Richard Susanto Photography: Blog http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Richard Susanto Photography rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:28:00 GMT Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:28:00 GMT http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v56/u965418291-o614489170-50.jpg Richard Susanto Photography: Blog http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Travel Photos from Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/photographs-from-prague-austria-and-germany Another summer, another vacation for the family. This time, we focused on Western Europe again, visiting places like Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich. Along the way, we also stopped by in Schwangau to see the Neuchswanstein castle, and did a couple of small detours to visit old German villages. 

I brought along 2 cameras with me, the Nikon D800 and the Sony NEX-5. For the Nikon, I carried the 24-70mm lens along with several ND and Polarizer filters, while the NEX was coupled with the 18-200mm lens. I wanted to travel light in this trip and I used the NEX combo about 75% of the time. I only used the Nikon for anything that requires the use of tripod (The 3S - sunrise/sunset/slow-shutter). My iPhone was used on a lot of occassions as well.

These are the selected photos from the trip, in the order from the place we visited. All of these photos have been posted on my G+ account and I included the original posting that I wrote for each photo.

First Stop: Berlin, Germany

Brandenburg Gate My target in Berlin is to photograph the Brandenburg Gate at sunrise. Unfortunately, they installed a huge stage at the base of the gate for the celebration of the German Soccer Team winning the World Cup. Because of that, I focused only on the 'quadriga' part of the statue as shown below.

Brandenburg GateOn my recent visit to Germany, I really wanted to capture a sunrise picture of the Brandenburg Gate. Unfortunately the gate was being used to host a party for the Germany soccer team so I this is the best photo that I could get our of the gate.

Second Stop: Prague, Czech Republic

From Berlin, we took the train to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is a heaven for architectural photographers. We love Prague. Walking in old town make us feel like stepping back in time. And also, because of their currency value, everything is cheaper here. We had a great time trying out the local cuisine.

Charles Bridge at Night I took this photo from the patio next to Charles Bridge, while drinking local beers. Definitely, a very easy photo to take (because of the beers :)

This was taken at sunset.

And, this was taken after they turned on the city light.

A Fairy Tale View of Prague from the Charles Bridge Waking up at 4 AM in the morning, I walked 30 minutes from my hotel to Charles Bridge to photograph this scene. You can see the St.Vitus Cathedral in the background (top right).

Prague

Statue of Charles IV (Karolo Quarto) Statue of King Charles the fourth, or locally known as Wenceslaus. Back in the 13th century, he brought the empire into the golden age of Bohemia. 

 

Charles Bridge at Sunrise I guess photographing the bridge in the Summer means that you won't get the kind of backlighting glow that you always see on the iconic shot of this bridge. This was taken early in the morning, just right after sunrise. When you walk on this bridge in the afternoon, you will be shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of tourists. I avoided it at all cost. Charles Bridge at SunriseCharles Bridge at Sunrise

Charles Bridge Before Sunset I took this photo from the bank of the river on the castle side of Prague. It was a lovely afternoon. Even though there were about 50 geese's on my left side and my head was surrounded by mosquito-like bugs, the air was cool and dry and I was the only one taking a photo at that spot. It was such a good break from all the tourists in the area. 

Charles Bridge at Sunset

Old Town Tower I photographed this bridge tower in the late afternoon on the way to Charles Bridge. The statue on the right side of the tower is of the legendary King Wenceslaus.

Statue of St. John Nepomucene on the Charles Bridge This is probably the most popular statue on the bridge, which is understandable, considering he is the most popular saint of the Czech Republic. Read his story here if you're interested. He was killed (drowned on the spot where the statue was erected) by the order of King Wenceslaus on the account of refusal to betray the confession given by the empress.

Third Stop: Vienna

Again, we took another train, this time to Vienna. Vienna is a city full of architectural wonders, so much so that the historic center of the city has been added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list. It is also a city with a long established musical heritage. Many celebrity musicians (Mozart and Beethoven to name a few) called this city their home. Only spending 3 days in Vienna, I concentrated on photographing my favorite building in the city: The St.Charles Church (Karlskirche). 

Karlskirche Wien (St.Charles Church) This is my favorite building in Vienna. What a beautiful architecture. Truly, a feast for the eyes. 

Statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy at the Hofburg Palace Prince Eugene of Savoy, one of the most successful military commander in European history, was weak in his younger days. He was rejected from the French Army, moved to Austria, and built his military career with the Austrian monarchy to become one of the greatest commanders in Europe. This statue was photographed from inside the Hofsburg, giving the impression that the General is marching into the city, John Wayne style.

Vienna State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper) The iconic Vienna Opera House, photographed with a city tram at night. My family and I just had a fabulous dinner at Gigerl with a couple of friends and I brought my tripod with me so I could do a night photography afterwards. After the dinner, I stopped by the St. Charles church to capture a blue hour photo and then before I grabbed a taxi back to the hotel, I snapped this quick photo of the State Opera House.

A Statue of Ueterpe I stumbled across this scene on the way to the restroom in the Albertina Museum. I happened to have my NEX with me and composed this shot.

SONY DSC

Fourth Stop: Salzburg

From Vienna, we took the high-speed train to Salzburg. We arrived on the first day of the annual music festival. Just like Vienna, Salzburg is also a city deeply rooted in classical music. Made famous by the movie 'The Sound of Music', Salzburg is popular among tourists. We mostly spent our time here exploring the old town and the famous fortress high above the hill.

Mirabell Garden I took this photo of the pegasus statue at the Mirabell garden. Just behind me was the famous 'Do-Re-Mi Stairwell' from the Sound of Music. I stepped on the fountain wall so I could include the fortress in the background.

A Jazz Clarinetist I took a photo of this Street Jazz Clarinetist on the first day of the Salzburg Music Festival. This was taken in the morning not far from the famous stairwell at Mirabell Garden (the 'Do-re-mi' stairwell from the Sound of Music). I like his expression so much that I decided to get a close up photo of him in action. 

The Dome in the Salzburg Cathedral This is a photo of the intricate architectural details of the Salzburg Cathedral's dome, photographed in 3 different exposures and combined as an HDR image.

Salzburg Cathedral A stage is installed at the cathedral square for the performance of the drama Jedermann by Hugo Von Hofmannstahl, which prevented me to take a sunrise/sunset photo of the building. This is my best attempt of photographing the cathedral without including the stage.

The Interior of Salzburg Cathdedral I took this interior photo by placing my camera on top of my bag as they don't allow tripod inside the church. I then combined 3 different exposure photos to make this HDR image.

Salzburg Old Town at Night I took this photograph of the old town from across the river, not far where we stayed in Salzburg. 

Fifth Stop: Hohenschwangau

Based on a recommendation from a friend, we rented a car in Salzburg and drove to Munich, taking a detour on several places along the way: Hallstatt, Konigsee, and stayed overnight in Hohenschwangau. 

The Village of Hallstatt I took this iconic photo from the vista point near the edge of the town. With the low hanging clouds and the greenish mountain in the background, Hallstatt reminds me a lot of Alaska. Anyway we had a great time there. We rented a boat and circled the whole lake just before the rain arrived. 

Traditional Lodges I took this row of Bavarian lodge photo in Hallstatt. My 10 year-old son was driving the boat so I could focus on photography for a while

Konigssee on a Wet and Foggy Day, Berchtesgaden National Park On the way to Schwangau, we stopped by in Konigssee and spent a few hours admiring the emerald color water. This place is definitely one of the highlights of our trip. It was beautiful beyond belief. It was raining, but the fog and the low-hanging clouds created a magical ambiance and provided crystal clear reflection of objects near the water. I took this photo of the 'St. Bartholomew's Church' from the on the lake. If you look closely, you can see a lady with a red umbrella taking a photo of the church. 

SONY DSC

Neuschwanstein Castle on a Foggy Evening We arrived in Germany in one of the wettest day of the season. It was pouring cats and dogs when we got to our hotel in Schwangau. I quickly abandoned my plan to capture a sunset scene of the castle and will concentrate on sunrise instead. Walking halfway to the castle, to scout the route, I was able to get a photo of the castle surrounded by fog. 

SONY DSC

Neuschwanstein Castle on a foggy Summer morning I woke up at 3:30 in the morning the next day and walked the one hour trek to the Marien Brucke vista point. It was kinda scary actually to walk through the pitch black forest at 4 in the morning. But when the sun broke out at about 5:45 am, I was blessed with this view. And the best thing is, I had the bridge all to myself :)


Later on in the morning, my family and I went on a tour inside the castle and we were greatly impressed. A lot of times, we couldn’t believe that what we see is real. It’s like fairy tale come true. All the rooms were beautifully decorated, a little bit over-the-top. Walls were beautifully painted with intricate details, depicting scenes from the king’s favorite opera. Beds and furnitures were carved in amazing details, representing roofs of Germany cathedrals. And of course, the view from the castle is something to die for. In short, everything about this castle is magically gorgeous. No wonder Disney was inspired by it.

The fog was slowly lifting up at Neuchwenstain CastleThe fog was slowly lifting up at Neuchwenstain Castle

If you plan to visit Germany (or Munich), I’d really recommend that you spend a day visiting the castle. You won’t regret it.

Final Stop: Munich

We finally arrived in Munich, with a plan to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp. I didn't take a single photo in Dachau because of the sad history. It just didn't feel right to take photograph in a place where so many people have died in the past. After Dachau, we spent some time in the old town and we had a blast. Munich is such an enjoyable city to visit. 

Rathaus-Glockenspiel This is a photo of the famous clock tower in Munich's old town square. Every 12 and 5 pm, the figurines in the clock tower (only the top one is shown on the photo) animate to tell two different stories. I am including a link to the wiki article behind the story here. I think Disney might have gotten his inspiration for Disneyland's animatronics from this clock tower.

SONY DSC

I actually forgot the name of this church near Marienplatz. We were just exploring the area when we stepped inside this very interesting church with lots of live plants and decorated with bird origamis flying in formation.

SONY DSC

Bronze Lion Statue in front of the Residenz I took a photo of this lion statue after noticing a lot of people rubbing its muzzles. Read the story here. It's considered to bring good luck.

SONY DSC

A Scene from Marienplatz I photographed this couple studying the town house building's architecture in Marienplatz. 

SONY DSC

Munich Old Town A photo from the top of the New Town House in Marienplatz. 

SONY DSC

And finally, I found this accordion player when exploring Marienplatz with my family. I asked his permission for a photo and he gave me a great smile as a bonus. 

SONY DSC

So, that is my last selected photo from the trip. I still have many photos that I still need to edit. But the photos featured here are the ones I like the most. 

Thanks for coming. Hope you enjoyed the photos featured here.

~Richard

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) austria berlin brandenburg gate europe europe travel europe travel photo hallstatt konigsee munich neuschwanstein neuschwanstein castle salzburg salzburg fortress travel photography vienna vienna state opera http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/photographs-from-prague-austria-and-germany Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:45:45 GMT
Photographs from China http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/china-vacation It's summer 2013 and the kids are out of school again. This year, we decided to spend 2 weeks in the land of the dragon, China. We started our trip by flying to Beijing from Chicago, before heading out to Xian, Guilin, Hangzhou, and finally we returned home from Shanghai. Summer is a busy tourist season in China for both local and International visitors. One thing that surprised me the most is how many people I see in popular places such as the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace.

On this trip, since the main purpose is to give the kids a vacation that they can learn from, I decided to travel light and only brought one camera and one lens: The Nikon D800 with the 28-300 lens. Together with my iPhone, this camera fit what I'm looking for in this vacation: to document our family time. And also, travelling to China for the first time with my family, we decided to hire a tour guide. Because we have to follow the tour schedule, I simply didn't have any time to venture out for proper photography (dawn, dusk, sunset, and sunrise type of photography). 

These are some of the photos that I took during our trip to China:
 

First Stop: Beijing

Thousands of local and foreign tourists visited the Forbidden City. We were lucky to be able to see the 'rare' blue sky.

 

One of the moats in the inner city gate

 

Intricate formation of the palace stairways

 

The Forbidden City as seen from Jingshan Park

 

A door in the Summer Palace

 

The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

 

The Summer Palace

 

A Rickshaw ride at the Putong Neighborhood 

 

Second Stop: Guilin

Reed Flute Cave

 

The town of Guilin

 

The River Boat Trip to Yang Shuo

 

Took this photo from my hotel room in the town of Yang Shuo

 

Third Stop: Xi An

A City Gate in Xian

 

The Amazing Terra Cotta Warriors

 

Fourth Stop: Hangzhou and Shanghai

A Door in the Zhujiajiao Water Town

 

The Many Arches of Zhujiajiao Water Town

 

The West Lake in Hangzhou

 

A scene from the West Lake

 

The West Lake

 

Tourists in Zhujiajiao Water Town

 

The West Lake

 

Well, that's about it. Hope you like it. Thanks for visiting.

-- R 

 

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) beijing china china photography china vacation forbidden palace guilin hangzhou reed flute cave shanghai terra-cotta trip west lake xian yang shoo http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/china-vacation Fri, 14 Mar 2014 01:37:20 GMT
Tutorial: High-Speed Action Photography http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial-high-speed-action-photography Recently, one of the editors of 1x.com curated photo gallery requested that I write a tutorial for my published photo 'Born to Fight'. This is the photograph that he was interested in. Click on the photo to view a large version of the image.

Born to FightBorn to Fight
EquipmentNikon D3s, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/800s, f/5.6, ISO1000, no flash, no tripod, no filter

And, here is the tutorial. I decided to make it available on my website, in hoping that some of you could benefit from it.

Introduction

On my trip to a village in Central Bali, I saw two villagers getting ready to put their cocks into a practice fight. They whispered to their cocks like coaches giving encouragement to their athletes, while at the same time, the two natural enemies stared intently at each other, ready to unleash hell. Finally, the cocks were released and a scene like the one captured on the photograph happened. The fight finished in less than 10 seconds.

The Picture

Planning is key for capturing a high-speed action like this. I scouted several locations in the village before settling in on the one that I liked. Next, I looked at direction of the sun (my main light) to make sure that the subjects will be properly lighted. This photo was taken in mid-afternoon. To give a sense of dimension, I also look for a chance to capture the shadows of the birds. Once I settled with the best location of the photo, I nicely asked the two villagers to move the fight location to this optimal place.

To increase my chance of getting a focused image of the animals, I set the camera speed to 1/800 and increased the ISO to 1000, knowing that my Nikon D3s can still produce a good quality image with that ISO value. I set my aperture to 5.6 to give me some focusing rooms for the animals to move vertically. Finally, I turned on the high-speed burst mode of the camera with the Auto Focus Continuous (AF-C) 51-points 3D focus-tracking mode. This way I was able to shoot to about 9 frames per seconds and didn’t have to worry about my area of focus.

The biggest challenge for me when submitting this photo to 1x is selecting the best photo from the hundreds of images I took in the session. After reminding myself, that the reason I used a mid-range lens for this action shot is to include some of the background elements for story telling, I selected this photo that I think has the additional elements that will interest the viewers: the smoke, the shadow, and the jumping birds.

Post-Processing

This photo was post-processed mainly with Photoshop with the aid of the Nik Collection Tool plug-ins.

1.     I brought the RAW image into PeopleSoft and tweaked it by increasing the overall clarity, vibrancies, and the fill light settings.

2.     Once imported into Photoshop, I cropped the photo by deleting the upper and the left side of the image.

3.     I darkened the ground by using the dodge/burn tool (Range: Midtones, Exposure: 30%).

4.     Using Nik Viveza, I selected the two cocks and increased the brightness and contrast until they have a better exposure balance.

5.     Using Nik Color Efex, I applied the ‘Darken/Lighten Center’ plug-in to darken the area around the two cocks, and applied the ‘Fog’ effect to the bottom part of the photo to add the intensity of the smoky ground.

6.     I ran the Nik Dfine Noise Reducer plug-in to reduce the noise on the darker part of the image (the brick wall).

7.     Finally, I sharpened the image by using Nik Sharpener Tool with a setting of ‘Dynamic Sharpening’ of 30%.

Hints

-       To capture a high-speed action, preparation is key. Make sure that the main subject is properly lighted to ensure that you get a sharp picture, even if you shoot with a very fast shutter speed.

-       Do not be afraid to increase the camera ISO capability to make sure that the proper details are captured. Noise can be somewhat cleaned up with the proper tool in post processing, but loss of details can never be recovered.

-       Build a good rapport with your subjects or the person who’s handling your subjects. Be courteous and sensitive to the local culture. When they think the animals are tired, do not push to get an extra picture.  

 

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) action photography bali cockfight high speed action tutorial high speed photography indonesia tutorial http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial-high-speed-action-photography Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:50:04 GMT
Le Claire Bald Eagle Photos http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/le-claire-bald-eagle-photos This morning, I drove to Le Claire Iowa to shoot some bird eagle pictures on the bank of the Mississippi River. I've been visiting this place pretty much every year to practice my bald eagle photography. I consider myself lucky to live only about 150 miles from this premiere birding location. Unfortunately, the birds haven't been staying long for the past 2 years which might be caused by the warmer winter. I got a couple of decent shots but haven't got the ones I'm looking for, which are:

- A frontal closeup shot of an eagle grabbing a fish out of the water with the water splashing all around its body. I might need to setup my camera closer to the surface of the river to get this shot.

- A shot of a couple of eagles fighting over a perch in the sky.

Here are some of the shots that I got from the photo shoot today. Go to this website, maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineer, to check on the latest count of bald eagles in the Mississippi River area. It looks like the website is updated every Wednesday.

Mississippi River's Bald Eagle Count: http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/MississippiRiverProject/Education/EagleWatching/EagleCounts.aspx

Enjoy. Thanks for visiting.

Richard

The Last Second

 

A Juvenile and a Mature Bald Eagle Circling in the Sky

 

Grabbing a Perch

 

A Juvenile focusing intensely on its target

 

Grab! 

 

 

 

 

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) bald eagle bald eagle le claire bird bird photography iowa le claire, iowa photography http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/le-claire-bald-eagle-photos Mon, 04 Feb 2013 04:40:45 GMT
Belitung http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/belitung

I just returned from a trip to Belitung, a small island on the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. With the release of the popular movie, Laskar Pelangi, which was filmed on location, Belitung has gained so much popularity both among tourists and photographers due to its clear turquoise blue water, brilliant white sands, and abstract granite boulders. The main tourist destinations are the beaches and the surrounding picturesque islands.

Here are some of the photos that I took from the trip. All of the photos below were taken with the Nikon D800 and the Nikon 24-70mm lens. Except for the time of the day during sunrise and sunset, my circular polarizer (CPL) filter stayed on my lens pretty much the whole time. The CPL filter allowed me to cut water reflection so underwater corals can be included as foreground elements.

Thanks for visiting,
Richard

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) beach belitung indonesia island photo http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/belitung Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:29:33 GMT
Sandhill Cranes http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/sandhill-cranes I went to the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife area in Indiana this evening to shoot some sandhill crane pictures. Each fall, between the month of September and November, thousands of sandhill cranes stop by in the shallow marshes during their fall migration to the southern states. Stopping just before sunset, I managed to capture a couple of photos before it gets dark. 

 

Here is a pair of cranes flying low to join a big flock in the sky:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a pair of crane playing (dancing) with each other. The local calls it the "Crane Dance".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a night shot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

According to the state park website, the birds' visit peaks in the month of November. I'm planning to revisit the park this year with my 1.4x lens extender. 

Thanks for coming,
Richard

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) bird crane indiana jasper-pulaski nature sandhill http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/sandhill-cranes Sun, 28 Oct 2012 03:18:04 GMT
My Thought on the National Geographic Annual Photo Competition http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/national-geographic-annual-photo-competition Every year, the National Geographic Society is inviting photographers from around the world to participate in their huge annual photography competition. On average they received about 60,000 photos for the 3 photo categories: nature, people, and places. The winner in each category will receive a prize of $2,500. One grand prize winner will receive an additional $7,500.  That's a total prize of $10,000, which is pretty significant. To enter, each photographer must pay an entry fee of $15 for a single image. As part of the selection process, the editors will pick about 25 to 30 favorite photos to be featured on their website every week.

 

As a hobbyist, I have been participating in this competition since I started doing photography in 2009. Each year, I submitted a single photo and I've been lucky to have a photograph selected as editors favorite in 2009, 2010, and 2012. 

 

In 2012, I submitted this photo which got selected as the editors favorite on week 5. I took this photo on my trip to the Komodo Island National Park. This is the link to the National Geographic website.

Komodo Dragon Photo

 

Equipment:
- Nikon D4
- Nikon 80-400mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year 2010, I entered this photo of my kids flying a kite in a kite competition near Chicago. They got distracted when an entertainer wearing a leg extender walking past by and surprising them in the process. I happened to have a camera handy and I snapped their smiling expression just in time. Well, here is the photo:

Distracted by the Tall Man

Equipment:
- Nikon D90
- Nikon 18-200mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, back in 2009, when I just started photography, I took a close-up photo of a small yellow flower in a nature center just across the street from my house. It was the best photo that I've ever taken at that time and I submitted it to the photo competition a few days after. It got picked as an editors favorite the week after, but the most surprising thing, the photo was featured by a number of websites and newspapers around the world. Boston.com even considered that photo as one of the best entries for the year. You can see their posting here. In fact, this photo became my most popular photo in the web. The last time I checked (through google image), there were more than 1,000 blog sites posting this photo as a content. This is the photo that I'm talking about:

Even Nature is not Perfect

 

Equipment:
- Nikon D90
- Nikon 18-200mm
- Canon 77mm Close-up Diopter Lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that's it. As an amateur, getting my photo picked by the editors of National Geographic is a huge privilege. You feel great when you get a feedback from them, because it feels like you're going in the right direction. Surprisingly, two of all the photos that got picked were taken not far from home. Nowhere exotic. This tells me that photography opportunity can be found anywhere. I just need to keep training my artistic eye to improve.


Thanks for visiting,
Richard

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) competition komodo komodo dragon national geographic photo photo competition yellow flower http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/national-geographic-annual-photo-competition Fri, 26 Oct 2012 03:10:37 GMT
The 41st International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/international-hot-air-balloon-fiesta-2012 Hello there, thanks for stopping by,

On the week of October 5th this year, My Father and I flew in to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to photograph the annual International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The nine-day event draws more than 700,000 people from around the world, both balloonists and spectators alike, to the Albuquerque area. As a matter of fact, this Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed balloon event in the world.

As this is my second visit to this event, my goal was to shoot moments and scenes that other photographers do not pay attention to. On this visit, I concentrated more on capturing moments with dramatic or minimal lighting, which requires me to arrive in the balloon park usually an hour before dawn or sunset. The whole trip ended up tiring me out more than it should, because of the lack of sleep. But, I'm pretty happy with some of the photos that I got from the trip.



Equipment wise, I brought the Nikon D800 body with 2 lenses: the 28-70mm and the 70-200mm. Knowing from experience that the D800 has an excellent capability to handle high contrast lighting condition, I took most of my photos during the magic hour of twilight, dawn or dusk. Other than the aperture value, I just let the camera handle all the settings. This way, I only have to worry about two elements: aperture and most importantly, composition. I depended on the D800 to handle the other two components in photography: ISO and shutter speed. The camera didn't disappoint me.


Well, here are some of the photos that I took in this event. Some are more snapshotty than others, since sometimes I just wanted to capture the scenes as they were happening. The event was interrupted a few times because of bad weather. As you can see in one the pictures, a huge supercell cloud with a strong wind came in to the balloon park, which caused the evening glow event to get cancelled. This time, I was very selective and I didn't shoot a lot. My 32 gig compact was not even half full when I got home. Hope you enjoy these pictures.

Thanks for visiting,
Richard

 

 

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) albuquerque festival fiesta hot air balloon international hot air balloon fiesta new mexico http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/international-hot-air-balloon-fiesta-2012 Thu, 25 Oct 2012 17:51:16 GMT
Back to my old playground http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/back-to-my-old-playground About three years ago, I decided to take my first digital SLR on a business trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This first escapade turned out to be a fruitful relationships between me and my camera. The state of New Mexico became my playground. I drove, hiked, jogged, stumbled, and fell (literarily) over the next one year on the quest to become a better travel photographer. I purchased my first photography book, "Where to take great photos in New Mexico" and carried it with me like it was a treasure map. My business client at the time, the State of New Mexico, was very supportive of my hobby. They pointed me to the places I need to go to and they even purchased some of my photos to be featured on one of the websites. Visit this if you're curious: http://contracts.gsd.state.nm.us/HB546App/Homepage.aspx. That's the website that you need to go to if you want to start a new business with the State of New Mexico.

 

I'm going back to the State of New Mexico this week to shoot the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This time, my mom and dad are traveling with me. My dad, a long-time avid photographer, has been wanting to go to this event since he heard about it. From me. Between the two of us, we've been discussing the best equipments we need to bring with us. When I was there the last time, I only carried a D90 with the 18-200mm lens with me. It turned out to be a great combo. Some of the photos I took in that event became some of my stock photo best sellers. This time, I'm bringing two bodies with me, not because it's better, but because now I have the double camera body sling from Black Rapid. Awesome product if you shoot events.

 

All of the photos below were taken with the Nikon D90 and the 18-200mm lens.

 

2009 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2010

 

San Francisco Church in Golden

Golden, New Mexico

 

Chaco Canyon

Cacho Canyon

 

Indian Clothing Festival 2010, Santa Fe

 

VLA

The Very Large Array

I will be posting more pictures from New Mexico on my website in the next few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy some samples. Thanks for visiting.

Richard

 

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rrsst26@gmail.com (Richard Susanto Photography) balloon new mexico photography santa fe state travel http://richardsusanto.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/back-to-my-old-playground Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:22:41 GMT