Sunday, August 25, 2013

Acoma Pueblo

The Acoma Pueblo is a Native American pueblo approximately sixty miles west of Cedar Crest, near Albuquerque. 

Three villages make up Acoma Pueblo: Sky City (Old Acoma), Acomita, and McCartys. The historical land of Acoma Pueblo totaled roughly 5 million acres; now only 10% of this land is in the hands of the community. 

The Acoma have continuously occupied the area for more than 800 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. According to Acoma tribal traditions, they have lived in the village for more than two thousand years.

It is a great place to explore black & white image making and, of course, is associated with Ansel Adams

The two images below are some of my first attempts at capturing the feel of Acoma. The first shows the Mission San Esteban Rey, that was built c.1641 and the second is of one of the white log ladders that lean against the walls in Acoma. Before the Spaniards arrived, the kivas were round, but after their arrival, the Acomas disguised the kivas to look like houses to secretly practice their religion.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Making, not just taking

Like many photographers, I sometimes focus too much on the taking of an image and not enough on the making. 

Recently, I have been revisiting some of my old captures with a focus on remaking the image. The rationale being that I have learned 'new techniques'.

Here is a revisit. 

The learning point being that even your old captures should not be forgotten. 

Getting the better of Hummers

It has been a few weeks since my last post and I have been consumed by hummingbirds. Initially we had a few around our feeders, now we have dozens! 

Making images of hummingbirds, ie feather bullets, is not easy! Other than patience, the secret is understanding how your camera works.

Initially, you think it is all about shutter speed, which forces you to use high speed sync. But you can only take this approach so far.

Then the light bulb comes on and you realize it’s all about flash at the camera sync shutter speed. These two images were taken this evening at 1/200 second with my 5DIII, but at a flash power level of 1/32: which allowed me to freeze the birds, so that I can admire the beauty of their plumage.

The learning point is, know your equipment!