Proven Ways to Add Impact to Your Photos

The wow factor is something all artists strive to achieve. Whether you're focusing on painting, photography, or drawing, the goal is the same. You want people to look at your work and have a big reaction. A gasp, a sigh, an exclamation point; all of these show an emotional connection with your art. Creating images with impact may not happen every time out. Yet, with these tips, you can improve your chances of success.

Inside the Dali Museum, St. Pete, Florida

Entering the Dali museum was similar to climbing inside the mind space of two immensely creative individuals. I was there to see a rare Picasso/Dali exhibit in which their works appeared side by side.  Before entering the galleries, I took some time to photograph the impressive interior of the recently completed building. 

“I am not strange, I am just not normal.” - Salvador Dali

New Images: Birds of Florida

Florida is one of the better bird watching spots I've had the pleasure of photographing. Many of the animals are remarkably comfortable being viewed even at close distances. This makes for a unique wildlife photography opportunity. With a warm climate and abundance of water, the gulf coast is home to a massive variety of breeds. Some of my favorites are Great Blue Herons, Tri-Colored Herons, Egrets, Storks, Cranes, Cormorants, Moorhens, and Anhingas. I was able to see all of these and more in a single weekend near Clearwater.

Moorhen

Moorhen

Anhinga

Anhinga

Juvenile Stork

Juvenile Stork

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron

Tri-colored Heron with fish

Tri-colored Heron with fish

Cormorant

Cormorant

3 Photo Printing Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

If your printed photos look different from the version on your computer, the culprit may not be the lab. Chances are, you just need to make a few adjustments for better results. If this sounds a bit daunting, don't worry, you're not alone. This subject is one of the most common sources of frustration for photography students. While it may appear unnecessarily technical at first, it's not nearly as complicated as you might imagine. In this new tutorial, I detail the main considerations to get you back on track.  

sRGB or RGB?

If the colors of your print look very dull or just plain inaccurate, you may have used the wrong color space. Check your camera menu right now. Does it say Adobe RGB? If so, you have just found the cause of the problem. Simply change it to sRGB in your camera menu and don't look back. The reason is simple; it gives the most consistent results. Not only does it work well for printing, but also for images shared on the web. Now there will be some experts who proclaim Adobe RGB to be superior as it technically captures more colors. While this is true in theory, it does not translate well in practice as most printers are set to sRGB. If you're not sure, ask the lab what color space they recommend. For even more on this topic, check here for starters. 

The Little Red Lighthouse, Part 2

The last time I photographed the Little Red Lighthouse, I had a fisheye lens, got very lost, and made an unusual image from beneath the George Washington bridge. My goal this time around was to capture a more realistic view.

I used a 17mm with the trusty Olympus EM-10. By the way, if you missed the controversy caused by my recent guest post, you can review the entire debate in the comments over at 43rumors. Lots of interesting dialogue to say the least. 

The lighthouse essentially became irrelevant when the bridge was built in 1931. According to wikipedia, it fell into disrepair and was nearly torn down. Ironically enough, a children's book had a large part in saving it. It's beautifully illustrated and worth checking out here.

As the temperatures started to dip, the cold winds really picked up from the Hudson River and we retreated back towards warmer ground. Some great color appeared and I made a quick silhouette of the George Washington bridge. 

Side by Side Image Comparison: Full Frame DSLR vs Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless

Yesterday, I posted this side by side comparison to Facebook as a simple test. One image was captured with a full frame DSLR and a professional quality lens totaling approximately $2400. The other was shot with a small mirrorless camera with a micro 4/3 sensor and a prime lens totaling $899. Both were captured in RAW on a tripod with the exact same camera settings and auto white balance.  They were imported into Lightroom and were not sharpened or adjusted in any way, only saved for the web.

As you can see, the results were quite similar, making it quite challenging to determine which is which. This was further proven by the variety of guesses from the Twitter and FB communities. Some were able to see the difference, while others couldn't. Now, I'll reveal the camera types. 

Do the results surprise you? 

Here's a larger view of each image. 

Canon 6D with 17-40mm Lens

Canon 6D with 17-40mm Lens

Olympus OMD EM-10 with 17mm lens

Olympus OMD EM-10 with 17mm lens

My take on it

Considering that an entry level Olympus with a micro 4/3 sensor can actually compete with a full frame DSLR on image quality, I believe a major shift is coming to the industry sooner rather than later. Yes there will definitely be pixel-peepers who dispute that. This is not for them, but rather to help YOU find the best tool for your specific needs. Do you want to spend an extra $1500 and carry more weight or would you be better off with this alternative? 

The images out of the mirrorless have more than enough resolution for publication, web, and print enlargements. Granted, the 6D definitely offers better detail at larger print sizes. Still, at a fraction of the weight and price, one has to really determine what their priorities are. For travel, scenic, everyday work, the OMD EM-10 has repeatedly proven its worth. In addition to the excellent files one can capture with it, the functionality is actually superior in my opinion with more focus points, EVF, to name a few. Having said that, I still reach for the DSLR for sports, wildlife, and aviation. I feel the AI Servo and instantaneous response are more conducive for high-speed situations. Yet with advances in mirrorless technology and a wider selection of available lenses, I do wonder how much longer that will be the case.