Digital Capture After Dark

by Amanda Fiedler & Philipp Rittermann

2---after-darkPhotographing with little light is a lot different than shooting in the middle of the day, and even though you use the same tools, you do it to the extreme. To begin with just getting a proper focus can be a nightmare before you even get to the other things you will need to deal with. Here is a great new book (and there are not a lot of them that deal with night photography) to learn how to use a digital camera for this photo technique. Its 13 chapters cover a host of how-to info on shooting from inside dark buildings to shooting ocean beach cliffs at night, and almost everything in between. The city streets by streetlight are most interesting, and the “light painting” is a great way to add something special to a shot. The book also includes info on using HDR, B&W conversion, and adding atmospheric effects to an image. A great how-to info book for every photo library!

This soft-cover book is about 8×10 inches, with 181 pages, retails for US-$39.95 – and is published by RockyNook and distributed by O’Reilly Media and can be checked out at:        I Rate this book an:  A+

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Life in Color – National Geographic Photographs

National Geographic Photographs
Foreword by Jonathan Adler / Curated by Annie Griffiths

1-Life ColorIt would not be an understatement to say that the National Geographic Society produces thee BEST photography in the world, and this new book from them is a perfect example of that fact. This Life in Color book is divided into 12 sections, each dedicated to its own color, along with a comment page for each. Images range from three quarter page up to full 2-page spreads of top quality images. Subjects range from a Ladybug on a stem up to one of the most magnificent mountain scene I have ever seen. This is not a how-to book so you will not find out what camera and lens was used, but each image is captioned with the photographer and location the image was taken. You will also recognize many well-known photographer’s names, such as Jodi Cobb, whos’ images fill the book. National Geographic “has done it again” with another top shelf photography book that everyone will more than enjoy.

This hard back book is about 10×10 inches, with 504 pages, retails for US-$40.00 – and is distributed by National Geographic, at:        I Rate this book an:  A++

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Pennsylvania Railroad history & stories – part 1

D2-RR-0023    Pennsylvania was one of the main railroading centers in the early days of the industry with one of the main lines centered in Harrisburg, and from there going north to New York, east to Philadelphia, and south to Baltimore and Washington D.C. The Harrisburg station and outgoing lines were so important that Gen. Robert E. Lee had his troops advance to the city with orders to capture and destroy their link to Philadelphia. One group got as far as the west shore of the Susquehanna River, across from Harrisburg, but could not fight their way across. Another group of troops advanced to attack Columbia down river from Harrisburg, but the citizens of that town burned the covered bridge across the river, which stopped the Confederates there as well. If it had not have been for those two actions, one of the most famous battles in history probably would not have happened, that being the Civil War Battle at Gettysburg. The confederates, turned back at Columbia, headed back west to meet with Lee at Gettysburg and there also ran into the Union forces, and the rest is history.

Pennsylvania railroading had far more to do with the growth of the country than just a war, although one of the main reasons the north won the war was because of the railroad and its ability to supply the troops with what they needed, which the south could hardly do at all. The railroad and the steel industry were the two main powers behind the American Industrial Revolution. They supplied each other and together they built the rest of the country.

Pennsylvania still has many of the Iron Horses on display in more than a few museums as well as many working steam engine lines for tourist trips, and one still even delivers freight. The above image is from the Railroad Museum at SteamTown in Scranton, Pa. This is a tourist line that you can ride on and feel what life was like behind a living machine, which is exactly what any railroader will tell you a steam engine is. A few hours from SteamTown are two more attractions in Pa. the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Strasburg Railroad, which are right across the street from each other in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pa.  There are many others, and In future blogs I will be covering both of those and other Pa. railroad locations as well as including how-to info on what and how to photograph at these locations.


This 2nd image is one of the effects that I use on many of my old subjects, especially railroads and old steam engines. There is nothing like an old toned effect to make an old subject look like it was photographed 50 or 75 years ago.

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Digital contest news to win software package

In the coming months I will be doing product reviews on some of the major imaging software programs such as Perfect Photo Suite 8. Along with these reviews I will be including some special discount offers for my readers as well as some free download licenses as I can obtain them. The winner of the first program I review will receive a brand new copy of OnOneSoftware’s – “Perfect Photo Suite 8 Premium Edition” – valued at $99.95

Details of these simple contests will be included in with each review for them, so check back here often to see when the Perfect Photo Suite review is online.


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