I'll be posting some random thoughts here about my photography: my travel plans, technical information behind some images, stories about how certain pictures were captured, etc. The timing of the postings will also be random as my priority is capturing new images rather than writing about existing ones. I hope you will feel free to comment on any of my postings and I appreciate you taking time to read my entries.
During my recent trip to Des Moines, I was fortunate to secure a couple of hours of private access to the Basilica of St. John. I enjoy photographing places of worship, so this was a real treat. In fact, I have now visited 247 places of worship!
When I visit such a location, I always offer to share any photographs I capture with the church. The church can then use the full resolution files for any purpose they wish--for no charge. So, I strive to do my best in presenting the church in the images.
Here are some of the pictures from my visit:
I enjoy photographing prisons. So, when I discovered that private photography tours could be arranged at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, I made plans to visit. The Reformatory was the filming site for the popular movie "Shawshank Redemption".
I, along with two other photographers, were granted access to the interior of the prison from 9am until 11am. At 11am, the prison opened to the general public. I was permitted to stay, so I ended up visiting for five or six hours.
Here are some images from my visit:
To view more of my photographs of the prison, please CLICK HERE.
During my last trip to Des Moines, I revisited the Iowa State Capitol. The law library inside the capitol building is one of the more impressive interior spaces that I have seen. I was fortunate to have the library to myself for the better part of an hour.
The library was challenging to photograph. Harsh sunlight was shining through the windows. The sunlight not only made it difficult from a color perspective due to the mixed lighting sources (daylight vs. the warmer light from the chandeliers), but it also made balancing the exposure a challenge. I converted the picture to black and white in part due to the color issues.
I pay attention to symmetry in my photographs. No matter how carefully tried to align things, the picture continued to look unbalanced. The reason for this is that the tables were not centered on the floor. Notice how the tables are positioned such that they align with the second set of diamond tiles on the left, but the third set of diamond tiles on the right. If I were able to move the tables to the right, I could have aligned the tables with the chandeliers. But this was not to be. As I tried moving the first table, I quickly noticed that the weight was going to make this process a big effort. There are a lot of tables--and before long I would have attracted the attention of the librarian. The tables make a lot of noise when they slide on the tile. I had already moved some trash cans from the scene (although I missed some on the left).
So, I ended up shooting the scene as is. I like it, but not as much as if I had moved all the tables!
This morning, my "Wisconsin State Capitol" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.
This photograph was captured in June in Madison, Wisconsin. I was visiting the area while coaching my 14U travel baseball team in a tournament. I got away one afternoon to capture some photographs in downtown Madison. This is the second time one of my photographs has won this contest since I migrated to mirrorless with the Nikon Z7ii camera.
This marks the 78th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.
Last month, I traveled to Des Moines. One of the locations that I visited was the Des Moines Art Center. The Art Center features interesting architecture. The buildings consists of three wings--each with its own architectural style and designed by different architects.
A few years ago, I discovered this building and captured some exterior images of one of the wings:
This time, I entered the building in hopes of capturing some interior pictures. But, at least initially, that wasn't to be. I was told that I couldn't enter with any professional gear, including a tripod. I asked if I could take some photos with my camera--handheld. At that point, I stripped my gear down to its smallest size...my Nikon Z7ii (without grip) with one lens attached (the Nikon 14-24 S). No tripod. Security personnel said it was OK.
I was mostly interested in taking pictures of this contemporary staircase in the Richard Meier wing of the Art Center. I set my camera for a three frame exposure bracket (using high speed frame rate) and fired three snaps while trying to keep the lens as steady as possible. It helped that my Nikon Z7ii offers image stabilization. So, even though my lens didn't have vibration reduction--the camera did steady things. I was able to capture an acceptable photograph. Yes, that's a "Taco Pizza Slice" chandelier hanging from the ceiling!
I also captured this photograph of a corridor in the same wing of the Art Center. While composing this image, I placed a knee on the floor to gain a lower perspective. As soon as my knee touched the ground, I heard one of the employees approach me from behind. She shouted "now that's a professional photo shoot!" She told me to stop taking pictures as it was clear that I was a professional. I explained that I was cleared by security after I left my "professional" tools (mainly the tripod) in my car. I also said that just because I lowered myself to change the perspective doesn't mean that I'm a professional. I had no plans to sell these photos. She relented and I continued shooting.
Before leaving, I captured this photograph of a staircase inside the wing designed by architect I.M. Pei. The brutalist style of this wing contrasts with the contemporary wing designed by Richard Meier.
In the end, I found many interesting subjects to photograph during my short stay in Des Moines. CLICK HERE to view those images.
A couple of weeks ago I took a short photography trip to Des Moines, Iowa. As part of that trip, I revisited the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge. I photographed that bridge back in 2016 and was hoping to capture more images of this interesting contemporary structure. Here's my photo of the bridge from five years ago:
I arrived at the bridge about 20 minutes before sunset and set up my composition. I waited until 30 or 40 minutes after sunset, but the bridge lights never went on. My photo shoot was spoiled.
I left the site and checked into my hotel--the Hampton Inn. As I entered the room, I was shocked to see my own photograph hanging on the wall!
I submit my pictures to a number of photo stock agencies, so I assume that the Hilton purchased my photograph from one of those agencies.
What an incredible coincidence!
This morning, my "Red Barn" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.
This photograph was captured last month in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The barn dates back to 1908. It was one of the buildings within the headquarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus. The harsh light in this situation was a blessing. It created the shadows that make the lines of the barn stand out more.
This marks the 77th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.
This morning, my "Lifeguard Tower" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.
This photograph was captured earlier this year at Lake Michigan in Michigan City, Indiana. I partially desaturated the image while editing it in Photoshop.
This marks the 76th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.
This morning, my "Fajada Butte" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.
This photograph was captured in 2014 during one of my most memorable road trips. CLICK HERE to read my blog entry about the challenging road conditions that I faced to capture this image!
This marks the 75th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.
I currently shoot with a D850 and have a D800 as my backup camera. I own a lot of Nikon F mount glass...including the Holy Trinity, 105 Macro, 200 Micro, 200 f2, 300 2.8, 500 f4 and Sigma 15 fisheye
It's an expensive transition, but not as costly as it could be as I'm retaining all but two of my lenses. I have made the decision to stick with Nikon--mostly because I'm so heavily invested in the system, particularly the lenses.
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