Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quite a Year

Heart Stone by Jim CrottySugarcreek November Sunset 2011 by Jim Crotty 6March at Cedar Falls Black and White Landscape Photography by Jim CrottyPassing NovemberNovember Evening at Burkes Beach by Jim Crotty 13October 2011 in Hocking Hills Ohio by Jim Crotty 8.jpg
October 2011 in Hocking Hills Ohio by Jim Crotty 20.jpgSunrise and Storm Clouds by Jim Crotty (1)Marshland SunriseTreasure by Jim Crotty (1)After IreneSt. Francis in the Garden
Here and Gone - Sandcastles and SummerAugust Morning Moonset by Jim CrottyAugust LanguishesThe Prince of TidesCathedral Alter by Jim CrottyPower of Three
Summer at the SandbarMay Moon Over Broad Creek Digital Art Photography by Jim CrottyIf I RiseFlorida with Canon PowerShot SX1 by Jim Crotty 6Winter Sky at Sunset by Jim Crotty

Favorite Images from 2011, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This set contains my personal favorites from 2011. These images are not necessarily those that everyone else likes but represent scenes and subjects that carry a deep personal meaning and memory for me. I've also presented many of these images within the Blurb mobile app whereby I've included audio commentary for each photograph @ The locations for these images include Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton, Ohio; Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio; Tampa, Florida and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One-On-One Photography Lessons and Portfolio Reviews | Great Gift Idea for the Photographer in the Family

Everybody has one in the family - the shutterbug who never leaves home without his or her camera. What better gift than a private, one-on-one lesson at my studio and gallery here on Hilton Head Island. Whether resident or vacationing, I offer personal instruction on a variety of photography subjects including camera settings, exposure, composition, lenses and digital editing.

Call 843-842-9200 or email to purchase a session today. I will be happy to create and email a printable, custom gift certificate just in time for Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Autumn Color in the Lowcountry | November on Hilton Head

There's a tremendous variety of beautiful subjects in and around Hilton Head Island. Unparalleled access to wildlife, skyscapes to die for and maritime forests that haunt the creative eyes of the artist. However, when I first moved to Hilton Head, last spring, the one thing that I though I'd miss the most were the colors of the fall landscape, so prominent from September through November in Ohio. I assumed fall color would be absent in the coastal forests so far south. I was pleased to be proven wrong when color began appearing at the beginning of November. While only in isolated pockets, it's still enough of a change to provide a nice contrast against the Spanish Moss and pines.

The following series of images were captured in Hilton Head's most forested section, Sea Pines Plantation on the southern end of the Island. Also, Snowy and Great Egrets as well as horses at Lawton Stables, all in the beauty of morning light. Another characteristic of this area that I find visually appealing are the mists that come in off the ocean and shroud the woodlands in a soft, subdued light. After the tourist rush of summer, with all the activity on the island as well as light and humidity that's pretty much "in your face," it's wonderful to relish in the reward of autumn.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

In the Light of the Season | October in the Hocking Hills of Ohio

There's nothing like coming home again with October in the Hocking Hills of Southeastern Ohio. Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to lead a photography workshop at The Inn at Cedar Falls. The weekend program flew by as I guided a very enthusiastic group of photographers to some of favorite locations within the park for nature and landscape photography. I've posted an online gallery of student images via Picasa @ Return to the Hills Photo Workshop Student Gallery.

I did make sure I had at least a day to get out and capture a few of my own images, on the Monday following the program. After all, I had driven all the way from Hilton Head, South Carolina and I wanted to make the most of my time while in Hocking Hills.

A very fulfilling workshop experience, seeing old friends as well as making many new ones and the opportunity to reconnect with the area that I consider to be home for my creative spirit. I am very thankful.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Camera Bag Product Review | Gearing-Up for Fall Photography

Over the many years I've been involved with nature photography - hiking and shooting along trails from the U.P. of Michigan to Civil War battlefields in Virginia to National Parks in Utah and Montana - I've learned the value of a pro-quality, durable backpack for my camera gear, one that's easy to access and comfortable on the back. I've gone through many, basically because I've been doing this now for, well, 35+ years!

Recently camera bags by a company called Think Tank Photo came to my attention. I thought I'd give them a try. I was impressed by what I found, in features and in comfort.

To order camera backpacks by Think Tank Photo, please visit Enter code "WS-461" to receive a free bag with orders over $50.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fall Photo Walkabout Set for October 16 on Hilton Head Island

Join local professional photographer Jim Crotty on a photo excursion to Mitchellville Beach Park on Hilton Head Island. Jim will be guiding a small group and providing field instruction on the basics of nature photography with the DSLR camera. Learning to see as an artist, setting-up the shot, composing with natural elements, best camera settings and equipment for outdoor photography - a few of the topics Jim will discuss as leads the group in exploring a variety of subjects, from macro nature to wildlife to skyscapes. Jim will also be demonstrating best techniques for beach portraits. Workshop fee is $20 per person. Limited space. To register email or call 843-842-9200.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcoming the Arrival of Autumn

Samhain- the Gaelic term for the fall season. Autumn. So beautiful it's the only season with two names. My favorite time of year, when the light goes gold and sky is set afire with brilliant hues of orange, red and purple. The "in-between" time when the veil between the temporal/seen and the spiritual/unseen is at its thinnest. Glorious autumn. Welcome !

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Only Five Openings Remain | Return to the Hills Fall Photography Workshop by Jim Crotty

As of 9-6-11 there are only five openings remaining for the October 21-23 fall photography workshop in Hocking Hills. Should be a lot of fun. I'll be guided the group to my favorite locations within the Park for nature and landscape photography. One of the topics to be explored will be learning to see as an artist for the abstract within nature subjects.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beach Portraits on Hilton Head Island

One of the many benefits of having a studio on Hilton Head is easy access to one of the best outdoor locations for portrait photography - the beach ! What makes the beach on Hilton Head particularly appealing for portraits of families, couple and children are the natural sand dunes and natural accents and backgrounds provided by flowing sea grass and palmetto. The following are some of the images from a recent portrait session with a family vacationing on Hilton Head. Brian, Tracy and Anna were referred by a friend and previous client of mine back in Dayton, Ohio. For more information on beach portrait photography on Hilton Head please email me or call 843-842-9200.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Old Favorite | It's What Moves You

Old Favorite, originally uploaded by
Not many people react to this image but for me it's special. Something about the light that was coming through that old church on that day in spring, several years ago during a photo outing in Cade's Cove. For me it communicates the lingering spirit of the place through texture and shadow. Something remains and as a photographer I am thankful for the opportunity to tell its' story.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Light for Portrait Photography | The Big Difference

Last week I was providing a lesson on location for two local photographers here on Hilton Head Island. They wanted to know more about lighting for outdoor portraits. We chose Harbor Town (which was packed with the summer tourist crowd) as our location. My model was my daughter, Emma. 

The two images clearly show the difference when it comes to lighting, not only with the source of the light but in time of day as well. The first images was lit using a on-camera flash - in this case the Canon 580ex, with a diffuser. It's nice but it lacks the dramatic effect of a professional portrait at sunset. Next I used the same camera but with the light source off to the side. In this case the light was from an Alien Bees 800 strobe, powered by the AB Vagabond portable battery by Lightgear USA. The light was diffused through an attached translucent umbrella. The only thing I may have changed was to provide a reflector on the other side to fill-in the shadows just a touch on the right side of Emma but the improvement in the quality of the light is clearly evident. 

Another lesson is time of day. There was perhaps 20 minutes between the time of the first and second image. Notice how much the light and color had changed in the background. Outdoor portraits in the summer - especially here in South Carolina - are always going to be best right at sunset and even better for a good half hour afterwards. The key is to provide and direct additional light that is evenly diffused and soft on the subject.

Via Flickr:
Outdoor portrait photography by Jim Crotty on Hilton Head Island noting differences with light as to time and light sources

Saturday, July 16, 2011

October at Rose Lake | Autumn Workshop in Hocking Hills

October at Rose Lake, originally uploaded by
I'm currently working on the details on a weekend photography workshop at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, either in mid-October or early November. I will be guiding and leading a group of no more than 20 photographers to my favorite locations for fall nature and landscape photography in Hocking as well as providing in-depth instruction on digital editing and workflow. Please email me if you would like to be added to my first to notify list for the details and date, which should be released within the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Infinitely Greater World | Ansel Adams's Epiphany

I know what this feels like. I've been there. Several times. In that moment of powerful epiphany brought on by the overwhelming silence of near-perfect light. Once in a moment such as that a switch within the soul is turned on. Nothing can ever turn it back off.

Listen to Ansel Adams's own words between the 2:18 and 3:00 minute marks and you will hear the echoes of what it feels like to become completely lost within something far greater than the self while at the same time arriving where you were always meant to be.