Daily Macro View


My first article I had published back in 2005 was in Outdoor Photographer Magazine, and the Associate editor that I worked with was Ibarionex Perello. With social internet sites I’ve had a chance to connect with him from time to time on Google+ and Facebook.

I received and email from Ibarionex asking if I would be a guest on The Candid Frame, which is a podcast for photography.

I wasn’t aware of this podcast and did a little research and was amazed at the guest photographers that have been interviewed on “The Candid Frame.” Big name pros like Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, Vincent Versace, Michael Freeman, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Jay Maisel, Freeman Patterson, Rick Sammon, and many more names of pros that have made great careers in photography. I’m thinking what am I doing here.

So I was really honored to be interview by Ibarionex on The Candid Frame and have my name listed with all these great photographers.

A little info about the interviewer Ibarionex Perello.

Ibarionex Perello is currently a freelance photographer and writer. His articles appear in numerous magazines including Digital Photo Pro, Rangefinder, Shutterbug, and Outdoor Photographer. He is the host and producer of the popular podcast The Candid Frame. He is also an instructor of photography at BetterPhoto.com and an adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design. You can find out more about Ibarionex by visiting www.thecandidframe.com and www.alasmedia.net.

So I thank Ibarionex for inviting me on The Candid Frame and he did a great job with the questions he asked. Some about the business end and of course about macro photography.

To hear the interview click Here and scroll backwards to The Candid Frame #149


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

To see my processing videos click here

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This is a trick that I’ve seen before but forgot about it until one of my photo friends mentioned about Byran Peterson’s video on how to do this. I thought well I need to give it a try and see what happens.

I went to my local Meijer store and bought a bottle of sparkling water, and lemon and a glass.

I sliced the lemon to about a quarter inch think, and wedged down into the glass and then poured in some sparkling water. The sparkling water makes tons of bubbles when you pour it in the glass, and they stick to the lemon. You will have to many bubbles when you first pour it in, but they will start to disappear if you wait awhile. The front of the glass will also accumulate some bubble so I just took a knife and scraped them of the glass.

Set up my tripod and camera using my 90mm Tamron, and placed one of my printed backgrounds behind, and set the f/stop at f/22 and pressed the shutter.

I shot different versions and sections of the lemon, but this one was my fav. The unique look of the water drops comes from processing with the Detail Extractor filter in Nik Software’s, Color Efex Pro 4.

You can try other fruits as well. I tried a strawberry but wasn’t happy with the results, but I’ll try again another day.


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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


The Evolution of Photography

Posted: September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View


We have all seen the changes in the cameras we use, from back in the now old days of film, through the rapid advancements in the revolutionary digital cameras.

The latest evolutions in the digital age is the software programs that have been, or are being developed to make artistic changes to our images with just the click of a link.

The look of a traditional photograph is changing with all the editing software programs that are evolving. First we saw the change of photographer’s images using HDR, that sometimes strange illustrated look.

One of the pioneer’s of the HDR look is Trey Ratcliff, who has create a massive following in the millions, and a very successful photography business from promoting the HDR look.

Some photographers fell in love with the HDR look, and some photographers hated it.

To the haters, HDR was destroying what they viewed as the traditional photography look, and the photogs that favored HDR felt it was adding a new creative look to their photos.

The digital SLR camera was never intended to produce a fully processed image, so we needed the help of Adobe Photoshop software to add the finishing touch with color, contrast, and even sharpness in the image.

Photoshop was our main processing program in the beginning, and now we have companies producing editing software that allows the photographer to create artistic looks in his or her images with very little experience or effort.

After using Photoshop for a few years, Nik Software was the first company that I had contact with for editing software that had the ability to create unique looks in my images with just a click of preset filter. I was having a lot of fun creating new artistic looks in my images. I started to see more and more people coming on board with the Nik programs.

Next I started working with the Topaz company’s programs and found they also had some good artistic editing programs.

Now a new company is working on editing software and I am checking it out as they are just in the development stages.

I like to hang out at a variety of different websites where photographers post their images for visitors to view. You can tell the images that have the processed look that we now see coming from the editing software programs. I noticed that the images with these unique processed looks seem to get the most likes, and comments.

I studied this with my own images and the more the image strayed from the traditional photo look and feel, the better the response was to the image.

I recently saw a news report on TV of a National Geographic photographer and his work with lions in Africa, The images had that heavy look and feel of the processing I’m talking about. You could see the depth and details in the hair of the lions that goes beyond the look of what we know as traditional photography look and feel.

Here is a good example of how the artistic processing effected the way people responded to this image

Here is the original with the traditional photo look. The response to this image was good.


After a simple click of a Solarization filter in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4, I produced this look. After posting the new artistic look with this subject, the response was overwhelming, and to date my most viewed, liked, and commented of all my images.


In the first image the people were mainly viewing the interesting subject, and liked the image because of the interesting subject, but not very dramatic looking. The second image has the interesting subject, but now also includes the dramatic look and feel of the processing which is why it got such a great response.

This is not the first time this has happened when posting one of my images with an interesting artistic look and feel. So common sense tells me that if I see other photographers getting great responses to their images when applying artistic processing, and my images are getting better reviews with the artistic processing, than guess what I’m going to keep doing with my images.

It’s the evolution of photography.

Now you don’t have to follow my lead, or agree with my viewpoint, you do what you want with your photographs. I can’t imagine any photographer that wouldn’t like the attention you would get from better processed images.

It makes me feel good when I know people are enjoying the look of the art that I have created.

I don’t want ordinary photographs, I’m trying to create a special artistic feel, and that’s why we have these editing software programs, for people like me.

With the processing tools we have to work with, photography has moved past just finding a good subjects, composing it properly, and getting a good exposure. These new tools have allowed us a new way to express our artistic creativity through our photographs.

Here are two videos that show some processing techniques with these photo editing programs.




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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Fall and Spring Macro Workshops

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Only three Macro Boot Camps left with a few opening for this fall.

The “MACRO BOOT CAMPS” are three days of in depth learning, fun, and entertainment. You will need a camera, macro lens, tripod, as you will be shooting in the classroom. It is for the beginner to the intermediate photographer wanting to learn more about the macro world in nature.

Sign up at http://www.macrostoreonline.com

FALL 2014

Macro Boot Camps
2014 Macro Boot Camp – Holiday Inn, Martinsville (near Indianapolis) IN. October 3,4,5, Cost $199
2014 Macro Boot Camp – La Quinta Inn, Minnetonka, Minnesota, October 10,11,12, Cost $199
2014 Macro Boot Camp –  Wyndham Hotel, Glen Mills, PA (west of Philly) Nov 21,22,23, Cost $199



Macro Boot Camps
Holiday Inn, Monroeville, near Pittsburgh,PA,  Feb.6,7,8, Cost $199
Hiton, Ocala, Florida, Feb 27,28 March 1, Cost $199
Hampton Inn, Sterling Hts, near Detroit,MI, March 13,14,15, Cost $199
Hampton Inn, Brevard, near Asheville,NC, March 20,21,22, Cost $199
Comfort Inn, Middleburg Hts, near Cleveland,OH, April 17,18,19, Cost $199



Macro Boot Camp – Ocala, Florida

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Macro Boot Camp – Florida

Location of the workshop:
Hilton Hotel
3600 S.W. 36th Ave.
Ocala, Florida, 34474

Date and time:
February 27th  5:30pm – 8:00pm
February 28th  9:00am – 5:00pm
March       1st    9:00am – 2:00pm

Fun With A Juice Glass

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View


I was grabbing a glass out of the cupboard for a drink of water and noticed the nice design of the cut glass, which I never really paid any attention to before.. It’s just a cheap juice glass that can be bought at any discount store.

So I thought maybe I can experiment and create some nice art from this glass. I decided I needed to add some lighting to help make the cuts in the glass look more interesting, so I place my LED light underneath the glass, and some stray colors from around the glass reflected in the angles of the cuts. I shot first with the glass upside down.

Here is the first shot that I liked angling the camera to the side and bottom of the glass. I used the Detail Extractor in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 for the look and feel of the image.

I turned the glass right side up and shot straight down into the bottom of the glass and came up with this interesting pattern. I’m am going to explore more designs of cut glass as you can find this in many flower vases, and other glassware, and you can find it pretty cheap.

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I’ve seen many images posted in various websites of mixing oil and water and always thought they were really cool images. For what ever reason I never took the time to photograph oil and water. So I finally decided to take some time and give it a go. Here is how to do it with simple basic household items.

What’s needed

1) Clear glass pie dish or clear baking dish.
2) Cooking oil
3) Water
4) Multi colored photo, fabic, wallpaper, etc.
5) Two tall drinking cups
6) Butter Knife

I fill the clear glass pie dish with about an inch of water and add maybe a half cup or oil. I used a stool to set up my system on, but a small table will also do. The two tall drinking cups are placed underneath the pie dish at the outside edges to support the dish. You can see below the pie dish I have a print of one of my fall multi colored leaves. You can use fabrics or wall paper, that has lots of colors. I set up inside next to a window for lots of light, but you could do this outside as well.

Set up your camera overhead, and get the front of lens parallel to the water. I used an f/stop of f/8 and my shutter speed worked out at 640th of a second at an ISO of 1600. I wanted a fast shooting shutter speed that would help stop moving bubbles.

You may pour the oil on the water and get lots of bubbles or in my case I only had grape seed oil on hand and when I poured it on the water it just created a slick on top of the water, but not a lot of bubbles. I used a knife to swirl the water fairly hard to help create some more bubbles and create a swirl of lines and bubbles.

I would start swirling the water with the knife in a fairly quick whirlpool motion, and then pull out the knife and look through the cameras viewfinder and study as the swirling bubbles and lines passed through the frame. The bubbles and lines will be going pretty quick at first, but just wait and the movement will slow down.

I’m looking through the viewfinder and as the water would slowly move through the frame, I would see all kinds of interesting designs of bubbles and lines, and when I see something I liked, I would fire the shutter with a remote. The fast shutter speed is needed to stop the action.

When the movement of the water stopped, I would start moving the water in a circle again with the knife.

You will get some nice groups of bubbles that will pass like the ones in the two images below.


With the movement of the water you will get lots of compositions moving though the frame, and you will get interesting swirling lines like this next group of images.

Now you can just shoot whatever bubbles you may find just randomly floating on the water and move the camera and tripod around, but I like to be able to just set up the camera in one place and move the bubbles though the frame and having unlimited artistic composition to choose from.

If you choose to do it this way try and get the highest shutter speed you can to stop the movement of the bubbles. Raising the ISO will help with the higher shutter speed. If your shooting in direct sunlight you will have plenty of light for a fast shutter speed and may not need a higher ISO.

This is a lot of fun, and you will have tons of interesting artistic artwork.


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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