Florida Landscape Photography by Andrew Vernon

Breakdown - Sunset Beach, Florida

Long Exposure, News, Landscape, PhotographyAndrew Vernon1 Comment
Breakdown

Breakdown is one of two brand new photos that I currently have on display at the SW Florida Photography show in Naples Florida. The show was recently extended due to such a good reception from people viewing it and I would absolutely love for you to stop by if you have a free moment and are in the Naples area. More info can be found in my last blog post about being invited to the show. 

This shot is a 5 and a half minute long exposure taken on a stormy evening as a cold front was moving in off the gulf. It was an absolutely amazing storm to watch move in but I couldn't help but feel bad for the beach wedding that was happening behind me. The wind was tricky for me, but I'm sure it was even more of a challenge for everyone trying to hear the couple during their ceremony. 

I had climbed about halfway out on this jetty for this shot and managed to only get splashed a couple of times. An accomplishment I was proud of considering the waves and the way the wind was catching their spray and throwing it towards the rocks. 5.5 minutes is a long time to stand in one spot trying to judge if each incoming wave is large enough to cause a problem! It was entirely worth it though. One of those photos where the impatience of wanting to get a peek at how the final image may look almost caused me to cut the exposure a couple of times. I knew with how the clouds moved across the sky and water reacted to the jetty that it had some potential. 

To give some details, this was shot with Formatt Hitech neutral density filters with a Nikon 16-35 and my D800. Its a 330 second long exposure shot at ISO 200 and F8. In case you're into knowing the settings. 

 

Andrew invited to the SW Florida Photography Show!

Photography, NewsAndrew VernonComment

I am so incredibly excited to announce that I have been invited to be a part of the Southwest Florida Photography Show being put on by Portfolio Magazine of Naples and Aldo Castillo Gallery. Portfolio Magazine wrote an article about my photography back in May of 2014 and kindly decided to keep me in mind for their next photography show! Here's my blog post on that article. 

I've been invited to participate in photography shows before, but am especially excited about this show. Over the years, I have followed a number of photographers across the state whose work I greatly admire. And, I will have the incredible honor of being able to display my work alongside several of those photographers. The show will be featuring the work of Clyde Butcher, Connie Bransilver, John Brady, Chad Anderson, Tony Arruza, Harry De Zitter, Will Dickey, Jim Freeman, Ryan Gamma, Dennis Goodman, Luke Greer, David Liam Kyle, Richard Auger, Tim Bath, Brian Call, Dick Cunningham, Alan Maltz, Gareth Rockliffe, Jay Staton, Matt Stock, Thomas Styczynski, John Thawley, Doug Thompson and Carlton Ward along with my own photography! 

Each photographer has been asked to submit two pieces for the show and I am excited to have submitted two brand new unreleased pieces, Breakdown & Last Light. If you're interested in seeing the show, I've included all the details below. I would love to have you stop by! Leave a comment with any questions you may have. 

 

Opening Night: 

Thursday, February 18th, 4-7pm

 

 Exhibit Information:

Friday, February 19th - Saturday, March 19th 2016

Miromar Design Center, Suite 390

10800 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, FL 33928

 

Open to the Public: 

Monday - Friday: 9:30 to 5:30pm

Saturday: 10:00 to 5:00pm

5 Reasons to give Long Exposure Photography a try

Landscape, Long Exposure, PhotographyAndrew VernonComment

Using long exposure photography to capture an image is nothing new. In fact, for many photographers, it’s one of the first things they’re excited to try out because of how it allows for results that are so different than anything most other cameras on the market can offer. All sorts of photographers jump at the first opportunity to paint with light, photograph the stars or get a ghosted photo of water plummeting over a waterfall. And, there’s less of an instant-gratification to it. The photographer knows the probable outcome, but the results are still less uniform which can sometimes mean more exciting! But, there are more reasons than these popular cliches for slowing down your shutter speed. In fact, I’d like to offer 5 reasons you might not have considered for long exposure as a technique in your photography.

Evening Mist

1 - Long Exposure introduces Time into your photography:

A photograph is typically a look into a particular moment in time. It’s an opportunity for a photographer to convey to their viewer a scene or an instance as it was when the shutter was released. But, this can be limiting! Ever tried to photograph a river or creek only to realize that is just doesn’t feel the same as actually standing there? Or perhaps photographed mist moving through a beautiful mountain range only to realize that an instant image somehow stole some of the life from the living and moving mist in front of you? Sometimes, there is a faint something lost when time isn’t able to affect the scene you’re photographing. But, long exposure allows for time to affect the scene and breath some life into moments that otherwise wouldn’t have carried the same power frozen into a single moment. Suddenly, a single photograph can better demonstrate the wave-like way that the mist was crawling through the valley…

 
The Pier at Sandy Point

2 - Long Exposure Simplifies:

Sometimes the simplest images are also the strongest. Long exposure allows for anything moving inside the frame to blur and anything holding still to remain sharp. This means a simple dock on a windy evening photographed without long exposure could reveal a busy scene with capped waves, boats, animals etc. The same image photographed using a longer exposure could reveal a dock that stands out in the photo because the water appears silky smooth as a result of the motion. Longer exposures can mean animals, people and other moving objects don’t pose any issues either as they simply may not hold still long enough to be seen in the final image. Need to simplify your image or point more clearly to a particular subject? Long Exposure could make that happen.

 
Withstand

3 - Long Exposure Introduces Drama:

Much like how Long Exposure can simplify an image, it can also introduce drama in a dynamic way. Imagine a beach with waves crashing into shore. A freeze frame steals the drama of the scene… There could be something lost when the wave is frozen instead of it’s power being demonstrated in the blur and movement from the moment it crashes. It’s all in your choice of shutter speed. Typically, all it takes is 1/4 of a second to convey movement. And sometimes, the movement is everything.

 
Guardian


4 - Long Exposure stands out:

Using long exposure provides an opportunity to be different. It allows for photography that is different in feeling, story or motion than most of what the mobile or point and shoot photography market can or could produce. It’s important to note however that long exposure doesn’t necessarily make an image better. It’s a tool. And like other tools, it has certain uses that it lends itself to. Used well as a technique to achieve the artistic goal of the photographer, long exposure works to strengthen the final product. But, the contrary is true as well. Used poorly, long exposure can be a distracting or cliche technique that undermines the power of an image.

 
Show of Power

5 - Long Exposure gives control:

This reason stems from the previous ones; But, it’s valuable to mention that learning a technique such as long exposure puts more power in the hands of the artist. The more methods you have at your disposal when creating an image, the better the chance of being able to accurately portray your final piece exactly as you’d visualized it. It’s a tool that allows opportunity to build drama, demonstrate motion or simplify a scene. And it’s definitely a tool that, when used in the right context, can allow an image to stand out.


Hopefully this was a helpful look at some of the ways you might consider using long exposure to strengthen your photography! While this wasn’t, a tutorial by any means on how to actually create a long exposure image, it’s always beneficial to understand the why before blindly using a technique for no reason. 


Simple Lightroom Workflow for Landscape Photography

Lightroom, Post-Production, Photography, LandscapeAndrew Vernon2 Comments

If you're anything like me, you've probably found that having a system in place for organizing and working on your images in Lightroom is an extremely helpful thing. Lightroom is a really powerful tool with many ways of accomplishing the same task. So, sometimes your best option is to streamline your workflow down to several simple stages that all images make their way through. I don't claim to be a Lightroom expert by any means, but I've found this process of organizing my images to be quite helpful in keeping track of what I am working on, what I'd like to work on and what I've already finished. 

 
 

In my catalog, all images are stored by date. (Year | Month | Event and/or Location) I've found this to be the simplest and fastest way of organizing and importing images as Lightroom automates the creation of folders based on exif data. So, all organization is handled through the 'folders' section of Lightroom. Once imported, I use smart collections and color labels to move my images through the various stages of my workflow. It's a simple four stage system that helps track each step of the process from imported RAW to finished jpg. 

Using Smart Collections to Track Workflow

 
 

For a while, I really didn't use collections very often. And other than these four smart collections and a handful of portfolios divided into collections, I still don't use them all that often. But, I've found that smart collections divided simply into four different stages of my workflow allow for me to easily track an image through my process.  Those four stages as you can see in the screenshot are Possibility, Processing, Post and Finished.

To add a collection (and in this case, I'll be using smart collections) press the small plus next to the collections section in Lightroom's sidebar. I recommend creating a collection set called "00 - Workflow" to organize the smart collections we'll be using. After that's done, you can create a smart collection by clicking the same plus as before. While creating the smart collection, make sure to add it to your newly created workflow collection set. In the rules for the smart collection, select color and set your options so that color matches the color label you are using for that collection. It will look something like this..

The easiest way to make all four collections is to create the first one with the rule set accurately, then duplicate the collection and simply rename it and change the rule to reflect each stage and color label of the smart collections.  I use the numbers before each collection's name because lightroom organizes the collections alphabetically and I wanted them in the same order I would be working in. 

My 4 Workflow Stages

How often do you get in the mood to edit a couple of images only to realize you have all sorts of folders to look through just to find a couple images to edit. Or, you remember editing an image earlier this year but can't remember the exact month or date of the photo to quickly get back to editing it again. This workflow organizes all images you've edited or are interested in editing into one of four easy places to check whenever you want to find an image to work on. With that in mind, here's the four stages I've found that work for me. 

01 - Possibility

This smart collection automatically pulls in any image that I've color coded blue. And, my thinking behind this is that after import and during my culling process, I am doing one of three things with my photos. I am either hitting (x) which flags the photo as a reject, doing nothing which leaves it right where it is, or I am hitting (9) which marks the image blue and adds it to my Possibilities collection. These are images that catch my eye, get me excited, that I see potential with etc. Any photo that I want to come back to, consider for editing, review later, I will mark as a possibility. This instantly pulls photos from across the many folders representing the dates of all my shoots and organizes them into one easy place that I can go to whenever I have some time to sit down and edit a couple of images. 

02 - Processing

Once I've begun working on a photo, I typically hit the (7) key to mark it as yellow. The processing smart collection pulls in any image color coded yellow and allows me one place where I can view any photo that is a work in progress. Over the years, I've found that having a buffer period between when I edit and image and when I decide it's done and post it online is a good thing. It allows me the time to see the photo on multiple occasions and make sure I'm happy with processing, color, sharpness etc. Perceived color as I'm editing a photo can be so affected by a number of things like the room I'm in, device I'm on, what I was previously looking at etc that if I allow myself a workflow stage that keeps photos that I'm working on for me to review multiple times, I can adjust for those things. 

03 - Post

Once I've finished an image, I hit the (8) key for it to be color coded green and pulled into my Post collection. This collection holds any photo that is finished but has yet to be posted to my website, portfolio, social media etc. It's a place for unannounced but finished images. Typically images in my Post collection need to be given a title, have a description written and geotagged with the location it was taken. My export presets pull from the title metadata when creating sharpened jpgs so taking time to add this info makes the process of posting the image to my portfolio and elsewhere much easier and more simplified. 

04 - Finished

Once an image has been finished and published, I hit the (6) key to color code it red and add it to my Finished collection. This is an easy spot for me to gather all the images I've finished and posted at some point or another. 

 

That's pretty much it! Hopefully this may work for you & your workflow... Doing something similar? I'd love to hear what you're doing... Send it in the comments.