Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tall Grass

Tall Grass
Kerrville, Texas

Technical Details-
Canon 5D with EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM @35mm
ISO 100  f/5.0  1/100

SOOC shot (okay, not exactly SOOC... this is after a few very minor adjustments in Camera Raw):

Post Processing in Photoshop...
1)  Ran Topaz Adjust (a Photoshop Plugin from Topaz Labs) to bring out the detail in the grass & boost the sky. Here's the after:

2)  Ran Creamy Chocolate B&W - a free Photoshop action from CoffeeShop
       Layer opacity-
           Lighten 50%
           Creamy 60%
           B&W 100%
           Chocolate 70%

3) Cropped

4)  Ran Quick Edge Burn - a free Photoshop action from The Pioneer Woman - & reduced the layer opacity to 50% 

Here's a side-by-side of the before & after:

Now you know.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10 @ 10:10

10/10/10 @ 10:10am
Kerrville, Texas

I tried to think of something really creative (photographically speaking) to do on 10/10/10. Nothing came to mind. Coyne, however, had the idea to aim his camera bearing: 10-degrees, 10-minutes, 10-seconds & altitude: 10-degrees, 10-minutes, 10-seconds, then take the photo at exactly 10:10:10 a.m. So, I took a picture of him taking his photo.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Reception & Judge's Commentary

Please join us Saturday, October 2 from 1-3pm for the PhotoQuest 2010 reception at KACC. Meet the photographers. Enjoy the art, food & wine.

 Edge of the Storm
PhotoQuest 2010 - Best of Show

Here's what the PhotoQuest judge, Joe Walsh, had to say about the show:

 "Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed."
- Garry Winogrand             

Dear HCCC members,

Last week it was my honor and privilege to judge your annual PhotoQuest show.  If you have already seen it you know how difficult that task was... the standards were quite high and I enjoyed seeing your work.

Cynthia Hurayt's "Ill Wind" was the third place winner. In addition to the craftsmanship evident in the quality of this black and white print, it contains a rare and intriguing attribute:  a photograph that asks questions rather than provides answers. 
Like a still from a film noir, it draws us in.

Second place went to Vicki Gibson's "Last Night".  Beautifully composed according to the Rule of Thirds with perfect subject placement it also benefits from highly directional and dramatic warm light. The shutter was released at precisely the right instant to capture the bird's gesture as well as the emphasis provided by the concentric circles in the water.

The first place winner was Mack Barham's "Egrets in Fog."  Those of us who have photographed -or attempted to photograph- birds in flight know how difficult it is.  The more there are the more can go wrong yet the placement left to right and the front to back overlap of birds' heads and bodies work quite nicely. Remarkable.  The muted light and pastel color created by nature's diffuser create a soft, quiet atmosphere.  This is a large print, a size usually deemed impractical for small cameras but one which works here, "grain" and all,  because of those atmospherics. The background is wonderful. Don't notice the background?...that's what makes it wonderful.

Best of Show was Vicki Gibson's "Edge of The Storm."  Landscape appears to be the perennial favorite among amateur photographers as this year's PhotoQuest  demonstrates.  What distinguishes one landscape photograph from another?  How is John's cypress lined creek different from Jane's cypress lined creek? 
Having taken a picture of snow capped mountains is there any point in taking another---ever? 
Well, yes.

To me, landscape is all about time...what year, what time of year, what day, what time of day,  and, of course, weather.  Always the weather. 
Although we have no control over the weather we can continue shooting the same subjects in different conditions.
After that, the crucial decision is "Where should I put the camera?"  Over here or over there?  Higher or lower? And wedo have control of that.
The least important factor is what and where we photograph. IMO, the Grand Canyon holds no more inherent photographic promise than the road to Hunt. 

Case in point: "The Edge of The Storm", a remarkable photograph of an unremarkable location.  The title is revealing...edges of fronts are usually the most visually interesting.   The photographer recognized these circumstances and acted.  Camera placement is flawless...composing left to right and up and down is done well but also the more difficult front to back arrangement is well seen and organized.  Colors are muted yet strong, textures and shapes abound. There is much to be seen in this little photographic rectangle! 

There is much to be seen in the other 99 photographs hanging at KACC this month.  Honestly, if there were more ribbons to distribute I'd have felt justified awarding them, also.

Special thanks to Cheryl Gochenour for her assistance with the tallying of scores et al. and to Lanza Teague of the Arts and Cultural Center for judging preparation.

Regards and congratulations to all,
Joe Walsh
Here's a link to the Kerrville Daily Times article: Hill Country Camera Club hosts PhotoQuest reception