Here are a couple of pictures I took while out at Lake Hefner recently. The first was with a Nikon 55-200mm zoom lens. I was pretty zoomed in on this one, maybe even all the way. It’s great to have a lens with VR as it prevents the shake from a hand held camera while zoomed in. It really does work:
A shot of the lighthouse at Hefner super close up with an ultra wide angle lens. I was almost touching the lighthouse when I shot this. Ultra wide angle lenses let you get really close and you can sometimes pull of some cool views:
To be honest I was pretty happy with the original version but I felt it lacked impact. The two elements (rider and sun) seemed to compete for attention. My goal when capturing this picture was to keep everything as simple as possible, which is why I only included the sun and sky without the ramp or any ground area. So I finally decided to enhance that goal even more with my final edit by combining the two elements. The hardest part was getting the colors inside the wheels to match the surrounding sky. That was definitely a challenge!
I’m really pleased to announce that my Oklahoma State Capitol picture has been published on www.1x.com. This is a site I’ve been frequenting quite a bit these past few months as my interest in photography has grown. I originally heard about the site from Ken Rockwell and it’s intrigued me ever since. This is an online art gallery for talented photographers around the world to try and submit their best works. Only a fraction of pictures sent in are published on the front page. They go through an intense screening process and are also voted on by the members. About 500 photos a day are submitted and of those, about 5 actually get published. The traffic on 1x is really amazing. My picture has been published for a day and a half and has already received nearly 17,000 unique views! I’m really excited about this and I hope to get more published eventually.
Click here to check out the Oklahoma Capitol Building on 1x.
Re-worked a previous picture taken awhile back at Lake Hefner. Messing with “duotone” in Photoshop lately. Pretty neat tool that gives you unlimited options vs. straight black/white. You pick any two colors and mesh them together using curves. In this particular picture I used black and a light muddy green color. I thought the “duotone” colors set a pretty eery mood. This was actually taken on a sunny evening but these dark clouds seemed to be circling overhead, creating the look of a storm.
Another farmscape (yes I just made that term up) caught my eye last week and I got to catch it in some decent light. Our state is awesome, I get to see this sort of thing daily on my way to work. Once these farmers bail the hay, it’s usually gone within a day or two, so I was quick to get this picture:
I thought the BW worked well with the mood the sky and barn gave.
It’s exciting when photos happen by complete accident. I was out shooting something that wasn’t coming together in the way I’d pictured at all. Engine sounds kept roaring in the distance and I thought someone was doing some heavy-duty mowing. Looking over, I saw a kid on a dirt bike 15 ft. in the air! Instantly, I decided it was a much stronger possibility for a photo than what I was trying to do:
Turns out there were three of them riding and I swear when they saw me taking pictures they started getting even more air on their jumps. Total show offs but hey, I can’t blame them, I was truly impressed!
It’s funny because my friend Tristan and I were just talking about how we missed the game Excitebike on Nintendo. When I was taking this picture I totally felt like a kid playing the game once again – except with a little better graphics:
Our state is full of so many unique landscapes if we’re just willing to look. Many of them hidden on back roads, away from busy streets. I’d noticed this field with an abandoned red barn for a while and finally caught it in some good light:
Maybe not quite as exciting as snow-covered mountains but Oklahoma does have a certain agricultural beauty to it. The lines and rows of crops leading into the barn were what first struck my eye. As a side note, I got absolutely hammered by mosquitos while shooting this, even after a thorough application of repellant. Apparently they can bite you through thin clothing. News to me, but at least now I know.
More to come (PICTURES, not mosquitos-at least hopefully not),
Also, I caught another thunderstorm/lightning pic that I’m gonna share soon,