Photographing Ice Hockey

PLEASE NOTE: I have moved my blog to a more permanent location. You can now read this story, and keep up with all of my posts here

I got my first chance to shoot ice hockey a few days ago. A friend of mine has a son who plays and I finally pestered him enough that he told me that I could come and shoot at a regional tournament being held at the rink where his son plays. Before going, I knew 3 things: Continue reading “Photographing Ice Hockey”

Expectations in Photography

PLEASE NOTE: I have moved my blog to a more permanent location. You can now read this story, and keep up with all of my posts here

A good friend, with a rather negative outlook on life, once said to me, “The problem that you optimists have is that you are often disappointed. You’re always expecting the best, and when it doesn’t pan out, you are let down. I, on the other hand, never expect the best, so I am often pleasantly surprised!”

There is, I suppose, some truth is what he said; though he still didn’t convince me to move over to the dark side. I continue to expect the best and, truth be told, things usually do work out pretty well. There are exceptions, of course. Continue reading “Expectations in Photography”

Hemlock Falls – It’s a matter of perspective

PLEASE NOTE: I have moved my blog to a more permanent location. You can now read this story, and keep up with all of my posts here

When I first began to try to take pictures of landscapes, I would inevitably try to capture an image of wide, sweeping vistas. You know, those epic mountain ranges, or cloudscapes or tree lines.  Somehow, what I saw with my eye never quite appeared on the back of my camera after I took the shot. Since then I have learned a bit more about cameras and specific lenses and how they “see”. In a nutshell, I can tell you that they don’t see like our eyes do.  More importantly, I have learned that I rarely want a picture of that wide scene anyway. I try (and often fail) to ask myself “What, exactly, am I taking a picture of, anyway?”

I mentioned in a previous post that a group of photographers can stand in front of the same scene and come away with completely different images. Each will represent that photographer’s point of view, or tell the story that he wants to communicate. I was reminded of this when I read reports on the photographs that came out the recent G7 meetings in Canada. Same event. Different photographic perspectives.

Last week I had a chance to wander down into Cloudland Canyon in north Georgia.  There are two waterfalls in the canyon, and I was hoping to be able to capture at least one of them. As it turned out, I was able to spend a fair amount of time at Hemlock Falls. The other, Cherokee Falls, was just too popular on the day that I was there. Swimmers, hikers and families enjoying an early summer day made pictures there an impossibility. Hemlock Falls is farther down the canyon – which means a longer climb coming back out – so I had more options down there. Continue reading “Hemlock Falls – It’s a matter of perspective”

Milky Way – Take 2. Hunting Island State Park

One of my goals this year has been to learn astrophotography. Well, at least to begin to learn. I suspect I will spend the rest of my life on the process. I had my first opportunity to photograph the Milky Way last month, and I was relatively pleased with the process. By that I mean you could actually see the Milky Way and it was reasonably in focus! Those are low expectations, I know, but they were realistic.

I wanted to get back out as quickly as I could to try to build on that first experience. My wife and I headed to Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina for some dark skies on a moonless night last week. The forecast called for clear skies on Friday with clouds moving in Saturday morning. I hoped they would hold off until just before dawn so that I could capture the Milky Way followed up by a nice sunrise. Continue reading “Milky Way – Take 2. Hunting Island State Park”

Week 5: Landscape – Black and White

After studying German for five years of my youth, you would think that I would remember more than a few odd words and spurious phrases. However, when you consider just how long ago my youth was, and how little I have used my German over the years decades, you probably shouldn’t be that surprised. One of the few things that I remember is particularly relevant this week’s entry for the photo challenge. “Besser spät als nie.

I know this post is late. Week 5 officially ended a couple of days ago. I didn’t get out to take the shot until Monday morning. This Monday morning. Yesterday. So, I’m late. As we say in English, “better late than never.” It loses nothing in the translation from German.

This was landscape week, and the particular assignment was to get a black and white photo. The instructions suggested a “scene with great contrast that will make a great black and white.” Unlike typical landscape photography which is best done around the times that the sun is rising or setting or – at the very least – hiding behind a layer of clouds, black and white shots are best taken when the sun is high in the sky. ( I would tell you to Google Ansel Adams images to get an idea of what I am talking about, but I would prefer that you didn’t look at his work before you see mine.) Continue reading “Week 5: Landscape – Black and White”

Week 4: Headshot

The 52 Week Photography challenge, as composed by Dogwood Photography, rotates between three categories: portraits, landscapes and artistic shots. On the fourth week, then, we are back at our first category: portraits. This week’s challenge was to take a headshot. As they said, “You shot a selfie, now shoot a “selfie” of someone else!”

My week 1 self portrait was done in the traditional style of a headshot: bright, white background. fairly sterile. I wanted this week’s version to be a little more refined and stylized. To be refined, I had to start with a different model! For that matter, in order to complete the assignment I had to find a different model. Fortunately I have a patient wife who was a willing candidate and she happened to need a headshot for work. Two birds, and all that. Continue reading “Week 4: Headshot”

Week 3: Red

It snowed yesterday. I don’t know where you live, so maybe that’s not a big deal to you. After all, snowfall in January in the northern hemisphere isn’t really that unusual. Unless you live where I do, in South Carolina. Every couple of years we get enough snow to notice, and yesterday was that day.

Schools, government offices and most businesses around here shut down at the mention of the possibility of a snowflake sighting, so that leaves time to get outside. For me, it also meant a chance to complete the third week of this year’s photography challenge. Continue reading “Week 3: Red”