Zen: Musings on The Meditative Act of Photography

I close my eyes. The air is cold, blanketing the ground in a light frost, causing harsh shivers that race down my spine. I hear birds in the distance screaming at one another in a cacophony of song and screech. The star-filled sky above me is a deep romantic blue. I take a deep breath. I can smell smoke from a campfire that was extinguished only hours ago. I slowly open my eyes. Along the eastern horizon I see a glow; faint, but growing.

As the glow brightens, my pulse quickens and I begin running numbers through my head: f/8, focus at 100 yards, ISO 200, 1/15th of a second. The sun breaks the horizon and now I start breathing slower as the photos start appearing on my LCD display. I make some slight adjustments to my settings as the scene, ever dynamic, changes in subtle ways. I am consumed by this moment, and then in an instant, I am finished.

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A Different Wavelength to Inspire: Landscapes in the Infrared Spectrum

“Have you done any photo projects?” This is a question I loathed answering for a long time. I am asked this question several times a year and my response makes me cringe. “No, I haven’t done any sort of photo projects.”

Ugh…Inadequacy. As an Olympus Trailblazer, I am inspired by this type of work from my peers, and I knew it was my turn.

I have always wanted to put together some sort of cohesive series of images. However, over the years I have never found anything that I felt would make a good personal project for me.

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These Monochromatic Lightroom Presets Will Make You Giddy

Black Skies Preset

Black Skies Preset

All images by Jamie MacDonald

Very few things in the world help to usher in mankind’s finest hour like good black and white presets.

Okay, we’re joking–good pizza helps too. But in all seriousness, photographer Jamie MacDonald released a number of presets recently for Adobe Lightroom users for a mere $5. You get 10 presets and they’re all finely tuned to give off beautiful black and white looks in the images. He called them the Monochromatic Magic presets; and they really are quite magical. No, they don’t look like the stuff that Hipstagram will give you. Instead, they focus more on the look of various alternative film processes done with black and white film.

Jamie has been working on these for a while and we kind of got a hint of them from his photos of clouds.

Hit the jump for more of a preview of the Monochrome Lightroom Presets.

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