Jackie Kramer Photography: Blog http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Jackie Kramer Photography northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:19:00 GMT Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:19:00 GMT http://jackiekramerphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u464393870-o308531040-50.jpg Jackie Kramer Photography: Blog http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog 86 120 TECHNIQUES: Creating Triptychs in Adobe Lightroom http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/8/techniques-creating-triptychs-in-adobe-lightroom

If you're editing your images in Adobe Lightroom, it is easy to make triptychs and more in the Print Module. The basic steps for triptychs are as follows:

  1. Select your image & create two virtual copies while in the Develop Module.
  2. Highlight all three and go to the Print Module.
  3. Set up your "print," which you may choose to print as a jpeg rather than send directly to a printer, by starting at the top panel on the right side of the screen in the Print Module.
  4. Select " Single Image/Contact Sheet." (This option is good when all featured images are the same dimensions.)
  5. Continue working your way down the panels making your selections for border colors/widths, number of columns/rows (these are 1 row and 3 columns).
  6. Note that if your image is a 4x6 aspect ratio, you will want to size it in multiples so the file size will be adequate if you choose to go to eventually print.
  7. You can add text or a logo. If doing multiple lines of text, a work-around, such as copying/pasting from "Word," is necessary.
  8. Select/Highlight all three of your duplicate images and slide them horizontally in their individual windows until they match up.
  9. Refine all the details in your "print" and remember to:
  10. Save your print in your Lr Catalog,
  11. Save your Print Template, &
  12. Save your print as a JPEG to your hard drive, portable external, thumbdrive, or wherever you choose.
    [There are 3 ways this can be accomplished. 1. Use the Keyboard Shortcut - Cmd/P (Mac) Ctl/P (Windows) or  or 2. Select the "Print to File" option way down at the Lower right. Make sure that you selected Print to Jpeg instead of Printer a little higher up, & have all 3 images selected. or 3. Go to the File tab at the VERY Top Left & select the "Printer" option from the pull down menu. Note, this is different than "Exporting" the way you would export an image or a batch of images.

REMEMBER, THERE ARE AT LEAST 2, 3, OR 4 WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH MOST ANYTHING IN LIGHTROOM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Layout Style of the Poppy, Papaver hybridium "Lavender Breadseed," triptych above is "Custom Package." Choose this option when not all images have identical dimensions. Note that image blocks must be created & images dragged up from your filmstrip into place. Once there, they cannot be shifted in their "windows" like they can in the Single Print/Contact Sheet Package Layout Style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The Triptych of Primrose, Primula denticulata, flanked by Fairy Wands, Dierama pulcherrimum, aka Angel's Fishing Rod, was created using online photo editor Ribbet.com.

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) adobe lightroom floral floral photography lightroom phlorography print module triptych http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/8/techniques-creating-triptychs-in-adobe-lightroom Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:31:33 GMT
TECHNIQUES: Adding Textures in Photoshop - Canna Lily http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/techniques-adding-textures-in-photoshop-canna-lily

 

It was another HOT day here in Florida and between the harsh sun and the high temps, I was pleasantly surprised to see flowers capable of defying both! As the sun began to lower on the horizon, waves of color appeared when shooting into and around the large leaves of the Canna Lily. While the original image was fine on its own with basic adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, I felt it needed some texture and depth for the fore and background colors to grab onto and flow. After searching my Lightroom catalog, two images spoke to me. One, a Hydrangea Blur (very out of focus image shot for this purpose) and a pattern in the sand at Crescent Beach.
My workflow began by uploading into Lightroom and applying basic adjustments then moving into Photoshop where I did a little retouching, i.e. removed blemishes on the petals with the Spot Healing Brush and Clone Tool, as well as a little sharpening. I then introduced the Hydrangea Blur and selected the area of the overall image I wanted to use. This layer was added at 91% opacity in the Normal Blend mode. Over that I layered the sand at 43% opacity in Soft Blend mode. A mask was added over each layer to allow for selective masking with the brush. Once I was satisfied, I saved it back to Lightroom and made final tweaks to taste. The images below are: 1) Original w/Lightroom Adjustments, 2) Hydrangea Blur showing the portion applied, 3) Sand, and 4) the Final image.

 

Always remember that this is a marriage of photographic and post-processing skills along with a creative vision. No two photographers will see the same subject in the same artistic light. That's inspiration in itself! Just think of what you can do with your own imagination!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS?

IF SO, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) adding textures adobe lightroom adobe photoshop blending layers floral photography layer masks phlorography post-processing http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/techniques-adding-textures-in-photoshop-canna-lily Mon, 31 Jul 2017 01:28:13 GMT
WEDDINGS: Audrey & Ryan - Deep in the Heart of Texas http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/weddings-heart-of-texas I have known Ryan since he was barely a teen and, after watching him grow into such a handsome gentleman, I was thrilled to meet his girlfriend, Audrey a couple of years ago. Audrey is not only beautiful, but fun-loving and I knew when they announced their engagement, that their wedding was going to be classy, but also upbeat and full of energy. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be their wedding photographer and create these memories. From Audrey's seafoam high-heeled shoes, to the bridal bouquet handcrafted out of brooches by Ryan's mom, Julie, to the first dance, which surprised everyone as it transitioned from a romantic slow dance to an edgy compilation of high-paced, expertly choreographed and executed dance moves, this was truly a night to remember!

Audrey & Ryan App-1965Audrey & Ryan App-1965

Audrey & Ryan App-2241Audrey & Ryan App-2241 Audrey & Ryan App-2312Audrey & Ryan App-2312 Audrey & Ryan App-2329Audrey & Ryan App-2329 Audrey & Ryan App-2912Audrey & Ryan App-2912

 

DJ - Austin Smith of Austin Smith Events
Bride's Hair - Karie Bunch
Makeup - Casey Weidmann
Ceremony - St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church - Arlington, Texas
Reception - Knights of Columbus Hall
Rehearsal Dinner - Legal Draft Beer Co.

Caterer for Rehearsal Dinner - Big D Barbeque, Mansfield
Location for Detail shots - Cooper Street Antique Mall, Arlington
Dress - Sincerity

Flowers - http://justinesflowers.com

Photographer Jackie Kramer

Assistants Conrad Poston & Rebecca Appleton


 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) first dance texas wedding wedding wedding photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/weddings-heart-of-texas Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:20:55 GMT
BOTANICAL GARDENS (Florida): Mounts Botanical Garden http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/botanical-gardens-florida-mounts-garden

A must-experience, must-photograph botanical garden in South Florida. Bring water and a wide-angle lens to accompany your standard macro gear. Lots for Lensbabies to sing about here! Butterflies & Dragonflies add to the thrill seasonally, so, if these speak to you, pack a 180 -300mm.

 

Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County is set on 14 acres in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is just across from the Palm Beach International Airport and less than an hour and a half drive for those coming from Vero Beach, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Miami. Though the history of Mounts dates back to 1925, the gardens expanded over the years and in 1988 an 18,000 square foot building was added to house the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service. Mounts is home to over 20,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants, including flowering trees and shrubs, fruit trees, Bromeliads, Palms, Herbs, and Roses. This garden is a must for anyone serious about photography. It is a little off the beaten path and rather quiet. It's likely that with such functional classroom and workshop space, as well as a garden perfectly suited for an outdoor wedding, there may be times when that's not the case.

A Phlorographer’s Perspective:

Now that I'm back to my roots in Florida after 29 years in Alaska, I have to say, I'm a wee bit reticent to visit a botanical garden in the grueling heat and humidity of summer. If you're a photographer (Phlorographer), you know that by the time most gardens open, the light is almost always too harsh unless it's overcast. Now, add to that the heat. It was July 2nd and I have to confess, my expectations, which were fairly low, were blown out of the water before they even opened the gate. While waiting for them to open, I inspected a ring of Coontie plants (Zamia integrifolia) in the parking lot looking for Atala butterflies (Eumaeus atala), as they are the solitary host plant. Harvested by Native Americans and European settlers, to the point of near extinction for their roots (used for starch) in the early 1900s, the Coontie's loss resulted in a close call for the Atala butterfly, as well. Years later, thanks to scientists and naturalists, both the Coontie and, thus the Atala, have made a comeback. That morning, there were a couple dozen butterflies in the plants. This marked the beginning of a good day, for from that point forward, I was met with one surprise after another as plants were blooming everywhere once inside the gate - despite the heat.

There were many captivating types of flowering and non-flowering plants spread throughout the 20 gardens listed on Mounts' website. The geometry and sinuosity of the palms, the plumpness of the succulents, and the spikiness of the cacti were enticing and begged me to stay longer. I yearned to go back to the car for a wider angle lens, but time just didn't allow. The most unique experience was had walking on the four foot wide honeycomb pathways above the water in the garden named "Windows on the Floating World." In a relatively small space, the "windows" revealed wetlands containing submerged aquatic plants, cascading water, a Bromeliad-covered wall, and much more. This unique feature is accompanied by informative displays focused on raising awareness of the critical importance of conserving and protecting fresh water. They provided a nice place to sit on my kneeling pad and photograph the Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata), below, from close-up & at a variety of vantage points; not so easily accomplished in the wild in their natural swampy habitat.

Lighting:

Shade is plentiful in the gardens. It helped to temper the heat while diffusing the bright sunshine. Between the shade offerings & my diffuser, I wasn't short of photo ops!

Getting Around: 

The pathways and grounds are flat and easy to navigate. A roller bag shouldn't pose a problem if you prefer that over a backpack. The visitor center even has wheelchairs free on a first-come first-serve basis. Although they don't rent scooters or electric wheelchairs, both are allowed in the garden. The pathway is longer than I expected and I was glad I carried the map they handed out. I recommend you do the same as it is easy to get caught up in the photographic process & lose track of time. In a situation where you need to find a restroom or the exit, the map will be your best friend.

Enjoy your visit!

MOUNTS BOTANICAL GARDEN

Located at: 531 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Fl 33415

Garden and Trail map HERE; descriptions of gardens HERE; & about the Butterfly Garden HERE.

A BIG SHOUT OUT OF THANKS TO THE MANY VOLUNTEERS WHO HELP KEEP THIS AND OTHER GARDENS DEAD-HEADED, WEED-FREE, AND CLEAN!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Botanical Botanical Garden Floral Photography Florida Flowers Garden Mounts Palm Beach Phlorographer Photography West Palm Beach http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/botanical-gardens-florida-mounts-garden Sat, 08 Jul 2017 06:25:55 GMT
TECHNIQUES: Adding Textures in Photoshop Mother's Day Rose http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/5/techniques-adding-textures-in-photoshop

As the evening light took over day, the glare on petals of the red roses turned into velvet. After a while, photographers' eyes become trained to see this. And while I was heading to another area in the garden, it would have been a travesty to pass up this gift. That's what I love about shooting outdoors. Things change outside of our control - sometimes for the better! Striking a balance and being nimble in the field allows us to receive opportunities we can't predict.

Since I wanted to do this for Mother's Day, I went for high drama, therefore, during the post-processing stage, I searched for a couple of images (textures that I shot) that would kick this up a few notches.

I went with a combination of daytime clouds and a "bokeh abstract" in deep jewel tones hoping the two would pair to yield a galactical sky. Something one might see from the Hubble Telescope.

Take a close look at the panels in Photoshop and you'll see that I layered each "texture" over my base image twice. I doubled the Bokeh Abstract to multiply the effect of deepening the color in select areas and the Clouds twice, rotated horizontally, since they are weighted more heavily to one side of the image and I wanted a more balanced look. Don't forget to test the varying effects of each of the blend modes. I typically land on Normal, Overlay, Soft, Screen, or Luminosity. Of course, after laying down my textures, I added layer masks and painted away the areas I wanted to be revealed from my background & lower layers.

To finish it off, I saved it back to Lightroom, where all of my edits begin and end, and touched it up a smidge by darkening the bottom.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) adding textures adobe lightroom adobe photoshop blending layers floral photography layer masks phlorography post-processing http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/5/techniques-adding-textures-in-photoshop Wed, 17 May 2017 18:55:49 GMT
LUV BLOOMS Floral Tees http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/luv-blooms-floral-tees

LUV BLOOMS!

Fashion-forward & botanically inspired artsy tees for the flower lover in all of us.

The initial release is available in Black or White and is featured below on Phlorographer Charlene Rector, aka Chuck Lee. (Read more about Charlene below.)

I'll be set up soon for online ordering, but until then... please message me if you'd like one with Size (XS-XL)), Color (Black or White), and mailing address. They are $25 each plus $5 shipping and all early orders get a little surprise bonus. (Discounts for Phlorographers.) While supplies last.

Charlene was born in Ketchikan, Alaska. She spent a few yrs in Seattle but then moved to Anchorage in '64 right after the big quake. Always the designated family photographer, Charlene grew fond of photography after she retired and combined it with her passion for gardening. Some years she has grown upwards of 200 Dahlias. She says, "Shooting flowers is the most relaxing part of my photography. No worries enter my head. I'm in a zone and can make total magic. Flowers bring me bliss and joy." Charlene is also a nature lover and excels at shooting birds. Her wildlife is every bit as awe-inspiring as her floral work.

Her goal is to share the beauty with others in the form of cards and to help anyone just entering their photographic journey.

A couple of side notes: Charlene has a wicked sense of humor & can outbake anyone I know!

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Flowers Luv Blooms T-Shirts http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/luv-blooms-floral-tees Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:29:05 GMT
On: Composition I http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/on-composition-i COMPOSITION... The Golden Spiral

It exists in nature... Look up images related to the Fibbonacci Spiral online (you'll find the nautilus shell, sunflowers, and myriad plants and animals). It's all around us whether we think about it consciously or not... When composition is woven into photography, it takes the viewer on a journey. Think about it this way: How much more pleasure would be derived by eating a delicious meal rather than just looking at it on a plate? How about a beautiful sports car? A horse? Wouldn't it be a more visceral experience to drive the car or ride a horse? As photographers, we only have 2 dimensions to work with and effective composition is one of the keys at our disposal. It allows our images to elevate the user experience. While a viewer's heartstrings are tugged when a photo carries special meaning, music plays in their soul if you can engage their eyes by first drawing attention to your point of interest (usually also the brightest spot) and carry them along by way of a natural flow. They may not know why, but they know that they have been touched in a unique and personal way.

Clematis with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 in Deb Hinchey's garden

Allium in the Palmer Visitor Center Garden

Examine some of the photos you find most pleasing and see if composition plays any part!

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Clematis Composition Fibonacci Fibonacci Sequence Golden Lensbaby Spiral http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/on-composition-i Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:56:26 GMT
BOTANICAL GARDENS (Alaska): Alaska Botanical Garden http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/11/alaska-botanical-garden

The Alaska Botanical Garden (ABG) opened in 1993 with gardens nestled in its 110 acres and has continued to grow and serve as a community jewel in the heart of Anchorage. The ABG is home to over 1,100 hardy, colorful perennials and over 150 native plant species in these gardens, each which possess a distinct personality.

A Phlorographer’s Perspective:

It is said that Alaska has two seasons: Winter and “Not-Winter.” After breakup, the arrival of warmer weather hearkens new growth. Around the first week of May small woodland flowers, such as the lavender Alpine Snowbells, (Soldanella carpatica) and china blue Hepatica, begin to appear. Look closely for other small blooms about the same time. From this point forward, a succession of new species will bloom almost daily. Skip a few days or a week and you are bound to miss an entire flower for the season.  On the other hand, many species, such as Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos cultivars, formerly Dicentra), highly prolific and toxic Leopard's-Bane (Doronicum), and Malva (Malva sylvestirs variety Mystic Merlin), can endure for weeks, sometimes months. The Herb Garden, as a whole, is a spectacular example of landscape design employing curved raised beds. It is safe to say that there are plenty of opportunities throughout the spring, summer and early fall to keep floral photographers satisfied.

Himalayan Blue Poppies (Meconopsis x sheldonii), are showcased in at least 4 groupings; one of which also contains the Hensol Violet (Meconopsis betonicifolia). There are numerous varieties of Primula in several gardens, including the Drumstick Primrose (Primula denticulata) found in Lile’s garden in late May. One of my favorite plants is the short-lived Spotted Lady Slipper Orchid found in early June in a small planting under the large tree in the rock garden. Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) is another favorite. I’ve observed them starting in May and growing well into June in the Lower Perennial Garden, as well as Lile’s Garden (maybe also in the Rock Garden). Tufa rock from British Columbia is set throughout the rock garden making delightful “planters.” June is a big month for blooms as evidenced by the metadata on most of my best images from the ABG. I also enjoy photographing the Trout Lilies which I’ve seen as early as July 1st. The Peonies are magnificent, but I have yet to master them photographically while on the bush. In August, mushrooms start growing along the pathways and in the forest, and eventually fall colors start to appear and in mid- to late-September berries get juicy and plump.

Lighting:

Since the gate is open from dawn to dusk, photographers will not be disappointed. Alaskan summers offer long, drawn out evenings with photo-friendly light. It is easy to get lost in the creative process and hit a flow rather than pushing to get in as much as possible before someone comes around to usher you out. There are large greenhouses under construction next to the Lower Perennial Garden. I believe a bonus to having them will be the restroom facilities that will be included. I’m glad they appear not to obscure the delicious light of the setting sun as it filters through the trees to create magical backlighting.

Bears and moose inhabit the area so be cautious at all times. I have personally only encountered the porcupine who likes to munch on the Lily of the Valley plants in the evening.

Getting Around: 

The pathways and grounds are relatively flat and easy to navigate especially from garden to garden. The longer trails leading through the woods make for nice strolls, but if photography is your aim, you will be able to pull a rollerbag with relative ease, encountering only a little friction on those stretches with wood chips, mulch, or small rocks. There are several benches throughout the ABG, which offer nice settings for portraits or simply for a place to rest.


ABG Director Robin Dublin emcees the festivities during the annual summer fund-raiser, An Evening in the Garden, where supporters can purchase art specifically designed for the outdoors by local artisans.

In addition to the annual summer fund-raiser, the ABG also hosts the Beer Garden event and a Wine in the Woods event during the summer months. Thanks to the hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm of the small staff, there are many other programs for all ages, as well. They are listed on the Calendar on their website and posted to the ABG Facebook page.

The Alaska Botanical Garden is one of the best locations in town for photographing couples, brides, families, children, or individuals. Before your shoot, review their policy for commercial photographers and, as with all gardens, make sure you purchase the appropriate membership or permit in advance. Check the website for additional details.

Engagement Photos of Randall & Emily, above & below left. Cassandra & David, below right.

Beth & Ryan

Crystal

Isabel's HIgh School Senior Portraits

Abigail & Dalton, sister & brother

Anna, Luisa, Julia, sisters, and Cousin Bailey

Brittany's Bridal Portraits


Some more of my "PHLORAL" images from the Alaska Botanical Garden...

Trout Lilies Bleeding Hearts

When the garden is asleep for the winter, there are still things to do, including educational lectures, the annual winter fundraiser, and the spring conference. Check the website for a complete and up to date listing. It’s important to note that this is not a publicly-owned garden. As with many botanical gardens, it is an independent non-profit, which relies on support from the community to maintain this treasure for generations to come.

ALASKA BOTANICAL GARDEN

Located at: 4601 Campbell Airstrip Road, Anchorage, Alaska

Garden and Trail map with credits for garden designs HERE.

A BIG SHOUT OUT OF THANKS TO THE MANY VOLUNTEERS WHO HELP KEEP THIS AND OTHER GARDENS DEAD-HEADED, WEED-FREE, AND CLEAN!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Botanical Botanical Garden Floral Photography Flowers Garden Phlorographer Photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/11/alaska-botanical-garden Sat, 05 Nov 2016 13:30:25 GMT
2107 FLOWER & BEAR CALENDARS http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/10/2107-flower-bear-calendars 2107 CALENDARS
 

Order now as quantities are limited. Buy 4 & get 1 free.

FLORAL ECSTASY

Floral Ecstasy Cover 2017 Floral Ecstasy Monthly 2017

ORDER HERE.
 

BEARS OF BROOKS FALLS 2017 CALENDAR

(Featuring some of our beloved bears: Otis, Walker, #402 the sow with 2 cubs this year who adopted Princess,

& Princess, of course!)

Bears of Brooks Falls Cover 2017 Bears of Brooks Falls Monthly 2017 ORDER HERE.
 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Brooks Falls Calendars bears flowers photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/10/2107-flower-bear-calendars Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:35:47 GMT
Bears of Brooks Falls http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/bears-of-brooks-falls BEARS OF BROOKS FALLS

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VISIT TO DENALI

After the Inaugural AK Photo Fest ended, I was fortunate to have Olis Garber, a good friend and outstanding photographer, accept my invitation to shoot bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai, Alaska. Sure we'd be tenting, but there is a lodge a short walk away that made it almost like "glamping" in that we could sit around the circular fireplace, order drinks at the bar, and eat bountiful meals that we did not have to prepare in the rain. But first, we spent a day in Denali.

The first set of images which follow were either taken from the bus into Denali or on one of the few stops. It should be apparent which were taken en-route, as I decided to enhance, rather than fight, the constant motion of the bus. It's really torture for a photographer to pass such spectacular scenery. It stings even more when the bus driver tells us all to put our cameras away and just enjoy the view. Yes, they will stop on occasion by request; usually for wildlife, rarely for scenery....

Despite the forecast for rain, Denali was visible for at least our journey to the Eielson Visitor Center!

By the time we headed out, clouds rapidly started moving in.

ABOVE: Looking out at the Alaska Range from the Eielson Visitor Center.

Yes, this IS snow in mid-September.

The Toklat River

Trees, Tundra, Fall Colors, & Snow

Colors this year were scarce. Most leaves on everything from ground cover to trees turned brown & fell off. After almost 30 yrs here, I've had the opportunity to experience it in its full glory.

Colors in Denali, particularly in Polychrome Pass are usually out of this world.

Olis taking in the view of Denali.

Olis Garber with Denali in background

Olis & Denali, The Great One.

Olis is a master of landscapes (among other things); I'm a floral fanatic. It was clear by what we were drawn to and how we shoot, our gear, and the rush to upload and edit. I admire the amount of preparation required to help ensure a good landscape; being in the right place at the optimal time of day in the preferred season. Weather conditions may or may not play out. Clouds, rain, snow, and wind are just some of the factors.

And then there's the bus...

ON TO BROOKS FALLS

We had 4 absolutely perfect days. That's not to say we had consistently amazing weather or light; we had it all and that is what made it so magical. Sunrises, at least 4 or 5 rainbows, a full moon, float planes, wilderness, kind and interesting people who became friends, and BEARS!

On the trail to the platform at the falls, we give way to the bears. On this occasion, we ceded to the bear with Ranger Carl while the bear passed by (below). It was a treat to be able to stop and look out from the woods with the perceived protection of a Ranger close by. I felt free to observe the myriad plant life on the forest floor . The small orange mushroom (above) held on to late summer; most of the others were already gone. 

It's all about the Salmon!

On our second night we were held up at the Bridge due to bear activity. As others were making their way back before nightfall, they, too, were stopped and joined the growing crowd at the top of the platform. One of the sows (#402) decided to pay a visit with her two cubs and adopted cub (Princess?). She and the two cubs decided to nap (above) and, just like a kid, one of them couldn't resist playing (below)... The adopted cub wandered off and decided to snack on some fish (also below). Then another nap. And other bears... The Bridge closure lasted nearly four hours! Needless to say, we got back to camp as night fell.

Dawn of a New Day

To jumpstart the morning, Walker and the young bear known as "Cub Adult" got into a little scuffle. It lasted almost 20 minutes; enough time for the light to increase and time to allow me to dance up and down the ISO scale to improve my chance of getting a decent image.

A Lensbaby Velvet 56 image in the Lower River area.

Trail from the Campground.

We saw many bears bedded down approximately 15-25 feet from the trail along the beach in the morning. As we left the campground, we passed bears waking up, bears sauntering by, and others lazily hanging out in the tall beach grass... Sows with cubs in both directions closing in one morning kept Olis and me, along with Ed & Jan Biller, at bay wondering just what we were supposed to do in THAT situation! The stealth of these large creatures was astounding. We watched them slip into the forest and disappear. Silently. Right before our eyes.

Even the trees have eyes. In this tree trunk is the presence of a weathered soul, a sentinel over the creatures of the forest.

OTIS! The Beloved Bear.

After about 10 minutes after consuming yet another of many salmon, Walker dared to go steal Otis's fish. Normally mellow, Otis swiftly put him in his place. Look at Otis's eyes (above) turned toward Walker as he approached. And after Walker retreated, Otis seemed to be saying, "Don't even think about trying that again. I'm keeping my eyes on you!"

Ranger Carl Ramm

Ed & Jan Biller who I discovered had good friends, John & JoAnne Dillon (Lobello) in common! Olis & Me, pictured to the right above. Ronnie, Lisa, & Shannon, friends on the Explore.org Bearcam, met in real life to celebrate Ronnie's Birthday - and the Bears!

Trevor & Lyn Fish from the UK

Pilot for Katmai Air, Kris Robinson, at the end of the rainbow.

Luggage for all types of travelers. The backpack frames with camping gear in the rear (you know who you are...!), the bright pink and spanking clean duffles, and the Think Tanks and roller bags on the right (photographers, no doubt!). As darkness descended, so did the rain. Although I wished for clear skies, the incoming droplets washed up the late-night revelers & sent them straight from their firepit and beer to their tents. Katmai in September is not the same as Katmai in July when days are long. Not many are willing to brave the trail in darkness so, coupled with rain, the short days ensured that we got a decent amount of sleep. It wasn't until the last day that a cold started to take hold.

A beautiful sunrise (above) at 8:08am with a little photoshop. I added the bear which did actually lay down right there at 4:01pm later that day

Thank you for visiting!

Please treat yourself to a look at Olis Garber's images on his blog from our trip.

 

2017 Bear Calendars

ORDER NOW HERE!

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Bears Brooks Falls Brown bears Canon Grizzlies Katmai Photography Salmon wildlife http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/bears-of-brooks-falls Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:45:36 GMT
Blending Layers in Photoshop http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/blending-layers-in-photoshop WIND, WHISPERS, & WONDER

Blending Layers in Photoshop

I just returned to one of my favorite gardens within one of my favorite gardens - that would be the "Z" Garden, made possible with donations from Les Brake of Coyote Gardens in Willow, which is situated in the Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks, Alaska. I suspect it might be called the "Z" garden after Susie Zimmerman, a dedicated volunteer who tends to this garden. This image is dedicated to Susie.

Below is a brief look behind the scenes to see how this came together.

On June 22, 2016, I met Susie weeding the garden (photos below). In the upper right corner of the photo on the right, you can see the gold and rust colored Rudbeckia just beginning to make an appearance. When I recently returned on August 31st, I was surprised at the number of healthy plants vying for space while basking in the sun.

[Note also the single pink flowered stem of Nomocharis in the lower right.]

So, I hunkered down and squinted through my 180mm macro lens set on manual focus. As I watched the transition from blur to clear to blur and so forth, I found that place where art is born - a blend of colors, shapes, and light. And I decided to create an image here (lower left), not yet knowing what I was going to do with it. The flowers were so close together, I knew I had to rule out a clean background. So I embraced it.

And, then I created another image (lower right) by selectively focusing on the center of the flower.

 

These two images were imported to Adobe Lightroom, minor edits were made, and then brought together in Adobe Photoshop.

With the images on different layers, I painted one into the other to taste by varying the opacity of the brush tool.

The final image went back to Lightroom for final adjustments.

 

 

And since we're here, I'll share some images of  the Nomocharis...

Hope you all had a wonder-filled summer!

 

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Botanical Canon Floral photography Garden Macro Phlorography photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/blending-layers-in-photoshop Sat, 03 Sep 2016 11:04:32 GMT
CLASSES AT BLAINES: Top Ten Photography Basics http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/top-ten-photography-basics BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY - MY TOP TEN

 Here is an example from tonight's class (14 Jan 2016) - an illustration of some of the basic steps that typically go into creating an image. This vine had some perfect heart-shaped leaves & was hanging under a canopy that produced shade surrounded by very bright sunlight. Follow along as I share my rationale, as well as some artistic choices, in the process of creating an image.

Leaves The journey began on a small footbridge at Jungle Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.

The first thing I noticed (see below) was the distracting bright light on the tree trunk, so I pulled out my diffuser to balance the dynamic range (the difference between the lightest lights & darkest darks).

The light here is much more balanced, but in this shot the aperture is set at f/16 & is introducing too much detail in the bark.

To soften the detail, the aperture is opened to f/5.0. I could have stopped here, but I wasn't 100% satisfied with the composition, the overlay of the leaf with the stem, & its slight angle.

To overcome all those issues, I chose a different leaf & shot from a different vantage point. I decide I'm happier with the placement of this leaf in the image, the shape of this "heart." But.... alas, I'm still not satisfied overall.

I change it up & reverse my position to allow for backlight to enter a leaf. The leaf now appears more dimensional than that in earlier shots, where I found it flat. I decide to stick with backlighting. So I begin searching for a leaf I can shoot from this direction without the intersecting line of the stem & the river of bright light in the background.

The final image is shown below. Adobe Lightroom CC offers options to render the image Black & White, as well as in split tones, & affords options to adjust contrast, whites & blacks, & clarity & color w/radial & graduated filters.

HAVE FUN CREATING A UNIQUE IMAGE OF YOUR OWN!

ANYONE INTERESTED IN FLORAL PHOTOGRAPHY, PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING OTHER "PHLOROGRPAHERS"  ON FACEBOOK AT:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/phlorography/

And, just what are my top ten? They are:

1. Learn the Basics
2. Know Your Gear
3. Prepare for Your Shoots
4. Understand Lighting
5. Make Image which have a Purpose
6. Get Clean Shots
7. Create Compelling Composition
8. Learn Posing & Positioning
9. Edit your Images
10.PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Leaf Phlorography Photography Photography Basics Photography Behind the Scenes Photography How-to http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/top-ten-photography-basics Fri, 15 Jan 2016 10:49:45 GMT
CLASSES AT BLAINES: Posing Basics http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/classes-at-blaines-posing-basics BASICS ON POSING

 Thanks to the Eagle River Camera Club, & Carl Bostek & Adrienne Levine, we had a full house tonight at Blaines Art Supply! Trying to cover basics of posing in a 2 hour block while reserving time to apply some of the techniques was quite a challenge. I just couldn't help but keep thinking about Lindsay Adler's initial reaction to being asked to teach a 3 day workshop for CreativeLive. She wondered how one could possibly spend 3 days talking about posing & then once she got into it, she started running out of time. My experience exactly.

So, what did I do? I touched on some essential elements & broke it down to (1) the FACE, (2) the ARMS, & (3) the BODY. What about legs, you ask? Well, they were subsumed by the body. It's important to show examples of what I like & why. Also to note that rules are really guidelines. I wouldn't say they're meant to be broken, but I would say that a good photographer needs to know when & how to break them.

If I had to summarize, my nugget would be this:

The key ingredient for compelling portraits is "purpose" in the eyes, the hands, & the soul.

My best portraits have them all. The person, or people, in the image must have a connection, be it within themselves, with others in the image, or with the photographer.

Over the years I've discovered that some of those best received, as well as my personal favorites, are void of color, eye contact, & big smiles.

What do you think? Do these images convey a sense of feeling?

[Naturally, my in-class examples included many images with eyes open & smiles!]

Poinsettia 1

 

Many thanks to my wonderful clients above, from top: Rachel, Catey, Rachel, Bailey, & Dawn & Carson.

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Couples Individuals People Photography Portraits Posing http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/classes-at-blaines-posing-basics Fri, 08 Jan 2016 09:39:38 GMT
BEHIND THE SCENES: Lightpainting Basics http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/12/BTS-lightpainting-basics BEHIND THE SCENES:  Lightpainting Basics

 Lightpainting! I can't think of anything better to do in the middle of winter when every bloomin' thing is under a blanket of snow. Subjects don't have to be floral, but they lend themselves so well to this technique that you owe it to yourself to give it a try. The passage of light through the petals and leaves creates a glow that is hard to achieve outdoors.

The gear list includes: camera & lens (macro not necessary), remote or delayed shutter release, tripod, a dark room (not hard in Alaska at this time of year!), a backdrop (doesn't have to be black, but that's what we'll show in this example), a couple of small flashlights, and either a vase to set your subject upright in or a contraption (which you'll see below) to hang it from. 

The basic steps are as follows:

Here you can see the set up in my kitchen. A tri-panel matte black presentation board is sitting over the sink and resting on a long flat surface with a mirror on top. The mirror did not play a role here, but I like having it on hand should the creative bug hit. I keep Windex close by, too. My camera is mounted on the tripod and set for Manual Exposure & Manual Focus, which I do in Live Mode while zoomed in at 5x and 10x. Sometimes it's necessary to take multiple images and vary the focal point as well as the exposure compensation then blend them together in Photoshop for optimal focus and lighting.

My small flashlights. I like to have one that has a variable spread, but I've discovered you can control it pretty easily with your hand and you can dampen the intensity of the light with some sheer fabric.

As you can see here in this recreation, I'm fairly "low tech" as I use twist ties from the grocery store to suspend my flowers. The Poinsettia below is hanging from a small strand of lights threaded through the handles of our kitchen cabinet. Sometimes I stand the flowers upright in a vase and sometimes I hang them like this. It is easier to overcome gravity this way. Each of the flowers in the examples below were hung in a similar manner.

This is the actual set up showing the final image before rotating 180 degrees and adding a couple more refinements. While the shutter is open, it is up to the photographer to "imagine painting the light." You want to shape the light rather than blast the flower completely front & back, top & bottom. It takes a LOT of experimentation. Try JUST doing the backlighting until you achieve a pleasing result. Then adjust your exposure time accordingly. It goes without saying that the more you need to cover, the longer your exposure will likely be. You will learn to finesse the light and make it dance through & across the petals. There is NO recipe for this practice. It requires a lot of trial & error. Practice, practice, practice!

Here are three images shot using this technique:

Poinsettia 1

POINSETTIA  - Canon 5D MkIII, 8 sec, f/20, iso100, 100mm 2.8L IS (3 images blended to reduce a couple of hot spots)

Anthurium Leaf

ANTHURIUM  - Canon 5D MkIII, 6 sec, f/22, iso100, 24-70mm shot at 70mm (single image)

Pink Tulip 1

PINK TULIP  - Canon 5D MkIII, 4 sec, f/18, iso100, 100mm 2.8L IS (3 images; 2 blended for lighting & a 3rd composite for background)

HAVE FUN IN THE DARK ROOM!!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Anthurium Floral Poinsettia Tulip behind the scenes floral photography floral workshop lightpainting lightroom photoshop http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/12/BTS-lightpainting-basics Sun, 27 Dec 2015 08:46:58 GMT
BEHIND THE SCENES: Editing your Images Artistically http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/behind-the-scenes-editing-your-images-artistically BEHIND THE SCENES:  Editing your Images Artistically

You have successfully scouted out a location, found some ideal subjects to focus on, got your composition, exposure, and light to your satisfaction. Now what? What do you do after all that work has been done?

Here is a condensed set of images with notes that take you through a simple composite of two images; one, an iris against a brilliant royal blue background, and the other, an abstract shot with a slow shutter drag.

Both images taken during the workshop in St. Augustine on March 20, 2015.

IrisFINAL IMAGE

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Floral behind the scenes composite floral photography floral workshop iris lightroom photoshop http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/behind-the-scenes-editing-your-images-artistically Sun, 05 Apr 2015 23:23:00 GMT
FLORAL WORKSHOP IN ST. AUGUSTINE http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/floral-workshop-in-st-augustine-features-participants-work FLORAL PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP IN ST. AUGUSTINE

FEATURING PARTICIPANTS' WORK & SCENES FROM THE DAY

What a day! We covered a lot of territory––first laying the groundwork for creating an image that begs the viewer to exclaim, "Wow!" And, in wonder, to ask "How?" I tried to break down and demystify the various elements that go into creating a superb image. We then spent some time putting those concepts into play as photographers focused on flowers of their choice. As evidenced by the variety of images below, we all see the world through somewhat different lenses! What makes a spectacular image? A combination of: Interesting Subject, Complementary Background, Compelling Composition, Effective Lighting,Technical Proficiency, and Skillful Editing.

 

"Jackie was extremely proficient in explaining her techniques, sharing her steps and reasoning for composition of her beautiful work. I couldn't wait to go out and find some new floral treasures to shoot."   ~Carol

"Jackie shared her personal vision and journey, which inspired me to look at flowers differently."  ~Debbie

 

Enjoy some photographs created by the workshop participants,

as well as some scenes from our day:

Floral photographyCollage of Participants' Work Photos by Anna Berger (left) & Carol White (right)

Jan Gold

My ImagesIris & Orchid - Photos by Jackie Kramer

 

"Jackie's willingness to share her knowledge of where to go to find her floral subjects, her set up and beautiful final outputs were excellent. I learned so much. Hoping she will come back again soon!"   ~Jan

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Floral photography St. Augustine flowers macro photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/floral-workshop-in-st-augustine-features-participants-work Fri, 03 Apr 2015 07:02:48 GMT
RECIPIENT OF: COUPLES' CHOICE RECOGNITION! http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/1/recipient-of-couples-choice-recognition  

CCA-15-Email-SignatureCCA-15-Email-Signature Grateful for having the BEST clients who have honored me with the privilege of shooting their most special day. And now, I'm thankful to them for their reviews which earned me the prestigious WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® 2015 for wedding photography. 

FROM WEDDINGWIRE:

                              The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

           While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Jackie. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) 2015 Award Couples' Choice Jackie Kramer Recognition Wedding Photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/1/recipient-of-couples-choice-recognition Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:25:48 GMT
Flower Photography - The Vision & Technique http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/10/flower-photography-SACC PRESENTATION TO THE ST. AUGUSTINE CAMERA CLUB

SACC Flower Talk Hold the Date March 2015SACC Flower Talk Hold the Date March 2015

I am thrilled to share this early announcement about the invitation to speak to the St. Augustine Camera Club (SACC) about something I am deeply passionate about––floral photography. The presentation will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2015 during the SACC evening meeting.

Stay tuned for more information including the possibility of a hands-on workshop on the 20th.

Flower MedleyFlower Medley

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Floral photography Flowers SACC St. Augustine Camera Club photography presentation talk http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/10/flower-photography-SACC Thu, 09 Oct 2014 04:29:06 GMT
RING SHOTS! More Fun with Hue Lights http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/ring-shots-more-fun-with-hue-lights Our very own wedding bands! Yesterday (8/29/14) marked FOUR years of marriage. This images show more possibilities with the Phillips HUE lights! They were shot on a black etched glass table in a dark room with spotlight on the rings for added sparkle.

 

Item_0004Item_0004
Item_0003Wedding Rings Purple & Magenta
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Item_0002Item_0002

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Hue lights colorful ring shots rings wedding wedding bands http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/ring-shots-more-fun-with-hue-lights Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:30:00 GMT
BEHIND THE SCENES: Tabletop Macro http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/behind-the-scenes-tabletop-macro FINAL IMAGE - HANGING BEGONIA PINKThe digital negative was lightly edited in Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve this final image in which I removed a few distracting stems and filled in a light spot.

With the onset of winter just around the corner and more petals on the ground than on stems, you know this is your signal to move indoors and try your hand at lighting with a twist. Of course, there is still plenty to shoot outside and oodles of seasonal stories to tell, but if you're like me, it's also a good time to catch up on a lot of photography related business (subject of a later blog).

The three photos below provide a glimpse into the behind the scenes of creating the Gerbera Daisy image above. I was excited to use the new hue lights by Phillips. My heart sings when I shoot wedding receptions with uplighting as it creates a colorful ambience so imagine my joy when Glenn bought me Hue lights for my birthday! You can control the color of each individually from an iphone or ipad. How cool is that? As you can see below, I set a combination that worked with this flower. In addition to the Hue lights (directed toward the side wall and floor behind the flower), I had a diffused LED on the table and a little flash to spot the center. I had all the room lights completely off as shown in the 3rd image below to avoid overpowering and washing out color from the Hue lights and unwanted reflections on the table. And, as if that wasn't enough I bounced my on-board flash up and back off the ceiling. Although I could have done this with a much simpler setup, I found the results flat and dull by comparison. Gerbera Daisy above was shot at 1/25s, f4.0, ISO 2500, & 100mm macro 2.8L IS USM, LED lighting, flash, Canon 5D MKIII.

The purple and yellow Irises below were shot on the same table using only the LED w/diffuser handheld above my left shoulder and projected at an angle down which yielded the nice reflections on the black etched dining room table. The orange glow is from the fireplace. Again, all the room lights were off (the room was essentially dark so I had to prefocus in Live View on a tripod with a remote trigger). Irises were shot at 1/60s, f3.5,   ISO 2500, & 100mm macro 2.8L IS USM, LED lighting, no flash, Canon 5D MKIII.

Kramer Gerbera Daisy-0359Kramer Gerbera Daisy-0359 Kramer Gerbera Daisy-0350Kramer Gerbera Daisy-0350 Kramer Gerbera Daisy-0336Kramer Gerbera Daisy-0336

 

Irises on BlackIrises on Black

For More Information from Phillips on Hue Lights click HERE.

Click HERE for Review in PC Magazine.

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Macro experiment flowers how to hue lights low light macro perspective http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/behind-the-scenes-tabletop-macro Sun, 31 Aug 2014 01:16:08 GMT