Last week I had dinner in downtown Winston-Salem with my photographer friend Owens Daniels. Afterwards, we both grabbed our camera and set out on a local street photography expedition. I had so much fun. We met some nice folks, found some great scenes and Owens shared many of his proven street photography tips.
I must do more street photography.
Shoot with a photographer friend. We grow through shared experience.
Learn how to see without thinking. I’m reading a good book on this now – “Opening the Good Eye”.
Develop your own style.
Don’t be afraid of high ISO! My D750 higher ISO settings look great, Lightroom does a great job of minimizing noise, and I usually add film grain to the composition in my workflow.
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From my original Dixie Furniture Plant post back on March 12th, I had a few more dramatic abandoned landscapes I wanted to share. The black & white compositions followed my typical b&w workflow which includes process with Alien Skin’s Exposure 7 to emulate Agfa APX 100 b&w film. The color image was processed to emulate Kodachrome slide film.
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The Salem Cemetery was originated by the Moravian Church in the 1770s. Currently over 40 acres in size, its rolling hills create a unique resting place for over 6000 souls. After work last Thursday, I visited as late afternoon was transitioning into sunset. The long shadows and dramatic lighting offered several photographic opportunities.
Leaving work a few months ago, I noticed a large flock of birds occupying a nearby water tower. With the sun setting and rather dramatic clouds behind the tower, I wished I had my Nikon full frame camera. Then I thought, hey, in my pocket I have a decent camera on my Samsung S5.
I ended up spending just as much time working on this image as I typical do on shots from my Nikon; including an emulation of Kodak Ektachrome slide film to get some fine grain structure and extra color punch. Perhaps I’ve been a bit of a snob regarding the ability of a mobile phone to capture a worthy image. I once heard another photographer say “the best camera is the one you have on you”.
Last month’s visit to Mt LeConte was my first hike on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains. It had also been a long time since previously experiencing Southern Appalachia at 5,000 ft. above sea level. This post includes notable scenery from the Alum Cave Trail.
In the last mile or so of our hike to Mt LeConte Lodge, we reached an elevation of 6,000 ft. This is about the time we started noticing the Mountain Ash trees, which were full of large clusters of reddish orange berries. Veterans I was hiking with mentioned it was rare to see the Ash berries so profusely displayed. We also began side-stepping ash berry laden bear scat on the trail. The ash berries appeared to be quite the bear treat. I heard later local mountaineers will gather ash berries, sweetened just after the first frost, to make pie filling.
After dinner Friday evening, I hiked up to the Cliff Top area to stakeout a spot to capture the pending sunset. In addition to the polarizer I used for the Alum Cave shots, this was the next opportunity for me to try my new 150mm hard graduated ND filter. I was hoping for a little more cloud drama, but was pleased with how the filter brought the sky portion down 3 stops to closer match the landscape.
Saturday morning I hiked up to Myrtle Point to catch the sun rise. I hit a soft spot on the outward edge of the trail and immediately dropped about 4.5 ft., landing on the ball of my right foot, facing the trail. Luckily, I didn’t break my foot or damage my camera. After breakfast though, it was a long and painful hike back down the mountain; 2,500 ft. over 5.5 miles! The last two miles were relatively flat, but also the most difficult; my foot and knees were about worn-out. Along this stretch, I did stop to rest, and capture a very interesting root structure just above the Styx Branch creek bed.
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Here are the last two compositions from my photographic study of the Wells Fargo Tower in downtown Winston-Salem. Although I’ve spent more time processing images in this series than probably any other posts to date, I am very pleased with the architectural abstract compositions derived from this shoot. I hope you enjoy as well. You can view a higher resolution version from my portfolio site by clicking on an image.
Perhaps with a long weekend, I’ll get a chance to put up another post or two. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Labor Day Weekend to folks in the US!
These two images are from the second show featured during the Caswell County Matinee I introduced you to several weeks ago. The second show was just a dramatic and spectacular as the first! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Traveling home from Camp Cherokee Scout Reservation a few weeks ago, the sky put on the most spectacular show. There was drama, suspense, and beauty. It was about 30 minutes before sunset as a passing thunderstorm gave way to a beautiful rainbow and cloud formations. Here are a few of the images I captured while traveling on Hwy 150.
Thanks for stopping by today. I’ve been unable to post for several weeks; its good to be back at it. Click on an image to view a higher resolution image from my portfolio site.
Photographers and painters are keenly aware of the dramatic scenery available at the beginning and ending of each day. The low angle of the sun creates powerful side and back lighting opportunities for the artist to uniquely shape their subject. Additionally, the warmer color temperature and increased contrast add further visual interest. Of equal importance, I believe the artist must capture the feeling or experience of being there at these special times of day.
Many cultures, philosophies and faiths recognize the inherent beauty and power bestowed at sunrise and sunset. I remember reading years ago Henry Ward Beecher referring to the first hour of the morning as the “rudder of the day.” At a physiological level, these times mark transitions in the daily cycle of life. Sunrise is also the meditative time to peacefully reflect and prepare or the day to come. At sunset, we also reflect and unwind from the stresses of the day, while preparing to rest our body and mind. We all experience this ritual at some level of consciousness. Even today, medical and wellness experts continue to tell us, to the degree we embed ourselves in the meditative opportunities at these special times of day, the healthier and more enjoyable we will live our lives.
So, it is this magical, if not also mystical, experience of a peaceful sunrise or beautiful sunset I hope to capture in my work. I don’t think it’s sometimes referred to as the golden hour just as a reference to the warmth of a rising or setting sun.
These images are from my July 2015 vacation at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Click on an image to see a higher resolution version of each image on my photography portfolio site: csyjr.photoshelter.com. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and feedback!