Welcome to the home of Rick Battle & Rick Battle, sometimes refered to as Rick 1 and Rick 2. This site is the manifestation of our shared passion for photography. Have a look around. We hope you enjoy your stay!
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[ 1 image, 1 video ]2013.06.08: Henry W. Coe State Park After Dark
Day One Hundred and Thirty Four. Henry W. Coe State Park had been on my list of places to visit for far too long. Finally, we made the trip up there, hiked in a few miles to what was, for all intents and purposes, the peak of whatever mountain-like hill we hadn't realized would be so long, and set up for a lovely evening of star gazing. I didn't set out with the intention of capturing the Milky Way, and it wasn't until I got back and processed the images that I realized I'd done so. I absolutely did not have any of my camera setting correct for the Milky Way, so I processed the sequence into black and white since it's nearly impossible to recover proper coloration of the Milky Way in post (or, at least, I couldn't get acceptable results, haha). Hope you enjoy the view!
[ 9 images ]2013.06.03: Big Sur with a Model
Day One Hundred and Thirty Three. Brought the world's greatest editorial & fashion photographer, Molly Van Kley, down to Big Sur for a fun little shoot with my favourite lady on the planet. She got to be a model for a day and I got to prove how absolutely terrible I am at shooting portrait work ... everyone wins. I also played around more with my still quite shiny and rather new 14-24mm (which should absolutely never be used to shoot people, and no I will not show you why, you'll just have to go try it and find out for yourself, it's that bad). And, I think I'm getting better at making HDR's out of single exposures. Five out of the six landscape shots are HDR compositions derived from a single original exposure. For reference, this technique is only possible if you shoot RAW. JPG files simply don't contain enough information to produce results such as this. Finally, I now fully appreciate just how hard it is to work with a model. I shot 82 exposures and kept 3. Molly shot several hundred and kept 10 (though admittedly a lot of them weren't keepers because I wasn't exactly the best at aiming the reflector any where near where it would have been useful, haha). Not that there was ever any question about this, but I think I'll stick to landscapes :D
[ 20 images ]2013.06.02: A Little More Napa and Some Frisco
Day One Hundred and Thirty Two. Napa truly is a special place. We visited a few more wineries and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. We then headed back south, stopping off in San Francisco to catch the sunset. 14mm is proving to be even more of a challenge than I'd original thought. The urge to "get it all in" is powerful, resulting in a lot of awkward leaning and titling, which then results in a successful capture of "everything" that's so hideously distorted, no one would ever want to look at it. To minimize the perspective distortion (otherwise known as "why are all of the buildings leaning over?"), the horizon must be placed in the dead center of the frame. The trouble is, that's a clear violation of the rule of thirds. The only solution I have to this so far is either (a) cropping such that the horizon falls on the top third or bottom third of the image, or (b) ignoring the rule of thirds. This set includes a dash of everything: leaning buildings, centered horizons, and cropped images moving the horizon down to the bottom third of the image. Feel free to let me know where you think I was more successful and where I was perhaps slightly less so ;)
[ 13 images ]2013.06.01: One Crazy Day in Napa
Day One Hundred and Thirty One. If heaven exists on Earth, I thoroughly believe it's in Napa Valley. No trip to Napa is ever long enough. We visited the ever excellent Paraduxx, where I proceeded to prove that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with an ultra-wide-angle lens. You can read everything that has ever been written about how extreme the field of view of such a lens is, but until you actually go out and shoot one, you will simply not comprehend how hard it is to make a good picture with one. The perspective distortion at 14mm is simply incredible. Learning how to effectively use this lens is going to be quite the journey :)
[ 8 images, 1 video ]2013.05.31: Jen gets a Tattoo
Day One Hundred and Thirty. The first day of our mini-vacation, we head up to Frisco for some faultless frolicking. Jen had wanted a new tattoo for a while now and getting one in San Fran would be way cooler than back home, so she decided to go for it. I wasn't originally sure what I was going to do with all of the shots I took while she was getting it ... I was just happy they let me in the back to shoot it. As individual frames, I don't think they're anything spectacular, but as a time-lapse (moderately chaotic though it may be) I think it works pretty well ... now, of course, I only wish I'd taken more shots to make the video smoother, haha. After a little more frolicking and some amazing food, we went around to the two bridges so I could test my shiny new 14-24. Just as with every new piece of glass, there's going to be quite the learning curve with this lens. For the record, 14mm is ridiculously wide and I can't wait to figure out how to make better use of it :)
[ 55 images, 1 video ]2013.05.18: A Melancholy March around Moss Landing
Day One Hundred and Twenty Nine. I'd driven past Moss Landing numerous times on my way to points north. Every time, the grounded fishing boat caught my eye, but in all my time here, I'd yet to stop and take a closer look. Finally, I decided that I'd driven past it one too many times, so I hopped in my car and made the quick drive up there. Walking around Moss Landing, I couldn't seem escape a low hanging feeling of pervasive sadness. Nothing here was new. Everything was being left to the mercy of the elements. It was as if when the fishing boat ran aground and the owner decided to leave it there that the entire community simply agreed to give up and let things go as they will. I don't really know why, but I decided to shoot the entire day with the 105mm wide open at f/2.8 ... oh wait, yes I do ... the 105 is my favourite lens and wide open, it delivers the greatest emotional impact. It vignettes just the right amount, with a beautiful level of depth of field, all the while staying tack sharp. For the night shots, I switched to the 50mm so I could gather more light, then switched to the fisheye, because I wanted to see as many stars as possible. This set may not be as epic as the coastline in Big Sur or the fire dancers in the Palace of Fine Arts, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)
[ 1 image, 1 video ]2013.05.12: 2013.05.12 - Big Sur Long Exposure Time Lapse
Day One Hundred and Twenty Eight. I wanted to experiment more with shooting a time-lapse of long exposures, so I went down to Pfeiffer Beach to shoot the sun moving across the rock with a hole in it. I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. The long exposures look nice, but I think I needed to put more time between each frame to allow more time to pass across the video. I didn't want to let it go into sunset because the camera is bad enough at metering through the 10 stop ND filter in broad daylight, I can only imagine how bad it'd be at night. My favourite part turned out to be watching the people moving around on the beach, entranced by the hole in the rock :)
[ 1 image, 1 video ]2013.05.11: Sunset in Big Sur
Day One Hundred and Twenty Seven. I don't really know what inspired me, but I wanted to go sit and watch the sunset in Big Sur, so I grabbed my chair, book, and of course my camera and headed down to one of my favourite spots. It's a few turnouts before the parking area for Garrapata and not visible from the road, so you have to already know where to stop to get to the two rocks. After a short scramble down to the waterline, everything was set up and I got to enjoy my sunset. It wasn't the most spectacular one I'd ever seen and I was worried the fog was going to completely ruin it, but it still turned out to be a lovely afternoon :)
[ 15 images ]2013.05.04: An Afternoon in Big Sur
Day One Hundred and Twenty Six. It had been a while since I'd merely driven down Highway 1 and enjoyed the scenery in Big Sur, so I did exactly that. I stopped off at a few turnouts I hadn't explored before and tried to hike a bit off the beaten path to find some new angles. I played around more with the ND filter, but found that the wind didn't like that idea, so I ended up having to toss a bunch of them due to "wind shake". With this set, I also (FINALLY) figured out how to create an HDR from a single exposure without terrible results. Before, I was trying to make HDRs from an edited RAW where I'd played with the contrast, regions, and clarity. When you go to composite a series of images that have had non-linear transformations applied to them, the halo effect gets really really bad. I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out, but once I tried zeroing the image settings, and making the composite from that, it worked perfectly. I wouldn't recommend trying to make an HDR from a high ISO shot due to the noise added when boosting the exposure, but it works marvelously for images shot at ISO 50. When I first started working on this set, deleting the whole thing and moving on to the next one crossed my mind more than once, but once I dug in and really started working with the images, it slowly grew on me. In the end, I'm extraordinarily happy with how this set turned out :)
[ 36 images ]2013.04.13: Palace of Fine Arts Fire Dancers
Day One Hundred and Twenty Five. We had so much fun the first time, we made the trip to San Francisco again to see the crazy fire dancers at the Palace of Fine Arts, and they did not disappoint. I applied the big lesson from the last trip (smaller apertures provide for awesome streaks and help prevent blown highlights when a low enough ISO is selected) and walked away with more shots that I'm really happy with. I also experimented with some high ISO large aperture portrait style shots. Only a few of those made it through even the first round of cuts. The 28-300 simply isn't fast enough to really freeze the action with the kind of sharpness I would have liked, but until the 85 f/1.4 falls out of the sky into my camera bag, I'll just have to live with it. The hardest part of this shoot was (just as the first time) trying to decide between actuating the shutter and just watching the show. I hope I can make it up again before I graduate!