Monday, February 29, 2016



This is a two part special on SPRING !!!   Yea !!  Is it here  !   Well, for  most of us, it is here, on and off!  We have a few good days, then we have the cold storms still, but, then it gets nice again, and that's kind of how spring is around the world.  So, it's a great time to get excited to get out and take pictures of spring things!  So, what do we take pictures of in the spring?  Well, spring is a renewal of the earth, and I think the one thing that we first notice is the new flower and birds that come back to us each year.  So, with that, I have put together some of the most beautiful collection of photos from around the world of flowers, birds, and those things that spring brings to us.  So, enjoy this gallery of great "spring things".  Then at the end, I will have just one more course on how to take great photos in the spring !


Photo credit:  Saochan 1931
(Something we see a lot of this time of year:  the fruit tree blossom!  They are very beautiful
especially if you can get a good closeup like this and see the delicate nature of the blossom)

Photo credit: Ahmet Kemal Solmaz
(One of the first signs of spring is the emergence of the tulip.  A beautiful flower, and
now in so many designs and shapes, they have become a symbol of spring)  

Photo Credit:  Dariusz Bibik
(Another flower of the spring is the beautiful "crocus".  So small, but, one of the most
beautiful flowers of spring.  Get close to really enjoy this flower.)

Photo credit:  Gil Gautier

Photo by Filippo Barbaria
(Spring is a time for new puppies and kittens.  It seems like the new animals are all out in spring, right?)

To take interesting photos of nature, you don’t need go to some exotic place. Just step out of your door and turn around. Someone has planted flowers in front of the building? That could be the perfect place to trigger a few photos! For some unusual and interesting flower photography, take a trip to nature, maybe to park or a forest. But first, check out what we found:

flower, purple, green
photo by Ram Yoga
pink, flower
photo by Bowen Chin
yellow, flower, garden, springplant
photo by Felix Meyer
purple, flower, lines
photo by photophile

photo by Felix Meyer
spring, color, beauty, flower
photo by Bonnie Tsang
purple, yellow, blue, flower
photo by Mark Freeth
tulips, red, flower
photo by Ken Slade
sunflower, field, flower
photo by mrhayata
Short of ideas and inspiration when you want to go out and shoot some photographs? If you have a garden, then step outside your door and into a world of inspiration. There is just so much to shoot—and right on your doorstep. Here are some great keys to having fun as you learn digital photography in your backyard.
flower photography
“serendipity” captured by aenimation
I have always enjoyed shooting in my garden, as there are so many different subjects and ideas. But of course, flowers are most times the winners; with their amazing colors, it’s always time for photos. Let’s take a look at some ideas.

Don’t just stand in front of a beautiful flower bed and press the shutter button expecting amazing images. It doesn’t happen like that. Besides the fact that most amateur photographers do this, it just doesn’t make a great image. Think before you shoot. Move around and use your feet this time instead of your head. If there is an obstruction, move it or climb over it. It’s your job to get the shot. Once you see what your images look like from different angles, you’ll be hooked for life.

If you haven’t already taken photos while on your stomach or on your back, then swallow your pride and try it out. Of course if you are in your own garden then it’s no problem. Getting down low allows you to explore an angle that is seldom used. How many people do you see lying down in public on their stomachs or backs? If you could see the great photos that result from these embarrassing positions, you’d be doing it all the time. I still get a little shy when shooting like this in public, though.
garden flower photography
“Rain drops on the petal” captured by Pavlina Jane

Get up nice and high by climbing a tree or raising your hand above your head and shooting. By doing this, your perspective changes totally. You can shoot like this zoomed in or using a wide angle. Either way will result in a unique image. Just standing on a chair or a short ladder will add a new dimension to your garden photography. A quick tip here—always maintain your self-awareness and know where you are at all times. You don’t want to step back off a chair or ladder.

Don’t be afraid to clean up a little or do a bit of spring cleaning in the area where you’re shooting. Tidy up the leaves on the ground and remove any dead foliage. This clutter is not necessary in the image, and you probably would’ve cleaned it anyway if you were doing the gardening. There’s nothing worse than an out of place brown leaf in a colorful photo. You can even use a little garden wire to support a flower so that it stays in the right place against your background.
garden photography tips
“He Is Risen!” captured by Debra Vanderlaan

Often when we are doing flower photography we forget that by getting close up the depth of field gets shallower and we need longer shutter speeds to let in enough light. Hand holding at a slow shutter speed means more vibration and a blurry image. A tripod allows you to slow down the shutter speed and get zero movement from your hand
Flower photography in the garden is very rewarding. Be prepared to experiment and break the rules. Who knows, you might come up with some stunning shots. If after the first time you don’t succeed, keep trying. Practice make perfect, as the old adage goes. Happy shooting!
About the Author:
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography. 

Thanks to PictureCorrect and Wayne Turner for the extra insights on how to take great photos of flowers in the spring.  
Don't miss Thursday's special of "Photos of the week.  Some really good ones have already been found.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

****** New Technology Report ***** New cameras from Nikon

Nikon announces 3 new cameras in their
DL series, just in time for spring:

Nikon DL18-50 Compact Camera

Courtesy of Nikon
Nikon DL18-50 Compact Camera
The compact camera market certainly isn’t what it once was, but where scores of nearly-identical consumer-oriented cameras once ruled is now the battle ground where much more advanced compact cameras battle it out. Nikon has a trio of brand new compact cameras, each packed with a 1-inch sensor, in the DL18-50, the DL24-85, and the DL24-500.
The core of each camera is equipped with basically the same suite of technology, including the 20.8-megapixel, 1-inch BSI CMOS sensor with 105 baked-in phase detection AF points, and EXPEEd 6A image processor. Their ISO range tops out at 12,800 and they all sport a 3-inch touch OLED display. Of course, they also have NFC and Wifi to support Nikon’s reinvigorated Snapbridge image sharing tech.
So, how do the cameras differ? The biggest differences come in the form of the glass. As you may have guessed, the names of the cameras actually allude to their full-frame equivalent zoom range.
Each camera also shoots native 4K UHD video, which would have felt like an important omission had it been left out.
Nikon DL18-50 Compact Camera Back

Courtesy of Nikon
Nikon DL18-50 camera back
The DL18-50 has an equivalent focal range of 18-50mm with a maximum aperture range of f/1.8-2.8. There’s a three-stop ND filter baked into the lens system and the electronic shutter tops out at 1/16,000th sec, which makes it pretty versatile. Oddly, however, it lacks a flash, which seems extremely odd because that 18mm wide angle lens seems built for group selfies and as a party camera. It does have a hot shoe, though, so you can add a flash, even thought that kind of defeats the purpose of carrying a tiny camera.
Nikon DL24-85 Compact Camera

Courtesy of Nikon
Nikon DL24-85 Compact Camera
The DL24-85 is basically the same camera as the DL18-50, except for the focal range. The lens can also actually focus all the way down to three CM, which makes it a true macro lens capable of capturing 1:1 images.
Oddly enough, the DL24-85 actually does have a pop-up flash. So, while it doesn’t go as wide as the 18-50, it seems like the most versatile camera in the bunch.
Nikon DL24-500 Camera

Courtesy of Nikon
Nikon DL24-500 Camera
The DL24-500 is built more like a bridge camera, with a larger grip and an ILC style electronic viewfinder. Its zoom range is a 24-500mm equivalent with a maximum aperture range of F/2.8-5.6. Its screen also fully articulates while the others merely tilt.
Each camera will be hitting the market this summer. The DL24-85 will cost $649, the DL18-50 will cost $849, and the DL24-500 will cost a cool $999.
In terms of the advanced compact market, this seems like it could be a very good move for Nikon. I, like many others, liked their CoolPix A quite a bit, but it was ultimately too pricy to really compete. These cameras, however, are much more accessible and really quite versatile, making them seem like very worthy competition for Sony’s RX-100 and RX 10, as well as other cameras like Canon’s G7X Mark Ii.

A special thanks to Popular Photography for the latest updates on new technology.

****** New Technology Report ******* New lenses from Tamron

Tamron announces two new lenses:

Tamron 85mm F/1.8 SP VC Portrait Prime Lens
We were first introduced to Tamron’s new high-end SP stabilized prime lenses last year with the 35mm F/1.8 and the 45mm F/1.8. Now, Tamron is expanding that line to include a new SP 85mm F/1.8 portrait lens and a SP 90mm F/2.8 macro lens.
We’ll start with the SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD, which has a total of 13 elements in 9 different groups. It’s part of Tamron’s high-end SP series, so it looks a lot like the 35mm and 45mm SP lenses on the outside in terms of branding and finish. Inside, it uses LD and XLD lens elements, which it claims help it keep up with the newish wave of high-megapixel DSLRs. It also uses Tamron’s most advanced coatings to maximize light transmission and combat reflections.
The built-in Vibration Compensation promises up to 3.5-stops of shake reduction, while the Fluorine Coating and moisture-resistant design help keep it safe from the elements.
Ultimately, it seems like it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect if you were going to extrapolate the SP line up to 85mm. This focal length actually seems like a very smart move for them at the moment because Sigma currently doesn’t make an 85mm lens in their Art series (though, the older 85mm F/1.4 is still very good).
One thing that’s noticeable is that the close-focusing performance on the 85mm isn’t quite as pronounced as it is on the wide angle lens, and that’s presumably because of the existence of their other new lens.
Tamron 90mm F/2.8 Macro SP Lens
The SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is a true 1:1 macro lens at a classic focal length for close-up photography. Tamron has been in the 90mm macro game for quite some time and now it’s using LD and XLD glass to help things stay current. Tamron has reportedly paid close attention to the aesthetic of the blur, which is pretty crucial when shooting macro.
Tamron beefed up the Vibration Compensation for the Macro lens, using both an accelerometer and a gyro sensor to help try and keep things sharp. Like the 85mm F/1.8, it also gets the weather-sealed construction, the fluorine protective coatings, and the anti-reflective tech.
The focusing system has also gotten some tweaking, including full-time manual override, which is very handy when shooting close up, and a new focus limiter to cut down on time spent hunting all over the place for the proper focusing distance. And while the 85mm cuts out at F/16 in terms of small apertures, the 90mm Macro goes all the way to F/32, which can come in hand when you need to maximize depth of field.
The original SP lenses were very impressive and extremely reasonably priced, so hopefully that trend continues here into the longer focal lengths. There’s no pricing information just yet for the 85mm lens, but the 90mm Macro will check in at $649. The lenses will be available for Canon and Nikon, with the Sony A-Mount versions coming down the pipe later.

A special thanks to Popular Photography for the updates on the new Technology.



March, according to the weathermen, is the first month of spring.  Even though the official first day of spring is March 21st, the first month of spring is March.  So, does anyone have spring fever like me?  I am soooo tired of winter.  Where I live, we have been pounded with winter weather, and now we have been blessed with a few good days of nice sunny days.  I see my tulips and daffodils coming up, and spring is in the air.  Spring cleanup is going on, and the sense of renewal is going on all over.  The mountains are now just topped with snow, instead of covered all the way to the bottom with snow, and soon the spring runoff will occur.  And the thoughts of getting out with the camera to get the picture of the first flower, the first blossom, first couple in love, the first of everything will be on our minds.  So, what should we be looking for in spring time?  Do I need some brush up skills for Spring Photography?  Oh, yeah!!  We are a bit rusty, and there are professionals out there to tell us what we need to do.  So, here is what I am going to do for the introduction of SPRING 2016:



Spring and autumn are my favorite seasons for taking photographs. In spring I feel more invigorated after the winter and more inclined to get out and take new photos.
Here are a few of my tips for taking photographs in spring.

  • Spring landscapes are colorful and the new spring growth looks great against a blue sky. To make the colors more saturated—particularly the blue sky—use a polarizing filter.
  • Look out for symmetrical shapes and unusual views, such as rows of strong green vegetation or views through tree blossom. Try to frame your landscapes with tree branches, doorways, arches, window frames, etc.
  • If you have a wide angle lens, take it out of hibernation and use it to incorporate a foreground view as well as the landscape in the distance.
  • Don’t forget about your depth of field. To get everything in focus, use a higher f number, such as 11 or 22.
spring photo
Photo captured by Lilia Tkachenko

  • Take advantage of the sunrise now that the days are getting longer. The air is cleaner at sunrise, and at this time of year when day and night temperatures vary a lot, the colors will photograph very differently early in the morning than they will late in the afternoon.
  • Fog and mist can also be an extra bonus. Try getting up high—the tops of hills or mountains are perfect, as they give you great views over valleys which may hold early morning mist and fog like a bowl.
  • A polarizer can also help here, and also remember that fog acts like a soft box and can lower the contrast of your surroundings which can leave you with rather long exposure times, so take a tripod if you have one.
  • Your camera may also have a few exposure problems and as a result, you’ll have touse exposure compensation to rectify this.
  • If your skies end up looking a little washed out, try fitting a neutral density grey graduated filter on your lens.
spring landscape tips
Photo captured by Abhishek Srivastava

  • Although the days are getting longer, the sun is still low in the sky, and this can create problems with heavily backlit scenes. Rather than photographing your subject with their back to the sun, try photographing them with the sun to one side but still slightly behind them, or photograph them in the shade under a tree and use your flash to fill in.
  • Try using a low f number on your lens to throw the background out of focus; this will also help to bring the shutter speed up to prevent camera shake if the light is too low.
season of spring
Photo captured by Alyona Arnautova

  • Look for patterns and for the abstract when photographing flowers and blossoms.
  • Get down low and zoom right into the subject or use a wider angle lens and very little depth of field—around f/5.6.
  • Break the rules, too. Flowers look great with the sun behind them. Be very wary of underexposing. If you’re looking into the sun, you may have to use your exposure compensation at +1 or +2.
flower photo
“Beginning” captured by Avik Sengupta
About the Author:
Mark Anderson specializes in London weddings ( and brings a subtle taste of London architecture and city photography to couples who get married in and around London.


Spring is one of the best seasons for capturing the beauty of your natural surroundings. The flowers are in full bloom and the weather is just perfect – not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for practicing landscape photography.
depth of field
“Untitled” captured by Navin Dhondiram Shinde. Click image to see more from Navin Dhondiram Shinde.
For those who are still learning new skills, you can use certain techniques to ensure you get the best images. As with any type of photography, light is very important. Be particular about the light when you’re shooting outdoors. When it comes to the time of day to capture a dramatic scene, early morning and late afternoon or early evening are the best times. If you’re shooting in the morning, you can focus on the fog or mist. A great location to shoot is the woodland where you can make trees at a distance appear as if they’re fading in the background. This creates a sense of mystery in your photos.
Make use of the foreground as well and shoot using a wide angle lens. You might be surprised to know that this is one of the oldest techniques. The reason is that a wide angle lens creates a greater depth of field. In this aspect, you can actually use contrast between your subject and background.
Don’t forget to capture the beauty of flowers during this lovely season, after all, what can be more beautiful than photographing a bed of flowers? Keep in mind that it’s during this time when the daisies, bluebells and dandelions are showing their best asset, so find a good location such as a field or woodland. For closeup shots, use a macro lens.
"Last Flowers of Spring" captured by M. Vefa ARIKAN. Click image to see more from M. Vefa ARIKAN.
“Last Flowers of Spring” captured by M. Vefa ARIKAN. Click image to see more from M. Vefa ARIKAN.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your shots as well. For example you’re in a woodland and you’re wondering what angle to use to capture the tallness of the trees. The answer? Do a vertical shot. To do this, you just need to point your lens 90 degrees upwards to have that so-called converging verticals effect. When you shoot this way, the trees will appear as if they’re close together or converged. And you’re also creating a great mix of colors with the contrast of the green leaves of trees and the blue sky. Now, that is purely nature’s beauty.
Finally, be wary of the white light that may creep in when you’re capturing your subjects. Remember that it can become a distraction so if you can, do get rid of it by cropping right there and then. When you’re taking an image of trees for instance, it’s okay to crop the top portion to eliminate the sky. Or consider taking a few bracketed shots and combining them so both the sky and the trees are well exposed, but that is an advanced topic to discuss another day.
photographic perspective
“A Different Angle” captured by Mitch Johanson. Click image to see more from Mitch Johanson.
Take advantage of the spring season. It’s great for picture taking.
the Author:  KAYLAN KUMAR
Thank you to Kaylan Kumar and Mark Anderson for their great insight into Spring Photography, and to PicturePerfect for their great website to help me in my blog.

This is another exciting week for this blog.  Besides this being the first blog for spring (close enough, isn't it?), I have other great things coming up this week, one a big milestone:
*  Monday February 29th, 2016 -  This blog is released - how to take great spring photos
*  Tuesday March 1st, 2016 - one more release of how to take great spring photos, specializing in closeup photos, plus, a gallery of some of the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen.  
*  Also Tuesday March 1st, 2016 - The opening of my "LIKE" page on Facebook:  123photogo.  Some of you already have a like page, and I follow what you do now.  Now, it is my turn.  You remember when you started yours?  Now, it's my turn.   I already have 6 people that like it !!!!  (my family of course).  I will send out invitations, and will ask for you to invite your friends as I get it off the ground.  Thanks
*  Wednesday, March 2nd - New technology report -  New photographic products announced.
*  Thursday March 3rd - Photos of the Week - ( I think this is famous now. Isn't it?)
*  Friday March 4th - Special edition Gallery - To be announced.   

Thanks for your support, and I appreciate the following.  This blog is growing fast, and I appreciate your support.