Category

Tips & Lessons

Happy Holidays …. a Time for Giving

By | Inspiration | No Comments

Happy Holidays – Giving is in the Air

Ashley and I hope you are having an amazing holiday season!It’s a busy time for us…. cooking, getting presents, wrapping them and meeting up with family and friends.  I’m working on my Christmas cards now.  🙂

Because it’s the time for giving, we wanted to share 3 amazing websites with you all. On all three of these websites either Ashley or myself have purchased amazing products from them and we love them!

These are all talented people in our new membership group.  You have to see their work…they will inspire you!

Little Girls Pearls
Her high-end jewelry will give any child or baby that special feeling when they wear it. We have her necklaces and my granddaughter will have a beautiful pearl bracelet for her first birthday in April.

Little Girls Pearls

Little Girls Pearls

Kim Nordby Photography
Ashley loved her Nightscapes so much that she bought an iPhone case.  She has many images that will put a smile on your face.  I love her horses 🙂

Kim Norby Photography

Kim Norby Photography

Jeri Mearns Design
I have several goodies from Jeri, but my fav is the Cocktail coasters below.  They are gorgeous! She is a true artist and is always pushing her work to new levels.

Jeri Mearns Photography

Jeri Mearns Photography

Give Yourself a Gift

Or how about a photographer in your life?  This is our business and we love what we do so, of course, I have to share it with you.

 

Sullivan J Photography, Membership Program, photography membership,

SJP Membership AFS’ers

We are now offering a one-year subscription to our membership…woot!   You get 2 months free for $290 when you pay for the year, or you can join the fun for only $29 a month.

Ashley and I have really worked hard to make the membership personal for you.  Here are some of the main highlights of the group to elevate your photography.

LIVE CALLS

This is the heart of the membership!  We will meet up to talk about Q & A’s, your monthly challenges, and much more.  If you’re up for it, come on in and jump on the live call with me!

MONTHLY CHALLENGES

Monthly challenges will push you out of your comfort zone and help you learn new ways to express yourself with YOUR photography using various techniques with post-production and playing with your camera.

FREE GOODIES

Yep, if you see a course or download, or whatever… you won’t pay, it’s included in your membership! But if you would rather just have our products, you can purchase without a membership plan.

YOU ARE OUR #1 PRIORITY

Ashley and I are crazy busy but you know what?  When you’re part of Adventurers of the f-Stop, you’re most important in our world.  You will have our full attention!   We’ll be there for you!  Seriously… you’re #1!

My gift this year is having amazing members and their testimonials..xoxo  

 

 

Keep those questions coming and I’ll keep the deep dive videos rolling.  I truly with all of my heart hope you have a healthy and happy holiday season!

Looking forward to seeing you again in 2018.  I’m taking time right now to be with my family and friends.  I’ll hang out more on Social Media to see what you all are up to.

Cheers to your family from ours,

Janice Sullivan

10 tips for creatives,

10 Tips for Creatives – Photographers

By | Tips & Lessons | 2 Comments

We all go through those horrible creative slumps.  I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I get rid of those damn creative blocks, so I figured I’d give my tips to help you.

It’s a frustrating time for us creative people and I hope that if you have a creative block, you remember this post.  The video below is a bit longer than most of mine, but I feel it will really help you so I don’t want to break it up.  You can go to the end if you just want to hear the 10 tips and below I have them in bullet points. With that said, I think the video is really good because I go into a lot of detail.

Your 10 tips:

    • 1.  Grab ideas
    • 2.  Do some research – grab your research PDF for free here.
    • 3.  Monthly challenge
    • 4.  Understand composition & break it
    • 5.  Join a membership group
    • 6.  Try new lenses
    • 7.  When creativity hits you, write it down on a notepad or your phone
    • 8.  Most of your work won’t be seen.
    • 9.  Don’t be a compareslogger”
    • 10. Take a break

Doing a search on the internet to grab some post-processing ideas gave me the idea of processing this from art I’ve seen.

creative tips chinese art

Inspired by Chinese Art

 

Found this place from a fellow photographer friend.

Photograph of Watson Lake near Prescott, Arizona after sunset. Water reflection of rocks and sky.

 

 

I really hope these help you as much as they help me.  It’s a great feeling when the creative wheels are spinning.

When you have those creative slumps what do you do to get out of them?  Let us know below.

 

 

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

White Balance your Camera – Let’s fix those Reds

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Problems with Your Colors – White Balance your Camera

If you’re a Macro and Close up photographer and love photographing rich colors,  you’ve probably have had some problems getting those dark or bright reds, yellows,  and other beautiful rich colors come out in your camera.

You upload a batch of beautiful work to your computer and wonder what in the world happened to the details of your subject.  I’ve had it happen to me and I know many others have had that problem too.  Actually, I got this question from Michael Pye.  He photographs Orchids and can’t get the dark reds to be accurate in camera.  So let’s talk about this in more detail to help you get the correct color in camera.

Now if you’re out photographing and have forgotten a white card, then go to the K (next to Custom White Balance)  you’ll see it in the video, and change your Kelvin.  Also if you still feel that the colors are just a bit too rich after you custom your camera’s white balance, then take the exposure down one stop and all should be good.

 Have questions?   Ask below…. I’d love to chat with you.

Speaking of chatting…did you know that I have a live show every other week on Youtube and Facebook to talk to you Macro and Close-up Photographers?  I would love to see you there!  Here’s a bit more info for you if you’re interested.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Janice

understand your histogram

Understand your Camera’s Histogram

By | Exposure | 2 Comments

Your Camera’s Histogram is Important

I’m going to talk to you in my language…this is not technical at all, BUT it will help you understand your histogram in your camera.

I’m just not a technical person, but I do want you to know that I do have the technical knowledge…. I just don’t like to teach that way unless a student asks me for it.

If you’re looking for technical information, then just leave a comment and I will do my best to make a video for you and others that would like this kind of information.

So let’s get to it…

Our cameras record light coming into the sensor.  There are only three light colors that make all the colors we see in our images.   Red, Green, and Blue make the magic that we see. When we look at our histogram, we can see the amount of that particular color (it will rise up on the graft) and we can see how dark and/or light each of these colors are. The darkest part of your picture will be to the left of the graft and the brightest part will be to the right of the graft. I explain this and more of the fun in the video below.

The histogram is an amazing guide for you to use while you’re shooting.  Look at your histogram and make your adjustments in the camera.   You’ll be much happier when you upload your photographs into the computer.   Here is a small tip… if you’re photographing in RAW format, you’ll be able to push your colors brighter or darker just a bit in post processing.

understand your histogram

Understand your histogram to help with bright colors.

I said in the video that to correct over saturated colors you’ll need to work on a custom white balance. Look out for that video soon 😉

 Do you use the histogram? If you do…how does it help you with your photography?  If you don’t, let me know why and I’ll try to help you understand it more.

 

With the histogram, you can really fine tune your colors and exposure.  I did a deep dive on exposure…you can read about exposure more here.

 

sjp membership

SJP’s Membership email updates.

 

Something really cool is coming this Fall!  Yep, I’m working on my new membership site!

This will be a place to learn and receive new products I have lined up for free!    I’m going to have live calls that you can join in if you’d like and much more for only $29 a month!   To get updates on how it’s going and some freebie treats every other week…sign up here!

I’m so crazy excited that Coco and I are dancing all over the house!  😉

Have a great day!  Cheers!

 

Janice Sullivan

fix dark backgrounds

Reduce Dark Background From Flash

By | Exposure, Macro & Close-up | 2 Comments

Reducing Your Dark Background From Your Flash

On my first live chat show, one of the critique submissions from William was perfect for a deep dive video. He had a beautiful bug image that was shot with a flash. The background was underexposed because when you get up close with your flash, the light will drop fast so the background will go really dark to black. I told him that I would like to do a deep dive video to show him how I fix flash problems.

There are other ways to help you fix this problem…I know it’s frustrating when you really want to have the background exposed properly. The best way to fix this problem is on the camera while you’re photographing. So let’s get to it…

Adjust your camera settings to Manual Mode.  Do your best to get the best f-stop, shutter-speed and ISO to have the subject and background exposed properly. If you’re shooting bugs or need to stop motion because of wind and other movements happening while you’re photographing, a flash will be needed.  With the manual settings you’ve done previously, do a test shot on ETTL ( Evaluate Through The Lens). This is basically your flash put on manual mode.  Next…put your flash on Manual and play with your ratios.

If this fails, it’s time to be creative. You can bring in a matte picture you’ve shot previously and put it behind your subject or photograph backgrounds that can be added in post production. Look around the subject’s location and see if you like anything and then shoot away. In post you’ll merge them together. I show how to do this in Photoshop during the live show.  Check it out here, it’s about 33 minutes into the show.

I used my Macro Ring Light in the behind-the-scenes. I really like the soft feel I get with this flash. But like I always say…light is light. You don’t need this lens to make a great Macro shot. You just need to understand your equipment and it’s limitations.

fix dark backgrounds

How to fix dark backgrounds from your flash

 

How do you work your flash situation when you have these problems? I’d love to know 🙂

 

Cheers to beautiful backgrounds!

Janice Sullivan

outdoor flower photography, how to photograph flowers, flower photography,

How to Photograph Flowers Outdoors

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Photograph Flowers Outdoors

 

Yep, it’s true. I think flowers are the most photographed subject (besides people shots) out there.

SO WHAT?  I love to photograph flowers and if you like to photograph them too, then do it!

flower photography, outdoor flower photography,

Tips Photographing Flowers Outdoors 1/180 @f3.5 ISO 100 with a 100mm Macro Lens

 

Today’s video shares a bit of behind-the-scenes of some flower shooting outdoors.

 

 

It’s such a pleasure to photograph these beautiful subjects and I hope I’ve inspired you to get outside and photograph flowers.

To process all of the images in the video, I used On1 and Luminar.  I’ve always loved On1Raw and just started to play with Luminar. It’s a lot of fun.  🙂

Here is the eyepiece I was talking about in the video. It’s a great product to use when you need to get down low and photograph your subjects.  I love my Angle Finder! I plan to talk more about this tool in my live show, “Macro Chat Live.” I’d love to see you there.  It’s fun to talk macro and to meet others who enjoy macro and close-up photographing too.

It’s a new show, so I’m building it as I go. During every show we chat live about equipment/tools for us macro lovers. I have live critiques and some guests participating in the future.  For more info you can read up on it here.

This is the reflector I used in the video. It’s under $10!  So worth every penny and it will really help you when you need that extra light or if you need to block light.

Below is the flower book I talked about in the video. It’s more about focusing on what excited me within the particular flowers. It should get you thinking every time you see a flower… you’ll say,  “Damn, I wish I had my camera.”  🙂

 

Awesome Deal!

 $4.99 eBook

iTunes -iBook purchase click here.

To purchase printed book click here. 

 

~

 

The question of the day….

 

What problems do you have when you photograph flowers and what is your favorite flower to photograph?

Don’t be shy… chat away.

 

Janice Sullivan
Find me on Google+

How to Use Social Media for Photographers

How to Use Social Media for Photographers

By | Business, Exposure | No Comments

How to Use Social Media for Photographers

One of my photographer friends was a bit frustrated with Facebook and how fine art photographers just don’t get the likes and shares as much as a person who photographs people and sunsets.   It’s true, I know it can be frustrating.  You work so hard on an image and you just don’t feel it’s given the justice it deserves.

I want to talk to you today about where you should hang out on Social Media and how to use it as a photographer.

Two Reasons you SHOULD use Social Media

 

To get the most out of social media as a photographer, you should use it for two reasons:

1. To connect with other artists to inspire you and get the creative juices flowing.

2.  To connect with potential buyers and market your work.

Did you notice I said, “To connect” in both reasons?    It IS a social platform.  It’s important for you to connect with the people who you enjoy and because time is so precious, focus on one place and dominate it.

Yes, you’ll see the big photographers on many other social places at one time, but most of them have help publishing their work out to these sites.   Social Media can be a rabbit hole and the deeper you get into it the more you’ll be lost in that hole.  So stay focused and go for it all the way.

Some help to get you started. 

For business, do a search on Google to give you ideas on where your clients may be.  Here are some to look for:

Interior Designers

Art Buyers/Directors

Photo Agents

Magazine Photography Editors

Gallery Curators

If you would like to search more for people who need your work, check out  https://www.behance.net/  They have a job tab and you can search to see who is looking for your work. It will help you see who would like to connect with you socially.

Of course, if any of you have more suggestions let us know in the comment section.

 

Where to hang out?

You’re saying ok…now that I’ve done my research where should I hang out?  Great question!  From all of the years I’ve been out there here is what I’ve seen…

These social media sites cater to certain media, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good for you.  The key is to really use one and use it full force.

Yes, LinkedIn was good for me, but it may not be for you.  If you join LinkedIn, join groups and be active.

Facebook –  What’s popular are people shots and beautiful landscapes.  You can get to your target market for business, but sorry to say you will need to pay to connect with them.

Google+ – Landscapes are huge on Google+, but there are a variety of groups to connect with for inspiration.  Unless you’re selling to photographers, it’s difficult to use this social site for business.  But with that said, being active here is one of the best ways to be found in a Google search…. just make sure you use important hashtags.

Twitter –  It’s a fast social site and you really have to stay on it, but you can connect with photographers and your buyers. Use your images on tweets and push everyone to your website if you’re in it for business.

Instagram – A great place to find inspiration.  Hashtags are important!  Check out this site for your profile link: https://linktr.ee/  It’s perfect for the business side of your Instagram.

Pinterest – Another great place for inspiration.  If you use for business, you’ll need to post a lot to be seen.

500px – This is a ranking site and there are many out there. If you don’t connect here you won’t go anywhere.  Landscapes are huge on 500.  I wouldn’t use this for business because I’m not a huge landscape photographer and if you send your clients there they will see the top images…your competition.  No way in hell would I ever point to a site like this for potential clients, just saying.

ello – Inspiration Social Site for Artist

Deep Dive Question

Your question for the day…. What social media platform are you using and is it working for you?  If it’s not working…let us know where you are and what you shoot so we can help you focus.

If you take time to really connect with people for inspiration and/or business, just remember it will pay off when you focus on one site and dominate it!

Sign up for my email to get your challenges every other week.  I bet you can guess what this week’s challenge will be.  😉  I also add a bit more goodies for our readers…hope to see you there.

My tweet for the day 🙂

Tweet: How you succeed in being noticed is to be social on social media. https://ctt.ec/vd1O6+

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Understand Exposure to be a power shooter.

Stop Being a Snap Shooter and Really Focus on Exposure

By | Exposure, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

I know that exposure isn’t the sexiest thing to talk about…we just want to make awesome pictures and really hope that we grabbed the perfect shot the first time. But unfortunately that rarely happens 🙁   So I’m here today to discuss this dreaded word: EXPOSURE. If you LOVE exposure, kudos to you and I’m slapping a high five at you right now! If not, let’s help you understand what happens with your camera when it makes the exposure and how you can work it!

Let’s dive in a bit deeper than the 3 parts that make an exposure that I talked about a couple of weeks ago.

Once you really understand exposure, you’ll have so much power while using your camera, and if you’re a power freak like me, you’ll be in photography heaven while you photograph. No Snap Shooting for YOU!

 

 

I talked about the steps to start your learning fun with exposure. For now just play and don’t stress out. You’ll get it!

Here is another visual to help you see the difference of how bright the sky is compared to the grass and trees in the field. I manual shot the best image paying attention to what I could bring out when I processed this in ON1.

The grass looks great, but I couldn’t get the clouds to pop.

 

 Focus on Exposure

1/125 @ f6.7 ISO 200 Manual Mode Over Exposed

 

Now the sky looks amazing, but everything else looks like crap!

 

 Focus on Exposure

1,3000 @ f6.7 ISO 200 Manual Mode

 

So this was the shot I had to work with. I had just enough information to pull out what I wanted to make my river of grass shot. 🙂

 

Exposure to get the shot. Had to use manual mode.

1/350 @ f6.7 ISO 200 Manual Mode

 

It was tough, but I worked the image and got what I wanted in one shot! Whew! Fun…fun!

 

Stop being the Snap Shooter and really Focus on Exposure

Correct Exposure to get the shot.

 

This is another way to get up close and personal with your camera, so when you start to photograph and just look at your scene, you’ll start to know what’s going to happen before you even push that shutter button. I’d like you to be different than the snap shooters, and the way you really begin to create your OWN work is to understand that there may be problems with your exposure and to know what to do when those problems arise.

Normally I ask you questions, but I thought today it would be better for YOU to ask me questions. If you want more techie answers, I’ll answer them here in the comment section.  Feel free to ask anything about exposure, I really do want to help if you’re just not understanding why the pictures are not turning out the way you want them to!

 

Cheers,

Janice

 

what is the f-stop, shutter speed & Iso for photography

The Secret of Successful Photography using the F-Stop – Shutter Speed and ISO

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Understanding the f-Stop, Shutter Speed and ISO

One of the problems I see the most when people ask, “why isn’t my photograph looking the way I want it to look after I take the picture?” is that they let the camera do all the setting for them. What they don’t understand is that the camera can’t handle the extreme lighting conditions like our eyes do.

The secret of successful photography is when you play with the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO, but you must understand the basics before you can really push these three main components. These three components determine your exposure. I’ll be talking about exposure in more detail later, but I want you to really understand what the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO will do for you macro photographers.

Yes this is for the beginner photographer, but I always say you never know when you may learn something new if you already know the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO, so keep reading…

I’ve combined all of the elements in one blog post so you can grab this information while you’re photographing.  This way you have everything in one shot while you photograph, no pun intended…hahaha I couldn’t help myself! So let’s get started…


Most important for Macro Photographers is the f-stop.

When we get up close we lose what’s in focus. Your f-stop number will determine what’s in focus so you really must master the f-stop which is the number you’re using to open and close the aperture. The aperture is like the irises in your eyes. Just remember that the higher the number the more in focus your shot will be, but know that f-22 lets less light into your camera and in turn you’ll need a longer shutter speed to let the light into your camera. For example, say I’m photographing a beautiful flower outside and I want to use f-22 with my natural light conditions. I’ll need to have my settings at f-22 – shutter speed 1/125 sec – iso 100 BUT if I change my f-stop number to a 2.8 that means I opened my aperture larger so it will let more light into the camera and to get the same good exposure I’ll  have to set my shutter speed to  1/4000 (really fast open and close of shutter)  ISO 100 or the picture will be blown out (white).  The f2.8 – 1/4000 – ISO 100 will be less in focus than the f-22 – 1/125 – ISO 100 but they WILL both have the same exposure (not too dark and not too light in the picture) depending on your conditions.   If you’re outside look for a shady place to photograph. NO harsh light or shadows for now.

 


Shutter Speed

The next most important tool to get that shot you want is to learn the shutter speed. This is how fast the shutter opens to let light into the camera. You set the f-stop (the number of the opening of the aperture)  look into your camera and look at your meter. Move your shutter speed number up or down until you have it in the middle of your meter. I talk to you in more detail in my video on what the shutter will do for those close up shots you’re working on.  But know that if you want a bug say flying to the flower you’ll need a faster shutter speed to capture the be and if your shutter is slow you’ll need a tripod or bump up the ISO.


ISO

The ISO is the next part of taking your picture to make a good exposure.  Start on a low number like 100.  If you don’t have enough light coming into the camera with the f-stop and shutter speed you want it’s now time to push up the ISO.  Google your camera to get an idea of how much you can push up your camera’s ISO.  Here is a great site to plug in your Camera: https://www.dxomark.com/  If you go too high you’ll get grainy and ugly shots so you need to pay attention on how much you can push your ISO.

Definition: 0:43
Looking at the camera 1:05
The 3rd element to Exposure 2:17
Macro with a Tripod – slow shutter: 3:33
Photographing bugs or subjects needing a faster speed: 4:48
Overview and my question 6:22

 


I realize that this can be a challenge to understand each of these settings on your camera but you REALLY will understand what you can do while you’re photographing if you get these 3 tools down.  Work on manual mode and play with the f-stop – shutter speed and ISO.  Once you get the basics down then you’ll push them to create your own stories with your images.  Trust me! It’s hard I know!  But if you really want to push your creative spin in your work this is where you start.  This is, “The Secret of Successful Photography.”

Of course if you have any questions please ask below in the comment section and if you feel this was informative and helpful please share with your friends.

I do have a question for you! What’s your thought process as you photograph? Have you ever thought about the f-stop, shutter speed or ISO.  I would love to know what are your struggles with these 3 elements to photographing.

Cheers to the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO! Knowing its secrets will make your work successful because YOU will make your work…the camera won’t.

Janice Sullivan

Using Textures to Help Your Images

By | Post Processing, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Please don’t toss that image that isn’t quite in focus or if you don’t like the color palette. Don’t toss your work even if you feel it’s a crap shot and nothing can become of it. Using Textures can help correct your images and it will put a smile on your face again.  🙂

I have had a lot of work where I just think the shot is terrible. Yes, I strive for perfection, but sometimes it just isn’t working. If I like the subject of my photo then I have fun with it in post process and add textures for a creative punch! For example, I shot this image below for my Macro Stacking tutorials on YouTube. Here is the before and here is the after. If you saw my last blog post, “100 Badass Women Entrepreneurs”, then you’ve seen this image.

I shot this quickly and to tell you the truth, I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect, but I had a plan to play with it. I did used a texture called, “Webbed Rocks”.  Yes, the texture pack is almost done! You’ll see that in February. 😉

A bit of stem focus

Focus on Front

After

Merged Image with my texture and process fun!

 

So today’s quick inspiration is to NOT toss your work! Play with textures! If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive some of my free textures and a quick tutorial on how to use them.

I hope you have an awesome week playing with your photographs! If you have any fun images with textures, share the links below in the comment sections so we can enjoy them.

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Platform overwhelm…do you have it too?

By | Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Platform Overwhelm…Do You Have it Too?

Are you like I am and want to chat with everyone everywhere? The problem for me is that I have built a community and I feel that if I leave my various platforms, then I’m leaving my friends. I left Flickr and noticed that I only communicate with a small portion of that community on other platforms and it makes me sad. But I felt exhausted and I had a feeling I was Platformed Overwhelmed.

I decided to email Ashley a journal for the past couple of weeks of what I do on a daily basis. I tried to write a journal to myself but I always seemed do bail on it, but sending it to Ashley made me feel obligated, so I actually did it. I found that a lot of my time was spent on email and various social media platforms.  That would be ok if my business was social media, but it’s not. Here’s what I do-

I do my best to have a new blog post every week to inspire you to go out and use your camera.

-I put up videos every week to share the fun tools you can use during and after photographing.

I have projects every week and deadlines for my clients and I work with my students and educate myself every week.

I cut out time for Kevin, family and friends on the weekend, but still check my emails to see if I need to take care of something that may be an emergency.

Does this sound like you? I bet it does, maybe adding different words here and there, but I bet you’re just as busy as I am. I here it all the time….I’m swamped so I just don’t have time to photograph or finish the project I’m working on.”

If you have felt this way then I suggest you keep a journal like I did to see what you’re really doing with your time. If you’re like I am, your life is full and I think this is why many of my photographs are relaxing. They give me peace as I photograph and post process them. For example, the image below is flowers, which I love to photograph.

 

Image used on Platform Overload. Sharing what I like to photograph and why.

Pink Rose Flood – A variety of in focus shots merged together for more depth-of-field.

This was shot with several in focus images put together so I could have more in focus than what the camera and lens would give me. I processed it with a variety of software; Lightroom, Photoshop, Topaz and Nik. I next added a plug-in called Flood to top it off. Just a teaser here…I’ve been working on a series of these images. If you’d like to receive info on them first, since it will be a first come first serve goodie…please sign up for our newsletter below:

We respect your email privacy

 

Yes, I’m in the process of debating on what platforms I’m going to keep and the others will have to sit on the sidelines for a while. I’ll keep you posted here, but for now thanks to all of you who take the time to read this.  I know you’re busy and I appreciate you!

So just to recap- keep a journal to see where your time is going…is it the “platform overwhelm that’s taking too much of your time?  I was shocked that this was my time problem, you may be too.

Also, if you have any time management ideas that work for you, I’d love to hear them. I can use them for sure!

Cheers to time management,

Janice Sullivan

Almost forgot…here is my latest unboxing.  🙂

 

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Close-Up Art Photo Contest

By | Inspiration, Macro & Close-up, News | No Comments

Oh yeah! I’m way too excited to be a judge for the Close Up Art Photo Contest on Viewbug! There are so many amazing creative people out there and for me to see their work and really focus on what’s being submitted, is a blast! Last week I shared the other contest I’m judging, “Reptiles and Amphibians”  (just had mention just in case you didn’t read the post).

The grand prize winner will receive an instant mobile printer! Perfect timing since the new iPhone 7 just came out. If you don’t print your images, please do.  They don’t have to be big prints, just something to hold and feel will make your work so much more memorable. I have 4″x7″ prints around my home and when I look at them, they make me smile. Each one reminds me of the amazing moment in time and where I took the shot.

Since Ashley has had the boys and she’s making amazing photo albums for us. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and have lots of it, but it just feels amazing flipping through the pages. It’s fun when we have company and our friends & family pick up our albums to enjoy. If you like flowers like I do, try making an album of your faves.  Before you know it you’ll have a book!   Ok, enough about that. Let’s get back to the contest.

closeupartcontest

Crazy excited to be a judged for this contest!

Please check out the contest here and join in! It will end November 30th so you have time to photograph your close-up art. 😉 I hope to see you there or on my social media accounts. Just look above at the top of the menu to the right and you’ll see were I play. Please stop in and say hi and of course you can comment below.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot…  Here is my latest unboxing.  I just LOVE my new tablet!!  If you’d like to sign up for my channel to get the videos as they are published click here.

 

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

 

What do You Like in Life? Photograph it!

By | Tips & Lessons | No Comments

What do you like in life? Think about it and then photograph it or the concept of your passion.

Photography is not only for the visual experience in life, but it can be a documentation of your passions. For example, I love to hike with my husband, but while I’m hiking I really pay attention to details. The rock formation with the rock climber is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I absolutely go crazy over desert flowers growing between rocks. I also love animals so how can I not photograph a desert chipmunk checking us out while we eat lunch? 🙂 And I can’t forget my love of history. Capturing anything with historical value really floats my boat.

These are personal photographs that make ME smile and that is what life is about…the experience! I am a tree hugger because of my passion so I’m affiliated with several conservation groups. I also want others to enjoy what I’ve experienced so I work with the hospitality industry. It’s a good feeling to know that when someone stays in a hotel that they will see my work and feel my passion. Once you see the variety of photographs that you have accumulated, take the next step and figure out what you can do with your passion.

“Ouch” HDR

 

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Desert Flower growing out of a Rock!

Sullivan J Photography

Our Lunch Friend

 

Old Gold Mining Equipment

 

 

I want you to feel happy too and to photograph what YOU like in life!  Many of us forget to really think about what we really love and make us happy.  Rock it!  You can do it!  Now snap away. 🙂

I’ve told you what I like in my life…now it’s your turn.  I really would love to read what you like in your life

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

~~

Check out these awesome conservation sites:

WWF

Greenpeace

 

So excited about ON1 PHOTO RAW!!

 

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One Minute Photo Recipe

By | Depth of Field, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

I see on facebook these amazing one minute recipes and thought, “how cool are these”! A couple of us photography friends decided that would be fun for us make too. One minute photo recipes are to inspire people to photograph and post process their work. I would like to make more, but time is always the problem….maybe, we will have to see. But for now here is my first “One Minute Photo Recipe” recipe:

To purchase image:

one minute photo recipe

f-stop changes your focus

Have a great day and hope my One Minute Photo Recipe inspires you to play with your f-stop. 🙂

Cheers,
Janice Sullivan

10 Quick Tips on Photographing Macro

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

I have received a lot of questions about how to photograph macro and close-up photography, so I figured I’d give you 10 quick tips on photographing Macro.

1. Read Books! Search online for macro photography books and check them out at your library. If you love the book, buy it! Kindle’s will work too.

2. Buy a macro lens & DSLR Camera, or a high-quality mirrorless camera (two for one on this tip).

3. Use a tripod.

4. Use mirror lock-up on your DSLR camera. If you have a mirrorless camera, all is good. You want to reduce the shake of the camera from the mirror.

5. Pay attention to your aperture. For more clarity, use f22, but be careful of reciprocation after f22. If you want really sharp images, use f8 and stack your images.

6. The closer you get to the subject, the less depth-of-field you will have; play with that for artistic pictures.

7. Play with lighting. Want texture? light from the side. Want saturation? Light in front (built-in pop-up lights don’t work). Play with flashlights and bounce light with small reflectors.  Aluminum foil works great.

8. Focus on your main subject and make that sharp. Watch out for the background – you don’t want it to take away from your subject.

9. Manual Focus, and most of all….

10. Have fun and play!

Photographing Macro

Daisy Fiber

 

If you would like to learn more about Macro photography, I am a Master (Mentor) in the Arcanum. Join and I’ll work with you one-on-one! I promise I don’t bite.  😉

Join me!

 

Photographing Macro

Back side of a Thistle

 

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

 

Themes for the Day of the Week

By | Tips & Lessons | 4 Comments

Today is Thursday…Throw Back Thursday. Some people get frustrated about themes for the day of the week. If you don’t like themes, ok I get it. But before you dismiss it, think about the subject. For me, TBT is a way to look back at history and my photography shooting. It makes me think about the past and what I have photographed and how I can improve my craft. I have shared these images before of Sedona, Arizona, and as I look at them and remember an amazing hike with Kevin and the fun I had taking these images. I also think I should go back to the location and try something different.

When you see themes like Throw Back Thursday or Flower Friday, take advantage of other photographs and see what people have shared so you can think about how to take your work a step further.

Sedona-4058hdr

HDR Sedona, Arizona

Sunset about Sedona Arizona – HDR

Pano of an Indian Ruin in Sedona, AZ

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google

How To: Macro Lens Painting

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | 3 Comments

I have been asked many times how I make my Macro Lens Paintings, so I decided to do a live hangout with some amazing photographers from The Arcanum to share my technique. Now this was my first time ever doing this, so if you watch the video I think you’ll laugh with me. 🙂  I am so inspired by the people I have met in the Arcanum and I find myself gravitating toward them more and more. It’s a great place to be with people who love the craft of photography and who truly appreciate art.

The images below are just a couple that I shot during the live hangout. I Hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did making it.

Dancing Lily

 

Dancing

Dancing

Pink Flurry

Live hangout…how to Macro Lens Paint.

I’m also happy to announce that we are now affiliated with Topaz Labs. This is another amazing plug-in that I love to use. I also appreciate that if they have upgrades to their software they give them to you free. In the long run I paid a good penny for the complete set, but I know that they will never nickle and dime me for upgrade prices in the future.  Thanks Topaz!

Just a quick shout out to, “Adventurers of the F-Stop” for helping me pick the featured image. 🙂  If you would like to see the Macro Lens portfolio to help give you ideas…go for it here.

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google

Fall Inspiration

By | Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Fall has arrived and for some of us, we will see the beautiful fall foliage images from others and wish we could be there photographing those amazing colors.  Don’t despair. What’s around you? I have deserts I can now play in without getting heatstroke. Think about your location and make it your own fall.

Tree on Watson Lake Arizona photographed after sunset.

Burning Bush – 30s @ f22 ISO 125 100mm

 

If you just can’t think of any fall places for you to have fun, then go to your local store and pick up flowers with fall colors and have some fun with them.  Below is one of my “Macro Lens Paintings”. Just seeing all of the fall photos from other photographers helps give me inspiration.

Foggy Stems – f10 @ 1.5s ISO 100

 

I’m super happy to announce that we are now affiliates with On1 Software!  I absolutely love On1! I’ll share with you later the next generation of the perfect photo suite 10 for some post processing inspiration.

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Have a great day!

Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google

 

Make Photos New with Textures

By | Post Processing, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

New Photographs with Textures

At the end of this post, I’ll share how to receive free textures from me.

 

I have talked about adding textures to your images in previous posts, but this time I want you to look at old images you have processed and play with those. When time or the weather is not your friend and you can’t photograph, go back to old images to give them a new creative spin with textures.

Below is the new image.

powerLines_8635

Electricity – Texture

This is the old image.

Electricity Wires

You also can receive free textures from me once you signup for my challenges. I give you a video on how to use them on your pictures.

photography software, what software to buy,

Post-production work.

If you join our membership you’ll receive at least 73 textures.  It’s one of our bonuses only for paid members.  More will be added so check out the fun here.

You can never have enough textures! Bring out your creative spin and play, play, play in post-production and make photos new with textures.

Texture added for fun!

Cheers,
Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

Capturing the Right Feeling

By | Tips & Lessons | 2 Comments

If you photograph landscapes for yourself and not for clients on a deadline, leave some of the images to process later. For example, if you’re photographing deserts in the winter, wait until the summer to process some of the work. I know that the anticipation is there after you photograph, but when I process work with a purpose to express the weather I’ll wait to actually experience the feeling I would expect in a certain climate.

I shot the image below in the winter since Joshua Tree is a desert and crazy hot in the summer. I waited to process this image until we had a huge heatwave in Southern California because I was feeling the 100 plus temperature and wanted that conveyed in the image. If I would have worked on this in the winter, I’m sure that I would have cooled the tones a bit instead of expressing the heat with warmer tones.

Capturing the right feeling

HDR image of a Joshua Tree in Southern California

 

Just a quick tip to think about on capturing the right feeling to your images.

 

Have a great day…hot or cold 😉

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

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