Photography 101: Experiment With Composition.

Landscape or Portrait~

Experiments in Composition

When you’re out photographing, especially if your photographing a popular and often photographed location, try experimenting with composition.

I different point of view can mean the difference between just another photo like all the rest, or a truly unique image.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Dreaming The Dream Of Autumn

Days shorten, in the air a chill.

Landscape awash in brilliance.

The waters pass on their meandering journey.

To dream the dream of autumn.

Colorful fall color reflected on the water

Click HERE for more dreams.

Why I Photograph

Falling Back-Asswards Into A Passion.

It Began In The Stars.

Holiday Lights At Nubble Light.

Some of you know how I came to find a camera in my hands, many do not.

Here’s my story.

Unlike a lot of photographers, photography was never my “Thing.” I hadn’t been shooting for decades, born with a camera in my hands, lamenting the loss of film. To me film was pretty much a dinosaur from the past. Sure I’ve heard about it, even seen it before, but as far as I was concerned it belonged right next to the dinosaurs in a museum.

Digital was well established by the time I started looking for my first camera, so that’s the way I wanted to go. I was on a budget, and not having to pay for film processing was a huge draw.

Back in ’07-’08, I had a brief, expensive but brief, interest in astronomy. I had my own big(read lots of $$) telescope, and all the fancy gear that went with it. Looking through all the astronomy magazines I started thinking, “I could get some of those awesome photos through my telescope too.” So off in search of a camera I went. I figured I should at least get a camera that I could use to take snap-shots too, as opposed to a dedicated astro-imaging camera, a little box with a sensor in it that needed to be hooked up to a computer while taking photos. Something a little more practical.

I didn’t want a point and shoot though, had to be a DSLR. And since two friends were Canon shooters, I became one too.

A lone mute swan sits motionless on the still surface of the water, with a wall of brown reeds as a backdrop.

 

Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun.

Antique Side-by-Side On Autumn Leaves

Coincidentally, I was an avid hunter at this time as well. The passion I have for capturing images of the great outdoors now, I put into my pursuit of all things feathered back then. Ducks, geese, pheasant and grouse were my quarry of choice. And along with my dog Bailey, pursue them I did.

Dear Sweet Bailey

My dear sweet Bailey was the sweetest dog I’ve ever known, gentle beyond measure, my first daddy’s little girl.

Put her in the woods however, and she changed. Miraculously that sweet, cuddle on the couch, member of the family, was replaced by an all business, pure bird hunting machine. It was pure joy to watch at work. Those of you with any experience seeing a good bird dog work the woods know exactly what I mean, she was canine poetry in motion.

Sadly, around the same time I was in search of my first camera, Bailey was becoming too old to hunt. The desire was there, I could see it in her eyes, but what her mind wanted, her body could no longer deliver. While I continued to hunt, without her with me, my joy of time spent in the woods lessened considerably. Without my girl it just wasn’t the same. I started looking for reasons to stay home.

Yet a spark in the back of my mind had begun to glow.

Blue Mountain Layers

All those mornings spent standing in a beaver pond, or laying in a corn field, waiting for the first mallards or geese to come in, also held something else.

They held magic.

Surprisingly up to this point in my hunting life, as many times as I had thought, “this would make an amazing picture,” as I witnessed the world waking up, seeing nature come alive in ways most will never see or experience, it never clicked that maybe I should get a camera.

What can I say, I’m a slow learner.

Passion Is Born In 2008.

Long exposure image of an unnamed waterfall on the Mad River, Farmington, NH

Once I started taking my camera with me on my hunting trips, it really didn’t take long to convert my love of all things hunting into a love of hunting a different, and often more elusive prey, with a much different “weapon” of choice.

All the time spent in the woods, I was never blind to what was around me, but I didn’t really see it either. I had always felt deep in the forest was one of the most beautiful places I could be, but it took leaving my gun at home, entering the forest armed only with my camera, to really begin to see and appreciate my surroundings. It was then that perfect light became my quarry, and I was relentless in my desire to capture it.

So, I gave up hunting,  sold all of my firearms, and I’ve been focused, pun completely intended, on capturing and sharing the beauty of the natural world ever since.

Beauty most people will never see first hand.

On the plus side of giving up hunting with a gun, I don’t need to pluck a photograph. The downside though, they don’t taste very good either.

That was back in the spring of 2008.

I hadn’t set out to become a “photographer” back then, that was purely by accident. I never thought photography would become anything more than another in a long list of expensive hobbies.

I’ve never been so wrong about anything in my life.

Swiftwater Falls, Winter

 

So, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

And for those of you wondering, I fell so deeply in love with capturing the landscape here on Earth, I ended up selling my telescope without ever having so much as mounted my camera on it.

 

What brought you to photography, I’d love to hear your story.

Looking Back – My Favorite Images from 2013

2013 Through The Lens.

The past year has been outstanding for me. Physically, I don’t think I’ve ever been in better shape, even better than when I was racing mountain bikes. I can thank my time hiking in the mountains for that. And running, lots and lots of running.

Photographically, I’m happier with the images I’ve captured than ever before. I find myself shooting less, yet coming back with more. I’m developing a more critical eye towards what I photograph, knowing exactly what I want to capture and how I want to capture it. Fewer images from any given outing means less time in front of the computer too. A trend I hope to continue in the coming year.

Now the hard part.

Trying to come up with 12 favorite images from the past year though, that was tough. Not so much coming up with favorites, but narrowing it down to only 12, that was a challenge. Making the task even harder for me, when I set out to compile this list I had one self-imposed rule –  only one image from each of the last 12 months.

 So here they are, my favorite 12 images from the past year.

What’s Missing?

I purposely didn’t call this a “Best Of” list because that’s all very subjective and I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you feel is my best image from 2013.

So what’s missing? Is there a particular image I’ve shared over the past year that you think should have made the list?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Finally, to all my fans, subscribers, and those just passing through, I’d like to wish you all the best in the coming year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2014 Jeff Sinon Photography Calendars Are Ready

13 Months, 3 Ways.

My new calendars are ready for purchase, and this year you have three options.

Best of all, the prices are lower than last year!

Your 3 options are:

Premium.

Premium calendars are 13.5″ wide x 19″ tall, and are printed on 100# white gloss cover stock.

Price – $22

premium calendar

Standard

Standard calendars are 11″ wide x  8.5″ high (closed), 11″ wide x 17″ high (open)

Printed on 100# unlaminated white cover stock.

Price – $15.99

standard 2014

Wildlife – Standard

The same specifications as the Standard calendar above, featuring some of my favorite wildlife images.

Price – $15.99

wildlife calendar

Clicking on any of the images, or 2014 Calendar in the side bar, will bring you directly to the online store.

As of now there is no Premium version of the wildlife calendar, but if there is a demand I will gladly create one.

Please contact me via the Contact form, or comment on this post if you’re interested in a premium version of the wildlife calendar, or if you have any other questions.

Price does not include shipping.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

Footloose and fancy free, without a care in the world.

Most people know, or at least assume, I’m a pretty serious guy when it comes to my photography. That is until they look at my feet.

It’s pretty hard to take life too seriously while wearing my Fivefingers. I run in them, I have them on when I wade right in to photograph water lilies, the salty waves crash around them standing in the surf awaiting sunrise, and they’ve been to the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest mountain in the eastern U.S.  The only thing they haven’t seen is snow. Yet.

I wear them everywhere.

I have to thank Paula for the inspiration for this weeks theme. Until seeing her post I really wasn’t sure what I where I would take this weeks theme.

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways.

The best time to compose a landscape photograph vertically…

…is immediately after your horizontal composition of course.

Since this weeks challenge is inspired by my latest article for the WordPress Photography 101 series, this is definitely one I couldn’t miss.

So here are a few of my landscape images. Same place, same day, shot both horizontally and vertically.