muse two

muse two

Photographer Muse – Part Two (or Deux if you prefer)

I shared how much I enjoy working with Pash. I can’t give her enough credit for coming up with concepts she would like to pursue that lead me to new imagery. She knows how to move, and hold a pose, when necessary. Both are equally powerful skills. See my original post about my muse here.

Learn more about Pash and her work with modeling, mask making, performance and more here.

And now to the images.

pash on oak creek photoThis image is pushed to high exposure.

Going very high key with the exposure of the image with the ND filters in place allow the wind to play a part giving an even more ethereal feel to the image as the leaves and cloth wrap blow gently.

ND filters are by Tiffen. It’s the Pro100 package which includes the holder, a 1.2, and a 1.2 graduated filter. For this shoot, I had a 3.0 and the graduated filters. You can buy much less expensive filters but in ND you get that for which you pay. These are very thick optically pure glass filters.

spooky infrared imageThis one turned out a bit spooky!

long view of the model on the creek infraredAll the images were photographed in the same space, but all have a different feel.

A different view of the creek and the amount of space my model Pash takes up within the frame makes for a very different look for all the photos. Let me know which one is your favorite and why. It would be interesting to see the various responses.

All images were created in Infrared made with Lumix G6 converted by LifePixel. 

A 14-140mm (28-280mm 35mm equivilent) lens was used. This allowed for the significant changes in framing without spending time swapping out lenses. Files were processed with Adobe Photoshop and Skylum’s Luminar 2018.** Some images were givin a little extra glow. I set up a preset in Luminar to get the image close to where I wanted then tweaked from there.

If you haven’t captured photos in infrared with a digital camera here is what a file looks like when downloaded in RAW to the computer.

IR image SOOCSOOC Infrared RAW file.

The files captured in the IR spectrum need some work as you can see. The nice part of using the Panasonic camera with live view set to monochrome allows you to get a better idea of what the final image will look like. If you shoot RAW plus jpeg, you will end up with a magenta version as above and a black and white version. Can be very handy when you first start shooting IR.

Yours in creative Photography,      Bob

PS – Save $10 on Luminar 2018 by using the Promo Code COATES

my muse

my muse

My Muse – Pash Galbavy

I gotta tell ya it is some kind of wonderful to have a creative person who enjoys being in front of the camera! I’ve never had a muse before. For those who might not know the term here’s the Dictionary definition.

Verb (used without object), mused, mus·ing.
  1. to think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
  2. Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.
noun: Muse; plural noun: Muses; noun: muse; plural noun: muses
  1. (in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.
    synonyms: inspiration, creative influence, stimulus;

    “the poet’s muse”
  2. 2.
    a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.

Having a person who is an artist in their own right is a gift. Pash has ideas, shares them with me and then lets the chips fall where they may. We start to make photographs with her thoughts in mind then we go wherever the first situation takes us. She has an intimate relationship with the environment which is usually the starting point. Then I add a couple of thoughts to refine, and we experiment and play, and this invariably leads me to create new imagery that I find exciting.

I usually end up pushing my personal boundaries as we work together. And then, even more, when I get into post-production.

pash in red oak creekPash in red. Made with Lumix G9

Our latest foray into collaboration led to a photo session on Oak Creek in which she had a thought of ‘creating a mermaid.’ I had the urge to play with infrared and had her do some warm-up posing on the rocks with a dress, flowing cloth and au’ natural.

pash flowing tulle infraredThis Photo has the feeling of a Greek Statue to me. Infrared made with Lumix G6 converted by LifePixel

As the session went on, I added Tiffen neutral density filters to extend the time that the shutter would be open.

slow exposure infrared photoThe neutral density filters extended the time allowing the wind to register in the trees.

nude on rock in oak creekThis image reminds of one of the classic painters.

More from this session to come.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – Learn more about Pash here

outdoor photography part three

outdoor photography part three

Outdoor Photography – Walking Oak Creek Part Three

This is a four-part series. Here are the links to previous posts. Part one. Part two.

When out photographing for the day the camera that is converted to infrared makes shooting under the sun high in the sky quite interesting. Non-visible light can be captured with an IR converted camera. Lumix G6 (link to newer camera G7) with 14-140mm Lumix Lens. I used LifePixel for my conversion to a 720nm filter. There is quite an array of information on their website to help you decide what kind of IR filter to have installed on your camera. Many people put their older camera models back into service this way.

Usually, mid-day is not an ideal time for making images due to the high contrast of the light. This is exactly what makes creating images with an IR camera work the best. There’s high contrast, but it renders as dramatic with blue skies trending toward black and clouds picking up this iridescent glow. Green vegetation will provide white tones. This complete change in the way we view a scene creates excitement.

black & white infrared photo cathedral rockGreen trees render white. Blue skies turn black with white puffy clouds. Infrared photo made with Lumix G6 converted to IR.

The benefits to creating IR images in the digital realm is that what you see on the live viewfinder is what you get. To make this happen, I set the camera to monochrome and shoot RAW plus jpeg. The resulting image on the back of the camera makes it easier to judge what the final will be. The RAW files will come into the camera in a magenta color and need processing. The jpeg file will be just as you see them and still need a little post production work but don’t have as much information in the file. The RAW plus jpeg is the best of both worlds.

cathedral rock detail photoThis photo is a detail of the center of Cathedral Rock. The 14-140mm zoomed for in-camera cropping.

infrared photoI enjoy the light and airy feeling of deciduous trees when rendered with infrared.

side view of cathedral rock sedonaTaken with side light a bit later than ‘normal’ time of day for IR imagery and with side-light leads to very contrasty image rendering. I like it because it’s a wee bit different. Always looking to experiment.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

PS – if you have a question don’t hesitate to give me a shout by leaving a comment!




photographing in florida tiffen filters

photographing in florida tiffen filters

Working with Tiffen ND Landscape Filters

Had a good time making photographs in Tampa with Rob Bird a couple of weeks ago. We were on the beach at Fort Desoto Park, and I was working with my Tiffen ND Pro 100 Landscape filters. I used the 10 Stop plus the three Stop filters stacked together under overcast skies.

long exposure in tampa floridaMade with Lumix GX8 camera and 12-35mm f2.8 G Vario Lens with a sixty-second exposure. Added a bit more blur to enhance the scene in post processing in Adobe Photoshop

I like the ability to add a sense of time to my images by using the deep ND filters. Clouds and water merge into an otherworldly look. I’ve only just begun to experiment with this type of photography and look forward to getting better.

When working with the Tiffen Filters, I feel confident that the glass will protect the actual filter material. In the past, I had been using plastic filters and often ended up with scratches making replacement frequently a necessity.

tiffen landscape neutral density filter photo exampleThis image had the same settings and gear as above. Added just a bit of grain in post-production. Also removed a tower that was in the background that was a distraction.

Please note that this is not documentary photography. I am working toward giving you the vision I have for the final art piece. I am always adjusting my artwork to suit my vision. With that said, I am onboard with Julianne Kost in using the term ‘Lens Based Artist’ or ‘Lens Based Art’ to differentiate this work from my more realistic work.

action photo of Bob Coates by Rob Bird of pocket hamsters photographyMy working set-up for Landscape and Nature photography.
Image © Rob Bird

I work light when on location. Here’s my gear list that is pictured above. MeFoto Road Trip Tripod. Lightweight yet solid. Packs up small for travel. Think Tank Mirrorless Mover belt bag. Hold three lenses, spare batteries, lens cloth, mini-tripod and extra SD Cards. Lumix GX8. 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix Vario Lens, 7-14mm f4 lens, 35-100mm f2.8 Lumix Vario Lens, 20mm f1.7 Lens. Also on my belt the Tiffen Filter kit mentioned above. On my shoulder is a Lumix GX85 and the 100-400mm Lens.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob




sound bites grill – richardson

sound bites grill – richardson

Walt Richardson & Friends at Sound Bites Grill Sedona

What a great show! Walt is known for his reggae music, but he is so much more. He’s a legendary songwriter with a big heart, and it shows during his performance. His friends are entertaining and talented musicians. There’s a reason Walt is in the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

Walt’s own words say it best, “I am a Soul, Living out my life as a Songwriting, Storytelling, and performing Musician.”

Learn more about Walter Richardson & Friends.

Walt Richards & friends band - bob coates PhotographyArt with signatures for the Wall of Fame

If you have followed my work you know I photograph the musicians live while they are performing for marketing of future performances. In addition, I create an image for the ‘ Sound Bites Grill ‘Wall of fame’. These art pieces are created with each individual member of the band recorded and then extracted from the image and rebuilt. It’s a great challenge to render each performer and band in a slightly different style. Here in a nod to the reggae, the red and green lighting pattern was utilized in the spot lights. The singer-songwriter and personality of Walt was highlighted by picking an expression with that little smile and wide open eyes.

walt richardson & friends photo art by bob coatesNon-logoed version of the art.

Most of the images were captured with the Lumic GX85 and a 35-100mm G Vario lens.

bob coates photography photo walt richardson & friends bandImage of the full band for future marketing and appearances at Sound Bites

bob coates photography sound bites grill photoBack-stage view at SBG.

walter richardson at sound bites grill by bob coates photography

Walter Richardson black and white photo.

When I am creating the marketing photos I always make the conversion to black and white as well as a color version. There is more to creating a dynamic black and white image for printing than just desaturating the image to monotone. You need to control the contrast and the highlight and shadows properly to make a solid photo.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob