nature

My Attempts at Wildlife Photography: Images 117-130

Seagull Outstretched          Seagull Outstretched

Seagull in Flight 1          Seagull in Flight 1

Seagull in Flight 2          Seagull in Flight 2

Soaring Seagull          Soaring Seagull

Seagull Near and Far          Seagull Near and Far

Scarlet Ibis Far          Scarlet Ibis Far

Scarlet Ibis Near          Scarlet Ibis Near

Swan at Twilight          Swan at Twilight

Morning Flight          Morning Flight

Whale Tail          Whale Tail

A Fluke          A Fluke

Seal the Deal          Seal the Deal

We Have Lift Off          We Have Lift Off

I have always been more of a landscape photographer, but I am intrigued by the challenges of wildlife photography.  Getting the best image possible is often entirely up to chance.  First, you have to find the wildlife.  Sometimes that is easy….go tot he Fish Pier in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod and there are no shortages of opportunities to capture Seagulls and Seals.  Go to any Zoo and you are likely to see hundreds of exotic animals to capture (although the challenge there is getting a clean shot with no fences or unnatural habitat in the image, including other patrons of the zoo).  High Speed shots that stop motion are challenging and often come out blurry or with the subject matter not full in frame.  Sometimes you have to use zoom lenses as you cannot get close enough to the animals.  The animal is unpredictable (and not really subject to your request to pose in a better position or in a place with better light).  They move their head just as you are ready to take the shot, or they stand directly behind a tree branch, ruining your perfect shot.

Anyway, the above images are some of my rather amateurish attempts at a genre of photography that I have begun to dabble in and look forward to improving in.  Hope you enjoy…

See more at:

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

The Portrait, My Achilles Heel: Images 109-116

Cape Cod 2013     Cape Cod Family Portrait 2013

Winter 2012 Family Portrait     Winter Family Portrait 2012

Summer Family Portrait 2013     Summer Family Portrait 2013

Whole Family 2013     Whole Family 2013

My Mom and Her Boys     My Mom and Her Boys

Fall Family Portrait 2014     Fall Family Portrait 2014

My Boys 2014     My Boys 2014

My Somebody     My Somebody

I have never been accused of being a “portrait photographer”.  I am not good at people pictures.  I shoot landscapes, seascapes, lighthouses, sunsets, waterfalls, nature, flowers, maybe some wildlife.  NOT PEOPLE!!!  I can’t really explain why, but it is definitely not my forte.  It is the weak spot in my repertoire.

I have had a lot of people ask me if I would take family portraits of them after they see my landscape work, but I always steer them to other Photographers that have the skill to do them justice.  I have met some AMAZING portrait photographers over the years and I will highly recommend them whenever I am asked.

I have the patience to sit around and wait for the right shot when it comes to sunrises and sunsets as well as for the right shot with wildlife, but I just don’t have the patience when it comes to portraits.  I also don’t have the foggiest idea how to pose anyone or how to get the lighting right.  I deal with natural light and generally inanimate (or at least very slow moving objects) that don’t even know or care that I am there!

But, there are times when I have to suck it up and take a Family Portrait.  When all my brothers (and their families) were in town around the fourth of July, 2013, my Mom wanted to get some family shots.  So, we went to the beach and I took shots of each individual family, the whole family, all the grandkids with Grandma, and my Mom with her four boys.  They came out all right I guess.  At least my Mom liked them.

Each summer we go to Cape Cod, we try to get a Family Portrait as well.  We try to take a Family Portrait every Fall or Winter that we often use in our Christmas Card.  I love to see how my boys have changed over the years, how they have grown and matured.  The regular Family Portrait is a great way to document these years, retaining it forever.

And then there is my beautiful wife.  She is the one who stages all the Family Portraits.  She pics out the clothes, she chooses where everyone stands and pics the location.  I just have to show up with the Camera and the Tripod, set the timer and hit the button….lots of times….she always makes me take at least 20-30 shots to make sure we get a perfect one.  Now, she is the first to admit that she often takes a terrible picture.  She has a knack for closing her eyes right as the shutter clicks. I can’t tell you how many family shots I have deleted because her eyes are closed!!  That is why I often take quick candids of her when she doesn’t even know I am taking it, like the one above.   She liked this one so much, she used it for her business card!!

I think they all came out pretty good, but they are miles away from the quality I have seen from some of my favorite portrait photographers.  Let me know what you think!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

Flower Photography: Images 81-99

Yellow Rose     Yellow Rose

Butter Cream     White Rose

Orange Rose     Orange Rose

Red and White Rose     Red and White Rose

Cone Flower     Cone Flower with Lady Bug

Close up Cone Flower     Cone Flower Macro

Peony Burst     Peony Burst

 3 Cone Flowers, Near and Far     3 Cone Flowers, Near and Far

Bleeding Heart     Bleeding Heart

Tulip     Tulip

Tulips     Tulips

Lilac     Lilac

Lilacs     Lilacs

Hydrangea     Hydrangea

Hydrangeas     Hydrangeas

Blue Bell     Blue Bell

From Below     From Below

Morning Glory     Morning Glory

Daisy     Gerbera Daisy

Purple Heart     Purple Heart Daisy

It is New Year’s Eve and it is below freezing outside (and snowing) here in Rochester, NY.  I didn’t want to write an extensive blog today, but wanted to get something out since I haven’t done an entry in over 2 weeks.  I just began (2 years ago) to take flower pictures and some macro shots after getting my DSLR and some close up filters.  Above are some examples of some of my favorites.  Maybe this will brighten your day and be a good start to the new year!!  For more of my Flower Images, please visit my below websites!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Black and White: My First Love. Images 70-76

Downward Spiral     Downward Spiral, Genesee Lighthouse, Rochester, NY

Genesee Lighthouse, BW     Genesee Lighthouse, BW

Sodus Point Lighthouse, BW     Sodus Point Lighthouse. BW

Watkins Glen, BW     Watkins Glen, BW

Buttermilk Falls, BW     Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, NY, BW

High Falls, BW     High Falls, Rochester, NY, BW

Close Up Flower, BW      Flower in Close Up, BW

When I began taking my own pictures, it was in High School at West Irondequoit High School, during my Junior Year.  My father was an amateur photographer and I had always wanted to give it a try.  When I saw that my high school offered Photography A, B, C and D as art electives, I jumped at the chance (mostly because I cannot draw for beans).  Of course, back in the old days (1988 to 1990), when I was taking HS Photo classes, it was all on black and white film.  I borrowed my mother’s 35 mm Camera, a Fujica, as I did not have a camera of my own yet (I would get my Canon AE-1 until graduation from HS; a gift from my Dad).

We started the class with learning how the camera worked; F-stops, shutter speed, film speed, focus, different lenses, etc…  (BORING!!!!!).  We learned all the basics as well as how to take the exposed film off the roll in a darkroom or in “the bag” and doing all the processing of the film in the can with all the chemicals.  Then we learned how to make the prints in the darkroom and process all the prints; developer, stop bath, fixer, stop bath.  I found myself spending hours in the darkroom, playing around with different ways to expose the image on the paper.  I would spend extra time after school and during study halls in the darkroom, or walking around the school with my camera, finding subject matter relating to the present project we were working on.  I loved it!

The Black and White Image was beautiful to me.  Stripped down; Basic.  More like an Impression; more artistic than it’s color counterpart.  Sometimes surreal; sometimes dramatic.  I loved playing with contrast to make it more interesting; to get the image to “pop” off the paper.  I was actually disappointed when we switched to color somewhere during Photo D.  I felt like I was losing the art of it all and my photos seemed more pedestrian; just like everyone else’s.  I felt like the color robbed all the creativity.

I have since learned to love the color image just as much as the monochrome image.  For quite a while, just because of ease, i took exclusively color images.  Black and White film was hard to find, and getting the film processed was more expensive.

Then, AHHHHHHHHH; Digital came around!!!   Now every shot I take is both color and black and white.

Take a look at more of my Black and White Images at the below websites.  I have an entire album devoted to Black and White on the Instaprints.com site.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com