The B&B we stay at in Belhaven is on Water Street, right across the street from the Pantego Creek, and I often walk over to the waterfront around sunset time to see what kind of interesting sunset there might be. It’s easy to get to, has a good year-around view of the western horizon, and has some interesting trees and grasses for foreground interest. One of the things that calls me back time and time again are these three old posts, remnants of a long-gone dock or pier, that stick up out of the water just off the shoreline.
There’s nothing really special about these posts, but there’s something about them that keeps me photographing them over and over. I think mostly it’s just a great way to practice composition, placement and shutter speed, but it gets me out the door, and most of the time that’s the battle. I can sit in the living room and watch the sky, and if something interesting happens I can grab my gear and be set up in two minutes. But actually getting up and going there compels me to get the camera out and do something with it.
Sometimes I get an interesting shot, sometimes I just play around, but I always enjoy myself. Sometimes I have to remember to actually look at the sunset, I get so caught up with these posts! Sometimes the sky just fizzles out at sunset, but these posts are always there, and I’m always able to figure out something to do with them. Most of the photos never make it to paper but some of them do.
I and several of my blogging buddies have been having a discussion about motivation, and often we find that it takes a project, a convenient subject, or sometimes just a few old posts to get us out of our chairs and make us head out the door to make some photographs. Whatever gets you going, take advantage of it and get out there and shoot. All this fancy equipment doesn’t make photographs by itself!
Kathy & I are spending the long President’s Day weekend (President’s Day for most banking-related employers except mine. Oh, well….) in Belhaven, NC, one of our favorite getaway spots. We enjoy coming to Belhaven because we can do or not do, as much or as little as we choose. It’s a nice little town on the Intracoastal Waterway, a little sleepy but there’s enough to do if you want something to do. We’ve got some good friends that run a B&B here, and it is nice to visit several times a year to catch up. After the hustle & bustle of The Big City it is a welcome change.
Saturday we visited Washington, NC, just down the road between Belhaven and Greenville. There’s a great wine shop there we like to visit called Wine & Words (‘Words’ because it is also a used book store). We go for the wine but I’ve also bought books there, once picking up a copy of Peter Turnley’s The Parisians for an amazingly good price.
I’ve been begging Kathy to let me try out her little Olympus E-PL2 for quite some time, and she decided that she wasn’t planning to do any shooting this weekend, so as long as I used my own memory card (so I wouldn’t corrupt hers!) I could shoot to my heart’s content. I didn’t shoot a lot with it, but I did get a chance to make some walking-around-town photos in Washington and worked a little bit around the Sunset Hour, although colorwise there wasn’t much to work with.
Today has been wet and cold and rainy, so while I ordinarily wouldn’t spend time processing and posting photographs, it seemed like a perfect day to play around with Lightroom 4. I’m teaching a Lightroom class this coming Saturday and thought I probably should at least be able to discuss the upcoming update. I decided to just jump in without reading any tutorials, so now that I’ve spent some time with it I can look at some tutorials and figure out what I should have known before I started. Sort of like reading the manual after assembling the swing set, but I figure I can’t hurt anything. So far, so good.
A lot of the new version looks pretty much like the old one, although I’m obviously going to need to spend some time learning about the new Map and Book modules. There are some interesting new slider functions in the Develop Module, and that’s where I spent most of my time. It will be interesting to read about the changes and find out what I should have known before I started!
So anyway, these are a few images shot on an unfamiliar camera and processed with a partially unfamiliar program. I think they’re kind of fun, I had fun making them and fun working with Lightroom 4.
This has been a strange winter so far. And not just here in North Carolina, but people I talk to all over the country are wondering what’s going on. Well, it’s February, so we’re not out of the woods yet, winter-wise. But at least here in the South we can look forward to spring being right around the corner.