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)

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.

Secrets to saving flood damaged photos

water damaged photo

This photo was severely damaged in a flood and then later recovered with digital photo restoration

With the recent flooding in Northeast Ohio and possibly more high water on the way, I decided to put together several tips to save water-damaged, heirloom photos.

When floods and fires hit, most people don't grieve losing a stove or couch. It’s the loss of valued family photos, scrapbooks and memorabilia that makes them cry. Living in North Ridgeville and seeing how hard the residents were hit was a real “eye-opener.” It motivated me to do some research and put together a guide to help flood victims save their photos.

When facing piles of soggy, mud-spattered photos and other valuables – saving them may be possible by using some of following tips.

  1. Carefully lift the photos from the mud or dirty water. Remove photos from soaked albums and separate any that are stuck together. Be careful not to rub or touch the wet photo surface.
  2. Gently rinse both sides of the photo in a sink filled with clear, cold water. Again, don't wipe the photos and be sure to change the water often.
  3. If you have time and space, immediately lay each wet photo – picture side up – on clean blotting paper like a paper towel. Don't use newspapers or printed paper towels because the ink may transfer to your wet photos. Change the blotting paper every hour or two until the photos dry. It is best to dry the photos indoors if possible because wind and sun will cause photos to curl more quickly.

For more tips on saving flood-damaged photos, download our free guide found at: http://spectralight.com/copyrest

Do you have a personal experience with photos damaged by flood water? Please click “comment” and share it here.

Dick Goddard summons 80th birthday snow storm

A new conspiracy theory spreading throughout Northeast Ohio is that Cleveland's legendary meteorologist Dick Goddard used his “mystical powers” to summon the huge snow storm that has buried the area.

Thursday marked Goddard's 80th birthday so rumor has it that he wanted it to be remembered for the blizzard that hit the area late last night and extending through this morning.

Happy birthday Dick – and thank you for all you do for the animals!

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The photo of Dick Goddard in the snow was created by placing his portrait (bottom left) over the photo of the snow gnome (bottom right). I then erased part of his portrait so that it just covered the snow gnome’s face. All this was done in Adobe Photoshop but can be achieved in many other less expensive photo editing programs.

Mark to speak about the miracles of photo restoration at North Ridgeville Arts Council

Before-and-after photos show how badly damaged pictures can be restored to their original glory.

The North Ridgeville Arts Council invites the community to a special presentation: “Photo Restoration – The Art and Science of Resurrecting Damaged and Faded Photographs.” It will be presented by Mark Madere – a professional photographer based in North Ridgeville. He has owned SpectraLight Photography & Design since 1986.

The presentation will cover what causes damage and fading to photographs and how to avoid it. There are several before-and-after photos showing how pictures that were once unsalvageable using old restoration techniques can now be restored to their original glory with “digital magic.”

The meeting is on Monday, Feb. 21st at 7 p.m. at North Ridgeville Library, 35700 Bainbridge Rd, North Ridgeville. For additional information, contact Betty Lou Palmer at bettylou.palmer@gmail.com or call 440-327-9751

Whale of a photo – is it real or a Photoshop fake?

Mayor David Gillock of North Ridgeville

By now, you've seen the photo of the 33-foot, 40-ton whale that crash-landed on a sailboat off Cape Town. When I first saw it, I immediately thought something was “fishy” with the picture. I've seen photos of huge fish hanging on ordinary fishing poles that were created by combining two different photos in Adobe Premiere Elements or Adobe Photoshop. Apparently the recent whale photo is the real deal!

To show how two different photos can be merged together to create the unexpected, I took a photo of a golfer (David Gillock – Mayor of North Ridgeville, Ohio) and combined it with a squirrel photo. The image seen here was used on a calendar for the North Ridgeville Rotary Club.

A couple other photos for the calendar were created in a similar fashion. Check them out at http://bit.ly/b8Wgid

If you have a photography related question, please post it under “Comments.”

Something fishy in Capetown?

Dr. Casey O'Conor

When I first saw the photo of the 33-foot, 40-ton whale that crash-landed on a sailboat off Cape Town, I thought the picture was a fake.

For years photos similar to this have been created by combining two different pictures in Adobe Premiere Elements or Adobe Photoshop. Apparently the whale photo was not done this way but is an actual, unmanipulated image. I can't imagine what a shock that would have been to see that huge creature landing in my boat!

To show how two different photos can be merged together to create the unexpected, I took a photo of a dentist (Dr. Casey O'Conor of North Ridgeville, Ohio) and combined it with a photo of model teeth. The image seen here was used on a calendar for the North Ridgeville Rotary Club.

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Make your photos shine with gorgeous color enhancement

Pacific Ocean along California Highway 1

Sometimes the beautiful color you see with your eyes doesn't appear that way in your photographs. Why settle for dull, boring photos when you can make your photos shine with gorgeous color enhancement?

Most people take photos with their camera set on “automatic.” While that setting does an okay job at capturing a picture, it “averages” out the light and dark areas of a scene – often creating low contrast images.

To bring back the color you saw when you took the photo, use a software program like Adobe Photoshop – a program that costs about $700. A more affordable alternative to Photoshop is Adobe Premiere Elements. It costs just under $100 – which is several hundred dollars LESS than Photoshop. For other software, Google “photo editing programs” to find one that offers the features that are just right for you. Generally speaking, the cheaper the software, the less it can do to enhance your photos.

FREE photo editing software

Want to edit your digital photos but not pay hundreds of dollars for the software to do it?

Check out this great review of free programs with some very unique features: http://tinyurl.com/spectralight-PhotoEdit

If you want to retouch like the pros, save some money and order Adobe Photoshop here. If you don't want to invest a ton of money on Photoshop, a more affordable alternative is Adobe Premiere Elements. It costs just under $100!