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

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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.

Enjoy,

Steve

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.

Enjoy!

-Steve

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.

-Steve

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.

Enjoy!

-Steve

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!

-Steve