Monday, June 27, 2016

monochrome monday

I knew nothing but shadows and I thought them to be real. 
Oscar Wilde

I was going through my iPhone photos the other day trying to clean up a bit, 
and came across this image.
It caught my attention because I didn't recall taking it and rather liked it,
and I had just had a chat with someone who commented that
my images were generally not moody.

Intentional camera movement. ICM. 
It's a great way to generate an abstract quality to an image. 
Color, spatial arrangement, light become the primary subjects of the image, 
rather than a well focussed and tack sharp object, person, or landscape.

To do ICM, you just need low a ISO, a small aperture, and a long shutter speed.
If using a DSLR or mirrorless camera you can use polarizing or ND filters to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor so you can employ a longer shutter speed during the day.
If it's an overcast day or nearing dawn/dusk, filters aren't typically needed.
If using a mobile device, there are apps available that allow for a long shutter speed.

Once you've got your ISO, aperture and shutter speed set, shoot and move the camera. 
Swipe the camera horizontally, vertically, add some swirly curly motions, or loops, 
and check out the image in the LCD.
Don't swipe too fast, nor too slow.
You'll see the output and know whether to speed up/down.
If it's too bright, adjust one of your parameters. 

Keep playing until you get what you're after.
Sometimes, I don't know what I'm after until I see it.
So don't stop if your first attempt doesn't catch your fancy.
I can spend hours photographing trees in the sunlight when I'm on my trail walks.
I have to force myself to stop and keep walking!
If using a mobile device, be it sucks the life out of your batteries.

As always. Just go out and have fun.

Monday, May 2, 2016

monochrome monday

City’s just a jungle; more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get away
I was raised in the country, 
I been workin’ in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down
~ Bob Dylan

I don't typically take pictures of cars. Mostly, because I don't know how
to get a good shot of one.
But, this car.
It was a beauty.
Confirmed by the fact that everyone that walked by it - stopped. 
Walked around it.
And, pulled out their mobile devices to take a shot.
Including us.

I was initially captured by the interesting reflections.
There is even a little selfie in there.

I have no tips to provide on capturing this kind of subject.
I would gladly welcome any thoughts about shooting cars,
and more specifically, reflections on cars.

Keep shooting!
Stay out of trouble...unless it gets you the shot!

Fuji XT1 ISO 640 1/100 f/5.6 XF18-155mm (67mm EFL)

Monday, April 25, 2016

monochrome monday

Let the rain kiss you. 
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. 
Let the rain sing you a lullaby. 
~ Langston Hughes

Fuji XT1 ISO 250 1/100 f/4.5 XF18-155mm (67mm EFL)

Monday, April 18, 2016

monochrome monday

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden. 
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Introducing monochrome monday!

I've been processing many of my color images into black and white.
I think some images are stronger in monochrome,
as you can focus on the subject and not be distracted
by all the color...not that color is in any way bad.
Sometimes, you just want to create a no frills image.

Do you know what the above image is?

You might recognize this more easily.

I captured the above image in camera, rotated it, and processed it into black and white.

I like to rotate images like this.
It makes one think a bit about what they are really seeing.

Go out and tweak reality.
It's easy enough to revert to normal if you really want to!

Fuji XT1 ISO 400 f/6.4 1/100 sec XF18-55mm (48mm EFL)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, 
we will continue to grow. 
We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. 
It happens in its own time. 
~ Denis Waitley

I had a vision when I saw this tulip.
I wanted to isolate the bloom and the leaf on the left from the
remainder of the image. I didn't have a macro lens with me and figured
I would have to do some creative cropping.

In post, I played around with NIK Silver Efex Pro2 (now available for free).
I was able to process this color image to the tight image of just the leaf and flower
that I originally envisioned.
I think the preset underexposes the image a great deal so only the very light areas show.
By altering some of the color filters (blue) I was able to isolate the bloom and leaf
even more. Strong vignetting may also be a part of the preset in order to bring attention
to the center of the image.
I did not expect that a preset for black and white processing
could so radically change this image.
I can still be surprised!
Love that.

This plug-in collection is powerful and empowering.
You don't have to settle for just clicking on a preset,
and letting the software determine your image's destiny.
You can further adjust your image globally, or selectively.
You can tease apart what elements changed the image the most (exposure, vignette, filter),
and apply these concepts manually to your images in photoshop or lightroom.
Make it your own.
Make it your vision.
Give your image the destiny it deserves.

Fuji XT1 ISO 200 f/5.6 1/500 sec XF18-55mm (69mm EFL)

Monday, February 29, 2016


The three great elemental sounds in nature are 
the sound of rain, 
the sound of wind in a primeval wood, 
and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. 
~ Henry Beston

We spent the night at the coast this past weekend.I love the ocean.
I don't think I could ever live in a state that didn't have the ocean on one of its borders.
Not ever.

We went to the South Jetty in the Ft. Stevens State Park.
I love this location.

We were hoping for a nice sunset, but this is the best we got.
So, what do you do when expectations aren't met?
With landscape photography it's a bit more disappointing as you have traveled
a distance to be at a particular place at a certain time for the 'party',
but mother nature didn't get the invitation.

Don't cry. It's all good.
First, just enjoy the place you've found of expectations.
Second, if you're intent on making a picture, there is always something to photograph.
Readjust your 'sights' and look around with new eyes.
You'll see something. 
Maybe even something better than what you were planning to capture in the first place!

Regarding the top image: I loved the vantage point
we had after climbing onto the rocks.
We were inline with the dilapidated wooden trestle, rocks, and the water, rather than viewing them from above via the observation tower.
If you've been visiting the blog, you know I'm a fan of long exposure water photography.
For me, the contrast between the textures of the hard rocks and wood and the 
soft water worked to create an intriguing compositional element.

I realized in researching elements of composition, that I had layers of the four 'elements'
in this image corresponding to:
Earth (rock), Wood (trestle), Water (sea), and Fire (sun).
I didn't think about this at the time I was making the image...maybe I did subconsciously...

In post-processing, I cropped out most of the sky except for the wee bit
of light at the top to provide context. 
Maybe I don't even need that...thoughts?
I do like the contrast between the warmer sky and cooler water, and keeping
the bit of sky in provides that contrast.

Below: An intact trestle near the Jetty.
Another favorite spot. We were able to walk all the way to the water's edge in the grasses.
I need to work this location more...we'll be back!

Let's round out the 'elements' theme of this post with a few links on 
elements of composition and strong imagery:

I especially liked this article:

p.s. if you visit the jetty, be prepared for is always windy!
Bring plenty of microfibre cloths to dry off your lens/filters and glasses if you wear them...
the mist and splashes (yes, we were that close!) were unrelenting!
Carry a small water bottle, too...the sea spray is horribly sticky
on lens/filters/glasses.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


You can't wait for inspiration. 
You have to go after it with a club.
~ Jack London

I need a club.

On this evening I explored a different place about an hour from home.
I enjoy the water and the blue hour, 
so shooting long exposures at this time of day is always a good thing.
Exploring a new venue was interesting as the drive to the destination was different and
the location itself was great.

I've read that others also go to different places and at different times of day than usual. 
If you're a street photographer, for example, you'll see different people or different activity in the morning vs. late afternoon or mid-day.
Some people use different lenses and focal lengths than customary.
Some people pick a subject to shoot, such as 'red' or benches, etc. 
again, anything out of the ordinary to make you see differently.

I found my way to a new spot on this evening.
But, I might need that club tomorrow.

What about you,
what do you do to find inspiration and spark your creativity?

Fuji XT1 long exposures; small apertures XF18-135mm lens