First in Flight: Wright Brothers Memorial

Either by school field trip, family vacation, or in this case Boy Scout trip, many residents of North Carolina have visited the historic Wright Brother Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, just south of Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Here, on December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright successfully conducted the first sustained controlled flight of a motorized aircraft.

Wright Brothers National Memorial, Landscape Composition 2
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Landscape Composition 2

Their breakthrough engineering development of a three axis control system (pitch, roll and yaw) allowed the pilot to steer and maintain equilibrium. It remains today as the standard method of control for all fixed wing aircraft. Though I’ve visited multiple times in my life, each time I’m quite inspired by the brother’s ingenuity over years of slow but steady progress, hard work, and perseverance.

Wright Brothers National Memorial, Wilbur Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Wilbur Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Orville Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Orville Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Landscape Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Landscape Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Front Composition
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Front Composition

Equally inspiring is the natural beauty found along the wind swept barrier islands of the North Carolina Outer Banks. It quite a long drive for me, but once you get there, you’re so thankful for having the opportunity to visit. For the best viewing experience, click an image to view a high resolution version. For more photos of this amazing destination, also see my Outer Banks Gallery.

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Smith Rock Landscapes

Finally got around to completing some additional landscapes from the magnificent Smith Mountain State Park in Oregon.

North Point View 2
North Point View 2
Smith Rock Tuff Monochrome Composition 2
Smith Rock Tuff Monochrome Composition 2
Homestead Trail Vignette 2
Homestead Trail Vignette 2
Crooked River Vignette
Crooked River Vignette

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version. Or, visit my Smith Mountain State Park Gallery at my portfolio site.

Happy Memorial Day,

C. S.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon represents a collaboration between the cites of Portland and Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province.  The garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty style garden built by 65 Suzhou artisans on a block of Portland’s historic Chinatown district.  My family visited the Portland Japanese Garden earlier in the day.  Two wonderful photography opportunities in the same day!

Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 1
Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 1
Hall of Brocade Clouds Vignette
Hall of Brocade Clouds Vignette
Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 2
Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 2
Stonework Pathway Composition 2
Stonework Pathway Composition 2
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 1
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 1
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 2
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 2

For the best viewing experience, click an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.

Help-Portrait: Photographers Giving Back

Help-Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists using their time, tools and expertise to give back to those in need.  Usually held the first weekend in December, Help-Portrait events provide professional portraits and prints to those who do not enjoy the opportunity.

Help Portrait 039
Help-Portrait 039

For the last several years, my local photography club, the Sawtooth Photo League of Winston-Salem, has been participating.  This gallery features the portraits I took, with the help of my team, from our 2018 Help-Portrait session at Samaritan’s Ministries in Winston-Salem, NC.

Help Portrait 074
Help-Portrait 074

I encourage all photography clubs to join this important ministry.  Giving the gift of dignity, self-confidence, and self-worth was such a rewarding experience, especially during the holiday season!  Like most forms of giving, the giver gets back as much, if not more, than the recipient.  Getting started is easy!  Go here for guidelines.

Help Portrait 035
Help-Portrait 035
Help Portrait 046
Help-Portrait 046
Help Portrait 052
Help-Portrait 052
Help Portrait 063
Help-Portrait 063
Help Portrait 049
Help-Portrait 049
Help Portrait 102
Help-Portrait 102
Help Portrait 076
Help-Portrait 076
Help Portrait 067
Help-Portrait 067
Help Portrait 060
Help-Portrait 060
Help Portrait 112
Help-Portrait 112
Help-Portrait 133
Help Portrait 143
Help-Portrait 143

During our events, we run two teams.  Each team consists of a photographer, grip, capture and print technician, and traffic coordinator.  Each team has set up a portrait backdrop with light kit configured in a modified clam-shell setup.  The photographer’s camera is tethered to a laptop running Lightroom for capture.  After each session the technician allows the participant to pick their favorite pose to print.  We then print an 8.5×11 on a Canon Pixma Pro-100 and place in a clear sleeve.

Help Portrait-Sawtooth Crew
Help-Portrait-Sawtooth Crew

For the best viewing experience, please click on a portrait to see a higher resolution version. Thank you for stopping by, everyone please stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Fun with Filter Forge 9.0, pt 2

Here’s the follow up to my Fun with Filter Forge 9.0 part 1 post on April 5th. The compositions below, from a visit to the Carolina Raptor Center in March, continues my exploration of this interest creative processing tool.

Red Tail Hawk Pop Art 1
Red Tail Hawk Pop Art 1
Red Tail Hawk Panterly Composition 1
Red Tail Hawk Panterly Composition 1
Lanner Falcon Binary Abstract
Lanner Falcon Binary Abstract
Barred Owl Abstract
Barred Owl Abstract
American Kestrel Abstract 1
American Kestrel Abstract 1

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Everyone please remain safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Fun with Filter Forge 9.0, pt 1

Mid March, just before the Covid19 shelter in place restrictions, twelve of us from the Sawtooth Photo League visited the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a visitor, you’re most likely to only see the raptors in their cages. We had a special opportunity to capture eight of these amazing creatures up-close and in flight. Just after our visit, I updated my Filter Forge software to version 9, and decided to deep dive the software to come up with some unique styling compositions.

Spectacled Owl Pop Art 1
Spectacled Owl Pop Art 1

Filter Forge allows users to modify existing filters as well as develop their on. The latter though, seems to be a bit intense in terms of technical ability and time. But, with a library of over 13,000 filters, you can probably find a starting place in an existing filter. Filters not only include creative effect styling, but also texture and pattern creation, frames, and photo specific filters.

Great Horned Owl Graphic Abstract
Great Horned Owl Graphic Abstract

There are so many options, you can easily spend hours (if not days) experimenting, especially when you start blending different filters as separate layers in Photoshop. So if you try the 30 day trial, make sure you set aside plenty of time to evaluate. There is only a Photoshop plug-in.

Saker Falcon Abstract 1
Saker Falcon Abstract 1
Saker Falcon Pop Art
Saker Falcon Pop Art

I have another set of Filter Forge Raptor Center compositions I’ll post later this week. Thanks for taking time to visit. For the best viewing experience, especially to see the magic of this cool software, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Everyone please stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: McKinzie Pass Oregon

Two Sisters from McKinzie Pass
Northern and Middle Sisters from McKinzie Pass

In Bend, Oregon, the high desert begins to rise along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range.  At an elevation 5,325 feet (1,623 m), McKinzie Pass on Oregon Route 242, is at the western boarder of Deschutes county, about 25 miles northwest of Bend. The pass cuts through between the Three Sisters to the south and Mount Washington to the north.

Dee Wright Observatory Composition 1
Dee Wright Observatory Composition 1

The Dee Wright Observatory is an open shelter built with basaltic andesite lava from the construction site.  The structure features windows aligned with views of the surrounding Cascade peaks.  Of course, there were numerous photography opportunities! The observatory was built during the Great Depression by a Civilian Conservation Corps crew at Camp Belknap near Clear Lake.

Dee Wright Observatory Composition 2
Dee Wright Observatory Composition 2

Oregon Route 242 follows the path of a 1860 wagon route, it emerges from the forest and crosses a 65 square-mile lava bed (170 m). The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. All recent volcanic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from Cascade volcanoes, including the famous 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption.

Dee Wright Observatory Composition 3
Dee Wright Observatory Composition 3

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Everyone please stay safe and practice social distancing.

Cheers,

C. S.