Landscape Impressionism

by Blake Robinson

May 3rd, 2019    0 Comments     Add Comment
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And now, for something completely different!

As loyal readers know, I’ve been active recently photographing birds, principally at Pinckney Island Natural Wildlife Refuge. While I’ve been out on the island, in addition to the birds, I’ve been experimenting with some abstract landscapes and seascapes.

In the first image above, I used a fairly slow shutter speed – 1/15th of a second – and purposely jiggled the camera, in a northeast to southwest line. The idea is to give an impression of the scene rather than a sharply focused photograph. Perhaps a viewer may have a sense of wind, blowing the marshgrass. I call this “Pinckney Island Dream,” as I imagine this might how I would picture this scene in my dreams. (Sadly, I remember very few of my dreams!)

In the picture above, I used an even slower shutter speed, 1/5th of a second, and moved the camera side to side while the shutter was open. And in this one I did make the colors more saturated in Photoshop. So the photograph (and to me, it’s still a photograph) is more abstract. But the viewer hopefully can still recognize: the marsh in the foreground, the water, a marshy island, more water, trees in the background and then sky- six layers of nature in all.

These photographs don’t show up as well as I’d like in the small constraints of a blog. But I plan to make some large prints, possibly on canvas, and I’m hopeful they will make attractive pieces of art. We’ll see!

Here is a third image I worked on, as it appeared right out of the camera. It was shot at a fast shutter speed and is in sharp focus, but it’s a pretty flat and uninteresting picture. In Photoshop, I blurred it (side to side) and added contrast and color saturation. You can see the result below.

Would love to hear what you think of these images. I plan to make more abstract work in the coming months.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the other communities of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

 “Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Charleston Architectural Details

by Blake Robinson

March 31st, 2019    3 Comments     Add Comment
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Recently we spent a few days in one of our favorite cities, Charleston, South Carolina. I love shooting in the historic district, and on this trip I focused on just parts of houses and small architectural details. In the image above, we have three iconic Charleston ingredients: a flag, a palm tree and a piazza (or porch in non-Charleston lingo).

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Mercury, was the Roman god of shopkeepers, travelers, thieves and tricksters. (He must have been very busy!) This statue of Mercury is in the garden of the Calhoun Mansion. During Hurricane Hugo (1989) it was thrown a few blocks away in the storm and both arms were broken off. When it was repaired, the arms were mistakenly reversed, so the dagger is now held aloft, rather than in the arm behind him. No one seemed too concerned about the change.

A couple more flag images, above and below.

I always marvel at how well-maintained the houses are in the historic district, South of Broad Street. Hard to imagine the expense of keeping these houses looking sharp, especially with regular storms and floods hitting the area.

In the photograph below, I could have moved slightly to get the sun behind the house, but I kind of like the effect of the sun’s rays wrapping around the house.

The people of Charleston are always so gracious and welcoming to visitors. To me, this open doorway below is a good symbol of their openness and friendliness.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the other communities of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

 “Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Great Egrets – Part Two

by Blake Robinson

March 26th, 2019    0 Comments     Add Comment
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Well, I’ve continued to go out to Pinckney Island to photograph these gorgeous great egrets in mating season. Here are some more photographs, but if you missed my first blog post, be sure to see Great Egrets.

It’s amazing to compare how the egrets look at rest, as in the image above, versus in flight, as in the first picture. At rest, the wings are pulled in tight to a sleek, compact package, but when they take flight, the huge graceful wings open up – it looks like a completely different bird (to this neophyte birder, anyway!)

In the image above, I shot on an overcast day, and it was hard to pick out the birds against the flat, dull sky. Their legs also camouflaged well with the branches they stood on. This one is just coming in for a smooth landing.

That same dull day, some of the images came out with very little color. So, with this one, I took the little bit of color out and made a black and white photograph.

Stay tuned for more images. I post them first on Instagram, at #blakerobinsonphotography. Also, I’ve just started a newsletter covering a variety of topics related to photography. Please email me if you’d like to be on the mailing list.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the other communities of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

 “Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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