Fine Art Photography

"It's all in seeing different than most"~ RGT

I pride myself in finding a unique image in ordinary settings. I play a game , "Where can I find a WOW?" Over my years I have developed a system called "Photo-Storming." Guaranteed to give you a 100 ways to photograph a cat. No skinning involved. Until now I have kept it in my head. I am in the process of making it a online course. Whether you are a photographer, artist or just want to create better images in your head, you'll want to hear this when it comes out. I'll send you a notice if you sign my non-public guest book. 

The Top 10 Fine Art Images

Scroll down to get to #1and don't forget to read the copy for an explanation and a few tips.

#10  Spiritual Waves

I love the sun and I love the water. So when I saw the sun on the water from the back of the boat, I could not resist. The trick here is to not get disturbing lens flare when shooting into the sun.  A lens shade can help but sometimes you have to put your hand over the top of the lens to block even more of the sun. It also helps if the sun is positioned at the edge rather than smack dab in the middle. To help with composition I had the pilot turn the boat to the left so I had a curve in the boat's wake.

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#9  Seagulls in Flight

When I shoot sports I use a Shutter Priority setting because I want to make sure motion is stopped if the light changes. When I shoot flowers I use Aperture Priority because depth of field is more important. However, sometimes I forget to check which one I am on. I had the camera set on f22 from the day before. The first shot of the seagulls (that was hand held) I heard a real slow shutter.  This was the result and I liked it. 

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#8  Whisper in My Ear

   If you go to Rifle Falls in Colorado, there are 3 beautiful waterfalls coming down. You can even go behind one of the falls and shoot through it. If you go off to the left of the falls there is a trail that leads to the top of the falls.  That is where I found these two trees. The one on the left looked like a profile of a guy, and the one on the right looks like an ear.  So I took the shot. Let your imagination go wild when shooting. Later you can edit what you like and don't. 

   I have over the years taken a lot of tree bark  images. The number is nothing to bark at.

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#7  Water Wheel Keep on Rolling

This is a water wheel and like with most images I take, I ask the question, "What is the most important part about this subject." I thought it was the water just as it started to spill, along with the texture of the wood. It is nice when you can capture  both. Simplifying your subject often brings focus to purpose.

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#6  Inside Beauty

   My first 37 years in photography I never photographed a flower. I was a macho wrestler from a family of wrestlers. So in 2005 I was the founder of a site called Best USA Photographers. It was a very select group of photographers that was jury selected. I was reviewing an eventual member named Brenda Tharp. One of her images was the close-up profile of a sunflower looking at the base of the flower. A week later I was passing a elementary school on Bainbridge Island and along the fence was a row of sunflowers the kids had planted. I pulled off the road and for two hours I photographed those flowers inside and out. I was hooked on flowers.

   If you like this flower, I have a ton more. You can see a section on flowers under Projects, and another one under flowers in Paintings. If you really like flowers join my Free Membership site where you can buy any of my artwork at a discount, plus be notified when changes and additions are made.

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# 5  New Jeresy Sunset

I like auto focus a lot better now. Manual focus is a pain in the butt, when you are moving or your subject is moving. So Sherry and I are in New York City and decide to take a sunset cruise to the Statue of Liberty. We got in line early, so we could get a table next to the window. The Nikor lenses on the Nikon are such that you can use auto focus, then manual focus if you want. It is not an either or.  

   Well, it did not look like the windows were that dirty but the auto focus thought so. I could have easily changed it, but I liked how big the sun got when it was out of focus. I also enjoyed the dirty window texture in the shadow areas. It is not the Statue of Liberty, but a building along the way. By the time we got to Lady Liberty everyone had moved to the top deck. The cruise was well worth the money. 

   The lesson here is play around.  Art does not have to be by the numbers. Sometimes it is the unusual that grabs the attention.

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#4  Got Milk

   I got wet on this shot, but it was worth it. It was late in the afternoon at Rialto Beach on the Pacific Ocean. My camera was on a tripod, but I saw texture of the waves splashing against the rocks. The only way to capture it was with a very low camera angle. The tripod I had at the time did not allow me to get that low. I handheld the camera on my belly, set the shutter speed to 1/1000 and waited for the splash. I call this "Got Milk."

   I say I got wet and it was worth it, but if the salt water had hit my camera it would not have been. Salt water can kill a camera quickly. Watch out for sneaker waves that come from the side. And NEVER be between a big wave and rocks.

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# 3  Reaching For The Stars

Everyone walks around looking straight ahead and occasionally on the ground to make sure they do not trip on something. Especially in the forest where you can trip over a root. Sometimes you have to go a little slower and look up. Now the scene was much darker as it is in the forest, but I exposed with a spot meter for the bark because I like the bark's texture. 

   Little history - when they designed a light meter they had to come up with a "standard" of light measurement. George Eastman, a devout bachelor, had a white girlfriend named Shirley. George determined that the best skin tone on Shirley was just under the eye and it measured 18% on a grey scale, with 0 being white and 255 Black. 18% became the  standard. So if you put your light meter on a darker subject it makes the whole image lighter. The CAMERA light meter does not always give you what you want. This tree's name is not Shirley. Sometimes you have to override your camera. 

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#2  Balloon Up Above

   I love balloon photography. Just so you know balloons fly just after sunrise or just before sunset. Not in the middle of the day. The reason is the thermal winds start after the earth heats up. As a general rule balloons don't fly if there is a a wind stronger than 15 mph or it has a chance of rain. It is for safety reasons and you should be thankful if they cancel the flight. That is why most balloon festivals are at least 2 days and some are 9.

   Now I have been to a number of balloon festivals and even crewed for Deb Waltman. This is Deb's balloon. She was on the ground inflating her balloon when another balloon lifted off. Because of the low light levels of the early morning the one balloon cast a shadow on the other. And thank you Deb for pointing it out to me.

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# 1  Nature's Calligraphy

It was an overcast day at Lake Ozette on the Olympic Peninsula. Sherry and I were camping with our friends Dale and Lori. They were focused on putting kayaks in the water and I got fascinated with some weed reflections on the lake. Because the weeds were backlit I had to underexpose the light meter by 3 f-stops. This made the water white rather than the grey color of the sky, and it brought color back to the silhouetted weeds.

   Now if you think you are learning something here, WAIT until you enroll in one of my e-courses. Sign up for the Free Membership site and I will keep you informed of course release dates. 

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