Glenn Nagel Photography: Blog en-us (C) Glenn Nagel Photography (Glenn Nagel Photography) Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:43:00 GMT Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:43:00 GMT Glenn Nagel Photography: Blog 86 120 I'm Back After 32 days on the road, I'm back home! 

This long road trip covered more than 7,500 miles (7,634 to be exact) and 16 states (IL, WI, MN, ND, MT, ID, WA, CA, NV, AZ, TX, NM, OK, KS, MO, IA).

At one point, I was just miles from the Canadian border. Later in trip, I was only yards from the Mexican border. At one point, waves from the Pacific Ocean rolled over my feet while I was photographing a sunset.

The Prius burned 146 gallons of gas over the entire trip (52.4 mpg). The cost of fuel was $356. The price per gallon of gas varied from as low as $1.87 in some of the Midwestern states to nearly $4.00 per gallon in Los Angeles.

CLICK HERE to view my daily itinerary.

Now comes the task of processing all of the images. I will likely be editing pictures into the Winter months.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) itinerary plan road trip travel Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:39:29 GMT
Extreme Symmetry Many of my photographs feature symmetry. Several of my images also feature a vanishing point--such as the door at the end of the corridor in the first picture or the painting on the back wall of the House of Representatives chamber in the second picture. Of course, symmetry is common with architecture. Here are a few symmetrical images from an earlier photography trip:

Capitol hallway House of Representatives chamber Supreme Court Chamber Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Senate Chamber I am seeing symmetry everywhere I look--even with these doors at the Ohio Statehouse!
Door handles

With all of this focus on symmetry, I began to wonder why it is that viewers generally find symmetry to be an attractive element within a photograph. Certainly, it brings a sense of order to the image. Could it be that human beings find beauty in symmetry because our own bodies are symmetrical?


]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture composition symmetry vanishing point Tue, 08 Aug 2017 03:55:34 GMT
Barred from Pumping My Own Gas Since my Prius gets such good gas mileage, I was several hundreds of miles into the state of Oregon before I realized that the process of pumping gas was different from other states.

After a long drive, I pulled into an Oregon gas station and got out of the car to stretch my legs and pump the gas. As I approached the pump, an attendant ran up to me and asked for my credit card. He informed me that I was not allowed to pump my own gas. I told him that I didn't realize I had pulled up to a full service pump--and that I would move my car. He replied that there wasn't a self-service gas station in the entire state!

So, as I stood right next to him, he swiped my credit card and then handed it back to me. He then filled my tank while I stood right there. When I asked him why this was necessary, he told me that it was all about job creation. I don't intend for this photography blog to contain political posts, but I can't understand how putting people to work providing a service that I don't want or need (with the resulting higher price of gas) can be a good thing in the long run.

Later, I learned through Wikepedia that a "1951 Oregon statue banning self-service gasoline lists 17 different justifications, including the flammability of gas, the risk of crime from customers leaving their car, the toxic fumes emitted by gasoline, and the jobs created by requiring mini service."

Vintage Shell Gas PumpVintage Shell Gas PumpVintage Shell gas station pump on US 101 (Olympic Highway) in downtown Aberdeen, Washington on August 6, 2013

Another thing I learned while traveling through Oregon is that the state doesn't have any sales taxes. The total charge for a large Diet Coke off the $1 Menu at McDonald's was exactly $1.

My aunt and uncle happened to be attending a conference in Eugene, Oregon while I was in Oregon. So, I drove to Eugene to meet them for breakfast. When my uncle picked up the check after breakfast, I told him that I would gladly pick up the sales tax!

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) gas oregon pump tax Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:27:06 GMT
Microstock Earnings through June My monthly microstock earnings came in at $807 for June. Overall, earnings are on a downward spiral. My Shutterstock earnings, in particular, are taking a big hit.

Following is a summary of my monthly earnings:

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) downloads earnings microstock sales shutterstock trends Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:03:19 GMT
Big Waves Years ago, I was shooting the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach. The waves from the Pacific Ocean were washing up along the shore. I was keeping an eye on the waves and thought I had plenty of time at the location because the sand was still dry for at least a couple hundred feet from me. So, I placed my camera bag on the sand and started changing the lens on my camera. With my camera bag wide open, and my camera and four lenses sitting exposed, I suddenly felt a wave crash into me at about knee high. As quickly as I could, I lifted the camera bag and dumped the salt water from it. Fortunately, the lens caps were in place and none of the water touched any of my glass. I rushed back to my hotel and spent the next few hours cleaning my gear with canned air and a vacuum! I was very lucky not to lose all of my equipment on the very first day of a two week photography trip. This experience taught me a valuable lesson about waves. Here's a picture from Baker Beach from that day:

Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate BridgeWave from the Pacific Ocean in front of the Golden Gate Bridge as viewed from Baker Beach in San Francisco, California on January 30, 2011

This lesson came in handy during my recent trip to Hawaii. One night I was photographing the sunset from Waimiea Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. I, along with about ten other people, walked a bit past a "no swimming" sign to set up for the sunset. As a result of my experience at Baker Beach, I no longer lay my backpack on the sand. My backpack was on my back.

During my time at Waimiea Beach, I was fascinated with the big waves. Until then, I never saw waves that high. I'm sure they get higher there, but these waves exceeded 30 feet. After a while, I started concentrating on getting photographs of the sunset--which was taking place to my far left. Apparently I wasn't paying enough attention to the ocean.

Suddenly, I heard a lifeguard shouting over a speaker system that everyone better move back because a big wave was approaching. I looked to my right toward the ocean and was stunned to see what appeared to be a wave of about 30 feet quickly approaching the area where all of us were standing. I grabbed my tripod and sprinted away from the sea. The wave came crashing down and then fizzled out several feet behind me. If I hadn't moved so quickly, my equipment would have been soaked with sandy saltwater for sure. Most likely, I would have lost my camera and tripod. Worse yet, I could easily have been swept out to sea.

The lifeguard then told everyone that it wasn't safe to walk in areas where the sand is smooth. He said to stay in areas with a lot of footprints. He also told me that if I get swept out to sea that I shouldn't fight the wave...just go with it and it would be possible to return to the shore later. Given the power of the waves and the cold temperature of the water, this advice wan't overly comforting. It only reinforced why I should stay well away from the water!

Then, the lifeguard announced that he was leaving for the night. The sun had set and his shift was over. He said that if anyone got pulled into the sea by a wave, someone on the beach should call 911.

I don't think my photograph of the big waves of Waimiea Beach do the waves justice, but here's one that I captured some time before the big one made me sprint away from the scene:

Waimea Bay Beach ParkWaimea Bay Beach ParkWaimea Bay Beach Park at 61-31 Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa, Hawaii on January 25, 2017

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) big waves equipment hawaii lifeguard oahu waimiea waves Sat, 15 Jul 2017 11:38:43 GMT
It's a Triple Play! On June 7th, my photograph of a mural in Austin, Texas sold three times within a five minute time period. It's a triple play!

Since I uploaded it, this image has sold more than 60 times through Dreamstime alone. Obviously, receiving 35 cents for a download isn't all that exciting. But, the image has generated more than $400 to date.

To view more of my favorite Wall Art photographs, please CLICK HERE.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) austin downloads dreamstime microstock mural sales wall art Mon, 10 Jul 2017 14:50:25 GMT
"Green Leaf" Wins Photo of the Day! This morning, my "Green Leaf" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

I found this leaf right outside my front door. I wasn't expecting it to be a very interesting subject, but it suddenly became more interesting when viewing it through my macro lens. I recently posted a blog entry about this photo shoot. I captured this picture inside my mini studio in the kitchen.

This marks the 43rd 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.

Green LeafGreen LeafImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for July 3, 2017

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) closeup contest green imaging resource leaf macro plant studio winner Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:46:44 GMT
In the Eye of the Beholder You never can tell which pictures will sell. Yesterday, a buyer paid $120 for a digital download of one of my photographs. This is a picture that I captured many years ago in Traverse City, Michigan. I'm a little baffled about why it sold. Honestly, I'm not quite sure why I even took the picture!

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) download microstock sales shutterstock Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:14:31 GMT
Microstock Earnings through May My monthly microstock earnings came in at $921 for May. Fotolia earnings exceeded $100 for the fourth consecutive month. iStock earnings fell to half the level of the previous month. Shutterstock earnings continue in a downward trend.

Following is a summary of my monthly earnings:

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) business microstock revenues sales shutterstock Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:29:10 GMT
Youth Baseball Portraits Each season, I capture photographs of players who play for my travel baseball team. This season, I'm managing a 10U team--so all of the players are ten years old. I rarely photograph people, so this gives me an opportunity to shoot some portraits of willing subjects. Well, at least their parents are willing!

In fact, the last time I set up the studio lights was for last season's portraits. As a result, I had some difficulty getting the Cyber Commander to synchronize with the receivers. In other words, I was unable to set the device up in such a way that I could control the power of the strobes from the camera using the commander. Although it's been several years since I purchased the kit from Paul C. Buff, I decided to try calling the company. To my surprise, my call was answered promptly by a knowledgeable representative who was able to address my problem in minutes. Now, that's great customer service!

Here is one of my favorite pictures from the session:

Rafe SlagerRafe SlagerRafe Slager of the 10U Orland Par Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 2, 2017 After posting a few pictures on photography forums for critique, I received questions about how this photograph was lit. So, here was my set up:

LightingSetupLightingSetupUse this to share your lighting setup or to document your setup for future reference. Email me at kevin@kertzdesign for comments and/or suggestions. Not for commercial use. For the background, I unfolded a 5'x7' Botero collapsible background and clipped it to some netting inside one of our batting cages. I lit the background with an Einstein strobe and placed a red gel on the strobe. The main light was an Einstein strobe placed inside a large softbox. I asked a parent to hold a large piece of white foam board at an angle that provided fill light. Fill light is even more important when the subject is wearing a baseball cap!

CLICK HERE to view more images from the photo session.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball portraits setup sports strobes studio Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:14:54 GMT
Learning to Make Money From Your Photos Each month, I share my microstock earnings in this blog. As a result, I receive many questions from photographers asking how they can make some money from their pictures. I almost always try to help. 

Recently, I came across another photographer, Steve Heap, who maintains a blog centered around the very topic of "making money from your photos"! The website is called "Backyard Silver". Through this blog, Steve shares his microstock earnings--and those earnings are approximately two to three times the amount that I am currently earning. More importantly, Steve's blog provides numerous articles that will help an aspiring microstock photographer to become more successful. For example, one of the things that I learned from his blog is how using "Microstock Submitter" can enable me to submit my images to more agencies far more efficiently.

One article that I would recommend starting with is the "Top 10 Ways to Sell More Stock Photos." I've been selling images through microstock agencies for more than five years now, and I learned some new things from that article.

In any event, I recommend that you visit Backyard Silver and take a look around. The site contains a lot of valuable information...from the Popular Posts to the How To Articles. And for those of you just getting started, you might want to order the "Getting Started in Stock: 2017 Edition of the guide to microstock photography" Kindle book from Amazon.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) blog earnings microstock recommendations references referral resources tips Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:03:19 GMT
"Florida State Capitol" Wins Photo of the Day! This morning, my "Florida State Capitol" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This image was captured during my tour of the state capitols. At this point, I've photographed 49 of the 50 state capitols. My next and final state capitol is Juneau, Alaska. To view some of the favorite capitol photographs, please CLICK HERE.

This marks the 42nd 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.

Florida State CapitolFlorida State CapitolImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for June 9, 2016

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture black and white capitol contest florida state capitol tallahassee travel winner Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:31:47 GMT
Take a Closer Look I was anxious to photograph something, so I desperately looked for a subject in my front yard! I came across an ordinary green leaf. I was skeptical about whether I would create any interesting photographs of this rather ordinary subject, but that's all I had at the time.

After capturing some rather boring pictures of the leaf, I took a much closer look using my Nikon 200 f/4 Micro lens. Before long, I concentrated on a section of the leaf near where the stem meets the leaf. The "scene" reminded me of a river of yellow flowing between two very steep green hills.

I've always liked the color combination of green and yellow. I held a small Nikon flash unit behind the leaf to help bring out the colors and the texture of the leaf.

At first, I made sure to line up the stem so that it was aligned vertically. However, that straight line led to a boring composition. In the end, I decided to let the line run diagonally through the frame--which almost always leads to a more interesting and dynamic composition.

Green leafGreen leafCloseup of a green leaf in Orland Park, Illinois on May 20, 2017 Out of this single, ordinary green leaf, I created a series of pictures from a photo shoot that lasted about 90 minutes! It paid off to take a closer look.

To view more images of this leaf, as well as some other photos of a pine tree and grass, please CLICK HERE.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract backlighting closeup composition diagonal flash green leaf macro ordinarly plant yellow Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:54:27 GMT
My Mini Kitchen Studio Over the past few days, I've been playing with my macro lens. While walking around the neighborhood, I spotted some subjects to photograph. Unfortunately, it's been very windy here in Chicagoland. Strong wind and macro photography generally don't go well together.

So, I decided to bring a couple of the subjects inside. This eliminates the wind and allows me to more carefully compose the pictures as well as to control the lighting and backgrounds. To accomplish this, I quickly set up a little studio on my kitchen table!

Here's what it looks like:

#1: Nikon D800 Camera

#2: Nikon 200 f/4 Micro Lens

#3: Nikon SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander (to trigger #4)

#4: Nikon SB-R200 Wireless Remote Speedlight with Diffuser

#5: Wimberley Plamp

#6: Scissors (to trim unwanted pine needles)

#7: Foam Board (white on one side and black on the other)

#8: Gitzo Tripod

#9: Pine Tree Branch (my subject)

Truth be told, the flash unit (along with the commander to trigger it) probably wan't necessary for creating these pictures. I haven't used these pieces of equipment for a while, so I thought it would be helpful to get the practice with them.

Here are a few of the images of this subject:

Pine tree budsPine tree budsBuds on pine tree in Orland Park, Illinois on May 18, 2017 Pine tree budsPine tree budsBuds on pine tree in Orland Park, Illinois on May 18, 2017 And, here's an image of another subject using the same set up with the foam board flipped to its reverse black side:

Curly grassCurly grassCurly grass in Orland Park, Illinois on May 18, 2017

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) closeup equipment flash foam board kitchen macro pine tree studio Sun, 28 May 2017 12:42:29 GMT
Microstock Earnings through April My monthly microstock earnings came in at $938 for April. Fotolia earnings exceeded $100 for the third consecutive month. iStock earnings bounced back after a disappointing March. Shutterstock earnings fell dramatically--posting the second lowest monthly earnings in a few years.

Following is a summary of my monthly earnings:

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) business dreamstime earnings fotolia income itstock microstock shutterstock trends Wed, 24 May 2017 02:16:59 GMT
Microstock Earnings through March My monthly microstock earnings once again exceeded $1,000. Fotolia earnings exceeded $100 for the second consecutive month. iStock earnings fell after a strong start to the year. Shutterstock earnings are in a gradual decline, but still far exceed that of the other agencies that I deal with.

Following is a summary of my monthly earnings:

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) business earnings fotolia istock microstock shutterstock trend Wed, 24 May 2017 02:11:05 GMT
"Orangutan" Wins Photo of the Day! This morning, my "Orangutan" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This image was captured during my last trip to the Brookfield Zoo. I recently posted a blog entry about this particular photograph.

This marks the 41st 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.

OrangutanOrangutanImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for May 18, 2017. This photo earned Honorable Mention as First Runner-Up for May.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal brookfield zoo captive orangutan portrait primate sophia tropic world Thu, 18 May 2017 13:06:57 GMT
A Single Dandelion Last week, I created a number of photographs using different perspectives of a single dandelion clock. All of these pictures were created with my Nikon D800 and Nikon 200 f4 Micro lens.

Dandelion clockDandelion clockDandelion clock in Orland Park, Illinois on April 28, 2017 Dandelion clockDandelion clockDandelion clock in Orland Park, Illinois on April 28, 2017 Dandelion clockDandelion clockDandelion clock in Orland Park, Illinois on April 28, 2017 Dandelion clockDandelion clockDandelion clock in Orland Park, Illinois on April 28, 2017 Dandelion clockDandelion clockDandelion clock in Orland Park, Illinois on April 28, 2017 Macro photography allows a photographer to capture images of ordinary things in a way that is not ordinarily seen.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) closeup dandelion dandelion clock macro plant Sat, 13 May 2017 04:16:18 GMT
Welcome To My 200,000th Visitor! This morning, my website welcomed its 200,000th visitor! This number counts only unique visitors--in other words, repeat visits are not counted in this total.

These visitors originate from 157 countries and represent all 7 continents (including Antarctica).

The internet makes it possible to share my photographs with so many people from around the World. I hope you enjoy the images half as much as I enjoy creating them.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) hits internet visitors visits Sun, 07 May 2017 11:44:23 GMT
"Sandy Beach" Photo Wins Third Place for March On March 24th, my "Sandy Beach" photograph won Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day. At the end of each month, the judges at Imaging Resource review the daily winners and select the top five photographs for the month. The top three photos are awarded prizes (Adorama gift cards) and the other two are recognized as runner-ups.

My "Sandy Beach" photograph was awarded Third Place for the month of March, 2017. CLICK HERE to view the winning entries as well as all the daily winners for the month.

]]> (Glenn Nagel Photography) adorama award contest imaging resource third place winning entry Wed, 03 May 2017 13:34:37 GMT