The Agony Of Defeat


Losing builds character right. Well that’s what we are supposed to believe anyways. As of late  and if you have been following, my recent focus has been on our hometown basketball teams.

Very proud to have been able to snap these recent photos and what is very disturbing to me, is the officiating I witnessed this year. Ok so this post is a rant, but I need to say it. I watched the officials call fouls that were not fouls, and refused to call fouls that were obvious. In short all I can say is, the only winners here were the officials…. and me.

I captured several shots and the refs just showed how they can affect the outcome of a game. Shame on them and I have the photos to prove how bad they were.

Posted today is a photo that sums up the game, and instead of describing it, I am going to show you.

I call this: THE COACH

THE  COACH

THE COACH

MIKE

Can You Tell it’s Basketball Season


The last several months, time has been spent watching my kids participate in our local schools basketball program. Going as a spectator, most of the time I did not take my camera, just so I could watch the game. My Daughter however gave me a bit of business for this and from that point forward, the camera was in tow. So accomplishing a few objectives here, I set out to nail some shots of the girls, and do some experiments using high ISO’s and editing techniques. Satisfied with my results, I created a new workflow, for the task of creating what is now being called the “Michael Sargent Method”. So far, I’m pleased, some pretty positive things have been coming from the workflow development. One commenter said the images reminded him of Norman Rockwell’s work. Great company as far as I am concerned,but I did not view them that way. Rockwell’s work was generally sketches, but mine are photos converted  to what is being called artistic prints, and the workflow development has been a long and somewhat frustrating task. Having it just about perfected, I’m pleased with the feedback,and caution on the side of continuous improvement before making a final process in the workflow method.

A recent final composition, was taken and developed simply because a mother was present at the game, and as she herself was trying to snap a few photos, and seeing the look of frustration on her face, I offered to make some adjustments to her camera, for better image quality. While doing so I allowed her to view the ones I captured, and she asked me if I would snap a few of her son. Doing so, I showed her the ones I captured, and made a new friend in the process. What came next was the MSP workflow. The images turned out better than I had hoped, and my social media page was full of new likes and  comments. Also cool from my standpoint. What’s next? Who knows, but I am filling requests for prints, and enjoying the highs of knowing that some very happy people are excited about what I produce next..

I call this print MUNGIE. A nickname for the player and titled rightly so…

MUNGIE

MUNGIE

EXPLORATION


Today I am going to go deeper into that rabbit hole and further share this concept of “The Artistic Side”.

Most of the time, my practice generally is based around weddings and or portraits, but as of late my time has been spent doing some landscape images and sports photos just for the fun of it. Admitting  it has been fun, and having another opportunity last night to take some shots, I set up the 7d to nail some action shots. Using a very high ISO 4000 and shutter speeds between 1/320 and 1/500 of a sec, I came up with some pretty good shots. I am going to tell you however that shooting at ISO speeds this high with the 7d you are going to encounter some noise in your shots. What you can do about it, is learn how to edit the images and reduce the noise. Yes it is a bunch of extra work in the editing process, but I think the images within this post are worth a few extra minutes of time considering.

Most of us are aware of the simple fact, that to have a great finish on any composition, you have to get it right within the camera and go from there. My goal with some of these shots was to create an artistic version of some of the originals. I think I accomplished that with these images. First up a total shocker. As the action moved towards my lens, I used a back button focus technique to track, and engaged the shutter. Having snapped several shots in just a few seconds, I was surprised, when I saw this. At the time I had no idea that this was captured. After review I am so glad it was. I am calling this Competitive Spirit.

Competetive Spirit

Competitive Spirit

Taken with a 7d and a Canon Lens, edited in Adobe Lightroom. I used the MSP HDR method to apply an artistic look to the image, and then used a sketching development workflow, that I have been working on for a few months to create this final composition. To close out here are a few more images, using the same process. Hope you enjoy.

JUMPER

JUMPER

FAST BREAK

FAST BREAK

MY best,

MIKE

 

 

Artistic Prints/ The Size of the Dog always Matters


If ya can’t beat em, Join them. That is the age-old saying right? Well I also like to refer to the old saying as well, it’s not the size of the dog that counts it’s the amount of fight within the dog. Myself, well I guess you could say for an old dog I still have some bite & fight left. No point to any of this, but I felt it relevant to things now a days. Here is what’s up. In recent weeks, it has been said that the level and quality of my images has doubled and even tripled in quality and composition. MSP has seen growth in leaps and bounds over the last two years, and based on emails and contact from outside entities I can’t be disappointed. I can however wonder where this all leads in an uncertain future. On the flip side of this thought, do we ever really know what the future holds. So why waste time worrying about it. Smile inserted here.

I recently have been exploring the art of artistic prints, and when I say artistic, I mean heavy photo manipulation. I take a shot, and make some copies. Then I edit the hell out of them and apply some creative touches. I suppose this is all part of the artistic development process. To put it simply, I have been having a little fun exploring my creative side beyond the normal aspect of photography. Some samples, and maybe I am wrong, but I felt that these proofs were good enough to offer up as art. They have been uploaded and are for sale in the MSP store… The question is will they perceived the same way by others who happen to view them? I don’t know, but the initial feedback has been cool.

The Images:

TREE PRINT

TREE PRINT

HOAR FROST

HOAR FROST

Cold Barn

Cold Barn

Needles

Needles

HORSE'S

HORSE’S

Looking for thought’s and opinions. I don’t and never considered myself an artist, but just a simple photographer. Should I continue to pursue is the real question here? This is more of a hobby than a passion, but never the less, it has been fun.

Images seen here can be found in store at. msargentphotography.com

Thanks for having a look.

BE BLESSED,

Mike

 

 

 

 

Rocking Tree


Drawn to this local , I recently shot several versions of this natural wonder.

More in the store.

Enjoy:

MSP

Rocking tree

Rocking tree

Color

Color

Canon 7d and canon lens, iso 400, f-8 @1/400 edit in lightroom.

Shot from the window of my Jeep in WNY near home.

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

 

BRIDGES


With some extra time on my hands, I am  working on a few older shots. Displayed are edits of a favorite subject of mine.. THE GRAND ISLAND BRIDGE. The Black and White version is at the request of a long time friend….

Grand Island Bridge HDR

Grand Island Bridge HDR

Grand Island Bridge B&W

Grand Island Bridge B&W

Images in store and for sale.

Mike

 

STILL…….THE COW’s AINT A COMING HOME


A recent upload to our gallery and one photo that just worked. Deserted farms, they seem to be all over these days. Farmers feed the world, and with so many of them going under, what is to happen when the supply doesn’t meet the demand.

The Cow's aint coming home

The Cow’s aint coming home

Image has been uploaded to our store, and is for sale. The link to the gallery.

My best.

Mike

Exploring my Inner Artist / Anticipating the Milky Way


With the threat of a winter storm on the horizon, I have been keeping a close eye on the weather this past week. With the moon phase in passing, this week our night skies are not to be greatly affected with reflective light from the moon. This being the case, my thoughts are revisiting my milky way shot. According to local weather people saturday night is forecasted to be a crisp, cold cloud free night. If that is the case, I will be out doing my thing in anticipation.. Pray for me people, because this has been a long time coming.

On to the compositions for the week. Deciding to explore and improve on the HDR method, as well as some editing ideas as part of my workflow, I found myself out doing a little exploring. With a borrowed lens from my partner, as well as a ND filter, Shop was set up, and the shutters be a snapping.  Having several bracketed photos for HDR compositions, I opted first to try a little experiment with some older shots. So using lightroom and creating a virtual copy, I exported the copied photo to a plug-in I use in lightroom which at this time will remain my little secret, and began hacking it up. Once satisfied, I imported and published the shot on my facebook page.. The feedback was incredible and several people had publicly posted that they would like to purchase a copy. It was also suggested that the photo would be incredible in a barn wood frame, and that little idea is in the works.

The composition with HDR effects.

Barn With HDR Effects

Barn With HDR Effects

Just throwing this out there, but if you like it as much as others, I have this print available in our online store. Lots of options exist for ordering this print, so have a look around. The direct link to this shot is right HERE.

As I stated, this was a test run for my bracketed shots, and I think I can say that my HDR method as well as my editing workflow is pretty solid. So with a few variations on this shot I will show you the favorites, as voted on by friends of MSP.

First composition:

Original HDR Composition

Original HDR Composition

A thought on winter, As we all know, most days during this season are gray, and the golden hours of shooting don’t always happen. The intent here is not to over saturate the shot with false lighting, or make the day seem brighter than it really was. I am here to tell you, that it was cold, windy and almost depressing. Cool part, no midday harsh light, and although gray, I would suggest giving am honest effort, to get out there and snap some shots. Any one interested you can purchase this shot as well, Right HERE

A variation of this, and almost a sepia type print I used a selective filter and gave the shot a coffee stained look.

stream (4 of 5)

Coffee stained effect

This version is also within the store. HERE.

As pointed out by a reader, I have been slacking on the information regarding how I composed,so with an attempt at doing a better job of this, here is some info… I shot these images using my 7d and my partner’s wife’s canon 18-55 mm lens at 33mm. ISO was 100 at f 4 and the shutter speed was 1/160th of a sec. Metering was spot and used the 19 point auto focus system for this particular image. I also used a neutral density filter as an experiment to see just how much it would affect my image.. Pleased with the results, I also want to mention that a tripod was used, because as a bracketed image I wanted the final compositions to be free of any shifting, when I merged the images using my HDR workflow. One last key piece of the puzzle was the use of my white balance setting. I did in fact set the balance to represent a cloudy day, vs the auto WB that I normally use. Contrary to what I mentioned earlier I wanted the color balance to lean towards a warmer tone vs, the colder tones of blue. This was also a test employed, simply for the editing process, as my intent was to represent the gray of winter. I think I accomplished what I set out to do on this day, and we will see if I have success on my weekend attempt at the milky way.

Long winded, but full of information, I will close out with a very gracious thank you, and mention once again that, MSP does in fact have an online store and the images you here can be purchased within. If you see something here, and can’t find it on the store, shoot me a message, and that problem will receive a remedy.

With the snow falling as I type, stay safe, warm, and always keep that shutter banging.

My best,

Mike

www.mr.sargent.com

THE STORE

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