Saturday, August 8, 2009

HDR photography

  • HDR photography - There are three main factors that influence the quality of a digital image. The resolution is probably the most common. How many megapixels is your camera? Then, we have the compression. If you compress an image to make a smaller file ...

Landscape photography

  • 17 Examples of Jaw-Dropping Landscape Photography | Web Design ... - Everyone can take a photograph, but it's the ability to take stunning, atmospheric and unforgettable images that really set apart the amateurs from thepro's. We've compiled a list of 17 jaw-dropping images from the latest images on ...

  • Tips on shooting good landscape - Introduction. The question rose on dpreview a few days ago “How to shoot sunsets?” and resulted in a very interesting thread of 42 posts. In this article I will try, once more, to summarize this thread while also introducing to it some ...

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Storefront

This storefront is provided free with my Imagekind account. If your into photography and need an internet presence this could do it for you. Check out all the other sites that do this though as you could find something you like better.

Here's mine:

Copyright Infringements

Did you ever wonder if you would have to worry about people stealing your images? It can happen and most likely you will be really lucky if you can recover any money that should be yours. Here's what happened to me.

A couple of years ago I shot some photos of some fiddle players during a fantastic sunset. I silhouetted the players against the red sky and they loved it. I sold several images to them and was contacted by others who wanted to buy more. The local music association asked if they could use some of the images to promote their website. Of course I agreed to their use so long as it was a one time use and that I received photo credits on the website. Earlier this spring I was surfing the web looking for photography ideas and was surprised to find one those photos advertising a local art association website. They were even offering the image for sale! I was just a little hot over this. I called their phone number and left messages and sent emails until I finally got the image removed. Of course no money was ever made from their use of the image!

A little later I was asked to do a photo shoot for the local search and rescue dog team. I captured some great images and the SAR team was really happy. During one event with them there was another photographer from a local paper along. He was doing a story about the team and was also doing his own photography. I was asked to provide a few of my shots as well which I happily did. The SAR team is a great organization and I want to support them all I can. I did require that the use be one time only and of course I required photo credit in the paper with my name under the images. I even wrote my name on the back of the prints I provided along with the specific use requirements. Guess who's name appeared under the photos! It wasn't mine! I raised hell again but still the damage had been done. Well that was a couple of years ago.

Most recently there have been a couple of instances in which the SAR team has been called out and have performed their jobs beautifully. Guess which image has been popping up again with the articles in the paper and no, I have not been given credit for that image.

This last instance was a classic, the newspaper also has a website. The picture they have been using was a full size image on their front page and not only that they were offering it for sale in their stock photography site.

Here's the thing, that image is a really really popular photo with them. The continue to use it over and over without permission. But as soon as I tell them I own it and that they need to reimburse me for it's use, they backwater like mad. They've finally removed it from the stock photography site, and promised to contact me should they ever wish to use it again. Fat chance! Yes! I would be more than happy for them to use it, so long as my name is with it but after all the trouble it has caused I'll be surprised if I ever hear from them again.

Sooner or later I'm sure I'll be looking for an attorney who knows the law regarding copyright infringement. Until then I keep an eye out on my own.

In the meantime, if you do like me and allow a newspaper to use your images, be sure to track what they do with it. Once they get their hands on it they think they own it. They have their own publishing company and they will even print your images on calendars, or whatever. You can check this out yourself. Do a google search for any newspaper you like and open their home page. then look at their photo galleries and go from there. You'll see what I'm talking about.

I hope you find this article usefull. Be sure to visit my website at to check out my photography and products at Zazzle.

If you are and RV'r or wish to become one you might be interested in our other two blogs. Check them out at D and D's RV Tips and at Dwain and Debbies Road Notes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Shooting indoors with Natural Light

I had a challenging photo situation yesterday that I know everyone faces at some point. In most cases you let your camera try to figure out how to handle it but I wanted better pictures than that. I was inside a large show barn trying to photograph kids as they learned to judged 4-H horses. I was using my Nikon D300 and I knew it could handle this situation once I had the settings right.

The lighting inside the barn came from the two large open doors at the ends of the building and from windows along the side behind the bleachers. There were also semi-clear Plexiglas panes in the roof. Outside, the sky was mostly hard and bright sunlight but was becoming overcast with high clouds. It was also late afternoon and the light was hitting the windows at the side of the barn and coming in the door at the far end of the barn. In front of the camera.

I had initially set my camera to the "P" mode with white balance set to "shade." The problem was that my images came out dark, or with a strong yellow or amber tint to them and the shutter was rather slow. This made for blurry images as people and animals are always moving. I realized that the color problem was coming from an exposure setting on my camera that lets me saturate colors. I changed my setting from Vivid to Standard and finally Neutral. I also moved the ISO way up to 2500. I probably could have used something slower but I was trying to hurry and I just spun the dial. Next I set the camera to Aperture mode and moved the aperture to it's widest setting. That would allow me to attain more light and the fastest shutter speed possible. It also limits depth of field but at the distances I was shooting that wouldn't matter too much. Depth of field changes relative to distance and since I was so far away, I would have reasonable depth for any of the subjects I would frame.

As you can see from the photos above, the settings I finally chose worked well. The D300 handles the high ISO very well too although I should have set it a bit lower, say 800 or so. When you use high ISO setting you risk adding little spots and light aberrations called "noise." The D300 does a good job of preventing this from happening. I knew I wouldn't be creating large prints from any of these images but you never can tell. My most popular images are usually those that I did not plan and I simply captured at the moment because I had a camera handy.

Be sure to check out my website at, and if you are an RV'r you might want to see what happened to my rig when a tire exploded last week. Check out my road notes blog at Dwain and Debbies Road Notes.

Photography Tips

Here are a few things you can do to improve your photography that will apply regardless of what camera you use. These are the basics that every photographer should know and do to get reasonably good pictures out of any camera.

Make sure you have a clean lens. Don't just blow the dust off, but use a clean cloth suitable for cleaning lenses and do it right.

Set up so your camera is stable and won't move as you press the shutter. You can do this a number of ways. If you will be handholding the camera, hold your elbows in against your sides, and stand with your feet apart with one slightly forward of the other. You can also lean against a solid object like a light pole, tree, building or whatever. The best method though is to use a tripod or monopod. I have both but I like to carry the tripod best. If I want to use it as a monopod I just extend only one leg and us it as I would a monopod. I'll add instructions about to how to use these tools later.

Finally the "First" basic thing you need to do is read your manual and learn what all the parts of your camera are for and how to use them. If you understand how your meter works and what white balence is you'll go a long way to getting that shot you want when the light is wierd and you are wondering why your pictures are all dark or yellow instead of like what you saw on the monitor or in the viewfinder.

I'll expand on all these topics in the coming weeks and months so you'll want to check back and see what I've added from time to time.