Stu Gallagher: Personal Landscapes

Stu’s interest in photography started around the age of 12. On occasion his father would let him use his camera, and subsequently become upset with how fast a kid could burn through a roll of film.

It wasn’t until 2009 that Stu purchased his first DSLR camera. With no official schooling other than large amounts of reading, trial and error and advice from other photographers, he’s managed to become a full time photographer – almost by accident. As a whole, the photography community in Syracuse has been a wonderful source for education and support.

Landscape photography has become Stu’s go-to genre, while photographing
concerts follows closely behind. When he’s on assignment in the Finger Lakes, he always sneaks a few photos for personal use. These images are a result of that.

“‘Keuka Lake 2’ – This is a wide angle shot of a vineyard with Keuka Lake in the background. I was on my way to an assignment and noticed the different grape vine varieties in different states of fall coloring. You will notice the lower vines are completely green while the upper are a striking burnt yellow. I bumped up the saturation and used Photoshop’s Nik Color Effex Pro to sharpen the image with a light application of tonal adjustment.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with the Wagner family, or at least they tolerate me enough to allow my wandering of the vineyards without being on an assignment. This image is of Cabernet Franc grapes with the leaves helped along by Nik Color Effex Pro in order to get the color pop I was looking for.”

“Labrador Hollow offers great fall hiking with a lookout where hand gliders take off at the top. It has a wonderful view of Labrador Pond and the surrounding ski mountains. This photo was taken with a polarizing filter that brings out the blues in the sky. There’s a slight glimpse of that between the trees.”

“Watkins Glen Gorge is a paradise for a long exposure nut like myself. This photo was taken with use of a tripod, timer and neutral density filter. You’ll notice the blur of people. The shutter in this photo was open for eight seconds, rendering anything that moves into a blurry motion. I could have removed the people entirely from the photo but I think it added a nice touch to a somewhat static waterfall photo. Along with a few of the other images I’ve turned some of the foliage colors to achieve a fall-like appearance.”

“‘Buttermilk Falls’ – One of my favorite types of photography is long exposure. To achieve the blurry water look you must use a tripod and remote control (or timer) and a neutral density filter. Long exposure is when the shutter is open for expended periods of time. It’s important that the camera not move during this time to avoid blur to the entire image. This photo was taken at a four-second exposure, then processed in with Nik Color Effex Pro. I wanted to give the foliage a fall look, so I changed the greens to yellow.”

“‘Keuka Lake hay bales’ was taken in the evening just around the golden hour time before sunset, giving this image a nice rich color. The sky that day was void of clouds and I felt this photo was lacking something, so I decided to remove the sky and replace it with another photo I took. I rarely use this technique, but it seemed to give this one what I was looking for.”

by Stu Gallagher

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