“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all,” wrote Stanley Horowitz. It is apparently the succinctness and vividness with which Horowitz describes autumn that has so resonated with people searching for seasonally appropriate quotes. Accordingly, the macro images that follow all embody, to one degree or another, the brilliant patchwork of seasons that is autumn.
Macro photography can be incredibly fun and rewarding. It can also be a challenge. That macro photography poses a challenge probably isn’t the sole factor that keeps most people away, however; it’s more likely to be the perceived high cost of admission along with not knowing if they are up to the challenge. Nobody wants to pour money into something they’re not good at. Of course there’s a more expensive side to macro photography, particularly when it comes to dedicated macro lenses, which are specially designed for high magnification and enhanced sharpness; but a macro lens isn’t the only path into close up photography. If you want to get your feet wet and not spend a lot of money, extension tubes might be the perfect solution for you.
With the arrival of new iPhone models and the improvements (however marginal) to the built-in camera, there is always a renewed interest in photography related apps that expand the usability of the native camera app or that are in some other way of use to photographers. There are lots of cool, practical, innovative, and fun apps out there to choose from — here are 5 that I find particularly worth your consideration.
Paths, trails, or whatever else one might call them, are curious things. In some cases, it’s quite obvious that a great many people (and animals) have walked along a particularly rugged route countless times over the years, while other pathways are deliberately placed, meticulously designed, and regularly manicured. No matter their origin or intended use, trails can be enchanting and inviting or they can fill prospective travelers with a sense of foreboding and mystery. And sometimes they can do all these things at once. From a photography perspective, trails have a lot to teach us about composition, framing, mood, and geometry. The images represent all that is intriguing and instructive about pathways. Enjoy.
Night time photography is surprisingly similar to daytime photography in the sense that it’s all about finding the right light. Obviously, things are considerably more challenging at night, and while it may appear your opportunities are severely limited once the sun dips below the horizon, you should think in terms of having a different set of opportunities rather than having fewer of them. If you’ve been looking to get started with night time photography, the tips below should be of some interest to you.
There are numerous factors that go into making eye-catching portraits. But an important (and sometimes overlooked) characteristic of a good portrait is that it is free of distractions. Any number of things could act as a distraction and it is easy to take care of the most obvious problems like stray hairs or blemishes. But be sure that you don’t neglect the background. Don’t worry if you don’t have a studio and backdrops for your portrait sessions; there are plenty of other ways to include — or exclude — a background so that it enhances rather than distracts from your image.
Are you into macro photography? Are you into eBooks? Good, because I think you’re going to love Introduction to Close-Up & Macro Photography by Ed Verosky. The eBook seeks to alleviate much of the anxiety surrounding macro photography by addressing the most pressing points of inquiry and providing the reader with a roadmap to producing wonderful macro images.
Blurry images are the bane of a photographer’s existence. I’ve yet to meet a photographer who has ever stated anything even remotely resembling the following: “After spending a day out with my camera, I don’t mind unloading my memory card and discovering that 75% of my photos are blurry.” Nope. Never. Unless you intend a shot to be blurry for some artistic reason, blur is something everyone tries desperately to avoid and rightfully so, as this can easily render a perfectly composed shot of your ideal subject useless.
What do you think of when you hear the term “special effects”? Given the ubiquity of “Photoshopped” images in our culture, I suppose we have to forgive people who immediately and singularly relate photographic special effects to digital manipulation. In a pre-Photoshop world, photographers had to endure hours of darkroom work in order to achieve the look they desired for their photos. These days any one of us can totally transform an image in a matter of a few keystrokes and mouse-clicks. But there are, in fact, special effects of a certain kind than can be achieved in-camera — no fancy software needed.
Chances are you’re using Lightroom and getting along with it just fine. But, as is the case with nearly any application, there is always some “hidden” or overlooked feature that would certainly be beneficial if only you knew it existed or knew how to use it. So whether you’re a recent Lightroom convert or adoptee just getting acclimated to a new workspace, or a longtime Lightroom user who has simply been content to use the same few tools each time you work, I will show you 5 Lightroom tools that you may want to put to use on a regular basis.