The Nature of Old Indian

17 08 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many things I love. The practice of photography being high on the list. Most of you also know I’m a Christian though I consider myself a bit more liberal than many. I love all people and insight into the lifestyle of another person is fascinating.

We are fundamentally all the same. Made of the same stuff, function the same way. I can relate and empathize because I can visualize myself in your shoes. There is a world though that mortal man cannot fully comprehend. A life so subtle we may not even register it as such. Today I’m going back to my roots with a post more reminiscent of my early blogging style. With no further ado, I present the nature of Old Indian.

The shallow depth of field combined with the fairly neutral background strongly draws your eye to the flower. The petals were really interesting to me, the way every other one was so wilted. I left the image a hair underexposed to emphasis the somber mood. Capturing a generally very bright and cheerful subject in a somber light gives the viewer a deeper sense of emotion than simply making a happy thing look happy or a sad thing look sad.

In stark contrast to the previous picture I left this mushroom a little on the bright side. For me, the shallow depth of field draws my eyes from right to left (foreground to background.) This gives my brain just enough time to tell itself it’s looking at a rotting log before it happens upon the subject, the mushroom. Normally a mushroom doesn’t scream life but in contrast to a rotting log, it’s a bright and cheerful spot in this image.

 

This is a very subtle image. Sometimes there just aren’t enough words too describe the simplest images.

The touch of man. Not so pronounced as a lumber corporation clear cutting a beautiful forest but perhaps more touching in a way. I heard it said that a single death is a tragedy and a thousand deaths is a statistic. I don’t consider myself a hippie by any means and I know wood is a foundation of our society but it’s still important to take a moment to appreciate the things we take from nature. When we stop recognizing we live symbiotically with the world around us we will destroy it completely.

 

Windswept. I maintained a shallow depth of field to blur out the dull distracting background. I sacrificed a lot of the flowers but I’ve learned when shooting nature, one-thing in focus is usually better than everything in focus.

The complexity here is beautiful. Hundreds of tiny splinters of wood lacing in every direction. Nature does modern art far better than we ever will.

I hope you enjoyed the post today. I love hearing from you so leave me a comment and I’ll try to respond. Follow the blog to keep up with the goings on and there are links for my Twitter and Facebook somewhere around here 🙂

Thanks for reading and God Bless, -Arley

 

 

 





Hubcaps For Sale

27 05 2012

Maybe an obscure title like that will finally make me show up on the freshly pressed radar. 🙂 I’m very tired and a box of hub caps happened to be in the first picture so it is mildly relevant. I’m trying something I have tried only on one other occasion, I am writing a post at 1AM and scheduling it to appear on the blog at a reasonable hour of the morning so it can greet you when you’re bright and ready for a new day instead of looking at cat pictures trying to fall asleep. This is from my shoot Friday which included the 3 crosses pictures.

I had to take a few pictures to get this shot the way I wanted. I have been cheating a bit lately. I have left my ISO set on auto so that I can do what I want with the f/stop and shutter speed then let the camera do the hard work. Fortunately, I haven’t lost my touch so the second frame here came out the way I wanted. The camera got a bit confused with the extreme lights and darks so I had to take over. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, the camera is very smart but it’s not particularly creative. If f/stop, shutter speed, and ISO are Greek to you, I have an excellent (if I do say so myself) blog post about it here.

This image is intentionally very dark. I didn’t want a lot of detail. I got just enough pattern from the table to make it interesting but this shot was a lot more about mood than content. It’s kind of similar to when you hear a song you like but you have no idea what it’s about. It’s fun to do this once in a while with your photographs; I think it makes the picture say a little less about your subject and a little more about yourself and your creative direction.

Of course it only took me a flat second to decide the detail here is so great, I wanted to take another shot to capture it. The great thing about old/rustic buildings is the imperfections. I love the visible knots in the wood. I wish more things today looked a little more like this and a little less like something off an assembly line. Functional but full of character.

I have a bit of a thing for doors. Especially if they’re barred up and locked. Even more so if the metal is rusty and the paint is peeling. The textures come together really nicely here and the brick pattern in the background does a lot to make this shot feel more structured. By that I mean a consistent pattern, whether subject or supporting element, makes a picture feel more organized and less random.

My favorite thing about using a shallow DoF (Depth of Field) is you can take something very plain, like this concrete barrier thing, and focus on the most interesting part of it to make the whole thing far more appealing than it would be if you could see all the boring details clearly. You’re mind kind of just assumes the whole thing is as cool as this little bit you see clearly.

Well, I’ve reached the point that I know I should wrap this up before I get an sleepier and say something dumb/goofy. I hope you enjoyed the pictures/narrative. Let me know what you think down south in the comments section. Social links for Facebook and Twitter are up north. If you aren’t following the blog you could miss out on new stuff so be sure to do that while you’re here if you enjoy what I’m sharing. I love getting mentioned. That notification that someone mentioned me in a blog post makes my whole day, I love it when you tell your friends about me.

Anyways, that’s it. I’m signing off. Have a great Memorial Day weekend if you’re in the US. To all my other amazing friends scattered across the globe, have a great Sunday. God Bless -Arley





Wordless Wednesday

23 05 2012

DJ Coach K “Spinning the Wheels”





Rebirth

21 05 2012

To those of you who followed me closely until I dropped off the face of the earth a month and a half ago, but love me enough to show up again when they saw the new post email, I sincerely thank you for bearing with me. I offer no excuses and ask no forgiveness.

Me (left) and My Nieces and Nephews

The brief explanation I owe you is after having my wisdom teeth removed and my work schedule intensify with a huge shift of responsibility onto my shoulders, most of my evenings have been spent with my family, my church, or my bed. To my most devoted followers and friends, Mona, Mary, Andra, Victoria and others, thank you for continuing to share and inspire with your photography and writing. You all coaxed me out of hiding helped encourage me to pick up the camera after work and do what I love again. To those of you who are here for the first time, I assure you such a lull in content shall not be the norm moving forward and you are well welcome company in this circle of friends and photographers.

Today after work I started a load of laundry and decided an appropriate theme for my return from absence would be rebirth… My Junior year of high school, we found out parts of our building were “unsafe.” Over the course of a tumultuous weekend our community and neighboring schools came together  to create a portable school in our Award Winning Band’s practice field. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but we made it work.

Portable Row

Above is a look at the portable row today. It’s a nearly stifling environment, one teacher went so far to describe it as our camp of concentration. Naturally, I hate to look at the dismal grey rows of buildings so I found the part that caught my eye and did what I do best, I got in close 🙂

This was hanging outside one of the buildings. I really liked the contrast of green on the otherwise grey background. My f/stop was very low, f/1.4, so the sun and the sky gave me a nice white glow to fade into the deep blue sky in the upper left. I thought about playing with this in Photoshop for a while, but maybe I’ll do a tutorial on that in the next post. This is the image exactly as it came out of my camera.

I got my fill of the old site and moved over to the edge of the new construction. It’s been nearly 5 years since we moved into the practice field and the new building is finally a reality. Of course you can’t tell in the above image. 🙂 I ran my f/stop up to a fast f/1.4 and my shutter speed up to a quick 1/8000th of a second to get the DoF (depth of field) and brightness I wanted in this. I love an artistic shot of nature in the midst of an urbanscape or a construction site.

The building is a lot closer than it looked isn’t it? With my f/stop down to f/16 we can see the new building a lot better but the plant is definitely still the hero of this shot. A few fluffy clouds in the background add a lot to this image but you probably didn’t notice them until I said something. Some elements of a photograph appeal to us more sub-consciously than consciously. The same is true in the advertising world (yes I’m on a Mad Men kick along with the rest of the young male in a desk job populace.)

Finally here’s a look at the front lawn of the new school. I definitely prefer sprinkler row over portable row.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a slightly more local peek into my photography experiences. I appreciate you visiting and hope I get to hear from you all. I live for your feedback so feel free to fill my comments section with your thoughts. I do my very best to respond to all of them. If you think your reader’s would enjoy this or any post you are always more than welcome to press me. Social links for FB and Twitter are around here somewhere. 🙂

God bless you all and have a wonderful week! -Arley





Saved by The Mel (Post Processing Tips)

5 03 2012

I would like to first apologize for the terrible pun in the title. I know it’s been a slow week here so I also apologize for the lack of content. I haven’t had a chance to go out and really do a decent shootabout and I didn’t want to resort to sharing something sub par. Fortunately I heard back from my friend Mel who agreed to write me a guest post. Fleeing years in a corporate environment Mel started a second career in photography by attending the Rocky Mountain School of Photography career training program. His greatest joy in photography is to turn his camera to the natural world and catch it in the act of doing something interesting, or entertaining, or simply profound. Still learning how to use the craft, he works in a variety of formats including 35mm, medium and large format, digital as well as film. One of his goals for this photography is the use of images in support of environmental education and action to result in common-sense solutions to living in our world. Although his favorite photographer quote is “Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic” (Edward Weston) he continues hiking off into the woods to check its accuracy! Today Mel is sharing some awesome work he did post processing a few images. I know I have post processing fans in my readership as well as some staunchly opposed to editing any picture. I believe it has a place in photography and I agreed to share this because Mel seems to think of it much the way I do. Photoshop is not a band-aid for a bad picture.It’s more like a little bit of makeup to bring out the best in something that’s already great. In Mel’s case it’s a way to make the picture look more like what he saw and felt.

~~~

I’ve been playing around with photography for over 20 years and most of that time I didn’t really enjoy the results I was getting. Raised on years of National Geographic I couldn’t understand why my camera wasn’t turning out pictures of comparable quality, especially when it felt like I was following all the technical rules about focus and exposure. Frustrated, I was continually putting my camera on the shelf, then taking it down, then putting it back. Sadly, it was a case of literally ignoring what was right under my eyes. Yeah, I was reading all the “you can be a better photographer” books – I just wasn’t putting the advice into practice. So, it wasn’t long after buying my first digital DSLR I decided to get some instruction; you know, professional help. Maybe sharing that instant digital feedback with a pro would help me make changes in my habits right on the spot. Wow, what a revelation. The instructor brought home many of the lessons I should have learned before and showed me some new ones that helped bring it all together. “Ah-ha” moments every day. We spent a week in the field shooting and shooting and shooting until the lessons started to become habits. Happily, my camera hasn’t been back on the shelf since and I continue to learn how I see the world around me as well as how to share it successfully with others. One of the first lessons I learned was that all images need processing. The camera’s job is to accurately capture all the information you’ll need to translate the image into YOUR photograph; the rest of the effort has to come from your vision for the scene. For example, here’s a scene right out of my camera:
In my earlier days I would have looked at this image and complained, “that’s not what I saw!” because it looks so weak. Now I know the camera captured all the information I need to create the rich, detailed scene I saw when I pointed my lens in that direction. What attracted me to the scene was the idea of an image revealing the golden look of the sun on the water’s surface, showing off all the texture resulting from the little ripples. I also wanted the silhouette of the boats – no more detail than a dark outline. And I wanted just a hint of the mountains to use as a background frame but with enough contrast to show there are two ridges back there. The beauty of digital photography is you can make changes to the image in real-time and see what you’re getting. First I knew I wanted more contrast in the picture – make the blacks blacker and the whites whiter.
Making that adjustment meant more of the details in the water started showing through and the mountains in the background were more obvious. Next I wanted a richer look to the color, more like what I was seeing that morning.
Although that brought out more of the color it was my intent for the final image to have more vibrancy to it, something to catch the eye.
Now I had the overall feel and tone of the image I wanted but I really needed the eye to focus on the boats as they move across the water in front of the landscape. Most of that water in the foreground doesn’t really contribute to my vision for the image so I removed it.
Now I have the story I wanted to tell with this image along with the emotional sense I felt when I saw the scene. Another lesson I learned was portraying the drama found in a scene.

Read the rest of this entry »





A Bridge From any Other Angle Wouldn’t Look as Sweet

23 02 2012

Thought I’d have a bit of fun with the title here. Something my literature buffs will likely appreciate. Today, as you may have guessed, I’m going to touch on playing the angles and perspectives. My regulars, like Mona, Mary and Judy, (all great photo blogs worth a visit,) have heard me rant about how I don’t want to capture a scene or a subject as it is, I want to capture it how I imagine it in my head (scary, I know.)

Here’s the scene I had to work with. I was out for a walk with my very good friend and occasional assistant Jessica when this bridge caught my eye. I liked the long winding path on the other side and the steep grass bank. The texture across the whole bridge was fascinating and the light made it pretty intriguing. I dialed in my settings and took this.

I worked a few different angles that I didn’t really like but then I got another snap I really liked under the bridge. The pattern on the wall really jumped out at me, I’m huge on patterns and textures. The red dirt, diagonal shadow, and the hints of graffiti to the left gave the frame more depth and intrigue. It’s good to have an image with a few things going on as long as you don’t get too distracted by what is happening. In one of my star fort posts, I talked about every shot needing a hero. For me, the pattern was the hero and the red dirt played a lead supporting role. 🙂

Another great tip to keep in the back of your mind while you’re in the field is to look up. Most of us are very aware of what is in front of us, mildly aware of our peripherals, passively aware of what’s behind us, and oblivious to what is above us. Next time you’re shooting, challenge yourself to look up every now and then and try to get a good snap. If you get something worth sharing on your blog, track back to this post with a link so I’ll know to come and check it out.

Thanks for stopping by the blog, I’d love for you to share the post via one of the social links down below and I always enjoy reading your comments!

Social buttons are high and right, I do the twitter and all that jazz, keep up with me on there. (Sidebar: I really enjoyed doing those tutorials but I’m happy to be back on a string of ShootAbouts again. Let me know what you like better and what you want to see next, this blog is still really brand new so I appreciate all your help in carving out its niche.)

Thanks and God Bless! -Arley





Keys to Properly Exposing a Photograph 3: ISO

22 02 2012

Welcome to Part 3 of “Keys to Properly Exposing a Photograph.” To start at the beginning, CLICK HERE

The final technique we need to learn about is ISO. The history of ISO is a bit fascinating but to avoid a long boring post, it will suffice to say ISO (in photography) was a way we rated how sensitive film was to light. The more sensitive it was, the brighter our photo would be. The trade off was what we call film grain.

Film grain has to do with photons, silver halide, and dye clouds. The long and short is that to achieve a higher ISO and to get more light, we must accept film grain. In appearance it’s a small “optical texture” that makes me think of a picture printed on a piece of fine felt. Apparently there is even a software for making your digital pictures look like they were captured on film.

In digital, ISO is used to describe how sensitive our sensor is to light. It’s interesting that it causes a similar effect though for a different reason. Using a high ISO setting today will cause noise. Noise is different from film grain because it only effects one pixel at a time where film grain caused more of a blob of pixels. Noise is basically visual static in an image. Click the below image to enlarge and you can see some “noise.”

Some cameras can handle high ISO’s very well, keeping your noise down even at ISO’s as high as 6400. Some cameras will struggle with noise even at very low ISO settings. The best way to learn about ISO is to experiment around with it and see what you can get out of it.

So what do we use it for? I touched on that question in the last tutorial, here’s the answer. If we are working in a low light environment and we either already have our f/stop down as far as it will go or we just don’t want to sacrifice any more depth of field but our images are still blurring from motion or hand shake, we can crank in some ISO.

I use higher ISO settings a lot at concerts when I’m either not allowed to use flash or don’t want to kill the mood. You also may want to use higher ISO settings if you’re too far away for your flash to make a difference.

I kept it especially short today since ISO, in practice, is a fairly simple tool. I hope this series has been beneficial for you. I got on a little tutorial kick for he past 4 posts so I’m going to be coming back with some more “ShootAbouts” shortly. Those of you not that interested in the tutorials, thanks for bearing with me 🙂

I would love to hear your feedback in the comments or on Twitter! If you enjoyed this post, consider clicking a share button below to let your friends know. I’m a big fan of being “Pressed” so if you think you’re readers would enjoy this and you could use some fresh content from a friend, you’re more than welcome to it. I don’t mind you using excerpts or images from anywhere on the blog either as long as you link back to me in some way.

I’m always working toward new features and better tools on the blog but these things cost money so if you would like to help, consider a donation via the PayPal button in the right sidebar. (Really want to launch a video series, got my fingers crossed :) )





Keys to Properly Exposing a Photograph 2: f/stop

20 02 2012

Welcome to Part 2 of “Keys to Properly Exposing a Photograph.” To start at the beginning, CLICK HERE

Understanding exactly how f/stop work behind the scenes is VERY complicated. I’ve spent countless hours throughout my career studying it. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive, in-depth, intense explanation of f/stop. It lives here. Really, follow that link. It will tell you everything you could possibly want to know.

Freddy Knew You'd be Back

Now, if you’re reading this, you either have returned with an amazing understanding of the complex inner-workings of your SLR camera, or your back here waiting for me to give you the simplified version. Well, here it is.

The f/stop, as you will use it, is a range of seemingly random numbers from 1 to 22. (1, 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22.) (Some lenses will go higher than f/22. Thanks for the correction Rob) They represent how open your shutter (eyelid) will be when your sensor (eye) captures the picture. So why the weird increments? The answer is complicated. The simplest way I can say it is the f/stop is a ratio which describes the relationship between the diameter of the aperture (how wide your eyelid is open) and the focal length of the lens (how long your lens is.) The longer your focal length, the bigger your aperture needs to be to have a low f/stop. This is why a 70-200mm f/2.8 is so much bigger around than a 50mm f/1.4.

So again, why the weird increments. Now we’re getting to the bottom of this. We know an f/stop is the relationship between the diameter of the aperture and the focal length. Let’s say a 200mm lens, is set at f/4. The diameter of the aperture is going to be 200 divided by 4 which equals 50. (200/4=50) So, the diameter (distance across) of our aperture will be 50mm. Remember A = Pi times r squared? Long story short, the area of the hole letting the light in for our 200mm lens at f/4 is about 2000mm. Solve that for one stop down, f/2.8, you get about 4000mm, f/2 and you get about 8000mm. Summary, every stop down doubles the area of the hole letting the light in. This effectively doubles the light on your sensor, and this is what makes your picture brighter!

  • Remember when I told you your shutter goes in increments of doubles and halves too? Theoretically, if your image is properly exposed at (1/125 and f/2.8)… It will also be properly exposed if you double your f/stop (open the aperture twice as wide) and double shutter speed (leave the shutter open half as long) i.e. (1/250 and f/2.0) or if you halve your f/stop (open the aperture half as wide) and halve your shutter speed (leave the shutter open twice as long) i.e.  (1/60 and f/4)
So what’s the catch you say? The price of this extra amount of coveted sunlight? This one is a bit different. The way it effects your image is it creates a shallower depth of field. This means when you may have been able to focus your camera on something 10 feet away before and still see something 40 feet away clearly, now you may blur out nearly everything that isn’t exactly 10 feet away. The explanation for this is more complicated so we’ll put it off for another day. Keep your eyes open for more on that in a “Bokeh” post sometime in the near future.

A Short Depth of Field Makes The Background Unfocused

Bokeh is The Quality of the out of focus part of the image

The other catch is cost and weight. To get a low f/1.4 on a 50mm you need an aperture diameter of about 35mm. If you wanted a 200mm f/1.4 your diameter jumps up to 142mm. That aperture hole would need to be nearly 6in across. Such a lens does not exist that I’m aware of but it would cost a pretty penny. Just for a 70-200mm f/2.8 you’re getting into a $1000-2000 lens that weighs in excess of 3lbs. If you’ve got the money, (and the upper body strength) go for it. Here my equipment review post where I talk about mine along with the rest of my gear.

I know what you’re thinking. “Arley, what if I don’t have a lens with a low enough f/stop to put my shutter speed fast enough to freeze action in moderate light?” That’s where ISO comes into play. In the next installment, we’ll dig into the catch all that can add the most light, though at a steep price.

I would love to hear your feedback in the comments or on Twitter! If you enjoyed this post, consider clicking a share button below to let your friends know. I’m a big fan of being “Pressed” so if you think you’re readers would enjoy this and you could use some fresh content from a friend, you’re more than welcome to it. I don’t mind you using excerpts or images from anywhere on the blog either as long as you link back to me in some way.

I’m always working toward new features and better tools on the blog but these things cost money so if you would like to help, consider a donation via the PayPal button in the right sidebar. (Really want to launch a video series, got my fingers crossed 🙂 )

 

The next part in the series is ISO





Happy (this area intentionally left blank) Day

14 02 2012

For myself and the rest of you single folks out there, it’s just another tuesday. Before you feel bad for us, you should realize that we don’t have to spend any extra money today and X-Box, Cold Pizza, and Soda is a completely valid option for our evening. Not as bad as you may have thought ehhh? So Happy (Tues)Day! I myself am again happily single on this February 14th but I’m not complaining and I’m certainly not trying to give you love birds a hard time. In fact if you want to enjoy a nice Valentine’s post check out Andra‘s story of her first date with MTM, or my new friend Alicia’s post on God’s love for all of us. Also I just saw a touching picture on Mary Lou’s Blog. If you want something  really heartwarming, visit the Angel Medflight Blog and read their Valentine’s post. Angel Medflight is a full service provider for medical ground and air transport. I had a number of friends work with them when I was invloved in aviation but that’s a whole different story.

Anyways, this year, it’s just a Tuesday for me so I’m gonna share some just a Tuesday kind of pictures. 🙂

At the risk of digressing to a “Guess What this is a Macro Picture of” sort of a post, let’s see who can guess what this is a picture of. 🙂 First comment to get it right wins a gold star in my book. I saw this off the side of the road and thought it might be cool as the foreground for a landscape shot. It wasn’t. I didn’t want to walk back to my car without a shot so I started moving around. I played a few angles, got in close, got far away, changed the backdrop, and finally decided on a tight macro shot with a short depth of field (you can get that with a low f/stop if you’re just joining the blog.) I was pretty happy so I started the march back to my car.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to take good photographs is to look for cool things to photograph then find a cool way of looking at them. About halfway back to my car I saw this hedge row with some thorns in it. (I don’t know what it is about subjects that have sharp points that makes me want to get close and take pictures but I’m sure the BandAid industry is appreciative.) I took a few shots at a few different f/stops and was pretty happy with this one. 

Here’s a deep dark photography secret for you, one of the things that makes “professional” photographs so cool is they’re a little bit different. Your camera is smart, it’s not creative. Get out of “Automatic” every now and then and try twisting some knobs. There are a couple rules of thumb that help you expose images well in Manual modes but I recommend spending some time just playing around with it before you even bother studying it. Get a feel for what your camera is doing… then learn why it’s doing it. Different cameras do it differently but a lot of cameras have an Aperture Priority Mode. It’s usually abbreviated A or Am on the little dial that has sport, automatic, etc. This will let YOU change your f/stop to control your depth of field and the camera will pick a shutter speed to make it work. It’s a great step in the manual direction and a simple way to learn a bit about getting more creative with your pictures. (sound Greek to you? Μην ανησυχείτε! Don’t worry, I’ll do a super simplified talk about f/stop and all that fancy stuff soon. Especially if you ask for it in the comments.)

I liked this picture because I like mixing an interesting texture in the foreground with unique, but out of focus, elements in the background.

I also like the subtle contrast of the ground on the left with a tree line

To an old road on the right with a street sign.

I honestly wasn’t trying to write rhymes,

So now it’s sweet gum ball pic time. 🙂

This is almost exactly where the last picture was taken. I just shifted my focus down and took a shot of this sweet gum ball. Sometimes I like framing a shot to block out distractions. With a texture shot, a lot of background adds to the effect, but sometimes it can take away from a shot of a small object like this. It goes from an “intriguing picture of a sweet gum prickly seed pod,” to a “blurry picture of a road and what’s that little brown thing in the bottom there?” I feel it prudent to clarify that isn’t a rule of thumb, I will break that rule many times to get the shots I want. It just happens to be my thought process for that picture.

It’s important to take your pictures one at a time. when you’re getting ready to take a shot there are a few things I like to consider…

  1. How can I make my subject interesting?
  2. What can I incorporate that will add to the shot and not take away?
  3. What should I frame out of the shot because it doesn’t add anything?
  4. What would this look like with different settings?

Equally a few things not to think while taking a picture…

  1. I wonder what I can take a picture of next? (sometimes important for clients but less so for personal work)
  2. I can just fix that in post?
  3. Did I turn the coffee pot off? (I want to elaborate on this because I’m bad about it. In the words of John Cooper, we live in an OCD generation. I get distracted by tiny insignificant things while taking pictures and I stop thinking about what I’m really doing. I have to reign that in and look at my surroundings and be in the moment to really capture the moment best.)
That’s a baby pine cone and a growed up pine cone…

It’s always a pleasure writing to all of you and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Dont forget to guess what that first picture was of and…

I need your help. Well, I want your help. I have tons of ideas about things to write about and to take pictures of. I have a huge wish list of places I want to go and a page full of things I want to ShootAbout but I would love to hear from you guys and gals. If you have any photography questions, or photography answers email me. I want to hear what you have to say. I’m also looking to try sharing some stuff with other blogs so if you need fresh content from a different perspective don’t be afraid to ask. I’d love to write you an article and share a few pictures. Email arleyseth@gmail.com or just ask me in a comment, I read every comment I get and reply to just about all of them too. Thanks for stopping by and God Bless!





Golden Sunsets and Fat Man Pants

13 02 2012

I left work today to go meet up with my dad to see the Safe House movie. Incidentally it was a pretty good movie if you like action thriller with a hint of corrupt international politics. I was about halfway there when I noticed the way the sunset was going down behind a few lone trees. I pulled over to get a few shots. My 70-200mm was on my camera from a portrait shoot I did yesterday so I decided to start with it, I also slipped my 60mm macro into my back pocket.

golden sunset through dark trees

One of the biggest problems with having a great sunset like this is it makes us want to capture exactly what we see. This has always frustrated me. The biggest internal battles I have always faced as a photographer is my desire to capture what I see versus the desire to create art. ShootAbout is more about art. I want to capture pictures that require more than the right place and the right time. It’s certainly not an exact science, but it’s simple enough to take a few steps in the right direction. The tool that has helped me most so far, is my macro lens.

Using a macro lens pushes you to look at things in a way you haven’t before and that was my first step to changing the way I shoot. Eventually it will bleed over to the rest of the lenses in your bag and you’ll start to see the world differently.

I had a walked a good ways from my car by now and was ready to switch lenses for the walk back. I pulled the 60mm macro lens out of my pocket, switched them over and came to a sudden realization. A 70-200mm lens is way bigger than a 60mm…

Fortunately, I was wearing my “fat man pants” today (Finally losing weight again 🙂 ) The large lens fit in my back pocket though barely. (Today might have been a good day to wear a belt though.)

There was a fairly deep ditch by the road so I was able to get below the grass and shoot up at the sunset, a rare pleasure. I loved the tiny flowers backed by the out of focus trees and the golden sunset. I know I’ve used the sunset as a background before but I had to do it one more time. 🙂 The funniest part of this picture is the fact I nearly fell down getting in position. The unfamiliar weight of the 70-200 in my back pocket made me rock backwards and nearly fall before adjusting to steady myself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed todays pictures. I’m hoping to get out of town soon so I can freshen up the pictures with an interesting location. Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by ShootAbout. Social links in the top right. Follow me on Facebook for updates about the blog or on Twitter for a glimpse at my personal life. God bless, cheers!