I'll be posting some random thoughts here about my photography: my travel plans, technical information behind some images, stories about how certain pictures were captured, etc.  The timing of the postings will also be random as my priority is capturing new images rather than writing about existing ones.  I hope you will feel free to comment on any of my postings and I appreciate you taking time to read my entries.

 

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"Brain Center" Wins Photo of the Day!

December 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Brain Center" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This is the third picture from my "Great Western USA Loop" road trip to be recognized with a Photo of the Day. This photograph was captured a few months ago at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. CLICK HERE to view my blog entry about this photo shoot.

This marks the 47th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Brain CenterBrain CenterImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for December 13, 2017


Let It Rain!

December 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Last month, I visited the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Milwaukee to capture photograph of the interior of the church. When I take pictures of interior spaces with windows (particularly stained glass windows), I hope for overcast conditions. So, I was very pleased that I was driving through a light rain on my way to this church!

The rain isn't ideal for the exterior shots...

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 3201 S 51st Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 But, it pays off inside the cathedral. Note the detail and colors contained within the stained glass windows. This is not possible when bright sunlight is streaming through the windows--even with extreme bracketing of the exposures.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 3201 S 51st Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 3201 S 51st Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 St. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 3201 S 51st Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 St. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 3201 S 51st Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017

I tend to check the weather forecast and look at the sky even when shooting inside.


Wisconsin Architecture

December 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Over the past several years, I've been taking road trips all over the country. Last month, I decided to take a much shorter photography trip. I drove from Chicago to Madison. After spending two nights in Madison, I drove to Milwaukee and spent one night there.

Although these cities are relatively close to my home, I have spent very little time in them. During my short stay, I was busy photographing several architectural sites. I came away from this trip with a much greater appreciation for Wisconsin architecture. Prior to this trip, I had no idea that Milwaukee City Hall was the tallest building in the United States at one time...or that the dome of the Basilica of St. Josephat was the second largest in the nation (behind the federal Capitol building in Washington, DC) at the time of its completion!

In the end, I photographed 7 locations. I'll post one photo from each location. To view the rest, simply click on the location title.

1- Wisconsin State Capitol

MadisonMadisonDowntown Madison from Olin Park in Madison, Wisconsin on November 14, 2017 2- Overture Center for the Arts

Overture HallOverture HallOverture Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts on 201 State Street in Madison, Wisconsin on November 14, 2017 3- St. Sava Cathedral

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox CathedralSt. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 3201 S 51st Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 4- Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee Public LibraryMilwaukee Public LibraryMilwaukee Public Library (Main Branch) at 814 W Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 5- Milwaukee City Hall

Milwaukee City HallMilwaukee City HallMilwaukee City Hall at 200 E Wells Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 6- Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art MuseumMilwaukee Art MuseumMilwaukee Art Museum at 700 N Art Museum Drive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 7- Basilica of St. Josephat

Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 At the end of a few days of shooting, I came away with 176 completed images! Click here to view my favorites from the trip. All of the pictures were captured with my new Nikon D850 camera.

 


Ultra Wide

November 28, 2017  •  2 Comments

It's amazing how wide the perspective is from my Sigma 15mm fisheye lens.

Take a look at the display cases with the flags in this photograph of the rotunda inside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing:

Michigan State CapitolMichigan State CapitolRotunda of the Michigan State Capitol at 100 N Capitol Avenue in Lansing, Michigan on November 6, 2017 The flags are positioned just off the floor around the rotunda.

While preparing to capture of picture of the inner dome, I laid down in the center of the floor. Here's that image:

Michigan State CapitolMichigan State CapitolInner dome from the rotunda floor of the Michigan State Capitol at 100 N Capitol Avenue in Lansing, Michigan on November 6, 2017.
The Michigan battle flags collection is housed in the state capitol. The original battle flags from the Civil War, Spanish American War and WWI were on display in the glass cases surrounding the rotunda. Now, these flags are replicas as the original flags are now kept in a special archival area for preservation.
Note that the flag cases are visible in the edges of the frame. The perspective is super wide.

Last week, I was taking pictures inside Overture Hall in Madison, Wisconsin. My host was sitting a few seats to my right while I was capturing photographs of the theater from the balcony. She was surprised when I asked if she would mind moving back a bit as she was still in the frame!


My "Palouse" Photo Wins Second Place for the Month of October

November 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

My "Palouse" photograph won Second Place in Imaging Resource's photo contest for the month of October, 2017.


Microstock Earnings Through October

November 20, 2017  •  8 Comments

My monthly microstock earnings surpassed $1,000 for October. This amount is up about $140 from last month and is about $45 less than October of last year. I reached a milestone during October with life-to-date earnings exceeding $70,000. Also of note is that I submitted about 225 images to Alamy. During the month of October, none of the Alamy photographs sold.

Following is a summary of my monthly earnings:


Wait a Second!

November 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

During my trip to Detroit this past weekend, I visited a mosque for the first time. I started big...the Islamic Center of America is the largest mosque in North America. The first photograph that I captured was of the interior with my Sigma 15mm fisheye lens. I used my new Nikon D850 camera.

Islamic Center of AmericaIslamic Center of AmericaIslamic Center of America at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn, Michigan on November 3, 2017 The Sigma fisheye is a great lens, but it's not one of the sharpest lenses to use along with the D850. For one thing, the fisheye introduces quite a bit of distortion (intentionally).

When I zoomed in at 100% to view the sharpness of the image, I was shocked that I could actually see the second hand on the clock that's positioned over the center post! The time is 11:22 and 38 seconds!

Islamic Center of AmericaIslamic Center of AmericaIslamic Center of America at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn, Michigan on November 3, 2017 I have a feeling that I'm going to like this camera.


Piecing the Puzzle Together

November 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I visited the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan on a rainy Sunday morning. Needless to say, the museum was quite crowded. The first picture that I hoped to capture was the Ford Plaza of Innovation...the large open space that greets visitors as the enter the museum. An amazing feature of this plaza is the cornerstone that commemorates the dedication of the museum. Thomas Edison was on hand that day--and that's his signature and his footprints in the large piece of concrete in the center of the frame!

Here's how I captured this image:

I placed the camera on a tripod and took one exposure when the floor was as empty as possible. From there, I looked to the far left of the frame--and snapped another exposure once that segment was mostly free of people. Then, I shifted my attention to the next area of the floor and pressed the shutter when that area was mostly free of visitors. In the end, I took seven pictures--of seven different segments of the floor when each piece was mostly free of people. Then, I combined those seven pictures together in Photoshop--taking just the open portions of each of the 7 images. From there, my remaining cloning work was minimal.

But, I still had a problem. I didn't want to bracket all of these images! So, my blended exposure had a problem--the cornerstone in particular (which is illuminated) was blown out. Fortunately, I anticipated this at the scene and captured another exposure that was underexposed by a couple of stops...and then used that exposure to recover the highlights.

But, I still had one more problem! I noticed that the video board just below the cornerstone was blurry. The images on that screen keep changing...and sometimes has a video playing. With my 5 second exposures, the board was a mess. So, I boosted my ISO up, opened the aperture...and with the faster shutter speed (now 1/250th), I waited until the video board displayed an appropriate text (it now says "Generations of visitors from around the world have come here to envision our past, the present and the future."). I used that as my final blend in Photoshop--so that only that small piece of the frame is ISO 1,250 while the rest of the image is ISO 64. I suppose I should have done some noise reduction work on that video board!

p2615599488-5.  

To view a larger version of this image, CLICK HERE.

I also captured a vertical picture from this same spot as well as another photo from very close to the cornerstone.

By the way, my favorite part of this museum was getting to sit inside the actual bus that Rosa Parks was sitting on when she refused to give up her seat!


"Snow Leopard Cub" Wins Photo of the Day!

November 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Snow Leopard Cub" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This is the second picture from my "Great Western USA Loop" road trip to be recognized with a Photo of the Day. This photograph was captured a few months ago at the Triple D Game Farm in Montana. To view more images from my visit to Triple D, please CLICK HERE.

This marks the 46th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Snow Leopard KittenSnow Leopard KittenImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for November 8, 2017


A Secured Photo Shoot

November 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

During my last long road trip, I visited Tucson, Arizona for a few days. During my visit, I captured some architectural abstracts while walking around the downtown area.

To take this photograph of the New York Life Insurance building, I had to keep moving back away from the building in order to remove some of the distortion that results from tilting the lens up. I wanted the lines to be as straight as possible in my in camera image. Before I knew it, I was standing well within the property of the Tucson Police Department.

A police officer saw me setting up my tripod and asked me what I was photographing. From where we were standing, the subject of my photograph wasn't at all obvious. I showed him the Live View image on the back of my camera. It was going to take me about 5 minutes to precisely line everything up before taking the final picture. He said that he would stand with my until I was done shooting--otherwise I would likely get hassled by other police officers to get off the property.

Once I finished taking this picture, the police officer left to begin his patrol.

 

 

 

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