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Showing posts from April, 2015

Reflection vs Refraction

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As your photographic skills improve and you start venturing more into light modifiers there are two terms you should understand; reflection and refraction.

Reflection refers to a change in direction of light when they bounce off a substrate. Refraction is the change in the direction of light as it passes through a substrate.

So why should you know these terms? If you work with light modifiers, having an understanding of how they work will help you understand what kind of results you can expect from them. All modifiers used in photography fall under one of these two categories.

In physical space, a light wave will travel in a straight path, from the source of illumination, until one of two things happen. An object in the light path either absorbs it or the object deflects it. Typically all object tend to do both. As light encounters an object, some of the light's color spectrum gets absorbed and the rest gets deflected. What gets deflected is what allows us to see color. How an obj…

Nesting Eagles in Milford

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Mondays being one my days off from work I decided to take advantage of a rather nice day and scout some locations for a couple of photography workshops. I took a drive down to a local beach and finding no inspiration ended up traveling South following the Long Island Sound coastline. At one point I ended down a dead end street by an Audubon Society nature center. Half an hour later with nothing of interest in my camera I started packing up to leave. A woman parked in the car next to me commented on my camera (you know the deal) and we started a conversation about photography. She then asked me if I had gotten any pictures of the eagles. Huh, what eagles?

Apparently a pair of eagles had built a nest nearby. She offered to show me the spot and I couldn't pass this down. Fortunately for me I had my long lens with me. A short drive from the nature center and we were there. The nest was set in a ways from the road and the local Dept. of Environmental Protection had posted several keep…

Studying past Masters - Gerrit van Honthorst, pt2

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In the previous article, Studying past Masters - Gerrit van Honthorst, pt1, I introduced you to the chiaroscuro style of painting and discussed how light is used to direct the viewer's eye to the main subject. I also explained how studying the works of many of our great art masters can help improve your photographic education.

In this installment we will analyze the compositional choices of the painting and comparing them with well established photographic practices. So dust off your rule of thirds and let's take a look at The Matchmaker through the eyes on a camera lens.

Studying past Masters - Gerrit van Honthorst, pt1

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The art world is rich with educational possibilities for a photographer. The grand masters in particular. All one has to do is be open to the potential lessons.

One of the more influential of the art movements in terms of lesson values to a beginner photographer is the Tenebrism style of painting of which the term Chiaroscuro is most commonly associated with it. I won't get into a long explanation of tenebrism and the subsequent chiaroscuro movement here as there are plenty of resources you can use to research on your own. I will, however, explain some of the elements that make it a valuable tool for photographers.