Friday, January 31, 2014

Sometimes it is best to keep and wait

On several occasions, I have read about different old school documentary photographers who would shoot a roll of film but not develop the roll for a week, month, or even a year. The usual reason cited was to essentially put some distance between what the photographer thought he saw and what the film recorded.
I was just roaming through some old images for no particular reason other than to find something to post today. I found this shot that I title "In the midst of chaos".


If memory serves (and that is a big "IF"), this shot was recorded at the semi-annual wine festival in Seaside, Florida. This guy was just oblivious to the world while everyone else enjoyed the wine tasting event. To me, this is one of those ordinary images that just make my day to capture.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tube at rush hour

Shot this on the London, UK, Tube on our first trip to England in 2003. It was on Kodak Tri-X b&w film pushed two stops with a Nikon F100 and Tokina 24-200mm superzoom. While I missed focus (wanted the guy facing me but hit the arm to the left), I like the way this one turned out.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow in Georgia

When my wife and I moved to Florida in 1998, I left my trusty snow shovel at the house we sold for the new owners. Having moved back to Georgia in 2012, I now wish I had kept that shovel. While we are not expected to get a lot of snow, what we are getting has us homebound until probably the weekend and the temperatures warm up enough to melt the 1"-2" accumulation we are expected to get. It has probably been 20 years or more since I drove in these conditions.
I did step outside a little while ago to take a few shots. I don't really have the shoes (just a pair of sneakers) and the coat, hat, gloves I have are not really much so I did not go far. But I did grab this shot of a birdhouse in one of the trees with the X100S.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Monday, January 27, 2014

Something different

Decided I would post something a little different for me. Usually I post an image that has people in it but this time there are none. This image was shot back in October 2012 while my wife and I were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary in Apalachicola, Florida. It is a small Florida Gulf coast town that is a great place to recharge one's batteries and just enjoy life. We were roaming around and stopped at a little garden shop in town to look around. It was shortly after noon and the sun was throwing some pretty hard shadows. I was amazed at how well the Fuji X-E1 handle the dynamic range of the image allowing for details in both highlights and shadows.


The one feature that the X100S that I wish the X-E1 had is the electronic ND filter. Instead I had to buy a 3-stop filter for the Fuji 35mm and Nikkor 85mm lenses that I use with the X-E1. Oh, and yes, I know the image is tilted....
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Saturday, January 25, 2014

To crop or not to crop?

To crop or not to crop has always been an issue with me. One of the reasons I really liked zoom lenses was because I could use them to do my cropping in-camera without moving. But recently I saw a contact sheet belonging to Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt, a photographer I have long admired. (He calls himself a "professional amateur" photographer.)
On the contact sheet, is the original shot of a small dog at the feet of its owner. The contact sheet shows how he wanted it printed and the crop of the negative was quite drastic but it made for a memorable image.
Then, today, I saw an image I had taken of my oldest granddaughter at her last high school softball game last year. I had sent it to her but her posting is cropped much differently that what I had sent to her. It was almost square and made for a much more effective image, I think. The little girl in the stroller (whose mom is hugging my granddaughter #21) really stands out in the image with this cropping!
So, thanks, Nikki, for the inspiration!!!


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Practice makes perfect

Shot at least a decade ago. This lad was practicing for his solo at a local country club. Film was Tri-X probably pushed two stops. Camera was probably a Nikon F100 with a Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8 lens. I do not remember this young boy's name but he was very intent and did not notice me.
The one thing I have always liked about this shot was all the diagonal lines leading to him. With the lines and his shirt being the brightest spot in the image, there really is no other place for the eyes to go.


The image ran as a standalone photo in the weekly I was stringing for.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Monday, January 20, 2014

In the wings

Captured during rehearsal of a high school production.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Back to Back

From our last cruise. Taken as we were leaving Cozumel, Mexico after a day at the all-inclusive beach resort Nachi Cocum.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Joyce Cooling

Work continues on the Seabreeze Jazz Festival - 1999 to 2012, first edition. This shot of Joyce Cooling was taken in April 2008 in Gulf Place resort, Walton County, Florida. I love how this one turned out with the treatment of a pinhole preset from Silver Efex Pro. The added grain, dropoff in light, heightened contrast just all work for me. The original image was shot with a Nikon D2H and a 300mm f2.8 lens. The shutter speed was 1/160 of a second and was taken handheld. Not bad for an old guy!


When I see the images I was lucky enough to capture with those old Nikons, it brings on a bout of nostalgia. I really miss the time I spent as a smalltown photojournalist. I was able to get media credentials to just about everything that was going on in the area. I covered the good times and the bad and most of all, got to develop relationships with all kinds of people.
The famous photojournalists can keep all their accolades and accomplishments. I am satisfied to have had the opportunity to provide something to the people of south Walton County.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

FINALLY!

Since giving up on getting another staff job in the news industry and deciding to change from my Nikon DSLR gear to Fuji mirrorless gear, I have been a somewhat unhappy camper. The first Fuji I purchased was the X100S which is a fixed lens camera with a 2,0/23mm lens. In full frame terms, it is approximately 35mm which many people use for shooting documentary or street images.
Since getting the camera, I have struggled to be satisfied with the 35mm field of view. There have been occasional images that have come close but, prior to today, only one really worked! But, on a walkabout today while my wife was at her writers' club meeting, I caught one with this little beast that I am pleased with. I had wandered from the town's downtown square down to the courthouse. There is a barbershop that I have been meaning to check on. Today, there was a sign I had not noticed before sitting out on the sidewalk. I took one shot with my other Fuji, the X-E1, but it did not sing to me so I went to the X100S for its wider FOV.
As I looked through the viewfinder with my right eye, my left eye caught a gentleman crossing the street outside the frame. I waited until he had crossed, hoping he would turn toward me around the sign. Luckily, he did. As he turned, he tried to not get in the image not realizing what my FOV was. I took the shot and nodded to him as he came toward me.
He stopped to say he tried to stay out of my way but I told him that he made the image!
I showed him the shot on the LCD, gave him my card with a promise to send him a copy, and we parted ways.
After struggling with this camera, this chance meeting gives me hope that I can regain my enthusiasm and passion with these little cameras. It is not much but it is a start!!


One other note about this image: I had been concentrating on the light more today than I have been doing. I was watching the shadow play and hoping for an image that could make the shadows work. This one comes close I think.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Monday, January 13, 2014

Some just work

As I try to select images for the jazz photobook I am working on, some of the images just work! While the exif data says this image was shot at approximately 1830 (I noticed the error when I downloaded images that evening and went in and corrected the time setting on the camera), it was actually shot at somewhere between 1000 and 1100 in the morning. The low angle combined with using Silver Efex Pro's pinhole preset and adding a red filter brought about an image that looks like it was shot at night with stage lights. I really like the way this one turned out!


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life is tough when you are 7

Stopped by my son's yesterday after my wife's eye doctor appointment. Grabbed this shot of my daughter-in-law working with their youngest on his homework. It was the first day back at school after the holidays and he was not taking it well.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Monday, January 6, 2014

Smokin'

As I was finishing work on the Seabreeze Jazz Fest photobook today, this image caught my eye. While the original image is a color raw file, it spurred some visions in my head. The guitar, being played by Steve Oliver, is a darkish green in color. When I made the shot, I saw the shadow of his hand and arm against the guitar's body and thought it would make a good image.
After getting the image in Silver Efex Pro 2, the pinhole preset was used and then the application of the blue filter. The filter darkened the guitar slightly but really had an impact on the hand/arm shadow. I brought the shadows up slightly and came away with this image.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Summer, where fore art thou?

As a polar express bears down on Georgia, I thought I would look for a warm photo to make me feel better and so I know there is hope for springtime to start showing up in just a couple of months.
This was taken in September 2013 with my then-new-to-me Fuji X-E1 with the Fuji 1,4/35mm. It is downtown on the square in Carrollton, GA, where there are plenty of outdoor seating at the local restaurants. Looking forward to being able to enjoy a few meals this spring, summer, & fall!
 

In the meantime, I will make use of the slack period to finish selecting images for the Seabreeze Jazz Festival photobook. Still have a couple of years to go through yet but at least I am making progress.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Work continues in the New Year

Well, after making my New Year's resolutions yesterday, I figured I better get going again on the Seabreeze Jazz Festival photobook.
I finished selecting and post processing (at least initial selects) of the 2008 festival leaving only three years, 2009-2011, to do. I have already done 2012 as I did that year to create a gallery on my website.
This image is of jazz artist Paul Taylor. To review, I using the pinhole preset in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 as my initial point of processing. I then try different filters and see if I want to bring up the shadows. Each image is unique as I look to create an image that will work with what I am seeing on any particular day. I plan on offering some of the images as 12"X18" b&w prints using an Epson R2400 printer utilizing a continuous ink system with Jon Cone's Piezography Neutral pigments inks.


I captured this image with a Nikon D2H and Tokina 2,8/300mm lens wide open. I love the details in his face and hair that this lens/camera combination was able to capture. Not bad for a little 4.1 megapixel camera!!
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's resolution

I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions as I see them as ridiculous. If you are going to do something then just do it. Back in 1987, I decided to finally quit smoking. Did it cold turkey and have not smoked since. Decided in 1998 (along with my wife) to quit my fulltime engineering position and make a go of it as a photographer (did well for 10 years before the recession hit and I had to return to engineering). Wife & I decided in 2012 to leave the beach and return to Georgia after I was laid off for the first time in my adult life.
Now I feel the need to have a purpose in my photography again. When I was working as a news photographer, I shot a lot (I mean weekly) of series images to tell a story on the front page of each section of the little weekly newspaper I supported. I shot everything from businesses to sports to people for the reporters at the paper including my wife (she did everything from education to business to features to hard news).
After being laid off, I tried for over 18 months to get back to shooting for a newspaper but no one was willing to give someone in their sixties a chance. In the end, I gave up, sold all my pro Nikon gear, and went light weight with the Fuji X-System gear. The cameras are great but my images are greatly lacking any emotional or storytelling content. I kept telling myself in 2013 I needed to get off my a$$ and find some stories to shoot even if I only show them online initially. So, with that in mind, for 2014, I am making a couple of New Year's resolutions to accomplish this year.
First, I have long wanted to do a photo book of jazz images from shooting the Seabreeze Jazz Festival. I was at the first festival in 1999 and shot every year up to and including 2012. I recently settled on the look I wanted to the images and have been making progress in getting the images selected and processed before making the final cuts. I have asked the event sponsor/organizers, Mark & Renee Carter of Seabreeze 106.3FM Radio, if they would be willing to do an introduction. I also plan on donating a portion of the proceeds to the local schools to further music education.
The second resolution I am making is to get out into my community and find some stories to tell photographically. As I said, initially they will be something that I publish online (maybe even in this blog) but I hope to do some prints for display in various venues around the area.
I will finish the photo book first as the winter months drag on and, when spring awakens the area, get started on looking for stories in the area.
In the meantime, here is another image from the archives from when I was shooting for the newspaper. This is the type of work I want to apply myself toward - images that depict the ordinary that we see everyday but, quite often, fail to really "see" them.
This was taken back in 2002 during Spring Break in Panama City Beach, FL. The paper was invited to send a reporter and a photographer along with law enforcement personnel during Spring Break. My wife (the reporter) & I were assigned to the story. We thought we may be out there for 2-3 hours and were hoping that the story would be worth it.
Instead, we started with the briefing at around 3:30PM and stuck around for the whole shift. Some 12 hours later, we were sitting having an early breakfast in a Waffle House diner discussing the night.
Not only did the story run front page but several images were used from the night that told the story of what the law enforcement personnel went through.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....