Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens

1899 Ely Vermont Barn

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens – When it comes to my camera equipment, I’m very budget conscious. Trying to make a living from fine art photography is a challenge to say the least.  Unlike retired doctors, lawyers, dentists and titans of industry who show up to national park scenic overlooks with a bag full of the latest and greatest professional quality equipment, the working photographer needs to keep an eye on the bottom line.  Spend too much money on equipment and then there will be nothing left at the end of the day.

When I make an equipment purchase, I have to believe that the investment will pay for itself eventually.  This is partly the reason my most bang for the buck lenses in my kit are the Canon 35mm F2 and the Canon 50mm 2.5 macro.

The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Wide-Angle Lens is a great multipurpose lens the provides plenty of room for storytelling. Just a bit wider than a 50mm for more room to include elements such as leading lines or secondary subjects. This lens provides a great focal length for a lot of the book cover type images I shoot. Plus its compact and sharp. You don’t have to worry about it being on a tripod and it is image stabilized.

Compact and lightweight, the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM has an 8-blade circular aperture diaphragm for soft backgrounds, a minimum focusing distance of 0.79 ft./0.24m, plus optimized lens coatings for minimized ghosting and flare.

With the 35mm, you know you will always come back with usable, in focus images, regardless of lighting conditions.

The Canon 50mm 2.5 is an old lens design that will drive you crazy if you try walking around with it because it takes forever to focus. BUT, this lens is amazing as a food photography lens or for table top shooting. I put this on a tripod and then use live view to zoom in and focus. It captures amazingly sharp macro images but are perfect for a lot of the book cover images I have listed with Arcangel.

Which brings me to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens. I wanted something with a longer range that wouldn’t brake the bank for the occasions when I’m near birds or wildlife. I’m not really that much into wildlife as a subject, I leave that to the National Geographic photographers, but when in Florida or Montana, I like to shoot animals when I see them.

My preference is for prime lenses. I’d rather walk a scene and study angles instead of being tempted to stand in one spot and zoom around. Also the quality of prime lenses always beats zooms. Zooms are always a compromise. Usually they excel somewhere in the middle of the range and degrade towards the long end. And that is where people tend to use them right? Usually people with long zooms want to zoom in as close as possible to “fill the frame”.

You also typically do not want to buy a zoom with a range that is more than double bottom range. For example something like a 70 – 140 lens (if there is such a thing) would be better than a 70-500. It’s just too much to demanding of the optical engineers to create something that works in all ranges.

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens is not an expensive lens. It’s a budget lens priced around $500 with a aperture of 4 to 5.6. More expensive lenses will have a smaller aperture and the aperture won’t change with the movement of the zoom.

So you have here a lens that works great on bright sunny days but don’t expect it to be as good in lower light.

As with any long lens, holding it steady is going to be a challenge. The longer the lens the more difficult it will be to get a sharp picture – again, strong light is going to be your friend. Is this lens capable of sharp images? Of course. Every modern camera lens is capable of being sharp (or in focus) at some point. You just have to work with in the capabilities of your equipment to squeeze out the performance.

I’m going to use this image as an example of a great usage of this lens and some amazing results. I found this hundred year old barn in Ely, Vermont. I wanted to capture the details of the roof and cupola details as well as the texture of the century old building.

On a sunny day I mounted my Canon 6D camera on a tripod, focused in with live view, set the timer and captured this image. Later when I processed it in Adobe Lighroom I was amazed at how sharp the details came out. You can see every bit of the chicken wire, shingles and weathered wood.

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How to purchase Ely Vermont Barn

Sadly barns like this 1899 barn in Ely, Vermont are slowly dying all across Vermont.  They say that an old barn collapses every four days in Vermont.  The owners simply don’t have the funds and resources to preserve these beautiful old barns.

Luckily through photography we can capture and preserve these amazing achievements for future generations.  Prints and product of this photograph of this old Vermont barn and others around New England can be found in my portfolio of barns and farm life here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/barn

These old barn photographs can be purchase in a number of ways – prints rolled in a tube for framing at home (standard sizes can be ordered to fit your frames) or framed in museum quality frames and mats. There are 1,000s of paper, frame and mat combinations you can choose for a custom look.

For this image I really like the barn wood frames found under the “white” frame options.

You can also order these photographs printed on canvas, metal, acrylic and wood. Although out of these substrates I’d only recommend canvas or wood for a photograph of an old barn. Acrylic and metal are best for colorful, saturated, modern images images.

Simple black museum frames with a white mat also look good.

Old barn photograph in Vermont.
Old barn photograph by Edward M. Fielding in simple black frame with white mat.


Beautiful barn wood frames for that modern farmhouse decor

Capturing that rustic modern look with barn wood frames and vintage farm tractors

The hottest looks these days combine modern and a bit of rustic authenticity.  Modern Farmhouse, Industrial and Shabby chic interior design is where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.

Beautiful Farmhouse Interior
Beautiful Farmhouse Interior

 

At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottagestyle decor.  Say goodbye to the sleek, cold, black metal frames from the dorm room or dentist office and say hello to warm, authentic, real barn wood frames matched with exceptional vintage tractor photography by fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding (www.edwardfielding.com)

 

 

Vintage Ford Tractor Tilt Shift by Edward M. Fielding
Vintage Ford Tractor Tilt Shift by Edward M. Fielding

Several styles and stain colors are available in the gray and white tonal range to match the aged farmhouse look you want for your favorite vintage tractor photograph.

Beautifully rustic barn wood frames for farmhouse decor
BWC3 – Barnwood – BWC3 – Inner Cap Profile – Drift

BWC3 – Barnwood – BWC3 – Inner Cap Profile – Drift

 

  • Material: Wood
  • Color: Gray
  • Style: Simple
  • Width: 3.0″
  • Rabbet: 0.75″
Barn wood frame profile
Barn wood frame profile

Examples of Vintage Tractor Artwork and Photography featuring Barn Wood Frames

Vintage Ford Tractor by Edward M. Fielding
Vintage Ford Tractor by Edward M. Fielding – 12 x 12 inch print shown.

Hundreds of other framing and matting options are available as well as many different vintage tractor photographs from the portfolio.

Rusty old Ford Tractor
Rusty old Ford Tractor, copper frame.

 

Old Tractor Quechee Vermont
Old Tractor Quechee Vermont – gray barn wood frame.
New Hampshire Vintage Tractor
New Hampshire Vintage Tractor, barn wood frame.
Cornish Vintage Tractor
Cornish Vintage Tractor – gray barn wood frame.

Barn Wood – Beautiful Recycled Wood

Barn wood is processed wood retrieved from its original application for purposes of subsequent use. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses, although some companies use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines and wine barrels.

Reclaimed or antique lumber is used primarily for decoration and home building, for example for siding, architectural details, cabinetry, furniture and flooring.

Barn wood frames take advantage of the beautiful patina and rustic look of old wood.

 

Vintage Tractor Portfolio – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/tractor

Iceland: Turf Sod Roofed Homes and Barns

The Turf Houses of Iceland
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Traditional Icelandic Sod or Turf Houses, Barns and Buildings: If you look hard enough in the country side of Iceland, you might just spot some of the traditional sod roofed barns, farm houses and storage buildings hidden in the hills.

Icelandic turf houses (Icelandic: torfbæir) were the product of a difficult climate, offering superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone, and the relative difficulty in obtaining other construction materials in sufficient quantities.

Lack of good timber lead the Norwegian settlers in Iceland to turn to turf house construction using local birch as support beams.

The common Icelandic turf house would have a large foundation made of flat stones; upon this was built a wooden frame which would hold the load of the turf. The turf would then be fitted around the frame in blocks often with a second layer, or in the more fashionable herringbone style. The only external wood would be the doorway which would often be decorative.

Capturing a sense of place in your photography

A group of barns in Windsor, Vermont.

Vermont – How does one truly capture a sense of place in photograph? That’s a good question with no definitive answer. There are no camera settings or com-positional rules that guarantee one will come back with a photograph that captures the essence of a place. But there is I think an ingredient in the recipe that is universal and that is time.

I’ve visited this old barn compound in Windsor, Vermont on many occasions in all different seasons.  It’s one of my favorite spots to return to and work out the various compositions afforded by this interesting spot that most would simple drive by on their way to the “top ten” tourist spots.

To truly start to understand a place and then transfer that feeling to others in your photography required spending time in a place. When photographers fail to capture a place in their images, with the result being “ho-hum” or dull photos, its typically because they show up at a spot, say on vacation, and start snapping away before even actually seeing.

When the camera is raised to the eye before the brain actually has time to take in what is being scene, the results are typically uninteresting. Too often we photographers have limited time at a certain place and are rushed to cram in as many “hot spots” or Kodak Moment locations in a day, that we fail to return with a single excellent shot.

Photography Prints

Capturing truly excellent images usually requires more intent and planning then what is afforded say on a bus tour through a national park. The most memorable photographs are taken when the light is at its best rather than when you happen to arrive at the location.

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And I’ve found that visiting a site over time and through out the year is the best way to truly start to understand what it is you are seeing and trying to capture.  Some tips for capturing the essence of a place:

  • Leave the camera at home on your first trip to a place.  (I know this one is tough).  Walk around, study all the angles, thing about where the sun is and what type of lighting will look best.
  • Return to a spot throughout the year.
  • Return to a spot at different times of the day.
  • Go on sunny days, go on overcast days.
  • Don’t set up a tripod right away.  Walk around and look.  See the image in your mind before selecting a lens and angle.
  • Bring a step ladder and view the spot from up high, bring a towel and lay down on the ground for a low angle.
  • Look beyond the obvious, over done shots.   When the crowd looks one way, turn around and see what they are missing.

 

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Recently Sold Sunset in the Horse Barn Fine Art Photograph

Horse Barn Sunset

I recently sold a 16.000″ x 12.000″ print of Horse Barn Sunset to a buyer from Sioux Falls, SD.

Horse Barn Sunset

  • Image Size: 16.000″ x 12.000″
  • Total Size: 25″ x 21″
  • Print Material: Luster Photo Paper
  • Frame: PEC6 – Plein Air Economy – Espresso Gold (PEC6)
  • Top Mat: Ivory
  • Bottom Mat: Fudge
  • Finishing: 1/8″ Clear Acrylic – Foam Core Mounting
Vermont Horse Barn
Sunsets on a Vermont Horse Barn.

The story behind Horse Barn Sunset goes something like this – we had recently moved to the Upper Valley region to Hanover, NH from Mount Desert Island, Maine.  We wouldn’t have made the move if my wife’s old friend Ben encouraged her to take the job at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  Ben is friend and previous co-worker from the old days in the Boston area.

Ben and his wife Ellen moved to Royalton, Vermont a number of years ago and renovated an old farm house, built a horse barn and now have a collection of horse carriages and participate in competitive carriage driving events.

They invited us over for dinner on late fall day when the beautiful Vermont autumn was still in its glory.  I asked if they would mind us coming over early so we planned to get there before the sun set but it took us longer than we planned and arrived when the sun was nearly gone.

I and my camera of course, jumped out of the car and took some pictures, leaving my wife and son to handling the greetings.  I managed to grab a few photos of the horse barn from the outside and inside before the light faded and then had time to be gracious to my host.

This photo from inside Ben’s fine horse barn has sold a number of times.  It was a tricky capture with the dark interior of the horse barn and the bright foliage outside in the yard.  It took a lot of post processing work to preserve the details of the buildings structure and even a horse in one of the stalls.

Outside the foliage of the autumn season is still brilliant in the fading sun on a wonderful fall evening in the Upper Valley, sharing a meal with friends.

Photography Prints

Art Prints

Photography Prints

The Barns of Vermont and New Hampshire

Family farms sporting traditional and historic wood framed New England barns and stables still dot the New England landscape in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The barns,  most painted bright red against the summer time green landscape, the brilliant orange, brown and red colors of autumn and the white snowy landscape of winter.  But you can find other colors such as white or “hasn’t been painted in decades” gray.

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A fine white barn in South Woodstock at the Green Mountain Horse Asssociation. Founded in 1926, GMHA is the nation’s oldest continuously operating horse association whose mission is to provide and maintain opportunities for educational and competitive activities for diverse equestrian disciplines. Emphasis is placed on equestrian trails preservation, horsemanship and youth education.

The facility, located in South Woodstock, Vermont, offers a wide range of events to hundreds of equestrians each year in dressage, driving, events, hunter/jumpers, and trail riding. GMHA is dedicated to preserving trails and open space for equestrian use, and the trail network covers over 400 miles.

The 65-acre facility includes stabling for 196 horses, four all-weather arenas with European Geo-Textile footing, a spectacular cross-country course, and driving hazards.

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In Enfield, New Hampshire right next door to the historic Shaker Village is a wildlife refuge and this building is part of the maintenance crew’s facilities.

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One of the most photographed farm spots in Vermont if not the world.  When you think of Vermont, the image that enters your brain might just be Jenne Farm.

Jenne Farm is a farm located in Reading, Vermont. It is one of the most photographed farms in the world, especially in autumn. The farm has appeared in magazine covers, photography books, and a Budweiser television advertisement; it has also served as a setting in the films Forrest Gump and Funny Farm. Photographs of the farm have appeared on posters, postcards and wall calendars.

Despite its fame, the private farm is located along a dirt road and is not heavily promoted. The only sign indicating its presence is a tiny board along Vermont State Route 106 advertising maple syrup.

The farm became noted for photogenic scenery about 1955 when a photography school in South Woodstock discovered it. Later, it appeared as an entry in a Life photo contest, on the cover of Yankee magazine, and in Vermont Life.

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Stowe, Vermont and Waterbury, Vermont have many old farms and old barns including this small horse barn on the way from the Ben and Jerry’s factory and on to the ski resort town of Stowe, Vermont.

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This newer classic New England red barn in Etna, New Hampshire, part of Hanover, NH – home of Dartmouth College, beautifully sits on a hillside over looking the small village.

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In the backroads of Vermont, far from the last waypoint on the map or GPS, wonderful old wooden barns in their unpainted beauty can be found among the brilliant fall foliage.

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A collection of old New England barn buildings with a single red door beyond.  This amazing complex of old barns is found right off the main road in Windsor, Vermont – the birthplace of the state.

Finally a great dump of snow! Nordic skiing in the Upper Valley

After the last couple of years of crummy snow conditions it was great getting trip of blizzards this week!

Some people are getting up tight about snow days and the high school year being extended but who cares? My son’s a senior, his graduation day is set in stone. Bring on the snow!

If you live down in Florida or some place where you don’t have snow, this next video will give you an idea of what you are missing. Sure the shoveling is tough but its good exercise.

During the blizzard I like to stay off the roads and let the snow plow crews do their work. Nothing is worse than having to pull cars out of banks and ditches when the drivers could have just stayed at home or maybe planned ahead for that gallon of milk they do desperately needed in the middle of a blizzard.

Photography Prints

Luckily in my neighborhood I have this great big old dairy barn to photograph. Its wooden red exterior looks great in the billowing snow storm.

Photography Prints

I hiked through the woods, across the road to get these shots of the old red barn in the peak of the onslaught of snow flurries. It was coming down at about two inches an hour at this point and the snow was sliding off the metal roof from the wind blasts.

Photography Prints

Getting up close to the barn took a bit of doing.  I had my knee high boots on but had to deal with an incredibly steep bank created by the plows and then walk through the layers of ice, six inches of crust and then the eight inches or so of powder snow.

In contrast here is what the scene looks like in the summer time.

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Scenes from Around the Upper Valley

Upper Valley Travels

Scenes from Around the Upper Valley

A short movie with scenes from my travels around the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.

New Hampshire and Vermont’s Upper Valley is surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire and consists of many small, wonderful towns and cities.  Home to DHMC and Dartmouth College, the ninth oldest college in the country and proudly serving the Ivy League community, Hanover New Hampshire offers the hustle and bustle of an upscale-casual city with a small town feel.

The region along the Connecticut river upstream and downstream from Lebanon, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont, is known locally as the “Upper Valley”. The exact definition of the region varies, but it generally is considered to extend south to Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and north to Bradford, Vermont, and Piermont, New Hampshire.

To buy prints, framed artwork, canvas prints, metal, prints as well as products such as tote bags, cell phone cases, throw pillows and more with photographs from the Upper Valley, visit: http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/

Old Train Bridge
Old Train Bridge http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/2-old-steel-train-bridge-edward-fielding.html
Red Door Winter Barn, Windsor, Vermont
Red Door Winter Barn, Windsor, Vermont
Dartmouth College in Hanvover, NH framed art.
Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH framed art.
Ely Vermont Old Wooden Silo And Barn Black And White Framed Print
Ely Vermont Old Wooden Silo And Barn Black And White Framed Print
Inside The Horse Barn Black And White
Inside The Horse Barn Black And White
Edward Fielding

Edward Fielding

Etna, NH

NOTE: The watermark DOES NOT appear on the final print.
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I use my photography to communicate my vision of the world. My work deals with storytelling in light and shadow from the beauty, texture and shape of every day objects to wonders of the natural world. — Edward M. Fielding

Edward M. Fielding
Fine Art Photography
www.edwardfielding.com

Fine art photography and digital art by artist Edward M. Fielding. Fielding is an artist working in the photography and digital media. As a freelance artist my work is currently represented by several leading stock agencies.

My work has appeared in featured in numerous magazines, greeting cards, advertising, book covers and media companies as well as been widely shown and juries into fine art shows.

Recently I was one of the featured artists in the PhotoReel art show at Gallery W at the Whitney in the Berkshires.

In addition to fine art photography, I enjoy being a staff educator at the AVA Gallery and Arts Center in Lebanon, NH teaching creative technology such as Scratch and Lego Mindstorms robotics to elementary and middle school children.

Many of the images featured here on Fine Art America are available for rights managed licensing for book covers and other projects from Arc Angel Images – http://tinyurl.com/aww2wzl
…..

All work in this gallery is the original work of Edward M. Fielding. It is for sale, copyrighted to Edward M. Fielding and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws.

Copyright Edward Fielding All Rights Reserved. COPYRIGHT NOTICE:
Edward Fielding retains all rights to these images. It is illegal to copy, scan or duplicate from the website in any form.
Images on this site may not be used for personal or commercial use without written permission by Edward Fielding.

Ye Old Barn – Working a Scene in Photography

Working a Scene – Vermont Barn

The beginner photographer approaches a scene, raises their camera and “takes” the picture. A seasoned photographer “works” the scene, studying all the possibilities of composition from various angles.  Unless you work out all of the possibilities of a scene, you don’t come away with the best possibility.  Often this requires revisiting a scene more than once, perhaps in different seasons.

In the video above fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding (www.edwardfielding.com) comes upon an old historic New England barn and explores the possibilities of the scene at a location in Windsor, Vermont.

This old barn complex in Windsor, Vermont is eye catching when driving by with its complex arrangement of buildings, weathered boards, red painted doors etc but capturing the feeling of the place is different than snapping a shot from the road.  You have do actually engage in the landscape and explore the various angles and arrangements of the composition.  Bottom line is to get into the scene and make an photograph rather than take a snapshot.

Below are some photographs of this area taken at different times of the year as well as some thoughts by other photographers on how to work a scene in photography.

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“Making a picture just right takes time, even when the thing you’re photographing isn’t moving. Instead, you do the moving — closer, not so close — change lenses, commit to a tripod, micro compose some detail, step back, reconsider, recompose, repeat. And when it looks right it also feels right — just so.”
— Sam Abell, from The Life of a Photograph

Photography Prints

“The compositional dance is about figuring out a way to move you and your camera, which in turn moves the smallest of details inside your viewfinder for maximum visual impact. You can make use of all photographic techniques to create the atmosphere or emotion you are feeling and want to transmit. It’s about recognizing and understanding what it is that attracted you to the subject matter in the first place, and then determining — through concentration and instinct — how best to communicate those feelings through the photograph.” – Steve Simon

Photography Prints

“We don’t always have the time or opportunity to revisit a given scene many times in order to make ourselves happy; however, we should at least be convinced that we have produced the best possible image given the limitations of our own visit. This means that even if a scene is immediately interesting/ arresting, the first image may not necessarily be the best one. Sometimes our instincts are right, sometimes our timing is lucky, and it is; more often than not, there’s always something to be improved.

If you take a look at the work of great photographers immediately before and after a famous image – the Magnum Contact Sheets book is highly recommended for this because it puts the chosen frame in context of what happened immediately before/ after by showing the rest of the frames on the roll – you’ll see that they all have something in common: they spend a lot of time experimenting with variations on the same basic idea, exploring options, and usually end fairly soon after getting the shot they want.” – Ming Thein

Photography Prints

“If you’re walking around a city or village and you stop to take a photo, that means something caught your eye (enough to make you stop and photograph it, right?). Don’t just take one shot, shrug your shoulders, and move on. Remember, something made you stop, so there’s probably something there, and taking one quick snapshot probably won’t uncover it.

Your job as a photographer is to “work that scene” and find out what it was that captured your attention. The first step is simply to slow down—stop, look around for a moment, and see what it was that drew your eye in the first place. Was it the color, was it a doorway, an archway, was it some little feature, or something big? If you can figure it out, then you’ll know what to shoot, but more often than not, we can’t exactly describe what it was that made us stop and shoot, but it definitely was something.

Your job is to find it, and to work that scene by trying these techniques: (1) Shoot the area with different focal lengths—shoot a few shots in really wide angle, then try 100mm, then zoom in tight, and see what you find. Stop and look at your LCD to see if you’re getting close. If you see something that looks like it has possibilities, then (2) try changing your viewpoint. Shoot it from a very low angle (get down on one knee) or try shooting it from above (look for stairs you can shoot from or a rooftop angle). This can make the shot come alive. If that looks really good and you’re getting close to nailing the shot, then (3) try varying your white balance (try changing it to Cloudy and see if having the shot look warmer looks better, or try Shade for a warmer look yet). Try all these things (work the scene) and my guess is one of those shots will bring a big smile to your face.”  – Scott Kelby

Art Prints

More award winning Vermont Barn photographs – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/barn+vermont?page=1