"The best artist knows what to leave out." Charles de Lint
It's been a busy couple of months and much of it taken up with a lot of lakes area photography going up on the walls of the Summerwind Gallery in Arnolds Park, Iowa. The top image is from the amusement park area of Arnolds Park and is always flowing with a city of people and boats galore. On this particular evening I was there to practice on some fireworks photography as they have been doing a Saturday night fireworks display for the crowd at the park this summer after the 4th. While waiting for the slow ticking clock hands to reach 10:00 I got a chance to do some low light shooting of the parks colors. This a 8 shot pano image with the beginning edits done in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and then final work done in Photoshop CC.
Due to the incredible improvements in ACR I find it unnecessary to do HDR type adjustments as most of the adjustment in ACR will give me a firm platform to work from in the final editing processes, whether in Photoshop, NIK, Topaz or Alien Skin "Snap Art". Add such things as textures and JixiPix programs and things can get pretty interesting. In this image, however, things were kept pretty simple with the main attraction being the carnival like lights, people and boats. By paying attention to details behind the camera, such as sharp focus, vibrations, tripod use, shutter speeds and aperture the editing process is made much easier.
Getting out into the rural areas of Iowa is also one of my objectives as I do manage to get work published in Our Iowa magazine, a magazine dedicated to the Iowa landscape and lifestyles of its citizens. My interest in the rural parts of Iowa is also a result of 30+ years in farming. In this image, again a panorama, the final results are from working in ACR and not opting for a HDR solution. I should point out that I'm not an enemy of HDR editing as I've had some really nice results in some of my HDR work, but some of my shooting requires some high ISO use and using HDR seems to magnify the problems with these settings as well as chromatic aberrations, which in my case, probably comes from a bag full of zoom lenses which, I've been told, can magnify that lens issue.
Even though I've been fortunate to join several workshops in the past, done some heavy instructional reading, and watched my share of video tutorials, I've found that there are two things that have been most helpful in my learning process. 1) Making mistakes and learning from them (an activity that I doubt I'll ever be rid of) and 2) Signing up for Tony Sweet's (tonysweet.com) individual video critique sessions which have made a big difference in my learning process as well as weeding out bad habits. He's an excellent instructor and both the video sessions and/or his workshops are well worth the money for a person that is serious about gaining ground with their creativity. Also, having a good photo friend to keep you on your toes doesn't hurt either...Thanks, Mike!
In the end it's just like a regular job or going to school...a persons improvement is measured by their time spent in learning. If you're in the Spirit Lake/Arnolds Park area of Iowa drop in to the Summerwind Gallery to meet with the owner, Roberta Williams, and also get a look at the fabulous artwork on exhibit. As I like to say..."there's not a dog on the wall".
Thanks for joining me here again and please feel free to comment. I hope you all have a great week.
For more views of my work visit;
Lanesboro Art Center, Lanesboro, Minnesota www.lanesboroarts.org
Summer Wind Gallery, Arnolds Park, Iowa http://www.summerwindgallery.com