Last night, around sunset, we had stormy skies that had a few breaks in it. I was feeling optimistic, so I went for a walk down between the ponds. For a moment, it looked like the sky was opening up right where I needed it to. Unfortunately, it closed back up after 5 minutes, and about 15 before sunset.
Instead of walking back with nothing to share, I stopped at the house on the corner to take my first shot at it. It’s abandoned and falling apart, obviously. There is so much cool detail and texture on the outside. I plan on exploring it more thoroughly one day. For this shot I just wanted a wide shot of the property. Next time I’ll be up close with my super wide angle iPro lens. I may even see if I can have a look around the inside.
Shot with ProHDRX. Edited with Snapseed, Mextures, and iColorama.
Photography is about so much more than taking photos. Recently, while I was on the road with some other photographers, we were exchanging stories of crazy things we’ve done to get the shot. Some of us take stupid risks that put ourselves, and our gear, in danger.
Our viewers have no idea what goes into some of the images that we create. There is a lot of actual blood and sweat that went into my images from this trip. We hiked over 11 miles, had to work really hard to find people willing to share locations with us, and I had cuts on nearly every limb by the end of the trip. And it was great!
I guess what I want the viewer to take away from this is when you view photos, you should take a moment to try to imagine what the photographer went through to get the shot. I think that can add more appreciation for the work that goes into landscape photography.
This shot is made up of 2 exposures that were manually blended in photoshop. After the images were combined, I did minimal editing to recreate the magic of that evening’s sunset.
(If you want to visit some of the locations I shoot, I’m available for private workshops, or as an on location guide. Feel free to email me for more info.)
We shot sunrise at the same spot that we took in the sunset the previous evening, since it was a bit lackluster. This is an iPhone shot that doesn’t do the scene justice. I can’t wait to edit the wider Nikon version. It was very pretty, but not amazing…at least to us.
Over the past week, while we were doing a lot of grueling hikes to some hard to find places, I had a lot of time to think. One thing that weighed heavy on my mind was how we weren’t able to appreciate the beauty of some locations, presumably because we altered our perception of beauty too much too soon.
We started the trip off at Oneonta Gorge, Trillium Lake, and Spirit Falls. These were absolutely stunning locations. Our perception of beauty had been changed by them, and it was mostly downhill after that.
We found ourselves disappointed by a few spots, and it even got to the point that we would rather just relax at the hotel. To be fair, the hotel was comfy, and we had done some difficult hikes after messing up our feet on the rocks at Oneonta. But still, there was so much to see, and we wanted to lay around, playing with our phones.
Next time, I think I’ll try to save the best for last. And, next time might not be that far off, since one of my travel buddies wants to go back to the gorge in a few weeks. I’ll have to introduce you to her and some of her work soon because she has some good stuff to share.
(Shot with ProHDRX and edited with Snapseed)
This is Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park in Maine. It’s a very popular lighthouse that everyone wants to shoot. I didn’t really understand why, while I was there. It’s a lighthouse overlooking the ocean, with very few places to shoot from. I’m not a big fan of going somewhere to shoot the same shot that everyone else gets. Oh well, people like lighthouses and might not have seen this one 20 times already.
Just in case you didn’t already know, its a good idea to get to your sunset location an hour before sunset. The main reason is because you don’t want to be rushing, or have to scramble to find a shot with only a few minutes before the light is gone. Another reason, when you’re visiting popular tourist spots, is you need to be there early to stake your spot, so you don’t end up shooting behind a pack of other photogs, or from a less desirable angle.
I mention all that because we didn’t leave ourselves enough time to get from Connecticut to Maine. Yes, we made it before sunset, but by the time we got there, there were already about 10 other photographers crowding onto the rocks along the shore, which apparently isn’t that many photographers for this spot. At this particular location, there is really only one small area to get a good angle from, and thats where everyone was. If you look closely enough, you’ll see a bald head in the bottom right of the frame. Luckily, it blends in pretty well with the rocks haha.
So yeah, get there early if you can!
This one was shot with ProHDR and edited with PS Touch. I wanted to add a yellow glow, so I used a raidal gradient in PS Touch to do that. I may have used Mextures as well. It looks like there is a bit of texture added, but I can’t remember…this was edited over a week ago.
It’s been a challenging 8 days for me. I worked 6 24 hour shifts and one 20 hour shift in that short span. Needless to say, I’m feeling overworked and stressed. My eyes have been twitching for about 2 weeks now. I’m ready to go seek peace out in places like you see in the photo from Slacker Hill in SF.
Lucky for me, my aunt has been generous enough to get me a hotel room in Monterey for the rest of the week, so I can try to relax. I already know I’m going to be out shooting sunrises and sunsets in nearby Big Sur and Carmel. Maybe I’ll even get a glimpse of the milky way.
After a few days on the Big Sur coast, I’ll be heading south to the Pismo area for some family time, and probably more photos. Hopefully I return recharged. I just have to hang in there for a few more months before I leave the bay area…hopefully for good this time.
Shot with VividHDR. Though the first attempt of using VividHDR minutes before yielded terrible results, this one turned out pretty good. The first few shots had terrible blends where there were dark pixels around the sun, where they shouldn’t have been. I still don’t trust you VividHDR! This image was edited with Snapseed and Litely.
My friend was driving me around southern Oregon, when we spotted this truck in a field. She decided we should stop so I could take photos of it.
Sometimes, people can be funny when they find out I’m a professional photographer. They want to show me all of the places, or things, in their area that they think are cool, or beautiful. Most of the time, its something mildly interesting, so I’ll play along and say “nice,” or something to that effect, and snap a quick shot that I’m never going to use, because it wasn’t amazing. One big problem is that they don’t understand the importance of light, and think we can go create awesome photos in the middle of the day. If I take a photo in bad light, I consider it a scouting shot, and I try to go back in better conditions.
Anyways, every once in a while, they do show me something interesting, like an old truck in a field. Although it was about 1pm when I shot this, the clouds helped created an interesting image because they were really amazing that day. I found myself watching them constantly on this trip.
Though this was a brief trip, it was jam packed, so I have more to share. I got snowed on while hiking in the snow, found some falls, explored an abandoned property, and had a wonderful conversation over beer with Meri Walker (iphone art girl.)
Shot with ProHDR using an iPro super wide angle lens. The first image was edited with TangledFX. The second was edited with Snapseed.