Thursday, June 26, 2014

Exploring Santorini

Blue Dome in Soft Light

Santorini is a stunningly beautiful island in the Aegean Sea. It's also relatively easy to visit. A handful of comfortably walkable towns are draped along the edges of dramatic ocean cliffs.

Santorini, or Thira as it's known in Greece, is a fragment of an ancient volcano. Sea views from steep "caldera" side of the island are breathtaking. The architecture in each of these towns is uniformly elegant.

The cliffside topology adds a vertical dimension to the touring experience. Turn to one side, and you'll be looking upward at structures; in the other direction, you'll be looking out over rooftops. Many of the famous view of Santorini incorporate the ability to look out over the roofs of churches and chapels.




a photo of a chapel with a blue dome santorini
Blue Dome in Soft Light - Santorini



The chapel pictured above is a well-known landmark in the lovely town of Oia. The chapel isn't large, but it would be challenging to shoot from this vantage point without being able to stand above it on the cliffside. 

The main pedestrian route through Oia runs right past the chapel. I stood on that pathway when I snapped this photo. Everyone with a camera or smart phone or a tablet stops here - just about in this very spot - and takes a photo.

So, why did I bother to take yet another photo of something that's photographed thousands of times a day? Why not? I was there. And I felt that I had my own interpretation to add to the heap.

This shot was taken on a cloudy morning and benefits from the softness of the light. On other days, direct sunlight yielded a higher-contrast look. I appreciate them equally.

I took great care to maximize sharpness, detail, color fidelity, and dynamic range with every shot. After all, I need to keep up with those ubiquitous tablets and smart phones! ;-)


Camera:    Nikon D800E
Lens:        Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S 

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bourtzi Fortress at Dusk - Nafplio

Castle On The Water

My brief stop in Nafplio coincided with uncharacteristically rainy weather. The showers ended about an hour before sunset, but thick cloud cover remained.

I wanted this shot dearly. The enchanting island fortress of Bourtzi hovers so elegantly just above the calm waters. But the light from the gloomy sky was far from flattering.

My only hope was that the town would have the good sense to illuminate their lovely little Venetian-style castle. I set up my tripod, focused the camera and waited for dusk to fall.


a photo of the bourtzi fortress in nafplio greece
Bourtzi Fortress at Dusk, Nafplio



I was extremely fortunate. Floodlights emerged as the evening sky began to darken. Fog draped distant mountains and added to the atmosphere.

I love the mix of cool, blue dusk punctuated with highlights from warm, artificial sources. Daylight white balance captured the blue cast of the evening sky simultaneously with the orange glow of the mercury vapor lamps. 

The image required almost no post-processing, only sharpening and a dash of contrast. The atmospheric conditions and the magnificent mix of light sources are what make the photo stand out.

This is one of my very favorite photos of Greece. Thank you, Nafplio, for turning on the lights!



Camera:    Nikon D800E
Lens:        Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VRII

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Modern Dance

Elegance In Motion

Tremendous thanks to Josh, an amazingly talented Modern Dance performer, for permitting me to photograph him in his studio.



Modern Dance 1 - Photographed by Daniel South




Modern Dance 2 - Photographed by Daniel South




Modern Dance 3 - Photographed by Daniel South




Modern Dance 4 - Photographed by Daniel South



Please stay tuned for information on an upcoming gallery on the Performing Arts.


Nikon D800E, 24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S, SB-800 and SB-910 flash units

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 7, 2014

Morning Ride

Take Off

Sometimes all you need is a fast bike and an extra helmet.



a photo of a colorful motorcycle and rider in new york city
Morning Ride - Daniel South Photography



Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Lens:      Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright © 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 31, 2014

Stairway Atop The City Walls, Dubrovnik

The most impressive walled city that I've seen in my travels is Dubrovnik on the southern coast of Croatia.


a photograph of a stairway atop the city walls in dubrovnik croatia
Stairwell Atop The City Walls, Dubrovnik


I captured this shot as the morning sun cast a shadow bisecting the stairway.


Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens:      Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Springtime at Big Sur

Cattle Grazing at the Point Sur Lighthouse

Ah, the green of the California Coast! What a welcome sight after a long, cold winter!


a photo of cattle grazing near point sur lighthouse california
Cattle Grazing at Point Sur



Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens:      Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Passing Gondolier - Venice

A Sense of Place




a photo of a gondolier in venice
Passing Gondolier - Venice



Camera: Nikon D800
Lens:      Nikon AF-S Nikor 24-70 f/2.8G ED 


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Other Side of the Island

The Charm of New York's Neighborhoods

Skyscrapers. High-rise apartment buildings. Landmarks, lights, and sights - New York has it all. Tourists flock to Times Square and Rockefeller Center, stroll along Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, and aim their cameras at the Chrysler Building and the World Trade Center. The grandeur can be intoxicating. The experience, unforgettable.

New Yorkers and frequent visitors enjoy the famous sights just as much as the tourists do. But there's a more intimate side of the city - neighborhoods that retain the charm and character of decades past. 

I love to photograph New York. A big part of that adventure is discovering the city's hidden secrets, lesser known places that still catch the eye and captivate the imagination.



a photo of classic new york architecture
City In Motion - Classic New York Architecture



The photo above shows a style of architecture that I have come to appreciate while meandering through the busy streets of Manhattan. These four or five-story building typically feature shops on the street level, apartments above, and intricate iron fire escapes.

The fa├žades can be quite colorful. I love how direct sunlight - which hits this row of buildings for at most only a few minutes per day - brings out the colors, textures, and details.

My first attempt at this shot didn't work out well. I realized afterward that I had forgotten to put a memory card into the camera. The images vanished as soon as I turned the camera off.

I returned a week later, wedged my tripod between a couple of parked cars (one of which was waiting to pull out!), focused, finalized my exposure settings carefully, and clicked six or seven shots as cars passed by in various patterns. I like this one the best because of the even distribution of the passing cars across the frame.

Unfortunately, these lovely buildings are disappearing. Each year, many of them are torn down to make way for large and more modern structures. I look forward to photographing more neighborhoods like this one - before they all disappear.


Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens:     PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved