Fill Flash – Indoors & Out

Flash Techniques: Fill Flash I’m surprised at the number of advanced photographers who remain mystified by fill flash.  This powerful technique is simply the blending of two light sources during one exposure.  The primary light source is natural light and the secondary light source is your flash.  During full flash the camera is arbitrarily set at the highest synch speed, but with fill flash, simply shoot in aperture priority and let the flash do the rest. Aperture priority [...]

Full Flash – Indoors & Out

Flash: Full Flash For candid photos where indoor light levels are low; flash can save the day.  Most interior lighting is quite dim and exhibits a strong color cast.  Simply set your camera to the required sync speed and flash quickly eliminates color casts and the quick pulse of light eliminates the need for a tripod, and freedom to react quickly for candid shots.  Indoors, flash is capable of freezing movement, such as active children!  By definition, full [...]

Using Flash – The Basics

Flash: The Basics Small portable flash units have revolutionized 35mm SLR photography, freeing us from the limitations of natural light.  Millions of amateurs own cameras with built in flash, yet flash is one of the least understood tools of photography.  Understanding just the basics of how flash works, will let you do some pretty amazing things with flash. Flash photography requires that you learn and work within the quirky characteristics of flash illumination.  Light from any single [...]

Extreme Macro Photography: Canon MP-E 65mm

Having shot hundreds of full body pictures of frogs, reptiles, and tarantulas during our macro class in St. Louis, this Gecko eyeball is one of my favorites. I love the abstract quality and other worldly feel in this extreme macro. The high magnification afforded by the Canon MP-E, 65mm macro, allows photographers an opportunity to explore an unseen world. If you’re not familiar with this lens, the range of magnification starts 1X (life size) and extends all [...]

Palouse in Spring

It had been a while since last photographing the Palouse, in fact it was while still shooting film. What fun it was to return with modern state of the art digital equipment. The rolling hills, farms, and old cars were as beautiful as remembered. There were not as many fields of canola and mustard flowers as some years. We did find several really vast scenes of yellow. We had a beautiful blue sky, so in this variation [...]

African Big Cat Cubs & Wonderful Experiences

Every morning and afternoon photographing in the Masai Mara is a grand adventure. The wildlife spectacle is truly astounding. Having led 16 tours to Kenya, I can say with certainty that we connect with baby animals in a very special way. Our last safari was filled with nearly daily filming of a large pride of lions. This particular pride had a pair of females alternating duties, caring for 6 small lion cubs about 6 weeks old. Needless [...]

Smoky Mountains Morton Overlook Isolation

Although the upper elevations were bare, spring was indeed creeping up the mountain. On this afternoon our group of 12 photographers captured clouds and mist swirling in the mountains just before sunset. At first we were a bit let down as we hoped for a spectacular sunset. Instead mother-nature gave us clouds and mist filtering through the trees. A 200mm telephoto allowed us to frame with just the most interesting details of the sky and mountains. I [...]

Creating Orbs

Now that spring is just arriving in our area, it might be fun to use some of our favorite flower images and Photoshop to create orbs. First select one of your favorite flower/garden images and crop it into a square with the flower fairly centered. Next, convert the image to 8 bits. In Photoshop:  Image > Mode > 8bits From the filter menu: Go to Distort > Polar Coordinates When the Polar Coordinates dialogue appears, choose Polar [...]

Smoky Mountain Photo Tour on the Flipside

Once again we had a great photo workshop in the Great Smoky Mountains. We were blessed with great sunrise/sunset, one of the best wildflower displays ever, and a beautiful foggy morning in Cades Cove. Our group was really excited about exploring abstract water images, so I’m sharing one of mine. The trick is learning to see these reflections in shaded areas of the stream. The stream should be in shade while the trees on the far side [...]

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