Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ: Blog http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Judith Monteferrante Photography. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:38:00 GMT Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:38:00 GMT http://www.judithmphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u301397341-o507391668-50.jpg Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ: Blog http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog 120 120 Flower Photography Review http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/4/flower-photography-review I recommend periodically reviewing your photography with a subject in mind. Look for common themes and perhaps others that the images will suggest to you. Therefore, I use keywords in LightRoom (or Bridge) along with color or other tags to make sorting these into one collection easier. You can add to a quick collection along the way, and then save them as a new collection.

Some thoughts and decisions to consider:

  1. Do you want a soft background (created with a wide open f stop such as F/2.8) Spring dogwoodSpring dogwood
  2. or a black or white simple background to make you image stand out? PoppyPoppyPoppy against black background.
  3. Do you want to use a studio background in color to complement your flower? TulipTulipDark pink and white tulip against aqua blue background.
  4. Is the flower suggesting a human activity, such as dancing, or suggesting an emotion? Dance of the IrisDance of the IrisJapanese Iris in Blue Purple with hints of yellow against black background.
  5. Is a macro floral portrait just about the soft colors or patterns in an image? Peony Glow 2Peony Glow 2Pastel with pink and yellow peony macro. Purity 2Purity 2White dahlia against white with pale yellow tones in center.
  6. Can you use in camera double exposure to create an image? This daffodil hanging on a string over black acrylic captured as it sways – as a triple exposure. Chorus LineChorus LineDaffodil triple exposure with reflections on black
  7. Create a static image suggesting a flowing circle or other pattern such as this bunch of orange tulips reflected on white acrylic. Orange Tulip CircleOrange Tulip CircleOrange tinged with yellow tulips on white refected in a curve.
  8. Immerse a flower in water or freeze flowers to confuse the viewer. DahliaDahlia20x30 metal 2/10 - Sold Ice QueenIce QueenFrozen pink tulip with ice crystals.
  9. Look for natural patterns in nature with curves or lines. All about the curveAll about the curveButterfly on a flower with a curved stem against a soft green background.
  10. Simplify a flower to its central element and use B&W to enhance the structure itself. VelvetVelvetCalla lily macro in B&W.
  11. Place flowers on a flat bed scanner in a dark room to create a physical montage. Yellow Floral MedleyYellow Floral MedleySunflowers and other yellow flowers against black background.
  12. Create a montage in photoshop using layers and textures. Two WorldsTwo WorldsPhoto montage of flowers and butterflies with texture.
  13. Go to extremes and create an abstract. Orchid Fantasy GlobeOrchid Fantasy GlobeOrchid against painted texture montage. Review your images and see what patterns emerge to find a theme to work on.
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) creative photography fine art photography flowers judith m photography judith monteferrante photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/4/flower-photography-review Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:37:54 GMT
Storytelling: Lavender http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/4/storytelling-lavender Lavender is in the mint family and has a wonderful aroma. It is reportedly good to relieve stress, improve mood and promote peaceful sleep. It is native to the Mediterranean and does well with wet winters with good drainage and dry summers. Thus, I always like to have it in my gardens.

In Gloucester, I can grow English lavender (Hidcote) English lavenderEnglish lavenderHidcote lavender

but in Arizona the common variety is French or Spanish lavender (also called butterfly or Anouk lavender). Spanish LavenderSpanish LavenderSpanish or French lavender is also called Butterfly lavender for good reason.

A trip to England and the Cotswold’s happened to be at lavender time. A visit to a lavender farm allowed me to photograph the lavender fields up close. Remember, when telling a story, you want to highlight the big picture, smaller views and of course close ups.  

Visual storytelling may include captions, but the picture is the key element. Country RoadCountry RoadCountry road with a man with red tie and jacket walking along fields dotted with sheep.

Pre-visualize the story you want to tell. What will be the lead shot, subsequent shots and a closing shot. Gate to the Lavender FarmGate to the Lavender Farm

Think about all the key elements in your photography, such as light and composition.

Daisy laneDaisy lane

The images should emote a felling or meaning. Lavender ForeverLavender Forever

Never be afraid of failure. We learn from our mistakes. Lavender RowsLavender Rows

(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) countryside england fields flowers judith m photography lavender lavender fields photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/4/storytelling-lavender Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:36:31 GMT
YEAR END IMAGE REVIEW http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/12/year-end-image-review The end of the year is a great time to reassess your body of work; be it photography, painting, or other media. Here are my top ten images from the past I rediscovered on this year end review and why.

  1. African Spoonbill – I created this image by compositing the same bird, later in flight, into the scene to create a more interesting feel of movement. African SpoonbillAfrican Spoonbillafrican spoonbill duo in flight over a lake with water reflections and textured background
  2. Vervet Monkey – One of my earlier attempts in Photoshop to blur the background. Vervet MonkeyVervet Monkey
  3. Orchid Nector – My first study of glassware in the studio with the white background, black line technique. Orchid nectorOrchid nectorOrchids in pastel glassware on white with reflections and black line.
  4. Elephants in the Mist – The sepia tint enriched the old Africa look I wanted. Elephants in the MistElephants in the MistTwo elephants walking down a path in the early morning mist - in Africa, with sepia tones.
  5. Orchid on White – My early botanical study of the orchid which was a first-place winner. Orchid on WhiteOrchid on WhiteFirst Place in Photography - Magnolia Art show 2010
  6. The Grand Canyon – I appreciated the painting layer addition of color and texture to enhance the morning colors on the South Rim. The Grand CanyonThe Grand Canyonmorning toned colors on the Grand Canyon from the South Rim
  7. Dance of the Iris – I still love the studio image of the Siberian iris on a black background shot from above to establish the feeling of motion in a still subject and drama. Dance of the IrisDance of the IrisJapanese Iris in Blue Purple with hints of yellow against black background.
  8. Abundance by the Sea – A winter activity to study lighting still life to mimic the old European masters. Abundance by the SeaAbundance by the SeaLobster with grapes, violin, candle, orange and vase
  9. Moonset over Sedona – A fun grab shot without time for a tripod. Moon set over SedonaMoon set over Sedona
  10. Calla Study 2 – A classic Black & White study of a calla lily. Calla Study 2Calla Study 2B&W study of a calla lily against black.

Do a quick survey of your older images and see what you come up with. Narrow the list down to ten pictures and write why you liked them. You may be surprised!

(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) critique judith monteferrante photo tips photography tips resolutions review http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/12/year-end-image-review Fri, 22 Dec 2017 15:15:00 GMT
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/11/landscape-photography Landscape Photography

  1. Find the best light.  Dawn and dusk have warm colors and side light. However, if animals, flowers, nature or people are your subject, cloudy days are great since the light is soft and gentle without harsh contrast. Yellow GlowYellow GlowYellow aspen leaves along the riverbed.
  2. Look for interesting compositions.  Winding roads, fences that transect or meandering streams add to the depth of the photo. Avoid signs, works, large white or red zones that will distract the eye. The Lonely RoadThe Lonely RoadFall foliage in the west along a roadside.
  3. Capture Backlight Silhouettes. Look for a subject that clearly will stand out against the sky and be recognizable as a silhouette.
  4. Look and Observe before Shooting. Zoom with your feet; position yourself up or down looking for the right vantage point.  Look for obstructions in the way and avoid telephone poles or such appearing to grow out of your subject. Morning Fog Tetons 3Morning Fog Tetons 3
  5. Be patient and have attention to detail. Look for an image that you see in your mind’s eye to represent an impression of what your felt.  Not just fly by shooting. You are a photographer! On the RangeOn the RangeBison grazing on fall grass.
  6. Remember, you need a foreground, mid-ground and background. All three zones need to be acknowledged in creating your image. Snake River ColorSnake River ColorSnake River in the Tetons in the fall with yellow aspen and cloudy skies.
  7. Consider Black & White to create drama. Snake River In B&WSnake River In B&WSnake River in the Tetons in the fall with aspen, light snow and cloudy skies.
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) b&w creative photography fall fog judith m photography judith monteferrante landscape landscapes photo tips photography instruction photography tips snow usa west western http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/11/landscape-photography Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:52:24 GMT
Fall Colors http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/9/fall-colors Great colors with orange, yellow and reds in the Northeast and into more yellow – golds in the west.  Time to explore and enjoy the seasons where ever you are.

  1. Use long exposures to shoot water or best waterfalls in the fall scenery. Use a small aperture (such as F/11 to F/22, remembering apertures are a fraction), Low ISO, polarizing filter and then a slow shutter speed (variable – need to test the results and adapt) to soften the water. Water motionWater motion Fall Waterfall at DamFall Waterfall at Dam
  2. Use long zoom lenses to isolate the leaves and colors. Use a tripod to stabilize.  If windy, remove lens hood to help. PumpkinsPumpkins
  3. Shallow Depth of Field - will help isolate your subject.  Fall ZenFall Zen
  4. Move your camera: while panning, racking focus, zooming in or out and during longer exposures. Fall MotionFall Motion
  5. Look at reflections to double the bang! Perfect FallPerfect Fall
  6. Shoot low and wide to get the whole picture of the moment. Essex FallEssex Fall
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) colors creative photography fall judith m photography judith monteferrante photo tips photography tips reflections rocks trees water http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/9/fall-colors Mon, 18 Sep 2017 00:30:00 GMT
Tips on Shooting Fireworks and Post Production http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/7/tips-on-shooting-fireworks-and-post 1. Use a tripod.
2. Use a cable release so you can watch the firework rocket trajectory with both eyes on the sky.
3. Use a zoom lens - 70 to 200 mm or more unless you need to capture the background.
4. Put the camera on manual and set the Shutter Speed for around 4 seconds and aperture of f 11.
5. Manual focus to infinity.
6. ISO 200.
7. Take an interesting background exposure - more wide angle. Use this as your background layer in Photoshop.
8. In Photoshop, choose your background image and then the other single fireworks images and adjust each in Camera RAW. Open your background image first. Use the Lasso tool (L) to select areas to use of each individual fireworks images and with the Move tool (V) drag each onto a new layer above your background image.
9. Blend each layer with Lighten.
10. Re-position each display (on its own layer) with the Move tool (V) as needed.
11. Then use the hi pass filter to sharpen as needed. (Flatten and then Duplicate the background layer, then select Filter, Other, Hi Pass filter, adjust for thin white lines, then select the Overlay Blend Mode).
This new technique worked better for me then the bulb with the black card I had used in the past.

Triple FireworksTriple FireworksIn camera triple fireworks exposure over the harbor.

Straight Fireworks_Shot with Multiple Bursts in One Frame

12. Try in camera triple exposures if you have a Nikon DSLR - keep on auto gain. See above.

Fireworks over the NeckFireworks over the NeckFireworks over the harbor and the neck.

Fireworks over Gloucester HarborFireworks over Gloucester HarborFirework montage over harbor waters. The year's 4th of July photo montages from our July 3rd Gloucester fireworks.  Enjoy.

(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) Fireworks Montage Fireworks Photography Photoshop Techniques fireworks http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/7/tips-on-shooting-fireworks-and-post Tue, 04 Jul 2017 18:56:46 GMT
Macro Photography Tips: Flowers http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/7/macro-photography-tips Macro (life sized or greater) or close up Photography requires a DSLR with a dedicated macro lens for the best shots.

  1. Vary your depth of field (DOF = zone of acceptable sharpness) to see what looks best. Get and have a background that is distant from your flower with nice muted or complementary shades. OR use a more telephoto lens zoomed in at 200 or 300 mm while able to be more distant from the flower. Basically, you need your camera to be closer to your subject than the subject is to the background while shooting wide open with a long (say, 200mm or 300mm) or long macro lens (180 - 200 mm). Key factors that influence DOF: aperture, focal length and distance to the subject. Spring is hereSpring is hereGrape hyacinth in blue purple against soft green and yellow.
  2. Change your position. Don’t just shoot down on a flower or flowers. Look from below or from the side. Don't forget the underside. Early morning dew  adds to the dreamy quality. You can bring a spray bottle to help if nature disappoints. Adding glycerin to the water will help produce larger droplets. Rainy Day SunshineRainy Day SunshineShasta Daisy with raindrops. PoppyPoppyRed poppy with backside highlighted against black background.
  3. It wind is your enemy, go with it. Try long exposures on a tripod to capture the flowers motion in the wind. Patience is important. Azalea bud in the WindAzalea bud in the WindWood azalea bud in the wind.
  4. Find an object of interest in or around your flower to spice up your image, such as a butterfly or bug. Madam ButterflyMadam ButterflyButterfly with flower in nature background. Coneflower with BeeConeflower with BeePink coneflower or echinacea with bee.
  5. Look for abstract or graphic elements.B&W will bring out the texture if desired. Velvet MumVelvet MumVortex of a velvety mum.
  6. Light is essential: Whether ambient (natural) or man made. Backlighting may work with translucent flowers but mid day on a sunny day requires diffusion to even the light. If light is dim especially if close up, external or ring flash may be required.  Sunflower BacksSunflower BacksBackside viewof sunflowers against pure white background. dogwooddogwoodDogwood in the wild.
  7. Getting the correct focus is important. Place your object of interest as parallel - or flat to your plane of shooting.  Manual focus is essential. Imaging stacking software, such as Helicon Focus, may help if you want the hyper-realistic look.  I prefer selective focus to bring the eye to what I want to emphasize. Spring PansySpring PansyPansy in soft colors
  8. The LensBaby Velvet 56 mm f/1.6 and now Velvet 85 mm f/1.8 will add a soft glow around the edges - a gorgeous bokeh (blur), and creates a different, softer look. CoolCoolPurple clematis with softness. PerfectionPerfectionPretty bright pink rose with yellow center and dark soft background.
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante Photography instruction creative photography flowers photo tips photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/7/macro-photography-tips Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:30:00 GMT
Fisheye Lens Tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/5/fisheye-lens-tips A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide angle lens (short focal length) that produces strong visual barrel distortion intended to produce a hemispherical image or a wide panorama. 

  1. The main reason to use a fish-eye lens on landscapes is to emphasize the foreground and still allow you to include the sky. Remember, you must have something of interest in the foreground, so move around and select carefully. Lismore Castle, IrelandLismore Castle, IrelandLismore Castle Ireland from the Blackwater River with reflections.
  2. Landscapes with the horizon at the middle: should have little distortion, and will look like a panoramic picture. So if you need a very wide angle landscape (nearly 180 degree view), this may be the perfect lens. Often, however this may be boring, and at times you may want to emphasize the curve of the earth in the image and embrace the distortion but placing the horizon line close to the top or bottom of the frame. However, avoid getting your limbs in the frame. Never forget basic composition so look for leading lines, color, etc. to vitalize your landscape. Gloucester HarborGloucester Harbor
  3. Use the fish-eye lens to enhance shape or structure in architecture: such as the curve of a building or object. Fish-eye lens will bend and distort verticals so either embrace or avoid or correct this (Tilt shift lens or post processing in LR or PS). 20140619_CAM_05120140619_CAM_051
  4. Try using a fish-eye as a vertical image (instead of horizontal by rotating your camera 90 degrees) to be able to include the foreground and more sky. Haleakala CraterHaleakala Crater
  5. Also try pointing directly up at the sky or somewhere in between. In these pictures, the palms and sky take on a completely unexpected look. Full Moon AboveFull Moon AboveSepia toned skyward view of 3 palm trees and the full moon PalmsPalms
  6. Move closer to your subject to exaggerate DOF - depth of field (versus a telephoto lens which will flatten it). However, with portrait subjects close to the lens, facial features will become quite distorted. Unless you want this comical effect, avoid getting too close to people. A good use would be to keep people closer to the mid ground to help capture them in their environment or place. Facial Distortion with FisheyeFacial Distortion with Fisheye
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography fisheye photo tips photography photography tips ultra wide angle wideangle http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/5/fisheye-lens-tips Mon, 22 May 2017 23:30:00 GMT
Infrared Photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/3/infrared-photography

Infrared Photography

Infrared photography captures invisible form of light beyond the visible spectrum (or below the red). Digital cameras are converted to infrared or near infrared cameras by removing the hot mirror or infrared cut off filter that would normally block infrared. A different filter is added in the specific range of infrared light you wish to capture. Some infrared converted cameras can record a small degree of visible light in the red range of the spectrum to produce color or supercolor infrared, such as this image. Red and blue channels are flipped in Photoshop to produce a blue sky. Hues can also be adjusted.



*I shoot with super color infrared 590 nm with a Sony mirrorless camera- this adds some near infrared - to allow vibrant saturated color to the image mainly yellows and blues. Mirrorless cameras are best for infrared since they can focus on this invisible light better that normal DSLR's. The most common conversions are 720 nm or standard that record the red region of the spectrum which are then processed as a B&W image. Monument ValleyMonument ValleyMonument Valley Monument Vallery with supercolor infrared on a cloudy day

*Anything alive will reflect IR light - green parts of plants will appear bright white in near infrared - due to chlorophyll transparency in infrared light, most pronounced during spring growth.

Good Harbor BeachGood Harbor BeachInfrared Photography with B&W view of Good Harbor Beach with storm clouds approaching. Path to nowherePath to nowhereWinding path along a pond with weeping willows and other trees done with infrared as a B&W.

*Wood's effect - foliage strongly reflects light causing dreamlike white foliage. And water or sky reflects infrared light to produce dark water and sky.

infrared of Superstition Mountains


*Surreal effects can be produced which differ from those captured with visible light. Different tones are produced but also many challenges requiring extensive post-processing work! Barrel Cactus GrungeBarrel Cactus GrungeSuper Color infrared image of barrell cactus in yellow tones with grey gravel.

External filters can also be used to produce an infrared image. However, since they block visible light long exposures, manual mode a tripod are required. Also the image must be prefocused before the filter is placed on the lens.

Infrared Photography is an experimental process of discovery! Hope you enjoy these new images. 




(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography creative photography infrared infrared photography photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/3/infrared-photography Sat, 11 Mar 2017 04:15:00 GMT
Nerdy Tips to Improve Lightroom Performance http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/12/nerdy-tips-to-improve-lightroom-performance
  • Restart and back up LR at least weekly, if not daily. Check Optimize catalogue at that time.
  • Update to the most recent version of Lightroom. Check for updates under Help Menu.
  • Keep your video driver up to date.
  • If excess spot removal or local corrections are needed, it is more efficient to perform this in Photoshop.  Keeping a large history panel for these corrections will also slow you down. Clear the history panel if not needed by clicking the X on the right of the History panel header.
  • The order of Develop operations will also increase performance. Best order is Spot healing first (which will improve accuracy also), then global non-detail corrections, then geometry corrections, local corrections and detail corrections such as noise reduction and sharpening last.
  • Avoid corrections that you don’t need.
  • Increase the Camera Raw cache in Edit> Preferences> File Handlings (Windows) or Lightroom >Preferences >File Handling (MAC OS). Start with 2-3 initially but can go up to 20 GB if needed.
  • Reduce the number of presents that you store in your Develop module under User Presets. Thumbnails are generated in the Navigator panel for each preset which can slow down performance. Deletes one you do not use or need. Best to store your presets with your Lightroom catalogue.  This info is in Preferences> Presets and check Store presets with this catalog. Hit Show Lightroom Presets folder to document the location of these presets as well as allow you to delete the ones you do not use.
  • BeyondBeyondView under the golden Mesa Arch in Canyonlands.

    I was having a serious slow down in processing using Lightroom, and making these adjustments did help. I hope they help you as well.

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA Scottsdale AZ) Judith Monteferrante Lightroom Photography instruction photo tips photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/12/nerdy-tips-to-improve-lightroom-performance Fri, 16 Dec 2016 17:00:06 GMT
    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.
    Dawn PatrolDawn PatrolColorful balloons pre dawn at the balloon festival.
    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.

    Green FeetGreen FeetBalloon ready for lift off at dawn.

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

    20161004_BalloonFestival_06320161004_BalloonFestival_063Balloon getting ready for pre dawn lift off at the International Balloon festival

    With the start of the mass ascension at daybreak, hundreds of balloons launch in two waves, orchestrated by the "Zebras". KermitKermitBig green frog balloon at lift off.

    Mass Ascension StartingMass Ascension StartingGetting ready for mass ascension of balloons in two phases.

    Balloon ParadeBalloon ParadeColorful balloons during mass ascension.

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

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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. AbstractAbstractReflections in B&W Dark ReflectionsDark 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.

    Glare and Dappled LightGlare and Dappled Light Diffused LightDiffused Light

    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. Dark MagicDark MagicPurple clematis with reflection on black.

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

    Ice Queen 3Ice Queen 3Frozen white and pink tulip with ice crystals.

    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.

    Harbor LightsHarbor LightsDusk on the harbor with lights across the water. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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. Underwater 1Underwater 1Underwater at a pond with water lily pads. Green water and blue sky. Underwater 2Underwater 2Underwater abstract nude with lily pads. Underwater 3Underwater 3Underwater with nude in B&W Underwater 4Underwater 4Underwater nued with water lilies.

    I would be easier in warmer water with a snorkel. 

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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.

    SymmetrySymmetryBright red poppy with black markings. Poppy as center of attentionPoppy as center of attentionDark peach poppy with yellow green center. SunshineSunshineBright yellow daisy. Peony rufflesPeony rufflesPretty in pink peony.

    Foxglove in pastelFoxglove in pastelLavender foxglove bloom with painting texture.

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

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

    My inner MonetMy inner MonetDigital painting of an Impressionistic Garden.

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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. NightNight AgaveAgaveAgave in B&W to enhance the abstract patterns. Zen FogZen FogZen like B&W seascape with cormorant in the fog.
    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. On the TableOn the TablePeonies and Iris in a bunch on black table against black
    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. Venice hatVenice hat
    5. Use a polarizer to reduce specular highlights which will distract from B&W.
    6. Ask yourself, does color distract? Then think B&W! Gathering Storm, YosemiteGathering Storm, YosemiteTunnel View in Yosemite with winter storm and mist looming in B&W. Gathering Storm, YosemiteGathering Storm, YosemiteTunnel View in Yosemite with winter storm and mist looming in B&W.


    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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. Monument Valley entranceMonument Valley entranceEntrance to Monument Valley with orange sand and blue skies.
  • 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. Bolders SunsetBolders SunsetSunset colors on boulders with Saguaro cactus.
  • 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. Forrest Gump roadForrest Gump roadBack side of Monument Valley.
  • 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. Long WalkLong Walk
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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.

    Spring MorningSpring MorningPink tulip with dew against green grass.

    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.

    _small child in cowgirl clothes against a barn door_small child in cowgirl clothes against a barn doorsmall child in cowgirl clothes against a barn door.

    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.

    Dahlia TrioDahlia Trio3 Lavender-Pink dahlia with soft glow on white background

    Sunny DaySunny DaySunflowers against black with textured old film overlay. 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!

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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. Pow Wow DancerPow Wow Dancerno flash

    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. _with fill light_with fill lightwith fill light
    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. Mayor of Arthur AvenueMayor of Arthur Avenue
    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. CowgirlCowgirlwith CTO gelled flash
    More about Flash next month.  E mail me your questions!

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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



    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. Spilled onionsSpilled onionsVarious types of onions with a pottery jug against pale blue textured background.

    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: Paddling HomePaddling HomeEvening paddle surfer against textured green-blue background. Color Orange in a rowColor Orange in a rowOrange mini pumpkins on a plank with orange acorn squash behind against brown toned background. 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. Wrangler at DawnWrangler at DawnA lone wrangler or cowboy with horses at dawn with gold dust and sunrays against a hillside Sunrise cowboy.

    More to follow.

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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 With DehazeWith Dehaze with increased claritywith increased clarity originaloriginal 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. Dune WalkDune Walk
    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). Yosemite goldYosemite gold
    4. Or stick with B&W when color does not add to the image.  Rock Stream B&WRock Stream B&W
    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:  Water TwirlWater Twirl Ice BeautyIce BeautyPhotomontage of flowers in ice in three's as a square with vibrant colors.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography author Gloucester MA 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