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Window Seat VI: Where Water Meets Land

Although most of the flights I have taken in the US are entirely over land, there are times when the direct route veers over the ocean or other larger bodies of water.  The contrast can make for striking compositions.  It’s interesting that ocean currents seem to appear in photos from above, as in the top image, taken off the west coast of Florida.  I don’t know my bearings off the mid-Atlantic so well, but I think the next shot was over the Chesapeake Bay, where patterns on the water also show up.

Cheasapeake Bay Aerial - Steve Bruno

Rivers dissecting the land make great subjects, especially where they cut a sinuous course.  This one, the Mississippi River shortly after takeoff from New Orleans, has those moments, but is more like a boating superhighway here.

Mississippi River, New Orleans, Steve Bruno

Sometimes flights make it over the meeting of two water sources, such as this one from the edge of the Great Salt Lake, Utah.

Great Salt Lake, Utah, Steve Bruno

Mid-week Mixings: One Year And Counting

WordPress recently informed me that I have been on their site for a year now.  To those of you who have followed, liked, commented or enjoyed my posts – Thank You!

It was a little over a year ago when I was spending way too much time on a computer because a leg injury was keeping me inactive.  Those who know me know I don’t do well at sitting.  I came across a page that explained why photographers should start a blog and listed some sites.  I really had no idea what I was getting into, but I have a lot of photographs that never made publication, and many that have a story behind them.  I was always disappointed when I came across other photographer’s websites and saw interesting images that had no words to convey the thoughts, motivation or process behind the image.

I suppose I should start with my title.  Quite a few years ago, I had the chance to meet with Josef Muench.  Josef was one of the pioneers of modern day landscape photography, and around that time an editor told me that Josef was still submitting photos to the magazine, some of which couldn’t be used because the emulsion had started to degrade.  As I was talking with Josef, I asked him, “Out of all your photographs, which is your favorite?”  He responded quickly with “The one I haven’t taken yet!”  He was an inspiration with his images, but even more so with his philosophy.  I want to reach that age and continue taking photographs that I still care about.  That’s where the name Gottatakemorepix got its initiation.

I had a couple stories that I wanted to write when I first started, but I wasn’t sure how long I would keep this going.  Then I started noticing blog posts that all had the words “Weekly Photo Challenge” in the title, and soon began posting those.  I’ve participated in other blogger’s challenges, and as much as I enjoy seeing what other people respond with, I never knew how time consuming this could become.  I also noticed a lot of people posting “Wordless Wednesday”.  After doing a couple of these myself, I thought I can’t do this…I need words.  So my alternative is Mid-week Mixings.  This allows me to get away with Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, too!  To those of you that post every day, my hat’s off to you – I don’t know how you do it.

If you don’t see a post from me for a while, it’s a good bet that I’m travelling or just plain busy.  My priorities are still real life, family, and friends before cyberspace.  My end of December and beginning of January were way too busy to do a 2015 recap, so I’m going to do it here.

Starting with your favorite post, we have this from Weekly Photo Challenge: Doors

Eddie's Place - Steve Bruno
Door to Eddie’s Place in the Kanab Creek Wilderness, western Grand Canyon by Steve Bruno

Not far behind in your favorites was this one, another Weekly Challenge of Grid

Old West Fence - Steve Bruno
Old fence on a ranch in the desert, photo by Steve Bruno

While the most liked/commented images were in the Daily Post’s Challenges, many of you enjoyed these images from one of Cee’s Challenges

This grasshopper shot was another challenge that the blogging community seemed to enjoy

grasshopper - Steve Bruno
grasshopper clings to agave plant, photo by Steve Bruno

The Daily Post’s Symbol challenge gave me a reason to go out and photograph something that everybody and their brother has a shot of, and when I got there, I discovered more subjects fitting the challenge

Las Vegas Blvd - Elvis - Steve Bruno
Elvis impersonator performs under the Las Vegas sign. Photo by Steve Bruno

Although not a challenge, but close to home, I enjoyed capturing fireworks last summer

Fireworks Las Vegas 2015 - Steve Bruno - gottatakemorepix
Las Vegas Fireworks July 2015. Photo by Steve Bruno.

 

Away from the challenges, this one was a little departure for me, but has become one of my favorites, as well as yours

Atlantic Ocean - Morning 01 - Steve Bruno
The Atlantic Ocean in early morning. Photo by Steve Bruno.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before that I really don’t enjoy shooting with clear blue skies, but I found a situation where it worked well

Weather is a little more to my liking for taking photos, and I showed this in one of my first posts of the year. I don’t know what grinder WordPress uses to compress images, but the first time I posted it did not look as good as it does on my screen. I like unique captures, and this is a favorite so far this year, and hopefully it looks better this time

Red Rock Canyon Nevada - Winter Snow - Steve Bruno - gottatakemorepix
A window of sunlight shines through clouds in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Photo by Steve Bruno

 

Weather also makes for great sunsets, and before I shot the video that I posted on Thanksgiving, here was the still view

Red Rock Canyon Nevada - Sunset - Steve Bruno - gottatakemoremix
Sunset over Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Photo by Steve Bruno.

 

You know by now that I can’t resist the view out of airplane windows, and I have plenty of those from last year. Here’s one more that you haven’t seen yet. Over Montana, I believe

Window Seat over Montana - Rocky Mountains - Steve Bruno - gottatakemorepix
Aerial view over the Rocky Mountains. Photo by Steve Bruno.

 

I can’t go a year without returning to my Muse, and here’s one from last year at Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire - Arch - Steve Bruno - gottatakemorepix
Sandstone cave in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. Photo by Steve Bruno.

 

And lastly, I know phone cameras have improved, but I still consider my DSLR my real camera.  My shots in the rain in Seattle last November started making me appreciate the phone a little more

Seattle Rainy Night 02 - Steve Bruno
Pedestrian in the nighttime rain in Seattle. Photo by Steve Bruno.

Life’s A Beach

Last week I was in Florida again, and I had some time to try to capture images of the ocean.  In many parts of the world, there are rock formations in the water or dramatic cliff backdrops, which offer more options for composition.  The lack of any terrain made for more challenge, and the texture of the water became my primary focus.

In the top image, I converted it to b&w, and was mildly pleased with the result, but then decided to return the sky back to color in a new layer. I did make some minor cooling filter adjustments to the layer.  I was about to remove the ship because I didn’t feel it was close enough to add to the scene, but then decided to leave it for its sense of scale.

I am often intrigued by other photographer’s shots of powerful waves crashing explosively into rocky shorelines, but I never knew there could also be interesting detail in a one foot high wave breaking onto a sandy beach.  I’ve spent a lot of time using slow film in low light situations where blurred water results were common by default.   A fast lens/high shutter speed combination allowed for detailed captures, and is something I will look for more often in future photo shoots.

There was a significant amount of human activity, as one would expect.  One morning, this paraboarder was getting his workout, making several passes along the beach in front of me.  As I took one sequence of shots, a plane was taking off from the airport behind him.  Around the same time, a tractor was making a clean sweep of the beach.  The ocean is always busy churning out its natural waste, which doesn’t make for postcard beaches!

In the end, the shots I liked the most occurred where there was texture on the wet sand or in the rolling water.  One thing that doesn’t show up in the photos is the abundant humidity.  The sea breeze made it enjoyable, but anywhere away from that was not pleasant.  I’m very glad to be back in the desert now.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Three

In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Three or the number 3

I have a trio of images for this challenge.  The featured photo is called the Three Sisters, which are three detached pinnacles at the end of a mesa in Monument Valley, Arizona.

The next shot is of three elk resting in a meadow near the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.  I did manipulate this one a bit in Photoshop to emphasize the elk.

Three Elk-Rocky Mountain Park-Steve Bruno

For the third image, I take you to sunset on the Atlantic Ocean at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  This would be called “Three Palms”.

Three Palms-Fort Lauderdale-Steve Bruno

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