Photographing Winters Wonderland

Photographing Winter’s Wonderland   Grand daughter Emmy! As a child growing up, I always looked upon winters as a time of wonder: snow days off school, and family times during the holidays ; along with all the surprise and excitement the […]

Capture all the Shots, and Get Them Sharp! part1:

Capturing the Shots You’re After & Getting  them Sharp with AutoFocus All of us would like to get every shot we go after and it be Sharp as a tack, and we all start out having to learn how to […]

HDR: Cure to get Definition in the Shadows

                                    HDR                                        A Cure […]

Winter Photographing Opportunities

  javascript:var d=document,w=window,e=w.getSelection,k=d.getSelection,x=d.selection,s=(e?e():(k)?k():(x?x.createRange().text:0)),f=’http://snapshotphoto.net/wp-admin/press-this.php’,l=d.location,e=encodeURIComponent,u=f+’?u=’+e(l.href)+’&t=’+e(d.title)+’&s=’+e(s)+’&v=4′;a=function(){if(!w.open(u,’t’,’toolbar=0,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,status=1,width=720,height=570′))l.href=u;};if (/Firefox/.test(navigator.userAgent)) setTimeout(a, 0); else a();void(0)12-6-X3.jpg   The vast and endless array of subjects and photographic opportunities in the warm months keeps our shutters clicking away. Then how about the cold, doldrums of the winter months? During winter we […]

Bird Photography : My Past Experience’s

If you are a bird watcher, or a nature photographer that wants to focus on birds it helps to be very familiar with your camera, and the subjects you are trying to get lasting images of. Getting good pictures of […]

 

HDR: Cure to get Definition in the Shadows

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HDR an early attempt.
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                                    HDR

                                       A Cure to Get

                        Definition in The Shadows!


 

How many times have you found a location only to find that some important parts of the image are hidden in the shadows, and if you try to correct for the problem you wash out or over expose the lighter areas of the photograph? Well HDR is a solution to this problem, and it can come in handy for a lot of situations we may come across:                                                           Situations to Use HDR                               

(A)  During the times of the day when parts of the landscape or a scene are hidden in shadows, and you’d like to show more detail in those areas instead of them being blackened out or dull. This will give more detail, color, and focus to these areas. 

(B)  When shooting a building, and alley, or a tunnel; among other things, where you want to be able to see into the shadows, and/ or bring out detail in any darkened places. 

(C) Any time you want to add more depth, texture, and detail to all sorts of photographic situations whether there are Shadows or Not.

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HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and the way you achieve this is to take multiple bracketed images; one shot with the correct exposure, and two to four more with at least one under exposed, and one over exposed, and this works best if these shots are 1 1/2 to 2 stops higher or lower than the correct exposure. Now that is if you are only bracketing one over and one under exposed. I like doing five shots each one being 1/2 stop to 2 1/2 stops over and under exposed, with varying stops in between to give more variation in the detail and the color.

Then after you select the images you are going to use and open them up in programs such as Lightroom and a plug-in for Photoshop called HDR Efex Pro, and after you do some pre-HDR-generating editing in a slider window you depress the generating button, and after several minutes the compiled image appears. Waa’la, you have yourself an HDR image! From there you can post edit in your favorite editing software, and your new masterpiece is finished. 

Last I heard Nik Efex Pro collection of filters is being given away free. There are a whole host of different filter presets and programs in the Nik collection download including Efex Color Pro 4, plus more, and you can manipulate each setting to your liking. Adobe Lightroom and HDR Efex Pro 4 are mainly the two HDR filter programs I have used. I find using them an interesting and valuable tool to extend the limits of my


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Abandoned Warehouse by RR. Tracks in Keyser, using HDR editing. One of the first.
Abandoned Warehouse by RR. Tracks in Keyser, using HDR editing. One of the first.
 photographic editing workflow, and helps to produce images other wise very time consuming to do using selection and adjustment tools in Photoshop and Lightroom to achieve similar results. I believe HDR          (High Dynamic Range) renders the photograph with extra detail, color and depth not possible with the longer editing workflow’s.

 photographic editing workflow, and helps to produce images other wise very time consuming to do using selection and adjustment tools in Photoshop and Lightroom to achieve similar results. I believe HDR          (High Dynamic Range) renders the photograph with extra detail, color and depth not possible with the longer editing workflow’s.To be honest my first results may not exactly be the greatest examples of what is possible with HDR, so lookout for further articles here, and watch the photographic magazines, there are always articles that HDR is part of the subject line and will show some really good photographic examples of HDR’s benefits. 

There are many other photographic HDR producing programs for you to check out, such as HDR soft’s Photomatix Pro, which Cheyene Rouse of Ancients Lights Gallery fame used when discovering HDR for herself?. Plus, Photoshop CS 5 and Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) have HDR built right in; along with Nik’s HDR Efex Pro, EverImaging: HDR Photo Pro, Unified Color Technologies, HDR Exposure as a stand along or a plug-in for Lightroom or Apple’s Aperture. That is a lot to choose from and any of these programs will give decent results. It really comes down to preference and money, I guess. For aspiring photographers we usually operate on a shoe-string budget, and a lot of fancy editing tools, and a computer with the speed and so much memory that we can operate booque programs are just not in the cards for us.

Now back in 2010, Rob Sheppard found he liked Nik HDR Efex Pro best as he stated in his article “Special Techniques for Landscape Photographers.” I believe back then there was a fee to access the plug-in. Now a days, with it being free, I find it the way to go for any newbie, or for people looking to save money. And who doesn’t want to save $Money.

Little Over Saturated. Not Natural Looking!
Little Over Saturated. Not Natural Looking!

When I first used HDR I only had Lightroom’s program to use and found it works well, and then I heard about Nik’s HDR Efex Pro. Being Free, I wanted to check out all the filters and programs they had in the download. Efex Pro’s HDR plug-in to Photoshop has some enhancing sliders to use to generate results some what different to other programs. My first attempt at using it I probably over did the enhancements and the image (Left) isn’t exactly natural looking. With practice it gives a photo all the detail, brilliance, and vibrant color you want; and you can still keep it looking natural, and Not looking over the top visually. I recommend going easy on the pre-generating edits and at least doing a little post editing to give the photograph all the corrections and flare that it deserves. I have played with the couple HDR generators I have at my disposal, and find it does give a tool I am using more often. Through the use of the software I have made some dramatic and extra interesting photographs from ones that other wise would have been just so-so. And you can to. I am referring to ones like the photograph at the beginning of this writing (article). The tree was hidden by shadow in anything I could capture without the sky being totally washed out. 

I like giving others, that have gone before me some more exposure through my writings, and give support and credit for my findings and the claims I make in my posts. This being a learn from your peers community I will be using examples of yours, with your permission of course, in some of the posts and materials found at AdvancedCompletePhotography.com “Community of Aspiring Photographers and Artists.” 

One of the professionals I give Kudo’s to is Cheyene Rouse. I like the project she has done assembling the Ancient Lights projects. When she found HDR she made the comment “With HDR, I knew I had found a process and a program that was not only friendly, but would transform these relics of the West and render them the way I saw  each one when I was photographing them”. She made the comment in the June 2011 OutDoor Photographer magazine article “Stoking the Fire” on page #58. The Ancient Lights project depicts the culture, and the items used back in the Old West, and not so new West, shining new light on them for future generations to experience if only in their minds and the images of Cheyene Rouse.  

a1-hdr-4articles-2 Pinto Valley a1-hdr-4articlesLightroom HDR that looks very close to how I saw the scene.

This image of a pond and land in the valley across from it during  Sunrise, is an HDR I did just a few days ago, to practice getting my HDR looking more like what we’d see when being there in person. The way I achieved this was by going easy with the pre-generating editing sliders. It has a little extra green, but not unusually so. You can give your images this type of impact, too.

Try adapting High Dynamic Range (HDR) to the types of photography you think you’d benefit by applying it to. Bracket several images both at your meters correct exposure, and ones over exposed, and some under exposed, and then click on all three and hit the merge file, in Lightroom, and then HDR which will merge the images, and then an editing window will pop up and just do some minimum editing (or a lot) hit the generate HDR button, and there you’ll have it, an HDR image to be post edited in some of your normal ways. Give it a Try! 

Never be afraid to try new things! If we didn’t try new things we would have never learned to walk. One last repost of this article for the Christmas Holiday!

Merry Christmas EveryOne!  & A Happy New Year!

Hope this posts finds everyone’s heath good and strong and your spirits even stronger!

@TONY (Michael) Ballas ” title=”Scott Kelby on Lightroom: Plus an HDR section”>

tony.b@advancedcompletephotography.com

PS: I hope to do another one of these articles on HDR, and go through all the steps I had taken in generating some nice HDR photographs to show you each step. With pictures of screen shots and all.

Possibly to I may just create an E-Book of my editing technics to purchase. Let me know if this would be helpful to you?

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Bird Photography : My Past Experience’s

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If you are a bird watcher, or a nature photographer that wants to focus on birds it helps to be very familiar with your camera, and the subjects you are trying to get lasting images of. Getting good pictures of the avian species can be difficult.

There are a few extreme conditions that usually arise to get shoots of birds out in their natural habitat.Most birds in the natural world are very cautious of all other animals, other avian species, and naturally humans. I started by taking pictures of birds near bird feeders, or in places where they are more comfortable around humans to avoid some of the difficulties that we may encounter in the wild. Also, This is a start to learning about the types of food certain species eat, and their habits and behaviors. Artists, and photographers are more successful when they know about the subjects they are taking images of, and are involved in some way with that subject. Like being involved a bird watching club, helping at a local park, and knowing the subjects well enough to do a lecture series that includes your own photographs.

During my Digital Photography class at Anne Arundel Community College, in the historic and charming state of Maryland, I had started feeding birds on our second story deck at our home in Annapolis. I found it interesting seeing what different types of species might feed there, and the ways that the birds interacted. 

I also try to shoot in the manual modes to have more control over the out come of the photograph. The picture above was taken during that class while doing our lessons on depth of field. I used a Nikon D60 and a Tamara 28-300mm zoom : zoomed in at 200mm with camera settings of an ISO of 400, a shutter speed of 1/400th of a second, and an f-stop of 5.6 to capture the image of the Titmouse at the beginning of the article. The lower f-stop and a long focal length blur’s  out much of the back ground and foreground to make the subject stand out in the photograph. 

In many books and articles I have read about photography, and animal and bird photography specifically, they say that the best images that interest people and are candidates for publication are void of feeders, the seed or suit that attract the beautiful and interesting subjects that we are photographing. When taking the image of the titmouse I took this into account and kept taking shots of it until it moved away from feed I had spread on the railing of the deck. The more interesting the photographs the more attractive an article is to the reader.

Duck.JonasGreen.SM  This photo of a mallard at Jonas Green Park, across the Severn River from the Naval Academy, was taken during my class at AACC during our studies on perspective. I was actually lying on the beach, to get in a position that most people are not looking at ducks from.

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People are even more attracted and  interested in birds and animals taken in the wild, or natural settings. This brings up some other situations that need addressing, and with some help and foreknowledge from experts and seasoned nature photographers you (WE) can avoid some of the problems before they are encountered.

Getting good pictures of birds are made difficult by extreme conditions in the outdoors, and the skidish nature of birds; although, there is always a learning curve with any new adventure we start, including venturing into the wilderness and bird photography. Here are some things to be aware of when venturing out.

Conditions and Knowledge to be Aware of shooting Birds

List:

  • shooting into the sky
  • knowing what they feed on
  • places they nest
  • fast movement of subjects
  • long range of flight
  • migration patterns
  • weather
  • patterns of flight

The Camera Settings that Control Exposure and How to Use Them: part2

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Exposure and The Settings You Use to Control It!   

Carolina.Beach.SM.Edit.snap-Here we are again. If you remember last time we went over what exposure is, and a little on how a camera works, and the controls you use to get the best exposure. You ready to learn more on how to use aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Exposure again is the amount of light reaching the camera’s recording media, either film or a sensor with digital. The settings that you or the camera uses to control the light is the aperture and the shutter speed. We will touch on both here starting with aperture, then shutter speed, and we will touch on ISO also. 

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Aperture

The aperture mechanism is usually a leaf of blades that creates a circular opening inside the camera, or in most cases the lens for those cameras that have interchangeable lenses. The blades are opened wider or closed to let in more or less light, allowing it to then pass to the recording media. For ease of reading and writing, I will use sensor as the recording media since most of us are probably using a digital camera these days. Some of you may have an older film camera either one your parents had, or you bought one many years ago, or are trying to use film to keep the old school nostalgia! Then others taking photography classes in school may still be using film. Either way, you’ll know if we say sensor it also will mean film unless there is a need to mention film separately due to some types of different properties of film than of sensors.

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The aperture is measured in f-stops such as f3.5 or f22. For now I will just mention that the smaller number (f3.5) is the wider opening and the larger number f-stops (f22) are a smaller opening. So a setting of f3.5 lets in more light than f22, and f22 in less light. The further down the scale you go the wider the opening. As you may have figured, 8 lets in more light than f22, and less light than f3.5. It takes getting used to, so get your camera and it’s manual out and get familiar with the settings, and where and how you go about changing your camera’s aperture and shutter speed. 

If you have a detachable lens, and it has a manual ring to change the f-stops, turn it while looking through the back end of the lens (The end that attaches to the camera), and you should see the difference in the openings as you turn the ring. You do this while the lens is taken off the camera body. Take notice of the f-stop number you change each turn of the ring to and the wideness of the opening and you will get more familiar with f-stops and how they affect the light hitting the sensor. Now along with aperture you need to set a corresponding shutter speed to get an exposure you’ll deem acceptable, or to your artistic liking. 

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is either set by a dial on the top of the camera body, or by adjusting it with a button or wheel on the back of the camera, and you can see the settings numbers for shutter speed and aperture in the LCD window on the back of the camera, a small screen at the top of your camera (if lucky enough to have a higher end digital model of camera), or you can seethese setting numbers in the viewfinder. The shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second. Oh yeah, sometimes I may assume you are familiar with the workings of a camera but I shouldn’t do that. We are all at different levels, and knowledge about photography and how a camera works.

The shutters in single lens reflex (SLR) cameras, or point and shoots commonly called compact cameras operate on the same principle, which is a focal-plane shutter which is made up of two metallic or cloth blinds. The blinds are a thin membrane of whichever material and work together by one opening to let light in to expose the sensor, and the other to close to shut out the light from reaching the sensor. Does that sound a little complicated? Well in some ways it is. The two blinds have to be synchronized to open. and close at the right times to produce the correct shutter speed you set while also being coordinated so that the image is not cut off. When and if we have a chapter that goes into more depth on the workings of different cameras, and all settings, and bells and whistles available these days we will surely explain the shutter principle more deeply and thoroughly. Next up ISO, and this one is rather short for now.

ISO

The ISO of films, which is called the speed of the film is a set amount of sensitivity to light, The higher the ISO number the more sensitive to light it is, or it can gather and records lower amounts of light to expose it correctly. The digital sensors of the DSLR cameras, and the digital point-and-shoots or compact cameras work off a similar principle as the different ISO’s of film. It is just that in a digital camera the light sensitivity is changed by light-sensing spots on the sensor being turned on or off to produce different sensitivities. With either film or a digital sensor the more sensitive to light the grainier the image gets when developed or downloaded into the computer. 

When we talk of grain it refers to the dots or pixels being bigger, and it can show up in your photographs, especially if enlarge very big. Some camera can take pictures in low light and control the amount of grain so it is less noticeable. The more expensive ones usually have the better low light qualities. Of course, right.

Well. we really covered a lot! You did superbly well, especially if you are reading this, I must have kept your attention fairly well. One other quick note about aperture, it is what effects depth of field. The wider the opening (smaller #) the less depth of field, and the narrower the opening in the lens the more depth of field. Depth’s of field refers to how much the rest of the picture is in focus in front and behind where your focus point is.         Click Me!“> Sign-UP                    more↓

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Now that is about all for now.

I hope you understood it all and were able to grasp the ideas and concepts to getting good to great exposures. We will cover all the other terms I mentioned in more detail, even the 3 “Holy Grails” of exposure. Remember – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This is where you have an assignment. Try looking up where you can read what the camera is telling you should be the right exposure and pay attention to what looks like is lit up more, and also what is in shadow in your final image. Change the shutter speed, or aperture to see its effects on exposure. Bracket some shots by taking a correct exposure and one or two overexposed and one or two underexposed, taking notes for each shot – the settings, amounts of stops over and under exposed for each number of the frame exposed. Hope that made sense?? If you are fairly new to photography this will be a great exercise. Now go to it!

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Exposure: Understanding camera settings to control the lightness or darkness of a photograph

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Exposure: Understanding Camera settings

to Control the Lightness or Darkness

Of a Photograph

 Glad you are getting more interested in learning, or refreshing your knowledge about photography. I have mentioned on multiple occasions that to take better photos, and being more consistent capturing perfect the perfect image, you should learn to control the exposure of the image by using your camera’s manual controls. If you leave it up to the camera to set the exposure and depth of field it will to often be fooled by certain situations. Plus, you are giving up a lot of artistic control by letting the camera do all the work. 

One situation where the camera gets fooled is when a subject is in shadow and the and is back lit. Real quick, it is not that hard to learn how to use manual settings, it just takes a little practice. Take the situation of the subject being in shadow and the surroundings being brighter, the camera is trying to set exposure based on the larger area of the surroundings instead of the subject rendering the subject to dark, and with little detail. The way to fix this is by telling the camera to let in more light.

So, the first thing I am going to teach you is the “holy grauls” of photography. sometimes

Nice Sharp Image with correct exposure, and good Color.

Nice Sharp Image with correct exposure, and good Color.

called the “holy trinity” to photography, which I don’t care to use. We will just call the exposure controls the “holy grauls” of exposure, and they are: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. First a quick fundamentals of how a camera works. Don’t let me lose you here. This won’t take long and is basic stuff.

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How a Camera Works   

To start, we see things due to light bouncing off an object, animal, or person. Just like our eyes, a camera has an opening that is covered by clear tissue in the eye with a hole in it, and usually clear glass in a camera lens that lets light through to reach the sensory receptors in the back of the eye; or in a camera,  film or a sensor in digital cameras.

The lens in both examples is needed to direct the light that bounces off the subject or it wouldrandomly land on the sensors, and  no image would exist. (see drawling 1A).

camera-diagram1.gifhttp://electronics.howstuffworks.com/camera.htm

Both the eye and a lens use a concave-convex lens that concentrates the light to land on the sensor in the right places to create an image, although it would be upside down if the lenses of a camera weren’t grouped together to make it right side up, and to be able       to focus at different distances from the subject. The way the eye does this changing of focus is with muscles that change the distance between the pupil and the retina, which is made up of a series of sensors. The lens of a camera  moves back and forth to change the focus distance, either by a person rotating the focus ring that the lenses are mounted on; or With an auto focus camera lenses, there is a motor that moves the focus ring.

Every camera works off the principle: that light travels through a hole in one end of the camera to a piece of film or an electronic sensor on the other end to record the light coming into it. Essentially, a box with a hole in it and a way to record the image on the other end.  On a more modern and even the older upper end or professional cameras of long ago are based on the box camera principle. Camera’s have always had their features that record the image on different types of recording media. Like on early camera, a single metal or glass plate that recorded one separate photograph on each plate, to view cameras that use the same principle only the media is a metal coated piece of plastic. Then there are rolls of film, 110, 135….35mm, that have been used in different size and varieties of  cameras over the years. Then there is todays versions….      

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….which use a sensor and electronic media in place of film. These memory cards, as the media is called, comes in different sizes and types of  memory cards depending on the type and model of camera it is.  Memory cards of each type also have different amounts of memory space on the cards to hold larger amounts of files, or in our case, photographs. I will have to do a more extensive article on memory media for cameras, and computers. Maybe even add it as a series with types of picture media such as different types of printing and print papers, and the like?? What types of articles would you prefer? This is all to help you, or others that are new to digital based photography. 

Okay, yes I went on a little side bar again, off the main topic, but it is stuff related to exposure you’ll need to know. 

Real quick I will just go over what shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are. Then in a few days to a week I can give you some more in depth ways to use the settings on your camera to start taking control of your images, and photographs.

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Exposure again…..is the amount of light reaching the camera’s recording media, either sensor or film. The settings that you use to control the amount of is the shutter speed and the aperture.

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Photographing Winters Wonderland

The Mystical Tree, taken during an ice storm during this winter season 2016-17

Photographing Winter’s Wonderland

 

Grand daughter Emmy!

As a child growing up, I always looked upon winters as a time of wonder: snow days off school, and family times during the holidays ; along with all the surprise and excitement the winter weather and holidays can bring. All those mysteries still enchant this time of season, and I having aged and gone through many a winter I have had a renewed awe about this time of renewal for the nature around us. My new fascination during the winter has been started by my desire to take photographs, and in the colder months there are times and situations where we can find scenes that can only be found during this time of the year. Among other things, taking family photographs while all the family are together and available for portraits,

Jordan, our Grandson! 2016 Christmas

and candids of the festive happenings that surround this thankful time of year. You can’t replace the surprise and excitement of children during Christmas gift giving or the first flakes of snow that might fall; and how proud the men and woman are when they get that big whitetail buck or turkey around the Thanksgiving season.

I like taking pictures of Christmas trees, and their lights and ornaments that adorn them. During a family tree trimming night is a good opportunity to take great family photos too. The ornament photographs and family photos can be turned into Christmas cards, or invitations or given as gifts for family and friends. I was playing around  and taking some images of a red string of beads to come up with a real interesting looking photograph I turned into a Christmas card one year, along with some spring flowers in an early spring snow, and some berries adorned with snow. They really turned out well by using a photo publishing company, ==== to make them up using predesigned templates. Then I got a batch of each printed off, which I used to send to family and a couple friends. It feels really awesome to take a photograph we took and making it into something useful, besides just a picture in an album or to hang on the wall. 

Well now that I got off topic, you can see that winter gives photographs a different and more intriguing look than might be gotten other times of the year.  Snow and Ice just turns images into magical, inspiring and memorable photographs people will take notice of. Mainly the times I tend to go out looking to take new photographs during winter is when it has snowed, or we get some ice to cover both trees, and other subjects in glistening magic wonder. We have had a few of those awesome snow and ice days in Cumberland Maryland, USA so far this winter. When we had our first freezing rain event, so far, I kept my sights on whatever I could find to make some amazing photographs of. By looking around at home, I found some icicles hanging from the table on our porch, that I created the image to the right from. Everything was dripping with icicles and if  hadn’t thought  to look under the table, which is a metal mesh top table, I would have never found the bottom contained a whole mess of icicles growing like a maze of hanging glass. I just had to make a record of this unusual, and possibly rare sight, for posterity. God has blessed us with the amazing properties in nature so we get to see amazing sights that give us pleasure, and that we get to record for others to see and enjoy. That is the most important part for me, is sharing my images and photographs with others, such as you all.

Wiliam Neilf, a writer and photographic contributor for “Outdoor Photographer”, has it all too right when he says, “give yourself the assignment of producing a winter portfolio of new images, Get out to your favorite local woods, lake or stream where you can return often in various weather and light. Working locally will give you many more opportunities to be out there after a fresh snow or a hard freeze when ice is everywhere.”  Plus for me, it keeps me close to family and friends, and gives more time to write these pages to share with you and others. Keep this all in mind when you are couped-up during these winter month’s, and get out for a photo-shoot at your local parks, the woods, by streams, rivers and lakes, by the bay; and even while out walking around town, or going shopping. I stop many a time on the way to the local Walmart or even take some in there parking lot. The store is on a hills & on the other sides of valleys you see the hills rolling of into the horizon.

Winter Wonder Land at Country Club Mall

Taking candids of people during winter can be made real interesting by the types of attire we wear, and the exciting things people do during winter;  skating, sliding, snow boarding, skiing, and making snow angels are some of the fun things I know of that I really would like to get some pictures of. They can really make for mind stimulating images that almost puts you in those peoples shoes, and make you wish you were doing that same thing by seeing the images, and even imagine the feelings you’d be getting while participating in those same activities.

I think the next assignment I am going to make for myself is to take pictures of how people deal with, handle, and utilize the winter weather events the rest of this winter. This being a time of renewal for nature, it is also a time of practically hibernation for some of us humans, but it can also be exciting and refreshing to get out in the cold, crisp air, and have some fun getting in the mix of. all the excitement during winter events.  When I was out taking pictures of Christmas lights, and this scene of the nativity at the Masonic church in Cumberland, where we live, it was a cold and windy evening. My sweetheart, Janet, and I went out together to have some quality time looking and taking pictures of the holiday season scenes. Part of the time I was taking my shots, she sat in the car to stay warm, and I can’t blame her. I get hurrying to grab what shots I can get when I go out and it is that cold, you can barely stand it.

Checkout the article,       , from last year for tips on dressing right, and preparing for outings of long winter exposure to get those eye catching and exhilarating photographs we all like looking at. If anyone is, or knows of someone selling winter clothing or photographic accessories that help with different seasons of photo opportunities, or ones to enhance the equipment we have and advertising for a percent of sales, we’d be willing to provide banners, links, and ads to promote good products. 

Contact me at: tonyb@advancedcompletephotography.com                                                     Or call: cell, 443-852-6550 ask for Tony, to discuss details and get the ball rolling to boost sales for us both, and make life easier for other readers. 

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My real passion is shots depicting nature and all it’s splendor. One morning during our beautiful ice display God handed us, I was walking down a small hill and right there off of RT220 was this tree draped in ice, and looking like it was right out of a fairytale book, at least after my post editing work was finished. The scene just seems like it needs a troll hanging out under this unusual looking tree. That day different type scenes abounded just about everywhere I went. I was actually trying to find a clear un-obtsructed spot along the road to take a picture of the hillside with the ice glistening in the trees. 

Don’t you hate wires that seem to always be right in the framing of some great roadside shots??I can’t seem to shake those pesky ole wires. It’s like electric people situate them just to screw up photographers chances of finding a clear place through the trees or buildings, and wires, that line the town areas and the highways.

During my search that day, I not only found the fairytale tree, I came across evergreen trees lined up in a row, with ice on them that looked like snow, not 50ft back up the hill, and 25ft from the road, as I walked back up to where I parked the car. This photograph just reminds me of the Christmasy feeling and I had to take a picture of them. Another one of those Christmas card images I like using for making new cards for the season. I was able to master getting a well framed image right there from the edge of the road. Goes to show you, you don’t have to get off the beaten path to find really nice photographs in the outdoors. You just have to open your eyes and your mind to the beauty and wonder in God’s world that is all around us that we take for granted much of the time. 

While you look around you frame things in your mind. Look for scenes that look promising, and then look for small things or groups of things that merit showing your friends and family what you saw and discovered while basking in natures vastness. Even on the edge of the road, or the edge of a field or yard is minute wonders that can warrant getting images of. You can start with small things and then look at the big picture, or start with a landscape and work down to some smaller subjects: a single tree covered in snow, or a branch covered in snow or ice. They can all be used to create a photograph by framing the images in ways that draw the eye to part of the empty space in the frame, or to an interesting part of the scene that you want to draw the viewers eyes to. The skies the limit! No pun intended. 

Remember to dress warm, to take the time out in the weather more comfortable. When you feel somewhat warm your mind can concentrate more on taking those magnificent photographs that the time spent deserves. 

*Check out our link to find winter clothes and accessories, if you are in need of them*                                                        **Also, we are an affiliate for most of the ads that you might see associated with with our site. Affiliates are compensated when you either click-on, or happen to buy something from these ads. You are in no way obligated to do so, but we appreciate it if you are in the market for anything we advertise.*

***We’d like to announce an affiliate relationship we now have with http://smugmug.com , which is a safe way to store, and even sell your images from a website you can create without knowing code. They have a great feature that if someone tries to right-click your images to copy them and they get a total white blank space. Cool huh. 

Stay warm and keep on shooting!   @Tony B. (writer, photographer)  

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