Time for some more creative blurs. This pair of images was captured while visiting a nearby equestrian centre. I intentionally moved the camera while shooting in combination with a slow shutter speed to achieve the effect. I particularly like how this technique can produce ‘ghosting’ in parts of the image.
I was down at Blackie Spit yesterday, on the other side of the peninsula from White Rock, where most of my beach images are captured. It was a cloudless day, mild but a bit cooler than we’ve been getting in the past week. It was crowded! There’s an off-leash area just behind the beach parking, with quite a few dogs and their people hanging out and playing. I spent a little while watching and these are a few of the images I brought home, mostly of the lab. She was having great fun monopolizing the chase. I also have images of her running companion and a few others that I’ll post another time. Playing with my motion blurs again. 🙂 In the last one the dog is running through long grass, and I like how the dead grass heads break up the image.
It’s been several weeks since I last visited the beach and its pier and I decided today might be a good day to change that. We’re expecting a pineapple express (heavy rain and mild temps coming out of the southwest) to come through in a day or so, so I wanted to see if there was anything worth photographing there before the rains hit.
The mountains on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state were really visible today, which is fairly unusual…normally they are barely visible in the haze, but there really wasn’t much action. A couple of rafts of ducks way offshore, the water like a millpond, even the gulls were just standing around most of the time. So I contented myself with capturing a few gulls coming in for landings, also a bald eagle landing on a structure located off the end of the breakwater with the Olympic Peninsula in the background.
Click on the images for larger view.
I think it’s fair to say that wildlife is my favorite photography subject, yet with the limited gear that I have capturing wildlife images is frequently an exercise in frustration. I cannot hope to compete with all those photographers walking around with enormous lenses who are looking for the same unique angles that I may be after. And if I do succeed in bringing home something worthwhile, I usually have to crop aggressively, leaving me with a vastly reduced image size. It can be very discouraging because I have a very limited budget which doesn’t allow for equipment upgrading (let alone any photo tours). OK yes, I took a couple of trips in the past year, but suffice to say…I owe an enormous thank you to my very generous family.
So what to do to produce images that are larger in spite of the cropping…resize in post processing and apply some kind of artistic treatment. I’m a creative person who also has a techie side. I’m completely at home on a computer and tend to play endlessly with my software’s possibilities. Creative in-camera movement combined with creative software effects of various styles can be a marriage made in heaven even when image size isn’t an issue.
Here’s a series of Great Blue Heron in-camera blur images that I captured a couple of summers ago, but they’ve just been taking up space in my photo library until this weekend, when I threw a few creative effects at them and quite liked the results.
As I was completing the loop around the local pond on Christmas morning after watching the dogs playing in the water, I heard the unmistakable croak of the great blue heron that had been fishing nearby and s/he was coming in my direction. With my camera still set on a slow shutter speed and knowing that the trees on the closest island had the potential for an interesting panned background if the heron turned right instead of going over top of me, I ran flat out through the trees and shrubs between me and the pond to get a glimpse of her/him as s/he did indeed turn right. I was just in time to grab a few shots of this majestic bird before my view was obscured by the shrubs. Given the slow shutter speed I knew I couldn’t expect to get a sharp image of the heron, but the background was as I imagined it might be – a general blur with a suggestion of moss-covered branches punctuating the abstract browns and greens, and almost looking as if they’re reaching out to grab the heron. Having played with the TangledFX app as much as I have over the last couple of months, I knew a treatment like that would likely pop that background nicely, and I wasn’t disappointed. The first image is my favorite, the other two I included for context, altho I rather like the wings in the second image.
Click on images for larger view (recommended).
It was really quiet at the local pond when I first arrived there on Christmas morning. There were some ducks and merganzers fishing on the pond, and a heron, but otherwise it was totally quiet. The clouds hadn’t moved back in yet, and it was lovely soaking up some sun. It didn’t last long, of course. The clouds arrived about the same time as the dogs with their people. I stayed to watch these two brothers chase a stick in the water. It was fun watching them, and I had a little fun processing the images too.
Click on images for larger view.