Rare Photograph: Jaguar at Midnight

Any photographer of big cats knows that it's extremely difficult to get a nicely composed and properly exposed picture of a jaguar deep within the jungle at night.

Click here to see one from National Geographic. Now that's a cool rare image.

My attempt is the image you see here.

Like the look of the big cat at night? Well, you can achieve it, too.

You see, I took the picture in the Belize Zoo during the day - and then added the Midnight filter in Nik Color Efex Pro. What fun - and I did not have to stay up 'till midnight.

Click here to get a discount on all Nik Plug-ins.

Explore the Light,
Rick

Double Take of 007

A recent article in the Los Angles Times on the use of Photoshopped images reminded me of an ad I ad seen in a magazine and a video I had watched on YouTube - and how different the subject looks in the ad.

Here's the link to the ad.

Here's the link to the video. Watch the entire video.

Just something to think about....

Explore the light,
Rick
P.S. Hope to see you at a future Photoshop World.. where I demo Photoshop techniques :-)

Boring Snapshots Can Bring Back Fond Memories

My son is going off to college next week.

I remember when he was born, and when he spent most of the day resting in his crib. What a joy to watch.

I remember holding his hand and taking care of him when he needed me. Talk about feeling important.

I remember his early steps and his first words. Of course he was the smartest person ever born in the history of the world. (Hey, he's going to Johns Hopkins, so the kid ain't stupid.)

Recently, he has not been around much - hanging out with his friends, as it should be. When he is home, he spends a few hours a day alone at his computer - IMing, emailing, etc.

I have lots of boring snapshots that I took of him growing up. I'd share them, but to you, they would be boring. Rather, I share these snapshots with you, which illustrate each of the aforementioned developmental points: resting, needing, first steps, being alone.

I sure am glad I have those snapshots of my son. They bring back great memories of a time that went way too fast.

So the point of this homily: Sure, make the best possible pictures. However, don't overlook the importance of snapshots. Take them, too.

And here's a photo tip: Always have a camera with you! My Canon G10 is my constant companion. Top two shots were taken with that camera.

Rick
P.S. I kinda like these boring snapshots. They bring back nice memories of watching a "Bambie" growing up in my back yard. (Believe it or not, I posted a "Bambie" picture recently on Facebook and got hate mail. Someone wanted to kill all the deers in my area because of Lyme disease... which I have had 2x. Please, no hate mail :-)

Reality Leaves a Lot to the Imagination

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." – John Lennon

When we remove some of the color from an image, or change the color in an image, we remove some of the reality.

When we add noise (grain), we remove some of the reality.

When we remove some of the sharpness, we also remove some of the reality.

When we remove some of the reality, our pictures can (but not always) look more artistic and creative.

Plug-ins help us remove reality quickly and easily. Here I used the Old West effect in onOne Software's PhotoTools, and then added a camera frame in onOne's PhotoFrame Professional.

Have some fun today removing the reality from an image with plug-ins. Many plug-ins offer free trials.

Check out the poll on the right. What's your favorite plug-in?

Wanna save some $ while feeling creative? You can get a discount on several plug-ins at The Plugin Experience.

Explore the light,
Rick

Beware of the Background!

Hi All

This is a real ad that I found in a magazine.

It reminded me of one of my main photo tips: Be Aware of the Background. Or, Beware of the Background - it can make or break a shot!

Explore the light - and watch the background,
Rick
P.S. My guess is that many readers of this blog post would have composed this picture differently :-)