Impact, story telling and color help make a better photo

Right from the start of my photographer adventure, it was pounded into my head that IMPACT, FOCUS, AND STORY TELLING are key ingredients to a good photo.   I would add COLOR OR NO COLOR (black and white) HELPS TOO. Here are some photos that get the point across. Riding the Crest Good Action and certainly tells the story. Surfers are magnificent athletes. A good site to use concerning surfing conditions is: www. surfline.com Nesting Material Tells the Story and has impact. This Osprey flew with this long piece of moss like material and landed not too far away from me. I was ready with my 500mm. Morning Snack Story and Impact- Sea Otters are really fun to watch.  They have really strong teeth. They seem to always be playing. Munch Munch Munch Story, Impact, Focus and Color- This is a Monarch larvae. I read that the Monarch butterfly will be extinct in 20 years. Follow the Sun In past blogs, I mentioned look behind you. I was walking with my back to this sunset because the tide was rising fast and I did not want to get caught without an exit. Every 100 feet or so I would turn  around and shoot, turn around and shoot. This was one of the many shots I got. I used a tripod and slowed the shutter down along with a Variable Neutral Density Filter. Simple but tells the story, has impact and is...

Nik software is now free

This is a short and simple blog today. One of the premier software programs that millions of photographers throughout the world have used. The company use to be called Nik software and was then bought by Google.  Some think that Google bought Nik for the Snapseed technology. I was a big user of Nik at one time. It made my life a lot easier. As soon as they got purchased by Google, I heard less and less from them as far as specials , upgrades and news.  I think this may be the end of Nik now that it is free. Click Here for the news from...

When good shots get lost in the clutter

There are times when a really good shot is just lost in the clutter of what is around the focus of the photo.  I remember seeing a flower that was in competition and it was a great shot, but I had a problem seeing what was the subject due to the clutter around the flower.  Sometimes, it is better to move on and wait for another opportunity. Belted Kingfisher on the left and far right and a Green Heron in the center.  Take my word the shots are in focus, especially the heron and the Kingfisher in flight give me a break. The problem is the clutter around them.  Sometimes it takes more effort to creatively get rid of the clutter. It can be done but then it really does not look natural.  Time to move on and wait for another day.  Also, take it from me- Don’t fall in love with your photo. Get over it and move on. The trick is to… you’ll just have to wait to find out how to solve the problem in another blog. Keep shooting for...

Opportunities are all around

One never knows what lurks around the corner when one has a camera.  I have a saying to look behind you because the better shot maybe in the opposite direction. Balance and Strength I was shooting waves, birds, rocks and this is what was facing my back. We are Champions Once again, this was to my back An intense day at the bar this was a luck shot.  Never noticed the mirror in the ceiling of the bar. Street Art Going for a walk with your camera is a great way to see opportunities that you may not have seen without the camera. Sometimes the camera makes your mind and eyes more attentive. All the above shots were taken just by walking around.  I did not go out to shoot these photos, they just presented the opportunity and I took it.  The big question is how do you make a picture into a photograph of art. To be continued. Happy...

Focus Stacking_Not that hard and a lot of fun

When I started my blog, I said that would keep it simple and use photos to show what I was talking.  I will leave it up to you to research the finer details, as in using the software.  My purpose is to show you that it can be done.  If I can do it, you can do it. So here is the question?  How do you get two objects with different depth of fields.  Simple, using a tripod, take two shots of each object and then combine them in a “focus stacking” program such as Helicon Focus.  Here is an example.  I use Lightroom and Photoshop to do my focus stacking. There are other programs that do the same thing. One that comes to mind is Helicon Focus. Click Here for a free trial. Do your research.     To get this shot really good, you need to take more than two shots. You need to take a shot of the space between both bolts and the closest bolt is a little soft on the lower left side.  But you get the idea. Focus Stacking comes in real handy when photographing insects and flowers on a macro level.  When your really up close, it is almost impossible to get a well focused dragonfly front to back. Sideways yes but front to back very hard.  Ditto for a flower.  One part is in focus the other is out. Very frustrating.  The best way is multiple shots of the flower front to back, left to right.  I usually shoot in quadrants, starting from the rear and work forward or starting in...

The Rule of Odds and Using a Border

I wrote about the rule of odds. Which is to use odd number of things such as 3 rocks rather than two, or 5 puppies rather than 4 if possible. Here is a very nice example of three mushrooms that seem to work.  What do you think? We Love You Little One If I kept the two large mushrooms, it would work but would not be as effective. It maybe a little hard to see, here is the same shot only with a simple black border and key line to help keep the eye focused on the mushrooms.  A simple matte can sometimes be the difference between an average photo and a winning photo.  I usually try both ways and then make a decision. It also depends on who is going to judge the photo.  If it is a bird shot and i submit it to a bird association, I most likely will not use a border. They want it natural.  If I am submitting to a fine art competition, I may consider a border. We Love You Little One- with border and key line I submitted this photo as a macro shot with the border and key line.  I should know how it did after February...