Friday, April 29, 2016

++ Weekend Edition : GREAT CLOUDY DAY PHOTOS


Tips for Great Cloudy Day
Photographs !

Have you ever thought:  AAAh, it's cloudy, I can't go out and shoot pictures because there is no contrast, the sun is down. OR,  It's Cloudy, and I can't get good pictures because I don't have the great shadows to work with.  Oh, but, you are still missing some great photo opportunities.  You should be thinking:  Ahaa !  I should go out and take photos, because there is no shadows !!
Certainly some great opportunities to get some different and unique shots.  So, here is some great tips on how to shoot when it is cloudy:

Nature photography relies on your sensitivity to the natural light above all else. You have surely heard that for good landscape photography, you generally want sunny conditions, early or late in the day when the light is low and soft.
cloudy photo
“Desiccated” captured by Great Salt Lake Photographer
However, this does not apply to every situation, and busy lifestyles do not always allow us to choose the conditions in which we take our photos.
Have you ever planned and set aside a day to get out and practice your nature photography, only to wake up to grey, cloudy skies? You are not alone, this happens to us all; professional and beginner alike. And of course when you are traveling, you often only have one chance to take your photos before moving on, so you have to make the best of the situation as you find it.
Photographers, don’t despair. There are many situations that suit cloudy skies just fine; in fact, there are some situations when cloudy skies are the best option for a good nature photo. Here are just a few situations that you could explore when cloudy weather threatens to derail your photography outing.

Bright sunlight can be a problem when shooting wildlife. In the middle part of the day, the sun can create heavy shadows which make exposure difficult, and rob your photo of essential colour and detail that gives the subject its character. Worst of all, sunlight can create shadows on the face of your subject. As you know, the most important element of a good wildlife photo is the eyes. If the eyes in your photo are lost in shadow, the personal connection with the subject is lost.
Animals do not like looking into the sun any more than you do, so even early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when the light is softer, photography can be difficult. More often than not, you will probably find your subject turning away from the light.
cloudy day wildlife photo
“Colorado Elk Farm” captured by Naomi
If you take your photo on a cloudy day, you can capture your wildlife subject in soft, even light that allows perfect exposure without ugly shadows. There will also be less glare reflecting off shiny surfaces (a snake’s skin, a bird’s feathers, etc.) so your picture can actually appear more colourful.

Clouds create a much more interesting sunset photo than clear skies. All you need is for the sun to break through the clouds as they cross the horizon. A good nature photographer learns to read the sky and try to predict what is coming. Often on a grey, cloudy day you will notice that the only patch of clear sky is far away near the horizon. If that is the case, you can go looking for a good location and set up for your sunset photo.
With a bit of luck, there will be several breaks in the clouds before the sun goes down. If so, you could be on the spot to photograph spectacular sunbeams, a truly wonderful effect that every nature photography hopes to capture.
sunset cloudy day photo
“Sunset from Zomba” captured by David Hobcote
Like all things in nature photography, all the planning in the world means nothing without a bit of luck. You may get your photo all set up, only to see the gap in the clouds close and your chance of a good photo disappear. Persistence wins in the end, so keep trying and from time to time you will end up with some breathtaking sunset photos.

When the sun shines brightly through the rainforest canopy, it creates patches of light and shade that make perfect exposure next to impossible. You simply can’t manage the contrast in these conditions.
Cloudy weather is actually the best way to take good rainforest photos. Some would say the cloudier the better, because if your rainforest is high enough to be in the clouds, you can capture some very atmospheric misty effects in the forest.
cloudy day rainforest photo
“Glow” captured by Martin Massie
I live in South East Queensland, so I am close to both the beach and some fabulous rainforest. My rule is: If it’s sunny, go to the beach. If the weather is grey and cloudy, grab your camera and head for the rainforest.
I hope that next time you wake up to cloudy skies, you will not let that stop you from getting out there to take some great nature photos. As your experience grows, you will find it easier to read the light and know what sort of photography suits the conditions. Until then, practice, practice, practice!
About the Author:
Andrew Goodall writes for and is a nature photographer based in Australia. He manages a gallery in Montville full of landscape photography from throughout Australia.
Special thanks to Andrew Goodall and PictureCorrect for this great article.  


Thursday, April 28, 2016

SPECIAL EDITION: WEATHER PHOTO GALLERY ! Wow! What is your worst weather?

What is your worst weather?
Special Photo Gallery


We all have different types of weather where ever we live.  In certain parts of the world, you have to worry about hurricanes or typhoons.  In other parts of the world, you have to worry about the extreme hot weather and dust storms.  In other parts of the world, it's the tornado's.  In the northern part of the world, and the most southern part of the world, it's the brutal winters.  Whatever type of weather we all have, maybe you are thinking:  I am glad I don't live over there, where ever there is, because they have such and such type of weather.  So, today, I wanted to show some gallery photos of some of the ravages of the weather, different types of weather our world has.  And then we can all be grateful we have survived them all.  And remember, I think it will only get worse before it gets better.  Mother nature may have some real surprises yet to give us.

Strong winds uproot whole trees, down power lines.

Lightning:  one of the worst killer in weather related storms.

tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as twisters orcyclones,[1] although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but they are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (180 km/h), are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).[2][3][4]
Various types of tornadoes include the landspoutmultiple vortex tornado, and waterspout. Waterspouts are characterized by a spiraling funnel-shaped wind current, connecting to a large cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. They are generally classified as non-supercellulartornadoes that develop over bodies of water, but there is disagreement over whether to classify them as true tornadoes. These spiraling columns of air frequently develop in tropical areas close to the equator, and are less common at high latitudes.[5] Other tornado-like phenomena that exist in nature include the gustnadodust devilfire whirls, and steam devildownbursts are frequently confused with tornadoes, though their action is dissimilar.
Tornadoes have been observed on every continent except Antarctica. However, the vast majority of tornadoes occur in the Tornado Alleyregion of the United States, although they can occur nearly anywhere in North America.[6] They also occasionally occur in south-central and eastern Asia, northern and east-central South America, Southern Africa, northwestern and southeast Europe, western and southeastern Australia, and New Zealand.[7] Tornadoes can be detected before or as they occur through the use of Pulse-Doppler radar by recognizing patterns in velocity and reflectivity data, such as hook echoes or debris balls, as well as through the efforts of storm spotters.

Floods:  The results of too much rain, or snow runoff coming down too quickly.

It seems that wild storms and tornadoes are occurring more frequently and the consequences are more severe then ever. You probably faced some of these sights before. They’re horrible and magnificent at the same time. The forces of nature have enormous power:
photo by Jason Whitman
photo by Rachel Gardner
photo by MattysFlicks
photo by Matthew McCain
photo by Werner
photo by Daniel Rodriguez
photo by kyle mackinnon
photo by John S

All types of bad weather
How do you get out of this?  
Scenes of a hurricane or a typhoon 
Tips for protecting your photo gear in 
bad weather:

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. There’s no better way to prevent damage to your equipment than to actually buy equipment that’s capable of withstanding the vagaries of Mother Nature. There’s more than one reason why professionals prefer the bigger, more expensive equipment. One of them is they are weather sealed.
keeping your equipment dry in wet weather
Jarvis’s D4S absolutely drenched in water and still shooting!

But wait, isn’t professional equipment super expensive? Yes, it is, and not many can afford it. Here are a couple of cheap hacks from Jarvis for those who have prosumer or anything that’s less than pro-grade cameras and lenses. The first one’s easy and you can pick one up from the motel where you’re probably staying during your travels: a shower cap! Just wrap one around your camera and voila! You have yourself a perfect water proofing solution. It may even work better than a fancy water sealed housing.
shower cap as camera covers
Shower caps make great camera covers!

A problem that you’re likely to face in bad weather, even if you have pro grade equipment, is wiping your lens clean when it is super wet.
cleaning a wet lens
How do you clean this?
Fancy lens cloths will do. But they’ll probably ruin it for the remainder of the session. What you need to do is find a shammy cloth. You don’t need to wipe all the water off the lens.
wet weather equipment protection tips
Use something like this for blotting the water off your lens.
Just blot the lens, allow the cloth to absorb all the water, and then give the front element a good wipe with the fancy lens cloth.
lens cloth, wet weather shooting
Now give it a good wipe with the lens cloth.
These tips might just save you from some very uncomfortable situations and streaky pictures.
The dreaded landslide.
drought is a period of below-average precipitation in a given region, resulting in prolonged shortages in its water supply, whether atmospheric, surface water or ground water. A drought can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 15 days. [1]It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected regionl[2]and harm to the local economy.[3] Annual dry seasons in the tropics significantly increase the chances of a drought developing and subsequent bush fires. Periods of heat can significantly worsen drought conditions by hastening evaporation of water vapor.
Many plant species, such as those in the family Cactaceae (or cacti), have adaptations like reduced leaf area and waxy cuticles to enhance their ability to tolerate drought. Some others survive dry periods as buried seeds. Semi-permanent drought produces arid biomes such as deserts and grasslands.[4] Prolonged droughts have caused mass migrations and humanitarian crises. Most arid ecosystems have inherently low productivity. The most prolonged drought ever in the world in recorded history occurred in the Atacama Desert inChile (400 Years).


So, that is my special on weather, weather disasters and what to expect, and also some tips on how we can get around the weather situations with our cameras. 
Camera articles courtesy of PictureCorrect.

Thanks, and don't forget to share.


Monday, April 25, 2016


APRIL 28TH, 2016


This week's "Photos of the Week"  have been really exciting to find.  I am just amazed at this weeks treasured photos.  Beautiful, amazing, incredible.  I hope you will also agree.  But, they all come from all over the world, as you will see, and I hope you enjoy them this week.

Whoa! This stunning shot might look too good to be true, but photographer Jeff Berkes planned this shot a year in advance. It definitely paid off. Taken on September 27, 2015, it shows Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming glowing in the orange light of a lunar eclipse. At 8:13 pm, the moon entered maximum eclipse and at 8:15 pm, the park's famous geyser erupted. As Jeff said, “The stars literally aligned this night for me.” This 10-second single exposure courtesy of Jeff Berkes. — with Jeff Berkes Photography in Yellowstone National Park.

Photo by Marco Migliardi

 Landscape Photographer Magazine Photographer of the Week
Photo by Bob Miller

" The Deer At Sunset"  Photo by Jenny Woodward

"Adventure"  Photo by:  Neil Herbert


Congratulations to this week's winners of "Photos of the Week".  Incredible photos from all over the world, magazine winners, as well as posted on Facebook and other social media.  They are great ones, and I hope you will share them.  


++++ Technology Report: Earthquake in Japan affects Camera companies +++++



As was the case with the Tōhoku region earthquake in 2011, the photo industry has been affected by the incidents on Kyushu. Here is what we have learned:
A Nikon representative offered a statement to "Our thoughts are with the people of this region. The part suppliers for Nikon products were affected by the series of earthquakes, and this will likely impact our production and supplies. We are investigating the situation, and will announce the details as soon as they are confirmed"
According to a statement released by Sony, the company’s Kumamoto Technology Center, which makes image sensors, had to be shut down and as of April 18 the company was still assessing damage and had no timeframe for when operations there might resume. Sony’s Nagasaki Technology Center and Oita Technology Center temporarily halted production, but resumed as of April 17. The company’s Kagoshima Technology Center had no major effects on its operations. Sony says that it has confirmed the safety of all of its employees in the affected region.
While Canon hasn’t reported any structural damage and it appears that its employees and their families are safe, it offered a statement extending the company’s condolences to all of those affected. Canon also announced that it would make a donation of 10 million Yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Olympus released a statement offering its sympathy to those affected and announced that the company and its staff would be donating 20 million Yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help those affected by the earthquakes and to aid in reconstruction. The company did not indicate if any of its facilities were damaged in any way. We hope this means that they weren’t.
We will update this list as we learn of any more news.

One prime place to see the “gear doesn’t matter” comments are on Digital Rev’s “Cheap Camera Challenge” videos (which are massively entertaining, by the way). A pro photographer is given a camera that’s worse than what you’d find at a thrift shop and sent out into the world. They always stretch its capabilities as far as humanly possible, but the resulting image typically looks nothing like a photo they would ever shoot on their own. The camera changed the way they photograph. The gear, quite literally, mattered. A crummy camera didn’t make them into a bad photographer, but it changed their photographs.
While I don’t agree with the whole “gear doesn’t matter” attitude, I do get why it exists. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in things like test lab results and tedious numbers pulled from massive spec sheets. We test cameras here—that’s part of our thing. But it’s not because we think gear is the only thing, we just think it’s an important thing.
It’s a commonly held belief that shooting with prime lenses instead of zooms will help you hone your photography skills. The restriction forces you to really learn the intricacies of a specific focal length and begin to visualize what will fit into a certain frame, and what will look good once it’s in there. That was certainly the case for me, and it’s why I still currently gravitate toward the 50mm prime in many circumstances. The crummy old 50mm f/1.8 lens I got from my dad during college helped shaped the way I see photos in a way that sticks with me to this day.

Another picture of my crummy old camera, this time shot with a real camera. Is it better? 
Meh, but it looks different, feels different, and the process of shooting it was different. The gear mattered.
“But, having a nice camera doesn’t make you a photographer!” you’re getting ready to type into the comment box. And that’s true! But it’s also more complicated than that. A good photographer understands their gear and chooses the equipment that most suits their needs and allows them to create their art. Let’s visit the beloved,”No one goes up to an artist and tells them that their paint brush painted a great picture.” That’s true, too! But it’s also true that few great painters go sauntering into the dollar store and pick up a pile of crummy plastic brushes to create their next masterpiece, unless they’re doing so for a specific reason. The same goes for a chef and their cooking gear. Or, really any profession that requires equipment.
The simple fact of the matter is that most modern cameras are just really, really good. And if there’s any truth to the “gear doesn’t matter statement,” it lies there in. You can pick up almost any modern camera of a certain level and shoot pretty much anything with it. Technology almost seems like magic compared to what we had even 10 years ago. And a great photographer will be able to stretch any camera to its maximum capacity in order to try and get the shot they want. But, in the end, the gear is still a critical part of the equation. It can be limiting, or it can be enabling.
Ultimately, choosing the camera, lens, lights, and other gear is a crucial part of the creative process, just like choosing a subject, finding good light, and composing the frame. So, while we shouldn’t fixate on gear, we should definitely respect it. Otherwise, maybe take up painting. I hear the dollar store has plenty of brushes in stock.

All information courtesy of Popular Photography.

I am checking regularly with all the photo magazines to keep you up to date with all the latest in technology:  new photo items, new technology, etc.  So, this blog post is the only place you need to go.  I will find it for you.

Please share.