Neil Colton Photographer: The Blog » Professional Lifestyle, Portrait & Travel Photography by Neil Colton

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY: THE MANISTEE CHRONICLES: ARCADIA BLUFFS

Another in an occasional series about travel and travel photography. This post features Arcadia Bluffs, one of the premier public links-style golf courses in the United States.

 

Portrait of golgers at sunst at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia MI.

 

Every photographer experiences a period of struggle, when the creative mojo disappears.

When my mojo went south, I went north to recharge my creative batteries, spending time with friends and family in beautiful Northern Michigan. After intense periods of work, with relentless deadlines and demanding clients, time away from the camera and clients is an easy prescription to write. But how to get those creative juices flowing again?  Unlikely as it may seem, I got my creative mojo back during a round of golf on one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses I have ever set foot upon.

A place called Arcadia Bluffs.

From Wikipedia:

Golf Digest selected Arcadia Bluffs as one of the 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the United States in 2005. The course was ranked #10 in America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses list and #56 in the 100 Greatest Golf Courses list. In addition to the Golf Digest ranking, Golfweek magazine ranked Arcadia Bluffs at #24 in their listing of  The 100 Best Courses in United States.”

I am convinced that in the heart of every amateur golfer lies a belief, however fantastic, that one day, in one place, all those hours, days and weeks spent in toil on the fairways will coalesce into a near perfect round.

On this day, in this place, for a few brief moments, that happened to me, at a place called Arcadia Bluffs.

Arcadia Bluffs is a links course, in the style of the early Irish and Scottish courses.  Carved into the bluffs on the shore of Lake Michigan, it is at once awe inspiring and intimidating.  At its highest point, the links are sevaral hundred feet above Lake Michigan. The views from the elevated tee boxes are simply stunning. It is challenge enough to simply play this course, without the pull of amazing vistas to complicate your vision and your swing.

Now, to Arcadia Bluufs and that sublime day.

 

Portrait of Arcadia Bluffs golf course with golfers in the distance along Lake Michigan
Portrait of a golfer as he tees of at Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, Michigan.A gollfer tees of at Arcdia Bluffs Golf Coirse set against the brillaint summer Michigan sky.Silhouette portrait of a golfer teeing off toward Lake Michigan at Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course against a brilliant blue Lake Michigan.Still portrait of a golf ball on a green at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Candid portrait of a golfer putting at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of one of the majestic greens on the Arcadia Bluffs Glof Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of a lone golfer planning his approach shot on a fairway of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan. bathed in late after Michigan summer sun.Portrait of a golfer driving his cart along the fairway as the sun sets on Lake Michigan at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Action portrait of a golfer powering his way out of a bunker on the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.
Candid portrait of a golfer chipping onto a green at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of a golfer chipping onto the green as the sun sets on Arcadia Bluffs golf course in Arcadia, MichiganSilhouette portrait of a golfer putting on the back nine of Arcsdia Bluffs with Lake Michigan in the background.Portrait of golfers on the tee at Arcadia Bluffs golf course, with Lake Michiga in the background.Portrait of the setting sun on Arcadia Bluffs Gof Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of the course at Arcadia Bluffs as the sun sets on Lake Michigan.Portrait of three golfers on the back nine of the course at Arcadia Bluffs.Night portrait of the clubhouse at Arcadia Bluffs, as viewed from the 18th fairway.

About the water color. Lake Michigan is a blue like no blue I have ever seen.

That blue is real. I kid you not. I capture all images using the Neutral setting on my Nikon DSLRs. For you Nikon shooters that’s a setting below standard. By below, I mean less saturated. Nikon’s Standard setting ramps up the colors far too much for my liking. The colors in the Standard setting seem unnatural and over saturated, with too much pop. So, I choose the Neutral setting and add color and saturation as needed, in post productiion. I actually had to ramp down (decrese) the colors in many of these shots, because they were so powerful they seemed supernatural. A local resident started to explain why the lake was so blue, but he lost me at kelp.

sharetweetpinemail

WASHINGTON DC PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY: PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITS: PORTRAIT OF AN ARCHITECT

Neil Colton Photographer

THE MAKING OF A PORTRAIT OF AN ARCHITECT

I was set up on our front porch, enjoying a rare quiet moment, sorting through images from a recent portrait session when the call came in. I love porches. I spend as much time on ours as I can. Looking back, it was likely the reason we built the house.

Framed  in crisp white trim boards with a flagstone floor, it is a simple porch, spanning nearly the entire width of the facade’ of our Arts + Crafts style home.  Defined by white pyramidal columns and a white Shaker style railing and set against the pale yellow clapboard that wraps the house, it provides a warm and inviting entry into our home. With wide open views of the 280 acres of protected wetlands that border our land, it offers a quiet retreat. I retreat there as often I can.

Back to the call.

It was Mark Yoo, an architect in Alexandria, a city that borders Washington. He had been referred to me by a fellow architect. Mark liked my portrait photography style, particularly my environmental portraits. He thought I might be the right portrait photographer for his new project. Mark was building a new website and creating a new brand. He needed a new portrait, a new image, a new look: a portrait that would match his vision of him and his work and complement his new brand. He was not a fan of the ‘typical’ portrait experience. He was hoping my approach to portrait photography would be different. His last portrait session had been “brutal”, according to Mark.

That portrait was ‘professionally’ done in a local studio by a well known photographer. That session checked all the usual boxes:  studio setting, studio lighting, black backdrop, bathroom to the right, etc. The result was a generic looking headshot: brightly lit, sharp from front to back, great ear to ear awkward smile.  It had all the charm of a marketing promo for a wedding DJ. Mark hated it.

For the next 20 minutes, Mark spoke about architecture and his work. He spoke of his vision, of his new brand and the look he wanted me to bring to this new portrait of him. I was ‘In’.

Finally, he asked “Are you interested in this project”
I didn’t hesitate.  “Absolutely. Let’s talk about how to do this.”

Many portrait photographers are wary of working with architects. They occupy a unique place in the portrait universe. Architects are often perfectionists, highly critical, consumed with detail and self absorbed. Traits that may lead them to success in the highly competitive world of architecture, but qualities than can be daunting for a portrait photographer.

I wasn’t concerned.

I spent years working for and with some of the top design firms and architects in the Washington, DC area. My career as a professional photographer began with architectural photography. I enjoyed working with architects, whether it was on a construction site, behind a graphics monitor in an office cubicle or, now, from behind a camera.

We made a plan.

Mark had recently designed a new dance studio, at an arts center an hour south of the city. It was nearly finished. We would meet there and choose a location for the portrait session.  A week later we met there to scout the site. I chose a spacious corner studio, with beautiful northern light falling into the room from the tall windows that lined the outside walls. The exposed brick walls, aged hardwood floors and barrs (ballet rails) added just the right touch of texture and an understated elegance to the setting.

We were set. This would be the environmental portrait Mark wanted, set in one of his projects, with beautiful backdrops.

We agreed on a date and time and to sort out the details, soon. Before I left, I scouted the studio and the grounds outside the studio, looking for alternate locations as a backup. After years of location photography I have learned, the hard way, to have a Plan B (and even a Plan C and D) ready to go on session day.

The day of Mark’s session arraived. Outside temperatures were hovering in the upper 90s, with high humidity. Typical DC summer weather. No problem. We would be working in the dance studio, in a beautiful room with soft northern light, right?

Not so fast.

The newly designed dance studio had just opened for business and the afternoon students were rolling in, now. Really? I thought we had booked the corner studio! Nope. As these well planned events often go, the studio administrator had never received Mark’s message to the studio owner about our portrait session. They were using the studio we had chosen.  It was booked for the rest of the day! No other suitable space in the entire studio was available. Everything was booked. Remember Plan B? No problem. We’ll just move outdoors, right?

The locations I had scouted on the grounds were suitable, in a pinch, but they were not great. Shade was a problem. There was none. I had located just one spot with a decent background, but the backlight in that scene would be so intense the background would be blown out, so I would have to overpower it with strong light on Mark. I was not in love with that option. I kept looking around for options indoors, as we were exiting the studio.

And there it was.

On the way to the great outdoors, where we would fight the DC summer in full bloom, with heat, high humidity and brutal sun, I spotted a small room, just off the entry hallway. It was cluttered and in use, but it had high ceilings, brick walls painted white, a killer tall window and a view of the buildings outside. The daylight streaming in the windows was good, but fading oh so quickly. And so was our time. The studio was filling up fast. We had one hour, maybe less, to clean the room ( full of furniture and staff gear), set up for the shoot and get our shots of Mark.

No problem.

Mark was a great subject. It started slow, with Mark quite nervous, until Erin, my assistant, decided that he was a Bradley Cooper look alike. Marked beamed!  He was was now relaxed and confident. Once I was able to calm Erin down, things went well.

Less than hour later, the shoot done, we wrapped up, packed up and were on way to our next adventure.

To learn more about Mark and view his work, click here.

Portrait of Washington, DC Architect Mark Yoo

 

For Photographers

In a perfect world, a session like this should be a snap, right? No pun intended. But the world of a professional photographer is rarely a perfect one. Even studio sessions can become a nightmare of the unexpected. Think failing radio triggers, quirky strobes, malfunctioning equipment, late arriving subjects or assistants,  and my personal favorite, the studio air conditioning failing on a 104 degree day. That actually happened to me at my first studio session with a professional model. And the makeup did run.

No matter. As the professional on the job, you must get the shot, whatever the circumstances.

Our clients are often busy professionals, with considerable demands on their time and talent. As portrait photographers, our job is not to make the process of their portraits another stressful event in their day, but to create a stress-free Oasis, where you may just be able to create that one moment, that one click that captures the very best of your client on the day. Whether you are shooting in a studio or on location, your preparation, and your experience, can make the difference between a blown shoot or a compelling image.

Mark doesn’t like being photographed.

He was honest about it. He’s not alone. Unless you’re a in the PR business, or you’re a celebrity, a model or a certified narcissist, being photographed is a stressful event. Something to be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. My method of counteracting that stress is to keep it light at all times. If something does go wrong, unless it’s a national emergency, the client need never know. Be engaging, be positive, be professional, be confident and be in charge. A dash of humility can also be an endearing and disarming trait.

For this session, I carried a light travel kit: (2) Nikon pro bodies, (3) Nikon SB 900s, (1) 24″ Ezybox softbox and several reflectors. I carry 4 lenses most of time: 24-70 f/2.8, 50 f/1.4, 70-200 f/2.8 VRII and an 85 f/1.4G. This covers all of my portrait needs. If I’m doing a travel or landscape shoot, I’ll add a 14-24 f/2.8 to the bag. The Ezybox is mounted to a telescoping pole, held by an assistant. I shoot with my camera in manual mode, most of the time, and set the flashes to manual as well. I chose a 50 f/1.4 for this shot. I could have used the 24-70, but I have been known to drift out wide with that lens and the distortion is no fun in small spaces. Les post, more time with friends and family, right. I chose f/9 for front to back sharpness and to bring in the background through the window. I adjusted the flash exposure to balance with the ambient daylight.

I had 45 minutes to create at least one image of Mark that would be a ‘keeper’. That 45 minutes included cleaning out the room, which was a working conference room, and restoring it to its original condition after the shoot. In 25 minutes of actual photography, I captured 35 images. You can see the final 3 proofs that made the cut, below. In the final image at the top of the post, you can see the adjustments I made to the final proof in post production. Aside from taking the reflection of the softbox out of the window, fine tuning the light on Marks face and cropping, little had to be done to create the final portrait.

Mark was delighted with the session and with his new portraits. Mission accomplished. Another client satisfied.

Portrait pf Mark Yoo Architect. proof 1.Neil Colton PhotographerNeil Colton Photographer

 

sharetweetpinemail

LIFESTYLE  PHOTOGRAPHY: MCKENNA FARM

Lifestyle portait of Sarah and Joe at McKenna Farm

Just a brief trip north of Washington, DC lies the historic City of Frederick, MD.

From the City of Frederic website:

HIP & HISTORIC

Here, museums meet martini bars, scenic landscapes provide thrill seekers with adventure, and cutting edge cuisine is served up in Civil War-era buildings alongside unique specialty shops, galleries, museums, and theaters.

Located less than one hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg, the city of Frederick, Maryland is surrounded by mountain views, wineries, orchards and vibrant Main Street communities. Visitors can hike on the Appalachian Trail, visit Maryland’s largest brewery, and tour a battlefield all in one day.

This is Frederick County, where hip meets historic every day.

It is there, in the beautiful rolling hills and lush countryside of Frederic County, MD that you will find McKenna Farm, the country home and rural retreat of Joe Mckenna and Sarah Brennan. I spent the day there, recently, creating lifestyle and portrait photography content for the new McKenna Farms website.

About Sarah, Joe and McKenna Farms, in their own words:

Our Journey


In every city dweller, there are dreams of an escape to the country. But what happens when a city couple from D.C. purchase a 220 year-old farm house to try and live out their “Downton Abbey” dreams?

Well……that’s where our story begins and we can assure you that the execution of that dream has been far more difficult than anticipated; and our confidence often outshines our abilities and resources at every turn. But we find opportunity in every crisis and we are slowly mastering our new domain. We hope you’ll settle in and follow our journey from the Capitol to the Country.

The beginning. Like most city couples, we wanted to be part of the farm-to-table movement, eat locally, support smart farming, reduce our impact on the earth, etc. However, our participation stopped at our local farmer’s market because we didn’t have the time or the know-how to bring the country into our city lives.

We toyed with the idea of buying a little country house for years and when we finally did it, we imagined great weekend escapes with afternoons of skeet shooting and evenings of dressing-for-dinner. To our surprise, we quickly replaced those activities with eight-hour days in the garden and enough manual labor to make even the biggest outdoor lovers shutter. Somehow, and to our great surprise, we both became slightly addicted to a simpler lifestyle and all of the amazing things we were learning.

We had no idea just how happy we would be playing in the dirt, learning to grow our own food, raising animals, and bringing an old house back to life.  This is our journey from Capitol to Country.

Joe & Sarah


 

Portrait of Sarah in the garden at McKenna Farm
Lifetsyle Portrait of Joe building a stone wall at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of products at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography of Sarah at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of Joe at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography of the garden at Mckenna FarmLifestyle Photography of Sarah in the garden at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of products at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of a table setting at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography at Mckenna FarmJoe & Sarah at the main house at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography of Sarah and Joe at McKenna Farm
Mckenna Farm Lifestyle Photography Sarah

sharetweetpinemail

WASHINGTON DC LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY: OLGA & SERGIO

 

Colton-washington-dc-portrait-photographer-sergio-and-olga-georgetown

 

Lifetsyle photography takes on many different looks and requests for it arrive in my mailbox from many different types of clients. Lately, I have been focused on providing images for commercial and editorial clients, through ad agencies, media companies and corporate clients, snal and large. So, when Olga called to arrange a session, I was delighted. For years, I had photographed couples in the Washignton, DC area. Engaged couples, married couples, friends, lovers and the like. I missed that.

Lifetsyle photography with non-professional clients can be a freewheeling, unscripted joy ride, with no director or creative consultant breathing down your neck. I choose the the time, the place and the images I want, with the couples guidance, of course. But Olga and Sergio are no ordinary couple. Either could find work in modeling, but together they make the work of photographing them no work at all. T coin an ofet used phrase, ‘the camera loves them’.

For this session, I choose the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. Georgetown is a wonderful mix of historic and modern architecture, tony shops, bustling streets and a Canal lined with former factories that hails from the industrial period when Georgetown was a booming manufacturing center. Because of this, Georgetwon is one of the most popular spots in Washington. My biggets challenge is isolating the clients from the tourusts and residents that fill the streets and alleys.

Somehow, we did that and camaway with some great images of Olga and Sergio in Georgetown.

 

washingon dc portrait photography olga and sergio
washington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergio

sharetweetpinemail
  • Anna - Neil, you’ve done a great job – the photos are absolutely amazing. You are a very talented photographer. I like the framing and the light, and the couple on the photos. Georgetown is definitely a very romantic place for a photo shoot.
    Anna

  • Kvetka - Wow… What a great photo session! I love to see a couple so relaxed on the photos and so in love with each other. Georgetown is very recognizable and such a great spot for photography and at the same time the photos look as if it belonged just to Olga and Sergio! The light and the texture of the old walls, the canal with the shadows on the water and the walking path under the bridges – all looks just remarkable…

  • Irina - Beautiful photo session of one of the most beautiful couples I know!

Washington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott Ranch

 

Another offering in an occasional series about travel and travel photography.

WASHINGTON, DC TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: The Marriott Ranch

The History

From Wikipedia:

At the age of 19 and as a devout Mormon, J. Willard Marriott, Sr. undertook the obligatory missionary work of his church for two years, assigned to New England. On his way home after completing his mission, he passed through Washington D.C. during the sweltering summer months of 1921. While there:

“… [H]e walked from Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument, toiled up the steps to the top, walked back down again, and strolled over to the Lincoln Memorial. Everywhere he went tourists and pedestrians sweltered and sweated in the sultry, humid air. On the way back to his hotel, he just stood there in the street watching the crowds, he couldn’t get over it: a push cart peddler would come along the street selling lemonade and soda pop and ice cream, and in minutes he would be cleaned out and on his way to stock up with another cartload”.

Marriott was a brother of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at the University of Utah and of Alpha Kappa Psi. After graduating from Weber College in June 1923 and later, the University of Utah in June 1926,Marriott remembered his experience in Washington, D.C. and decided to look into a venture there.

From the Marriott Ranch website:

“In 1951, the founder of Marriott International, J. Willard Marriott Sr., discovered a beautiful piece of the Blue Ridge foothills that reminded him of his boyhood days on the family farm in Utah. After buying the property, he meticulously began to restore the primary historic buildings, their surrounding grounds and continued to purchase contiguous parcels of land including Fiery Run Ranch, creating the 4200+/- acre Marriott Ranch.

Over the following years, J. Willard would bring the farm always known as “Fairfield” back to life with a modest herd of registered Hereford cattle, a large group of black-faced sheep and through the breeding of quarter horses. J. Willard, an avid horseback rider and outdoorsman, would spend as much time as he could at his Fauquier County property and wrote in his diary, “A beautiful place, hard to leave…”

The Inn at Fairfield Farm is a historic  Virginia Bed & Breakfast located near the center of the Marriott Ranch’s 4,200 acres. Guests staying at the Inn at Fairfield Farm are welcomed with a complimentary tray of delicious cheeses (4 – 6 P.M.) along with an assortment of refreshing beverages. In the morning, a memorable  hearty country breakfast is served, generally between 8 – 10 A.M.

The seven comfortable guest rooms located in two unique buildings along with scenic views help our guests relax and enjoy what the Marriott Ranch has to offer.”

The Story

We arrived at the Inn at Fairfield late on a Saturday afternoon, as ominous deep blue-black clouds of a gathering storm swirled around the ranch as far as the eye could see. The 60 mile trip from our home in Old Towne Alexandria had taken more than 2 hours.   Although our destination, Hume, VA was new to us, the trip through Fauquier County, VA was not. We had lived near Warrenton, a sleepy southern city (once the seat of The Confederacy) on the road to Hume, for nearly 7 years, before returning to civilization in Alexandria.

It was familiar territory.

Once voted ‘One of The 10 Best Rural Counties to Live In in America’, Fauquier County has experienced considerable growth and development since then, particularly in the northern regions, nearer the suburban counties bordering Washington, DC. That development has yet to reach the western areas of Fauquier County, which retains it’s simple, primitive beauty, born of rolling hills, horse farms and unobstructed views of the Blueridge Mountains.

The 4,200 acre Marriott Ranch lies at the foot of that mountain range, only 18 miles from scenic Skyline Drive.

Once inside the Inn, we were greeted by Caroline, the concierge, a pleasant young woman dressed in jeans, a blue denim shirt and work boots. She checked her laptop, checked us in, showed us to our room and gave us the 10 minute tour.  She then left the building and us alone. Literally. This was the Friday before Christmas. Clearly not a peak time for visitors. We were there as a gift. As odd as the timing may seem. it was perfect for us.

Except for the permanent staff (2) and a caretaker, we were completely alone at The Fairfield Inn.

We settled in, refreshed ourselves and confirmed our reservations for what we anticipated would be the highlight of the weekend; dinner for two at The Inn at Little Washington. Once an average dining experience at a quaint country inn, a meal at the Inn at Little Washington is now the stuff of legend. The Inn’s culinary curriculum is the province of Patrick O’Connell, a true artiste’ with an avocado, or any perishable fit to eat. And if not fit to eat, fit to photograph. O’Connell approaches food preparation much like David Lynch approaches film making, creating things that are unique, strange and exciting all at once. At $450 a couple, to start, the experience could easily disappoint.

It does not.

Even for an ascetic  non-dairy eating,  vegetarian, tree hugging type like me, this was an event to remember. It made my wife proud.

The 20 minute trip from Little Washington back to the Marriott Ranch was uneventful. But the gathering storm was getting serious. High winds, heavy rain and dropping temperatures meant we were in for an eventful night at The Inn at Fairfield Farm. Fortunately, we were exhausted enough to sleep through the night and miss the excitement of falling trees, flying shingles and power outages.

We fully expected to be alone at breakfast, but a family from Bakersfield, CA arrived during the night. They had come to visit Elizabeth, the resident horse trainer and keeper of the hounds. Fox hounds. Over a traditional Southern style breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, biscuits, coffee and orange juice, they filled the time with stories of Fox chases,  runaway horses and driven Hound Masters (or is it Hunt Masters…) reveling in the thrill of the hunt. So that’s why people flocked to the ranch during the hunting season. Fox hunts in the tradition of landed gentry. ‘Full  Cry’ and all that. If Fox Hunts are your passion, this is your place.

Breakfast done, with time to spare before checkout, we packed our gear and set out to have a look around.

Experienced travelers will know that a stay at a Marriott today is a rather spartan experience. It all started here. Clean, simple, utilitarian. Add WiFi and a soft pillow and that’s the Marriott of today. Not too far removed, in style, from the Inn at Fairfield Farm. What you need, but little more. The single concession to modernity at the Inn is the Common Room, where you’ll find a few board games, magazines (notably ‘Wine’ and ‘Virginia Horseman’ ) and a flat screen connected to satellite TV. With the exception of updated appliances, much at the Inn is like it may have been when J. Willard bought the place.

We stopped on our personal tour to chat with the ‘housekeeper’. She shared that, although J. Willard loved to spend time at the ranch, he never stayed in the Inn. Instead, he kept a trailer on the grounds, where he would camp on his visits. Even when Ronald Reagan visited, J. Willard camped in his trailer. Clean, simple, utilitarian. It all started here.

J. Willard was clearly an admirer of photography. Family photography and images of himself. Framed black and white images of Marriott, alone and with his considerable family, adorn the walls of the Inn. Little else does. The first floor Library is an historical gallery of photographs taken over a stretch of many years. Reagan on horseback, Marriott on horseback, everyone on horseback. The family portraits are well done. Traditional poses, as you might expect, but composed, lit and captured in a timeless fashion.

I looked up. Time and light was fading.

If I was going to capture any images of this place and this visit, it would have to be now. I had a Nikon camera and a couple of lenses packed. Always do. Realizing that travel photography can often be a victim of circumstance, I decided to turn this shoot into an exercise. A teachable moment in travel photography. I would shoot like the average traveler might. One lens. One setting. Usually Auto, right. This could be a challenge. The skies had gone Gothic, as had the look of the day. Rain, wind, grey skies.

Go for it.

Twenty minutes later I was done.

I chose the 50mm 1.4G. Great all around lens and perfect for low light. Nikon pro bodies, like the one I was using, don’t have an Auto setting, so I shifted into Program mode, which is professional jargon for Auto. It just sounds better. Shooting in Program mode is like listening to elevator music. All the highs and lows are compressed into an average mid tone that offends no one, but neither does it excite. The camera decides what’s best for the image. Usually f/5.6 and a shutter speed that will render the image with 18% grey as the target tone. Safe, but bland. But I pressed on. I tried to recall the last time I shot in Program mode. I could not. My first choice is Manual mode, then Aperture, then Shutter for action (AV and TV for Canon shooters), but for this exercise Program mode it would be.

Vacation shots and final tour done, we packed our gear and headed home, as the winds rose and the rain began to fall, again.

Washington, DC Travel Photography: The Marriott Ranch.

 

Washington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott Ranch
Washington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott Ranch
Washington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott RanchWashington DC Travel Photography-The Marriott Ranch

 

sharetweetpinemail