Flowers and greenery sneak through the dry desert in front of Shiprock in New Mexico.
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Platypod can help you get low in the field or tighten up your studio shooting space. Here’s an image I made with the camera on a very low angle to feature the flower against Shiprock in New Mexico.
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but using an infrared converted camera increases your chances of coming home with a solid image when shooting in the middle of the day. I upgraded my infrared camera from a Lumix G6 to a Lumix GH4. If you have a camera languishing on the shelf not being used I recommend sending it off to LifePixel Infrared for a conversion. I know I was glad I did!
Those hours between 10AM and 3PM can be brutal on your images due to the high contrast. Infrared images thrive in that environment. I quite enjoy extending my keeper rate by working with infrared imaging.
From Sedona, Arizona, Cathedral Rock during midday. Renders in an interesting way using an infrared converted camera.
Another tool I find helpful is being able to easily have my camera low-to-the-ground in the Platypod camera support. I can hang the Platypod from my camera bag and since it is very light I hardly notice it’s there until I see a need for it. The Platypod is extremely helpful, especially if you have a flip screen on your camera. The flip screen allows you to be able to frame and focus the scene without having to get down on your belly. Bonus!
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) hold the International Photographic Competition (IPC) each year. My results.
A panel of 36 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from over 5,000 total submitted entries at PPA headquarters in Atlanta. Judged against a standard of excellence, 1,706 images were selected for the General Collection and 865 (roughly 17 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book by Marathon Press.
“I’m thankful that these challenges exist through PPA. Having your work reviewed and judged by top industry professionals helps keep my image making from becoming static. I get feedback on new techniques which is priceless in keeping me growing my image creation skills.”
‘Another World’ was captured at the Toadstools in Southern Utah.
‘Great Blue’ was captured in Page Springs, AZ at the Bubbling Ponds.
Three of my images were accepted into the Loan Collection.
‘Orange Outburst’ is a water droplet photo.
Another water droplet capture in the PPA Loan Collection.
Two were made of experimental photography involving falling water droplets. Orange Outburst and Twice Nice show the result of specialty lighting of three water drops crashing at intervals which are done by very specific timing of the drops, plus a bit of endurance. Many images need to be captured to find some that create these patterns. The other Loan image was from a composite image titled ‘Blessing Place. Bob worked with images of animals photographed at the Phoenix Zoo some northern Arizona landscape features and and clouds photographed from above. In addition two more photographs were named to the General Collection. I rendered a watercolor of a great blue heron in flight over the Bubbling Ponds in Page Springs. ‘Another World’ was a night sky photograph of the Milky Way made while in Southern Utah of the Toadstools. It has a very prehistoric feel.
‘Blessing Place’ is a bit of a departure from my normal work.
Images will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world’s largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously in one place.
Founded in 1868, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association. It currently helps 30,000 professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection, and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between photographers and consumers. See more of my artwork at coatesart.net or at the Gallery of Modern Masters in Hillside, Sedona, AZ.
Above you can see the images that were favored by the judges. Soon I’ll share those that did not make it into the General Collection.
PlatyPod tripod is a utility tool I’ve started using more often. I bought mine about a year and a half ago and set it aside for a bit, as it was not front of mind. I started using it again and found quite a few new and different ways to support my camera and lights. Now, the Ultra model stays clipped to my Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 20 camera bag.
Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona
Sunrise image selected from time-lapse captures
Having outfitted my car for camping I was able to be on site for sunrise and moon-rise shoots. I’m sharing some of the sunrise footage I made with my Lumix G9. Capturing time-lapse images adds to possible output. Of course, there’s the time-lapse processed at multiple playback speeds. Multiple images can also be processed together for noise reduction or other creative uses. Individual images can be selected for processing different times.
Link to sunrise video. It is magical seeing time compressed. There is a different perspective when everything is shown faster. The world can be viewed in many different ways. Being a stills photographer/Lens Based Artist I seem to be drawn to what can be shared starting with individual captures. Putting the photos together gives me another creative outlet.
Low to the ground
Platypod Ultra tripod with a couple leveling bolts in place.
When making this set of images I wanted the camera to be low to the ground which, is a perfect use for the PlatyPod tripod. With no legs the camera is not affected by wind and stays steady Many regular tripods can get low as well, but end up with legs splayed.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
FYI I am currently creating paid content for PlatyPod.
I’ve been enjoying the cooler air at night photographing Nightscapes and Starscapes. Today’s high was 107 here in Sedona, Arizona. Decided to lay low during the day!
I’ve been playing with the Platypod Ultra making some time-lapse videos for them. I bought the Platypod about a year and a half ago and wasn’t using it very much. But when they asked me to work it a little more I’ve been finding more and more uses. In addition, it now hangs off my small Think Tank Mirrorless – 20 camera pouch when I go hiking. I’m finding it gives me a stable platform while adding very little weight to my kit.
I spent a couple nights car camping, AKA boondocking, in my RAV 4 during the last full moon. Here’s a time-lapse I made of the moon for Platypod getting up off the horizon. See more of the boondocking story here.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
For those who are viewing this in the Successful-Photographer email notification here’s a link.
•• The reason I use the Think Tank MM 20 is that it is small but robust. I’ve been using this bag for about five years and it is only starting to show some wear. Know that I am a mirrorless shooter with Lumix and Olympus gear so It’s just the right size. They make larger models such as the MM 30 for larger camera gear
I enjoy infrared photography to extend my shooting day. Harsh light doesn’t do much for regular color imaging. I believe it is beauteous, when captured with a camera that has been converted to infrared.
My current camera was converted to infrared by LifePixel. It is a Lumix G6 (now out of production) I keep a Lumix G Vario 14-140mm lens attached. I stay with the standard 720nm (nanometer) filter. It replicates the original black and white ‘IR look’ I enjoy. I’ve written about IR for several publications.
Here are a few links to try out if you would like to learn more.
Courthouse Butte in Sedona, AZ created with camera converted to infrared
Occasionally I'll send out a digest version of the blog posts on Successful-Photographer. I'm not a fan of Spam and I'm sure you are not. Your Email address is safe with me. Bob
For infrared conversion of my cameras I use LifePixel. Infrared allows you to put an older camera to use and opens up a new time time of day for productive image creation.
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Lightning, waterdroplets, sound, time-lapse, HDR sequences, smiles and much more control for your camera!
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