Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer: Blog https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog en-us (C) Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer (Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) Tue, 03 Jan 2023 13:05:00 GMT Tue, 03 Jan 2023 13:05:00 GMT https://www.rbphotonh.com/img/s/v-12/u893179324-o1058360801-50.jpg Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer: Blog https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog 80 120 The Power of Black and White Photography https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2023/1/the-power-of-black-and-white-photography The Power of Black and White Photography

By

Ron Bowman, NH Nature Photographer

www.rbphotonh.com

 

Black and white photography is growing in popularity and considered by many photographers and viewers to represent the true essence of artistic, fine art photography. By removing color from a photograph, the focus automatically shifts to the photo’s compositional elements, including form, shape, lines, textures, contrast, tone, and mood. It forces viewers to pay attention to intricate details. Whereas In color photography, the dominant color sometimes becomes the focus, thus masking the photograph’s finer details. In some photographs the colors are too pretty and overly saturated.

Well over 100 years ago photography began in black and white and many black and white photographers, like Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lang, Robert Capa, Richard Avedon, and many others are still considered the most famous and most recognized photographers of our time. Our enduring romance with black and white photography continues today.

Not all color photographs will translate well in black and white. I’m a landscape photographer and I’ve found that my best images converted to black and white include waterfalls, buildings, structures, and any photo that includes texture, lines, shapes, and form. I’ve read that black and white will also translate well to portrait photography, industrial photography, journalism, and commercial photography.

So how do you begin?  Let’s start with your current portfolio of color images. My recommendation is to invest in a black and white software program like Topaz B&W Effects, which is a plug in to Photoshop. The Topaz program includes 200 different filters and adjustments that will bring out the best in your images. I’ve been using Topaz for several years now, but I’m sure other software programs work just as well. You will need to experiment with your images to see which ones translate/convert well to black and white. As far as new images are concerned you can change the setting in your camera to monochromatic so that you can view images in black and white prior to taking them. My preference is to view and shoot in color and then convert them using the Topaz software.

Black and white is considered timeless. Your black and white images make a bold statement and will help you stand out from the crowd. Below are just a few of my black and white images that I hope you will enjoy. To see more of my images please visit my website and if you have any questions, or comments please reach out to me via my website contact page.

Ron 0004 BW - Vintage Wash Tub - Tarbin Gardens, Franklin, NHRon 0004 BW - Vintage Wash Tub - Tarbin Gardens, Franklin, NHThis photo was taken at Tarbin Gardens in Franklin, NH and looks as good, if not better than the color version. 0794 BW - Albany Covered Bridge - Kancanagus Highway, NH0794 BW - Albany Covered Bridge - Kancanagus Highway, NHThis photo was taken on the inside of the Albany Covered Bridge located just of the Kancamagus Highway in NH 1948 BW - Franklin Trestle Bridge - Franklin, NH1948 BW - Franklin Trestle Bridge - Franklin, NHThis is a photo of the historic Franklin Trestle Bridge, spanning the Winnipesaukee River in Franklin, NH and soon to be home to a new white water river park. 0345 BW - Basin Waterfall - Franconia Notch, NH0345 BW - Basin Waterfall - Franconia Notch, NHThis photo was taken at the Basin in Franconia, Notch, NH. 1745 BW  Meredith Pier - Meredith, NH1745 BW Meredith Pier - Meredith, NHThis is a photo of the Meredith Pier just before sunrise on Meredith Bay in NH.

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) Artistic Arts Black Black and White Creative Fine Landscape Nature NH Photography Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer Scenic Timeless White https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2023/1/the-power-of-black-and-white-photography Tue, 03 Jan 2023 13:04:56 GMT
Benefits of always using a tripod https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/11/benefits-of-always-using-a-tripod Why do some photographers always use a tripod?

While I can't answer for other photographers, I can offer the following reasons why I use a tripod for virtually all my photography. I am a nature/landscape photographer and I am always looking for the greatest depth of field, which demands that I use a small aperture of anywhere from f16-f32. Your smallest aperture will depend on the type of lens you are using. In addition to a small aperture, I typically shoot using the lowest ISO of 100, which helps create the finest resolution for enlargements. Depending on your camera, you may even have an ISO of 50. The combination of a low ISO and a small aperture almost always causes me to shoot at slower shutter speeds of 1/15 second or longer, especially when I'm taking most of my photographs at dawn. Slower shutter speeds in turn require me to mount my camera on a tripod to avoid any camera movement. 

In addition to the technical reason, there is another reason why I like using a tripod which may appeal to you. Using a tripod takes more time and patience, which forces me to slow down. The process of slowing down my photo shoots gives me more time to visually explore each scene and arrange the scene for the best artistic composition. In addition, if I need to swap out lenses, I find it easier when the camera is mounted on the tripod. 

If you don't already own a tripod, I encourage you to invest in one and explore the benefits of using it to enhance your photography. 

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments about this blog, or any of my previous blogs, please contact me. 

Ron Bowman - Nature photographer

 rbphotonh@gmail.com

 www.rbphotonh.com

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) aperture camera DSLR help ISO photography Ron Bowman Nature Photographer shutter speed techniques tripod https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/11/benefits-of-always-using-a-tripod Sat, 26 Nov 2022 11:02:46 GMT
Digital Camera Training Blog 1 https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/10/digital-camera-training-blog-1 Digital Camera Training

 

My name is Ron Bowman and I’m a professional nature photographer based in New Hampshire. My photography is available on my website, as well as in 5 League of NH Craftsmen galleries (Littleton, Meredith, Center Sandwich, Hooksett, and Nashua).  My 50+ year background also includes wedding photography, real estate photography, starting a photography club, and training on digital cameras and tips on how to create better pictures.

In one of my recent digital camera training classes, many students found their new camera intimidating and had questions on how to set up their digital camera and when to use specific settings.  My goal is to provide some basic knowledge and help with understanding your DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera).  The information I will be providing will expand on what you would typically find in your camera manual.

I will be producing a series of digital camera training blog posts, which are designed for non-professionals, and I will do my best to keep things clear, simple, and understandable.  If you have further questions, I will be providing my contact information at the end of this blog post.

Before I get started, let me say that I own a Nikon D5600 digital camera. In my recent training class, all students either owned a Nikon or a Canon camera. That’s not to say there aren’t other manufacturers, but I believe the market is dominated by these two brands, especially if you are a non-professional. As you might expect, there are some differences between each brand and model, but where possible, I will try and present information that can be used by both Nikon and Canon users.

My first blog post will cover one of the dial knob settings on the top of your camera: M (manual), A or Av (aperture priority), S or Tv (shutter priority), P (program), Auto or A+ (automatic) and Scene or SCN (scene mode which includes things like portraits, landscapes, sports etc.).

“Auto” stands for automatic and is a common setting for beginners. In this mode, your camera will choose the shutter speed, aperture (lens opening), flash, and in some cameras, even the ISO setting which we will cover in a future blog post. In this mode, your results should be OK for many of your photos, but in some cases, your result may fall short of your expectation. You may want to start out using the “Auto” mode, but experiment with other modes as you develop more experience and knowledge.

“P” stands for program mode, and it is a common setting for beginners. In this mode the camera will choose the shutter speed and aperture (lens opening), but not the flash, based on how the camera’s meter is reading the scene.  Again, in this mode the camera should do a good job with most photos, but there will be some cases where your result may fall short of your expectation. I will explain this in further detail when we explore the other modes below.

“S or Tv” stands for shutter priority. In this mode you will choose the shutter speed you want for a particular scene and the camera will choose the appropriate aperture (lens opening), to give you the right exposure. One of the reasons you may want to choose your own shutter speed is when you want to slow down the exposure when photographing waterfalls (1/8 second to 2 second exposure), or when you want to use a high shutter speed to stop action when photographing sporting events, or other moving objects. Also, when using a long telephoto lens, like a 300 mm lens, you should be shooting at 1/250 second or faster to help avoid any potential camera shake due to the weight of the lens. If you were shooting in the Auto mode or Program mode, the camera might not select the higher shutter speed. Another example is when you’re photographing flowers outdoors on a breezy day…you will need a higher shutter speed 1/125 sec, or faster, to stop the motion of the flower. Again, if you shot this in the auto or program mode, your camera won’t know to compensate for the breezy conditions, which means your flower may be out of focus due to movement.

“A” or “Av” stands for aperture priority. In this mode you will choose the aperture (lens opening) and the camera will choose the appropriate shutter speed to give you’re the right exposure. One of the reasons you may want to control the aperture is when you’re wanting great depth of field (objects in the foreground and background being in sharp focus) which will usually require an aperture of f11, f16, f22, f32 etc. On the other hand, if you’re taking a portrait of a couple and you want to render the background out of focus, so it isn’t competing with the portrait, you’ll need a larger aperture like f4, or f5.6. Again, if you rely on the camera to choose all the settings, it might not select the aperture you want.

“M” stands for manual and when using this setting, you will be choosing both your shutter speed and your aperture setting. This setting is usually reserved for more advanced amateurs, and professionals, because it gives them complete control over which settings they want to use.  I don’t recommend using the manual setting until you become very familiar with your camera.

“Scene” or “SCN” stands for scene mode, which is a series of customized settings that the software has built in to accommodate specific photos. For example, in the scene mode you will find various options for landscape, portraits, pets, sports, closeups etc.  Here the camera attempts to provide just the right combination of shutter speed and aperture setting to match the scene you are photographing. As a beginner, you may want to explore using the scene mode until you become proficient in using the shutter priority or aperture priority mode.

Every successful achievement requires practice, so if you’re patient and persistent, you too will master these camera settings. In the meantime, if you have any questions, send me an email and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. Ron Bowman   rbphotonh@gmail.com or use the contact page on my website: www.rbphotonh.com

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) aperture beginner camera digital DSLR novice photography Ron Bowman Nature Photographer scene settings shutter speed training https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/10/digital-camera-training-blog-1 Sat, 01 Oct 2022 18:37:40 GMT
How and why to use a variable neutral density filter on your DSLR camera. https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/9/how-and-why-to-use-a-variable-neutral-density-filter-on-your-dslr-camera Benefits of using a variable neutral density (ND) filter on your DSLR camera.

What is a variable neutral density filter?

These filters reduce the amount of light entering your camera, so think of the filter like a pair of sunglasses. There are many different models and manufacturers to choose from, but the most popular reduce light from 1-5 stops or 2-8 stops. These filters won't affect the color, contrast or sharpness of your photos. By having multiple stops, you can effectively choose the setting to achieve your desired result. You can also purchase a fixed ND filter, ie. 4 stops, but you won't be able to vary the exposure like you can with a variable filter. 

When, or why would you want to use a ND filter?

These filters are most commonly used to blur the movement of water, especially when photographing lakes, oceans, risers and waterfalls. For example, let's say you want to photograph a lake scene, where the water is totally calm and tranquil. You will probably want to shoot at a slow exposure of 10-30 seconds. The challenge is that even choosing the lowest ISO of 100 and the smallest aperture (f22 - f32), your camera won't allow you to shoot any longer than 1/15 second, or you will overexpose the photo. By adding the variable ND filter (2-8 stops), to your lens, you can effect effectively shoot the same scene at an exposure of 16 seconds. Another example might be a waterfall you are wanting to photograph at a slow exposure of 1 second, but your camera won't allow an exposure of longer than 1/15 seconds due to the time of day. Again, by adding the ND filter, you can easily shoot at 1 second by reducing the light by 4 stops. 

How do you use the filter?

These filters simply screw onto the front of your camera lens, so make sure you order the right size, ie. 55mm, 72 mm etc. Once it's treaded to your lens, you can monitor the effect by rotating the filter, which is similar to using a polarizer. 

Tip: It's entirely possible that when you dial the filter to it's darkest setting, it reduces so much light that your camera won't be able to auto focus or correctly meter the scene. To overcome this, dial the filter to its lightest setting (where it lets in the most light) and depress the shutter half way to lock in the focus and meter setting. Now that the camera has locked in the autofocus, while continuing to hold down the shutter half way, dial the filter back to it's darkest setting, then depress the shutter all the way. It goes without saying that your camera will need to be mounted on a tripod and you might also find it easier to use an electronic shutter release. 

I'm attaching 2 examples of photos where I used the ND filter. The fist one of the Weirs Beach Pier, was shot at 8 seconds and f22. The second photo of Meredith Bay was shot at 10 seconds and f32. Notice how the lake is calm and tranquil?  Good luck and don't hesitate to contact me, Ron Bowman, with any questions: rbphotonh@gmail.com 

2217 Weirs Beach Pier - Weirs Beach, NH2217 Weirs Beach Pier - Weirs Beach, NHThis is an early morning, twilight photo taken at the Weirs Beach pier in Weirs Beach, NH 2382 Meredith Bay - Meredith, NH2382 Meredith Bay - Meredith, NHMeredith Bay just before sunrise, from Clough Park in Meredith, NH

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) Calm Density Digital DSLR Filter Neutral Photography Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer Shutter Slow Speeds Variable Waters https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/9/how-and-why-to-use-a-variable-neutral-density-filter-on-your-dslr-camera Mon, 05 Sep 2022 17:31:53 GMT
Snapshots vs good photographs https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/6/snapshots-vs-good-photographs Snapshots vs. good photographs

The proliferation of smart phones, along with their improved camera quality, has contributed to the often-held viewpoint, that anyone can create artistic, professional photographs. While it’s true that you don’t have to be a professional photographer, to create great photographs, there is a world of difference between a random snapshot vs a well thought out, professional photograph. In this article, we are going to explore how to create good photographs.  Many people often wonder if they can create good photographs with a smart phone, or do they have to invest in a DSLR – digital single lens reflex camera. While DSLR cameras do offer many features often not found on smart phones, which makes them the idea choice for certain types of photographs, you can still create good photographs using your smartphone. You just need to understand your camera’s limitations and work around them, while learning a new way to preplan, compose and capture images.

 

Basically, a snapshot is a random photo, taken without any creative thought, whereas as a professional looking, artistic photograph is created with intent and attention to detail.  Here is an example of what I’m talking about. You’re driving along the beach and notice a nice scene, so you park the car, grab your camera, and snap a picture. For all intents and purposes, that’s an example of a snapshot. Now contrast that scenario with the following:  You want to take some sunrise photographs at the beach during low tide, so you study when low tide and the sunrise will occur at the same time. Then you watch the weather, waiting for a sunny or partly sunny day, rise early enough to drive to the beach and capture the sunrise photographs. That’s an example of creating a photograph with intent and thought. Can you see the difference?

 

Most professional photographers would agree that great looking photographs have the following in common: They are in focus, properly exposed (not too dark or too light), have one main point of focus, are unique (difficult or impossible to reproduce again), cause the viewer to feel some emotion when viewing them and are artistic looking, which means they include the use of color, lighting, form/shape/patterns, perspective and good composition.

 

Now let’s discuss photographing the scene. Certain types of photographs will simply look better in specific lighting conditions. For example, a sunrise/sunset photo will show more color in the sky in partly sunny conditions…a portrait will look better on an overcast day, or in shade…a waterfall on a cloudy/overcast day…flowers on a cloudy/overcast day with minimal wind…mountain scenes just after sunrise, late morning, or late afternoon etc. This article isn’t meant to be a study course on how to use lighting to achieve a certain effect, but it’s important to study how various light can be used to achieve a certain effect. The key is to experiment by taking lots of photos under all sorts of sorts of lighting conditions, to learn which lighting works best.  The most challenging light for virtually any photograph will be at noon on a sunny day when the light is directly overhead. So, I would recommend avoiding this time of day if possible.

 

During your preplanning stage you should be thinking about which camera lens and settings will be used to create your photograph. DSLR cameras offer many lens options and numerous camera settings that will allow you to create good photographs.  Many of the lesser expensive smartphone cameras only have one lens (a wide angle), which will limit your ability to capture certain scenes, like wildlife, sporting events etc. Some of the more expensive smartphones have a telephoto lens and  will also allow you to adjust the shutter speed, which are important for certain types of photos, like sporting events, where your subject is always moving. If you are serious about photography, I would encourage you to invest in a new or used DSLR camera, as it will offer all the tools to help you create artistic photos.

 

Some other tips: Crop as much as possible using your camera, pay attention to backgrounds and move around your subject to eliminate distracting backgrounds that interfere with your subject. Look for interesting colors, patterns, shapes, forms, and lighting.  You may want to return to the same spot to take photos during the different seasons. If your subjects are coming out blurry, try leaning up against a tree, building etc., or pull your elbows onto your body to help steady the camera. You can also invest in a monopod or tripod to hold the camera.

 

Many photographs can be further enhanced using your computer to adjust things like shadows, lighting, contrast, color, sharpness, etc. Photoshop is a popular software program that is used by most professionals to add finishing touches to their photos.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Go out and create some photographs. Remember, some preplanning and attention to detail will help you transition from taking snapshots, to creating photographs.

 

If you have any questions, send me an email and I’ll try to help you.

 

Ron Bowman

rbphotonh@gmail.com

www.rbphotonh.com

 

1745 Meredith Pier - Meredith, NH1745 Meredith Pier - Meredith, NHThis photo was taken from the pier located in front of Bay Point at Mill Falls and shows the sunrise over Meredith Bay, Lake Winnipesaukee on a beautiful June morning. 2217 Weirs Beach Pier - Weirs Beach, NH2217 Weirs Beach Pier - Weirs Beach, NHThis is an early morning, twilight photo taken at the Weirs Beach pier in Weirs Beach, NH 1503 Mt. Washington Alpenglow - Bretton Woods, NH1503 Mt. Washington Alpenglow - Bretton Woods, NHThis photo was taken at sunset, offering a special effect knows as alpenglow (pink coloring), on Mt. Washington and the presidential range. The photo was taken in Bretton Woods and also shows the Mt. Washington Hotel. 2337 Mt. Chocorua - Summer  Tamworth, NH2337 Mt. Chocorua - Summer Tamworth, NHThis photo was taken of Mt. Chocurua at the Chocorua observation area on Rte 16, just above Chocorua Lake in early June. I hope to return for the same photo in the fall and winter months. 2309 St. Matthew's Chapel - Sugar Hill, NH2309 St. Matthew's Chapel - Sugar Hill, NHThis photo depicts the iconic St. Matthew's Chapel and a field of lupine in Sugar Hill, NH

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) artistic creative dslr good lakes lupine mountains photographs photography professional ron bowman nh landscape photographer scenic smartphones snapshots sunrise https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/6/snapshots-vs-good-photographs Thu, 23 Jun 2022 20:32:12 GMT
Ogunquit Beach, Maine Sunrise Photo Shoot https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/3/ogunquit-beach-maine-sunrise-photo-shoot Ogunquit Beach, Maine Sunrise Photo Shoot

Ron Bowman, NH Landscape Photographer

I live in NH, where we only have about 20 miles of coastal shoreline, but just to the north, Maine boasts many miles of sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, offering many beautiful sunrise opportunities. On March 20th, the first day of spring, I traveled to Ogunquit, Maine to photograph the sunrise. So, why did I choose March 20th?  That date was very calculated and based on the combination of a low tide at sunrise and clear weather. As it turned out, there were only a handful of days in March where sunrise occurred at the same time as low tide. 

On March 20th, I left my home in central NH at 4:15am, to arrive around 6:00am at Ogunquit Beach, which gave me time to set up prior to sunrise at 6:57am. Interestingly, I left home in dense fog, which prevailed on my entire drive through NH and into southern Maine. I was very worried that my nearly 2 hour road trip was going to be a total waste of time, but fortunately, when I arrived in Ogunquit, the fog had lifted over the beach. 

After arriving at 6am in Perkins Cove, I grabbed my tripod and camera bag and set a quick walking pace up Marginal Way, which overlooks the ocean. After about 10 minutes I arrived at the north end of Marginal Way and was able to walk down to Ogunquit Beach. At this time of day there were very few people on the beach, which presented me with no interruptions or distractions. I spent around 5-10 minutes searching for the perfect composition, where I could photograph the sunrise, tidal pools, the beach and rocks all in the same picture. Looking east I could see where the sunrise would come up and I set up my camera and tripod accordingly. Many photographers enjoy photographing the landscape during twilight hours, just before sunrise, as this often results in beautiful colors in the sky. Some of the most vibrant colors occur on cloudy or partly cloudy days, but March 20th turned out to be a sunny day. I took one twilight photo and several sunrise photos over the next 10 minutes. Once the sun rises to a certain point over the horizon, it changes the landscape lighting and makes it more challenging depending on what you're looking to achieve in your photos. For me, my day was finished, so I began my journey back home to post process my RAW images in Photoshop.  

For those of you who own a digital camera, here is what I used to produce these sunrise photos:  Nikon D5600 camera, 10-20mm lens (shot at 12mm), a variable neutral density filter, tripod, ISO 100, aperture priority setting at f25 and shutter speeds from 1/5 sec. - 2.5 seconds. 

If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email: rbphotonh@gmail.com

2130 Ogunquit Beach Twilight - Ogunquit, ME2130 Ogunquit Beach Twilight - Ogunquit, METwilight photo just before sunrise on Ogunquit Beach ME 2140 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, ME2140 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, MEEarly morning sunrise on Ogunquit Beach ME, showing tidal pool. 2143 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, ME2143 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, MEEarly morning sunrise on Ogunquit Beach, ME 2137 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, ME2137 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, MESunrise on Ogunquit Beach, ME 2138 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, ME2138 Ogunquit Beach Sunrise - Ogunquit, MEPhoto taken at sunrise on Ogunquit Beach, ME

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) Beach Coastline Maine Ocean Ogunquit Photography Pool Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer Scenic Sunrise Tidal https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/3/ogunquit-beach-maine-sunrise-photo-shoot Fri, 25 Mar 2022 18:03:48 GMT
iPhone/Smartphone vs. DSLR Camera - which is better? https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/2/iphone/smartphone-vs-dslr-camera---which-is-better iPhones and other Smartphones vs. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras – which is better for you?

In this article I’m going to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each type of camera and then apply that information to help determine the best camera to meet your needs. But before I get started, I’d like to point out that all the information I’m about to share with you, are my opinions, which may differ from yours, or the opinions of others.

My name is Ron Bowman and I’m a professional landscape photographer. Since the late 1960’s I’ve worked in photographic retail, wedding photography, real estate photography and landscape photography.  In addition, I founded a photography club in Florida, have taught digital photography classes and currently sell my landscape photos through several League of NH Craftsmen galleries. I have owned and operated virtually every type of camera (film & digital), including: Polaroids, 35 mm rangefinders, 35mm SLRs, medium format cameras, a 4x5 view camera, DSLR cameras and several iPhone cameras.  Now that I’ve established my background, let’s get started.

iPhone and Smart phone advantages:

  • You may already own one which eliminates the need for another investment
  • Smart phones are more compact than DSLR’s
  • These cameras produce great images in low light conditions without having to make adjustments, which are required with DSLR’s
  • The cameras in smartphones are constantly improving and produce high quality images
  • Many of the higher end models include several different lenses (wide angle, super wide angle and zoom lens)
  • Many of the higher end models include features that allow for changing ISO, shutter speed, lighting etc.
  • Smartphones make it easier to upload photos to social media than digital cameras
  • They allow you to store thousands of photos, which you can easily share with others

iPhone and Smart phone disadvantages vs. DSLR cameras

  • Camera sensors are smaller which make it harder to produce high quality images when enlarging them beyond 11x14. Many DSLR camera can produce quality enlargements up to 24x36 or larger.
  • If you don’t currently own a high-end smartphone, then it’s going to cost you $1,000+. You can purchase a high quality DSLR for as little as $500.00
  • Phone cameras still don’t offer as many adjustments as DSLR’s, which can be important for certain types of photos
  • Phone cameras don’t have interchangeable lenses like DSLR’s
  • The zoom lenses on high-end smartphones typically don’t extend beyond 77mm, but for some types of photos like wildlife, sports etc., you will need a 300mm+ lens
  • Phone cameras don’t provide for changing the aperture, which many photographers like to control when creating specific images and effects
  • Most serious amateurs or professionals use a DSLR for work they intend to sell

 

DSLR advantages compared to high-end iPhones and other Smartphones

  • Due to both the optics and larger image sensors, these cameras allow you to enlarge photos to 24x36 or larger without the loss of quality
  • DSLR’s provide for interchangeable lenses which can be used for close up photography, wildlife photography, sports etc.
  • DSLR’s offer many more adjustments than smartphones to help control aperture, ISO, white balance, image quality, etc
  • If you are a serious amateur, or a professional looking to sell your work, you will want and need a DSLR to compete with other photographers

DSLR disadvantages vs. smartphones

  • Cameras are much bulkier and heavier making is more difficult to carry around, especially when traveling
  • Cameras, due to size, often require a camera bag to lug around
  • It takes longer to compose and shoot a scene than a smartphone
  • They are not as convenient to upload images to social media
  • They are not as convenient to store photos and then share with others
  • They take longer to learn how to use than smartphone cameras
  • They require an investment of $500.00 or several thousand dollars, vs a smartphone which you probably already own

So, which is the best camera for you?  It all depends on what type of photos that you are wanting to take?  If you are a serious amateur or professional, looking to enlarge photos beyond 11x14 and you want to sell your work, then you will need a DSLR camera. If you want to take photos of wildlife, or sports, you will need a DSLR camera. On the other hand, if you’re just wanting good quality photos to share with family, friends, and to post on social media, all you need is a good smartphone.

If you still have questions, please contact me and I’ll do my best to help you. Contact info: rbphotonh@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) camera comparisons cameras compared comparison DSLR iPhone iPhone vs DSLR photography Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer Smartphone Smartphone vs. DSLR https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2022/2/iphone/smartphone-vs-dslr-camera---which-is-better Fri, 25 Feb 2022 15:02:32 GMT
Starting a Wedding Photography Business https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/11/starting-a-wedding-photography-business Starting a Wedding Photography Business by Ron Bowman

 My background: At the present time I am a NH landscape photographer, but in years past I was a successful wedding photographer and for that reason I feel I’m qualified to share my knowledge with you. From the period 1970 – 1983, I owned and operated a part-time wedding photography business in southern NH, where I photographed around 300 weddings. Back in this time I used medium format, Koni Omega rangefinder cameras, with a separate handheld light meter and external flash. This equipment, compared with the digital cameras today, was very limiting. I only got 10 exposures per roll of film, so I had to have multiple camera backs preloaded with film and since I couldn’t change the ISO, I had to choose just one type of color film (ISO 100). Because of the camera limitations, I usually only shot around 100 photos. Once exposed, the film was then sent out for processing, which took up to 2 weeks and I always nervously awaited the results, hoping I didn’t mess up and that the film wasn’t lost, or damaged.

After closing my part-time wedding business around 1983, I then focused exclusively on taking landscape photos, but re-entered the wedding photography business again in 2008, using Olympus digital camera equipment. This time around, my part-time wedding photography business lasted only 3 years and I shot about 25 weddings. Although the digital camera equipment made it much easier to shoot weddings, the challenge for me was in dealing with people and the pressure to produce photos in a very limited amount of time. Although I’m glad to have experienced photographing weddings in my senior years, I’m also glad to have closed my business after 3 years, where I returned to my passion of landscape photography.

Using my past knowledge, I’m going to share some information with you regarding the benefits of wedding photography, how to get started, where to advertise, and what equipment to purchase. Before I get started it’s important to know that I’m only presenting on still photography and not video photography.  

Benefits of wedding photography: If you enjoy people and photography, then wedding photography can be a great part-time, or full-time business. As a part-time business, you can use wedding photography to supplement your other job by working weekends and getting paid at a high hourly rate. Wedding photography can also be your full-time business, but you may need to supplement it with other types of photography (portraits, pets, industrial, commercial, etc.). So how much can you earn? When I stopped doing weddings back in 2011, I was earning about $100.00 per hour, so if you compare that with other types of jobs, this was quite lucrative. If I had to offer a guess today, I would assume you could earn anywhere from $50.00/hour to $150.00/hour. When I earned $100.00/hour, I was charging $500.00 for 4 hours of coverage or $1,000.00 for 8 hours of coverage. Because I shot in JPEG and not RAW, I didn’t have to spend much time editing and my fee only included my time, plus all images copied to a flash drive. The bride was responsible for all printing. This gave me an advantage over conventional studios, who charged thousands of dollars and spent a lot of time selling wedding books, albums etc.

Skills Required: As you can imagine, not everyone is qualified to shoot weddings. You need to have a complete understanding of your camera equipment and photoshop editing. From a personality point of view, you need to be very comfortable working with people, including difficult personalities, you need to have patience and you need to be able to operate under pressure. Let’s face it, some brides, grooms, along with their families can be extremely demanding and sometimes difficult to get along with. You are also constantly under the gun with respect to time, so you need to be organized, know what you need to photograph, and you need to be able to work in a highly choreographed time frame. If you think you have the skills required, then let’s discuss the equipment you will need and how to market your business.

Equipment: You will need to invest in 2 DSLR camera bodies, 4 zoom lenses (2- 18mm-55mm and 2 – 70mm-200mm or 300mm), 2 external high end electronic flashes, camera bag, misc. filters, tripod, 2 flash brackets (to raise the electronic flash about 6-8” over the top of the camera), several memory cards, extra flash batteries and 4 camera batteries. Many of the popular DSLR camera packages today are manufactured by Nikon or Canon (24 mega pixel), and range in price from a low of $600.00 to $2,000.00+. I don’t believe one brand is better than the other, so I would stick with the brand you are most familiar with using. Trust me, you don’t need to invest in a full frame DSLR camera. You will need to invest in the best electronic flash made for that brand of camera, which typically run around $500.00. A key point is that you will need 2 of everything just in case you have an equipment failure. So, a budget number for all your equipment should run somewhere from $3,500.00 - $5,000.00.

How to get started: When I first started out, I was working in a camera department located within a department store. One day one of the employees asked me if I would photograph her wedding, so I agreed to do it for free. I ended up photographing my first few weddings at no charge, except for the cost of film and processing. This gave me the confidence to start charging for my service. If you don’t have the same opportunity, I would recommend several other options: attend as many friends’ weddings and take your own photos, watch what the pros are doing, read up on wedding photography, take an online course, or go to work for a studio to gain the mentoring experience. You could also advertise to do your initial weddings for free or a minimal charge to gain the experience. Regardless how you get started, it’s vital that you understand how to use your camera and all it’s software settings. Do not offer to take pictures until you are completely comfortable with your equipment. If you get the opportunity to take photos at a friend’s wedding, you should reproduce those in an album, photo book, or on your website. Once you start doing weddings on your own, you can then add new photos to your albums, photo books and website so that new prospects can view your work.

Where to advertise: Marketing and advertising will become your biggest challenge once you decide to get into the wedding business. It will take time to build your business and grow your customer list. Once you do get started, referrals are a great way to build your business. Many of my leads came from engagements listed in the local newspapers. Today, most couples will search the internet, or social media, to find a wedding photographer, so you will need to set up a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and a website. I would recommend attending one or more bridal shows, so see what your competitors are offering. Then, when you’re ready to market your business, I would recommend attending at least one bridal show as an exhibitor. You may find this to be an excellent source of leads and sales. I would also recommend visiting bridal shops, flower shops, and wedding event locations (hotels, banquet halls, etc.) to leave your business cards or brochures. These businesses could be an excellent source of leads. If your budget allows, you may want to consider running an ad in your local newspaper. Setting up a website can be expensive, so you may want to check out a website service like Zenfolio, where you can establish a professional website for several hundred dollars per year.

Same sex marriages: I didn’t have the opportunity to photograph same sex marriages, but they have become popular today. When I describe which photos to take, I’m going to be referring to the traditional bride & groom couple based on my past experience, but you will just need to apply this to the same sex couple you will be photographing.

Pictures to take: If you were hired for a full day’s photo shoot you will probably start where the bride is getting prepared and dressed. This could be at her home, a friend or relative’s home, a hotel etc. I would arrive at least an hour prior to the start of the ceremony and then allow enough time to get to the church or where the ceremony will take place. In some cases, the bride will be getting married at home, so this will make things much easier. Practice patience, as the bride is rarely ready on time. Most likely, she will be ready for photos 10-15 minutes prior to leaving to go to the ceremony. I’m not going to go into how to set up each photo, but here are some photos you will want to take:

Bride dressing, maid or matron of honor helping her get dressed, putting on the veil, bride with her attendants, bride alone, bride with flowers, bride with father or other key person, bride with parents, bride with friends, bride getting into limo. Some of these photos may be taken outside if the weather cooperates and the setting is appropriate. If it’s overcast, you’re in luck, as the lighting will be more even outdoors. If it’s sunny out, seek shade when taking photos of people outdoors.

Ceremony location photos: Back in the 1970’s virtually all my weddings took place in a church. Today it could be the town hall, a backyard, church, synagogue, banquet hall, hotel etc. If it’s a church, you should talk with the minister, rabbi, priest, or other clergy member to check on protocol regarding photos during the ceremony and if there are any restrictions regarding the use of electronic flash.

The groom will have arrived 15-30 minutes prior to the ceremony, so this will give you some time to take a few photos of the groom and groomsmen. Other photos include: Bride getting out of limo, bride entering the church/hall, bride with her Dad or person walking her down the aisle, attendants walking down the aisle, ring bearer and flower girl walking down the aisle, bride and groom along with officiant, bride and groom exchanging vows, bride and groom exchanging rings, bride and groom kissing, bride and groom walking back down aisle. Please keep in mind that some of these photos won’t be appropriate, or available due to the wedding venue, or people attending.

Formal photos: Formal photos are usually taken where the ceremony took place, at the reception hall or at an outdoor location. If it’s an outdoor location you should familiarize yourself with this site prior to the wedding day, to get an idea of the best location for photos. Seek shade if outdoors on a sunny day. If the location is different than where the reception will take place, keep in mind the distance in travel time, as you will need to make sure you’re done taking photos and back in time for the reception to begin. This is often a time of great stress, as you will need to stage all group and individual photos in a very short time frame. Having a family member assist with rounding up people will greatly help.

Some of the formal photos will include: The bride and groom together, the groom and groomsmen, the bride and bridesmaids, bride with her family, bride and groom with her family, groom with his family, bride and groom with his family, bride with friends, groom with friends, bride and groom with friends. There will also be photos that the bride and groom are going to want of specific family members or friends. Remember, when you photograph the bride and groom, take a series of close up ¾ length shots and full- length photos showing the entire bridal gown and train if she has one.

Reception photos: These photos are typically candid and not posed. This is time to relax a bit, as things will slowdown and you won’t be under the gun to meet a time deadline. Photos at the reception include: Bride and groom entering the reception hall, bride and groom’s first dance, bride and her father’s dance, groom and his mom’s dance, various dance photos, photo of the guest book, gifts, cutting of the cake, feeding each other, removal of garter, bride throwing bouquet, groom throwing garter, and bride/groom going away shots.

Other business expenses: I would recommend hiring an attorney to help you set up your business (as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or a corporation). In addition, you will need an accountant, business insurance, registration of your business name with the State, and a wedding contract. The contract can either be created by your attorney, or you can download one off the internet.

What happens if you are unable to photograph the wedding: The biggest fear I had throughout my wedding career is what if I was sick, had an accident, injured, or the car broke down and couldn’t photograph the wedding. I was lucky in that I never experienced this problem, but it was always on my mind. My recommendation is that you have a backup plan in place if this ever happens to you. Reach out to other wedding photographers to see if they can be used as a backup. Let’s face it, every wedding photographer has the same challenge, so try and work together on a solution. Another idea is to hire an apprentice to work with you on all weddings so that they could take over in your absence. At one point in my lifetime, I even considered starting a business where I would make myself available in emergencies to other wedding photographers and charge them an annual fee to keep me on backup.

Education: Keep experimenting and learning from other pros by looking at competitor’s website photos, reading wedding photography books, joining a professional photography association, taking an on-line wedding photography course, etc.

RAW vs. JPEG: You will also need to decide if you’re going to shoot in RAW and do all your editing in your computer, or if you are going to shoot in JPEG, which will save a lot of editing time. Shooting in JPEG will save you with post editing time, but, shooting in RAW will allow you to enhance your final images.

Wedding offering: You will also need to decide if you are going to just shoot the wedding and give the bride the flash drive, or if you want to offer finished photos, albums, or photo books. You will make more money by offering various print packages, but keep in mind this takes time and if you don’t have a studio location, you will end up having to travel to meet up with the bride later.

Payment for services: My policy was to get a 50% deposit up front when I booked the wedding. There have been some reported, unfortunate incidents, where photographers took deposits and then didn’t provide any photos. So, you may need to modify your payment policy for certain brides if they won’t agree with your 50% upfront deposit. Perhaps you can work out something where you will be paid 50% at the conclusion of the reception and the balance upon delivery of the flash drive or photo package.

Best of success with your future wedding photography career. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me: rbphotonh@gmail.com or through my website: www.rbphotonh.com

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) business how photography start to Wedding https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/11/starting-a-wedding-photography-business Mon, 29 Nov 2021 11:33:29 GMT
How to use e-mail marketing to sell your photographs and paintings. https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/9/how-to-use-e-mail-marketing-to-sell-your-photographs-and-paintings How to use e-mail marketing to sell your photographs and paintings.

Hello fellow photographers and artists. Have you ever wondered how to use e-mail marketing to promote your photography and artwork? If you're like most other artists, you have your own website, use a national website store, a local gallery, or you use social media to sell your photos and paintings. I am a NH landscape photographer and I've had some success selling my work in a local gallery and on my website, but I've had no luck with social media. I've found that the biggest challenge with my website is getting noticed on the internet and attracting new visitors. That said, I'm always looking for new and creative methods of self promotion.

When I'm not taking pictures, I work part-time for my brother's funeral supply business and I've had great success promoting his products and services using e-mail marketing. This experience gave me the idea that I might be able to use this same strategy to promote my landscape photography. I'm happy to report that I've had success using e-mail marketing, which I'd like to share with you. This is what is know as "proof of concept" in the business world. Are you ready to learn something new?  Then let's get started...

Target Market: The first challenge is to try and identify who your target market is (your typical buyer). I attempted to find out who typically buys photography (wall art), but quickly discovered that this information isn't readily available. If you've been selling your artwork for awhile now, perhaps you have created a profile of your typical buyer. Regardless, it this profile information isn't available, you can still be successful marketing your work. 

E-Mail List: The second challenge is to buy, or build your own e-mail list of prospects. From what I've read, buying a list can be expensive and limiting. Many list vendors will only allow you to use the list once and will charge you each time you use it, which can get expensive. So, let's examine how you can create your own e-mail list. Using myself as an example, I know many businesses buy and display wall art and photography: Lawyers, Doctors, Dentists, Inns, Hotels, Interior Decorators, Funeral Homes, Banks, Colleges, Municipalities, etc. I also know many people buy wall art for their home, but trying to find e-mail addresses for people is much more difficult than finding e-mail addresses for businesses.  So, the first thing I did was build an e-mail list, starting with people I knew (doctors, dentist, accountant, financial advisor, contractors, neighbors, friends, family, former employers, etc.). Next, I did a google search using Manta, which will list businesses in a specific city/town. Focusing on those businesses that had a website, I then searched them to obtain an e-mail address. Some published their e-mail address, while others used an on-line e-mail form. I also found some business e-mail addresses by going to their company Facebook page.  In addition, I found that if you google a College/University, or private High School, many publish the e-mail addresses for their administrative staff and their faculty. Many law firms also provide personal e-mail addresses for all of their lawyers. Once you create a list don't forget to add your own e-mail address so that you will get a copy of all messages you send out. When you create your list, you can lump all businesses together, or you can create many smaller lists, segmented by industry type, ie. Lawyers. By creating a separate list you can target a specific message to just that market segment. For example, your promotional message to Interior Decorators might be different that your message to Lawyers. 

E-Mail Marketing Company: Now that I had built an e-mail list, I realized that it made more sense to use an e-mail marketing company to send out my bulk promotions and to manage the statistics, unsubscribes etc. Having used Constant Contact for my brother's business, I decided to use them for my e-mail promotions. Before I go further I'd like to explain that I'm not a paid spokesman for Constant Contact, nor have I received any financial benefit from them. There are many e-mail marketing companies similar to Constant Contact (MailChimp, HubSpot, Sendin Blue, Drip, etc.). I encourage you to do your own research before you select the company that best meets your needs. 

Constant Contact Billing: Constant Contact charges $20.00 per month to store up to 500 contacts. If you go over this amount, I believe their next billing tier is $45.00 for up to 2,500 contacts. They don't charge per list, so you could upload multiple lists and they also don't charge for the actual e-mail blasts (transmissions). So, in theory, you could send out an e-mail promotion daily and still only pay $20.00 per month, assuming you uploaded less than 500 contacts. I think you'll find Constant Contact's billing to be very competitive with other companies, but again, you can do your own research and make your own choice. 

How it Works:  Once you set up your account you can then upload your list, or lists of contacts. I built my lists using Excel and they were easy to upload.  Names can be added or deleted from these lists as needed. Your next step is to create a campaign (e-mail message). Constant Contact offers well over 50 different templates, which you can customize to meet your specific needs. You have full creativity in the type and size of the font, color, inserting photos etc. You will give each campaign (e-mail transmission) a name and title. When you are building your message content, you can easily link and imbed your website or e-mail address to the body of the message so prospects can easily reach you. Since you are a visual artist, you will want to include one or more images of your photography or paintings. As to the body of the message I'll leave that up to your creative talent. Once you create a message you can then send a "test" message to your own e-mail for proofing. Then, once you are satisfied with the message you can send it out immediately, or schedule for another date and time. You can also send the message to just one list, or all your lists. As to when to send the message, I would recommend early morning, M-F. 

Managing the Results: Once the e-mail message has been sent, you can then track the results of the campaign. I would recommend waiting one or two days before checking results. Most people will open or delete e-mail messages the same day or no later than the next day. Sure, you might find some people checking their e-mail a week later, but most of your results will come in within the first two days of the campaign. As far as results, Constant Contact will show you the following: # Sent, # Bounced (undeliverable), #Opened, % Opened, # Unopened, #Clicks on your website, #Unsubscribed and #Spam (those who classified your message as spam). The national average Open rate is about 22%, so you can compare your results with the national averages. Don't be discouraged though if many of your prospects don't open your message, as many people automatically delete e-mail messages they aren't expecting. If you want to identify who opened your message you can click on "Opened" in the campaign results page. Those who opened your message are more likely to become prospects or buyers, so you may want to eventually build a new list of just those who opened your messages. After multiple campaigns, you may want to consider deleting those businesses or people who won't even open your messages. By deleting them, you are freeing up space to add new contacts. Multiple messaging will help to build your image, but I would caution not to send out e-mails too frequently, as you will end up with more unsubscribes. 

My Results: Over the first two months of using Constant Contact I sent out 16 different e-mail campaigns. Most of these were to different lists and not to the same list of prospects. My total billing came to $40.00 over the 2 month period, as I kept my total number of contacts less than 500. Here were my results:

1437 - Total e-mails sent;  70 - bounced (undeliverable);  1367 - total delivered;  371 - total opened (represents an open rate of 27%);  39 - website clicks (those who went to my website);  16 - unsubscribed;  1 - spam classification and most important:  I sold 8 photographs to 3 separate customers. 

If you have any questions, or comments, please contact me: Ron Bowman at:  rbphotonh@gmail.com or by using my contact page on my website: www.rbphotonh.com

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) advertising artwork campaign Constant Contact email list market marketing open paintings photography promotions Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer selling target https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/9/how-to-use-e-mail-marketing-to-sell-your-photographs-and-paintings Sun, 26 Sep 2021 13:26:20 GMT
How large can you print photos? https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/7/how-large-can-you-print-photos How large can you print?

Have you ever wondered how large you can print a photo without sacrificing quality?  As you might imagine, there are a number of factors to weigh before answering your question:

1. What type of camera did you use to take the photo? (cell phone camera, small digital camera, DSLR - digital single lens reflex camera)

2. If you took the photo using a DSLR camera, what sensor were you using (APS -C, Four Thirds, or Full Frame)?

3. What was your camera's megapixel size and more importantly, did you have your camera set on the highest quality setting?

4. Is your photo in sharp focus and not even slightly blurry/out of focus?

5. What ISO setting did you use to take the photo (100, 200, 400, 800 etc.)?

6. How large a photo would you like to print?

7. Will you be printing on paper (glossy, textured, matte, or printing on canvas?

8. What will be your typical viewing distance?

9. Did you crop your original image or keep the original size?

As you can see, there are a number of factors that will affect the over quality of your photo and how large you can ultimately print. So let's take a look at these so that we can determine the largest print size. 

Cell phone cameras and small (pocket size), digital cameras use a very small sensor to record the image, so assuming the photo is in focus and you didn't use a high ISO rating over 400, I would estimate the largest size you could print with acceptable quality would be an 8x10 photo.  

Let's say you created the photo using a DSLR camera using a Four Thirds or APS-C sensor (most common), the image is in sharp focus, the camera was set up to shoot in the highest resolution, you didn't crop the image and you used a lower ISO speed of 100-400, then please note the following estimated maximum sizes for producing good quality photos ( note I didn't say perfect quality - 300 dpi, but rather good/acceptable quality):

8 - mega pixel: 11"x14";  12  mega pixel: 16"x24"; 16-18 mega pixel: 20"x30"; 24 mega pixel: 24"x36"; 40+ mega pixel: 30"x40"

Large prints are typically hung on walls and viewed at a distance, which allows for the larger sizes. Glossy paper is the most likely to show lower resolution, so you may want to print on a textured paper, matte paper or on canvas. 

If you own a full frame camera, even if the mega pixels are 18-24, you should be able to print up to 30x40 with good quality due to the larger sensor size. 

Ron Bowman, NH Landscape Photographer

rbphotonh@gmail.com

www.rbphotonh.com

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) camera DSLR focus ISO photography photos print quality Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer sensor sharp size https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/7/how-large-can-you-print-photos Sun, 25 Jul 2021 13:28:01 GMT
Photographing Sunrises and Sunsets https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/7/photographing-sunrises-and-sunsets How to photograph sunrises and sunsets

Have you ever wondered how to photograph a sunrise or sunset? Or, have you ever wondered when is the best time or what are the best weather conditions for capturing color in the sky? Well, that is what we are going to discuss in this article. 

Sunrise: Since the sun rises in the east, think about the best westerly location to set up in. This could be the west side of a lake, mountain vista, meadow or at the beach. Remember, the sun rises at different spots depending on the season. Plan on arriving 1 hour prior to sunrise, which will give you plenty of time to locate the ideal spot and watch the colors change during the twilight hours just prior to sunrise. Depending on the light, most of your images will be long exposures of 1 second or longer, so set up your camera on a tripod and take a series of photos as the colors change in the sky. I would recommend setting your digital camera on Aperture Mode, if you want control over the aperture, or Program Mode, which will allow the camera to choose both the aperture and shutter speed. Personally I would choose Aperture Mode and let the camera choose the shutter speed. A great accessory to have is a variable neutral density filter, which will allow you to extend the exposure and create great shots of lake or beach water. Some digital cameras also have a Scene Mode for Dusk/Dawn or Sunset, which you might want to experiment with. The best time to get color in the sky is when the cloud cover is somewhere between 30%-70%, so monitor the weather for cloudy or partly conditions. You may also want to check out the website: www.sunsetwx.com, which will show you both sunset and sunrise conditions. 

Sunset: Similar to my comments about sunrises, you will need to plan on being on the easterly side of a lake, meadow, mountain range etc. I would plan on arriving 30 minutes prior to sunset and plan on a series of photos even after sunset, when the sky becomes more saturated in color. Again, you should monitor the weather and look for cloudy or partly cloudy conditions, or use the website: www.sunsetwx.com.  Some of the most dramatic sunsets occur right after a thunderstorm, so keep this in mind and plan accordingly. 

Ron Bowman, NH Landscape Photographer

www.rbphotonh.com

rbphotonh@gmail.com

 

1745 Meredith Pier - Meredith, NH1745 Meredith Pier - Meredith, NHThis early morning June sunrise photo was taken of Meredith Bay Lake Winnipesaukee at the Bay Point at Mill Falls pier. RON_1434-signature1434 Meredith Bay Sunrise - Meredith, NHSunrise at Meredith Bay, Lake Winnipesaukee as seen in Meredith, NH

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) lake winnipesaukee meredith bay photographing photography ron bowman nh landscape photographer scenic sunrises sunsets https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/7/photographing-sunrises-and-sunsets Mon, 05 Jul 2021 12:46:20 GMT
Photo Shoot - Lake Winnipesaukee in NH https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/1/analysis-of-a-sunrise-photo-shoot-at-lake-winnipesaukee-in-nh Analysis of a sunrise photo shoot at Lake Winnipesaukee in NH

How you ever wondered how a photographer created a specific photo?  What was the process of identifying the location, the time of day, camera settings, choice of lens, composition etc?  So if you're curious, please join me on an analysis of 4 photos I captured on December 27, 2020. 

Early morning on December 23rd, I was traveling to Tamworth, NH to photograph Mt. Chocorua. My route took me through the town of Meredith, where is noticed a potential future photo opportunity, looking east over Meredith Bay, Lake Winnipesaukee. After checking the weather forecast for clear, or partly cloudy conditions, I decided on December 27th. 

My favorite time of day to photograph landscapes is early morning, just prior to, and after sunrise. I'm drawn to the rapidly changing colors in the morning sky and being a morning person certainly helps. It also allows guarantees me peace and solitude and not having to deal with crowds of people. Since sunrise as at 7:19 am, I planned my trip to arrive at 6:40 am. This gave me plenty of time to stake out my best camera position and decide which zoom lens would compliment the scene. After considering my 3 different zoom lenses, I chose my 18mm-55mm lens, which was the best option for my composition. 

For all you camera enthusiasts, I shoot with a Nikon D5600 in camera RAW. My lenses include: 10-20mm, 18-55mm and 70-300mm. My ISO is usually set at 100 to give me the best resolution and my camera set on Aperture Mode. Depending on the scene, I often choose a small aperture to give me greater detail throughout the scene, and allow the camera to choose the optimum shutter speed. I always shoot with a tripod and a manual shutter release. 

The first image was shot at 6:52 am. Notice the dark clouds, yellow sky and yellow reflection on the ice and water. Data: ISO 100, f25, 10 seconds and 32mm lens.

The image (with the sun cresting the horizon) was shot at 7:43. Notice the lighter, more pastel colors. The placement of the tiny island in the lower left quadrant meets the "Rule of Thirds", as adopted by most professional photographers. Data: ISO 100, f25, 1/50 sec. and 36mm lens. 

The photo of the lighthouse was unplanned. The light you see in the window panes is actually not caused by bulbs, but by the sun rising behind the lighthouse. Notice the tiny island is still visible, but the center of attention has now shifted to the top of the lighthouse. The yellow color also compliments the blue sky. Data: ISO 100, f25, 1/40 sec. and 27mm lens. 

The last photo was also unplanned. When returning to my car I noticed an interesting scene looking southeast through this gate. Notice how the pier leads your eye into the scene. The colors are now pastel yellows, giving an overall feeling of warmth and serenity. Data: ISO 100, f25, 1/40 sec and 48mm lens. 

I hope you enjoyed reading the background on this photo shoot. My next blog will be: "How to create more artistic photos". 

Ron Bowman, NH Photographer.  rbphotonh@gmail.com  www.rbphotonh.com

 

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) lake meredith Meredith Bay NH Photo Shoot - Lake Winnipesaukee photography Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer sunrise https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2021/1/analysis-of-a-sunrise-photo-shoot-at-lake-winnipesaukee-in-nh Mon, 11 Jan 2021 20:14:29 GMT
How to create an award winning photograph https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2020/4/how-to-create-an-award-winning-photograph If I could provide some tips on what it takes to create great photographs, would you be interested?

When it comes to art, you may have heard the saying, "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". Although not everyone will agree all the time, great photographs, as viewed and accepted by professionals, typically meet certain standards and criteria as I've described below. For the purposes of this blog, I'm going to focus on what professional photographers consider to be acceptable standards and rules that make great photographs. If you were to join a camera club and submit your photos in a photo contest, or submit your work to be juried by an art association, jurors would follow many of the guidelines discussed below. Perhaps you'd like to take out a few of your best and favorite images and critique them using the standards: Image Quality, Point of Focus, Artistic Elements, Uniqueness and Emotion. 

Image Quality (Focus and Exposure): Beginning with this first standard, your photograph must be in focus and properly exposed. If your photo is out of focus, this isn't something you can fix with software, like Photoshop. So what needs to be in focus?  For starters, your main point of interest needs to be in sharp focus. Sometimes, other elements in the foreground or background, can and should be, out of focus. This way the viewer's attention is drawn to the main point of interest. An example of this would include a photograph of people, where the background might distract from the people. Another example would be a close up of a flower, where you would want the background out of focus. Successful images also need to be properly exposed and not over exposed (too light), or under exposed (too dark). Every effort should be made to properly expose the image in the camera using a combination of ISO, white balance, correct metering etc, but in the event your photo was over or under exposed, you can often correct for this using Photoshop or a similar software program. For those of you that are using a Smartphone or basic camera without adjustments, you'll just have to do the best you can with exposure and adjust later in your computer. 

Point of Focus: Most successful photographs have one main point of focus, interest or theme. Competing points of focus often send mixed messages to the viewer, making it difficult to discern the photographer's intent. When taking photographs, concentrate on the the area of greatest importance and move in closer, or zoom in if you have that capability. Framing and cropping your images should be done in the camera where possible. 

Artistic Elements:  Do your best images meet artistic standards for elements like color, form, moment, perspective, view and composition? I'll cover this subject in more detail in a future blog, but here is a summary of these important elements. Some great photographs meet the standard of being artistic with just the use of color (complimentary: opposite on the color wheel), or harmonious (similar in color). Others meet the artistic standard due to the use of form (lines, shapes, patterns or texture), moment (cycle of the day, weather, seasons, or being in the right place at the right time), perspective (representing depth, space and a third dimension), view (use of a wide angle, normal or telephoto lens) and composition (proportion, balance, rhythm, motion and the rule of thirds). While many great images incorporate one or two of these elements, the best photographs exhibit most, if not all of these elements. My plan is to cover Artistic Elements in greater depth in a future blog.

Unique: Again, most great photographs are unique. By this I mean that they capture a certain place and moment in time, which can't easily be duplicated again. For example, photographs of people are unique, because it would be nearly impossible to capture the person's unique expression again. The same could be said for animals. Landscapes can be unique if they incorporate some unusual lighting or weather conditions. 

Emotion: This is the last standard I'd like to touch on. The most revered and successful images of all time have a strong emotional impact on the viewer. They could invoke any of the following feelings of: love, joy, happiness, sadness, anger, fear, excitement, anticipation, memories, wonder, awe, curiosity or a host of other emotions. 

Incorporating the above elements in your photographs will help improve the quality of your work. My recommendation is to read photography books, guides, articles or view other photographer's work on line, in art galleries or join a camera club and seek out a mentor. Like any other profession, constant attention and experimentation will help you improve. I've been involved with photography for the past 50 years, as an amateur and professional photographer. If you enjoy nature/landscape photography, I encourage you to visit my website: www.rbphotonh.com.  You can also comment on my website, or send me an e-mail via my web contact page. 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) Lighthouse Maine NH Nubble Lighthouse photography Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer scenic sunrise wagon Wagon Hill Wagon Sunrise York https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2020/4/how-to-create-an-award-winning-photograph Mon, 27 Apr 2020 20:29:34 GMT
How to photograph waterfalls https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2020/3/how-to-photograph-waterfalls 0196 Basin Waterfall - Franconia Notch, NH0196 Basin Waterfall - Franconia Notch, NHThis is a photo of the main falls at the Basin in Franconia Notch, NH How to photograph waterfalls to achieve the effect of flowing water, or the appearance of the"straw effect" in the water: 

First off, you'll need a camera that allows you to adjust the shutter speed. The key to achieving the "straw effect", or flowing water, is to use a shutter speed somewhere between 1/15 second and up to a full second or longer. Assuming you have the right camera, then you'll need to shoot in the manual mode, or the shutter mode, so that you can set the shutter speed to one of these speeds. I would recommend taking a series of images, ie. 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1 sec. etec. Because you'll be shooting at a low shutter speed, you will also need a tripod to eliminate any camera shake. I also use a remote shutter release which will further reduce camera shake (movement). I've found that the best times of the day are early in the morning and on an overcast, or cloudy day. The other setting you'll want to experiment with is the ISO setting. Personally I prefer to shoot at the lowest ISO setting of 100, to achieve the lowest amount of grain, thus allowing you to enlarge your images without loss of detail. Good luck and happy shooting. 

Ron Bowman

rbphotonh@gmail.com

www.rbphotonh.com

 

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(Ron Bowman NH Nature Photographer) Franconia Notch NH Photography Ron Bowman NH Landscape Photographer Scenic The Basin Waterfalls https://www.rbphotonh.com/blog/2020/3/how-to-photograph-waterfalls Mon, 30 Mar 2020 10:01:10 GMT