In reviewing some photos this one attracted my attention for its abstract qualities. I love that the two missing glass panes reveal an unfiltered view of the outside world. Even though this is a still image, confined by square shapes I think it conveys movement. Maybe it’s because I was there and can recall the way the summer breeze shifted the abstract pattern beyond the frosted glass. I later thought it was interesting that this has something in common with the previous post in that they are both grid designs. It’s no secret that I like order and frequently, symmetry. I’ve always felt that the art world is big enough to embrace both symmetric and asymmetric compositions!
Birch Tree Bonanza
Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend III
It seems that birch trees are a subject that people appreciate. After my Fall trip to the Catskills I posted a few shots of birch trees that were fairly straight forward and I received a lot of favorable comments from friends. While scouting for the Winter tour I found a nice stand of birches along the road and I stopped to play. This time I wanted to do something a little different so I panned with my camera handheld to create some abstract images. This is a lot of fun if you’ve never tried it; just make your shutter as slow as possible and move the camera during the exposure. No two are ever alike! During the tour we stopped at another site along the highway. Here I put my camera on my tripod and zoomed in (or out) during the exposure to create images like ‘Birch Zoom’ posted below. A man stopped to give us a hard time, saying we needed permission from the owner to be on the property. There were no ‘no trespassing’ signs and it was quite clear we were doing no harm. He said he was going to call the state police! Why do people have to be like that? I guess he wasn’t having any fun and didn’t want us to have fun either. We had a laugh about the incident, calling ourselves ‘an evil band of photographers’ and joked about turning ourselves in!
Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend I
Along with the company of 15 participants in last weekend’s photo tour we found no snow … but the ice was nice! I had fun looking for and photographing some of the frozen subjects we found along our way. Bastion Falls (which is below Kaaterskill Falls) looks different every time I photograph it. This time I approached from the other side and got down low to include some small icy cascades in the foreground. I found some close-up compositions and used a slow shutter to blur the rushing water. At another spot later in the day I used my macro lens to create some frozen abstract images. And at another place, where there was a small waterfall a branch was coated in a thick layer of ice and repeated splashing droplets created what looked like a pile of jewels in the morning light. At the lake I sat close to the edge and took a series of captures with different focus points (infinity, 11.9m, 1.9m). I blended the frames in Photoshop in order to get everything from the foreground to the background in very sharp focus. Below you will find my collection of frozen images. While I was hoping for wintry scenes that included fresh snow I ended up just as happy to have some frozen fun!
Not yet wanting to get down to business, I couldn’t let the season pass without making my annual trip to Longwood Gardens. On this day, tripods were only allowed indoors until 1:00 so I spent much of the morning in the conservatory with my tripod, carefully lining up my shots and scrutinizing over my settings. Before I knew it, it was time to take the tripod back to the car. I decided to leave my camera bag there too and just bring the camera with my recently acquired 50mm f/1.4 lens mounted. (This is Canon’s more affordable 50mm lens as compared to the f/1.2 model.) I felt unencumbered without the heavy bag, tripod and big lens. I enjoyed walking the grounds and shooting hand-held. I kept the aperture on f/1.4 to test out the reason I bought the lens in the first place and had a lot of fun making the following images. I think it’s a good idea to take a break and just ‘fool around’ every once in in a while!
A New Season
A new season has begun at the South Jersey Camera Club after a short summer break. Our meetings are once a month and we have competitions at each meeting; Digital (A & B Group) and Prints (A & B Group). One month the prints are color and the next month they are monochrome. We have an abundance of really great shooters and the competition is tough. I was lucky to pull off a 3rd place for the photo below. My memory served me well as I remembered the judge liked flower photos in previous years. For me, flower photos need to have a uniqueness to them. (There are so many out there.) What I like about this is the very selective focus (shot at f 2.8) and its swirling, abstract quality.
Here’s another image from the Catskills that I thought I would share. I used a slow shutter speed and zoomed during the exposure. I was faced with a birch grove that was kind of cool but lacked that ‘certain something’. I decided to loosen up a little and play. (This is similar to another forest zoom image I posted under the title ‘Impressions’ back in March.)
Springtime in the Catskills
Last weekend several friends from the South Jersey and Cranberry Digital Camera Clubs met in the Catskills for a fun Spring photo weekend. The weekend was arranged by my friends who own and operate the Glen Falls House and Resort in Round Top. We had a great time there last February for the Winter photo weekend and an even better time this trip. The foliage was about two weeks behind ours here in South Jersey and the greens were brilliant! If there was a theme it would have to be waterfalls and Spring is the best time to shoot them. On Saturday, well-known Catskill photographer, Francis X. Driscoll led us to two out-of-the-way falls. The afternoon was a bit misty but we felt that added interest as well as making the colors super saturated. Below you’ll see some favorites from the weekend in the order of discovery. (Comments are welcome. Just click on ‘comments’ at the end of the post.)