Jun 30, 2013

NYC Midtown and Downtown ~ Finalist in BetterPhoto Contest

NYC Midtown and Downtown, a cityscape night photography image of the Empire State Building and New York City, has placed as a finalist in May's popular BetterPhoto Contest! Over 8,000 photos were entered into the competition and it is always exiting to have one of my pictures selected among the top finalist photographs.

The photo was taken from the Top of the Rock which provides one of the best NYC skyline photography location in the Big Apple. The photograph shows New York City skyline photography at twilight featuring cityscape landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Freedom Tower and Verrazano Bridge further in the distance.

Jun 29, 2013

20 Examples of the Most Recent and Best Twilight Boston Skyline Photography Images

When I am not hiking or wandering the beautiful state and national parks and sites of the New England Northeast I keep myself occupied with local cityscape photography in and around Boston. The Boston skyline offers plenty of photography opportunities for the local or visiting travel photographer. The unique mixture of old and new buildings, its busy streets, historic sites and most beautiful skyline are fantastic photo subjects. The New England light paints the landmarks beautifully during the morning or evening golden hours at all seasons. This photo blog post compiles 20 of the Most Recent and Best Boston skyline photography images and city scenery ~ enjoy!

Jun 28, 2013

20 Examples of Beautiful Raindrop Tree Leaf and Flower Photography

When I am not hiking or wandering the beautiful state and national parks/sites of the Northeast I keep myself occupied with local flower photography in and around Boston. The Boston parks, arboretums and gardens provide plenty of photo opportunities for the local or visiting photographer. Overcast sky after a rainy day provide ample light that is well balanced with great colors. Raindrops on flowers add fabulous detail to a composition and make for unique flower photography images. This blog post compiles 20 of the best rainy day tree leaf and flower photography images ~ enjoy! 

Photo Tips for Better Spring Flower Photography Results
Favorite Flower and Gardening Quotes 

Painting with Light like Georgia O'Keeffe 

Springtime Quotes and Spring Entertainment

Jun 27, 2013

Macro Photography at the Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Last week I made my first summer trip to the Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary for insect macro photography. Once more the sanctuary and its little butterfly garden at the entrance did not disappoint. Upon arrival I encountered a few new born grasshoppers which were interesting to watch. They were about half an inch in size and pretty much looked like an exact clone of the full grown Red Legged Locust I photographed last year - just adorable! There were also a few green bottle flies swirling around and to my delight I was able to position tripod and camera near a yellow flower and close striking distance for a fully filled frame. Patience paid off while waiting for one of the flies to return to the flower. One of them posed as a beautiful photo model for a few seconds allowing manual focus on the head of the insect and multiple exposures at various apertures. The aperture adjustments allowed for maximum Depth of Field while the backdrop beautiful submerges in green and yellow. Aperture was set to f/8 providing an Exposure time of 1/125 seconds at ISO100. I purposely underexposed by 1/3 of a stop to boost and saturate colors. Dust spots removal, minimal contrast, lighting and color saturation adjustments were made during post processing before sharpening the final images of this green bottle fly. 

More Reading and Photo Tips you may enjoy: 

12 Insect Macro Photography Tips

Inspiring Insect Macro Photography and Bug Quotes

Love Jigsaw Puzzles and flowers? 

Favorite Flower and Gardening Quotes 

Painting with Light like Georgia O'Keeffe 

15 Flower Photo Tips and Photography Inspiration

Jun 26, 2013

How to Use a Split Neutral Density Photo Filter


A split neutral density filter aka graduate neutral density filter is a useful tool in the field to overcome strong contrast between a dark foreground and a bright background. Part of the photo filter is grayed out while the other part is clear. It thereby allows less light passing through the lens onto the sensor for that gray filter area and therefore helps better balancing the image. I regularly use the ND filter for Landscape Photography and sometimes for my cityscape photographs as I am always striving for best possible images in the field, keeping post processing to a minimum. A practical example to demonstrate its function and impact is shown in above Boston Skyline Photography picture where I hand-held the filter to the left of the image while leaving the right side unfiltered. Thanks to the ND photo filter we are able to meter on the yachts in the foreground, lock the exposure and after sliding the filter into position correctly expose the sun-lit Boston skyline and orange clouds. Houses, shoreline and sport boats in the shade remain visible in great detail because the exposure was based on metering for the darker foreground. As we evaluate the area without the filter to the right, the sky is overexposed and washed out, making it a dull and boring image. In fact this part of the image does not even reflect what I actually experienced at the time of capturing the picture. The ND filter is a great tool to carry in your camera bag and enables us to overcome those strong contrasts we are often challenged with in the field.

Jun 25, 2013

Scenic Maine Breakwater Lighthouse Photography

We recently had a chance to spend an overnight in Portland Maine. Weather was gorgeous the first day and overcast the next. At sunset I made my way out eying a Portland skyline shot. The location turned out not to be pristine of that particular night for twilight Skyline Photography but the bug lighthouse made up big time for that disappointment. Upon arrival a beautiful sailboat was sailing into the harbor and I barely had enough time to make it from the parking lot to the shoreline to snap a few hand-held pictures. 

If you are a regular reader of my photo blog you know how I feel about not using a tripod! Following this attempt I settled in and started composing around the rocky shoreline and the Breakwater lighthouse. The sunset provided a beautiful backdrop. Using the rocks as a compositional foreground feature that also leads the viewer to the main subject of the lighthouse I released the shutter for multiple exposures and compositions. Deciding on the right format, Portrait or Landscape, was not an easy task either which is why I captured this Maine lighthouse in both formats. The critical tool was a neutral density photo filter. This filter allows lengthening exposure times to multiple seconds, thereby beautifully blurring out the water and creating a Silky Water Effect of the incoming tidal waves. The camera aperture in the portrait format was set to f/22 while for the landscape format photograph was f/18. Combined with an ISO setting of 100 and the neutral density filter reducing the incoming light, exposure times of 20 and 25 seconds respectively were achieved. During post processing dust spot removal was applied to clean up the image a bit. Minimal contrast, lighting and color saturation adjustments were made during post processing before sharpening provided the final photography images of this Scenic Maine lighthouse in Portland.

Jun 24, 2013

Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Fever

Boston, New England and fans around the country and world have caught Bruins fever. Landmarks are creatively covered in yellow and black in support of the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup final bid against the Chicago Black Hawks. People are pumped up for tonight's game 6 with the Stanley Cup on the line and once more Boston's many sport bars will be packed with fans ~ hopefully Bruins will win this game to force a deciding game 7 in this thrilling series. Go Bruins!