Landscape Photography

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PhotoTube: Tutorials and Videos for Photographers

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

PhotoTube.info is a website dedicated to photography videos containing tips for producing HDR, infrared, landscape, portrait, flash, macro, night, and product photographs. It is a relatively new website but already contains hundreds of instructional videos. Here is a list of some of the most viewed videos:

  • phototubeDSLR Tips: Night Photography
  • Strobist Preliminaries
  • DSLR Tips: How to blur backgrounds on portraits
  • DSLR Tips: How to blur water for a dreamy effect
  • Merge to HDR in Photoshop
  • Long Exposure Turorial
  • DSLR Tips: Using polarizing filters
  • Secrets of Amazing HDR Photography
  • Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark
  • HDR Photography
  • Strobist Softbox Technique Tutorial
  • In-Camera HDR Using Multiple Exposure
  • Photoshop Tutorial: Creating an HDR Image from a Single RAW File
  • Canon T2i 550D HDR Tutorial
  • Shooting the Moon
  • Landscape Photography Tips: Creative Composition
  • 20 Essential Things for Landscape Photography

It is easy to see which videos have been Recently Added, Most Viewed, and Top Rated as well as many categories. PhotoTube is definitely worth checking out! Oh, by the way, it is completely free!

Review: Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Summary: I highly recommend Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are at all interested in landscape photography, get this book! Digital Landscape Photography covers cameras, lenses, exposure, composition, HDR, and panoramas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Landscapes are Everywhere
  • Chapter 2. Cameras and Accessories
  • Chapter 3. Choosing and Using Lenses
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Exposure
  • Chapter 5. Techniques for Sharp Images
  • Chapter 6. Light on the Landscape
  • Chapter 7. Composing Pleasing Images
  • Chapter 8. Special Subjects
  • Chapter 9. High Dynamic Range Images
  • Chapter 10. Panoramas

Review: The chapter on cameras and accessories emphasizes investing in a camera system not just the camera. The authors recommend Canon and Nikon cameras because both brands have an excellent selection of lenses and accessories. This is the same advice that I give my students. The book is filled with excellent tips such as how to use a back button to auto-focus rather than having the shutter button initiate the auto-focus function. 34 out of 36 customer reviews on Amazon, give Digital Landscape Photography 4 stars and above with 26 5 star reviews. This is an outstanding book that is clearly written and informative. Click to continue »

Moon Watch: May 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

There will be four opportunities to shoot the moon in May. On May 5 the moon will rise before the beginning of the blue hour and on May 6 the moon will rise at the end. The blue hour is the time immediately after the sun sets and the sky turns a deep blue. The moon will officially become full Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT. Because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee, its closest approach to Earth, it will also be the year’s biggest.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
May 4/97% 6:41 AM 7:54 PM 6:33 PM 5:13 AM
May 5/Full 6:40 AM 7:55 PM 7:42 PM 6:00 AM
May 6/100% 6:39 AM 7:56 PM 8:51 PM 6:53 AM
May 7/97% 6:39 AM 7:56 PM 9:57 PM 7:52 AM

Read my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, and Night Photography Tricks Revealed.

Night Photography

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Nighttime is one of my favorite times to take photographs. There is always the element of surprise! Long exposures make it possible for your camera to record something that you can’t even see. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger versions in a lightbox.

17th Street Causeway BridgeThe only caveat for shooting at night is that most of the automated features of your camera will not work and you really need to use your camera in Manual mode and understand the relationship between ISO, speed, and aperture. When I’m taking photos at night, I try to take two of the three settings out of the equation. Since it is difficult to focus at night, the first thing I do is to stop down my lens to a small aperture such as f/8, f/11, or f/16. This increases the depth of field so that focus is not so critical, i.e. the greater the depth of field, the more of the subject will be in focus. Next I set the ISO at the optimum of my camera. Since I have a Canon camera, I set the ISO to 100. If you have a Nikon, set the ISO to 200 instead. The reason for using the camera’s optimum ISO is to reduce noise. Long exposures are inherently noisy so it is important to do as much as possible to reduce noise. Sometimes you will have to increase the ISO to get the shot. The duration of the shot is the main thing that you will use to get the exposure. Increase or decrease the shutter speed until you get the correct exposure. Click to continue »

Video: HDR & IR Photographs

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I uploaded an HD video compilation of some of my high dynamic range (HDR) and infrared (IR) photographs. I created the music using Sony Acid. Hope you enjoy.


Use the following links to find out more about HDR and IR:

Review: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Digital Photography Book, Part 4Summary: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4 by Scott Kelby is a worthy addition to his series of digital photography books. It picks up where volume 3 left off and, like the other books in the series, contains many useful tips written in a non-technical, conversational style.

Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book(the best-selling digital photography book of all time), is back with another follow-up to his smash best-seller, with an entirely new book that picks up right where volume 3 left off. It’s even more of that “Ah ha, so that’ s how they do it,” straight-to-the-point, skip-the-techno-jargon stuff people can really use today, and that made volume 1 the world’s best-selling book on digital photography.

Click to continue »

Review: Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera Head

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera HeadSummary: I can’t recommend this head unless you have lightweight equipment. I really like the compact style but it droops too much with a long lens.

Review: I have used the Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera Head with a variety of lenses and the head doesn’t tighten enough to prevent droop with a long lens. I really wanted to like this head because it is light and compact. I intended to use it for landscape and architectural work. On a positive note, it does use the same quick release plate as my other Manfrotto heads and works well with a wide angle lens. This head can also be twisted into some unusual positions.

Manufacturer’s Description: An innovative 3D Head unlike any other! Cast from lightweight magnesium, the head can be positioned in virtually any position to get the exact framing of the image. The lock-system using spring-loaded conical joints allows greater flexibility than any other 3D head whether mounted on a tripod centre column or lateral arm. The rubber grip knobs provide finger tip control and won’t poke you in the eye like conventional handles do. The 460Mg is the ideal head in combination with the Carbon Number One line for 35mm SLRs and medium format cameras. This replaces the Bogen Manfrotto 3437.

I am still searching for the best head to use for landscape and architectural work. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.

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Landscape Photography Tips and Tricks to Achieve Professional Results!

Friday, October 28th, 2011
My Take: This is a good article that starts with 10 tips for beginners and ends with 10 tips for the more advanced. The suggestion of focusing 1/3 of the way into a scene may or may not work — the aperture that you select and the length of your lens will determine depth of field. The desktop app for The Photographer’s Ephemeris is free but the iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch is $8.99. Unlike PhotoBuddy, The Photographer’s Ephemeris includes the direction the sun and moon will be from your current location and even corrects the times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset according to your elevation.  To give a greater sense of depth, include something in the foreground, middle ground and background. For the advanced suggestions, I agree with exposing to the right but you should also turn on the “blinkies” so that you can easily see which areas are blown out. The author doesn’t mention the tip that I think is most important — experience everything. For instance, if you are going to take photos of the sunset, get there at least an hour before sunset and plan on staying about an hour after. Take photographs throughout the event. It is amazing the different colors that fleetingly appear. Amateurs say, “Oh, pretty.” Snap and they’re off to shoot something else. Professionals linger, enjoy the show, and capture everything.

10 Tips and Tricks for the Beginner

1. Shoot close to sunrise and sunset to achieve more balanced exposures. Shooting during the harsh daylight produces very contrasty light and is difficult to capture details in both the shadow and highlight areas. If it’s one thing you take away from this guide it should be this!

2. Compose an image to exclude more and include less; remove any element that does not add to the image. Simplicity is often the key!

3. Shoot in RAW format for maximum quality if any post production editing will be performed later. This is really a big deal! Click to continue »

Article source: http://ezinearticles.com/6627432

Gallery | Artwork for Sale

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Check out my new gallery where you can purchase framed reproductions of my artwork. Subscribers to the Trick Photography Ideas Newsletter receive a coupon code for 10% off all purchases in the Gallery. Click here to subscribe and receive your coupon code in your welcome email.

Artwork is printed, framed, or mounted by the following vendors:

  • Mpix Lab
    • Mpix is an online digital imaging lab for both the professional photographer and the advanced amateur.
    • Shipping To United States and Canada
  • Photobox
    • Based in the UK and with printing facilities located near London and Paris, Photobox is one of Europe’s largest photo printing destinations offering great value and quality of service.
    • Shipping Worldwide, except United States and Canada
  • fotoflot
    • With the fotoflot system you can showcase high-quality prints without glass eliminating reflections and glare. An innovative magnetic mounting system allows you to swap photos in seconds with images literally floating off the wall or desk.
    • Shipping Worldwide

Secrets of Creating a Fake HDR

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Faro Blanco HDR

Fake HDR

A real HDR is created by taking a series of photographs with different exposures then merging them together in software in order to tone map the separate exposures into one HDR image that has an extremely high dynamic range. Since the photographs used to create the HDR are separate shots, anything that is moving can be problematic because a moving object is in a different spot in each photograph. The HDR software can’t align a moving object. It is possible to remove the ghosts but I have experimented with creating fake HDR images of moving subjects such as water. Instead of using multiple exposures, I take one good exposure and create separate files from one RAW photograph then merge the files together into an HDR image. The resulting image does not have the same dynamic range as a real HDR but it does have the unique look of an HDR. Expect additional noise in the shadows. Click the image to the right to see what I mean. I have read that you can’t or shouldn’t create exposures from one file but I find that the process can create a compelling image out of a lackluster one. Take a look at the difference between these photos and judge for yourself.

Here are the steps that I took in order to create the HDR pictured in this post. Click to continue »