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.) Mon, 30 May 2016 19:23:00 GMT Mon, 30 May 2016 19:23:00 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 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. 

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!


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.
  • ]]>
    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!

    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!

    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



    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.

    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: 
    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).

  • ]]>
    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.
    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

    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.


    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.
  • ]]>
    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


    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.

    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.
    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.


    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.

    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
    Ships and Shards - A story: July-August 2014 Photo Bytes http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/6/ShipsandShards It was my pleasure photographing porcelain shards dating from 1625 to 1865. These were illustrated with writings from the 1838 Amanda Babson diaries and the ship’s journal entries of Captain Edward Babson who sailed the Cadet, and then fired onto the old porcelain by artist Diane Chen KW. These are now a permanent installation in the collection of the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA.

    Shipwrecks were quite common during storms and war with hidden danger around every corner. Treasures buried in the sands and journals left behind provide hints of a seafaring family’s way of life. 

    With this set up in my studio, tethered to a laptop for instantaneous review, shards were photographed against a graduated grey background –

    overview as well as macro detail shots.

    Then after assembly, embedded in sand and mortar as if found that way beneath the sea.

    Final Installation is on four walls at the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. (see below). A fifth wall will have Chinese export plates transformed by Diane KW using the diary and logbook documents.  Hope you can visit.

    Judith Monteferrante Photography

    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Cape Ann Museum Diane Chen KW Fine Art Photography Judith Monteferrante calm collection disaster museum porcelain schooners shards ships shipwreck war http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/6/ShipsandShards Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:00:00 GMT
    June 2014 Photo Tips: Travel Photography http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/6/june-2014-photo-tips-travel-photography TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS:

    1. Shoot iconic structures from a different vantage point. Move around. Follow the light to choose front, back or side lighting. Early morning and dusk are favorites but stay later waiting for the deep blue sky post sunset and use a tripod for longer exposures.
    2. Do some close ups or macro images. This helps to tell the story by exploring one aspect of it. These iris are in Monet's Gardens. 
    3. Look for patterns or reflections. This helps train your eye to see and makes a more interesting picture. Remember, you need an interesting foreground, mid ground and background for a good landscape!
    4. Try double exposures in camera. Read your manual! This makes a well-known scene look completely new and fresh.
    5. Consider B&W or Sepia. This gives an air of drama or antiquity to your image depending on your location. And remember, just have fun.
    judith@judithmphotography.com (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography in Gloucester MA and Scottsdale AZ.) Amsterdam Fine Art Photography France Giverny Holland Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante Paris creative photography dutch flowers macro photo tips photography photography tips travel windmills http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/6/june-2014-photo-tips-travel-photography Sun, 01 Jun 2014 17:10:14 GMT
    May 2014 Photo Tips: Using a Fisheye Lens http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/5/may-2014-photo-tips-using-a-fisheye-lens A fish-eye 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. They use special mapping to achieve these extremely wide angles of view but give you a characteristic convex non-rectilinear appearance to your image.  Typical focal lengths for full- frame sensors would be 15-16 mm (I shoot with a Nikon 16 mm on a FX sensor – D800 or 4 – not a DX ie. digital sensor). The name was introduced in 1906 by Robert W. Wood when he imagined how a fish would see objects from beneath the water. It was used primarily for meteorology or whole sky- sphere pictures initially. There are 2 groups of fish-eye lenses: Circular Fish-eye (180 degrees in every direction) – not as common and Diagonal Fish-eye (covers the whole picture frame but only 180 degrees on the diagonal field of view), but again lots depend on your sensor type (digital DX or full format FX). In general, however, there are only two middle straight lines – one horizontal and one vertical with zero distortion. Depth of Field (DOF) is almost limitless. Most of the time even at F/5.6-8 with focus on the nearest or the chosen object, the DOF will almost be to infinity.

    But with that out of the way, let’s have some fun.

    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.
    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.      
    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).    
    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.   
    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. 
    6. Move closer to your subject to exaggerate DOF (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. 

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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 fish-eye fish-eye lens fisheye landscape landscape photography photo tips photography photography tips http://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/5/may-2014-photo-tips-using-a-fisheye-lens Thu, 01 May 2014 13:00:00 GMT