Friday, May 18, 2007

Improving Your Landscape Photography

11 Steps to improve your landscape photo's
For those of you that haven't been to Digital Photography Schools website this is a great resource for all kinds of information. I get there newsletter which really is the best way for this site. I don't visit it on a daily basis but the newsletters keep me up to date. I can't say they have a lot of new stuff every day but at least once a month they have a very interesting article.

I have seen similar articles in Outdoor Photography Magazine and they are really full of useful ideas that most people tend to either forget or don't think about.

For me when I take a photograph I often take it from several different angles getting, down on the ground (when I can) and changing from landscape to portrait is a good one too. I often find just taking a step or two to one side or the other works well also. You would be amazed at what you come up with when you really just move around a little. Some of my best shots were not even planned. So don't be afraid to try new angles.

Bracketing your photographs is also a great way to help insure you get a good exposure. I often do that anyway as I take a lot of HDR sets. It gives me a lot more options when I get my photos ready in post processing.

Earthshots 100 Days

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

WoooHooo! Two More Weeks!

Well I just heard from the Doctor, I don't need surgery, I just have to keep it in a sling for a few more weeks! Whew! that was a close call. So I celebrated by going out in my front yard and taking some pictures of a couple of very pretty tulips.
Spring Opening
Just Beginning

So hopefully I will be back in business in a few weeks. I really miss getting out there and getting pictures.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Update** My Injury

Well I realize this is not a REALLY photography related. But I figure it's my site and I am a photographer so it all works out in the end.
I went for my MRI on my right elbow today. I live in Bennington Vt and we don't have a permanent MRI here and the mobile one is really small. You have to be a tooth pick to fit in it comfortably. So I requested to be sent to an "open MRI" Basically, for those that don't know, instead of being stuffed in a big tube your tube is cut in half with a top and bottom. Generally they are two tables, one to lay on and the imaging unit above. It's great if you have an injury in an odd place like my right elbow.

Now I can't straighten my arm out all the way without being in excruciating pain. And I can't bend in all the way either. That's the whole point of the MRI, they think I tore a ligament. Thats a bad, bad thing! :)

Anyway, I drove all the way to Albany NY, thats an hour away. I get there and they take me into this room with a big donut shaped machine. I said "it's supposed to be an "OPEN MRI"" The Tech said "oh well they come in all shapes and sizes" Now granted it was bigger in diameter about 12" more which was good because I was then told I had to lay on my side so my arm could be in the middle of the table with this contraption wrapped around my arm. Then he put a weight on it forcing my arm to extend completely! I was in agony. I told him I would have to stop in between sets to rest my arm. he just walked out and shut the door.

So here I am stuffed into this tube laying cockeyed so my arm can be laid out flat and in the middle. I am dieing in pain and the machine is making this racket. And in between each set the guy says " 2 more minutes" and then clicks off after about 20 minutes I couldn't take it anymore so I yelled "I need to get out of this thing! It hurts to much! Hello!" I got know response, then the machine started up again and I pulled my arm out of this contraption I was in ripped off the head phones playing horrible 80's music and started crawling out of thing machine myself! He wasn't even listening to me. He only came in once he saw me climbing out of the MRI.

I never got the guys name but believe me tomorrow his boss is going to get an ear full. I have had plenty of MRI's in my time and I know how it is supposed to work, and that wasn't it!

This injury is really hard on me, I can't get out and take a lot of pictures because I have to get someone to go with me and help set it up. It's a pain, really. I am feeling a bit depressed by it all.

But on the bright side. I am still working on selling my greeting cards. I need two things
1. clear bags to fit over my cards
2. open top bin boxes

I can get the boxes at staples, either online or hopefully they have them at there store. I am having trouble finding the bags though. So if any one has any ideas I would love to hear them.

I don't want to make appointments with shops until I have everything I need to put a display up in there store. That would make a very bad first impression.

The hard part is doing this all on a shoestring budget, a thread bare shoestring at that. :)

I did buy 5 frames to put some 5 x 7 in but it turned out the frames have the glass painted. You see I thought it had a cheap paper type mounting and all I would have to do is take that out and I would have a nice white frame. But sines the glass is painted, and has the word "friends" painted on it I will have to take them back and get some different ones.
I'll have to be more careful.
OK that's it for my updates.

Smugmug Does The Right Thing For Well Known Photographers Family

While checking out some new photography sites I came across a truly amazing story, especially in this day and age of face internet friends.
A fellow photographer, Ginger Jones she passed away recently after a long illness.
"Ginger was a very active member of the photography community there, posting over 13,000 pictures to her SmugMug account and adding many of them to the Daily Photos community. A great landscape and nature photographer, she has won more DGrin Challenges than any other forum member."

Although I had never met her I was truly moved by

"I know that things are probably going to be a little tight for Ginger's family. Peruse her galleries, and buy a print maybe? Why not? That's how Ginger would want you to remember her: through one of her beautiful images. In fact if you like, SmugMug will buy a print for you. Just send a request (with a photo link) to our help desk, ATTN: Barb in the subject line, and we'll take care of it. Include your shipping address."

Thats right they will purchase the photograph for you send you the picture and send the money on to her family who really could use the help.

So please take a few minutes and look over her wonderful photographs. Buy one, buy two, or even if you can't afford it, send Smugmug an email and they will send you her wonderful work.

Although I have never met her she sounded like someone I would have loved to have known. She loved photography, and judging by her work, friends, and a wealth of photographers, photography LOVED her.

I am sadden I never got the chance to know a woman who loved her art so much.

As for Smugmug, Way to go!!! It's nice to see a company give back the the customers and community that made them.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Thinking of Joining a Camera Club or Starting One?

Well have I got the place for you. As we all know I live in a small town in Vermont and I hadn't heard of any local camera or photography clubs so I went on Google and did a search and found this site called
You can search for just about any kind of club you can think of including photography. It's free and easy just navigate your way to the art section select photography and give them your location. If there is a club in your area they will list it and let you know how to join the group. The site will email you when a group is started or if there are any new people in the area that want to make a group with you.
Unfortunately there is no group close, the nearest one is in Albany which is an hour away. But hopefully someone will want to start one soon.

Free Photography Lessons

As most of you know I am always on the look out for free photography information, lessons and anything helpful for photographers. Well I am sure some of you have stumbled on this site but just encase I thought I would put it up. Best Photo Lessons Online. It is a very basic set of lessons mostly for the beginner, but I always need a refresher as I have a terrible memory! :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Finally My Photography Portfolio is DONE!!!

Well I finally managed to finish my portfolio. I had such a hard time trying to do so many things so I thought I would share with you what I wanted in my portfolio site and why I made the choice I made.

Although I can design websites from scratch, so to speak. I Felt a template would be best considering my physical condition write now. Finding a template that was easy to use and did take a lot of typing was what I wanted.
I also wanted it to be cheap or better yet free. I purchased my domain name The domain was $8.95 a yr. And I figured I could use the web space from verizon, since I already get 10mb of space for free. The problem as I am sure you can guess is the size. No matter how small I made the pictures it was just to small.

So I set about looking for a site that offered free hosting and hopefully some quick and easy template.
I first considered wordpress since they have such a HUGE collection of free templates, and tons of plugins and widgets. But the problem was paying for it. I just don't have tons of cash especially for something that isn't making money right now.

Then I remembered a site I signed up for a while back called Weebly. This site uses "Ajax" which is great technology for this sort of thing. Since I was already signed up all I had to do was creat a new page, pick a design, drag and drop the flickr plugin and I was done pretty much.
Of course, I added a cont page, they have a plugin for that, just drag and drop. And I added an about me, a links and a home page, along with the gallery page.

The only problem I had was that the flickr plugin didn't allow me to specify a specific "set" or "collections". So I signed up for a free flickr account and uploaded my favorite photos to that and set it up on the weebly site.

This was a quick,easy, and fast solution to my problem. Weebly is a great site and is still adding features so go check it out. And let me know what you think the site.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I wanted to post an update everyone about the site and myself. You may have read that I had fallen down a muddy hill and hurt my left elbow and knee. Well it seems that I have torn a ligament in my elbow, which hasn't been confirmed yet by an MRI (thats on Monday) anyway if the tear is bad enough I will have to have surgery, which seems to be a rather complicated surgery requiring a graft of a ligament from some other part of my body, or worse yet a cadaver! That is NOT going to happen. LMAO Anyway as I am right handed and I hurt my left elbow I an still type but it is slow going one handed.
I can of course still take pictures, I just need help setting up the tripod and getting the camera out. So that sort of takes some of the fun out of it. But I wont be out as much taking a lot of photos, but I will be taking some.
On a side note, my wife Deb has a torn achilles tendon, so she will be having surgery on that in a few weeks. And will then be laid up with a cast for 6-8 weeks. So it seems we will be quit the pair with her leg in a cast and my arm in cast! I'll be sure to take pictures.

I am hoping to get out this next week as things are getting green out and the flowers are in bloom.
Hoping to get some good shots then. I haven't had much luck with some of my photo contest, but what can you do.