Landscape Photography and Hyperfocal Distances

Every once in a while we have someone who uses some new buzz word or some other term that we just don’t understand or that folks have a hard time explaining. Hyperfocal Distance is one of those terms. It is an important thing to learn and is really easy to understand. It can help you have tack sharp photos when your looking for photos with a large depth of field. They even make phone apps to make it easier to use quickly. Follow the link below to a great explanation of how it works and how to use it.

http://digital-photography-school.com/landscape-photography-hyperfocal-distance

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What’s Your Inspiration For Photography?

The other day I started wondering why all of these people and Photography sites that I follow are always posting photos for inspiration. There are inspirational photos for almost every subject that is out there. Whether its for early morning photos, foggy morning photos, food photos, sunset photos or any other topic you can think of.

So the question I have for you is, “What type of photos are inspiring to you?” Let me know in your comments to this post. There are so many photographers out there that do produce many inspirational photos on any given day.

What do these inspirational photos do for you? What do they encourage you to do? Do you want to get engaged, involved or are they just great to look at? I would like you to tell me how these photos impact your life or not.

New Website Brings New Life To the Blog Too!

For the past couple of weeks I have been working on upgrading and rebranding my website. The new look and feel will allow everyone to have a better experience and enjoy the photos with easier access and navigation.

In the past two years, we have been to Alaska, Seattle, Southern California, Guatemala, Cost Rica, Panama, Columbia and Aruba. I will be posting photos of these places as I get them processed.

As with all things, this fresh and bright website will also mean a resurgence of interest in the blog as well. My plans are to share information that I have found interesting around the web as well as some tips and tricks from the use of Photoshop Lightroom and other software programs associated with photography.

I found this useful information on eyevoyage.com:

Useful Resources for the Travel Photographer

November 14, 2013|By: Mitchell Kanashkevich|Posted in: Tips6 Comments

Useful Resources for the Travel Photographer

It has really been a long Time!

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Here we are so many months later that I almost forgot what the last post was all about! Oh, yes! We were just about to take our late-August and early-September vacation to Washington, Alaska and British Columbia. I suppose I should give you an update and tell you a few of the things that have been happening.

To start with, we did do our vacation and have not been real good about publishing very many of our photos. Seattle is just a wonderful place to visit and would be a great place to live as well. The city has a young feel about it, as does Vancouver. Everyone is on the move and the amount of outdoor activities goes from the sea to the mountains.

Seattle Skyline from Seacrest Park

Lots of great weather with less “gray days” than we have in Cleveland and, typically, the temperatures are more moderate Cleveland’s, even though it’s farther north.

We had the opportunity to see so much because our friend Sam, an avid photographer and a retired firefighter, chauffeured us around to see many places other than the usual tourist spots. After a wonderful week with Sam in Seattle, it was off to Alaska.

Fin Art- Magnuson ParkSeattle from Kerry ParkGas Works ParkMt. Shasta

We landed in Anchorage and, after a few-hours’ wait for the bus, we were off to the wilderness. You know you’re on your own when the bus driver points out the new (very small) hospital and says, “From here to your hotel is 93 miles, and there are no services, or anything else for that matter, in between.”

We were lucky to stop by a lake to take shots of Mt. McKinley (Denali) from about 130 miles away.  It’s the tallest peak in all 50 states, which is visible so few days a year that only about 10% of all Alaska visitors ever see the mountain.

Mt. McKinley, Mt. Hunter and Mt. Foraker

The three days that we spent in and around the Denali National Park area was a photographers paradise with everything from fall foliage, mountains, rivers, streams to lots of wildlife in their natural environment.

Mary Kay on train to DenaliGrizzly Bear in Denali Nat ParkMale Moose in Denali Nat Park

On the fourth day, we went to the port in Whittier, Alaska, where we boarded the Sapphire Princess.

Sapphire Princess

This was a 7-day southbound cruise that would take us to Vancouver, BC. In between, we went to the Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska. The number of glaciers that you see is hard to count because there are so many. We visited three up close and personal: two by ship and one by land.

Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bayi Nat ParkThe Hubbard Glacier

 

 

 

Our finial stop was Vancouver, BC, where we spent three days. We were able to visit quite a few places through assistance from the web and our GPS.

Some of the views were great, when not surrounded by clouds. This is a city, a lot like Seattle that is young-feeling and where everyone is outside doing every imaginable outdoor activity on every wheeled device imaginable: bicycles to inline skates.

Time Is Getting Short…Only 5 More Days

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Well, here we are just five days left before we go and there still seems so much to get done. We have the list and it is getting shorter, but it doesn’t look any shorter even though we keep crossing things off the list…Hum, is someone adding things to it, I wonder?

Our friend Sam has been priming us with things to do and places to see, I hope we will have enough time to do all that we would like to without being to exhausted to get on the plane to Alaska. I really don’t think that will be an issue. I hate using someone else’s photos in my blog, but since we are not there yet I have to keep priming you all with what we hope to see. I have to give credit to Google Search for these.

Seattle Clear DayMt RanierFarmers Market

We are always looking for suggestions on things to see and places to go while on our trips, so don’t be shy, let us know and we will try to incorporate into the visit.

In Just Two Short Weeks…Trains and Boats and Plain, Buses and Cars!

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Well, time is getting short, only about two weeks till Mary Kay and I are off to Seattle, Alaska and Vancouver, BC. When you start to plan, it seems like the year will never pass and then it is just around the corner.

3We will start by spending four days in Seattle looking at all there is to see. I contacted the local photography society and they connected me with Sam Ruljancich, a retired firefighter, a past president of the club, who has most graciously indicated that he will manage our visit for us and assures us that he knows all of the best photographic spots in town. What a nice guy!

XXX Travel Alaska Railroad 13328.JPGAfter four days in Seattle, it will be off to Alaska. We will be landing in Anchorage and spending one night in the Princess McKinley Hotel.

Then a train takes us to Denali National Park for three days.

EA50725B-1DD8-B71C-0E4DE3788CCC55B7

There is so much to see that there is just no way to do everything that you might want to because this is such a huge place with such diverse set of available activities.

sa_mainWe then take a bus to the port of Whittier, AK, We will board the Sapphire Princess and spend 7 days and nights cruising the glaciers and the inside passage with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway.

vancouver-false-creek_2658_600x450We will land in Vancouver on the 8th of September and will be here through the 11th. This is another city that has so much to offer photographically that it is hard to decide where to start.

When ever possible, I will try to upload some shots for everyone.

It’s Been A While Since We’ve Spoken

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It has been seven months since I have been here. Unfortunately a lot of medical issues with my back and I have lived on the floor most of the time. One thing that we were able to do in May was to go to the and spend a weekend in Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution for a “Farm to Table Experience.”

Mary Kay and I had a once in a lifetime experience with twelve other folks to share a day with the three head chefs of the hotel to go to the farms in the local area and select all the local products for two very special meals. The first was a wonderful three course dinner which the participants prepared with the chefs supervision. The menu included a cold asparagus and poached egg salad with fresh whole cracked mustard vinaigrette dressing, a top sirloin beef remoulade with a fresh shiitake mushroom stuffing which was served over a vegetable medley of mashed cauliflower, fresh peas and leaks in a parmesan béchamel sauce. The third course was a cookie with a fresh strawberry filling with a grape crème fresh.

Farm to Table  (1 of 3) Farm to Table  (2 of 3) Farm to Table  (3 of 3)

The next evening the hotel and its chefs served 50 people including us to a very special 5 course dining experience with wine pairings and very elegant servings dine by a well prepared staff. Below is the Menu:

farm to table menu

Projects and Deadlines

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Get started this year with projects. Projects will help your photography and your style. If you do decide to do some projects this year, make sure that you give yourself a deadline to complete the assignment. Not sure what projects you would like to do? Well…let’s get started by entering some contests. That’s right, contests. What better way to get started? They all come with deadlines attached, so you do not have to strain your brain to decide how long your project should take.

While you’re doing some of these contests, it gives you a time to look at what elements you think are important in your photography that will help set you apart from the crowd. What elements in the photograph do you you feel are important to you?. Is it the color, the graphic representation, some special lighting characteristic, brightness, or even going to the darkside? Which are special parts of the photograph that says it is you?

This may not all happen at once, but as it grows, you will know what you like and what you do not like as you photograph it. At this point, you will be more able to build a portfolio that represents you and your photography. You will be more able to weed out weak photos and you will find that your portfolio will take on a life of its own.

Where Will You Start This Year?

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When you start your photography for the year, where will you start? How many projects have you identified? Which one will be first? These are some of the questions that should be answered as we move forward to help us meet those goals.

So…with those thoughts in mind, let’s just say that we would like to do some studio work this winter and get some high fashion shots for your portfolio. Great, now we can think about all the things we need to get those shots. A studio, lighting, models, clothing, make-up artist, etc.

We can also ask the questions about how we want to pose the models and what the expected outcome will be from the shoot. Are we going to do this alone or are you going to have an assistant? Maybe a friend that wants to learn lighting and posing will help for free and all we need to do is to allow them to take some shots and give them some encouragement. Otherwise, have you considered the cost that you might incur?

Well, whatever the project and whatever the challenges that come before you, here’s to a great year with great projects.

New Year, New Goals, Where Is Your Photography Going?

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Norton 2011Here we are at the start of a new year with great goals and expectations for the year.  This year will be highlighted by learning, photographic challenge and travel. Many of us look at our photography and wonder what direction we should take and what new experiences we should attempt with our shots. That is a good starting point but there should be a bit more planning involved to make sure that we have a path to follow and a reachable goal.

What are your goals? Have you looked at what you would like to carry out as a photographer this year? Have you looked at what the path is to reach that goal?

Take the time to see what your year in photography means to you. Take the time to set some obtainable goals and decide what path you need to get those goals. Write them down and check them often.

This is not a resolution but rather a way to focus your photography and make the step to the next level.