Thursday, September 30, 2010

Martin Amm

During the Yellowstone trip I found a macro lens attachment for my girlfriend's camera that I did not know I had.  I tried to take a few pictures but they all turned out washed out looking or blurry, too much light or not enough. This inspired me to look for a cool macro photographer that stood out to to me. This is the photo that truely cought my eye:

This photo was taken by Martin Amm, who is a photographer mainly focused on nature photography. He uses a Nikon D70 but no information was found on what type of lens he uses. He has some amazing shots of sleeping insects that are still covered in dew from the morning. The dew emphasizes the colors on the insects making them look very crisp and beautiful. Thinking about the time of day he takes these pictures he must must have to use both a flash and a tripod in order to get enough light. Is a filter needed to reduce the glair of the frosty looking dew?

He uses this in his description of the picture above: Focusstacking out of 6 pictures D200 - Sigma 150/2.8 - 1/4s - ISO 125.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anatoly Beloshchin

I came across this picture and instantly decided to blog about it.
These are pictures of inside cave Centote Angelita in Mexico. Near the bottom of this water filled cave there is a layer of hydrogen sulphide that looks like a fog covered river in a bog. It has an island with trees and even leaves on the ground! When I first set my eyes on this picture I was so confused I had to look into it and figure out where this was and what was happening.  These pictures along with other amazing scuba photographs were taken by Anatoly Beloshchin, a very talented photographer and Martial artist that I believe lives in Russia. I went to his site to find out more about him but it is under construction so I found very little information about him. He has some beautiful underwater cave photos that have incredible colors and geologic structures that I am curious about. I wonder how much extra light is needed in order to bring out colors effectively at these depths. Also, I wonder how salt water and fresh water effect the picture taking techniques.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Examples of the Seven Rules of Photography

Light is more attractive than dark
Diagonal lines are more attractive than vertica
The Rule of Thirds

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Establishing Visual Priorities

Jagged lines are more striking than curved ones

Red is more attractive than yellow

Light is more attractive than dark

Difference draws more attention than conformity
Diagonal lines are more attractive than vertical ones
Sharpness is more attractive than blur
Large draws more attention than small

Caleb Charland

This week, I found a site that explores a weird and unusual side of photography that baffles me. This was the site of Caleb Charland, a photographer who not only has both a bachelors and a masters degree in fine arts, but also a very inventive side. He isn't just a photographer, but also a scientist that knows his physics and science well enough to use this in his photography. 
For example, this photo shows a simple way of how he uses science to create images that are unusual and interesting to look at and raising an audiences curiosity. His main goal as a photographer is to "find ways to exploit the mysterious qualities of everyday objects and familiar materials...[combining his] scientific curiosity with a constructive approach to making pictures" (Charland, 2010). His site also states that all his images in-camera without digital manipulation. 
I like all of his work because it isn't photoshopped; it is reliant on his own knowledge of the camera and his creativity and ability to manipulate the objects he is using. I know this has nothing to do with nature digital photography, but I wanted to share a unique perspective of photography that I myself have never heard of. 
What I want to know, is how he creates pictures like this one, with out using digital manipulation?!?

Resources: "Caleb Charland." 

Monday, September 13, 2010


     Being new to the usage of digital SLR cameras, I didn't know anything really about exposure, aperture, shutter speed, or any of the other terms I've come across in our text. After reading the chapter on exposure in part two of the National Audubon Society Guide to Nature Photography, I still was confused and so I found some more information about it from various websites. According to the text, "exposure is based on through-the-lens light meter reading that transmit the luminance of the scene to the camera's onboard computer" (Fitzharris, 63), or in other words, is the amount of light recognized by the sensor in your camera. The two main controlling factors of exposure are aperture size and shutter speed.
     The aperture is the opening in the camera that lets in light, and the amount of light let in is controlled by the F-stops. I found it extremely confusing that a lower F-stop (F/1.8) meant more light being let in, while a higher F-stop (F/16) meant less light being let in. I was wondering the reasons why they made a bigger number mean less, and a smaller number mean more. The F-stop can control the exposure, since it will allow for more or less light to be let in, or "exposed."
     The second part that controls exposure is the shutter speed, which changes how fast or slow the shutter on the camera remains open. A quicker shutter speed like 1/1000 (which means 1/1000 of a second), means that it will let in less light, since the shutter is open for a shorter period of time. A slower shutter speed like 1" (which means 1 second), means that it will let in more light, since the shutter is open for a longer period of time. Obviously, the shutter speed also has a great deal to do will the exposure, too.
   The book also talked about histograms and how being able to read it will allow you to better assess whether your photograph is overexposed or underexposed. "If the histogram is humped to the left, you need to increase exposure; if it is humped to the right, you must decrease exposure" (Fitzharris, 64). This seems like a helpful way of being able to see if the photo is over or under exposed, and then adjust the F-stop to create a better exposure.
    The text also talks about various exposure modes, such as aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode. The aperture priority  lets you "choose the aperture and the camera sets the corresponding shutter speed" (Fitzharris, 66). This way, you can choose the aperture based on what depth of field you are wanting or what types of shots you are taking. The shutter priority is opposite; it allows you to control the shutter speed while the camera chooses the aperture. In the manual mode it combine the two of them; letting you choose the aperture and the shutter speed.
    I feel like there is still a lot to learn about exposure and all the different components of it, but I feel more confident about the subject-- I just need to practice with an actual camera in order to better my skills and understanding.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Porcupine Mountains Waterfall, Michigan

I found this photo taken by Gowtham, a college professor in Michigan who is also an independent photographer. He takes a variety of portraits, sports photos and wildlife photos. I do not really like the rest of his work but I can say that he has some good quality shots. 

He submitted this photo to National Geographic and it was given the best photo of the day award in April, 2009. The picture was taken off of a suspended bridge in Michigan's porcupine Mountains, apparently on a breezy afternoon. He used a ten second exposure time to give the water a soft ribbon effect, making the picture look breathtakingly calm. The first thing that caught my eye was the rock formation that the water is running through because of how unique and beautiful it looks. The slightly dark, natural lighting along with the dark creamy water makes for a serene scenery and good photo. I did notice that the rocks on either side of the water seem to have a blurry depth of field  which was probably hard to fix with the lighting in that area. But other than that, the title of best photo of the day on National Geographic was well deserved.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Winter Photography Chapter

Living in Montana, I know how to dress for the winter, so I found this chapter pretty boring and not as useful as I expected it to be. I figured it would talk about actually photography in the winter time, not just how to dress warm. The parts I did find useful were the parts focused on the parts actually related to the use of photography. For example, the part about battery life becoming shorter during cold weather was a very useful tip, and has been something I've experienced myself. Keeping your camera in a bag to prevent condensation in the camera housing was also a good tip, because I probably wouldn't have thought about it on my own. The other part I enjoyed was his discussion about how many different opportunities are there in the winter, and made me realize how fun winter photography can be.

Andrej Belic

     Once again I used the all mighty StumbleUpon to find a new photographer and found a very unique and mind blowing type of photography. I found Andrej Belic's beautiful undersea photography site, where he shares photos he has taken under the sea from all over the world. He started off photographing water sports, such as wavesurfing, and soon decided that standing on the beach was not adventurous enough. He used a Nikon F5 but due to the bulky water housing he switched to an F100 so he can fit into tighter spaces and move around more quickly underwater.  After looking at his site, I cannot help to wonder how dangerous this really is. It must be difficult lugging around all the equipment and then trying to get great shots while concentrating on diving and the sharks swimming around you. Also, there has to be some law or restriction to who can check out certain areas, especially the ones with shipwrecks.
     This photographer stands out to me, not only because of the fact that he's shooting underwater, but because of the variety of emotions that he brings out in his photos. One photo he took of fire coral in Saudi Arabia makes me feel helpless, and kind of sad. The angle and lighting he uses makes me feel like I'm at the bottom of the ocean with no air and as I accept my fate I stop to get one last look at mother nature's creations. On the other hand, he has photos that make me smile, like the close-ups of underwater creatures. There are close-ups of small creatures that are vibrant in color who look just plain cute.

1."Going to the Depths...Interview with and Underwater Photographer."
2. "Andrej Belic."