WHAT TO DO IF A PHOTOGRAPHY OPPORTUNITY FAILS:

distressed woman sitting on lakeside and touching face in despair
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

THIS STORY HAPPENED TO ME:

SO, HERE IS THE SCENARIO:  YOU HAD PLANS TO GO UP IN THE MOUNTAINS TO TAKE PICTURES OF THE FALL COLORS.  TO BE SPECIFIC, YOU WANT THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES OF THE “QUAKING ASPEN” MIXED IN WITH THE PINE TREES.  YOU KNOW, THE BEAUTIFUL YELLOW LEAVES, MIXED IN WITH THE DEEP GREEN COLORS OF THE PINE TREES.  AND THEN WHEN YOU GET THERE, YOU FIND THAT, BECAUSE OF AN EARLY COLD STORM, THE QUAKING ASPEN REACTED TO THAT, AND DID NOT TURN YELLOW, BUT AN UGLY BROWN, AND JUST DROPPED THEIR LEAVES TO THE GROUND, AND EVERYTHING WAS UGLY:

I was hoping for beautiful colors and a wonderful day of photography up in the mountains. But, I was very disappointed in the results.

OK, SO YOU DROVE OVER AN HOUR TO GET THESE PHOTOS, AND YOU DON’T WANT TO WASTE YOUR TIME, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

TIME TO GET OUT AND “CREATE YOUR OWN SUCCESS”.  LET’S WALK AROUND AND FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO TAKE PICTURES OF.  YOU DO HAVE A FEW TOOLS IN YOUR BAG, LET’S TRY SOME CREATIVE WORK, WITH A LARGE TELEPHOTO LENS:

The trees were put on this earth to take pictures. I found it fascinating to find these trees that just were all twisted and deformed, but still healthy and continue to grow.

LOOK CLOSELY AROUND YOU AND FIND YOUR OPPORTUNITY:

Ok, so the trees in a scenery mode didn’t turn out, but as you start to wander around you notice that there are some interesting photo opportunities around you. Look at the trees, and notice the interesting things about them. Close-up opportunities await as well:

Fascinated by the bark of this tree. The leaves surrounding it just added to the photo shoot.

FIND SOME CLOUDS IF POSSIBLE:

TOO MANY TIMES WE LOOK FOR THE SCENERY, WHEN SOMETIMES THE CLOUDS, OR THE SKY MAY BE THE MAIN SUBJECT IN OUR LANDSCAPE PHOTOS.  THERE ARE A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO MAKE A LIVING FROM GETTING THE BEST OF THE CLOUDS.  MAKE SURE YOU USE YOUR POLARIZING FILTER TO GET THE BEST OF CLOUDS, AND A RICH BLUE SKY, LIKE THIS ONE:

landscape mountains nature sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For more information about how well a polarizing filter works, CLICK HERE

BUT DON’T EVER FEEL LIKE YOU GOT TO SOME PLACE, AND THE PHOTOS YOU WANTED AREN’T THERE.  JUST LOOK FOR ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE SOME PICTURES OF SOMETHING ELSE.  YOU ARE A PHOTOGRAPHER WITH THE EYE TO LOOK FOR SOMETHING ELSE THAT MAY BE ARTISTIC!  A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING NEW, EVEN IF THE ORIGINAL OPPORTUNITY DID NOT ARISE.  KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR NEW THINGS.  

Interesting note: This blog was originally posted before I started using WORDPRESS.COM for my website. If you want to see more older posts like this, go to: www.123photogo@blogspot.com

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IN SEARCH OF GREAT BEAUTY IN NATURE:

person walking between green forest trees
Photo by Luis del Río on Pexels.com

Sometimes I feel like just taking my camera out in to nature and see what types of great photos I can get. But you know it’s a skill to go out in to nowhere and try to find a photo that meets your criteria. You want to get great photos of nature, but, how do you just come up with great photos when the scenery, the clouds, the weather don’t just turn out.

Today, I have found a video that I think tells us how one photographer (Simon Booth) just goes out and finds amazing photos to take regardless of the conditions. That to me is a special exercise called: “LEARNING TO SEE”.

I have done several courses in just that subject. There are things all around us, if we just learn to look around us, and find the right photo. I have developed a special course on “LEARNING TO “SEE” A PHOTO, THEN CREATE YOUR MASTERPIECE”. JUST “CLICK HERE” To order your special download copy now

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The above video is so good, because he can find a photo, almost everywhere he goes. For more information also go to: CLICK HERE – How to make your photos truly unforgettable.

WHY YOU SHOULD EMBRACE CHANGES IN PHOTOGRAPHY!

Change, as they say, is the only thing that’s constant. And yet still, most of us are not comfortable with it. This is what makes change management such a difficult concept. Even artists love to stay in their comfort zones and keep doing what they feel comfortable with.

But what if things were to unexpectedly change tomorrow? How would we cope with that? Considering the recent change in his own life that photographer SEAN TUCKER had to go through, he’s expertly positioned to share his thoughts and suggestions in this video:

Click the arrow above to learn more!

Creativity thrives when the work environment is dynamic. As Tucker rightly puts it, staying within the same surroundings can start to feel sickening. This can severely limit your creativity. It is therefore wise to keep going to different places to find photo opportunities.

We must learn to try new things to improve!

If you’ve been taking great photos in a certain spot for a long time, the thought of going to a new place can be frightening at first. That’s because we expect ourselves to instantly start taking high-quality photos in the new environment. But the truth is that you can’t just pop up to a new place and start producing world-class content. Patience is key.

This notion holds true not only for your photography locations, but for your other practices as well. For instance, we’re always afraid to try out new genres. The idea of taking “bad photos” when trying something new haunts us. And we might not realize it instantly, but trying out new things can be a great opportunity to develop a new skill set.

Even if your images from a new endeavor don’t meet your standards, don’t worry about others pointing fingers. Don’t let them weaken you. Keep working on yourself and one day you’ll make the jump.

“Work in the long term to become a better, more well-rounded, more skilled, more tooled-up photographer.”

Sean Tucker

The most important thing when dealing with change is the need to take small but consistent steps. Be ready to face challenges with patience and hard work. Changes are scary, but when you make it through, the realization of progress will make everything worth it.

WHY YOU SHOULD ENTER PHOTO CONTESTS:

Photo contests are one way to help you with your photography skills.

This article today comes from Adam Williams who submitted this article to “picturecorrect”. Amazing insights are certainly worth sharing.

After a few minor photo competition successes, I entered the 2013 Focus Awards absolutely full of confidence, my ego had taken hold and all I could think about was all the recognition and prizes I was going to win.

You guessed it, it was an absolute fail!

However, failure is one of my key inspirations and every time it happens (fairly often) the cogs in my mind start spinning as I try to figure out how to never let it happen again.

One of Adam Williams winning photos!

At the time, I was still a carpenter/builder and as I went about the rest of the day my mind was elsewhere contemplating how I could improve my chances of photo competition success in the future.

Then an idea struck me, a lightbulb moment, what if the winning photo competition galleries, the top 20/50/100 scoring photos that are always published on the relevant competition websites contained a pattern as to which photos might be more likely to be successful in a photo competition.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I raced home, turned on the computer, opened an Excel spreadsheet and created a series of columns based on photographic criteria.

Great Light, Black and White, High Saturation, etc, etc

I then scoured the galleries of my favorite photo competitions, one by one I viewed each image and ticked the various boxes on my excel spreadsheet.

I was hoping to see patterns of specific photographic criteria common to the top-scoring photos.

Not only did I find a series of patterns, their significance blew my mind.

There were three very important photographic elements found within almost all of the winning photos, so much so, if your photos didn’t contain at least two of these three elements it was almost impossible to win photo competitions.

3 Important Photographic Elements:

  1. Strong Subject
  2. Simplicity
  3. Great Light
Here is the link: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/

Enter Photo Competitions with the unfair advantage!

Have you ever noticed that the same handful of photographers seem to win all the high profile photo competitions?

It’s true, the same names tend to end up on the winner’s list time and time again.

Photo competitions are no different from any other competition in the fact that if it is your first time entering you are probably not going to be all that great. To be great in any competition generally requires figuring out the subtleties of success.

So what can we do to give ourselves the best chance of winning?

The reason the same photographers tend to always win is that after several years of entering they have figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Keep in mind, like me, those winners once were lousy at photo competitions too.

But, that kind of experience comes at a cost. They have probably, entered their best 4 or more photos into at least 5 photo competitions per year, over a period of 2-3 years. If we do the math at an average of $25usd per photo that kind of experience is likely to cost well over $1000.

What if I told you that you already have GOLD-winning photos in your collection?

Yes 100%, you already have photos in your collection that have the potential to achieve awards at the highest levels and win the biggest international photo competitions!

How do I know this?

Over the years, I have taught Photoshop to thousands of passionate photographers of all levels, from absolute beginners to experienced professionals.

And the one thing they all have in common is GOLD-worthy photos in their collections.

I bet your wondering, how can absolute beginners and experienced professionals both be at the same level?

You are right; they are not. However, without fail, no matter the skill level I could always find photos with GOLD level potential on the hard drives of every single photographer that I have taught.

Granted, the beginners generally had fewer gold-potential photos than the more experienced photographers; however, regardless of skill or experience, I could always find the diamonds among the rough.

Therefore, I am 100% sure that you too have photos of the highest level in your collection; but, which ones are they?

If you are like me, you probably have 20,000 – 200,000 photos on your hard drives.

And if you have entered a competition before you might know that your favorite photo is often the one the scores the lowest. Just because we like it doesn’t mean it will do well in a photo competition.

We should absolutely take photos to please ourselves, however, to be successful in photo competitions we need to put our emotions aside and choose photos that will please the judges.

Image selection is the most important skill you can learn to winning photo contests.

Not only is selecting the right photos critical to doing well in photo competitions, but it is also the single most important skill in building your reputation as an exceptional photographer.

All photographers of all skill levels have both brilliant and bad photos in their collections. Yes, the more skill and experience the photographer has will generally result in a higher ratio of brilliant over bad images.

That being said, if both the beginners and the best photographers have both brilliant and bad photos to choose from, then there can be no doubt that one of the most important skills in becoming an exceptional photographer is image selection.

In other words, your reputation as a photographer is directly related to the quality of the photos you choose to share.

Having a better understanding of what makes a great photo, along with being more critical and more selective about which photos you share, is likely to elevate your standing as a photographer more than any other skill.

Exceptional photographers only share exceptional photos! (When was the last time your favorite photographer shared a bad photo?)

You will be able to take the knowledge you learn in this course and use it to build a reputation as an exceptional photographer by being more selective and refined about the photos you share.

In this short video course, I will teach you the key criteria that judges tend to favor and show you how to find those winning images within your own photo collection.

Deal ending soon: How to Win Photo Competitions Course at 84% Off

Here is the link to this: CLICK HERE

ALL PHOTOS SHOWN HERE IN THE ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHTED AND OWNED BY THE AUTHOR: ADAM WILLIAMS.

CREATING INSPIRATIONAL OR SACRED PHOTOS

WHAT TYPE OF PHOTO TOUCHES YOUR HEART?

When we look at certain photos, it is obvious that they can touch your soul somehow. We all have certain photos that stir the soul, and make you think about life, about your future, or even something spiritual, something about God. When I go through this blog, it is obvious that I may present a lot of photos that make me think about God’s existence, such as the photo above. Sometime I think that God created sunsets to remind us that he has something beautiful for all of us to enjoy, especially if we follow him.

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – editor of 123PhotoGo

INSPIRATIONAL PHOTOS WILL CAUSE YOU TO DO SOME SERIOUS THINKING:

That serious thinking is all about your life, and your future. Do you feel your life is worthwhile? What can you do to turn your life around and feel the joy of doing good? There are so many things that photos can really do for you. Have you ever thought of photography as something that can inspire those viewers? Imagine the impact you can have on people’s lives.

NOW ADD AN INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT TO YOUR PHOTOS:

Both photos by Lanny Cottrell Photography

Here is an example of something you can do with your own photos. Make sure the photo you use has the ability to put a quote on the photo for impact. Sometimes however, the quote you use should be small so you can not only enjoy the quote but the photo too.

MORE IMPACT WILL COME IF YOU HAVE THE QUOTE NOT INTERFERE WITH THE SUBJECT:

In creating your own inspirational photo, find a place on the photo that doesn’t interfere with the subject. The viewer will ponder the message, plus the subject or beauty of the photo. If you want to get good at this type of work, then get real good at using photos that use “minimalism”, which is a photo that has a lot of area around the subject. A course was developed for that. Go here

YOU CAN DEVELOP THE SKILLS TO TOUCH PEOPLE’S LIVES:

You were put on this earth to help people and to reach your highest potential, and to help others reach their potential. This is a way to make that happen. And to use your own photos makes it even better.

Photo by Lanny Cottrell Photography

When looking for a photo to take, think also about the lighting that is available. For example, many people think that a sunset photo will be the most beautiful, but sometimes waiting until twilight will give you a special feeling, and also a place to put a quote.

HOW TO PUT A QUOTE ON A PHOTO:

There are many apps available for putting quotes or anything on photos. I use Amazon Photos, to have all my photos in one place, plus they have in the editing function of the photo, a place to click, and add a text. This works well. If you have Adobe Photoshop, you can also do that there as well (and fix anything you want to do to your photo). I use an app from PicsArt. It seems so easy to just add a text professionally on a photo.

TAKING PHOTOS OF SACRED IMAGES OR STATUES:

Photo by Angelo Pinheiro on Unsplash

Here is my thought on taking photos of sacred images, and buildings, and statues, etc. There are things in some sacred buildings, that you never see photos (or at least hardly see). Such as, one of the most impressive things I saw once was touring a beautiful Catholic church and all around the benches were statues of the 12 Apostles. It really was beautiful, but I have never seen any pictures of them before. Unless you ask someone if it’s alright to take a photo of something sacred, then don’t do it. But, if it’s outside, or designed for tourists to view, then generally, I would think it’s ok. Such as:

Photo by Marites Allen on Unsplash


Holy Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Rome, Italy
Posing someone in the act of prayer is fine. If faces are shown, make sure you get their permission.

CONCLUSION:

This is an art! How you take the photos are something worth studying. But the impressions you make to people are powerful. Lighting is the key, and certain lighting has an effect that other lighting does not have, so study that with photos you can see and study. This is certainly some art form that people enjoy because of the amount of lives you can touch.

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NEVER MISS A GREAT PHOTO AGAIN:

amphibian animal close up color
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I AM GUESSING ALMOST EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER, AT LEAST SOME POINT IN THEIR PHOTOGRAPHIC CAREER, IS KICKING THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE THEIR CAMERA READY WHEN SOME INCREDIBLE SHOT HAPPENED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, AND THEY MISSED IT !  AM I RIGHT?  I THINK EVERY ONE DOES THAT AND THEY LEARN QUICKLY HOW TO GET TO THE POINT WHERE THEY DON’T MISS SO MANY OF THOSE AGAIN.

LET’S LEARN SOME STEPS SO THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN:

firefighter extinguishing a burning car
Photo by David Henry on Pexels.com

1- Have your camera bag ready to get the camera out quickly:

If you have your camera in a camera bag, then make sure it is ready for a quick grab. Have it ready with automatic exposure settings, and lens caps off, etc. If you are in a crowd, make sure you keep track of your camera by having the top lid closed. I would suggest to get out of the crowd for security reasons. Crowds are when you most likely will have your camera stolen.

2- Always have an extra battery on hand:

I have never seen a good photographer without an extra battery. You know your battery will go dead when you are taking a photo of something you want. It will be the million dollar photo if you miss it because of a dead battery. Just get one.

3- Avoid the dirty lens

One of the biggest challenges we all face when using our cameras is to make sure our lenses are perfectly clean. Every speck of dust or dirt will cause your photo to look blurry, distorted or even “down right nasty”. So, check your lenses often to make sure you have the best chance for a good photo..

4- Memory cards: Always have some on hand!

Whether you have a cell phone, or a regular camera, they all have their limitations. Granted, it is better than the old film days, when you 12, 24, or 36 exposures. But that camera kept track of it better than your digital system. You just never know when you run out of memory.

Never go without having an extra card for memory. I always try to have a “few” in my bag.

5- IS YOUR EXPOSURE SETTING READY TO TAKE A PHOTO?

An overexposed forest

If you want to capture a photo fast, the best thing to do is to have everything on automatic. If you want to be the one to take a photo in manual setting, make sure you have the time to get that right. Also, there is shutter speed priority, or aperture priority mode that will help you out if you are trying to get a special effect.

6- Watch out for lens caps, or filters that may be on your lens

Oops, my lens cap is on.

How many seconds do you lose when you find out your lens cap is still on, or a filter you had on it from a previous shot? This has always been a killer for most photographers.

ONE LAST IDEA:

One last thing:  I have a photographer friend who is a professional wildlife photographer.  Wildlife photography is truly an art.  And you have to be ready at the spur of the moment to be able to grab the right camera, with the right lens at the right time to get the right photo.  I have a photo of him as he goes out to take photos in the wild.  Look at him and his equipment, and notice how he has several cameras equipped with a different lens and how he has them all ready to grab at any time he wants to get the shot he wants.  You want to become a professional wildlife photographer?  Yeah, this is what you need to become:

I love to see a true professional photographer at work. It always reminds of what it will really take to be a great photographer.

To see some of the photos that Rob has taken as a wildlife photographer, go to: ROBS WILDLIFE .

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USE YOUR DSLR AS A “WEBCAM”:

woman in white long sleeve shirt vlogging
Photo by Alena Darmel on Pexels.com

You might be wondering why you’d use a DSLR camera in place of your webcam. The answer is simple enough. You’ll likely have a better lens and capture quality on that camera than any standard webcam you can purchase.  

An HDMI capture card like the Cam Link 4K also allows you to make the most of your camera’s video capabilities. Where most webcams can only manage 720p, the Cam Link allows up to 4K at 30FPS. So with the right lighting, your video will be much more professional, crisp and satisfying too. 

Use your DSLR or mirrorless camera as your webcam, and change the quality of your videos by a huge margin.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO MAKE THAT CHANGE?

A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera provides a more accurate view of what you’re photographing, as the viewfinder displays exactly what is in front of the lens. DSLRs have been used for years – since replacing traditional SLR cameras – for professional photography. While they’re slowly succumbing to the march of technology and the new generation of mirrorless cameras, for many the DSLR is the perfect marriage of old school photography and the digital era.

A webcam, in contrast, is more compact, with a small lens, smaller CMOS sensor, and lower resolution. They’re optimized for sending data through wires rather than direct to a memory card, which means that webcams are more efficient, but the result can be, you guessed it, pixelated.

DSLR cameras can replace webcams for streaming video over Zoom, Skype, or whatever video conferencing software you’re using. If you’ve ever watched live streams on YouTube with stunning picture quality, the chances are the streamer was using a DSLR.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO START USING YOUR DSLR AS A WEBCAM:

To use your DSLR camera as a webcam, ensure you have:

  • A tripod that suits your camera.
  • A high-capacity battery or mains power solution. Mains power supplies for DSLRs typically feature a dummy battery that slips into the battery compartment. This then connects to an adapter to power the camera.
  • The micro-USB cable that shipped with your camera, or a mini-HDMI cable.
  • Optional: LED ring or other lighting, microphone.

Ensure you have these items and have them connected or set up before proceeding.

Another reason to use your DSLR camera or mirrorless camera today, is the resolution is now so much higher than ever. Panasonic Lumix cameras and Nikon, Canon, Fuji Film, are now primed to shoot their video in 6K or even 8K!!! Yeah, you want super good quality, you should consider these cameras for your WEBCAM work. Get in to the higher quality images and see what will be the difference to your viewers who will notice you are a serious “videographer” now.

IS WEBCAM FUNCTION AVAILABLE ON DSLR CAMERAS?

Some digital cameras include a webcam function, and this includes some DSLRs.

So, before proceeding, check the driver disc that shipped with your camera, along with the menus on the device. If there is a webcam setting you can use, you’re free to proceed with connecting the device to your computer, webcam mode enabled. The camera should then be detected as a standard USB webcam, ready to be used with your video chat software. Note that if this is an option for you, the resolution will be lower than usual, limited by the constraints of the USB cable.

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LEARN HOW TO BECOME A GOOD “SMART PHONE PHOTOGRAPHER”:

person in yellow jacket taking photo of white clouds
Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

There are many different ways to take photos today. You could have the DSLR camera, a Video camera (a Videographer), and then of course you would have your smartphone or cell phone.

Your smartphone can take really good photos, and the phone companies keep improving the camera part of your phone every year. So, yes, you can take amazing photos with your smart phone. I am one who may forget to take my DSLR camera with me, but I always have my smart phone. Let’s learn some tips on how to use your smart phone to take amazing photos.

KEEP YOUR PHOTOS SIMPLE:

Do not over complicate things by having too much going on in the background. Simplicity is key. Keep things simple. Watch out for distracting objects on the camera screen. You will be surprised by how sophisticated your photos will turn out in the end.

person standing on rock formation cliff
Photo by Martin Péchy on Pexels.com

HAVE A THEME:

You often hear people saying, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” Every picture tells a story. What does your picture say? If you can learn to tell a story with your photos, then you will have much better photos. Think of how this photo that I am about to take will fit in a story book. Check out this blog for more information about “stories”: CLICK HERE

SHOOT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE:

architecture bridge building city
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shoot the same thing a few times! Try to shoot from different angles; it gives you different perspectives. Be creative! Try different compositions. Shoot both horizontally and vertically. When you go back and review the photos you took, you will be amazed by how different shots give people different opinions and emotions. One of your pictures of the same object, shot from a different angle, may be that award-winning photograph. Let your creativity take flight! For more information about perspective, or how to shoot angles: CLICK HERE

DO NOT USE THE DIGITAL ZOOM

Only use optical zoom, no digital zoom. Zooming in beyond the smartphone’s optical range will produce grainy and pixelated pictures—chances are, pictures produced this way will be shaky and low quality. So, if you want to take a close-up shot of the object, my recommendation is that you move closer to the object (zoom with your feet) and click. Finally, you will start seeing smart phones coming out with “optical zoom” rather than digital zoom. So, next time you purchase a smartphone, and want good sharp pictures, find one that has an “optical zoom” instead of a digital zoom.

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS:

Where is the best place to share photos: INSTAGRAM is one of the better places that photos are shared. It amazes me some of the great photos you see on INSTAGRAM. 123Photogo has it’s own website for those who want to share their photos. We welcome all types of photographers. Here is how to share your photos with our readers:

FIND A WAY TO EDIT YOUR PHOTOS

Am I asking you to edit your photos so that they look different? Edit the temperature, the brightness and contrast, blur the background to make your objects stand out—these are some of the many things you can do. And part of the magic of smart phone photography is that a “shot gone wrong” can be transformed into something extraordinary. You can transform it into something artistic just by playing with the buttons in the app.

A FEW OF MY OWN CELL PHONE PHOTOS:

Knowing the strengths of your smart phone will let you take photos you couldn’t normally take with a DSLR. This photo is taken at night time, and the photo has already won awards for the amazing quality of the photo. True, I used a little editing and took out the orange color that street lights produce, but, it only makes it more pleasing. Plus, I could hand-hold the camera and it produced a photo that I would have had to use a tripod to take this photo with my DSLR. Taken with a Samsung S20ultra plus Note
Just being in the right place at the right time. Boats parked off the water during winter at Bear Lake, Utah. And the weather made it look even better.

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