LEARNING FROM PHOTOS:

Have you seen a photo that you liked and wondered how it was created? Well here we go:

Here are a few photos that are absolutely amazing, but, the description tells you how it was taken and the circumstances:

Interesting Photo of the Day: Sunkissed Eurasian Jay in Flight

When we say that lighting is key in photography, we mean it. The way you understand and play with your lighting can give a totally different look and add a unique vibe to your images. And this is true not just for photography genres like landscapes or glamour portraits. The same principle applies to all genres of photography including wildlife and bird photography as well. Take for instance the following image of a Eurasian Jay taken by photographer Mikael Persson. While the bird itself is the main subject, it’s the lighting that has totally transformed the image:

“A Sunkissed Eurasian Jay in Flight” by Mikael Persson (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Persson shot the image on a Sony A6000 with the Sony 70-350mm lens at f/10, with an exposure of 1/1000 seconds, and ISO 800. It may surprise you that he had to focus manually for this image – the reason being that the camera’s auto-focus was having some difficulty in the circumstance.

If you simply look at the bird, the image is not so striking – it’s mediocre at best. Looking at the stance of the bird, it looks like it’s ready to perch itself on a branch of a tree. It’s a nice moment, but the way the lighting in the scene is interacting with the bird is what takes the image to the next level. The highlights on its wings and hind limbs create a beautiful separation from the background and also give an ethereal look to the image. The warm glow on the background also does a great job in making the bird appear more majestic.

Hats off to the photographer for this fantastic work. It’s phenomenal how he was able to capture this amazing coupling of light and motion.

Interesting Photo of the Day: Sunset on Antelope Island

One of the best things about traveling is the random and interesting stuff that happens to you that makes for a good story later on. This is why they say that traveling makes you a storyteller. Photographer Hansi did happen to experience something thrilling that was worth sharing. He was hiking alone on Antelope Island (Utah) where he confronted some wildlife – a really scary moment to experience when hiking alone. Despite the nerve-racking moment, he was able to capture the following image which says otherwise:

“Mesmerizing Sunset at the Antelope Island, Utah” by Hansi (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

The image is a super-wide three-picture vertical panorama that Hansi took using a Sony A7RII camera and the Rokinon 18mm f/2 lens. He captured such a detailed image of a very vast landscape.

The combination of warm golden light from the low-hanging sun and the barren rocky landscape in the foreground gives quite an interesting effect. At a glance, it appears as if it’s a shot from some other planet. Then there are the snowy highlands in the midground that add to the beauty of this image. The way the light from the setting sun grazes these landscapes from the side has added a different dimension to the image. Then there’s the setting sun in the background along with its reflection on the Great Salt Lake. It’s the lighting from this setting sun that is the hero of this fantastic image.

The absolute contrast between the color temperature in the sky and the landscape is also worth to appreciating. While the landscape in the foreground gives a sensation of warmth, the clear sky beautifully complements it with its cool blue tones.

Would you dare to go on a hike all alone to witness such a beautiful landscape?

Interesting Photo of the Day: Ethereal Lake Matheson

Whenever one thinks of New Zealand, the stunning wide-angle scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy come to mind. But there is more to New Zealand than just that. This is exactly what photographer Humayun Qureshi proves with this breathtaking shot of Lake Matheson from the South Island:

Sunrise over Lake Matheson (Via DeviantART. Click to see full size.)

One of the things Lake Matheson is known for is its near-perfect reflections of two of New Zealand’s highest mountains, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. If you are lucky enough, the mist will intertwine with the morning rays of the sun and create all sorts of crazy colors for you to make a breathtaking photograph like this one.

Just for the record, Qureshi used a Canon 5D Mark II paired with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM set at 13 seconds, f/16, 50mm, and ISO 100 to capture the above shot. It’s a stunner, isn’t it?

Interesting Photo of the Day: Uncoordinated Dress Code

Do all photos need to tell a complete story? What do you think? Actually, it can be really interesting if your image leaves the viewers wondering about what’s going on in the image. This plays an important role in keeping viewers engaged. Photographer Anna Ulman took the following beautiful image that draws us in. Can you guess why that is?

“Uncoordinated Dress Code” by Anna Ulman (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Ulman shot the image on a Sony A7III with the Canon 135mm f/2.0 lens at f/2.0, 1/500-second exposure, and ISO 1000 using just the natural light.

It’s great how she has managed to find the perfect spot to photograph this image. The lighting is quite ideal here with the model being evenly illuminated while the other elements are in shadow. This helps in directing all the attention to the model while getting rid of distractions.

Although her stance is pretty and graceful, her choice of clothing may leave many viewers wondering. To be honest, the mix of ballet shoes, thigh-highs, a sweater, and a floppy hat doesn’t really make sense. But maybe, that’s the point. Maybe there was some purpose for the selection of this wardrobe. The fact that it’s slightly odd makes the photo more in our opinion. Apart from that, the way the color palette blends so well with the surroundings is equally pleasant and gives this image a certain charm.

Interesting Photo of the Day: Lone Tree on a Winter Night

We’ve seen a lot of stunning long exposures of the night sky in all its glory. But this one is out of the ordinary:

ITAP of a lonely tree during a winter night. (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Kristoffer Ask Hansen is a photographer and a graphic designer. He captured this shot using a Sigma 18–35mm lens at f/1.8, ISO 800, and 30 seconds.

To create the final image, he took more than 60 frames and then merged them in Photoshop. He changed the blending mode of all the images above the bottom one to Lighten to create a long exposure effect with an array of relatively faster exposures.

Interesting Photo of the Day: Golden Rocket Trail

With the successful launches of various SpaceX rockets, we’re super excited for mankind’s take on space exploration. In November of 2020, a SpaceX rocket was launched that carried four astronauts to dock with the International Space Station. The successful flight was yet another milestone as it highlighted the maturation of the commercial industry. Photographer Dieter Unrath got lucky as he was able to observe and photograph this important event from Cocoa Beach in Florida:

“Lining for the future.” by Dieter Unrath (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Unrath took the image with a Canon 6D and a 50mm f/1.4 lens. The image is a composite of three different images. Two of the images are for the rocket trail that he shot at 50mm, f/14, ISO 100, and a 30-second exposure. For the background, he exposed for the stars for 30 seconds at 50mm, f/3.2, and ISO 800.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of color grading to this and a bit of overlaying in Photoshop.”

Without a doubt, the hero of this image is the rocket trail. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to draw much inference from the image. And although it’s not overdone, it gives a sci-fi feel to the image. If you’re writing a sci-fi book, you could definitely consider this image for the book cover.

Besides the trail, the people on the beach and the stars in the background also convey an important message. With all these advancements taking place, we can now dream that very soon mankind will be ready to explore space more conveniently and hopefully find a new home. It’s almost like the people are waiting in line for their turn to go there.

It’s amazing how the photographer was able to get this meaningful photo during his first time witnessing a rocket launch. He did a fantastic job – we love that the composition isn’t just of a rocket, but of a whole scene. What do you think?

All photos and description courtesy of Picture/Correct.

One more amazing photo:

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Amazing animals of Australia !

Australia, known for it’s strange animals and wildlife are so unique to Australia, that we thought it would be interesting to highlight these animals:
The “HEDGEHOG” is considered one of the most loved animals of Australia, and as of lately, they have been showing up in the United States as pets. Could you really cuddle this animal?
The “KANGAROO”, Probably Australia’s most famous animal, is definitely unique. It carries it’s babies in their pouch until they get too big.
The famous and cute Koala, is one that everybody loves. With the tremendous fires that Australia experienced the last 2 years, one of the most heart-wrenching things was to see these cute little animals, trying to escape the big fires, and some just couldn’t get away. But, there were lots of people trying to save them all. Here’s a video showing the rescue of these animals in Australia:
Watch this video
Here’s another one of the “cute” animals of Australia. This is called a NUMBAT. Not a large animal, about the size of a cat.
Are all the animals in Australia Cute? Here is another one! The WOMBAT is famous especially in Tasmania, an Island off the southern coast of Australia.
Now we are in to the ‘strange” animals. This is a Platypus. Only found in Australia.
That Excruciatingly Cute Viral 'Baby Platypus' Is Actually… PlasticLatest  Talks | Latest Talks
And of course the photo that went viral: The baby platypus. Now, it is a cute animal.
I don’t know how it’s camouflage works, but, it seems like the only place it could be hard to find is in a bunch of colored flowers. This is the beautiful “Lorikeet”
Animals of Australia - Real Word
One of the dangerous animals of Australia, the Australian Crocodile. Yikes !
Yes, this is for real. The Australian Goliath Spider. EWwww!
It was spotted on a beach in Broome, Western Australia, by the Reddit users’ mum and girlfriend – and has people online very confused.
One commented “What the heck?” at the sight of the tentacled being, while another wrote: “Quite the creature”.
Many thought it was an alien, with one Reddit user writing: “They look like a bacteriophage or some sort of alien.”
Another added: “What part of that thing is the mouth?” Eventually an answer was reached, as Reddit concluded it was an anemone flipped upside-down that had washed up on the beach.
A Reddit user wrote: “The armed anemone. Also called the striped anemone”.
Followed by “I think you are correct” from another commenter.
The armed anemone is common in the waters off Western Australia.
I don’t know what I would do, if I came out of my backyard and found this. This is a Giant Goana. That’s one big lizard.
What do spiders this size eat? Anything they want to. The famous “Huntsman Spider” will give you goosebumps.
This photo was listed as one of the “scary” animals of Australia. This is a CASSOWARY. He just looks angry.
The “THORNY DEVIL”. Not a pet you would cuddle with.
The only way to get the vast size of this centipede, is to watch it take on a King Cobra. Click on the arrow to view this animal.
Australia is often referred to as the land of ”NOPE”. Wow, you just have to be careful all the time around there.
The Australian Fruit Bat. The worlds larges bat. Give that bat a mango, please!
This is only a scary frog because a snake lives inside this frog. Crazy!
Another one of Australia’s famous bird is the Kookaburra.
Click on the video to hear why the Kookaburra is so famous.
One of the most scary animals on the island of Tasmania, is of course the “Tasmanian Devil”
This animal was so famous years ago, that it got it’s own cartoon feature. Click on this if you want some entertainment about it.
Another unique animal to Tasmania is the “Spotted Quoll”.
This beautiful photo, with the inspirational message is now available at: www.123photogo.com/shop/

LIVING IN THE NEW “PHOTOSHOP” WORLD!

When you see an amazing photo on Instagram, or even Facebook, do you see the real picture, or do you see a photoshop version of the photo. How do you know? The best photoshop people are so good, it’s hard to tell. But, there are a lot of amateurs out there, trying to bluff their way through the social media world.

I found this article with video about such a thing happening to all of us. Read the article, watch the video and be prepared for some great information:

Social media has become a platform where people show a perfect version of their lives. Reality, of course, can be far different from what’s posted. But if you look at these snapshots from a photographer’s perspective—instead of simply judging the people—things actually get really interesting. You can analyze how people play with the angles, poses, lighting, makeup and even editing. Photographer Jessica Kobeissi takes a look at some of the images from Instagram Reality subreddit and shares her opinion on the matter. Check it out:

Click on the arrow to see how people manipulate the photos for different effects

Some cases are extreme, like slapping your face on to some other model’s body. When it’s done poorly, you can easily see how fake the image is.

On the other end of the spectrum, a person may simply appear picture-perfect in one image and totally bland in another. This can be due to poor lighting, an awkward angle, bad makeup or just because they were caught off guard. After all, it’s not just the subject that determines how good the photos come out—it is also up to the photographer and the shoot’s conditions.

If you follow someone well known in the beauty industry, odds are high that you’re looking at an image that’s been retouched by a professional. Such images look amazing, but in reality, nobody can be so flawless. As Kobeissi says in her video above:

“Next time you see a picture that’s looking a litle bit too perfect, don’t forget: Photoshop was invited to that party.”

Here are some really good Photoshop photos, done on pupose:

Edit retouch resize change background of image by Raheelkhan23
How to Process Photos in Photoshop - Example: The Canals of Venice I |  Photoshop Tutorial - YouTube
AFTER BEFORE

LENS HOOD! A VITAL PIECE OF CAMERA EQUIPMENT!

For those of you who have a DSLR camera or Mirrorless cameras, this one is especially for you. I used to work in a camera store, and one of the things our customers would ask me is: What can I do to make my pictures better? Well, I explained to them how many times people get something called “lens flare” and then described how it shows up on their photos. And “Bang”, they bought it every time.

You want better photos, don’t you? Then read this article by Brian Leng from Picture/Correct:

“What’s that weird thing on the front of your lens?” This is something I hear every time I teach a photo workshop. Well, you canʼt blame the students. They’re usually beginners, and since we were all beginners once, I try to cut them some slack.

lens hood
Various lens hoods

Lens hoods or lens shades are a vital piece of camera equipment that you must have on all lenses. Why? Because its main purpose is to prevent lens flare, which happens when you point your lens toward the sun at just the right angle. It looks like a series of translucent rings. Sometimes you’re able to see them through your eye piece and are able to change your angle, but most of the time they appear unexpectedly—and they arenʼt easy to Photoshop out.

A lens hood keeps the light from entering the lens from the sides and degrading the quality of your image. It helps improve the saturation, color, contrast, and density of the photograph.

Why do I have so many students come to class with “naked lenses”? The reason is simple—they arenʼt told that a lens hood is an essential piece of camera hardware for the production of quality images.

Lens hoods are also good protection for the front of the lens, keeping it safe from damage and fingerprints. The tulip shaped lens hoods are used on zoom lenses to accommodate the many focal lengths of the lens. Lens shades for fixed focal length lenses are not tulip shaped.

camera lens hoods
An example of lens flare

There are many different lens hoods produced by third party manufactures, which are less expensive than brand name equipment. They can be made out of plastic, metal, or rubber. Rubber lens hoods are ideal, because theyʼre best for shooting through glass; the rubber may adhere directly to the glass without slipping and thus reduce reflections. As an added bonus, rubber lens hoods can collapse to take up less room in a camera bag.

The most important thing to remember when buying a lens shade is to find one to correspond to your lens’ focal length. An incorrectly matched shade will produce “cut off” on the corners of your image, which is just as bad as lens flare, if not worse. The rim of the shade contains the necessary information for matching it to the lens. The shade will list the circumference of the corresponding lens in millimeters, and it will also show the focal length of the lens which the shade was designed to be used on.

Why some manufactures donʼt include a lens shade with the purchase of a new lens is beyond me, but what I find even more startling is that camera stores that donʼt recommend lens shades to their customers. Itʼs no wonder so many people fail to realize the necessity of this equipment. I personally have lens hoods or shades for all of my lenses and use them whether Iʼm photographing indoors or outdoors.

how a lens hood works
How light slips through the sides of the lens without a lens hood.

If youʼd like to improve the quality of your images, I highly recommend that you buy a shade for all of your lenses.

About the Author:
Brian Leng (calphotoworkshops) is a photography educator at Santa Monica College, Pasadena City College, and Glendale Community College. He leads photography workshops around the downtown Los Angeles area and hosts overnight workshops in many locations in the Southwest. He is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography and has worked as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles for over 30 years.

Here are some examples of lens flair on photos:

lens flare as paranormal angel photos explained - NEW ZEALAND STRANGE  OCCURRENCES SOCIETY
Was this something paranormal, or lens flare. When the photo was first viewed, the author thought he caught a picture of an alien space ship, but in reality, it was just a lens flare (light, striking the front element of the lens)
This is hard to do, but, this photographer was purposely trying to get the light in the background, to create a special effect. And then when the photo came back, they noticed the lens flare on the right of the photo. AAAHHH
Shooting directly into the sun or some other light, you are playing with fire. It may seem really a good idea, but, you will almost always have lens flare, that could destroy your photo.