Sunday, December 30, 2007

Heaven's Eyes

This is new having just been taken today (December 30, 2007). This time of year, whenever there is a chance to see sunlight I grab my camera and head out. So, after hiking around along the Boardman River and not seeing anything that I wanted to shoot (photographically that is), I headed for Lake Michigan. It was a nice day for a drive - the roads were mostly free of ice and snow for a change. That and the temps. for this time of year were pretty good. I was not sure that I would find anything inviting at the beach, but lo and behold heaven's eyes were beaming down. Of course I had to avoid getting the the footprints in the snow in my image. That makes it doubly tough to get a good composition. Using a 3 stop GND (graduated neutral density) filter to hold back some of the light in the sky and a +1 EV this is close to what I saw.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Platte River at Lake Michigan

Here is another image from Christmas Day. It is the Platte River as it empties into Lake Michigan.

New Images

Season's Greetings everyone. This is a difficult time to get good photographs in Northern Michigan. There are very few hours of daylight and very few days that are not cloudy and gray. I had hoped for some sun peeking through the clouds on Christmas Day so I headed to the Lake Michigan Shore. Here are a couple of the images that I got. I will try again when the light is better. These have potential with the right light. Here is the Point Betsie Lighthouse overlooking Lake Michigan.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Red Barns and Beaches

Some days are just meant to be photography days and today was one of them. November light can really be special in Northern Michigan. The low sun angle combined with patchwork clouds makes for soft light and dramatic skies. Using the morning light I captured this photo of a red barn near Traverse City. I go by this spot quite frequently. Usually there are cows in front of the barn and I was hoping that would be the case again this morning. Alas, they were out in the pasture. This evening found me over at the Sleeping Bear Dunes along the Lake Michigan shore. Surprisingly the wind was hardly blowing and it felt rather warm for mid-November. The light was good and I like the image that I got. I will however probably hope for another chance to get even better skylight and light on the dune in the background. Maybe next year. Winter is just around the corner and although it can be beautiful on the lakefront in winter, the conditions are usually extremely harsh. Fingers, toes and camera batteries do not last too long when it gets like that. . When the winning image from the Picture Your Place Contest is web published I will provide a link to it. It is however, the image that is on the home page of my web site. Questions or comments are always welcome on my blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Award Winner

Exciting news is just in. I have been selected as a winner in the Picture Your Place contest. The photo of a sunset at Lake Michigan
won in the category of Places of Natural Beauty. The award will be presented at a reception Wednesday night at the Grand Traverse Heritage Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. Awards will also be given out to the other winners in the other categories.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Visit at the Downtown Frame Up

I will be exhibiting and selling my photos at the Downtown Frame Up gallery at 145 E. Front Street in Downtown Traverse City on Friday, November 16th from 5:30-9:00 P.M. and Friday, November 30th from 6 - 9 P.M. This is part of "Holiday Magic 2007" sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Traverse City Association.

The Downtown Frame Up owned by Sandy and Jeff Wagner will be offering special sales on framing and merchandise. A free shuttle will be provided by BATA and will run every 15 minutes from marked stops throughout Traverse City.

These will be fun-filled evenings with lots of surprises for shoppers and I hope that you can make it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Visit Booth at Traverse City Arts and Crafts Show

I will have a booth at the annual Traverse City Arts and Crafts Show Friday November 9th from 5-9 pm and and Saturday November 10th from 9 am to 4 pm. The show will be at the Park Place Hotel at 300 East State Street in Traverse City. For more information on the hotel and directions see . I will have cards, photos and CD's with a slideshow of more than 50 of my images. I will also be sharing a booth with Holly Nelson owner of Gallery 31 . I look forward to seeing folks there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally in the Smokies

I have been in the Smoky Mountains for the last two days. Mostly spent along the creeks. Fall color this year is not great. I did get a couple of photos that I like. The one on the right was unexpected. As I was headed to Cades Cove I spotted this scene next to the road. Seems that this is a well known site to photographers. The lighting was almost perfect and I used a polarizer to enhance the color and allow a little blurring of the water. Plans are to head to Cades Cove tomorrow - weather permitting.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Headed to Smokies

Thanks to everyone who purchased images from me at the Kingsley Craft Show. It was great too meeting everyone. I am now headed for my next photo adventure - my favorite place to photograph - the Smokies Mountains. I am drawn to the beautiful streams, mountains, and sheer beauty of the Southern Appalachians. Especially Big Creek which leads to Midnight Blue Hole, Mouse Creek Falls. Doubtful that there will be any fall color this year. Several years ago I visited on the same week in October and the colors were spectacular. From what I can tell this year is colors will be later. I can only hope to capture some of the beauty. I will post more later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Visit at Kingsley Art and Craft Fair - October 6

I will be selling prints at the Kingsley Art and Craft Fair on Saturday October 6 from 10 am to 5 pm. This will be held at the Kingsley Middle School. Also, available for the first time will be a photo DVD or CD of Northern Michigan images. Many of these images are on my website. However, there are some new images that are not yet available on the website or will not be offered as prints.

The Latest Photo

This is one of my latest images taken in late September along the Lake Michigan shore. Sleeping Bear Dunes is in the background illuminated by a quick splash of late evening light. Actually, the rocks in the foreground were spotlighted at the same time. This will soon be available through my website. Thanks for looking. Any comments are welcome.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Farm Field

Most of my images have a nature theme. Sometimes I find man-made scenes to be poignant. This tractor in a hay field tells of a working farm. Soon to be posted to the website. Thanks for looking.

Another New Photo

Here is another photo that will soon be added to the website. Taken at near peak for the sunflowers, the clouds add an extra dimension to the image. This will be available in sizes ranging from 8" X 10 "; 11" X 17"; 13" X 19" and 16" X 20". As always shipping and handling is included. This will add a touch of sunshine to any room!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Photos and a Sale

There will be new photos posted on my website soon and for the first time 16 X 20 prints of selected images will be available. Here is one of the images that will soon be added : Also, there will be a special sale on Saturday, September 1st on in front of Gallery 31 at 14257 Highway 31, just east of Honor, Michigan. Many of my prints and greeting cards will be available as well as prints from other artists including Holly Nelson, owner of Gallery 31.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Photos now available at Gallery 31

Many of the photos included on my website (and some new ones) are now available at Gallery 31 at 14257 US 31 in Honor, Michigan. Gallery 31 is run by Holly Nelson who is also a local photographer. You can visit her website at . Holly will be holding a special roadside show of photos from many artists including some of my photos on Labor Day Weekend in front of her gallery. Check back here for more details.

Also, soon to be posted on the website is a photo from the Lake Michigan which is in this month's Traverse Magazine.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Visit the Elk Rapids Show

I will be showing my images at the Elk Rapids Art and Craft Show on July 21. I will have prints including images not yet web posted as well as greeting cards featuring my images.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Weather Watching

An important part of nature and landscape photography is the weather. Not really whether it will be hot or cold. Sunny or cloudy of course determines the amount of natural light. Landscapes with skies included need to have clouds of interest. I prefer dramatic clouds if I am going to include the sky. Often I work to enhance the clouds with a polarizing filter.

Of course sometimes the weather works out just right. The image in my gallery of the Sturgeon River was taken on a rainy, foggy 4th of July. This was perfect for a slow shutter speed which I wanted to blur the water. I even added a polarizer on the lens to enable use of an even slower shutter speed. It also allowed for fewer dark shadows and bright spots as I found at the same location the day before. Fog is one element that I would like to include in more images.

Thanks again for checking out my website and images. Any comments are more than welcome.

Tom Haxby

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Characteristics of Light

There are three characteristics of light that are important to photography:

1. Light Intensity

2. Light Direction

3. Light Color

Intensity is simply how much light is hitting the subject. There is bright light and what I call flat light which are gray overcast days. Photographers manipulate the amount of light hitting the sensor (I won't use the word film ever again) by adjusting aperture, shutter speed or through filters or perhaps even using a flash unit or other artificial light source. Bright light can have very high contrast i.e. bright areas and dark shadows. Flat light which is typified by dark cloudy days tends to show very little contrast. The intensity of light call really set the mood of a photo. Do photos really have moods??

I like to use light direction creatively in photography. Light coming from the sides is useful for showing textures and detail, much like the photo of the dunes in my Michigan gallery. By far the most challenging light is front light where the light is coming straight toward the camera. The results of successful use of front light however can be very rewarding, such as my tulips photo on the opening page of the website. Perhaps the easiest to expose for is light coming directly over the photographer's shoulder. I have been experimenting more and more with different light directions and ways that I can incorporate into my photography. Soon, I will post a photo that is just light and lines, but it was the light that first caught my attention.

Finally, light has different colors and digital photographers will often refer to color temperature. Oranges and reds which are commonly found during sunset or sunrise are considered "warm" light. Blues which are evident in photos with snow is considered cold. A perfect example of cold and warm light shows in the photo of the "Kingsley Tree" in my Michigan gallery. The blue tones in the snow are the result of the blue sky and yet at the same time there is warm light along the horizon.

I have photographed in all different types of light - backlight, sidelight, bright light, soft light, flat light, warm light, cold light and low light. Do I have a preference for light? Yes, by far I prefer warm, soft light which I believe brings out the best in landscape images. However, there are always exceptions......

As always thank you for visiting my site and I hope that you will enjoy and appreciate my images.

Tom Haxby

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Photographing Light

What does the word photography mean? Well, quite literally "light graphics". Light striking film - um er nowdays a sensor is recorded. What can help to make a really great photograph? One of the most essential elements is light.

Take the hay bales in the field in my Michigan Gallery. Taken at midday, colors would have been less saturated. Why? Midday sun shines a lot of UV light on a subject. UV light tends to be very reflective and thus much of the color is lost to glare. Also, this bright light produces harsh shadows and contrasting brightness. The hay bales photo taken just before sunset meant that the sun was at a low angle and passed through more of the earth's atmosphere. This filtered the UV light producing a softer more pleasant light and greater color saturation.

Next "The Characteristics of Light"