Image

“Pure Imagination” ~ Daisies Dressed in Black & White

Daisies Dressed In Black and White

See this photo large on Flickr

“There is no life I know – To compare with pure imagination – Living there you’ll be free – If you truly wish to be” ~ Willy Wonka (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory )

I love the scene where Willy Wonka is singing “Pure Imagination” and admiring his creation. Feel like singing along?

After eating a sugary leaf, he walks over to a patch of teacup flowers, takes a sip of sweet nectar and then bites into the teacup…crunch! Oh, so delicious!

Of all the scrumptious delicacies in Willy Wonka’s factory, this was the one thing (as a kid) that always made me drool. Kind of strange…I know…but who wouldn’t want to bite into an edible flower? 🙂

Story Behind The Photo

Here’s some music to set the mood…If you have Spotify handy, pull up ‘Wildfire‘ by John Mayer and Frank Ocean and listen to it as you take in this monochromatic image.

I found this field of daisies, hidden behind some thick cedar trees. Initially I composed the scene using a wide-angle lens to capture the entire field. After a few test shots, I decided to throw on a 35mm prime lens and isolate one of the flowers.

I spent around 20 minutes trying to locate the perfect daisy. It kind of reminded me of dating. You spend a few moments with a flower, only to realize it’s not the flower for you.

Eventually, I stumbled upon the perfect daisy. It’s petals were perfect and the stem was unique. In many ways it reminded me of finding my wife. 😉

Camera Settings

  • Aperture Priority mode
  • Aperture set to f/2.8
  • Shutter Speed set to 1/2000 (set automatically by the camera)
  • ISO set to 100
  • Focal Length (zoom) set to 35mm

What’s New

Are any of you on Pinterest? I’m still fumbling my way through it…you can find me here. Not sure if it’s a guy thing or what, but my wife picked it up right away. I’m still trying to figure out how everything works. Usually with technology, it’s the other way around. To be honest, it’s actually kind of nice to have the roles reversed.

Have a wonderful weekend dudes and dudettes! 🙂

Advertisements

Image

Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections on Lake Taneycomo

🙂 Give me some love…mark this photo as one of your favorites on Flickr

“When the leaves change. It’s just, I… I think Autumn is the most contemplative of seasons.” – Michael Scott (The Office)

Have you ever held a conversation with someone you’re trying to impress, only to find yourself making up words and crafting sentences that don’t make much sense?

If you’re not an “Office” fan or you don’t quite remember the episode, it started off with Michael (the boss) and Holly (the new HR employee) doing a hilarious rendition of Olivia Newton-John’s song “Physical.” It wen’t something like this…

“Let’s get ethical! Ethical! I wanna get ethical! Let’s get into Ethics yeah! Let me hear that Dunder Mifflin talk! Your body talk. Let me hear your body talk.”

Michael Scott was head-over-heels for Holly Flax. He was doing everything he could to get her attention. During the ethics meeting, they found out about the questionable behavior of a certain employee named Meredith. Michael quickly invited Holly to lunch so they could discuss what course of action they should take.

Michael of course couldn’t care less about the situation with Meredith, he was just looking for a way to spend some time with Holly. When they sat down to eat, Holly began talking about the disciplinary actions they should take, however Michael kept trying to change the subject to things that might be said on a first date…like his favorite season, Autumn. 🙂

Story Behind The Photo

Here’s some music to set the mood…If you have Spotify handy, pull up ‘Do You Remember‘ by Jack Johnson and listen to it as you take in this scene.

I was walking along Lake Taneycomo late in the day breathing in crisp cool Autumn air, when the sun kissed a nearby hillside. The trees seemingly lit on fire with an abundance of yellows, oranges and reds.

The sky was a rather bland, so I opted to focus on the reflections of the colorful trees. I found a little ripple in the water that created a nice leading line and added a deep shade of blue to the surface of the lake.

Camera Settings

  • Manual mode
  • Aperture set to f/11
  • Shutter Speed set to 51 seconds (I attached a 10 Stop ND filter to in order to lengthen the exposure to 51 seconds)
  • ISO set to 100
  • Focal Length (zoom) set to 180mm

What’s New

I recently joined Flickr and have enjoyed my time both contributing and admiring great work. If you’re active on Flickr, I’d love to connect with you. Check out my photostream here.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m the dude behind Camera Tips & Tricks. This little blog is just an extension of my personal thoughts around photography. Since starting a few weeks ago, I’ve really enjoyed my time here on WordPress. I’ve already met some great people and I’m really enjoying this wonderful community.

Thanks to all of you who have stopped by, said “Howdy” or liked my stuff. I’m so appreciative. Until next time…happy shooting!

Image

Dark Branches Reaching Toward a Starry Night

Starry Sky over Still Lake

🙂 Give me some love…mark this photo as one of your favorites on Flickr

“Enormous it looked, its sprawling branches going up like reaching arms with many long-fingered hands, its knotted and twisted trunk gaping in wide fissures that creaked faintly as the boughs moved.” – Chapter 6, The Fellowship Of The RingJ.R.R. Tolkien

Have you ever been in a place where you felt so relaxed and peaceful? Where it feels like all the stars are aligned and everything is in order? Maybe you spent a few minutes daydreaming. Maybe you just stared at the beauty around you. Maybe you fell into a deep sleep.

In Chapter 6 of The Fellowship Of The Ring, Merry, Pippin, Sam and Frodo were traveling through the Old Forest. All of a sudden, one by one, each of them were overcome by an overwhelming sense of sleepiness.

Frodo had toppled over while looking up through the branches of this ancient willow. Half awake, he dragged himself to the waters edge and dipped his feet in the water. Soon later, he was fast asleep.

Old Man Willow had put them under a spell.

Frodo was then awakened as Sam was pulling him out of the water. Old Man Willow’s tree root had ensnared him and thrown him into the river.

I can relate. I’ll be in a perfect moment such as this, only to be disturbed or awakened by an eerie feeling. Sometimes it’s a sound, a smell or a thought that triggers my subconscious and snaps me out of this daze. I quickly try to get back to that peaceful refuge. But, alas, it is gone.

As a father, this seems to happen quite a bit. I think your mind goes into overdrive when you have two little ones running around. One of these days, I’ll figure out a way to get past my subconscious and stay in the dream world forever. Maybe I should re-watch Inception? 🙂

Story Behind The Photo

Here’s some music to set the mood…If you have Spotify handy, pull up ‘The Breaking Of The Fellowship‘ by Howard Shore and listen to it as you take in this scene.

One peaceful evening, I made my way down a beaten path to the waters edge of Table Rock Lake in Missouri. It was quiet and cool. The lake lapped up against a couple of fallen trees.

I immediately fell in love with this juxtaposition of the mangled limbs and the still lake. I adjusted the angle at which I was shooting in order to get the tallest branch to point towards the brightest star.

Camera Settings

  • Aperture Priority mode (A for Nikon users and Av for Canon users)
  • Aperture set to f/8
  • Shutter Speed automatically set to 30 seconds (chosen by the camera)
  • ISO set to 100
  • Focal Length (zoom) set to 14mm

Post-processing

  • Imported the photo into Lightroom
  • Under the Basic tab, I brought the highlights up to +10 and increased the clarity to +15
  • Under the Tone Curve tab, I brought the darks down to -10 and shadows down to -15
  • Under the HSL tab, I increased the saturation of the blues to +18 and the yellows to +10
  • Under the Effects tab I added some slight vignetting by setting the amount to -30
  • Under the Detail tab I added some noise reduction by setting the amount to +30

This particular photo was taken with a Nikon D3100 and a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 wide-angle lens. If you’re interested in seeing the behind the scenes for this image, click here (see all of my Nikon D3100 tips here).

FYI, the settings and tips highlighted in the behind the scenes tutorial can also be applied to the D5200, D5100 and D3200 cameras. For more tips and tricks, check out my website CameraTips.com. Until next time…happy shooting!

Image

Rolling Thunder & Hills | Ozark Mountains

Rolling Thunder & Hills | Photo by Moose Winans

🙂 Give me some love…mark this photo as one of your favorites on Flickr

“The riches he (Bilbo Baggins) had brought back from his travels had now become a local legend, and it was popularly believed, whatever the old folk might say, that the Hill at Bag End was full of tunnels stuffed with treasure.” – Chapter 1, The Fellowship Of The RingJ.R.R. Tolkien

I can just imagine Bilbo Baggins lying in the grass, dreaming about his adventures and travels from long ago. Would it be considered a faux pas if I were to do the same thing today? I imagine if I were to follow suit, people driving by would think there’s a man passed out or dead in that field.

Just for fun, one of these days I’m going to man up and lie down in an open field (preferably public land). I may get a few ticks and a couple weird looks, but I’m positive it will be worth it. Don’t you?

Now onto the photo…If you have Spotify or Last.fm handy, pull up ‘Concerning Hobbits‘ by Howard Shore and listen to it as you take in this scene.

This photo was taken on a stormy day, alongside an Ozark mountain rural road in Missouri. I was heading home, when the clouds split and the sun splashed the hillside with a vibrant glow. Anytime you’re presented with conditions like this, you stop and take a photo. That’s my motto.

I had to hurry because the clouds were low and moving swiftly. Which meant that at any moment the suns rays would be swallowed up. After grabbing a few test shots, I was able to take a breath and soak in the landscape.

Camera Settings

  • Aperture Priority mode (A for Nikon users and Av for Canon users)
  • Aperture set to f/16
  • ISO set to 100
  • Focal Length (zoom) set to 18mm

Post-processing

  • Imported the photo into Lightroom
  • Under the Basic tab, I brought the highlights down to -55 and increased the clarity to +10
  • Under the Tone Curve tab, I upped the darks to +12 and brought the shadows down to -11
  • Under the HSL tab, I increased the saturation of the blues to +24, the greens to +25 and the yellows to +16
  • Under the Effects tab I added some slight vignetting by setting the amount to -29

If you happen to own a Nikon D5100, I created a tutorial which goes into a little more detail regarding the in-camera settings and functions I used for this particular photo, check it out (see all of my Nikon D5100 tips here).

FYI, the tutorial can also be applied to the D5200, D3100 and D3200. For more tips and tricks, check out my website CameraTips.com. Until next time…happy shooting!