Hand Waving

Photographer’s hand is a very useful tool. And it is useful not only for pressing a shutter button. It can also be used to create a shade for lenses to avoid lens flare. Or it can be used to block out sun that gets into a corner of a frame.

It can also be used as a gradient neutral density filter. With a long expose you can simply block out part of the frame for some time to reduce amount of light that gets into the frame. That’s exactly what I did when I took the photo below. While composing it I put my hand in front of a lens to cover sky down to horizon and took a note of how “deep” my hand should go to cover the sky. I pressed the shutter and started waving my hand in front of the lens, so my hand is not recorded but it blocked out enough light to produce dark moody sky.

Sure I could actually use gradient neutral density filter but it would not be so much fun. At some point I understood that photographer is a human and can carry only so much weight on his back. I started lightening up my backpack, gradient neutral density filters were one of the things that went away. In some way it actually made photography more interesting to me as I would spend less time unpacking my gadgets and preparing for a shot and spend more time seeing and connecting with a scene.

Kauai. Early Morning. Storm is comingKauai. Early Morning. Storm is coming

Close to Home

Lots of things are waiting to be discovered right around the corner. You just need to make the first step toward them.

I adore photograph made in fog. At the same time there have not been much fog where I live. At some point I share my fog obsession with another local photographer and she suggested me to go to Carnation Valley in fall.

It is only about 10 minutes drive from where I live. To my surprise even when it is clear sky and sunshine outside the valley, the valley itself is filled with thick thick fog. This is likely because there are a lot of marshes there. Driving downhill into the valley is like diving into the fog.

From that point on I always go to Carnation in fall. Here are some photos I’ve made this year:

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What Monet would do in photography?

Just finished watching a documentary on Monet’s life and his art. One of the things that captured my attention was that he closely followed research of a chemist who was doing research on relative perception of color by human. That research in part influenced Monet’s impressionist paintings.

This makes me wonder what research would Monet follow nowadays and what he would do with photography.