» Photograph it all, enjoy it all, learn from it all

Simple Places, Simple Subjects, Enhance Visual Skills

Shadows, pattern, texture, and color created by light coming through a window and onto drapery.

Shadows create the line and texture of this sport coat hanging up on a hanger.

The above images are of subjects that are nothing special. But that is exactly the point I want to make for viewers with this blog post. I occasionally force myself to find images in the most mundane, boring, and common locations. One exercise I occasionally do is to tell myself I have to take a couple photos from wherever I am sitting when I have a camera in my hand. Forcing myself to look for images, where I wouldn’t normally choose to, literally forces me to look for light, shadow, texture, and color. It may sound simple and these images are but later in the field or on assignment you find yourself looking harder and seeing things differently, and hopefully better, because of it. So the next time you are sitting in your home try forcing yourself to find a few images from where you sit. Then when you are in the field and you think there isn’t something to photograph do the same thing. I bet you find images, simple or not, that you would not have ordinarily.

marty golinFebruary 4, 2013 - 1:10 pm

Yes! At the risk of being pompous… One is “in the field” every waking moment. If “mindful” (best generic word that I know of) of & scanning one’s surroundings, this process can be at engaged. Whether an actual photo takes places is secondary.

More Trees

I have always loved photographing trees and they have been a common subject in my landscape images. Sometimes however it’s time to try new things. These images were further test images taken with the Fuji XE1 w18-55. The above image is only possible because I used a R72 Infrared filter on the lens that blocks the visible light spectrum and only lets the infrared spectrum through to the sensor. The combination works really well on this camera and in black and white it turns foliage white and blue skies black. While there was little foliage in this winter woodlot scene the enhanced contrasts provided by infrared allowed the visual play on the smaller tree at right and the larger trees in the background. Converting a normal color image to black and white wouldn’t have had enough separation and tonal quality. I look forward to spring and the chance to be creative with more infrared images.

The image above was also a test shot to see how well the high ISO noise held up on the Fuji XE1. It’s image quality is superb up to ISO6400. This image was taken of trees lit by a nearby light source. A little post processing fun for mood results in this image. Both of these images are what I consider “making something out of nothing” images. There are also photos to be seen and taken if you know your equipment, are open to looking for images, willing to try new things, and also know what vision you want to express later through post processing.

veroniqueJanuary 31, 2013 - 4:08 am

The bottom picture and the blue tree (28.01) give me ideas ! Thanks

TonyJanuary 30, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Simple and graphic compositions. Very nice photographs

One Tree, Two Views

The image below is the image I initially saw. But I’ve done the color sunset tree silhouette a ton of times. And when the cloud swirled around the left upper side of the tree I saw the opportunity to create a more moody image, above, by creating a b&w split tone. Same scene, same tree, but totally different moods and messages by knowing what I wanted to do in post processing.

I basically took these out my car window as I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures with my then brand new Fuji XE1 w/18-55. I have come to love that camera since and several images taken with it have been posted previously.

Michelle KarasJanuary 28, 2013 - 8:35 am

Love them both, Dan. I’ve always had a thing for images of trees.

Philadelphia and Camden Waterfront Scenes

Multiple image panorama of the Philadelphia skyline and the Ben Franklin Bridge


A simple street can become moody by using light and shadows to best advantage. This was shot to use as a background plate for future portrait images. Architecture images must have proper perspective control to keep lines straight.

Ben Franklin Bridge and smoke cloud floating over it.

The USS New Jersey docked at the Camden Waterfront.

In late fall I spent an evening enjoying the streets of Philadelphia with a good friend and fellow photographer. We spent some time at the Camden waterfront park shooting cityscapes of the Philadelphia skyline and also walking some of the streets in Philadelphia looking for a bite to eat and also a few images. These are a few of the images taken that evening as the sun set over the city and day turned to night. Techniques involved in these images include stitching multiple images into a wide panorama, long exposures, HDR, and proper filter and white balance use.