Light is Everything!

Archive for December, 2010

Macro: Waterdrops!

I found this technique on the internet awhile ago when I was trying to find the best way to capture macro water splashes. It’s very challenging to get drops of water, but this technique gives the photographer a lot of control over the situation.

I tried to do the technique tonight and had a lot of fun doing it!

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Travel Photography

I stumbled across an excellent podcast on iTunes yesterday that was talking all about travel photography. The gist of the topic is taking photos when you travel to different places. Well, duh. That kind of goes without saying. But the podcast had an excellent resource and idea to keep in mind. The idea was to have a list of various photos one should attempt to take to get a wide variety of photos. The concept being, if you have a whole different range of images, you can put together more exciting slideshows, more engaging photo books, etc. than if you have the same old, same old shots over and and over again. The same idea can be applied to any kind of photography too. Recently, my dad and I shot my grandparent’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. It was a family function that took place one night, in one location. I decided to put together a photo book of the event to give to Granny and Grandpa for Christmas. We had several hundred shots to work with while putting the book together and thankfully, we subconsciously put this list technique to work without knowing it. We had a wide range of portraits, action shots, “landscape” wide angle room shots, and I brought along my macro lens so we had some fun up close shots to give added interest. Putting the book together was far more fun with a wide range of different photos and made for a much nicer finished product.

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I thought I would post the list from the podcast here for future reference and to anyone who might like to give this “type-a” technique a whirl. Even if you’re not a list type person, this is a handy way of making sure you’ve got variety in your photography when travelling, on assignment or whenever.

Basic Shot List in a Notebook in your Camera Bag.
– views of a city (vantage points?)
– Landscapes – Wide to Macro
– Time of year
– Icons (in interesting ways — what an area is typically known for)
– Architecture (old & new)
– Economy of the region (how do people make $?)
– Transportation
– Education
– Sports
– Art & culture (artists, galleries, museums)
– History (different periods)
– Religion
– Food (eat and drink)
– People (young, old, poor, rich)
– Socialization
– Night time/sunset & Sunrise
– Signs
– Writing
— Combine as many elements into one shot as possible
— Do online research of these things prior to going to the location
— Use the list as a checklist at the end of the day to see which of the shots you got.
List taken from: The Photography Guild Podcast Episode 6 on Travel Photography 6/26/09


Lately I’ve been doing some HDR Landscape photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It’s a technique that’s been around for a long time, but with new software developments is becoming quite popular and more accessible. Basically, you take 5 exposures (or however many you wish) of a scene. Setup your camera to bracket, say 5 images a stop apart. Setup your camera on a tripod, compose your scene, and then take your 5 exposures. Then when you are back in front of your computer, use an application like Nik Software’s HDR eFex Pro. It works almost like magic to combine your 5 images into a really cool end result. HDR is more like what the human eye can see, with a greater range of darks and lights than can be captured in a normal photograph. It works great for landscapes, cityscapes or any image where there is lots of textures and extreme light/dark contrasts.

1/5 The correctly exposed shot

2/5 -2 stops

3/5 -1 Stop

4/5 + 1 Stop

5/5 + 2 Stops

And now, after a little HDR eFex Pro magic, and a little help from Viveza 2, we have the final result.

HDR Image

It’s a technique you either love or hate. I like it! It makes for a far more dramatic landscape with added visual appeal. Be sure to check out my Gallery page for more examples of HDR.

Kids Christmas Shots

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I nabbed these shots the other day of our little man Ethan for Christmas. It’s always fun to capture some Christmas cheer!