March 13, 2018

Cloudy, Snow Showers, 26 Degrees, Northwest Winds 5 – 10 mph.

My wife was up early this morning and with daylight savings time just started, it was almost dark when Jamie and I left the house. It still looks more like winter than spring with a light snowfall overnight and light snow falling still. With the early start I was hoping to catch early morning light and maybe sunrise down in the woods, so I hustled over there. I skipped everything but my normal road shot and headed for the deep woods by the marsh where I could see any sunrise there might be.

With the low light, I carried my tripod. I didn’t want to try to hand hold the camera. It would have required very high ISOs and marginally long exposures. I knew I wouldn’t get good results. This time I carried the tripod collapsed and the camera in a bag until I got over to the woods. It was more comfortable than the classic over the shoulder with the camera attached. The Canon 5ds is just too heavy to carry over your shoulder for long.

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Softer early morning light on the road.

I set up and took the road shot and then headed as quickly as I could for the marsh. The snow has diminished in the woods, but there’s still enough to make walking awkward and strenuous. I got to the marsh just before the sun broke the horizon. There was a lot of cloud cover, so I saw only a weak orange glow, but I took a number of shots hoping that the light would be interesting enough even without sun.

There is definitely more bird song in the woods now. I assume these are returning migrant birds I’m hearing, though I could be wrong. It is often very quiet in the woods in winter, but the change is so gradual that sometimes I’m not sure whether I’m hearing new birds or not. I did hear a distant call of a Sand Hill Crane. It was perhaps half a mile away, but it sounded like it might have been on the ground rather than in flight. I guess they’re settling in for the spring. I hope some nest closer to where I walk so I can enjoy their amazing calls in the morning.

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Not much of a sunrise, but still something different than I’ve seen in a while.

I waited around and took a number of shots but the sun never really got through the clouds so I headed home. I was concerned about Jamie getting cold with me standing around for too long. I took my second road shot on the way out and put the camera away. Of course, just after I did, the sun started breaking through the clouds a bit and a little snow shower made the atmosphere interesting. It would have been nice to capture that down at the marsh, but it was too late. It only lasted a moment.

I’d like to do more shooting at this hour, but getting up early seems to be more difficult than it used to be. Maybe I just don’t have the motivation any more. I’m sure I never liked it before, but I was willing to do it when I had traveled to a distant location. When you’re at home, it may be more difficult to get up. There’s always tomorrow, right? Anyway, maybe today will encourage me to get up early the next time sun is predicted. I’ll have to make a conscious decision and commitment or it won’t happen.

Poor Jamie had his surgery yesterday. I’m sure he’s in pain this morning but he wanted to go for his walk and seemed to do just fine. He was a little quieter than normal, but otherwise seemed okay. He’s going to be hurting for at least several days.

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You can pick up a little of the sun on the pine trunks. I wish I’d maybe framed this a little higher. 

I wish he could tell me how he feels. I often worry about him being cold when we’re walking in the winter. It discourages me from taking as much time as I might want to sometimes. He doesn’t have much of a winter coat. His hair is probably only 3/8” long and lays down so smoothly it seems there’s almost nothing there. I have no idea if he’s warm enough or if he’s cold the whole time.

As promised, I spent the day yesterday printing images, profiling my printer for the Exhibition Fiber paper, and doing more printing. It took most of the day. I printed maybe ten large prints. Each print takes over 20 minutes to print and the profiling took time too.

I still wasn’t pleased with the first few prints. They just seemed to lack punch. I thought the problem might be the poor light in the basement or maybe the images just weren’t as strong as I thought. Later, I thought I would check the monitor profile again just to be sure. Sure enough, the brightness was way off for some reason. Not sure why, but it was way too dark. That means that I would have adjusted the prints too light to compensate, leading to the washed out look I was seeing.

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The brush looked a little interesting. You can still see remnants of the heavy snow that crushed so much of the brush down. 

It’s very disappointing to make a bunch of prints that may not be good enough quality to be sold. The last few prints after I re-profiled the monitor were better. I’ll have to look hard at the first prints to decide whether to take them to the gallery. I used up all of the remaining watercolor paper I had on hand so I won’t be able to make more prints to replace the marginal ones.

Needless to say, if you want to do any serious printing, you absolutely have to have profiling hardware. Even if you don’t do your own printing, you need to profile your monitor or your prints will be off. The hardware is not cheap, but it’s not so expensive that it’s prohibitive. Considering what you have invested in camera and lenses and printer, it’s a must.

After correcting the monitor problem I printed four of the snow scenes on the Exhibition Fiber. They looked great. The brighter paper suited them very well and of course they’re remarkable images as well.

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Another semi-interesting image of the brush. Nothing to write home about, but interesting. 

There is one in which Jamie appears and I’m not sure about whether it suitable for sale. He is a part of this experience with me and I’ve been allowing him to be in a lot of the wider shots, but I wonder whether a buyer will understand this or find his presence distracting and undesirable. I think in future I’ll call him to me and keep him out of the pictures. I’ll talk to the gallery people about what they think when I deliver the prints.

I don’t expect a lot from today’s pictures, but we will see when I edit them. The soft morning light may be enough to make them interesting, but I didn’t get that sense when I was there. If I had a little snow or and/or a little more sun, I think it might have been a really good morning. I guess I need to consider getting up at 6:00 on at least one or two mornings each week. Yuck.

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