Euless Hawk: The Story Behind the Photo

By Mangesh Sangapu

Euless Hawk in tree photo by Mangesh Sangapu

Euless Hawk by Mangesh Sangapu

The first time I saw this hawk, it was on my porch lunching on a gecko. I tried to save the  gecko but the bird flew away with its meal.

I saw this bird a few times since, but it’s been too far away. I solved the distance problem by getting a Sigma 710mm, but I never expected to get such a close-up.

I was bird-watching from our back window and to my amazement, it came out of  nowhere and landed on a tree close to our home. I hastily grabbed my camera and quietly opened the back door. I took this picture just as the hawk became aware of my presence. It flew away moments later.


In the Windmills of Your Mind: The Story Behind the Photo

By Susan Taylor

double exposure of ferris wheel by Susan Taylor

In the Windmills of Your Mind by Susan Taylor

I took this picture as a multiple exposure on my Nikon 5200. I didn’t even know I had this option in my camera until the first day of class at TCC!

That same day we went to the carnival at the stock show, and I started shooting multiple exposures. When I arrived home and looked at my pics, I saw my double exposure of the ferris wheel and a title immediately came to mind: the lyrics from the ’60s era song “In the Windmills of Your Mind.”

I tweaked it a bit, made it black and white, and then looked up the lyrics to make sure of my title.

It was then that I read that the song’s composer, pianist and Oscar winner Michael Legrand, had died only three days earlier!

Old School Lighting: The Story Behind the Photo

By Lana Macko

Photo of tomatoes on scale

Old School Lighting by Lana Macko

I will never forget the moment I spotted these tomatoes in a market in San Miguel, Mexico, and the way the perfect late afternoon light was hitting them.

So when I started to prepare the image for camera club submission, I darkened the shadows, bringing even more emphasis to the tomatoes and parts of the scale to intensify the old-school feel I had felt when viewing this magnificent light in that market.

The photograph did not get a very high score in our contest. Not only did the judge not “get” it (despite the broad hint I had dropped with my title), he shared how HE would have post processed this shot differently, thus creating HIS vision. Of course, that was a very HDR-type look, which I am normally not opposed to, but it was not the artistic vision I had for this shot.

So I felt compelled to write this, especially for our newest members. Don’t be intimidated by a judge’s comments or vision. They won’t always share YOUR vision. Just HAVE a vision, and learn to carry it out to the best of your ability.

Bridle Bit Bull: The Story Behind the Photo

By Darren Wiedman

Bridle Bit Bull photo by Darren Wiedman

Bridle Bit Bull photo by Darren Wiedman

This was shot a few miles west of Throckmorton, Texas, which is just down the road from the middle of nowhere. I originally chose this location because I wanted to capture the Milky Way and indicated this was one of the darkest locations in the country (and the closest to me). While cyber-scoping the area via Google maps to find an interesting barn or pumpjack to put in the foreground, I was delighted to discover this 22-foot bull statue near the side of Hwy. 380. I realized I would be facing the wrong direction to have the Milky Way in the background, but I thought the bull was too good to pass up.

Unfortunately, the dark spot I found was still surrounded by distant cities, and there were even lights on the horizon. I thought about walking into the field to shoot toward the darker south, but I’m not a fan of rattlesnakes and real bulls, either of which could’ve been out there in the black.

I tried to light-paint the statue with little success. Fortunately, on my last attempt, an 18-wheeler was coming up the road and provided very dramatic lighting with its headlights.

For future night shoots, I’ll find a darker spot, bring a stronger flashlight, and shoot at a higher ISO (and remove grain in post).

Building a Winning Photograph: The Story Behind the Photo

There’s often more to creating a successful photograph than pressing a button. Here’s the story behind our holiday party print competition winner. (See 2nd place here.)

By Lana Macko

It was a beautiful fall day at my friend’s house at Possum Kingdom Lake. When I went into the guest room that I had been assigned for my girls’ weekend, I was immediately drawn to the open windows and the filmy curtains blowing in the breeze. Naturally, I started taking photos.

Photo by Lana Macko

Before photo by Lana Macko

When I got home I knew I wanted a large print but not something quite so “country” feeling. So using TAPC-member Jim Hamel’s amazing suggestions, I went to town with cloning. It was a cloning extravaganza to remove the bed and pictures and then replace part of the curtain, let me tell you. And then it looked too empty, so I added my Boston Terrier, Beanie. The finishing touch was a texture from Topaz Texture Effects.

Photo by Lana Macko

After photo by Lana Macko

On Guard: The Story Behind the Photo

Our holiday party print contest winner was Lana Macko (see post here), but the 2nd-place photo deserves a spot as well. So here’s the story behind this incredible shot.

On Guard photo of mama grizzy and baby on Katmai Peninsula, AK, by Norma Schafer

On Guard by Norma Schafer

By Norma Schafer

This picture was taken on the Katmai Peninsula south of Anchorage, Alaska, as part of a Grizzly Bear Viewing Photography tour. Our group included eight photographers plus a guide.

To reach our photography location, we waded across a creek wearing chest waders. On the first day in Geographic Harbor, we counted more than 20 bears feeding on the salmon within 100 yards of our location. We had several bears come as close as five or six feet from our group. But I was never afraid because the tour guide was extremely competent and made it clear what we needed to do to be safe.

This little cub caught my attention because she looked so sweet and dependent on her mom, who was obviously very protective. We shot the photos from a camera mounted on a tripod using a Nikon D7200 with an 80-400mm Nikon zoom lens.

After the Sprinkler: The Story Behind the Photo

By Janet Cunningham

After the Sprinkler, photograph by Janet Cunningham

After the Sprinkler by Janet Cunningham

After the sprinkler went off one morning, I noticed beautiful water droplets on my neighbor’s Gerber daisies. I wanted an unusual perspective, so I got down even with one of the flowers so I could capture the droplets sitting on top of the petals. Surprise…there was a flower behind the one I was photographing, and it was being reflected in the droplets!

I used a Sigma 105mm macro lens on a Canon 70D. Macro lenses have a shallow depth of field, so I took nine images focusing on nine different droplets, then combined the images in Photoshop.

To shoot these images I used a tripod, a cable release, and manual focus on the lens.

There are many tutorials on how to combine the images using the focus-stacking procedure. I found a Phlearn video helpful: “How To Do Focus Stacking in Photoshop.”