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New Site….Same Blog

I have decided to take the next step when it comes to my website and have decided to create my own domain name and wordpress blog.  Here is the link to my new site.  I am still planning on trying to post a new photo every day to the daily blog.  I want to thank you all for continuing to stop by my spot on the net and view my version of photography.  I hope you will continue to check out my latest updates and I look forward to seeing you over at the new site.

http://www.scottackermanphotography.com


Two Thousand and Eleven: A Look Back

Since this is my final post of the year Two Thousand and Eleven, I figured it was appropriate to recap this last year with “some” of my favorite photos.  I have a tough time narrowing things down, so I’ve got quite a few favorites from my photo adventures over the last year.  All the photos are arranged in chronological order and all were taken in the year 2011.

I can’t thank all of you enough for continuing to follow my photography as well as your continued comments and support.  Looking forward to another great year in 2012.


A Minimalist’s Reflection

Simple shot today really.  Have been spending more and more time lately searching out puddles and reflections to see what kind of interesting shots I could come up with.  There’s no question that the inspiration that I used to start this photo expedition came from the king of reflections, Mike Olbinski.  Ever since his storm sunset reflection titled Seventh Heaven, it opened up my eyes to new possibilities and unique shots.

Today’s shot is a simple sky reflection in the middle of a country road.  Really like the blues and soft clouds of this shot.


The Windsor Hotel: Things are Looking Up

We’re back in the atrium for this shot, sitting on the floor with the camera pointing straight up.  I was a big fan of the pattern created by the wood in the center as well as the alternating sky lights.  Got to love a change in perspective once in a while.


The Windsor Hotel: Atrium

Received permission to get into a 120 year old hotel that sits on Main Street where I live.  Kind of a cool building that means a lot to quite a few people around Garden City.  For many years they have been trying to find the funding to restore the hotel to it’s former glory.  The first from this series (hopefully) is a shot of the four story atrium that is at the center of the hotel.  I was only able to shoot for about 1.5 hours this morning due to other obligations, but I hope to get back and shoot some more soon.
The hopefully reference from before is due to the fact that my laptop crashed yesterday evening about 11pm and I was up until around 3am just trying to get it to boot to the login-in screen.  I could care less about the laptop but we’ve got a lot of pictures and videos of the boys on there that we have not transferred to the external HD yet, so I’m in recovery mode to see if I can salvage the files.  Not the way I was wanting to start the week, but we’ll see what we get.


Country Road

Today’s post is another shot of that great sunset I was able to capture a couple of Saturdays ago.  Like I said before, I’m pretty disappointed we weren’t able to track down something to capture in the foreground, but I think the road helps a little.  I have two different captures up today, one that is slightly more zoomed in than the other and from a slightly different vantage point.  I’m thinking I prefer the tighter zoom in this case, but I’d be interested to hear which one you all like the best.


15 Minutes Ago

Today’s shot was taken almost exactly 15 minutes before my previous post’s shot was taken (Fire in the Sky).  With this sunset, there was two different hues projected underneath the clouds.  The first was this golden color then no color and finally the second, which was the orange.  What was especially cool was the over all color cast during the orange. There was a very surreal warm tone to the environment during this time.  Both were fun to observe.  My son even wanted to join in on the fun so he jumped in front of the camera for a quick set of brackets.


Wild West

It’s funny how you are certain a scene will play out the way you expect and then you find out you were completely wrong.  Even still, you have to try and make the best of the situation and make the trip worth your while.  Case in point, today’s shot.

I set out about 7:30 last night completely expecting to have one of the best sunsets in a while.  Even better than the one I had on Saturday.  There was a weak rain shower moving in from the west but still 10-20 miles west of me as the sun began to peak out from the clouds.  At this point I was sure that the sun would be able to illuminate the under layer of the clouds with amazing color.  As I waited and waited, it appeared more and more evident that the cloud base was going to be too low for any of the sunlight to hit.

While waiting for the sun to drop to the horizon, the wind was actually whipping around pretty good.  It even blew a tumbleweed across the road right behind where I was setting up.  This gave me the idea for today’s shot.  The toughest part was getting a shot where the tumbleweed wasn’t rocking or blowing away.  Fortunately I was able to get this shot and the whole outing wasn’t a complete bust.


Miles and Miles…

There’s no question, one advantage of living out in Western Ks is that the open country allows for amazing sunsets.  This shot was from the exploration bust on Saturday night.  Talked about it a few posts back.  Have a couple of more different sunset pics to post from this night that are a little different than this one.  A photo buddy and myself actually passed a really old farmhouse and windmill on the way out to the burnt ground and decided not to stop there for the night.  We hope to get back out there again soon to frame it up against another good sunset.


Truck Stop

This shot was about as spontaneous as they come.  The wife and I were driving the boys home from grabbing a bite to eat in town and we are on the bypass (western KS version of a bypass) out to our house south of town.  I was messing around with my 85 1.8 (she was driving of course) testing out the background blur on objects at a greater distance away from the camera.  Saw this grungy old semi trailer directly ahead of us at a stop light so I started cracking off some shots.  Really happy with the amount of blur one can get with the 85.  This was shot at 1.8 at a distance of I’d say about 20 yards, give or take a few.  I took a page out of the Chris Kenison handbook and have given you a couple of different processing results to enjoy today.  I like the color version slightly better with this shot.


Sideshow

Many time, especially during a sunset or sunrise, I find myself only focusing on the area directly around the sun.  Now granted, most of the time, this would likely be the best area to focus your camera on.  However, there are times when looking to the north or south can provide very unique and interesting shots due to the side lighting from the setting/rising sun.  This brings us to today’s shot.  This shot was taken Saturday night while out trying to find a spot next to some charred land from the day’s destructive grass fires, but alas we left too late and were quickly running out of daylight.  So we eventually just pulled over on a dirt road and set up shop for the sunset.  This area of clouds was south about 60 degrees from the sun.  Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start!


Dueling Locomotives

This is my last shot from my adventures at the tracks.  Didn’t really shoot but for 30 min due to the cold and drizzle so I didn’t end up with too many brackets.  Wasn’t planning on stitching these two together initially but it just looked like it may work out when I was going through processing, so I gave it a shot.

No real plans set to get out and shoot this weekend, but I’m hoping an opportunity presents itself.  Hope everyone has a great weekend filled with amazing light.

Canon T1i, Sigma 10-20 @ 10mm, F/9, 5 Exposures


East or West….?

You can go anywhere you want, as long as it’s east or west. Love the simplicity of the train system. Hop on board, relax and enjoy the ride. It may take twice as long as driving but they’ll get you there. I’ve always wanted to take my boys on a day-long train ride across the state and back just for the experience. I hope to accomplish that in the future once they are a little older and would probably enjoy it more.

Another shot from the dreary overcast morning this past weekend. I added the ‘drizzle’ effect from Phototools 2.6 to a second processed image to show what it was really like that morning but I decided not to post it today.

East or West...


2659

Woke up before the sun on a Saturday for the first time in a while. Was ready to get out and get some train/track shots with the sunrise, but alas, the fog and drizzle wasn’t going to allow it. Drizzle is not very much fun to shoot in. Have to clean your lens every 10 seconds or there is no point in even shooting. Walked away with about 7 sets of brackets. Will probably post most of those up this week. Hope everyone is off to a good start to their Monday.

2659


Muze

After fighting the worst bug I think I’ve ever gotten, I’m a little on the tired/weak side this morning. Managed to make it into work, but we’ll see how that goes. So, I’m just going to make this quick today.

This shot was one of the last ones taken the night I went down under the bridge. As you can tell the sun was quite a ways below the horizon at this point. I walked by this pillar twice and didn’t notice the graffiti on it, but fortunately I caught it when I was setting up for another shot. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Muze


Pistols at Dawn

Lego Challenge. A photography buddy of mine is putting on a Lego Wars challenge every month. This is the first competition so I thought I’d take a crack at it. Was kind of fun to get Ethan involved with shooting. He came out on the road with me and helped me set them up and make sure they didn’t fall over. It was quite fun. I had to buy a small starter set since I didn’t have any around the house. I’m sure Ethan will like this idea since it will only add to his toy pile. Without further ado, here is my humble contribution.

Pistols at Dawn
Canon T1i, 85mm f/1.8 @1.8, ISO 100, 7 Exposures


Token of His Affection (100th Post)

I Love You….lulu? Continuing on with my bridge shots, this tag was one of the bigger ones I came across. Great color which was only aided by the light from the setting sun. You really have to love the soft light from the sun tucked away behind a layer of thin cirrus, especially during golden hour.

This post is also my 100th since beginning this blog. They have really added up the past few months. I guess that will happen when you are posting a new picture almost daily. Never really planned on posting daily, but there is no question I wouldn’t have had the motivation or encouragement if it weren’t for fellow photographers that post amazing shots day after day. Many of these photographers can be found at the bottom of this page, with a few recent additions. Give them all a look, everyone of them are as skilled as they come. Cheers to the next one hundred…

I Love You....lulu?


Skull’s Sunset

Another shot from my latest venture out under the bridge. It’s amazing to me how artistic some of these vandals are. I’ve tried to spray paint a chair and struggled with getting an even coat, let alone creating a work of art.

Went with a little darker feel on this image. Felt the skull kind of deserved it. I want to get back out here sometime and try and capture a storm in place of the sunset. Figured some lightning mixed with the skull might look pretty sweet.

Skull's Sunset


Rebirth

Thought we were going to have a great weekend of weather, but it turned out to be a chilly, windy Saturday. However, Sunday was an awesome weather day. The wife and myself spent the day doing the year’s first yard work. This included cutting down dead shrubs to allow the next years veg to grow. My wife had commented how well her hibiscus plants grew last year from her cutting them down so she did it again this year. Of course, it was my job to pick up all the dead material and haul it away. As I was picking up around the hibiscus, I noticed a little greenery already beginning to show up. Thought it looked pretty cool against all the dead material, so I grabbed a few stills.

It’s funny how you say to yourself – “I’m just going to grab a quick shot” or “a few brackets” and that is NOT at all what you do. I know for a fact my wife is not a fan of these words. I think I ended up with around 40-50 shots taken on this plant trying different apertures and angles. Especially considering it takes between 3-5 exposures per composition. Anywho, hope everyone is off to a great start to their week.

Rebirth


Off into the Sunset

Ventured out to take some shots for an upcoming photo contest that Chris Nitz is putting on and just happened to get lucky with a great sunset. Wasn’t expecting it due the the thick cloud base near the horizon, but it opened up just in time to let some light through. I honestly think I missed the best light of this sunset by about 2-3 minutes, but I am happy with the result. Hope everyone has a great weekend with great light! Cheers….

Off into the Sunset


Sunset Seat

Set out on a recent shoot underneath a 200 yard bridge looking primarily for some graffiti shots of the support structures. Found this discarded couch sitting in an empty field looking up at hundreds of cars passing by. I originally passed over the couch making sure I had plenty of time to hit every tagged structure along the bridge. I eventually made my way back later when the sun was low in the sky. This is essentially 180 degrees opposite of the sun with a prime view of the upcoming set (which was essentially a bust).

Sunset Seat
Canon T1i, Sigma 10-20 @ 13mm, f/11, 7 Exposures


Doza

Locate the Bulldozer … Here’s a little hint …

The real bummer is, there was another bulldozer that was closer to me than the one in this shot. I had image framed, leveled the camera, set the focus and was about ready to push the button when the darn thing starting pulling away. Either way, I thought it was pretty cool how the arrow and the ‘doza’ lined up so well.

Doza
Canon T1i, Sigma 10-20 @ 20mm, f/5.6


Stroll Down the Plaza

Lot of interesting things occurred the morning of this shot.  I was approached by many security guards asking if any pictures I was taking was going to be used in a magazine, because apparently that wasn’t allowed at the Plaza in KC.  And when someone asks me for direction because he doesn’t know where he’s going and then checks to see if I need a ride somewhere, really sets off the alarm in my head.  Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.

Street Final


70 Minute Oatmeal Stout

With spring and summer quickly returning and having a beautiful Saturday evening to hang out in the outdoors, I got the itch to go after another star trail. I really enjoy setting up and shooting star trails. Also I needed to get in Tonight’s Selection, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone. 70 minute star trail (140 30′ exposures)

Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
Canon T1i, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 @ 20mm, f/5.6, 30′, ISO 400.