Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Photo Of The Year - Jersey City Sunset in Black and White

You Never Know

I wanted to take a photo of the sun setting behind these buildings in Jersey City, New Jersey (arguably not the most remarkable subject). But is was cloudy, and the colors weren't all that spectacular. - I don't even remember whether I had my tripod with me that day; I might have steadiest the camera on a railing.


a photo of jersey city sunset in black and white moody cloudy photo of the year
Photo Of The Year - Jersey City Sunset in Black and White



Anyway, in a last ditch effort to salvage the image, I converted it to black and white. I didn't think that it looked very impressive, but it had a dark mood that I thought some people might like. The result, which you see here, quickly became my most popular photo EVER on Instagram.

You never know what people will respond to.


Happy New Year! Wishing you good fortune and boundless blessings in 2020!

Daniel


Camera: Sony a7R IV

Lens:     Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Thursday, December 5, 2019

Hungarian Parliament Building - Interior Staircase - Budapest

The Grand Entrance



a photo of the interior staircase of hungary budapest parliament building




Camera: Sony a7R IV

Lens:     Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hungarian National Gallery

Buda Castle - Budapest



a painting portrait of a young beautiful woman at the hungarian national gallery buda castle budapest




Camera: Sony a7R IV

Lens:     Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Monday, September 30, 2019

No Stopping Anytime

TriBeCa Street Sign





a photo of a no standing traffic sign in tribeca new york city




Camera: Sony a7R IV

Lens:     Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Saturday, August 31, 2019

Egyptian Obelisk In Central Park

Antiquity In A Modern City




a photo of an Egyptian Obelisk In Central Park new york city
Egyptian Obelisk In Central Park, New York City




Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Black Helicopter With Cranes

Creative Resolution

People who know me know that I have a passion for making photographs. People who know me well or who have seen my photographs printed, know that I have a passion for making photographs with high resolution cameras.

And why not? We never know how we might use a photograph in the future. I figure that I might as well capture as much detail as I can, given practical constraints such as budget and portability. The more detail we capture, the more options we have.

Here's a recent case. I loved cropping in close on the helicopter. Even at this tight crop, I can see fine details in the fuselage of the craft. Seeing the atmospheric distortion from the exhaust fumes blows my mind. I couldn't see that at all with my naked eye or even through the camera lens.


a photo of a Black Helicopter With Cranes over new york city
Black Helicopter With Cranes



The original photo looked like this. Even at a long telephoto setting of 400 millimeters, this was as much of the helicopter as I could capture. I was working to frame it against the backdrop that included the colorful cranes and shipping containers.


a photo of a Black Helicopter With Cranes new york city Daniel South Photography
Image as Captured at 400 mm



You can see how tightly I cropped the photo to produce the first image, and yet it still has eye-popping detail.


Speaking of options, here is a vertical crop of the helicopter with the cranes.


a photo of a Black Helicopter With Cranes new york city
Vertical Crop Highlighting The Helicopter And The Cranes



Which of the three images is your favorite? I have to confess that I like all of three of them. Each one tells a different part of what was happening in that instant. This is why it's great to have options. Through creative cropping, we can create different perspectives from a single image. 

It's important to compose well and to capture details accurately, but it's helpful to abandon the notion that there is one and only one correct way to capture a photograph. Cropping is not a crutch for salvaging a failed photograph. The middle photo above is not a mistake. It's not poorly composed. But within that image, I found two addition crops, each of which I found to be just as compelling as the middle one. 

Keep in mind that the middle image pushed my lens, which is a rather powerful lens, to its limits. Cropping and a clean, high-resolution capture extended the capabilities of my gear. And even if a had a super long lens that could have produced the tighter crops, the helicopter would have moved to a different position before I could have used it.

Shoot in a way that provides as many options as possible. You'll thank yourself later.



Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Exercise Class in Central Park

Hot Summer Yoga



a photo of a yoga exercise class in central park new york city
Exercise Class In Central Park




Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Friday, May 31, 2019

Liquor Store Taxi Cab

Dealing With The Unexpected

People sometimes ask me whether I have a favorite photograph. It's a fair question, but the simple answer is no. I've snapped a lot of pictures over the years under a wide variety circumstances, and they are meaningful to me in a variety of ways. It would be a daunting task to narrow it down to a favorite few hundred images. 

But I do notice patterns when I look back over my portfolio and note the images that I find most meaningful to me personally. Often the photos that stand out involved some sort of surprise at the time of capture, and not necessarily a pleasant surprise.



a photo of a taxi in front of a liquor store in new york city daniel south photography
Liquor Store Taxi Cab - New York City



I spotted this bright, colorful liquor store while strolling through the Chelsea neighborhood looking for subjects for my New York At Night series. I passed a number of interesting looking properties - stores, hotels, restaurants - but the view was always marred by physical obstructions such as parked cars, dumpsters, or scaffolding.

When I arrived at the liquor store, the view was completely clear. No cars were parked in front of it. But as I was setting up my camera and tripod, the yellow cab pulled up in front of the store and stood there for a while.

I figured that the taxi would move on quickly. Cab drivers have to work hard to make enough money to cover their expenses. They don't tend to take leisurely breaks. But this guy sat there for more than ten minutes as I waited. It seemed like an opportunity lost due to bad luck. 

Over the years, I have developed a simple philosophy for incidents like this. Take the shot anyway. Include the obstruction. This gives me the chance to fine tune the composition and my camera settings. When (and if) the obstruction finally moves, I'll be ready.

The taxi finally did pull away, and I was able to take shots of the unobstructed liquor store, but the unobstructed shots were less interesting than this version with the cab. Take the shot anyway. Accept your circumstances and make the best of them. You can't always tell in advance which shot you're going to prefer.

One can imagine a scenario of why a cab driver might pull up in front of a liquor store. It's not a very positive scenario. Did this scenario actually occur? I'll leave that to the imagination. I'm not prepared to disclose all of the city's dark secrets.


Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Notre-Dame de Paris

Light Of The City Of Light




a photo of notre dame de paris cathedral france by daniel south
Notre-Dame de Paris





Camera: Nikon D700

Lens:     Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED IF

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Sunday, March 31, 2019

Santa Monica Pier At Night

Overcoming Excuses


I almost talked myself out of taking this shot. I thought of a number of reasons why it wasn't worth the effort. 

- The sky was too dark.
- I had arrived at the location later than I had wanted to. 
- The pier was mobbed with people. 
- I wasn't sure how the moving rides would render in low light. 
- The parking lot beside the pier was cluttered and unsightly.
- The sky was cloudy and marbled with strips of light.
- I was standing on a path with a lot of pedestrian traffic.



a photo of the Santa Monica Pier At Night near los angeles california
Santa Monica Pier At Night



But I took the shot. I set up my tripod, framed a view that eliminated some of the clutter, focused, and bracketed five shots using some logic that I can't recall now. Then I packed up and walked around in search of a different location, somewhere I could take a "good" shoot of the pier.

The result is the image above, which currently is the most popular image on my Instagram account.

Overcome your doubts. Ignore your excuses. Get out your gear, set it up, and take the shot.


Camera: Sony a7R II

Lens:     Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Central Park At Night

Color Of Night Series



a photo of central park new york at night by daniel south



If you enjoy quiet walks in the park and you prefer to avoid crowds, schedule your outing for a winter evening when the temperature is several degrees below freezing. You're not likely to have much company other than some nut with a camera.



Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Thursday, January 31, 2019

Stone Street With Christmas Decorations

A Warm Glow On A Cold Night


Stone Street is a popular after work hangout for young (or mostly young) Wall Street professionals. You could never get a shot like this in the summer months, when the street is packed with people. 




a photo of stone street in new york city with christmas decorations
Stone Street With Christmas Decorations



Luckily for me, the January cold chases them all indoors. It still took a while to get the shot. People enter and exit the restaurants frequently or just pass through. One guy stood in my frame for fifteen minutes while taking a phone call. 

But patience pays off. This is one of my favorite shots of the new year.



Camera: Sony a7R III

Lens:     Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2019 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved