Only once in a while


To all of you who have followed me here… Although I will continue to post here on occasion, I have moved over to blogger, simply because everything ties together with my activities on google. Some of you may not continue to follow and I understand. The reasons for this switch is in part due to the social media outlines, and lets face it, the reason we all do this in hopes that we get noticed or we hope to make an impact with our blogs.. Yes my blog has a lot of follows, but as far as people actually reading, well I am finding that this is not the case. However, Photography being my main reason for having a blog, I have found that as far as impact and people actually reading , blogger has been the ticket for me.. If those of you who read this are still interested in hearing my take on things, and want to know what I am working on, you can follow me on Google Plus at Michael Sargent or see my Blog at ,http://forksalongtheway.blogspot.com/ .

Thanks for all the support, and I hope to see many of you on the new site.

MY BEST!!!

Mike

 

 

THE BOND


Last post, I mentioned that I was going to do a little talking about a project in the works. Well a slight change of plans… Where to begin. Lets just summarize. With an opportunity on the table, and considering ethics and morals, one could be considered a terrible person if they forego what they believe in and  trade those beliefs for a quick out. The problem however lies in the reality that some people cannot keep the tasks at hand in focus, nor can they finish what they start. Then if they do finish something, the failure of following up is huge disappointment. Look, I will say that from my perspective, having some success is a great feeling, but when you work so hard and the others involved in the projects don’t seem to share your drive, it’s disappointing. Saying that you don’t do cold calls, or expect people to contact you instead of taking some initiative to aspire to a goal is setting things up for failure. Knowing this now, is kind of a good thing, because I can use the time to do something more productive instead of wasting the time with stupid ideas, that produce little results. For proof, I offer this 3.7 million reached vs. 355 views and out of the 355, about 85 percent were generated by my activity. I know My opening is kind of “what the hell is he talking about”, but trust me the point I am making, to achieve a goal you must step outside of your comfort zone sometimes. If you are unwilling, than you will never know, what you could have done. You cant expect everyone else to step outside a comfort zone, if you are not willing to do the same. With my rant being over and related to my photo for this week. Here is the similarities. Bonds. Think about what a bond is. and please don’t confuse it with bound. People often mistake these two words and from this perspective a bond is a connection. An understanding of trust and mutual caring. Bonds are rare and even more rare when we are talking about Human and Beast. I feel very privileged to have captured and even more privileged to be able to share this with you, the reader.

My Photo for the week.

The Bond

The Bond

Shot with the Canon 7d camera and the Tamron 18 to 270 lens, I employed the aperture of f-8 and an iso of 400. Partial metering was used and a single focal point focused on the kiss itself provided a very good depth of field once the shutter set at 1/500 was pressed.

Post processing. I used Adobe Lightroom to put a warm glow in the white balance, and proceeded to adjust the exposure and contrast and reduce a few high lights caused by the overhead sun. I then used a developed MSP script, to give the image an HDR appearance. Thus creating my final composition. I know not everyone will like this because of the HDR appearance, but from my view, this is how HDR should look.

As stated in the last post these were taken while on a video shoot for an entirely different project. My guess is when this video project is done, if it ever gets done and I get to view it. The results of this will be much like the same as many of the past projects. Yeah it will be seen, but it will be seen without me promoting it, and it will be another disappointment in a long list of many. The Question is why?

The image here has already been seen by thousands, on facebook, twitter, and google. The reviews and comments are inspiring and I want to give a big thanks and hugs to those who have left me with so much positive feedback…. I offer a fist bump, handshake, or a kind thank you for this and I will use this experience as future inspiration.

Thank you,

Mike

SHOOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sun of a Beach


Ok yeah the title. Kind of a play on words, but the factors.. Partly sunny day, and on a beach so i figured what the heck.

I followed up yesterday doing some photos for friend and her very pregnant daughter, and while on this shoot I took notice of the contrast in light on the beach. When I finished with my friends, I took a closer look on the beach and before  you know it, I was flat on a cold stone riddled sandy beach snapping some shots.

SO far my favorite:

Stoned on a beach

Stoned on a beach

Once again in use, was my trusty and loved 7d. I used the Tamron 18-270 set an F-8 with the shutter at 1/500th of a sec. I also used ISO 400 and a partial metering mode to create the raw image. Using Lightroom for my edit, I sharpened it slightly and brought up the vibrance. I thought of cropping the photo to remove part of pier and water but decided to just leave it as it sort of offset the beach and gives the photo some depth and contrast.

Hope you like

My best

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

Bird Ox a Pain in the Butt or One of Nature’s Wonders


Having some spare time on my hands today, and needing a little fresh air, not to mention a bit of exercise, I decided to go on a short walk. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter the conditions, there is always something to photograph. Today is no exception to this, as I take one of natures little burdens and attempt to make it look artistic in my composition. Lets face it, we all have experienced the trails of Bird Ox and some of us, present company included have gotten these things stuck in our hair. As kids we would seek out these tormenters and throw them at the hair or clothes of friends and young lasses that may have been the object of our affections. Well at least that is what we did when we were growing up. By todays standards this would be perceived as bullying, but as we gave we also received. This first shot was taken with a 7d and an aperture of 3.5 @ iso 400 with a shutter speed of 1/90th of a second.

Bird Ox

I used Light room to crop the image and added a light vignette to place the focus on the center pod .

This next image I went for a softer tone and used a slightly smaller aperture ( F-8) and employed a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second.

shot at f-8

While out on this shoot, I also ran across a gentleman who still practices in the lost art of trapping. As he gave me a lesson in the finer points of trapping, I watched as he worked his magic in and around the huts that the subject of his query had built. He explained to me that you have to find the runs they use to travel between their homes and where they feed. In addition you can generally spot a muskrat hole by the discovery of a mudline. Once you find the hole you can check to see if it is active by determining the hardness around the opening. Often times a rat will rub against the opening to keep its borders hard and from breaking away from the constant submersion in water.

A few shots for your enjoyment.

Pre trap scouting.

Checking out a hut

As I made my way out of the area, I was able to see the subject of his search. This shifty little rat made my capture quite difficult as he dove under water and made his escape from my lens.I did however capture this image as he swam away from me and my invading lens.

EXIT STAGE LEFT

Until we meet again my friends. Step outside and take a look around.

SHOOT 2 THRILL

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

Now, This is Something You don’t See Everyday (Hemaris thysbe)


After a conversation and completion of a project, with my buddy John From Torquil Studio, he mentioned to me that he had the coolest little bee buzzing around his butterfly bush. His words described this as a bee that looks like a hummingbird. I immediately  knew what he was referring too and I went on a mission. I asked John if it would be possible to come down after work one evening and see if we could capture any of these on camera? He responded with an enthusiastic yes and we were off to the races.

As John and I exchanged pleasantries and proceeded to enjoy some pops, we spotted a visitor to his bush and went in for the shot. surprisingly They had no fear of us and allowed us to get close for the photos you will see in this post.

Some information on the Hemaris thysbe can be found here on this provided link, but we have discovered that these are actually moths. Now it is debatable to the origin of this species, but I for one enjoyed their antics as well as ours. Capturing these images with a 7d and a 50 mm lens. I used an iso of 800 and a shutter speed of 1/4000 to 1/8000 of a second, and did some light editing in Lightroom.

Hope you enjoyed and look forward to your comments.

handfeeding

handfeeding 2

Feeding on butterfly bush

Preparing for a close up

getting closer

and closer

The Money shot

Flower among us

Pond visitor

The other side of the pond

 

Feel The BANG!!!!!

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going Artistic


It was once said that if an artist puts his heart into his passions he will create a true master piece. Well I don’t know about all of that, but I do know that from my perspective, I put a lot of heart into my photography projects and with the wedding season over for me, I am looking to take on other photography projects.

Lately, and on a personal level I have asked several questions regarding my next step in this field, and to date have not come up with too many answers. I do however know that I will be taking my shooting style in a slightly different direction.  It’s time to open the artistic flood gates and join the world of what is visually pleasing to the viewer’s eye. If you look around the web, you will see that any one who owns a camera is a professional photographer, and these days who doesn’t. It does however seem that the photographers who rise to the top, and become heavily sought after, are the ones who expose only their finest artistic shots. These days I have noted a shift in the business. At one time, people hired a photographer  to create images that had an artistic flair,based on the photographers shooting style. This seems to be a fading trend as most want to have images captured on the fly in almost a photo-journalistic manner. Either way and based on the choices of the clients it’s nice to know that either method is achievable through my lens.

Thus we come to this weeks posted images. This first shot was captured using a 7d and the award-winning Tamrom 18-270 lens. I like to call this peaceful childhood. Your feedback and thoughts on this image would be greatly sought after. My personal take on the image is children just do. They learn through observation and it makes you wonder what this little one was thinking, and what she was looking at .

childhood

My decision for black and white, was to enhance the classic style of photograph and to show some detailed contrast within the image. Shot with an iso of 400 an aperture of f8 was used at 1/500 of a second.

The following images were a long-standing project that took some time to actually shoot. I have been waiting for the perfect light and last night that light was cast upon my subject.

HDR of LIGHTHOUSE

With HDR photos a topic in recent weeks I opted to shoot a few bracketed photos and give the HDR plugin a whirl. Overall I was pleased with the images and the experts have called it correct when they say, HDR gives a photo an almost unreal effect.

HDR 2

Seemingly this next shot I really turned up the brackets, and took 9 photos to create this one shot. Once again you can say that HDR gives images a whole new look and at this point I am unsure of how well I like the hard contrasts between the exposures. Your thoughts on this will be appreciated.

As light faded, I proceeded to go to the long exposure settings and started snapping random shots, that I found just interesting.

Jet skier@ sunset

30 sec exposure of light house

one minute exposure

two-minute exposure

 

 

 

 

corn field silo                                                     

 

 

Milky way

as a car went by in the last 15 seconds of exposure    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last two images are of the elusive Milky Way. This shot has been a bucket list shot and although not the composition I was seeking, It was exposed well enough for me to grab these images.  When I left the lighthouse I noted that I could make out the cluster,but with the lights from the park I felt that they would hinder chances of capturing the image. I parked on a side road and set the tripod up. It was dark but as you can by the light on the lower part of the photo the location was not remote enough as a car drove by in the last 10 seconds of exposure. This ruined the shot, but I will take what I have learned and when the day arrives, and I shoot this image again, It will be a composition rather than a photograph. Until next post, I hope to receive your thoughts on some of the artistic shots. My best to you all, and may your lives be filled with beautiful sights.

Shoot the light

Mike

M.Sargent Photography

 

http://www.mrsargent.com

 

Back to where the WILD THINGS are


As promised, I am getting back to the wildlife photography, and it has been long-awaited.

We have had an incredible wedding season and continue to receive a tremendous amount of feedback regarding the photos that have been captured by the MSP team.

Today however I am going to share with you a photo containing one of favorite subjects to photograph. Hummingbirds. These speedy little subjects can be difficult to photograph and is often times the case, you will have to wait until they stop or proceed to feed to be able to get a great image of them. Although I am going to try to get one while in flight, the conditions have to be ideal to do so.

Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

While sitting on my back deck, I waited for the birds to start feeding and as this one approached the feeder, he spotted me and decided that he would go the route of the natural nectar that we have an abundance of growing in our yard. A hummingbird magnet to say the least.

Being able to spot his movement I watched as he flew towards these flowers and when the opportunity presented itself I banged on the shutter button. After some light editing in Lightroom, I was happy with the results my 7d and the new 100 to 400 l series lens had provided. I utilized a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a sec and employed the full zoom capabilities of the lens. I also made the decision to start shooting with an iso of 800. With advancements in technology 800 is the new 400 and I would suspect that I could bump that number up a little to achieve an even faster shutter in low light situations.

My next shot is of course a female who decided to take a brief rest and sip on the nectar. As she proceeded to feed she had taken notice of me and kept an eye on me in-between her quick sips.

Female at the feeder

This shot also utilized an iso of 800 and my shutter speed was 1/3200th of a sec and 400mm was my focal length. The crisp detail was once again due to the l- series lens and I have to state that despite what others may say, there is an incredible difference with L series lenses. Not only in sharpness but the function and capabilities this lens offers is unsurpassed. Having done some experimentation with this new lens, I look forward to sharing the images I soon will be capturing with it, and I suspect it will quickly become my new favorite.

Hummingbirds are a great target to photograph for several reasons, but my main goal when doing so is to hone my reflexes so I can be ready in the blink of an eye. Sometimes you have a fraction of a second to capture a shot, and these targets will sharpen your reflexes so you can be able to anticipate and react in a quick photo opportunity situation.

Soon you can expect to see more photos of deer, turkey, and possibly bear, as I make plans to get back out in the filed and go where the wild things are.

My best to you all,

Mike

KEEPING IT SIMPLE


HI!!!!

Here is the skinny. M.Sargent Photography has been busy. The team has been photographing weddings, and I have said this on countless occasions. 2012 has been an incredible year for me and my brand.

With so much going on it can be a little overwhelming at times, and the best advice I can offer when the workload is heavy and deadlines need to met, is to grind it out and take a little time to do what you do best.  In my case, I grab the camera and take a little stroll.

Recently, I did just that and as always the stroll clears the clutter within the dome, and gets you refocused on the pressing tasks at hand.

These shots were captured while on this stroll and hell yeah they are simple and very basic. Sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. This first shot,

WILD FLOWERS

was taken with my Canon 7d and Tamron 18 to 270 mm lens. Using an ISO of 400 I used an f-stop of 6.3  and a shutter speed of 1/200 of a sec to bring the subject  into focus while slightly blurring the background. Simple yet vibrant.

Budding Wildflower

This next shot I changed it up some. I used an f-stop of 10 to create a deeper depth of field. The shutter was 1/80th of a sec and my intention on this was to display the buds  as the focal point, but to allow the viewer a change to see the vibrant green leaves that surround the flower. Yet again simple, basic photography. Taking the stroll and keeping it simple was just what was needed to refocus and blast out our more pressing projects.

Because of this simple little stroll, I was able to produce some of my most beautiful wedding photos to date, and by doing so, the feedback from these shots are inspirational. With a reignited passion for what I do, I have found that the key to success is to sometimes just keep it simple.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to any comments. Some wedding photos are coming soon.

My Best,

Michael

M.Sargent Photography