trees

Stealing Light

As you probably can tell, this image is not recent.

Stealing Light

It was taken in 2005 with my then new Nikon D70. It was also a JPEG. I was too new to the world of photography and didn’t know anything about shooting RAW and the power of post-processing.

It was one of those cold morning when I could not sleep and decided to drive my car, myself and my camera down to the shore to wait for the sunrise.

In hindsight, it was a pretty stupid thing to do. You see, my city has always been famous for not been a very safe place to walk around by yourself with a very expensive camera in the wee hours of the morning.

Thankfully nothing happened.

I love the way the tree branches seem to pull the light from the clouds and hence the name.

I have been playing lately with a bunch of applications: Topaz Studio 2, Luminar 3 with Libraries and my new favorite Capture One.

As such, I have been exploring old images like this one to see if the new applications can rescue photos from the depths of my archives.

Also, the idea is to learn new things and shorten the learning curve. Massage the old grey cells like Hercule Poirot used to say.

These apps have not disappointed. Even old images (the Nikon D70 had 6.1 Megapixels) seem to come to life with a little TLC.

This is one of the reasons why I almost never delete any photo. The world of photography has changed immensely and the applications we use to edit photos are becoming more and more intelligent.

When Kodak introduced their first camera, the world of photography changed for the hundreds of photographers that were using techniques like wet collodion and glass plates.

There is a big push for what is called computational photography, where technologies like machine learning can help us and the general public to make better pictures.

We now see a similar shift in the world of digital photography and it can only get better…

Torn Between Two Loves

If you go to my Ello page, you will see something peculiar.

There are a ton of Black & White images with lots of views.

They are the photos with the most views. No color photo has more views than any other B&W photo.

In other words, they are pretty popular. At least there.

There is a sort of different level of popularity on my B&W instagram page, but I’d just started with that recently and I have not given it the proper care it deserves. (I’ll need to suck up to the Instagram Algorithm Gods in order to get more followers).

And the thing is, I love Black and White photography.

My father had a large collection of Life Magazines and I remember expending a lot of time browsing those pages. Maybe that’s the reason why I love photography so much!

Is definitely the reason why I love black and white photography…

I grew up wit the classics. My first photography book was all in black and white (I think my father still has it).

I also love Street Photography, and there is consensus that good street photography is black and white photography. At least is my consensus. :-)

But color is such a bitch!

It hits you when and where you least expect it. It saturates those photo receptor cells and fells the viewer with pure and unadulterated joy!

I am conflicted…

On a recent walk, I took this picture:

Barren in Color

Nothing mayor. A quick iPhone shot on an afternoon walk during the first minutes of the sunset, overlooking the Brooklawn Country Club, in Fairfield.

I edited the photo using Luminar 3 with Libraries and I was happy with how it came out. I like the color gradation on the sky, the color contrast between the golf course, the leaves in the front and the sky; and last but not least the barren trees silhouettes that kind of join all the colors by traversing up and down.

But then I decided to add another layer to the file and try my hand at this:

Barren in B&W

I like to do this when the images have texture (like the branches in this case) and as part of an on-going project that has to do the winter trees.

The image tickles memories of the death trees in Namibia with feelings of solitude and desolation. Definitely something I like lately. So I posted the photo to Instagram.

I didn’t post the color photo.

Now, I am torn between two loves… Can’t say one is better than the other. The feel is different. That’s the reason why photography is so subjective. We each have a different way of seeing things.

Black and White or Color? Should I flip a coin? What are your thoughts?

Coming up on Salem

I was coming back home after dropping one of my sons at the shop to pick up his car.

It was the blue hour in Bridgeport and traffic was very heavy.

Coming out of the highway, I was standing in line waiting for the light to change when I happened to look to my left. I quickly unplugged my phone from its charger and snapped a quick one from my window.

The view of St. Augustine Cathedral backlit with the setting sun and the trees was calling out to me; some will say…

I edited the photo using a combination of Snapseed, distressed effects and Stackables.

There is a long tradition of stories about Salem in New England. The stories were about the battle between the church and what was believe to be witchcraft. Lots of women were hung from trees for some puritanical bullshit.

The image of the tree and the church reminded me of that, hence the title…

Death is Always The Expectation

Taking the new Fijifilm X100F for a spin on a rainy and foggy New England Winter day. More to come about this wonderful camera later.

This is part of the series I am creating around three branches in the winter. I am always fascinated with the similitude between the three branches and the blood vessels in the human body; specially the brain. Click on them to see them bigger.

I guess that's the reason I am always looking up into the sky.

The title pertains to a train of though that has been the topic on my life recently.

Lots of dear friends and family passing away and me getting to that age where I worry if I will be next.

I am reminded of the wonderful work by photographer Simon Hoegsberg, "We are All Going to Die - 100 Meters of existence". Is a sobering reminder of that big deadline we all face. Go take a look (You will need flash on your browser to see it).

I guess the important thing to remember is what we do with our alloted time. How do we make the most of it. What do we leave behind.

I recently watched the Disney movie "Coco" that deals with our memories and the memory of our loved ones. It resonated with me because I have always had similar thoughts about the people who came before us. I will probably be one of the last persons to remember my grandfathers.

How do I honor their memories? What can I do so their legacies and struggles don't fade away into oblivion?

I guess, the best I can...

All images edited using Luminar 2018.