Category Archives: Photography Education

Frozen Soap Bubbles

What do you do when you want to take pictures but the temps are below zero and you want to stay close to home?  Try this fun creative winter photo project.  If you search the net, you will find many different recipes to make soap bubbles that freeze into beautiful creative objects.

Frozen Soap Bubble Recipe

A recipe that I used to start my recipe is located here.

I substituted glycerine for corn syrup since I had glycerine and had no future need for corn syrup.  I did experiment with brown and white sugar and each one created an interesting look.

My first mixture didn’t freeze as hoped but it did create an interesting pattern of colors – I vote for the brown sugar and glycerine combination.

Using the Olympus E-M1MarkII and 60 mm macro, this is what the surface of the bubble look like as it attempted to freeze but instead swirled around creating beautiful patterns.  Maybe I had too much glycerine in the mix?

Colorful Soap Bubble

 

 

Frozen Soap Bubble Success

I tried a few different combinations of bubble mixes and lights but the wind was too strong carrying them away before they froze and or I didn’t like the way the lights illuminated the bubble. Then I decided to put the bubbles on top of our frozen pool. This idea proved successful since it seemed the soap bubble ‘stuck’ to the frozen snow on the pool cover. I used the setting sun to backlight the frozen bubble and the snow reflected light creating amazing patterns.  Again, I used the Olympus E-M1MarkII and 60 mm macro and was able to get an interesting set of freezing lines in the soap bubble. Although this was a similar mixture to the first image, the colors didn’t pop but created a muted look with fun lines and swirls.

Frozen Bubble

The temps were in the single digits but I think the amount of glycerine and sugar in the mix caused it to not freeze too fast but when it did, it was ‘solid’.

I continued experimenting with mixtures including coloring which ruined the mix causing no bubbles to create – what a messy, sticky solution 😐 I think the mixture will be on the pool cover until the spring thaw.

After tossing that mix, I used a mixture of dish soap, glycerine, and white sugar. The temps dropped below zero degrees F and the winds were over ten MPH.  I couldn’t sleep and was up around 0200 but went back to sleep thinking of what to do to ‘protect’ the fragile soap bubble (and my body).  Tis was not a good situation for being outside so I set-up shop in an area near our house which was still freezing (my mixture froze while in the container) but protected from the winds.

Using miniature toys for props in your frozen soap bubble images

It was then that I decided to use some of the miniature items I often use in macro work but never considered for frozen bubbles.

The pedestal was my first choice and I backlit the image by bouncing a strobe off a paper backdrop created from a summer image. Using a straw to ensure the bubble ‘landed’ where I wanted it, I took many images but the one when the frozen bubble started collapsing was my favorite.  (I might edit the others and post in the future – maybe when its 100 degrees out and folks are stating it is too cold 😀 .)

 

Bubble on pedestal – Collapsed

For this image, I used the Olympus 30 mm macro (which I believe is a sleeper lens) and had lots of fun. Using pocket wizards to trigger an off-camera flash, I bounced light into the backdrop and lit the scene.

Settings were –  f/4.5 1/30 second and ISO 200. Handheld.

Frozen in time! Be creative with your photography!

As I was ‘playing’, I couldn’t decide how to utilize a miniature chair and then it dawned on me to try reflections. I place the chair very close to the front of the bubble and using the Olympus 30 mm macro, I was able to create this fun image. No, the chair isn’t ‘Photoshopped’ in and the combination of two LED lights created the dimension to the scene. I had an LED headlight positioned to camera right and an LED panel light, camera left.

Frozen in Time – Chair in Frozen Soap Bubble

 

If the weather stays this cold, I will continue to play and post more images. Watch my Facebook and Instagram feed for more tips, tricks, and images.

We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. … Steve Jobs

Think different!

Make the world a better place.

Also posted in beaver county, Landscape Photography, macro, mirrorless camera, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, winter landscapes

Exposure Triangle and Aperture

How does aperture impact my image?

In this short video, I show a few examples how changing the aperture / f-stop impacts the look of your image.

My goal is to get you off of auto and in manual mode.

Additionally, my intent is to show you that each of the images shown in the video are exposed properly but a properly exposed image does not mean it is the image you intended to photograph.


Stranger: “That is a beautiful child you have there.”
Mother: “That’s nothing. You should see his photograph.” – Anonymous


 

Technical Specs

Olympus | E-M1MarkII | Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens | Mirrorless Camera | MeFoto Tripod

Also posted in beaver county, Landscape Photography, mirrorless camera, Olympus, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, photography, photography quotes, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

Invest in yourself – two free ebooks

Photography education

I believe in investing in yourself through books, ebooks, webinars, and more in all areas of life.  I have been a long time fan of DAVID DUCHEMIN having read many of his photography ebooks and a few of his physical books.  He is giving away two excellent photography books that I recommend regardless of your skill level.

Ten – TEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT WITHOUT BUYING GEAR

Ten More – TEN MORE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT WITHOUT BUYING GEAR

David’s books are extremely affordable normally selling for ~$5 ea but at the price of free, they are a tremendous deal.  Don’t let free scare you away thinking they are not worth the time or effort to download and read them.  Invest in yourself starting today.

“Your body and brain will be around much longer than those expensive toys you are considering.”

R.E.A.D. Really enjoy and discover the world of books

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr Seuss

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” Mark Twain

 

Vintage Car Show

Also posted in photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , |

Backyard Photography – Stay close to home Landscape Photography Tips

Stay close to home for amazing photography

{Landscape Photography Tips}

Too often we miss amazing landscape photography opportunities in our backyard because the setting is too common to us.  We walk by unique shapes and textures because they are common place and we overlook its design.   Over the past few years, I documented various spots on our property and highlighted its beauty.  The sunsets and sunrises that we see from our side porch are breathtaking and I would like to offer a few landscape photography tips for your backyard.  We have a variety of trees, plants, and other vegetation on our property.  In the early AM (before sunrise), I go outside and listen to the birds wake and sing then watch the early morning sunrise bathe the property.  The sun lights the flowers then shadows are cast across some unique looking mushrooms growing in the mulch around the butterfly bush.

Take your time and walk your property regardless of its size or location.  We are blessed to live in the country with a wide range of wildlife, trees, and flowers,  However, every property has something unique about it.  Drop low to the ground and view the mushrooms from ground level as the early morning sun warms the tops drying the dew from their tops.  Find a wildflower growing along the side of your driveway and get close, looking at the shapes and sizes of each petal.

If you have trees on your property or around it, look at the different shapes within the bark and leaves.  Every part of nature is unique and a distinct painting for us to enjoy.  I am amazed what I find as I take my time walking in the early AM.  The noises are minimal and the air is clean and fresh.  As I walk along the outside edge of the property, I hear the scampering of little feet as the squirrels run from me and climb a nearby tree.  These walks are a source of inspiration and ideas and provide a rich source of energy.

It seems that every day I find a new plant or flower growing wild along the edges of the driveway.  Some are filled with more textures and shapes than words can describe.  Recently,I found a star-shaped item on the closed buds of the Rose of Sharon Tree.  We have four grandchildren and it is amazing the unique insight they provide to life.  Our one year old granddaughter is wowed with everything and this is exactly how I approach my life and especially these early morning intimate moments with my Lord and the Creator of Nature’s beauty.

God's flying flowers Landscape Photography Tips

Nature – God’s Painting for us

Also posted in diary of a travel junkie, Landscape Photography, Travel Photography Tagged , , , |

High School Senior Portraits – Ideas – Location

 

High School Senior Portrait Ideas

High School Senior Portrait

High school Senior Portraits are a special time for many reasons and selecting the proper location combined with clothing, poses, and lighting is critical to create a memorable keepsake marking a transition time in their life.

 Another factor in getting amazing memorable portraits is time of the day.  Many believe that the sunnier the better.  However, that is rarely the case and I like the two extreme times of the day for great portrait photography.  

Sunset – Twilight provides an amazing light pattern creating interesting and creative portraits.  Regardless if they are High School Senior Portraits, family portraits, or couple portraits, there is only one other time of the day which rivals it for beauty.  A sunrise portrait is very unique since most people do not want to be at the location around 0530 with a cheery smile and no puffy eyes.  However, if you want a unique look to your portraits, try a sunrise and you might be very surprised. 

 

{3 tips –  High School Senior Portrait Ideas – }

  1. Utilize SunCalc.net or similar web application or an app for your computer or smart phone {more discussion in the future}
  2. Ensure that the sun isn’t blocked by tall buildings or trees
  3. Dress for the occasion

In this first image, the location merited a summer dress since the sun was bathing the open field and tall grass.  The slight mist in the air added a peaceful calm creating a painting like effect for this High School Senior’s Portrait.

 Sunrise Portrait

I photographed these portraits early in the AM from Mt Washington overlooking Pittsburgh.  The glow is from a heavy fog back-lit by the sun as it peeked over the buildings.

 

Sunrise High School Senior Portrait

Sunrise High School Senior Portrait

Sunrise over Pittsburgh - High School Senior Portrait Tip

Sunrise over Pittsburgh

Select the location for your portraits to compliment your personality or go the opposite of creating a unique look for you and your family.  In future posts, I will discuss various alternate locations.

If you would like to book me for your High School Senior Portraits, please contact me for a no cost/risk consultation. 

Also posted in High School Portraits, Landscape Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

Art of Photography Training Course Discount Code DiscoverArt20

 Click here to view more details

Learn with one of the best photographers in the world – Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs.com

Art of Photography Training Tutorial.

20% Off Trey’s New Photography Tutorial

DiscoverArt20

The discount code will only work for single registrations between the dates of July 23 – July 31. It will not work for the Bring a Friend promotion.

Below are all the details about the new tutorial product. We’ve also created a FAQ that you may find helpful.

New Product, Discover the Art of Photography

We’re excited to announce a new tutorial series by Trey Ratcliff called Discover the Art of Photography a Photography Training Course for beginners and experienced photographers.

 

The tutorials are targeted at beginning photographers and enthusiasts. It will be launched via a four-part live webinar over four consecutive evenings, July 31 – Aug 3. Each webinar will begin with a brief introduction followed by a broadcast of a video followed by a live Q&A session with Trey lasting 60+ minutes.

Title: “Discover the Art of Photography” – Photography Training & Tutorial

Description: Discover the Art of Photography is a video tutorial series made specifically for individuals interested in learning the basics of photography or have recently invested in a new camera but do not fully understand how to use it.  This course is Photography Training at its best.

Promotional Video: http://youtu.be/aKExnNQy2Ec (01:30)

Webinar Schedule:

Episode 1: Getting Started (July 31, 7pm PT)
Episode 2: Photo Composition (Aug 1, 7pm PT)
Episode 3: Finding Your Own Style (Aug 2, 7pm PT)
Episode 4: Photo Editing (Aug 3, 7pm PT)

Registration: $149 per person — OR — Register you and a friend for just $199 (a savings of $50 per person) and become eligible to win a new camera valued at over $1,300!

Additional details: http://www.stuckincustoms.com/art-of-photography
Discover the Art of Photography

Click here to view more details

20% Off Trey’s New Photography Training & Tutorial

DiscoverArt20

Also posted in Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , |

New Product by Trey Ratcliff – Travel Photography – HDR

Highly recommended – I have followed Trey’s work for a long time and his work has inspired me in my work.  His travel and HDR photography is amazing and I highly recommend his training videos and books.  

New Product, Discover the Art of Photography

{Travel and HDR Photography at its finest!}

We’re excited to announce a new tutorial series by Trey Ratcliff called Discover the Art of Photography.

The tutorials are targeted at beginning photographers and enthusiasts. It will be launched via a four-part live webinar over four consecutive evenings, July 31 – Aug 3. Each webinar will begin with a brief introduction followed by a broadcast of a video followed by a live Q&A session with Trey lasting 60+ minutes.

Click here to view more details

Webinar Schedule:

Episode 1: Getting Started (July 31, 7pm PT)

Episode 2: Photo Composition (Aug 1, 7pm PT)

Episode 3: Finding Your Own Style (Aug 2, 7pm PT)

Episode 4: Photo Editing (Aug 3, 7pm PT)

Registration: $149 per person — OR — Register you and a friend for just $199 (a savings of $50 per person) and become eligible to win a new camera valued at over $1,300!

Click here to view more details

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High School Senior Portraits and Weddings by dr Frank
Seneca Valley Portraits
Montour School District
Black Hawk School District Portraits

Contact dr Frank to photograph your wedding, portraits, or special event.

Specializing in Wedding and Portrait Photography
Beaver County, Pittsburgh, and surrounding communities.
Also posted in diary of a travel junkie, Landscape Photography, Travel Photography Tagged , , , , , , |