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Photoshop 101 – Part 1 – Understanding Layers

In Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

Making the jump from Lightroom to Photoshop can be an intimidating proposition.  Much like that first time you switched the camera from Auto all the way to that frightening ‘M’, suddenly you had more tools to work with than you knew what to do with.  No longer was the camera handling everything and making the majority of the decisions for you; now you had to know the correlation between Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO to make the image you wanted. While Lightroom isn’t exactly the ‘Auto’ of Post Processing workflows, …

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Show and Tell: Old Rock Eclipse

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Post-Processing, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

St. Olaf’s Kirke, also known as the Old Rock Church in Cranfils Gap, Texas was built in 1886 by Norwegian settlers in the area. Since those days it has become known as one of the most haunted places in the Lone Star State. This reputation however has not kept it from becoming a well known and often visited astrophotography location by area night sky photographers who contact the care takers for permission to shoot on its grounds after dark. As was the case when a friend and fellow photographer friend …

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Landscapes 201 – Composition

In Landscapes, Learning Center by jfischerLeave a Comment

There are two things that need to come together to achieve a striking Landscape photo.  The first, and ultimately most important is the light. But coming in at a very close second is composition.  You can have the most glorious light filling the scene in front of you, but without a strong composition it is simply just that – light.  It won’t engage the viewer beyond the color, and no amount of editing will fix a bad composition that wasn’t thoroughly considered and thought about while in the field. Composition …

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Show and Tell: Red Rock Milky Way

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

I’m about to break a few hearts, but hopefully also blow a couple minds. This is a composite. Not only is it a composite, the foreground was taken at 5pm, not 5am as it might look. Taking an image that I shot on my way out to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada on my last day of my 2018 Death Valley trip, and pairing it with a Milky Way exposure I took previously on the trip without a good foreground, I took the best of two photos and …

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Show and Tell: Trails on the Prairie

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

Seeing as one of my most popular articles here in the Learning Center is my ‘Stacking Star Trails in Photoshop CC’ – decided to share this non-stacked single frame star trail to show what can be done with a single exposure – as well as the challenges in capturing them. Where most star trails are shot at around 30-60 seconds per shot and then stacked with either Photoshop of another specialized application such as StarStax, this photo was taken in a single 2100 second exposure… doing the math, that’s 35 …

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Show and Tell: Possum Kingdom Invasion

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

“If there’s one thing I know, it’s never to mess with mother nature, mother in-laws and, mother freaking Ukrainians.” – Skinny Pete Storm Chasing – it has become extremely popular in recent years, however it’s also very dangerous, not only to you, but others on the roads as well. Mother Nature is not to be taken lightly when she’s full of anger and fury. For this single reason, I choose not to chase on my own, but instead have formed friendships with a couple of experienced chasers whom I trust. …

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Show and Tell – Artists Palette, Death Valley

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

The for my first major trip of 2018, I set my sights on Death Valley National Park. One of the few places with a good chance of being ‘camping weather’ at the end of February, and a location I had wanted to shoot for some time. Clear skies during the day and partially cloudy skies at night frustrated me much of the time. While the weather wasn’t as cooperative as one might hope, I can’t complain too much either as I think the warmest we ever saw was in the …

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Landscapes 201 – The Magic Hours

In Landscapes, Learning Center by jfischer1 Comment

“Noon” – a four letter word to a landscape photographer. There is nothing more important to the quality of our landscape images than the quality of light entering the front element of the lens and ultimately onto the sensor or film. There are two distinct times of day when the light of the world is at its best; sunrise and sunset. These two times are known as the Magic Hours and each is split into two halves. The Blue Hour and the Golden Hour. Blue Hour occurs in the period …

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Show and Tell – Dallas Arts in the Rain

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

What do most people do when it’s a cold and wet night a few days before Christmas? Well, if they have finished their Christmas shopping, and they have any sense at all, they’re home by the fire. What do Photographers do? Well they drive downtown looking for reflections to shoot. And that’s exactly how I found myself with another photographer friend outside the Windspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District in late 2017. We got chased under cover a couple times by stronger downpours of rain, but in between, …

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The Adventure Truck

In General, Learning Center, Reviews, Travel by jfischerLeave a Comment

I started in photography in early 2012, by 2013 I was taking out of town and out of state photography trips on a fairly regular basis. As my camera kit grew, and I rediscovered my interest in camping as well, it soon became obvious that my current truck just wasn’t fitting my needs any longer. The 2003 GMC Sierra was a great truck, but a regular cab truck and camera gear just didn’t mix well. I was piling up my passenger seat with the camera bags, making taking another person …

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Landscapes 301 – Long Exposures

In Landscapes, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

Photographs have the ability to not only show the world as it is, but also how we perceive it, and with the right tools, far beyond how the human eye can interpret it.  In some ways the camera is inferior to the human eye (which in the wide natural world is far from being all that impressive), but in other ways the camera can be manipulated to capture views of the world that the human eye never could.  Examples range from capturing the Milky Way in all of its detail, …

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Show and Tell – Railcar Milky Way

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischer1 Comment

When a good friend on Instagram messaged me about a group planning a trip to Galveston for an all-out blitz of a weekend with little sleep, little in the way of plans other than astrophotography and the beach, I wasn’t about to pass up the invite. What I didn’t plan on was hitting north Houston traffic at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. Needless to say, by the time I crossed over the bridge onto Galveston Island, I needed a beer more than I needed to shoot a marginally interesting sunset. …