Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona: Blog https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Mon, 05 Apr 2021 20:09:00 GMT Mon, 05 Apr 2021 20:09:00 GMT https://www.judithmphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u493090610-o507391668-50.jpg Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona: Blog https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog 80 120 Monument Valley https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2020/1/monument-valley Monument Valley (Oljato-Monument Valley) straddles Arizona and Utah and is in sacred Navajo Tribal Land. The Navajo observe Daylight Savings time (which is not the case in AZ nor with the Hopi's). Lodging is also Navajo (so no alcohol allowed) and is best either at The View (and the location of the visitors center) or Goulding's Lodge. A great inspirational photography experience either with a Navajo guide or self-driven on a 17 miles loop of rough roads.

Monument Valley at NightMonument Valley at NightMonument Valley in winter at night pre dawn.

Monument Valley is part of the Colorado Plateau and consists of a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, some over 1000 feet high with overall elevation of the park at 5000 to 6000 elevation. Desert climate with cold winters and hot summers are to be expected. Cameras need to be protected from the dust as well as bumpy roads. Money TreeMoney TreeMonument Valley view from the money tree in the fall.

 This road in the movie "Forrest Gump" is infamous where Forrest decided to go home. It is located on the back side of Monument Valley and popular with photographers. Director John A Ford also used Monument Valley as the location for many of his films from the 1930s. Forrest Gump RoadForrest Gump RoadBack side of Monument Valley.

  Monument Vallery GirlMonument Vallery GirlDawn with photographer in Monument Valley

 A handful of Navajo (10 families) make their home in the park, where they live without running water or electricity and rely on farming and grazing for income. All visitors must exit before the sun goes down and are asked to respect their privacy. I hope you get a chance to visit. Young Navajo weaver.Young Navajo weaver.


(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) buttes Judith M Photography Monument Valley navajo photo tips photography photography tips sandstone https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2020/1/monument-valley Sun, 26 Jan 2020 20:46:11 GMT
MOAB, UTAH https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2020/1/utah We drove from Flagstaff to Monument Valley and the next day, onto Moab to experience Arches and Canyonlands in Southern Utah.  Quite an overwhelming experience, indeed.

Arches National Park – This relatively small park is spectacular with its concentration of arches, fantastic monoliths and fins with the La Sal Mountains in the background (snowcapped and especially stunning in winter). The scenic paved road is only a 45-mile round trip.

The Balanced Rock defies the unstoppable forces of nature. Balanced Rock, ArchesBalanced Rock, ArchesBalanced Rock in Arches, Moab Utah.

The Windows in winter is even more magical! Windows in SepiaWindows in Sepia

Delicate arch is hard to photograph unless you hike, and thus was disappointing. CanyonlandsCanyonlands

Canyonlands National Park – This is a huge park with three districts separated by an impassible river system (the Colorado River and Green River), so plan wisely. The Upper section – Island in the Sky - is the most approachable and easy to visit without the need for hiking. It has sweeping canyon vistas, outstand rock formations with some arches as well.  Mesa Arch is a classic photo opportunity, especially at sunrise, with canyons and the La Sal Mountains seen through the arch, but requires a hike up hill in the dark.  I did it and not easy. Sunset Mesa ArchSunset Mesa Arch

Take a side trip to Dead Horse Point in this state park for two panoramic views, one with a view of the bend in the Colorado River. Dead Horse State ParkDead Horse State Park

The other two districts (the Maze- wild and desolate and Needles- known for its diversity of pinnacles, arches, grabens and canyons) are more adventurous, requiring hiking, 4x4 vehicles or backpacking.   Thus, we did not try to visit them.


I hope you get a chance to visit Moab and the other parks in Southern Utah.

(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Arches Canyonlands Judith M Photography Landscapes photo tips Photography instruction photography tips Southern Utah Utah https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2020/1/utah Sat, 04 Jan 2020 19:39:42 GMT
Antelope Canyon https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2019/10/antelope-canyon Photography of the West - Southwest:

Lots of interesting spots to photograph here with different photographer and camera requirements.

Let’s explore Antelope Canyon, a sandstone slot canyon East of Page AZ, near Lake Powell and the Utah – AZ border. The slot canyons were formed from millions of years of water erosion and the canyon walls climb 120 feet above the sandy stream bed. The Upper Antelope Canyon is more accessible as it does not require stair or ladder climbing on shifting sandy ground.  It is necessary to book a tour with Navajo guides (as it is in the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo nation). and best to book a photography tour if you can use a tripod and a DSLR, SLR or mirrorless camera needed for each member of your group.  Non photographers are NOT allowed. The extra expense is well worth it. I would recommend Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours, LLC. 928 380-1874 and for the photographer tours https://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com/Photo.asp Antelope Canyon 5Antelope Canyon 5Horizontal of the Antelope Canyon wall with stick.

The light beams are only visible during the summer months, best between late March and early October.  However, my September 27 visit was too late to see them.  However, I think less light glare produced better color and vibrancy in the images.  Also, were less routine.

  1. A tripod is essential, and you will be staged by the photography tour group either low to the ground or high.  Shooting is either ahead or overhead, on sandy ground, so a stable tripod is important. Antelope Canyon 2Antelope Canyon 2Vertical Antelope Canyon chamber.
  2. Most images require Long Exposures – 4-5 seconds, depending on your ISO and F stop - (usually F/8-11). Plan on ISO 200 or higher depending how still and long you can maintain your camera stability even on a tripod with proximity to other photographers and the traffic passing by!  I used mostly 800 to 1000.  Manual or Aperture Priority with cloudy White Balance.  __ Antelope Canyon 4Antelope Canyon 4Close up of the Canyon wall.
  3. Use your blinkies (or Zebra’s in mirrorless) to avoid blown out highlights and avoid large dark black shadows areas without detail.
  4. Other tour groups that are not allowed the use of tripods are plentiful and include cell phones rising high above head.  Not easy to handle crowd control, but the photo tour did a great job and controlled the maddening selfie crowd. 
  5. Colors are subtle and bold with deep purples to brilliant orange to pale pastels.  Shoot some close-up detail shots to explore the undulating patterns and unworldly colors in our natural landscape.  Antelope Canyon 1Antelope Canyon 1Horizontal of the Antelope Canyon chamber.
  6. My iPhone GPS keep changing the time zone and the arrival time.  Arizona does not follow daylight savings time (nor does the Hopi nation) but the Navajo do. Antelope Canyon is in Mountain Standard Time (MST) all year, same as Page, AZ. I keep worrying that I was an hour late. 
  7. To see the light beams you need to go at peak tourist time – summer months.  Not sure it is worth it. Antelope Canyon 6Antelope Canyon 6Sand pouring off a ledge in the canyon.
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Antelope Canyon Arizona canyon Judith M Photography Navajo photo tips photography tips sand sandstone travel photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2019/10/antelope-canyon Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:45:00 GMT
The Grand Canyon https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2019/3/the-grand-canyon The Grand Canyon


In honor of the Grand Canyon’s 100th year anniversary as a National Park, I thought I would review some winter photographs I took at the park over the past 5 years.  The Grand Canyon is the 15th site in the US to have been named a national park.  Located in Northwest Arizona, the canyon is a mile-deep gorge created by the Colorado River and 18 miles at its widest spot. In the past it reached the Pacific but for the last two decades it stopped flowing after about 750 miles.

It is one of the seven natural wonders of the word, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

  1. It is difficult to photograph the river itself, since it is so deep and often in shadow, with the largest stretch of the river visible from Desert View close to the East Entrance. It is known for its wonderful sunset location. Colorado RiverColorado RiverColorado River running through the Grand Canyon from the south rim.
  2. The colors of the Grand Canyon are quite remarkable; cloudy skies, clean winter air or after a rainstorm enhances this effect. Grand CanyonGrand CanyonGrand canyon with deep shadows.
  3. Dawn and dusk bring out the nuances of the canyon with more saturated colors combined with light and shadow contrast. This image also has a texture overlay. The Grand CanyonThe Grand CanyonMorning toned colors on the Grand Canyon from the South Rim
  4. Remember, great landscape photography needs interesting light and a center of interest. Grand Canyon ColorsGrand Canyon ColorsGrand Canyon with the Colorado River.
  5. Have fun with double exposures or painting with light at night, as in this reconstructed Hopi Watchtower at Desert View. Lonely TreeLonely TreeTree double exposure in camera with the south rim of the Grand Canyon. In camera double exposure with Nikon. Desert View Watchtower at NightDesert View Watchtower at NightLight painted Desert View Watchtower and a starry night.
  6. The North Rim is less popular since it is closed during the winter months, at a higher elevation, more difficult to reach by car due to its remoteness and since most viewpoints require hiking. But for the more physically fit, it is less crowded with a less touristy feel. The North RimThe North RimDeer grazing in the frosted early dawn grass. I hope you get to visit the park to enjoy its true beauty and majesty first hand.
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) 100th Anniversary of the Grand Canyon Arizona. canyon creative photography National Park photography The Grand Canyon https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2019/3/the-grand-canyon Sun, 03 Mar 2019 22:15:00 GMT
Being in the Moment https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/12/being-in-the-moment In the Moment is all about living and seeing like there's no tomorrow. Capturing a feeling of exuberance and joy, mystery or grandeur, spirituality or angst in what is in front of me. Not taking a photograph to document a moment, but to create an image that expresses the memory of that moment, so that you can sense the temperature, feel the sun on your skin, the water surrounding your feet, the smell of Africa.   Being in the Moment to allow your creative unconscious mind the opportunity to express itself.      Monument Valley stampMonument Valley stampMonument Valley sunrise view with happy woman in a textured stamp look. Night TrainNight TrainFreight train approaching its destination during a light rain in early evening First LightFirst LightGood Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts at early morning with painterly treatment SurferSurferSurfer in high surf

Happy New Year. Hope this will be an inspiration to us all!

(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) creative photography Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/12/being-in-the-moment Wed, 26 Dec 2018 22:17:19 GMT
Enhancing your Photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/9/enhancing-your-photography Did you ever want to enhance your photos and make them more painterly? Elevate them to a new dimension? Create some magic and explore software programs such as Topaz Impression, Photoshop with layers and blend modes or the more robust Painter program. The following pictures are just a hint at what you can do.

  1. Pastel colors added in Photoshop and smudged over a very busy photo to soften and isolate the subject. __ TrapperTrapper
  2. Add a textured overlay and then blend into the image with overlay, lighting or darkening blend modes. __
  3. Add a textured overlay in an appropriate color and texture and then paint on a mask in black to remove this texture where you do not want it. _-2_-2 __
  4. Add an element (such as this butterfly) to add a pop of color and mystery. In the MistIn the Mist
  5. Decide how much of the original image you want to highlight. In the windIn the windSummer wildflowers in the breeze with textured overlay.
  6. Or isolate the center of interest. ScarletScarletRed geranium with ethereal blue and green background mist.
(Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) creative photography Judith M Photography painterly photography tips software https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/9/enhancing-your-photography Fri, 28 Sep 2018 04:30:00 GMT
Flower Photography: Mistakes to Avoid https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/7/flower-photography-mistakes-to-avoid
  • Not defining your subject in the image:  Emphasize what interested you in that flower.  Is its shape, color or pattern that made you choose it to photograph? Were you attracted to its abstract or graphic element? Deep Throat ExposedDeep Throat ExposedBearded Iris in purple and blue lavender frontal on slant. VelvetVelvetCalla lily macro in B&W.
  • Having the flower dead center:  Unless the symmetry is what you want to emphasize. The rule of thirds is popular for a reason and recommends placing your subject at the intersection of one of these 4 lines. Emphasize a curve, perhaps. Monet IrisMonet IrisJapanese iris imagined as painted by Monet in his gardens.
  • Cluttered or distracting backgrounds: Either clear the surrounding area, shoot against a solid background or use a telephoto lens at a distance from the flower (180 to 300 mm) which is then far from the background. Basically the lens needs to be closer to your subject that the than the subject is to the background. The background will then become blurred if using a more wide-open aperture. Or you could use a macro lens close to the flower but with the background at a distance.Remember, depth of field is different with macro. As magnification increases, depth of field decreases; so the closer you are the less depth of field you would have. Therefore, you can emphasize what you want to have the viewer focus on. __
  • Choose a clean and undamaged flower: Unless that is the story you want to tell. This will save time in post processing. Sunflower BouquetSunflower Bouquet
  • Shooting in mid day: Unless you shoot under a transparent reflector or under a cloudy sky.Mid day sun will be harsh and produce poorly exposed photos with too much contrast and low in saturation. If you shoot up, you can enhance the glow of the sunlight and have the blue sky as background. Leaves and flowers will reflect light which can be improved by use of a polarizing filter. To the SkyTo the Sky
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) flowers Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante mistakes photo tips photography ideas photography tips summer https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/7/flower-photography-mistakes-to-avoid Sat, 07 Jul 2018 19:06:01 GMT
    Flower Photography Review https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) creative photography fine art photography flowers judith m photography judith monteferrante photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/4/flower-photography-review Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:37:54 GMT
    Storytelling: Lavender https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) countryside england fields flowers judith m photography lavender lavender fields photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2018/4/storytelling-lavender Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:36:31 GMT
    YEAR END IMAGE REVIEW https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) critique judith monteferrante photo tips photography tips resolutions review https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/12/year-end-image-review Fri, 22 Dec 2017 15:15:00 GMT
    LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) b&w creative photography fall fog judith m photography judith monteferrante landscape landscapes photo tips photography instruction photography tips snow usa west western https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/11/landscape-photography Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:52:24 GMT
    Fall Colors https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) colors creative photography fall judith m photography judith monteferrante photo tips photography tips reflections rocks trees water https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/9/fall-colors Mon, 18 Sep 2017 00:30:00 GMT
    Tips on Shooting Fireworks and Post Production https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fireworks Montage Fireworks Photography Photoshop Techniques fireworks https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/7/tips-on-shooting-fireworks-and-post Tue, 04 Jul 2017 18:56:46 GMT
    Macro Photography Tips: Flowers https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante Photography instruction creative photography flowers photo tips photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/7/macro-photography-tips Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:30:00 GMT
    Fisheye Lens Tips https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography fisheye photo tips photography photography tips ultra wide angle wideangle https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/5/fisheye-lens-tips Mon, 22 May 2017 23:30:00 GMT
    Infrared Photography https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography creative photography infrared infrared photography photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2017/3/infrared-photography Sat, 11 Mar 2017 04:15:00 GMT
    Nerdy Tips to Improve Lightroom Performance https://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.
  • 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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante Lightroom Photography instruction photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/12/nerdy-tips-to-improve-lightroom-performance Fri, 16 Dec 2016 17:00:06 GMT
    Storytelling with Pictures https://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.

    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".

    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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante balloons creative photography photo tips photography photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/11/storytelling-with-pictures Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:16:23 GMT
    Photography Tips for Dog Days of Summer https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) B & W Fine Art Photography Photography instruction abstracts cool creative photography dusk flowers freezing flowers harbor hot photography tips slow shutter speed summer https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/8/photography-tips-for-dog-days-of-summer Mon, 08 Aug 2016 11:00:00 GMT
    Underwater Photos https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante underwater underwater photography? https://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 https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography flora flowers macro microscopic photo tips photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/5/macro-photography Mon, 30 May 2016 19:23:26 GMT
    May 2016_Black and White Photography https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) aesthetic black and white photography classic creative photography photo tips photography tips https://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! https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography composition photo tips photography tips rules https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2016/3/basicsofComposition Tue, 01 Mar 2016 14:00:00 GMT
    JAN - FEB 2016: Lighting with flash continued https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Photography instruction flash high key photo tips photography tips https://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 https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Southwest creative photography flash lighting photo tips photography tips photograpy https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/11/understanding-light-usingflash Wed, 02 Dec 2015 00:00:00 GMT
    October - November 2015: Understanding Light https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography characteristics of light creative photography direction lighting photo tips photography tips quality quantity temperature https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/10/OctoberUnderstanding-light Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:15:00 GMT
    Sept - Oct 2015 Photo Tips and Ideas https://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 Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) B&W Dehaze Fine Art Photography Fun Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photography tips split toning https://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 https://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 fieldField of Poppies
  • Choose your center of interest and make it stand out or be part of the whole scene depending of what you want to express. _-4_-4 _-3_-3

  • 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. _-2_-2 Lavender with cottageLavender with cottageLavender field with cottage.

  • Try both verticals and horizontal views. Verticals are less common since you need to rotate the camera but are often more interesting. Silent ReflectionSilent Reflection _-2_-2

  • 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 Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Cotswolds Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photo tips photography tips rule of thirds https://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 https://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. Beach HDRBeach HDR
    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. _-2_-2
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) HDR Lightroom CC Lightroom Creative Cloud TM copyright copyright symbol photo tips trademark symbol https://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 https://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. Tulip ReflectionsTulip ReflectionsPink and orange tulips reflected on white.

    Add a secondary light to the flowers themselves for emphasis. Orange Tulip circleOrange Tulip circleOrange tinged with yellow tulips on white refected in a curve.

    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. Coneflower in my gardenConeflower in my garden                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       f/3.2 f/3.2f/3.2Bokeh with f/3.2 f/36f/36 f/36

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith Monteferrante bokeh coneflower creative photography flowers photo tips photography photography tips studio lighting tulips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/5/may-2015_flower-photography Fri, 01 May 2015 12:00:00 GMT
    April 2015 Blog_ Photography of Shopkeepers https://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. Deli ManagerDeli Manager

    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.

    Behind the Deli CounterBehind the Deli Counter Playing CardsPlaying Cards

    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.

    Pulling Fresh MozarellaPulling Fresh Mozarella Meat MarketMeat Market

    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. Fresh PastaFresh Pasta

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

    Enter the Fish StoreEnter the Fish Store Mayor of Arthur AvenueMayor of Arthur Avenue


    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Arthur Avenue Bronx Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips photography photography tips portraits street photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/3/apri-2015-blog_-photography-of-shopkeepers Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:00:00 GMT
    March 2015_Macro Photography https://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). First Blush of SpringFirst Blush of SpringTulip with lilac in pink, lavender and white.
  • Fill the frame with your subject. Blush of a RoseBlush of a RosePink rose bud against white.
  • 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 Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography close-up creative photography flowers macro photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2015/3/march-2015_macro-photography Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:00:00 GMT
    2015_Become a Better Photographer https://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. Peonies in a JarPeonies in a JarDeep pink peony still life with peonies in a clear glass jar with hinged lid with rubber gasket and textured background in peach tones.

    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. Black and WhiteBlack and WhiteClear glass vase with glass beads and baby's breath and wine glass against black with reflections on black.
    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. Juicy GrapesJuicy GrapesGreen seedless grape bunch with spashing water drops against black background
    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. [email protected].                Happy New Year, Judith


    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips photography photography tips https://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 https://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. Schooner FestivalSchooner FestivalEastern Point Lighthouse during Schooner Festival races in sepia. __ Fogged In Paint FactoryFogged In Paint FactoryFoggy seascape in B&W plus red with calm harbor waters and cormorant sitting on buoy.
  • 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. Blue WaterBlue WaterStill blue water with boats and dory's at Beacon Marine, Gloucester Harbor, MA
  • 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! Sunrise, BudapestSunrise, BudapestRiver view early morning with tree line and sun reflected in the calm waters.
  • 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. SlimSlimB&W nude silhouette on the rocks. Orange SkiffOrange SkiffB&W with orange skiff among black or brown ones along a dock.
  • 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 Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photo tips photography tips https://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: https://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.
      20141016_Danube_544_edit_5420141016_Danube_544_edit_54 Prague guardsPrague guards Changing of the GuardChanging of the Guard 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. Light ShadowsLight Shadows Musical ShadowMusical Shadow
    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. Pear on a Plate altPear on a Plate alt Pear on a platePear on a plate
    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. Budapest at nightBudapest at nightNight lights and reflections under the bridge. 20100813_Nudes_25320100813_Nudes_253Female nude in a tidal pool with reflections. In color
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips photography photography tips reflections shadows silhouette https://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 https://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: wake up timeCuba in Bed

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

    Tony and Cuba waiting for their morning walk. Waiting for the WalkWaiting for the Walk out of bedout of bed

    Down the driveway! The long walk startsThe long walk starts

    Pure joy running on the morning dew covered lawn. JoyJoy

    Starting the exploration: ExplorationExploration

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


    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) 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 https://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 https://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. After the StormAfter the StormOcean waves cashing on a rock with seagull, waves and cloudy skies. Walk after the RainWalk after the RainRoad along cane fields with puddle reflecting a dark storm cloudy sky at dusk.

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

    Rainy DayRainy DayThru my car window at Good Harbor Beach during a rain storm.

    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. Summer, Good Harbor BeachSummer, Good Harbor Beachsummer beach scene with house on the rocks , seagrass and water. Good Harbor DuskGood Harbor DuskDusk light over an ocean beach with an inlet waterway.

    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.

    Guardian of Cape CodGuardian of Cape Cod

    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.
    Old IrelandOld IrelandOld stone structure or ruin in a wildflower and grass field in Ireland with dark stormy sky.

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) HDR apps creative photography landscape landscapes photo tips photography tips rain storms texture https://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 https://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.

    Figure 1: War at Sea Figure 2. ShipwreckFigure 2. Shipwreck

    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 –

    Figure 3. Shards in studioFigure 3. Shards in studio Figure 4. Shards in studio set upFigure 4. Shards in studio set up Figure 5. Shards in studio tether set upFigure 5. Shards in studio tether set up overview as well as macro detail shots.

    Figure 7. CalmFigure 7. Calm Figure 6. DiastersFigure 6. Diasters

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

    Figure 8. Diane with templates for AssemblyFigure 8. Diane with templates for Assembly Figure 10. Diane with wall installationFigure 10. Diane with wall installation Figure 9. Embedded in Sand and MorterFigure 9. Embedded in Sand and Morter

    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.

    Wall IVWall IV Wall IWall I Wall IIWall II Wall IIIWall III

    Judith Monteferrante Photography

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Cape Ann Museum Diane Chen KW Fine Art Photography Judith Monteferrante calm collection disaster museum porcelain schooners shards ships shipwreck war https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/6/ShipsandShards Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:00:00 GMT
    June 2014 Photo Tips: Travel Photography https://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_-2 _-3_-3
    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.  _-5_-5 _-6_-6
    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_-4
    4. Try double exposures in camera. Read your manual! This makes a well-known scene look completely new and fresh. LouveLouve
    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. Paris viewParis view Eiffel tower down the streetEiffel tower down the streetEiffel tower from the neighboring street with appartment buiildings_in B&W.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) 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 https://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 https://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. Lismore CastleLismore CastleLismore 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.       Rome ColiseumRome ColiseumColiseum in Rome, Italy at night.
    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).     BuddahBuddahBuddah in a temple with colorful orchids with HDR and a fisheye lens.
    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 SunburstHaleakala Sunburst
    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 Tropical PalmsTropical PalmsPainterly palms.
    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.  __ _-2_-2

    See my new business listing on:  http://www.GoTree.biz

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography fish-eye fish-eye lens fisheye landscape landscape photography photo tips photography photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/5/may-2014-photo-tips-using-a-fisheye-lens Thu, 01 May 2014 13:00:00 GMT
    Photography of Musicians https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/4/photography-of-musicians Photography of Musicians:

    1. Strobes (or Flash) vs. Available Light:

    During a performance, flash is typically avoided due to its distracting effect. Occasionally off camera flash on a light stand on stage is allowed, but don’t overwhelm the stage lights. Use  Spot metering mode on the main musician’s face which should be in the light since the background is best left dark. Using aperture priority, an aperture of F/4-5.6 is a good starting point, but you may need a wide open aperture of F/2.8 with a fast lens. This will limit the DOF (depth of field), but keeping the performers in one plane will help. Usually a high enough ISO to allow a reasonable shutter speed should be quite doable if you have a fairly current low noise hi ISO camera. If not possible, seize the effect of motion or learn to anticipate pauses and shoot then. In the studio, I shoot with 4 to 5 strobes and always in Manual mode with F/8-11 typically and 1/125, with an ISO 200 (to 400). I meter the foreground and background with a hand held light meter and adjust the lights accordingly. If using a white background, overexpose it by one to one ½ stops. If black, keep light off the background for pure black.

    2. On Location: During an indoor performance, learn to keep quiet and keep a low profile. Look for simplicity and avoid distracting elements in the frame as much as possible. Keep to the side to separate the musicians from their microphone. Try to show the interaction among the musicians. Capture the musicians enjoying themselves; their “music face”. SugarTones__ 05_SugarTones__ 05_

    3. Prepare: Creativity is a must and look for a theme or storytelling quality. Plan ahead with some possible scenarios. Listen to your client regarding what their needs and ideas are. Props are important and may be instruments, microphones or items of clothing such as jackets or hats. Push the limits for possible poses. Keep in mind the style of their music and the instruments they use. Meet with them in advance and review some possibilities. Note their hair color since if dark haired against a black background they will benefit from hair light. Have at least a dark and a white background with possible gels to add color. Prepare as much as you can in advance. I test some lighting scenarios on myself the day of the shoot. SugarTones__ 42_SugarTones__ 42_

    4. Clothing: Solid colors without logos or patterns are the best. At least two changes of clothing – one relaxed and one more formal with choice of dark and light outfits. Dark or black clothing against a dark background is slimming. Keep tones and styles similar if shooting 2 or more people. Avoid sleeveless tops except for the young – long sleeve is best. Avoid lots of jewelry. Simple casual clothes such as jeans and a white or black T shirt are timeless.

    5. Expressions:  Look for facial expressions and posture. Vary the positions and have some looking at the camera, some looking away, some looking at each other.  With or without their instruments. Some contemplative, some smiling. With and without singing and or playing. Make it a two way conversation.

    sugar tones_ 11_sugar tones_ 11_

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Photography instruction bands concerts musician photography musicians photo tips photography tips portraits studio https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/4/photography-of-musicians Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:00:00 GMT
    Spring into spring with Flower Photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/3/flower-photography
  • Vary your depth of field (DOF = Zone of acceptable sharpness) to see what looks best. Get close to your flower and have a background that is distant from your flower with nice muted or complementary shades. This first cone-flower at f/9 (more wide open aperture) has a softer background than the one shot at f/22 with the same 105 mm macro lens (focal length). OR use a more telephoto lens zoomed in at 200 or 300 mm while able to be more distant from the flower. The key factors that influence DOF: aperture, focal length and distance to the subject.      Coneflower at f/9Coneflower at f/9Pink magenta purple cone-flowers with muted background in pastels. Coneflower at f/22Coneflower at f/22
  • Change your position. Don’t just shoot down on a flower or flowers. Look at them from below or from the side. Early morning dew as on this tulip 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. Pink Tulip with DewPink Tulip with DewPink tulip macro with morning dew again soft green background
  • It wind is your enemy, go with it. Try long exposures on a tripod to capture the flowers motion in the wind. Or hand hold and zoom your lens in or out while twisting the camera to produce this effect (Spin-Zoom). Tulips zoomedTulips zoomed
  • Find an object of interest in or around your flower to spice up your image. Here this green tinged insect brings in the background colors. Cone-flower with bugCone-flower with bugGreen bug at the center of a cone-flower
  • Look for abstract or graphic elements. These colorful roses add a softness or drama to the rose petal curves. B&W will bring out the texture. Peony B&WPeony B&WSide view of a peony in B&W. Rosey RoseRosey RoseMacro of a dark peach colored rose. Square format. Roses are RedRoses are RedVibrant red rose macro.
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Flower photography Photography instruction flowers photo tips photography tips spring summer https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/3/flower-photography Sat, 01 Mar 2014 18:51:16 GMT
    February 2014 Photo Tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/1/february-2014-photo-tips Here is another review of some of my older images that I liked. I then analyzed them looking for why and how they worked for me. You should do this too on your images.

    1. What do you do on a dull gray day with haze, fog or mist? Add a tint. This is easy to do in Lightroom by adjusting the White Balance (WB) with the temperature slider towards yellow to add warmth or the tint slider towards magenta. WB can be adjusted the same way in Camera RAW in Photoshop, or you can add an adjustment layer to modify the hue/ saturation, add a tint to Black & White, or pick a color for the Photo Filter or choose a warming or cooling filter among other choices.  Golden Gate HazeGolden Gate Haze __
    2. It is hard to expose for the Landscape and the Moon. This African scene from the shores of the Zambezi River works however with the orange harvest moon and the darker tree with the darker grassy hill. However typically to expose properly for both as well as to maintain the size of the moon your mind sees, it is best to shoot each separately. Use a telephoto lens to zoom into the moon and just expose for the moon alone and then zoom out and shoot a wide angle scene to include the moon.  Afterwards in Photoshop, just exchange for the larger and properly exposed moon. Moon rise on the Banks of the ZambeziMoon rise on the Banks of the Zambezi Moonrise and sunset over Saguaro cactusMoonrise and sunset over Saguaro cactus
    3. What do you do with back lit scenes too distant to use fill flash? Create a silhouette. In aperture priority, use – 1 to – 2 exposure compensation to allow the silhouette to go completely black. You can still adjust the black point afterwards as well. You do need a clearly recognizable figure for a silhouette to work well. Sunrise FishingSunrise Fishing Walk in the ParkWalk in the ParkSilhouette in Black and White along a river bed and pond.
    4. Photography of glassware has special lighting requirements to add the black or white line to the edge of the glass. First you need to be in a darkened room to avoid reflections on glass. White Line: Against black, add white foam core to the edges of the scene with black foam core or other background directly behind the glass. Light only the white edges. This can also be done by using a white sheet or translucent material as the white and then lighting it from behind. Black Line: is the reverse. Just light the white foam core or the translucent material behind the glass with the light (or just use a softbox as your white panel). Add black material to the edges or just the absence of light to these areas will create the black line. Romeo and JulietRomeo and JulietGlassware against black with reflections and flowers Orchid nectorOrchid nectorOrchids in pastel glassware on white with reflections and black line.
    5. Reflections will be crisp if you use plexiglass – black, white or mirrored. Reflections enhance the dimension of a still life. If you just use glass over white or black paper, there will be a double line in the reflection, due to the refraction by the thickness of the glass.  Pear AntiquePear AntiquePears lined up in a row with reflections on black and painterly texture.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Black line Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography glassware photo tips photography tips reflections silhouette white line https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/1/february-2014-photo-tips Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:45:00 GMT
    January 2014_Photo Tips_Wildlife Photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/1/january-2014_photo-tips What makes animal or any wildlife photography special? What makes someone want to linger over an image? Emotion or feelings provoked by the image are often responsible. Memories also induce our minds to wonder, while good composition leads the way.

    Let’s review six key elements that I believe add to this magic: eyes, patterns, reflections, action, environment and/or the young. I see youI see youLeopard cub behind a tree in sepia.

    1. The Eyes have it! It has been said that the eyes are windows to the soul. Eyes draw us in and evoke an emotional response. Eyes (or near eye) need to be in focus and best if shooting at their level and not down. Eyes need to be at a good location according to rules of composition. For example, at an intersection point on the grid for the Rule of Thirds or in the top 1/3rd if a head shot or head and shoulders. A catch light is important as well, since this conveys a spark of life and a connection. Front lighting, flash with the white card up or using the focused flash beam with or without the Better Beamer to extend this distance. Out on a LimbOut on a LimbLeopard in a tree.
    2. Patterns or Symmetry create a graphic pattern. Learn to look for patterns and shapes. Zebra stripes are like fingerprints, and are unique for each animal. If the message of the image is this pattern, think of what distracts from this. Color does, so convert to B&W with a definite white and black point but minimal in the mid-range (or grey tones). If the grey tones remain, you would just have a color photo with the colors removed. Black and white often reveals more about the subject by enhancing contrast and texture with control of the position of your light. Silver Efex Pro 2 has some great presets to try. Toned images such as Sepia add warmth and an old world feel.  Zebra watchingZebra watchingcolor version Zebra WatchingZebra WatchingBaby zebra at the watering hole in B&W and square format. PatternsPatternsZebra stripes in various patterns in B&W
    3. Reflections double the impact. Look to shoot after a rain storm or near a quiet body of water such as a puddle, pond or lake without sun shining directly on the water. African SpoonbillAfrican Spoonbillbirdersworlddaily.com Image of the Week as of Oct 3, 2011 Zebra reflectedZebra reflectedZebra during the Great Migration with reflections in a muddy river bed. B&W
    4. Look for Action that you can either freeze or blur. Avoid shooting when animals are eating with their head down or resting, usually mid day. Most activity occurs in the early hours of the day or around dusk. When light levels are lower, it is easier to use a slow shutter speed and pan. With mid day light, freezing the action is much easier. Typical shutter speeds to freeze action would be 1/125 for large animals, 1/250 for medium animals, 1/500 for small animals or large birds and 1/1000 for small birds. Use continuous servo Auto Focus with predictive focus tracking and Continuous Low or High speed shutter release mode to follow action. Choose the auto focus area mode, such as Dynamic to track action and select 21 focus point option! Read your manual, since options will differ depending on your camera. Panning for Motion requires a slower shutter: 1/60, 1/30 or slower and may require a low ISO, stopping down to a small aperture such as f/22-32 and / or using a Polarizing or ND filter. Target the subject’s shoulders or torso and keep the panning vector aligned with the animal’s direction of travel. Set for high speed shutter release, and move smoothly through he series, continuing the pan even after you releasing the shutter button. Turn off vibration reduction during panning. Lots of trial and error here.  Bear FrenzyBear FrenzyBrown bear at Brooks Falls, AK. running out of the water towards the path for the falls. FlightFlightImpala running with panned blurred background.
    5. Sense of place will help you tell a story. Environment is important in setting the stage and to create a sense of place. Dusk and Dawn, the Golden Hour, has always been important for the photographer, and getting up early and staying out late is typical. During the golden hours, the sun is at an angle where it will illuminate mist, fog or dust, giving you a great golden glow when the weather conditions permit it.  It is best to avoid cluttered background either with your position, by zooming in or by using a more shallow depth of field (shooting wide open – one or 2 stops smaller than the max aperture: such as f/4 to f/5.6 with an f/2.8 lens). Following MomFollowing MomElephants with baby at Dusk. Elephants in the MistElephants in the MistElephants walking down a path in dawn mist. In sepia. Three Bears fishingThree Bears fishingBrown bears at Brooks Falls, AK. fishing for salmon with one leaping up the waterfall.
    6. Everyone loves a baby or a family scene. Plan your trips around the time of year young can be anticipated. This generally means spring in the US but the opposite for Africa. For example on the Serengeti most of the wildebeest calves are born during a three week period, usually the beginning of February. The lioness will share the task of raising young with her sisters and multiple sets of cubs may be seen at the same time especially during our fall in Kenya. Mother and ChildMother and ChildThomson's Gazelle mom and child. Kenya. Cubs with MomCubs with MomLion Cubs with a lionese taking a walk.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Photography instruction animal photography bird photography nature photo tips photography photography tips wildlife https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2014/1/january-2014_photo-tips Wed, 01 Jan 2014 15:00:00 GMT
    December 2013 Photo Tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/12/december-2013-photo-tips Winter Photography Tips:

    1. Remember the three basics to getting a good shot: SAS – concentrate on the SUBJECT then see how you can draw ATTENTION to that subject then SIMPLIFY by making sure nothing is in the shot that will distract. Avoid having the horizon dead center, remember the rule of thirds and look for leading lines which will draw the eye into the photo. _-4Good Harbor BeachGood Harbor Beach
    2. Exposure challenges with snow: The modern digital camera has a very accurate matrix or evaluative through the lens meter (TTL) that measures the light reflected back adjusts for average luminance (50% lightness or middle grey). Therefore snow may meter too bright if it is a large part of your image. The camera exposure in aperture priority or shutter priority may then compensate and make the snow more light grey. You want the snow to be pure white and slightly overexposed.  The color balance may appear blue tinged (will suggest the cold but may be not what you want). Therefore when shooting in aperture exposure mode, add +1/3 to 2/3 exposure compensation if needed and perform an in camera White Balance for the most accurate color or just use a Cloudy white balance to warm up the Blue if desired. Avoid Auto White Balance.
    3. Cold protection: Remember to dress in layers, wear hi tech snow boots, a hat, and gloves made for cross country skiing or, if planning an all-day shoot, use ice climbing gloves. Keep your spare batteries warm in an inner pocket of your snow jacket and pack plenty of them, since the cold will discharge batteries much quicker. Avoid breathing on your lens. Breathe through your mouth to avoid getting condensation on your viewfinder. When going from a warm to cool place or the reverse, protect your camera and lens with a sealed plastic bag lined with a white towel inside to absorb the condensation. This may take a few hours. Keep the gear in your car when working covered with a white towel when out of the bag. Choose a memory card suited to extreme temperatures. Avoid changing lenses in winter weather. _-7_-7
    4. Great Skies: In the winter, dawn and dusk still add wonderful color and mystery to your photos. Grey skies can add drama. Plan on shooting during a snow storm or right after one for the most mystery and controllable light. Avoid full sun or mixed and dappled light for a landscape with snow. Niles Beach in winterNiles Beach in winterNiles Beach
    5. Remember foreground, mid ground and background elements: Zoom out or stand back to look for foreground elements to balance out the photo and add interest or flow to the rest of the image. _-5_-5
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography cold cold weather landscapes photo tips photography seasonal snow winter winter photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/12/december-2013-photo-tips Sun, 01 Dec 2013 18:15:00 GMT
    November 2013 Photo Tips_Portrait Photography Deadly Sins https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/10/november-2013-photo-tips Five Six deadly sins to avoid in Portrait Photography:

    1. Wrong focus point:  Focus on the eyes or the eye closest to the camera. For head and shoulder shots, eyes should be in the top 1/3rd of the view. Eyes are the window to the soul and give the portrait life! Also position the camera at the same level as their eye line or slightly below. If they are too tall, have them sit or you can move further away and zoom in. This is essential for children and pets as well. If doing a group photo, keep everyone in the same plane (equal distance from the camera) to give you more option in the choice of aperture (f/stop) and still keep everyone in focus. This concept is also important for macro photography. Lonesome CowboyLonesome CowboyDude rancher
    2. Lack of attention to the Background: Unless you are doing an environmental portrait where the background helps tell the story, pay attention to the background to avoid distracting from your picture. Distance from the background is important (greater is better- as much as 10 feet if possible) as well as adjusting the depth of field to blur the background (create Bokeh by using a wide open aperture such as 1.4 or 2.8 - remember proper focus will be even more important). Or get closer and have the subject fill the frame. 20090727_Kurzweil_Girls with lite_55720090727_Kurzweil_Girls with lite_557
    3. Using the wrong lens: Again, unless using a wide angle lens close to the subject to capture the environment as above, avoid wide angle lenses since they distort (such as making the nose more prominent). Stepping away from the subject and use a telephoto lens such as 200-300 mm is the most flattering and is used by fashion photographers. Some portrait photographers favor the 85 mm prime lenses (with FX - or full format cameras) or 100 mm macro (if a DX format - digital cropped camera) but most prefer a focal length from 120 to 200 mm.
    4. Taking boring, routine portraits: Get to know your subject before you start shooting. Ask them to bring a prop from their hobbies or profession, or just something that is important to them. An interesting location or great textured wall or background may be another option to consider. Turn the camera and shoot vertical (portrait orientation). A simple flower, fruit or favorite hat may help bring out the soul of the person and enliven them and thus the picture. Change perspective or add a slant; mix up your style; try something new. CowboyCowboycowboy from a dude ranch in Arizona done in sepia. The ArtistThe Artistcolorful female artist with paint brush and canvas. Remember your goal is to bring out their personality and character.
    5. Poor posing techniques: Most people are intimidated by being in front of the camera, so make them feel comfortable first by just chatting. Guide them into some attractive natural appearing poses and avoid having them sit squarely facing the camera. Good posture is always important. Start with having them facing 45 degrees away from the camera and then have them turn their head to face the camera. (45 degrees is a good angle to remember)  Another is to sit sideways in a chair with the legs angled.  Watch the position of their ImpImpyoung girl in B&W feet and hands. Fish shopkeeperFish shopkeeperItalian fish shop on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx
    6. Poor lighting: Choice of light will enhance or soften features, so this is another crucial aspect. Avoid outside locations on a sunny day unless early morning or dusk or just look for shady spots. Cloudy days are more forgiving. If using flash, all your portraits will be vastly improved by taking the flash off the camera and positioning the flash or any light source to one side at around 45 degrees and slightly above the subject pointing downward like the sun. Window light (with sheer fabric or frosted shower curtain softening it if it is a bright sunny day) should also come from around 45 degrees from your subject so that light can illuminate while shadows define. If they are facing the window directly, light will be flat which may be useful to soften wrinkles. Beauty light is similar with a piece of white foam core or fabric held at any angle below the frame of your picture and angled upward towards the chin, to eliminate harsh shadows or soften them. DreamingDreamingOlder woman dreaming of leaving this picture for her daughter. Nude Matured series. Expectation_011Expectation_011
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante Portrait Photography background creative photography focus lens lighting photo tips photography photography tips portraits posing https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/10/november-2013-photo-tips Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:15:00 GMT
    October Photography Tips_2013 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/9/october-photography-tips_2013 This month I thought I would review some of my older images. This was prompted by 2 recent sales of some of these prints -from Africa – both of zebras. It is always a good idea to review old images and consider carefully what worked and what didn’t work to gain perspective. It is also a good time to fine tune techniques.

    1. Solarization or polarization effect – Sabatier effect-  with Photoshop and a curve adjustment level to create a colorful background for my “Motherhood” image of a pregnant zebra mare with young zebra from my first trip to Africa. The zebras were masked to exclude the effect on them. This effect was popularized by the surrealist photographer Man Ray in the early twentieth center. This occurred when his darkroom assistant accidentally turned the light on while a print was in the developer causing a partial reversal of the tones in the image. Using a Photoshop curve adjustment level with an inverted V and the other adjustments OR use a duplicated image and blend with the Difference mode can also work. I do not think PS filters work as well. Different images react in different ways, so experiment.  MotherhoodMotherhoodPregnant Zebra mare nursing with colorful solarized background.
    2. Digital Infrared (or Infra Red) photography – with my old Nikon D2 converted to an IR camera by LifePixel which they did by removing the IR blocking (hot mirror) filter in front of the sensor and replacing it with a filter that removes visible light. (These conversions work best on older cameras).  I had a color IR conversion done, so I need to convert my images to B&W or reverse the channels so the sky remains blue and ground is red-orange. I prefer B&W. This “Woods effect” is caused mainly by foliage that strongly reflects so that it appears white while the Sky appears dark black. Focus is less sharp. Landscapes work best. People appear soft and veins become prominent.  Pepsico strollPath to nowhereWinding path along a pond with weeping willows and other trees done with infrared as a B&amp;W.
    3. Light Painting a Landscape or Structure at Night – using long exposures, prefocusing then switch to manual focus, tripod, remote shutter trigger and then lighting part of the subject during the exposure (flashlight or multiple on the flash itself triggering of the flash). This photo was taken late at night during a light drizzle, no other light source anywhere near the scene and total cloud cover. I was surprised to see stairs when I reviewed my images later. Shutter Speed 30 seconds, but longer SS usually needed, f/8 and ISO 400 are starting guidelines. If very long exposures are anticipated, use a higher ISO to freeze the stars. My exposure for this picture was Shutter Speed of 5 seconds (which really is duration), Aperture of f/2.8, ISO 200, 0 EV. Lots of trial and error. Remember to choose a setting with minimal if any available light. Bring a headlamp for setup, but then need to turn it off. The first to try this was Pablo Picasso. Again, experiment and always have fun!  Night at Croton DamNight at Croton DamLight painted bridge over a dam or waterfall with nighttime sky with clouds and stars revealed.
    4. HDR – I am not a big fan of HDL but some images with a wide range of light benefit from HDR. My newer Nikon camera can now do this in camera but requires a switch to jpeg format first. Photoshop as well as other vendors speed the post processing. Enough said. Lots to read if you are interested. May work even better on your B&W images.  Buddha
    5. B&W landscapes – photographed in color and then converted to B&W. Today, there are so many ways to convert to B&W but I usually use Nik Silver Effex Pro recently. This is an individual choice. Shoot in Raw format and look for lines, shadows, shapes and patterns as well as side lighting to enhance texture. Remember to keep the wide tonal contrast range with a black point for some pure black and white point as well as varying tones of grey.  Gathering Storm, YosemiteGathering Storm, YosemiteTunnel View in Yosemite with winter storm and mist looming in B&W.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Africa Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante black and white photography creative photography photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/9/october-photography-tips_2013 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:00:00 GMT
    September Photo Tips 2013 and the Making of the Lismore Castle Book https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/8/lismore-castle-ireland-and-september-photo-tips  

    Were were all invit...
    By Judith Monteferrante

    The link to the book preview to "Once Upon a Time, We were invited to a Castle"  Lismore Castle in Ireland. Take a look! Full preview available.

    September High Five Photo Tips:

    1. Ideally travel light: one body (unless you have the room for a spare), enough memory cards, and a lightweight monopod. My favorite is a roller camera bag. Remember you need to protect against heat, cold, sand and moisture. Extra trash bags come in handy. I don’t like to carry extra weight, and would rather walk around just with the camera and lens for freedom, and leave all the extras in the hotel or car.Ballroom DiningBallroom Gathering, Lismore Castle

      2. Travel opens up a wide scope of genres for the avid photographer to explore, and choice of lens or lenses is important. If you can select one glass, opt for a fast zoom such as an 18-200mm DX or 28-300mm FX etc. Sometimes you’ll find the focal point far off in the distance, but other times it could be right under your nose, as such a variable focal length lens that starts with a healthy wide angle and follows through to telephoto is ideal. If you have extra room or would prefer a wider choice consider: a portrait prime lens (e.g. 50mm or 85mm), a wide angle lens or fisheye (e.g. 10-24mm) and a telephoto (e.g. 70-200mm or 80-400mm).Castle from Blackwater River with ReflectionsLismore Castle

    3.  Shooting in RAW will offer the greatest flexibility on your return and highest resolution files. It is best to download your images to a laptop or photo storage device every night which will also allow a quick review to make sure all your settings are ok. When you go off shooting, take twice the amount of cards/capacity with you than you would expect to need as well as spare batteries, lens cleaners and a towel if it rains to dry your camera and a pillow case to protect your camera from sand if needed.Irish CountrysideIreland in the Summer

    4.  Each night, after a busy day with your camera, take the time to add keywords and locations of places, people and activities featured in your photos while still fresh in your memory.Candlelight DiningCandlelite Dinning

    5. In choice tourist destinations, it can be difficult thinking of novel ways to shoot recognizable landmarks and sight-seeing subjects. I prefer to focus on originality and plan for a story I want to tell. My Lismore Castle Book is one such example. This helps me plan what shots I took each day, remembering to get the long views at different times of the day, macro and detail shots and enough people and location shots to anchor the story. Take a look at the book preview on the link above to see what I mean.Night view of the CastleLismore Castle at Night

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography Lismore Lismore Castle Lismore Ireland Photography instruction castle creative photography photo tips photography photography tips river. https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/8/lismore-castle-ireland-and-september-photo-tips Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:00:00 GMT
    July - August 2013 - Upgrade to Lightroom 5 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/7/july---august-2013 Why you should upgrade to Adobe Lightroom 5? :

    1. The Spot Removal brush - which is really an advanced healing brush - has been greatly improved and works more like the content aware healing brush in Photoshop. You can paint over the entire defect in a continuous motion and then even adjust the correction source. Terrific! On the bottom of the picture, you can check visualize spots: then adjust the size to help locate spots by edge detection on smooth surfaces, the sky, dust on tables, etc. Very helpful. See example below.
    2. The Graduated Filter has always been one of my favorite additions to Lightroom. Now there is an additional Radial Filter,  that gives more control to global and localized adjustments such as off center vignettes and adding highlights, which is an improvement over the Adjustment Brush tool. See below.

    Candle snuffed Candle snuffed edited Visualize spot tool

    1. Perspective can now be fixed with vertical correction and also level to correct the horizon easily with the new Upright Tool. In the Lens Correction module>Basic - check Enable Profile Corrections (don’t check remove chromatic aberration) and check auto, level, vertical or full depending on the image. If not enough and you need more control, select Manual on the top bar.


    1. If you would like to work on your files on a laptop (such as after a shoot while traveling) or on a work computer without the original Hard Drive connected, you can create Smart Previews (at time of download or after) that will allow you to work in the Develop module without the original images. These are 20% of the size of your original files and allow for faster downloads and then you need to create only standard previews. When you re-link to your hard drive, it will update your original files and connect them with your develop or metatadata updates keeping the smart preview and the original.

    Orchid duetOrchid Duet 1

    1. Some additional Notes: Negative Sharpness reduces apparent depth of field while negative clarity creates softening. Audio and video can now easily be added to slideshows, even on a PC. And the best part, all your settings and presets from the prior version are remembered. On MAC however make sure you check - store presets with catalog. Plus the Book module has been greatly improved. Great! Lightroom 5 is priced at $149 as a standalone purchase, with upgrading pricing of $79 available to current Lightroom users. Subscribers to Adobe's Creative Cloud service will also receive access to Lightroom 5 with their memberships.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Lightroom 5 Lightroom upgrade photo tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/7/july---august-2013 Mon, 01 Jul 2013 17:00:00 GMT
    June_Capturing Sharp Photos https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/6/june_capturing-sharp-photos
  • Use a tripod to keep the camera rigid.  Invest in a good steady but lightweight tripod such as carbon fiber one.  Manfrotto if you like clips or Gitzo if you prefer rotational twist on the legs. Next a great ball head. I prefer Really Right Stuff products for this or Arca Swiss monoball 2. Best to go into a good local camera store for help with deciding on what you need based on your camera and lens weight, as well as your height.  B&H in NY or Hunts in the Boston area.Abstraction
  • Use a shutter release.  Pressing the shutter will cause vibrations than reduce the sharpness of your photo.  Use a remote – wired or remote – switch. Or use your camera’s self-timer with a short delay such as 2 seconds.Gloucester Fireworks
  • Mirror lock up to reduce the vibration from the movement of the camera’s mirror (if it has one) when the shutter releases. This presents more of a problem is the shutter speed is less than 1/30 second.
  • Most cameras have a sharpest aperture and it’s not at any extreme f/stop; that is when wide open due to aberration or stopped down due to diffraction. F/8 to f/11 is usually a safe bet.Youth
  • For a moving subject, choose the shutter speed (in Manual or Shutter Priority) that is high enough to freeze the subject movement. This may require an increase in the ISO.Three Bears fishing
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    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography creative photography photo tips photography photography tips sharpness https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/6/june_capturing-sharp-photos Sat, 01 Jun 2013 12:00:00 GMT
    May_People and Portraits https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/4/may_people-and-portraits 1. Remember, portraits are usually in the vertical orientation, so do not forget to rotate the camera out of the landscape or horizontal mode. Try both orientations since sometimes horizontal may work best! Break rules only after you understand them.BEGGAREPV0061_edit_untitled_89 Leave some negative space.







    MotherNudes_Barbara B-261





















    2. A great portrait does not always need the face - add mystery. Less may be more!


    3. Props or the environment are often an important part of the portrait. This includes clothing. Be aware of everything!

    motorcycle with grey hair bearded man20090126_McNallyModelShoot_209

    4. Look for a plain or simple background. Avoid distracting the eye with a busy background or an over-bright sky. You may need to move your subject. Sometimes standing a bit further away and zooming in to throw the background out of focus will be needed for a background to be less distracting and make your subject stand out easily.

    child20090727_Kurzweil_Girls with lite_557

    5. Be aware of various skin tones and preset your White Balance to a neutral target (custom white balance (WB) with a white or grey WB card or by shooting a color checker WB card to correct later.


    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography people photo tips photography tips portrait portraits https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/4/may_people-and-portraits Wed, 01 May 2013 21:30:00 GMT
    April Photo Tips_Wildlife Photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/4/april-photo-tips_wildlife-photography
  • lion cubsFour is a Crowd Be at your subject’s eye level to create an intimate environment. The worse position is shooting down on the wildlife subject. You may need to lie on the ground. Moose Peterson uses a Frisbee disc to slide on beaches to get close to shore birds. 
    Lion in B&amp;WLion King
  • Eye connection is important.  Eyes need to be sharp and clear, even if the rest of your subject or scene is not. A Fresnel accessory for your flash (Better Beamer) for fill light will help extend flash distance and allow you to get catch-light in the eyes even if the animal or bird is in the shade. This is the signature of a professional nature photographer.
  • Shoot with a wide open aperture – generally one to 1 ½ stop above the max aperture. Need to de-emphasize the cluttered or distracting background that does not add to the image.wide openGrey Crowned Crane
  • Remember the basic rules of composition. Rule of Thirds, for example, recommends you place the animal at one of the crossbars, facing into the scene and not away.leopard in B&amp;WTreeded
  • Look at the light – the quantity, quality, direction and temperature and adjust the time, direction and place of your shoot. Move and adjust. Mid day with clear blue skies usually will not work, but a lightly overcast sky will add depth since the contrast range is within the range of most camera’s capabilities. Early or late in the day (the Golden Hours) will generally be best.elephants at dusk_ If you are planning an African safari, I have a pdf guide to help you plan and then experience the best photography photo safari experience. Email me if interested - from the contact page http://www.judithmphotography.com/contact.html.
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) . Africa African safari African wildlife Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography animals creative photography mammals photography photography tips safari wildlife safari https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/4/april-photo-tips_wildlife-photography Mon, 01 Apr 2013 14:00:00 GMT
    March Photo Tips_ Breaking Rules https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/3/march-photo-tips_-breaking-rules I always say you need to know the rules before you break them! But when you do, here are some exceptions:

    1. Taking pictures in the Golden Hour around sunrise and sunset.  Requires more stamina and early to wake and late to dinner, but the light is gorgeous and an accepted rule for professional nature photographers.  Mid day is a challenge but the shadows create magical contrast and quiet more intimate scenes. There are lots of ways to counter the harsh light, but that is for another blog posting.  This is also a great time to shoot with an infrared converted camera. Always have your camera at hand, any time of day.Mid day arabian horseArabian Horse 2. Rule of Thirds.  This is a good start but not the only guideline for composition. It is essential however to not place the horizon line in mid image.  That is a snapshot, not a photograph. Avoid fly by shooting, where thought is not required. Slow down. Move and reposition. Back lite whalesBacklite Whales These Orca whales divide the scene but the dramatic back lighting and reflections overcome that restraint. These tomatoes are another example.tomatoesTomatoes at the market

    3. Trust your TTL (Through the Lens) camera metering. Metering is set to put mid gray in the middle of the tonal range. Therefore, if your image is mainly white, this will be metered as mid gray. Thus, the resultant image will be midtoned and the snow, grey and not white.  For a largely white scene such as a snow scape or fog scene, when shooting in aperture priority, add +1 or more exposure comp. snowed in boat_-2 winter evergreen seedlingsWinter shaddows

    4. All photos should have a bell shaped histogram and thus average.  Wrong. Every image should have its own shaped histogram depending on the tones in the image. A purely black and white zebra, will only have tones at both ends of the scales.  An image with dark to mid tones, like this cabbage and pepper abstract, will have a left shifted curve. There is NO NORMAL.cabbage and pepper abstractRed Cabbage 2 histogramHistogram

    5. Always shoot with the sun to your back.  Most of the above images prove that wrong and boring. Nothing is as magical as back light and as revealing of texture as side light. Move and explore the potential of light.lion, backlight, in sunset, as silhoette The Lion Queen

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo rules to break photo tips photography photography tips rules https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/3/march-photo-tips_-breaking-rules Fri, 01 Mar 2013 14:00:00 GMT
    February Tips_Creating a Still Life https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/1/february-tips_creating-a-still-life During the winter, when days are short and weather unpleasant, still life photography or painting is a great project. Key elements to consider are:

    1. Tell a Story or Create a Mood or Feeling– What is the reason or objective for this still life? Why am I doing this?  Create a plot first. Warm or cool will help set the mood. Create tension or a relationship. Never forget - what is the center of interest? Is it evident? Do you want to emulate realism, abstraction, cubism, expressionism, impressionism? Lincoln with Window lightEnd of Day
    2. Lighting - You will need to decide on whether you want to use window light, candle light, tungsten light or utilize strobe light such as studio strobes or flash. Diffuse this light with fabric, tracing paper, frosted shower curtain or with bigger lights -  soft boxes or translucent umbrellas. Light and shade are key. Keep light from one direction (like the sun).
    3. Composition – This is not a landscape! Express your point of view. Horizontal is peaceful and suggests movement while diagonals suggest conflict. Differential in height is important and a triangular shape to the object in positioning with triangular movement is one way to go. Curved and circular motion is another possibility.  Remember to consider negative and positive space. Lost and found edges will help set a mood. Soft v. hard edges will help establish a relationship in that sharp edges bring out outlines and contrast while soft edges will help enhance these sharp edge effects. Texture is another element to consider – rough, smooth, even, uneven. Remember to simply!African daisy with orange vasesCircular Motion in Orange
    4. Materials and their arrangement – From choosing the background such as a home setting, canvas or other cloth or paper material to the objects you will display and their relationships. Surface qualities such as polished wood or acrylic will enhance reflections, while old wood or tumbled marble will not. Shapes, size and placement such as facing or overlapping, will exhibit a dramatic effect. Odd or even number of objects? Color, dark or light, tall or short, with a pattern or plain, straight or curved, large or small among other qualities, will have great effect. Remember, you are in control and the artist.peachesPeach Halves
    5. Traditional v. Contemporary – Traditional still life is horizontal. In times past, homes had high and small windows and artists preferred the light falling from the left. Use only one light source to mimic this traditional look. White foam core can help fill in and soften the shadows. Alter the perspective. The impressionist artist often kept the tabletop skewed.lobster feast_-2
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography photo tips still life https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/1/february-tips_creating-a-still-life Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:00:00 GMT
    January 2013_Winter Photography Tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/1/january-2013_winter-photography-tips
  • It is crucial if you are in cold temperatures to keep your digital camera cool. Do not attempt to make it warm through putting it beneath your coat or possibly in a heated place. Relocating the digital camera from the chilly to warmer heat range rapidly will result in condensation. Moisture build-up or condensation is a sure way to damage a digital camera.lobster pots20121230_snow_056_edit_untitled_17
  • Even though the digital camera must be used chilled, the batteries must not! Keep spare batteries warm in your chest inner pockets or trouser pockets. If rapidly moving your camera from warm to cold or the reverse, keep your camera in a camera bag or plastic bag until temperatures equalize.ship on land in snow20121230_snow_028-2
  • Digital camera devices will regularly misinterpret the white balance in the snowfall. The camera meter will expose for mid grey. This could cause a greyish or blue look in the pictures. The perfect solution is always to overexpose the photo. If shooting in Aperture Priority, add +1 exposure comp and adjust as needed to maintain snow white as white.20121230_snow_013-2
  • Play with your macro lens and look for smaller scenes. Look at icicles, frozen wildflowers or grasses, ice formations or reflections.rose hips in snow20121230_snow_001-2
  • Throughout the winter season the hard storms as well as cold temperatures usually lessen the air pollution with the atmosphere. Consequently, the skies tend to be crisper. This will make for excellent aerial as well as scenic images.Good Harbor beach in the snow20121230_snow_074
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante creative photography ice photo tips photography photography tips snow winter https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2013/1/january-2013_winter-photography-tips Wed, 02 Jan 2013 03:30:00 GMT
    December 2012 Photo Tips_ Make these your New Year’s Photo Resolutions: https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/12/december-2012-photo-tips_-make-these-your-new-year-s-photo-resolutions
  • Use a tripod to slow you down and allow you to think – as well as to stabilize your camera. AND review your camera manual. Learn to use all your equipment in an educated way.
    1. Learn to use your flash off camera and as fill light. Even in broad daylight, flash can improve your photography greatly. In mid-day sun, for shallow depth of field use your Auto Hi Speed FP flash settings (with minus 1 to 2 flash exposure comp) on you camera for Nikon or on the flash for Canon to allow bursts of flash despite the full sun without overexposing. If this seems daunting, sign up for my Creative Lighting course this February at North Shore Community College!  Info below.gloucester state fishing pier, fill flash, reflectionsMonteferrante_J_State Fishing Pier_Glouc (1 of 1)
    2. Don’t be afraid of the rain or foul weather. Shooting right after the rain can add reflections in puddles and any wet surfaces that can enhance the image. Stormy clouds create extra interest.Rain at Good HarborMonteferrante_J_Good Harbor in Rain (1 of 1)
    3. Wake up earlier to get morning light – right before and for about an hour after sunrise.  And/or eat later and shoot the hour before and after sunset.  However, don’t just shoot the sunset, but the scene behind you that the magical sunset is lighting! Good Harbor in early morning rain and fogMonteferrante_J_Good Harbor in Rain and Fog (1 of 1)
    4. Citiscapes with deep blue skies after the sunset (for about an hour) is a great time to shoot city lights at night.Manhattan LightsMonteferrante_J_NYC (1 of 1)

    NEWS ON COURSES I am teaching:   


    1. Creative Lighting Photography  

    with Judith Monteferrante - at North Shore Community College, Danvers, MA

    Four Tuesday evenings in February, 2013 (Feb 5 through 26th) 

    For complete information, click on the link in blue above, go to the blue "Search" column on the left, click on "Instructor" and choose Judith Monteferrante.  

    Sign up now.

    2. Boston Camera Club - Creative Available Light - any light that is available. March 19, 2013 at 6 pm.  Parish House of All Saints Parish Church, 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.  Join the Boston Camera Club for monthly educational sessions.

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante Photography instruction cold weather photography creative photography photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/12/december-2012-photo-tips_-make-these-your-new-year-s-photo-resolutions Tue, 04 Dec 2012 18:00:00 GMT
    Photo Tips for November 2012 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/11/photo-tips-for-november-2012 1. Take your photo in the best possible light. You may have heard that the best light for most photography is very early or very late in the day, when the sun is low, and the light is soft and colorful. This is a good rule to follow most of the time. Not only is the light more attractive, you can also avoid the contrast and heavy shadows of midday.

    Some subjects actually work better on cloudy days. For animals and people, cloudy weather softens the light and overcomes the problem of your subject squinting into the light. In the forest, overcast skies prevent the heavy contrast that is a problem on sunny days.

    Paddle surfer at DuskPaddling Home

    2. Landscape photos: create a more interesting composition. Many photos can be made more interesting not by zooming right in on the subject, but by zooming out, or standing further back to capture more of the surroundings. The important thing is to use make sure you use the surroundings to add impact to the picture.Yosemite with Gathering StormGathering Storm, Yosemite

    3. Sunset and Sunrise. Everyone loves taking sunset (and sunrise) photos. A brilliant sunset sky can make a great photo, but you can make it even better by looking for a good subject in the foreground. The key is to find something that stands out against the sky, with an outline people can recognize; a tree, a windmill, even a row of power poles. The subject does not have to dominate the photo; in fact it is probably best if it only takes up about ten percent of the composition so that the sky remains the starring attraction. But if you can create a striking silhouette, you will immediately add character to your sunset photograph.

    4. Animals (And People). Portrait style photos are usually spoiled by a distracting background. When you take a photo of a friend, a pet, or an animal, you don’t want the surroundings to take attention away from the subject.

    So here’s the trick. Don’t stand close to your subject and take the photo with a regular or wide-angle lens. Stand further back and zoom in with your largest lens magnification. This will have two results. First, it will reduce the area behind and around the subject that is visible in the photo. Second, it will minimize the depth of field, which means only your subject should be in focus. Anything in front or behind the subject will be out of focus, and will not cause a distraction.Lilac Breasted RollerLilac Breasted Roller

    5. Concentrate. Sometimes all it takes to make a photo a success is to move a little to the left or right, or zoom in or out just a little more. If you just point the camera in the general direction of the subject without thinking about what you are doing, your results will not improve. If you slow down and really examine what you can see in the viewfinder before you press the button, your success rate will improve. Simple things to look out for include; trees and power-poles appearing to grow out of the head of the subject (move yourself or the subject to a better position); litter on the ground (pick it up); aircraft or distracting clouds in the sky (wait for them to pass by); blurry branches on a windy day (wait for conditions to settle for a moment). All these things and more can ruin a photo, and they can all be remedied by taking a good look to make sure your picture has captured everything you want, and nothing you don’t want. Atmosphere and weather is so important!


    Tips from Andrew Goodall. Thanks!  Photos are mine. We can all learn from others. Follow my tweets for lots of great learning links.https://twitter.com/drjmonte

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography Judith Monteferrante photography photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/11/photo-tips-for-november-2012 Fri, 02 Nov 2012 00:45:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for October, 2012 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/9/high-five-photo-tips-for-october-2012 1. Remember most people want to feel CALM, and strive at achieving it. Look for images that speak to you about calm and relaxation. B7W sailboat with graphic lines and calm watersSolitary Sailboat 2. Simplify.  The new key to life! Or maybe always the key. 3. Consider Color or B&W.  What works for each image? B&W often appears more dramatic and graphic. Portrait in B&amp;W of TomTom 4. Find a theme! Water, sky, street, nature, men in suits, nudity in nature. The choices are overwhelming. But choose one and stick with it.  dahlia in water with bubbles against blueSwirl

    5. Shoot daily. Everyone is now a photographer and recent poll said 1 out of 125 adults say they are visual artists. Really???  Hard to believe. So what you do need to set yourself apart? Read, attend workshops, practice! Keep experimenting.

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fireworks Montage Judith M Photography black and white photography creative photography photo tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/9/high-five-photo-tips-for-october-2012 Mon, 01 Oct 2012 18:45:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for September: Using Light in Photography and Painting https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/8/high-five-photo-tips-for-september-using-light-in-photography-and-painting
  • To create white lines on glassware that defines edges against black: Use 1. white panels on the sides that are lite either from behind with a large light source behind a white sheet or with a soft box OR 2. from the front with light focused on the white panels using a flag to block the light from hitting the front of the glassware.Limes with Blue Glass on BlackBlue goblets with limes
  • Using a white background panel with dark on the edges will create black lines on the edges of glass.
  • Using Plexiglas panels as a surface - in clear, white, black or mirrored - can create reflections to enhance the image.
  • Learn to use window light creatively to enhance a mood.  In the early evening, sending a light from outside through a window (covered with sheet or frosted shower curtain – or rain) can change the mood of portrait.
  • Remember, light illuminates and shadows define. Using them effectively, will create the mood of the picture. And Light has direction. “American Gothic” by Grant Wood illustrates the use of light direction to sculpt the face adding character to the male figure while the broad lighting of the woman softens her features.American GothicMore images on my newsletter and website  so sign up now at: http://www.judithmphotography.com
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Judith M Photography commercial photography creative photography life photo tips produce still https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/8/high-five-photo-tips-for-september-using-light-in-photography-and-painting Sat, 01 Sep 2012 14:00:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for July-August https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-july-august High Five Photo Tips for July-August:

    Summer Photography 
    1. Photograph the Weather! Often best right before or just after the storm.
      Nor'easter Storm
    2. Keep it simple but not too simple.  You do need a point of interest. Slow down, look and think. A tripod often helps - more then just providing a stable platform.   
    3. Be creative with Pet photography.  It is always raining cats and dogs, so take advantage. Get Down to their eye level. Create action shots by hold treats such as peanut butter or store bought treats. Horses will perk up there ears if you crinkle paper. Experiment! Beans
    4. Think! Plan and Create.  Forget drive by shooting.  
      dories in a marine area
      Beacon Marine Gold
    5. Explore the water and night sky. Summer is the perfect time to get out and expand your horizons. Get out of the box. Think and Dream. Thus, create. 

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography weather Judith M Photography pet photography creative photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-july-august Fri, 29 Jun 2012 05:30:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for June https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/5/high-five-photo-tips-for-june
    High Five Photo Tips for June 2012:

    Wildlife Photography
    1. Use a long lens (telephoto) to fill the frame and use a wide aperture to blur the background.
      Seal lion
    2. Know your subject and their habits to be prepared. Anticipate their movements. Plan for optimum time and season to observe.
    3. Capture action for more interest. Patience is needed of course.
      zebra baby at watering hole
      Baby Zebra at Watering Hole
    4. Get Close.
      seal 3Dreaming
      Let sleeping Sea Lions rest
    5. Look for interesting pose or movement; experiment with angles and focus
      seal 2Dreaming 2
      Allow space for Text

      More Wildlife Photography at: www.judithmphotography.com/animalia
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante Judith M Photography zebra wildlife photography sea lions https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/5/high-five-photo-tips-for-june Thu, 31 May 2012 10:29:00 GMT
    JMP Blog has MOVED https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/5/jmp-blog-has-moved www.judithmphotography.com/blog
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/5/jmp-blog-has-moved Wed, 09 May 2012 18:45:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for MAY https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/4/may-photo-tips
  • Learn good habits, such as knowing your equipment; being adaptable (experience will give you the confidence to be adaptable); and being able to collaborate and share with others (you may gain some new skills and contacts along the way).Dahlias with textureDahlias
  • Shoot what you love to make your work more personal and meaningful.Elephants in Sepia, Child following MomElephants
  • Try motion blur effects:  using a tripod, Manual or shutter priority, small apertures, low ISO and or neutral density filter (to avoid overexposure).  Then adjust based on  your results and histogram to get the effect you want.  You may be surprised!
  • Use a white bed sheet: As a reflector - on the ground to bounce some light up into faces above or on the side opposite the light source to fill in some shadows. Or as a diffuser (similar to a soft box) between the sun or any light source and your subject. A white pillow case can also be used if a smaller fill in area is needed. White foam core is another substitute white reflector. Covered with silver foil will even reflect more light. Black foam core will absorb light. Young girl at bridal showerGrace
  • Having the skill of observing along with having your camera ready is essential to taking good candid camera shots. Practice, practice, practice.Blind begger in B&amp;WBeggar
  • ]]>
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith M Photography candid photo tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/4/may-photo-tips Tue, 01 May 2012 19:30:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for March-April 2012 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/3/high-five-photo-tips-for-march-april

    1.Small pupils can create fascinating portraits. To create this effect, move your subject from a very bright area to a dimmer one immediately before making a photo

    2. Most of the time we only think of portraits as being of the face, but other parts of the body, especially the hands, can tell more of a story. Experiment with just shooting a part of a person to tell the whole story, such as part of a wranglers outfit: just chaps or the boots with spurs.
    Western Boots with Spurs

    wrangler chops
    Western Chaps

    3. Keep your subject busy while you are composing and shooting, by giving them something to do like using props, which can include another person, such as a child, or you could have them work on a hobby project, such as their garden. These types of props can also offer other things you will need to make a good shot, like a good background, and plenty of room to work in.    

    4. During the golden hours, the sun is at an angle where it will illuminate mist, fog or dust, giving you a great golden glow when the weather conditions permit it.
    Horse stampede in the morning with dust
    Morning Stampede

    5. In travel photography, try to capture or slow down action to make your images less static. With dances, shoot at a slower shutter speed to blur the movement. At night, with your camera on a tripod, these slow shutter speeds will allow car headlights and taillights to blur, creating wonderful compositions.

    indian dancing during pow wow
    Pow wow Indian Dancers

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fine Art Photography Photography instruction Judith M Photography photography tips creative photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/3/high-five-photo-tips-for-march-april Sun, 04 Mar 2012 11:51:00 GMT
    RNAC Residency Opportunity https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/1/rnac-residency-opportunity

    Goetemann Residency in Gloucester, MA:   a unique opportunity for artists

    Be part of the next generation of  21st century artists to build on the foundations set by Edward Hopper, Milton Avery, Nel Blaine, Winslow Homer, and many others. 

    Rocky Neck Art Colony is currently accepting applications for the 2012 Goetemann Artist in Residency Program at the Rocky Neck Art Colony (www.Rockyneckartcolony.org). Three visual artists will be selected to be in residence for three one month residencies during the summer season from May to October of 2012.

    Rocky Neck sits like a jewel in the large fishing harbor of Gloucester, MA. With rafted fishing vessels sitting below the stacked houses of surrounding hills, it has provided the visual drama and complex beauty to draw America's greatest artists over the last 150 years to the oldest working art colony in the United States. Residents accepted will receive a prime live-work studio both private and on a wharf right in the midst of it all.

    Choices for subject matter are endless.  Interpretive possibilities abound.  We encourage applications from artists interested in the naturalistic phenomena of this place s well as from those on the cutting edge of contemporary thought and exploration.
    Kathy Liao of Seattle, Washington,  Goetemann Artist in Residence, Gloucester,MA

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Rocky Neck Art Colony Gloucester MA Artist in Residence https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/1/rnac-residency-opportunity Wed, 04 Jan 2012 17:59:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for Jan-Feb 2012 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/1/high-five-photo-tips-for-jan-feb-2012 High Five Photo Tips for JANUARY - FEBRUARY:

    1. Light Painting is done in the dark with the camera on a tripod set with manual focus - preset using a flashlight to aide focus) and shutter speeds in the seconds up to minutes. Use a continuous light source such as flashlight, light pen or instantaneous flash with or without gels. Dress in black, move quickly through a scene and even cover flashlight grip, etc. with black. 

    2.  Get inspiration for your still life and food photography from your local museum. Look at classical paintings from the old masters. Carefully observe the use of color, contrast and composition. Simple lighting with the use of a single light source will create lovely shapes due to cast shadows.  Dark shadows will produce the illusion of depth. Prime lens with a 50 mm equivalent crop factor will mimic the physical limitations of paintings. Experiment and create harmony with complementary colors such as orange with blue. Don't wait for the perfect object, the perfect lighting or the perfect equipment.
    blue plate with onions
    Blue Plate with Onions

    pepper duo
    Pepper Duo
    3. Create a mood or inspire an emotion with your photography.  
    Heading Home, Gloucester Harbor

    4. Choose your subject and find the simplest elements. Then compose and shoot with your concept in mind. Think and compose. Remember these key elements to create not take an image.
    peony sunrise
    Peony Sunrise

    5. More on Patterns. Explore B&W and Color. Look for duplicity of patterns and how the light enhances the effect. Side lighting will bring out the texture.
    sand pattern square
    Sand Patterns Square
    sand pattern
    Sand Patterns

    All prior photo tips archived in the JMP Blog.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante photography photo tips Judith M Photography creative photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2012/1/high-five-photo-tips-for-jan-feb-2012 Tue, 03 Jan 2012 12:41:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for December https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/12/high-five-photo-tips-for-december 1. When shooting Portraits, alter you viewpoint and either get up higher and shoot down or lower and shoot up. Try direct eye contact and then have the subject look outside the field of the camera or inside the camera field. Try props or candid poses often during action such as with jumping or in an activity. Add light Painting.

    light paining
    senior 1 with heart senior 3
    2. Lighting is the key to compositing. This will make the selections easier and the composite look real. The lighting on the subject and on the composite needs to match. Another trick - don't include the feet if possible. Plan ahead.
    composite 2 composite 1
    3. Simple compositions are often best. Clean and pure. Follows my photo motto: Simplify.
    Fish Market
    4. Foreground elements help to balance a composition. Choose them wisely. Use leading lines to draw the eye into the photo.

    Or just look for patterns and colors.

    Times Square steps
    Times Square
    5. Location, location, location. True in photography as it is in real estate. Choose a great location and a landmark of that location to be the key focus. This is an infra red pannoramic shot vertically at Pepsico in New York.
    IR Pano
    Infra Red Panno

    Accent Line Block
    Closing Block

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) photo tips Judith M Photography creative photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/12/high-five-photo-tips-for-december Thu, 01 Dec 2011 12:05:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for November https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/11/high-five-photo-tips-for-november Plan a photo safari to Africa!
    1. Do your own trip investigation and analysis: a safari requires extensive planning as much as twelve months ahead for bookings. Do not trust a travel agent who may be, in fact, booking his first African trip. Read about the different countries and decide what might appeal to you. For instance, trips to Namibia and Kenya required long car journeys over poor roads, not an adventure for everyone. Our destinations, however, were well worth the drive.
    Elephants in Mist, South Africa

    2. The countries of Africa are very different in geography, abundance and variety of animals, and rules for engaging them. For instance, some only allow game viewing from park roads, which is understandable from a conservation viewpoint. The alternative offered by private lodges such as those next to Kruger National Park in South Africa, is off road viewing. The difference is profound. In the former, the action might only be viewed from a great distance with a long telephoto lens, unless you are lucky. The latter, far preferable, gives the true feeling of Africa. The driver and tracker not only take you to the animals, but it is possible to follow them. Since they have never been hunted, they have no fear of the vehicle and its occupants. Amazingly, the animals often proceed with their eating, hunting, or other activities as if unobserved. Following a pride of lions on a hunt and kill is an unforgettable experience.
    Lion Cubs, Kenya
    Namibian Dunes from the Air

    3. Investigate the airline services: an older person with orthopedic problems cannot fly coach class for sixteen hours plus with ease. Explore upgrades with miles or stagger the trip by flying coach to Europe (6 hours), enjoying several days in Amsterdam or another major European city, and then continuing on.

    4. Look at the type of tour. For the serious photographer, a tour led by a professional photographer who has done it before is a safe bet for success. Riding in an open vehicle packed like sardines with eight other tourists does not lead to good work. Ideally, three shooters per vehicle is perfect allowing one row per photographer.
    Off Road

    5. Know your equipment and make sure you have what is needed for this once in a lifetime trip.

    I gave a talk on this subject Saturday, November 5, 9:15 to 11 am at HUNTS Photo and Video in Melrose, MA .  781 662-8822   Will be also doing at talk at the Newburyport Art Association at 7:30 pm on Monday, November 14th.  Hope to see you there.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante Africa African photo safari photo safari Judith M Photography wildlife photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/11/high-five-photo-tips-for-november Sat, 12 Nov 2011 18:27:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for OCTOBER https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/10/high-five-photo-tips-for-october High Five Photo Tips for OCTOBER:

    1.One of the most popular angles to shoot is from the photographer's standing point of view. While this is fine with landscape and other general purpose photography, it does not create high impact visually arresting images.
    Most of the professional photographers produce stunning and engaging photographs that have been taken from a low angle. In landscape photography, the foreground can be captured in detail when the photographer is really low and almost lying on the ground. Try to experiment with this style of photography by going low on the floor and take more engaging photographs.

    The bottom angle allows the viewer a fresh and different perspective of the same scene or situation. A useful accessory is a small sturdy tabletop tripod. 

    2. Try using a Light Reflectors for your outdoor photography. A 5 in 1 set is very handy to have.  A Translucent Diffuser allows you to diffuse direct sunlight to create softer light without harsh shadows. this is important for flower and people portraits in direct closer to mid day sunlight. The white, gold or silver reflector allows you to redirect light to the desired areas and the option of providing a cool or warmer tone (with gold or silver respectively). Reflectors can also become a quick white or black backdrop.

    3. The Rule of Thirds is an essential guide for composition that helps balance your images.  Basically you divide your viewfinder into thirds, vertically and horizontally, which will give you 9 equal boxes.  Compose your image so that the center of interest is at one of the crossing points, rather than dead center. 

    4. Another rule is to have your subject position so that it is entering and not leaving the frame, with space to give it breathing room. This varies in Eastern vs Western Cultures depending on the direction of writing!  You should master these rules to learn when they can be broken.

    5. Next time you are shooting a portrait, particularly if a man, consider lighting a profile with split lighting.  This will often bring out the subject's true personality and "create" not just take a portrait.  A large soft box or window can be used, bringing the subject nearer to the front edge of the light source (closer to the camera) with the body at a 45 degree angle to the camera (try in both directions - towards or away from the light) while the face is facing the light source.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) rule of thirds split lighting lighting photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/10/high-five-photo-tips-for-october Sat, 01 Oct 2011 13:00:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for September https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/9/high-five-photo-tips-for-september
    High Five Photo Tips for September:

    1.Depth of Field is a great creative tool.  Remember,    
    The most important item to control is the aperture setting. The larger the aperture used, the smaller the depth of field range.
    A good review at: How to use Depth of Field 
    Tony at F 2.8 with 70-200 zoom racked out to 200 for bokeh

    tony at 70
    Tony at 70 mm_same settings
    Even though set at same wide aperture of f/2.8, better Bokeh racked out ( ie the outer limits of the Zoom; so 200 mm on a 70-200mm zoom lens). Try it out.    

    2. Remember to MOVE:  Every time you you go out shooting, try different camera setting on the same subject. Move around!  Low high, close up to zoomed out.Change lenses and perspective. Try a tilt.  Or think of the horizon line.  Centered or at 1/3rd. Vary it and see what works.  Be Creative!!
    flowers low
    Coneflowers from a low perspective

    3. Use your Tripod.  It will help you take clear photos all the time whether it is action or close-ups.  
    A great advantage of having a tripod is you can shoot images hands free. The reason is that you can use a remote release to start the shutter. 
    People often using telephoto lenses will also find the tripod useful. As having longer lenses normally create more weight to your digital camera, a tripod will keep your device steady.
    A tripod also slows you down and helps you think and create better images.

    4. Black is needed to make an attractive B&W photograph, it says it right in the name, black and white.  If you've grown into the habit of using the histogram in Photoshop or Lightroom to show you the black and white highlighted areas don't adjust the exposure or increase the fill light to the eliminate all the flashing area.  Solid black in some portion of the image is not only acceptable, it's needed.  
    Searching, Nude Matured Project

    5.  A good landscape usually includes an interesting foreground as the focal point that leads you into the rest of the picture.   
    Pigeon Cove

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Photography photo tips Judith M Photography creative photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/9/high-five-photo-tips-for-september Sun, 18 Sep 2011 12:03:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for AUGUST: https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/8/high-five-photo-tips-for-august
    1. Photograph the small things.
    Instead of trying to fit in as much as possible in one shot, try breaking it up into 2 or 3 closer ones. Small details can often tell a story about the region your visiting. For example, the texture in a building or the details in a shop can often be lost if the photograph is taken from a distance too far away.
    red shoes
    Wooden Shoes, the Netherlands
    2. Vary your Depth of Field to add Bokeh - blur to the background.  Try shooting with a wide open aperture, such as f/2.8.  If using a long telephoto lens, keep it long but get close to achieve this effect.  
    Bearded Iris, Giverny, France

    3. In the  middle of the day with lots of contrast, keep shooting and then convert to Black & White.  Look for patterns, textures, simple compositions. Some say, the most pure form of the art of photography.

    Marine Railways, Rocky Neck, MA 

    4. Don't put your camera away at Dusk or at Night.  Use a tripod and play with slower shutter speeds.  Or if you can't use a tripod, raise your ISO with a wide open f stop, such as f/2/8 to 5.6 to obtain a sufficient shutter speed to hand hold your camera.  At least the reciprocal of the lens length, such as need 1/200 sec or faster to hand hold a 70 to 200 racked out to 200 mm.  Turning on Vibration Reduction will also help.  
    Following Mom, Elephants, South Africa

    5. Consider using Fill Flash! Off camera or with the pop up flash using the Gary Fong Puffer to diffuse the light.  Can work pretty well with the camera on Program Mode and the Flash to TTL. For total control, however, meter in aperture priority with the f stop you want and then use those settings (or slower shutter speeds to drag the shutter) with your Camera in Manual mode.  Flash in TTL with flash exposure compensation down to minus 1 1/3 to - 2. Adjust as needed to get the fill you want.   
    Alum floret with fill flash

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) photo tips Judith M Photography creative photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/8/high-five-photo-tips-for-august Sun, 07 Aug 2011 11:55:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for JULY: https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/7/high-five-photo-tips-for-july
    1. Fireworks Season is approaching and there are many techniques you can try!  One is using the double exposure setting available in Nikon cameras - set for 3 to 5 exposures, ISO 200, auto gain on and single exposure mode.  Shoot when bursts are at their peak. This is an alternate to the old bulb technique with the black card over the lens between bursts.     
    2. Another is Shooting Separate Fireworks Bursts then blending in Photoshop - Use a tripod, a cable release, zoom tele lens, camera on manual with shutter speed around 4 sec, aperture at F11.  Manual focus to infinity.  ISO 200. Do a test shot and evaluate it and adjust as needed.  Take a background image first before the show at a wide angle to use as your background image. Then lasso the individual bursts in Photoshop onto a new layer above your background and blend with lighten.  Move individual bursts as needed to line up as you like.   
    fireworks blend
    Fireworks over the Boulevard in Gloucester
    3. Use Black & White to add Drama - especially for dull scenes. Then adjust the shutter speed to slow the movement of water in seascapes to really add drama. 
    4. Try Intimate Compositions for Seascapes -    
    The vastness of the ocean invites the photographer to shoot the grand seascape using a wide or ultra-wide lens. But a telephoto can be used to create intimate compositions from coastal scenes, specially if you have rocks. Try different focal lengths to search for a composition you haven't considered, use a long exposure if needed to create an abstraction and you'll have a new photo.
    Thatcher's Twin Lighthouses 
    5. Get Close -  
    Because wide-angle lenses take in a bigger angle-of-view than other lenses, using a wide-angle lens at the same distance from your subject will render that subject smaller than it would otherwise. To compensate for this, you'll have to move closer to your subject. Don't be bashful about getting close, particularly with super-wides.
    Sepia Archway
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fireworks Montage photo tips Judith M Photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/7/high-five-photo-tips-for-july Thu, 28 Jul 2011 13:00:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for JUNE https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-june
    High Five Photo Tips for JUNE:
    1. Try Different Perspectives. A Simple photo taken at eye level can be turned into something truly unique by lowering your perspective.
    tulips from above
    Tulips from Above 
    tulips from below
    Tulips from Ground level with wide open aperture
    2, Use a Wide Angle Lens - Especially in an environment where it is difficult to capture all the elements in your field of view, such as an entire beach.Some think this is the top secret of the Landscape Professional Photographer-Artist!
    Windmills of the Netherlands
    3. Scout your locations and Follow the Light. Look all around you. The sunset may not make the best picture. It may be the glow on the trees behind you that excites the eye. When photographing into the sun, a wide aperture (less than F11) will soften while a small aperture (above F11 - often best at F22) will allow star-shaped rays to appear.
    4. Try Long Exposures. Water is a great subject. Start with one to 3 second exposures, best as the tide goes in, With ND, polarizing or Variable Neutral Density filters you can try even longer exposures - up to 400 seconds and beyond!
    5. Shoot the Waves, especially during or after a Storm. Start shooting before the wave crashes and shoot continuously throughout.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) wide angle lens long exposures waves photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-june Thu, 30 Jun 2011 14:00:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for April: https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-april
    High Five Photo Tips for April:

    1. Play with Motion.  By varying the shutter speed, you can create more creative imagery.  Slow shutter speeds can add interesting effects but may require polarizing or neutral density filters to enable slow enough shutter speeds.  I prefer the Singh-Ray variable Neutral Density Filter.  More about using motion creatively on my Rick Sammon Guest Blog Post.
    2. Try Split Tones and Duotones to create more interesting B&W's. Images with pattern and texture create wonderful toned images.
    Sugar Cane Factory Road

    3. Embrace Change.  Look for new projects to excite you and entice you to go beyond your comfort zone.
    4. Shooting wildlife - flora or fauna - get low for a unique look - get on the ground!  Use a frisbee for support and protection - to keep the dirt out of your equipment. If on a beach or dune using a tripod or monopod, always extend the lowest tripod leg to its maximum to prevent sand and water getting into the joints.
    5. When shooting people, keep the eyes in the top third. Look for catch-lights and sharp focus.  Eyes are the key and the window to the soul.
    Dog and Child Portrait
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) black and white photography portraits photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-april Sat, 11 Jun 2011 14:08:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips for MAY https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-may
    High Five Photo Tips for MAY

    1.  Go take a walk with a prime lens and force yourself to see with that lens.  It will help you understand that focal length.  Do this until you feel comfortable and then creative.  If you do not own a prime lens use your zoom, but restrict your range to short, mid or long zoom.  
    2,  Start a Project or Theme.  Anything that gets you thinking and out shooting.  Reflections, colors, shapes, location or meaning.  Let your imagination flow.
    3. Try a polarizing filter. This filter increases contrast, takes haze out of the atmosphere, and takes reflections off water surfaces. It is most effective when used at 90 degrees from the sun The filter needs to be turned while you look through the camera to see the effects. Yes, it takes away almost two stops of light, but you can always turn up the ISO to compensate.
    4. Light Illuminates, Shadows Define.  A favorite saying of Rick Sammon.  Lots of good photography ideas on the Rick Sammon BLOG  
    5. Get Close to your subject.  The most common mistake made by photographers is that they are not physically close enough to their subjects. In some cases this means that the center of interest-the subject-is just a speck, too small to have any impact.   
    42nd st
    42nd Street Welcome
    mayor of arthur Ave
    Mayor of Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY
    Don't be shy. If you approach people in the right way, they'll usually be happy to have their picture made. It's up to you to break the ice and get them to cooperate. Joke around with them and share the fun. "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough" as per Robert Capa.   
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,267730,00.html#ixzz1KaBz4y9f
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) photography portraits photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/6/high-five-photo-tips-for-may Thu, 09 Jun 2011 14:05:00 GMT
    Caring for Photography Collections https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/caring-for-photography-collections

    AXA Tips: Caring for Photography Collections
    Here are some tips from our friends at AXA Art Insurance about caring for photographs.

    When Transporting Artworks:

    • Make sure that the vehicle is large enough to accommodate the artwork and its packaging.
    • Make sure the works are professionally and correctly packaged for shipping.
    • Avoid using inexperienced art handlers.

    When Framing, Hanging and Storing:

    • Make sure your artwork is protected with archival framing.Photo Collection
    • Glass vs. Plexiglas? Glass is easier to clean and care for but when it breaks, it can destroy artworks. If the photograph is of high value choose the added safety and protection of Plexiglas.
    • Always protect art from heat and direct sunlight. Never hang expensive art over a fireplace.
    • Use appropriate picture hangers for artwork, which are available at professional framing stores.
    • Avoid storing works in basements. If you must, be sure to keep the artwork at least 3 inches above the floor.

    When Dealing with Insurance:

    • Keep your insurance company updated with the current values of your artwork. This should be done yearly or when there are significant changes in values.
    • Confirm coverage for the work includes shipping and transportation coverage.
    This and more tips on the Johnsonese Brokerage Spring Art & Antique Insurance Newsletter:  
    Spring Art & Antique Insurance Newsletter
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) storing art transporting art insurance caring for photography collections photography collections framing art https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/caring-for-photography-collections Sun, 24 Apr 2011 10:00:00 GMT
    Tips on Shooting Fireworks and Post Production https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/tips-on-shooting-fireworks-and-post 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. Reposition 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).
    One is a blend and I'm sure you could tell which one!! Enjoy and have fun. This new technique worked better for me then the bulb with the black card I had used in the past.
    Straight Fireworks_Shot with Multiple Bursts in One Frame
    Fireworks Montage_Gloucester Harbor
    Which to you prefer?   Get ready to send yours along to:

    Watch for more assignments and creative ideas!  AND sign up for a weekend Creative Photography Workshop.  See my Schedule on my website Event Page: http://www.judithmphotography.com/events
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Fireworks Montage fireworks Fireworks Photography Photoshop Techniques https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/tips-on-shooting-fireworks-and-post Mon, 18 Apr 2011 07:16:00 GMT
    Still Point Art Gallery BLOG: Bobby Baker - Black and White Silence https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/still-point-art-gallery-blog-bobby I just released my summer weekend workshop series- Creative Photography - to be held in and around Gloucester, MA, selected weekends in June, July and August.  The schedule is listed under Events on my website at: http://www.judithmphotography.com/events

    E mail me for further information at [email protected]

    But for now, Enjoy the Blog:
     Still Point Art Gallery BLOG: Bobby Baker - Black and White Silence: "Bobby Baker was honored with the title of Artist of Distinction for the work he submitted and is showing in Still Point Art Gallery's curre..."
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) black and white photography cold weather photography photography workshops Photography instruction Still Point Art Gallery creative photography Bobby Baker https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/still-point-art-gallery-blog-bobby Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:55:00 GMT
    Fresh RAW Food_The Simple Things in Life. https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/fresh-raw-foodthe-simple-things-in-life Grapes fresh off the Vine
    Fresh Tomatoe

    Life is a Bowl of Cherries

    Fresh produce and the Farmer's Market.  All good things to look forward to after a long winter. Color or Black and White?  Food Photography can be very inspiring.  Look at the work with Peppers by Edward Weston.  He wrote:  It is classic, completely satisfying _ a pepper_ but more than a pepper: abstract, in that it is completely outside subject matter.
    Red Twisted Sister Pepper

    B&W Peppers

    Red Peppers

    So grab a basket and gather subject matter for a rewarding photo shoot.  Use diffused window light or soft light in studio with a soft box or translucent umbrella with your strobes or flash as the main light and reflector on the side for fill  for a natural effect.  Experiment!!
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) peppers Judith Monteferrante cherries tomatoe carrots grapes food photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/4/fresh-raw-foodthe-simple-things-in-life Tue, 05 Apr 2011 18:07:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips_ #2_March 2011 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/3/high-five-photo-tips-2march-2011
    High Five Photo Tips

    JMP Top Five Monthly tips for March are:
    1.      Try a star effect for the sun using a small aperture F stop such as f 22.  If there is too much glare, position the sun behind an object such as a tree and use a lens hood or shield the front of the lens such as with a cap or hat.   
    Haleakala Crater, High Noon

       2.     Try HDR.  The new Nik HDR Efex Pro plug in filter for Photoshop or Lightroom makes the processing so much easier.  http://www.niksoftware.com/hdrefexpro/usa/entry.php
    To shoot for HDR, I recommend using: 1.  3 to 5 exposure bracketed shots (each varying by one f stop for under, correct and overexposed images), with 2. Aperture priority (usually around f 8 or 11) so the camera will bracket by changes in the shutter speed, 3. A tripod,  4. Autofocus first and then set on manual, 5. Shoot on Continuous High shooting mode.
    For Nikon you will need 5 one F shop bracketed images but for Canon you can choose 2 f stop brackets and thus will only need 3 images to get the same exposure info to use for HDR.  Check your camera manual for details on setting up bracketed images since it will vary.  I prefer my D3 since a dedicated button is right on the camera whereas for the D300 it is a menu item.

    Haleakala Crater HDR with Nik HDR Efex Pro
    3.     Instead of HDR, try double processing in Photoshop by opening the image as a Smart Object. Then Right click on this layer in the layers panel and select New Smart Object via Copy.  This will give you a second copy.  Since they are both smart objects, each can be adjusted in Camera Raw separately - such as adjust the lower one for the ground and the upper one for the sky.  You will want to keep the brighter image on the bottom background layer.  Then using an inverted or black mask on the upper layer, paint with white on this mask to expose the darker part of the upper image you want to include in your final image.  Use a medium sized hard-edged brush. Vary the brush opacity to adjust the strength of this adjustment or when done adjust the opacity of this layer to get the effect you want. Try using the gradient tool on this mask to add a gradual transition to your effect. Practice on your normally exposed middle image in an HDR sequence and see how you like it compared to your HDR image. Let me know what you think!
    Double processed as smart objects

    Original image_Horses in the meadow

     4.     Explore the capabilities of Lightroom 3.  You can download a trial version and have some fun.  The RAW processing is the same as in Photoshop but the workflow is better for photographers. You can then fine tune in Photoshop if you need some hi tech correction such as Content Aware Scaling or Editing.  Then just remember when done with your PS edit, to SAVE first before SAVE AS to have it go back next to your original image.   If you want to re-edit in Photoshop, make sure you select -Edit Original to see all the layers.  Let me know if you would like a list of my preferences for LR set up.

    5.     Whatever downloading system you use, rename the photos during this phase and add metadata such as copyright and contact info. Keywords can be added and/or some basic processing can also be done at this time.  I use Lightroom and apply the Date, with the full year first, edit field with the name of the group or location and then the sequence number to each image.  I place them in a folder for each year under a subfolder for the date.  During the import,  I select Copy as a DNG and select  make a separate copy to  to save a copy of the RAW images under the download date to a portable or other backup hard drive.  Example of a file name would be: 20110222_MauiSurf_001 in the folder 2011 and subfolder 2011-02-22. I later rename this folder to add some descriptor such as Surf.

    Surfer at dusk

    Sunset HDR

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante Star effect Photoshop HDR photo tips Lightroom smart object https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/3/high-five-photo-tips-2march-2011 Mon, 28 Mar 2011 14:30:00 GMT
    AIPAD in NYC https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/3/aipad-in-nyc Pablo Picasso by Irving PennAssociation of International Photography Art Dealers show in NYC at the Armory is always a favorite of mine.  Classic photography as well as Contemporary and edgy work fill the space.  Happy to see there were sales going on and red dots on some walls. A good sign.  Interesting to see the display and framing options as well.

    Wonderfully exuberant was Richard Avedon’s double portrait of the poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, naked and arm in arm, at Eric Franck. More brooding artist work was Robert Mapplethorpe’s 1976 shot of a young Patti Smith (at Contemporary Works/Vintage Works), grasping a radiator as she sits on a bare apartment floor.

    Classic 20th-century images by the likes of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Berenice Abbott and Andre Kertesz were my real reason for seeing the show. The front-and-center booth of Edwynn Houk had a nicely balanced selection that includes Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand and Man Ray, as well as some more recent work by Stephen Shore and Bruce Davidson.

    Alec Soth

     How do you decide what to collect?  What you love instantly on first sight, or what you feel will have long term value?  Trends or classics?   Some ideas to help you collect:

      • 1
        Understand the art photography process. A photographer achieves a compelling shot by shooting an engaging subject using proper lighting in the best environment. The photographer then creates either a photographic print or a digital photographic print.
      • 2
        Establish price guidelines for your collection. Decide whether to collect fewer, more valuable pieces or develop a larger collection of less-expensive pieces. Your interest in subject matter or specific artist may help to set this level. More established artists' work will demand a larger investment.
      • 3
        Choose a style or photographer. Many collectors of fine art photography are drawn to a specific subject or the style of a certain photographer. Once you find a piece that you're interested in, ask the photographer about the photograph. Ask if there's a story behind it, or what connected the artist to the subject at that moment. Sometimes you're fortunate enough to speak with the artist one-on-one. At other times, you'll need to depend on phone calls or e-mails. Knowing more about the piece will give it value to you--both personally and financially.
      • 4
        Choose which piece to invest in, and make the purchase.
      • 5
        Care for your art.  Place your prints in a frame that has museum glass.  Use a acid free mat for protection and to enhance the presentation.
      • 6
        Add more pieces over time at a rate that your budget can tolerate.

    2.     Go to lots of Art shows, Galleries, local Art Associations, art and photography web portfolios and look at Art - including but not exclusively showing photography.  Define your taste.  Read about photography and keep looking at images.  COLOR and B&W magazines for fine art photography is another good choice for a review of  contemporary photography. Decide if you like color or toned and B&W photography, classic or contemporary. Find a photographer you like and follow her work. AND start collecting.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) AIPAD Fine Art Photography Collecting Photography Collecting Art https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/3/aipad-in-nyc Sun, 20 Mar 2011 07:58:00 GMT
    High Five Photo Tips_#!_February 2011 https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/3/high-five-photo-tipsfebruary-2011 High Five Photo Tips

    JMP Top Five Monthly tips for February are:

    watefall vertical
    Yosemite Waterfall
    1.  Shoot more verticals.  Snapshots are usually horizontal but verticals will often help you redirect the eye to what you want the viewer to see.
    2. Convert to B&W or sepia if depth, shape and textures play a bigger role in a scene than color. You can make a virtual copy in Lightroom to explore LR variation or use Nik Silver Efex Pro for another great way to convert to B&W. An update, version 2, to be released soon.
    3. If unable to get sharp images due to movement, such as wind or water that you cannot control, go with it and use the motion creatively.
    aquarium fish
    Fish in Motion - Maui Aquarium
    4. Try shooting silhouettes in the sunset on Aperture Priority using minus 1 to minus 2 exposure compensation to allow the silhouetted object to go to black while preserving your sunset.
    5. Look at your histogram to learn to feel where highlights and shadows fall in your image and what you can accept - then adjust your exposure from there. Generally, you want a curve shifted more to the right (with digital vs film) while avoiding the blinkies except for acceptable specular highlights.
    bird silhouette
    Photo montage with silhouette of bird with rannunculus

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) photo tips photography tips https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/3/high-five-photo-tipsfebruary-2011 Thu, 03 Mar 2011 14:45:00 GMT
    Shooting in the Cold by Guest Blogger Richard Hydren https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/2/shooting-in-cold-by-guest-blogger @font-face { font-family: "Arial"; }@font-face { font-family: "Calibri"; }@font-face { font-family: "ヒラギノ角ゴ Pro W3"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.Body, li.Body, div.Body { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: black; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }
    This is a guest entry by Richard Hydren. While Judith is enjoying the warmth of  Hawaii for several weeks she asked me to offer a few thoughts on winter shooting.

    Going out into the cold of winter to do anything requires planning. If the objective of the adventure is taking pictures, the planning gets more complicated. In addition to all the things you have to do to keep yourself from freezing, we need to consider the problems your electronic equipment faces.

    Condensation and battery life top the list of major concerns. I contacted 2 friends for their thoughts on the subject. First is Mike Hedderman, who runs the video and still photography crews at Raytheon. His team is charged with the responsibility of documenting every project that company is involved in.

    Mike’s replay: “The guys said, as I'm sure you're aware, that they keep their cameras under large parkas but this sometimes causes condensation which they rid the lens of it by using a pump ball to blow ambient air onto the lens. If we do need to keep it under our parka we usually keep a plastic bag around it. When the camera is brought out into the cold it slows the adjustment period which reduces the condensation and what condensation does occur is usually attracted to the plastic bag and not the camera. We also occasionally use a cooler with the heat packs. This keeps the equipment warm and allows them to not have to walk around with pounds of equipment on their shoulder all while wrapped in a plastic bag.”

    While this is great advice for the photography equipment, many us of now like to work tethered to our computers. Even in the cold! So the second expert on the subject I contacted was David Dion, owner of The Brick Computer Company in Ipswich, Mass.

    David’s response: I do not think cameras and their lenses suffer the same consequences as a laptop. The issue with laptops are slow response from LCD, potential hard drive start up issue, and condensation prematurely aging components. Cameras are much more sealed and those seals are very water proof. I think, as you mentioned, the performance of the lens and motors may be the issue with cameras and condensation build up on the lens is just an annoyance until the lens temp comes up.”

    My experience with shooting in cold air comes from years of photographing ski racers. Because I would be standing out in the cold for a 2-3 hour first run, followed by a 2-3 hour second run,  the problem of condensation is all over by the time the first racer is flying down the slope. But keeping the battery going was another story.

    Of course, keeping your hands warm all that time is project requiring planning and my stand by are those “tea-bag” hand warmers. These come in various sizes now. Small toe warmers with adhesive backs can fit into the tight corners, the large body warmers, also with the adhesive backing, can blanket larger areas. These products work when fresh air circulates inside the sack of herbs, which produces heat until the process uses up the active material which is when they get hard. So a breathable blanket material surrounding both the camera and the hand warmers should be used to trap the heat in.

    A couple of toe warmers stuck to the inside of a sock can then be wrapped around the camera’s battery area and held in place with rubber bands. If you worry for the electric motors in your lens and keeping them running as quickly as advertised, wrap a sock with a hand or body warmer around your auto focus lens between races.

    To use the computer in cold air, place it on top of a towel or some other breathable cloth with a number of body warmers under. If you have access to regular power, bring a small heating pad with you. I’ve also shot at night during snow storms with the computer tethered inside a running vehicle with the heater running at max. It’s all about thoughtful planning.

    Now here is a great secret to add to your bag of money-saving tricks. When the shoot is over, place the “tea-bag” warmers into a zip-lock baggie, squeeze the air out and seal it. Recently a ski buddy was bragging that he was re-using his hand warmers from the previous day. Not to be out done, I handed him my hot hand warmer from inside my mitten and explained that it was from the previous weekend!

    The usefulness of the $2.00 product is about 8 to 24 hours depending on size, but that time frame can be interrupted, extending the life over several photo sessions.

    I hope you have found this helpful, please feel free to add your comments, thoughts and photos on the subject.

    Richard Hydren,
    Hydren Advertising and Design
    Photography: hydren.com
    Web Design and Development: websofwonder.com
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) photography cold weather photography Richard Hydren https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/2/shooting-in-cold-by-guest-blogger Thu, 24 Feb 2011 12:13:00 GMT
    Let's Connect! https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/2/lets-connect Over the last couple of months I’ve made some exciting changes with my online presence. With the help of the Web professionals at Webs of Wonder, I have revamped my Web site, blog, and newsletter and also started a Facebook fan page. I’ve realized that if I want the world – or at least potential customers, business partners like art galleries and interior designers, fellow photographers and the public -- to know about my work than I need to advertise my accomplishments. In today’s environment, that means utilizing every effective means of electronic communications like a well-optimized Web site and social media vehicles such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

    As part of my blogging schedule, I hope to reach professionals, including photographers, gallery owners and designers. We all have mutual interests and can support each other. Here are a few tips I have learned and which I will be sharing with you in several blog posts:

    Let’s Exchange Links
    Professionals page of my Web site
    I have a Professionals section on my Web site, which I am using to list the Web sites of some of my favorite photographers, galleries, art associations, professional art organizations and other like-minded individuals and groups. If your site is not listed and is appropriate for this niche, I would be happy to exchange Web site addresses with you. I’ll link to your site and I would be very grateful if you would link to mine. By doing this, search engines like Google think your site (and mine) must be important if another site went to the trouble of linking to it. So this helps with search engine ranking and visibility. It’s like a popularity contest but with lots more depth.

    As artists and photographers, we are focused on the creative process rather than promoting our work. We spend years studying, improving our techniques and developing a portfolio. But then we wonder why no one is buying our art. Is it any wonder that the term “starving artist” applies to so many in my profession? So let’s take advantage of the ways we can all help promote each other. Email me if you have any questions or want to exchange links. 

    Speaking of Building Links and Roots with Your Brand
    Thought you would enjoy a photograph of the largest banyan tree in the US, which is on Maui in Lahaina. With its vast intertwined roots, it shades almost an acre.

    January 2011, Maui

    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) Judith Monteferrante Facebook Webs of Wonder photography social media web linkages Twitter Judith M Photography photography marketing https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/2/lets-connect Sun, 13 Feb 2011 06:19:00 GMT
    Spirit of the Wok: How to Seize the Moment and Develop a Personal Project: Chapter I https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/1/spirit-of-wok-how-to-seize-moment-and I am in Hawaii on Maui for two months and decided I needed a challenge.  Like "Julie & Julia", I would learn to cook not French but Chinese-Asian food.  Ingredients are so fresh and plentiful here.  After a week of just stocking the pantry, armed with two cookbooks, and after three successful but complex meals, I'm hooked.   I will begin this first chapter of my new weekly blog, JudithMPhotography with some photography of food as a fun personal project.   Since I needed to pack light, I only brought one light-stand, one shoot through umbrella and two Nikon 900 flash as well as Ray ring flash attachment so I am limited, adding to the challenge. The condo has green walls!!   Lou Manna's guide to "Digital Food Photography" will led the way as well as reviewing the work of Theresa Raffetto.  Both of these terrific photographers were instructors at the School of Visual Arts, NYC.  I met both of these inspirational photographers while completing my masters program in digital photography.
    Hopefully, this will encourage you to find a personal project that gets you excited! Follow along, even if you are not a foodie; but who isn't.  My husband is delighted in my new found passion, since he is the beneficiary of the cooking.

    Some of the required implements for Chinese cooking are photographed here:
    Two types of Rice

    Bamboo Steamer and ladle


    Wooden spoon, wok ladle, vermicelli and bamboo steamer
    I think I did more shopping here than I ever have; once or twice daily.  Finally, I was able to find the bamboo steamer basket and wok ladle after searching daily.  In a Walmart.  Who would ever think!  The bamboo steamer is placed in a wok with water so that the steam is absorbed by the bamboo and the condensation does not drip back down on the vegetables, buns or dumplings.
    Spices are an adventure.  Still black vinegar is illusive to me. I learned that I needed sticky rice, not long grained rice that Northerners prefer, for authentic Chinese rice.  So I have purchased short and medium grain rice and will let you know what is best. Fried Rice is best when made from left over rice.
    My next challenge will be to cook a Peking Duck in the Sichuan style of tea smoked duck (smoked with tea, Cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and star anise).  Served with spring onions and tucked into steamed buns (man tou).   Will report on this next time.  Meanwhile, find your personal challenge and share it with me.
    (Judith Monteferrante Fine Art Scottsdale and Flagstaff Arizona) personal project Lou Manna Theresa Raffetto food photography https://www.judithmphotography.com/blog/2011/1/spirit-of-wok-how-to-seize-moment-and Fri, 28 Jan 2011 20:48:00 GMT