Archives for the month of: September, 2014

One of my pet peeves as a photographer is wires that run in front of potential subjects. In the small town where I live, wires seem to be everywhere. The beautiful old church pictured below is a favorite subject of mine. However, there is hardly an angle from which to shoot that there are not some type of wires.

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Today, while eating lunch in the park, I noticed the wires hanging over my head criss crossed in an interesting pattern. I snapped a couple of pictures with my I pad, and used my Picture Show app to edit them.

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For this one, I used style-filter-mirror, and noise-zoom.

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This one was edited using style-filter-lomography, and noise-scratch hard.

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This final one was accomplished with the style-filter-popart, and light leak 4.

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If you photograph a lot of objects that you want distraction free and well lit, you might want to purchase a light tent.

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I purchased this one last week. It is a cube that opens on one side that can be covered by a curtain. The curtain has a slit through which you insert your camera lens.

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Mine came with several different colored inserts that fasten to the inside on the cube. Lights directed through the nylon shell of the tent are diffused, giving your subject rich illumination.
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Here are a couple of stills I created and shot in the tent with the black backdrop. These were shot with only one light on the right side.

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If you are looking for a great place to take some pictures, check out Triangle Park in downtown Lexington.

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The park was recently renovated and cafe tables were added.

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The semi circular fountain was part of the original park, but was turned off and upgraded.

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In the winter months, a skating rink is constructed in the center of the park. I have taken many photos in this park over the years. If you are in town, check it out.

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OK. What’s rule number one for being a great photographer (or a boy scout)? Be prepared, right?
Last week, I set off to Reed Valley apple orchard for some of the best organically grown fruit you will find in the state of Kentucky. I also planned to take some pictures while I picked.
I had my bags for the apples and pears. I had my camera with the appropriate 18-270 lens for any type of situation. We have had a lot of rain here and the apples were gorgeous. They happily posed for me and I prepared to take a whole series of photos, perhaps to blow up and decorate my kitchen. As I attempted to focus on the first clump of chubby apples, my camera wouldn’t budge. I looked at the display, which said LOW BATTERY. Really!
I said a word I shouldn’t have and blamed the camera, but it was my fault. I have a spare battery, but it was at home in my enormous camera bag that I was too lazy to bring.
Smart phone to the rescue! I was determined to get pictures, so I pulled out my Motorola Atrix and starting shooting.

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Smart phones are equipped with pretty high resolution cameras these days. One thing to avoid, however, is using the camera zoom, which can really eat at the quality of the shot. For these shots, I got as close as I could and then cropped a little more off the edges.

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I have an app called Pixlr Express that I use for photo editing. All of these photos were edited using the vintage Borg effect and then I applied a clean vignette.

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I think they turned out rather well considering. However, the resolution is probably too low for me to blow them up like I had planned.

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I will have to make another trip later in the season, and this time be prepared.
Lesson learned 🙂

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A few weekends ago, Cynthiana, Kentucky held its annual Rod Run. A huge car show that lines the streets of my small hometown with hundreds of antique cars, trucks and motorcycles. Car shows are a great place to practice your photography skills.

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A lot of the cars will have their hoods raised so that everyone can see the engine. I liked the way this car, with its open dual hoods, looked against the building in the background and the sky. I don’t take a lot of shots of whole vehicles. I prefer to focus in on details of the cars.

IMG_3355Of course, the vehicles are polished to a high shine. Instead of fighting the reflection, use it to your advantage to give the cars a little added decoration.

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Not all the vehicles at the show were old. Occasionally, there were new and old sharing the spotlight.

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Most antique car collectors have original license plates they put on the vehicle for the show. When the show is over, if they have to drive the vehicle away, they replace the show plate with a legal one.

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This seafoam green truck was parked outside the Cynthiana Museum. It could have been an exhibit. I’m sure trucks like this once traveled the streets of Cynthiana regularly.

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Maybe it’s just me, but car fronts always remind me of faces, especially this one.

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These cars were parked beneath a mural that hangs on the old Rohs Theater building.

IMG_3342Be sure to not only photograph the sleek and gorgeous, but the quirky as well. This bug was rebuilt inside and out using recycled parts from other things. I was very impressed this this one.

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As I mentioned earlier, car owners like to show off their engines.

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IMG_3380There are plenty of bright colors at car shows. If it is a really sunny day, use a polarizer to cut down on glare and really bring out those colors.

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I like this reflective shot in the rim of an old Chevy.

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IMG_3412Details, details.

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One last shot. I call it Self Portrait in Chrome with Clouds 🙂

IMG_3323Downtown Lexington, Kentucky has undergone some great changes in the past few years. The area just north of the University of Kentucky campus, which includes Main Street, was beginning to look a bit shabby. A handful of very creative people began working on some projects and now the downtown area looks great!

IMG_3319Bright colors dot the rows of buildings.

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Victorian Square is adorned in period style architecture.

IMG_3313Downtown has a nice eat outside kinda cafe feel.

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IMG_3295More on my extended neighborhood later 🙂

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In order to save some money, I have been making backdrops. Backdrops can be abstract paintings. Really the only criteria are that there should be a hotspot (a space that is lighter or darker than the rest of the painting) and any design should lead the eye to the subject.

IMG_1752For one of my backdrops, I used a large blank canvas that I have had lying around for some time, and some of the paint samples from Lowes that I got for free with magazine coupons.

 

I painted the canvas with an off white paint all over. Then I drew the main design on the white base.

IMG_1759For the abstract effect, I used several of the other complimentary colors and  applied them with different brushstrokes.

IMG_1762Lastly, I added the contrasting color for the design.

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The hotspots are the yellow-green spaces. Note how the red lines lead to those areas.

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The resulting painting can be moved to wherever you want to use it. All you need is a couple of nails. I hung it outside to use outdoor shade lighting for my portrait of my son.

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