Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Civil War Reenactments - A Great Place To Work on Your Creative Side

My friend Jim and I recently attended the Nature Coast Civil War Re-enactment in Williston, Florida.  I really enjoy photographing these historical based events.  Re-enactors are really cooperative when it comes to being photographed.  And, they have a natural instinct to pose in character.

I ran into this family almost immediately after entering the event site. It is one of my favorite images from the event.  The family was in perfect character. My only posing request was that the little girl sits in her dad's lap for the photo.

This is a candid photo.  I blurred the clutter out of the background in Photoshop in post.   Unfortunately I missed seeing the certainly not 19th Century Ray Ban sunglasses worn by the fellow in the plaid shirt!

The Civil War era photographer was a real find.  I converted the image to black & white in Silver Efex Pro.

It is a real challenge to catch a glimpse of the orange flames as the canons are fired. You have to set your camera to take multiple frames in a burst and press the shutter just as the leader signals to fire. My camera is supported on a monopod.  At the Nature Coast Reenactment there were many canons to choose from.  I counted more than twenty. The organization pays a bounty for re-enactors to bring out their canons. I was still lucky to get this image.  

Civil War Re-enactments take place frequently around the country.  For some real photographic opportunities add one of these events to your photo itinerary.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Search Your Photo Archives for Fresh Ideas

The Frank Gehry inspired Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic

All photographers have moments when they are searching for creativity, but nothing seems to surface.  Occasionally that happens to me.  When that happens I like to go back to my archives and recreate something from one of my old photos.  Photos that at one time didn't seem to have any purpose can be reborn. Software and ways to use the various programs are upgraded and developers find new ways to reinvent those programs. I just reinvented the picture from when I first took it in 2006.  Hell, do you even remember a technique called  HDR (High Dynamic Range)..or for that matter Adobe Lightroom?  Actually, I just checked Wikipedia and accordingly Lightroom was released in Beta in 2006. here is how my original photo looked when I shot it with my Nikon D200 with a 12-24mm Nikon f4.0 lens...

I removed the power lines and the red car in the left corner of the photo with the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop to get the final image at the top.  I made a selection of the sky and replaced it with a blue background.  Additionally, I posterized the photo in Photoshop.  Granted, the final image is a bit cartoonish, but I like it...and at least for the moment it re-inspired my photography.

So, what do you think?