Category: Photography

Photo – Floating Bones

Published / by adminjc / Leave a Comment

Hi Everyone,

Yes, those are real prehistoric bones, and yes, that is a real skull of a saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis.

Click to enlarge

I took this photo at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California. They have a block of resin with these bones embedded in it to show the average density of bones in the asphalt of the tar pits. FYI, there is no tar in the tar pits, it’s all asphalt.

The resin block is in a glass case. To prevent reflecting yourself in a photo, put the end of your lens directly on the glass. And play around with angles and background light sources to get different lighting effects in the resin. The light coming through windows and glass doors changes throughout the day, so keep checking for interesting lighting.

You are not allowed to use tripods anywhere in the building, so bring a string tripod or monopod. Because of the lighting, you will need to use a high ISO or slow shutter speed. And be sure to check out the atrium. It’s small, but packed with many things to photograph.

I processed this image with ON1 Photo Raw. Check it out at https://on1.sjv.io/15Mjdz

Have Fun,
Jeff

I’ve Updated One Of My Most Popular Articles

Published / by adminjc

Hi Everyone,

Great news, I just updated one of my most popular articles, “Alternatives To Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Adobe’s CreativeCloud.” You can see it here https://www.jeffcolburn.com/articles/alternatives-to-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-and-adobes-creativecloud

This article has been viewed almost 6,000 times. I released it in 2014, but since then some companies have gone away, while new ones have become available.

My favorite new program is ON1 Photo Raw. I’ve been using it for about two years and love it. I use it instead of Lightroom and Photoshop. You can learn more about it, and the free 14-day trial, here https://on1.sjv.io/15Mjdz

Check out my updated article to see which program will work best for you, and some of these programs are free.

Have Fun,
Jeff

Take That Photo NOW!

Published / by adminjc

Hi Everyone,

If you see something in nature that you want to photograph, don’t wait, photograph it NOW.

You never know what’s going to happen in nature, and if you put off photographing something, it may be gone when you go back.

I’ve had several experiences of things being destroyed, including:

  • Having a tree with an amazing trunk cut down. (See photo)
  • My favorite Saguaro cactus being vandalized and having one of its arms cut into pieces.
  • A great hiking trail with many beautiful vistas to photograph being destroyed by a forest fire.
  • A hiking trail being rerouted away from Native American ruins, which can no longer be accessed.
Click to enlarge

These are just a few of the things I’ve experienced. Nature is ever changing, and not always in your favor, so don’t wait to take that great shot.

I processed this image with ON1 Photo Raw. Check it out at https://on1.sjv.io/15Mjdz

Have Fun,

Jeff

Video – My Lightning Bag – Part 3 of 3

Published / by adminjc

Hi Everyone,

In this third of three videos, I talk about the MK Controls Lightning Bug lightning trigger I use to photograph lightning.

The below tools will help you easily capture photographs of lightning in the daytime or nighttime. And I include some useful tips on lightning photography and safety too.

You can see the video on my YouTube channel here https://youtu.be/t0BZHsU-pYw

You can see my other videos on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcd8nqgH0CiaveaIlKbE1mA

You can find the equipment I talk about here:

Check out my helpful articles too:

Have Fun,
Jeff

Tracking Fall Colors 2022

Published / by adminjc

Soon, fall colors will be here. The reds, yellows, oranges and other colors will be popping up everywhere, so grab your camera and take some great photographs of Mother Nature’s big show.

To help you get the most out of your shooting, I’ve updated my annual list of links about fall colors and where to find them. Since I live in Arizona, I’ve put together a special section for my state. But I also have an extensive listing for the rest of the country and a listing for Canada. There are also links to articles to help you take great photographs of Nature’s display of color.

As you go to these websites, you will often find many links to other sites. You could easily spend an entire day following link after link, or just go to the main pages I have listed here.

I hope you get some fantastic photographs this year. Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your images of changing colors. I’m sure everyone would love to see them. And if you have a favorite place to shoot that’s not on my list, let me know.

I process my images with ON1 Photo Raw. Check it out at https://on1.sjv.io/15Mjdz

Have Fun,
Jeff

Leaf in a log

Arizona

  • Fall Colors on the Coconino – This Coconino National Forest site explains why leaves change colors, what trees produce what colors, and hikes to see this wonder of nature.
  • Fall Colors in Arizona – Links to sites for fall colors, broken down by the month they change color.
  • Leaf-ometer – It tells how the leaves are changing around Flagstaff.
  • The Pinal Mountains near Globe offer several trails with maples, sumacs and sycamores that change color. Colors usually peak in late October. Check out the Ice House Canyon trial, Six-Shooter Canyon trail and the Pinal Mountain Range. Ice House can be hard to find, so get directions from the Ranger station in Globe.
Aspens on the Kachina Trail kachinatrail-0098
Aspens on the Kachina Trail kachinatrail

The Rest Of The Country

There’s a National Fall Color Hotline too, 1-800-354-4595. Call this number and choose the area of the country you’re interested in and get information on leaf color, scenic drives, peak times for the colors and other fall activities.

Leaves changing color
Leaves changing color

Canada

Articles

Photo – Shots In The Rain

Published / by adminjc

Hi Everyone,

While shooting on a sunny day is nice, I also love shooting in “bad” weather. I’ve photographed in rain, lightning storms, snow, wind, fog, blowing dust and sand and more. All of these weather conditions really add an interesting element to your photographs.

knot hole
55mm / 1/80 / f/11 / ISO 200 / Tripod used

As long as you have the proper clothes to protect yourself, and covering for your gear, you can have a great time.

These photos were taken near Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona. It had been raining before we got there, and rained off and on all day.

split log
55mm / 1/100 / f/5.6 / ISO 200 / Tripod used

The only scary part of the day was when a large aspen tree fell. We heard it snapping branches on other trees as it fell, followed by a loud thud as it crashed onto the ground. We never did find the tree, but it was close. Nature always keeps things interesting, so stay on your toes.

leaf on a log
51mm / 1/80 / f/5.6 / ISO 200 / Tripod used

Equipment used:

Have Fun,
Jeff

Photo – The Old Bell

Published / by adminjc

Hi Everyone,

Canon Rebel T5i / Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS at 70mm / 1/60 / f/11 / ISO 100 / Tripod used

This photograph was taken at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, https://btarboretum.org. It’s a great place to photograph plants, trees, birds, flowers, old buildings and some great scenery. 

I liked the patina on the bell, and the texture of the rocks. The shadows from tree branches also added a touch of mystery. I used the rule of thirds to get good composition, and to make blank space on the right. This space can be used by a business to add text to the image for a sales or marketing campaign, or in a magazine article.

If composition allows, take several photos of your subject, each with space on a different side. And shoot both horizontally and vertically. This increases the usability for any potential buyer.

I processed this image with ON1 Photo Raw. Check it out at https://on1.sjv.io/15Mjdz

Have Fun,
Jeff