A cold day of training reminded me of a tree I had been meaning to make an image of and I thought the storm behind it might do well for the backdrop. Nature’s studio cooperated. Sure, a bit dramatic, but after 5 hours of riding in the cold I felt dramatic!
Nikkor 35mm 1.8
Capture (7 images)
Photomatix (HDR Tonemapping)
Nik ColorEFX Pro (Bleach Bypass)
Nik Define 2.0 (Manual selectively applied to sky)
Photoshop (Crop Re-size)
Nik ColorEFX Pro (Vignette)
Nik Sharpener (Display adaptive selectively applied to tree and foreground)
Tip: I’m not sure if this necessarily falls under the category of a tip, but I had a friend of mine ask if I would write a bit more about my process. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I figured I would start with a concept I have decided to call ‘Creative Scheduling’. We are all busy doing everything but making art. That is one of life’s common denominators. My personal way of dealing with this is to schedule the creative process. It sounds crazy, but hopefully I can try to shed some light on it. I break my photography time into 4 broad categories.
- Photo Walks: These are times that I have set aside to grab my gear and throw myself into an environment. Just like meeting friends for dinner, or going to the doctor, the appointment is on the calendar.
- Photography of Opportunity: This is just a matter of being prepared. Put together a kit that your are comfortable taking with you wherever you go. It could be a small PointnShoot or an SLR with a select set of lenses. Just make sure it is portable enough that you like to have it around. That way, when the images show themselves, you are ready for them. Here is what I take.
- Travel: It is basically a blend of the above. When I am traveling I will conduct some forward recon on the net and schedule a couple of ‘Photo Walks’ during my vacation. The prior planning makes me very efficient when on location which still allows me plenty of time to hang out and relax with my family and friends. On vacation, I always have a Photography of Opportunity kit at the ready.
- Pre-Visioned: These are images that I have stumbled upon when I (or the image) wasn’t ready. These are things I see when I am out and about running, riding, or just too busy to stop. I will make note of these images and save them for later. In my mind’s eye I will try to imagine the ideal conditions for my vision. Then, when it fits into my schedule and the conditions are right, I will go make it happen.
Why use this post to describe my ‘Creative Scheduling’ process? Because it is an example of Pre-Visioning an image for later. I found this lone tree on a road I commonly ride and I knew that a southern storm would make the perfect backdrop for it. The storm arrived the same day I had to run an errand to the quarry. I grabbed my gear and stopped to make the image. Two minutes later I was back on the road, image in hand, and off to get some flagstone.