Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Issues and things related to photography, including ethics, technicals, anecdotes, etc.

7 Reasons Not To Use Numbered Lists in Your Blog Post Titles

Sunday, April 5th, 2015
The northern lights soar above the mountains in arctic Alaska.

The northern lights soar above the mountains in arctic Alaska.

7 Reasons Not To Use Numbered Lists in Your Blog Post Titles

1) Numbered lists are overdone. 2003 is long, long gone.

2) Write something worthwhile reading, then you don’t need to use stupid click-bait headings to draw an audience.

3) The world has enough spam already. (more…)

Top 13 Secret Reasons You Didn’t Know the 5 Myths that the 3 Top Pros Won’t Tell You The 7 Unkown Locations Why You Need to Click on This LINK to Read More

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Aurora borealis photo, over Fireweed Mountain, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Aurora borealis photo, over Fireweed Mountain, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Hey Folks,

It’s true. This post is the key to your success. This article is THE factor that will drive you to become the most popular, most retweeted, most faved, liked, mentioned and copied Photographer of All Time In The World Ever (and we all know how well those retweets and likes will pay your mortgage).

We’ll start here (more…)

The Maidens – Arrigetch Peaks

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
A black and white imagoes the Maidens, jagged granite peaks in the Arrigetch Peaks of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A black and white imagoes the Maidens, jagged granite peaks in the Arrigetch Peaks of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image from the Arrigetch Peaks, in Alaska’s far north, the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. It’s quite a hike up to the area, but the area is a stunning locale for photography. And climbing. It may well be one of the most popular climbing areas in the state not road-accessible.

The main hiking in Arrigetch Peaks consists of 3 drainages in the upper alpine area, The Maidens, Aquarius, and the Arrigetch Creek drainage, home to peaks with cool quirky names, like Ariel, Xanadu and Caliban.

This one I converted to black and white. I liked the play of shadow and light on the mountains.

Black and white photography is, generally, a more challenging genre I feel, and one I wish I were better at. It’s fun playing with tones and contrast on the computer sometimes, though I admit photoshopping is not one of my favorite pastimes. But with black and white images, the creative element seems a little more playful to me than it does with color photography.

I hope to get back up to Arrigetch Peaks this coming summer and spend some more time here. Fascinating place. Anyone wanna come?

Cheers

Carl

Editing some old images – what to keep, what to toss

Monday, February 10th, 2014
A young male brown bear walks up a salmon stream fishing for Sockeye salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A young male brown bear walks up a salmon stream fishing for Sockeye salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

So far this winter, I’ve spent a good bit of time editing old images from my hard drives. Mostly, cleaning up the hard drives and deleting images I don’t wish to keep. I’m trying to be a little lot more ruthless in my editing lately, and really have been cleaning up the storage space. I cleaned out over 50GB of space last week, and I’m still only a fraction of the way into that 1TB drive. I’ll probably cut it in half by the time I’m through.

It’s difficult to know exactly what to keep and what to drop some times.

Here’s a brown bear image I recently had a sale inquiry about, of a brown bear from Katmai National Park and Preserve. A beautiful bear, don’t you agree?

So when this bear came walking up the river towards our group, I shot a number of images. 22, in fact. Mostly, poorly frame photos where a branch disturbs the background, or the bears ears are back or he’s looking out of the frame or some such things that distract from the image. Maybe 3 or 4 are keepers from the sequence. I’ve processed and uploaded 2 to the website; here’s the other photo I uploaded to the site. The rest of the sequence really aren’t images I’m likely to sell. (more…)

Facebook Page Metrics

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Metrics from a post on Facebook

Performance metric data from a post on Facebook.

Hey Folks

I’m sure any of the photographers out there who might chance upon reading this post have themselves what is called a “Facebook Page”. For those non-photography folks who use The Face simply for personal use, a ‘page’ is akin to your profile, but it’s designed for a business, or an artist, etc. Businesses are not allowed to have a profile, but must have created a ‘page’ if they wish to have a Facebook presence. My Facebook pages are here and here, if you’re interested, one for my photography (Skolai Images) and one for my guiding business, Expeditions Alaska.

Pages, over profiles, have the nice benefit of what they call “insights”, where the calculators at Facebook show you how well you’re doing with your Facebook marketing, branding, promotion, engagement, and so on. They have information available like how many visits your page has, how much “engagement” is has had, and even (kinda) where some of that traffic has come from. This data are called Performance Metrics. (more…)

Alaska Polar Bear Video

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Hey Folks,

I thought I’d share this video on my site here. I wrote the tune, a number of years ago, and recorded it with some friends in Atlanta, GA, when I lived there. Great musicians all of them, and it was a treat to record with them. I played the guitar parts.

The video and stills I shot in 2013 on my Alaska Polar Bear Photo Tour in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. One or 2 of the clips were shot by clients on the trip, and thanks go to Sue P and Munir K for their permission to use their clips. See my collection of stock polar bear photos here.

Cheers

Carl

What’s a blog

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
An aerial photo from the St. Elias Mountain Range, converted to B&W in photoshop. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

An aerial photo from the St. Elias Mountain Range, converted to B&W in photoshop. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Someone asked me recently, “What’s a blog?” And after  I got over the initial shock and wonder, repeatedly asking myself “is he (yes, he) for real?”, I tried my best to answer.

Seriously, what IS a blog? I guess it’s a journal or diary. Or a news outlet. Or a discussion forum. Or about a million other things.

Technically, the root of the term comes from the longer word “weblog”, meaning a log, on the web. Log like a record of some kind.

But what IS it? For me, it’s a double edged sword; a chore and a hobby. It’s work, sometimes, and sometimes it’s great fun. And sometimes it’s a pain in the a&&; especially when I have nothing of interest to write about, or when my blogging platform, wordpress, causes me no end of headaches and pain and grief as I try to solve some problem I’m having with the site. A site without a dynamic component, like wordpress, can be MUCH easier to handle than a blogging platform. If you folks out there had any idea how much of my life has been wasted as I’ve sat and stared at a screen wondering ‘now why the hell doesn’t it work’, you’d send money. Or drugs. Or money and drugs. Or, well, something. It’s ridiculous.

But I digress. Which is fine, of course, because it’s a blog, and it’s my blog, and I’m allowed to digress. (more…)

Wildlife Photography

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Hey Folks,

Huge congratulations to all those who did so well in the recent BBC and Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Overall winner Greg du Toit has a remarkable image in “Essence of Elephants”. The winners of all the various categories should be proud of some fantastic photography.

I saw an interview with Paul Souders, winner of the “Animals in their Environment” category on BBC here. Congrats to Paul for an incredible image, and a great job in the interview. Paul deserves huge kudos for getting out their, on his own, and doing the work. He doesn’t simply trek off to a well known and much favored hot spot and follow the hordes with their long lenses to do his photography. Sure, Churchill is one of the great polar bear photography meccas, but no tundra buggy and over-sized group for his trip. Just himself, his boat and hours upon hours of exploration trying to find a subject; it’s worth noting Paul spent over a week on his trip and saw only 2 polar bears, after spending 12-14 hours riding up to 30 miles a day on the ocean; the first of the 2 promptly raced off never to be seen again.

This should be inspirational to so many of us who do this work. We don’t need a dozen bears in the vicinity, and we don’t need to follow the footsteps of the masses and we don’t need to shoot gigabytes of images to make a great image. We need to be creative, diligent and persistent. And, of course, having your own boat doesn’t hurt either!

Congrats all.

Cheers

Carl

What The Hell Is Google Thinking – Google Images

Monday, February 4th, 2013
A screenshot of how google images displays photos, hotlinking the original file, with a "Save Image" option.

A screenshot of how google images displays photos, hotlinking the original file, with a “Save Image” option.

Hey folks,

*Update, Nov 13, 2013 – there is now a formal antitrust complaint registered by CEPIC, the Center of the Picture Industry, thousands of photographers and picture agencies, against Google on this matter. See here.

So, by now a number of people around the web have commented on the new Google Images display; some even talking about how nice and clean the interface looks. What I haven’t seen is anyone discuss how the Google Mobile App now works.

At left is a screenshot from my iPad of how Google Images, using the google app, displays photos on mobile devices. Underneath the image is a tiny thumbnail showing where they’ve extracted this photo from (and where the source file is hosted – in this case, my website).

When the visitor clicks “Options”, under the file, the 3 options are
“Save Image”, “Similar Images” and “View Web Page”. That’s right, the very first option is “Save Image” – Google grant you the option to save the full size jpeg right from my website, without you ever having to actually visit my website.

This is a pretty ballsy move, I must say. There’s been quite a bit of chatter around the ole interwebs about the new google images, on various web masters forums and so on, as well as some of the social media. Twitter, Google plus, etc. See Official Google Rollout, or Webmasters World. Safe to say, a lotta people are peeved. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this (that I’ve seen, anyway). (more…)

Night Time Photography – the Test Shot

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Mt. Sanford, Mt. Drum, the Copper River and the Night Sky.

Mt. Sanford, Mt. Drum, the Copper River and the Night Sky. The moon rise to my left threw a nice soft light on the fog over the Copper River Basin. Click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

With a host of people heading north this winter/spring to photograph the aurora, I thought it might be of some interest to talk a little about the process of shooting photography at night; I know a lot of people have little experience with that, and it really can be a challenge at times. Particularly on a cold frozen night in Alaska when the northern lights start going crazy overhead.

So, the first thing I’d suggest, if you haven’t already, is read over my 3 part article on shooting the northern lights. There’s a downloadable PDF at the end of that article you can keep for future reference.

So, now that you’re prepared, consider the moment. It’s dark. It’s cold, maybe minus 20 degrees F; cold enough that your hands start to really feel it after a few minutes. It’s dark. You have a headlamp on, and that gives you a little bit of vision out to maybe 30-50 yards or so. After that, you can’t see too much at all. The aurora starts to fire up, and you want to shoot it.

You can’t see your foreground and composition. Its dark. You don’t even know if the foreground is worth shooting. It’s dark. You can’t walk around all over and use your headlamp to see, because (a) there isn’t time, (b) there are other people trying to shoot, (c) you don’t want to track up all the snow by stomping around in it. So setup your test shots. This is probably the most important part of the process. Set up and do your test shots. (more…)