Adobe’s Photoshop is an immensely complicated and multi layered program that can seem daunting to new users. In this short series of articles we are going to have a look at some of the less used, but highly useful tools in the seminal editing program
Highlights and Shadows Tool
This tool is possibly one of the most powerful and under utilized functions in the Photoshop armory. It is found under Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights. The Shadow tool can be used to add detail to shadow areas. Use it carefully as it can introduce noise. The Highlights slider does the opposite and can be used to darken highlights such as an over exposed sky. Again be careful using this as if you push the slider to far, you may start to introduce a halo effect around your subject. The more options checkbox expands the window to reveal adjustments for tonal width and radius in both the Highlight and Shadows sections as well as controls for color correction and mid-tone contrast.
If you have ever wanted to align text or work at the pixel level then the grid function will be of major use to you. Grid is found in the View > Show > Grid menu hierarchy. Selecting it will overlay the image with a fine grid, the size of which can be defined in the Photoshop Preferences.
Rulers are enabled from the View > Rulers menu. This places a ruler at the top and left of the canvas area. Again the Ruler units can be defined in the Photoshop preferences from pixels, cm, mm and inches amongst others. Rulers can be extremely useful for laying out elements of a montage or for text.
With Rulers enabled you can use guides. Guides are extremely useful for dividing up your image or creating positions for text or overlays to sit on. To position a guide, simply click and drag from the ruler at the top or left. The guides appear as blue lines and can be dragged to new locations.
Most photographers at some point will take an image that requires perspective correction. Not too many of us can afford a PC lens, but fortunately there is a software approach to aid PC problems.
Select Filter > Lens Correction. A new window will appear. From the window on the right, at the top, select the Custom tab. At the bottom, you will see sliders for Vertical and Horizontal Perspective. By moving the the Vertical slider you can correct the vertical errors, and by using the Horizontal tool you can correct the rarer horizontal plane errors. These corrections will cut into the image so you will need to us the scale tool at the bottom to crop the image back to what you want.
Quick and easy borders
The last tip for today is a quick and easy way to add a black border and white key-line to create that finished look for your image.
Select Image > Canvas Size. From the New Size box, change the size value to your choice, inches, mm or cm. Enter a figure relevant to the size of your image, in the example we have added 10mm. Make sure the Relative check box is ticked and that the Anchor direction is in the center. From the bottom select Black for the Canvas extension color. Press ok. We will now repeat the procedure using 5mm as our size and white as our Canvas color. Lastly we repeat the exercise with 20mm and Black as our choices. The end result is a nice black border with subtle white key-line. Feel free to experiment with the border sizes to get the best effect for your own image.
So that wraps it up for today, in the next article we will take a look at some more hints and tips for this incredibly versatile program
Jason Row is a British born travel photographer now living in Ukraine. You can follow him on Facebook or visit his site, The Odessa Files. He also maintains a blog chronicling his exploits as an Expat in the former Soviet Union
Today, we are going to take a look at perhaps, one of the world’s most photogenic countries – Norway. From modern and thriving cities, to pretty timber house villages and onto the majestic Fjords, Norway is a photographers playground, a veritable smorgasbord of visual possibilities.
Practicalities – For most people, flying into the country will be via Oslo, the country’s main hub. Getting around is best done by the excellent domestic air services. Driving is possible but because of the terrain, journey times and distances will be long. Another excellent way to see the country is by ship, this can be either on a cruise ship sailing the Norwegian coast or by using the excellent Norwegian coastal ferries, a sort of long distance maritime bus service for the Fjords.
Oslo: Norway’s compact yet pretty capital provides a surprising amount of photographic opportunities from the Neo-Classical buildings of the University and National Theatre to the modern offices and Trafikanten tower. The center is full of parks and sculptures, often with great backgrounds, for a great view over the city and its bustling port, take a walk to Akerhus park near the cruise ship port. For pomp and pageantry, try the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace, itself a photogenic and interesting building. Because of its compact size, much of Oslo can be covered in 1-2 days allowing another day or two to shoot in the surrounding suburbs.
The Fjords: Norway’s defining landscape feature is of course it’s Fjords and the best way to see them is by ship. In the south west of the country the Fjords are perhaps the most impressive, the impossibly steep sides, gushing waterfalls, and snow capped mountains make for wonderful images. Care with exposure is needed, the deep cuts of the Fjords can cast dark shadows and the dark green of the foliage can throw off meters. Spring is the best time to visit – the weather although never entirely predictable may spawn more days of sunshine and the melt water from the mountains makes the waterfalls immensely impressive.
Perhaps the most well known and most beautiful Fjord is Geirangerfjord, one arm of the huge Storfjord. A walk up the hill from the pretty village of Geiranger, brings you to a pretty timber framed church and a viewpoint with stunning vistas. Enter the Fjord by ship and the big shot is that of the Seven Sisters, a series of waterfalls that plummets down an impossibly steep cliff and which on sunny days can reveal beautiful rainbows.
Norwegian Villages: The villages of the Fjords are wonderfully photogenic, white timber framed houses with spectacular mountain scenery. In most villages the local churches make for great photographic opportunities, both outside and in. The hills around the villages are often home to colorful barns and other agricultural architecture.
The Arctic North: To the north of Norway, the Fjords become softer, and lower but the scenery is still spectacular. The Lofoten Islands feature stunning fishing villages set on rugged coastlines with unusual high yet rounded mountains as a backdrop.
Here wildlife photographers will encounter Arctic Terns, Buzzards and White Tailed Eagles. Arriving by sea, you could encounter Sperm Whales, Orca and White-beaked dolphins. The two things you will need are a good telephoto lens and lots of patience. A pair of binoculars will help with the initial spotting. When the weather plays ball here, the light can be nothing short of spectacular with a clarity rarely seen in lower latitudes.
North Cape: The northern tip of Norway and indeed Europe is marked at the North Cape on the island of Mageroya, deep inside the arctic circle. Perched atop a 1000ft cliff looking toward the Arctic, a large monument in the shape of a globe marks the spot. Here, in the summer, the sun never sets, and you can take photographs in bright sunshine at one o’clock in the morning. The monument makes for a great silhouette to the midnight sun.
Further back , you can get great shots of the steep cliffs and the monument on top. If you get lucky you will be able to get shots of the clouds below the tops of the cliffs, creating an entirely mystical look.
The Norwegian summer is a short and fickle thing. It is impossible to know if you will get good weather or not but if you adapt your shooting style to the weather, it’s virtually impossible not to get good shots in this stunning country.
Jason Row is a British born travel photographer now living in Ukraine. You can follow him on Facebook or visit his site, The Odessa Files. He also maintains a blog chronicling his exploits as an Expat in the former Soviet Union
Toad Hollow Photography has been searching high and low all over the internet for the very best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share as another week passes us by here. This comprehensive list of some of the very best pictures and posts found is sure to keep the photography enthusiast busy. The Toad hopes you enjoy perusing this list as much as he did in curating it and bringing it to you.
Be sure to follow the Toad on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute details in the world of photography. The Toad is active all week online and his sites are always full of the very latest tidbits related to the field of photography.
TIPS & TUTORIALS
Innocence Lost, Attitude Gained: Using Juxtaposition To Strengthen Your Portrait Photography – this article from Sandra Hale gives us some really fabulous insight into portrait photography and locations. Sandra takes us deep into her rationale for selecting certain venues for her work in this very well written piece, and in doing so helps to expand our mindset in the field of portrait photography.
10 Studio Photography Tips For the Best Portraits – this is a very comprehensive list of tips and tricks for studio based model photography. Everything from lighting, lenses and posing is discussed in this article, delivering a well-rounded piece that contains very useful information.
Dark Sharks – Karen Glaser delivers a stunning series of very grainy black-and-white images captured in the depths of the ocean. Karen’s images, often surreal in nature, share a compelling and dramatic story of life in the depths. The high level of grain in these images accents the drama of the set, and her compositions really convey the stunning seascapes that exist under the cover of deep water.
2012 Porsche Boxster S – if you love cars, you will cherish this series of photographs from Rick at Hansrico Photography. The latest rendition of the fabled Porsche Boxster S is featured against an old industrial backdrop, making for the most amazing images of this stunning red roadster. These shots are all second-to-none and are well worth the time to visit and view for yourself.
Photostory: A taste of Prince Edward County – Sherry Galey brings along as she explores the beautiful wine country found in Ontario, Canada. Sherry’s use of wonderful photography is brought to life with her great blog post here, making for a great way to have a fabulous experience all from the comfort of your home.
Golden Gray – I have come to have a deep love for the world as seen through the lens of Gost ∞ Ridr. This shot of the city of Dubai tells an instant story of the famous city below taken at night, and also delivers some of the most stunning details you’ve seen in this genre of imagery.
Kite photography – oh wow, you just have to stop what you’re doing right now and click this link, you’ll thank us later! Edin Chavez does something I’ve never seen before, nor have I ever considered it. He uses a kite that floats about 500 feet above the ground to create some of the most stunning imagery found in this week’s list. This entire set is absolutely amazing!!
At Home With The Dutch Angle – I just love to celebrate unique things, especially when they deliver something that is unusual. Mark Garbowski goes through quite a lot to capture this image, facing many challenges to his day. As it turns out, through an act of discovery, he finds that he used a popular compositional technique that in the case of the picture posted here really adds a huge element of interest and tension.
Backyard – reflections created by composing still waters into a scene can provide for very compelling photography. Jacky CW captures a shot of a beautiful lake in California with a commanding volcano present in the backdrop.
Renwick House – Wayne Frost does a stunning job of creating painterly styled images from his photography works, delivering really unique and captivating pieces to view and enjoy. This picture of a classic heritage home is colorful and beautiful to see, a real gem in this week’s collection.
The Owl Club – I’d strongly recommend you give a hoot and fly on over to see this image for yourself. Bob Lussier captures a shot of an iconic building in Nevada, making for a far better post to view and enjoy than my poor attempt at punning the place up.
Henry Fords “Hideaway” – we get two distinct images for the price of one in this post from Mike Criswell. The first shot, processed in black-and-white using a long exposure technique, delivers an almost mystical feeling piece full of great drama. The second image is a HDR of the shoreline of the same lake, creating a beautiful landscape to view and enjoy.
Mornings First Kiss – a gentle seascape piece is beautifully accented by lovely flowers growing on the shore. Andy Gimino creates a truly beautiful picture here, sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Do my eyes deceive me? – if not for photography, we may never have seen this incredible sight ourselves. LensScaper (Andy Hooker) photographs a store window in London that is just so different, you just have to see for yourself. This picture delivers many layers with interesting reflections, creating a bit of visual confusion that in all actuality is totally magnetic.
Les Invalides – Tim Stanley takes us along to see an iconic building in France officially known as L’Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids). This is a gorgeous architectural study that reveals all the wonderful details in the edifice as well as the surrounding beauty of the gardens.
Fauquier Co. Courthouse, Warrenton, VA – a famous historic courthouse in Virginia is photographed and shared in this shot by Perry Bailey. The strong architecture that comprises this facility creates an enduring scene that Perry does a top-drawer job of capturing.
last light before darkness – as dramatic light beams in through the openings in an abandoned structure in Berlin, markus s. is at the ready to capture this scene and create a sensational picture guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone. The surreal magic of this scene is augmented with the rich textures from the inherent decay.
Fotos Ruta La Ventana del Nublo , la Agujereada.Gran Canaria by El coleccionista de instantes, on Flickr
City View – this is an epic night capture of the Manhattan city skyline. Rich details in the architecture and city are all highlighted with the vibrant colors streaming from the sleeping city. This is a fabulous picture, one that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Obersee ! – I believe this is a boathouse, sitting nestled on a still body of water surrounded by gorgeous hills and mountains. —Jan — composes the scene in a way that brings out all the reflections of the setting in the waters, adding further interest to the textures and tones of the old boathouse itself.
Northern Harrier – incredible details in this harrier are all exposed and shared in this wonderful photograph by Jay Taylor. Jay’s extremely shallow depth of focus in this shot really makes the bird stand out in this picture, making for something that is special and is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Sangan River Blues II – gorgeous hues of blue, fabulous textures and wonderful natural leading lines all come together in these photographs posted by Ehpem. The abstract complexion of the images created by Mother Nature and captured here by Ehpem combine to convey beauty that can only be found through the artwork of nature itself.
Biker Dog – some things we encounter in life are so unreal they sometimes defy description. How about a really cute dog sitting on the back of a motorbike, sporting a pair of goggles? Yep, you read that right. Robert Berry does a fabulous job in capturing this scene that is full of character, forever immortalizing the spunk and spirit of this wonderful dog.
The Tree of Life – a wondrous Japanese Maple Tree poses for Jim Nix who creates a special and unique image from the scene. Great natural lines, shapes and geometry are exhibited by this beautiful tree, and Jim creates a stellar picture from the setting presented to him.
St Mary’s Fawkham – vibrant colors presented by the natural vegetation are accented here by an utterly fascinating old church. This picture reveals secrets to the viewer as you spend time taking in all the details, making for a very compelling picture to visit and view as presented here by Tony Matthews.
The Tall Ship Dewaruci – historical large sailing vessels make for the best photography, and Jimi Jones showcases why in this great post. Known as Tall Ships, these classics are full of character and romance, and in this case Jimi captures a great shot and shares it in his post in both color and black-and-white.
Orange Duo – gentle lines and vivid colors are expressed in this picture that is host to a classic old hot rod and a beautiful woman. Both are dressed in their best orange outfits, and Wayne Frost uses this chance to compose and create an image that is sure to delight everyone.
The Gorner Glacier – we get no sense of scale, no sense of context and certainly no color in this set of photographs from LensScaper (Andy Hooker). Yet this entire series is some of the most compelling abstract pieces I have ever seen. The natural wonder of a glacier is explored from high above in this sequence, making for a must-see post in this week’s list.
A Rabbit Blowing A Raspberry – laugh and say awww, everyone! This is a pretty cute picture! Steve Creek manages to grab a shot of a very spirited bunny doing what bunnies do best.. pose and entertain! This is a wonderful image, guaranteed to be the source of joy for everyone who visits.
Stone House – great colors and tones found in the sky converge with the wonder of the old stone building to create a compelling piece of imagery here from Steven Perlmutter. There is a strong symbiosis between the drama in the sky and the inherent drama found in the old stone facility, creating a great balance that makes for an image that is sure to be a source of delight for all.
Molten Clouds – there are so many fabulous elements that make up this picture from Chris Frailey. A dark, brooding sky is accentuated by great tones found both in the clouds and the city far off in the distance. The added bonus of a stiff downpour in the distance helps to converge in this picture to deliver something that is truly exceptional.
2012 Perseid Meteors from Cannon Beach – the lights from civilization add a huge element of wonder to this great photograph by Scott Wood, which serves to emphasize the beauty of the stars at night and a streaking meteor in the night sky. This is a great juxtaposition of mankind and the universe we find ourselves living in.
Untitled – Heather Neil captures and shares a gorgeous landscape scene that contains many layers to ponder and enjoy. Wonderful still waters sit in the foreground of her composition here, adding a touch of interest by way of a fascinating reflection.
ciudad de las ciencias Nº 7 – a wonderful study in architecture at night is highlighted here by a mirror like reflection. miguel zambrana molina magically creates two images in one with his composition, making for one of our must-see shots in this week’s list.
Futuroscope by night – a futuristic structure is perfectly photographed and shared in this awesome HDR image from David Tavan. There are so many contrasts and details to be enjoyed in this shot, which is just perfectly post-processed to bring all the mystique found in the setting to life for all to enjoy.
Sunset on the Medway – a gorgeous sunset is reflected back subtly and gently in the lapping waters in this captivating piece from Tony Matthews. The wonderful, rich tones from both the sun and the surroundings skies converge in this piece to deliver a drama that can only be found in nature.
Pacific Tree Frog – there is nothing more beautiful than a frog or a toad, in my humble opinion. Anne McKinnell exercises her photography skills to capture a great image of a tiny frog going about its daily business here, creating a wonderful image that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
No Brand Required – a classic old hot rod that is exquisitely designed and built is featured in this post from Tim Stanley. The rich tones of the car reflect back the depth surrounding it, creating an image that leads the viewer’s eye naturally through the frame to take in the wonderful details.
Seeing Double – fabulous natural light drapes the surrounding scenery as Jason Hines captures a photo that exhibits two images in one. The wonderful reflection cast back from the still lake in Yosemite makes for a picture that contains many separate scenes in one.
Evening Walks – our own @astaroth here on Light Stalking goes for a walk in the evening and brings us along with him. Ultimately, we are the winners in this equation as he shares a breathtaking series of images taken as the sun makes its trek below the horizon.
the morning after – an early morning exploration of an abandoned building in Berlin nets a truly amazing image to view and enjoy. markus s. captures a shot here that expresses great tension through the capturing of awesome light beams making their way through the openings of the facility.
Haircut for the school – this picture features the cutest little kitten you’ll see today, guaranteed. As its mother tends and cares for it, Zoran Milutinovic grabs this emotional and wonderful photograph to share with everyone, making for a great picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
August Sunset on the Lighthouse – a gorgeous series of images is presented on the forums here on Light Stalking this week, from @mikell. As the sun sets behind a stunning lighthouse, the bright and vibrant colors paint the skies and surroundings in beautiful tones.
125sec at Bare Island – this is a beautiful blue hour image, composed with a perfect leading line in a pier that takes the viewers eye naturally through the frame to a tiny island. Noval Nugraha delivers a fabulous shot, taken using a long exposure technique, that is both surreal and intriguing at the same time.
Rome….buildings and their beauty – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck take us along on their journey to Rome where they come away with this epic shot of classic Roman architecture. The beauty in the details and textures in this picture are truly unsurpassed, creating a compelling piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Morning on the Mon – the beautiful Pittsburgh city skyline is revealed in this shot that finds the interesting architecture reflected back to the viewer. Rich McPeek captures this shot with so many different elements of interest at work, it’s a picture that you just have to see for yourself to fully appreciate.
Come Dine With Me – the elegant dining room at the Greenbrier Resort is captured in this photograph from Jay&Jacy Photography. The elegance of the beautiful chandeliers that hang in the room is complimented perfectly by all the wonderful little details that converge to create the most perfect setting to photograph.
St. Mary’s [Immaculate Conception] Church, Yonkers, Rose Window North Side – the beautiful colors intrinsic to the stained glass that makes up the main subject in this shot are all perfectly accented by the gentle light that adorns the edge of the balcony overlooking the main area of the church. Mark Garbowski creates a lovely image with this composition, one that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Fogust: Love It or Loathe It – the natural mystery found in a fog-enshrouded environment makes for wonderful photography, as discussed here by Laurie MacBride. As she explores the coast by boat over the summer months, Laurie finds shots like the one posted here to share that really express the special beauty and magic found on the west coast of Canada.
Gathering – Scott Frederick delivers another one of his epic pieces in this post, and compliments it with some profound personal thoughts. This picture of a room in an apparently abandoned facility has a set of disparate chairs in it, all surrounded by some of the most incredible textures and details that are exposed through the natural decay.
Early Morning Calm – a lovely nautical piece is displayed here from Edith Levy. As the sun begins to rise in Maine, Edith finds an almost magical composition with small boats bobbing in the morning sea tied to very quaint docks, producing a very fascinating photograph to view and enjoy.
kinsol trestle – one of our very favorite spots on Vancouver Island is photographed and shared here by local photographer dragonflydreams88. This wooden trestle is widely believed to be the largest free-standing structure of it’s kind in the world. Our blog post “A Bridge Of Hope” details the history and efforts that went into refurbishing this bridge to make it one of the key treasures we hold dear on the island here.
Path to the Light – a wonderful little wooden building sits seaside with a walking path that leads the viewer through the frame to rest upon a romantic lighthouse. Len Saltiel’s magical composition with this scene really does wonders in conveying the natural beauty and intrinsic interest found here.
The beauty in the simplicity of a stamped flower – A Beleza estampada na simplicidade de uma flor – a gorgeous yellow sunflower is explored visually in this piece by Novais Almeida. The absolutely incredible colors captured here are all emphasized by the rich details in the center part of this flower.
Blue hour at Haystack Rock – a massive and well-known rock formation is the main subject in this stunning blue hour photograph from the studio of Jim Nix. The sharp contracts found in this scene produce a wonderful silhouette effect of the formation, all brought together with the wispy and subtle reflections cast in the ocean.
Alone – incredible blue hues drape the remains of a sunken ship in the water. The remains of the ship itself resemble the skeleton of a whale, making for a very surreal scene to be captured and shared here by Wilfredo Lumagbas Jr.
Reflejos en B/N (reflex in B/W) – a truly awesome reflection is cast in the water of the local architecture composed in this picture from Juan Carlos Simón. The black-and-white processing used to create this image serves to create a strong sense of drama and the crisp reflections bring a lot of interest.
Setting Sail – the deck of a luxury cruise ship as night sets is photographed and shared by Metro DC Photography. The luxury accoutrements beckon the viewer with soft gentle lighting creating a picture that is sure to be the source of amazement for all who visit.
Dirty Dancing – the pure force and power of mother nature is exposed in this shot of an incredible lightning strike from Christopher Eaton. The fabulous tendrils of energy captured in this shot create a scene reminiscent of a pair of dancers, and the black-and-white processing used brings all the natural drama of the scene to life.
The Golden Gate Bridge! – simply wonderful golden tones bathe this iconic bridge that is poking out from a shroud of fog in this epic shot by Jim Ross. Incredible details in the bridge itself are full of points of interest, which are punctuated by the silky smooth water effect created by the use of long exposure.
Decay on Chestnut Street – wonderful details and textures are explored in this photograph from the studio of Mark Garbowski. The building shot here is most certainly abandoned, and all the windows and entrances boarded up. This is definitely one of those pictures that shares more with the viewer as you spend time taking in all it’s secrets.
Without You I’m Dust – a very abandoned room is carefully photographed and presented here by Scott Frederick. The wonder of decay is explored in this great shot, and Scott pulls the post together with some very profound thoughts that serve as a metaphor for life.
Solitude – wonderful natural light exposes a bench in a clearing in this great photograph from CJ Schmit. CJ’s use of black-and-white to express his vision in this photo brings a great sense of drama to the picture, making for a shot that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
See The Light – the romance of lighthouses is well recognized, and this fabulous shot from John Sotiriou brings this concept fully to life. Great colors and tones are captured in this scene and shared here with the viewer.
Austin – From The Hip – Jim Denham has many talents in the field of photography, one of them being portraits. This is a great, great black-and-white shot of this young man, full of character and spirit. Definitely a shot well worth the time to visit and view.
Eastern Point’s Other Side – we get to enjoy another great lighthouse photograph in this week’s list with this post from Steven Perlmutter. This unique composition exposes a different view of these iconic facilities, creating a mesmerizing photo that is sure to be really enjoyed by all.
Welcome to Istanbul – the wonderful ancient architecture and wonder of Istanbul is shared in this gorgeous photograph from Giuseppe Sapori. This is most definitely a historic location in terms of the world, and the unique details in the structure here really make for a compelling photo.
Blue on Blue – lines, shadows, shapes and colors are all examined in this wonderful photograph from Bob Israel. Bob creates an almost abstract piece with his unique composition of this building, delivering an almost monochromatic image that is full of inherent drama.
Awaiting Boats – a great set of colorful boats sits tied to the dock of this beautiful lake in Alberta. Len Saltiel composes this top drawer shot with the majestic mountains as a backdrop, and finds a truly special reflection in the still lake to mirror the image.
When the Wind Blew – Rachel Cohen shares a beautiful image of a river with a subtle reflection in it and finds herself amidst an adventure as the wind blows away some of her photography gear. Rachel finds help in the kindness of strangers, and as such she shares a story full of inspiration and hope along with her incredible photograph.
Super Chevy Show – if you love classic hot rods, I’ve found a post here that is guaranteed to take care of the next hour of your life. Rick from Hansrico Photography brings us along as he enjoys attending a car event, and comes away with a huge set of absolutely breathtaking car images.
Lilies – beautiful water lilies sit atop the water in this great photograph. Great colors are captured in this image, and the picture-perfect composition Robin used to capture this brings a mesmerizing quality to the picture.
Pointed Petals – gorgeous and colorful flowers are perfectly photographed in this shot by Kat White. Her shallow depth of focus brings the natural beauty of these flowers to the forefront for everyone visiting to truly enjoy.
So Happy TWO-Gether – as a pair of the most beautiful butterflies play about, Kerri Farley is there to capture this detailed and colorful photograph to share. The incredible colors and hues in both the butterflies and the surrounding vegetation come together just perfectly to create an alluring image to view and enjoy.
News on Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photomatix Pro – Keith Cuddeback shares some great insights and thoughts about how to create first-rate imagery with the least amount of expense. As HDR technology continues to advance and improve, the creation process simplifies and the output gets better. Keith discusses the current and evolving state of the art, presenting a piece that is sure to be of interest to everyone in the field.
Learn to be a better Photographer the Old Fashioned way… – Doug Pruden writes and shares a great post here that discusses at a high level the importance of taking manual control of your camera in terms of it’s exposure settings. This is a well written piece that concludes with a great challenge that forms the basis of an important exercise.
The Beautiful Sphinx Observatory in the Swiss Alps – a wonderful observatory is explored in this post, featuring a very thought-provoking series of photographs of the facility and its surroundings. A drop of over 11,000 feet presents the viewer perched high atop the world with a view that can only be had here.
Photographer of the Month – August 2012 – this is a great interview with award-winning and acclaimed photographer Rebecca Litchfield. This in-depth piece gives us a behind the scenes peek into her work, and shares a great set of her images. She definitely has a personal and unique style, one that I love very much. This is most definitely a must-see post in this week’s list.
Hitting Missouri’s Back Roads In Search of Hidden Treasures: A Visit to Historic Blackwater, MO – Sandra Hale takes us along as she explores the hidden gem of a town known as Blackwater. This great post delivers some really wonderful photographs, all of which are accented by the in-depth and thought-provoking article that Sandra has written.
Hidden in the Wallpaper: A Camouflaged Body of Art – great optical illusions are created and photographed in this wonderful post that serves as a metaphor for modern life for women. Cecilia Paredes is critically acclaimed for her work, and this post showcases both her acute artistic vision as well a keen skills in photography.
Iceland Saga VIII – the continuing story of the adventures of the Quimper Hittys continues as they explore the vast lands of Iceland. This series of images and stories is both wonderful and quaint in nature, as well as highly educational. We are presented with incredible photos in this post that showcase the deep history of the land as well as some of the fascinating features found on the trek.
Theme: “Motion” 134,000 mph Perseid and the Milky Way – this is a wonderful blog post full of breathtaking imagery. Howard and his family head out into the cold desert night to photograph the Perseid Meteor Shower, and in doing so he creates a series of presentations that are without peer. This post is host to two videos and a series of great images, coupled with some behind-the-scenes technical details that are interesting to read.
Children are one of people’s favourite subjects to photograph, but like any subject they present their own photographic challenges. Let’s take a look at a few ways to get the best possible results with photographing children in outdoor conditions.
Why Natural Light is Best
Children, like anybody, look their best when photographed outdoors in natural light. Soft, natural light gives the face a more natural and pleasing shape, makes the skin appear softer and removes ugly harsh shadows.
Firing a flash will often make babies and younger children blink or even cry. Also, flash will generally flatten the skin and eliminate the subtle shadows that give a face depth and realism.
When looking for suitable outdoor light to take photos of children, keep in mind that the midday sun is very harsh and will cast unflattering shadows. The best times of day for outdoor portrait photography are the early morning hours and the last hour before sunset (golden hour). The sun will be low in the sky which will be very flattering to your subject, since the light will create a soft, golden glow. Find soft light coming from one side and you can hardly go wrong.
If you absolutely have to do your photo-session during the middle of the day, there are a few ways to make it work. First, do your best to stay out of areas with bright, direct sunlight. Instead, look for places with open shade to shoot in. Position the child to have open sky in front of them to properly illuminate their face. You can also use a fill flash or a portable reflector to fill in shadows that are a bit too dark.
How to Make it Fun and Spontaneous
Children have a short attention span and most of them will simply be unable to sit still for very long or follow complicated posing instructions. The environment of an indoor portrait studio can be intimidating for the child and ultimately a frustrating place for the photographer during a child photo-shoot. So a fun outdoor setting such as a park, beach, their own back-yard or a beautiful garden can instantly help put a child at ease.
Some parents will have given their child some very strict coaching prior to the photo session to be on their best behavior. While well-intentioned, this might actually backfire and cause the child to need extra time to relax and just be themselves. Stiff poses and cheesy smiles are not what you are going for, so it is imperative that the child feel relaxed and view the shoot as a fun event. Bringing treats, with the parent’s permission, can be a great way to motivate a child that is bored or frustrated with the photo-session.
An outdoor portrait session can allow you to get some great action shots such as the child joyfully running in the grass, digging in the sand at the beach, playing with a colorful toy and even with other children. In some ways, a great and spontaneous photo of a child is more of a documentary than a portrait.
Kids, like adults, are individuals and one of your goals should be to capture their uniqueness in your photographs. One way to help facilitate this is to take some time to get to know them prior to the photo-session. You will quickly learn if they are shy, outgoing, serious, studious, especially active or funny. You can then brain-storm fun ways to portray these traits in your photos.
Babies in particular can’t fake a pose or a smile, which is not what you want anyway, so simple games of peek-a-boo from behind the camera, or talking in a silly voice, will usually bring out a beaming natural smile. Keep in mind that babies are almost always at their best in the early part of the day. Fatigue at the end of a day will usually make a baby fussy. Also, if the mother feels comfortable with it, capturing a photo of a baby nursing in a beautiful outdoor setting can be especially touching.
What Are the Best Camera Settings for Photographing Children Outdoors?
In order to really draw focus to the child as your subject, it is a good idea to set your camera to aperture priority mode. A good aperture to start with is f5.6, since the background will be out-of-focus but will allow the child’s entire face to be in focus.
Generally, the lowest ISO you can get away with is going to produce the best results. In lower light situations you can go up to ISO 800 if you find that your shutter speeds are just too long. However, going over ISO 800 can start to cause a lot of digital noise in your portraits.
A fast shutter speed is essential if the child is in movement at all. If you are shooting in aperture priority mode and your shutter speeds are too long, you will have to make adjustments. A shutter speed of 1/500th or even more may be necessary to capture a sharp image. If you are having a hard time finding a good shutter speed, you can always set your camera to ‘sports mode, since this setting is designed to freeze motion.
A zoom lens in the 70-200mm range is a good all-purpose lens for shooting portraits of children. This will allow you to have some distance from the child but still fill the frame. If you’re shooting in a poorly lit area, the fastest lens you have will likely work the best.
Additional Tips and Tricks
- Always pay attention to distracting elements in the background of your shots, as well as any other unwanted details. For example, a branch that appears to be growing out of the child’s head will ruin the shot and might not be noticed until later. Also, paying attention to details will pay off later. For example, make sure that the top of the child’s head isn’t being cut-off and that their hands and feet are visible in whole-body portraits.
- The child’s clothing is an important consideration. A loud, patterned or striped shirt might distract the eye and take attention away from the subject. However, there may be times when the child’s personality can be creatively highlighted with eye-catching clothing. Whatever your ultimate creative goal, keep in mind that kids feel more relaxed in casual, comfortable clothing rather than formal wear.
- Since you will want your outdoor portraits of children to be relaxed and spontaneous, carrying around minimal gear is a good idea. Keep in mind the weight and bulk of your lenses and other camera equipment so that you can follow your subject around freely.
- Finally, always take lots and lots of pictures. If you simply wait camera-in-hand for the best moment you will likely miss it! Keep on taking lots of shots and vary angles and distance throughout the session. There will definitely be some out-of-focus or undesirable shots, but you will certainly end up with at least a few gems in the end.
Light Stalking has grown into a thriving community with close to a million people following us or seeing us online in one form or other, every month. In all of the hullabaloo, it’s easy to miss the core of what’s happening in photography on Light Stalking. So that’s why we decided to sum it up for you. Here’s what you missed recently on Light Stalking.
The Most Popular Stories from the Last 7 Days
• 5 Tips, Tricks, & Mods to Spice Up Your Lomography – Spice up your love affair with analog and improve your toy camera photography skills.
• Amazing Photographs of Tracks and Paths – Follow the great compositional tool of leading lines…or don’t!
• The Art of the Local Photo Safari – How to Find Interesting Photo Subjects When There Are None – You don’t have to travel to exotic locations to find interesting things to take photographs of. Train yourself to hunt down great photographs wherever you are.
•More Photography Links That Are Made of Win– Toad Hollow Photography’s weekly collection of great photography and interesting links .
What You Missed in the Light Stalking Community
Submit your photographs for this week’s photography challenge – Transportation. Show us your creativity with shots of trains, boats, planes, cars, buses, subway, taxis, bicycles and more. Also, check out the fantastic images from last week in Better Your Best Shot From the Last Month.
Other Weekly Photography Challenges:
View this week’s Mobile Monday Challenge.
We’d love to chat with you! Add your opinions here:
What Are Our Members Up To?
We have some amazing members here at Light Stalking that runs the gamut from career professional photographers through to beginner enthusiast. Here’s what a few of them are up to in photography.
Great Shots Uploaded to the Light Stalking Community
Photo by Richard Taylor.
If you’re not already part of the Light Stalking community then come and join the fun. We promise not to bite!
Rachael Towne is a photographer and the creator of photoluminary.com.
These days more and more people are considering selling their images via stock libraries. However some people find initially getting into a library be it macro stock like Alamy or micro stock such as iStockphoto a hugely frustrating ordeal. You prepare and send your very best images time after time and keep receiving the dreaded submission failed email. Today we have a look at how to prepare images for stock so that your submission is accepted.
Shoot What’s Needed!
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes, would be stock photographers make, is sending their best images. This statement is not as daft as it sounds, the simple fact is, your best images may not be what the library is looking for. What you actually need to be sending is images the library needs. Working out what this is can be tricky, but you will often find that stock agencies publish a list of required images, failing that, fire off an email to the curator asking if there is a particular area where they require more images.
How to Prepare Your Photographs for Submission
Once you have established what the library is looking for and found suitable images to send, it is time to prepare them for uploading. The devil is very much in the details here. Each library will have very strict and particular standards that need to be adhered to and stepping outside of these will more often than not result in a failed submission. So what are the things to look out for?
Technical Perfection – This is perhaps a vague requirement, but broadly it means the image must be sharp, correctly exposed, the correct color and free from dust or other blemishes. You will need to be almost obsessive with your pixel peeping to make sure the image is ok.
- For the exposure check that the histogram graph lies within the limits at either end. Check any highlight clipping, in Photoshop as well as Aperture and Lightroom, there is a menu setting that allows you to show blown highlight and excessive shadows. There should be none showing in the image.
- Do not sharpen the image, if it is even the slightest bit unsharp, do not send it. Libraries want sharp images but not sharpened, this is because the end buyer will sharpen the shot themselves once prepared.
- Check your image at 100% view over all parts of it for dust. The most common problem is sensor dust and just the tinniest speck will result in a fail. Use the clone or spot tool to remove all blemishes.
Image Size – Pay very close attention to exactly what the library is asking for. Some will be happy with the out of the camera size, some may require you to uprez the image to 48mp or similar. Be aware of the PPI (pixels per inch) requirement of the library, many will insist on 300PPI. Do not upsize your image until you have made all the exposure and color corrections. Also take into consideration the libraries minimum camera specifications, some will even detail what cameras are acceptable. Remember the library will check the exif data so they will know what camera the image has come from.
Color Space – Some libraries specify that they require the image to be in a particular color space. This will usually be Adobe RGB or sRGB. Make sure that when you save or export your image, that the correct color space is selected.
Metadata – You will find that virtually every library has a different requirement for the metadata. Most require you to supply an image name, caption and keyword. Pay close attention to the image name and caption requirements, I had a series of images fail at initial submission because the caption need to include the date and location, something I had not come across with other libraries.
Also even though this is an initial submission, do not skimp on the keywording. As mundane as it is, keywording is a vital part of an initial submission. Look at your image carefully and describe what you see, but as well as this try to describe the mood, for example “serene” for a beautiful morning landscape or “threatening” for dark stormy clouds. If there are predominant colors, add these and many people also describe whether the image is landscape or portrait. One thing you should avoid is cutting and pasting keywords from similar images, one thing libraries do not like is keywords in an image that have no relevance.
Lastly but not least, if you do get a failed submission, don’t take it personally. Image selection is very personal and your submission may have been the last images of a long day for a tired editor. Read the failure notes carefully, it may be something as simple as a caption error that can be easily corrected. If the images are described as not suitable then look for something different. In the world of stock photography, the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try try try again” should be your mantra.
Jason Row is a British born travel photographer now living in Ukraine. You can follow him on Facebook or visit his site, The Odessa Files. He also maintains a blog chronicling his exploits as an Expat in the former Soviet Union
We’ve all been there, wandering around the house aimlessly, wishing there was something interesting to take a picture of. We sigh, and stare at our beautiful camera sitting there, taunting us with its beautiful strap, calling out to be picked up and shouldered.
Then, we throw ourselves onto the couch and peer listlessly out the window wishing we were in Italy, or perhaps Africa. Moscow would be nice this time of year, wouldn’t it? There would be lots of photographs there!
But don’t fret, friends, because there is hope!
How to Train Yourself to Hunt Down the Perfect Photograph
It is possible to find wonderful interesting photographs right where you live. But how you ask! I live in the middle of nowhere! I’ve taken pictures of everything there is to shoot.
No, you haven’t!
Consider this for a moment. The world around us changes not just on a daily basis, but minute by minute. The sun moves, the clouds gather, your organized neighbor THROWS his yellow hose onto its holder rather than coiling it because he’s in a hurry. Maybe it just rained and that big white arrow painted on the road takes on a new punch!
Learn to Photo Safari
The photo safari is a term we coined for the activity of hunting down interesting photographs wherever you are. Believe it, or not, you’ve got fascinating images right outside your door, twenty-four hours a day, and seven days a week. The art of the photo safari is learning to find them. And it can be QUITE FUN!
So How Do You Photo Safari?
The first step in becoming a photo safari expert is a change of mindset. If you believe there are no interesting photos left in your neck of the woods — if you believe you must travel to an exotic location to find something worth taking a picture of — then you might as well get on the phone with your travel agent. But, if you want to save thousands of dollars in travel expense and find a stunning photograph right outside your door; a photograph worthy of hanging on your wall, listen up.
You’ve now got the right attitude. So, what now?
5 Tips for a Successful Photo Safari
1. Plan a block of time that you will devote to your photo safari. Clear your mind of all distractions during this block of time. Remember, you’re attempting to open your mind, and your vision, to SEEING familiar surroundings in a NEW way. Don’t be thinking about what you’re going to cook for dinner when you’re on photo safari. This is your time.
2. Put on some crappy clothes. Why, you ask? Because you are going on a PHOTO SAFARI! This is about the hunt. Do you normally walk around upright with your camera tucked in a bag, or hanging carefully around your neck? Or, perhaps, you get in your car and aimlessly drive around while only half staring out the window. No! On a photo safari you need to stretch your creative self. Step outside and crawl on your belly. Climb through some bushes and lay on your back. LOOK at the world from a new perspective— whether it’s high, low, sideways, or standing on your head. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP we are going to give you for the photo safari— always— ALWAYS— look behind you. We see so many photographers who wander around staring straight ahead. Seventy-five percent of the world is happening behind you. Don’t forget to look.
3. Go outside and take that photo safari during a time when you normally wouldn’t be out and about. This presents your world in a light that you may never have noticed. Take for example, the photograph of the farmhouse at dusk. It was thirty degrees below zero that day. Trust us; there weren’t many people out and about that day. But, it was the atmospheric conditions that created the blue light that enveloped this scene and made the image even more lonely and isolated. We passed that farmhouse hundreds of times and that was the only time it ever looked like that. So, get that camera gear together when it’s cold, hot, raining, foggy, before sunrise, after sunset, during a storm, after a storm, in the middle of the night— go when you normally wouldn’t.
4. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and ask them to participate. Many of us are afraid to ask a stranger (or even somebody we know) to be in a photograph. We think it’s embarrassing, especially if we ask them to do something strange. But, most people are interested, AND FLATTERED, if you ask them to be in a photograph. Take for example, the man we photographed with dreadlocks. He was a neighbor we barely knew. One day, while on photo safari, he was out in his yard. We noticed the graphic quality of his bundled hair and asked him if we could photograph him. He was more than happy to oblige. He did think it was a bit strange when we turned him sideways. But when he saw the result, he loved it. Use people in your images. The element of humanity is always interesting especially if done in a unique way.
5. Practice techniques you wouldn’t normally use. If you are a stickler for super sharp images, shoot everything out of focus. Put your camera on a tripod and slow that shutter to a second or more. You’ll be surprised at how much the world moves. We went on PHOTO SAFARI one afternoon and shot everything through a pair of sunglasses with some fantastic results!
STRETCH YOURSELF FOLKS!
That is the art of the photo safari. Get out of your comfort zone! Don’t be afraid. It’s easy and a lot of fun! Pretty soon you’ll be putting your photo safaris on the calendar, and you won’t let anything get in the way!
By Kent DuFault— a professional writer, and photographer, who goes on photo safari with his wife on a regular basis.
We have talked before about leading lines in photographic composition and paths, roads and tracks always feature prominently in such discussions. This collection shows what can be done with these subjects and a few even go outside the leading lines meme. We think they are great. Share your own in the comments.
Forest dream! by VinothChandar, on Flickr
Some people are born with the ability to be completely relaxed and act naturally during a portrait session. Unfortunately, those types are few and far between. The reality is most people need a little instruction and confidence building before they warm up to the idea of being in front of a camera.
Being a portrait photographer, it’s up to you to make your subject comfortable and to do that you’re going to have do some coaching. As popular headshot artist, Peter Hurley, likes to put it, you’re “90% therapist and 10% photographer.” Sound kind of intimidating? There’s no need to worry, here are a few simple tips you can use to help build a working rapport with even the most rigid subjects.
- Set Aside The Camera - Before the shoot starts take a few moments to chat with your client. Make small talk and ask questions about their hobbies. Taking the time to get to know who you are photographing will give you a sense of who they are and give them a chance to establish a friendly connection with you.
- Let’s Be Clear – Don’t expect your subject to pose in the most flattering way and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to give them instruction. Unless you’re working with a professional, your client probably doesn’t have their portrait taken very often which usually means they don’t really know how to pose. To avoid sounding bossy, use a tone of voice that implies a suggestion or a tip; most people will happily comply.
Pro Tip: Unless you want the whole face aimed straight at the camera, avoid saying “Look at the camera.” Instead try saying, “Look at the camera with just your eyes,” if all you are looking for is a glance. The idea is to be as specific as you possibly can!
- Ego Booster - Confidence always looks good in a photograph. Help build up your timid client’s ego by praising them and giving plenty of good feedback. You can use gender specific terms such as handsome and pretty or keep it generic with phrases like ‘looking good’ or ‘that’s perfect.’ Speak in an upbeat tone so your client knows you mean it!
- Laughter Is The Best Medicine - Now is the perfect chance to use all those cheesy jokes you’ve been reading on the internet. Okay, some of the jokes you’ve been reading on the internet. Keep it professional, you guys. Since you spent a few minutes before the shoot getting to know your client, you can use your best judgement to pick the perfect quip to bring a smile to your their face.
- The Art Of Distraction - If your client is having a hard time loosening up, distract them with things to do. This is especially useful when photographing children. Give them a prop to play with, have them jump in the air, make funny faces, the possibilities are really only limited to the space you are working in, so get creative.
- Who’s Right? – Unless you are photographing someone’s back, their left and right will be different from yours. That’s why in theater we often hear the terms stage left or stage right. By adding the term ‘your’, you are eliminating the guesswork of your clients; remember, we’re trying to make this as easy as possible for them. Some portrait photographers go as far as eliminating left and right from their vocabulary altogether and instead use “this way” or “that way” along with a simple hand gesture.
Pro Tip: When using your hand to make a gesture, always have the back of your hand facing your client. Putting you palm to someone’s face can appear rude.
In a nutshell, if you are having a good time and enjoying yourself, chances are your clients will too. People are great at picking up on and feeding off the notion that you are doing what you love to do. Use that to your advantage. Have fun. Be outgoing. Your subject’s will magically start to mirror those qualities.
Tiffany Mueller is a professional music and fine art photographer. She has been published in various publications including magazines, art journals, as well as photography books. Tiffany is fortunate enough to have been in a perpetual state of travel since her youth and is currently working on a 50-states project. You can keep up with Tiffany via Twitter, Google+, or, on her personal blog, Life Is Unabridged.
A wonderful week in the field of photography has passed once again, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching high and low for the best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting links to share with everyone. These inspirational and beautiful pieces are some of the best seen this week, and the Toad really hopes you enjoy viewing them as much as he did in bringing them to you.
At 3:45 am on a quiet Sunday morning the alarm clock went off and the Toad sprung to action. An extensive blue hour shoot was scheduled with an exotic supercar, and he couldn’t be late! The resulting collection of photographs is featured in his blog post “Blue Jet: Corvette Grand Sport“.
Bird Photography Tips | How to Photograph Birds Like a Pro – a great set of tips and techniques is discussed for photographing wildlife in general, and specifically birds. This is a thoughtful post that contains really useful information for the avid bird photographer.
How to Process 32bit HDR images in Lightroom 4.1 – A.D. Wheeler creates a brief video tutorial that shows the visitor how to work back and forth between Photomatix and Lightroom to achieve the best quality image possible from the workflow.
AskJoeB: Three Favorite Photos – Joe Baraban shares three images submitted by one of his students and shares some thoughts on each of them. All three photos are absolutely fabulous, and when taken in context with Joe’s comments, the reader comes away with a renewed vigor and depth to use in your own practice.
Post Processing Video Tutorial: Removing Distractions – this 15 minute video tutorial takes us deep inside Photoshop with Jason’s great lesson on how to remove distractions from your images in post-processing. Jason shares some really great tips & tricks here and wraps it all up with the image he created in the video as a visual example of the power of his work.
5 Tips for Shooting Photos & Video from a Helicopter – Chase Jarvis is a world-renowned photographer who finds himself on the most exciting missions. He loves to give back to the community, and in this post he delivers a really great set of tips and tricks for helicopter based photography. Oddly enough, just two weeks ago we were scheduled to do just this ourselves here locally, but last minute technicalities precluded this. You never know when it’ll happen to you.
Panning Photography Tutorial | How to Photograph Moving Subjects – this brief list of tips and tricks is full of great information for those who are trying to work with this technique. We do a lot of this ourselves in our practice, and there is a definite method to pulling this off well, and this article details a series of very important points to achieving the goal.
The King’s Gate at Kastellet – this is a jaw-droppingly good photograph of a remarkable location in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jim Nix photographs this historic site and by exploiting a perfect composition, Jim captures a great image complete with natural leading lines in the architecture and surrounding details that are brought together with a great vanishing point.
Steady Hand – an absolutely epic scene is captured by Jerry Denham, full of mystery and shadowplay. As a fisherman makes his way through a fog enshrouded setting along the Little Tennessee River, Jerry takes the opportunity to create a great visual story through his art.
Canyon’s Edge – a gorgeous landscape taken in the Grand Canyon is displayed here in this post by Jason Hines. Great natural light paints the scene with a deep backdrop of the canyon that appears to go on forever. This image contains many layers, each revealing their own secrets.
Penthouse Sunset – a stunning city lies below in this shot taken from the top floor of a penthouse suite in Philadelphia. Scott Frederick captures and shares a shot full of really compelling colors and tones, and all the details in the city really bring something extra to the picture.
Ruptured Duck – this is a great shot from the studio of Mike Criswell featuring an old airplane. Mike does a great job with his composition here, creating a picture that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone whether you are a fan of airplanes as subjects or not. There are fabulous details here, well worth the time to visit and view.
Steely sites – Dave DiCello brings us along as he explores the city skyline of the iconic American city Pittsburgh. Great details in the bustling city below are delivered in this series, presenting the viewer with a set of shots that is guaranteed to keep you busy as you explore all the details captured.
Tread Lightly – a beautiful landscape image is captured and shared here by Andy Gimino. Andy’s adventures through the Vermont countryside finds him seeing all sorts of beautiful and unique compositions that he masterfully captures. He then applies advanced post-processing techniques to bring his personal vision of the scene to life for everyone to enjoy.
Through Tinted Glass – if you love lines and geometry, then this post is most certainly for you. LensScaper (Andy Hooker) captures two images in the Geneva Airport that exemplify this style of photography with pictures that are full of wonderful details.
Fill ‘er Up? – we’ve all experienced a wait at a gas pump to receive service. This location will require the visitor to have unbridled patience as it truly looks like no service is pending. Perry Bailey captures a great and dramatic shot of an old abandoned gas station, sure to be enjoyed by all who visit to view.
NASA’s T-38 – jet planes make for awesome photography subjects, and in this post by Tim Stanley we get to see exactly why. The beautiful lines intrinsically found in an airplane as well as great details converge to produce imagery that is very compelling.
Side Street – great architecture rooted in local character can be the producer of stellar imagery, and in this post by Len Saltiel we get to see why. The natural leading lines that Len has created with this composition guides the viewer through the frame, creating a series of places in the picture that reveal really wonderful details that are a joy to view.
Italian Hospital B – The Last Song – Mark Blundell takes us inside an abandoned hospital and shares a very dramatic and compelling picture of the main reception area. Mark also weaves an interesting story of how a group of photographers recently inside shooting were almost sealed in while they were working!
Fisherman’s Evening – the golden hours casts a warm glow over a sunset scene that contains great natural tension with the silhouette of a fisherman out on the water. Bob Israel’s image here also showcases a great cloudy sky that brings an added touch of drama to the overall scene, making this a must-see shot in this week’s list.
Synchronised – what an incredible image. A pair of frogs appears just above the water line and the rich colors in the scene really accent all the character captured. Simon Roy delivers a shot with so many great elements in it, you just have to see it for yourself to discover them all.
Little paradise – IR photography can produce images that are well beyond proper description in their ability to convey a rich and detailed scene that in some ways can appear to come from another planet entirely. This shot by Thorsten Scheel is a great example of this style of imagery.
Old Sleigh – photography featuring old artifacts and antiques can be so engrossing because you get a chance to see something you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to. Anita Megyesi shares an image of an old sleigh here that is just full of great character and is a real pleasure to view.
Barn – HDR imagery can produce striking pictures by delivering a vast dynamic range to the viewer, which really accents all the details and textures in a scene. heaterguy creates a picture from a scene of an old and decrepit barn which embodies the essence of great HDR work. This is one of those pictures that delivers more to the viewer as you spend time taking in all the details.
Annas Again – Jay Taylor captures a photo of a hummingbird as it floats feeding on a beautiful flower. These delicate birds are very fast and are a real challenge to photograph well, and in this post from Jay we get to see a great example of the best of this genre of imagery.
We’ll see you again at the 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally! – we get a peek into the famous Sturgis Motorcyle Rally just held in this post from Dakota Visions Photography. All the motorcycles that come to this event are as unique as their owners, and this post showcases a few scenes from the big event.
Terres Rouge – great details, textures and reflections are all expressed in this picture from the studio of Mark Blundell. Mark does a top drawer job with this scene in creating an image that is sure to captivate the imagination of everyone who pops by for a visit to see. Definitely one of our must-see shots in this week’s list.
Fatihah – a beautiful water lily full of exquisite colors and details is captured here by Rachel Cohen for everyone to enjoy. Rachel’s wonderful composition brings all the inherent beauty of the flower out, making for a truly spectacular picture to view.
The Great Wall Stretches Across the Sunset – a very compelling picture of this world’s wonder is presented here by Trey Ratcliff. The great natural leading line the wall creates in Trey’s composition here is really accented quite nicely with the gorgeous colors in the sky as the sun sets.
Trafalgar Grass – local photographer Ehpem explores the landscape of his area, and in this post he shares a series of shots featuring the tall grasses. The natural beauty of the grasses are explored nicely here, creating a set of images that are sometimes abstract in nature. This really showcases the natural beauty that surrounds us all if we just open our eyes to take it in.
Chipmunks In The Tetons – chipmunks make for great photography subjects, if you can get them to sit still long enough to compose and fire off the shot! Steve Creek captures a set of images of one particular little fur-friend who is busy gnoshing on something delicious to eat. The last photo of this set in particular really exposes the wonderful character these creatures have.
River 1 – an abstract black-and-white piece from the studio of Chris Maskell is shared in this post. The natural drama found in b&w imagery really lends an added element of interest to this scene, producing a picture that holds many mysteries for the viewer to find and unfold.
Worth It? – Adam Allegro takes us along as he captures a pair of images of a beautiful sunset unfolding in front of him in Greece. The beautiful colors in the sky really accent the unique and wondrous architecture that is found in this part of the world, creating a pair of images that are truly indeed quite worth it.
Almost 7 in London – I can stare at this picture for hours on end and will continue to find new jewels to enjoy. This is a top drawer shot by Jim Nix of the Big Ben clock tower is mesmerizing and beautiful in its intricacies and details. An absolute must-see shot in this week’s collection.
Church SS UK – an abandoned church forms the basis of this detailed photoshoot. These urban explorers have made their way inside this grand facility and have come away with a truly astonishing series of images that showcases beautiful natural light, grand architecture and wonderful artifacts and details left behind.
Shining and Hopeful – a beautiful, beautiful flower is elegantly captured and shared here by Gareth Glynn Ash. The perfect shallow depth of focus that Gareth has used to create this image adds a dash of interest to the already vibrant and breathtaking photo captured here.
Porsche Club Race – two epic race cars frozen in time, caught in the action… presented here by Hansrico Photography. This is a great photo that really brings all the excitement and the action of the scene Rick has captured here to the screen for everyone to enjoy.
Over the Top – these shots of roller coasters are so wonderful in capturing the fluid action of these rides that I honestly feel a little queasy. No better way to enjoy a roller coaster than with your feet firmly planted on Terra Firma… unless, of course, you enjoy these sorts of things in which case these great photos will definitely have you with one foot out the door heading to your favorite theme park!
Green Barn with Stables – an almost iconic American farm scene is presented here in this great post from Mark Summerfield. Great beauty is found in the classic architecture in these buildings, producing a piece that is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by all who visit.
The Suzuki Shop – what seems to be a bit of a sign of the times is explored in this great post from Jim Denham. What once was a vibrant community has found itself downsized as some of the local businesses no longer can make a go of things. Great, great textures and details in this abandoned building all come to life in this awesome photograph by Jim.
Beautiful Burano – a classic Italian scene is presented here from Edith Levy. This old area on the island of Burano creates the perfect photography setting for Edith, who comes away with a compelling and detail-rich photo sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
All Natural Chicken – this is a chicken with a plan! Rob Hanson grabs a great shot of this really fascinating bird as it strolls about, creating a post that is sure to be a source of delight for everyone who makes the time to pop by and see for themselves.
Jailbreak! – what could possibly follow-up the previous chicken themed post? How about a gaggle of chickens on the run?!?!? Rob Hanson delivers a post that follows along on the heels of the one above with a great, great shot and some wit to go along. Check out this post, you’ll love it… both the shot and the rich humor are sure to bring a big smile!
One Scene, Two Techniques – as a photographer, I find that we’re surrounded by great opportunities at all times. Anne McKinnell showcases a great pair of stunning landscape photos each taken using a different technique at close to the same time of day. The results are two totally different feeling photos that are both awesome in their own right.
The Plush Interior – a great HDR image taken of a forlorn VW car’s interior. Great textures and details in the weathering are all perfectly exposed in this shot, creating an image that is fascinating to take in.
Couple on Lake Louise – one of the most beautiful locations in the world is the source of this photograph by Vu Le. The natural beauty of Lake Louise deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies is reflecting back the surrounding landscape and details, producing a very captivating image to view.
The Lighthouse of Heaven – a very romantic lighthouse sits under a blanket of stars in this epic photo from David Keochkerian. People standing in the distance in the shot produce striking silhouettes, helping to create an image that is sure to be the source of much fascination for everyone who visits.
Silence after the storm II – a very dramatic and ethereal piece is displayed here, featuring what appears to be a boat that is keeled over on its side in shallow waters. Caras Ionut does a great job in capturing all the inherent features in the scene. The long exposure utilized to create this photo does a wonderful job of turning the surrounding waters into a silky-smooth entity that resembles fog, furthering the drama.
Just touch! – this shot is a great study in natural dichotomy as Cj Kale photographs a landscape scene where an active lava flow finds the water. The incredible juxtaposition of heat, fire, smoke and fast-moving waters all provide their own elements of interest to the scene, and when combined all together into the image produced we get a compelling and dramatic picture to view and enjoy.
Allow Me To Introduce You – a gorgeous spot on the shores of the ocean in California is shared in this wonderful post from Blake Rudis. Blake creates a very detailed and quite beautiful panoramic picture from the scene, and shares it here with everyone producing a piece that is a real must-see in this week’s list.
Choices – Mark Garbowski takes us deep inside a long abandoned building, full of debris and decay. Mark’s introspective thoughts on the shot add a further layer of interest to his post… but the obvious choice of “running away” has been left out. This is a very dramatic piece full of awesome details and textures to enjoy.
Skyline Beauty – the natural and amazing beauty of Shenandoah National Park is explored in this set of images posted by Jay&Jacy Photography. One of the images shares a vista of the gorgeous landscapes of the park, and the others deliver the natural beauty of the wildflowers.
Starry Night at Cannon Beach – an ethereal and otherworldly scene is painted in this epic photograph from Scott Wood. As night completely surrounds Scott, he finds himself on a shore looking at an iconic rock formation to the left, and the lights of civilization to the right. The natural fog that enshrouds the scene adds really incredible elements of interest in how they turn light into something you can almost touch and feel.
Winding Wonder – the natural and breathtaking beauty of Yosemite Park is captured and shared in this stunning black-and-white image from Aaron Barlow. Aaron’s composition in this shot naturally leads the viewer through the frame with certain natural elements, creating a piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit to view.
Route 50 Connected – like a scene cast from an entirely different planet, this very dramatic black-and-white photograph from the studio of Bob Lussier shares a desolate view. The power lines are perfectly composed in this shot to be the best form of natural leading lines through the entire frame, producing a highly artistic piece that is sure to captivate the mind of everyone.
Pump You Up! – I half expected Arnold Schwarzenegger to pop out of the scene suddenly, with aplomb. Yet somehow he didn’t, and we’re left checking out a totally captivating and mesmerizing photograph from the studio of Jim Denham. These long forgotten gas pumps form the most perfect photo subjects for the lens of Jim, who creates this image full of truly incredible textures and details to take in.
Miller House Kitchen – an old-fashioned kitchen in a very old house is the subject of this image as captured and shared here by Raymond Jabola. Great details in the items held here are all perfectly captured to produce a picture that is guaranteed to captivate the viewer.
“Sylvan Lake” – fabulous natural light drapes the massive rock formation, presenting a scene that is both dramatic and compelling. Photographer Robert Berry takes us to this beautiful lake in North Dakota sharing a scene that is sure to amaze everyone who visits.
Sumner House – classic Victorian architecture is something that is supremely photogenic. Intricate details all come to life in this great example of a really beautiful home. Wayne Frost grabs a great shot full of vibrant colors in Claremont, California.
Baie Sainte-Marguerite, Québec, 2012 – what a fabulous landscape shot, complete with rolling hills that seem to go on forever. Ren Bostelaar captures this beautiful photograph lakeside that features a very dramatic sky as a great accent.
The Coal Mine – a great vanishing point is a strong element in imagery, and this really fabulous example of this by Urbex Junkie delivers a stunning picture. Really strong and deep shadows add drama, drawing the viewer’s eye quite naturally through the frame.
AMPUL ( BULB ) – this is a fabulous concept brilliantly executed. Tunahan Bayraktar delivers a multi-faceted piece that is very cleverly composed, sharing a complete story in a glance that is unique and bright.
a trailerful of sunset – a dramatic semi and trailer fill the frame in this awesome HDR image from the studio of Lorenzo Montezemolo. Great details and textures in the truck are really accented here by a dark and brooding sky with a colorful sunset.
Red rose – a beautiful rose is perfectly composed and captured in this lovely image from Lotus Johnson. Deep, rich colors are all brought to life as the gorgeous natural light gently brushes the petals.
Pumped Up Cheeks – OK, this is really cute. Rob Nopola grabs a shot of a furry little chipmunk, who just left the drive-thru restaurant and has rather full cheeks as evidence. A very shallow depth of focus in this shot brings all the character of the little furball out here.
Evening Rolls – I just love the natural lights and shadows working with each other in this wonderful image from Jerry Denham. Jerry finds a hay bail in a farmer’s field, and by composing it with some of the natural leading lines found natively within the scene, he really creates a wonderful shot that really exemplifies the natural visual interest found in farming.
Jetty Simplicity – we have several great image elements at work in this piece from Steven Perlmutter. By using a long exposure technique to smooth out the water surfaces, Steven creates a mystical feeling image that has one of my personal favorite elements; a great vanishing point.
Daybreak – a fabulous study in classic architecture is accented here by the beautiful colors in the sky. Jimi Jones find himself in a setting where all these things come together, all emphasized by a dramatic sky from the remnants of a powerful storm.
Geddy’s Down-Under – a colorful and feature-rich scene is presented in this photograph of a front for a restaurant in Maine. Edith Levy grabs a pair of shots here that are full of great details and textures, enough so that the viewers eye finds itself moving about the frame finding more and more gems.
The Strangest Places – nature has a propensity to survive, and through so you can find the most amazing features around this planet that sometimes defy explanation. Aaron Barlow makes such a find with a tree growing out the side of a rock formation. The black-and-white image he shares from this is absolutely dramatic with a perfect composition, making for a must-see shot in this week’s list.
Stretched Out – trees possess the most fascinating ability to express themselves in growth by exploiting fractals. The results are amazing natural formations with really captivating shapes and lines, as evidenced by this wonderful photograph by CJ Schmit.
Raining Fire – Fun With Steel Wool – lights, colors, sparks and clarity all join forces in this post from Scott Wood to capture and share here. Scott and a group of compatriots gather at the side of the sea to create this colorful and absolutely compelling set of photos.
A Tucson strike at sunset – an electrifying event showing the power and ferocity of nature is captured and shared in this great lightning photo from the studio of Mike Olbinksi. The storm responsible for this event is clearly visible over the city as the strike lands, resulting in a really breathtaking piece to view and enjoy.
Abacus – a lovely wine bottle is perfectly staged and photographed here by Steve Beal. Great surrounding colors and tones in the backdrop further add to the sense of warmth the scene delivers, and the great shapes and details in the bottle itself are all brought forward with the narrow depth of focus Steve has used to create this picture.
Up High – there is something alluring about this image inasmuch as a Cheetah in the wild is standing in a very unique spot creating an absolutely uncommon sight for Andrew Schoeman to capture and share. This is definitely a shot that is guaranteed to amaze everyone who pops over for a viewing.
Fire In The Sky! – the bluest blues are found in the lake, and the most fervent glowing oranges are found in the surrounding mountains in this epic landscape photo by Rawin Cheasagul. This is a truly breathtaking scene with stunning colors, a real must-see in this week’s list.
Palouse Falls – shots using this particular composition are usually quite striking, but in this case Scott Wood has really created something exemplary. This awesome landscape photo has the viewer overlooking a beautiful waterfall with a complex layered backdrop draped in natural light, making for a stunning image
Cappadocia, Turkey – this is a very, very special image to view and enjoy, as created and shared by Sean Bagshaw. A hot air balloon expedition at the break of day presents the perfect environment for breathtaking photography, and Sean comes away from the adventure with a really exceptional picture.
OO – a perfect silhouette is cut into the face of the moon in this awesome image from the studio of Peyman Az. This monochromatic piece really delivers great natural tension, with all the elements coming together in a way that shares the pictures story in a glance.
Chernobyl and Pripyat, May 2012 (Part 1 | Part 2) – a place with a history that will never be forgotten by anyone, ever. The nuclear disaster that occurred in this place has left an indelible mark on the people, the country and the world. Urbex photographers got a chance to head into the city to capture a series of images that are utterly profound and in some cases poignant. These two blogs posts are the results of that work. These are highly emotional images that are sure to leave everyone with their own personal innermost thoughts.
New eBook – L2R XCanada – Victoria Volume One – roving Canadian photographer Jordan Oram, a great friend of ours, releases his latest installment of eBook series. As Jordan makes his way across Canada enjoying all this vast country has to offer, he creates a special form of documentation of his adventures to share with his audience, creating a book here that is sure to be enjoyed by all who download and read it.
Iceland Saga III – The Quimper Hittys take us along as they adventure in the beautiful lands of Iceland. This really great set of images is presented alongside a truly wonderful storyline that just adds so much depth and interest to the posts. This post in particular shares some great images of the epic landscapes found in this part of the world, and shares some really interesting back stories and details. Well worth the time for a visit.
Vacation time – @astaroth here on Light Stalking produces another blog post that is really quite wonderful to visit and enjoy. Typical vacation shots tend to include Aunt Martha and Uncle Joe scarfing down ribs at the local eatery, but in this post we get to enjoy the actual landscapes and natural beauty of Eastern Spain as we join @astaroth on his adventures.
Haboob Hits Tempe Town Lake – Chris Frailey produces a time lapse video showcasing a massive storm formation known as a Haboob rolling over his city. This is really quite something to see, the sheer power and force of nature at work can produce the most striking imagery.