Puebloan Sun and Moon

Being a photographer, of course I had certain plans on my agenda when we went to Mesa Verde (and really throughout our trip).  Wherever I go, I think about sunrise and sunset opportunities.  Every location is different, and I love the beautiful golden hours.  I try for sunrises and sunsets as early in my trip as possible so I have other chances if the first fall through, but sometimes, even that isn’t enough.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016 Continue reading

Vancouver at Night

This is my last post on my Vancouver series, and I’m excited to share with you other adventures (we’ve been so busy!).

Vancouver is a very beautiful city, and my camera seemed to leap into my hands of its own accord in an effort to capture it.  I loved the cool mornings, I loved the sunny afternoons, and I loved the stunning evening clouds.  All too frequently, we vacation too hard to have much energy come nightfall, but we managed one evening with a vantage of the sparkly skyline. Continue reading

Weekly Challenge: Mixed Shine

If I thought last week’s challenge was.. well.. challenging, this week’s really made me think hard about how to fit the topics.  The discover challenge is mixing media; the photo challenge is shine.  “Shine” is easy.  But I already write blog posts with lots of pictures – words and photos – so what could I do to mix it up?

I decided to do something I’ve never really done before: mixing photos. Continue reading

Photographing Fireworks: Lessons Learned

With most getting a three-day weekend for the 4th, it’s no wonder it has become one of the most travelled weekends in America.  It is also the time for sparklers, peonies, roman candles, chrysanthemums, fountains, weeping willows, and snakes.  Fortunately, you don’t generally need to go far for a decent fireworks show, but if you do, you can usually find them wherever you go.  And these provide a great opportunity for photography – if you know how to shoot these exploding spectacles. Continue reading

Photo of the Week: Colors

When a photographer is presented with an event full of lights and color, it’s a visual playground that can easily sap away an entire evening.  There are countless opportunities.  You can shoot fast and freeze moving lights, or you can shoot long and paint a rainbow in the shadows.  You can shoot reflections; you can shoot shadows; details, scenes.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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Photo of the Week: Supermoon Eclipse

I’ve noticed my posts tend to run a bit longer than I want or anticipate.  So, in an effort to mix it up and put more focus on the photography, I’m going to try adding something new: photo of the week!  This will highlight a picture I particularly like that week.  It most likely will have been taken in the past week, but I can’t always promise that.  In this case, it was 🙂

The world looked to the skies Sunday night for this spectacular celestial event, and I knew I wouldn’t miss it!  While it probably would have been better at some obscure campground with limited light pollution, I did the best I could with a Sunday evening.  I’m also learning that if I want to do more of this type of photography, it’s time for me to upgrade my telephoto.  Priorities!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015 Continue reading

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

New to Star Trails: Lessons Learned

In my last post, I talked about my introduction into astrophotography.  During the same trip, I attempted star trails – those beautiful concentric circles/arcs you see when turning your camera skyward and sucking up all possible light for minutes or even hours.

I’ve always been curious about star trails.  The fact is: given the chance, your camera can see more than human eyes.  This is why photos of the night sky look so surreal.  There’s no way that many stars are visible from our tiny little planet. Continue reading

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

My Journey into Astrophotography

One of the best parts about joining a local photography group is the opportunity to try new photography techniques never before explored.  I had one such opportunity recently: stars.

While I have seen some spectacular shots and have been mildly interested in trying it out, I could never bring myself to abandon wonderful, beautiful sunlight… and delve into the underworld of nighttime photography.  Low light has long been my bane, but I am working to improve my skills in this underdeveloped area.  Therefore, I welcomed the chance to work directly with other photographers who had done these types of shots before. Continue reading