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Star Trails – Astrophotography in Motion

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer1 Comment

Photography, as they say, is about capturing a moment in time. Some moments are a fraction of a second, like a batter swinging for the fences, or a Kingfisher as it dives for its breakfast. Other moments might capture a full second of time, such as a waterfall flowing over Niagara Falls. Some moments are longer yet, such as letting light flow through the camera long enough to capture eddies in a river, or soften a raging surf into a misty fog. When you start dragging out the length of …

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Show & Tell: Cascading waters in Oklahoma

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

When most people think of Oklahoma, they do not immediately think of rolling hills, tall trees, and most of all – waterfalls. However, there are pockets of the state that defy the generalizations most people have about Oklahoma. McCurtain County in the south eastern corner of the state is just such a pocket. And at Beavers Bend State Park you can indeed find cascading waterfalls – if the timing is right.   Bound and determined to shake the ‘curse’ of my last two trips to Broken Bow and Beavers Bend, …

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Exceeding Photoshop’s PSD 2GB File Size Limit

In Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tips and tricks by jfischer1 Comment

I remember when my family got their first computer.  It was an Acer, it was this huge, heavy, dark colored tower case and even heavier 15″ CRT monitor.  It was top of the line, Pentium 100 mhz (yes, mhz), and it had a 1 GB hard drive.  Our neighbor exclaimed that we’d never possibly fill up a 1 GB hard drive.  Six months later my father was none too pleased when I proved the old phrase “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  Somehow, over a 56k modem, I had …

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Canon Camera Options – Tips & Tricks

In Learning Center, Tips and tricks by jfischerLeave a Comment

From the factory your new Canon DSLR is going to be setup for ease of use and a direct path from the box to shooting.  However, there are a few small menu options you can change to make your camera more fool proof when in the heat of a shoot, or for it to simply work better for your style of shooting.  The options below are all from my Canon 6D and 5DmkIV.  Depending on the model, your camera might not have all the options mentioned, newer models may have …

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Show & Tell: Studio Rose Macro

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When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. However,if those lemons of life come with roses to cheer you up, you bring out the macro lens and studio lights (or at least a flash or two) and take your mind off whatever it was that brought you down in the first place and try to focus on the beauty in the flowers. Such was the situation early in December last year, and while I’ll spare you the details of why my lovely wife was compelled to bring home a dozen …

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Eliminate background clutter!

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

Photography is all about light – and with light comes contrast.  Anything that contains contrast – be that color, light, sharpness, anything – will draw attention.  And while I plan to give the subject of contrast in its many forms a full length article in the future, a photo I was editing this afternoon gave a wonderful example of why you should take a few moments to clean up the background, and also the foreground or edges of your frame – either before you take the photo – or afterwards …

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Astrophotography – Seeing the Light in the Darkest Places

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer2 Comments

I remember vividly the wonder, and the frustration, in trying to capture my first astrophotography photographs.  I was standing on the edge of the road in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, taking in the arch of the milky way as it reached overhead.  It was one of the first times in my adult life, or ever that I could recall, that I was able to see the band of stars that make up our galaxy from the general star field stretching across the sky.  The problem was, I knew …

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Star Trail Stacking in Photoshop CC – the fast way

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tips and tricks by jfischer2 Comments

For the first year after I started working with Star Trail photography, I’ve used StarStax to blend my individual frames together into the trail photo.  Unfortunately, StarStax has some limitations, and I have suspected that the resulting star trail image wasn’t as high of quality as the input images.  So I started researching other options, including stacking manually in Photoshop.  The root of the idea is to set each of your layers above the bottom layer to blending mode = ‘lighten’ – so the bright starts shine through on each subsequent …

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Show & Tell: Texas Star Bluebonnet

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

One of my resolutions for 2016 is to visit at least one State Park (of any State) each month, and thus, it’s been a great resolution to plan and peruse. As luck and timing would have it, I was able to get my April visit checked off on the very first day of the month with a last minute impromptu run to Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texoma. The sunset forecast on SunsetWX.com said the colors were supposed to be spectacular close to the border vs closer to home in …

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Photo Backup Strategies

In General, Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tips and tricks by jfischer1 Comment

There are two ways to learn – by first hand experience, and by learning from other’s experience.  And while in some situations learning things second-hand doesn’t always sink in quickly enough, in other cases simply seeing the fallout is plenty to motivate one to be proactive.  Thankfully, on this particular topic, I’ve been lucky and have learned from the unfortunate misfortunes of friends and fellow photographers.  Simply put, in the world of digital photography, one can never have your photos in too many (secure) locations. Additionally, you can never get …