Sunday
Aug212016

Calendar Photo of the Month- July 2016

Every year I put together a calendar of my favorite images from the previous year. Each month here on the blog, I'll take the photo from that month's calendar page and tell the story behind it.

This is another iPhone image from our trip to France.

After Paris and the Loire valley, we traveled to the coastal walled city of San Malo. San Malo is in Brittany, which, along with Normandy, has some of the highest tides in the world. On the day I made this image, we wandered out as far as the low tide permitted. We crossed a causeway to an island and saw the fort of Petit Bé in the distance. After about another thirty minutes, the tide went out low enough to make it across. I carried Nate on my shoulders across the waist-deep sea water. After the touring the fort, we got ready to ready to return to the city. To my surprise, the causeway was now completely dry. This shot shows Nate walking back to the city, no longer needing to ride on Daddy's shoulders.

For those reading the story of Le Grand Voyage, this photo was taken on Day 28.

Technical Data: iPhone 5

Tuesday
Aug162016

The End of the DRiP

Back in May 2015, I started a photo project that I soon named DRiPDaily Rich iOS Photo. The idea was that (nearly) daily, I took a photo with my iPhone, processed it with my iPad, and posted it to my tumblr site.

The project had two goals.

First, I wanted to overcome my frustration at never having time for photography. I wanted to make photography more a part of my daily life.

The second goal was to overcome my complete inability to make good images with my phone. Many pros shoot professional work this way, while my results were poor snapshots at best.

The DRiP was a Success

I learned about the capabilities of the iPhone as a camera- how to take advantage of its strengths and work around its limitations. I learned how to use a series of apps on the iPad, and created many photos that are equal or better to images I've made with my SLR.

More importantly, I succeeded in my goal to integrate photography into my life. It was great to take a shot, edit it and post it in a day. Images were no longer languishing in my Lightroom catalog waiting to be edited later.

In addition to meeting the original goals, the project yielded two unexpected benefits.

First, because I was shooting with an iPhone, I convinced myself that it wasn't "real" photography. In my head, that freed me up to use new filters, experiment with different styles, and have greater artistic freedom. In fact, I usually deliberately deleted the original photos, leaving only the edited copies, freeing me from the obligation to go back and re-edit in Lightroom.

Second, the need to shoot every day was a struggle for a different reason- finding subjects. I quickly "ran out" of obvious subjects within easy walking distance of home and work. This forced me to continually look deeper for different and stronger images. And as with all creative blocks, learning how to break through was as important as the final results.

This project enabled me to grow as an artist. It was one of my better ideas, and an unqualified success.

The DRiP is Finished

So why stop?

After shooting 365 images, doing it every day has become a chore. Again I'm struggling to find subject matter. This time I'm not excited about the results. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of seeing the world in 27mm. I've found myself skipping days more often. I told myself I'd go until I hit 365 images, and I've had a countdown going for the last few weeks. It's clear to me that I need a break and the project has outgrown its usefulness.

So What's Next?

I'm not sure. I want to restart a photo of the week project that I had going years ago, or maybe even restart a daily image project- without the constraint of always using an iPhone. But not yet. While I want to keep shooting, I also want to stay free of obligation for at least a little while. Let the fields sit fallow. I'm planning on purchasing a new camera in September, and I want to pick it up hungry to shoot, not worn out from obligation.

Until then... watch this space for more.

Thursday
Aug112016

Best of the DRiP, July 2016

Here are my favorite of my Daily Rich iOS Photos from July 2016.

To see more DRiP images as they are taken day by day, visit my tumblr site. They can also be viewed as a single album of my favorites.

Green Pines

After the Thunderstorm, Dipper Lake, Wyoming

Color Transforms City #30

Color Transforms City #31

Shutters

Portland Harbor

Fenway Park

Skies over Mattituck Inlet

Hull

Orange Mushrooms

Saturday
Aug062016

Best of the DRiP, June 2016

Here are my favorite of my Daily Rich iOS Photos from June 2016.

To see more DRiP images as they are taken day by day, visit my tumblr site. They can also be viewed as a single album of my favorites.

Arthur's Rock

Two Flowers

Pink Flowers

Milkweed

Tiger Swallowtail

Give Love

San Diego Ceiling

Friday
Jul152016

Baseball Cards

This year I created baseball cards for each member of Nate's Fort Collins Baseball Club team, the Lobos. Here's how I made them.

The first step, obviously, is to take pictures. I brought my camera to two games and one practice with a 100-300mm lens. The first game I just shot haphazardly, but after that I made a checklist of which players I needed a shot of, and planned accordingly. One of my big discoveries was realizing that I had to shot from the opposite side of the field when photographing left-handed hitters at the plate. I did a lot of running back and forth!

The second step was editing. I did some editing using the desktop version of Lightroom, but also used Lightroom and Snapseed on the iPad as well as another app called AfterFocus. AfterFocus (an iPhone app, but it runs on the iPad as well), lets you blur out parts of the background. You select the blurred out areas by painting on the screen with your finger. What this did was allow me to reduce depth-of-field to remove distracting background elements. I could also solve this problem by spending a couple of thousand dollars to buy a faster professional camera lens, but the 99 cent app did the job I needed it to. The border was the easiest part. I used another 99-cent app, Baseball Card Pro.

The last step was production. I used my home printer and Lightroom to print out sheets filled with baseball-sized prints (2-1/2" x 3-1/2") onto photo paper. I glued the photo paper sheets onto card-stock to provide stiffer backing. All that was left was to cut them out and hand them out to surprised and excited kids. The looks on their faces made all the work worthwhile!

The full set of cards can be seen here.