Photography

Further editing

I always like to put a few days or a week between the time I photograph and the time I final edit my images.  This gives me time to separate the experience from the images.  Sometimes I find images that I totally over looked in the early edits that are good, and other times I find images that I thought were good in the early edits, really aren’t so good, now that I have that time separation. Also getting to view the images on a big color calibrated monitor versus the small laptop can help find flaws in images that I did not notice at first.

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Bluebird Surprise!

I was surprised when I returned from Monterey to find the bluebirds were still in the box, I had expected them to have fledged. I spent about two hours photographing them on Saturday and I decided that would be my last day, as to make sure I did not interfere with their fledging...I wanted to try out my new flash and all the accessories, with the full height extension that I will be using in Montana during the wildlife model workshop...I was impressed how well the Vacu-pod held all the weight...

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Last week

Last week I was busy teaching a workshop on the Monterey Peninsula... We were concentrating on long exposures with neutral density filters, HDR, exposure stacking and night photography...   Here are a few that I took.

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Elkhorn Slough Day 4

I didn’t expect to go back to the slough on day 4, it was supposed to be a day of rest. But as fate or luck would have it, I woke up at 5:15 anyway, so I decided to go...I got to watch them eat clams, a crab and more of the Innkeeper Worms. I wonder how much food can still be down there after watching them eat? ...I am going to miss this place, and compared to this, it will sure seem quite when I next kayak on the American River.

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Elkhorn Slough Day 3

The last two days we had noticed one mother and child pair of otters that were especially comfortable around us.  For the most part they paid us no attention, except for the occasional visit when the young otter would put its paws on my boat and peak inside. I decided I was going to spend most of my morning with them if they were in their usual area...The otters swam around, diving for food constantly.  They are voracious eating machines. There were times they came up within feet of my kayak allowing me to take many close up images.

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Elkhorn Slough Day 2

No matter how much you plan, you are always at the mercy of Mother Nature. After the first day of kayaking, we decided it would be worth it to go earlier and try to take advantage of early morning light. When I left the hotel in the dark, I didn’t realize how thick the cloud cover was, and it wasn’t just a thin marine layer it was heavy overcast...The downside of that was since the sky was gray, the water appeared gray in all my images and didn’t look too appealing.  Fortunately it is easy to correct that problem in the raw processing. If you don’t know how to do this in Lightroom or ACR than watch the video...

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Like a National Geogrphic Special

It was as if I just paddled into a National Geographic special. Everywhere I looked there was something interesting to watch and photograph.  There were loons, pelicans, herons, egrets, seals and sea otters in every direction...I drove 3 hours from Sacramento to the Monterey area to go kayaking and photographing in the Elkhorn Slough at Moss Landing...

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Bluebirds Day 2

First I am going to share my setup with you. I have my Canon 5DM4 with a Tamron 150-600mm lens mounted on my Really Right Stuff BH_55 ball head. This is mounted on my Vacu-pod, which is attached to the driver window. Attached to the camera is a Canon 600 EX II RT flash with a MagMod MagBeam to extend my flash output and a Quantam Turbo SC battery pack..

Today I took a slightly different approach. I zoomed in a little closer and used a wider aperture to give me less depth of filed, realizing I was not going to get as many flight shots. After my first few shots in the horizontal orientation, trying to get the birds flying into the box, I shifted to a vertical composition and decided just to get them right at the box...

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Bluebirds are Back!

This is the third year that bluebirds have nested in our box outside my home… This year I decided to experiment with adding fill flash to the images… Here is a without and with flash example. To learn more about my setup, my settings etc., read the blog.

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Too Much Time On My Hands?

Every once in a while I will look at a picture and think “What if?”  Yesterday I was looking at the pictures of the horses and riders on the beach and I remembered a series of rodeo pictures I took a few years ago where I applied a filter and did some layer blending to make a grittier more illustrative look and I thought “What if I applied that look to some of these images”

Here are the before and after images that I have done so far.  Please let me know what you think before I spend too much time working on more.

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About

LEWIS KEMPER is widely recognized as a photographer, writer, and instructor, lecturing throughout the United States. To learn more, click here.

 

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