Category Archives: B&W Photography

Contemplating Back in Time

WWI Soldier Grotesque – Smith Hall, Univ. of Washington

This WWI soldier grotesque has intrigued me since I first attended the University of Washington in 1968. It is located on Smith Hall in the University of Washington Quadrangle.  The figure commemorates WWI complete with the gas mask.

Over the years, I have photographed this grotesque multiple times.  For some reason, my images have not turned out:  out of focus, too light, too dark, or branches/leaves cluttering the image.  During my last visit, I was determined to get an acceptable image.  I was lucky that it was an overcast day.  The soft light on the soldier was relatively even without deep shadows. I walked around to get a perspective that gave me the most eerie mood.

 

Filtered Rays

“Morning Sun Rays”

I was exploring another area of the Heceta Lighthouse Park most of the morning.  I had not come up with anything interesting. I felt a little “down” because nothing had “come to me”. Walking back to my car I saw a couple of our workshop participants shooting into the woods.  I walked up and saw the beautiful filtered light they had observed.  Usually I do not like to “copy” an image/view that another has discovered.  But, I could not help myself this time.

Terry, this is your image.  It just happened to appear in my camera as well.  Thank you!

Working with Long Exposures

Bandon Beach, Oregon

Part of what intrigues me with Black and White long exposure photography is the ability to really work with tones to create different moods.  I shot this image underexposed to present a deep calm mood.  In post-processing a dodged the sky slightly around the center sea stack and burned the corners of the frame slightly.

In the Mist

“The Face in the Mist”

On one of our workshop days we went down to Bandon beach early in the morning.  The fog covered many of the sea stacks.  Gradually the fog lifted and I was able to get this exposure.  My intent was to create a mood of a misty morning filled with gentle soft light, an awakening of the Indian maiden in the sea.

Survival

“Struggling for Life”

These two trees struggling for life caught my attention while I was doing some long exposure photography.  My interest quickly focused on them.  I walked around to get the best perspective I could find.  I focused on keeping the angle of the trees leaning to the center, maintaining a separation between the small sea stack and the cliff, and eliminating some distracting rocks and dirt on the right edge.  I blended two images together to achieve a tonal range between the sky and the cliff.  I did a little dodging on the tree trunks and a little burning in the sky to get the contrast I was looking for.

I am getting better at taking my time to look around before becoming engrossed in shooting.

 

Another Set of Tools

Cape Perpetua – Central Oregon Coast

I just finished a workshop on the Oregon Coast with John Barclay and Cole Thompson.  I walked away with a new set of tools: Long exposure photography and B&W processing.  But what was more important, I reconfirmed why I photograph.  I do it for myself.  I do not do it for others.  If someone happens to like an image I create, I will give it to them as a gift.  That satisfies me.

I feel the same way about my website posts.  I do it for myself.  I record some of my thoughts at the time.  If someone is interested in what I do, I share the site with them.  I do not expect comments.

The above image was one of the last ones I took before heading back home.  I made a side trip to Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well.  I finished taking images on the shore and packed up my gear.  Right before I got to the top of the hill, I Iooked up and saw fog coming in.  I stopped in my tracks and got my camera back out.  This was the first  long exposure I took.  The wind picked up quickly and the fog started coming in rapidly.  Below is my next image.  How quickly things change!  These images were taken 3 minutes apart, both with 2 minute exposures.

Gazing Into the Sky

Face Rock – Bandon, Oregon

I looked and looked and looked.  I could not see the face that this rock was named after.  It was a dark, cloudy morning.  The sun broke through for a moment and lit up the side of the rock.  There was the face.

Can you see it.  Hint, it is looking up at the right corner of the image.

More Practice

Second Beach – La Push, WA

This image is another perspective from my long exposure practice exercise.  This time the focus was to highlight the sky and the smooth tide.  I used dodging and burning in the sky, dodging on the sea stack and water.  I am looking forward to an upcoming workshop on the Oregon Coast with John Barclay and Cole Thompson.  It should be enlightening.

Practice & Experiment

Second Beach, La Push, WA

I took a special trip to the Washington Coast to experiment and practice long exposure photography. My first day of practice resulted in a disappointing set of images with many, many, pure white and pure black frames.  I am thankful tor digital photography!  I knew the steps I needed to take.  However, my excitement took over and I made multiple mistakes.  Toward the end I started to engrain the process into my sequence of shooting.  The next morning, I slowed down and did much better.  This image is from that morning.  I have a lot more of experimenting and practicing to do.