Monthly Archives: November 2015

Enchanting Children Photography

Jennifer Carver of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is known for creating enchanting styles of photographs of children. Her inspiration for creating such photos of children is drawn from their moods, personalities and attitudes. She combines her love for photography with the natural character that children are not afraid to display, and uses these things to create enchanting portraits.

She’s not afraid of using light. Instead of just shooting with the light coming in from one side, she will shoot into, in front of, or behind the light so she can obtain an enchanting photograph of the child. She always shoots late afternoon using the canon 7d, 5d, the mark 11 and the canon 35 1.4.

I loved seeing the way she styles the children in such a way that it no longer a typical child portrait, and yet displays a little bit of who they are, still child-like.

By pstarkey







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Disaster Photography



Disaster photography specifically refers to photos taken during or after a destructive event, usually a natural disaster, but some are man-made. These photos range from hurricane aftermath to Chernobyl pictures.



I thought that the images from these types of scenes are unique in the sense that they are familiar. Yet they have a haunting or unsettling quality to them due to familiar settings being warped in almost unrealistic ways.



Most of the people that do disaster photography are photojournalists, and are reporting for the news or a magazine, and many of them are also war photographers. And I also thought that part of it was interesting as well, because many aspects of both types of photography are similar. The styles look similar and can provide similar feelings as well despite the subjects being different.



Another interesting part of this was that the process of getting into these scenes and taking the photographs seem to have similar difficulties to war photographers. Such as being barred by authorities, especially when at the scenes of human disasters such as Chernobyl or the twin towers after 9/11. And there is a lot of debate about whether or not disaster photography is taking advantage of peoples strife or accurately reflecting the scenes and events of these disasters.



According to the main article that I read the gear that is used and the settings used are “(A) Canon EOS 5D Mark II and either a 50mm f/1.4, 16-35mm f/2.8, or 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on an Induro carbon fiber tripod with a ball head… With the images that have people in them I was often shooting at ISO 800-3200 in order to get the beautiful low light in the photo while also freezing the subject… For the still life and landscape photographs I was most commonly on ISO 800 but I went to 400 sometimes and even up to 1600. ”




Adam K. Smith

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Infrared Photography


This is the infrared filter that can be used to do the technique. It screws onto the front of the lens, much like a UV filter.

Infrared photography manipulates the camera’s sensor in order to only display infrared and near-infrared that the human eye can not normally see. The effect caused by this process can vary, but creates a distinct, signature style. This style is normally achieved in one of two ways, either with a filter that only allows infrared light into the camera, or by directly, and irreversibility, altering the filter on the sensor of a DSLR camera. The other part of the process is to use long exposures, which allows the camera to really pick up the infrared light, and then the infrared light is pulled into the visible spectrum by editing the RAW file in Photoshop.


Although infrared photography isn’t new by any means it has been expanded upon. Originally infrared photography was taken from very far away, usually it was used to take aerial photographs of cities, however; with new technology photographers can now use this technique up close, without the need of a helicopter or plane.

Format 2 Smugmug-IR river-L

A development of this new up close infrared technique has been used to explore taking more than just landscape shots, and has been experimented with in taking portrait photographs.


The conversion process of creating a infrared camera, as stated earlier, is irreversible. This is because it requires the removal of a filter that the sensor uses to cut down infrared light. That is why these scenes look so odd to us, this is what the camera sees without the filter.

The process of conversion of a camera and the technique is explained briefly in this video;


Adam K. Smith

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Theatrical Photography

Low lights, camera, action! What kind of pictures can one possibly take in a setting of such? Jeff Reeder, of Chalfont Pennsylvania, uses these three elements to create wonderful pictures known as theatrical photography. Although low lighting can be challenging, a skilled photographer needs to make certain adjustments and readjustments of camera settings and positions and be in the right place at the right opportune time. The performers already have their makeup on. Costumes and backdrops are coordinated with the theme, and their moves and emotions have already been planned and perfected. So it’s not part of Jeff’s plan to tell the actors to stop what they are doing, to get re-positioned and to act differently. So he works in low lights, his camera, and with plenty of action in front of him. Jeff really enjoys what he does.

The equipment he uses is the Canon 50D and his two lenses, a Canon 17-85mm EF IS and the Cannon 70-300mm EF IS. He usually use a tungsten color balance and an ISO of 800-1600.

Theatre and production work has always been an interest of mine and I thought I would share

Jeff Reeder’s theatrical photographs with you.

By pstarkey



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Smoke Art Photography

Smoke art photography will take some practice and patience to conquer, but it is certainly a great way to produce artistic and interesting photos.  In order to capture smoke with your camera, a dark environment and a plain black background are needed.  The most common and easiest smoke producing props used are incense sticks.  Incense is long-lasting and allows plenty of time for camera adjustments and for composing shots.  A flashgun or specifically directed light is necessary to illuminate the smoke, as it is extremely important to only light up the smoke and not the background.

The camera needs to be on manual mode, with a low ISO setting.  Generally, the shutter speed should be set at 1/250 seconds and aperture around F13.  However, adjustments will probably need to be made until you acquire the correct exposure.  To avoid camera shake, it’s best to use a tripod and the self-timer function or a remote controlled shutter release.

Once you get your shots, you can spice them up in Photoshop.  Other than regular clean-up, you can invert the background, add color layers to the smoke and mirror or duplicate the smoke for a symmetrical, figured look.

Stoffel De Roover -

By Stoffel De Roover – “Queen of Hearts” – mirrored and colored layers added.

By Paul C. Anderson - mirrored with an inverted background.

By Paul C. Anderson – mirrored and a colored layer with an inverted background.

By Mehmet Ozgur -

By Mehmet Ozgur – “Cutting Edge” – two images meshed together.

By Cow Gummy via flickr - mirrored and several color layers.

By Cow Gummy via flickr – mirrored and several colored layers.

By J. Auchinleck via flickr - mirror with color layer.

By J. Auchinleck via flickr – mirrored with colored layer.

I came across smoke art photography while researching creative techniques for my last post.  I think the possibilities are endless when creating art out of mostly unpredictable smoke, although, there are ways to control and manipulate it to your satisfaction.  I find this type of photography very interesting, refreshingly creative and it’s definitely another way of thinking outside the box.  I never cared much for being inside boxes.



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Impressionistic Photo Techniques

Although the painterly impressionistic look can be achieved in Photoshop using special apps, there are ways to create and capture the effects through your lens. Below are four of the various techniques photographers use to give their photos interesting artistic effects.

Shake and Jiggle

In the following example, Gerald Sanders focused in on the scene and shook his camera with small, controlled movements.  I consider this to be a trial and error technique, as it can take awhile to achieve sought after results.  It is best to start with slower movements and adjust aperture and exposure settings as you go, until you capture the desired appearance.  Note: to ensure you capture the desired painterly effect, it is important to turn off the vibration reduction feature on your DSLR camera.

By Gerald Sanders - using shake and jiggle technique. (Via Apogee Photo Magazine)

By Gerald Sanders – using shake and jiggle technique. (Via Apogee Photo Magazine)

 Blur Zooming

The next picture was captured by Anne McKinnell using the blur zoom technique. She set her camera to shutter priority mode with a speed of at least a couple of seconds and smoothly zoomed in on the scene. This technique works better at night, but can be done during the day with a neutral density filter to block out some of the light. This is also a trial and error technique, as you may have to try different exposures and zoom movements before acquiring your desired final product.

Anne McKinnell - using blur zoom technique. The Legislature in Victoria, British Columbia.

By Anne McKinnell – using blur zoom technique. The Legislature in Victoria, British Columbia.

Selective Focus

The following picture was also taken by McKinnell. She used a macro lens, a Lensbaby, with a wide aperture opening for the shot. A telephoto lens works well for this technique too by using the lowest F stop number and zooming in on the scene from a distance. To create this effect, it is best to set the camera to aperture priority, focus manually on the part of the frame you want in focus and use colorful scenes.

Anne McKinnell - using selective focus technique. Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

By Anne McKinnell – using selective focus technique. Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

Long Exposures

This last picture was also captured by McKinnell. This technique gives photos an abstract painterly effect. It is achieved simply by using shutter priority mode, speeds of a half second or longer and using subjects that are in motion.

By Anne McKinnell - using long exposure technique. Glendale Garden.

By Anne McKinnell – using long exposure technique. Glendale Garden.

I really like the effects these techniques produce. I love the fact that they are abstract and or look like paintings, but you can still determine and identify the scenes or subjects. I plan to experiment with impressionistic effects and hope this post has inspired you to do the same.  If nothing else, you should check out the first link below for some great creative ideas.



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Reflected or Mirrored Photography


One of the many techniques that photographers’ use to create interesting photos is reflected or mirrored images. It can be used to turn a simple photo into something more artistic than it was prior. It is one of the oldest techniques to create artistic photographs. It is usually used to create symmetry in a photo but can also be used to add an interesting aspect to a subject or object. Such as this photo below. Anyone looking into exploring photography should try this technique when possible.



architectural-reflection-1 nature-reflection-and-symmetry-1

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