galestonerimages: Blog http://galestonerimages.com/blog en-us (C) galestonerimages 2017 gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Tue, 01 Aug 2017 11:16:00 GMT Tue, 01 Aug 2017 11:16:00 GMT http://galestonerimages.com/img/s9/v86/u492503893-o1065258466-50.jpg galestonerimages: Blog http://galestonerimages.com/blog 80 120 Train Station http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/7/train-station THE POWER OF LINES - DRAWING THE EYE

It's been awhile since I posted to the blog.  I can fall into the trap of needing to find the perfect image.  It needs to be the the perfect subject in perfect light.  It needs the perfect composition with the perfect post-processing.  The perfection trap can be a major barrier to my creativity and photographic energy.

On a recent day trip to Chattanooga I was struggling to find perfection.  Four hours into the trip and I hadn't even taken the camera out of the bag.  I finally gave up and decided to start photographing what I hadn't been seeing.  This image is one of them.  It was only after I saw the image on the computer screen that I reminded myself that an interesting picture doesn't have to be perfect.

The composition rule of leading lines plays a strong role in this image.  And the black and white version provides some character.

Looking for advice?  Don't let the trap of perfection get in the way.  Allow your photographic vision to be less than perfect.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

 

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) chattanooga fuji x-series fuji xt-2 gale stoner images hotel train http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2017/7/train-station Wed, 19 Jul 2017 11:43:02 GMT
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
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
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
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
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
Alone On The Beach http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/alone-on-the-beach BLACK AND WHITE - SEEMS APPROPRIATE

I don't process a lot of black and white.  I'm not sure why black and white is not on my radar but sometimes the subject just says, "Hey, go for the contrast."  It was a beautiful sunrise at Edisto Beach in South Carolina but the original image just didn't pop; colors were too soft, pastel and flat.  Silver Efex Pro came to the rescue and help create something of interest; something out of a Tim Burton movie.  I need to go back into the archives and see what images I have previously abandoned that might be rescued in black and white.

 

Standing AloneStanding Alone

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Botany Bay Charleston Edisto Beach Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape South Carolina Stoner http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/alone-on-the-beach Tue, 17 May 2016 13:32:02 GMT
Quiet Time http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/quiet-time YOU CAN ALMOST HEAR - NOTHING

Another beautiful location tucked away from the more traveled areas of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, SC.  I had the sense the magnificent oak was commanding the observer to slow down, take a moment to quietly enjoy and appreciate the beauty.  I'm glad the oak tree spoke to me and that I listened.

Lord of The GardenLord of The Garden

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Charleston Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape South Carolina Stoner http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/quiet-time Tue, 10 May 2016 13:17:46 GMT
Shady Lane http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/shady-lane GOD'S SCULPTURE - YEARS IN THE MAKING

When I visited this iconic location near Charleston, SC, I was in awe of the beauty and magnificence of the oak trees.  I took a few minutes just to appreciate what I was experiencing before I mounted the camera on the tripod.  Since this location is private property, I could only shoot just off the shoulder of the road.  If this were mine, I think every time I turned onto my driveway I would feel comfort and serenity as the trees stretched out their branches to embrace my return.

Oak CanopyOak Canopy

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Charleston Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape South Carolina Stoner http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/5/shady-lane Wed, 04 May 2016 14:53:48 GMT
Springtime In The South http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/4/springtime-in-the-south ANOTHER REFLECTION - CALM WATER

I had an opportunity to attend a Tony Sweet workshop in Charleston, SC.  One of the shooting locations was Magnolia Plantation and Garden.  We arrived at the Gardens before daylight and spent the entire morning walking the grounds and discovering beautiful locations such as this image displays.  Around every corner, every turn in the pathway, and on the other side of every bridge, there was a magnificent, colorful scene.

If you've visited previous blog posts, you know I'm drawn to reflections on the water's edge.  And when I saw the contrast of the white bridge with the purple and white azaleas, it was a "must shot".  I'll be posting a few more images from this garden.  Make sure to check out Tony Sweet's workshop schedule.

White BridgeWhite Bridge

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Charleston Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Magnolia Plantation South Carolina Stoner http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/4/springtime-in-the-south Mon, 25 Apr 2016 11:14:03 GMT
Tulip Reflection http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/4/dreamy-garden CREATING REFLECTION - POWER OF POST-PROCESSING

This time of the year, it's hard for me not to be influenced by the color of spring.  The previous post was shot in Charleston, S.C., eight hours from home.  This image was captured in Cheekwood Garden in Nashville, TN, one hour from home.  Obviously, you don't have to travel far to find signs of spring.  This image was heavily processed.  Cropped out a lot of distractions in front of the tulip bed, added a soft glow filter, and added the water reflection.  Some would call this manipulation and qualifies as photography malpractice.  I take the view that it is creating something with visual impact.

 

On Water's EdgeOn Water's Edge

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Nashville Stoner Tennessee http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/4/dreamy-garden Tue, 05 Apr 2016 15:13:36 GMT
Blanket of Color http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/2/blanket-of-color FALL IN THE SMOKIES - MISTY MORNING

I took this photo while standing in a heavy mist at the end of a dead end road.  Actually, I was standing in the mist, at the end of the road, while waiting on my photography partner who had ventured off to shoot a waterfall.  Everyone else in the group, about 30 people, had already left for another location.  The image might send a message of quiet, isolated, lonely, forgotten, cold, damp, etc.  And yes, that's how I was feeling at the time.  It was only after I saw the image on the computer did I realize how the light rain had saturated the colors, and how much color there was.

 

Colors In TremontColors In Tremont

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Smoky Mountains Stoner Tennessee Tremont http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/2/blanket-of-color Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:28:31 GMT
Minimalistic http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/2/minimalistic SIMPLICITY - A LITTLE ARTSY APPLICATION

This is inside one of the cabins at Cades Cove, in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  An empty room except for this old wood stove.  Fireplace, wood stove and a window are the only elements in this image.  Three-shot bracketing and HDR post-processing helped overcome the extreme dark areas of the room and the bright, natural light coming through the window.  If you've been following my blog recently you are aware that I am a big fan of Topaz Impression software.  This composition seemed to be the perfect scene for the software application.

Cabin HeatCabin Heat

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Smoky Mountains Stoner Tennessee Topaz Impression http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/2/minimalistic Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:20:01 GMT
Houseboat Street http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/1/houseboat-street OLD IMAGE - NEW LOOK

I always wanted to be an artist.  I could see myself sitting in front of a blank canvas and start creating a new vision with paint and brush.  However, I wasn't born with that talent and the canvas remains blank.  Until, I picked up a camera and started creating a vision digitally.  I discovered Topaz Impression software.  This image is an example of bringing new life to an old, lifeless photo that was shot about five years ago.  I now have a project of going through old files and looking for images that I can resurrect.

Here's a tip:  This is a great application to use when you discover that the image is not tack sharp and slightly out of focus.  It also allows you to pump up the saturation level to get more pop in the colors. 

Boathouse StreetBoathouse Street

 

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gale@galestoner.com (galestonerimages) Gale Gale Stoner Gale Stoner Images Images Landscape Stoner Topaz Impression Victoria BC http://galestonerimages.com/blog/2016/1/houseboat-street Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:45:51 GMT