Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cold Weather Photography


Photo Fun When It's Cold Outside 


Winter has arrived to the High Desert of Nevada bringing in cold temperatures and other than bundling up, it's a great time to go out and explore nature with the camera. When I mention cold temperatures, I am referring to the freezing point and on down to the single digit range. The further the thermometer drops from the double digits, the harder for me to endure the cold, guess it's my southern blood.



Dressing warmly and in layers goes without saying, but what about the camera. Just like ourselves, the camera body also needs protection from extreme cold. Prolonged exposure when it is very cold quickly drains the life from batteries. In my Nikon D90, I have an auxiliary battery pack that holds two batteries and I always carry an extra battery just incase.



To protect the camera from extreme cold when the air is dry, I wrap it in a neck warmer. When there's rain or snow, a plastic produce bag from the grocery store comes in handy. I place it over the camera with a hole in the end for the lens. Another precaution during cold weather photography is to avoid breathing condensation on the viewfinder.


For protecting my hands, I use Atlas Therma Fit insulated gloves. These gloves are cotton coated with latex rubber on the hand and finger portion,which makes them waterproof. The gloves are thin and very flexible so that I can feel the shutter release and move the command dials on the camera.

After coming in from extremely cold temperatures, be careful about bringing a cold camera in to a very warm area. The sudden warm-up can cause condensation to form in the camera, and this is not good. Leave the camera and lens someplace safe where they can gradually warm up.

So when the mercury takes a dip, layer yourself in warm clothes, bundle the camera up and go explore the frozen world of nature.




No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Sunday, November 21, 2010

Color Simplify Your Photograph


How to Color Compliment Your Photos

How often do you photograph a scene that you are drawn to, only to look at it on the computer screen and find that there's something about it that you just don't like. You are left feeling dissatisfied, wondering what inspired you to click the shutter.

In this post, I would like to discuss how the effective use of color balance and color simplicity will enhance your photograph, making it more visually appealing.

What could be the problem with you photograph is, it has such a broad range of colors that it is too busy and distracting. A good example is with this desert scene where all the wildflowers are in bloom. An actual scene in nature is viewed differently by our eyes than through the camera lens. As we look at the photo, our eyes do not want to spend too much time sorting out the image. Intuitively, we are drawn to an appealing image and shy away from the others.




Simplifying the scene with colors and including only objects that support the main subject allows our brain to process the image and not become overloaded with information. In the photo "Sugar Pine, Lake Tahoe” notice how the simple scene without color clutter creates a soothing and visually appealing photograph. To me, I feel like I am there, sitting on the bolder, gazing across Lake Tahoe.



On the color wheel you have analogous colors that are located next to each other, for example orange and yellow and green and blue. Analogous colors in a photograph create a soothing look with the scene, giving it flow and a feeling of harmony.




Complimentary colors on the other hand are opposite each other on the color wheel, red purple is opposite to and complimentary of yellow green, where as orange red is the compliment and opposite of blue green. Selecting or isolating complimentary colors in your photograph will accent the scene making it more outstanding. An example is with the photo, "Desert Tapestry" where the complimentary colors fall in the range of red purple and yellow green against the gray sky.



Another example of complimentary colors working well together is in the "Western Tiger Swallowtail" photograph, where the two dominant colors are yellow and purple. The two complimentary colors create contrast and each color makes the other appear more active, resulting in a more dynamic image.





There is no set rule on color choices for photography, just as there are no rules that nature must follow in providing us with such a rich and vibrantly colorful world. An understanding of how colors accent and augment the scene will help to avoid those photos that end up in the delete file, giving you that Oh Wow! moment with your photography.



For additional information:





No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Monday, November 15, 2010

Black and White Digital Photographhy


Shooting in Color for Black and White Digital Photographs

The shorter days and active weather patterns have forced me inside to spend more time on the computer. This past week, I was going over photos and got in the mood to see how they would look in black and white. After opening up Photoshop, I started playing around, removing the color. My D90 has a mode and I can shoot black and white in the camera, but I haven't experimented with it, yet. I prefer to shoot in RAW, and then process the photos in Photoshop where I have the most latitude over the output. This way, I can add or subtract contrast and try out different filters like red or yellow.


We live in such a vivid, colorful world, why would anyone want to do black and white photos? Well, the answers are quite simple to this question. With color photography, textures and forms in subjects often become muddled, so by removing the color, thus creating a black and white image, details become more predominant and stand out.



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Lighting is very important for black and white photos and should range from highlights to shadows, where the contrast is needed to create emphasis. Gray, overcast skies can augment the scene, especially where there is action in the sky.


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Clouds help create interest, set moods, and add drama to landscapes. With the black and white photo, it helps to slightly overexpose some of the white clouds but without clipping too much of the details.



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The composition and subject matter differs in black and white than color and should be kept simple with isolated images.


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The geometric structure of the scene is emphasized in the black and white photo, and the good old rule of thirds is always important. Lines and curves support the composition by leading the eye into the picture and suggesting a 'flow' to the scene.


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Everything in the scene should be relevant to the composition.


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If you are interesting in trying black and white, experiment with your photos and see how appealing they are to you. Now that winter is coming, the skies will be more active, so go out and explore your world, look for different subjects or objects.


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In conclusion, I would like to mention the Zone system and how it relates to black and white. This is my simplified version. There are nine zones that range from 1, pure black; to 9 that is pure white. Gray is 5, and falls is the middle. Digital cameras tend to overexpose the highlights, so try and expose for the middle to highlighted areas of the scene. You will have to ultimately make the decision on what is the most important part of the scene and go from there. Learning to use the histogram in your camera is a big help and will show you where your exposure falls. If using a point and shoot, study the aperture and shutter speed indicated in the meter so that you will begin to learn the settings for different lighting. Have fun and enjoy the world of photography.

For additional information on Digital Black and White Photography and the Zone System:

http://www.normankoren.com/zonesystem.html

http://dpanswers.com/content/tech_zonesystem.php



No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Sunday, November 7, 2010

Portals of Time, the Mind and the Past


Portals



While working on my photographs over the past week, I came across several that were of openings in structures. As I began to study the photos, the word "portal" came to mind and has been floating in my memory ever since. I decided on this post to explore the concept of portals and why I am drawn to these subjects in photography. Furthermore, it seems that I am not the only photographer sharing an interest in this subject; many photos by friends on Facebook also are of portals.


When I goggled the word portal, a number of different applications came up under the term. There is "Portal" the video game, "Portal the Flash Version" and a "Web Portal" which happens to be a links page. The Princeton definition of portal caught my attention, "a portal is a grand and imposing entrance (often extended metaphorically) or an opening in a wall or such structure", and this is where my interest lies. I am always fascinated by various shapes that allow for portals. Being the curious soul that I am, I wonder what is on the other side, so I would like to explore some of my favorite portals and what drew me to take the photo.



Residing in an area that during 1800's was once big in mining, I run across many structures that are still partially standing. Peering through these portals gives me a glimpse of how life might have been while living at higher elevations, out in the desert.


Some portals that I discover have such strange structures; it is hard to imagine what they were used for. Was this once the bank to store all the gold and silver from the Aurora mines? As I peer out at the road beyond the portal, I can imagine the wagon trains coming down the hill, carrying the ore.


A portal in the Cabin at the Fletcher Stage Stop leads into a small empty, deserted building. But as I look beyond the entrance, I can feel the presence of passengers waiting for the stage so that they could be transported to and from Nevada and California, during the 1800's.


Other portals  cause me to wonder, was this open view of the sky  to provide sunshine and light to the workers at the Stamp Mill, or did the harsh desert wind eventually take its course as it does on all things standing.


The portal looking through the side of an old building in Schurz, Nevada gives the lonely feeling of watching for the next train and what it might bring.

And our final portal is perhaps just that, a final resting place for the weary and worn. We shall only be privileged with a look at, not through this portal, until it's our time.



No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Monday, November 1, 2010

Desert Bighorn Sheep


Nevada's State Symbol


The Desert bighorn sheep, Nevada's official state animal is an amazing creature. Found in the mountainous rocky desert terrain, the Ovis canadensis nelsoni grow to around 4-1/2' tall, and a mature ram can weigh up to 200 pounds.



Both ewes and rams grow horns, but of the two, the rams get much larger, curling to over three feet long with a one foot circumference at the base. The horns are used for fighting and to break open cactus, which is one of their food sources.



A ewe is slightly smaller in size and weight than the ram.




The apricot mallow is a preferred food for the bighorn sheep.




Bighorns will consume native grass and other desert vegetation, which not only sustain the diet, also help to provide essential moisture. Adapting to the desert environment, they can go weeks without water and can survive up to 30% lose of their body weight.
Unique padded hooves enable the bighorns to run up or down rocky cliffs with great speed and agility. Keen eyesight is essential for detecting their predators of cougars, coyotes and bobcats.


At one time the desert bighorns were very plentiful in North America, but now its a big treat just to spot them gathered in their small groups. Most of the decline in their population has been caused from excessive hunting, human encroachment in their habitat and diseases transmitted from domestic livestock.




For additional information:








No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/