July 23, 2011

Interested in Buying a Photo Quality Printer?

Then you'll want to head over to my favorite camera review site DPreview. They have just launched a printer review feature and begin with a comparison of three multi-function printers from Canon, Epson and Hewlett-Packard. There are also two great articles on the types of photo printers available and suggestions for getting the most from your new photo printer. Check this out!

dpreview printer hub

July 16, 2011

Revisiting Photographing in Bright, Midday Sun

Photographed with Sunny 16 exposure

A few weeks ago I posted a short article with links to information about how to get good exposures in bright sunlight. One of the techniques I didn't include was a method of exposing for photographs called "Sunny 16". This technique requires a camera that lets you set the ISO, aperture (lens opening) and shutter speed (time) manually. Using the Sunny 16 "rule", you ignore your camera's meter and set the controls for exposure according to the Sunny 16 guidelines.

I learned about Sunny 16 from Neil Chaput de Saintonge, founder & owner of the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Much to my delight, he has republished his article describing how to apply this technique on the school's blog. Check out the series of articles and give Sunny 16 a try while we enjoy the summer sun.

Sunny 16 Exposure without a Meter: Part 1

(P.S. If you ever shot Kodak film, you might recognize some of the techniques in Neil's articles as the same ones that appeared on the inside of the box.)

July 11, 2011

Want to Learn Adobe Photoshop Lightroom?

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Then check out Laura Shoe's Lightroom Fundamentals: Workshop on DVD. It contains 36 different videos, a total of 6.5 hours of training. Laura is an ardent fan of Lightroom and an experienced, Adobe certified instructor. I know you'll learn a lot from watching.

Congratulations, Laura!

July 5, 2011

The Height of Summer

Pushing up Poppies

A while back I posted an article that talked about photographing with a compact digital camera without looking at the screen or through the viewfinder. Well, I've been doing that again. It's a great way to turn the "lemon" of not being able to see an image on your camera's screen into "lemonade"!

I went out in the middle of the day to try my hand and camera at making good photographs in bright, midday light. I used several of the techniques listed in these articles. Since these are exactly the kind of conditions that make framing a picture with the LCD monitor difficult, I relied on "not looking" to make my photos. My goal was to make images that conveyed the feeling of dazzling bright light and the height of summer.

Swing Sunburst

To get sharp focus with my camera close to the subject, I turned on macro focusing (the little flower icon). And since I purposely was shooting into the sun, I used the fill flash (or forced flash) setting to reveal the details in the underside of the flowers.

I also set the camera to Aperture Priority exposure mode (A or Av on the exposure mode dial) and chose the largest number (for this camera f/8). In addition to helping keep everything in the image sharp, this also created the starburst effect when I included the sun in the frame.

Selphy Sun

Give these ideas a try and see what new images you can make!

July 4, 2011

Flags in America

Captain Bob's Flag, Lewistown, Montana

A colleague of mine, Larry Blackwood, has an on-going project called Patriot's Dream in which he photographs American (and sometimes Confederate) flags in unusual places. In honor of Independence Day, I'm sharing my flag photos. Celebrate the day!

Flag, Hendersonville, North Carolina

July 1, 2011

Photographing Fireworks

Fireworks, 2009

It's America's Independence Day weekend (the official day is July 4, Monday) and people and communities around the nation will be celebrating with fireworks, a tradition since 1777! It's great fun to make pictures of the pyrotechnics. You can read my original article on the subject here.

Fireworks, 2009


The pictures in this article were taken with a DSLR using a 105mm lens with a cable release on a tripod. Exposures were f/11 @ ISO 400 for 1 or 2 seconds. I actually placed the shutter speed on Bulb and held the shutter open with the cable release button for each burst. I found I could time the explosions better this way than using the camera for the length of the exposure.

These images are also heavily cropped to remove a nearby electrical pole and tree branches I failed to see in the dark! Check your surroundings before shooting!

Also check out two excellent articles from the New York Institute of Photography. They cover both the professional displays and the type of fireworks you might celebrate with in your own backyard.

Fireworks Photos or Have Fun on the Fourth of July

Fireworks Pictures: Photographing Fireworks in Your Backyard

Have fun and Be Safe!

Fireworks, 2009