Archive for October, 2010
Back in September I watched excitedly as a small herd of elk crossed the creek. The water wasn’t all that high, but it wasn’t shallow either. The cows went across first and carefully made their way to the other side. In the midst of their crossing, I saw this little calf making its way across the creek, too. Then I wondered, how dangerous is this crossing for the elk, especially for the calves?
We humans take many things for granted–bridges, for example. There aren’t too many times when we have to ford a stream or creek these days. Perhaps the elk’s four legs help them manage the slippery rocks better than our two legs, but I am sure it is still somewhat precarious for them. I could tell that the elk were methodical as they gently stepped into the water and then slowly made their way across the stream. None of them fell or even stumbled. Then the bull followed and made his way across, bringing up the rear.
But my interest was with the smallest of the elk–the calf. It made its way across successfully but this photograph shows just how high the water was for this little calf.
Getting exposure right in the camera is important to me. I aim to get the best exposed photograph on site rather than just grabbing a shot willy nilly and then correcting it in software. I suppose this goes back to my film days when capturing the correct exposure was absolutely necessary with the camera. Sometimes I miss those days, but that’s another story for another time.
Capturing the correct exposure not only makes our work easier in post-processing, but it shows that we know how to use our camera, too. Some photographers are so good at seeing the light that they can predict with incredible accuracy which f-stop and shutter speed to use! I am not that good most of the time, but I do know how to use my cameras exposure meter to get it right. Still, there are times when proper exposure is not so cut and dry or as easy as we’d like to make it.
Take for example this photo of a bull elk I captured on a recent trip to Elk County. It was a rainy morning and my main focus was photographing the elk of Pennsylvania. I didn’t notice it until I got home, but this shot showed the drops of rain on the trees in an incredible way. The droplets of rain which formed on the end of the branches produced a spectacle of light behind the bull elk. It was neat!
However, the elk was took dark. When I slightly corrected the exposure the bull looked better but it appeared to me that the droplets of rain were not as clear or pronounced. I guess it may be because the main subject now properly exposed caused the whole photograph to be somewhat lighter. This appeared to shift the focus of the photograph off the droplets of rain and onto the bull elk. This is normally exactly what I want since I am a wildlife photographer, but I was torn on this image because of the change in look it created. Perhaps the proper exposure does depend on what we want the main subject to be in an image. Here the two different exposures of this photo. Which one do you like best?
I photographed the wedding of Wilson & Lourdes, who got married in the end of June this year. It was a beautiful day filled with all kinds of exciting wedding-day activities! It was a joy to photograph the anticipation in the pre-ceremony shots, the wedding ceremony, some outdoor photos at a nearby park, and the reception.
Afterward, I was busy editing the photos and posted them to my website within 24 hours. This allowed the couple and their families and friends to see the photographs of their big day. Proofs were ordered and then delivered to the couple. From these proofs the couple ordered the photographs for their wedding album.
I recently received these final selections from the couple and they picked some great photos to include in their album! The 8″ x 10″ enlargements turned out great, too! I assembled their wedding album and sent it out today. I am sure these photographs will bring back some very happy and special memories of their wedding day and the detailed happenings of their special day.
Here are a few photos from this wedding.
East Stroudsburg-South vs. Pleasant Valley
This was the match-up for Friday night high school football here. It was billed to be the match-up of the year.
Two quick possessions by South and the score was 14-0. So much for all the hype–so everyone thought. From that point on both teams began a battle for the ages. The game went back and forth almost with each possession. Pleasant Valley scored what was going to be a tie score at 35 each, but PV went for two instead of one extra point. They didn’t make it, so the score stood at 35-34. South was driving the ball just around mid-field when it was suddenly fourth and one yard to go. They chose to go for it instead of punting it deep into PV territory. But they didn’t make it and turned the ball over on downs.
PV put together an offensive drive that looked an awful lot like one of the Colts drives–precise passes and making critical 3rd downs. With 18 seconds left in the game, QB Derrick Walling threw a pass to RB Robert Getz for the go ahead touchdown. The TD pass ended up being the winning and final score. Absolutely amazing!
The sidelines were abuzz all night with photographers, television cameras, and reporters. It was a media maze! I was so glad to be on the sidelines photographing this incredible game and honing my sports photography skills. It may not have been a great night for me, but it sure was for these two football teams!
I guess I am a purist of sorts. Perhaps it was the education I received at Temple University when I earned my communications degree back in 1987. I like my photography to depict real-life situations and tell the story exactly as it was seen by me. For example, I never use Photoshop to remove a collar from an elk. I know some photographers who do this extremely well and they are definitely better in Photoshop than I. And I don’t knock them for what they do, I just prefer a different route in my own photography I guess. To me there is no right or wrong here–just a preference, and I prefer to keep my photos as they were captured. I do some crop some of my photos once in a while, but to me this is a little different from removing part of an image that is seen as the main subject. Go ahead and call me a purist and I promise not to knock you for removing a collar in Photoshop.
Those of us who photograph the Pennsylvania Elk see these collars often. They are radio transmitters used by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to assist in tracking the elk herd. This research tool is quite helpful I am sure, but as a photographer, I prefer to see elk without the big yellow or brown collars attached to their necks. Again, I am a purist. However, the collars some elk wear are part of the elk story and culture on Winslow Hill. So documenting and even photographing them makes sense to me even though I usually prefer to show only those elk without collars.
So yesterday, when I saw a blog entry by my photo friend, Brad Myers, and a comment by Coy Hill; I did a little digging. Brad and Coy were discussing the 8A bull, which is a beautiful bull this year! He garnered a lot of attention during the rut. I went back through my photographs and found these photos of the bull known as 8A, since that is the description on his yellow collar. I am kind of embarrassed that I did not post any photos of this bull earlier. And I most likely would not have posted any photos of him without the prompting of Brad’s and Coy’s blog conversation. I hope these photos help tell a little more of the Pennsylvania Elk story and help to show just what a magnificent bull is 8A!