My photo
... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Friday, January 30, 2009

How 'Bout Some Billy Beer

As a photojournalist in middle Georgia during the 1970's I photographed Jimmy
Carter lots of times. My first encounter was when he ran for governor, then as Georgia's
governor, and during his run for the prsidency.
Over the years I photographed different members of the Carter family. His brother
Billy was my favorite. He was no politician, he never pretended to be anything
he wasn't. Billy was just a good ole boy from Plains, Georgia who ran a service
station and loved drinking beer with his buddies.
During the Carter years Lots of folks came to PLains, Jimmy's home town. A bunch
of them came to meet Billy. Celebrities came to have their image struck with Billy.Supermodel Margaux Hemingway came to Plains and did a Vogue fashion shoot using Billy and his service station as props.

Billy even had a beer named after him. I was the first photographer to get pictures of him with his new beer.
The images were picked up by the wire services and used all over. The top photograph made Saturday
Night Live's Weekend Update twice.
What this country needs are more cool First Brothers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Of Daffodils and Fisheyes

I was riding along Highway 49 this afternoon looking at the sky, really wanting to do a picture. I decided it would be a great sky for my fisheye, all that cloud cover. I just could not find anything to put in the foreground. It was a great sky, but it needed an anchor.

I had almost given up when I spotted these daffodils at the side of a farmer's empty field. They were on the edge of the ditch so I had no problem getting down low.
One of the cool things about this lens is that it will focus to one inch. That means you can get up close on stuff and make an awesome photo. My last fisheye would only focus to about ten inches so you could not have quite the drama you get by being so much closer.

Anyway, here they are. I hope you were inspired to stop and shoot something just for yourself today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Japanese Magnolia Blooms

We have a beautiful Japanese Magnolia in our yard. Only one year in the five we have lived here have we seen it bloom and run its full cycle without getting zapped by the cold.

Two weeks ago it started to bloom, and once again the forcast was for freezing weather within a couple of days. Deborah cut several branches and brought them inside. They were too pretty not to shoot.

I lit them with two off-camera flashes, one in front and to the left, the other above left from behind them. No light modifers, just direct flash. I had them in the middle of the room so the background would go dark with a high shutter speed.

I did all the Photoshopping in these using Layers. I did my usual color adjusting and toning, but did a bit of enhancing using Selective Color to saturate the colors and make the whites a little more pure.
Most were shot with my old 70-300 Macro, but thye last one was with the Tokina 10-17 Fisheye. Make a really different image.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Toning In Layers

Sorry I am late with a post, but a busy week.

I have been toning my images the same way for a lot of years. Just opening up a JPG in Photoshop and doing my thing using Levels, Curves, and sharpening
using the Lightness channel in Lab Color.

This has always been speedy and efficient for newspaper work, as well as my personal stuff. Of late I have been playing with Layers. A lot more time consuming, makes for a bigger file, but I kinda like what I have been getting as an end product.

The first two images are new ones from an assignment last night. The first was done in Layers, the second was my old method. Supposedly using layers does not degrade the image as much as doing the work to the actual image. You are working with overlays.

The bottom image had a lot of Photoshop help and held up quite well. It is also a product of my new toy, a Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye. A really cool lens that behaves quite well for a fisheye. Not like my old Nikkor 16mm. More on that later.
Anyway, just google you a photoshop tutorial and give the layers thang a whirl. I am probably the way behind the curve in just discovering this.

Heck, I may have to start shooting RAW. Who knows.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Time In A Bottle

Well, I am back. I have a camera in my hand every day, and I am a happy man.
It has been an adjustment leaving the Telegraph after a lifetime, but things are cool.
I am now the staff photographer at the Leader Tribune, the weekly newspaper in the
town where Deborah and I live, the office is a block from home.

I shoot, write and now even do some page layout. totally immursed in community
journalism. Real community journalism, covering my friends and neighbors.

I have missed my blog, and so here we go again. Don't know if anyone will find me,
but it is time write again.

The photo above was one of those I had to turn around and go back for. I saw the bottle in
the Best Buy parking lot one Sunday morning. I had run by after church, saw the bottle from
across the parking lot and thought it would be a picture. It had just rained fairly heavily, the
clouds were great, it screamed WIDE ANGLE, but I let it wait.

I came out of the store and drove away. I didn't get too far and turned around.

This is another one of those times when you really know people are looking at you
and thinking "that guy is crazy, on a wet parking lot with his rear end up in the
air taking a picture of an empty beer bottle. Well, who cares? I got a neat image.

I tried this with my 15mm and the 20. Liked this one with the 20mm best.
I worked it using Layers in Photoshop, got my colors really saturated, and used Diffused
Glow to give it that soft glow. I then just sharpened the bottle. This one has a lot of Photoshop in it.

Really glad I took the time and got my knees wet. The image is worth it to me.

Anyway, I am back, and will try to post at least three times a week, so check back.

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