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I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ www.lloydshell.zenfolio.com Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!

Lloyd
lloydshell@gmail.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Missed a few.....

Occasionally I troll back through the archives to see if I have missed processing anything. Found some. These were taken with my older 10MP K200d and my really old Pentax SMC 135mm f2.5 lens. This is actually a really REALLY killer combo. The photo below is heavily cropped, it is sharp. Really sharp, at 100% Love this lens, I really do!






Gone on a Walk About

I really need to make the time for photography nowdays. It used to come easier, but life intrudes constantly. Anyway, I decided to get crazy to spark some madness and took a single prime (non-zoom) lens with me to work last Monday and do some walking between light rail stops on my way home. The madness part was the focal length: 300mm. This is not a common FL for general photography I agree, but like I said, I was trying to spark some madness to get my creative juices flowing. It is a highly restrictive field of view on APS-C cameras and takes extra care to avoid blurriness from hand holding. Because I am just not going to take my tripod too. That is too crazy for a wandering kind of day. I was both frustrated and inspired by that cramping of my style, I definitely liked some of my shots, and really didn't like a lot of them too.

Shadows are a favorite subject, and shooting in the late afternoon makes shadows easy to find. This detail of the chain on a fire hydrant spoke to me of everyday objects that become extra-ordinary in the right circumstances. Integral to the safety of the public every few years, and mysterious in the afternoon light.


I have always been drawn to patterns and order. Sometimes having something different irritates me to no end, other times it is a delightful accent. Often the thing that is different brings the counterpoint  that simultaneously enhances the beauty of the orderly pattern and is beautiful in its own right.


The progression from health to decay and death is a natural one, repeated seasonally, yearly and over generations and lifetimes. I have had an image in my mind I need to photograph one day of the hands of a baby, a mother & an.... more mature mother. Birth, vital life & gentle fading away in one photo, black and white, dramatically lit. Until then, this captures that concept in another type of subject. The fading of brilliant green into yellow then dead brown without the full leaf capturing the potential of a golden moment.


Old buildings present endless opportunities for things to become more beautiful as they age. I kind of wish they had left this cornerstone unpainted. But, then it would have been less interesting.


Again, shadows rear their head, the texture of the ageing plywood is what attracted me the most. Patterns, unseen objects casting shadows, textures.


Ah, an old friend, I have taken several shots down the length of this street towards this building, I really like the compression I am getting from the longer focal length. May need to try on a colder day, at full resolution you can see how heat shimmer blurred the capitol building.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Looking for Aurora Borealis! (But coming up empty...)

A couple of weeks ago I went looking for the Aurora Borealis that were supposed to be widespread and at much further south latitudes than almost ever seen before. Nope, they were a no show. BUT I did take the opportunity while I was out there to shoot the Milky Way, I really had not gotten shots of the Milky Way before that I really liked. Now I can say I am getting closer!

On a technical note, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for this type of thing:

1) Get a really steady, solid, rock solid, thermonuclear proof Tripod & Head combination. 30 second exposures at high ISO are demanding, your support should be helping not hurting.

2) A Headlight that has a red setting so you don't destroy your night vision helps you a LOT!

3) Knowing where your lens focuses at infinity helps to make your shots sharp. Most of the time you will be shooting wide open or barely stopped down. Correct focus is critical.

4) Get a cable release with a timer and use the bulb setting on your camera AND learn how to use it.

So, technical info: I was shooting at ISO 3200 for most of these shots, f4-4.5 for my aperture and 30 second exposures. Cable release in bulb mode, or manual, depending on the shot. With the 2 second timer (Mirror Lock Up Mode) engaged to reduce vibration. I also only extended my first (larger) section of my tripod legs to make it more stable. I have had some shots ruined from having it set too high and getting a little shifting.

The hardest part of this was aiming the lens, you really cannot see the Milky Way through the viewfinder, putting a little bit of landscape in the frame and lighting it with a flashlight can help you set things up. Sometimes you just have to guess. It also helps to remember to stay out of the frame. On this first shot you can see my profile on the lower left edge where I stood for part of the exposure. sigh...



I have really wanted to take a cool selfie, not just the dorky ones people do with their cell phones. This is a start.



I am now facing East towards the rising Moon. There is still some Milky Way in the frame and some clouds for drama. The white balance part of the equation was hard trying to make the sky look nice without making the clouds look mongo funky.



As an experiment I liked this, don't think it is saleable, but I like the richness of the color.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Labor Day Morning: Rio Grande Depot, Salt Lake City

I normally don't drive when I work uptown, I would much rather ride the train. UNfortunately on labor day, certain groups of people tend to NOT want to work, even when us healthcare workers still need to be there. Have to say that despite the myriad pluses to my career as a PT, working holidays and weekends is a bit of a downer. I mean, REALLY, can't you people stop getting sick or needing surgery for a weekend so we can just shut the place down and take a week off? sigh....

Where was I? Oh yeah, I had to drive to work so I left early and took my camera and tripod. Challenges ensued, were overcome and pictures taken. See below for the shots I liked.






This shot was a LOT tougher than you might think, really had to pick the right exposure to not blow the sign out, and then bring up the shadows like a madman. Sorta like it, a lot!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up in the Mountains!

Not sure what it is but droplets of water collecting on things just please me. Hiking with my brother last month I saw these leaves and HAD to stop and take a few shots. Only had my Sigma 17-70 not my macro lens, but I still like what I got. The first one is my favorite, and I spent the most time on it.




My bro.


The skies were kinda nice too!


Oregon Coast!!!!

No place like the Oregon Coast. Lovely scenery and always a LOT cooler than inland.

These trees were right off the path at Hug Point south of Cannon Beach. I (again) had never been there though we had driven past it before. This first shot was edited in camera, the only post processing was adding the frames and watermarks.


This one I messed with in Photoshop, trying to bring up the shadows as much as possible. Kinda think I like the first one....


Desultory shots of Canon Beach, really glad the fog burned off AFTER the two shots above.



Driving back in to Hillsboro I spotted a nice little open space under the trees, I jumped out and shot a bit, but lacking tripod it was hard....




A Bridge Far, Far Away....

It is always fun to take a quick vacation, the problem is, if it is too quick, it becomes less a vacation and more work. To avoid that feeling, one must recreate. For me that means: Photography! My father-in-law wanted me to photograph this bridge near his home. I had lived in the area previously but never knew this was there. Sad.

First: Panorama time. Tougher than it looks, this stitch was mysteriously messing up my computer. Had to take shot or two out on the end. It provides a pretty good overall view of the setting. Supposedly this is the longest wooden trestle bridge still in daily use.


The amount of wood in this thing is unbelievable, and the complexity of the crossmembers awe inspiring.


I wonder how much of it has been replaced over the years to keep it in shape.


Not a visit to Oregon without blackberries in a photo. These things are everywhere.




Looking back as we leave. Pretty area!


What is better than balloons at sunrise?

Hot air balloons have really become a favorite of mine through the years. There is something about them that is just fascinating. The colors, the majesty... sigh... They also work well as a subject for photography, there are multiple points of view that can be approached with varying focal lengths. Take these first two shots for example:

17mm cropped to 4x5 aspect ratio focusing on the colors of the envelope with an accent of the foreground balloon basket.


Then scooting a foot further forward and using a fisheye lens but in landscape orientation, emphasizing now the burners and top of the basket with the colors of the envelope taking a diminished role in the background. If I could have gotten even closer I would have bumped right up to within a foot of the burners to even more dramatically show their textures, but without permission I would not even try.


When this little guy climbed on here I got really excited, still with the fisheye I snapped off some quick shots, and I liked this one the most. I could totally see me doing that as a kid!


Before they let these characters fly away they have a briefing with the head honcho and some of the volunteers. This was a tricky exposure due to the lightening sky over the mountains, I had to get an exposure for the foreground and let the sky blow out.


Switching back to my 17-70 "Standard Zoom" I began searching for the context and detail shots that to me make these balloons so special. This eye is on top of the balloon, only seen while inflating/deflating or flying over. I really need to get on a balloon while it is flying some day!


I LOVE the energy in this shot, I would have loved to use a tripod and 3-5 second exposure and have the people moving but I was all handheld this day.


The roar of the burners is stunning, the heat tremendous, the whole scene fascinating.



Intersecting colors, shapes, textures & the overall vibrancy of this kept me shooting until I got just what I wanted. I don't think I could have done any better in this circumstance. This shot PLEASES me.


Another in the series, I LIKE it, but the landscape orientation above pleases me more.


With the sun now peeking above the mountains, exposure became a hugely challenging experience, at times I have simply bracketed (sprayed and prayed) but wanting to be more precise to my vision, I was much more picky shooting in manual and checking my exposures on the cameras LCD until I achieved what I wanted. Stopping down to f14 also gave me some excellent rays from the sun to add interest.


These next two photos were taken from almost the exact same spot, but framed and exposed differently. (and post processed differently as well.) The first exposed more for the backlit colors of the balloon and less for the sky, in post processing I chose a cooler white balance for a pleasing sky that was "real" and true colors.


This second photo was exposed @ 1/500 sec vs 1/60 of the shot above, the WB was warmer to reflect the warm light of the rising sun and the decreased exposure retained more detail in the sky and gave me a highlight on the balloon rather than full illumination of the balloon, fading to black in the corner. Both work, but I like the second, I like the drama and the feel more.


As a matter of course, with balloons you spend a lot of time looking up.


In this case I think the portrait orientation shot works a little better.


Color, color, color. Shapes. Textures.


Contrasts in framing, a few steps makes the difference between symmetry...


& asymmetry. With the second my favorite. What do you think?


The occasion would not be complete without shooting a little HDR. Very hard to do when balloons are in the air. Kind of crazy when I want something WIDER than a fisheye lens that has a field of view of 180 degrees from corner to corner.


Hope you enjoyed the balloons. Pretty sure I will shoot more of these in the future! ;-)