Click the link if you would like to see an Animoto Video Show of some pictures I took at Frank’s 5th Annual Holiday Party.
If you have the time and interest, I’ve posted all my fav Salton Sea photos I shot last weekend here at this link: http://gottago.smugmug.com/Classes-Workshops/20141205-Salton-Sea-Keith-Skelto/
I’ve been sick with a cold since I returned from Keith’s California Photography Workshops at the Salton Sea. The upside of being sick is that I’ve spent the last two days completely going through the editing and posting of my favorite 88 photos! That’s a lot of keepers for me.
I can’t seem to stop going to the Salton Sea. I’m finding it is almost a sure bet I’ll come across some incredibly beautiful shots there. The beauty comes in all different forms, colors, shapes and sizes. I really never know what I’m going to shoot or what I anticipate seeing there. It is always different and a surprise! And I have come to realize I am never disappointed. So why not go back, right?
This past weekend even I surprised myself with how many varied shots I got. I’ve heard it said many times that if you get one good photo out of 500 that’s good. The more I shoot and the longer I shoot while I’m out there shooting, that percentage of good shots increases. I’m finally seeing my own progress, but not without the help of many friends, family and other photographers who have been very positively generous with their feedback on my photographs lately.
Enjoy and come on down to the Salton Sea with me sometime.
After dinner shoot on our way back home of some small town structures shot with shutter speeds slow enough to capture the car and truck headlights as they go through town.
The Geothermal Plants make nice subjects in the morning and evening sunlight.
A quick trip to the Salton Sea Recreation Park at mid-day left us with few photo ops. This is not a high bird activity time as most of the migratory birds have gone south.
I just got back this afternoon from a Salton Sea Workshop lead by Keith Skelton. I shot Thursday through Sunday and had a great time with the other photographers and also got some nice photos…..this is always a good thing!
I edited about 29 photos from today’s shoot and posted them all on my Smugmug Portfolio site. If you are interested in taking a peek, here is the link: http://gottago.smugmug.com/Classes-Workshops/20141205-Salton-Sea-Keith-Skelto/
Here is a teaser……
Arrived at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge at 5:40am and we 11 photographers all quietly waited for the action.
My car after driving on muddy dirt roads this morning to Salton Sea locals we’ll be shooting over the weekend. Once home on Dec. 8, 2014, I had my car washed (first by hand/then by machine) at a car wash to the cost of $47 incuding a tip.
Our fearless workshop leader, allowing me for the first time to shoot him while he stood still for 5 seconds!!! Thanks Keith Skelton:-)
After sunset, before it gets too dark is always the best time to shoot this kind of shot.
JJ pretending to shoot something so I could take his photo and use the great light put out by the Geothermal plant behind him.
It took two tries but Ken was willing to hold this pose for 5 seconds without moving. Thanks Ken.
I cropped in on this photo for a composition I liked as the there was another tree that spoiled the look I was after.
Jen wanted me to crop down on the Comorant tree so only some of the birds were showing and closeup.
This is the look I like of the Comorant tree on Lark Street north of Westmoreland.
This shot was a bit iffy but it is a reminder of a great evening meeting new friends in Keith’s workshop and reuniting with old friends from when I first took up Photography seriously 7 years ago. It was great seeing Judy and Teri again!!!
A verticle of our tree. Keith always brings us back to shoot the Cormorants that are always in this tree. Thanks to the Comorants for staying perched as long as they did. Next time though Keith, please let us ALL know when you are going to walk up so close that the birds take off:-)
Geothermal plants everywhere make for nice dark photography shots.
Lots of birds, no light!!! Boo hoo.
Kept look back Northeast at this geothermal plant. So wanted this photo to have more contrast. Impossible.
OOOh, did we get muddy walking around this morning. And driving is a little iffy on some of the dirt roads.
Checked out a road in the Sony Bono Rec Area and found these guys. Too much mud to go further down the road. The hunters are camped here too.
Leaving to go to have breakfast I couldn’t stop shooting away. Poor JJ. He was very hungry, but most patient with my obsessive photo taking.
We really got skunked this morning on good light so trying to make a photograph without light is pretty difficult. Hence the enhancement border:-)
I rented a wide angle lens….14 mm L series Canon and haven’t pulled it out to use it yet. This was taken from inside the car with my 16-35 mm L lens. I intend to use the wide angle lens low and close tomorrow!
Off Road Vehicles playing.
We couldn’t walk in beyond the road in this area. So I went looking for a variety of shots other than shooting the same sand dunes.
JJ shooting up a storm late this afternoon and getting some great sand dune shots at the Albondogones (sp) Dunes Wilderness east of Brawley CA near the Salton Sea.
Tractor tracks certainly made their mark.
Shot some of these fellows trying to pan with their motion. Wish I’d gotten their email addresses so I could have sent them some of the shots.
Duane is 63 years old. Still works. But finds time to bike 500 miles in a week doing sections hoping to soon complete his adventure to bike from the east coast of the US to the west coast. He began his adventure in 1997. Really nice guy. His wife shadows him while he rides.
Quick grabs as these guys speed up the sand dunes.
Twenty minutes before sunset, we were headed somewhere else but pulled over when we noticed the colorful reflections in this water source.
Interesting sun setting tonight. Not a lot of color in the sky like I’d hoped but enjoyed this unique cloud shrouded sun setting.
Day is done. We were going to continue shooting some night shots elsewhere but Carl’s Jr. and a cheeseburger dinner were calling out to us. Night.
To view more photos from today’s shoot if you like: click on the following link~
Red Tailed Hawk I got lucky and was patient enough to capture while up in Idyllwild today shooting in many scenic locals.
Hoping I don’t remember today how good the double scoop ice cream cone tasted last night at Ben & Jerry’s.
Jen ahead but not as far as this lens makes it seem!
Thanks Jen for letting me post this pic of you:-) Must learn quickly how to shoot people with this lens or I’ll lose my right to photograph Jen:-)
Ben runs daily. Ben runs up and down and up and down. Ben RUNS. And he looks so cute in his winter running attire.
It was 2:45pm. I hadn’t picked up my camera today. The sun was going to drop below the mountains in over an hour+. I could tackle some of my to-do’s. Make calls. But it was the second day I had the lenses I’ve rented for two weeks. I hadn’t exercised. How could I not go out. I could kill two birds with one stone (well not really when I have a camera in my hand!).
Without much more thought, I put the camera card in the camera and put the EF 14mm 1:2.8 L II USM on the Canon 5d Mark III. Yesterday I’d been reading a bit about really wide angle lenses on a site I use as a resource for learning: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-use-ultra-wide-lenses.htm . Ken Rockwell writes a lot explaining things I wasn’t aware of….this is only a fraction of what Ken explains that the wide angle (the 14 I’m using) does well AND what to watch out for…….: “All that most people get with ultrawide lenses are parking lots in the bottom half of their image, and nothing anywhere except for the center. Worse, ultra-wides see all the distracting junk on the side of your subject and weaken the shot. ”
The hardest part with ultra-wides is getting close enough.
You can never get too close!
You have to push yourself to get and stay close enough.”
So I went out and got shots that were for do-do. I tried this shot and then another. I just wanted a sampling to look at on the computer. Of course, I hoped I’d get one shot I’d like. But I was getting a lot of trial and error shots. I wasn’t learning a lot. And I wasn’t even getting any exercise. Not getting exercise is OK if I get some good shots!
The sun was low and casting my shadow on most of what I was shooting because the lens was so wide. So I got sucked into shooting my shadow, which is my favorite thing to do:-). My shadow is my signature photo. I don’t go on any trip without coming home with a few shadow shots.
On the way back to my house I noticed a garage door beautifully lit with great light. I stopped and walked closer to the door. I positioned my shadow, and shot it. Boring. I started walking home when I noticed the same light shining on another garage door, but on this door there was the shadow of a tree……and in the middle of the tree shadow was an open well lit area large enough that I could place my upper body and arm in that space. After getting my upper body where I wanted it, I also placed my outreached arm in the open space so as to mimic the tree branch’s shadow. The last picture helps make sense of what I’m trying to relate here:-)
The point of all this? I GOT a photo I loved. I didn’t give up. I kept looking, I kept shooting…..I went out with my camera!!!
Below are a few of many photos showing what I’d been shooting. The last photo is the photo I liked.
Right outside my back door.
A few hundred yards down from my home.
This is a very large crop of the center of the previous photo. Not an in-camera shot with the wide angle lens.
On my way back home.
The first garage shot I took.
The garage shot I love!