Monthly Archives: August 2009

Return of the Morning Mist – Fog

As I went out for an early shoot last week I was pleased to find that the early morning mist (or fog) had returned. It is not near as frequent in the heat of summer. Foggy/misty mornings are probably my favorite shooting condition.

A couple comments on shooting fog.

  1. Generally setting your exposure compensation to +2/3 or +1 is best to keep the fog from being underexposed. Check your histogram.
  2. A little color in fog is very good thing. Sometimes it is naturally there: yellow from the sunrise or blue from twilight. A little magenta added via a filter or post-processing can be nice as well.
  3. Take advantage of the background separation that fog or mist provides. Trees that never stood out because of background clutter can suddenly be outstanding.
  4. If the subject is too far into the fog it can quickly loose its impact. Move in closer. Use a wider lens if necessary (or zoom less – often the case).
  5. We tend to see more depth and contrast then you will in the photograph. I find this even more so when shooting in fog. Closing one eye always helps.
  6. Objects staggered back into the mist create a great deal of depth.

Click on the blog image to see a gallery that illustrates many of these points. Or click here. Especially note the different color hues the fog takes on. It is often related to the surroundings.

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Dealing with rejection

One of the things an artist/photographer has to deal with is the rejection of his/her work. In fact that will be the case much more often then not when submitting work to galleries, publishers, etc. If you haven’t guessed by now, my submission to the local coop gallery was not accepted. The thing you have to remember is that the reasons for rejections can be many.
  1. Your work doesn’t match the galleries client base.
  2. Your price range doesn’t match their market.
  3. The style of your work is too different from anything else they carry.
  4. They already have too much similar work.
  5. The rejection is not a reflection on you personally, the validity of your work, the time you invested, etc.
When submitting to galleries it always pays to visit them multiple times and get a feel for their work, get to know the owner, understand their customers, check out their price range, etc. Note however that doing all of this will not guarantee success, but it will improve your chances. In my case here, I did these things and it still didn’t work out.
I am meeting with the coops jury foreman in the next few days to see it I can glean any constructive feedback from this particular submission. I may comment on that in a future blog.
If you click on the blog image you should go to a small gallery of the images I submitted. Let me know your thoughts – what do you like or dislike.
As one photographer put it, “.. the point is not the rejection, it’s how you handle it.”

But I will say, you don’t have to like it!

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This Blog

While I am finishing up my prints for submission to the Vally Arts gallery (my favorite is the blog image), I thought I would make a few comments about this blog. I began writing this blog at the beginning of the year as a way to share my experience and thoughts as a photographer. It is a good way practice writing and present some of my work to a broader audience. But it is also way to teach others what I have learned so along the way some entries will be more of a tutorial nature. If you are reading a blog entry or looking at the attached images and have questions, feel free to ask about how, where, when, etc. they were made. I will be glad to share. I know over the past few months there are been several hundred visitors so I know you are out there. Feel free to jump in, ask questions and share your own experiences.
Only five more days before I submit my prints to the gallery for a jury review. Hopefully they make it in. I did go with a set of impressionistic images as you can tell.

Side note: I am finding as William Neil points out in his latest Outdoor Photography column that impressionistic images look best as large prints.
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Photography Anywhere

If you get busy at times and don’t have a lot of time to go out and shoot pictures, remember you can shoot them anywhere. I have taken many good pictures in business parks and their surroundings. In fact I am submitting one to a gallery next week. The two images included here were shot in a field near a parking lot. The lighting was nicely diffused by some clouds passing overhead (flowers almost never photograph well in direct sunlight). The background color was wonderful and setting the f-stop at 9-10 gave just the right depth of field – flowers in focus – background soft.

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Well, I am getting a set of prints ready for a juried submission into a local coop art gallery. Choosing the set of images and even which body of work to submit can create a bit of anxiety. Having visited the gallery many times before (highly recommended), I do have a sense for the type of work that should be acceptable, but you never know. Should I press it and submit work that is a bit more on the edge (market differentiation) or stay with a more classical body of work? Then out of the hundreds of possible images, which do I want to submit? These are not easy questions.
In the meantime, my blog image (30 sec. exposure well after sunset) is what I view as a relaxing image – blue tones, simple composition, and a left to right flow . Now breathe deep and slow – just relax.
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Fun with Nik

A couple posts ago, I talked about “Knowing Your Imaging Software”. One of the plugins that I keep running across whether it be fine art nature photographers or wedding photographers is Nik Software’s Color Efx Pro filters. So the other night I downloaded the demo and took it for a spin. It was a lot of fun. After playing around with several of the filters, I tried applying them to various images. The two blog images show the before (top) and after results for one image. The original image from the Portland Rhododendron Garden was good, but after adding a touch of the fog and midnight filters I ended up with an image which better conveys the emotion I intended. I also used Nik’s Viveza plugin to brighten up the stairway just a touch. What do you think?

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