Nate Parker Photography: Blog http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Nate Parker Photography nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:00:00 GMT Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:00:00 GMT http://nateparkerphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u1060804074-o961397889-50.jpg Nate Parker Photography: Blog http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog 120 120 Update Summer 2015 http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2015/8/update-summer-2015

Foggy Acadia

Wow has it been that long? I just checked and saw that the last time this blog was updated was back in April! Not that that seems like just yesterday, and I have been feeling occasionally guilty and neglectful of this thing called blog. So it's about time to stop in and brush the cobwebs off and check to see that everything is in order and delete some of the spam that ends up sprinkled around. So what could I possible have been doing that's more important than blogging? Working! That's right, like most normal and well adjusted people I have a job- I work on a lobster boat baiting traps and lifting traps and checking lobsters and baiting bags and eating lunch and riding around on the back of the boat.

I've told you this all before here: http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/6/scenes-from-a-maine-lobster-boat and here:

                                                      

Scenes from a lobster boat in Downeast Maine. from f/8nate (nate parker) on Vimeo.

It's a good job. It's one of the best jobs I've ever had. Right up there with working as a roadie as a teenager for a funk band back in the early 90's that would play colleges and city rock clubs where I wore a giant velvet leopard skin top hat (fake) and sold CD's after moving the amps and gear on stage for the band etc. Then once I got paid to subcontract teaching photography for the Canon in the Parks thing when they came to Acadia and just wearing the polo shirt with the company logo on it was bliss enough at the time. The only thing that's bad about my day job (should really call it an early early morning till afternoon job) is the level of commitment it takes to do it right. I work a lot. Not an unusual a lot, or more than most a lot, but enough that it really starts to cut into my photography time. Luckily I feel confident in where I've evolved myself to as a photographer, I've been working hard at it for 15 years now and even when I'm not photographing I'm still making aesthetic assessments of potential scenes- and I've been shooting with my iPhone more than ever. 

The iPhone has really saved my ass- as it were, (pardon the dock talk), I have been able to photograph so many absolutely amazing moments of weather and sky color during sunrises and storms coming and fog stillness from the deck of the boat that it's now become a major body of work that I'm intending to hang and show in a well known gallery here on the island in Northeast Harbor come this fall. Recently the local newspaper The Mount Desert Islander ran a feature on my images from the boat here: http://www.mdislander.com/living/arts-a-living/nate-parker-photographer-and-sternman. The camera I always have with me is a blessing that connects the dots to the next time I get to use my real camera. And it took a lot of experimenting but I feel like the iPhones images are really worth printing. I've made a number of solid prints as large as 16"x20" Here's a sampling of some of the stuff I've been printing lately: 

I've been posting the series for a while now on the Facebook and Google Plus under the title 'View From The Boat'. The style I'm trying to convey is simple color gestures and subtle moments of gradients of light, which the fog is really good at doing. 

Well that's it for me for now. It's harvest time for Sophie and her vegetables and flowers so that means lots of fun photographing with off camera lights and setting up still life's, until then- have a good one!

 

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Maine Have a nice day Maine Nate Parker Photographer and Sternman Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker Photography in the news Nate Parker Photography update View from the boat lobster lobstering photographs from the deck of a lobster boat http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2015/8/update-summer-2015 Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:59:44 GMT
iPhone beat me at my own game- http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2015/3/iphone-beat-me-at-my-own-game

Seal Cove ice flows iPhone 5 and no filters. 

It's never fun to admit defeat, especially when I'm kind of unclear of what the lesson would be to learn here. But I'll try to figure it out by the end-

So here we go: I'm photographing these ice flows on a lovely dreary day down the way from we and going through the motions of making a good capture. I'm taking my time and photographing lots of options with a number of different approaches, as usual. Around about the time that things became really nicely atmospheric I had decided on a particular composition and was photographing it as a longish exposure with a touch of a tilt on my 24mm tilt shift lens. The biggest problem I have when making images is contemplating the scene on the preview screen. I'm using a fairly beaten Canon 5D mkII without a loupe (just never got into using one but maybe I'm writing my own prescription here) I can visualize the scene I want to make, see it through the viewfinder, but when it comes time to make critical decisions using the review screen I always find it lacking- so to ensure the good goodness I "bracket", not literally in the bracketing exposure terms, but by making enough exposures through a variety of approaches that will guarantee that when I get back to base I'll have the information in at least one of the files to get me the picture I was after. So the problem becomes when there is limited time, or if by making long exposures there is limited time. So here I went with a gut feeling that the choices I'd made were the right ones. Set up the camera to make a few exposures which took a few minutes, and while they were happening I pulled out the iPhone to make some reference shots. I treat iPhone reference shots kind of like a notebook, the camera makes a pretty flat and neutral image that will help me to remember color casts, etc, or just that I made the scene if enough time goes by without tackling it. But it usually just remains a reference. I do try to make serious photography with my iPhone, but when the real camera is with me its just a sketch book. The one absolute obvious advantage is the ease of use- its always available and ready to go- where it take me minutes to get my camera out of my bag and lensed and on sticks with the correct exposure dialed in, really a painfully clumsy process in comparison but one which still gives the most controllability and image fidelity. Right?

Seal Cove 5dII shot black and white pass.

This time however the reference shot/flat image of the iPhone was exactly was I was looking for to make (in hindsight)- but the decisions I made with my big "real" camera were permanent by using physical filters and mechanical lens adjustments. So really none of my "big camera" shots were as good as the iPhone. Arg#$%!@ 

The lesson: 1. Always shoot a good reference image with the "real" camera, even if you figure you know exactly the touch it needs to pop!

2. Get a loupe. Zacuto has bunch which are pretty fancy and nice, but the Hoodman has a line of loupes which are a lot less expensive and seem to be just what the critical image reviewing doctor ordered. 

3. ? accept that the iPhone is camera enough for whatever I need? not quite. if only it could shoot raw- would be a start. 10 years from now though? 

Canon 5dII out of camera no adjustments.

Canon 5dII first pass adjustments in Lightroom.

Canon 5dII second pass adjustments this time using On One Perfect Effects contrast filters.

Canon 5dmkII blue pass

Final edit with texture layer-

final edit without texture layer= final final.

Now I'm not saying that I don't like these images, I just like the option that the iPhone gave me here better. Kind of hoping that this isn't going to happen again any time too soon! Heheh. 

Have a good one!

Nate.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Iphone5 vs Canon 5DMKII Maine Nate Parker Photography have a nice day http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2015/3/iphone-beat-me-at-my-own-game Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:02:03 GMT
Dream Job: Photographing a Lexus ad in the deep of winter in Maine http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2015/1/dream-job-photographing-a-lexus-ad-in-the-deep-of-winter-in-maine

Here's one for ya! So I've been a little quiet of late over here on the bloggy and on Facespace, reason #1 being I've been busier than ever with everything that makes up my life, reason #2 I don't want to just put up a click bait topic that doesn't have anything to do with anything just in an effort to get traffic, so if I've got nothing to say- I've got nothing to say. But this one is too good not to talk about and there is educational value attached, therefore- here goes. 

Back in the hot months of the late summer I received a query from a car dealer in Portland, Maine: Berlin City Auto Group http://www.berlincity.com/index.htm (as far as I know I have no NDA obligations keeping me from talking about this and they were so awesome to work with that it's all high fives from my side of the deal!) regarding: they were interested to work with me imaging vehicles for advertising. Pretty sure they found me through the Facebook. Anyway, and here's tip #1, I was so ridiculously busy at the time that I most likely answered the email while out of breath. And while it did sound interesting I told them that in fact I was just freeking swamped and although it did sound great there just was not enough left of me to reasonably consider approaching the job at that time. So that's top tip #1: always try to answer job inquiries while being too busy "in the weeds" and you'll seem like a hot commodity and the financial negotiations will be in your favor! But here's what they said in a follow up email- I'll get to have a vehicle of my choosing to keep for a couple weeks to bring to local hotspots to photograph and I'll be paid somewhat handsomely, that is if they choose to use my work. So they got me there! pretty much I did a double take, and said to myself "say what again?" reread it all, and at that point it was decided!: Count Me In!! 

Now I'm not a car photographer, really I'm not even an everything and anything photographer. I'm pretty much a landscape shooter from way back. I do like shooting portraiture, and love photographing on the street in a city, and I've taken a variety of different photo jobs in the past just because I figured I had the where-with-all to approach them and make good work and get paid. But this was bigger than anything I had taken on yet. They liked my work they saw on the internets, particularly my black and white long exposure stuff, so that's why they called me. All I had to do was make an itinerary of shooting locations and show up with the car and do what I do do. Right? Well, easier said than done! And then it showed up.

About 5 months later. On New Years Eve, the Lexus NX Sport in silver showed up in my driveway with a full tank of gas, a few microfiber rags in it and some exterior cleaner. First objective was to bring it over to my buddies house and show off. Well I got in the car, picked the key up, and looked for where the ignition was. There wasn't any ignition. Ah ha!- button start. Cool. Then I had to figure how to take the parking brake off- no lever under the dash board. Ah ha #2= brake release with on the console under the shifter. So now I'm sitting in this $45,000 sports/crossover/suv in these amazing leather seats, and all I can think is a mantra of: Do Not F@$& This Up! Really it is a cool cool vehicle, has a sport mode that torques the engine into an aggressive pulling monster, or an Eco mode that sips gas conservatively. Paddle shifters on the wheel, a great climate control system that you can set for say 72 degrees and forget about it, wicked comfy seats and a solid yet smooth ride; are some of the other high points. Bottom line is- it's a Lexus and it is nice! But I wouldn't buy one. I still like my Tacoma better.

The next day I started photographing. My goal was to achieve 3 or 4 images that I really liked, which is to say 3 or 4 shots which were strong and that I considered winners. But I wanted to make enough work that there would be plenty for them to choose from and which would work in a variety of formats and applications. So I wanted to to have about 12 different scenes/environments in all. The shot list included Bass Harbor with the lobster boats and trap docks behind, on the pier, a couple of oceanside overlooks, a snowy blueberry field, the Penobscot Bridge as an iconic location, a boatyard, a few places in Acadia National Park, and some others. 

As far as preparations were concerned: I really kind of wanted to have an open mind. So I didn't want to necessarily look at a lot of modern automobile photography or images of the Lexus NX which would put an image in my head that I would then end up chasing. Not to say that I didn't look, because I did do a little bit of Google image searching on the NX. And I am a member of Kelby One training http://kelbyone.com so I watched a couple Tim Wallace classes on post processing for car photography. Tim Wallace is an awesome car photographer and I've been seeing his work for a couple years now- so that was definitely my biggest inspiration for approaching this. I wanted the work to look clean but have a bit of pop and presence. One thing that was working in my favor right off the bat is that the NX is a very distinctive looking object. I did like looking at it therefore that did make photographing it more enjoyable than say photographing a Winnebago, or a propane tank, or something like that. 

Now for the challenges and problems. The first day of photographing was almost perfect- there were dry roads, it was't too cold at about 32 degrees f and there were fast moving low clouds which would be great for long exposure. However between the time of leaving the driveway to then arriving at location #1- the winds had whipped up to a raging sustained 25 knots out of the north west with gusts that would blow you right over. So even a 10 pound sand bag hanging off my tripod made sharp exposures a challenge, not to mention freezing the nose tip off and the fingers. But I got some shots in the can so the hard part was out of the way= getting started. However that was the last dry day. After that point we had snow fall after snowfall, only a few inches at a time but the roads were forever after covered with slush and or road salt or sand and muck. I did have a brief fantasy considering maybe the winter road dirt would make the Lexus look all rugged and tough- but no, it just made it look dirty. So to combat that problem I would always bring a few gallons of water to pour over the door panels etc to wash away that loose dirt. And with that super shiny finish that the car has it would come right off, and with the bonus of leaving little water drops beaded up on the glossy surface of the car which did give it a rugged "can handle whatever you throw at it" -in the weather look. 

Next problem= reflections. I don't know if this was really that much of a problem but it was certainly a consideration. And since I've finished the work I've been looking at different car ads and some take out the reflections entirely and others don't. With the super gloss brand new finish of this vehicle it was giant mirror with a thousand facets. So where a major consideration in all photography is always: what is the background and is there a tree growing out of his or her head, here it was also a major consideration what is being reflected and can I minimize distracting reflections which then I wouldn't have to worry about as much later in post by changing the angle of my composition or the car itself. 

The majority of the work I did in Photoshop was cleaning up the car. Taking out any random bits of dirt left on the finish, removing strong or distracting reflections (for instance where there is fresh snow on the ground there was often a reflection in the door panels that made it look like there was a giant white angular racing stripe on the car)- which kind of looked cool, but it looked much better without that loud stripe. So my healing brush and cloning techniques were pushed to the max. So much so that I decided enough was enough and it's time to add a Wacom Tablet to my desktop. There's enough meat there for another post just about the tablet, but suffice it to say that it's been a long time coming and I wish I had gotten one years ago- because I love it! Makes dodging and burning on a grey layer as natural and effortless as it should be. 

Alright then, let's cut to the chase and wrap it up- I ended up sending them 16 scenes of 44 images. Some were doubles as a color and a black and white. I did end up getting the 4 shots that I was very happy with and in the end felt that the entire body of work was valuable and that I did a good job. I learned some new skills through doing the job, got out and made a bunch of work at a time when I probably would have more likely been hunkering down and letting the weather blow by with my camera sitting in it's bag. Had a blast driving driving around that sweet sweet ride! Just burned under a tank of gas and was extremely careful treating the vehicle like it in fact wasn't mine! And, in the end, I even got paid in a timely manner! (grand applause and a hallelujah amen!) The only downside was that it was a lot of work photographing, and none of it was for me.

And this is lesson #next: regarding success. I consider it a great success that I've come a long way from the point of wanting to be a good photographer to being a photographer that is busy doing things that aren't making photography for my self. So therein lies a problem- the expression is: do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life, but what I love is going out and finding imagery and coming home and working on it for a few days over beers. But I did end up enjoying working on that Lexus job almost as much as my own work- especially by the end when I had a strong idea of the vision of the look I wanted, it started to feel like I do when I'm just out shooting. And nobody got hurt and no property was damaged so I'll chalk it up to a great success. And looking forward to what the next challenge is that's gonna come down the pike. 

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Berlin City Auto Group Berlin City Lexus Coast of Maine Lexus Lexus Maine Maine Maine coast Maine photography Nate Parker Photography have a nice day http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2015/1/dream-job-photographing-a-lexus-ad-in-the-deep-of-winter-in-maine Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:54:18 GMT
Update: got married, shooting flash, and snow on the ground. http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/12/update-got-married-shooting-flash-and-snow-on-the-ground

Homarus Americanus. Maine lobster. 

Woah- where has the time gone? What a whirlwind. Last time I checked in here it was 90 degrees and it feels like I was a different person. It used to seem a lot more important and necessary to update the blog here regularly, but there is only so much time in a day! The intent of the blog is to share with people who don't know me some of my ideas and personality and motivation that informs my photography work, so people can have something of a connection to the guy who made the picture. There are a million amazing photographers out there, so the blog is a chance to differentiate myself, and tell stories while I'm having a coffee or a beer at the end of the day. Also I really love a good blog like the old warhorse NatGeo photographer Joe McNally's stories of climbing to the top of the Empire State Building to photograph them changing the lightbulb beacon- 

                                                        http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/

After a while you really end up feeling like you know these people. You take them into your life through your monitor or your smart phone and follow them around the world like stowed baggage. The photographs are great but sometimes the mind of the artist is even more interesting. Now don't confuse me with an interesting person- I'm just trying to do my part in creating content and maybe somebody will like something. And I've personally learned so so much about technique and philosophies of photography through reading blogs that ideally hopefully I'll be able to give back and if even one person learns something or is inspired in the littlest way and makes better work then everyone wins and the world is a better place! Grand ideas I know, had to end the paragraph somehow though.

Allrighty then- first things first: I got married! Wow! Sophie and I have been together for 8 years now and we've been in love for that long too, asked her to marry me 2 years ago (she said yes!) but all the planning and schedules and procrastination took us a long time. Then on October 12th the weather was amazing and the absolutely beautiful and a sunny fall day was a wonderful gift for us all to enjoy together. It was just a fantastic day! I wore a kilt, my Dad's Dad came from Scotland, moved to America when he was 3. Tried to find a kilt that had our colors but couldn't this was the closest to it. Sophie was absolutely beautiful with a custom hair job and she was just glowing.

 

Like I said- it was a great day. We would have invited you all, and everyone, but wanted to keep it a small get together.

On to the photography: Right then, I had to get you up to speed, couldn't just start typing like nothing ever happened and everything is just business as usual- because it's not! Like I said earlier- it feels like I'm a completely different person in a number of ways now, and not just because I got married etc- and I feel lucky about that (being married and feeling change). My point is that I was able to change, I changed perspective, changed photographic approach, changed how I consider photography and how I conceive photographs. It's a lucky thing because for the last year or so it started to feel like I was repeating myself. It started to feel like I was photographing photographs that I had already made- it had been far too long since the sensation of a breakthrough, since the invigorating sense of inspiration when you find a new exciting direction. Too much time would pass between needing to recharge my cameras batteries and downloading images after going and photographing for a few hours- and then you start to think: maybe I'll never again make a great picture... Arg! 

So back when the weather was wicked bad last winter around January and February I was starting to mess around with setting up and photographing still life kinds of things in my studio. I'm just using the corner of the room and a table that ordinarily functions as my print matting and mounting table. Photographing on usually white mat board but have also experimented with reflective black, old wooden boxes, and some other stuff. Initially I was borrowing a speed light from my buddy Ken Perrin at Atlantic Art Glass and sometimes using available window light. This summer however I went "whole hog" and started acquiring light gear. I've had some exposure to the concepts of lighting through following Zack Arias, Joe McNally, Scott Kelby et al but when it came to knowing what I needed or even wanted I hadn't a clue. So the guy at B+H Photo recommended 2 different packages- a softbox + speed light + transmitter for 800 bucks or the 'Scott Kelby' everything kit for Canon for only 500. Now there's something a little cheesy about an everything-in-one kit but since my knowledge on this gear on a scale of 1-10 was about a 1.5 before, I feel like I'm easily at a 4 or a 5 now after incorporating this stuff and shooting to learn on this for a while.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1030780-REG/phottix_ph80377_mitros_ttl_flash_and.html

The Kelby kit comes with a Phottix Mitros+ speedlight that seems pretty well built and it talks to the camera through the Phottix Odin 1.5 TCU wireless TTL trigger. You can control the flash's parameters from the trigger well however in the part of the learning curve that I'm at right now I'm shooting manual flash instead of TTL and am changing the flash settings from the flash itself (which is often a drag because I have it often boomed up or away at angles difficult to reach it, maybe I'm overlooking something there...?). The kit came with a cheap flash stand, an 36" shoot through umbrella, a little mini 4"x6" softbox that they say is good for macro but I think I'm not convinced, and an umbrella holder elbow. Oh and a sandbag. Comes with a nice carrying kit too. 

That was all well and good but right away after experimenting with the umbrella for a while I realized that I wanted a softbox for a little bit more of a directional yet still very soft light. Back to B+H and added a 2 foot by 2 foot Impact Quickbox softbox. It folds up to fit in a slick carrying bag, but the thing is it never really unfolds perfectly square- doesn't seem to matter much, just a pet peeve. Added a Manfrotto boom arm to really reach in over the table that I'm shooting on and securely hold the much heavier soft box-

 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/513013-REG/Manfrotto_420CSU_420CSU_Convertible_Boom.html

and then I found my favorite modifier yet: while watching a Zack Arias tutorial he showed a really cool and very affordable $50.00 strap-on grid spot. Made by ExpoImaging it's a 3 in 1 honey comb grid system that by stacking grids or just using by themselves can achieve either a 45 degree spot, a 25 degree spot, or a 16 degree spot light. Makes for super dramatic beam and shadows look. And that's what I'm primarily using for this current series of photographs of tools that I'm working on. 

 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822028-REG/ExpoImaging_Rogue_3_in_1_Grid_and.html

Mossy rock habitat diorama. Rogue grid-spot directly overhead. Feels like a museum exhibit lighting scenario-

I'm really enjoying the idea of being able to photograph things in the studio- ordinarily the landscape imagery I'll make requires being on location at the right time, and I'm working on the boat a lot now so time is always an extremely limited commodity. So I can set up a subject on the white paper and not photograph it until I'm ready, having walked by it a dozen times and seeing it in a variety of natural lights and thinking of how to actually shoot it, by the time I get around to making the photo I'm not feeling rushed, I can take the time to manipulate it and the light and enjoy the process even if it's 04:30 in the morning or 4:30 in the afternoon or 8 o'clock at night. I can tether the camera to my monitor and review on a large screen the effect small changes in focus or f stop or light can have. And it's a wicked gas! 

Sophie's Dahlias, my vase. 

But I need content- what to shoot? Sophie grows amazing things in her greenhouse and gardens but really I'm not as interested in making flower photography as much (don't get me wrong they are beautiful but there's just something a little too cliche feeling to me personally about photographing too many flowers, that's just me- whatever..) so I started looking down on the forest floor for things to photograph like leaves and ferns etc,

Leaves 

Ferns

then I had a great idea: shoot tools!

I'm sure it's been done before. Everything it seems has been done before, especially pictures of flowers- but I haven't done it! Time to make some photographic studies of tools! There's this place called "The Tool Barn"in Hulls Cove, Maine. It's part of the Davistown Museum, here's a website: http://www.jonesport-wood.com/hullscove.html  they have tons of old tools, and apparently the main location in Liberty Maine is 4 times bigger- so I'll have to get to that one sometime. I used to live just down the street in a little apartment across from the beach with my golden retriever Grover and had been to the Tool Barn many times looking for some kind of necessary tool or other, but one that wasn't made of plastic and imported from China. Sometimes it was fun just to go there and look around and try to think what this or that tool was meant to be used for. So it occurred to me that that would be the ultimate place to find things to study under studio lights. The character of the tools. The tools that built New England. These old tools that have the wear marks and and the patina of being used for many hours. Lot's of them have old initials engraved in them of their owners beside the maker marks of the factories. And when you hold them you can really easily imagine all the work they must have made.

I worked out a deal with the proprietor Skip, who is all about having the tools be appreciated and respected as items of art and history. Then the only concern was how to photograph them and what the look should be. Right away I had this idea of making a real high contrasty dramatic looking bit- I was thinking of that movie "Sin City" which is all film noir looking with harsh long shadows. So the grid spot would make that happen: on the boom but hovering just off the surface of the table behind and to the side of the tool to cast a long shadow into the foreground. Of course the tool would then lose all the detail on the face but maybe I could bounce some light onto it (oh yeah I also got a 48" 5 in 1 Westcott reflector diffuser) with a white panel. So the first test shot that came back was crazy cool and just what I was looking for:

"Old American Tools #1. Stanley #4 plane." The composition was as much about creating interesting shadow lines as it was portraying the tool-

"Old American Tools #2, egg beater drill with brace. Goodall-Pratt Tool Co." This shadow made me think of a scooter. Used a small spring to elevate the chuck of the drill to let the light underneath and cloned the spring out later.

"Old American Tools #3. Stanley #12 pull plane." Sophie see's a vertebrae here, I see a bird or bat or airplane shadow. Same light set-up with the grid spot behind to port but bounced foreground fill with the white reflector. Also this time added a paper texture layer set to soft light blend mode and selectively masked for the background.

"Old American Tools #4. Stanley 190 plane." Got a little carried away with this one! This is the point of experimenting and learning- trying new things to see what works and learning about the processes through it all, then incorporating the successes to future work. The exercise here was to mess with creating a foreground reflection. I shot this on white paper, so there is no reflection in that scenario. Creating the reflection isn't too hard- making it feel right is the challenge, and I made a gigantic error there that didn't become apparent until after I had made a print of this and brought it to Skip at the Tool Barn. Fun experiment but I'm very unsure about how much I like this now. Also the shadows remind me of a guy riding on the back of a whale.

"Old American Tools #5. Fischer Ohaus scale." Grid spot hanging almost directly overhead on the boom arm- the trick here was adjusting the light so that the important details of the scale were not hidden in shadow like the central circular little emblem and the numbers on the scale arm. Incredibly finicky adjustments of half an inch would make or break the shadow details.

"Old American Tools #6. Bunion tool." This isn't much for dramatic shadows or things but check out that sticker near the hinge: "Used to make indentations in shoe for bunions!" How weird is that!

Right then. More to come. To sum it all up: it's been a blast to go in a completely different direction. It feels great to have opened a door to a world of light modifiers where there are so many different possibilities and it's all new to me and I've only just scratched the surface. It feels great to be learning photography in a completely new way and to add another skill to my bag of tricks. And it feels great to push myself to try something new, and I guess that also includes being married! I think it's important to kind of always try to be growing and being better and not just be satisfied with what's working. But that's just my opinion right now.

Alrighty that's it for now, thanks for stopping by, have a nice day, and get out there and try something new!

-Nate.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) American Made Expo Imaging Flash Bender Rogue Grid Spot Made in America Maine Nate Parker Photography Old American tools One light studio flash Rogue grid spot Stanley tools black and white Stanley tools photography The Tool Barn have a nice day off camera flash studio flash http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/12/update-got-married-shooting-flash-and-snow-on-the-ground Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:16:09 GMT
The 26 hour day- http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/the-26-hour-day Now before you go all troll on me and blow up my internet with comments saying how crazy I am- the 26 hour day IS possible!  

 photo from Sam M.   http://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/mit_dorms_really_random

And it would be sooo convenient. I wouldn't sleep longer that's for sure, well maybe every once in a while- but I would use the time to try to get to all those things that get pushed over into the next day, which then pushes other things into the day after that. Anyways here's the wikipedia article regarding length of day and how it is actually getting longer:: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_length, and from that article: "The earth is constantly losing angular velocity and rotational energy through a process called tidal acceleration, which leads to a slow lengthening of the day. A century ago, the average day was about 1.7 milliseconds shorter than today,[1] while in the late Neoproterozoic about 620 million years ago a day had only about 21.9±0.4 hours.[2"

How crazy is that@!! So I guess that if we can only hold out for another say 400 million years or so then we'll have all the time in the world! Until then I'll keep drinking coffee.

It's the absolute height of the season here right now on Mount Desert Island. The roads are absolutely impossible- clogged with tourists visiting Acadia making 12 point turns, there are J walkers galore, bicyclists, joggers with those baby strollers made for running, deer crossing with fawns in tow, and that's just the first turn out of the driveway! Also the lobstering is in top gear as it's get as much as you can get season. My hands are only occasionally numb this year, guess my body is acclimating fairly well. A typical day for me these days has the alarm going off at 03:00, I take a quick 4 minute wake up shower while the coffee is brewing, then I chug a half a pot while listening to the news and working on photography in Lightroom or Photoshop, out the door to haul gear by 04:00 or 04:30 and back home in the afternoon often at around 2:00 pm. I'm missing the best times of day for photography with my big camera but I'm always shooting the sunrise with my iPhone, as in every single beautiful sunrise there is, which is nice! Here's a quick sampling of sunrises and other scenes from this summer shot with the iPhone:  

F/V Never Enough

My good dog Grover on the punt dock.

Rowing out to the boat.

Setting gear. Traps stacked across the rails.

Nautical twilight

Sunrise through the windows of the wheel house.

Sunrise between the islands.

Heavy overcast off Black Island.

Danny pulling up to a buoy off Black Island.

Danny gaffing a buoy off Black Island.

Looking for buoys in the fog.

A couple of oversized ancient lobsters.

Crescent moon over the Bass Harbor lighthouse.

Predawn on the Bernard town dock with lobster traps and bait.

Danny setting them back.

My folks came up for a visit and went for a ride on the boat, they really loved it!

Shifting gear- photoed from the poop deck!

Getting picked up from the finger float.

Heading out.

Sunrising over Little Black Island.

Danny with a cod that came up in a trap.

Mount Desert Island off my front yard also known as Goose Cove.

Setting more gear.

Pano.

Another beautiful sunrise.

Traps ready to be set on the rail.

Shifting a string of gear.

Gulls.

Redfish.

In the ER with redfish poisoning.

Fueling up.

The local paper liked this one enough.

Captain Dan picking a trap.

Pink lumpfish!

Another beautiful sunrise while leaving Bass Harbor Maine.

Searching for unicorn lobsters under Blue Hill Bay rainbows.

My big camera gets out of the bag hardly as much as my little pocket camera but the goal is to try to make serious imagery once a week or so in this the busiest of seasons. When I do break it out I'm continuing adding to my Acadia catalog but trying to find new approaches to old scenes. Also it is my studio camera when I don't want to necessarily drive somewhere to photograph but I'm feeling the need to photograph- so I'll shoot on white or black and make a study out of some object. Like this the phycus leaf: 

Tessellated leaf 2.

Tessellated leaf.

That's it for now- just wanted to show you that I'm still alive and kicking, just very distracted from all the other things that are called life and work that are keeping me from the blog. Have a good one and try to be as productive as possible with our miserably short 24 hour days!

-Nate!

 

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia storm Bar Harbor Maine Canon Gulf of Maine lobstering Maine Maine black and white Maine black and white photography Maine coast Maine fine art photography Maine lobster Maine lobsters Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white coast of Maine eat lobster have a nice day lobster boat lobstering photography working on a lobster boat http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/the-26-hour-day Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:28:45 GMT
Triptychs and diptychs oh my! http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/7/triptychs-and-diptychs-oh-my

Otter Cliffs Shore Path and Hurricane Arthur, Acadia National Park, Maine.

Hey there folks- been busy lately, the blog has mouldered and I haven't been in the mood to just post for the sake of posting, so it took this long to be inspired enough to come back with something to say. Get to that in a sec- first, I've been wicked busy. After hauling 200 or so pots of lobster out on the bay with Danny it takes a lot of inspiration to want to go to make new work. So I've been on a shooting schedule of about once a week if I'm lucky. There has also been a fair amount of printing and licensing to do so that has cut into the rest of the free time along with lawn mowing and I gotta watch last weeks episode of Deadliest Catch at some point. You know how it is! So the blog has mouldered. There was a time when I tried to post 6 times a week, if for no other reason than to have that as a discipline which made me feel constructive-  but it'll take the deep of winter before that'll happen again, and it has been just gorgeous here lately if not downright hot. We New Englanders have a pretty poor short term memory when it comes to the seasons. We're like: "Oh winter wasn't that bad this year, all the snow was nice!" while clutching a beer wearing shorts and sandals baking in the summer sun on the lawn. Seriously- do you remember the winter that was hammering us only three months ago? It was just over 90 days ago when my fiancee totaled her car the morning on black ice after a blizzard slammed us here in Maine and with air temps around 12 degrees f. 80 degrees later and we can't remember a thing about those times! Unless that's just me? Anyways...

Last weekend brought a rare July hurricane up the coast and whenever there is a storm like that coming the photographer part of me gets all excited. High surf warnings were forecast along with sustained 40+ knot winds, which wasn't hardly as bad as North Carolina had, but I have seen two story house sized waves pounding the granite along the coast of Acadia before (seriously 25 feet tall+ would shake the entire Earth when they broke against the cliffs) so I was psyched! Simultaneously fearing how the lobster gear would fare, while at the same time hoping for terrifyingly exciting waves to photograph- I went over to Otter Cliffs at high tide saturday afternoon. That was also the time when the storm was supposed to break and the downpour would stop, and the leading and trailing edges of storms are always amazingly dynamic for photography. Rolling into the park the signs were in place: for 'Danger High Surf proceed at your own risk' kind of thing. But it was hardly anything to freak out about- there was definitely a longer period strong swell breaking into upwards of 8 foot to 12 foot heavy wide waves, but there was a strong north wind that seemed to push most developing seas back. In the end however it was my excuse to go out and try to make something and the breakthrough moment was ultimately a printing and presentation idea. 

I've always loved a good panorama, used to compulsively make them and would hardly shoot anything but them! But it was half with the intention of how I wanted to represent an image and half to make up for some of the limitations of my poor quality consumer dslr. When I was fortunate enough to upgrade to a great camera I left all that panorama stuff behind and have been just photographing in a mostly standard fashion. And that's all been good until finding tilt-shift lens shift panoramas completely addictive, which has been for the last year or so mostly. Recently I had had an inquiry for a print commission for a bar/restaurant where one of the wall's would have 3 prints. I had been considering a group for it but then went and photographed last weekend's storm and when working on the images in Lightroom in the grid view I happened to notice how freeking nice they looked next to each other! Therefore the triptych. But instead of having 3 images in one frame this would be a partial panorama split into three vertically framed images that is the scene. And the ultimate success is if the finished installation has the feel of looking out a bay window onto the coast. Because if a print can transport a viewer in that way of immersion then that is a great success! Obviously this is not a breakthrough in the art world, just in my own sensibilities as to how to package a product and sell a solution. I didn't photograph the scene with printing it as a triptych in mind and that has caused more work in postproduction than I would have liked, but, now knowing the correct workflow: in the future I think I will start a gallery on the old website here of prints as triptychs and diptychs and have that as a project to pursue. Gotta love projects! 

So, I feel that although I haven't been as productive making new photography as I would sometimes like to be- my sensibilities and ultimately my work, at this point in my photography development (play on words there) has matured as well if not faster than if I had been photographing much more. Because then I would be distracted from conceptualizing by finishing and presenting imagery. Interesting that- I think I've often grown more through visualization doing the things I've pursued than through the actual doing of them-? And we'll leave it there for now...

Right then. That's what I've been doing, what have you guys been doing?

Have a good one - from Maine, Nate!

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Imagery of Acadia Maine Maine coast Maine fine art photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography New England photography black and white coast of Maine granite coast have a nice day hurricane Arthur http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/7/triptychs-and-diptychs-oh-my Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:33:24 GMT
On maintaining creative momentum, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the process http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/4/on-maintaining-creative-momentum-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-process  

"Seaside Meditations" Seaside, Oregon. (I don't understand what that white line is doing on the right- some kind of uploading artifact that I'm figuring out on right now-)

Every once in a while I find myself struggling to keep up the pace of making new 'good work', photographs that is, and the haunting idea of "maybe there will never be another 'good picture'" crosses my mind. It's not an impossible possibility- but that would be bad, hang it all up and put the kit up for sale on Ebay kind of bad. The worst kind of bad! A very real challenge that faces my photography is that I live on an island, it's attached to the mainland by a bridge but it's still an island. The island (Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine), does happen to contain Acadia National Park, which is completely beautiful and has all kinds of different terrain and always gorgeous and varied landscapes, but I've been photographing on this island and in Acadia for the last 14 years and after a while it feels like I've made all the photographs of all the places in all the weather, from macro to 360 degree panoramas from dawn till dusk and into the night. That's not really true- there's always more places to find and more weather to influence them and more ways to photograph them, but I'm human and sometimes it can seem like there are a finite amount of possibilities. Certainly it does become more challenging to tour around the island and through the park with my gear and feel as inspired as I felt ten or five years ago while I was doing the initial discoveries. And the chances of going out to find something new and exciting are definitely not as productive feeling as it used to seem to be. So sometimes that can be a bummer. I remember "back in the day" while I was chasing sunrises thinking that if I get skunked today then the chances will be better tomorrow for getting something amazing, and if it didn't happen tomorrow then the chances would be even better the next day- somehow thats permeated into maybe sometime this month I'll find a novel photograph to make and work on that thrills me close to what I used to feel. And that's scary. 

So I've been fighting this skeleton in the closet for a while now and more and more it seems each time I go out to make new work. It's so easy in comparison to go someplace new even if it's as close as 2 hours away by car and see clearly an exciting image to make- and that's one of the great values of travel, but I don't get to do that too much. My folks live on Cape Cod though in Mass and whenever I visit them I can usually charge up with the inspiration of finding something new, and I'll often stop in Boston on the way to partake in some street photography and get some fantastic pizza in the Italian North End, but I'd like to think that it shouldn't take going so far in order to satisfy the desire to make a good image.

Therefore I've picked up a few tricks along the way that helps break up the feeling of being stuck on the hamster wheel and repeating myself like a stuttering photographer in a terminal feedback loop. I added filters (neutral density, graduated neutral density, polarizers), I went on a panorama bender for a few years, an HDR addiction for another few, now black and white with the occasional digital filter from the Nik Suite, abstracts through camera motion (kinetic photography), macro studies (not as much there so that has plenty of room for exploration), still lifes in my home studio using natural light and off camera flash. And there's really lot's more to explore so there's no reason to panic. 

Part of the problem though lies in that there have been years when it seemed like I could make as many as three or so great portfolio worthy (my portfolio that is, not Ansel's) images a week- week after week after week. So to compare the productivity of now to then seems like I'm way off the mark. But the root of that problem would seem to be the idea of competition. Competition with myself. Comparing now and then. Surely I feel like I'm a much more mature photographer than I was two or three years ago, (last year is too close to consider without imparting emotion into the images and remember when making them). So I do feel like I'm on the right track. And I try to stay somewhat removed from considering what my peers are making and comparing with them- I hang out on the social media a bit but hardly as much as I used to, there just isn't enough time! Speaking of time- it's time for a graph. This is what I'm feeling that the graph of my productivity might be represented as: the old bell curve. Nobody like a bell curve!

Quality of photographs vs time spent photographing.

Realistically the graph wouldn't bottom out on the right like this does, I just didn't really feel like creating my own graph so I apportioned one from the internets. This graph would go to show that initially as a newb photographer there is nothing but dung, but after not much time has passed you develop enough skill to make dependably satisfying imagery, then you're on fire!, then you develop your harsh critical inner voice that informs your sensibilities regarding making new work and it's all down hill from there! But my point here isn't to be pessimistic, my point is to share the conversation that I've been having with other artists over the past few weeks regarding this.

Key point number 1- focus on projects. Ken Perrin my glassblower cohort (http://www.atlanticartglass.com) and more recently my photographer friend Heather McKenney (http://hmckenney.tumblr.com) reminded me that cohesive work is buoyed through focussed projects. This is no new news to me but a helpful reminder, especially coming from people who's opinions I respect. As mature photographers we all know this lesson, we aspire to make work that compliments our previous work, we fill out our catalog of work in as succinct a way as possible. The "everything photographer" is a tough game played best by those Nat Geo guys like Joe Mcnally and Steve McCurry, but even those guys have a shtick and a style and there are very few "one-off" images or "friggers" (in glassblowing jargon). But after a while even the deepest project becomes worked, and then overworked, and then worked to death! My thing has always been about seascapes- I love landscapes but if there is no water in it I'm more than a little bummed out. And if there's a lot of water in it then I'm the most happy. But after a while worked stuff needs a rest! So this winter, which was one of the coldest and craziest that I can remember, I took to the still life studio and started messing more with photoshop compositing and stuff like that and the refreshing change that I felt making that imagery was like a very real breath of fresh air. However my portfolio doesn't have any of that kind of thing so I felt torn- like: is this what I really want to be doing? It's fun and all but does it fit? And those questions are the really complicated ones that we as artists have to occasionally consider. Can we make a drastic departure in style and not put off our fan base? Is this really the direction that I want to go in?  How will it be received, etc. See it's pretty complicated in the end. I have this idea that my reputation is all that I have, I don't have lots of money and I don't have lots of Brad Pit-ness but I do have something of a style that I've worked hard at and therefore a sense of what is good and bad and right and wrong, especially when it comes to photography. So is the artistic pursuit of photography that hopefully will get me through my whole lifetime, which will hopefully be long, and hopefully will be as interesting and fascinating to me 20 years from now as it was 2 or 3 years ago. Am I overthinking this? Do you guys ever think on this kind of thing? Has any of this made any sense? Have I just spent the last three hours lining up words vainly and should I have been trying to make pictures instead? Did the chicken really come before the egg? Does it matter that I am even alive? 

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this in the comments- 

I do know that I will be pursuing two newish seascape projects that will keep me entertained. I do plan to go back to the big cities a couple times this year to make more street, I'm looking forward to some more still life bones and photoshop projects, and who knows what next year may bring in the area of inspiration. Maybe by then I'll have taken up something freaky like skydiving and start in on freefall photography- that's the great thing about life and living, you never know what tomorrow may bring! Right?

For now, have a good one-

Nate.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine Nate Parker Photography The artistic process black and white black and white photography chasing your art fine art photography have a nice day photography pursuing your art the artistic bell curve the photographic process what's next? when new is old http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/4/on-maintaining-creative-momentum-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-process Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:06:22 GMT
Revisiting old processes reaching for new results. http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/4/revisiting-old-processes-reaching-for-new-results

Traps Dock. Bass Harbor Maine. ( 3 shot "shift panorama using Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens + 3 bracket HDR using Nik HDR Efex Pro)

Maine's finally starting to shake off winter for good, (knock on wood, loudly!), and Spring is putting a spring in my step. Starting to feel properly inspired to want to make stuff again. This particular past winter was furious to the point where it just wasn't that too compelling to revisit the places that I've been so many times before to photograph on this island- I had nothing new that was burning in me to pursue there enough to overcome the effort and pain it would take to do it. I mean here's the deal- it was usually 10 degrees f and blowing 25 knots everyday from the beginning of January up until last Tuesday. And this is April.

So things got a little dusty in the old inspiration drawer and after a while guilt got a chance to get some screen time and before you knew it I was in the artists death-spiral of "I'm worthless and will never make anything good ever again" mode. But I wasn't worried too much. Been there, done that- like the common cold "it's got to get worse before it gets better" I knew it too would pass. 

With the 'down time' I dug into the new version of Photoshop- CC, and did some online training and have a much better sense of the potential that that program can offer my own future work and some ideas for projects using compositing- which I would never have thought I would ever pursue. So that's cool. And I had a lot of time to think about where my work is now to think again about what I want it to amount to or mean and why etc. Which is always heady stuff and goes much better with a beer or two and a healthy dose of "what if none of it at all matters, at all", etc. Which is important- because when you have lot's of creative momentum and keep making and making without occasionally coming up for a breath of air to check the progress like, well- then you can't check the progress, like. :-) Long story short, it wasn't my most productive last few months artistically but I definitely think I've grown. Which is good. Either that or I'm a blind optimist. Bah. 

Right then- let's get on to some tech talk! 

Tech talk topic #1: Revisiting panoramas. I used to be hooked on making panoramas. From around 2004 through 2009 or so just about every image I set out to make was going to be in a panorama format. This started because I just wanted a much wider field of view- I'd be out photographing in the park in a cove along the ocean and everything from the North end of the beach to the South end at the cliffs would be crying out to be photographed. Or in this case a stream through the woods-

Hunter Brook Acadia. 2004.

Bubble Pond Acadia. 2004

Old Rotten Skiff over on Deer Isle. 2004

And an old two shot stitch of my doggy Grover on top of Dorr Mountain above the fog. It's got dust in the sky and the stitch is sloppy but I like it! 2005

The learning curve to make a properly pleasing perfectly plumbed and passably produced panorama took me awhile to figure out. I was using Adobe Elements back then to do the stitching of those first handheld pans which worked ok but I kept getting stitching artifacts at the seams which I would try and smooth away by cloning (terribly). So it became obvious- not so quickly though, (remember the internet wasn't hardly what it is now back in 2004), that I needed a proper nodally centered panoramic tripod head- but then, how to afford one. The popular heads back then were the Really Right Stuff heads I think and then some British special models which were all about 1000 dollars. So eventually I found the Panasaurus head in 2005, and I loved that thing for the next 4 years, almost too much.

 

here's the link http://gregwired.com/pano/Pano.htm only 99.00$! crazy inexpensive and works solid and great and is easily adjustable for all kinds of kit. -Absolutely no sponsorship for me I just loved it.

 See in order to make a proper panorama you need to eliminate parallax error (which is the change in field of view you would get if you close first one eye and then the next) and the nodal point is just in front of the sensor so you need to be able to calibrate the tripod head to align to that point. Then the tripod head can rotate around the nodal point in any direction and there will be absolutely no stitching artifacts in post production. These days it would just take a tutorial or two on Youtube and you'd be making perfectly awesome pans in a week, back then though it took me about a year and a half to start making pretty good pans. There other part of the equation was PTGUI (Panorama Tools graphical user interface) which was a hundred bucks back then and could handle elaborate stitches and render in a variety of formats for a completely different look- mercator projection vs equirectilinear etc or even render as a VR out to a Quicktime file. So I was off to the races and started painting 360 degrees of view onto my little Rebel XT's sensor. 

Tool shed. 360x not quite 180. Tripod legs and all. 2006

Great Meadow Acadia. 2006

My old bachelors pad in Hulls Cove. 2008

The Bean in Chicago with Sophie. (This one has a stitching artifact but I like it for the sentimental value. The stitch problem probably came from either a sag on that old tripod or maybe it moved a bit. Also these days I could probably have aligned it better with more modern tools.)

Then at some point along the way there I found HDR and Photomatix, distressingly now in hindsight- especially that I was only shooting in jpeg and not backing up original files well- so I consider a few years of work lost due to crappy workflow!~ Be warned! Always keep clean RAW files and never fall for fads! Easier said than done. 

Great Meadow HDR pan. 2008 (sky so ugly-!) 

Farm HDR pan- not too bad until you look up at the sky- so noisy! Arg! What was I thinking!!??

Miami Neon + HDR omgawd! such Andrew Lloyd Webber technicolor Rubbish!! Have you had enough yet?!

On the run, South of the Border- deeply under the influence of HDR blindness. -"What happens is the user becomes so impaired by the absolutely surreal lack of reality that normal perception is often completely obligated". (from the HDR recovery 12 step program users bible). I got my 5 year coin 2 weeks ago! For anybody new to the program I will sponsor you- just contact me in an email.

Those were troubling times. I'd hit my bottom. Who can blame me that shortly thereafter I never shot another panorama or HDR'd anything again until I accidentally happened across it on the iPhone years later. Went straight to black and white single shot landscapes and minimalist black and white fogscapes and long exposures with large open areas in the image. It did help massively to invest in quality glass and a much better sensor of the Canon 5D2. 

Until this past last year. My go-to lens of choice for landscape is the 24mm tilt-shift made by Canon, anyone who knows me knows how much I harp on about that lens and I've done it a lot here in the past. http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2012/10/the-canon-24mm-f/3-5-ts-e-the-best-lens-for-landscape-shooters--hands-down I've found myself using that lens more and more though to make 3 shot shift-pans to give the scene a larger field of view and it fits my preferred 4x5 crop format perfectly and adds a lot of dpi to the final print. This is how it works- locked off on a tripod and in manual mode you make the first shot centered then shift the lens 12 degrees full left (or up) and again full right (or down). I send the 3 files out of Lightroom to stitch in Photoshop CC, which has a much better stitching engine then ever before and layer masking can usually fix any trouble spots. The final 3 shot stitched file off my full frame 5D2 is about 65 megabytes or so which prints noticeably cleaner.  Of course shooting in RAW protects my file for the future and having good back up strategies ensure no matter how I choose to render the final image now years from now I'll be able to go back and adjust it for any changes in taste or more modern methods. 

Also last summer I wanted to upgrade my old Nik Silver Efex version before Nik got swallowed up by Google so I ended up getting the Nik Complete suite which happens to come with the HDR efex pro app. Which will introduce tech talk topic #2-

I resisted running any brackets through it for quite a while until eventually curiosity convinced me to give it a go. Went out and shot a morning of fog scapes along the shore at Wonderland and misty scenes along the trail and came home and ran the set through HDR Efex Pro. It was nice. The stuff came out fine, the control and interface of the program was enough to make powerful adjustments with enough precision to keep artifacting at bay and noise out of the process. So it was cool and all but really for all the work of initially in the field bracketing in camera properly- to running it through the extra steps of HDR Efex, I'd rather just make 1 good exposure in the field and finish it with Lightroom and Photoshop plain and simple. With good technique you can get pretty close to an HDR now anyways, However: there's one more thing.... there is one more method of HDR'ing by using just Lightroom and Photoshop to create the 32 bit image which is then 'tonemapped' using Lightroom. And I think this is the most interesting and simple approach therefore probably the one I will do occasionally moving forward. You send your bracketed images from Lightroom to Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop- Photoshop creates the HDR file and gives you a dialog box that offers a bunch of tonemapping sliders in 8 bit mode. Don't use those sliders! Instead select from the drop down bar that shows mode: 8 bit change it to 32 bit and all those sliders go away and you hit Save file which exports it to Lightroom as a 32 bit file which you then develop using the Lightroom sliders that are so much more precise and controllable and the result is theoretically a file that has stronger detail in the shadows and cleaner less noisy images. 

The bottom line here is I think it's funny how things come around full circle sometimes. Where I'd loudly sworn off the old techniques that I used to use with enough distance I can still recognize that some aspects are good about a certain processes sometimes. I guess it's a reminder to try to not be too stubborn or proud about a thing or else I could end up right back in the trappings of those dumb old technicolor HDR pans days all over again!

Bernard Maine in the fog. Lightroom HDR method. I like it enough- there is very fine grain that is not unpleasant whatsoever. The round trip process takes a few minutes on my 8 gig quad core i7 but it's not unreasonable for the special occasion that I would consider the technique.

That's it for me for now. Any thoughts on any of the above I'd be interested to hear in the comments. Have a good one!

 

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) , "Acadia National Park Photography", "Acadia National Park" 32 Canon 24mm tilt shift HDR HDR panoramas HDR will it blend? HDR with Lightroom How HDR didn't ruin my life Lightroom Maine Nate Parker Photography Panasaurus Using bit have a nice day make on the run panoramas photography technique s" that's right I said HDR tilt shift tilt shift panorama to http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/4/revisiting-old-processes-reaching-for-new-results Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:22:04 GMT
Cape Cod before's and after's's's's... http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/2/cape-cod-befores-and-after-s-s-s-s I opened the 'fridge and found the blog mouldering under some old lettuce so in an effort to keep the Google web crawler fed and to prove to the rest that I'm still alive, here's some content. The old before and after trick!

"The Cape", which is home to my Ma and Dad and where I went to High School- is always good material for landscapes (Cape Cod Massachusetts). Long sweeping sanding beaches, gorgeous dunes, extensive empty parking lots (in January when it's 20 degrees f and blowing 30 knots at least), and waves and old cottages and a distinctively different offering than my rocky coast home of Maine. That's the great bit about going back home with a new journey to explore- seeing the place in a different way for the first time, the only problem is that the arm of the peninsula that is the Cape is only so big that now after photographically exploring it for the last 10 years whenever I go to visit the folks, I'm starting to feel like I've been there and done that. But it's still fun to go try again. Another thing I try and do is to stop in Boston on the way through and park the car somewhere reasonable like at a meter or find some Sunday free parking and grab some awesomely awesome pizza in the Italian North End neighborhood- seriously I used to walk for a half an hour when I lived a few miles away going to college to grab some slices at those excellent and delicious little pizzerias- this time it was Ernesto's on Salem Street- and oh it was so good! Before the before and after Cape Cod shots here's some Boston's North End on a snow day: 

Salem Street.

Waiter on a smoke break.

Modern Pastry Shop.

Snow cars.

Young smoking girl and bow-legged old guy.

Delivery guy.

Cool old stylish building.

Joey Cecco and his "boy"

And then I was off to the Cape- and here are the before and after images. For some I made some significant changes, for others just a quick buffing up and a trip over to Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, all of these following images except the first pair went to SEP2, the first pair was a more simple set up that I finished in Lightroom. My approach was trying to show and feel the harsh open winter cold beaches down there, I was hoping for some interesting skies with a more even light but faced a hard clear sky with full sun and strong cold winds for two out of the three days. Clear skies are always the bane of my existence when I'm out with the kit, but I had to take the opportunity as it was. If anything, clear skies always show you where the dust is on the sensor at a stopped down aperture and the good news is that I'm fairly clean in that department! 

felt like some kind of Edward Hopper scene-

Sunset snow reflections

Off season feel-

saw this scene when I made the first shots of the weekend and went to make it two days later-

Jetty

Snow beach fence shapes

A curve that reminded me of the shape of Cape Cod-

And there you have it. My basic workflow is normalizing the RAW file in Lightroom by setting white balance, white points and black points, contrast adjustments, a touch of clarity depending on the subject, and then going right away to the Nik Silver Efex Pro black and white converter. This is old news but the black and white converters (whichever one you happen to choose) do a great job of controlling the darks and lights but while maintaining and generating a glowing dimensional luminance- if you do it right. After the conversion ships back to Lightroom I'll make some further adjustments if necessary to anything that seems to be needing- then I'll round trip to Photoshop CC for further dodging and burning and a touch of sharpening using either the Smart Sharpen filter on a Smart Sharpen Layer or the Unsharp Filter. Lastly I'll check the toning as for the most part I like a warmer feel than a cold print and then it's done and it's on to the next. 

Kind of waiting for the winter to break before considering more landscapes around here as nothing is really screaming at me to 'go make that photo'- so I'm thinking of using the still life studio some more. We'll see. 

Until then, thanks for stopping by and have a good one! -Nate.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Cape Cod National Seashore Cape Cod black and white photography Cape Cod photography Cape Cod winter Cape winter Nate Parker photography black and white black and white seascapes have a nice day snow beach winter beach http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/2/cape-cod-befores-and-after-s-s-s-s Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:03:26 GMT
On Breaking the Rules= Don't Always Show Your Best Work? http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/2/on-breaking-the-rules-dont-always-show-your-best-work

Deer Isle Ice Cakes

There's a popular photography euphemism that goes: "only show your best work". I get it. There's another that goes "your first 10,000 photos are your worst". And then there's another that's something like- "you'll be remembered for your worst photo?", and another that says "My favorite picture I'll make tomorrow". I get all of that. But it occurred to me after looking at the Ansel Adams calendar that my Mom gets me for Christmas every year that there are some images in those calendars that I've never seen before therefore aren't necessarily his most iconic and famous pictures, like Moon Over Half Dome or Moonrise Over Hernandez are. And I've seen a lot of other Ansel images over the years like his color panoramas when he was doing his ad campaign with Polaroid and close up detail images of barns etc that you wouldn't necessarily associate with Ansel. He produced a lot of photographs in his life and all of it wasn't always necessarily spectacular in the way those Moonrise Over Hernandez and Moon Over Half Dome are. But don't get me wrong, I love almost all of it. And it's the very nature of having a varied and diverse portfolio that makes those standout shots even more stunning and impactful.

If I were to stick by the virtue of only showing my "best work" then I would be a scarce entity around these parts. I hope for around 12 good shots a year which comes from another of those popular photographers euphemisms. I think it's more important to keep a presence and to keep a slow but dependable drip of content coming in these days of the social internets. My way of producing is pretty much make images around once or twice a week of maybe 3 to 12 scenes and then work on them over the next few weeks/months/years to nurture something out of them. After a while your work accumulates and makes for a body of work that you call a portfolio and which will have natural high points and low points. Just like a symphony, it's not always forte and in your face, sometimes it's the more quiet connecting periods that are more beautifully nuanced. And those are what makes it interesting to follow someone over a long period- to see what someone is going to make tomorrow, can they top that last awesome shot, what changes will you make over time, etc. And if we were only showing our "best" work then it would be a lot harder to get an average of the whole thing, to see the arc. Know what I mean? Now don't think I'm making excuses for boring content- every new time out with your kit and post processing session in front of the monitor should be another opportunity to do your best work, to keep the learning curve moving in an upward and or forward direction!

There's another reason why it's useful to show your work- to get feedback. Not just out of pride fluffing or on the other hand being dealt a pity party, but if you subjectively consider how your images are being received then you can modify accordingly. I find it rewarding to show my images and track the feedback and popularity of particular pictures sometimes out of just sheer entertainment but other times to see what people and other photographers like. Not that we should care what others like, or think, (make that work for you artist person: I dare you!) but it always gets me when I post an image that didn't make the initial cut and seemed to be a big mistake but which later is a big hit with everyone else. That always leaves me shaking my head. Therefore maybe your best photograph you have already made you just haven't realized it yet? Woah. That's heavy.

One more time: that doesn't mean that anything goes. Standards are everything. With every new image I'm giving it 'my best shot'. With every new image I'm continuing trying to master the workflow of creating a "fine art" photograph, I'm trying out new approaches and modifying technique that will hopefully all go to making a better image tomorrow. You see where I'm coming from here- you have to keep up with your game in order to build on where you've come from, and hopefully in the process there will be standout opportunities that make the definitive shot of the year. 

Anyways- just goes to show that the "rules" are there for a reason but also are there to be broken and exploited and twisted and manipulated to our satisfaction. Just keep the Lolcats and duck face selfies and what we had for lunch to a minimum and everybody wins!

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park photography Deer Isle Maine Maine Maine black and white Maine fine art photography Maine landscape Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day ice winter winter landscape http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/2/on-breaking-the-rules-dont-always-show-your-best-work Sat, 01 Feb 2014 11:37:56 GMT
2013 and my life as a sternman and photographer http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/1/2013-and-my-life-as-a-sternman-and-photographer

Life on the back of a lobster boat out of Bass Harbor in Downeast Maine- you'll never miss a sunrise. It's not the getting up early that's the hard part, all you have to do for that is be somewhere on time. And it's not the long days, the longest were in December bringing boat loads of traps in from the dark morning- rowing out to the boat because the outboard didn't start that day from too much cold over patches of ice freezing up the harbor, to 12 hours later tying up to the mooring an hour after sunset. It's not the waves or the wind making a pitching deck on those days that you just gotta get out even though there's a chop on. Or the stinks of this or that weird bait (600 pounds of herring is a delicacy compared to slimy bear and moose hide, and the pig hide just about ruined me for bacon) although after a few hot summer days redfish racks do end up fermenting into a retched wine and have a nasty habit of forming nests of maggots, and that's a bummer, there's no other way to put it than that- that's a real bummer. But I would offer that there's no job that'll give you a heartier appetite than than hauling 100 pair of traps on a lobster boat. The one thing that is kind of hard for me though is that there are so many awesome moments that I want to photograph but the kind of busy that we are out there makes it not completely appropriate not to mention the fishy fingers etc. But I have learned how to fit in the time to rip off a few iPhone snaps here and there throughout the day and maybe next year I'll get a used body and lens just for the boat, because although the iPhone is a rockin good camera and video recorder it still is really pretty noisy and very uncontrollable compared to a regular camera in manual mode. 

So I've been working on this year in review video from the F/V Never Enough for the last month or so now on and off and I finally went crazy enough yesterday thinking that it still wasn't done yet to finish it and just upload it already so I can go on to something else because there's a bunch of photos still waiting to be worked on. So I finished it and uploaded it and here it is. The musics is that tune "Sail" by AWOL Nation off Megalithic Symphony http://awolnationmusic.com which I heard again and couldn't get out of my head after seeing that base jumper video of the guy crashing into the cliff and living, which was awesome-

                                               

Cliff Strike 11/24/2013 from Subterminallyill on Vimeo.

Right then, I liked 2013, I hope it was a good one for you too. For more lobstering stuff you can go here: http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/6/scenes-from-a-maine-lobster-boat or here: http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/5/maine-the-way-life-should-be--working-on-a-lobster-boat

Have a good one!

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Lobstering video Maine Maine lobster Maine lobster boat Maine" Nate Parker Photography boats have a nice day lobster boat lobstering http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/1/2013-and-my-life-as-a-sternman-and-photographer Sun, 26 Jan 2014 14:39:08 GMT
Color vs Black and White Photography, Again. http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/1/color-vs-black-and-white-photography-again

Mellos Cove Sunrise Blue Hill, Maine. 2014!

Right then- so I would consider myself a landscape photographer. I love trying to make a good portrait and also endeavor as a street photographer as a sport sometimes, but the portfolio I show is made up of landscapes, and when you really get down to it I would say that I'm a black and white landscape photographer, but there is always a place in the catalog for a nice color image. Now the only point of using those terms "black and white", "landscape", and "photographer" are as qualifiers to describe in a capacity to explain in the end really nothing more: what you should pay me for. I've never really understood how some people like Rick Sammon or Joe McNally can be everything shooters and make such a killing at it- they are consummate professionals who can deliver to the likes of Nat Geo in the case of Joe McNally whatever you want on time with abundance- but it seems that the rest of the photographers that I look up to or other masters of their craft are dedicated to a particular niche. Consider the pianist Bill Evans who I'm listening to right now (Sunday at the Village Vanguard) he didn't play 2 hour long sets of exploratory deep and challenging jazz then go over to Madison Square Garden and play art rock with Jethro Tull and then New Orleans funeral marches the next day. Steve Jobs didn't design cookware for fun in his 'downtime'- unless he did? See where I'm going with this? Me neither- anyways, I have just found that in my experience (which mostly pertains to reading the internet and watching tv then going to my day job whatever it may be that day and maybe trying to quit smoking tobacco again-) that it's much more successful of an artist to have a concise and complimentary portfolio than that which consists of pets one day then black and white bridges with not level horizons the next, then selfies the next day, then a sunset, then more pets, then an on-camera-flash portrait of someone at a party, then some more party shots, woot!! etc. Hehheh. (Yeah I just showed some black and white party shots in my last couple of blog posts, so there is that). Extreme example I know. As an aside here: how many requests for to like somebody else's photography page on Facespace do you guys get everyday? Do you ever even look at the page? Aren't you just so sick of that? 

Back to the photography talk- one reason I really love making black and white landscape photography is that no longer is it requisite to get up before dawn to chug coffee and then drive through the dark on deer filled roads only to trip and stumble on flashlight lit paths through the woods to a location that may or may not be beautiful at sunrise. I can make interesting black and white imagery at any time of the day- not to say that color photography is never an option to those skilled at doing that then, or to say that I can always make interesting black and white imagery, woah now!- I've just become more comfortable finishing a photo in monochrome that isn't supercharged by sky color and which relies more on texture and subtle tones. And I think that a nice subtle black and white print has more review quality than a hotshot pyrotechnic sunrise print anyday- it's all personal but those kinds of images which are always a knockout at first just end up feeling exhausting after a while- like I'm not always in the mood for a Red Bull, maybe I just want a glass of warm almond milk. Yeah that's the perfect analogy for a beautifully subtle and interesting black and white landscape print= it's like a nice cup of steamed almond milk! Heh.

But there is the occasion when the photo is all about the color, or to deny the color to the photo makes it less than it would have been. It's obvious when it happens just like it's obvious when you see the value of a good black and white image. I guess I would be a color photographer more than a black and white photographer if I had lot's more of these and in the end a title is only really just as good as the it of the thing that's described, and I do want to be a great black and white landscape photographer- but this was a gorgeous colorful moment that I really wanted to share with you all. And that's what I think about that. Have a great day- Nate from Maine, Usa.

P.s. Any of my good photographer friends out there want to tell me what they may have changed about this shot, or how they may have gone about approaching it differently? I'd be super chuffed to hear from yeh. I.e.: critiques welcomed whoever would like! See ya!

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) 30 percent off sale! Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia Waterfalls Bar Harbor Maine Black and White Friday Black and White photography Friday Blue Hill Bay Blue Hill Maine Hadlock Brook falls Hadlock Falls Acadia Maine Maine color Maine landscapes Maine seascapes Mello Cove, Blue Hill Nate Parker Photography Waterfall Bridge Acadia black and white harbor ice have a nice day ice winter http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/1/color-vs-black-and-white-photography-again Tue, 14 Jan 2014 23:06:38 GMT
My Best of 2013 in Pictures, a Yearly Retrospective. http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/1/my-best-of-2013-in-pictures-a-yearly-retrospective Another year down and another year closer to finishing our masterworks. In hindsight, which is the point of a retrospective after all, I liked 2013. Truth be told there is a touch of the superstitious in me and to that end 13 isn't always my favorite number, but just like the number that tells me how old my life is supposedly getting= it's still only just a number. Although ask Steven King, Maine's favorite author, what he thinks of that declaration and then go see "1408" with John Cusack about the haunted Dolphin Hotel in NYC, yeah... just a number. 2014? Still not rolling off the tongue. A yearly problem that, by the time we're used to it we have to take down last years Ansel Adams calendar and start all over again. Around and around we go. Speaking of Ansel- he has an adage where he says "twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop" (picture him saying that while sitting at his piano with that great big white beard fluttering). I finally had the chance this past weekend to do that critical considering- here's a quick little detail about last weekend: at one point on Friday the wind chill drove the temps down to -48 degrees f! -48 degrees! -48 degrees f! Woah, woah woah now winter, easy does it there! That's just crazy cold. There was some rocking sea smoke and purportedly one of the highest tides in decades here, the pipes froze briefly, my diesel wasn't even about to think about starting, and I took the opportunity to watch the entire first season of 'The Wire', which is awesome!

About the photographs: editing images as the maker of the images is always kind of a challenging endeavor. You have to think critically on these almost as a third party removed from the experience of making them and the satisfaction of that day and therefore the idea you have of them as a result. Time is always a useful tool then to put some distance between making the picture and considering it and the longer you have the better off you'll often be able to view them impartially. Then again the longer you look at it sometimes the more time you have to reinforce our own fantasies about how "good" it is and sometimes the only way to realize that it dearly lacks in substance is to have somebody else clue us in to that. Which reminds me of a pertinent problem among photographers on the social media circles- we don't tell each other that we suck enough. The Flickr fluffer phenomenon is still alive and well, your back patted and maybe you'll pat mine, ack that drives me crazy! Seriously though if you want me to really remember you then critique my images. I especially remember this one fellow this year telling me that one of my horizons was out of plumb to the point of me wanting to pull my or his hair out- it was an island on the distant horizon making an illusion of tilting, but it got me to critically examine my work and that's the point of the whole exercise= take stock of where we are, where we are going, and how to do it all better. Whatever, without too much more adieu, and hopefully with an abundant batch of keepers for me and you all to harvest digitally or analoguely or whatever in 2014- on to the pictures. 

~My Top Twelve (and change) photographs of 2013~

Snow Beach, MaineSnow Beach, Maine

"Snow Beach" January 4, 2013. Latty Cove, 'the backside', Mount Desert Island.

Bass Harbor Marsh Snowfields, (tall crop)Bass Harbor Marsh Snowfields, (tall crop)Snowy desolation on the Bass Harbor Marsh in January in Maine.

"Bass Harbor Marsh Snowfield" February 11, 2013. Bass Harbor Marsh, Acadia National Park, Maine. 

Jordan Pond Reflections and Ice DetailJordan Pond Reflections and Ice Detail

"Jordan Pond Reflections and Ice Detail" February 20. Jordan Pond, Acadia.

Cat Tails Ice and SnowCat Tails Ice and SnowFrozen solid for February the cat tails are still standing on Little Round Pond.

"Cat Tails Ice and Snow" 3/5/13. Little Round Pond, MDI.

Seal Cove Pond Rain and Ice FogSeal Cove Pond Rain and Ice FogA warm late winter downpour steams the ice and makes ice fog on Seal Cove Pond in Tremont on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

"Seal Cove Pond Ice Fog" 3/13/13. Seal Cove, Maine.

Clown Smile RockClown Smile Rock

"Clown Smile Rock at Bodice Cove" March 25, 2013. Corea, Maine. (Downeast).

Cape Cod Low Tide at Coast Guard BeachCape Cod Low Tide at Coast Guard Beach

"Low Tide at Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod" March 29, 2013. Truro, Cape Cod, Massachussetts.

Eagle Lake Driftwood in the FogEagle Lake Driftwood in the Fog

"Eagle Lake Driftwood in the Fog" May 12, 2013. Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park.

Hunter Beach in the FogHunter Beach in the FogThe always picturesque Hunter Beach in Acadia National Park draped in typical June coastal fog.

"Hunter Beach in the Fog" July 11, 2013. Hunter Beach, Acadia.

Maine Coast CormorantMaine Coast Cormorant

"Maine Coast Cormorant and Rock Textures" Sept 12, 2013. Midcoast Maine.

The Tarn in the FogThe Tarn in the FogA veil of fog softens the details of "the Tarn" in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

"The Tarn in the Fog" September 30, 2013. ANP, MDI.

Driftwood at Lopaus PointDriftwood at Lopaus PointFlotsam along the high tide line at Lopaus Point, Mount Desert Island, Maine.

"Flotsam at Lopaus Point" October 22, 2013. Lopaus Point, Tremont, Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Thunder Hole Storm WavesThunder Hole Storm WavesEarly Winter storm waves breaking over the railings along the walkway at Thunder Hole at high tide in Acadia National Park. November 18, 2013.

"Thunder Hole Storm Waves" November 18, 2013. Thunder Hole along the Schooner Head Road in Acadia National Park. 

Wonderland Winter SunriseWonderland Winter SunriseSky colors reflecting off wet rocks and tide pools out at Wonderland on the coast of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, Maine.

"Wonderland Winter Sunrise" December 29, 2013. Out at Wonderland off Mansett, Acadia National Park, Maine.

Ship Harbor Sunrise Acadia National ParkShip Harbor Sunrise Acadia National Park

"Ship Harbor Sunrise" April 12, 2013. 

Right then- so that's my official twelve and change photographs for 2013. They are really kind of arbitrary choices- meaning there could have been others that I liked as much in one way or another, these however mostly fit my catalog and the look that I'm trying to represent as a photographic artist for the most part. 2013 was a growing year for me though photographically and the end of the year leaves me in a much different state of mind than the beginning. Where at the start of this year I was rounding off my fog and seascape portfolios and continuing with the long exposure wide angle black and white bit, the end of the year is finding me more restless in my vision and I feel like chasing a new perspective visually. I also started working on studio still lifes with off camera flash trying a new thing that way in the warmth and comfort of my own studio, which is a nice change. 2013 was successful for me in print sales locally and a little bit more through the website, got my mat mounting and printing station standardized for 4 sizes and stocked with lots of materials. It was a great year to get out of town on a couple of short trips to New York City and make two weekends full of street photography and architectural studies. 2013 was a good year for features for me: I got into Outdoor Photographer, a magazine that I used to have a subscription to, for the first and hopefully not last time http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/how-to/shooting/pro-fall-color-hot-spots.html?start=1, a Nathan Wirth's 'Slices of Silence" ezine spotlight: http://nlwirth.com/blog/artist-spotlight-nate-parker (thanks Nathan buddy!), and some other things that I can't quite remember right now but then there's this mostly embarrassing Youtube interview with Tom Migot Photography here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsikYGWKTSI&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL6BB546CC66A11A2F and if that doesn't crack you up than I don't know what will! Most definitely the biggest change for me for 2013 was my day job- as of May I went to work as a sternman on a lobster boat out of Bass Harbor on the "Never Enough" a 36 foot Jarvis Newman diesel built in 1976 and Captained by a guy almost half my age but who's as much of a go getter as anyone. A real downside to that one was having to get up everyday at 03:00 am and missing the chance to photograph dawn at my most favorite time of day, a real upside to that though was seeing every single beautiful sunrise (minus about 7 or so mornings over the last 7 months due to weather or whatever) so I ended up driving my iPhone camera to the max! And learning how to work around the limitations of the iPhone and learning how to use it as a 'real' camera was a fun and interesting challenge. And now here we are at the bitter and cold end. I have definite objectives to achieve for 2014 and a real sense of direction of how to go about advancing them. I feel confident and optimistic that there is still lots of room for discovery which is a good mix, now to just make some of that happen. How'd you do this year? You also don't have too wait for the very end of the year to do a retrospective, it's always important to check yourself and see where you really are. Let me know in the comments or link me to your retrospective round-up.

As an outro let's vamp on outtakes of other favorite images I've made in 2013- see you on the other side!

~Ice Shacks~

(a winter project begun a couple years ago on the character of the local ice fishing shacks)

Ice Shacks 

Ice Shacks 2

Ice Shacks 3

Ice Shacks 4

Ice Shacks 5

Ice Shacks 6

~Abstracts~

Snow Shapes

Snow Shapes 2

Snow Shapes 3

Snow Shapes 4

Snow Shapes Diptych

Snow Shapes 5

Fall Color Gesture

Fall Color Gesture 2

~iPhone Abstracts from the deck of the F/V Never Enough~ 

(made using iPhone 4 then iPhone 5s with any combination of the following apps: Snapseed, Mextures, Slowshutter.)

The Rail

Dawn to Dusk

Rosey Motion

Dawn Horizon Shot Through a Fish Scale. (I was wondering why my images were coming back all blurry that morning so I turned the phone around and there was a fish scale nicely adhered to the lens! Ah ha!)

Amber Waves

Blood Orange Bay

Indigo Twilight

Navy Twilight

Aubergine Twilight

~Lobstering~

My Ride-

Bass Harbor, Maine.

Heading out.

Haulin' gear.

Hardshell Maine Lobster. 

Carl heading out on the F/V Last Time.

Our third hand- Mr Jason Charles Bulger.

A little fella- not a legal keeper, we throw these back. Anyways, once I made the silly mistake of intentionally letting one of these little guys bite me (had a couple large ones get me this season and that HURTS, gawd!) figured the little fellow would just nip a bit- wrong: this guy's gonna be a killer!

Big Fella. (You definitely don't want one of these guys to pinch you.)

Jason with a good sized lady lobster.

We get these all the time out of our short warps. Woot!

Raaawrr!

Spotted lobster.

Orange lobster.

Constant companions.

Scalpin. We actually found one of these once with a really hard protruding bump in his belly- so Danny naturally cut it open to see what was inside- (every time I watch him do that there is a weird mix of fascination and revulsion and I usually say something like 'dood- what the hey now are you doing man?!) anyways this one time with the hard lump thing he excises a little 4 inch long whole baby lobster! Only just partially beginning to get soft claws from stomach acid digestion it was definitely one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen. 

~Animals and Pets~

Bald Eagle.

Seal pups!

Grover my doggy!

So serious in the snow

He's really the best dog I've ever known. Grover!

Grover and his brother Andre.

Grover and Gus the cat. What up Gus!

Gus the cat posing in one of my square mats in the window.

~New York City~

 (had the opportunity to go back to Manhattan twice this summer for two 3 day weekends, it had been twenty years since I had been there last living with friends, chased out of the Lower East Side by villains long ago I had been looking forward to return. Had myself a blast making street and architectural photography.)

The Chrysler Building.

Glass and Steel, Midtown Manhattan.

Under the Manhattan Bridge (Brooklyn side).

Inhabitants.

Klinger on Avenue A.

The bird guys-

 

Then there's This guy! See this is the New York that I remember and that I wanted to go visit again, trouble is: it's mostly all gone! It's now more a sterilized massive mini mall of American Outfitters and Starbucks's (that's where the bathrooms are at least) than the Taxi Driver Robert Deniro hustle streets of days gone by. They say that it's better this way. I say there should always be a balance. Maybe de Blasio will bring back some of the filth and edge of the 70's, they could sell tickets to that stuff- I'm telling' ya!

Midtown Brazil day parade-

Central Park busker.

Awesome 70's hairdo! Midtown. See the detail: gum on the sidewalks, now that's NYC.

Chinatown air-five.

The guy in white.

Midtown and Downtown from the 30 Rock observation deck. 

~People~

Curtis Wells my neighbor.

Linda Perrin of Atlantic Art Glass http://www.atlanticartglass.com

Mike McKee.

Gene Thurston on Echo Lake.

Mom

Mom and Dad waving goodbye after a visit.

Ken Perrin.

Derrick Sekulich.

Sophie-

Soph and Anna.

Jeff Toman.

Jon Ho!

John Chruscielski.

Linda Perrin.

Derrick and this guy.

this guy.

~Gratuitous Selfies~

And there you have it! A massive overload of imagery! If I've done my job correctly you'll neither need to or want to see another photograph for at least a few minutes! But don't you fear- I'll be back at it making more images photographing my way through 2014. See you hopefully at least at the end of next year, and good luck at it friends and readers, stay safe and happy out there! 

-Nate.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) 2013 retrospective Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Bass Harbor Maine Lobster boats Lobstering in Maine Maine Maine landscapes Maine lobster Maine photography blog Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography best of 2013 in pictures black and white black and white Maine photography lobster http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2014/1/my-best-of-2013-in-pictures-a-yearly-retrospective Thu, 09 Jan 2014 09:44:04 GMT
It's the Most.. Wonderful Christmas Party... of the Yearrrrr....._..... http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/its-the-most-wonderful-christmas-party-of-the-yearrrrr-_ Gotta post about this!: for four score and seven years Atlantic Art Glass of Ken and Linda Perrin fame have been hosting the most fantabulous of Christmas parties at their glass blowing studio in Ellsworth Maine. Ken and Linda have a real devotion to the community and the arts that is totally exemplarary- as in people like this are our hearths and keystones of community- they keep the neighborhood stoop with it's "hi how'd ya do ya!?" alive and going. If you attend this "Fire Gathering" Winter Solstice party at Atlantic Art Glass you'll have the opportunity to shake hands with and meet all the rest of the neighbors because everyone comes to this one, maybe at least just because the bean dip is to absolutely die for, but more so probably because with 2000 degree fahreinheit fires burning in the glassblowing studio the whole community warms up and smiles at each other and we really genuinely embrace our neighbors. I've known and worked with Ken and Linda for something like 12 years now and I really consider them my local adopted big brother and big sister and family is heavy stuff and this year has been a heavy year but going into the new year we are stronger and more alive than ever thanks to our community. So if you missed it this year make sure to come next year because you'll be glad if you do, I guarantee it, for a limited time, while supplies last, this offer is redeemable for hope always. Hehheh. Here's a link to last years documentary style interview of the artists: http://www.zenfolio.com/nateparkerphotography/edit/blog.aspx#688512621 - and this year I went with a completely different look in the recordage of the event, where last time I did a straight documentary video style thing, this year I wanted to do the off-camera-flash harsh-in-your-face= (disposable-camera) look of those embarrassing frat house parties kind of thing (which I've never actually attended, just seen on TV). And it was a whole bunch of fuddling and about 30 percent missed settings or no flash recycle but here's a few cool pics of my friends and 'family' at this years Winter Solstice "Fire Gathering" at Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth Maine. Good times! And Merry Christmas everyone-

Ken Perrin with Linda to the left in conversation.

Linda Perrin's brother- John Chruscielski

Steve Perrin and Carol Beale.

Carol, Steve, Ken and Linda.

Tara Parker doing flame working demonstrations.

Jon Ho at the bench.

I has cheeseburger!~?

Derrick Sekulich, glassblower and craftsman of all things good.

A.J. Emmett fresh back from Amsterdam. 

Jon and his new puppy-

Sophie-

blacksmith Jeff Tolman.

Linda and Ken blowing glass.

Ken and Derrick relaxin.

John mugging.

Derrick on the bench.

Anna and Soph.

Meh.

Derrick and meh.

Linda beginning the solstice bowl.

little hotshop dog.

Hot shop doggy takes the floor.

See you next year there and thanks again Ken and Linda for having us all!

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Atlantic Art Glass Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography Winter Solstice black and white have a nice day http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/its-the-most-wonderful-christmas-party-of-the-yearrrrr-_ Mon, 23 Dec 2013 00:28:28 GMT
Win a Free Print for the Holidays Winners Announced! http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/win-a-free-print-for-the-holidays-winners-announced

Snow Flowers.

The 2013 "Win a Free Print for the Holidays" free print giveaway ended earlier today and I threw the entries into a number randomizer over at randomizer.org (http://www.random.org) because my dog wasn't about to pick the winners outside today- he was like "yeah... no." The Winners Are..... skip to the end to see or just read through my drivel and get there when the bus stops:

Winter is on! Winter is on us here in Maine in a big way, in a way that is something like: "remember me- I'm Winter, and I'm gonna do it like we used to do back in the 70's!" And we, all us Maine'rs are like "oh yeah, we do that, no problem"- and then when we are by ourselves we look around and say- 'jeezum bub maybe today's a good day to work in the shop/studio, throw another log on the fire, turn on the weather channel and grow the beard a little longer, cause this just aint fit!' (trust me I never use the colloquialism 'aint', just did here for local color).

Winter is a special time though to people of the snow- you learn to make the most of the daylight when it's there, do those organizing projects that you put off for the rest of the year, spend time with family, watch some good movies, maybe read a book. It's a great time to go deep and review your self, check your progress- make some refinements- but don't call them resolutions cause you know what happens then! And I always try to challenge myself as a photographer sometime in the winter months to come up with something of a change in direction like. The Snow Flowers shot above is a kind of minimal style of image that I began playing with last snowy winter using my 100mm 2.8. Nothing new in the world of photography but not my usual bag of long exposure black and white seascape- which to me is like an invigorating fresh smear of peppermint chapstick on my cracked lips of 'the same old same old thing' as far as picture making goes. 

Long story short- winter white makes me go ahh and see photos differently! Whatever. Now on to the Winners!

To recap- this was not some lame attempt at grabbing emails or anything, though to be completely honest: I don't really believe in pure altruism, and I guess the worst thing I did here was try to get my name out there a little more so that it may help to help me keep doing what I want to do. But that's not that bad of a thing when you consider the other bad things that you could consider- but let's not go there. I am honestly hoping to make a least some people happy here who may like their free print- or at least like the idea that they are winners again, cause you've all been winners before but it's always nice to win again. So, in the end- you'll do what you want with your booty- I kind of figured it would be a nice chance for the winner to give a gift using my free print as that gift to someone who you didn't quite know what to give or have the funds to do it with, but do with your spoils what you will, you winners of highest caliber! Ideally you'll be just a little happier that you were indeed proven to be lucky and win and go out into the world and give just a little bit of that back somehow and I'll be wicked psyched when it eventually comes back to me or the people in my life! Woot! See, then everybody wins! 

Winner #1 (local-in-person-hand-off-style-delivery) Amber Howard! Congrats Ambah! Hope you like your print!

Winner #2 (local-in-person-hand-off-style-delivery-#2) Jenn Booher! Supah Jenn! Hope you're psyched for your new print! Also, Jenn is a great photographer and artist as well, I swear!- check out her still life's and studies here: http://quercusdesign.blogspot.com

Winner #3 (actual premium U.S. Mail post office delivery service) Elizabeth Jordan! An ex-Mainer now living in Virginia, Elizabeth seems to almost wistfully love pictures of her old home state of Maine. Congratulations Elizabeth- happy holidays to you and your family from Nate and Soph and our dogs in Maine!

Snow Flowers

And there you have it! Sorry to those of you who didn't win now, but that just means that you'll win more later- you know how it goes. Maybe at least you had fun imagining that you would win for a little while until you forgot about it at least- which would be cool just in itself. And Jeremy- give me a shout and I'll check my backstock buddy! 

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, love your loved ones, don't forget to get yourself something nice as well!, Eat and then repeat, and have a great day, Nate from Maine, Usa!

 

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Maine winter Merry Christmas photography Nate Parker Photography Winter in Maine black and white have a nice day snow flower winter flower winter macro winter photography in Maine http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/win-a-free-print-for-the-holidays-winners-announced Wed, 18 Dec 2013 00:14:49 GMT
Win a Free Print for the Holidays! http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/win-a-free-print-for-the-holidays

"Snow Beach at Latty Cove, Maine." Jan. 4, 2013.

Yeah! Happy holidays from Nate Parker Photography! Woot! It's been a pretty good year here and this is meant to be a giving back moment of sorts- that, and hopefully something of a solution for those always perplexing gift ideas and stress of the holidays that we all can have. I always really enjoy Christmas and New Years but inevitably the whole thing ends up being somewhat stressful what with finding the right thing to gift your loved ones with and also the money to get them with too- so I figured that in the spirit of giving and making the happy go around, some free fine art photographic prints should help to spread some good cheer! Eh? Here's the dealio:

Three (3) matted prints will be up for grabs. They are 11"x14" inches matted to 16"x20" on off white mats, or maybe some 11" inch squares matted to 16" inches-  Two (2) of the prints will be for locals= you gotta meet me at the coffee shop to pick them up! One (1) of them I will ship to anywhere in the North American Continent of the Planet Earth. For Free. So therefore, the one I ship I may reserve the right to downsize to a 5"x7" matted to 8"x10" because it can get pricey. Whatever. Alright- you still with me? This is all free remember! With an arbitrary value of up to $95 American dollars that's not so bad for free! To Enter: leave a comment here saying what your favorite christmas song or christmas movie is, share this post on your social media of choice i.e. Facespace, Youbook, Googletime, and make sure that there is an email link in your comment so that I can get back to you if you are that bigtime winner! Oh and if you are that winner, I'll happily take a couple of those gingerbread man cookies or whatever :-) Drawing will take place and all entries must be in by...... the new moon of December 17th 2013 at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern US Time. Winners prints will be selected by me, or I may decide to bring a few that you can pick from. There you have it and that's all for now.

Now go out there and win! And have a great day, Nate from Maine, Usa.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Free prints Happy holidays from Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day photography http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/win-a-free-print-for-the-holidays Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:50:33 GMT
November and December- my time for a photographic rest. http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/my-photographic-time-of-rest-is-usually-november-and-december

Maine Coast Acadian Storm, Nov. 18th 2013

But year after year it always proves that it's more a time of rest in spirit than in reality! See the deal is that after the rush of the end of the season on the island and the fall colors of autumn have passed and the winds of november give the place a real ghost town effect all of a sudden- I always gravitate to hot chocolate and movies and working on images from the summer and organizing etc. Anything but feeling pressed to make catalog worthy imagery and or advance my place in things. It's important to rest sometimes like theres no hot if theres no cold, no rich if there's no poor- right, you know what I mean. So November comes and I feel relief in some ways, but then I go out with my camera- like just to look around, with no real agenda, and year after year I end up making some of my best images of the year then. Like these from last November: (but this was an unordinary trip far away off the island which proved to be ridiculously inspiring for photography- The Olympic Peninsula in Washington state:  Ruby Beach Sea StacksRuby Beach Sea StacksA promontory of sea stacks jut out into the Pacific Ocean at Ruby Beach in Washington.

"Ruby Beach Sea Stacks" Nov.7 2012

Oceanside Oregon Beach Swing in the FogOceanside Oregon Beach Swing in the FogMorning fog adds isolation to an empty swing on the beach at Oceanside Oregon.

"Mood Swings" Nov. 5 2012

Shi Shi Beach Sea StacksShi Shi Beach Sea StacksSea stacks jut out of the Pacific Ocean at Shi Shi Beach in Washington.

"Shi Shi Beach Sea Stacks" Nov. 6 2012

"Martha's Vineyard" Nov. 24 2012

"Rippogenus Driftwood" Nov. 9 2011

r.r.Cape Cod National Seashore. I found these two large driftwood tree stumps (this is the one on the left) set sturdily into the sand while walking on the beach looking for images to make in the rain in November. I couldn't believe the good fortune in finding these as a photographic subject, but still I have no guess as to what the function could possibly be! Maybe a volleyball net post?

"r." Cape Cod Ma. Nov. 23 2011

"Order Your Fresh Killed Goat Whole or Half" Nov. 24 2010

Before then (2010) it's more of a blur and not so good. Anyways, you know how inspired you are when it's beautiful in the summer and you're hot to go make vibrant sunrise images or then the fall colors are popping so you're working hard to make nice autumn photos, then winter photography with beautiful snow drifts and into spring with the fresh greens of new growth and waterfalls of winter melt runoff, but November just usually leaves me feeling really uninspired and I don't like to have to force it then. So this year I'm trying something entirely new and made a small studio set up with off camera flash and backgrounds and am making still life studies of sand dollars and shells and veggies that Sophie grew and stuff like that, and it's proving to be real interesting, at least warm and comfortable and it's near the beer or coffee pot which is always nice. But either way it's a productive and interesting way to get through the brown stick season and into the winter snows. I'll leave you with a couple of those for now-

"Sophies Garlic"

"Sand Dollars"

How does November affect your photography? Do you do anything different?

Have a good one- Nate.

 

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Coast of Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/12/my-photographic-time-of-rest-is-usually-november-and-december Sun, 08 Dec 2013 20:02:43 GMT
Black and White Friday 30 Percent Off Prints Sale! http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/11/black-and-white-friday-30-percent-off-prints-sale

Waterfall Bridge on Hadlock Brook in Acadia.

Happy Holidays all! For my take on the whole crazy 'Black Friday' Christmas shopping madness day celebrated by so many Americans I'll personalize it by coining it "Black and White Friday"! So my offer to you holiday shopper and gift idea needer: take 30 Percent Off any of my print prices between this Friday of November 29th, Black and White Friday, and Midnight EST December 31'st 2013 (theoretically you should only consider the black and white prints because of the name of the whole affair, but I certainly will apply this sale price to the color prints as well) and give the gift of a beautiful long lasting fine art photographic print. My print sizes will fit into most readily available frame sizes that you can get off the shelf at your nearest box store, or you can have your local framer make it a nicer presentation. I can send them already matted for you in white mats or in a shipping tube that you can have mounted however you like. Email me at Nparker8@gmail.com to discuss options. Prints are here: http://nateparkerphotography.com/f693929117 and over at the Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/nate.parker.73/photos_all

Support your local small businesses and in return we'll support yours! Happy Holidays again and safe traveling and enjoy visiting with your families if you can (dual meaning there-!)

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) 30 percent off sale! Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia Waterfalls Bar Harbor Maine Black and White Friday Black and White photography Friday Hadlock Brook falls Hadlock Falls Acadia Maine Maine landscapes Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Waterfall Bridge Acadia black and white have a nice day http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/11/black-and-white-friday-30-percent-off-prints-sale Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:11:46 GMT
November photography, on plug-ins, and Black and White Friday sales! http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/11/november-photography-on-plug-ins-and-black-and-white-friday-sales

Hermit Crab!

When November hits I always tend to hibernate in the area of photography. For instance right now its a balmy 28 degrees f outside but blowing a house-shaking 24 knots off the water with gusts to 34 which equals an apparent air temperature of 1 degree. Sure all you need to do is 'button up' but when you really get down to it unless some giant amazing celestial once in a millennia event occurs within sight of here I'm not taking the camera back out until the snow flies or else I get a better idea. Until then I've finally realized my long considered plan to make a home studio of sorts for setting up macro's and other still life's and studies and things in the comfort of my own home! How cool is that! Within 10 feet of the coffee maker or beer fridge, tethered to Lightroom and my 27" screen, warm. Can make some images then fizzle out and realize something else a bit later and have the set-up ready to reanimate and make more. The only real challenges then are subject, composition, lighting and exposure. Pretty much just what you'd face out in the field but with the added creative challenge of having to stage something that looks good and not just stupid or cheesy or completely typical and mundane. So, not to say that I overcame any of those particular challenges today, but I did end up with one set-up that I liked enough to work on and develop. Which brings me to the next part of this edition: plug-ins.

Plug-ins are cool! You know plug-ins are cool, but if you don't yet know that plug-ins are cool and you are a photographer that likes to make more work for themselves after the fact of the capture (like we do, the rest of us, who spend lots of time developing pictures, and like it) then know that plug-ins are wicked cool! Here's some of my fav's: all the "Nik Software" suite plug-ins, which are now Google owned and are called now something like "the Nik Collection by Google" or some odd bit. Contains Silver Efex Pro 2 which is my personal favorite black and white conversion tool and although Photoshop black and white channel conversions are cool there's just a bunch of things that makes SEP2 the go to app for black and white. For the color there's the Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 which has a bunch of sweet stackable and tunable effects that will realistically, or ridiculously theatrically enhance and pop even the most mundane of images. There's a bunch of others in the suite like Dfine for noise reduction, Sharpener Pro for print output sharpening, etc that would take too long to fully describe. But a most interesting new option which I'm utterly surprised has been released is this new Analog Efex Pro film emulator which is seeming to be going the way of the Visco Films softwares, etc- and for once I'm in the mood for it~! http://www.google.com/nikcollection/products/analog-efex-pro/

Here's the dealio: I'm in the mood for something completely different! Gotta keep working forward on my photography, but I'm not afraid to take a departure from the norm for a while, especially that it's now November! So here's what I'm on about: studio set up macros and or still life's with off-camera flash shot on backgrounds then developed through a bunch of different plug-ins. After all it's November and there's nothing but tumbleweed deadness blowing around outside before the winter has yet to start proper, and I've made some satisfying enough work for my portfolio for this calendar year to try something different for a change. Oh and here's another that I've recently found fairly intriguing: the "On One Perfect Photo Suite" software solutions, been checking out the public beta Photo Suite 8 which is here: http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/suite8/launch-center/. What I like about these plug-ins suites is that they have nice preview screens with interesting preset options that can lead to ideas that I wouldn't have considered otherwise. The On One Suite and the Google Nik Collection Suite have interesting dynamic contrast and texture enhancing algorithms that have helped a bunch of my recent images find more midtone details that in the end are invaluable if that's the tool that it takes to get where you need to be going. So where I may have once spurned a software suite full of presets as unimaginative, now I know that there's only so much time in this world for your next image and either you'll find the solution for it's development or you'll do your old tricks the best you can and then move on to your next image and start over, and it's sometimes the quick and easy solutions that these suites can often provide that will make your catalog images last. 

Here's some other plug-ins that I've found valuable: PTGui (Panorama Tools Graphic User Interface) now in release 9.8.1 that was my go-to pan stitcher for 360 vr's and equirectangular projections when I was in my panorama phase and is still a great fall back option when Photoshop can't quite crunch the numbers in a stitch these days. 

Photomatix for those hot and tangy HDR's that you rebellious ones like! http://www.hdrsoft.com now in updated version 5.0 as of Nov 20 which is interesting (apparently adding some kind of:  "Contrast Optimizer Tone Mapping for realistic-looking results, new Fusion method for real estate photography, multiple settings batching, and option to enable fusion from a single RAW file." hmmm.. probably still looks like fake maple syrup was poured all over my what would have been yummy bacon- nonetheless...

Oh- and for mobile: Nik Snapseed! Mextures, Hipstamatic, and Dyptic. 

One more thing! Black and White Friday Sale!!!-

As of this Friday, November 29th- all Black and White prints at my website will be 30 percent off until January 1st of 2014! Any order placed between 11/29/13 and 1/1/14 will be automatically reduced by 30 percent- email me at Nparker8@gmail.com to verify and to place your order.

Have a good one, and here's one more for the road- (I thought this one was good but you guys (the inter webs) loved it and drove me crazy for a few days telling me as much: which I love you all for-- so thanks for that!) and, I used at least a couple plug-ins to realize the final version of this one:

Thunder Hole Storm WavesThunder Hole Storm WavesEarly Winter storm waves breaking over the railings along the walkway at Thunder Hole at high tide in Acadia National Park. November 18, 2013.

Thunder Hole Storm Waves, Acadia National Park, Maine.

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia storm Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine black and white Maine black and white photography Maine coast Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Thunder Hole Thunder Hole Acadia black and white coast of Maine have a nice day http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/11/november-photography-on-plug-ins-and-black-and-white-friday-sales Sun, 24 Nov 2013 22:59:29 GMT
The problem with photographers is... http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/11/the-problem-with-photographers-is Rocks on the surface in the fogRocks on the surface in the fog

Rocks on the surface in the fog. Eagle Lake, Acadia.

It's not just photographers but since I'm coming at this as a photographer then I'll speak to photographers, but it's anybody who pursues a craft passionately and this goes for sports and music and a whole slew of other stuff as well. Almost everybody at some point always says they want to be a master and go pro, be the king of the hill, your name next to the definition of the thing in the Wikipedia. As if that will guarantee to be somehow remembered and revered. And it's because we're constantly being sold to- but hey: we love it! We love the next big thing- the next super massive megapixel lowlight super fast fps 5k waterproof miniature low calorie wifi enabled retro and good for the environment awesome piece of kit, or new software, or new technique. I read the blogs everyday trying to keep up with the crazy innovations- and really it's absolutely incredible. To remember that my first outboard "hard drive" in 1980 when I was 8 years old was a cassette tape that connected to my Texas Instruments Ti-99 computer that ran Basic, had 4k's of ram, and a modem that you would put the telephone onto to connect to whatever it connected to back then- is a ridiculous thing to consider. Long live Moore's Law and long live innovation! But- I actually am trying to get to a point here: there's a point when we can forget that it's not all about the stuff and the advancements and the techniques and classes and blogs about all that stuff- it's about what we can do, and doing it. You know, just do it- as it were. Just make your work.

But the thing that gets me riled the most, and this is nothing new- it's been going on in all kinds of different pursuits forever- are all the blogs and tutorials and new equipments and social media commentaries that make it seem that if you are not a "pro" then you're not living up to your potential. It's one thing to have a burning drive to always be getting better and wanting to achieve to be a master of your medium, to be inspired to create great work. But the only people who make the best work are not limited to say the "Canon Explorers of Light" or the guys who have those blue vests on the sidelines of the football games shooting with 300mm telephotos. The best work is made by people who have just got it. And to get it, in this guys opinion, you're not going to be all full of delusions of grandeur. You're not going to be possessed by equipments, you're not going to be comparing, you are going to be content. We have to arrive at a place of bliss in our craft where technique is a foregone conclusion, using our cameras like we breathe- you don't think about it you just do it until you take a moment to actually notice that you're breathing. Same thing with developing- you might not know where you're going to take the image when you start to work on it, but ideally the process is a natural evolution of realizing what it is that you're seeing, and to get to the finished edit is as natural as one foot in front of the other while walking. There's as little need to worry about your walking technique after you've gotten that down as much as there is to worry about your post processing style. If you're comfortable developing your images then why compare yourself to that guy who has gotten hundreds more "likes" on their picture than a similar one you made. Just keep making the work because you like to. Remember why you started doing this in the first place. Sometimes I'll remember my different reasons for becoming a photographer, from wanting to share with my Mom and Dad this amazing place that I was with as much detail and visceral sensation of "feels like you are right there in the scene". Or another reason was that I wanted an outlet for creativity that I could pursue on my own time and that I was entirely responsible for the success or failure of- and one that I could control from start to finish- from photograph to print. One that I could put my name on as a solo venture, not part of a team, and have that satisfaction of making a thing as best I could. But I've always had a day job. I started photography as a hobby, didn't go to school for it- I went to school to be a jazz musician, and I'm not a jazz musician anymore, but I love being a photographer. I always pursued picture making with as much passion as I could muster for it and always have had a voracious appetite for learning it and new techniques and mastering the equipment and softwares etc, but I'm willing to guess that if I had to do it for a living my idea of it would be completely different. I only photograph for pleasure and if I don't want to go make any pictures I won't! I think I'm kind of coming at this blog post in another way where I haven't been making much new work for the last couple weeks and ordinarily I'll start to have a kind of a panic at a time like this thinking that the mojo is slow and or low or that some personal quota isn't being met or something. But more the opposite- I feel really content with my work this year and have been spending lots of time just going through the catalog and working on older images and things and planning the next shots instead of just frantically going out and reshooting the same thing over and over. It's become more obvious to me that it's a lot easier to photograph in a new area that is fresh on my eyes than the one I'm so familiar with on this island here, so I'm looking at maps more. Anyways- where was I: keep your day job and just try to achieve your own bliss with your work and then you'll more likely be remembered. Here's a sports analogy (which isn't something I know much about but hear me out) college football games are often super exciting and thrilling to watch because those young guys are giving it their all in order to get noticed by the NFL scouts on the sidelines, not to mention that they are not all destroyed from years of professional injuries etc. Then the pros are sometimes maybe more calculated and finessed in their playing out there, except for playoff season when anything goes. Anyways- when we are coming up as photographers we initially photograph everything: from bugs to bushes, to railroad tracks with a guy with a guitar walking down them and portraits in front of brick walls. Hopefully you'll do your best to stay away from HDR and pick good friends, but there will always be some embarrassing side trips along the way. But the way does not have to be a destination of becoming a pro. Good for you if you really want to do that, I mean it! And I wish you all the best of success, and I'm sure those of you who do endeavor to make your living off photography will do the best you can do and make the rest of us of the photographers collective proud as a whole= you'd better: it's up too you! But I just want to make pictures that I like and that I want to make, on my own time and to my own satisfaction. Maybe I'll have a couple beers while developing them and maybe I'll finish them quick or maybe I'll take a few days at it, nobody's telling me otherwise so I do what I want! And I think that my work reflects that= I think that it's pretty good and has a confidence of 'I do what I want!'  It took a long time to get there, really after photographing for 13 almost 14 years now it's just been the last year or two that I have achieved this kind of personal bliss of finally knowing what I want my images to look like.

Bottom line is: don't let em guilt you into thinking that you should be something or other- just do because you want to and you like to do and you will get better everyday at doing just that. Just an opinion. What do you folks think?

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nparker8@gmail.com (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine coast Maine fine art photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography acadia are you a professional? black and white coast of Maine fog have a nice day maine on going pro photography seascape http://nateparkerphotography.com/blog/2013/11/the-problem-with-photographers-is Sun, 10 Nov 2013 21:09:55 GMT