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Moon Watch: February 2013

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

February will have many opportunities to shoot the moon. On February 25, the moon will rise at the beginning of the blue hour and it will rise at the end of the blue hour on February 26.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
Feb 24/99% 6:48 AM 6:20 PM 5:29 PM 5:43 AM
Feb 25/Full 6:47 AM 6:20 PM 6:25 PM 6:21 AM
Feb 26/99% 6:46 AM 6:21 PM 7:22 PM 6:58 AM

View my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, Night Photography Tricks Revealed, and Video: How to Shoot the Moon.

Moon Watch: January 2013

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

January will have many opportunities to shoot the moon. On January 26, the moon will be low in the sky during the blue hour and it will rise during the blue hour on January 27.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
Jan 25/98% 7:07 AM 5:59 PM 4:54 PM 5:46 AM
Jan 26/Full 7:07 AM 6:00 PM 5:48 PM 6:28 AM
Jan 27/100% 7:06 AM 6:01 PM 6:43 PM 7:08 AM
Jan 28/98% 7:06 AM 6:01 PM 7:38 PM 7:46 AM

View my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, Night Photography Tricks Revealed, and Video: How to Shoot the Moon.

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!

Moon Watch: November 2012

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

November will have many opportunities to shoot the moon. On November 28, the moon will rise during the blue hour.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
Nov 26/97% 6:47 AM 5:29 PM 4:15 PM 5:02 AM
Nov 27/99% 6:48 AM 5:29 PM 4:57 PM 5:54 AM
Nov 28/Full 6:49 AM 5:29 PM 5:42 PM 6:45 AM
Nov 29/99% 6:49 AM 5:29 PM 6:30 PM 7:35 AM
Nov 30/96% 6:50 AM 5:29 PM 7:20 PM 8:22 AM

View my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, Night Photography Tricks Revealed, and Video: How to Shoot the Moon.

Video: How to Shoot the Moon

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

With all the opportunities to shoot the moon in October, I decided to scour YouTube looking for a good tutorial for shooting the moon. I found a two-parter. Be sure to watch both videos.

The first video gives great advice for shooting the moon with just about any digital camera. You will need a tripod but you don’t have to break the bank. If you have a super-zoom digital camera, you may be able to frame the moon tightly.


The second video lets you know how to use Manual mode to get an even better shot. The video does a great job of explaining why you need to reduce the exposure by 2 stops. Click to continue »

Moon Watch: August 2012

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

There will be three opportunities to shoot the moon in August. On August 1, the moon will be full and rise before the blue hour. On August 2, the moon rises during the blue hour.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
July 31/97% 6:46 AM 8:08 PM 6:55 PM 5:08 AM
Aug 1/Full 6:46 AM 8:07 PM 7:42 PM 6:12 AM
Aug 2/100% 6:47 AM 8:06 PM 8:24 PM 7:14 AM
Aug 3/97% 6:47 AM 8:06 PM 9:02 PM 8:14 AM

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

Video: How to Shoot Fireworks

Saturday, June 30th, 2012
Other than your camera, the most important piece of equipment is a tripod. The exposures required for fireworks are too long to handhold your camera. I found an excellent video for how to shoot fireworks on YouTube from phototips.biz.

Basic Settings for a DSLR

  • Manual Mode
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter speed: 1 second to start
  • ISO: 400
  • Focus: Turn off auto focus and manually focus on infinity

I agree with the video’s suggestion to just change the speed if you need to adjust the exposure. Increase the shutter speed if your shots are too bright or slow down the shutter speed if your shots are too dark.

Even if you don’t have a DSLR, you can still take photographs of fireworks. If you have a compact digital camera that doesn’t have Manual mode, look for a Scene (SCN) mode for Fireworks. As with a DSLR, it is manditory that you use a tripod.

Feel free to post links to your fireworks photographs in comments.

Videos: Steel Wool Light Painting

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Warning! Even though burning steel wool creates spectacular effects, it is dangerous and you need to take safety precautions for yourself and everything around you!!

The first video does a great job of giving you a brief rundown of how to take photographs of burning steel wool but I highly recommend that you also view the second video before trying out the technique. The second video goes into much greater depth about the process and the reasons for needing to be safe.

Click to continue »

Review: Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark is a amazing book that has many examples of fantastic night photographs as well as step-by-step instructions for how to get the same kind of results.


Click to continue »

Review: Crafting Reality: Painting with Light

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Captain America and 3-D BoyCrafting Reality: Painting with Light is an inspiring eBook by Eric Curry. The photographs in the eBook look like HDR images but they are created in quite a different way. Small sections of the subject are illuminated from different directions then merged together with Photoshop. Eric goes into detail about how to take the photographs and the settings to use in Photoshop.

Throughout his eBook, Eric emphasizes that you should think and plan your shots.

So often during my public presentations and coaching new photographers I advise them to think in terms of “concepts.” Do not just go out into the environment and photograph neat stuff you happen to see, but take the next step and envision an idea first, then try to create that vision you see in your mind’s eye.

This is good advice and Eric spends a lot of time telling you how to plan a photoshoot. He tells you what he does and why as well as which equipment he uses. Crafting Reality: Painting with Light is an extremely thorough how-to book and I highly recommend it.

You can find more videos about painting with light at Eric’s YouTube Channel and on his website American Pride and Passion.