galestonerimages: Blog http://galestonerimages.com/blog en-us (C) galestonerimages 2017 gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Tue, 02 May 2017 13:17:00 GMT Tue, 02 May 2017 13:17:00 GMT http://galestonerimages.com/img/s9/v86/u492503893-o1065258466-50.jpg galestonerimages: Blog http://galestonerimages.com/blog 80 120 Ghostly http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/5/ghostly LONG EXPOSURE - FILTERS CAN SAVE THE DAY

On a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, the mission was to photograph water.  I know there is a variety of opinions regarding water images.  Several photographers that I admire, suggest there should be some texture in the water flow, and they avoid a shutter speed slower than 1 second.  Of course, the shutter speed is determined by how fast the water is flowing and how much texture you want in the image.  I usually follow the advise of the experts since they are the experts.  Generally, the sweet spot for me is 2 seconds.

However, as with many things in life, how you photograph water is purely subjective.  I already had envisioned this ghostly look before leaving the hotel room that morning and I was confident I would get the look I was going for because I had a variable ND filter in the bag.  Once I set up the composition, all I had to do was experiment with the dial until I got the look I was hoping for.  It's a good day when a plan comes together. 

 

GhostlyGhostly

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Cascades Fuji Summit Fuji X-Series Fuji XT-2 Gale Stoner Images River Smokies Townsend, TN Tremont TN Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/5/ghostly Tue, 02 May 2017 13:16:40 GMT
Boulder Unmoved http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/4/boulder-unmoved COMPOSING -  ADD TO THE IMAGE BY TAKING AWAY

Even though I live only four hours from the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, I visit there once every year or two.  My recent visit was to attend the first Fuji Camera Summit.  Attendees all made up of Fuji owners.  Classroom instruction and lectures were amazing but the weather was the most uncooperative I've ever experienced in that area for this time of the year.

Heavy rains, high winds, instead of mid-sixties temperature it was below freezing for the sunrise field trips.  Added to that was very boring, dull foliage.  The early blooms of the dogwoods and red buds were tortured with the late spring frost.  Bare branches, very little color.  I found myself challenged how how to improve my compositions by getting low to the water without showing too much of the distracting trees and bushes.  I spent some time post-processing to remove a lot of debris from the river bank in the background and then I increased the shadow areas to pull the eye to the large boulder in the foreground and the single tree trunk in the background.

Boulder UnmovedBoulder Unmoved

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Digital Art Fuji Summit Fuji X-Series Fuji XT-2 Gale Stoner Images Smokies Tremont TN http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/4/boulder-unmoved Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:55:35 GMT
Wartrace TN http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/2/wartrace-tn TEXTURING -  ADDING DEPTH

I can't count how many times I've passed by this location, always commenting, "Someday I need to stop and take a picture."  This time, I made this location the destination.  So I began to shoot and shoot and shoot.  So many angles and compositions all in an attempt to find a unique image of two gas pumps and a Texaco sign.

I finally settled on this image but I was disappointed in the result.  I almost hit the delete button on the keyboard but thought I would give the shot one more attempt to make something of it.  OnOne Effects software gave life to the image.  Sometimes you just have to keep chipping away until something shows up.

 

Texaco In WartraceTexaco In Wartrace

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Digital Art Fuji X-Series Gale Stoner Images OnOne Software Service Station Texaco Wartrace TN http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/2/wartrace-tn Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:17:03 GMT
Oxbow Bend http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/2/oxbow-bend DO OVER -  PROCESSING MATURITY

I had posted the first version of this image in 2015.  The popular photographic location known as Oxbow Bend.  The first time I posted this image I used a 3-image HDR process.  I had already gotten over the power of HDR and I went for the "natural" look.  But this week, I looked back at some of my images from less than two years ago and wondered, "What was I thinking!"

So I went back into the archives and worked on the normal exposure shot from that bracketed series.  I then worked the image in Lightroom CC and finished it in OnOne Effects.  What I think I produced was a much better overall look.  It's closer to what I saw the day I shot this.  Thank goodness for digital and the ability to have a "do over".

Oxbow BendOxbow Bend

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Fuji Gale Stoner Images Landscape Mountains Oxbow Bend Tetons Wyoming http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/2/oxbow-bend Tue, 07 Feb 2017 14:42:27 GMT
Small Town Americana http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/2/small-town-americana STRAIGHT LINES -  CURVED LINES

The barber pole caught my eye as I walked around the small town square with a friend and fellow photographer.  We were in the "hunt mode" as we tried to find something of interest to shoot.  Since a lot of barber poles have been replaced with big-chain establishments, it's almost a novelty to see what used to be.

So the barber pole caught my eye, but the lines of contrast between the red and white painted brick helped frame the composition.  The straight lines, the curved arches, the rectangle sign, and the slanted lines of the awning helps create interest.  Now, I know some people would say all those lines and the contrasting colors are "too busy".  That's what is great about photography or any form of art.  It's individual and personal.

 

Red BrickRed Brick

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Americana Barber Pole Digital Art Gale Stoner Images Tennessee Watertown http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/2/small-town-americana Fri, 03 Feb 2017 15:21:31 GMT
Okay To Think Small http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/1/okay-to-think-small SHAPES OF THE SUBJECT -  OR THE SHAPES ARE THE SUBJECT

The plan was to take advantage of the forecast of partly cloudy skies and small chance of rain.  Should be great for some landscape shots of a series of waterfalls about 90 minutes from home.  Well, by the time I got to the shooting location, the clouds parted and the sun took over.  Water was flowing great but it was already 11:00am.  I know I could have put on a neutral density filter to get the silky water but the water would have been blown out in the direct sun.

So, I gave up on the landscape search and went for something smaller.  Little details, textures, shapes, and sizes abounded on this little town square.  The color of blue caught my eye as I was walking past this door.  And the rectangle of the padlock with the circular shape of the door lock forced me to stop and extend the tripod legs.  A little processing in Color Efex Pro gave me something to bring home.

Double LockDouble Lock

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Digital Art Gale Stoner Images Locks Tennessee Watertown abstract http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/1/okay-to-think-small Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:05:21 GMT
Creative Light http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/1/creative-light BOTANY BAY - CREATIVE LIGHT

If you follow my blog entries, you may remember this image in black and white.  I wanted to get a little creative with the natural light that I experienced when I was setting up for this shot.  I wanted to give the image an artist look by adding texture and modifying the color balance.  I don't know if I like this version or the black and white version better.  Maybe you can let me know.

 

Botany Bay In PastelBotany Bay In Pastel

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Botany Bay Gale Stoner Images Landscape South Carolina Tree On The Beach abstract http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/1/creative-light Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:26:43 GMT
Summertime Dining http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/10/summertime-dining SIMPLE SUBJECT - SPECIAL LIGHT

I honestly don't know why this scene caught my attention.  Maybe it's the contrast between the blue umbrellas and the white table and chairs.  Maybe it was the simplicity of the subject, two umbrella tables in an open field.  Maybe it was the touch of light from the setting sun.

Maybe it was all of those.  I'll let you decide.

Summertime DiningSummertime Dining

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Another Time Gale Stoner Images Metal Table and Chairs Umbrellas abstract http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/10/summertime-dining Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:49:12 GMT
Tree In The Middle http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/10/tree-in-the-middle  BLACK AND WHITE - SELECTING THE RIGHT SUBJECT

Another veterans cemetery in Nashville, TN.  I don't know why I don't do a lot of black and white images.  When I convert to black and white I'm reminded of the emotion that it creates that color can't do.

Nothing vibrant, exciting or majestic about this image.  In fact, it was a morning with heavy mist and an occasional downpour.  The subject and the lighting conditions demanded black and white.  I shot this knowing I would convert to black and white.  It was the right subject.

 

Tree In The MiddleTree In The Middle

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Black and White Cemetery, Gale, Gale Stoner Images Graveyard Headstones Images Stoner Tree Veterans http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/10/tree-in-the-middle Sat, 08 Oct 2016 13:35:31 GMT
Veterans Cemetery http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/veterans-cemetery NOT FORGOTTEN - THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE

Visiting a cemetery may not be at the top of the list of photo ops.  In fact, it may not be on anyone's list.  However, as a veteran, I think it's important not to forget what many have done to keep the rest of us safe and secure.  This veterans cemetery is located a few miles west of Nashville, TN.  One of the most well-groomed of its kind.

If you use your photographic vision, you can find interesting compositions almost anywhere.  Leading lines fading over the hill caught my interest.  And when I saw the single red flower, it was a must stop.

One Red FlowerOne Red Flower

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Cemetery, Gale, Digital Art Gale Stoner Images Headstone Images Pegram TN Stoner http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/veterans-cemetery Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:07:11 GMT
Classic At The Coker Museum http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/classic-at-the-coker-museum CLASSIC FORD - STANDOUT AMONG MANY

This is a big departure from my usual landscape image but I was excited to discover this custom Ford in a tire museum in Chattanooga, TN.  Will my wife and I were spending a few days in Chattanooga, the Coker Tire Museum was on my list of sites.  Wasn't necessarily my wife's idea of vacation moments, but she was a real trooper.

I admit, I had to do a tremendous amount of post-processing to finalize this image.  The Ford was surrounded by a room full of automobiles.  I think a background of grills, headlamps and reflective window glass would have taken away from the beautiful lines of this car.  The use of Topaz software helped disquise the imperfections of my cloning skills.

Classic car, classic signs, and a classic museum.

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Automobile Cars Chattanooga TN Coker Tire Museum, Gale, Digital Art Gale Gale Stoner Images Images Stoner http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/classic-at-the-coker-museum Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:37:06 GMT
Dogwood Canyon http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/dogwood-canyon MORE THAN JUST FISHING - THANK YOU JOHN MORRIS

On a recent vacation to Branson, MO, we discovered a nature area call Dogwood Canyon.  What a beautiful location.  This fantastic river runs through the canyon with numerous cascades and waterfalls.  The river is full of trout; more fish than in a hatchery.  All of this provided to the public by the founder of Bass Pro Shops, John Morris.  According to our guide, this structure was only recently built early this year.  The stonework is absolutely amazing, spanning the crystal clear river.  Just needed the water wheel moving.

Dogwood Canyon MillDogwood Canyon Mill

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Branson MO Dogwood Canyon, Gale, Gale Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Stoner Stoner" http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/dogwood-canyon Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:46:15 GMT
Bringing Back Memories http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/bringing-back-memories LITTLE SURPRISES - ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL

When I have my camera bag on my back, I'm usually looking for that perfect landscape shot.  Maybe I'll have the opportunity to discover a dramatic sunset or a magnificent waterfall, and with camera in hand, I can try to capture the moment.  Walking around the Top Of The Rock area outside Branson, Mo, I was looking for the big landscape shot.  As I walked over the hill to get a better view of the lake in the distance, I came upon this little scene.  Forget the lake, forget the sunset, get the image of the old Airstream that serves Frosty's.

 

Afternoon MemoriesAfternoon Memories

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Branson MO Cedar Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Lodge Stoner Top Of The Rock http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/9/bringing-back-memories Wed, 07 Sep 2016 13:22:04 GMT
Slowing The Flow http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/7/slow-down USING THE RIGHT TOOLS - VARIABLE ND FILTER IN THE BAG

When traveling to a new location far from home, you frequently find your only opportunity for a photograph is during less than ideal lighting conditions.  This is especially a challenge when photographing water.  I was wanting to shoot a waterfall or cascades while visiting family in Upper Peninsula of Michigan and my brother-in-law was eager to take me to a few locations that sounded good.

Unfortunately, it was late afternoon with clear skies.  How do you tell your volunteer guide, "No, this isn't the best time."  So I grabbed camera bag and off we went.  The location was fantastic but the bright skies were terrible on the water.  My 8-stop ND filter came to the rescue.  Low ISO, high aperture, and ND filter.  Got the silky water I wanted.  Nailed it.

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Escanaba River Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Michigan Stoner Upper Peninsula Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/7/slow-down Tue, 26 Jul 2016 21:59:05 GMT
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/7/eagle-harbor-lighthouse SHORES OF LAKE SUPERIOR - PROTECTION FROM THE ROCKS

Continue further north in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you will find several lighthouses.  A member of the Coast Guard claimed the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse was haunted.  He reported hearing strange noises though out the night on many occasions, and seeing lights in the main house turning on and off when no one was there.  My guess is the Coast Guard member might have been attempting to get transferred to a warmer climate.

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Eagle Harbor Lighthouse Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Michigan Stoner Upper Peninsula Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/7/eagle-harbor-lighthouse Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:28:12 GMT
Marquette Harbor Light http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/7/marquette-harbor-light NICE DISCOVERY - AFTER 40 YEARS

In the early 70's, I was stationed at the air force base in Marquette, Michigan for three years.  I thought I knew the area pretty well but I was wrong.  It was during a recent visit back to this area, after 40 years, that my brother-in-law took me to this location.  It's big and red; how could I have not seen this before.  I discovered several locations during this trip that were virtually in my own backyard.  Wow!  Forty years ago.  I guess it's easy to overlook great photo opportunities when you don't own a camera.

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Marquette Harbor Light Michigan Stoner Upper Peninsula Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/7/marquette-harbor-light Tue, 05 Jul 2016 17:00:04 GMT
Michigan River http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/6/michigan-river PARTLY CLOUDY - ALL IN THE TIMING

Recently traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit my wife's family and to photograph the beautiful outdoors of this part of the state.  Having lived in this area for three years, I expected chilly, overcast days, with frequent morning fog.  Not on this trip.  Four days of clear, cloudless skies and temperatures nearing the weather I left behind in Tennessee.

Finally, a partly cloudy day.  Sun popping in and out, mostly in.  But the challenge was met.  As I was composing the shot, my brother-in-law would tell me when the sun was getting ready to go behind a cloud.  I would be ready to hit the shutter button on his signal.  What teamwork!

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Canyon River Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Michigan River Stoner Upper Peninsula Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/6/michigan-river Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:15:18 GMT
The Rule of Threes http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/6/the-rule-of-threes BISON - MASTER OF DISGUISE

Last year's trip to Yellowstone National Park was a tremendous thrill.  Beautiful landscapes, flowing rivers, waterfalls, geysers, and wildlife.  The bison were everywhere.  Seeing them plodding along, grazing in the fields, would suggest these are just humble, passive creatures.  But that is just a disguise.  They are deceptively fast and quick to take on the offensive posture.  The long lens was my primary tool for photographing these magnificent creatures.

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Bison Digital Art Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Stoner Wildlife Wyoming Yellowstone http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/6/the-rule-of-threes Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:21:46 GMT
Ribbons of Color http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/6/ribbons-of-color LINES - GOD MADE AND MAN MADE

If given a choice, I think I like sunsets better than sunrises.  The obvious reason, I don't have to get up as early to catch that first glimpse of good light.  After all, I'm already up and available for the sunset.

Our photo workshop was blessed with a beautiful sunset just outside Charleston, S.C.  Eight of us were lined up along the bank selecting the right lens, the right aperture and the right ISO.  And we all had the goal of capturing the scene that best represented our photographic vision.  My vision?  The horizontal lines and layers created by the ribbons of color.  How do you look at a sunset like this and not believe God is the ultimate artist!

In contrast, were the lines formed by the structure of the bridge.  Man-made but dramatic in its own way.

 

Ravenel BridgeRavenel Bridge

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Bridge Charleston Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Ravenel Bridge South Carolina Stoner Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/6/ribbons-of-color Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:19:15 GMT
Morning Light http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/morning-light COMPOSITION - MORE THAN ONE RULE

Rules are made to be broken, right?  That certainly holds true in the world of photography.  But sometimes following the rules help, and a few rules helped with this image.  The rule of "not having the horizon centered in the frame".  I placed the horizon slightly below center.  "Converging lines give the eye direction."  The converging line of the pier takes the eye to the covered area of the pier.  "The brightest part of the image draws the eye".  Can't help looking at the brightest area of the sky.  And my own rule, "post-process to create your own version of the scene".  Topaz Impression plug-in saved this image from going into the waste basket.

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Charleston Foley Pier Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Ocean Pier South Carolina Stoner Water http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/morning-light Tue, 24 May 2016 12:29:26 GMT