Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Star Effects

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

Win Helicon Focus Software

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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Win Helicon Focus Software.  Three Chances to be a Winner
Focus Stacking Program

1st Place – Helicon Focus Premium unlimited – Value $240
2nd Place – Helicon Focus Pro unlimited – Value $200
3rd Place – Helicon Focus Lite unlimited – Value $115

To learn more about these three programs click here

 Watch my video on how focus stacking works click here

Guess what this is and you will be entered into the drawing to win.

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One guess per entry

Send your guess to:  macrogeekmike@yahoo.com

Winners announced  August 13th, 2014

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Macro Workshops

Posted: July 30, 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

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Daily Macro View

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If you are new to macro photography and having a hard time deciding which f/stop to use when shooting a subject, just shoot a wide range from the smallest f/stop number to the highest f/stop number, and than decide what worked out the best when you get home. The smallest numbers will give you the least amount in focus and the highest number will give you the most in focus.

Here is the first shot using the smallest f/stop with my Tamron 90 at f/2.8.

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Next I used f/8. Adds a little more in focus.

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Next I used f/11. Adds a little more in focus.

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Next I used f/22. Adds a little more in focus.

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Next I used f/32, for the most depth of field and the most in focus.

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You can decide what you like best as far as how much of the subject is in focus when you get home and on the computer. Pixels are free to shoot, so why limit yourself to one f/stop, when you can give yourself more options if you’re not sure which f/stop is the best choice for the look you are after.

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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

Me at the FCCC Conference

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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Mark your calendars! I will be speaking at the 2015 Florida Camera Club Council Conference. The conference will be held from March 6th through March 8th, 2015 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida. I hope to see you there.
In addition to myself, many other well-known top photographers will be presenting and leading workshops throughout the weekend. The keynote speaker will be George Lepp, and popular vendors will be on hand to present their products as well.
To keep up with all new announcements and information, be sure and visit the following link often as we approach the conference date: http://www.f3c.org/f3c-2015-annual-convention/
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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

The Sales Pitch

Posted: July 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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A camera store salesman was telling me about his frustration since photography online forums were created. Customers come into the store looking for a camera and lenses and ask for his advice. He would go through his sales pitch and once he was finished the customer would start in with, well this guy on this forum said this, and another guy on this forum said this and on and on. Every sale was a battle with the customer on who was right, the salesman or the people online.

So he came up with this line. When a customer comes in and starts with the what everybody online was saying and paying no attention to what he says, he tells them to find a photographer that they look up to and admire the look of their images, find out what kind of equipment they use and buy that.

If you use the same equipment as the photographer you admire, than your images will look just like theirs, Right?

 

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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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Last year I posted that we all process a little different, and each photographer’s eye for processing may vary, so I asked for 10 volunteers to take one of my images straight out of the camera, and use what ever processing software programs they prefer, and do their thing.

This was not a contest or to compete to see who’s image is the best, just curious to see the differences in each photographer’s artistic eye for processing.

Here is the image out of the camera that I sent everyone.

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Processed by Maralee Park.

She use Nik Sofware, Viveza and Color Efex.

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Processed by Janice Meyers-Foreman

Using photoshop cs5, I duplicated the layer and changed the blend mode to multiply, I also use a Florabelle action called Cosmopolitan. Their actions are quite nice – but I find that I always find something to tweak to get it just the way I like it, sometimes I will use two of them together.

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Processed by Sue Henry

  • CNTR J – duplicate layer in PhotoShop (I just got CS6)
  • Used the healing brush on just a few places that caught my eye
  • Slight levels adjustment
  • Ever so slight hue/saturation adjustment
  • Color Efex Pro 4 — this is where I can’t remember exactly, but I probably used tonal contrast and lighten center/darken edge
  • I then took the image into Viveza, where, using the brush I worked on only the bug. I really wanted to emphasize him – didn’t want him to look like an accident!
  • A second pass through Viveza with a subtle tweaking globally on the whole image
  • I used a Kim Klaussen texture — KKPortrait — as a texture overlay. It’s a very subtle, but rich, golden-color texture which helped (in my opinion) add to the richer color to the image while adding a subtle darkening around the edges of the image which in turn helps pull the eye to the center of interest. I masked several areas of the image to enable the detail to not be hidden by the overlay.

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Processed by Dan Wiedbrauk

Nik Color Efex Pro – Detail extractor to bring out some of the detail in the small flowers and around the base of the large flower.

NIk Viveza – Added structure and contrast to the bug and the little flowers

Lightroom CS5 – Cropped the bottom and a little off the side, darkened the background, levels and curves, added a little saturation, and applied some selective sharpening using the unsharp mask.

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Processed by Amy Maranto

I used a software program called GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/
It is open source image editing software. It is what I use instead of photoshop. I suspect it is most similar to Photoshop CS3 or 4. It has more bells and whistles than Elements, but fewer than Lightroom. It is free and works well on both my PC and Mac. I have used tutorials on Youtube to learn how to use it.
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Processed by Myer Bornstein
I post processed in PS 6 with NIK Color EFEX Pro, then did a quick mask in the insect and sharpened it to make it stand out more.
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Processed by John Studwell
Opened it in CS6 where I used Filter – Stylize – Find Edges and saved it.
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Processed by Mike Newman
I used Lightroom 4 for the edit. I used to use Photoshop almost exclusively, but with this new version of Lightroom, I find myself gravitating towards using it more and more.
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Processed by Ronald Murphy
I used Lightroom 4.1 as I do for most of my image editing, though I’m usually working in RAW.
In studying the image, I was attracted to the long curves of the petals(?) and the bug. My goal was to emphasize that aspect and suggest the “bug highways” I saw in the curves.
I used cropping and color adjustments to try and accomplish this.
You probably don’t need the detail, but Lightroom changes included:
increased contrast
decreased shadows, whites and blacks
tweaked the hue settings for red, yellow, and orange
boosted green hue toward blue range but then decreased green saturation and luminance to get a darker green background that I thought better complemented the new pinker hues of the petals
sharpened the image a bit
reduced noise generated by my changes in the noise and luminance settings.
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Processed by Ken Robb
Nik Color Fx 4
Brilliance/Warmth
Warmth 58%
Perceptual Sat 22%
Foliage
Method 3 @ 63%
Pro Contrast
Correct Contrast 23%
Dynamic Contrast 32%
Levels & Curves
Reduced Highlights
Darken/Lighten Center
Center Luminosity 26%
Border Luminosity –48%
Center Size – 14%
Centered on the bug
Nik Viveza
Added Structure to the bug
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What a diference in each photographers vision when processing.
and
Here was my own Version processed with Nik Software, Color Efex and Viveza.
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Thanks to all the photographers that participated, and took the time to process the image.
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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

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Daily Macro View

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For those who wanted that Acratach Ballhead and wasn’t the lucky winner, I contacted Gary Farber at Hunt’s Photo and asked if he could offer a nice discount to my viewers and they came through with this savings.

Mike,
Per your emails with Gary, here is a link to $30 discount off Acratech Ultimate Ball Head.
Please advise your students and followers they can also call our store at (800) 221-1830 and use these promos codes to purchase over the phone.

Promo expires end of Sept. but we can extend it.

coupon code: OzVzr

direct link to product to purchase below.

Acratech Ultimate Ball Head w/Quick Release & Detent Pin

http://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/detail_page.cfm?productid=1115&mfg=Acratech&show=yes&sp=OzVzr

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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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We’re in full summer mode now, and the main color is green. Travel through the woods and fields and all you see is green. It’s green everywhere, well except for a splash of accent color here and there with some flowers.

Last year I was up in the Traverse City, Michigan area and shot these at the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Boardman River Nature Center.

Did my best with all the greens subjects.

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

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Fern and Nik Software

Posted: July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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Here is the fern out of the camera.

I added the Bleach Bypass filter in Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4.


 

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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

Now That’s A Camper

Posted: July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Check out this beast of a camper from Earth Roamers out of Colorado.

I could really find some cool off road macro shots with this.

Only cost like $750,000.00

But they have cheaper models a little over $250,000.

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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

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In my recent contest to win a Acratech Ultimate Ballhead, I asked the people that entered to guess what kind of bird these feathers came from.  To my surprise a whole lot of people guessed right.  The feathers are from a wild turkey.  256 people guessed right.

All those who guessed right were put in a drawing, and the winner of the drawing was Tammy VanderMolen. So big congrats Tammy, you now own the best head for macro photography.

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Turkey Feathers

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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

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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 22, Winner announced July 23

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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

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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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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.

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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