Wealth of Photo Potential at Highland, NY

It was by accident that I discovered what I believe is the only spot on the shore of the Hudson River that has a good view of both the Walkway over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Bridge. It’s at the new Highland Landing Park and is reached via a steep downhill drive from the main road. The fact that I arrived later than planned worked in my favor: too early would have had the rising sun glaring directly at me–maybe nice for a classic sunrise view from an elevated spot, but not when I’d deliberately chosen a vantage point from which everything I’d be shooting was above me.

With two bridges, a railway line, and a shore, there were plenty of lines to create interest as well as tension. I deliberately underexposed my first shot in order to emphasize these lines as well as to accentuate the moody sky (one of my trademarks).

In the next two images I used lines in a different way: to zoom in for close-ups, almost creating abstracts. This was a technique learned from one of my great mentors, Kerry Drager: virtually stop thinking of your subject as a particular object and conceive it, instead, as a pattern.  In both of these shots I moved the clarity slider in RAW way up to emphasize all the lines, and later, in CS5, applied some Unsharp Mask.  The first image I kept in color, having tweaked the white balance a bit in RAW to warm it slightly, but even so it resembles a tint rather than a true color image.

The second image, inspired by the work of another mentor, Harold Davis, I turned to B&W in CS5, experimenting with different settings until I decided I preferred the high-contrast red filter.

This industrial riverfront location offered still other kinds of photo opportunities. I’ll describe them in my next blog.

PRINT OF THE MONTH! My Print of the Month for February is Journey into Autumn, a favorite that has been exhibited and has just been purchased for corporate use. It’s available at a special 10% discount in three different sizes through February 29. To purchase, please visit my website. Here’s a preview:

New Year’s Surprise

Image“All is quiet on New Year’s Day,” the U2 song says. And so I decided to take advantage of the quiet to drive over the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to check out a historic homestead in the Beacon area.

I don’t always listen to the little nudgings from the Spirit (usually to my great disadvantage), but this time when the little voice said, “Take the Canon G11 as well as the Nikon D90,” I did. And when the road to the historic homestead took me right through Beacon’s Main Street, and the little voice prompted me to park right there and check it out, I did so–there was even a parking space just waiting for me.

ImageBeacon’s Main Street proved to be a real photographic treasure. Vintage buildings with colorful storefronts abounded–just the sort of thing I love shooting, whether as straight architectural shots or for my “two for the price of one” reflections series. The lightweight, discreet G11 is ideal for this type of photography; no need to lug a tripod to ensure sharp shots or to call attention to yourself. One or more of my images from this shoot will find their way into my forthcoming Historic Hudson Valley photo book. Here are a couple of previews for you.

And the historic homestead? Actually, pretty much a waste of time, definitely an exception to the rule. The lesson? Never, ever ignore the promptings of the Spirit to take an extra camera or to make an unexpected stop. It could be the making of your photo trip.

My Favorite Photos of 2011 are now posted in their own gallery on my website. Check them out, and if you’re interested in purchasing any of them enjoy a 10% discount (for a minimum order of $10.00) by using Coupon Code NYSP12, valid until January 31.

Also, I’m selling some beautifully framed matted prints left over from an exhibition. If you’d like to check them out, please visit the online shop I’ve set up for this purpose.

A Happy New Year to all my readers! Thank you for your continued interest in my work.