Just wanted to share “Survival” one of the latest black and white prints I have available for sale. It is an image of a Florida tree living in salt water or maybe just barely hanging on for life. Shot in Sarasota bay waters where mangroves, sea-grapes and a variety of water fowl feed and live. (yes, it is saltwater, so no alligators do not live there) I went out that day because it looked like their would be heavy fog and this particular spot provides a harbor for quite a few sailboats. I was looking for that misty, dewy, foggy morning with sailboats vaguely revealing themselves. Those shots didn’t come out as well as I would of liked, but then this particular tree caught my attention. It also has caught the attention of many water birds as they perched on the branches either resting themselves or fishing.
I used black and white in post processing and wanted a rather overexposed background to simulate and remind me of the fog of the day. It was a great day to be shooting and it helped jump start my creativity.
Alligators, babies and more were the target of my shoot last Sunday at the Myakka State Park. Recently, this has become our go to spot for hiking and general immersion in nature. It is really quite beautiful to see and be in “old Florida”. One of the few natural habitats in my area (southwest Florida) that has not been infiltrated by non indigenous plant species. Everything from palm and oak trees, Spanish moss, exotic birds and of course alligators grow freely, protected and uninhibited there.
We are always on the lookout for alligators. It is easy to spot their hangout spots always close to the shoreline and filled with sun. The vegetation is brown amongst tall green grass and literally all smashed down from their endless lounging. Luckily they seem to hangout on the opposite side of the river as the hiking trail. But one never knows when or where they may cross over, which adds to the adventure of the hike. Often times we see them in water; their partial snout and eyes just right above the waterline taking it all in or maybe spotting prey. Lets hope not human.
This past week, I had my Canon 5D Mark II camera with the 70-200 f2.8L lens. I used a mono-pod for stability and even though the wind was pretty kicked up, I was happy with my images. It is hard to go wrong with that lens. Give it plenty of shutter speed and the rendering is beautiful. Although I love nature and totally enjoy being in it, I will admit, unless I am with a group of photographers, I am not much of a landscape photographer. It requires a level of patience I currently do not have. There as such wonderful landscape photographers, professional and amateur that know how to capture the essence of a scene. I am much more of a zoom in on the details type of person/photographer. This I believe is illustrated with my portfolio at www.susanmcanany.com
Regardless, I had a blast on Sunday and here is a shot of the alligators we saw. This shot contains a momma and baby alligators off to the right somewhat concealed in the vegetation. Very fascinating!
Keeping with my previous goal of finding new images, “Desert Family” is a photo I made a couple of months ago while in California. My ideal workflow, if I am not on deadline, is to review my images right after shooting because I always want that immediate gratification, which is the beauty of digital. But often, I like to let some time pass before doing significant post processing.
How I Post Processed
My post processing for “Desert Family” consisted of accenting the things I really liked in this image. The bleakness of the desert mountain against the deep blue sky really captured my eye, along with the shadows the clouds cast on the mountain. The addition of the three green palm trees adds an element of life into the bleak surroundings that is characteristic of the desert. I used Photoshop’s Curve Adjustment Layer and selected specific areas in the shadows and highlights of the mountain to accent some of these areas. I also added a Hue & Saturation Layer to bring out more blue in the sky. To complete the image I used a texture over the sky to give it that portion of the image a more painterly effect.
The Image “Desert Family”
Thanks for reading and you can view more of my work on my website.
Fabulous Palouse in June was another grand tour with Dan Sniffin and John Barclay and the photo opportunities were wonderful and abundant to say the least. Between the long days, beautiful light and picturesque landscape it would be hard not to get great photographs. The evening light has always been my favorite time to shoot, but in Palouse if clouds are present creating shadows on the rolling hills anytime is a good time for photography. Here are a few of my favorites from the trip.
I have had an infatuation with graffiti art for some time. For me there is something very liberating and rebellious about finding a public place and making art, knowing it will probably be around for only a very limited time. Usually it is either painted over by authorities or often another graffiti artist.
I also admire the skill and vision that must be involved to paint some very elaborate designs with a can of spray paint. No pencil sketches allowed. My first exposure to spray paint art was in my teens when a friend offered to paint a wall in my bedroom with a face of one of my favorite rock stars, Frank Zappa, using neon spray paint. Cool idea. Needless to say, my mother was not too thrilled, but she did allow me to keep it. I think even she recognized it as a form of art.
Graffiti art can vary from simplistic designs such as the Skippy Girls in Australia to the mayhem I recently photographed in Philadelphia. Sometimes the artist is conveying a message, either political, social or gang related, other times it can be terrific mural. Generally, they are tagged, which is the artist’s signature. All are impressive and I stop to view and photograph when ever possible. Enjoy the graffiti images below and if interested in seeing more please visit my website, Susan McAnany Photography.