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Fall colors in the woods photo
A woodland scene in fall just about 5 miles from my home. Beautiful in it's own right, this scene would also make a nice background for a 3D artwork project such as adding a model house in the foreground or a scene for a group of fantasy creatures such as fairies or goblins running about. The one issue with shooting and using such scenes for artwork is to consider your perspective when shooting as this can affect the realism of the final composited scene in your artwork.
Semi Frozen River in Winter Photo
Remember - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I found this waterfall to be interesting due to the layers of ice on the rocks. But another person may rightfully so look at this scene and think - So What!  You have to develop a thick skin when it comes to both photography and art. Not everyone will see the same beauty in your creations as you do. If they do, that's great, but don't sweat it if you are the only fan of some of your work. Over the years I have seen some photography and artwork done by famous people that sold for large sums and I personnaly did not like some of the work or even understand it. You must always be your own biggest fan and also biggest critic. But create for you first and foremost. If others enjoy your work, this is a big plus. Granted if all of your work makes people ask "What were you thinking?" then maybe it is time to regroup and take a hard honest look at your creations.
Lake with fog photo
Never be in a rush. Always look at a scene from several points of view when you shoot it. Can I make the image more interesting by shooting closer or changing the exposure. These 2 images were taken only minutes apart and with just differant points of view and adjustments in the exposure but they convey differant feelings. Granted, shooting multiple shots with film is much more costly than if shooting digitally, but with either, take your time and develop your eyes to see more than just one point of view.
Lake with fog photo 2
Photos taken on the West end of the lake located in the middle of my town shooting early in the AM as the Sun located off to the left of the cameras POV is just coming up. As you may have noticed from some of my images, this area has no shortage of lakes and rivers as well as waterfalls.
Snowy creek photo
I came to the conclusion early in life that the true artist is Mother Nature. She provides us with the beauty that we must develop an eye for to capture and appreciate it. Only after you develop the eye to behold the beauty and the technical skills to capture it, can you claim to be a photographer and not just another person with a camera taking snapshots. I readily admit that sometimes my own skills fall short and although I have captured some great photographs over the years, I still have taken my fair share of just plain snapshots. Even at my age, I am still trying to perfect my craft.
Lake and storm clouds photo
Tugboat and small ship photo
Sometimes a photo isn't all about the correct exposure. For both the boat and lighthouse images, my primary concern was the great sky. I could have lightened up the exposure in the camera or in post work to improve the detailing of the boats and lighthouse, but the sky could have washed out and lost the beauty of the magic hour at sunset. Since these were basicly vacation snapshots, I did not want to spend a large amount of time retouching the images which I will address on another page. Another issue to watch for is what is in your background. How many times have we taken a family photo and found in the final image that the garbage can is showing up in the background or a tree seems to be growing out of Uncle Ed's head. We have all done this. I mention this as the above image appears to have the lighthouse in the background coming out of the top of the boat. But in this particular case, I didn't have much of a choice as I wanted to get both boats in the image and since the larger boat was stuck on a sandbar and the Sun was going down, I had to weigh my options and shoot from the vantage point that I did. So frequently you have to bite the bullet and make tough choices in your photography.
Lighthouse photo
Early Evening woodland photo
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark!
Low light exposures can result in some interesting photography. Especially during early evening wihen enough natural lighting still remains to help in obtaining a decent exposure. A tripod and an ability to shoot a longer exposure is a must with evening images. But if a scene becomes too dark then both film and digital images will start to show an increased amount of grain in the final image. With digital images such as the one above, you can also adjust the lighting and contrast somewhat in post work with the computer, but you can only do so much before your image starts to go bad on you, so use retouching sparingly.
Lightpost and Moon Photo
In recent years, our city has installed interesting looking light fixtures along a walking path that goes around most of the lake in our town. The fixture and the moon in the background just grabbed my eye and I felt this could make an interesting shot. Here is a perfect example of doing some minor retouching in post work. I adjusted the lighting of the final digital image somewhat and I also was not happy with the washed out look of the moon in the original, so I took a moon photo that was better exposed and superimposed it over the original moon in this photo. In this case, I felt that this worked out fairly well.
Fireworks over Sunday Lake photo
Continuing with night images. One of my favorite subjects of photography is the spectacular 4th of July fireworks that the local communities do such a great job with. Our towns display is actually done on the evening of July 3rd so as not to compete with a nearby cities display on the 4th. The fireworks in these images are shot out over our lake and we have thousands of people who show up for the display which lasts about an hour.

I have countless fireworks photos in my digital files and had thought of setting up a web page just to display a number of these, but for now, I decided to just post these 2 images. Perhaps this is a future web page I will add to my site as time and server space permits.
Fireworks over Sunday Lake photo
Fireworks can be a bit tricky to shoot with a camera. Since they require a longer exposure time and to show multiple displays in one image, I always shoot fireworks with my camera on a tripod and use an extended exposure time. For the shots here, I was using an ISO of 250 and an exposure of 5 seconds at f8. I also used a remote trigger on my camera to prevent any camera movement when taking the shots. It should be noted that the original photos look much better as they were shot at a resolution of 3264 x 2176 pixels so the grain appearing in the images above are from the major resizing down to 600 x400 pixels to properly fit these images onto this web page.


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