Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

One of the lighthouses along our stop up the coast from Boston to Maine was Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.  We did get to shoot this one around 9:30AM, which wasn't the best light, but not the worst either.

Pemaquid has these rocks in the foreground which make for excellent composition elements.  From the angle I shot this, there was no waves crashing onto the rocks, so I did not want to use a 10 stop ND filter here, since there really was no movement anyways.  I did use a circular polarizer, however to cut some glare off of the foreground rocks and enhance some of the colors.

Aperture Priority, F/16, 1/15th second, ISO 100

When composing This image, I simply wanted to include as much of the foreground rock as I could, so I picked a spot in the rocks that had lines that lead you into the lighthouse and jammed my lens as close to it as I could while laving the lighthouse in the upper third of the frame.  

I created this image with my Canon 5D III, Tamron 15-30mm lens and Vu Filter system.  All resting atop my Sirui W-2204 tripod.

Providence Church

This is a scene I photographed a few years back, too.  Then it didn't have all these cool little wildflowers by the sign, however.

I tried to do some research on this place, but couldn't find much on Google except its location on a map.  I saw a church by the same name in the area, so I assume this is their old place.  The new(er) one is much nicer and larger.

These are the kinds of places you find when you take that dirt road. ;)

This little gem is somewhere in between Chappell Hill, TX and Brenham, TX on N. Meyersville Road.  That's pretty much all I know about it.  I can only assume that some classic, southern gospel tunes were belted out of here back in it's day.

Not much to the photo technically.  It was one of those F/8 and be there kinda things.  I did shoot it ultra wide with my Tamron 15-30mm lens at a real low angle.  

If anyone happens to know any info on this place, I'd be happy to hear more about it.

Milky Way at Two Mile

The conditions for astro photography were prime while we were doing our workshops in Apalachicola, FL a few weeks ago.

There was no moon for a few days and the other days it was so minimal and it set so soon that it didn't effect us for getting great shots of The Milky Way.

We knew the conditions were right, we just had to find a spot to do it.  I suggested we try this place in Apalachicola called Two Mile.  I didn't know exactly how the milky way would line up there, but I knew there were abandoned boats in either direction you looked, so I knew we had a good solid foreground that wouldn't move.  Now, to just figure out where The Milky Way would line up in relation to either one of those boats.  I left that part up to my teaching partner, David Akoubian.  Once he figured out where The Milky Way's location was we saw that it lined up directly behind one of the abandoned boats.  Score!

Now, all we had to do was dial in our camera settings.  This is the simplest part!  We set our cameras on Manual Exposure mode and our Lenses on Manual Focus Mode.  We set our cameras to an ISO of anywhere from 1600-3200, out aperture as wide open as our lens would allow, in my case F/2.8 and our shutter speed to 30 seconds.  Then we focused our lenses all the way to infinity and pulled them back just a touch.  We brought a long flashlights to light of the foreground so everyone could get their composition set and we just fired off the shutters together.

ISO 1600, 24mm, F/2.8 @ 30 seconds

I made this milky way image using my Sony A7R II, LA-EA3 Lens Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  All mounted a top my Sirui W-2204 Tripod.  

I was excited to see how excited the workshop attendees were when they saw their camera's LCDs light up with the image they just captured.  The next day we showed them how to process those milky way images in Lightroom.  Some of the students were pumping out some amazing images!  A few of them went out the next few nights on their own to capture more milky way shots.  That's what it is all about...we want to show you how to create great images and give you the tools to go out and do it on your own when you are back home and not with the group.  Mission accomplished!

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! 

Sunrises and Seafood

Next week I will be in Apalachicola, FL conducting two separate workshops during the week for Nature In Focus Workshops.

I am really looking forward to getting back down there.  I enjoy the area so much.  It really offers some great sunrises and sunsets, too.  I am getting to try out some new products...and there is the seafood. ;)

Here is one of the many scenes from the area.  Oyster boats at sunrise.  

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

I took this image using a borrowed Tamron 10-24mm Lens.  It worked out wonderfully for this scene.

Shooting the Same Locations Multiple Times

I'm sure you've heard someone say before "Technically, you could never shoot the same photo twice.".  That couldn't be more true in nature or landscape photography.

Let's take this barn in GTNP on Mormon Row for instance.  It's been photographed a zillion times.  I've photographed it about 10 or more times now myself.  While, I still don't think I have the best shot I'll get of it, I got the one I am most happy with, so far, this past spring.  This is one of the reasons I will shoot the same locations multiple times.  There is always something different with Mother Nature.  If you photographed this same scene every day you would get a different image each time.

I always enjoy photographing a new location but many times I will revisit the same locations multiple times before I get a shot I'm pleased with.  I may be pleased with an image I take at a location then when I return I may have a better sky, or warmer light that I think makes my new image better. 

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16 @ 1/20th second

This image was made using my Sony A7R, LA-EA3 Lens Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.

Osprey

Over the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, I got an invite to go over to a lake in North Georgia to shoot some osprey that were on the nest.  It was a bit of a ride from my house, but boy I'm sure glad I went.  I ended up with some stuff I'm super happy with!

Although I left happy, it didn't start out that way.  I initially tried to shoot handheld.  The osprey were flying around so much that my arms quickly got tired.  I checked my images and the majority of them were out of focus.  I decided to salvage any part of the day I was going to have to go back to the vehicle and get the tripod, which I did.  Mounting the camera on the tripod turned out to be the deciding factor.  I started getting better shots when I could focus on the photography and not my tired arms.

ISO 800, 360mm, F/7.1 @ 1/1250th second

This image was made with my Sony Alpha 77ii, Tamron 150-600mm Lens and Vanguard Photo US Alta Pro 283CT Tripod.

I knew for the shots I was going for I needed a very high shutter speed.  I was shooting for above 1/1000th of a second.  I had to raise my ISO to 800, even though it was pretty bright.  Bumping the ISO and getting the higher shutter speed allowed me to capture this shot of the osprey landing at the nest and looking directly at me.  I was very pleased with this image.