May 16th, 2011
When photographing insects I find the early morning hours are hard to beat for a number of reasons. The insects are not quite as active in the early morning hours because their body temperature is low from the night air. This gives you more time to setup your shots before the move on. When their metabolism is still sluggish they will allow you to get in closer to them. If you want sharp images, I recommend that you use a tripod because with lower light levels you will need longer exposures than at midday. Often I will shoot at about 200mm the f-stop setting will be dependent upon the depth of field desired. Most of the time I prefer to maintain a shallow depth of field, a common setting I use is f-5.6.
January 23rd, 2011
I made a trip to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle to shoot orchids. What a surprise to see many plants missing and many others in poor shape. There had been two incidents that occurred, first there had been an island wide power failure and second the heating system failed and the temperature dropped as low as 27 degrees in parts of the green house. As a result many of the tropical plants did not survive or were damaged by the cold.
Hopefully, many plants will make a come back such as the banana grove and orchids. There is even the possibility that these will come back fresh and strong as they work new organic material into the soil and prune back plants.
There were some orchids in the conservatory with nice blooms however even with these the leaf structure was much more yellow than normal. The image I chose today was one of the orchids that seemed least affected by the cold. Shooting information; Nikon D-80, focal length 70mm, f 7.1, ISO 100, exposure time 1/6 second, and the white balance set on shade.
January 3rd, 2011
This image of Wagner Falls in northern Michigan is one of my best selling waterfall scenes. At my last gallery show, I sold two gallery wraps and the show before that a 24x36 framed print. At least half of the people who have purchased it, have told me that they first noticed the red rock.
The eye likes to follow lines and here in this image I believe is a perfect example; 1 The logs on the right form an arrow pointing out the rock. 2 from the rock you are naturally look up following the vertical lines formed by the water. 3 At the top of the falls the log takes your eye to the right with the yellow leaves and back down to the naturally formed arrow. This movement forms a frame around my subject.
When possible consider using natural elements to frame your subject, it will draw attention and interest to your subject. To see an unmarked copy follow the address below.
December 30th, 2010
I want my images to be more than just a simple snap shots. Many times when I visit a new location, I am tempted to shoot and move on without thinking or planning out a shot. Snap shots are nice, however, with little extra effort you can find a way to make your shot different and stand out among the rest.
For the image “waiting” my wife and I just arrived in Battle Creek on the morning train. While waiting at the train station for our daughter to pick us up, I noticed a few passengers waiting at the bus stop. After further surveying the area I noticed a parking structure. A quick walk across the parking lot and up two flights of stairs and I was presented with a whole new view and mood. From my new perch I captured something different from the ordinary.
Shooting information; Nikon D-80, 300mm, f 5.6, 1/500sec.
December 21st, 2010
When searching for the perfect shot we tend to overlook many good opportunities right before us. This image was taken while walking my grand daughter, I had the camera with me to shoot a few images of her. The plumeria was past anything you could call full bloom, if fact most blossoms were single flowers past prime. We happened along this fine specimen, high up in a tree.
When shooting flowers I generally will use a tripod, look for the best composition selecting the perfect background and on and on. I also make it a point not to disturb the flower, I may move a blade of grass fallen leaves but do not harm the subject in any way. The challenge, I did not have a tripod with me and even if I did, the cluster of blossoms was almost seven feet off the ground, much to high to use it anyway.
Solution: shooting from experience. I set the camera to the following; manual mode, focal length 38, f stop 5.6, exposure time 1/125 and focus to auto with focus target in the center. The reach way overhead point and shoot.
The point of this is you need to have good feel of your equipment ahead of time. What I would challenge you to do is pick one day is place a piece of tape over your view finder and go shooting. Find things to shoot from the ground to well over head and at odd uncomfortable angles. Limit yourself to only two shots per subject. You will quickly learn the feel of your equipment. Then the next time an unexpected opportunity arises you will be ready and get the shot others miss.