Archive for February 2012

Grand Canyon Black & White Conversions   Leave a comment

I’ve been working on some older photos (these are circa 2005) and experimenting with converting them to black & white.  Viewing an image in black & white emphasizes form and tonality.  The classic black & white often includes the full spectrum from pure black to pure white.  The early fine art photographers like Ansel Adams were able to take a “flat” negative and create drama by pulling out high contrast images in the darkroom.  Today, of course, the darkroom is usually a computer and specialized software.

These shots were taken from different locations on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  They work well (I think) as black & whites, mainly because of tonality.  The first is heavy on th mid-tones but still has a good range from black to white.  It was taken moments after sunrise in soft light.  The second was taken later in the morning between 10:00 and 10:30 when the light was more harsh.

Posted February 29, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Landscapes

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Snow Geese Fire Drill   1 comment

Another photo from my Sunday morning visit to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.  For whatever reason (the occasional bald eagle fly by, for example) the entire flock of snow geese will go airborne, fly around in chaotic fire-drill fashion, and then settle back onto the lake.  It is an awesome (and noisy) spectacle to behold!  (Post inspired by my neighbors Tom and Bobbie, who have also observed this in person).

Posted February 20, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Nature and Wildlife

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Tundra Swans   4 comments

Nice photography conditions at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area this morning.  Not too many Snow Geese yet (less than 5,000 by my guess), but these graceful Tundra Swans were preening and posing nicely.  I hope to get up to Middle Creek a couple more times in the next three weeks as more Snow Geese arrive.

Posted February 19, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Nature and Wildlife

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Color Isolation   Leave a comment

Another color isolation image.  This one from an older photo that I took at King’s College in Cambridge, England.  I muted the bright orange color of the flowers a bit, and slightly warmed the black and white background.

For anyone interested, the color isolation was done in Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, and is easy to do.  Here is a link to the tutorial that I used.

Posted February 18, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Nature and Wildlife

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A Shout Out for Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art   2 comments

I have been struggling for a while to get high quality prints of my photos.  First I tried doing my own inkjet printing, with decidedly mixed results.  Then I tried a couple of the big cookie-cutter online print shops, again with mixed results.  The problem — as most photographers will relate to — was controlling the color management process from camera to final print.  My self-made prints always seemed to end up with an unwanted color cast.  And with the online shops I ended up having to crop my photos to fit their standard sizes, or pay dearly for custom sizes.

A few weeks ago I did a web search on “gallery wraps Lancaster” and received the usual 257,000 hits on Google.  But one of them was Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art in Wrightsville — a short 15 minute drive across the river on Route 30 from where I live.  What immediately set them apart was that owners Dan and Shawn are photographers (and darn good ones, too).  This, I knew, was what I was looking for — a print shop owned by photographers.  Guys who printed their own work for exhibition, who could help me control the color management process, and make suggestions on everything ranging from contrast to paper selection to display.

I spent an hour talking photography, archival papers, and printing with Dan and Shawn last week.  I left a file with them, and I picked up the print today.  It is a beautifully done print.  Exact colors, spot-on exposure, and perfectly displayed (I ordered a canvas gallery wrap).  Dan even mirrored the edges of the image where it wraps around the frame, so I lost none of the image on the face of the print.

If you struggle getting high quality archival prints for your images, I highly recommend Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art.  Check out their website and give them a call.

Oh yeah, the image that I had them print is below.  It is a black and white except for the red blooms that I isolated and saturated.


Posted February 16, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Nature and Wildlife

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Mystery Valley   2 comments

Mystery Valley is part of the Navajo reservation that includes the more famous Monument Valley.  Mystery Valley has the same stark beauty as its neighbor, but is less accessible.  The “roads” that our jeep travelled over were bone jarring and a bit unnerving in places.  I haven’t published many shots from Mystery Valley, but recently converted this one to black & white which really improved it.

Posted February 13, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Uncategorized

Paris Cityscapes   Leave a comment

The last of the photos (I think) from Paris — a half-dozen images taken from one of the Notre Dame towers on a cold but beautiful winter’s day.

Posted February 10, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Architecture, Europe

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