I’m taking some liberties with the term swipe here. A swipe, as I was taught, involves slowing down the shutter speed of your camera to as slow as perhaps 1/2 second and moving the camera in order to create a kind of moving blur, one that gives a sense of movement. It helps if you’ve got a colorful landscape scene with which to deal. I this case, I inadvertently created a swipe when trying to capture the flight of a blue heron across the pond in Elm Park, Worcester, Massachusetts. You can deal with motion in a number of different ways. You can use a high shutter speed to freeze the action. You can also, however, sacrifice sharpness by slowing your shutter speed to the point at which the movement itself is captured. This gives you an abstract representation of the subject (i.e., sharp, it ain’t). Enough with the lecture. Here’s a slide show of what happened when a blue heron, a common site in Elm Park, decided he’d had enough of the nosey photographer.
Several friends who viewed the previous blog post about the incredible bird convention that we witnessed at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in May wanted to get a better sense of what it was like to bump into this mass of birds hanging around on the side of a busy road. The new breed of Digital SLRs gives us the ability to shot videos as well as stills. That doesn’t make it easy to do, nor does it ensure a high quality outcome. After some work and hand wringing, I decided to post this one minute video to fill out the story a bit. I’d suggest you watch it on the HD setting, as the quality is significantly better though it may take a minute to load. The sounds you hear are the same sounds the birds heard. This is a busy road, leading to a beautiful beach, on Memorial Day Weekend. The birds were not particularly impressed.
Video can do things that stills can’t, so I’ll be working on my technique and equipment a bit. The challenge of course is that doing two things at once can mean that you do neither terribly well. In this case, I was using a stills tripod, and it shows. Video tripods allow for smooth movement, stills tripods are built to make it nearly impossible to move the camera. On a technical note, this video was edited in Photoshop CS6, which has a significantly improved video capability. It’s also quite easy to use. I suspect that we’ll see quite a few videos being edited, on the fly as it were, in what was once a purely “stills” oriented software.
Mobile viewers: You may not be able to see the video thumbnail (though it seems to be working on my iPhone, which would indicate that WordPress may have been working on the problem). If you don’t see the video, please click here. Sorry for any inconvenience.
I’ve been working on a new presentation of imagery in preparation for several new ways of sharing the work. I’ve always loved black and white photography. It’s changed a great deal over the years, but hopefully it’s impact has not. Here’s a new slideshow taking you through the Quabbin watershed from north to south. If you leave in Boston or environs the water you see here will reach you, in two years. And it will be extraordinarily clean. Enjoy. Make sure your audio volume is turned on. To see it in full screen click the expansion icon on the bottom right of the video.
Two more techno apologies are in order here. I tried launching this earlier today, and the video quality was not adequate. It’s better now, but if you’d like to see the actual vimeo video, which is still better, click here. Also, again, this may not work in hand held devices.
Thanks to Chris, Al, Kym, Brian and Ed for their feedback and support.
There is a fair amount of negativity in the photographic world these days. Basically, it’s gotten to be much harder to earn a living. Naturally that gets on people’s nerves resulting on occasion in a Lord of the Flys atmosphere. Luckily, I make my living in another field, but that doesn’t make me immune to the problem. I was thinking about all that today and it occurred to me that I was perhaps over generalizing. There are great people, with positive energy, doing great things.
I began to list in my mind those who put positive energy into the culture and who I had the good fortune to meet along the way. Right near the top of the list was commercial photographer, videographer and teacher Brian Tetrault. I had the pleasure of studying multimedia under Brian at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts a few years back and I’m still consulting with him on some video work that hopefully you’ll see here some day, when he’s helped me make it presentable. Any budding photographers or multimedia folks who are interested in learning more about their craft should take any opportunity to study with Brian. Creative Directors should also take note of his work as well, because creative he is.
All of us in New England just endured two straight days of snow. Some of us whinned (not me of course) and some of us made some good things happen. Ever think about how those icicles on your back window got to be so impressively large? Here’s how Brian spent day two…. Enjoy.
Sorry to those of you trying to view this on a mobil device. I don’t seem to be able to make that happen. Not sure why but I’ll keep looking into it. Meanwhile, have a look on your computer when you get a chance.