Month: January 2017

Fertile Mill

Fertile Mill

Took a drive to northern Iowa yesterday.  Was hoping for the sunshine to stay but as I got closer to my arrival the clouds overtook the sky and boy was I glad it did when I got home and processed this image.  What a beautiful image of this old red mill in Fertile Iowa with newly laid snow from mother nature.

Pesky Powerlines

Pesky Powerlines

Hardin County School – I spent a lot of time editing this image to
remove the distracting power lines. I tried to compose it with the two
outhouses and the school house but could not get it without the lines.
The finished image has been turned in a composition I can live with.
Used Corel Paintshop Pro’s scratch remover and clone tools to rid the
image of the lines.

Below is the before and after edits.

Telling A Story

Telling A Story

The majority of powerful photographs are the ones that unite both the hearts and minds of the viewer. It is the picture that their imaginations keep returning to, keeps their attention focused, and keeps asking about; the image that touches them on an emotional level; the image that draws them into the image and actually become part of the scene, even if only for a brief while. That engagement is what binds us to the scene of the photograph, it’s what seizes our spirit and won’t let us leave. The image connects on a more personable level.

Now more than ever we need photographs that are touching, empathetic, and full of vision.  We are bombarded by megapixels – beautiful, sharp, megapixels – by the billions. The more photographs that get flung into the world, mostly online, the harder it’s going to be for any single image to connect, to resonate, and to never let go. We need to push past the size of our photographs and create profundity. They will be the images to which we bond, the images that resound and tell us who we are.

Once you’ve got your camera settings figured out, and can competently focus an image, two things the camera can do very well, you need to construct something that has vision.  That is your task and you do it with storytelling.  The image must speak to the viewer; the image must have something to tell.  Without that it is just another snapshot.

Mastering use your camera won’t help you with this. This is the part of the photographic journey that is done with your heart and soul, because it’s the heart and the soul to which we speak on the other side of the photograph.  Don’t get set on the purity of the image.  The right out of the camera pride many have as if this is a major part of photography.

Elberon Hotel

Elberon Hotel

Made a trip to Tama county yesterday and visited many small town to seek out there lost treasures of their past and was thrilled to find this vintage relic in the small town of Elberon.  I am assuming it was a hotel at one time when the trains once rolled through this town and travelers needed a place to stay.

The building appears to be rather sound but appears unused for a number of years.  This was the subject matter I was looking for on yesterdays quest.

The Town Of St. Anthony Iowa

The Town Of St. Anthony Iowa

I ventured into the town of St. Anthony in Marshall county Iowa Saturday and the one building that stands out on the main drag was this old church.  The double doors are chained and padlocked and all appearances indicate the church is no longer active.  I loved the unique corner entrance of this wooden church and can imagine it was the focal point of activity soon after it’s construction.  I would hope they preserve it for future generations.

Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise

The sunrise on Sunday was mostly cloudy and I went out chasing the light and got this nice scenic shot in Butler County a few miles from home.  Most of my shots are HDR only now and I gave up on the tripod also with software now it has become easy to align images snapped close together.  I usually bracket 5 images with a full step up or down between each shot.  I have also got the timing down to count the number of images shot and seldom miss the five required.

I have been shooting in aperture priority mode and usually set it at f11.  This works better for my 18-55 kit lens.  All alignment is done in post and them processed through Machinery HDR Effects.  This takes about 10-15 minutes.  After that I open the saved image in Corel and make further adjustments until I get the image to the point that I like.  Each image takes 20-30 minutes each from start to finish.  Hope you enjoy the results.

New Years Day

New Years Day

I went out early on new year”s morning to get some Hdr images and drove quite a while waiting for the clouds to move in by the time I was getting close to home the clouds were filling the skies above one of my favorite old barns just north of Bristow.  I was very pleased with the way this turned out.