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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

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“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. …

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Dodge/Burn with Photoshop Blend Modes

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

When most photographers think of Dodging and Burning they immediately think of portrait retouching. Adjusting the contouring of the face and other body features to sculpt the lights and shadows. However, the technique can be used on almost any photo where objects need to take on an increased depth through the addition of contrast. While global and even localized contrast can be used to bring punch and detail, it can not reshape or refocus the light like a little bit of dodging and burning can do. Regardless if it’s a …

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Photo Backup – Local Storage Options

In Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tips and tricks by jfischerLeave a Comment

Looking to improve your photography storage and backup solution?  Start Here – Photo Backup Strategies It only takes one frantic heart stopping moment when your hard drive fails to wish you’d been more prepared.  Especially if it’s at 3am after an all night editing blitz to get a client’s set finished for delivery the next day.  I’ve heard enough of these horror stories to know it can and will happen – usually at the most inopportune time.  Most of the time, a photo can only be captured once.  You only have the …

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Landscapes 201 – Adjust and Adapt

In Landscapes, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischerLeave a Comment

You’ve planned your photography trip for weeks, maybe even months, you’ve picked the best time of year for the location, or the skies, or the tides, or whatever it is you want to capture at some far away location.  Taking time away from most likely both work and family, you have a list of ‘must have’ photos in your mind of what you want to shoot when you get there for the trip to be a success.  There is, however, one thing you can’t control, one variable that will, almost …

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Show and Tell: Ketetahi Falls

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

Tongariro National Park, home to the major volcanoes of New Zealand’s North Island. And where there are mountains, there will be streams of water flowing down from the high elevations, and where there is flowing water, with a little luck there will be a waterfall or two. Ketetahi Falls is one of the smallest named falls within the National Park, but that makes it no less picturesque and worth a visit. Located at the end of the popular Alpine Crossing hiking trail, most hikers pass it right by in the …