Monday, April 27, 2015

Signs of Savannah

On our recent trip to Savannah, I made several additions to my collection of signs. Unlike Walker Evans, however, I didn't remove any signs and bring them home with me. Just photos. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

From Bonaventure Cemetery

One of the things I was most looking forward to on our trip to Savannah was a visit to Bonaventure Cemetery. I had heard it was famous for its statuary, much like the cemeteries of New Orleans. We put off our visit until the morning of our last day so we would have time to see it all.

First of all it's beautiful cemetery. Live oaks by the score, and Spanish moss in an abundance like I haven't seen in New Orleans since the 1960s. As for the statues, Bonaventure has quite a few, but it doesn't even begin to compare with the cemeteries in New Orleans in this regard. This probably has to do with the overwhelming Roman Catholic influence in New Orleans. In fact, Catholics were originally prohibited in the colony of Georgia, along with lawyers, slavery, and "spirituous liquors". All eventually found their way into the new colony, but Protestantism continued to dominate the local culture. Hence, I think, less statuary in the cemeteries of Savannah than in New Orleans. Still, it is one of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries I've seen, and well worth a visit.

Clinging To The Cross, Savannah, GA  -  2015
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

"Nothing in my hands I bring,
Only to the cross I cling."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Overcast Days Part II

Three Lamps, Savannah, GA  -  2015
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

This is the kind of detail shot that is best made on days with overcast skies. If this had been a bright, sunny day, this photo would have been almost impossible to make. The wall would have been so bright that it would have lost the subtlety of it's coral color. If we expose for the wall, the inside of the arches becomes a black void. The flames of the lamps are likely almost invisible in either case.

So when the skies are ugly, concentrate on the details and leave the sky out of your photos. Take advantage of that beautiful, soft, even light that cloudy days provide to bring out the details in the details.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Overcast Skies

Overcast skies give better lighting than bright sunshine for almost all subjects. Cloudy skies give even lighting without the harsh shadows and contrast that can ruin photos on sunny days. The exception to this is when the sky has to be part of the photo. Overcast skies are just dull.

On Monday the skies were overcast all day. We were happy just be rid of the driving rains we had experienced the day before. For most of the things I was photographing on Monday the light was just fine. I was able to focus on details of the various buildings without having to include the sky in most shots. However, when it came to that golden dome on the Savannah City Hall, there was no avoiding that sky. One solution is to go B&W, but I wanted to show off that gold! Well maybe I'll get to shoot it again on a day with a better looking sky. For now, this will have to do.

City Hall, Savannah, GA  -  2015
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Before The Storm

We drove in rain almost the entire way down to Savannah last Sunday. The rain finally stopped shortly before we arrived which allowed us to eat and walk around downtown a bit. Soon the clouds started building again, so we decided to head for the car and drive out to Tybee Island to see the lighthouse. If it started raining again, at least we'd be in or near the car. A terrific thunderstorm unleashed the fury of its wind and rain just after I made this photo. We finally decided to call it a day and head to the safety of our hotel.

Lighthouse, Tybee Island, GA  -  2015
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

DIY Cover Photo

As my Facebook friends well know, I love to monkey around with pictures in Photoshop. I find it fun, challenging, and relaxing at the same time. Sometimes I use digital editing to "tune up" photos that are basically good already, and sometimes it's a full salvage job.

While looking through some photos from a trip to Charleston two years ago, I came across this one of a F-4 Phantom on display on the deck of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier. The out-of-the-camera version is fairly dull, with a distracting, cluttered background, and Joe Tourist making his obligatory appearance in the right side of the frame. Not exactly a shot for the wall in the den. I did like the head-on perspective, but it definitely has many other shortcomings.

F-4 Phantom, original version

I wanted to do something with this photo, so while I was relaxing after some yard work, I decided to make a Facebook cover photo out of it. I had the idea of making it look like it was in flight, coming straight at the camera. This entailed adding a suitable sky background, and getting rid of anything that wouldn't be seen while in flight. Landing gear, the carrier island, and Joe Tourist had to go!

Below is the finished product. I think most people could figure out that it's a manipulated photo, but I think it makes an interesting shot for a Facebook cover. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Duck, it's coming right at us!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting Ready

I can't believe that it's been almost a month since I posted anything to this blog. I guess I've been too busy with other obligations at work and around the house. Now that spring is finally here (for good, I hope), I'm getting the itch to get back out there with my camera.

To get me in the mood, I went back and looked at some photos from a springtime visit to Charelston a couple of years ago. We're planning a short trip to another great southern city in the near future (details later), so I need to get back into a "seeing photographically" frame of mind. Looking at my photos, and ones shot by others of the city we intend to visit have gotten me pumped up and ready to hit the road!

The photo below is the Porter's Lodge at The College of Charleston. Constructed in 1850, this was the home of the College's porter, or custodian. Pretty nice crib for a custodian! Today, the building houses several faculty offices, so I guess now the custodians have to find accommodations elsewhere. The Greek inscription on the center arch translates as "Know thyself". I used an antique effect in Silver Effects Pro to get this look.

Porter's Lodge, Charleston, SC  -  2012
(Click on photo to enlarge.)