How to Protect Your Camera Gear in Hot Weather

Covered camera during a shooting break.

Hot weather is here in most of the country so it is time for a “save your camera gear” reminder. High end professional camera gear has a temperature and humidity rating. A top of the line Canon camera body has a limit of 115°F and 85% or less humidity. A black camera on a hot day can easily exceed that limit. Less expensive cameras of any brand have lower limits so it is important to protect your gear.

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A Custom White Balance Is the Key to Better, More Accurate Colors

Before and After Setting A Custom White Balance

Setting a custom white balance is the key to better, more accurate colors. I took the photo on the left before setting a custom white balance. The lights in the room give everything a slight yellow-green color cast. Your eye-brain compensates for the color cast but your camera does not. I set a custom white balance on my camera and then took the picture on the right. The colors are now accurate and the photo looks much better as a result.

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Video of Ronald Reagan’s Speech On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

President Reagan’s 13 minute speech at the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc is considered to be one of the great speeches in American History. In addition to President Reagan, these world leaders were present: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Olav V of Norway, King Baudouin I of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada.

Links

The text of Reagan’s D-Day speech at The History Place

Video of Reagan’s D-Day speech at YouTube

The Text of Ronald Reagan’s Speech On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

Ronald Reagan, 40th Anniversary of D-Day, June 4, 1984.

President Reagan’s 13 minute speech at the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc is considered to be one of the great speeches in American History. In addition to President Reagan, these world leaders were present: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Olav V of Norway, King Baudouin I of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada.

The text of Reagan’s speech follows.

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Video: The Story Behind Robert Capa’s D-Day Photos

John Morris, Capa’s London photo editor, tells the story behind Robert Capa’s D-Day photos, including the terrible darkroom mistake that ruined most of the photos. The high resolution video is best viewed full screen. You can see a contact sheet of the nine surviving negatives (ripped sprocket holes and all), Capa’s photo notes, and hear the story of the rush to get the prints back to the U.S. for publication in Life more. Fascinating imagery.

Link

Robert Capa and D-Day, June 6, 1944

Robert Capa and D-Day, June 6, 1944

Robert Capa: Normandy. June 6th, 1944. Landing of the American troops on Omaha Beach.

Robert Capa: Normandy. June 6th, 1944.

June 6, 1944 was the allied invasion of Normandy, the largest seaborne invasion in history. 24,000 allied troops parachuted into France shorty after midnight. The next morning beginning at 6:30 am over 150,000 American, British, and Canadian troops landed. There were 10,000 casualties and 4,414 confirmed dead.

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Seven Spectacular Southern Utah “Parks” in 46 Hours

Early Morning Snow at Bryce Canyon

Early Morning Snow at Bryce Canyon, April 25, 2001.

When I left home in the Midwest and headed for Northern California I had no intentions of being in Southern Utah. By the time I reached Denver, snow in the forecast for N. Utah, Nevada, and the mountain passes in N. California made a detour much more appealing than fighting snow on I-80, especially since I have never been to the spectacular parks and monuments in Southern Utah.

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Q&A: How To Restore Old, Faded, Original Prints

Old fading wedding photo and digitally corrected version.

I received this question via email from a person worrying about old, fading prints in her scrapbooks:

“I have noticed some of my older photos look like they may be degrading; if I only have the photo itself, what is the best way to restore the print? Do I just take another photo and send it in to reprint? And one other thing, your opinion of Walgreens photo quality?”

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How To Optimize a Photo with Adobe Camera Raw

Soleece, before and after Adobe Camera Raw.

Cameras, no matter how expensive, do not capture “visual reality”.  In other words, what you see with your eyes is not what the camera captures when you click the shutter. The photo on the right is what my eyes saw when I clicked the shutter. The photo on the left is what my camera gave me. I used ACR to turn the camera image on the left into the image on the right. Plus I cropped the final image. The process of turning the camera image into the image you want only takes a minute or two.

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MEMORIAL DAY, IN REMEMBRANCE . . .

Cemetery, The Presidio. San Francisco. Photo copyright Jim Doty Jr.
Cemetery, The Presidio, San Francisco, California. Photo © Jim Doty, Jr.

Memorial Day began unofficially in a variety of places as people felt the need to recognize those who gave their lives in the Civil War. Memorial Day was officially declared on May 5, 1868, when General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic ordered a day of observance when all Union and Confederate Graves at Arlington National Cemetery would be decorated with flowers on May 30, 1868. One state after another adopted May 30 as a Memorial Day observance until all of the Northern states had adopted May 30 by 1890. Many Southern states had picked different days to honor the Confederate dead.

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In Remembrance: A Brief History of Memorial Day

Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Washington D.C.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Washington D.C.

Richard Duane Klug (the name just above the rose) was born January 26, 1946. He died in Darlac Province, Vietnam, November 14, 1967 at the age of 21. He is one of over 58,000 American soldiers that died in Vietnam, and one of over 1.1 million American soldiers that have died in all American wars (almost half of them in the Civil War).

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Sometimes You Have to Get Your Tripod Legs Wet

The Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake, Colorado

I wanted to capture the classic view of the Maroon Bells with no photographers in the image. But the shoreline was packed with photographers. No matter where I stood there were at least a few photographers in my image. The only place to get the image I wanted was to stand on a rock out in the lake. But a photographer was already on that rock.

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The Green Towel

Soleece with the green towel at Slip Bluff Lake. May 16, 2024.

If you are a nature, landscape, or outdoor portrait photographer it is a good idea to keep a towel in your car. This green towel lives in the back of my car.  Sometimes I need it if I get caught in the rain or when I wade out into a lake or stream to get a better camera angle.  Sometimes I drape it over my camera (and me) to protect the camera when I shoot in a light drizzle.

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Water Portraits

Soleece, Slip Bluff Lake.

I love water portraits and Soleece does too, so we went out to two of our local lakes. Solace was in the shade for the first two photos so I adjusted the camera’s white balance for the shade.  I used Adobe Camera Raw to tone down the highlights a bit.

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Sunspots

Sun with large sunspots.

The large sunspot conglomeration at the bottom of the sun is the cause of the auroral explosion here on earth. An immense storm 17 times the size of our planet is going on in that sunspot area and a blast of plasma ejected by the storm headed toward earth. When the plasma hit the earth’s magnetosphere is set off the Northern and Southern Lights around the globe. If you have a solar filter for your camera lens you can go out and take pictures of the sunspots. I took this photo this afternoon using a white light solar filter made by Thousand Oaks Optical.

Northern Lights – May 10, 2024

Northern Lights, Home Lake, Lamoni Iowa.

The Northern Lights were spectacular last night in south central Iowa. The above image was my first click of the shutter. I was at Home Lake near Lamoni Iowa. When I arrived shortly after 10 pm, there were already a half dozen cars at the lake with people looking at the Northern Lights and many of them were taking pictures with every from smart phones and tablets to tripod mounted cameras. Tonight is predicted to be another great night. If you want to take pictures and need some advice, see the first link below. The other links are helpful too. Click any image in this article to see a larger version.

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A Day in Southern Utah

Bryce Canyon at Sunrise

Bryce Canyon at Sunrise

I was on my way from Colorado to California and decided to drive across southern Utah. I had never been to the National Parks in Utah and wanted to see them. They are spectacular.  If you love landscape photography and haven’t been to southern Utah, put a trip there high on your priority list.  These photos were taken April 25, 2011.

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Happy Birthday, John Muir!

John Muir

John Muir

Today is John Muir’s birthday! He was born April 21, 1838. He had a profound influence on how Americans viewed our wild lands and his influence led to the establishment of many of our National Parks and other protected lands. He was nicknamed “The Father of our National Parks”. Tomorrow, April 22, is also Earth Day, so I am combining the two in this article.

Here are photos from some of my favorite national and state parks along with quotes from John Muir.

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The First Click of the Shutter

Soleece

The first thing I do when I do a natural light portrait shoot is to do a custom white balance using an 18% gray card. Setting a custom white balance gives you more accurate and beautiful skin tones (details at the links below). After that, I do some simple portraits to get rid of the “first shoot jitters”.  The person I am working with might be a little nervous. As for me, I am a perfectionist and I am nervous before every photo shoot and I am especially nervous the first time I work with someone. So I start off with something simple. This was my first portrait shoot with Soleece and I was super nervous.

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