High Above a Familiar Location

When I started this journey in 2011 I spent a lot of time out at the windmills just north of town. I photographed them from many angles trying to find out what made a good photo. One spot that I liked was at the end of this drainage ditch. I had the idea to head out that way early Wednesday morning never thinking about a shot like the one above. As I moved out further into the country I wondered how those ditches would look. I was flying back to get a good view of the windmills when I saw this familiar ditch not too far away. I flew over to make this picture, and I was surprised at how much I liked it. Without a true measure of scale this could be any body of water. The tire tracks to clue you in to the fact that it is a drainage ditch though. The colors for some reason just appeal to me.

Looking Down on My Subjects

For some reason I have been fascinated with the straight down view from the quadcopter. I have made some photos that I liked from other angles, but the straight down view is by far my favorite. This is just a drainage ditch, but for some reason from directly overhead it becomes very interesting to me. Looking straight down on things turns life into shapes and patterns. Part of the fun of working with the quadcopter will be seeing what works and what does not from different angles. So far I have really focused on the top down angle.  Continue reading “Winding Through the Field”


My Favorite 14 Landscape Photos From the Past Year

Last year was a year in which I did not get out as much as I had in the past to make photos. Taking care of a one year old kind of took me out of that ballgame. With that said though I made some great photos with a great subject in front of me everyday. It is a good trade off for sure. I did get out to make some photos though. A couple of quick trips to Pennsylvania and Maryland helped me get some landscape work in this year. Here are my 14 favorite photos from this past year.

14. This photo is here for one reason and one reason only. I made it with my step daughter as we enjoyed a beautiful sunset out of our front door. She had her camera and I had mine. We both made a great picture, and a great memory.

13. This was one of the coldest winters that I have known. One cool thing (no pun intended) to come out of that was the first sun dog that I had ever seen. It takes a lot of variables to be right to get one of these. I was at home with a limited view of it, but I tried to frame it the best that I could. This was the type of year that you could throw boiling water outside and watch it disappear. I don’t know if I am ready for that again.

12. While in Ocean City this past year I played around with some familiar concepts. I had my 10 stop ND filter to use so I tried to smooth out the ocean. That is not an easy task when it is roaring, but a 30 second exposure will do that. I bought that ND filter with big things in mind, but I really have not used it that much. When I did though it was very cool to me. Many of the photos on this countdown will use that filter.

11. This little church on the corner is one of my favorite subjects. I usually find a way to test out new equipment on the beautiful old church. A couple of weeks ago I was going to do it again when I realized that it was in the middle of being painted. I think that part of the charm of the church was the fact that it was not perfect. I will have to go back to see what it looks like now.

10. Somehow I found a way to make sure that my step daughter made it into this list. During this 30 second exposure she was running around inside the frame, but never stopped so you can’t see her. Unless of course you notice that ghost in the background. This was another time where the 10 stop filter really made a scene much more dramatic.

9. I was not on the ground for very long in Pennsylvania this past summer. When I was there were things to do that had nothing to do with photography. I did manage to get out and make a few images though. When I saw this barn I knew that I had to photograph it. I think that I wasted way too much time finding my way back to it, but the end result is not too bad.  Continue reading “Top 14 Landscape Photos of 2014”

Watching the Sun Set Over a Corn Field

A couple of nights ago I was getting ready to leave my brother’s house as the sun was setting. He has a great view of the sunsets, and I may have stalled a few moments in order to see this one. The sunset was fantastic, but I needed something in the foreground. I ran across the street to a t-intersection hoping that something of interest would be there. I made some very wide photos, but in the end I think that I liked this detail shot with the sunset in the bokeh the best.

Focusing on the Details

As I said above as the light was fading I decided to make a couple of silhouettes. I don’t do this very often, but here I thought that it might work. This is something that I don’t do often enough. I am a completionist to a fault I think sometimes. I really need to include a lot in my frame. Sometimes you can tell a story with very little.

Photo of the Day

A couple of weeks ago I assisted on a portrait shoot on a goat farm. It was a very cool shoot that involved the model, her violin, and a few jumping baby goats. While scouting locations I saw this larger goat that just looked awesome. It turns out that it also took direction very well. I asked for a smile and an aloof look with the eyes, and I got it right away. This was a very short shoot because of the obvious modeling talent of the goat.

Technical Data

This was an interesting photo to edit. I wanted the sky to come out like it was on the day that I was there. Unfortunately I did not light my model so the dynamic range of light was just too much to overcome. I decided to just have the goat look natural, and the grey sky would just have to stay. On location I wanted to get the goats head above the clutter in the background. I thought that I could worry about the sky later. I guess in retrospect a backdrop could have been used to solve all of my problems. In Lightroom I used the sports game day preset to start off. I then tweaked my sliders to get the look that I wanted here. In the end a very quick shoot turned into a photo that I like.

Photo Sale!

Over at my SmugMug site I have cut the price on all of my photos for the summer. If you visit my site at pinolaphotography.com you can order any item that I sell for 50% off from now until Labor Day. Just use the coupon code ‘summer’ at the checkout.

50% Off

Photo of the Day

Today’s photo comes very late in the day. This is due to a couple of reasons. The first is the fact that I went about 24 hours without any power at home. I am not complaining though. After driving around today and seeing the damage that some had I was very lucky yesterday to just have a power outage. Many people lost much more yesterday.

The other reason is that for some reason I did not shoot anything this past weekend. Usually my Monday posts have something to do with one of the events that I covered over the weekend. Many things seemed to get in the way of my shooting this past weekend. That will change this coming weekend. For now though enjoy this photo that I took just an hour or so after getting my first Canon 5D Mark III in the mail. I went towards Fowler to capture the large windmills, but found this smaller one very photogenic.

Technical Data

This was an easy edit. I used Matt Kloskowski’s HDR Black and White preset to get the image close. I then adjusted the exposure a bit, and I had my finished image.

Photo of the Day

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago while I was out enjoying the 5D Mark III. The sky was not as great as I would have liked, but you can’t always pick what days you will shoot. I only had the camera for a few days so I had to make pictures while I could. I saw this little scene while driving, and I decided to give it a try. I liked the layering in the scene very much.

Technical Data

As I said above I did not like the sky very much here. That is when I decided to try something new here. I took the photo into Color Efex Pro to try some edits. I applied the detail extractor and the brilliance/warmth filters to the image. I then used a graduated blue filter to give the sky some drama. It may be a little over the top, but every now and then I like to try something new. This was a great way to spice up a dull sky. I brought it back into Lightroom for a couple of final touches before posting it here.

Photo of the Day

The first night that I had the 5D Mark III I went out late to make some pictures that I can’t normally make. I have always wanted to try to capture the Milky Way with my camera. I have tried and failed a couple of times with the 60D. In order to get enough light in the camera I have to have the shutter open for too long. That would blur the stars too much. With the 5D I was able to actually even shorten the time the shutter was open. The full frame sensor really does let in more light allowing me to do some things that I would not normally do. I made some nice pictures of the Milky Way, but I wanted something in the foreground. I drove around for over an hour before deciding to head home. I decided to drive on a few different roads on the way home, and I found this barn. I loved how it was almost transparent through the wood slats. It was the perfect place to make my stand so to speak that night. I made a few images, and then of course came home to see what I had. It is hard to believe that such beauty is just a few miles down the road.

Technical Data

As I said this was shot with the 5D Mark III off of a tripod. I knew that I wanted to keep the shutter open for around 30 seconds in order to get as much light from the Milky Way into the camera without having the stars move too much. They did move a bit here, and I think in the end the shot works. This is an experiment that I really would like to try a few more times so that when I go somewhere like Colorado where I have mountains and cabins to put beneath the Milky Way I can nail it. It would seem like photographing the night sky would be easy. To fully capture it though is a skill that I would like to acquire.

Photo of the Day

Yesterday I received a package from Lens Rentals. For this busy weekend I picked up a Canon 5D Mark III, and  a Canon 300mm f/2.8 lens. I have been wanting to try both of these out for a while now. The Mark III has been my dream Camera since 2011. Of course as soon as the camera came I loaded up the car to go out and shoot. I really wanted to see what this camera could do. The camera felt a bit weird in my hands at first because I have no battery grip for it. The first thing that I noticed when I put my 24-70mm lens on the camera was how much more I could see. It was a blast using the camera, and I am sure that you will be flooded with pictures from it over the course of the next few weeks. When you only have six days with a camera you really feel the need to just go out and shoot.

Technical Data

The one thing that I did not like was the metering system on the camera. It seemed as if all of my shots were overexposed using the same settings that I would have on my 60D. I guess the camera really does let in more light. I am sure that I am missing something in the settings that I will have to adjust before going forward. To edit this photo I simply used the sports gameday (light) preset by Matt Kloskowski. It really gives me the look that I like on these images. For the farm shots I like a little desaturated look for some reason. 

Photo of the Day

Earlier in the week I went out to the windmills where I have taken so many pictures. I have not been visiting the site much lately, but I think that part of that is the fact that I thought I had taken every picture I could out there. I decided to go out again, but with something different in mind. I wanted to include the windmills in my pictures, but as background pieces. Here I found an old no tresspassing sign on the side of the road. I stayed on the road, but still managed to make this picture. I had the 24-70mm lens out for the first time on site, but I really liked what it did for me.

Technical Data

Here I knew that this shot would not need much. I used one of Trey Ratcliff’s new presets called HDR in Lightroom – Balancing the Daylight to get me where I needed to be. After a couple of small adjustments I was ready to post it here.