Sunday, October 27, 2019

Timeless Spiral

Spiral shapes appear throughout nature, and have been adapted by man in a variety of ways. This spiral staircase in a lighthouse is reminiscent of the spiral of a nautilus shell. The beautiful ratio and repetition of shape make spirals fascinating photographic subjects.

This shot was made with my iPhone 10R, a device I rarely use for images. But sometimes it is handy, and very easy to use. And the sharpness is much improved over older iPhones.

This is a straight shot, not changed with some of the wonderful software available. We have so many options open to us, but sometimes a straight shot is a nice treat. I did use Photoshop to improve the color saturation.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping."
Julia Margaret Cameron

Friday, October 18, 2019

Florida Bird Photography Workshop

Join me for some of the best bird photography anywhere.
This is the time of year when some of the most beautiful 
Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, 
Snowy Egrets, 
and several 
species of Herons 
arrive in their breeding plumage. 

The birds will be nest building, mating, and raising chicks, and all of this will be happening close to us at eye level.

We will be in a private rookery that is beautifully designed with walkways that put us at tree-top level with the birds. This provides us with the best chances of getting close-up shots, and no long lenses are needed. All birds are truly wild, but are not bothered by our presence.

We will have special early access to the rookery before it opens to the public. And it is a short, easy walk into and around the rookery. Super bird photography does not get any better, or any easier than this.

In addition to the birds there will be shooting opportunities in the historic areas of St. Augustine, which bills itself as America's Oldest City. It is the home of significant landmarks like Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler College, the Lightner Museum, and more.

This unique workshop includes:
- early entry and private time photographing birds in the rookery
- personalized instruction to make your bird photography the best it can be
- all rookery fees
- trolley and walking tour of historic St. Augustine
- image critiques
- Lightroom and Photoshop tips

Workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

FEE: Early sign-up fee is $1995 if you register no later than November 20. After that date the regular rate of $2495 applies. Fee includes all entry fees into the rookery, trolley tour of historic St. Augustine, extensive personalized instruction, image critiques, both in-the-field and classroom training, Lightroom and Photoshop tips. (Not included are lodging, meals, transportation, and personal incidentals. Special hotel rates have been arranged.)

DEPOSIT: A $500 deposit will reserve your space.

ITINERARY: Workshop begins in the late afternoon on Monday, March 30. Specific time and location will be provided when you register. Each day of the workshop will be a varied combination of bird photography, historic architecture, training, and image critiques. The workshop officially ends after a morning rookery visit on Saturday, April 4.  



or  CALL 757-773-0194

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Simple Pleasures

As photographers, we enjoy many of life's simple pleasures - a beautiful sunrise, wildlife encounters, or in this case a gently flowing stream. Being by the water is a primal experience for many of us, whether it is at the ocean or along forest streams.

Photographing moving water is relatively easy. To show the movement as in this image, a tripod is needed, as well as a cable release or remote trigger for your shutter. If you do not have either of those, you can still get great shots if you set your shutter on a 2-second delay. If you do not know how to do this, your owner's manual will have directions. The delay allows your camera to stop vibrating after you have pressed the shutter button. Even though you are on a tripod, there is still some vibration when you press the shutter, and allowing you camera the 2 seconds to settle down will result in sharp images.

I am always asked what the best shutter speed is to show the movement of water, and the answer is "it depends."  There is no hard and fast rule for the best shutter speed, since it will vary widely depending on how fast the water is moving AND how much movement you want to show.

For fast-moving water a shutter speed as short as 1/4 sec. can work well. For slower moving water often a shutter of several seconds or longer is needed.

The best thing to do is to start with a shutter speed of 1/4 sec. and then slow down the shutter speed in increments, up to several seconds or longer to determine what look you like the best. That way you have many options to choose from each and every time you do this type of photography.

It is important to remember that as you change the shutter speed, you must also change the f-stop so that the exposure on each shot is a good one. Just slowing down the shutter speed without changing the f-stop will result in over-exposed images. So be sure to check your Histogram on each shot to be sure you are getting good exposures.

3.2 seconds at f/20, ISO 400. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens set at 140mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Gitzo tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world."  -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

The Misty Moody Smoky Mountains workshop has been an incredible week of great photo opportunities, great people and a great time all the way around.

We headed out at 5AM yesterday morning in hopes of seeing a spectacular sunrise, and Mother Nature did not disappoint. We had the wonderful mist that the Smokies are famous for, and the show lasted for about 45 minutes.

The clouds and the light were constantly changing and we were all happy campers. It is always wise to arrive on site about an hour ahead of official sunrise time. That gives you time to set up and to start shooting as soon as the there is enough light for an exposure. Our starting exposures were about f/22 for 15 seconds, with an ISO of 800. But the light brightened quickly and soon we were able to reduce the ISO to 200 and the shutter speed to 1.5 seconds.

15 seconds at f/22, ISO 800. Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens set at 76mm on Canon 5D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Sunrise is always a perfect time of day. If only it did not come so early!"  -- Mollie Isaacs

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Autumn Is On The Way

The Great Smoky Mountains photo workshop begins in just a few days, and everyone is looking forward to some cooler weather and fall color. The Smokies are famous for morning mist in the valleys, and we are hoping to see that, too.

But regardless of what we might see, I am looking forward to showing everyone some spectacular hidden gems inside the national park. I am fortunate to have traveled to the Smokies many times, and know some of the best tucked away places for superb photography. We will explore many of those locations in search of unique and beautiful images.

When photographing the autumn colors anywhere, it is best to go during the week when the area is less crowded. Then look for places where there is some color, but also some foliage that is still green. So often we hear reports on when things are at "peak color," but the best images are often possible days or a week or more before peak so that there is some green to offset the warm yellows, oranges, and reds as in this image. Having some color contrast can provide more punchy and appealing images.

Also, look for foliage that has just burst into color if possible, rather than leaves that are already becoming faded or brown. Colorful leaves floating in streams or ponds can also provide some great images. Let your imagination go, and try to seek out unique views, or different approaches to typical autumn images.

You will be amazed at what you can create when you let yourself go, and allow your creativity to soar!

1/500 sec. at f/16, ISO 800. Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set at 70mm on Canon 5D Mark II. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "This world is but a canvas to our imagination."  -- Henry David Thoreau