Monday, January 28, 2013

Special Effects Through Mistakes



Making the Most of the Moment

Rushing out with the camera to catch that scene before it disappears can often allow for mistakes.  However, a few of my mistakes have created some interesting photographs.

While trying to catch the full moon just as it was peeking over the Gillis Mountains at Walker Lake, Nevada, I forgot to remove the UV filter. As a result, the light reflected off the optical elements within the lens and bounced back to the camera's sensor, thereby producing this scene where the moon has lost her face.




On a sunny day, I was attempting to photograph ice crystals or sundogs (parhelion) that were forming in the clouds.  Aiming that close to the sun, it is almost impossible not to catch flare, even with a lens hood.  The flare in this image produced radial streaks, appearing as a bright spots (ghosting) across the scene.  An added bonus to this scene was the jet and contrail that seems to be headed toward one of the polygonal shapes.


As much as I love full moons, the crescent moon also holds as much beauty and intrigue.  While bracketing my exposure on manual setting, I overexposed this scene of the moon with some interesting highlights.



My first attempt to catch the solar eclipse ended in disappointment when clouds covered the Wassuk Mountains just as the sun went in to eclipse.  Not being one to give up, I took the photos hoping that the sun might show through the clouds.  What I did catch, due to filter stacking was some interesting effects from lens flare.    


Attempting to capture the scene of the undertaker's parlor through the dusty window at Bodie Ghost Town State Park put shivers up my back.  However, when I processed the RAW images and saw the light streaking from the dark ceiling, it really gave me the shutters!




Creating special effects with photography is fun and can be challenging.  It’s a special bonus when they just happen and create a more interesting scene. 


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, January 20, 2013

Photography's Unique History

  
The Photographs That Have Gone Before

I came across a quote the other day from Jonathan N Jones in The Guardian: "The thing about painting is that no good painting can be made in ignorance of the painting that went before. This is why painting is different from, say, photography which has no history in the sense that painting has. Painting is like classical music. It is a high art form."

After spending all day in contemplation of Mr. Jones remark, I begin to wonder if it is somewhat true.  The drawback with photography as an art form in this digital age is, a novice without any formal training, can produce unlimited snapshots by just snapping away with the camera on automatic.  This is all wonderful when the camera enthusiast realizes their endeavor for what it is, a hobby.  However, the problem arises when the novice tries to make the transition to fine art photography before perfecting the craft.

Without a grasp of "the photographs that went before" and the interesting history of photography going back as early as the 4th century BC, the medium becomes watered down and does appear to have no history.  Photography, whose medium is light, is both an art and a craft, originating around 330 BC and noted by Aristotle who questioned why the sun could make a circular image when it shined through a square hole. Later in its evolution, scientist Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839 coined the word "Photography" from the Greek words meaning to draw with light. 

So photography originated not as an art medium but rather through the combining of several different technical discoveries while exploring the phenomenon of light.  It was much later and way beyond the 1820's after French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce's heliographs (sun prints) became the prototype for the modern photograph.

 I remember early in my photography career how difficult it was to become accepted by the fine art community.   The jurying committee for art shows and galleries would only consider the best copywork and portfolios, anything not meeting their high standards went straight to the trash bin. The presentation was most important, with prints of at least 16x20 inches framed with archival and conservation products to insure that the photograph would not deteriorate over time.



Today, I wonder where the standards of excellence have gone when I see countless photographs posted in the social media that are believed to be made better with more enhancing.  Forget about the sharpness of the image or the accuracy of colors in nature; just make them look like paintings and people go wow!



I always remember the humbling experience when I spent countless hours shooting what I thought was the perfect image and my mentor threw it back at me and said: "Go re-shoot!"


Now I am forever grateful for the hard knocks and learning experiences that developed me in to a professional photographer.  It is not just my reputation on the line when I present a photograph to the public; I am also carrying on my back all the photographs that have gone before. 

For more 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/





Saturday, January 12, 2013

Art of Photography

Creating the Photograph


 In this technological age where pocket cameras and phones are producing photographs with the quality comparable to that of a Hassleblad, I am ever minded of the quote from Ansel Adams, “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”



How often do these traits mentioned by Adams still hold true when the art of producing photographs has become as common as serving a prepackaged gourmet meal from the microwave.   Looking over Adam's background, an early childhood devotion to music, an appreciation for the arts, plus a love for our natural environment greatly influenced his photography. Furthermore, Adams developed his mastery of photography through countless hours of reading, observing art exhibits and attending camera club meetings.  During the time that Adams was perfecting his camera skills, he was also conditioning his body for the strength and stamina needed to carry the heavy equipment over rugged trails and higher elevations in Yosemite Valley, California.



At this point, maybe you are curious as to why I am making comparisons with Ansel Adams and present day photographers.  I suppose it is due to the numerous requests that I receive from people who want to get in to photography and enjoy what I'm doing.  As a seasoned professional photographer, I am always amazed by these requests, especially when it comes from a novice who thinks photography is the easiest art medium to pursue.



I get amused when I reflect over the times I stood in the freezing cold and waited for a photo that never materialized.   Or the day I was out in the desert hiking with a backpack of camera equipment and a lightning storm was moving in.  Yes, photography is easy when a snapshot is taken from the inside of a climate controlled car.


So over and above the fitness training that I perform on a daily basis, as with Adams, my photographs are a composite from my background in music, studies in fine art, a MA degree and countless hours perfecting my skill.  I create my photographs by carefully composing the scene and then adjusting the exposure per the available light within the camera before I ever release the shutter.  Shooting in the RAW mode, any additional adjustments are made to the photograph with Lightroom editing software.





My mentor once compared the making of a photograph to that of cooking a gourmet meal:  the careful preparation and slow simmering to bring out the flavor of all the ingredients.  How true I've found this to be when the photograph has that WOW factor and pops right off the wall.







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/