Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beauty and Grace

My first e-book, Beauty and Grace, is out on iBooks Store! Go grab it on iTunes for iPad and Mac while it's hot.

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Calm. Panther Beach


Panther Beach, Santa Cruz, California


Like few drops in the desert can not quench its thirst, this is Calm in Panther Beach. Uncomfortable and calm. A rare moment to remember the time spent aimlessly around lakes and waterfalls, when still accompanied by beauty and grace.


I composed the shot to give as much prominence as possible to the puddle in front me that was reflecting a beautiful sky made of pink and red striping clouds. The stretched puddle forms a visual line that leads the viewer further into the image towards the sky in the background.
I closed the aperture to f/11 to get most of the scene in sharp focus, which, given the time of day right past sunset, yielded a shutter speed of about 20s, that further smoothed out the water, playing into the idea of stillness and calmness. The usual graduated neutral density filter helped retaining the color of the sky and the pink clouds, by matching the exposure with the reflection in the foreground.
In post I tweaked the brightness of the foreground and improved both contrast and saturation to get closer to the beautiful view I witnessed in the field.

This image is best appreciated at high resolution. Click on the image for an even better view. Beautiful fine art prints in various formats are available from FineArtAmerica.

Torment is the second piece in a three images series at Panther Beach:
Panther Beach, Santa Cruz, California

SONY SLT-A99V, f/11 @ 22 mm, 20s, ISO 50

Monday, November 4, 2013

Torment. Panther Beach


Panther's Beach, Santa Cruz, California

The waves were unforgiving, smashing Panther Beach in Santa Cruz over and over and over again with increasing force and rendering each attempt to get closer to the edge of the water at least dangerous, both for us and our equipment. But when the Light is just right, there is no turning back: each shot became more daring, I inched forward every time, planted the tripod, composed, shot and closer again until I got right where I first wanted to be, when the waves calmed down briefly before growing strong again. I managed to fire few shots of exactly the scene I had in mind, when the sun was at the right angle and the light was dim enough, but so red to make the moss look like fire. It was like standing by the river Styx, the entrance to Dante's Inferno. Few seconds later I was knee deep in the cold Pacific water.

This is Torment, where the Fallen soul desperately waits to be finally delivered from his lost fairy. There is no future here. And never never again, will be back.

I was looking for chaos and movement in this image, which is what I got in large quantities by simply standing on the edge of the water. I dialed f/11 to get enough depth of field, and the shutter speed between 1.5s and 2.0s, where the sweet spot is to get the milky effect on the waves that I love so much. This shutter speed usually gives me the sense of motion I was after, without the foamy and calming quality of long exposures. The triangle composition gives even more dynamism to the scene. A graduated neutral density filter, again, kept the sky exposure in check. The background comes from another exposure with a more interesting wave approaching. In post processing, I slightly dodged the waves to give the idea of white flames licking up to complete the image.

This image is best appreciated at high resolution. Click on the image for an even better view. Beautiful fine art prints in various formats are available from FineArtAmerica.

Torment is the second piece in a three images series at Panther Beach:
Panther Beach, Santa Cruz, California


SONY SLT-A99V, f/11 @ 24 mm, 1.6s, ISO 50