Tent People

Tent KidsMaxwell Ave. Hightstown NJ

Kids & Tent
Maxwell Ave.
Hightstown NJ

On the occasion of a grandson’s birthday, he received a new tent. The same afternoon, it was set up and all the kids were quick to have fun with it.

When the camera appeared, they all wanted to “show their stuff”!

f.l. = 35mm
aperture = f5.6
shutter = 1/125
ISO = 400
exposure adj. = +.67

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Posted in Hightstown, Interesting People, New Jersey, SLR: Digital, United States | 1 Comment

Funhouse

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

Funhouse, Dakota County Fair (2012), Farmington MN
foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

On the occasion of my 50th class reunion in Farmington, Minnesota, I also attended the annual Dakota County Fair.  As I perused the fairgrounds, I came upon this funhouse.  I don’t recall ever being in one.

Since the title above the amusement says “FUN-ICY-TOWN”, I’m wondering who thought up that name.  Perhaps there is a frozen treat inside?  Or, more likely, I have misinterpreted the script… Oh, yeah!  “Funky Town”.  That makes more sense!

Well, I didn’t venture into this fantasy world. “That’s all kid stuff!”  Perhaps I ought to be more liberated.  Meanwhile, I’m content merely to have taken a picture.

f.l. = 59mm; aperture = f8.0, shutter = 1/320 sec., ISO = 100

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Posted in Minnesota, SLR: Digital, United States | 1 Comment

Cotton Candy

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

I recall tasting cotton candy when I was a kid. Even then, I wasn’t sure it was good for me; certainly, the way in which it melted down into a gummy wad of sugar in the mouth was a unique experience.

Well, sooner or later everyone has to try tasting it for themselves.  This couple is having a total-immersion experience at the annual Dakota County Fair in Farmington, Minnesota. The photo was taken on the occasion of my 50th class reunion. As it happened, it was also the weekend of the fair, so I was able to take in both events. I felt a bit nostalgic because my mother used to work at the VFW refreshment stand in the fairgrounds every summer while I was growing up.  While she worked at the concession, I roamed around gazing at the rides and looking at the agriculture displays.

f.l.= 62mm, aperture = f8.0, shutter – 1/250 sec., ISO = 100

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Posted in Minnesota, SLR: Digital, United States | 1 Comment

Scones

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

It frequently happens that kitchenware or prepared foods have photographic appeal.  For example, one day I made scones in a cast iron pan having wedge-shaped sections.  The baked scones were placed on a hot pad having woven circles around the perimeter.  The appearance of this reminded me of a daisy.  The background was simply a bamboo butcher block. 

I took a snapshot with a P&S camera but I found the color in the raw image, created by the ambient light, rather distracting.  Therefore, the photo was converted into a monochrome and a given a warm tonality.

As the hot pad extended over the edge of the butcher block on the right side, the image was cropped to remove this distraction.  The left edge was then cropped to match.

The indicated shutter speed was rather slow, but there appears to be little blurring due to camera movement.

f.l.=3.9mm, aperture=f2.8, shutter=1/15 sec., ISO=400.

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Posted in Dayton, Miniature (Point & Shoot), New Jersey, United States | 1 Comment

Illumination

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

Foliage often photographs well when illuminated from behind.  These lotus leaves are no exception.  I find lotus leaves, blossoms and seed pods photogenic in any case.

The lotus has great symbolic meaning in Buddhism. It involves the notion of rising out of the mud of creation towards eventual spiritual enlightenment.

f.l. = 59mm, aperture = f5.6, shutter = 1/200 sec., ISO = 400.

 

 

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Posted in Earth, Flora, Flowers, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey, SLR: Digital, United States, Waterscape | 1 Comment

John Ruppert: Pumpkins (1999)

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

This subject presents a typical “near-far” challenge.

Technically it would be easy to have both pumpkins in sharp focus using a traditional view camera by simply tilting the front standard (lensboard) forward till both objects become sharp on the ground glass.  However, using a camera without such movements means the photographer has to rely on depth of field to give the illusion of sharpness.  In that case, one uses a smaller aperture and focuses about a third of the way from the front object to the rear object — thus favoring sharpness in the foreground object.

One could also focus on the foreground subject and “let go” of the background sharpness.  That is what I did.  Since I was using the zoom lens in a relatively wide-angle mode, I wasn’t too concerned about the background.  However, if the photo were printed large, close examination of the background would reveal that it is not truly sharp!

With modern digital cameras, one could also use a higher ISO rating which gives the possibility of using a smaller aperture and obtaining greater depth of field.  In retrospect, I ought to have done that.

The first exposure had speckles of sunlight on the foreground pumpkin.  A second exposure was made at a fleeting moment when the sunlight falling upon the pumpkin was obscured behind a cloud — thereby eliminating the distraction.  Consequently, I liked the second exposure the best and that is what is presented here.

f.l. = 34mm, aperture = f8, shutter = 1/80 sec., ISO = 100; Canon EF24-70mm 2.8 USM lens.

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Posted in Agriculture, Earth, Flora, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey, SLR: Digital | 1 Comment

Photographing Art (POV)

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

I often enjoy walking around the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton NJ.  The sculptures by Seward Johnson are always on display since his “atelier” is located there.  The bronze sculpture, Sailing the Seine (1999), is especially fascinating to me.

One might argue that a photograph of a piece of art by another artist cannot, by extension, also be a work of art.  Having thought about this for sometime time, I am prepared to defend my position that a well-done photograph of (in this case) a sculpture can also be considered an artistic re-creation.

In the photograph presented here, Point-of-View (POV) has much to do with the relative success of the image.  For example, there is an obvious tension between the two human figures which, in turn, is greatly dependent upon the position of the camera.  One could have chosen anywhere – in a 360 degree circle (around the subject) – to make the exposure.  As well, one could have lowered the camera a bit so as to be aligned with the eye level of the sitters.

One might argue whether the tip of he woman’s  nose ought to merge with the vertical edge of her left cheek.  In this case, it doesn’t bother me.  The point is, camera angle is an important creative control, having an affect on the final result.

Moreover, there is the transformation that occurs resulting from choosing to present the photo as a monochrome.  The effect of a slight sepia toning of the image (15%) was also applied.  This effect is commonly available in a “wet darkroom” and there is no concern with procedural integrity.

A significant amount of “printing down” of the edges of the image was applied to keep the attention on the faces.  This technique needs to be sufficient to obtain the desired result whilst avoiding obvious signs of manipulation.  …another creative decision I would say!

The proportions of the features of the faces are greatly influenced by the photographer’s choice of lens focal length – as the most natural results are obtained by eschewing the use of a “wide angle” focal length – just as in professional portraiture.

Also, please notice that the focus is deliberately sharper on the woman’s face and slightly softer on the man’s face.  This shallow depth of field results from the use of a large diaphragm opening.  (Your camera DOES have an aperture control, doesn’t it?)

All of this, I believe, points to the fact that a photograph has the possibility of being an art form regardless if the subject happens to be another work of art, owing to the great amount of creative control available to the serious photographer.

f.l. =50mm, aperture f4.5, shutter 1/100 sec., ISO 400; handheld (no tripod)

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Posted in Art Work, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey, Photographic Technique, SLR: Digital, United States | 1 Comment

Americana Diner

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

The Americana Diner has doubtless been the most popular eating establishment in East Windsor NJ for many years.  Sometimes, they really get busy and one ends up waiting in the lobby for a while before being seated – especially on Sunday around lunchtime.

Years ago, I seem to remember the existing restaurant burned down.  It was rebuilt and the outside has undergone a renovation or two.  The current design features a clock within a shield as well as creative use of contrasting type fonts.  The inside features a bakery, restaurant and lounge.

I and a few friends end up there every Thursday evening for a sandwich and a drink.

f.l. = 68mm, aperture f11, shutter 1/50 sec, ISO 100; I increased the contrast in the clock face slightly to give it more “snap”.

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Posted in Adobe Photoshop, East Windsor, New Jersey, SLR: Digital | 1 Comment

The Jersey Diner

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

As the picture indicates, the Jersey Diner has been in existence for about a year.  In that time, it has become a popular eating place owing to decent food offered at reasonable prices.  In fact, I often meet friends for lunch and dinner at this establishment since it is on Route 130 adjacent to Dayton NJ.

It’s nice to be greeted by the wait staff as you enter the premises.  Hopefully, their success will continue.

f.l. = 38mm, aperture f11, shutter 1/200 sec, ISO 100; Photoshop tweaks included slight lessening of overall contrast, slight crop on all edges, and burning of bottom and sides to focus attention toward the central sign.  Also, shadows cast by triangular flags were lightened to make them appear less opaque.

 

 

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Posted in Adobe Photoshop, Dayton, New Jersey, SLR: Digital | 1 Comment

Windsor Grand Cafe

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

foto © Donovan Klotzbeacher

Diners sometimes have clever design elements that catch the eye as you drive by.

This cafe located in East Windsor has been variously known as the Golden Coach, the Claremont, and now, the Windsor Grand Cafe.  In spite of a recent renovation, the current owners seem to have been forced to close down.  I expect their menu, prices, etc. didn’t appeal to the local population.

The outside of the structure is visually interesting.  If only they could get the right combination of food, price and friendly staff, I’m sure someone could make a go of it.

f.l. = 50mm, aperture f11, shutter 1/100 sec, ISO 100; perspective adjusted in photoshop resulting in somewhat of a looming effect.

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Posted in Adobe Photoshop, East Windsor, Local Issues, New Jersey, SLR: Digital | 1 Comment