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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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Show & Tell: Edsel at Old Car City

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

Old Car City, USA had been on my list of locations to shoot if I ever made it to Georgia for quite some time. Having first learned about the junk yard turned automotive photography heaven while watching a video on KelbyOne some time ago, it had been in the back of my mind as quick trip destination ever since. My opportunity finally came up in February of 2016. Read more about Old Car City in my article in the Travel section. During my shooting time at Old Car City I …

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Dallas and the flooded Trinity River

In Tips and tricks, Travel, Trip Reports by jfischerLeave a Comment

With rain in the forecast seemingly every day again lately, it might just happen that we come close to the rainfall totals here in Dallas that we experienced last year.  And with the peek of the North Texas rainy season nearly upon us, and a few minutes to kill, decided to sit down and try to quickly put together a few thoughts on where and how to capture the Dallas skyline when the Trinity River is swollen or full on flooded. Most of my visits to the levees along the …

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Show & Tell: Star Trails at Tyler State Park

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Show and Tell, Texas State Parks by jfischer4 Comments

An usually warm end of January, even by Texas standards, presented me with a unique opportunity in 2016. With clear skies in the forecast a chance to get an early start to both my camping season and astrophotography year was too good to pass up. On a previous trip I had scouted a location along the shore of Tyler State Park which I felt had potential for a star trail sequence, so the race was on to get a camp site as close to the shoot location as possible.  With …

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Show & Tell: Lake Bob Sandlin Sunrise #2

In Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischerLeave a Comment

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park sits nearly 2 hrs east of my home near Dallas Texas. Getting to the park and getting setup for a sunrise shoot was going to require getting up well before sunrise, which even in January meant a 5am departure time. This realization wasn’t helped by the fact the forecast showed a morning temperature several degrees below freezing. However, my friend and fellow photographer Elizabeth Jamison said she was certain it would be a sunrise worth getting up for. So with coffee in hand we hit …