Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Happy Birthday St. Louis Missouri!

This photo was taken on June 6, 2014.

ISO 100 4.3 f/8.0 1/160sec

That year St. Louis was turning 250 years old. 256 cakes like this one were put out all over the city and surrounding area. Some of them are still on display, a current listing is here.  I’ll be honest, when I first heard this was going to be a thing, my reaction was something like…oh. Then I started seeing them around town. They really were works of art. I ended up with quite a little gallery of them. The one above was one of my favorites because of where and how it was placed. The St. Louis Art Museum is free and located in Forest Park. It’s a gem and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.  Here is my Luminar edited version of the original file:

ISO 100 4.3 f/8.0 1/160sec

The original photo was intended as a realistic snapshot. It was shot in the bright light of a St. Louis afternoon.  The edit has been given a bit of a bronze tone that I thought made the shadows look more interesting. I cropped it because I thought the original had a lot of not very interesting sky. I also removed the working crane.  I did try a crop that would straighten the photo but to my surprise, I thought it made the photo less interesting, so the tilt stayed.

I like this edit, but other than making an appearance here it will pretty much stay in my photo files as a memory of the fun little cakes that dotted St. Louis in 2014.  Do you like this edit? Has your town done something like this? I know there are several US cities that have done similar things. Your comments on the edit and community art projects are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Birthday and in a bit of a cheeky way to One Word Sunday, Fire.

 

 

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

In the Spring the St. Louis Art Museum hosts one of my favorite exhibits, Art in Bloom. The challenge for some local floral artists is to create a work based on a piece from the museum that is assigned to them.

This was one of my favorites from this year.  It was this detail that caught my eye:

ISO 800 10mm f/5.0 1/13

ISO 800 10mm f/5.0 1/13

The ribbon, an almost exact detail from the painting, I think made the arrangement go from abstract to concrete.

This exhibit is usually crowded, for that reason I take my point and shoot camera. I usually set my ISO to 800, turn the flash off, and then let the camera make the rest of the decisions.  This low maintenance approach leaves me with nice photos and more time to focus on the art I am looking at.  I was lucky this year to have time to see the exhibit twice, once in the morning on its first full day and once near the end of the weekend in the evening.  It was interesting to me how much the arrangements had changed over the few days.

What do you think, do you like this take on the painting? Do you have a favorite yearly art exhibit?  Do you think that the time of day changes how you interact with the art you are looking at? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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Photo Challenges, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

I went to an exhibit a few weeks ago that has then been lurking in my brain ever since. I will say upfront that I tend to shy away from contemporary art, but still, there I was in the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, wandering through the galleries.  I had not taken my camera, it was a conscious choice; to go and visit with the art, but not bring along my full kit of art supplies.  I did however bring what I consider sometimes to be my sketch pencil, that is my phone.  I’ll take snapshots of things that interest me so that I can come back to them later.

When I saw the theme for this week’s photo challenge, this display floated back to the front of my brain.  The exhibit was called “Not Human” by artist Arcangelo Sassolino.  This particular piece was not working the day I was there so I found this video on Youtube of what it is supposed to look like.

Figurante, 2010 Steel, bone, and hydraulic system

Figurante, 2010
Steel, bone, and hydraulic system

I will tell you that what this photo doesn’t show is blood that was dripping down the jaws and onto the floor.  Overall, the exhibit was noisy and messy for an art exhibit.  All but one of the pieces moved in someway.  A certain amount of housekeeping is required daily for this exhibit.

Speaking of housekeeping,  I’d just like to let my readers know that I am in the process of a pretty big move and so will not be posting as regularly over the next few months. I’m hoping to still post and visit other blogs, but overall my “blogging time” will be less than usual in the short term.

So what do you think of the work of art? I found the display different and the most thought provoking exhibit I saw that day.  Feel free to leave a comment below, let me know too, if you watched the video of the art in action.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

I almost always have a camera with me.  My Canon 50D is my favorite, but I don’t always carry it around.  At times when I don’t have it, I rely on my point and shoot.  One time when I prefer to use my point and shoot is when the crowd looks like this:

ISO 200 15mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 200 15mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

This was the crowd at this afternoon’s Wiener Dog Races that are part of Mardi Gras here in St. Louis.  It’s a popular event.  It’s a friendly and vibrant crowd, but not the best place to take my bigger camera.  Here’s a shot of what people came to see:

ISO 200 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/500

ISO 200 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/500

Mostly the dogs seem to love this, some however, are not impressed:

ISO 200 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/200

ISO 200 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/200

This little fellow seemed to be disdainful of the pleas and shouts of encouragement to run.  This little shot of defiance was my favorite shot of the day, and something that my point and shoot can easily handle. In this case, I feel like I can get the photos I want for the story I want to tell with the smaller camera. I have left the photos as they were shot, no editing.  For this particular post, I wanted the photos to convey the sense of a casual observer taking in an event.

How do you handle photography in a crowd like this? Do you take a smaller camera, or do you fearlessly wade in with your largest camera? Your thoughts are welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight(less)

Here is the St. Louis area we have been thinking a lot about water, flood water.  I am grateful that we have not had much in the way of damage or inconvenience in our house, but there has been a lot of damage in the surrounding area.  Earlier this week, I was driving in an area that had just been reopened to traffic and took this shot:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

Usually, being in the water makes me feel weightless.  But standing on the side of the road the other day, I was thinking about the power of water to displace people and things.  This photo is just a small view of the amazing amount of debris I drove past.  Most striking were all the plastic bags waving in the trees and the brush.  So much for feeling weightless, more like being weighed down by all the trash.

For this photo, I pulled over to the side of the road, just before a posted road closure sign.  I would say when I am taking photos, I tend to err on the side of caution, try to pay attention to my surroundings and not get into trouble.  What kind of photographer are you, would you have driven past the posted sign in hopes of getting a different or better picture? Have you witnessed the aftermath of a flood? I find it to be incredibly humbling, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops!

For this week’s challenge, I invite you to take you on a walk around the zoo with me as I go in search of a photo. I take a lot of photos and I’m grateful for digital photography.  It’s easy to go ahead and take a photo, try another angle, another setting perhaps.  Think for a minute, try something else.  The beauty of digital is that you can throw away all the duds.  My laptop trash bin often has a lot in it. Here is a little gallery of our walk:

You can roll over any of the photos to see why they will not be making it into a blog post other than this one where I show you all my oops moments.  For those of you who visit regularly, you will recognize that cheetah.  He was in last week’s post looking like this:

I see you

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

To get that one photo, I took one hundred and twenty two photos, for me that is almost nothing.

I have a few that I will keep.  I’ll edit those, make sure they are tagged, and save them to a separate hard drive too.  The rest, well those are headed for the bulging trash bin.

Thanks for taking a walk with me. I always like chatting about photography.  Feel free to comment below, either about what I have done here or about your own creative process.

Cheers!

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Every Angle

This past weekend was the Festival of Nations in St. Louis, a yearly weekend festival that is full of vendors, food, music, and arts.  Certainly a great place to get photos from all sorts of angles, but I was happiest with the photos I got from the henna art station. To tell this mini-story I wanted the finished design to be in all the shots, so I kept that in mind as I was shooting.  I also wanted a progression, so here is the first stroke:

ISO 1600 50mm f/5.6 1/1250

ISO 1600 50mm f/5.6 1/1250

Then I walked around and was shooting from a spot behind:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/640

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/640

Then I went with the finished product:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/500

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/500

Which now that you have seen the finished art, you can go back and see it on the paper as well.  As I was shooting at the festival, I kept my ISO relatively high.  This was because despite the bright sunlight, most of my shots were taken in the shade.  I knew I wasn’t going to be too concerned with noise in the final versions of the photos so an ISO of 1600 pretty much guaranteed I could take shots everywhere.  You will notice that even though these three shots that were taken in a similar area, I was changing my shutter speed a lot.  After having set my ISO and also keeping my f-stop at a fixed 5.6, the shutter speed was how I was controlling the exposure on this particular outing.

When I got the photos home, I decided that I did not want to crop or sharpen them.  I decided to apply a photo filter that replicates Polaroid 690 film.  I felt that the slight color change and slightly grainy look was a good match with photos from a festival like this one.  So that you can see the difference, here is the middle photo before editing:

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/640

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/640

It’s a subtle difference, do you think it adds to the story here? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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