click for full size on all images, I’m not going to write it under every image from now on
It’s rare that I get two beautiful days in a row with no other obligations, open to do photography. What’s even rarer is that I have the creative drive and energy to go out two days in a row. However the stars sort of lined up, and I may even have another beautiful day tomorrow to shoot. I decided to go out again today and went and shot for about two and a half hours. Overall I was very happy with this shoot, and I was able to apply a lot of the stuff I learned yesterday while editing the shots I took on 6-13. I even shot some film, which I will process and post later!
I took this shot from my car. I typically don’t like to do this, as it feels lazy. If a shot isn’t worth getting out my car for, is it even worth taking the shot? However, with a car coming the opposite direction to me and the light shifting fast, I simply stopped along the road at a point where I thought the composition was decent, grabbed my camera from the passenger seat, and waited for the light.
I had somewhat of a frustrating realization while editing this picture. I visualized it as a dark roofed barn (red roof) under a dark sky and foreground against white clouds. However, to darken a red roof, you need a blue filter, which turns the sky into a completely flat gray against the clouds. However a red filter required to turn the sky black turned the roof white, defeating the purpose of having a red roof. I had to pick a filter halfway between and do some “cheater editing”, masking the roof and windows to darken them.
I don’t shy away from revisiting locations I’ve shot at before. I notice different things, I get different shots. I’ve even used almost identical compositions under different weather conditions/time of year and felt like they were very different shots. However it’s rare (if I’ve ever even done it) that I’ll revisit a location a day later and take an almost identical shot. I even got similar weather, I was very lucky. However I fixed what was missing before: I waited for interesting clouds and I pulled my car forward to get a higher angle on the fields.
This again was the same tree I stopped at yesterday. However, unlike the second “Fields” shot, I didn’t think I dramatically improved on the shot I took yesterday. The sky (although I felt like the clouds were a bit darker) still wasn’t cooperating, so instead I used my 50mm lens and tried to put more of the leaves over the trunk of the tree, and rendered the leaves as a slightly darker gray. The shot is a bit better than the one yesterday, but not dramatically so.
The hospital in our area is a building I deliver to fairly regularly in my day job delivering food. This is a shot I’ve pictured for a while, a very symmetrical shot where the brick of the hospital was rendered white and the sky and windows, both blue, were rendered black. Although I had to contend with cars which weren’t in my perfect visualization of this shot, I very much like how this turned out.
As an aside, I dropped my camera onto asphalt while getting in my car to leave the hospital. It was a terrifying experience, but besides a few scratches on the body and the body of the lens that I was using, my camera seems largely spared. Thank Nikon and their metal D700 body construction, I suppose.
This scene was one I stopped at and decided to shoot on my 4×5 camera. I’m very excited to see the result of that, but I won’t be able to see that until tomorrow if I’m lucky and am able to process film. In -this- shot however, I like the curvature of the horizon, the texture of the fields, and the definition in the clouds.
Another shot from the 70-200, which I’m going to use more frequently for landscape shots. It has a remarkable ability, which I can’t believe I haven’t thought about and used before, to diminish relative distance between objects. When you shoot with a very wide lens, objects appear farther away from eachother front to back, like there is more space between them. A fluid example of this can be seen in any “hitchcock zoom” or “vertigo effect” shot such as this. The subject is maintained in size by the camera pulling away as it zooms in, but you can see that the background changes in relative size.
The result of this in landscape shots is faraway objects, like mountains, seeming larger. In this shot, I edited to emphasize the aerial perspective in which faraway objects become lighter in value, thus adding depth to the scene.
I love the texture young corn creates in fields. Although I’ve grown up in Virginia most of my life, I’ve never really gained intimate knowledge of agricultural seasons. However thinking about it now, it’s interesting to think how seasonal certain scenes are. This is a scene that could only exist in early/mid June. “Knee high by July”, as the old rule of thumb goes, dictates that the effect of these rows of corn would be lost as the corn grew up and grew broader leaves. In August, this scene would be completely unidentifiable and the neat row effect would be entirely lost.
Shot from the same vantage point as the previous shot, I like this shot a bit more just because of the neatness of the patch of trees, the nice rolling hills, and the slightly more dramatic sky.
First off, I’m a bit annoyed by the dust on the image sensor which is visible just over the ridgeline a bit left of center. It’s not a huge burden to edit, and I think the camera’s built in sensor cleaner was able to eliminate the problem, but it’s frustrating to see it there.
This is probably my favorite shot from the whole outing. It’s also a shot that’s very challenging to edit, in that, there are a variety of different approaches i could take. Because my subject is very nice and clear, and the mountain was a color in the unedited shot that responds very nicely to color filtering without affecting much else, there’s a lot of different directions I could take this without it looking bad or unnatural, I just have a hard time narrowing it down.
Overall, though, I’m -very- pleased with this shot. I was coming over a rise and the road dipped down and then came back up, and at the opposite end of the small valley I saw this church bathed very nicely in sun and Massanutten peak behind it. It was perfect, I did not hesitate to clamor on top of my car with the 70-200 and take advantage of this opportunity which was basically handed to me by the position of the clouds and my happening to be there.
There’s not a whole lot I would change about this shoot. I would’ve loved to be out shooting longer, however needing to keep an appointment drove me back into town. Overall, I’m very very happy with each of the pictures here.
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