Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Win the best ballhead for macro photographers
It’s the one I use
Acratech Ultimate Ballhead (value $299)

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To win you have to guess what bird these feathers are from.

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All those who guess correct will be put in a drawing to win.
One entry per person
Send your guess to – macrogeekmike@yahoo.com
Deadline – July 23rd, Winner announced July 24th

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

My Interview on Zenjoyable

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
I have an hour long interview on photography and business with host Chamira Young at Zenjoyable.com
Here is the link to the interview.
http://zenjoyable.com/mikemoats/

Last day to enter contest

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Win a free entry into one of my Macro Boot Camp through Tamron Lenses. $199 value.

Sign up by midnight tonight.

click here

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

Macro Mentoring Course Online

The Macro Mentoring Course is designed to be a personal one-on-one learning experience for anyone wishing to advance their skills in macro (close-up) photography. It is great for those not able to attend any of my macro boot camps or for those living outside of the USA. If you have been fortunate enough to attend a macro boot camp, then this will take you to the next level.

This course is a 12 session program designed to give how-to information on elements of design, two subject compositions, subjects that have character, flower photography, and working with depth of field. The subjects are both natural and man-made. However, bugs and critters will not be shot.

Participants will have a shooting assignment to practice their learned skills. Some assignments will be easy. Many will challenge your creative abilities and teach you how to find subjects and compose them properly. Images from your shooting assignments will be critiqued and fine-tuned with the goal of helping you achieve quality photography and something that you would be proud to hang in your home.

A digital SLR camera, a macro lens, and a tripod are required equipment. It is important that the participant know the basic functions of the camera usage including f/stops, exposure adjustments, ISO, and manual focusing.

You will progress at your own pace. There is no time limit on when each session has to be completed. If you are busy, start back when time allows.

The course will be conducted online through email and videos. You must have internet connection capable of streaming videos from YouTube.

The course costs $249 but it will be the best money you will ever invest in your photography. All correspondents will be done through emails. Participants in the Macro Mentoring Course will receive special discount pricing from Hunt’s Photo, the largest photo retailer in the New England states.

Once you sign up you will receive an email within 24 hours to start the course.

My qualifications:

  • Honored as a “Tamron Image Master”
  • Winner of many photo contests and awards
  • Articles and images published in major photo magazines
  • Sponsorships from many product manufactures
  • Speaker for photo conferences and camera clubs
  • Participated in art show circuit several years
  • Conducted macro workshops for thousands of attendees
  • Past moderator of the macro galleries at photo critique sites
Sign up here

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Macro Workshops

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

2014 Fall dates for Macro Boot Camps. Cost is still $199 for the boot camps.
MBC – Double Tree Hotel, Overland Park, near Kansas City, Sept. 26,27,28
MBC – Holiday Inn, Martinsville (near Indianapolis) IN. October 3,4,5, Cost $199
MBC – Hampton Inn, Minnetonka, Minnesota, October 10,11,12, Cost $199
Old Car City Workshop – (SOLD OUT) White, Georgia, October 16,17,18 Cost $449
Macro Photo Conference – (SOLD OUT) Massachusetts Oct 25,26, Cost $199
MBC – Buffalo Niagara Marriott, Amherst, NY, October 31st, November 1,2, 2014 Cost $199
MBC – (SOLD OUT) Marriott, Cranbury/South Brunswick, New Jersey, Nov. 7,8,9 Cost $199
MBC – Wyndham Hotel, Glen Mills, PA (west of Philly) Nov 21,22,23, Cost $199

For sold out workshops add your name to waitlist, send me an email, macrogeekmike@yahoo.com

For more info and sign ups, go to, http://www.macrostoreonline.com

129305226.t20WEIxe[1]

Macro Critique Group

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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I have a group on facebook called “Macro Critique Group”. It was set up from the requests of macro photographers that wanted a place to post their images and have other photographers give their critiques.

Here are the guidelines and info about the group.

This group is for those macro photographers looking to receive advice on improving their macro photos. Please understand that critiques given by members are just opinions and doesn’t mean they are right or wrong. If we have people getting nasty over who is right or wrong with a critique, they will be deleted. If you have thin skin, best not to post. You may not receive any critiques, and it may just be people don’t know how to give advice on that image, don’t take it personal. Please only post one image per day, to many images and the critiques will be harder to come by. If you like an image, tell them what it is you like about it, rather than just “Nice Image” if you have a different idea on someone’s image that may help improve it, then let them know. PLAY NICE, I don’t want to be the facebook police.

People have to understand that critiques given are opinions and that is all.

I give opinions to people and I tell them, this is what I would have done if this was my image, but does it mean I’m right, no, it’s just my opinion based on my experiences from past successes I’ve had, and you try and pass that info on through a critique.

People can accept or reject any part of a critique, and that is how a critique site should work. No one should be getting upset over a critique, because it is just an opinion.

I base my critiques on the successes I’ve had with my images through contests, selling seven years in art shows, galleries, and comments that are made through my social media, blog, website, etc.

When I tell someone that I would change certain things that I see in their images, it’s based on those past experience on what has worked for me and what has not worked for me.

Does it mean what I tell people is the right or the only way, no, just means that I am giving a critique based on an opinion.

People will put more value on a critique from a pro over someone who has no credits or accomplishment with their images, but again they still have an opinion and sometimes those people have good ideas.

You have to look at a critique as just someones different take on the image you posted, and you can take or reject whatever you like from that critique.

But some people get mad if they don’t like a critique, but that is wrong as we are all going to have different opinion on composing and image.

Thank those people for taking time to critique your image, as they are trying to help.

I’ve learned and grown a lot as a macro photographer when I was starting out because of the critiques I received. I listened and took what parts I liked from the critiques and past on some of the ideas that I didn’t agree with, but always appreciated those who took the time to critique even if I didn’t agree.

 

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

Moats – Monet

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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Here is my take on the great painter Monet.  I was shooting a group of Black Eyed Susan flowers at the edge of a pond and the water had created a nice reflection of the flowers.  In post processing I decided to do panoramic crop of reflection in the water, and since the reflection of the flowers was upside down, I just turned it 180 degree so the flowers would be upright.  I added a painted look in Topaz and it resembles a nice impressionistic Monet feel.

IMG_0353

Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

Helping Photographers

Posted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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When a photographer asks for critiques on their images, I would first need to know some information before giving an opinion on their images.  I would want to know if they are just shooting to please themselves, are they shooting for lots of likes when they post their images online, or are they looking for input on images that they intend to sell at some point.  It makes a big difference on the critique based on the answer.

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

Daily Macro View

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As a pro nature photographer, part of my business is to submit articles to photo magazines. I am good at teaching people how to become better macro photographers, but I am not a good writer, as I was a below average English student. I’m sure my English teachers from high school would roll in their graves if they knew I have had articles published in major photo magazines. I should spend more time writing and submitting articles to magazines, but writing is my least favorite part of being a pro photographer.

Here is a funny story about the first article I had published. I had submitted my very first query letter about an idea for an article to Rob Sheppard who was the editor at the time for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Rob was quick to reply, saying that he was interested in the idea, and would file it away for future consideration. I thought that was a nice way of saying he was not interested.

A few months passed by and I received a call from the associate editor at OP, letting me know they needed the article and images for an upcoming issue. I was excited but also a little concerned because I have never written an article before, and now have to produce something worthy of publication.

My wife is a teacher, so I knew I would have some help. It takes me a long time just to write a 1500 word article, so it was a few days before the article was ready to present to my wife for review.

She starts to read it and within minutes says, you don’t have paragraphs!

I said, what’s a paragraph?

How funny is this, that I’ve put myself in the position of writing an article for a major publication, and I don’t even know what a paragraph is.

That is the way I am, that if I really want to do something, I will take some risk and fly by the seat of my pants, and figure out how to get it done.

What I was writing was good information, I just needed to know how to structure it properly, just like a macro photographer that has a great subject, but needs to know how to compose it properly.

My wife helped me add the structure needed, and I submitted the article and images. I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks and was imagining Rob saying “this is crap, we can’t publish this“. So I sent an email to Rob asking him if the article was okay, and he replied saying, “everything looks fine”

Wow! my first article is being published. Pretty exciting.

Since that first article published I’ve had many more published, but the first one and the situation I put myself in sure made it memorable.

Since my wife is a very dedicated teacher and heads up many school committees, and works more hours than I do, I hate to bother her with my work, so I have outside help from a lady who tweaks and prepares my articles before I send them out.

Writing articles and e-books has been my least favorite part of being a pro photographer, so I don’t write as much as I should. What’s also strange about writing articles is that I have to write winter related articles in the summer, spring articles in the Fall, and so on. I am six months ahead of the season, so right now as I’m enjoying warm summer days, I’m thinking about winter.

For those of you in the West experiencing the terrible heat wave, here is some cooling images.

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

It’s Nice To Share

Posted: July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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It was nice of this fly and grasshopper to share this black eyed susan.  It’s always great to capture an image like this with multiple subjects..   Used my Canon G16 point and shoot on this one.

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This is always a common scene on logs in ponds, as turtles are very good about sharing space on exposed logs.  Shot on the same day with the G16.  I gave this one a painted feel using Topaz Simplify 4 program.

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

Daily Macro View

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I asked a lady in one of my workshops how many times a month was she able to get out and shoot.

Her answer was,

About once a month.

ONCE A MONTH, THAT”S ONLY TWELVE TIMES IN A YEAR!

How are you going to progress shooting twelve times in a year.

If you are really interested in becoming a better macro photographer, you better try and get out at least once a week. I say at least once a week, but more is better, and if you can’t get out to shoot, shoot something inside for practice.

When I started I shot three and four times a week, and that is what help me grow so quickly as a macro photographer.

The difference from a macro photographer with a huge portfolio of great images and one who has a small portfolio of great images is time spent in the field shooting.

It’s as simple as that, the more time spent shooting, the better you get, and the bigger your portfolio of good quality macro images.

If you look at anyone who is successful at what they do, it came through many, many, hours of practice.

Taking one of my workshops would sure help you as well. :)

Now get out and shoot!!

 

Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

______________________________________________________

Win a free entry into one of my Macro Boot Camp through Tamron Lenses.  $199 value.

click here

______________________________________________________

 

Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

This month Topaz is promoting their image masking software Topaz ReMask, which will be 50% off from July 15 – 31 with coupon code “julyremask”.

There’s lots of masking tools out there, but we’ve focused on making ReMask the fastest + easiest to use. We like to say that it’s the only masking software that doesn’t require an instructions manual: http://www.topazlabs.com/remask

We’re dropping the ReMask price from $70 to $34.99 until the end of the month. Many customers tell us that ReMask is their favorite Topaz product.

Click Here

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Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

Daily Macro View

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I have been slowly working with some of the Topaz programs for processing my photos and have been very impressed with what I’m seeing. In this first screen video I will be showing the artistic abilities of Simplify4. Check out the video and see what this program is all about.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To see my processing videos click here

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

If you like this post share it below through your social media groups.

Wild Geranium Backside

Posted: July 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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I’m always looking for some angle that is a little different from the standard flower portraits. Not that the front side of a flower is not a good thing, it’s just that we see those images all the time, and I’m looking for something that makes my images a little different from what we normally see.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To see my processing videos click here

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

If you like this post share it below through your social media groups.

How Come It’s Not In Focus

Posted: July 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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Yesterday I posted some of my soft focus flower shots for all my photog followers, and as expected, the response to these images was very positive. I mentioned in the post how the general pubic doesn’t view these same images with the same positive attitude as do the photographers.

One of the artistic benefits we have as macro photographers is the extreme shallow depth of field that we produce while we shoot in very close to our subjects. It’s a benefit that no other style of photography can naturally reproduce without using a special lens like a lensbaby, or a software program.

In the macro photographers eyes, this soft look of the shallow depth of field has a really nice artistic look, and as one person wrote on facebook, “a calming feel”.

When we view the vast majority of photographs whether it be of the family get together, landscape photos, portraits of people, fashion photography, sport photos, these are images that are all in focus or  have at least the main subjects all in focus.

So now we come along with a flower shot that looks like it was taken with a shaky camera and try to pass it off as art.

We as macro photographers and artistic people understand what is going on here with these soft focus flowers, but you will never convince the general public that this is anything but an out of focus photo.

Here are two quotes from people I overheard talking in my art show booth.

I had two ladies viewing one of my soft focus flowers and the one lady whispers to the other, “look at this one, it’s all out of focus” and she didn’t mean it in a good way.

One guy was viewing a soft focus flower shot and whispers to his wife, “I don’t know much about photography, but at least I get them all in focus“.

This is the mentality of the majority of the public.

Our eyes don’t have shallow depth of field, we go through life seeing everything in focus, so images look a little abnormal when subjects are not in focus.

Most people own point and shoots, and camera phones, and what do they do best, they get everything in focus.

People will wonder why you can’t get the subject in focus with your expensive DSLR camera and lens when their cheap point and shoot or the camera in their phone can get it all in focus.

They look at you like you have know idea how to work your camera.

I’ve even asked art consultants who buy my images for their projects why they don’t buy the more artistic soft focus flowers. Although they do like these images, they do realize that they have an abstract feel that doesn’t work as well with their clients.

I still like shooting my soft focus flowers, and I save them to show my phototog buddies, but those photos stayed at home when I use to go to an art show. I did offer my soft focus flowers in the small prints like 8X10 at the shows as they don’t take up much space, and occasionally someone would buy one. But I was limited on space in the large size prints so have to only show the best sellers, which was always the everything in focus photos.

Daily Macro View

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Sometimes I’m in the mood to produce some soft focus flower images. Some of my favorite flower photos are done with a soft focus. Unfortunately they are not good sellers when I was heavy in the art show business. Most buyers didn’t understand why the image was not all in focus, and it hurt sales. Even my art consultants that purchase images for the health art industry have never bought any of my soft focus flowers, they tend to buy the everything in focus images.

I still like to shoot them for my viewing and also to show all my photog friends who understand depth of field and the artistic merit of these images.

Easy to do, just move the camera in real close, focus on someplace in the foreground, and shoot at the smallest number f/stop. The shallow depth of field will give this soft look to most of the subject behind the point of focus.

 Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

2014 Fall dates for Macro Boot Camps. Cost is still $199 for the boot camps. More to come.
MBC – Double Tree Hotel, Overland Park, near Kansas City, Sept. 26,27,28
MBC – Holiday Inn, Martinsville (near Indianapolis) IN. October 3,4,5, Cost $199
MBC – Hampton Inn, Minnetonka, Minnesota, October 10,11,12, Cost $199
Old Car City Workshop – (SOLD OUT) White, Georgia, October 16,17,18 Cost $449
Macro Photo Conference – (SOLD OUT) Massachusetts Oct 25,26, Cost $199
MBC – Buffalo Niagara Marriott, Amherst, NY, October 31st, November 1,2, 2014 Cost $199
MBC – (SOLD OUT) Marriott, Cranbury/South Brunswick, New Jersey, Nov. 7,8,9 Cost $199
MBC – Wyndham Hotel, Glen Mills, PA (west of Philly) Nov 21,22,23, Cost $199

For sold out workshops add your name to waitlist, send me an email, macrogeekmike@yahoo.com

For more info and sign ups, go to, http://www.macrostoreonline.com

129305226.t20WEIxe[1]

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Win the best ballhead for macro photographers
It’s the one I use
Acratech Ultimate Ballhead (value $299)

mFGhZztAhabVjn6s1nhX4jA

To win you have to guess what bird these feathers are from.

143923928.jTi9EdE8._DSC6369

All those who guess correct will be put in a drawing to win.
One entry per person
Send your guess to – macrogeekmike@yahoo.com
Deadline – July 23rd, Winner announced July 24th

_________________________________________

 

Share through social media, click links at bottom of this article.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

Macro Mentoring Course Online Click Here

You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

NPEG Sponsored Webinar

Posted: July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
Become a member of NPEG and sign up for the webinar

NPEG Professional member and Macro photography guru, Mike Moats has been a great supporter of NPEG and his efforts to make photographers aware of NPEG through his social media has resulted in several NEW NPEG members! \


DON’T Miss Mike’s webinar! Sign up NOW for Mike’s July 20 webinar:

Please register for Macro Photography Gear: What You Need to Know! on July 20, 2014 8:00 PM EDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1433497440100692481

Renowned Macro photographer, Mike Moats will cover the equipment and accessories that work best for the macro photographer. The best camera, lenses, tripod, head, tools for controlling light, making backgrounds, and other important accessories to carry.