Go Blue For Winter Photography

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Go blue for that cold, cold feeling

Tune up your colors by sliding the hue over into the blue a bit. Winter photographs are not that sensitive to colors, being mostly blue and white anyway.
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I generally prefer warm colors but sometimes cold is better. This next picture will illustrate my point even better. This is a picture of one of the barn at Foresta in Yosemite National Park. Yes, I got my feet wet.

Barn and Creek
The shadows and water really helped with the cold feeling. You can change the settings in your camera but I prefer to shoot in auto color balance and then touch up the pictures when I get home. Some will need a touch up while most won’t.

Amazon has a real good deal on Photoshop that I have started to use.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom)
I don’t use Lightroom but a lot of photographers swear by it. Check them out!

Keep your feet dry and keep on shooting!

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HIGH OVER COLORADO IN A HOT AIR BALLOON

AA-DSC00615The greatest enjoyment I get out of my cameras is that they take me to wonderful places and let me enjoy the view over and over again. I took these pictures from a hot air balloon over Snowmass, Colorado.
Lens was at 14mm, the aperture at f/4 so I could get a decent 1/250th shutter speed. It’s hard to go wrong when you are in a smooth sailing, slow motion hot air balloon!

AA-DSC00673Golfer and mower in the morning light.
The early morning start we got with the balloon made for some really fine directional light and dramatic shadows.

AA-DSC00561More power Scotty!
Propane flame providing the lift and the wind giving us a push.

Great fun over Snowmass, Colorado

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SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA ASK

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I spotted this young lady doing this pose just as I drove into the parking lot. Of course by the time by the time I got the pickup stopped and got out with my camera, she was done and started to walk away.
“Stop, stop, stop, please do that pose again.” The lady looked at me like I was crazy but after I explained that her pose made the perfect picture, she did pose for me. Lovely woman.
This just goes to show that photographers should not “shoot and run” but take an active role in the art of picture making. Have fun while you are doing it.
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This is an image of our grandtwins out on their first horseback ride. They just recently turned 6. What a precious pair!

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Vasquez Rocks

SONY DSC I’ve seen these rock formations so many times in movies, shows and commercials it drove me nuts not knowing where to find them. Then finally I lucked out and spotted the Vasquez Rocks on Flickr and was able to get the location. So, to spare you the grief, here it is:
10700 West Escondido Canyon Road
Agua Dulce, CA  91350
(661) 268-0840
These rock formations have been in Star Trek (The Gorn), in movies (The Flintstones) and countless commercials.
Here is a more or less complete list:

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I enjoy going to these “famous” places and taking pictures of them.
The visual appeal of this rock formation is immediately apparent.

The place is actually quite small. I had to use a 24mm lens to get the bottom picture.

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FOR THE BIRDS

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Fun day at the beach watching the antics of children and gulls.
This particular gull was focused on the lunch people were having.
I caught this guy with my Nikon D5100, which of course is a discontinued camera, but I like it and will continue to use it as long as it keeps working.
I’m not much on having to have the latest photography gear preferring to spend my loose coins on road trips.
The lens I used was my old 18-200mm Nikon zoom. Also discontinued but replaced with the new jack of all trades, the new Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm.
I don’t make all that many prints anymore, targeting my imaging for display on Flickr or Facebook. I’m not a pro and I don’t shoot with my cell phone. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I prefer playing with real photography equipment.
Anyway, have fun taking pictures!

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MANZANAR NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

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Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California’s Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles (370 km) northeast of Los Angeles. Manzanar (which means “apple orchard” in Spanish) was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former camp sites, and is now the Manzanar National Historic Site, which preserves and interprets the legacy of Japanese American incarceration in the United States.(WIKI)
For me this is always such a sad, sad site to see. Americans imprisoning Americans. It just goes to prove what I have always been saying. The Bill of rights should be called THE TEN SUGGESTIONS.
I think every American should pay the place a visit and certainly, bring the kids.Photographing is a simple matter of bringing your camera. Just straight forward shooting, even with cell phones will do the job.
For this image I used my old and deceased Nikon D5000. Those cameras get very angry when you pour a ice chest full of cold water on them. I replaced that camera with the Nikon D5200
I love the articulated display, something I feel to be essential on every photo shoot I do.

I used the same equipment for this image, taken at the camp cemetery with Mt Whitney in the background.

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Two different lenses but essentially one type of photo

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The more or less standard way to photograph something up close. Use a medium tele, in this case a 135mm and shoot wide open (lowest f/stop number” for that beautiful bokeh or blurred background. It’s also a good idea to experiment with 2 or 3 different f/stops for different effects.
This is the way most people like to do their close-up photography.
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I however, have a different solution, for a more different and “wilder look”.
I use the Nikon Fisheye for a lot of my closeup imaging. I set the f/stop at f/2.8 for maximum bokeh.
The flowers are starting to bloom, so now is a good time to stock up on lenses. Don’t be shy about using Nikon’s Fisheye. It rocks!

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FRYING EGGS ON THE DEVILS GOLF COURSE IN DEATH VALLEY

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Of course you can’t fry an egg at 120F!
I thought it funny that someone had tried to do that just before I arrived.
I looked around but could not find any campers nearby, so I assume they got disgusted and left.
No photography tips with this short article, I just wanted to share this because I thought it was funny.
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MADE ONE FRIEND AND ONE WHO THOUGHT ME CRAZY

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This was at Badwater Basin in Death Valley. It was about 120F or 48.9C in the month of July. The gentleman and I got to talking, I found out they were from Finland. We laughed about the difference in climate. Then he said “coming to Death Valley in July is crazy, no?” I told him no, it’s not crazy. I told him that whenever he told the story about going to death Valley he would have bragging rights because he went in July, probably the worst month. He would be able to thrill his friends with stories of death threatening temperatures and the high price of ice.
That cheered him up but his wife said something like “Oh my Gott” and moved on. There is no pleasing everyone.
Sure July is a horrible month to visit Death Valley, but any woos can go in December.
Anyway, I have to laugh thinking about his wife because my granddaughter Megan felt pretty much the same way.
There are no secrets to photographing in Death Valley. Bring plenty of liquids, make sure your ice chest is full of ice and keep your body covered if you are sensitive to the sun.

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