Late last week I had to head into Nashville early so I decided to stop to get a few shots of the city. I realized I completely lucked out just as I was parking. I quickly headed to the banks of the Cumberland River and this is what happened:
Typically, this is a great spot to shoot the sunset but there was so much color in the sky from the sunrise this morning that it stretched all the way into the western sky. The above photo is a 6 shot panorama. Each is a 3 exposure HDR. The photos were merged into HDR using Photomatix and then merged into panorama using Photoshop.
Once the sky died down a bit and the sun came up more it cast some beautiful orange light on the buildings:
I have another shot from this morning that I will be using for another full tutorial over on SOHDR.com – check it out if you are interested in learning HDR!
Another shot to add to my collection of photos of Nashville during the “Blue Hour”. The blue hour is the time of day right after sunset or right before sunrise. The camera can capture a brilliant blue in the sky. This is a shot of Second Avenue from the Shelby Street Pedestrian bridge, taken this past Saturday night.
This photo is available for purchase – CLICK HERE to be taken to the all new online store!
This is a 6 shot HDR, camera on a tripod. Merged in Photomatix and processed in Photoshop CS5. If you are interested in producing HDR images, pick up a copy of Photomatix and use coupon code “malcolmphoto” at check out for a 15% discount.
So this year I’ve decided that I’m going to start a monthly challenge for myself. I find that when I get out to take photos I often head to the locations that I’m familiar with. This year, I’m going to attempt to get to at least one new-to-me location every month. I’m hoping this helps me to find many more great places to shoot in middle Tennessee.
January’s “New Spot” was Poole Knobs Recreation Area. Less than 30 minutes from my house, I can’t believe I’ve never been there. It’s an absolutely beautiful spot and perfect for sunrise photography. There was tons of drift wood and rocks lining the shore of Percy Priest Lake, something you don’t get at the lake I usually shoot – Radnor Lake.
These were all shot early one Sunday morning in January. Enjoy!
If you have an idea for a place you’d like to see me shoot, let me know! Leave a comment here or send me an email!
Most of these photos are HDR photos processed with Photomatix. If you are interested in creating HDR photos like these, you can get a 15% percent discount on Photomatix by using the Coupon Code “MALCOLMPHOTO” – Read this blog post for more information!
Thanks for looking!
So 2011 is drawing to a close. I feel like my photography world has grown exponentially this year. It started with the completion of my “This Week at the Lake” project. That was a project that I truly enjoyed and was proud that I made it the entire 52 weeks. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to do once that was over. Was I still going to take many photos? Of course the answer was YES!
2011 brought me many new clients and friends. I photographed engagement sessions, family portraits, babies, weddings, and parties. I grew my stock photography collection on Getty Images from just a couple photos to over 180. I’ve licensed photos to companies all over the world and mailed prints to clients all over the US. October brought an amazing opportunity to display my Radnor Lake photos in a gallery next to extremely popular local artist Phil Ponder. I even covered a couple college football games and the Murfreesboro Christmas parade for HobNob Murfreesboro.
I’m going to break up “The Best Of” posts into sections. This first post features my favorite landscapes, cityscapes or scenic photos. I hope you enjoy them!
This first shot was taken on a cold snowy morning at Radnor Lake. It was the lead shot for Week 47 of my project. I was the first (and only) one out there. No footprints to mess up the scene! Standing on that deck is where I get a lot of my sunrise photos at Radnor Lake. This time, I decided to include the snow covered deck and benches in the shot. I like how it turned out!
This is a shot I got at Shelby Park in Nashville. I met a few local photographers there and we walked around taking photos waiting on the sunset. I really liked how this turned out. I think it’s a good reminder to look around when taking photos. Look up, look down. Try to get a unique angle.
Years ago, I took a shot similar to this on film and I really liked it. Finally, I made it back there and tried it with my digital. This was taken at Vanderbilt University. I like the colors and lights in this shot.
I have to admit, in photography you have to have a LOT of luck. Be skilled enough to put yourself in the right spot at the right time, be skilled enough to know what to do when it happens. But other than that, you need some luck. I was set up to shoot the sunset this evening as some storms were rolling through. I had seen some lighting but not much. As soon as I pushed the button, the lighting streaked across the sky. Seconds later, it began pouring. This was the only shot of this sunset that I got. This might just be one of my all time favorites!
This was my first attempt at a window reflection self portrait. I really liked how this turned out and I’ve done several others. I find them very interesting to look at. Trying to determine what’s inside and what’s reflected. This one was taken downtown Murfreesboro Tennessee. I have an album on facebook that has the others if you are interested in seeing them 🙂
As soon as I left work this day, I called my wife and told here we were going somewhere to shoot the sunset. I could tell the skies were shaping up to make for an awesome sunset. We decided to head to the Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro and this is the result!
This is the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. I was vacationing there and knew that I wanted to get a shot of the viaduct. I scouted out this area the day before and realized that the sun would be rising over this scene. So the next morning (and the last morning of the vacation, so it HAD to be a good sunrise!) my brother and I drove, hiked, climbed in the dark and waited for the sunrise. We were not disappointed as this beautiful sunrise took shape over the viaduct.
On the way back to the house from getting the sunrise shot above, we came across these sunrays breaking through the trees onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. I took a couple shots but decided they needed something else in them. I told my brother to go stand in the rays.
Sometimes you get a shot in your head that you want. It’s rare (at least for me) that it ever happens exactly the way you envisioned it. This one, however, did! I’ve envisioned this shot in my head for a long time. I’ve been to a few Titans games but never at sunset. This year, I was invited by a friend to a preseason game. The timing was perfect and the seats were already near the top. All I needed was some color! Sure enough, the sky started lighting up so I headed to the 50 yard line and got this shot.
Not much to say about this one, I just really liked how it turned out. I love the light and color and the path leading you in.
This is my favorite Nashville Skyline photo taken in 2011. I like the lighting and colors. This is such a classic spot, every time I’m downtown I just have to get another skyline shot. It’s really an impressive scene from the Shelby Street bridge.
Just another beautiful morning at my favorite spot in Middle Tennessee. When you shoot at the same places over and over, it’s hard to make the photos unique. For this one, I backed up to include the path into the water and waited for the sun to peek over the ridge to give me a flare.
This one is from my hiking trip along the Appalachian trail. Straight ahead is Jane Bald, and Round Bald. The left of the photo is North Carolina, the right side is Tennessee. This is near Roan Mountain Tennessee.
Another from my hiking trip. This tree was near my camping spot on the first night. The fog and the mist gives it a mysterious look.
Taken on a foggy morning in Murfreesboro. I just loved the fog, the fall colors, and the look of this old tree. This is one of my top favorites of the year.
This was taken on the same morning as the shot above it. I really love shooting in the fog. Everything looks so mysterious.
Another shot of a Radnor Lake Sunrise. There was so much color in the sky this particular morning.
Finally, it’s another shop window/reflections shot. The key to these is to find the right window with enough interesting stuff inside and interesting reflections from the outside. I knew I wanted to get one of these of a shop window with Christmas decorations. I circled the square in downtown Murfreesboro several times trying to find the right window. Finally I came across this one, it has a great display inside and the reflections worked perfectly showing the courthouse clock tower.
And that’s it! Just a few of favorites from this amazing year. Thank you to everyone who continues to support my photography and here’s to an even better 2012!
Don’t forget, most of my photos can be purchased by visiting the Storefront Site.
Are you a photographer thinking about HDR photography? Purchase Photomatix from hdrsoft.com and use the coupon code MALCOLMPHOTO and get 15% off! Then check out my tutorials!
Happy New Year!
Want to create high impact, dramatic photos like these!? Malcolm MacGregor Photography is pleased to have teamed up with Photomatix, the program used to create all of my HDR images, to offer you a discount code!
Photomatix is already a very cheap program ($99), but now it’s even better. With the discount code MALCOLMPHOTO, you will receive an additional 15% off! Photomatix can be purchased and downloaded from the HDRsoft website, HERE
After you purchase Photomatix, be sure to check out my HDR tutorials for additional help! As always, let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks for looking!
I recently met up with John of Hobnobmurfreesboro.com to shoot his new motorcycle. I was excited about this shoot, and had a lot of ideas in my head. I got several that I planned and several that were not planned. We met downtown Murfreesboro for some dark urban photos. Here is a sample of what we got:
Want shots of your bike or car? Send me an email – m_macgregor[at]comcast[dot]net
Thanks for looking!
Well, here we are. The final installment of this 52 week project. I’m going for a little bit of symbolism in the lead shot as I’m watching the sun set on this project. I also started the project with a sunrise, so I wanted to end with a sunset.
Radnor Lake is actually a pretty tough place to catch a sunset. There really are no good angles. I had three chances to get a shot of one this week, starting on Monday which was a complete rain out. My second chance came on Tuesday, so I parked at the east parking lot ad tried to capture it from Otter Creek Road:
This sunset was really amazing. And while I liked how this shot turns out, it doesn’t show most of the color that was there. The sun is actually setting off camera left, behind the hills. What you see at the end of the lake is actually the edge of it.
So my next opportunity came Thursday evening. I decided this time to shoot from the trail that directly faces the sunset. I wasn’t sure how I was going to compose it with all the trees, path, fence, etc. I decided to use the fence in the composition and to put myself in the photo. The result is the lead shot.
A couple others from the final week:
And that’s it for the week and the year! Thanks to everyone who viewed, commented, liked, or supported this effort. It’s been a lot of fun and I feel like I’ve come a long way as a photographer. Have a look at the first few weeks and see if you think I’ve improved. Constantly shooting will help you do that.
If you are a photographer and are thinking about a year long project, weather a 52 or a 365, I highly recommend it. Don’t make too many rules though! It has to be fun for you, it has to be something you want to do. I had to get up at 4:45 in the morning each time I wanted to get to the lake for a sunrise or for early morning shooting. Because of my wife’s work schedule and my son’s school schedule I was able to do this only about once a week, but I actually looked forward to that day. I never once viewed this project as a chore, or wished I hadn’t committed myself by starting this blog or posting on flickr.
Don’t think for a minute that now that this is over I’ll stop going to the lake! Radnor Lake is an amazing place (really early in the morning when there aren’t too many people there 🙂 ) Abundant wildlife and beautiful views. There is ALWAYS something to shoot at Radnor. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend you check it out.
I have some other ideas in the works for other projects, Subscribe to this blog you will receive an email every time I post something new! Or, become a fan on Facebook.
All of the “This Week at the Lake” photos are available for purchase as fine art prints and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Radnor Lake! Send me an email for more info (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Southern Appalachian Spruce Fir – Roan Highlands, Tennessee/North CarolinaJune 13, 2017 - 8:27 pm
- Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Post 19 – 20 Minute CliffJune 3, 2017 - 9:32 am
- General Jackson – Charlottesville, VirginiaMay 30, 2017 - 8:40 pm
- Frisco Pier – Cape Hatteras, North CarolinaMay 30, 2017 - 8:35 pm
- Bodie Island Lighthouse and Milky Way – Nags Head, North CarolinaMay 30, 2017 - 8:30 pm