New site announcement

Adventure in Awesome: “Hey!? (Searching around) Where did he go? Did he ditch us? Oh man, not again”

Me:(Like Obi-Wan from Revenge of the Sith) “Hello there.”

Adventure in Awesome: “Where have you been? You were posting pretty regularly than you dropped off and now nothing. I got worried.”

Me: “Did you read my Exploring my Creativity series, you know my creative outlets are not limited to writing and photography.”

Adventure in Awesome: “Yeah, I read it. But what does that have to do with you not posting?”

Me: “You know with the Covid-19 Pandemic still going on, traveling and going on new adventures just isn’t possible right now. And since I have a ton of time on my hands and nowhere to go, my creative attention shifted to modelmaking along with spending some time in Photoshop working on some new aviation profiles.

Adventure in Awesome: “I forgot how creative you are. (Enthusiastically interested) I want to see what you’re working on. Where can I find your work? You got a website? Are you on Instagram?

Me: “I do have a website. And it has been occupying a vast majority of my time lately.”

Adventure in Awesome: (quick reply) “How so?”

Me: “My old site sucked. The web service was out of date, poor customer service and I lost a few major pages trying to update it. After that level of frustration, I had enough and quickly switch to a more reputable and reliable web service provider. And the past two weeks, I’ve been building a newer, fresher and more up to date looking site. The domain name just transferred to the new site a short time ago.”

Adventure in Awesome: (super excited) “Cool! What is it? I can’t wait to go and check it out!”

Me: (rapid sound of keys being pressed on keyboard) “Click on the banner and enjoy!”

far148studiobanner

Like I said, the domain name just transferred.  I’ve noticed on while cellular service on my mobile device, it goes to my old site but if I switch to WiFi, it goes straight to my new site. The cellular networks should catch up soon. You can also keep up with what I’m working on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/far148studio/

Adventure in Awesome: So Dope! I’m definitely going to start to follow you on the gram. Thanks for the update!

 

Until next post, stay safe and keep busy!

Steven

A Study in Color

Years ago, for my birthday I got myself at the time was Canon’s new 7D. And was itching to play with it. My plan was simple. Set up a subject, take a shot and change the background. All the while, getting familiar with functions of my new camera. I went out and bought two small bouquets of flowers along with five sheets of different color of art paper for backgrounds. Looking back, this exercise taught me more than the functions of my new 7D. It showed me how colors effect the mood of an image. Along with the importance of composition and spacing.

Color_0048

The exercise is easy to set up. Here’s a list of needed things.

  • A camera with a shutter release and a tripod. You can use the timer if you do not have a shutter release.
  • A table for your subject. Along with a vase or something to hold your flowers up right.
  • Colored paper. Any non glossy color paper will do. I used Canson Colorline art paper because it’s inexpensive and large enough to use as a background. You can find it at most arts & crafts stores. Also, tape to hold up them in place while shooting. If you want to have a black background, I suggest using a piece of felt cloth.
  • Flowers. I just picked up whatever was in season at the local grocery store. Get whatever catches your eye. But be sure to pick out the healthy-looking flowers you can afford. As you don’t want to have to heal damage petals and leaves in Photoshop.

Me being a natural light shooter. I set up my exercise inline with a window to the outside. Not next to it yet far enough to softly light my subjects. Set up your selected colorful little beauty closer to your camera then the background. Now, take a few test shots to narrow down your depth of field to just your subject. For now, don’t worry about composing the shot. With your depth of field just covering your subject, this will make your background read as solid color.

With your scene set up, it’s time for the fun to begin! Carefully compose your image and take the shot. Be sure not to disturb your scene, change out your background and re-shoot. Repeat and rinse until you have gone through your backgrounds. You will see what works well and what doesn’t. Along with how a simple color swap can alter the mood of an image. Explore some different yet interesting compositions. Don’t hold back. Switch it up, play around and have fun. This can easily be a lock-down project for photographers who want to keep their skills sharp and honed.

Stay safe and busy,

Steven

What does photography mean to You?

I stumbled upon a thread on one of Flickr’s group discussions. Asking a simple question; “What does photography mean to you?” I found it interesting reading all the different meanings from one photographer to another. And during these endless days in lock-down, I’ve found myself ceaselessly pondering and struggling with that pure and simple question. And after a few lackluster routine filled days, I’ve managed to sort out my brain stew of thoughts.

For me, photography is one of my many passions. As a creative individual, it’s something I cannot live without. It’s a means in which I can creatively capture significant moments in time. This is an ongoing life-long struggle of trying to create unrepeatable images. I have hundreds of photos that I can remember that very singular moment I shot it. Like having a splitting migraine, how ridiculously hot it was, or how good someone smelled. But… most of them could be duplicated somehow or another. I’m profoundly drawn to unique imagery, like a neodymium magnet to steel.

My love for photography has initiated my desire to travel more. To start crossing out those places on my bucket list. Like the ancient traditions and modern society of Japan along with the rich and over saturated colors of Antelope Canyon. And when this global crisis has come to a close, I’m going to continue to see the world with the hopes of capturing it differently. Having those images to be deeply woven into my personal experiences.

“What does photography mean to You?” Along with, “What do you want from Your images?” I think it would be wonderful if you guys would leave your answers in the comments below.

Until next time, stay safe and busy!

Steven

Detroit’s island Getaway

Due to the growing global COVID-19 pandemic, my traveling plans are put on hold for while. And like many other travel bloggers, we are going on a virtual trip. I want to show you a place that is very near and dear to my heart, the island park of Belle Isle. If someone told me, I had to pick one place to take photos for the rest of my life, Belle Isle would be a strong contender. Even though I strongly dislike Michigan, I do have an infinity for Downtown Detroit. The best way I can express my feelings, is with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross amazing quote about beautiful people. I just substitute places for people.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

And within this beautiful city, hides a twinkling gem out shining its surroundings. The island park known as Belle isle. The always Photogenic Anna Scripps Conservatory, the soothing sounds of the James Scott Fountain along with the proud standing Nancy Brown Peace Carillon are a few of the attractions on Belle Isle. I’m not going to bore you with some long-winded narrative explaining the history of the island. But what I do want to share, is what Belle Isle means to me, a few of my projects and images that I have captured there along how I use Belle Isle as my photographic classroom.

Map of Belle Isle

Belle Isle has always been a place of peace and serenity for me. A haven where I could go and forget about all the madness and endless complications of the world. And when life shows up with a grin on its face and deals me a hand of shitty cards, I have found that going to Belle Isle offers me a form of mental sanctuary that I have not found anywhere else. Even though the island is technically connected via the MacArthur Bridge, I’ve always felt by going there I could get away from Michigan. Even during my darkest and trying times, Belle Isle has away been the needed distraction to help me cope with life on life’s terms.

Detroit’s island gateway has been home to a few of my blog projects. Off the top of my head, I can name at least 4, if you include this one.

  • Race Cars on water. A little adventure about trying to capture a shot of a racing hydroplane that I had envisioned for years, along with practicing my hand-held panning technique.
  • Knowledge or gear. My experience driven post that ask a simple question; “What’s more important, having knowledge of photography or having Professional gear?”
  • Passion. The post that started my “Exploring My Creativity” My personal journey into what makes me creative.

During my lifelong journey into photography, I’ve visited Belle Isle countless times over the pass 16 years. And has captured some of my favorite and unforgettable images. In late May, Belle Isle is transformed from my loved getaway island, to a world class race track to host the Grand Prix of Detroit. During the weekend it’s held, Friday is the day to go. It’s a day of testing and practice for all the car classes. As well as you can venture to various grandstands and the paddock for free.

The racing of the Unlimited Hydroplanes during the APBA Gold Cup is always brimming over with fast paced action. The Belle Isle side of the river offers a bunch of exclusive shooting locations to catch the intense pace of the race. From up on the MacArthur bridge to the down low perspective of the fishing pier, it’s always exhilarating to see the untamed power and speed of the hydroplane.

Many years the Gold Cup manages to get the Navy to bring one of their Super Hornet demonstration team to perform during the race weekend. It’s unique venue to see the Super Hornet get run through its paces. The is flown much close than normal due to the tight confines of the city. Where the sound of the twin General Electric F414s are noticeably much louder.

I can’t remember how I found out about Belle Isle, but I do remember my first time there. After months of saving up, I was finally able to purchase my first DSLR, Canons Digital Rebel. Those days I was so excited about photography, I try to shoot the whole 900-acre island in a half hour. As I grew as a photographer, I learn to use Belle Isle as my testing grounds for new gear. It’s a place I can go that has a consistent setting. I know what’s there and there’s no surprises. As well as going to the conservatory, I know I’m going have a ton of colorful subjects without worry of Mother Nature being nasty.

The conservatory is my classroom, it’s where I developed and continue to nurture my creative eye. It was there that I discovered my walk through then shoot technique. Were I would go through the conservatory, gear still packed up. Walk from room to room, looking at the light and how it hits things. And all the while asking myself “What is the light doing? What do I want to show?” Portrait or landscape? Once I’ve made a complete lap, I then go through again and shoot the subjects that stood out to me.

There were days that I would give myself photo assignments. For example, concentrating on color, focusing on texture & light, and playing with depth of field. There are assignments I still want to do, like portrait format only along with shoot just one color. Both should be challenging and fun. As a result of my assignments, it had taught me many things, such as to focus in and appreciate the tiniest of details, to celebrate color and to know what to emphasize.

Belle Isle, my little getaway island, my project place and my inspiring classroom. After all this is over, I can’t wait to return to see what I’ll stumble upon next.

Stay safe and busy,

Steven