Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Natural Abstractions - Website Online

After many months of design, redesign, starting over, design, redesign, and so on, I finally launched my website!

Natural Abstractions - The Photography of Scott Carlin

Although I only have two of the galleries completed, and parts of the site are not yet functional, I feel a tremendous relief getting the bulk of the development behind me, for now.

I will be adding a Guestbook, Contact Form, and eventually may implement a Print Ordering System from the website. My main focus though, is to have the images available for viewing.

I welcome all constructive feedback and comments about the site and my photography. You can contact me from here, or from the Contact page on the website.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Macro Photos

Lately my macro lens has been on my camera a lot. It is the Canon EF 100mm Macro f2.8. An amazing lens that I have not given enough use...
"Three Can Share"
I guess since it is the end of summer, and good nectar is getting hard to find, these three different species seemed to have no problems sharing this single flower. I think there's a profound lesson to be learned in this image...

This wasp, along with about 20 others, were feeding off of a huge sunflower stalk. I set up my tripod and camera, with the macro lens just inches away from these guys. Although they did perform a thorough inspection of my camera, to my relief they showed very little interest in me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

New York Institute of Photography - Help Support Me!

I have entered one of my Hummingbird photos in the New York Institute of Photography's annual contest. Phase one is determined by votes from viewers. Please help out and throw me a vote! How can you not love this speedy little guy?!

Vote Here!

Follow-up: voting ended, and out of about 2,500 entries, I ranked about 250th, based on viewer votes. Not bad, but not in the top 100. Thanks to all who voted!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Black and White Photography Exhibition Announcement

The Center for Fine Art Photography presents "Refraction" by Scott Carlin, in the 2007 Black & White Exhibition, at the Center's gallery from July 20th through Aug 18th, 2007.

Please join us for the Artists' and Public Reception on August 3rd, from 6 - 9pm, during the Fort Collins Gallery Walk, on the third floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins, CO.

The selections for the exhibit were chosen by juror Alice Miller, Editorial Director, Studio Photo Magazine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park - First visit of 2007

I said I would post some of my normal pictures from my RMNP weekend from 5/11 - 5/13, so here they are!

I had the good fortune of spending a couple days with a friend who has been shooting professionally for over 20 years. Jay and his Red Healer, Blue, drove in for a couple days from Tennessee. The three of us got along splendidly, and really had a great time.

Starting out with something a bit out of the ordinary (I do that a lot), I seem to have created the world's largest panorama. Okay, it's probably not time to call Guiness quite yet, but it is ridiculously large. It consists of 10 stitched images, in a 400MB uncompressed file, of a clear capture in the park of a grandiose mountain range. I'm sure I'm not the first to create a panorama of this view either; as I recall, a few years back, the RMNP map actually had something similar to this, although I doubt it encompassed quite the range that I did.

Too small to see?
Here's a link to a page where you can see this photo in greater detail

To stitch the images, I tried several techniques and freeware/shareware stitcher and panorama software. Each time I was dissappointed with the results. In the end, I found it easier to stitch the images by hand (or mouse, rather). I laid them into photoshop one at a time, and aligned them, and made minor exposure adjustments to have them all match up. Does anyone know of a good poster or print company I could market this behemouth to?

Here are just a few more of my "normal" images from these couple of days with Jay in the park.Jay perched seemingly precariously, yet amazingly at ease, on a steep rock.

Blue, looking alert as ever. His herding instincts are strong, and once he realized I was "part of them", Blue would not relax until both Jay and I were squarely in sight, and rounded-up.

A mangy elk, backlit by the morning sun. I had to laugh when Jay commented that the elk this time of year look as if they just picked up their coats from a thift store!
I really have a thing for shooting trees, and these were shining just right in the morning sun, with the shadowed mountain in the background. I was disappointed about the lens flare in the lower right, but still like the image. To see the same scene in a wider perspective see my post about Pinhole Photography. These trees are the same ones in the right side of the second pinhole photo.

Blue and I doing some macro shots at the river, as candidly captured by Jay. Jay was perched on a rock in the middle of the river, and while Blue and I were searching for that perfect vantage point for the next shot, Jay got our attention and snapped the shot. Notice that both Blue and I have the same crooked grin. Yikes.

"The Master at Work"
This is one of my favorite shots from the weekend, and find it really pleasing in black & white.

And, of course, the obligatory sunrise shot. Not interesting enough for commercial use, but I like it.

Overall a wonderful start to the spring/summer adventures. I'm looking forward to many more to come!

I also uploaded a few more images from the weekend to http://scottcarlin.shutterpoint.com.
For more information about my photography, contact me at 1-888-4photo2, or send me an email through the link at the top of my blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Timelapse video of thunderstorm over Denver

Now for something completely different! I've always thought storms were pretty exciting, and when the skies went black over Denver on Monday at about 6:30 in the evening, I grabbed my SLR and tripod and set it up against my back window, and took a shot every few moments. I didn't really time the intervals between shutter clicks, just guessed at anywhere from 15 - 45 seconds. If there were interesting clouds I took more shots.

170 frames played back at 10fps...

Click here to launch the video....

The quality is not great, but there it is. In the middle part of it, when it is raining, streets flooded within about 10 minutes. It was gone as quick as it came, though...

Seems kind of silly doing this with a still camera; maybe someday I'll buy a nice DV cam.

Kind of a fun experiment...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pinhole Photography - Part II

I did an initial post a couple weeks back regarding my recent diversion with pinhole photography. I'm proud to say I've made quite a bit of progress in learning how to build the cameras, what to look for as far as subject and exposure, and how to get decent results out the darkroom. I completed the setup of my darkroom, and it is functional, although I'm still having a hard time finding a tape with strong enough adhesive to keep the black sheet hanging from the ceiling inside the door of the room. I am currently using HVAC tape used on aluminum duct work and furnaces. I returned home after the weekend to find it had fallen again. It's funny that sometimes the most simple tasks of a project are the most vexing!

Regarding the final photos, I love the antique and rudimentary look of them, as well as the extreme wide-angle that that adds drama to otherwise unremarkable landscapes.

I unexpectedly spent the weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park with a photographer friend. Before I left, I loaded up two of my home-made candy-tin cameras with photo paper, and packed them in my truck. Knowing that I only had two pinhole exposures for the weekend, I selected time and setting carefully. I have not yet picked up a Changing Bag for the changing out the light-sensitive paper in the cameras, so for this trip I was limited in the number of exposures, at one per camera. I had to laugh; the instructor for my class said that I don't really need a changing bag - I can just bring along a million cameras!
I took this around 9 am on Sat, under hazy skies with a 360-sec exposure - other than a slight light-leak on the left of this one, I thought it was interesting, and really looks nothing like what I was seeing at the time of the shot.

Taken Sunday at 7am, just as the sun lit up the valley under clear skies - 180 Sec exposure. (Click on images for large)
This is the setup for the previous shot, taken at 24mm. I'm sure it looks hilarious to see me walking around in the wilderness with a Christmas tin in my hands! The tiny white specs at the base of the trees at the far left were a herd of elk grazing in the meadow.

I am attending the Intermediate Pinhole Workshop at
the Center for Fine Art Photography this upcoming Sunday, and am excited to learn even more about Pinhole Photography. You can take a look at the photography of Micheal Butts, instructor of the class. A few of his photos are at http://www.c4fap.org/c4e/c4mbrsearch.asp , and do a search for his name, or "pinhole".

Stay tuned, I'm sure there's more fun to come! I'll also be posting some of my "normal" photos from the RMNP weekend soon...

For more information about my photography or Pinhole Photography in general, contact me at 1-888-4photo2, or send me an email through the link at the top of my blog.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A Dog's-eye View of the 14th Annual Furry Scurry

Today was the
14th Annual Furry Scurry, a 2-mile walk with over four thousand dogs, and their people, mingling, drooling, and frolicking in Washington Park in Denver.

I arrived at the park with "Puppy-Cam", holding my tripod upside down, with the camera just inches from the ground, at dog's eye view.

Who can resist a curious puppy?

Dog's facial expressions are the best!

I love it how some dogs look so intellectual.

With my remote shutter in hand, and the inverted tripod in the other, I wandered, and let the dogs sniff the camera. Their varied responses to the camera were hilarious. A lot of times I would snap a shot just to make the shutter-noise to attract the dog's attention to the camera, and then get the shot as they approached.

"Running with the Big Dogs"

This charity event, in it's 14th year, hosted by The Denver Dumb Friends League, raised over a half a million dollars to go towards the Denver Dumb Friend's League Animal Shelter.

It was a Paws-itively Great Day for a very good cause!

For more information about my photography or this event,
contact me at 1-888-4photo2,
or send me an email through the link at the top of my blog.

Monday, April 30, 2007

My Introduction to Pinhole Photography

If you are familiar with my low-light and night digital photography, this may seem like an odd post. My photography interest continues to open doors into areas that are new and unexpected. I can honestly say that until yesterday, I had very little interest in traditional photography, film, and darkrooms. While many old film dogs are converting into the new digital age, all I want to do (since yesterday afternoon) is learn more of the film side. I always seem to get distracted from my main focus randomly. I'll start a huge project, and the next day create two more for myself. I think I just found one of my wonderful distractions, and one that I'm very excited about. I suppose I should view it more as building upon a whole, rather than deviating from a course.

Yesterday was "Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day" (see www.pinholeday.org ), and the Center for Fine Art Photography held a workshop where we built cameras out of a cardboard boxes, and developed the images. The last time I stepped foot in a darkroom was in high school nearly twenty years ago
, but after attending the workshop yesterday, I want to run to the camera store and buy some black and white photo paper, developer, and fixer, and start building my darkroom, and a plethora of homemade cameras. I have an empty room in my home that I don't use, and it seems to be the perfect place for a small darkroom. I'm sure I will put together an overly-verbiose post about the construction of this new project as I start and complete it, but for now, I thought I would share my Pinhole Photography experiences.

Who knew you could make a camera out of a cardboard box and some electrical tape? The beauty and strength of pinhole photography is in the ability to achieve practically unlimited depth of field. Not to get too technical, but for you math whizzes, here's the formula for determining aperture on a pinhole camera:

f/stop =
focal length
pinhole diameter

Okay, I'm not a math whiz either, so I won't elaborate. There is a very good article explaining this concept in-depth at http://ca.geocities.com/penate@rogers.com/pinsize.htm. In short, with my little cardboard box, I was able to achieve an aperture of somewhere between f200-something and f500-something. This extreme depth of field means that I could place the camera a few inches away from an object, and have that object in good focus, and still have a mountainous horizon in the background in good focus as well.

I'm not sure why I chose the truck, other than it really looked more beat up, and had much more character than these photos indicate. I was also singularly focused on the technical aspects of my cardboard box, and the actual photo at this point was secondary.

This first shot was taken in very bright sun, with a 7-second exposure. The sun was reflecting brightly off of the hubcap, thus the extreme contrast.

This second shot was a 30-second exposure taken in the shade. Notice that the building in the far distance is in as sharp of focus as the truck? This photo may not be the best example of that, because the wind caused a bit of camera movement.

Impressive photos? Most definitely not. Enough of a start to motivate me to keep trying it? Yes. Unexpectedly, I really got a lot of satisfaction out of the rudimentary nature of this style of photography.

I have some big plans for some old dead trees near my house in the near future...

For anyone interested in learning more about pinhole photography,
The Center for Fine Art Photography is holding an Intermediate Pinhole Workshop on May 20th in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The instructor, Micheal Butts, is an expert on the subject, devoting his last 18 years to Pinhole Photography. He is an excellent instructor.

(You can read a new post about Pinhole Photography from 05/14/07 here)