Art of Trees 2012

art of trees 2012 by beth haizlip The Art of Trees is a benefit/exhibition conducted every year by Greenscape. This year the exhibit was hosted at Corse Gallery and Atelier, and I entered two pieces. I'm happy to report that Oak Canopy received a Merit Award which included a nice ribbon and some $$s. I was in very good company with some truly magnificent pieces all by local artists.




Doug Eng - Oak Canopy

July 4th - Family, fun, and fireworks

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July 4th is always a good holiday to divide up the year and reflect on what has happened and what is yet to come. I was fortunate to leave the heat and humidity of Jacksonville to spend a few days with Diana's in-laws and Dorian's brother in Ohio. We enjoyed fireworks on July 1 (an early tradition up here) and 3 days of continuous feasting. Being with family always has it's benefits.

Fireworks photography is always fun if you can find a decent spot and the weather cooperates. I regret all those summers I spent in Montreal and never photographed the International Fireworks Festival competitions...oh how I wished I was there for the summer. I experienced the fireworks at Buckeye Lake which is about 40 miles west of Columbus. They say the show is one of the best in the area and it did not disappoint. Almost 30 minutes of explosions. We were able to view them from a house on the lake, no long wait for a spot. After some dismal results with my 24-70 lens, I switched over to my 70-200 and went for some closer shots and details. Not having a clear view of the lake posed some challenges and I wasn't able to get many shots with the reflections in the water.

There are lots of articles on camera setup for fireworks (just Google "fireworks photography"). My settings were ISO 400, f/10, with an average 2 sec exposure. Cable release and tripod are essential. You want to be careful of not blowing out the highlights, so these settings depend somewhat on the distance you are from the show and the number of explosions happening at one time. Be prepared to adjust the ISO and aperture to account for this (check your histogram or flashing overexposure warning). Another convenient setting is to use your "B" mode and just count down the seconds. This gives you more control over when you want to stop the exposure, especially when you see another firework starting to enter the frame. I actually forgot about using "B" and many of my shots ended up with a new firework entering the frame, something to remember. I'm paranoid about focus, and since everything is pitch black you wonder what you should be focused on. You can pretty much go to infinity and just back off a tad. Shooting at f/8 or above will ensure that the lights will be in sharp focus.

While waiting for the show you can always play around with moving your camera on the surrounding lights. This will help you warm up and to get an idea of the exposure.

Buckeye Lake Fireworks - Shorelights

I post-processed all images in Lightroom and needed to increase the Blacks and Vibrance. Of course some cropping helps to isolate the patterns. I was thankful for the resolution on the 5D2, zooming in on some of the light trails revealed some very interesting patterns. Shooting tight with the telephoto gives a different perspective on the scene. I know that we get caught up in the grandeur of the big circular clouds, but try to isolate for a different look. The half hour show went by quickly. It's nice to have images to relive the moment.

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Fogle Artist

fogle It's official, I am now being represented by Fogle Fine Art and Consulting here in NE FL. This is something that has been in the works and I am very proud to be one of the many outstanding artists in this group. Check out my Artist Profile on their website. Fogle Fine Art is the leading art gallery in Jacksonville. My introduction actually came through Facebook, when a high school classmate told me about a Fogle Fan Page request for photography at the new Shands Cancer Hospital in Gainesville. I submitted several images that were selected. This was a good introduction to see my other work and to produce some images of downtown Jacksonville for their corporate collection. Fogle is also an art consultant to healthcare, corporate, hospitality, and residential clients. I'm looking forward to having a strong business partner who can represent my work in several markets.

I will still be active at the Southlight Gallery Cooperative where I plan to show new work to the public. This provides another avenue for me to talk to other artists and the public about my work. Self promotion is every artist's responsibility. In order to sell a product, people need to know that you exist and the type of work that you do. No one is going to "discover" you if you sit in your studio all day.

More news about some exciting events are forthcoming!