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Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife’

This morning I traveled the short distance to Knob Knoster State Park. I was fortunate enough to have beautiful clouds and lighting. Instead of writing in past tense about my expedition this morning, I will share excerpts from my journal. I hope you like it.

            “…Beautiful. I think to take a picture, even though it won’t compare. How can it? The viewer won’t feel the slipping ice or the wind down their back. They wont see the leaves frozen in time. Why do I try then?…”

The Lounge Chair

          “…The wind hits my journal and passes on to the shuttering leaves. Glowing like ambers of a fire, the leaves vacillate on their branches. The air is brisk and cool. Each gust cools my fingers ever so slightly. I sit at the base of a tree I dubbed “The Lounge Chair…”

To My Left

          “…To my left is the lake. I watch as dozens of dried and frozen leaves slide their way along the ice….It seems I am perched on a peninsula that contains the right formula of earthly elements to create a vast area of moss. Even in the dead of winter, the moss contains pigments of green. I pause a moment to capture an image…”

Opening My Eyes

          “…I don’t want to go. I don’t want the trees to think I am not loyal. I love them, I really do. I will stay a little longer. I close my eyes and ease my head back against the tree. It has been a magnificent morning I cannot forget. I will not let myself forget…”

 

MT

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When shooting in Iowa this last weekend, I was surrounded by black and white photographic opportunities. There was enough snow to create harsh contrast, but not enough to create excessive contrast. The snow accentuates the textures and shapes in a landscape and especially a close up shot. A great characteristic of black and white photography is its innate ability to exhibit detail. Eliminating color is one less step our neural network must process when viewing an image.

BW Triptych

If you look closely at the image to the left, you can see every granule of snow and every speck of dirt. The middle image has excellent contrast between the shadows and the highlights, characteristic of black and white. The image to the right has examples of the previously mentioned traits of black and white. Why am I discussing this? I am pointing out in a round about way that snow is an excellent element for photographers, especially combined with black and white processing. The thing to remember with snow is that it is not easy to photograph in. When done right, it is great. But when done incorrectly, it can wreak havoc on our memories of how we saw the scene. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

1) Overexpose: You must remember that with any camera whether it be a piont and shoot or a DSLR, the internal meter attempts to create an overall equal exposure. In a more technical explanation, the camera tries to create an 18% grey exposure. We all know that snow is white, therefore grey is unnatural. In your menu settings there is a setting usually labled “EV compensation”. When shooting snow I would set this to +1.0 to start. Many modern point and shoots have built in modes including a snow mode. I would experiment with both.

2) Work the angles: With water in any form, there will be angles that display more or less relfectance. Use this to your advantage. You might be able to get some refraction images if you are lucky. In other words, colors refract all the time and its up to you to find them. Here is a little info on getting rainbow shots. Fun fact: rainbows are located 42 degrees off the axis of the sun.

3) Minimalism: Many of the best shots we see are ones that have a single subject and minimal distractions. Look for the single twig, or the lone tree on the horizon. Remember, with black and white the details really “pop”. Keep it simple and intimate and I know you will get some winners. This applies to any camera and any photographer.

Well, I hope this has helped at least one person. I will say one last thing: This last weekend in Iowa was a successful photographic trip for me. The main reason being that I was out searching for images for hours every day. Light is changing every second and therfore creating new opportunities constantly.

MT

P.S. Sorry that this not dicuss my Iowa trip in great detail, I had some things on my mind and now they are in words. Thanks.

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A night of cityscape photos  in Omaha and a day of shooting landscapes in the Loess Hills has produced some excellent images with my Canon 5D. When coming to Iowa I imagined cornfields and the occasional cow. I have come away with a completely different outlook. I am thoroughly thrilled with the images I have captured.

Starting in chronological order of capture is Omaha, NE. After a pleasant dinner at the Old Chicago Restaurant I took to the streets for some urban landscapes. Using my 5D I have become a firm believer in full frame sensor and its incredible image quality. Bracketing exposures of up to 30 seconds, I was able to capture detail throughout the cityscape. Using High Dynamic Range Photo to process these images enabled stunning color and detail. Omaha is a pleasant town, or at least the Old Market area I visited. I would compare the Old Market as a smaller version of the Plaza in Kansas City. Conversing with the homeless people while capturing the city lights brought some humor to an otherwise cool night.

Omaha Cityscape 

Second photo is of an old dilapidated gas station named “Stuckeys”. I hear from the locals that this was once a bustling place to stop by, but due to various reasons it has since went under. None the less, I captivated on the stores demise. I enjoy studying these broken down buildings for numerous reasons. They provide wonderful textures, colors, and shapes mainly. When photographing these areas, I am always aware of my surroundings because it is not uncommon for another curious individual to come along.

Stuckey's

The last image is what most people that know me would say epitomizes my photography: outdoor scenics. I love this image for the pure fact that it is exactly how I saw this in real life. Minus the feeling of the outdoor elements, this image depicts the colors and texture I saw standing there. This was captured in the Loess Hills State Park. Driving along, this barn instantly stuck out as a photographic opportunity. A combination of the diffused light and the blue sky causes the barn to look ominous yet warm. I captured numerous images around the barn, but I feel this is one of the strongest compositions. I may post more from this spot when I get the time to process the rest of my images.

Loess Hills Barn

The day was great! While the wind was brisk, the sun was warm. I have over 500 images to process, therefore there may be quite a few more posts from Iowa. I hope you enjoy. Remember you must only be slightly more aware than the average person, to see the extraordinary beauty. 

MT

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Shooting landscapes in Pisgah, IA has tested my photographic abilities. With blistering cold winds and dreary overcast skies, one might ask why I was knee deep in snow photographing. I however was impervious to the cold and trudged on with my dedicated girlfriend. Having my new wide angle on for most of the day, I was able to achieve some acceptable images. I have been fortunate enough to witness two nice winter sunsets however. One which I have posted here. Having only my laptop, I will wait until I get back to my workhorse computer to edit all of my images. I will post more on Pisgah and the surrounding areas soon.

MT

Iowa Chill

Knee Deep

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I processed this image so that it would reflect  more of a cold feeling. Considering it was 8 degrees, this is a more accurate portrayal of the scene.

 

Cool Colors

 

I will be heading to Iowa (weather permitting) and look foward to some more cool (literally) images. I hope to have a good collection come Monday.

MT

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Well I must confess that I could be out taking photos in the cold right now, but instead I am inside in the warmth and comfort. I blame my laziness partially due to some sort of infection in my head that is causing severe pressure and headaches. SO…I go back on some previously skipped images and edit them or upload them.

Here is an image from Lions Lake, here in Warrensburg. Perhaps it looks familiar to some. I have many decent images from the little snow we got before Christmas and decided that it fit the mood of cold and dreary I am feeling now. Hope you enjoy.

MT

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geese-triptychThis will make four posts in one day, oh well. I usually wait and spread out my uploads, but I figured that the reason I take photos is so that I can show them. Enjoy.

MT

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