HAVING FUN WITH FILTERS!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

In the photography world, there are some fun gadgets that a lot of people would enjoy if they knew more about them. That’s what I am here today to discuss:

There are several great manufactures of Filters for cameras. For Special effects, there are two that I have researched a bit, and really like. The first one is TIFFEN : Here is some information from them that I like:

WHY USE SPECIAL FX FILTERS ?

Tiffen manufactures a wide variety of Special FX filters to aid in the suspension of belief, creating Night Time from daylight, dense Fog or star patterns from specular light sources. Our Special FX filters can be combined together, because they are double threaded, so you can get creative and experiment with some pretty wild photographic effects straight out of the camera.

BEFORE AND AFTER:

There is quite a few different Tiffen special effects filters. I would invite you to click on this link: Tiffen special effects filters to discover the variety, and the prices. Filters are much easier than trying to accomplish all this with hours on Photoshop.


Another great filter company is: PetaPixel

These Lens Filters Have Prisms Built In for Creative Effects:

PrismLensFX has unveiled a set of Variable Prism Filters. These are lens filters with prisms built right into them for capturing creative effects in photos and videos.

I couldn’t see that these are available on Amazon, but, they make the most beautiful filters for cameras. Please go to their link: https://petapixel.com/2019/03/29/these-lens-filters-have-prisms-built-in-for-creative-effects/

The Prism filter is designed to create “stunning” flare and bokeh.
This filter does wonderful creative light creations. Check it out on their website.

special effects filters are one new way for you to have fun with photography. Click on this link: special effects filters and be prepared to be amazed.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: OUR NATIONAL PARKS IN THE FALL:

Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany —– Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

Our National Parks, regardless of country, are some of the most beautiful places in the world. We can certainly enjoy the beauty of these parks, especially when it is the most colorful. These photos are, as you can see from the above photo, are a collection of photos from various National Parks around the world. Enjoy.

We were on our way up Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park in Utah. It felt like the hike would never end but looking up to our final 0.5 miles was breathtaking and mesmerizing. This is what I saw. —- Photo by Sapan Patel on Unsplash
New Forest National Park, United Kingdom —– Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT AND TELL US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP THE “PHOTOS OF THE WEEK” AS A REGULAR FEATURE ON THIS WEBSITE. WE ARE INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT IF THIS IS REALLY SOMETHING YOU LIKE:


Theth National Park, Albania, Theth —— Photo by Rogier Schutte on Unsplash
green fields near brown mountain
Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming, USA —– Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
adventure autumn california country
Yosemite National Park, USA —— Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
red rocks
Arches National Park, Utah, USA —— Photo by Chris Janda on Pexels.com
landscape photo of mountains scenery
Photo by Onisam on Pexels.com


Tbilisi National Park, Tbilisi, Georgia ——– Photo by Nick Shvelidze on Unsplash
Yellowstone National Park, Photo by Lanny Cottrell
beautiful country countryside daylight
Yosemite National Park —— Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


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A small stream with waterfalls and smooth water in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the Fall with colorful leaves on the rocks and stones. —– Photo by Stephen Ellis on Unsplash
Acadia National Park Pond, Bar Harbor, ME, USA —– Photo by Miro Vrlik on Unsplash

UNDERSTANDING PROPERTIES OF LIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHY !

I LOVE THIS SUBJECT !  WHY?  BECAUSE IT IS THE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY!  IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF LIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHY, YOU CANNOT, AND WILL NOT EVER BE SUCCESSFUL IN PHOTOGRAPHY.  I LOOK AT THE REAL PROS IN PHOTOGRAPHY, THE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS, THE SCENERY PHOTOGRAPHERS, AND THE PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHERS, AND I CAN TELL YOU NOW, THAT THEY HAVE, AT ONE TIME, STRUGGLED WITH GETTING THIS CONCEPT UNDERSTOOD.  ONCE THEY HAVE THAT FIGURED OUT, THE CAMERA IS JUST A TOOL FOR CREATING THE ART FORM FOR THEM.   WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ART FORMS, IN SCULPTING, IT WOULD BE THE STONE, OR GLASS OR WOOD, THAT IS THE MAIN PROPERTY OF ART.  IN PAINTING, IT IS PROBABLY THE PAINT BRUSH, THE PAINT ITSELF, OR THE CANVAS IT IS PAINTED ON.  BUT FOR PHOTOGRAPHY IT CAN AND IS LIGHT. SO MANY TIMES WHEN WE TAKE PHOTOS, THE NUMBER ONE THING WE MOST OFTEN THINK ABOUT IS EXPOSURE: 

BUT KEEP IN MIND, IF YOU UNDERSTAND THIS RIGHT:  THERE IS MUCH MORE TO LIGHT THAN JUST EXPOSURE.  Light has various properties that ultimately produce different effects. It is imperative that a photographer understand light so that he or she can take advantage of and control the light. In order to comprehend light, you must be familiar with its properties.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF LIGHT:1- QUANTITY –
THIS OBVIOUSLY HAS REFERENCE TO THE INTENSITY OF LIGHT.  A LOT OF LIGHT HAS A BIG PART OF HOW YOUR PHOTO CAN TURN OUT.2- QUALITY –
THIS HAS REFERENCE TO CONTRAST WITHIN THE LIGHT ITSELF.  IT STARTS TO CREATE A MOOD WITHIN THE LIGHT ITSELF.  IF YOU ARE DOING PORTRAITS, THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE.

Photo by:  Raquel Salas Photography

3-  DIRECTION OF LIGHT – 
 DIRECTION OF WHERE THE LIGHT IS COMING FROM IN THE PHOTO CAN CREATE SOME OF THE MOST DRAMATIC PHOTOS CREATED.  THIS IS ESPECIALLY A BIG PLUS IN SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENERY SHOTS, AS WELL AS PORTRAITURE.

Photo by Pamela Locke

AND THEN WHEN YOU GET OUTSIDE, THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUNLIGHT SITUATIONS TO WORK WITH.   LET’S GO OVER THOSE SO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH OUTSIDE:A- DIRECT SUNLIGHT-
NOT USUALLY THE BEST OF LIGHTING.  IT IS VERY HARSH, HIGHLIGHTS ARE USUALLY NOT DETAILED, AND IT LACKS IN CONTRAST AND PLEASING COLORS.  THIS IS USUALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY WHEN THE SUN IS STRAIGHT OVERHEAD.  DOES THAT MEAN YOU CAN’T OR SHOULD NOT TAKE PICTURES THEN?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THIS IS THE ONLY TIME YOU CAN CAPTURE MEMORIES, AND EVENTS AND EVEN SCENERY THAT IS JUST UNIQUE BECAUSE OF THE HARSH LIGHT.  YOU BE THE JUDGE.B- DIFFUSED SUNLIGHT –
THIS IS WHEN THERE IS VERY LITTLE SHADOWS OR NO SHADOWS AT ALL, BECAUSE THE SUN HAS GONE BEHIND THE CLOUDS.  IS THIS BAD?  OH NO!  I ACTUALLY LOVE TAKING PORTRAITS AT THIS TIME OUTSIDE.  THERE IS NOT A LOT OF SHADOWS, BUT, SOMETIMES I LIKE THAT.  TRY IT OUT:

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF NORMAL LIGHTING OUTSIDE, VS. THE DIFFUSED LIGHTING PHOTO ON THE RIGHT.  C- FOG OR MIST:
Fog and mist greatly reduces details and shadows and creates an enveloping type of light. It produces weaker colors. Particular care must be taken since this type of light tends to produce flare.  But, in some cases, this creates a  mood that is very pleasing and in high demand if you capture it right:

Photo by Pamela Locke

UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS OF LIGHT IS VALUABLE FOR YOU TO CREATE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOODS, MORE PROFESSIONALISM IN YOUR PORTRAITS, AND TO CREATE THE EFFECTS THAT YOU REALLY WANT.  BY LEARNING ABOUT LIGHT, STUDYING IT CAREFULLY, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY WORK WILL THEN BECOME ENDLESS IN WHAT YOU CAN CREATE.


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WHY WOULD I BUY A PHOTO FROM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?

brown landscape under grey sky
Photo by Andy Vu on Pexels.com


Have you ever gone to a website of a photographer who sells their photos?  If you have, and you noticed their price, did you wonder:  “why would anyone pay that much for one of their photos”?  
Ask yourself this:  At what point does a photographer become good enough to become an artist?  
And then, if they are truly an artist, don’t they deserve to sell their photos?

Photo by: Lanny Cottrell Photography

If you take an artist who uses a paintbrush, and they are really good, it seems that most people don’t hesitate to pay the money it takes to buy one of their paintings.  How long did it take for that artist to become that good, that they can sell their paintings for money?
SO, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN A PHOTOGRAPHER DOING THE SAME THING?  BEFORE A PHOTOGRAPHER SELLS HIS OR HER PHOTOS, THEY MOST LIKELY WON’T DO IT UNTIL THEY HAVE BECOME PERFECTED IN THEIR ART.  I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A PHOTOGRAPHER, A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER, WHO SELLS THEIR PHOTOS AFTER DOING PHOTOGRAPHY FOR JUST A FEW MONTHS.  SO, HOW MUCH SHOULD A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER CHARGE?MY RESPONSE IS:  IT IS DETERMINED BY THE AMOUNT OF “BLOOD AND GUTS, AND TRAINING” THAT HAS GONE IN TO CREATING THOSE PHOTOS.  I HAVE SEEN SOME PHOTOS IN 8×10 SELL AS MUCH AS $599, AND AS LOW AS $10 FOR THE SAME SIZE.  I WOULD SAY IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE EXPERTISE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER.  I AM GOING TO SAY THAT ON MY OWN WEBSITE, I HAVE SOME 8×10 PHOTOS THAT SELL AT A VARIETY OF PRICES, DEPENDING ON THE UNIQUENESS OF THE PHOTO, AND THE PAIN AND SKILL IT TOOK TO CREATE THAT PHOTO.

ONE OTHER ARGUMENT YOU SHOULD THROW AWAY:  BUT I CAN TAKE JUST AS GOOD OF PHOTOS AS THEY CAN.  WHY SHOULD I PAY THAT MUCH FOR THAT ONE AS ONE THAT I CAN TAKE?  OH REALLY?  DON’T YOU SEE THAT MOST PHOTOS ARE CREATED BY,  A-  BEING THERE AT THE RIGHT TIME AND THE RIGHT PLACE, AND B- THE EXPERTISE OF KNOWING HOW TO SET THE CAMERA RIGHT AND GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. THAT MIGHT BE MORE VALUABLE THAN YOU TRYING TO GET IT ON YOUR OWN?  I AM NOT TRYING TO BE HARSH WITH THIS, PLEASE, I AM JUST TRYING TO PLEAD THE CASE FOR ALL PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OUT THERE, TRYING TO SELL THEIR ART WORK.  IT IS ART, AND THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE BUYING.  AND THAT IS WHY YOU BUY ART FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER.  THERE COMES A TIME WHEN THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS COME TO THAT POINT, WHEN THEIR WORK BECOMES THAT GOOD.  AND YOU NOW HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUY SOMETHING REALLY UNIQUE.  
I WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A FEW OF MY PHOTOGRAPHER FRIENDS WHO DO SELL THEIR PHOTOS.  I AM PROUD TO HAVE THEM AS MY FRIENDS, AND I WANT YOU TO GO TO THEIR WEBSITES AND SEE WHAT TRUE ART IS, IN PHOTOGRAPHY.  TAKE A LOOK AT THESE:
LAURIE EXCELL PHOTOGRAPHY:   


Laurie Excell has been doing photography since a kid in school in 1966.  And then when she could went on to work in several photo retail shops for over 25 years.  In retail, you teach people how to take pictures.  Along the way, you, yourself, become really good at that as well.  And then she went on to do her own thing.  Went on to teach photography, conduct photo tours around the world, and conduct photo classes for people, then won many photographic awards as well.  Why wouldn’t she share her talents to the world.  She is now living the dream, taking pictures all over the world, and you can buy her photos off her website.One of the things Laurie enjoys the most now, is to help people get that “ah” moment when they first “get it” in learning photography themselves.  She has grown that passion for helping people to learn photography.  If you find Laurie in your journeys around the world, you will probably find her helping a photographer with their camera, getting the composition or their camera skills honed in for the great photo themselves.  She has been all over the world, and should share her work with the world too.  Check out her website at:  http://laurieexcell.com/ROB DAUGHERTY


Born in Hood River, Oregon, Rob Daugherty has always been very involved with animals and nature making photography a priority in his life. His employment in Law Enforcement with the Federal Fisheries Agency on the Columbia River gave him the opportunity to view wildlife from land, sea and air further inspiring him to capture the landscapes and wildlife that he encountered on a daily basis in the two states of his jurisdiction. From photographing Bald Eagles in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge to the landscapes of the Oregon coastline and capturing the wildlife of the breathtaking Mt Hood National Forest, Rob laid the foundation for what would become his life’s passion.After moving to Northern Utah in 2005, Rob was inspired by the large number of wildlife photography opportunities available within short distances of his North Salt Lake home. With several state and National parks in close proximity to his home, Rob has honed his skills to include the capturing of his subjects in their most vulnerable moments. From the delivery of a Bison calf which must be able to stand and join the herd within less than an hour of birth so as not to be left behind to witnessing a mother bear teaching her cubs to forage for means of survival. He has developed a great sense of patience in waiting for that “One Shot” that will leave you with a deep appreciation for nature and all of its wonders. His greatest inspiration is driven by his love for both Yellowstone and Teton National Parks which he travels to more than 15 times each year in addition to dozens of other State and National Parks.
As an international photographer, Rob has experienced places and cultures that have humbled him and instilled in him an even greater appreciation for the world in which we live. His international travels include: Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
His frequent trips to our nation’s most picturesque National Parks include Yellowstone, the Tetons, Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Bryce, and Capitol Reef, as well as numerous state parks, wildlife refuges and bird sanctuaries.
Imagine the photos that he would have for his collection to share with the world.  And you can have some of his collection on your wall as well.  By going to his website.  Go to:http://www.robswildlifephotos.com/index
Lanny Cottrell Photography

Lanny Cottrell has been involved in photography since 1976, as he started working in a photo retail store.  Quickly learning photography and learning to love the art of photography.  He worked in retail photography for almost 20 years, and then went on to other adventures.  But, during those 20 years, did get the opportunity to teach photography classes almost regularly to his clients that came into his store.  It was fun to do, and he found that he should practice what he preached.  In one year during the annual managers meeting, he entered one of his photos in the annual portrait of the year contest, and took first place.  That was a new feeling for him, and so he tried to see if he had a feel in the local county fair, and entered some photos in the county fair, and took first, second and an honorable mention in the fair.  So, then tried to go big time, saw a contest in a photo magazine for Vivitar, and tried entering one of his photos there.  This was a national contest and he took second place in a national contest.  The photo was of for overlaying the city of where he lived.  After that he was asked by the county fair and other photographic contests to be the judges of contests.  That was a brutal shock, because after you taught photography for a long time, it became obvious who should win.  And then when the so called “professionals” didn’t win they thought you were not a reputable photographer.  Good thing there was more than one judge to back him up. So, after years of teaching and then trying, he now has his own website to market some of his photos as well. 


What is the moral of this blog:  Remember that photographers are artists.  When they get to the point of selling their photos, it is because they have become skilled enough to sell their art work to the world.  Perhaps some day, you can say:  I actually own, a photo by:  “_______________”



WHAT MAKES A PHOTOGRAPHER, A “PHOTOGRAPHER”

Ansel Adams


I throw this question out once in a while just for everyone to think about:  Really, what makes a photographer different than everyone else with a camera?  
Say, this is a classroom.  If I threw this question out to my students, what would be the answers I would get?  Let’s list them:

  1. A photographer is one who seriously takes pictures for a living
  2. A photographer is more serious about the artistic side of photography
  3. A photographer is more into taking a lot of pictures than the other people with cameras
  4. A photographer thinks more like an artist, rather than an everyday camera person.
  5. A photographer has equipment to match his talent
  6. A photographer can take more types of photos than just snapshots
  7. A photographer has taken the time to learn all about composition and what makes a photo right.
  8. A photographer has a passion for his photos, and you generally don’t see his bad pictures.

I saw an article written by a photographer, where the same question was asked of him.  His response:  “Technology doesn’t change the way photography is. It makes it available to more people which means there going to be much much more really terrible pictures taken or pictures that are totally dependent on subject which is all right.”
“I mean if you there when the Hindenburg caught on fire and you took a picture – that’s a great photograph. But you are not a great photographer because you can’t repeat that in everyday things. What a great photographer does is that they are consistently able to make something in a style that’s personal to themselves.                      — Ken Van Sickle

AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE IS A PHOTO OF PROBABLY THE MOST WELL KNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER EVER, THE LATE ANSEL ADAMS.  HERE IS A QUOTE FROM HIM THAT I THINK EVERY SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD TAKE TO HEART:

Ansel Adams

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

THE TOP 8 ANSWERS GIVEN IN A CLASSROOM ABOVE:
ALL ARE CORRECT.  
A story on Facebook:  a person posts on Facebook:  I am looking for a Photographer to take a picture of my family.  Does anyone know a good photographer.  (This person knows you are a photographer).  They are hoping you will do it for free.  What should you do?
A good response:  If they want free pictures, they will get responses like this:  John:   I know my friend takes really good photos.  He took some great ones of our family with his IPhone 6.  Would you like me to have him call you?  
Another answer:  I had a friend that took my family photos, and he didn’t charge me anything.  They were pretty good.  His name is:  XXXXXXXX.
Or one more:   I know a student who is trying to earn a few bucks just to help him to earn some money for college.  But, he took a course in photography in high school.  He’s pretty good.  If you want someone real good, I could have him contact you.  
And then someone who knows you says:  Look, I know you want it cheap or free, but, if you really want good photos, don’t do it cheap.  It’s your kids!  Get a good photographer, and have XXXXXXX do it.  Yeah, he will charge you for it, but it will be so worth it because he puts his heart into every photo.  Do yourself a favor and just call him.  You know where he lives and his number. 
Finally you respond on Facebook:  I would be happy to do it for you.  Because you are my friend, I will give you a discount.  Give me a call.  (That’s what he was really hoping for)

Photo by Valerie Cox and MB Click It Studios

So, if you ever want to BE a photographer, you now know what it takes to do it.  There is a definite bridge between being a “Photographer” and just a snapshot shooter.  Which one are you?