Scotty's new website

What happened to "Last Flight Out Photography"?

Well, my last website was totally lost by my EX-Webhost, Bludomain. For reasons I have yet to wrap my head around, all my blog posts, galleries, and entire website were lost when their servers failed.

 

Life goes on...

Welcome to my new and improved website. It is still "Last Flight Out Photography", and it will still contain my favorite images from around the world...underwater, landscapes, street photography, sports, and aerial shots from my drone.

Photography During Covid-19

You are probably wondering where I have been??

Believe it or not, I have barely touched my camera since this damn virus hit the world. At first, I was thinking I would be able to travel anywhere I wanted without crowds of tourists, and was kind of excited about it. BUT, that didn’t pan out, obviously…most every country closed their borders, so travel has been pretty much not an option. Even here in Indonesia, I wasn’t able to leave Jakarta. Bali was (and still is) closed, Raja Ampat closed right after we left in March, and inter-island travel is pretty much restricted to business only.

So…I went to the States to visit family. I did bring my camera, but didn’t take many photos.

I did have ONE photo in mind for my visit to the States. For the past few years, I have wanted to photograph the Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, South Carolina. I had done my research beforehand, and knew exactly where to position myself for a panoramic photo of the massive 500-year-old tree. The one positive side of Covid, is that there was only a small group of people visiting the tree at the same time I was there. It didn’t take too much waiting to get a clean shot of no people.

After about a half hour, there was a lull in people around the tree…so, I bounced off the bench and fired off 51 photos in three rows. Just as I finished taking the series of photos, a bunch of people arrived, and the peaceful scene was again full of people. I did make a mistake taking the photos…I shot at f/4, and that was a mistake. When looking at my photos on my computer, some of the background branches are out of focus. Oh well…dang!! But the final photo came out pretty nice, anyway. I did have to do some Photoshop work to remove the yellow chain around the tree, and some annoying signs that were distracting.

Here is the final version…87 million pixels.

How Are You Out There??

Covid-19 Lockdown

Yes…we are still pretty much locked down here in Indonesia. All domestic flights have been cancelled, and the only international flights open are for expats that want to re-patriate. I was thinking of flying my family to the Sates, but we would be stuck in a house there as well. Might as well stay here where we have all the comforts of home, our nice pool, my home office, the school gym, etc.

I have been keeping busy though. I continue to do on-line teaching. That amounts to zoom meetings once a week, and video tutorials. I guess this is all good practice for when I eventually retire. I have also been trying to improve my golf game along with my daughter. There are still a few golf courses open, so after “on-line school” is out, Kayla and I go out and practice for a few hours every day. The gym is also open, and I have been keeping in shape as well. Actually, I’m kind of digging this new life style. Of course, I miss going out to a nice restaurant and going to see a movie, but other than that, my family and I are pretty content sleeping in every day, getting our work done, and spending time with each other. Good family bonding.

Trying to get Creative

So, I have had some time to work through some on-line tutorials with compositing. It is my new “hobby” I like to play around with. I find compositing to be really challenging, but I love a good challenge when it comes to photography. I am still learning, but getting better. Below is an image I spent the last two hours on. This image is a composite of four images. My own beach image, my own image of the girl on the beach, then a stock image of the shark and a stock image of the kayak.

Here are the images I used…

To create this composite…

 

Social Distancing in Raja Ampat

I had the opportunity to go to Raja Ampat for a week, and jumped at the chance. I can’t think of a better place to get away from all the chaos of the Corona virus. The entire area was quiet. No liveaboards, no tourist, and only a handful of divers. It reminded me of the old days diving in Raja Ampat. I would have stayed longer, but Indonesia closed all access to Raja Ampat for at least a couple more weeks…so, had to fly back to Jakarta.

New Custom Sport Photos

Before this outbreak of the Virus, I was busy creating some new custom sport photos. Of course, all business now is on hold while we all hunker down in our separate caves around the world.

Here’s hoping you all are sitting at home with clean hands…

 

Sad News…

You might remember my story from last August about photographing TIM…the largest elephant in Africa. Well, I just found out that Tim died this morning. Fortunately, he died of natural causes, and wasn’t taken out by poachers! I feel so fortunate to have seen him up close in person, and to have photographed this magnificent animal!! RIP Tim!

By the way, he will be stuffed, and put on display in a museum, so he will “live on” for millions to appreciate him.

Happy New Year!!

Yes, I am well aware that is now the 22nd of January, so a bit late to say, “Happy New Year”. Better late than never, right??

When I get around to it, I would like to post my favorite photos from 2019, but you know me…terrible about posting. Funny, I am pretty regular on FB and Instagram, but when it comes to my own personal blog, I am terrible about posting. I could make it my new year’s resolution, but have decided to not do those anymore as I rarely follow through with resolutions. I would actually be interested in knowing what percentage of resolutions made by millions of people everywhere around the world are followed through with.

Any way, how about this shot from Old Bagan in Myanmar for my first post of 2020??

Beauty Photography

I have been having lots of fun working with my students (and ex-students) the past two weeks, and also my daughter, Kayla. All of these girls volunteered to be my model, and they were all so professional. Who knows? Maybe they have a career ahead of them modelling. I learned how to post-process these photos from the incredible, Manny Librodo, who openly shared his techniques with me. He is a true artist when it comes to Photoshop, and has a great eye and creative mind.

These photos below are somewhat my “experiments” with the new techniques I learned. I am still fine tuning those techniques. Here are my favorites from my experimentation so far…

Manny Librodo Workshop

I started following Manny Librodo back in the early 2000’s. One of the first websites I uploaded photos to was pbase.com. It was there I first saw Manny’s photographs. I used to comment on his photos, and he would comment on mine. We had several personal exchanges back then as he was also an international school teacher working in Thailand, and I, of course, was working here in Jakarta. We were both teaching different subjects (I was teaching Math, and Manny was teaching Psychology), but our real passion was photography. Manny became famous, and I….well, didn’t. He ended up quitting his teaching job, and has been doing workshops all over the world for the past ten years. I am now teaching photography. So, we are both working (if you call it that) in a job we love. What’s the saying? “If you get paid doing what you love, then you will never work a day in your life”. That’s it for me, and for Manny too.

Any way, bounce ahead 15 years or so, and here we both are working together. Manny flew to Jakarta last Tuesday, and spent a week at my house running workshops for the students, teachers and local photographers. We hired a designer, Eggie Jasmine and a make-up artist, Hilda Winaz, and got students and JIS grads to model for us. It was a high-fashion photo shoot! Manny showed us how to find natural light, and we shot thousands of photos. Then he took us into the classroom, and taught his secrets in post-processing with Photoshop. It was amazing, and I learned some new tricks…

It was a great week, and Manny and I quickly became good friends…a friendship that will last a long time.

This photo below, I took in the studio. Lana Sidi Said is the model, and of course, Eggie created the concept, and Hilda did the make up. I put two photos together…the studio shot of Lana, and one of my Cambodia photos, and then used some of the techniques I learned from Manny to post-process.

My 12th Trip To Pacu Jawi

Believe it or not, I didn’t go to Sumatra at all last year. Garuda over double their price to Padang, so it just made it too expensive to spend just one day in Sumatra to see the races. This year, however, Lion Air started flying to Padang for nearly half the price. So, I organized a trip this past Saturday, and brought 9 people with me.

It is always an amazing experience, and it’s tough to NOT get a good photo!

I usually shoot with my Nikon D800 and the Sigma 50-500mm. This time, I shot with my Sony A7R3 and the Sony 100-400mm lens. No comparison which was better…the Sony wins hands down!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Street Photos From 2011

Amazing what you can find going through old photos. These were taken back in 2011. I am never sure why I never post some photos. I guess at the time, I just thought they were average…but now I think they are bit above average…haha…

 

 

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Scotty Graham is an internationally acclaimed professional photographer specializing in fine art photography and print making.
scottygraham1@gmail.com