Random Thoughts

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. We are pretty excited about that. This year, February in Central Illinois was rather drab and depressing. Day after day of overcast skies, rain, and sleet quickly becomes mundane. I think we had maybe three days of sun during the whole month. And when we did have those few days of sun, they were days of sun but cloudless skies. Landscape photographers hate cloudless days. More about that in a future blog post.

Typical February day in Central Illinois
Typical February day in Central Illinois

The photo above is a perfect example of the weather in February in Central Illinois. The photo below, taken at Miller Park In Bloomington, Illinois, is another example of the weather.

A bridge at Miller Park in Bloomington, Il
A bridge at Miller Park in Bloomington, Il

April and I were delighted when March finally arrived. Yet, we knew that March weather in Central Illinois can be rather tricky. Rarely does the old saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” happen. In fact, it is usually just the opposite. This year, the first couple of days of March came in with fifty degree weather and plenty of sunshine. Two weeks later; cold and snow.

Now it is spring. The plants that had emerged from the ground survived the arctic blast. The next few days rain but temperatures in the fifties. A month from now, flowers will be blooming, winter clothes will be replaced with spring and summer attire. Yes, hope truly does spring eternal. Soon April and I will be traveling the back roads of Illinois, visiting small towns, searching for that photo that has never been captured. All will be well.

We have received a couple of emails asking us about past blogs that have disappeared. Yes, we did some severe editing of our past blogs. I probably deleted at least a hundred of them. I felt they just wasted space and to be honest, I actually was embarrassed by some of them.

Our new website keeps getting closer to being completed. It should be finished with a few more updates by this coming Monday. You can check the website out by clicking on the Galleries Link at the top of the page.

I got to end this here. It is Spring and our day is rather busy.

Before I leave, two more pics from February in Central IL.

Walkway and Bridge at Miller Park Bloomington, Illinois CLG
Walkway and Bridge at Miller Park Bloomington, Illinois CLG
From Miller Park, Bloomington, IL CLG
From Miller Park, Bloomington, IL CLG

All photos in the blog post taken with the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z 35 mm 1.8 lens.

Hmmm, this might be another blog post that I will probably delete in the near future. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed. – CLG

A Photographer’s Rabbit Hole

When I first started writing, this blog post was going to be about new beginnings. I was going to explain how, over these last few years, I like so many people, had accepted complacency in my life. I stopped writing my blog, my photo business was in semi-retirement, I rarely saw friends, and after moving because of supply chain issues it was difficult to improve our new dwelling. Trying to purchase simple items such as a refrigerator and stove took months. Boy, trying to get the proper materials for needed home repairs was at time impossible.

I realized finally those days are behind us now. April’s and my life have now finally turned a new page. We got a new website, we actually have subjects to blog about that just might be interesting to others. We have traveled again, meeting up with old friends, and those house projects are actually getting completed. It is wonderful to feel alive.

On the day I wrote this, I was walking around in our yard and noticed that the tulips and daffodils we planted last fall were emerging from the ground. When I walked back into the house, I noticed the African violet that was placed in front of a window in our living room had bloomed.

Wow, pictures of the African violet blooming and flowers popping up in our front yard would be the perfect photo analogy to my post about new beginnings. And that is when I started going down the photographer’s rabbit hole of making something much more complicated than it need be.

All I really need to do was take a couple of pics of the African Violet and flowers coming out of the ground and it would have been perfect for the post. But of course, being a photographer, that would not happen.

First, I took the photos with my Nikon Z6 camera instead of a quick snapshots with my phone. Then viewing the African violet through the viewfinder, I knew it should be a close-up macro shot. So I changed out the lens for the Nikkor Z 105 macro lens. Okay, now I have to use a tripod. Well, that is nice, but the photo could be better. Change the depth of field to f11. That is looking good, but it still could be better.

So hey Craig, focus stacking would be perfect. So I did the focus stacking in camera. Went to my office and once seventy raw files were downloaded into Lightroom, I realized I had not gotten the whole flowers in focus. Delete all those photos and do photo stacking again. This time from two different angles. Back to the office. Upload files to Lightroom. Yeah, everything is in focus and I only need forty-eight photos.

Then a couple of quick edits. Again success. Once merged in Photoshop, I thought this will look like a nice snapshot.

Finally, I uploaded the files from Lightroom to Photoshop and waited and waited and waited. Finally, I can align all the photos. Again, wait and wait and wait. Will those little processing dots ever end? Photos are all aligned. Now I had to merge them. More processing dots. Ten minutes later, the photo is complete and yes, it looks like a nice snapshot. Merge all the files and finally my little photo is completed. Actually, there were two photos I created this way.

And here they are:African Violet, Focus Shifting, Photographer: C. L. GetchiusAfrican Violet, focus stacking, Craig Getchius

So, it took me over two hours to create two photos that two snapshots from my phone would have sufficed.

I am not complaining about all this wasted time. Doing this proves it is a new beginning. Tomorrow, April and I are venturing into the woods hoping to photograph an eagle or two. CLG

P.S. Our new website now has some galleries. The link is at the top of page.