Cloudy Skies Continue/More Hold Over


Hey mama nature! You are really putting my patience to the test. With cloudy skies ever-present, once again my ambition for the celestial photo is on indefinite hold. With a long over due road trip in process, I spent the day at a place very close to my heart. GilHaven! During the fall of the year, I get to spend time with family members as we share our common love of the outdoors, and the harvest of some tasty venison. The experience of Gilhaven is cherished and my biggest regret is not being able to spend more time within the confines of what I consider this superman’s fortress of solitude. So in summary, I will cherish the time I am able to spend there, and todays shots are just a small sample of the sights of this magical place.

GRAPES OF WRATH

This first shot, I am calling The Grapes of Wrath… Why?  I just like the sound of that title. Also for some reason I had a difficult time capturing this image. The light was not in my favor as what little sun that was available casted some harsh shadows during composition. We waited for just the right cloud cover before snapping.

Soaked MIlk Pod

Next we have a milk pod that has burst through its confines, only to be saturated by the previous evenings rain fall. I often used these little floaters to check for wind direction during the hunting season.

Pretty Chilly Flower

For the most part, flowers like this have succumb to the chills of our fall season, but for some reason this flower seems to be holding on. I felt its presence odd and opted for the capture because it shows the resiliency of nature.

End of the season

Unsure of what this is called, I snapped this shot, simple because I found it interesting. I like the slight arch in the leaves that exist on the base of the wildflower. Additionally I also found the points of the flower to add a sharp contrast to the composition.

FLOWER

On the other side of the lane, I found this bud which is similar to the above but, the color of the flower was more towards purple. What can I say other than I have a draw to purple.

SLOW EXPOSURE RUSHING WATER

Having made my way to the creek bed, I opted to do a little slow exposure photography. Using the settings of ISO 100 and an aperture of 22, I was able to slow my exposure down to 2 seconds. The goal was to make the water appear to be moving within the composition. Using a tripod and getting right into the water, I was able to achieve the appearance of motion in this shot. And yes, I did get soaked as I laid on the ground.

As always I exercised my HDR skill and opted to compose this shot.

HDR CREEKBED

There is something to be said about HDR’s and although I am still uncertain how this shot fits into my likeness scale, I found the contrasts stunning.

My last shot is a redo of a constant within the creek bed. It is an HDR version of what I refer to as the stone that goes unturned.

HDR REFLECTIVE STONE

When last visited, I shot this pic with a Canon xsi camera and my Tamron 18 to 270 lens. Using my 7d and the same lens, I took advantage of the zone focus feature and composed this HDR. Although it is simply a rock in the water, I enjoy the reflection that is ever-present, when the creek is low and small pools of water remain still. This allowed me to capture the HDR version of the stone that goes unturned.

All images were captured with a 7d and or the Canon 100 to 400 L series, Tamron 18 to 270.

Iso’s ranges between 100 and 400 and apertures between 5.6 and f 22. Shot in manual mode shutter speeds varied from 2 seconds to 1/500. Edited with Light room and HDR’s created with Photomatics Lr plugin.

Hope you enjoy, and very soon we will be sharing images of The Whitetail Deer along with various other wildlife species. Until the skies clear, these photos will pass the time until I nail that shot of the Milky way.

My best,

Mike.

M.Sargent Photogaphy

www.mrsargent.com

Nothing Special


AHHH,,, once again the best laid plans of mice and men…. This week I had planned on taking a little journey to a place much darker than my native Western New York, in an attempt to nail my shot of the Milky Way. Instead mother nature decided to open the skies and allow some much-needed heavy rain to fall on our drought ridden soil. With mostly cloudy skies for this weekend and some needed time fulfilling family obligations, I spent the day watching my daughter kick but in a volleyball tournament, held at one of our local schools. Additionally when I took my daughter to her school for the team bus ride to the tournament local I figured I would get a few minutes to capture some sunrise pictures, but once again the best laid plans came by to change the configuration on my agenda.

Life is busy, and they say a body in motion stays in motion. I tend to agree but, I like to think that if the motion you stay in is anything but forward than what’s the point. Forward motion is the direction I choose and despite how hard life hits you, the true test of one’s resolve is take thee hit, and get up, and push forward…. We like to call this having heart. In my opinion, everything happens for a reason, and this change of plans was not devastating nor an inconvenience. I was able to spend some time with my daughters, and meet some people who had some of my shared interests. Funny how word gets around. One gentleman, asked me about my camera, and after some conversation, He said that he recognized my name as he associated it with a shot I took of the Grand Island Bridge. This occurence still floors me, and I have to say that in some ways it feels good to have your name connected with something that has received some notice.

I still have much work to do and as I move forward, I do so with a positive charge.  A few shots from day..

Enjoy.

On my way

Waiting

 

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

 

BA BA BA BA DA I’M LOVING IT


 

Hi all, Today finds me in an exceptionally great mood. Whenever I can accomplish goals on my task list it seems to put me right in that happy place. SO please excuse my quirkyness for this post if possible, but today I just feel damn good.

Last eve my camera and I, as well as my brother Mr. Jim could be found at the farm of Linda Fullers. Linda is a very accomplished owner of her own stables, where she teaches many students the finer points of riding horses. Her dedication to her students is overwhelming and I have a great deal of respect for her work ethic. Although I have known Linda for many years now she still amazes me every time I witness her at work, but last eve we were present to take some shots for a long time friend of Mr. Jim and soon to be friend of myself as well. Heather and her Daughter both experience and benefit and enjoy the lessons they receive from Linda and based on what we captured last eve, we have the pictures to prove it.

First up some shots. My angle for these was flat on my belly and low to the ground. Using a 7d and Tamron lens combo , I employed an ISO of 400 at f5.6 and my shutter speed was between 1/500th and 1/1000th. Taking these shots during some harsh lighting conditions was a challenge and although some of the shots had some unwanted shadows, I was able to make some slight adjustments using Lightroom during my final editing, and I was very pleased with the results.

HDR young lady controlling all that power

 

Majestic Horse and Heather

 

Cooling Down B&W HDR

 

Like Mother Like Daughter

 

The  next couple of shots are just the sights from the farm and subject I found interesting during our eve. The first shot I almost ended before it began, as my big old foot almost stepped on this guy as he landed right before I stepped. For the record, No insects were squished during the making of this post.

Close to a timely end

 

 

And finally I could not finish this post without paying tribute to mans best friend and any farms most loyal and dedicated worker. The Dog, Tom.

Man’s best friend

 

Although Tom was taking a little break, he had his keen eyes on everything, and was ready to go at any sign of need.

Hoped you enjoyed the post and the photos. Until next time…..

SHOOT THE LIGHT AND ALWAYS FEEL THE BANG!

Mike

M.Sargent Photography

http://www.mrsargent.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our World/ Busy Photographers


As promised in my last post, I stated that I would be talking about some wedding photos. I am also going to touch on what I do as someone who is passionate about his work and my desire to help others.

2012 can be summed up as a great year for M.Sargent Photography. We have been busy and I would not have it any other way. Sometime ago, I decided that to provide the best choice for those seeking a wedding photographer, I would need to offer something different  and fairly innovative to compete with the “Walmart Photographers” that seem to crawling out of the woodwork on a daily basis.  Any of you who know me, understand that photography is my life, and I consider something as important as your wedding an epic event and do not enter the role as your photographer with a cavalier type attitude. The reason I am opening with this statement is inspired by one simple event that took place recently, and no matter how you sum it up, my goal as a photographer is to create the best photographs I possibly can based on the conditions of the shooting environment. Being forced to compete with people who walk into a store and purchase a DSLR, and then advertise themselves as a professional, with no prior training nor understanding on how to shoot a photo other than using the full auto settings on a camera, is a reality that we all face. Once again my take on this is simple, stand on your body of work. The cream always rise to the top. And MSP is busy. Kind of sums this up doesn’t it.

With my rant out-of-the-way let’s get to the photos. This first wedding is of Jeff and Amanda. What can I say other than WOW. These two were incredible subjects to photograph and they made my job easy.

Jeff&Amanda Color Wash with focus on blue eyes

I washed the color out of this photo with the intent to put the focus on the eyes. I left the color there for obvious reasons, but the real intent was to give the viewer a starting point, and allow your eyes to study the rest of the photo. This is a classic style wedding shot, and combining the aged photo/color wash look and leaving a  splash of blue color, I feel gives this an artistic feel.

Amanda Portrait with soft edges

This next shot is softened to create a portrait look. The bride was shining on her wedding day and my goal was to show that. Using a white vignette to soften the edges draws focus to the bride and the glow she had on her day.

Jeff&Amanda Bordered Kiss

And once again using a vignette, my goal was to put focus on the happy couple, as they shared a kiss to celebrate their day.

This next series of photos is of Candi and Randy.

It is a clear-cut example of shooting the light, and we all know that sometimes lighting can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Harsh light can make for a very difficult day of shooting and as my companions found out, light meters can provide you with false readings, so it is best on days like this to review as you shoot, and make corrections manually and often to insure properly exposed photos.

Candi&Randy Creekside

This shot was taken at the brides request, and I am so glad she did . Although the light was hard, I dialed in the camera with a deep depth of field, to capture not only the couple but the scenic background that was present. In addition, the big advantage when shooting this, was that the sun was to my back. Ensuring that my shadow would not be present, i decided to use a wide-angle lens to capture as much as I could. I also used a polarizing filter to cut out some of the harsh light and this providing me with rich color as well as reducing the highlights that were present.

I also decided to convert a copy of this shot to black and white. I felt that the contrast would make for an interesting photo, with a classic look and I think this photo is the definition of that classic style.

Candi & Randy Creative B&W

One drawback and it may be a personal thought of these photos is the sunspot present on the grooms glasses. When I shoot the photos I failed to notice its presence and although most say it’s not an issue, I generally don’t like these little imperfections within my photographs.

I also like to shoot at least one photo that displays the mood of the event, and as the bride has her garter removed, you can see on her face that she is enjoying herself.

Search for the Garter

And finally, A shot taken with the intent of creating that dream state.

Candi & Bridemaids B&W

It is of the brides maids with the bride as they prepared to partake in the sacrament known as marriage and my description of this is based on personal feelings as Candi is my cousin. She contacted me some time ago regarding her wedding, and it was my honor and a privilege to be able to photograph her wedding. Not to mention the fact that she could have chosen anyone to shoot her day. The fact that she choose me was a decision that meant a great deal to me, and it is the inspiration behind what I do when given the honor to capture one of the most important events in one life.

Summary:

MSP has been busy, and standing on the body of work, has allowed us this opportunity to get out there and provide a quality product. From a business standpoint my goal is always the same. Give people what they want at an affordable price and be upfront with how we do it.

Mr. Jim, Myself, and our newest photographer Becky look forward to snapping that shutter at your event so you can feel that bang and be wowed by what we offer as photographers.

to see more of what we have captured please visit our website.

PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH THE EYES OF A HUNTER!

SHOOT2THRILL!

My best to you,

Michael

M.Sargent Photography

www.mrsargent.com

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

The Supermoon That Wasn’t So Super


Last night the hopes were high that we would be able to capture some incredible images of the yearly super moon. Although last years moon was incredible, this years moon was in fact a different definition of a super moon. Last night we experienced a very bright moon and planed the shoot based on a few websites that specificity said the moon would rise in our area at 10pm. My take on this was inspired by last years event were we watched the moon break the horizon with a huge brilliant display of a red colored moon. When we left the small town of Middleport, New York, we could not see the moon in the sky. All seemed well and it had appeared that things were going to plan. As soon as we broke the surroundings of the village, right there in front of our eyes was the moon. Adapting, we then decided that based on information from the web, we would stay out until 11:30 as the moon was supposed to be at perigee at that time. It was bright, but in my opinion it was no super moon. Having snapped a few shots of the moon, I decided that posting them would be general at best. ( BEEN THERE DONE THAT). So I went all creative and made the best out of what I considered a fail. Not epic mind you, but we took the information available and planned accordingly.

Well, best laid plans of mice and men. Hope you enjoy the shots.

Bridge long exposure

Bridge/moon 30 sec exposure

2 min exposure

Lift bridge Middleport, Ny on the Erie Canal

All shots were taken with an iso of 200 with exposure times between 25 sec and 2 min respectively. The aperture range used was between f 6.3 and f 10.

As stated we had a plan, and our plan didn’t quite work out. But it goes to show you, that there is always something to photograph. With my friends and family present, we still enjoyed each others company, and between all of us, we nailed some great shots. Thanks to Jim, Barb, and my daughter Cassandra for accompanying me on this adventure.

FEEL THE BANG!

Mike

M. Sargent Photography

OSPREY / UPDATE


If you have been following this blog, you will recall that last weeks post was on the osprey nest,

that is being built near my home here in Western New York. This last week, as I watched their progress, I was taken back one morning, when I noted that the nest had been taken down. Sitting on top of the pole was the osprey, and my perception of the expression on this raptors face was what the hell. They had worked so hard to build this nest, and for obvious reasons, mankind took it down. I personally was a little annoyed by this, having spent so much time observing their activities, but I understood that the power wires being present, may present a hazard to the pair, as well as cause problems for the utility company.

Continuing to keep an eye on these two, I am pleased to inform you that in todays travel, I noticed National Grid trucks conned off and the fine gentlemen present were making accommodations for our new residents.

A big deal

I approached the gentlemen, and asked them if I could take a few photos, and asked them what the plan was. They informed me that they were placing a new pole in, and the new pole was ten feet higher than the original. In addition they were mounting a special platform on top of the pole to serve as a base for the osprey to rebuild their nest. I asked them if they thought this would work and they felt confident that the raptors would not abandon the site. They also told me that upon arrival this morning the male was sitting atop of the pole and they had already starting to rebuild.

 Over the course of the day these guys worked like mad men to complete the job , and let me say I was impressed at how quickly they completed this job.  Late this afternoon my curiosity had taken hold, and  as I returned to the site to see if the plan had worked, I was delighted at what I discovered. Sitting atop of the platform with the start of a new nest was an Osprey.

We like it

As I watched, the Osprey would fly off, only to return a few seconds later with marsh grass, and or a stick in which it carefully placed as it continued to rebuild the nest.

padding for the new nest

Over the summer I will continue to monitor the Osprey’s and keep you updated as to their activities.

My last shot for today will be this of this Osprey in flight . Thanks for reading.

Osprey in flight

Keep snapping.

My Best,

Michael

Low Light and Low Life’s


Greetings,

In today’s post, I am going to share with you a photo that is going to be used in a somewhat controversial video, that is going to shake you and reveal the reality of we as human beings. Lets take a look at things and come to a realization that our country is a mess. The economy is terrible, our government has taken a direction that no longer represents the people, and the average person is struggling to make ends meet. As most, I also find myself making tough choices. Simply and in summary I have to ask myself why? Is this how we do things in America now? Has anybody looked into solving the real problems that we as citizens are enduring. A story was recently shared with me regarding our local town board meeting, and although I personally have not looked into it, I was a little disturbed by the information that was shared with me. It seems that our little township recently had a board meeting. This was an open meeting and many people from the town were in attendance. One topic of discussion was property taxes, and assessments. It was proposed that taxes were to be raised in the area of four percent. Despite public outcry our leaders went ahead and voted in favor of the tax increase. Now here in Orleans county which is considered to be one of the most depressed areas of NY, people are really struggling. So let me pose this question. Why do our leaders feel that it is responsible to raise taxes on people who are barely making ends meet. In recent months, all I have heard about is entitlements and how we as people have come to expect things that we have not earned. Lets look at reality for a second. What does our township do that justifies these increases? Like most branches of government the trend is spend spend spend. It is our tax dollars they are spending and personally I don’t feel it’s right for them to do so based on the way things are in the world today. Although unconfirmed It is rumored that our town supervisor is one of the highest paid supervisors in the state. My response to this is really, for a little town Like Shelby, Ny. No wonder he worked so hard campaigning for  votes. Who wouldn’t want a job that pays 70 grand a year in this economy. Now that the election is over, I suppose we wont see him again until the next election.

So this brings me to the photography part of this blog. To be a photographer you have to see things differently than most. It is truly not what you see but how you see it. Even though things are in bad shape right now, I want you to try to take a step back just for a moment and be mindful of your surroundings. We live in a world of natural and man-made beauty. Although we each have our own struggles, there is beauty all around us, if we just take the time to see it, by doing so it may just change your perspective, and allow you to refocus on what is truly important. My job as a photographer is to capture both the beauty and the reality of life. So without any further delay I want to share this image with you in hopes that for a minute you will put aside your thoughts and troubles and enjoy something that I felt was a beautiful sight.

Night shot of Peace bridge

A friend of mine and myself set off one eve in an attempt to capture some images for a project we are working on. One of the photos we decided to use was of the peace bridge. The goal of this shot was to catch the contrast of colors and the reflection of light that casts on the Niagara River. As always I like to explain to you the settings I used to shot this. The camera was set to take a 30 second exposure, using an iso setting of 400, with a f-stop of 28. The results right out of the gate was this image. To note, I should have set the iso to 200 as I feel that in reflection in may have caught a better image. I also need to stipulate that this image was shot off a tripod with a 2 second shutter delay, and I used no lens stabilization other than the tripod. After the shutter closed, the anticipation I felt before viewing the photo was at an all time high. I hit the button on the camera to review the photo, and to the delight of myself and my company, I felt a real feeling of accomplishment as we walked away knowing that we had just experienced  a rare moment in photography. Low light shots are difficult, and generally it takes some experimenting with the camera to capture images like this. For me to get it right on the first try boosted my confidence in the low lighting capacity. As always you must learn to SHOOT THE LIGHT. A feat that I feel I have excelled at. Whats you’re take? Did I get it right?

So let me say this as I come to a close on this post. Yeah things are tough right now, we are all experiencing difficulties in our lives trying to make ends meet. When things seem like they are at their worst, take a step back and look at the world around us. There is beauty in everything, we just have to find a way to see it. Better days are coming, until then, endure.

As always please share this post with your friends, and please leave me your comments. I enjoy reading them and interacting with you.

Until my next post, take care and may your lives be enriched.

Michael

M.Sargent Photography

WWW.MRSARGENT.Com

A Father’s Pride Coming Together


There can definitially be something said about persistence and the swell of pride that a father feels when he sees his only son achieve success in his own endevours. In addition, it is truly amazing how a family can come together, just to get things done.

So let me lay this out for you, as some of you may know I come from a long line of outdoorsman and we happen to be hunters. Although you dont see me yet,…. on weekly television, my harvests over the years have been notable and based on what I have been taught, and learned through experience,  I have passed that skill set on to my son. This past weekend, we were hunting in New Yorks Southern Tier region, and Sunday Morning happened to be a great day for Daddy’s Special Boy! Around 8:30 am He called me to notify me that he had arrowed a deer. He also said that he was going to wait for a half hour before tracking it because, he felt the shot may have been a little low. At this point I was excited for him. Five minutes later I received a text message ( Ah, Modern Technology) from him stating, he had just arrowed another. My excited turned to jubilation, because I knew he had turned into that alpha predator that he had worked so hard to become. I informed him I would be down to help him out shortly, and give him his due congratulations.

Once arriving back at camp, I had noted that he had one deer recovered and spotted him looking for the other. I began thinking mmm, problems. He explained to me that he was having trouble finding the deer, and that his blood trail was spotty at best. We recreated the scene and my son had done as he was taught. Blood spot, toilet paper, The trail was a clear indicator of the direction the deer was going. Based on the evidence, I knew we had a dead deer walking and a decision had to be made on which part of the forked road to take. By this time my Uncle had arrived back at camp from his morning hunt, and we employed his skills as well. Now knowing what I know regarding deer and their habits, a wounded deer rarely goes up hill. We agreed that our elusive deer had to have gone towards the corn field in search of cover. This is were the reading gets interesting. Somehow, some way , I have been given two gifts by the hunting gods.  I know where to put a stand and I have a unique ability to spot blood. I did in fact pick up the trail, and the trail was through the thickest nastiest briar patch, and you can bet I have the cuts all over to prove my dedication to the recovery of this dear. Now two hours had past, and still  no harvest. We had lost the trail again, and I was starting to become frustrated.

Now after venting some minor frustration, with a few choice colorful metaphors, I had begun walking the edge of the field, in between the briars and corn in the hopes that I would pick the trail back up. At this moment I looked to my right and inside the briars I could swear my eyes caught movement. Then I saw a twinkle  and  knew that we had a deer bedded in these briars. Calling out to my son and uncle, they confirmed my suspicion, we knew we had found my sons second deer. We ethicially harvested the deer, and begun the task of feild dressing.

Here is the part of the story that makes me proud as a father. My 17 year old son, had doubled down sucessfuly and after a two hour ride home, we knew the work was only begining. We process our own deer for obvious reasons ( A butcher never goes hungry) and honestly we feel that we do a much better job, and save a few jacks in the process. Having to return to work that night, I knew that it was going to be a long night based on what tasks we had ahead of us. My wife, daughters, and my parents all pitched in and we had the deer processed in no time. I was extremely proud of my son as well as my daughters who dug right in and helped with the boning out process, and between us, I was able to get a 2 hour nap before going into work.

This was by far the most incredible weekend I had experienced in the woods in a long long time. This is why I became a photographer. I will always have this image to look back upon, and it will help me relive that very special day. The shot: taken with a Canon camera, and ISO of 400, an aperture of F-8, with a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. I also used an external flash to avoid shadows caused by the high sunlight, and the cover of the canopy.

Wade Sargent and Dr. Randall Gilbert

I hoped you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Never giving up, and being able to relive your life through your son is one of the greatest gifts a son can give to a father . Congratulations Wade, you have made your Dad very proud, and for my girls, I am very proud of you two also. Most girls these days would not have helped and gotten their hands dirty. What can I say I am a lucky guy, and a father who is very, very proud of his children.

DECCAYEAHS,

Michael

M. Sargent Photography