Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

For shooting frogs in ponds the best focal length would be a telephoto macro lens in the 180mm range or a zoom lens that will reach out to the 270mm or 300mm range.. The images you see here would have been impossible to capture with a short focal length macro lens. To fill the frame with the frog you would have to be right in the frogs face if using a short focal length macro lens, which would be hard to accomplish in these wet muddy conditions and to close for comfort for the frog.
I got a frog in my viewfinder.

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Couldn’t have shot these with my 90mm or 60mm macro lenses.

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Places to Shoot

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
If you are ever passing through the St Augustine, Florida, go about 10 to 15 miles south and check out a nice park called Washington Oaks Garden Park. Got there early for some nice backlighting from the sun. Lots of Palms, Giant Bird Of Paradise, and other cool plants.

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Website, Workshops and E-Books
Macro Photo Conference 2015 click here
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Photo Contests

Posted: May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

Some people like the idea of photo contests and some don’t. Personally I think photo contests are fine and I’ve entered in quite a few with some being local and some international. I have been fortunate to win places in many of the contests, and I think it helps you to see how your images are stacking up to the other photographers.

Judging a contest is very difficult and subjective, many people will tend to feel their images were better then the winning images. That’s something you have to deal with when submitting to contests, that you may feel that the judging picked the wrong winners.

Winning in a contest has become much harder because the photographers entering contests have gotten so much better since the age of digital. I don’t mean it’s just the digital equipment and software that has helped us make better images, but all the free information and imagery available on the internet that teaches how to make a better images. We have free blogs like this one, or free videos on YouTube from many pros and non pros that teach us how to make better images. We have photo critique sites, and online courses now to help us.

There are tons of contests going on now a days, and many photographers are now offering contests on their websites or blogs. I have macro contests occasionally that I offer prizes from my sponsors for the winners.

Some contests charge a fee to submit and some are free to enter. The big contest will give away prize money to the winners, and some like mine are sponsors giving away prizes.

For the larger contest like Nature Best’s magazines – Windland Smith Rice International contest or the BBC wildlife magazine yearly Wildlife Photographer of the Year, these contest carry great prestige if you win.

When a photographer advertises as an “award winning” photographer, that means that he or she as won awards through contests.

I have not applied to any contests in a few years as my newer images are starting to become to overly processed for the bigger contests. The big name contests will ask for the original file if you are being considered as a winner, as they want to see that the image has as little processing as possible, other than the standard processing of sharpening, adjusting the colors and exposure.

You have to read the fine print on all contests as some will want full rights to use your winning image for advertising without any compensation for using your image. Some photographers are fine with this and some are not, so read all the contest rules to decide if you are are okay with these conditions.

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Macro Photo Conference 2015 click here
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Combine Topaz and Nik

Posted: May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized
Combining Topaz Simpilfy4 and Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro.

 

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I started off working with some of the programs in Topaz Simplify 4. This program can transform your photo into a variety artistic styles including paintings, sketches and cartoon line drawings. I especially like the variety oil painting filters. I used one of the oil painting filter to give this image a soft painted look on the needles, which I liked.

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Next step I went into my Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro and used the Detail Extractor with the Fine selection. This would have been way to detailed had it been applied to the original image, but with the softened details from the Topaz Oil Painting, the Detail Extractor work very well at adding some details back in. I then softened down the saturation a little in Nik Software’s Viveza program.

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 One of my favorite Topaz Programs is now on sale. The discount will be for 30% off, reducing the price to $27.99 for the month of May. The coupon code is: MAYSIMP
Click here to purchase. http://www.topazlabs.com/aff/idevaffiliate.php?id=609&url=http://www.topazlabs.com/simplify

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Website, Workshops and E-Books
Macro Photo Conference 2015 click here
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Macro Photo Conference 2015

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Sponsored by Tamron and Hunt’s Photo

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Speakers

Mike Moats – Michigan
http://www.tinylandscapes.com

Charles Needle – Washington
http://www.charlesneedlephoto.com

Kathleen Clemons – Maine
http://www.kathleenclemonsphotography.com

John Barclay – Pennsylvania
http://www.johnbarclayphotography.com
Clay Bolt – South Carolina
www.claybolt.com

Mollie Isaacs – Virgina
http://www.awakethelight.com
Lisa Curchara – Connecticut
http://www.breaphotos.com

Jillian Bell – Minnesota – Tamron
Plus five instructors

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The first Macro Photo Conference was in 2014 and sold out in 20 days and drew photographers from 16 different states,and two provinces of Canada.
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We will have Lisa and Tom Curchara’s frogs back this year.

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This is a unique photo conference dedicated to macro photography. I’ve always wanted to design a program where highly experienced photographers could come together and teach their skills in macro photography and post processing techniques to those who want to learn and advance their macro photography to the next level. As a photographer, I specialize only in macro photography, and I’m not into other styles of photography. Our instructors for this conference are all accomplished photographers in many styles, but they were chosen for their abilities to produce great macro images.
This Macro Photo Conference will have plenty of how-to lectures and about five hours of photographing with varying subject matter. The speakers and instructors will be available to help participants with composing subjects and technical aspects. The ratio will be 8 participants to 1 instructor so you should not have a problem finding help if you need it. So you just need to bring your camera, macro lens, and tripod, and we will take care of making you better macro photographer.
Along with learning how to be a better macro photographer, John Barclay will demonstrate some of the great post processing programs available to take your images to the next level.
Leading New England photo retailer Hunt’s Photo will be there selling lots of photo products. Tamron will have tech reps on hand with lenses available for you to try out.
Mike Moats
There will be a limit of 100 participants, and it should sell out quick.

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Location: Ramada Hotel
213 Taunton Ave, Seekonk, MA 02771
(508) 336-8700
Dates: October 10th and 11th 2015
Times: Saturday 8:00am to 5pm – Sunday 8:00am – 3pm
Cost: $199

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For those flying in, use the T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick, Rhode Island which is about 20 minutes from the hotel.
The hotel has an airport shuttle but you would need to give the hotel 24 hour notice of your flight time for shuttle service.
Rooms at the hotel range from $99, $109, and $119. To register for a room at these rates ask the Macro Photo Conference rates. (508) 336-8700
See more info and to sign up http://www.macrostoreonline.com

Before and After

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
Did some cropping first, next processed with Nik Software’s Detail Extractor in Color Efex Pro4. Then did some fine tuning on the colors in Nik Software’s Viveza2, and final step was cloning out the scissors and imperfection here and there in PS Elements.
The Before

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The After

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Website, Workshops and E-Books
Macro Photo Conference 2015 click here
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Lens Zooming

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Uncategorized
We are always learning new things and I learn new things from the photographers that attend my workshops. I was watching a photographer in my Boston area workshop that was creating cool images by zooming in and out on different subjects. His name is Marvin Moriarty and I would like to thank him for this idea. I have done some zooming with my lenses in nature but have never been happy with any of the images, but Marvin found subjects that seem to work well with this technique.
I was in my hotel room a few days later in the Atlanta area and thought I would give the zooming technique a try.
Working with low light in the room and I used my Tamron 18-270 lens and set the f-stop at f/32, ISO 100 so I could get a long exposure of eight seconds.
I would start with the lens at 270mm and press the shutter, and after two seconds move the zoom upward and hold it there for two more seconds and then rotate the zoom ring and hold for another two seconds and then finish at the 18mm for the last two seconds. And here are the results with some gears, keys, and a spring.

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

Website, Workshops and E-Books
Macro Photo Conference 2015 click here
Macro Courses Online Click Here
You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
To save 15% on Topaz products click here
Like my Facebook Page