Masonic Lodge/School House, Bannack State Park, Montana Photography

Masonic Lodge/School House, Bannack State Park, Montana Photography (click to enlarge)

While in Montana, we met up with several old friends.  One, Dave Sorensen, is a water color artist of some renown (see Dave’s work here).  Sitting around in the evenings, we discussed his watercolors and my photography.  In his travels, Dave carries a small point and shoot camera.  When he sees a scene that he thinks has potential, he shoots a quick picture.  Later, he might use that picture as the inspiration for a watercolor.  The finished watercolor is his “interpretation” of that scene and might not be an exact rendering.

This got me to thinking about my photography.  Dave starts with a completely blank canvas and builds to his finished artwork.  In my case (and probably the case for every serious photographer) the images I capture are really just a starting canvas.  I use these as a base layer to start building my interpretation of the scene as I envisioned it.

The image above is an example of this.  The original image had no clouds in the frame.  None, zero, nada, just a very plain, washed out, blue sky.  The original was also very contrasty.  The sun was coming from the left, with the left side wall of the building almost blown out.  The top of the front face of the building was also in deep shadow under the eaves.  All in all, it was not a very inspired image when I took it.

Knowing I had a contrast problem, I took several images while varying the exposure time.  This allowed me to build an HDR image and somewhat even out the exposure across the image.  Since Bannack State Park is a ghost town, it seemed logical to convert the image to black and white.

Finally, I needed to “re-interpret” that dull sky.  During our trip I had taken several images of the sky when there were clouds.  I took these images during the morning, middle of the day, and towards evening.  This gave me a set of stock cloud images from which choose.  I selected an interesting image, lined up the clouds where I wanted them, used a layer mask, and presto, interesting sky.

Bannack State Park Masonic Lodge/School House:

N45°9’42”  W 112°59’51”

school-overhead

Remember the Maine!

On June 21, 2016, in Maine, by admin
Maine Shield

Scroll and Shield from USS Maine

While driving through Bangor Maine we stopped at Davenport Park to see the Battleship Maine Monument.  The monument displays the ship’s scroll and shield recovered from the harbor of Havana Cuba.  These are mounted on blocks of grants that represent the prow of a ship.  Photographed from head on, the shield and scroll appear to be a mirror image.

For the image above, I changed one half of the image to black and white.  This accentuates the mirrored effect, seems to add depth to the image, and makes it difficult to determine if the center of the image is jutting towards or sinking away from the viewer.

Battleship Maine Monument: N44 47 50.59 W68 46 25.81

Cinderella Castle GIF

On December 24, 2015, in Disney World, by admin
Cinderella Castle GIF

Cinderella Castle GIF (click on image to activate GIF animation)

During a recent trip to Walt Disney World, we watched one of the evening shows at the Magic Kingdom.  This show consisted of music and the ever-changing Cinderella’s Castle.  I had my camera on a tripod and tried to capture an image every time a new design appeared.  Because of the near constant changing of the design, many of the images captured the transition between designs and ended up as a blur of colors.

I did manage to capture about a dozen clear images of various designs.  In Photohop, you can stack these images together and create a gif file.  Click on the image above to activate the gif.  Use your browsers Back button to return to this page.

It might take a few seconds for the animation to begin, and it might also be jerky in the beginning.  The animation should smooth out the longer it plays.  I don’t know why it does this, this is the first attempt at making an animated gif file.

Cinderella’s Castle: N28 25 09.91 W081 34 52.11