Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photographers that I admire

I have been following a couple of guys for a while now.

I think the one who has inspired me the most is David duChemin. The image above is one of the free wall papers that he puts out. You can get them on his site. I love the way that he talks about the things that make him think the way he does. He also places higher importance on creativity than buying gear, so that is a home run for broke folks like me! He does a lot of travel photography. His landscapes are awesome! Based out of Toronto, currently he is on a yearlong road trip around the US just to see what can be seen. Check out his site for some very cool pics and great resources if you are interested.

Another guy I have been following is Chase Jarvis out of Seattle. He is a portrait and commercial photographer. He also does a lot of work on photographer's rights. His blogs are detailed and descriptive of the business side of professional photography. You can find his site here.

Zack Arias out of Atlanta does great portraits. His blog is kind of intermittent, but he has a video that is amazing. I highly recommend it. You can find it here.

I think the one that has had the most operational influence on me is Scott Kelby. While he is not a photographer known for his pictures (even though he is an amazing photographer in his own rite), he is best known for his work with Photoshop. He does conferences, manuals, and all sorts of how-to for the editing process. I have a couple of his books and they are great. He is the president of NAPP and the editor in chief of Photoshop User Magazine.

I also follow David Jackson, Jeremy Cowart, and Dave Delnea.

Anyway, Just thought I would share some of the guys who I have tried to emulate. I still have a long way to go, but I hope you will enjoy looking through some of the work. Hopefully I have not bored you too much. Do you like any of their work?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Postcard from Chattanooga

Just checking in. I was hoping for a  good sunset tonight, but it didn't happen. It had been rainy and cloudy all day so I was cautiously optimistic that the cloud cover would break to let the color come through. I was not able to get a sunset, but I was able to spend some time reading a book in the dwindling light. Dickens' classic tale Great Expectations seemed like good company. I had read it in high school at the requirement recommendation of my English teacher.

Right now, I feel stuck as a photographer. I am working on several new techniques that just are not turning out like I had thought. In my mind, these revitalizing concepts would be the fix-all-to-end-all so to speak. I guess that is why I am relating to the story so much. Pip put so much hope in the great new things to come that, when they happened, all he could feel was disappointed. OK, so I am not there, and perhaps feeling a bit melodramatic tonight, but I like the word picture that it paints. Please allow me some artistic lattitude... :-)

I need to learn contentment. I need to enjoy what is here while accepting the responsibility to become better. There is a balance to maintain. "Forgetting those things that are behind, I press on toward the mark..." and "I have learned in whatever state I am to be content" were said by the same man in reference to the same type of situation. It is a satisfaction of knowing who you are, where you are going, and why it all matters. I don't have to be perfect, better, or anything else. I have to be true to who I am designed and destined to be. I was made for a purpose. I need to remember whose I am...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And the winner for March is...

...Kelly! Congratulations! She has won her choice of panorama print from the following pictures.

Downtown Chattanooga

Hunter Art Museum

Walnut Street Bridge

This was by far a huge success. Thank you for all of you who participated. I am looking forward to doing it again. I have a few ideas to pursue along these lines, but I am curious to see what everyone else thinks.

Do you have any suggestions? Anything that you would llike to see? If so, leave me a comment or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Work, Work, Work

Hey guys, so this week has been very busy. At my day job, we had corporate visitors. They came today, so that meant the whole week up till today was dedicated to making sure things go smoothly. On top of that, I have been training someone to fill in for me when I go on vacation. That brings us to this picture. Jennifer was working away while I was fiddling with my camera. I guess in my mind, having a camera in one's possession requires said one to take pictures... :-)   Darn...

Don't forget the free gift oppurtunity I posted the other day. Contest closes on Sunday. You still have a little time to get your name in if you have not already done so. You can find that post here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Photo Give-Away!

Hey guys, I have seen this tried on other blogs, so I wanted to give it a try here. I am hoping that it will be a good way to interact with some of the people that have followed me from the beginning and maybe some new ones as well.

This will be a drawing. At the end of this week, I will have one of my kids pick a random number and that person will be the one who gets the picture. They will be able to choose from one of the following:

Downtown Chattanooga, 6" tall

Hunter Art Museum, 6" tall

Walnut Street Bridge, 6" tall

There will be three ways to enter the contest. One way will be to share this post to your Facebook or Twitter account. I have the option at the top right side of this post to share it using those buttons. Another way to enter will be to subscribe via the Feedburner link just below the FB and Twitter links. Feedburner is a service that will automatically send updates to your email account without spam or having to manually check for updates. The final way to enter will be to just become a "follower". That is toward the bottom right corner of the page. Just sign in using a google account and it will let you add this blog to any others you currently follow.

Of course, after you have done one of the above (or all three!) comment here, or shoot me an email ( so I know to put your name on the list. I am excited to see what comes of this. Looking forward to seeing what some of you guys have to say!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revisiting some older shots...

Hey guys, just wanted to check in. I am preparing to  move this weekend so this will more than likely be my last post until sometime next week. No, I am not dropping off the radar... Just a few days to get stuff in boxes to another location and back out of boxes.

Anyway, with that being said, I wanted to visit a few of my other photos that I had taken and may not have shared (and definitely have not shared here).

This one was taken at sunset on the levy that runs through Chattanooga. I had been out walking for about 2 hours trying to get some bird pictures. At this point in the evening, my feet hurt and I just wanted to get back to my car. As I was walking along, I look over and see the sun filtered behind the trees and, being that my temperament is bent toward curiosity, I wonder how the camera would react to a full frontal sun shot in those conditions. Obviously, the camera performed superbly. I think the part that I like the most is that bird in the tree. I didn't know it was there at the time, but I think it adds quite a bit to the shot.

This is one of my first attempts at a panoramic image. It was stitched together from three different shots. This was also during the same time frame that I learned the Orton effect and also basic layering principles. Some of you may recognize the scenery. The bridge in front is the Walnut Street bridge. I have been told that it is the longest walking bridge in America. Please feel free to let me know if this is not the case.

This last shot is one of my later panoramic images. It was shot in the wee hours of the morning in downtown Chattanooga. This was a 30 second timed exposure with a narrow aperture. Three different takes were put together to form this one. One of the things that I like about this one is that you can still see all the colored lights reflected in the water. This was taken right after Christmas, so the city had not yet removed it's decorations from the landing in front of the aquarium. The bridge on the left is Market Street. The bridge on the right is Hwy 27. The angled roof directly in the center is the Chattanooga aquarium.

Hope you like these. I promise to check in soon after I get settled into my new place. But until then, Au revoir, Mon Ami!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last of the train sets...

Hey guys,  just wanted to get the last of my train series posted for everyone. Thanks so much for support everyone has given me. I am pleased to say that site visits have increased month after month since I started posted. My hope is that as traffic increases, I will be able to use this as a platform to increase my "business".

Anyway, enough of that. Here are a couple of new looks at the train pictures. These are in color. Did anyone have a preference between the black and white or color? I have been asked about the choice of focusing in front of the train on the tracks instead of focusing on the train. I wanted to convey a sense of the train approaching or looming over you.

These have been fun for me. It was kind of a first step on a project I have been debating for a couple off years. Always looking for new ideas, even if i don't act on them right away...

Thanks again!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Two from down the line...

Hopefully more will be chugging along soon... :-) sorry, couldn't resist a bad pun...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A whole other kind of snow...

I guess Spring didn't want to be left out of all the fun Winter was having with the snow this year...

My apartment complex has several Bradford pear trees on the grounds. All of them are at their peak in blossoms. With the harder than usual rainfall we have had the last couple of days, a fair amount of the blossoms were knocked off and laying, almost carpetlike, on the ground. Kind of reminded me of some of the lighter snow storms we had this year.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Making do with what you have

My goal was to get a beautiful shot of flowing water in a dreamy state. I was hoping to have something low to the water. Maybe on the water's edge with a good view. That would have been great! But...

I didn't get those things. It was raining. I didn't have access to a good view on the water's edge without sliding down a mud bank. I managed to get some flowing water, but not like I was wanting. It was on an ugly bank. Lots of scrubby growth in the water. Overlooking a highway and golf course. Taken from about 20 feet above the water level from a bank. Not exactly what I was looking for...

I decided to go ahead and work with it.  I was not prepared for the angle or the distance. All I had was my 17-55 mm lens. I wished I would have had my 28-135 or 70-300 mm. Either would been preferable to what I had.

For me, this was a bad start to a concept I will pursue in the future. Definitely put it in the learning category. I learned that I need to always carry back up lenses. Probably should do better scouting or location planning. However, I did get a pretty shibby picture of a bird in water, if I do say so myself...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring continued...

Here is another one from yesterday. Not sure if I like the portrait look like the one yesterday or the landscape like the one here.  Hoping to get out tomorrow and get some rainy day shots. Projected to be dark and gloomy all day. Guess it will be wait and see.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring is on it's way

I can't wait for all the other colors to come out. I especially enjoy seeing the daffodils starting to come out. That is my unofficial start of spring. Soon after, the grass will be green and the redbuds will be in bloom. I have a few more pictures that I took today that are still in processing, but I hope to show them to you soon.

While I am on the subject, are there any things that really signify spring to you guys? Let me know. I am always looking for good ideas.