A few weeks ago I built a miniature dock to use for lake scenes. Last evening Edwige and I finally got out to photograph it with our miniature fisherman and his dog. We shot a couple different scenes but I can't decide which image I like more. The first shot is pretty straight forward, as if I happened upon the scene and documented it with a "point and shoot" type camera (f/8.0). The second shot is a little more dreamy (f/4.5). The photos were shot 30 minutes apart and within a few feet of each other.
If you have an opinion feel free to share by clicking on "comments".
Winter hasn't been much of a winter in Minnesota this year. But that is no excuse for not shooting winter scenes! So, Edwige and I headed over to Como Lake earlier this evening with the miniatures.
I purchased a small flying saucer last year with hopes of using it in one of my winter scenes. "The Thing" (1982) is the inspiration for a scene I'd like to create. Well, the part of the movie where they discover the alien spacecraft... not the violent, gory stuff. Anyway, we'll have to come back on a different day and play around with that idea.
For now, here's a guy that appears to be locked out of his ice fishing house.
Tonight, Edwige and I braved the cold (8˚F) to photograph some skiers on the hill in front of The Cathedral of St. Paul. We have been waiting for enough snow to shoot our skiers and we finally got some this morning... about an inch.
I took advantage of some snow covered ice chunks (left behind by the Red Bull's Crashed Ice World Championship) to elevate my miniature skiers off the ground. I would have liked to shoot more scenes from different angles, but... it was just too cold!
Also, this is our first "official" shoot using the Nikon D7000 camera. The body is much smaller than my Nikon D2x and allows me to get closer to the ground when shooting horizontal (which helps eliminate unwanted distortion). I suspect I will be producing more horizontal images going forward.
If you look closely, you can see the tracks made by other skiers ;-)
(Click on images for larger view)
This year was supposed to be exceptional for autumn colors. Its about two weeks past peak color for leaves in our area, but I finally got out today and took some shots. I didn't have anything specific in mind so I went with what felt right. If I had a dog, it would be the ideal moment for walking him around the neighborhood. As well, it was the perfect fall day for riding a bike.
(Click on photo to see full size)
Edwige and I awoke at 5:00am yesterday so that we could arrive at the State Fair grounds around 6am. I wanted to take advantage of the morning light as well as have crowd free backgrounds for some of my shots. I really enjoyed the calm and almost surreal atmosphere of the Midway.
Around 10am we gravitated over to the livestock barns. I always forget that I have an allergy to hay, which makes it extremely difficult to concentrate while shooting. In spite of that, I think we got some nice shots.
While in the Swine Barn, we met some wonderful people that helped to educate us on pigs. As a result, the shoot became even more meaningful. I need to find some miniature farmers for next year. I can see doing a whole series on just livestock!
Near the end of the day, I decided to to re-shoot a scene I had attempted last year. It never fails... when you are kneeling just several inches away from horse manure (with a camera), people are going to stare and make comments. But hey, it's part of the Minnesota State Fair! :-)
It wasn't all work yesterday. We had lunch and took in a live show (go see Sean Emery... very skilled/talented and hilarious!) After it was all said and done, Edwige and I spent 14 hours at the Minnesota State Fair!
Yesterday, I went shopping for a new creature to use in our Puddle Monsters series. I had this idea to have a fish head poking out of a puddle with a fisherman in the foreground.
I came across a catfish (just the head) at a local Asian grocery store. Man, this fish is ugly! I placed it in a rain puddle... You can see the results below.
I thought it might be interesting to every once in awhile, display images that are considered "throw aways" or "not good enough for print".
I have my reasons for not wanting to use certain images... For example, the photo of a woman sitting on an apple was shot at a orchard near Stillwater Minnesota. I liked the concept of the woman relaxing on top of the apple enjoying the fresh autumn air. The vibrant colors are nice... but I can't get over the blade of grass in front of the apple!! it really bothers me. Why didn't I remove the blade of grass prior to taking the shot? It's funny, but I never saw it.
When looking through the viewfinder, I am concentrating on so many things, sometimes I miss the obvious. I was so concerned about getting a sharp focus on the woman, that I didn't pay attention to the elements around the apple. It sure was obvious when I processed the pics later that day.
The following photo really bugs me (:-) It was supposed to convey that one of the bug exterminators was afraid of a little bumble bee. His co-worker was trying to convince him to participate.
The problem I have with this shot, is that the bee didn't want to cooperate! This was the only shot where he was within reasonable distance of the figures. Most shots he wasn't even in the frame. If the bee would have faced the camera for just one shot, I would have been happy. As it is, you can't tell if the bee is alive or dead, coming or going... or if the bee is even a bee. So, this shot didn't make the cut.