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Archive for the ‘eBooks’ Category

 

 

The Art of Flower Photography

On August 13th Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris released their latest eBook ‘The Art of Flower Photography.’  As I read my way through the pages of this wonderful new eBook the imagery within has been filling me with the inspiration to get out and start photographing flowers again. When I first became interested in photography I began by photographing wildflowers and accumulated thousands of 35mm slides before switching to digital, and subsequently stopped photographing flowers as often.

Throughout the eBook Denise and Arthur explain how they approach flower photography, which is interesting as they each have different methods of doing so. Denise will often handhold a 100mm macro lens with impressive results, while Arthur won’t shy away from using a 600mm or 800mm lens to create stunning portraits. This eBook contains 203 pages and discusses various topics including; composition, lighting, selective focus, high key imagery, flower-scapes, light pads, pleasing blurs, multiple exposures, and lens / gear choices. There are also various ideas for creating artistic renderings with Photoshop plug-ins like Topaz Labs Simplify and Fractalius. And let’s not forget Denise’s signature flowers with texture overlays and how to apply these texture overlays to your own photos.

This is a must have eBook for anyone who enjoys flower photography. You will be inspired to take your own photography to the next level as you explore these creative ideas with your own imagery. For further inspiration from Denise and Arthur be sure to follow along on their respective blogs, which can be found by clicking on their names in the side-bar under the Blogroll section.

The Art of Flower Photography can be purchased by clicking here.

 

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Sigma Fisheye_1952

The newest member of my tool kit arrived yesterday and will find a permanent home in my gear bag and will likely spend a lot of time affixed to my Nikon D800. For those folks who have been following along here for a while and for those who may have recently subscribed Gentec International the Canadian Distributor for Sigma lenses was kind enough to loan me the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens for a frog project I am working on and for my trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park in September 2013. You can read my review of this amazing lens here. Yours truly was also featured on the Sigma promotional card for this lens which can be seen here. In short, I have been so impressed with this lens and its versatility, not too mention how it expands one’s creativity, that I purchased this lens with my own hard earned money. I did not hesitate to get out today for a couple of quick images of a lovely field of rudbeckia flowers while I was in the town of Orillia visiting with my parents this afternoon.

Rudbeckia Flowers in Field, Orillia, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f11 @ 1/640

Rudbeckia Flowers in Field, Orillia, Ontario. Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens, ISO 400, f11 @ 1/640

 

Something Cool About Flowers

For those folks who love to photograph flowers and who like to create artistic renditions of their flower photos as well, be sure to check out the latest eBook by Denise Ippolito and Arthur MorrisThe Art of Flower Photography.” Based on my initial browse through of the eBook’s pages, I have to say WOW!!!

I will be away for the next week but promise to do a full review upon my return. Stay tuned for the complete review.

 

Please do click on the images above to see the larger, sharper versions of each.

 

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Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Ontario, Canada

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

How often do you revisit locations for landscape photography? I do so often. Why? As each season passes and years fall away conditions change. These images of Lower Rosseau Falls in Ontario’s famous Muskoka region are the perfect example. Over the last few years the water levels have been much lower, but with the region being hit with a significant amount of snowfall this past winter, the subsequent snowmelt has raised water levels so that the river is now a raging torrent. This has created numerous, new photographic possibilities and has seen the return of the double cascade created by the rock mid-stream in the above photo.

To find out how to get to Lower Rosseau Falls and to learn more about great Ontario landscape photography locations please consider my eBook “A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape” – the first ever comprehensive guide to landscape photography in Ontario.

Do click on each of these images to see the larger, sharper versions.

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Lower Rosseau Falls, Rosseau River, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

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Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario's Lake Superior Provincial Park

Sunrise on the Agawa River in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park

This year I decided to come up with a ‘baker’s dozen’ of favorite photographs that I created over the past twelve months. It was difficult to narrow it down to just 13 images, but here they are. Please do click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

This past year I re-visited my most favorite location within Ontario – Lake Superior Provincial Park, and was blessed with one of the most beautiful sunrises I have witnessed. In February I traveled to the Port Antonio region of Jamaica where I photographed one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Caribbean and my favorite image of my daughter Ava while she was having fun in a swing at Boston Bay. I was invited to co-write the Fractasic eGuide with good friend, colleague, and mentor Denise Ippolito, and to do ‘The Three Frosties‘ guest blog post for one of the world’s premier bird photographers Arthur Morris.

A scouting trip for planning what will become the launch of my first workshop to the tip of Lake Erie’s Long Point Peninsula (a UNESCO World Biosphere) was a success. Folks wishing to be added to the interested list for this workshop, which will likely run in late spring, should shoot me an email here.

Also Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses was kind enough to loan me the Sigma f2.8 15mm EX DG Fisheye Lens, which opened up a whole new world to me for creativity and fun times photographing the natural world.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did creating them.

May you all have a safe and prosperous 2014.

Cheers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Ava on swing at Boston Bay, Jamaica

Ava on swing at Boston Bay, Jamaica

Reich Falls on the Drivers River, Jamaica

Reich Falls on the Drivers River, Jamaica

Johnstone's Whistling Frog chorusing, Jamaica

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog chorusing, Jamaica

Lone tree after ice storm near Thornton, Ontario

Lone tree after ice storm near Thornton, Ontario

Storm clouds over winter wheat crop near Bradford, Ontario

Storm clouds over winter wheat crop Bradford, Ontario (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Bullfrog-scape with the Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens

Bullfrog-scape on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Rusty Old Wreck in fog, Milton, Ontario

Rusty Old Wreck in fog, Milton, Ontario

The tip of the Long Point Peninsula at sunrise, Lake Erie, Ontario

The tip of the Long Point Peninsula at sunrise, Lake Erie, Ontario

Bullfrog (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Bullfrog (Sigma 15mm Fisheye Lens)

Aspen Trees Multiple Exposure inspired by Denise Ippolito

Aspen Trees Multiple Exposure inspired by Denise Ippolito

Window Frost Pattern

Window Frost Pattern

Fractalius of Woodland Interior, Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

Fractalius of Woodland Interior, Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Woodland Interior_9943-Fractalius“HIGH VOLTAGE” Woodland Interior at Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

In the newly published and popular eGuide “Fractastic: A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter” Denise Ippolito and yours truly share many of our favorite, custom presets that we use regularly to create artistic renderings of our favorite photos. Whether you use our presets or develop your own set of custom presets doing so will save you a ton of time. The three fractalius renderings in this blog post were each created by selecting the presets found within the guide. In fact,the presets chosen worked so well for these images that I made virtually no further adjustments to the slider settings in the Fractalius interface. I simply loaded the images into Fractalius, selected my preferred custom preset and then hit the green check mark to apply the settings to the image. For the fish-eye lens woodland interior above I chose my ‘High Voltage‘ preset and set the left asterisk to black and the asterisk on the right to white – done.

Dahlia_632-Fractalius“ELECTRIFY” Dahlia Blossom

By loading this stunning dahlia blossom into Fractalius and selecting my ‘Electrify‘ preset the above rendering was born.

Old Mercury_8648-Fractalius“LINES-FROGS” Rusted Old Wreck (Gimme a Bullet)

What do frogs and a rusted old Mercury truck with bullet holes have in common? My ‘Line-Frogs’ preset. To create this rendering I simply scrolled through my bank of custom presets until I found the one that seemed to work best for this photograph. It just so happened to be one of my newer presets that I created for my frog fracting.

Do note that I will often load my fractalius renderings into Nik / Google’s Viveza 2 and add a little extra punch with the Structure slider.

To order your copy of this eGuide please click here.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper versions.

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Fractastic-Guide-Cover-1A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter

I am pleased to announce the release of Fractastic – A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter. It was an honor to be invited by the very talented and highly creative Denise Ippolito to co-write this eGuide. Denise was very instrumental in developing my creative, artistic rendering side.

Fractalius is a Windows only Photoshop plug-in (Mac users will need to run Bootcamp, Parallels or VM Ware to use (please click here to learn more). I have often described Fractalius as addictive and a ton of fun to use. The Redfield Fractalius Filter creates eccentric works of art as it extracts the so-called hidden fractals found within photographs. It is important to note that this filter will react differently from image-to-image based on the hidden fractals present within those images.

A very special thank-you and acknowledgement to both Arthur Morris and Cheryl Slechta for their skillfull editing and proofreading. And also for their image contributions to the Gallery section of this creative user guide.

From Arthur Morris:

Denise Ippolito gave Fractalius a huge boost in popularity about three years ago as moderator of the Out-of-the-Box Forum at BirdPhotographers.net. One of those whom she introduced to Fractalius was Andrew McLachlan who since wrote the popular “Ontario Landscapes – A Photographers Guide” for BAA Books. Denise came up with the idea of teaming up with Andrew to write and illustrate a Fract eGuide more than a year ago. The spectacular result: Fractastic.

In this fantastic eGuide the authors begin by explaining the usually mystifying Fractalius interface in clear, easy-to-understand terms. They even managed to make sense of the Colorize Mode button and the two large Asterisks at the top of the interface. The main body of the guide consists of more than two dozen intriguingly beautiful Fracted images with explanatory notes and screen captures of the settings that Andrew and Denise used to create their artistic works. You can use these settings to replicate the various effects that they have developed. Many of their creations are based on Fractalius pre-sets. The guide will teach you how to effectively apply many of the Fractalius pre-sets and how to create and save your own. The final section is an inspirational gallery of more than 35 superb Fracted images by Andrew, Denise, yours truly, and Cheryl Slechta who helped with the final proofreading.

You can purchase your copy of Fractastic for $27 here or via email to: birdsasart@verizon.net  being sure to note that you are paying for “Fractastic” or by calling Jim at Birds As Art at 863-692-0906 during regular business hours. A download link to Your eGuide will be sent via YouSendIt. Weekend and holiday orders will be fulfilled the next working day.

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Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

On Tuesday October 16th at 8:00 p.m., which is tomorrow evening, I will be presenting at the Country Images Camera Club’s October meeting. If you happen to be in the area feel free to drop by for the presentation and do say hello if you do. The presentation will cover numerous inspiring landscape locations that may be found throughout the province of Ontario, many of which can be found in the eBook ‘A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape‘ written by yours truly :) I will also be presenting how I photograph frogs and toads, winter songbirds, tips for captive wildlife photography, and also my techniques for creating inspiring artistic renditions of some of my most cherished photos.

The Country Images Camera Club presentation will be held at the:

Art Ferguson Building

16195 Bayview Avenue in Newmarket, Ontario @ 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16th (tomorrow evening)

Hope to see you there!

Please remember to click on each of the images in this post to see the larger, sharper version.

Oxtongue River Blur

Junkyard Grunge

Rosseau River

Poison Dart Frog Fractalius

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