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Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Noted: 6 Easy Photography Techniques to Diversify Your Portfolio

January 28th, 2016 Comments off

Book: John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

January 15th, 2016 Comments off

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

As regular readers have probably noticed, photography is an ever growing part of my life and nature photography in particular. While I am not chasing wildlife around the world, I do love photographing plants, flowers and scenic views. With these interests in mind, I was so glad when I saw this book was available from Blogging for Books, a service that provides free review copies to bloggers. I have spent the last several months dipping into the book whenever I had time and then giving some time to let the lessons seep in.

First, as it should be with any book on photography, the photographs included in the book are beautiful, but also explanatory and good examples of each concept being discussed. A picture is worth a thousand worlds might be a cliche, but in a photography book, photos are worth much, much more than just a thousand.

Digital Nature Photography takes you clearly through each step in the photography process from choosing your camera, properly setting it up to work the best it can — touching on subjects like proper white balance, RAW vs JPEG file storage, setting your autofocus and much more. When reading this section of the book, I st  with my camera and camera manual close at hand and worked through each setting as it was discussed. I think this allowed me to get the most out of every bit of advice Shaw was offering. Shaw is careful to show when their were different names for features in the ubiquitous Nikon and Canon camera worlds, even with my Olympus Micro Four-Thirds camera, the feature names were similar enough to allow me to apply the settings, even if I did have to be a bit creative in locating some feature settings. The gear discussion also includes clear and detailed advice on accessories like tripods, lenses, filters, flashes and more. The writing is clear and straightforward with good examples of the pros and cons of each option.

Next comes some great guidance on exposure, aperture and ISO that all photographers need to learn and apply. Shaw gets direct and practical examples of how each effects your photographs and provides clear and specific examples of when you might want to alter these settings such as shooting birds as opposed to other wildlife or scenic subjects. There is so much information here, I am still trying to process and apply it all. I figure it will take me a few more reads through the book before I can glean and apply everything I have learned.

The sections on Composition and Closeup turn away from the more technical aspects of the early sections and seek to explore the artistic side of photography. Here again are great example photographs illustrating each topic such as Learning to see Photo-graphically, Lighting Changes, and Vertical vs. Horizontal format and framing. The section on Closeups delves into focusing issues (one of my biggest problems, Macro lenses, creating good backgrounds to your closeups and more.

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography is a great book which can help any photographer jumpstart their growth from someone who takes simple, casual, snapshots to a photographer who creates beautiful, artistic photography.



JOHN SHAW is the author of many enduring bestsellers, including seven previous books on nature photography. His work is frequently featured in National Geographic, Nature’s Best, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Natural History, Sierra, and Audubon magazines, as well as in calendars, books, and advertisements. He has photographed on every continent, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and leads sold-out workshops around the globe. Visit him at

Noted: How 10 Minutes a Day with Your Camera Will Help Make You a Better Photographer

January 8th, 2016 Comments off

Noted: Photograph Close to Home to Improve Your Photography

January 7th, 2016 Comments off

Photo: Out West #2 – Joshua Tree and Boulders at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum

June 13th, 2015 Comments off

Photo: Poppy and Bee via #instagram and animated GIF

May 4th, 2015 Comments off

Photo: Idyllwild Sunset via #instagram

October 28th, 2014 Comments off

Flowers and trees – End of the Day for August 12, 2014

August 12th, 2014 Comments off

End of the day Logo

If you follow any of my photography posts here, on A Gardener’s Notebook, Instagram of Facebook I think you will easily spot a trend. Every photographer has something that fascinates them and always catches their eye. I would say mine interest lies in flowers and trees. My albums are full of both and I think I probably take at least one flower/tree picture every day. Why? This is one of those things that I can little explain. Photography subjects, much the like music I choose, tends to be an intuitive choice, not something I spend a long time thinking about. I will simply be walking by a flower and feel the need to capture it — no matter what camera or other device I might have at hand. I am sure I make an odd site as I walk quickly walk down the street only to abruptly stop to capture some flower along my walk. I suspect my neighbors know me more as “that guy with the camera taking pictures of my flowers” than anything else about me.

If I put any thought into it at all, I think I like flowers because they are vibrant in color and endlessly unique in their design, growth and habit. The same flower can look quite different from one plant to another. The sunlight can make blooms appear dramatically different from one another. There are large blossoms that almost force you look and within you find infinitesimal details that I only real notice when I see the images on my large computer monitor.

I used to paint watercolor pictures, but my skills never quite matched with that I wanted to represent. Luckily, technology has come to the rescue and I can take my favorite photographs and turn them into pseudo-watercolor paintings like the ones below. Here is the source picture I took with my iPhone.

Flowers and trees - End of the Day for August 12, 2014

…and 2 watercolor versions created with the Waterlogue app on my iPhone.

Flowers and trees - End of the Day for August 12, 2014

Flowers and trees - End of the Day for August 12, 2014

I don’t know what attracts me to flowers and trees so much, but I do know that I will probably be stopping to take their pictures for the rest of my life.

Previously on End of the Day:

Noted: How to Master Your DLSR in One Afternoon a Beginner’s Guide via Digital Photography School

July 27th, 2014 Comments off

How to Master Your DLSR in One Afternoon a Beginner’s Guide via Digital Photography School

Camera bi

As the Editor-in-Chief of CLARITY, I believe that photography is one of the most unique forms of visual art. As a photographer, you must possess an ability to express yourself visually and also be technically proficient with the tools of your craft.

Thankfully, the technology is relatively simple to understand. Given a small amount of time, anyone can master the mechanics of their DSLR very quickly. I’m referring to the technical side of photography, or more specifically, how to use your camera.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted/Shared Items here

Categories: Education, Elsewhere, Photos, Shared Items Tags:

Photo: Malibu Sunset (Animated GIF)

March 23rd, 2014 Comments off
Categories: Nature/Outdoors, Photos Tags: