Thursday, March 30, 2017



Then help out the photographer by following these steps in posing:

Facing the camera straight-on shows you at your widest point. Stand at a bit of an angle instead for a more flattering angle, say Jenn and Shawn Moreau, wedding photographers with Moreau & Company. 'If you angle your body at a 45-degree angle with one leg toward the camera, it lengthens your body instead,' says Jenn.

Holding your arms down squishes them against your body, making them appear wider. Placing your hand on your hip is an easy way to stop the squish, says Ginger Burr, founder of Total Image Consultants. If that looks too posed for you, keep your arms at your sides without resting them down. 'Let there be a little space between your body and your arm,' says Burr. If you’re having trouble making it look natural, start with your hand on your hip and then bring it back down. Your shoulder will fall back, making it easy to create the space you want.

Improving your posture isn’t just good for your back—it also slims you instantly. Practice standing up straight with your shoulders back and chest out. 'We tend to hunch naturally, so when you pull back a little, it straightens you out,' says Shawn.

To keep your face from looking wide without creating a double chin, tilt your head forward just a tad. 'Stick your chin out a little bit—think of leading with your forehead,' says Burr. 'It brings the head forward a little bit but slims under the jaw line and the neck.' Lowering your chin down a touch will keep the pose from looking unnatural, she says. Don't miss these other tricks for looking better in photos.

Try this weird trick to avoid a double chin: Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It sounds strange, but the action tightens the muscles under your chin, giving you a slimmer look, says Shawn.

During that seated shot, cross your legs at the ankles instead of the knees. 'When we cross our legs, if we have any trouble areas like cellulite, that’s prone to show,' says Jenn. By crossing at the ankles and leaning your knees in a bit instead, you’ll lengthen your body and bring attention up to your face, she says. Not convinced? Crossing your legs can also lead to health problems.

If you’re sitting down in a photo, angle your body again, and stick to the edge of the chair. Sitting back could hunch your posture. 'It makes them look too mushy in the middle of their body because it all deflates in,' says Burr. Plus, sitting farther back leaves legs closer to the camera, making them appear bigger in the shot, she says.

To avoid creating a double chin, ask the photographer not to take a photo angled up. 'If the camera is below your chin line, you instantly have that extra underneath your neck,' says Shawn. A straight-on shot is much more flattering, and taking the photo from a little above will make you look even slimmer, he says.

You’ve probably heard that black is slimming, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up color. Any dark color, like maroon, eggplant, or navy, will have that same effect, says Burr. Plus, medium-toned blues and teals are universally flattering, she says. Just stick to solid colors if you can. 'Big prints and patterns can make you look bigger,' says Burr. 'If you want the focus to be on your face, a solid color will do that better.' Learn more ways to dress to look thinner.

Even more important than the color of your clothes? The fit. Avoid boxy clothes that fall away from your body and widen you visually, and pick a tailored outfit instead, says Jenn. 'Accentuate your thinner areas, like with a belt or dress with a cinched waist,' she says. Don't miss these makeup tricks for a thinner-looking face.

If you’re like most women, you probably aren’t wearing the right bra size. The right size isn’t just comfier, but it will also make you look better in photos. 'A bra that’s fitted properly will give lift the body and whittle the waist because there’s more space between the bust line and hip,' says Burr. Visit a specialist for a fitting to avoid bra mistakes, she says.

This article written by:  Marissa Laliberte
Entertainment & Learning for the photographer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


           MARCH 30TH, 2017

Photo by Pamela Locke

Some people are blessed to have Mother Nature bless them with beautiful trees, light fog just at the right time.  Or, Pamela knows how to take a rather overcast day, and find the beauty in it.  Pamela always seems to find the right time and the right places to photograph.  Her quote about this photo:
Small places! 💛 There hasn't been much sun this winter, however there has been plenty of atmosphere. This little place caught my eye early on a foggy morning.
Lives in: Natchitoches, Louisiana

Check out Pamela's other great photos on her Facebook website by going to:

Photo by Jim Miller

You know what makes a great photographer?  It is when you catch a person, in their natural environment, with true feeling.  Can't you just tell this artist is really good, and deserves to be on the street entertaining everyone?  I want to listen to him.  Congratulations Jim on capturing FEELING.
Here is the information about this photo from Jim Miller:
Walking the streets of Strasbourg, France, there were a number of very good street musicians. I Especially enjoyed this guy, perhaps because he put so much emotion into his playing, even though much of his audience was more interested in shopping or eating.
Lives in: Loudon, Tennessee

Photo by Adriano Lompi

Some people just know how to take pictures of flowers correctly.  They have the right depth of field, and either they add the water on the flower, or it just happens to be there.  Whatever the case is, Adriano Lompi is a true artist when it comes to taking pictures of flowers.  I have been following his artwork for some time, and I am always  amazed that almost every flower photo is just this beautiful. Congratulations Adriano Lompi for winning this week's list.
Lives in Asti, Italy

Photo by Jose Manuel Rodriguez

Sometimes when I post wildlife photos as a winning photo, it seems that I always post the wild, ferocious tiger, or giraffe.  But, the beauty of a small bird is so often missed, and Jose Manuel Rodriguez is a professional at capturing these beautiful creatures.  Sometimes we see these birds fly around but hardly ever get the equipment to see how beautiful they really are.  Jose really captured this beautiful bird with this shot. 
Lives in: Algeciras, Spain

PICOGORDO.Coccothraustes coccothraustes

This is an artist who I am very intrigued with.  He has made his appearance once before on my special of: "The Art of Black and White".  But, not only is he so well rounded in color and black and white, but, his vision is incredible.  This capture of flowers on the cement is unique.  Tastefully done, composed so well, it just strikes me as one that would be a favorite on the wall of many people's homes.  Congratulations to Varma on such a great photo.  I think we may see more of his work.
Lives in: Rajahmundry, India

To see more of his work, go to his Instagram page:

Photo by April Reeves

"Tiny Dancer"
April Reeves has become one of my favorite portrait photographers.  The class and beauty of her portraits is second to none.  And her sweet little models are beautiful too.  That helps.  But, the posing, the vignette, the props, the soft tone to the picture all make it such a masterpiece.  
Thank you April for creating such a great photo.
To get more information about April Reeves go to:
Lives in: Lafayette, Louisiana
Or her main website:


There you have 6 of the best photos from off the internet found this week from great photographers.  Congratulations to these winners.
Entertainment & Learning for the photographer

Monday, March 27, 2017


                       A whole new World of Beauty

I love close up photography.  To me it brings the natural beauty of the things around us, that we take for granted, and lets us see that it is even more beautiful than we even imagined.  I chuckled a bit as I was preparing for this subject, as I was looking for good photos to show on this week's blog.  My definition of close-up photos is different than some people.... like NASA.  They were showing close-up photos (they say) of the tiny planet Pluto.  As you know, after 9 years of travel, a satellite has reached close enough to take pictures of this planet.  I guess in perspective of NASA, that is definitely closer than we have ever seen before, but, taking a picture of something that is thousands of miles away, is not what I had in mind. 

Let's get started with what we have.  I find it amazing with the equipment that is out there, how almost anyone can take close-up photography.  Most smart phone cameras even have great lenses, and the capabilities to take great close-up photos.  I have a smart phone camera that has a close-up capability and have taken some great photos with it.  Sometimes, in order to do it, you have to go into a menu to switch the mode to close-up photography, and other cell phones do it automatically.  So, check your camera and see just how close you can get, and what you need to do.  Remember that some of these newer cell phone cameras have great resolution for a small camera. 

 Photo credit:  desk

Photo Credit:  Laurie Excell

I love on this second photo, how you can see the droplets of water on the flower.  Doesn't that add just that much more beauty to the close-up?  

The regular point and shoot cameras are becoming even better stars in the close-up world.  I have a camera that has close up features that also allows me to shoot underwater.  I can actually take pictures of my fish, still on the line, within a foot of the camera.  

The bigger DSLR cameras are the serious type cameras.  With lens attachments, or even more specific, a macro lens, you have it all the way.  Some of these lenses will allow you to get even closer than what you see above.  I do need to mention that when you get closer to things, it amplifies your camera movement.  So, as you get closer and closer to subjects, you do have to use a tripod to stop the camera jiggles, more than the subject from moving.   Here are just some examples of incredible close-up photos taken with DSLR cameras with either a macro lens or lens attachments:
Photo credit:

photo credit:

photo credit:

I am trying to be really general in describing how to do close-up photography, rather than be so specific.  I don't want to get into showing how to use close-up filters, or extension tubes or things like that, because most photographers don't use those things today.  But, what I am hoping to do is to show you how to look for things, maybe experiment with the everyday things around you, get your camera up close to things, and try taking the close-up picture with your cell phone camera, your new digital point and shoot camera, and see what magic is there.  The close-up world is beautiful.  And it will bring you lots of compliments on your photography.  So, just experiment with your camera, and see what you can do.  

Article written by Lanny Cottrell


Entertainment & Learning for the photographer

Sunday, March 26, 2017



There are camera filters for the DSLR camera user that are often forgotten.  But, if you talk to a professional photographer, I would say most of them would say there is probably about 4 essential filters you would need in your camera bag to become a serious photographer.   So, let's go over these filters carefully, so you understand what we are talking about.

Let's clear up one thing first.  There are two kinds of filters.  1- Round filters that just screw on the front of your lens, as you see pictured above, and then 2- the square filters that use an attachment on the front of your lens to add the filter to them.  Let's look at the pros and cons of each first.

Round, screw-in filters are ideal if you only want to use the filter on one lens, or lenses with the same size thread, but if you have lenses with different thread sizes you'll need different filters for each one.

With the square filter system you only need to buy one set of filters, as these can then be attached to the lens using adaptors of different sizes.

Which type you should choose also depends on the type of filters that you want to use, as some filters are only really useable screwed directly to the lens or in a square filter system.

Skylight filters, for example, are best suited to the round screw-in design, but filters such as neutral density grads are easiest to use in a square filter system.

So, now we have the two different types of filters out of the way, let's get to the 5 essential filters that I think everyone should own.


The skylight filter should be a round filter, and should be purchased for every lens that you have.  And it's main purpose is to protect the front element of your lens.  I have worked in a retail store before and I have seen the dropped lens brought in many of times.  The one with the skylight filter, we just screw off the damaged filter. 

The cost to fix the lens:  very minimal.   And the photographer is very happy.  Now I have also seen the photographer who did not have the skylight filter on his camera, and brings in his lens, and it is broken on the front:

The only thing you can do now is to replace the whole lens.  A repair of the lens is out of the question.  Usually a repair is much more expensive than a replacement.  So, the value of a skylight filter is incredible.  JUST DO IT.  It is not worth losing a lens over it.  And there are good skylight filters out there so you don't have to worry about the degradation of the quality of your photo.  I am providing a link to filters from Amazon, and you can see inexpensive filters, as well as real good ones as well:







The image on the right was taken with a polarizing filter, with reflected light greatly reduced  ***

Polarizing filters reduce the glare off of all surfaces except metallic surfaces.  So, water clouds, sky, trees, all have reflective properties.  And when you use the polarizing filter, you can enhance the color of those things, because you have cut the glare off those things.  And yes, the sky is now going to become a richer blue because of this.  This is also best used with a round filter.

The interesting technical feature that most people miss on this filter is that it works at it's maximum when your lens is at a 90 degree angle to the sun.  So, if the sun is straight up, say at 12 noon, the polarizing filter should work great at all horizon shots.  But, if you have the sun down close to the horizon, take it at a 90 degree from the sun and you will get a richer color or maximum effect of the filter. 

When you get the filter on your lens, it does rotate.  Rotate the filter and you can actually see it work. It is amazing and worth every penny.  Remember it does not work on metal, so, when you take pictures of your car, it will not cut the reflections off the metal, but it will off the glass. 


B00007LA0TPolarizing filters are more expensive than other filters.  But, Amazon has great pricing on all the brands the carry:



A neutral density filter is nothing more than a darkened piece of glass.  It does not change the color at all, but, changes the exposure rating of the lens to darker.  They will come in ratings of ND 2, 4, 8, which is the value of the light that it cuts in exposure ratings.  So, an ND 2, cuts the light by 1/2 and so forth. 

Now, the question is what would you use such a filter for?   Let's throw out a picture and that should explain it all:

The image on the right was taken with an neutral density filter, extending the exposure to blur the water.                                                                                                                                  ***

The problem you have sometimes, is that the light is too bright to slow your shutter speed down.  So, in order to do that, you have to use a filter, like an ND filter to force you camera to think it's darker out there than it really is.  And then you can use a slower shutter speed. 


B007SXJ1VG I love how in this Amazon package, you get all three gradients at a great price.  Check out the link below:



What's it for?                                                                                                                     *** Balancing the exposure between a bright sky and a darker foreground, particularly in landscapes and sunrise/sunset shots.

To use our previous analogy, a graduated neutral density filter, or ND grad, is like a pair of sunglasses with dark glass at the top and clear glass at the bottom.

By placing the dark part of the glass over a sky that's much brighter than the scenery below, and lining the transition up with the horizon, you can ensure a balanced exposure.
ND grads come in several different strengths, and with different transitions between the dark and clear areas.

For most uses a two-stop grad, also known as a 0.6 or ND4 grad, is a good option, but for shooting sunrises or sunsets with the sun in the frame, you may need an even stronger filter, such as a three-stop (0.9 or ND8) grad, to give a more balanced exposure.

An ND grad was used on the image on the right to balance the exposure                                 ***

Some of the filter gradations change softly or do it rather abruptly.  So, when you purchase them, make sure you get the effect that you want.  I usually prefer the soft gradation.  That way it seems more natural. 

And of course, in this case, the square format filters seems to work the best.  The nice thing of course is that one filter will work for many lenses, you will just need to get an adapter if the lenses use different diameter filters on the end. 


B00L1GPGPQHere is a complete kit for putting on your lenses.  It is at a great price  right now at Amazon.  Check out the price and availability here at this link:


So, these 4 filters may be just the beginning of your collection of filters you will begin with.  There are a huge amount of other filters you could use for your collection.  At one time I had almost 25 different filters in my camera bag that all did different things.  I would invite you to take a look at the many different filters available for you.  If you got the time, please browse through the Amazon link, just for fun and see all the different filters available for cameras.  Many manufactures are represented here and will show you the different styles, and fun things you can do.  Here is the link that will direct you to this exciting hobby of "PHOTOGRAPHING WITH FILTERS":
Entertainment & Learning for the Photographer

****  Photos marked with the **** and some of the article was originally written and photos by:
JEFF MEYER and published by:  TECH RADAR

Thursday, March 23, 2017



I have worked in a photo store before, for almost 20 years.  I have seen people come and go.  I have also seen those people try to do photography as a profession.  They have tried to be a wedding photographer.
Photo by:

But, after finding the struggles of working with people, worrying about making the client happy, worrying if you are a good enough photographer, they give up after a year or so of trying that. 

So, maybe the next thing to try is being a more freelance photographer and take these wonderful pictures of landscapes and scenery for a living:
Photo by:

Then, after taking a series of, what seemed like pretty good landscape photos, you started comparing your photos to the ones you see in a magazine, and they just don't compare.  Or you also find that it is hard to find a place to sell your photos.   So, you give up on that one.  But, wait !  

There are photographers who seem to do really well doing wildlife photos. 
Photo by:

Now, you find out that to do this type of photography takes special lenses, tripods, and a different world to get the good photos.  The zoo just is not the place to get the right kind of pictures. 

Is anybody getting where I am headed with this?  You are right.  This is actually a very typical story of a lot of photographers who bought their camera, hoping to make some money with their photography.  Why can't they make money taking pictures with their camera?

There are 2 reasons people don't make money with their cameras:
  1.  They don't have the patience they need to do it.
If people would just stick with it.  If they would just "keep on keeping on".  They quit too soon.  Success doesn't come quickly.   And practice makes perfect. 

I am going to tell as story about my blog that I do several times a week.  I started doing this blog on August 3rd, 2015.  What is my dream about this blog?  To have hundreds of thousands of photographers, beginners and professionals from all over the world read this blog regularly.  I remember my first week.  I did only 1 per week.  Then I did 2 a week, as I got more creative.  After a month I had 10 people viewing my blog.  I thought it would take forever to get any kind of readership.   Am I on my way to success after a year and a half?  I hope I am getting there.  I have had some successes.  I am not where I want to be, but, I am not giving up.  Here are some stats as of today: 
Take a look at my Facebook website:
9,181 people (as of this writing) currently follow me on my Facebook website. 
I have posted recently an article titled:  "The Art of Black And White"  .  Just that one article alone, had over 6,000 views.  I am not bragging, I am just stating that I have not given up, and I am not giving up.  I will achieve my goal, and going to be a place where photographers like to come for entertainment and for learning.  In a few years, we may post results again to see how far I have grown.  

2- People fail to keep learning as they go, or learn from their mistakes.

As I was mentioning about the failing photographer above, one of the reasons the photographer failed, is that they weren't taking the time to keep improving themselves.  This is an industry that involves self-teaching every day.  When I want to get good at something, I subscribe to magazines, read books, read articles, find websites, do what I can to learn everything I can myself.  I had a retail store that sold electronics goods for about 8 to 10 years.  I had my staff learn that way as well, and often we would have the company rep come in to teach us their product line.  Sometimes we were more well trained than the company rep.  We got so that we did not have the sales rep come in anymore because we were more well trained ourselves than the sales reps.  We knew how to succeed in that store, and we did.  It was a smooth running, smooth successful store. 




Learning & Entertainment for the Photographer

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Most Incredible Destinations to See Spring Flowers


Photo by: istock
Chase away the winter blues with a blast of vibrant colors. You have plenty of options whether your in a city or the countryside with picturesque botanic gardens, otherworldly festivals and huge fields of flamboyant wildflowers. Warmer temperatures are already melting the last signs of the gray winter, sending more people outside. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods, according to science.

Photo by:  Shutterstock

Antelope Valley, California

As of March 17, the poppies have started blooming on the east half of the park. They suddenly exploded into color in just one week, and can even be seen from across the valley. The peak is expected in late March/early April, according to California State Parks. This western edge of the Mojave Desert northeast of Los Angeles is one of the last places where you can see whole hillsides covered in the spectacular state flower of the aptly named Golden State.

Photo by:  istock

Crested Butte, Colorado

The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway offers a wide range of spring wildflowers. You’ll see areas of red, pink, yellow, blue, purple, and white flowers covering the meadows like a colorful blanket. Whether you drive along the roads or walk, be sure to look for the beautiful Colorado blue columbine. The Crested Butte has been known as the “Wildflower Capital” of the state. There, you will also find stunning yellow sunflowers, purple delphiniums, lupines, and death camas, which are a kind of lily flower. The annual Wildflower Festival this year is July 7-16.

Photo by:   Brooklyn Botanic Garden/Antonio M. Rosaio                    

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has been labeled one of New York City’s greatest treasures. It has at least 20 different gardens, pavilions, exhibits, collections, and even museums. The lilacs are especially popular in April and May when their scent fills up the air. In late April, the bluebells burst into flowers and create a captivating woodland spectacle. The tree peonies and their marvelous aroma bloom in April and May as well.

Photo by:   Shutterstock

Furano, Japan

Lavender has been cultivated in Hokkaido for more than half a century, according to Japan Guide. Furano’s lavender fields attract thousands of visitors to the region every year. The majority of lavender usually starts blooming in late June and reaches its peak from around mid-July to early August. Other kinds of flowers that lure tourists in June are rape blossoms, poppies and lupins.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This national park, the most visited one in the country, has more than 1,500 different kinds of flowers, the most in the country. That’s why its nickname is the “Wildflower National Park.” You can find orchids, violets, trilliums, and crested dwarf irises all over if you go in the spring in April. The park hosts the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage (April 11-15), a festival of programs and guided walks and hikes that explore the wondrous diversity of life in the park, according to NPS.

Photo by:  National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.

The “nation’s greatest springtime celebration” is in the nation’s capital. The tradition started in 1912 when the mayor of Tokyo gave 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. as a sign of friendship. Some of the favorite events during the event are the Blossom Kite Festival and the parade down Constitution Avenue, which also happens to be one of the largest displays in the country. This year’s event lasts until April 16.

Photo by:  istock

Lupines in New Hampshire

The lupines of Sugar Hill are known all over the country. Imagine yellow, red, white and all kinds of wildflowers amid the beautiful purple lupines while hearing birds and butterflies hover around with mountains ranges in the background. The state pays homage to this captivating wildflower with the Fields of Lupine Festival, now known as the Celebration of Lupine, every year.

Photo by:  Carissa K. / Yelp

Bartram’s Garden, Pennsylvania
The garden, the oldest living botanic garden in the U.S., is just one reason why Philadelphia is a must-visit city in 2017. The 45-acre National Historic Landmark is a destination and an outdoor classroom as well as a living laboratory that is visited by more than 40,000 people every year. Admission is free. The garden features a wildflower meadow, river trail, wetland and farm buildings, and they offer tours.

Photo by:  Shutterstock

Cape Floral Kingdom, South Africa
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004, the property at the south-western extremity of South Africa is one of the world’s great centers of terrestrial biodiversity, according to UNESCO. The region includes national parks, nature reserves, wilderness areas, state forests, and mountain catchment areas. It is recognized as one of the most special places for plants in the world.

Photo by:  Laila Wessel/Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden                     

Missouri Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show
If you want to see more than 7,500 orchid plans, representing more than 2,500 unique orchid taxa, in the same place, visit the Missouri Botanical Garden. The show’s last day is March 26. You’ll also find roses and a tropical rainforest in the Climatron conservatory. The garden is also known for its amazing collections of magnolias, camellias and daylilies.

Photo by:  istock

Keukenhof, Netherlands
Sure, most people go to see the Tulips Fields outside Amsterdam, one of the most colorful places on Earth and a “museum” of the most beautiful sights in the entire country. But the “Garden of Europe,” or Keukenhof Park, is worth a visit. It is one of the most beautiful spring gardens in the world. There are more than 7 million bulbs and around 800 varieties of tulips.

 Photo by:  istock

Tulip Fest, Oregon
Portland is known as the “City of Roses” but you can enjoy a sea of tulips just a half hour away during the annual Tulip Festival (March 24-April 30). You can find more than 40 acres covered with the beautiful spring bulbs at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. The Rose Festival and its Grand Floral Parade are equally mesmerizing

Photo by:  Shutterstock

Bluebonnets in Texas
You know how everything is bigger in Texas? Flowers are no exception. The bluebonnets are more than 12 inches tall, so it’s no wonder they are Texans’ favorite. Drive around Hill Country to see the mighty flowers anywhere you turn. There is even a designated Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis from April 1-30.Explore the more than 40 miles of mapped driving routes – the oldest such trails known in the state.

Photo by:  istock

Giverny Monet’s Garden, France
April is the time to go to see stunning daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, daisies, myosotis, and cherry blossoms. The popular Giverny Monet’s Garden, which includes the iconic Water Garden, opens on March 24. This is where the famous Japanese bridge is, covered with wisterias. Other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood, and water lillies which bloom all summer long can also be seen. The land in the Clos Normand is divided into flowerbeds where flower clumps of different heights create volume.

Photo by:  flickr/ happy /CC by 4.0

Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
This is where you’ll go to see stunning wisteria, or fuji flowers. Ashikaga Flower Park features lots of blue, white and pink fuji, as well as yellow laburnum that look like yellow colored fuji, according to Japan Guide. One large fuji tree is a century old and its branches are supported to create a huge umbrella of blue fuji flowers.

And there you have 16 of the most beautiful places in the world to take photos of spring flowers.  Do you live close to any of these?  Perhaps you could visit these places. 



Entertainment & Learning for the photographer