Recently I’ve been working on new articles for a great website called Sony Alpha Lab as well as some new stuff for here on my own blog. My latest article for SAL included some of my thoughts on shooting during golden hours and returning often to my favorite locations. In the article I shared some examples of what a difference an hour can make in terms of the sky having some great colors.
What I wanted to share here was a comparison of four shots that were all taken during the 2013 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC. The top was captured at 6:00am, then next shot down was captured at 6:30am, the third shot was captured at 7:00am and the last shot was captured at 7:30am. I really like the first three shots a lot but that last one is just blah looking to me. Everything was exactly the same except for the time of day when the shots were captured. I can talk about the advantages of golden hour but this comparison should speak volumes for waking up early to get better looking shots.
In future articles and blog entries I’ll talk more about shooting at golden hour and I’ll share some of my favorite shots captured in those magical times of the day.
According to my Lightroom 4 “2012 catalog” I captured close to 40,000 images in 2012. That’s a whole lot of pictures! I had a great year and I captured some of my all time favorite shots in 2012. WIth 2013 right around the corner I wanted to look back and pick 12 shots from 2012 that represented my work for the year. I’ve always tried to tell stories with my photography and this year was no exception. Sometimes the story was there in the picture and sometimes the adventure of capturing the shot became the story. For this blog entry I’ll share my twelve favorite shots from 2012 and the stories behind each of them. Continue reading →
Recently I took a trip to see the Battlefield Park at Antietam, MD.
I love visiting historic sites and I’ve been trying hard to see as many Civil War Battlefields as I can because so many of the battlefields are marking the 150th anniversary of major battles. In July of last year I attended the Sesquicentennial Event at Manassas National Battlefield Park and I had an incredible time talking with dignitaries, re-enactors and historians. I can’t wait to go to another 150th event.
My trip to Antietam wasn’t on a historically significant date but the experience was still pretty awesome. The Battles at Antietam became Americas bloodiest single day with 22,720 casualties (dead, wounded or missing/captured).
This blog entry will have some of the pictures I took on my visit and I’ll share a few interesting things I learned about Antietam.
I love sharing my HDR images on Google+ (and other places online). Sometimes I mention the techniques I used to arrive at my final image and I’ll say: “and this image was finished in Photoshop.”
My personal thoughts about HDR photography and post-processing HDR images has been evolving for over five years now. The shot of the lathe (above) is a good example of how I like to process HDR images now and it looks totally different from how I processed HDR images in the past.
I got my start with HDR photography a long time ago when I was certified to operate the Spheron 360 VR camera for Ford Design North America. That is one super cool camera that really taught me a lot about 32 bit images. For his blog post I don’t want to talk about equipment, camera settings, using a tripod or tone-mapping software. Instead I want to talk about how I finish my HDR shots in Photoshop and I’ll be concentrating on some of my personal theories about color, contrast, sharpness and blur.
One week ago, today, I left the comfort of home to seek shelter from a huge super-storm hitting the Washington DC area. I live west of Washington DC but I knew that my area would also get hit pretty hard.
Unintended consequences (also called unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences) can be defined as an outcome that is not the one intended by a purposeful action. Unintended consequences, for my photography, is when I am exploring one idea and I discover a whole new idea.
During my first early morning trip into the Shenandoah Mountains I wanted to photograph the sunrise and some fall colors. When I planned my arrival I thought I’d be sitting in my car for an hour waiting for the sun to come up. I arrived that morning and I saw the stars above me for the first time and I didn’t spend a single second in my car waiting for sunrise. I Jumped out of my car and began photographing the stars and learning a whole new form of photography (for me).
I’ve never tried to shoot the stars before from a location like this and once I started I knew I was going to run out of darkness (which was happening fast with sunrise quickly approaching) and that meant that I couldn’t do everything I wanted in just one trip. I proceeded to learn as much as possible on that first trip and I started thinking about a follow up trip. For this blog entry I’ll talk about my second early morning adventure into the Shenandoah Mountains and how I captured some of my favorite shots to date.
There are some things I love to photograph. But because I can get pretty busy my work it sometimes keeps me from going out to photograph the things I love to shoot. For example, I love shooting long exposure shots late at night and early in the morning. I also love to shoot sunrises and sunsets, especially in really cool scenic locations. I’m a pretty lucky person because where I live in Northern Virginia offers me some incredible opportunities to see and photograph everything from the capital city to some incredible National Parks.
After long months of working exclusively on client projects I found myself caught up and I had a little time for myself. I thought very seriously about taking a break from my camera and laptop computer. And then I remembered something my friend, Gene, recently told me. He said that I needed to start getting away from all of the flash shots and spending so much time in Photoshop. He said that I needed to go out with a camera and get back to basics. In other words, get back to what brought me into the world of photography in the first place.
This blog entry will talk about how I took Gene’s advice and I did something I haven’t done in a very long time.
On a recent vacation to the coast of North Carolina I had a chance to visit the Lighthouse at Cape Lookout (located on the Cape Lookout National Sea Shore). I’ve been sharing some pictures from my trip on my social media sites like Google+ and Facebook but I thought I’d compile some of my favorite shots from my trip into a single page along with a few facts and some history I learned while I was there.