The holiday season – photograph christmas lights

Capture the Holiday Season – Photograph Christmas Lights

If you’re anything like us here at dotPhoto you and your family members always take lots and lots of holiday photos. Most of the time our homes and families are the subjects and many of these photos are of the Christmas tree, opening presents and gathering around the dinner table. We wind up with many pictures that help us remember the gathering and the time we all shared.

In the few weeks before the family gathering we like to ride around town and look at all the decorations that folks put up. While we’re riding we stop to snap a few shots and then head home to sit around the table and look at them. We usually just take a leisurely ride and snap the photos without much thought. Some of the decorations we see are well done and could make great subjects for carefully taken photos. So this year I decided to get a little more particular and try to take photos that really capture the beauty and good feelings that these decorations give us. But before starting I decided to look into how expert photographers snap their outdoor holiday photos to get a few hints on techniques.

Here are three articles I discovered that focus on taking photos of holiday lighting decorations and these are what I mostly take photos of. I think these suggestions will definitely help me do much better this year…if I take my time preparing and shooting the photos.

Interestingly, the recommendations suggest taking some photos when there is still a bit of daylight. I hadn’t thought of that. The articles are all good and are presented here in the order I found them.

The first article by Noella Ballenger is entitled “Christmas Lights Photography – How To Capture The Season” and can be seen at http://www.apogeephoto.com/photographing-christmas-lights/. Noella offers some advice, on white balance, camera modes, shutter speeds and more. Here are two of her photos.

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Our next article is entitled “How to Photograph Christmas Lights” and is written by the community at wikiHow. Here are two of their examples. They also offer eight suggestions for ways to take good Christmas light photos. See the article here, http://www.wikihow.com/Photograph-Christmas-Lights.

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Our third article is entitled, “How to Take Great Photos of Holiday Lights”, and was created by the staff at the New York Institute of Photography. This article also offers good and easy to follow advice for snapping our holiday photos. Here are four things for us to consider:
• Turn off your flash unless you have a very good reason to use it.
• Use a fast ISO — we suggest ISO 800, 1600 or above.
• Avoid camera shake.
• Use a tripod…or, at least, brace the camera. Trust your camera’s built-in meter.

And now for two of their photos.

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If we do a good job taking the photos we’ll upload them and print the best pictures on cards and other products and pass them around to family members and friends. They’ll like that.

Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com

Disneyland – relive 61 years of magic

Disneyland Photo Update: Relive 61 Years of Magic

Disneyland opened on July 17th, 1955. At its opening Walt Disney gave a short speech. A part of that speech was this statement: “To all who come to this happy place: – WELCOME – Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past. . . and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.”

Here’s a plaque welcoming visitors.

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Many, myself included, have passed this plaque. I do believe we did and do find that Disneyland is a source of joy for us as we amble about. Here’s what many saw on the anniversary and what we see at other times we visit.

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The Disneyland Ambassador welcomed the crowd and then Walt’s opening speech was played over the loudspeakers.

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After the speech and some entertainment confetti rained down on the crowd.

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Here are just a few of the dozens and dozens of photos of Disneyland and its treasures that can be seen at http://micechat.com/130902-micechat-disneyland-photo-update-draft-july-18th/

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We find Disneyland quite astounding.

Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com

A visual history of thanksgiving

A Visual Take on The Feast of Thanksgiving

Since the invention of the camera photos of people and art focused on Thanksgiving has allowed us to trace much of what our society holds dear for this feast of thanks. Honestly, these photos and photos like them allow us to know the varieties of ways that the holiday was and is viewed.

Let’s start by looking at photos from 1910 – 1915. Many are available from the Library of Congress, but this article we refer to here shows a truly representative set of photos that give a feel for the Thanksgiving celebration of that era. Take a look at a few and then head over to the article to see more.

Be ready because “Elaborate costumes and masks were commonplace, some rode horses or bicycles, throwing confetti and flour on pedestrians was “an allowable pastime,” and masquerade balls would take place across the country.”

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You can see more of this old time tradition here: http://petapixel.com/2014/11/26/old-photos-reveal-odd-thanksgiving-traditions-100-years-ago/

Our next look at Thanksgiving traditions takes us to the beginnings of one that continues today. From our linked article, “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924, though then it was called the Christmas Parade. In its earliest years, entertainment came in the form of animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. The first float, Felix the Cat, appeared three years later in 1927.”

Here are two photos from 1938

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See more of the Macy’s Parade tradition here: https://www.wired.com/2013/11/the-macys-thanksgiving-parade-was-way-cooler-in-black-and-white/. Yes, the photos are in black and white.

Another look at the history of the Thanksgiving Feast comes from the covers of the Saturday Evening Post. The Post long ago began to place Thanksgiving themes on their cover.

Here are two from 1907 and 1913.

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You can see more of these classic Saturday Evening Post covers here: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2015/11/18/art-entertainment/turkey-time.html

And one last photo to remind us of much of what Thanksgiving means. A photo of Norman Rockwell’s famous 1942 painting, Freedom from Want.

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Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com

A complete iPhone 7 plus camera review

An In Depth Look at the iPhone 7 Plus Cameras

The iPhone 7 Plus has been available since September 7th and we’ve been on the lookout for a complete top to bottom review of the cameras that takes us through all its features and capabilities. Today we received a review from dpreview.com that we believe is what we’ve been looking for. Here are the features, functions, abilities, etc. that this series of articles reports on.

 

To tickle your interest and get you started here are a few of the comments and examples you will see.

In the Introduction: “Judging by design, screen size and resolution, the new iPhone 7 Plus is nothing new. While its major specs are nearly identical to the iPhone 6s Plus, it’s in the camera department where a lot of innovation has happened.” And “There are a lot of new camera features to explore on the new iPhone 7 Plus and we have done exactly that. Read our full review to see…”

Here’s the phone and here we go starting with a shot from the Introduction!

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From the Design and Hardware article comes this, “Without a doubt, the most exciting new component on the iPhone 7 Plus is its dual-camera.”

And from Camera Operation we are told, “As in the past, the iPhone camera is very much focused on ease of use and does a very good job at that” and “The iPhone 7 Plus comes with the same physical control layout as previous iPhone generations”. A new portrait mode has been added but here’s a landscape view.

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The Features section points out that “the stock camera app comes with a good range of built-in features”. Examples offered are Panorama, HDR Mode and Zoom.

Here’s a look at three of the Zoom results.

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Fairly impressive I think.

So you wouldn’t be left wondering, here’s a sample of the new Portrait Mode.

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From the Image Quality and Performance section, “the iPhone wide-angle camera delivers a very good performance in bright light.” And an example…

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More sample photos and a thorough set of feature descriptions are presented. A complete write-up comes at the end. Be aware, they pull no punches. According to this review there are pros and cons to the iPhone 7 Plus.

That said, from my point of view one of the final evaluations was important, “Its unique selling point is its dual-camera with a 56mm ‘tele-lens.’ It allows for the best zooming of all current smartphones, offers an alternative angle of view to the wide-angle and works well in Apple’s new portrait mode.” I think you’ll find this series as complete and well put together a review as there’s been. Decide for yourself what’s important as you read the article.

Here’s another link to the Introduction to get you started:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/iphone-7-plus-camera

I hope you find it informative and interesting, and, as always…
Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com

Two great and very different photographers

Two Great and Completely Different Photographers

Photography can be directed at many subjects; family, friends, events, travel, outdoors, and much more. Here we’ll take a look at two widely different views of photography. Our first photographer, Gordon Parks, was orphaned at 14 and after many difficult directions began his career as a photographer dedicated to portraying people. His 1943 photographic study of the lives of the people of Harlem, New York began his photography career. Mr. Parks later went on to work of Life magazine and the film industry. One of the movies he created was “Shaft” in 1971.

To give you a feel for his work here are two of Mr. Parks early Harlem photos.

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See more about Gordon Parks here: http://firsttoknow.com/1943-harlem-photographer-gordon-parks/

Our second photographer has often concentrated in an entirely different realm of photography, the photography of large places and their historical context. His name is Thomas Struth and he is from Germany. Mr. Struth started out as a painter which may account for an interest he has in large museum spaces and family portraits, while his interest in grand places and spaces has caught the attention of photography enthusiasts the world over.

Here are a few of Mr. Struth’s photos. As you can see they concentrate on entirely different subjects and point out our human experiences in an entirely different way than Mr. Parks.

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You can view more of Thomas Struth’s works and career in these articles:

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/germany/articles/thomas-struth-10-things-you-should-know/ and

http://www.npr.org/2016/10/31/499443750/photography-writ-large-the-monumental-art-of-thomas-struth

As you see above two people have taken entirely different approaches to photography that stem from their early lives and interests. If we stop to think about it we could also have our own unique life view that we could display with our photography.

Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com

creating different styles of street photography

A guide to creating different styles of street photography

In the past most of my exposure to street photography has seen it associated with visiting big city scenes and snapping photos that catch folks walking about. Lately I’ve been looking into it more deeply and it turns out there are quite a few different places to take photos in what’s known as street photography and there are many interesting techniques that create different types of attractive photos. I’ll offer you five (5) different approaches to street photography that can help to open your eyes to what experts have made available to us.

The first view we’ll look at is straight from my preconceived notion of street photography with some well done photos that reinforce the genre. The photo you see here is my favorite from the article. It’s from this article: http://slrcamera.org/street-photography-tips-techniques-in-new-york-city/

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Now we move along to a variety of places and subjects that go to other “street” locations. Here’s a photo from an article that offers photos and lessons the author learned and is passing along to us about street photography, specifically “10 Valuable Lessons ”. https://www.slrlounge.com/10-valuable-lessons-ive-learned-street-photography/

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A few more lessons for beginners at Street Photography are worth seeing in this article from which the next picture is taken: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/the-ultimate-beginners-guide-for-street-photography/

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Next we’ll take a look at photos that are more closely attached to my original thoughts but in mostly black and white. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/content/street-life-tips-successful-street-photography

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And more from an article that pushes us away from what are normally thought to be street photos:
Dynamic Street Photography

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And our last review really expands the definition of Street Photography: Indoor Street Photography – The Museum

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As you can see Street Photography explores locations that are more diverse than my original interpretation of “street”, and with a wide array of methods and techniques.

Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com

Abstract photography tips and techniques

Three Looks at Abstract Photography Tips and Techniques

A few weeks ago we posted a blog entry that traced the roots of photography from the coining of the word through some of the best early techniques for creating photos. You may recall that we displayed Heliography, Daguerreotype and Photogravure before pointing to an article that described other interesting methods.

After we reviewed these early techniques for altering the reality of what photos showed we thought you might find it interesting to see some of the more recent techniques for special effects. What follows are references to three articles we found interesting not only for their techniques but for the photos used to demonstrate these methods.

First we see an example of the methods offered by The School of Digital Photography in this article that might lead you to have a budding interest in abstract photography:
http://www.school-of-digital-photography.com/2013/09/abstract-photography-techniques.html

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Next we take a look at how we can use Nature to create Abstract Photography in this article and example from it:
http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/06/abstract-photography-in-nature/

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And then we finish up by viewing the works on display here that adapt manmade structures to an abstract format:
http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/abstract-photography-tips-and-techniques/

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As you can see, Abstract Photography can use many “real” scenes as subjects while sharing many of the powerful techniques that create these special effects.

Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg
wkrieg@dotphoto.com
http://www.dotphoto.com