Bluefin Studios: Blog https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog en-us (C) All Rights Reserved. Bluefin Studios gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Thu, 12 Nov 2020 03:33:00 GMT Thu, 12 Nov 2020 03:33:00 GMT https://www.bluefinstudios.com/img/s/v-12/u535449681-o551244833-50.jpg Bluefin Studios: Blog https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog 120 80 Notes - Get Out and Shoot 2020 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2020/1/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2017 Wine In SummerWine In SummerWineglass in summer, looking out over the sunset. Pamet Harbour Yacht and Tennis Club, Truro MA, Cape Cod. © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Wine Glass At Sunset, Cape Cod, MA.
Available Here

 

Get Out And Shoot, for 2020!

 

I need to really make more of an effort to get out and shoot! For 2014, I made a list. No way to sugar coat it… I sucked at getting to the list. 2015, and well... I was a WEEeeee bit better. Only just. I made a list and that just didn't work for me. I need to be better about making time (as opposed to just making a list). So, 2016 was ok. 2017, I was a bit better, 2018? I fell in love, all over again. and 2019? I made a bit more progress with my camera.

2019 I made a few more shots... added WAY more to the list than images I made.
But the one biggest thing I discovered, was, I need to Make Time To Shoot! I definitely need to make time to shoot.

Still on the list: more long-exposure waterfalls, more wildlife to shoot, Cape Cod Lighthouses, more species, and more wish-list places to shoot. Come to think of it, what's not on the list?

the List:

More Birding
✔ Screech Owl
Great Horned
Burrowing Owl
✔ Barred Owl
Barn Owl
✔ Snowy Owl
Great Grey Owl
Short-earred Owl SUCCESS in 20202
Long-earred Owl
hell... almost any owl

Raptors, any raptors
Bald Eagle
Sharp Shinned Hawk
✔ Coopers Hawk
Red Shouldered
✔ Red Tailed Hawk
✔ Mute Swan
More... more... more Raptors

Some Notes for 2020 Shoots

My list for my goals for 2020 shoots.
Some realistic, some "aim for the moon"

Waterfalls

Around MA
Bish Bash Falls, Taconic Mountains, SW MA.
White Marble Falls, Clarksburg, MA.
✔ Wayside Inn Grist Mill, Sudbury MA
Pawtucket Falls, Lowell, MA
Shelburne Falls
Campbell Falls, New Marlborough MA
Glendale Falls, Middlefield MA

Around New England
Steps Falls, Newry Maine

Bridal Veil Falls, Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
The Flume, NH
Falls On the Falling Waters Trails, Lincoln and Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
✔ (but it was pouring) Glen Ellis Falls, Jackson NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
✔ Jackson Falls, Jackson NH
Tucker Brook Falls, Milford NH

Day Pond Falls, CT

Moss Glenn Falls, Granville VT
Moss Glenn Falls, Stowe VT

Scenic and Landscapes
 

Monomoy, seals, birds...
✔ Plum Island, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
✔ Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Cranberry Bogs of Cape Cod, at Harvest
Newburyport in Summer
Gloucester
New Bedford
Marshfield

Around New England
Covered Bridge, Newry Maine
✔ Tannery Hill Covered Bridge, Gilford NH

Lighthouses

✔ Scituate Light, MA
✔ Derby Wharf Light, Salem, MA
✔ Fort Pickering Light, Salem, MA

Gloucester Light, MA

Nubble Light, Maine
Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth Maine
Pemmaquid Point Light, Maine
Owl's Head Light, Owl's Head, Maine
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia, Tremont ME
Marshall Point Light, Point Clyde, ME
Doubling Point Light Station, Arrowsic, ME

Cape Cod Lighthouses
 

Nauset Light, summer sunset
Chatham Light, summer sunset
Lewis Bay Light, aka Hyannis Harbor Light
Monomoy Light
✔ Nobska Point Light
Sandy Neck Light
✔ Stage Harbor Light
Wings Neck Light, Buzzards Bay
✔ Race Point Light
Seagull Beach Lighthouse, Yarmouth
Ned's Point Light

Canada
Cape Race, Lighthouse, Newfoundland

Wildlife
 

Whales, Humpback, Right, Fin Back
Sharks at Truro, Chatham
Seals at Truro or Chatham
Snowy Owl, more and more of this!
Duxbury, Plum Island, anywhere.

Big Game North America

Bear - Black, Brown, Grizzly, Polar
Elk
White Tail Deer
Mule Deer
Moose
Bison
Big Horn Sheep
Cougar
Wolf

Oregon
Thor's Well in Cape Perpetua

California
Yosemite in Winter
Yosemite in Summer
Hume Lake in Winter

Arizona
The Grand Canyon
The Slot Canyons

Antarctica
Penguins, Seals, Whales, Ice, Panoramas

Galapagos Islands
birds, turtles, mammals

Alaska
Glaciers, Whales, Ice

France
Beaches and US Cemetery at Normandy

Australian Outback
Sunsets, Rock, Deserts, Panoramas

 

I know, I know, I have a lot on my list... some of it is easy, and some not so...
Along the way, I want to meet up with any and all of you. I want to spend some time, learning about your worlds... take me to the places you love most, and show your world's to me. I'd love to meet, and shoot your love's as well!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) photography subjects https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2020/1/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2017 Sat, 25 Jan 2020 17:31:05 GMT
Affiliates Program https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2018/3/affiliates-program Coming Soon, we will be joining the B&H Affiliates Program.
We already use, and recommend B&H for our gear purchases.
We'd like to help you use them as well!

Once we have approval, we will provide links to the Cameras, Lenses, Filters, and photography accessories we hope will help you make your own images better!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) affiliates equipment photography program recommendations https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2018/3/affiliates-program Sat, 17 Mar 2018 17:46:03 GMT
Notes - Get Out and Shoot 2018 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/12/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2018 Stage Harbor LightStage Harbor Light Stage Harbor Light, Cape Cod, MA.
Available Here

Get Out And Shoot, for 2018!
2017 recap: I was a bit better than I've been in the past, at getting out and shooting. I Checked off a few more items from year's past. But, I also added more than I got to. No excuses, my focus needs to be better, and more dedicated to shooting. ... and not just shooting for shooting's sake, but chasing the Light, too. Sunrises, Sunsets, Golden Hour, and the sky.

I'll really need to make more of an effort to Get Out And Shoot!

2014: I sucked at getting to my list.
2015? I was a WEEeeee bit better.

2016? Made a few more shots... added WAY more to the list than images I made.
2017, and Better still. but added a lot...

Make Time To Shoot
Definitely need to grab the camera and GET OUT more.
Still on the list: more long-exposure waterfalls, more wildlife to shoot, Cape Cod Lighthouses, more species, and more wish-list places to shoot. .. and yes, some things are on the list, and checked off. But I want more and better shots. Focus on technique. On quality. Not spray and pray!

the List:

More Birding
Barn Owl
✔ Barred Owl
Burrowing Owl
Great Grey Owl
Great Horned
Long Eared Owl - (two days of freezing cold, and managed a few dozen really crappy photos of mostly hidden Long Earred)
✔ Screech Owl
✔ Snowy Owl


Bald Eagle, Charles River, Hoocksett NH
Hooksett Hydro Dam,
✔ Coopers Hawk
Northern Harrier (the Grey Ghost)
Red Shouldered
✔ Red Tailed Hawk
Sharp Shinned Hawk

✔  Black Crowned Night Heron
✔  Great Blue Heron
✔  Great Egret
✔  Green Heron
Mute Swan
Snowy Egret
Tri-Coloured Heron
✔  Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Waterfalls Around MA
Campbell Falls, New Marlborough MA

Glendale Falls, Middlefield MA
Pawtucket Falls, Lowell, MA

Shelburne Falls
✔ Wayside Inn Grist Mill, Sudbury MA
White Marble Falls, Clarksburg, MA.

Waterfalls Around New England
ME
Steps Falls, Newry Maine

NH
Bridal Veil Falls, Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
The Flume, NH
Falls On the Falling Waters Trails, Lincoln and Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)

✔ (but it was pouring) Glen Ellis Falls, Jackson NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
Jackson Falls, Jackson NH
Tucker Brook Falls, Milford NH
CT
Day Pond Falls, CT

VT
Moss Glenn Falls, Granville VT

Moss Glenn Falls, Stowe VT

Scenic and Landscapes

Monomoy, seals, birds...
✔ Plum Island, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Cranberry Bogs of Cape Cod, at Harvest
Newburyport in Summer

Gloucester
New Bedford
Marshfield

Around New England
Covered Bridge, Newry Maine
Tannery Hill Covered Bridge, Gilford NH

Lighthouses
✔ Scituate Light, MA
✔ Derby Wharf Light, Salem, MA
✔ Fort Pickering Light, Salem, MA
Gloucester Light, MA

Nubble Light, Maine
Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth Maine
Pemmaquid Point Light, Maine
Owl's Head Light, Owl's Head, Maine

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia, Tremont ME
Marshall Point Light, Point Clyde, ME
Doubling Point Light Station, Arrowsic, ME

Cape Cod Lighthouses

Nauset Light, summer sunset
Chatham Light, summer sunset
Lewis Bay Light, aka Hyannis Harbor Light
Monomoy Light
✔ Nobska Point Light
Sandy Neck Light
Stage Harbor Light

Wings Neck Light, Buzzards Bay
Race Point Light

Seagull Beach Lighthouse, Yarmouth
Ned's Point Light

Wildlife

Whales, Humpback, Right, Fin Back
Sharks at Truro, Chatham
Seals at Truro or Chatham
Duxbury, Plum Island, anywhere.
Spoonbills, Herons, birds, in FLA

Big Game North America
Bear - Black, Brown, Grizzly, Polar
Elk, White Tail Deer, Mule Deer
Moose, Bison, Big Horn Sheep
Cougar, Coyote, Wolf

Florida
JN "Ding" Darling NWR


Oregon
Thor's Well in Cape Perpetua

Arizona
The Grand Canyon

Antarctica
Penguins, Seals, Whales, Ice, Panoramas

Galapagos Islands
birds, turtles, mammals

Alaska
Glaciers, Whales, Ice

France
Beaches and US Cemetery at Normandy

Australian Outback
Sunsets, Rock, Deserts, Panoramas



I'll really need to make more of an effort to Get Out And Shoot!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) photography subjects https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/12/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2018 Mon, 01 Jan 2018 04:59:00 GMT
Image - Docklines https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/9/docklines DocklinesDocklinesDocklines, on the pier, at Cape Cod, Provincetown MA. Docklines

Sad day today.
I pulled the lobster pots, and pulled the boat from it's mooring for the season.
I've got shoots scheduled, and too many photography shows upcoming, to enjoy the boat much longer this season.
... and with the hurricanes and storms piling up, one after another, I don't want to risk an emergency while I am away, traveling for work.

I think this is the earliest I've pulled the boat in decades.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) boat cape cod coil dock lines painter photography rope https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/9/docklines Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:33:02 GMT
Image - Eastern Point Light https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/5/image---eastern-point-light Eastern Point LightEastern Point LightEastern Point Light in Gloucester

 

Eastern Point Light

Welcomes sailors and fishermen to Gloucester Harbor

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Eastern Point Gloucester Lighthouse beach image lighthouse rocks sky https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/5/image---eastern-point-light Wed, 17 May 2017 17:45:00 GMT
Image - Jackson Falls 2 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/4/image---jackson-falls-2
Jackson FallsJackson Falls in Jackson NH

 

Jackson Falls

Jackson, New Hampshire

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Jackson Jackson Falls White Mountains image light long exposure moss photography rocks trees water waterfalls https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/4/image---jackson-falls-2 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:30:00 GMT
Image - Jackson Falls https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/4/image---jackson-falls
Jackson FallsJackson Falls in Jackson NH

 

Jackson Falls

Jackson, New Hampshire

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Jackson Jackson Falls White Mountains image light long exposure moss photography rocks trees water waterfalls https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/4/image---jackson-falls Fri, 21 Apr 2017 22:15:00 GMT
Image - Derby Wharf https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/3/image
Derby Wharf LightDerby Wharf LightDerby Wharf Light was built in 1871

 

Derby Wharf Light

Salem Harbor

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Derby Wharf Light Lighthouse Salem clouds image light photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/3/image Wed, 15 Mar 2017 22:00:00 GMT
Image - Fort Pickering Light https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/2/image---fort-pickering-light
Fort Pickering LightFort Pickering LightAlso known as Winter Island Light, Fort Pickering Light was built in 1871. It's now run as a Private Adi To nav, by the City of Salem, MA.

 

Fort Pickering Lighthouse
also know as Winter Island Light

Salem, MA

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Fort Pickering Light Salem Salem Harbor Winter Island Light cluds image lighhouse light ocean https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/2/image---fort-pickering-light Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:00:00 GMT
Image - Scituate Light https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/2/image---scituate-light Scituate LightScituate LightScituate Light in Winter

 

Scituate Light

Entrance to Scituate Harbor

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Lighthouse Scituate beach clouds image lighthouse rocks sky https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/2/image---scituate-light Wed, 01 Feb 2017 22:45:00 GMT
Image - Nobska Light https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/1/image---nobska-light
Nobska LightNobska Light

 

Nobska Light

Lighthouse at the Entrance to Falmouth Harbor

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Falmouth Lighthouse Nobska clouds image light photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/1/image---nobska-light Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:30:00 GMT
Notes - Get Out and Shoot 2017 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/1/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2017 Storm Clouds, Provincetown Harbor, Cape Cod, MA.
Available Here

Get Out And Shoot, for 2017!

I need to really make more of an effort to get out and shoot!
For 2014, I made a list. No way to sugar coat it I sucked at getting to the list.

2015, and well... I was a WEEeeee bit better. Only just. I made a list and that just didn't work for me.
I need to be better about making time (as opposed to just making a 
list)

2016?  uhh.... I made the list again. Made a few more shots... added WAY more to the list than images I made.

Make Time To Shoot

I definitely need to make time to shoot.

Still on the list: more long-exposure waterfalls, more wildlife to shoot, Cape Cod Lighthouses, more species, and more wish-list places to shoot.

What's not on the list?

 

the List:

More Birding
 Screech Owl
Great Horned

Burrowing Owl
 Barred Owl
Barn Owl
Snowy Owl
Great Grey Owl

hell... almost any owl
Raptors, any raptors
Bald Eagle

Sharp Shinned Hawk
 Coopers Hawk
Red Shouldered

Mute Swan
More... more... more Raptors.

Some Notes for 2017 Shoots

My list for my goals for 2017 shoots.
Some realistic, some "aim for the moon"

Waterfalls
Around MA

White Marble Falls, Clarksburg, MA.
 Wayside Inn Grist Mill, Sudbury MA
Pawtucket Falls, Lowell, MA
Shelburne Falls
Campbell Falls, New Marlborough MA
Glendale Falls, Middlefield MA

More waterfalls

Around New England

Steps Falls, Newry Maine


Bridal Veil Falls, Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
The Flume, NH
Falls On the Falling Waters Trails, Lincoln and Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)

✔ (but it was pouring) Glen Ellis Falls, Jackson NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
Jackson Falls, Jackson NH
Tucker Brook Falls, Milford NH

Day Pond Falls, CT

Moss Glenn Falls, Granville VT
Moss Glenn Falls, Stowe VT

Scenic and Landscapes

Monomoy, seals, birds...
 Plum Island, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Cranberry Bogs of Cape Cod, at Harvest
Newburyport in Summer

Gloucester
New Bedford
Marshfield

Around New England
Covered Bridge, Newry Maine
Tannery Hill Covered Bridge, Gilford NH

Lighthouses
 Scituate Light, MA
 Derby Wharf Light, Salem, MA
 Fort Pickering Light, Salem, MA
Gloucester Light, MA

Nubble Light, Maine
Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth Maine
Pemmaquid Point Light, Maine
Owl's Head Light, Owl's Head, Maine

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia, Tremont ME
Marshall Point Light, Point Clyde, ME
Doubling Point Light Station, Arrowsic, ME

Cape Cod Lighthouses

Nauset Light, summer sunset
Chatham Light, summer sunset
Lewis Bay Light, aka Hyannis Harbor Light
Monomoy Light
 Nobska Point Light
Sandy Neck Light
Stage Harbor Light

Wings Neck Light, Buzzards Bay
Race Point Light

Seagull Beach Lighthouse, Yarmouth
Ned's Point Light

Wildlife

Whales, Humpback, Right, Fin Back
Sharks at Truro, Chatham
Seals at Truro or Chatham
Snowy Owl, more and more of this!
Duxbury, Plum Island, anywhere.

Big Game North America
Bear - Black, Brown, Grizzly, Polar
Elk
White Tail Deer
Mule Deer
Moose
Bison
Big Horn Sheep
Cougar
Wolf

Oregon
Thor's Well in Cape Perpetua

Arizona
The Grand Canyon

Antarctica
Penguins, Seals, Whales, Ice, Panoramas

Galapagos Islands
birds, turtles, mammals

Alaska
Glaciers, Whales, Ice

France
Beaches and US Cemetery at Normandy

Australian Outback
Sunsets, Rock, Deserts, Panoramas

]]>
gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) photography subjects https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2017/1/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2017 Sun, 01 Jan 2017 13:30:00 GMT
Image - Pleasant Bay https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---pleasant-bay Three GracesThree GracesThe Three Graces, at her mooring, waiting out a storm, to head back to sea, for the days catch.

 

Pleasant Bay - Chatham
Winter, on Cape Cod.

Storm's been blowin'... so the fishing fleet is at anchor, in Pleasant Bay, in Harwich and Chatham!
 


 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Silver Efx Pro Three Graces black and white composition filters fishing boats image lighting lightroom photography photoshop tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---pleasant-bay Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:45:00 GMT
Image - Cape Cod Light https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/9/image---cape-cod-light Highland Light SunsetHighland Light Sunsetsunset, behind the highland lighthouse, Truro MA, on Cape Cod.

 

Cape Cod Light - Highland Light
Winter, on Cape Cod.

A study in Black & White or Colour?

Which is your favorite?

 

Black and White is an obvious choice with snow and cold scenes. I used Nik's Silver Efx Pro. Lot's of contrast and structure to play with. The clouds, and the light are what make the image!

HIghland LightHIghland Light

 

Filters are fun, to play with. Personally, I like the image with full color, but in the end, get creative! The choice is yours!
 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Silver Efx Pro black and white composition filters image lighthouse lighting lightroom photography photoshop tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/9/image---cape-cod-light Fri, 02 Sep 2016 18:37:00 GMT
Image - Dolphin at Race Point https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---dolphin-at-race-point

 

Dolphin Jumping - Race Point
Summer, on Cape Cod.

Out on the boat, with the girls, to go see what we can see... and what do we see?
A pod of some 20 plus Atlantic White Sided Dolphin!
 


Dolphin Diving - Race Point
Summer, on Cape Cod.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod atlantic white sided dolphin dolphin dolphins image marine mammal ocean photography race point wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---dolphin-at-race-point Fri, 26 Aug 2016 19:00:00 GMT
Image - Milky Way In Truro https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---milky-way-in-truro  

Milky Way Over TruroMilky Way Over Truro

 

The Milky Way
A Shooting star, and the Milky Way, over Coast Guard Beach In North Truro

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Coast Guard Beach Milky Way Truro MA comet image nighttime photography shooting star sky stars https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---milky-way-in-truro Fri, 19 Aug 2016 19:15:00 GMT
Image - Boston Skyline https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---boston-skyline  

Boston Skyline WaterfontBoston Skyline Waterfont

 

The Boston Skyline
A view of the Boston Skyline, from Dorchester, across the bay.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Boston Boston MA Boston Skyline Hub Of Boston bay boston harbor buildings cityscape daytime harbor image photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/12/image---boston-skyline Fri, 03 Jun 2016 19:15:00 GMT
Image - Mill Pond In Winter https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/2/image---mill-pond-in-winter Mill PondMill Pond

 

Mill Pond Creek
Winter, on Cape Cod.

In winter, making new post processing choices can give you pleasant surprises.
It's 9 Degrees, today, with winds blowing between 40 and 55 knots! That's Gale Force Winds! And the Wind Chill Temp is below ZERO!
So, that means, snap some quick shots, and get back to the fireplace.

The cold means more time in front of the computer, for me, and less outside. So, into Lightroom and Into Photoshop, I went.
I played around with Filters, and came up with a couple of unique images, from this one starting place.

 

Black and White is an obvious choice with snow and cold scenes. I used Nik's Silver Efx Pro. Lot's of contrast and structure to play with. But I wasn't thrilled, so I kept playing.

The Stark Black and White is nice, but I wanted some of the original cool colors still.
Simple solution, and one I think doesn't get enough attention, is to apply filters, but make the layer less than 100% opaque. I slip the slider to about 45% and it gives some of the structure and contrast of the Black and White and a little color, too!

Filters are fun, to play with. Personally, I like the image with full color, but in the end, get creative! The choice is yours!
 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Silver Efx Pro black and white composition filters image lighting lightroom photography photoshop tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/2/image---mill-pond-in-winter Mon, 01 Feb 2016 05:38:00 GMT
Image - Watching The Watchers https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---watching-the-watchers ChandelierChandelier

Watching The Watchers

Image Available Here

Everywhere you go in Las Vegas, someone's watching you. Watch out for the watchers.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) camera chandelier composition image light looking up perspective https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---watching-the-watchers Mon, 25 Jan 2016 21:42:18 GMT
Notes - Get Out and Shoot 2016 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2016 Male Snowy OwlMale Snowy OwlMale Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus, at West Dennis Beach, Cape Cod, MA. #nature #birds #birding #capecod © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Male Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus, at West Dennis Beach, Cape Cod, MA.
Available Here

Get Out And Shoot, for 2015!

I need to really make more of an effort to get out and shoot!
For 2014, I made a list. No way to sugar coat it I sucked at getting to the list. 2015, and well... I was a WEEeeee bit better. Only just. I made a list and that just didn't work for me. I need to be better about making time (as opposed to just making a 
list)

Make Time To Shoot

I definitely need to make time to shoot more long-exposure waterfalls. No excuses. I need to get out and shoot more. Here's my list of places to shoot, wildlife to shoot, Cape Cod Lighthouses, more species, and more wish-list places to shoot.

 

Some Notes for 2016 Shoots

My list for my goals for 2016 shoots. Some realistic, some "aim for the moon"

Around MA

White Marble Falls, Clarksburg, MA.
Wayside Inn Grist Mill, Sudbury MA
Pawtucket Falls, Lowell, MA
Shelburne Falls

More waterfalls

Monomoy
Chatham

Plum Island
Gloucester
New Bedford
Marshfield

Around New England

Steps Falls, Newry Maine
Covered Bridge, Newry Maine
Nubble Light, Maine

Scituate Light, MA

Bridal Veil Falls, Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)
The Flume, NH
Falls On the Falling Waters Trails, Lincoln and Franconia NH (on days when it ISN'T pouring rain!)

Campbell Falls, New Marlborough MA

Day Pond Falls, CT

Moss Glenn Falls, Granville VT
Moss Glenn Falls, Stowe VT

Cape Cod Lighthouses

Nauset Light, summer sunset
Chatham Light, summer sunset
Monomoy Light
Nobska Point Light
Sandy Neck Light

Wildlife

Whales, Humpback, Right, Fin Back
Sharks at Truro, Chatham
Seals at Truro or Chatham
Snowy Owl, more and more of this!
It was one of my most enjoyable shoots for 2014. I spent three weeks finding and shooting them.

 

Oregon

Thor's Well in Cape Perpetua

Arizona

The Grand Canyon

Antarctica

Penguins, Seals, Whales, Ice, Panoramas

Galapagos Islands 

birds, turtles, mammals

Alaska

Glaciers, Whales, Ice

France

Beaches and US Cemetery at Normandy

Australian Outback

Sunsets, Rock, Deserts, Panoramas

]]>
gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) photography subjects https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/notes---get-out-and-shoot-2016 Fri, 01 Jan 2016 05:00:00 GMT
Image - The Marsh In Fall https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---the-marsh-in-fall  

The Marsh, In FallThe Marsh, In Fall The Marsh, In Fall

Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Mass Audubon Wellfleet image photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---the-marsh-in-fall Sun, 01 Nov 2015 22:15:00 GMT
Image - Portrait Or Landscape? https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---portrait-or-landscape Castle In the Clouds WaterfallsCastle In the Clouds Waterfalls

Castle In The Clouds Water Falls
Available Here

 

Castle In The CloudsCastle In The Clouds

Castle In The Clouds Landscape
Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Castle In The Clouds New Hampshire Waterfalls composition image photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---portrait-or-landscape Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:45:00 GMT
Image - Color? Or Black and White? https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---color-or-black-and-white Phragmites On The Marsh

Color Image, of Phragmites, on The Marsh

Available Here

 

Color? Or Black & White?
Which do you prefer?

Sometimes, you should try both.
Print them, and see what you like!

 

Black and White of Phragmites at The marshBlack and White of Phragmites at The marsh

Black & White Image, of Phragmites, on The Marsh

Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Black & White Cape Cod composition image lighting photography subjects https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2016/1/image---color-or-black-and-white Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:15:00 GMT
Image - Pamet Harbor Sunset Panorama https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/7/image---pamet-harbor-sunset-panorama Pamet Harbor WidePamet Harbor WideWide angle of Pamet Harbor, on July 5th.

Pamet Harbor Panorama, at Sunset, Truro MA

 

Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Pamet Harbor Truro MA bay boats harbor sunset https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/7/image---pamet-harbor-sunset-panorama Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:56:00 GMT
Image - Summer at Fenway Park https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/7/image---summer-at-fenwat-park Panorama of Fenway ParkPanorama of Fenway ParkA Panorama of Fenway Park from the State Street Pavillion, behind Home Plate.

Summer at Fenway Park, Boston MA

 

Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Ballpark Boston Fenway Park baseball stadium summer https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/7/image---summer-at-fenwat-park Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:27:00 GMT
Image - Winter In Boston https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/3/notes---winter-in-boston View From 60 State StView From 60 State StA View of Boston Harbor, from 60 State Street, Bay Tower Room. Key points: Chart House, Marriott Long Wharf, The Clock Tower, Charlestown, and Logan Airport. © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Winter, Looking at Boston Harbor

 

Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Boston Boston Harbor Clock Tower Long Wharf city ocean winter https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/3/notes---winter-in-boston Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:56:00 GMT
Image - Sea Clams On The Docks https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/2/image---sea-clams-on-the-docks Sea ClamsSea ClamsSea Clams on the dock, Privincetown harbor, in winter. #seaclams #capecod #provincetown © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Sea Clams On The Docks, Provincetown MA

 

Available Here

 

On the docks of Provincetown harbor, four large containers of Sea Clams, recently dredged up, off Race Point.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Provincetown MA Sea Clams clam fishing harbor seafood wildlife winter https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/2/image---sea-clams-on-the-docks Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:56:00 GMT
Image - Winter Sunset on Cape Cod https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/2/notes---winter-sunset-on-cape-cod Winter Sunset, Provincetown HarborWinter Sunset, Provincetown HarborSunset, winter in Provincetown Harbor, fishing boats at rest. #capecod #provincetownharbor © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

The Fishing Fleet, Sunset, a January Winter's Eve, Cape Cod, Provincetown, MA. 

 

Available Here

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Fishing Fishing Fleet Provincetown, MA boats fishing boats harbor ocean sunset winter https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2015/2/notes---winter-sunset-on-cape-cod Mon, 02 Feb 2015 21:56:00 GMT
Tutorial - Get Good Clouds! https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/9/tutorial---get-good-clouds Red Sky At NightRed Sky At NightRed Sky At Night, Sailor's Delight. Sunset over Great Hollow, Truro MA, Cape Cod. © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Red Sky At Night © Bluefin Studios

Get Good Clouds

If you shoot landscape and nature shots, you know, clouds can have a massive impact on the shot!

They provide impact, atmosphere and color, and of course, light. When the sun hits the clouds just right, you have massive softboxes, with colored light, and reflectors.

 
 

Rule Of Thirds

Remember the the basic Rule Of Thirds, when you compose your shot. Unless you don't. If you have great clouds, and a contrasting, interesting, foreground, then by all means, use the Rule Of Thirds. If, however, you only have great clouds, then compose mostly clouds, and cheat, using less than a third of image for clouds.

 

Be Lucky

Never forget the most important part of good clouds: Get Lucky! And by this, I mean, wait for it, use some cool apps to track the sun and cloud cover (there are great Radar Apps). Luck is for those who work for it.

 

Try These Other Tips

Shooting at the Golden Hour or Blue Hour

 

Composition - Rule of Thirds

 

Get Lucky!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/9/tutorial---get-good-clouds Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:30:00 GMT
Notes - Getting Lucky https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/8/notes---getting-lucky Green HeronGreen HeronThis Green Heron was the first of 2 adults and 3 juveniles that stopped in to visit the Pond at Wellfleet Audubon, Cape Cod MA. #waterbirdwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

This Green Heron was the first of 2 adults and 3 juveniles that stopped in to visit the Pond at Wellfleet Audubon, Cape Cod MA. 

 

Some days, you just plain get lucky.

Sure, you can get good at your craft, make sure you have the right gear, and make the right moves, like getting up for the early morning sun, timing the tides, the sun, the clouds etc... But again, luck sometimes plays into it, like this day, at Wellfleet Bay Audubon, on Cape Cod. When you're shooting outdoors, it just pays to get lucky.

Green HeronGreen HeronThis Green Heron was the first of 2 adults and 3 juveniles that stopped in to visit the Pond at Wellfleet Audubon, Cape Cod MA. #waterbirdwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

This Green Heron is waiting and watching for the small fish that it feeds on.


Part of learning your craft is not only the equipment, and techniques, but learning about your subjects. For me, lately, this means, learning about the wading birds of Cape Cod. I've been learning all I can about the migration patterns and the behavior of Herons. 

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Cape Cod has woodlands, salt marshes, and tidal flats. Some of the best Herons on the East Coast come to the marshes to feed, and to breed! For me, that means, timing my visits to try and capture images of their behavior. 

Juvenile Green HeronJuvenile Green HeronThis Green Heron Juvenile was stretching to see what he could see, on a perch at the Pond at Wellfleet Audubon, Cape Cod MA. #waterbirdwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

A Juvenile Green Heron, Butorides virescens, (Note the stripes on the breast) surveys the water below his perch.

Time to get out and shoot more! I want more. I want to see the Herons, with fish. I want to catch feeding behavior. 
To get better at my shooting, I just want more... luck!

 

Wildlife Photography Tips 2 http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-2

Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1

Bird Photography http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---bird-photography

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Butorides virescens Cape Cod Green Heron Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary birding birds juvenile notes wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/8/notes---getting-lucky Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:15:00 GMT
Notes - Glossy Ibis https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/8/notes---glossy-ibis Glossy IbisGlossy IbisGlossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, at Wellfleet Bay MA Audubon, Cape Cod. #waterbirds #wadingbirdwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, juvenile, at Wellfleet Bay MA Audubon, Cape Cod.  

© All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios.  

 

You Never Know!

Some days, there's just not much happening, and a day out shooting images of birds turns in a 3 hour walk in the marsh. In fact, I basically gave up. There were supposed to be some Great Blu Herons, including some juveniles. I have seen them, but never got a good shot. So, that's what the day was about.  Sorta...

Frankly, it was a bust. I'd seen a few of the shorebirds in the area, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Piping Plovers, Sanderlings, Greater Yellowlegs, a half dozen Gull species... but none of the bigger birds I wanted. No Green Heron, no Snowy Egrets, and no.... no Great Blue Herons. I'd been here for about 3 hours and really, it was getting to be mid morning (most of the fun activity like feeding is over soon anyway!) So, I was heading back towards the car.

Just as I hit towards the top of the trail head, another group of three came towards me. As usual, when in this woody marsh, we stop and chat. The usual "Hello's" and "Seen Anything?" were exchanged. They too had been disappointed today. they were getting reading to ehad towards where I came from and I was getting ready to hit the head trail and mosey on back to the car.

Just then, 4 juvenile Glossy Ibis landed. Their very distinct glossy Black feathery sheen making it very clear where they got their names from! For the next half hour or so, we were treated to some very nice displays, feeding, general preening and chatter.

It wasn't great, in terms of shooting. The birds were just a touch too far, for the glass I had. Still, a
 moment or two later, and I would be on my way, through the woods back to the car. I thought the day was a bust... it turns out, you never know!

 

Glossy IbisGlossy IbisGlossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, at Wellfleet Bay MA Audubon, Cape Cod. #waterbirds #wadingbirdwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com Glossy IbisGlossy IbisGlossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, at Wellfleet Bay MA Audubon, Cape Cod. #waterbirds #wadingbirdwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com
   

juvenile Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, at Wellfleet Bay MA Audubon, Cape Cod.

 

 

Wildlife Photography Tips 2 http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-2

Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1

Bird Photography http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---bird-photography

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Glossy Ibis Mass Audubon Plegadis falcinellus Wellfleet Bay birding birds shorebirds wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/8/notes---glossy-ibis Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:36:33 GMT
Notes - Climate Change https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/5/notes---climate-change November StormNovember StormA November Storm rolls in, off the coast of Cape Cod, Truro MA. #Seatuesday © 2012 Greg Poulos, Bluefin Productions, Inc. http://bluefinstudios.zenfolio.com

Pissing People Off On Climate Change

OK, so right away, I've either got you on my side, or you've already got it in your head that I am about to say something stupid.
I'm not sure what it is about this subject that makes people so polarized. Somehow, people are about as zealous about this one subject as any other I've come across. 

 

Why Do I Care

I shoot photos, so why should I care? I do... My world is Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I shoot birds. Wildlife, and Seascapes. Waterfalls. The natural world, like Alaska. In 2006 I was shooting photos of a glacier. Today, that glacier has lost miles and miles  since then. Many hundred millions of gallons of fresh water, dumped into the oceans. I spend time fishing on the ocean, and the fish: Bluefin Tuna, bluefish, striper, cod, halibut, mackerel, and more are depleted, both by overfishing and by the massive change in salinity, and acidification, with the release of carbon into the oceans.

Whats Next
By now, unless you live in a total media blackout or some cave in Tora Bora in Afghanistan, you know there is controversy around the cause of climate change in the media. Frankly, there is universal agreement among climate scientists about the fact that the climate is changing, and changing at a rate not seen since end of the Holocene era. The numbers are greater than 98 % of studies and even higher amount agreement among climate scientists.

What Happens If We Change

So, why change what we do? What happens if we do? 
Lets look at the two options:

1. Climate Change Is Real; We Change Our Ways
2. Climate Change Is Real; We Don't Change
3. Climate Change Is Not Real; We Change Our Ways
4. Climate Change is Not Real; We Don't Change

 

1. Climate Change Is Real; We Change Our Ways

Great! we've dealt with a major issue, proactively. Perhaps our cities and towns along the coast can be safe from rising seas. Perhaps more severe storms like Hurricane Sandy, can be prepared for in advance. Perhaps our droughts in the southwest can be avoided. Perhaps the hundreds of threatened species will survive. Perhaps the native peoples of Alaska and Greenland can continue their centuries long way of life. 

It will cost us, and some good amount, to retool our way of life away from carbon based fuels, like gas and oil. Some of which, frankly we can offset by ending the $Billions in subsidies to the Oil and Natural Gas companies. We'll spend money and lead the world again, in a new industry: Solar, Nuclear, tidal and wind. Possibly Fuel Cells. Possibly something entirely new.

2. Climate Change Is Real; We Don't Change

Cities on the coast, like New York, New Orleans, Boston, most of southern Florida, and many dozens more will suffer flooding. Some constant, and some on higher moon tides or major storms. Coastal towns will disappear. People will have to move inland. Already, many small island nations in the Pacific are getting completely washed over during extreme storms. Many species, like Polar Bears, will be gone in 50 to a 100 years. Many Intuit, living in Alaska and Greenland will have no place to live. Permafrost is thawing. The homes where the natives live will be in massive swamps. Land in the southwest US will be under massive water drought. Our growing breadbasket (The midwest) will also tend to shift Northward. So much so, that more food will grow in Canada, and less in southern US. We will have spent nothing to be proactive, but billions to deal after the fact. 

3. Climate Change Is Not Real; We Change Our Ways

We spend a lot, tens of billions, more like hundreds of billions, creating new industries. For what? Jobs. New technologies. Worse case scenario, new industries and jobs are created. 

4. Climate Change is Not Real; We Don't Change

Nothing. Nothing Good. Nothing Bad. We don't grow our industries. We don;t create new jobs. Mind... the rest of the world gets it.. and is moving towards Solar, Wind, Tidal and more... China's doing it and beating us in Solar. Europe is ahead in wind. France is ahead on nuclear. Even the Mid East is moving towards solar and wind for their own countries. 
 

The Rest of the argument:

Who Agrees On Climate Change

The list of folks who believe that the rate of change is human caused, and that something needs to be done is rather surprising. The usual suspects:

Climate Scientists, NOAA, NASA and a few other groups of mostly science types.
Greenpeace, and the list of fairly liberal groups that are not surprising on the left.

...but here's the shocking part:

The CIA, The US Army, US NAVY and US AIR FORCE
These guys are usually not among the list of liberal environmental groups. But they recognize the clear and present danger to the United States that depending on sources of energy that cause damage to the coastal areas of the country and cause damage to the security of country will cause. Read that again... I'll wait.

The Army, Navy and Air Force are developing alternative forms of energy. They are rapidly changing over to solar on many bases. They are developing green forms of fuel for ships, vehicles and planes. It's too dangerous NOT to.

Cause Of The Accelerated Climate Change

Here's the part where the crazy folks go into a tail spin.

The numbers for agreement on the cause are only slightly lower. 97% of climate scientists say it is human caused.  Let's agree, no matter what we say on the actual cause, that 97% is a fair amount of folks. About the only folks pushing back are those that are not scientists and those who have an economic interest in NOT CHANGING the way we do things. In other words, people who make money either selling oil and gas, are NOT interested in changing the way we live. They lose money if we stop buying gas and oil.

 

Read More
http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
https://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/center-on-climate-change-and-national-security.html

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/iscurrent.pdf

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/5/notes---climate-change Mon, 12 May 2014 20:49:16 GMT
Tutorial - Bird Photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---bird-photography Male Snowy OwlMale Snowy OwlMale Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus, at West Dennis Beach, Cape Cod, MA. #nature #birds #birding #capecod © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Snowy Owl, West Dennis Beach, Cape Cod.
Available here

Shooting Birds

I've really enjoyed this winter, making photos with Birds. 
It combines a few passions, Photography, Wildlife, and being outdoors.

But frankly, shooting birds (photography, not the other shooting) is a challenge. you need to be patient. 
You need the right lens... usually long lens and goo
d glass. So you need fast glass. You want to get close, and get the eyes in focus. 

 

Sea Star LunchSea Star LunchOn Great Hollow Beach, a Herring Gull, (Larus argentatus), caught a Sea Star (lunch). He'd pick it up, fly up, drop it onto the sand, drag it to dip in the water, peck at it, the do it again. Note: Sea Star started with 5 legs. Just finished 1... Eventually, he ate all the legs. © 2012 Greg Poulos, Bluefin Productions,Inc. http://bluefinstudios.zenfolio.com/

Sea Star Lunch! For this Herring Gull
Available here

 

Capture a Moment!
Like this moment, when a Herring Gull found a Sea Star and made lunch of it!
Note that there are only Four legs. One was clearly the appetizer!

 

I'm not a birder; but, I love birds. In fact, I love all wildlife. 
Big game, small game, marine mammals, and birds. The natural world is important to me.

I want to bring that to everyone. I want to bring it to those that cannot get there.

 

More Posts on Wildlife Photography:

Ethics In Wildlife Photography http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography

Wildlife Photography Tips, Part II http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-2

Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1 

Great Wildlife Photographershttp://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) birds composition ethics photography tutorial wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---bird-photography Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:45:00 GMT
Tutorial - Sharpening With High Pass Filter https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---sharpening-with-high-pass-filter

Sharpening
I don't know what I'm doing. There... I said it! I am struggling with this next step. 
I've been working on improving my images... and sharpening is least understood for me.
In Lightroom, I've played with Clarity, some. I get the judicious use of the Clarity Slider. Not TOO much or things get weird looking. 
I've been dabbling in that mystery that is Unsharp Mask. And I get what it is in theory. Theory I'm good with. It's practice that hurts me. (In oh.. so many ways!)

So, I've been trying sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to apply Unsharp Mask. I can get a good image. It helps. But it isn't quite what I want. And until I read a bit more, I never knew why. Now, I do. Unsharp Mask works on my whole image. That is, the filter applies across too broad a spectrum within my image. I didn't really have enough control over how I applied it. With shots that have greater depth of field, I ended up with too much noise and color contrast when I applied the filters to the image. It was taking away the smooth silky parts, or any purposeful bokeh. That meant going into layers and masking out areas I didn't want sharpened, revealing only parts I did. So, I stumbled upon another sharpening technique in Photoshop 

High Pass Filter
This new filter to give a bit of Sharp to my images is the High Pass Filter. (New to me!)
I can control where within the image it applies. And for High Pass the where is: Edges.
I can highlight and apply the High Pass Filter to edges. Places where I want there to be specific definition. And I control the definition.

So here's the step-by-step I learned:

• Shoot Awesome photos in camera, that need no correction.
• If (for me, when) your images need processing, Open the RAW image in Lightroom, and Adjust White Balance, set Black and White points, apply minimal Clarity.
• Export to Photoshop.
• Apply any Cropping, and other Photoshop work first. Sharpening should be last in your workflow.
• Create a New Layer that's a Flattened Layer of all your visible layers. On a Mac, Command + Option +Shift + E
• Go to Filters > High Pass
• Adjust the amount of High Pass. Select an area like an eye, or fine detail, for preview. Watch the 
image for Preview as you adjust. Go easy at first. Sometimes, you may need to do over and over, to get it right.
• Adjust the High Pass Filter Layer blending mode to Overlay
• Adjust the amount of Opacity for the layer until the image looks right.
• Save this as an image version. That way, you can always go back and make adjustments to your original exported JPEG.

Sharpening, Made Easier
So, sure, you have a few options: Unsharp Mask, Clarity, and the High Pass Filter
No one method works best for every image. No method works best for every photographer. Try each one out. Try them on the same image. Try different images. Most importantly, always be open to trying new methods. You never know, you might find the new works for you.

Previous Post on Post Processing Workflow
http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---my-post-processing-workflow

Previous Post on Sharpening
http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---sharpening-images-in-photoshop

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Clarity Slider High Pass Filter Layers Lightroom Overlay Photoshop Sharpening Unsharp Mask blending depth of field filters opacity post processing technique tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---sharpening-with-high-pass-filter Fri, 07 Mar 2014 14:00:00 GMT
tutorial - Sharpening Images In Photoshop https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---sharpening-images-in-photoshop

High Pass Filter

 

Sharpening
I've written before, but it bears repeating: I have no idea yet what I'm doing in Sharpening. 
Oh, I think I do, and I certainly try, but really understanding it? Not sure yet. I'm trying to get it down. I'm trying to experiment, and to learn. 

So, here are a couple of tactics I try when I need to do some sharpening an image:

Unsharp Mask
Smart Sharpen
High Pass Filter

If you look at Photoshop and the built in filters you should realize, there are quite a few options.

Before I Push The Button

Before I push the magic sharpen button, it's important to remember that sharpening should be the last thing I do to the image. In Lightroom, I make color temp, white balance and exposure corrections first, set white and black points (maybe clarity) and then export to Photoshop.
In Photoshop, I do any corrections (content aware fill, erase that stray leaf or blade of grass, etc) then I do my final cropping.  When I'm happy, and only when everything else is done, then I try / attempt / play with sharpening. I good tip I picked up from many others before me, I sharpen my images at 100% view on my screen. It helps me look for problems, weird noise or color artifacts.

 

Native Photoshop Sharpen Filters

If you look at Photoshop and the built in filters, you should realize, there are quite a few options. The big thing to learn, is that Photoshop’s own filter, the generic Sharpen filter is bad. It applies an algorithm that you have zero control over and hits everywhere, so it probably won't do what you want it to do. Same for the Sharpen Edges and Sharpen More filters. No control, and applies to wide a swath.


 

 
Unsharp Mask Smart Sharpen

 

Unsharp Mask

Probably, the most commonly used filter in Photoshop is Unsharp Mask. When you try Unsharp Mask, you'll see it has three settings, Amount, Radius and Threshold. Amount is how much sharpening is applied to the image (Check out the image at 100% to see the effect as you move the sliders.) The Radius control determines how much around each pixel the filter is applied. The rule of Thumb is to aim for between 0.3 to 0.5. And finally, Threshold should be set to between 0 and 1. Again, check out your image at 100% to see the effect as you move the sliders.

 

Smart Sharpen

Another Photoshop sharpen filter is Smart Sharpen, (or Adjust Sharpen in Elements) now in newer Photoshop versions. Here you have two controls, amount and radius, similar to the Unsharp Mask filter. Underneath these two, you can define what type of blur you want to remove, like Gaussian, Motion or Lens Blur. For me, I am usually trying to remove Gaussian Blur. Under the Advanced tab you can choose to apply sharpening to Highlights or Shadows

Smart Sharpen is something I am just beginning to play with.

 

Sharpening, Made Easier
So, sure, you have a few options: Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, and the High Pass Filter
No one method works best for every image. No method works best for every photographer. Try each one out. Try them on the same image. Try different images. Most importantly, always be open to trying new methods. You never know, you might find something new works for you.
 
 

High Pass Filter

This is another filter for getting sharp images without creating artifacts.
Check out my recent post on High Pass Filter http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---sharpening-with-high-pass-filter

 

Previous Post on Post Processing Workflow
http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---my-post-processing-workflow

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Clarity Slider High Pass Filter Layers Lightroom Overlay Photoshop Sharpening Smart Sharpen Unsharp Mask blending filters opacity photography post processing technique tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/3/tutorial---sharpening-images-in-photoshop Fri, 28 Feb 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Business - Copyright, again. https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/business---copyright-again Updated Notes on Copyright, Part 1

We've said it before and we'll say it again, "Copyright can seem confusing. Although, in reality, it isn't."
Simply put, if someone creates something, no one else can use it, without giving credit, and some kind of compensation. Meaning, you can't claim something is yours, if you didn't make it. Also, you want to use someone else's stuff, you have to pay for it.

Sometimes, however, there are exceptions for Fair Use. From US Code:

17 U.S.C. 107 Notwithstanding the provisions of 17 U.S.C.  106 and 17 U.S.C. 106A,  the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

As the U.S. Copyright Office says, "the distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission." 

Fair Use

So, what does Fair Use mean?

Well, you can't take someone's photograph, and digitally erase a single tree and call it yours. That simply does not "Substantially Alter" the original. It does mean, if you run a blog, commenting on photographers, you can show an image, with proper credit, critiquing it. You cannot profit directly from the image. At all times, you must remember, CREDIT where credit is due. 

The Internet

The explosion of images all over the net is one of the big reasons for widespread misuse and the nasty habit of people stealing photographs. With Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook, people see images daily, and it is all too easy to copy someone else's creative work. Posting someone else's image as your own is stealing. There's no such thing as "but it was online" or "but I got it from Facebook." Neither of these are public domain. It doesn't matter. It's someone else's image. Don't use it. Public Domain is a legal term meaning a work that is no longer under copyright protection. Lately, it seems as if too many people are either ignorant of copyright law, or fall into the camp of, "It's better to beg forgiveness after, than gather permission before! These folks are weighing the risk of getting caught, as low, and the punishment as even lower, should they be caught.

 

Orphan Works

There is a new issue arising over the use of copyrighted works where the author cannot be determined or found, otherwise known as "orphan works." This is particularly a big issue in the stealing of photographs. Remember, it's stealing if you use it, without credit and compensation!

Many websites strip Metadata, the copyright, and identifying information,  from digital images when they are uploaded. This can prevent good-faith users (someone who made a "reasonably diligent effort to find the owner") from finding the copyright owner. This is still a bad excuse. With the power of Google Image Search, it is easy to enter a photo into Google's search engine and find the other instances of an uploaded work. If you really want to find the owner, it may take more work, but just because an image is online everywhere, that doesn't mean someone cannot find the rights owner.

So...

... if someone creates an image, you can't use it, without giving credit and some kind of compensation. You want to use someone else's stuff? Pay for it.

In Part II, we'll take a look at Creative Commons

A Few links to other thoughts on Copyright Law In Photography:
http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/business---copyright

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) U. S. C. US Code business copyright fair use law legal orphan works photographers rights rights https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/business---copyright-again Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Tutorial - Wildlife Photography Tips 2 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-2 Top Flight!Top Flight!Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk, just visited the bird feeder. Amazing what a few seeds will bring!

Red Tailed Hawk, in flight. Image Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p974908608/h2214fc59

 

 Wildlife Photography Tips, Part II

I've broken this set of tips into a couple of parts... 

Ethics of Wildlife and Nature Photography
Wildlife Photography Part I is really about before the shoot.
Wildlife Photography Part II is about the shoot and the post processing.

Wildlife Photography, Part II: The Shoot and Post!

What is Wildlife Photography?
Nature, and in particular, Wildlife Photography, is about an accurate presentation of the natural state. No Human presence should be visible in Nature or Wildlife Photography. 

Ethics in Wildlife Photography

Before you begin, you need to understand what is your correct behavior in the wild. Head on over to this post about Ethics In Wildlife Photography http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography

Context is Everything

Is it a Good Picture or Great Image? And how can you make a good picture into a great image? Perhaps one of the best two things you can do to make a great image, is to create the image. By this I mean, don't just run around snapping shots. that's merely being a photojournalist. Clicking away, thousands of times, can eventually produce a great image. so can a monkey, clicking away at a typewriter, eventually produce MacBeth. Statistically speaking...

So, by create I mean, spend time to compose the image. Backgrounds matter! Make sure to be aware of your background. Move left, or right, to make sure there are elements that enhance the story you are trying to tell with the image. Eliminate distracting trees,, rocks, etc. Remove unwanted elements in camera, first.

Crop, zoom, etc. You can always do the same in post, but it is always best to create the best image possible, in camera first. Post Production should be a last resort.

Use Depth of Field to control the focus of the image. A shallower depth of field will allow you to put the animal or bird in focus while still giving context to the hero of your story. Too shallow may make your background details lost.

 

I'm ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeMille!

Get close. Its still their world, so don't get close physically. Get close with the camera and your glass. A longer telephoto lets you and your viewers get close to the action, to connect, to see your hero, up close and in detail they never really experience. Zoom In.

New View

When shooting, try some new compositions. Get your shot, with the subject on one of your rule of thirds lines, sure. but try moving the hero dead center. (Break a rule? Well... ok, maybe) Try putting the hero in a corner. Try using the animal as part of leading lines. Use repeating patterns. Sometimes this means many of the same animal or bird in the shot. Later, when editing, you'll have plenty of different compositions to choose from.

Make Animals More Human

Oh, I know, so many people get their knickers in a twist about this one! Stop Anthropomorphizing. I'm not saying the reason an animal did something is because a human does. I'm saying embrace it!  If an image you create happens to make your viewer think of valentines day, so be it! If it feels like a summer shower, or the bird is playing, or a seal is spooning, so be it. It tugs at your viewers. It evokes emotions. Good job!

Bracketing Serendipity

Sometimes, despite all your attempts, luck plays a part. You don't know when the animal is going to blink. Or open their beak. Or a hundred other little details that make for a great image. give yourself a break and use your camera to help with some luck. I like to shoot multiple exposures, to cover my bases. I like a spread of three shots, one under, one at, and one over exposure. I shoot bracketed exposures, because sometimes, getting the light just right, on a flying hawk can be a challenge. They go from light to dark backgrounds, and from direct sun to backlight. They move! Use your camera's tools, to help you get it right.

 

More Posts on Wildlife Photography:

Ethics In Wildlife Photography http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography

Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1 

Great Wildlife Photographershttp://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) backgrounds leading lines nature photography repeating patters rule of thirds serendipity tips tutorial wildlife zoom https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-2 Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:30:00 GMT
Tutorial - Wildlife Photography Tips 1 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1 Perfect for FallPerfect for FallNorth American Red wolf, in the red leaves of fall! From StoneZoo New England.

North American Red Wolf http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p954106147/h4afaa486

 

Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I

I've broken this set of tips into a couple of parts... 
Part I is really about before the shoot.
Part II is about the shoot and the post processing.

Wildlife Photography, Part I: Before the Shoot!

Nature, and in particular, Wildlife Photography, is about an accurate presentation of the natural state. No Human presence should be visible in Nature or Wildlife Photography. Before you begin, you need to understand what is correct behavior in the wild.

Head on over to this post about Ethics In Wildlife Photography http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography

Do Your Homework: Your subject!
As with all subjects, you need to understand and do some research in order to make your shooting a success. With wildlife, that means, understanding your subjects. A little internet research, a trip to a local library, and of course, reading and following great wildlife photographers, can be a great start!

These are some of my favorites in Nature and Wildlife Photography!

 

Moose Peterson (Big Game, Wildlife, Nature)

http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/

 

Mike Spinak (Seals)

http://naturography.com

 

Rick Sammon (specializes in NOT specializing!)

http://ricksammon.com/welcome/

 

Bill Fortney (Wildlife, Nature)

http://billfortney.com

 

Shawn Carey (Birds, Nature)

http://www.migrationproductions.com

 

 

Do More Homework: The Place!
Do your homework, for the animals, birds and plants you are shooting. Understand the area where you will be.

Just as you research the animals you are shooting, research your subject area. Before you leave the house, understand sunrise, sunset, the wind, weather and clouds. Let someone know where you will be shooting; someone needs to know where to send rescue in case you get lost, or long overdue! Seriously, getting lost in the woods can be a bad thing. Prepare for it.

Prep Yourself
Spending an entire day, out in the woods, walking, shooting, etc., can be fun. But it can also be work. Physically demanding work. Hills, trails, rocks, springs, streams... these all are wonderful to shoot. they can also exhaust you. Make sure to get in shape. Make sure the trail you are going to hike is matched to your hiking experience. Work up to the more experienced levels. Bring a map, and learn to use it. Learn to read terrain, and find your way!

Remember, when you are in the woods, dress in layers! Bring appropriate jackets, gloves, rain gear.

 

Prep Your Gear

Gear In Your Pack:

If your spending the day shooting in the woods, then bring what you need for the day in the woods.

Pack a tripod and a monopod.

Pack the long lens (400mm or 600mm).

Pack a wide angle (11-16mm).

Pack a medium telephoto (70-200mm). There's no need to carry too many extra lenses. Bring lots of Memory Cards.

No need for speedlights, portrait lenses, etc.

 

OK, so we don't all own these lenses. But, there's nothing stopping you from renting a fast long telephoto for the day. This is the perfect excuse to learn a new lens. A day shooting with a rental can help you decide of this is a good purchase or not. Personally, I use BorrowLenses.com. Of course, I have the advantage of having a pickup location right next to my neighborhood. but BorrowLenses will ship the rental to you. Same for many other places online.

 

Also in your pack:
Pack water, and some snacks (an apple, a protein bar, etc.)

Pack your field first aid kit.

Pack a poncho, and an extra plastic bag.

Bring towels, to blot. dry your gear. Don't rub water into the lenses, or force it into seals. Don't let it ruin your fancy cameras.

Bring a map of the area.

Bring a lighter and a flashlight. 

Cell phone.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

You need be able to react quickly when shooting most animals in the wild. Which means, you can't be looking down at knobs and buttons and dials and screens on your camera. Practice shooting and understanding where the dials are, what they do, all without having to keep looking at everything. Sure, you'll chimp, as they say (look at the back of the camera, hunched, to see if the shot came out). That's fine. But when you pop up on a deer, in a trail, you don't have time to shoot, look at the back, make an adjustment or two of aperture, or exposure. Get good at changing the settings on the fly. Spend a day, at an outdoor zoo or animal park. Set about practicing your snap framing, and adjustments. The worst that can happen is you might enjoy yourself, and come away a better photographer!

 

Post on Great Wildlife Photographershttp://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife

Post on Ethics In Wildlife Photographyhttp://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) gear homework photography prep research tips tutorial wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1 Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Notes - Ethics In Wildlife Photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography Gray WolfGray WolfMexican Gray Wolf, in winter, in the snow at the StoneZoo, Stoneham, MA. I'm pretty sure he sees me! Now I know what a rabbit feels like. #wildlifewednesday #winterwednesday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com


Mexican Gray Wolf, StoneZoo New England. Available here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p954106147/h3b4d6a6d

 

Ethics, Morality and Wildlife Photography

Recently, there has been a discussion over on Audubon's website, and a poll, asking photographers to weigh in on the Ethics of Wildlife Photography. 

Check it out here:


http://mag.audubon.org/articles/nature/nature-photography-objectivity-manipulation-and-ethics?page=show

In order to have a similar frame of reference, I found this definition from The Photographic Society of America.

Definition of Nature Photography (from the Photographic Society of America website)

"Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, in such a fashion that a well informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify as to its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements enhance the nature story. The presence of scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals is permissible. Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, or obviously set arrangements, are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. No techniques that add to, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural. Color images may be converted to grayscale monochrome. Infrared images are not allowed."

 

Ethics

  • The real goal of a wildlife or nature photographer is to photograph your subject so that your viewers will fall in love with the place. Or the Bird. or the animal. Make sure you shoot with the least amount of intrusion to your subject's environment. Don't cause destruction; don't destroy plants; don't hurt the animals. 

    Don't try to get too close. These aren't pets. Don't feed them or bait them. Observe. Not interact. Your goal should be to shoot what you see and bring it back so others can see it in it's natural surroundings.

    It's their home. Not Yours


    More On Wildlife:

    Wildlife Photography Tips, Part I http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---wildlife-photography-tips-1

Great Wildlife Photographershttp://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Audubon definition ethics morals nature notes photographic society of america photography wild wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Tutorial - My Post Processing Workflow https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---my-post-processing-workflow My Post Processing Workflow

A Day at the Marsh at Fort Hill, Eastham MA.

Sometimes, I know exactly how the image will look, as I compose it in the camera. Sometimes, I know that "this will make a great image" but I just am not sure exactly how I am going to finish it off in Post Processing.

"It could be great in Black and White," I think. "I might need to play with color temperature." 
So, what follows is a bit of an experiment in "follow along, as I run through my Post Processing Workflow."

Lightroom: Steps Taken

Straight out of the camera, we have the RAW File. I develop the RAW file in Adobe Lightroom. Here it is as it came from the camera. (Well... sorta...Actually, for here, I converted it to a JPEG):

Winter Marsh At Fort Hill RAWWinter Marsh At Fort Hill RAW

I corrected the White Balance, the Exposure, Added a touch of Contrast.
Also, Set the White Point and Black Point, and arrived at:

Winter Marsh at Fort Hill LRWinter Marsh at Fort Hill LRA Winter's day, at the Marsh at Fort Hill, in Eastham MA, on Cape Cod. #winterwednesday #nature #coastalthursday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

PhotoShop and Beyond
From this, I export out of Lightroom, as a full sized JPEG file, and into Adobe Photoshop.
In Photoshop, I needed to make some minor edits. Mostly filters. I applied a little Tonal Contrast.
Really that meant heading to the filters, and in Nik Software's Color EFX Pro, I played some with Detail Extractor, some Tonal Contrast and added a light Vignette: Lens. This is the result:

Winter Marsh at Fort Hill ToneWinter Marsh at Fort Hill ToneA Winter's day, at the Marsh at Fort Hill, in Eastham MA, on Cape Cod. #winterwednesday #nature #coastalthursday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Your Voice: What's Next
Most times, I stop at this. It's sort of my "go to style" as it were. But I sometimes play a bit more. Today, I felt in the mood for a Black and White treatment. Usually, any image with strong lines or patterns, and contrasting color can make for a good Black & White.

So, back in Photoshop, I returned to Nik's Silver EFX Pro, and gave it some treatments:

Winter Marsh at Fort Hill 30Winter Marsh at Fort Hill 30A Winter's day, at the Marsh at Fort Hill, in Eastham MA, on Cape Cod. #winterwednesday #nature #coastalthursday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com Winter Marsh at Fort Hill 60Winter Marsh at Fort Hill 60A Winter's day, at the Marsh at Fort Hill, in Eastham MA, on Cape Cod. #winterwednesday #nature #coastalthursday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com
The Silver EFX Layer at 30% Opacity
The Silver EFX Layer at 60% Opacity

Once I run the Effects Filters, I work on the Layer with the filter only. By playing with the Opacity of that layer, I can get different feels and emotions from the image.
 

Winter Marsh at Fort Hill 100Winter Marsh at Fort Hill 100A Winter's day, at the Marsh at Fort Hill, in Eastham MA, on Cape Cod. #winterwednesday #nature #coastalthursday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

And finally, a version at 100% Black & White Opacity.

So, go ahead, and play.

Experiment. Play. Create different versions. You aren't wasting chemicals. You aren't spending money (except for your time) to try new things out. The Joy and advantage of Digital Workflows means, low cost, more flexibility.  Try it... you just might find a new voice, or new style.

More Fort Hill Marsh, Eastham at http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/image---marsh-on-fort-hill

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop Black Point NIK Color EFX Pro NIK Silver EFX Pro White Balance White Point aperture color correction contrast editing emotions feeling filters image layers lighting opacity photography post processing tonal contrast tutorial vignette workflow https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---my-post-processing-workflow Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Image - Marsh On Fort Hill https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/image---marsh-on-fort-hill                                Winter Marsh In EasthamWinter Marsh In EasthamA Winter's day, at the Marsh at Fort Hill, in Eastham MA, on Cape Cod. #winterwednesday #nature #coastalthursday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

The Marsh on Fort Hill, Eastham MA, on Cape Cod in Winter.  Available Here

 

Get out and shoot

Sure, it's cold (minus 8 Celsius), and windy (35 Knots with gusts to 50), but you never know what might strike you as a nice image to make.
Get outside and start shooting. Make the colors of the season, even the browns, the dun colors, and the greys of winter skies, can be nice images. Take some time and play with framing, depth of field, and post processing. But get out and shoot!

Colors Make The Mood

I think the grey sky perfectly matched the wintery feel of the day. The colors of the marsh were no longer green, but that dun color of things alive, but hibernating. The stalks of the plants blowing really added to the feel.
 

More on the day's shooting and the Post Processing. http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/tutorial---my-post-processing-workflow

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Cape Cod Eastham MA Fort Hill clouds cold gray grey image marsh snow wind winter https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/image---marsh-on-fort-hill Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Tutorial - Long Exposure and Waterfalls https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/tutorial---long-exposure-and-waterfalls Long Exposure and Photographing Waterfalls

Tips to Get Started!

Winter WaterfallWinter WaterfallBeaver Brook, long exposure, in winter. Belmont's Beaver Brook, at the falls, below the McClean Hospital Grounds, during a crisp winter day. #waterfallwednesday #inmotionthursday #flowingwaterfriday © All Rights Reserved, Greg Poulos, Bluefin Studios. http://www.bluefinstudios.com

Upper Beaver Brook, Belmont MA. Long Exposure (Click for Photo)

Some Tips and Tricks For Waterfalls

There's nothing like the sense of motion and the beauty of taking long exposure photographs of waterfalls. The silky white water, the motion, the ethereal feeling, all bring the viewer into the image. Here are a few tips to help you make the image all that you want it to be!

Tripod

First, Long Exposure means setting your shutter speeds to lengths that make it impossible for most people to create, handheld. That means, a good, sturdy tripod. Spend some money, and make sure it is stable. You don't want wind to vibrate your camera and tripod. Those cheap lightweight tripods are great for some images, and for really long hikes, but a good sturdy (sometimes heavy!) Tripod is a must.

Good Light 

Good light means just that. Sometimes it means getting up really early to catch the first light of the day. Sometimes it means being there, at your waterfall when it's sunset. And sometimes it means being there when it's cloudy. For me, I like a soft, even light. Cloudy days are not a wasted shooting day! Cloudy days means a big giant softbox to create images. Only you can tell what Good Light means. Base it on what you want your image to say, and what you want people to feel when seeing your images.

Time It Right

There are seasons to waterfalls. Early winter and late fall can mean less water flow. Early Spring/Late winter means more snow melt and more runoff. Right after a hard three day rain can mean more flow, more mud and silt, and more color. Again, what are you trying to convey? Is it the spring greens? Mossy rocks, water and lush color? Is it cold, ice, and snow, and flowing cold water? Do you want people enjoying a cool dip in the spring? Or do you need to get up early and avoid the rest of the people?

Time your shoots with the weather and the climate in mind. Perhaps shooting the same scene over the course of a year might be an interesting exercise! Vary the time of day as well.

Exposure

Technically, Exposure, that is, Shutter Speed, is the most important tool in Long Exposure Photography. (Seems a bit obvious, eh?) Learn how to control and change your camera's settings. Understand the relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. For most of my Long Exposure Images, I shoot Shutter Priority (P on Nikon). I set the ISO usually, to 100 ISO. Not married to 100, as sometimes, in order to get the right exposure and Aperture, you may need to bump it up to 400, 800 or even 1600. Aperture can be controlled by the computer in your camera or you can manually set it f5.6, f8 or f11 depending on how much Depth Of Field (How much of the image is in focus) you are going for.  

Shorter Exposure FallShorter Exposure 1/100 sec. Aperture f5.6Shorter Exposure 1/100 sec. Aperture f5.6 Long Exposure FallLong Exposure FallLong Exposure 1 Second Aperture f32
On the Left, Image Aperture is f5.6, with 1/100 Second Exposure.  

On the Right, Image Aperture is f32 with 1 Second Exposure.  

Click For Photo 

Note that the water is almost stopped with the left image, while the right image is smooth and silky. It gives the appearance and feeling of motion to the water. Take a quick look at the image at the top of the blog post. This image was shot at Aperture f22, with a 3 Second Exposure. On the winter waterfall image at the top, I used a Neutral Density Filter to stop down the light a couple more shots. 

One last note!

Bring towels, to blot dry your lens, and camera. BLOT, don't wipe. Don't force water spray into the lens. Bring a plastic bag to keep extra memory cards. Keep your gear in your water resistant backpack until needed. Be real careful when walking on rocks near waterfalls. The last thing you want is to slip and damage your camera. Remember, you can always get a doctor to fix a broken leg, or arm, but always treat your camera right! 

 

More Tutorials

Exposure Triangle:http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/tutorial---the-exposure-triangle

Aperture Tutorial: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/tutorial---aperture-priority

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) EV ISO aperture box exposure lighting long shutter soft speed tutorial waterfalls https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/tutorial---long-exposure-and-waterfalls Fri, 03 Jan 2014 14:00:00 GMT
Business - Making Photography More Successful in 2014 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/business---making-photography-more-successful-in-2014    Beaver BrookBeaver BrookBeaver Brook, Belmont MA

 A little Long Exposure from the Falls At Beaver Brook. Belmont MA.

Available Here

 

Making the Business of Photography in 2014 Better

OK, so New Year's Day, I made some notes about cool places and things I want to shoot in 2014. But we've all heard and we all know, being a successful photographer for a living is more than shooting. So Much More! The photography business is 20% shooting images and 80% other! Of that other, it's marketing, bookkeeping, sales, training, client meetings, phone calls, cleaning, repairs, office calls, planning, research, travel, and more. In other words, my list of goals for shooting is great... but only 20% complete if I want to get better in 2014!

So what's next?

Well, here it comes, the rest of the 80% I need to do to get better in 2014.

 

Business Planning

I need to finish the five year business plan. I need to finish the 2014 marketing plan.

I need to revisit my marketing plan for 2013, update it, and follow up on it.

Sales

I need to work on sales channels. 

How do I reach new clients? How do I reconnect with past clients? How do I let the images work harder? (Hint: Online sales?)

Training

Sure, online training has been great! Continuing Ed is never a bad thing! I'll keep it up. But I also need to meet and be with professionals at conferences, and seminars in person. 

I need to get better at Post-Processing. There's never enough training and practice. I just need to do it more.

 

A Bit Of Fun

Sure, the 80% is not a bunch of fun. It's work. In fact, it's hard work. 

But there's some business I need to finish that's also fun! I need some new toys, as well.

I love renting gear, as much as the next guy (not really), but I'd like to own the gear.
I need a 400mm lens. Maybe the Nikon 400mm f2.8

I would love the Nikon 600mm f4

I have a new Superwide Zoom. I need to learn and get better at some Wide Angle shots of Landscapes.

I'd like to upgrade the tripod. I have a half dozen. Some super cheap. Some decent. But with more attention on landscape or wildlife, or long exposure waterfalls, I need a great, sturdy, lightweight tripod. That points to a Carbon Fiber. With a good ball head.

2014 and Beyond

So, yes, I have goals for shooting more. I have goals. But if I truly want to get better and be more successful as a photographer, I need to focus on the 80% first and foremost!

 

Here's The 2014 Shooting Goals

http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/notes---2014-shoots

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) business marketing notes planning sales training https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/business---making-photography-more-successful-in-2014 Thu, 02 Jan 2014 18:02:00 GMT
Notes - 2014 Shoots https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/notes---2014-shoots     Windrose, a Humpback Whale, tail-lobbing, off Race Point.Windrose, a Humpback Whale, tail-lobbing, off Race Point.

Windrose, a humpbacked Whale, tail-lobbing off of Race Point, Cape Cod MA.

Available (click here)

Get Out And Shoot, for 2014! EDITED JAN 1, 2015

I need to really make more of an effort to get out and shoot!
So, for 2014, I am making a list of a few things I need to shoot. Will I get to them all? Doubtful... but I know, if I don't make the time I won't get to any! As the great photographer Wayne Gretsky says, "You always miss 100% of the shots you don't take!" 

 

Make Time To Shoot

I definitely need to make time to shoot more long-exposure waterfalls. No excuses. I need to get out and shoot more. Here's my list of places to shoot, wildlife to shoot, Cape Cod Lighthouses, more species, and more wish-list places to shoot.

 

Some Notes for 2014 Shoots

Some notes for my goals 2014 shoots. Some realistic, some "aim for the moon"

Around MA

Wayside Inn Grist Mill.  Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Shelburne Falls

More waterfalls, Success: Misc waterfalls around MA

Monomoy

Chatham

Plum Island

Gloucester

New Bedford

Marshfield

Around New England

Steps Falls, Newry Maine

Bridal Veil Falls, Franconia NH

Falls On the Falling Waters Trails, Lincoln and Franconia NH

Campbell Falls, New Marlborough MA

Day Pond Falls, CT

Moss Glenn Falls, Granville VT

Moss Glenn Falls, Stowe VT

 

Cape Cod Lighthouses

Nauset Light Success: Winter at Nauset Light

Chatham Light Success: Winter at Chatham Light

Monomoy Light

Nobska Point Light

Sandy Neck Light

 

Wildlife

Whales, Humpback, Right, Fin Back

Sharks at Truro, Chatham

Seals at Truro or Chatham

Snowy Owl Top 2014 Success: Winter at West Dennis Beach, Snowy Owl
 

Oregon

Thor's Well in Cape Perpetua

Arizona

The Grand Canyon

Antarctica

Penguins, Seals, Whales, Ice, Panoramas

Galapagos Islands 

birds, turtles, mammals

Alaska

Glaciers, Whales, Ice

France

Beaches and US Cemetery at Normandy

Australian Outback

Sunsets, Rock, Deserts, Panoramas

 

20/80 Rule in Business Success in 2014: better at Marketing, better at Showing and Selling. I need much more training, and more time spent working at developing my art and craft

In the Photography business, 20% of the business time is spent on photography. The other 80% is Business. Marketing, Sales, Office, Calls, meetings, repairs, cleaning, training, seminars, conferences, travel... you know Mundane tasks that make you successful.


Here are my 2014 Goals for Success in the other 80% of the business!
http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/business---making-photography-more-successful-in-2014

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) 2014 Alaska Antarctica Australia Galapagos Notes bucketlist business shoots https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/notes---2014-shoots Wed, 01 Jan 2014 05:15:00 GMT
Tutorial - Composition Rules https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/tutorial---Composition-Rules Walk the Walk.

Talk the Talk.

Know The Rules.

If you want to be a good photographer, it's important to know the rules of photography. If you want to be a great photographer, it's important to know when to break the rules! 

Photography has some simple rules that govern things like composition. Although, frankly, they are stolen. Many if not most come from the rest of the arts. Painting, mostly.

 

The Guidelines

About composition, there's a general rule: The Rule Of Thirds

Rule Of ThirdsRule Of Thirds

Usually, we divide the photograph into three vertical and three horizontal zones. The most visually appealing place to put on of your main subjects is at one of the intersections on these zones. As above, we place the Red-Breasted Nuthatch about one third up and one third in from an edge. 

 

Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way!

Use a few leading lines or other techniques can help you to lead your viewer around the image. Over the years, painters, and photographers have found that if you have a subject facing off to the right, it will sometimes lead to the viewer moving on to the next image. So, many photographers try to have subjects focusing to the left. Or have objects moving or pointing left. this leads the viewer back into your image.

 

Leading Lines

Pumphouses for the Cambridge ResevoirPumphouses for the Cambridge ResevoirAtop the Cambridge Resevoir, in Belmont's Payson Park neighborhood.

Leading lines, like a sidewalk moving from down below, and up into a photograph can bring the view into your image. Parallel lines, like telephone poles, or a diagonals, like a stream, a road, a path can bring your viewer in. Use natural paths, natural streams, rivers and trees to direct the eyes around an image.

 

You're the photographer. You decide what image to make. What to emphasize, and what to focus on. So use the tricks and tips to lead your viewer around you image. 

 

More On Composition

Leading Lines

Rule Of Thirds

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) composition leading lines of photography rule subjects thirds tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/1/tutorial---Composition-Rules Fri, 01 Nov 2013 21:30:00 GMT
Tutorial - Connecting with Subjects, part 2 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/10/tutorial---connecting-with-subjects-part-2 Connecting With Subjects, Part II

For Part One, click Connecting With Subjects

In brief, we mentioned that Connecting is like Dating. Get to know the person, put them at ease. Music, Attitude, and more can help.

Continuing on, we can talk about some real strategies.

 

You Are The Director

For Starters, you are the professional. Your talent, your subjects, all assume you are the professional, so you need to act like it. They expect you to tell them what to do. Not order, but it is OK to be decisive. Be direct, but be polite. You can ask your subject to stand here, or there. To face this way. To turn, just so. To move a hand here or there. To tilt the head back a touch, or to push the chin out a tad more... As the photographer, direct them. It's OK, if they aren't understanding what you are asking for, to show them. Post for them. Some folks are visual, and can look at what you are doing and understand right away. Make the image, don't just take it. 

 

Things You Don't Want To Hear A Doctor Or A Photographer Say

So, remember, confidence. That means, please don't say "Ooops!" or ever say, "Oh, Sh*t!" That's bad. No muttering. And don't spend forever looking at images in the rear of the camera (or tethered) without being positive. Silence can be just as deadly. Along the way, provide plenty of feedback. "Great. Good job" Or, "This looks good." really goes a long way. Build confidence. It helps. Remember NON verbal cues as well. Don't roll your eyes, or suck in your breath. Poker face when things aren't right. Better yet, paste a smile on and try to "brighten up" the room. People are, for the most part, self conscious around cameras. 

 

You Are The Professional

And speaking of professional, maintain that professionalism. It's best, if you are a male, to have a female present as an assistant. Never touch a person's hair, or clothing, to adjust. It's OK to point out something and ask them to fix it, or to have the assistant or stylist fix it.  If you must, a casual "May I flick that loose strand of hair off your forehead?" Hands off. Always. Enough said.

 

Be Present. 

Sounds weird, but be present! Pay attention. No texting or taking another call. Focus on your subject. Being present also means, don’t get stuck behind your camera for the shoot. It’s really impersonal. It creates a barrier and prevents you from connecting with the person you're photographing. That might mean shooting with a remote. Or maybe simply spending some time in between set ups, out front, connecting, posing or directing.

 

 

 

Something To Hold

If your subject is fidgeting or flopping their hands about, give them something to hold or do during the photo shoot. Most folks just don’t know what to do with their hands when they are nervous. Do they put them in their pockets? Hold them on their hips? Stand awkwardly with them behind their back?


Giving them something for their hands to focus on makes them at ease. If you're shooting a portrait, chances are, the hands will be cropped out anyway. If it's a full length, then make the prop part of their personality. A book. A football. A glass of wine. A prop that they feel is part of who they are... 

 

You're the professional. Take charge. Be professional. But most importantly, build up their trust. 

 

 

 

More on Connecting With Subjects  

Connecting With Subjects, Part I

Posing Techniques

Group Posing Techniques

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) connecting director photography posing subjects technique tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/10/tutorial---connecting-with-subjects-part-2 Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:45:00 GMT
Notes - How You Get There https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/9/notes---how-you-get-there Just My Notes

These are the planes I've been on.

Just a log for myself.

 

Airbus

A300, A318, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340

Boeing

707, 727, 737-100, 737-200, 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, 747-400, 757-200, 767-200ER

Bombardier (De Havilland)

DASH 8-100, DASH 8-200

Canadair 

CRJ-100, CRJ-200

Cesna 

Cesna 172

De Havilland 

DHC-3T Texas Turbine Super Otter

Embraer

135, 145, 165, 170, 175, 190, 195

McDonald-Douglas

DC-9, MD-10, MD-80, MD-82, MD-90

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) business notes planes https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/9/notes---how-you-get-there Wed, 18 Sep 2013 15:15:00 GMT
Tutorial - Your First Camera https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/9/tutorial---your-first-camera  

Your First DSLR Camera

Digital Single Lens Reflex, or DSLR cameras are great. Today DSLR's have more features, work harder and work smarter so you can do the creative and allow the camera to do the technical! Today's camera's also allow you to control the technical aspects and to learn faster and cheaper than traditional film camera's did. Remember, Digital means no more spending $10 for each roll of film, plus an additional $10 to develop what most rolls were: bad photos! Going digital means making more images, more mistakes and learning.
 

First Steps

If you want to get into DSLR, but you're not looking to spend a lot, both Canon and Nikon make low end models. The camera body allows you to start getting used to features, master the ability to control the image and light by mastering aperture and shutter speed, etc, and then to start experimenting with lenses. 

When you buy the low end model Nikon (I know Nikon, but I'm sure Canon shooters can jump in with similar models from Canon) like the D3200, you get your first lens. Often, the kit lens gets a bad rap. But remember, the camera, and lens is far and away above the tech and gear that we had on the market a dozen years ago. Some amazing photographers learned to make fantastic images on some of the 'bad gear' of the time. 

It's really all about mastering light. Your tools: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO. Learn to frame the subject, etc. It's not the gear, it's the photographer. After all, you don't go into a fancy restaurant and ask the chef, 'What kind of pots and stove he uses,' do you?

Mirrorless

BTW, if you take a look, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Sony all make cameras classified as 'Mirrorless.' They have some of the features of Point and Shoot, like ease of use. And some features of the DSLR, like interchangeable lenses. Unfortunately, the lenses you buy for a Mirrorless are not compatible with a DSLR. I think the price for the Nikon N1 Mirrorless is about the same as the price of the D3200, so not sure you really save much.

Experienced (Used)

Another option is to go to a local camera store and buy an experiencedcamera (we call them used!) You'll get a decent camera, and $ave money. Used cameras are usually a good deal, as long as you can take it back within a reasonable time. This should give you a week to shoot, and download and see if there are any major issues.

Just Do It!

What's really important is that if you have the passion, don't spend obscene amounts of money on the fanciest piece of gear you can. Get your first camera, and start to understand How To Take Photographs.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) DSLR cameras canon nikon photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/9/tutorial---your-first-camera Tue, 03 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT
Tutorial - connecting with subjects https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/7/tutorial---connecting-with-subjects Connecting With Subjects Brian

Any photographer will tell you, getting a subject to relax enough around you to get a few decent shots of them is no simple thing. No matter how relaxed you think someone is, the minute they see a camera, they tense up. And being relaxed is key to making a good image.

 

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to do this. Everyone is different. What matters is that you behave to their expectations!

 

Some clients want you to be fun, and put them at ease. Some feel that the best way for them to feel good about photographs, is for you to be the cool professional! Either way, your whole job, is to be a people person.

 

People Person

It’s easy to get nervous during a photo shoot with strangers. To Paraphrase the famous photographer, "Never let 'em see you sweat!"
If you are tense uptight, your client will be even more tense and uptight. And there's no way the photo shoot will go well!

 

 
Dating Your Client
As with dating, the best approach is getting to know each other. Spend time before the camera gets out, to ask questions. Be polite. Remember Kindergarten? Or your Grandmother? The lessons learned from both apply here: Be polite. Be nice to people. Ask questions.
• Simple things to start: "How are you? Any trouble getting here? How was your morning?"

• Next up, try connecting on a more personal level: talk about last night's TV show, sports, or the local news. (Avoid Politics... that's a potential live wire and could be a buzz kill for either you OR the client!)
• Perhaps the best is to get the person talking about themselves. Talk about where they are from, how they got here, their education, etc. Dive a bit deeper than the superficial. Be sincere. Ask a few follow up questions. Really try to get to know who it is you're shooting and what they are about!

 

Set The Mood

• Music sets the mood! Ask them to bring in their favorite music. Play it. Or keep a very long and varied list of music on your laptop or iPod. Let them pick the mood music.

• Lighting sets the mood, as well. use softer lights, while setting up and getting to know each other. harsh or bright light may come alter, but for now, keep it soft and soothing.

• Decor always helps. A few plants and some comfy chairs or a couch to relax in before getting started, or in between setups helps.

• Food is a god-send! Snacks, fruit, and plenty of water to drink are key to keeping your client happy!

 

Be Confident

Most people have never been for a formal photo shoot. Not knowing what is expected can make people tense. Spend some time before the shoot explaining everything. Let them know what you're doing and speak calmly and confidently. People feel more relaxed when they can see a confident person in charge And that needs to be you!

 

More on Connecting With Subjects  

Posing Techniques

Group Posing Techniques

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) connecting photography posing subjects tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/7/tutorial---connecting-with-subjects Fri, 26 Jul 2013 12:30:00 GMT
tutorial - The Golden Hour And Blue Hour https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/7/tutorial---the-golden-hour-and-blue-hour The Golden Hour and The Blue Hour


Pamet Sunset

Pamet Harbor, at The Golden Hour (Click for Photo)

Shooting outdoors, and we all do from time to time, has it's own challenges. Lighting is one. 
As photographers, we quickly learn, there are a couple of great times to shoot outdoors: The Golden Hour, and The Blue Hour

The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour is a great time, about an hour before sunrise or an hour after sunrise, and usually provides an awesome quality of light. The light has an awesome warm tone, and a direction. There's no harsh direct overhead light. Just a warm tone that brings out great color in your subjects. 

 

Sunset on Mardi Gras

 

Pamet Harbor, at the Blue Hour (Click Here For Photo)

The Blue Hour

The Blue Hour is the time of day when the light takes on a strong blue tone. The sky is a deep, rich blue and gives off a blue tinted light that gives a feeling cool feeling, on our subjects. the Golden Hour actually is about a half hour after sunset or before sunrise. The blue comes from having to travel through more of the atmosphere (and water in the atmosphere) and having more of the shorter wavelengths filtered out, leaving more blue wavelengths (longer) to hit your subjects. 

 

Blue Hour means taking photos from a tripod, and a longer exposure than other photos. There's less light.
 

What's Good To Shoot during the Blue Hour?

City scenes, beaches, landscapes, and architectural work great during the blue hour. Because of the longer exposure times, subjects such as People, and Wildlife just don;t work as well. (They move, and longer exposures mean blurry photos!) Wide angle landscapes are awesome in Blue Hour!

Harsh light is a challenge! Try shooting during The Golden Hour and The Blue Hour!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Blue Golden Hour Hour: The composition landscape lighting outdoors photography tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/7/tutorial---the-golden-hour-and-blue-hour Fri, 19 Jul 2013 12:30:00 GMT
tutorial - What Makes A Good Photo https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/7/tutorial---what-makes-a-good-photo Pamet Sunset

Pamet Harbor, Truro MA (Click for the image)

How do we, as photographers make sure that people will like our photos? We're insecure, and crave the love! We want to feel p[eople like our images! So how? By creating a connection with the viewer!

 

If you can make a photograph that creates some kind of emotional connection with the viewer, you’re a success! If the connection makes hundreds or thousands feel something even better! 

 

So what makes a good connection? Well, babies, and cute fluffy animals. Sure... but do you really want to only shoot that? I know I don't.

So I take pictures that make me feel good. If I feel good, chances are, someone else will feel a connection as well. If you look and see my collections, you'll notice I shoot a lot of ocean, sunsets, and beach scenes. People feel relaxed, and almost wistful, when they see a beach. They want to be there! And that's great: your viewers connect your images with a feeling.

Sunset on the beach is warmer, often softer light. It makes much of the image feel warm and inviting. People want to feel the warm sand and the setting sun on their face. They think back to when they were sitting, watching the sun set, and perhaps even who they were with.

 

By the way, it isn't only warm and happy that makes a connection. Bring emotion to your photos and people will respond. Connections... The more you can make with your viewers, the more people will like the image. 

 

Tutorial on Leading Lines

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) composition connections make better photos photography subjects tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/7/tutorial---what-makes-a-good-photo Fri, 12 Jul 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Image - Get Out And Shoot! https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/6/tutorial---get-out-and-shoot Pebbles On The Shore

Pebbles On Cape Cod (Available Here)

Time

Time is most definitely in short supply these days.  If we don't make time, most of us photographers have difficulty finding time to schedule shooting.  If you don't shoot full time, there's work, home, family and more that get in the way. Still, if we want to get better, and I know I DO, we have to make time for photography.

 

Always Keep Your Camera With You

We can all relate to that sinking feeling of missing a great shot.  Opportunities don't come along every day - wait... actually they do! Carry your camera. You never know when that great shot may come your way.  Sometimes thee light is just right. Sometimes the right bunch of people make the right expression. As the great photographer, Wayne Gretzsky says, "You always miss 100% of the shots you don't take!"

 

Make Time

If you shoot landscapes, go. Get out there. No excuses. Get out and shoot. If you're an UrbEx kind of shooter, find that gritty spot and shoot. Get out on each holiday and shoot Parades. shoot the people watching the parade. Shoot Storms, or pets. Shoot something different. push your comfort level. No one on their death bed ever said, "I wish I spent less time shooting pictures."

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Wayne Gretsky composition image make time photography subjects tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/6/tutorial---get-out-and-shoot Tue, 04 Jun 2013 22:03:00 GMT
tutorial - Leading Lines https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/5/tutorial---leading-lines We tell stories. We create feelings. 

As Photographers, what we include and what we exclude are the tools of our trade. We include we want. We choose our compositions to lead our viewers around the photograph. One of the composition tricks we use to lead viewers around our photographs is Leading Lines.

Another  composition trick, the Rule Of Thirds, is used often in composition of landscape photographs. We try to put the horizon on either the top third or lower third line. Using Leading Lines, we can draw the viewer around the photo, to the left, right or top or bottom. Leading Lines allow you, the photographer, to focus the viewers eyes on what you want to tell. 

 

LED Curtain

Sometimes, as in the above photograph, the Leading Lines themselves are the focus.

 

5 Rock Waterfall More often, as in the rock waterfall photograph, the Leading Lines like the logs moving left to right, down to up, move the viewer around the image and frame the waterfall. Using a greater depth of field, in this case f32, allows all of the image to be in focus. Slowing the shutter speed down to 1/13 second allows the water to blur, and create the effect of water in motion.

 

Take a look at most images from great photographers and you'll see some form of leading lines like these:

  • Vertical lines, like buildings, telephone poles, streets, door and window frames. 

  • Horizontal lines, like roads, streets, fences, the horizon.

  • Diagonal lines, like rivers, streets, logs. 

  • S-Curves of roads, creeks, paths

  • Converging lines such as sides of a street, highway, walls, buildings

In most every single photograph you take it’s possible to compose with at least one of these lines in your photograph.  Mastering composition  concepts like rule of thirds, and  using leading lines will add more depth to your photography, helping you tell your story in images you make!

 

 

Also in Composition: Rule of Thirds http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/1/tutorial---rule-of-thirds 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) composition framing leading lines of rule thirds tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/5/tutorial---leading-lines Wed, 29 May 2013 12:45:00 GMT
Tutorial - Chiaroscuro and Rembrandt Lighting https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/5/tutorial---chiaroscuro-lighting In college, way back before "cool" existed, I was a Theater Production Arts Major. I built sets and designed lighting and sound. I took the obligatory costume classes, and our Theater Production Major afforded us enough classes to come out with an Art History Minor. I took quite a few Art History classes. I started because we were "forced to" After a bit, I realized, these classes were great: Dark room, sit in the back and nod off while the slide projectors hummed along. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the rich colours and oils of the Masters. Rembrandt and Michelangelo Caravaggio.

It appealed to the lighting designer in me. I learned to create drama onstage with light, and the absence of light.  I learned that texture comes with different degrees of shadow. Today, I find myself drawn to making images with my camera and using Chiaroscuro Lighting. That powerful use of strong light and dark combinations, to create drama and texture is what draws me in. It gives images their Emotion. It helps people to connect.

Chiaroscuro Lighting

Some call this Rembrandt lighting. while similar, it's not the same. Chiaroscuro is Italian that essentially translates as light into dark. It's the strong solitary stark light and big contrast between light and dark shadow. It's high drama! It gives big dimension and texture to otherwise flat subjects. Many create this with strong daylight. Some, with one studio light or flash. this works great on round surfaces. Fruits. Some Vegetables. And of course, the human face and body.

This lighting can be great for moody looks, drama, and serious expressions. A brick or concrete background. Or best: falling off into darkness can be great with this.

Control your light. Get rid of any spill, or window light. Shut all other sources down.

Looking Down on the Setup:

 

 

As above, the light is from off to one side. Use a steep angle. Straight on produces a flat look. Off to the side gives a nice sharp source. High angle above or below also works, with the same drama but a different feeling. Use a reflector to angle only a Very Small amount back onto your subject.

Rembrandt Lighting

True Rembrandt lighting has a signature triangle of light under the eye on your subject. The same basic setup, with one light, but use a reflector to put a bit of light back onto your subject. the rim light, or hair light, for instance. Perhaps some soft fill on the far side of the main light source.

Note the small triangle of light on the right cheek of this girl. This is a signature of Rembrandt Lighting.

Practice different lighting setups, and experiment. Capture different moods. Find your voice when making images. 

More on Lighting with Flags, Diffusers and Reflectors: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---reflectors-diffusers-and-flags

Backlighting and Silhouettes: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---backlighting-and-silhouettes

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Chiaroscuro Lighting Rembrandt aperture flash low light photography posing reflectors studio tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/5/tutorial---chiaroscuro-lighting Thu, 09 May 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Tutorial - Clamshell Lighting https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/5/tutorial---clamshell-lighting What Is Clamshell Lighting?

Clamshell lighting is described as a light source and a fill card,or two light sources, on the same line as the camera with one over the lens and one under the lens. you can use two sources with umbrellas, soft boxes, strobes, studio guns, whatever. With small strobes or soft boxes, you can try powering them down and getting a very large aperture for shallow depth of field.

Here's a SIDE VIEW of the setup:

 

Looking at the setup, from the side, we see, A background, a model, a top source, and a bottom source, then the camera shooting Portrait orientation!

Try shooting something new today, like your own clamshell photo shoot! Try Soft Boxes and flash, try a shoot through umbrella, or a bounce umbrella. Time to experiment, and see the effects of different light! Play with power settings on your flash speed lights. Get your light in tight, and try really low power. Can you get down to f2.8? 

You never know unless you try!

More on Flags, Diffusers and Reflectors: Flags, Diffusers and Reflectors

More on Exposure: Exposure Triangle

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) bounce composition depth field framing lighting low light of photography reflectors, shoot shutter speed soft boxes through" tutorial umbrellas https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/5/tutorial---clamshell-lighting Mon, 06 May 2013 14:30:30 GMT
Tutorial - Backlighting and Silhouettes https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---backlighting-and-silhouettes Understanding Backlight and Silhouettes

We all grew up from a young age, hearing, this one photography rule, "Always keep the sun at your back" or, "Don't shoot directly into the light!" We all also learned, there are exceptions to every rule, and these are two shooting styles that intentionally break this rule: silhouette and backlight.

Everyone knows some iconic silhouette shots: a fisherman on the beach, against a sunset or a girl outlined in front of a lace covered window. Shooting a silhouette is a technique that involves framing your shot so that the light is directly behind your subject, creating a solid dark outline shape against a lighter background. 

Backlighting is a photography term for any image taken with the plane of the subject between the camera and the dominant light source. The backlight can be anywhere behind, including slightly off to the side and behind. Backlighting refers to images where some light and detail is visible on the front of the subject, as opposed to silhouette, which is a solid, black outline.

 

 

Silhouette
The example lighting diagram above shows the setup used for a typical silhouette shot. 

Place your subject between the camera and a bright light source. Above, we have the Sun, outside a window, and then the subject, and the camera. We set exposure based on the brightest part of the image: the window, and not set exposure for the subject. Since the window is so much brighter than the subject, this means that the subject will be underexposed, giving a nice, dark silhouetted subject.

The keys to shooting a silhouette is to find a strong light, like the sunset, or a window in a darker room. Focus your shot on the subject, compose along the rule of thirds and set the image exposure for the background light. 

 

Backlight

A well done backlit image is a bit more difficult to do. It's somewhere between a nice silhouette, and a nicely exposed front lit image. IN our lighting diagram above, we have the background, a flash head on tripod facing the subject, a flash head facing the background, the subject, a softbox facing the subject, a reflector, and the camera. Power for the flash hitting the back of the subject is set to full. Power for the soft box, lighting the front of the subject is set to 1/8th power. Between the flash on the background and the flash facing the back of the subject, we will get a nice rim light and hair light on our subject. 

How much detail you want on your subject's face and front is where you as the photographer, decide what you are trying to achieve, with your image. More power to the softbox gets more detail. Less, gives you closer to a silhouette. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, as with the silhouette, you need to focus on your subject, but expose for your background. This is a setup that will require a few test shots to get exposure just right!

Add Drama: Break The Rules

Both silhouettes and backlighting are a great way to add drama to your photos. 

More on Exposure:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/tutorial---the-exposure-triangle

More on Lighting with Flags, Diffusers and Reflectors: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---reflectors-diffusers-and-flags

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) backlight backlit exposure hair light lighting rim light silhouette silhouetting tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---backlighting-and-silhouettes Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Notes Boston Marathon Attack https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/boston-marathon-attack  

UPDATE 4/19/13:  Please help those families affected by the tragic events in Boston during the Marathon:

http://onefundboston.org

 

 

 

Greg Poulos 4/15/13 3:37 PM  -  Public

 

Word is coming in now, from many of the production people working the Boston marathon finish line. So far, no injuries on the Production Staff. 

 

Greg Poulos  4:00 PM

 

So far, Toby is fine. Mark Lorenzo fine

 

Greg Poulos  4:56 PM

 

So far, have heard that all of the Capron folks are OK.

Have heard that all the High Output folks are OK

Thistle Communications reports all their staff are OK

 

Just in case: http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions

 

Phone number to find a loved one who was at the Marathon:

617.635.4500

 

Police tips hotline for anyone who saw anything, had video or photos of the marathon:

1-800-494-TIPS

 

Bluefin Productions, Inc. originally shared this post:

So far, have heard from most of the Freelancers and Production staff that we know who were working the Boston Marathon.

 

 

So far, have heard that all of the Capron folks are OK

Have heard that all the High Output folks are OK

 

Thistle Communications reports all their staff are OK

Have heard that all Bill Kenny Productions staff are OK
 

Greg Poulos  4:58 PM  -  Public

 

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the explosions that went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. We've heard from many of our production and event industry friends and colleagues that they are okay.

 

 

BOSTON MARATHON UPDATE

At the end of a long day, I can say, all production crew from Capron, High Output, Thistle Communications and Bill Kenny Productions are OK.

 

Huge shout out to Alan Starr, good friend, mixing audio at the finish. Alan heard the blast from 35 ft away and ran towards the explosion. He ended up helping a women, commandeering a wheelchair and getting her to safety. 

 

Greg Poulos 11:27 PM  -  Public

 

It's midnight, where I am, and that's not near Boston. 

I spent the better worse part of the day stressed and online, trying to parse info on crew, freelancers, family and friends. I am so exhausted, and wrung out, over today's events at the Boston Marathon. My close friends and colleagues work the event. In years past, I did as well. 

 

In the midst of the news, and rumors, as well as the stress, I cooked a meal for a couple dozen, plus, family and friends, on what I thought was a day off. 

 

Was I ever wrong.

 

I take comfort in the news that those I know are home, safe and with loved ones. I am saddened by the news that many I do not know, are not...

 
 
UPDATE 4/19/13:  Please help those families affected by the tragic events in Boston during the Marathon:

http://onefundboston.org

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Boston Marathon disaster people terror https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/boston-marathon-attack Tue, 16 Apr 2013 03:53:47 GMT
Hot Photographers Concerts and Shows https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-concerts-and-shows HOT Photographers!

Some awesome work in Concerts and Shows Photography!

Alan Hess

http://alanhessphotography.com

Todd Owyoung

http://www.ishootshows.com

Brad Moore

http://www.bmoorevisuals.com

Matthew Eisman

http://musicinfocus.net

 

 

Other HOT Photographer Links:

 

Food Photography:   http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-4-1-13

 

Wildlife Photography:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) concert photography hot hot photography photographer photography special events photography stage photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-concerts-and-shows Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Tutorial - Kids Posing Techniques https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---kids-posing-techniques  

Posing Kids Challenges

Posing children can really be a challenge for new photographers. If you're not used to working with kids, then it can really make your photo shoot difficult. Some basic tips, Kids know a lot more than we give them credit for. And one thing they pick up on quickly is emotions. Be calm and relaxed around kids. If your tone of voice and body language shows tension, your child models will pick up on it quickly.

Getting the most out of kids requires that the kids be natural and enjoy themselves. Make sure the kids are relaxed by including mom or dad in the photo shoot. Get the kids to talk about their favorite things. Music, games and shows they enjoy. At some point, as with other models, let the kids know what you are doing. Talk about what's going to happen during the shoot. Kids really don't get enough credit. If you treat them with respect, they repay you with a great shoot!

Posing kids can bring it's own nightmares. When posing kids, make sure you don't touchRespect their space. Have mom, or a stylist fix the hair, or outfit. Which brings up an important point... You do have a stylist, assistant, or chaperone present when working with children and teens, right? Again, make sure both mom and the child feel comfortable. Safety first when working with kids.

Once you have a good pose, take some shots. and then, you should move. Get a few shots from different angles of the same post. Use your zoom and move in our out. One good pose can have many good shots in it, if you change your perspective. Get zoomed in tight! Frame them up closely, and avoid a ton of background! 

During the shoot, feedback is important. Don't forget to keep reinforcing the good that your kids are doing. Keep directing and keep positive reinforcement throughout. Make your kids feel good and you'll get better results.

Posing Tips

First off, lets just admit, here and now, that young kids, say 5 or 6 and under, will just not be patient and you most likely won't be able to really pose them. You'll get better results if you work with them, rather than work against them. If the kids want to pose their way, let them. Follow along. Take shots  them as they run, play and laugh. Some of the best kid photos come from these candid moments!

Kids are naturally curious. Play on it. Show them your work. Involve them. Make it a challenge. "Can you sit like this?" And you sit, while you have them make a photo of you! Challenge them!

Shooting Tips

If you are planning on a more formal shoot, with lighting setups and camera on a tripod, plan on a little more work before hand. For one, don't have kids sitting there unnecessarily. If you are setting up lighting, do it with a stand in before you get the kid to your set. No sense making the kid impatient and fidgety before you even start making photos!

Making shots of kids for some, can be a bit scary. Some unknown guy standing there, pointing this thing at them! Not knowing what's going to happen, or when. I personally like to get out from behind the camera and be seen by them. I like to use a remote for this.That way, I can make the shot from wherever I am when I see the right expression and pose. Keep close, behind the camera, but just off to one side. You still want the kids to focus on you and your camera. It's not as intimidating when you are not looking into the back of the camera. 

Remember, kids are not professional models. You are unlikely to get just the right shot, at the exact moment you ask for it. ("Smile, please?") Feel free to shoot lots of frames. Many shots means you increase then chance that you have the perfect expression!

Short But Sweet

Did I mention kids are impatient? They have shorter attention spans. Work fast. Work efficiently. Make your photo shoot short.
Make sure you give the kids a chance to take a break. Have them go chat with mom, get some water, or just relax and not be in front of the camera. This gives you a chance to see your photos and see what works and what you want more of. 

 

Making photos of kids is a challenge, but with a little planning and some luck, you can get great results!

 

Group Photos Posing Tips:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/group-posing-techniques

Posing Models Tips:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/2/posing-techniques

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) children kids posing techniques tips tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---kids-posing-techniques Fri, 12 Apr 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Tutorial - Reflectors, Diffusers, and Flags https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---reflectors-diffusers-and-flags Reflectors, Flags and Diffusion

Many of us started with one light source. Perhaps it was the sun, or an on camera flash. Maybe we had a Speedlight, for a flash instead of the camera's built in unit. We made some nice shots, but started to look for something a bit more. The lighting was uneven and needed a bit of help. We started hearing from other photographers, use a reflector for fill. So, what does that mean?

Simply put, a reflector, in photography, is anything that can bounce light back onto a subject. When most of us refer to a reflector, we mean, a store bought photographic piece of equipment.

Foam Board

One first step for owning a reflector is heading down to your local art store or office supply store, and buying a piece of foam core board. Foam Board comes in a few different colors, but the two most useful for our purposes are White and Black. If you take a photo with a flash on one side, or a large window for natural light, you may notice uneven lighting exposure. Harsh on one side, your subject needs a bit more light to even it out. Use the foam board, white side, facing the subject, opposite the Window.

Take a look at the two photos below:

 

On the left, we have a subject, camera and window. Bright light would be on one side, and very little on the other for our subject. Using the foam board, as in the right photo, above, we can bounce or reflect the light from the window, back onto the subject, and create a bit more fill light on the subject. The key light from the window will still be more than the fill from the reflected foam board, but much nicer than the left side.

Flags

flag is something that cuts light, or flags light off a subject. Think of a flag as something that creates a shadow. Take a look at the photo below, and see how we use a flag to create a shadow and cut light from the background:

One trick with using a reflector is to get as close as you can to your subject without getting in the shot. Place a flag wherever you need, between your light source, and the object you are trying to make darker, to cut the light, and create shadow.

Diffusion

Diffusion, or a Diffuser is something that diffuses light, or makes light very soft on a subject. Think of a diffusion as similar to tracing paper that allows some light through, but makes it very soft. The key to understanding diffusion is to remember, a Small Area of Light Source will create hard shadows, and a Larger Area Light Source, will create soft shadows or no shadows. Take a look at the photo below, and see how we use a diffuser to create a soft shadow:

 

Different Reflector Colors

Probably the most inexpensive and most versatile piece of equipment to buy, for a photographer, is a 5-in-1 Reflector. I own the Westcott 5-in-1 and a few Cowboy Studio studio models. The 5-in-1 kit has a single frame, with a couple of fabric surfaces that zip onto it. At the inside is a translucent (light passes through) diffuser. The surfaces that zip on have one side being Silver, and one White, one Black and one Gold. So, why the different colors?

 

What's in the 5-in-1?

 

• Gold – Creates a warm feel to your image, sunshine, sunsets, and sunrises, etc.

• Silver – Bright, reflects the existing light onto a subject without changing color. Silver may give your image a high contrast.

• White – Reflects the existing light onto the subject but it's softer light than silver.

• Black – Black is useful as the flag, or to cut light from bouncing back onto a subject.

• Translucent Inside – Diffuses light and creates soft shadows like a softbox.

 

Using the 5-in-1 Reflector

Using Reflector, as in the photo below, you can bounce the light from the window, back onto the subject, and create a nice fill light on your subject. The key light from the window will still be more than the fill from your reflector, but it will be nice and soft, reflected fill in on your subject. 

 

Using the reflector takes some practice, but not a lot. It can be aimed buy tilting, and moving it back and forth. You can use a smaller reflector and just put light on a face, or small part of your subject. A large reflector will create less shadow and more even light.

 

By the way, here's a great website for creating lighting diagrams: http://www.lightingdiagram.com

 

Lighting Tutorials - Low Light Photography:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---low-light-photography-tips

 

Remember, it doesn't matter whether you use a window, or flash, mastering reflectors, diffusers and flags is all about controlling light. Practice and get the feel... it doesn't take long, and the reward in your photos will be huge! 

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) black composition diffusers flags gold lighting lighting diagrams low light posing reflectors silver softbox subjects translucent tutorial white https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---reflectors-diffusers-and-flags Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:39:08 GMT
Hot Photographers Wildlife https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife HOT Photographers!

Some awesome work in Nature and Wildlife Photography!

Moose Peterson

http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/

 

Mike Spinak

http://naturography.com

 

Rick Sammon

http://ricksammon.com

 

Bill Fortney

http://billfortney.com

 

Shawn Carey

http://www.migrationproductions.com

 

 

Post on Ethics in Wildlife Photography: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2014/2/notes---ethics-in-wildlife-photography

 

 

Other HOT Photographer Links:

 

Food Photography  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-4-1-13

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) hot hot photographers nature photography photographer wildlife photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-wildlife Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Business - Stock Photos, and Getty Images https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/business---stock-photos-and-getty-images Getty Images Controversy

There's a lot of discussion and commotion in the Photography world, surrounding the recent practices of some Stock photo website, including Getty Images. Nasty Comments, from both sides, like 'extortion' 'bullying' and copyright infringement are tossed back and forth. What's not in dispute, is that the recent Demand Letters and eMails arriving in many photographers' mail boxes are causing concern with regard to their rights. Photographers are receiving letters from a company connected to Gettty Images and demanding high license fees, settlement agreements, etc. 

Google recently announced a licensing deal with Getty Images for use on Google Drive. The deal provides users of Google Drive with commercial free images for use on the users documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Photographers are getting a one time payment of $12. That works out to micropennies in some instances. Credit, meta data and copyright info is stripped. The photographer is getting screwed. Here's more about it: http://www.1001noisycameras.com/2013/01/controversy-google-signs-deal-with-getty-images-for-google-drives-but-photographers-get-micropennies.html

 

Here's a summary of some of the issues from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images#Controversial_practices_to_enforce_copyright

Here's a letter from Thomas Hawk on Why He Quit Getty:  Thomas Hawk: Dear Getty Images: I quit.

http://www.petapixel.com/2013/03/25/why-im-ditching-getty-images-in-favor-of-stocksy-for-my-stock-photo-sales/

 

Stock and Microstock Agencies

OK, we get it! There's a controversy going on... but to understand this, perhaps a small primer on Traditional Photo Agencies and Microstock Agencies.

Traditional Stock Photo Agencies

Large photo agencies, like Getty Images, are traditional stock photography agencies. Most of the photographs for sale are owned or at least licensed by Getty exclusively, and shot by professional, full time photographers. Licenses for many of these photos are in the thousands of dollars, for use. As a photographer, it is unlikely that you will get to this level. There are just too many impediments, and too many people in the pool trying. However, there are great alternatives.

Microstock Photo Agencies

Microstock agencies address some of the biggest problems with licensing from Getty and their cousins: Cost. As a photographer, it is fairly easy to get your images onto a microstock agency. Companies like iStockphoto (before it was bought up by Getty) and Dreamstime, are examples of Microstock agencies. Photographers submit images, whcih are inspected for copyright, license and of course quality of the image, before they are accepted. They do not need to submit large portfolios; photogrpahers can submit one image or a few at a time. Images at Microstock agencies can be licensed for a couple of hundred dollars or go for as little as $1 for a lower resolution and one time usage. In most cases, you as the photographer still owns the image at a microstock agency. The agency is merely acting as your agent in negotiating your fee. They typically negotiate and take a percentage from you. You still own the photo. 

 

Think of Apple

Like Apple, and iTunes in the music industry, microstock is causing a distruption in the distribution model for images. Typically, large music publishers controlled the industry. They paid a fee to sign musicians and controlled how and what a musician produced (albums). Royalty Fees were paid, but a lot of money never made it to the musician. Along comes iTunes and now, it's possbile for a musician (or for books), an author to create content and retain 70% of the money earned, with Apple taking a fee for selling, distributing and managing sales. 

Microstock Agencies negotiate fees and the percentage a photographer gets is typically a larger percent than Traditional photo agencies. Sure, the total amount paid is much smaller, since photos are licensed for much less, but many more photographers, and now clients, can license images at more reasonable rates, without clients resorting to pirating images. Democratization of images. Photographers can control more of their business, and ownership of images.

The problem, for some photographers, is that they feel microstock devalues the images  that were at a tier below traditional, say in the "mid stock level agencies" priced between micro and traditional. And, some say, the model of microstock agency is unsustainable in the long run. Still, many more photographers are making money, and that has to be a good thing.

Bright Light on Horizon!

There's a solution out there brewing as well. Keep your eyes on a new company called Stocksy founded by none other than Bruce Livingstone, of iStockphoto fame!. This new agency is a photographer owned co-op. It's in Beta, and photographers cannot get images into it yet. We'll see, but all signs point to a pretty good model, with sustainable pricing, and no large corporation to take control of your photos.  Check out Stocksy here:  http://www.stocksy.com

More Business Issues from the Bluefin Blog

Copyright Issues http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/business---copyright

Photographers Rights  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/photographers-rights

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Bruce Livingstone Getty Images Sean Locke Stocksy Thomas Hawk business images licensing microstock photography agencies https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/business---stock-photos-and-getty-images Fri, 05 Apr 2013 18:10:00 GMT
Business - Copyright https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/business---copyright Photographer's Rights
Copyright can seem confusing. Although, in reality, it isn't. Simply put, if someone creates something, no one else can use it, without giving credit, and some kind of compensation. Meaning, you can't claim something is yours, if you didn't make it. Also, you want to use someone else's stuff, you have to pay for it.

Here's a great video over at B&H Photography about Copyright and Photographers Rights!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/photography/tips-solutions/copyright-zone-guys?BI=4906

 

From the ACLU:

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers

 

Our Article on Your Rights As A Photographer:

http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/photographers-rights

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) business copyright helpful photography links photographers rights photography rights https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/business---copyright Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:36:33 GMT
tutorial - low light photography tips https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---low-light-photography-tips Andy Warhol at the Bar

Low Light Photography Challenges

Low Light Photography is not always Nighttime Photography! I shoot Special Events, on occasion, and they are almost always lit with theatrical lighting. Sometimes, a cross between 3250º K Tungsten and 5200º K Arc lights. Often, the scenes before me are lit in theatrical, dramatic ways. The drama comes form the shadows and absence of light! Meaning low light! Other times, low light can mean indoors with little ambient lighting. And yes, sometimes, low light is night time!

Remember, our eyes can see maybe 24 "f/Stops" of dynamic range. this is why we see things pretty much in focus, many photos come out blurry in low light.  Most cameras, depending on the amount of lighting of the scene, can "see" between 3 and 10 stops of light. With luck. The trick to low light photography, is managing the exposure to make the picture across the right range. 

For me, the lighting falls into a few categories:

Shadows, or Backlit in Good Light

Think of under trees, bridges, a porch roof, etc

Low Light

After the Golden Hour, after sunset, or before sunrise, but still with plenty of light to see by. Or, when a scene is just not lit, whether indoors or dark skies.

Night Time

Dark of night.

Aperture

One way to deal with bad shots in low light, like shadow is to change the Aperture. The lower number, f1.4, f1.8, f2.8 etc means a larger opening. Bigger opening means more light. Better photos. To get these larger Apertures, it may mean moving to more expensive lenses or moving to Prime Lenses, which typically have lower f/Stops and larger Apertures. 

Shutter Speed

Of course, a bigger aperture may mean you need to make your shutter speed faster. Slow speeds often mean blur. Most people cannot get a decent photo at slower than 1/60 second Shutter Speed with hand held. Slower means blurry photos. So, increase shutter speed. Try shooting faster than 1/125th second. You should be on a tripod if you are shooting slower than 1/60th second.

ISO

Essentially, ISO means increased sensitivity allowing the sensor collecting light to work faster. Increasing the ISO can help you get more out of your low light photos. ISO 100 is a good all around setting. Low light may mean you have to increase ISO to 400, or 800. Some cameras can get your ISO up to 3200 and 6400. This increased ISO means increased apparent sensitivity to light. Unfortunately,  with an increased sensitivity to light, it also means an increase in digital noise in the photos. It's best to shoot at the lowest ISO you effectively can, to minimize noise in your photos.

Vibration Reduction

In Nikon parlance, Vibration Reduction is VR. (Canon calls it Image Stabilization or IR)

Nikon's VR technology says it allows you to shoot up to 4 times slower when it comes to shutter speed without adding blur to the picture compared to their non-VR brothers! That means, while with a regular lens you need 1/125th or 1/250th of a second to get a sharp picture, with the VR Lens you could slow the shutter speed to 1/30th of a second and still get the same sharp image! In theory. It certainly will let you get down to 1/60th of a second and get decent sharpness.

 

Low Light Conditions

The First thing you need to realize, is that at some point, all the settings changes are going to hit a road block. In shooting in low light, it's best to get out your tripod. Your good, sturdy tripod. A good platform to shoot from means making nice, sharp, crisp photos. Believe it or not, you are also causing a problem. When you click the shutter release, you are also introducing some vibration. Try shooting with a remote, either a cable release or wireless remote. Just removing your finger from the button can help decrease movement and get rid of some of the blurriness.

 

Light Itself

I know this sounds silly, but at some point, you just may have to increase the amount of light in your photos. Adding a flash, a softbox or even doing a little light painting with a hand held flashlight can increase the amount of light in your image. Make sure you have set your white balance correctly for your given lighting conditions.

 

No matter what, don't be afraid to experiment with the settings on your camera and try to get the best out of low light situations!

 
Image Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p11791483/h523c9842
 
Lighting with Reflectors, Diffusers, and Flags:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---reflectors-diffusers-and-flags
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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) aperture iso lighting low light night time photography shutter speed tutorial white balance https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/tutorial---low-light-photography-tips Fri, 05 Apr 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Tutorial - Group Posing Techniques https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/group-posing-techniques  

Group Posing Challenges

Posing a group can be challenging. Your telling people what to do, and photographers typically like to just capture the scene, rather than be the director. If you're going to work with people, portraits, models or fashion, then, at some point, giving some simple directions to your subjects can be very helpful. Be the DIRECTOR! Be confident and relaxed and your group will pick up on that mood.

The same basic issues and techniques with posing one person, and a group apply: Make a connection, relax, develop rapport, use music, be confident, create a good mood, and respect your subjects. Keep plenty of good music on a handy iPod and speakers nearby if you are doing a model shoot as music can help set the mood. Ask your subjects if'd like to play their favorite music. When posing subjects, respect their space. Have them fix something, or have an assistant, the subject's mom, or a stylist fix the hair, or outfit. 

Check out our Tips for Posing a Model   http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/2/posing-techniques

Composition

Get your subjects' heads on different levels

Using dynamic composition is the easiest way to dramatically improve your group photos.  Your goal is to get people to be on different levels. Try placing one group of heads on one of your Rule of Thirds and another on a different part of the Rule Of Thirds. Try using the location you are shooting at for different levels. Stairs, rocks, and benches help. Use the location around you.

Triangles

Triangles make for interesting and compelling elements in a group photo. Posing someone above and behind the other two makes for good composition. Remind people posing as a group to "squish in a bit" They've been hearing this all their life and will be comfortable clsoing any awkward gaps.

Who's The Boss?

Remember who's the boss when composing. If it's a family shot, make sure mom is happy. Sometimes, mom doesn't like being too obvious, or too much on camera. Put mom in the back or middle to make her a part of the pose, but not the main subject. Keep the boss happy! 

Make sure your subjects can be seen!

This is one of the easiest tips to use. Simply look and make sure you can see all the subjects in the camera. Don't depend on some luck, make sure you can see everyone through the view finder.  

Take A Lot Of Shots!

Groups may not all be posing at the same time. They may not all smile, or look in the same direction. This means, when you are shooting a group, try shooting a few photos for each pose.  Take a series of three exposures for each shot. Just hold the shutter release button in Continuous Shooting Mode. This increases the chances of getting a good shot.

Let the Group Be Natural!

Let them have fun, and be more relaxed. Let them move. Let them pose as they would naturally in their homes. Remember, Remain Focused on the end product. Get the shot. Don't just allow play for play's sake. And don't try to over pose. Nothing too crazy, as it may be just plain tacky! 

Technique

Lighting

Remember, you have a bigger group, so you will need more light and over a larger area. Watch for shadows from one person onto the rest of the group. Make sure you get even light, and not one person in harsh light and the rest in shadow or low light.

Focus

You're not just shooting one person, so getting tack sharp eyes with a group is more difficult. Open up your aperture and get more Depth Of Field. With a group,  try shooting at f8 or F11 to get more people in focus.

Good luck and enjoy shooting!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) aperture composition framing group photography groups photography posing subjects tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/group-posing-techniques Wed, 03 Apr 2013 12:30:00 GMT
Hot Photographers Food Photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-4-1-13 HOT Photographers!

Some awesome work in Food Photography!

 

Nicole Pierce

http://arcticgardenstudio.blogspot.com

 

Nicole S Young

http://nicolesyblog.com

 

Scott King

http://www.scottkingphotography.com

 

Alessio Fangano

http://recipetaster.blogspot.com

 

Jenn Oliver

http://jenncuisine.com

 

Börje Ensgård

http://www.photoalacarte.eu

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Food Food Photography Hot Photographers photographer photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/hot-photographers-4-1-13 Mon, 01 Apr 2013 16:53:05 GMT
Notes Whale Research Funding in Danger https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/right-whale-research-funding-in-danger Whale Tail

Sequestration Hits Oceanography Hard!

 

The Provincetown Center For Coastal Studies does amazing work. Please help make sure that funding doesn't get cut!
Research into these gentle giants is ongoing and only now paying returns. We're finally seeing some small progress on recovery of some whale species off the Western North Atlantic. Don't let government inaction stop this important work now.

For More, Click Here

Photo Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p873140262/h2d1b6509#h2d1b6509

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) PCCS Provincetown Center For Coastal Studies Wildlife budget funding government humpback oceanography research right whales whales https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/right-whale-research-funding-in-danger Thu, 28 Mar 2013 19:58:57 GMT
Metadata and Social Media websites! https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/metadata The International Press Telecommunications Council has released a new study on the use of images by social media websites.

The study finds that some of the biggest social media sites ones, like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, remove photographers' metadata from images photographers upload.

"A social networking site is only as good as the information its members choose to share," says Michael Steidl, IPTC's managing director.  "If users provide rights data and descriptions within their images, these data shouldn't be removed without their knowledge."

The results show that Facebook and Flickr are the worst offenders, with most of the metadata removed from the original files uploaded. Twitter has also been found to remove Exif and IPTC metadata from its files.

Source: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2254536/study-exposes-social-media-sites-that-delete-photographs-metadata

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Photographer rights copyright law legal metadata photographer's rights photography tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/metadata Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:58:01 GMT
Image - Spring Is Here! https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/spring-is-here My Turn!

Black-Capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus,

arrives and startles an American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis. 

 

Spring Is Finally Here!

After surviving the long snowy winter, birds are starting to show their signs of spring! The color, on the males typically, start to get brighter. The song that birds sing just sound cheerier and more like spring. Their behavior clearly seems to be more like a nice spring day!

 We see the brilliant yellow of many of the local goldfinches, the bright blues of jays and flaming reds of cardinals and tanagers can't help but catch our eyes. They're showing their spring colors, not just for us, but to catch the attention of their female friends as well.

Nesting birds are gathering their straw, and bits of string and grass, to make their nests. Song birds are chirping louder, and a different tune. The males often are now competing for a date, with the females. Aggressive, for birds, anyway, behavior is seen. 

Photo Available Here:  http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p974908608/h256487c7

Spring is here, indeed!

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Black-Capped Chickadee Male American Goldfinch Poecile atricapillus Spinus tristis bird birding birds feeder image https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/spring-is-here Wed, 20 Mar 2013 19:06:00 GMT
Business - Photographers Rights https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/photographers-rights Know Your Rights As A Photographer 

9 Mar 2013 "The US Department of Justice has filed a brief in a Maryland court case defending citizens' rights to photograph and record police officers in the course of their duty. The DOJ, in fact, goes beyond what it had said in a previous case by arguing that citizens are protected by the First and Fourth Amendments. In fact, the DOJ argues that using "discretionary charges, such as disorderly conduct, loitering, disturbing the peace, and resisting arrest" to try to stop people from recording police actions "chills protected First Amendment speech.""

http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/9/4081098/us-doj-defends-citizens-right-to-photograph-police

 

From the ACLU:

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers

Your rights as a photographer:

When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view. That includes pictures of federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police. Such photography is a form of public oversight over the government and is important in a free society.

When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs. If you disobey the property owner's rules, they can order you off their property (and have you arrested for trespassing if you do not comply).

Police officers may not generally confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant. If you are arrested, the contents of your phone may be scrutinized by the police, although their constitutional power to do so remains unsettled. In addition, it is possible that courts may approve the seizure of a camera in some circumstances if police have a reasonable, good-faith belief that it contains evidence of a crime by someone other than the police themselves (it is unsettled whether they still need a warrant to view them).

Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations. Professional officers, however, realize that such operations are subject to public scrutiny, including by citizens photographing them.

Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws. For example, if you are trespassing to take photographs, you may still be charged with trespass.

Much More, at ACLU.org:

http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Photographer rights law legal photography tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/3/photographers-rights Mon, 11 Mar 2013 16:15:00 GMT
Nikon D7100 Announced! https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/2/nikon-d7100-announced Nikon D7100

Nikon announces the new D7100 DSLR!

Awesome specs, weather sealing, fast, fast fast Frames Per Sec! Great Digital Video!

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/nikon/news/nikon-announces-d7100-new-241mp-flagship-dx-format-dslr?BI=4906

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Nikon camera d7100 https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/2/nikon-d7100-announced Fri, 22 Feb 2013 01:12:00 GMT
Tutorial - Posing Techniques https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/2/posing-techniques

Posing Challenges

Posing a model can be a bit daunting for new photographers. Your telling people what to do, and photographers typically like to just capture the scene, rather than be the director. If you're going to work with people, portraits, models or fashion, then, at some point, giving some simple directions to your subjects can be very helpful. 

First of all, its important on a shoot to make a connection with your subjects and models.  If you can, make sure you spend some time before the shoot talking to your subjects. Get to know them. Help them feel relaxed around you. Talk about them first, before the shoot, about them, about their day, their expectations, etc. Do this before you talk about what's going to happen during the shoot. Make sure, though, that you do talk about the shoot. 

Keep plenty of good music on a handy iPod and speakers nearby if you are doing a model shoot as music can help set the mood. Ask your model if'd like to play their favorite music. When posing models, make sure you don't get touchy-feely. Respect their space. Have them fix something, or have an assistant, the subject's mom, or a stylist fix the hair, or outfit. Which brings up an important point... You do have a stylist, assistant, or chaperone present when working with children and teens, right? Again, make sure the model or subject feels comfortable. Having a female assistant working with you can make the teen or child feel safe and more at ease. 

Show your model how to pose, whether you do it yourself or have pictures or a posing card nearby. Sometimes it's easier than trying to talk your way through a pose. 

Once you have a good pose, take some shots. and then, you should move. Get a few shots from different angles of the same post. Use your zoom and move in our out. One good pose can have many good shots in it, if you change your perspective. Get zoomed in tight! Frame them up closely, and avoid a ton of background! 

During the shoot, feedback is important. Don't forget to keep reinforcing the good that your subjects are doing. Compliment them, genuinely, and not just idle "That's nice.." Keep directing and keep positive reinforcement throughout. Make your subject feel good and you'll get better results.

Common Posing Techniques For Women, Teens and Girls

Turn, Turn, Turn

Try to avoid posing people facing flat to the camera. Flattering photos of women often have the model posed with her shoulders slightly turned, one way and the head turned slightly looking back at the camera. If you see many creases in the neck, lessen the angle of the turn, and use the woman's hair to hide any creases. Shoulders and hips are the widest part of the body, and it is more flattering to slightly turn these parts and get a slimmer subject. Her foot closest to the camera can be slightly pointed to the camera. 

Arms To The Left, Arms To The Right

Many women and girls are self conscious about parts of their body. Believe it or not, upper arms are one part. Try to avoid having your models pose with their arms hanging flat against the body. Have your subject bend their elbows, and possibly have one hand on her back hip (she is posed slightly turned, right?) Have her hold a flower, or a book. The main thing is to try and get her to pose with a bend in her elbows.

While we are on the subject of bent arms and elbows, this should apply to knees as well. Have your subject slightly bend her knees. If she is slightly turned at the hips and shoulders, have her lean a bit into the photo. Have her tilt her head as well, and point her chin slightly towards the camera. All these small bends may feel awkward, at first, for your model, but they can help to get a more relaxed look and less uptight or stiff appearing subject.

If the model's face appears stiff, have your model take a deep breath and then let it out a few times. This often relaxes the face.

Posing Keys: Slightly turned shoulders and hips, arms and knees bent, weight on her back foot, and her head tilted to the side and slightly forward, leaning into the camera. 

Camera Placement

When shooting try to shoot at the subjects face level or above. This is just all that much more flattering for your subject. Just don't get too far above, or the head will look distorted and like a giant melon on a distended body! Shooting from above, besides getting better angles, is more natural. Our eyes and brain are used to seeing certain shadows. Odd black eyes, hollows and the dreaded up the nose shot can occur of you get too low.  A small step ladder can help.

Common Posing Techniques For Guys

Guys are both easier to shoot and more challenging. Guys are always trying to be cool and masculine. Avoid going overly artistic and making the guy look ridiculous. Most of the tips are the same, with the caveat that you can get a bit lower than eye level with guys. They appear to be bigger, more masculine, and more powerful when shot from below. You can have guys stand with arms on hips, legs apart and more straight on. Guys have have their arms crossed or have more attitude instead of simply relaxed. 

Remember, these are photography rules. Master them completely, and understand them.

Then go Break the Rules!

Posing Tips Tutorials http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/4/group-posing-techniques

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) framing men models photography posing subjects technique teens tutorial women https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/2/posing-techniques Fri, 08 Feb 2013 20:29:00 GMT
Tutorial - Rule of Thirds https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/1/tutorial---rule-of-thirds Rules, Rules, Rules...

There are rules everywhere... and photography has it's share!

Knowing the right rules, and how they affect your photos, means knowing when to ignore the rules. Hopefully, we can look at one fairly well known and very useful rule called The Rule Of Thirds, and understand it.

 

Good Composition can make or break your photo. People react, viscerally, and often subconsciously to certain elements. A photo with well executed composition elicits a different reaction than one that is poorly framed and composed. Most people can immediately tell you if they like a photo. But many will be hard pressed to tell you why they react to one differently than another. 

 

One element of composition is placing key subject matter at key points within the frame. Most cameras today have some kind of 'grid' that you can view in the LCD display setting to show the thirds when you’re composing your shot. They look something like this:

 

 

Not only will this grid help you to get used to composing along the thirds cross points, but also, it may help you line up your horizon to be straight. Now, some people may think, "I can always crop it later and get the composition right."  That's true, you could, but it's always better to get it right in camera and not worry, than to try and fix it in post production later and maybe miss the shot.

 

So, now you have this grid, what of it?

Well, the most important part of the grid, is the places where the lines intersect. These are sort of golden target zones!

If you are making photographs of people, place you subject at these intersections, and the photo will be that much more interesting. A person's head, or the eyes placed at the intersection of  horizontal and vertical lines in the Rule Of Thirds makes a very compelling photo. 

 

Landscape Photos, and Rule Of Thirds

Landscapes can benefit from the Rule of Thirds as well. Place the horizon on one of the lines. If you have an interesting sky, with puffy clouds or some great color, then, place the horizon line on the bottom line. If your land is more interesting, with meadows, lakes or streams, place the horizon on the top line. When composing your landscape, don't forget left to right, to use the rule of thirds as a guide as well. Put interesting mountains, or streams, on a line. 

 

Know When To NOT Do It!

Hopefully you’ll remember The Rule of Thirds when composing your photos. Hopefully, you'll also start to experiment with when not to use this rule. Symmetry is the most common example of a time to break the rules. Symmetry works well as composition by itself and can be accentuated by putting your symmetrical subject right in the middle. Think of a leading road, a dock leading out to a lake, etc.

 

Use this common technique and see how your photography can improve. You should see many people reaching out and getting more excited about your photos, as you hone your craft.

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) composition framing photography rule of thirds subjects tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2013/1/tutorial---rule-of-thirds Wed, 16 Jan 2013 17:06:00 GMT
Image - Christmas Time On Cape Cod https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/12/christmas-time-on-cape-cod  

Black-capped Chicadee in the Pines

This Black-Capped Chickadee was just happy eating in the Pines of Cape Cod.

 

Black-capped Chicadee, Poecile atricapillus, in the Scrub Pines, posing for the family Christmas Card, Truro MA, Cape Cod. Although all the locals grew up all calling them Scrub Pines, they are actually Pitch Pines. Pitch Pine, Pinus rigida, native to the eastern seaboard.

 
Available here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p974908608/h5074ceb6
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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Black-capped Chicadee Cape Cod Christmas Card Image Pinus rigida Pitch Pine Poecile atricapillus Scrub Pines Truro bird needles https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/12/christmas-time-on-cape-cod Wed, 26 Dec 2012 01:10:00 GMT
Tutorial - White Balance https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/12/tutorial---white-balance White Balance

White Balance, or rather, Correcting White Balance is the process of removing the color cast, so that your photos Look Right to the eye. Sometimes, when we use a type of light, the photo can look blue, yellow, or odd...

This is most likely, because the color temperature of the light shining on your photo was different than the camera was 'expecting.' In post processing, we can fix this, by telling the computer, that areas in the photo are true white. Our brains are pretty good at seeing an area of white and ID'ing it as white. Cameras, and their pesky computer brains are not quite as forgiving. They capture exactly what they've been told to, to the best of their ability. (A lot less ability than our eyes/brains can handle and process!!!)

This graphic, (below, from FilmMakerIQ) shows the apparent temperature that certain sources of light appear to be:

 

Image Credit: http://filmmakeriq.com/2012/11/white-balance-and-color-temperature-infographic/

Color Temperature

Color Temperature is tricky. Basically, our minds perceive a true white as about a 5000K - 5500K light source, which is a Mid Day Sun. Most decent flashes try to be between 5000K and 5500K. Anything less than 5500K is perceived as 'warmer orange'. Candles, Sunrise, Tungsten and Incandescent lights. Anything burning hotter than 5500K, is perceived as 'cooler blue', like cloudy daylight, shade, 'moonlight led's' some Actinic Lighting.

Post Processing

Most of us have Photoshop or Lightroom for post processing. The software has a setting for Adjusting the Lighting. Using your software, you can click on an area of true white, and tell the camera that this is white. In the same, Adjust Lighting you can also use your eyedropper tool to adjust the true black, as well as grey point.

Most of our cameras have some Preset White Balance settings. Understand these basic settings and you are on your way to better photos. You don't need to memorize the numbers, but you really should understand the concepts. Cool, daylight, warm, etc. Capturing Light is the only way we can get photos into our cameras. Understanding how to control and capture that light will make us all better photographers. 

 

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) color color temperature cool daylight flash photography sunlight tutorial warm white balance https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/12/tutorial---white-balance Thu, 13 Dec 2012 20:42:00 GMT
Tutorial - Aperture Priority https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/tutorial---aperture-priority We've delved a bit into Shutter speed, so now, let's take a look at Aperture

A reminder from our Exposure Triangle entry:

Aperture, in photography refers to the size of the opening in the lens, through which light travels onto the camera sensor. The larger the hole, the more light passes to the camera sensor. Aperture also controls the depth of field. Depth of Field is the part of a photo that appears to be in focus. If the aperture is small (a big f-stop number), the depth of field is large, and most or all of the photo is in focus. If the aperture is large (small f-stop number), the depth of field is small. F-stop numbers are expressed as a focal ratio, since the f-stop number is the ratio of the diameter of the lens aperture to the length of the lens. Examples of f-numbers are: f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/16, f/32. Remember, this is a ratio, so a tip is: big numbers mean big focus depth (f/16 or f/32) and small numbers mean small focus area (f1.4 or f/2.8). 

Moving from all Auto on your DSLR, to Aperture priority mode on your DSLR is one of the first steps that most photographers make when trying to understand their camera. It helps you take control and to get better. Congratulations, you are now on your way to learning your craft!

Of course, one of the challenges is now to understand all the settings and acronyms. Aperture Priority (A on the mode dial for Nikon, Av for Canon) is where you control the Aperture, or size of the lens opening, and let the camera guess at all the other settings.  The hardest part about Aperture is remembering, Low numbers means Bigger opening (We're dealing with math and a ratio of opening size to lens length. Ughh! Math...)

 Most people use Aperture setting if they want to control most of the picture outcome, but need to do so in a fast paced environment. With your thumb on the wheel, you can quickly dial the Aperture open or closed, and make the shot.

Depth Of Field Focus

Aperture allows you to control the Depth Of Field in your photos. If you want to make photos of say, a beautiful landscape, then, you want a larger Aperture number (f/16 or f/32) to allow you to get more of the Picture in focus. If you are shooting a person, say, perhaps from the waist up, and want to slightly blur the background, and make the subject the only focus, you would close down the Aperture, to perhaps f/5.6 or f/4. If you are shooting really close, macro photos, perhaps you want one leaf in focus, or one petal of a flower, then, you make your Aperture really small, at f/1.4 or f/2.0.

Stop Motion

Aperture can help you capture motion, as well. By making your camera opening larger, it allows you to make the shutter speed faster to get a Freeze in Action. Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO all work together to make the Photo! 

 

In this photo of the girls, the Aperture is opened up to f/8, which allows the faster Shutter Speed of 1/250th of a second. We've caught, frozen,  them as they step off the boat! 

Low Light

Aperture Priority also helps you make low light photos. For example, I work on many events, and most have theatrical lighting for mood and effect. Often, that means low light levels. When you need to let a lot of light in to help your camera make a sharp picture, working with Aperture (and Shutter Speed) can help you get the photo just right! A lens with a larger aperture  (Low number!) such as f/1.4 or f/2.8 can help your camera to ‘see in the dark.’ Shooting in Aperture Mode helps to ‘open up’ the camera’s eyes in the dark event venue, like in this photo of a 60's Warhol Event. Aperture is f/3.5 and Shutter speed is 1/125th. 

 

 

 

Andy Warhol at the Bar

 

 

Learning how to shoot in Aperture Priority Mode is a matter of understanding how aperture opening affects your photo. With a simple spin of your finger on the Aperture wheel, you can capture a range of different images and really up your photography game!

 

Exposure Triangle: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/tutorial---the-exposure-triangle

Shutter Speed Tutorial: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/what-is-it-about-waterfalls

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) depth of field freeze motion iso low light photography shutter speed tutorial https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/tutorial---aperture-priority Sat, 17 Nov 2012 21:16:00 GMT
Tutorial - Shutter Speed and Motion https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/what-is-it-about-waterfalls OK, so what does shutter speed mean?

You're comfortable making Photos, with your camera on Auto, and have even started using different settings for Aperture or Shutter on some photos. Now, you want to understand a bit more about how to get creative on some of your shots. Let's talk about Shutter Speed, and different effects on your photos.

To review:

Shutter Speed the length of time the camera's shutter is open to allow light into the camera sensor. Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of a second, when they are under a second. Slow shutter speeds allow more light into the camera sensor and are used for low-light and night photography, while fast shutter speeds help to freeze motion. Really slow shutter speeds, like more than a second, are often called Long Exposure. Examples of shutter speeds: 1/15 (or 1/15th of a second), 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/400, 1/800 and so on. Long exposure examples: 1' (1 second) 2', 5', 30' or even more.

What Is It About Waterfalls?

As a kid, I could not pass by running water. Whether it was a large fall or just some small trickle in the woods. I don't know what draws me to running water. I can watch and take pictures forever of waterfalls.

Let's say you want to to take some photos of water flowing. Maybe you want to stop the water motion, or maybe you want to enhance the feeling of flowing water. Using different settings for your shutter speed can enhance the mood for either.

 

Spillway In Motion

 

 

A slight, long exposure, so we can 'feel' the flowing water. In the photo above, I took the shot in Shutter Priority mode, meaning, I choose the Shutter Speed, and let the Camera think about Aperture. I set ISO to 800,  as I was under some cloud cover, and tree canopy. I also dialed in +1 EV.

 

Making any shot at under 1/60th of a second is difficult to do handheld. I set the camera on a tripod. Good, steady tripod. Also, this meant now I could take the photo with a few different settings and get the same framing. To get the water flowing, I set my Shutter to 1/13th of a second. Slow enough to get some blurring, but I still wanted some notion of water. Not silky smooth, like some flowing water photos. Usually, the slower you set the camera, the more silk or blur you will see in the water. too much and water looks unreal. Not enough and the water looks just out of focus.

 

Stop Right There!

 

Spillway in Concord MA

 

And again, only at 1/3200 to stop the motion... The faster the shutter speed (big number) the less blur. So, for here, I wanted to catch water in midair!

 

More Tutorials

Exposure Triangle:http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/tutorial---the-exposure-triangle

Aperture Tutorial: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/tutorial---aperture-priority

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) EV aperture iso photography shutter speed tutorial white balance https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/what-is-it-about-waterfalls Thu, 08 Nov 2012 01:09:00 GMT
Image - Walk In The Woods https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/10/walk-in-the-woods Kennedy's Pond, Concord

 

Kennedy's Pond, Concord MA.

Nothing beats a walk in the woods, to clear your mind and get inspired.

One can clearly see why Thoreau fell in love with Concord, MA, in the fall!

 

 

Picture Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p578168443/h48476b78

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Concord Kennedy's Pond MA fall image lake pond reflection scenic water woods https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/10/walk-in-the-woods Fri, 26 Oct 2012 23:03:00 GMT
Image - Why Shoot? https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/10/why-shoot  

Beachfire Coals

 

Somewhere, way back when, I was a wee kid of about 6 or 7. I saw my parents, involved in theatre. I knew what plays were, and as part of my “play,” I did shows as well.

In elementary, middle and high school, I was involved in and extremely active, in shows. Whether it was Theater, Concerts or events, I was into it! I continued on, in College. In fact, I majored in Technical Theater. 

 

Lighting Design is a passion. I love light. I love the play of darks and lights. I love color and love movement. I am hooked on light.

 

This all translates into another love... Photography.

I shot my first photos, as a kid, on a “Brownie” from age 5 or so. I’ve had a dozen cameras, through the ages, from that Brownie, to Polaroids, to film, on up through DSLR’s.

I shoot Nikon, now, simply because, I owned the lenses, and followed through. (The Nikon v. Canon game is silly to me!) My wife grew up with family working at Polaroid, and she too, worked there. We have more than our share of Polaroid gear, sitting in closets, somewhere.

 

But, through it all, I love light! I love following the light, capturing the light and showing off! I can stop roadside and let my mind wonder over the play between clouds, a mountain top and the sun.

Pity my poor kids, because, frankly, they’ve become “infected” with this affliction as well!

 

Picture Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p875066005/h4d9ef9d4

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) beach bonfire coals ember fire flame glow heat hot image log https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/10/why-shoot Thu, 11 Oct 2012 23:00:00 GMT
Lifelong Learning https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/9/lifelong-learning  

Rigging the Georgia Dome

 

No matter how your last shot came out, nothing is more important than learning how to get better!

 

I am always looking at other photographers, going to local exhibits, talking with shooters on how to get better. I watch online “classes” from others, and try to see the steps they take to make themselves better.

 

I’m not talking about using the same lens and same settings, or the same gear, but understand the process that good photographers use, to get the shot!

 

I hope you too, will do the same. 

 

Picture Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p103517494/h26aed197#h26aed197

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) cable events lekos lights motors pars rigging truss https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/9/lifelong-learning Fri, 14 Sep 2012 22:58:00 GMT
Notes Bluefin Tuna https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/bluefin-tuna  

Giant Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

 

Our namesake, Bluefin Tuna, is in serious trouble. This majestic species has been driven to the brink of extinction from overfishing. The species in the greatest danger of slipping into extinction is the western north Atlantic population of bluefin tuna.  One of the spawning grounds for the species is the Gulf Of Mexico. I don’t want to get into a debate on all the other issues, but I will say, the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf will eviscerate the spawning grounds of the Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.

 

Bluefin Tuna are right now moving into their spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, Bluefin are only in the Gulf for one month, according to Biologist Barbara Bock.

 

"The giant bluefin only show up for about a month, and this is the time they show up," Stanford University marine biologist Barbara Block told AOL News. "Bluefin tuna are moving to the Gulf of Mexico exactly right now to spawn." Plus, she said, the spill is centered around one of the preferred breeding areas. "Many of the tuna go exactly to that region."

 

"There is a much larger disaster unfolding here environmentally than people realize," she said. "There is a lot of focus on the Louisiana shoreline, but this is America's greatest fisheries nursery, and we've got to pay attention to what's going on immediately."

 

 

From ICCAT: WITH over 4 decades of overfishing, the fish population has been driven to just fraction of its 1970 or pre-longlining stocks - a decline of 90 plus%.  

 

In comparison to Bluefin, Atlantic white marlin abundance has been driven to 6% of its pre-longlining stocks, and Atlantic blue marlin has been driven to 20% of its pre-longlining stocks.

 

ICCAT is controlled by commercial interests and NOT recreational fisherman or conservationists. ICCAT frequently ignores it’s own scientists in making rulings about quota, tonnage and landings.

 

So, while we are all for energy independence, we have to realize that energy independence must be tempered with the reality that we are the stewards for the planet. We have to manage our resources around us. Even if it means higher costs for oil.

 
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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) ICCAT Thunnus thynnus bluefin tuna giant tuna ocean oceanography research science spawning western atlantic bluefin tuna https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/bluefin-tuna Thu, 16 Aug 2012 03:50:00 GMT
Business - Gear Bag https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/gear-bag  

 

The Watcher

 

 

None of This Matters!

None of what we own and what we shoot with matters to you. Or should anyway. Want to know a secret?

The best camera is the one you have with you. Ask any pro, and they'll tell you the same thing. It's not about the gear, it's abut what you do with it, that counts.

 

This is what's Our Camera Bags!

Having said that, here's what's in our gear bag:

 

Camera Bodies:

Nikon d7000 (2)

Nikon d3200

Nikon d50

 

Lenses

Telephoto and Zooms

Nikon 28-300mm

Nikon 70-300mm

Tamron 200-500mm

 
Travel Lenses

Nikon 18-55mm

Tamron 18-270mm

 

Sigma 18-55mm

 

 

Landscape Lenses
Tokina 11-16mm

 

Lighting:

Speedlights: Nikon SB800, Nikon SB600

Florescent and Tungsten studio lights, 3200k par 38s, LED Par 64’s, ETC Source4 575w Pars, Arri 650w, Arri 150w

 

Over 100 Different Lee, Rosco and GAM Gel Colors in stock including Color Correction, Diffusion and Neutral Density. 

Over 5o different Apollo and Rosco Lighting Gobo’s in stock. Many custom flags and gobos.

 

Grip Gear:

Manfrotto and Bogen Tripods and Ball Heads

Mole Richardson Baby rollers, American Grip C-stands, Combo heads, misc grip gear, clamps, adapters.

 

Misc.:

Mountainsmith Camerabags, Neewer and Westcott Reflectors, Cowboy Studio Reflectors, a bunch of Softboxes from about 6inch to 24inch, Backdrops, Scrims, Diffusers, clamps, sandbags, clothespins, butterfly clamps, and a whole passel of props!

Photo Available Here: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/p974908608/h5074ceb6#h469c47a0

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) Buteo jamaicensis Red Tailed Hawk bird business hawk photography https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/gear-bag Fri, 10 Aug 2012 22:47:00 GMT
Tutorial - The Exposure Triangle https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/tutorial---the-exposure-triangle Anyone Can Make A Picture.

But, making good photos is hard. You can snap hundreds, and hope things come out right, or, you delve a bit into understanding light and your camera settings, and make good photos.

 

One of the first steps to good photos, is an understanding of ISOShutter Speed and Aperture – or the Exposure Triangle.

Most DSLRs have “Auto” modes that automatically guess the right shutter speed, aperture and ISO for your shot. But, using Auto mode puts limits on what you can achieve. As I said, the camera has to guess what the right exposure should be by evaluating the light that comes into the lens.

 

Eliminate the guesswork. Understand how ISO, shutter speed and aperture work together to allow you to take charge of your photos. Once you can manually control your camera, you can be creative and dictate good and bad photos.

 

Bad news Alert! There's math involved! Kinda...

 

ISO is the amount of sensitivity of your camera to light. It is typically measured in numbers, with a lower number meaning lower sensitivity to available light, and higher numbers meaning more sensitivity. More sensitivity comes at the cost: more ISO means graininess or noise in the images. Examples of ISO: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, etc.

 

Shutter Speed the length of time the camera's shutter is open to allow light into the camera sensor. Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of a second, when they are under a second. Slow shutter speeds allow more light into the camera sensor and are used for low-light and night photography, while fast shutter speeds help to freeze motion. Really slow shutter speeds, like more than a second, are often called Long Exposure. Examples of shutter speeds: 1/15 (or 1/15th of a second), 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/400, 1/800 and so on. Long exposure examples: 1' (1 second) 2', 5', 30' or even more.

 

Aperture, in photography refers to the size of the opening in the lens, through which light travels onto the camera sensor. The larger the hole, the more light passes to the camera sensor. Aperture also controls the depth of field. Depth of Field is the part of a photo that appears to be in focus. If the aperture is small (a big f-stop number), the depth of field is large, and most or all of the photo is in focus. If the aperture is large (small f-stop number), the depth of field is small. F-stop numbers are expressed as a focal ratio, since the f-stop number is the ratio of the diameter of the lens aperture to the length of the lens. Examples of f-numbers are: f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/16, f/32. Remember, this is a ratio, so a tip is: big numbers mean big focus depth (f/16 or f/32) and small numbers mean small focus area (f1.4 or f/2.8). 

 

More Tutorials on Settings:

Aperture Tutorial: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/tutorial---aperture-priority

Shutter Speed Tutorial: http://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/11/what-is-it-about-waterfalls

 

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) aperture iso photography shutter speed tutorials https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/8/tutorial---the-exposure-triangle Mon, 06 Aug 2012 15:49:00 GMT
Welcome https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/6/welcome HI All

Welcome to Bluefin Productions Studios.

We love to say this: "We shoot things for fun!"

We've been shooting for a few years and are pleased to showcase our work, here on Zenfolio!

Linnea, Kirsten, Dianne and Greg

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gregp@bluefinstudios.com (Bluefin Studios) https://www.bluefinstudios.com/blog/2012/6/welcome Thu, 07 Jun 2012 16:35:43 GMT