Best salesman ever. Who can resist those sad eyes and timid voice pleading, Compraras, por favor? He nailed it.
- Christmas, my child, is love in action. ~ Dale Evans
I had no plans of creating the final composite product when I shot these images, but sometimes things just develop and ideas flow. Hmmm. What if…?
Three rambunctious boys ride their scooters down my driveway.Swap images in to add their sister and improve expressions. Add a colorful sky scene I captured in the Pyrenees back in 2014 (Looks like the South Dakota hills). Road dust colored in by using Photoshop brushes and finished it off with Topaz edits.Final product: The Dusty Sunset Gang!
Hard to believe the base for this composite image was captured May 1, 2017. No wonder we never get bored with our weather along the Minnesota/South Dakota border.
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Make your own kind of magic this holiday season.
(Click on image for a larger viewing window.)
‘Tis the season… to photograph children and holiday lights.
I had the opportunity to photograph this little tyke at a festive location: Santaland in Madison, Minnesota.
Available light gives such a “magical” look when photographing children with holiday lighting with the goal being a pleasantly lit face with glowing lights. So… shut off your flash.
Tips for photographing lights:
Basic camera settings:
1) Set a wide aperture (low f-stop number) like f2.8, or as wide as your lens will go.
2) Bump up your ISO to around 800-1250 (not an exact science) I topped out my ISO on some of these since it was such a dark area with no outside lighting.
3) Make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/100th to freeze the subject. I had an active 1 1/2 year old subject so I cranked the shutter up to around 200.
Now those numbers above aren’t a magic formula, but they give you a good starting point. If the Christmas lights aren’t bright enough, bump up the ISO or slow down your shutter speed (just not too slow unless you are going for a blurred motion look!!). It may help to have a little available light coming in through a window to light the subject, but not too much and no direct light since that would overpower the glowing holiday lights. Even lighting on the face is important.
Image color look pretty weird? Either set the white balance in your camera while taking photos or adjust it in the post process in Lightroom or Photoshop. I shoot in Raw so I worry about it during the post-process steps. More information can be found on white balance here: What about White Balance?
I’d highly recommend a trip to Santaland located upstairs above Heather Floral right on Main Street, Madison, Minnesota.
… and don’t forget your camera!!
We soon must trade in our fallen leaves for falling snow. Yes, that first magical snow where you go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in a winter wonderland. Children are excited (Ask any classroom teacher today!) and adults are scurrying about getting prepared for the worse case scenario of a raging blizzard. Stock up on groceries, fuel, get the snow removal equipment ready to go and the list goes on.
Whether we like it or not, I guess we all are excited about the first snowfall in our own little way. Call me delusional, but I prefer to believe in the magic…