Welcome to the blog for Thomas Parry Photography. My purpose is to inform the public about photographic projects I have recently completed as well as those in progress and planned for the future. I will periodically post articles about different aspects of photographing nature, people and places. As I work with new hardware and software tools, I will pass along lessons learned that may aid other photographers. I will periodically write reviews about photographic equipment with which I have experience and books I read that may be helpful to others. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and return frequently. I invite your thoughts, good ideas, opinions and feedback.
| 08 December, 2013 13:56
Thomas S. Parry, Field Contributor, Nature Photographer Magazine
The Nature Photographer Magazine 1st 2012 Contest Winners Special Edition issue is available for electronic download either in PDF format or as an iPad app viewable in the Nature Photographer Magazine Library App available from the Apple iPad App Store. This edition of Nature Photographer is their first-ever special edition showcasing the talent of some of North America’s best nature photographers. The issue contains more then 100 images including winners of the first Nature Photographer Magazine photo contest, the first Birds as Art international bird photography competition and select images from students at Narraguagus High School in Harrington, Maine. Included are clickable links to photographer’s websites and special slideshows. The number and variety of images in this publication and their beauty make owning this special edition worth the small investment.
I was privileged to have two of my images win the first Nature Photographer Magazine photo contest and be featured in this edition. I feel very honored to have my work published alongside the magnificent work of such talented nature photographers. The two images published are as follows:
Image 1: Grand Canyon Sunrise.
Photographed April 24, 2011 from the Desert View overlook, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
While visiting the Grand Canyon during the Easter weekend of 2011, I arose very early on Easter Sunday to drive to the Desert View overlook on the South Rim to witness and photograph the sunrise over the canyon. Clouds lingered over the canyon from a storm that moved through the area during the night. A short time after the sun rose and only for a brief moment, I caught the glorious rays of the sun filter down over a distant mesa. I thought to myself “what a marvelous sight to herald an Easter morning.”
Image 2: Overwintering Monarch Butterflies
Photographed November 5, 2011 at Pismo Beach, California
Every year, from October through February, tens of thousands of North American Monarch Butterflies migrate more than 2,500 miles south to coastal California and Mexico to escape the extreme cold of winter in the northern and central states and Canadian provinces. Monarch Butterflies are the only insect known to make such a lengthy and challenging migration each year. In November 2011, while visiting the Monarch sanctuary in Pismo Beach, California, I photographed this large cluster of overwintering Monarch butterflies. Monarchs are becoming increasingly threatened by adverse environmental factors and their numbers are diminishing. I was gratified, however, to find the quantity of overwintering Monarchs to be substantially higher in 2011 than what I’ve observed over the last two years.
To purchase the special PDF or iPad version of this special edition issue, you may visit the Nature photographer Magazine website at http://www.naturephotographermag.com and follow the instructions for purchase and download.
| 08 December, 2013 13:56
In my previous post Xi’an, Shaanxi Province: Tang Music and Dance Theater, I provided an excerpt and some photographs from my book The Timeless Faces of China that describe the splendor of Tang Music and Dance Theater as performed in present day Xi’an. This short article is a follow-up that describes the equipment, techniques and post-production processes I used to achieve beautiful photographic results of the production.
Photography during the Tang performance is permitted and actually encouraged. There are no copyright restrictions on taking photographs. It is a given, however, that use of flash is not permitted in these types of performances and would disturb the performers. It would also greatly attenuate the beautiful effects created by the stage lighting. Patience and a good eye are needed to photograph these types of theatrical performances because everything is in constant motion and the light levels are low. Tripods are not permitted so I had to hand-hold my camera for the entire performance. My approach was to use a high ISO setting on my Canon EOS 40D up to 1600 and an EF 70-200 f/4.0 L IS USM telephoto zoom lens set to f/4.0 from my vantage point to capture a focal range that would show sufficient breadth in the staging of the performance to isolating individual or small clusters of performers. I found that with this ISO/lens combination and setting my shutter speed to 1/250 second I was able to capture beautifully sharp and saturated images as the one seen here.
Noise is always an issue when shooting in low light at high ISO settings and, while my Canon EOS 40D does an amazing job of minimizing noise, I still needed to apply software noise reduction measures in post production. I did this by first importing the raw files into DxO Optics Pro version 6.0 and applying the noise reduction algorithm, which I have found to be one of the best available. I then converted the noise corrected RAW files to DNG format and exported them to Adobe Lightroom version 3.5 to perform additional enhancements before exporting as TIF files to Photoshop for final post production. I was very happy with the resulting images as they do not have any appearance of being shot at high ISO.
Today’s digital SLRs do a remarkable job of controlling noise and the noise reduction capabilities of most RAW file conversion programs (e.g. Lightroom, Aperture and DxO) are better than they have ever been. The good news is that it keeps getting better and better with the new generation of cameras and with the release of each new version of RAW conversion software.
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Calendar Of Posts
- Slot Canyons: Nature’s Abstract Sculpture Studio (Part II of II)
- Brown Pelicans
- The 2012 Transit of Venus
- A Walk on the High Line
- Publication of "Three Days In Manhattan"
- Year of the Snake: The 2013 Chinese New Year Celebration in San Francisco
- Showcase of Nature Photography: Second 2012 Special E-Edition of Nature Photographer Magazine Now Available
- The Hugo Hotel: A Housing Crisis Turned into Public Art
- Publication of The Timeless Faces of China
- Timeless Faces of China is an Honest Portrayal of Chinese Society
- Nature Photography 
- Visions of Budapest 
- Current Projects 
- Techniques 
- Reviews 
- The Timeless Faces of China 
- Three Days in Manhattan 
- Cityscape Photography 
- Landscape Photography 
- Bird Photography 
- Astronomy 
- Event Photography 
- Slot Canyons 
- General 
- Seascape Photography