MORNING MIST - 45° 3’47.68″N 78°18’55.83″W
Welcome to the first post of my new blog! I plan on making this blog different than others in that I actually want to make it useful! I travel extensively and shoot constantly and will be sharing my experiences first hand. You will view selected images where I will discuss the creation of the image from location, equipment, and digital workflow; basically any and all tools used to create the final fine art image. For example, you will notice that next to the caption for each image I have included the GPS coordinates allowing you to visit the locations first hand.
Oh ya, I need to mention that I am a self professed ‘toy’ junky! I shoot with everything from a Leica Rangefinder, 35mm, medium format, to medium format view-camera. The common theme is I shoot entirely digital. The cliche that the ‘equipment’ does not make a good photograph – although true – fell on deaf ears in my house. I subscribe to the ‘best’ tool for the job philosophy. So within the pages of the blog you will see what tools I used and why. Quite often the limiting factor is the logistics of carrying the equipment to a location. The Linholf medium format digital view camera with Phase One P65+ back and Rodenstock Digital lens produces the most stunning images I have ever seen. The resolution of the Rodenstock lens coupled with the Phase One back simply blows away even comparable medium format systems. However, it’s simply too cumbersome and heavy to use on a daily basis. I am a huge fan of the Leica M9 and Leica’s glass. I attended a week long workshop with the legendary photographer Jay Maisel carrying only my Leica gear. Comedian Michael Richards was also in attendance and we were partnered up during our New York shoots. New York spells ‘world-class’ street photography and Leica is the tool for the job, contrary to the ribbing from Jay to join the Nikon revolution. As a side note, Jay Maisel is a fascinating and remarkable man and if you ever get a chance to take his workshop I highly recommend it. If you would like to view what the Leica is capable of, take a look at the India section of my gallery. The entire trip was taken exclusively with the Leica M9 and Leica Summilux lens, using only available natural light. The resulting images speak for themselves.
I have spent quite a bit of time this month working from my Haliburton cottage studio (3 hours north of Toronto, Canada where I call my home). In addition to adding a blog to dankosmayer.com, I have spent a fair bit of time scouting new locations for future workshops (more on that in future posts). The image ‘Morning Mist’, however, is not one of my new spots but one of my tried and true locations. I tend to return to my favorite spots in different light. This shot was taken pre-dawn during a period the temperature dropped overnight quite rapidly, resulting in a fog or mist. The image is shot with the Phase One P56+ on a Hasselblad H2 body, f 9.5 210mm. The subtle gradations of the mist renders beautifully with the P65+. The 13 second exposure required here necessitates a sturdy tripod and a calm morning. Believe me when I say the image on the web does not do this image justice compared to viewing the print. The cool blue effect was obtained by processing the raw image twice. Once as a straight forward image, and the second using the Selenium present in Light Room 3. The blue effect comes from the Selenium present, but this itself left the image overly blue and lacked the contrast I desired. I wanted to portray what I felt while I was shooting the image. Once in Photoshop, I created a new layer, pasted the Selenium raw conversion into this layer, and used the opacity slider to ‘dial-in’ the desired amount of this effect I wanted.
MORNING GLORY - 45° 2’54.27″N 78°18’38.07″W
So 5 min down the road and 10 minutes later came this wonderful shot. For this shot I pulled out my Hasselblad 3D with my 28mm lens shot at f / 8, 1/10 sec. Why do I still have my Hasselblad 3D when I now have a Phase One P65+ back on a H2 body do you ask??? Well the answer is simple, I simply love the Hasselblad 28mm Digital lens. For picture angles you can’t achieve any other way, this ultra-wide angle lens (roughly equivalent to a 18mm lens in 35mm film format) is simply amazing, and it does not work on the H2 body. The HCD 4/28 is designed to be paired exclusively with Hasselblad’s H3D and H4D cameras.
The color in this image is unaltered! This sublime light lasted but a few minutes. Later that evening I was showing my wife the raw images taken during this shoot. A mere 8 minutes later the image was completely different. Other than my standard workflow to process the image, the only ‘extra’ component was I extensively dodged and burned the clouds using a dodge and burn adjustment layer (I never work on the original image). I wanted the image to convey the dramatic clouds I experienced that morning.
INTO THE SUNSET – 45° 3’39.49″N 78°18’18.57″W
Fast forward to late afternoon and I was blessed with fortune of watching these 3 characters parade around the local pond near my studio. I pulled out my Canon 1DS Mark III with a EF600mm f/4L lens shot at f /7.1 1/100 sec. I would like to emphasis that the color is not enhanced or altered. It was late afternoon and what you are seeing is the reflections of the foliage and surrounding bouncing in the water. I have shots from pure gold reflections to almost a silvery snow like look.
So one day’s shoot – three different camera systems! Bookmark my blog and come back often there is lots more to come.