Monday, November 2, 2009

Faux Polaroid

I'm late arriving at the iPhone photo app party. There are so many apps that let you enhance and modify photos in the iPhone. A few days ago I saw some photos posted to Facebook that were created using one of the apps that modifies your photo to look like an old Polaroid. There are several apps that do this, and there are Flickr groups that specialize in "fauxlaroid". I downloaded a couple of apps immediately and got started. The next day I went out and captured these images. There is a great metal shed in Jefferson County KS near Perry Lake. I pass it on the way to Perry Lake and always think it would be great to photograph if the light is right. On Sunday I hit the time just right and used the opportunity to try some faux polaroids. Who can say if the color is "real" polaroid? There were so many different Polaroid films made over the years and each one had its own personality. It doesn't matter; I love the images. The app used for these is Shakeit Photo.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Something new

I've been wanting to try a new technique for my motion photos. Normally I photograph a scene one way, either vertically or horizontally depending on which direction the dominant lines of the scene "flow". Trees usually work best as verticals and water or distant landscapes often work best as horizontals. But the idea has been growing in my head that I should try photographing a scene in several different ways, then combine portions of them so that each part of the scene uses motion strokes that emphasize the subject in that area. Of course it was midnight or thereabouts when I decided to actually try this, and so I couldn't just run out and take some new photos. So I found a scene that I had shot a while back and worked with what I had. This was a winter scene with snow on the ground and ice floes in the Missouri River at sunset. I like the results; the grass in the foreground and trees on the far side of the river work best with vertical strokes, and the river has nicely irregular wavy strokes that really are a great interpretation of the flowing water.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Misty sunrise

Here is another Missouri River panoramic. Hopefully we will have more mist and fog as the weather changes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Missouri River panoramic

This past week I have been focused on the idea of doing some panoramic pictures of the Missouri River. Since I have lived within a mile of the river for three years, one would think I would have been doing this all along. I have photographed the river sporadically, but never did any panoramics until now. I went down one afternoon to do a test, then went back the next morning before sunrise. There was fog for a short time, but it dissipated quickly. The local sand dredge has been working this section of the river at Parkville for the past week, so there was no choice involved as to whether to include it. It might look like it's chugging upriver, but it is anchored in place. I like having it in the photo. This photo is a full 180 degree pano, so you see the path (looking downstream) at the far left, and the same path (looking upstream) at the far right. This path is in English Landing Park in Parkville, Missouri for those of you not familiar with the area. The moon is visible in the sky. Hopefully the photo will look nice when you click to enlarge it. I saved this version to display 7 in x 45 in but I see that my browser window has shrunk it. Hopefully your browser will do better.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sometimes you just know...

All afternoon and early evening I had a feeling that I needed to get out on the water tonight. It had been cloudy all day so I was watching for some break in the clouds. I finally went down to the marina about 20 minutes before the sun set. A nice bank of clouds was hiding the sun. I was hoping to get some nice reflections in the water, but it ended up not working out so well for reflections, but the silhouette of land mass against the sky with cloud bank made a great composition so I concentrated on that. I am excited about what I came back with. The nice thing about shooting digital is that I can get a feel for whether my motion technique is working in a particular situation, and then fine-tune what I am doing to get a better result. If I was still shooting film, it would be more hit or miss. Tonight, I shot over 350 photos and narrowed the results down to these 5 as the most promising ones.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another beautiful evening on the water

Well, this seems to be an extension of the previous post. Different evening, different results. Another very quiet evening because there was no wind, and the only waves and ripples were the ones we created as we drove slowly around. Mary drove this time so I could photograph. I love the more abstract images. Of course I took a few minutes off from shooting to get in the water. Lovely!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Beautiful night on the lake

What can I say, I love being on the water. Tonight, it was just me on the pontoon boat. There was only one other boat out on the lake. Very peaceful. I found a quiet cove where the water was fairly smooth and set the steering wheel so the boat went around in circles, while I sat on the back and took pictures. Then I stopped the boat, sat down on the bow and kicked my feet in the water to make ripples. Is it cheating to make my own waves so I can get more interesting reflections of the sky in the water? I don't think so.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Every year, Parkville has a carnival during the week leading up to July 4th. A few years ago I went to the carnival one night and tried some motion photos. Then I missed it for a couple of years. This year I really wanted to try it again. One ride had the best combination of lights and motion and I kept coming back to it. I think the young man operating the ride got kind of spooked because I kept standing there taking lots of pictures. I'm sure he thought I was taking pictures of him, but he's not in any of them.

Rain had to go somewhere

In late April we had a lot of rain. Rain has to go somewhere. Here it goes into Riss Lake, and the overflow feeds a creek that then goes down a series of waterfalls in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary. Normally the flow is moderate, and late in the summer it slows to a trickle. But after several days of heavy rain, WOW the lake level was high, the creek was out of its banks and the waterfalls were amazing. Felt like being in the mountains during spring snow-melt.
I took many photographs, some of which are normal "hold the camera as steady as you can" but still using a long shutter speed to get the nice blur on the water. On some, I also added some of my normal vertical movement, and on these you can see the vertical camera movement interacting with the horizontal movement of the rushing water. Kind of cool!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Down by the water

After dinner I went down to the marina and worked on some more images for my marina series. I love water and keep trying to get water images with some motion and mystery in them. The wind was quite strong this afternoon, so there was good movement in the water even if I didn't move the camera. I like these two water images. The last image I am posting shows the marina structure, some boats, and the water with reflections of the sun. I really like the combination of vertical lines with horizontal bands of color and lots of variety in the strokes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A sunny day at the golf course

On the way to Wyandotte County Lake (see previous blog post "A cloudy day at the lake"), I stopped at The National golf course here in Parkville and was looking for anything interesting. This scene stopped me right away. I think it is just a great composition, with the trees and their shadows plus the curved golf path neatly dividing the image. It would be simple to just drive by and not notice, but when I am really "looking" at the world around me I do see the possibility for a nice image.

A cloudy day at the lake

On "tax day" I needed to drive about 20 miles to pick up our completed tax forms, so I packed the camera in the car and planned to take some pictures along the way. It was a sunny day and I got some shooting done at a local golf course before heading to Wyandotte County Lake. Unfortunately, clouds moved in as I was driving around the lake, and I thought I might not get anything good. But I parked and walked along the edge of the lake and found these great brown cattails still standing after a long winter. The gray sky works well. Reflected in the water, it is fairly ambiguous whether the white stuff is water, snow or ice. I always like the ambiguity. It lets the viewer see their own story when they look at it.