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Congratulations to Abe’s Photo Contest Winner Karen Folsom!

Congratulations to Abe’s Photo Contest Winner Karen Folsom! She will be receiving a $50 Abe’s Gift Card good towards her next purchase. Thank you to everybody who submitted and shared their photography!

Common Redpoll - Moosehead Lake Area - Rockwood, Maine

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Ordinary To Extraordinary By Cathy Hickis

Ordinary To Extraordinary By Cathy Hickis

When I was asked if I wanted to contribute to this blog I wasn’t sure what I would write about. I am not a very technical person, even when it comes to the camera. I am more the artistic type. I have a passion for color and the things that are not normally seen by the average person. I bought my camera about 2 years ago because I was going to the Galapagos Islands and wanted to have a good camera. For the technical ones, I have a Nikon D3000 and an 18 to 55 mm lens and a 55 to 200 mm lens. As of this date I do not have a flash except for the one being in the camera. That is going to be my next purchase and next lesson.  To date I have just adjusted my ISO when the light wasn’t cooperating. I guess you can say I am a work in continuous progress.  Read more…

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Sports And Actions Shots By Cathy Hickis

Sports And Actions Shots By Cathy Hickis

I am sure those of you who specialize in Sports Photography have more knowledge than I do about this type of photography, however, I find Sports and Action Photography to be very rewarding even with my limited expertise.  There is something exciting about capturing action on camera.  This is how I started out taking photos and fell in love with photography.  

The first race I photographed was an Annual Bike Criterium where I live.  I had just purchased my Nikon and went into town to watch the race. With my tripod set up on one of the corners the racers would be coming through I snapped away for a few hours.  I had no idea how the photos would come out and when I downloaded them I was pleasantly surprised and excited at the shots that I did get.  I decided this was something I wanted to do and I got my first chance at doing it for a profit when a friend who was putting on a race asked me if I would be interested in taking photos. I got up at 5:30AM to get to the race site by 7AM.  I took over 1000 photos that day. Not all came out as I would have liked but quite a lot of them did.  I sent the entire file to my friend who passed the info along to the participants so that they could download a copy of a photo of themselves.  Since then I have set up my website, set prices and now charge for those photos.  Not everyone buys because of our technology today and all the phone cameras.  But I have sold some nice photos that they could not get on their phone. The quality, the composition and the emotion that I can capture with my camera sets the photos apart.  I have done some night races which are very challenging due to lighting and I really could use a better camera and lens but I can still make it work with the camera I have.  For me it is a continuous learning process and a lot of trial and error.  You have to love it in order to do it or you will become very frustrated. Read more…

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Congratulations to Abe’s Photo Contest Winner Sandra Baker!

Congratulations to Abe’s Photo Contest Winner Sandra Baker! She will be receiving a $50 Abe’s Gift Card good towards her next purchase. Thank you to everybody who submitted and shared their photography!

Butterfly Kisses

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Congratulations to Abe’s Photo Contest Winner Chad Slater!

Congratulations to Abe’s Photo Contest Winner Chad Slater! He will be receiving a $50 Abe’s Gift Card good towards his next purchase. Thank you to everybody who submitted and shared their photography!

Holiday Light Show

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Congratulations to Abe’s Halloween Themed Photo Contest Winner Sandra Kirker!

Congratulations to Abe’s Halloween Themed Photo Contest Winner Sandra Kirker! She will be receiving a $50 Abe’s Gift Card good towards her next purchase. Thank you to everybody who submitted and shared their photography!

Shadows of the Past

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Congratulations to Abe’s Halloween Themed Photo Contest Winner Maureen Sweeney!

Congratulations to Abe’s Halloween Themed Photo Contest Winner Maureen Sweeney! She will be receiving a $50 Abe’s Gift Card good towards her next purchase. Thank you to everybody who submitted and shared their photography!

Spirit of Halloween

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Shooting The Deep By Klaus M. Stiefel

Shooting The Deep By Klaus M. Stiefel

You probably have already done it several times this week, and without all that much effort: take a photograph. The advanced lenses, sensors and software of modern digital cameras make it easy to take pictures, and sometimes even good pictures. Cameras have come a long way since photography was initially invented in the late 1700s. Back then it was a cumbersome and slow business! Bulky photographic devices had to be set up for exposure times spanning hours, followed by tricky chemical procedures to develop the images. Today the near-magic advancements of optics and electronics have rendered the photographic process so simple that a whole class of consumer cameras is quite correctly called point-and-shoot.

But in some cases, taking pictures still involves extraordinary efforts, like those I made for my deep-diving underwater photography during the last few years. I brought my camera along dives on the spectacular drop-offs of tropical coral reefs in the 50 – 80 meter (165 – 260 feet) range, well below what recreational divers can reach. I experienced an amazing biodiversity, with a coral cover in pristine condition, majestic large barrel sponges multi-colored sea feathers and pulsating anemones everywhere. I saw rare and unusual animals, some of them possibly never before seen by human eyes, and I took photographs of many of these sea creatures. I took pictures of marine life separated from the regular realm of humans by a barrier of 80 vertical meters of salt water, exposed to a pressure of 9 bar, which is 9 times as much pressure as on the surface. In this hard to reach environment taking good pictures down there took even more of my efforts than merely going to these places. As a reward, I got shots of unreal beauty and scientific significance. In this article I want to share what it took to get these shots. First, I will briefly describe the diving techniques I employed; Then I will tell you about the photographic gear, techniques and mindset I had to have to resurface with beautiful images of deep reef marine life. I hope that this description will be interesting in itself; I also think that a lot of the photographic approaches I used constitute good lessons for any under-water or nature-photographer.

Reef Wall. Large soft coral make a hideout for tiny fishes, the reef wall makes a great dive site for my friends Matt and Jimin. 50 meters (165 feet) deep at the Monad shoal, Malapascua, Philippines. Canon EOS 5DII, 1/60, f6.3, ISO640. Canon L 17-40 mm lens at 17 mm. Hugyfot under-water housing, 2 x Inon Z-240 strobes.

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Compositing Images to Extend the Dynamic Range By Steve Paxton

Compositing Images to Extend the Dynamic Range By Steve Paxton

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography exploded in popularity several years ago and continues to captivate new and experienced photographers. Most people are struck by the extreme contrast and dramatic look of HDR images. With programs like Photomatix, virtually anyone with a digital camera can combine a series of images and extend the overall tonal range of a scene.

You can also enhance the perceived dynamic range of a scene by combining multiple images into a single composite. In this walk through, I demonstrate techniques for manually combining several photographs taken at varying exposures into a final HDR composite. I also share several of my favorite processing techniques for landscape photography. Image compositing takes patience and skill, but the results are usually worth the effort. Here’s the image we will be working with:

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Congratulations to Abe’s Summer Into Fall Themed Photo Contest Winner David Cross!

Congratulations to Abe’s Summer Into Fall Themed Photo Contest Winner David Cross! He will be receiving a $50 Abe’s Gift Card good towards his next purchase. Thank you to everybody who submitted and shared their photography!

Last Summer Night Meets First Fall Morning

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