I took this in Connecticut several years ago at a place called Enders Falls. It’s a small gorge off the side of the road with a set of waterfalls that stretch about a quarter of a mile. The trail is short but steep and you arrive at the falls within three minutes of leaving your car.
I was with a couple of friends as we climbed up and down the falls taking pictures. That was a long time ago and I just happen to notice this image in the archives.
There are no bridges, so to get to the other side of the stream you must cross the water. It was spring so the water was flowing well and I chose a shallow section to walk cross. I remember how icy it was as my feet submerged crossing the water. Despite the chill I managed to stand several minutes while I setting up for a shot from the middle of the stream. It’s funny how we can block out pain in pursuit of a photo.
I took this while in a water Taxi on my first night in Venice. Sunsets like this don’t happen every day so I felt fortunate. This is one of those cases where just being there is fifty-percent of photography. I was ready with my camera so I was lucky to get the shot.
They say the best camera in the world is the one you have with you. In this case I was touring so I had my Sony. More often however I have only an iPhone. I see sunsets at home all the time and I wish I had the Sony but at least I can pull out an iPhone. It takes nice pictures but not as good as the Sony, at least for now. The way things are going that gap will continue to shrink and maybe cameras will become a thing of the past.
Every picture tells a story and as we take more the stories just keep piling up. Then, long afterwards we can go back and re-live the stories by looking at our pictures. The same for video but I prefer still images because I think they go deeper into our thoughts, imagination and memory. Regardless of the camera, it’s good to never be without one, you just never know what you’ll see.
Here is another sunset from Lido Beach in Sarasota. I took this a few months ago around eight o’clock but now that it’s almost winter the sun goes down three hours earlier. If you ask me that’s a big change to adjust to. Part of it is due to the seasons but it’s also due to daylight savings that we have here in the US.
Why do we change our clocks twice a year? As far as I can tell it’s based on an outdated notion of efficiency. In this era of automation I think that daylight savings may have outlived its usefulness. One thing it succeeds at is confusing our bodies twice a year. Wouldn’t it be more natural to just stay in one time zone? Other countries do it without problems.
If the sun set a little latter then we could enjoy longer afternoons. In Florida it would make a difference for folks who come down in winter to go to the beach. Anyway, I’m not the only one thinking about this, the idea is picking up traction. Maybe we can do away with daylight savings soon. Something tells me this might be one thing we can all agree on.
I took this while walking around in the rain in the middle of summer. Even though it was raining it was warm and humid, not unlike Florida. However unlike Florida the energy of the city was entirely unique to me. I was very happy to be here, especially in the rain, because of the atmosphere it created.
For each image this week I’ve used Topaz to render part of the scene in an impressionistic style. In this scene all but the central subject has been “painted” by the software while I blended in the original image of the lady with the umbrella.
Having the ability to blend photos opens up choices in terms of artistic expression. I combine renderings of the software with realistic aspects of a photo. Then I work with color, saturation, contrast and shadows so I can re-create a scene more from my mind than actual event. In some cases that suits my preferences as it relates to photography.
This is an artistic rendering of the Agbar Tower in Barcelona. A few days ago I posted a section of the tower at night. The tower is so fantastic to look at that I couldn’t help but take a bunch of photos. Also, I was staying at the hotel right next door.
I worked a long time on this in post-production. First of all it’s a vertorama of three stacked images. I was standing about block away yet it was too big to fit in the frame with my 35mm lens. Later I rendered the sky in Topaz and masked in the tower and the people. That’s a quick description of a long but enjoyable process I used to get to the final image.
Speaking of final images, I worked so long on this it feels incomplete. Whenever I perform any kind of detailed work I have a tendency to want to keep fiddling with it. That also applies to other areas, not just photography.
Here is another scene that I rendered with Topaz Impression. It’s a photo I took of a random canal in Venice and later blended with an impressionistic rendering from Topaz. I’m experimenting with this technique and I am intrigued by the possibilities it presents.
When you visit Venice one of the first things you’ll notice are the artists everywhere. It’s easy to understand because of the abundance of inspiration. If I was a painter I could see myself on a random bridge of a canal painting a similar scene. As a photographer / technologist I use software to get the effect of a painting to create an impression of the place, which is sometimes more satisfying than documentation.
The way software and computers are going we will one day simply look through glasses and have any scene rendered the way we want to see it in real-time. It will be a form of advanced augmented reality and it’s probably not too far off. That, and who knows what else.
This was the night scene in Lepetane Montenegro as we passed by on a ship. We were leaving the port at Kotor and passing through a narrow channel lined with houses on each side. We could see people sitting on their balconies watching as our ship passed by on a warm summer evening.
To me the scene was like a painting; so I decided to process the photo with that idea in mind. I used Topaz Studio to create an impressionistic rendering and then blend it with the original photo. While the image now looks like a painting, in some places it’s more realistic. It plays a little trick so we are not sure which it is, however it’s a little of each.
It’s amazing that software can “paint” a scene from a photo. But course its called digital rendering and not painting. Yet the software can be configured to use all manner of brush strokes, paint volume and even mimic styles of the masters. This is a case where computers are approximating art; which for me is amazing.
The image represents an impression of a small coastal village at night, which for me is how I remember it. In my mind this type of rendering creates a feeling of the place that is easier to recall than with the unaltered realism of a plain photo. Stay tuned, I’ll be experimenting more with this amazing technique in the coming days and weeks.
This is a photo of the village of Dobrota in Montenegro that I took from a ship in the Bay of Kotor. We spent an amazing day in Kotor and were leaving when I took this. The geography of the area reminded me of fjords. There are narrow inlets surrounded by towering peaks and the view is amazing.
In Kotor we rode in a bus up an impossible single lane road to the top of these mountains. Even though the bus drivers are some of the best in the world half the passengers were praying fervently. It’s said the bus drivers in Montenegro bring more people to religion than the priests. After twenty-nine hairpin turns, I believe that to be true.
When I was in Salerno it rained like cats and dogs. Italy had been in a drought that was just broken with a few days of heavy rain. Despite that I was happy to walk around looking for compositions while sheltering under entryways.
I took this during one particularly heavy downpour. I was forced to stay in one spot for an extended period, which in retrospect was a good thing. It’s sometimes better to pick a spot and let the world come to you. If you wait patiently, all kinds of interesting scenes will appear no matter where you are.
This is in an old shopping district of Salerno. The buildings and shops looked like they haven’t changed much in a hundred years. I got the sense that some shop keepers carried on traditions from one generation to the next.
As the rain let up I continued to walk and eventually the narrow streets opened up into a newer section of town. The shops there were brand-name boutiques you’d recognize in any mall. As for me I preferred the character of the old section much more.
This is another night scene of St Marks Square. There were a lot of people here and I wanted to capture the energy of it. There are so many different perspectives you could take of this place, but this time I chose to include the crowds. The architecture makes the scene but I find it more interesting with people.
High-resolution photography creates an opportunity to go back and people-watch. Often when I’m reviewing photos I’ll zoom in to observe some detail that was lost on me at the time. When taking photos I’m composing so even though I’m recording a scene I’ll miss a lot of details. Through the image I can go back and revisit much more of what was going on at the time.
In that respect photography is a little like time travel; it takes us back to an event in a vivid way. Reviewing photos is not for our memory, but it fills in details we may not have been aware of at the time. In the end I’m left with a richer experience altogether.