Monday, February 1, 2021

Fascinated by Soap Bubbles

End of January in the North Country... and you know what that means: frigid cold temperatures! 

And 2021 did not disappoint in that regard. We had a multi-day cold spell with subzero temperatures outside, so even the inside of our (wind-protected) porch was cold enough for the "frozen soap bubbles experiment" that I wanted to try since I read about it. There are plenty of instructions out there how to make abstract/macro shots with soap bubbles while they are slowly freezing over with interesting ice crystal structures. But I wanted to use a different lighting idea with my color LED tubes below a translucent bowl filled with snow. After some optimizing over the course of three nights I found my style. And very cold fingers in the process as this can take a while.... You see, not every attempt is successful: bubbles don't form, bubbles burst on contact with the snow, bubbles don't form crystals in the right place etc, etc.... And then it's about 30 seconds or until they freeze over. But it was worth all the pain and I am finding more and more gems while processing the results. 

For my photos, I used this exposure starting point: Manual mode, Tripod-mounted using cable release, Aperture = f/9 (best compromise for globe sharpness and background blur), Exposure < 1/2 sec (depending on light intensity), ISO = 800 (above that noise becomes noticeable).

Here are some examples from the three nights. The second one has some photoshop snow globe effect added (I could not resist to try this at least once).

There are many more images here:  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Winter Hikes

Getting a real winter hike this month is a challenge. The snow cover is only minimal... or so we thought. But the situation in the mountains is different. After a fresh 2+ inches over night, the northern part of the Long Trail proved to be an amazing choice for an outing. Here are a few impressions...

Find the trail marker! The challenges of a winter hike on the Long Trail

Brook along the Long Trail

Same brook, different view

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Fairfax Farm

This amazing farm sits in the neighboring town of Fairfax. We have been driving by many times. I finally managed to head over there with a camera in the evening light. But it turned out that the best view is not really towards the west, but more to the south (and there were hardly any clouds in the sky last night). So I called the help of the new Photoshop 2021 "Sky Replacement" feature and achieved this look. I love the result, but am still on the fence what to do with it... On the one side, this is art and the artist (i.e. the photographer) should be free to do with the raw material as he/she pleases. But replacing a major component of the image still feels a bit like cheating to me. 

What is your opinion?

4x4 Still Life

I picked up the idea for these still life arrangements in a presentation recently and thought it would be a nice exercise to find some props in my stash and compose a few myself. The technical side is not too complicated (but I still have to improve on the lighting) aside from the fact that you have to shoot straight downward (tripods with the option of a vertical arm are very helpful). 

Here are a few examples:

Holiday Cards

Our photogroup's challenge for this month was to find non-cliché Holiday motives. So I was hunting for scenes typical for the season, but that did not involve lots of lights, Christmas trees or wrapped gift boxes. I have added one angel, though. Then I added greeting texts to some of them and uploaded the results here. I am not sure if these are really non-cliché, but if you find them nice enough, feel free to download and use in your own holiday e-greetings. If you'd like higher resolution, just shoot me an email!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

New "Quiescence" (Stick Season) Collection

November was always a low in my photography activities. This became apparent again while selecting photos for the my photo calendars. So this year, Thomas and me went on a photo tour on a gray, wet and dreary November day. Turns out that there is still plenty of color (mostly browns and dark reds) out there. And other scenes made nice black and white conversions. I liked a lot of the scenes we photographed that day and decided to set up an extra gallery for the "stick season" as they call it here.

I hope you enjoy my selection of photos here!

Along Kenyon Road, Richmond

Friday, November 27, 2020

New 2020 Magic Lens greeting cards available now!

I recently selected 12 of my favorite 2020 shots and had greeting cards printed. They are available for sale now at the Milton Artists Guild gallery in Milton, VT.

I also have additional stock here, so contact me if you cannot get to Milton.

These cards include Vermont landscapes and florals from all four seasons. Check them out in my card rack that floats around in the large gallery.

Twelve NEW 2020 Greeting Cards