The Sunny f16 Rule: Basic Daylight Exposure (BDE)

Red Rock Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

A Quick “Sunny f16” Summary

As long as the sun is high in the sky and not obscured by clouds, haze, smoke, dust, or other particulates in the air, it is a constant light source. That is why the Sunny f16 rule usually works in spring, summer, fall, and also winter as long as there isn’t any snow on the ground. (If there is snow on the ground, read this article.) The Sunny f16 rule, also known as Basic Daylight Exposure (BDE), (or the “fig” rule because f16 hand written looks like the word fig), is pretty simple.

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Where was this Photo taken? How to Use an EXIF Viewer to Find the Location of an Online Photo.

Greater Prairie Chickens fighting. February 25, 8:34 am.

Most smart phones and some digital cameras record the GPS coordinates of a photo every time the shutter button is pressed, provided you have that feature turned on. If you find a photo on the internet, you can use an EXIF Viewer to see if the GPS coordinates are embedded in the online photo. Not all cameras have this capability, and some photographers strip that information out of their photos before they post them online. I really appreciate landscape photographers that leave the GPS data in their online photos.

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Happy Birthday, Ansel Adams!

Ansel Adams, Monolith: The Face of Half Dome, 1927. Photographed in his home Dec. 2, 1980.

Ansel Adams in front of “Monolith: The Face of Half Dome, 1927”. Photographed in his home Dec. 2, 1980.

Ansel Adams was born 122 years ago today, February 20, 1902. He is “the” icon of American landscape photography. Trained as a concert pianist, his love of photography and time spent in Yosemite National Park led him to a career change. Continue reading

60 Years Ago Today!

The Beatles, February 9, 1964.

60 years ago today I was watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was huge. I was in junior high school. I thought they were fun. My girlfriend thought they were fabulous. I quickly figured out that I should go along with her assessment.


Sunset Collage by Ciro Russo

12 Sunsets by Ciro Russo

I love this collage. It has gone viral. 12 photos of sunset from the same location, January through December. I found the site that says the photographer is Ciro Russo (he signed the collage twice), but gives no additional information about him. As nearly as I can tell, he is Italian, but I have been unable to find a web site with more details about this set of images.

Who is this woman? Why does it matter?

“NT” on Facebook, October 25, 2020.

This all started when I learned that an older acquaintance on Facebook was being taken in by a fake account. He really believed he had a special friendship with a beautiful young woman half way across the country. I was not able to convince him he was being scammed until I showed him the photo and the account of the real person whose photo had been stolen to create the fake account. “But she is so nice,” he said. In his head he got it, but in his heart he still wanted to believe it was a real woman that really liked him.

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Selina, Downtown Columbus Ohio. January 29, 2010.

Selina, Downtown Columbus Ohio. January 29, 2010.

Selina and I created this image 14 years ago this evening. Some models are a dream to work with and Selina is one of them, which is why we did more than one photo shoot. The windchill when I took this photo was 4°F. We scheduled this photo shoot weeks ahead of time and we knew it would be cold in January, but not THIS bone chillingly cold. I contacted her before she left home and asked if she wanted to re-schedule. She wanted to go ahead with the shoot despite the forecast and she drove up from Kentucky.

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How To Series: Snowy Owl Photography

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl looking for prey.

If there are cold enough temperatures and plenty of snow cover on the ground, the northern United States has a winter invasion of Snowy Owls. These are magnificent creatures and well worth your photographic time and attention. This series is filled with tips on how to find and photograph snowy owls.

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MARTIN LUTHER KING – “I have a dream” – text

Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is Martin Luther King Day in the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister and a prominent civil rights advocate. King was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize when it awarded to him in 1964. He was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

One of his most famous speeches was delivered at the Lincoln Memorial August 28, 1963. Often referred to as the “I have a dream” speech, it is one of the most significant and powerful speeches of the 20th century. A portion of the speech follows. Links to the full speech and an audio file are at the end of this post.

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Winter Photography Safety Essentials

Some of the winter travel items I carry in the trunk of my car.

Some of the winter travel items I carry in the trunk of my car. This is the “kitchen” and “furnace”.

I grew up in Colorado where strange weather can strand you in any month of the year. Even though it is rare, I’ve seen blizzards in the Colorado high country in July. So I learned to carry some safety essentials when doing winter photography in remote locations. You never know when you might be stranded for several hours, a whole day, or longer, until the blizzard abates and someone can come find you. This is what I carry in my car when I hit the road in the winter and pretty much any time I am going to be in the High Rockies. I include a few winter travel tips, too.

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One Photographer and Nine Outdoor/Travel Writers Pick the Best Winter National Parks

Last Light on Long’s Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Thinking about a photography trip to one or more U.S. national parks this winter? You can benefit from the work I have done. Some national parks look better in the winter than others. You will want to make them a priority. After you read this article I recommend you also read the companion article: The Best National Parks to Photograph in Winter.

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The Best National Parks to Photograph in Winter

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Winter provides some wonderful photo opportunities in our national parks. But some national parks look much better in the winter than others. So if you haven’t gone into hibernation for the winter, here are the best national parks to go photograph this winter, grouped by state from the west to the east. There are a few bonus locations thrown in too. At the end I give you my “best of the best” list.

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Mixing Flash and Ambient Light for a Christmas Portrait

Kristina at Christmas

Kristina at Christmas, Columbus Ohio

On Christmas eve I found myself doing Christmas portraits for Kristina’s portfolio. She is a friend of mine who is a model and actress in L.A.. There isn’t a lot of space in my studio when the Christmas tree is up so I had to improvise a bit with the lighting and I needed to get the right mix of flash and ambient light for the look I wanted.

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How to See and Photograph the Geminid Meteor Shower

Geminid Meteor photographed at Home Lake, Lamoni Iowa, December 14, 2020. Cropped from the original image.

Tonight (December 13-14) and tomorrow night (December 14-15) are the best nights to see and photograph the Geminid Meteor Shower. This article will tell you what you need to know to photograph what is often the best meteor showers of the year. The meteors have their radiant (origin point) near the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini. From there they can go in any direction across the night sky.

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The 3-2-1 Photo and Data Backup Plan

Seagate External Hard Drives

Seagate External Hard Drives

I read about a professional photographer who lost a bunch of photos because they were all on just one external hard drive with no backups. The cost of recovering the photos, if they can be recovered, will run between $500 and $5000 depending on the number of photos and the complications involved in the recovery process.

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The Best Insurance for Your Photo Gear

Granite Ledges and Otter Cliff, Acadia National Park, Maine

Your camera falls down a mountainside or off a cliff. An unexpected rogue wave drenches your valuable photo gear in salt water. Your photo backpack is stolen from your home, motel room, or trunk of your car. To add insult to injury, you learn your homeowner’s insurance will not replace the value of your damaged or stolen gear.

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