A Digital Color Gallery
This is a walk through of some of the digital color images I’ve done since summer, 2010. I did this so I could show a representative group my better digital photos all in one place. Don’t be surprised if you find some of these images elsewhere on this website.
I think you will see that I like saturated colors. This is probably because I “cut my photographic teeth” on Fujichrome Velvia 50. About subject matter? Well, I love landscapes, lighthouses, and locomotives, but photography is also meant to make a record of things, and sometimes to shock people. All of that should be here.
The photos are arranged in chronological order. Since Aug., 2010 all of my photos are digital. For each photo I show the Canon image number as applied by my camera, an exact date, and some basic information.
In July, 2010 I left film for digital. Elsewhere in this website I discuss the reasons for the move. I’ve found only 2 real problems with digital. The first is small dust particles. Cleaning lens surfaces just make these smaller. Digital editing takes care of what is left.
The second problem is an embarrassment of riches. If you shoot digital all you burn is batteries, computer space and your time. It’s the last one you have to be careful of, your time. The more you shoot the more you use so discretion while shooting has to be kept in the back of your mind.
The single major problem I had with digital happened during my first visit to Germany, Sep, 2011. I had forgotten to bring a cable to download the photos from the camera’s memory card to the computer.
Until that moment I had never driven anywhere outside of the United States or Canada. I had to borrow one of my company’s rental cars then drive to an electronic store based on dead reckoning. I hadn’t been that nervous behind the wheel of a car since I first began to drive! And of course the whole thing was an analog experience. The only thing digital about it was the cable and the store had plenty of those.
Even with dust and different paraphernalia I do not regret the move to digital. I miss some of the great film equipment I used. The move itself is a done deal with no regrets.
In this gallery I will try to show only high quality color images. Over the years I’ve strived to improve my composition skills, but it still seems to be an uphill battle. Hopefully these photos reflect more skill than a shotgun approach.
Despite this hope I fear my digital photography has devolved into a “here are my travel photos” genre. This seems to be a result of my hectic travel schedule, my inability to carry a lot of gear while travelling, the self imposed pressures of updating a simple website, the ease of shooting digital at higher ISO ratings, and the way this type of photography seems to eschew the use of a tripod.
Lately I’ve become bothered that I’ve left tripod shooting behind. I believe it was a sacrifice to the altar of faster speed and the siren call of hand held shooting. To that point I had an email discussion about tripods with an old friend in Great Britain whose photographic skills are unassailable, and whose printed books are among the best in photographic literature. I came away with the distinct impression that tripods were as important as ever. I will begin to use them again as time goes on.
One of my earliest lessons in photography was that tripods slow you down and make you think. It is no less true today in the digital world than it was a generation ago in the film world. While I was learning photography I think nothing improved my compositions more than forcing myself to use a tripod.
That leaves a lot of photos out in the cold, mostly those done over the last few years. Very little in this gallery has a tripod. The few that do are mentioned. The images below are not everything I’ve done by any stretch, but I hope they represent something to be proud of, and a measure of the little photographic skill I possess.
If anything seems to be particularly egregious or poorly done I appreciate all input. This is not a hollow boast. I did the entire page named “A Few Digital Editing Techniques” with about 25 different versions of the same photo because of one email.
The gear used here is a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon lens and if necessary, a Canon flash. Each lens carries a Haze (0) filter, mostly for protection of the front element against Murphy’s Law. Murphy has attacked me a few times. So far I’ve only lost filters.
Tripods are Gitzo with either an Arca-Swiss Studioball head or a Monoball head. Both were purchased new in the early 90s. The Studioball made my large Gitzo top heavy, but I used it that way for years. When I have to carry things a long way I sometime use a smaller carbon fiber Gitzo #G1228 with the smaller Arca-Swiss Monoball head. My aluminum Gitzo is almost 25 years old now. It is probably equivalent to a Series 5. Fully extended it is about 60 inches tall and has no center column. The carbon fiber has a center column, which I never use.
My old Arca-Swiss Studioball broke in two about a year ago. It was about 18 years old. The smaller Arca-Swiss Monoball is equally as old.
I am now moving over to a Really Right Stuff TVC-33 tripod & BH-55 ball head. The ball head has the lever holder plus I bought the optional panoramic elements package (non-parallax shooting). None of the work shown here is with this tripod/head combination yet, but it will slowly appear. The Gitzo G1228 will get a Really Right Stuff BH-30 ball head.
An email to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, will get more information.
Rather than write anything more, here is the gallery with basic descriptions, places, dates, & technical information.
0714 – Mono Lake Evening, Mono Lake, CA., Oct-15-2010, f/11, 1/5th second exposure, ISO 200, 60mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, 4 stops of soft split neutral density filters mounted in a Lee holder, large aluminum Gitzo tripod, Arca-Swiss Monoball ball head, Canon remote shutter release.
0858 – Westport Lighthouse, Gray’s Harbor (Westport), WA., Oct-31-2010, f/16, 1/20th second exposure, ISO 200, 80mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. I seem to recall I was using a polarizing fliter also, but I’m not sure.
1107 – Heceta Head Beach & Light Keeper’s Cottage, Heceta Head, OR, Nov-7-2010, f/22, 1/50th second exposure, ISO 200, 24mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. See the Black & White Gallery for other views of Heceta Head.
1407 – U.S. Army Locomotive #4642, Ft. Stewart, GA, Jan-18-2011, f/16. 1/60th second exposure, ISO 200, 32mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. I seem to recall a polarizer, but I’m not sure.
1801 – 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Sedan, Lyon Air Museum, Feb-5-2011, Santa Ana, CA. at the Orange County Airport, f/9, 1/40th second exposure, ISO 200, 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, hand held, no flash.
2601 – Pelican, Carlsbad, CA., Apr-23-2011, f/14, 1/1600th second exposure, ISO 800, 235mm focal length on the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, hand held. The shot is cropped to isolate the pelican thus making it look more like a 300-400mm shot.
3176 – Main or Theme Figures, Painted Cave, AZ, Jul-17-2011, f/14, 1/60th second exposure, ISO 640, 34mm focal length on the 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, hand held. The shot is cropped to isolate the two main figures thus making it look more like a 50mm normal focal length shot.
3384/3387 – Los Gigantes Mesas, AZ, Jul-17-2011. 3384 is at right, 3387 is at left. Both are f/22, 1/320th second exposure, ISO 640, 32mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. This is two exposures overlaid & cropped to make a panoramic.
3805 – Althes Rathaus from Oberer Markt. Old City Hall from the upper market, Weiden in der Oberpfalz, Germany, Sep-10-2011, f/10, 1/3200th second, ISO 640, 55mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. The original was underexposed. It was lightened & cropped.
4109 – The Crematorium, Flossenburg Concentration Camp, Flossenburg, Germany, Sep-24-2011, f/4, 1/4th second, ISO 640, 40mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. This was a very low light situation. Flash would have illuminated this better, but without the warmth of the natural light filtering through the window.
4427 – Sunset, Laguna Beach, CA., Oct-29-2011, f/22, 1/6th second exposure, ISO 640, 24mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, large aluminum Gitzo Tripod with Arca-Swiss Monoball ball head, 2 stop Singh-Ray [Galen Rowell] soft edge graduated neutral density filter (100x150mm) and 2 stop Singh-Ray [Daryl Benson] reverse neutral density graduated filter (100x150mm) both mounted in a Lee holder, Canon shutter release. I used every trick I knew to capture this image and it still could have been better.
My elder son Aaron is one of the figures on the beach. His photo of the sunset, taken just after the sun fell below the horizon, has been on the Tapiture.com homepage.
4688 – Interior of the Pt. Loma Lighthouse Looking Up, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, CA., Dec-21-2011, f/6.3, 1/30th second exposure, ISO 640, 24mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held.
This is also very effective as a monochrome, but I prefer the pastel color palate more.
5006 – Goddess of Liberty holding the Texas Star, Top of the Texas State Capitol Building, Austin, TX., Jan-14-2012, f/16, 1/250th second exposure, ISO 640, 105mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held, cropped to appear as about a 200 mm focal length.
5880 – Newschwanstein Castle from Marienbrucke (Marie’s Bridge), Schwangau, Germany, Mar-27-2012, f/14, 1/1000th second exposure, ISO 640, 45mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. The original is a bit underexposed.
6540 – Brass Number Plate of Louisville & Nashville Locomotive 152 & Front Boiler Door, Kentucky Railway Museum, New Haven, KY., May-19-2012, f/5.6, 1/13th second exposure, ISO 640, 105mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held.
6549 – Louisville & Nashville Locomotive 152 in the Shop, Kentucky Railway Museum, New Haven, KY., May-19-2012, f/4.5, 1/10th second exposure, ISO 640, 24mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. This is a great portrait. See the Black & White Gallery for a different view of this locomotive.
7417 – City of Beverly Hills American La France Fire Engine 8 in storage (& self portrait), Santa Fe Springs, CA., Sep-8-2012, f/2.8, 1/15th of a second exposure, ISO 640, 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens. Note the California Antique license plate.
8456 – Abandoned Farm near the Oklahoma Border on Texas Highway 33, TX., Oct-31-2012, f/22, 1/250th second exposure, ISO 640, 24mm focal length on the 24-105mm f/4 lens, hand held. Cropped to appear as a panoramic shot. See the Black & White Gallery for a closer (and better) shot of this.