Feb 28, 2011

Photo of the Week at 20% Off

This week's photo is "Beantown on Ice" and is a panoramic photograph of the Boston skyline featuring landmarks such as the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center building. The photograph was taken last week.


Starting today each panoramic photography print and canvas of this Boston skyline photograph is now 20% off and on sale at Fine Art America throughout the week of 28 February 2011.

Feb 27, 2011

Macro Photography near the Bish Bash Waterfalls

On my last trip to Western Massachusetts I stopped to photograph the Bish Bash waterfalls. Although it is usually a beautiful photo destination for capturing waterfalls with surrounding flora in autumn colors, on this morning I was not finding the pictures I had in mind. Once I covered the ground at the bottom of the falls I started to make my way up to the top to explore that area through my lens. Unfortunately there was not much to explore there either. Rather disappointed I started to make my way back to the car and while crossing a little brook I stumbled upon this mushroom on a tree stump. Instantly I realized this day saver photo opportunity and tried various perspectives. I settled on a view that beautifully isolated the mushroom and tree trunk against the background. I lowered my tripod to mushroom level to achieve the composition I had in mind. An overcast and cloudy sky provided excellent conditions for macro photography. A polarizing filter minimized the glare on the mushroom tips and saturated the forest greens. The aperture in this macro fungi photograph was set to f/6.3 that resulted in a 0.8 seconds of exposure time. In the post processing steps I made adjustments to lighting and color before sharpening the final image.

Feb 21, 2011

Photo of the Week at 20% Off

This week's photo is "A Kiss is just a Kiss" and is from a Gerber Daisy floral macro photography shoot that I captured last weekend in my home studio.


Starting today each photography print and canvas of this Gebera Daisy flower fine art photograph is now 20% off and on sale at Fine Art America throughout the week of 20 February 2011.

Feb 20, 2011

Botanical Greenhouse Photography

Last Friday morning I took a trip to the local botanical greenhouse at Wellesley College. It is only a 20 to 25 minutes drive from my house and I only discovered it recently. It helps me to stay focused on my flower photography during the cold New England winter months that otherwise would not be very productive. The first time I visited one of the caretakers showed me these beautiful passion flowers in bloom. I snapped a few photos and instantly decided that this would be a regular destination for me. Last Friday I went back and shared the greenhouse with four painters and a class of high school art students that also were there to pursue the art of painting.
It was very quiet and I felt a little bad making all that noise with my tripod and firing away with my camera. However, when I first entered, there were white lilies in full bloom. I was immediately drawn to them because of their pure beautiful white shades lit by the morning light. Once I captured the images I had envisioned, I moved on with my journey. I checked out the cactus and desert section of the greenhouse but nothing was blooming yet. When I arrived in the tropical section my camera fogged up and I just let it sit on its tripod for a few minutes. I cleaned off the lens and then payed closer attention to pink orchids in full bloom. Luckily I was prepared and brought a piece of black cardboard that I positioned behind the orchids. That way I was able to eliminate any disturbing distractions in the background and added some elegance to the photograph. In the next area I found a yellow flower with a deep throat that I focused straight into. The edges burned out nicely and lead all attention to the floral inside. After a couple of hours I finished my photo excursion happy to know that I captured a few floral beauties that morning.

Feb 15, 2011

The Beehive in Acadia National Park

Last summer I made another trip to one of my favorite New England travel destinations: Acadia National Park on the rocky granite coast of Northern Maine. After parking the car at the Sand Beach parking area I took an easy beach walk along Sand Beach followed by a steep wooded climb up to the cliffs of Great Head. It doesn't take much effort to get to the top and the reward is a spectacular view over Sand Beach and the Beehive. Although fog is a common sight on Mount Desert Island and in Acadia National Park I felt lucky this morning to find a band of fog floating through the valley. The magic did not last long and the fog burned off fast. I acted quickly, set up camera and tripod before capturing the small tidal creek and the Beehive, one of Acadia National Park's icons. In this landscape photograph the aperture was set to f/7.1 resulting in a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. Post processing involved minor color saturation before sharpening the image.


Feb 14, 2011

Boston Skyline at Twilight

Post sunset is one of my favorite times to take photographs. I regularly go out and capture the Boston skyline at twilight on days that I am not occupied hunting for nature photographs. The best time is 20 to 30 minutes after the sun has set. The optimum light does not last long. Because twilight is hard to predict I set up my tripod and camera prior to the actual sunset and then fire away once the sun sets and disappears. This approach requires sufficient battery power and flash card memory to keep shooting while closing in on the optimum light. The twilight effect also works on cloudy days and up to 15 seconds exposure times are not unusual. I set up on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge. Rush hour traffic shaking the camera set up and wind on the boats can sometimes cause blurry, unusable photos. This photograph I framed and composed in manual mode. The landscape format includes the John Hancock tower and the Prudential Center building, both Boston landmarks and icons. Although difficult to capture I welcomed the boats in the foreground because they add interest to the overall composition and lead the viewer towards the skyline. The aperture was set to f/6.3 resulting in a 2 second exposure time. In the post processing steps I removed dust spots, minimally adjusted lighting and color saturation before sharpening.

Photo of the Week at 20% Off

This week's photo is Abstract Forms in Nature and is from a floral macro photography study that I captured last winter and published in Apogee Photo Magazine.


Starting today each photography print and canvas of this flower fine art photograph is now 20% off and on sale at Fine Art America throughout the week of 14 February 2011.

Feb 5, 2011

The Art of Flower Photography published by Apogee Photo Magazine

Learn from my photography magazine article "The Art of Flower Photography" on how to create beautiful macro floral and abstract flower photographs with your camera as I guide you through my photography work process in a case study of Easter Lilies published by Apogee Photo Magazine.


Feb 2, 2011

Flower Fine Art Photography

This photo shows another typical set up at home when I am photographing flowers. I often use a white or black background to keep it simple and eliminate any disturbing distractions in the background. In our example here I used a black cardboard as the backdrop, which also added elegance and made the yellow orchid flowers really pop. I prefer to set up my close up photo studio next to our dining room window because it provides beautiful lighting for my flower photography during the morning hours. In addition I like to use white cardboards 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 prefer the books over fiddling around with the tripod because mine is not equipped with a center column.

I often adjust the white boards to explore the impact on the lighting and better control the light on the flower. It is a little bit of a learning curve but adjusting the light with the white boards is a great learning experience for us photographers. It often leads to more inspirational and beautiful photographs. In the final close-up photograph of the yellow orchid floral I positioned the flower in the best possible way so that there were no other distracting branches or flowers in the composition. I also composed the three main Orchid flowers in a diagonal way. The fourth one in the back provides the viewer with a bridge back to the first blooming Orchid. The aperture was set to f/7.1 providing an exposure time of 0.8/second. An ISO50 setting minimized noise. In the post processing steps I removed dust, minimally adjusted brightness, contrast and color saturation before sharpening the image of the orchid.