It feels so good

Blog, Photography

… to be back.  Back to taking photographs, back to creating new works, and back, sitting right here on a Sunday morning, sharing it all with you!  Oh wait, it’s Monday, Labor Day.  Still, I can’t think of a better way to spend this extra day off 🙂

This summer’s road trip was just what was needed to break a persisting photographic slump…  From PA to GA and back again.  First stop, Blacksburg, VA, where, nestled in a little valley was the first of many barns we would see…  Fortunately, this one was in a place where I could actually hit the brakes, turn the car around, and go get the shot.

The main reason for this road trip, my nieces wedding in Ball Ground, GA, a little town not far from Atlanta…  Navigating Atlanta’s mega highways and traffic didn’t leave much time for picture taking; just getting to the venue was a feat, and in the nick of time.  We did return to Ball Ground the next morning, where I found some roadside treasures and we strolled a beautiful botanical garden; and I can’t wait to get to those photos!

Next Asheville, NC.  If you haven’t been, is a must! Artsy, fun, colorful and vibrant…  Oh, side note, did you know Asheville has the most breweries per capita in the U.S.?  Let’s just say you might want to pace yourself…

And did I mention colorful? My tour guide/husband did an amazing job at getting us off the beaten path and finding some of Asheville’s hidden treasures.

    

And it wouldn’t have been much of a road trip if we didn’t hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway… with all it’s winding roads and breathtaking views.

The final destination on this amazing road trip, Harrisonburg, VA and Harper’s Ferry, W. VA… historic sites and National Parks, natural wonders and some not so natural wonders.

     

 

Once home… and over these last few weeks, I haven’t stopped.  More photo destinations and so many ideas, I can’t keep them all straight.  And, oh, it feels so good!

Advertisements

You don’t want to miss this!

Blog, Photography

©Maria Dreyer-All Rights Reserved

 

 

©Maria Dreyer-All Rights Reserved.  One of my very first composites and still a favorite. How can it not be? It’s got all my favorite things… my dogs, Halloween, fall, pumpkins, even a chill in the air.

There is something intriguing and challenging about transforming a photo, whether it’s a conversion to B&W to a full blown composite.

Regardless of how much or how little, the one thing every transformed image has is the creative vision of the person behind the camera.  Not sure if this type of photography is for you?  Well, the Transformations Exhibit is back!  And it is a perfect venue to check out how photographers from all walks and types of photography interpret what a transformation means to them.  I know I cannot wait to see these creative works!

 

Work, work, work…

Blog, Photography

Good Sunday Morning!
As often happens when I work on a photo, a song gets stuck in my head.  This time, Work From Home by Fifth Harmony.   Just in case you’re not familiar with the song, a line of lyrics goes like this “You don’t gotta go to work, work, work, work, work, work, work.  But you gotta put in work, work, work, work, work, work, work”  No surprise where the title of this post came from.  Anyway, moving on…

The challenge:

How to make the original photo taken at a public and popular folk festival in 2017 look and feel like the 1700’s (or was it 1800’s) or at least like it was taken out of a history book.

You can check out this work horse in action HERE .   As you can see from the video, there are spectators, cars, etc., roaming in and out of the frame.  So I took some advice from the composite experts, I photographed the scene many times, from many different angles; allowing it to change, as I knew it would, because no one was standing still… not even the horse.

Once I had a solid foundation to build on, I got to work.  

So I really like the color version… all those blue overalls which, by the way, led to the title of this image “Overall Blues.”  But I also debated whether converting to B&W would really accentuate that history book look.  So, I did both…

 If I got it all right, you’re not even thinking about what was added (or deleted).  But since you already know I worked on it, lets just say anyone not wearing overalls was removed and, what the heck, a couple more guys in overalls couldn’t hurt.   The unflattering back ends of a couple of horses were swapped for a more picturesque horse.  And finally, to blend everything together and give it that aged feel, a smidgen of a painterly effect and, of course, some textures were applied.

The result

For me… an image from 2017 as if I were standing there in the the 1700’s (or was it the 1800’s 😉 ).  It’s definitely not a sight you come across everyday…

 

My Secret Garden – Part I

Blog, Photography

Nope you haven’t missed any posts, I’ve just been too busy growing my photo library… a lot!  Since this is a photo blog and it is a beautiful time of year… I guess it is not that surprising that I’ve been spending a lot more time behind the camera lately.

EandM-II

Our lovely guide (aka sister-in-law) Eva and my daughter. I read somewhere recently that a blurry object in the foreground is a no-no. I actually like the slightly blurred column here… I also like to veer off the beaten path from time to time.

Back to my garden(s)…  Actually, it’s not really much of a secret as they are readily available for all to see.  One sits in front of my house, and the other is a beautiful setting and formal gardens of Longwood.     Part I:  My visit to Longwood with my daughter and sister-in-law.  I traveled light (i.e. minimal camera equipment) because sometimes it is just really nice to be present with those you are with.

And what's an outing without a self?

And what’s an outing without a selfie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that’s not to say, I didn’t keep an eye out for a photo-op when it presented itself…

grape-lime-ricky-copy

Ok, let me just say I am pretty gosh-darn proud of this image.  First, I resisted adding any effects… although tempted… a lot.   This is straight out of the camera, taken in a wide open field, hand-held-no tripod.  Okay, so maybe it’s 95%… the other 5% is the post I did in Topaz Clarity to bring back some of the vibrance lost from it being such a bright yet humid & hazy day, but that’s it.  The flower, the backdrop, and those colors are 100% courtesy of mother nature.

 

Longwood-Terracotta-copy

Now this one, I could not resist. Before I even took the picture, I thought it looked like a painting.

Wavy-White

A solitary peony with some painterly touches

 

I like to think of the sky has a natural light pad. Exposing for the flower, I naturally blew out the sky and created this lovely white backdrop.

A natural light pad! Exposing for the electric  orange of this flower (no idea what kind it is), I naturally blew out the sky and created a lovely white backdrop.

white-on-black

Moving indoors, a Longwood visit isn’t complete without perusing through the orchid house.  Opposite of the orange flower, exposing for the lovely white cluster of orchid blooms (again, I can never remember the names) provided a dramatic almost black background.  

X marks the spot

Don’t forget to look up!  A slight variation on the black & white (or is it white and black) theme. This is the top of the lovely gazebo you saw part of earlier.  Again, exposing for the black ironwork created this natural black and white image.

Yellow-Water-Lily

I’ve been to Longwood a few times over the years, but this is the first visit where the lily pond actually had lilies! No painterly effects; surprised… me too.  Another 95/5.  I am definitely heading back next month with my long lens when the pond is in full bloom!

And that was just a handful of some of the beautiful blooms  at Longwood.  I can’t wait to go back.  Until then, I’ll be spending a little more time on my photos from my own garden… the roses are putting on such a show and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Until next time,
Maria 

The world was black and white before colour photographs. . .

Back to Basics, Blog, Photography

… or so some may have thought at one time.  So how does someone who has grown up in technicolor and who stops in their tracks for bright bold color . . .

a splash of color on a rainy day

a splash of color on a rainy day

learn to see in Black & White?

I love B&W photography and there are photographers whose B&W images will stop me just as hard,  both from the past when that was the only option to the present and B&W photography like that by Cole Thompson.  A powerful or even serene black and white image does not need color to draw you in or set the mood.  This is all accomplished using shapes & elements, contrast, composition and, of course, light.   But even though I know of these key points, seeing them, for me, in B&W can be a challenge.

So I’ve recently gone back to the proverbial drawing board… again.  Rewind about five years ago, I took a B&W film photography course (wow, that was five years ago already!) and even then, according to my post at that time, I struggled a bit.  So, I guess it’s not surprising that I quickly gravitate back to all things color.   However, like Jenny here,

one of my first film subjects

one of my first film subjects

who has hung in there, now at 14, so have I…  and every now and then I give it another go… exploring my world in B&W.  white-rose-b&wLearning is in doing…

Til next time,
Maria