Tag Archives: photos

Sunsets and Silhouettes

The most vibrant images can often times be images that play off light and dark and only display a handful of colors on the spectrum.

Capturing sunsets is a great way to experiment with natural light and the way it plays in various landscapes.

Sunsets on a backdrop of well formed clouds can be very dramatic.

If you photograph at the right time of day and look at ordinary things with a creative eye you can create some interesting scenes.

Generally speaking I have found that an hour before the sun goes down is the best time to photograph skies like the ones shown above.  The light is not as intense so glare is limited.  It also allows for more options in manually setting your camera for exposure.

I primarily use manual focus, except on images where the sun is directly in the shot.  Then I put the camera on auto focus, take a best guess at where I should start for settings and then aim the camera at the sun without looking through the lens.  After I take the shot I quickly review and adjust my settings and take another round of photos…slightly adjusting the position of my camera in the hopes one or two of the shots end up with decent framing.

If you think the fun ends when the sun goes down you are mistaken.  Keep an extra battery charged for the late show with our other favorite light source…the moon.


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A Macro Minute – Local Scenery

Some of the most wonderful scenery can be found in our own backyard, if we know where to look.

In my home town, there is a small stretch of public land overlooking the marshes that is home to dozens of little vignettes that were probably seen once or twice in the minds eye when imagining places far away as described in a fairy tale.

When the author describes a clearing in the woods where soft grass grows, fed by a small pond, this scene is pretty close to what I picture.


Although this is the scene one sees as they exit the property and enter back  into the real world, it is one that reminds me of home, a warm welcome and what I would expect to find in any cottage ever describe in a childhood story.


This scene is a legend unto it’s self in my home town.  Grass Island is a piece of land that gives the visual perception of being an island, though there is a thin strand connection to the mainland.  One can walk to it.  The shack on Grass Island is the true land mark.  Never inhabited, rustic in appearance and sturdy enough to withstand tides and storms over the decades, it is a sought after image for photographers and painters alike.


All one needs to do is look up into the sky, where ever they are and at just the right time, to see the warm array of color that comes at the end of the day.  Location, and what stands up against this scene in the sky, are what adds texture to the overall picture.

Sunset copy

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Some scenes are elements that are isolated from the whole.  Beauty unto themselves, something recognized with the naked eye but captured, in perpetuity, only by the lens.

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A Macro Minute – Reflecting on Water

A nice gentle rain can bring a change of perspective to garden foliage.  This photo was taken just after rain fall and before the sun came out in force.


A clear night and calm water can be a canvas for achieving a more artistic effect with sky shots.


With the right lighting conditions and framing of the shot, water take on a diamond in the rough appearance.


All photos were shot using a Nikon D5300. Basic photo enhancement was done using Adobe Photoshop.

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Photographing Jewelry

There is a bit of a trick to photographing jewelry.  It requires a little more staging and attention to lighting in order to capture sparkle without creating glare or casting distracting shadows.  The video below gives some tips for building a basic setup for photographing jewelry.  The two key ingredients to a decent photo is bright, even lighting of the subject and a neutral background.  This video will show you how to achieve that on a budget.


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A Macro Minute – Sunsets and the Macro Cat

Greetings readers, bloggers and followers!  I actually photograph other things beside flowers.  I am forever on the hunt for the perfect sunset or cloud formation.  Animals are another favorite.  Cats really are the most zen animal around and if you get a chance to look into their eyes you can see such peace….and real intelligence when they are plotting trouble!

Look for this cat in an upcoming short video sometime on Monday.  I’ll show you how to quickly color balance a photo to remove color casts.


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Copyright 2013 Digital Design Digest


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Take Great Holiday Photos

Happy Holidays from Digital Design Digest!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and there is much to do so I will keep this short!  I just wanted to share a few quick tips for taking great holiday photos.

  1. Avoid shooting into a light source, if you can.  Shooting into a window or having a very bright light behind the subject can cause them to appear more as a silhouette in a photo.  Keep light sources more to the side or in front of the subject to illuminate faces.
  2. Use the highest quality image setting your camera allows.  Don’t drop it down to a lesser quality.  Your initial goal may be to post these on a social media site, but you could end up with a few gems that are print worthy for framing.  Enlarging smaller images does not garner good results.  It is better to reduce and image’s size to maintain crispness.
  3. Take your time and go for candid shots. These are what really capture the moments of the holidays.
  4. Photograph everything.  The table, the turkey, the array of sides.  It could make a nice opening montage to a holiday video or slideshow.
  5. Be respectful of your subjects.  Not everyone wants their photo broadcast on social media or to be the image on a personal greeting card.  This can be personal or work related but it should be respected.  You know your group.  Just keep an open dialogue about your intentions with the photos, especially with any new members to your group.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright © 2012 Digital Design Digest

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