‘Scapes

Sunrise, Aransas Bay, Rockport TX, Stephen Fisher Photography, Fog, PiersLandscapes…Seascapes…any kind of ‘scape! I love it…

I’m finding my photography moving in a different direction. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE shooting birds…and will always do so. But lately, I’m enjoying my pre-dawn trek to some awesome spot and waiting for some light to appear on the eastern horizon.

Sometimes I don’t even care if the sun doesn’t show up. I think theres an intrinsic beauty to the fog and ominous clouds. They have a depth and texture that I’m trying to represent in my images.

Shooting ‘scapes is SO different than making images of birds. Different camera body…different lenses…different EVERYTHING! The patience thing is still in play…but in a strange way. Waiting in a photo blind for birds to fly into the scene requires real patience. Sometimes the birds come in…sometimes they don’t!

The eastern sky ALWAYS gets lighter before sun up. Sometimes you can SEE the sun…sometimes you don’t. But theres always some scene to shoot. Like avian photography, “it” happens fast. The “magic” of a sunrise or sunset can last only a brief moment.

Be ready or you’ll miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gulf Coast 2014

The-Look-Back, Stephen Fisher Photography, Rockport TX, Rockport Beach Park, Sunrise, Piers, Dark CloudsWell today is the day! I’ll be delivering The look Back to the Rockport Center for the Arts to show in the Gulf Coast 2014 exhibit. I’m very flattered to have this image juried into this show.

I had Ron Brant print The Look Back  on canvas at 30 x 60…the largest I’ve ever had one of my images printed!  I made a sturdy frame and stretched the canvas myself. I love image BIG…

This exhibit runs from September 13 to October 11. If you’re in Rockport please come by the Center for the Arts and take a look at the exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Morning…Good Morning…Good Morning!

Stephen Fisher Photography, Sunrise, Landscape, Texas Photo Ranch, Refugio TX, FogI’m really enjoying shooting ‘scapes…Landscapes, Seascapes…any ‘scape!

Shooting ‘scapes is almost the exact opposite of how I shoot birds.  Fast shutter speed and a narrow depth of field are critical for me to make bird images. I want the bird’s moving wings to be  frozen with a fast shutter speed. I also want the entire bird to be in focus, so depth of field is critical. DOF also allows me to have those “creamy out of focus ” backgrounds. I use relatively high ISO (often over 1000) to get the speed I need.

I do a lot of things differently when I shooting ‘scapes. I use much longer shutter speeds and stop down the aperture. Often I’ll do a 3 or 5 bracketed exposures and bring those images into Nik  HDR Efex Pro for processing. I use polarizing filters and ND filters to get the exact look I’m wanting for the shot. Mirror lock-up is always on and I use a trigger to activate the shutter. Regardless of what I’m shooting, I ALWAYS use a tripod!

This is an image of a glorious morning at the Texas Photo Ranch. Everything worked out for me that morning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Re-Gift

Stephen Fisher Photography, Great Egrets, Nesting, Rookery, I’ve been spending some time lately going through some older images in my Lightroom catalog. This exercise does two things for me…

I don’t want to “collect” images anymore! Sure, I want to keep as many of my images as possible…if they’re GOOD. Storage is cheap. What I don’t want is to keep images I know I’ll never want to process. I’m aggressively culling these days…

The exercise also allows me to rediscover images I’ve either overlooked, or images that I feel reprocessing would help. I’m becoming a better editor, and taking a FRESH look at some of my images can be fun.

This is The Gift II! The Gift was a very good image for me. The original was much tighter crop showing only the Great Egret with the nesting material in his/her mouth. I decided to open up the image so the WHOLE story can be told. Both egrets in the frame provide a much truer version of what I was watching…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Houston To Rockport

Stephen Fisher Photography, Roseate Spoonbill, High Island, Galveston County TexasOK…I’ll be driving back down to Rockport tomorrow. Nope…I’m not going to “dog” Houston this time. I’ve been busy up here this week, and honestly, have enjoyed my time here. But…

I really have a busy schedule coming up. Priority one for me is to get my entry for the Gulf Coast 2014 Exhibit stretched and ready for delivery. I’m VERY proud to have The Look Back juried into this exhibit. This image is important to me in a lot of ways. I think it’s going to look great hanging in the Rockport Center for the Arts. We’ll see…

September is also going to be a busy month at the Texas Photo Ranch. We have lots of bookings, and I’ll be there to help the clients with their setups. Shooting from pit blinds is different, and we’re going to make sure everyone maximizes their experience at the ranch. Still some dates open…

This is another Roseate Spoonbill image I made on High Island. The weather was awful, but the birds were cooperative…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Science vs. Art

_MG_7016-EditOK…I think I have this figured out. Maybe…! I’ve come to the conclusion that making fine art photographs is a process.  Pretty profound…huh!

Here’s where I’m going with this. I use my VERY good Canon gear to TAKE photographs. And I use my Apple computer with various software programs to MAKE the images. Is one part of this process any more important than the other? I don’t think so…

Getting a properly exposed RAW image is the first step…and it’s critical. The image also USUALLY needs to be tack sharp. Everything you read on photography emphasizes the importance of “getting it right in the camera”.  This is the science of photography.

A sharp, properly exposed  image still needs to be converted and processed. I happen to use Adobe Lightroom for a BIG chunk of this step. I also take some images into Adobe Photoshop CC, OnOne software, NIK software, and Macphun software. It just depends on what I want from the image. I MAKE the image! This is the art of photography.

Honestly…both of these steps of the “process” are equally important. You can’t really “fix” an awful RAW image. And you can easily destroy a good RAW image with poor editing.

I think this is the core reason I enjoy photography. It gives me the opportunity to use science…something I’ve used my entire life. Science is precise…full of rules.. Art is new to me. Unlike science, art has no boxes or lines to constrain you. I like them both…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunrise 101

Aransas Bay, Stephen Fisher Photography, Sunrise, Fulton TX, Rockport TX

Sunrise 101

August has ZIPPED by…fast! And September promises to be equally busy…

I have to have The Look Back over to the Rockport Center for the Arts by September 8. I’m flattered that this image was juried into the Gulf Coast 2014 exhibit! I’ll be showing The Look Back BIG…for me. I had Ron Brant print this image 30×60…the largest size I’ve ever had one of my images printed. I’ve picked up the canvas late last week, and I love it this size. I hope the judge likes it also!

I’ll also be teaching two classes at the HummerBird Celebration in September. More on this later. We also have quite a few bookings at the Texas Photo Ranch during September. Also more on this later…

This ‘scape is called Sunrise 101. I made this image on Fulton Beach Road looking out into Aransas Bay. Enjoy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Young And Not Dumb…

Northern Cardinal, Juvenile, Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo RanchI’ve been watching the Northern Cardinals pretty closely at the Texas Photo Ranch. Theres been quite a bit activity at the photo blinds…

The Northern Cardinal fledglings are close to being own their own. They are still trying to get the adults to find and share food, but are more than capable of handling it themselves.

The black beaks of these juveniles are slowly turning the traditional red-orange color of the adult cardinals. I think they’ll be “all grown up” soon and off to start a life independent of their parents. Fun to watch…

This image is a juvenile female Northern Cardinal. She’s almost completed the molting of her nesting feathers. She’ll be a real beauty…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pretty Girl…

Stephen Fisher Photography, Painted Bunting, Texas Photo RanchYesterday my post questioned “where are the boys”, and I was gently set straight by a reader. The Painted Buntings (males for sure) have all headed south. I went back to check the EXIF data on my Painted Bunting images, and sure enough, April through July seem the best times for this area. Lesson learned…

I also got a LOT of comments on how pretty females birds look. I couldn’t agree more…

Here’s another image of the same bird I posted yesterday. In this image, you can see her beautiful iridescent green feathers. This bird is as beautiful as any other species. The females of various species get overlooked in favor of the males, but not always…

 

 

 

 

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Where Are The Boys?

Stephen Fisher Photography, Female Painted Bunting, Texas Photo Ranch, OK…So I’m seeing FEMALE Painted Buntings regularly at the Texas Photo Ranch. I’m still waiting to see my first male this season…

If I could shoot only one species of birds, it might just be the Painted Buntings. Not only are they one of the most beautiful species, they are just fun to shoot.

Painted Bunting are small…about 5 inches in length. Even so, they always get your attention when they fly into the scene. At the Texas Photo Ranch, they seem MUCH more interested in the water at the blinds than the seed.

I’m looking forward to seeing that first male respond to a call and come in. It might just be this week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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