lighting tips for landscape photography

Photograph Anytime of the Day – Landscape Photography

By | Landscape & Travel, Lighting | No Comments

Using a Variety of Light for Landscape Photographing

Yes, sunsets and sunrises are beautiful to photograph but don’t think this is the only time you can photograph amazing landscapes.  Check out the tips in the video below for details.

desert landscape with electric poles

One-shot while the hubby was driving our jeep.

Exposure Time: 1/350
F Number: 19
Exposure Program: Manual
ISO: 200

Here is some of my fun to start you thinking about different ways to photograph your landscapes.

sedona arizona indian cave

One-shot image during the middle of the day.


Exposure Time:1/30
F Number:22
desert landscape with electric poles

One-shot while the hubby was driving our jeep.

Exposure Time:1/125
F Number:8
Exposure Program: Aperture-priority AE

Here is some of my fun to start you thinking about different ways to photograph your landscapes.

sedona arizona indian cave

One-shot image during the middle of the day.


Exposure Time: 1/350
F Number: 11
Exposure Program: Aperture-priority AE
ISO: 100
desert landscape with electric poles

One-shot while the hubby was driving our jeep.

Exposure Time:1/2000
F Number:8
Exposure Program: Aperture-priority AE
ISO: 250

So I hope I’ve inspired you to pick up your camera and feel the landscape no matter what time of day it is 🙂  I’m always looking for new places to photograph.  If you have any to share let me know below.



continuous lighting tips


By | Lighting | No Comments

Time to be Creative – Understand Continuous Lighting

Today we’re talking about continuous lighting.

When a member of our program asks me questions to help them with a goal, I make videos for them or we have a workshop.  When asked to talk about continuous lighting, it was time for a workshop.  This video is a condensed version of the workshop topics and it’s packed with goodness.  So play and be creative after you check out these tips.

Hi! If this is your first time here…. I’m Janice Sullivan from Sullivan J Photography… where we work to help macro and landscape photographers with their goals and to move them forward in their photography journey.

Don’t have enough light to make the pictures you want or you just want to push your creativity?  If you said yes, then it’s time to play with continuous lighting…

Let’s dive into the tips:

  • Light has different colors, so pay attention to that.
  • The closer you get to your subject, the fewer shadows you’ll have.
  • The farther away the light is, the more shadows you’ll have on and around your subject.
  • Sidelight shares more dimensions.
  • Front light softens the subject.
  • Be careful with Chromatic aboration.
  • Adding two lights can be a lot of fun, so go for it!

There are a couple more tips in the video.  Always feel free to share you work with me in the comment section.  Set some time and play with continuous lighting.  You’ll open up a creative process that’s worth the challenge.


Janice Sullivan

3 holiday light ideas

3 Ways to Have Fun with Holiday Lighting

By | Inspiration, Lighting, Photographing | No Comments

3 Fun Holiday Light Photographing Ideas

Holiday lights can be absolutely beautiful! This means I want to give you a challenge during this busy time because it’s worth it!

Play with these 3 fun holiday lighting techniques. It’s about being creative and pushing your limits- I want you to remember that if you get frustrated, just put the camera down for a bit and then try again in a few minutes… the key is to not give up!  Check out the video below to help you and if you have questions just ask.

1. Circles of confusion – Bokeh

Keep a distance between your lights/sparkles and your subject that is in focus. You’ll need to make sure the light is out of focus… that’s what makes the circle of confusion (bokeh).

Use a low aperture number, for example under 5.6 works better than f11. If you need more light for better exposure, change your ISO and/or shutter speed.

christmas ribbon with bokeh

f2.0 @ 1sec ISO 200

2. Star lighting

You’ll need to make your f-stop number at least f16, but I like f22. If you need more light for better exposure, bump up your ISO to get a faster shutter speed so you don’t blur your light. You may need a tripod depending on your lighting conditions.

3. Motion Blur

Have some fun making abstracts with slow shutter speed, start at 2 seconds. The image below was 2.5 seconds and it was a dark area. Change your f-stop to make a good exposure and leave your ISO at 100, but you may need to add a neutral density filter to let less light into your camera.

f22 @ 2.5 sec ISO100

f22 @ 2.5 sec ISO100

f22 @ 2.5 sec ISO100

Bonus Tip

Shoot Bokeh without a subject in the frame for post-processing fun later.

f2.8 @ 1/30


Have any ideas for us?  Let us know in the comment section.


Janice & Ashley

fix dark backgrounds

Reduce Dark Background From Flash

By | Lighting, Macro & Close-up | 6 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

Reptiles and Amphibians Contest

By | Lighting | No Comments

I’m so honored to be a judge on! It’s an amazing place to get inspired. I’m judging the Reptiles and Amphibians Contest. Our pet leopard gecko would be so jealous if she knew all the cool images of other critters I’ve been viewing. 🙂 I plan to share the other contest I’m judging next week, so stay tuned for that.

I wanted to tell you another fun aspect of this site. You can win cool goodies…and you all know I LOVE goodies. Well, if you’re new to my blog then you know now. There are thousands of people around the world on this site, so if you’ve got photo burn-out…make Viewbug one of your go-to sites to light a creative fire.



So click here to check out the photo contest and then scan around. I know you’ll find an interest somewhere on



Here is my latest unboxing. I have to admit I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable in front of the camera. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone for sure.  I’ve alway liked to be behind the camera instead of in front of it. What makes this easier for me is talking about what I love; photography, it’s equipment and tools. I next want to share my macro tips and techniques since this is my true passion. But I need more practice in front of the camera for sure.


Unboxing a Flash Zebra Shutter Release Cable for Pocket Wizards



I haven’t shared some awesome sales or fun goodies I’ve found out there in a while, so here you go…


The Pre-Order for Aurora HDR 2017 includes over $300 in bonuses, find out more here!  It’s an amazing program. Yep, I have it and love it!  You can also check out their blog here for even more info.



Click on the twitter to tweet the awesome contest!

Tweet: Join the fun and submit to Reptiles and Amphibians #Contest and win a camera!
Of course I’d love to chat, if you’re up to it…write a comment or just say hi!


Janice Sullivan


Latest 4 Unboxings / Reveals

By | Equipment & Tools, Lenses, Lighting, Tablet, Tripods | No Comments

I really love getting goodies in the mail. It feels like Christmas, but better because it’s all about photography and my video tools. Here are my four latest unboxings and reveals. I hope you see some products that you want to purchase. If you’re interested, please sign up for my channel and you’ll get the reveals sooner.

Please check out Youtube to see links to the products and other goodies I have to say about them.

I’m working on a couple more, so stay tuned. 🙂

Janice Sullivan

Unboxing Products and Equipment

By | Equipment & Tools, Lighting, Tripods | No Comments

I’ve been having so much fun unboxing new products and equipment that I want to play with. I love to play with new tools and I have decided that when I receive a new product, I will make an unboxing video. Once I have played with my goodies for a while, I plan to write about them to help you decide if they are good purchases for you. So far for 2016, I’ve done two unboxings.

My first unboxing was this Gorillapod.  I’m still playing with it, but once I have a good grasp of what I like and what I don’t like, I’ll let you know.

The most recent unboxing was this 12″ reflector. I have a feeling that I’m really going to love this for my macro work, but I’ll let you know soon.


Want more videos on equipment? Stopover and check out our channel on youtube and follow our Channel to receive the latest unboxings and other fun photography tips.


Janice Sullivan

Photo Light Painting

By | Lighting | No Comments

Today I would like to inspire you to take your favorite subject and photograph it with painted light. Basically, make sure your subject is in the dark…the darker the better.  Then take an appropriate light source, for example, all I needed for my orchids was a flashlight. And manually add the light to your subject.

orchids, light painting

Orchids painted with light.

If you’re out working on a landscape I suggest a more powerful light source.  A tripod is highly recommended and to focus on your subject manually prior to shooting in the dark.  You’ll have to play with your exposure so pay attention to your histogram.

light painting, joshua tree national park

Light painting during the Blue hour. Joshua Tree National Park.

What’s fun about this style of photographing is that you create the mood manually. I think this is such a beautiful way to light subjects.  I used black velvet behind these flowers but if you don’t have velvet just put your subject in the middle of the room and black out the area.

If any of you have great tips share them below.

Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

© 2019 Sullivan J Photography, LLC. All Rights Reserved