Monday, September 1, 2014

Travel Photography Tip - Capture Details

When you travel to a new place, it's sometimes tempting to try and capture everything, to try and give the feel of the entire place in one or two shots. That approach usually fails, in my experience. It's much better to make multiple images, with varying sense of scale and focus, from sweeping landscapes to tiny details.
In a recent post on Digital Photography School's blog, Dylan Goldby explains how to capture details in your travel photography.
(Click Here) to read the post on DPS.
Goldby suggests including details in wide angle shots. You don't always have to focus only on the detail. You can emphasize details within a wider context in your image.
Lanterns, Korea Town, NYC, by Reed A. George
He also suggests paying attention to the lighting on the details themselves to emphasize a feeling. Of course, light always matters. In the post, Goldsby quotes Joe McNally as saying that you can make something more interesting by only lighting part of it.
Mystery Through Light and Dark, by Reed A. George
The third tip is closely related to the second, suggesting that you expose for the highlights in the image, letting the shadows go dark if necessary.
Finally, Goldsby suggests using selective focus to highlight details within a scene.
Japanese Maple Leaves, by Reed A. George
In the photo above, I was able to focus on the attractive shape and color of the maple leaves, yet still provide some context by showing the structure in the background, albeit in soft detail. This allows you to see some of the surroundings, yet still focus on what I intended - the leaves.
All good points to remember in emphasizing details in your travel photography.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Studying Up for Magnum Days Workshop

I'm very pleased to have been accepted into a Magnum workshop in Provincetown, Massachussetts, which is coming up in a few weeks.
I will be studying with Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey. Mr. Harvey has a wonderful online magazine, entitled Burn.
(Click Here) to read Burn magazine for yourself.
What interested me the most there today is a video interview with Constantine Manos, another Magnum photographer who happens to be located in Provincetown. Click the link below to see and hear Manos' thoughts on becoming a successful photographer.
Mr. Manos states that in order to be successful, a photographer needs to have a portfolio of at least forty images that show the message they want to communicate. That message should be focused, and the images should hold to a theme. This focus on a single theme, at least for the scope of each portfolio, seems to be critical. Manos also believes that printing an image is necessary for it to really exist.
I have a few projects that have led to this number of presentable images. Street photography from various cities, but in a single style, make up one of those. Live music, specifically local performers from the mid-Atlantic region where I live are another. Another of my current projects, focused on meditation, is not quite there yet.
Always more to do!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Professional Traveler Dusty Blackthorn Makes Great Images with Lumix LX5

Dusty Blackthorn, guest poster on SteveHuffPhoto, is a "professional traveler." From the look of his pictures, Dusty takes some interesting modes of transportation.
Image Source:
Dusty has been using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, but says he feels his pushing the limits of that camera.
(Click Here) to read his post on Steve Huff's blog. He has a couple of other interesting shots there.
Dusty is looking for input on what camera to upgrade to. Personally, I think he's mastered the LX5 and should stick with it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lone Cypress, Pacific Grove, California

Here's a shot I made this afternoon of the Lone Cypress on the 17 Mile Drive in Pacific Grove (near Monterey) California.
Lone Cypress, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, Lumix 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Aspheric Series II Kit Zoom
at 23mm, with 3 stop ND + Polarizing Filter
iso 200, f22, 0.5 sec.
Edited in Snapseed on my iPad
This same spot is photographed hundreds or thousands of times every day. I tried to think hard about composition. I used the ND and polarizing filter to allow me to shoot a long exposure (1/2 second), in an attempt to make the water motion smooth and ethereal. It worked at a certain level.
What a gorgeous place this is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More UC Berkeley Trees

A couple of days back, I posted about the tree sit-in protest at Berkeley from 2006-2008. You may or may not think the protesters crazy for living in the trees for so long, but you have to admit that the landscape on the campus is beautiful and is worth protecting. Here's a shot I took on my walk around UC Berkeley.
Berkeley Trees, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1, Lumix 20mm f1.7 Lens
iso 400, f1.7, 1/640 sec.
This is an unedited image straight from the camera. I shot it wide open to render the leaves in the foreground sharp, and slightly blur the trees in the background.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another Berkeley Favorite - Used Book Stores

Actually, this bookstore (Pegasus) is at Rockridge in Oakland, just across the border from Berkeley. I find used bookstores to be a sign of true culture. Of course, that' just my opinion.
View from Pegasus, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Series II Kit Zoom
iso 800, f5, 1/320 sec.
Unedited image straight from the camera
The light on this foggy morning was very subtle. It was the soft shadows around the bench the first caught my eye. Then the line of the bookshelves provided a nice lines, intersecting with the window ledge to focus attention near where the people outside were walking by.
Not an important shot, but a fun one none and an exercise in composition none the less.