Image of Death Valley National Park Sand Dunes

Death Valley National Park Sand Dunes

Sunset in Death Valley National Park Sand Dunes

As much as I love this shot I can’t help but remind myself of a very significant photo-life lesson I learned that day:  see a sunset – bring a tripod.

Some mistakes you only make once (I hope this is one of them).





Iris flower image

Iris Flower

How to take a picture of an iris flower (or any flower)

Seemingly a monster, it  might look  like one up close,  an iris is a contradiction in many ways. I chose to see  beauty in this flower, but most definitely an edgy one.

So, to accomplish my vision, I went against the most common advice in flower photography, as one of the first words you would normally read is “defuse.”  In this case I say: CONTRAST; every shot is lit from underneath and against a dark background.
My vision, my rules.  Final result: a beautiful iris flower with attitude.

Beautiful Iris Flower Collage

Camouflaged Building, Budapest

Camouflaged Building

Budapest, Hungary: Camouflaged Building

I came across this cleverly camouflaged building on the trip to Budapest back in 2011.  Major restoration work was taking place behind the wall and I found the finishing touches delightfully entertaining.

Of course I used Exposure 5:  600-Yellowed from the Polaroid panel at 60 % opacity.


Kodak Ektachrome 100G Simulation

Exposure 5:   Kodak Ektachrome 100G Simulation

Today, I unintentionally told a lie: the words “no, this is pretty much out of the camera” left my lips and it was not until hours later that I realized that I was talking about a very different image then the one I was asked about. It was the puzzled look that I could not quite place and then it hit me as I set down to work on this image. Whoops.. .

I love to process just as much as I enjoy shooting and today I found a new favorite filter for a sunset scene: Kodak Ektachrome 100G simulation  filter which is part of the Exposure 5 package. Slightly modified to remove noise as the original had an ample amount due to 1600 ISO, it’s an instant preset. I kept wondering why this was “the one” and after a little poking around, I learned that this was the one used by National Geographic for years in low light situations.

Familiarity…. film nostalgia satisfied once again.


Smoky Water Effect

Creating Smoky Water Effect

Alas, so little time for fun! I did manage to get to some images from our Pismo Beach trip this year and quite a bit of fun working on this one.

Creating smoky water effect takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice; sure, I’ve gotten lucky sometimes and got a beautiful shot withMotion Blur, Ocean Waves

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Developing Your Photography Style

Making a Statement, Developing your Style

Developing a style is probably the hardest thing to achieve in any form of art; there are always expectations, comparisons and endless criticism. Self imposed more than anything and constantly wanting  more.

I say: use it.  Push yourself, do more, do better and settle only if you’re happy;  let others judge your work but listen and if you disagree strongly, do it anyway!

I settle for reaction; love it or hate it.

Viktorya by Milieux Photography

Improve your portrait photography

Improve your portrait photography with self-assigned projects

Envision it, execute it, own it, learn from it

senior portrait photography session

I  greatly enjoy the inexhaustible learning opportunities that photography represents. I also believe  in the practice makes perfect theory when it comes to photography.  This makes for a very simple formula which I have been following  using these simple steps:

1. Learn from the best

2. Practice what you’ve learned

3. Do it again

4. Do it better, don’t move on until you can do it with your eyes closed (well, maybe just one eye so that you can see through the viewfinder)

Getting better at portrait photography can be as easy as planning a fun-filled self-assignment project.  This is the time when you can do whatever you like and experiment as much as you want. NO PRESSURE.  How else can it be done? Practicing or experimenting on a client is really not a good idea.  The only thing is not to forget all the crucial steps and plan the shoot as if it were for a real client, otherwise there’s no point.  Envision the project, plan it, sketch it and prepare for it.  Afterwards, analyse your work, learn from your mistakes, learn from your successes  and do it again.






Become a Better Artist

Artist Up!  Become a Better Artist.

The first e-mail I read in 2014 included a newsletter from a friend who is a wonderful writer/instructor/mentor.  This one piece is universally applicable to all artists, photographers included. I found it immensely inspirational and just had to share it (and keep it here as a reminder to myself for the future).

Slightly shortened, the parts applicable to writers only are simply dots and the rest is useful to any artist.  Full article can be found in the December 2013 Newsletter. It’s about doing your best and then doing better. But I’m not a writer so I’ll hand things over to D.J .Adamson.

Redoing, Rethinking…

The Process of Art.

Many artists hate to have their work critiqued. That goes for the professional as well as the student. Yet, the point of criticism is to find out how your work is being perceived. Here are a few points to keep in mind when getting the criticism:

Listen, don’t defend. Despite what you are hearing, don’t interrupt, make ex-cuses or try to explain how they didn’t get it.

Don’t start blubbering like a baby. Artist up.

Don’t expect a standing ovation.

If the criticism is making you angry, then it is probably something you already knew but didn’t what to hear.

Begin making a list of repeated criticism …. These are your weak points.

Once you are by yourself, scream, rant, rave, and swear at all the comments you received, then do it again.

By D.J. Adamson


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