Annapolis Reflections in Black and White

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This morning when I woke, the sun was shining through the window (I like the blinds open so I know the moment I open my eyes.)  It was a beautiful spring morning!  I quickly decided not to waste my life in bed and hopped out to set out on a photo adventure with my new toy, a Fujifilm X-T1.  What better place to go on a beautiful Sunday morning, but Annapolis!  (The downtown parking is free until noon on Sundays – even better!)

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After a quick breakfast at Starbucks at the city dock, I started out by shooting reflections There was a sailboat show this weekend, so Ego Alley was packed with boats.  The bright sun and cloudless sky made the light dance off the water.  I processed the images as black and white in Lightroom to draw attention to the light and dark of the reflections.

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After my walk around city dock, I took a few shots of architectural details in town.  I realized I’ve taken quite a few images of doors in Annapolis… I think I might have a project starting here – Annapolis Doors!

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All images were shot with the Fujifilm X-T1. and the 55-200mm lens.

I hope you had an enjoyable Sunday as well!

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A Day at the Beach – Photo Beach Bash That Is…

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Last week I drove down to Rehoboth Beach for the second annual Photo Beach Bash.  I attended last year because I had heard that Rick Sammon would be speaking and I wanted to see another of the “rock stars” of the photography world.  Last year’s event was so enjoyable, I didn’t hesitate to register when I got the email about the event this year.

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The event was held at the Sands Hotel right on the beach in Rehoboth.  They have a decent size ballroom on the second floor and it was packed again this year.  The cost of the event was a mere $19 and was jam packed from 10AM until 9PM with interesting speakers. With just enough break time to grab lunch and dinner, there was barely time to view the photography on exhibit, stop at the B&H table or take advantage of the critiques offered.

Shells and Pebbles at the Beach

This year’s speakers, in order of appearance were:

I had heard both father and son Fleming speak before, so I was familiar with their work, but was unfamiliar with the other three.  Michele Celentano, a portrait photographer from Phoenix, is a Canon Explorer of Light and was sponsored by Canon like Rick Sammon the year before.  Ron Wyatt was a very entertaining speaker and has quite an impressive resume, having shot the Beijing Olympics and quite a few well know personalities.   I think I learned the most from Harold Ross, though.  He has a totally different approach to doing light painting from anything I’d seen before a la Dave Black style.  To create his very painterly works Harold combines many shots of individually lit elements in Photoshop to  create his final images.  It was interesting to see his process.

Kevin Fleming

Kevin Fleming

Jay Fleming

Jay Fleming

 

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of Ron Wyatt…

Harold Ross

Harold Ross

 

Michele Celentano

Michele Celentano

Photo Beach Bash was put on by the Coastal Camera Club.  If you live anywhere within driving distance of Rehoboth Beach, I’d encourage you to watch their website for information about next year’s event.  It was easily the best value in photography education I’ve ever experienced.  And, it’s always fun to go to the beach, even in March!

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Philadelphia Flower Show Photos

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This Thursday I attended the Philadelphia Flower Show.  It is amazing to see the masses of flowers and plants of all varieties assembled in the indoor gardens created on the second floor of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.   I can’t imagine all the work involved to transform this immense space into a gardener’s play land.

20140306_0037 webI first went to the flower show about five years ago… it was something my mother always enjoyed doing and I wanted to see what it was like.  I also thought it would be a good place to take photos, but that part is a mixed bag.  The flowers are beautiful and make wonderful subjects, but the lighting is harsh in most spots and the crowds and other displays make the backgrounds busy.  So, as much as I encourage everyone who has any appreciation for plant life to go at least once, the serious photographers might be disappointed if making images is the primary goal.

20140306_0099 web Color Diptych webThere certainly is lots of color to enjoy!  And, there are many interesting ways the plants and flowers are displayed.  Orbs seemed very popular this year, the one below was one of the most interesting.

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Here’s another orb:

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This year they also had aerial performers:

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After your feet start to hurt, you can always sit in on a class.  I attended this one entitled Healthy Living with Plants, which focused on more natural things to use in our lives and homes.

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And, of course, there was plenty to satisfy that great American pastime, shopping.  I came home with some wonderful smelling natural soaps, but there was plenty more I would have gotten if I didn’t have to haul it home on a bus!

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If you are interested in going, the show is in full swing through the weekend.  Information can be found here: http://theflowershow.com/

 

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Throwback Thursday – Ellen Backlit

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I read one time that Ansel Adams had an exhibit of his work once where he didn’t sell anything; he later went back and reprocessed the images lighter and then they sold. If a great photographer like Ansel Adams reexamined and reprocessed his work, then I should too.  Especially this series of shots which are among my favorites of my daughter, Ellen.  I took these very early in my iStock career, not long after I got my first speed light. They were shot with a Nikon D90, the 18mm to 105mm kit lens and an SB900 for fill. I’ve always loved them because of the subject, setting and backlight but knew they had some problems.  Using the speed light as a fill (undiffussed) had caused a few issues, but mainly they were underexposed.  So yesterday, with five years more editing experience under my belt and a keener eye, I went back to rework this shoot.  Originally I only used two of the images in my stock portfolio, but yesterday’s efforts yielded four of much higher quality:

Old Fashioned Suitcase on a Bed with Passports

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One of My Favorite Places

White Orchid in the Nursery CenterOne of my favorite places is any one of our local garden centers. Nothing can cheer you on a gray winter day like walking through a greenhouse filled with colorful, vibrant, healthy plants. I usually come home with a few photos for my stock portfolio and at least one new clean air maker! This is one of the images from yesterday’s trip to Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville.

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New Series – Vintage Travel

Old Fashioned Suitcase on a Bed with Passports

As a stock photographer, some days just a few simple things can start the creativity to flow and cause you to become immersed.  Those are the days you love, the days you can get lost in your craft.  The days when simple brings you happiness are the best!

A week ago last Saturday was one of those days for me.  I had purchased an old suitcase at a local antique store a few months ago to use as a photo prop, but hadn’t used it yet.  My original idea was to use it for a senior portrait of my daughter- the suitcase, going off to college concept.  But, the light was so soft coming in our windows this particular winter Saturday afternoon, that I hated to waste the great light and peaceful time alone at home.  I grabbed the suitcase and a few of our passports and went to work.  Turning the suitcase and the passports this way and that while my camera sat clicking away on its’ tripod entertained me for at least an hour!  It made me happy! I hope you like the results!

Old Fashioned Suitcase on a Bed with Passports

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Free Image of the Week from iStock


iStock’s Free Image of the Week is a beautiful snowy portrait of a woman by Chris Gramly and is so appropriate for the weather we have been having in the northeast lately, I thought I’d share it!

Enjoy!

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