Ghosts…

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On our regular walk to the golf course, Oliver and I always pass a large stand of pine trees located opposite a graveyard. Depending on the time of day, the light, and the current season, these trees present a variety of interesting opportunities for photographic compositions. The sun had already set when I took the camera out one last time on this particular walk – I set the shutter speed to half a second, and started moving the camera up and down through the scene. I knew that the strong lines of the trees would contrast well with the cool carpet of snow that covered the ground, and it only took me a couple of tries to get something I liked. As twilight washed over the scene, I feel as though the low level of light combined with the dark tree trunks made for a ghostly impression.

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Before and after…

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…from a pretty scene along the road. Above is a scene that I stopped and pulled over to photograph, and below is a version of that same scene where I dragged the camera vertically through the scene while keeping the shutter open. The resulting image is primarily impacted by the length of time the shutter is open, and the path through which you move the camera… in this case I believe that the shutter was left open for a total of half a second. As you can see, the shapes, colors and lines all blur together to create a rather impressionistic image, and in this case, I figured that some of you might be interested in the before and after.

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It’s been a while…

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…since I’ve made one of these types of photographs. From a recent hike in the Bangor Forest, these images were made by moving the camera up or down and through the scene while keeping the shutter open for half a second. I loved the earthy tones of the scene above, and although it appeared to be nothing special in person, I enjoy how it came out when using this technique. Here are a couple more made using the same technique… the first showcases the carpet of red leaves decorating on the floor, and the second emphasizes the dappled light that was bouncing around within a small copse of trees.

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A triple play

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I recently made the drive to downeast Maine for a work event, and in doing so I used Route 9, a road known locally as the “airline”. I’m not entirely sure why it’s called the airline, but it probably has something to do with how much quicker people drive on it than other local routes. Fast-moving two way-traffic, winding up and downs, and around the corner twists and turns all the way, this stretch of road is notorious for accidents… both of the car-to-car, and car-to-wildlife variety. The road to Calais and/or Machias is one of the more rural parts of Maine, and it was no surprise that on this particular morning drive I spotted Moose hanging out near the side of the road on two separate occasions.

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About half way to my destination, as I was speeding past a primitive rest stop, a large grove of trees off to the side of the road caught my eye. There was a strange and eerie uniformity in how the trees were arranged, and although these were likely planted intentionally, there was still something quite unique about the scene they created. I turned the car around, parked in the lay by, and made a couple of photographs with my iPhone. I’m a sucker for trees, and even more so when there are large numbers of them grouped together like there were here. So… here’s the scene three ways… black and white, straight color, and an in-camera movement shot… a triple play.

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May the fourth be with you…

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Just me getting all artsy as I wander off into the woods. As regular readers might remember, I like this type of photograph where the camera is moved while the shutter is open, and trees make excellent subjects for this type of photograph. The in-camera movement renders the shapes, lines and elements of a scene in a different way every time, usually depending on the direction, speed and amount of movement.

I recently purchased a copy of Silver Efex 2 – software used to convert images to black and white – and I am like a kid in a candy store. Hope you don’t mind, but there might be a distinct lack of color around here for the next couple of posts. Don’t worry though, spring isn’t that far off here in Maine, and you know I won’t be able to resist those early, vibrant greens. Until then… as obi wan would say if he had a lisp… may the fourth be with you!