Monday, January 25, 2016

Full Moon Photography

Full moon photography can be challenging especially if you don't have the right equipment. Today I want to write about a couple of things regarding this subject. One is, if you're using a DSLR, you may not have a good zoom lens and/or a lens multiplier. Two, there may be a solution with a compact digital camera.

So let's review the DSLR method. With the right lens and the right multiplier you can get outstanding shots of the moon. I've seen photos online where a 200mm and 300mm zoom lenses plus a two multiplier was able to take great shots. I also have experience in taking moon photos with this type of equipment. What I have noticed is that you find yourself editing the image and cropping it to make the image look good. I'm ok with that. 

On the other hand, I also have a Nikon Coolpix P520. This camera falls under the compact digital camera format. It has a lot of functionality for a camera in this category. For example, the focal length is 4.3-180 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 24-1000 mm lens in 35mm [135] format). Now I've had this camera for a while and I understand there are newer models available, but for me, I have specific use for this camera and I enjoy it.

The following image was shot with my Nikon Coolpix P520 at full zoom plus 2X digital zoom (part of the cameras functionality). So in essence, it was a shot with 2000mm zoom. Let's take a look.


Now keep in mind that I did put the camera on a tripod for stability and this is what I captured. I was actually pleased with this image but then I popped it open in Lightroom. All I did was crop this image and got the following.


So in order to photograph the moon it is best done with the camera mounted on a tripod. If using a DSLR turn off VR. Use your equipment to the best of its ability. Then edit as needed and share.

One other note, this Full moon capture was done on Christmas 2015. The last time there was a full moon on Christmas Day was in 1977. This won't happen again until 2034, with any luck I'll be around to photograph that one too.

For a real kewl look at a full moon visit https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/rare-full-moon-on-christmas-day I think it's an outstanding looking image.


Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago and keep up with my journey.

Monday, January 18, 2016

To Square Format or Not

I'm going to be honest, I've never been a fan of the square photo format. That said, I've been going through some concert photos recently and stumbled on some photos that I did not really care for. Here is one of them.


So in this image I like the shot of the guitar player. What I don't like is what is going on in the left of this image. I decided to make a square (or 1x1 ratio) edit and came up with the following.


I like this much better. In addition, the image does not go to waste because now I can use it on Instagram. 

Here is another image I don't really like.


As you can see, and maybe it's just my opinion, there is too much dead space on the left and right. Once again, let's look at a square edit.


I like this edit much better!

Now the next shot I like in it's original format more than the square format. Take a look.



Now to me both images are good but I prefer the original format shot of the two.

My goal in photography is to shoot images that could be used in print format, even though I don't print a lot of images. So my preference is to shoot in the rectangular format of the image and not square. 

If I learned anything from this, it's to consider more than the original image format, especially in this digital age where we are not locked into specific image formats.


Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago and keep up with my journey.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Snow Photography and Editing

Today is Tuesday November 24, 2015 and we are coming up on Thanksgiving. This past Friday began our first snowfall of the season. I enjoy snow photography and sometimes more than taking the photos I enjoy editing them.

Like many photographers I enjoy using Lightroom to edit photos. But, there is something about snow photography that makes me want to explore the possibilities in other editing software. Let's take for example the following image.


I took this photo yesterday after I spotted it while running some errands. This is a first run edit in Lightroom. I like the image but I really like snow photos in B&W. For the next edit I used Alien Skin Software because it has a Kodak TRI-X 400 filter. Yes, I know Lightroom can do a B&W edit but it doesn't have film selection capabilities. So check out this edit.


I know I could add more contrast but I am going to take this edit a step further and use Alien Skin Snap Art and create the following.


This edit is a pastel landscape edit that I modified not to have texture as a canvas. So from my perspective, this edit is unique to me in and of itself. If I choose to have this printed I could select a canvas background and it might look pretty interesting. But I'm not done editing and have more to get done. For the next edit I'm going to use the TRI-X 400 image and open it in Smart Photo Editor.


Smart Photo Editor is an application I picked up some time ago. I used two filters from this application to create the above image. One is the "Contrast Realistic" the other is "Hyper-real" there are actually a ton of filters in this application I could choose from, but these two are in my favorites list. This image itself is one worthy of printing as is. But I'm not done.

Now I'm going to layer the above image over the pastel image and set the opacity at 30% to create the following.


This is what I was looking to accomplish! To me, it's an abstract look and feel that really embraces the snow image I wanted.

Now I know that photography and art are subjective. Some viewers of these images may prefer one over the other and not like my final results. I'm ok with that. I guess I just want to present to you options in regards to photo edits. You can think about it.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago and keep up with my journey.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

iFast Photography

Many years ago when I was learning photography I learned about the "FAST" rule. The fast rule was pretty simple. It's an acronym for ...

F = focus
A = aperture 
S = shutter 
T = think

It was a pretty good tool for me to keep in mind back in the day. I should point out that in those days I, like many photographers, bought film with an ISO value. Some professionals carried multiple cameras with different ISO films in them so they were prepared for lighting changes. I was an amature photographer and on a budget so I did not have that luxury. I would select my film based on the conditions outside and hope they didn't change too much on me. 

With DSLR photography life taking pictures is a whole different game. No manual advancing film to take your next shot, no loading film and a pluthera of automation. I try to remind myself of the "FAST" rule even today, but it was lacking something. 

Thanks to Apple, there is an "i" this and an "i" that and suddenly one day it came to me, but not before I made an error taking pictures at the zoo. See, I forgot to adjust my ISO setting and ended up taking a number of photos at ISO 3200 outdoors on a bright and sunny day. My Bad! I was able to salvage the shoot, but I also learned something new. 

In order for me to prepare better for my photo shoots and changing conditions I created my own new acronym, "iFast." Broken down iFast stands for ...

i = ISO
F = focus
a = aperture
s = shutter 
t = think

Now I'm far from being an expert photographer, but I hope this helps me be a better photographer. I hope this helps you take better pictures as I hope it helps me. Feel free to share this with you photo friends!

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.


Lastly, here is a zoo photo I made an ISO error on. 


Nikon D5300f/5.6ISO-3200300mmSo I made a mistake when I took this photo. I forgot to reduce my ISO setting. I made a couple attempts at correcting the image. Which image do you think is best?
Posted by TMSphotos on Monday, August 17, 2015


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Seeing, Enjoying, Photographing and Sharing

So recently I was at Cantigny Park and Gardens taking photos. There were several student groups there on field trips. I would guess they were from various middle schools.

Anyhow, one of the young girls said something to the effect that "I would rather be here to see the flowers instead of looking at a picture." Well, that got me to thinking. See, there isn't anything wrong with what the young girl said or her opinion.

Here's the way I see it for me ... I was there to see the flowers too and I saw a lot of the beauty in the various garden areas. I saw flowers like this ...


I was also able to enjoy it and the flowers surrounding it. In addition, I was able to capture the image, which sets a certain type of permanence to the image because it will never look that way again. Then I can also edit the image and create ... 


This image. Granted it's not the same as the original, but I can create a new type of image that I can enjoy. From my point of view I got to see the flowers, enjoy the flowers, photograph the flowers and share the flowers. Not only am I sharing my images on this blog post, but I also share my images through other social media outlets. 

Here are a few more images I was able to take and enjoy ... 




So through my ventures I feel I accomplish what I have set out to do. But I must say, there are times that I do venture out without a camera and many times when I do that I regret it.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Photographers Position

I love Summertime, especially when I get to spend time at the beach. Earlier this month I was at North Avenue Beach in Chicago with my son and daughter. They were doing their thing and I had my Nikon Coolpix P520.

The Nikon Coolpix P520 is considered a compact digital or point and shoot camera. It is not a DSLR but it has some pretty cool features that I have been learning to use. I truly enjoy the zoom capability of this camera. It's pretty awesome! But I digress.

Back to the beach. I brought along a folding chair so I could sit and enjoy the sun and the weather. I took a number of photos of my son and daughter but I started looking around. There were a number of families there enjoying the weather too. Then I spotted this dad who was running around trying to capture moments of his son playing in the sand. Here is what that looked like.


I'm not quite sure what he was doing with his camera but I was keeping an eye on the young guy with my camera at the ready. Then it happened ... and I captured this.


The minute I saw this shot in my camera I was pleased. For me it was a moment in time that just signifies the beauty of Summer and a young child enjoying the simple things that life has to offer. 

So let's talk for a moment about the photographers position. For this shot I was sitting in a folding chair a distance away from the subject. With the zoom function on my camera I had now problem zooming in close on the subject. The beauty was my fortunate position and angle. 

Photographing children many times requires to get down on the childs level in order to capture  images like this. Children make great subjects since they are so curious about things we adults tend to take for granted. 

So next time you are out taking pictures take some time to relax and enjoy your surroundings. But, be ready to capture that one moment in time that seems to say more than imagined.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Photography - Editing Fun

We have had some snow around here recently and I can’t remember when I have had so much fun going out to photograph the scenery. The scenery created by a fresh fallen snow is art in and of itself. To capture it’s beauty is enjoyable, but there is more that can be accomplished. Let’s take a look at the photo taken.


I like the photo but I wonder what I can do by editing it. The first thing I did was to convert it to B&W and crop the image to 13x19 in order to remove the picnic table on the right side of the image.

Using Color Efex Pro 4 I created the following image.



This edit was created using the Standard High Key filter. To me, it’s an interesting effect.

Using Alien Skin Exposure 4 I created the next image.


This High Key - Glowing Skin effect is an image I like. Now I know that not everyone will like this type of edit and that’s quite alright. But I do like it and art is a matter of personal interpretation.

This next edit creates an effect of an image that was taken years ago.


This edit was made using Alien Skin Exposure 4 Vintage Daguerrotype Sepia Black Frame filter. After I created this image I then wondered what a what the High Key - Glowing Skin effect would look like with this filter, so I created it and made the following.


What I enjoyed about this whole process is getting out to see nature at a pristine moment in time and capture the beauty. What I enjoyed about editing the image was creating a whole new image to enjoy.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.


You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.