Sunday, November 27, 2011

McFarland Family

Hey guys. It has been a while. Life has been busy, but that is not an excuse. Here are some portraits I took over thanksgiving break at my aunt and uncle's house. There are quite a few here, so hopefully that will atone for all or part of my unforgivable absenteeism...    :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thinking about trying some more people pictures...

Several times I have met people while out taking pictures. These folks have either asked me to take their picture or let me take it when I asked. The first one was a homeless man who called himself "Conan". I called this guy the "guitar man". He played country music and made up songs about passer's by.

This past week, I ran into a guy at the Cemetery who was visiting his father. I got good feedback from people who liked hearing his story. Another popular post was of a guy crossing the street behind me.

All that being said, I am thinking about doing some more random "interviews" of the people I talk to on daily basis. It is fairly simple for me to walk up and talk with strangers, so it is easy enough to find subject matter. I probably won't do it all the time, but if you guys wouldn't mind, from time to time, I might feature someone interesting on the blog. What do you guys think?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Just want to say happy Veteran's Day to all who are or have served in our nation's armed forces. I have many people in my family that served including a brother, a brother-in-law, and a grandpa. Thank you to all who gave all or part of their life for the betterment of ours. What you have given can never be re-paid.

Since it was Veterans Day, I decided to go to one of my favorite places in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga National Cemetery. This day was especially noteworthy since it was 11-11-11. To top it off, I decided to take this picture at 11:11:11 in the morning. That is a lot of ones...

So here it is... What do you think?

While I was there, I noticed a man standing over a grave. When I approached him, he told me that it was his father's. I really enjoyed hearing his story. His father lied about his age so he could enlist. He served in WWII. I felt a common spirit with the son. He shared my reverence for this place. I am sure some of it was the physical attachment of having family buried there. But it was more than that. He said that as a child, when his mom would drive him past this place, there was a sense of awe and wonder. He remembered wanting to be buried there when he got older. I can relate to that admiration. It is impossible to be in that place and not get a feel for all the sacrifice that has gone into making this nation the best place in the world to live. Here's to Alboan Glass Sr. and Alboan Glass Jr. Thank you for your time and service.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Downtown Chattanooga

I recently saw a picture that I really liked of downtown Chattanooga. I thought I would try to reproduce it. Since my version was timed at sunset/dusk, I needed to be on site well ahead of time to make sure I didn't miss it. Since I was there, I took a picture of some leaves on the walkway...

A sunset with fall colors along the bank...

... then realized I almost waited too long and ran to get into position. Here are a couple of different looks at the same shot.

I had a couple of teenage guys walk by and ask to be in the picture as well. I have to give them credit, because this was a six second shutter exposure. It is very difficult to stand perfectly still that long. What do you think?

Few last pictures of the night. Not the greatest composition or scenes, but I like the light trails. Hope you enjoy them also...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cornfield pics

Just a couple of shots I took the other day when I was on my daughter's field trip. Wanted to get the background shot for this month's download, but didn't see anything that really worked for me. Anyway, until the next time, here is something for you to enjoy.

I gotta visit this place some day...

So, if you have peaked at the file name of the picture, you will have a pretty good idea that this is not one of mine. It was taken by Trey Ratliffe. His site is He does some amazing work with standard and HDR photography. Some of his work will really amaze you. This particular image was taken in Chile. The mountains you see in the background are the Andes.

I really like the contrast in the sky and the road leading off into the distance. What do you think?

Are there any places you would like to visit? It seems like my list keeps getting longer and longer. I would love to spend time just taking in the views. Maybe a month in the American southwest, a few weeks along the Pacific Coast Highway, Fall in New England, spring in the Badlands... I think you are getting the picture.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Hope you are enjoying the weekend. Talk to you guys later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why I shoot the way I shoot...

Ok, fair warning up front. This will be a more technical post. I can sense the eyes glazing over now, but I am going to do it anyway... :-)

Almost everyone that uses a digital camera or does anything with a computer will at least be familiar with a jpeg file. That is one of the most common forms of picture file that you will find today. However, with the advent of modern cameras, computers, and computerized cameras, that simple file was not keeping up with the ability of the hardware or software. That is where the "raw" file came into play.

For the non-techie folks that haven't turned and run screaming yet, allow me to set up this a little bit more so you can follow along as well. The digital camera works by exposing a sensor panel to light. It is the same mechanical process used by film cameras. The shutter opens, allows the light through, and the light is recorded. With me so far?

Once the camera has recorded the light on the sensor panel (for digital cameras), the camera interprets the data using a pre-set calculation. This calculated data file is then stored on a memory card. Typically, it is stored as a jpeg file. Hang in there, I am coming to a point soon.

The disadvantage of using jpeg files is that the only way to correct the camera's calculations was to completely change the file using an editing program. While this is fine, it is not nearly as accurate as working with the data before it was locked down. That is where the raw file has advantage over the jpeg. The raw file does not lock down the data. It allows you to take all the same data and tell the computer to calculate the visual image a different way. Using a raw processing program, you can adjust colors, color balance, color strength, saturation, clarity, and on and on and on...

Ok, I will have mercy and be done talking give you an  example. It is the same file. The first one is how the camera thought the data would look. The second is the one that I told the computer how it should look. What do you think? Difference should be subtle, but I can tell a difference. What about you?

original  vs  adjusted