Do you ever step out, just after you order dinner, to shoot some photos of the restaurant? I’m guessing many of my friends that visit here do. We like that kind of stuff. This is the Almond Beach resort in Hopkins Belize. I had just ordered some food and decided it would be great light to shoot a photo in. I think these types of photographs are fun. Sure, they aren’t going to win photo contest, but who cares about that. Going out and adventuring around is fun and then, when you process them (which might be a year later) you will have all those fond memories of the adventure rushing back to you. THAT IS COOL! I guess the reason I’m sharing this is to remind you, don’t just photograph the grandscapes. Photography is about your life. Your life is unique and beautiful so make sure you take some pictures!
I apologize to you for missing yesterday’s post. Over the last three days, I’ve only gotten about 7 hours of sleep. The rest of the time was spent photographing the areas around Moab Utah with some incredible photographers who are also my good friends. More on the second annual North by Northwest Photo Jamboree (aka #nXnw) in a later post. I need to get some sleep!
As for this image, which was one of the first images I shot on the trip, I decided to experiment and try to evolve my creativity and process. Having photographed Cisco Utah many time, I wanted to bring a style of Americana that I have worked on over the last couple of years. For this style I’m developing, I use a single lens. It is the Nikon 45mm PC-E (get the full specs at B&H -af link). At 45mm, it conveys close to a normal focal length, much like your eye would see. Which I like for my style of Americana because it provides a very familiar feel to the viewer. However, because it tilts, I’m able to mange the element of focus in a much more creative way.
I’m always on the lookout for cool creative tools that are both inexpensive and easy to use. Recently I purchased Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom Presets (you can get them by clicking here) and have used them for the last week or so. After experimenting with them I thought it was time to share my thoughts. In short, they easily meet my value equation…they are both easy to use and inexpensive. Only $17.97 when using this link. You can find them under ‘Tools’. Here are a few other reasons I dig them…
- Customizable – They aren’t set in stone. You can easily tweak them to your liking.
- Organized – You get 3 unique packs of presets that are clearly organized.
- Inspirational – It is always fun to try another artist’s tools. With these preset you get a quick peek inside the artistic side of Trey’s brain. Hopefully they will inspire you to make something beautiful.
Here’s a quick before photo for you…if you were wondering where this photo is from, it’s the pool at the Coral Princess Hotel in Cozumel, MX. Feel free to check out my ‘Photographer’s Guide To Cozumel‘ for more info.
I have always thought orchids are kind of cool, but I really don’t know much about them. When visiting Belize I found out that there are close to 300 varieties of Orchids in Belize alone. We actually saw an orchid that was smaller than the tip of a pencil. If you ever visit Belize, make sure to visit the Belize Tree House. On their property is a greenhouse which is home to nearly 100 types of Orchids. This was one of them. You can find the a bunch of information in my free ‘Photographer’s Guide To Belize‘.
Photographer’s Note – I shot this photo with my walk around travel lens, the trusty Nikon 18-200 VR. (Click Here for my complete review). Although it is not a lens with a big classic fast aperture. You can use the focal length of the lens to create some nice bokeh. Just step back a bit from you subject, rake the lens out to 200mm, and viola….a beautiful portrait!
This will be our last look a Belize for a while. I have a lot more photos to share, and they will make their way to the site in due time. For now, I leave you with this image. When I look at the night’s sky. I remember that this is the same sky that the Mayan’s looked at 4000 years ago. It is the same sky the inspired them to build pyramids, make art and write music. I wonder and I hope that it will inspire all of us to do the same. I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Belize. Better yet, I hope it has stirred your own muse to visit. If not for the scenery and history, visit the people. We made many friends while we were there and I hope to see them all again soon. Thanks Belize!
Photographer’s Note - To process this photo I used Dave’s Kick Butt Lightroom preset. I highly recommend them. CLICK HERE to get them.