Saturday, June 1, 2019

June 2019: Hommage a Monet

OK, so I bumped the saturation up a little on this one. Sue me. I think the end result was worth it.
I've never been a huge fan of French Impressionism, but when you happen across a scene like this when the conditions are perfect you simply have to go with it.  Sadly, there was no little red foot bridge.

Later this month one of my long-time accomplices and I will be photographing the old insane asylum in Traverse City, MI.  It will be an interesting diversion from my usual nature work, and I am quite looking forward to it.  Hopefully they will let us out when we are finished. :)

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 2019: Tree Moss

I have no idea what kind of moss this is, but it is completely covering the bark of this maple tree. The patterns and shapes, the combination of dripping leaves and powdery texture, and the pale green color make it look like something from another planet.
Interestingly, the tree itself appears to be otherwise quite normal and healthy.

Monday, April 1, 2019

April 2019: One from the Archives


Been dealing with some painful back issues which have kept me from getting out and about as much as I'd like. So we are going back into the archives from April/May of 2011 for this shot of a woodcock chick.  Also known as "timberdoodles", these are some pretty unique birds, both in appearance and behavior.

Friday, March 1, 2019

March 2019: Compact Only


A bit of a two-fer with this shot. It caught my eye because of the lighting and ready-made composition, but it also made me laugh because with that pillar there even a motorcycle would have a hard time fitting into that space, let alone a compact car. The unusual lighting was caused by nearby white pines, whose long needles filter and diffuse sunlight beautifully.

I've never done a lot of urban or street photography, as I prefer being in rural and wilderness areas, so this is kind of a rare diversion for me.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

February 2019: Frozen in Time

This old locomotive is an apt analogy to what the weather has done to this part of the world for the last week.  Cold steel, frozen in time, stuck in place, immobile and dead...but always inspiring to view. 

********Excerpt from my notes for the month**********
Dear Nikon,
Here's a new feature idea for future products: Internal heating elements for your camera bodies. I have noticed that cameras don't like to work well at temperatures below -20F or so, nor do photographer's hands. Particularly photographers who are over "a certain age". Miniature internal heating strips could run off the regular camera battery, and keep the internals warm as well as the photographer's hands, enabling continued use in extreme low temperatures. Such a feature would be very welcome for the tens of thousands of photographers working in non-tropical zones, and would undoubtedly open an opportunity for you to make a pretty substantial amount of money!  Don't worry, I am not going to ask you for a percentage for my idea. It is yours for the using, free and clear. However, as a dedicated Nikon shooter for the last 35+ years, making me a gift of one would certainly be appreciated. Preferably before next winter gets here.
Thanks as always,
Jonderson
********************************************

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 2019: Winter Apples

Saw this orchard on my way home the other day, and was struck by how many apples were left rotting on the branches. The contrast against the gray sky and snowy ground was striking, so I thought to accentuate that by making the whole image black and white except the apples. The result almost makes them look like Christmas tree ornaments. :)

Friday, November 30, 2018

December 2018: Gum Bichromate Revisited

I've driven by this tree maybe a thousand times, photographed it maybe 50 times, and never been able to capture the real character of it until now.  My friend Rob does a lot of vintage photography, and turns out prints of incredible character and warmth using the old school methods of glass plate negatives and different types of chemical processing. I have always wanted to learn the process, but have never gotten around to it. And to be honest, Photoshop now does a pretty reasonable job of allowing me to simulate many of those processes, including the "gum bichromate" process.  I have done these before, with mixed results.  It hadn't struck me before that I should have been simulating the old style lenses as well.  Doing that has really made all the difference, and in this case is exactly the sort of thing that finally allows the character of this old gnarly pine tree come across as it should. 

It isn't Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree, but it could have been. A long, long time ago. 😊

See you all next year!
Jonderson