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Photographing

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Photographing

Like many people, I took casual photographs for most of my life, usually shots of my family or my travels. About fifteen years ago my wife and I got interested in birding and that hobby soon lead me to take photography more seriously. Along the way, I converted to digital photography (I especially liked not having to pay for the film processing for all my experiments). After using early digital point and shoot cameras for several years, I decided to try a DSLR and bought a Canon Rebel XT and a couple of lenses. I was still busy with work, so my learning was mostly limited to vacations and birding trips - those were the times when I could really concentrate, practice and learn. Most of my efforts were on getting better and better bird photographs. This lead to long lenses, tripods, and dealing with the exposure trade-offs required for capturing images of birds that were often far away and moving.

 

  puffins in scotland loon in michigan   heron in florida  

 

When I was first doing birding photography, there was not a lot of effort spent on composition since getting a sharp image of the bird seemed to be hard enough. However, after some time I did start to get more interested in composition, and in photography of other subjects, particularly in an artistic way. A major step in this direction was a trip that my wife and I took to Italy. The trip was lead by an artist and a photographer who ran a week-long workshop based in Casperia, a hill town in Umbria. At this point my wife was a couple of years into her post-corporate career as a pastel artist and she convinced me to join her since the trip combined art and photography. I learned a lot both from the trip leaders and from the other attendees, most of whom were quite accomplished.

 

  eagle in orvieto   hilltown   monstero park  

 

I was still working at that point, so my photography continued to take a back seat to my career in software design and development, but I was definitely hooked. Starting in the fall of 2009 through 2014 I took classes with a professional photographer and teacher, Laury Eagan. Laury is a very good fine art photographer and her teaching emphasizes composition, exposure, color and texture. I really enjoy doing the class assignments and hearing her critiques of my photos and those of the other students. As with the workshop in Italy, it is also very productive to have the interaction with the other students. I retired in 2010 and I have been able to spend a lot more time with my camera and the software that processes the images that I capture.

 

  shark river cathedral   boston reflection   jetty surf  

 

Equipment and Software

I am now on my fifth Canon APS-C Digital SLR, a 70D. I have enjoyed all five cameras (I also had an XT, an XTi, a T1i and a 60D). Each step up through this line of Canon cameras has been very satisfying. I have stayed with the cropped sensor Canons because I have a couple of EF-S lenses that I like and I also like the increased effective focal length, especially for wildlife shots. My current favorite special purpose lens is a Bower 8mm manual focus fisheye for EFS-C sensors. I have really enjoyed mixing the fisheye effect (in varying degrees) with HDR. For more normal images, my best lens is a Canon image stabilized EF-S 15-85mm (f3.5-5.6). I probably take at least half my photos with this lens. Before I got that lens, my most used lens was a Tamron XR Di 28-300mm (f/3.5-6.3). It has a great zoom range and is a very useful lens. I have to say that I have had some problems with the zoom mechanism, but Tamron has fixed it for no charge. I also have the great Canon 50mm f1.8, a Canon 10-22mm wide angle (f4.5-5.6), and a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro. For many years my best long lens for wildlife shooting was my Canon EF 300mm L (f4.0) and I sometimes use it with a Canon 1.4 extender. However, my most recent lens aquisition is the new Tamron 150-600mm. This lens has brought high quality long focal length optics down to an affordable price point. I am looking forward to doing more wildlife photography with this new lens.

 

Over the past several years I have upgraded my way from Lightroom 3.0 on up to Lightroom 7CC for my processing. I am completely sold on Lightroom as my primary photography software. I did some earlier work with Photoshop CS2, but I never really invested enough time in the program to get comfortable with it. I kept going back and forth between CS2 and Picasa because Picasa was so much simpler and faster to use. However, I did want more image processing features that Picasa offered so I decided to try LR3. LR3 was great and the upgrades to subsequent versions have added some wonderful features. I particularly like the Map module for geo-tagging my images after I go on a day's shoot. I occasionally miss the layers capability as I work in LR, but I like the image management and processing features of LR so much that I don't think I will ever go back to Photoshop as my main development tool. If I really need to use layers for some particular image, I export the image to Photoshop CC edit it and bring it back to LR. I used to do most of my HDR processing using Photomatix. That was lot of fun and the plug-in interface for LR made it very easy to move images back and forth between LR and Photomatix. Lately I often use LR for HDR since it provides a good raw high range image that can then be further processed in LR. I also have the complete suite of Nik and ON1 software. I especially like the Nik Silver Efex Pro plugin for Black and White processing.

 

Shows

- April 2018 - Annual Members Photography Exhibit

Traverse Area Camera Club, GT Library, Traverse City, Michigan


- March 2018 - Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Gaylord Area Council for the Arts , Gaylord, Michigan


- January 2018 - Crooked Tree Arts Center Annual Juried Photography Show

Crooked Tree Art Center, Petoskey, Michigan


- September 2017- Traverse Area Camera Club Photography Exhibit

Botanic Gardens, Traverse City, Michigan


- May 2017 - Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Gaylord Area Council for the Arts , Gaylord, Michigan


- April 2017 - Annual Members Photography Exhibit

Traverse Area Camera Club, GT Library, Traverse City, Michigan


- March 2017 - Traverse Area Camera Club Photography Exhibit

Traverse City Opera House, Traverse City, Michigan


- June 2016 - Crooked Tree Photographic Society Member Show

Crooked Tree Art Center, Petoskey, Michigan


- June 2016 - 8th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Charlevoix Center for the Arts, Charlevoix, Michigan


- May 2016 - Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Gaylord Area Council for the Arts , Gaylord, Michigan


- April 2016 - Annual Members Photography Exhibit

Traverse Area Camera Club, GT Library, Traverse City, Michigan


- January 2016 - 35th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Crooked Tree Art Gallery, Petoskey, Michigan


- November 2015 - "Farm to Frame" Juried Photograpy Show

Crooked Tree Arts Center, Traverse City, Michigan


- August 2015 - "CTAC Members Juried Show"

Crooked Tree Arts Center, Traverse City, Michigan


- June 2015 - 7th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Charlevoix Center for the Arts, Charlevoix, Michigan


- May 2015 - Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Gaylord Area Council for the Arts , Gaylord, Michigan


- April 2015 - Annual Members Photography Exhibit

Traverse Area Camera Club, Traverse City, Michigan


- June 2014 - "Places of Mackinac" 2014 Mackinac Juried Art Contest

Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Mackinac Island, Michigan


- April 2014 - 10th Annual Jersey Shore Juried Art Show

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey


- March 2014 - "Eyesights" 11th Annual Open Juried Art Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- January 2014 - "Member Salon"

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey


- December 2013 - "Annual Member Show"

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey

 

- August 2013 - Fifth Annual Juried Photograpy Show

Charlevoix Circle of Arts, Charlevoix, Michigan


- July 2013 - Crooked Tree Photographic Society Member Show

Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey, Michigan


- April 2013 - 9th Annual Jersey Shore Juried Art Show

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey

 

- March 2013 - "Eyesights" 10th Annual Open Juried Art Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- January 2013 - "Member Salon"

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey


- December 2012 - "Annual Member Show"

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- October 2012 - 19th Annual Open Juried Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- April 2012 - 8th Annual Jersey Shore Juried Art Show

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey

 

- March 2012 - "Eyesights" 9th Annual Open Juried Art Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- February 2012 - "Phone-Ography"

The Gallery 13, Asbury Park, New Jersey


- January 2012 - "Member Salon"

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey


- December 2011 - "2nd Annual Affordable Art Exhibition"

The Gallery 13, Asbury Park, New Jersey


- December 2011 - "Annual Member Show"

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- October 2011 - "SQ + SQ x 2"

Frame to Please Gallery, Red Bank, New Jersey


- October 2011 - Annual Open Juried Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- June 2011 - "The Power of Color" Juried Photography Show

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey

- April 2011 - 7th Annual Jersey Shore Juried Art Show

Belmar Arts Council, Belmar, New Jersey

- March 2011 - "Eyesights" 8th Annual Open Juried Art Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- January 2011- 30th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit

Crooked Tree Art Gallery, Petoskey, Michigan

 

- January 2011 - "Real to Surreal" All-Members Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey

 

- May 2010 - Laury Eagan Student Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- March 2010 - "Eyesights" 7th Annual Open Juried Photography Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- March 2009 - Eyesights 6th Annual Open Juried Photography Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey


- November 2008 - All-Members Show

Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey

 

 

 

Copyright notice: All art and images on this website are copyrighted by Jay Petersen.
Unauthorized use or duplication by any means is prohibited.

 

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