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Russell Berg
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Establishing mood and and emotional tone within an image can be a tenuous thing that is difficult to grab in the moment in which the image is taken.  Often this is easier to manage in post as the light and circumstances of the shot may not suit the story that you are trying to tell with the image.  This picture was taken right around midday, on a blazing hot day but my head was full of stories of marauding pirates and guardian priests as we walked around Casco Viejo in Panama City.  I wanted an image that carried with it the fear and ominous portent of an approaching invading force.  I was standing...
For the whole story see www.seeingberg.com
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I slept on an old fishing boat this weekend and when I awoke this is what I saw.  It was a beautiful morning that calmed me.  I grabbed my wide angle zoom and looked for an interesting foreground.  I got down low so that the chain would grab your eye in the bottom left hand corner and pull you into the middle distance.  I loved the way that the sun backlit the edges and lines of the boat.  I underexposed the boat to emphasize the back lighting.  I also really liked the fact that their is an eagle sitting on the piling in the middle of the frame.  I did pull out my telephoto and get the eagle next.
www.seeingberg.com
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I was walking around downtown Portland, which has beautiful old architecture and wonderful streets.  I was crossing the street above and I was struck by the beauty I saw.  The cobbles had the shine of the morning dew and the glistening rails pulled my eye off along the shallow curve deep into the frame.  I wanted to emphasize the cobbles so I laid down on the street and got the camera on the ground, the wide angle emphasized the size and shape of the stones.  The image cried out for a black and white treatment and with Nik Silver Efex I brought up the texture of the bricks and the silver sheen on the tracks.  www.seeingberg.com
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My daughter races triathlon and I always enjoy photographing the races.  In a recent race I was able to get really good access to the swim as the start went past a dock.  Races take place in the early morning so the light for the start was really nice.  The sun was coming in over my shoulder and gave the drops of water a beautiful crystal shine.  Photographing sports is so often about finding ways to represent binding speed or wild action in a frozen second.  The water helps us; as the athletes move through it the movement of the water gives the eye that is viewing the photograph a cue as to the speed and motion that is involved.  A photograph of a cyclist or a runner can make him appear as though he is not moving at all.  Shutter speed is key.  In water it is helpful, as I did below, to use a very fast shutter speed to freeze the droplets of water.  On land a slower shutter speed will allow the wheels of a bike or the feet of a runner to blur giving the eye the movement cues.
www.seeingberg.com
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I was hiking along the Juan de Fuca strait with my daughter and we had camped for the night when I came upon this piece of driftwood.  The texture of the wood as it had decayed in such a remarkable pattern was what interested me and I wanted a photograph that pulled your eye in to that.  I chose my fast 50mm and opened it right up to f/1.4 to created a very small plane of focus.  I got what I wanted but I knew that I would want to do more when I got the image back home.   I opened it up in Nik Silver Efex Pro and converted it to black and white and applied a vignette to completely black out the distracting background.  Not only does this force the eye to focus on the central subject but it also helps to set the mood of the photo. 
For more stories www.seeingberg.com
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