Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"A Dream Approaches"...a new release from D."Bodhi" Smith

This is my newest composition entitled, "A Dream Approaches." It was captured on Coronado Island in San Diego this past Friday May 15th during an extremely high tide event right at sunset.

Unfortunately, this scene needs many factors to align: a high tide of 6 plus feet is a must, clouds coming in off the Pacific, and both have to happen at sunset. A tide of this magnitude happens only a few times a year, and I was lucky this time that it was occurring as a Pacific storm was hitting us here in Southern California, which is rare for the month of May. Thus, my alignment was possible, and I had a widow of about three days to get lucky with a capture...and of course, I was at this spot all three days.

I have had this picture in my mind for close to 9 months now, but had to wait through numerous occasions of getting washed out with no luck because one of the factors was not present. And ironically I LITERALLY got washed out during my first attempt in the 3-day window of opportunity that was given me from mother nature. For as the night before I captured this image, I fought that strong Pacific storm in a torrential downpour hoping the clouds would break at sunset, but there was no such luck and all that happened for me and my dog was that we got on heck of a natural shower, absolutely soaked, even drenched through my rainwear because of the veracity of the wind and rain.

But as you can see, the next night was much more kind for me and I caught this image. And consequently I managed to get another great shot on the third night that maybe someday I will process and put out there.

Anyway, this image is dedicated to the Annets (Jean-Luc and Julie) for their patience with me in trying to catch this scene for them...

The title is derived from one of Salvador Dali's paintings similarly named "The Approaching Dream"...since his surrealist influence is very strong in my photographic visions.

Camera Settings: ISO-100, f/8 at 45mm for 915 seconds using 2 Lee Proglass Filters (3.0ND and a 1.6ND) to drop the exposure 16 stops... this is two 15 minute exposures composited into one image using Photoshop CS6, which creates a perfect square for the final composition. The sun was setting about 45 degrees opposite of the reef and not directly over top of it as I wanted. So one long exposure is for the sunset and one long exposure is for the rock reef.

I hope this message and image find you well.

D. " Bodhi "

#Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #Dolica #tripods #Lee #Filters #Big #stopper #LongExposure #BodhiSmith #Impressionist #expressionist #Sunset #SanDiego #Coronado #Island #reflections #reef #Beach #Seascape #California #Pacific #Ocean

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book #4 "Bodhi Simplique Part Quatre"

"Les Champs Infini du Sauvignon" ... Most recent composition from D."Bodhi" Smith

Entitled, "Les Champs Infini du Sauvignon," this is my most recent composition captured last Saturday morning in wine country of Temecula, CA. The name is French and roughly translates to: "Endless Fields of Wild Grape Vines"...I chose French because cabernet sauvignon grapes originated close to Bordeaux, France combined with the fact that this is a field of cabernet sauvignon grape vines in the spring which will eventually produce grapes that will be harvested by Lorimar Winery and Vineyards in late summer.

For this composition, I wanted to create something different from my other impressions from this spot...Many of you know that I have shot this location numerous times since it is just down the road from where I make my home in Temecula, CA. It is great to have such a beautiful locale to shoot almost in my backyard at five mins away, one where I have to exert very minimal effort to visit. This is also the spot where I created my signature "Four Seasons of Temecula" piece that consists of each of the 4 seasons from this very spot, which took me over one year to capture to my satisfaction. This series of compositions can also be found as the artwork on the label of the current bottle of Chardonnay from Lorimar Winery in Temecula....and the summer scene in the series can be found as a 5ft long panoramic metal print on permanent display at Temecula City Hall.

As I do with all my photography, I pre-vision exactly what I want my final image capture to look in my mind's eye. My goal with this composition was to try to capture the clouds streaking in such a way as to mimic the simplicity of the rows of grape vines on the ground. This is a task which I believe I succeeded in completing with this image, and in doing so, created a version of this scene different from all my others shot at the same spot. Still, getting what I wanted was not without effort and patience, for I tried numerous exposures both longer and shorter before I found the right time limit to capture the effect I was hoping for. I am very thankful to mother nature for letting the clouds hang around and not burn off while I did my trial-and-error process of finding the right exposure. I shot one at 15 mins, but the clouds were smoothed out way too much; I shot another at 60 secs, but the clouds were not streaked enough; then another at 8 mins, but again, the clouds were still too smoothed out; then one more at 3 mins, but the clouds were just not quite right...then I tried my good old faithful 260 secs time limit (4 mins, 20 secs) and the exposure was dead on with my pre-vision...what you see before you are the results.

The actual raw image had a lot of blue haze in it (color cast from the morning sky as well as the Big Stopper filter I was using), and I was not crazy about this at all. It muddled the composition making it dull and not withstanding, full of a lackluster "ho-hum" boredom. So, when I processed the image, I unsaturated all of the blues to create the color profile (silvers and greens) your see here using Adobe Lightroom 5 which made the rows of green grape vines jump out vibrantly under the silver-toned rows of clouds streaking in the sky. Thus, this final composition has an eloquent simplicity to it that I really like...and I hope you find it just as pleasing.

Camera settings: ISO-100, 18mm at f/8 for 260 seconds using one Lee Proglass 3.0ND Filter (10 stops) to create the streaking clouds and two Lee ND graduated filters to allow me to balance the brighter foreground as well as the sky at the same time in-camera during the composition (.9ND Grad for the sky and a .75ND Grad for the foreground placed inverted to each other in the filter holder) 

I hope this image and message finds you well.

#Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #Dolica #Tripods #Lee #Filters #Big Stopper #ND #Graduated #Long Exposure #LE #Bodhi #Smith #California #Wine Country #Vineyard #Winery #Lorimar #Temecula #Grape #Vines #Wine #Cabernet #Sauvignon #Spring

D. "Bodhi"

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Into the Magic Door" is a new composition from D. "Bodhi" Smith

"Into the Magic Door" is my new composition captured during the "Scripps Solstice" which is a special event here in San Diego that happens twice a year in late April-early May and then again in mid-August when the sun aligns perfectly in a sunset directly through the window at the end of the underbelly of the Scripps Pier.

Unfortunately, successfully photographing this phenomenon has many problematic facets:
  1. Many other photographers crowd (horde often literally) into a small tiny space to capture the alignment--so to secure a great spot, gotta arrive about 2.5-3 hours before sunset
  2. A heavy cloud deck on the horizon kills the view, and these heavy clouds are common in early May
  3. There are 3-4 days where the sun is aligned in the window, but it is hard to gauge exactly which day will have the sun dead center
  4. Having clouds over head is a bonus, as long as they are not out on the horizon blocking the view
  5. Parking is at a premium...And if you listen to friends (ahem--Jeff) and park in the wrong spot, you will get a $65 ticket.
I had been fighting a sickness all weekend, but still could not pass up this small window of opportunity occurring here only twice a year to capture and witness something spectacular.We were there the night before this image, and there was a media circus there. Literally. The Channel 10 news crew was there to film a guy putting on a light painting show using a pixelstick to add to all of the photographers crowded in hoping to see some magic with the setting sun. I made the comment that we "were all truly paparazzi photogs waiting to catch that rare photo of out favorite star" ;) The weather did not cooperate and the sunset was flat with the sun partially obstructed...I was sick and just went home and did not stay for the light painting show.

Monday (the night of this photograph), I had to make a delivery of three of my newest large pieces to the Fallbrook Artist Guild Show, and then friend and fellow photog, Jeff Deveau and The Dude, and I headed down to the pier to take another shot at it for the second night in a row. We arrived about 5:30pm, two hours before sunset to find only two others there (both upstanding great fellow photogs). We were NOT disappointed. It was a perfect setting with only a handful of other photographers there (all very cool and great group to chat with while we waited), a perfect level of the tide coming in to keep the sand extra reflective, great clouds--a nice cloud cover that was NOT on the horizon to block the sun, and the sun aligned underneath almost perfectly. It was centered and just barely touching the top of the window.. We knew that the placement of the sun was better the previous night, but half of it was obscured by a cloud deck...For this night, I could not have asked for a better night, other than maybe having the spot all to myself (impossible pipe dream) and NOT getting an annoying parking ticket for parking in a place that was on the UCSD campus but I was assured was safe and never checked for parking passes. Um, Yeah, $65 wrong call..oh well... ;)

I wanted to create another composition, but unfortunately I did not bring my spikes for my Dolica tripod so I could drill it deep into the sand (I was sick and forgot them for the second night in a row like a doofus). As a result, my tripod moved a couple times making it impossible for me to create my first vision from two images...but this one did not come out too bad, I am quite happy with it.

I have long called the end of this pier as the "Magic Door" and this title is derived from my idea of this mixed with the sun dropping right in to align in the middle for this image. It is pretty cool to watch and witness and the sun comes down in from from the south to the north at an angle of about 70 degree or so as the sun is setting in all it glory of color.

Camera settings: ISO-100, 29mm at f/8 for 29 seconds using two Lee Proglass ND filters (.9ND and 1.8ND) to block down the light 9 stops. image was captured just before sunset at 7:23pm as the sun was in the upper middle of the "window" at the end of Scripps Pier

I hope this message and image find you well.


#San Diego #Scripps #Pier #LaJolla #Sunset #Alignment #Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #24-70mm #Dolica #Tripods #Lee #Filters #Little stopper #ND #ND Grad #LE #LongExposure #Expressionist #Impressionist