How to Photograph the Total Solar Eclipse on 8/21/17

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: A Guide to Viewing and Photographing it — Hudson Henry Photography

Here's a great video with tips and tricks to view the August 21st, 2017 total solar eclipse. The sun will cross the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. This rare event is a great opportunity for photographers – both amateur and professional.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in the U.S. was in 1979 in the Pacific Northwest. Here is ABC News coverage from that day with an amazing view from Helena, Montana.

In the video at the top of this post, Hudson Henry explains why the August 21st, 2017 total solar eclipse is special, shares some online maps and electronic scouting tools to help you plan where and how to photograph it, covers what gear you will need to get the best eclipse photos possible and reviews camera settings and technical strategies to capture those images.

When the eclipse reaches totality, you can view it with your naked eyes and stars will be visible. However, during the partial phase leading up to and following totality, you need to protect your eyes and your camera’s sensor. Be sure to view the eclipse using “Live View” on your camera instead of looking directly through the lens using your viewfinder.

WARNING! There is a high risk of PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE when watching the solar eclipse. Learn more at 10:44 of this video: CBC Special: Solar Eclipse Over Winnipeg.

Have fun in your quest to capture some images of a lifetime!

Here are some links to the tools and products recommended in Hudson Henry's video.

– Interactive Google map of the eclipse

– The Photographer’s Ephemeris

– Sun Surveyor for Android & iOS

– Eclipse glasses to protect your eyes *

– 16-Stop ND filter to protect your sensor

00:38 – Specifics about the 8/21/17 total solar eclipse and the difference between a total and partial eclipse

02:18 – Where the eclipse will be visible in the U.S. and how to use the Interactive Google Map

04:03 – Make hotel and flight reservations to viewing locations ASAP!

06:34 – How to capture the eclipse in different settings (urban, buildings, landscape, mountains, trees)

09:02 – Software to scout your ideal location and time of day to capture the eclipse (The Photographer's Ephemeris)

10:57 – Sun Surveyor App for smartphones – Great for planning a shot that includes the sun, moon, or Milky Way

13:51 – Capturing photos with “sun stars” (Although it is not covered in this video, you can easily add cross star or star effects on any photo with just a couple mouse clicks! SAVE 15% off Topaz Labs Star Effects or any of their other Topaz Labs software using code “15topaz” at checkout: http://spectralight.com/TopazSoftware. Scroll down that page to see all the software titles available.)

14:54 – Fluid head tripods for stills and video

16:05 – Recommended Cameras (Nikon D810 or Sony A7)

17:30 – Recommended lenses to photograph the eclipse (Tokina 11-20 mm f/2.8, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, Canon 24-70 f/2.8, Zeiss prime lenses or Voigtlander prime lenses)

18:57 – How to photograph the eclipse

19:27 – How to protect your eyes with eclipse viewing glasses (Get eclipse glasses here *)

20:12 – How to protect your camera's sensor (Hoya neutral density filters)

23:03 – How to set your camera's meter for best results

26:50 – ON1 software and forum to learn other photographic techniques

27:41 – Rent photo equipment at BorrowLenses.com

* The link to the eclipse glasses on Amazon may include glasses from non-certified vendors. This article details the features your glasses should have to prevent blindness from looking directly at the sun.

Will YOU be watching, photographing or videotaping the solar eclipse? Please share your thoughts, questions or experiences below. If you post any photos or videos online, feel free to share a link to them!

NOTE: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, you'll help support this blog at no cost to you – allowing us to continue sharing information like this for your education and enjoyment. Win/Win! Thanks!

Great Photo Opportunities at the 2015 Cleveland National Air Show

Photo of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the Cleveland National Air Show was modified in Photoshop to make the jets "pop" against the sky.

Photo of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the Cleveland National Air Show was modified in Photoshop to make the jets “pop” against the sky. (Photo by Mark Madere | SpectraLight.com)

It's been a long time since I've attended the Cleveland National Air Show – going back to the days of shooting film. With my digital photo and video cameras in hand – I just couldn't resist the opportunity to go this year!

I kept my photo count down to around 350 shots – unlike the guy next to me who was there all three days – shooting several thousand pics with a variety of extreme telephoto and zoom lenses. And he said he was just shooting for himself!

I captured some nice shots of a few of the stunt aircraft but the high flying Thunderbirds were my main focus as seen here.

Now the real work begins. Editing the video and photos will take some time. I'm just glad I kept the number of photos I took to a “reasonable” number!

Did you attend the air show? What part of the show did you like best? Please comment, share and like this post!

During the 2015 Cleveland National Air Show - the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the William G. Mather steamship docked at the Great Lakes Science Center.

During the 2015 Cleveland National Air Show – the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew over the William G. Mather steamship docked at the Great Lakes Science Center. This image can be ordered as wall decor, a cell phone case, on a tote bag or T-shirt and more here. (Photo by Mark Madere | SpectraLight.com)

9/11 – Where were you when our nation came under siege?

Photo of Statue of Liberty in New York City taken November 23, 2001 - about 10 weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

September 11th marks the thirteen year anniversary of the terror attacks on our country. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives that day and our country lost it's innocence as well.

September 11, 2001 was a glorious fall day in Northeast Ohio. My oldest daughter, Jacqui, was home from school recovering from her wisdom teeth being extracted the day before. Around 9 a.m., my wife called telling me to turn on the TV to see coverage of a plane that had just crashed into the World Trade Center. As the minutes passed, another one hit the WTC, and then the Pentagon, and then Shanksville, PA. It was clear these were no accidents.

My daughter and I watched the coverage all day, wondering what was in store for the future. Could we expect major acts of terror every day? Fortunately, no. But unfortunately, our personal freedoms have come under assault.

Weeks prior to the attacks, my family had planned our first visit ever to New York City during the week of Thanksgiving. After 9/11, we debated whether it is was wise to go there with the possibility of more terrorism. We chose to go.

9/11 World Trade Center rubble in New York

9/11 World Trade Center rubble in New York still stood five stories high in November, 2011.

Our drive along I-80 through Pennsylvania to the “Big Apple” revealed our country's amazing patriotism. We saw the American flag proudly waving over several overpasses and displayed from the windows of countless cars. As we got closer to NYC, we stopped at gas stations and restauraunts where it seemed that everyone we spoke to lost a friend or relative in the World Trade Center collapse.

Probably the most breathtaking moment as we approached the city from several miles out was our first glimpse of the Empire State Building. I imagined what that skyline would have looked like if the Twin Towers still stood. It became difficult driving as my eyes misted over.

There were many other emotional moments as we toured New York. At Grand Central Terminal there was a large display of photos and memorabilia of loved ones lost during the attacks. There was the gut wrenching view of the rubble being cleared away from the Twin Towers – still standing five stories high and smoldering more than ten weeks after the buildings collapsed.

9/11 attack - seagull flies over New York Harbor

A seagull flies over New York Harbor with the skyline missing the World Trade Center Twin Towers.

Fortunately, there was one huge reminder of how great our country is. The Statue of Liberty standing proudly on Ellis Island was there to remind us that our country will always fight for our freedom. It was a wonderful way to conclude our journey.

So what memories do you have from the day the world changed forever? Please share them with a comment.

A commemorative photo remembering 9/11

Statue of Liberty in New York City after 9/11

Statue of Liberty in New York City after 9/11. See this artwork larger or order a limited edition commemorative print at http://mark-madere.artistwebsites.com/featured/we-shall-never-forget-9-11-mark-madere.html. (Note: the commemorative print does NOT have “SpectraLight.com/fineart” on it.)

“Cancel the trip – terrorists have attacked New York!” Those were the words I heard my wife utter over the telephone from work the morning of September 11, 2001.

There weren't any more attacks on the U.S. after that, so just 10 weeks later,  my wife, two young daughters and I spent Thanksgiving weekend in New York City. There was a somber mood cast over the city with the huge loss of life after the Twin Towers fell.

Through it all, the terrorists failed to take away our freedom. Seeing “Lady Liberty” keeping watch over New York Harbor gave us comfort and a sense of pride for our country. It is those feelings that inspired the creation of the above photo.

The image on the left is the low contrast, original image right out of the camera. The image on the right was created in just a couple mouse clicks with Topaz Adjust – a software program that I use to enhance most of my outdoor photos. The text “We Shall Never Forget – 9/11” was added with Adobe Premiere Elements.

Save 15% off Adjust or any of their other Topaz Labs software using code “15topaz” at checkout: http://spectralight.com/TopazSoftware. Scroll down that page to see all the software titles available.

NOTE: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, you'll help support this blog at no cost to you – allowing us to continue sharing information like this for your education and enjoyment. Win/Win! Thanks!

Avon Lake Public Library to host my AlumaGraph(TM) exhibit

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Artwork by North Ridgeville Photographer Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography

Artwork by North Ridgeville Photographer Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography

I've loaned 17 limited edition AlumaGraphsTM for exhibition at the library. The artwork includes a fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge taken from Alcatraz, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island appearing as if it were taken in a by-gone era and a unique rendering of a horseless buggy at Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls.

AlumaGraph(TM) Logo - photographs embedded on aluminum panels by Northeast Ohio photographer and North Ridgeville resident Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography. Madere does portraits in Cleveland and surrounding areas including Olmsted Falls, Westlake, Rocky River, Avon Lake and more.

AlumaGraphs(TM) are photographs that are embedded on aluminum panels by Northeast Ohio photographer and North Ridgeville resident Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography.

I discovered a unique way to “print” my art that sets it apart from all other medium. Instead of using traditional photographic paper, the images are rendered as AlumaGraphsTM – a proprietary process that transforms photographs into faux paintings and then melds them into aluminum. There’s nothing as captivating as a photo that shines on aluminum with a bright, clear, glossy base and brilliant color that pops.

I've always wanted to create stunning images of landscapes and unusual architecture. Unfortunately, I never did well in art class as a child. I knew what good composition was but just couldn't draw a stick figure to save my life! I then fell in love with photography and was finally able to capture amazing scenes with a camera where an artist brush failed me. Nevertheless, my images still looked like pictures. The digital process I now use has elevated my photographs to look like the paintings I wanted to create since I was a little boy.

Some of my work may be viewed at www.mark-madere.artistwebsites.com.

The library is at 32649 Electric Blvd in Avon Lake. The exhibit runs from March 1st – 31st , 2014

Local photographers to learn how to use video to promote their studios

Explode your business with YouTube videosTonight, I'll be teaching local professional photographers how to turn their client photo sessions into simple-to-create videos that will help their studios be found easily on YouTube and Google searches.

The presentation is titled, “Explode Your Business with Simple-to-Create Videos and Your Own FREE YouTube Channel.” It will be held at the North Olmsted Library at 7 p.m. for the Society of Northern Ohio Professional Photographers (SONOPP) monthly meeting.

Through a series of short demonstration videos, attendees will discover how to “grab” new clients with simple videos that will help their studio's website outrank their competition's in Google search results – all without having to appear on camera or buying expensive video equipment.

At the end of the evening, attendees will:

• Review great and not-so-good videos of Ohio portrait photographers so they will understand the key elements of successful, client-capturing videos (Here’s a sample video they’ll see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY30tAkpwaM)

• Discover how to make videos with impact from existing photos with cheap, easy-to-use video editing software to get their first videos online immediately

• Learn the importance of having a “video intro” to brand their videos for instant recognition by their prospects and clients (They’ll also see SONOPP’s new video intro.)

• Understand what an actual photography studio YouTube channel looks like so they’ll have a guide to create their own, free channel

• Discover how to create their very own YouTube channel to host their videos and make them available for prospective clients who search Google for businesses like theirs

• Get a list of inexpensive, must-have video equipment for creating live videos for minimal cost

• Hear about an online, step-by-step training course for creating videos that includes tons or marketing tricks that will get their videos watched AND convert their viewers into paying customers

• Discover an online course on how to easily create promotional videos with a smartphone

Why should SMART business owners attend this program? Because:

• Video drives engagement. Engagement increases revenue.
• Websites with video are more likely to be featured on the first page of Google's search results.
• Video adds credibility and is available 24/7.
• Video makes a website SIX times more likely to convert a visitor into a paying customer.
• Video is easily shared with other potential customers. It can be viewed on many devices.
• Video is memorable. With video, more content will be remembered and for a longer period of time than with text alone.
• Providing a link to a video within an email will increase response and drive more traffic to a website.
• A visitor will stay on a website featuring a video at least two minutes longer and is 64% more likely to purchase than a website without video.
• Video will enhance all other marketing efforts. Using video on a landing page will increase conversions.
• A professionally produced video outperforms user generated video by at least 30%.

Blown away by snow rollers

Snow rollers - a rare phenomena occurring once every couple years around the world hit parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio

Snow rollers – a rare phenomena occurring once every couple years around the world hit parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio recently. (Photo: Marianne Atkinson)

A rare phenomena occurring once every couple years around the world has hit parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio this week.

While driving along I-80 in western Pennsylvania on Monday, a huge cluster of what appeared to be rolls of toilet paper invaded the median of the highway. At first I thought they were stacks of snow covered hay. Later that day I discovered they were “snow rollers” and were so unusual that they became an online sensation on social media sites and regional TV stations.

Snow rollers are most common in mountainous or hilly terrain. Basically, strong winds pick up moist snow and blow it along the ground, eventually building a cylinder of snow, which is often hollow in the middle. When the snow roller grows too large for the wind to propel it farther, it stops.

Here are the optimal conditions for snow roller generation, according to the National Weather Service:

  • Existing icy or crusty snow cover, so additional snow will not stick to it
  • Additional wet, loose snow on top of the icy, crusty snow cover
  • Wind strong enough to scoop out balls of snow and propel snow roller forward
  • At least some slope to the ground

A quick search of the Internet found photos and video at WPXI Pittsburgh, PA, Newsnet5 in Cleveland, OH, and NBC4 Columbus, OH.

Snow rollers can be as large as barrels, as you can see in this photo from Du Bois, Pennsylvania captured by nature lover (and my sister) – Marianne Atkinson.

Needless to say, I wish I would have taken some of my own photos along I-80; but stopping for non-emergency reasons on interstates is illegal. In this case I'll just have to adopt a phrase used by Cleveland sports fans regarding their losing teams – “there's always next year.”

Have you ever seen a snow roller in person? Please share your experience with my readers!

Please share this article with you friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twiiter or via e-mail.

LinkedIn Unlocked – Missing links revealed to boost your job search success

Finding a job is HARD! There are so many different ways to search for one besides the classified ads in the newspaper. In fact, newspapers are quickly becoming the last place that most job seekers search. If you aren't using the Internet and networking with family, friends and former coworkers – your odds of finding a job are greatly diminished.

So how can you effectively combine networking and the Internet to land your next job? By having a complete, free business profile on LinkedIn.

Executives from all 2012 Fortune 500 companies have LinkedIn accounts and 50% of Fortune 100 companies hire through LinkedIn.

A personal, LinkedIn profile gives users an online, up-to-the-minute “living resume” – available online 24-7 to recruiters, hiring managers or prospective clients who may wish to do business with or hire you.

Not sure how to set-up a LinkedIn profile? On Monday, December 9th, from 1:30 – 3:30, I will be presenting a free workshop, LinkedIn UNLOCKED – The MISSING links revealed to help grow your business or land your next job. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to optimize your profile to rise to the top of recruiters’ searches for someone with your skills and discover numerous strategies to uncover individuals who could open the door to your next job. Here's a short preview of some of the info that I'll cover: http://youtu.be/3CiNR-r60m8

Only use a professionally created portrait on your LinkedIn profile. Self-portraits with a cell phone do not look professional – which gives a bad impression of you.

Only use a professionally created portrait on your LinkedIn profile.
Self-portraits with a cell phone do not look professional – which gives a bad impression of you.

One critical mistake that many job seekers make is not having a professionally created portrait on their LinkedIn profile. A professional portrait is key for a great first impression and strong credibility. Self-portraits with a cell phone do not look professional – which gives a bad impression of you.

Recruiters want to see what a potential candidate looks like. LinkedIn profiles with pictures are reviewed more than those without. A study by TheLadders online job search service discovered recruiters spend more time examining a LinkedIn user's portrait than reviewing their qualifications.

If a picture isn't on a profile, people tend to assume it's because the person is unattractive. (Miriam Salpeter at U.S. News & World Report) Your portrait should be updated every 2 – 3 years. If you want to be recognized at networking events by your LinkedIn connections, make sure your portrait is current!
The workshop will be at the Westlake Porter Public Library at 27333 Center Ridge Rd, Westlake, OH. Phone (440) 871-2600.
What questions would you like me to cover? Please click “Comment” to pose your questions.

Cute pet Halloween costumes make the best dog and cat photos

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Halloween is just around the corner and fans of the season are already shopping for unique costumes in stores and online. So why should humans have all the Halloween fun? Statistics from an October 2012 report by The National Retail Federation reveal an astounding 2.2 billion dollars was spent on costumes with 11.5% of trick-or-treaters dressing their pets.

Every year, people dress their pets in the craziest Halloween costumes! Dog and cat costumes let your pets tag along to dog-friendly Halloween parties, carnival events, and fairs where costumes, characters, and make believe are the prevailing theme.

There are plenty of super hero costumes for pets including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Let your cat be a show-stopper by dressing her in an Underdog costume. Have a Dachshund? Dress him in a cute “wiener dog” hotdog bun costume with your choice of catsup or mustard across your four-legged friend’s back.

What dog doesn’t want to channel his “inner-dinosaur” by becoming a raptor or triceratops? You gotta love the kitty dressed as a lion… roarrrrrrrrrrrrr! Have you seen the cat with a cloth saddle on her back being ridden by a mouse? Or the feline dressed like a pharaoh? Too funny.

For “crafty” people who like creating their own designs, there are sources on the Internet with loads of ideas. With a few materials and some imagination, you can make a “howling” good costume for your four-legged friend. Just keep safety first and make sure your pet isn't constrained in a way that prevents him from hearing, seeing or breathing.

Do you plan on dressing your pet for Halloween this year? What will they be wearing? Please share this article with your friends!

Check out some of the cute costumes this year's best dressed pets will be wearing in the related video! Shop for pet costumes at http://superproductreview.info/PetCostumes.

Discover 7 Secrets to Better Vacation Photography

Changing camera angles and take an ordinary pose and transform it to an extraordinary one.

Changing camera angles and take an ordinary pose and transform it to an extraordinary one. These photos are from the presentation: “7 Secrets to Better Vacation Photography”

I'm really excited to be asked to show how to take better vacation photos at the May 20th meeting of the North Ridgeville Arts Council. I will be presenting “Discover 7 Secrets to Better Vacation Photography.” The information can be used to improve vacation photography, pictures of friends and family, sporting events and more.

Topics to be covered include: how to choose a camera, creative composition from unusual camera angles, use of natural light and electronic flash, how to help people look their best, enhancing photos after they're taken, saving and preserving picture files to guard against loss from a computer crash, different ways to display photographs for maximum enjoyment and more.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

The meeting is on Monday, May 20th at 7 p.m. at North Ridgeville Library,35700 Bainbridge Rd, North Ridgeville.