A New Gallery

Normally this blog is used to help you improve your photography. This week it is to introduce a new gallery on my website: ” French Quarter Doorways,” in New Orleans.

How many times in our lives have we made a committment to finish one project right now without going off in another direction before it was finished? While working on my Mississippi River project we were spending several days in New Orleans and the French Quarter, I noticed all the differerent old doorways and the interaction of people around these doorways. I immediately decided to do a small gallery on the doorways of the French Quarter. These old buildings and their cafes, galleries and shops provide an interesting viewing experience to those people who have not been to the French Quarter…and also to those that have.

Meanwhile my River Gallery has taken a second seat to this one. But only for a few days.

I guess you could say that in the French Quarter life circulates around doorways and I have tried to provide that with this new gallery. Enjoy the doorways.

Painter in doorway  2  copy

Florida Keys Sunrise

The Photo of the Week is another view of a sunrise on the Florida Keys. The rising sun coming through a broken layer of clouds gives a dramatic view of the two palm trees whose trunks have by curved the winds. It started to rain about 20 minutes after this scene was captured near Marathon, FL. Photo taken 2010.

Florida Keys Sunrise copy

Taking A Walk

When you are shooting an outdoor scene, don’t just stay in one place and take one or two or a hundred pictures of the same thing, walk around a bit…even if other people walk up and take the scene from the same angle that you are taking it from…and then walk away.

Use your imagination and see what the scene looks like from 50 feet away…a hundred feet away or by some nearby trees.

I always complain that most people tend to take many more photos that they should of one scene..there is nothing wrong with taking many different photos of the same scene or subject from different angles.

This was true in my case. I was taking photos of old southern plantations in Louisana as part of my Mississippi River project and wanted to include three plantations.

The last one, the Nottaway Plantation between New Orleans and Baton Rouge presented a very good example of “talking a walk” around the subject.

The three photos with this blog are taken of the Nottaway Mansion. The first one is the one you see in many of the brochures. It is ok.

First  view. JPGThe second one is the front entrance of the mansion that faces the river…but you can’t see the river because of the dikes along the river bank.

Second view

A groundskeeper told me one side of the mansion was designed to be like the White House. So I walked to that side and that is where the best photograph was taken…between the large oak trees. You rarely see this side of the house in any of the brochures. It was beautiful because the leaves were just starting come out on the trees and the curved branches of the old oaks proided the perfect frame. The afternoon sun provided both highlights and shaded areas.

Final view  1 copy

Of course I like the last view best.

Keep it Steady and Crisp

I always look for photographs that are crisp and in focus. Auto focusing lens help a lot, but how you take the photo also helps too. “Shoot Steady,” someone once told me. Don’t “snap” the shutter, just squeeze it gently and take a deep breath at the same time.. Even with an automatic focusing lens, if you jerk the camera when you snap the shutter your photo will come up blurred to a degree and not be as crisp as it should be. In other words, don’t move the camera when you snap the photograph.

Don’t hold the camera out in front of you, keep it as close to your eye as possible. With many cameras that you use on “auto” mode which means the shutter spend and the lens opening will be determined by the amount of light you have available, the darker the scene the slower the shutter speed and more of a chance for a blurred photo.

The photo with this blog has nothing to do with this subject, but is a nice sunrise scene. It was taken on the Florida keys. It was a very dark morning because of an approaching thunderstorm. Suddenly the sun burst through an opening in the clouds. I had my cameras nearby and took both black & white and colored photos.

The color photograph of the sunrise can be found in the “Other” gallery as well as a pastel sunset scene taken the same day at the end of the storm.

Sunrise Before The Storm

End of The Road

End of The RoadThe end of the road  (US Highway 1) is at Key West, FL., is about as far south as you can go in the states, I think. I do not know if this old pickup truck was driven there at one time or was hauled there, but now it sits on a dock at Key West as a tourist attraction. This photograph was taken on a cloudy rainy day which made the detail of the old truck stand out even more. Photo taken 2010.

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