Photo: Another beautiful day in Iceland!

Here's a like to our blog post for Day 6:
http://www.photographybyvarina.com/photography/blog/iceland-day-6-2

#PhotographyTips

I took this shot of Skógafoss with a 70-200mm lens, a circular polarizer, and a neutral density filter. I needed a longish shutter speed to blue the surface of the water in bright conditions, so that the rainbow would stand out against a smooth background. The neutral density filter helped with that - and the polarizer allowed me to increase the shutter speed even more, while also helping to bring out the brilliant colors in the rainbow. With both filters, I could reduce the shutter speed to .6 seconds at f/11. Just enough to smooth the water to my liking.

This was such a beautiful location - but the climb was steep. After my little run-in with the icebergs the day before, I couldn't climb the hill... so I stayed behind. At first I planned to just sit back and enjoy the beautiful sunshine while I waited, but the more I looked at the falls, the more I wanted to shoot it. The view from below wasn't very exciting... I wanted something a little different. And this is the result. This was the best weather of the entire trip, too. Warm and sunny! Such pleasure after yesterdays difficulties!
Photo: iHDR Overview

Wondering how +Jay Patel and I blend images with a very broad dynamic range? Our latest blog post gives you an overview.

Here's the link: http://www.photographybyvarina.com/photography/blog/ihdr-workflow-overview

Please feel free to share!

So, what is iHDR? It stands for Intelligent High Dynamic Range - and it's our manual blending technique for images with a very broad range of light... like the one you see here.

This is what I'll be doing with some of the images I brought back from Glacier National Park. I can't wait to get crackin'! :)
Photo: Free Photoshop Watermark Action - by Varina and +Jay Patel 

Here's the link:

http://www.photographybyvarina.com/free_downloads/actionsbyvarinaandjay.zip

Lots of people ask us how to create a watermark on an image - so we decided to add a watermark action to our free collection. The set already includes two framing actions - one for black frames, and one for white ones - and an action that overlays a copyright notice on your image. Now,we've added another one...

This one overlays a watermark symbol or letter like the example you see here. You can choose your font, adjust the size of the symbol, and place it anywhere you like within the frame.

All four actions resize your image for web display, convert the image to sRGB for optimal viewing in any browser, and sharpen the photo - allowing you some basic control over the finished product.You can even adapt each action for your own use as you see fit.

Please pass it on - if you know others who might find this collection useful, please feel free to share. That's what it's all about!

Oh yeah - and for those who are wondering - this is Glacier National Park in Montana! We're headed there to teach a workshop next week! Can't wait!
Photo: Solitude

One of the biggest reasons I choose to photograph nature is because I love solitude. I find that this is true for many nature and landscape photographers. We seem to share an appreciation - no... it goes beyond that - a NEED for solitude.

I get along with people just fine. I don't mind speaking to large crowds. I can navigate my way through a city without a problem...

But I'd much rather be in the middle of nowhere. No cars driving by. No airplanes flying overhead. No lawn mowers or leaf blowers or weed trimmers. No radio or television. Just birdsong and the breeze through the branches and the trickle of the water over the rocks. I'm perfectly happy out there for hours. Days. Weeks.

How about the rest of you? What is it about nature photography that keeps you coming back for more?
Photo: Hold Your Breath

Get there early and use a long shutter speed to get images like this one from Glacier National Park in Montana.

Lots of you have been asking about my images from our recent trip to Glacier. I've been busy getting caught up, and writing up a lens review, and attending a multitude of soccer games... but I've have managed to find a few minutes to do some post-processing. So here it is. The first shot I've posted from beautiful, Glacier National Park.

We pay close attention to sunrise and sunset times when we are on location... but most of the time it's not so much about being there at the moment the sun peaks over the horizon. It's more about the light before and after that moment. We like to be there a good hour before sunrise - that gives us time to choose a composition, set up our camera gear, and do some low-light photography as the light begins to change.

The subtle magenta color you see on the mountain in this shot is called "Alpenglow". It happens well before sunrise - this shot was taken nearly 20 minutes before the sun rose - and the colors started changing rapidly from that point on. The alpenglow faded as the sky began to glow in the East. By the time the sun appeared, the glow was long gone, replaced by rich golden light and a rainbow over the lake.

This was a tough shot to capture - more because of rain and splashing waves than particularly difficult camera settings. I wanted a 30 second shutter speed for a smooth opalescent effect... so I chose my settings accordingly. (f/8.0, 30 seconds, ISO 200.) Then, I wiped my lens clean and hoped for the best. I took three shots before the light faded - and only this one was was free of water droplets.

I've always loved long-exposure photography for the slightly surreal or dreamy effect it produces. What would you have done in a situation like this? Would you have been there in time to capture the glow? Or would you be kicking yourself later? :) I sure hope you wouldn't have missed it!
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Free Photoshop Watermark Action - by Varina and +Jay Patel

Here's the link:

http://www.photographybyvarina.com/free_downloads/actionsbyvarinaandjay.zip

Lots of people ask us how to create a watermark on an image - so we decided to add a watermark action to our free collection. The set already includes two framing actions - one for black frames, and one for white ones - and an action that overlays a copyright notice on your image. Now,we've added another one...

This one overlays a watermark symbol or letter like the example you see here. You can choose your font, adjust the size of the symbol, and place it anywhere you like within the frame.

All four actions resize your image for web display, convert the image to sRGB for optimal viewing in any browser, and sharpen the photo - allowing you some basic control over the finished product.You can even adapt each action for your own use as you see fit.

Please pass it on - if you know others who might find this collection useful, please feel free to share. That's what it's all about!

Oh yeah - and for those who are wondering - this is Glacier National Park in Montana! We're headed there to teach a workshop next week! Can't wait!

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