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!

Amazing USB flash drive is a business card on steroids!

Here I am showing the front and back of my newest marketing product - a USB thumbdrive/business card that I can hand to or mail to my clients and prospects. It has gotten a lot of positive feedback from my recipients. In fact, a couple business owners have asked me to create one to better market THEIR products and services!

Here I am showing the front and back of my newest marketing product – a USB flash drive/business card.

Every so often, an amazing product grabs my attention that I just gotta have!

Recently, I was contacted by USB Memory Direct to try a sample of their USB flash drives. I've seen these at trade shows where exhibitors give them away with their logo and website imprinted on them. I always thought they were a pretty cool way of promoting a company.

When I visited the USB Memory Direct website, I was blown away by all the unique styles, shapes and colors they offered. I was even more impressed that companies like, Yelp, Sunoco, Kodak, Intel, Toyota and many other Fortune 500 companies were using them. Now I could finally join the “big boys” with my own custom flash drive!

USB Thumbdrive Business Card

I customized the front of my USB flash drive/business card with my own photo of Cleveland and my logo. The back of the card has additional space for a custom message.

I chose a business card style flash drive that gave me a TON of room on the front and back to encourage the recipient to plug it into their computer and watch our marketing videos and read a PDF listing the services we offer. I even include clickable links within the PDF that will automatically open any web browser to take the viewer to specific pages on my website for information about each service.

With this “business card,” I have a great way to grab the attention of a potential client at a networking event, Chamber of Commerce meeting, party, etc.

Oh, did I mention that the recipient can also use the card to save THEIR own digital files? With 8 GB of storage, there's still plenty of space to add their own documents and photos. Even if they delete my marketing videos and PDF, they still have my contact info on the front and back of the card! And you can bet anyone who sees my card will be curious about the unusual style flash drive with the scenic photo of Cleveland on it.

My flash drive/business cards have gotten a lot of positive feedback from my recipients. In fact, a couple business owners have asked me to create one to better market THEIR products and services!

I am so impressed with the quality and functionality of these flash drives that I asked to become a reseller for USB Memory Direct. You will pay the same price if you order through me and get the personal attention of a local representative who can also handle your special graphic design and marketing needs.

Want to discover how these USB flash drive/business cards can take your marketing to the next level? Contact me here.

 

CLEveland ROCKS! And we have the building to prove it

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, Ohio (Photo: Mark Madere | SpectraLight Photography)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio (Photo: Mark Madere | SpectraLight Photography)

Probably the most iconic building in Cleveland, Ohio is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As a photographer, I just love the distinct design created by world renowned architect, I. M. Pei. Almost every view of the building offers a unique view of Lake Erie or the downtown skyline.

See more views of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and order art prints here.

 

Lauren and Josh – Dancing with the Stars?

(NOTE: You can spin the video all around by clicking on it and moving your cursor in any direction.)

Lauren and Josh Allen decided to celebrate their one-year anniversary with portraits taken in their wedding attire at Huntington Beach… in DECEMBER! All I could say was BRRRRRRR!

Lauren was a SpectraLight Photography SpokesModel when she was in high school and took AMAZING photos. I was thrilled when she called and asked me to do something unique for their anniversary photos. We created poses that were inspired by the hit TV show, “Dancing With the Stars.” #DWTS

Fashion Photography from my Art Institute of Pittsburgh days

Lynn Agee was an amazing model during my college days at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Lynn Agee at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh – posing for a class photo assignment at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1978 or 1979.

The route to my degree in Specialized Technology – majoring in Photography/Multi-Media allowed me to explore the field of fashion photography while at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP).

Two main challenges were finding models on a budget (Hey, I was a student paying for most of my education!) and finding unique locations to impress the profs.

I was fortunate to have a roommate who had an attractive girlfriend who was willing to pose for some of my class assignments.

Lynn Agee was an Interior Design student at AIP without formal modeling experience. She also had a car (which I didn't) so we were able to scout out some pretty cool locations around Pittsburgh.

The location for this particular assignment was Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts – a performing arts center and concert hall located in the Cultural District in downtown Pittsburgh. After all these years, I can't recall how I was able to finagle time at this prestigious location!

Lynn chose her outfit, I lugged in some tungsten lights to match the illumination on Lynn with the color temperature of the lighting in the hall and the result were some stunning photos of a beautiful subject – both the model and the building.

Not only did I get an “A” for this assignment, but I grew to love the challenge of fashion photography created on-location – one of many experiences that continues to serve me well as a portrait photographer creating glamour photos, high school senior portraits and family portraits throughout the U.S. today.

Here are some videos of high school senior girls that show how my portrait style has evolved since Lynn's photo shoot.

High school senior SpokesModel photos created in the Cleveland area.

High school senior SpokesModel photos created in the Cleveland area.

Do you like this article? Please comment here and share on your favorite social media sites!

Low camera angles can add visual interest to portraits

Senior-Pictures-Cleveland-Ridgeville-Olmsted-Tori-Pishkula

Sometimes, you just gotta “take one for the team” to get an interesting portrait. Click the photo to see it bigger. (Photo of me lying on the ground by Colleen Pishkula)

Over the years, I've found some of the best portraits require climbing a ladder or laying on the floor or ground.

Olmsted Falls High School class of 2015 student, Tori Pishkula, her mom, Colleen, and I set out for a “photo safari” in The Flats near downtown Cleveland this summer to create something a little different for Tori's senior portraits.

When we came across this lift bridge, I fell in love with it's massive structure and metal girders criss-crossing at 90 degree angles. When I viewed Tori and the bridge at Tori's level, the size and “power” of the bridge just wasn't obvious. Laying on the ground and shooting up at Tori with the bridge rising up behind her solved the problem.

Notice that I positioned Tori slightly left of the center of the photo so as not to block the view of the entrance to the bridge. I also posed her close to the camera so she stands out beautifully against the background. Most amateur photographers would typically place the person at the entrance of the bridge where they become lost in the photo.

Do you have any photo-related questions that you would like to have answered? It can be about composition, exposure, Photoshop techniques, cameras… the sky's the limit! I will answer them here and sometimes create a video to give a better visual explanation.

Just post your questions in “Comments” under the title of this post.

Fireworks photos with a unique twist – these aren’t your mamma’s snapshots

 

Fourth of July fireworks get a new look with simple-to-use software that almost anyone can master in minutes! This photo was taken by North Ridgeville photographer, Mark Madere - a portrait and commercial photographer covering Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

Fourth of July fireworks get a new look with simple-to-use software that almost anyone can master in minutes! This photo was taken by North Ridgeville photographer, Mark Madere (owner of SpectraLight Photography) – a portrait and commercial photographer covering Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

For years I've been bored with photographing fireworks. Fighting the crowds to get a good spot, dealing with hot and humid July weather, bugs, crying children… the list goes on. I'd much rather stay home and chill-out with the Mrs. – UNTIL NOW!

I recently read an article by a photographer who captured some great fireworks photos. He gave the technical settings that he used for beautiful shots that were taken over a scenic lake. His photos inspired me to see if I could create images unlike any I've made before.

So I set out for the annual fireworks display in my town – North Ridgeville, Ohio. The weather was cool and comfortable for a July evening. I was able to stake out a spot by the lake where the fireworks would be launched. The bugs weren't annoying either (I think they preferred the taste of those around me.) And the crying children? It's amazing what ear plugs can mask out!

For 20+ minutes I shot photos with my Nikon D90 camera mounted to a tripod with exposures ranging from one to four seconds at f/11 at ISO 100. If you don't have a clue about the settings I just covered – have no fear! It seems that anyone can get decent photos with just about any camera – even with smart phones. If you already have photos you wish to add some excitement to – read on!

When I loaded the photos onto my computer – I was UNDERwhelmed by what I had captured. They looked similar to the old, boring photos I'd taken in the past.

I played with some Photoshop filters to see if I could add some pizazz to the images but nothing really excited me. I then opened a photo in an inexpensive software program (Star Effects by Topaz Labs) that I've used to spice up some photos from previous travels.  The two photos in this article were created with just a couple mouse clicks using Star Effects.

Topaz Labs is a company that has created several easy-to-use photo effects programs that can be used without even reading the instruction manual – well, at least after the initial install. It has a simple user interface that will have you creating photo masterpieces in minutes.

I found myself immersed for hours in the software as I created countless variations of each image.

To see how easy Star Effects is to use, I created this short video. Let me know what you think with a comment on this article.

SAVE 15% off 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.)

Have fun!

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!

How to make a fashion book with Blurb

Blurb is a cool company that lets you make books about anything that interests you. (View a sample of my Blurb-made book – Picturesque Olmsted Falls – http://bit.ly/olmsted-book) And if you’re interested in fashion and style—and love to show it off—making a book of your personal fashion is a fantastic way to capture your sartorial genius for all time. Whether you want it just for yourself, so you can look through your greatest hits, or you’re a bit of an Internet fashionista who wants to make a book to sell, you’ll find these tips pretty helpful:

1. It’s all about lighting. To make your fashion really pop, choose natural light or studio light with a soft box (you can even make one from a lamp and last season’s white t-shirt). If you’re using a flash, you’ll probably want to bounce it or stick a diffusion filter on it.

2. Make a shot list. This is a critical step, and even more important if you are photographing models. Even if your model is just your best friend who owes you a favor, they’ll appreciate it if you know exactly what you want to shoot. Think about the poses you want to capture, the outfits you want them to wear, and the details that you want to highlight in every shot. 

3. White balance (WB). Accurate color and skin tones come from making sure the WB function on your camera is set to your lighting situation. (You can check the color looks right on the camera's screen to see if it looks right.) Not sure hoe to adjust the white balance? It will be covered in your camera's manual. You do still have it, don't you? 😉

Be sure the camera's white balance is set to the correct lighting you're shooting under to ensure the models's skin color looks natural.

Be sure the camera's white balance is set to the correct lighting you're shooting under to ensure the models's skin color looks natural.

4. Choose the right lens/zoom setting. If you’re using a wide angle, you’re going to distort your models face and body (and your model may never forgive you). If you have a camera with a zoom lens, zoom out to minimize distortion. You will then have to move farther away from the model to get their whole body in for those full length shots.

5. Keep it stylish. It’s a fashion shoot, after all. Play music, keep things moving, try new angles. Attitude, attitude, attitude. 

Try unusual angles. Shoot down from a ladder or lay on the floor and shoot up to make the subject look taller.

6. Dress it up. Make your book as fashionable as the clothing featured in it. Choose a simple design that doesn't upstage the clothing, but still looks chic. Pick a size and paper type that showcases the work brilliantly.

If you've ever paid attention to what’s on the “catwalk,” you know that fashion means different things to different people. Follow your own fashion obsessions and document them in a fashionable book. If you look good today in person, imagine looking great forever on the printed page with Blurb! Start your Blurb book now and Save 25% on print book orders of $75+ at Blurb.

If you want the best model portraits possible, that's where we can help. Check out some of our model shoots here.

Amazing Green Screen trick – place people anywhere in the world without leaving the studio

Green Screen technique lets photographers place their subject anywhere they choose without having to leave the studio!

Green Screen technique lets photographers place their subject anywhere they choose without having to leave the studio!

 

$$ Go Green! $$ – A Green Screen Presentation by Bill Morley of Bill Morley Photography based in Independence, Ohio.

The program will cover:

● How to incorporate green screen into engagement sessions, senior sessions, families and kids – in rain or shine!

● Event photography: offer green screen as an alternative to cheesy photo booths 

● Where to get free backgrounds on the internet and with your own camera

● Foolproof lighting techniques: blend your subjects seamlessly into exciting backgrounds!

● Comparisons of green screen software

● And much more! 

See how your studio can have fun and save money!

Join us for this fun and informative program that will change the way you look at green screen!

This program is offered by the Society of Northern Ohio Professional Photographers on Tuesday, March 25th at the North Olmsted Public Library at 7 p.m.

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.