Photographic Journey

As promised – here is my photographer husband’s guest post. It’s about time he received some recognition on this blog – most of the pictures I have used since I started the blog (at least the good ones) are courtesy of his skill and photographic expertise. So – I’ll turn this space over to Bruce.

Come on a brief journey with me – glimpses and explanations of the processes and thoughts, behind one of my favourite hobbies and creative outlets – ‘capturing’ images in time.

I use a zoom lens with a focal length 18mm – 200mm which allows me to compose photos quickly. Photographing people I’m able to stand further away and zoom in, making a more natural atmosphere. “Up close and personal,” produces candid shots – as people become hyper-aware of the camera it changes their reality; they either ham it up, or clam-up.

A family in the Sierra Nevada’s  

In this mountain scene I had already taken a few shots, when a family came trotting from behind the trees and into my frame – I didn’t believe my good luck!  Usually the reverse happens.

Notice the strong horizontal line of the fallen tree and the blue lake itself – it appears roughly 1/3 up from the bottom of the image. This compositional technique is known as the “rule of thirds” or “the rule of threes”.  Seasoned photographers never center their subject or a horizon line – well, almost never.

Depth is created in the photo with the trees on the left side and the patches of grass and the log in the foreground. To complete the picture the hiking family adds human scale as well as evokes interest.

A Study of Roses

The next 2 shots illustrate how depth of field changes using different lens apertures (f-stops).

1/400 sec.@ f14 – no depth of field

 

1/40 sec.@ f32 – medium depth of field

 

A Waterfall         

1/13sec.@ f16 with the vintage tripod …see Fran’s previous blog!

At 3PM in October, Burney Falls were in the shade – however, a lower light level is exactly what is needed to create the blurred effect. At the top of the falls the sunlight was hitting the trees which were ablaze in fall colours – but sunlight and shade doesn’t mix in photography; I had to frame and focus most of the photo down towards the waterfall. I often fine-tune photos @ the editing stage, so I later cropped out some of the trees on the right, to compose in line with the rule of thirds (again.)

 

An Era Gone By

De-saturating the colour ever so slightly moves this photo back in time, almost to a sepia image. Notice the truck is aligned using “the rule of thirds.” I keep mentioning this rule because it’s so important. I’ll speak if it no more.

 

Ancient Volcano      

The photo speaks for itself

 

Bird of Paradise   

1/250 sec. f4.8 – A very shallow depth of field creates the blurred background.

 

Boy with fish     

I love portraits! In this case, upon seeing the lad with his catch, I seized the moment and asked to take his photo. His beaming smile says it all.

 

Clock Tower   

Buildings! A favourite subject of mine – after all, I am a carpenter. An amazing thing about photographs is what isn’t seen in the picture. For example, located under this tower is a 10kw hydroelectric turbine. Out in the desert, no less!

 

 

 

Fall Colours

In the 3 photos above, I increased the colour saturation to enhance the yellows and oranges. In the last of this series of three, the blue of the sky could have been greatly enhanced using a polarizing filter (which I didn’t have at the time!)

 

Mono lake

Tree framed to the left created depth and interest.  I saturated the colours to give the clouds definition and deepen the blue.

 

Mt. Whitney and the Alabama Hills

 

Jackie and Mack Robinson – remembered and touched

A slight star effect (achieved in post editing) seemed especially appropriate for this photo.

 

Solemn tribute

Manzanar was a WWII internment camp for people of Japanese descent – many of whom were US citizens. The de-saturated colour of the image and the greyness of the background and clouds adds a solemn quality. What I really like is the light breaking through. I believe it evokes hope.

13 comments on “Photographic Journey

  1. nevillegirl says:

    Whoa! I especially love the clock tower, the yellow tree picture right below it, the mountain picture two below that one, and the one of the Robinson statues. The mountain photos make me think of Lord of the Rings. 🙂

  2. […] popular guest posts: when my husband Bruce of Through the Luminary Lens posted up holiday pictures and when my friend Cheryl let me put her story – My Hero Becky on my […]

  3. brucethomasw says:

    Reblogged this on through the luminary lens and commented:
    A couple of weeks ago I rebogged my wife’s post “It’s Impossible to Bring a Photographer to Sanity”. This is the sequel. Francis and I were on a holiday in California and I hadn’t started my own blog. Most of the photos were taken near the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and down into Death Valley, except for a few from Pasadena. Los Angeles. In the post I give brief commentaries with a few tips and techniques. My thanks go to “Endless Frame” for requesting this reblog – http://endlessframe.wordpress.com/ Endless does excellent photo blog stories, usually from South Korea or Japan. He’ll laugh when he sees the 10 (or 12) photos turned into 16. My personal favourite is “The Boy with the Fish.” Please, check out this photo series. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. Peace to everyone – Bruce

  4. Brendan says:

    Thank you again for lovely photos and comments.

  5. Thanks for showcasing his great work, Francis. The truck photo is my favorite. I have to start experimenting with desaturating the color. And please do keep reminding us of the rule of thirds, Bruce. Some of us are just beginners and need all the help we can get!

  6. Amazing photography!! I love the explanations of how you took the photos!!

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