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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HOW TO MAKE YOUR PHOTOS TRULY UNFORGETTABLE:

photography of sunset
Photo by André Cook on Pexels.com

When you think about a photo that is unforgettable, what kind of photo do you think of? Is it a sunset photo? How about one step further and go with a “twilight photo”. Or is it some person doing something amazing.

There are tricks to make your photos “unforgettable”, and I am going to go over these steps now. I have checked out all those photos that have been classified as “unforgettable” as well, and see if you agree. Don’t these photos just somehow fit the mold?

1- Frame your photo:

This does not mean to physically put your photo in a frame, but as you take a photo, if you have the chance to find something in the foreground or even in the background that can frame around your subject, you will be way ahead. Here are some examples:

daisies in frame
Photo by Ruslan Sikunov on Pexels.com
confident black lady with closed eyes near frame with plants
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com
Photo by Gable Denims

2- Movement in your photo:

When shooting something that has motion or movement with it, allow the subject to have something to move into.  For example, this would be better if the subject was not in the center.  If something was moving, have some area in the frame of the photo to move into.  See examples:

people woman jump show
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Seth Sanchez

3– Direction:

Our brain perceives information from left to right, so it’s best to position all the important stuff in the right side of the frame. Examples:

Photo by Elliot Kuhn
Photo by Alexander Hanji
Photo by Ramil Sitdikov

4- TRY A DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLE:

Try taking photos from a different angle.  Instead of taking pictures standing up, get down to the level of the subject, if it’s a pet or child.  You will find a different story to your photo:

Photo by Matteo De Santis
Photo by Miguel Angel Aguirre
Photo by Tom

5- TRY SHOOTING WITH “NEGATIVE SPACE”

There are two spaces in every image:

  • positive space (it shows the main subject);
  • negative space (usually it’s the background).

Don’t forget to keep an eye on what is happening in the negative space; you want it to emphasize your main subject, not cramp it.

Photo courtesy of Photography talk.com
Photo by Mohammed Bager

A great blog or article on “negative space” has been done before. Check out this article HERE to learn more.

6- GIVE YOUR PHOTOS “DEPTH”

Depth will give your shot a more three-dimensional and rich feel. There are few features that can help you achieve it:

  • parallel lines, which come to one point in the distance;
  • gradually dissolving fog will make your photo seem layered;
  • tone (volume is transmitted through color: darker objects appear closer, and lighter objects appear farther away);
  • depth of field (if you blur the background, clear objects will appear closer, while fuzzy objects will seem more distant).
Photo by Bas Lammers
Photo by Bas Lammers
Photo by Bas Lammers

7- HIGHLIGHT THE “FOREGROUND”

When taking a scenic shot, that has depth, add something in the foreground.  If you add something in the foreground, your viewers will feel like they can relate to the size and depth of the picture more.

Photo by Bas Lammers
Photo by Murad Osman
a beautiful yellow pea flower
Photo by Batitay Japheth on Pexels.com

8- Watch for shadows and reflections to make your photo amazing:

Use these elements to make your picture more interesting and dramatic. You can create a visual ’dialogue’ between the subject and its reflection (shadow).

Photo by Anna Atkina
trees near body of water
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
panoramic view of city lit up at night
Photo by Amar Saleem on Pexels.com

9- Take photos during the “golden hour” or the “blue hour”

The “Golden Hour” is my favorite time to shoot.  It is the one hour before sunset.  The colors have gone to a golden color in the sky and the colors everywhere are a nice warm golden hue.  It really warms things up and makes things very pleasant.

GOLDEN HOUR:

macro photography of pink flowers
Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Editor of 123Photogo

BLUE HOUR:

This is the time when the sun has set, or just before the sun comes up.  The light is predominately blue.  Check it out:  This is often called twilight:

Photo by Joe Penniston
Photo by Lanny Cottrelll – Editor of 123Photogo

CONCLUSION:

There are many ideas that you can use to create an unforgettable photo. Study these ideas shown here, and go make some unforgettable photos.

Want to share your photos? Check this out:

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RECENT PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

A Frosty Morning ~
© Trudy L. Smuin

There are many contests out there. And fun to enter. This particular photo contest is from the organization: BETTER PHOTO.COM. They had some amazing photos that inspire me, and hopefully you to take more pictures that are around us:

The March 2022 photography contest at BetterPhoto is fun, prestigious, and inspiring. Grand Prize this month goes to ‘~ A Frosty Morning ~’ in the March 2022 photo theme. Each month, we offer new photo challenges, assignments, and themes to spark photographic creativity.

Nautilus Shells
© Carolyn M. Fletcher
Just Another Tulip
© Christine Greenspan
Proud American
© Terry Cervi
Old Church in France
© Christine Czernin
End of a hot hot day
© Christian HARDOUIN

That’s all the grand prize and 1st place winners today. Have you ever thought of entering a photo contest. This is one way to greatly improve your photography.

Check this out so understand why contests are so valuable: CLICK HERE

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Here is one more link to show you some other winning photos: CLICK NOW

GO AHEAD! TAKE PHOTOS IN BAD WEATHER!

person riding a bicycle during rainy day
Photo by Genaro Servín on Pexels.com

I know that good photographers are organized people. They plan a day to go take pictures, and if it storms, so what! I want to take this time to talk about what you need to do to prepare to take your photo journey, even if it rains.

Always carry a weatherproof camera in your bag

From the previous blog, CLICK HERE TO SEE PREVIOUS BLOG we learned how your photos turn out better in stormy weather. Think about this when it’s raining:

  • The rain cleared out all the dust in the air, making it look richer in color, and the colors just seem more enhanced.
  • Not too many photographers will brave the bad weather, so your chance of getting more unique photos will certainly increase.
  • You will capture photos that are unique, even if it’s the same old landscape photos
photography of mountains under cloudy sky
Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Notice this photo above. Storm is rolling in. Normally you would get this beautiful landscape photo with nice blue skies. But these dark stormy looking clouds are amazing, and will certainly win the hearts of some photo fans.

If you have some of the newer cameras that have just been released from Pentax, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Canon, you will notice that their new flagship cameras have all been upgraded to include incredible weather sealing. Now you can go out and take photos in the storm without worry.

BUT BEWARE: YOUR LENSES MAY NOT BE WEATHER RATED. Go through the lens catalog for your new camera and find the weather rated lenses available for your camera.

airport bolt bright danger
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

MY PREFERRED WAY OF EQUIPMENT:

Most of the time people don’t want to go with plastic bags, and special equipment to make their current camera weatherproof. I have had extremely good success with this camera:

CHECK OUT THE DETAILS OF THIS CAMERA:

Uncompromising water, shock, dust, and freeze protection. Approximately 20 effective megapixel for sharp, high-resolution, low-noise images with a wide dynamic range. Camera body of tough aluminum-panel chassis equipped with high-precision GPS, a powerful LED Ring Light, and electronic gimbal stabilization. Venture into the wild with an all-weather compact camera equal to any and all conditions.

More ideas of how to take photos in bad weather, CLICK HERE

One more link, CLICK HERE

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MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY SUBJECT IDEAS:

blade of grass blur bright close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One of the most thrilling parts of photography is MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY! I have learned to love macro photography ever since I stuck some close-up filters on the front of my lens. It brought me to a whole new world.

Today, I want to present some amazing fun ideas for macro photography. These are ideas and tips of things to photograph, but not how to do macro photography. If you want to learn how to do basic macro photography, click here: https://123photogo.com/2021/10/22/tips-on-macro-still-photography/

IDEA # 1 – CUTLERY

Taking photos of cutlery is an interesting idea, but, with the proper lighting, and the unique designs found on cutlery, you have a winning idea here.

Shun Santoku knife

IDEA # 2 – FEATHERS

This is a fun and interesting idea. We see feathers all the time on the ground, on a tree, or wherever. But have you really looked at them close? They are an amazing subject:

Peacock feather

IDEA #3 – WATER DROPLETS:

This one is a classic, but be creative, and find your water on unusual surfaces like a wire fence, a cobweb, or a rear-view mirror. Early morning dew makes almost any subject magical. In the spring or fall, your can look for frost instead of dew.

Water drops with reflections.

IDEA #4 – GLASS:

Close up photos of fine crystal glassware can yield wonderful abstracts filled with curved lines and reflections. For added fun, place glasses side by side, or one behind the other to create lines where they overlap. You can fill the glasses with colored water for even more creative images. Finally, you can add a sheet of clear, but textured glass (available for purchase at stained glass craft stores) in front of your glassware. The possibilities are endless.

Stained glass windows

IDEA #5 – FOIL REFLECTIONS:

Now when I hear about this idea, I thought about this carefully. Why? And then I saw some examples and then asked: Why not? Use a variety of different color lights to enhance your creation.

IDEA # 6- FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

This is something that could be easy, but, I think it would be more fun, if you “posed” the fruit or vegetables. Don’t just go up to the item and snap, but, pose them like for a still photo.

Pose your fruits and vegetables. The photo is much more interesting that way.

I had a whole blog on taking photos of fruits and vegetables. Check this out: https://123photogo.com/2021/06/05/tips-on-photographing-your-favorite-fruit-or-vegetable/

ITEM #7 – RUST AND PEELING PAINT:

Fascinating rust patterns can be found on an old car, or even a metal garbage can in the park. Peeling paint graces old fences and walls. Most people pass by such items without a second glance. Not you! Break out your macro lens, and reveal the hidden beauty. Just beware of harsh shadows if you’re photographing in bright sunlight.

IDEA #8 – CAR DETAILS:

The sleek lines of shiny chrome and trim on a polished car can provide hours of photographic entertainment. You can photograph your own car, but don’t be shy about taking your camera to an antique car show. Car owners are usually proud of their vehicles and won’t mind you photographing the details.

IDEA #9 – ANIMAL BITS

The texture of fur on your dog or the wrinkled skin of an elephant at the zoo can make a great close up shot. Paws, claws and teeth are fun, too, as long as you keep out of harm’s way. Finally, eyes always make compelling subjects. Shoot close ups of the eyes of your dog or cat (or a person!).

Animal fur, and the detail

IDEA #10 – INSECTS

The amazing small world of insects. So unique when you get up close. They could even look scary if you got close enough. Try this:

There are some special things you need to know to take pictures of insects. For further information go to: https://123photogo.com/2021/07/08/learn-how-to-take-pictures-of-insects/

IDEA #11 – FLOWERS:

Of course I have a blog I have done on flower photography. Just learn the details of great flower photography here: https://123photogo.com/2021/05/20/ideas-of-how-to-take-the-best-flower-photos/


This is a new series of articles we will be doing, to give you different ideas with different subjects to help you with your photography ideas.

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BRING IN THE “CLOUDS”

body of water under cloudy sky during daytime
Photo by InstaWalli on Pexels.com

CLOUDS SHOULD EXCITE THE LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER!

If I could choose what I want in all my landscape photos, it would be CLOUDS! Clouds add so much to the most boring photo that it should be something that would get you out of the house and go take some photos.

The proper use of clouds in an image can add texture, dimension, and drama to many photos, while enhancing or serving as an additional storytelling feature for your main subject. One of my own favorite landscape photos is one I took in the fall, and the clouds just added to the fall colors:

Photo by Lanny Cottrell photography – Editor of 123PhotoGo

As I look at this photo, and trying to decide if the photo would have been ok without the clouds, I just think maybe, but the clouds added so much more to the composition of this photo.

PHOTOGRAPHING CLOUDS ADDS TEXTURE TO YOUR PHOTO

Photo by Lanny Cottrell photography – editor of 123photogo

Sunset photos without clouds is just boring. Clouds always makes better sunset photos. Often, if we see clouds in the sky at 4pm, we will grab our camera and head to the large lake in our area and get ready for the show.

CLOUDS CAN BE PERFECT FOR STORYTELLING:

man in gray shit sitting on rock boulder
Photo by Daffa Rayhan Zein on Pexels.com
view of cityscape
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com
close up photo of coconut tree
Photo by Suparerg Suksai on Pexels.com

Some of the best photos you ever take are photos that tell stories. You can’t always order clouds that produce storms, or tornadoes, but if you are one that watches the weather, you should be able to capture some great “story-telling photos”.

Making clouds work for you in this way usually requires a little bit of planning, some location scouting (always fun!), the right subject, and, course, keeping a sharp eye on the sky for weather that will produce great clouds.

When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.

–Robert Frank

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ONE MORE TOOL :

To enhance the colors, and the dynamics of the clouds, use a polarizer filter. That filter was well discussed in this blog: Click here: https://123photogo.com/2022/03/04/understanding-the-need-for-a-polarizing-filter/

We now sell “Polarizing filters” !! Go to this link above and order yours now. We only sell top quality glass filters.

WHAT ABOUT “INSTANT” CAMERAS?

The original Polaroid One Step and the Fuji Instax instant cameras.

Have you ever seen an instant camera? You have to agree that these cameras are unique and interesting enough to almost make you want one. To pick up a camera and just click the button, and “Voila” a picture comes out of the camera. Then you can watch it, slowly produce your picture.

And then you realize that the picture quality is not really that good, but acceptable. Where are they now and what is going on with them.

MY PERSONAL HISTORY OF INSTANT CAMERAS:

I think I have mentioned before that I used to work in a camera store. And yes, you have to sell all kinds of cameras, from the massive medium format cameras (see: https://123photogo.com/2022/03/07/introduction-to-medium-format-cameras-is-bigger-better/ ) to the small 35mm automatic cameras to the regular SLR cameras, and of course, we sold the Polaroid Instant camera. I don’t think Fuji had even introduced their Instax cameras yet.

Between the two formats, the major difference is: the Polaroid photos are bigger than the Instax, but most people that review cameras think that the Instax photo is the better camera, even though it’s a smaller picture size.

Here’s a photo showing the difference between the two sizes:

Polaroid photo and Instax photo differences

LET’S LOOK AT SOME OF THE MODELS

Polaroid invented the instant camera. Interesting that they even make professional photo backs that go on the back of a medium format camera. Although you won’t see that in the Polaroid lineup, but, you would probably see that in the catalog of some of the medium format cameras. It’s an accessory that allows you to see how the pose or photo would turn out, before you put the digital back on the camera. And they, I believe, only make that film in black and white.

They are just big in the instant “One Step” camera version. Of course they don’t call it the “One Step” anymore, it looks almost identical but they call it the “Go” camera. Looks like this:

The Polaroid “Go”

In a package, this camera sells for $99 with a 2 pack of film. Back when I worked at the camera store, the equivalent model sold for $29.95. I hate inflation. But, it has been a long time since I worked at the camera store (about 25 years ago).

FUJI FILM IS SERIOUS ABOUT THEIR INSTANT CAMERAS:

While Polaroid only has 1 camera model, in various packages (their top priced camera has the same camera, with film, with case), Fuji Film has 11 different models. I don’t want to bore you with showing you 11 different models of instant cameras, but I do want to show you the differences in their styles.

1 – MINI EVO:

If you think this looks like a serious camera, you are right.

10 Lenses X 10 Films =
100 ways of expression.

Analog design
for a unique experience.

And you can see the unique metering system, built-in flash all involved. And much more features like a small digital camera.

This camera, because it has a lot of features of a real camera will run you $199 or more for this jewel.

2- HELLO KITTY

“Hello Kitty” is designed for the young girls of the world. This cute little camera will take instant photos, and it just comes out of the camera and the girls can share it. That’s 20 photos for about $15. Not too bad. But also it’s $134.00 or more.

3- SQUARE

Yes, the square camera uses a bigger photo, a square photo to be exact.

4- WIDE

2 versions of this camera, and yes, another format size of their film. The biggest picture that Fuji makes, and it’s about the same size as the Polaroid camera film..

“instax” is an instant camera that prints photos on the spot.
Just by pressing the shutter, the film pops out and the picture gradually appears.
It is perfect for capturing your precious moments in life and keeping them as prints.
The large size film used for instax WIDE is even better for capturing great moments with your family and friends.
Turn your precious moments into precious memories with instax WIDE.

RECENT REVIEW OF THE BEST “INSTANT” CAMERAS:

And of course, there is always someone to rate the cameras from the best to the worst. But, let’s just say at this point, the top “best” 5 instant cameras are: Fuji with 4 out of 5: See below:

See review at: https://bestreviews.com/camera/film/best-instant-film-cameras

IS THIS A DYING PRODUCT?

I don’t see this type of camera ever going away. In fact, it seems to have become more popular in the last little while, especially with the younger teenagers. So, if this interests you to buy one of these cameras, you can certainly have a lot of fun with this. Without spending a lot of money, you can have instant pictures in your home library.

Tips on photographing “Bridges”

golden gate bridge
Photo by Eli Zaturanski on Pexels.com

THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRIDGES!

The famed San Fransisco Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. But, we don’t all have bridges like that to take pictures of. So, what about the little small bridges located in a city park?

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – 123Photogo

There are the beautiful bridges in the botanical gardens, city gardens, etc. Is there any special trick to taking photos of bridges? My question is more like: How do you make bridge photos artistic?

USE THE COMPOSITION RULE OF “LEADING LINES”

Bridges come in a variety of shapes and ideas. If we put together a blog to get a collection of different bridges, we would have an amazing variety. Let’s just look at a few photos of bridges:

Photo by Shellie

Would you walk across that bridge? Hundreds of people do every day.

Photo by Several Seconds

The beauty of this photo is that it just shows the massiveness of how the bridge is constructed. An interesting viewpoint.

Photo by Jacob Surland

And then there is the photo of the beautiful lighted bridge over a calm river. A sight-seeing favorite.

Then the old eastern U.S. bridges that were covered. Magnificent history.

person using macbook

DO YOU LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY? WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE A BLOG FOR THIS WEBSITE? WRITERS WELCOME! CONTACT: EDITOR@123PHOTOGO.COM

Photo by JP Freethinker

Even natural bridges are a part of our life.

TAKE PICTURES OF BRIDGES AS DIAGONAL LINES.

The best bridge photos are ones that use the composition rule of “Leading Lines”. When you take a picture of a bridge, look and see how you can get some diagonal leading lines to your photo.

Like these:

Photo by L E Daniel Larsson
Photo by Omar Bariffi

For more help with taking pictures using leading lines, go to: https://123photogo.com/2018/08/27/composition-add-leading-lines/

And another link to help you with taking photos of bridges: https://123photogo.com/2019/11/04/leading-lines-another-aspect-of-composition/

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