use a tripod

March 8, 2010

Portfolio Example/Lioness

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 11:41 pm

Portfolio
I want to introduce you to a great portfolio.  If it is my understanding, this portfolio just went up a couple of weeks ago.  I found this link at Scott Kelby’s blog: Photoshop Insider.  The website is a portfolio of Matt Kloskowski’s photographs.  It is a beautifully designed site with big pictures.

Photograph
I found this lioness in Nairobi Natonal Park in Kenya.  Normally, you don’t see lions there, but I have seen them 2 out of the 3 times that I have gone.  This one had a litter of cubs hiding in the bush behind her.  I photographed her just as she glanced up to watch an airplane overhead.  Nairobi National Park is near the airport, and sometimes you can get a shot of animals with the Nairobi skyline in the background.  I have one of a giraffe, maybe I will put it up some day.

This particular photograph had a lot of grass sticking up from the bottom.  I felt like it was very distracting, so I used the clone tool in Photoshop to remove most of it.  The new clone tool in PS4 is awesome and so easy to use.

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Look Up

Look Up

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March 5, 2010

Sitegrinder/Roller

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 9:18 am

Photoshop Plugin
If you are tired of all the template photography portfolios out there, I have something to share with you.  Sitegrinder is an incredible Photoshop plugin.  It allows you to design a website using Photoshop, and then converts it to a clean CSS/HTML website in no time.  What I love about it is that you are able to place photos, text, anything – any where you want!  It is so simple.  Sitegrinder 2 is the current version, but they are testing a Beta version on Sitegrinder 3 right now.

I designed my portfolio website using Sitegrinder 2.  It was very simple and easy to use.  Check it out at www.sbward.com.

Photograph
This photograph is of a beautiful bird native here in East Africa.  It is called a roller.  We see these guys all over, and I never tire of takingtheir picture.  The problem is that many times you are taking pictures of these birds with a light sky behind them, and so you get your bird wa too dark.  Now a days, I simply wait until I get a darker background behind them, and the pictures turn out so much better.

I took his photo in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.  I went there with a volunteer team a couple of weeks ago.  We were really disappointed, because we saw very few animals.  The last time I was there, we saw over 1000 elephants.  This time we saw a small handful from a distance.

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Roller

Roller

March 4, 2010

Portfolio/Zebra Baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 7:21 am

25 Cool Portfolios
I ran across this website of 25 cool photography portfolios.  If you are wanting to design your own portfolio but are stumped on what it should look like, these sites just might give you some inspiration.  In the next few days I will discuss some other options for portfolio design.

Photograph
This baby zebra was one of many just like this in Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.  I took this in February about 2 weeks after thousands of zebra moms dropped their babies.  It was cool seeing them hopping around every where.

For this particular photograph, I imported it into Photomatix Pro which is a software designed to produce high dynamic range photographs normally made with more than one photo.  However, you are able to get one photo in the software and run through the process.  Later I brought it into Photoshop and fine-tuned it.

Zebra Baby

Zebra Baby

March 3, 2010

Topaz Updates/Tanzanian Zoo

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 6:42 am

Topaz
I use Topaz software plugin for Photoshop on almost every one of my photos.  Sometimes I use Adjust, especially for my family photos.  It has a preset I like called “photo pop.”  I usually have to go in afterwards and smooth out the skin tones, but I love what it does for the rest of the photo.  The one I use most often is Detail.  I love it!  It is designed to add sharpness to a photo without all of the bad stuff associated with sharpening.  It does a fantastic job of that.  Normally I use it on a separate layer and lower the opacity until it is just right.

Now it gets even better, because Adjust and Detail have just been upgraded, and the upgrades are free if you already own the software of course.  Most upgrades cost, but Topaz Labs has gone above and beyond.

Photograph
For those of you who have some romantic notion of an exotic safari in Africa – take a look at the picture below.  Sometimes it feels like you are at a zoo.  One tour driver discovers a lion, he calls all of his fellow tour drivers, and they all come speeding over.  Sometimes I am literally having to fight my way in to see an animal.  This was taken in Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.  It is probably the worst one.  My family and I enjoy going to Tarangire National Park, because it is much less crowded.
 
In this photo I have actually used both Topaz Adjust and Detail.  Adjust is what gives it that High Dynamic Range photo effect, and Detail brings out all the little detail in the vehicles, people, and the lioness.
 
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Tanzanian Zoo

Tanzanian Zoo

March 2, 2010

Macro/Rhino

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 7:14 am

Macro Photography
Here is an awesome website showcasing some great macro (extreme close-up) photographs.  I found this website via www.stuckincustoms.com.

Photograph by Kristoffer Jonsson

 Black Rhino
These incredible creatures are considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.  While in Nairobi back in January, we decided to go to Nairobi Game Park.  We had driven around all day looking for the few black rhinos that roam around the park without any luck.  I was heading toward the main gate to go home, and I spotted a little-used road and decided to take it.  We were very fortunate to run into three of them.  Here is a photo of one of them that I took.

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Black Rhino

Black Rhino

February 12, 2010

Panosaurus/Wild Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 3:13 am

Panoramic Photography
I love panoramic photography!  I am just now starting to get into it.  On some of my other blog posts you can find links to some of my favorite panoramic photographers.  I decided that I needed to get a panoramic head for my tripod.  Most of them are very expensive, but I found one that works well and is under $100!  I have been using it now for a few months and I really enjoy it.  It took a little bit to put together, but once I got it, it has been easy to use.  It is called the Panosaurus

Panosaurus 

  

Photograph
This photograph was taken in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania.  Mkomazi used to be a preserve where hunting was allowed, but last August it became Tanzania’s newest national park.  It is a beautiful place with the backdrop being the Pare Mountains.  Of course, we love it because we live only about a mile from the front gate. 

This is a photograph of an African Wild Dog.  He was hiding behind a tree, because they are very shy.  These animals are critically endangered.  I took this picture at the home of Tony and Lucy Fitzjohn.  They are the ones who are running the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust.  Through money raised, they are able to raise wild dogs and release them to the wild.  I have an entire portfolio of photographs that I am selling.  Some of the proceeds from every sale goes towards this worthy organization.  You can find the photos here

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Wild Dog

Wild Dog

January 18, 2010

9 Tips/Crater Bull

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 11:19 pm

Photography Tips
This article entitled “Warning: These 9 Photoshop Techniques May Result In Great Photos” has obviously been beneficial to many people.  It was a very popular post on Epic Edits blog.  I found it to be a great resource for other techniques to explore.

Photograph
This is a photograph that I took in Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.  You will only see large male elephants like this in the Crater.  It is said that the females and babies don’t enter the Crater because the predators would have them trapped.

There was a lot of noise in this photo, especially in the sky.  To get rid of it, I used Nik Software’s Define 2.0.  It even has a sky filter that is optimized to reduce noise commonly found in skies.

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Crater Bull

Crater Bull

January 12, 2010

Moo/Strange Bird

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 5:08 am

Mini-Cards
This is a service that I tried once by a company called Moo.  They make these cool little mini-business cards.  They are actually very high-quality cards and inexpensive.  I simply used some of my photos on the front and my website on the back.  They arrived fairly quickly and were a lot of fun.  I received a lot of good comments on them.

Photograph
This is one strange looking bird I photographed in Amboseli National Park in Kenya.  If anyone knows the name of it,  would love to hear it.

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Freaky Waterbird

Freaky Waterbird

January 5, 2010

Black & White/Giraffe

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 11:44 pm

Black & White Photography
If you are looking for some great tutorials on black and white photography, look no further.  Keith Cooper at Northlight Images provides some fantastic tutorials on converting, tweaking, and printing photographs.  He also has some very inspiring images.

Mountain Pass - Keith Cooper

 
Photograph
This photograph was taken in Amboseli National Park in Kenya just a couple of weeks ago.  I converted it to sepia using my favorite Photoshop plugin – Silver Efex Pro by Nik Software.
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Kilimanjaro Giraffe

Kilimanjaro Giraffe

Drought/Amboseli Elephants

Filed under: Uncategorized — paremtns @ 12:38 am

Guest Blog Post
I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to go to Amboseli National Park in Kenya.  I was invited by a conservation project named Wildlifedirect to do a guest blog post on their site concerning the recent drought in Amboseli.  They also posted some of my photographs as well.

Photograph
This is a classic shot from Amboseli National Park with elephants in the foreground and Mount Kilimanjaro in the background.  We saw a lot of elephants while there.  There is just something majestic about these creatures, and they are so much bigger in person than I imagine them in my head.

This was a very difficult photograph to get, because the top was so light and the bottom so dark.  What I did was expose to get the elephants just right.  Then later in Photoshop, I used the plugin Color Efex Pro by Nik Software to darken the mountain.  They have a filter called “Graduated Neutral Density.”  It did just the trick to darken the mountain and sky and leave the elephants alone.

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Kilimanjaro Elephants

Kilimanjaro Elephants

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