I like to photograph interesting signs and weird stuff. Here are a few more from Nova Scotia.
More photos from Nova Scotia….
I sort of half inadvertently developed a series of photographs of people working. Some more interesting than others, but all with a story or two to tell.
I’ve been running through my Nova Scotia photos looking for themes. One of the things I typically look for when wandering through a town are little details. These are a few that I took while we were in Lunenburg. Most of them were taken on the way to or from breakfast or dinner. See, photography and dining don’t have to be mutually exclusive! 🙂
When Kathy & I want to really get away and relax, our favorite destination is the beach. And when we want to go to the beach, our favorite beach is Hilton Head Island, SC. We spent Labor Day Weekend there. With our house project rapidly nearing completion, and all the stuff that goes along with that, we knew that this would probably be the Last Hurrah for us for this year. I’ve used up just about all of my vacation time, and we’ve used up just about all of our vacation money, and what little we have left will probably be earmarked for furniture and stuff. It’s amazing how a new house tends to make all of your furniture obsolete!
I’ve taken some of my favorite photographs at Hilton Head, but after a while it gets a little tough to do something new. So I mostly stick to the tried and true and hope for some inspiration along the way. I typically like to shoot when the tide is out, as I can frequently find some sand textures and pools that add some interest. This time, it seemed that sunrise and sunset generally coincided with high tide, so I was left with fewer options. That, combined with an overriding need for sleep kept me in the bed for all mornings but one. And I did manage to get out one evening, which was a nice departure, as we usually head out for dinner just about the time the light is getting nice. So, with one sunrise and one sunset to work with, I don’t think I got anything I’ll be hanging on the wall, but it felt good to get out when I did.
I’m still putting the old 5D through its paces, and am convinced that it is working just fine. I just wanted to be as sure as I could be before I put it back in the pack in a backup role. The biggest surprise for me was how quickly I got dust on the sensor! With the automagical dust removal system of the newer Mark III I never have to worry about dust. But the combination of small apertures and no sensor cleaning means I’ll need to pay a little more attention.
I’m still working on Nova Scotia photos, too. So I’ll have a few things to post about coming up, even though my adventures may be on hiatus for a little while!
Tired of Nova Scotia photos yet? Good, ’cause I’m not!
Another photo from our July adventure, the light is what I think makes this photo. The boarded up windows on one side and the hint of color in the other window hint at possibly a difficult past with some hope for the future.
We saw a lot of buildings with this shake siding, much of it in need of a coat of paint. Probably very durable against the elements despite occasional deferred maintenance.
I hope everyone has an excellent September.
I got my camera back from the shop last week and had a chance to test it out over the weekend. Kathy & I visited Shelton Vineyards with some of our nature photography buddies. As far as I can tell it looks like the machine is functioning properly. The operator felt a little rusty but I got the hang of it pretty quickly.
More photos than words today, so enjoy!
I’m still not convinced that this is the successful photograph I thought it would be when I made the frames, but I’ve enjoyed working on this one. I originally envisioned a high-contrast, low-saturation photo and thought it might work in monochrome, but (a) I think I’ll always be a color sort of guy, (b) I never did get the hang of what a black & white photo is “supposed” to look like, and (c) I might not be working on a good enough example. Hard to say.
I think it’s a pretty interesting scene. It’s a little cluttered, but I feel it has good balance and good light. In the post sunset twilight I was trying to capture an old-timey look that would suggest a vintage photograph, although not necessarily black & white, rather than one taken with a new-fangled digital camera.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun. Besides, it gives me a great excuse to show photos of…buoys!
I’m processing photos as I find ones that interest me. Sometimes I have words to go with them, and sometimes I don’t.
These are really cliche, of course. But when you see them you still have to shoot them. I think there is rule about that.
I’ve found some photos that are going to require my time and attention to get the look I have in mind, so in the mean time, here are a few Velvia-like photos of fishing stuff. I hope you enjoy them!
I mentioned in an earlier post about having broken my camera while in Nova Scotia. Here’s the story.
We were driving around the Grand Pre’ valley late one afternoon, doing some sightseeing in the beautiful light that was so common there. Driving down a country road, Kathy – the eagle-eyed eagle spotter – spotted this bald eagle perched atop a telephone pole. I slowed way down to see if I could get a place to pull off, but there were ditches on both sides of the road, and the road was lined with rows of corn, so there was not a lot of choice.
Fortunately, I chanced upon a tractor path that I was able to back into, which gave Bill on the passenger side of the van a good shot out the window. My camera, of course, was in the back of the van. Keeping the van between me and the eagle, I was able to work my way around the back, open the door without causing too much of a fuss, and assemble my 70-200 and 2X teleconverter. He was still a long way off, but that was all I had.
I’m not sure why I decided to put my old 5D on this lens setup. I was probably thinking that I didn’t need to use 22 megapixels on what would probably amount to a bunch of sleepy eagle photos, and that 12 megapixels would be plenty. I just don’t remember. So, by my count I had taken 34 sleepy eagle photos, he was just sitting there, posing and looking cool. He would occasionally turn his head to one side or another, but that was about it. Zzzzzz….
On the 35th frame, the camera made a strange clunking sound. It sounded like the shutter was still open, since I didn’t hear the mirror return to its usual position. The camera sounded like I had used mirror lockup, just a lot louder. I turned the camera off, and the mirror – or at least the mirror mechanism – finally came back down. Looking through the viewfinder it was immediately apparent what happened, but I wasn’t exactly sure why or what was going to happen next. The mirror had become separated from the mirror-holder-thingie that it attaches to.
Kathy and our friends up front were still marveling at the eagle and our amazing fortune to find it with such a great place to watch, and I was standing in back of the van saying, “umm, guys? My camera just broke.” Fortunately I had the presence of mind to pull off the old body and put my new one on. Of course all the time I knew the eagle was going to fly off while I didn’t have a working camera in my hands. Fortunately, he was kind enough to wait for me, and allowed me to get another dozen or so shots off before he flew off. And I got a couple of decent flight photos. No prize-winners, but considering the circumstances, not too shabby.
After I returned home, I packaged the camera up and sent it off to Canon Professional Services for evaluation. A few days later I received an e-mail stating that they are going to repair the camera at no charge, calling it an “in-warranty repair.” A friend of mine asked me if it was covered for a period of time or a number of shutter actuations. I told him that it was covered under an “ain’t suppose to happen” warranty. I’m still waiting for it to come back, but I expect it shortly.
So that’s the story of the broken camera. Hopefully there will be a happy ending in a few days.
There were a number of good and thoughtful comments to my previous post about balance. Some of them related to the visual balance of photography, but mostly the comments seemed to revolve around the time balance involved in making time for photography, and to a lesser extent about time balance in our lives in general. I find myself more and more preferring to photograph as a part of traveling or doing other things, as opposed to making photography the central purpose of my activity. There is a subtle but important distinction between the two. Mostly it just means a change in subject matter, but because I’m photographing things that attract me or grab my attention as I go, I’m more likely to photograph things that have more interest or meaning to me, rather than just going down a checklist or conforming to some predetermined agenda or formula.
Cedric’s comment was perhaps the most interesting to me, because he read my words in the context of the accompanying photographs, which were more of a “centered” type of composition. Relating it to his personal preference for photos that are “grossly one sided across the vertical” he said that he rarely shares that type of photograph, “because generally they are not popular and sometimes rattle people too much.”
My reaction when reading those words was “why does “balanced” have to be “centered?”” If your vision (or your preference) results in a photograph that has the subject off to one side and it pleases you and suits your intention, isn’t that OK? Balance should be dictated by what works for us in a particular situation and what feels right to us. In most cases that might mean a result that is closer to the center than to the edge, but it doesn’t have to.
Mark’s comments focused on the parallels between visual and time balance, and the fact that he feels that he has more control over the photographic part than the time part. I agree, as there are more outside demands on our time than there are on our photographic vision. I probably would have been perfectly willing to get up at 4am for sunrise a few days, were it not for the fact that our days didn’t leave room for catching up on lost sleep, that daylight went until sunset at 9:00 and that I didn’t want to go home from vacation needing a vacation! It was a lot easier to convince my traveling companions to head out for sunset than to get up for sunrise, so it was an accommodation I was more than willing to make, even if it meant completely forgoing sunrise.
Paul’s comment referenced my decision to leave the laptop at home, stating that he often does the same when I he travels. He said that he sometimes goes so far as to leave the camera at home, preferring to remove the “self-pressure to get out and photograph and carve out that time to do it.” I’ve found that, too. Sometimes I just want to go and watch, to experience whatever it is I’m doing for what it is. I don’t need to capture it with a camera if I see it, experience it and remember it. There is a time and place for the camera, and there is a time and place to just watch.
As it relates to photographic composition, I’m convinced that “balance” doesn’t have to mean “middle.” I’d love to see some of Cedric’s “unbalanced-balanced” photographs. I’ll bet we would love them, mostly because they would reflect his vision and are made from his heart. On the subject of time, some of us choose and are able to spend all of our waking hours doing photography. That’s great. If others of us are only able to carve out a few hours a day or a week for our photography, that’s just the other end of the continuum and is OK, too. When I’m faced with a choice between a nice dinner with my sweetie and a possible sunset opportunity, more often than not I’m going to choose the nice dinner. Except for those rare times of the year when I can do both! Several of us have given up television in exchange for more time doing other things. If that’s a decision that works for us, then that’s OK. If I post dozens of photos a day to my blog or Facebook while Paul leaves the computer at home and each choice works for us, that’s cool.
I think the main lesson in all of this discussion and conversation is that balance means different things to each of us. What is balanced to me may be nothing but tension for someone else. And what someone else finds comfortable might be like chaos for me. And you know what? That’s part of what makes this life so wonderful! Each of us has our own take on what works, for the most part we have the ability and the means to express it, and in the end what matters is that what we do makes us happy. If we are able to share our work and make a few other people smile in the process, that is just gravy!