Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Herring Gull in the Fog Study

Sunday afternoon in the Fog. This is the third fog photo study. This is a Herring Gull on a post that has some rubber membrane material. What better subject can you ask for?

First we have the first photo. It’s not to bad. The camera likes the grey back of the gull to meter off of. So it will try to make that reference.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

But if you expose 2/3rd of a stop longer, you get another look. Less gray and more of a high key shot.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lost in the Fog

I’m going to continue with yesterday’s fog photo study. Then I used the proximity of objects with color to give a punch to the photo and allow the fog to wash the background giving photos depth.

Today the pendulum swings the other way. I’m using the fog to wash everything out to create a different type of image.

Friend Tom’s dory.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Shooting a white boat in the fog? Why not?

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Coming back to home port with the catch.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

The Siren Song heads out for a row.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photo Study, Boats in a Fog

One of the more difficult tasks is photographing in a fog. This weekend we have had very warm temperatures for the end of November. We should be hunkered down in down, but I was frolicking about in just flannel.

But I think it is coming to a close. We had a fog bank roll in yesterday and although it may indicate the end of wonderful weather, it does bring in even light. Not constant light or easy light to work with, but even light. Well, sort of.

Here is the big big picture. As you can see, looking from right to left, as you get further away from the camera, the fog objects get lost in the fog. (Okay, I know, that’s what you expect.) I point that out because that is the effect I’m going to take advantage of. Some popping color in the foreground and a washed out background.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
So working up close, I can have a natural de-cluttering of the background. Check out this cool shot. Two boats, one with a white hull, one with a black hull. In the background is the fog.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
Gloucester has a texture all its own. I’ve been in art galleries outside this area and have see pictures with these textures and though, “This was done in Gloucester” and have had my thoughts confirmed by reading the description of the piece. 
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
Look at how even this lighting is.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky
Notice I said that he light was even, not constant. In the fog, the sun may have varying depths of fog to penetrate. Such is the case below as the fog thickened. This tends to make the photo a bit flat.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
And then later the sun broke through for a brief interlude.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
It keeps the photographer on his toes. But catch it a the right time and the colors will pop.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
Nice even light with a lot of the stuff removed from the background.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky
This shot was taken as the sun was getting low in the sky. Note the reflection of the sunlight in the window of the Razzo. This lasted about five minutes as the sun set over the building behind me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vineyard Photo Study II

©2011 Steve BorichevskyIf I could, I would be a professional vineyard photographer. There are so many textures, colors, rhythms and sights that lend aesthetics to the visual arts. ©2011 Steve BorichevskyNot to mention that I’d get to travel to wine country all the time. Nevertheless, I do need to keep in mind that part of what is fun is the newness of the subject.

I’m going to take you back to the Kunde Family Estate Vineyards this morning as a follow up to my recent Vineyard Photo Study. They have a wonderful resource in addition to the wine caves that I showed you last week. They have a demonstration vineyard that they allow visitors to walk in and see the vines up close and personal. Located at the foot of the hill between the two cave entrences, it gives a vantage point for views of the surroundings. In the growing season, it must be a great spot to photograph grapes.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

The photo above and below were shot at different times of the day. Above is the mid-day sun and below is the late event as the sun was going down a behind a hill to the far left.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Evening Creature Feature, Turkey Vulture

The Back Story
There is a bit of a back story that I haven’t share with you about our trip to California. When we left Boston, it was raining cats and dogs. I tossed my gear in the back seat and put the luggage in the trunk At the airport parking lot that we used, I parked the car and popped open the trunk. The shuttle driver took my wife and grabbed the bags from the trunk and gibbered at me that I wasn’t parked in the right place and pointed over across two rows and made me move. (I’ve had this driver once before and he pulled the same crap on me the last time. Other than that we always have had friendly drivers.)

©2011 Steve BorichevskyAll that threw a wrench into my cogs. Pouring rain came down as I contemplated how much better it would make this guy’s life if I parked beside a car two rows over rather than parked beside the car I was originally parked by.

I got out of the car into the rain, shut the door, pushed the lock button and hopped into the shuttle. “Jet Blue”, was all I said to him, and that was all he was going to get from me.

A mile down the road, I must have turned white as a sheet. Becky asked me what was wrong. I said, “I left my gear on the back seat of the car.” Yes, it is true. I might has well been in one of those dreams where you find yourself back in high school as a full adult and realizing that you haven’t been in math class all year because you’ve been working for the last 30 years and it is time for final exams. Worse yet, you look down and you are in your underwear.

©2011 Steve BorichevskyYes, that’s what it was like for me. For me being without a camera is as surreal as being in my underwear in math class in a bad dream.

Buy the time I got to the airport I was already having the shakes. There are little BestBuy kiosks at Logan Airport. I began to look at the little point-and-shoot and salivating, but my head was pounding and my hands were trembling so badly, I couldn’t think. “Is it a good camera, enough megapixels, megapixels don’t matter, it’s sensor size. Megapixels? Megapixels…oh crap, I just need something to point. Anyone photographer worth a shit can take a great picture with a Kodak Brownie and a BIC lighter.  Megapixels? Megapixels? If I could only wake up from this bad dream!!!”

“I must be cool. I’m in a public place and if I go psychotic, the won’t let me on the plane. Do have enough time to grab shuttle back to the parking lot?”

©2011 Steve Borichevsky“Okay, when we get to San Jose, we can go straight to Fryes. They got gear, lets see, do I have $1500…Oh when will this nightmare end? I’d sell my sole for a 3.2 MP point-and-shoot. I don’t care! I’ll even pay sales tax!”

The next day, as the tarantulas were crawling up my legs and all over the floor, my father-in-law graciously loaned me his DSLR and two lenses. Oh sweet angle of mercy!

Yeah, it was that bad.

But you didn’t come here for that. You came for Turkey Vulture pictures.

Turkey Vultures
We were driving just north of Kenwood on Rt 12 and came across a road kill and there were some Turkey Vultures feeding on the carcass.  “Hold tight, Batturn!”

I shot these with a my father-in-law’s Nikon D40, 55-200mm Niccor lens. Becky was driving and she was a trouper, inching up the car as I tried to find out what the tolerance distance was for the birds and tried to get a half decent background.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Friday, November 25, 2011

Forgotten Photo Friday, High Key, Low Key

Okay, this is classic Forgotten Photo Friday. I was stumbling through the archives the other day and came across this low key shot of hawthorn berries I took on a foggy, drizzly day. When I saw this photograph, I was shocked that I took the photo because I actually think it’s unlike all other images that I have ever taken. 

hawthorn berries 11-15-2008 11-42-54 AM

I love low key shots. When I see some of the classic portraits from the 20s through the 50s and the are done in a low key style, I’m always awestruck by the mastery of light.

In the group, I found this high key shot taken at the same time.

hawthorn berries 11-15-2008 11-38-17 AM

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, it is that time of year, Thanksgiving. It’s time to go over the river and through the woods. Fortunately this year the weather is cooperating. For my readers in that are not tuned into this holiday, it is a time of gathering with friends and family to celebrate the harvest. Traditionally, we serve domestic turkey with all the fixin’s. After, the men watch American Football and the women get stuck cleaning up the dishes.

 Turkey 2011, March, 20, 11hr,53min, 001

Sorry for the banal post. I see this guys frequently in the parking lots where I work, but I don’t pack my gear when I’m working. For me having a camera at work would be like keeping a bottle of Scotch in my desk. Not a good idea. “Excuse me Steve, when you are through shooting that meadowhawk, can you get back to this meeting?” Yes I get distracted by everything when I’m tooled up for photography. (I do have a camera in my desk. It is an old Cannon 3MPx point-and-shot that I use when I have to take pictures of machinery on the job. It is safe for me to walk about campus with it bulging in my pocket because it is extremely out-dated and I would be mortified if anyone caught me using it on an animal.)

So this is the best shot of a turkey that I’ve ever gotten. Not a real cock-of-the-rock shot, but you can see the field marks. To make matters worse, I’ve only seen the toms puffed up in mating season when I’m at work, never when I’m off duty. (Yes, those renditions of puffed up tom turkeys you see in November are about six months out of phase. It’s a springtime mating thing meant to impress the babes, not a “look at how fat and tasty I am for Thanksgiving” look.)

Turkey 5-16-2010 9-42-24 AM

I’m truly fascinated by the variety of feathers that turkeys sport. I have a wild turkey primary flight feather on my desk at work. But what is with that head? Sometimes I think that the turkeys are named after turkey vultures, and not the other way around.

So this all got me wondering. Why is this bird called turkey? According to The Dictionary of American Bird Names, by Ernest Choate, “Our wild turkey derives its name from the domestic turkey which is a descendent of turkeys brought alive from Mexico to Spain in 1630. The Oxford Dictionary says the name was first applied to the African bird (Guinea fowl) because it was brought from Guinea through Africa by the Portuguese, and latter applied to the American bird. However it is agreed that the name turkey became attached to the bird from a widespread misconception of the country of its origin, Turkey. Ignorance as to the bird’s place of origin is not confined to its reflection in English, as we find G[reek] calecutischer hahn, literally ‘a cock of Calicut’; F[rench] coc d’Inde, literally ‘a cock of India’; and the I[talian] gallo d’India , “cock of India.” One wonders whether or not some of the early settlers in America were a bit puzzled when they found the bird ahead of them.”

I hope you have a good Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Acorn Woodpecker

We came across an Acorn Woodpecker on our recent trip. If you haven’t seen my article, Will the real Woody Woodpecker, please stand up, you are in  for a treat. Enjoy.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Golden Gate

We managed to hit the Golden Gate Bridge right at high noon. But there were great views of Angle Island and Sausalito.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

You can get above the bridge.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

And look down. Pretty cool, huh? Someday, I’m going to have to get there when the light is better!

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Visit Watery Wednesday

Monday, November 21, 2011

Old Vine Zin

Yes, this is where the good stuff comes from, old zinfandel vines.
 ©2011 Steve Borichevsky
I found this driving along Hy 12 going north out of Glen Ellen, California. We stopped and took a shot. Not too bad. ©2011 Steve Borichevsky
But the next morning I got out early and took this shot. Much better! I’ve got the sun to my back which makes that blue sky pop.
©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Vineyard Photo Study

We stopped by Kunde Family Estate in Kenwood, California. What I have for you is a photo study of how the light plays on the vineyard at different times of the day. These photos were shot over two days in with the same weather conditions.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

The light of the early morning rises an breaks over the hill.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

During midday, the light is strong and vibrant. This is the entrance to the wine cave. Inside the cave is 32,000 square feet of 58F wine aging at 78% humidity. This is ideal for aging the wine. (Yes, I want one.)

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

The same shot, latter in the day as the sun begins to set.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

Finally, it is time to go.

©2011 Steve Borichevsky

I would have stayed a bit longer, however I was without a tripod and the exposures were getting to be too long for handheld photography.

Oh, in case you are wondering, the bird box is for owls.

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