Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lesson Learned

Last night the Bay Area Photo Club had their annual awards dinner -- the highlight being the announcement of the Photographer of the Year. This year, Larry Patrick won the award with a 191 point average for 6 assignment photos for 2011. Larry put some great images out there and ran away with the award -- his second time winning. In his acceptance speech he told the members that one of the keys to making photos with impact is to let the viewer know exactly where to look. I think that's always in the back of my mind when I take a photo and work on it in Photoshop, but I really took that suggestion to heart tonight as I worked on the image above of Kacey taken in September. Through gesture, color, and form, I tried to emphasize the intensity and beauty of Kacey's relationship with her horse.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter at the Beach #5

Another photo from our December shoot on the beach. This is Lauren at the very end -- cold, windy and barely any color in the sky. She had this very detailed scarf on, so I asked her to put it over her head. Made for a different look, and I kind of liked it. The color version here was nice, but I liked the simple black and white conversion with Nik Silver Efex a little better. 1/640 sec at f/5, 85mm with on-camera flash in high speed sync mode. Seems like at the bitter end of each shoot we try and do the delicate dance of balancing flash and ambient, and when you get it right the scene looks almost fake, like a cut-and-paste job. Somehow, the monochrome here seems to unify things a little more to my eye.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oak Creek

From a series I've been working on recently, this image was taken in Sedona, Arizona in the spring. Lots of great stuff to photograph there, but what really interested me on this particular night was the low, warm sunlight reflected in the moving water. Started playing with sl0w shutter speed and ended up shooting 200+ images of abstract water movement. I figure if I shot 200 images here, there must be three in the bunch to make a series out of.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter at the Beach #4

Another shot of Sarah at our beach shoot a few weeks ago. I've been playing with toning and texture on this one for a while. This is probably the one I like best. At one point, my file was up to 731 megabytes and I thought to myself: "this is getting a little ridiculous." Deleted about 15 layers and went back to the basics and added some nice warm tones only. Simple is better some times. 1/250 sec at f/9, 85mm, light from an SB900 in a Lastolite octa from camera right.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Under the Bridge

The photo above was taken December 30 at Bay Area Park along Armand Bayou. I had hopes of taking a photo of an egret who was hidden behind some reeds, but that never materialized. Those egrets never seem to know how to position themselves and pose when I really need them to. Frustrated, I began taking photos of the Bay Area Boulevard bridge as it splits and crosses the bayou. Also began playing with long shutter speeds and reflections in the water. Saw the green reflection of the banks behind the bridges and the blue water in the foreground, so waited for large moving trucks to pass by and took photos as quickly as I could. This one was nice because it filled out the Red / Green / Blue combination pretty well. Must have waited 20 minutes for a nice big red truck to pass. The things you do as a photographer. 1/50 sec at f/32, -.67 EV, 300mm.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winter at the Beach #3

Another photo from last week's shoot at the beach in Galveston -- Sarah in the dunes. 1/250 sec at f/11; light from an SB900 in a Lastolite octa from camera right, mimicking the direction of the sunlight that afternoon. Postprocessed with Nik Color Efex 4.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter at the Beach #2

Another photo from our shoot at the beach last week -- this one of Lauren near the water's edge. Seems like on any given shoot we end up at sunset trying to balance the ambient fading sun with flash on the subject -- sometimes successful, sometimes not. Since we had a mix of Nikon and Canon shooters that day, most of us went with on-camera flash and high speed sync -- trying to drive the ambient exposure down and fill flashing. In this shot, the sun was still above the horizon, so I placed Lauren right in between myself and the sun, so I got some nice gold rim light on her hair and shoulder while at the same time preventing flare. A nice technique that I'm sure I'll use again some day. Nikon SB900 in high speed sync, 85mm, 1/800 sec at f/6.3.