Deja Vu

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Sunrise, Rockport TX, CloudsI did it again. And just like last time…I’m glad I did!

Sometimes when I’m trying to maximize capturing the dynamic range of a scene, I’ll take bracketed exposures of the scene throughout the shoot. Sometimes 3 bracketed exposures…sometimes 5. When I get back to my studio, I’ll generally pick one set of those bracketed exposures. I’ll then use various software programs and techniques to more or less blend the images together.

Thats exactly what happened with this file. It came from the same shoot that resulted in the cover photo I’m using on my Facebook page, just a bit earlier in the shoot. I was reviewing some images in my Lightroom library and the clouds in this group really caught my eye. I’ve been working on some techniques that I feel provide me with a much more “real world” looking image. It’s easy to “over do” this, and thats not what I want…

Personally…I prefer this reworked file to the one I originally posted. The first one is fine…I’ve sold it several times. The new file is just better. I wanted prominent clouds and a silky smooth bay…and I have it!

 

 

 

 

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Plan B…again

Stephen Fisher Photography, Northern Cardinal, Texas Photo RanchWhen I “chimped” this image on the LCD screen of my camera, I thought I really had something special! I was pretty sure I had a potential candidate for the Wildlife In Focus contest.

I got back to my studio and starting working up my day’s production files. I pulled this image into Lightroom 5 and processed it as soon as possible. Was it sharp? Was it going to make the 6 megapixel size? Was it good enough?

Yes…Yes…and Yes! I was positive now that I had a strong contender in the Northern Cardinal category. I was pretty pleased with myself…

Well…I was pleased until Texas Photo Ranch owner and fellow competitor Wade Grassedonio gave me a look at some of his cardinal selections. He showed me 3 of the most awesome cardinal flight images I think I’ve ever seen! I was crushed…in a good way. Wade has worked hard on his photography and I’m really proud of him. If at least one of his cardinals don’t make the book I’ll be shocked.

So…This is where Plan B comes in. I went back through ALL of my cardinal images and placed 3 others in this category. I also like my chances, but I have a feeling Wade may be on his way…

 

 

 

 

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I’m Obsessed

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Docks, Sunrise RocksWell…Maybe I’m not REALLY obsessed! But I could be…

I keep coming back to this scene over and over. I literally have miles and miles of coast to shoot, and the Jeep keeps bringing me back to this spot!

This scene really sets up for my eye. These old fishing piers help me to frame the shot. It might look like the one on the right is ready to fall apart…and it is! This morning I tried to frame the sun coming up behind the one on the left .

Nothing dramatic this morning. I slowed the clouds and water down with a 2 second shutter speed at f/13. The ISO was 50 and I was shooting in manual mode.

 

 

 

 

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Mellow Yellow

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Water Street, Rockport TX, JettyI drove over to the new fishing pier at the top of Water Street early this morning to see what Mother Nature was going to offer in the way of a new day here in Rockport.

I didn’t set my camera gear out on the upper deck last night, so I was having some serious fogging issues with my lens. It was so bad I almost didn’t even bother trying to make an image. I kept wiping…and wiping…and still it looked like I was viewing through vaseline!

I made one image this morning…and this is it. It was a very mellow pre-sunrise. Some major dark clouds sat on the horizon and provided just a peek of the new day. As  stood there watching, the colors started to fade. Still nice…but I think I caught this one just at the right time.

 

 

 

 

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A Second Chance

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Rockport TXI posted a different version of this file several days ago on Facebook, and it was well received! I really like the previous version. But I might even like this one better…

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Rockport TxDigital photography provides us the opportunity to rethink…actually recreate…an image. My moods can change from day to day. I work an image up one way, and then have the opportunity to go in another direction if I’m so inclined.

On my initial image (on the right), I wanted the viewer to stop at the pier on the right side of the image and come back to the center. I thought the color of the water was interesting and wanted it featured.

On the newer version at the top of the page, I cropped it to be more expansive. I wanted the viewer to see the pier, and then follow it out to sea. I also flipped the original image horizontally.

I hope you like both versions!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Fog

Canvasback-In-the-Fog, Stephen Fisher Photography, Ducks, FogIt was SO foggy! Well…how foggy was it? It was so foggy I could only see about 20 feet ahead of me…and I had to wait over 30 minutes to see that far…

I crawled into the tiny blind in the dark…and I was REALLY concerned about snakes and alligators. I was laying on my stomach with only a plastic tarp between me and the mud. My Canon 1Dx and Canon 400 mm f/2.8 were propped up on a yoga block for support! At this time, I couldn’t see a thing.

But I could hear them…a lot of them. It was first light…what little there was. Every now and then I could make out a shape moving through the pond water. The wind picked up and started to slowly dissipate some of the gloom.

All of a sudden this handsome Canvasback male broke through the fog.  My autofocus wasn’t working because of all the moisture in the air. I manually focused on this bird’s eye and made the click.

Was it worth it…yep! I made over 1000 clicks in the next hour…and three of them made my contest portfolio. This isn’t one of them, but I do like the feel of this image…

 

 

 

 

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I’m Done

Stephen Fisher Photography, Nature Photography, Alligator, Finished…Finis…Toast…No mas…Completed…Over…Stick me with a fork…I’m done!

Yesterday I turned in my 100  portfolio images for the Wildlife In Focus contest. After months and months of IRS audits, selling a house, planning a new house, a major art show, two new gallery associations, and the “contest”…I’m done! Check…Check…Check…

I woke up early this morning and for the first time in a LONG time I had NO deadlines to deal with. I now have the luxury of focusing only on what I want…and thats making photographs of the Coastal Bend. This feels so good.

The list of things I want/need to do is manageable. I’m going to rearrange my studio. It’s a mess! I can have that project completed today…maybe. I need to make room for a second 27″ Apple cinema monitor that I want to unpack.

My website is a wreck! I’ve neglected it so long, and now I can allocate some time for it. That’s going to continue to be a “work in progress” for a while!

OK…I’m off to get a second cup of coffee and check what the sunrise is going to look like…

 

Posted in Photography

Maybe Yes…Maybe No

Stephen Fisher Photography, Scissor Tail Flycatcher, Texas Photo Ranch, FenceOK…So I spent a BIG part of yesterday selecting the images I’ll be submitting for the Wildlife In Focus Photography Contest. And I’m not done yet…

This is really the hard part for me. I’ve committed 5 months of my life to making 10’s of 1000’s of images. Now I have to select 100 of them as my portfolio. In some of the 59 categories I didn’t even compete. In others, I have to narrow down from 100’s of files down to the maximum of 3 images per category.

What metrics should I use to make these critical decisions? Actually…there aren’t any! Judging art is so subjective that the only consistent thing is that it’s inconsistent. People have different tastes…likes and dislikes. So I just submit what I like…and the judges will either agree or disagree.

I had made over 100 “keeper” images in the Flycatcher & Kingbird category. And getting it down to 3 was painful for me. I wanted this image of these 3 Scissor Tails doing what Scissor Tails do to make the cut. It’s not a tight portrait or an image of their acrobatic flying. It’s just a VERY representative image of Scissor Tail Flycatcher activity. It didn’t make it…

I hope to finish up this task today. My plan is to get them over to Corpus Christi and turned in tomorrow. It’s almost over. It’s time for me to move on. I have a new plan…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Stephen Fisher Photography, Landscape, Flowers, Texas Photo RanchIt’s over…and it was GOOD!

Stephen Fisher Photography had just an unbelievable showing at the Rockport Art Festival  over the 4th of July weekend. Not only did we sell some art, I had the chance to see a lot of old dear friends, and the opportunity to meet a BUNCH of new ones.

I’m tired and feeling old this morning! Setting up and breaking down for a show like this is hard work. Now that it’s over, I can sit back and take it all in. I’m so honored and flattered to be included in this prestigious show for the last 4 years. It’s just a great experience, and I do appreciate the opportunity to participate.

Maybe it’s just me being me, but sometimes I feel insecure about my work and how others feel about my art. I literally had thousands of people come through my 2 booths, and the response I got was highly motivating. That validation really inspires me to keep working hard to be even a better photographer and editor.

OK…today I’ll get everything cleaned up and stored away. I have 100 images for the Wildlife In Focus contest to prepare for submission by Friday. I need to get busy…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Update

East-of-Water-Street, Aransas Bay, Stephen Fisher PhotographyI kept my head down yesterday and got a LOT of work done. I’m ALMOST ready for the 2015 Rockport Art Festival!

Trying…and failing…to be unbiased, I’m proud of the art I’ll be showing. It’s going to be a transitional collection of some new pieces and a few seasoned titles that have been very good to me.

I’ll be trying a couple of new things with my booth layouts. I think it’s going to work out just fine. I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot of friends here in Rockport this weekend.

OK…Back to work!   BOOTH #45

 

 

 

 

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