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STOP IT!

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

STOP IT!

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A quick note for those willing to take their cameras and venture out into a snow storm.  Yup, keep’em as dry as you can as snow is made up of water after all!  But many folks ask how they can get great ‘snowing’ photos.  The key is to utilize your stop action techniques from other scenarios for capturing snowflakes as they fall.  That’s when they look their best!  The two photos here are identical except for the exposure used to get the shot.  The one on the left has a shutter speed of 1/125 Sec and the one on the right has a shutter speed of 1/30 Sec.  Doesn’t that one look more like rain than like snow?  In this case I increased my ISO to get the shutter speed to be faster to stop the action.  The aperture is the same for both (f10) as I wanted a lot of depth of field as that island & lighthouse are pretty far away in comparison to the snow & rocks right in front of me.

So, choose the aperture you need for the scene and make sure your shutter speed is faster than 1/125 Sec for just about 90% of snowing conditions.

I’ve added another image below showing a shutter speed of 1/340 Sec for even better ‘stop action’ results.  There is less blur in the snow flakes than in either image above.  What this means is you should take multiple photos at different shutter speeds, review the images and choose the one you like best.  A little blur is ok but a lot is not.  Your goals should be to make the snow flakes look like it’s snowing and not raining.  So, with another snow storm coming up shortly get ready.  Protect your camera & lense, bring your tripod, find a scene you like and get the shot!

Bob Ring

www.nephotoworkshops.com
www.robertmringphotography.com

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SHARING….

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

SHARING….

“Excuse me.  Excuse me.”

“Ah, yes.”

“What are you photographing in those puddles?”

“I’m capturing the reflection of the lighthouse along with the lighthouse and sky….”

Sharing….

I was lying face down right on the edge of a puddle at Nubble Light in York, Maine yesterday.  Then moving to a different puddle and lying right at the edge of it. I had my camera touching the water and using the flip up screen to see the images as I composed my photos.  Some folks must have thought I was crazy!  There were a lot of people hanging out, admiring the lighthouse and enjoying the great fall afternoon along the coast of New England.  A husband & wife were curious and asked me what i was doing.  “Oh, very cool!”

Don & I hear way too often from photographers that some photographers don’t share their locations, or techniques, or processing steps..etc.  At New England Photo Workshops we teach so we share.  Why doesn’t everybody share?  I can’t answer that.  But what I can say is that for those that don’t share they must be worried that someone will get a better shot than them! Does that really matter?  No, so go get the best shot that You can.

Enjoy and share your photography, your skills, your settings and your know-how as well.  Photography is a great hobby and one that many enjoy and want to be better at.  Don’t hold back!  Share!

Bob Ring
www.nephotoworkshops.com
www.robertmringphotography.com

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CAPTURING MOMENTS….

Posted by on Oct 25, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

CAPTURING MOMENTS….

As a photographer one is always capturing moments.  Those ‘moments’ can be a wave crashing at the beach, a bird flying overhead, a moose lifting its head out of the water, a baseball player’s hit, a tennis ball on a racket and so many more.  When photographing people though….don’t wait for them.  You can make the moment.  Get that smile, that glance, that look when You want it.  I just photographed two brothers and a sister in my home studio.  Yup, got them posing with the help of their mother.  But it’s when they’re standing around that the photographer should be working.  Having their mother stand on her toes making funny faces is OK but when they all pause >>> get the shot.  Get that moment when the older brother & sister look at their younger brother affectionately.  That’s the shot You want.  That’s the shot the parents want.  While others take a pause….you get the shot.

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Regards,
Bob Ring

www.nephotoworkshops.com
www.robertmringphotography.com

THREE THINGS FOR ME ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY….

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

THREE THINGS FOR ME ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY….

VERMONT IN FALL….as illustrated by this white barn & silo in Shaftsbury, VT.


The fun part for me as a photographer is really three fold: being there, taking the photo & then processing it. In this case, I used a plug-in in Lightroom from Nik Software called Analog Efx Pro2 that does a mild job of emulating old film (in a general type of way). Then I was able to add a small amount of bokeh (with the same software) to create the image you see here.

I used a Nikon D610 body with 24-70mm lens at 44mm, f5.0, 1/200 sec on a tripod.  Software: Lightroom 5 & Nik Analog Efx Pro2 (Lightroom plug-in)

I love photography!

Bob Ring

 

www.nephotoworkshops.com

www.robertmringphotography.com

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DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT…

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT…

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT….CHALLENGE YOURSELF TODAY…..OR TOMORROW….

JOHNSON’S POND…
While out late yesterday looking for local foliage and chasing the sunset (things were hectic!) I came across a pond I’ve been by many times but never paid it much heed. It’s now on my personal list as a location to keep an eye on going forward (especially in Spring).

Disregarding the old photographer’s rule of having the sun over your shoulder I shot right at it. Cameras today can react & respond to various light sources much better than film could. So, why not! I think photographers today are so much more fortunate than when I started taking photos with today’s technology. Take long exposures, take them at night, shoot into the sun, move your camera around as you hand hold it (what no tripod?!), change your ASA mid roll (oh wait a minute it’s digital…ISO…anything goes)…..I know Don & I are and you should too if you’re not already….. Demand more from yourself.  Demand more from your camera.  Admire other photographers’ work BUT go out on your own.  Yes, take the typical shots of scenery and so forth but make time to challenge your creativity too!

As technology improves with cameras and software Don & I encourage creativity.  Strongly encourage Creativity……  We mean to say  STRONGLY ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY!!!

Fuji X-T1 (18-55mm lens) at 18mm, f22, 1/60 sec handheld

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Bob Ring
www.nephotoworkshops.com
www.robertmringphotography.com

POLARIZER???

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

POLARIZER???

OK, what’s a polarizer for?  Do you know when to use it and when not to?

Darkening blue skies to make white clouds stand out.  Ah, yeah that’s the most obvious answer.  Is that all?  Do you know when to use a polarizer?  When not to?  That’s one of the things that Don & I teach/discuss/show during our workshops.  Polarizers are NOT just for making blue skies darker.  A polarizer can be used to see though glass (by ‘erasing’ reflections) or to see fish in water (why fishermen & fisherwomen (?)) use them.  How about in fall when the foliage in New England is at it’s best.  Do you think to use your polarizer?  If not you should!  A polarizer will help make those nice fall colors ‘pop’ better by minimizing the reflections on the leaves.   How about when you are in the White Mountains and there’s a nice stream with flowing water over rocks?  Get out the polarizer.  It’ll help darken the water so you can get the results you want.  Reducing reflections.

One example.  I was just up in the Camden/Rockport/Rockland area for our annual family vacation there.  I usually run around during the week looking for various photo ops and almost always end up near the water.  My polarizer is always at the ready.  One day I wanted to explore something away from the water so I went to see the Olsen House in Cushing, ME.  I wasn’t able to get inside as it was closed at the time although the person there said that I could certainly walk around the grounds.  So, I took some photos along some of the windows.  I knew I’d be photographing glass so I put my polarizer on the front of the lens as I wanted to be able to see inside right?  Here’s the fist photo.  What do you think?

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OK, great huh?  Ah, wait a minute.  It’s lousy!  I can see inside but at this window there isn’t much to see inside.  But by turning the polarizer (or removing it from the lens) I get to see part of the coast off to the right including: a field of dandelions, blue ocean water, green grass & trees along with a so-so sky.  That’s what I want!  That adds some color to my image and also helps in the story telling of the image.  Much better than a black area there.  A great example of when to NOT use a polarizer even though I’m shooting a scene with glass in it!

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GOT THE SHOT!

Now for the advanced section (!):

Notice the reflection of the nearby tree in front of the white curtain shade above the open shade area?  Hmmmm.  I want that out of there or at least to minimize it.  So, I open both images in CS6, drop one on top of the other, create a mask and mask out the reflections of that tree.  Let’s see what I have now…..

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So, that’s my final image.  It took proper techniques in the field and some post processing to get the image I wanted.  So, I hope this helps you to think about your polarizer and when to use one and when not to.

In this case I used my Nikon D610 with a Sigma 35mm f1.4 lens at f4.5, 1/125 sec, iso200 on a tripod.

“Get the shot”

Bob Ring

www.nephotoworkshops.com

www.robertmringphotography.com

 

FUJI X-E2: Bob’s Quick Review!

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

FUJI X-E2: Bob’s Quick Review!

I’ve had the Fuji X-E1 camera now for a while and Don has had the Fuji X-100S.  Both great cameras and fun to use!  The Fuji X100S has the 2nd version of Fuji’s X-Trans sensor and it has shown itself to be a sensor that shows off the capabilities of Fuji’s sharp lenses quite well by providing very sharp images.  The Fuji X-E2 has now been released so I just had to move up.  The X-E1 has been sold and I picked up my X-E2 at Hunt’s Photo & Video yesterday.

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OK, so can I simply say: WOW!

I went out this morning and off to Cape Ann area (Essex, Ipswich, Rockport & Annisquam) to test out this great little camera.  The new sensor is really fantastic.  And what a difference. The images were visibly sharp in the field on the LCD.  There was no doubt.  I used the 18-55mm lens, my 14mm and my 60mm Macro lenses as the occasion arose.  The addition of a 2nd Fn key is great even though I haven’t decided what operation I’ll assign to it yet.  Fuji added  a Focus selection for the movable Focus area onto one of the selector buttons that surround the Menu key.  Just perfect for use in the field!

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I chose to use a tripod for almost all of the images to really make sure I’m taking every caution to insure I’m not introducing camera shake by hand holding.  Of course based on my experience with the X-E1 I know that’s not a problem…..up the iso and fire away….no noise……  I’m a huge fan of prime lenses and this camera doesn’t disappoint when you use a prime lens.  So, when you’re using a prime lens you’ll need to zoom with your feet!  No problem. Uh well wait a minute.  Sometimes there might be.  Check out the Essex Marsh House above.  I’m standing on the shore so a zoom lens (18-55mm on this APS-C sz sensor) makes sense here.  OK, so go back to my comment: “I’m a huge fan of prime lenses” and that’s because I want sharp.  I mean sharp images.  Again Fuji’s got it right.  The “kit” lens is stellar.  The detail and contrast in my images were really fantatstic.  This brings me to my discovery about file size.  The files from my Fuji X-E1 camera averaged about 25Mb each whereas on this little gem they’re about 33Mb.  And both cameras have the same Pixel count (16.3Mb) so that means you’re getting a lot more detail in your images!  A lot more detail.

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OK, last quick comment.  See the rope image?  I just indicated that the file sizes are larger (that’s a Great thing!).  Along with that my experience in these cases is the image can ‘take sharpening well’.  What does that mean?  It means that you can typically sharpen the image in Lightroom or other software without getting artifacts as easy as you might get with other sensors.  In the rope image I sharpened the entire image and then gave it a couple of passes with an adjustment brush in the middle light area with clarity and extra sharpening.  I wanted that rope to jump out of the image if possible in comparison to other parts of the image.  It looks great.

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OK, enough for now.  Got to go back & check out more of my images from today with the new Fuji X-E2 camera.

Don & I really enjoy our Fuji cameras and if you’re thinking about getting one we can tell you that you won’t be disappointed.  We are not getting any compensation from Fuji >> we just like their products!
Regards,
Bob Ring
www.nephotoworkshops.com

 

THINKING IN BLACK & WHITE

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

THINKING IN BLACK & WHITE

I LOVE photography.  Been taking photos for a long time (dare I say since 1971….yikes!).  I’ve always said that if you’re gonna shoot in color make the image colorful.  In the old days I used Kodachrome 25 and Velvia: I wanted COLOR!  Today, with digital photography I mostly use Lightroom 4 (LR4) and make sure I’ve got good well defined properly saturated colors.  Then I may add a little ‘gas’ by using plug-ins like Topaz or Viveza, etc. That’s what I like.  Absolutely, perfect subdued colors be damned! ☺

Today, though I’m thinking in & about Black & White photography.  So, similar to color, but in B&W, you want your image to be well composed, well defined and have great B&W. What the hell does that mean: have great B&W?!  It’s not an easy ‘thing’ to explain to someone not familar or used to taking photos in B&W.  Our B&W workshops (1 last year & 2 this year) try to do just that.  Don & I both share the enjoyment of B&W photography and work hard at helping folks to ‘see’ in B&W.

So, what makes a GREAT B&W image?  Here are a few thoughts: lots of detail, something old, high contrast scenes, high contrast scenes that don’t look good in color, portraits, grain, night scenes, urban landscapes, architecture, patterns, lines, bad color and so much more.  Maybe the answer is anything!  Again, that’s where it gets tricky as not everything looks great in B&W.

Some scenes ‘lend themselves’ to B&W. The trick is in being able to ‘see’ those scenes and know that they need to be converted into B&W.  One of the things I do is to look at the old masters’ work (Adams, Weston and many more) as they’re still very relevant today.  By doing some research it may help you to get a grasp on this challenging type of photography!  Make it a point to observe that not all B&W images are actually black & white.  So many of images are toned (typically sepia) and this adds a whole new dimension to the image.
You’ll see that 3  of the images in this post are toned.  Know why?  Because I like it!  As a color photographer you have the right to adjust the color balance of your image from what the camera captured to what you think you ‘saw’.  In the world of B&W it’s kind of similar. Yes I do love a high contrast B&W image with tack sharp edges you can almost feel on your fingertips.  But not all images are meant to be presented that way.

OK, now what? This post is meant to be a thought provoking one. For you as a photographer step back (not if you’re on top of Cadillac Mntn of course!) and prepare yourself to think in and photograph in black & white. Do some research. Look at other’s B&W photography.  What makes it good, or even great?

I challenge you to go out and just try to photograph images that you know should ONLY be processed as a black & white image.  Can you do it?  I know I do on occassion.  It’s fun. It’s challenging. Make it an assignment for yourself to do it.  That’s how you improve your photography skills.

The frosting on the cake: capture some B&W images and either make a print or have one made from a favorite image of yours.  Then hang it up in your house.  You’ll soon see that, yup color is great, but BLACK & WHITE is BETTER!

I hope this spurs you on to better black & white photography.

Bob Ring

www,nephotoworkshops.com

Snow is Good!!!

Posted by on Mar 3, 2013 in About New England, Blog, Massachusetts, Nikon, Scenics | 0 comments

Snow is Good!!!

Here in New England there is no avoiding winter.  Part of the beauty of the northeast is our four distinctly different seasons and winter, in it’s own unique ways, is as beautiful as any other time of the year.   As photographers we must learn to embrace the characteristics of winter that provide us with opportunity to expand our vision and our creativity.

Maybe it’s just me but, I LOVE a good snowstorm.  While so many rush off to get their obligatory loaves of bread and gallons of milk with a sense of worry, I prepare my gear to capture the power and beauty of Mother Nature.  Safety for yourself, and your equipment, always comes first but, if you are willing to trek out in freshly fallen snow, you WILL be rewarded with magnificent photographic opportunities.  Like so many things, it’s simply a matter of being optimistic and looking at things with a different perspective.

Snow does have a lot of negative aspects to it.  Snow clogs our roads,  impedes our progress, and disrupts our lives.  Snow storms  CAN be dangerous and have treacherous consequences if we do not heed their power.   We tend to lament the discomfort of snow but, for the photographer, snow shapes the landscape in a positive way.

Freshly fallen snow clings to the landscape and adds contrast to every scene.  The resulting blanket of white clings to the features of our landscape and creates a depth that is not found in other seasons.   Our woodlands are often dense with trees and underbrush that prohibit our view but,  freshly fallen snow separates features from each other which allows the viewer, and photographer,  to see much deeper into any scene.    Simple subjects like footpaths and hiking trails take on a whole new look due to the depth created by snow.  Photographers must use this to their advantage when shooting in the field.  I took all three of the attached photos last Monday morning after a night of fresh snowfall.  The landscape with the three small trees is actually a very plain, ordinary hill.  On most days you can’t even see the three small trees since they blend right into the background.  Snow separates them and makes them distinct.  The second photo, honestly, is an ugly access road.  It is a very unattractive dirt road in any other season but, fresh snow clinging to every tree and every branch renders a very quiet, beautiful scene.  The contrast of the white snow allows us to see to the very end of the dirt road when normally it is obstructed by a blend of colors and leaves.  The last photo is on the side of the road around the corner from my house.  That stream is almost invisible except for in winter.  The leaves of overhanging branches and the congestion make it hard to see into the scene and follow the water for more than just a few yards most of the year.  However, fresh fallen snow creates beautiful separation in the scene and allows us to enjoy the lengthy and worthy view.  Snow is good!

March is here:  In like a Lion and out like a Lamb they say.  I am hoping we have one more good snow storm.  The moments that the fresh snow looks its very best are fleeting to say the least.   So, yes, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring in a few more weeks but, right now, I am hoping for one more chance to capture some of winter’s beauty.

“Photograph What You Feel”

Don

 

 

Welcome to Our New Site

Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Welcome to Our New Site

We are very happy to announce the launch of our brand new web site. We hope this site is more user-friendly and offers you better access to the information about our workshops. Our schedules are filling up fast and we are very much looking forward to growing this site with new photos from 2013. Please drop us a line and tell us what you think!