Saturday, January 24, 2015

New release, named "Daylight" by D."Bodhi" Smith

This is another new release entitled, "Daylight." This was also taken a couple days ago when I took my photography class on the field trip to the Oceanside Pier. It is named for the fact it was captured during the day and it is a light post.

I did not have much time to take many images because I was enlightening my students on how to follow the light and positioning, plus having them all seeking out good compositions using specific applicable concepts from the Elements of Art and Principles of Design (rule of thirds, leading lines, using negative space to name a couple). But during a couple instances I would shoot some exposures and have some of my students mirror/shadow me to help them better visualize good compositions through their own camera eyes--this image is one of those instances.

For this image I was demonstrating to my students that less is better sometime when shooting landscape photography--I was hoping to instill the idea of minimalism in their minds for this trip and for the future. I do believe one or two of my students were able to capture this scene beautifully and those images will represent them well at the San Diego County fair competition again this year...

For the time we were there in Oceanside, I could not have asked for better lighting conditions for my students to capture all of the seascapes around them on this morning--it was hazy cloudy which created diffused soft light with limited shadows.

For me, this is my style of photography as I love the simplicity of minimalism and use it as often as I can in my compositions...however, this composition found me changing my technique a bit again so I could model for my students how to capture this scene with the available equipment and lighting conditions (they do not have access to all of the ND filters that I regularly use with my long exposures). The result is that this is a very short exposure for me, but I like the results, and even better, I was able to use this as a good learning experience for my students.

Camera settings: ISO-50, f/2.8 at 24mm for 1/2500sec using NO filters again, captured at 8:45am on the Oceanside Pier.

I hope this message and image find you well.

D. "Bodhi"

Friday, January 23, 2015

New release, "Stare Gaze" from D. "Bodhi" Smith

New release entitled "Stare Gaze"...the eyes of this pelican totally caught my eye--and of course, what followed was a staring contest that ended with him winning and me taking this image.

I took my students on a field trip to shoot the Oceanside Pier and the beach yesterday and was crazy busy helping them all look for compositions and practice good techniques, but I was able to get a few brief moments to myself and capture this image you see before you here...and of course, I had a couple of my better students mirror me with this composition and take their own versions at the same time as me as well.

Btw, this image is WAY outside of my comfort zone, as I seldom shoot wildlife, let alone birds--so I hope I do not embarrass those "birders" out there who know me (you know who you are, so I will not drop names ;) ). But I hope everyone likes this image and appreciates my efforts to step away from my normal photographic style with this composition...

I hope this image and message find you well.

Camera settings: ISO-50, 24mm at f/2.8 for 1/1500 and no filters. Image captured at 9:00am about halfway out the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, CA


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bodhi Smith new release, " Soul to Rest."

This new release is entitled, "Soul to Rest." This composition was taken during a brilliant sunset last month on Coronado Island in San Diego, CA. I took this shot a couple days before departing for Easter Island. I chose to release it now as I did not want it to get lost in my archives once I started processing out all of my Easter Island compositions over the next couple of weeks.

This was one of those rare times where I feel my photography came up inadequately short with capturing the true essence of the awesome beauty I saw with my own eyes on that particular winter evening over the Pacific Ocean...I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of color in the sky on that night and just could not do it justice with my camera.

Some of you know that a few months ago I had been commissioned by a husband and wife to create a special composition of a particular spot on Coronado Island that holds special meaning for them. This couple has entrusted me with the task of creating the new centerpiece of their beautiful home on top of the hills in De Luz, CA...I will not disappoint them.

However, many weather related things have to align for me to fulfill the vision I have in my mind's eye for creating the perfect impression to capture for them with my style of photography. On Coronado Island, I need a fiery sunset full of colors, and to get this bold display of hues, I need the tail end of a Pacific storm to be exiting right before, this spectacular sunset has to happen during an extremely high tide so the waters reach the spot they want me to immortalize--the spot is located quite far up on Coronado Beach close to the Hotel Del and I predict a tide of at least 5.5-6ft is needed for the water level to reach it.

Unfortunately right now, the high tides are happening at sunrise, and the low tides are happening during the sunsets. It is going to be a few months before the high tides flip back and start aligning with sunsets. This is another example of the never ending patience needed in photography. I need my clients to have that same patience as well...

So in a showing of good faith that I am shooting this location, the image here is the second stellar composition (the other one is named "The Promise" from back in October 2014) that I have now captured close to the spot they want. Almost all of the weather needs aligned here for this picture except one--this was taken during an extremely low tide event and I am positioned several hundred feet out at the extreme end of the rock reef waste deep in the incoming waters. However, like the first image (which also had all of the elements present save one--it was captured during a sunrise not a sunset), this newest one again shows the great promise of something better to come in the future.

This composition gets its name from another of my play on words with a dual meaning. "Sol" is the Spanish word for sun and is pronounced the same as "Soul." The soul of this image is the sun (sol), and it is setting to take its rest for the night. However, the inspiration for this title is a little bit more somber: a well know soul here in Temecula named Zeus just passed away on Friday due to unforeseen complications during a surgery, and I wanted to always have something that would remind me of him just a little be extra: Zeus' great soul is at rest.

Camera settings: ISO-100, 44mm at f/8 for 142 seconds (2 mins, 22secs) using one Lee Proglass 3.0ND filter to drop the exposure 10 stops and one Lee .75ND Grad filter (resin) to bring the brighter sky down 2.5 stops to balance it with the water in the foreground.

I hope this image and message finds you well on this day of rest.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

"I'orana Tongariki" new image release by D. "Bodhi" Smith

Entitled, "I'orana Tongariki" this is my first released in my new series of Easter Island (a.k.a. Rapa Nui or La Isla de Pascua) compositions taken with my Nikon D800. Warning: there is going to be quite a few of these over the next couple of weeks.

The name of this image is derived from the Rapa Nui native language with the word "I'orana" which means hello-goodbye (similar to the word Aloha in Hawaiian) combined with the collective name of these moai (statues) which is "Ahu Tongariki." I chose I'orana because these statues greeted me each morning with stellar sunrises while I was on Easter Island, which made it hard for me to say goodbye to this place...

Btw, this is one of the most magical and transcendent places on the entire earth to enjoy a sunrise. The glory of Ahu Tongariki more than wakes you up-- it brings every essence of existence to life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am now one week removed from my last hours spent at this spot, and I miss it dearly.

Some background info here...The Ahu Tongariki is a ceremonial platform with fifteen moai on it, all of various sizes and shapes, and all in a perfect North-to-South formation facing west with their backs to the Pacific Ocean and the rising sun every day. I am sure the alignment and placement of this ahu is not a coincidence. I was lucky enough to be at this location on the east side of the Island every morning (but two) that I was on Easter Island, and I was treated to beautiful sunrises each time.

An interesting note, one of the moai has a pukao (tophat) because when the archeologists raised these fallen statues, they chose not to use a pukao for any of them...but, the locals believed each of the moai here should have a pukao, and made a statement by managing to place one pukao atop of one of the moai (second from the right) with their own efforts. Not sure if there is any sort of a movement to get a pukao placed on top of each of the other fourteen moai on the Ahu Tongariki or not.

Camera settings: ISO-800, 80mm at f/16 for 260 seconds (4 mins, 20 secs). One Lee Proglass 3.0ND Filter (10 stops) was used to achieve for the long exposure, and one Lee .75ND Grad Filter (2.5 stops) was used to balance the brighter sky with the darker foreground. Image was captured at 7:03am about 20 mins before sunrise.

Some of you might be wondering why did I select an ISO-800? Honestly, I was shooting the dimming stars as the sun was rising the whole hour previous to this shot, and I simply forgot to drop my ISO back down to 100 when the light started getting brighter...I have done this about three times now when I have been out in the field, and I kick myself for being stupid and absent-minded sometimes when a I am caught up in the beauty of the scenery.

Luckily, my Nikon D800 handled the extra noise from the higher ISO extremely well, as it always does, which is big reason why I own it since I shoot such long exposures and a by-product of that fact is always dealing with extra noise. However, the extra grain in the image from the higher ISO did alter my perception of how I needed to process this image, so what you see here is something a bit different in color tones and texture than my all of my other compositions...

I hope you enjoy this image and that its message finds you well

D. " Bodhi "