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Hidden in the Sunlight

July 8, 2011

I went through a -third- or -fourth- pass through some of my Yosemite photos and I think I’m happy with this one.

As we were waiting to get on the shuttle in Mariposa Grove, we walked around the parking lot to get our first glimpses of the giant sequoias.  It was a cloudy day with the sun peeking out occasionally and I caught this little grove with the sequoia and other trees just as the sun came out and lit it up.  If there ever was a time to realize how important light is in photography, it was on this trip.

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I’ve Been Scarce

July 5, 2011

I haven’t blogged on here in a long time, and I’ve been pretty scarce over on Flickr, as well as Twitter. The truth is I haven’t even really touched most of my photos in a very long time.  Last week, I was in Yosemite National Park, which was a mind-blowing experience. The park is absolutely amazing – it’s so vast, I feel like you can’t even fit it into your brain.

Of course, I took tons of photos.  But once I got back and started sorting through them, I was just so disgusted with everything. I don’t know if it’s just something I’m going through and maybe if I look at them again in a week or two, they’ll be much better looking to me than my first pass, or if truly, they’re all a bunch of crap.  I’m leaning towards the latter, but hoping for the former.

Within this week, I’ve said a bunch of times to myself and a couple times to others, that maybe I’m not cut out for this photography stuff.  I don’t know.  I’m experiencing so much self-doubt right now.  Thankfully, I’ve learned, through friends on Twitter, that it’s not just me going through this and that (hopefully) I’ll get through it soon and get back to normal shooting.

But at the same time, I think I need to figure out a couple things.  Need to figure out what kind of photographer I am, need to maybe figure out what I’m actually good at and focus on that.  Or not.  Mostly I think I need to think things through.

Here’s hoping I’ll be back on the photo train by next week!
(I may maybe post some of my iPhone photos from Yosemite – I’m actually happier with them than I am with my DSLR photography!)

Kermit Ruffins in NYC!

May 20, 2011

I love New Orleans and it follows that I would love New Orleans jazz.  In the last couple of months especially, I’ve really gotten into the music that comes out of NOLA.  One of my favorite jazz musicians is Kermit Ruffins. I recently became a fan of his on Facebook. It must have been serendipity because he was playing this week in NYC and I was able to get tickets!

The show was at the Highline  Ballroom in the Meatpacking District.  Unfortunately, it was a weeknight (sigh, work) and we had to leave early – early being a misnomer because we left at 11pm to slog back to NJ and the show had just hit intermission! It was an amazing performance nonetheless!  I took along my G11, not wanting to lug around the big DSLR. All the images were shot at ISO 3200 and were super noisy but I tried to fix them up as much as possible with Lightroom‘s Noise Reduction feature.

They serve dinner there which, while expensive, was actually tasty (vegan sliders FTW!)

We arrived early just in case. Thankfully it didn’t get super packed at any point.

The show opened with Henry Butler, an amazing blue pianist. He performed for almost an hour and a half!

Feel It

In between sets. Here I must mention that I was in love with the lighting at the venue. I could probably sit and just take photos of an empty stage with all the various lighting they employ.

Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers take the stage!
(On another note, I really hated that stupid mic in front of the stage, which was there for no reason as no one used it, except to mess up my photos. Alas.)

Jerry Anderson on drums

Emile Vinette on piano (our favorite of the three!)

Kevin Morris on bass

Soul
Mykia Jovan
, a jazz/blues/soul singer, also performed at the show and I just loved her voice!

Trumpet Your Heart Out

I heard the rest of the performance was amazing and I’m still sad that we missed it. This means we’ll definitely have to head back to NOLA soon and catch him there!

Nature in the Details

April 22, 2011

One of my favorite things to photograph is plants – the non-flowering parts along with the flowering parts.  I love all the various shades of greens and how unique each one is.  And in particular, I love getting up close and personal, capturing the details.  A couple months ago, watching Discovery Channel’s LIFE, I really enjoyed the Plant episode – people think plants are static, never-moving, boring, but the exact opposite is true!

Nature is amazing and there is so much out there to see.  To celebrate Earth Day, I thought I’d go back into my archives and dig up some of the cool plant photos that haven’t seen the light of day yet.

At the Water’s Edge

April 15, 2011

This is another series I put together from a photowalk at the park this weekend, a collection of dried up plants and branches along the lake at Thompson Park.

I don’t normally do a lot of black and white imagery, though I really love admiring others’ b+w work, but when I saw the first photo in Lightroom, I knew it had to be converted.  The second one really fit well with the first.  I’m not 100% happy with the last image as part of this series, and I might replace it with something else after another trip out there at a later date.

(Click to enlarge)

Individually:

At the Water’s Edge #1

At the Water’s Edge #2

At the Water’s Edge #3

All Curled Up

April 13, 2011

After a crazy Friday night, I spent most of Saturday recovering.  But the day was too nice to spend cooped up indoors all day.  We went off for a short trip to local park to walk around before the sun started to set.  I was going to grab just my iPhone – since I’ve been taking so many photos with it lately – but at the last minute, I grabbed my DSLR bag too.  I figured I could keep it in the car if I didn’t have any motivation to shoot with it when we got there.

Turns out, I’m really glad I brought it along!  There were patches of onion grass sprouting up everywhere and it was perfect for capturing with my Nikkor 105mm macro lens!  I didn’t know that onion grass grew in my area, because while I’d seen some cool photos on Flickr, I’d never actually seen it myself.  I created a three-photo series of my favorite shots, which I think go together really well, and the last one is a bonus.

(Click to enlarge)

Bonus!

India by iPhone, Part II

April 11, 2011

It’s been a while!  But today, we are embarking on a houseboat adventure down the backwaters of Kerala, iPhone in hand.

We went touring with the Lakes & Lagoons company, which I highly recommend if you are considering renting a houseboat in Kerala.  They will create itineraries based on the number of days you want to go for, and they have a variety of boats, at different levels, to fit your budget.  You also get three people on your boat, the captain, the cook, and the engine-operator/miscellaneous guy.  The food is fantastic, the scenery is beautiful, and it’s such a relaxing vacation.  We went for 3 days/2 nights, though I wish we could have stayed longer!

All of the following photos were taken with the Pro HDR app.

Boarding the boat

View of the greenery, and a canoe sliding by.

Lunchtime! Looking out at the front of the boat from the A/C dining room.

Stopped for lunch

Even the bedroom has a view!

The captain and the engine operator, keeping each other company

Dawn – alas, I didn’t get to see any fabulous sunrises or sunsets, because the weather was cloudy

Drinking filter coffee, a South Indian specialty

Typical pose! (Taken by Malhar)

It’s raining!

Looking out

Stopped at a small village

Beautiful scenes gliding by!

It got dark by 6pm, and the mosquitoes would start, so we would hide out in the dining room, playing cards or karom.

Another houseboat, very similar to ours.
This was taken with Pro HDR, but processed with Instagram.

One more adventure coming up!