4/8/21 – Cloudy and Dramatic Skies

Hey everyone. This morning, I went to an area in Grand Rapids where I knew I’d be able to shoot the skyline. For the past couple days, I’ve been checking The Photographer’s Ephemeris (using the SkyFire add-on) to check how the sunrise is likely going to look. Today appeared promising, so I got my gear and went outside. When I got out, I noticed that there were a lot of clouds in the sky–I thought that this might interfere with my morning sunrise shooting plans.

After arriving at the location, I noticed that the sunrise was mostly blocked by these clouds–but that there were a lot of layers to them, and I figured they’d add a lot of drama to my image. I took a lot of shots, but this is the one I chose to edit: it had the dramatic clouds, the sun star created from the rising sun, and the light trails on the road from tail lights.

I brought this into Capture One 20, and got to work. Once I’d finished my edits there, I brought it into Photoshop 2021 for finishing touches. I’m working on removing Photoshop from my workflow, as I want to drop my Adobe subscription. But I haven’t found a replacement yet, so it remains in my arsenal for the time being.

I’m pretty happy with this image, even though the sunrise wasn’t what I’d thought it would be. For those who are interested, my settings were: ISO 50, f/22, 2 seconds, at 32mm (using a 24-70 2.8). I didn’t use a filter, as I forgot my filter ring on my other camera at home (hence the f/22).


2021 – YouTube relaunch

Hello, all. Our YouTube channel has been dormant for a long two years, and I’ve been meaning to get it going again. The pandemic ruined my plans for 2020, and I decided to take a hiatus from photography until the world started to get back to normal again. I should’ve seen that as an opportunity to get the YouTube channel back on track, but–well–you know what they say about hindsight. Anyway, I’m here now with my first video post-relaunch: a first impression of Luminar AI.

I’m fascinated by this program, even though it runs counter to my usual photographic principles. Generally, I’m not a fan of composites and/or sky replacements. I’ve seen other photographers make some great–and artistically interesting–composites, but it’s not really been my thing. However, the next YouTube video that I release will address an important reason why we as photographers should–at least–occasionally consider adding composites (even if through something such as Luminar AI) to our repertoire.

That said, I hope you enjoy the video. I’ll be adding regular content here on this blog as well.


2020 Updates

It’s been quiet here at G.M. Russell Photography all year. Originally, I had plans to purchase a tent and enter various art fairs around Michigan. I was excited about the opportunity to expand this business beyond what it is now. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to those plans. With state-wide lock-down orders from March 23 to June 1st, I’ve been staying at home as required. As of June 1st, the lock-down is lifted–but the pandemic continues. I’m going to continue to socially-distance as much as possible, which means I’ll be conducting minimal photo excursions throughout the year. In other words, 2020 is the year of the hiatus.

I am no longer offering in-person mentoring sessions until I feel that it’s safe to do so. However, virtual mentoring sessions are available upon request. Prints (including signed prints) are still available, and will be shipped from a location which has been sanitized. While the business is in hibernation mode during the pandemic, I’m working on some new content updates to publish here–that will be coming soon. I’ve scrubbed all previously-published content here, in an effort to function as something akin to a “soft reboot” of the website.