Showing posts with label Photo Bug. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photo Bug. Show all posts

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nature Photography Class


Photography classes are a great way to enhance your skills as a photographer and to learn some new techniques.  I try to take a new class or seminar each year. I just started a new 6 week class on nature photography and over the next weeks I will share with you some of the tips that I have taken away from the class.

In our first class the instructor gave us an introduction to the class.  He first described his take on what comprises nature photography.  For him it is wildlife, panoramic scenes, and basically anything outdoors that does not involve the 'hand of man".  In the introduction we were given some guidelines on photo ethics.  A good photographer will respect the earth and leave the area in the same condition he found it.  Here are some of the points the instructor made.
  • Be concerned for the safety and welfare of the subject
  • Do not dig up plants
  • Don't trim or snap plants
  • Do not expose nests or handle babies
  • Do not lie!  Make your shot be authentic.
We were told that it is important to know your subject.  You can do this by taking the time to research your subject before you start photographing and to take the time to observe your subject.  For instance if you are trying to photograph butterflies take the time to learn a little bit about their habits and it will be much easier for you to find them and get a great photograph.  Many parks and wildlife areas will have pamphlets about their plants and wildlife that will give you hints on the best times to observe and photograph them.

The instructor also stressed the importance of knowing your camera.  He suggested sitting around at home and just taking photos of anything using all different settings just to get to know all the features on your camera.  In fact we have a homework assignment to photograph a ruler to learn how close our camera can focus.  We will  be doing this using each of our lenses.  We will then photograph the ruler outside with a zoom lens using both the shortest and the longest focal length at a F8 setting.  This will show us the difference in the backgrounds with each focal length.  Taking the time to learn the camera in this manner will help us to use the right settings when we are out in the field.

I am really looking forward to our next class next week and next Thursday I will again give you some tips from the class.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photographing Spring Flowers

I love springtime with all of the beautiful flowers peaking out of the brown earth.  What a wonderful way to come out of the long, cold days of winter.  I would have a hard time picking a favorite flower but I would think that tulips would be close to the top followed closely by daffodils.  Here are some daffodils I photographed at a rest area in Tennessee in early April.








As I was browsing through Squidoo, I found this great lens by thewayeyeseeit, giving us tips on photographing spring flowers. http://www.squidoo.com/photography-tips-for-spring-flower-pictures.  He talks about perspective, timing, lighting, camera settings and much more.  You will also get to enjoy some of his beautiful photographs.

Happy Spring!  Hope you enjoy photographing all those beautiful flowers.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Photography Classes

I try to take at least one photography class or workshop each year.  There is always a wide array of classes available in many different price ranges.  You can even sometimes find free classes online. 

One of the places that I have gone to take photography classes in our local botanical garden.  Each year they come out with 10-12 different classes taught by some very talented photographers. Here are some pages that I wrote on two of these classes.  On these pages I give you some of the tips that I learned in these classes.
  • Garden Photography is a class that I took at Missouri Botanical Garden.  It was late spring and the irises were in full bloom for the class.  Stop by this page to learn how to take close up photos of these flowers.
  • Photographing Wildflowers  is another class I took through the Missouri Botanical Garden, but this one was held at their Shaw Nature Reserve sight.  Here is a photo I took during that session.
Kim Manley Ort is a Photographer who loves sharing her photography knowledge.  On this page she shares with us what she learned at a photography workshop of Visual Design


I am taking a six week class on nature photography during April and May.  I plan on sharing the tips that I learn each Thursday on this blog.  Stay tuned for more. 





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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Refining your Skills as a Photographer


To refine your skills as a photographer it is important to Practice-Practice-Practice.  During the month of March I spent some time each morning practicing photographing the sunrise.  I took hundreds of photos, using different settings on my camera.  I would then load them into my computer and see which settings got me the desired shots.  The next day I would start with that setting and then start the process all over again. 


While I went through this process, I also learned a lot about the natural lighting in the sky.  For instance I found that on many mornings there was a time about 20-30 minutes before sunrise when the sky would take on some beautiful colors.  It would only last for a few minutes so if you didn't know when to look for it you would miss a great opportunity for a beautiful photo.  Here is the result of one of those predawn shots.





Every morning in March brought another spectacular sunrise.  Here is another of my photos from these practice sessions.  On this morning there were a lot of clouds so I photographed the sun just as it came up over the ocean and before it went into the next bank of clouds.  Note how the light shines through the clouds above it. 




Practicing photography can take many forms, from my self-imposed challenges to formal classes and workshops. 
Next week I will talk about some of the formal photography classes that I have taken.


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photographing Children

Photographing children is a fun and sometimes challenging activity.  My granddaughters are used to me always having my camera around and when they are in the  mood they enjoy posing for me.  I like to catch them during their everyday moments, but sometimes it is fun to have them pose for me too. I have found if I take a few photos of them clowning around first, it will loosen them up and I can then get a few more serious photos.  Last year I got them playing around on their back deck and then encouraged a more posed photo.  Here are the results.







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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Perspective in Photography


When I take photographs of landscapes, most of the time I am standing up and shooting with a wide angle lens.  I have been reading a lot of articles on perspective and challenging myself to look at things differently.  I have found if I get lower to the ground and get a bit more of the foreground into view I get a different and very pleasing composition.  In this first photo I am crouching down a bit to get more of the rocks in the foreground in the photo.




Look at the different look you get when you get really low and make the foreground pop out.  In this photo I am sitting on one of the rocks and holding  my camera low.

In this photo I get even lower.  I am was walking on the beach with my Canon point and shoot camera and I bent down and held my camera in the middle of the shells.  I love the effect this got me with all the shells up close and the sky in the background.



Flower photos are always fun, but again be sure to change your perspective.  Everyone seems to take flowers while they are standing up and looking down at the flower.  In this photo I sat down in front of the flowers and zoomed in on one flower to create a different look.






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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Editing Your Photos

I strive to compose  my photos so that very little editing is needed.  I like my photo to represent what I saw through the lens of my camera.  There are times, however where a bit of editing is required.  The two photos below are an example.  You will  note that in the photo before the editing the lighthouse is a bit crooked and the horizon is not quite straight.  The other thing that bothered m e about the photo was the lone tourist standing by the lighthouse.  Sometimes it is great to have people in the photos, but when I am taking a photo to be framed or to be used on Zazzle I really like to have the scenery without people.

Before Editing 

 In the photo below you will see the results of the photo editing.  I use Adobe Lightroom for my photo editing.  For this photo, I first went into the crop tool and moved the angle slightly to the right to straighten the lighthouse and the horizon.  Next I used the clone tool to click on the person and then clicked on the cloud to fill the area where the person was standing in with clouds.

Before I finished I slid the clarity and the vibrance slides up just a bit.  The photo below is the finished product.  Although I think the before photo was good, I do think the after editing photo is better.  What do you think?
After Editing






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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Travel Photography


Document Your Trip with Your Photos

Vacations tend to bring out the photographer in everyone.  Even if you don't normally take photographs when people travel they usually like to record memories with photos. 

When I travel I too love to take  photos.  I always want to make sure I get photos of the main landmarks of the places I visit, but then I also want to photograph details that I enjoyed about the place.  When I visited old Quebec city in Canada one of the things I really noticed was all the unusual window and door decorations. On this page Quebec City you will see how I used the photos of the windows and doors to make a photographic collage.  One of the things you do not want to forget on your travel photos is people.  Be sure to include those you are traveling with in at least a view of your photos.  I took this photo of friends in an entranceway in Quebec City.

Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia is well known for the lighthouse and I took hundreds of photos of the lighthouse.  Peggy's Cove  I also found the fishing boats and the rock formations to be interesting so I made sure to capture them in my photographs.

So next time you travel think about what photos really represent the place you are visiting.  Make sure you take all the popular shots.  After all you wouldn't want to go to Paris and not photograph the Eifel tower.  But then don't forget to get those unusual shots.  Look for the details that the place interesting and be sure to get some people in your photos too!

Be sure to share your travel photos in your writing.  Everyone like to see interesting photos, especially when you add a story with your photos.





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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sunrise-Sunset and Night Photography

Taking  photos in low light can present challenges, but if you keep a few tips in mind you will be rewarded with some wonderful photos.  To get really clear photos in low light settings a tripod is a must.  Here is a photo that I took in my front yard on the 4th of July. 

Taking photos of fireworks can be a fun adventure. There seems to be lots of fireworks around our neighborhood so each year on Independence Day I set up my tripod on our front walk and wait for just the right shot.  I have found that the tripod is a necessity to get a clear shot.

In this photo I used my Canon SX40 camera.  For my settings I used a F8 aperture and held the camera open for 2 seconds.  The ISO setting was 100 and I zoomed to the 80mm setting.




I also enjoy taking photos in low light settings.  The time just before and for about 30 minutes after sunset can produce some beautiful photos.  I give you hints on taking photos during this time at How to Take Sunset Photos

I am not usually an early  morning person but the beauty of a sunset can get me out of bed and behind the eye of a camera.  Here is a shot I took at sunrise in Juno Beach Florida.  I arrived at the pier about 1/2 hour before sunrise, set up my camera and waited for the perfect shot.  I was able to take about 20 photos before the sun got too high in the sky.


I have been fascinated by sunrises for quite some time and have written about other encounters with photographing sunrises on this page Beautiful Sunrises.

As I visited the pages of other photographers this week I found two that I particularly enjoyed their takes on night time and low light photography.
  • Patgoltz is a wonderful photographer.  On this page Night Photography , she gives us great hints on taking photos at night.  She also suggests some interesting night time subjects.  I would think of photographing the moon, fireworks, and Christmas lights; all of which Pat gives some wonderful tips.  But how about subjects like flowers, birds, lightning and even snow?  Those are some of the interesting night subject Pat explores on her lens.
  • EditionH gives 5 tips for taking photos of the sunrise and sunset.  This lens was granted a Lens of the Day on 2/10/14 Sunset and Sunrise Photos  Be sure to stop by to see some beautiful photos and learn how you can take these photos.  My favorites are the photos with the morning fog!



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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Photography-Up Close and Personal

Close up photography gives you a different perspective on the world around you.  When I first started to photograph nature close up, I found myself noticing details that I didn't even know existed.  One of my first adventures into up close photography was at The Butterfly House in St. Louis where I worked as a volunteer.   Before my shift each week, I would bring my camera and photograph all of these beautiful insects.  I was fascinated with the details that I saw on each different butterfly.



The photo to the right is one that I took of a Monarch butterfly in the outside garden at The Butterfly House.  The details in the wings really come to life when you see a photo shot up close.  I love the way the white dots outline the wings of this wonderful creature.




In the past week, I have been paying particular attention to writers who publish articles on close up photography.  There are some very talented photographers who write online.  Here are several of the lenses that I thought you would enjoy.
  • On this page amateur photographer takkhis shares with us some of his tips for insect photography Insect Photography.  He has some good basic tips that he has learned through experimenting with insect photography.
  • I have learned a lot from the pages of photographer Steve Kaye.  In this lens he gives us hints on photographing birds up close. Pay particular attention to the eyes of the birds in these photos.  They are truly fascinating.  Birds Up Close  Steve was previously the Nature Photography Contributor on Squidoo.
  • In this lens Rob3 shares with you the joy of close up flower photography. Macro Photography Flowers


Flowers are always a great subject for a photo.  I don't think I ever really looked at a flower up close till I started to take close up photos of flowers.  They are really amazing.  Here is a close up I took of a Cone Flower in my back yard.  I love the way when you get up close you notice each petal of the flower.

Have you noticed how photos in articles really help to  make your lens more interesting.  Remember the phrase "a picture is worth a 1000 words", I think that  phrase is particularly true in articles on the internet.  Everyone wants to get the message quickly and a good photo can convey that message.  On this page Photos Tell Stories I give you some hints on adding photos to lenses.  You will note in the article I have a photo of a fruit bowl that was taken up close.  When you need to convey details clear, up close photos can really enhance your articles.








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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Camera for Everyone

In today's world most everyone has a camera!  Camera's come in all sizes, shapes and price ranges.  A week or so ago I wrote a lens inviting people to review their favorite camera Review Your Favorite Camera .  On this page I listed 50 different popular cameras and challenged people to write a review on one of the ones I had listed or if their favorite camera was not listed to write a review on it. 

I was delighted to see all the great reviews.  There were a wide variety of reviews on many different cameras.  I read reviews on point and shoots, iphones, SLR's and a wonderful review on an inexpensive film camera.  The reviews below show some of the wide variety of "favorite cameras" that were reviewed.
  • In this lens, Debs tells us why she enjoys using a Holga.  It is an inexpensive film camera.  Discover Lo Fi Slow Photography with a Holga
  • Grammeio loves her Canon point and shoot camera because it is easy to take with your everywhere.  She tells you why it is her favorite in this review One Great Little Camera
  • Paullenton had a favorite Christmas camera this year and reviewed it in this lens Nikon coolpix 1820
My two favorite cameras right now are a Canon Powershot sx40 and a Sony A57 .  My Canon is a great point and shoot that can be used in both automatic and manual modes.  It also has a 35 times zoom that makes it great for trips when I want the ease of a lightweight camera but with the versatility of a zoom lens. 

My Sony is my workhorse that I use when I am out photographing lighthouses.  Here is a photo I took with it this past summer.


One of the fun features on my Sony is the wonderful picture effects that I can get on some of its automatic settings.  Here is a favorite that I took of our Christmas tree this year setting it on the black and white with a red pop setting.

You can read about some of the other picture effects on this page Camera Picture Effects.


I now have Photo Bug pages on Pinterest.  I hope you will join me there to share ideas about photography.

If you haven't written a review on your favorite camera yet, I'd love to see one from you.  Be sure to tell us what features you enjoy on the camera and why that particular camera is the best one for you.  And of course, be sure to share some of the photos you took with the camera.

Happy Shooting!







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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photography Tips on Squidoo

One of the great things about Squidoo is all of the tips that you learn from other people.  This is true on many different subjects, but since I'm the Photo Bug Contributor I have been particularly searching for lenses with great tips on Photography.

There are three photographers that I discovered this week that have some great tips to help you get the most out of your picture taking experience.
  • patgoltz is a very talented and accomplished photographer.  Her page on Arizona Sunset Tips is full of not only beautiful photographs but tips on how she captured each of the shots.
  • Have you ever wanted to get that perfect shot of a child?  Anonymous831 has a real way with kids and in her lens Learning Kids Photography she gives you tips so that your next experience in photographing a child will be a good one.
  • Did you know that you can take great photos just using your phone?  In a series of lenses britflorida shows you just how this can be accomplished.  I love her lens on using an iPhone to capture KeyWest. Here you can find tips  on just how to use your phone to capture those great photos http://britflorida.squidoo.com/key-west-iphone
I love to learn and share photography tips.  Here is a page I wrote that gives you links for photography tips.  Some are from my pages and others are from other Squidoo writers. Tips in Photography


This photo of lilacs along a fence was taken on the grounds of a lighthouse in Michigan.  The lilac bushes were beautiful and I was looking for just the right angle to showcase the beautiful purple blooms.  I paid close attention to the background and was pleased with the blue skies and scattered clouds to surround the blooms.  The lilacs are pretty by themselves but I do think the white fence and the sky adds to the interest in the photo.





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Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm the Photo Bug Contributor on Review This

Hello everyone and welcome to the Photo Bug section of Review This. My name is Mary Beth also known as mbgphoto on Hubpages and Zazzle and I am very excited to be the Photo Bug contributor for Review This.

In my position as the Photo Bug contributor I will be searching out interesting pages on photography and featuring them on Review This.

I started writing online back in the fall of 2008 as a way to promote some of the items with my photographs. At first I was very unsure about writing, but I have learned so much along the way. There are so many great people online if you need help you only need to ask.

Although I have always been interested in photography, I was really able to pursue it as first a hobby and then a small business, when I retired from the corporate world in 2007. Since that time I have taken numerous classes to enhance my skills and have enjoyed traveling around the country photographing lighthouses.
The photo above is of the lighthouse in Big Bay Point Michigan. I love this photo because it was a real challenge to find the right lighting and the right point of view to capture both the lighthouse and Lake Superior in the photo. It was a photo I really put to use many of the skills I learned in my classes and workshops. You can learn more about the lighthouses I photograph on my blog Lighthouse Musings.

The great thing about photography is that it is a hobby everyone can participate in with very little training and yet if you want to grow in the field there are a never ending amount of things to learn. I am always looking forward to the next challenge. In this blog I am hoping to share with you tips on photography that I have learned and hope you will share items that worked for you. Together we can enjoy this fascinating hobby.

You can also find me on Hubpages


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