A few months ago my friend Tom Kilpatrick, who owns the Hilltop Restaurant on Guide Meridian just south of Axton Road, called me to inquire about a couple of new pieces of mountain art for the restaurant. I prepared a preview gallery and Tom picked a couple of favorite photos. I snapped pictures of the walls in the restaurant so I could show him how his choices would look and to help decide on the right size. We came to agreement on the size and price and I got printed ordered.
Today I took two beautiful canvas prints out to the Hilltop with my tools and got them on the walls.
At the back of the restaurant, where you can enjoy it from the moment you walk in the door until you leave, is a photo of Mt. Baker I made at sunset. It’s a panoramic image, shot on film with my Fuji GX617 camera almost 20 years ago. The finished print is 28″ tall and 80″ wide. Continue reading →
I’m a big fan of doing all the necessary preparation work to capture my vision in a single exposure, with all the elements in place in the instant the shutter is open. But sometimes that just isn’t possible and I rely on some of the digital magic that allows me to combine multiple exposures into a single finished image.
There are three main reasons I’ll create a composite image:
Subjects, particularly in a large group portrait, don’t all cooperate at the same time
The brightness range in the image is greater than my camera’s sensor can accommodate
The subject is too large, or the working space too small, to fit into one frame
The key to creating a composite digital image is planning ahead. It’s not something you can do successfully, and believably, without knowing where you’re going. I always use a tripod so as many elements as possible line up perfectly.
Unless I’m going to use High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques to fit a wide brightness range into a single frame I make sure my exposure is that same for each frame that I’ll be blending. That almost always means manual exposure and a constant aperture. I don’t touch the zoom on my lens and I keep my lighting the same.
Let’s examine each of these three variations on blending multiple exposures. Continue reading →
I continue to be drawn to Chuckanut Mountain trails for my winter hikes. Last weekend I headed up the Fragrance Lake Trail from Larrabee State Park. There’s a lookout over the bay just over a mile from the trailhead and Fragrance Lake itself is only about 2.2 miles with less than 1000 feet of elevation gain. I carried my Canon G12 pocket camera and a small tripod. Continue reading →
I spent four nights in Las Vegas last week attending John Hartman’s photography marketing bootcamp. The program was fantastic and now I have a ton of work to do implementing what I learned.
But one can’t go to Las Vegas and not spend some time wandering around photographing the over-the-top hotels and casinos. ( You just need to develop the skill where you dodge all the pushy casino people. They will come up to you as you take pictures because you look like fresh meat! So dodge the “Details of the vegas promo offer for new members” shouts and and pleas, focus on your photography! I traveled light and just carried my Canon G12 pocket camera. I took a tripod with me, but didn’t carry it out on the strip so everything I shot was hand-held. Continue reading →
We leave the Christmas lights on the Korean Fir in our front yard garden through much of January to brighten the long winter nights and in hopes of getting a little snow.
This year we had to wait until January 17 to get our first snowfall of the winter. Tonight, the 18th, I took my camera outside in the bitter cold to photograph the tree and its setting. I used my Canon 1Ds Mk II with a 16-35mm lens and photographed at the widest setting. I wanted to emphasize the space and separate the tree from our house and other buildings in the neighborhood. Continue reading →
January 1st, New Year’s Day, I donned shorts and boots and headed for Oyster Dome. That’s the prominent rock outcropping rising a couple thousand feet above Chuckanut Drive at the south end of the Chuckanuts or the north end of Blanchard Mountain. It’s a popular hike, despite being steep and muddy. I went for exercise and to rekindle old friendships with the inhabitants of the winter forest.
The view from the top out over the San Juan Islands is spectacular. I made this photo handheld with my little Canon G12 pocket camera, planning to stitch the frames together later in Photoshop. Continue reading →