might argue that the first image is too “blue” meaning the white balance is off, but I was in the shade and it is a winter/snow shot and it is cold so to me, the color is perfect for what I was representing with my work.

Which do you prefer?  The color photograph or the black and white?

On Cloud Nine

On Cloud Nine

While window shopping in New York City last week this window caught my attention.

I love the complimentary colors; blue and orange.  The view through the glass adds

a bit of depth and reflection and gives a perception of floating with the clouds.  I’d like to

give credit to the person who created this display, but I unfortunately don’t remember

for certain what store window this was.  My best guess is

Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue.

Bouquet of Adoration for True Friends

Bouquet of Adoration

Bouquet of Adoration

SS 1/60 f 4.0 ISO 500

Natural Light, subject in front of window.

60mm Macro Lens

“True friends are like bright sunflowers that never fade away, even over distance and time.” ~ Marie Williams Johnstone

To see this image in black and white be sure to visit Monochromia for my Thursday post.