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.

 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Sneak peak: “Picturesque Olmsted Falls” book now at the printer

 

For years, people have asked when I would publish a collection of my artistic renderings of the many notable scenes of Olmsted Falls. The wait is finally over!

Check out the “sneak peak” of the book – above. It has 47 total images. They have all been enhanced in Photoshop to look like actual paintings. It is more obvious in the printed book than what you'll see online.

What a great Christmas or birthday gift for current or former natives of Olmsted Falls.

NOTE: Reveal the images in full-screen by clicking the button to the right of the shopping cart icon!

What do you think of this book? Please leave a comment here and share it on Facebook or Twitter with the t and f  icons underneath and to the left of the book.

Out-of-focus pictures – NEVER AGAIN with amazing Lytro camera!

 
Ever lose a great photo because it was out-of-focus? That may soon be a thing of the past if the Lytro camera delivers as promised!

Before reading any further, click on different areas of each photo (above) to see how this camera allows you to choose any part of the scene to be in sharp focus.  (If the focus doesn't change, you may not have Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer. Get it here for free.) What is so unique about this feature is that you choose your focus point (the area of interest that you want to draw the viewer's attention too) AFTER you take the picture. Until now, there has never been a camera or software that gives that kind of capability! This could be a real “game changer” for anyone who has trouble taking pictures in sharp focus.

See more amazing photos like the ones shown here at the Lytro web site. They even give a technical explanation as to how this amazing camera works.
 
Unfortunately, Lytro isn't saying much about the camera specifications other than it will be small enough to fit in a pocket and that it will be “competitively priced.”

Lytro expects to roll out the cameras to consumers by the end of the year. (Hopefully in time for Christmas.)

Does this camera seem like something that you might purchase? What would be a fair price to pay? Please comment on this post.

Side note: Lytro has contacted me to be a possible “beta tester” of their camera. I've completed a questionnaire and am awaiting a response. If or when I receive the camera, I'll post some pictures and a review of my personal experience using it in “real-world” situations.

Our art photos are now available for your home

One of our art photos that is available to grace the walls of your home

After we posted our article about four of our scenic art photos being accepted into the University Hospitals of Cleveland Art Show, we have been deluged with requests by our readers wishing to purchase these images.

We have good news! Not only are those art photos available for purchase but many more from across the U.S. and Mexico. And we continue to add to the collection as time permits.

See our artwork at http://www.spectralight.com/fineart.

There's still time to get art prints in time for Christmas AND save 17% on the print portion of any order. Guaranteed Cristmas delivery ends on December 12th (Ground Shipments) or on December 15th (Overnight Shipments).

Mocha Monkey gets jiggy at Carnaval

The Mocha Monkey had a close encounter of the bizarre kind when he got caught up in the Carnaval parade in San Francisco's Mission district in May. As a group of dancers passed by, one of the girls nabbed MM for a quick photo. Although it was love at first sight, MM quickly came back down to earth when he was abandoned on the curb.

The  Carnaval parade is most recognized for its spectacular choreographed dancers and scantily clad women. Since 1979, Carnaval has been the main event for thousands of artists who spend hundreds of hours preparing for San Francisco's most colorful parade.