Almost

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Rockport TX, Pier, Sunrise, Waves, ReflectionsSometimes I forget. Sometimes I take things for granted. Sometimes I lose perspective…

Last week I attended a reception for an art exhibit where I had 2 pieces being shown. I was POSITIVE that BOTH of these photographs I had in this show would win awards. WRONG! Nothing…nada…zero…

I was disappointed. How could this happen to me? My work is better than the others that won. And then I started thinking rationally again. If I make photographs to only please others…I’ve lost it. That kind of thinking sets me up for heartbreak. I’m smarter than that.

Here’s what i need to remind myself. I make art for ME. If a judge likes it…great! If a patron buys it…great! But the really important thing is that I have to like it and be proud to have my name on it.

I can still painfully remember the first photograph I exhibited publicly years ago. I actually thought it was good enough to be a Nat Geo cover shot. Of course it wasn’t! It was awful at best. But I liked it…and thats what counted.

This recent experience reinforced a valuable life lesson for me. I’ll try to continue to make meaningful art that I like. I’ll continue to learn and improve my craft. If I do in fact do that…I’ll be just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distractions

Stephen Fisher Photography, Nature, Birds, Great Egret, Flight, Aransas BayIt really feels like things in my life are moving at warp speed right now! Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining…I’m just saying thats the way it feels…

I haven’t been shooting as much as I like lately. There are a LOT of good reasons for this. I’m busy! Busy with things that are important.

While I haven’t been in the field as much, I have been working on my editing workflow. I’m a BIG believer that successful photographs are the result of both camera and computer skills. Getting an image as good as possible with the camera is critical, Being able to bring that image into my editing programs and make it even better might be even more important. I thoroughly enjoy both of these processes.

The Rockport Center for the Arts 4th of July Art Festival is very important to me. This will be the 5th year in a row that I’ve been juried into this prestigious show. It’s actually a lot of work to prepare for a big show like the Art Festival. Would I want it any other way? Not really. This is another opportunity for a LOT of people to see my art. I feel I’ve done a good job in picking the pieces I want to show. I do have a few surprises that I’ll be showing for the first time.

On a personal level, Sharon and I are close to being in our new home. This has been a year-long project that really took a lot of my time and focus. It will be great to finally get everything we own in one place! Soon…

 

 

Clouds

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Clouds, Water, Seascape, Weather, StormI was like most kids. I’d lay on my back and stare at the clouds and try to “see things”. It was fun. I still love to watch clouds. But I now prefer sitting in a chair to do this…it’s easier to get up!

This is a time of extremely dynamic weather here on the Coastal Bend of Texas. We’ve had so much rain that it’s really causing a lot of problems for a lot of Texans. After years of drought, we’re getting too much rain too fast.

As much a problem this is, there is a a benefit. Clouds! Big puffy afternoon clouds that literally fill the sky. They start rolling in early afternoon and usually bring rain. Sometimes they just bring in a “cloud show”.

They look like you could just reach out and stick your hand in there. Layers and layers and layers of clouds. Some bright white…some dark and ominous. It looks like they go on forever.

I still love watching the clouds. It brings me back to childhood memories that make me feel good…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last One

Stephen Fisher Photography, Great Blue Heron, Rookery, Aransas Bay, Water, Pool, Wading, BirdNo…not the last entry on my blog! But this will be the last entry about my 2016 trip to the small rookery out on San Antonio Bay.

Now that I’ve had time to go through all of the images I made that wonderful day, I’m amazed with the amount of “keepers” I came up with. I have been doing this for a while, so I kinda sorta expect to get some production from a trip. And I did!

Shooting out at this rookery is difficult. There are so many distracting elements that can really ruin an otherwise good image. I think my success this trip can be attributed to experience. Not only my technical experience, but my experience at the rookery. I try to get out there at least one time a year. I’ve been going out there with Aransas Bay Birding Charters for the last four years.

The first couple of visits I was totally overwhelmed! So many birds…so much action. I found myself not being disciplined enough. I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in the viewfinder of my camera. I was focusing (pun intended!) on just the bird. I had a bunch of bad backgrounds. And I also had a lot of birds with sticks “growing” out of their heads! Not good…

This trip I was patient. I was much more selective…even though I made over 4800 clicks! I tried to isolate certain birds and just watch them. Invariably they would position themselves and I could get my shot. Instead of reacting…I was being proactive. I had a plan. It was my best trip ever…

 

 

 

 

 

More Rookery

Stephen Fisher Photography, Rockport TX, Rookery, Great Egret, Nesting, Mating, Natural Light

“The Couple”

My last post memorialized a wonderful experience I had making photographs at a small rookery on San Antonio Bay near Rockport, TX. This is an outing I try to do yearly as multiple species of birds come to this rookery to mate and nest. Kevin Sims of Aransas Bay Birding Charters has a specialized boat perfect for getting photographers on these birds. You REALLY need to make this trip with Captain Sims if you do avian photography or just enjoy birdwatching.

We were at the rookery before sunrise and stayed until mid-morning when the light started to get somewhat harsh. But…that sweet early morning light was perfect! In less than 4 hours I made about 4800 clicks with a Canon 1Dx and a Canon 400mm f/2.8L rig. I had a Canon 1.4 Teleconverter off and on during the shoot. It’s not that I’m a “spray and pray” shooter, but the action was fast and furious most of the morning.

Shooting at the rookery can be challenging. There are SO many birds there, it’s hard to isolate a single bird or a nesting pair. Finding a clean background is probably the hardest task. Sticks and other distracting elements are everywhere. But…If you’re patient!

I made this image of a nesting pair of great Egrets early. The ambient light was perfect. Fortunately I was able to isolate this pair and get this intimate image of them building their nest. I shot it at 1/6400 of a second at f/3.2 with an ISO of 1000. It was primarily processed in Adobe Lightroom and ON1. i did take this file to Adobe Photoshop to clean up a few distracting elements.

This year’s trip to the rookery was exceptional. I’ve culled the 4800 clicks down to about 100 files. I feel I can get 50+ keepers out of the shoot. I’m pretty proud of this file…”The Couple”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…

 

 

 

 

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