Monday, November 21, 2016

Two Nights Behind Bars

Recently we concluded hosting 2 nights of Light Painting at Eastern State Penitentiary.   This was an afterhours event where our participants pretty much had the run of the prison to take their creativity to new limits.  I must admit that I was quite impressed with a lot of the work our participants shared on our Facebook Group page.

The shot above is of the iconic barber’s chair located in one of the cells.  This particular cell is off limits to entry and we always respect such restrictions.   While we like most other photographers would love to get the best spot, etc., we also have a healthy respect for limits, whether in this case imposed by Eastern State or usually the National Park Service.   All too often photographers disregard such limits and restrictions and end up trespassing or creating damage to natural resources in their quest to “get the shot”.   We believe in the quote, “Leave no trace”.

Back to the barber’s chair.  I would have loved to be in close and paint the light on each part of the chair and the cell walls.  It would have rendered a much better feel to the image than painting from behind the camera.   So in order to work around this obstacle,  I first used the light to cast a strong shadow on the back wall.  Then I used the light to paint each wall, floor and chair in separate frames.  I combined the various images in Photoshop using layers and masks to give it more of a painted feel.  I then did a little dodging and burning to add to the effect.  

If you want to spend an evening behind bars, we are already making plans to do this again next year.  Be sure to join our Meetup group if you would like to attend!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Explosion of Color

The shot above is a shot from above so to speak.  A few weeks ago Denise and I spent a week in the Finger Lakes area of New York.  The color was quite nice in a couple of areas and in many others areas the trees were early in the process of turning colors.

The image was taken from a Phantom 3 quadcopter.  I have noticed that other photographers either love the idea of these photography platforms or hate them.  I totally understand the love portion of this equation.  But the hate portion I don't understand.  Like all things in life there will always be people who are reckless or careless.  I can only speak for myself, but I always check for flight restrictions before flying and always try to fly in a safe and responsible manner.

To me, aerial photography is another venue to express and exercise creativity.  I look forward to seeing where this technology will go next!