Category Archives: Images

Getting Great Holiday Portraits

It’s holiday portrait season again!

Originally published December 2010. Updated Dec. 9, 2016

‘Tis the season for family portraits.  If you’re like me, you’ve got friends and family who say “you’re a photographer, will you shoot portraits for me?”  Unfortunately, these people don’t always understand that photographing landscapes and wildlife is completely different from photographing people.  I mean, the camera is the same, but that’s about it.

So what should you do when asked to shoot portraits?  Here are some tips and gear recommendations that should get you started.

Continue reading Getting Great Holiday Portraits

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POTD: Belfast Blue Hour

Cars pass in front of Belfast City Hall at twilight.
Cars pass in front of Belfast City Hall at twilight. Nikon D750 with 16-35mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor lens.

I captured this image a few weeks ago on a visit to Ireland. Because I brought a small tripod (in this case, a Gitzo 1-series), I was able to set up for long exposure shots at twilight. The so-called “blue hour” lasts  only a few minutes and peaks about 20-30 minutes after sunset.

Discover the art of the long exposure with my illustrated tutorial, Stretching Time.

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POTD: Giant’s Causeway

Sunset at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland.
Sunset at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland.

The Giant’s Causeway is a unique coastal formation of basalt columns that jut out into the ocean on Ireland’s northern coast. I made sure to visit there at sunset, and I was rewarded with some really nice clouds. I used HDR from two exposures (Lightroom HDR tutorial) to capture the full range of tones in the scene.

Nikon D750 with 16-35mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor lens
f/13, ISO 100 (2-exposures).

View or purchase this image at my 500px gallery 

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POTD: Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. Nikon D750 with 24-120mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor lens

I’m back from a wonderful trip to Ireland. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll probably recognize this location as being the “King’s Road.” This avenue of beech trees was planted in the 1700’s and remains a really awesome location! For this shot I used a combination of HDR capture (Nikon D750), Topaz Impression 2, and Flypaper Textures overlaid in Adobe Photoshop. Now back to my recovery from jet lag…

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