New Experiences At Grayson Highlands State Park

New Experiences At Grayson Highlands State Park

As I mentioned in my last post, I was fortunate enough to spend a week at my families cabin in the mountains of Virginia. Grayson Highlands State Park is less than 20 minuets away from the cabin, so you best believe that I visited it! My Dad's family actually used to own a portion of the land that became the park. You can still find a family graveyard in it's boundaries.

Over the week I was there I made multiple trips to the state park. On each trip I made sure to push my boundaries, and try some new things photographically. Despite my reservations I found that I really enjoyed everything I attempted, and now I have a few new skills!

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A Trip That Has Been A Long Time Coming...

A Trip That Has Been A Long Time Coming...

I was first told about Pickle Springs Natural Area not too long after I moved to Missouri. I think it was at one of the first shows that I displayed photos from my hikes around the state. It sounded like an incredible place: canyons, large rock formations, seasonal waterfalls, and more. I quickly added it to my list of places to visit, and now, after three years of putting it off, I finally went!

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Putting It All Together: How To Use Manual Mode

Putting It All Together: How To Use Manual Mode

If you have been following along over the past few weeks, then you will already understand how the individual exposure settings (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) work. With these three settings there are an uncountable number of combinations that can be used to create an image. It can seem like a lot to take on, but with a little bit of direction you can learn how to control every aspect of your photograph…

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Dialing In Your Exposure with Shutter Speed

Dialing In Your Exposure with Shutter Speed

It's finally time for the last piece of the exposure puzzle. If you understand ISO and aperture, which I covered in the last two articles, then you are well on your way to making sense of exposure. All that's left is shutter speed, and thankfully it's the easiest of the three to grasp. It's straightforward, but it also allows for a wide range of interesting creative choices.

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Using Aperture To Build Your Exposure

Using Aperture To Build Your Exposure

There are three main controls for creating an exposure: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Many put these settings in the context of a triangle as a way to show how they interact with each other, but as I stated previously, I like to think of them as forming a pyramid. I feel that the pyramid model is a better metaphor for how you build an exposure one piece at a time.
Last time we discussed ISO, the base of the pyramid. This post will go over the next level, aperture.

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5 Awesome Spots Around Puerto Rico

5 Awesome Spots Around Puerto Rico

While most of my time in Puerto Rico was spent in San Juan, there was no way I was NOT going to get out to explore the island. I had a long list of places that I wanted to see. While I wasn't able to do everything, I did get to explore a good portion of the North coast while driving to and from various locations. Speaking of: I ended up going to five great spots, each with their own unique flavor and challenges.

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An Introduction to ISO, The Foundation Of Exposure

An Introduction to ISO, The Foundation Of Exposure

When you practice photography as an art, you will begin to feel the need to take more control of what the camera is doing. Once you feel confident enough to do this, a good place to start is with ISO. It is a rating of how sensitive your sensor (or film) is to light. Not only does it have a major impact on your other settings, but it also changes the quality of the photo itself. 

At the heart of it, ISO is the basis of your exposure …

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How I Made This Photo Of The Puerto Rican Capitol Building

How I Made This Photo Of The Puerto Rican Capitol Building

Today I'm going to give something new a shot, so let me know if you like this in the comments, and I can do more in the future. I'm going to go through the entire process of creating my photograph the Puerto Rican Capitol building: from how I found the location, to how I created the photograph, to how I edited it. Through doing this I hope to share more of the full process, and inspire you to go out and create something exciting!

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How To Use Exposure Compensation To Make Better Photographs

How To Use Exposure Compensation To Make Better Photographs

The best exposure for a photograph is the one that fits your vision. Unfortunately, we have to rely on our camera's light meters to help pick our settings, and as I have written before they don't always give the desired results. To achieve the exact exposure you want, you have to correct for the deficiencies of how light meters work. Luckily, that's exactly what EV compensation is for.

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My Favorite Place to Explore in San Juan

My Favorite Place to Explore in San Juan

Positioned on the western tip of the Isleta de San Juan, Old San Juan is the location of the second Spanish colony on Puerto Rico. Established in 1509, the colony was actually originally named Puerto Rico, or Rich Port. It later switched names with the island, and became known as San Juan in 1520. 

Trade winds blow from Europe almost directly to Puerto Rico, so the island became a gateway to the new world. The location of this colony gave the Spanish control…

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How To Make An Ideal Exposure

How To Make An Ideal Exposure

Every choice you make while setting up your photograph impacts the exposure of your photograph. It's a little more complex than simply brightening or darkening a photograph though, because each distinct level of light is affected differently as the exposure is adjusted. If a photograph is overly bright or dark it is considered to be incorrectly exposed, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad photograph. There is much more to the pursuit of a great photograph than making a technically correct exposure.

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Santurce, San Juan

Santurce, San Juan

After two weeks of wandering San Juan, I thought I had seen a decent amount of the city. I was so wrong! San Juan is much bigger than I thought; it is also much bigger than any of the travel sites I visited showed.

I have only been exploring two districts of the city, but it turns out one of those districts, Santurce, has the highest population and highest density of people in the city. This also means that it's the most densely populated area on the whole island, but this wasn't always the case.

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White Balance And You

White Balance And You

White balance is pretty straight forward, as far as photography concepts go, but this doesn't mean it's any less important to understand its uses. That is why in this post we'll cover how it works, and how it can be used in your photography.

As its name implies, white balance is used to make the whites in your photography actually look white. It has a much larger impact on your image overall though, as adjusting this setting will change how all of the colors in your photographs look. 

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An Introduction to Puerto Rico

An Introduction to Puerto Rico

As I mentioned last week, I have the opportunity to stay in Puerto Rico for a handful of weeks. I was originally going to be returning to Saint Louis next week, but as luck would have it, I get to stay one extra week! This is great because there is so much more I want to do while I am here.

Over the following weeks I will be writing about different aspects of Puerto Rico, but today I want to share some of my initial impressions of the commonwealth.

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Building Mood Through Color

Building Mood Through Color

If you're like me, you have probably gone to take a photo of a beautiful sunset, but it just doesn't look as spectacular as it did in real life. While the sky is on fire, your photo looks dull and lifeless. 

Chances are you already know that color has a major affect on how an image looks, but color can also impact how your photographs are perceived. There are fields of study that look at the effect color has on our psychology; it is fascinating how different hues can elicit emotional…

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What I Packed For My 3 Week Trip To Puerto Rico

What I Packed For My 3 Week Trip To Puerto Rico

Annika, my wife, travels quite bit by nature of her job. I have been unable to go with her in the past, but when we found out she would be traveling to Puerto Rico for a month, we knew I had to come along. I had two weeks to prepare before I followed her, which was just enough time to figure everything out.

While I was in the early stages of planning, I decided to make this trip with only one bag. Doing this would make traveling easier, and would force me to minimize so I…

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A Thorough Lesson On Light Meters

A Thorough Lesson On Light Meters

Whether you know it or not, metering is the foundation of your exposure. It is how your camera decides what an appropriate exposure is, and the method it uses can make a big difference in the resulting image. Unless you know how to set your ISO, shutter, and aperture from memory, then it is worth while to understand what your meter does, and how each mode works.

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A Taste Of The Big Easy

A Taste Of The Big Easy

In one of life’s moments of spontaneity, my wife asked me if I would like to visit New Orleans for a long weekend. She was traveling to Biloxi, MS for work and thought it would be fun to take some extra time to stop in NOLA since it’s only an hour from Biloxi. 

It didn’t take much convincing to get me on board with the plan, so on May 4th we hit the road! 

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Illuminating Your Vision: Light, Shadow, and Your Photography

Illuminating Your Vision: Light, Shadow, and Your Photography

From it’s very conception photography has been all about light. When it was first invented, Joseph Niepce was looking for a way to create accurate copies of lithographs by "drawing with light". He accomplished this by creating a light sensitive compound that when properly processed created a perfect black and white duplicate.  

From the very beginning light was at the heart of photography. Today, despite all of the advances photography has made since Niepce's time, light still has the greatest impact on how a photograph turns out: not only in a physical sense, but in an artistic one as well. 

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