Archives for the month of: November, 2011
Indian Mary Park by Terry Schmidbauer
Indian Mary Park, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
On my way back from a hike along the Rouge River I stumbled on this stunning little road side park called Indian Mary Park. The entire park was covered with a deep layer of leaves. It was getting pretty dark by the time I got my camera ready and started shooting. I had to use the hand held twilight mode and it was good thing to have because I didn’t have a tripod with me. I had to work quickly because I was losing light really fast and I had more important issues to attend too, nature called as they say. I was really just framing images and shooting as quickly as I could. It was a relief to see some reasonable compositions when I got a chance to review.

Crate Lake Panorama by Terry Schmidbauer
Crate Lake Panorama, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I took this panorama at Crater Lake National Park while I was snow shoeing along the South rim. No photo can do this scene justice but this is will just have to be good enough.

Rainy Falls Trail by Terry Schmidbauer
Rainy Falls Trail, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was taken in Southern Oregon on the Rainy Falls Trail. This trail follows the Rouge River for a couple of miles and ends at a waterfall. Not a long hike but quite technical with the slippery rocks and leaves on the trails.

When I first started out on the hike I took a couple establishing shots of the river, I normally do this at the beginning of every shoot to get a feeling for the lighting, exposure and just to get the juices flowing. Those first images were a huge disappointment; they looked so main stream and boring. There wasn’t anything unique about them at all; you could find the same images on posts cards at any visitor’s information center. I was looking to shoot something different, something that was unique to me and would tell the story of this area.

After an hour of shooting different scenarios, I came up with something that I felt worked. I really liked the rocky look of the trail so I photographed it from different viewpoints. But I also wanted to keep small bits of the river in every picture to give it presence. This juxtaposition between rock and water created a nice tension that helped balance my composition and also implied a connection between the two. It was a nice marriage and implied some sort of backstory.

I used the Sony’s sweep panorama mode to shoot this image. It’s a mode on most of Sony’s cameras now and it works by recording a sequence of photos as you physically scan the scene with the camera. This image is over 8,000 pixels wide right out of the camera. It just astounds me that a camera can create such a large file! There is very little post processing done in this image. I adjusted the contrast and color to fit my tastes but the changes were not very dramatic.

Mountain Quiet by Terry Schmidbauer
Mountain Quiet, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This quiet little composition was taken in Easton, WA on Saturday night. This is a mountain town on the East side of Snoqualmie Pass, elevation 2160 feet, population 438. Throughout the winter, groomed trails in the Easton area offer some of the best snowmobile adventures in the state. Looks like a fun little town!

I’m working with the feeling of twilight in the mountains on a winter night. In post process, I added a dark graduation on both the top and the bottom of the scene to create an inner glow. I’m using the contrast of warm and cool colors to create some dimension and help move the eye thru the scene. I lighten and saturated the reds and oranges to really push this contrast.

While working on the post processing, I try and keep a light hand. If there’s even a hint of post processing, the viewer will consider the entire image fake. It’s like special effects in the movies, if you can see it, you’re doing something wrong.

Changes by Terry Schmidbauer
Changes, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I am really impressed with the Minolta 70-200mm f4, the so called beer can. I can understand why this lens has such a cult following. The colors are deep and rich while the bokeh is super smooth and creamy. Sure you can find problems when you zoom into the pixels but as an overall impression, this lens is quite amazing for 25 year old lens.

This image was taken in the marsh this morning. It represents a number of changes. First, the most obvious is the seasonal reference. Being covered in frost, this decaying green leaf is being overtaken by winter. Second, I’m changing to a much better lens for a zoom telephoto. I have been using the Sony 18-200 f3.5-5.6 and becoming disappointed with the quality of images on the new camera. I’m now splitting that same focal distance between two lenses, the Sony 18-50 f2.8 and the Minolta 70-200 f4. This will produce much better photographs. Lastly, there were signs posted at the marsh today that said the boardwalks will be closed until April for repair. This means my marsh project will either have to come to an end or be postponed until April. I’m not sure what they have in store for repairs but if they’re are going to be working on it that long,the results may have a huge impact on the look of my project. Not sure what I’ll do at this point but it may be a good time to wrap this project up anyway. Maybe after a couple of walks thru the frozen marsh and I’ll call it done.

Wet Cobblestone by Terry Schmidbauer
Wet Cobblestone, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
One more shot from Pike Place Market on Saturday.

One Third Sections Crop by Terry Schmidbauer
One Third Sections Crop, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This is a screen shot of the cropping tool in Lightroom and an insight into the one third sectional compositional ideas I’m currently working on. You can see that I’m making decisions based on how each of the sections contributes to the total composition. I’m looking at each of these sections as mini compositions in themselves and how they contribute to the entire composition. This is very different from just lining up visual elements on the dividing lines as I’m paying much more attention to how each section relates to one another.

Final image is here:

Compositional Crossroads by Terry Schmidbauer
Compositional Crossroads, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I was inspired by a German photographer on Flickr last week that shot most of his images on Point & Shoots. There was such an immediacy and focus to his images that it made me rethink how I compose my images.

This image is a total departure for me as a compositionalist. Although this looks like a totally random image there’s still an underling “Rule of Thirds” structure that makes it work. But instead of the compositional elements lining up on the dividing lines, they are contained within each of the one third sections. Think of it like this; if you were to cut this image into 3×3 sections, each of those sections would hold a compositional element. It’s like building blocks for the overall structure of the image.

Of course there are other compositional elements that help to move the viewer’s eye through the image, like balancing of dark shapes, leading lines and an implied story but they all held within the underlying structure of one third sections.

This is a really hard way to compose and most of the sections are not realized for me until I’m in Lightroom but I really feel like I made a break through and I’m going explore this further….

Rich B&W Self Portrait by Terry Schmidbauer
Rich B&W Self Portrait, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was taken while I was sitting on the kitchen floor with a hand-held reflector bouncing the room’s ceiling lights. This new camera is just scarry good! I used a scene setting called Rich B&W which a JPEG only format. The only post production I had to do was a couple of graduations to darken the sides, everything else was completed in the camera.

JAD Alternate Cover by Terry Schmidbauer
JAD Alternate Cover, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This is an alternate book cover for “Just Another Day”, a Blurb book I put together from my Project 365. In the end I decided to go with some more simple but I still like this one. The collage elements were created in Shape Collage.

Now that huge surge in initial book sales has subsided, I think it’s safe to release this PDF version of “Just Another Day”. Here’s a link: