Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghost Town Window Photography and HDR Part 2

I am having fun with a personal project shooting through windows of buildings at historic sites. Here is the barber shop in Virginia City, Montana where I stopped to teach a workshop in September. These must be shot in HDR for all the details to show because all the light comes from the front windows so the foreground of the interior is quite bright while the rear is quite dark.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Photograph Old Cars in HDR

I was teaching a workshop in Colorado a few weeks ago with my friend Lewis Kemper and one of our more popular stops is Silverton, Colorado. It is a historic old mining town that is now a popular tourist and ski town. It still has the old boardwalks, historic, and rustic charm as if still in the old west. Many of the old buildings are renovated and quite historic looking, but what makes Silverton a great town to shoot is the buildings that have not been renovated and all the old cars and trucks and mining equipment that are fun to shoot.Here is the front of an old tow truck that is parked next to an old garage. I have shot this old rig previously and this time I used my Canon 15mm fisheye in close and then bracketed for the HDR process. This old truck has been painted several times and the layers of paint are flaking off and then when HDR'ing it, it really saturates each layer. There were plenty of powerlines in the sky right behind it so I cloned those out. It's fun stuff to shoot, so go shoot something just for the fun of it!

Take My Class: The Business of Outdoor and Nature Photography

Related Posts: Ghost Town Window Photography in HDR, Anza Borrego in HDR,

Books on HDR:

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Photography update

I just got an email from Dr. Audri Lanford, who interviewed me
awhile back for her "7 Photography Questions" podcast.
You may have heard all the buzz in the last couple of weeks
about Audri's new product called Halloween Photography

It's an interview Audri hosted with master child photographer
Vik Orenstein that's guaranteed to let you capture amazing
photographs of your kids this Halloween.

Since Halloween photography is a photography nightmare, 97% of
parents will be SO disappointed with their Halloween
photographs this year. But now you don't need to be one of

I highly recommend you check out Halloween Photography
Secrets. It becomes available today, Friday October 24th, at
3:00pm Eastern.


One warning though, you better do this quickly. Audri has a
long history of making limited offers that sell out quickly,
and there is a bonus for the first 25 people to order you
definitely don't want to miss..
Now I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but it is probably
a very good idea to be sitting at your computer and ready to
go right when she launches. I'd be shocked if this bonus
didn't sell out VERY quickly...

In addition, by ordering Halloween Photography Secrets today
you'll have plenty of time over the weekend to start having
fun using the tips Vik reveals.

These tips don't only apply to Halloween, by the way. They
are invaluable for many other occasions as well. Here's what a
mother of three and a father of one had to say:

"What a wonderful interview. For years I've been
hopelessly frustrated with my family's Halloween
pictures. From kids who don't want to cooperate to a
camera that seems to do everything but what I want, I'd
learned to dread the entire picture-taking process.

"This interview was a lifesaver. Now I can capture my
family's Halloween memories in wonderful photographs
without pulling my hair out in the process. Thank you so
much. I'll be putting these tips to use for other
holidays too!"

- Jamie Dale, Milwaukee WI


"What a sigh of relief, with the hectic days before
Halloween approaching fast, this information was just
what I needed. This year I'm not going to fight with my
toddler to get him to take a good picture.

"I've already used Vik's advice and brought out the
stickers, and played one of the games she suggested. And
it WORKS, no more mugshot pictures of my son. I have to
say as a father with little to no camera experience,
these tips and tricks make taking Halloween Pictures a

- Sammy Cain, Fayetteville, NC

Oh... one more thing: Audri is going to have a rock-solid
guarantee for Halloween Photography Secrets: she called it the
"Rock-Solid, No-Questions, No-Quibble, Better Than 100% Money
Back Guarantee." It says "you'll take great Halloween
photographs of your kids, or we'll send your money back."

So it is definitely in your best interest to sign up early and
try it out.

IMPORTANT: If you go to this page and you don't see this

"Who Else Wants to Take Amazing Photographs of Their Kids
This Halloween?"

Be sure to REFRESH this page after 3:00pm Eastern, because
it means the launch hasn't gone live yet.

Here is the link again:


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Don't Take Pictures, Build Photographs

One thing that I preach when I teach is the need to not just go to a clients location and take pictures. Many assignments you receive will seem easy because they just want you to come and take pictures, but I feel that every assignment is an opportunity to build photographs. We can all take pictures; point the camera and snap the shutter and it seems that many photographers get away with just doing that. But the best shooters build their photos and I do it one light at a time.

I shot an annual report last week for an industrial manufacturer and one photo took quite awhile to figure the best places for the light the scene for a good effect. Here you can see the angle the client and I chose for this shot but this industrial lighting is flat, ugly, and boring. A dynamic foreground that leads to the background and the workers. I never shoot in available light either and always use lots of lights. Here we used 9 lights placed throughout the scene. Five large umbrellas, two raw heads, one lightbox, and one grid spot. We took our time setting up the lighting and tested as we went along starting with the four large umbrellas which lit the overall scene. Then we added the lightbox, raw heads, and grid to light specific areas of the scene. This is building the photo one light at a time and it is a great way to see the results as you create them. In addition, I always use some of the ambient light from within the scene as part of my exposure, but usually overide it with the strobe to a large extent. The idea is to light the main subject or activity to stand out and then add light to the rest of the scene to support the subjects, which are the workers here. span>

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Photography

Did you know... ... that this Halloween, 97% of parents will take photos of their kids and be so disappointed the next day? But you don't need to be one of them... You see, Halloween is a photography nightmare. Awful (or no) light. Chaos. Hyper kids. A million things happening at once. So, if you feel completely frustrated, dissatisfied and overwhelmed -- as if capturing the mood and your precious Halloween memories is almost impossible -- you're definitely NOT alone. Fortunately, THIS Halloween can be different. As I mentioned before, awhile ago I was interviewed by Dr. Audri Lanford from 7PhotographyQuestions.com. I recently sent her a tip that she's included in her new email series and Special Report called Halloween Photography Tips. It's a preview to a special interview called "Halloween Photography Secrets, and it reveals how to overcome all these problems. I highly recommend you check it out and sign up free now: http://www.charlieborlandnow.com/ Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments!