Category Archives: Landscape Photography

Landscape and Travel Photography

The trip that almost didn’t happen

The email Olympus Super Fan Experiential in San Francisco

 

It was late afternoon on Tuesday, Dec 19th that I received an email indicating I was invited to attend a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” entitled  ‘Olympus Super Fan Experiential in San Francisco’.  Unfortunately, this almost didn’t occur because I thought it was a scam.  I researched the email originator of the email but didn’t put too much effort into it since I had a very early flight the next morning and had to begin getting ready for the flight and put this out of my mind with no thought to return to the email.

 

Thursday afternoon when driving from North Carolina to Pittsburgh, I received an Instant Message from Olympus Visionary, Jamie McDonald asking if I got an email from Olympus earlier in the week.  Since I was driving, I didn’t respond immediately.  A few hours went by and I reread his IM then responded. “Yes, I received a note but I thought it was SPAM.” – Do you have time to chat? He responded – Yes, call me.  I did and he confirmed not only was it true but I needed to respond quickly since the deadline to respond was the next day. – Ouch! Was I going to blow the chance of a lifetime?

 

I immediately called the number on the email and began the adventure of a lifetime that would begin on my 61st birthday.  Yes, the trip would start on January 25th and I would get to meet new folks who love photography, ‘play’ with new gear and meet people whom I admired for a long time.

 

I was selected as one of ten photographers in the United States to attend the “Olympus Super Fan Experiential” fully paid for by Olympus.  To state I was excited is an understatement and as the date approached, I was filled with anticipation taking me back to my childhood when either my birthday or Christmas was close and I ‘knew’ my parents bought me something I wanted but I had to ‘pretend’ I didn’t know I was getting that ‘special’ toy. Yes, I felt like a kid again and loved every minute of it.

 

The journey to selecting Olympus as my gear of choice

 

A few years ago I purchased my first OMD camera, it was a used OMD-EM5 and my ‘love’ for mirrorless technology began.  I used this for some of my macro work during weddings and it became my exclusive ‘travel’ camera along with the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens and 60mm f/2.8 macro.  Over time, I sold this camera, bought a different micro 4/3 mirrorless but when the Olympus OMD-E-M1MarkII was announced, I pre-ordered it along with the 12-100 f/4 (more on these two items in a different article) and purchased a few more used Olympus lenses beginning my full migration to Olympus from Nikon.  There were many people along the way who kept fueling my interest but there was one person who stood above the rest, Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne. (Plus, I would get to meet him and another longtime favorite of mine – Derrick Story who wrote an article on our trip.  I started my selling off of Nikon gear and fully moved to Olympus in early 2017 telling everyone and anyone I photographed how much ‘funner’ shooting with Olympus was than Nikon. (No doubt, some thought I was annoying :D.)

 

As the date approached, our group connected on a ‘private’ Facebook group and group instant messaging and connect we did.  The IM seemed non-stop in anticipation from one of the members indicating this was the first time they were flying while another lived near and worked in San Francisco.

My birthday

The day finally arrived, my 61st birthday on this great planet earth and I was off to SF with my backpack of Olympus gear to my standard travel ‘food’. It was going to be a long flight and my body was more than juiced for the trip.  I sat by the door (I was ready many hours early) of our house as I waited for a limo to pick me up and drive me to the airport.  Yes, Olympus had a limo pick us up ensuring there was no expense on our part and that we would arrive at the airport with plenty of time for the flights across the country.

 

When we arrived in San Francisco, a limo picked us up and took us to our Hotel, where we hooked up with the others in our Super Fan group, great folks from MullenLowe U.S, and Olympus USA. and given some new toys that we would play with during our trip.  For me, the two items I wanted to play with was the new Olympus Pro line of f/1.2 lenses.  The 17mm and 45mm, both lenses I was ‘eyeing’ up since they were announced. To me, the 17mm f/1.2 (FF equivalent of 34mm) is the perfect event and street photographer’s lens.  The 45mm (FF equiv 90mm) is perfect for event and portraits.

 

After going to dinner where I was surprised with a nice ‘vegan’ desert and birthday celebration, a few of us went to a local park high above the city to capture the cityscape at night.  We walked back to the hotel via Chinatown and continued playing with the 17mm lens where I was amazed by the feel of the lens.  (I knew it would be difficult to return it to Eric from Olympus in a few days.)

E-M1MarkII 12-100

San Francisco Cityscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To state I stayed up too late is an understatement but I wasn’t going to miss one minute of opportunity to photograph San Francisco. Add in the time difference, excitement, and joy, I finally went to sleep nearly 24 hours after I started the journey on Wednesday.  However, I wasn’t tired and according to my Fitbit, I averaged 2-4 hours of sleep each night the entire time I was in San Francisco. 😀

 

Chinatown Wall Art
Olympus E-M1MarkII and 17mm f/1.2 Pro Lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Gate Opportunity

The next morning we met in the lobby and headed out to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge from atop a mountain.  It was very foggy but we came away with iconic images.  From there we went to Muir Woods and had lunch and continued photographing everything and anything.  Derrick Story was with us and documented the journey on his blog.

Golden Opportunity – Olympus E-M1MarkII and 12-100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect sunset

We had ‘free time’ and a few of us took an Uber trip to Treasure Island and captured a magnificent sunset and blue hour.  When we returned from our trip to Treasure Island, the Olympus Visionaries began arriving and a few went to the park from the previous day.

Sunset and Street Photography
E-M1MarkII 12-100

Sunset and Street Photography
E-M1MarkII 12-100

Blue Hour
Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

 

Sleep why?

 

Sunrise over San Francisco
E-M1MarkII 12-100

The next day our adventure continued but a few of us rose early (why not :D) and went back to the mountain and photographed the Golden Gate bridge again and this time there was no fog but we were given a beautiful sunrise.

We returned to the hotel and hooked up with the rest of the group heading off to Alcatraz (stay tuned for a story in a future post) and Baker Beach where I could have spent hours taking in the view of the Golden Gate bridge, excitement from the kids playing on the beach, and the unique feel of the sand unlike the sand from the east coast of the country.

 

We stayed out late again knowing our journey was coming to an end and I didn’t want it to stop.  Along the way we ate at some of the finest restaurants, traveled in a limo bus, laughed and talked until our voices where fading.  We didn’t want the trip to end but it did end sealing lifetime memories and relationships.

 

I could write for thousands of more words and my gratitude to Olympus, MullenLowe, the other Olympus Super Fans, and the Olympus Visionaries could not be expressed more than these words – “Thank you! Not only was this a tremendous experience, but I couldn’t have asked for a better 61st birthday gift!”

Beach Fun Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

Everyone got along well, talking, laughing, and enjoying this once in a lifetime experience.  We gained more than an experience but a lifetime of friends, a connection to tremendous people, and a unique bond with an amazing company (Olympus).

 

All of the images in this post were taken with the Olympus OMD-E-M1MarkII, the Olympus 12-100 f/4 (the very sharp, perfect ‘general’ purpose and travel lens), Olympus 7-14 f/2.8, and the new Pro 17mm and 45mm f/1.2 lenses.

 

To find the images taken but the Visionaries, Super Fans, and me during the trip, search this hashtag on Social Media:

#CapturingSanFrancisco

 

I posted the majority of my images on my portfolio site here.  Watch this blog for a write-up on the Olympus 17mm f/1.2 lens.

 

Me on Facebook and Instagram

 

As I state often, ‘photography is too much fun to be legal’ and using Olympus gear is like ‘cheating’ for it is almost impossible to make a bad image.

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse
Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

Tranquility
Olympus E-M1MarkII 12-100

 

Links to Olympus on the net

 

http://getolympus.com

http://facebook.com/getolympus

http://instagram.com/getolympus

http://twitter.com/getolympus

http://youtube.com/getolympus

http://flickr.com/groups/getolympus

Also posted in #CapturingSanFrancisco, beaver county, Camera Review, diary of a travel junkie, Gratitude, Inspirational Art, mirrorless camera, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, photography, street photography, Travel Photography

Frozen Soap Bubbles

What do you do when you want to take pictures but the temps are below zero and you want to stay close to home?  Try this fun creative winter photo project.  If you search the net, you will find many different recipes to make soap bubbles that freeze into beautiful creative objects.

Frozen Soap Bubble Recipe

A recipe that I used to start my recipe is located here.

I substituted glycerine for corn syrup since I had glycerine and had no future need for corn syrup.  I did experiment with brown and white sugar and each one created an interesting look.

My first mixture didn’t freeze as hoped but it did create an interesting pattern of colors – I vote for the brown sugar and glycerine combination.

Using the Olympus E-M1MarkII and 60 mm macro, this is what the surface of the bubble look like as it attempted to freeze but instead swirled around creating beautiful patterns.  Maybe I had too much glycerine in the mix?

Colorful Soap Bubble

 

 

Frozen Soap Bubble Success

I tried a few different combinations of bubble mixes and lights but the wind was too strong carrying them away before they froze and or I didn’t like the way the lights illuminated the bubble. Then I decided to put the bubbles on top of our frozen pool. This idea proved successful since it seemed the soap bubble ‘stuck’ to the frozen snow on the pool cover. I used the setting sun to backlight the frozen bubble and the snow reflected light creating amazing patterns.  Again, I used the Olympus E-M1MarkII and 60 mm macro and was able to get an interesting set of freezing lines in the soap bubble. Although this was a similar mixture to the first image, the colors didn’t pop but created a muted look with fun lines and swirls.

Frozen Bubble

The temps were in the single digits but I think the amount of glycerine and sugar in the mix caused it to not freeze too fast but when it did, it was ‘solid’.

I continued experimenting with mixtures including coloring which ruined the mix causing no bubbles to create – what a messy, sticky solution 😐 I think the mixture will be on the pool cover until the spring thaw.

After tossing that mix, I used a mixture of dish soap, glycerine, and white sugar. The temps dropped below zero degrees F and the winds were over ten MPH.  I couldn’t sleep and was up around 0200 but went back to sleep thinking of what to do to ‘protect’ the fragile soap bubble (and my body).  Tis was not a good situation for being outside so I set-up shop in an area near our house which was still freezing (my mixture froze while in the container) but protected from the winds.

Using miniature toys for props in your frozen soap bubble images

It was then that I decided to use some of the miniature items I often use in macro work but never considered for frozen bubbles.

The pedestal was my first choice and I backlit the image by bouncing a strobe off a paper backdrop created from a summer image. Using a straw to ensure the bubble ‘landed’ where I wanted it, I took many images but the one when the frozen bubble started collapsing was my favorite.  (I might edit the others and post in the future – maybe when its 100 degrees out and folks are stating it is too cold 😀 .)

 

Bubble on pedestal – Collapsed

For this image, I used the Olympus 30 mm macro (which I believe is a sleeper lens) and had lots of fun. Using pocket wizards to trigger an off-camera flash, I bounced light into the backdrop and lit the scene.

Settings were –  f/4.5 1/30 second and ISO 200. Handheld.

Frozen in time! Be creative with your photography!

As I was ‘playing’, I couldn’t decide how to utilize a miniature chair and then it dawned on me to try reflections. I place the chair very close to the front of the bubble and using the Olympus 30 mm macro, I was able to create this fun image. No, the chair isn’t ‘Photoshopped’ in and the combination of two LED lights created the dimension to the scene. I had an LED headlight positioned to camera right and an LED panel light, camera left.

Frozen in Time – Chair in Frozen Soap Bubble

 

If the weather stays this cold, I will continue to play and post more images. Watch my Facebook and Instagram feed for more tips, tricks, and images.

We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. … Steve Jobs

Think different!

Make the world a better place.

Also posted in beaver county, macro, mirrorless camera, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Photography Education, winter landscapes

Fire in the sky | Chippewa Twp Park

As I was driving home on route 51 in Chippewa, I kept watching the sky.  One minute it was pure white and snow was blowing creating a minimal visibility white-out and the next minute, the sky was as bright as a summer evening.  After arriving home I kept watching the sky change colors and told my wife, I will be back soon, I need to get an image of this sunset.  “What sunset? Its a whiteout!” Grabbing my camera bag, I was off and my goal was to head to Monaca and catch the sunset over the Ohio River but I didn’t believe I would make it before the sky changed again. Therefore, I went to a nearby park in Chippewa Twp, only minutes from my home.

Grabbing my tripod and bag I was off to the edge of the pond and was not disappointed with how the sky kept getting deeper with color.  I am not sure if it was a combination of the snow swirling in the sky or something else but it was beautiful.  I decided to use the widest lens I have which is a 7 – 14 mm f/4 (Panasonic) and welcomed the strong reflections on the water without the use of any filters.

Fire in the sky | Sunset over water in Chippewa Twp

Knowing that I didn’t have much time, I quickly set up my tripod, leveled the camera, exposed the scene, and was blown away with what the Lord provided me in the sky and painted on the water.

If you know me, you will often hear me say that we don’t need to travel far to find beauty in our neighborhood. There are an unbelievable number of places to photograph in Beaver County to show off the beauty and wonder that we were given.

 

Photography humor: Ever since switching to digital, I find there are only positives and no negatives.

 


Technical Specs: Olympus E-M1MarkII f/8 ISO 640 7mm (equiv 14mm) | Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 | Manfrotto Tripod with Acratech Ultimate Ballhead | Landscape Photography | Gallery of Beaver County Images


From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3
Also posted in beaver county, mirrorless camera, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, reflections on the water, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography, winter landscapes Tagged , , , , |

Exposure Triangle and Aperture

How does aperture impact my image?

In this short video, I show a few examples how changing the aperture / f-stop impacts the look of your image.

My goal is to get you off of auto and in manual mode.

Additionally, my intent is to show you that each of the images shown in the video are exposed properly but a properly exposed image does not mean it is the image you intended to photograph.


Stranger: “That is a beautiful child you have there.”
Mother: “That’s nothing. You should see his photograph.” – Anonymous


 

Technical Specs

Olympus | E-M1MarkII | Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens | Mirrorless Camera | MeFoto Tripod

Also posted in beaver county, mirrorless camera, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, photography, Photography Education, photography quotes, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

January Beauty in Beaver County

Winter Beauty in Beaver County

There is no doubt that some will not believe I created this image on January 21, 2017 in Beaver County. It was a Saturday morning and I knew the mixture of the Sun and fog would create something that was pleasing to the eyes. This pond is minutes from my home in Chippewa Twp and one of the many treasures found in this area of the county.

The sun was peaking through the trees bathing the water and evergreens with an amazing color and the reflections on the water made it look almost as if it were a painting. I couldn’t pass up not capturing its beauty for others to enjoy.

I have traveled to many of the states of this beautiful nation and to other wonderful countries but there is nothing like visiting the areas around my home in Beaver County, PA.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

Click for a full size version of the image


Technical Specs

Photographed with the mirrorless Olympus E-M1MarkII and Olympus 12-100 lens. f/22 | ISO 200 | 60 second exposure | 44mm – equiv = 88 mm | Manfrotto Tripod

Also posted in beaver county, mirrorless photographer, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II Tagged , , , , , , |

Sunrise | Wrightsville Beach

Sounds of birds chirping woke me from a deep sleep after more than ten hours on the road a few hours earlier.  The journey to North Carolina from Pennsylvania was eventless and the traffic minimal for a Sunday before a holiday.  Even though birds were chirping, it was very dark outside.  Why?  The sound of birds was my alarm sound and not the sound of the ‘real’ birds welcoming a sunrise.  Looking at my phone where the bird sounds originated, I noticed the temperature outside was slightly above 32 degrees.  Didn’t the weather folks know this was a beach town in the south and this temperature is reserved for the north?  Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I got ready for a cold sunrise on the beach thinking, all of this for a photo?  Yes, it was a cloudless night and the sun was predicted to rise three hours from now in all of its majestic glory and warmth (:D).

The car was covered with drops of ice and the thought of running back into the hotel and under the warmth of a blanket raced through my head.  Maybe I should enter a rehab program for photographers that are crazy?  The car warmed up and the heated seats were a welcome to a chilled body making the short ride to the beach easier.

Navigating my way toward Wrightsville Beach provided a new display of lighted decorations.  Maritime figures such as mermaids, dolphins, and more were on many of the light poles providing a holiday look to the town.  Few people were on the streets this early on a brisk morning.  I drove by a few runners dressed in warm running outfits who might need a rehab program similar to the one I need for crazy folks who go out in the early morning on a cold November day.

Finding a parking spot near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier was easy with quick access to the beach.  There were a few walkers and workers cleaning up the area for the day’s activities.

wrightsville beach pictures

Wrightsville beach pictures

“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.”
Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

Before the Sun rose, the sky was filled with great color!

As anticipated, the early morning sky was filled with bright stars and a beautiful sky.  I walked along the beach near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier and found a few spots that would provide a great sunrise image.  Huddled near the tripod and camera, I waited until the sky started to change colors and I was not disappointed.  Experimenting with a few different settings on the camera with the intent to ‘freeze’ the water and create a glow in the sky.

Two plus hours passed from the time I arrived at the beach and a faint orange glow peaked the horizon providing a slight mist and fog like effect over the water.  I could hear real birds in the distance but most remained huddled around each other staying warm.

A lady gathering sea shells walked the beach dress similar to me in a few layers of clothes and warm gloves while a few others ran to the beach, grabbed a quick sunrise image and immediately jogged to their respective cars to escape the cold morning air.

Birds staying warm on a cold morning

Keep tight to stay warm!

The time spent was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise that is fully appreciated after the anticipation.  The sun seems to creep up to the horizon then in all of its glory, rises providing light and heat.

The sun in all of its glory
 The sun in all of its glory

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Was it worth the time spent?  Yes!  A loud YES!  – visiting the beach for a sunrise or sunset is always worth the time spent listening to the sounds of the ocean, the birds, and the feel of life coming from the rising sun! To me, it is like the Lord saying to all of life – “Good morning!”  I have provided another day for you to enjoy!

Surfchex – Watch the beach from the warmth of your home!

Tech Speak:

All of the images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix GX8 and the Panasonic Lumix G 12-35 f/2.8 lens.  This set-up is my new favorite for lightweight travel and urban street photography. 

Also posted in Lumix GX8, Travel Photography Tagged , , |

Ducky Tours | Pittsburgh

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Celebrating life in the city on a ducky tour.

 

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” Michael J. Fox

 

We celebrated my wife’s birthday with our two eldest grandchildren, one of our brother in-laws, and my sister at multiple restaurants, a ducky tour of Pittsburgh, plus a ride up the incline.  After purchasing the ducky tickets, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  I am always hesitant for different restaurants since I am a “health nut” and often find it challenging for healthy alternative lunches.  However, the Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh did an amazing job.  I asked for a ‘special’ salad, describing what I wanted and they delivered to the letter.  Now to my main point, if you buy tickets for DUCKY and decide to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe, look at the tickets.  They include a 15% off coupon for the Hard Rock Cafe and no I didn’t notice the coupon until we were getting ready to board the DUCKY. 🙁

We rode the white bus and were ‘entertained’ by a fun tour guy with a serious amount of hair (which I don’t have).  The weather was near perfect with slightly overcast skies and temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70.

DUCKY that we rode

DUCKY that we rode

The tour starts in Station Square and crosses the Smithfield Street Bridge into the city making its way to the North Side via the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Passing by his statue and PNC park, the DUCKY heads toward the access way of the river past the war memorials (which are amazing and are a visit in of their own). Entering into the river is fun and exciting as the kids cheer with the tour guide and captain of the ship.

The water motor kicks on and off we go into the Three Rivers of Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

 

 

DUCKY Tours

Passing by another DUCKY

 

 

We drove a short time on the water then the captain asked if any children wanted to drive the boat. One little boy raised his hand (so did I) and he had the opportunity to drive. Then the captain asked if anyone else wanted to drive and no other children wanted to drive. I kept asking 😀 – they then stated okay and I had the opportunity for a front and center view of the city and was able to get some amazing images.

 

 

 

 

Ducky Tours

I drove the ducky boat

Amazing view of the city from Ducky Tours Captain’s Seat

Ducky Tours Pittsburgh

Taken from the Captain’s Seat of a Ducky Tour in Pittsburgh

After floating along the water, we traveled past the war memorials and into the North Side of Pittsburgh. Since my grandkids never rode an incline nor traveled to Mt Washington to view the city from the overlook, I felt it was a must do! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to travel to Mt Washington via the incline

Time to travel to Mt Washington via the incline

Just passing by

Just passing by

Just passing by

View from the incline car to Mt Washington

View from the incline car to Mt Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our amazing city of Pittsburgh from the first overlook near the incline.

Pittsburgh from Mt Washington

Pittsburgh from Mt Washington

 

Must see Mural

There were many cars in the parking lot next to this mural but it is located near the road by the first overlook in Mt. Washington and is a must visit for pictures!

Beautiful Mural in Mt Washington

Beautiful Mural in Mt Washington

Also posted in diary of a travel junkie, pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Wedding Photography Tagged , , , |

Believe

Believe | Belief | DO

Believe | Belief | DO

 

Colorful flower pedals

I am a fan of colorful flowers as they ‘dry-up’. It appears their color changes and it seems as if the textures and ‘skin’ become translucent similar to what happens as we age. Maybe it is my hope that we get ‘better’ with age and add value to the world with each year. Regardless why, I find it fascinating to photograph flowers, leaves, and other parts of nature as they say goodbye.
The flower pedals were placed on a back-lit drawing table and photographed with enough back lighting to cause the beautiful veins of the leaves to show off.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines believe as:

To expect or hope with confidence; to trust. To have a firm persuasion of any thing. In some cases, to have full persuasion, approaching to certainty;

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Matthew 21:22 . . ., whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Ps.27.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
— Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

Belief |Believe | Believer

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
For the technical – Nikon D7100 – Tamron 90mm macro – f/36 | ISO 100 | 1 second exposure | Acratech Ballhead |
Also posted in Fine art, floral, Inspirational Art, light painting, Wedding Photography Tagged , , |

Bridge over waterfall | Seven Springs

Bridge over waterfall

Bridge over waterfall

I am not sure why but I love photographing bridges over water falls. Maybe it is a throw back to when I was in high school and a popular song was “Bridge over Troubled Water” Simon And Garfunkel

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

I was in Seven Springs photographing the PA TSA (scholastic) event and came upon this familiar bridge and enjoyed how the water looked as it flowed under the bridge and couldn’t pass up sharing it with everyone.  Enjoy my rendition of a black and white Bridge over a waterfall.

 

Technical Specs:

Nikon D600 | Nikon 24-120 f/4 40mm – f/22 – .6 seconds ISO 100 | Tripod – multiple images merged

 

Also posted in diary of a travel junkie, Fine art

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 20 second exposure

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 20 second exposure

Long Exposure Photography

Springfield, Ohio

While approaching the hotel I was staying at for the night, I noticed a beautiful old building with the sky turning deep blue.  As the master light painter added a few different colors to the paint brush, the light started to set behind the building and the blues deepened.  Judging from the angle of the sun, I realized I had 20-30 minutes to check in and return to the parking lot for a beautiful image of this grand building.

The parking lot and street in front of the hotel had minimal traffic and the small park in front of the building a few people sat talking while a table to my left a man working on his laptop.   The air was warm providing a welcome relief after a long harsh winter.

Before setting up my tripod I looked for a good position to frame the building with the lamp posts. Hoping they would turn on as the sun set.  My plan was to frame the building and using a long exposure capture the star bursts coming from the lamp posts.  They didn’t disappoint.  As I positioned my tripod, all of the lampposts turned on and not one was burned out.  (Unlike some people I know.)

I set the camera on the tripod in a vertical position and focused mid-range into the building for maximum depth of field.  In post, I utilized a square crop to eliminate the area directly in front of me.  Since I was using a long exposure (20 seconds), the cars that traveled in front of me disappeared as ghosts in the image.

 

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 30 second exposure

Springfield Ohio | Long Exposure Photography | 30 second exposure

After taking a few images from this vantage point, I packed up and walked into the town looking for other interesting buildings.  However, following a trick I learned years ago, I turned around and noticed the sky and lights on the building from a different vantage point and couldn’t pass up trying a different look. In the second image, the exposure is 30 seconds pulling in even more of the star burst and turning the sky deep blue.  Very little post processing was done in the color images and in the black and white, contrast and clarity was adjusted bringing out some of the mid-range.

 

Also posted in Architecture Photography, diary of a travel junkie, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |