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Archive for August, 2010

Polo

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The polo game offered plenty of opportunity to capture the action.  Click on the thumbnails below the slideshow to enlarge the images.

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Polo

This one is for Ron because I know how fond he is of the ponies.  We spent the afternoon at the polo grounds today, enjoying a bit of sport, wine and cheese. Not a bad way to end up a week of vacation – now back to reality and work tomorrow.  Updated:  Julie and my DH wanted to see the photo cropped just a little closer.  I was able to keep the ball in the shot while moving in a little closer to the action so here’s the revised image.

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Whenever I see colorful sand buckets and shovels it brings back fond memories of summers at the cottage and building sand castles on the beach.

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Fences are a natural element for leading lines to draw your eye into the picture.  Thursday night we took the ferry over to Ocean Beach on Fire Island to have dinner and enjoy a warm summer evening.  We took a stroll down to the beach while we were waiting for our dinner reservations.  The off-balance composition was a means for hiding some people on the beach that are concealed behind the fence on the left but I like the resulting effect.

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Three days of rain have limited the photo opportunities so I decided to take the opportunity to learn a bit more in Photoshop Elements by taking the group of gas pump images and grouping them together in a collage.

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I’m done playing with this so you won’t be subjected to any more pictures of this blue door. The final crop I settled on was a 5×7 ratio, capturing more of the street to anchor the shot. I worked with Lightroom a bit more to try and address the blown out highlights caused by the sun hitting the white stucco and finally settled on applying a texture and frame to tone down the wall a little and give it an aged look.  Still a little blown out at the top but overall I’m pleased with my changes and my first attempt at adding textures.

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I tried the square crop I had envisioned and rejected it as too boring.  Julie’s suggested crop above using an 8×10 format, capturing just a small portion of the yellow flowers on each side works better, but for me it highlights one flaw too much.  The window is crooked!  The door lines up vertically with cropping guides but the window is just slightly crooked in the wall – something that this view highlights in my eyes.

The view below is a slightly wider view of the 8×10 format and it works better for me.  I think the slight wisp of leaves in the upper left and hint of windows along the top help frame the image without being a distraction and the window is less  prominant so the slight tilt is less obvious.  The suggestions and comments were a big help in getting me to view this a little differently – I’d like to hear what everyone thinks of the revisions.

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Number 8

Walking around Cold Spring, NY last weekend I spotted this blue door at the end of a short street.  The whimsy of the color drew me in.  I’m torn between the portrait view and the landscape view though looking at them here I think I’m inclined to consider a third option – a square crop of the portrait view, eliminating most of the street and catching just a bit of the window.  I’ll post that tomorrow, but in the meantime, let me know which you like best of these two.

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Lesson Learned

Once again, I can’t resist aged, decaying, rusty images.  This was a door on the John J. Harvey.   As I was reviewing my pictures the next day I realized I’d taken lots of close up, and hadn’t taken any shots of the full vessel!  Lesson learned for the future, don’t overlook the wider view – it may be an image you wish you had to complete the story.

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This is the first image I shot of the John J. Harvey.  You can’t help but love the tactile quality and utilitarian nature of this rope knotted into a bumper to protect the bow of the boat.

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A moment of realization – as I was looking at this image I realized that I’m drawn to simple graphic images with numbers.   I suspect I’ll be seeing even more of them now that I’m aware of that little detail.  Here are a few from previous posts.

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The John J. Harvey was an old fireboat that was anchored off the dock in Cold Spring, NY this past weekend.  She was in service with the FDNY (Fire Department New York) from 1931 to 1994.  On Sept. 11, 2001 she helped evacuate people from Manhattan and then returned to help pump water on the disaster site.

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The larger view sets the scene, but the details help tell the story. I find that I like closing in on the shapes and textures you find in the small parts of the scene.

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I wonder if that old Chevrolet gassed up at these pumps – remember the old days when gas contained lead, then for awhile you had to specify “leaded” or “unleaded”.

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Am I dating myself with that headline?  Sing along with me if you remember that old commercial/

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Last Friday’s Photowalk Tip was to shoot 3 different subject matters – an architectural image, a “street” image and a nature image.  I found that the exercise pushed me to seek out images I might not have otherwise found.  My favorite is the street image – I was holding the camera at waist level, discretely snapping a typical summer moment – boys at the ice cream truck while dad pays!  The colors were very bright; the lads hair was carrot orange and his shirt was bright yellow so I toned it down to give it a classic look.

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Hot summer nights at the carnival – flashing lights, cotton candy, squeals and screams, memories of childhood…

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Shutter Speed – 1/5 sec. ~ Aperture – f/7.1
These images were all Shutter Priority at ISO 640, 28mm focal length.  The different shutter speed is noted under each picture and it demonstrates the effect of the longer shutter speed capturing a longer light trail.

Shutter Speed – .4 sec. ~ Aperture – f/7.1

Shutter Speed – .6 sec. ~ Aperture – f/10

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August in my town means it’s time for Summerfest – a weekend of carnival rides and food, a craft fair and a vintage car show.  Small town summer fun at it’s best.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to practice some slow shutter speed photography of the spinning rides at night.  I used a monopod and a lens with vibration control on this image.

Shutter Priority
Shutter Speed – .8 sec
Aperture – f/20
Focal Length – 42mm
ISO 640

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I saved the best for last – this is the image I submitted to our local walk competition and I was shocked and delighted to find out that it was selected as the winning image from our group and it’s been submitted to the national competition.  I used a couple of Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom presets on this image (Morning Glow and Focal Point) and then tweaked them to get the effect I wanted.

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