Those Lilypads in Kolkata

Still Water - Kolkata - 2010

Back in the summer of 2010, I went on an amazing trip to India. It was a business trip and I didn’t take any fancy camera gear along.

My first stop was Kolkata (Calcutta) – I’ve never seen such a concentration of humanity as I saw in Kolkata. Our hotel was away from the crowds and had a beautiful pond with these lilypads. This is an evening shot taken with my iPhone. I love the color, the geometry and the texture in this shot.

I hope to go back to India sometime soon – so much more to learn and beautiful people to photograph!

Along the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India

Along the Hooghly - Kolkata - 2010

Three years ago this month I was in India – and my first stop was Kolkata. It was a business trip – and I neglected to pack any serious camera gear – so the limited shooting I did was with either my iPhone or a Canon PowerShot S95.

This image one of the ones shot with my iPhone – probably an iPhone 4 given that date. I was out with a guide in a car touring the city and she had the driver stop along the Hooghly River where I captured this image of the men/boys and their colorful boats – presumably warming up for the day ahead.

Valley Glow – Yosemite – 2010

Valley Glow - Yosemite - 2010

This image was taken during a one-day session in Yosemite that my son and I took last October with Michael Frye. Shot using my Canon 5D Mark II, I had accidentally left my lens on manual focus for the first 20 or so shots of the morning. This was one of those first 20 shots.

Yet, I loved the colors and composition – the question was whether there might be a way to salvage something from the image – in spite of the lousy focus.

I post-processed the image using a combination of Topaz Simplify – BuzSim, Nik’s Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro 3 and Silver Efex Pro 2. My general goals were a) to have something about Half Dome work in the image, b) capture the morning fog line along the far trees at the edge of the meadow and c) highlight the yellow leaves and structure in the foreground.

It’s obviously finished in a painterly style – hopefully it works. For me, it brings back great memories of that early morning out shooting with Michael Frye and my son!

PS: Michael has recently released a new iPhone application that I think is the best tool for photographers wanting to capture Yosemite. The app is an updated iPhone version of his earlier definitive book on photographing Yosemite. The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite is highly recommended!

My Mid-2011 Photography Workflow

Self Portrait in a Moving Mirror

My photography workflow has evolved significantly over the last couple of years – “evolved” being perhaps a euphemism for “gotten more complicated”! I’ve been influenced by paying attention to the workflow of others – picking up tips especially from watching Trey Ratcliff and others as they’ve shared their approaches. I’ve wanted to write this down for my own reference – and, now that I’ve written it up, thought it might be worth sharing as well. So, read on for my photography workflow – as it stands today. Continue reading “My Mid-2011 Photography Workflow”

My Online Life

A colleague asked “So Scott – tell me again what you do about emails you open with 1) PDFs and 2) links – that you want to read later, on the airplane?”

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  1. If I’m on a web page that I want to read – just not now – I quickly archive it (using a bookmarklet) to Instapaper. Instapaper has both an iPhone and an iPad client as well as a browser interface I can use on my Mac – so I can go back and read the article anytime, anyplace. If I sync my iPhone/iPad Instapaper apps before getting on a plane, the articles are all stored in the Instapaper app on the device – so I can read even without network access. I use Instapaper ALOT for asynchronous reading of articles.
  2. If I’m on a web page that I want to remember – perhaps not an article to read but something else, then I bookmark the page using Pinboard (using another
    bookmarklet) – see: Pinboard provides me a chronological history of interesting pages that I might want to go back do. Has a lot of other features (tagging, etc) that I’m just beginning to learn how to use effectively.
  3. For PDF’s, I just download them to my Downloads directory and periodically go back and review what’s there. If it’s a PDF that I might want to be able to read on my iPhone/iPad, I may save to a Dropbox directory instead – so that I
    can access it wherever I have a network connection. This works great when you’re bored at lunch, etc. – except when on a plane. For the plane, you have to remember to download the PDF into your device using Dropbox and to also mark it as a favorite so that it’s saved locally in the device.

How about you? How are you managing your online life?

Trey Ratcliff and the Way to San Jose!

This afternoon I headed down to Adobe HQ in downtown San Jose to attend Trey Ratcliff’s talk in Adobe’s Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Trey RatcliffTrey’s the author of the very popular travel photography blog. A year ago, I really enjoyed photowalking with Trey at Stanford – we really had a great time and learned a lot – here’s the Flickr group pool from that Stanford shoot!

Trey’s talk today was wide ranging – moving beyond HDR photography into how our minds and eyes work, how we perceive, and what’s most important in terms of our artistic side.

Among my takeaways was Trey’s recommendation to shoot out in the field with a pair of headphones on tapped into some great music. He cited the benefits of disconnecting our visual experience from our auditory experience – using the music/headphones to make that isolation.

During the Q&A, Trey was asked how he deals with those in the environment (think security guards) who want to shut down photographers. His recommendation: watch Burn Notice – where Michael Weston works to solve problems. As he’s working on a shoot (e.g., Grand Central Station), he’s studying the environment carefully and assessing how he can capture the shots within that environment.

Great inspiration! Follow Trey on Twitter: @treyratcliff. My photo of Trey was shot using his 100 Cameras in 1 iPhone app.