The Good and the Bad

This is another HDR photo that I created using AuroraHDR 2018. Actually, this was a little tricky to make because it’s a long exposure using an ND filter shooting directly into the sun. The aperture of F14 is what creates the starburst effect. I combined five photos ranging from one to six seconds in length which gives the water a smooth quality.

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The Good and the Bad
On average I like the photo, despite some flaws

Even though I spent hours on this I’m not totally happy with it. That’s because I’m aware of all the technical flaws it has; noise in the shadows, lens flare and lack of detail on the rocks. I’m posting it anyway because I like the overall effect and feel. And also, each time I work with photos I learn a little more. In this case I know what I need to do next time I have a similar scene; each time I get a little better.

more from san francisco

In the end, it’s the scene and the mood that are most important to me. The technical aspects are important also, just not as important. I was able to recreate the idea I had in my head at the time, so it’s a win. I’m posting it because on balance, I do like the image. And to tell you the truth, that’s why I do photography in the first place.

Room to Breathe

I have purposely left a lot of space in this image so that it can breathe. Sometimes images tell a story and are arranged with objects here and there. In this case there is no story, just open space and room to breathe.

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Room to Breathe
The empty space in this image is on purpose

We are bombarded with information at every turn. We are plugged into the information superhighway and deceive ourselves if we think otherwise. Finding respite might be as simple as standing by the water’s edge and looking out at nothing for a few minutes.

minimalism in the gallery

This theme is one I’ve been exploring lately in images. Not that I have answers to anything, it’s just that I feel the need to slow down from time to time. But do as I say and not as I do. If I took my own advice it might actually do me some good. I’ll try to keep that in mind, gotta run.

Another Day Another Dollar

I’ve come to realize that if we don’t slow down once in a while, we go nowhere. Going about tasks of making a living, eating and sleeping is like a treadmill. I think each of us is here for a reason, but figuring it out is up to us and no one else. So maybe we need to put a little time aside.

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Another Day Another Dollar
Getting off the treadmill of life for a few minutes to reflect

Taking a few minutes each day to think about it is a way out. It’s an exit from the treadmill and the more we do it, the more we leave the mundane, hopefully.

more images from the beach

When I see people staring out to sea it’s evokes a metaphor for reflection on life. Speaking for myself, I could do a little more of it, because when I don’t I see a treadmill. It would be better to see my feet in the warm waters of the gulf.

Rainy Day in Amsterdam

When in big cities I’m usually quite happy with rain. It creates scenes and situations that are interesting to observe.

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Rainy Day in Amsterdam
It’s just as interesting to see what they don’t do as what they do.

First of all, people are carrying umbrellas which by itself creates a certain aesthetic. Then there are the motions people go through to keep out of the rain, like running from one source of cover to another. However, in places where it rains all the time, you will also notice how well people ignore it. Amsterdam is one of those cities where people are always outside, rain or shine. So it’s just as interesting to see what they don’t do as what they do.

In this case the couple were taking selfies and the gentleman was texting the pictures on his phone, oblivious to the precipitation. I noticed that in Amsterdam people are always riding bikes regardless of the weather, in some cases holding umbrellas as they go.

more urbex images

I haven’t quite perfected the art of ignoring the rain. I’m a duck and cover kind of guy. But from a temporary shelter I can stand there, observe and take photos of things around me. The best part of that is stepping into a bistro and waiting it out with a hot chocolate. Then, sufficiently refreshed I head back out for more fun.

Pictures are like Metaphors

Pictures are like metaphors. I think this is one of those, at least it seems that way to me. Point in a direction, keep marching, in the process define yourself. Which sounds a lot like life in general, only I get to wax eloquent because this is my blog.

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Pictures are like Metaphors
This can be a metaphor for a number of things, including life.

I’ve taken dozens of shots from this pier in Bradenton Beach. Even though it’s same old thing I come back looking for more. As long as were on metaphors, shooting this pier is like stone soup. The sea is the broth, the pier is the stone, and everything else gives it flavor. I keep coming back to try new flavors. Maybe I’m on to something, or just hungry.

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Nevertheless, the more I immerse into photography, the more I look for metaphors. It seems natural when going to the beach, at least for me. Always looking for meaning in non-descript scenery, it’s what I do.

Let’s Talk About the Weather

Weather is the one thing we can all relate to, it’s like the lowest common denominator of conversation. If you can’t think of anything to say, bring up the weather; it’s a guaranteed starter. From there you can move on to other topics, like politics or the price of gas.

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Let's Talk About the Weather
The weather is an easy conversation starter here in Florida

Speaking of which, now is the perfect time of year here in Florida. (See how easy that was for me?) This time of year, when I see a neighbor on the street, referring to the weather we each smile and say this is why we live here. We say that knowing the extreme heat lies waiting for us in the months ahead. However, we push those thoughts away and revel in the moment.

more images featuring awesome clouds

Spring break is nearly upon us, the beaches will be filled with people that are escaping other types of weather. It’s a matter of perspective, we all have our weather burdens to bear. Having said that we can usually all agree and nod approvingly when the weather is good, right? But if not then we could switch the topic to politics. That’ll go really well.

Two views of Cathedral of Barcelona

Here are a couple of shots inside the Cathedral of Barcelona. I took these on our first trip when we stayed right across the street. I walked over first thing in the morning, which was apparently a good idea because soon thereafter the crowds began grow. This cathedral is the centerpiece of the city’s gothic section and is a huge attraction.

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Cathedral of Barcelona 1        Cathedral of Barcelona 2

These were shot handheld because I didn’t bring a tripod. Actually, I didn’t think it would be allowed so I didn’t even try. But as I recall, someone else did have one. Nevertheless, I shot these with the help of stabilization on the Sony sensor and the images came out fine. I have two very expensive tripods, but I’m finding I use them less and less these days due to the advancements in the digital sensors.

more from Barcelona

After looking around I went back to the hotel for breakfast. Then returned about an hour or so later. By that time the crowds were enormous. I was glad to have made the early visit and take these pictures. And maybe if I ever do that again I’ll bring a tripod, or maybe not.

HDR Sunrise

This is a re-edit of a photo I took over two years ago in Sarasota. Like an image I posted a few days ago, this was taken right next to the Ringling Bridge. It’s an area of Sarasota where the view is good in all directions which is why I keep coming back.

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HDR Sunrise
A sunrise from Sarasota’s Bird Key – this is an HDR image

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which in this case was created by merging three images together. A few years ago, HDR photography was most of what I did, in fact it’s what got me back into photography after leaving film. But lately, I’ve not done much HDR. The main reason is that the cameras are so good you don’t need to combine images to get a High Dynamic Range. The other was my impatience with the software, it wasn’t always easy for me.

Fast forward to now. The reason I like this edit better than the original is because of some help I had with improved software. Recently a new version of Aurora HDR was released and it’s so good that I’m looking at HDR again. The image I posted the other day as well as this one was produced using Aurora HDR 2018. It’s easy to use and I’m very happy with the results.

more HDR images

So, there you have it, a little behind the scenes on what goes into these photos. That, and just hanging out at my favorite places along the water.

Going with the Flow

I took this along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. It was the beginning of an all-night drive along one of the country’s most scenic highways. I didn’t intend to drive that far, it just kind of happened that way. One thing led to another and I just kept driving late into the night.

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Going with the Flow
This was the beginning of an all night road trip down the coast of California

The area is so scenic that if you are a photographer you’ll want to stop a lot. I had a morning flight the next day so rather than sleep, I grabbed a Red Bull and headed down the highway. I ended up a couple hundred miles south before turning around. Arriving at my hotel around six I had just enough time to freshen up and head to the airport.

more california images

Even at night there was a lot to see; stars overhead, the beacon from a lighthouse, and the moonlit cliffs of the pacific range as it falls into the ocean. The trip wasn’t planned, but sometimes the best things in life are experienced when you just go with the flow.

Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus

I normally avoid malls. Not that I don’t like to buy things, I just find malls, well, kind of boring. However, if the mall looks like this then I’m all in. This is the Westfield Mall under Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus in New York City. If there is one mall you want to see, this is it.

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Santiago Calatrava's Oculus
Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus is perhaps the only mall in the world I love to visit

While visiting the city I walked in to see what it was and got totally blown away by the architecture. The feeling you get here is intoxicating, which is perhaps the intention as you lose your inhibitions and start buying really cool stuff.

more photos from nyc

Also, it’s a perfect place to come and escape either the summer heat or winter cold. I was here on the hottest day in summer, so the cool air was a welcome break. While my wife looked for shoes I sat at a coffee shop and took it all in. Next time I’m back in the Big Apple, this place will be high on my list again.