8.30.11 Tuesday's Talented Twitter Find: Joseph Gutiz

This week's Tuesday's Talented Twitter Find is Joseph Gutiz.

Follow Joseph on twitter.

About My Tuesday's Talented Twitter Find: Each Tuesday (when I am not traveling) I will pick a talented photographer I find on Twitter - and promote the talented photographer here on my blog and on twitter, etc.

Nice work Joseph.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you are not following me on Twitter, click here to keep up to date with what I'm doing. And, keep posting interesting photo stuff on Twitter!

Top Tips for Photograping Waterfalls - From Hal "Hurricane" Schmitt and Yours Truly

Photographs by Rick Sammon
"Hurricane Hal," formerly known as Bull Schmitt from the Light Photographic Workshops, is here in Croton on Hudson, New York shooting with me - because Hurricane Irene washed out his B&H seminar.

Today we photographed waterfalls - large and small. Here are a few tips, from Hurricane Hal and me, for capturing the beauty of flowing water.

• Use a tripod - to steady your camera during long exposures.
• Shoot at 1 second or more to blur moving water.
• Pack a ND (Neutral Density) filter, which will let you shoot at slow shutter speeds in bright light.
• A polarizing filter can also reduce the amount of light entering the lens.
• Use your camera's self-timer or a cable release to avoid camera shake during a long exposure.
• Check your histogram to check your exposure.
• Bring a lens cloth to keep your lens clean.
• Use Live View to check your scene - composition, focus and exposure. Zoom in for precise focus.

Here is a link to our waterfalls tips' movie.

Here is a fun link to my double rainbow movie.

Hurricane Hal and I hope to see you at the California Photo Fest in October in California.

Explore the light,

P.S. Here's a hand-held pano I took this morning. Another double rainbow. What does it mean?

Also, we shoot here during my Croton Creative workshop.
Five-image pano. Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40mm lens. Stitched in Photoshop's Photomerge.
Here are some pano tips from Hurrican Hal.

Friday's Fab Photographer: Michael Rosenbaum

Each Friday, I try to run a post here: Friday's Fab Photographer. This week's fab photographer is Michael Rosenbaum.

Take it away Michael.

Thank you, Rick, for the opportunity to present some ideas from my recent PSA article. It was a huge honor to get your email and a privilege to prepare this. 

Photographing birds in motion (most often in flight) is both a challenge and a pleasure. For some it is as much sport as skeet shooting, though with memorable images as the reward.  

There is an adrenaline rush that accompanies quickly firing off frame after frame, trying to get a definitive action capture. But, like any other skill, action photography requires some practice and, for some, modification of shooting techniques. Following are some essentials and some suggestions for capturing birds in motion and producing memorable images.

Whether you shoot in shutter speed priority, aperture priority, or manual, here are some observations that have worked for me:  A shutter speed of at least 1/1000 is usually necessary for a sharp flight shot, often 1/2000; feel free to shoot at an ISO which maximizes your camera's shutter speed so long as it doesn't create noise you don't want to deal with when processing; feel free to photograph with a wide open aperture, especially in low light.  

A word about the aperture: Because the bird is usually flying at some distance from you, it is perceived by the camera as being on one focal plane as opposed to a bird which is perched close to you. Because the camera perceives the bird as being on one focal plane, the whole bird should be in focus.  go to higher apertures when I want to photograph more than one bird or when I want to limit the amount of light reaching my sensor.

Two final points: 1) I turn off my image stabilization for action photography. Because I am shooting over 1/1000th of a second shutter speed,  IS becomes redundant and costs a bit of time to engage, a bit of time I am losing; 2) don't be GREEDY--trying to get a bird in flight full-frame is almost a guarantee for going home with amputated wings or beaks. I generally use a zoom and back off from full frame so the bird is only filling 25% of the frame (if that). I do go home with some keepers.

As with anything else, practice, practice, practice. And learn to predict behavior. Knowing when a bird is about to take off is valuable information, learned by frequent observation.  However, once you begin to get some keepers I hope you will experience the joy that comes of capturing and sharing nature's beauty.

• • • • •

Michael Rosenbaum is 2nd Vice-Chairman of the Nature Division of the Photographic Society of America. He also belongs to NANPA and the Everglades Photographic Society. He has lived in Florida for 20 years.
More of Michael’s images may be viewed on his Flickr.com web-page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michael_rosenbaum/

He can be contacted at polyandy@comcast.net.

• • • • • 
Thank you Michael for a wonderful article.

If you are interested in photographing birds in flight, I have two workshops coming up:

Bosque del Apache, New Mexico

We will also be photographing birds in Merritt Island during my January Florida Photo Caravan.

Explore the light,

Thursday's Travelogue: Mono Lake, California

All photographs © Rick Sammon
This is part of a series I run here on my blog: Thursday's Travelogue. This week Mono Lake, California.

Mono lake is one of my favorite places to shoot landscapes. In fact, it will be one of the stops on my 2012 Photo Caravan, In The Footsteps of Ansel Adams.

Photo tips:
• South Tufa is the best place to shoot.
• Sunrise is the best time to shoot - but moonrise could be cool!
• Drive to South Tufa in daylight before your sunrise shoot. The gravel road leading to the parking lot has not lights.
• Get on site early. Very early. Many other photographers show up to shoot the sunrise.
• Plan more than one sunrise shoot. You just never know, as illustrated by the two sunrise pictures in this post.
• You'll need a flashlight for your early morning shoots.
• Work with reflections. Usually, the water is calmer earlier in the day.

• Shoot HDR. The opening image for this post is an HDR image. Click here for discounts on Photomatix Pro and Nik HDR Efex Pro.
• Wear waterproof sandals and shorts... as you may be walking through the water, as I did, to get to a good shooting spot.
Teva Men's Toachi 2 Outdoor Performance Sandal,Raven,9 M US
• Waders are another option for keeping dry.
• Tote a tripod, which you may be placing in the water. Rinse it off afterward.
• Pack a polarizing filter to reduce the glare on water.
Tiffen 72mm Circular Polarizer
• Mono lake is mostly wide-angle photography.

Travel Tips:
• Have dinner at the Historic Mono Lake Inn. Call in advance.
• Make your hotel reservations early.
• If you will be driving over the Tioga Pass, check to see that it's not closed due to snow - even in the late spring/early summer.
• You will be relatively close to Bodie State Historical Park, Yosemite and Alabama Hillls. Plan a trip.
• You must eat at the Whoa Nellie Deli at the Tioga Gas Mart. It's fun and fabulous! 

Bodie State Historical Park is a great place for HDR.
For more info on Mono Lake, click here.

Explore the light,

P.S. See past travelogues below:

Mt. Rainier

St. Augustine

Bosque del Apache

My Light It! App Is Loaded with Lighting Tips

Looking for some basic lighting tips? Check out my best-selling app, Rick Sammon's Light It!

If you don't want to read this long blog post, click here see the intro movie (posted on SmugMug) - which includes a mini-lesson on lighting :-)

Click here to order the app. It's only $4.99!

My Light It! app, introduced in August 2010, is designed to help you make (not just take) professional-quality digital SLR people pictures – without spending a small fortune on professional lighting accessories. It's ideal for photographers who want to learn about shooting with an accessory flash and basic lighting accessories. Some of my favorite photo philosophies are included, too.

The 1.5 hour training app (packed with 1.5 GB of info) includes both video lessons and before/after photographs. At 1.5 GB you want to download Light It! from your home computer and then transfer it to your iPad. 

Yes! Light It! is large and will take some time to download. Maybe download before going to bed.

I took the illustrative photographs with a range of Canon digital SLR cameras – from entry-level to top-of-the-line models. While watching the video lessons, you’ll learn how pros photograph people indoors and outdoors, in bright light and in low light, at home and on location, and even in a studio. In looking at the photographs in Light It! you’ll see the effects of my recommended techniques.

In the easy-to-follow and fun video lessons I’ll show you how to use reflectors, diffusers, a flash, flash accessories, basic strobe kits, basic hot-light kits and more. I also cover camera settings, as well as some of my photo philosophies. Although I often refer to specific cameras, the basic camera settings can be applied to any digital SLR - and even some compact cameras.

Two of the videos in Light It! – Top 21 People Photography Tips and Top Ten Digital Photography Tips – feature some of my favorite digital SLR pictures from around the world, accompanied with how-to tips, of course!

Light It! is a basic, or starter, app about lighting. However, as you will see, pros use many of these techniques and accessories to get great shots. 

The movies for Light It!, shot by Emmy-award winner David Leveen, are divided into five sections:

Basics: 33 Minutes
Outdoors: 15 Minutes
In Your Home: 16 Minutes
On-Location: 12 Minutes
Studio Shooting: 23 Minutes

Hey! I told you Light It! is loaded with lighting info!

The total viewing time is about 1.5 hours.What’s more, I have included more than 100 end-result pictures in the app to illustrate the techniques I discuss in the lessons. So in effect, Light It! is like taking a private lesson with me – but only at your own pace.

To see all my apps, click here.

I hope you enjoy Light It! Let me know by shooting me an email.

Explore the Light – and explore the joy of lightingpeople photography.

P.S. To learning lighting on site, check out my Master Your Flash Workshops in Croton on Hudson, NY.