Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Evening Light-JT

Another "phoneography" example from my most recent afternoon out in Joshua Tree. Once again, a little over the top on the contrast and color compared to normal taste, but guess I'm just enjoying that look right now, for a change. My nice, convenient clouds from earlier had dissipated, but I found another way to occupy the sky:)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More on "Phoneography"

I drove out to Joshua Tree last weekend, specifically to reshoot this scene that I had made some quick studies of last year. I've been waiting for the right day, weather-wise, combined with the free time, but it never seemed to work out so I finally decided to just get in the car and go, win or lose. Didn't have high hopes when I left.. you can usually control the time of day, but not the sky, and that was crucial to my vision of the shot.  The sky was way too clear and blue when I left, but by the time I arrived, these perfect high, thin clouds had thankfully appeared and not only did I get the shot I had in mind, but a few other good ones, as well, over the course of the afternoon.
This stands as another example of "phoneography".. shot and processed entirely on my phone's cam, (which explains the blow-out in the clouds, but that is from the uber-contrast of the processing, not the original exposure). All I did on the computer was down-size it for posting here.
This is likely not my ultimate, finished version; I'll go with the more conventional version in this particular case because I want to print it, but while I had my regular Nikon setup on the tripod, I simply pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and shot hand-held from the same vantage point. I kind of like this over-the-top interpretation, though. It's a great way to change up your process, experiment and most of all have fun, as opposed to always doing it the technically "correct" way. 
Check out the kid sitting on top of the rock:)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Tools and New Ways of Seeing

I love wide format for landscapes.  Not necessarily just super-wide panoramas, although those can be fun. Since I don't have a real panoramic-format camera (there are some), the two normal techniques I use are a 6 x12 roll film back that fits on my 4x5 field cam, or the usual digital method of shooting multiple overlapping frames from a tripod and stitching them together later.  Make that I "didn't" have a real panoramic camera, because the iPhone's new pano capture feature is the real deal. Considering that you not only don't need a tripod, but you are shooting hand held with the camera in motion, the results can be pretty remarkable.
It's all instantly and seamlessly patched together... and best of all, you're actually shooting in vertical format, which flips the full 3264 pixel WIDTH of the camera over to the VERTICAL... and then you can extend the horizontal as far as you want. ( I kind of have trouble twisting my body enough to fill the entire possible frame:)  You don't need to utilize the entire possible width of the panorama.. you can stop anywhere that looks good and end up with a file resolution that rivals many dslr's. This one, before I cropped some of it off, came out to over 30" wide at 300 dpi! That's some printable stuff, folks.. and the grainy, soft, low dynamic range pics that you would have expected, even a couple years ago, are history due to advances in the technology.
I'll have some more to say about how much I have been using my phone cam in place of a standard dslr recently, and why.