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

Thursday, February 11, 2016


There are two primary choices in life: 
to accept conditions as they exist, 
or accept the responsibility for changing them.
~ Denis Waitley

Color or monochrome?
Sometimes the choice is easy.
Sometimes, not so much.

I was feeling a bit monochromatic on this day,
and the black and white image fit my mood better.
But, I also liked the color image.
It was a glorious February day and the color image was a perfect portrayal 
of the day and scene. 

I like monochrome because it accentuates the subject, and reduces the distraction caused by color. 
Some say you can see the soul of the subject when you shoot in black and white.

So, color or monochrome?

I don't believe there is a right or wrong when it comes to image processing...except regarding over sharpening (wrong) or swapping skies (also wrong)...but those things aside, how you process your image is personal.
You were there. You know what you saw and what you felt.
Your image is an echo of that moment.

Let your heart be your really is the perfect gps!

if you save your original image with all the layers intact,
you can easily choose between monochrome and color 
as your mood and creative process dictate at some future date.

For me, I really like both of these images.
Usually I have a clear preference.
What about you, do you like one over the other?

Do you know what's more important than choosing how to process your images?
Yep! Shooting!!

Close down this blog post and go out and make pictures!
Do it now!

Fuji XT1 ISO 200 f/16 1/30 sec XF35mm (23.3mm EFL)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

a rainy night

Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists 
between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.
~ Earl Nightingale

Remember my comments recently about microfiber cloths being your BFF?
I forgot them on this night.
You can see the little rain spots on the image.
I kinda liked the mood and texture the rain spots added, but... wasn't what I had intended.

Fuji XT1 ISO 200 f/11 14 sec XF18-55mm (42mm EFL)

Monday, February 1, 2016


When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.
~ Alfred Eisenstaedt

My first images with my DIY pinhole camera!!
Too fun!!
The nature of the images with a pinhole camera are to be soft. 
I think with a professionally tooled pinhole you can gain better focus.
The DIY pinhole has a greater chance of rough edges that can lead
to diffraction and increased softness.

I turned my DSLR into a pinhole camera by modifying the body cap.
Very easy. The most advanced tool you need is a drill with a 1/4inch bit.
I plan to revise my making method to improve the focus/softness.
I am really pleased with my first attempt to make one! :)

See here for making tips:

I took these shots "blind" in that the light was low and I had
to aim and shoot and hope I got the subject framed as I wanted.
Not too bad.
The fix to this is to take my 50mm lens (the approximate focal length of the pinhole body cap),
and "preview" the image then switch to the body cap.

Especially in low light, you can't escape a long exposure with a pinhole camera.
A tripod and remote release device are must haves.

I guesstimated the exposure time. But with a real lens I can make an image and then
calculate the time to get an equivalent exposure with the pinhole.

See here for exposure information:

More links:

Canon 6D ISO 400 f/125 - f/185 appx. 45" - 1'  Pinhole body cap (EFL ~50mm)