It’s Macro Season in New England

It's Macro Season in New England.

Advertisements

It’s Macro Season in New England

It’s that wonderful tween season, you know the one, it is between the brown season and struggle to get the shot between the tourists season. Spring is Macro season, yes it is also great for other forms of photography as well but it is outstanding for those macro shots that so many people love. There is no other season of the year when you will find such a large variety of young plants and flowers to choose from. One key thing to remember here is that this is also a very fleeting season for so many varieties, some seem to literally last about a week (slight exaggeration but you know what I mean). You certainly can extend your shooting season, just as you can with those autumn shots (only in reverse) by starting out shooting further south one week and moving further north as Spring progresses in that direction.

The key thing to remember here, especially when shooting flowers and plants low to the ground, is keep the background clean, make sure the background is not a color or texture that will take away from the image that you envision, if it is, reposition, or change the depth of field to better blur the background, underexpose to darken the background and really make the subject pop. Review your images periodically to insure that you are capturing the mood, the feeling that the subject is presenting to you. Remember, it is not wrong to bring a spray bottle to add the appearance of fresh morning dew or the feel the scene provides just after a gentle rain shower. You might also consider bringing reflectors and an umbrella to defuse possible harsh light along for the shoot, in order to make those minor tweaks to the lighting that mother nature provides to you. 

My final tip in the area of macro photography would be to think small, and shoot low, this is the perfect subject matter to shoot from a bugs eye perspective, let you audience see the subject just as God’s tiniest creatures would, try to shoot up or at the same level as the subject when ever possible, it adds to the draw them in factor of your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Photography Exciting

Photography is such a great art form, it allows you to express yourself in ways that few other art forms allow. Photography allows you to tell a story, convey a message that is important to you, bring awareness to an injustice or environmental concern. You probably have become very good at the form of photography that you love, be it landscapes, architecture, macro, or portraiture. But here is a challenge to you. When you head out with your camera tomorrow, set a goal to shoot something entirely different. I you shoot landscapes, try portraiture. If you focus on portraiture, try shooting architecture, by now you can see where I’m going with this. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be quite exciting, nerve racking, and all out stressful and all of this will make the experience eye opening, educational, and exciting.
I’ve always been a nature and landscape photographer, right up to the moment that I was asked be a friend to shoot her wedding, at first I said no, then I believe that I said no at least once again. My friend wouldn’t let me off the hook quite that easily, affirming her complete faith in my abilities by expressing how much she loved my work and telling me that anyone who could take such beautiful pictures would certainly be able to do a great job at her wedding. How can you hear that sales pitch from a friend and maintain a no to her request. I reluctantly agreed to do the wedding. So yes, with that one three letter word, I stepped so far outside of my comfort zone that I was a nervous wreck. I spent probably close to $500 picking up equipment that wasn’t necessary for landscape and nature photography, but would make a big difference in wedding photography, I took my daughter and her fiance out to shoot their engagement photos, but what I could have accomplished with about 20 or 30 shots, I drug out to well over 150, I practiced in different lighting, we had clothing changes, action shots, posed seated shots, action shots. I went to the location of the upcoming nuptials, twice, to practice shooting in the lighting conditions that the venue offered. I was ready, – in theory. So on the day of the wedding, I found myself nervous, and excited about the opportunity that was only moments away. In the end, the shoot went very well, and I now have wedding photography on my resume. 

Since the wedding I have gone on to add sports photography to my talent base, shooting for New England’s Premier Sports Photography Company. You see, I’m not suggesting something that I myself would not do, I’m suggesting, that you believe in yourself enough to take chances, step outside your comfort zone, and experience photography (your art) in a whole new light. You will be so very glad that you did, you’ll be setting yourself up to have even more doors open for you as you pursue your passion.     

Never Stop Learning

Photography is truly an art form, not everyone can do it, at least beyond snapping a picture. That statement is not meant to put anyone down or to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I sincerely hope that that statement did not offend anyone reading it. The reality is, that you have to have an eye for photography, you have to be able to see, what others miss. . 
All of the above is great information, but quite simply it is not the point of this post. Just as in sports, as a photographer you have to practice your craft as much as possible. You also need to be open to leaning. The best photographers in the world will tell you that they are always learning their craft. The best of the best are always studying the art of photography, they budget part of their income each and every year for continuing education. As photographers we have so many options to continue our learning, from trade magazines to books, to class room training and trade shows. We also learn a great deal from one another, photographers love to study each others work, analyzing the way the light fell upon the subject, the angle in which the picture was taken, did the artist use added light, reflectors, or just natural light. We as photographers have so many learning options, but if we want to excel at our craft we have to commit to learning continuously, we have to invest in ourselves first, our equipment second. The best camera in the world is only capable of taking snap shots, if the user doesn’t understand how to make it work or how to capture the moment.
Make a commitment to yourself today (if you haven’t already). Look into furthering your education in the photographic arts, its an investment that will provide you with many opportunities, and rewards.

You Love Photography

You love photography! If you are like me, you absolutely love photography. You wake up thinking about it, you go to sleep thinking about it. Now do not get me wrong, my absolute favorite thing in the world is being a husband and father, and I would choose that over photography, hands down, no question. You do not have the wife and family that I have without feeling and knowing that there is in fact a God and he loves me very much. The fact remains, that I also feel like photography was also a gift form above, I know this because of the passion that I have for it. I “worked an event” Saturday, shooting the Adventure 5K with Capstone Photography , I battled ever changing lighting, contestants that had their Bibs covered (every shot needs to clearly show the Bib number), and all of the things that a sports photographer always expects to be challenged with, sounds like work, doesn’t it? It wasn’t, it was truly a blast, I felt a little down when the last runners passed, for the event, the opportunity, my adventure, was now over.

The fact is that if you wish to make a living at photography, or at least support your habit, by selling enough to pay for some of your equipment you will have to put a fair amount of non-shooting work into it. I manage 3 separate websites http://www.paulmangold.com/http://paul-mangold.artistwebsites.com/and my Zazzle Stores , for the purpose of selling my work. I also have my Facebook page , this blog, a Twitter page  , I’m also on Pinterest, Panoramio, Google +1, and LinkedIn all in an effort to market my art (my photography business). Although this side of my art is not nearly as much fun, I have to say that I am learning something new each day about business in the new online world in which we live. When it comes to selling your work, you will also want to try to get into your local library, coffee shops, and any other location that looks to display the work of local artists, after all, your getting your name, and your art out there, creating excitement and interest in your work. I hope that I’m not in anyway scaring you off, if you really want to sell your work, in know way do you have to do what I am doing, your tactics, your business plan could be similar, or far different from mine. The fact is that you should never do anything that takes away from the joy that photography brings you. Be true to yourself, be true to your art, be true to the blessing that you have been given.

Photography and the Cost of Gas

There is no getting around the cost of gas these days, so what do you do as a passionate photographer, stop going out? The fact is that just as your using the internet to reed my blog, you can also use the power of the internet to narrow down or even pinpoint your next destination. 
I myself love the idea of discovery, going out and exploring , just to see what I might find,and though to my naturally cheap disposition, I found  $2 per gallon gas to be less than pleasant, the idea of $4 per gallon gas is simply painful. The simple reality is; at $2 per gallon I would bite the bullet and pay the price to explore, the fun and adventure, along with the end result of many sell-able images seemed to make it worth while. Today that is simply not the reality, at $4 per gallon, I either take fewer trips, stay closer to home, or figure out exactly where I’m going ahead of time (far less exploring). So what is the passionate (explorer) photographer supposed to do in order to get great shots in possibly remote areas, without wasting a ton of gas finding that ultimate destination? Simply put, the answer is to become a researcher. Today the internet affords us the opportunity to research just about everything, and with all of the people in the world today that love to snap and post pictures, many of the sites that you can use to research, also include pictures. One of my favorite sites to us is Google Earth. Google Earth allows me to virtually visit the area that I am interested in visiting, it provides pictures that others have uploaded, so that I can get a better idea of the terrain, the feel, and the attractions in the area, it literally allows me to take the trip before I get into my car. You can also research the area through Google or Bing,
key in the name of the area or town, research using the local chamber of commerce website, or the States tourism website. Last but not least, seek out other photographers websites, by using keyword searches that take you to photos of the area. By doing a little homework first, you can map out the shortest routes that get you to the destinations that you would have otherwise found, but at a much higher cost. I hope this helps you to save money, or allows you to get back out on the road, visiting the destinations that you had hoped to explore. I’m including some shots that I have been able to capture at a savings, thanks to research ahead of time.