Here is a shot I took last year in Sarasota. It was one of those rushed shots that I was frantically trying to capture as the sun disappeared. The windblown palms added drama to the scene which meant that a three image HDR was out of the question. Nevertheless, I was able to get this with a single exposure from that fantastic Sony sensor on the A7RII.
I took this with a super wide angle 12mm lens. I don’t use it as much as I’d like, but this is an example of what it can do. In a lot of cases, it’s too wide for my needs. But still, it’s nice to have it in the kit.
One thing it does well is to include a lot of the sky. In this case, that’s what I wanted because of the clouds and colors. But at other times it can leave a lot of empty space. Anyway, I’m happy with how it turned out with the combination of the windblown palms, leading lines and dramatic clouds.
To be honest, I don’t remember taking this photo. No matter how many images I make, I usually remember each one. Pictures to me are memory boosters, I only have to look, and I’m transported back in time: I’ll have a recollection, however vague, of that moment. But for whatever reason, this one escapes me.
I was shooting with a wide open aperture and high ISO so that I could snap photos as I saw them. I was a little like a snap-happy tourist. I’ll call it street photography but, I was having fun, so maybe a bit of each.
Barcelona is one of those places where the architecture steals the show. The architecture is old, and it belies the fantastic amount of history in these walls. To me the street lamps have an 18th century feel to them, and perhaps some of them are that old. When they finally invent the time machine, I’ll be coming back here to take a few more photos to see if it looks the same. Hopefully, I won’t change history while I’m at it.
Here is a series of shots I took last year when in NYC. I walked to Times Square late at night in the pouring rain. While that may not sound fun, it’s an excellent time to do street photography. The combination of lights, reflections, and umbrellas create scenes that are fun to watch, in a people-watching kind of way.
Because of the rain and the late hour, there were far fewer people out than usual. If you’ve ever been to Times Square then you know that’s rare. It meant I was able to capture little vignettes without too many distractions. Each of these photos tells a different story from that evening. It is up to you the viewer to imagine what that story is.
As the name of the series suggests, I’ve employed a vignette technique to each of these images to draw attention to the people. The setting, while electric, is only that, a setting. Each story is as different as the people that inhabit them.
It seems almost anywhere I go along the water there are herons close by. They are attracted to fishermen as they wait for any scraps or bait. With this heron patiently waiting I setup and shot the image using a low angle. Even though I was holding a camera between him and the fishermen he stood his ground watching me with one eye and the fishermen with the other.
Herons are patient, single minded and determined. I sat here for about thirty minutes and he was still there when I left. They are territorial so I suspect this was his pier and he wasn’t about to give it up to some guy with a camera or the fishermen.
He was watching the waters right below the pier. It’s the perfect vantage to spot fish and then swoop down for the catch.
Herons add atmosphere to an image, I think it’s something to do with how they carry themselves, its hard to put my finger on it. In any case, they never seem to mind having their picture taken, so for the time being I will continue to include them whenever I can.
The other night I showed up at the beach at dusk. Sometimes when I’m taking photos things just happen and its good to be ready. In this case a woman was posing for photos on an adjacent pier about a hundred meters away. Her friend was taking pictures of her with his phone. It was getting dark so I set my ISO way up and took this shot.
The waters edge is a like a boundary into another world. For me, looking out over the water is like looking into the unknown. Standing at the edge of what we know and gazing beyond is an idea I sometimes think about.
If I’m honest I can find the unknown in my everyday life. Often I’m presented with challenges to overcome. When that happens its like looking into a gulf of uncertainty. I may know how to navigate but I’ve never been THERE before; there are risks. So the unknown is part of life, if not why be born in the first place. When we choose to go beyond what we know we are crossing out beyond the shoreline.
This water is normally choppy but just after sunset the breeze dies down and the water becomes like glass. That’s when I see all kinds of opportunities for compositions like this. It’s amazing how much difference an hour makes in the look and feel of a place like this. I love summer evenings by the river.
The spot where I’m standing is popular for Pokemon Go. Quite a few people show up here at night, more so than just a couple months ago. They create a festive atmosphere even if they are concentrating on their mobile screens. I haven’t tried the game myself but I have a feeling its just the beginning of a whole new wave in gaming. I should open up a hot dog stand here. I’ll have an app that they can use to buy the hot dogs even though they are standing right in front of me. It’ll be a big hit.
An hour or so earlier there were afternoon thunderstorms. After the storms move away they left small cloud remnants that collected the colors of dusk. You can see a little of that action going on here in shades of pink as the sun recedes well beyond the horizon.
I love how long the evenings are in summer. Pretty soon it will be autumn and it starts getting dark early again. But now its fun to be outside until well after dark; taking pictures, playing Pokemon or selling hot dogs with my new killer app.
I went to this point at the waters edge not sure what I’d shoot. I took a few shots of this or that but nothing really clicked (no pun intended). I was walking back to my car when I looked back to see this group of people talking at the waters edge. This ended up being the shot that I liked the most.
I suppose standing at the waters edge is a metaphor for a border between this world and the next. When we stand there we look out and contemplate. At least that’s how I interpret this scene. For all I know they could be talking about where to go for dinner. Anyway, in my photograph they are looking out in contemplation, that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.
This place is ten minutes from home and one of my favorite spots to go. Sometimes I come in the morning but mostly at dusk. There is an automated gate that closes just after sunset. I tend to linger and several times I’ve been asked to leave by the ranger. I will get permission one day to stay later so that I can get some clear shots of the night sky. But for the time being the shot will be of people in contemplation at the waters edge.
I continue to look for reflections on water whenever I go out shooting. The most exquisite, at least for me are reflections on still water. This is a view of the DeSoto bridge in Bradenton. It’s one of two main bridges, but this one is due to be replaced. In the meantime I’ll continue taking pictures until they tear it down. When the water’s calm I go a little crazy capturing reflections.
If I may digress a little, reflections have a deeper meaning with respect to our psyches. I believe that how we perceive people, the world, even ourselves is based on reflections. Maybe that sounds deep but really it’s not. How we perceive is based on a reflection of our own makeup. I see things my way and you see things yours. So anyway, I suppose that might be one reason I like reflections. That, and they look cool.
Back to the bridge. I have no idea how they plan to replace this bridge. The traffic over it is enormous and it is a lifeline; the hospital is just on the other side off frame on the left. So you can’t just tear it down, seems to me you have to build another one, THEN tear it down. Those engineers have their work cut out for them. Let’s hope they reflect on it long and hard. Ahem.
When I was on the ship I was constantly taking photos of the landscape. Much of it was open waters bordered by mountains and peeks. That’s different from what I’m used to looking at back home so I soaked in as much as I could. This was taken as the setting sun casts a warm glow on everything. The way the ship moves around these straits I could never really tell which direction was west unless the sun was low enough in the horizon. Even then I would think it was in the wrong place, it’s a good thing I wasn’t steering the ship.
In the summers it never really gets completely dark. That was a new experience for me. It would be fun to travel further north and experience the constant daylight of the summer months (It’s on my bucket list). I would wake up in the morning to see the dawn light and then look at the clock to find it was three-thirty or four. Most mornings I was up around five, it was hard to sleep knowing it was light outside.
I walked to the bow of the ship where there is an observation deck and a helicopter pad. People would gather here at sunset or when there was some interesting spectacle. I came to catch the sunset, but on account of how slow the sun sets I stayed for an hour just watching the scenery. This is just a snippet of that.
When I was last in Vancouver I took a ride in a seaplane and captured this as we circled around the city. I’ve been meaning to do this for years and glad I finally did. I’ve walked just about every inch of Vancouver and seeing it from the air was a great way to put it all together.
As you can see there is a lot of green space which, in my opinion, is a sign of a healthy city. To the left is Stanley Park which is a little like Central Park in New York only more wild.
I overlaid the image with a texture to convey an almost mythic quality of the city. Maybe it doesn’t seem that way to people who live and work here everyday, but when you draw back and get a little perspective you have to agree there is something amazing here.
Vancouver is nothing if not a big concentration of towers. Surely other cities have more, this is only a slice of Manhattan, but this city is surrounded by mountain peaks. It’s the combination of the towers and mountains that strikes you when you visit. That’s then followed by a million other impressions coming at you from every direction in this great city on the Pacific.