Soft light is the most flattering all purpose light for most portraits. It enhances good features and minimizes flaws in the skin. Some of the best soft light is outside on “cloudy bright” days. Those are the days that there is enough cloud cover that you don’t cast a shadow but not so many clouds that it is dark and gloomy. Another test of a good cloudy bright day is to see if you can look at the sky without squinting. If you squint there aren’t enough clouds.
Beth and I were on a mission to create fall color water portraits. Shooting at Lake LaShane was not part of the fall color plan. In advance of the day of our shoot I scouted several lakes, steams,and rivers in the area to find the best fall color. Only one location had the kind of fall color by the water that I wanted, Slip Bluff Lake.
The first thing to do is to ask permission ahead of time. Some places do not allow photography during the performance or they limit the number of photographers. In this case, Beth asked me to photograph her recital and I was the official photographer. One of the keys to photographing an event is not to become a serious distraction from the main event. That means not doing a lot of wandering around, and certainly not getting in front of people who are watching the event. Be as discreet as possible. If you need to move during a performance, if at all possible do it during the applause between numbers.
Moon Over Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah.
Are you planning a spring photography trip to one or more U.S. national parks? Where should you go? Which parks will provide the best photographic opportunities? Which parks are at their best in the spring?
Which national parks are at their very best in the spring? If I could go on a fabulous spring photography trip to the national parks of my choice, all expenses paid, which ones would I pick? Here are my choices, grouped by state from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to and want to go back to again, plus the ones I haven’t seen and most want to photograph.
Big Bend National Park is one of my favorite places on the planet. My photography guide to Big Bend is here. March and April are good months to go. You will see more flowers in mid to late April but it will also be hotter. Fall is a prime time also. If you don’t mind the chance of a sudden cold spell and maybe some snow, I like winter in Big Bend too, but most people prefer spring and fall. Summer is ungodly hot.
It was a week and a half after Valentine’s Day and most of the dozen Valentine’s Day roses in a vase on the dining room table were done and had been thrown away, but a few were still looking good. I asked Sami to lay on the floor, handed her a long stemmed rose, and I carefully arranged her hair. Then I stood up and pulled the best looking petals off of more roses and randomly dropped them on her. Some didn’t land quite right so I re-positioned a couple of them.
I was processing this image of Lyn Marie in Photoshop and the longer I looked at it the more I decided the color of the door frames, carpet, and walls took away from her colorful clothing. It made sense to me to remove all color from the image except Lyn Marie. In this tutorial I will show you how to do that.
This is one of my all time favorite winter images. On a prior photo shoot, Beth and I went out into the cold and snow to create images. She played her violin while I took pictures. It was her first time shooting in the cold and snow and she was a real trooper. For that shoot she wore her long black concert dress. The snow melted not long after that, but we decide if another day came along with the right conditions we wanted to shoot in the now again.
I’ve been waiting for a sunny day for a while to photograph the Purple Finches that started coming to our bird feeders a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday I finally got my chance. This fellow landed on top of our deck umbrella before heading for one of the feeders.
Thanks to the weather and the recommendations from U.S. medical experts that this is not the time to be traveling, I have been doing much more photography than usual of the birds visiting our bird feeders. This male House Finch had just grabbed a black oil sunflower seed and was getting ready to eat it.
I was leading a photography workshop in Northern Michigan and we were out on a night sky field trip at Lake Michigan. We started seeing some flickering in the northern sky which developed into this display of the Northern Lights. It was a great night at the lakeshore.
I was working in the studio with the beautiful Lela Rae. This is an example of cross lighting which creates nice contours and shadows. There is one light to her left and one to her right, almost directly opposite each other. I decided to use colored gels over the lights which I thought would enhance the look of the image..
This is one of my all time favorite images. The whole story behind the capture of this image is here. I have several people to thank for providing me with the skills to create this image, one of the most important in terms of bird photography advice being Arthur Morris.
It was a beautiful winter morning and my brother-in-law/photo buddy and I were up long before sunrise to capture the early morning light. It was our good fortune that it had snowed a bit. The light was beautiful. With the coming of the sun the snow disappeared, as did the magic of the light.
The Maroon Bells is considered to be one of the top scenic photo locations in Colorado, and it certainly one of the most popular. The Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake are a stunning sight by both day and night (photo below).
The windchill was -41° Fahrenheit at Wildlife Prairie Park. It was bone chillingly cold, even with Sorel Pac boots, thermal underwear, and layers. I had to take a break about once an hour or two to warm up. But it was worth it.
My brother-in-law, who is also my photo buddy, were at Brainard Lake in Colorado. It was a cloudy day so we were photographing wildflowers. I was hopeful the clouds would part for a nice sunset but that did not happen.
A couple of months ago I did not know who Peter Lindbergh is, but I did know some of his famous images, like his famous photo of five super models (see below). I just didn’t know that Lindbergh was the photographer.
I looked out our kitchen window and spotted this squirrel chowing down at one of our bird feeders. I grabbed a camera and lens, slowly opened the kitchen window and created several images. This is one of my favorites. I especially like the snowflakes on the fur and little ice-like crystals in the whiskers and eyelashes.