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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting Out There With New Toys

Thanksgiving Weekend. It is so easy to sit at home and gorge oneself on left over turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie ... OR ... get out there and shoot some images. My husband was otherwise occupied so I had an hour or two to get away to a local park ... Walney Pond. I've started coming here at all seasons. How the pond changes ...

Today I also had a new toy to play with ... my plastic Diana extra wide angle lens. The plastic Diana cameras were known for their dreamy effects. It didn't really know what to expect now that I could mount this "toy" lens to my DSLR. Now I know.
When I was last here - in summer - there were more people around ... fishing, walking, playing ... today, there were just a few and the park seemed so alone. This shot was taken with my 105 mm macro lens (though not a macro shot) since the toy lens is not for every shot - and then I processed it with Topaz Simplify for that "artsy" look.

See you soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Choices

Sometimes the creative choice comes in shooting the image. Sometimes it comes in processing the image. Sometimes it is about "what you see is what you get" - the literal image captured by your camera. And sometimes it is about using the tools to show your vision - however (and whenever) that vision hits you.

In yesterday's blog post, I opted to process the Dream for Sale image using a couple layers of Topaz Simplify to "art it up." After a comment by my son, Joe, a very creative artist in his own right, I looked at the image again and decided that I didn't really like what I had done at all. So it was back to the drawing board for a new take on "Dream for Sale." What do you think? This version is a little more literal - yet still with a slight dream like quality.

And here is the actual Dream that is for sale - an old roller rink:

Another creative choice that I love is the swoosh also know as the swipe. In this technique you pan your camera while depressing the shutter to get the essence of the colors of the scene. This is usually best done around sunrise or sunset to take advantage of the lower light so you can make a longer exposure (6th to an 8th of a second) so you don't blow out your image. This swoosh was made at the Snow Goose Pond at Chincoteague National Wildlife Area around sunset. The massive flocks of birds were not where we were but the colors called to be swooshed. And so I obliged them.

Finally, last creative choice for this blog entry. On my last couple of photo trips, I have fallen in love with my fisheye lens (the Nikon 10.5 mm). When I first got it, although I was excited about it, I wasn't feeling the love so much. But now I have found a use for it. Old falling down buildings take on an interesting persona via the fisheye. And when I combine the fisheye image with processing in Topaz Simplify to "art it up," I just love the results. This house/barn/whatever was along the main highway (Rt. 13 I think) heading down through the eastern shore of Virginia. I saw it and made a U turn so that I could stop and shoot it for a while. I wonder what people think as they see a lone photographer stalking abandoned buildings with a tripod.

I recently got the fisheye optic for my lensbaby - yet another creative choice. I have not figured out exactly how to best use this optic but I am having more fun with my lensbaby since I got The Composer version. Watch for lensbaby images coming to my blog sometime soon. Perhaps the next post even.

Dream for Sale

I went to the eastern shore area of Virginia this past weekend - to Chincoteague. I had a dream to find that perfect image. My dreams don't always come true. Sometimes the perfect image just isn't there. Sometimes the image that I thought was perfect, WASN'T ... and the image that I thought was not so good, WAS. Sometimes the dream is for sale ... or so the sign says. I saw this sign and the "Dream" that was for sale when I was driving into Chincoteague on Friday evening. I knew that I would stop on my way out. I processed this shot in Photoshop CS3 and filtered 2 layers using Topaz Simplify.

On Saturday afternoon when the light was high and harsh, it was hard to find ideal images. Perhaps we should have taken a nap. But we didn't. Instead we drove to the end of the island and found this dock ... among other things (watch for more of the "other" things coming soon). This image was a B&W conversion - thought it didn't need that much tweaking since it was close to B&W to begin with.

On my way home, I took a long detour via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. It is an amazing marvel. I also took this shot when the light was high and harsh. Sometimes these images work. Sometimes not. I think it worked this time. Interestingly, while I did a little processing in CS3 and Topaz Adjust, the color of this image was not changed. It just came out this way.

As always, click on any image in the blog to see it larger.

Well, watch the blog for more of my Chincoteague images. I shot over 800. Yikes, I could be at the computer a while.