This weekend, I revisited Elk River Falls with my husband and some friends. The waterfall is impressive and a short walk from the car. We had finished a day filled with hiking and decided to take the short walk to show our friends this waterfall to conclude our day.
As primarily a nature photographer, I enjoy being outdoors photographing. Often the things I want to photograph require me to travel at odd hours of the day or night, hike to get to my subject matter, and be in isolated locations.
While this may seem ideal to many, for a female photographer, it can be less than optimal.
I would like to start by sharing a story. One day, I saw an area of gorgeous wildflowers that were blooming along an off ramp on a busy stretch of highway. The flowers stretched the entire way up this off ramp. I had just gotten into “the zone” (happy place of creating with my camera) when another car pulled off not far from my vehicle. At first, I didn’t think much of it. A man got out of the vehicle and started making his way towards
I always enjoy shooting at Cline’s Antiques, which is located in Mt. Pleasant, NC.
Saturday, Mr. Cline, graciously allowed the Charlotte Camera Club, which I am a member, to spend time photographing at Cline’s Antiques. This is a photographer’s paradise. There is something creative to photograph at every turn. There are items to photograph both outside and inside at Cline’s Antiques. Many of these items are organized into groups.
For example, the photograph above shows some of the hands that can be found at Cline’s Antiques. I noticed the leaves hanging above the hands. I thought it would be a nice composition to have the hands reaching for the leaves above.
Another image I created using horses made of metal. They were aligned in a neat row. I created the image below by first changing the arrangement of the horses a bit. Once I captured the image, I processed it first in Lightroom. In Lightroom, I made basic adjustments and added a vignette to darken the corners of the image. I then took the image into NIK’s SilverEfex and applied a Sepia Tone.
I enjoyed using Topaz Impressions on a couple of the images I captured Saturday morning. Here are the results of using images created and applying Topaz Impressions to get the effect I desired.
For the birdhouse image, I applied the filter to the entire image. The umbrella image is made with two images. I blended a straight image of the umbrella with one with the filter applied. I wanted to wood of the umbrella to show without the filter applied. After layering both images in Photoshop, I used the eraser tool to remove the parts I wanted to remove which allowed the parts I wanted to show to come through.
When you are given a wonderful opportunity to explore a wonderful place such as Cline’s Antiques, capture images which you can then give new life to using your processing programs and plugins.
I just returned from a fantastic weekend shooting with one of my teachers, Les Saucier (Master in the Arcanum) http://www.lessaucier.com/, and fellow members of the Arcanum. We had a Photowalk that had a home base of Brevard, NC. Much of our time was spent on and near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Fall colors can be found on the Blue Ridge Parkway, in different locations, for several weeks. There are reports which tell you where to find the best colors on the dates you will be travelling to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This weekend, we found some places were past peak and a few at peak. Regardless of the stages of the colors, a great time was had by all. It is amazing what you can learn shooting alongside fellow photographers. I am always amazed at the different images that are seen by different participants from the same exact spots.
Since I knew we would all be shooting the same things, I wanted to try to find something really different while on the Photowalk. I knew one of the locations we would be visiting. I thought I would pack my underwater camera and see what I could see with the underwater camera.
I did use my “big girl camera” to get most of the things I shot during the weekend. For instance, the shot above was taken with my Nikon D800.
But, when the group went to a stream to photograph the cascades and fall leaves, I decided to try something different. I placed my Canon G11 in its underwater housing. The G11 is a camera I keep with me at all times. I bought the housing for it several years ago so I could take pictures while on vacation.
I wasn’t quite sure what I would come up with using the camera underwater in the streams. First, I tried to take a picture with the camera half in and half out of the water. This was unsuccessful as the sky was much too bright to create a pleasing image. I was also working with a fixed shutter speed and no tripod. Slowing down and blurring the water was not going to work, either.
I began just taking pictures completely under the water. I took pictures of the rocks on the bottom of the water. It took pictures of the tree roots underwater lining the banks. After a while, I began to try to capture the leaves as they travelled downstream.
About an hour or so after beginning this experiment, I left the stream, cold and tired, but hopeful. I wasn’t sure if I had captured something fun, but I was hopeful that with the amount of shots I took, I would have at least one keeper.
I ended up with two shots I would like to share with you. I like one image much more than the other. Can you guess which is my favorite? Which is your favourite?
So, the next time you are out with a group of photographers sharing the same location, find a way to make creative images that will not resemble any one else’s who was shooting at the same location.
Sometimes, when I begin processing an image, I have a direction in mind. I can visualize exactly what I want the final product to look like. I then follow the steps and workflow necessary to show my vision for the image.
There are other times, however, when the processing just seems to take over and lead me in different directions entirely from where I