Steve Black Photography: slideshow image 1
Steve Black Photography: slideshow image 2
Steve Black Photography: slideshow image 3
Steve Black Photography: slideshow image 4
Steve Black Photography: slideshow image 5


Road to Nowhere | Photo of the Day

Panasonic GH1 @14mm, HDR via NIK HDR Efex Pro

I play around with HDR every so often, but it isn’t a regular part of my processing or shooting approach.   I tent to use it to capture a wide dynamic range -  leaving the final image looking ‘natural’.   In this case, the DR was well within the capabilities of the camera – but the original image fell a bit flat.  I used HDR Efex Pro to it gave it a lot more texture and I’m pleased with the result.  It was taken on a coastal road on the East Cape of the North Island – heading to the lighthouse that  is the Eastern-most point in New Zealand.



Crutches | Photo of the Day

Copyright 2010, Steve Black (click for larger version)

Today is my last day in New Zealand. I’ve been packed and ready to go since yesterday – just waiting for my flight back to the US tomorrow. It has been an amazing four months here – I’d highly recommend a trip if you have the time to spare.

As I tried to pass time today, I walked around town for a while, but wasn’t visually inspired for some reason. Bit of a photographic funk, you could say. I came back to my room, opened the window to let in some fresh air and liked the backdrop that I saw below. Then the waiting game began.

I took a few dozen photos with my S90 (couldn’t fit my 5dmk2 out the small gap in the window!) before I captured a scene that I was pleased with. Something about the crutches and the word ‘give’ that connect in my mind. Not sure why, but emotion certainly plays a role in our enjoyment of photography.

Bit of a side note: The S90 has been a wonderful camera on this trip – a great pocket camera and has taken a TON of abuse and never failed me. I know it isn’t designed to be one of the shockproof / waterproof / bombproof cameras on the market today, but it has withstood my accidental tests of sand, water and gravity without fail. I’m a big fan.



What if there were no second chances? | Photo of the Day

Copyright 2010, Steve Black (click for larger version)

I’m generally not that sentimental of a guy. It isn’t often that I think about how short life is and how lucky I’ve been. But being in the middle of the Christchurch earthquake a few weeks ago has really caused me to take time to reflect. One thought that has gone through my head countless times – and I’m sure through the heads of thousands of others from Christchurch – is ‘It could have been me’.

I could’ve gone out to get lunch 30 minutes later than I did. I could have decided to go to the top of the Cathedral that day. I could’ve been parking my car out front of my hostel – as I’d done multiple times before. I could have stayed in a different building. One that came down.

Thankfully I was incredibly, incredibly lucky. Especially considering I was in the City Centre when it happened. I was inside a sound building that wasn’t damaged. But I walked outside to what felt like a war zone. The photo above was taken of the building immediately to the left of where I was when the quake hit. I’d parked my car in that exact spot before.

Take a few minutes today to think about life. For all the difficulties we face, we’re lucky in the grand scheme of things. Call a loved one. Think about what makes you lucky. Just take 5 minutes to be glad we are among those that get a second chance.

I know I will.


Look Up | Photo of the Day

Copyright 2010, Steve Black (click for larger version)

A friendly reminder to keep a camera with you at all times, and don’t get so distracted by your thoughts that you miss what is happening around you. There are beautiful patterns all around us.



Photo of the Day: View from Above – Part 2

5dmk2, 70-300mm at 70, 1/80, 5.6, ISO 2000 (it was dark out!)
Copyright 2010, Steve Black (click for larger version)

In my last post, I shared an image from my first photography-focused flight (in a 6-seat aircraft over the NZ mountains and glaciers on the West coast). I recently had a chance to do a bit more aerial work, this time from a hot air balloon above the Canterbury Plains, near Christchurch, New Zealand. Not only was the ride itself incredibly peaceful and a wonderful experience (including a landing that ended up with the basket on it’s side!) – but I absolutely loved the chance to shoot from a completely different perspective.

We had a foggy morning – all flights are done at daybreak due to the calmer weather – which helped give the images an additional sense of mystery and feeling. I’m currently enamoured with this shot of the foggy forest from above – I hope you enjoy it as well!