Tuesday, April 29, 2008

San Francisco Area - Saturday

I stayed out late Friday night and since Friday morning was foggy, I did not get up with the sun. Small regrets because it was a clear and sunny day. There might have been a "sunrise" worth photographing. i headed back the direction I had come, knowing I had a deadline to be at Half Moon Bay for the exhibition.

As I drove up Bolinas Bay and enjoyed the shore birds and the seals hauled out on the sand. I marveled at the seals because they seemed so far inland. As I drove the road above Stinson Beach, I stopped at a pullover. Yesterday all you could see was the fog clouds extending out into the sea. Today was clear. I could see the narrow opening of water that leads into Bolinas Bay. This is how those seals got so far "inland." How do they know to go there. They have to swim in and out at high tide. The seals are not really close enough for great photography, but it would be fun to watch the action through a few tide cycles. How often do they swim out to see to feed, or does the tide bring in enough fish to feed them within this small bay? Due to the time of day and lack of "magic" lighting I knew this would not be a great photo, but i could not resist the memory shot, the snap shot to remember how pretty things looked from this overlook.

I headed back through the redwood area near Mount Tamalpais State Park. While there were not many places to pull off to photograph (without my trusty driver, Henry to drop me off), I found that I could not resist this spot. Once again, time of day was not conducive to "great" photography.

This was also a great place to try some artistic motion photography. And lighting is not as critical. On this first one, I chose a slower shutter speed and did a curving motion as I shot the photo (handheld.) I have a quick wrist action for this method where I'm quickly making a backwards "C" with the camera or almost a circular motion. This one needed just a little bit of doctoring in two places, but I liked the end result.

This next shot, I shot moving the camera on a diagonal. I know there is an art style that uses lines to create images - I need to learn the name of it, because sometimes this method produces a pleasing image.

This type of experimentation requires a lot of shots - horizontal pans, vertical pans, Comma movements, quick movement, slow movement, move up, move down . . . And you only end up with a few usable images out of a bunch of shots that don't work.

This last image had some potential, but needed something a little more to really work. So, I played with contrast, color, and sharpening. Then I went into the artistic filters. Poster edges added just enough definition to make this last one work.

While these last shots are not for everyone, they are a creative style that I am enjoying playing with. I've entered some earlier shots taken with these techniques at the Shell BBC WIldlife Photographer of the Year and at Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards Contest. We'll see how they do.

P.S. I got the idea for playing with this style at last year's NANPA Summit from a presentation by Dewitt Jones.

1 comment:

John Theberge said...

I like what you did with these shots, they're very creative.