Jan 27, 2011
When I am out and about pursuing nature photography I am almost always instinctively attracted by the strong colors of a photographic object. This is the decisive moment for me when I decide it is worthwhile to pull out my camera and tripod to capture a natural delight. I am much more aware of colors and their effect on people then I used to be and I try to use them to my photographic advantage. For example, one connects the color red with energy, danger, strength and power but also with passion, desire and love as often conveyed in red roses. Yellow is the color of sunshine. It's connected with joy, happiness and energy. Sunflowers are the perfect example for happiness and joy. I always get an extra kick out of them when I photograph them. Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Blue represents the opposite of warm colors like red and orange. It is often associated with intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue also has a calming effect and conveys tranquility and calmness. Green represents the color of nature. I like to associate green with harmony, freshness and fertility. White may suggest innocence, purity, and virginity. White is often considered the color of perfection. A black background is mysterious, associated with the unknown and adding elegance to a photograph.
Jan 26, 2011
Jan 22, 2011
Lupine and Tulips were accepted into the group art exhibit, No Hearts - No Flowers. The exhibition features many artists and runs from January 21 through February 24, 2011 from at the University Place gallery. University Place gallery is in walking distance from Harvard Square at 124 Mt. Auburn St. in Cambridge, MA 02138. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm.
Jan 15, 2011
This photo shows my usual set up at home when photographing flowers using a white or black background. Here you can see my macro photography set up for a purple orchid flower photograph using a black cardboard as the backdrop. I prefer to set up my close up photography studio next to our dining room window because it provides beautiful lighting in the morning. As a base I use a chair that I place in front of the window. I then use a large enough black cardboard from Staples that I position behind the floral photographic object using the backrest for support. White cardboards are used to enhance the light and direct the light towards the floral when it is facing away from the window. I always use hardcover books to stabilize and minimize any unwanted shaking or movement of the flower. Additionally the books make it easy to adjust the height of the flower when a different perspective or angle is more desirable. I often adjust the white boards to explore the impact on the lighting and better control the light on the flower. Adjusting the light with the white boards is a great learning experience for us photographers and often leads to more inspirational and beautiful photographs. In the final macro photograph of the purple orchid I positioned the flower in the best possible way so that there were no other distracting branches or flowers in the composition. The closed bulbs provided a wonderful foreground and I used the branch to lead the viewer through the photograph towards the blooming orchid flowers. The aperture was set to f/6.3 providing an exposure time of 0.8/second. An ISO50 setting minimized noise. which turned out to be a problem for this image. In the post processing steps I had to adjust for the aforementioned noise and removed dust. I then minimally adjusted brightness, contrast and color saturation before sharpening the image of the orchid.
Jan 9, 2011
Tips for Great Pictures, Digital photography tips and techniques that help you take better pictures. Top10 plus photo tips for taking great photos of mirror-like photography reflections at your hand.
Jan 6, 2011
Recently I visited Naples beach where I was looking for suitable nature photography objects. The seascape scenery was painted by the late afternoon sun and beach shells made for great macro photographs. While going about my business I encountered eight ibises that were looking for dinner on the beach and in the incoming waves. Once I became aware of the birds I quickly decided to pass them at a safe distance. I then composed a seascape photograph using the birds as an interesting foreground with the historic Naples fishing pier and beach in the background. I kneeled in the sand to obtain a low perspective and laid the focus point on one of the closest ibises. I then fine-tuned my composition using the waves and pier as leading lines before releasing the shutter for my first photographs. Since the birds kept on wandering in my direction I decided to pause and keep shooting while they moved closer and closer towards me and my camera. In my final images the ibises provided beautiful filling foreground photography objects while the waves and pier provided leading lines that guide the viewer through the photograph almost always returning to the wading and feeding birds. The moment I got up from my knees, ready to move on I noticed a woman trying to capture the moment with her own camera. Unfortunately two young kids came running along the beach and chased the birds away. I felt sorry for the lady but happy for the kids having a blast and myself to have captured the moment. The camera aperture was set to f/5.6 providing a fast shutter speed of 1/320 second. I underexposed by 2/3 stops and adjusted the polarizer for full impact which in return provided beautiful color saturation. In the post processing steps I removed dust spots, minimally adjusted lighting, contrast and color saturation before sharpening the final wildlife photograph.
Jan 5, 2011
On my last photography tour in Florida I once again stopped at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and got loose with my camera along the 2 mile boardwalk trail loop. The Corkscrew is such a unique place and a paradise for all sorts of wildlife; hence making it equally exciting for birders and photographers alike. If it is your lucky day you may encounter the rare Florida panther or a Florida black bear crossing your path. I once discovered American alligators resting at the dried out Lettuce Lakes along the boardwalk. Birds such as egrets, herons, warblers, woodpeckers and owls are a common sight throughout the wildlife sanctuary. The flora at the Corkscrew is remarkable as well. Many orchids are in bloom throughout the year making for a beautiful flower photography destination. Open prairie and the cypress swamp provide objects for landscape photography. Along the boardwalk I came across bird photography jewels such as ibises, black-crowned night heron, pileated woodpecker, red-shouldered hawk, and an American bittern. Towards the end of the loop trail I was rewarded for my patience with a great egret that was very adoptive to human surroundings. The egret crossed under the boardwalk, stalking for prey and going about its business. The bird was neither disturbed by me nor my camera presence and couldn’t care less about my photographic ambition. I on the other hand was pretty excited to have the bird in camera range beautifully lit by the morning light. At one point the great egret walked towards me on a log and I was able to capture a few shots before he came to close even for his comfort. The bird then turned around and walked off. I thought that this was the end of my bird photography endeavor but was proven wrong. Approximately 1-2 yards in front of me the bird noticed more prey to his left and turned that way. I immediately realized the opportunity for wonderful great egret portrait photography. Still down on the boardwalk to be near at bird’s eye level I quickly zoomed the camera lens to 200 mm, adjusted the polarizer to minimize glare and focused on the eye. I kept part of its body in the frame and instinctively applied the rule of thirds for my composition, leaving sufficient space to make the viewer wonder what the bird is looking at. The bright sun lit the white feathers of the bird and an aperture setting of f/3.5 combined with a ISO100 setting provided a fast exposure time of 1/160 seconds that saturated and provided the desired contrast between the bird and reflection in the background. I used the boardwalk to stabilize my camera and to optimize image sharpness and quality. In the digital post processing steps I removed dust spots and made minor adjustments to lighting and color saturation before sharpening the great egret photography portrait.
Jan 3, 2011
During a recent photography trip down to South-West Florida and a stroll through the streets of Naples my daughter discovered a beautiful monarch butterfly feeding on the nectar of some milkweed flowers. The Danaus Plexippus was very patient and a willing photographic object. At one short moment the butterfly turned towards the camera and looked straight into it. Unfortunately I was not quite ready to release the shutter and missed that shot. I am still wondering though why the monarch did not take off when I moved in closer and closer ... was he sick, lost or exhausted from a long migration? I wish I had spent more time but two ladies were already waiting in line to take their pics. Nonetheless I was able to secure three hand-held macro photography frames. For this close-up photograph I choose a f/5.6 aperture that provided sufficient depth of field. The polarizer saturated colors and eliminated distracting reflections in the image. While reducing the incoming light it made it more difficult to hand-hold the camera. As a solution I adjusted the ISO50 to an ISO100 setting which enhanced the exposure time to 1/100 second. In the post-processing I removed dust spots, applied minor lighting and color saturation settings. I also selected a tighter frame by cropping the image before sharpening.