8 HDR Fighter Jets

It is a well known fact that fighter jets are made of pure testosterone! Check out this HDR collection of fighters doing what they do best...looking awesome!
by Pogobone

Tornado - HDR - RIAT 2010
by richrly

Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado HDR
by casparsmit

by Russell Churchill

<HDR> F-16D Fighting Falcon
by skho

Top Hat
by markinaustin

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed #1 :: HDR
by servalpe

Harrier RAF HDR
by Allan R Chapman

Leather and Laces

Here are some fantastic pics of the gloves that remind me of my years as an amateur boxer!  Boxing is a sport that requires extreme sacrifice and dedication, but rewards you with layers of character and discipline.

Boxing Glove
by SnoopSnaps

Boxing Gloves
by Mark Brugemma

Old boxing gloves
by kylotofoto

red boxing gloves
by Bert Meijers

Boxing glove
by Andre Marton

Boxing Glove
by Anthony D.

Inspiring Car Photos!

Some really inspiring car photos by Sukun Photography
These shots are really fantastic! You can find more of Sukun's work on his Flickr Photostream

Tips and Techniques for Combat Sports Photography

Being a fan and former participant of combat sports, I've always loved seeing photos of the perfect punch.  Sweat flying off of a fighter when he gets blasted in the mouth by his opponent, and giggling like a kid at the post-punch contorted expressions of facial mastication!  Here is a link to a great interview with Ed Mulholland, a fantastic boxing and MMA photographer, discussing how he got into the biz, and how he gets those fantastic shots!
Photo courtesy of Ed Mulholland

Photographing a Lamborghini

It's no secret that I love cars.  All kinds of cars, from vintage to the modern and exotic!   So when I find the opportunity to pass along some great information on vehicle photography, I jump at it! Take a look at this video from DPS on how to photograph a Lamborghini Aventador...the finished product is fantastic!
Photo courtesy of photoblog.com 

5 Best Maternity Photo Tips

Here are some amazing tips for making the most from your next maternity photo shoot!!  These tips are fantastic for the newbie and pros alike!

Choosing The Correct Aperture For Every Situation

Choosing the correct aperture for your photographs can be a tricky thing to do.  Knowing which aperture works best in any given situation takes alot of practice...and unfortunately in my case, a great deal of trial and error.  But it doesn't have to be that way...take a look at this article on choosing the correct aperture for a quick primer geared towards new photographers!
Photo courtesy of prozac1 at FreeDigitalPhotos

How To Take Photos That Sell Cars

If you have a vehicle to sell, taking a great photo of it will definitely speed up the process!  Taking a great photo of the car you want to sell will automatically make it stand out from the competition...even if their vehicle is a little nicer or in better shape. Take a look at this article on taking photos that sell cars, and find out how easy it is to stand out from the crowd!
Photo courtesy of M-Pics at FreeDigitalPhotos

Top Reasons For Using Manual Focus

This is a must read article for every photographer! I love auto focus, but there are many times in different situations where using the manual feature is the better choice. Sometimes it's the only real choice! Check out the article here! We're going old school, son!
Photo courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos

8 Steps For Cleaning Your SLR Sensor

Anyone who has been taking pictures has, or will have to deal with the issue of dust on their cameras sensor.  It sucks...I know from experience.  The amount of time that I have wasted in Photoshop removing the same specks of dust from every one of my images is ridiculous!  In the end, I caved and took my camera in to get cleaned.  But there are other effective ways to take care of this problem!! Take a look at this article from Cambridge in Colour that delves deep into the issue that we all have to deal with sooner or, in my stubborn case, later!
Photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos

Creating Soft Focus Effect Using Photoshop

Take a peak at this tutorial for creating a soft focus image in Photoshop. This technique can be used in many different areas such as wedding photography and portraits!  I've used it many times and always get awesome results!

10 Portrait Tips You Can't Do Without

It seems to me that if you need portraits taken, you have to head off to your local grocery or department store photo studio, run by some kid on summer holidays who doesn't have a clue and hope for the best!
Retailers love to use what they call a Loss Leader to lure you into their stores by offering you a great deal (cheap photos, etc), with the hopes that you will spend more of your hard earned money while you are there! But with a little practice and some fantastic portrait tips, you can be done with this annoyance for good!!  This DPS tutorial will definitely get you on the fast track to taking top notch portraits!
Photo courtesy of Timless Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos

Smoke Photography Made Easy

I absolutely love smoke photography! It's fantastic for wallpapers or for fine art display! The best part about it is that no two pictures are alike! Here is a great video tutorial showing you how to get the best possible results!
Photo courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos

Protecting Your Images Online

It's a great feeling to have a blog on display to the world showcasing some of your best work.  But what's this?? One lazy afternoon while casually surfing the net, you find your most prized possessions being used on another website!! For the most part, this isn't a big deal, but the site posting your photo is making money from it, and basically claiming it as their own, now you're pissed!
And you have every right to be! Luckily, there are ways to protect your images, and methods you can use to search for photos that have already been stolen! Take a peek at this beautiful, in depth article on protecting the work you post online from Cambridge in Colour!
Photo courtesy of vegsdsl/FreeDigitalPhotos

Inner Workings Of Your Camera

This is a post that should have seen the light of day a long time ago! Knowing the mechanics of the camera you are using makes taking and properly exposing great photos child's play!  Understanding how and why to adjust things like aperture and ISO levels can mean the difference between Yay and Nay!!!  I guarantee that you will find this article by Fredrik Silverglimth at Tutorial9 to be extremely useful and full of great information!
Photo courtesy of twobee at freedigitalphotos 

Flash Photography Fun Facts!

Using flash in your photography is an important and sometimes essential element to getting your images properly exposed.  The type of flash that you choose is just as important!  If you are using an SLR type camera, a mounted flash is the best choice.  Here is a fantastic article on understanding your flash by Diana Eftaiha at PhotoTuts+!

5 Great Wildlife Photography Tips

 Do you love to grab your camera, hop in your car and head for the hills? If so, here are some great wildlife photography tips by Jeremiah Tolbert from Tutorial9 that I know you'll be able to put to use right away!

Holding a Camera: Do's and Don'ts

Everyone wants to improve the quality of their photos. How you hold your camera has alot to do with how your finished product will look! Here is a great tutorial by Geoff Lawrence that sheds some light on this subject!

Pinterest Can Be A Fantastic Source of Inspiration

I love taking pictures of new and interesting things....I mean, who doesn't, right?!  It gives me a great feeling, a sense of anticipation of the artistic greatness to come!!:)  I can't wait to get home and to dig into Photoshop for some serious post processing.
The problem is, sometimes I just can't think of anything decent to photograph.  I know what you're thinking... WWAAAAAAAAAT??? I know, I know...it seems impossible, incomprehensible, IN-CON-CEIV-ABLE!  But sometimes....

I need some inspiration.

This is where a new social networking site called Pinterest comes in.  I was referred to this website by an acquaintance on Twitter.  I checked the site out and at first glance it proved interesting enough.  It's a website where people can 'pin' anything that they find on the Internet to a set of customizable boards attached to your profile.  It seemed to me that most of the site was visually based, so I figured I'd give it a try.

I had to request an invite, which is a little unusual for a social networking site, but whatever.  It took about a day and a half to get an invite emailed to me, which wasn't too bad.  Maybe by getting people to request an invite makes the site appear more appealing...possibly creating a sense of exclusivity...or a 'gotta have it' feeling.

Anyway, the set up was quick and easy, and there is a fantastic photography section that you can peruse.  Pinterest allows you to 'repin' items from other users to your boards, or directly from the Internet using a 'pin' button that is easily installed on the bookmarks bar of your browser. Some websites, like mine, have a 'pin' button built right in for easy sharing! (good thinking, me!)

I have officially found my new inspiration!  There are great photos and articles posted from every genre in an easy to navigate interface for simple sorting and browsing...love it!
If you have ever found yourself starving for new ideas, this is the place to be!  The sheer volume of material posted on the site is amazing!  I found myself spending maybe a little too much time browsing...but time well spent I think, because I always come away with a ton of new ideas!

Unfortunately, this could be seen as a way for people and companies to unabashedly promote themselves, but I guess this type of behaviour is frowned upon. Probably a good thing too, because it seems that too many people are taking advantage of social media and using it as a means to constantly catapult their spam at us!
If a user thinks your material is good enough to repin, you can bet that they will!

After a little digging, I found out that Pinterest has developed quite a bit of buzz in a very short period of time..I have included a link to an infographic from Mashable with some quick stats that is worth a look!

So if you are ever starved for for ideas, or are looking for something new to get those creative juices flowing, Pinterest might be just the place for you!

Are you already on Pinterest? Tell me what you think!

Panning for Vehicle Photography Gold!

So you picked the perfect location for your vehicle photo shoot, everything went well and it looks like you have all the shots and angles you need to make the perfect addition to your portfolio.
Then it happens.
Your customer smiles, looks at you with wide eyes and asks...
"Can we do some motion shots?"
Your only response should be, "Hells yes!"
There are two common methods used to get the job done.

The idea here is to convey a sense of speed!  Standing in a stationary position, you need to stay focused on the vehicle as it passes by you, this will keep most of the subject in focus while allowing the background to blur. The closer the vehicle is to you, the faster you will have to pan your camera to keep up.  The end result will be more background blur. Here are some important steps to take in order to achieve this amazing look:

a picture of a motorcycle travelling left through the frame at a high rate of speed
  • try to find a road that has minimal traffic. This will help to avoid a unwanted vehicles getting into your frame.  It's also safer for you as the photographer, as your mind will be on the shoot and not on the traffic around you.
  • find a spot to stand just off of the road that your subject will be travelling.
  • if the vehicle you are shooting is coming around a bend, make sure you have an assistant with you to let you know when to shoot.
  • you can adjust your shutter speed to increase or decrease the amount of motion blur.
  • use the manual focus on your lens to preselect a focal distance and be sure to use your cameras burst mode.  The autofocus feature on most cameras just can't keep up.   

Shooting From a Moving Vehicle
By focusing on the car or bike in your frame, and keeping your shutter speed fairly slow (1/60s). You get the added bonus of built in blur, and the car will end up looking clearer.
This method is usually reserved for the pros or for those with suicidal tendencies!  The way to accomplish this photographic feat would be to have someone drive your vehicle ahead of the one you are shooting and match their speed, then hang out the window and blast away!
This will require a driver for your car, a sunroof for you to hang out of, and copious amounts of life insurance!!

Using motion in vehicle photography can produce some fantastic quality shots, and is one of my favourite things to do!
In a previous article on vehicle photography, I talk a bit more about what type of lenses that are the best to use, location and the angles to shoot at. Take a look at that, but don't forget to come back and leave your comments!!
If you enjoyed this article, let me know by clicking on the 'Like' button below!

Vehicle Photography...The 4 Most Important Tips Known to Man!

It's time to look at some of the elements involved with the art that is Vehicle Photography and how to make the most of it! 
People love their vehicles....LOVE them!  I know I loved mine! Whether you are taking shots of a vintage BSA Lightning, or brand new Aston Martin DBS, remember that you are getting up close and personal with someone's gem!  You are taking the the thing that they might care about even more than their spouse and making a permanent record of it....so you'd better get it right!!

The first thing to pay attention to is WHERE to shoot.
Scouting a location or two prior to your shoot is priority one.  You never want to be caught looking like a fool in front of a customer! Professionalism is key. When deciding on location, try to keep a vehicle in it's element, preferably on pavement, or in the case of a ralley car, some place that vaguely resembles a road!  Taking a picture of a performance machine on grass is a no-no in my books...just like driving one on grass, it's not going to turn out very well!

Try to keep your background attractive, but never let it overpower your subject.  The focus is that sweet set of wheels, not the mountains behind it!  If you decide to take the pictures in an urban environment such as a parking lot, beware of things like painted lines or cracks in the pavement or concrete that may detract from the composition.

The next thing to look at is WHEN to shoot!
The time of day that you plan your shoot for will have a dramatic impact on your final product.  The best time to photograph someone's masterpiece is early morning, or late afternoon.  Try to avoid taking pictures at high noon, as light is always harshest around this time.  If you are taking pictures of a car that has very reflective paint, you risk overexposure on the roof area.
Another thing to remember is to try to position yourself between the sun and the automobile that you are framing, although there are exceptions to this rule.  Having the sun behind the vehicle works if you are going to be using fill flash or bracketing your photos,  because a single shot will most likely have some areas with extreme under or over exposure.

Lens choice is a very important element in getting that perfect look.  In my experience, having a 17-55mm lens works pretty well in most situations.  Using extremely wide or long lenses poses two problems:

  • using an extremely wide lens (10mm) lets you stay very close to your subject, but will distort the natural lines of the bike or car you are framing...this is no good, unless that is the specific look that you are trying to attain.
  • trying to take pictures of a vehicle with a large zoom lens is another problem simply because of room restrictions.  You may not have enough space to back up in order to get everything in the shot.
I love to use my 50mm f/1.8.  It is a fixed lens, and it takes longer to frame a shot due to the lack of a zoom function, but the image quality is far superior.  The lenses are in a fixed position, and that allows for a much clearer picture.

The angles of your photos are another important factor to consider when you take on this type of project.  A great way to find out which angles look best would be to pick up a popular car magazine, or do a quick Google search.  There's no better way to get a feel for what works than to look at photos of others who have had success in the field!  Here are a few things to consider:
  • the front 3/4 view.  Taken from an elevated point of view or very close to the ground...both will produce dramatic results.
  • the rear 3/4 view.  Nothing better than getting a look at some crazy wide meats and the business end of a custom exhaust!
  • macro shots.  This gives you the opportunity to reveal the hidden beauty of the machine before you! Details like custom interior stitching, the headlights, vehicle emblem or hood ornament are fantastic things that deserve a close look!
Vehicle photography is one of the most coveted and difficult areas of photography to get into, but can also be one of the most profitable. 
An easy but effective way to get photos of great cars or bikes is to head down to your local show and shine, and approach people that own vehicles you love!
Every vehicle has a great story behind it that a proud owner would love to share. Maybe consider offering them some free prints of their metallic masterpiece in exchange for allowing you to develop your portfolio!

Take a look at a blog post of mine that deals with how to properly compose the subject in your photos using the rule of thirds!
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