Posts Tagged Pacific Ocean

Oregon 8

After we visited Yaquina Head, we went to a sort of nautical junk yard. Except it wasn’t really a junk yard. They take a lot of worn or rusted equipment from fishing vessels and repair and refurbish it. The first look gave the appearance of random piles of junk, but once we got in and started looking at things, we found an order to the chaos. There were huge nets, running gear and lots and lots of rusty equipment.

Rick suggested trying to get a few good abstract images of the rust and then of finding images that looked like something else. No problem for me, I love doing detail shots and enjoy seeing if I can find out, as Minor White suggested, what else the object is.

There’s a lot of chain used in sailing and that chain needs to be replaced once in a while, so finding rusted chain was no challenge. It was finding the shark that took a little thought.

 

Rusted Chain

Rusted Chain

 

Sometimes the chain was joined by rope:

 

Rope and chains

Rope and chains

 

And then there are the abstract opportunities. Wear on metal objects is often uneven and leaves us with a great opportunity to select just the right portion of the worn area:

 

Rising against Rust

Rising against Rust

 

As for finding something different in this wide variety of subjects, that wasn’t so hard either. I found a rust shark:

 

Rust Shark

Rust Shark

 

This collection of treasures was a real photographer’s dream.

More to follow,

B0b

Tags: , , , , , ,

Oregon 7

After taking a little time away from the computer, I’d like to go back to the Oregon Coast and share some images from my workshop with Rick Sammon, Alex Morley and some good friends.

Lighthouses were on the menu from the start and we headed out to Yaquina Head to see the lighthouse out there. It’s pretty nice, sitting high on a cliff, warning sailors away from the rocks and rough water. The lighthouse was interesting, but the light, not so much. I won’t call it bad light, because as Jay Maisel in his book, Light, Gesture & Color says, “There is no bad light. There is spectacular light and difficult light.” This was definitely difficult light, leaving everything kind of flat and evenly lit. Photographers don’t like harsh light that gives extreme highlights and black shadows, but we like something between that and flat.

As digital photography came into its own, some technologists came up with a way to manage difficult light: High Dynamic Range or HDR. HDR has been the subject of controversy and arguments for a long time. The conflict has finally settled down and most photographers now use HDR software to combine several images into one. The idea is that we expose for the harsh highlights to get detail there, then expose for the dark shadows to get some information in those images. We generally take anywhere from three to seven images and combine them with the HDR software. So I took one image.

Luckily my Nik HDR Efx Pro software has a solution for that: It does tone mapping on one exposure. I took these two images through HDR Efx and here are the results. The big complaint about HDR in the early days was that the contrast was over the top and the color saturation was extreme. I didn’t like that too much, but when the software developers started finding ways to control the contrast and allow the photographer to adjust saturation, we could start getting some pretty ‘natural’ looking HDRs.

Because these images are single-shot tone mapping, they have some of the high contrast that early HDRs had. But in these images, I don’t mind it so much. In fact, I kind of like them. See what you think. (Click on the images to see them full size and in the right color space.)

 

Yaquina Head Lighthouse Reflection.

 

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

 

 

Yaquina Head Panorama.

 

Yaquina Head LH pano

Yaquina Head LH pano

 

More to follow,

Bob

Tags: , , , , ,

Oregon Coast 6

Here are a few more images from the Newport Aquarium.

I just had to follow the tufted puffins around and this one finally got into the water. He did a lot of swimming and some preening, but this is a nice capture with a pretty good reflection. And now you can see why they’re called tufted puffins.

As always, click for full size and proper color.

 

Tufted Puffin 3

Tufted Puffin 3

 

After watching the birds for a while we went into the watery displays. The first thing we saw was the jelly fish display. These orange critters against the blue background were hypnotic. It was something of a challenge getting an image of them without some awful reflections, but it was possible. I tried a few images of the shark tank, but they weren’t very interesting and the person in SCUBA gear cleaning the inside of the glass was fun, but moved before I could get a good portrait. Oh, well, even humans have their own agenda.

 

Jellyfish, Newport Aquarium

Jellyfish, Newport Aquarium

 

More to follow,

Bob

Tags: , , , , , ,

Oregon Coast 5

One of the stops on the Oregon Coast Workshop was the Newbury Aquarium. I don’t mind walking through an aquarium, but it’s often hard to find a good way to do a photo there, so there’s a lot of gawking but not much photography. Well, besides fish, this aquarium had a bird exhibit. And the birds were handsome and interesting. It was easy to get a few hundred images of them as they posed, swam and paraded in front of the camera. The hard thing is to edit down to a couple of good ones. I’d never seen a puffin in my life, and never even knew there was such a thing as a tufted puffin. I soon learned the truth and fired away at some of these handsome birds. I think these are fairly nice portraits. I hope you agree.

Click on the image to see full size and with the right color.

 

This one seemed interested in what was going on, but, of course, you can’t see why it’s called a tufted puffin.

 

Tufted Puffin 1

Tufted Puffin 1

 

Here’s a nice profile shot with a good look at the tufts and a nice backlight on the bill.

 

Tufted Puffin 2

Tufted Puffin 2

 

I’ll share a little more from the aquarium Wednesday. It’s going to take a while to get through the 4000+ images I recorded in the state, so there will be a lot more as time goes on. I haven’t even gotten to the lighthouses yet!

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Oregon Coast 4

It’s interesting to watch people with cameras at sunset. When the sky gets all pretty and the sun hangs on the horizon they snap away. Rightly so, of course, because that nice, soft, colorful sunset light makes for some interesting compositions. But as soon as the sun drops below the horizon, most people put their cameras away and disappear. I’m always glad to see that happen because I know I’ll get the better photographs. The light continues to get interesting and colorful after the sun goes down, but most people think that when the sun sets it’s all over.

I showed you some pre-sunset images the other day. After I made them, I moved on along the beach to see what else was there and to see what would happen after the sun went down. Sure enough, there was some good photography left in the day. Here are a couple post-sunset images. See what you think.

Click to see them full size and properly colored.

Post sunset Seal Rock Beach

Post-sunset Seal Rock Beach 2

Post-sunset Seal Rock Beach

 

In the waning light, the sky took on a very dramatic appearance.

Post sunset Seal Rock Beach 2

Post-sunset Seal Rock Beach 2

Post-sunset Seal Rock Beach 2

 

Yes, it’s always a good idea to wait just a little longer to see what happens.

More to follow,

Bob

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Oregon Coast 3

Our trip along the Oregon coast was easy to take because we didn’t have to get up early for sunrise. And sunsets were easy to stay awake for. I like shooting sunsets because you can find all sorts of colors and tones in the light. The problem sometimes is that there’s a lot of haze in the sky at sunset. Daytime warming by the sun stirs things up, the wind blows and stirs more, so sometimes sunset shots just don’t look right. Add to that the fact that most of our sunset photography tries were ‘clouded out’ and you get a limited choice in exposures to make.

We went to Seal Rock Beach for our first ocean-facing sunset images. While my friends were out photographing seals and pups, I was fiddling around, trying to catch some color and some mood. I think I got there. These two images show how a photographer can capture some nice colors and silhouettes just before the sun goes down.

Of course, it helps to have a very active ocean to provide some sense of movement and some nice reflections. The cormorants and gulls flying out for supper make some nice points of interest in the sky, too.

Click on the images for full resolution and proper color.

Seal Rock Beach Before Sunset

Pre-sunset Seal Rock Beach

Pre-sunset Seal Rock Beach

 

Seal Rock Beach Before Sunset #2

Pre-sunset Seal Rock Beach 2

Pre-sunset Seal Rock Beach 2

 

There’s a little bit of Photoshop magic going on here, of course, but I don’t mind ‘fiddling’ with an image if I get decent results. I think this worked.

More to follow,

Bob

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sometimes it Rains

I remember parts of a song we used to sing when we floated the Green River a few decades ago:

Sometimes it rains, and 
Sometimes it rains, and
Sometimes it rains…

We also used to say uncomplimentary things about Ma Nature at the time. I won’t repeat them here, but they’re still true.

If you follow the blog, you know I had a few days off a while back and went to the Oregon coast looking for a geological and spiritual feature my friend Rick Sammon told me about: Minor White’s Wall.

It was a sort of pilgrimage, because White was a mystic as well as photographer and wrote some interesting thoughts on photography. Some of his ideas really strike home with me and because of that, I have a lot of respect for Minor. One of my favorite quotes from White regards the obsessive need some photographers have to document everything about making an image. Minor said, “For technical detail, the camera was faithfully used.” That’s enough for me. Besides, my camera records all the data anyway. Back in the olden days, I wrote down f/stop, shutter speed, film type, processing information and sometimes even some ideas about how to print the image (no blogs in those days). I guess I’ve gotten lazy in my old age, and Minor’s statement suited me to a tee.

A couple more quotes from Minor: [The ecstasy in photography is the] “Insight, vision, moments of revelation. During those rare moments something  overtakes the man and he becomes the tool of a greater Force; the servant of, willing or unwilling depending on the degree of awakeness. The photograph, then, is a message more than a mirror, and the man a messenger who happens to be a photographer.”  He added, “I believe, that, like Alice Through the Looking Glass, with the camera one comes so close to the real that one goes beyond it and into the reality of the dream.”

I’ve read a little about psychologist Carl Jung, too. He had the idea that every human being shares common memories. Memories buried so deep that we can’t call them up willingly. They’re buried in our unconscious (note, he doesn’t use the Freudian terminology, “subconscious”). That means we have a shared unconscious or, as Jung named it, the Collective Unconscious. American philosopher John Dewey said that artists (and, yes, photographers are artists) are popular and important because their images remind the viewer of something. That must be something deep, something buried in the unconscious. Something mystical (see, I got back around to Minor!).

Pretty heady stuff, and awfully deep. What I take from all that is that photography is more than just tripping the shutter and uploading the image. Much more. Minor gives us a hint when he tells us that when we photographers look at a subject, we should look until we see what else it is. That ‘what else’ is what makes a great photograph. I don’t mean dressing a cat up in an Abe Lincoln hat and posing him in a big chair in a memorial. I mean that there’s a lot more in nature than appears on the surface. And it’s the photographer’s duty so find that ‘what else.’ And to be able to show it.

So I traveled through the rain to do homage to Minor. Finally found Minor White’s Wall and in a brief respite between the storms, I found some features that were worthy of capturing. Are they the ‘what else?’ I’ll let you decide.

Click on the images to see the true colors and proper lighting (there’s something mystical about the way you have to take a second look, I suppose).

See if you can see the “What else?”.

 

Eroded Sandstone, Minor White Wall

Eroded Sandstone, Minor White Wall

 

Erosion Pattern 2, Minor White Wall

Erosion Pattern 2, Minor White Wall

 

Sandstone inclusion, Minor White Wall

Sandstone inclusion, Minor White Wall

 

I originally titled these with the “what else,” but then decided not to guide you to a conclusion. After all, it’s in our collective unconscious, so you should be able to see what they are.

More to follow,

Bob

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Moseying up the trail

Man, it’s taking forever to get off this beach. I finally started back up the trail. Along the way some plants started calling to me. The first ones I saw said, “Macro, Black-and-White.”

I agreed. Soon I found a whole group of the plants (no, I don’t know what they are. Definitely not Indian Paintbrush, though) and started working with my closeup lens.

Ma Nature, being the kind of entity she is, tried her best to assist with rain and wind. That always makes macro photography a challenge, but I persevered, and I think I’m glad I did. It may well be that the man who walked by and found me shading the plant with my fleece jacket thought I was nuts. But I figure it was worth it.

As always, click on the images to see them full size and with the proper color. Which, here, is no color.

Plant, Shore Acres State Park

Plant, Shore Acres State Park

 

A little way up the trail, one with berries showed up.

Plant with berries

Plant with berries

 

No, I didn’t taste the berries. I’m smart enough to avoid that.

Getting close to Minor White’s Wall.

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Toeing the line

OK, lame title. Acknowledged.

Our local photo club has a contest this month called “Leading Lines.” I saw some lines on Simpson Beach at Shore Acres State Park in Oregon and decided to record them. I was moving off the beach because it was starting to rain, but the first set of lines caught my attention and I had to record the lead. It looked a lot to me like a dinosaur was just surfacing from under the sand, but being soaked may have had an effect on my judgment. Still, I like what I saw.

Leading Lines:

Leading Line

Leading Line

 

And lines that leas somewhere, I’m sure:

Lines

Lines

I’m still going to tell you about Minor White’s Wall, so stay with me.

More to follow,

Bob

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Soggy Weekend

I had to go to Portland, Oregon last week for our annual conference. From Monday through Wednesday, we hosted 160 people who wanted to know more about Telehealth. Being in Oregon, I figured I might want to go to the coast. I’ve heard it’s quite spectacular out there and Rick Sammon told me about a place called Minor White Wall. Well, I’m a fan of Rick’s and of Minor White, so I decided to take a couple of our rare vacation days to see what I could see.

I forgot to reckon with Ma Nature, though. From the time I left the conference hotel and headed for Coos Bay, it rained. It rained until I got on the plane Sunday morning. Fortunately, there were a couple breaks in the downpour and I found myself at Shore Acres State Park. I asked some of the volunteers if they knew where Minor White Wall was. They hadn’t heard of it. I got some input that it was near the abandoned tennis courts, and they had heard of them, but weren’t sure where they were.

Not being one to hedge my bets too much, I decided to go to Simpson Beach, down a trail in the park. There were some interesting rock formations there and, of course, water. It wasn’t raining at the time, but the waves came in relentlessly. I decided to make the best of the situation and capture a few pixels. I got a pretty good feel for the ocean, among other things. I even learned the temperature of the sea water when a “sleeper” wave came in. Sleepers are higher than the average waves and sneak up on you. This one filled my waterproof hiking boot. And, true to its promise, the boot didn’t allow the cold water to go out. Between the sleeper soaking and kneeling in wet sand to get a few shots, I ended up kinda soggy.

Ma Nature then brought on the rain again, and I headed to the car. But I did get to see what the ocean can do in that part of the country.

Here’s what I saw:

The waves are pretty good sized in places and when they hit the rock formations that don’t have the sense to move inshore, they make some spectacular splashes.

Crashing Wave

Crashing Wave

 

Then, when the waves roll onshore, they have to go back out. I slowed down the shutter and got this:

Wave outrush

Wave outrush

Did I ever find Minor White Wall? Yes. It was below the abandoned tennis courts.

But that’s a subject for another day.

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,