Photo of the Day
Last year while in Ocean City, Maryland I experienced crabbing for the first time. Of course I didn’t do much after we pulled a crab up on the deck but photograph it. This photo though I thought was a little better than some of the others. I just liked the idea of the reel out of focus in the foreground. It gave me something that the plain deck in all of my other pictures could not. This is one of those things that I just tried on a whim, but I quite liked how it turned out.
This photo was processed using the light sports gameday preset. I really just applied the preset, and then did a minor exposure adjustment. From there all I did was export the picture to SmugMug so that I could place it here. I love it when a photo is this easy.
Photo of the Day
Here in West Lafayette/Lafayette we have been watching the river rise for the last few days. It reached just over 25 feet yesterday. For the record 11 feet is considered a flood. It has not been that high since the late 1950’s. Today it finally started making its way back down to a normal level. It is still far from there, but Highway 43 was nearly passable when I drove through. Had I been in someone else’s car I might have tried it. I was taking some pictures near the Highway 52 bridge when something sounded like it landed behind me. I turned and saw this fish that had to be baking on the pavement. The water went down fast enough to strand him on the road. I took a couple of quick pictures, and then helped him back to the water. Hopefully he makes it with a great story to tell his friends. I think that the eagles are gone for good because this would have been a easy target for them. Their loss was my gain though. I didn’t find any interesting subjects until this one flopped for me. I really needed something in the foreground for a picture to work. I don’t know where this fish came from, but it was a great gift.
This was going to be part of a three shot HDR image. The fish was still so I thought that it was dead. While the overexposed image was being taken he decided to flop. Once that happened this image was going to be made with just the one exposure. With the bright sun I had already compensated a bit so this was only one stop overexposed instead of the normal two. I brought the picture up to the proper exposure in Lightroom, and that is where the real fun began. I wanted to try a preset that I don’t normally use on this photo. The cloudless sky was boring so I thought that I could make something interesting with a preset. Maybe I have been using Instagram too much lately, but I like some of those looks. I decided to try one of Trey Ratcliff’s presets called Aurora on it. It really seemed to do the trick. I had one of his other presets on it already, but it was a bit too much. Aurora really seemed to get this image to where I wanted it. While Lightroom was slowly rendering my image something happened. My preview was a bit blurry for a second, and it gave me an idea. I took the image in Focal Point which is part of the On One Suite to add some drama to the image. I created a blur from the center of the fish that made it the focal point of the image. A good photograph does not need to do this, but I had a boring photo that needed some help. For me this made the image, and now I could post it online. Looking back through my photos I think I had a great shot had a took a couple of steps to my right and put the fish in the lower left of the picture. I was on a road though needing to work quickly so I just went up and snapped. I need to get better at seeing the scene right away. That will come with time.
Photo of the Day
Back in September I went to my hometown for a couple of days. I got into town Friday night in time to eat dinner, and then caught part of a high school football game. I had fun using my new camera to make pictures of a team that I had made many, many pictures with. The next day we made the trip to South Bend to see Notre Dame and Purdue play football. Both of my pictures of the day for that day centered around that game. What I did not tell you was as we were getting back into town I saw that the light was very good. The way that the clouds were sitting things looked very good for a beautiful sunset. I went to a familiar spot that has been featured on this site before to find my shot. I was concentrating on a bridge that is a memorial to a friend when I saw this lone fisherman on the lake. My shot suddenly was not about the bridge anymore, but about this lone fisherman using the last light of the day to try and get a couple more in the boat. I worked this from a couple of angles, but this was my favorite. It is funny how things work out sometimes. My whole day was spent thinking about getting good sports shots. Then this opportunity was put in my lap. Thankfully my father was very understanding, and waited the hour or so it took for the light to get right. Sometimes I wonder what the people around me think when I get really excited about a scene. I am sure that they know that I have a disease, and the best course of action is to let me get the picture. I love how a chance event of being in the right place at the right time led to a picture that I really enjoy. The only thing that could have made this better in my mind is if the opening in the clouds had placed its light on the fisherman. There you go. A photographer is never happy.
Over the last couple of days I have been watching some lectures on photography. More specifically they are lectures by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore. I first came to know Joel from a PBS special titled At Close Range With National Geographic. If you have Netflix you can watch this special instantly right now. The special followed Joel at home and on assignment. I really liked how down to earth this photographer was. You really get a sense for what these photographers give up to give you the great pictures that they get. I have been watching a tour schedule to see if Joel would be in the area for a lecture series that he does. I really just wanted to hear him speak more on photography. When searching for that I found this series from The Great Courses with Joel in it. Some of their lectures can be a bit expensive, but this one was 70% off. I jumped at the chance to listen to this photographer once again. The course is called Fundamentals of Photography. You would think that I would be beyond fundamentals at this point, but it is great to refresh every now and then. I also get to hear how a Geographic photographer looks at a scene. This series actually inspired me to get back out there trying to find the beauty around me. I think it was well worth the price. The last course that I watched dealt with light and how to use it. It made me think of this picture that I had already taken, but had sat in a Lightroom folder since September. I always liked how the light was used here so I thought that it was time to share the image.
I started off here using Matt Kloskowski’s light HDR preset in Lightroom. From there I could get this shot where I wanted it with the sliders. I thought that maybe I could improve the colors in the sky with a white balance shift. It turns out that the auto white balance setting on my camera was pretty good because I ended up using the white balance that I made the picture with. From there it was just a matter of some minor tweaks to the sliders to bring in the details of this picture. I took my time here, and really think that I nailed it in camera so I didn’t have to do too much to it.
A Huge Thank You!
Yesterday I blew away my all time record for views in a day. The previous record was set on April 2nd of 2012. I had just come back from a long weekend in Chicago, and without internet the entire trip. I posted all of the pictures, and a record was set. I have come close a couple of times including the day before yesterday, but never broke the record. I have also seen a large increase in the number of page follows. Thank you all very much, and I hope that I can continue to post images worth all the readers time. I also have another bit of exciting news, but I will save that for another day.
Another fun fact about yesterday is that I passed up last month in page views. February was a bad month for page views. I realize that as this blog grows and gains followers the page views seem to show it. When a picture is liked from the reader that does not count as a visit. There is a weird thing that happens when a new post will have more likes than views. I have always been a numbers guy, but this time I realize that I can’t control these numbers. That being said it is awesome to have eclipsed the previous month eight days into the next month. From day one March has been a bit better. Maybe everyone is snowed in with nothing else to do. Whatever the case thank you for stopping by!