Archive for January, 2012

Exciting Nighttime Photography – Exposure

January 28th, 2012

There are many techniques involved in nighttime photography.  Star trail photographs are a traditional approach dating back to the film days.  If you think about it, that makes sense.  With the ISOs commercially available to most of us photographers, shooting the nighttime sky was not an option.  We simply didn’t have fast enough film.

With the advent of digital photography we can now push ISOs into the thousands and the noise levels are constantly improving.  And we can modify our cameras’ sensors to sensitize them to infrared light, something that the serious and most accomplished nighttime photographers do.  This provides us the opportunity to photograph both star trails and the night sky.

In previous articles I’ve discussed techniques for both types of nighttime photography.  In the most recent one I describe a technique that can provide both star trails and night sky photographs from a single session.  Here’s the link.

Exciting Nighttime Photography in 10 Easy Steps

One aspect I haven’t covered in detail yet is exposure.

Earlier this week there was a beautiful conjunction of the crescent moon and Venus in the early evening sky.  So I grabbed my camera, got permission from my neighbor and used their front yard to photograph the moon and Venus over the Los Angeles basin here in Southern California.

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Did You Manipulate That Photograph?

January 22nd, 2012

When I do art festivals and shows I’m often asked, “Did you manipulate that photograph?”  I have several answers.  The most direct is, “Yes, of course.” 

Other times I’ll reply, “My photographs are what I saw, not what the camera saw.”  Or if I’m feeling really wordy I’ll answer, “Let me explain it this way.  I approach photography from the mindset of a painter. I want to give myself the same creative freedom of a painter.”  To which the inquirer will often respond, “Oh, I get it; you’re an artist.”

To manipulate or not to manipulate.  That’s not even the question.  Why?  Because you have to go to extremes to have a photograph that is NOT manipulated.  OK, that’s a pretty bold statement.  So let’s take a deeper look.

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Taking Your Photography to the Next Level – Fine Art

January 13th, 2012

In the previous post in this series I presented the idea that calendar art is a worthy first goal for serious photographers.  (Read Taking Your Photography to the Next Level.)  And aside from the fact that the subject matter of calendar art may be fairly run of the mill, the technical and aesthetic qualities are generally excellent.

In that post I ended with this thought:

Calendar art is about the subject of the photograph.  The photographer is transparent.  In fine art photography the influence of the artist becomes more apparent.


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Inspiring Quotes

January 12th, 2012

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.  ~Amy Lowell

Join me on an upcoming workshop.  Click here for more details.

To see more of my photographs click here.


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Inspiring Quotes – Georgia O’Keeffe

January 9th, 2012

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.


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