Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A road thru the Blue Hills - different interpretations

An ordinary gravel road thru the Blue Hills in Rusk County, WI can look very different and evoke various moods and feelings. Different interpretations for the same scene, sometimes also referred to as "working your subject" - going to the same place at different times of the day or maybe seasons. Moving around and shooting the same subject from various angles, horizontal and vertical, changing lenses etc.  
In post processing you can even go further in creating more diversity.
Here are just a few samples. The Nik filters are a great tool, especially the Color Efex Pro. I added the glamour filter to the sepia toned image which made it almost look like an infrared photo.
The last photo is a HDR (high dynamic range) image.  Again I used Nik's HDR software.
There are endless possibilities and choices to interpret a scene or subject. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Abstract Paintings" with my camera - Multiple Exposure

Part 2 of "abstract paintings" (see previous blog for part 1)
Multiple Exposures is another fun thing to do and does not require low light conditions or any filters to slow down the shutter speed as mentioned in the previous blog. With this technique you achieve more definition in the subjects. 
Multiple Exposures are several images layered on top of each other and merged together in one final image. Check your camera if it has multiple exposure capability. Otherwise this effect can also be achieved in softwares like Photoshop.
With my Nikon D300 I can shoot up to 10 images. It is a good idea  to keep the depth of field at f22 or f16 to maintain some sharpness. The best results are achieved by moving the camera in small increments.
The first example is a swirl of flowers. With each exposure I stayed focused on the center flower while moving the camera slightly in a circle plus zooming out.
In the second image (dancing lotus) I moved the camera to the right and left, up and down.
The last two examples are trees and with that kind of subject it looks best to pan your camera in the orientation of the subject (up and down).
This technique takes a little practice and experimentation. I do like the impressionistic look and feel of these images. Give it a try!
For more examples go to my website: www.soulcenteredphotography.net (gallery: camera paintings) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Abstract Paintings" with my camera

Yes, these images are photographs. When people view them at art fairs they always ask the same question - are these paintings? They look like paintings but they are done with the camera, no special effects in photoshop.  
So how are they done? By choosing a slow shutter speed and jiggling, jerking or spinning your camera while pressing the shutter release. This certainly defies all "rules" of photography - holding your camera steady to get sharp images - and might look foolish to some. The result is not to everybody's liking but I have a lot of fun with it and is one more tool to express your creativity.
This technique works very well on cloudy days or in low light where it is easy to get shutter speeds of 2 to 8 seconds. In brighter light you need a polarizer filter and/or a neutral density filter to get a shutter speed of 1/4 or 1/2 second. Move the camera up and down or side to side or make small circles. It takes a little practice. Good subjects are trees as in the images below. 
Another method to achieve this look are Multiple Exposures which I will cover next time.
Give this a try and become a painter.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The last light

To continue on the subject of capturing or creating magic - the last 15 to 20 minutes before it gets dark are truly magical. At sunset and shortly afterwards we see a warm glow of yellows, oranges, reds but in these last minutes of daylight everything takes on a cool hue of blues, purples, magentas. When it is almost too dark to see with the human eye the camera is still able to capture this last light and produces some stunning images. It always amazes me! 
All these images were taken at Lake Superior - the first two at Porcupine Mountains, Michigan (90-100 seconds exposures); the third one at Splitrock Lighthouse on the north shore and the last one on Madeline Island.
Next time don't pack up your camera gear after sunset but wait for that last light! (and remember to bring your tripod!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where Magic lives - swirling leaves

We are surrounded by beauty, miracles and magic but most of the time we can't see it or recognize it.
Artistic expressions allow us to capture moments of magic otherwise not visible to the human eye.
Here are some leaves moving around in the currents of the creek. By using a slow shutter speed (30 seconds to 2 minutes) the swirling movement becomes visible as streaks of color and adds a bit of mystery to the scene.
Create magic today!  Susanne

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Where Magic lives

A few years back I stumbled upon this little creek in my neighborhood in the Blue Hills (Rusk County, Wisconsin). I like to visit in the spring and especially in the fall when the leaves fall and add a golden decoration to the already magical scenery. If you are one of those folks who believe in 'little people' and fairies etc. - this is a place where they hang out for sure! I was not able to capture them with my camera (I think it requires a special model) - so you have to use you own imagination.
These images were taken at dusk and are long exposures (anywhere between 20 and 100 seconds).
I think I did a pretty good job in conveying the magic of this place. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall in the Blue Hills, Perch Lake

Perch Lake is a small lake in the heart of the Blue Hills close to Audie Lake (Rusk County, Wisconsin). There is a beautiful campground and nature trail as well. And if you like skiing the cross country trail system is close by and Christie Mountain (downhill skiing) isn't too far either.
These images were taken from the boat landing. The sun came out for a few minutes and lit up all those gorgeous trees. With the aid of a polarizer the colors really popped.
The last 2 images were taken on a foggy evening 3 weeks prior - same place and yet such a different mood. I used a HDR software to process the fog images which allowed me to give those clouds a more dramatic look.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In Nature not all Beauty is giant in scale

Sometimes less is more.

When I started to become more serious with photography 5 years ago I owned a small greenhouse business near Bruce, WI. I didn't have much time to travel and go places. One of my first lenses I bought was a 100 mm macro lens. And with that a new world opened up. I am constantly surprised what beauty can be found by just walking out of your backdoor. This more intimate view of nature is still my favorite type of photography. Here are some samples.
Go out and find the beauty surrounding you and get surprised.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall in the Blue Hills

My first blog - how exciting!
This year the peak of the fall colors seemed late. Having lived in northern Wisconsin (Sawyer and Rusk County) for over 20 years the colors often peaked in the last week of September. The week started out with a few rainy and cloudy days which were the perfect conditions to get nicely saturated images. No wind was an added bonus to get clear reflections in lakes. By mid week we had strong winds and a hard freeze on October 1st. And with that the glorious fall colors almost came to an end. Many maple leaves turned brown on the edges or dropped. In more protected areas little frost damage is visible. With nice and warm weather coming I hope we can enjoy this wonderful season for a few more weeks.
Some of my first images - more to come.