I stood below and captured the light reflecting off the bridge one evening. This is a long exposure image of about two minutes. The bridge is a draw bridge and the light of the signal casts the green glow onto the water. For me this is just another in a series of long exposure studies I’m doing.
There was some type of plants in the foreground water that I was trying to keep out of the image. But later I liked how it adds texture to the reflection of light, a little foreground interest in an abstract kind of way.
To take these long exposures I set the camera up on a tripod, set the time on my Apple Watch, and then click the shutter. Then it’s just a matter of waiting two or three minutes. In fact its pretty boring, I might check my e-mail, look at the news or just stand there walking in circles. Finally when its time I close the shutter, take a look, decide if I need to make any adjustments and then do it all over again. It can go on like this for twenty or thirty minutes in a single location. It really does take a bit of patience.
I’m lucky to be here, outside experiencing sites and sounds that most people don’t notice. That’s true about landscape photography in general. If you do it often you will be fortunate to experience natural beauty first hand. So, whether or not I end up with any photos I like, the experience is a good one and I come home with something gained. I think that’s pretty good.
About a year ago I was in Barcelona walking at night. The streets were full of people in restaurants, bistros and bars. The biggest impression was that it seemed so relaxed, like you could stay out all night without a care in the world. Folks would be sitting at outdoor tables laughing and enjoying conversation. The sense of joy was palpable. From what I understand, people love living in Barcelona. Having spent only a few days there I got a small glimpse of why that is so.
Anyway, I snapped this image to try and capture some of feeling. Like all photos it’s an instant in time, but for me it brings back some of that Barcelona atmosphere. Normally with a photo I try to have a subject, a main actor if you will. In this case the image is simply atmosphere, a setting, a feeling that I got walking at night. I know that sounds vague as I fumble for words. The image is about a feeling more than a thing.
Funny enough we ended up getting lost in and amongst the narrow streets. It was a good kind of lost, not worried at all. The streets are archaic but that’s the allure of them, there is character and discovery at every turn.
Shortly after taking this shot we stopped at a wine bar for a nightcap. Then we hailed a taxi to take us to the hotel, wherever that might be. We thought it was far away but as it turned out the hotel was only a couple blocks away. So much for getting lost.
This is a view of Mount Alfred from up the side of another mountain in Kinloch, Otago. The type of wide angle lens I’m using makes Mount Alfred appear far off and small, but in reality it is quite a bit larger. I got here by helicopter and was just one of a dozen spots chosen by our pilot from Over The Top – The Helicopter Company in Queenstown, New Zealand.
It’s been a while since I looked at my New Zealand photos. However I’ve recently been playing with a new tool for processing images called AuroraHDR 2017. That prompted me to go back and get some older photos and see what I could do. I’m pleasantly surprised with the results. In this case I processed one RAW image rather than three combined. It works well either way and normally I’ll combine two or three for a true HDR image.
On this excursion we started off around seven in the morning and the temperature was downright cold, it was below freezing. On top of that we flew above the mountains with the doors off. The combination of layers and adrenalin kept me warm until the sun rose. Within a few hours we were on this mountain side and the weather had warmed up considerably, most of the heavy layers were peeled off, yet the adrenaline was still flowing due to the amazing vistas and sights.
Processing an old image with new software is a good way to go back in time and reminisce an awesome day.
These are moored next to the Bridge Street Pier in the town of Bradenton Beach. Normally I come here to take pictures at the beach but there is another side of town that’s not as well known. It’s on a barrier island so to the west is the gulf and east is the inter-coastal waterway. It’s on the east side that you can watch the sunrise while enjoying a cup of coffee on the town pier. The Bridge Street Pier has a restaurant thats open early seven days a week for breakfast and is one of those gems most people miss.
Anyway, there are a lot of boats moored here and just across the water is the town of Cortez. Cortez is one of the last remaining commercial fishing villages on the East coast. You can watch the fishing boats as they head for the draw bridges that surround this spot. Depending on which way they go there could be one or two drawbridges too pass.
Anyway, like many places along the coast, people are famous for getting up to watch the sunrise, (or sunset for that matter). I suppose some do both. This spot is next to a little trailer park with pastel colored mobile homes and flower boxes out front. They are quaint and I thought to myself they are in the perfect location. Out one window you can see the sunrise and out the other the sunset. I could see living that life one day. But until then I’ll just grab a coffee at the pier when I want to see a sunrise.
Sometimes the weatherman will say we’re going to have offshore overnight thunderstorms. Well, perhaps this is what that looks like. I took this from Bradenton Beach early one morning before sunrise. Despite the hour it was an awesome time to be here. This is a busy beach by day but I guarantee you there was nobody here before six on a Sunday morning. It’s not always easy dragging myself here at this hour, but being the only person here for miles in each direction is pretty cool.
This is a three minute long exposure. My thought was that the waves would be smooth with such a long exposure. But as a result of the lighting flash the waves were exposed allowing their texture to come through. It was as though the lightning was a large flash unit.
In three minutes the stars begin to make an arc. The more I look at this the more I know I need to spend a night out here getting start trail images. Maybe I’ll plan that for next weekend. If I try it during the week I’ll end up falling asleep at my desk. Then I’d be dreaming about being at the beach and not working. Come to think about it maybe that’s not such a bad idea after all.
This is the Sarasota Bay Mooring Field. If your anything like me you can be forgiven for not knowing there was a such thing as a mooring field. I just thought it was a bunch of sailboats docked in the bay. Well, well well, …not so. This is a reservation only mooring by the day, week or longer. I took this photo last weekend. Its is a three image panoramic view by the way, but…, I digress.
After processing this image I went to Google Earth to look at it from the sky (so to speak). And much to my surprise this jumble of boats were actually lined up in neat little rows. That got me wondering and then I found they have a web site. And all this time I just thought it was just a random collection of boats.
As I stood at the waters edge I could here people talking and music playing music. In a way it’s no different then a campsite on water. There is a little beach where they can park their rowboats and go ashore to get supplies. Not far from here are all kinds of nice restaurants and even a Whole Foods market. With so much choice it seems like a very nice form of camping.
Now that I know all this is I feel smarter. All this time I was in the dark. People have been camping and having fun all this time and I thought you had to go to the mountains to camp. All it takes is a sailboat, a rowboat, a reservation at the mooring field and a bag of marshmallows.
This is the back of Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology. I was here last January walking along the coastal trail below this. It was only mid-afternoon yet the sun was already low on the horizon. Vancouver gets about eight hours of light in the winter, but of course the opposite is true during the summer, maybe twice as much.
The museum is full of art, artifacts and history of the original people of the region. As a photographer I was surprised that cameras were allowed inside. You can take photos of anything in the museum. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel compelled to. As I stood in front of the huge carvings and totems I was somehow transported to another time and having a photo seemed, well, inappropriate. Maybe that sounds strange but I felt something to do with the history that could not be captured in an image.
I think we all carry the threads of connection to people and cultures throughout time. But of course we are unaware of it for the most part. When we come in contact with things from another culture it may spark a nascent memory or feeling. It defies logical explanation because it transcends time and space. So it was with me at the Museum of Anthropology. It doesn’t necessarily change who I am, it just makes me a little more connected to something else. That may sound like a strange thing to say, but, it is what it is, an enigma.
On Monday I noticed a sunrise taking shape as I drove home from the gym. So I grabbed my gear and headed across the river to capture the colors as they lite the sky. I barely made it on account of all the traffic, most people were driving to work. By the time I finished and headed back over the bridge the roads were clogged, fortunate for me I was returning against the traffic. But by the time I got home showered and got ready for work, I was late. But you know something? Getting a nice photo makes it all worth while. Hello Monday.
This is a combination of two long exposure shots. The bottom half is a three minute exposure and the top half is a five-second exposure. I put it all together with the help of AuroraHDR 2017, an updated photo editing tool from Macphun and Trey Ratcliff. Every now and then I take a photo that begs to have the original colors restored, this is one. By that I mean that the colors of a photo are never as full as the actual scene. AuroraHDR allows some of that to be restored. Of course I use artistic license as well because photography is an expression of art for me.
As I write this it’s a couple of days later on Wednesday, aka hump day. I don’t know about you but I look forward to the weekend. Three more days to go. Then all is good, I can take more photos, I can spend more time outside, I can be free for a couple of days, free of deadlines, work, worries. Then, Monday rolls around again and we start it all over again. But maybe with a few Mondays like this I might not mind it so much. (Fingers crossed)
This is a long exposure sunrise shot I took Sunday morning from Anna Maria Island. In reality there are waves and gulls and pelicans flying about. But using a couple of strong neutral density filters I can stretch-out the exposure about two or three minutes to create an entirely different effect. It’s a little like looking through an arc welders mask, very little light gets through.
I have had filters for a while but I recently purchased these Lee filters from B&H in New York. They’ve opened up a world of long exposure photography. And for whatever reason it seems to suit me. I suppose that’s because as I write my blog I like to wax philosophical about photos, and a long exposures seem to fit right in with that narrative. In a way they are ethereal, not quite real, a little removed from reality. That can be a great place to begin.
The funny thing is I don’t write my blog for anyone in particular. I do it only because I like to. I like taking pictures in a creative way and then writing about them. It’s just another way to be creative and for me its a fun thing to do. I would much rather take pictures and write about them than watch TV. Unfortunately I do watch the news almost every day, and that has me running back to my photography as quickly as I can.
On the far end of Tampa Bay is the Apollo Beach power plant. The way its situated you can see it from just about anywhere. Don’t forget, Florida is flat so anything taller than a palm tree sticks out for miles. This is a three minute long exposure from about twelve miles away. The clouds were situated to naturally frame the silhouette of the plant.
When relatives come to visit us in the winter we typically take them to the power plant. I know that doesn’t sound like a fun place to go but in fact it is. Every year when the temperature of the water goes down, hundreds of Manatee migrate to this plant where the water is heated by the generators. In effect it creates a man-made hot spring for the Manatee to live out the winter in relative comfort. In fact there is a large viewing center and museum so its well worth the visit.
Normally I’m not that interested in including industrial landmarks in landscapes. However in this case the plant is a permanent fixture of the region and plays an important role in the ecosystem of the local wildlife. And, of course, it’s what keeps my air conditioner working through the long hot months of summer.