Grand Central

July 09, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Grand CentralGrand CentralIn stately grandeur
Always in a hurry - to where?
Under timeless sky

The title of this image is: Grand Central. The caption is:

In stately grandeur
Always in a hurry - to where? 
Under timeless sky

My intent was to have an exposure just long enough to indicate hurried movement in the mass of people moving through the hall. The sense of movement is greatest the nearer the person is to the camera. I think that the fact that the hall is not entirely symmetrical adds to the aesthetics of the image.

This is a composite of 6 images using the shift capability of the 24 mm Canon tilt shift lens. Actually there were three bracketed images for each of the 6 but I found that only one of the three was needed and I discarded the other two. The six images that I used were merged into two separate panoramas in Lightroom (one for the ceiling area and one for the hall) and then those two panoramas were merged in Photoshop. The final image could have been considerably more expansive if I had taken a couple of more images of the corners of the ceiling. Redoing this image to include those is just one more of many reasons to return to New York soon.

This was taken with the GFX100S camera and the Canon 24mm tilt shift lens with no filters. The shutter speed of 1/5 of a second was enough to capture the sense of rushing that I was looking for.


Urbane IV

July 02, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Urbane IVUrbane IVCalm and Serene or
Hectic, Unquiet City --
A Dichotomy

The third in my series of images from the recent Julia Anna Gospodarou workshop in New York is titled Urbane IV. It’s also part of my Urbane series of cityscapes and urban architectural images.

The caption is:

Calm and Serene or 
Hectic, Unquiet City —
A Dichotomy

This image of Downtown NYC was made from from Brooklyn at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

My intent was to create a dreamy, calm, atmospheric, soft image that contrasts with the structure and harsh angularity of the City, presenting a dichotomy. What’s the reality? I believe they both can be real depending on one’s mindset, vantage point and perspective. The idea was to create that duality by using a long exposure to soften the water and the sky, and by using local contrast on edges to make certain buildings stand out. 

This particular vantage point was spectacular in that there were the strong lines in the foreground water leading into the downtown area, and especially to the brightest building in the center. The weather was generally clear that morning but luckily there were enough faint clouds that I was able to coax them out in post processing to create the soft sky with fluid-like clouds.

I visited this vantage point a few days earlier but was not pleased with the images due to the flat lighting, so I returned. It seems there is always something to forget to check. On the return visit the tide was about 1 to 1.5 feet higher, but luckily the center line of posts was not completely submerged.

The exposure was 5 minutes and 27 seconds using a 16 stop neutral density filter and a polarizing filter. The image was made with a Fujifilm GFX100S medium format camera and 50mm Fujinon lens. 


Gale Force

June 25, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Gale ForceGale ForceIn gale conditions
With sails set for the squall--
Propelled by light
_Richard Lionberger – June 2023_
This image, titled Gale Force, is of the IAC Building by Frank Gehry. The building is located in New York not too far from the waterfront between Greenwich Village and Midtown. I understand the architect intended the building to remind one of sails, maybe because it is near the waterfront. It did make me think of a sailing ship under way and I intended the lighting in the image to simulate a storm . . . a storm indicated by strong light acting on the building. Hence the title of the image.

The caption is:

In gale conditions
With sails set for the squall--
Propelled by light

By Richard Lionberger, June 2023

This is the second in a series of images that I made at the Julia Anna Gosporadou workshop in New York. It's one of my favorites from the workshop and was fun to create. I particularly like the lamppost. One of the lights was burned out so I had to fix that. To use Roland Barthes' term, the lamppost could be the punctum, the jab, the pin prick. It establishes place and shows that the entire building is not included, only the upper portion.

The image was made with a Canon 24mm tilt/shift lens on a Fuji GFX100S medium format camera. The lens was shifted up to the maximum but the camera still had to be tilted up some due to being so close to the building. The verticals were corrected in post processing. The exposure was 2 minutes and 40 seconds using a 16 stop ND filter and a polarizing filter.


Top of the Rock

June 21, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Top of the RockTop of the RockShining bright beacon
Among quiet art deco friends;
Attracting evening light
_Richard Lionberger – June 2023_

A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop in New York put on by [Julia Anna Gosporadou]. It was both a learning experience and an opportunity to make images of the outstanding architecture and waterscapes in New York. Julia’s black and white work is incredibly interesting and avant-garde. She may be the next Ansel Adams. And in addition to being a talented photographer she’s also a talented teacher. Those of us who attended were fortunate to be able to see and learn her methods and processes demonstrated in person. I’m going to be posting several images from the workshop over the coming weeks. This is the first in that series.

The title of this image is “Top of the Rock”, referencing the popular visitor attraction at Rockefeller Center. The upper part of the building is also the focus of this image. 

The image was taken handheld with the camera pointed up focusing on the upper part of the building. The idea was to express the soaring nature of the building and a little bit of its setting, which is indicated by the subtle, dim structures on the right and left sides. Also the lighting from the left, making the right side buildings lighter than those on the left.

Somewhere, I got the idea that I would like to create a Haiku poem to go with my images. So I’m giving it a try here. These are my first attempts at Haiku, and I admit that they don’t always comply strictly with the rules. But they’re close. Here’s the caption for Top of the Rock:

Shining bright beacon
Among quiet art deco friends;
Attracting evening light


A Walk in the Forest - Triptych

February 10, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

This is a Triptych consisting of a series of three images of the forest, all taken on the same day during a hike.

I'm pursuing mini-projects in connection with a workshop that I'll be participating in with Alain Briot in a few weeks. As he has pointed out, often we get bogged down and don't complete projects because they just get too time consuming, especially for a recovering perfectionist. In contrast  I finished this mini-project in about one and a half hours from beginning editing the images to completion and publication here. Just getting the project finished gives a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

A walk in the forest reveals so many forms, shapes, textures and feelings. To me these images are representative of those.

Trees 1-1Trees 1-1 Trees 1-2Trees 1-2 Trees 1-3Trees 1-3

The images may now be found on the website in the Mini-Series titled Trees 1.

Urbane II - Toronto Skyline

October 27, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Urbane II Toronto Skyline with CN Tower and Rogers CentreUrbane IIToronto Skyline with the prominent CN Tower This is a long exposure image of the Toronto Skyline that I made during the September 2022 Julia Anna Gospodarou
workshop in Toronto. As I hope you can see from the image, the workshop was worthwhile. I learned many new and useful techniques from Julia - and would not have been able to process this image to this final result without Julia's mentoring. I call the image Urbane II. Urbane I was a similar image that I ended up discarding and starting over with this one. 

The image features the prominent CN Tower, which is iconic landmark in Toronto, as well as the Rogers Centre just to the left of the CN Tower.

The exposure was 3 minutes and 46 seconds at ISO100 and f8 using a Nikon Z6II with a 28-75mm 2.8 lens at 45mm.

A long exposure was necessary because there were many water taxis going back and forth from the island where I was located to downtown Toronto. The exposure was long enough and the water taxis were going fast enough that they weren't in one location long enough to register in the image.  

Portland Head Light

September 09, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Portland Head Light Ocean view at Portland Head Light in Portland Maine in evening light. This long exposure ocean view includes the Portland Head Light at Portland Maine, which I understand is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. The sun was setting behind me over my right shoulder. There was intermittent cloud cover and the clouds were moving right to left at a moderate speed. The lighthouse is located in a park where there are several good vantage points for photographing it. The original of this photo and a couple of others are included below. 

The intent is to present the vastness of the sea and the dichotomy of the apparent tranquility and calm to the danger of the sea as represented by the lighthouse to help keep ships off of the rocks.

Following is info about the exposure:

Date: July 16, 2022

Time: 6:21pm

Subject: Portland Head Light

Camera angle (vertical axis): level

Camera angle (horizontal axis): level

Distance to subject: about 600 feet

Weather: Partially cloudy

Blue sky/clouds ratio: 40/60

Cloud Speed: Medium

Filters:  17 stops ND filters ( polarizer + 15 stop Lee stacked) 

Lens Type: Moderate Wide Angle

Aperture: f/8

ISO:  250

Focal Length:  28 mm

Exposure: 234 sec = 3 min: 54sec

Post processing involved mostly dodging and burning to emphasize particular areas.



This is the original photo:


20220716-02708220220716-027082 Here are two other views of the lighthouse:

20220716-027075-Edit20220716-027075-Edit 20220716-027030-Edit20220716-027030-Edit

Silky Flow and Stone

September 07, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Silky Flow and StoneSilky Flow and StoneBig Thompson River - Rocky Mountain National Park This is the Big Thompson River in Rocky Mountain National Park during Spring runoff in May 2022. It is my first reasonably successful long exposure photo using a neutral density filter.

I think the image presents the dichotomy of smooth and silky flow through and around hard, fixed, stone boulders. Maybe it's a metaphor for life.

The exposure details were as follows:

Date: May 14, 2022 
Time: 10:30 am
Subject: Big Thompson River Rapids
Camera Angle: tilted down
Distance to Subject: 6 to 10 feet
Weather: Partly cloudy (sun behind cloud)
Speed of Water Flow: rapid
Filters: Lee 10 stop Big Stopper
Lens Type: Wide Angle
Aperture: f22
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 24mm
Exposure: 54 seconds

I had been hiking to Emerald Lake earlier in the morning and was driving home when I saw this scene beside the road. The most tricky part of getting the image was managing to set up my tripod and camera on one of these boulders in the middle of the river without falling in. To do that I had to first climb through a barricade and then step or jump from boulder to boulder in the river. In my defense, I was not the first or only person doing that on this day, although I was probably the oldest (by about 40 years). Installing the Lee Big Stopper without dropping it was also a challenge while balancing on a boulder.

One thing that attracted me to this scene was that there weren't any large logs or other significant debris in the river. It seems that there usually is.

Putting aside for a moment the questionable judgment of even trying to get in position for the shot, there were a lot of mistakes during the exposure. On the first attempt I forgot to set the camera on Manual and Bulb. Also, I used the smallest aperture of f22. Now I know that it would be preferable to use a mid range aperture such as f8. In addition, this was using a DSLR before I switched to mirrorless, and I forgot to close the viewfinder. There was a serious magenta cast in the original that looks like it might have been from a light leak. I was able to remove the magenta cast in the conversion to black and white.

Here is the original image.

20220514-02670220220514-026702 All in all, I think the image turned out well, and I'm pleased with it. Since taking this photo I've switched to Formatt-Hitech IRND filters.

Cypress Passage

December 10, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Cypress PassageCypress Passage This photo was recently awarded first place in the black and white category 2020 Best of the Best Competition at the Aurora Society of Photographers in Aurora Colorado. The judge for the competition was Russ Burden

I took the photo in October 2012 at Caddo Lake near Jefferson Texas. In looking through old photos for images to possibly submit in the club's competition I happened on it and realized that I hadn't previously submitted it in a competition.

Foggy Morning at Sprague Lake

October 17, 2018  •  1 Comment

Foggy Morning at Sprague LakeFoggy Morning at Sprague Lake


This image was awarded an honorary mention in the Club Scenic category at the Mile High Wildlife Photography Club on October 16, 2018. The image was made at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The image also was awarded First Place in the Photography category of the 2019 Denver Bar Association Docket Art Contest.




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