Feb 28, 2013

Images of Acadia National Park

Upon arrival to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine during my last visit, I was not fully settled on where to go for my evening photography shoot to capture these beautiful moments and Images of Acadia National Park. The sun still peaking through a partially cloudy sky I was evaluating Cadillac Mountain or Jordan Pond and the Bubbles. At the turn to Cadillac Mountain I followed my Photographic Instinct and went straight towards Jordan Pond. From the parking area at the Jordan Tea House it is only a short walk to the beautiful shoreline and one of Acadia's Iconic Photo Locations. There are many rocks at the shoreline that make for fabulous landscape photography foreground features. Almost instantly after setting up camera and tripod the magic unfolded in front of me. The sky turned orange from the sun setting below the clouds and I started capturing this wonderful outdoor experience and moment with my camera. The Mother Earth spectacle did not last long and I probably exposed a handful of images. I applied a Split Neutral Density filter to overcome the high contrast of the dark foreground and the brighter sky with the 2 hills at the other end of Jordan Pond: South and North Bubble.

An aperture of F/29 combined with an ISO 100 setting provided the desired Depth of Field from foreground to the horizon and a shutter speed of 10 seconds. The long exposure time guaranteed a silky water effect of the pond while rocks and mountains remained in sharp focus. During post processing I minimally adjusted lighting, contrast, and color saturation before sharpening the final image.

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Feb 25, 2013

20 Essential Photography Tips (Part II)

This photo blog post (Part II) provides the ambitious photographer with the second 10 photo tips and know how needed for immediate and better photography results. Implement one tip at a time or all at once, embrace the learned to move your photography art instantly forward and into the right direction. 

Photo Tip #11 of 20: Use patterns, particularly repeating patterns to make pictures more interesting and pleasing. Patterns are repeating shapes, objects or colors either ordered in precise formations or just random designs scattered across a scene. Patterns in a photography image create a very pleasing feel to the eye and add a new dimension to our photographs.

Photo Tip #12 of 20: Take a moment right before releasing the shutter and snapping a photo. Look up, look down, look all around to make sure there is nothing distracting in the composition. 

Photo Tip #13 of 20: Use negative space wisely by making sure your photography subject is the primary visual element unless there is a specific reason you want to minimize it. The absence of picture content does not automatically mean the absence of interest. In fact, negative space often adds interest as it often conveys a stronger emphasis on the photographic subject. Negative space can have intriguing effects on the viewer, balance the image and evoke emotions effectively.

Photo Tip #14 of 20: Don't let the horizon fall dead center in the picture. It most likely always creates a boring image (exceptions are beautiful landscape reflections) Instead place the horizon low to enhance the feel of spatial depth of the open landscape or to emphasize a dramatic cloud formation. For images with stronger foregrounds and weaker cloud or sky formations a horizon in the upper third of the image is more preferred.

Photo Tip #15 of 20: Make sure there is separation between multiple subjects to avoid unattractive merges.

Photo Tip #16 of 20: Pay attention to the point of view. Shooting up on photo objects make them more powerful. Shooting down upon them diminish them or make them look less imposing.

Photo Tip #17 of 20: Play with the camera shutter speed. A slow shutter speed combined with a tripod will make for beautiful silky water effects. A fast shutter speed will enable you to hand hold the camera and capture fast moving objects like flying birds or the splash of crushing waves and surfs. Keep in mind that capturing the moment in fast paced action photography takes a little bit of practice, so hang in there. 

Photo Tip #18 of 20: Plan ahead. Keep a close eye on the weather by watching the forecast the night before or simply look outside to check whether or not you are going to want to have the sky in your picture. Overcast sky balances colors beautifully but usually makes for boring, washed-out skies; hence keep the sky out of the picture as much as possible on overcast days. On beautiful days with lots of blue sky and interesting cloud formations, go ahead and make the most out of it. A polarizing filter is sunglasses for your camera and will minimize unwanted glare on shiny or wet surfaces and boost color saturation and contrast.

Photo Tip #19 of 20: 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 of interest including light or dark areas. Correct exposure is always subjective and while I prefer a slightly underexposed image that boosts colors and saturation, others may not. Correct exposure is a fine combination of ISO, shutter speed, aperture and lens settings. Understanding how these 4 elements come together is crucial for exceptional photography. 

Photo Tip #20 of 20: A solid tripod is one of the most important investments for a photographer. High quality nature photography is rarely accomplished when hand holding our camera. A tripod is essential for low light photography during the morning, evening and twilight, handy for shooting wildlife and macro photographs or when we experimenting with impressionistic or abstract photography. The tripod not only steadies our shooting equipment for maximum image quality, it also helps us to discover the world of photography. We are more likely to slow down, step back, think and compose a more meaningful photograph. We most likely ask ourselves: Is the horizon straight, is there sufficient depth of field or shall I open up the aperture setting to minimize depth of field, are there any distracting elements in the foreground or background of my composition, do I even have a composition?

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20 Essential Photography Tips (Part I)

This photo blog post (Part I) provides the ambitious photographer with the know how and tips needed for immediate and better photography results. Implement one tip at a time or all at once, embrace the learned to move your photography art instantly forward and into the right direction.

Photo Tip #1 of 20:  Draw attention to your main subject. Simply get in closer, use selective focus, use the advantage of bright color or light on the main subject.

Photo Tip #2 of 20: The human eye is almost always attracted to the brightest part of a scenery first. Do not let anything in a photograph be brighter than the main subject.

Photo Tip #3 of 20: Capture photographs at the photo subject’s eye level. To do so, get down low when making a wildlife portrait, rather than standing over the animal and shooting down on it. This way we achieve a more interesting and pleasing perspective of the animal. 

Photo Tip #4 of 20: Be clear on your photographic subject and try to tell a story with a single or multiple photography images. A photograph has the ability to evoke emotion, mood, ideas and messages. Those are all important elements of telling a story.

Photo Tip #5 of 20: Leave distractions out of your compositions. If there is something in the view or background that are irrelevant to the main subject or that somehow do not support the subject, try to get rid of it by using a different perspective or weather phenomenon. In this picture of a willow tree at Jamaica Pond in Boston, the fog got rid of the distracting background of the urban shoreline. I waited years for this photo opportunity and you can imagine my excitement when it finally materialized and I was there to take a picture!

Photo Tip #6 of 20: Fill the frame with a main subject and you can’t go wrong. Many of the best photography pictures are the simplest ones where the main subject dominates.

Photo Tip #7 of 20: Check for intruders in your composition. Is there something popping into the picture from the edge or side of the picture? Is there a tree branch, power line, or telephone poll that creeps into the shot stealing attention from the main photography subject? Recompose and remove it as I did in this butterfly photography picture. At first the background was very busy with branches of a nearby shrub. As a solution I had to move a little bit to the site and recompose the shot in front of a shrub that was further away and sunlit. A large aperture setting (small f/stop like f/5.6 and smaller) combined with a long 400mm telephoto lens blurred out the background exactly as I wanted it for this Birdwing Butterfly photography image.

Photo Tip #8 of 20: When in doubt, leave things out and remove them from your composition. If there is something in the picture that is irrelevant to the photography subject or that somehow doesn’t support the cause, try eliminating it. In this tree picture from Acadia National Park I eliminated the boring overcast sky and by the select focus on some of the tree trunks and moos I was able to eliminate distracting branches and trees while producing a more intimate New England Landscape Photography composition of the scenery.

Photo Tip #9 of 20: Use the Rule of Thirds as a guideline or starting point for your composition. Draw a raster board over the picture in your mind or check your camera manual to see if it is available as a feature on your digital camera. In this landscape photography image I placed the horizon low because the orange sky (2/3 of the image) was more appealing then the blue cold Atlantic Ocean. The bird in the upper right corner and the early sunlight striking the rock in the lower 1/3 of the picture added the icing to the cake.

Photo Tip #10 of 20: Add more spatial depth by including strong foreground objects in shots where the background is also important. In this photograph of the Maine seacoast the tree made for a perfect foreground subject that conveys depth and perspective of the rigid seacoast. The beautiful morning light was still striking the Evergreen tree, granite rock formation and famous Otter Cliff in the far distance when I set up my camera and tripod for this last shot that morning … great day and memories.

Now it's your turn! What do you think is the most valuable photography tip provided and what is your best photo tip ... share it here ~ thanks!

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Feb 24, 2013

Favorite Nature Sayings and Wisdom

In this latest photography blog post I compiled 20+ of my favorite nature artists and art sayings and wisdom. The photo artwork stands for a daily quest for beautiful photography ... hope you enjoy the pictures and quotes as much as I do! 

"Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment." ~ Ansel Adams 

“A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.~ Sir Joshua Reynolds 

"You cannot, in human experience, rush into light. You have to go through the twilight into the broadening day before the noon comes and the full sun is upon the landscape." ~ Woodrow Wilson 


“Pictures you have taken have an influence on those that you are going to make. That's life!” ~ John Sexton

"Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill." ~ David Hockney

"Any landscape is a condition of the spirit." ~ Henri Frederic Amiel


"Of course you can still paint landscape - it's been worn out." David Hockney

"What I take from writers I like is their economy - the ability to use language to very effective ends. The ability to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words - that's magical." ~ Mos Def

"Alas! How little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!" ~ Henry David Thoreau 

“To the complaint, 'There are no people in these photographs,' I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.” ~ Ansel Adams 

"I live in a landscape, which every single day of my life is enriching." ~ Daniel Day-Lewis 

Everywhere is something which could be beautiful. You must only to see and to know what and how to take off, to crop from the infinity. Abstract, fine art, nature, landscape and portrait photography. ~ Florian Constantinescu 


"All gardening is landscape painting." ~ William Kent 

A landscape image cuts across all political and national boundaries, it transcends the constraints of language and culture. ~ Charlie Waite

"I think landscape photography in general is somewhat undervalued." ~ Galen Rowell 

“My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, for the camera's eye may entirely change my idea. ~ Edward Weston


“You've got to push yourself harder. You've got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You've got to take the tools you have and probe deeper. ~ William Albert Allard 

“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts. ~ Gary Winogrand 

“Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.” ~ Edward J. Steichen 


“Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject.Eliot Porter 

“It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to …The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures. ~ Vincent Van Gogh 

"Once photography enters your bloodstream, it's like a disease.” ~ Anon


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Feb 11, 2013

Boston Noir

Post sunset is a perfect and favorite time for taking City skyline photography pictures. I frequently visit some preferred locations when I am not out and about capturing Mother Nature throughout New England. The best time is 20 to 40 minutes after the sun has set. The optimum light and magic of twilight does not last long. Because twilight is hard to predict setting up tripod and camera prior to the actual sunset becomes crucial. Once the sun sets and disappears I start releasing the shutter and fire away. This approach requires plenty of  battery power and flash card memory to keep shooting while closing in on the optimum light. The Twilight Effect also works on cloudy days as shown in below image "Good Night Boston". 

Want to learn more? I compiled 15 cityscape photography tips for capturing City Skyline Images.



Feb 10, 2013

Blizzard of 2013 in Boston and Brookline

Impressions from the Blizzard of 2013 in Brookline Coolidge Corner area near Boston. All images copyright Juergen Roth.

All images copyright Juergen Roth

All images copyright Juergen Roth
All images copyright Juergen Roth
All images copyright Juergen Roth

All images copyright Juergen Roth
All images copyright Juergen Roth

All images copyright Juergen Roth
All images copyright Juergen Roth

Motivational Photography and Quotes

In this latest photo blog post I compiled some of my favorite quotes for happiness, inspiration, motivation, growth, aspiration, integrity, perseverance, light, vision, and wisdom. The photo artwork and quotes have been inspiring me and my daily quest for beautiful nature photography ... hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~ Mahatma Ghandhi


"A leader's role is to raise people's aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there." ~ David Gergen 


"Being sincere, dedicated and honest is the key. People of integrity triumph in the end." ~ Daisaku Ikeda


"We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own." ~ Ben Sweetland


"There are no such things as limits to growth, beacause there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder." ~ Ronald Reagan


"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." ~ Walter Elliott


Let's choose today to quench our thirst for the good life we think others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gifts of our grateful hearts." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Rise Above 

"Rise above yourself." ~ Thomas Leonard


"A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more." ~ Rosabeth Moss Kanter


"Our patience will achieve more than our force." ~ Edmund Burke


"If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders." ~ Abigail Van Buren


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." ~ Confucius

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