Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some of My Favorite Picture

***Just a note***
I am moving this week and I wont be posting too much until after we get in on Tuesday.
So it might be a hit or miss type of thing.
God I hate moving! :)))) or is it :((((((


Free Online Photography Classes

Back when I first got my camera, the Fuji Film s5200. I like the rest of the you got the bug pretty badly and search high and low for all I could learn. Well I found an online course that is free and open to anyone.
The catch is the classes are from 2004 by a professional photographer named Jodie Costens. Now the classes can be HERE I found them extremely helpful and well thought out and planned. At the time they were actually offered I gathered that the Teacher gave out criticism and really took sometime with helping the student understand the lessons. I don't know if the forums are used much now, but it seems to be fairly active.
If nothing else the lessons are well worth the time to read and follow. You can never know too many basics.
Please let me know if any of you try and give some thoughts on the course.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Power of Depth of Feild Video

This is a very informative video I found on Depth of Field. It hits on all the main types of photography. And I think it's worth a post.


Orton Effect **Updated**

The Orton effect is a photographic technique developed by Micheal Orton. Basically he took two pictures one out of focus and over exposed and one in focus and exposed correctly and then using slides placed them ontop of each other to get a wonderful dreamy effect.
As you can see from my before and after pictures it really makes a huge difference on the impact of the photograph. I have always loved this picture and now I love it even more.
The fact that we now have digital photography to make everything easier only makes this a 10 minute project!
You can use a single photograph for this tutorial. You'll need a program such as photoshop or photoshop elements, something that uses layers. As I have said before you can get a trial version of both elements and photoshop from there site HERE.
Thanks to one of my readers we have a much easier to follow tutorial with illustrations! For beginners go HERE This page is done by Chris Empey
And if you want to torture yourself a bit try my step by step. :)

Heres the steps I did.
1. Open up your picture
2. create 2 duplicates of the background image by right clicking on the layer and selecting duplicate.
3. Name one of the new layers "sharp" by double clicking on the layer until the words are highlighted.
4. Name the other duplicate "sharp copy" .
5. with the "sharp copy" layer highlighted change the "blending mode" to "screen". It's a little drop down menu right above the layers.
6. Now right click on the image "sharp copy" and select "merge down"
7. Now duplicate the "sharp" layer and rename it "out of focus"
8. On the Filter Menu, choose Blur - Gaussian Blur I chose 15.5 for mine. but you can pick what works for your image. remember your going to merge this later so you want it out of focus.
9. With the "out of focus layer" selected changing the "blending mode" to "multiply"
10. You can adjust the opacity of the "out of focus" layer if you want to for your image.
Basically thats it I suggest saving both in jpg and psd so you can go back to it latter if you want and make more adjustments.
Just to recap you are going to make a total of three duplicates. One "sharp", One "Sharp copy" and one "out of focus"
Any questions let me know and I'll try to help.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Out of Bounds

I started with this.

Took this tutorial by Serrator

And came out with this!

Now you have to use photoshop for this particular one, but I have seen other tutorials for different programs. Remember you can get a free trial version of photoshop at so you can try it. It is VERY easy, and he gives great step by step instructions with illustrations so take a look it's fun!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Best Kept Secret on the Internet

Thats right this is probably the best secrets on the net. What am I talking about? HP Online Classes No secret you say, how about if I told you they were free, and they were given online by professionals in there field. And that you don't have to purchase anything or even own an Hewelet Packard product. See now you think it's good. But it gets even better, the classes just are for silly insignificant things, like how to plug you computer in.
Try a class on Photoshop CS2. What you don't have Photoshop CS2. You can get a free trial version HERE. Just sign up, which is free, and download the trial version. It's good for 30 days.

Now yes I am taking the Photoshop CS2 Course. I have taken them before. Previously I took the beginner course in photoshop last year. It was for Photoshop CS. And it was the basics. I learned how to do layers and pick tools, and how to use them.
This course is a bit more advanced. So if you know your way around a little bit but haven't been able to do much more than open the picture and play. Then you should try this course.
Heres just a sample of what I started with.
I took these to pictures

And then I put them together to make this.

Now I am not saying this course is going to make you a photoshop wizard, but it will give you the start you need to keep learning. And there are a few other courses that are just for photographers so take a look around and sign up for a few lessons, it's free, it's easy, and you have nothing to loose but time, and even that really wont be lost if you learn just one new thing.

I'll post more of my lessons as they come up. Theres a new one about every week or two. Some classes have only a few lessons and others have a bit more this one has 4 lessons. So I will keep you updated.


Friday, January 19, 2007

HDR - Back by Popular Demand

I thought since I love HDR photography so much I would write about it here.
Basically HDR photography is the process of taking three identical photographs, auto bracketing at different exposures, and blend them together. This enhances the shadows and light giving the photograph an almost painted like quality. Of course that all depends on the photographer and how they want that picture to look.
Reaching Down Before & After HDR
© 2005-2007 - Sam Lamp
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

As you can see from the image on the right it is a rather bland photograph. And when I process it using HDR technology it becomes alive, bright and vivid.
All rights reserved
East Road Mountain HDR Before & After
© 2005-2007 Sam Lamp
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

Now you may ask how I did this. Well there are a few ways. If you are really good at photoshop you can use that program and process it through there. I don't use photoshop, I'm not that good at it. :) But don't fear there is help out there for us who are photoshop illiterate! LOL It's called Photomatix You can download a trial version from there site. This is a very easy program. Even I can use it! hehehe OK enough of the silly jokes.

First lets back up a few steps to getting the pictures. First you are going to need to have a tripod or other stable surface to put your camera on. Thats a must! Even the slightest movement in a split second can ruin your picture set. Second your going to want o see if you camera does "auto bracketing" this features is great, it automatically takes 3 photos a stop a part one over one under and one exposure that is right. If your camera doesn't do this do fret you can do this manually if you are VERY careful when making the adjustments within your camera without moving it. It is very important that the camera not move. This will ruin the line up later on.

Lets talk a minute about what to take a picture of. Well if you look at my HDR set on flickr. As you can see I have taken hdr's of lots of things, buildings, cats, waterfalls. As you can see just about anything will look great, as long as it doesn't move! LOL

Now go out and get your pictures and then come back and we will finish.

Good you have Photomatix loaded on your computer and you have loaded your three pictures on your computer. You can do more than three exposures but I have never had much luck with it in the Photomatix program. But lots of people do it, and the process is the same no matter how many exposures you have.

1) Open photomatix
2) Click on "HDRI"
3) Select "generate HDR"
4) In the window click "browse"
5) select your photos
6) Once you have selected all the photos from that set click "ok"
7) Keep the first option selected & check "Align LDR"
8) Now don't upset your only half way there, here is the photo you have made, now comes with fun part
9) At the top click "HDRI"
10) move down to "tone mapping" and click
11) now in this resulting window you will see lots of sliders and drop down windows.
Now the easiest way to figure this out is to just jump in and start moving the
sliders around and you'll see the results right there. Adjust things until you get the look you like. This is purely personal so your on your own. :)
14) Once you do get the picture you like click "file" and "Save as" there you will be able to save your image as a jpg.

Well thats about it! I warn you though once you start you'll never look at things the same way! I would love to see your work after your done.

HDR using Photoshop CS2
For those of you that want to give photoshop a try here is a great tutorial.
I personally didn't care for the out come but you may have better luck.

Make your own photo snow globe

Ok so yes I am bored, the weather here sucks, and my house looks like a hurricane it hit as we are in the midst of moving. So I thought I would find a few things to pop up on the site. I came across this site called Photojojo yes thats the name. Silly name but great site! I found a tutorial on how to make your own photo snow globe. So I read it and it looks pretty cool!. If my house weren't such a disaster area I would try this right now. Check it out it is complete with pictures and step by step instructions. Make your own Photo Snow Globe
They have a newsletter you can sign up for and there are also lots of other fun projects too. Have Fun and if you do make one, send me a picture I will post it.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

This is another photo contest site that I found. Earthshots it's an interesting site, if you win photo of the day three times you win $50.00. Apparently they don't always send an email if you win so you should check everyday, to make it easy for you you can check on the bottom right of this page everyday and see the photo of the day. Your entry is good for 30 days and you can enter as many times as you like.
Here are there rules from there site


Earth Shots is looking for photographs that exhibit the beauty and diversity of our planet. Any subject matter goes. The most important requirement is that your image is interesting and striking. Good luck!
Terms and Conditions

* Anyone is free to enter Earth Shots’ Photo of the Day contest.
* Winning photographs will be selected by Earth Shots. The judge’s decision is final.
* All entries must be photographs taken by you.
* Your photograph may be chosen as Photo of the Day on any day up to one month after the date that you submitted it.
* There is no limit on the number of photos you may enter.
* By submitting you photograph to Earth Shots, you agree to allow your image to be published on
* Your image may also appear as a thumbnail on other websites that syndicate Earthshots Photo of the Day. This thumbnail will always link to your photograph on
* We may use winning photographs in EarthShots promotional material such as banners and buttons.
* We may not always inform you by email if your entry has been successful. The best way to find out if you have won is to check Earth Shots regularly (to make this easier, you may want to subscribe to our site feed or daily email).


Contest are a great way to get your photography mind working, especially in bad weather. For instance Staples Home Town View is also having a photo contest. It's a real nice one too. Just by entering you get a free poster of your photograph.
Upload a picture highlighting what you love about your hometown.

40 finalists get their poster-size photos sold in local Staples® stores and receive royalties. Plus, they get a $100 Staples Gift Card.

ALL entrants receive a FREE coupon good for a big color poster (12" x 18").

Getting back to what I was talking about, contest are a great way to think about what kind of photograph you want to take. For instance I have plenty of photographs of Bennington but since the contest doesn't end until March 15 2007. I plan on taking as many photographs of the town in different weather. I am hoping to get some good ones of the it snowing downtown.
It gives me a chance to focus on a particular subject or objective. And think about the area and what are it's best assets and where the shots should be taken, the lighting, the time, of day and so on.
I will post more photo contests as I find them, but here are two that should keep you busy. The Earthshots one should be very easy to do, everyone takes pictures of nature and landscapes.
I would love to here from anyone who knows of anymore, there fun to do and they are great for your ego if you win, even if it's just a blue ribbon!
Good Luck and don't forget to think outside the lens!


Another Great Flickr Tool

Gif animations at

This animation was done using a tool called Gickr it's a great free animation tool where you can choose your flickr pictures or upload new ones and make them into this little animation. Which is great for photo blogs and web pages to show a great number of photos without all the uploading and posting. The only thing I don't like about it is it does not let you search your entire flickr archive to select your pictures. You have to either put in a tag or just select the pictures that are the latest on your flickr page. Or of course you can upload pictures but I haven't tried that yet. Since I keep flickr as my archiving site I would hate to have to upload all over again to another site. Or I suppose you could tag your pictures for a specific animation and then use there tag search feature which is probably the easiest. Either way this is still a handy site and it is free. And free is always good!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Largest Photograph in the World

Download high-resolution version (957x723, 156 KB)
Defined by Wikipedia -

"Largest Photograph Made As a Seamless Single Shot

* Claimed by: The Legacy Project; (Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada)
* Photograph of: control tower and runways at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Orange County, California
* Dimensions: 32 feet high x 111 feet wide

On June 14, 2006, six photographers, all well known photographic artists (Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada), unveiled what Guinness World Records plans to categorize and certify as the world's largest camera and photograph.

The 3,024 square-foot photograph is a huge image that was made to mark the end of 165 years of film/chemistry-based photography and the commencement of the age of digital photography. A decommissioned Marine Corps jet hangar (Building #115 at El Toro) was transformed into the world's largest camera to make the world's largest picture.The hangar-turned-camera recorded a panoramic image of what's on the other side of the door using the centuries-old principle of "camera obscura" or pinhole camera. An image of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station appeared upside down and flipped left to right on film after being projected through the tiny hole in the hangar's metal door. The "film" is actually a 32-by-111 foot piece of white fabric - one-third the length of a football field and about three stories tall - covered in 20 gallons of light-sensitive emulsion as the "negative." After exposing the fabric for 35 minutes the image was developed by 80 volunteers using a giant custom-made tray of vinyl pool liner. Development employed 600 gallons of black-and-white developer solution and 1,200 gallons of fixer pumped into the tray by ten high volume pumps. Print washing used fire hoses connected to two fire hydrants. The hangar/camera will eventually be torn down, so the photographers jokingly state that they have also made the world's largest disposable camera."


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Quick Pod ~ I wish I had Known about this for Christmas!

Ok I was on YouTube encase you couldn't tell and I was watching some videos of the recent CES 2007 Show. Wow! Lots of cool things especially for photographers. All of them see like worth while and cool things to have but for a waterfall photographer and someone who is disabled this got my vote. No I don't have one but I will soon I promise.
Watch the video I think you will be as impressed as I am.

No I don't get paid for promoting this stuff, but wouldn't that be cool. :)
The Quick Pod


Kodak Moment

I saw this on a And I couldn't stop laughing so I thought I would share it with everyone here. It really is very funny! Enjoy!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Slide Show

Now if your a photographer and you really want to share your photographs with the world you have to try this. The Slide Show as you can see it is nice to look at and you can customize your photographs, pick the line up and edit the captions. It is amazingly easy to use if you are a Flickr fan, a blogger user like myself. It walks you through where your photos are stored and how to upload them to your website. You can even offer a free screen saver for download to your fans! And it's free and takes all of about 5 minutes! If you photographs are already uploaded to a site. If not you'll have to take a few minutes and upload them using there easy to use interface.

As you can see it supports all kinds of online photo sharing sites like Bebo, photobucket, myspace, flickr, facebook, and friendster, and like I said you can upload images also.
So give it a try its a cool site and it is free, and we all know how I feel about free!
Try The Free Screen Saver


Sunday, January 14, 2007


So it's been one of those weeks for weather, and I haven't done anything with my camera for days. Lacking any inspiration I got on my computer and looked at some of the photo contest sites I like to got to.

I am rather found of it is sponsored by Samsung. The site runs a weekly contest for everyday people who just love to take pictures. What I really like about this site is the instant, and I do mean instant feedback you get from people.
How it works via Soaphoto's website ~

This photo gallery is for photography enthusiasts whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, soaphoto is the place for you to share your work with others. In order to gain access to either our amateur photo gallery or our professional photo gallery, we require that you submit some photos and a resume to evaluation. Only selected members will be granted a gallery.

Professional Photo Gallery
* Professional Photo Gallery is given only to professional photographers for a purpose of providing them an opportunity to exhibit their proficiency. If you would like to claim professional photo gallery eligibility, please submit your pictures and a resume for editorial staff review.

And now a word from our sponsor :)

Here are a few of this weeks photographs I took.
Gif animations at
If you want to see more please visit my Flickr Page
And of course you can always purchase my work at The Waterfall Hunter online store were you can find prints, postcards and greeting cards.

*Advanced Amateur Photo Gallery
This picture gallery is specified to photo artists enthusiasts who obtained beyond basic skills in photography. If you wish to acquire permission to create your own amateur photo gallery, please submit some photos and a resume for editorial staff consideration.

*Photography Forum
Forum is a place where you can freely express yourself and share information and digital photo tips with others. To design your own forum, your pictures and your desired topics are required to be evaluated by our editorial staffs. Once you become a select member, please feel free to participate in forums.

*Experience & Share Digital Photo Tips
Here on our photo sharing site you can freely share your photo techniques and personal experiences with other photo and imaging enthusiasts and learn from each other in a community environment. Please ensure to upload photos, and other specific detailed information with your experience tips.

As you can see I have 422 points, I got that from uploading photos to the weekly contest, and by the participation in the Advanced Amateur area. To become an advanced amateur you have to apply and show them some of your photos, for that you get to upload so many photos a day and can participate in their contest, and believe the prize is a very nice camera, the model changes depending on the contest but generally it is semipro or prosumer type dslr camera by Samsung.

They are now offering a photo album section which gives you even more space to upload and share your photo with other enthusiast. You can write how to articles or just search out a particular subject.

It is really a nice site for any photographer, oh yes and they do offer a professional section to. But I can't speak for it as I haven't made it that far. :)

My only wish is to win, but I am up against some fantastic photographers and the competition is fierce! LOL

I urge everyone to check it out and sign up it's a lot of fun and it is free!
Good Luck!


Friday, January 12, 2007


You know recently I have read several articles on composition and the rule of thirds. Frankly it all seems like a big waste of time if you still don't like what you see in your lens.
Some digital cameras like mine Fujifilm s5200 have a grid setting to help.

When I first became interested in photography, many moons ago, I had no clue what I was doing and how to do it. All I knew was how to load the film in my Vivitar camera and point and shoot! No focusing, no f stops, or apertures. Just me and a view finder and a button! LOL Sounds so silly now huh. I am sure we all started out that way. For years I stumbled around with my Vivitar taking pictures of all kinds of things. As I got older and had to work for a living I put all interest aside.
Then in my late 20's I had the urge again to pick up a camera, a digital camera! what a jump from Vivitar to a Kodak prosumer camera, top of the line back then and a huge hit on the wallet too.

And now a word from our sponsor :)

Gif animations at
If you want to see more please visit my Flickr Page
And of course you can always purchase my work at The Waterfall Hunter online store were you can find prints, postcards and greeting cards.

It was big and bulky, but I didn't mind I had instant results. I even bought filters, and lens.
So I began taking more pictures, still having no clue what I was doing. Although I read and tried to figure it out I was preoccupied with other things, like working to pay off that expensive camera! LMOA


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Smartdisk Foto Chute Review

This is one of the best things I got for Christmas. It is basically a portable hard drive but with a twist. It has an LCD screen, so you can navigate through the drive and copy or delete files. It also has a one button backup making life easier on the road.
This is something that every digital photographer should have. It is in expensive and small,it has a rechargeable battery also.
This is little guy has 20 gigs of storage space you can carry around with you and use on the fly as your trekking through mountainous landscapes or urban sprawl. You will never need to worry about whether you have enough space for all of those high resolution pictures again.
Although this particular one is no longer manufactured you can still find them on the internet I found my at Tiger Direct for $65.00 + shipping.
Smardisk PhotoBank is there newest version so if you want the latest and greatest try there.