Saturday, June 30, 2012

5 tips for better sunset photos


An existing light is used to break up the silhouette
on this food building at Hammonasset  State Park
Sunset photos, when all the elements fall into place, can be very powerful images. You can be a casual shooter but as soon as you pull out that one great sunset shot all your friends will be awestruck.

The best thing about sunset photos is that they are relatively easy to get, exposure-wise. The hard part is everything else that goes into getting that perfect sunset. The best time for a sunset shot is during the time period called the "golden hour."

Golden hour is that time period that brackets a sunset by one half hour, 30 minutes before the sun goes down and 30 minutes after. Keep in mind that the light will change drastically during this time period but you can get really great results. Your shutter speed will decrease as the light diminishes so have your camera on a tripod with your release cable ready.

Here are five tips to getting a great sunset image.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunburn, big boobs and sexy cops


Here they are, big boobs!
Yesterday Diane, her friend, Dolores, and I went to Coney Island with the Mid-CT Photography Meetup Group for the 30th annual Mermaid Festival. Sue Fenton was our hostess and did a marvelous job in organizing the meet up.

Having seen photos from the previous year's event I knew I did not want to miss thie event this year and I''m so happy I went. The event was threatened with bad weather in the days leading up to Saturday. With a nasty thunderstorm just the night before. As it turned out, the day was clear and the sun was out. In full force. Not the greatest for a photographer as it makes for some very contrasty images. Not to mention the burned skin.

But the best thing about the event wasn't the crazy costumed participants, the sexy cop (I'll tell you about him later) or the throng of people. It was Massimo, Sanjeev, Marla, Sue and all the other members who came out to share in all that craziness.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Extending dynamic range with Lightroom 3


In bright, high contrast situations it is often difficult to get an exposure that reflects what your eyes see. In the image shown here, if you expose for the sky, the subject becomes dark (underexposed). If you expose for the subject, the sky gets blown out (overexposed).

Of course there are many ways to correct for this, including tone mapping for HDR. But that requires a minimum of three images. As a photographer we don't always have that luxury. Fortunately for us technology has come a long way and if you are shooting in RAW you have a great deal of leeway in extending your image's dynamic range.

This simple technique, although demonstrated using Adobe's Lightroom 3, can be done with most high end photo editing programs available today. Here's how this works.

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