I made time to head to Venice (Italy) in what I can only assume is the time of year with the least amount of foot traffic. And still, the crowds in mid-January were sometimes overwhelming for this space-loving, quiet desert kind of girl! Once you understand the flow of the crowds, it is quite easy to avoid them. Be out the door well before 6am (an hour before sunrise) and the streets and plazas are empty. Once the church bells ring at 7am, the day officially begins and the commuters are arriving and bustling off to their jobs in shops and hotels. Likewise at the end of the day, once the sun goes down, the crowds magically disappear and Venice at night is quiet and calm.
In the spirit of what you should consider putting on your holiday gift wish list (family always asks), I thought this was a good time to put out a few blog posts about what I saw and what came home with me from PPE (Photo Plus Expo) held every October in New York City.I've been looking around for a new tripod, as my Gitzo GT3541XLS (at least 9 years old and no longer available) doesn't really fit into my new set of 29" 4-wheel rolling luggage. I am flying more and more these days to locations and having to place the Gitzo diagonally in the suitcase has gotten on my last nerve. I was willing to compromise a leg section, going from 4-leg sections to 3-leg sections to cut the overall folded length. I was not going to compromise leg tube size.
I have a favorite podcast that I listen to entitled At the Movies with Arch and Ann ... In a recent episode, each came up with a list of their top ten movies released during the first half of the year, hence "The Halfsies." I have adopted that title for this long-overdue blog post to share what I've been up to for the first six three months of the year.In essence, the first six months was a lot of travel and lectures, scoping out places for potential b+w infrared workshops in the US around the same time of the year as they would be offered in 2019.
I am sure that everyone has done this before and I have to say, that it has not happened to me for years. Fortunately, I offload images every day and discovered at some point during an afternoon shoot, I was concentrating more on compositions and the light than where my wandering fingers were on the camera body I was using.I currently have three converted Nikon camera bodies for infrared but took the D850 (720nm) and D750 (850nm) on a recent short trip to Joshua Tree National Park in California to scout for a future infrared workshop (maybe November 2018; maybe February 2019 ... tbd).
Working my way back to where I left off writing the blog, back in August (yes, this year)... I joined a workshop group in Badlands National Park (South Dakota) the second week in September. We had mostly bald blue skies, daytime temperatures constantly over 90F, and smoke from the wildfires in Custer State Park that eventually made its way to us the last couple of days...
I love learning, expanding my toolbox, in all areas of my life besides photography. It’s been a summer of just that. Here in New Jersey (USA), due to the close proximity of the Gulf Stream off the coast, the summers are tropical in nature — hot and humid — with afternoon thunderstorms that leave the atmosphere still humid but take the edge off the heat. This summer has been no different which means I hibernate indoors from mid-June until September 1, only venturing out on those days that our dear Canadian friends send us cold fronts so that we can shut off the air conditioning and open the windows for a couple days.
A long time ago, I read a blog post by Joe McNally, Nikon Legend. His schedule freed up that fall, and he took Jay Maisel’s 5-day intensive workshop in New York City. I tried to find the post on Joe’s blog site to share with you, but I just couldn’t unearth it. The take away and point that comes back to me every so often was a comment that Jay made as he walked behind his students as they were processing. He stopped at Joe and said (expletives removed) “Move your feet, McNally” as apparently the on-screen contact sheet of thumbnails that Adobe Bridge provides showed that Joe had not moved off his “spot,” as he worked the composition and subject.
few times a year, I leave New Jersey and (usually) head west. This spring I got to a bucket list location: The Palouse in eastern Washington state and western Idaho. It is a geologically fascinating area of the country. In the spring, rolling green (wheat) or yellow (canola) hills are the norm, with scattered farmsteads (think red barns) or abandoned farms of weathered out buildings. By August, the harvest leaves the fields a patchwork of browns and very interesting geometric compositions created by the remains of the crop.
I was putting together some images to share with a client so that he could understand the processing difference between 720nm and 830nm infrared images and why I am such a fan girl of the 720nm for 90% of my shots. Back to my task -- I started trolling my external hard drives for a location where I shot with both cameras. For me, that is a hard thing to do. Choosing which camera body I use depends on the light -- actually, the lack of direct light. In foggy conditions, I reach for the 830nm to give me more contrast.
Today I announced my first black-and-white infrared landscape workshop to be held Nov 3-5, 2017 in Cape May, New Jersey. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you already got an announcement in your inbox.Cape May is a fantastic place to experience the subjects that infrared light loves -- clouds, water, dunes, rock jetties and of course, the Cape May Lighthouse!You will learn optimal capture techniques and you will be processing your images in the classroom after I share my workflow with you.