Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.: Blog http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Judith Monteferrante Photography. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:16:00 GMT Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:16:00 GMT http://www.judithmphotography.com/img/s5/v130/u301397341-o507391668-50.jpg Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.: Blog http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog 120 120 Storytelling with Pictures http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/11/storytelling-with-pictures 1. Know your equipment so you will be able to shoot from darkness to daylight. I needed to shoot in Manual mode until daylight to achieve a proper exposure while keeping my ISO reasonably low. Always use natural ambient light. 
2. Have spare batteries since they will deplete more quickly in extreme cold or hot situations and always carry spare camera cards. 
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions so you can understand what is happening and what you should anticipate. Be friendly, respectful and non intrusive. Do not put yourself or the participants in danger.

Here are my images from the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Albuquerque geography in the high desert creates a special effect called the "box" where wind currents allow pilots to fly in a box-like pattern, sometimes landing right back where they started. The grounds open at 5 am where the Dawn Patrol balloonists are already starting preparations in the dark. They clear out the fuel lines with fire, then they spread out the balloon flat on the ground and use powerful fans to inflate. Then all these dawn patrol balloonists and their volunteers fire the balloons with the hot air lighting up the sky in brilliant colors.  They use powerful  fans on each side to blow cold air to start the inflation. Then finally switch to flaming hot air to lift the balloon and the passenger basket upright.

Then all these dawn patrol balloonists and their volunteers fire the balloons with the hot air lighting up the sky in brilliant colors.

With the start of the mass ascension at daybreak, hundreds of balloons launch in two waves, orchestrated by the "Zebras".

The sky was filled with hundreds of colorful balloons.  And their chase cars needed to follow them for pick up when they landed. 

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judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante balloons creative photography photo tips photography photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/11/storytelling-with-pictures Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:16:23 GMT
Photography Tips for Dog Days of Summer http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/8/photography-tips-for-dog-days-of-summer The Dog Days of Summer are here!  Some concepts and ideas to try before the summer ends:

1. Explore abstracts in Black & White. Even if the sky is too bright and weather too hot, stay cool by walking around the dockside looking for reflections. 2. If days are bright and sun producing glare and dappled light on flowers in the garden, use a translucent (one or 2 stop) diffuser overhead to soften the light (as a big cloud would). I like the Lastolite trigrip diffuser panel with a handle.

3. Create a photo in the studio with an LED lite panel and a large acrylic sheet to produce a reflection. I have these panels in white, black and mirror surface.

4. Try freezing flowers and letting them melt in the sun. Amazing results can be achieved and you will feel cooler shooting them.

5. Try slow shutter speeds at dusk around the water. Will be terrific if lights dot the shoreline or cars are driving by in the distance. A tripod is essential.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) B & W Fine Art Photography Photography instruction abstracts cool creative photography dusk flowers freezing flowers harbor hot photography tips slow shutter speed summer http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/8/photography-tips-for-dog-days-of-summer Mon, 08 Aug 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Underwater Photos http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/7/underwater-photos Here are the first photos I did underwater with the Olympus Tough TG 4. Not easy if you are not in the water and the LCD viewing panel does not tilt.

I would be easier in warmer water with a snorkel. 

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judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante underwater underwater photography? http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/7/underwater-photos Tue, 05 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Macro Flower Photography and exploring Microscopic Photography with diffuser ring flash http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/5/macro-photography I am generally not fond of point and shoot cameras, but my new one - The Olympus Tough TG 4 is waterproof and shockproof. Plus, I purchased the ring flash FD 1 diffuser to allow great macro and microscopic photography in soft light. You can hold the camera right into the center of the flower for some amazing results.

Symmetry is captivating.  All hand held since the flash freezes motion.

Add a texture or make a digital painting for your inner Monet.

This garden scene was shot with my dSLR as a comparison. 

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judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography flora flowers macro microscopic photo tips photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/5/macro-photography Mon, 30 May 2016 19:23:26 GMT
May 2016_Black and White Photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/4/may-2016_black-and-white-photography B&W photography has a certain aesthetic as well as a classic cache that color photography just cannot compete with. It goes beyond the snapshot or i phone picture. Not every picture can handle B&W, so choose wisely. Some tips:

  1. Start with B&W in mind: to emphasize specific elements or patterns in a scene.  Great if you see lines, shadows and shapes or to enhance texture with side lighting.
  2. Expression and eyes are even more important in a B&W portrait. Simplify and avoid clutter.
  3. Shoot in RAW and then process for B&W in Lightroom using the HSL controls, or use a plug in such as Silver Efex Pro (now free) or On1Photo.
  4. High contrast is needed for great B&W with pure white, pure black as well as a mid-range of greys. Auto set your whites and blacks in Lightroom (LR) by holding down the shift key and double clicking on the toggles over each BK and White point setting. Then increase the clarity to boost mid tone contrast.
  5. Use a polarizer to reduce specular highlights which will distract from B&W.
  6. Ask yourself, does color distract? Then think B&W!

 

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judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) aesthetic black and white photography classic creative photography photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/4/may-2016_black-and-white-photography Sun, 01 May 2016 23:15:00 GMT
Basics of Composition: Rules to Follow or Break! http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/3/basicsofComposition
  • Simplify and declutter. Remove unnecessary components or objects that distract from your composition. Zoom and move up, down and around to find the best view. Get low to add foreground interest.
  • Rule of Thirds’ dictates that the main elements that make up the image should fall near or on an imaginary vertical or horizontal thirds. Sometimes a centered piece works well. Play around to see what works the best.
  • The horizon should be level and not at the midline. However, I recently saw a photographer with wildly crooked horizons which was his style and an artist who used the midline for all her horizons so in a tryptic of ten, it worked. Experiment.
  • Avoid leaving large empty spaces but this composition may work to create a mood of serenity.
  • Make sure the foreground, mid-ground and background are interesting and flow to create a uniformed piece.
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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography composition photo tips photography tips rules http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/3/basicsofComposition Tue, 01 Mar 2016 14:00:00 GMT
    JAN - FEB 2016: Lighting with flash continued http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/1/jan---feb-2016-using-flash-continued Understanding Light Part 3 - Using Flash Continued:

    1. Flash -continued

    Aperture - controls flash exposure of the subject
    Shutter Speed - controls the ambient light (background).
    So, in manual mode on the camera, by dragging the shutter - reducing the shutter speed (ie duration) - you will bring in more ambient light to the background while choosing an appropriate aperture, flash will control the exposure of your subject.
    To drag the shutter, choose a shutter speed slightly under the sync speed (typical SS is 1/125,
    1/60th or even 1/30th).

    2. Camera Max Sync Speed - Do not exceed your camera's max synchronization speed - usually around 1/250th. In manual, usually choose 1/125th as a start.

    3. Watch your background - Look for simple non distracting background. Move your subject if need be. Avoid patterns and high contrast. Keep your subject far away from the background (8-10 feet if possible) to soften the background. For portraits, back, off-white or neutral tones (mid grey) are often used so not to clash with skin tones, hair coloring or clothing.

    4. Hi Key - overexposed white background
    Low Key - dark tones with black background.
    Need to light a white background to be white. If not, it will be grey to black.

    Make it your New Year's resolution to use available light - any light that is available - from daylight, lamp or flashlight to pop up flash or stand alone flash units!

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Photography instruction flash high key photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/1/jan---feb-2016-using-flash-continued Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:18:18 GMT
    December 2015: Understanding Light 2: Flash http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/11/understanding-light-usingflash Why use Flash?   To control contrast, freeze movement, not enough light, or to create a photograph:

    1. Flash - can be used to freeze motion- Pan with slow shutter  speeds and use flash to freeze the motion in mid pan. Or use a slow shutter speed without flash to exaggerate motion.

    2. Control contrast - Contrast is the difference in brightness between highlights and shadows. Hi contrast - shadows are pure black - adds increased depth if desired.
    Decrease contrast - by adding light to shadows with fill flash. Reduce the flash EV or output to minus 1 1/3 to minus 2. Some cameras will. do this automatically in the Program mode. Keep the dome diffuser off and the bounce card up to get catch lights in the eyes.
    3. Basic Flash Settings: Manual Flash, TTL-BL or TTL. Manual Flash: either Full, 1/4 power if >10 feet away from subject or 1/8 power if < 10 feet away.  TTL-BL to light background and subject - with aperture priority or Program mode - and matrix metering (or evaluative with Canon cameras - thus i-TTL for Nikon while e-TTL for Canon)
    TTL to light just the subject (and control how the environment will look) with Camera on Manual and spot or center weighted metering.
    4. Rear curtain sync (second curtain sync - Canon) - is best. It fires the flash at the end of the interval to produce the blur trailing behind the movement (instead of in front). For Blinkers - use front curtain sync or manual flash to turn off pre-flash.
    5. White Balance - Custom, Flash or Auto. Auto best if using flash intermittently during your shoot. CTO (color temperature orange) gel can be used to balance light or create a warming effect.
    More about Flash next month.  E mail me your questions!

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Southwest creative photography flash lighting photo tips photography tips photograpy http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/11/understanding-light-usingflash Wed, 02 Dec 2015 00:00:00 GMT
    October - November 2015: Understanding Light http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/10/OctoberUnderstanding-light
  • Characteristics of Light:
  • Quantity

    Quality

    Direction

    Color Temperature

    1. Quantity:  the amount of light you are recording reflected off your subject. Your camera Through the Lens (TTL) metering  reads light bouncing off the subject for the value of midtones. Incident light meters read light falling of your subject and tells you the exposure for the midtones – BEST.
    2. Quality of Light: Hard or Soft.  Hard light has a sharp transition from the highlights, to neutrals, to shadows which are deep and dark – best to delineate contours and shapes. LIGHT ILLUMINATES WHILE SHADOWS DEFINE. 

               Soft light has a slow and gradual shift from highlights, to neutrals, to shadows – creates diffuse light with soft shadows.

    1. Quality is determined by 2 factors: Size and Distance. Large light source that is close to the subject is softer and can wrap around the subject and add light to the shadow side. Small light source creates a small spot of light with highly focused specular highlights – hard, harsh light. See below: Above: Soft diffuse light from a strobe in a softbox close to the still life.
    2. Direction: Light travels in a straight line. When it strikes a surface, its angle of incidence is equal to its angle of reflectance. White surfaces give a diffuse reflection, Silver or gold a focused refection either cool or warm while black absorbs for blocks reflection.
    3. Color Temperature: A measurement in degrees Kelvin that indicates the hue of a specific type of light. Lower numbers are warmer and higher K are cooler and bluer. Such as: 2000-3000 Sun at sunrise or sunset; 5500 – 6500 Daylight (sun plus sky); 6000-7500 Overcast, 8000-1000 Partly Cloudy. Sunrise cowboy.

    More to follow.

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography characteristics of light creative photography direction lighting photo tips photography tips quality quantity temperature http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/10/OctoberUnderstanding-light Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:15:00 GMT
    Sept - Oct 2015 Photo Tips and Ideas http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/9/sept---oct-2015-photo-tips-and-ideas Reviewing some of my older pictures as well as recent ones, I came up with these new tips and creative ideas:

    1. The Dehaze filter in Lightroom.  The Dehaze slider is located in the develop module (in Lightroom 6 or CC), under Effects. Increasing the Clarity slider does NOT mimic the effect, but that was all you have in prior versions. See these examples: first is with Dehaze, second with increased Clarity The original image.
    2. Look for complementary colors in your images, such as yellow-orange and blue like in this image. Winding roads, trails, footprints let the eye travel and add interest.
    3. Change the temperature or tint in Lightroom or Photoshop to add warmth. Or just add sepia tones to the highlights in split toning, adjusting the hue ( I use around 45)  and saturation (increase the saturation first to 50%, so you can see the changes, then back off until you see just a bit of warmth).
    4. Or stick with B&W when color does not add to the image. 
    5. And just have Fun!  Play in Photoshop layers with merging different images or distorting with filters to create abstracts. There is no ONE formula, just your creativity.  Some recent examples of mine: 
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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) B&W Dehaze Fine Art Photography Fun Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photography tips split toning http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/9/sept---oct-2015-photo-tips-and-ideas Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:15:00 GMT
    2015_August Photography Tips_Landscapes in the Cotswolds http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/7/2015_august-photography-tips_landscapes-in-the-cotswolds
  • Rule of thirds is best. Place a 3x3 grid over the scene in your mind and place your subjects at the intersection of the grid lines. However, sometimes the photo works anyway, such as the field of flax below. the strong sky and foreground field splitting the photo nearly in half. Poppy field
  • Choose your center of interest and make it stand out or be part of the whole scene depending of what you want to express.

  • Change your angle of view and move around. For example, look at a field straight on, or take the picture at an angle leading towards something else of interest.

  • Try both verticals and horizontal views. Verticals are less common since you need to rotate the camera but are often more interesting.

  • Don't forget to look up!!
    You can obtain a sun star shooting with a narrow aperture, such as f/22. Don't look directly at the sun with your eyes or your camera).

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Cotswolds Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photo tips photography tips rule of thirds http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/7/2015_august-photography-tips_landscapes-in-the-cotswolds Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:30:00 GMT
    JUNE-JULY 2015 Photo Tips: Geek Stuff http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/6/june---july-2015-photo-tips-geek-stuff  

    1. How to type copyright symbol: © - Option G (MAC) or Alt-0169 (PC). Note that the MAC uses the Option key while the PC uses the Alt key and the numeric keyboard to the right. On a laptop, need to use the NumLock key and the substitute keypad or just use the Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop. You should add your copyright to the metadata of all your photos along with your contact info. For the Copyright IPTC info in Lightroom for example, I would use: Copyright Judith Monteferrante ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Under Usage Terms: No usage without prior explicit and written permission.
    2. For my watermark, I use my trademark Logo. The Trademark Symbol: ™ is Option-2 on the MAC and Alt-0153 on the PC. See the JMP ™
    3. Update to Lightroom CC with bundled Photoshop via Adobe Creative Cloud. You can still purchase stand alone Lightroom, but updates will not be available.
    4. New Lightroom CC features: Merge to Panorama or HDR in develop settings under Photo.  High dynamic range or HDR in Lightroom (see image above) only needs 3 exposures (-2, 0 and +2 recommended) and with merge to HDR, a RAW HDR image as a dng file is created allowing a greater range of post processing capabilities. There is also a People View that will automatically scan for faces and help you sort and name people in your photos.
    5. Other LR CC highlights: In Preferences under Performance if you have a graphics processor, this will automatically be check and increase your processing speed tremendously. I also like the ability to check the “Ignore clicks on badges” that I used to hit inadvertently. Another is the ability to correctly set the white and black point by holding down the Shift Key and then double click on the toggle switch for the Whites and then the Blacks.
    6. My favorite OLD Lightroom feature is the View Mode set up in View Options to display only Common Photo Settings (SS, F stop, ISO, focal length and lens) plus Exposure Bias. I have learned a lot of photography over the years by using this feature along with the histogram on the camera display and then to help in processing.
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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) HDR Lightroom CC Lightroom Creative Cloud TM copyright copyright symbol photo tips trademark symbol http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/6/june---july-2015-photo-tips-geek-stuff Mon, 01 Jun 2015 11:00:00 GMT
    MAY 2015_Flower Photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/5/may-2015_flower-photography Try different lighting in the studio, such as back lighting with a softbox (or use any light softened with a white sheet) behind your flowers.

    Add a secondary light to the flowers themselves for emphasis.

    Change the background to black with black acrylic for reflections for more drama. Digital paint for a romantic look.

    When able to do outdoor photography with spring to summer flowers, try wide open apertures to get bokeh, or soft backgrounds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       f/3.2 f/3.2 f/36

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith Monteferrante bokeh coneflower creative photography flowers photo tips photography photography tips studio lighting tulips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/5/may-2015_flower-photography Fri, 01 May 2015 12:00:00 GMT
    April 2015 Blog_ Photography of Shopkeepers http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/3/apri-2015-blog_-photography-of-shopkeepers I never really appreciated rapid fire street photography but rather admired portraits of people, such as shopkeepers, that I would find in my locale or in travels. This blog will highlight some of the shopkeepers I photographed during my exploration of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Here are some suggestions:

    1. Get to know the people you are photographing. Make them comfortable. Ask about their shop and their jobs.

    2. I always like to give back. I return on many occasions to the same locale and bring prints for them as gifts or give them jpegs if desired for their own social medial and PR. Word spreads and the cooperation keeps improving.

    3. Linger. Don't rush. Be part of the community. This will allow you time to set up for a particular photo even using off camera flash without causing discomfort or alarm.

    4. Accept humble offerings of coffee, cheese, pasta etc. since they want to show you that your work is valuable to them. Show respect and they will respect you.

    5. Enjoy your new found friends. Expand your horizon and try other neighborhoods that you would like to get to know.

     

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Arthur Avenue Bronx Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips photography photography tips portraits street photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/3/apri-2015-blog_-photography-of-shopkeepers Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:00:00 GMT
    March 2015_Macro Photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/3/march-2015_macro-photography
  • Remember, Depth of Field (DOF) is very different with close up photography. The closer you are to your subject the less depth of field you will have, even at small apertures such as f/22.
  • If you shoot at a wide aperture, such as f/4 and using selective focus on one part of the subject, the rest of the subject will go soft. Thus, the eye will be drawn to the sharpest spot.
  • Position the lens on the same plane as the subject, to maximize sharpness (parallel to the front of the lens).
  • Fill the frame with your subject.
  • Try for soft colorful backgrounds using a long telephoto lens. Your camera needs to be closer to your subject than the subject is to the background shooting wide open (such as f/2.8 or f/4) at a focal length of 200 to 300 mm.
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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Judith M Photography close-up creative photography flowers macro photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/3/march-2015_macro-photography Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:00:00 GMT
    2015_Become a Better Photographer http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/12/2015_become-a-better-photographer Make your top priority for this New Year to become a better photographer.

    1. You do not need a new camera to take a great picture. Learn to use your camera and study the User Manual as the first step. Take the manual with you or download a digital copy to your portable device. Understand all the controls. Shoot often and rate your photos. Then reevaluate your favorites frequently. In Lightroom, save your favorites in a Collection to make this easier.

    Shoot in aperture priority with exposure compensation to make adjustments in exposure as your go to setting. Learn to use manual when you need greater control, such as the studio setting with accessory lighting.

    1. Knowledge is everything. Never stop learning from reading, taking workshops, on line tutorials such as Kelby One Training. Photography is ever changing and there is always more to know. Learning lighting – available light to strobe (flash or studio) is important.
    2. Composition and design elements are the key to making your photograph compelling. Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye” is an excellent review and a great investment.
    3. I always shoot in RAW, save as DNG’s and process and organize my images in Lightroom. I still do use Photoshop CC when needed, especially when adding texture layers, masking, creating book covers with text overlaying an image or doing extensive dust or pollen removal. But then save, not save as to bring the image back into Lightroom. A big advantage to Lightroom is that it is nondestructive and you can always get back to the original by choosing Edit Original. Lightroom history saves all. In Photoshop you would need to always use the Smart Filter option.  I occasionally use SilverEfex Pro for B&W conversions and some other Nik or Topaz filters.
    4. Critique is Key to improvement. And not from family or friends. Enter competitions, juried shows, portfolio reviews and become active in art association photo interest groups. Don’t let Facebook become your only focus group. 

    Please let me know what I can do to help. Would a Lightroom Boot Camp or "Learning to See the Light" tutorial help? Group or individual instruction is available. judith@judithmphotography.com.                Happy New Year, Judith

    BONUS SLIDESHOW:

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips photography photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/12/2015_become-a-better-photographer Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:30:00 GMT
    Break Some Rules for the New Year http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/11/break-some-rules-for-the-new-year
  • Forget the Golden hours of Dawn or Dusk: Shoot in mid-day with an infrared converted camera or digital SLR for high contrast images or on a cloudy or foggy day to create mystery. B&W or toned is often best.
  • Ignore the rule of thirds for greater freedom: Move with your feet and not just use your zoom lens. See the world from all angles to find a unique perspective.
  • Avoid Program or Auto modes as well as Scene modes if you want to advance your photographic skills: Learn aperture priority with exposure compensation to adjust your exposure; darker for silhouettes or lighter. Or, even better, use manual and adjust your aperture or shutter speed to achieve the look you want. Take control!
  • Ignore the Histogram only after you learn how to interpret it: The histogram is just a guide since every picture will have a different histogram. Just avoid blowing out the highlights (look at the binkies) and try for detail in the shadows. 
  • Don’t always shoot with the sun at your back: Side lighting will reveal texture and detail while back-lighting can create rim light or silhouettes.
  • Learn the rules but then try breaking them to see the effects? Have fun and look around you. Slow down by using a tripod. Learn by making mistakes.

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/11/break-some-rules-for-the-new-year Mon, 01 Dec 2014 00:30:00 GMT
    Photography of Silhouette’s, Shadows and Reflections: http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/11/photography-of-silhouette-shadows-and-reflections Photography of Silhouette’s, Shadows and Reflections: Less may be more

    1. Back lite photos (light from behind the subject) present two choices: either fill flash to help light the subject create a silhouette.  By changing your camera settings in aperture priority to add Minus 1 ½ to Minus 2 exposure compensation, the subject will go nearly black. The silhouetted subject needs to be distinct enough on its own to be recognizable without the additional detail provided by lighting.
      Color, B&W or toned is another choice to make. In general, I Lose the color if it does not add to the picture.
    2. Shadows may create a more compelling photo than the subject itself. Line and pattern are key. Let your eye fill in the blank details. Less is more.
    3. When shooting for shadows: remember soft diffused light close to the subject – such as a large umbrella or soft box or even clouds (relatively closer than the sun) will produce softer shadows. If the light source is distant and unmodified – i.e. direct- the light will be harsh and thus, will create sharp shadows. Know what you want to achieve and thus select the correct lighting.
    4. Reflections can include or exclude the object it is reflecting. Day or night, reflections can add an extra dimension or can even stand alone.
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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips photography photography tips reflections shadows silhouette http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/11/photography-of-silhouette-shadows-and-reflections Sat, 01 Nov 2014 14:15:00 GMT
    Pet Photography:THE JOY OF A DOGS LIFE http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/9/the-joy-of-a-dogs-life Sense of Place

    An assignment I was given at the Griffin Museum of Photography Atelier 21 program recently was “A Sense of Place”. We were told to walk around and shoot images of the area where you live, spend your weekends, were you work, etc. Thinking about that I planned on staying around my home and area. I did not want to include the gardens since so much of what I do is flower and still life photography. I decided to photograph the day to day life and joy of my pets. Since it was not easy walking with them on a dual leash and shooting with a DSLR, I was not happy with the results.  So I changed the concept to more of a illustrative approach such as for a Children’s book: “THE JOY OF A DOGS LIFE”. I used the new Topaz Impression application after basic processing in LightRoom. More to do and text to write!

    Cuba's wake up time with his toy "Baby".

    Tony and Cuba waiting for their morning walk.

    Down the driveway!

    Pure joy running on the morning dew covered lawn.

    Starting the exploration:

    Their favorite place: What do you think? A fun assignment. Try it yourself with Topaz Impression.

     

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Fine Art Photography Impression Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante Topaz Topaz Labs Impression bed book creative photography dog dogs exploration home illustrative joy walk walks http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/9/the-joy-of-a-dogs-life Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:00:00 GMT
    Landscape Photography: September 2014 Photo Tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/8/LandscapePhotography Landscape Photography:

    1. Look for bad weather with great skies before a storm as well as the post storm quiet. This gives you freedom to go beyond the golden hours of predawn and dusk. Protect your gear with a shower cap or just dry off with a towel when done shooting.

    Even rainy days can present unique opportunities. Try shooting through your windshield for a unique blurred water look.

    2. Trust your instinct. If a site looks inviting, explore it further looking for angles and the direction of light to enhance the effect you envision. Walk around. Apps will help you predict sunrise, sunset and moonrise. I recommend TPE, The Photographer's Ephemeris.   Here is a link to a good review of Shooting the moon with help from this app.

    3. Learn to tell a story or awaken the viewers imagination. Look for a strong element in the foreground to anchor your image, mid ground to balance and give direction, while choosing a background that will tie it all together and set the stage.

    4. Capture an impression of what you see using light, movement and all your camera settings. Control of aperture and shutter speed (actually shutter duration) will provide the necessary tools if you take control. Supplementary fill flash of the foreground may be helpful to add interest to the foreground. Adding texture or other painterly effects can help.

    5. HDR (High Dynamic Range) is another tool you can utilize to show the full tonal range of an image. By capturing multiple images in rapid succession in aperture priority with a fixed aperture but with varying Shutter Speed you can produce an image that your eye can see but the camera cannot yet capture effectively in one shot. Set up for 3 to 5 exposure bracketed shots (each varying by one f stop for under, correct and overexposed images) on Continuous High with a tripod or steady handhold. Process these images in Photoshop with merge to HDR, NIK HDR Efex Pro or Photomatix Pro.

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    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) HDR apps creative photography landscape landscapes photo tips photography tips rain storms texture http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/8/LandscapePhotography Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:00:00 GMT