A Sunset 3 Ways

By on Sep 1, 2019 in Photography | 0 comments

The last couple of nights, the sunsets in my new hometown of Ulsan, South Korea have been no less than epic. I am not sure what it was. The daytime was nothing special, if not a little cloudy. Then, BOOM! the sky was on fire. The Issue The problem that I have here is that I was not in a new location. The fact was that I was battling a severe migraine. I was in no condition to leave my apartment. So I was left with the same view that I always shoot. It’s lazy but it is also nice. Once my headache died down and the muscles in my neck relaxed a bit I had an idea about the shots. I wanted to see what the major differences were between my 3 most common editing styles were. I figured that if I couldn’t change the location, I could at least change the editing. The Idea If you are thinking that this would just a matter of making one black and white and another crazy HDR saturated...

You Don’t Need an Exotic Location for Great Photography

By on Aug 18, 2019 in Getting the Shot, Photography | 2 comments

I often get jealous when I scroll through facebook or Instagram and see the amazing places that people travel to. For some, I am living in an exotic location. However, I feel that I don’t travel as much as I would like these days. I have been here in Ulsan so long that it has become my second home. After 15 years here, there are not too many places that I have not shot. So how do I keep things interesting? How do I find places to photograph? Details We often look at the big picture of exotic locations. The sprawling cityscapes from Dubai or New York. Yet we often forget about the details of our own areas that make life wonderful and the reason why you life where you do. During a recent shoot in Gyeongju, I realized I stuck to just one area. I focussed on the details which in this case were the lotus flowers. There were some many things to photograph. From the people enjoying the...

Colorado Tripod Highline AL Ballhead Review

By on Aug 6, 2019 in Photography | 0 comments

Full Disclosure: I DID NOT receive this product as a tester in exchange for a review nor am I an affiliate. I purchased this ballhead with my own money. This review is as unbiased as I can make it. a great looking ball head Buying anything off of Kickstarter is a hit and a miss. When articles started popping up for a weird looking titanium ballhead from a an unknown tripod company, I sort of rolled my eyes. After the Yashica Y35 Camera, I sort of gave up on Kickstarter. I have been using a 3 Legged Thing Travis travel tripod since I dropped my Manfotto and got the runaround from their customer service center. All I needed was a sturdy ballhead to replace the damaged one. When I saw that Colorado Tripod Company had a decent-looking aluminum ballhead for $79 on Kickstarter, I shrugged and ordered. Jump to last Friday when the doorbell rang and there was a box waiting for me outside my...

What Makes Luminar Flex 1.1 So GOOD?

By on Jul 25, 2019 in Photography | 0 comments

I have been a fan of Luminar for a number of years now. The editing style and the technology that they are putting into their product is amazing. However, I am also still a fan of Lightroom. It keeps everything organized and it handles large amounts of photos better than other editors. With Luminar 3 and soon 4, that have a library or a digital assets manager (DAM), not something everyone wants if they are already invested into Lightroom. Actually, when Luminar 3 came out, I was not too excited. I wanted something that would work with Lightroom, not replace it. Flex was the answer. Not to mention that when Luminar 3 came out, there were a lot of performance issues. Matt Seuss talks about what happened in the beginning of his article. For me, Lightroom is what I have been using for many years and I don’t really feel like switching over at this point in time. However, I do love the...

5 Ways Photowalks Can Make You a Better Photographer

By on Jul 13, 2019 in Photography | 0 comments

I am not the most social person, especially when it comes to meeting new people. However, there is just something about a photowalk that decreases the awkwardness of social interaction and allows you to meet people on a different level. Recently, I hosted a photowalk here in Ulsan, South Korea. This is sort of training for an upcoming project that I have in the works. Photowalks in this area are a hit and a miss at times. However, this one was great as it brought together some great people and it was a great time. One of the larger photowalks that I lead in Gyeongju. Why Photowalks? I never really understood it until I started looking back on all the years that I hosted the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. People came out not because they wanted to be a part of a worldwide photography event but rather because they wanted to be a part of a group of photographers in (usually) a great...

How To Shoot a Sunrise: Part 2

By on Jul 6, 2019 in Photography | 0 comments

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. You can read Part 1 here. In this part we are going to look at how to edit your sunrise shots. I feel that his is an integral part of the process. While some out there may spout that “It looks photoshopped” rhetoric, editing your photos properly is essential in getting the look that you want. Also for my answer on how I feel about critiques on HDR and similar edits, check out my recent post. The Vision This is not about “fixing” an image but rather enhancing it. If you have ever burnt your dinner and tried to cover it up with spices or ketchup, you know that it is in vain. It just tastes like burnt garbage. It is the same with a photo. You can’t fix a crappy photo. For the most part you can’t “un-blur” an out-of-focus image simply or easily. Get it right in camera first. This is more about achieving the...

It’s Time to STOP Hating HDR

By on Jun 30, 2019 in Photography | 0 comments

Around 2007, a friend introduced me to this “new technique” called High Dynamic Range photography or HDR for short. He had just gotten into it and was making some truly epic images. one of my first few HDR images We sat on the banks of the Taehwa River in Ulsan South Korea, looking at what is now my current home. He showed me how to bracket the images and then edit them with this program called “photomatix” and from then on I was hooked. HDR also increased in popularity soon after. Propelling photographers like Trey Ratcliff to stardom. His free HDR guide was hugely popular and so was the rest of his Stuck in Customs site. His HDR images even hang in the Smithsonian. With the rise in popularity also came legions of haters.So why do so many people hate this style of photography? In The Beginning… Not all people were as good as Trey and so not all HDR images...

How to Shoot a Sunrise: Part 1

By on Jun 25, 2019 in Photography, Tutorials | 0 comments

I love a good sunrise. I don’t mind getting up and driving through the night to catch one. In fact, it takes me back to when my dad would wake me up to go duck hunting. There is always a sense of excitement as you never really know what you are going to see that day. However, with all that anticipation also comes a bit of skill that needs to be cultivated over time. No two sunrises are the same and they all need careful attention and experience. Understanding the finer points of this style of photography will help you come back with more images that you are proud of. It does take a bit of planning too. I typically start to organize my shoots the night before, if it is a location that I am familiar with. If I have never been there before, I will take a bit of time to plan and scout the location at least virtually anyway. Peter West Carey has a decent overview of the process over...

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