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Friday, 1 November 2013
New Born Family Portraits
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Pix of Week

It is funny how things work out.  The images for this week come from a family portrait session that was originally scheduled for one week earlier.  The baby was only a few weeks old and the family wanted some of the images to have a foliage / fall colors background.  We watched the foliage forecaster sites and called around to keep tabs on the developing color.  It is a bit tricky because we live on the shores of Malletts Bay and the foliage always seems to lag here.  So, while we are still surrounded in various shades of greens, we can be completely oblivious to peak color happening only a few miles away from the lake or up a hill. 

We had heard of some great color developing out in the Calais area, but the couple were not able to coordinate schedules to make it then.  The next week, peak color was moving west, so we scouted out some spots in the Essex / Westford / Fairfax area, but as the appointed hour approached, so did the rain.  So, we rescheduled out yet another week.  By then we were actually getting some peak color here in Colchester, and as luck would have it - beautiful weather as well. 

Again, we employed off-camera speedlites, but this time enjoyed a background of well sun lit foliage in the background.  This one had a nice mix of reds, yellows and oranges all conveniently person height rather than only at the tops of very tall trees.  And several spots were available to choose from. 

They were a delightful couple and the baby was great!  They kept telling me how she would fall asleep after she was fed, but apparently she did not want to miss anything.  She was wide awake, looking around and responsive the whole time, both outside and later for the inside shots. 

I loved how we were able to layer the light with the different colors depending on what was shaded and what was in the sunlight. We even found a spot where the multi-colored leaves were all heavily backlit. 

I think it created a "cool" effect!  You will notice that the newborn baby is still smiling and happy - responding so well to me that the couple asked if I was available for babysitting? 

From here, we headed back into the studio for a round of inside shots of mostly the baby.  We did the classical feet, hands, ears, etc. and a creative shot with the baby on the dad's guitar while he played.  These images may all be seen in the couple's password-protected gallery. 

Of course, one of the nicest things about this couple was the fact that we had also photographed their wedding a couple years ago, and it was now great to see how their family was beginning to grow. 

Would you like a family portrait?  They make great gifts for the holidays, or any time of the year!  Give us a call or send an email, we would love to include you in the Ayer Photography family. 

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont                

Posted by ayerphoto at 11:18 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 26 November 2013 5:05 PM EST
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Thursday, 31 October 2013
Astrocat Intergalactic Rock Band
Mood:  cool
Topic: Pix of Week

When I was young the local weekly newspaper published an article saying that one of our local residents had claimed to have been abducted by aliens.  So it was only natural that 50+ years later I should photograph a rock band whose ads hint at an intergalactic origin.  

We were privileged to have the opportunity to photograph the lead guitarist / vocalist from the band from Vermont known as ASTROCAT.  Photographically, it gave us the opportunity to use edgier lighting than called for in our typical family portraits.   

We used a gridded main light from camera right, a gridded strip bank camera left and behind the subject, and then to the camera left in front of the subject we used a red-gelled speedlight to give the guitar a "hot" red glow in the highlights.  

We discovered the angle of the gelled light had to be almost 90 degrees to the camera to prevent getting a hot spot on the highly reflective guitar. We also were disappointed in the quality of the red light when it hit the face. This tended to just flatten it out without adding any real interest, so we wound up using a Rogue Flashbender to flag the gelled speedlight from reaching the face of our subject.

Once we got some basic shots, we then started "fooling around," trying various poses and lights to see what we would get.  

And another one, where you can imagine that he is inviting you to his next concert. 

As you can see above, this portion of the session employed more balanced lighting with a smaller contrast ratio, more typical of a casual portrait.    

Our subject also brought along another guitar - this one acoustic.  We used it to try for a mellower "coffee house" portrait.  

If you would like to see more images from this portrait session, Click Here to see a larger sample and to see the above images in a larger format. 

If you would like to check out some of ASTROCAT's music, check out their BandCamp site, by Clicking Here.  

Lastly, if you are a local Vermont musician and would like your portrait taken, give us a call.  We would love to "shoot" you!  

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont                         

Posted by ayerphoto at 2:15 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 November 2013 11:30 AM EDT
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Monday, 7 October 2013
Fall Family Fotos
Mood:  lucky
Topic: Pix of Week

For the last couple of years, I have been longing to see some bright foliage.  I remembered it from years past - even had a few photographs of it, but recent autumns in western Vermont have been a bit lackluster.  Some of it was the weather and some of it was certain leaf molds that seemed to have discolored some of my favorite neighborhood trees. 

There are three maple trees along a street near my house where I used to walk my dog most every morning.  When we would go down that street between 9 and 10 in the morning, those three maple trees would glisten gold in the morning light - the yellows were just spectacular!  The last two years, however, they just did not seem to shine like they once did.  At first I thought it was the weather, then I thought it was my memory.  But then I took a closer look at all the leaves.  They were covered with brown splotches to such an extent that a bright yellow was no longer possible.  There was just enough yellow left to remind you how magnificent they once were, but even this year, when other trees returned to their former glory, these favorites were still sadly dull! 

And so this year I went in search of good color.  It was predicted to be a reasonable year - wet spring, dry fall, cool nights.  And sure enough if you went looking good color abounded.  And enough afternoons were sunny to have given you multiple days on which to view it in all its glory.

This was a good year for family portraits with real Vermont foliage backdrops.  The tricky part is getting the light and the babies in the families to coordinate their schedules.  For ideal conditions, you would like to find some trees with great color with exposure to the late afternoon sun to make it pop.  And you would like to find a spot where your subjects can stand or sit in shade with the brightly lit leaves behind them.  With many locations this means you have a window of opportunity of limited length.  Too early and the shade is not well developed enough or must be created artificially.  Too late and the trees begin to be shaded as well and no longer as bright.  

We were fortunate to be able to photograph several young families this fall foliage season.  It is such a delightful time of year - not too hot, not too cold, and a warm natural color all around.     

This couple had loved Indian Brook Reservoir in Essex Junction, Vermont, and so we hoped to catch it in good color.  Because of the moderating effect of the water, the color at the water's edge was still in the earlier stages with lots of greens, even though the access road was at peak.  As luck would have it the sun also disappeared behind a large cloud bank just as we reached the park and stayed there.   

Even so, autumn was in clear evidence and the subdued oranges gave it a nice warmth.   

We had scouted out some peak color in Westford, Vermont, only a few miles up the road, so we headed up there.  There was a good wall of trees at near peak color, but unfortunately the sun refused to come out and play like it had when we scouted the location.   

So we slowed the shutter down to catch as much ambient light as we could and then lit the subjects with off-camera speedlites diffused with an umbrella. In addition to leaves, we also found a small garden with some sunflowers and a few mums and other plants in nice fall hues. 

Fall can be a great time for a family portrait, even if you do not have a new baby to show off. 

If you would like a portrait made, give us a call.  We would love to see you in our pictures!

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont                        

Posted by ayerphoto at 2:38 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 October 2013 4:59 PM EDT
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Sunday, 8 September 2013
Are You Ready For Some Football?
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Pix of Week

As fall is rapidly approaching we find ourselves in the mood to watch some live football.  Fortunately, we live near several high schools with football programs, so off we went.  It was also a chance to try some sports shots under fairly demanding conditions.  This is because the first two games were under the lights.  And unlike pro stadiums, these lights left a lot to be desired when attempting to stop action without a flash on a football field (from the bleachers). 

We read up on Scott Kelby's settings that he uses when shooting the Atlanta Falcons, but found our lighting not nearly as good as his.  As a result we could not push our shutter speeds over 1/1000 th for lack of light.  We also found like most sports, anticipation is crucial to have a chance of getting something dramatic. 

Our first game was that of Champlain Valley Union (CVU) playing Colchester High School at Colchester, Vermont.  Our grandson played in this game, so for some of the time I followed him and got this shot of him (#25) tackling the Colchester Laker runner.    

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM with 1.4x Extender at 290 mm 

Exposure: 1/640 at f/4, and ISO 4000

Settings: Manual Mode, Parital Metering, no flash  

The resulting images had a fair amount of digital noise, especially since even with the aperture wide open they were still a bit underexposed.  We had to use Nik Software Dfine 2.0 to clean them up prior to posting.

Champlain Valley Union won this season opener, so we decided to follow them to their next game the following week.  That game was against the Essex Hornets at Essex.  These bleachers were set back a little further from the field and the resulting lighting from photography was worse.  In addition the Essex uniforms were a little darker making it more difficult to get a sharp focus.

The camera settings turned out to be similar, but we found a shutter speed of 1/800 worked a little better to stop action.  We also found ourselves panning much more in this game and had to switch the Image Stabilization to the panning mode to get a sharper image.  ISO was still at 4000, but we had to brighten images even more in post processing to make up for underexposure in camera. 

Essex took the lead early and maintained it most of the time through the third quarter, but only by a few points.    

In the fourth quarter in the waning minutes of the game CVU managed to get three interceptions, scored and turned the game around.  They then held them scoreless and finally ran the clock out to win the game. 

One of my favorite shots from that game is of the jubilant CVU coaches after the first interception and score that put CVU in the lead.  Don't they look happy?  

We are really looking forward to our first day game with real daylight to work with to see what we will get. 

If you would like to see some more of out shots from these games, check out these game galleries here:  

     CVU vs. Colchester       

     CVU vs. Essex      

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont          

Posted by ayerphoto at 4:49 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 9 September 2013 10:42 AM EDT
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Friday, 16 August 2013
A Panoramic View
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Pix of Week

I had to go the Sunset Ballroom the other day to go over some plans for an upcoming wedding.  If you have never been there, it is worth a trip to stop in.  It is located on Shelburne Road in South Burlington on the top floor of the Comfort Inn Suites.  And when the weather cooperates you can walk out of the ballroom onto a rooftop patio with a great view of Lake Champlain, and on occasion, a sunset since you are facing west. 

After we had finished discussing all the arrangements for a complicated setup, I hung around on the roof for a while taking a few shots.  (Well, it was a sunny day, so I brought my camera - who wouldn't?)  It was way too early in the day for a sunset, in fact the light was still high enough to be a bit harsh, but I decided to try a hand-held panoramic shot. 

To do this you set the camera on manual and take a series of shots, such that they overlap, but when stitched together will form one very large panoramic file.  I had only tried this manually in the past, and only with a few images.  This time I took five and decided to test PhotoShop's automated PHOTOMERGE feature

Since it was so bright, I also used Nik Color Efex Detail Extractor on the raw files to bring out more details in the shadow and light extremes.  Once complete, it looks really weird shaped, so I then crop out the part of interest and fit it to the longest aspect ratio my lab will print in a standard size, which is 4:1.  Here is the end result - my panorama of Lake Champlain from the Sunset Ballroom.    

While this blog post is only a low res file, the original is huge and will easily print at full quality at over 5 feet wide and even more on canvas.

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM at 24 mm 

Exposure: 1/500 at f/9, and ISO 160

Settings: Manual Mode, Parital Metering, no flash

My past experiments with earlier generations of stitching software did not always produce pleasing results and too easily got confused as to how the images went together.  But this one did just fine, even in the distorted extremes that I cropped off.

So next time you are on the roof of a tall building, take the wide view. 

Posted by Warren   

Ayer Photography of Vermont       


Posted by ayerphoto at 7:24 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 16 August 2013 7:51 PM EDT
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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Mood:  flirty
Topic: Pix of Week

On our recent trip to the coast of Maine one of our frequent photographic subjects were the ubiquitous seagulls.  They are always there, semi-tame, common, but still interesting none-the-less. 

I used them for practice of several different techniques, some of which I discussed in prior postings.  

Interestingly of all the seagulls I photographed over the week, I remember two in particular.  They each stood out in their own way.  Just thinking of them reminded me of the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Any of you remember that.  I am not sure if it was required reading way back then, but it was popular at the time for a variety of reasons.  It is perhaps because of its celebration of unique dreams and unique spirits in a sea of commonality that caused me to remember these two separate from all the rest.

The first was an odd fellow.  His (or her?) coloring was different from all the other gulls on Cape Neddick that day.  But it did not seem to bother him.  He seemed comfortable in who he was, held his own and gave me some of my more interesting poses.  Perhaps he understood that he had something, no one else had?  

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM at 105 mm

Exposure: 1/500 at f/14, and ISO 640

Settings: Manual Mode, no flash  

The key challenge of this shot was to use the AI Servo mode for Auto Focus tracking of a moving subject.  Once engaged, this AF mode will track the focused subject and predict the correct distance just before the shutter is tripped.  While most of the Canon settings were left at default, I did turn on AF Expansion, which activates focus points adjacent to the selected point to help you keep your subject locked in focus. 

A second seagull was one I encountered up at Cape Porpoise where I had gone to shoot the lighthouse on Goat Island.  This was a pretty typical gull, but he chose to sit and pose for me giving me several different poses.  Then he started "talking" or "calling" to something across the bay.  I was just intrigued by his tame individuality.  

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM at 195 mm 

Exposure: 1/1600 at f/2.8, and ISO 100

Settings: Manual Mode, no flash  

Since he was so cooperative, the challenge was only to keep from blowing out the highlights in the bright sun since I wanted a wide open aperture for a shallow depth of field. 

It is interesting the feelings and memories a simple seagull can conjure up.  Perhaps it is the nostalgic pull of a formative time long ago that seems hard to recapture in the sound bites of today.  A person of the modern day on watching the video of Neil Diamond's "Be" overlaid with quotes from Richard Bach's book, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and scenes from the movie commented that it required immense patience to watch it all without "committing suicide."  Yet, for those of us who grew up then, who learned to stop and listen and have the patience to formulate goals and find the inner strength to achieve them, we are grateful for the reminder that some things cannot be fully appreciated in a 30 second sound bite.  

Someone else commented that they had first heard "Be" and read JLS back in the early 70's when they were only 15 "and it changed their life."  I cannot go that far, since its world view is a little too eastern for me, but there is much to appreciate in its message.   

So, if you are too young to have ever heard of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, or wondered what could a simple bird say to you, have a listen and watch the beauty of "Be" on YOU TUBE at 

Here is hoping that the next time you see a simple seagull, you will stop and look at the world just a little different ... maybe just for a moment, and get a glimpse of something bigger than a sound bite.

"We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill."

"The gull sees farthest who flies highest."

Posted by Warren    

Ayer Photography of Vermont             

"Be" by Neil Diamond (1973)

"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach (1970)         

Posted by ayerphoto at 2:50 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 June 2013 11:02 AM EDT
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Monday, 10 June 2013
Lighthouse In Various Light
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: Pix of Week

I have always liked lighthouses, as many people do.  They seem to conjure up so many stories of seafaring merchants, fisherman, and even battles - both of the human variety and with the forces of nature.   

So, when we had a break between our regular gatherings and duties, we decided to head for the coast and to photograph, among other things, a few lighthouses.  We stayed in York Beach, Maine, very near to the Nubble Light on Cape Neddick.  Not only was it nearby, but it was also one of the few nearby, that were readily accessible at least from one direction and visible from a couple of others.  It became a natural subject then for a personal project to capture one lighthouse under various lighting situations.  

They say that the best light is around sunrise and sunset because of the color and directionality.  So, unaccustomed as I am to the early morning hours, I did manage to rise before sunrise (5 am) on two mornings to see what I could see.  The first thing you realize is that that cool moment of unique sunrise-related light does not last very long on an eastern ocean shore.  The first morning I did not have time to go out to the lighthouse itself, so I shot it from across the cove.    

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM + 1.4x Teleextender at 250 mm 

Exposure: 1/200 at f/9, and ISO 200

Settings: Manual Mode, Partial Metering, no flash    

This was a great angle in some respects because we could not see the sun itself as it peeked over the eastern horizon.  All we could see was the glow in the sky and the "hot spots" on the lighthouse where it "kissed" it good morning.  For me, it was the hot kiss that made the image.  It happened and then it was gone in less than 5 minutes. 

We wondered what it would have been like to have been closer to the lighthouse?  We imagined we would see the tower bathed in a warm glow just as the sun peeked over the horizon.  It was this anticipation that motivated us to get up even earlier the next morning to drive the deserted streets and arrive at the lighthouse in time to capture this moment. 

Unfortunately, it was not nearly as interesting up close.  The warmth of the glow was not as intense and the only accessible angles and a featureless sky made it quite anti-climactic!  We did find a shot up along Cape Neddick where the warm glow playing on the textures of the rocks made for this view:   

The morning sun made the otherwise grey on grey rocks so much more interesting.  This was taken just after the sun cleared the horizon.  We slept in the remaining mornings of our trip.    

Next up for our lighting project was dusk / sunset. With the ocean to our east the sun is still up when it passes from our view, so sunset was pretty boring. As an envelope of darkness began to cover us, we became intrigued by the colorful vestiges of light playing on the water just before it disappeared altogether. At times there was a faint magenta glow looking southwest and a dark green in the waves looking northeast.  I loved the interplay of the brooding shadows, the spray of the waves and the white lighthouse in the distance.   

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM at 93 mm 

Exposure: 1/100 at f/4, and ISO 1600

Settings: Manual Mode, Partial Metering, no flash    

While the seas were relatively calm, there was just enough wave action from the incoming tide to give the shot a stormy character and remind us that the light's purpose is to keep you off the rocks.

Then we drove out Cape Neddick in late morning with the bright mid-day sun not quite overhead, but high in the sky.  Here is what Nubble Light looks like in the daylight. 

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM at 70 mm 

Exposure: 1/320 at f/16, and ISO 250

Settings: Manual Mode, Spot Metering, no flash

As you can see, it was close to "sunny 16" conditions, where on a sunny day, the rule of thumb is to set your shutter speed to 1 over the ISO of the recording medium. 

The lighthouse sits on a small island at the end of Cape Neddick, to which the public is not permitted access.  You can shoot only from the rocky out croppings of Sohier Park and this is one of the few angles where you can both stand on dry land and not get power lines in the photo.  

There were lots of people taking pictures that day.  In fact, some pamphlets called Nubble Light one of the most photographed lighthouses in Maine.  One elderly woman was complaining that she could not get a picture where the flag was not covering up the window - as you can see above, you do have to time it right and move around on the very uneven rocks.  I guess her attraction to the lighthouse was to see what was inside?

From this closeup you probably also notice something else strange about the light!  Yes, there is no light!  Now, you probably thought I just timed it wrong since it is supposed to be a blinking red light - and that is what I thought at first.  But then at the Old York Museums we got to talking to one of the volunteers (who just happened to have originally been from Colchester, Vermont) and he told us that the power feed to the island has a fault and needs to be replaced.  Hence, no light!  He told me that the Coast Guard put a solar powered light in, but it is only visible from sea side, not from the Cape side.  I guess you could call it, one if by sea and none if by land?     

For those of you who miss the light, here is an image I dug out of our archives.  It was taken way back in July of 2002 on a previous visit to this lighthouse.  At that time the light still worked!    

In the various tourist propaganda we saw that many brides every year will try to have some of their posed portraits taken at a lighthouse, and Nubble's relatively close access makes it popular.  On our last evening in Maine we decided to have dinner at Fox's Lobster House Restaurant on Cape Neddick with a great view of Nubble Light.  As we sat down, we noticed a limo pull into Sohier Park and drive up to the light.  We imagined, especially since it was Friday, that it contained a bridal party and watched expectantly to see what would happen.  There was a lot of uncertainty because it was pouring rain at the time - if she got out, it had the potential to become a "trash the dress" session.  Alas, the rain never stopped and the limo eventually drove away and we never got to see who was inside.

Lastly, I will leave you with our "postcard" shot of the Nubble Lighthouse.

Since we are inclined to add more images of lighthouses as time goes by we have begun a new scenic gallery of our lighthouse images.  If you would like to see these and other images in a higher resolution, check it out HERE.    

Here is hoping that your beacon never lacks the power to shine brightly in any weather.     

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont                 

Posted by ayerphoto at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 13 June 2013 4:36 PM EDT
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Thursday, 23 May 2013
All In One Accord
Mood:  sharp
Topic: Pix of Week

There is an old joke asking what kind of car did the disciples of Jesus drive?  The answer is a Honda Accord because of the verse in the Bible that says, the disciples were "all in one accord."   

So this week's Pic of the Week is of a Honda Accord.  Actually it is a continuation of my prior experiment with HDR processing trying to extend the dynamic range in harsh lighting.  In this week's photo, I parked the car half in the shade and half in bright morning sun.  In any individual image either the highlights were blown out, the shadows were blocked up or both.  It seemed like a good test of the value of HDR processing.  As before, I shot one for the highlights, one for the shadows and one in between.  After processing in Nik's HDR Efex Pro followed by additional touchup in Photoshop CS5 and selective application of Viveza and Color Efex 4, this is the result:    

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM at 45 mm (dist = 4.5m)

Exposure: 1/60 + 1/160 + 1/400, at f/7.1, and ISO 200

Settings: Manual Mode, Spot Metering, no flash  

Software: Nik HDR Efex Pro in Photoshop CS5

So, I was pretty happy with my second attempt at HDR. I wanted to extend the dynamic range of the image, but did not want it to look HDR-ish. I showed Linda the result and she liked it as well.

So, I guess you could say that we "were all in one accord."

If you would like to check out the higher resolution versions, see our new CARS gallery by clicking HERE.

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont                      

Posted by ayerphoto at 6:41 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 23 May 2013 7:00 PM EDT
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Friday, 17 May 2013
New Car & New Bloom
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Pix of Week

Since my mid-April photo of the Lilac bud just starting to think about Spring time activities the weather has warmed considerably.  The heat and some much needed rain have finally kicked Spring into full gear.  This is something that all allergy sufferers will attest to.  I am already longing for a day without a headache and scratchy watery eyes. 

The culprit, of course, is the fact that almost every plant that can bloom is doing it all at once.  Pollen counts are in the extremely high index range every day - the only exception being when it rains. 

So, I have been meaning to get some shots of our Lilac which has burst into bloom.  But I never seemed to get around to it until my wife decided to treat her Spring fever by getting a new sportier (is there such a word?) car.  Its bright red color in this morning's sun seemed to fit with the new blooms. 

The lighting proved to be a bit extreme (if you want the sky to be blue and the car red at the same time), so it also gave me a chance to play with Nik's HDR software plug-in for post processing.  So here is today's photo, looking very spring-like.    

If you are unfamiliar with HDR photography, it is creating an image with a composite of three or more images that are identical except for the exposure.  One is exposed for the shadows, one for the mid-tones, and one for the highlights.  Software is then used to tone-map and mask the three images to create one composite that has a wider range of details than you can normally capture in one photograph.   

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM at 47 mm (dist = 1.2m)

Exposure: 1/80 + 1/200 + 1/500, at f/6.3, and ISO 200

Settings: Manual Mode, Spot Metering, no flash  

Software: Nik HDR Efex Pro in Photoshop CS5

May the sun, warmth, and color of Spring fill you with joy, even if the "smells" give you a headache.        

Posted by Warren

     Ayer Photography of Vermont                             

Posted by ayerphoto at 12:05 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 17 May 2013 12:36 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Sign Of Spring
Mood:  happy
Topic: Pix of Week

It has been a spastic spring, mostly cold and dark, but with just enough warm spots to give us hope that Spring really is on its way.  But lately we have begun to get a little rain interspersed with a spot or two of sun and the gray and brown is beginning to show some hints of green - hints of some new life.   

Today, I looked out to see a bright morning sun hitting a new lilac bud.   

While I am sure there are some who would declare this image a cliché - it does not matter today.  It made me feel good, feel warmer and more hopeful.  I enjoyed my own image - what more could I ask of today? 

It reminded me of an old hymn we used to sing years ago.  It had different names in different hymnals, but I remember it as the "Hymn of Promise."  It's lyrics were:

"In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter there's a spring that waits to be,

unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There's a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;

there's a dawn for every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery,

unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;

in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.

In our death, a resurrection; at the last a victory,

unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see."   

For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Lens: Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM at 200 mm  (dist. = 1.4 m)

Exposure: 1/640 (handheld), at f/2.8, and ISO 100

Settings: Manual, Spot Metering

Lighting: None other than natural daylight

May your day be filled with sunshine and the promise of new life. 

Posted by Warren

Ayer Photography of Vermont.          

Posted by ayerphoto at 10:38 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 April 2013 11:18 AM EDT
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