Ice Photography- Frozen Holly Berries


Living here in the South I don’t get too many opportunities to practice my ice photography skills. Well, today was the second “major” winter storm here in Atlanta/Georgia in just two weeks. This is a pretty rare occurrence for us. As a result, our office was closed and we all telecommuted as we watched the freezing rain/sleet/snow fall. The upside to this was that the ice made for some interesting ice photography opportunities.

I stepped out into the driveway during my lunch break with the goal of getting some shots of the ice on one of our Holly bushes. This was one instance that I wished I had the Tamron 90mm Macro Lens but I haven’t purchased it (yet). So I used my 15-85mm lens on full zoom and tried to get the best shot possible of the few “frozen berries” that were on the bush. Here’s the best result I got out of about 15 images:


Berries On Ice

Holly berries after a rare ice storm here in Georgia

Focusing on the small berries was a challenge, especially since there was a fair amount of wind. I wanted to get closer to the berries but the 15-85mm doesn’t allow super-close focusing distance. Even with that, I was able to capture some of the crystal-like detail in the frozen droplet.

Black And White Film Photograph: Rent A Fence

Here’s an image of a construction site fence from the latest roll of 35mm B&W film out of my Olympus OM-1:
Rent A Fence

I’m really liking the Kodak TMAX film. The detail looks great and it seems to develop easily, at least in the Kodak HC-110 I’ve been using. I have another roll that I’ll be scanning this weekend that has a lot of shots from the recent Caffeine & Octane car show.

Unauthorized Use

As photographers in the digital age many of us are torn between getting our images noticed in an ever increasing pool of images, or protecting our images to prevent any potential unauthorized use. I’ve tended towards the former by publishing many of my images on sites such as Google + and Flickr while attaching a creative commons license that allows non-commercial use with attribution. Up until last week I hadn’t come upon a situation that caused me any extra thought on the matter. [Read more...]

Zabriske Point Badlands In Black And White

I’ve spent some time in the last few days taking another look at the images we captured on our trip to Death Valley in October 2011.  Originally, I wasn’t too impressed with most of the shots but after a couple of years, and more time/experience in processing images, I’m finding some “new” diamonds in the rough. One of those diamonds is a number of images from our time at Zabriske Point, one of the most iconic areas in Death Valley. Zabriske Point is a beautiful area with lots of textured badlands surrounding the famous rock. We got up to Zabriske Point before sunrise one day and waited for the Sun to come up over the mountains. As the Sun rose the rock and valley below lit up with all kinds of great color. I captured the end of the “blue hour” on Zabriske Point in this image but there were a few other images from that morning that I think I will post over the next few months. One of those is of a small section of badlands that surround the rock outcropping:

Zabriske Point Badlands 1

I used the “kit” Canon EF-S 55-250mm zoom lens (a pretty darn good lens, btw) to capture the late sunrise sun casting some nice shadows in the rock. The original color file looked ok but the colors were a little washed out (probably due to the angle of the sun). Basedon that I thought it looked like a better subject for a black and white conversion. I used Silver Efex Pro to convert the color image. I chose a relatively high contrast image and added a bit of structure to bring out the texture of the rock. Seeing the result in B&W made me wish I had my Rolleicord with me on that trip. I think a “real” B&W image shot on film would look fantastic. I guess that’s a great excuse to go back!

There are a number of other images from that trip (which also included some time in Zion) that I will be taking another look at and probably posting over the next month or two.

The End Of Fall At Roswell Mill

Most of the Fall colors are gone here in North Georgia. I think the peak was the last week of October.  I’ve been very busy  with everything except photography & time has slipped by so fast that Fall is almost over. I was looking to get out one more time when I saw a post from Travis Rhoads  of a fantastic image he captured at Roswell Mill. I’ve lived in the area for almost 7 years but wasn’t aware of this location. I Googled it and saw that it was pretty close to home so we ventured out there late Saturday afternoon hoping there would be some color left.

Well, there was some color but things were obviously past the peak. I still managed to get a few good shots of the mill and surrounding area. Here’s my take on capturing the mill’s falls, composed of 3 images processed in HDR & Color Efex:

The End Of Fall At Roswell Mill

I took my Rolleicord as well and got a couple images on Kodak Portra 400 film which I should be able to process/scan this coming weekend.

A Three Year Old’s View Of The World

Sometimes you need to get down real low to capture the shot.

This past week we spent some time visiting family. My Brother has a three year old son who sees “Uncle Mark” as the perfect plaything. I spent a lot of time with him, playing with everything from puzzles to toy trains. Here’s a shot of his train set that I tried to capture at his level:

A Three year Old's View

For my 49 year old body, getting down to three inches off the floor was a bit of an effort but it gave me a more interesting perspective on my Nephew’s train set.

We really enjoyed the family time. Our Niece and nephew are changing so fast that each time we see them they are completely different people. I’m glad I’m able to capture their progress whenever we see them.