Glenn Nagel Photography: Blog https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Glenn Nagel Photography gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) Mon, 07 Jun 2021 13:26:00 GMT Mon, 07 Jun 2021 13:26:00 GMT https://www.nagelphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u676558798-o97441262-50.jpg Glenn Nagel Photography: Blog https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog 86 120 "Lifeguard Tower" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/6/-lighthouse-tower-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Lifeguard Tower" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured earlier this year at Lake Michigan in Michigan City, Indiana. I partially desaturated the image while editing it in Photoshop.

This marks the 76th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.

Lifeguard TowerLifeguard TowerImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for June 6, 2021

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) desaturated imaging resource lake michigan lifeguard tower michigan city photo contest winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/6/-lighthouse-tower-wins-photo-of-the-day Mon, 07 Jun 2021 02:23:19 GMT
"Fajada Butte" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/5/-fajada-butte-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Fajada Butte" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in 2014 during one of my most memorable road trips. CLICK HERE to read my blog entry about the challenging road conditions that I faced to capture this image!

This marks the 75th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Fajada ButteFajada ButteImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for May 14, 2021

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) black and white chaco canyon fajada butte imaging resource landscape new mexico photo contest travel winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/5/-fajada-butte-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 14 May 2021 13:10:08 GMT
My Mirrorless Transition Plan https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/4/my-mirrorless-transition-plan I currently shoot with a D850 and have a D800 as my backup camera. I own a lot of Nikon F mount glass...including the Holy Trinity, 105 Macro, 200 Micro, 200 f2, 300 2.8, 500 f4 and Sigma 15 fisheye

So, my migration plan is as follows:

  • Just placed an order for the Z7ii.
  • Once the Z7ii arrives, I plan to replace the 14-24 and 24-70 lenses with the S 2.8 versions. The S version of the 24-70 looks to be a significant improvement over my 24-70 (first version) and the 14-24 also looks to be improved (although that's tough to do against my 14-24). The filter options for the 14-24 S look to be a lot more convenient.
  • I plan to keep my 70-200 F mount (latest version) and use it with the FTZ adapter.
  • I plan to keep all of my other F mount lenses and use the FTZ adapter for now.
  • I plan to keep my D850 for a while and use it for action photography with my long lenses. I suspect the D850 will outperform the Z7ii for action photography--sports and birds in flight.
  • Within the next year, I expect the Z7ii to transition to my backup camera. It's possible that the Z9 (or whatever the model) will be my primary camera, but I'll wait to see the pricing and specs on that first. In any event, once the Z7ii moves to being a backup, I'll sell my D850 and two of my Holy Trinity lenses.
  • I plan to keep the long telephoto primes for quite some time and use with the FTZ adapter. I will likely sell one or two of them (probably the 200 f2 and the 300 2.8) in time.

It's an expensive transition, but not as costly as it could be as I'm retaining all but two of my lenses. I have made the decision to stick with Nikon--mostly because I'm so heavily invested in the system, particularly the lenses.

I decided that mirrorless is going to be the future for me and that it's best to start making the transition now. I don't expect the Z7ii to outperform my D850 in terms of image image quality, but I do expect the S lenses to be superior to my F mount lenses...and will also appreciate the size and weight savings. As I'm making this transition, I think I'll be better positioned to take advantage of future advances with mirrorless technology...such as the ones we are already seeing with the most recent Sony flagship body.

So, that's the plan. I made the first step by placing an order for the Z7ii today!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) adaptor d850 filters ftz holy trinity mirrorless nikon z7ii https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/4/my-mirrorless-transition-plan Tue, 27 Apr 2021 15:38:47 GMT
Summer Road Trip 2021 Itinerary https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/3/summer-road-trip-2021-itinerary My travel plans for last year were canceled due to the pandemic. However, things are looking a little brighter for travel for this summer. By then, I will have had both doses of my Pfizer vaccine. And, it appears that most of the locations I plan to visit are reopening.

So, here's the preliminary itinerary for this summer's road trip. This trip covers 8 states, 20 days and 3,500 miles:

Day 1: Des Moines, IA - revisit Iowa Capitol

Day 2: Omaha NE - Zoo

Day 3: North Platte - NE - revisit Nebraska Capitol, Buffalo Bill Ranch

Day 4: Scottsbluff, NE - Oregon Trail, Fort Laramie

Day 5: Cheyenne, WY - revisit Wyoming Capitol

Day 6: Cheyenne, WY - Botanic Gardens

Day 7: Laramie, WY 

Day 8: Rawlins, WY - Wyoming Frontier Prison

Day 9: Jackson, WY - Grand Teton National Park

Day 10: West Yellowstone, MT - Yellowstone National Park

Day 11: West Yellowstone, MT - Yellowstone National Park

Day 12: Gardiner, MT - Mammoth Springs

Day 13: Bozeman, MT - Livingston, Montana Grizzly Encounter

Day 14: Helena, MT - revisit Montana Capitol, Gates of the Mountains boat tour

Day 15: Billings, MT - Zoo Montana

Day 16: Custer, SD - Mt Rushmore, Little Bighorn

Day 17: Wall, SD - Murdo, Badlands National Park

Day 18: Pierre, SD - revisit South Dakota Capitol

Day 19: LaCrosse, WI - Porter Sculpture Park

Day 20: Orland Park, IL

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) itinerary montana plans road trip south dakota travel wyoming https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/3/summer-road-trip-2021-itinerary Sat, 20 Mar 2021 20:37:08 GMT
"Lake Michigan" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/3/-lake-michigan-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Lake Michigan" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured on an unusually warm December (2020) evening at Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan.

This marks the 74th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Lake MichiganLake MichiganImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for March 7, 2021

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) imaging resource lake michigan landscape nagel photography photo contest seascape sunset https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/3/-lake-michigan-wins-photo-of-the-day Sun, 07 Mar 2021 14:55:48 GMT
"Mono Lake" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/2/-mono-lake-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Mono Lake" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured five years ago at Mono Lake in California. I was practicing some newly learned post processing techniques and decided to revisit this photograph from the past.

This marks the 73rd time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Mono LakeMono LakeImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for February 11, 2021

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) california entry imaging resource landscape mono lake photo contest winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/2/-mono-lake-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 11 Feb 2021 13:45:06 GMT
"Death Valley" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/1/-death-valley-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Death Valley" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured over a decade ago at Badwater salt pan in Death Valley National Park, California. Last week, I was practicing some newly learned post processing techniques and decided to revisit this photograph from the past.

This marks the 72nd time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Death ValleyDeath ValleyImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for January 8, 2021

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) death valley landscape photo contest pink sunrise winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2021/1/-death-valley-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 08 Jan 2021 14:05:29 GMT
"A Look Through My Lens" Published for 2020! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/12/-a-look-through-my-lens-published-for-2020 Each year, I create a book which compiles my favorite photographs from the entire year. However, 2020 has been a different kind of year in many ways. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, my travel plans for the year were canceled. My photography sessions were far fewer than in past years.

This year, I decided to do something different. The book is a collection of my favorite photographs from the past decade. The process of selecting the pictures to include in the book helped me relive so many remarkable experiences. It really has been an amazing ten years of photography.

You may CLICK HERE to view a full preview of this year's book. It's most effective to view the images with the pages of the book expanded to fill your monitor.

I use Blurb to create my books. I'm very pleased with the quality of the product--from the binding and paper to the image quality. Producing such a small quantity of books makes for a high cost per unit. I make these available for purchase at the base cost from Blurb. However, the book isn't intended for general distribution. I like to create one for my own records--and family and friends occasionally order books as well.

This is the 13th annual "A Look Through My Lens" book that I've created!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) book collection decade favorites https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/12/-a-look-through-my-lens-published-for-2020 Fri, 25 Dec 2020 19:25:38 GMT
"Office Reflections" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/12/-office-building-reflection-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Office Reflections" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured last month at an office building near my home. I happened to notice the reflections--and went back home to grab my camera!

This marks the 71st time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Office Building ReflectionOffice Building ReflectionImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for December 22, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract architecture imaging resource photo contest photo of the day reflection winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/12/-office-building-reflection-wins-photo-of-the-day Tue, 22 Dec 2020 14:32:42 GMT
"Cell Block" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/11/-cell-block-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Cell Block" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured last month at the Old Joliet Prison. I live less than 30 minutes from the Joliet Prison and have always wanted to go inside the walls of this historic structure. But, the prison was closed for many years. Now that it is open for tours, I joined a photography tour--which enabled me to spend four hours on the grounds with limited visitors. Best of all, tripods were allowed.

This marks the 70th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Cell BlockCell BlockImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for November 14, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture black and white cell block contest imaging resource joliet photo contest prison winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/11/-cell-block-wins-photo-of-the-day Sat, 14 Nov 2020 14:26:33 GMT
"Hosta Leaf" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/10/-hosta-leaf-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Hosta Leaf" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured earlier this summer. The plant lives right outside my front door!

This marks the 69th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Hosta LeafHosta LeafImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for October 21, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) green hosta imaging resource leaf photo contest plant winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/10/-hosta-leaf-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 21 Oct 2020 14:12:20 GMT
"Bald Eagle" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/9/-bald-eagle-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Bald Eagle" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph earlier this year at the Howell Nature Center in Michigan.

This marks the 68th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Bald EagleBald EagleImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for September 2, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) bald eagle eagle Imaging Resource photo contest photo of the day https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/9/-bald-eagle-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 02 Sep 2020 13:06:14 GMT
"Framed Cygnet" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/7/-baby-swan-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Framed Cygnet" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was a couple of months ago at the Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights, Illinois. I was fortunate enough to see the baby mute swans (cynets) up close on two occasions.

This marks the 67th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Baby SwanBaby SwanImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for July 16, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal cynet imaging resource lake katherine mute swan photo contest swan wildlife winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/7/-baby-swan-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 16 Jul 2020 13:19:32 GMT
Canada Thistle https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/6/canada-thistle Last week, I noticed several of these plants growing along a creek that I often walk by. I believe that this is called a Canada thistle. I'm told that it is considered to be a noxious, invasive species in 43 states. Basically, it's a weed!

In any event, I found the subject to be interesting. So, I removed this one small section of the plant and brought it home with me to photograph it.

I quickly set up a miniature "studio" on my kitchen table. The studio included a small piece of white foam board as my background. I lit the background with a tiny flash (the Nikon SB R-200):

I then lit the plant with a somewhat larger flash (the Nikon SB-900). I handheld the SB-900 and aimed it through a diffuser. Both flashes were triggered remotely by the Nikon SU-800. The light output of each flash can be set directly through the SU-800--which is positioned on the hotshoe of the camera (Nikon D850). The lens was the Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro.

Here is the final result:

Canada thistleCanada thistleCanada thistle in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2020  

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) canada thistle flash macro strobe studio thistle https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/6/canada-thistle Wed, 24 Jun 2020 13:13:21 GMT
Butterfly Wings https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/6/butterfly-wings It's been a while since I used my macro lens. Sometimes you can see things that you wouldn't otherwise see by getting very close to a subject. That was certainly the case with these butterfly wings. I had no idea that the wings had such texture.

I captured the following images with my Nikon D850 camera, Nikon 200 f/4 Micro lens. I also attached Kenko extension tubes so that I could get even closer.

Butterfly wingButterfly wingCloseup of an Indonesian cethosia hypsea butterfly wing in Orland Park, Illinois on May 3, 2020. This butterfly is of the family Nymphalidae. It is found in from Burma to Indonesia and the Philippines. Butterfly wingButterfly wingCloseup of a yellow orange callicore cynosura butterfly wing in Orland Park, Illinois on May 3, 2020 Butterfly wingButterfly wingCloseup of a butterfly wing in Orland Park, Illinois on May 3, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract butterfly butterfly wings closeup macro micro nikon https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/6/butterfly-wings Thu, 04 Jun 2020 14:17:45 GMT
Cygnets (Baby Swans) https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/5/cygnets-baby-swans I came across an amazing scene while walking by a lake near my home in the Chicago suburbs earlier this month. There were six baby swans (cygnets)...and they allowed me to get quite close. I also saw ten baby geese (goslings) while at the lake.

These swans were about a week old and so small that one could easily fit in your hand. The mother and father swans, on the other hand, are massive and quite intimidating!

Most of these images were captured from a distance of 9 or 10 feet. The swans were comfortable with me being at that distance as long as I stayed very low to the ground and kept relatively still.

CygnetsCygnetsBaby swans, or cygnets, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 CygnetCygnetBaby swan, or cygnet, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 SwanSwanMale mute swan, or cob, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 CygnetCygnetBaby swan, or cygnet, at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020 CygnetCygnetBaby swan (cygnet) at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 16, 2020. This baby swan was 8 days old. SwanSwanFemale mute swan at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 16, 2020 SwansSwansBaby mute swans with mother at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, Illinois on May 13, 2020. These baby swans were 8 days old.
 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baby birds cygnet cygnets lake katherine mute swan swan swans wildlife https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/5/cygnets-baby-swans Sat, 30 May 2020 13:31:03 GMT
"White Sands" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/5/-white-sands-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "White Sands" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at White Sands National Monument during my recent road trip through New Mexico. Since my return from New Mexico, White Sands has been elevated to White Sands National Park. This is the fifth photograph from that road trip to win a contest.

This marks the 66th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

White SandsWhite SandsImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for May 20, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) imaging resource landscape photo contest white sands https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/5/-white-sands-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 20 May 2020 13:06:36 GMT
"Snow Goose in Flight" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/3/-snow-goose-in-flight-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Snow Goose in Flight" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge during my recent road trip through New Mexico. This is the fourth photograph from that road trip to win a contest.

This marks the 65th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Snow GooseSnow GooseImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for March 5, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) bosque bosque del apache goose imaging resource photo contest snow goose https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/3/-snow-goose-in-flight-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 05 Mar 2020 14:40:16 GMT
Welcome To My 300,000th Visitor! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/2/welcome-to-my-300-000th-visitor Earlier today, my website welcomed its 300,000th visitor!

When I started this photography website back in 2012, I never imagined that the site would attract this many viewers.

Another advantage of the internet is having the opportunity to share my photographs with people throughout the world. People from 157 different countries have visited my website.

Photography wouldn't be nearly as much fun if I didn't have a way of sharing the images with other people. So, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to view my photographs over the years.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) traffic visitors website zenfolio https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/2/welcome-to-my-300-000th-visitor Fri, 28 Feb 2020 13:40:06 GMT
"Sandhill Cranes" Photo Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/2/-sandhill-cranes-photo-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Sandhill Cranes" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge during my recent road trip through New Mexico. This is the third photograph from that road trip to win a contest.

This marks the 64th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Sandhill CranesSandhill CranesImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for February 18, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) birds bosque contest cranes imaging resource photo contest sandhill cranes silhouette wildlife https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/2/-sandhill-cranes-photo-wins-photo-of-the-day Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:38:18 GMT
Very Large Array https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/very-large-array During my road trip through New Mexico, I planned three days at Bosque del Apache. The weather wasn't very cooperative for wildlife photography for two of those days. So, I took the middle of one day to tour the Very Large Array--which is basically located in the middle of nowhere (well, 50 miles west of Socorro, NM).

The Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory made up of 27 massive radio telescopes. Each dish is 82 feet across and weighs more than 200 tons. They are positioned along three arms of a track shaped in a Y configuration with each arm extending out 13 miles. So, in its widest configuration the telescopes extend 26 miles across. During my visit, the telescopes were positioned it the most condensed configuration.

Here are a couple of images from my visit. Note that I was very restricted on vantage point as the facility does not permit visitors to just wander around!

Very Large ArrayVery Large ArrayVery Large Array (VLA) on the plains of the San Agustin desert just north of Magnalena, New Mexico on November 16, 2019. The Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory made up of 27 massive radio telescopes. Each dish is 82 feet across and weighs more than 200 tons. They are positioned along three arms of a track shaped in a Y configuration with each arm extending out 13 miles. So, in its widest configuration the telescopes extend 26 miles across.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) desert new mexico observatory road trip telescopes travel very large array vla https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/very-large-array Thu, 30 Jan 2020 20:28:39 GMT
White Sands National Park https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/white-sands-national-park During my road trip through New Mexico, I allocated a couple of days to White Sands National Monument. Before I had a chance to process the images, White Sands was named the latest National Park in the United States!

It's one of my favorite places. But, it can be a difficult place for photography:

  1. The park is not open to visitors until 7am and closes by 6pm...so photographers will most likely miss the best light around sunrise and sunset.
  2. I had to walk up to two miles in the sand with my equipment to get far enough away from the many footprints in the sand.
  3. If you aren't careful, it is easy to get disoriented. The sand dunes go on for miles and look the same in all directions. Fortunately, there are some "trails" with stakes for guidance. And, I had a map, cell phone and GPS. I didn't go very far from the stakes as people have died getting lost in this place.
  4. If it gets windy, there's a good chance you won't be able to see the stakes any longer!

During my visit, there wasn't much wind. Once I got about a mile out, I don't think I've ever experienced an environment as quiet as this one. It was a memorable experience. The place is otherworldly!

CLICK HERE to view the B&W images.

CLICK HERE to view the color images.

White SandsWhite SandsDunes at White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 20, 2019 Endless sand ripplesEndless sand ripplesSand ripples in the dunes at White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 18, 2019 White SandsWhite SandsSunset at White Sands National Monument with Sacramento Mountains from the Backcountry Trail near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 20, 2019 White SandsWhite SandsSand ripples in the dunes at White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico on November 19, 2019
 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) desert landscapes new mexico road trip travel white sands white sands national park https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/white-sands-national-park Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:51:56 GMT
"Cheetah" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/-cheetah-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Cheetah" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured at the Albuquerque Zoo during my recent road trip through New Mexico. This is the second photograph from that road trip to win a contest. And, both of those winning photos were from that same visit to the Albuquerque Zoo!

This was a very challenging picture to capture and the story of how I approached those technical challenges probably warrants its own blog post.

This marks the 63rd time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

CheetahCheetahImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for January 19, 2020

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) alburquerque zoo captive challenge cheetah imaging resource photo contest portrait zoo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/-cheetah-wins-photo-of-the-day Sun, 19 Jan 2020 22:07:42 GMT
Recycled Roadrunner of Las Cruces https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/recycled-roadrunner-of-las-cruces I come across some very unusual things during my road trips. During my latest trip through New Mexico, I saw this massive sculpture that stands 20 feet high by 40 feet long. It's located at a rest area off Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico. This sculpture is made out of all kinds of scrap...gym shoes, computer keyboards, an automobile headlight (the eye), trophies, belts, etc.

Roadrunner SculptureRoadrunner SculptureRecycled Roadrunner Sculpture at a rest stop off Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico on November 22, 2019 Roadrunner SculptureRoadrunner SculptureRecycled Roadrunner Sculpture at a rest stop off Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico on November 22, 2019 Roadrunner SculptureRoadrunner SculptureRecycled Roadrunner Sculpture at a rest stop off Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico on November 22, 2019 Roadrunner SculptureRoadrunner SculptureRecycled Roadrunner Sculpture at a rest stop off Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico on November 22, 2019 Roadrunner SculptureRoadrunner SculptureRecycled Roadrunner Sculpture at a rest stop off Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico on November 22, 2019 While I was photographing the sculpture, a truck drive approached me from the rest area parking lot. He was fascinated by the lens that I was using to capture closeup images of the roadrunner's head. I was using the Nikon 500mm f4 VR lens...which he thought was some kind of telescope. It was positioned on a tripod with a gimbal head--which makes it easy to maneuver. But, it also makes it look more like a telescope!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) 500 vr attraction new mexico recycled roadrunner road trip roadrunner travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/recycled-roadrunner-of-las-cruces Sun, 12 Jan 2020 16:46:45 GMT
International Scope of Shutterstock https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/international-scope-of-shutterstock I sell a lot of images through Shutterstock--nearly 75,000 digital downloads since I started submitting photos to that one agency!

In recent years, a sizable percentage of these sales take place in countries outside of the United States. Over the past few days my photos were sold in the following locations:

  • Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Shinjuku-ku, Japan
  • Selnika Ob Dravi, Slovenia
  • Sopot, Poland
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Mumbai, India
  • Chia, Colombia
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Les Acacias, Switzerland
  • Lima, Peru
  • Milan, Italy
  • Moscow, Russia

With such a high number of images being sold, it's a shame that the price of a digital download has deteriorated so much over the years!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) downloads international locations sales shutterstock https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/international-scope-of-shutterstock Wed, 08 Jan 2020 15:02:07 GMT
National Geographic https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/national-geographic It just came to my attention that my photograph of Angel Oak was published on National Geographic's website as part of an article about iconic trees around the world! I captured this photograph three years ago while visiting Charleston, South Carolina.


 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) angel oak charleston national geographic travel tree https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/national-geographic Mon, 06 Jan 2020 15:50:42 GMT
Distribution by Lens -- New Mexico Trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/distribution-by-lens----new-mexico-trip Nearly every time I return from a trip, I'm asked about which lenses I used to capture the images. At the end of a trip, I like to look at the distribution of shots by lens. Here's how it looked for my most recent road trip to New Mexico. CLICK HERE to view my favorite images from this journey.

I used just one camera for the entire trip--the Nikon D850. As usual, the 14-24 led the way. But, three other lenses were used extensively...accounting for 20 to 23 percent of the images each. I used the Nikon 24-70 more than I usually do. And, the Nikon 500 f4 VR came in handy, especially when it came to photographing wildlife.

The Sigma fisheye accounted for just 5 pictures, but it's a very useful lens for me. It's a specialty lens that I don't use a lot, but when I need it there's nothing else that can do what it does. Here are a couple of images from this trip with the fisheye:

New Mexico State CapitolNew Mexico State CapitolCeiling from the rotunda floor of the New Mexico State Capitol at 490 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 12, 2019 St. Louis AbbeySt. Louis AbbeyThe Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis (St. Louis Abbey) at 500 S Mason Road in Creve Coeur, Missouri on November 6, 2019  

The 500 VR was essential to capture images like these:

Wood duckWood duckMale wood duck at the ABQ Biopark (Rio Grande Zoo) at 903 10th Street SW in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 15, 2019 Sandhill cranesSandhill cranesSandhill cranes at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge at 1001 NM-1 in San Antonio, New Mexico on November 17, 2019 Santa Fe National CemeterySanta Fe National CemeterySanta Fe National Cemetery at 501 N Guadalupe Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 12, 2019 Couple of CheetahsCouple of CheetahsA couple of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) at the ABQ Biopark (Rio Grande Zoo) at 903 10th Street SW in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 15, 2019. (focus stack 229 and 241) Silverback GorillaSilverback GorillaWestern lowland silverback gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo at 2000 Remington Place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on November 8, 2019

Sandhill cranesSandhill cranesSandhill cranes at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge at 1001 NM-1 in San Antonio, New Mexico on November 17, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) distribution equipment fisheye lens new mexico nikon road trip wildlife https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2020/1/distribution-by-lens----new-mexico-trip Thu, 02 Jan 2020 16:09:13 GMT
"Wood Duck" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/12/-wood-duck-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Wood Duck" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured just last month at the Albuquerque Zoo.

This marks the 62nd time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Wood DuckWood DuckImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for December 30, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) bird contest duck imaging resource photo contest winner wood duck https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/12/-wood-duck-wins-photo-of-the-day Mon, 30 Dec 2019 20:45:00 GMT
My Favorite 10 Pictures of the Year https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/12/my-favorite-10-pictures-of-the-year Each year, I make a selection of my favorite 10 images. It's not always an easy process and I'm sure the selection would look different if I went through the same exercise tomorrow. But, it's kind of fun.

This collection includes photos through December 1st, so it excludes the photos from my most recent trip to New Mexico.

Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA
Driftwood BeachDriftwood BeachDriftwood Beach off Beachview Drive on Jekyll Island, Georgia on December 4, 2018 Burrowing Owl, Marco Island, FL
Burrowing OwlBurrowing OwlBurrowing owl at 489 W Elkcam Circle in Marco Island, Florida on December 13, 2018 Regions Bank Building, Tampa, FL
Tampa architectural abstractTampa architectural abstractArchitectural abstract of the Regions Bank Building at 100 N Tampa Street in Tampa, Florida on December 11, 2018 Cleveland Arcade, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland ArcadeCleveland ArcadeCleveland Arcade at 420 Superior Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio on July 10, 2019. Skyline and Monongahela River from the Grandview Overlook, Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh SkylinePittsburgh SkylinePittsburgh skyline and the Monongahela River from the Grandview Overlook at 136-160 Grandview Avenue on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 30, 2019 Wren Building, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States)
Wren staircaseWren staircaseWren Building at the West End of Duke of Gloucester Street on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia on July 25, 2019. With a construction history dating to 1695, it is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States. Avenue of the Oaks, Saint Simons Island, GA
Avenue of the OaksAvenue of the OaksAvenue of the Oaks at 100 Retreat Avenue near the entrance to the Lodge At Sea Island Golf Club in Saint Simons Island, Georgia on December 4, 2018 Sunset over the Matanzas River, St. Augustine, FL
Marshy sunsetMarshy sunsetSunset over branch of the Matanzas River at 299 Dondanville Road in St. Augustine, Florida on December 7, 2018 Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College), St. Augustine, FL
Ponce de Leon Hotel rotundaPonce de Leon Hotel rotundaCeiling in the rotunda of the Ponce de Leon Hotel on 74 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018. The Ponce de Leon Hotel was an exclusive luxury hotel built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1888. In 1968, the hotel became the centerpiece of the newly-established Flagler College. Amazon Milk Frog, Middleburg Heights, OH
Amazon milk frogAmazon milk frogAmazon milk frog on a calla lily in Middleburg Heights, Ohio on October 27, 2018 One thing that I found interesting is that 2 of these 10 pictures were captured on the same day (#1 and #7) and that I initially had a third image from that day in this collection before I removed it in favor of another photograph!

Happy New Year!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) annual favorites ranking ten https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/12/my-favorite-10-pictures-of-the-year Sat, 28 Dec 2019 14:35:24 GMT
New Mexico Road Trip Photos Available For Viewing! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/12/new-mexico-road-trip-photos I completed a three week road trip through New Mexico last month. It covered 4,240 miles over 20 days. I saw some amazing landscapes, some historic churches, a pueblo that dates back 1,000 years, a couple of state capitol buildings, a couple of very nice zoos, Route 66 and some really quirky things along the way (like the UFO McDonald's in Rockwell).

Please CLICK HERE to view my favorite images from this adventure.

This trip has kept me busy. Once the road trip came to a close, I had a lot of editing to do. So, most of my photography time was dedicated to this trip and very little to this blog.

I could easily write a blog entry about each one of the photos in this collection. Nearly every image presented a challenge of some kind...whether it be access, logistics, processing solutions and/or multiple exposures to address those challenges. Multiple exposures were used often for extending the amount of the frame in sharp focus and/or dealing with challenging exposures with extreme dynamic range.

I hope you have a very prosperous and Happy New Year!

Turquoise doorTurquoise doorTurquoise door at 2009 Calle de Correo in the historic district of Mesilla, New Mexico on November 21, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) favorites new mexico road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/12/new-mexico-road-trip-photos Thu, 26 Dec 2019 23:50:19 GMT
Ordinary Things https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/11/ordinary-things Sometimes, it's helpful to practice photography by shooting ordinary subjects that are close at hand. Subjects don't get much closer than this one. I got the idea for this image by looking down at my feet!

Boot

Nikon 200 f4 Micro

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) boot closeup d800 micro ordinary practice subjects https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/11/ordinary-things Sun, 17 Nov 2019 21:04:25 GMT
Four Winds Casino https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/10/four-winds-casino I am not much of a gambler, so most of my time at the Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Indiana, was devoted to photography.

One feature that caught my eye was the ceiling in the lobby of the resort.

Four Winds ceilingFour Winds ceilingCeiling in the lobby of the Four Winds Casino Resort at 11111 Wilson Road in New Buffalo, Michigan on August 28, 2019 If you look closely, you'll see that this image isn't perfectly symmetrical. However, it was the best that I was going to get during that visit.

I had just finished setting up my camera. I was sitting on floor in the center of the lobby, had the lens focused and the camera set to bracket three consecutive exposures (to account for the dynamic range of light in the scene). Just as I was about to make further minor adjustments to the framing, security fast approached. As the security guard was explaining that photography is not permitted, I was silently clicking through the sequence of exposures with my cable release. Fortunately, the camera was in Live View mode--which meant that there was absolutely no indication that any pictures were being captured. The camera was dead silent.

Ordinarily, I would have studied the pictures on the back of my camera and continued to make minor refinements to improve the picture. In this situation, I was lucky to get a photograph at all!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access architecture bracketing ceiling fisheye four winds live view security https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/10/four-winds-casino Thu, 31 Oct 2019 22:26:28 GMT
Mother with Baby Portraits https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/10/mother-with-baby-portraits Last weekend, I photographed a 90th birthday party. Most of the pictures were candid. But, I also brought a white fabric background and some studio lights with me.

Here are some images of a two-month old baby with her mother:

90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)Eleanor Gorz's 90th birthday party at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Illinois on October 26, 2019 90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)Eleanor Gorz's 90th birthday party at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Illinois on October 26, 2019 90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)Eleanor Gorz's 90th birthday party at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Illinois on October 26, 2019 90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)Eleanor Gorz's 90th birthday party at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Illinois on October 26, 2019 I used just one strobe to light the subject(s)--the Paul C. Buff Soft Silver PLM umbrella with White Front Diffusion Fabric. This umbrella is 86" (or more than 7 feet) from tip to tip. That's a big umbrella! I positioned the main light just left of the camera. My intention was to use the very large light source and more centered positioning of the light to create very soft portraits.

I am always impressed with the quality and ease of use of the Buff products. Assembling this product is as easy as opening an umbrella.

I didn't recall capturing a photograph of my lighting set up, but upon reviewing the images I noticed that I did get a picture of the studio light after all:

90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)90th Birthday Party (Eleanor Gorz)Eleanor Gorz's 90th birthday party at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Illinois on October 26, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baby daughter infant mother paul buff portrait studio umbrella https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/10/mother-with-baby-portraits Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:47:16 GMT
"Gorilla Portrait" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/10/-gorilla-portrait-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Gorilla Portrait" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured just last month at the Brookfield Zoo.

This marks the 61st time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

GorillaGorillaImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for October 19, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) contest gorilla imaging resource photo contest winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/10/-gorilla-portrait-wins-photo-of-the-day Sat, 19 Oct 2019 11:43:32 GMT
Heinz Memorial Chapel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/9/heinz-memorial-chapel During my last road trip, I visited the Heinz Memorial Chapel on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. This is a very popular tourist destination, so it's not easy to photograph the interior without large crowds.

As I entered the chapel in the early afternoon, there were about 15 people inside the chapel. I asked the attendant when it might be best to return with fewer people. He expected the chapel to be busy throughout the day and said that it would be best to return just before closing or right at the opening the following day. About five minutes after this conversation, the 15 people who were inside the chapel left...and I suddenly had the chapel to myself!

I thought that I might only have the interior of the chapel to myself for a few minutes, so I worked very quickly. After about 20 more minutes the attendant asked me if I wanted to get some shots from the balcony. The balcony was closed off to the the general public, but with his permission I captured images from this more advantageous viewpoint. During the time, I still had this incredible chapel to myself!

Once I had captured my last picture from the balcony, a large group of visitors entered the chapel. From then on, it was crowded with people.

I returned the next morning when the chapel opened. This time, a different attendant was on duty. As I went to set up a picture from the floor level, she began questioning me about why I was taking pictures. Access to the balcony was not an option. It was clear that photography during my return trip wasn't going to be nearly the favorable experience that it was during my visit the previous day.

So, it can sometimes pay off to visit a location more than once. And, I was very fortunate to be able to capture photographs of this magnificent cathedral during my visit to Pittsburgh.

Heinz Memorial ChapelHeinz Memorial ChapelHeinz Memorial Chapel at S Bellefield Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 29, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access cathedral heinz memorial chapel pittsburgh road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/9/heinz-memorial-chapel Tue, 24 Sep 2019 19:54:20 GMT
Four Lenses and a Staircase https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/9/four-lenses-and-a-staircase During my last road trip, I was tempted to remove some lenses from my bag to reduce the weight during long walks through cities. In the end, I carried my gripped Nikon D850, the 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 and Sigma 15mm fisheye. In addition, there was a teleconverter, various filters, extra batteries and a Gitzo tripod.

During several of my architectural photo shoots, I used all of those lenses. Here's an example of four different perspectives (lenses) while shooting a staircase inside the Cleveland Public Library:

1- Sigma 15mm fisheye

Library staircaseLibrary staircaseStaircase inside the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 6th Street in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2019 2- Nikon 14-24 2.8

Library staircaseLibrary staircaseStaircase inside the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 6th Street in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2019 3- Nikon 24-70 2.8

Library staircaseLibrary staircaseStaircase inside the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 6th Street in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2019 4- Nikon 70-200 2.8

Library staircaseLibrary staircaseStaircase inside the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 6th Street in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture cleveland equipment lens library nikon staircase stairs travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/9/four-lenses-and-a-staircase Mon, 09 Sep 2019 14:13:14 GMT
New Mexico Road Trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/new-mexico-road-trip My next road trip is planned for November, 2019. This trip will include mostly New Mexico locations. It will cover approximately 3,500 miles over 21 days.

Day 1: Urbana, IL - Illini basketball game

Day 2: Springfield, MO - St. Louis Abbey

Day 3- Oklahoma City, OK - Tulsa

Day 4- Oklahoma City, OK - OKC National Monument, Skydance Bridge

Day 5- Tucumcari, NM - Blue Swallow Motel

Day 6- Santa Fe, NM - State Capitol, Old Santa Fe

Day 7- Santa Fe, NM - Pecos National Historic Site

Day 8- Santa Fe, NM - Bandelier National Monument

Day 9- Taos, NM - High Road to Taos

Day 10- Alburquerque, NM - Zoo

Day 11- Bosque del Apache, NM

Day 12- Bosque del Apache, NM

Day 13- Bosque del Apache, NM

Day 14- White Sands, NM

Day 15- White Sands, NM

Day 16- White Sands, NM

Day 17- Las Cruces, NM - New Mexico State University

Day 18- Roswell, NM - Carlsbad Caverns

Day 19- Liberal, KS - Cathedral of the Plains

Day 20- Kansas City, MO

Day 21- Orland Park, IL
 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) itinerary new mexico planning road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/new-mexico-road-trip Fri, 30 Aug 2019 19:08:27 GMT
Distribution by Lens -- Cooperstown Trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/distribution-by-lens----cooperstown-trip Nearly every time I return from a trip, I'm asked about which lenses I used to capture the images. At the end of a trip, I like to look at the distribution of shots by lens. Here's how it looked for my most recent road trip to Cooperstown. CLICK HERE to view my favorite images from this journey.

I used just one camera for the entire trip--the Nikon D850. 62% of my photographs were captured using the Nikon 14-24 2.8 lens. The reason for this is that the vast majority of the pictures from this trip are interiors. I visited many impressive cathedrals and libraries along the way. The trip included stops in Cleveland, Buffalo, Harrisburg, Richmond, Raleigh and Pittsburgh.

The Sigma fisheye accounted for just 5% of the pictures, but it's a very useful lens for me. It's a specialty lens that I don't use a lot, but when I need it there's nothing else that can do what it does. Here are a few images from this trip with the fisheye:

Library staircaseLibrary staircaseStaircase inside the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 6th Street in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2019 Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 Heinen's of ClevelandHeinen's of ClevelandHeinen's Grocery Store at 900 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2019. This building opened in 1907 as the Cleveland Trust Company Building. At that time, it was the third largest bank building in the United States.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) cooperstown equipment fisheye lens nikon d850 road trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/distribution-by-lens----cooperstown-trip Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:14:15 GMT
"The Catcher" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/-the-catcher-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "The Catcher" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph is of a player who plays on the 12U travel baseball team that I coach.

This marks the 60th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

The CatcherThe CatcherImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for August 14, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball black and white catcher contest imaging resource photo contest portrait studio https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/-the-catcher-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 14 Aug 2019 13:09:26 GMT
Four Lenses and a Ceiling https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/four-lenses-and-a-ceiling During my recent road trip, I found myself carrying four lenses in my backpack. This makes for a reasonably heavy load when you consider that a gripped camera, teleconverter, batteries, filters and more are also packed in bag. Of course, I also carried a tripod and ballhead.

Yet, I was reluctant to carry less. During many of the photo shoots, I used all four lenses.

Here's an example from the Pennsylvania State Capitol. From the floor of the rotunda, I started very wide and then worked my way up through the higher focal length lenses:

1- Sigma 15mm fisheye

Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 2- Nikon 14-24 2.8

Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 3- Nikon 24-70 2.8

Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 4- Nikon 70-200 2.8 (at 70mm)

Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 5- Nikon 70-200 2.8 (at 100mm) Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 6- Nikon 70-200 2.8 (at 165mm)

Pennsylvania State CapitolPennsylvania State CapitolInterior of the capitol rotunda in the Pennsylvania State Capitol at 501 N 3rd Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 19, 2019 All of these photographs were captured without moving the camera. While it can be a burden to carry a lot of lenses, it was worth the load to have the ability to capture the scene with a variety of pictures.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/four-lenses-and-a-ceiling Thu, 08 Aug 2019 13:42:08 GMT
The Last Shot https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/the-last-shot Two nights ago I wrapped up my road trip with a photograph of the Pittsburgh skyline. This was the final picture of my 22 day road trip (click here to view the itinerary for this trip).

I captured this image from an observation deck off Grandview Avenue above the Monongahela River. Thankfully, the observation decks are still open. The surrounding sidewalks off Grandview Avenue are mostly closed due to safety concerns. The sidewalks are breaking apart and pedestrians are warned not to step on them or risk falling quite some distance.

This observation deck provided a great view of the city. And, the clouds brought drama into the scene. My biggest concern was whether the storm would hold off long enough for me to capture the photograph in the best light. I could see the thunderstorm approaching from the northeast. You can probably see the lightning strikes at the horizon in the left portion of the frame. These are actual lightning strikes. I did not add them in Photoshop.

The storm did hold off. I was able to navigate the tricky drive back to my hotel before the rain started. My hotel was located near the Cathedral of Learning on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. You can see the Cathedral of Learning in the distance. If you move along the horizon from right to left it is the second building that you first come across...a 42 story academic building (the tallest academic building in the Western Hemisphere). I'll cover more about this amazing building in an upcoming post.

Once it started raining, it came down hard for hours. The severely saturated grounds were partially attributed to a freak accident that occurred in the metro Pittsburgh area a few hours later. A tree that was 80 feet tall fell through the roof of a house. A man was pinned down while laying in his bed and later died. Click here for that news story.

So here's the photograph:

Pittsburgh SkylinePittsburgh SkylinePittsburgh skyline and the Monongahela River from the Grandview Overlook at 136-160 Grandview Avenue on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 30, 2019

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) accident cityscape lightning pittsburgh rain road trip skyline storm thunderstorm travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/8/the-last-shot Thu, 01 Aug 2019 20:21:37 GMT
Cooperstown Road Trip Itinerary https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/6/cooperstown-road-trip-itinerary This road trip was both a photography and a baseball trip. I coach a 12U baseball team and we played in a week long tournament in Cooperstown, New York. The photography portion of the trip took place before and after that tournament.

The trip will covered 22 days and 2,900 miles.

Cooperstown Road TripCooperstown Road TripThis road trip was both a photography and a baseball trip. I coach a 12U baseball team and we played in a week long tournament in Cooperstown, New York. The photography portion of the trip took place before and after that tournament.

The trip covered 22 days and 2,900 miles.
Day 1: Cleveland, OH - Cathedral of St. John; Public Library; City Hall; Arcade

Day 2: Buffalo, NY - St. Joseph's Cathedral; City Hall; St. Paul's Cathedral

Day 3- Syracuse, NY

Day 4- Cooperstown, NY - baseball tournament

Day 5- Cooperstown, NY - baseball tournament

Day 6- Cooperstown, NY - baseball tournament

Day 7- Cooperstown, NY - baseball tournament

Day 8- Cooperstown, NY - baseball tournament

Day 9- Cooperstown, NY - baseball tournament

Day 10- Harrisburg, PA - PA Capitol, Negley Park (cityscape); Cathedral of St. Patrick

Day 11- Gettysburg, PA - Historical Park

Day 12- Gettysburg, PA - National Cemetery

Day 13- Richmond, VA - VA Capitol; St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Day 14- Richmond, VA - City Hall; Maymont mansion; Hollywood Cemetery

Day 15- Williamsburg, VA - Colonial Willamsburg

Day 16- Williamsburg, VA - Jamestown; College of William & Mary

Day 17- Raleigh, NC - James Hunt Library; Wilson Library (UNC)

Day 18- Raleigh, NC - Duke University Chapel; Skyline (Boylan Bridge)

Day 19- Morgantown, WV - University of West Virginia; Mt. Airy (Mayberry)

Day 20- Pittsburgh, PA - Mount Washington; Heinz Memorial Chapel; First Presbyterian Church

Day 21- Pittsburgh, PA - Cathedral of Learning; Phipps Conservatory; St. Paul Cathedral

Day 22- Orland Park, IL

 

12U Orland Park Warriors12U Orland Park Warriors12U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 30, 2019
 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball cooperstown itinerary plans road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/6/cooperstown-road-trip-itinerary Thu, 27 Jun 2019 20:45:21 GMT
"Dog in the Window" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/6/-dog-in-the-window-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Dog in the Window" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured during my road trip to Newfoundland last summer. I came across this scene at Petty Harbour in Newfoundland.

This marks the 59th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Dog in the WindowDog in the WindowImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for June 6, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) dog imaging resource newfoundland photo contest photo of the day travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/6/-dog-in-the-window-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 06 Jun 2019 14:47:46 GMT
Imaging Resource Photo Contests https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/6/imaging-resource-photo-contests Over the past several years, 57 of my photographs have won Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day contest. Photographers are eligible to win a maximum of one Photo of the Day contest each month. At the end of the month, the judges award prize money to the top 3 pictures from the collection of daily winners. Click here to view the winning entries.

Imaging Resource's published an article about the winning entries from November. Apparently, all five winning photographs (the three prize money winners along with the two runner-ups) were submitted by photographers who had previously won the top prize (first place photograph) for a month. A section of the article covers my "Peeking Frog" photograph--which finished in second place for November.

To see the full article, click here.

I very much enjoy participating in these photo contests. There isn't any entry fee and the competition is strong. And, the cash (gift card) prizes are an added bonus...I've won a few thousand dollars doing this. Last month, I used my gift card to purchase a pair of Apple Airbuds!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) contest imaging resource peeking frog photo contest prize https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/6/imaging-resource-photo-contests Sun, 02 Jun 2019 12:48:43 GMT
High Resolution Panoramas https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/5/high-resolution-panoramas During my road trip to Newfoundland, I visited Pictou in Nova Scotia. While composing a picture of the waterfront, I initially attached the Nikon 24-70 lens to my Nikon D850 camera. This enabled me to capture an image of the waterfront with just one frame. Of course, the picture then needed to be cropped to the panoramic dimensions. This meant tossing some pixels away and reducing the resolution of the photograph.

I then tried another approach. I had my Nikon 300 2.8 lens in my bag. When most photographers think about panoramas, they usually aren't envisioning using a telephoto lens. But, the 300 is one of the sharpest lenses that I own. And, it forced me to shoot many more images to cover the same scene. After stitching all of those exposures together, the resolution of the final image is far greater than the photograph that was captured with one frame and then cropped.

Pictou waterfrontPictou waterfrontPictou waterfront from the Jitney walking trail at 143 Norway Point Road in Pictou, Nova Scotia on July 19, 2018

The stitched image consists of 14 vertical frames. The resulting file is more than 33,000 pixels across and nearly 7,000 pixels high. The file is almost 1.5 GB in size.


CLICK HERE to view the higher resolution image. This one is downsized to 24,000 pixels across to make it less time consuming to download and view. Be sure to zoom in and pan around when viewing this waterfront scene.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) high resolution nova scotia panorama panoramic pictou road trip stitching travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/5/high-resolution-panoramas Wed, 22 May 2019 18:00:05 GMT
Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/5/annunciation-byzantine-catholic-church It was cold and rainy, so I visited an interior space located just a couple of miles from my home. This is the Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois.

The priest leaves this church open all the time...and it is often unattended. When I entered the church, I was the only one on the grounds. After shooting for 30 minutes or so, I noticed that the lights were dimming. The priest had entered the sanctuary and turned off the lights--not knowing I was there.

When he saw me, he started apologizing for turning off the lights! He then asked me exactly how bright I wanted the chandeliers as he could adjust the dimmer (I didn't have access to that area).

The amazing thing about this interior is that this priest painted the entire space. Every inch of this church is covered with artwork...including the entire ceiling.

To view 19 photographs of this colorful church, please CLICK HERE.

Annunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchAnnunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchInterior of the Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church at 14610 S. Will Cook Road in Homer Glen, Illinois on April 18, 2019 Annunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchAnnunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchInterior of the Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church at 14610 S. Will Cook Road in Homer Glen, Illinois on April 18, 2019 Annunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchAnnunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchInterior of the Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church at 14610 S. Will Cook Road in Homer Glen, Illinois on April 18, 2019 Annunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchAnnunciation Byzantine Catholic ChurchInterior of the Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church at 14610 S. Will Cook Road in Homer Glen, Illinois on April 18, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church architecture fisheye hdr interior place of worship https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/5/annunciation-byzantine-catholic-church Thu, 16 May 2019 13:07:42 GMT
"Gorilla Portrait" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/5/-gorilla-portrait-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Gorilla Portrait" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured two months ago at the Brookfield Zoo. This is my fifth Photo of the Day winning entry from the Brookfield Zoo.

This marks the 58th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

GorillaGorillaImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for May 1, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal brookfield zoo captive gorilla imaging resource photo of the day portrait primate zoo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/5/-gorilla-portrait-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 01 May 2019 16:00:00 GMT
Architectural Abstracts https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/architectural-abstracts One of my favorite subjects to photograph is architectural abstracts. During my road trip through Florida, I visited several large cities. I enjoyed walking the streets and composing abstract images. I find the geometry of these scenes to be interesting. The photographs emphasize lines, colors and shapes.

Here are a few from Tampa...

Tampa architectural abstractTampa architectural abstractArchitectural abstract of the Regions Bank Building at 100 N Tampa Street in Tampa, Florida on December 11, 2018 DotsDotsAbstract of the ceiling outside the Tampa Museum of Art at 120 Gasparilla Plaza in Tampa, Florida on December 11, 2018 DotsDotsAbstract of the ceiling outside the Tampa Museum of Art at 120 Gasparilla Plaza in Tampa, Florida on December 11, 2018 And a few more from Miami...

Architectural abstractArchitectural abstractArchitectural abstract on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami, Florida on December 15, 2018. The green building on the left is the Mayfield Condo Building at 1395 Brickell Avenue in Miami. Architectural abstractArchitectural abstractArchitectural abstract at 1395 Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami, Florida on December 15, 2018 Solitair Brickell ApartmentsSolitair Brickell ApartmentsSolitair Brickell Apartments at 86 SW 8th Street in Miami, Florida on December 15, 2018 Miami Beach Convention CenterMiami Beach Convention CenterMiami Beach Convention Center at 1901 Convention Center Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on December 14, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstracts architecture florida geometric miami road trip tampa travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/architectural-abstracts Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:58:00 GMT
Band of Brothers https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/band-of-brothers In my last blog entry, I explained the lighting setup that I used to photograph the players on my 12U baseball travel team.

In addition to creating individual portraits, I used the images to produce a banner for the team:

12U Orland Park Warriors12U Orland Park Warriors12U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 30, 2019 This was a fun project. It was a daunting at first (because I have so little experience with portraits and lighting), but I was able to get a little help. I purchased a Photoshop layered template for the overall design. I then lit and photographed the players, inserted and sized them within the template, and adjusted the text and colors. The file was sent into a banner printing company...and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) banner compilation lighting photoshop poster sports team template https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/band-of-brothers Wed, 24 Apr 2019 12:37:48 GMT
Studio Setup https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/studio-setup In recent years, my photography has moved mostly towards architecture, landscapes, wildlife and nature. I very rarely shoot portraits. Typically, I break out the studio lights once a year to capture photographs of the players that play on my travel baseball team.

Most years, I keep the lighting very simple. This year, I tried something far more complex--five lights and a reflector! I also photographed a volleyball player during the photo session.

The setup consisted of the following:

  • Main light was a large (47") octabox with Einstein strobe positioned camera left.
  • One rim light was a gridded strip softbox with Einstein strobe positioned behind the subject to the left.
  • Another rim light was a gridded strip softbox with Einstein strobe positioned behind the subject to the right.
  • The green screen background was lit by a Nikon SB-900 flash unit fired into an umbrella.
  • The hair light was a Nikon SB-800 suspended over the subject with a bungee cord.
  • A large reflector was used to partially fill in the shadows on the subject.
  • The camera was a Nikon D850 placed on a tripod.

Here are a few photographs from the session:

Max HeidenreichMax HeidenreichMax Heidenreich of the 12U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 28, 2019 Cooper SigelCooper SigelCooper Sigel of the 12U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 29, 2019 Ali ElaghaAli ElaghaAli Elagha of the 12U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 28, 2019 Madelyn StackMadelyn StackMadelyn Stack of the Michio volleyball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 30, 2019 Madelyn StackMadelyn StackMadelyn Stack of the Michio volleyball team in Orland Park, Illinois on March 30, 2019 I would like to do more with the studio lights in the future. One thing of interest to me would be pet photography.
 

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball lights people portraits sports strobes studio volleyball https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/studio-setup Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:57:01 GMT
Naples Pier https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/naples-pier During my road trip through Florida, I visited Naples Pier to capture some sunset photographs. It was a nice sunset. About 20 minutes after the sun went down, I packed my gear and started to leave the beach. I then decided to walk onto the pier to see if there might be other photo possibilities for the next day. To my surprise, the pier was suddenly illuminated! In my opinion, it was the lit pier that would make for a much more interesting photograph!

So, I returned the next night to capture the picture. The challenge is that the pier isn't lit until the sky is very dark. By that time, the colors in the sky are mostly gone and the picture has too much contrast. The way that I approached solving this problem was to blend a couple of exposures. The first photograph was captured during sunset when the sky looked good to my eye. I then kept the camera in the same spot (mounted securely to my tripod) until well after sunset when the pier lit up. Later in post processing, I blended the two images. I used the original scene as my base picture and then brought the lights from the pier into the image. This way, I was able to light up the pier myself!

The softness of the water in the Gulf of Mexico is a result of a very long exposure. To accomplish that, I attached a ND (neutral density) to my Nikon 24-70 lens. My neutral density filters got a real workout during this road trip.

Naples PierNaples PierNaples Pier at 25 12th Avenue S in Naples, Florida on December 13, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) blending exposure filter florida layering naples nd neutral density pier road trip sunset https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/4/naples-pier Thu, 04 Apr 2019 22:34:04 GMT
Dali Staircase https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/dali-staircase During my road trip through Florida, I visited the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg to capture photographs of the staircase. I enjoy staircases and have compiled a collection of staircase photographs. And, the spiral staircase inside the Dali Museum is certainly one of the more unique staircases that I've seen.

Not unexpectedly, I was told that I wouldn't be permitted to bring my tripod inside the museum. Also prohibited was my camera backpack. Since I had walked a great distance to get to the museum, I had no way of returning to my car to store these items. The security guard suggested that I use the storage lockers which were situated outside the building. As my gear is quite expensive, I was hesitant to do so. But, the security guard assured me that the items would be safe. He said that nothing has ever been stolen from the lockers in the history of the museum! I took a chance by storing my tripod along with three or four lenses in the locker--and everything worked out OK.

There were several challenges to overcome in photographing the staircase. First, the scene is very crowded. Not only are people constantly on the steps, but there's quite a crowd standing near the information desk right under the stairs. There's also a small cafe in the lobby which made it difficult to set up. Finally, a security guard is stationed at the top of the staircase. I was able to overcome most of these issues by being patient. I also revisited just before closing--and the security guard tended to wander away from his chair at that hour as very few new visitors were entering the building.

My next challenge was dealing with the wide range of light. Ordinarily, I would stabilize my camera with the tripod and bracket some exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) image. Since I couldn't use a tripod, I tried another approach. I set my Nikon D850 to a continuous burst of 9 frames per second with bracketed exposures (1 stop apart). With the frames blasting so quickly, I hoped that I could keep the camera steady enough to allow me to align the images later in post processing. Later, I used Photoshop to align the images...and it worked! The only downside of hand-holding the camera for these shots was that I had to raise the ISO setting to achieve fast enough shutter speeds. Instead of using the base ISO setting of 64 for the D850, I boosted the ISO to 800. ISO 800 is still very reasonable and fully capable of creating photographs of high image quality.

Here are a few photographs of the staircase:

Dali StaircaseDali StaircaseSpiral staircase inside the Salvador Dali Museum at 1 Dali Blvd in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 11, 2018. Referred to as the "Enigma", the glass entryway is 75 feet tall and encompasses a spiral staircase. Dali StaircaseDali StaircaseSpiral staircase inside the Salvador Dali Museum at 1 Dali Blvd in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 11, 2018. Referred to as the "Enigma", the glass entryway is 75 feet tall and encompasses a spiral staircase. Dali StaircaseDali StaircaseSpiral staircase inside the Salvador Dali Museum at 1 Dali Blvd in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 11, 2018. Referred to as the "Enigma", the glass entryway is 75 feet tall and encompasses a spiral staircase.

 

 


 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture blending dali florida frame rate hdr restrictions road trip st petersburg staircase travel tripod https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/dali-staircase Wed, 27 Mar 2019 14:17:38 GMT
Avenue of Oaks https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/avenue-of-oaks During my recent road trip through Florida, my plan was to stay two nights at Jekyll Island to photograph Driftwood Beach. I revised this plan when I was only able to reserve a hotel for the one night at Jekyll Island. I spent the other night at nearby St. Simons Island, Georgia.

I very much enjoyed my time on St. Simons Island. The highlight of my stay was a sunrise photo session at the Avenue of Oaks near the entrance to the Lodge At Sea Island Golf Club. I arrived at the location well before sunrise. I knew that it was expected to be a clear sky and that the scene would be destroyed for photography once the direct, harsh sunlight struck the oak trees.

So, I started shooting before sunrise. I like the photos, even though the light was a bit flat. I kept shooting through sunrise until the sun became too bright. My favorite picture of the morning was the one taken right as the sun rose over the horizon and gently lit small portions of the live southern oak trees:

Avenue of the OaksAvenue of the OaksAvenue of the Oaks at 100 Retreat Avenue near the entrance to the Lodge At Sea Island Golf Club in Saint Simons Island, Georgia on December 4, 2018 I like the photograph for a number of reasons. First, I very much like southern live oak trees. Also, have a tendency to favor pictures that feature a vanishing point as it draws my eyes into the frame. Lighting is always important. And, the colors and textures are an added bonus.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) georgia landscape road trip southern oak trees st simons island sunrise travel vanishing point https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/avenue-of-oaks Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:49:33 GMT
"Naples Pier" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/-naples-pier-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Naples Pier" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured two months ago during my road trip to Florida. This is the second picture from that road trip to win a Photo of the Day. This photograph is a blend of images spanning about 45 minutes. I first captured the sunset and then waited until the pier was illuminated after dark. I later blended the two images during post processing. The tripod never moved during that 45 minute window.

Another element in creating this photograph was the use of a neutral density filter. This enabled me to use a long exposure of 25 seconds--which helped to smooth out the water and capture some motion in the clouds.

This marks the 57th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than six years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Naples PierNaples PierImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for March 15, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) blending florida imaging resource long exposure naples photo contest Photo of the Day travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/-naples-pier-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 15 Mar 2019 12:38:05 GMT
Harsh Daylight and Interiors https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/harsh-daylight-and-interiors When one thinks about photographing interior spaces, the lighting conditions outside isn't always top of mind. However, after shooting the interiors of many buildings over the years, I'm almost always hoping for overcast conditions. In the case of churches, bright sunlight typically blows out the stained glass windows--even when taking extreme HDR measures. With state capitols, portions of the domed ceiling will get blown out as well...or deep shadows might be cast in unwanted places within the frame.

During my road trip through Florida, I came across this challenge during my visit to the historic Ponce de Leon Hotel on the campus of Flagler College in St. Augustine. After persuading the security guard to allow me to set up my tripod and photograph the interior of the lobby dome, I captured a series of ceiling pictures. While reviewing the images on the screen on the back of my camera, I determined that it would be impossible to salvage the colors in a large segment of the frame due to the effect of bright daylight streaming in from a low angle through the entrance door. Segments of the ceiling were blown out...and very blue (due to the color of the daylight as compared to the interior lighting). No amount of exposure adjustments or highlight recovery would save the pictures.

So, I returned later that afternoon to inspect the interior again. The lighting was much more favorable in part due to the higher angle of the sun in the sky. I was also able to wait for cloud cover to further improve the image.

I returned again the next day to take another look at this interior. This time, not only did the daylight situation improve, but I also noticed that the interior lights did a better job of illuminating the ceiling. Once again, I repeated the entire photo shoot!

Here are the final images:

Ponce de Leon Hotel rotundaPonce de Leon Hotel rotundaCeiling in the rotunda of the Ponce de Leon Hotel on 74 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 2018. The Ponce de Leon Hotel was an exclusive luxury hotel built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1888. In 1968, the hotel became the centerpiece of the newly-established Flagler College. Ponce de Leon Hotel rotundaPonce de Leon Hotel rotundaCeiling in the rotunda of the Ponce de Leon Hotel on 74 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018. The Ponce de Leon Hotel was an exclusive luxury hotel built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1888. In 1968, the hotel became the centerpiece of the newly-established Flagler College. Ponce de Leon Hotel rotundaPonce de Leon Hotel rotundaCeiling in the rotunda of the Ponce de Leon Hotel on 74 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 2018. The Ponce de Leon Hotel was an exclusive luxury hotel built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1888. In 1968, the hotel became the centerpiece of the newly-established Flagler College. Ponce de Leon Hotel rotundaPonce de Leon Hotel rotundaCeiling in the rotunda of the Ponce de Leon Hotel on 74 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018. The Ponce de Leon Hotel was an exclusive luxury hotel built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1888. In 1968, the hotel became the centerpiece of the newly-established Flagler College.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture ceiling flagler college florida ponce de leon hotel road trip rotunda st augustine travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/harsh-daylight-and-interiors Sat, 09 Mar 2019 13:41:16 GMT
Window Lighting https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/window-lighting During my road trip to Newfoundland, I visited the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada.

I don't often photograph people, but not because I don't enjoy doing so. At the fortress, there were many opportunities to capture portraits of reenactors in period attire.

I noticed this young girl inside one of the exhibit interiors. Of course, I didn't have any lighting equipment with me during my visit. So, I asked her if she would sit near a window. I thought that the light streaming in from that window would provide an excellent lighting source for this portrait.

As I first started capturing pictures, the girl was looking directly into the lens. I then asked her if she could pretend that I wasn't there...and just go about her knitting as if she wasn't being photographed.

This was the final result:

Girl knittingGirl knittingA young girl knitting in window light at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada at 259 Park Service Road in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia on July 22, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) girl knitting louisbourg nova scotia people portrait reenactor road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/3/window-lighting Sat, 02 Mar 2019 21:43:40 GMT
A Painting of a Picture https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/a-painting-of-a-picture Earlier this month, an artist (Janet Vines) asked me for permission to use one of my photographs to create a painting of an Alaskan brown bear.

I granted permission and asked if she would send me a picture of the finished painting.

Here's my photograph...followed by Janet's painting:

Grizzly bearGrizzly bearGrizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on May 3, 2011. Thanks to Janet for sharing this painting with me!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) alaskan brown bear animal art bear brookfield zoo painting https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/a-painting-of-a-picture Tue, 26 Feb 2019 15:10:09 GMT
Blog Entries https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/blog-entries When I started this photography blog back in 2012, I expected to post an occasional entry. However, my entries have been relatively consistent over the years. I typically post about 7 or 8 entries each month and about 80 entries per year.

Earlier today, I noticed that I made my 723rd post since starting this blog. That's a lot of entries!

I guess this post makes it 724...

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) activity blog entries postings trends website https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/blog-entries Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:11:14 GMT
"Driftwood Beach" Takes First Place in January! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/-driftwood-beach-takes-first-place-in-january Earlier today, my "Driftwood Beach" picture took first place for the month of January, 2019 in Imaging Resource's photo contest.

The judges select the top five pictures from the 31 daily winners. This photo was the Photo of the Day on January 4th. The winning entries are then ranked: First, Second and Third Place along with First and Second Place Runner Ups. The first place picture is awarded with a $300 gift card.

Here's a larger view of the winning image:

Driftwood BeachDriftwood BeachImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for January 4, 2019

First Place Winner for month of January, 2019

This image was captured during my recent road trip through Florida. On the way to Florida, I stopped at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island in Georgia. Driftwood Beach has been on my photography wish list for quite some time. I'm very glad I made the trip. It's a world class landscape location in my opinion.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) driftwood beach first place georgia imaging resouce jekyll island long exposure photo contest road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/-driftwood-beach-takes-first-place-in-january Fri, 15 Feb 2019 00:14:52 GMT
Andersonville National Historic Site https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/andersonville-national-historic-site During my road trip through Florida, I visited the Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia.

Andersonville was a Confederate prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. It was overcrowded to four times its capacity. It had inadequate food and water supplies and the prisoners suffered immensely. Of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners held at the prison during the war, nearly 13,000 died.

The national cemetery at Andersonville contains 13,714 graves, of which 921 are marked "unknown".

Andersonville National CemeteryAndersonville National CemeteryGrave markers at the Andersonville National Cemetery at the Andersonville National Historic Site at 760 POW Road in Andersonville, Georgia on December 2, 2018 Andersonville Prison SiteAndersonville Prison SiteMassachusetts monument at the Andersonville Civil War Prison site at the Andersonville National Historic Site at 760 POW Road in Andersonville, Georgia on December 2, 2018 Andersonville National CemeteryAndersonville National CemeteryGrave markers at the Andersonville National Cemetery at the Andersonville National Historic Site at 760 POW Road in Andersonville, Georgia on December 2, 2018 In the summer of 1864, tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war were dying of thirst at Andersonville. Suddenly, a spring erupted from the ground within the stockade. The prisoners credited its appearance to divine intervention, and Providence Spring became part of the established lore of the Civil War.

Providence SpringProvidence SpringProvidence Spring at the Andersonville Civil War Prison site at the Andersonville National Historic Site at 760 POW Road in Andersonville, Georgia on December 2, 2018.

In the summer of 1864, tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war were dying of thirst at Andersonville. Suddenly, a spring erupted from the ground within the stockade. The prisoners credited its appearance to divine intervention, and Providence Spring became part of the established lore of the Civil War.
Providence SpringProvidence SpringProvidence Spring at the Andersonville Civil War Prison site at the Andersonville National Historic Site at 760 POW Road in Andersonville, Georgia on December 2, 2018.

In the summer of 1864, tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war were dying of thirst at Andersonville. Suddenly, a spring erupted from the ground within the stockade. The prisoners credited its appearance to divine intervention, and Providence Spring became part of the established lore of the Civil War.
Providence SpringProvidence SpringProvidence Spring at the Andersonville Civil War Prison site at the Andersonville National Historic Site at 760 POW Road in Andersonville, Georgia on December 2, 2018.

In the summer of 1864, tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war were dying of thirst at Andersonville. Suddenly, a spring erupted from the ground within the stockade. The prisoners credited its appearance to divine intervention, and Providence Spring became part of the established lore of the Civil War.
After the war, the commander of the prison was tried for war crimes--and was executed.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) andersonville cemetery civil war history road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/andersonville-national-historic-site Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:24:46 GMT
St. Photios Shrine https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/st-photios-shrine During my recent road trip through Florida, I came across this shrine unexpectedly while walking the historic St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida.

I had this shrine mostly to myself during this visit, which was fortunate given how crowded St. George Street was with tourists. Here are a few photographs from the shrine:

St. Photios ShrineSt. Photios ShrineSt. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine (built in 1749) at 41 St George Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018 St. Photios ShrineSt. Photios ShrineSt. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine (built in 1749) at 41 St George Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018 St. Photios ShrineSt. Photios ShrineSt. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine (built in 1749) at 41 St George Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018. The covered container (reliquary) on the left contains bone fragments from 18 saints and was certified by the Vatican. The saints represented include 3 apostles and those of St. Nicholas of Myra who served as the basis for the legends of Santa Claus. St. Photios ShrineSt. Photios ShrineSt. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine (built in 1749) at 41 St George Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018 This shrine also contains bone fragments from 18 saints--including the apostles Peter and Paul. I outlined the box that contains those bone fragments in yellow in the following photograph:

St. Photios ShrineSt. Photios ShrineSt. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine (built in 1749) at 41 St George Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018. The covered container (reliquary) on the left and outlined in yellow contains bone fragments from 18 saints (including Peter and Paul) and was certified by the Vatican. The saints represented include 3 apostles and those of St. Nicholas of Myra who served as the basis for the legends of Santa Claus. I do a lot of planning for my photo shoots before arriving in a new city. But, sometimes it is beneficial to just walk around without a plan just to see what I might see. On occasion, I'll stumble across an unexpected gem such as this one!
 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture fisheye florida place of worship shrine st photios https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/st-photios-shrine Tue, 05 Feb 2019 23:37:04 GMT
The Serious Sentry https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/the-serious-sentry During my road trip to Newfoundland, I visited the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

A guard was standing at the entrance to the Citadel. I asked him if it would be OK for me to capture some photographs of him standing there. What I didn't realize is that the guard is not permitted to talk, move or even change his expression. He just kept standing exactly as pictured while I reeled off about 40 exposures from different distances and angles!

Citadel sentryCitadel sentrySentry at the entrance gate to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site at 5425 Sackville Street in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 15, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) canada citadel guard halifax nova scotia people portrait reenactor road trip sentry serious https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/2/the-serious-sentry Fri, 01 Feb 2019 14:46:41 GMT
A Florida Gazebo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/a-florida-gazebo During my last road trip through Florida, I captured this photograph of a gazebo at Washington Oaks Garden State Park in Palm Coast, Florida:

Washington Oaks GardensWashington Oaks GardensGazebo under oak tree at 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in Palm Coast, Florida on December 8, 2018

This picture presented some technical challenges. My lens was positioned very close to the foreground leaves. So, even at a narrow aperture (f/16), it wasn't possible to get the entire scene in focus. Ultimately, I set the aperture to f/9--which yielded a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second and focused stacked a few shots. But, that didn't work either. The leaves in the front were blurred due to the wind at such a slow shutter speed.

So, I captured an additional exposure of just the foreground leaves at 1/250th and opened the aperture up to f/7.1 (just so that the ISO wouldn't have to go too high). The ISO ended up at 1000--which wasn't high enough to compromise image quality too much. Rather than use ISO 1000 throughout the entire frame, I applied it only to those leaves in the very front of the picture. The rest of the image is at ISO 64 (optimal image quality) at the slower shutter speed of 1/10th of a second. This mixing and matching of various apertures and ISO settings within the same photograph can help solve a number of problems out in the field!

Another consideration in a scene such as this (i.e., a lot of foliage) is to control the glare off all the leaves. Even in overcast conditions, the glare from the light hitting the leaves sucks color and contrast from the greens. I attached a polarizing filter to cut through the glare to enable to greens and yellows to pop more.

While capturing this image, I made sure to wait until some clouds covered the bright sunlight. This took a bit of patience, but this photograph wouldn't have been worth taking in direct, harsh sunlight. Direct sunlight introduces too much contrast into a scene like this one.

Creating photographs such as this one will often present challenges. I enjoy trying to solve photography problems like this by blending various exposures and using the appropriate filters. Sometimes it works...and the desired photograph gets produced.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) aperture blending exposure filter florida landscape polarizer road trip stacking travel washington oaks https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/a-florida-gazebo Mon, 28 Jan 2019 14:46:20 GMT
Gitzo Disappointment https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/gitzo-disappointment A tripod is a crucial piece of equipment for my photography. It enables me to:

  • Use slow shutter speed
  • Make more precise compositions
  • Blend exposures to solve a multitude of problems
  • Maximize image quality by using base ISO settings and appropriate apertures
  • Remove camera shake related to high magnification pictures (i.e., macro and super telephoto)

I purchased a high quality Gitzo tripod 11 years ago...the Gitzo 3540XLS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod. I love the features of this tripod. It is rock solid, very tall, and relatively light for its size (being carbon fiber). When I bought this tripod for $750 back in 2007, I assumed that it would last a lifetime.

For years, I had no issues with this tripod. Then, about a year ago, it became increasingly difficult to lock the legs. The bearings were wearing out. This wasn't entirely unexpected as I have set the tripod up thousands of times. I sent the tripod into the repair facility in Chandler, Arizona. Unfortunately, Gitzo repairs can take quite some time. It took a week for the tripod to get from Chicago to Chandler (UPS Ground). It took another week for the repair facility to assess the repair. I approved the work immediately. It took about a week for the repairs to be completed and another week for the return shipment. So, $325 and a month later, I had my tripod back. I assumed I was good to go for another decade. Not so.

During my recent road trip to Florida, the tripod legs started to flop around. Despite tightening the screws with a wrench, the legs would loosen very quickly. This is particularly annoying when walking great distances with the tripod or when trying to make small adjustments to the positioning of the legs.

I called Gitzo for assistance and was told that the likely culprit was that the washers inside the upper joint were probably worn out. Unfortunately, I was having trouble removing the legs to get at the washers. The representative said he would order the parts so that they would be in inventory when I returned from my trip. They recommended that I send it into Chandler for repair. I knew that I was probably looking at another month without my tripod!

I sent my tripod to Chandler on the morning of December 26th. It arrived at the facility on January 3rd. The tripod was assessed on January 8th. I approved the repair in January 8th. For the past three weeks, the tripod is on a "parts hold" in Chandler. Most Gitzo parts are not in stock in the United States. The Chandler facility orders the parts from Italy...and the parts are shipped very slowly first by boat and then across the country to Arizona.

My parts were ordered on January 8th. I was told today that the parts haven't been shipped from Italy yet. They have no idea when they will be shipped, but said it will take at least a week to ten days to arrive in Chandler once they are shipped. Then, I'm looking at another week for the repair...and yet another week for the return shipment. So, I was told that the very earliest that I would get my tripod back would be February 18th or so...and that's if the parts get shipped from Italy tomorrow.

I was also told that the more likely scenario is another 4-6 weeks before the parts are shipped...which means that I would get the tripod back until early April. That's 3 1/2 months since I sent it in.

A comparable replacement Gitzo tripod would run about $1,200 today. I told the representative that having such an expensive tripod out of service for a few months (and twice within the past year or so) is totally unacceptable. It's not like I'm talking about maintaining something like a car. It seems to me that a tripod has relatively few moving parts for such extensive downtime.

I have no choice but to purchase a backup tripod! I refuse to buy Gitzo. I also don't want to make a large investment in a backup item that will hopefully see little use once my Gitzo is back in my hands. So, I bought the Benro TMA38CL Long Series 3 Mach3 Carbon Fiber Tripod. It gets great reviews and should serve my purpose for now. Once I get my Gitzo back, I'll continue to use the Benro in more challenging conditions--such as when the tripod needs to be submerged in salt water.

Gitzo tripods are great. But, if you plan to purchase one please be aware that servicing a Gitzo tripod is no picnic.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) benro equipment gitzo maintenance repair service https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/gitzo-disappointment Thu, 24 Jan 2019 22:45:48 GMT
Burrowing Owl https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/burrowing-owl During my road trip through Florida last month, I stopped by Marco Island to see the burrowing owls. Many of the owls reside in the yards of the homes in Marco Island. The burrows can easily be spotted because they are typically protected by wooden posts and yellow tape. Although there are burrows everywhere, just one owl made an appearance for my photography.

Burrowing owls are quite small. This one is about 8 inches tall. These owls are about the size of a robin.

Eventually, I worked in very close with a lot of focal length. This image was captured with 700mm of focal length (500mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter attached)...and I was within an inch of the minimum focus distance. If I moved any closer, even an inch, the lens would no longer have been able to focus on the owl!

Fortunately, there was some cloud cover which provided decent light for this portrait.

Burrowing OwlBurrowing OwlBurrowing owl at 489 W Elkcam Circle in Marco Island, Florida on December 13, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal bird burrowing owl florida macro island owl road trip wildlife https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/burrowing-owl Fri, 18 Jan 2019 23:50:32 GMT
Florida Road Trip--Distribution by Lens https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/florida-road-trip--distribution-by-lens Nearly every time I return from a trip, I'm asked about which lenses I used to capture the images. At the end of a trip, I like to look at the distribution of shots by lens. Here's how it looked for my most recent road trip to Florida. CLICK HERE to view my favorite images from this journey.

I used just one camera for the entire trip--the Nikon D850. Almost 90% of my photographs were captured with one of Nikon's "Holy Trinity" of lenses--the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200. Of those three lenses, I'm finding the Nikon 24-70 to be the least sharp...even though it led the way for this trip in the number of keepers. The latest 70-200 lens is razor sharp. And, the 14-24 is typically my most used lens and is quite sharp as well.

The Sigma fisheye accounted for just 6% of the pictures, but it's a very useful lens for me. It's a specialty lens that I don't use a lot, but when I need it there's nothing else that can do what it does. Here are a few images from this trip with the fisheye:

St. Photios ShrineSt. Photios ShrineSt. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine (built in 1749) at 41 St George Street in St. Augustine, Florida on December 6, 2018. The covered container (reliquary) on the left contains bone fragments from 18 saints and was certified by the Vatican. The saints represented include 3 apostles and those of St. Nicholas of Myra who served as the basis for the legends of Santa Claus. Sacred Heart Catholic ChurchSacred Heart Catholic ChurchSacred Heart Catholic Church (1905) at 509 N Florida Avenue in Tampa, Florida on December 9, 2018 Dali StaircaseDali StaircaseSpiral staircase inside the Salvador Dali Museum at 1 Dali Blvd in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 11, 2018. Referred to as the "Enigma", the glass entryway is 75 feet tall and encompasses a spiral staircase.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) distribution equipment fisheye florida holy trinity lenses nikon d850 sigma travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/florida-road-trip--distribution-by-lens Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:20:34 GMT
Ave Maria Catholic Church https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/ave-maria-catholic-church During my road trip through Florida last month, I made sure to stop by the Ave Maria Catholic Church in Ave Maria...about 30 minutes from Naples. I visited this church back in 2012 while taking a similar trip. Back then, I had photographed very few places of worship, so I was content to capture just a few images...and I wasn't overly pleased with them. Since then, I've photographed more than 200 churches. I wanted to take the experience that I gained into the Ave Maria Catholic Church to improve upon the photographs from that past visit.


When I arrived, a mass was underway. After sitting through that mass (and I've sat through countless services in the quest to photograph churches), I thought the interior would soon clear. But, about 40 people remained in the church and conducted some kind of ongoing service with prayer and song. After another 30 minutes, the church interior finally cleared.

I quickly started shooting--because often times the lights go out shortly after a service ends. One individual from the congregation was telling other people that I was there to "film" the interior. I'm not sure why she was saying that, but everyone assumed I was there in some official capacity after that, so I had a well lit church all to myself for more than an hour!

This panoramic was captured during my last visit in 2012. Back then, I was shooting with a D700. But, the resolution was high as this is an 11 frame stitch.

p3257908706-5.

The crucifix is suspended from the rear wall of the sanctuary and weighs 4,200 pounds. It measures 23 feet in height. The two shadows on either side of the cross represent the two criminals crucified with Christ or the three persons of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. The crucifix is suspended from the rear wall of the sanctuary and weighs 4,200 pounds. It measures 23 feet in height. The two shadows on either side of the cross represent the two criminals crucified with Christ or the three persons of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

This statue of the Infant of Prague was brought to Prague in 1628. It was found in the ruins of a church. The infant is the Patron Saint of vocations, family life and travelers.

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchStatue of the Infant of Prague outside the Ave Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. This statue was brought to Prague in 1628. It was found in the ruins of a church. The infant is the Patron Saint of vocations, family life and travelers.

Vertical view of the nave

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. The crucifix is suspended from the rear wall of the sanctuary and weighs 4,200 pounds. It measures 23 feet in height. The two shadows on either side of the cross represent the two criminals crucified with Christ or the three persons of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

The front of the church displays sculptor Marton Varo's 30-foot-tall sculpture of the Annunciation, depicting the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary. It's carved in marble from Cave Michelangelo in Carrara, Italy. The 12 apostles are 18 inches tall and are fashioned from gilded-bronze colored gold.

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchFacade of the Ave Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. The front of the church displays sculptor Marton Varo's 30-foot-tall sculpture of the Annunciation, depicting the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary. It's carved in marble from Cave Michelangelo in Carrara, Italy. The 12 apostles are 18 inches tall and are fashioned from gilded-bronze colored gold.

Another perspective of the nave and sanctuary...

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018
The 12 apostles are made of wood and range from 218-289 pounds and average 6 feet in height. They are surrounded by statues of Joseph and Mary.

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. The 12 apostles are made of wood and range from 218-289 pounds and average 6 feet in height. They are surrounded by statues of Joseph and Mary.

Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchStatue of Our Lady of Guadalupe outside the Ave Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018.

The baptismal weighs 3,500 pounds and was carved from a single block of white marble.

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchThe baptismal font inside Ave Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. The baptismal weighs 3,500 pounds and was carved from a single block of white marble.

Fisheye perspective of interior

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018. The crucifix is suspended from the rear wall of the sanctuary and weighs 4,200 pounds. It measures 23 feet in height. The two shadows on either side of the cross represent the two criminals crucified with Christ or the three persons of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Choir loft and pipe organ speakers at the rear of the church

Ave Maria Catholic ChurchAve Maria Catholic ChurchThe choir loft and organ speakers and the rear of the Ave Maria Catholic Church at 5068 Annunciation Cir #101 in Ave Maria, Florida on December 12, 2018

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture ave maria cathedral church florida interior places of worship road trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/ave-maria-catholic-church Sat, 12 Jan 2019 21:15:01 GMT
"Driftwood Beach" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/-driftwood-beach-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Driftwood Beach" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured exactly one month ago during my road trip to Florida. Driftwood Beach was on my photography wish list for quite some time. I'm glad I was finally able to visit this amazing location on Jekyll Island in Georgia. It did not disappoint.

This marks the 56th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back five years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Driftwood BeachDriftwood BeachImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for January 4, 2019

First Place Winner for month of January, 2019

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) driftwood beach georgia imaging resource jekyll island long exposure photo contest road trip seascape travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/-driftwood-beach-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 04 Jan 2019 14:25:49 GMT
Stages of a Sunrise https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/stages-of-a-sunrise During my road trip through Florida last month, I visited the St. Augustine Pier for a sunrise. Here is a sequence of shots from that morning:

1- Taken at 6:51 am...about 15 minutes before sunrise

St. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach Pier, or St. Johns County Ocean Pier, at 350 A1A Beach Blvd in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 2018

2- What looked to be a very promising sunrise really fizzled out. This picture was captured at 7:13 am. I used a neutral density (ND) filter to just go with the flow and soften the scene since there weren't any dramatic colors or clouds.

St. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach Pier, or St. Johns County Ocean Pier, at 350 A1A Beach Blvd in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 2018

3- By 7:17 am, the scene was not brightening at all. In fact, practically all of the color was getting erased. I used a stronger ND filter to try to salvage the photograph by going with a more minimalistic approach.

St. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach Pier, or St. Johns County Ocean Pier, at 350 A1A Beach Blvd in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 2018

4- Things started to open up a bit by 7:22 am. There was enough interest in the clouds and some of the returning color, that I removed the ND filter for this last shot.

St. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach PierSt. Augustine Beach Pier, or St. Johns County Ocean Pier, at 350 A1A Beach Blvd in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 2018

All four image were taken from the exact same spot with the camera secured to my tripod. You can get a lot of different looks within a very short window of time!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) dawn florida long exposure ND filter neutral density filter ocean pier seascape St. Augustine sunrise travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2019/1/stages-of-a-sunrise Wed, 02 Jan 2019 14:33:26 GMT
"A Look Through My Lens" Published for 2018! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/-a-look-through-my-lens-published-for-2018 Each year, I create a book which compiles my favorite photographs from the entire year. Last year, I started limiting the images to just one of my photograph trips during the year. This year's book will focus (no pun intended) on my 28 day road trip through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

One of the highlights of the year from a photography perspective was my 28 day road trip through the western portion of the United States. This road trip covered 6,428 miles by car (Prius), 460 miles by ferry (with Prius on board) and 245 miles by foot. It was tempting to include some pictures from two other trips during the year--Iceland and Cincinnati.

You may CLICK HERE to view a full preview of this year's book. It's most effective to view the images with the pages of the book expanded to fill your monitor. I also recommend selecting the Dust Jacket version of the preview (positioned under the book).

I use Blurb to create my books. I'm very pleased with the quality of the product--from the binding and paper to the image quality. Producing such a small quantity of books makes for a high cost per unit. I make these available for purchase at the base cost from Blurb. However, the book isn't intended for general distribution. I like to create one for my own records--and family and friends occasionally order books as well.

This is the 11th annual "A Look Through My Lens" book that I've created!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) book collection favorites newfoundland road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/-a-look-through-my-lens-published-for-2018 Tue, 25 Dec 2018 17:08:15 GMT
"Peeking Frog" Takes Second Place for November https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/-peeking-frog-takes-second-place-for-november My "Peeking Frog" photograph took second place for Imaging Resource's photo contest for the month of November:

This picture was captured in October, 2018 at a photography conference that I attended in Cleveland.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal contest frog imaging resource november photo contest runner up https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/-peeking-frog-takes-second-place-for-november Sat, 22 Dec 2018 13:47:06 GMT
My Ten Favorite Pictures of the Year... https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/my-ten-favorite-pictures-of-the-year As the year comes to a close, I went through my images to select my ten favorite pictures of the past year. It's not easy selecting just ten photographs from an entire year's worth of shooting. But, here goes!

These are presented in random order:

Top 10 PicturesTop 10 PicturesMy top 10 photographs over the past year.

Summary

 

Ice Cave, Iceland

Iceland ice caveIceland ice caveIce cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, near Jokulsarlon, Iceland on February 21, 2018 Halifax architecture, Nova Scotia

Downtown HalifaxDowntown HalifaxHarbor Ridge Apartments in front of modern buildings at 1663 Brunswick Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 15, 2018 Grainger Engineering Library, University of Illinois

Grainger staircaseGrainger staircaseStaircase in the Grainger Engineering Library at 1301 W Springfield Avenue on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois on January 24, 2018 Rocky Harbour Sunset, Newfoundland

Rocky HarbourRocky HarbourRocky Harbour with the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse in the distance in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 30, 2018 Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

HarborHarborLobster traps at foggy harbor at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia on July 17, 2018 Atlantic Puffin, Newfoundland

Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinAtlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018 Diamond Beach, Iceland

Diamond BeachDiamond BeachDiamond beach, or Jokulsarlon beach, by Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland on February 23, 2018 Girl Knitting, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Girl knittingGirl knittingA young girl knitting in window light at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada at 259 Park Service Road in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia on July 22, 2018 Cincinnati Skyline

Cincinnati skylineCincinnati skylineCincinnati skyline, the Ohio River and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge from Riverside Drive in Covington, Kentucky on July 6, 2018 Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Overture HallOverture HallOverture Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts on 201 State Street in Madison, Wisconsin on November 14, 2017 That's a wrap for my past year of shooting. Now, it's onto processing the images from my recent Florida road trip!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) collection favorites summary https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/my-ten-favorite-pictures-of-the-year Thu, 20 Dec 2018 11:59:14 GMT
Holy Trinity Anglican Church of Codroy https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/holy-trinity-anglican-church-of-codroy For my last night in Newfoundland, I reserved a room at a B&B about 30 minutes from Port aux Basques (the location of the ferry terminal for my trip back to Nova Scotia). I needed to be at Port aux Basques early the next morning.

I arrived at the B&B at about 6 pm after a long drive from St. Anthony. The drive was made longer by the rain and fog. I was tired when I walked into the B&B...and wanted to get settled in and find the nearest restaurant.

My host was very enthusiastic and started telling me about all of the things that I needed to see and do while in Codroy. I kept trying to explain that I probably had about two hours of light left in the day, and that I was tired, and that I had to leave early the next morning. But, she started telling me about how I should at least see the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

My first question was "how far is that?" She said it was 7 miles away--but on a two lane road in the rain. I pointed out that it was unlikely that the church would still be open on a Wednesday night. So, she made a few calls and gave me an address to go to near the church to pick up the key!

Since she was going through so much effort, I felt somewhat compelled to at least see the church. I drove there and knocked on the door of the building in hope of getting the key to the church. The person who answered the door handed me a key--and said to just make sure to turn off the lights and lock up when I leave. When I returned to the building after my visit, nobody was there. So, I just left the key on the kitchen table and left. It sure was a trusting group of people that I was dealing with in Codroy!

I was surprised at the size of the church and the overall grounds. The cemetery is large and stretches all the way down to the Atlantic coast. Keep in mind that the village of Codroy has a population of only about 50 people!

It continued to rain the entire time I was there, so I broke out my rain protection gear for my Nikon D850 and 14-24 lens...here's a picture of that sophisticated piece of equipment. I hold it over my tripod/camera/lens while triggering exposures by cable release:

Holy Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican Church on Highway 406 in Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador on August 2, 2018. This church was rebuilt in 1913 to replace the 1906 church which was destroyed in a wind storm.

Here are a few more from my visit:

Holy Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican Church on Highway 406 in Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador on August 2, 2018. This church was rebuilt in 1913 to replace the 1906 church which was destroyed in a wind storm. Holy Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican Church on Highway 406 in Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador on August 2, 2018. This church was rebuilt in 1913 to replace the 1906 church which was destroyed in a wind storm. Holy Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican Church on Highway 406 in Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador on August 2, 2018. This church was rebuilt in 1913 to replace the 1906 church which was destroyed in a wind storm. Holy Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican ChurchHoly Trinity Anglican Church on Highway 406 in Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador on August 2, 2018. This church was rebuilt in 1913 to replace the 1906 church which was destroyed in a wind storm.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture church codroy interior newfoundland places of worship religion road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/holy-trinity-anglican-church-of-codroy Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:46:55 GMT
Gusting Winds https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/gusting-winds During my road trip to Newfoundland, I visited Signal Hill in the capital city of St. John's. Signal Hill offers spectacular views of downtown St. John's as well as the harbor. I was glad that I hauled my Nikon 500mm lens with me. The super telephoto perspective helps to condense the scene. It was my objective to emphasize how busy and compact this area of downtown St. John's is.

First, the lighting presented problems. I arrived at Signal Hill one evening and before I could compose a picture it started raining. The rain didn't stop until well after sunset. I returned the next morning to better, but not spectacular, light. The issue that morning was wind.

High winds are common at Signal Hill. During my photo shoot, I experienced a sustained 40-45 mph wind with occasional gusts that made it difficult for me to stand. I really wanted this particular shot, so I did my best to minimize camera shake in these challenging conditions.

My first idea was to block the wind with my body and my open jacket. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible as the wind was blowing directly into the lens.

This is a photo that I captured of Cabot Tower at Signal Hill. You will notice the stone walls surrounding the building. The next thing I tried was to position my tripod so that only the lens was peeking over the wall. Using this approach, at least the tripod wasn't getting hit with any wind. Cabot TowerCabot TowerCabot Tower at Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 25, 2018

This didn't work either. The wind was too strong and caused the camera and lens to shake enough to blur the images.

So, I then tried the following additional steps to improve the sharpness of the picture:

  1. I removed the lens hood. The lens hood for the 500mm f/4 lens is massive. It was acting like a sail in the wind. This helped.
  2. I increased the ISO so that I could use a higher shutter speed.
  3. I set the camera for rapid burst mode. Shooting at 9 frames per second improved my odds of getting one sharp picture.
  4. Of course, I waited for brief lulls in the wind.

After capturing a few bursts with the higher shutter speed, I noticed that approximately 1 in 20 pictures was sharp. I did this by carefully checking the photograph on the screen on the back of my camera--after zooming in to at least 100%.

Thankfully, my Nikon D850 isn't a film camera. This makes it well worthwhile to capture as many images as it takes to get the shot.

Colorful houses of St. John'sColorful houses of St. John'sColorful houses of St. John's from Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 25, 2018

In the end, I captured a sharp image of the picture that I wanted. I wish the light would have been better. That's one of the greatest challenges of travel photography. I had to leave after that morning's photo shoot--whereas a resident of St. John's can return once the shooting conditions become ideal.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture camera shake capital exposure newfoundland road trip St. John's travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/gusting-winds Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:32:51 GMT
Fortress of Louisbourg Chapel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/fortress-of-louisbourg-chapel During my recent road trip to Newfoundland, I visited the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada.

I almost always try to capture photographs of places of worship that I come across during my travels. In fact, I have now photographed 223 places of worship! So, the Chapel at the Fortress of Louisbourg was an appealing subject.

A young woman was acting as a tour guide inside the chapel. I politely asked her if it would be possible to have the lights turned on for all the chandeliers. I explained that the interior of most buildings looks a lot nicer when illuminated.

She looked surprised and told me that lighting those chandeliers takes quite an effort. She explained that the chandeliers are not electric fixtures. Rather, they must be lit one candle at a time! She said that the chandeliers have not been lit for at least a decade.

So, I lit them just a touch in Photoshop...although in a rough and sloppy manner.

Fortress of Louisbourg ChapelFortress of Louisbourg ChapelFortress of Louisbourg Chapel at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada at 259 Park Service Road in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia on July 22, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture chandelier fortress of lousibourg interior nova scotia places of worship road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/fortress-of-louisbourg-chapel Sat, 08 Dec 2018 13:16:10 GMT
The Magic of Christmas...for 30 Seconds! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/the-magic-of-christmas-for-30-seconds Ordinarily, I enjoy Christmas decorations--particularly the lights. But, Christmas decorations aren't always a good thing as evidenced by my trip through the Capital Cities of the Southeast. During my visit to the Georgia State Capitol building, I wasn't permitted to enter the rotunda because workers were setting up a very large Christmas tree. During several of my visits, these trees often resulted in having areas closed off or they restricted my vantage points. It's impossible to position myself in the center of the rotunda floor to capture a symmetrical image of the inner dome if a massive tree is placed there.

In Alabama, workers were placing a large tree on the stairs of the Capitol.

Alabama State CapitolAlabama State CapitolMen working on holiday decorations in front of the Alabama State Capitol building from Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama on December 3, 2014

I was told that the tree would be lit for the first time on Friday night--a day or two after I was scheduled to leave Montgomery. One night, I decided to take a photograph of the Capitol's exterior despite the dark tree:

After capturing several images, I was pleasantly surprised to see the tree light up! Unfortunately, the Capitol's dome was still dark:

Alabama State CapitolAlabama State CapitolHoliday decoratoins in front of the Alabama State Capitol building from Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama on December 3, 2014 A few seconds later, the dome lit up. I captured a few bracketed long exposures while everything was lit...made a few adjustments to my settings...and began shooting some more pictures. The only problem was that the tree had gone dark during the time I was making those adjustments. Apparently, this was just a lighting test--so I guess I was fortunate to be shooting during the 30 seconds that the tree was lit that night! Here's my final image:

Alabama State CapitolAlabama State CapitolHoliday decorations in front of the Alabama State Capitol building from Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama on December 3, 2014

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) alabama capital capitol christmas decorations exterior lights montgomery tree https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/12/the-magic-of-christmas-for-30-seconds Mon, 03 Dec 2018 21:45:00 GMT
Holiday Cards https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/holiday-cards I like to find different outlets to share my photography. As each year comes to a close, I try to take that opportunity to create a photography book which features a collection of my favorite images from the year. I almost always share one of my pictures from the year through a holiday card. And, I occasionally create a calendar for the upcoming year as well.

This year, my holiday card features one of my favorite photographs (and favorite experiences) of the year. The picture was captured inside of an ice cave in Iceland. The downside was that the ice cave wasn't nearly as isolated as I expected it to be. You can read all about it in one of my earlier blog entries.

At the risk of ruining the surprise for the recipients of my cards, here's the design for this year's card:

Front

Inside

Back

And, here's the original image:

Iceland ice caveIceland ice caveIce cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, near Jokulsarlon, Iceland on February 21, 2018 I am sometimes asked why the card reads "Happy Holidays" rather than Merry Christmas. The reason is that I send these cards to a number of people--not all of whom are Christians. The card expresses my wish that everyone (regardless of their religious beliefs) enjoys the holiday season and has a happy New Year.

I use Vistaprint to produce these cards.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) cards christmas happy holidays holidays ice cave iceland new year vistaprint https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/holiday-cards Tue, 27 Nov 2018 20:36:43 GMT
A Brand New Set of Capitols! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/a-brand-new-set-of-capitols Over the past few years, I have photographed 49 of the 50 state capitol buildings in the United States. The only remaining capitol is Juneau. Unfortunately, I visited Juneau before undertaking this project. So, I will eventually need to return to Juneau to photograph the Alaska State Capitol.

During my recent road trip to Newfoundland, I visited two provincial capitol buildings--Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Capturing interesting images of the interior of the Newfoundland capitol, the Confederation Building, proved to be challenging. One morning I entered the building with the intention to photograph the interior. This is permitted inside all of the state capitols in the United States and was also encouraged inside the Province House of Nova Scotia. While working my way through security, I was told that photography is permitted, but that I needed to be escorted through the building by a guide. The next tour was at 2:30 PM...so I had to return to the Confederation Building to capture the photographs.

I was pleased to see that I was the only person on the tour. This usually makes it very easy to compose pictures. The guide told me that photography was permitted. So, I began the hour long tour. The issue is that this building offers very little of interest other than the magnificent House of Assembly. So, I patiently waited until we entered the House of Assembly at the very end of the tour.

As I started to set up my tripod, the tour guide informed me that the House of Assembly was off limits for photography! I asked why that was since it was empty...the representatives were not in session during my visit. She said she didn't know and was just following directions. I asked if I could speak to someone else about getting permission for the photography. She called a manager in the Communications Department--but that call went into voice mail.

So after two visits and an hour long tour, I left the building without a single image.

Later that night, I received an email from the tour guide letting me know that permission was granted and that I could gain access to the House of Assembly at 8:30 AM the next day. I replied to the email to express my appreciation for that follow up and to make a couple of requests: (1) that the lights be turned on inside the room, and (2) that the door to access the center of the balcony area be unlocked.

The next morning, I met the tour guide in the lobby and we immediately went into the House of Assembly. The floor was off limits, but I had access to the balcony--or most of it. This next image shows the section within the room in which a perfectly symmetrical shot of the interior is possible. Note the section circled in red. That wooden door was locked. Unfortunately, nobody could find the key! So, I wasn't able to capture any of the more traditional perspectives of this beautiful room.

However, I very much appreciated how friendly and cooperative everyone was at the Confederation Building. While I was shooting, my guide asked me if I would prefer that the ceremonial mace be placed on the table as it would be if the assembly was in session. So, they brought it out and placed it on the table. The mace is circled in white.

Here are a few images from my photo session:

House of AssemblyHouse of AssemblyThe House of Assembly chamber in the Confederation Building on Confederation Hill overlook at 100 Prince Phillip Drive in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 24, 2018 Confederation BuildingConfederation BuildingThe Confederation Building on Confederation Hill overlooking Newfoundland and Labrador's capital city at 100 Prince Phillip Drive in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 24, 2018. This building serves as the home of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. Confederation BuildingConfederation BuildingConfederation Building at 100 Prince Phillip Drive from Summit Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 25, 2018 House of AssemblyHouse of AssemblyThe House of Assembly chamber in the Confederation Building on Confederation Hill overlook at 100 Prince Phillip Drive in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 24, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access architecture capital capitol confederation building newfoundland road trip security travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/a-brand-new-set-of-capitols Sat, 24 Nov 2018 19:01:06 GMT
"Peeking Frog" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/-peeking-frog-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Peeking Frog" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was last month at a photography conference that I attended outside of Cleveland. One of the presenters, Mike Matthews, brought a few frogs and reptiles with him. I was able to capture a photograph of the Amazon milk frog peeking over the petal of a calla lily. I am considering joining one of Mike's workshops next year.

This marks the 55th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back five years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Peeking FrogPeeking FrogImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for November 19, 2018

Second Place winner for the month of November, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) amazon milk frog animal award contest entry frog imaging resource macro photo contest winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/-peeking-frog-wins-photo-of-the-day Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:42:52 GMT
Illini Campus 2019 Calendar for Sale https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/2019-calendar-published I've made several visit to the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the years. The other day, I compiled a collection of some of my favorite images from these visits.

CLICK HERE to view the current collection of 57 photographs.

I also created a 2019 calendar featuring a dozen of these pictures. This calendar is currently offered for the low cost of $12.75. And, if you do a Google search for promo codes on Lulu calendars, you might even get it for less. I used the FWD15 promo code for 15% off my order earlier today.

CLICK HERE to purchase the calendar. There is a preview link below that calendar so that you may view the included photographs.

Here are a few favorites included in the calendar:

Foellinger AuditoriumFoellinger AuditoriumFoellinger Auditorium from the Quad on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois on January 9, 2013 Whimsical staircaseWhimsical staircaseColorful staircase at the Grainger Engineering Library on the campus of the University of Illinois at 1301 W. Springfield Avenue in Urbana, Illinois on May 6, 2012 Great HallGreat HallFoellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois on February 9, 2018 Psychology BuildingPsychology BuildingCenter Court of the Psychology Building (1970) at 603 E Daniel Street on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois on February 8, 2018 Illini UnionIllini UnionIllini Union at 1401 West Green Street on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois on January 24, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) calendar campus collection illini illinois lulu university of illinois https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/2019-calendar-published Mon, 12 Nov 2018 21:18:03 GMT
The Million Dollar Staircase https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-million-dollar-staircase On my drive back to Chicago from Newfoundland, I decided to revisit the New York State Capitol in Albany. It was one of the first state capitols that I photographed...and I've gained quite a bit more experience having photographed 48 more of these buildings. And, the New York State Capitol is one of the most interesting ones. 

The Great Western Staircase is located inside the New York State Capitol. It is also known as the Million Dollar Staircase. It took an unheard of 14 years to build this staircase at a cost of more than $1 million back 1883. During the course of those 14 years, more than 500 stone cutters and carvers were brought in from Europe. One of their goals was to carve 77 famous faces into the sandstone walls of the staircase. The sculptors spent years, at a salary of $5 per day (a big salary back then), to sculpt some of the finest carvings in the world.

Toward the end of this massive project, the sculptors were then permitted to continue adding faces--but faces of their choosing. So, along with the prominent faces are faces of friends, family and others (sometimes someone they happened to see on the street)--all of which can be seen when viewed from the staircase.

From a photography perspective, I found this staircase to be very challenging. The light streaming in from the skylight and side windows can be very harsh. And, it can be difficult to set up compositions from the stairs. It's also tough to shoot anything symmetric as the light fixtures are positioned in the most symmetrical locations.

To view my photographs of the staircase, CLICK HERE.

Great Western StaircaseGreat Western StaircaseThe Great Western Staircase (or "Million Dollar Staircase") inside the New York State Capitol building at State Street and Washington Avenue in Albany, New York on August 6, 2018. This staircase took 14 years to complete at a cost of $1.5 million dollars...back in the late 1800's. Great Western StaircaseGreat Western StaircaseThe Great Western Staircase (or "Million Dollar Staircase") inside the New York State Capitol building at State Street and Washington Avenue in Albany, New York on August 6, 2018. This staircase took 14 years to complete at a cost of $1.5 million dollars...back in the late 1800's. Staircase sculptureStaircase sculptureSculpture on the Great Western Staircase, also known as the Million Dollar Staircase, in the New York State Capitol building on State Street in Albany, New York on June 27, 2013 CarvingsCarvingsIntricate carvings in the stone inside the New York State Capitol building at State Street and Washington Avenue in Albany, New York on August 6, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) albany architecture great western staircase million dollar staircase new york new york state capitol road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/the-million-dollar-staircase Sat, 10 Nov 2018 03:16:43 GMT
Lincoln Bank Tower https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/lincoln-bank-tower Last weekend, I stopped in Fort Wayne, Indiana for a few hours to capture some architectural photographs in the downtown area. My first, and favorite, stop was the Lincoln Tower Bank. When this art-deco building opened in 1930, it was the tallest building in Indiana.

As I entered the lobby, I asked an employee at one of the teller windows for permission to take pictures. Clearly, the Lincoln Bank Tower sees a lot of photographers. Without hesitation, the teller asked me to sign a form waiving my rights to sell any of the photographs.

As is customary, I first attached the Nikon 14-24mm lens to my camera. The 14mm focal length is ultra-wide and helps me capture as much of the scene as possible without using a fisheye lens. Here's my first shot of the ceiling with the 14-24:

Lincoln Bank TowerLincoln Bank TowerCeiling in the lobby of the Lincoln Bank Tower at 116 East Berry Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 29, 2018

I liked the picture, but wanted to capture even more of the scene in a single frame. Due to the difficulty of aligning such an image, I did not wish to try to stitch multiple exposures into a panoramic photograph.

Without moving the camera from the tripod, I swapped lenses. The following picture was captured with the Sigma 15mm fisheye lens from the same perspective:

Lincoln Bank TowerLincoln Bank TowerCeiling in the lobby of the Lincoln Bank Tower at 116 East Berry Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 29, 2018.

Of course this is all personal preference, but I very much prefer the fisheye picture. I think including the murals on both sides of the frame really adds to the picture. I also like that the fisheye photograph includes more of the walls and lights.

I left the fisheye lens on the camera for a while longer and captured a couple of more shots before putting the 14-24 back on the D850:

Lincoln Bank TowerLincoln Bank TowerCeiling in the lobby of the Lincoln Bank Tower at 116 East Berry Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 29, 2018 Lincoln Bank TowerLincoln Bank TowerCeiling in the lobby of the Lincoln Bank Tower at 116 East Berry Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 29, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture bank fisheye fort wayne indiana interior nikon d850 sigma travel wide angle https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/11/lincoln-bank-tower Mon, 05 Nov 2018 20:21:59 GMT
"Atlantic Puffin" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/-atlantic-puffin-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Atlantic Puffin" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in July during my road trip to Newfoundland. This is the first picture from that road trip to be recognized in a photo contest. I recently posted a blog entry about this photo.

This marks the 54th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than four years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Atlantic PuffinAtlantic PuffinImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for October 28, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal atlantic puffin award bird imaging resource newfoundland photo contest puffin road trip wildlife winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/-atlantic-puffin-wins-photo-of-the-day Sun, 28 Oct 2018 21:30:00 GMT
Can You Find the Lobster Cages? https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/lunenburg-waterfront Lunenburg, Nova Scotia was one of my favorite stops during my long road trip to Newfoundland. I very much enjoyed walking through the historic downtown and waterfront areas. This panoramic was captured from a golf course situated across the harbor.

I don't usually deal with such large files. This panoramic image is about 36,000 pixels wide. Although I have a high powered computer, it was slow to process the photograph and then exporting from Lightroom was giving me issues. In any event, here's the smaller version.

CLICK HERE to have a look around the Lunenburg waterfront with a higher resolution view. Please be patient while the image loads. Once the image loads, please take the time to zoom in and to pan around the file to view some of the details.

While walking along the waterfront, I captured this picture of some lobster cages. Can you find this in the high resolution panoramic of the waterfront? I can.

Lobster trapsLobster trapsCarbon steel lobster traps against red wall near waterfront in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on July 17, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) canada high resolution lunenburg nova scotia panorama panoramic road trip travel waterfront https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/lunenburg-waterfront Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:23:23 GMT
My Photo on the Streets of Brooklyn...literally https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/my-photo-on-the-streets-of-brooklyn-literally One of the most popular photographs that I ever captured ("Long Desert Highway") was recently found blowing around the streets of Brooklyn. One of my Instragram followers sent me this picture of my photograph and wrote that he spotted this on "a sidewalk in Brooklyn sitting exactly as it is shown here." This is the photo he sent me:

This photograph was featured in the May 10, 2012 edition of "Digital Camera World" in the United Kingdom as one of the 30 most beautiful photos of roads or highways. It was the lead photograph in that article.

The "Long Desert Highway" photograph was also recognized as an Editors' Choice pick by 500px. The Editors' Choice award is limited to the top .01% (1 out of every 10,000) of photographs submitted to the editors.

You never know where you will find the photographs that you captured. But, I certainly never expected a complete stranger to find one of my pictures literally blowing around the streets of Brooklyn!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) brooklyn desert highway instagram popular https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/my-photo-on-the-streets-of-brooklyn-literally Mon, 15 Oct 2018 19:13:00 GMT
Florida Road Trip Itinerary https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/florida-road-trip-itinerary Day 1: Murfreesboro, TN

Day 2: Americus, GA - Andersonville National Historic Site

Day 3: Simons Island, GA - Avenue of the Oaks, Fishing Pier

Day 4: Jekyll Island, GA - Driftwood Beach; Historic District

Day 5: St. Augustine, FL - Basilica, Washington Oak State Park

Day 6: St. Augustine, FL - Flagler College; Marineland Beach

Day 7: St. Augustine Beach, FL - Pier

Day 8: St. Augustine, FL - Lighthouse

Day 9: Tampa, FL - Riverwalk, Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Day 10: Tampa, FL - Cityscape

Day 11: St. Petersburg, FL - Dali Museum; Marina

Day 12: Bonita Springs, FL - Ave Maria Oratory

Day 13: Bonita Springs, FL - Naples Pier

Day 14: Miami, FL - Convention Center, Brickell District

Day 15: Miami, FL - Cityscape; Design District

Day 16: Homestead, FL - Everglades National Park; Anhinga Trail; Long Pine Key Lake

Day 17: Melbourne, FL - Viera Wetlands

Day 18: Gainesville, FL - University of Florida; Butterfly Rainforest

Day 19: Forsyth, GA 

Day 20: Marion, IL

Day 21: Orland Park, IL

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) florida itinerary miami road trip schedule travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/florida-road-trip-itinerary Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:10:49 GMT
Look Up! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/look-up I've always enjoyed capturing pictures of staircases and corridors. I've noticed that my portfolio of ceilings is growing at a very strong pace!

Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 Stained glass domeStained glass domeStained glass dome (designed by Pennsylvania native Alfred Godwin) in the Supreme Court Chamber in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 5, 2013. This photograph consists of five exposures blended together using HDR Efex Pro2 software to create a high dynamic range (HDR) image. James R. Thompson CenterJames R. Thompson CenterInterior of the James R. Thompson Center, or State of Illinois Center, at 100 W Randolph Street in Chicago, Illinois on December 18, 2013. This photograph consists of five exposures blended together to create a high dynamic range (HDR) image. Alliolani Hale domeAlliolani Hale domeInner dome from the rotunda of the Aliiolani Hale at 447 S King Street in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 20, 2017. This building houses the Hawaii State Supreme Court. It is the former seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaii. To view more of my favorite pictures of ceilings, please click here.

Aligning ceiling pictures is very challenging. In order to see through the viewfinder, I'm usually laying on the floor and trying to slide underneath the camera (which is positioned on a tripod very low to the floor). It can take a while to line everything up--and in the meantime I often end up with a sore neck!

The good news is that my new Nikon D850 now makes this process easier. The D850 has a tilting LCD screen on the back of the camera.

Now, I am able to sit to the side of the camera and align the photo using the tilted screen.

I plan to continue looking up during my photography sessions.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture ceilings d850 lcd looking up nikon d850 screen tilt screen https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/look-up Sun, 07 Oct 2018 15:33:35 GMT
Puffins! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/puffins During my road trip to Newfoundland, I planned two photo shoots for birds...the northern gannets of Cape St Mary's and the puffins of Elliston. I didn't have much luck with the gannets due to thick fog over my three day stay near the Cape. And for the majority of my stay, it looked like the puffins were going to be a no go as well.

Just a little background on Elliston...a colony of puffins nests on the rock just off the coast. There's a short trail (about 1/3 of a mile) from the road to the edge of the cliff. From there, you can see the puffin nesting site. It's relatively close, but too far in my opinion to capture quality images of these rather small birds. They stand at just 8 inches tall.

Here's an iPhone photo of the area:

The hope is that a puffin (or several) will fly over to our side of the water. Between us and the nesting rock is a steep drop...and yes, people have died here.

So, I arrived one morning to photograph the puffins. I had visions of puffins everywhere...and all on my side of the water. But, after a couple of hours of waiting, there wasn't any indication that the puffins would land near me...or I should say, us. I gathered that part of the problem was that there were 30 or more people standing near me and that the crowd might be keeping the puffins away.

I returned the next morning at 5:45 AM...and was pleased that I was the only person there. But, by 9:30 AM the crowds were building and the light was getting very harsh...and not a single puffin made a move to my side of the water!

That night, I decided to go back for a third try. I arrived at 5:00 PM and found about 12 people there...no puffins. By 6:30 PM or so, everyone left except for one man. He was visiting from Switzerland...and was just finishing up some landscape photographs. I told him that people told me that on occasion puffins would fly over to our side...so he waited with me. We waited for about an hour when he told me that he reluctantly would have to leave because he was freezing...and that his jacket was back at his campsite about a mile away. I told him he could use my jacket...and he was very appreciative.

About 30 minutes later a single puffin fluttered over to our side and landed briefly on a rock. I captured a quick shot with my 300 2.8 VR...and it flew off. I was so happy to get a shot! He looked at the image and joked about how jealous he was that I got that shot...and that he only had a wide angle lens with him. So, I removed the 300 2.8 from my Nikon D850 and handed it to him. I told him he could use it for the rest of the shoot as it worked perfectly with his Niion D4. I then attached the 500 f4 to my camera--which was sitting in my bag. Yes, I carried a lot of weight!

A few minutes later, another puffin landed. Then another...and finally more than a dozen. We had a great time capturing portraits of these birds. At one point, he mentioned that he should have brought a teleconverter with him...so I reached into my bag and handed him a 1.4x teleconverter. He couldn't believe his good fortune...a jacket, a 300 2.8 VR and a TC...all saved his photo shoot! And, it was an amazing photo shoot for both of us.

Here are some of my images. To view more, CLICK HERE.

Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinFull body portrait of an Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018 Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinCloseup portrait of an Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018 Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinAtlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) spreading its wings in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018 Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinAtlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) atlantic puffin birds elliston newfoundland puffins road trip travel wildlife https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/10/puffins Wed, 03 Oct 2018 18:51:14 GMT
Newfoundland Road Trip -- Distribution by Lens https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/newfoundland-road-trip----distribution-by-lens Nearly every time I return from a trip, I'm asked about which lenses I used to capture the images. At the end of a trip, I like to look at the distribution of shots by lens. Here's how it looked for my most recent "Newfoundland Road Trip '18":

I used just one camera for the entire trip--the Nikon D850. More than 80% of my photographs were captured with one of Nikon's "Holy Trinity" of lenses--the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200.

An advantage of driving is that it is easier to bring long lenses along. Although the 300mm and 500mm accounted for just 13% of my photographs overall, they represent some of my favorites from the trip. The same goes for the Sigma fisheye pictures. Here are a few from the longer lenses:

Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinFull body portrait of an Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018 Colorful houses of St. John'sColorful houses of St. John'sColorful houses of St. John's from Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 25, 2018 Atlantic puffinAtlantic puffinCloseup portrait of an Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) in Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador on July 28, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) d850 equipment focal lengths holy trinity lenses newfoundland nikon road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/newfoundland-road-trip----distribution-by-lens Wed, 26 Sep 2018 14:37:05 GMT
Reykjavík Cathedral https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/reykjav-k-cathedral During my trip to Iceland, I visited the Reykjavik Cathedral. As with many of my photographs inside places of worship, I timed my visit to coincide with a service.

There are a few advantages to visiting a church during a mass:

  • I'm assured that the doors will be open.
  • The interior will be properly lit.
  • There will be someone there to talk with about getting permission to photograph the interior.

As a result, I've sat through hundreds of services (especially Catholic masses) over the past few years. I have now photographed more than 200 places of worship!

My experience at the Reykjavik Cathedral was unique in that the entire service was conducted in Icelandic. Unfortunately, I didn't understand a word throughout the entire mass. Once the service ended, I met with the pastor and asked if I could capture some photographs of the interior of the church. As with everyone I met in Iceland, he quickly transitioned to speaking perfect English. My request was granted.

The Reykavik Cathedral is a historic site that is located right next to Iceland's Parliament building. The pastor pointed out that his Lutheran church is the one that is called a cathedral...while the far larger Lutheran church (Hallgrimskirkja) is not designated as such. When I explained that I've photographed more than 200 places of worship, he said that he's certain that I've never visited a smaller cathedral.

Following is one of the pictures that I captured after the Icelandic service:

Reykjavik CathedralReykjavik CathedralReykjavik (Domkirkjan) Cathedral in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 18, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture cathedral iceland icelandic interior places of worship reykjavik travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/reykjav-k-cathedral Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:05:53 GMT
Harpa Concert Hall https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/harpa-concert-hall During my trip to Iceland, I participated in a photo tour led by Tony Prower. The tour was a five day trip along the southern coast of Iceland.

I arrived in Iceland a few days before the tour to explore Reykjavik. This ended up being a good plan as I had some of the best light of the entire trip during my first two days in Reykjavik. While in Reykjavik, I enjoyed walking the streets of the city and logged more than 40 miles of walking over a three day period. One of my favorite locations is the Harpa Concert Hall.

I visited the Harpa Concert Hall early one morning and captured photographs of the interior. It was nice having the place practically to myself. And, I never once had any issues using a tripod during my time in Iceland. I moved some chairs and tables from the open floor to clean up the frame before shooting this scene:

Here are some of the interior photographs:

Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallHarpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallHarpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallHarpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

And the abstracts:

Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallAbstract of the exterior of the Harpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallAbstract of the exterior of the Harpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

And the exterior:

Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallHarpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018 Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallHarpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

A view of the Old Harbor from the Harpa:

Harbor viewHarbor viewOld Harbor view through Harpa Concert Hall windows in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

I also returned one night to see the show "Icelandic Sagas Greatest Hits".

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture harpa harpa concert hall iceland reykjavik travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/harpa-concert-hall Sun, 16 Sep 2018 00:44:06 GMT
A Quarter of a Million Visitors! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/a-quarter-of-a-million-visitors I'm pleased to welcome the 250,000th visitor to my website! My website reached this milestone this morning.

This is a count of independent visitors. When a visitor returns to view the site, it does not add to the count.

According to Google Analytics, visitors come from all over the world--and represent 157 countries and all 7 continents (including Antarctica)!

In the past few years, the website consistently attracts about 3,000 new visitors each month.

Thanks to all who come to this site to view my pictures. I hope you enjoy viewing the world through my lens.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) count countries google analytics hits views visitors website zenfolio https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/9/a-quarter-of-a-million-visitors Tue, 04 Sep 2018 11:54:01 GMT
"Sun Voyager" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/-sun-voyager-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Sun Voyager" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in February during my trip to Iceland. I posted a blog entry about this photo shoot last month.

This is the fourth photograph from my Iceland trip to win a "Photo of the Day".

This marks the 53rd time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than four years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Sun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager sculptureImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for August 24, 2018

Third Place Winner of month of August, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) contest iceland imaging resource reykjavik sculpture sun voyager winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/-sun-voyager-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 24 Aug 2018 18:15:00 GMT
Muhammad Ali https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/muhammad-ali I coach the 11U Orland Park Warriors travel baseball team. I've been coaching this team for three seasons now. Two of the players are twins.

One is named Mohamed and the other is Ali. Or, when the two names are put together it's Muhammad Ali!

It took more than two seasons for me to be able to tell the twins apart. Even now, I fail to properly identify one of the twins 25% of the time--and I have a 50% chance of being right if I just guess!

A couple of weeks ago, I captured pictures of the players on my team. After taking pictures of the individual players, I captured some images of the twins together:

Elagha twinsElagha twinsAli (left) and Mo (right) Elagha of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Elagha twinsElagha twinsAli (left) and Mo (right) Elagha of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Muhammad Ali.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball brothers muhammad ali portrait siblings sports studio twins youth baseball youth sports https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/muhammad-ali Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:04:27 GMT
Mexican Gray Wolves https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/mexican-gray-wolves I captured some portraits of Mexican gray wolves during my most recent visit to the Brookfield Zoo. As soon as I approached the exhibit, a couple of the wolves noticed me and came up close to my camera. During my past visits, the wolves usually keep some distance. The outdoor exhibit is quite large and features some large rocks and several trees.

I suspect that the wolves approached me that afternoon out of curiosity. I was probably the first visitor to their exhibit in a long while. In all my visits to the Brookfield Zoo, I have never seen it so empty. And it was a "free day" at the zoo. I arrived at the zoo just after lunch and my car was one of the only ones in the large north parking lot:

I wanted to capture some closeup portraits of the wolves, so I attached a 1.4x teleconverter to my 500mm lens. This gave me an effective 700mm of focal length on my Nikon D850. Here are a few of the photographs:

Mexican gray wolfMexican gray wolfMexican gray wolf at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on February 1, 2018 Mexican gray wolfMexican gray wolfMexican gray wolf at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on February 1, 2018 Mexican gray wolfMexican gray wolfMexican gray wolf at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on February 1, 2018 Mexican gray wolfMexican gray wolfMexican gray wolf at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on February 1, 2018 To give some perspective of how close I was to the wolves, that last picture is hardly cropped--it's 6,500 pixels across!

Visiting the zoo in the Winter has its challenges. It was 18 degrees and windy...and my fingers were stinging from the cold. But, not having to deal with field trips and large crowds makes it well worth any discomfort.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animals brookfield zoo captive equipment mexican gray wolf portraits wolf wolves zoo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/mexican-gray-wolves Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:37:24 GMT
Basilica of St Josephat https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/basilica-of-st-josephat The Basilica of St. Josephat was the last stop of my trip to photograph Wisconsin architecture. I was very fortunate to have this magnificent interior to myself for about 90 minutes! I've photographed nearly 200 places of worship and this Milwaukee Basilica ranks high on my list.

Here are a few of my favorites from the visit:

Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 Basilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. JosaphatBasilica of St. Josaphat at 2333 S 6th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 16, 2017 Having lived in the Chicago suburbs for most of my life, it's kind of surprising how little time I've spent in nearby Milwaukee. This brief trip opened my eyes to some amazing architecture. I had no idea that Milwaukee City Hall was the tallest structure in the United States upon its completion. And, the dome of the Basilica (pictured above) was the second largest dome in the nation upon completion--second only to the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture basilica basilica of st josephat church interior josephat milwaukee travel wisconsin https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/basilica-of-st-josephat Mon, 06 Aug 2018 19:45:31 GMT
Orchid Show https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/orchid-show I recently participated in a photography event at the Chicago Botanic Garden. 25 photographers were granted private access to the Orchid Show. This event was coordinated through the Out of Chicago photography community.

Not only did we have 2 1/2 hours of access to the exhibit before it opened to the public, but we were also allowed to use a tripod. The tripod provided me with a number of advantages:

  • Use of long exposures (up to 20 seconds) to maximize image quality by leaving ISO at 64
  • Ability to keep camera stable while holding a diffuser and/or foam board in my hands
  • Easier to achieve precise focus on the smallest of details
  • Able to use extension tubes for extreme macros without concern over camera shake
  • Ability to shoot multiple exposures for blending in post (more about this below)

The only downside to this level of access is that it required me to leave my house by 5:30 am to get to the Chicago Botanic Garden on time!

For several of my pictures, I blended exposures using different aperture settings. Quite often, I would capture one image wide open and a second image at a very narrow aperture (f/22). During post processing, I start with the wide open exposure to achieve the soft, blurred backgrounds that could not be achieved with a narrow aperture. However, with the wide open exposure, I usually wasn't able to achieve enough depth of field to render the fine details of the flower in focus. So, I then stack the narrow aperture version of the picture on top of the wide open one--and brush the sharp detail into the frame only where I need it. In my view, this blending approach provides the best of both worlds--an overall soft, abstract photo with enough detail in the areas where more sharpness is desired.

CLICK HERE to view my pictures from the show.

Here are a few of my favorites:

OrchidsOrchidsGroup of purple and white orchids at the Chicago Botanic Garden at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Illinois on March 17, 2018 OrchidOrchidOrchid at the Chicago Botanic Garden at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Illinois on March 17, 2018 OrchidOrchidOrchid at the Chicago Botanic Garden at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Illinois on March 17, 2018 OrchidOrchidOrchid at the Chicago Botanic Garden at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Illinois on March 17, 2018

All photographs were captured with my Nikon D850 camera and Nikon 200 f4 Micro lens.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) aperture blending chicago botanic garden flowers macro nikon d850 orchid show orchids' plants https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/8/orchid-show Thu, 02 Aug 2018 01:18:37 GMT
A Little Housekeeping https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/a-little-housekeeping While visiting Iceland, I was surprised at how crowded many of the sites were--especially considering that I was there in the middle of the winter. I discovered that many of the locations in Reykjavik were impossible to photograph at sunset due to the number of tourists in the frame at all times. However, the sites were generally clear of people at sunrise. And, getting out before sunrise is easy during winter in Iceland as the sun doesn't rise until 9:00 am.

One location that I hoped to photograph was the Sun Voyager sculpture. However, at sunset, people are lined up to take pictures of each other while they stand next to the sculpture. Many people stand right in front of the sculpture to capture selfies. It's a line of people that doesn't end until the light is gone and the photograph is no longer worth capturing.

So, I returned at sunrise.

The only problem is that the snow surrounding the sculpture had many deep footprints from visitors approaching the sculpture well before sunrise:

In my view, these footprints ruin the image. So, I cleared the footprints as best I could using Photoshop. Note how in the following picture I have activated the upper layer--the one in which I addressed the footprint issue:

And, here's the final image:

Sun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

I returned the next day and captured a photograph of the sculpture that I like more--because I think the sunrise was more colorful the next morning:

Sun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager stainless steel sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 18, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) iceland photoshop processing reykjavik sculpture sun voyager sunrise https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/a-little-housekeeping Fri, 27 Jul 2018 23:24:08 GMT
"Diamond Beach" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/-diamond-beach-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Diamond Beach" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in February during my trip to Iceland. This was a memorable photo shoot. Before going to the beach, our photograph guide instructed us to be sure to always have an escape path from the ocean in case of a big wave. You don't want to have to retreat only to step against or onto a big chunk of ice. Fortunately, I heeded his advice.

After spending a fair amount of time composing this photograph, I was looking through the viewfinder when I suddenly felt an ice cold wave hit my shins. To my surprise, the water also rushed under the sand that I was standing on. I nearly fell as I quickly retreated from the water. I was also surprised to see the large piece of ice starting to slide toward the ocean. This is a dangerous beach and I was relieved to make it safely away from the water.

My waterproof boots were filled to the brim with freezing saltwater. Unfortunately, all of my other socks were back at the hotel and more than an hour away. Our photography guide generously offered to let me borrow a pair of his wool socks. Otherwise, I would have to spend the rest of the day with freezing, wet feet. It took me quite some time to get all of the dirt and sand off my wet feet before putting the dry wool socks on. Once we were back in the vehicle, I told the guide that I would return the socks that night, but that the best I could do was dry them with the hair dryer in the room since there weren't any laundry facilities there. He said that "proper" wool socks don't require washing--and that those socks had not been washed in a couple of years. Beggars can't be choosy, but I wish he wouldn't have told me that!

This is the third photograph from my Iceland trip to win a "Photo of the Day".

This marks the 52nd time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than four years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Diamond BeachDiamond BeachImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for July 20, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) beach iceland imaging resource photo of the day travel winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/-diamond-beach-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 20 Jul 2018 11:34:09 GMT
Ask and You Shall Receive https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/ask-and-you-shall-receive During my Iceland trip, I visited the Hallgrímskirkja church. This Lutheran church is located in the center of downtown Reykjavik. It is a very popular tourist destination.

I arrived at the church just before the doors opened at 9 am. When the church opened, I entered with about 25 other people. I saw it was going to be difficult to capture photographs of the interior of the church without having to contend with a lot of people in the frame. So, I decided to take the elevator up to the bell tower for the aerial view of downtown Reykjavik.

Downtown ReykjavikDowntown ReykjavikDowntown Reykjavik from the Hallgrímskirkja church tower at Hallgrímstorg 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 16, 2018

I enjoyed taking a number of pictures from the tower. It's a good thing that I visited the church first thing in the morning, because it wasn't long before it became very crowded. When I first entered the church, I thought that 25 visitors was a lot and that I could patiently wait for the scene to clear. But, that was not to be. The church became more crowded with every passing minute. Before long, at least 100 people were in the church at any given time.

The only way to get up to the bell tower is by elevator. Despite the $9 charge to use the elevator, by 9:30am there were at least 75 people waiting in line to take the elevator up to the bell tower. The elevator only holds 5 or 6 people, so people were waiting 30 to 45 minutes to go up to the tower.

I came back to the church later in the morning and it was even more crowded. I returned in the middle of the afternoon and it was worse.

So, I decided to talk with someone who worked at the church. I explained that I photograph a lot of churches--and that I was finding it impossible to take pictures inside the church with all the tourists. I asked if it would be possible for me to meet someone after the church closed--so that I could get a few pictures of the interior without anyone in the frame. To my surprise, my request was granted!

I came back to the church at closing (5 pm) and was permitted to shoot for 10 or 15 minutes with private access. That was sufficient time for me to get the bigger views of the interior of the building. I was able to capture pictures of the ceiling, sanctuary and pipe organ during the day--even with the crowd.

Hallgr√≠mskirkja churchHallgrímskirkja churchHallgrímskirkja church at Hallgrímstorg 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 16, 2018

Later that night, I went back to the church for pictures of the exterior during the blue hour. The crowd was far worse than it was inside the church. Just when it looked like it was going to be impossible to get any pictures (people kept standing directly in front of my lens), I captured this image:

Hallgrimskirkja churchHallgrimskirkja churchHallgrimskirkja church at Hallgrímstorg 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 16, 2018. The church of Hallgrimur is a Lutheran church that stands 244 feet high--making it the second tallest building in the country. It took 41 years to build the church and it was completed in 1986.

These pictures were taken on a cold weekday in February. I would hate to see how crowded this location is in the summer.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access architecture church crowds hallgrímskirkja reykjavik tourists travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/ask-and-you-shall-receive Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:48:20 GMT
Youth Baseball Portraits https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/youth-baseball-portraits I don't photograph people very often. Once a year, I break out the studio lights to capture some portraits of the youth baseball players that I coach. This year, I'm managing an team of 11 year old players.

The set up for these pictures was relatively quick and easy. The backdrop was a collapsible green screen--it pops open into a 4x6' panel. I used one strobe (Einstein) inside of a Buff softbox. I used a couple of my Nikon speedlights to illuminate the background. I asked a parent to hold a piece of white foam board on the shadow side of the player to provide a bit of fill. The entire photo shoot (10 players) only took about 90 minutes.

This was the first time I tried using the green screen. It sure made extracting the players an easy task...it took me less than 15 seconds to select and extract a player from the frame!

Here are some of my favorites. Please note that I did not design the poster template. I purchased the template (including the fonts) and then customized it for this shoot.

Elagha twinsElagha twinsAli (left) and Mo (right) Elagha of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Connor O'ReillyConnor O'ReillyConnor O'Reilly of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Brian McBrideBrian McBrideBrian McBride of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Rafe SlagerRafe SlagerRafe Slager of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Conner StackConner StackConner Stack of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018 Brian McBrideBrian McBrideBrian McBride of the 11U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 20, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball buff einstein green screen players portraits speedlights sports studio studio lights youth baseball https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/7/youth-baseball-portraits Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:14:04 GMT
Wind and Rain https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/wind-and-rain When shooting landscapes, most photographers prefer adverse weather to clear, cloudless skies. However, strong wind and sideways rain are enemies of photography.

While in Iceland, I experienced some very unfavorable weather conditions--even for the Icelandic winter. I participated in a photography tour led by Tony Prower. It started on February 20th and ended on February 24th. Here is the weather forecast from the hotel:

Note the 100% chance of rain every day until Sunday. The tour ended Saturday night. One of the tour participants pointed out that just because the forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain for a day doesn't mean that it calls for rain all day. It just means that it is expected to rain at some point during the day. That's true...but here is the hourly forecast that typically appeared:

This was the first time I ever saw a forecast with a 100% chance of rain for each hour over a 48 hour time span. And, take a look at the consistent wind! So, we experienced sideways rain on a regular basis.

One day, we were shooting inside the ice cave at sunrise--so that photo shoot proceeded despite the weather. But, once that photo shoot ended at 10 am, we were unable to leave the hotel for the next 24 hours.

One might think that this is typical of Iceland in the winter. Iceland certainly has its share of adverse weather conditions, but this was an unusual streak of bad weather even according to the locals.

Here's how the weather forecast looked for the days after we left Iceland!

A few things helped offset the miserable weather:

  • I arrived in Iceland three days before the start of the tour to explore Reykjavik. The light was good and I captured many pictures during that time.
  • Despite the forecast, there were breaks in the sky for a couple of hours each day--and those breaks usually occurred near sunrise or sunset. Despite having only a few hours of shooting, those hours were productive.
  • It's much better to have a dramatic sky than a clear, cloudless one.

In the end, I was pleased with the photographs that I captured during my visit. To view my favorites, please click here.

Diamond BeachDiamond BeachDiamond beach by Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland on February 23, 2018 Sun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager stainless steel sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 18, 2018 Dyrholaey sea stacksDyrholaey sea stacksReynisfjara black sand beach and Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks as seen from Dyrholaey near Vik, Iceland on February 24, 2018 Iceland ice caveIceland ice caveIce cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, near Jokulsarlon, Iceland on February 21, 2018 Vestrahorn MountainVestrahorn MountainVestrahorn Mountain in the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland near Hohn, Iceland on February 22, 2018. Note that this is a composite image--a blend of the picture of the mountain range with a picture of the sky (and reflections) from earlier in the photo shoot.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) forecast iceland reykjavik tour travel weather https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/wind-and-rain Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:36:38 GMT
"Icelandic Horse" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/-icelandic-sunset-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Icelandic Horse" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in February during my trip to Iceland. This was the very last picture that I took during that trip--it was captured at our last scenic stop before our guide dropped us off at the hotel near the airport. I rushed to get this image as the other tour participants were already back in the vehicle waiting for me. In the interest of full disclosure, this is a composite photograph (a blend of two separate pictures--the sunset and the horse).

This marks the 51st time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than four years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Icelandic SunsetIcelandic SunsetImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for June 23, 2018
(Note that this is a composite image--a blend of a photograph of the sunset with a picture of the horse.)

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) iceland icelandic imaging resource landscape photo contest photo of the day sunset winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/-icelandic-sunset-wins-photo-of-the-day Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:01:45 GMT
The Beautiful Cockroach https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-beautiful-cockroach During my recent trip to Iceland, I visited the famous Hallgrímskirkja church in the center of Reykjavik. This church stands at 244 feet high and is the second tallest building in the country.

The Hallgrimskirkja church is a major tourist attraction. At any given time, there were nearly 100 people inside the church. It was impossible to capture any photographs of the interior (other than ceiling shots) under those circumstances.

While I was inside the church with the huge crowd of tourists, I concentrated on taking pictures of the ceiling. For this particular image, I used a fisheye lens. The fisheye lens captures a very wide perspective--nearly 180 degrees. So, I was having difficulty even getting this picture without people standing in the corner of the frame!

Someone helped me by asking some of the tourists to step back for a moment while I took the picture--so that I could get a clear view of the ceiling. Once I captured the image, a couple of tourists asked if they could view the picture. So, I showed it to them on the back of my camera.

One woman said, "My God, it's beautiful!" Then, the woman standing next to her said, "It looks like a cockroach". I had to laugh. In my mind, this picture will forever be remembered as "the beautiful cockroach".

Hallgrimskirkja ceilingHallgrimskirkja ceilingCeiling of the Hallgrímskirkja church at Hallgrímstorg 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 19, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract architecture ceiling church hallgrímskirkja iceland interior travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-beautiful-cockroach Wed, 13 Jun 2018 12:12:46 GMT
Skogafoss Waterfall https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/skogafoss-waterfall One of the first landscapes that I photographed during my recent trip to Iceland was of the Skogafoss Waterfall.

Skogafoss FallsSkogafoss FallsSkogafoss Waterfall in Skogar, Iceland on February 20, 2018 Unfortunately, I was only able to compose one picture. Capturing pictures such as this can be exceedingly frustrating. It took more than 20 exposures and 30 minutes for each sliver of the frame to free itself of tourists. During post processing, I blended the images (using a small area within each frame that I captured when it was free of people). Much of the time, there were people standing right in front of me. Keep in mind that I visited Iceland in February to avoid the crowds as it is far more crowded in the summer. Not fun!

Here's one of the pictures from that sequence of 20 exposures:

Skogafoss FallsSkogafoss FallsSkogafoss Waterfall in Skogar, Iceland on February 20, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) crowds iceland landscape photoshop post processing skogafoss tourists travel waterfall winter https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/skogafoss-waterfall Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:03:23 GMT
Figure Skating https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/figure-skating I recently attended the Northern Blast Figure Skating Competition in Woodridge, Illinois. This was the second time that I photographed a figure skating event. I enjoy capturing pictures of figure skating as the sport features amazing athletes, colorful costumes and some great action. It also gives me an excuse to use one of my favorite lenses--the Nikon 200 f2!

During the event, my goal was to capture images that:

  • included the skater's face (hopefully with an expression)
  • caught the skater in an interesting pose or during peak action
  • filled the frame with the subject
  • controlled the background--mostly by simplifying it

I've been impressed with the versatility of my new Nikon D850 camera. It's amazing that the camera can pump out such large files (48 megapixels each) at 9 frames per second. That high frame rate increased my chances of capturing peak action. I was also pleased with the auto-focus capabilities of this camera. I used the 21 point dynamic AF...and nearly every image was in sharp focus.

I set the exposure manually--using a shutter speed of 1/800th of a second, an aperture of f/2 and an ISO setting of 2000. My goal was to produce a file in which the histogram was pushed to the right in order to render the ice white. 1/800th was sufficient to freeze most of the action. However, I could have used a faster shutter speed to freeze the faster spins. Of course, setting the exposure in such poor lighting is a balancing act. Setting a higher shutter speed would have meant increasing the ISO--as the aperture was wide open for every image.

My post processing workflow was fairly basic. Most of the photographs required very little cropping. From there, I added some contrast (by moving the white and black points in Lightroom). I added a bit of vibrancy as well. The noise was manageable and I reduced noise by running every image through Nik Define software using the auto setting. I applied a curve to add contrast to the midtones in Photoshop...and finished by selectively sharpening the skater (using a high pass filter in Photoshop). For a few images, I extended the canvas to give the skater a little more breathing room from the edge of the frame. In some images, I extended the white background to eliminate distracting elements in the background. Most pictures took less than 2 minutes to process.

Here are a few of my favorites from the photo shoot. CLICK HERE to view more images.

Northern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating Competition at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena at 6690 Route 53 in Woodridge, Illinois on May 12, 2018

Northern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating Competition at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena at 6690 Route 53 in Woodridge, Illinois on May 13, 2018

Northern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating Competition at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena at 6690 Route 53 in Woodridge, Illinois on May 12, 2018

Northern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating Competition at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena at 6690 Route 53 in Woodridge, Illinois on May 13, 2018

Northern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating CompetitionNorthern Blast Figure Skating Competition at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena at 6690 Route 53 in Woodridge, Illinois on May 13, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) d850 editing exposure figure skating northern blast processing skating sports https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/6/figure-skating Sat, 02 Jun 2018 13:12:06 GMT
Ice Cave Crowd https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/ice-cave-crowd One of my goals during my recent Iceland trip was to capture a photograph of an ice cave.

The ice cave was an optional location offered as part of our photography tour. Since I was visiting Iceland in February and the ice cave is located about 275 miles from Reykjavik, I was expecting the location to be somewhat remote and free of crowds. Then, I received the following information from our tour leader:

"The regular ice cave has become very popular and has become busy in recent years.  As you can imagine it can be difficult to do photography with 20 people around us in a tight space.  I am trying to arrange an early tour with one of the companies.  They will take us out at 07.00 when it is still dark.  We could have the cave to ourselves for an hour before the crowds arrive.  This special arrangement will cost $277 USD - $77 more than the standard tour that you have paid for."

The ice cave tour guide published the following warning:

"Please note!  We will not be the only group visiting the ice cave. This has become incredibly popular winter activity in Iceland.  Other tour companies bring guests to visit the cave which can cause it to be crowded. Please expect to share the cave with additional groups."

I found this information alarming for a few reasons:

  • I didn't expect this ice cave to be so crowded given the time of year, the remote location and the high cost of getting there.
  • The sunrise is 9:00 am in Iceland on that day. I was disappointed to learn that we would be inside the cave in the dark. No wonder it would be less crowded than during the day!
  • I was surprised that the one hour photo shoot suddenly became even more expensive.

We met the ice cave guide in Jökulsarlon at 7:00 am (two hours before sunrise). Once our group was situated in his monster jeep, we started working our way up the Vatnajökull glacier in the dark and driving snow. The drive to ice cave was so unique that it made the whole experience worthwhile. After about 20 minutes or so, we reached the entrance of the ice cave.

Our guide parked the vehicle and then pointed out the various flags that were planted in the snow around the area. He warned that walking past the flags posed risks. The glacier has crevasses that aren't visible as they are covered in snow.

We were pleased that we did have the ice cave to ourselves--at least for a while. Tony Prower, our photography guide, assured us that the blue color of the ice would appear if our exposures were long enough. He was right.

The interior of this cave is quite small. We had just three photographers capturing pictures in there, and we had to take turns at times to get a shot as there wasn't enough room for everyone to compose their shots at once. Exposure times were long...so I ended up with just 10 or 12 pictures during the entire visit--which lasted just under an hour.

About ten minutes before sunrise, we heard the engines of approaching jeeps and knew we had time for just one more picture before more tourists entered the cave. Just then, we asked our ice cave guide to pose in the opening of the cave to give the photograph a sense of scale. I set my exposure for 30 seconds, but after 10 seconds passed the crowd started pushing their way past our guide to enter the cave--despite our request to just let us finish this one last exposure. So, I killed the exposure early...knowing that if I left the shutter open a few more seconds the model would blur.

Fortunately, luck went my way. The shorter exposure worked well for a single shot. I had initially planned for a 30 second exposure to properly exposure the ice...and then to take another 5 second exposure to properly expose the guide. I would then blend the two in Photoshop for a properly exposed picture throughout. But, if there was time for just one exposure, the 10 second one worked best. During post processing, I was able to recover enough detail and color in the ice, yet save the exposure of the guide.

Ten seconds later, about 25 people flocked into the cave. We could hear even more vehicles approaching. As we were escaping, there were so many people in the cave that there was barely room to stand. As our vehicle was heading back to Jökulsarlon, we saw even more vehicles heading toward the cave.

Thankfully, our photography guide knew to get us into the ice cave early. I can't even imagine the disappointment of having to share the experience with 50 or more people and not being able to get a single photograph--after all that it takes to make it to that remote part of Iceland at such cost.

This photograph is one of my favorites from the trip:

Iceland ice caveIceland ice caveIce cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, near Jokulsarlon, Iceland on February 21, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access blue crowds glacier ice cave iceland tour travel winter https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/ice-cave-crowd Mon, 28 May 2018 13:00:09 GMT
Glacier in High Resolution https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/glacier-in-high-resolution During my recent trip to Iceland, I visited a lake at the south end of the Vatnajokull glacier called Fjallsarlon.

Fjallsarlon LakeFjallsarlon LakeFjallsarlon, a glacier lake at the south end of the Icelandic glacier Vatnajokull, in Iceland on February 23, 2018.
CLICK HERE to view the super high resolution version of this picture!

I've been shooting with the Nikon D850 camera since November. It features an impressive 48 megapixels of resolution. For this picture, I decided to push that by creating a panoramic photograph consisting of 14 vertical exposures. I then stitched the exposures together in Lightroom. The resulting photograph is 23,200 pixels wide by 7,100 pixels tall--or a whopping 165 megapixels!

To view a high resolution version of the above photography, please CLICK HERE. Note that this high resolution version is only half of the resolution of the original file. It's best to view it on a computer monitor and to zoom into the picture and pan around.

Can you see the tourist in the frame? 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) d850 iceland lightroom nikon d850 panoramic resolution stitching travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/glacier-in-high-resolution Tue, 15 May 2018 02:46:48 GMT
Fun at the Old Ballpark with the Nikon D850 https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/fun-at-the-old-ballpark-with-the-nikon-d850 One of the reasons I purchased the Nikon D850 camera is for its versatility. So far, I have mostly used the D850 for architecture and landscapes. But, I also like to shoot other subjects--like sports, The D850 exceeded my expectations yesterday when I attended the Ohio State Buckeyes versus the Fighting Illini baseball game.

Here are a dozen from the day:

1- I used the pregame warmups to practice my photography and dial in the settings. I haven't photographed baseball in a couple of years. The players don't wear their official uniforms until game time, though.

Fighting Illini baseballFighting Illini baseballFighting Illini vs. Ohio State baseball game at Illinois Field at 1605 S Wright Street on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois on May 6, 2018


2- One thing is evident about college baseball (at least at the Illini games)--the players are having the time of their lives! It's obvious that everyone is having a great time. And that carries over into the stands. Cheap concessions and free admission add to the fun!
p2858255640-5.jpg
3- One of my first tasks was to get the obligatory "bat on ball" shot out of the way.
p2858255642-5.jpg
4- When I attached the 500mm lens to the D850, it made me feel like I was right in the middle of the action.
p2858255927-5.jpg
5- Can you see what happened here? Answer at the very bottom of this post.
p2858255808-5.jpg
6- This player put on his "rally glasses" in the top of the second inning. I guess it worked. Ohio State scored 5 runs that inning.
p2858255641-5.jpg
7- To shoot through the netting behind the plate, I removed the lens hood and placed the lens directly up against the net. Set the aperture to wide open and shoot away. Finally, just hope that a foul ball doesn't slam into the lens!
p2858255898-5.jpg
8- The home plate umpire called a nice game. I'm not sure that he's ever seen a 500mm lens pointed at him before, though!
p2858255944-5.jpg
9- The centerfield fence is 400 feet from home plate...plenty of distance to create nice, soft backgrounds.
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10
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11
p2858255645-5.jpg  
12- The Ohio State pitcher put a little extra into this pitch.
p2858255876-5.jpg
So, here's what happened in #5. The batter tipped the pitch. It slammed into the catcher's face mask (knocking the mask away from his face). The ball then bounced back toward the hitter.

Granted, I haven't shot with a Nikon D5, yet. And, I'm not claiming that the D850 is as good as the D5 for sports. But, the auto-focus was snappy...I had very few photographs that weren't sharp. The high resolution files generate some stunning detail. The camera produced nice image quality even from the higher ISO settings that I sometimes had to use. It was an overcast day and rained a few times during the game. Overall, I was impressed with the performance of the D850. Now, I want to shoot more baseball!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) 500mm action autofocus baseball bat on ball college d5 d850 illini nikon sports https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/fun-at-the-old-ballpark-with-the-nikon-d850 Tue, 08 May 2018 02:20:29 GMT
Fjallsarlon Lake in Super High Resolution https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/fjallsarlon-lake-in-super-high-resolution The Vatnajökull Glacier is the largest in Iceland. This is Fjallsarlon Lake, a glacial lake on the south end of Vatnajökull. To create this image, I stitched 14 vertical D850 files...that's a lot of megapixels! In the end, the file exceeded 2 GB, so I had to save it as a TIFF (PSD files are limited to 2GB while TIFF goes up to 4 GB).

Fjallsarlon LakeFjallsarlon LakeFjallsarlon, a glacier lake at the south end of the Icelandic glacier Vatnajokull, in Iceland on February 23, 2018 CLICK HERE to view the high resolution version of this picture. This picture is best viewed on a computer monitor. You might have to give it some time to download. Note that this version is only 40% of the resolution of the original file!

Can you see the tourist? I've changed the color of his jacket to help him standout more.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) glacier high resolution iceland nikon d850 panorama panoramic stitching travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/5/fjallsarlon-lake-in-super-high-resolution Tue, 01 May 2018 11:51:31 GMT
Going Wide at Overture Center https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/going-wide-at-overture-center One of the highlights of my trip to Wisconsin to photograph architecture was the Overture Center in Madison. The Overture Center houses a number of theaters--with the largest being Overture Hall (2,251 seats). I also photographed the Capitol Theater (1,098 seats).

I was fortunate to have access to the interior of these theaters for a couple of hours. However, since the Madison Symphony Orchestra was set up in Overture Hall with valuable equipment sitting out, a representative of the Center was assigned to be with me while I was capturing pictures.

At one point, I was preparing to capture a picture with my fisheye lens from the balcony. The theater representative was sitting in the same row just a couple of seats to my right. She was surprised when I asked her if she wouldn't mind moving back a bit as she was in the frame! The field of view for this image was nearly 180 degrees:

Overture HallOverture HallOverture Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts on 201 State Street in Madison, Wisconsin on November 14, 2017 Another oddity is that there are no aisles in the balcony--other than those on the far sides of the rows. So, whenever I wished to move forward or back a row for a different perspective, I had to walk all the way to the end of the row and back again! The omission of the aisles helps to improve the acoustics as well as to provide more seating capacity.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture fisheye interior madison overture center overture hall theater wide wisconsin https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/going-wide-at-overture-center Wed, 25 Apr 2018 13:47:16 GMT
Psychology Building https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/psychology-building During my last visit to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I visited the Psychology Building to photograph the Center Court. I found this to be an interesting area with its lines, colors and geometric shapes. Here are a few of the pictures that I created with my Nikon D850 camera and the Nikon 14-24 2.8 lens:

Psychology BuildingPsychology BuildingCenter Court of the Psychology Building (1970) at 603 E Daniel Street on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois on February 8, 2018 Psychology BuildingPsychology BuildingCenter Court of the Psychology Building (1970) at 603 E Daniel Street on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois on February 8, 2018 Psychology BuildingPsychology BuildingCenter Court of the Psychology Building (1970) at 603 E Daniel Street on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois on February 8, 2018 The D850's silent mode made it easier to shoot in the environment. I was set up near some students who were studying. When using the silent mode in live view, the camera makes no sound whatsoever. I had to keep checking to make sure that the images were recording on the memory card!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract architecture atrium geometric illinois interior lines psychology building shapes skylight university of illinois https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/psychology-building Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:33:55 GMT
Travel and Leisure Magazine https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/travel-and-leisure-magazine It was a thrill to see one of my photographs featured in a full page of this month's Travel and Leisure magazine! I captured this photograph of the Palouse during my "Great Western Loop Road Trip" last summer.

Palouse in Travel & Leisure magazinePalouse in Travel & Leisure magazineTravel & Leisure magazine's April, 2018 issue featuring my photograph of the Palouse from the summit of Steptoe Butte in Steptoe Butte State Park near Colfax, Washington on July 25, 2017 Until just a few years ago, I had never heard about the Palouse. While planning for this long road trip, I was looking for an interesting location to visit between Spokane and Crater Lake National Park. I decided to stay in Colfax, Washington to photograph the Palouse region of eastern Washington. During my stay in Colfax, I drove to the summit of Steptoe Butte three times--twice for sunset and once for sunrise. The haze from the local forest fires diminished my results from the two sunset photo shoots. But, luck prevailed for a few minutes just after sunrise one morning--and I was fortunate enough to create one of my favorite images of the trip.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) featured magazine palouse published road trip travel travel and leisure https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/travel-and-leisure-magazine Sat, 14 Apr 2018 12:11:37 GMT
"Vestrahorn Mountain" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/-vestrahorn-mountain-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Vestrahorn Mountain" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in February during my trip to Iceland. I posted a blog entry about capturing this image during a sand storm.

This marks the 50th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than four years. Click here to view all of the winning entries over the past few years.

Vestrahorn MountainVestrahorn MountainImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for April 7, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) black and white contest entry iceland imaging resource landscape photo contest vestrahorn winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/-vestrahorn-mountain-wins-photo-of-the-day Sat, 07 Apr 2018 14:06:52 GMT
Photography at the Polls https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/photography-at-the-polls On March 20th, I walked over to the Faith United Methodist Church in Orland Park to vote. This church has been my polling place for many years.

This time, after I voted I peeked into the church for the very first time. I was surprised by the interior. Based upon the exterior of the building, I thought that the church would be quite small...and certainly not of this circular shape.

So, I asked if it would be OK for me to grab my camera and capture some photographs of the church. My request was granted...and I was able to get the church lit up for the photos.

At first, I attached my Nikon 14-24 lens and rotated the lens to its widest focal length--14mm. Here's that picture:

Faith United Methodist ChurchFaith United Methodist ChurchFaith United Methodist Church at 15101 S 80th Avenue in Orland Park, Illinois on March 20, 2018 Then, I attached my Sigma 15mm fisheye to the camera to go even wider:

Faith United Methodist ChurchFaith United Methodist ChurchFaith United Methodist Church at 15101 S 80th Avenue in Orland Park, Illinois on March 20, 2018 Of course it's personal preference, but I prefer the fisheye perspective. The frame extends to the edges of the pews rather than cutting them off and the fisheye emphasizes the roundness of the interior. I find that interiors such as this--with rounded edges--are ideal for the fisheye in that it minimizes the distortion that the fisheye introduces.

After a short while, I tried a different composition in the hope of introducing more depth into the frame. I left the fisheye lens on the camera:

Faith United Methodist ChurchFaith United Methodist ChurchFaith United Methodist Church at 15101 S 80th Avenue in Orland Park, Illinois on March 20, 2018 Again, it's all a matter of personal taste, but this last picture is my favorite of the three.

So, I went over to my customary polling place to vote in this year's primary election and walked away photographs of another church. This was the 204th place of worship that I've photographed. Click here to view a listing of the first 203 locations.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture church fisheye interior places of worship sigma https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/4/photography-at-the-polls Sun, 01 Apr 2018 12:58:16 GMT
The Sand Storm https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/the-sand-storm During most of my time in Iceland, the wind was gusting and the rain was blowing--sideways rain.

Late one afternoon, as we were driving to Vestrahorn Mountain (in the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland near Hohn), the sky started to open up. Vestrahorn Mountain is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. It reminded me very much of the Grand Teton mountain range. Vestrahorn is unique in that there is a black sand beach with sand dunes along the Atlantic Ocean in the foreground. It makes for a world-class landscape location. I was relieved that we were going to have an opportunity to photograph Vestrahorn with some light. Unfortunately, as sunset approached the sky became too clear--no clouds at all.

The SUV had a sticker indicating that the rental company was not responsible for wind damage to the doors. The wind is so strong that one has to be very careful when opening a door. It's easy for the door to get caught in the wind. The wind is so extreme that our guide, Tony Prower, would park in such a way that the wind would be blowing from the front of the car to the back--to help avoid having the door swing open too quickly.

Tony parked the large SUV near the sand dunes. He warned us to wear eye protection. I assumed that he was concerned about the sun and glare off the beach. However, his concern was with how much sand was blowing in the gusting wind!

I left the SUV to start shooting by the sand dunes. Fortunately, the wind was blowing at my back--or this photo shoot would have been impossible. Sand was blowing everywhere. Without glasses, the sand would do major damage to one's eyes. Trying to stabilize the camera was a challenging task. I tried my best to block the wind by positioning the tripod in front of my body about chest high.

Changing lenses was not an option. Sand was getting into everything--my hair, my ears, my eyes. It was getting into the knobs of the camera and the tripod legs. I tried to keep my lens facing away from the wind as much as possible as I was concerned that the sand would damage the front element. The sound of the wind was deafening. I felt like I was fighting a war just to capture a few pictures.

It's such an incredible location that I kept shooting until the light was gone. Here are a couple of pictures from the photo shoot:

Vestrahorn MountainVestrahorn MountainVestrahorn Mountain in the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland near Hohn, Iceland on February 22, 2018. Note that this is a composite image--a blend of the picture of the mountain range with a picture of the sky (and reflections) from earlier in the photo shoot. Vestrahorn MountainVestrahorn MountainBlack sand dunes in front of Vestrahorn Mountain on the Atlantic coast in the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland near Hohn, Iceland on February 22, 2018

Once we returned to the hotel, I took the tripod into the shower with me to rinse the sand off. I also used an air blower to remove the sand from the camera body.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) iceland landscape mountain travel vestrahorn weather wind https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/the-sand-storm Wed, 28 Mar 2018 12:34:48 GMT
Next Up...Newfoundland! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/next-up-newfoundland Now that I've returned from Iceland, planning is already underway for my next trip. I plan to drive from Chicago to Newfoundland this summer.

This will be a 28 day road trip that will cover more than 5,000 miles. I will spend 9 nights in Nova Scotia and 10 nights in Newfoundland. Once I reach the eastern coast of Nova Scotia, I'll drive my Prius onto the ferry. The ferry will take 17 hours to cross the Atlantic before reaching eastern Newfoundland. Later, I'll return to Nova Scotia from western Newfoundland. The return trip is a 7 hour cruise. I'm hoping for calmer seas than what the ferry experienced in this video:

The logistics involved with planning this trip was more complicated than for my past road trips. In addition to making my usual Hampton Inn reservations, I had to make arrangements with 8 separate B&B's in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I also had to make reservations for the ferry (for both me and my car) to get from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and back. I have rented a cabin for the 17 hour overnight trip to Newfoundland.

Here's a preliminary itinerary for this journey:

Day 1: Toronto, ON

Day 2: Quebec City, QC

Day 3: Saint John, NB

Day 4: Halifax, NS - Halifax skyline, Citadel, Halifax Library, Province House, various churches

Day 5: Peggy's Cove, NS - Sunset at lighthouse and cove

Day 6: Lunenburg, NS - architecture and waterfront

Day 7: Lunenburg, NS - churches and harbor

Day 8: Pictou, NS - Pictou harbor and Hector Heritage Quay

Day 9: Whycocomagh, NS - Cape Breton Highlands National Park; Baddeck lighthouse

Day 10: Sydney, NS - Louisnbourg fortress

Day 11: Ferry from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland (17 hours)

Day 12: St. John's, NL - colorful houses of St. John's, Cape Spear lighthouse

Day 13: St. John's, NL - Signal Hill, Ferryland lighthouse

Day 13: St. Mary's, NL - Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve; Northern Gannets

Day 15: St. Mary's, NL - Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

Day 16: Bonavista, NL - Village of Trinity, puffins of Elliston

Day 17: Bonavista, NL - Bonavista lighthouse, puffins of Elliston; harbor

Day 18: Rocky Harbour, NL - Gros Morne National Park

Day 19: Rocky Harbour, NL - Gros Morne National Park, Western Brook Pond boat tour

Day 20: St. Anthony, NL - fishing village

Day 21: St. Anthony, NL - L-anse aux Meadows Vikings settlement

Day 22: Channel-Port aux Bosques, NL 

Day 23: Sydney, NS - ferry from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia (7 hours)

Day 24: Bangor, ME

Day 25: Albany, NY - State Capitol

Day 26: Albany, NY - City Hall, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Day 27: Cleveland, OH

Day 28: Orland Park, IL

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) canada ferry hampton inn itinerary logistics newfoundland nova scotia planning road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/next-up-newfoundland Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:21:54 GMT
The Northern Lights https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/the-northern-lights I recently returned from a trip to Iceland. Click here to view my favorite images from this trip.

One of the things I hoped to see while in Iceland is the northern lights--or the aurora borealis. Unfortunately, it was raining and overcast during much of my time in Iceland.

One night, while staying at the Hotel Smyrlabjorg in Skalafell, the sky opened for a short time and the northern lights made an appearance. Our guide, Tony Prower, was monitoring the aurora forecast and also had a view of the northern sky from his hotel room. Just before 11pm, Tony started knocking on our hotel doors so that we could get outside to capture photographs of the aurora.

This is the picture that I captured just steps from the hotel:

Northern LightsNorthern LightsNorthern Lights or Aurora Borealis from the Hotel Smyrlabjorg in Skalafell, Iceland on February 22, 2018

The strange thing is that even though I captured this picture, I really didn't get to see the northern lights. Although the camera's sensor recorded the aurora, it wasn't visible to the naked eye. I did see a white cloud that appeared to be brighter than it should be at night. But, I didn't see the green color. And, most of the people around me couldn't see it either.

I was pleased to capture the photograph, but it was a little disappointing that I didn't get to see the northern lights with my own eyes!

I do very little photography of the night sky, so I asked Tony what settings he would recommend. He said to start with ISO 1600 with a relatively wide aperture (I chose f/3.2) and to see if the shutter speed would be less than 30 seconds. The shutter speed for this shot was 25 seconds.

About 20 minutes after I captured this image, the wind picked up again to its customary 35 mph and clouds quickly covered the sky. It snowed for the next few hours. We never saw the northern lights again. Then again, I never saw the northern lights to begin with!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) astrophotography aurora aurora borealis d850 iceland night northern lights settings travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/the-northern-lights Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:48:53 GMT
Sharpness Throughout https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/sharpness-throughout I commonly use focus stacking to extend the area of sharpness within a photograph. This picture of the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois is an example of a simple two frame blend to render the photograph sharp throughout:

Beckman InstituteBeckman InstituteBeckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at 405 N Mathews Avenue on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois on February 8, 2018

In an image like this, my goal is the render both the foreground object as well as the far more distant building in sharp focus. The foreground object is very close to my lens...the tripod legs were touching the edge of the disk. To accomplish this, I captured two photographs...one focused on the foreground object and the second on the building. I later blended the two exposures in Photoshop to achieve sharpness from front to back.

Another method is to use a smaller aperture (f/22, for example) to extend the focus area. However, this foreground object was so close that even a narrow aperture wouldn't render everything sharp. Additionally, sharpness tends to fall off as the aperture becomes smaller due to diffraction. Also, unless your sensor is super clean, f/22 will reveal every single dust particle and make removing all of those spots a more tedious post processing exercise. So, I dial in the sweet spot for my lens (usually about f/8) and focus stack multiple frames. That way, I have the best of both worlds--the use of the sharpest aperture for my particular lens and an extremely wide area of sharpness.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) aperture architecture blending dust spots exposure focus focus stacking photoshop processing sensor sharpness stacking https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/sharpness-throughout Sun, 11 Mar 2018 22:26:48 GMT
Iceland Photos are Available for Viewing https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/iceland-photos-are-available-for-viewing Last night, I finished processing the images from my Iceland trip. CLICK HERE to view my favorite photographs from the trip. To view more pictures, by major subject matter categories, please click here.

I participated in a photography tour of the southern coast of Iceland led by Tony Prower. I arrived in Reykjavik a few days prior to the tour to explore the capitol city on my own. The weather was challenging through most of the trip. We experienced rain and high winds the vast majority of the time. Fortunately, we usually had a couple of hours of decent light each day--which enabled me to capture some photographs.

I will be posting several blog entries in the upcoming weeks about some of the photo shoots in Iceland.

Iceland ice caveIceland ice caveIce cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, near Jokulsarlon, Iceland on February 21, 2018 Sun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager sculptureSun Voyager stainless steel sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 18, 2018 Diamond BeachDiamond BeachDiamond beach by Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland on February 23, 2018 Hallgrimskirkja churchHallgrimskirkja churchHallgrimskirkja church at Hallgrímstorg 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 16, 2018. The church of Hallgrimur is a Lutheran church that stands 244 feet high--making it the second tallest building in the country. It took 41 years to build the church and it was completed in 1986. Vestrahorn MountainVestrahorn MountainVestrahorn Mountain in the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland near Hohn, Iceland on February 22, 2018. Note that this is a composite image--a blend of the picture of the mountain range with a picture of the sky (and reflections) from earlier in the photo shoot. Harpa Concert HallHarpa Concert HallHarpa Concert Hall at Austurbakki 2, 101 in Reykjavik, Iceland on February 17, 2018

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) ice cave iceland reykjavik tony prower travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/iceland-photos-are-available-for-viewing Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:56:39 GMT
"The Great Hall" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/-great-hall-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "The Great Hall" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured just a few weeks ago during my visit to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I posted a blog entry about the Great Hall recently.

This marks the 49th 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.

Great HallGreat HallImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for March 1, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture award concert hall d850 imaging resource interior krannert photo contest university of illinois winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/3/-great-hall-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:06:32 GMT
The Great Hall https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/the-great-hall Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of having a couple of hours of private access to the Great Hall of the Krannert Center of Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is one of the top acoustical theaters in the world. For years, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra commuted the 150 miles to Urbana to make its recordings.

The lobby itself is impressive. More than 35,000 square feet of floor space is covered in teak wood. The entire allocation of teak wood coming into the United States from Thailand was allocated to this venue for a year.

Here are some favorites from my visit:

Great HallGreat HallFoellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois on February 9, 2018 Great HallGreat HallFoellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois on February 9, 2018 Great HallGreat HallFoellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois on February 9, 2018 Great HallGreat HallFoellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois on February 9, 2018 I was glad that a piano was left on the stage as it added a sense of scale to many of the pictures.

To view more photographs from my visit, please click here.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) acoustics architecture concert hall great hall illini illinois interior krannert center theater https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/the-great-hall Sun, 25 Feb 2018 10:55:44 GMT
The Background Eraser https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/the-background-eraser I recently attended my cousin's fifth grade band/orchestra concert. The students have only been playing for a month or so--and they sounded quite good considering their inexperience. I hoped to capture some photographs of the event, but found the conditions to be very challenging for photography.

First, there were a lot more people at the concert than I expected:

Band ConcertBand ConcertBand and Orchestra concert at Chelsea Intermediate School at 22265 S 80th Avenue in Frankfort, Illinois on January 23, 2018 I decided to position myself on the stage at the back of the gym so that I could shoot from a higher perspective.

The next challenge was the positioning of the musicians. The band and orchestra are facing each other on the gym floor and the two don't play at the same time. So, when I'm photographing the band director (who is facing me), the musicians in the background are just sitting there--and it looks very unnatural. I had to watch the background closely and activate the shutter at the most appropriate times.

The biggest challenge was the busy backgrounds. When shooting with a middle aperture, there's so much going on in the frame that it's difficult to tell what the subject is. So, I used my Nikon 300 2.8 and set the aperture wide open. At f/2.8, the depth of field of acceptable focus is very narrow--which helps to isolate the subject. I sometimes call the 300 2.8 lens my "background eraser." Here are some images from the concert:

Band ConcertBand ConcertDoug Adams at the Band and Orchestra concert at Chelsea Intermediate School at 22265 S 80th Avenue in Frankfort, Illinois on January 23, 2018 Band ConcertBand ConcertBand and Orchestra concert at Chelsea Intermediate School at 22265 S 80th Avenue in Frankfort, Illinois on January 23, 2018 Band ConcertBand ConcertDoug Adams at the Band and Orchestra concert at Chelsea Intermediate School at 22265 S 80th Avenue in Frankfort, Illinois on January 23, 2018 Band ConcertBand ConcertBand and Orchestra concert at Chelsea Intermediate School at 22265 S 80th Avenue in Frankfort, Illinois on January 23, 2018 Band ConcertBand ConcertBand and Orchestra concert at Chelsea Intermediate School at 22265 S 80th Avenue in Frankfort, Illinois on January 23, 2018

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) 300 2.8 band concert event musicians nikon d850 orchestra https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/the-background-eraser Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:16:40 GMT
"Milwaukee Art Museum" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/-milwaukee-art-museum-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Milwaukee Art Museum" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This is the first picture from my "Wisconsin Architecture" trip to be recognized with a Photo of the Day. This photograph was captured late last year in downtown Milwaukee.

This marks the 48th 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.

Milwaukee Art MuseumMilwaukee Art MuseumImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for February 11, 2018

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture contest d850 entry imaging resource milwaukee milwaukee art museum photo contest prize winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/-milwaukee-art-museum-wins-photo-of-the-day Sun, 11 Feb 2018 13:56:53 GMT
Dances With Wolves https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/dances-with-wolves During my visit to the Brookfield Zoo last week, I captured this photograph of a Mexican Gray Wolf:

Mexican gray wolfMexican gray wolfMexican gray wolf at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on February 1, 2018 Unfortunately there are now less than 400 of these wolves in the world--and less than 150 living in the wild. The Brookfield Zoo has some (I'm guessing 8 or 9) of the 240 Mexican gray wolves living in captivity. Fortunately, the zoo is participating in a breeding program to try to save these wolves...and recently introduced a couple of the wolves back into the wild in New Mexico. The fact that the Brookfield Zoo is undertaking such an initiative make me feel better about capturing photographs of captive animals.

I really wanted to capture this image. I loved how the color of his eyes matched the color of the background. I liked how his fur was backlit and raised behind his body due to the strong wind. And, I liked how he was peeking over his tail. The problem is that he wouldn't look my way!

Fortunately, nobody was on hand to shoot the behind the scenes video. All I needed was for him to open his eyes and look at me. So, in addition to making all kinds of strange sounds (which weren't effective), I started dancing around--"Dances With Wolves"--and waving my arms (which was effective). So, he gave me a look...and I thanked him and moved on.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal brookfield zoo captive dances with wolves endangered mexican gray wolf pose wildlife wolf zoo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/dances-with-wolves Tue, 06 Feb 2018 14:02:26 GMT
Milwaukee City Hall https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/milwaukee-city-hall During my short trip to Milwaukee last month, I visited a number of architectural sites--including City Hall. Upon completion, Milwaukee City Hall was the tallest structure in the United States! Here's a picture of the exterior of the building from Wikipedia:

When I visited, construction was taking place around most of the building. That, along with the fact that it was raining at the time, made capturing decent photos of the outside of the building nearly impossible. Although, the rain later paid dividends in enabling me to get better images of the interior of this historic building.

So, I was walking by City Hall on my way to the Milwaukee Art Museum on a rainy, cold and windy afternoon. Given how narrow this building is, I wasn't sure that it would be worth exploring the interior. I wrongly assumed that there couldn't possibly be much in the way of open spaces inside such a narrow structure. I was wrong.

When I entered the building, I was very surprised to see an open area from the lobby floor to the ceiling. This open space was surrounded by wrought iron railings. It's an amazing interior.

Milwaukee City HallMilwaukee City HallMilwaukee City Hall at 200 E Wells Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 Milwaukee City HallMilwaukee City HallMilwaukee City Hall at 200 E Wells Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 Milwaukee City HallMilwaukee City HallMilwaukee City Hall at 200 E Wells Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017 My only remaining challenge was waiting for the scenes to clear of people. In that first image, people were leaning over the railing and gazing at me--probably because I was laying on the lobby floor taking pictures! I hoped that the novelty of this view would wear off quickly, but it took a good 15 minutes or so before they backed away from the railing.

For the second and third images, I had to wait for a woman to walk out of the frame. But, she kept circling the scene (mounting steps on her Fitbit tracker)--so I had to time the shots when she circled behind me. Since these pictures are a blend of bracketed exposures, waiting for her to move behind me for each picture in the sequence tested my patience...especially because many of the times when she was finally behind me someone else would enter the scene!

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture city hall interior milwaukee wisconsin https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/2/milwaukee-city-hall Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:09:22 GMT
The Story of the Staircase https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/the-story-of-the-staircase While walking the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I entered the Grainger Engineering Library to photograph the colorful staircase:

Grainger staircaseGrainger staircaseStaircase in the Grainger Engineering Library at 1301 W Springfield Avenue on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois on January 24, 2018 Security approached me as soon as I started to set up my shot. I was told that photography isn't allowed inside the library. I asked if it would be possible for me to capture a photograph of this staircase before packing up. I promised not to include any library patrons in the frame as that seemed to be the main concern. To my surprise, permission was granted for me to take a few minutes for this picture.

I found it challenging to align the camera for this picture. The tripod was positioned on the stairs with the camera just a foot or so off one of the steps. After trying unsuccessfully to get my body positioned under the viewfinder (like a gymnast), it dawned on me that the Nikon D850 features a tilt LCD screen on the back of the camera! So, I sat comfortably upright while focusing the lens and composing the photograph.

The D850 also offers a feature called "focus peaking". While focusing the lens, the area that is in focus turns red--so you know that you've nailed the focus precisely. You can also change the color of the focus peaking (for example, when you happen to be shooting a red subject). Once the appropriate railings turned red, I activated the shutter and captured my image.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) d850 focus peaking grainger nikon d850 rear screen lcd staircase https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/the-story-of-the-staircase Mon, 29 Jan 2018 22:04:51 GMT
A Disturbing Tripod Trend https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/a-disturbing-tripod-trend For the vast majority of my photography, a tripod is an essential piece of gear. I was alarmed when I read about the tripod ban in Zion National Park, but since it only applies to workshop participants it won't directly impact me.

 

Earlier this month, I was disappointed to learn that tripods are completely banned in Lower Antelope Canyon now. When I visited Lower Antelope Canyon, I participated in the Photography Tour--which permitted tripods. Given the relatively low light in the slot canyon and the fact that I did a lot of exposure bracketing...the tripod was essential. Now, all Photography Tours have been cancelled--even during the "off season".

 

What's next? A ban on tripods throughout the country?

Note that Lower Antelope Canyon "has become too popular...to accommodate" the Photo Tours (tripods). Apparently, the same is true of a remote ice cave in Iceland that I'll soon be visiting. I recently received an email from our photography guide explaining that the ice caves have become so popular now that we need to hike there before sunrise in the dark and pay a premium to secure the space. Otherwise, he said that the place is so crowded that we won't be able to compose any photographs. The initial charge was $200 per person for the ice caves--and he requested an additional $75 for this private showing of the ice caves. Keep in mind that these caves are nearly 300 miles from Reykjavik and we'll be visiting in the middle of the winter! But, at least I can use my tripod!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) ban crowds iceland lower antelope canyon slot canyon travel tripod zion zion national park https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/a-disturbing-tripod-trend Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:55:14 GMT
Figure Skating https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/figure-skating Last Sunday, I photographed figure skating for the first time. Actually, it was the first time that I ever attended a figure skating event. The event was the Winter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition in Skokie, Illinois.

I enjoyed the experience. Figure skating is an ideal sport for photography. The costumes (dresses) are colorful. The young skaters are photogenic. And, there's action!

Figure skating can be a challenging subject to photograph. It's an indoor sport--which usually means dim lighting. Low light and fast action is a difficult combination.

I didn't want to deal with the meter potentially altering exposures as I moved the camera. So, I set the exposure manually. I went with a shutter speed of 1/800th, an aperture of f/2.0 and and ISO setting of 2,500. That exposure combination gave me a fast enough shutter speed to stop most of the movement, a shallow aperture to blur the backgrounds and a low enough ISO setting to minimize noise. Fortunately, I own the Nikon 200 f/2 lens as it's ideal for indoor sports. The f/2 aperture of this lens gathers twice as much light as a f/2.8 lens! In other words, had I selected a 2.8 lens, I would have had to boost my ISO to 5,000 to keep my shutter speed (1/800th) the same.

Here are a few images from the event:

Figure skatingFigure skatingWinter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition at the Skatium Ice Arena at 9300 Weber Park Place in Skokie, Illinois on January 14, 2018 Figure skatingFigure skatingWinter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition at the Skatium Ice Arena at 9300 Weber Park Place in Skokie, Illinois on January 14, 2018 Figure skatingFigure skatingWinter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition at the Skatium Ice Arena at 9300 Weber Park Place in Skokie, Illinois on January 14, 2018 Figure skatingFigure skatingWinter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition at the Skatium Ice Arena at 9300 Weber Park Place in Skokie, Illinois on January 14, 2018 Figure skatingFigure skatingWinter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition at the Skatium Ice Arena at 9300 Weber Park Place in Skokie, Illinois on January 14, 2018 Figure skatingFigure skatingWinter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition at the Skatium Ice Arena at 9300 Weber Park Place in Skokie, Illinois on January 14, 2018 I enjoyed the experience so much that I plan to shoot another figure skating competition in May.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) competition d850 event exposure figure skating metering nikon 200 f2 skating sports https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/figure-skating Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:43:10 GMT
McCord House https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/mccord-house Yesterday, I captured a few photos of the McCord House. This building is located just a few minutes from my home in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. I believe this is the oldest building in the area. It was built in 1834...which is very old for these parts! That's 37 years before the Great Chicago Fire.  McCord HouseMcCord HouseMcCord House at 9602 W Creek Road in Palos Park, Illinois on January 8, 2018

McCord HouseMcCord HouseMcCord House at 9602 W Creek Road in Palos Park, Illinois on January 8, 2018 McCord HouseMcCord HouseMcCord House at 9602 W Creek Road in Palos Park, Illinois on January 8, 2018 All three photos were captured with the Nikon D850 and Nikon 14-24 2.8.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture building chicago house landmark mccord palos snow winter https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/mccord-house Tue, 09 Jan 2018 15:43:58 GMT
Winter Training https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/winter-training Each year, I dedicate time to training in some aspect of photography. In recent years, that training has been devoted to developing my post processing skills. Since this training means spending a lot of time indoors, I almost always complete this training during the Winter.

It's been a few weeks since I've been out with my camera. But, I've been spending a lot of time improving my editing skills. This year, I've been viewing the collection of video tutorials (the Masters Academy) by Ben Willmore. At the time of this blog posting, the annual subscription for this training was just $99. For that price, there are more than 70 hours of tutorials currently available...with more on the way.

So far, I've worked my way through all of the "Starting From Zero" tutorials and some of the "Essentials" videos. Although I've been using Photoshop for a few years now, I still learned a lot while working my way through these videos. The tutorials will continue to build and will cover more complex topics.

Clearly, it's important to capture good images to begin with. But, proper processing of the image is the other critical part of the process of creating good photographs. I think it's important to dedicate training time to both the capture and the processing aspects of photography.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) adobe editing photoshop processing training willmore https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/winter-training Mon, 08 Jan 2018 02:06:22 GMT
My Nikon D850 Transition https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/my-nikon-d850-transition In one of my previous blog entries, I outlined what I hoped to gain by upgrading from my Nikon D800 to the D850.

When purchasing a new camera, it takes a lot more than just the cost of the camera to make the transition. Several other accessories are also needed to realize the full potential of the new camera:

  • The D850 uses XQD memory cards. To enable the camera to shoot at the highest 9 frames per second rate, I purchased a large (128 GB) high speed XQD card. My D800 used a CF card. So, memory cards (including the SD cards) needed to be replaced and/or upgraded to handle the bigger files and faster frame rate of the D850.
  • Now that I had my XQD memory card, I needed to purchase a XQD card reader!
  • The vertical battery grip for my D800 doesn't fit the new camera, so I purchased a new grip. It took months before the new grips were available...and the orders for the D850 grips still haven't been completely fulfilled.
  • The vertical grip for the D850 takes a different battery than the D850 in order to achieve the greater power capacity for higher frame rates. These high powered batteries aren't cheap!
  • What's even more expensive is the new charger required for charging the new batteries.
  • Now that I had my Nikon D850 (with vertical grip) driven by the high powered batteries and high capacity memory cards, I needed a way to connect the gripped camera to my tripod's ballhead. That meant purchasing a new L-bracket! The L-brackets were just recently made available through a couple manufacturers--and I had a nightmare experience getting my new L-bracket to work with my ballhead. Ultimately, the Kirk bracket did the trick. More on that in a later blog entry.

I'm pleased to announce that after four months and quite a bit of money, my transition from the Nikon D800 to the D850 camera is finally complete! Now, it's time to get back out there to do some shooting.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) card reader d800 d850 equipment grip memory card nikon transition vertical grip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2018/1/my-nikon-d850-transition Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:23:28 GMT
Instagram's Best 9 of 2017 https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/instagrams-best-9-of-2017 I posted pictures on Instagram almost every day throughout 2017. Here are the top 9 pictures--according to the number of Instagram "likes":

Wishing all of you endless photo opportunities in 2018...Happy New Year!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) favorites instagram likes popular ranking top https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/instagrams-best-9-of-2017 Sun, 31 Dec 2017 22:47:31 GMT
10 of My Favorite Pictures from 2017 https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/10-of-my-favorite-pictures-from-2017 I was fortunate to visit some amazing locations during 2017. My travels started with a trip to Hawaii in January. During the summer, I took my "Great Western Loop Road Trip". In the Fall, I visited Detroit and seven architectural location in Wisconsin.

It's a challenge to select just ten pictures from a full year of shooting. These are ten of my favorites (in random order) from 2017:

Steptoe ButteSteptoe ButteThe Palouse from the summit of Steptoe Butte in Steptoe Butte State Park near Colfax, Washington on July 25, 2017 City CenterCity CenterVeer Towers in Las Vegas City Center at 3722 South Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 5, 2017 Lou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at 888 W Bonneville Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 4, 2017 Snow Leopard KittenSnow Leopard KittenSnow Leopard kitten at the Triple D Game Farm at 190 Drake Drive in Kalispell, Montana on July 21, 2017 Rafe SlagerRafe SlagerRafe Slager of the 10U Orland Park Warriors baseball team in Orland Park, Illinois on June 2, 2017 Sandy Beach sunriseSandy Beach sunriseSunrise at Sandy Beach at 8801 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 19, 2017 The BroadThe BroadThe Broad museum at 221 S Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 Green leafGreen leafCloseup of a green leaf in Orland Park, Illinois on May 20, 2017 Hawaii surfingHawaii surfingSurfing competition (North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior) at Sunset Beach at 59-104 Kamehameha Hwy on the North Shore of Oahu in Haleiwa, Hawaii on January 28, 2017 Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 Thanks for all for taking the time to read my blog and view my photographs over this past year.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) 2017 collection favorites travel year in review https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/10-of-my-favorite-pictures-from-2017 Sat, 30 Dec 2017 15:32:40 GMT
"A Look Through My Lens" Published for 2017! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/-a-look-through-my-lens-published-for-2017 The highlight of the year from a photography perspective was my 32 day road trip through the western portion of the United States. This Great Western Loop Road Trip covered 7,634 miles over a 32 day period. The trip took me through 16 states. 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 and filled my shoes with saltwater while I was photographing a sunset.

Unlike most of my past books which compiled my favorite photographs from the entire year, this book features images from just this one trip.

You may CLICK HERE to view a full preview of this year's book. It's most effective to view the images with the pages of the book expanded to fill your monitor. I also recommend selecting the Dust Jacket version of the preview (positioned under the book).

I use Blurb to create my books. I'm very pleased with the quality of the product--from the binding and paper to the image quality. Producing such a small quantity of books makes for a high cost per unit. I make these available for purchase at the base cost from Blurb. However, the book isn't intended for general distribution. I like to create one for my own records--and family and friends occasionally order books as well.

This is the tenth annual "A Look Through My Lens" book that I've created!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) a look through my lens annual book blurb book coffee table book compilation publication travel trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/-a-look-through-my-lens-published-for-2017 Mon, 25 Dec 2017 13:22:21 GMT
A Quarter Million... https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-quarter-million The 250,000th viewer visited my website this morning! That's a quarter million independent visitors (from 157 countries)...return visits aren't included in the count.

When I first started sharing photographs through my site, I expected most of the visitors to be family and friends. I had no idea that so many people would eventually view the photographs.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and view my pictures. I hope to share many new images in the upcoming years.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) tracking visitors visits website https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-quarter-million Sun, 24 Dec 2017 14:18:45 GMT
My Tripod's Repair Saga https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/back-in-business About a month ago, I returned from my photography trip to Wisconsin. I knew it would take me a while to edit all of the images from that trip, so I figured that it would be a good time to send my tripod in for repair. I own a Gitzo tripod (3540XLS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod), and I was aware that it can take a long time for such repairs. A few years ago, I wrote a blog entry about why using a tripod is so important to most of my photography.

My tripod is probably just over ten years old. Over the years, it's become increasingly difficult to tighten the extended legs. As I'm shooting, a leg will sometimes slowly collapse--which can be very frustrating. When tightened enough, the legs will hold--but it should only take an easy quarter turn to tighten the legs on this particular tripod.

I sent my tripod into the Chandler, Arizona repair facility via UPS Ground delivery. It took a week for the package to get there from Chicago. Once it arrived, I was promptly provided with a work order for tracking the progress of the repair through the website.

A week passed without any further updates on the progress of the repair. Apparently, the facility was shut down as an inventory was being conducted. Finally, I learned that the cone collets within each of the leg extensions needed to be replaced. Additionally, the leg locks were to be cleaned and lubricated, and a clamp replaced. For $200, plus shipping & handling, the tripod would be returned to like new condition.

Although the repairs weren't cheap, I determined that approving the repair (which extends the life of my tripod for another 10 to 15 years) was better than purchasing a new tripod. This tripod was $700 a decade ago...and is closer to $1,000 today. Given how often I use my tripod, it's not too surprising that it would require some maintenance. I estimate that my tripod's legs have been extended and collapsed at least 10,000 times over the past decade!

Now that I approved the repair, the next challenge was waiting to see if the replacement parts were in the Chandler facility. I was told that if the parts for my tripod were on hand--it would be about three days for the repair. Otherwise, parts would need to be ordered from Italy--and it would be about a month before the tripod repair was completed!

After not hearing anything for a few more days, I called the repair facility again. I was told that it looked like the parts would need to be ordered from Italy. But, just hours later I received a UPS tracking notice that my tripod was already on its way back to me and that it was fully repaired.

I was anxious to get my tripod back...so I was disappointed that it was sent via UPS Ground--especially considering that I was charged $35 for shipping! That meant another week of waiting. So, delivery was set for December 14th.

December 14th came and went...and my UPS tracking information showed that the delivery was still ON TIME. On December 15th I called UPS...the package hadn't been scanned since December 11th. Back then, the last time it was accounted for, it was just ten miles from my home address! So, it was now missing in action.

Last night (December 16th), the tripod was finally delivered at about 7:00 PM.

So, my tripod's repair journey took more than a month (and that could have been far longer if the parts weren't in Chandler) and just over $200...but I have it now and can finally get back out shooting!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) equipment gitzo maintenance repair shipping tripod https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/back-in-business Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:57:44 GMT
622 and Counting... https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/622-and-counting When I first started this blog, I wasn't sure if I would be posting entries on a regular basis. It seemed like topics would run dry before too long.

Out of curiosity, I just ran a count of my blog entries. Through today, I've posted 622 entries...that's a lot of articles!

So, what's my most popular blog entry? It was an entry that I made back in August of 2012 about my experiences with Prius Camping. That article has been read by 25,000 independent (repeat visitors don't get tallied) readers.

Thanks to all of the visitors for taking the time to read my ramblings!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) articles blog count entries log readers https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/622-and-counting Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:18:55 GMT
"Brain Center" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/-brain-center-wins-photo-of-the-day 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

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture award gehry las vegas photo contest winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/-brain-center-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:31:28 GMT
Let It Rain! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/let-it-rain 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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture bracketing glass interior milwaukee overcast stained glass travel weather https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/let-it-rain Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:54:55 GMT
Wisconsin Architecture https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/wisconsin-architecture 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.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture d850 madison milwaukee travel trip wisconsin https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/12/wisconsin-architecture Sun, 03 Dec 2017 13:49:51 GMT
Ultra Wide https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/ultra-wide 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!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture capitol fisheye michigan perspective sigma ultra wide wide https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/ultra-wide Tue, 28 Nov 2017 22:12:51 GMT
My "Palouse" Photo Wins Second Place for the Month of October https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/my-palouse-photo-wins-second-place-for-the-month-of-october My "Palouse" photograph won Second Place in Imaging Resource's photo contest for the month of October, 2017.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) imaging resource landscape palouse photo contest second place winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/my-palouse-photo-wins-second-place-for-the-month-of-october Thu, 23 Nov 2017 04:44:42 GMT
Wait a Second! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/wait-a-second 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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture detail fisheye islamic center of america mosque nikon d850 sharpness https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/wait-a-second Mon, 20 Nov 2017 02:08:13 GMT
Piecing the Puzzle Together https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/piecing-the-puzzle-together 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!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture blending cloning detroit editing ford interior museum processing removing people https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/piecing-the-puzzle-together Sun, 12 Nov 2017 23:38:11 GMT
"Snow Leopard Cub" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/-snow-leopard-kitten-wins-photo-of-the-day 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

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal captive cat imaging resource photo contest snow leopard triple d wildlife winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/-snow-leopard-kitten-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:06:10 GMT
A Secured Photo Shoot https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/a-secured-photo-shoot 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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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract architecture building security travel tucson https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/11/a-secured-photo-shoot Sun, 05 Nov 2017 11:18:01 GMT
Rand McNally Features my Photo! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/rand-mcnally-features-my-photo Although one of my photographs has appeared on the cover of Rand McNally's 2017 road atlas all year, I just discovered that today! This morning, it was brought to my attention that my Bass Harbor Lighthouse photograph is on the cover. I captured this picture in Maine during my 2015 road trip through the northeastern section of the United States.

Rand McNally purchased this image through a stock agency. The stock agency doesn't disclose the buyer of the images to me--which is why it often take a long time before I happen to see, if ever, how my pictures are being used.

Here's my photograph:

And here's how it appears on the cover of the atlas:

The road atlas is being sold through Amazon for $13.46. I think I'll be ordering one!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) atlas bass harbor maine rand mcnally road trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/rand-mcnally-features-my-photo Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18:52:26 GMT
Brain Center https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/brain-center While in Las Vegas during my last long road trip, I visited the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Since Frank Gehry is the architect, I knew this would be an interesting building to photograph.

Before sunset, I captured some abstracts of the structure. Here's one of those images:

Lou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at 888 W Bonneville Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 5, 2017 But, my main reason for visiting was to capture this building at night. At night, red lights illuminate the interior and shine through the windows. Or, at least I hoped the interior would get lit.

I arrived at the Brain Center about 30 minutes before sunset, scouted the various compositions and then set up for my first pictures. To my surprise, the building remained dark after the sun went down. Since I was there on a Saturday night, my concern was that the building might not get lit on weekends when the Center is closed.

After another five minutes or so, the lights suddenly went on. In my view, the red lights make a world of difference in these photographs.

Lou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at 888 W Bonneville Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 5, 2017 Lou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at 888 W Bonneville Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 4, 2017 Lou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo CenterLou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at 888 W Bonneville Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 4, 2017 While killing time waiting for the sun to set, I "checked in" to the Ruvo Brain Center on my Facebook page--as I often update my Facebook with my current location while on a photography road trip. Before long, some concerned friends left me messages asking if everything was OK!

I shared some of my Brain Center photographs on various photography forums. A common response was that anyone who looks at this building long enough will soon require the services of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brian Health! 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture gehry las vegas night ruvo center for brain health travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/brain-center Tue, 24 Oct 2017 13:30:38 GMT
Nikon D850 https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/nikon-d850 I placed an order for the Nikon D850 camera on the morning it was announced (August 24, 2017). I'm anxious to get the D850 for the following reasons:

  1. I'm currently shooting with just one camera. I really need a backup, but don't want to buy a backup since I would like my existing D800 to take that role. I feel like I've been rolling the dice too much lately taking photography trips with just the one camera. Going to Iceland this winter without a backup is not going to be an option!
  2. I don't expect the images to look a whole different between the D800 and D850. But, I think it will be a bit easier to capture some of the images with the D850. I sold my D700 a while back...and really miss the higher frame rate for sports. The D850 will enable me to shoot youth sports with more keepers again.
  3. I'm hoping the D850 will have a quieter shutter as I shoot inside churches a lot.
  4. A more flexible LCD screen will help me when I'm laying on the floor under my tripod trying to line up shots of ceilings!
  5. I find it challenging to zoom in to focus manually with Live View with my D800. It's my understanding that the resolution is much better on the new screen...and that will make life a little easier.
  6. I often shoot wide to create straight lines (requiring cropping) in architectural images. The extra megapixels will provide extra cropping capability.
  7. I will enjoy ISO 64 as a base...I shoot a lot of longer exposures.
  8. I find the focus stacking feature of the D850 to be intriguing.

Those are the main reasons...but there is no bigger reason than needing the backup!

For those of you who track such things, I placed my order at 8:00am Central Time on August 24th through B&H Photo. I have no idea where I stand on the waiting list...just hoping to get my camera by the holidays!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) b&h photo camera d800 d950 equipment nikon preorder https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/nikon-d850 Sun, 15 Oct 2017 15:56:05 GMT
The Barrio Viejo Trade https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/the-barrio-viejo-trade During my last long road trip through the western portion of the United States, I visited Tucson for a few days. While in Tucson, I enjoyed photographing the Barrio Viejo neighborhood. The old neighborhood features many very colorful homes. It's a photographer's paradise.

One house in particular was super colorful with bright turquoise walls and a red door. I timed my visit for what I hoped would be the best lighting. As soon as I had everything set up and was about to start taking pictures, the owner of the house arrived and started to park her car between me and the house. She noticed that I was taking pictures, so she offered to park down the street instead--but only if I would carry her groceries into the house from her car! She was just returning from shopping at Costco.

I agreed to this offer and went on to photograph the house, as well as several other houses in the neighborhood, for quite some time. To view my photographs from Barrio Viejo, please CLICK HERE.

Here are a few from the turquoise house:

Barrio ViejoBarrio ViejoBarrio Viejo near 915 S Meyer Avenue in Tucson, Arizona on August 8, 2017

Barrio ViejoBarrio ViejoBarrio Viejo near 915 S Meyer Avenue in Tucson, Arizona on August 8, 2017

Barrio ViejoBarrio ViejoBarrio Viejo near 915 S Meyer Avenue in Tucson, Arizona on August 8, 2017 Barrio ViejoBarrio ViejoBarrio Viejo near 915 S Meyer Avenue in Tucson, Arizona on August 8, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture barrio viejo exchange trade travel tucson turquoise https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/the-barrio-viejo-trade Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:38:25 GMT
"Palouse Hills" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/-palouse-hills-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Palouse Hills" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This is the first picture from my "Great Western USA Loop" road trip to be recognized with a Photo of the Day. Until just a few years ago, I had never heard about the Palouse. While planning for this long road trip, I was looking for an interesting location to visit between Spokane and Crater Lake National Park. I decided to stay in Colfax, Washington to photograph the Palouse region of eastern Washington. During my stay in Colfax, I drove to the summit of Steptoe Butte three times--twice for sunset and once for sunrise. The haze from the local forest fires diminished my results from the two sunset photo shoots. But, luck prevailed for a few minutes just after sunrise one morning--and I was fortunate enough to create one of my favorite images of the trip.

This marks the 45th 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.

Palouse HillsPalouse HillsImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for October 8, 2017.

This photo won Second Place for the month of October.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) award contest entry hills landscape palouse recognition sunrise washington winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/-palouse-hills-wins-photo-of-the-day Sun, 08 Oct 2017 12:31:09 GMT
Great Western Loop Road Trip -- Distribution by Lens https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/great-western-loop-road-trip----distribution-by-lens Nearly every time I return from a trip, I'm asked about which lenses I used to capture the images. At the end of a trip, I like to look at the distribution of shots by lens. Here's how it looked for my most recent "Great Western Loop Road Trip":

I used just one camera for the entire trip--the Nikon D800. More than 75% of my photographs were captured with one of Nikon's "Holy Trinity" of lenses--the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200. Before leaving on this trip, I upgraded my Nikon 70-200 VR lens to the most current version. I was so impressed with the quality of this lens that I am now considering upgrading my Nikon 24-70 as well!

Initially, I wasn't going to pack the massive Nikon 500 VR for this trip. I didn't expect for that lens to get much use. But, I'm glad I decided to bring it. In the end, I used the lens to capture 88 photographs--and they were some of my favorite pictures of the trip. It came in handy for some wildlife images as well as landscape pictures (particularly from the summit of the Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington). Here are a few of the 500mm images from this trip:

Steptoe ButteSteptoe ButteThe Palouse from the summit of Steptoe Butte in Steptoe Butte State Park near Colfax, Washington on July 25, 2017 Snow Leopard KittenSnow Leopard KittenSnow Leopard kitten at the Triple D Game Farm at 190 Drake Drive in Kalispell, Montana on July 21, 2017 Sea lionSea lionSea lion at La Jolla Cove at 1100 Coast Blvd in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) distribution equipment lenses road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/10/great-western-loop-road-trip----distribution-by-lens Sun, 01 Oct 2017 20:13:09 GMT
Starburst Blending! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/starburst-blending During my last road trip, I stopped for a couple of nights in El Paso, Texas. I'm always looking for a good vantage point for a cityscape--and the Scenic Drive Overlook certainly provided that.

El PasoEl PasoEl Paso skyline from the Scenic Drive Overlook in El Paso, Texas on August 10, 2017 This scene was captured at f/8...but I blended in an exposure at f/22 to create the starbursts. If I had selected f/22 for the entire scene, I would have lost sharpness due to diffraction. So, I only used f/22 for the street lights by blending them in using the "Lighten" blending mode in Photoshop. This way, I was able to get the best of both apertures in a single frame!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) aperture blending cityscape el paso exposure lighten mode night settings starburst texas https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/starburst-blending Tue, 26 Sep 2017 22:16:20 GMT
Mission Accomplished at the Red Rock! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/mission-accomplished-at-the-red-rock During my last long road trip, I stayed at the Red Rock Casino Resort in Las Vegas for a few nights. One of my goals was to photograph the very contemporary looking lounge. Better yet, I wanted to capture this picture without anyone in the frame--a nearly impossible task!

Red Rock ResortRed Rock ResortRed Rock Casino, Resort Spa at 11011 W Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 7, 2017 There were several challenges to getting this shot:

  • This involved a cat and mouse game with security personnel! When I started to extend the legs of my tripod, security was on me in seconds. So, the tripod was out of the question. And, security was manning this area practically 24/7. After passing through this area many times, I noticed that there were very brief intervals when the scene was clear of security. I waited for one of those times to quickly set up the shot. I was only going to get one try at it--because once security tells you that you can't take pictures, it's not a good idea to keep shooting! In locations such as this, I assume that it is OK to shoot until I am told otherwise.
  • The tripod was out of the question. Yet, I needed to stabilize the camera. These are 3 second exposures--and I needed to shoot a sequence of bracketed exposures to retain detail in the chandeliers as well as the shadows. Fortunately, I had my RRS multi-clamp with me. I clamped the ballhead to the marble railing and then secured my camera to the ballhead.
  • Having the clamp is the only way to capture this picture. Even if I had been permitted to use a tripod, the tripod wouldn't have worked. I was using a fisheye lens--and with such a wide perspective I needed to position the lens over the ledge. The clamp allowed me to do this rather easily.
  • The clamp allows me to take shots without attracting the attention of security quite so quickly. With the tripod, I had no chance. But, with the clamp I was able to stand up against the camera and activate the shutter by pressing on the cable release near my pocket.
  • Even so, at one point during my sequence of shots I was approached by security. It's always the same conversation--do you have a permit to shoot? I reply by asking if that is necessary for photographs for personal usage (which these are). Security is always polite and asks that I stop shooting--which I do. But, while we were talking I was able to finish the bracket of exposures as I kept pressing the cable release.
  • This scene is usually crowded at nearly any hour of the day or night. Since I was staying at the hotel, I kept an eye on the scene. The morning that I departed for my drive to Tucson, I left the hotel very early in the morning. To my delight, the lounge was mostly free of people at 6:00 AM! I was able to clone one person out and use my mirror trick to remove another person!

In the end, I was able to create this apocalyptic style picture of a large Las Vegas lounge.

Mission Accomplished!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) apocalyptic architecture bracketing clamp interior las vegas mirror trick nobody red rock tripod https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/mission-accomplished-at-the-red-rock Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:55:50 GMT
My Most Spectacular Sunset https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/my-most-spectacular-sunset During my last long road trip, I experienced my most spectacular sunset. Over the years, I've seen and photographed many sunsets, but the one at Scripps Pier on August 2, 2017 in La Jolla, California takes the cake! A professional photographer who was positioned right next to me mentioned that it was the best sunset that he saw in more than a few years.

A year ago, my travels took me to this same location. That sunset looked to be a promising one, but as the sun approached the horizon a thick fog settled over the water. All color was removed from the sky and most of the photographers left the scene before the sun was fully set. This time was a different story and I was rewarded for revisiting this site.

This sunset presented many phases...each with different colors and contrasts. The full photo shoot lasted well over 90 minutes. At times, the tide rolled over my shoes. Despite getting my shoes filled with salt water, I wasn't going to move an inch until I had captured photographs of this sunset!

It started with mostly overcast conditions and a very cool, pastel look. I was pleased with the lighting:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 Before long, the colors deepened and the orange color intensified near the horizon. I didn't expect it to get much better than this:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 Then, the sky started radiating with color that was reflecting on the beach all around us. This lighting was beyond anything I have ever experienced:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 Then, the clouds started to break up. This made for a more dramatic looking sky:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 The scene softened a bit just before sunset:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 I kept shooting after the sun dropped below the horizon:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 For my parting photograph, I stepped to the side of the pier for a different perspective. The camera sensor was able to pick up more of the light and color than I could see with my eyes. It was practically pitch dark during this exposure:

Scripps PierScripps PierEllen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier at 8602 La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla, California on August 2, 2017 I suspect that these photographs would look great printed on metal!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) long exposure pier san diego scripps scripps pier sunset travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/my-most-spectacular-sunset Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:30:20 GMT
Courtesy in Downtown LA https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/courtesy-in-downtown-la During my last long road trip, I allocated a couple of days to photograph some of the amazing architecture in downtown Los Angeles. One of my favorite buildings is the Disney Concert Hall:

Disney Concert HallDisney Concert HallWalt Disney Concert Hall at 111 S Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, California on July 31, 2017 To me, the most amazing thing about this photograph is how considerate the pedestrians were. This picture was taken on a weekday morning on a busy intersection in downtown Los Angeles. As I was getting ready to take this exposure, nearly 15 people stopped in their tracks so that I could capture this picture. I wasn't expecting this type of considerate behavior in such a big city!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture black and white disney concert hall los angeles nobody travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/courtesy-in-downtown-la Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:35:54 GMT
Petersen Automotive Museum https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/petersen-automotive-museum One of the reasons I included Los Angeles in my long road trip was to photograph the most unusual Petersen Automotive Museum. And, I'm glad I included this as part of my itinerary!

Here's a photograph from across the intersection that I captured to give the viewer a perspective of the entire building. All of my other pictures from the photo shoot are architectural abstracts.

Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 One challenge with capturing this photograph was dealing with the expanse of dull, ugly pavement in the bottom of the frame. My approach was to capture some traffic blurs using long exposures to add some interest to the scene. This required several exposures (later blended together in Photoshop) because traffic was so light. Just my luck...this was the only section in all of Los Angeles with light traffic!

The rest of my pictures are architectural abstracts. Here are a few of my favorites:

Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 Given the colorful subject matter, I captured very few B&W photographs that night. But, B&W is still a viable option here:

Petersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive MuseumPetersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California on July 30, 2017 There were numerous architectural sites of interest in downtown Los Angeles. In addition to the Petersen Automotive Museum, I visited the Disney Concert Hall, Broad Museum, Los Angeles City Library, Bradbury Building and Union Station.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture long exposure los angeles petersen automotive museum red travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/petersen-automotive-museum Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:11:48 GMT
Sundial Bridge https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/sundial-bridge When I arrived in Redding, California, I immediately drove to the Sundial Bridge. After capturing a number of black and white exposures during the afternoon in some rather harsh light, I returned for some night photographs.

It took a great deal of luck to capture this image. There were at least a hundred people on this bridge at any given time. My strategy was to take an exposure, then wait for various patches within the frame to free up of pedestrians before taking the next exposure. After four of five exposures, I was able to clear up most of the frame by selectively blending these images in Photoshop. There was still a group of people left toward the back of the bridge (it's a killer when they just stand there)--and I removed them by using the cloning tool.

My next challenge was the dealing with the length of these exposures--15 seconds each. After I would finish my third or fourth "people eraser" exposure, someone would walk close to my camera and cause the bridge to vibrate...so, it was time to start all over again!

By the time I finally started to get a few good exposures in a row, the sky was getting very dark...losing all color and bringing too much contrast into the scene. I shot a 2 second exposure at the end to bring back some detail in the sundial and the floor lights...as they were getting blown out now.

A local photographer from Redding approached me during my photo shoot to say I would have to wait for a very long time to capture this photograph. Apparently, he's not overly familiar with technique of blending exposures during post processing for removing people from the scene.

This morning, I sat down to process the whole mess--never expecting it to end up being an acceptable image. While it's not the greatest image in the world, I'm very pleased with the result!

Sundial BridgeSundial BridgeSundial Bridge at Turtle Bay on the Sacramento River Trail in Redding California on July 28, 2017

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24 2.8

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture blending california editing photoshop processing redding stacking sundial sundial bridge travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/9/sundial-bridge Fri, 08 Sep 2017 18:09:46 GMT
"Indian Hawthorne" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/-indian-hawthorne-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Indian Hawthorne" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

I found this very tiny flower while walking around my neighborhood. I recently posted a blog entry about this photo shoot. I captured this picture inside my mini studio in the kitchen.

This marks the 44th 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.

Indian HawthorneIndian HawthorneImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for August 31, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) contest flower imaging resource indian hawthorne winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/-indian-hawthorne-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 31 Aug 2017 12:59:30 GMT
Clamp It! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/clamp-it During my recent 32 day road trip, I used a tripod for the vast majority of my shots. But, there were times when using a tripod wasn't possible. In some locations, tripods aren't permitted. In other situations, the positioning required of the camera made a tripod impractical.

Fortunately, the RRS Multi-Clamp enabled me to secure my camera and capture shots in certain situations where the use of a tripod wasn't possible. I carry this small piece of equipment in my camera bag at all times.

I just started processing photographs from my journey. During just the first day of shooting (in St. Paul, MN), the clamp allowed me to capture two pictures that would otherwise not have been possible.

PHOTO #1

This image of the Minnesota House of Representatives required the clamp. Access was restricted to the chamber floor by a tall gate. This gate was about 7 feet tall. I clamped the camera to the top of the gate in a position that allowed me capture a symmetrical image of the chamber. The camera was so high that I couldn't see through the viewfinder, so I used the Live View feature on the D800 to align the lens. Here's how the set up looked:

And, here's the processed photograph:

Lady MinnesotaLady MinnesotaMinnesota House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol at 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 16, 2017 So, why was stabilizing the camera so important?

  • The chamber is dark. My base exposure was 1.3 seconds at f/9 at ISO 100. Nobody can hold the camera steady for 1.3 seconds. And, I try not to boost the ISO settings as that compromises image quality.
  • This photograph required bracketed exposures to retain detail in the highlights. I captured the same image with a shutter speed of 1/8 second to tame the highlights.

To illustrate the benefit of bracketed exposures, take a look at the very best exposure that I could generate with a single click. If this is all I could capture, I wouldn't bother taking the picture:

Lady MinnesotaLady MinnesotaMinnesota House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol at 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 16, 2017 PHOTO #2

Later that day, I visited the Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. As with the above situation, I wanted to bracket my exposures inside this greenhouse. I also needed a rather wide depth of field for this picture.

Sunken GardenSunken GardenSunken garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at 1225 Estabrook Drive in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 16, 2017

The Conservatory prohibits the use of a tripod. So, out came my RRS Multi-Clamp!

It wasn't long before I was approached by a staff member of the Conservatory. She told me that tripods weren't allowed. I pointed to my tripod...which was laying on the ground next to me...and said that I read the policy and was using the clamp so as to avoid getting in the way of other visitors. After a short hesitation, she acknowledged that I was in compliance of the rules as written. I was permitted to continue shooting!

Later in the trip, I captured some of my favorite photographs by using the clamp. It helped me position the camera over the edge of railings to capture pictures of interesting staircases. Now, the clamp isn't cheap. But, it's worth the extra money to me to secure my camera and lens while it's hanging over a railing!

The clamp also lets me shoot in such a way as to not attract the attention of security as quickly as when I am using a tripod. I stand very close to the clamp and camera so that it appears as though I am just standing against the railing while looking over a scene.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) clamp exposure image quality rrs security stabilization super clamp tripod https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/clamp-it Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:01:30 GMT
I'm Back https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/im-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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) itinerary plan road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/im-back Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:39:29 GMT
Extreme Symmetry https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/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?

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture composition symmetry vanishing point https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/8/extreme-symmetry Tue, 08 Aug 2017 03:55:34 GMT
Barred from Pumping My Own Gas https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/7/banned-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!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) gas oregon pump tax https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/7/banned-from-pumping-my-own-gas Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:27:06 GMT
Big Waves https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/7/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

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) big waves equipment hawaii lifeguard oahu waimiea waves https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/7/big-waves Sat, 15 Jul 2017 11:38:43 GMT
"Green Leaf" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/7/-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

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) closeup contest green imaging resource leaf macro plant studio winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/7/-green-leaf-wins-photo-of-the-day Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:46:44 GMT
Youth Baseball Portraits https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/6/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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) baseball portraits setup sports strobes studio https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/6/youth-baseball-portraits Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:14:54 GMT
"Florida State Capitol" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/6/-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

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture black and white capitol contest florida state capitol tallahassee travel winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/6/-florida-state-capitol-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:31:47 GMT
Take a Closer Look https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/6/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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) abstract backlighting closeup composition diagonal flash green leaf macro ordinarly plant yellow https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/6/take-a-closer-look Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:54:27 GMT
My Mini Kitchen Studio https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/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

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) closeup equipment flash foam board kitchen macro pine tree studio https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/my-mini-kitchen-studio Sun, 28 May 2017 12:42:29 GMT
"Orangutan" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/-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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animal brookfield zoo captive orangutan portrait primate sophia tropic world https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/-orangutan-wins-photo-of-the-day Thu, 18 May 2017 13:06:57 GMT
A Single Dandelion https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) closeup dandelion dandelion clock macro plant https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-single-dandelion Sat, 13 May 2017 04:16:18 GMT
Welcome To My 200,000th Visitor! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/welcome-of-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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) hits internet visitors visits https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/welcome-of-my-200-000th-visitor Sun, 07 May 2017 11:44:23 GMT
"Sandy Beach" Photo Wins Third Place for March https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/-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.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) adorama award contest imaging resource third place winning entry https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/5/-sandy-beach-photo-wins-third-place-for-march Wed, 03 May 2017 13:34:37 GMT
Really Tiny Flowers! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/really-tiny-flowers Last week, I captured some photographs of some very tiny flowers that I discovered while taking a walk around my neighborhood. First, I created pictures of pear tree blossoms--which are plentiful right now in our area.

Pear Tree BlossomPear Tree BlossomPear tree blossom in Orland Park, Illinois on April 19, 2017 Pear Tree BlossomPear Tree BlossomPear tree blossom in Orland Park, Illinois on April 19, 2017 Later in the week, I came across these small purple and white flowers. I'm told that these are called Indian hawthornes. These flowers are the same size as the pear blossoms.

Purple and white flowerPurple and white flowerTiny purple and white Indian hawthorne flower in Orland Park, Illinois on April 23, 2017 Purple and white flowerPurple and white flowerTiny purple and white Indian hawthorne flower in Orland Park, Illinois on April 23, 2017 So, are you wondering how tiny these flowers really are?

To provide a sense of scale, I took the next picture with my iPhone. And, no...I don't have a giant hand!

Really Tiny FlowerReally Tiny FlowerI captured this image of an Indian hawthorne flower in my hand with my iPhone. This photo gives a sense of scale to the other images of these tiny flowers in my collection. To view more of my images of these tiny flowers, please CLICK HERE.

To create these images, I used my Nikon D800 and Nikon 200 f4 Micro lens. I also used extension tubes for many of the photographs. A solid tripod also came in handy as there's no way that I can hold the camera steady enough at such a high magnification.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) flowers indian hawthorne macro pear blossom plant spring tiny https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/really-tiny-flowers Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:23:00 GMT
"Ko Olina Beach" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/-ko-olina-beach-wins-photo-of-the-day My "Ko Olina Beach" 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 trip earlier this year to Oahu. This is the second photograph to win a photo contest from my trip to the island.

This marks the 40th 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.

Ko Olina Beach ParkKo Olina Beach ParkImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for April 21, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) award contest hawaii ko olina landscape long exposure oahu photo contest seascape https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/-ko-olina-beach-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:15:00 GMT
Orangutan Portrait https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/orangutan-portrait Last month, I visited the Tropic World exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo to capture some pictures of the orangutans.

Below is a portrait of Sophia, a female orangutan that often poses for me during my visits:

OrangutanOrangutanFemale orangutan, Sophia, at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on February 27, 2017

One challenge with zoo photography is controlling the backgrounds. Fortunately, many of the exhibits at the Brookfield Zoo feature backgrounds that more closely match a natural environment. One approach that I use is to wait until an animal enters an area of the exhibit with an acceptable background before taking any pictures.

When the distance between the subject and the background increases, it's far easier to create background blur. Background blur places more emphasis on the subject--which is a good thing. Using a wide aperture also helps blur the background. I used my Nikon 300 2.8 VR lens for this image. I opened the lens all the way (f/2.8) to create this look for the background. At f/2.8, the Nikon 300 2.8 lens is an ideal "background eraser"!

Another challenge with zoo photography in indoor exhibits is the lighting. I try to use the lowest ISO setting possible to maximize image quality. However, it's also important to select a fast enough shutter speed to create a sharp photograph. For this image, I pushed the limit by selecting an ISO of 500--which resulted in a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second at f/2.8. 1/60th is pushing it. Many photographers don't like to use shutter speeds slower than 1 over the focal length of the lens--which in this case would be 1/300th.

By using a slow shutter speed of 1/60th rather than let's say 1/500th, I'm able to use an ISO of 500 rather than an ISO of 4,000. Additionally, by using an aperture of f/2.8 instead of let's say f/4 (which is still fast), I'm able to save another stop of light. At f/4 and 1/500th, my ISO would have been 8,000 (hardly worth bothering to take the picture with my D800).

Creating a sharp picture would be nearly impossible at 1/60th with a 300mm lens without incorporating further tools. Of course, a tripod is essential. Having my camera locked down on a solid tripod allows me to shoot at lower shutter speeds for maximum image quality. I also used a Nikon SB-900 flash unit. That short burst of light helps freeze any movement at this lower shutter speed.

CLICK HERE if you wish to view more images from my photo shoot.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animals aperture backgrounds blur depth of field equipment exposure flash orangutans shutter speed tripod https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/orangutan-portrait Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:17:32 GMT
Backlighting at Polynesian Cultural Center https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/backlighting-at-pcc During my recent trip to Hawaii, I enjoyed capturing photographs at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). The PCC is very photographer friendly. They permitted me to carry all kinds of gear--including my massive 500mm lens. They also allowed me to shoot from a tripod at all locations, including the various shows. The only event that was off limits was the "Ha: Breath of Life" live performance evening show.

My only problem while shooting at the PCC was the sun! I visited the Center on three separate days, and each day the sky was clear. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. This might sound ideal for the ordinary visitor. But, this direct sun is a photographer's nightmare. The lighting is very harsh. Shadows go black and highlights get blown out. It's particularly unappealing when taking pictures of people--and people were my primary subjects at that location.

During my first visit, I selected a location where I could capture pictures of the Canoe Pageant with a clean background. However, the sunlight was so harsh and the shadows so dark that most of my pictures weren't worth the time to process them. I returned for a second time in hope of some cloud cover. Earlier that day, the sky was cloudy and the light was soft and diffused. But about 15 minutes before the Canoe Pageant started (it starts at 2:30 PM every day), the clouds cleared and the sun once again made the light impossible to manage. My approach was to only take photographs during the brief time that a canoe entered some shade cover. This severely limited my photo opportunities.

Following is one of the images that was captured in this unappealing light:

Polynesian Cultural CenterPolynesian Cultural CenterPolynesian Cultural Center at 55-370 Kamehameha Highway in Laie, Hawaii on January 26, 2017

On my third visit, I used a very different approach. This is an approach that most portrait photographers would probably have thought of to begin with! My approach was to set up in a location where I was shooting directly into the sun. That way, the light would be even on the faces and people wouldn't be squinting while looking toward the bright light. This approach worked well for me.

Here are a couple of examples of how I used backlighting to create more appealing images in the same conditions that the above picture was taken:

Polynesian Cultural CenterPolynesian Cultural CenterPolynesian Cultural Center at 55-370 Kamehameha Highway in Laie, Hawaii on January 28, 2017 Polynesian Cultural CenterPolynesian Cultural CenterPolynesian Cultural Center at 55-370 Kamehameha Highway in Laie, Hawaii on January 28, 2017

This solution worked for me. I only wish I had thought of it sooner.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) backlighting hawaii oahu pcc people polynesian cultural center portraits sunlight https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/backlighting-at-pcc Tue, 11 Apr 2017 15:49:12 GMT
Great Western Loop Road Trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/my-next-great-adventure This summer's trip covers a wide loop around the western portion of the United States. The journey takes more than a month and over 7,500 miles to complete.

Here's my itinerary with some of the photo shoots:

1- Minneapolis, MN - Mall of America

2- Minneapolis, MN - MN State Capitol, Como Park Zoo

3- Bismarck, ND - ND State Capitol

4- Billings, MT

5- Helena, MT - MT State Capitol, Cathedral of St. Helens

6- Kalispell, MT - Garnet Ghost Town, St Francis Xavier Church

7- Kalispell, MT - Triple D Game Ranch

8- Kalispell, MT - Triple D Game Ranch

9- Spokane, WA - Manito Park. Gonzaga University

10- Colfax, WA - Steptoe Butte

11- Colfax, WA - Palouse

12- Crater Lake, OR - Discovery Point

13- Crater Lake, OR

14- Redding, CA - Sundial Bridge

15- Fresno, CA - Crocker Art Museum, St John's Cathedral (exterior)

16- Los Angeles, CA - the Broad, Petersen Automobile Museum, Getty Center

17- Los Angeles, CA - Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles Central Library, Union Station

18- Oceanside, CA - Mission, Oceanside Pier

19- San Diego, CA - Scripps Pier

20- San Diego, CA - La Jolla Cove

21- Las Vegas, NV - Ruvo Brain Center

22- Las Vegas, NV - City Center, Arts District

23- Las Vegas, NV - Neon Museum, Stratosphere

24- Tucson, AZ - Mission San Zavier del Bac

25- Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park, Barrio Viejo

26- Tucson, AZ - University of Arizona, Sonora Desert Museum

27- El Paso, TX - Mission Trail, Scenic Drive Overlook

27- El Paso, TX - Mission Trail

29- Amarillo, TX - commute day

30- Wichita, KS - Keeper of the Plains, downtown Wichita

31- Keokuk, IA

32- Orland Park, IL

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) attractions itinerary planning road trip travel trip https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/my-next-great-adventure Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:26:05 GMT
Brushing in Some Sharpness https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/brushing-in-some-sharpness Last month, I attended the Out of Chicago Winter Conference. During this photography conference, a few hours were set aside for the conference participants to shoot various subjects. Several photographers congregated around many of the flowers that were on display.

One of the photography decisions to make when shooting these orchids is to select an aperture. Like many of the photographers, I wanted a narrow depth of field. It's a challenge selecting an aperture in which the front orchid is in sharp focus while the other flowers drop out of focus. If I went with a wide aperture, the front flower wasn't in focus enough for my liking. But if I narrowed the aperture, the background became too sharp.

Here's how I solved this problem. I used two apertures! I used the extremely narrow aperture of f/20 to ensure that the front orchid is entirely in focus. Then, I used a nearly wide open aperture (f/4.2) to allow the background to drop out of focus and become less distracting. This approach involved taking two exposures--one at each aperture:

Then, I layered these two frames in Photoshop:

Note that the f/4.2 layer is my base and that the f/20 exposure is placed on a layer above that. From there, I painted in the f/20 sharpness (white reveals, black conceals) on the mask to the right of the f/20 layer. The end result is that the front orchid is sharp at f/20 while the remainder of the image is soft at f/4.2. In my mind, I ended up with the best of both worlds!

Here's the final photograph:

OrchidsOrchidsPink and yellow orchids at the Out of Chicago Winter Conference at the University Center of the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois on February 18, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) aperture blending flowers orchid photoshop plants selective focus https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/4/brushing-in-some-sharpness Sun, 02 Apr 2017 14:19:22 GMT
Captivity Galore... https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/captivity-galore Over the years, I have visited the Brookfield Zoo (as well as many other zoos from around the country) countless times. For the most part, the Brookfield Zoo has been a paradise for photographers. Interesting subjects are relatively close by. And, the Brookfield Zoo generally uses moats (rather than more obstructive glass, cages, fencing) to separate visitors from the animals.

In recent years, I feel that the zoo experience has diminished. Perhaps it's that I'm gaining a greater appreciation of the price that's being paid by a wild animal being held in captivity. Most animals yearn to be free. And, animals that know nothing other than captivity (that's even sadder) eventually lose their purpose for being--they no longer practice the productive skills that they utilize in the wild.

Zoos serve a purpose. Zoos are critical for educating people on the necessity of preserving our wild places and our wild animals. But, when I see a majestic lion or bear pacing endlessly in a small loop (as I did today)--I feel sorry for the animal that is paying the price for our education. Also during my visit today, I was saddened to see a giant anteater pacing in a tight circle for nearly 15 consecutive minutes. I feel even sadder for the animal after I've witnessed how much this contrasts with how they behave in the wild.

But, let's make the assumption (a valid one) that zoos play an important role in educating the public and in promoting conservation. Even so, I would like to see our zoos allocate more space to the animals and a bit less to the people. Earlier this week, I visited the Brookfield Zoo--and noticed that many of the recent renovations are all about the people and very little about the animals. For example, the biggest money right now is being spent on expanding the entrance road and stations into the zoo. Other recent initiatives that are evident are the restroom renovations and event spaces.

As I walk around the Zoo, I notice many exhibits that have been closed for quite some time--or have transitioned into something else (not allocated to animals). For example, the old bear exhibits have sat empty for many years. A while back, the Zoo covered these empty exhibits with colorful plywood. The baboon island has been empty for years--and will eventually be replaced with something else I suppose. The jellyfish exhibit disappeared in favor of a peacock statue after thousands of jellyfish died there. The Pachyderm House sits half empty--and there hasn't been an elephant housed in that exhibit for years. The old Reptile House has been converted into administrative offices.

So, as you look at the map of the Brookfield Zoo, you'll notice that most of it is RED...those are areas devoted to people activities: parking lots, a carousel (really?), restrooms, parks, restaurants, concession stands, an event area, playgrounds, fountains, etc. The area where the captive animals are free to roam are colored in YELLOW. WHITE represents areas within box that are not controlled by the Zoo.

So, what percentage of this area is allocated to the animals? Maybe 5-10% of this already relatively small area in the western suburbs of Chicago? How much of the Zoo's property is dedicated to parking? Maybe 20%? I think we can do better than this.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) animals brookfield zoo captivity photography zoo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/captivity-galore Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:28:36 GMT
"Sandy Beach Sunrise" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/-sandy-beach-sunrise-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Sandy Beach Sunrise" 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 trip earlier this year to Oahu. This photograph was captured early in my trip and was the first beach that I visited on the island during my two week stay.

This marks the 39th 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.

Sandy Beach SunriseSandy Beach SunriseImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for March 24, 2017

Third Place Winner for month of March, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) contest hawaii honolulu oahu sandy beach seascape winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/-sandy-beach-sunrise-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:00:38 GMT
Unexpected Hawaiian Experiences https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/oddities I recently visited the island of Oahu in Hawaii. In my last blog entry, I wrote about several instances of when I experienced the Aloha Spirit.

This was not a typical photography trip for me. I almost always take road trips. It's been years since I boarded a plane. And, this was my first time in Hawaii.

Hawaii was not always what I expected. In many ways, it exceeded my expectations. At times, it fell short of being a paradise for me. Following are some random thoughts about things that surprised me:

  • I expected everything in Hawaii to be very expensive and much higher priced than on the mainland. So, I was surprised that I could order the hotdog and soft drink at Costco for the same $1.50 that its priced here in Chicago. The two taco special at Jack in the Box was just $1.09!
  • Gas was priced a bit higher than where I live in the Chicago suburbs. But, $2.95 per gallon in Honolulu wasn't nearly as expensive as I was expecting at a time when gas in Chicago was priced at $2.49.
  • I didn't expect to see cars with out of state plates in Hawaii! A car parked next to me had California plates.
  • While visiting the Honolulu Zoo, I was shocked to see people of all ages completely ignoring the sideways rain that was coming down (or should I say across). Families with young kids, grandparents and many others were walking through the zoo as if it wasn't even raining. Only a few people carried umbrellas. People were soaked, yet continued to leisurely view the various exhibits.
  • Having worked at the global headquarters of McDonald's Corporation for many years (and several years ago), I was surprised when I entered the restroom of a McDonald's restaurant somewhere just outside of Waikiki. It was a rather large restroom without privacy barriers of any kind. Generally, the toilet is surrounded by some kind of stall. Yet, this wasn't the kind of restroom where one can lock the door for privacy.
  • I was stunned by the traffic. Having lived in Chicago, I thought the reports of bad traffic in a city like Honolulu must be exaggerated. They're not. I experienced the most horrendous traffic imaginable--and that includes my trip to Los Angeles. This heavy traffic was not isolated to Honolulu. I experienced long delays while driving on the far west side of the island as well as on the North Shore. By long delays, I'm referring to 45 minutes to drive 5 or 10 miles. I think the most frustrating drive was the 2.3 mile drive from the State Capitol to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific ("the Punchbowl"). That 2.3 mile drive took 45 minutes due to lane closures! Thankfully, I was on the island long enough to make some adjustments and eventually worked around some of the traffic and parking challenges.
  • Many of the locations that I visited were overrun with crowds. At Pearl Harbor, I took the Navy tour of the USS Arizona Memorial. Every 15 minutes, a boat leaves for the memorial with about 200 people. When the boat arrives at the memorial, 200 people enter the memorial as 200 people exit to board for the return trip. That's a lot of people on a relatively small platform. And, that's not a lot of time to be out there. The USS Arizona Memorial is a national cemetery. I expected it to be a very touching experience--and to a certain extent, it was. But, experiencing it for such a short time with that many other people diminished the experience. It was disturbing to see so many people snapping selfies, laughing and generally having a great time right over the burial site of over 1,100 sailors. The ranger on site shook his head and said that most people are far more interested in getting a selfie than learning anything about the men who died there.
  • During my research, some photographers recommended that I visit the small surfing town of Haleiwa. It was suggested that I enjoy the best shave ice on the island at Matsumoto Shave Ice. I envisioned taking a leisurely walk through a town with a lot of character and capturing photographs of some interesting people. As I approached the town on a Monday afternoon, the traffic came to a halt. There were so many cars heading into Haleiwa that there simply wasn't enough parking to accommodate them. I was determined to try the shave ice, so I circled a parking lot for 10 or 15 minutes until a space freed up. Then there was the long line at Matsumoto's. I didn't bother trying to get any photographs of the town. There were so many people on the sidewalks that it would have been nearly impossible to stand still for a minute to capture a picture. And, the streets were so packed with traffic that it was a challenge just crossing the street!
  • Never before have I seen a parking fee for a scenic overlook on a highway. While driving northeast from Honolulu, I noticed a scenic overlook sign for the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. I decided to pull over to take a look. I parked my car and took the very short walk to the overlook. It was raining, so I didn't spend more than 30 seconds there. As I was walking back to my car, I noticed a kiosk to my left. I was surprised to see that it was a parking fee station. As it turns out, there is a $3 fee to park the car at the scenic overlook! Then, I noticed that a woman was walking by the cars and writing down license plate numbers. So, I'm expecting to get a $75 ticket any day now.
  • I experienced something early in my trip that I never experienced before. While driving on the very wide H1 highway (I believe it was 14 lanes across 15 miles outside of Honolulu), I was stuck in very slow traffic. All lanes were moving at about 5 mph. To my left, I noticed a young boy of about 12 years old trying to get my attention. I wasn't sure why he was waving toward me--perhaps there was an issue with my rental car? As his car moved even with mine, the boy leaned out the window and gave me the finger (his middle finger). In the meantime, what I assume was his father (the driver) was doing the same thing. To this day, I have no idea why they would do that. There was nowhere to go in that traffic, so I couldn't possibly be driving too slow. And, I've never seen a kid at such a young age do something like that--especially along with an adult! And no, it wasn't the shaka sign!
  • Parking can be a challenge in Honolulu. I discovered an inexpensive parking lot near Ala Moana Park. After parking, I attempted to make payment. Credit cards are not accepted. Fortunately, I was carrying enough cash...five singles for the $5 fee. I was surprised to see that the cash box had such a small opening for depositing the payment. The circle was a small fraction of the size of a cigarette butt. So, I started rolling my first dollar bill as tightly as possible, yet it wouldn't fit through the opening. After laying it on a flat surface and rolling it even tighter, I was able to deposit the first dollar. I only had four more to go!
  • I stayed at a Hampton Inn for some nights. The facility was brand new and was very comfortable. Having stayed at well over 100 Hampton Inns over the years, this was the first one that is located inside a mall. It shares its parking lot with mall visitors. This made it challenging at times to find a suitable parking space.
  • I didn't realize that there was such a high rate of vandalism on the island. I was warned by many to leave nothing in my rental car. Some suggested that I leave the windows open so that vandals wouldn't break them. I was told repeatedly that nothing should be left in the trunk. This situation was most inconvenient for photography. Typically, I keep a lot of heavy gear in my trunk. In Hawaii, I had to pick and choose which lenses to bring with me for the day and then leave the rest of them at the hotel. Most of my lenses weigh a couple of pounds each...and one weighs closer to 7 pounds. So, having to carry everything all the time isn't fun. As a result, I lost out on some good photographs because sometimes the lens that I needed was at the hotel.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) honolulu oahu observations oddities traffic travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/oddities Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:39:21 GMT
Aloha! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/aloha I knew, of course, that Hawaii is the "Aloha State". But, until I experienced Hawaii, I didn't fully understand what that meant. Following are some examples of situations in which I encountered the Aloha spirit during my short stay on the island:

  • Betsy, a Honolulu resident who sat next to me on the long flight from Chicago to Honolulu, dedicated hours during the flight helping to fine tune my itinerary. She recommended some great photography locations, interesting stops, events and restaurants throughout Oahu. Without her help, I would have never experienced the Chinese New Year Parade in Honolulu's Chinatown or the Hawaii Plantation Village--two of the many highlights of my trip.
  • While visiting the Hawaii Plantation Village, I met one of the long-time volunteers who has conducted tours for more than 40 years. She is in her 80's now. After my tour, she insisted that I sit down inside the visitor center and eat a home-cooked dinner that she prepared. She kept saying how much she enjoys cooking for people. She even packed some desserts in zip lock bags to go--so I would have something for later at the hotel. This worked out perfectly as I enjoy eating food that's prepared by others! The meal was excellent.
  • Gary was my tour guide at the Hawaii Plantation Village. When I arrived at the Village, I was the only one there. So, I received a personal tour. Gary told me that we could do the 2 hour (long) or the 30 minute (short) version of the tour. I told him that maybe we could see how it goes. The tour lasted 3 hours! His goal was to make sure that I gained a better understanding of Hawaii during my stay.
  • While shooting a sunrise at Sandy Beach in Honolulu, I met Chantel, a talented photographer currently working on a 365 project. As part of this project, Chantel is photographing every sunrise of the year! Throughout my time on Oahu, she kept in touch and provided me with recommendations for the best sunrise and sunset locations. She helped me immensely by steering me to locations where I had the best chance of success. Specifically, I learned to stay further south to avoid the cloud covered areas of the northeast portion of Oahu.
  • Many people went out of their way to help me get my pictures throughout my trip. I photographed 5 churches. In some of those churches, someone stayed after hours to allow me to capture photographs without people in the frame. And, they lit the church to my liking. One historic church was closed for renovation, yet I was allowed to enter and shoot alongside the construction workers to get my pictures of the interior.
  • The employees at the Hawaii State Capitol helped me gain access to capture images inside the House chamber. This was particularly challenging due to security surrounding the opening of the legislative sessions that week.
  • A man introduced himself to me while I was taking photographs of the Laie Hawaii Temple. He is living with his wife in Laie for the next several months as part of a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Specifically, they volunteer their services at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I ran into him again while visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). He showed me around the center, introduced me to some of the performers and joined me for dinner at the PCC's luau. My experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center was enhanced greatly by this.
  • The drivers in Honolulu were courteous. As a tourist, I often needed to make late lane changes to get over to an exit. Never once did I hear a horn blow. Never once did anyone not let me into a lane.

In my next post, I'll share some of the unusual things that I experienced while on Oahu--some good, some not so good and some very trivial.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) aloha hawaii itinerary oahu shaka sign travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/aloha Sat, 11 Mar 2017 20:10:32 GMT
North Shore Surfing https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/surfing While in Hawaii, I planned to photograph surfers on the North Shore of Oahu. During my stay, there were three surfing competitions scheduled--two at the Banzai Pipeline and one at Sunset Beach. Unfortunately, things didn't work out as I hoped.

I arrived at the Banzai Pipeline just after sunrise to view the competition. Not knowing anything about surfing, I was pleased to see that the waves were very high. However, as time passed, I was surprised that nobody was in the water. I asked the lifeguard when the competitive event was going to start. He explained that it was cancelled due to "disorganized" waves. Apparently, the choppiness of the sea made it impossible to surf that day.

The next day, I tried my luck at Sunset Beach. I was pleased to see surfers in the ocean. I was there quite early, so the event organizers were still setting up. One of the announcers for the event told me that the surfers at Sunset Beach were going to be "way out there" and that it would require a large telephoto lens to photograph the event. I thought I came prepared with my Nikon 500mm f/4 lens--but that wasn't nearly enough! So, I attached the Nikon 1.4x teleconverter--which gave me an effective focal length of 700mm. And, that really wasn't enough! I couldn't even see the surfers with my naked eye. If nothing else, the magnification of the 700mm lens permitted me to better view the action. And the action was thrilling.

Fortunately, my Nikon D800 has a high resolution sensor. This allows me to crop the frame somewhat without losing too much image quality. Also, the waves were so massive that I decided to frame the entire wave rather than trying to isolate the surfer. This permitted me to retain more of the original file--which also improved the image quality.

I utilized a few tried and true long lens techniques to create sharp images with such a long focal length. First, I secured the lens to a stable tripod. Next, I rested my left hand on top of the lens to help minimize any vibration. Then, I selected a fast shutter speed. When I view the high resolution version of the image below, I can read the print on the surfboard:

Hawaii surfingHawaii surfingSurfing competition (North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior) at Sunset Beach at 59-104 Kamehameha Hwy on the North Shore of Oahu in Haleiwa, Hawaii on January 28, 2017

The event's announcer told me that I would have better luck the next day at the Banzai Pipeline. He said that the action was much closer to the beach. So, I once again arrived at the Pipeline at sunrise the next morning. The weather seemed suitable to me, but once again I know nothing about the sport. I didn't see anyone at the beach. After wandering around for a few minutes, I came upon this sign:

And with that, my surfing photography came to an end. I was leaving for the airport later that day. Of the three events that I attended, only one took place--and that was the one with the surfers positioned far out into the sea.

To view more of my surfing photographs from Oahu, please CLICK HERE.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) banzai pipeline competition hawaii long lens oahu sports sunset beach surfing technique waves https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/surfing Wed, 08 Mar 2017 15:03:28 GMT
Plains, Georgia https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/plains-georgia During my last road trip through "Three Southern Cities", I stopped in Plains, Georgia. While in Plains, I visited several sites that are included within the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

My first stop was Plains High School. This building now houses the visitor center for the historic site. While at the school, I stood in one of the classrooms where Jimmy Carter was a student:

ClassroomClassroomClassroom in Plains High School at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site at 300 N Bond Street in Plains, Georgia on November 12, 2016

From there, I walked down the street and saw Billy Carter's gas station:

Billy Carter Gas StationBilly Carter Gas StationBilly Carter Gas Station Museum at 107 W. Church Street in Plains, Georgia on November 13, 2016

Jimmy Carter's boyhood home and family farm are located just a couple of miles outside of town. This is the boyhood home:

Carter's boyhood homeCarter's boyhood homeJimmy Carter's boyhood home at 402 Old Plains Highway at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, Georgia on November 12, 2016

And this is the store that the family operated on the farm:

Carter family storeCarter family storeCarter family store on the farm at 402 Old Plains Highway at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, Georgia on November 12, 2016

On the way back into town, I stopped by the Lebanon Cemetery where members of the Carter family are buried--Jimmy Carter's mother, father and brother:

Carter family plotCarter family plotCarter family plot at the Lebanon Cemetery on Old Plains Highway in Plains, Georgia on November 12, 2016. Jimmy Carter's parents (James Earl and Lillian) and brother (Billy) are buried here.

Downtown Plains looks just like it did more than 100 years ago:

Downtown PlainsDowntown PlainsMain Street (128 Main Street) in downtown Plains, Georgia on November 13, 2016

The Carter Presidential Campaign Headquarters was housed at the Plains Train Depot on Main Street:

Train DepotTrain DepotThe Plains Train Depot at 100 West Main Street in Plains, Georgia on November 13, 2016. The Plains Depot served as the Carter Presidential Campaign headquarters.

I've visited five presidential historic sites over the past couple years--Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and now Carter. What made this last trip so special was that I saw President Carter on consecutive days in his hometown!

While visiting Main Street in downtown Plains, I went into one of the stores for a peanut butter ice cream cone. As I left the store, I heard a familiar voice. It was the former President:

Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterJimmy Carter (age 92) on Main Street in Plains, Georgia on November 12, 2016

He was speaking at a small gathering in honor of local veterans and police officers. His speech was followed by presentations by the major and chief of police. The population of Plains is only about 600. The event reminded me of something from Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show...in a good way.

Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterJimmy Carter (age 92) on Main Street in Plains, Georgia on November 12, 2016

The next morning, I attended Jimmy Carter's Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church. The former President was most impressive. Jimmy Carter is 92 years old now. He spoke on a complex topic for 45 minutes--never stumbling over a word and never once referring to any notes.

Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterJimmy Carter teaching adult Sunday School at the Maranatha Baptist Church at 148 Georgia 45 North in Plains, Georgia on November 13, 2016

One of the things I enjoy about traveling is that you never know what you'll get to see. Seeing President Carter on consecutive days was a pleasant surprise and a highlight of this road trip.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) georgia jimmy carter plains road trip travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/3/plains-georgia Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:53:00 GMT
Shutter Count https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/shutter-count Did you ever wonder how many times you've clicked the shutter on your digital camera?

Every so often, I check the shutter count on my Nikon D800. I purchased my camera back in 2012. It's five years old now--which is an eternity in this digital age of photography. Yet, the D800 still produces state of the art images today. And, its 36 MP sensor provides excellent resolution compared to cameras introduced far more recently.

The Nikon D800's shutter is rated for 200,000 exposures. By checking the actual shutter count, I get a ballpark idea of how much life is left in my camera's shutter.

To do this, I upload a recent picture to the following website:

https://www.camerashuttercount.com/

I think it's best to upload a RAW file. For Nikon, I upload a NEF file. Sometimes this data is stripped out of certain jpeg files and therefore won't be visible. Here's the result from my camera:

After 5 years, I've clicked my shutter 85,647 times--that's just over 40% of its expected life. At this rate, my shutter should still be clicking well past the year 2023! However, I'm certain that innovations will prompt me to replace my camera far sooner than that.

One other encouraging note...several years ago, the shutter in my Nikon D300 failed. A failed shutter mechanism didn't end my camera's life. Nikon replaced the shutter for about $300 and my camera continued to perform like new for many more years.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) actuations clicks count d800 equipment life maintenance nikon shutter https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/shutter-count Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:19:58 GMT
"Big Four Bridge" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/-big-four-bridge-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Big Four Bridge" 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 road trip through Three Southern Cities. I recently wrote a blog entry about capturing this photograph in the rain in Louisville, Kentucky.

This marks the 38th 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.

Big Four BridgeBig Four BridgeImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for February 24, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) big four bridge kentucky louisville night rain southern cities travel weather https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/-big-four-bridge-wins-photo-of-the-day Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:21:59 GMT
Blending Moments in Time https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/blending-moments-in-time During my January trip to Oahu, I captured a sunrise at Waimanalo Beach in Honolulu. It rained throughout my hour long drive to the beach in the dark. I arrived at the beach well before sunrise. The chances of getting to see the sun through the thick cloud cover seemed bleak.

About fifteen minutes before sunrise I started taking pictures. For the first picture in the sequence I set the camera for a long exposure. The long exposure helps to smooth out the water.

Just before sunrise, the clouds cleared enough at the horizon to allow the sun to appear. I captured a second exposure right at that moment. For this exposure, I dramatically underexposed the shot so that the sun wouldn't completely blow out that portion of the sky. I also selected an aperture of f/20 for this frame to help reveal the sunburst.

A few minutes later, I was thrilled to see that the sunlight was radiating into the clouds above. The golden reflection in the water also made its appearance. So, I captured a third exposure to include these critical elements into the scene.

Finally, I captured a fourth exposure of the darker clouds in the sky. Here's the final image:

Waimanalo BeachWaimanalo BeachWaimanalo Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 20, 2017

And here's a basic illustration of how the four exposures were used within the frame:

Waimanalo BeachWaimanalo BeachWaimanalo Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 20, 2017

I used Photoshop to blend these four images. Basically, each of the exposures is placed onto its own layer. A black mask is applied to each layer and then a white brush is used to reveal the appropriate segments of each picture. Of course, it's important that all four pictures are aligned. My camera was secured to a solid tripod during the entire photo shoot.

Without using the power of post processing, I would be limited to selecting just one picture to capture the scene. I would probably select the frame when the sun first appeared on the horizon. To help illustrate the power of blending the moments in time, following is the file (straight out of camera) of that one picture. Of course, I would do some basic adjustments (i.e., brightness, contrast, etc.) to this file--but without using multiple exposures I would lose the smooth water and the light rays on the clouds. For me, the light rays on the clouds is the most important element of the photograph!

Waimanalo BeachWaimanalo BeachWaimanalo Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 20, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) beach blending editing hawaii honolulu oahu photoshop post processing seascape travel waimanalo https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/blending-moments-in-time Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:57:34 GMT
Oahu Photos -- Distribution by Lens https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/oahu-photos----distribution-by-lens Nearly every time I return from a trip, I'm asked about which lenses I used to capture the images. At the end of a trip, I like to look at the distribution of shots by lens. Here's how it looked for my January trip to Oahu:

The Nikon 500 VR got more action than usual due to the subject matter. I needed all the focal length that I could get while taking pictures of the surfers at the North Shore. Of the 72 pictures captured with the 500mm lens, 22 of them were taken with the 1.4x teleconverter attached--giving me a focal length of 700mm for those shots. I also used the 500 VR for several of the portraits that I captured at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

The Sigma 15mm fisheye saw very limited use. But, I'm glad I had it for one shot in particular. It is the only lens that I own that provides a wide enough view to include the entire House of Representatives chamber in one frame:

Hawaii House chamberHawaii House chamberHawaii State House of Representatives chamber at 415 S. Beretania Street in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 24, 2017

I used just one camera for the entire trip--the Nikon D800. I've been using this camera for just about 5 years now. That's an eternity in the digital age of photography. Yet, the Nikon D800 is still state of the art. It is as capable as practically any dSLR on the market today. I'm hoping that Nikon introduces a new camera in 2017 that will even better meet my needs. It's Nikon's 100th anniversary, so many people expect to see an innovative product announced sometime this year.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) distribution equipment fisheye focal length hawaii lenses oahu https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/oahu-photos----distribution-by-lens Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:47:17 GMT
Surfin' USA https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/surfin-usa During my last road trip to California, I had an opportunity to photograph some surfers. My first attempt was near the San Clemente Pier. The light was good and the surfers were relatively close to me. But, most of the surfers were having trouble staying on their board and didn't look particularly balanced. I don't know anything about the sport, but I knew that I wasn't seeing much action.

After a while, one of the better surfers approached me. He told me the more advanced surfers were at a beach further south. He recommended Lower Trestles because professional surfers were practicing there for an upcoming competition. The only downside was the beach is about a mile from the parking lot. The distance wouldn't ordinarily be an issue for me, but walking part of that distance in loose sand wasn't much fun with the 500mm lens over my shoulder.

I enjoyed watching the surfers at Lower Trestles. Even to my untrained eye, it quickly became apparent that the surfers were quite talented. One surfer in particular, stood out. I was later told that his name is Jeremy Flores. He is ranked as one of the top surfers in the world and came in from France for the competition. Here's one of the pictures that I captured of him:

Jeremy FloresJeremy FloresJeremy Flores from France, one of the top surfers in the world, at Lower Trestles at San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente, California on August 7, 2016

I also captured some images of another surfer who stood out to me. Later, I learned that his name is Masaki Kobayashi.

Masaki KobayashiMasaki KobayashiMasaki Kobayashi surfing at Lower Trestles at San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente, California on August 7, 2016

One of the challenges that I faced was my camera. I use just one camera these days and that's the Nikon D800. It's a wonderful camera (particularly for the main subjects of my trip--architecture and landscapes), but it's not designed for action. The camera creates high resolution pictures--and those take a while to push through the camera. As a result, the frame rate during a burst is very slow. During this photo shoot, I took just one exposure at a time and hoped that my timing was good enough, and lucky enough, to capture the right body position, expression and peak action. With a faster camera, such as Nikon's new D500, the chances of coming away with a strong image increase due to the frame rate. It's more likely to get the right shot when you have 10 chances in a second.

In any event, I was pleasantly surprised with the pictures that I came away with that day while using my Nikon D800. Of course, I would prefer a faster camera body for surfing. But, I don't shoot surfing often enough to justify the purchase. My hope is that Nikon will soon offer a successor to the D800 which will include a faster frame rate as well as other improvements. I've been shooting with the D800 for five years now and anticipated that the new camera would be announced last Fall--but that didn't happen. Hopefully Nikon will announce a great new camera for the year of its 100th anniversary (2017)!

To view more of my surfing photographs, please CLICK HERE.

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) action california d500 d800 equipment frame rate lower trestles sports surfing travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/surfin-usa Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:50:20 GMT
Shooting in the Rain https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/shooting-in-the-rain During my most recent road trip through "Three Southern Cities", I stopped in Louisville for a couple of nights. I arrived in Louisville late in the afternoon and walked over to the Big Four pedestrian bridge for some pictures of the skyline. My early research, using Google Maps, indicated that the bridge could be a promising spot for a good composition of downtown Louisville with the Ohio River.

Unfortunately, my research wasn't accurate. From the bridge, most of the city was blocked by two other bridges. Despite walking the entire length of the Big Four Bridge, I wasn't able to find a composition worthy of activating the shutter. The bridge itself is an interesting subject, but it was so crowded with pedestrians that I could hardly even set up my tripod for a shot. I ended up walking back to the hotel with nothing--and that was a shame because the sunset over the city was stunning!

The first lesson here is that it pays to do some advance scouting. Had I been to the bridge earlier in the day, I would have known not to position myself there at sunset. There is a much better vantage point for the cityscape on the Indiana side of the Ohio River...and it's much easier to access. But, I arrived in Louisville late in the afternoon and didn't allow enough time for proper scouting of this shot.

The good news is that I was staying in Louisville for the next night as well, so I had a chance to learn from my mistake. The challenge with the next night is that there wasn't the same dramatic sunset. In fact, it was raining most of the night.

I drove over to the vantage point on the Indiana side of the Ohio River and captured this photograph in what was light rain at the time:

Downtown LouisvilleDowntown LouisvilleDowntown Louisville and the Second Street Bridge from across the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Indiana on November 8, 2016

Then, I drove over to the Big Four Bridge. My hope was that the rain, which was becoming increasingly more intense, would keep most of the pedestrians away. In the end, this picture of the bridge was much better in the rain than it was the night before. The rain cleared the scene of people. It also added some mystery to the shot with the fog around the lights. I also like the colorful reflection on the concrete floor. In my opinion, the rain helped make this image far more interesting.

Big Four BridgeBig Four BridgeBig Four Bridge on a rainy night at 101 River Road in Louisville, Kentucky on November 8, 2016

The rain was coming down pretty hard while I was taking pictures on the bridge. I used a simple tool to protect my camera and lens--an umbrella!

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) big four bridge bridge cityscape kentucky louisville night planning rain scouting travel weather https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/2/shooting-in-the-rain Mon, 06 Feb 2017 21:16:31 GMT
Different Perspectives https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/different-perspectives While shooting the grand staircase inside the Colorado State Capitol, I took the time to walk around and view the staircase from various perspectives. Following are pictures of the same staircase from different positions:

Colorado State CapitolColorado State CapitolStaircase in the rotunda of the Colorado State Capitol building at 200 E Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado on July 24, 2014

Straight On

Grand StaircaseGrand StaircaseGrand Staircase in the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado on July 18, 2016

From the Side

Grand StaircaseGrand StaircaseGrand Staircase in the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado on July 18, 2016

Vertical From Above

Grand StaircaseGrand StaircaseGrand Staircase in the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado on July 18, 2016

Fisheye from the Side

Grand StaircaseGrand StaircaseGrand Staircase in the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado on July 18, 2016

Horizontal from Above

 

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) angles architecture capitol colorado composition denver perspective staircase https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/different-perspectives Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:41:33 GMT
"Geisel Library" Wins Photo of the Day! https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/-geisel-library-wins-photo-of-the-day This morning, my "Geisel Library" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This unusual looking structure is located on the campus of the University of California-San Diego in La Jolla, California. The library was name in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel--better known as Dr. Seuss.

This is the fifth picture from my Missions of California Road Trip to win a photo contest.

This marks the 37th 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.

Geisel LibraryGeisel LibraryImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for January 18, 2017

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) architecture black and white contest dr seuss geisel library imaging resource la jolla san diego winner https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/-geisel-library-wins-photo-of-the-day Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:04:52 GMT
Scripps Pier Photo Shoot https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/scripps-pier-photo-shoot While visiting San Diego during my California Missions road trip, I planned a photo shoot at Scripps Pier. This experience would test my patience like no other photo shoot.

Since this was a scene I definitely wanted to capture, I arrived on site about 2 hours before sunset. I wanted to ensure that I could set my camera up in a certain position (dead center to the pier for perfect symmetry) before other photographers secured that relatively small area on the beach. My first challenge was parking. After driving around for 15 minutes, I finally found street parking a few blocks from the pier.

I arrived on site about 90 minutes before sunset. To my surprise, there was already a small crowd of photographers set up right where I planned to be! About 12 photographers with tripods were clustered in a very small space. After I explained that I drove to San Diego from Chicago and had just one night to capture this picture, one of the photographers was kind enough to allow me to set up right next to him--so that the tripod legs were practically intertwined with my camera positioned approximately a foot above his.

Now that my camera was positioned where I wanted it, it was just a matter of waiting for about an hour for the light to develop. Just as the light was beginning to improve, a photographer stepped in front of all of us to hold a photo shoot with a family! Fortunately, our small crowd of photographers protested loudly--so she blocked the view for only 10 minutes or so. After that, it was just a matter of waiting for other people to stop walking through the frame.

Since I was shooting very long exposures, I wasn't overly concerned with people walking through the frame--as long as they kept moving. The exposure was so long that they wouldn't make an impression on the sensor, unless they stood still for too long. And, they usually stood still for too long.

While shooting a three minute exposure, a curious man stopped in front of us (about 2 minutes into my exposure). The crowd of photographers packed in so tightly attracted his attention. So, he started shooting pictures of us with his phone--and with a flash. Having him shooting flash pictures right into my lens from four feet away ruined any chance I had of capturing the scene in the optimal light.

By now, the clouds were covering up the sunset! Most of the photographers in the group were disappointed with the lack of a sunset and ended up not taking any pictures at all. Since I was only going to be at Scripps Pier that one time, I kept shooting. I figured that I would create a black & white photograph if necessary. But, my hope was to be able to coax some subtle colors from the scene during post processing. Here's the final image:

Scripps PierScripps PierScripps Pier at 8648 Kennel Way in La Jolla, California on August 7, 2016

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access frustration ocean photo shoot pier scripps pier travel https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/scripps-pier-photo-shoot Sun, 15 Jan 2017 14:08:32 GMT
Capitols Under Construction https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/capitols-under-construction During my road trip from Chicago to California and back, I hoped to revisit a couple of state capitols. It had been a while since I visited the Wyoming State Capitol. Wyoming was one of the first capitols of my quest to photograph them all. So, I wanted to improve upon that earlier effort.

Before arriving in Cheyenne, I learned that the Wyoming State Capitol is closed. It's closed until 2019. When they close these buildings, they close them for a long time!

Denver was on my route, so I revisited the Colorado State Capitol. I visited this building two years earlier in 2014. At that time, the chambers (both House and Senate) were closed for renovation. I planned to capture images of those two rooms. To my surprise, the chambers are still closed for renovation! So, I took the opportunity to photograph some familiar scenes in new ways.

Minnesota is another state capitol that I must revisit. It was the first capitol that I happened to photograph. At the time, I had no idea that I would undertake a project to photograph all 50 state capitols. So, I only have one exterior picture of the Minnesota State Capitol. I attempted to revisit this building in 2015, but this capitol is also under construction. Fortunately, it will soon open to the public again in January, 2017.

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gnagel60@comcast.net (Glenn Nagel Photography) access architecture capitols colorado construction denver minnesota planning renovation state capitol travel wyoming https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/capitols-under-construction Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:30:16 GMT
Alone in Jolon https://www.nagelphotography.com/blog/2017/1/alone-in-jolon Last summer, I visited the 21 Missions of California. The most remote mission was Mission San Antonio de Padua near Jolon, California. This mission offers a retreat center where guests may stay overnight. I took advantage of this opportunity and reserved a room several months in advance.

Mission San Antonio de Padua is located about 20 miles west of Highway 101. To enter the mission, visitors need to pass through a military base called Fort Hunter Liggett. If you ever plan on visiting, be sure to have proper identification or you'll be asked to turn around when you approach the gate. In my case, I carried both my driver's license and a passport.

When I arrived at the mission, I was welcomed and given a brief tour of the grounds and the retreat. I was shown to my room...a simple, but clean, room that reminded me very much of my dorm room from years ago.

Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de PaduaGlenn Nagel uploading pictures at the retreat center of the Mission San Antonio de Padua at 1 Mission Creek Road near Jolon, California on July 28, 2016 Once I got settled in, I explored the mission grounds. This mission is one of the oldest of the California missions. It was the third mission established in California and was founded in 1771. The large property appears very much as it did more than two hundred years ago. It's one of the only missions that allows visitors to get a glimpse into what mission life was really like back in the day.

As I entered the massive, old church, I was disappointed to see that it was dark. Fortunately, my host granted my request and lit the church to my satisfaction for a series of photographs.