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Marsh_Creek_by_Annette_Schreiber

Trees are beautiful! No matter which season, they always shine with a special glow of strength and elegance.

Some of them are old and wise looking, some of them just a couple of years old but fighting the weather in their own way.

beauty of trees

In a light green cloak during spring, changing to a dark green in summer and enchant with a huge variety of colors in fall their real elegance shows in the cold months when all leaves are gone.

woodlands in pennsylvania     farmland in pennsylvania in winter

The beauty of trees is different. It is simple, humble and not as obvious as the beauty of a rose. It is subtle.

Lake scenery in Pennsylvania

When I look at a tree I have to look up, a superior view. Like looking up to a cathedral. Most of the times I can’t describe the feeling of power and elegancy that emanates from them. It is just breathtaking.

Trees in photographed in color show you the mood and atmosphere, trees in black and white bring out the fine details and structure of them.

trees and fountains     three trees

Capturing these amazing giants in a most special way does not depend on weather or time of the day if you are open to the magic.

Whether you go out on a foggy or rainy day, on an ice-cold winter day or when the sky is blue and crisp.

ice covered tree after freezing rain     tree in Monument Valley

Different angles to the sun, which allow the light to shape out every unseen detail, painting a picture full of atmosphere, allow a huge diversity to show a trees beauty.

ice covered tree

Sometimes, in winter, the trees in Pennsylvania are covered in ice which gives them a surreal, vitreous look. So gorgeous!

ice coated tree branch     Ice covered branch after freezing rain

Being surrounded by nature, especially trees is a privilege. We should treasure moments while walking around or simple being outside.

Taking pictures, not just with our cameras but also with our mind. 🙂

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Chester County, Pennsylvania

 

Mist and Fog are capable of transforming a scene, adding mystery and mood in a simplifying way by reducing color and contrast.

For this reason, often the scenes that suit these types of condition best are ones containing strong, obvious objects of interest.

Marsh_Creek_by_Annette_Schreiber

 

Mist is often at its best just before and after sunrise.

 Just before daybreak, low-lying mist will appear naturally cool.

 Avoid using Auto white balance as this will often neutralize the lovely blue hues created by the conditions. 

In contrast, low, warm sunlight will give mist natural warmth. The best conditions have often a very short time window.

Sunlight will soon burn the mist away, though, you need to work quickly before the conditions change.

Farmland, Fog

 

To help create depth, include a foreground subject. This will form a primary focal point, with everything else receding into the foggy background.

Longer focal length are often more useful than wide-angles for this type of landscape – a 70-300mm is therefore a good choice.

Telephoto lenses will foreshorten perspective, emphasizing the conditions and enabling photographers to isolate key features.

Fall,         Pennsylvania Morning

 

Contrast plays a key role in misty images.

 Foggy shots are mostly low in contrast and you will notice that histograms are often quite narrow due to the limited tonal range those conditions produce.

If you shoot in RAW you will be able to get more out of your pictures, especially in the foggy areas. 

You will probably need to add some contrast during processing otherwise your shots will look flat and lifeless.

Lake scenery in Pennsylvania

 

While it is impossible to predict where and when mist might form, by keeping a good eye on the weather forecast and knowing what to look for, you greatly enhance your chances of heading out with your camera just at the right time.

 

This time of the year here in Pennsylvania chances are pretty good to take some great pictures in foggy conditions.

Get up early and have fun! 🙂

 

 

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Nature and Landscape photographers have long recognized and worked hard to take advantage of the soft, seemingly magical light of early morning, regardless of their location or assignment. Natural light definitely is different in the first hour or two after daybreak. The solution is learning to stretch perfect light so you can still come away with usable and often truly outstanding images throughout the whole day.

 

You’re not changing the sun’s brightness, rather only using it differently, and the techniques are not hard to learn. Sport and new photographers have to utilize these methods every day, and they are easily applied to outdoors and nature shooting. Here are five techniques you can begin using the next time you are out in the field; you may have been practicing one or more of them already, and the longer you continue as a nature photographer, the more tricks you’ll use. These five are closely related, so you can combine them as you photograph.

 

  1. Concentrate on color– Although bright light under a clear sky does seem to wash out colors; you can work around this by composing using contrasting colors. For example, place a bright red or yellow against a lighter brown or green. The key is having a brightly colored subject with a lighter background, rather than vice versa. Black or dark brown backgrounds can work, but if your brighter subject is small, a dark background may simply overpower it. At times, polarizing filters can help you, be careful and learn to use them correctly. Their primary function is to reduce glare, which frequently does result in richer color saturation. Some of today’s professional film does not always yield pleasing polarized results because their emulsions already offer excellent color saturation.
farmhouse
  1. Shoot tight– This is one of the most critical techniques in making successful midday photos. Using a telephoto lenses isolate your subject so you can eliminate backgrounds brightness or contrast. Don’t Hesitate to choose a telephoto even when you’re already close to your subject; used in this manner, the result is almost three dimensional when you have strong side lighting and you use a large aperture to further reduce depth of field. This is when the zoom lenses in your bag really earn their keep because you can vary your composition without changing your physical position, plus fixed focal length telephoto also work well.
ice flower
  1. Change directions– Quite often, angled light or back-lit scenes are far more dramatic than those with front lighting. It is sometimes amazing at how much a photograph can be changed simply by repositioning you a few feet one way or the other.
ice covered tree
  1. Try fill lighting– Using a fill flash, even in midday, can and will add surprising result when shoot a subject within 10 feet. Flash photography has never been easier than rule governing their use has not changed: a fill flash is used to complement natural light outdoors, not to override it. In other words, don’t shoot into the sun in the belief the plash will eliminate a shadow-covered subject, because it won’t. Instead, use the flash to reduce contrast between bright areas and shadows and create more even overall light. Think small, too, as in subjects like birds or squirrels; a single on camera-mounted flash is not going to help much if you’re trying to light up a bison at noon in Yellowstone’s Lamar valley, but conversely, it can certainly help add detail if you’re photographing a small animal. At close distances it can be used successfully with telephoto lenses, too without having to resort to special accessories.
dream_bench
  1. Avoid harsh light contrasts– Don’t confuse contrasting light with contrasting colors, because even the best camera sensors so far, can not handle the F-stop difference between bright light and dark shadow.
blue_hour

In many instances, it’s easy to avoid harsh contrasts. Scenes that include land and sky, for example, often present this problem, but it might be solved if your composition includes a long, brushy tree limb as a framing device to eliminate much of the sky. Maybe the sky or the ground isn’t needed at all; reposition your horizon line or change your camera angle to emphasize another aspect of the scene. As you can see, all five techniques are closely related, and with experience you’ll be shooting more and well, so stretch the perfect and shoot all day long.

 

The more you practice and learn to adjust to the light the better your results will get. Have fun and see you out there! 🙂

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copyright

 

Today I would like to write a little bit about your rights to reproduce and handle your artwork.

 

Copyright is the exclusive right of a photographer to control the use and reproduction of the photographs they create.

Copyright does not give photographers the right to freely use their images as they

wish. State laws determine the need for a model release from the subjects of the images for certain commercial uses.

Copyright does, however, prevent others from using professionally created images

without the photographer’s express permission.

 

 

The Federal Copyright Act and other cases, establish the following:

 

-At the moment a professional photograph is created the copyright comes   automatically into existence

 

-By law, that copyright belongs to the photographer or the photographer’s studio

 

-A customer who orders and purchases the photograph does not thereby obtain ownership of the copyright

 

-Any transfer of the copyright’s ownership to a customer must be outlined in writing

 

-A lab, or other third party, who prints or reproduces photographs commercially, has a legal duty to ensure that the requested copy or intended use is lawful before fulfilling the order

 

-A photograph does not need to be marked with a copyright notice to be protected although it helps a lot to point this out

 

-A photograph does not need to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office to be protected, although it will immensely increase your ability to enforce your rights in the event of a litigation

 

-A photograph can be marked with the © symbol immediately upon creation; it does not need to be registered first

 

Hudson_River_a

marked photograph

 

 

 

Three main questions appear with publishing a photograph.

 

1) Do I have to mark my photographs?

 

Technically, a copyright mark is not required for protection. However, as a practical matter, I encourage everyone to mark all their work. It helps to clear up any questions for those who don’t understand. Since lack of understanding is at the core of many infringements, this small step can go a long way toward protecting your work.

 

 

2) Do I need to register my photographs?

 

Registration is a verifiable record of your copyright, so that in the event of a legal claim, a case of infringement or plagiarism, you can produce a copy from an official government office.

Registration involves sending your work to the U.S. Copyright Office along with some paperwork and registration fee. It is not required by law, yet it will immensely increase your ability to enforce your rights in the event of a litigation, as you will not be able to claim statutory damage or attorney’s fees unless your work was registered prior to the infringement, or within 3 months of its publication.

 

 

3) How long does a copyright last?

 

The current copyright term is the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years or for works created by a corporation, 95 years.

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about copyright, please go to www.copyright.gov

 

Enjoy as always to capture special moments and in case you would like to publish or sell your art remember the copyright. 🙂

 

 

 

 

beautiful fall day

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Fall is a time of transition—summer slowly transforming into winter, rain returning more regularly, and green leaves turning spectacular colors before going dormant. This being the case, it can be a wonderful season for photographers. However, it takes more than just some colorful leaves to make a striking fall photo.

chester county           indian_summer3

First, some basics. Sunrise and sunset are going to give you wonderful lighting that will make the rich fall colors even more vibrant. It will provide you especially with a warmer tone that perfectly compliments the yellow, orange, and red of the changing leaves.

The great thing about shooting fall scenes is that sunrise and sunset come at much better times of the day, so you don’t have any excuses not to get out there when there is the very best light.  It is always a good idea to head out with a tripod. If nothing else, this will allow you to shoot with a low ISO and make the most of the colors of the season.  Also, you should try the shots with a polarizing filter that can help take glare off of the leaves and help the colors be a bit more vibrant.

That being said, there are some less obvious “secrets” that you can try that will make for some impressive fall photos.

 

 

SECRET #1 – FALLEN LEAVES

leave carpet 

In Autumn, leaves are going to fall. This can add an incredibly colorful element to your composition. In the photo above, we have leading lines with the path and framing provided by the trees along the sides and their branches at the top. We also have the added visual impact of the path being covered in orange and red leaves. If it were not Autumn, the leaves on the path might be distracting or look better in black and white, but during Fall they fill the eye with warm colors.

 

 

SECRET #2 – GET CLOSE

beautiful fall day           fall, leaves, maple

With all of the varying colors happening in the Fall, it is easy to lose track of the details. Going close on leaves, for instance, can put the focus on a single color and draw attention to the simple lines of branches and the ribs of the leaves. Depending how close you want to go, you might consider a macro lens or, if you don’t have a macro lens, see if your camera has a macro setting. Whether shooting with a macro or tightly zoomed lens, you may also consider shooting with a shallow depth of field to blur the background and bring the viewer’s eye solely to the leaves.

red leaves

 

 

SECRET #3 – INCLUDE A FOREGROUND

 chester county Pennsylvania

Autumn colors don’t just happen in remote locations. Often they can be found along the side of the road, so why not include some of that road in your shot? A road can anchor the shot and provide a sense of scale. You can decide if you want to include any traffic or not. If a road isn’t available, you could instead incorporate a fence or some wildlife to accomplish a similar effect. Or just try a different perspective.

fall in central park

Enjoy the beauty, nature has to offer at this time of the year and let it guide you to shoot the most amazing photographs!