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Kite Preparation 7012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Beauvais   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 20:27

On a warm summer evening, I was with an Outer Banks Photo Workshops student on one of our Sunset Workshops on Jockey's Ridge.  Of course, we can never tell what Mother Nature has in mind when we schedule these workshop sessions.  Part of the lesson is finding great images in whatever weather and lighting conditions we get.  This evening, we were given a pretty dense cloud cover.  It was dull looking as we started up the hill.  But as the sun got low in the sky, it burned its way through the thinner parts of the cloud cover, lending some exciting drama and color to our sky.  It's important to be out there and ready, particularly in the hours before and after dawn and dusk.  The conditions can quickly change and provide some great photo opportunities, as it did this evening.

A limitation of photography is that we are trying to represent three dimensional space in just two dimensions.  I find I am much more successful in conveying a sense of depth, that missing third dimension, by including interesting stuff in multiple planes.  And this evening, that opportunity came together.  I had that colorful layer of clouds in the background, and that little cloud on the left poking up over the dune horizon in front of the big cloud bank.  Looking around at the other people on the dune that evening, I spotted this woman preparing her kite.  A solid, recognizable shape in the foreground, with the planes of clouds behind, give my image the feeling of depth I wanted.

Because that solid object in the foreground was recognizable as a person, it added further interest to the image. Too often, I forget to take advantage of adding human interest in my images.  But it's an easy way to lift an image above average.  For another example of a human interest "making" a photo, check this link.

The sky was considerably brighter than the shadow side of the lady.  By exposing for the sky, the lady and her kite became a silhouette.  The obscured details of her silhouette added intrigue.  In post-processing, I bumped up the contrast a bit to keep her silhouette dark and add some definition to the clouds.

So, four quick lessons in this simple image:
- Be out there and ready, the conditions can change constantly.
- Have interest on multiple planes to give the feeling of depth.
- Take advantage of human interest.
- Expose, then make image tweaks to create a silhouette, adding a intrigue.

Instant downloads, prints, and gifts with this image are are available here.

More info about Outer Banks Photo Workshops here.

Happy shooting!

Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 11:59
Milkweed 2617 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Beauvais   
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 22:25

Milkweed follicle in early morning sunlightThe first light of an autumn day on a milkweed follicle in Big Meadow, Shenandoah National Park.

You may obtain an instant download, or purchase a print or gift here.

Zipper 6888 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Beauvais   
Monday, 21 January 2013 21:30

The lights of a carnival ride trace paths through the night in this time exposure image.

This image, as are all my images, is available for purchase as prints, instant downloads, and gifts in my gallery.

Star Trails 1634 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Beauvais   
Saturday, 19 January 2013 17:13

As the earth rotates, it appears, from the point of view of us earthlings, that the stars rotate around Polaris, the North Star.  This image was made over a period of about 90 minutes on a cold moonless night.

Prints, gifts, and instant downloads available here.

Cypress at Sunset 2860 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Beauvais   
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 16:32

Wearing waders, my buddy, Dan Waters and I slogged tripods, camera bodies, and lenses around submerged logs and boot-sucking mud, hoping dearly to avoid an expensive misstep.  And we waited in the chilly water as the sun approached the horizon.  The colors emerged in the southwest sky, and this cypress became a silhouette.  As the sky darkened, the silhouette merged into its background.  "This is where the magic happens," Dan explained, as he fished his flashlight from his pocket.  By now, exposures for the sky were several seconds long.  This gave us ample time to use our flashlights to paint otherworldly light onto this eerie tree trunk.

We took turns - one of us painting with light, and the other exposing his image.  Through trial and error, we zeroed in on that right combination of sky exposure and adding light onto the tree.

We slogged back around the submerged logs and boot-sucking mud, this time in the dark.  And knowing that one sinkhole could ruin not only our expensive gear, but probably some great images we knew we'd just recorded!

Prints, gifts, and licensing available here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 December 2012 17:53
Christmas on the Outer Banks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Beauvais   
Monday, 24 December 2012 22:01

Last Updated on Monday, 24 December 2012 22:10
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