Latest

A Female Wood Duck (Three Photographs)

wood-duckTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

This is another set where I tried various options until I got what I wanted. I have shot a lot of wood ducks against this kind of water so it was time to try something new. The original photo is the last in the series, the B&W second and the third a hybrid, where I partially de-saturated the image with a B&W preset then lowered its intensity and then finally brought back the colors in a more muted way. I think this adds a bit of artificiality to the shot, but nonetheless does give the wood duck a dignified look. The ordering of the photos influences an audience I am told, so I my placed the photo I like best, the muted version, first.

wood-duck-2

wood-duck-3

Peace Tower (Three Photographs)

peace-towerTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

This is a piece of art near a major art gallery. The weather was threatening and these three photos show different ways in which I tried to bring the weather into play. The first a straightforward edit I simply reduced the highlights. The second color version was processed in Aurora HDR 2017, to give the weather and the whole picture a bit of a boost. The final B&W was done in Tonality Pro, and in this latter case I was able to exaggerate the weather and get more detail into the picture. I should also add this was taken with a Fuji XT-2, in this case the photo has not been cropped at all.

peace-tower-2

peace-tower-3

A Garden (Thee Photographs)

a-gardenTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

I came upon these trees against the wall of a school. I took three photos of the garden: a color photograph that is pretty much as shot with all the discolorations etc.; a B&W version where I have been kinder to the garden than it deserved; and a third in B&W where I have been far less kind. In general, efforts to spruce up a building with planters like this show more of a love for concrete than for trees.

a-garden-2

a-garden-3

Standing Egrets (Three Photographs)

standining-heronsTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

When birds like these choose to stand like statues, it’s time to focus on the surroundings and context. Birds, even rare birds, doing nothing in boring surroundings could do with a good background. This is one reason why cropping is important, to get the best background. A second reason to crop is that the bird may be too far away for people to get a decent idea of detail. A distant subject, in my view, only works when the bird is an element of a larger composition.

standining-herons-2

standining-herons-3

Abstraction (Two Photographs)

abstractionTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

Shooting reflections, puddles, and through colored glass as shown here gives large leeway for creativity. I was walking down a street and came across a plastic sculpture encased in ballistic glass. The effect on the background, of course, was of greater interest to me than the work of art. The masthead of my blog is a similar photo, a self-portrait taken in the window of a fire station with a fish eye lens. Abstract art and photography is popular in part because it gives room for imagination on the part of the viewer.

abstraction-2

Great Blue Heron Landing (Three Photographs) and a Word on Cropping

green-heron-in-flight-2To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

Seems a shame to show this Heron in flight and landing and then talk about something technical, but the bird has done a wonderful job of choreography that my words cannot do justice to. You hear a lot about rules and suggestions concerning cropping. However, all those rules, in my view, add up to ensuring context and/or drama. We crop to keep out the unnecessary, to highlight our subject, and for emphasis. Having said that, when there is drama and/or something specific about a subject that needs highlighting, I see no reason not to center the subject and ignore the rules and suggestions made by most “rules” of cropping

 

green-heron-in-flight-5

green-heron-in-flight-6

Dynamic Range (Three Photographs)

leavesTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

One thing that is very hard to correct for and makes most of our photos interpretations and not absolutely accurate, is the fact that camera sensors cannot capture the full dynamic range of light our eyes can see. Color negative film has the widest range and digital sensors the least. Both are far from what our eyes and brains can interpret. HDR software (high dynamic range) has come some way in helping get a naturally larger range of light, but is somewhat stymied by the narrow color space of the web and print photography (that is the range of colors as well as light that can be seen in a print). Melding photos taken with different exposures of the same scene may help, but are also interpretations of the original scene. Camera makers’ attempts to deal with this with specialized dynamic range settings have not been ideal (they arbitrarily open shadows and darken highlights). The aim, whether you work in color or in B&W, is to make sure that the shadows and/or highlights of interest are properly represented, recognizing that sometimes compromise has to be made between them. Just because the sky is blown out does not in my view make it a bad shot.

leaves-2

leaves-3

%d bloggers like this: