Night at The River Arts District, Asheville

Last night we headed east 20 miles in anticipation of finding some interesting items to shoot. I guess I’m just very serendipitous, and the Sony needed some exercise.

Tossing Pizza at Fresh Brick Fired

Tossing Pizza at Fresh Brick Fired

This part of the River Art District was new to us and we were hungry, so spotting a brick oven fired pizza place we parked the car. Yummy! And the guys did some dough tricks for us, uh the Sony…

A couple of IPA’s and happily the pizza arrived –

Carol with pizza

But, a special treat awaited us…

Just outside on the deck along the row of artist shops, we met a Ukranian artist painting eggs. Here’s her story…

All images with Sony a6000 mirrorless Camera and 16-50mm lens…

Posted in Education, inspiration, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Update Blooms & such along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Roving Reporter…

Turks Cap Lily - close

Turks Cap Lily by Bob Grytten

Flash!! Turks Cap Lily to be huge Bloom this year!

Don McGowan, naturalist and nature photographer, on a recent scouting trip with Bob Grytten on Blue Ridge Parkway reports that from what he sees, there will be a HUGE Bloom this year.

“And, the mountain mint is now in full bloom!”

“Another thing,” says McGowan, the Rosebay Rhododendron are in full bloom, now!

Our trip takes us up Rt 276 from Brevard.  We stopped at the Fish Hatchery to exercise our equipment where a crowd of tourists almost pushed the fishermen out of Davidson River. One guy there complained “There were so many people I only caught two trout.”

Looking Glass Falls early, early morning. Bob Grytten image

Looking Glass Falls early, early morning. Bob Grytten image

On we went, our destination Looking Glass Falls. But, just as we had expected, it too was loaded with people. Next time we’ll be there early, early morning.

Life offers three choices; Swim against the tide till exhaustion, tread water and be swept away or go with the tide, nature’s way of taking us where were meant to go…

Posted in Education, inspiration, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photography Methods are Many, but Principles are few…

Lens Luggers do it in the morning… Cataloochee Valley by bob Grytten

Lens Luggers do it in the morning… Cataloochee Valley by bob Grytten

As I sit here waiting for a video to upload, my mind drifts to some words that came my way over the years that help describe the process of gaining understanding about things.

That may sound like a broad statement, but if broken down to our subject, Photography, perhaps it will become a bit clearer.

C. Charles Chatham uses to say “Methods are many. Principles are few, Methods often change, Principles seldom do.”

How does that apply to photography?

Well for one thing, the principles are there and once we understand them, we strengthen our base of understanding of our craft.  We learn that we can use certain methods to make happen what we wish or maybe we can’t change it.

Magnification: “As we gain magnification, Depth-of-Field decreases.”

Say we want to enlarge a flower, to see the detail better. How do we do that?

Blood Root Bob Grytten image

Blood Root Blossom

One Method: Get closer to the flower. What happens? The background decreases in detail, diminishing depth-of-field. That is, of course if we keep everything else constant.

Another Method: Increase the distance from the lens to the cameras sensor. By adding a 50mm extension tube between the camera and a 300mm lens, we gain about 40% more magnification. What happens to our depth of field. Well for one thing, the background goes very soft and we may even lose some foreground detail.

An Exercise…

Lie on your belly, with the camera close to the ground, and focus in and out the blades of grass, water droplets, and maybe even an insect. The show is incredible. When to release the shutter? Whenever you like. That is what makes each of our results different.

The Learning Triangle

So, on the bottom of the Tripod: How we Learn are a lot of Principles & Methods which we need first.

First we intellectualize the material.

Next we internalize the material.

Then we use the material, applying different methods for principles to achieve what we wish.

“All life is a process of evolution,” writes Joel S. Goldsmith in The Contemplative Life.

“If we study History, we find that we have been slowly evolving from a state of consciousness of the cave man, from the ‘eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ age, from the horrors of the nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries capitalism, to the broader outlook of the present day. …things are first consciously realized and begin to operate in our experience in a similar evolutionary way.”

The more we use them, the more they become part of our automatic track to run on, and there lies the basis to creativity.  The more we grow, the more interesting the process becomes.

Posted in Education, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Previsualization

Bee in Pickerel Weed, Haywood County, Bob Grytten Photo

Bee in Pickerel Weed, Haywood County, Bob Grytten Photo

Grabbing my camera for an anticipated photo reminds me of all the opportunities we have to previsualize the image. Whaaatt?

Simply, it goes like this… As we pile up experience with the camera, both still and video, we are building a foundation which we can draw upon to help make the next image more effective. Once we get past the stage of staggering around with camera, wondering what to do, how to operate the camera, or what to photograph, we begin to be more purposeful in our shooting.

So, there becomes added reason to shoot as often as possible. The click of the shutter today, means a history to draw upon tomorrow. That can even become more important than the actual image we take today. It is our base of learning, that is soley dependent upon us. It has less to do with taking a class, although learning from others will certainly short cut out way to success.

But after that class or workshop, practicing new techniques or revisiting old ones with new eyes can be the most effective route to growth.

One of the first times I recall hearing about Previsualization, came from Dr. John Murray  who had just returned from a trip to the Teatons. He shared the image with me – a moose in monochrome, sidelit and partially shilouetted. Instantly, I sensed their place. Highlighted were what seemed like hundreds of flies around the massive antler rack and big nose of the creature. When asking about it, he simply said he “previsualized” it, like he had learned in a workshop. Seening in his minds eye the situation if it came up, he set his camera, and when they encountered the moose, he just clicked away.

All of our situation may not be as textbook as the moose shot; but, I recall a formula I first read about in Rohn Engh’s book, Sell And Resell Your Photos. And while Rohn is no longer with us, today, his works and concepts live on. P = B+P+S+I is the formula for effective Photo Illustrations which editors like to see, he writes. This winning formula had become a standard in making images that tell the story with out having to use a caption. “P” (Marketable Pictures) equals “B” (Clean Background) + “P” (People – although in nature I sue insects, animals, butterflies, etc.) + “S” (Symbol) + “I” (Involvement). It’s classic set up or “previsualization.”

When coming upon a Great White Heron ritual, my mind automatically knew what I had to do. Clean Background meant using a Telephoto Lens to isolate the subject from it’s background. Including water and shore line instantly told the viewer that it was at the waters edge. Two birds Leaping in the air, beak to beak, strongly suggested some kind of involvement (although to this day, no one has been sure what kind of involvement).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pizza and Beer at Frog Level Brewery, but don’t forget your camera…

Leaves in soft Light

Leaves in soft Light by Bob Grytten

Yesterday, about dinner time, Carol & I headed over to Frog Level Brewery. We grabbed a pizza and salad on the way and enjoyed the nice backyard deck & patio along Richland Creek. The light begins to change around 6PM, and I watched the light on a particular bunch of leaves go from high contrast to soft and pleasant. I finally couldn’t take it any more and went to the car for the camera. Settings: Nikon D300, 80-200mm f/2.8 lens set at 200mm, Aperture Priority on tripod, f/2.8, 1/160 sec., -3.0EV, Manual focus, matrix metering, ISO 400

Richland Creek, Frog Level, NC

Richland Creek, Frog Level, NC by Bob Grytten

More things changed and the evening was finally capped off with some interesting studies of motion of the rushing creek, heavy and filled with newly fallen rain.

Settings: Nikon D300, 80-200mm f/2.8 lens set at 120mm, Aperture Priority on tripod, f/16, 1/3sec., -0.3EV, Manual focus, matrix metering.

But, just before we left I couldn’t resist a small clump of leaves turning color as if closing in on fall. They were on the other side of the creek. Although I could have used less telephoto, my 200mm lens worked best to get the composition I had in mind.

My first exposure was overwhelmed by the brighter green of the surrounding leaves, but not wanting to wash out the rich greens, I stayed with it knowing that I could bring the reds out when returning to the studio, to better approach what my eye saw.

Leaves on bank, Frog Level, Waynesville, NC by Bob Grytten

Leaves on bank, Frog Level, Waynesville, NC by Bob Grytten

The result pleased me as red and green are usually a good combination. And of course, the green leaves form a nice corner triangle…

Settings: Nikon D300, 80-200mm f/2.8D lens set at 120mm, Aperture Priority on tripod, f/18, 1/4sec., -1.7EV, Manual focus, matrix metering, ISO400

What is Frog Level?

Frog Level is a small community just down the tracks of Waynesville in Western North Carolina, about 30 minutes west of Asheville.

At one time Frog Level was more prominent, as that was where the train depot was. Horse Drawn buggies would line up to take folks to various hotels in the area. They flocked from the lowlands to these higher elevations, around 2,000 ft, to escape the heat in the summer.

As this area was a lower level and a bit swampy, it harbored chirping frogs who loved this place. It soon became known as Frog Level.

Posted in Education, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Artist Interview, Malana B. Riverah, Art in the Park, Asheville, NC

LoveLight by Malna B. Riverah

LoveLight by Malana B. Riverah

Saturday, Carol & I were in Asheville. Each June and October Art in the Park is scheduled in Asheville, NC. For three consecutive Saturdays, Artists gather.

This year I decided to talk with the artists vs. just looking at their wares. That’s where the magic is…

Malana B. Riverah uses her photography to tell her story…

The message of Malana B. Riverah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting with other artists is a great way to refresh and invigorate our own interests. There is no charge for Art In the Park and it is loaded with nice folks who like to talk about what they’re doing. I’m exercising the video feature on the a6000 Sony camera. This brief interview will be followed by other. Hope you enjoy…

Posted in Education, inspiration, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mirrorless Photo Cameras revisited, PART 2

One month and counting since beginning with my Mirrorless System. Basically I’m surprised at the camera’s ability to capture street scenes if left to it’s own device. It boosts the ISO up and catches the moment – fast.

But, for nature, I’m still figuring it out. The detail is incredible and as I’m still using the kit lenses I should be pleased. Here’s what I have so far…

Barbers Orchard: Sony a6000 w/ 16-50mm variable Kit lens, 3:38 PM f/11, 1/80 sec. matrix metering, hand held

Given that this is hand held, not a great idea if doing serious stuff, I think it is pretty amazing.

Bee on Daisey: Sony a6000 w/Adapter and Nikon 300mm Lens, f/4.5, 1/640 sec. spot metering.

This next one is a close study but I am using a very excellent pro lens with an adapter. So, I’m working on that kind of set up, but I think this is pretty sharp.

Meat Platter: Sony a6000 w 16-50mm varible kit lens, f/16, 1/160 sec, Aperture Priority Center weighted metering, 0EV

This next one is a product shot, hand held, and I’m OK with it…

And the final one in this series is a water fall.

Looking Glass Falls: Sony a6000 w 16-50mm varible kit lens set at f.28, f/2.5 sec. Aperture Priority, center weighted metering

As usual please fee free to make comments…

______________________________________________

PART  2

HERE ARE THE CAVEATS…

Good photo practices should not be abandoned just because technological advancements allow us to break photographic boundaries.

Some of them are.

  • Using low ISO.
  • Using a tripod, in-lieu-of increasing the ISO.
  • Using lens hoods to reduce Lens flare.
  • Use best lenses possible.

In the examples above of Barbers Orchard, I hand held the camera for the image. I could have used a tripod and better depth-of-field practices to improve the image.

In the example above of the Looking Glass Falls, I used the kit lens 16-50mm and if looking very closely, the image is not as sharp as I would have liked. I could have used a better 18-70mm Nikon lens with the adapter to achieve a better image.

Or I could have kept my aperture to f/11 for a sharper image. This image was shot at f/28, almost three stops greater than f/11. This lens tends to go softer at settings above f/11. We should be testing the lenses we use to determine their characteristics. One way to check the sharpness of the image is to view it on the computer screen at 100% of regular size – the gauge to determine which images are publishable. If f/11 would not have achieved the “look of silkiness” of the falls, I could have used a Neutral Density filter or possibly a Polarizer.

Everyone’s goals of image quality are different. Sometimes a unique composition will trump other technical factors. That does not mean we should ignore them, especially if we’re aware of them. And as our knowledge grows, so can our photography.

Bob says, “Thanks”

Bob says, “Thanks”

Posted in Education, Photography | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

New format camera, fast start ideas

Originally posted on Bob Grytten Photography, Travel, etc.:

Looking Glass Falls by Bob Grytten Settings: Sony Mirrorless Camera a6000 with 16-50mm lens set at 16mm, f/22, 1.6 sec. Aperture Priority Looking Glass Falls by Bob Grytten Settings: Sony Mirrorless Camera a6000 with 16-50mm lens set at 16mm, f/22, 1.6 sec. Aperture Priority

This morning it was time to exercise my new Sony Mirrorless camera. Having moved past all the booklet items, I set the camera at the same settings I would use on my DSLR. In this case Aperture Priority, lens closed down as much as possible for waterfalls, camera on tripod. I know of no other way to learn the bones of the camera than to work it out in the field. My thinking is that as I want to know how it shoots compared to my old system, the best way is to set it the same, see what doesn’t work and research adjustments. In this case it a pleasant surprise.

Looking Glass Falls Base exposure. Looking Glass Falls, base exposures by Bob Grytten Settings: Sony Mirrorless Camera a6000 with 16-50mm lens set at 50mm, f/29, 1.6 sec. Aperture Priority Looking Glass Falls Base exposure. Looking Glass Falls, base exposures by Bob Grytten Settings: Sony Mirrorless Camera…

View original 26 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ND fiters go to the photo extreme/dream…

Just in from LL Michael Ritter…

Sunset by Michael Ritter

Sunset by Michael Ritter

Rain by Michael Ritter

Rain by Michael Ritter

Posted in inspiration, Nature, Photography | Tagged | Leave a comment

Photography takes a new twist…

Pigeon River Reflections by Joe Dan Dry

Pigeon River Reflections by Joe Dan Dry

I’m witnessing a new twist in photography. Back when we had the f/8 and being there… photo group, when we lived in Florida, we had the companionship of a fellow by the name of Perc E. Powell.

Now, besides being a Canadian Mountie in a period of his life, owning a photography shop in another, and having show-shoed across the width of Canada, if memory serves me correctly, he was a giver. I suppose he came to mind as I read from one of Joel Goldsmith’s books, “The Contemplative Life” about how one doesn’t find a companion without first being a companion or sharing one’s self.

One thing Perc shared were the three things that we can do to lift our photography to another level. “Change the angle of view,” said Perc.

Well, as many of you may or may not know, we are winding down our series of Lens Lugger Field Photography Programs. Tuesday evening June 2, 2015 will be our last meeting. Incidentally, if you are reading this blog your are invited to drop by to audit the program from 6-8 PM, no charge. Only those who are registered for the program will be actively showing their work, but you are welcome to sit in. Why am I mentioning this? Because one of our participants will also be presenting a unique twist on the normal way of doing photography.

He doesn’t know it yet, but Joe Dan Dry will be showing his use of smart phone and tablet to capture images. He changes the angle of view and it is remarkable. See above.

Pigeon River and Rock w Mountain Laurel by Bob Grytten. Settings: Nikon D90, with 18-200,, lens set at 48mm, Aperture Priority,  f/5.6, 1/40 sec, -1.0EV, Matrix metering

Pigeon River and Rock w Mountain Laurel by Bob Grytten. Settings: Nikon D90, with 18-200,, lens set at 48mm, Aperture Priority, f/5.6, 1/40 sec, -1.0EV, Matrix metering

In one of our last posts, I included an image of the Pigeon River near the Sunburst Campground. Here it is…

How ordinary compared with Dan’s image above, of the same scene, with his Tablet or Smart Phone, we’ll learn which, just buy changing the angle.

He will also have other works to show. It is one of the things we can learn from, and at Tuesday’s night event, we will discuss the “How.”

Hope you can join us.

Posted in Education, Nature, Photography, Workshops | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments