Monthly Archives: July 2011

Exhibit Synopsis


Readers have asked about how my recent exhibit went and what I learned. Here is a summary.

  • The opening night was well attended. Approximately 200 visitors during the 2 hour window (this was on the high side for this gallery). I kept busy visiting, answering questions and describing my work. I enjoyed that very much.
  • On opening night I brought greeting cards and a selection of matted prints in addition to the larger framed exhibit prints. As expected the cards sold the best with matted prints next – no large print sales on the opening night.
  • The gift shop at the Arts Center liked the cards and small matted prints and so they put some on display. They still have a stock of the cards and prints on sale there. There have been some sales off and on.
  • In the end I sold 5 large (16×24 prints) as a result of the exhibit. Two of the five were the framed exhibit prints. Of those one sold to a friend and the other to a new business owner I had talked to a couple months before (she was going to need wall art for her new business). Three  of the prints (print only) were sold to a woman who saw the exhibit  while in town and she called me from Philadelphia to order them a couple weeks later (a pleasant surprise).
  • I was asked by some regional photo clubs to meet them at the exhibit so I could answer questions. This was another opportunity to get my name out there and get more exposure. I didn’t expect any sales necessarily, but I did bring cards, etc. This went well and talking about the techniques, etc. was fun.

Other notes:

Don’t assume people will just show up at your exhibit. You need to market the event to everyone you know plus some. I did quite a bit but I would do even more. Here is a summary of what I did.

  • Printed up 8×5 post cards that were sent directly to my friends, acquaintances, clients, etc.
  • Placed 3 x 5 cards (announcing the exhibit) of my own and from the gallery at places I visited, ate, worked, etc. Most small business owners were fine with placing them on the counters, etc.
  • Sent out email to the area photography clubs announcing the exhibit, etc. I did this a bit late. One of those obvious things that slipped my mind.
  • Prepared a press release and sent that to editors of three of the local papers. I was told to wait until 2 weeks before the exhibit (editors would ignore you until then), but that was bad advice. You should make contact at least four weeks before. If the paper wants to do a story on you and your art the editor needs to get you in the queue for a reporter to interview you.
  • This is a great opportunity for potential clients to see your work. The gallery lighting, your nicely framed prints, can all make a strong positive impact. It will look better than just an image on your website and lets the client see the quality of your work and presentation. 
  • Posted blog entries about the upcoming exhibit and put a notice on my website.
  • Mat and frame as professionally as possible. I received several compliments on the quality of the presentation. This all counts. You are not just looking to make money but establish your brand. Even if people don’t buy right then, they need to go away with a strong positive image of you and your work. You never know what opportunity they might bring your way later.

I hope this will answer some questions and be of use to any of you who are planning your own exhibit.

Blog Image: One of my early Floral Fusions (1.3 sec at f16).

Posted in Uncategorized



If you live in the NW and haven’t gotten by our own local Stonehenge you might want to take a look. It is off highway 14 near Maryhill (just east of The Dalles, Oregon) near the intersection with highway 97 in Washington state. It is a war memorial styled like Stonehenge – as it might have looked before its deterioration. It is a full scale replica made of concrete instead of carved stone, but it is a unique structure. It sits along the beautiful Columbia Gorge so the setting is quite nice. As a photographer there is a lot with which to work and play.


Blog images:

  1. Stonehenge has always had a bit of mystery so to add some mystique to the image I used a wide angle lens (12mm on a DX body => 18mm). In addition, I used a variable ND filter to get a long exposure set of HDR images. The HDR set was processed with Photomatix 4.0 using the ghost reduction feature. The image was then converted to B&W using SilverEfx Pro from Nik Software. A vignette was added along with some local adjustments using Nik Color Efx Pro and Photoshop.
  2. The second image was shot at sunset with the sun just breaking through the corner of one of the openings. A small aperture (f18) was used to get the sunburst. In this kind of shot you will get lens flare. All processing in this case was done in Lightroom 3.
Posted in HDR Photography, Uncategorized

Macro Fun

Blog_20110710_1-5 I love to get up early on a summer morning and explore the garden looking for new images. In my previous blog I captured images involving the garden sprinklers. This time I put on the macro lens (Nikon 105mm) and started exploring. Given the sprinklers had run earlier there were a lot of water droplets hanging on the flowers and foliage so I decided to focus on those.

In the 1st image I saw a row of water droplets hanging along the edge of a gladiola. To get in close, I added a Canon 5T close-up lens and a 36mm extender.  I traded depth of field for some background detail. On a shot like this all the droplets have to be very sharp or else they distract from the rest. Set your camera up as parallel to the droplets as you can.


If you want to get a sunburst like the above you need to go with a small aperture (f51 in this case). The tradeoff is, of course, depth of field so you need to make sure the background material is far away and not too cluttered or else it distracts from the image. Also, note that changing your angle of view relative to the sun and water droplet can greatly impact the level of sunburst. Move you head up and down watching the water drop. Find the point where the sun seems brightest (you will see the difference once you hit that magic angle).


Finding nice background color when you can is always a great way to add pop. In the image above the background was all green which was nice, but I wanted a little more pop. I grabbed another red flower from the garden (I don’t recommend this unless it is your own garden) and held it at arms’ length (while I looked through the viewfinder) and moved it behind the area I wanted to emphasize. It took a few tries to get it, but I am happy with this one.


In this final image, I couldn’t get the sunburst without an aperture that resulted in a messy  background.  So I actually shot one with the background bokeh I wanted  (large aperture) and combined it with the small aperture shot using Photoshop. The result is the sunburst plus the nice background. It always pays to think outside the box you think you are in.

Posted in Uncategorized

Fun with the Sprinklers


Remember the hot days of summer when you used to run around in the sprinklers? Well you can still have fun with the sprinklers, but in a different way. As I was testing out the sprinklers early one morning last week, I noticed an array of beautiful images just waiting to be captured – this blog contains a few of them.


I used a Nikon 70-200mm lens with a 1.4x extender to reach in and get the images without getting wet. I was generally shooting with backlight so I had to set the EV to –1.3 to –2.0 (typical for backlit situations). I kept the depth of field shallow for the first image to remove background clutter. Notice the difference in the look of the water droplets between it and the next two which had a bit smaller aperture (more depth of field).  Try different shutter speeds to change the appearance of the droplets in the air. The first two images were shot at 1/320sec and the last at 1/100sec.


Posted in How To

Happy Fourth of July


I thought I would share one of my latest “Floral Fusions” for the holiday. These blue star thistle blooms seemed appropriate for the 4th. This floral fusion is created using moving textured glass. One image was shot without the glass and the second was shot through the moving glass (0.4sec at f22). The images were captured in the garden, early in the morning, before the breezes started. To add a little punch behind the blue flowers I took an orange plastic bag that was handy and wrapped it around the base of the plant.  The two images were blended together in Photoshop using a layer mask and a brush. Contrast and local adjustments were done using Lightroom.

Have a happy fourth everyone!

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