Photo Critique – Monterey Sunset by Raga Swamisai

Monterey Sunset by Raga Swamisai

Monterey Sunset by Raga Swamisai

For this month’s critique, I chose a photo submitted to our Flickr Group by Raga Swamisai. To be fair, I probably find his photo of sunset in Monterey, California so compelling because I’ve been spending a lot of time during the last several months shooting on the New Hampshire and Maine coasts, but what the heck, this is my critique so I can choose photos for personal reasons if I want! Continue Reading

Exposing to the Right – Revisited

Most of us at one point or another have heard or read the maxim in digital photography commonly titled “expose to the right”. But do you really do this on a regular basis, and do you know how? More importantly do you know why? I’ll try to answer these questions as simply as I can and also provide some tips to put this practice into use every time you go out and shoot. After all, I don’t know of a single photographer that doesn’t want to come home with the highest quality images possible.

Many of the students I work with seem to be unclear about exposing to the right, and I think part of this can be attributed to 2 main reasons:

  1. Not having a full understanding of the reading and use of the histogram
  2. Depending on the LCD preview on the back of the camera as a way to aesthetically judge proper exposure, color, and contrast. Continue Reading

Shooting in the Rain

A rainbow over farms in Peacham, Vermont.

A rainbow over farms in Peacham, Vermont.

So many times we give up when the weather becomes inclement. Because we don’t like to get wet, we don’t want our equipment to get wet, it’s a hassle. But have you ever considered the images you can make under stormy conditions? Or being out there as the conditions change? I’m not advocating standing on a beach with Category 4 winds coming at you from Hurricane whomever, but you extend your photographic reach with a little more protection. Continue Reading

Basic Tips for Making Fine Art Prints at Home

Fall colors reflected in the Swift River in New Hampshire

Fall colors reflected in the Swift River in New Hampshire

I’ve heard it said that the process of creating a photograph isn’t complete until you’ve made a print.  I don’t know that I’m in complete agreement but I will confess that I derive tremendous satisfaction in the art of printmaking.   In a blog post I wrote last year titled “Pixels vs. Prints” I wrote about how viewing a photograph on a monitor and in print are two wholly different experiences. Continue Reading

Finding Inspiration – Six Months of 0630

Monkman_0630_Portsmouth_NH_078

Ascension, South Street Cemetery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

There comes a point in a photographer’s career when he or she understands enough of the technical aspects of the craft, that making pictures changes. It is no longer about understanding the concepts of things like depth of field or exposure, but instead it becomes about finding the inspiration that allows one to make interesting, important, and/or beautiful photos. Continue Reading

Making Panoramic Images

Fog in a field in Durham, New Hampshire.

Fog in a field in Durham, New Hampshire.

This week I worked on a project close to home (more about that shoot here,) and I was graced with the beautiful light and fog you see in the image above. I usually try to create at least one panaroma for most of my commissioned projects. By using the wide format, I am often better able to create a sense of wide open spaces. Continue Reading

Outdoor Flash Photography – Understanding the Basics

Flash is a very powerful tool for outdoor photographers. While ‘sweet light’ is often available naturally, the midday sun or less than flattering outdoor light may be all that is available and this often presents the need for additional light sources. Continue Reading

Using Lines in the Landscape to Improve Your Photo Compositions.

Monument Cove and Otter Cliffs in Maine's Acadia National Park.

Monument Cove and Otter Cliffs in Maine's Acadia National Park. The curve of the shoreline in this photo adds a peaceful line that leads the viewer's eye to the cliffs.

Lines, real and implied are an important component in any photo’s composition. Lines can be straight (horizontal, vertical, or at an oblique angle,) or curved. All lines work to divide your image into distinct parts, so you need to study your compositions carefully to see how these divisions work. Do they cut an image in half, creating a static feel, or do they divide the image into unequal parts which can provide an asymmetrical balance and more dynamic feel? Continue Reading