Incercari Foto

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    F O T O Z A A R


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    Photo by Josh Merril


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    Illinois Beach Iceberg by Josh Merrill

    When you think iceberg, you probably think of a place like Antarctica,

    Iceland, or Alaska. One of the last places youd probably think of is Illinois.However, during good winters, the shores of the great lakes can become

    riddled with some intriguing ice formations. When the temperatures plunge

    below zero for a week or two at a time, the ice really gets interesting.

    I came across this ice formation at Illinois Beach State Park, in Zion, IL.

    Along the beach there were countless wave-like formations with icicleshanging down like teeth. ere were also a few formations like the one

    pictured above, which were built up 4-5 feet above the surface of the water. Iapproached this scene with a new tool in my camera bag. I had recently

    invested in a 10-stop neutral density (ND) lter, and was eager to see what I

    could do with it.

    I soon learned that photographing with a 10-stop ND lter can be a bit of a

    challenge. First of all, its extremely difficult to see through the lens once thelter is mounted. In fact, unless you are shooting in signicantly bright

    conditions, you cant see anything. I found that its necessary to pre-focus

    the lens before attaching the ND lter. If you plan to use a circularpolarizing (CPL) lter on top of the ND (which I also used here), you may

    want to consider determining the correct rotation of that CPL prior to

    mounting the ND as well.

    Aperture f/16

    Shutter Speed 56 secISO 100

    Focal Length 19 mm

    Canon EOS 40D

    Canon 17-40mm F/4 L

    B+W 10-stop ND filter

    B+W Slim CPL Filter


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    e other difficulty (and benet) thats introduced with the 10-stop ND

    lter is the incredibly long exposures that are needed as a result. e image

    above had an exposure of 56 seconds because it was photographed inrelatively bright light. However, exposures can easily reach 300 seconds or

    more. Since most SLRs will only do automatic exposures up to 30 seconds,

    youll need to use the bulb mode on your camera, along with a shutterrelease cable. Using an intervalometer type shutter release can be a huge

    advantage, since you can simply input your desired exposure length and

    press start.

    To gure out the correct exposure, you can use your cameras meter to nd

    the proper exposure without the lter, and then do some math. For every

    stop that your ND lter reduces the light by, you will need to double thelength of the exposure. For example, if your correct pre-lter exposure is 1second, then you will take 1x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 1024

    seconds, which would be your exposure with a 10-stop ND. An exposure of

    1024 seconds is extremely long. So, if this was the exposure length that youcame up with, you may want to open up your aperture a few stops to reduce

    the exposure time.

    Photography using extreme ND lters can create some dramatic images.

    You can turn partly cloudy skies into beautiful streaking clouds, and

    transform the waves of Lake Michigan into a calm reective surface.

    Josh Merrill is a nature photographer from Chicago, Illinois. His work

    has been featured in several publications and exhibitions, and has

    received numerous awards, but his primary method of distributing

    his work is through summer Fine Art Festivals.

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    Photo by Steve Berard


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    Desert Sunflower by Steve Berardi

    ere are actually two species of wildowers in this image: the yellow Desert

    Sunower in the foreground, and the purple Desert Sand Verbena in the

    background. eyre both common spring wildowers of the Californiadesert.

    eres a common belief that the desert is an endless wasteland of dullbrown color. But, if you look closely, theres actually a cornucopia of color in

    the desert. e goal of this image was to help show the dramatic colors ofthe desert that are often overlooked.

    In order to make this image pleasing to the eye, I applied a basic concept of

    color theory: group complementary colors together. In this case, I includedtwo colors that are strong complements of each other: purple and yellow.

    Other strong complementary color groups include green/red and blue/orange. For more information on color theory, Id highly recommend

    Johannes Ittens great book, Elements of Color.

    ere was a very strong wind the day I shot this photo, so I had to use a

    super fast shutter to help freeze the action of the bouncing wildower. is

    is one of the reasons why I chose not to use a diffuser, but I also like thelook of the sunlit ower in this case (especially considering its called a sun-

    ower). Anyway, a shutter speed of 1/1600 turned out to be fast enough.

    Aperture f/5.6

    Shutter Speed 1/1600 secISO 400

    Focal Length 200 mm

    Canon 5D Mark II

    Canon 70-200mm f/4L


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    e sunower isnt as sharp as it could have been, but this was a case where

    I needed to sacrice sharpness for a better composition. If I used a smaller

    aperture to get more depth of eld, then the background wouldve beenmuch more in focus, and I wouldve needed a much slower shutter speed.

    Looking back at this image, I think I should have tried it with my 300mm f/4L lens as well. is wouldve helped isolate the sunower even more, and

    wouldve made the background more seamless.

    Steve Berardi is a nature photographer, software engineer, and the

    founder/editor ofPhotoNaturalist and Fotozaar. His photographs

    have been used by Nature Photographer Magazine, the National

    Wildlife Federation, and the Sierra Club. Hes also written numerousarticles for the Digital Photography School and PhotoYou Magazine.

    You learn to see by practice. Its just like playing

    tennis, you get better the more you play.e moreyou look around at things, the more you see.e

    more you photograph, the more you realize what can

    be photographed and what cant be photographed.

    You just have to keep doing it.


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    Photo by Alison Uher


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    You can never be overdressed or overeducated

    by Alison Uher

    is is a portrait of a Michigan musician: Ryan Racine.

    e photo was takenduring an editorial portrait session that Ryan requested so he could getsome photos to use as marketing and press materials to promote his band.

    Ryan and I are actually old friendswe went to school together back in ourearly teens. So this portrait session was especially fun for me, giving us a

    chance to catch up and just have some fun.

    I worked with a friend of mine to help me secure a location for this portrait

    session: a two-story deluxe suite at a local premiere hotel (e Inn at St.Johns in Plymouth, Michigan). is particular photo was taken in thebathtub of the upstairs bathroom.

    I shoot exclusively with natural light whenever I can, and this image was

    taken with only the light spilling in from the two-story windows to the left

    Aperture f/4Shutter Speed 1/15 sec

    ISO 800

    Focal Length 47 mm

    Canon Rebel XS

    Canon 24-105mm f/4L


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    of the subject. I tend to pay less attention to the technical setup of my shotsand listen more to my heart and eyes when deciding what is or isnt working

    in any particular setting.

    Here, I wanted to juxtapose Ryan in formal attire with a more intimate and

    emotional setting. He was kind enough to thoroughly soak one of his best

    suits to get the shot. We played around with different looksglasses onversus glasses off, bath faucet running versus still waterand ultimately I

    found that I liked the stillness of the water best, especially when paired with

    the serious and direct gaze Ryan is giving the camera in this image.

    My best advice to other photographers looking to do a similar style of shot,

    is to pay attention to the little details of your subject matter, rather than

    focusing on your camera settings. Ryans glasses, his watch, the pocketsquare in his coat pocket, and his undone shirt revealing his undershirt arewhat ultimately make this shot interesting.

    Play around with your modelhave them continue to move around andchange up their pose until you see something you like. We probably have at

    least a hundred different versions of this shot, in all different poses.

    Sometimes you nd what youre looking for on the rst try, and sometimes,like here, it takes thirty minutes of your model splashing around fully

    dressed in a bathtub before you hit the magic pose.

    Alison Uher is a photographer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She got

    her rst camera at age seven and has been shooting obsessively ever

    since. Her photos have been featured in SoulPancake book, Fourx5

    Magazine, Musically Challenged Vol. I, and Digital Photography

    School: 18 Stunning Self Portraits.

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    Photo by Matt Pringle


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    Untitled by Matt Pringle

    is shot was taken in an underpass in Falkirk, Scotland. e underpass

    itself was quite a gritty location which appealed to me. I thought thetextures on the wall would add some interest to any shot taken there. For

    this photographic outing, I had decided to use the Lensbaby Composer on

    my Micro 4/3s Panasonic GH1. In order to do this, I had to use a Nikon toMicro 4/3 adapter since Lensbaby doesnt make a Composer with a Micro

    4/3 tting. is also effectively doubled the Lensbabys focal length from

    50mm to 100mm, giving me a somewhat better zoom.

    I thought about the best way to compose the shot and decided not to shoot

    centrally down the underpass, but off to the right somewhat, in order toinclude the gritty texture on the walls of the underpass. Secondly, I wanted

    to use the Lensbaby Composer to focus the viewers attention to the rightside of the frame. e Lensbaby allows you to tilt and angle the lens to focus

    on a specic part of the shot while blurring out the rest. e amount of blur

    depends on what f-stop youre shooting at.

    Similar to a lot of my work, I was hoping to include a person in my shot. In

    fact, the image itself simply wouldn't stand up without a person in thescene, so all I could do was wait until someone appeared. After waiting

    around 10 minutes or so, a few people walked into the shot, but I wasn't

    happy with the resulting photographs. I thought about moving on to trysomewhere else, but then I suddenly noticed an old woman walking towards

    Aperture f/8

    Shutter Speed 1/130 secISO 100

    Focal Length 100 mm

    Panasonic GH1

    Lensbaby Composer

    Double Glass Optic

    Nikon Micro 4/3 adapter


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    the underpass carrying her handbag. I thought this could be interesting,particularly if I could photograph her as she was about to enter the bright

    light outside.

    Luckily for me, she was also walking down the right side of the underpass,

    so this meant I could include her along with the wall and its lovely textures.

    I waited until she walked past me and carefully framed the shot again.Shooting against the bright light outside created a really nice effect, distort-

    ing her form slightly and creating a scene with great mood and intensity.

    In post-processing, I increased the contrast to brighten the light outside and

    make it pure white because I thought this would work well against the dark

    tones of the underpass. I feel that the added contrast increased the atmo-

    sphere of the shot. To nish it off, I added a very slight scratched textureand some grain. All in all, I was very pleased with how this shot turned out,it's probably one of my favorite shots with the Lensbaby.

    Matt Pringle mostly creates images in black and white, because he

    feels it best suits his artistic expression. His photography has been

    heavily inuenced by his love oflm and he aims to capture images

    that have a cinematic feel to them. Solitude, peacefulness and

    remoteness are themes that are explored throughout his work.

    What I like about photographs is that they

    capture a moment thats gone forever,

    impossible to reproduce.


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    Photo by Anne McKinnel


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    Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island by Anne McKinnell

    Jekyll Island is one of the Golden Isles of Georgia which is a group of fourbarrier islands that run along Georgias coast.

    Because it is a barrier island, it constantly loses ground on the north andgains ground on the south. As the land erodes, the sea and sand consumes

    and kills the live oaksleaving a boneyard of tree roots on the beach.

    e trick to photographing in a place like this is to try to simplify the

    composition. It may look like there is just one big piece of driftwood on thebeach, but in reality the beach is absolutely covered with piles of driftwoodlike a giant came and dropped a ton of branches there in preparation for his

    campre! You have to get in behind just a few of them, or just one if

    possible, and aim out to sea to isolate it from the others or its just a bigmish-mash of jumbled branches.

    To make this image, I got up early, drove to the beach access, and started

    walking on the beach, ashlight in hand, long before the sun came up. I

    found a great big piece of driftwood that I could isolate from all the others,so I set up my camera and started waiting for the light to come in the sky.

    As I waited, these tiny little gnat type bugs started eating me for breakfastand I could only move around so much to keep them offme. I must have

    endured hundreds of bites and days worth of outrageous itchy skin for the

    Aperture f/11

    Shutter Speed 2 secISO 100

    Focal Length 32 mm

    Canon 7D

    Canon 24-105mm f/4L


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    image I made that morning. I think it was worth it because it is one of myfavorite images from my year-long trip around North America.

    Because the sky was so much brighter than the foreground, I made threeexposures: one to expose for the sky, one for the mid-tones and one for the

    dark foreground. en I combined the exposures in post-processing using

    Photomatix software. at allowed me to maintain detail in the driftwoodwhile at the same time capturing the beautiful colors in the sky.

    While I did manage to isolate one big piece of driftwood and one rock, therewere actually many other tiny sticks and rocks littered through the sand

    that were very distracting. I brought the image into Photoshop Elements

    and used the clone tool and the healing brush tool to remove all those little

    distractions. Doing that made a huge difference to the nal image. Afterthat I brought the image into Nik Color Efex Pro to make some nal subtleadjustments to the color.

    Anne McKinnell is a photographer, writer and nomad who lives in an

    RV and travels around North America photographing beautiful places.

    You can read about her adventures on her blog. She is also the author

    of several photography eBooks.

    You only get one sunrise and one sunset a

    day, and you only get so many days on the

    planet. A good photographer does the

    math and doesnt waste either.


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