What’s a bullet journal?

Ever wondered what the buzz about the bullet journal is about? For someone who is no longer acquainted in the age of the internet, I learned about bullet journaling from my children and grandchildren. On the surface, it looks like an ordinary notebook, but it seems a lot of people swear their schedules and their creativity by it. So what is it, really, and why are people (from all age ranges) crazy over bullet journaling?

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Image source: pinterest.com

A bullet journal is no ordinary notebook. It lets users accommodate their planning schemes while they become creative with it. You can make to-do lists, calendars, brainstorming notes, and more with it. And if you’re like me who has never really liked a planner’s design, owning a bullet journal is a blank slate that lets you make the planner of you’re dreams.

A lot of people own several notebooks for several occasions, but a bullet journal, being the flexible notebook that it is, keeps all your ideas and notes in one place. It doesn’t have to be uniform (but it can be, if you wish to), and it shows off your personality. There’s a trend in bullet journaling called habit tracker, which works well for people who want to maintain good habits into their system. I did one myself—a water intake tracker—to make sure I drink enough fluids every day.

Ready to take your creativity to the next level? Try bullet journaling, and enjoy your time writing and creating new stuff!

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Image source: lifehack.org

Hi, I’m Keith W. Springer, a retired photographer into bullet journaling. Learn more about journaling when you visit this page.

Landscape photography traps you should avoid

If you’ve played around landscape photography, you’ve probably realized the fundamental problem of the craft: not every landscape will easily translate into an equally compelling photograph.

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Image source: digital-photograph-school.com

When we are at a place, the smells, sounds, warmth and the emotions we have combine for an overall experience. Our job as photographers is to translate that into a photograph. There are many problems that a lot of beginner photographers make when they try to capture landscapes. Here are some of them:

1. Crooked horizons

Most landscape photos feature the horizon, it’s one of the main features of the genre. So, when the line dividing the sky and the land is not perfectly straight across, the whole picture looks totally out of proportion. In digital cameras, there are grid overlays that help you straighten up your framing before you take the shot. Take advantage of it.

Eye-level perspective

Most people photograph from an eye-level standing position producing photos that look as you would expect them. Try climbing on top of something, or get closer to the ground the get a more interesting perspective.

Empty skies

Without clouds, birds, or other interesting features, an empty sky can make your photo flat and boring. Try framing your picture with something interesting in the sky. If there are nothing interesting to show, minimize the space the sky occupies in your photo.

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Image source : beachcamera.com

Hello there, Keith W. Springer here. I’m a retired photographer from New York. Most of my days are spent photographing national parks. Click this link to see my works.

A Photography Guide To Capturing Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park located in the Sierra Madre Mountains of California, is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the world, and only a few equal to it. That’s why thousands of tourists visit the national park regularly. Yosemite’s Half Dome or Yosemite Falls are its most popular draws.

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Image source:amazonaws.com

Here are the best spots from which to photograph Yosemite National Park:

Valley View/Gates of the Valley

You’ll see this photograph everywhere when you search for Yosemite on the internet. It’s popular because of the stark contrast of the serenity of the river and the majesty of El Capitan, the tallest mountain face in the park. The place is perfect to photograph during sunrise and sunset.

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Image source:dailymail.co.uk

 

Horsetail Falls

This is a natural phenomenon that happens only in February involving the angle of the sun. Since it only happens for a couple of weeks in February, the influx of photographers will be higher than normal peak hours. But the result will be worth it after you capture a false as if it was lava.

Half Dome

This is probably the most famous image that represents Yosemite National Park. There are several spots from which to photograph Half Dome, but the easiest to access is probably the Sentinel Bridge.

Hi there! My name’s Keith W. Springer. I’m a retired photographer from New York, and now, I spend my free time taking photos of national parks around the country. Visit my blog to read more of my adventure.

Panoramic Photography: Tips For Nature Photographers

Nature photographs like landscapes are best captured using wide angle lenses-the wider the shot, the better.  But sometimes it isn’t enough to capture the beautiful scenery.  That’s when panoramic photography comes in.  Here are some tips for capturing panoramic shots.

 

1. Use cameras with built-in level 

The built-in level allows you to capture panoramic shots and view the results real-time so you can see if the camera is straight or not. Shooting straight will make image stitching a lot easier.

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Image source: picturecorrect.com

 

2. Invest in tripods and ballheads.

A ballhead that can pan fluidly makes taking the shot a lot easier. There are a lot fancy ounts out there that promise to take your panoramic photography up a notch. But all youreally need is a good tripod, a smooth ballhead, the right skills, and a good subject.

 

3. Acquire post-editing skills

Apps like photoshop and lightroom can be really handy when you’re taking panoramic shots. The layer masking feature in these editors make photo stitching smooth.

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Image source: photoshelter.com

 

4. Try vertical shots 

We’re used to seeing horizontal panorama.  But nature photography isn’t limited to that. Try shooting vertically when capturing waterfalls and streams.

 

Keith W. Springer here. I’m a retired photographer. I like giving tips about photography, so be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates.

The Dark Room: How Photography Used To Be

Photography today is far from what it used to be. It seems that for the most part, technology has perfected shots such that photographers can afford to make more mistakes with their DSLR cameras. Before, everything was more deliberate, not to mention cumbersome.

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Image source: youtube.com

Back in the day, the magic was done within the confines of a dark room. The reason the darkness was crucial to developing good pictures is that it allowed for processing of the light-sensitive materials. One mistake in lighting could impact the processing of the whole film, and consequently, the final product itself.

An essential tool that made developing photographs successful is the enlarger. This mainly magnified the image that has been captured on film, which then made it larger so that the details could be transferred onto a photographic sheet medium. This took time to create, and it had to be handled with utmost care.

Then the final print had to be treated with all sorts of chemicals. This was the final step to revealing whether or not the shot taken was a success.

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Image source: lovenotephotography.com

Today, the process has been eliminated entirely. Most of the digital generation of photographers only have to be mindful of taking as many shots as they can, through which they can choose from a variety of shots. From the standpoint of a photographer from the film age, this can be just little challenging to adapt to, but maybe not too much to handle.

Hello, I’m Keith W. Springer. I was working as a photographer long before the DSLR came out. During the days of film, I spent a lot of time in the darkroom making sure that my pictures came out the way I wanted them to. To read more about film photography, visit this page.

Yellowstone’s Picturesque Views For The Nature Photographer

Ah, Yellowstone. I can’t deny how much I’m in awe of this place. Although I live miles away from the park, I can still vividly remember my nature-filled photo walks in Yellowstone. If you’re a nature photographer thinking about shooting marvelous sites in the famous National Park, here are some photo spots that will give you an amazing time (and an amazing set of travel images).

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Image source: yellowstonepark.com

Boiling River

Boiling River is a hot spring between Gardiner and Mammoth. It’s a great place where you can find wildlife like the elk, bighorn, and pronghorn, and it has beautiful colors that will make a great impression in photos.

Old Faithful

It might not be the tallest geyser in Yellowstone, but Old Faithful is the most famous in the park. You can witness its erupting spectacle from a distance, and it happens every 90 minutes. The eruption usually takes around 90 seconds to five minutes, so you’ll surely have plenty of time to see it.

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Image source: yellowstonepark.com

Grand Prismatic Spring

When on a trip to Yellowstone, tourists can never miss the Grand Prismatic Spring. More than a breathtaking scenery, the Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest spring in the United States and the third largest spring in the whole world. Photographers love shooting its rainbow-colored algae rings and misty fringes. It’s really worth the trip.

Hi there, I’m Keith W. Springer, a retired photographer based in New York City. Learn more about event and outdoor photography when you visit this blog.

Kids at Play: Highlighting the Fun in Photography

Nature and wildlife are often the subjects when we head out to parks; but people can breathe life into photos, too. And in parks, you’ll often see kids playing around.

A note, however, before venturing to photograph kids at parks: you need to ask permission, especially from the parents if it’s alright to take photos of their kids. If you have kids of your own, the better, then you can fire away as they do what they do best: have fun!

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Image source: anthonystorres.com

The best time of the day to shoot at the park is in the early morning or late afternoon. The midday sun will only cast shadows and obscure the expressions on kids’ faces. Ample light during the day is also very important when shooting moving subjects to keep the images sharp.

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Image source: londonfamilyphotography.co.uk

In photographing kids, you have to be as patient as much as they are restless. Do not get frustrated if a child does not stay long in their current position before you could get a shot. With patience, even after many attempts, you’re bound to get gold in one of them.

I’m Keith W. Springer from Brooklyn, New York. I used to work as a professional photographer, but now that I’m retired, I like to take it easy when it comes to taking photos, and nature is currently my favorite subject. Follow my blog for more tips on photography.

The most picturesque places in New York

Throughout my time in the Big Apple, I’ve seen truly remarkable places for photography. I know these places have time and again been named as the most photographer-friendly locations in the city, and you’re probably tired of hearing about them. But believe me, if you’ve seen them yourself, you’ll understand all the hype.

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Image source: nycmonthly.com

The observation deck of the Rock

No, this isn’t Alcatraz. It’s that other Rock, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It’s highly recommended that photographers line up an hour before sunset, so when they reach the top, it’ll be just in time for that beautiful horizon. Some photographers have even said the view from here is better than that of our next entry.

Empire State Building

If sunset is the perfect time for photography on the Rock’s observation deck, nighttime is the best time for photography on the Empire State Building’s observation deck. It’s been featured in countless movies throughout the decades, and the 360-degree view will leave anyone speechless.

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Image source: freetoursbyfoot.com

Brooklyn Bridge

The entire walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the bridge will take your breath away. Time the walk during sunset. The New York skyline will be shown from a different perspective. A summer walk is perfect since it won’t be too cold.

Keith W. Springer’s my name, and I absolutely love photography. Find out more about my work by following this Facebook page.

Packing Light: What To Bring For Nature Photography

Those who are planning to venture into nature photography should list down everything they need before going out.  Because while it is an enjoyable endeavor, it can be a difficult one, especially without the required gear.

And, of course, bringing everything including the kitchen sink would not be viable as the weight can be an impediment to successfully capturing as many beautiful shots as possible.

Only one camera is recommended to be brought, therefore choosing the right one is necessary.  The camera body should allow full manual override of settings, particularly the aperture, shutter speed, and exposure length.  Having a bulb mode and any level of weather sealing can be beneficial.

Image source: pcworld.com
Image source: wallpaperrs.com

Probably the most important consideration when doing nature photography is to bring the appropriate lenses for the intended scenes.

For landscape shots, an ultra-wide angle lens is needed, because they offer a greater field of view and more depth of field.  Choosing between a prime or zoom lens is a matter of personal preference.

A macro lens should also be brought to get excellent quality out of close-up images.

A telephoto lens works best to capture distant subjects such as faraway birds or natural backdrops.  It must be noted, though, that since it is bulky, it should only be brought if using it is a certainty.

Image source: pcworld.com
Image source: pcworld.com

As for other accessories, a light, full-movement tripod is definitely helpful for photo stability.  One should also be prepared for any weather by packing rain covers or an umbrella, a collapsible reflector or diffuser, a polarizing filter, or an ND filter.

Keith W. Springer here, a retired photographer who still loves going outdoors and traveling to capture the beauty of nature.  Learn more about photography by visiting this blog.

Two Psychological Benefits of Taking Photography

Taking up photography is often done with the goal of developing a skill. Recent years have sparked a dramatic interest in the hobby; made even easier by technology. Mobile phones now allow anyone to point and shoot and take incredibly detailed photographs. But the rapid growth of photography has also had an unexpected outcome.

Mental health professionals have studied the relationship between photography and how people perceive information. Two surprising psychological benefits were found.

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Image Source: lifehack.org

It enhances joy: A study concluded that taking photos affects the way people enjoy everyday activities. How exactly this works is still being researched, but a general assumption is that those taking photos are completely engaged in the activity. Looking through a lens forces the photographer to live in the present moment; which is a key characteristic of mindfulness and improved mental health. Those who continue the practice are able to achieve a sense of contentment and relaxation, which affects joy and how one appreciates life.

It improves focus: Jumping off from the previous point, those who regularly take photos are recorded to be more focused than those who do not. Additionally, the focus is not limited to just maintaining a subject in place; the focus was seen to enhance creativity as well. Photographers have to be able to view things differently; these are reflected in their work.

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Image Source: photography.lovetoknow.com

There are other studies that document various benefits, but these two are the ones that psychologists were most surprised with. It is hoped that this would encourage more people to take up the hobby – not only for the potential to learn a new skill but for personal growth as well.

Keith W. Springer is retired, but that never stopped his passion for photography. Learn more when you like this Facebook page.