How to break a rule without sinning

boys in front of oak treeThe most important thing I’ve learned lately, in regards to photography, has been ‘seeing the light’.

Light is the one thing that is essential to photography.  The word Photography means literally, ‘drawing with light’.
“Photo” is derived from Greek – the Greek word “phos” means “light.”
The word “graph” also comes from a Greek word meaning “to draw.”

It’s kind of cool to think that I can take a shot like this one using just my Android phone and some available light.

How I found this shot

This oak tree is being illuminated by the sun’s reflection bouncing off of some kitchen windows a few meters away. The sun itself is directly behind the tree.

The light was so wonderful, I simply couldn’t resist asking my boys to strike a pose for me.

“Dad! Not again!” I could see it written on their faces.

A year ago I wouldn’t have thought of taking this shot, because, as a general rule you’re not supposed to shoot into the sun. But that’s the cool thing about knowing the rules.. because then you know how to break them!

Free Macro lens.. in just ten seconds

Macro shot of the snow in Scandinavia

A received an email from someone who wanted to know how I took this photo of a snow flake. Here’s how I did it:

  1. First you need to have a camera with interchangeable lenses, such as any SLR camera. (Mine is a Canon 30D, but I want a 5D Mark II. Don’t we all? 😛
  2. Now, simply remove the lens from the body by clicking the release button, and flip it around placing it backwards against the camera body. (See the following photos.)

Well, okay, there are a couple of things you still need to do. You will have no control over your aperture, so set your camera on Manual/Automatic mode for best results. You will also not be able to use your focus ring on your lens,  so adjust your focus by moving back and forth until you gets a clear focus. Don’t use a flash, because you will be too close for it to do any good. Set your ISO on a high enough setting to avoid any camera shake.

That’s it! enjoy shooting.

P.S. You need to know that every time you take your lens off of your camera body you risk allowing dust to get on your sensor. There isn’t a huge risk unless you are in a windy and/or dusty area. but do this at your own discretion.

Happy child with harmonica

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One evening, I caught a few shots of the boys playing in their room. Lucas was humming away on the harmonica and had this great laughing face which I was lucky enough to capture. It feels as if every time I pick up my camera I learn a new trick, or principle, or technique, or at least a small portion thereof. I think I caught the light just right here. I used a tethered speedlite on manual mode and held it off to the left of Lucas. At least I think that’s what I did. If I didn’t, then I had the flash facing off to the left and used the left wall as a giant light modifier to bounce the light from.

My next adventure in flash photography is to juggle my tethered speedlite with a small softbox I ordered form Amazon attached to the end of it. I tried it tonight but it felt really clumbsy and the box kept falling off or getting in the way of the lite’s distance sensor. Any advice out there? Anybody wanna come and be my assistant?

How to photograph a postcard church

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The first ting you need to do is to find a church that will work on a postcard, one that is worthy of postcard status. They say that you can make anybody or anything look good if you work the lighting and other elements of a photo just right. And Photoshop certainly helps with the subtle adjustments. But isn’t it obvious that some subjects simply look great no matter what you ‘don’t’ do the photo? Such is the case with Själevads church in Själevad, Sweden. This church was voted the most beautiful church in Sweden. then again there are lots of beautiful churches in Sweden.

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Winter fake

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I thought for sure the sky would be too dark to get this sort of photo, but I was wrong. Actually, the best light in this case was after the sun had already gone down. And the glow from the sky came over the top and around the other side of the frozen fjord to bounce against this snow-and-frost-covered forest. I did some post editing in Photoshop, cooling the temperature and then dodging and burning the lights and darks. What you see here is a more accurate representation of what I saw in reality. It looks so fake! Doesn’t it?