It started out simple enough. I was walking to my car in the parking lot at Texere Plaza, Downtown Los Angeles when I looked up at the sky and saw these weird and wispy clouds. My camera bag was on one shoulder so I made a handheld capture with a 80-200mm zoom just because it was already on the camera, then switched to a 50mm which I thought would be the ideal lens for the situation and made a few more captures. They were pleasantly pretty, but not art by any means. My 24mm was in the bag so why not get an overall capture of the entire sky? Looking at the results on the camera’s LCD screen, convergence typical of all wide-angle lenses was clearly apparent.
This is the moment my creative juices began to flow. Normally, any lens distortion is corrected in post-processing unless you want it for an effect. What if I didn’t correct the bulbous effect caused by the distortion of this lens? It would make the sky appear round especially with the light falloff in the corners typical of wide-angle lenses…but still the light falloff is not enough. If you’re not familiar with filters, wide angle lenses need “slim” filters since their field of view is so large that a filter for use on any other lens will actually be seen in the image. I put a “fat” circular polarizer (filter) on the 24mm wide-angle lens and it was visible in the viewfinder, and my viewfinder shows 100% of the frame so what you see is what you get. Great!…but still not enough. Since I already had polarization, I mounted a fat ultraviolet filter on top of the polarizer and now the corners of the image have gone completely black the way I had visualized it.
So I have completed my vision. I am now looking down at planet earth out of the window of my personal space shuttle. Granted there are a few continents missing, but I’ll leave that to the viewer’s imagination…
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Nikon D3 DSLR, AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D, exposure: f/10.0, 1/25 sec., exposure index: +1.33, ISO 200, B+W 52-E circular polarizer, Nikon L37C UV filter, Program: Aperture Priority, White Balance: Auto, handheld, Manfrotto 3221 tripod, Manfrotto 3221 tripod with Manfrotto 3265 pistol grip ball head, Nikon MC-20 remote cable release, capture date and time: 7/18/2014 6:21 pm.
This is the second version of Rotunda – Golden Spheres. I wasn’t sure which one I liked better so here’s the other version with a slightly different framing.
Nikon D3 DSLR, AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D, exposure: f/10.0, 1/100 sec., exposure index: -0.67, ISO 400, Program: Aperture Priority, White Balance: Auto, handheld, capture date and time: 6/19/2014 8:22 am.
Joyce Tenneson. Self Portrait, 1979
“I seek what lies beneath surface beauty. What interests me are intimate human complexities – the darkness as well as the light. I cannot will this kind of transcendent communication into existence. I have to be open and truly present, and if I am lucky, grace descends. My best photographs are an honest collaboration, and when the viewer also connects, I feel the circle is complete.”
Against my objections, the landlord next door painted the old, redbrick wall facing my parking lot white. After spending an hour with Shay in the studio, I decided to bring it outdoors and shoot against the new white wall. It really worked for this image, and I love the let’s-knock-’em-dead look on Shay’s face. This capture was never used other than in an email to the next door landlord (I couldn’t resist).
I’ve been thinking about a photograph of The Rose Garden ever since I moved Downtown. It was duly logged in my mental shot list, but never at the top. Now that I’m living practically next door to it, there are no good reasons left not to do it. Before leaving that morning, I did quick web search which revealed that 99.9% of photos of the garden were shot from the main gate so that made it easy to find a new angle. One lap around on my GT Avalanche 2.0 and I found this gap in the vegetation where you could see The Rose Garden and Nature History Museum in the background with these surreal, twisted junipers in the foreground.
Nikon D3 DSLR, AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D, exposure: f/22.0, 1/60 sec., ISO 200, exposure index: -1.33, exposure program: Aperture Priority, focus mode: manual, M-up mode, Manfrotto 3221 tripod, Manfrotto 3221 tripod with Manfrotto 3265 pistol grip ball head, Nikon MC-20 remote cable release, capture: 14-bit RAW-NEF, white balance: Auto, capture date and time: 6/19/2014, 7:47 am, transportation: white GT Avalanche 2.0.