Tag Archives: Abstract

West Virginia in the Fall

We are so fortunate to live so close to such amazing beauty as West Virginia. Wild and Wonderful is there slogan and it is spot on!

Every year, Road Runner has been leading fall tours in this area and this fall will be no exception. Each season provides new wonders, so don’t miss this opportunity to get out and enjoy the changing seasons!

For more information and to register, click here.

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Quality vs. Quantity

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I’m going to start with a question. What is more important, quality of work or quantity of work? What I mean by this is what if you took a week long trip and only got one portfolio quality image? Would the trip be a failure or a success? The answer to this question of course depends of your point of view.

Sitting on this side of the computer I have a front row seat to the internet just like you. Now you can look at websites like 500px and generally you will see examples of stunning work from a variety of photographers. Or if you go over to Flickr you might see someone post dozens or even hundreds of pictures from a particular trip or event. There is no right answer to this question, its like many things in life, a matter of opinion.

As I finish my 2nd decade as a photographer, with a 20 year break between decades, I find that I value quality. In my mind this is the only possible choice. When you go to a gallery or art show you see a few pieces from a particular artist at best. Artists have always been forced to be selective when it comes to showing their work. But with the advent of the internet and nearly unlimited online storage, it takes us back to the days of sitting in front of a slide projector as your neighbor shows you 200 shots from their vacation. Did you fall asleep before the show was over? You have to be older than 40 to appreciate the comparison.

It’s not my intent to be critical of others in this space but let’s think a minute. If you post 100 pictures from a particular place or event, how many people will loose interest before looking at all of your images? Or how many will judge your ability as a photographer not by your best image, but by your worst? The fact is we all take lousy images. I could show you thousands, but then you would not be inclined to return to my blog. I think it helps if you can develop the ability to be your toughest critic. That does not mean that you should not show your images and have pride in your work. You should! I think the art of photography is a journey and not a destination. Personally I hope to be a better photographer as time progresses. Part of that process is being critical of my work and introperspective on how I can strive to improve.

In regard to the blog image above.  It was the only worthy image from a full a day of shooting motion abstracts.   The rest were just not that good.  But my happiness with the one image far overpowers any possible disappointment with the hundreds I had taken that day that no one else will ever see.

Speaking Engagements Announced

We are scheduled for the following Speaking Engagements, feel free to come out and join us!!

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Sept 18: 8pm – Baltimore Camera Club – Textures and Blending – Denise

5800 Cottonworth Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209

 

Oct 1: 7:30pm – Arundel Camera Club – Light Painting – Don

Severna Park High School, Room 114, Severna, MD

 

Oct 9: 7pm – Loudoun Camera Club – Textures and Blending – Denise

George Washington University, 20101 Academic Way, Sterling, VA

 

Oct 13: 7pm – Gaithersburg Camera Club – Composition: The Rules and When to Break Them – Denise

Ashbury Methodist Village at Lost Knife Road and Odendhal Avenue

 

Nov 13: 7pm – Charlotte Camera Club – Abstract – Don

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1623 Carmel Road, Charlotte, NC, 28226

 

Nov 15: 11:30am – Nature Visions Expo – Light Painting – Don

Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA 20110

 

Jan 8, 2015 8: 6pm – Charlottesville Camera Club – Composition: The Rules and When to Break Them – Denise

1180 Pepsi Place, Charlottesville, VA

 

Jan 13: 7pm – Academy of Science and Art of Pittsburgh – Textures and Blending – Denise

Mt. Lebanon Rec Center, 900 Cedar Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA, 15228

 

Feb 3: 7pm – Maple Shade Moorestown Camera Club – Abstract – Don

200 N. Stiles Avenue, Maple Shade, NJ 08052

 

April 8: 7:30pm – Cranbury Digital Camera Club – Textures and Blending – Denise

Cranbury United Methodist Church, 21 North Main Street, Cranbury, NJ, 08512

Artistic License

Artistic License… what does it really mean…?

The freedom to create artwork based on the artist’s interpretation.

Often, photography is not seen as “art”. This is really a tragedy, as photographers spend hundreds of hours honing their craft, learning their tools, improving their skills, understanding light and composition, just as other artists do… yet, they are not given the same respect or credit. How often have we heard… “Wow, great pic, you must have an excellent camera” or “If that were in a gallery, I would buy it”? I personally, need more than two hands to count the number of times I have heard these or similar comments.

Simply put, photography is a form of art and definitely a form of expression. From Photojournalism to Abstract Photography; photography runs the gamut of styles and subjects. I consider my photography art. I consider myself an artist. I consider my medium a camera. I consider Photoshop and its various plugins to be my palette.

Sometimes we exercise our artistic license in how we create images. In this image, I was standing in a grove of Poplar trees. The grove was long and narrow, which to me felt like a tunnel. I tried to convey that feeling by using a telephoto lens, and moving from telephoto to wide angle while the shutter was open. Other than adding some contrast and checking for blown highlights, this image has not been “processed”.

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In this next image, I exercised my artistic license in how I processed this image. For this image, I used Topaz Clean 3, and started with the FlatStyle preset. I liked how it flattened and smoothed the image, while leaving the pattern of light created by the moving clouds. This image now conveys the simplicity and peacefulness of the rolling dune-like hills for which the Palouse is known. It takes the focus off the grain, off the labor of the land, and sets a dreamy-mood, in which one can get lost in thought. If you are interested in learning more about Topaz Plugins, click here.

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At RRPT, we love to share our passion for all-things photography. If you would like to experience a photo tour that focuses on getting you to the right place at the right time, while in a supportive environment that encourages you to express your artistic vision, then you should check out our 2014 fall tours and newly announced 2015 tours! Click here for more information.

Happy Shooting!

A Different Type of Landscape

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The picture above is a landscape in Palouse, but it’s really not about the landscape so much. For me it’s about the color, pattern and texture.

Today so much effort is geared toward having sharp images, tripods, shutter release cables, vibration reduction lenses, and high ISO cameras. All of these features can assist in getting the sharpest possible shot, but sometimes I find more meaning in something soft. The image was captured using a horizontal panning technique at 1/8 of a second. It was also shot at 400mm to visually compress the rolling hills. I shoot lots of abstracts and most will never be seen by others. The keeper ratio is likely 10 percent, but I find this to be a worthwhile pursuit.