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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Trying Something New Grunge HDR

36 satisfactory exposures on a roll means a photographer is not trying anything new. - Freeman Patterson

I'm not sure exactly when I first saw this technique. It may have been on John Barclay's website, It is called Grunge HDR. I have certainly not mastered it yet but ... it is fun to try new things.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight we had a full lunar eclipse. Despite it being cold, I went out on our front porch every 15 minutes or so to see if I could shoot it. I Googled how to shoot a lunar eclipse and came away as confused as ever ... good thing that I shoot digital and could waste a bunch of pixels playing around.

Settings for this image:

ISO 400
1/250 sec
300mm lens (450mm equivalent)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Death Valley Sand

I think that my favorite images are the ones of the sand dunes. One evening we hiked into the dunes while it was light so that we could catch the sunset. Of course this meant that we needed to hike out after it got dark. Then the next morning we hiked in the dunes while it was dark so that we could catch the sunrise. I was a little worried about snakes until someone pointed out that it is too cold for snakes right now.

The dunes have wonderful shapes - always changing. We were lucky that there were some wind storms right before we got there so that there weren't that many foot prints. But with a dozen photographers and others climbing over the dunes, the footprints did appear.

While the snakes may be sleeping at this time of year, there is certainly wildlife moving around out there. I saw all kinds of tracks.

This last image is one of my favorites. This was one of the last images that I shot of the dunes on our morning trip on the way back to the cars. Of course it took us a long time to get to the cars because we kept stopping to take pictures. We were on a photo tour after all!

The only casualty of my trek into the dunes was my camera. It took a tumble into a dune and got a little sandy. I'm fairly certain that the crunching sound I hear when I zoom the lens is not good. It is now at the camera repair facility getting a nice professional cleaning (and repair).

Watch for more images.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Death Valley Visions

Before I went to Death Valley, I thought I knew what to expect ... but it suprised me. This place was more diverse than I thought it would be. And I had visions.

In the ghost town of Rhyolite (technically outside the National Park), sculptures punctuated the stark landscape.

Somehow I didn't really find it unusual that a ghost would ride a bicycle or ...

... that there would be a giant miner and penguin among the scrub.

Not too far from the art of Rhyolite instead of scanning the landscape for my visions, I had to look much closer to find them. These next images were shot with a macro lens in Titus Canyon.

Do you see the monster in this image ... or the fairy dancer in this next one?

And can you see the waterfall in this image taken along the Badwater Road?

These phog posts don't always turn out the way that I first intend but watch for sand next time.

if you want to see a larger version of any image posted on the phog, just click on it

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Death Valley Abstracts

I got back late last night (my flight landed just before midnight) from my Death Valley Photography Workshop. It took me much of today (once I woke up) to get all my images downloaded from the cards and my Nikon Coolwalker storage device. I shot 1342 images over the week. But this is nothing compared to the number of images that some of my fellow workshop participants shot. Of course we shot the amazing landscapes of Death Valley but our leaders, John and Dan, encouraged us to shoot "outside the box" and work on abstract techniques. Here are a few images that were my attempts at shooting outside the box:

This is a shot of the Bottle House located in the ghost town of Rhyolite. I think that this may have been my break through abstract shot of the trip. John was so happy to see me turn my camera "wakerjaw" to get a different angle on the outside wall of the Bottle House.

These next three images were shot at Artist's Palette, a stop on Artist's Drive. Once the sun starts setting on this location, the pastel colors of the cliffs come alive. The first is a normal shot of the cliffs. The second and third are shots in which used I the panning technique. This technique is accomplished by shooting a long exposure and panning (or moving your camera) while depressing the shutter. You can pan in a straight line (as many people do) or you can pan in a curve. With my current tripod set up, I had better control with the curvy method. I had been practicing panning shots for several days before I got these. I finally felt that I had done a good job on this tricky technique. But as I learned from my fellow workshop participants, you can shoot hundreds of these things and only get a handful that you are pleased with. So ... practice, practice, practice.

I will continue to process more of my 1300+ shots over the next days, weeks, months ... and post them every couple of days.