Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The museum as subject -- part II

A week after visiting the Dia:Beacon in Beacon, NY, I was in New Haven, CT, where I visited the Yale University Art Gallery designed by Louis Kahn. This time I derived my inspiration from both the Kahn architecutral style and from an exhibit of centuries old Andean textiles that were in a minimalist modern in their design as any 20th century Minimalist work.

The day was bright and sunny and mid-day shadows played over the architectural structure inspiring me to continue my minimalist mood with the Fuji X-Pro2 and Acros simulation.

Triangular shadows, Yale Gallery of Art

Shadows and statue

Steps with shadows

Closed doors, CT

Stair rail and triangular shadows

Elevator door opening, CT

Monday, June 27, 2016

The museum as subject -- part I

This month I have been visiting several museums not far from New York. One was the Dia:Beacon in Beacon, NY, a museum featuring large art pieces from the 1960's and later. Most of the work is from the Minimalist movement and the museum itself is an old warehouse converted in a minimal style to house the collection. While there I took some photos of the museum itself and the way the light played on its architectural details. Inspired by the Minimalists, particularly my favorite artist, Agnes Martin, I also took some of my own minimalist photos of the nearby area.

For most of this I used the Fuji X-Pro2 set to 1:1 and Acros black and white. Below are some of the photos from this series.

Hedgerow, Dia:Beacon garden

White walls and archways, Dia:Beacon

Window and garden, Dia:Beacon

Steel staircase, Dia:Beacon

Brick wall and sunlight, Dia:Beacon

Fallen branch over Fiskkill Creek falls, Beacon

Falls on Fiskkill Creek, Beacon

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


I have been doing multiple exposure series of images for my art portfolio. This time I decided to apply the technique to some commercial work. I picked up the image of an optometrist's phoroptor at my annual eye exam last week thinking that I would combine it with something else to make a commercial stock photo. I had the photo of the girl's face in my files and created the optical chest charts easily in Photoshop. Then it was a matter of combining all the elements into something that made sense.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Metropolis - All aboard!

I just completed the latest addition to my Metropolis series of images on New York urban life. This one is titled "Metropolis - All aboard!" and is comprised of nine separate photos superimposed to create the hectic feeling of everyday commuter train travel. The individual images include scenes in and around Grand Central Terminal, the Hudson Train Yards, and nearby pedestrian street traffic.

For the first time in this series, all the images were taken with the Fuji X-Pro2 with its improved 24mp sensor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A minimalist high res treatment with the X-Pro2

This past weekend I paid a visit to Dia:Beacon in Beacon, NY. Dia:Beacon is a museum specializing in art, particularly Minimalist art, from the 1960's on. I couldn't help but be inspired by the works, particularly those of my favorite artist, Agnes Martin, who paints canvases that almost disappear into whiteness. While there I began to relate the minimal views to my own work and came up with some ideas for photographs. I created the photo below as one example.

For this image I needed a day with a slight overcast so there would not be any hard shadows on the building. Using the X-Pro2 with the 100-400mm zoom and took seven horizontal images moving the camera for each exposure from the bottom of the building to the top of the spire. I also intentionally moved the camera from side to side to create a zigzag pattern when the images were stitched together later in PTGui

Although it looks monochromatic, this image is actually in full color, but with the color saturation and vibrance dialed down in Photoshop. I straightened the vertical lines in Photoshop for more of a view camera look. To achieve the whiteness I put added a layer on top of the image in Photoshop, filled the layer with white and changed the layer mode to Soft Light. That wasn't enough so I did it again, but this time I dialed down the opacity until it looked just right. 

By combining seven images from X-Pro2 I ended up with a very high resolution image and an image size large enough to make a native print 50" tall.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Nikon APP for downloading camera manuals

Ever find yourself stuck on location and not able to recall how to use a particular feature on your camera?  Today's digital cameras are so complex, I find this to be a fairly common occurrence. I have even received phone calls from photographer friends who are in the field and need to know how to change something about their camera.

Well, now Nikon has a solution. It is the Manual Viewer 2 app for your phone or tablet. It allows you to download the complete manual for a Nikon camera or flash.

Here are the links to the Manual Viewer 2 for Android, and one for the Manual Viewer 2 for iPhones.

In some ways the manual app is even better than the actual manual. Not only is it always handy by being with you, it also has direct links from the index and diagrams to the page associated with the topic making it much faster to use.

Click on a page link and you go right to the page topic. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A rainy day in the park with the Fuji X-Pro2

I didn't really set out to test the weather proofing of the Fuji X-Pro2 when I left to photograph some of the remote areas of Central Park this weekend. The day started off moist and hazy with a bright white sky, the type of weather situation I like for photographing in the woods. Rain was expected so I anticipated getting wet while out photographing, but I never mind that so long as my gear doesn't give out on me.

To keep my pack light I took only two lenses, the weather resistant Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom and the Zeiss 50mm f/2.8 macro for close-ups. As you can see from the first photo below, the rain came down heavily for part of the time.

Two things I particularly like about photographing in this type of weather are, first, the way the distant, bright areas mist out into a soft haze, and, second, the shade of green that comes from the overcast. I used a Provia color mode with an auto white balance for most of the shots. The monochrome images were processed in Acros mode with no filter.

After a few hours of photography, both the camera and I were thoroughly soaked with rain. Both of us survived the experience well enough to fight another day.