Pic of the Month: December ‘10

Pic of the Month: December ‘10
Christmas Bells It amazes me how pleasing compositions unexpectedly produce themselves. Of course, it’s hard not to come away with a winner when one is standing on a mountaintop at sunrise with mist rising out of the valleys, or on a beach at sunset directly following a torrential rainstorm. But it’s those everyday,... Read More »

Remnants of the Past

Remnants of the Past
You might say I received an early Christmas gift the other day. A fellow from church drove me into the backwoods to a place that a photographer like myself considered to be, almost literally, a treasure cove. Obviously traveling off the highway, and then down a two-lane for awhile, and then on a typical, one-lane... Read More »

Quick Portraits

Quick Portraits
Have you ever had someone, or a group of people, ask you to take some portraits for them just “really quick?” The IT department at HQ did this just a few days ago. I was warned a few days earlier, but hadn’t had any time to prepare. Well, here are  a few things I learned: Choose a nearby location. All the... Read More »

Blurry Effects

Blurry Effects
Last weekend, in Indianapolis for a Christmas Conference, I experimented a little with taking pictures completely out-of-focus. This is a very modern technique, but can look nice if used properly. In "Christmas Inspiration," complete blur transformed a very cluttered looking picture into something quite... Read More »

Why Photoshop is Fantastic

Why Photoshop is Fantastic
Lamppost Soliloquy What you can do in Photoshop is just out of this world! I knew this picture was useless unless I could somehow add some light inside the lamp. Once this was accomplished using another picture taken back in January, I darkened up the background using blending modes, cloned in some extra branches to... Read More »

Why I Crop

Why I Crop
I was editing pictures the other day while my brother Daniel was reviewing memorized Scripture verses on Memverse. When he broke the silence with an animated chuckle, and I turned to see what he was up to. He was looking over at me and had evidently seen that I was in Lightroom’s Develop Module cropping a picture. He... Read More »

Winter Stroll

Winter Stroll
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to break away from the stuffy office, magnetic computers, and a demanding schedule to just roam around the great outdoors with a camera! No, it wasn’t for long, just a few strolls from one building to another. But it was great fun experimenting with snowscape exposures (+2/3... Read More »

Pic of the Month: November ’10

Pic of the Month: November ’10
Hangin’ In There As I was going through the pictures I had taken over the past month, this one clearly stood out as the one with the most suggested activity: that split-second moment between swinging out of the tree and landing safely on the ground. Well, suggested at best; it really wasn’t as perfect timing as the... Read More »

Back to Backpacks

Back to Backpacks
After returning from Peru, I knew the backpack I had chosen for travel, the Calumet BP935 Small Backpack, was not the one for me. It was very nice, but here were the drawbacks for me: Did not fit my back very well. Even with a waist strap, it was just too big for my body, and most of the weight still hung on my... Read More »

Pic of the Month: October ‘10

Pic of the Month: October ‘10
I’m back! I’m finally back after three busy weeks of traveling, completing the calendar, and volunteering at the National Bible Bee! There is so much to talk about, so I’ll keep posting over the next few days. But for now, I’ve got to make up for missing the October Pic of the Month. Let Your Light Shine It was... Read More »

The Next Great Adventure

The Next Great Adventure
Well, things are ready now to fly out to Peru tomorrow! It has been an intense last few days leaving no time for blogging, but much was accomplished, and I am now prepared to work with a single focus on this next great expedition. For the most part, while in Peru for the next week, I’ll only be able to consistently... Read More »

First Plunge into HDR

First Plunge into HDR
Well, I gave in and finally bought Photomatix. After experimenting with three different programs, Lightroom, Photoshop CS5, and Photomatix, I figured this was the best way to go. Lightroom does an excellent job simulating HDR with it’s Fill Light slider, but the quality gets real low real quick. I have a few presets... Read More »

Three Pictures

Three Pictures
Last Wednesday I taught a ultra-short-course in photography composition. It was the perfect day to teach because we were already at a State Park for a day-trip. I gave each person the assignment to take three pictures with the following criteria: Picture with a Purpose Candid (someone not looking directly at the... Read More »

Know the Quick Tips

Know the Quick Tips
For when you only have a few minutes to talk to someone who asks for tips on how to take good pictures, you might consider the following elements that have been helpful for me: Produce Emotional Impact Purpose (what message do you want people to walk away from the picture with?) Content (what subjects are impactful?)... Read More »

Pic of the Month: September ‘10

Pic of the Month: September ‘10
Spinning Stars   There are two kinds of movement you can creatively capture with a camera, each one producing it’s own unique affect. The first is subject movement, the second is camera movement. Subject movement is easily captured by slowing down your shutter speed. You get cool affects like silk-like water,... Read More »

Shooting the Night Sky

Shooting the Night Sky
There is so much creativity involved when it comes to taking pictures at night. Most folks might say it’s best to shoot with a full moon. However, it is just as exciting to take pictures during a new moon. At this point the stars are the clearest and it doesn’t take a whole lot of experience to capture them. On this... Read More »

Welcome Autumn!

Welcome Autumn!
Though the trees are still mostly green, though yesterdays temperatures rose almost to 90 degrees, though in most respects it still feels like summer . . . there’s a particular rasp in the breeze-tossed trees, the chill of night lingers longer each morning, the evidence announces that a new season of the year has... Read More »

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