The Gate Keeper
Returning to Southern Florida, more specifically Big Cypress National Preserve, I knew one shot that I wanted. The image you see here is the image I had in mind coming to life.
Anyone who has been to the area knows it isn’t as easy as one would think to find a scene like this. When I saw the shot with the heron sitting there I pulled off of the road as soon as I could and went back hoping not to scare the heron away.
Upon getting into position, I realized that I was only about five feet away from a seven-foot alligator. I decided to not move as I hadn't yet disturbed the alligator. However, I couldn’t help but keep one eye on the alligator while I got the shot. In doing so, I was not as focused as I should have been and only the last shot I took was in focus!
The Gate Keeper is available as a limited edition of 500 and more information on sizing and purchasing options can be found by clicking on an image or here.
Enjoy the sounds of thousands and thousands of snow geese! If you listen very closely you can hear goose poop hitting my vehicle while I was shooting.
Fisher of Men
Fisher of Men is available as a limited edition of 500 and more information on sizing and purchasing options can be found by clicking on an image or here.
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Photography Tip : Polarizers
I have so many people ask me about the sky, reflections, and glare in images.
When you are going out shooting it is always a huge help to purchase a polarizing filter! They come in every size for every lens (even smart phones) and a price for any budget.
What will a polarizing filter do for you? Put simply, change your life. No, seriously! Play with it a few times and you will know exactly why I say this.
My polarizer only ever comes off when I cannot use a tripod and it is low light or when I'm shooting stars.
Now what exactly will a polarizing filter do for you? I want to give you the three main examples I use mine for.
The first is for water. Have you ever wondered how my images have so many beautiful stones visible under the water or how the reflection looks so vibrant? As you turn the filter you will notice how the water will gain and loose reflection.
The second is the sky. Just like your sunglasses, a polarizing filter will cut the haze. This means a deeper richer blue in the sky and brighter clouds.
Lastly, my favorite, is to cut glare on anything; for me it is foliage. It can come in especially handy after a rain when the leaves are wet, my favorite time to shoot. It cuts the glare from the water and gives you more vibrant colors.
So whether you have $25 to spend or $400, a circular polarizing filter is always a good addition to your kit!
Below is an amazing example. Both images were shot on a tripod in the exact same spot with the exact same settings and the exact same editing. The top image used a polarizing filter, the bottom did not. Notice the water, the greens in the foliage, and the reflections on the leaves.
Now some of you may question why there is a better reflection without the filter, it is because you cannot have everything at the same time. I wanted the greens in the foliage to be deeper and this scene did not lend itself to a reflection.
For those of you interested here are the technical specs for both images.
Zeiss 16-35mm f2.8
Vanguard carbon legs with a Vanguard tripod head
Exp. 8.0 sec.
Story Behind the Shot:
Taken in the Outer Banks of North Carolina shortly after sunset.
The moon was high and almost full, it gave me just the right amount of ambient light on the lighthouse to expose it and get the sky to be the perfect color.
This image was taken a few minutes after another that I captured just prior. I knew exactly what I wanted and had to hurry to get right into place.
The glow on the horizon was perfect and lasted for a few short moments. Just enough time to get the light in the lighthouse to be on and the color to be spot on.
Twilight House is available as a limited edition of 350 and more information on purchasing options and sizes can be found by clicking on an image or here.
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