It started with a text message from my brother John that included this sunset photo. He found it somewhere on one of my websites. He was asking technical questions about the original photo that I could not answer without finding the original photo and checking the size in MB and dimensions in pixels. I knew at first glance that this is a sunset photo of Lake Michigan that was taken at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve which is not far from Harbor Springs Michigan. I was leading a photo workshop field trip when I created this image. It was taken several years ago but I had no idea what year or the specific date. But that was simple to figure out. Using Adobe Bridge it would take only a few seconds.
Every year in Lamomi Iowa, the ENACTUS program at Graceland University sponsors Trunk or Treat. Other community organizations help out. Trick-or-treaters play all kinds of fun and games to win free treats. (Everyone wins.) For example, the “Incredible, Bodiless, Talking Head” tells jokes. Anyone who survives his jokes gets a treat.
It was a great season for Lamoni’s junior league soccer teams. Most Lamoni teams won most of their games and Lamoni’s undefeated “U14” team (ages 14 and under) won the end of season tournament, Saturday, September 23. A newspaper article and more photos follow the break.
What are the best national parks to photograph in the fall? Here are my choices, grouped by state and province from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to, plus the ones I most want to see based on the recommendations of the photographers I trust, like Tim Fitzharris and QT Luong. More about them later.
Marshall Pass is a beautiful fall color drive in southern Colorado, and still pretty much a secret. It does not turn up on most lists of the most beautiful fall color drives in Colorado. It is a beautiful drive with a lot of fall color photo opportunities.
This article will give you some tips on taking portraits by moonlight. We have been planning this shoot ever since our moonlit photo shoot in a cemetery last November. We just needed a nice bright moon and a clear sky with stars. Last night with a blue supermoon was the night.
Headed for Colorado this fall? Welcome to my complete Colorado fall color photography and travel guide with 131 photos, 18 maps, and over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out). I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is not widely known to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from two days to two weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.
A selection of 16 of my parade images. Some of these images will be published in the Lamoni Chronicle this week.
I captured this image in a church parking lot in rural southern Iowa. Two years ago she laid her eggs in the same parking lot and successfully hatched her eggs a few weeks later. This summer she did it again.
A selection of our favorite Images. At the links below you can see a thumbnail of all of the photos from the photo shoot, and learn about the process of picking favorites.
A portfolio of images from the annual spring dance recital.
The Enactus program at Graceland University does the “Entrepreneurial Roundtable” event yearly in the spring. Thursday, March 30, Graceland students gathered for the day to hear remarkable stories from Graceland Grads who shared their life experiences. At the banquet, business school faculty presented awards.
A friend tipped me off to the location of a bald eagle nest just a few miles from my home on a country road, so 2 or 3 times a week I drive by. Usually I don’t see an eagle but on this trip I got lucky.
How far was I from this burning building that I photographed last night for the local newspaper? My initial guesstimate was between 300 and 400 yards. The actual distance was 356 yards, more or less. How I did I figure that out?
I was in a fabric store looking for lightweight (thin), white cloth with a pattern that I could use as a backdrop. My plan was to put a studio light behind the cloth and shoot through the cloth at my subject. The light would wrap around my subject. I had to experiment with the output of the studio light to get the look that I wanted. I was pleased with the final result.
A large, south facing window is perfect for creating wrap around backlight. All you need is a sunny day and some translucent white cloth that will light the light in. Pose your subject close to the white cloth and you will get beautiful, wrap around light.
Painting with light is an interesting technique that gives you a different kind of look from using a flash unit or ambient light. As with other kinds of light you can make your subject as light or dark as you want. For these images I went with a darker, low key look. Inanimate objects are the usual subjects for painting with light because they do not move during the long exposures, but I wanted to try it with a live human being so I asked a friend to be my subject.
This Picture of the Day was created with a simple one light set up. The studio flash was directly in front of Sabrina’s face to camera right. I usually have my main light above the subject’s face and bounced out of an umbrella which creates a more appealing image, but there are times the rules need to be broken. For this image it worked best for the direct light of the flash (no umbrella) to be level with her face.
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.
It was three years ago today, but it started two months earlier in December with a plan to do portraits of Beth with her violin. Back then she was the principal violinist and concertmaster of the Graceland University Orchestra. (Today she is doing graduate studies in violin performance.) When I asked her to send me examples of the kind of portraits she liked, some of the photos she sent me had a violinist outside in the snow. I asked her if she wanted to shoot in the snow and she said yes. So we waited for snow and on a cold, snowy day in January we did portraits in the snow.
It was my happy privilege to do winter portraits of Beth Presler who is a superb violinist. This article has suggestions for photographing any musician on a cold, snowy winter day.
In addition to all of the usual photographic challenges, winter provides some extra complications, especially in terms of metering. So I began this series of articles on winter photography. Check out the links below. The articles will help you meet the unique challenges of winter photography. So get out there, have fun, and create some great winter images!
The good news is most of the time a $239 telephoto lens can do the job of a $2159 lens, but not all of the time (see “Pushing the Limits” in the links below). This article will share a few examples.
After photographing our rare Tundra Swan, I was getting ready to leave Home Lake when I had an opportunity to test the kind of results I could get photographing distant geese with a 100-400mm lens. I was on the dam at Home Lake so I positioned myself so I was in line with the water facility apparatus in the lake and some distant geese. I did a reference photo at 100mm.
A Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan have been spending time together at one of our local lakes. Tundra Swans don’t usually get this far south and I wanted some photos. This is our second rare bird visitor this winter. In December we had a very rare Tundra Bean-Goose that spent a couple of weeks with our Canada Geese before moving on (links below). The Tundra Bean-Goose was supposed to be in far Northern Europe or Russia.
A selection of photos from the band concert at the Shaw Center Auditorium, Graceland University, Lamoni Iowa. Click any photo to see a larger version.
For me, December is not only the month for Christmas Season photos and portraits, on reasonably pleasant December nights with no wind it is the time of year to photograph the night sky. Winter has better night sky “seeing” than the other three seasons. Cold air holds less moisture to there is more visual clarity of the night sky. Unfortunately, where many of us live winter is also very cold so I do most of my winter night sky photography in December since it is usually more tolerable.