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on Dec 29, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Is Snow Really White?

Is snow really white? Sure, it is in drawings and our imagination but in reality, is it really white? Since I look out at snow many months each year, I can tell you that it’s not always white. When is it truly white? When there are blue skies and bright sun. That’s when it’s white and bright (and exposure problems might occur). But as soon as you remove the sun, the color of snow radically changes from white to blue. Does its color really matter? It does if you have a story to tell. If you want to say it’s cold, blue is a great color cast for snow. You want to say it’s vast, you might want gray. That’s what you see in this photo of the Red Fox. How did I get gray snow and not blue (as there is definitely no sun at this moment)? I manually adjusted the White Balance. Yes, I know many just deal with that in post but being not only old...

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on Dec 29, 2016 in Aviation

New DSLR – Basics Confuse You?

One aspect of photography that tends to confuse photographers are the exposure modes. There are four modes, A, S, P, M, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program Mode and Manual. Personally, I use A Mode 90% of the time because you select the lens aperture you want for the depth of field you need to tell your story and the camera selects the correct shutter speed (and this is stepless). The other 10% of the time, I’m in S Mode because I need to control the shutter speed and the aperture doesn’t matter. The photo here of the SNJ is an example where I was in S Mode because I needed to shoot at a constant 1/40 to get the prop blurred. Does this confuse you? It’s OK if it does as most photographers get confused about these years after owning a camera. Well, I’ve got something for you and its FREE! Photography FUNdamentals is an iBook you can download for FREE courtesy of B&H Photo & Video that covers...

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on Dec 28, 2016 in Random Thoughts

Rockin & a Rollin in the Sierra

Yep, we’ve had a pretty cool swarm the past eight hours (over one hundred over 1.0 and 18, 3.7 to 5.7). Many have emailed (thank you!) to see if we were effected. Because of where the house is, we have the really cool (at least I think so) ability to hear the earthquakes often just before we feel them. This last week, we’ve actually heard them but not felt a thing which is weird. The swarm we had this morning upset our Sadie who crawled into bed and other than that, we just rode them out (of course, had to level prints, again!). Centered just northeast of us in the Bodie Hills, earthquakes are pretty common here so while the numbers sound scary, in reality, it’s just a part of life. Thanks to all who touched...

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on Dec 28, 2016 in Field Reports

New DLSR, Old DSLR … Play with Features!

So, you know how to use all the features of your camera when you need them? No matter if you just got a new DSLR or have had one for a while, playing with features is the best way to learn what might help your photography. Here’s a quick idea to get you started. Every year with the cold temps and snow, icicles hanging from our roof always grab my attention. I always go for the lazy man’s way of catching that drop as it falls. What’s the lazy man method? Thanks for asking as it pertains to this blog’s topic. I start by using HSC – High Speed Crop. This not only crops the FX sensor of the D5 but more importantly, speeds up the FPS by 1 frame per second. Next, I raised the ISO to 1600 and dialed in -1 exp comp, both giving me a faster shutter speed. I went to Auto Area AF to take advantage of its Closest Subject Priority and of course,...

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