Monthly Archives: April 2009


I found several orchards in bloom near my home. I have been working them off and on for several days. I have been there around sunset, sunrise w/wo fog. By far the most “appropriate light” for my taste was sunrise with a light fog. Without the fog, even sunrise light quickly becomes to harsh for the soft billowing look of the orchards. I use the term “appropriate light” which is a phrase I learned from Brenda Tharp’s writings. This term is all about finding the light that is right for your subject. It may or may not be sunrise or sunset light (“the golden hours”). It may be diffused light from a cloudy day or even mid-day sun (Ansel shot a lot or work then). That all said, there may more than one type of light that works well. The second image is a back lit view of an orchard which is still quite nice.
The other point of this blog entry is that if you find a good subject go back again and again – work it. I had actually decided not to go back any more this week when I saw the light morning fog. I went back and I am glad I did.
The final image uses an overlay of a sharp image and a out of focus image blended in photoshop using the difference blend mode. This has a nice fantasy look.
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Tulip Time

On my way to Silver Falls State Park here in Oregon (a beautiful park by the way) my wife and I stopped at the Wooden Shoe Tulip farm. The tulips were not quite a peak yet but some sections were in full bloom. The weather was actually pretty good at first – mostly cloudy with sun breaks. Unfortunately it turned to full sun before I would have liked. Flowers look best under diffused light 99% of the time. I did take some advantage of the direct sunlight and did a couple backbit images – one is included here. The final image is a pan of some the mult-color tulips.

Top image: For this image I got the camera down low to the ground (taking advantage of the fact that the tulip were on row mounds) . I set up the on camera flash for a little fill light(-1.0EV) and composed the shot keeping it a bit on the diagnal. In post processing I darkened some of the ground debrie and cleaned it up as needed.
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No this is not Photoshop mirroring again, but a more old fashioned technique – using a real mirror. Have you ever tried photographing Hellebore’s or other flowers whose blooms always face the ground? Some daffodils are like this. It can be very awkward to say the least. The lower they are the harder it gets and can be impossible.

While thumbing through my “Joy of Photography” book by Freeman Patterson he suggest in one section using a mirror placed on the ground for such occasions. Great idea. Note there are some issues with this technique. You need a very clean mirror and you have to keep cleaning it as you go – flowers have a habit of dropping pollen. Keep a brush handy. This blog image included here is an example of such an image. Works pretty well.
Blog image: While being shot in the mirror, this image of Hellebore’s has also been “hi-keyed” and a white vignette added to the edges. What does it mean to hi-key. Fundamentally you are keeping or forcing the image tones all to the light end of the histogram (digitally speaking).
Posted in How To, Uncategorized

Calendar Season

Well it is time to submit images to calendar companies for the 2011 calendars (until June). I learned a bit about this in Jim Zuckerman’s “Making Money with Your Photogrpahy” course through BP. While the Photographer’s Market has a few companies listed, the better source of publishers is found via the web or at your local bookstore (later in the year though). Anyway, finding publishers for your type of work appears to be the trick. So far I have found going to and finding calendars with my type of images in them is the best way. I would also advise keeping a record of the companies you find along with pertinent info. I am using a spreadsheet for this. Once you find a company you can generally find their submission guidelines buried on their site – I record this as well. I can tell this is going to take some work. Next will come selecting appropriate images and sending them. It is important to make sure the publisher’s markets and you images are a good fit.

Image: I found this driving along the back roads where I live. Hard to resist those colors. This should make a good calendar image. They like bright colors and you need to be able to crop it to a square if necessary.
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