"Do or do not, there is no try" Yoda

Most of the times I have photographed the horses on the beach have been sunrise sessions, but this year they hosted a couple of sunset sessions as well. It had been fairly overcast and a bit rainy this day and I was debating not going to the session, but about 20 minutes before I had to leave, the sky started to clear a bit.  I wasn’t sure if it was really going to clear up or not and it takes a half an hour from my hotel to get to this beach, and I decided I might as well try...then the sun broke through and made the most beautiful light we could have hoped for. This lasted for about 45 minutes before the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the light got flat. I am so glad I made the decision to go, it just proves, that sometimes you have to listen to Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

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Hawaii Volcano

In August 2008, I was sent to Hawaii by Canon to lead tours at a dealer conference and to shoot some images for an upcoming product catalog with a prototype Canon 50D and 18-200mm lens...The three of us went to east side of the island to photograph the volcano. We spent 3 days and nights making images.

With the volcano being in the news now, I thought I would share some of the images.

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Saturday's Sunrise

As much as I love the long days of summer, I hate the fact that I have to get up so early to photograph sunrise…. Fortunately my launch spot is the narrow portion of a peninsula on the north bank of the river, so I have good views in both directions… The start of the sunrise, facing east, was rather nice so I took several images… I turned my attention to the west and saw this really nice cloud formation, and a pink glow in the sky… the cloud formation got more intense.  I turned the camera vertical and took a series of HDR images, bracketing 2 stops apart for three images, and photographed a 5-frame panorama.

Read the whole story and see all the images below.

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Not the most productive weekend

I spent about 4 hours on the river this weekend in the kayak and I took just four decent images during that time. There just isn’t much activity on the river this spring. In the past this was one of my favorite times as there were usually many broods of baby geese, mallards, wood ducks, mergansers, grebes and more.  This year I have seen a total of five sets of mallards, two sets of geese and no wood duck, merganser or grebe families...

Ironically the best wildlife images of the weekend came as I was wheeling my kayak down the trail, heading home on Sunday.  I looked up and spotted a Red-shouldered Hawk low in a tree just 30 feet off the trail...

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Piggyback Flash

I guess it was just matter of time before I accidentally fired my camera at the same time a flash photographer fired theirs.  Here are the results. Please let me know what you think of the flashed image and if I should experiment with that next year.  Thanks.

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Wildlife Model Workshop - Kalispell MT 6/4 - 6/7 - Baby Animals

Photographing at a game farm gives you not only the opportunity to get great photographs that would take years of work and cause undo hardship on wild animals, but it also gives you the chance to refine your wildlife photography skills by practicing various techniques that you can carry over into the field.

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More streaming clouds

In the last batch of “streaming cloud” images the everyone seemed to prefer the B&W versions to the color versions and I tend to agree.  I have found since most of these images are taken mid-day, unless there is a strong color foreground element, the B&W’s work better...

This time when I converted them I found in this first image, the color image evoked a more calming and soothing feeling then the B&W conversion, which is more ominous. What do you think?

Here are those images and several others. I am showing both the color versions and the B&W’s so you can think about how this may apply to your own images.

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Good Streaking Clouds

Whenever we get good puffy clouds here in Sacramento, I try to get down to the river and do some long exposures. We had good clouds on Friday.

I processed both image in color and in Black and White. On image #1, I prefer the black and white, but on image #2, I am not sure which I like better.  Which do you prefer?

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“Every Horse Deserves To Be Loved By A Little Girl At Least Once In Their Life” unknown

I actually think the above quote goes both ways,  “Every girl deserves to be loved by a horse at least once in their life.”  Because with these two, I can see the bond goes both ways.

I have had more time to do a few more conversions of my images of Tori and Renegade. These were made on my fourth and final session of the horses on the beach during the Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest...

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The Elusive Motion Blur

In the past two years I have taken around 18,000 images of horses on the beach, keeping over 13,000...But the one image that has eluded has been a really successful motion blur image.

I have tried a variety of techniques to get the image I am envisioning, but so far I have not been able to capture it in camera.  What I really want is an image where the background is a total blur of streaking colors, created by my panning motion, and the horse and rider are somewhat sharp and realistic looking. I have tried shutter speeds ranging from ¼ sec to 1/60 sec but none give that effect ...  Today I will post some examples taken between a 1/15th and 1/60th sec. 

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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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