Jul 30, 2011

Invitational Photography Exhibit at Setting the Space

Beautiful World and award winning photography Cape Cod Solitude were accepted into an invitational photography exhibit at Setting the Space in Plymouth, MA. The exhibition features many artists' work including my framed, limited signed edition LightJet cape cod photos photography prints Beautiful World #2 of 50 and Cape Cod Solitude #4 of 50. The art exhibit is organized by the Setting the Space and runs from August through September. Setting the Space is located on the corner of Main street and Leyden street in Plymouth Ma, 02360 and open Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ... hope you get a chance to stop by.

Opening reception of the invitational photography exhibit with live music at Setting the Space: Friday, 05 August 2011, 6-8 pm.

Jul 26, 2011

At the Photographer's Forum Magazine

White Ibis near Historic Naples Pier was selected as one of the finalists in the Photographer's Forum Magazine 31th Annual Spring Photography contest and will be published in the hardcover book Best of Photography 2011. The contest is sponsored by Sigma and over 14,000 photos were submitted from the United States and Canada as well as nearly 90 countries worldwide. Winners and honorable mentions will be announced August 15, 2011.


Jul 24, 2011

Bird Photography Tips

Photo of the Week - Globe Thistle

This week's photo is Globe Thistle that was taken at the wildlife sanctuary Hall's Pond in Brookline, near Boston. The floral photograph was part of my project to capture the beauty of Wildlife Sanctuary Hall's Pond in Brookline through a whole year. I went to the sanctuary at least once a week to document the changes within each season. Hall's Pond is an amazing place that provides diverse flora and fauna in the middle of the city. On this summer morning I got up early to visit the pond; Great Blue Heron was in his usual spot, so was a Black Crowned Night Heron. A Cormorant was on the hunt for its breakfast and red winged blackbirds were singing along. I walked along the boardwalk enjoying the place all to myself and at my final stop in the formal garden I discovered the globe thistles in full bloom. My goal was to create a floral abstract where some of the flowers were in focus while the remaining ones fell out of focus. I zoomed in close on the flowers and set a large enough aperture to provide me with the desired depth of field. The overcast sky provided perfect lighting conditions that combined with a polarizing filter saturated colors and eliminated any distracting glare. The globe thistle photograph is one of my favorite photos from this project because of its abstract quality and freshness.

Starting today each photography print and canvas of this magenta rose photo is discounted and on sale at Fine Art America throughout the week of 24 July 2011.


Jul 18, 2011

Photo of the Week - Double Take

This week's photo is Double Take that was taken on an early morning at the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden, near Fenway Park in Boston. Starting today each photography print and canvas of this magenta rose photo is discounted and on sale at Fine Art America throughout the week of 18 July 2011.


Jul 17, 2011

Photography 101 - Exposure

Exposure is one of the most important camera and lens functions that a photographer needs to understand and master when pursuing photography. A correct exposed photograph conveys an image of clarity that retains details and colors in all areas including light or dark areas. Correct exposure is always subjective and while I prefer slightly underexposed images that boosts colors and saturation, others may not.

Correct exposure is a fine combination of ISO, shutter speed and aperture camera and lens settings. By selecting a certain ISO setting we determine the image sensor's sensibility to light. Usually we choose lowest ISO settings to minimize camera noise and enhance image quality. The camera shutter speed or exposure time controls the amount of light that strikes the sensor or in the older days the film. The shutter is right in front of the sensor and when we press the shutter release button to capture an image the shutter or curtain opens for a certain amount of time allowing light to strike the sensor before it closes again. The slower or longer the shutter speed, the more light strikes the sensor and vice versa.

The lens aperture or f-stop setting allows a certain volume of light to pass through the lens into our cameras. For example a small aperture (large f/numbers such as 11 and greater) provides a small opening for the light to pass through; therefore limiting the volume of light to pass through. On the other end of the scale, a large aperture (small f/numbers such as 5.6 and less) provides a large opening for the light to pass through; hence allowing more light to strike the sensor.

There are 4 camera modes that allow us to take control over exposure:

1. Manual Mode
In manual or M mode we are able to select ISO, shutter speed and aperture to achieve a particular effect. I usually shoot in manual in low light applications where I look for longer exposure times, mainly city skylines at twilight.

2. Semi Automatic P Mode
The semi automatic P mode selects ISO, aperture and shutter speed combinations depending on the available light. Compared to the fully automatic modes such as portrait, landscape, or flower, the P mode allows us to change the combination to influence depth of field or how we capture objects in motion.

3. Shutter Speed Priority Mode
In the shutter speed priority mode the camera automatically selects an aperture setting to match the chosen ISO setting and brightness of the object. This may be the preferred mode when shooting sport events at fast shutter speeds where we prefer to freeze the action in front of us. It is also an option for moving photography where we strive for silky water effects and require longer exposure times.

4. Aperture Priority Mode
In the aperture priority mode we choose an aperture in combination with an ISO setting while the camera determines an appropriate shutter speed. Aperture priority mode is my favorite mode because it provides me with total control over depth of field and shutter speed. For example, at a given low ISO setting for optimum image quality I usually choose either a large aperture or large f/numbers such as 11 and greater when I shoot landscapes or seascapes where we like to create a sharp image from front to end. On the other hand I select a small aperture or f/numbers such as 5.6 and less for wildlife or flowers where we like to create a shallow depth of field. Shutter speed is less important to me since I always bring my tripod and use it in nearly every photo I take. Depending on my photographic goals I only fiddle around with the aperture to adjust the depth of field and the appearance of my images.

Jul 13, 2011

The Fine Art of Intentional Camera Movement

I am always interested in capturing the day to day in an unusual different way. One technique that I frequently use is intentional camera movement. Intentional camera movement or ICM is a photographic effect where the camera is rotated or moved in a horizontal, diagonal or vertical direction while photographing a static object. The camera can be hand-held or mounted on a tripod when performing the actual camera movement. I usually prefer using my tripod for best photography results. The right combination of shutter speed, aperture setting and ISO setting will produce the desired blur and an artistic abstraction of the scenery. A long enough shutter speed is the key ingredient and allows the camera to paint the photographic object in its abstract form. There may be lots of trial and errors in the beginning and it may take a while to develop your own technique but it certainly provides you with unique set of photographs and lots of fun.

In my first two photographs from the beautiful Boston Arnold Arboretum I placed the camera on my tripod pointing upwards towards the tree canapes. During the exposure I rotated the camera that resulted in these tree carousel like photography images. In both images the aperture was set to f/8 resulting in 1/30 sec and 1/4 sec exposure times for the fall and spring image respectively.

In this next summer photo I tried to apply the intentional camera movement technique to one of my flower photographs. Here I hand-held the camera and set the aperture to f/8 providing me with a slow enough shutter speed of 1/10 second. I then focused on a bunch of Blacked-Eyed Susan flowers in the garden and moved the camera up and down to create an abstract floral photography blur.

For the sunset photograph I set up my tripod at Brace Cove in Gloucester after a late afternoon shoot of Rockport Harbor and motif #1 on Cape Ann. I exposed long enough at 1/10 second to allow for intentional camera movement with my camera across the Brace Cove, capturing this abstract seascape photograph of this most beautiful sunset.

The last image was taken on beautiful Cape Cod. Here I moved the camera in the direction of the incoming rolling waves resulting in an abstract impressionistic early morning seascape photograph. The aperture was set to f/8 resulting in 1/2 second exposure time.

Jul 10, 2011

Digital Detox

Digital detox is harder than I thought. For 9 days I neglected my Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon and Linked In social networking sites while relaxing and having a great time with my wife and daughter in Southwest Florida. Letting go of the time consuming quest for new likes, fans and followers was quite refreshing. Unplugging as well as keeping my camera and gear at home was a conscious decision. I only fell off the wagon once when I checked my emails and sales. Instead of being glued to the computer I enjoyed spending this quality times with my loved ones, daily exercising, lazying around, thinking about photography and hacking out plans for the second half of 2011 (on a good old yellow legal pad). The social networking fast made me think about its benefits and short falls. I questioned what I actually create while being online. I am not quite sure yet where to go from here now but I will definitely spend more time on my nature photography blog or creating more beautiful photographs and less time on social media sites. I recommend a digital detox and social media fast for everybody and I will make it a tradition in the years to come.