Another trot through the lands

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Springtime at Abraham’s
Abraham’s Cove, Western Newfoundland

Made this shot while I was revisiting Abraham’s cove. Lovely rows of evergreen with warm glowing light. A plane or jet left the stream of smoke in the sky. Was unsure whether or not I should have cloned it out what do you think? The last of the snow is pretty much all gone, it can only be seen around high altitudes still but, it won’t be much longer I hope. Just a quick post today, wanted to share this one with you guys, very happy with the turnout. But what do you think, remove the line or keep it?

The Valley

Recently I have been planing on developing a light house portfolio in which captures the essence of the sea, through photos. Inspired by a great source of information I found on the internet. It has all the lighthouses surrounding Newfoundland plotted on a map with historical information cited. Kudos to Kraig for the hard work in providing this information.

Lighthouse plots: http://bit.ly/1OXVNJh

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So Yesterday, I made a day trip out to Codroy Valley and Cape Anguille area (the far west lighthouse on the map). With a few areas visualized using photos from google maps, I had some sort of idea what I was after. It was just a short two-hour drive down south on the TransCanada Highway and about ten to twenty minutes of curvy roads to make it to the coast. When arriving there, I was instantly amazed at the view. At first it was just a vast open valley off in the distance, huge hills with rows upon rows of evergreen trees, and only evergreen. Then once you drive in, the rolling hills show themselves. The houses with spacious land all around and a bay in the center of it all. I stopped at few vantage points to take in the scenes and contemplate on what I should actually capture. With a somewhat small perspective of 24mm its hard to get it all.

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Open-Wide
Codroy valley, Western Newfoundland

It’s only a few more kilometers from here till I was at the lighthouse, but I had to capture something special in this area. The snowy summits and orange tones really drew me in on this one, I can only imagine what this place looks like when everything is all green. I Shot a horizontal of this one, but ended up settling for the vertical version. For me, Codroy has a lot of photographic potential, I could shoot for days around here, this place is really something else.

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Bring to Light
Cape Anguille, Western Newfoundland

At the end of the day I felt pretty accomplished. On my journey to this new place, I was worried that the trip would have been all for nothing but coming home with at least one shot makes any trip worthwhile.

Diffusion

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I eventually ended up naming this photo “Sorcery”, and for good reason. In comparison to other photographers and there magical images, no doubt, this image has to be one of my very best. The reflections off the water are other worldly. Blue tones created by diffused light really make the image for what it is.

Before I grab the camera, I always try to think about what the light is going to do for a photo. Sometimes I just get in the car and go, letting my eyes take me to where I need to be. It works sometimes, but I have found that planning and visualizing the shot beforehand is the best course of action. After spotting a hole in the clouds, I had already figured out what direction I was going to be shooting in. Lately I’ve been attracted to the coast, the sound of waves crashing, the smell of the sea, the sea spray! Its like free nightquil if you ask me! Next thing I know, my camera has brought me to the shore. Once I finish contemplating the light, I start to think about framing. However, if the light just isn’t pleasing, I try to avoid shooting, but this wasn’t the case.

Getting everything to fit correctly is probably the toughest part of it all. Immediately in this situation, I whip out my handy cardboard view finder. As funny as you may think, that piece of cardboard is probably the most important piece of equipment I carry with me. meanwhile the light begins to fade and colors darken. The next step was to set up the camera after figuring out my composition. I play with just a few camera settings, focus, look through the camera one last time and, Click!.

Jerry’s Nose

If you asked me, what part of photography I enjoy the most? I’d say it would be the exploring involved in order to make the photograph. It really has been a blast going to the places I have been to shoot. Especially when you get that great light, and an amazing view to compliment it. Just recently my cousin Sandi and I, went out to discover what lies at the edge of Jerry’s Nose. Sounds funny doesn’t it, haha! Newfoundland has a funny way of naming their land. Anyways, lucky for us, we we’re in for a surprise.

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The view was spectacular! So many subjects all nicely spaced out from one another. There was so much to shoot, we we’re also getting some nice atmospheric haze “AIR GLOW” going off in the distance that was just perfect. It was a real shame that we got these small baby clouds, but I’m still happy that some sort of cloud made it in the frame, kind of adds a nice buffer zone in the top of the image. I noticed Sandi shooting behind this rock for a good bit while I was perched up in another spot. Once I walked up to her position after shooting, I could now see why she was standing there for so long. After standing there in awe, I visualized a composition and setup the camera to take the shot. We still haven’t seen Jerry’s Nose at this point, the light was fading quickly and we had about a 10 minute walk ahead of us still.

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After walking down some what of a steep hill, the sea stack that is Jerry’s Nose still could not be seen. I was wondering how far we still had to go, at this point I really thought we we’re going to miss it. After approaching the side of the cliff… “LOOK, THERE IT IS!!!” The most interesting looking sea-stack I have ever seen reveals itself. At last! There was only one thing left to do… GET THE PICTURE! I had no time to spare, tripod up, camera in, slap in the filter, now, time to figure out that composition. While the scene was nice from up top, I really wish I had found a way down, to get on the same level as the sea stack. At a distance it looks small, but I can assure you, It’s at least 15-25ft tall. Immediately after this shot, the sun went down. It started to get pretty cold so Sandi and I decided to get outta there. We could have stuck around for some twilight shots but, both our feet were numb to the bone. All I could think of was the car heater warming my toes. I will definitely be coming back to shoot here with better conditions. I can already visualize some of other scenes that might be hidden along this coastline. I hope you enjoyed the shots, as I did taking them.

Fools Gold

Pretty much every Newfoundlander knows about its so-called gold, and where it lingers. I was a little youngster when I found my first nugget of gold. To bad it’s not actually gold. Hidden within the rocky coast I found this texture, and it was radiating with color, The light was very dull, but of course, I managed to breathe life back into it with Photoshop, It was an overcast day which sucks for enjoying the day but when your shooting, Its Great! This gives you the advantage to slam the saturation sliders all the way sense the colors are so mute.

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Shot at ISO 400 F/5.6 1/100sec

Doesn’t this look like gold. fooled you!

Healing

The first step I take when creating my images, is cleanup, or also referred to as healing. This part of my process is vital, especially for when pictures are going to be blown-up for print. It helps to keep color transitions smooth and healing is a great way to enhance an image. Usually its a once over with a healing brush to remove blotches and sensor dust, the stamp tool to get rid of things like road signs and garbage, and the patch tool if all else fails.

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I create helper layers which emphasize the details, this ensures I don’t miss a thing. After creating the helper layers, you can see why healing an image is completely necessary. The image below is the results of a single pass, with the healing brush. I’m really picky when it comes to this step, I’ll spend at least 10-15 mins just getting every little speck.

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This helps me to provide the best looking print and really helps create that aesthetic look that is fine-art. This is the very beginning step, after this I continue on with the rest of my workflow.

The Rescuer

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You never know what might come your way, when out for a day making photographs. Usually its peaceful, winds blowing, lights glowing, everything is perfect. Until suddenly someone sneaks up on you and tells you, you can’t be doing, what you’re doing. I was in the middle of pressing the button on my cable release to take the shot when a lady approached me and asked what I’m doing on the property. Seconds later, I’m worried that I’ve committed a crime, simply by deciphering the tone in her voice.

She told me I couldn’t take pictures of her land, and I asked her where her land was. I had no idea I was trespassing, I was parked on the side of what I thought was a public road. “This is no place to be taking pictures.” she stated.
To lighten the mood, I showed her the back of the camera. As she looked, I could see her lighten up a little bit. I told her I was sorry and had no idea I couldn’t take pictures around this area. Lucky for me, this part here isn’t part of her property so she has no say in what I do with the photos, she said it herself.

“it’s okay, but don’t come around the area again” she smiled and I smiled back. Realistically, the situation could have been a lot worse, it is an industrial area and there is no reason for me to be on the road other than to take pictures. This is the first time I’ve had anyone tell me not to take pictures, usually it’s the other way around. I’m really pleased with the results of this shot, one of my first silhouettes I’m proud of, but man, what a story behind it.