Some of my best pictures are taken when I have little time to plan and only time to react. I am not saying this is one of my best pictures but it was taken in a rush. I arrived on Assateague Island with only minutes to spare before sunset so I “carefully drove the speed limit” till I found the spot I was looking for, the boat launch on the bay side. Though honestly, there were so many horses by the road that I found it hard to even get up to the speed limit.
What at first looked like it might be a burner of a good sunset quickly fizzled out. I thought the clouds in the eastern sky would light up, and they did, but only for a few moments. After abandoning the car and going by foot down the road, I found the angle I wanted. I was able to keep the foreground trees apart for the most part and get enough of the sky to add some interest.
Using my trusty Nikon D800 and Tamron 15-30mm lens at 30mm I was able to get this shot. I knew because of the lack of color it would end up as a black and white image. By using the high contrast red filter in Photoshop, the light on the clouds really popped. It has been pointed out to me that there is a bit of a dead spot down the bottom in the grasses. I was not able to pull the details back enough from the shadows. Perhaps if I had more than 2 minutes to get the image I would have realized this and done a double exposure but that was not to be. And I can only recover so much shadow details before it becomes all noise.
So what can you take from this? Well two things. First, use the monitor on the back of your camera to review your image. Block out all the rush and other distractions and really look at what you are getting. Make sure you have what you want and not just assume it can be fixed in post. Second, you will not always succeed. Even when you have beauty before you, sometimes you will just blow it. As you progress and get better, you blow it in smaller ways (usually!) but forgive yourself. Think about what you can do differently next time but do not get down on yourself. Getting down on yourself is a sure way to squish your artistic creativity.
Today I am featuring a picture I took back in July, but only processed a few days ago. I was not sure of how it would turn out so I never played with it until now but in the end I am quite happy with it! I gave it a Christmas in July themed title because it just seemed to fit.
Ok, so a bit of an exaggeration. But then again, every night that I go out shooting ends up with it’s own flavor and highlights. This particular night was fairly overcast and the clouds were picking up nice colors from the surrounding cities and towns. While the rest of the world slept I was out looking for compositions in the broken moonlight. If you have not already watched my YouTube vlog about this nights shoot I invite you to watch here… I feature two images in the vlog while in this blog I will feature only my favorite, called “The Silo”. I also talked about the hardest part of night photography so go give it a watch!
Have you ever been to the Conowingo Dam to witness the eagle paparazzi for yourself? Or have you been a part of the paparazzi? I have done both and must say its a dam (ha ha) good time watching the eagles. The Bald Eagles gather at the base of the Conowingo Dam and on the towers and trees below the dam. They gather for breeding season and end up spreading throughout the area for nesting purposes. Photographers gather from near and far to witness the spectacle. Any given morning you will find a line of photographers a 1/4 mile long with gear stretching collectively into the hundreds of thousands.
So, to finish up with my Shenandoah National Park trip from the end of October I bring to you 2 black and white shots. I have really been trying to shoot more black and white lately so I keep my eyes open for shots that lend themselves to black and white. These two shots were perfect because there was not a lot of color despite the fall leaves. They work much better in the simple contrast of black and white.