OnOne

SAHM

SAHM, that's what my wife calls herself, a Stay At Home Mom.  SAHM, that's what I call Stay At Home Macro.

From time to time I will purchase some flowers, my wife thinks they are for her, but no, they are for my SAHM.  See what I did there? ;)

I setup the flowers in a vase on the dining room table next to a window.  I will use the available window light and if I need more, I will use one of the little LED lights that are designed for on camera video lights.  They work great for adding a little light to a macro subject.  In this case, a daisy.

ISO 400, 90mm, F/16 @ 1/4 second

Hover over the image to see the camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

The angle of light plays a very important role in the final image.  Holding it an angle that will accentuate details you want is important, especially if you plan to process the image as a black & white, as I have here.

Another tip...Glycerin.  If you mix a 50/50 water glycerin mix you will have a liquid that will not evaporate.  For the most part, it will stay where you put it, too.  This single drop remained here during and after my entire shooting session.

This image was made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  This setup was mounted on my Sirui W-2204 Tripos and K-20 Ballhead.  THe image was process in Lightroom and converted to black & white using On1 Perfect B&W.

More From the Hotel

Here's another shot from the Old Shelby Hotel.  This is looking down the hall as soon as you walk in the front door. 

Here I simply got my tripod in a really low angle, almost to ground level, and used a super wide angle lens to take in the whole scene.

ISO 100, 17mm, F/11 @ 6 bracketed shutter speeds

Hover over the image to see the camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

This image was processed exactly the same as yesterday's image, only this time I used a different preset within On1 Effects to get started.  This time I used a preset called "Just Enough Darkness".  I've found that preset gives a great starting point for creating a great mood in these types of shots.

Image made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  All mounted on my Sirui W-2204 Tripod and K-20 Ballhead.

The Old Shelby Hotel

Over this past weekend I took a trip with a friend of mine, Brad Lackey with Lookout Mountain Photography, to visit an abandoned building known as The Old Shelby Hotel.   

This hotel has quite the history.  It was said to be the first building in Alabama to have running water and electric lights.  It also played an important role in The Civil War as it served as a hospital and also training grounds for soldiers at different points during the war.  Today it is merely a shell of what used to be...but that's the kind of thing us photographers live for, right?

ISO 100, 15mm, F/11 and 6 bracketed shutter speeds

This is an HDR image.  If you want to capture all of the highlight and shadow detail in a scene like this you really have no other choice than HDR.  In a room that is dark with  bright light coming into the windows, there is no way to pull all of that detail out of one RAW file.  

Here I took 6 shots bracketed from -3 all the way to +2 at 1 stop apart.  Then I merged them using Lightroom's HDR Photo Merge feature.  After tweaking a bit inside Lightroom, I jumped over to On1 Perfect Effects to finish this image.  I used one of my favorite presets for this kind of stuff.  It's called Kryptonite.  It gives a pretty strong effect, but you are able to dial the opacity slider back to your amount that suits your taste...just like you would in Photoshop.

This image was made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  All of this was mounted on my Sirui W-2204 tripod and K-20 Ballhead.

Looking Glass Falls

Yet another roadside, North Carolina waterfall that I hit last week was Looking Glass Falls.

Looking Glass Falls is inside the Pisgah National Forest.  It is located right along the road with a staircase that leads you to the bottom of the falls.  This fall is located near Brevard, NC along U.S. Highway 276.  It is about a 60 foot fall.  This is a real nice fall, and one to hit if you have little to no time to spare and want to see an impressive fall.

ISO 50, 15mm, F/16 @ 1 second

I made this image with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  My tripod of choice was the Sirui W-2204 and K-20x Ballhead.

Image was processed in Lightroom and On1's new Suite 10.  I loved the On1 Products before but now they are easier to use than ever before.

Another North Carolina Waterfall

When I started researching waterfalls I wanted to stop at on my trek across North Carolina, I knew this one was a must see after viewing a few images of it.

The one was a little tougher to track down though.  It seems several people have several different names for it.  I saw it listed as Cathedral Falls, I saw it listed as Shoal Creek Falls and I saw it listed as Bird Rock Falls.  Tracking it down was a little harder since it had several names.  Also, it was not visible from the road and it was on private property.  The property owner allows visitors to enjoy the waterfall as long as the park along the roadway and not on their property.

I basically found the GPS coordinates online for its location.  Once I got there, I parked the car, got out, walked a little, got back in the car, drive a little, made a lot of u turns, spotted the red building, parked along the road and followed the "private property enter at own risk" signs until I saw the falls.

ISO 50, 15mm, F/22 @ 1 second

I shot this with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  I had all of this mounted atop the Sirui W-2204 tripod.  

This waterfall was a little tough to shoot, simply because if you wanted to include the entire red cabin, you had to include the sky, too.  Although the sky was a no nothing overcast sky, which was great for shooting the waterfall, it's not so great when it's part of the image.  I attempted to overcome that by using On1's new suite 10 to help process the image.  I was able to boost the colors of everything else and add a vignette to try and draw you away from the sky.  

I, myself, am not a fan of the included sky, but I am big enough fan of everything else that I can learn to live with it.

Smoky Mountain Cascade

Here is one of many images I shot along the Tremont area of The Great Smoky Mountains last week.  The color was good, the shooting was good and most of all it was a relaxing trip that relieved a lot of stress from the weeks before.

I know what you are asking me right now..."Did that leaf happen to fall perfectly on that rock in the foreground?".  Nope, I put it there.  I think it helped anchor the foreground and give you the feeling of Autumn much more than the plain rock without it.  Not only did I put it there, I probably even splashed water on it to give it more contrast.  Call me a cheater... ;)

ISO 100, 19mm, F/16 @ 2 seconds

I made this image with my Sony A7R II, Metaobnes Lens Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  I also had my gigantic Fotodiox circular polarizer rig and my Sirui W-2204 Tripod.  

One of the things i really like about the Sirui W-2204 being waterproof is before Whenever I spent the day photographing water, I'd have to come home, extend my tripod and let it dry out in the garage...well those days are over with this thing.  Since no water ever gets in the leg sections that is no longer necessary.

 

Fog Lifting at Two Mile

Here's another shot from the infamous Two Mile Boat Launch in Apalachicola, FL.

This was taken just before sunrise as a layer of fog was lifting.  The fog created a nice ambiance to the scene.  The old shipwrecked, shrimp boat doesn't hurt either. ;)

There isn't much to this shot.  I made it using a borrowed Tamron 15-30mm Lens and a Novoflex lens adapter to adapt Nikon mount to Sony E mount.  I kept my ISO at a low 100.  Using this particular lens adapter, it has it's own apreture blades inside the adapter.  This means it doesnt report an aperture value back to the camera for EXIF...which also means I have no idea what my aperture was.  At 15mm, it really doesn't make a "ton" of difference, anyhow, but I'll guess F/8.  My shutter speed for this shot was 8 seconds.  I also used my Sirui W-2204 Tripod...I don't leave home without it.

ISO 100, 15mm, F/8-ish @ 8 seconds

I also processed this shot using a combination of Lightroom and On1 Perfect Effects.  I have become a huge fan of On1 over the last few years and I'm excited about their upcoming new release!

The Boat Docks

I have returned home from our Apalachicola, FL Workshop and finally got a chance to look at a few images.

We photographed sunset at the boat docks in Eastpoint, FL on different occasions with different workshop groups.  This area offers several things that can be used as excellent foreground options.  Boats, piers, pilings and tools of the oyster trade can all be used as foregrounds for photos while the sunrises and sunsets provide colors for the sky and water.  It's an area that can be photographed at either sunrise or sunset and offers very different light during each time.

Here's an image I made at the boat docks at sunset on our last workshop day.  I was drawn to the pier and the fishing net someone had left there...probably just for me.  So, I kinda hung out here at this pier and waited for the colors to get just right.  The colors didn't disappoint.  I loved the colors and reflections, especially the reflection inside the half sunken boat.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16 @ 0.6 seconds

I made this image using my Sony A7RII, LA-EA3 Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  All attached to a new tripod I was trying out that I fell in love with, the Sirui W-2204. Not only did it hold the camera more stable than I could have asked, but the leg sections are sealed to make it waterproof and sand proof.  If you've ever done a shoot on the beach, you can appreciate that! 

Apalachicola Locals

The first of our Forgotten Coast Workshops have started this week in Apalachicola, FL.  So far we have captured great sunsets, sunrises and even some awesome milky way shots!  This morning, however, I spent a little time photographing something I normally don't....a human.

The local oyster fishermen that line the docks, fishing boats and general hangouts around town have such character.  If you take the time to listen to any of their stories you will not regret it, either.  I talked to one fella this morning that was telling me all about his family's old turpentine farm from years gone by.  Heck, we've even heard tales of a locally famous man's murder.

This morning, as we wrapped up our sunrise shoot, we ran into a few guys that were more than willing to pose for our cameras.  This gentleman was the older of them.  I do not recall his name, but I spent a few minutes talking to him and photographing him.  We tried to offer him some money for being a cooperative model for us all, but he refused to accept any payment.  

It's hard to capture the hard lifestyle these guys live through only a camera.

ISO 100, 70mm, F/2.8 @ 1/320th

I captured this image using my Sony A7RII, LA-EA3 Lens Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 Lens.

I processed this image using OnOne's B&W Suite.  I knew this dude would make a great black and white portrait as soon as I saw him!

 

Old Plymouth

Over the Fourth of July holiday I took yet another visit to Old Car city USA.  I've been so many times now, yet I find so much to shoot each time.

Old Car City USA has gotten a lot of press lately.  If you haven't gotten over there, you definitely should...soon.

This is an image I made of an old Plymouth.  As many times as I have visited Old Car City USA, I've never been in the summer.  I thought the ivy growing through and around the grill of this care made for a very interesting shot.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/11 @ 1/15th second

I normally shoot HDR a lot while I'm there, but this day it was very overcast and I could get away with a single exposure and achieve the mood I wanted.  

This was captured with my Sonay A7R, LA-EA3 and Tmaron 24-70mm Lens.  The image was processed in Lightroom and finished in OnOne Perfect Effects 9.5.