Monday, April 11, 2016

Charleston



We just concluded our first tour of Charleston, South Carolina!  I was last in Charleston about 8 years and revisiting this fantastic city was even more fun than I remembered.  Charleston has so much to offer photographers.  The beautiful architecture of the old city,  beaches for sunrise, plantations and gardens to just name a few of the great shooting locations.


We are looking forward to returning to this great city!   Drop us an email at info@roadrunnerphotographytours.com if you would like to be notified when we offer our next tour in Charleston.


If you would like to see additional images from this recent trip head over to the Road Runner Blog!  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Closed On Sundays




I'm pretty sure the sign has nothing to do with the car, but on my last trip to the old truck graveyard I saw this old Mustang Convertible just sitting in the back of this 40 foot trailer and knew this was a shot I wanted.

When I was kid most places of business were closed on Sunday, now it seems just the opposite, very few places are closed on Sunday.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Old Truck Graveyard



Above is one of the few old cars at a favorite location we call the Old Truck Graveyard.

I have shot at this location for the past few years and have shared this awesome location with our Meetup Group almost as long.  This last trip we were treated with nice overcast skies which provided nice soft light.  During all of my previous trips we had nice bright sunny days and the resulting harsh light that goes with what non photographers call a beautiful day.

I always like to visit locations more than once.  Each time you go back you see things you might have missed on earlier trips.   This trip was no exception.

The image above was shot with my Nikon D200 converted to Super Color IR by Lifepixel.  Then I used Macphun Intensify and finished with Nik Color Effects and Flypaper Presets.  Check out our discounts page for details!  


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Too Much of a Good Thing




As I write this blog people in the mid-Atlantic states are digging out of a historic snowstorm.  This time the predictions were amazingly accurate with almost a week's warning prior to this historic storm.  At the start of the storm I was hopeful that we would get a nice snow, but not so much that I could not get out and make some images.  By the time the weekend was over we had well over 2 feet of snow. Getting out to make images in the fresh snow was not an option this time.

So instead of getting out to make some images, I have been stuck behind the computer working on presentations, website updates, and of course doing some image processing.


The image above was shot 2 years ago in Maine.  During that trip there was only about a foot of snow as I recall and getting around was pretty easy compared to the leftovers from the current storm.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Panoramas aren’t just for Landscapes



Panoramas are often an effective way to showcase the grandeur of a vast landscape.  A photographer can often show more in a wide aspect panorama, instead of just stepping backward or using a wide angle lens.  I love shooting panoramas in the great outdoors but I also find ways to use this technique on other types of photography as well.   In the image above I shot 5 vertical frames of the lobby inside the former Women’s Auxiliary Building at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.   I used a Nikon 14-24mm lens at 14mm on a full frame sensor.   While that lens has a very wide field of view, it was not wide enough for me to capture the entire scene in one shot.  

Back in the film days you would use a special camera such as the X-Pan.  This was a camera that used 35mm film and would expose the image at 24mm x 65mm, instead of the traditional 24mm x35mm that is typical for 35mm cameras.   Ten years ago I dreamed of owning an X-Pan, but the price of the bodies and lenses was prohibitive.  Many used 35mm film cameras have become fairly inexpensive but if you look around a used X-Pan is not one of them.  The only advantage I can think of today where a film camera such as an X-Pan would have the advantage over digital is with a fast moving subject.   Slow moving subjects such as clouds and water work just fine for digital panoramas.  

So if you want to start shooting panoramas with your digital camera you will need to learn a little about Parallax.  Really Right Stuff has a great tutorial on their site.   My panorama rig is from Really Right Stuff and while not inexpensive, in my opinion the quality is the best and worth the investment.  There are less expensive options for a Nodal Slide and other assorted gear if cost is a factor.

Years ago I had two or three programs I used for assembling panoramas, because when one program failed to properly stitch the panorama, another program would often do the job.  But in the last few years Photoshop has gotten so good at this feature I have not needed the other programs when I switched my processing from a PC to Mac.  So today all my panoramas are assembled in Photoshop.

Some cameras (including my Fuji XT-1) will shoot handheld panoramas, but the results are not always precise and in the case of my Fuji, it saves the result as a Jpg file instead of a RAW file.   I occasionally use the panorama feature on my Fuji, but when the shot really counts I use my tripod and panorama rig to get it right.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Have Been Meaning to Share





The picture above is from a trip to Scranton Lace Factory in 2014.   I have a folder where I save images that I plan to share or blog about and just realized this image is almost a year old and it has never seen to light of day so to speak.

Scranton Lace Factory is located in Scranton, PA.  The company was founded in 1890 and the factory was closed in mid-shift  sometime in 2002.  The site has been undergoing cleanup for the last several years and I know the owners have big hopes for redevelopment of the site.


It was a great location to shoot,  but suspect the best shots were from a time when the site was truly abandoned.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Smokies Wrap-up



A couple of weeks ago we wrapped up our Fall Foliage Tour in the Smokies.  Temperatures were great during the day and cool evenings produced some fantastic fog.  Overall fall color was a little late this year, but we were able to get peak color on the last days of our tour.  This made for happy photographers!


Next year Denise and I will be doing our fall color tour in the Finger Lakes region of New York and we are super excited to share this new destination with our clients.

Speaking of next year, to celebrate Nature Visions Expo were are offering a discount on our 2016 tours until the end of the month.  Come visit us at Nature Visions or sign up on our website.