Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dirty Dash Redux

Last night, at the camera club projection night meeting, I submitted an image that was very well received. It was included in a gallery I linked to in an earlier post, but I did some extra processing that really brought out the impact. I think this is one of the best images I've created. I love the energy, the tone, the expression on her face. It's a great moment in time, frozen by my mind's eye (and my camera).

Monday, September 22, 2014

MHAFB Air Show: The Skies

How does one maximize the success of shooting jets that are flying hundreds of miles per hour? I'm not exactly sure. I do know that after seeing images from the other photographers in the group, there are some shots that everyone seemed to get. It's a difficult task to find a new perspective on something (the Thunderbirds air show) that's been shot millions of times.

Like this first one: almost everyone who attended got this shot, and even though mine looks like theirs, I still like it.

I like this one because of the combination of blur and sharp; the plane on the left is blurry while the plane on the right is sharp. I was panning with the right plane, coming in at about 500 mph, and was able to time the image just right to catch them crossing.

Most contrails I see are perfectly straight, created by commercial jets flying overhead. The artistry of smoke trails created during maneuvers are so fun to me.

If you notice, in the lower right, there is a 6th member of the squad. He doesn't fly as fast, but he has excellent form.

Everything can't be blue!
The 6th member of this group was flying significantly higher than the rest.

I was able to snap a frame as they were flying overhead, between me and the sun.

This aerobatic pilot flew amazing maneuvers, creating dynamic shapes.

I think these last two are my favorites from the day, taken just seconds apart.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

MHAFB Air Show: The Personnel

I had a great time on the Mountain Home Air Force Base. A group of us photographers were granted special access during the practice day. Although we didn't get as close to the jets as I would have liked, we did get pretty close. And was a lot easier trying to photograph than it would have been over the weekend, when they expected 100,000 or more people.

Of course I was there to shoot the planes, but there are always interesting subjects around. This first post is all about the personnel. There is a crew that travels with the Thunderbirds, including the pilots, the ground crew and their official photographers. Watching them work was an experience. Everything is so precise, the steps they followed seemed like choreography.

This next one is my mom's favorite.

After practice was done, while sitting around in some small shade, I noticed this scene.
Boots on the ground ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NFC Car Show, Part 6 (and last): All the rest (well, some of the rest)

This first image is my favorite of the event, maybe the best car image I've ever taken. I also put more post-processing work into this one than I do to most of my images. Once I started working with it, I realized how dramatic the shadows were, so I made sure the shadows faded to complete black. I like the way the shadows become negative space to balance the detail of the car. And I really like the way the front end is emerging from darkness.

When I'm out photographing, almost any subject, I look for details. I prefer the intricacies of a scene rather than the broad expanse. Life is made up of the small moments, and big pictures are made up of the small elements.

In this image, I like play of the textured tire and the blankness of shadow. And the tail light adds an interesting shape.

These next two images are obviously the same car, the same detail. I can't decide which composition I like better. I think the arc in the lower right corner of the first image is an unexpected element that adds balance to the downward arc.

But, the bottom image works also because there's only one curved line; the rest of the image is straight lines, consistent patterns. The color in both images really appeals to me. I think it's hard to find a good green for a car, but this car certainly has found that color.

It's obviously a blue car, but because of all the random elements, it becomes quite abstract, and abstract images are so beautiful to me.

How many cars have you seen with wood on them? And how many have you seen with wood this beautiful? It's so beautiful and warm and rich.

NFC Car Show, Part 5: The Grills

I like car grills because of the repetition and patterns. They have interesting lines - some horizontal, some vertical, some wide, some narrow, some shiny, some not. The grill is the shiny smile of the car.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

NFC Car Show, Part 4: The Hood Ornaments

In this installment of Chris' Fascination with Cars, we explore the cultural aspects of car making - because that's what hood ornaments are. They're sculptures, statues, figurines. The hood ornaments can be the most artistic part of a car. I've wondered who designs these ornaments. They don't look designed by the same person whose responsibility it is to determine the drag coefficient. I wonder if they hire artists to create these small elements.

These next three images are all the same hood ornament. I couldn't decide (still can't decide) which perspective I like best. Each one has different elements that work. Do you have an opinion? Let me know in the comments.

It's not unusual that many car makes use aeronautical-ish hood ornaments. Cars, like planes, are supposed to be fast and streamlined, and give the driver a feeling of freedom.

I'm not much a photoshopper. I use it to help process images, but only in the most simple ways. I'm not one to add or subtract major elements from an image. But this last image makes me want to add in a seascape - clouds, waves, mist - something to really bring out the nautical feeling of this ornament.

Thanks for looking.