If you'd like to get email notifications of new blog entries, please subscribe here:


 

Creative Diversions

April 20th, 2014

One of the main reasons that I tend to get behind on literally everything is because I tend to let projects control me, rather than the other way around. Sometimes, it’s ok, as it leads to a new path. On the downside, I get pulled away from essential, but un-fun things that have to be done. Here’s a good example. In the remarkable country of Iceland, replete with non stop, over-loading, mind blowing photo ops, one of my absolute favorite subjects is the Harpa Concert Hall, just down the road from our hotel.

It’s one of our group visits during our first full day before heading out to the countryside. I remember when the Harpa was in construction and couldn’t wait until the following year to get back there to photograph it. However, I really didn’t expect that we could get in very early and use a tripod, and move around without restrictions. Of course, in any country, common sense rules apply, like always defer to anyone coming your way; don’t block passages; and just in general, act like a sane human being.

After the initial outside portrait views, which are magnificent, myriad abstracts relentlessly present themselves, constantly being re-designed as the light passes across the morning sky.

What got me going on this was coming across an image of the Apple Store in Reykjavik, with an excellent clouds and reflected cloud pattern in the glass building. It was instantly clear to me that this would make a pretty good B&W image. Here it is:

_DSC2200

 

This got my blood going to go through some images of the Harpa Concert Hall, which were predominantly shot as abstract patterns.

The following images took up much of yesterday and this morning, but were a lot of fun, resulting in a lost day on work that HAS to get done….maybe next week…

We are really excited to get back to Iceland in June for our workshop and to share this great place, and the incredible Icelandic countryside with our clients. CLICK HERE for more info (few spaces available).

We are excited to get out of here for our Smokies workshops. I hear that conditions are good for the next week and hopefully, the next two weeks for our workshops.

Anyone want to get away? Come on down!! CLICK HERE for more info.

Future News!

2014-15 Creativity Seminars in the works

May 2015 Portugal info going out to list soon – email to be added to the list

Charleston 2015 dates in place – email to be placed on our interest list.

Flower/ Macro one day workshops TBA soon! – email to be notified. Watch This Space!

 

So, that’s about it for now!

Have a great spring and we’ll see ya online!

Tony

 

 

 

 

Shaping light

April 15th, 2014

1169159 

I don’t how it works, but if there’s a lull in the action, I’ll start editing through older work and come across an image, maybe not even that good, over exposed, busy, or has my personal favorite: insipid composition. Something in my subconscious seems to stop on the most unlikely image, at least it seems that way to me. But, after a little tooling around to see what direction presents itself, it starts to take shape.

Before describing the  process, here’s the original:

1169159 (1)

 

Step 1 : Curve layer to darken globally

Step 2: Since the top of the image was almost blown out, I used Nik’s Color Efex Pro Graduated Filter, which is the only one of the graduated filters that allow us to affect brightness/ darkness of the upper and lower parts of the image. In this case, I brought the top down quite a bit and brightened the lower part of the frame a little.

Step 3: Applied 2 textures from the Belle Fleur Textures – Vista Bundle (Aged and Weathered Garden Ornaments Collection). The multiple textures are responsible for the, what appears to be, patchy light in the bottom half of the scene.

Step 3: I applied a layer of Perfectly Clear, which handles many adjustments, and is responsible for most of the punch, contrast, and sharpness of the image.

Step 4: Then went to Nik’s Silver Efex Pro for the B&W conversion, using the red filter.

Step 5: Using the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop to  brighten and darken areas to increase depth.

One of keys to success in improvised music is the ability to trust in your subconscious and react appropriately to an ever changing dynamic. To a certain extent, I try to follow that same paradigm in choosing what to process. I’m constantly reminded of something Rod Planck said at a seminar many years ago, to paraphrase, when you stop at a scene, you don’t always see what your subconscious saw immediately. Sometimes, it takes time for your conscious mind to catch up.

Just a quick thought.

It’s spring! Get out there!! We’ll be in the Smokies next week!

We’ll see ya online!

Tony

 

Last day in Charleston, 2014

April 12th, 2014

_DSF3915-Edit

Today was “casual day” at Magnolia. With no agenda but to just enjoy our last day here until March, 2015, my day began continuing my multiple exposure series, but got side tracked with infrared and some birds! Sue went off on her own for while to create more stellar images, then Sue and I took the tram around the back part of Magnolia and will bring our bikes next year to ride those back areas. 

After going back to change gear to shoot multiples with my D3X, I ran into our great friend, Jed Manwaring. As usual, we talked for a long time, but he had to go when a client needed his help. A little later we ran into his partner and another great friend, Brenda Tharp! And, as usual, we engaged in another of our long conversations, then Sue joined us! It was and always is great spending time with Jed and Bren and hope that another year doesn’t go by without seeing them again, but it looks like we won’t see them again until Cuba, 2015, when we will both be co-leading groups there at the same time.

Sue and I spent our last hour of so in the Audobon Swamp. Not being a bird photographer, per se’, it’s difficult not to take advantage of bird photo ops when they are flying around, nesting, right in front of us! I shot exclusively with the Fuji X system cameras and the 55-200mm lens. With birds constantly flying around to get sticks to build their nests, or to be more specific, when the males brought sticks back for the females to build the nest, I decided to use the high continuous function, where we have, I believe, 5 shots/ second. There are a couple of images in the gallery captured this way.

Also, adding the Singh Ray iRay infrared filter worked great, and the exposures were much faster, relatively speaking, at one minute. (if interested, call Singh Ray direct at 1-800-486-5501)

Anyway, we leave Charleston with our usual heavy heart tomorrow, but look forward to a week at home then to the Smokies for two workshops. Anyone interested in joining us, email Sue! This is our last spring for a couple of years, as we will be in Portugal next April at the same time! Any interest there, please email me!

Here’s my small gallery from the day:

Thanks a lot for visiting and we’ll see ya online during our drive home tomorrow.

Tony

Multiple exposure day 1

April 11th, 2014

_DSC6879

So, my entire day at Magnolia plantation (well not the enTire day) was dedicated to multiple exposures. Reading our friend, Charlie Needle’s new book based on years of multiple exposure and creative techniques development, got my juices going again. But, you know….as I was going through the book, which is outstanding by the way, and I did learn a few brand new things that I will be incorporating, my memory was jolted to the year 2000. That is the year of my Freeman Patterson workshop, where I was first introduced to multiple exposures and image swipes (my term). The technique absolutely captured my imagination and that’s all that I mostly did for a couple of years, sort of an obsession.  My late, great friend, Babs Williams, and I would go out every day to photograph and would incorporate creative techniques whenever we could.

Then, HDR became the “rage,” followed by infrared, stitched panning, night photography, light painting, iPhone, long exposure photography, software maturity, etc……you get the idea……and my head was spinnin’!! Needless to say, my attention was tugged in every imaginable direction, hence my passion for multiple exposure and swipes went elsewhere for about a decade and a half, but now I’m back! Thanks, Charlie!

Reading every page and looking at every image rekindled the excitement from Freeman’s seminal workshop for me! So, after a full day today, I’ll be back at Magnolia tomorrow fine tuning my multiple exposure and other creative techniques…..and of course, this will be a significant portion of my future work because it’s just so much fun!!

Here’a a gallery from the day:

2014 Visual Artistry Workshops are filling. Only a few spaces left!

We’re off to our other outstanding spring venue, the Great Smokey Mountains, in a couple of weeks. Lots of photography, lots of personal attention in the field,  and lots of software training! 
If you want to “Come on Down!!” contact Sue!

Portugal May, 2015!! Interested? We have an itinerary and a contact list. EMAIL to be placed on the list, or if you have any questions.

TSP-Seminar Sq Logo final

We’re planning our fall/winter Creativity Seminars!

Any location suggestions for our day-long Creativity Seminars would be appreciated and considered!  Let us know! 

Featured plugin – Perfectly Clear, my first-move processing step.
Featured filter – Singh Ray 10 stop MorSlo (CALL directly 1-800-486-5501)

Thanks for taking the time and we’ll see ya online!

 Tony

p.s. Infrared and iPhone blog posts coming soon!

End of Charleston 2014

April 10th, 2014

_DSF2920-Edit

We wrapped up our second of two Charleston workshops and I crashed immediately after returning to the room! Now, I’m wide awake at 2130, and should remain so into the early morning hours. As Sue and I are going to spend our remaining two days at Magnolia Gardens, I may as well just stay up until we leave!

As usual, we had a remarkable group of shooters, very interested in the extended software portion of this, our Digital Edge workshop. And…they wanted to get out as often as possible! This resulted in an  informative, image rich, and pretty exhausting experience, but a good exhaustion, one where we felt that a lot was accomplished in a short time!

This time around, I shot the Fuji X system cameras and lenses exclusively in Charleston, and am again blown away by the system and the file quality…..and the weight! However, one of the few limitations of the camera is its lack of a practical multiple exposure function. The cameras can do double exposures, but not the 4 – 10 that I like to use for more creative interpretations. So, after being inspired by our friend, Charles Needle’s new book, Impressionistic Photography, I’ll be back to Nikon-land for my dedicated multiple exposure day tomorrow and Saturday. With the early spring greens, I’ll also be spending time with my infrared converted D300.
Lifepixel infrared conversion discount here (scroll down).

Here’s a small gallery of images from the past 4 days

2014 Visual Artistry Workshops are filling. Only a few spaces left!

We’re off to our other outstanding spring venue, the Great Smokey Mountains, in a couple of weeks. Lots of photography, lots of personal attention in the field,  and lots of software training!
If you want to “Come on Down!!” contact Sue!

Portugal May, 2015!! Interested? We have an itinerary and a contact list. EMAIL to be placed on the list, or if you have any questions.

TSP-Seminar Sq Logo final

We’re planning our fall/winter Creativity Seminars!

Any location suggestions for our day-long Creativity Seminars would be appreciated and considered!  Let us know!

 

 

 

Featured plugin – Perfectly Clear, my first-move processing step.
Featured filter – Singh Ray 10 stop MorSlo (CALL directly 1-800-486-5501)

Thanks for taking the time and we’ll see ya online!

 Tony

p.s. Infrared and iPhone blog posts coming soon!