Yeah about That


Today is one of those days that maybe I shouldn’t post. However I say throw caution to the wind.
Yesterday with plans foiled by crazy winds, I finished up some editing. These images are what I was working on. First the Lighthouse done as an HDR. The whole HDR thing is a love it or hate it genre of pictures. They are always subject to interpretation, and for all the likes and comments you get on them, there is always that select few that simply don’t like the composition or the way or parts of the way it was processed. In short it always come down to, either you love it or you hate it. Enough on the topic.
The Shot:

Lighthouse long exposure in HDR.

Lighthouse long exposure in HDR.

My next shot for this post is of a small creek bed with water falls in the background. I shot this one a while ago, during an exploration walk of a nearby nature trail. I took the series of shots more for an exploration of custom camera settings rather than image quality or composition. However the photo itself turned out ok from my perspective and felt them to be post worthy.

Waterfall in the Fall

Waterfall in the Fall

While shooting the image, I stepped right into the creek bed, and slowed the exposure down and shot with a f-stop of 10. With wet feet at this point, My hope was to be able to capture some leaves going over the falls to create an off color variation in the water. That happened but the color I was seeking was not to be on that day.

Up next on the agenda, A shoot of another water falls and some client shots, a trip and shoot of my hometown for an upcoming project, Not to mention a trip to a local sporting goods store for some basketball shoes… Hey a dad has to do what a dad has to do.

Later,

Mike

 

Haters be Hating


Just a very quick follow-up. Recently I have taken some crap for my next project regarding the archery shoot. Someone even posted on my fb wall,,, They hoped that I would take an arrow to the head or neck to teach me a lesson. They quickly removed the post before I could screen capture and show the world what kind of dink bag this guy is. Look its real simple I choose to do things because I can. People may not like everything I do, but it is my choice. Wishing me harm shows some character, and simply put. Just because some will never get off the couch and step outside the comfort zone is not my problem. If hating on me gives your life a sense of satisfaction, well who am I to deny you that brief moment of enjoyment…. I know the risks and will do what I have to do to achieve my goal. That is the difference between me and the haters… I do while they sit. I have not the time nor the dedication to involve myself into an argument with people of this nature. My summary Screw them.. It is all about the photograph. When I post my final composition, then all will be forgotten about how I captured it. Because in reality no one cares anything about the hows they just want to see the image…

CRAZY GUY

CRAZY GUY

GOTCHA

GOTCHA

SHOOT IT!

Mike

The Archer/ My Dedication


I will start off saying, don’t try this at home. Some have said I am crazy for doing this and maybe I am. It is in fact research, I am studying arrow flight for a concept photo I am working on. The shot I am envisioning is what I am calling The ARCHERS ZENITH.

We are also filming all of this activity for or next production of Shoot 2 Thrill.

I can tell you that my initial photos proved a few points to me. I can capture an arrow while in flight, and I can capture this with incredible sharpness. On to the next phase of the project. The Shots.

CRAZY GUY

CRAZY GUY

GOTCHA

GOTCHA

ALL QUIET ON THE SET

ALL QUIET ON THE SET

A few Links to all this fun.

Video

Killing Mike

Until next post.

Mike

Raptor Strike….. Research and Observation.


With anything, hard work and dedication make it happen,and having a plan doesn’t hurt your chances of success either.

Our day began exploring nesting sites. Our first stop was to confirm a nesting site, just to see if it was active. My collective partner on this project, Steven Wilson of Steve Wilson Photography was the first to spot a raptor near this nest, and to our surprise, we in fact are 90 percent sure that this site is home to Bald eagles. Our approach was slightly blocked by some pretty deep pools of standing water so the decision was made not to proceed forward, as this was an investigative mission versus a photography shoot. I am chalking this part of the mission on the positive side of the spectrum, as we know now the nest is active.

Part two of the mission was to explore an area where we suspected a nest of osprey and once again, Steve and I were pleased with our results. On initial sighting we spotted 3 osprey flying around this nest, but the majority of our time was spent observing 2 of them.

The osprey were well of our presence and they as well as us kept our respective distances. Unwilling to disturb their natural behavior we were treated to a fantastic show as we in fact watched 3 strikes on the very large pond that seem to be their primary supply of  food. Steve was able to catch a shot of one of the osprey flying with a small fish in its talons . Being able to watch the tendencies just before the osprey made its dive to the water, was a valuable learning experience, and it was simply incredible to be witness to the entire event.  I felt the most impressive part of the experience was when the osprey broke the surface of the water. The sound of the splash, and seeing the osprey emerge from the water was a sight that will be cherished in my memory.

So taking the information learned on this adventure, we are formulating a plan to set up and improve our results when we attempt to achieve our final compositions of the actual strike, which is the ultimate goal of our project.

personally, I feel really good about this project and feel that we are solid in our action plan to achieve success. Steve’s enthusiasm is refreshing to me as I think he is just as excited about all this as I am. I understand his drive and motivation for success and I respect it. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our adventure. Steve can be found on face book, and please give his page a like, drop him a note and say hello.

Enjoy the images and never stop exploring.

Osprey M. Sargent Photography

Osprey
M. Sargent Photography

Osprey with FishSteve Wilson Photography

Osprey with Fish
Steve Wilson Photography

Osprey with construction materials.Steve Wilson

Osprey with construction materials.
Steve Wilson

MY BEST,

Mike

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

 

 

 

 

Harley Davidson in High Dynamic Range


Two weeks ago, and after some conversation, am idea ran through my mind. How about we do some shots of Harley’s? Better yet why don’t we HDR this American Classic, and even better still, how about we contact our local Harley dealerships and lets present this idea to them. Well Bingo, after some social media magic, Jim and I  were contacted by old friends, and we brought this project to life.

My first shot. The American Classic in HDR black and white.

HDR B&W

I shot 9 photos to compose this image and you can see that on the light side of the stack we captured the highlights that were offered by the setting sun, as well as the soft reflections and contrasting points of focus offered by the angle of light reflection. On the darker side of exposure stacks, the deep rich shadows offer a contrast in black that made the bike pop out of the photo. Despite the apparent sky shadow that is include with many HDR shots, and after careful examination of the photo itself I choose to leave it as it was because I simply loved the classic feel of the overall composition. Shot with a 7d and the Tamron 10-22mm ultra wide-angle lens. F-8 at iso 400 and the shutter started at 1/500th of a second.

My next shot was done in color and having taken the majority of shots during the golden hour of light, I can only say one thing about this time of day. INCREDIBLE. Knowing that this is the best time for taking pictures, I took full advantage of every second and was able to create this HDR color photo.

Color HDR shot during the Golden Hour of Light

My only complaint with this shot is the highlight located on the fairing of the bike. Although it is interesting and a part of HDR shooting, many years of photography have taught me that once a spot is overexposed or washed out, you can’t simply use a slider in lightroom to reduce a highlight. It however adds something to the picture, but right now I cant figure out just what that is.

Anyway the great part of doing these pics, was the connection that was made by using that social media magic. In the future Jim and I will be doing some shots for one of our local Harley Dealerships that saw these and said WOW! Thus once again THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!!

With several shots still to be edited, I wanted to give a quick preview of our current project, and get your thoughts on these images. I also would like to thank my partner, Mr. Jim for meeting me on location and doing what he does best.  Jim has also captured some amazing images, and you can see those on the MSP Facebook page. I also want to give a huge shout out, and my thanks to a dear old friend, Charlene. Charlene thank you for making this happen. I enjoyed this shoot and I am excited to see how the other shots still to be edited turn out. One last thank you to Charlene’s fiance Brian. Brian, your bike is a piece of artwork. I am so appreciative that you allowed me to take this shots, and took some time to share with me your experiences as a Harley owner. My respect,admiration and appreciation are with you.

More soon,

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

GRAND ISLAND BRIDGE PART2 “THE PHOTOS”


Those who follow and know me personally are well aware of one simply truth. I am passionate about my photography, and with that being said, I recently have been thinking along of the lines of “What inspires me” . I answered my own question with a revisit to a location that proved to be a photo that is one that has always created a great deal of buzz. The photograph at the top of my word press blog was affectionately given the name, “THE GRAND ISLAND BRIDGE”. This shot was originally taken last year during the month of November and it was used in a project known as “Silent Night, Nothings Right”. Although I was happy with the shot, I often regretted not having taken more photos at different angles. On friday evening we righted that wrong, and the MSP Team paid a visit to this iconic man-made structure as we shot the hell out of that bridge.

When we arrived on location I had a fairly good grasp of just how we were going to gain access to the area, and as suspected we were able to set up without any restrictions. Jim and Barb immediately started taken photos as we awaited for darkness to set in, and without getting all mushy, Jim and Barb have simply made me proud with their dedication to a practice in which I am so passionate about. They have excelled and now push me to greater heights because they have become so good at composition.  Although a member of the team joined us late as she had a previous engagement, I anticipate seeing the results of Becky Anderson O”Conners work , as she has a talent for composition unlike any I have ever seen before. Her talents will take her far and it is an honor for me to say she is part of what we are building.

Now that I have had my rant on the subject, let me present to you, The GRAND ISLAND BRIDGE PART TWO.

As we awaited for darkness to set in, I snapped a few shots as we waited. I wanted to show everyone the conditions present at the time. Cloudy skies and a slight haze was a concern, but as the eve set in I was confident that the cool air would eliminate the haze and as experienced in the past, the clouds would add some contrast to the photos once the light faded.

As the light faded

Fading light

Although pleased with these photos I was anticipating the lower light shots. As we progress I will be showing you how the photos changed as we adapted to the changing conditions in lighting.  As we go along please take note at how the photos almost become cartoonish as the vibrance and color starts to take shape. By adjusting apertures, shutter speeds, and focal lengths, you can see a consistent change in the vibrance of each photo. The one constant in all of these photos was my iso setting, which remained at 200 for the length of the shoot. This first series of photos were shot with apertures of f 8 and f10 and shutter speeds were in the range of 1/100 to 1/400th of a second.

These photos were taken as the sun dropped of the horizon. Despite the clouds the colors that are present are definitive of typical sunset shots. The task of eliminating a wash out or a silhouette was easy to accomplish as adjustments were made to apertures and shutter speeds to prevent these common problems from happening.

Using speeds of 1 to 5 seconds worked well as I slowly stepped up the aperture.

 

 

 

 

This next series of shots were taken after the light had faded. This type of photography has long been a favorite of mine and it is something that I have spent a great deal of time in practice learning to do.

The sun makes it exit.

I also decided that this time I would use a flash to light the foreground and although for the most part I used a second shutter flash I did some experimentation with strobe flash. The look I was going for seemed to work as my foreground was exposed as I let the shutter stay open for the ambient light.

 

With strobe flash

Arch with moon

Now with the light gone and full creative control in my hands , I decided to do a little editing on a few shots and play with color.

Color wash on the bridge, and leaving the sky with color

The following photos are what was captured through long exposure and stepped down apertures.

Long exposures

 

 

One last photo for this post is a redo of the original. I decided to shoot this with a longer exposure and an aperture of f 22.

GI Redo

 

As this shoot came to an end, I felt a sense of closure and accomplishment because I was at last able to take a variety of shots from a number of perspectives.

If you happen to stroll by this blog and you like what you see, leave me a comment, or feedback on what we have done here. I enjoy the comments and take your thoughts into consideration every time I shoot.

My best to all of you and thanks again for reading the post.

Michael

M.Sargent Photography