PJ Anderson Photography: Blog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog en-us (C) PJ Anderson Photography (PJ Anderson Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:36:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:36:00 GMT https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u721724724-o201017832-50.jpg PJ Anderson Photography: Blog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog 120 120 From the Backseat https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/6/from-the-backseat Recently, I had the opportunity to ride in the back seat, instead of driving, for an afternoon/evening in northeastern South Dakota

The light and skies were fantastic and dramatic and I couldn't resist pulling out my camera. Usually photos from a moving car aren't all that great, but I'm excited at how these images turned out.

You will see some "defects".  For example, you can see reflections in the car window at times. On ocassion, the photos will be grainy or blurred in parts due to motion. Usually, I'm a bit of a perfectionist on those things, but this time, it just feels completely perfect.

I'm also experimenting with a crop ratio of 16:9 instead of my camera's default 4:6 on most of these photos.  I feel like it is so much more pleasing for a landscape. Sure would like to hear any feedback you have in the comments!

Until next time!

PJ

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) art clouds farms landscapes photography sky South Dakota https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/6/from-the-backseat Sun, 16 Jun 2019 20:56:43 GMT
Chasing the rabbit down the hole. This teacher's struggle. https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/6/chasing-the-rabbit-down-the-hole-this-teachers-struggle Working on curriculum and I've fallen into the same sort of trap that I fell into, back in my college days, while researching papers. I'd always find interesting tangents and end up down several rabbit holes.

Today, I've explored the physics of light; followed the process of the albumen film processing method; learned more about the art styles of pictorialism, dadaism and surrealism; learned about propaganda from the Bolsheviks and how it transformed later under Stalin; realized how the photography I adore from the Farm Security Administration is also propaganda; rediscovered the poem by Lord Alfred Tennison "Charge of the Light Brigade" after seeing a photograph taken a year later by Roger Fenton.

I've looked for books, carte de visite, software and videos for sale or auction. I've searched for scores of photographs by photographers I hadn't heard of. I've read dozens of bios and Wikipedia articles.

At the end of the day, I've learned so much. I've sketched some of this learning into the curriculum but really just inching along. Glad that I have a few months, but somehow knowing it will never be enough time.

But, this is uniquely me. Flawed and all. So, I leave you with a gallery that I found of one of the very important historical figures of photography, Eugene Atget. Maybe you will also fall down a rabbit hole?

Eugen Atget's Paris

BNF_-_Portrait_d'Eugène_Atget_-_1890_-_001Portrait of Eugène Atget - 1890Portrait of Eugène Atget - 1890

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/6/chasing-the-rabbit-down-the-hole-this-teachers-struggle Mon, 10 Jun 2019 16:03:06 GMT
May 2019 Sica Hollow State Park https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/5/may-2019-sica-hollow-state-park Sica Hollow State Park is such a treasure and it is my escape when I need to be in the woods. With a rainy weekend coming up, I decided to make a very quick evening trip after work. I'm not sure I'll be able to make it back until June. I am super glad I was able to make this happen.

There were more wildflowers than I expected to see, however, I couldn't spot a Pasqueflower. With the goofy spring weather this year, I don't know if I missed them or if they are still around.  There is one spot right on the edge of the trail that I've almost always spotted a clump when I've gone looking in the past.  The plant is there, but no sign of buds, blooms or fruit.  So, I am a little mystified.

First off is the Nodding Trillium. If you aren't watching you could walk right by this bloom as it hides under the leaves.

Nodding TrilliumNodding Trillium

I almost always find Violets in the park in all shades from purples to white. Although, I find it challenging to identify specific members of the species, my best guess on this one is the Common Blue Violet

Violet 1Violet

 

Here is another Violet, this time it is the Canadian White Violet

Canadian White VioletCanadian White Violet

 

Here's another flower bloom that hides under the leaves.  This is the Large-flowered Bellwort.

Large-flowered BellwortLarge-flowered Bellwort

 

A little tighter shot to give you some additional detail

Large-flowered Bellwort DetailLarge-flowered Bellwort Detail

 

One of the flowers I was specifically looking for was the Bloodroot. BUT, before I found that, I came across another white flower that is somewhat similar.  This is the Wood Anemone.

Wood AnemoneWood Anemone

 

Many of the Bloodroot are just starting to appear.  Here is one unfolding its leaves.

BloodrootBloodrootBrand new Bloodroot unfolding

 

Here's one fully open!

BloodrootBloodroot

 

Here is a really tiny bloom that is very easy to walk by. I wonder how many I missed before I spotted this Dutchman's Breeches?

Dutchman's Breeches 1Dutchman's Breeches 1

 

Here is one more example of a hard to find bloom, if you don't know where to look. This bloom is straight out of a science fiction movie and is found under the leaves very close to the ground. This is the Canadian Wild Ginger.

Canadian Wild GingerCanadian Wild Ginger

 

Getting down in the low wetlands in Sica Hollow, I was excited to see large swathes of Marsh Marigolds. When the light hits them trough the trees it almost glows. They can actually be quite hard to photograph properly. It usually takes me quite a few frames to photograph one that I like.

Marsh Marigold 1Marsh Marigold 1

 

Here is something else found in the damp areas.  This is Jack-in-the-pulpit. The green coloring can make this one hard to spot amongst all the other green plants low to the ground.

Jack-in-the-PulpitJack-in-the-Pulpit

 

Found this next flower off the edge or the road as I travelled to the top of the hill to look for some prairie flowers. This is the Cutleaf Toothwort.

Cutleaf ToothwortCutleaf Toothwort

 

In the prairie grass, I saw a flash of pink and purple. I recognized this as something in pea family. My best gues on this one is Ground Plum. This is a macro photograph to capture the awesome details.

Ground PlumGround Plum

 

With the sunset and a strom coming in over the hills, I decided to wrap up my search without finding the Pasqueflower. However, on the way down the trail to where I left the jeep, I saw this hanging in the brush. The evening light and its slightly decayed state kind of caught my eye, so we'll finish up this trip to Sica Hollow with something that isn't a flower, but a reminder of people passing through. 

Discarded ShoeDiscarded Shoe

 

Hope you enjoyed the photographs.  Until next time!

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) flowers forest nature Sica Hollow South Dakota wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/5/may-2019-sica-hollow-state-park Sun, 19 May 2019 17:08:16 GMT
2019, so far. https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/3/2019-so-far My first year photography students have almost daily photo assignments. One each weekday and then an extra credit weekend photo. There are times due to schedules or even technical difficulties that have resulted in no assignment that day. Also, I've given the option for the occasional Muligan (if you can't make the topic work, do one of your own.)

I decided to put a little pressure on myself too. Shoot a photo every day of 2019. I've attempted this in the past, only to find starting in January is very challenging as the cold dark days of winter can make creativity a real hassle. I've decided to lighten up and allow the very occasional skip day.

Anyways, here is the year so far.  Some days there was difficulty in chosing a photo to represent the day as I had many. Other days were simple snapshots. Some were last minute, "hey, you have to get a shot in!" days.

 

January 1 - Dawson, MN

January 01, 2019January 01, 2019 - Dawson, MN

 

January 2 - Sunset Reflection.  St. Anne's Hill, Watertown, SD

Jan 2January 2 - St. Anne's Hill, Watertown, SD

 

January 3 - Muffins at the Center of the Universe.  Gather coffeeshop, Watertown, SD

Jan 3January 3 - Muffins at Gather, Watertown, SD

 

January 4 - Watertown Regional Library - Watertown, SD

Jan 4January 4 - Watertown Regional Library

 

January 5 - Art History Slides

Jan 5January 5 - Art History Slides

 

January 6 - Winter Landscape near Watertown, SD

Jan 6January 6 - Winter landscape

 

January 7 - Vase in the Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

Jan 7Jan 7

 

January 8 - Windchime winter sunset

Jan 8January 8

 

January 9 - "Debra Manikan" - studio prop, Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

Jan 9January 9 "Debra Manikan"

 

January 10 - Classroom Windows - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

Jan 10January 10 - Classroom Window

 

January 11 - Student Center Windows - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

Jan 11January 11

 

January 12 - Terex Construction - Watertown, SD

January 12, 2019January 12, 2019 - Terex Construction

 

January 13 - Damn Squirrels, Watertown, SD

January 13, 2019January 13, 2019

 

January 14 - Winter Fog - Bramble Park - Watertown, SD

January 14, 2019January 14, 2019 - Bramble Park

 

January 15 - Silver Frost - Lions Park, Watertown, SD

January 15, 2019January 15, 2019 - Lions Park

 

January 16 - Bubbles in the Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

January 16, 2019January 16, 2019

 

January 17 - Dried Grass near Lake Kampeska, Watertown, SD

January 17, 2019January 17, 2019

 

January 18 - Pinic Table, Off Season. Watertown, SD

January 18, 2019January 18, 2019

 

January 19 - Studio Still Life - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

January 19, 2019January 19, 2019

 

January 20 - Bootprints in Snow - Bramble Park, Watertown, SD

January 20, 2019January 20, 2019

 

January 21 - House Finch at Birdfeeder - Watertown, SD

January 21, 2019January 21, 2019 - Housefinch

 

January 22 - Pseudo-reflection in the Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

January 22, 2019January 22, 2019 ]

 

January 23 - Herschel Rabbit, backyard, Watertown, SD

January 23, 2019January 23, 2019

 

January 24 - Fieldtrip with Students to Craig Lee Studio, Huron, SD

January 24, 2019January 24, 2019

 

January 25 - Olive Place Coachhouse Move, Watertown, SD

January 25, 2019January 25, 2019

 

January 26 - Winter Coneflower - Burnsville, MN

January 26, 2019January 26, 2019

 

January 27 - Winter Lanscape Evening Showshower - Granite Falls, MN

January 27, 2019January 27, 2019

 

January 28 - Late in the Day "Get the Shot" Rabbit Tracks - Watertown, SD

January 28, 2019January 28, 2019

 

January 29 - Herschel Rabbit Snowy Face - Backyard, Watertown, SD

January 29, 2019January 29, 2019

 

January 30 - Herschel Rabbit B&W - backyard, Watertown, SD

January 30, 2019January 30, 2019

 

January 31 - Still Life in the Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

January 31, 2019January 31, 2019

 

February!

February 1 - First Year Instructor, Late Night, Self Portrait - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 01, 2019February 01, 2019

 

February 2 - Glassware in the Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 02, 2019February 02, 2019

 

February 3 - Danny from the Academie Agencie, Fargo, ND

February 03, 2019February 03, 2019 - Danny, Academie Agencie

 

February 4 - Ode to the Canary Keeper (my son, Tyler) -  Late Evening Tree with Sky. Watertown, SD

February 04, 2019February 04, 2019

 

February 5 - Egg Rise - Studio lighting experiment - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 05, 2019February 05, 2019

 

February 6 - Paint Drop - Studio lighting experiment - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 06, 2019February 06, 2019

 

February 7 - Sundog Snapshot - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 07, 2019February 07, 2019

 

February 8 - Old Harbor Bar Fire - the Day After - Watertown, SD

February 08, 2019February 08, 2019

 

February 9 - First miss.  Dang..

 

February 10 - Dagbjart the Miniscule

February 10, 2019February 10, 2019

 

February 11 - Colored Pencils - Watertown, SD

February 11, 2019February 11, 2019

 

February 12 - 2nd Miss!  Tough Week!

 

February 13 - Lemon and Lime Drop - Studio Experiment - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 13, 2019February 13, 2019

 

February 14 - Photo Wall Display - Late night getting this set up to show my students' work. Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 14, 2019February 14, 2019

 

February 15 - Bourbon Socks Snapshot - Watertown, SD

February 15, 2019February 15, 2019

 

February 16 - Popcorn Kernals - Watertown, SD

February 16, 2019February 16, 2019

 

February 17 - Black-capped Chickadee in Snow Shower - backyard - Watertown, SD

February 17, 2019February 17, 2019

 

February 18 - Backyard Squirrel - Watertown, SD

February 18, 2019February 18, 2019

 

February 19 - Granddaughter Athena with Kitchen Bowls Snapshot - Watertown, SD

February 19, 2019February 19, 2019

 

February 20 - Light Fixture - Watertown Brewing Company - Watertown, SD

February 20, 2019 2February 20, 2019 2

 

February 21 - Baricade - Watertown, SD

February 21, 2019February 21, 2019

 

February 23 - Icicles - Watertown, SD

February 23, 2019February 23, 2019

 

February 24 - Yashica Vintage Camera - Watertown, SD

February 24, 2019February 24, 2019

 

February 25 - Oops, another miss.

 

February 26 - Water Drop - Studio Experiment - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 26, 2019February 26, 2019

 

February 27 - Like Arteries Brining Life to the Sky - Watertown, SD

February 27, 2019-2February 27, 2019-2

 

February 28 - Desk Chair in Abstract - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

February 28, 2019February 28, 2019

 

March

 

March 1 - Lost Memory - Watertown, SD

March 01, 2019March 01, 2019

 

March 2 - Musician Darian VerDouw - Watertown, SD

March 02, 2019March 02, 2019

 

March 3 - Self Portrait - Watertown, SD

March 03, 2019March 03, 2019

 

March 4 - Goldfish in the Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

March 04, 2019March 04, 2019

 

March 5 - Portrait Shoot - Elizabeth - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

March 05, 2019March 05, 2019

 

March 6 - Goldfish Still in Studio - Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD

March 07, 2019March 07, 2019

 

March 7 - Smoke Experiment - Watertown, SD

March 09, 2019March 09, 2019

 

March 8 - Doll on Shelf - Watertown, SD

March 10, 2019March 10, 2019

 

I'll probably update this a few times over the course of the year.  Until then!

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Creativity Daily Experiment Photography Practice https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2019/3/2019-so-far Mon, 11 Mar 2019 03:26:04 GMT
Lightroom CC Classic slideshow transitions under 1.0 seconds https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/11/lightroom-cc-classic-slideshow-transitions-under-1-0-seconds My most popular blog post is one dealing with setting slideshow transitions in Lightroom for under 1.0 second.  This is useful for timelapse videos - something that I used extensively back when I shot weddings. Makes for a fun and quick video of the ceremony to offer to the couple. Also this is a fun technique for showing the long progression of time in a shorter period.

This functionality was something you could do in earlier versions of Lightroom and when it disappeared, I had to figure out a work around. Based on the response to my post, so did a lot of other photographers!

However, the product has continued to develop since I originally wrote the tutorial and people were finding my original instructions had some new obstacles. Now that I am teaching photography, I came back to revisit this tutorial and discover the hiccups myself. Today, I finalized the revised version that will work on the current release of Lightroom Classic CC, version 8.0.

Hopefully, this refreshed version will continue to help photographers (and hold on for a few more releases!)  Thanks to all who have commented and offered feedback or updated information. As always, I'm always open to hear your comments and suggestions.

Use the link below to find the Refresh!

https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/11/slideshow-transitions-under-1-0-second-in-lightroom-5-2

 

Once again, I wish you happy timelapsing!

PJ LaughPJ Laughphoto by Lindsey Jungers

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(PJ Anderson Photography) lightroom lightroom cc classic slideshows under 1 second timelapse timelapse video https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/11/lightroom-cc-classic-slideshow-transitions-under-1-0-seconds Thu, 15 Nov 2018 19:59:18 GMT
Great Plains Lutheran High School Homecoming Football https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/great-plains-lutheran-high-school-homecoming-football I found myself on the sidelines on another Friday night with some of my photography students from Lake Area Tech. I really enjoy working with them, but even more, I enjoy watching them work. Seeing how they set up and think through their shots. There are going to be some successful photographers out of this group.

This night's game pittied the hometown Great Plains Lutheran High School Panthers vs the Webster Bearcats. It was a cool, damp evening. Pretty much the definition of football weather.

The Panther's played hard and had several exciting plays. Unfortunately, just like the Watertown High School homecoming game last week, the hometown team ended up on the losing end. Final score 54-0.

 

GPLHS's Nathan Bean (25) follows the block of quarterback Martin Raasch (11)

GPLHSFootball005Nathan Bean - 25GPLHS's Nathan Bean (25) follows the block of quarterback Martin Raasch (11)

 

 

Webster Bearcat quarterback, Kaleb Marx sets up to pass.

GPLHSWebster005Webster's Kaleb MarxWebster Bearcat quarterback, Kaleb Marx sets up to pass

 

 

Panther's quarterback Martin Raasch (11) handing off to Riley Resmen (23) protected by Dawson Woertink (70).

GPLHSWebster006GPLHS's Martin Raasch (11) m Riley Resmen (23) and Dawson Woertink (70)Panther's quarterback Martin Raasch (11) handing off to Riley Resmen (23) protected by Dawson Woertink (70).

 

 

Webster's Sterling Rausch (2) tackling GPLHS's Nathan Bean (25)

GPLHSWebster007Webster's Sterling Rausch (2) tackling GPLHS's Nathan Bean (25)Webster's Sterling Rausch (2) tackling GPLHS's Nathan Bean (25)

 

 

Panther's Charley Beck (5) trying to elude the tackle of the Bearcat's Jhett Prins (28).

GPLHSWebster008Panther's Charley Beck (5) and Bearcat's Jhett Prins (28)Panther's Charley Beck (5) trying to elude the tackle of the Bearcat's Jhett Prins (28)

 

 

Panther's quarterback, Martin Raasch looking downfield for a receiver. Protection by Pierce Holien (21) and Charley Beck (5).

GPLHSWebster010Panther's Martin Raasch (11), Charley Beck (5) and Pierce Holien (21)Panther's quarterback, Martin Raasch looking downfield for a receiver. Protection by Pierce Holien (21) and Charley Beck (5)

 

 

Panther's quarterback Martin Raasch running for the corner pursued by Webster's Kaden Lesnar (64) and Mason Peckham (44).

GPLHSWebster011Panther's Martin Raasch (11), Bearcat's Mason Peckham (44) and Kaden Lesnar (64)Panther's quarterback Martin Raasch running for the corner pursued by Webster's Kaden Lesnar (64) and Mason Peckham (44)

 

 

Webster's Jayden Keller (81) being tackled by Panther's Sean Pluger (40).

GPLHSWebster014Bearcat's Jayden Keller (81) and Panther's Sean Pluger (40)Webster's Jayden Keller (81) being tackled by Panther's Sean Pluger (40)

 

 

Webster's Patrick VanSipe (12) running into a wall of GPLHS players.

GPLHSWebster015Webster's Patrick VanSipe (12)Webster's Patrick VanSipe (12) running into a wall of GPLHS players.

 

I'll probably be back next Friday with one more football game. Perhaps another post between now and then as I'm shooting quite a few things. Until then!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Football photography sports teaching https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/great-plains-lutheran-high-school-homecoming-football Sun, 23 Sep 2018 00:37:20 GMT
Homecoming 2018 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/homecoming I consider myself so fortunate to be teaching photography at Lake Area Tech. Not only do I get to work with some amazing students and watch them grow and succeed in their photography journeys, but I also am shooting more than I have in a long time. I'm also photographing subjects that I have not had opportunities to shoot in the past or subjects that were not cost effective when I was running my studio.

Here is a great example. Through excellent cooperation between the college and some of the local schools, we have been able to get on-field access to shoot various sporting events. Last evening was Watertown's homecoming game and it is certainly a big event here in our community.

I do not necessarily get to spend all my time shooting, as I want to be available as a resource to my students. Helping them pick their spots, suggesting angles and advising on settings. As much as I love shooting, it is a huge intrinsic reward for me to watch the students work and get great shots. Last evening, I loaned out my gear to a student for the first half as we are down a few pieces of equipment in the program.

However, as you know, there is no greater passion for me than actually making images. So, during the 2nd half of the game, I got my chance. It had been an exciting and competitive game, but sadly in the 2nd half the game started to slip away for the home team. The Arrows in purple suffered their first loss of the season. They played hard until to the end, which is a sign of a great team.  Here are some shots from the 2nd half of the Watertown Arrows vs the Brookings Bobcats. Final score 27-14.

(Hoover cursor over individual photos for player details.)

WHS002Watertown RB - Brett FossumCharging hard toward the end zone.

 

WHS001Brookings QB wrapped upJacob Schoon (11) tackled by Matthew Gines (8) and Sam Stroup (50)

 

WHS004Gang tackleDefenders Hunter Cordell (21), Adam Turbak (55) and Adam Dejong (5) bringing down Brookings runner.

 

Brookings001Waiting on the BlockBrookings wide receiver Preston Helmbolt behind offensive lineman Tucker Christie

 

WHS003Eluding the RushWatertown quarterback, Brandon Florey (11) moving in the pocket looking for an open receiver.

 

Brookings002Racing to the CornerBrookings wide receiver Isaac Oetken (3) trying to get to the corner.

 

Brookings003TouchdownBrooking's wide receiver Jay Wilber catches a pass in the end zone

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Football homecoming photography teaching https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/homecoming Sat, 15 Sep 2018 17:41:47 GMT
The Pasqueflower https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-pasqueflower Some years, winter seems to drag on forever. This year was actually a very mild winter until it was supposed to be done.  Then came March and April. I never thought spring would come.

I know each year when winter has lost its grip when the South Dakota state flower starts blooming.  The appearance of the Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens) is a time of serious joy in my heart.

 

DSC_0855Sunset PasqueWatertown, South Dakota

 

I’m not sure if it was the late spring or just pure luck on my part, but this year I was able to photograph these wonderful early spring blooms for longer than I ever had in the past. It was a very enjoyable several weeks.

 

DSC_9684Pasque MacroWatertown, SD

 

Many of the Pasqueflowers I photographed this year were on St. Anne’s Hill below the hospital here in Watertown, just a few blocks from home. I’ve often wondered if people wonder what I am doing as I crawl on the ground or bend in crazy ways so I can get a low perspective on these very tiny flowers.

As they are so tiny and I am often shooting in the low evening light, the focal range is very small. I have to fight the seemingly constant wind of South Dakota waiting for the flower to stand tall and not shake. Many, many photos turn out blurry from the motion, but patience does pay off eventually.

 

DSC_5872Pasque in the windWatertown, South Dakota

 

While the season has moved on and I’m not photographing other wildflowers, I’ve created a gallery under recent work on my website to show off some of my favorite shots of Pasqueflowers. Hope you enjoy.

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) nature outdoors pasqueflower photography south dakota spring wildflower https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-pasqueflower Wed, 20 Jun 2018 05:18:21 GMT
Sica Hollow May 2018 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/sica-hollow-may-2018 I had my first chance to visit one of my favorite state parks, Sica Hollow. I was expecting to maybe find Pasque Flowers as they are the first to bloom in the area, but I was shocked to find several surprises. 

I thought that I would share a few photos of the day.  

The first flower of the day was also the dominant flower in the park this trip. The Bloodroot. Such a brilliant white flower, it really stands out in the forest. Saw these happy flowers throughout the entire park from at the bottom near the creeks all the way up to the top of the hills bordering the prairie. These flowers only bloom for a day or two before dying.

 

BloodrootBloodroot(Sanguinaria canadensis)

 

As often happens, when I slow down to photograph one thing, I'll spot something else that I might have walked past if I hadn't stopped for something else. In today's case, while I was photographing one of the first Bloodroot flowers of the day, I happened to notice a tiny plant with tiny flowers. Dutchman's Breeches. They tend to be white, but when I spot them at Sica Hollow they are often pink.

 

Dutchmans BreechesDutchmans Breeches(Dicentra cucullaria)

 

Just a little further on by the running water, the Marsh Marigolds were abundant. These are brilliant yellow flowers with dark green leaves. They are so bright yellow, they are often very challenging to photograph. I decided to get in tight and shoot macro to try to get more of the detail that is hard to see.

 

MarshMarigoldMarsh Marigold(Caltha palustris)

 

As I climbed higher in the park, I mostly only continued to see Bloodroot, but I was surprised to see two small Canadian Violet flowers. Again, it would have been really easy to walk right past them. In several weeks, there will be a lot more throughout the park, but it was fun to see them today.

 

Canadian VioletCanadian White Violet(Viola canadensis)

 

Finally after climbing all the way to the top of the park, up on the prairie, I was able to find the flower that I most expected to see. South Dakota's state flower, the Pasque. Although they just started blooming in Watertown, it appears that Sica Hollow did not have the snow cover that we did late in April. Seems that the Pasque may actually be near the end of their bloom at Sica Hollow. This clump was right on the edge of the trail. I did find some close by on the hills, but none quite as photogenic as this bunch.

 

PasqueflowerPasqueflower(Anemone patens)

 

I'm planning on visiting the park a couple of times a month until then end of autumn. Hopefully, I won't get interrupted too many times with summer surprises in my schedule.

Until next time!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) bloodroot canadian white violet dutchman breeches marsh marigold nature pasque photography sica hollow sica hollow state park south dakota wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/sica-hollow-may-2018 Mon, 07 May 2018 04:06:17 GMT
Jigger Engineer https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/jigger-engineer For the last couple of years, I've found another creative release that is pretty much equal to my love of photography. Exploring and creating vintage and classic cocktails.

 

Kamikaze CocktailKamikaze Cocktail

Kamikaze Cocktail

 

In a way, this other release tends to pull me right back to the camera to document what I'm doing. It is natural for me to research, prep and create a cocktail in the kitchen or a bar and then rush the finished product right to a set in front of my camera. I find it just as rewarding to put a craft cocktail in front of a guest at the bar as I do sharing the photograph of the same cocktail on social media.

 

Clover ClubClover Club

The Clover Club

 

As I continue to be focused on the art of photography, I know this beverage work is going to start playing into the return of my commercial photography at some point. 

I'm working on a few other projects that I'd like to bring you up to date on soon. For now, however, take a look at the recent work tab to see more cocktails that I've been working on or click here.

Until next time!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) beverages cocktails commercial photography liquor https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/jigger-engineer Sun, 28 Jan 2018 23:04:27 GMT
Seasons and Transitions https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/9/seasons-and-transitions Back in 2008, the economic bust lead me from a career in technology to take a chance at making a business out of my passion and artistic release. With a ton of support from friends and relatives, I created PJ Anderson Photography. 

Lots of brides, models, products and events later, it is time to make a change. Just like summer has changed to autumn, it is time for me to adjust what photography means to me. My happiest moments with photography have always been when I am in the moment trying to make images that people overlook, or miss or can't see. I feel I can do that better when I am not trying to pay bills, taxes, insurance and all the other things that are involved in running a small business.

 

DSC_9263-EditDSC_9263-Edit

 

I've shared this decision with some of you over the last several months, spent some time grieving,  but today I'm going to put it into writing - the business of photography has ended and the return of the artist commences. 

I believe there are many, many more photos to share with you. More learning. More observations. Maybe a few crazy ideas tossed in as well. 

Thanks for being a part of my journey. Hope you'll stick around for the next phase.

This is a good thing.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) art artist business photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/9/seasons-and-transitions Sun, 25 Sep 2016 19:14:02 GMT
April at the Academie Agencie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/april-at-the-academie-agencie I love my affiliation with the Academie Agencie in Fargo. Over the years the collaboration and friendship has been amazing and invaluable.

 

The latest shoot there began with the modeling meeting theme of "Super Heroes" and I had fun shooting a few imaginative and fantastical looks.

 

DSC_6841-EditCatherine

 

DSC_6981-Edit-Edit-EditLiz

 

Moving on from there was more of the traditional commercial portfolio work. We shoot these several times over the course of the year for new models and those doing updates to their portfolios.

 

DSC_7079Ashley DSC_7347Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7438Ronnie DSC_6965-EditCatherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7207Mark DSC_6949Catherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7009-EditAshley DSC_7467Ronnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7132Catherine DSC_6982-EditLiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time!   PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Academie Agencie PJ Anderson Photography modeling photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/april-at-the-academie-agencie Wed, 11 May 2016 19:56:46 GMT
Bitter Irony https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/3/bitter-irony For the last several months, I sort of put my photography on the back burner while I spent most all of my time working for the Goss Opera House, where my studio has been located for the last several years.  AND, what a beautiful workplace it is. Sad that I was unable to use it often enough either from my workload or the fact that there hasn't been adequate heat or air conditioning for a couple of years.

 

Yesterday, I worked my final day at the Goss. Which frees me up to pursue photography again. Sadly though, I've also given up the space. There may be future opportunity there, but for today, it was a sad goodbye. Ironic to finally have the time available when I no longer have access to the space.

 

As I finished sweeping, I thought I'd take a couple of snaps. This one probably should have been a self portrait, but I didn't bring my camera with me, so I was limited to my Galaxy Note 3. Sort of feels like a modern version of a toy camera, so using Lightroom and PhotoEffects I decided on a Holga B&W treatment would be best. 

 

final beer001A final beer in Studio 8Last day in my studio at the Goss Opera House

 

I'm taking a short time off to contemplate on new directions. However, spring is here and I'm sure to be out crawling in the mud soon and chasing all the light and color of the season.

 

Until next time - PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/3/bitter-irony Mon, 21 Mar 2016 04:52:23 GMT
The Hidewood Valley & Turning Back https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/12/the-hidewood-valley-turning-back Just a quick post today as it has been entirely too long since I last posted. A lot of business and creative work going on behind the scenes.

I was driving home from Estelline, SD after doing interviews and photos for an upcoming Public Opinion article. Lately, I have had little free time as I pursue lots of projects right now, but as often happens when driving, I'll spot something and think to myself that the scene would make for a great photograph. Seems like most of those occasions do not allow for me to stop as I need to get somewhere else.

Driving north yesterday on interstate 29 I started crossing the Hidewood Valley, a beautiful landscape that I always love seeing. It is named Hidewood as this is where some of the Sioux involved in the U.S - Dakota War of 1862 had fled from Minnesota and hid for a time. You can read more about the Hidewood in this article from South Dakota Magazine.

It was a foggy day and as I drove into the valley I came out of the fog. The light was great and even though the color was rather dull due to early winter with no snow cover, it still was a pretty scene. I drove up the other side of the valley and back into the fog and it crossed my mind that I may never get another chance to see the valley with fog hanging around this way ever again. This time, I had to turn back. I found the next exit and worked my way onto a secondary highway that crossed back under the interstate so that I could stop and find a place to shoot.

This is a landscape photo that really needed a panoramic presentation as the sky was just entirely too big and white. Thought I'd get this one posted and let you see a little bit about what I notice driving down the highway.

Hidewood001Hidewood Valley, South Dakota

I'm hoping to get some additional posts for you soon.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Hidewood Photography South Dakota landscape https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/12/the-hidewood-valley-turning-back Sat, 12 Dec 2015 21:27:50 GMT
End of the Season https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/11/end-of-the-season I made a quick run to Sica Hollow yesterday as we had one more warm day in the 60's.  It feels odd for November, but I know winter isn't far away. I needed to resolve a few work issues before I could go and as these things often go, it took a lot longer than planned. So, I made it to the state park with only about 90 minutes of daylight left. It was overcast, compounding the situation.

I spent most of this trip on the Trail of Spirits, which was a nice way to end I think. Most of the year, I spent deep in the park on trails that aren't used as often as the very accessible Trail of Spirits. However, this trail is where I first fell in love with the park. It is a beautiful walk, although it often frustrates me due to the ignorance and carelessness of people. Plenty of beer cans, cigarette wrappers and plastic bottles all taking away from the beauty of the forest and in places that will damage the fragile water system.

However, I tried to remain upbeat and enjoy the forest for one last trip. It was damp and there was plenty of water flowing in Roy Creek in this part of the park. A few remaining hardy green and red plants along the ground were around to break the monotony of the brown fallen leaves from the oaks and dogwoods. I couldn't find any blooms at all. Looks like I'll need to wait until spring to see the early blooms of the Pasque flowers and the Bloodroot.

I paused after driving over the hill leaving the park for a look back. The setting sun was lighting up some of the gloomy clouds and the light was sort of neat. I took this photo as I was saying goodbye for the season.

 

LeavingSicaHollow001Leaving Sica Hollow 2015View back toward the setting sun

 

I started this year with the intention to visit the park every two weeks from snow melt to snow fall. I did reasonably well on that intention, however, other responsibilities did pull me away for a bit. I'll be summarizing my year in a longer post later. Looking to the future, I'll most like attempt to make at least the same number of trips next season. I might also pop in during the winter months to see what I see.

Until next time,

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Sica Hollow Sica Hollow State Park South Dakota nature photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/11/end-of-the-season Thu, 05 Nov 2015 18:50:56 GMT
Funny thing happened at work today https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/10/funny-thing-happened-at-work-today Mike VeeckMike VeeckMike Veeck is a nationally renowned speaker, entrepreneur, college professor, marketing, promotions and advertising expert as well as an owner of six successful minor league baseball teams.

 

This is Mike Veeck. 

Mike Veeck is a nationally renowned speaker, entrepreneur, college professor, marketing, promotions and advertising expert as well as an owner of six successful minor league baseball teams, including the St. Paul Saints.

If you are old enough to remember KC and the Sunshine Band, you might know of a particular promotional event that hastened the end of the disco craze. The Disco Demolition promotion, July 12th, 1979 at the Chicago White Sox vs Detroit Tigers double header.  If you aren't quite to my advanced age or need a refreser, take a quick look at this Youtube video. As interesting and memorable as this is, it certainly was the beginning of a tough stretch for Mike.

As my business and my portfolio career continue to evolve, yesterday I took my first stab at reporting for the local paper. My first assignment - cover a seminar called "Fun is Good" featuring Mr. Veeck.

Feeling pretty solid on the photography side didn't quite ease my anxiety about actually writing a story for the paper on this event, but there I was, determined to do my best.

As the event gets started, I'm working the back of the room with a long lens so that I am not distracting from the presenter - just like I would have done in the past at weddings. However, much to my alarm, Mike Veeck points back at me and says "Are you taking photos of me?"  Of course, I nod my head yes and he immediately calls me to the front of the room.  So much for being inconspicuous. As I am coming to the front, he plops down on his knees so I am taking a photo from above him to make sure his chin looks good.  Ok, this guy is funny stuff.

What followed was three great hours of Mike Veeck and his co-presenter Fran Zeuli talking about making sure there is fun in the workplace and in your career and in your life.  Even better, when the presentation was done and everyone else left, I got to sit down to talk face to face. Interview style for my big article.

I got a ton out of it, but more so for me as a creative than anything I put in the article. Tons of validation for me as I embrace the concept of portfolio career. Turns out Mike Veeck is the perfect example for making a portfolio career work.  He "gets" the challenges that a creative like me struggles with.

End of the day, I get the first step toward one more element of my portfolio career by adding "reporter", but I also got to be inspired by a guy who has overcome challenges that put some of my darkest moments to shame.  I immediately began to read his book and you can be sure I'll be trying to learn more.

Yup, a funny thing happened at work today.

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Mike Veeck business portfolio career https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/10/funny-thing-happened-at-work-today Wed, 14 Oct 2015 13:21:23 GMT
Wilderness in the Middle of the City https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/9/wilderness-in-the-middle-of-the-city Spent quite a bit of time in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area this last few months. While I've been able to keep up with my regular trips to Sica Hollow State Park this summer, I've definitely had more time in urban areas as opposed to wilderness this summer.

Recently, an uncle mentioned that there was a nature center in Richfield, a suburb of Minneapolis, just off a ridiculously busy stretch of Interstate 35. Last week I decided to take a look. All I can say is that the city of Richfield has a glorious gem of wilderness. Although, I could never really escape the sound of the cars on the highway, the wildlife and the flowers didn't seem to mind, so neither did I.

The Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre natural area dedicated to environmental education, wildlife observation, and outdoor recreation. It has three miles of trails and these are very nice trails making for easy hiking. The park has marsh, forest and even a stretch of prairie (reminders of my South Dakota home.)

Found lots of great late summer flowers as well as quite a bit of wildlife including ducks, geese, great blue herons, cranes, a muskrat and even a couple of deer. 

Purple LoosestrifePurple LoosestrifeWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

First wildflower I came across on the shoreline of the lake was Purple Loosestrife. Loved the wonderful purple color against the grays of the reflected sky in the water. Unfortunately, I found out later this is an invasive species that tends to crowd out the natives like cattails and other wetland plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Loosestrife DiptychPurple Loosestrife DiptychWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two photos to show more detail of the individual blooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted Touch Me NotSpotted Touch Me NotWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

The next flower I found was one that is familar to me from the wet portions of Sica Hollow State Park in South Dakota.  The Spotted Touch Me Not. Although, the blooms here had little or no spots, unlike their cousins in South Dakota.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DuckDuckWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

The wildlife here is clearly used to people walking through their home. This duck actually swam closer to where I was on the shore to hop up on this log perch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American BellflowerAmerican BellflowerWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

Next flower along the trail was one I hadn't seen before. This is a tiny bloom, but such cool detail. This is the American Bellflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild MintWild MintWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This next flower was a new one for me as well. This is Wild Mint. The color and the blooms are very similar to the Wild Onion that I run into quite often in South Dakota, but the position of the blooms along the stem had me stumped until I could get to the field guides for identification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild MintWild MintWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a detail shot of two clumps of blooms on the Wild Mint. What a cool wildflower!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted HorsemintSpotted HorsemintWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not far behind the Wild Mint, I found another new, but sort of similar flower as it also had clumps of blooms along the stem. Nature is nothing short of amazing! This is the Spotted Horsemint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted Horsemint DetailSpotted Horsemint DetailWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

Closer detail of the blooms along the stem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White SnakerootWhite SnakerootWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

Next up was another wildflower that I've seen quite regularly on my hikes out in nature. This is the White Snakeroot. This can really be a tough flower to photograph, but the sun being low in the sky and filtering through the forest gave such a cool backlight, I really couldn't ignore this shot.

 

 

 

 

 

SowthistleSowthistleWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

It is easy to write this flower off as it looks so similar to the backyard pest Dandelion, but this is a tall flower. This is a type of Sowthistle.  The yellow was fantastic in the evening sun.

 

 

 

 

 

Bittersweet NightshadeBittersweet NightshadeWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another flower I am very familiar with.

This is the Bittersweet Nightshade, a non-native species and while it is incredibly beautiful it can really overrun a backyard garden and choke out other plants. I first ran into this in our backyard and I really thought it was great find. However, it proceeded to kill off the honeysuckle that was next to it. It can be a persistent little bugger, but if you keep at it, you can get rid of it.

After I've said all that, it is still a really cool flower!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AsterAsterWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

A happy bunch of Aster. Always a pleasure to see these guys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New England AsterNew England AsterWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

Sort of embarrassed to admit that I didn't recognize these beauties out in the field. I was thrown off as most of these blooms weren't open completely, but this is another Aster, the New England Aster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee on New England AsterBee on New England AsterWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

The New England Aster is an important late summer bloom for the bees. Even though the summer is fading fast, there were still quite a few bees working these plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is absolutely wonderful that a city like Richfield sees the importance of wilderness and makes this wonderful park available to its citizens. I enjoyed my visit and I know I'll be back to see what is blooming next spring. I'm sure it will be beautiful!

If you are in the Twin Cities area, I'd really recommend that you visit this island of wilderness in your backyard.

Until next time - PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Wood Lake Nature Center photography wilderness wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/9/wilderness-in-the-middle-of-the-city Thu, 17 Sep 2015 05:15:45 GMT
Freedom to Create https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/freedom-to-create A lot of the work I do has some sort of restrictions, expectations or specifications. Whether it be time or location or client needs. As a business person, I get that and I accept that. However, that can be a bit stifling when the artist wants to come out to play.

I've said it many times before, I have such a great location where my workspace is located. The light is great, the space is great, the colors and textures are all fantastic. So, when I have the time to "just shoot" and a super friendly local model to work with, well, that adds up to artistic freedom. I recently had that opportunity model Keri and had a fantastic, laid back, fun shoot.

 

DSC_3575DSC_3575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've had the pleasure to work with Keri on a couple of occasions and she is just a gem to work with.  Great look, great smile, super easy to work with and I'm pretty sure she can't take a bad photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3560DSC_3560

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't always get the chance to work with many of the models I've photographed more than once. When the opportunity arises, it is fantastic. First off, I already have a bit of an idea of how that person works. I also don't have to work through introductions and first time jitters. There is just a huge gain in time, productivity and the freedom to get right to the creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3615-EditDSC_3615-Edit

 

 

 

The same is true of a place you've worked in many times. Where you have a feel for how the light is going to work. Where colors are going to play well. How certain locations or angles will allow you to set a certain mood. That's the way I feel about the Goss Opera House.  It doesn't matter what time of year, or what time of day, there is always a place for me to capture a great image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3656DSC_3656

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having this great comfort level of working with a model I've worked with before in a location that I know very well lets me let loose and see how the light impacts me.  How a different angle changes a mood. How similar or dissimilar things can blend in a composition. Pure artistic freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fun thing to play with is taking essentially the same shot and then with post processing create a completely different feel. Like in the next two photos.

 

DSC_3697DSC_3697   DSC_3696-EditDSC_3696-Edit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3740-EditDSC_3740-Edit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, a very rewarding day and a really nice change of pace. Much thanks go to Keri for being so generous with her time and her willingness to work with me in a really unstructured way.

Days like these allow me to really stretch my creative muscles and make me that much better when I am working on jobs for business clients or individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a business or individual that needs advertising or marketing photos that involve people, I do have access to a large pool of models and actors through my association with the Academie Agencie. Especially for my local clients, there is no reason to think that just because we live in a small community that we can't do big things with our advertising and marketing. Please give me a shout anytime.

If you are someone that has an interest in modeling (or a parent of someone interested in modeling), please feel free to let me know. I'd be glad to help you explore that. I've been involved with that industry for over 15 years and I feel confident that I can point you in the right directions.

Until next time!

PJ

 

#unstarvingartist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) art creativity modeling photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/freedom-to-create Mon, 31 Aug 2015 04:49:59 GMT
Commercial Photography of Food https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/commercial-photography I think most people's personal contacts with photographers would typically be with the portrait/wedding photographer.  Of course, I've shot my share of weddings, seniors and other portraits, but that was never really my intention getting into the business of photography. Therefore, I've returned to my origins of art photography and commercial photography.

I live in a small market and I spend a bit of time educating people on how my business is different from portrait studios. Let me be the first to say, there are a ton of superb photographers in my network that totally rock weddings, seniors and babies.  If you are in the market for that type of work, I'd be glad to point you in the right direction.

I've often shared my art photography here online, so today I want to discuss the commercial side.  Commercial photography relates more to advertising, marketing, model and product photography.  I've also shared quite a bit of modeling photography through my work with the Academie Agencie in Fargo, so this time I thought I'd share product photography and specifically food photography.

I have the wonderful opportunity to work almost daily with an outstanding chef. Chef Trevor Heintzman of Charley's @the Goss has been blowing away diners with his creations since his arrival at the Goss Opera House. I recently shared how much fun it is to photograph musicians and their passion. I can tell you, it is equally as much fun to photograph Chef Trevor's amazing creations.

There are different ways to photograph food. Some are staged and use a variety of "tricks" to make the food look better. I'm sure most of you have seen the extreme of this. Look for a photo of a Whopper or a Big Mac and then compare to the one you get from the drive thru. For fun, here's a post that shows some of the different ways food can be "styled". I certainly want to show food or any product in the best possible way, but I am not a fan of gimmicks. When a customer views my photo and then comes to purchase that item, I want them to see the same thing.

DSC_3845Filet OscarChef Trevor Heintzman - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

As in almost everything else I photograph, I much prefer the "real" light from the sun as opposed to studio light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_4891Pecan crusted troutChef Trevor Heintzman - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

While I don't go in for gimmicks, color, texture, shadow and layout are very important to me in the composition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3943RouladeChef Trevor Heintzman - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

Much like photographing musicians, it is so much easier to photograph true passion. Chef Trevor's food is as much art as it is sustenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AvocadoSeafoodCevicheAvocado Seafood CevicheChef Trevor - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe product photography is a huge advantage in relaying information to customers. Sure, the menu at Charley's @ the Goss gives a nice description of the Avocado Seafood Ceviche, but I'm not sure most customers would be able to visualize this fantastic appetizer in their minds quite like the photo in conjuction with the the text can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_2408St. Louis Style RibsChef Trevor - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, it isn't even specifically just about photographing the end product, but the preparation. Trust me, showing customers this photograph of Chef Trevor going the extra mile by spending all night smoking ribs for an outdoor concert event made a huge impact with his customers.

 

 

 

 

 

SalmonPinwheelSalmon PinwheelChef Trevor - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

One more of Chef Trevor's creations, just because it looks so darn good. If you happen to find yourself in Watertown, South Dakota, you really ought to visit Charley's @ the Goss and sample some of this fantastic food for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_1257Irish CoffeeCrossroads Bar @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to photographing Chef Trevor's amazing creations, I also get an opportunity to photograph cocktails.  Here's one we whipped together for a promotion.

Cocktails are often as much about environment as they are about the drink. This one was fun to bring in the colors and lights of the bar into the composition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd love for more businesses in my market to learn about commercial photography and how my business can help bring the pictures to their stories. Give me a shout, I'd love to talk.

Until next time!

 

#unstarvingartist

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Charleys @ the Goss Chef Trevor Heintzman Commercial Photography Food Photography Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/commercial-photography Sat, 29 Aug 2015 00:47:20 GMT
Summer shoot at the Academie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/summer-shoot-at-the-academie I've been a bit slow at poting the last shoot at the Academie Agencie.  I've been associated with the Academie now for over 15 years and it has always been a very rewarding and fun relationship.  Several times a year, I go to Fargo to shoot with their new models and also to update portfolios for models that have been listed in the past.

Without any additional preamble, let's get on to this round of models.

Victor019VictorAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victor had a great intense look that I wanted to feature. Think he nailed it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciara019CiaraAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure print commercial look by Ciara.  Excellent smile and a ton of fun to work with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary032MaryAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Fargo has always been a fun place to shoot, but it has changed dramatically since 1999.  Such great energy uptown with all the new things going on.  Of course now, there are a lot more challenges with more people (and tons of other photographers!)

Worked hard to find a spot that was out of the intense light and some of the congestion for this shot of Mary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken031KenAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked the light and color of this particular location.  Played really well with, Ken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan005MeganAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probably the most fun working with Academie models is when I get to work with them multiple times.  It is always rewarding to see how they've grown with experience and over time.

Been a while since I shot with Megan, she was quite a bit younger, but it was great to reconnect.  What a beautiful face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie018LeslieAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved the different looks that Leslie was able to pull off and the wardrobe and props she brought with her.  Revisited this gritty alley again, the light was fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciara064CiaraAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Ciara again.  What a fantastic look.

Used some tools from OnOne Software to give this more of an old school look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken065KenAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Ken again.  I love the completely different look the Academie gave Ken with a dramatically different hairstyle.  

This alley has completely transformed over the years. Originally it had a roof and was very seedy.  I usually took a walk through the alley to make sure it was safe before I ever brought a model here. Now, for a good chunk of the day, I was unable to shoot here as it is now outdoor seating for a restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea032ChelseaAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The alleys near the Academie always give me a good mood for this sort of photo. I've actually shot several boxers and fighters over the years here.  Chelsea certainly fit the part. Talk about an intense look.

I used tools from OnOne Softare again for this "Holga-like" look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie094LeslieAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Leslie again.  Completely different look from her first grunge shoot earlier in the day. Also another new look from when I first started shooting in downtown Fargo.  Back then, this was a parking lot.

The lighting in this lobby is really cool and a fun change from working outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've got a few more blog posts lined up to send out to the interwebs over the upcoming days.  Hope you'll stop back and check them out.

Oh, and I love to hear comments.  Don't be shy.

Until then,

PJ

 

#unstarvingartist

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Academie Agencie modeling photography models photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/summer-shoot-at-the-academie Wed, 26 Aug 2015 03:07:20 GMT
Concert Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/concert-photography Most who have followed my photography, probably know how much I like working with musicians.  It is awesome to use my passion for photography to capture their images while they are celebrating their passion for music.  Their energy draws me like a moth to the light.

As the photographer at the Goss Opera House, I have the good fortune (and awesome responsibility) to record the events that cross our stage. Recently, three of the most accomplished guitar players in the country came through on tour. Greg Koch, JD Simo and Johnny A.  

For those of you not familiar with the Goss, it was built back in 1889 (the same year as the Eiffel Tower was built and the year South Dakota became a state). The ground floor currently houses Charley's restaurant and Crossroads Bar,where I spend a lot of my evenings serving drinks to guests.  The second floor is where the opera hall itself resides.  It is really quite a large room, able to accommodate more than 500 in the audience.

GregKochToneControlsGreg Koch& the ToneControlsGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

To give you a sense of the space, here's a view from the main floor of the opera hall of the headliners, Greg Koch and the Tone Controls.

 

 

 

 

 

The big room brings many challenges.  Of course, it is much darker than it seems with the naked eye when you are watching a performance.  Shooting a wedding here is darker than most churches and can give photographers a real challenge. After three plus years of working in the space, I've learned a lot about how to approach photography here.

 

GregKochGreg KochGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to wonderful colors throughout the building, the Goss also features amazing textures and backgrounds.  These are fun to highlight. They work particularly well when I take an image into the black and white realm.

 

 

 

Dark backgrounds in conjuction with sometimes very bright stage lights sometimes really lend themselves to moody black and white images.  I thought it also really suited this intense look from frontman, Greg Koch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3829JD SimoGoss Opera House

 

 

Bright stage lights also give me a chance to play with colors and mood beyond black and white.  For example, JD Simo happened to be playing in a portion of the stage that was primarily being lit by a blue light.

 

 

I had to work a bit with white balance in the post production to make the skin tones work, but I love the way the blues worked in this image.

 

 

 

 

 

More than anything though, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I'm so drawn into the passion of the artists.  It guides me through the process to how I'll process an image. I want that image to have the feel of that moment when I clicked the shutter.  The mood of the song, the intensity of the player, the energy of the audience.

 

DSC_3850-EditJohnny AGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

This gritty shot of Johnny A is exactly what I was aiming for when I captured the image. You can see the intensity on his face.  I think the energy really comes though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working at the Goss and having been there for a while allows me the chance to shoot from perspectives that almost no one else gets to see.  Having the opportunity to work backstage or from the balcony or from the catwalk offstage lets me get more of what the artist experiences.  


DSC_3881Greg Koch and the Tone ControlsGoss Opera House, backstage

 

 

 

 

 

Here's a glimpse from backstage and looking into a portion of the audience. You can just make out the far right side of the balcony as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3926Johnny AGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

Backstage also allows me to be at the same height as the performers and quite a bit closer depending on where I shoot from. Here's some more great emotion in a black and white of Johnny A shot from backstage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DSC_3914JD SimoGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a similar shot of JD Simo from backstage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am truly blessed to have these opportunities to capture and record these very special events. I've worked with some fantastic people that set me up for success.  I can never thank them enough.

I've got a few other blog posts queued up for the next few days.  My last shoot with the models at the Academie Agencie, the latest trip to Sica Hollow and the latest shoot with a fantastic local model.  So, until then!

--PJ

 

#unstarvingartist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Event Photography Musician Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/concert-photography Mon, 24 Aug 2015 07:29:48 GMT
That's a great camera (or What camera should I buy?) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/thats-a-great-camera-or-what-camera-should-i-buy Yesterday at my parent's home, my mom called me to the kitchen to shoot a photo of a tiny chipmunk on top of a sunflower. It was working at getting out the last few seeds.  As any good son would do, I went to get my camera (I'm also sort of fond of these little critters, so I suppose that also played into the equation).

The flower was probably ten feet from the sliding glass door.  I figured I  ought to shoot through the glass as opening the door would probably startle the little fella.  I shot a few frames and then popped open the door to try for a more clear shot. Unfortunately, as I expected, the critter bolted.  I knew I had at least one shot in the can and so I'd be ok with that.

 

DSC_3997Chipmunk on Sunflower

 

I packed up my stuff and was returning it to the bedroom with my other gear and I overheard mom and my sister-in-law say something like this: "He has a great camera and it takes great photos."   Arrgghh!  My own family said that!  I went out and told them the old comparison that photographers will use when our cameras get the credit for the images.  Do you tell a chef that "you have really great pans, they make really great food"? Of course not. While the tools certainly help us to do our best, it is still the creative making the art (photo, painting, food, song, etc.)  

So, we had a bit of a laugh about that.  However, later in the evening while I was reviewing some photographs that I had shot earlier yesterday at historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul and I started to wonder.  During this visit to the old fort, I carried a large bag with my photo equipment from the parking lot, to the visitor center and finally to the fort.  It was a bit of a trek and it was pretty hot and humid.  I'd have been better served if I wore the backpack I usually wear when I am hiking in the wilderness, but I hadn't thought that through when we left.

 

civil war snellingCivil War ReenactmentHistoric Fort Snelling, MN

 

 

The fort was having a Civil War reenactment and there was a great turnout of visitors.  There were a ton of things for me to photograph, but my bulky equipment and the tight spaces combined with a lot of people, really made it rather unpleasant.  I ended up killing about 20 minutes returning to the car with my equipment bag and dropping off everything except my camera body and one lens.

 

Feeling a ton lighter and more maneuverable made things a lot better and I was able to capture some photos around the fort.  I did, however, come to the conclusion that I really want to re-visit at another time when it is a little less busy and I have more freedom with my schedule.

 

 

 

 

What I did find was that I shot a lot more photos with the camera on my Galaxy Note III phone and that brings me more to the point of this blog post.  People ask me "what is the best camera?" often enough.  The answer I generally give is "the one you have with you."  Which at a deep level is really a good answer.  It is an answer that often makes those that have been doing photography for a while stop and think a little.  BUT, it is probably NOT a very satisfying answer to those just getting started.  If that is you, check out the website dpreview.com for some great resources in determining what camera works best with your skills, interests and budget.

I've been shooting more with my cell phone camera in recent months and feeling more satisfied with what I am able to capture as I learn more about what it is good at and what it struggles with.  This all hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. There I was in a situation where my pro equipment was completely awkward and the phone in my pocket just felt like a better solution.  As a result, the better photos of the trip are the photos that I posted to Instagram from my phone (I'm @pjinsodak if you would like to follow.)

 

Insta PotOld equipmentHistoric Fort Snelling

 

 

 

 

 

Old iron pot and other metal work in the blacksmith shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insta BarrelBarrelsHistoric Fort Snelling, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Storage barrels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insta OpiumOpium BottleHistoric Fort Snelling

 

 

 

 

 

Bottle of Opium in the display discussing wounded Civil War soldiers and the aftermath of war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a sense, my cell phone camera saved the day.  It allowed me to capture meaningful photos in a way that I wouldn't have been able to easily with my professional gear. It was the "BEST" camera at the moment. Of course, I wasn't out shooting for a job or for photos that I planned on being able to deliver as wall art.  These were for fun and for my own memories.

As useful as the cell phone camera is even with their improved quality, they still can't get shots that take a little more thought and effort.  For example, the photo of the chipmunk that starts this post.  I couldn't have shot that in a million years with the cell phone.  Shooting a small, fast object in a busy background, through a window and from some distance, I would have been lucky to see anything.

It really comes down to making the best of the equipment you have with you and using what is most suited to the moment. Sometimes, for me, that means taking a step back from the very serious business of photography and allowing the joy of capturing an image come front and center.  For example, here are too very different and at the same time, very similar images.  First one for fun with the cell phone over morning coffee - the other on a trip into the wilderness to capture high quality images.  Both stand on their own for what they are.

 

Insta TigerstripeTiger Striped SwallowtailCell phone image

 

 

DSC_1307Tiger Striped SwallowtailSherburne NWR

 

I'm out chasing butterflies!  Until next time.

--PJ

 

#Unstarvingartist

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(PJ Anderson Photography) DSLR PJ Anderson Photography Photography cell phone camera https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/thats-a-great-camera-or-what-camera-should-i-buy Mon, 17 Aug 2015 19:20:37 GMT
Share the art? https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/share-the-art I've been thinking a lot about where I go with art and creativity going into the future.  A lot of thought continues to rest with the Fugitives on the Forgotten Highway project which, by definition, is a collaborative effort.  I'll be collaborating directly with a small group of creatives, but also hopefully with the larger region of creatives (or at least those that support the arts and creativity).

I've also been thinking about a return to the world of painting as a medium to supplement or complement my photography. I mean, these days, photographers are a dime a dozen.  I ask myself, "How can I be different?"

Anyways, with both of these thoughts in the back of my mind, I happened upon a website called PBNify, which brought me WAY back to my childhood. Back then, there were lots of "paint by number" kits.  Some might say paint by numbers is cheating.  Why not go and create your own?  But, the act of actually putting paintbrush to canvas has a lot of benefit.  One does not just pick up a brush and paint a masterpiece, it comes with a lot of work and a lot of practice.  Call this part of the training.  Learning how paint hangs on a brush.  Learn how much you have to apply to the canvas.  Learn how different colors seem to need different approaches.  See those two numbers right next to each other that have nearly identical colors?  Here's where you learn about light and shadow.  If you don't really look, do you really see?

This morning I shot a photo of a water lily in the backyard with my phone.  I thought it looked sort of paint like. Maybe this might be a fun photo to PBNify and see what the results look like. So, here's the original:

 

11754541_10155864173870075_85267876477405466_oOriginal Waterlily image

 

I dropped this original file into the website www.pbnify.com, which then instructs the user to click several points to set a palette of colors.  I ended up selecting 20 colors as seen here:

 

PBNPalettePBNPalette

 

I then let the website do its magic and it showed me what the filled in painting would look like.  Of course, you lose a lot of detail in a painting like this, but I definitely like the feel of this:

 

PBNWaterLilyPBN WaterLily

 

And finally, here is the actual "paint by number" outline.

 

PBNLinesPBN Outline

 

I'm thinking, "pretty cool".   You should probably watch for more of this in the future as we push forward with the Fugitives project and perhaps some other community things I have been tossing around in my mind.

Until next time!

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Art Collaborate Community Paint by Numbers Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/share-the-art Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:18:43 GMT
Revisit with Fresh Eyes (and new tools) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/revisit-with-fresh-eyes-and-new-tools I've made several trips to Badlands National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota over the years.  Back in 2003, I breezed through both locations as I was in Rapid City for a business conference.  Unlike most trips where I plan and prepare for photography, this trip was photography only when and IF I could.  Turned out "when I could" was often too late in the evening to shoot the way I'd have liked to with the limitations of the equipment I had at the time.

Back then I was shooting my 2nd professional DSLR, the Fuji S2 Pro.  My first two Fuji cameras were beyond compare when it came to color, but they lacked in lower light and in sharp detail.  This made them fantastic for working with models, but a little more challenging when I was out crawling in the mud.

Last evening, I connected to an older hard drive looking for an image and found this group of photos from 2003.  These are images that I would have said "There's a photo in there somewhere", but sadly, back then, I couldn't edit/process them well enough to be happy about.  Fortunately, with newer technology and a better skill set, the photos that I knew were there have arrived - a dozen years later.

These were edited in Adobe Lightroom CS and onOne Software's Pefect Photo Suite 8.

Enough talking, jump in the wayback machine with me and visit the Badlands and Black Hills as I saw them in 2003.

BadLandsDSCF0327-EditThe prairie beside the BadlandsBadlands National Park, South Dakota

The prairie looking out of the Badlands toward Wall, SD.  The sun was low in the sky and the color was so vibrant that I'll never forget it.

 

BadLandsDSCF0343Badlands Evening SkyBadlands National Park, South Dakota The amazing colors of the Badlands, the green grass, the colored sand, the bands in the mountains and the setting sun making the sky glow.

 

BadLandsDSCF0341Deer in the BadlandsBadlands National Park, South Dakota Local residents.  I had no business trying to get this shot back in 2003.

 

BadLandsDSCF0333Badlands Evening Sky 2Badlands National Park, South Dakota Another vista in the Badlands as the sun is getting low.

 

BadLandsDSCF0350Badlands Evening Sky 3Badlands National Park, South Dakoa Looking right into the setting sun.  I'm surprised I was able to find this much detail in a photograph that was ridiculously blown out.

 

BadLandsDSCF0285-2-Edit-EditSpearfish Canyon FogBlack Hills of South Dakota This fog was so cool.  I was very disappointed that I just couldn't make it work back in the day.

 

BadLandsDSCF0270-2Bridal Veil Falls, Spearfish CanyonBlack Hills of South Dakota Bridal Veil Falls, I had limited space to work with to capture the height of this waterfall in the canyon.  Probably still be a tough photo.  Time to go see it again, I think.

 

BadLandsDSCF0282-EditRoughlock Falls, Spearfish CanyonBlack Hills of South Dakota The new tools allowed me to strip away distracting elements that ruined this image for me back in 2003. This is the top of Roughlock Falls. It is a little grainy from shooting a long exposure, but for a black and white like this, it feels right.

Two morals to this story:  First, don't give up on images that you KNOW have merit.  Second, if you haven't been to the Badlands and the Black Hills, uhmmm, what are you waiting for?

 

Until next time,

PJ

 

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Black Hills PJ Anderson Photography South Dakota badlands national park landscape lightroom photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/revisit-with-fresh-eyes-and-new-tools Tue, 14 Jul 2015 23:56:31 GMT
How I Identify Butterflies, Moths and Wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/about-butterflies-and-wildflowers I grew up in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota.  Nature has always held a special place in my heart and I try to escape to it as often as I can.  It might be little harder, maybe,  being that I live on the Great Plains now, but the "working harder" to get to the forests probably make it that much more special to me.

I've learned a lot of things over the years and the miles of hiking, but there is so much variety and diversity in the wild, there is just no way for me to know the names of everything I see.  That's where field guides and the internet come into play.  Thought I'd share my "Go To" resources.  Of course, they are a little biased to my part of the world, but hopefully they could be resources to you too, or a at least a starting point.

 

Northern Pearly-EyeNorthern Pearly-EyePhotographed at Lake Bemidji State Park in Minnesota

Without the field guides I use, I'd have had a hard time figuring out the butterfly above was the Northern Pearly Eye (Enodia anthedon) when we spotted it in Lake Bemidji State Park in Minnesota.  The guide I have is fantastic and it appears to be the one most recommended by butterfly enthusiasts.

It's called the Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America and it is organized by groups such as Admirals, Whites, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Metalmarks, Brushfoots, etc.  The guide includes range, actual sizes, great images, helpful identification hints and quite a bit more detail.

 

Kaufman ButterfliesKaufman Field Guide to Butterflies

 

In addition to the field guide, I also use the website Butterflies and Moths of North America which is an excellent resource with tons of great photos. Often, I'll find what I think is correct in the field guide and then verify using photos from Butterflies and Moths of North America and Wikipedia.

For their cousins the moths, things are a little more challenging.  Maybe because they are often unseen and generally go about by nighttime, they just don't seem to be as popular.  I use the book below called Discovering Moths - Nighttime Jewels in Your Own Backyard by John Himmelman.

Discovering MothsDiscovering Moths

 

This is the tool I used to be able to find out that the following photograph was of the Virginia Ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica), when I happened upon several in Sica Hollow State Park in South Dakota. This one happens to be a daylight flying moth.  The Butterflies and Moths of North America website is helpful for moths too.

Virginia CtenuchaVirginia Ctenucha

 

For wildflowers, I have to use a variety resources to track them down.  It seems to be a little more challenging to identify wildflowers than butterflies. Perhaps it is because wildflowers can change so much in their lifespan or because there is such amazing variety.  I usually start with the Peterson First Guides for Wildflowers (Northeastern and North Central America).  This is a handy small size, so if I carry a book into the field with me, it's this one.  It is also organized by color which I find VERY helpful.

 

WildflowersGrasses and Other PlantsWildflowersGrasses and Other Plants

 

The second book  pictured above, that I usually go to is Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Plants of the Northern Plains and Black Hills by Van Bruggen (above)  This one has nice images and is also sorted by color.  The photos in this book generally match what I see in the field better than other books. It is in this book I found out the following wildflower is a Bracted Spiderwort and that it can be seen anywhere from pale pink to dark purple or blue.  The book goes on to explain that this may be related to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.  SO much to learn!

 

Bracted SpiderwortBracted Spiderwort

 

The third book I use is Wildflowers of the Northern Great Plains.  This book has great details and I think it is an excellent book.  It isn't quite as easy as the others for identification, however as it isn't organized by color, but by the traditional taxonomic order (I'm sure this is great for botanists, but not as helpful to this crawling in the mud photographer).

Maybe even MORE helpful than the books in this category is an online resource that I think is absolutely amazing.  The volunteer run Minnesota Wildflowers site.  So many advanced search tools to help you find that elusive wildflower ID.  If you find this site useful as I do, please consider donating to these fantastic wildflower people.

So, there you have it.  That's how I track down the things I see in my world. If you have a resource I haven't mentioned, I'd sure love to hear about it in the comments.

Until next time!

PJ

 

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Butterflies Identification Moths Photography Wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/about-butterflies-and-wildflowers Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:14:18 GMT
Ad Interim https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/6/ad-interim In the past, I've mostly kept my blog posts very narrowly focused around specific photography sessions.  However, my business and life have changed pretty dramatically over the last half year or so.  Rather than have the blog getting dusty or living in a vacuum, I've decided to share more of where life is taking me in addition to the photography.

The first change I'll mention is how at the end of last year, I decided that I was getting out of the wedding photography business.  While we had wonderful couples and families to work with and along with my partner photographer, Lindsey Jungers, we shot some amazing photos, it just really wasn't where I wanted to focus. Also the time sensitivity and demands of wedding photography took away a lot of the prime time that I shoot other things.

Ever since I moved my workspace to the Goss Opera House, I've become more and more involved with the operation.  I've been fortunate to work with so many fantastic people over the years.  Last summer, in addition to website, social networking, marketing and such, I've started working behind the bar as well.  Been a lot of fun to spend one on one time with a ton of great customers.  Plus, the paycheck was helping me in the photography business model transition.

The biggest change for me, however, is that I've moved to Burnsville, Minnesota.  Probably for the entire summer to assist my mother in the care of my father who is challenged with Parkinson's disease and dementia.  It is a struggle for my family and the team at the Goss, but they have been incredibly supportive.

HOWEVER, even with all this going on, I want to assure you the photography goes on!  I've been doing commercial work all along and of course the project of documenting one of my favorite state parks, Sica Hollow continues.  I'll be working very diligently at posting photos from that project and other artistic work for you.  Thus, the title of this blog post is Ad-Interim, which in Latin means literally, for the time between.

For the near future, here is my temporary workspace at the home of my parents in Burnsville.

Temporary WorkspaceTemporary WorkspaceTemporary Workspace

You'll be able to spot a few important things here in the photo.  Obviously, my photo gear and my computer/editing tools. You'll see my Tenba messenger bag, my big Galaxy Note 3 (needed for my big fingers!), several field guides for wildflowers and butterflies, a photo of my kids from when they were little, my Minnesota Wild hat, my blue pillow and of course a coffee cup!

And for a sneak peek, I'll post the image I was editing in the workspace photo from my trip to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. I found a wonderful clump of Bluebells along the trail.  Such happy flowers! I'll be talking more about this trip soon!

BluebellsBluebellsCluster of Bluebells at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota.

Thanks for following along.  Until next time!

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography business life https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/6/ad-interim Tue, 30 Jun 2015 03:44:43 GMT
Rare Opportunity https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/5/rare-opportunity Many of you know that I spend a lot of time photographing flowers, butterflies, nature and landscape.  And, some of you know I photograph new models, musicians, food and products as well.  However, every now and then life throws something very unexpected at you.

 

Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph this guy doing a comedy show at the Goss Opera House in Watertown. That's right, legendary comedian, Louie Anderson! 

DSC_8572Comedian Louie AndersonPerforming at the Goss Opera House

And I thought to myself, this is probably the coolest, biggest name I'll ever get a chance to photograph.  That all changed on Friday when I got to add another big name to my photography library.

 

I was in the audience of the commencement ceremonies for the class of 2015 at Lake Area Technical Institute as my wonderful daughter was graduating with her practical nursing degree.  The commencement speaker just happened to be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!  Zow, never expected that I'd be under 100 feet away from one of the most powerful people in the world.

 

Finding a seat was a little tricky, but we were actually quite fortunate where we ended up as I was pretty much eye level with the speakers on the stage. I had a mostly unobstructed view and I was able to capture several cool images.

 

DSC_0430Speakers for LATI Commencement

And while the President's speech was outstanding and had lots of smiles and laughs, I'm kind of partial to this serious expression in this close up.

 

DSC_0435President ObamaLake Area Technical Institute Commencement Address 2015

I suppose the moral of the story is that things like this can happen to anyone, anywhere.  So, now I wonder, who might be the next famous person that I'll have the opportunity to photograph!?   In the meantime, I'll continue to chase down the flowers and butterflies.

 

Oh, and as cool as it was to photograph the President, the REAL reason for me to have my camera there was to celebrate the achievement of our youngest child, Victoria.  We are very proud parents of all three of our kids!   Here's Victoria receiving her diploma from South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

 

DSC_0456Victoria receiving her diploma from South Dakota Governor Daugaard

 

Until next time -  PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Celebrity Commencement Obama POTUS Photography President https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/5/rare-opportunity Sun, 10 May 2015 08:02:56 GMT
Spring Refresh https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/5/spring-refresh Early each spring I try to get out at least once to photograph the South Dakota state flower, the Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla). It goes by many names including the wind flower, prairie crocus, Easter flower and meadow anemone. It is a sure sign for me that winter has lost its hold.  Sure, we might get a snow storm after they bloom, but that snow is only a minor set-back and I'll be out crawling in the mud hunting down flowers and butterflies to photograph soon. 

 

This year, I decided to look for the Pasqueflower at one of my favorite state parks, Sica Hollow.  I shoot there quite often and this year I'll be very much focused on shooting there several times a month to document the changes over the course of the warm months.  (Click here to see my Flickr gallery from Sica Hollow)

 

DSC_9684Pasqueflower 1 - 2015Pulsatilla - photographed at Sica Hollow State Park

 

But the spring refresh goes deeper than just getting out in nature to photograph the early flowers.  This year, it is bringing to life the new vision of my business.  I've cut out the weddings and portrait work which just weren't what I am about in photography.  I'm ramping up more in the commercial photography realm to include more work with content marketing and social media consulting.  I'll also be very focused on the ART of photography.

 

I'm also going to do one of the other things I love to do. Teach.  This summer I'll be offering 1 on 1 photography classes.  I suppose you could compare this teaching model to guitar lessons.  We figure out where you are in your photography path and then together decide on where you want to go from there.  For as long as it is valuable to you.

 

So, whether you are a business that needs photography or help with advertising, marketing, website or social media; or if you are a person that wants to learn more about photography, I really hope you'll reach out to me at 605-868-8810 or [email protected].  I'd really like to work with you!

 

I'll leave you with some more Pasqueflowers in tribute to the spring refresh at PJ Anderson Photography!

 

DSC_9693Pasqueflower 2 -2015Pulsatilla - shot at Sica Hollow State Park

 

DSC_9714Pasqueflower 3 - 2015Pulsatilla - Shot at Sica Hollow State Park

 

DSC_9741Pasqueflower 4 - 2015Pulsatilla - Shot at Sica Hollow State Park

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) business flowers photography spring wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/5/spring-refresh Wed, 06 May 2015 17:45:46 GMT
The Tale of Two Sunsets https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/9/the-tale-of-two-sunsets A short time ago, I saw a blog post on how to take your photography to the next level.  One of the items was to "stop taking photos of sunsets".  Of course, when I see definitive statements like that, I tend to get a little rebellious.  I promptly went out and captured a sunset, posted the image and told the world that I took exception to that blog post.  Fortunately, friends and supporters all came out on my side and said "KEEP taking sunsets!"

Funny thing since then, there have been several opportunities to capture some sunsets.  Two in particular got me thinking about two different approaches to photography.

1. The sort that you plan, prepare equipment and diligently go shoot.

AND

2. The sort that just happens to you.

Thought I'd share these two shots as examples of both.

This first image was planned for.  Granted, not a lot of planning, but certainly as the evening was wearing on and I looked out of the studio window to see interesting cloud formations, I knew the potential existed for a cool sunset.  I grabbed my gear and hit the road trying to the right foreground for a sunset.  I knew of a location about 12 or so miles northwest of town with some open spaces, rolling hills, farms, fields and lakes.  Eventually, I found my spot. There was a farm in the foreground which would provide a little scale to the wide open spaces.  Turns out, I didn't even need to wait until the sun went down below the horizon.  The clouds were perfect and beams of sun were shining down to the ground.

Florence SunsetSunset near Florence, SDPlanned

This next photo was one of those photos that just happens to you.  Of course, you can always set yourself up for these opportunities.  First off, you have to have that gear with you.  We all have those head slap moments where we see something and say, "if only I had my camera!"  You need to make sure that your gear is within reach, has available media and charged batteries.

But, prepared or not, these moments will sneak up on you.  Be open to that and images will have a habit of popping up.

This happened just last night as I was returning home from the Twin Cities.  As I approached the city of Danube, MN, the sun had dropped below the horizon and was vibrantly lighting the clouds in deep red.  This is one of those sunsets you really enjoy seeing.  I noticed the light was bright enough on the horizon, but dark enough overall to cast buildings, trees and other structures into silhouette.  As I approached a curve leading into town, I spotted the headlights of an oncoming train and then a dirt road appeared on cue!  

I darted off US Highway 212 and the dirt road fortunately crossed the tracks and then turned almost parallel to the train tracks giving me a cool perspective of the train.  I grabbed my camera, braced myself on the back of the Trailblazer and took a couple of quick shots to check my exposure.  I decided to auto bracket 3 stops (if you are not familar, this is where I shoot one frame exposed correctly, one underexposed and one over exposed just to make sure I had all the lights and darks) and started shooting.  I just wasn't sure where in the frame would be the best for the train, so I figured I'd take a lot of images and cover all bases.

Train SunsetTrain Sunset near Danube, MNUnplanned

I'm certainly happy with both images, but like all photography, this requires effort.  Either the effort of planning for and engaging or for being ready to go for whatever the universe throws at you.

In a sense, I suppose this relates to a whole lot more in life than just photography.  I'll let you take it where it goes in your own life!

Until next time,

PJ

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) landscape photography planned sunset unplanned https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/9/the-tale-of-two-sunsets Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:59:58 GMT
Holga Toy Lenses on a Spendy Camera https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/8/holga-toy-lenses-on-a-spendy-camera I'm neck deep in edits the last several weeks.  Including Weddings, Models from Academie, Senior Portraits and a few miscellaneous things - not to mention a lot of work in helping to build a "start up/entrepreneurial" community here in Watertown.  I just haven't had much time for myself.

So, late this afternoon when my computer was all tied up doing exports, I decided to grab some Holga lenses that I had purchased a couple of years ago and take a walk around Uptown Watertown and just see what might happen.

If you are unfamiliar with Holga, here is some background from Wikipedia: The Holga's low-cost construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera's limitations have brought it a cult following among some photographers, and Holga photos have won awards and competitions in art and news photography

In my case, I am not shooting with a Holga camera, but I've purchased Holga lenses that fit onto my professional Nikon camera.  I purchased them from Holga Direct.

These lenses are quite difficult to see through in my DSLR viewfinder and require slow shutter speed and high ISO.  So, in a way there isn't a lot of settings I can play with.  I simply point the camera at what I am interested in, play with the shutter speed a bit and take whatever I can get.  Without further ado, here's what I shot on my little walk.

 

DSC_3553ChandelierGoss Opera House

 

DSC_3564Original Opera Hall entranceGoss Opera House

 

DSC_3565Window detailGoss Opera House

 

DSC_3567Rust stains on wallUptown Alleyway

 

Busted light fixtureUptown Alleyway

 

DSC_3571Rusted steel drumUptown Alleyway

 

DSC_3578No ParkingBehind Goss Opera House

 

DSC_3579Uptown Clock across from the GossUptown on Kemp Ave

 

DSC_3568Window detailUptown Alley

 

DSC_3583AlleyUptown Watertown DSC_3588Black and white treatment for AlleyUptown Watertown

 

DSC_3575ChurchUptown Waterown

 

DSC_3596Red brick buildingUptown Watertown

 

DSC_3603Alleyway BuildingsUptown Watertown

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Art Camera Holga Photography Toy https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/8/holga-toy-lenses-on-a-spendy-camera Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:16:10 GMT
Lake Bemidji State Park https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/7/lake-bemidji-state-park This is day 2 of our mini vacation.  The first day was to Big Bog State Recreation area an hour north of Bemidji, MN.  The 2nd day was a little closer to the hotel, just the other side of the lake.  Lake Bemidji State Park also has a bog walk, although not quite as long as at Big Bog.  This bog walk is a little more dense with larger trees, but still a lot of neat stuff to see.

 

LunchLunchDragonfly in a Pitcher Plant

 

 

 

 

We saw a lot of Pitcher Plants again, but this time we actually saw the carnivorous plant in action.

 

This dragonfly appears to be lunch.  Not sure how long he's been trapped, but definitely isn't going anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marsh CinquefoilPotentilla palustris

 

 

 

 

We also found more Marsh Cinquefoil here.  I figured that I'd show a wider angle shot than in the last post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GrassPinkOrchid1Grass Pink OrchidCalopogon tuberosus

 

 

 

 

 

The first new flower we saw was quite a ways off the board walk.  I thought I might have to pull out the long lens and hope for the best, but another hiker coming back from the other direction let us know that we'd see more a little further down the walk.

 

True enough.  It wasn't long before we saw more. This is the Grass Pink Orchid.  It is quite small.  Most every example that I've seen online are indeed pink, but the flowers we saw were all more purple (as in this image).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass Pink Orchid 3Grass Pink Orchid 3

 

DragonflyDragonfly

 

 

 

We didn't hear as much birdsong here, but we certainly saw more butterflies and dragonflies.

 

The varieties of dragonflies amaze me, although I haven't spent time learning which is which, like I do with butterflies and flowers.  I may need to start that at some point!

 

 

 

 

NorthernCrescentNorthern CrescentPhyciodes cocyta

 

 

 

The first butterfly I was able to get a photo of was this Northern Crescent. This one was nice enough to land right on the boardwalk next to where I was photographing flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ShowyLadyslipperShowy Lady's Slipper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like the day before, we had another chance to see the Minnesota state flower - the Showy Lady's Slipper.

 

They seemed a little further along in their blooming than at Big Bog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9098HarebellCampanula rotundifolia

 

 

 

I noticed these small purple flowers on the way into the boardwalk, but I didn't slow down to photograph them until we were on the way out.

 

Very small, delicate little bell shaped flowers.  This is the Harebell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9099Little Wood SatyrMegisto cymela

 

 

 

 

 

I really got serious about chasing down some butterflies at this point.  

 

This tiny butterfly is the Little Wood Satyr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9108Harris CheckerspotChlosyne harrisii

 

I first thought this was the same type of butterfly that I posted earlier, but this is not a Northern Crescent. 

 

This one stumped me for a while.  I couldn't seem to find in in my go-to book (Kaufman Field Guide of Butterflies and Moths), although it gave me some close ones to start from.

 

Finally found this on the web on the butterflies and moths of North America website.  This is the Harris Checkerspot.

 

 

 

This last photo is my favorite from the trip.  I'd never seen a butterfly quite like this before.  This was the largest that we saw, but still smaller than a Monarch.   This is a Norther Pearly-Eye.  I definitely love the striking eye shapes on its wings.  I was very fortunate to spot this one flitting around in the dark forest.  It was very nice to land in the one spot of light on this leaf so I could get this fun shot.

 

DSC_9095Northern Pearly-EyeEnodia anthedond

We definitely enjoyed the mini-vacation, but as all vacations it was over way too soon.  Hopefully, we'll have future opportunities to visit both the Big Bog and Lake Bemidji State Park.  I'm betting each visit would be quite unique.

Until next time -  PJ

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Butterflies Flowers Lake Bemidji State Forest Nature Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/7/lake-bemidji-state-park Thu, 17 Jul 2014 04:27:11 GMT
Big Bog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/7/big-bog Early this week my wife, Rebekah and I escaped for a mini vacation over our 26th anniversary.  First vacation in a while for us.  We decided to go someplace new for us.  She grabbed a great hotel in Bemidji (Doubletree by Hilton - fantastic property) and we made plans to visit Big Bog Recreation Area north of Waskish, MN.

 

After days of hot weather at home, we were presented with a high of about 69 Fahrenheit and 50 percent chance of rain for our day planned for the bog, but we only had one day for this, so off we went on the 1.25 hour trip north.

 

Rebekah had a rain jacket and I had rain ponchos stuffed in the camera bag and they were needed as we started out to the mile long board walk into the bog.  

 

Showy Lady's SlipperCypripedium reginae

 

On the short lake around a pond that leads to the boardwalk we immediately found what I really wanted to photograph.  We'd seen several on the drive, but I really didn't want to stop on the highway to shoot.  So, I was happy to find them so quickly.  The Minnesota state flower, the Showy Lady's Slipper. 

 

As it was back home, spring was slow and late.  That means the flowers are sort of late in blooming.  Normally, these would be long past blooming by July.

DSC_9055Showy Lady's SlipperCypripedium reginae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the past I've photographed the rare Small White Lady's Slipper and just a few weeks ago I photographed the yellow lady slipper in Sica Hollow State Park.  But, while all are beautiful, the pink and white of the Showy Lady's Slipper is probably my favorite.  

 

DSC_9052Showy Lady's SlipperCypripedium reginae

 

I won't complain too much about the rain at this point as the water droplets looked pretty cool on the flowers.  

 

I didn't notice until I was doing some processing, but this next image, it appears that a tiny green spider has taken up residence on this bloom.  You can spot the spider right in the center of this image on top of the pink of the bloom.

 

DSC_9046-EditSpider on bloom

 

As we worked our way out into the boardwalk over the bog, we started seeing a lot of plants we've never seen before (or at least in my case, not since I was a kid).

 

DSC_8981Marsh CinquefoilPotentilla palustris

 

 

 

This first flower that we saw off the edge of the boardwalk is the Marsh Cinquefoil. There were many tiny blooms all over this plant, but I wanted to try to get a closeup of the wonderful detail of a bloom.

 

The only way to do it was to sprawl across the boardwalk and hang over the edge with the camera.  In this photo, you can see a few buds behind the flower that have not yet opened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8994Harlequin Blueflag IrisIris versicolor

 

 

 

 

The next flower sort of surprised us as we came around a bend in the boardwalk. It couldn't get any closer!  The irises in our yard had bloomed and disappeared several weeks ago, so this was a great surprise to see this one still blooming. Another plant nearby was just getting ready to bloom.

 

This is the Harlequin Blueflag Iris and its color was absolutely amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Pitcher PlantSarracenia purpurea

 

 

 

 

One plant we both were hoping to see in the bog is the carnivorous Pitcher Plant. 

 

It wasn't too long and we were seeing tons of them in the sphagnum moss.

 

What we didn't expect was...  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOOMS!  What a crazy flower these Pitcher Plants have!

DSC_9020Purple Pitcher PlantsSarracenia purpurea

 

DSC_9005Purple Pitcher PlantSarracenia purpurea

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a closer view of a bloom that has opened a bit more than the previous image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon reaching the end of the boardwalk, I thought it might be nice to point the camera in the distance rather than down at the plant life. While the boardwalk stretches out for a mile into the bog, it is such a small portion of the entire bog.  This bog spans over 500 square miles and is the largest bog in the lower 48.

 

DSC_9017Big Bog State Recreation Areanorth of Waskish, MN

 

We had hoped to hike two other trails in the recreation area that travel along an "island" in the bog.  However, another feature of northern Minnesota made it pretty much impossible.  With all the rainy conditions, the mosquito population in the forest was ridiculous to say the least.  We decided that we would probably just be miserable and decided to visit another time.

 

White AdmiralLimenitis arthemis

 

 

 

 

As we were packing up, I did get a chance for one more photo right in the parking lot.  A particular butterfly that I haven't seen since I visited Isle Royale in Lake Superior several years ago.  This is a White Admiral and it was very attracted to the mud in the parking lot as this sort of butterfly can be.

 

I was glad to get in at least one butterfly photo on this day.  The next day was better for butterflies.  Check back i the next day or so and I'll cover that next day when we visited Lake Bemidji State Park.  

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Big Bog Big Bog State Recreation Area Minnesota Nature Photography Wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/7/big-bog Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:07:26 GMT
May 2014 Shoot at The Academie Agencie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/6/may-2014-shoot-at-the-academie-agencie Perhaps the longest business relationship I've had in the photography world is my association with The Academie Agencie in Fargo, North Dakota.  I've been working with Director, Stacey for nearly 15 years.

 

It has been a fantastic run and I've had an opportunity to work with many wonderful models, actors and pageant contestants.  This latest trip was no exception.  I might even say that a couple of the models were among the best I've ever worked with.

 

If you are interested in the business of modeling or would like more information, please drop me a line.  If you are a business and you need photography that includes models, our affiliation with the Academie gives us access to hundreds of models that can meet most needs.  

 

By the way, many senior portrait sessions are much more like modeling portfolios than ever before.  Let us bring our expertise to you senior photo shoot!

 

Here are some of my favorites from the latest trip!   Until next time, PJ

 

Grace081Grace Rodney085Rodney

Baylee134Baylee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eugene027Eugene Royce011Royce Sadie010Sadie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baylee118Baylee118

Grace027Grace

 

Henry045Henry and Marcus Eugene033Eugene Rodney028Rodney and Royce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace042Grace Baylee182Baylee   

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Modeling Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/6/may-2014-shoot-at-the-academie-agencie Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:37:07 GMT
Sica Hollow Spring Bloom! https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/6/sica-hollow-spring-bloom Many of you know that I frequent Sica Hollow state park in northeastern South Dakota as often as I can.  I was fortunate that I was able to escape for an afternoon earlier this week!

 

The park did not fail me.  Tons of "spring" green plants, an explosion of blooming flowers, more birds chirping than I ever recall.  Lots of dragonflies, but not as many butterflies as I'd like to see yet.

Virginia WaterleafVirginia Waterleaf

 

 

 

 

I wasn't even out of the visitor parking area before I saw a flower I didn't recognize. It really stumped all of my efforts to look it up in guidebooks and on the internet.

 

Thankfully, another photographer in the region, Sarah Reed was able to steer me to the right name. This is the Virginia Waterleaf (hydrophyllum virginianum) and it is, to say the least, very abundant throughout Sica Hollow right now.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild ColumbineWild Columbine

 

The next flower that I ran into shortly after my hike began, is an old favorite from Sica Hollow and other forest parks.

 

This is the Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and it also is found all over the park.  Maybe not quite as much as the Virginia Waterleaf, but certainly not hard to find on this trip. 

 

Wild ColumbineWild Columbine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By sheer luck, as I noticed the Wild Columbine, I happened to spot a flash of yellow.  Upon closer inspection, I found a Large Yellow Lady's Slipper.  I've seen these before in Minnesota ( for example at Lake Itasca State Park), but I've never seen them in Sica Hollow. What a great surprise this was!

Large Yellow Lady's Slipper

Large Yellow Lady's SlipperLarge Yellow Lady's Slipper

I was also surprised at how many Lady's Slippers I was able to see.  I didn't see them everyplace that I found the Wild Columbine, but I never found the Lady's Slippers without the Columbine nearby.

 

Another new flower to me at Sica Hollow was the next that I found.  Probably looks somewhat familiar to most gardeners. This one is the Wild Geranium (Geranium Maculatum).  That purple looked great in the dark forest!

Wild Geranium

 

When I take photos at Sica Hollow, I am often focused on flowers, butterflies or small things.  As I was coming down the trail, the sun was shining so beautifully through the canopy, I thought I should shoot a larger view of the forest.

 

DSC_7436Forest in Sica Hollow

 

DSC_7451A Blue (LYCAENIDAE) Butterfly

Can't pass up the opportunity to photograph a butterfly.  Or in this case TWO butterflies. Can you see them both?

 

These are a type of "Blue" butterfly (Lycaenidae/Polymmatinae), but I am not sure exactly which.

 

Not my best butterfly photo, but getting two in the shot this way was too fun to not share.

 

 

 

DSC_7533Tiger Striped Swallowtail

This was followed a bit later by one of my favorite butterflies, a Tiger Striped Swallowtail.  This individual was a bit more skittish, so sort of hard to capture today.

 

This Tiger Striped Swallowtail is feeding on a  Dames Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) which was also absolutely exploding throughout the entire park.  Beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, I did see a few butterflies, but the champion of the forest skies on this trip was the dragonfly.  Also, sort of hard to capture today, but this one stayed in one spot long enough for me to grab a quick shot.

DSC_7535Dragonfly

DSC_7539Prairie Smoke

 

 

As I picked up my camera bag from shooting the dragonfly, I just happened to catch sight of yet another flower I couldn't identify. Thanks again to Sarah Reed who identified this is Prairie Smoke.

 

As I researched this flower, I learned it gets its name from its wispy seed pods that will appear after it is pollinated.

 

I'm definitely going to give it my best shot to make it back to Sica Hollow to try to capture an image of that!  Hopefully, I'll time it correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing up the day, I spotted some very tiny blooms along the trail.  Once I spotted the curly vines and took a closer look at this flower, I knew I was looking at a Wild Pea. Found some purple examples and a white one.

 

DSC_7465Wild Pea DSC_7548Wild Pea  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You really have to get close to these to see the beautiful detail.

 

 

 

 

All in all, one of the best days I had at Sica Hollow in a long time.  Hope you enjoyed the photographs!

 

Feel free to give me a shout if you have any questions or comments.  I'd love to hear from you!

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Sica Hollow State Park flowers forest nature outdoors photography state park https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/6/sica-hollow-spring-bloom Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:02:24 GMT
Urban Forest https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/urban-forest I'm visiting my parents this week in Burnsville, MN (south of Minneapolis).  One thing that impresses me about the Twin Cities area is the number of urban forests & parks.  Seems like most that I've seen around here also include ponds, small lakes or other water in addition to lots and lots of foliage. One of these wonderful sanctuaries is just across the street from where mom and dad live.  Quite a busy street, but still really handy.

 

It is amazing the variety of plant life you can find in these parks.  This morning, as it was a little damp from rain (therefore how could I mow the grass!?) the light was fantastic with the overcast skies.  So, I took a quick walk around the pond with my camera and was able to capture a number of great spring shots.

 

Blooms on Flowering Crab TreeBlooms on Flowering Crab TreeBlooms on a Flowering Crab tree in the Vista View city park in Burnsville, MN

The "keeper" of the morning is this shot of one branch on a Flowering Crab Tree. The thick forest and pond made for a great backdrop for this image.  A big "congratulations and thank you" to the city planners around here for including so much natural space in a very busy community!

 

Perhaps a "photographic" moral of the story is, there are beautiful things wherever you look.  You don't have to run out to the country or out to a state park, just take a few moments to look around you as you go.

 

Until next time!

PJ

 

Nikon D700 at ISO 800, 1/125 sec, f/7.1, 75mm

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Flowering Crab Tree Twin Cities flowers nature photography urban forest https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/urban-forest Tue, 27 May 2014 20:30:22 GMT
Dust Drama - for Photographers using Lightroom 5 (or Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/dust-drama---for-photographers-using-lightroom-5 Time for another blog post for my photographer friends.  I shot some photos last Friday for our Fugitives on a Forgotten Highway project as we made our Mini Tour 2 from Watertown to Yankton.  Very successful and enjoyable day.  Made lots of photographs.  However, when I imported the photos into Lightroom, I realized that I had a dirty lens and/or sensor.  You can see "Dust Drama" here in this sample image.

 

11

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there was one or two dust specks here, I'd just jump in with the spot removal brush as seen here to the left.   However, I'd might find that I'd miss some spots with this approach.  The good news is that Lightroom has a great tool to help for a situation just like this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4Visualize Spots

 

Once I select the Spot Removal tool, I can check the box for "Visualize Spots", but it is easy to overlook this option.  You'll find it on the bottom left of the photograph near the Tool Overlay options.

 

Checking this box will immediately have a dramatic change in view for your photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5Holy cow, look at all those spots!

 

 

I can certainly get an immediate understanding of how serious my dust drama is!  However, this view makes using the Spot Removal Tool so much more efficient.  

 

Use the Spot Removal Tool exactly like you would normally.  You can uncheck the Visualize Spots checkbox as you go to see your progress.

 

 

 

 

Returning to the normal view shows that I've fixed the vast majority of the issues.  You might still need to finish up on one or two items, but for the most part this helps me knock off pretty much all the dust problems.

 

7Dust Drama Eliminated

Moral of the story.  Make sure your equipment is clean, BUT if you get stuck in this situation, Lightroom is definitely there to help you out!

 

Happy shooting!   Remember, there's a photo in there somewhere!

PJ

 

07/21/2015 - Just changed the title from Lightroom 5 to Lightroom CC and LR6 as it still applies.

 

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Editing Lightroom Photography Post Production Tools https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/dust-drama---for-photographers-using-lightroom-5 Tue, 13 May 2014 23:21:26 GMT
"Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" charity event https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/-walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes-charity-event On April 26th  we dedicated our time to an event that I hold near and dear to me.  We were photographing Watertown, South Dakota’s 2nd Annual “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” Event that is put on by the Watertown Resource Center.

 

City AuditoriumDSC_4926

 

 

 

When I first heard about this event a year ago, I had wanted to do something with it but unfortunately it got put on the back burner. This year though, we had our chance to dedicate our time, experience, and passion for a wonderful cause!  Besides what girl doesn’t love watching a bunch of grown men walk around uptown in red high heels!

 

 

 

DSC_4973Men in red high heels!

 

 

I must say that this event was a wonderful experience and I hope to take part again in the future.  There is such a rewarding feeling when you do something and you don’t view it as work, but rather doing your part… 

--Lindsey

 

Enjoy more photos from the event below and don't forget to support:

The Watertown Resource Center: http://www.watertownresourcecenter.com/

 

 

DSC_4913Vendors getting setup DSC_3061Wrist Bands

DSC_4919Bins of men's high heels DSC_4923t-shirts

DSC_3165-EditGetting the right fit DSC_5050Police escort

DSC_5058Definitely "man" enough! DSC_5137Family time

DSC_5120Police Department's Fine Look! DSC_5098Last stretch of the mile!

DSC_5169The AMAZING staff!

DSC_5074PJ Shoots Lindsey in Action! DSC_3117Nite Life Entertainment DSC_3281Lindsey shoots PJ in "Action?"

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography charity event https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/-walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes-charity-event Wed, 07 May 2014 00:22:25 GMT
Last indoor shoot at Academie for a while! https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/last-indoor-shoot-at-academie-for-a-while The sun is shining and it is 63 degrees outside.  I'm thinking spring is actually going to happen!  That means lots of butterflies, flowers and PJ out crawling in the mud coming soon.

 

For now, however, going to turn back the clock just a little bit.  I wanted to post some of the photos we did the last trip to the Academie Agencie in Fargo.  Of course, the cold winter forces us to do something I am not very fond of.  Shooting (mostly) indoors on a white backdrop with studio lights.  A lot hard for the models, staff and photographers when we don't have the environment to feed off of.  Have to stretch much harder for unique looks and look elsewhere for energy.

 

Fortunately, Stacey and the Academie crank out top notch models and they are up to the challenge.  Here are some of my favorites from the day.  Thanks for stopping by!  -- Patrick

DSC_2703Alkeshia DSC_2711Alvin DSC_2620-EditSarah

DSC_3229-EditBryce DSC_3362Alyssa DSC_2894Klaudia

DSC_3405Abby DSC_3607Alex DSC_2807-EditAlvin, Abby, Alkeshia

DSC_3546Alex DSC_3282Klaudia DSC_2870-EditAlkeshia

DSC_3428-EditAbby DSC_3005Molly DSC_3195Bryce

DSC_2765Alvin DSC_3470Bryce DSC_3270Klaudia

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Models Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/5/last-indoor-shoot-at-academie-for-a-while Mon, 05 May 2014 23:25:56 GMT
Congratulations, Meara https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/3/congratulations-meara Excited to Congratulate Meara on being crowned Miss South Dakota Jr. Teen at the Miss American Coed MN/IA and Dakotas Pageant for Jr Teen, Teen and Coed (Miss) divisions this last weekend. Additionally, she won academic achievement and was runner up for photogenic and modeling.

It has been fun to photograph Meara over the last few years and get to know her and her family!   

Here are some photos from the last fun shoot we had recently at the fantastic Goss Opera House in Watertown, SD

Meara 4 acrossMeara

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Goss House Meara Opera Pageant Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/3/congratulations-meara Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:20:58 GMT
Summer Project - The Fugitives on a Forgotten Highway https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/2/summer-project---the-fugitives-on-a-forgotten-highway For many years, I've had it in my mind that traveling the full length of a highway and photographing the journey would be a super exciting project.  Several years ago, I learned about the Meridian Highway, which has been called North America's first international highway.  In 1911, it was proposed to go from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Mexico City.  When the United States changed to a numbered scheme for highways, the Meridian Highway was then called US 81.

Last summer, I had many wonderful creative discussions with an excellent musician, Joshua Kloyda.  These were held late at night at the Goss Opera House, where we both have work space.  We sat at an old weathered wood table, which was eventually dubbed the "therapy table".  Somewhere along the line, I mentioned to Joshua my thoughts about the Meridian Highway project.  Traveling end to end and photographing the journey.  Wasn't long before Joshua said, "I'm in!"

Fugitives Badge copy3Fugitives Badge copy3

 

So the project changed a little and evolved and new members were added.  The plan now is that four creatives will set off this summer on this journey from the Canadian border to the Mexican border and travel the old Meridian (as close as we can from old maps) to rediscover the history and the people along the way.  We hope to deliver a documentary, a photo/word book and a music CD.

Hope you'll follow along.  You can find the project here:  http://fugitivesforgottenhwy.com/

I'll definitely be sharing photos along the way as much as possible.

The graphic is our badge that incorporates the old highway marker sign of the red MH for the Meridian Highway.

-- Patrick

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Highway History Meridian Photography Project Travel https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/2/summer-project---the-fugitives-on-a-forgotten-highway Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:41:47 GMT
Happy Accidents https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/2/happy-accidents Usually, no one other than me sees photographs that I make mistakes on.  However, on occasion, I'll take a photo with mistakes but it still works.  This afternoon, I had just such a situation.

My musician friend, Joshua Kloyda needed some photos for his new website and I agreed to shoot some photographs.  We had a chance to work in a room here at the Goss Opera House that we hadn't had access to in the past, so it was fun to try out some new things. We ended up walking away with a ton of great photos.  However, this one really wasn't one of them

DSC_2028-EditJoshua Kloyda at the Goss

 

So many mistakes!

 

My hand is showing at the bottom of the frame.  My lens hood is showing in the top. Lens flare is happening all over and a door got into the frame on the left.

But... it still worked.

 

Granted, I cloned out the door and I used some tools from onOne Software to change the tonal qualities, but I still really like the photo!

 

Rather than being a photograph that never saw the light of day, we'll just chock this one up to one of those happy accidents!

 

--Patrick

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photograph errors https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2014/2/happy-accidents Tue, 11 Feb 2014 01:53:52 GMT
Senior, Tasia https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/12/senior-tasia  
Alexis and Patrick recently had the opportunity to do a senior shoot for Tasia here at the Goss Opera House.  As always, the opera house gave us so many creative outlets.  The light changes from season to season and certainly with different weather happening outside.  We certainly had wonderful light and a wonderful subject to work with.
 
We started shooting in a room that we've always loved, but really hadn't had many opportunities to work in.  Sometimes there was something else happening in the room, or the light wasn't quite right.  Always some reason.

 

DSC_0649DSC_0649

 

 

 

On shoot day, this room was perfect.  Super light and the mood was just right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The radiator in this room has always fascinated Patrick and Tasia didn't have any problems jumping up there and taking advantage of the location!

DSC_0672-EditDSC_0672-Edit


DSC_0659-Edit-3DSC_0659-Edit-3

 

 

 

 

This next image we applied a bit of a "cross-processed" look to give it a little more drama and to really focus on Tasia's face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we moved on with the light along the 2nd floor and backstage

DSC_0694DSC_0694 DSC_0755DSC_0755 DSC_0818DSC_0818

 

Then up to the third floor near our studio/workspace.  This room only recently became available for us to shoot in and we love the textures and the colors.  Love the shoes that Tasia created in these images!

 

DSC_0852DSC_0852 DSC_0842DSC_0842

Decided to finish in the modern portion of the building.  We like the starkness of the stairwell and it worked out neat with this outfit.

DSC_0906DSC_0906 DSC_0926DSC_0926

All in all an exceptionally fun day of shooting.  Definitely like the end results!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Senior https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/12/senior-tasia Thu, 19 Dec 2013 06:05:47 GMT
Flor, Marcus and Alex https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/12/flor-marcus-and-alex I had the happy experience of meeting a wonderful person and her family recently.  I was doing some banking at Wells Fargo and recognized that my poor debit card was nearly ready to split in half.  I was put in touch with Flor to get me set up with a new one (and she did set me up with a few other products too!)  Anyway, Flor is such a friendly person, we ended up talking a bit about my photography and she asked if I might bring over some business cards.   I did and it wasn't very long before a co-worker was calling to set up a shoot (thanks Angie!)  Flor knew that my tendency is to not shoot babies or toddlers as the current popular trend is pretty cutsie for Patrick (note, I do like the old classic look, however.)   Even knowing that, Flor really wanted our team to shoot their family.

Well, the combination of a super family, a great team (thanks Lindsey and Alexis) and the wonderful location that is the Goss Opera House made this a memorable shoot.  Being as the opera house was beginning to gear up for the holidays, we were able to take advantage of some decorations.  The photo below of the little Alex definitely makes me think of Christmas.  He was certainly excited about that stuffed animal.  You can't ask for a more real smile from a little guy.

Miller052Alex and his stuffed animal2013 PJ Anderson Photography @ The Goss

 

Miller058Alex2013 PJ Anderson Photography @ the Goss

 

 

This next photo was shot from the hip as Alex was a quick mover.  Normally, I wouldn't want that light stand in the background, but c'mon... that is too cool of a shot to toss out.

I sort of liked treating this as a black and white as well.  There is just something about a black and white photograph, isn't there?

Going back to my cutsie comment earlier.   This photograph is so much more like the recollection of photos that I think back to of my own boys or even way back to when my brother, Steve and I were just toddlers.  The overalls and striped shirt.  Such a classic look for a boy.

Although, even though the photos that I remember from years gone by were more posed portraits, this one is closer to them.  By the way, for the record,  I've got nothing against the current trend, just doesn't fit me.

 

 

 

Here's a few more shots from the day.  Thank you Flor, Marcus and Alex for letting us capture these images and for being such great participants!   -- Patrick

Miller039Miller039 Miller012Miller012 Miller034Miller034

 

 

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Family Portraits PJ Anderson Photography Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/12/flor-marcus-and-alex Sun, 15 Dec 2013 00:50:30 GMT
Slideshow transitions under 1.0 second in Lightroom 5.2 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/11/slideshow-transitions-under-1-0-second-in-lightroom-5-2 ** Note **  I've had many questions asking if this would work in newer versions, so I revisited this tutorial and updated instructions for Lightroom Classic CC as of version 8.0.  Where I've had to update, I'll indicate with BLACK text. As these changes required a few new screen shots, you'll see the updated UI in both Lightroom and Windows. I hope this isn't too distracting. In an effort to get this out, I did not want to spend a ton of time rebuilding ALL the screenshots. 

I am going to take a quick break from showing our photography.  This post is for my photographer friends who wish to create a slideshow in Adobe Lightroom 5.2 that has slide transitions under 1.0 seconds.  For example, to create a time lapse video or a stop motion video.

In LR 5.2 we’ve lost the ability to set slide transitions for under 1.0 second.  The work around for this is to create and edit a slideshow template that will include the appropriate value you wish to use.  This is nowhere near as easy as moving a slider, but honestly, it isn’t all that hard to do either.

We’ll need to start in the Slideshow Module in LR 5.2.  You can see by using the default template, the slide transition is set to 4.0 seconds and the Fades are set to 2.5 seconds.

 

11

 

Next we’ll create a new user template by clicking on the plus(+) symbol in the template browser.

22

 

Name the template with something that makes sense to you.  I named mine "Slides"  Click on the Create button.

New TemplateNew Template

 

Once the template is created, you need to edit the actual template file.  So, you need to be able to find the actual file. With a PC you can right click on the user template and then select "Show in Explorer"  (Mac, I believe you command click and then "Show in Finder".

Explorer view initial fileExplorer view initial file

 

Once you've located the file, you will need to open it with a text editor.  On the PC, I'll use Notepad.  When you open the file, you will see it is a rather long file.  You are searching near the end of the file for a line that starts with "Speed".

55

Text File EditsText File Edits

 

You will need to edit the speed to the amount of time you wish to use for the transitions.  In my case, I've changed mine to 0.3 seconds.  You'll need to also change the line for transitionSpeed (this is the time for the fade setting back in Lightroom).  In my case, I didn't want any fade, so I changed mine to 0. For more recent versions of LR CC Classic, you must also rename the user template or you will NOT be able to import. In my example, I changed the title to "Slides under 1 Second" - tested version 8.0.

77

 

Save and RENAME the text file. Make sure the extension is *.lrtemplate. IF THE EXTENSION IS TXT, it will NOT IMPORT.  Note where it is saved, you'll need this in a moment.

Renaming Text FileRenaming Text File

Back in Lightroom, delete the user template as we are going to import the new/improved template.  For updated LR CC Classic versions, do NOT delete your old template at this point. You have to keep it until after you import the new.

Back in Lightroom, right click on the User Templates label and import your new template.

Next right click (Mac, command click) on the label for User Template and select "Import"

Import FINAL templateImport FINAL template

 

If necessary, navigate to where you saved the template file (remember, I told you that you'd need to know!) and then click on Open.

Import File SelectionImport File Selection

You can now delete the Original User Template "Slides"

Delete original user templateDelete original user template

Notice now that in Lightroom, the time between slides and the fade amounts match the value you editing in the template file.

1111

 

If you try to change these values in Lightroom, Lightroom will revert to normal and tell you that you need a time between 1.0 and 20.0 seconds.  If you want another setting below 1.0 seconds, the template file needs to be edited again.  Or perhaps you might create multiple templates with various time settings.

This worked for me with a variety of transition times.  Hope it will do the trick for you.  Please comment if you run into any troubles or have any fine tuning to share.

Happy stop motion and time lapsing to you all!

-- Patrick

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Adobe Lightroom Lightroom Lightroom CC Classic Stop Motion Timelapse https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/11/slideshow-transitions-under-1-0-second-in-lightroom-5-2 Thu, 07 Nov 2013 05:07:01 GMT
October shoot at the Academie Agencie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/11/october-shoot-at-the-academie-agencie We couldn't have asked for a nicer autumn day in Fargo, ND.  The weather was great and so were the models I was able to work with this round.

Photographed a variety of ages and skill levels this time.  Some for the first time, some I had had the pleasure of working with before.  I don't think I'll get into a lot of description here, let's just get on to the photos and the wonderful models from the Academie Agencie!

-- Patrick

DSC_8100AbbyAcademie Agencie DSC_8459AaronAcademie Agencie DSC_8558KaylaAcademie Agencie

 

DSC_8270-EditAliAcademie Agencie DSC_7922EveAcademie Agencie DSC_8069SarahAcademie Agencie

 

DSC_8351HeatherAcademie Agencie DSC_8680MikeAcademie Agencie DSC_7979EveAcademie Agencie

 

DSC_8546-EditKaylaAcademie Agencie DSC_8110-EditAbbyAcademie Agencie DSC_8185-EditHeatherAcademie Agencie

 

DSC_8450AaronAcademie Agencie DSC_8256AliAcademie Agencie DSC_8524KaylaAcademie Agencie

 

DSC_8277AliAcademie Agencie DSC_8436HeatherAcademie Agencie

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Modeling Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/11/october-shoot-at-the-academie-agencie Wed, 06 Nov 2013 05:56:08 GMT
Reunions https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/10/reunions Lindsey, Alexis and Patrick had the pleasure of photographing a wedding for the sister of a bride that Amy and Patrick worked with last summer.  Last year's wedding was in the heat of the summer and the current wedding was in the crisp autumn.  Although the season was different,  the location was the same beautiful church in Rosen, Minnesota.

 

We can't tell you how much fun it is to have a reunion of sorts with people we've worked with in the past.  As last year's groom Jason put it in the midst of family portrait chaos, "This isn't the first rodeo Patrick has been to with this family."  Not only is it fun and a comfort to work with people we've worked with in the past, but very rewarding to be entrusted again to capture a very important family event.

 

Thought we'd post one of our favorites from last summer, with a quick updated photo of last summer's couple, Rose and Jason in front of the church after this last wedding. RoseJasonReunionRose and JasonReunion

Rose and Jason - it was wonderful to see you again!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Customers Photography Wedding https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/10/reunions Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT
Families at our fantastic location https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/10/families-at-our-fantastic-location We cannot be more thankful for the wonderful location where we have our workspace.  The Goss Opera House has so many opportunities for us.  So much wonderful light.  So many different moods.  Beautiful spaces and grungy spaces.  I am not joking when I say we have the coolest three floor studio around.

 

Most of the time, Lindsey and I are focused on our commercial work and when we talk about the Goss,  from doing something artistic and creative or from the perspective of a wedding or music event.  Something we haven't talked about much is the neat opportunities we have for family photography.

Angie, Jeremy and Yashira in Skyline SuiteAngie, Jeremy and Yashira The Skyline Suite at the Goss Opera House

 

We were really fortunate to work with a super fun family recently.  Angie, Jeremy and Yashira were an absolute riot to work with.  Angie gave us the direction that we were to come up with something "different."  

 

When someone gives us that sort of direction, it is really exciting for us.  A chance to really stretch and see what we can come up with.  Of course, it is also a little scary too.  We don't want to go so crazy that people don't enjoy the end result or are left scratching their heads.

 

However, I think we were able to do several different kinds of things on this afternoon of shooting.  We caught some moody looks working with some of the un-refurbished sections of the Opera House.  We were also able to capture some more traditional family looks.  And we also had the chance to capture a family just having some crazy fun as seen in this first photo.

 

We always want fun to be an important part of working with our clients.  We take our photography seriously, but having fun sure makes for better photos.  I can tell you, we laughed a LOT with this family.

 

Angie, Jeremy and YashiraAngie, Jeremy and YashiraMoody black and white photo shot on the third floor of the Goss Opera House

But, we also wanted to get some of those "unique" shots too.  Again, our wonderful location is a huge help in letting us come up with something a little different.

 

The weather outside was certainly not cooperating and the heavy overcast skies made it a little harder than usual for us to use the existing light inside the opera house.  But, while we prefer to use natural light as much as possible, we certainly have the equipment to deal with most any condition.

 

We did bring in some lights to help fill in some of the shadows in this room, but the mood of the photo is really set primarily by the existing light.  As much fun as it was laughing with these three, when we were going for something a little more serious, they were definitely up to the task.

 

We utilized some of the effects in a product called the Perfect Photo Suite from onOne Software to fine tune this photo.  The black and white is styled as if we used a red filter.  The border is a film emulsion style look.

 

Here are a few more of our favorites from the day:

 

Angie, Jeremy and YashiraSpying on a kissThird floor of the Goss Opera House

And to wrap this post up, I really loved this mother/daughter photograph!

Angie and YashiraMother/DaughterSkyline Suite in the Goss Opera House

As the holidays approach, we are always available to do standard family sessions, but we are also planning on scheduling time for some mini-sessions for families that are looking for a quick set of photos to include in or build their Christmas greeting cards.  Email us for more information:  [email protected] or [email protected]

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Family Goss Opera House Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/10/families-at-our-fantastic-location Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:17:48 GMT
Rememberances https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/10/rememberances I had one of those fortunate chance encounters today.  I was helping with setting the opera hall at the Goss Opera House for a wedding this weekend  There was a break in the action, so I thought I'd check in on my email.  I sat in the window near the chest that contains the prints of mine that are for sale at the Goss.  As I was getting connected, a couple were leaving the restaurant and started to look at my photos.   The wife asked if they were my photos and we ended up getting into a bit of a conversation about various images.  Her husband and I then got talking about invasive species and how things have changed in our lifetimes.

Pasque Flower after rainstormPasque Flower after rainstormAltamont Prairie, South Dakota
Meanwhile, she found one of my prints of Pasque Flowers  She remembered them from when she was young and then called them May Day Flowers.
 
 I vaguely recalled hearing that term before (when I got home tonight, I double checked to verify that was the case - it is!)
 
Going out  to hunt photos of Pasque Flowers has become sort of a custom for me in early spring.  A clear sign that winter is finally over.   As we've already had a few visits by snow and autumn is zooming by, I have to be honest, I am already thinking ahead to my next trip out to Altamont Prairie where I usually find the Pasque.
 
Back to this evening, it was so much fun to talk to this wonderful couple and show them around the opera house.
 
 
I feel so fortunate to have opportunities like these to share my images.  It is even more exciting when my photographs bring back memories for people or remind them of emotions from times past. 
 
Clump of Pasque FlowersClump of Pasque FlowersAltamont Prairie, South Dakota
 
Times like these I feel very honored to be a photographer!
 
 
 
-- Patrick
 
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(PJ Anderson Photography) Pasque Flowers Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/10/rememberances Fri, 25 Oct 2013 05:31:53 GMT
Late Summer 2013 Part II https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/9/late-summer-2013-part-ii This will be the middle post of my latest trip to Sica Hollow State Park in South Dakota.   I had two goals for this trip.  To hike some trails I hadn't been on before and to get my first photo of a butterfly for 2013.

 

My last post showed the success of capturing that butterfly photo.  However, in my attempt to track down a butterfly, I actually had a lot more success with other critters in the park.  I thought I'd share some of those with you.

 

Beetle on wildflowerBeetle on yellow wildflower

In hiking a completely different trail than I've been on before, I found myself climbing a long ways up immediately.   This trail wastes no time in getting from the valley where the streams and the picnic area are to the top of the hills and back to typical South Dakota Prairie.

 

The sun was warm and I found a number of wildflowers on the top of a hill, so I took off my backpack, pulled out the canteen and took a break before diving in to shoot wildflowers.

 

In addition to the flowers, I found tons of these little guys.  I assume they are some sort of beetle (anyone with a suggestion on identification, I'd love to hear from you!)

 

However, on this warm afternoon, there was one type of resident of the park that was much more prevalant than anything else. Dragonflies!

 

I find butterflies can sometimes be very sociable and will often stick around for photos if I am patient.  Wasn't really the case this day.  Dragonflies are a little different.  They aren't as social, but they appear to be creatures of habit.  OR they know what they like.  

 

Dragonfly on perchDragonfly 1

If you can find one on a perch and approach to take a photograph, they'll take off and fly away.  But, I found if I get in place and prepare my camera as if that dragonfly was still there, it will usually circle around and eventually come right back where it was.  

 

That's exactly how it worked for this specimen.   I crept close until he took off, snuck up a little more, lined up my camera and waiting for a few moments.  Makes it a little easier than a butterfly to compose a shot and make sure you catch it.

 

I'm not sure what that shiny little package under the dragonfly's mouth is.  Hopefully, someone out there has an idea.

 

I went back to hiking and unlike the previous dragonfly, this next one had no interest in leaving his perch.  Must have been too darn hot to care.   I was even able to take off my pack, kneel down and spend time picking the angle I wanted to shoot.

Dragonfly on grassDragonfly 4

 

 

 

With their transparent wings, you definitely want to be able to compose a photograph.  You want to make sure that viewer is able to see their wings and not have them blend in too much to a busy or cluttered background.

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere not too far beyond this second dragonfly, I started to find a few butterflies that were willing to be photographed.   Take a look at the last blog post for that here, but not to get too far off topic, because as I finally got to the highest part of the park, I found several ponds.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting that.  I am sort of glad it was late in the summer, as I might have had a hard time getting through some parts of the trail that are obviously creek beds in the spring.  

 

However, along with ponds, I was surprised by something in the middle of the trail that I definitely didn't expect.  He got a little nervous, because if he had just stayed where he was, I never would have spotted him.

 

Frog in grass 1Frog in the grass 1 Frog in grass 1Frog in grass 3


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even knowing that he was there, it still didn't make it all that easy to spot, especially in the first photo.  Wow, nature sure knows how to blend in.  The frog stuck around for a few shots and then decided to move on.  Matter of fact, I was adjusting my camera to take a photograph from a different perspective and like magic, he had bolted and I was left with prairie grass in my viewfinder.

 

From this point on, I worked over a short distance to the camp ground at the top of the park and found the trail on the other side of the road to work my way back down to the bottom where I parked.  I was surprised to see one more unexpected critter, but this one was WAY too fast for me to get a photo.  This trail dives into the forest, so I went from the bright sunlight into the dark twilight of the woods. Anyways, I guess we were obviously both surprised to see one another.  As I came around a corner on the trail, right in the middle of the trail taking a nap was a cat.  Probably belongs to the farm just down the road from the top of the park.  I'm sure the state park is a great place to prowl and hunt for birds and such.  Anyways, by the time I registered what I was seeing he was off like a flash.

 

The sun was fading rapidly and I was going downhill over trails I'd mostly been on before, so I moved along pretty quickly and didn't spot any additional bugs, amphibians or felines.  There was a few pesky mosquitoes, but I don't expect I'll ever slow down to photograph them.

 

I'll finish my Sica Hollow Posts next time by highlighting the flowers and plant life that I photographed.  Until then, I wish you the best!

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Nature Photography frogs insects https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/9/late-summer-2013-part-ii Wed, 11 Sep 2013 02:56:44 GMT
Late Summer 2013 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/9/late-summer-2013 OR How I Almost Didn't Photograph a Butterfly in 2013

This was the year that I was going too shoot in Sica Hollow State Park many times over the course of the summer.  Unfortunately, it appears the cosmos had other plans for me.  I last shot there in May when the flowers were first popping up.  Shooting again in September is definitely a huge contrast to that first shoot.

Eastern Tailed-Blue ButterflyEastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly

 

The late winter and weird spring weather also played havoc with my capturing photos of one of my favorite subjects, butterflies.   I hadn't taken one photo of a butterfly all year and honestly, I was starting to get worried.

 

Fortunately, one of my favorite state parks came through for me.  Nature didn't make it easy, but I finally did get some shots.   I saw many, many monarchs, tiger striped swallowtails and random yellow and white butterflies that I couldn't even identify before I finally got my chance.  A freak chance, actually.

 

I was down on my knees unpacking my gear from my backpack - I had just swapped lenses as I was shooting a flower and this tiny little dark colored butterfly came flitting by.  It kindly settled on a flower a mere couple of feet from where I was kneeling.  I scooted over and fired away.   I didn't get any award winning photos, but I am relatively happy with this one.

 

According to Kaufman's Field Guide to Butterflies of North America, this appears to be a female Eastern Tailed-Blue.  This is a TINY butterfly, less than an inch.  I was very happy to get that under my belt!

 

 

 

I hiked for about four or five hours in the afternoon and evening.  I wanted to get to places I hadn't been before and the park didn't let me down.  Completely different feel from the south side of the park road where I spend most of my time.  This part of the park is mostly open prairie as opposed to forest.  Lots and lots of flowers, dragonflies and butterflies.

 

Sometime after capturing the Blue, I had one additional opportunity to shoot another butterfly.  They all seemed very skittish this day. Many times butterflies can be rather social and tend to fly around me, giving me lots of chances.  Not today.  

 

Fritillary Butterfly

Again, not an award winning photograph, but it had been some time since I seen a Fritillary butterfly, so it was fun to see this one on the side of the trail.  I only got a chance for two quick captures and this was the better of the two.

 

I believe this one is the Great Spangled Fritillary, but I didn't have a lot of time to see it and the photos are not completely conclusive.

 

Even though I didn't capture a lot of images, I did very much enjoy the day.  The hike was fantastic.  The weather was warm, but not overbearing.  The wind was light, the sun was bright and the critters and flowers were abundant.

 

I'll post follow up articles in the coming days highlighting the flowers and other critters I photographed at Sica Hollow.  Hope you'll come back and take a look!

 

PJ

p.s.  If you want to see all the photos from this trip to Sica Hollow, you can view the entire gallery here:  http://www.pjandersonphotography.com/sicahollowsept

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Sica Hollow butterflies nature outdoors photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/9/late-summer-2013 Fri, 06 Sep 2013 02:44:15 GMT
Our friends at the Academie Agencie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/8/our-friends-at-the-academie-agencie Not only do we get to work with a lot of new models at the Academie Agencie in Fargo, but something our commercial customers should know about is that with our affiliation with the Academie, we have access to hundreds of models for your photographic assignments.  When you work with Academie models, you are working with well trained and  experienced models, not just someone with just a good look.

Academie Model - MadisonMadison0039 Academie Model - KamrynKamryn0061 Academie Model - KaitlynKaitlyn0137

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are three wonderful models from our last shoot in Fargo, Madison, Kamryn and Kaitlyn.  They were all terrific to work with and they all did an excellent job.

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I can always tell the difference when I work with a trained model.  I know I can get right into the shooting and I don't have to spend a lot of time working up to getting good shots.

Next time you need some marketing, advertising, catalog or promotional shots, please keep us and the Academie Agencie in mind.  We'd love the opportunity to show you what we can do!

Academie Model - MadisonMadison0161 Academie Model - KamrynKamryn0022 Academie Model - KaitlynKaitlyn0165

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Modeling commercial photography model photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/8/our-friends-at-the-academie-agencie Thu, 29 Aug 2013 02:39:36 GMT
Here's why https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/8/heres-why Photography is a tough business.  Tougher all the time.  Sometimes I question why I would want to take my art, my passion and try to make a living from it.  I made it "work".

 

This last weekend I was at an art festival in Fargo.  Many visitors stopped to complement me on my photography.  Also, a lot walked on by.  It was hot.  94 degrees on Saturday and hotter still on Sunday.  Honestly, it was getting me down.

 

Until a gentleman stopped by.  He really looked at my photos.  I mean he REALLY looked.   I noticed he had a bit of a shake or perhaps tremors from Parkinson’s or something similar.  Turned out he was a photographer and former studio owner.  Told me he still had all of his equipment, but the Lord had other plans.  We talked about about the business of photography.

 

He was very interested in the daisy photo with the dew drops I'll post below.  Really caught his eye and meant something to him.  He noticed one of my business cards had the daisy photo on it and he picked it up.  Before he left, he thanked me for the blessing of that image.   Sort of made the slow business not annoy me so much.

 

I remembered that I didn't get in this business to get rich.  I got in this to give people memories or emotions.  This is my art.

 

I'm not sure where the future will take me, but I always want my photos to move people.  No, not every photo will move every viewer.  But if one can move one person, I'll take that.

Daisy with dew - PJ Anderson PhotographyDaisy with Rain Drops

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Daisy art art festival emotion https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/8/heres-why Wed, 28 Aug 2013 07:02:25 GMT
Alice in Wonderland Test https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/2/alice-in-wonderland-test Photography is my art as well as my business.  There is nothing that makes me happier than being out there working my craft.

Some time ago, I was fortunate enough to shoot a Red Riding Hood theme shot with a really talented model from Fargo – Heather Anderson (no relation).  With fantastic support from her family and a wonderful location, Sica Hollow State Park, South Dakota; I was fortunate to walk away with photographs that the artist in me could be proud of.

Trying to recapture some of that magic, I’ve started working on an Alice in Wonderland theme shoot.  Been excited to meet a couple of models and we’ve done some test shoots in the fabulous Goss Opera House in Watertown, South Dakota.

Again, with a wonderful model, supportive family and a wonderful location; I can see the Alice shoot will probably result in more photos that I can be proud of.

Here is model Lauren at one of our test shoots.

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It is probably unfair of me to post the second photo as it is very moody, whereas Lauren has the giant, beautiful smile that pops onto her face so automatically.  Trust me, she is a gem and even if we select another Alice, we’ll want to work with her on other projects!

Unlike “Red” this is going to be a two part set.  One of interior photos, to be shot at the Goss Opera House and then after the snow goes, we’ll identify a location for the exterior shots.  Perhaps again to Sica Hollow, but perhaps Buffalo Ridge, perhaps Garretson, South Dakota (Devils Gulch/Palisades). 

Stay tuned and see how this all turns out!

So, look for updates on this

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/2/alice-in-wonderland-test Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:13:00 GMT
Dagbjart - a friend on a creative journey https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/2/dagbjart-friend-on-creative-journey Decided that I needed mechanism to keep myself focused on creativity and shooting every day this year.  Especially during the cold winter months when it is easier to stay under a warm blanket and not be productive.

Enter Dagbjart the Miniscule.  This tiny Viking figurine was given to me many years ago by a dear colleague after she and her husband visited Norway.

Dagbjart and his friend Olga the Horrendous (thanks to my good friend Lori) are now tossed into a new situation every day.  Whether it is Dagbjart chasing the bad guys of the evil Norwegian Lutefisk Cartel or Dagbjart getting carried away with his love of beer or just a normal day to day trial between Dagbjart and Olga.

I post every day to a Facebook page created specifically for this project.  www.facebook.com/tinydagbjart   Hope you’ll check it out.  I also hope you’ll be amused.  It has been a fun journey so far and I hope we can keep it fresh for the remainder of the year!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2013/2/dagbjart-friend-on-creative-journey Thu, 21 Feb 2013 16:49:00 GMT
Baby birds https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/6/baby-birds Spring is my favorite season.  Lots of new flowers, lots of green, butterflies return… and also, baby birds.  I have several bird houses in our back yard.  Today, during lunch I watched a mother wren flying back and forth to one of the houses.  Unfortunately, one other bird that invades my backyard every spring is the Grackle.  They really like our pond and there are several evergreens that they prefer for nesting on the adjacent property that surrounds our house.

I wouldn’t really mind them so much, but they make a mess out of the pond and they really bother me with their chatter every time I am in the back yard.  As if I shouldn’t be out there!

However, all creatures have a place in our world.  I’ll give chase to them every now and then, but that is about as much of a reaction they get out of me.

Just a short time back, I was out stalking butterflies with my camera and when I came around the back of the shed, there was a fledgling Grackle.  Not my typical photography subject – but this baby bird just kind of held its ground and stared at me.  I can’t hardly walk away from a perfect photo setup, so I grabbed the shot.  Turned out decent…soooo, I present my “least” favorite bird to you!  The Common Grackel:

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Nature Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/6/baby-birds Fri, 08 Jun 2012 12:18:00 GMT
Memorial Day Butterflies https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/5/memorial-day-butterflies Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  Thank you to all who have served our country.

My daughter's high school graduation and open house was yesterday. Beautiful day in Watertown. Of course as I was trying to be a good dad/host with all the friends, relatives and guests - I couldn't help noticing tons and tons of butterflies in my backyard. ARRGGH! Wanted to go grab the camera and forget everything else!


However, I behaved. This morning I went hunting butterflies. Never photographed this one before - called a "Question Mark" (Polygonia Interrogationis).  It looks ridiculously like a leaf when it’s wings are folded up, so it was nice that this one was sunning on our shed for the top photo!  The bottom photo shows the beautiful orange of its wings opened up.

 

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Top Photo: ISO 200, 1/125 sec at f/8.0, 200mm, Nikon D700

Bottom Photo: ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/20, 200mm, Nikon D700

 

Been a fantastic spring for butterflies.  Hoping that leads to a fantastic summer as well!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/5/memorial-day-butterflies Mon, 28 May 2012 16:33:00 GMT
Pasqueflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/4/pasqueflowers For many years, I’ve wanted to get out and photograph the South Dakota state flower – the Pasque.  It is rather elusive and it blooms first thing in spring. In the past, I was either traveling or too busy to get out in that very short period of time to find one.

Shortly after I photographed a Crocus in our back yard, I realized this was my chance to get out and search.  I found a photo of the Pasqueflower on the website for the nearby Altamont Prairie – a site managed by the Nature Conservancy.  I’d been there before, so I thought I’d take a drive out and see if I could find some.   I walked for close to an hour in a very zig zag pattern up hills and through swampy parts and every different terrain I could find.  The sun was starting to go down, so I was a little depressed and started back. On the last leg on my way back to the car, I walked across a hill and FINALLY found one clump of four flowers!   They were a little droopy from the rain that had fallen most of the day, but nonetheless made for great photos!

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I noticed one other clump just peeking out of the ground, so I thought about planning another trip when I returned home from a wedding scheduled for weekend.  I invited my wife Rebekah to go back on the follow up visit.

We were rewarded with a handful of new Pasqueflower clumps.  On this day, they were standing tall and not droopy like the previous trip.  Here is one of my favorites from the second journey.

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The only downside was the many little passengers we picked up.  On arriving back to the car, we both pulled at least 20 wood ticks each off our clothing.  A few more were found on the ride home and the last eight or so persistent buggers were finally found upon “close” inspection at home  Winking smilewlEmoticon-winkingsmile[2]

These trips made me a very happy South Dakota photographer!  Next on the list is the White Ladyslipper.  This one may be even harder to find than the Pasque!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Flowers Nature Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/4/pasqueflowers Tue, 17 Apr 2012 07:29:00 GMT
The First Day of Spring & Holga Lenses https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/3/first-day-of-spring-holga-lenses I know spring is coming every year when the tulips and crocuses start pushing up – often with snow still around the yard.  I usually get the camera out and photograph these first signs.

This year the snow has been gone for quite a while and I almost neglected to look in back where the crocuses usually bloom.  Fortunately, I didn’t miss them!

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Nikon D700, Holga HL-N lens, ISO 800, 1/10th of a second.

This year, I decided to do something a little different.  If you’ve seen some of my other photos, you know I sometimes like to play with different camera effects in Photoshop and Lightroom.  This time, I thought I’d shoot with a Holga lens.

If you aren’t familiar with Holga, it is a medium format 120 film “toy” camera manufactured in China.  Because these cameras are built very inexpensively, they generally has some optical aberrations due to the limitations of these cheap lenses.  Makes for some really interesting and artistic results through vignettes, light leaks and blurring.

I wanted to play with cameras like these for a while.  I was fortunate enough to find that I could purchase Holga lenses that would mount to my Nikon D700 DSLR camera.  Sort of really “dumbing” down this expensive camera!   I bought these from http://www.holgadirect.com/

Below is a photo of the main lens and the close-up lenses that I used to achieve this.  Shot this with the 120mm close-up from about four inches away from the flowers.  The close-up lens snaps right on the top of the Holga lens – low tech, but simple to use.

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The back of the Holga lens is pretty much just like a pinhole camera, so it is a little hard to compose the image through the viewfinder as very little light is coming in through the lens.  Lots of trial and error, but I love the end result.

Hope to shoot more over the course of the summer!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Holga Photography Photography Equipment https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/3/first-day-of-spring-holga-lenses Wed, 21 Mar 2012 12:41:00 GMT
Photo of the Week– Leap Day Edition https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/2/photo-of-week-leap-day-edition  

I have no clue how many times I’ve driven down US Highway 212 between Watertown and the Twin Cities or Duluth since 1995.  Many, many  times for sure.

Near the South Dakota/Minnesota border are several fireworks stands as you can’t purchase fireworks in Minnesota.  There are a number of visually interesting elements there and like I always say  “There is a photo in there somewhere.”  

On my last trip to Minneapolis with my son Tyler, I finally stopped.  The lighting was quite nice with the sun having just set.  With the old textures of the building and the rusty garbage barrel out front, combined with the light, I thought this might make a good HDR study.

I bracketed five images with the Nikon D700 and then merged the files from Lightroom into HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5.  From there I sent the resulting file into onOne Software for some additional tweaking.  Finally, back to Photoshop to deal with a few items of edge glow.

This may be an image I return to in the future to further refine, but I’m liking the feel of it so far.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/2/photo-of-week-leap-day-edition Wed, 29 Feb 2012 08:53:00 GMT
Photo of the Week https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week_31-1 Thought I’d change things up from the people photography I’ve been working with lately.

Here’s a photo from the “small” world around us.

I shot this little guy in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND.

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ISO 160, 1/1500 second, f/3.5, 60mm – Fuji S3 Pro

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week_31-1 Tue, 31 Jan 2012 21:31:00 GMT
Photo of the Week https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week_31 Thought I’d change things up from the people photography I’ve been working with lately.

Here’s a photo from the “small” world around us.

I shot this little guy in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND.

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ISO 160, 1/1500 second, f/3.5, 60mm – Fuji S3 Pro

 
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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week_31 Tue, 31 Jan 2012 21:31:00 GMT
Photo of the Week https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week-1  

Photo of the week! We decided to start up a photo of the week to share with our friends on the blog. We shoot a lot of photos that only a limited group of people get to see. We'll try to give you a glimpse at many different styles and projects. We'll start this week with a wedding photograph. Amy and I LOVE to have fun when we shoot weddings. We couldn't have asked for a more fun couple than Alyssa and Josh! Goofing around behind the church :)

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Weddings https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week-1 Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:09:00 GMT
Photo of the Week https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week  

Photo of the week! We decided to start up a photo of the week to share with our friends on the blog. We shoot a lot of photos that only a limited group of people get to see. We'll try to give you a glimpse at many different styles and projects. We'll start this week with a wedding photograph. Amy and I LOVE to have fun when we shoot weddings. We couldn't have asked for a more fun couple than Alyssa and Josh! Goofing around behind the church :)

 

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Weddings https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2012/1/photo-of-week Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:09:00 GMT
Some of my favorites from 2011 Weddings https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/12/some-of-my-favorites-from-2011-weddings-1  

Just a big thank you to all the great couples we worked with this year!  You were great. 

Here’s a slideshow of some of our favorite shots.

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Favorites from 2011 Weddings

Looking forward to 2012 couples!   We already weddings booked at Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, MN and Watertown, SD.  One at the Joy Ranch – be fun to work a new venue!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Events Photography Weddings https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/12/some-of-my-favorites-from-2011-weddings-1 Fri, 16 Dec 2011 20:25:00 GMT
Some of my favorites from 2011 Weddings https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/12/some-of-my-favorites-from-2011-weddings  

Just a big thank you to all the great couples we worked with this year!  You were great. 

Here’s a slideshow of some of our favorite shots.

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Favorites from 2011 Weddings

Looking forward to 2012 couples!   We already weddings booked at Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, MN and Watertown, SD.  One at the Joy Ranch – be fun to work a new venue!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Events Weddings https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/12/some-of-my-favorites-from-2011-weddings Fri, 16 Dec 2011 20:25:00 GMT
Red Riding Hood https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/9/red-riding-hood-1 I’ve been wanting to do my version of various fairytales for several years.  Thanks to Jeri Anderson a mom of a model that I worked with in the past at the Academie Agencie in Fargo, I’ve finally been able to realize one of these shoots.

The model is Heather and she fit the part perfectly!  After searching the internet for costumes, we settled on one that was not too cartoony or “Disney-fied”.

I wanted to work in a dark and sort of creepy forest.  One of my favorite locations – Sica Hollow State Park was ideal.  We had a great day and walked away with a number of excellent images.  I’m going to have a lot of fun continuing to edit these photos, but I thought I’d share a handful immediately.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Art Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/9/red-riding-hood-1 Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:36:00 GMT
Red Riding Hood https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/9/red-riding-hood I’ve been wanting to do my version of various fairytales for several years.  Thanks to Jeri Anderson a mom of a model that I worked with in the past at the Academie Agencie in Fargo, I’ve finally been able to realize one of these shoots.

The model is Heather and she fit the part perfectly!  After searching the internet for costumes, we settled on one that was not too cartoony or “Disney-fied”.

I wanted to work in a dark and sort of creepy forest.  One of my favorite locations – Sica Hollow State Park was ideal.  We had a great day and walked away with a number of excellent images.  I’m going to have a lot of fun continuing to edit these photos, but I thought I’d share a handful immediately.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Art https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/9/red-riding-hood Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:36:00 GMT
Holga Photography from a Nikon D700 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/8/holga-photography-from-nikon-d700-1  

If you’ve read my posts in the past, you know I have an appreciation for “toy camera” photography.  I’ve seriously considered buying a Holga or a Lomo camera in the past, but I couldn’t really justify buying that and purchasing and developing the film. 

However, I found a way to perhaps get the best of both worlds!

I bought a set of Holga lenses for my Nikon digital cameras. Sort of bizarre to be dumbing down these really expensive cameras, but I do love Holga photography. I haven't had more than a minute to play yet, but I shot a quick photo outside the door. Hard to see through the viewfinder as it is so dark, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

I bought the Holga lenses here (the kitchen sink option): http://shop.holgadirect.com/collections/digital-holga-for-nikon-slr

I wasn't sure I much liked this first image, but then I remembered that a lot of Holga photography is cross processed. A couple of quick steps in Lightroom and I like the end result a lot better.

Here they are side by side. The cross processed photo is on the right.

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Hope to share more in the coming weeks!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Art Holga Photography Photography Equipment https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/8/holga-photography-from-nikon-d700-1 Mon, 08 Aug 2011 20:54:00 GMT
Holga Photography from a Nikon D700 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/8/holga-photography-from-nikon-d700  

If you’ve read my posts in the past, you know I have an appreciation for “toy camera” photography.  I’ve seriously considered buying a Holga or a Lomo camera in the past, but I couldn’t really justify buying that and purchasing and developing the film. 

However, I found a way to perhaps get the best of both worlds!

I bought a set of Holga lenses for my Nikon digital cameras. Sort of bizarre to be dumbing down these really expensive cameras, but I do love Holga photography. I haven't had more than a minute to play yet, but I shot a quick photo outside the door. Hard to see through the viewfinder as it is so dark, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

I bought the Holga lenses here (the kitchen sink option): http://shop.holgadirect.com/collections/digital-holga-for-nikon-slr

I wasn't sure I much liked this first image, but then I remembered that a lot of Holga photography is cross processed. A couple of quick steps in Lightroom and I like the end result a lot better.

Here they are side by side. The cross processed photo is on the right.

Holga diptychHolga%252520diptych_thumb%25255B1%25255D

Hope to share more in the coming weeks!

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Holga Photography Equipment Art https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/8/holga-photography-from-nikon-d700 Mon, 08 Aug 2011 20:54:00 GMT
A photograph, seen through different eyes. https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/photograph-seen-through-different-eyes-1 I’ve always been interested in how different people see things differently.  This holds true for my photographs.

feather in bottlefeather in bottle_thumb[18]

The photo above introduced me to another artist.  A writer attending Utah State University, Alex Baldwin.   Alex wrote in an email:

Tonight I just found your beautiful photo from 2009 of a feather in a bottle and was wondering if I could use it on the Cover page of my project. My project is actually about the author Sherman Alexie but he addresses often the problem of alcoholism on reservations, so your photo would be perfect!

Alex was awarded USU’s Creative Writing Student of the Year and USU’s Overall Outstanding English Student of the Year. This email started a great dialogue with Alex about his work and my photography.  I was more than happy to help out. 

By the way, the photo above that Alex found was really just something I was using to demonstrate how I achieved the photo I was after.  I was on a weekend outing with two wonderful friends.  I was trying to figure out how to capture the texture and color of the feather.  The beer bottle and the twist tie just happened to be convenient!  How very interesting that my “example” made a completely different impression on Alex.  Here is my finished product for comparison:

Feather closeupFeather closeup_thumb[1]

I was excited when Alex sent me a short piece so I could share it with you.  I look forward to reading his creative portfolio that he turned in for graduation (where he is using the photograph.)

So, here is an example of Alex’s work.  I hope you enjoy!

What is that Sound High in the Air

 

A mist, too thick for a waking sun,

slouches against mountains

east of Cache Valley,

 

and somehow turns January snow

blue: leftover scraps of sky

            draping the view

            beside campus.

 

Students, dozens, rush

by: cell phones flipped open,

            ears clogged with iPods,

            palms warm to the foam

            touch of cups brim

            with hot chocolate.

 

Cat Stevens hopes I have a lot

of nice things to wear,

            a sideways smiley-face

            buzzes in my right hand:

            Sapphire’s in for lunch

            at Quadside Café,

OJ from Einstein’s Bagels

 

sloshes almost empty to my stride.

 

Ten minutes away from a class

starting in five, I give ten seconds

            of semester to the mist,

            imagine my Faded Glory

            treads climbing air.

 

Could I summit before losing myself

in absence of up and down?

            Like a bluebird spreading

            a shiver of feathers

            between cloudlessness

            and a lake of glacier run-off.

Alex can be contacted at:  [email protected]

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Art Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/photograph-seen-through-different-eyes-1 Thu, 16 Jun 2011 15:34:00 GMT
A photograph, seen through different eyes. https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/photograph-seen-through-different-eyes I’ve always been interested in how different people see things differently.  This holds true for my photographs.

feather in bottlefeather%252520in%252520bottle_thumb%25255B18%25255D

The photo above introduced me to another artist.  A writer attending Utah State University, Alex Baldwin.   Alex wrote in an email:

Tonight I just found your beautiful photo from 2009 of a feather in a bottle and was wondering if I could use it on the Cover page of my project. My project is actually about the author Sherman Alexie but he addresses often the problem of alcoholism on reservations, so your photo would be perfect!

Alex was awarded USU’s Creative Writing Student of the Year and USU’s Overall Outstanding English Student of the Year. This email started a great dialogue with Alex about his work and my photography.  I was more than happy to help out. 

By the way, the photo above that Alex found was really just something I was using to demonstrate how I achieved the photo I was after.  I was on a weekend outing with two wonderful friends.  I was trying to figure out how to capture the texture and color of the feather.  The beer bottle and the twist tie just happened to be convenient!  How very interesting that my “example” made a completely different impression on Alex.  Here is my finished product for comparison:

Feather closeupFeather%252520closeup_thumb%25255B1%25255D

I was excited when Alex sent me a short piece so I could share it with you.  I look forward to reading his creative portfolio that he turned in for graduation (where he is using the photograph.)

So, here is an example of Alex’s work.  I hope you enjoy!

What is that Sound High in the Air

 

A mist, too thick for a waking sun,

slouches against mountains

east of Cache Valley,

 

and somehow turns January snow

blue: leftover scraps of sky

            draping the view

            beside campus.

 

Students, dozens, rush

by: cell phones flipped open,

            ears clogged with iPods,

            palms warm to the foam

            touch of cups brim

            with hot chocolate.

 

Cat Stevens hopes I have a lot

of nice things to wear,

            a sideways smiley-face

            buzzes in my right hand:

            Sapphire’s in for lunch

            at Quadside Café,

OJ from Einstein’s Bagels

 

sloshes almost empty to my stride.

 

Ten minutes away from a class

starting in five, I give ten seconds

            of semester to the mist,

            imagine my Faded Glory

            treads climbing air.

 

Could I summit before losing myself

in absence of up and down?

            Like a bluebird spreading

            a shiver of feathers

            between cloudlessness

            and a lake of glacier run-off.

Alex can be contacted at:  [email protected]

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Art https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/photograph-seen-through-different-eyes Thu, 16 Jun 2011 15:34:00 GMT
Fata Morgana https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/fata-morgana-1 I was fortunate enough to photograph a wedding last Friday at the Grand Superior Lodge in Caste Danger, Minnesota.  It is a truly fantastic location for a wedding.  Hard to go wrong with Lake Superior as your backdrop.

My wife and I decided to stay until Sunday and make it a mini-vacation.  On Saturday, we drove up MN Highway 61 to Tettegouche State Park.  If you know me, you know I was out shooting various wildflowers and chasing butterflies as much as photographing the standard attraction there (waterfalls).

After hiking up to the aptly named High Falls, we went in the opposite direction and made our way to the lake shore.  We sat and took in the sun and poked around in the rocks for Lake Superior Agates – Minnesota’s state rock.

My wife pointed out to me some unusual formations on the horizon.  At first I thought perhaps storm clouds, but then a light bulb went off in my head about an atmospheric phenomenon that I had read about, but had never seen.  Of course, it had to wait until I had an internet connection to help me recall the name and the details.  What we were seeing was a mirage from the Apostle Islands approximately 25 miles across Lake Superior.  Below is a map from Google Maps giving you some perspective.  Click here to see in Google Maps if you wish to see larger:

imageimage_thumb[2]

According to the Wikipedia article: A Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon. It is an Italian phrase derived from the vulgar Latin for "fairy" and the Arthurian sorcerer Morgan le Fay, from a belief that the mirage, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land designed to lure sailors to their death created by her witchcraft. Although the term Fata Morgana is sometimes incorrectly applied to other, more common kinds of mirages, the true Fata Morgana is not the same as an ordinary superior mirage, and is certainly not the same as an inferior mirage.

I’d be the first to admit, perhaps these may be an “ordinary” superior mirage, but it was cool to see and I’m glad I finally had some kind of an idea of what it might be like.

NorthShore78NorthShore78_thumb[15]

I hope to post a few more photos from the trip soon and also a special post from a writer that used one of my photos in a recent project. 

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Landscape Photography Weather/Atmospheric https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/fata-morgana-1 Tue, 14 Jun 2011 06:37:00 GMT
Fata Morgana https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/fata-morgana I was fortunate enough to photograph a wedding last Friday at the Grand Superior Lodge in Caste Danger, Minnesota.  It is a truly fantastic location for a wedding.  Hard to go wrong with Lake Superior as your backdrop.

My wife and I decided to stay until Sunday and make it a mini-vacation.  On Saturday, we drove up MN Highway 61 to Tettegouche State Park.  If you know me, you know I was out shooting various wildflowers and chasing butterflies as much as photographing the standard attraction there (waterfalls).

After hiking up to the aptly named High Falls, we went in the opposite direction and made our way to the lake shore.  We sat and took in the sun and poked around in the rocks for Lake Superior Agates – Minnesota’s state rock.

My wife pointed out to me some unusual formations on the horizon.  At first I thought perhaps storm clouds, but then a light bulb went off in my head about an atmospheric phenomenon that I had read about, but had never seen.  Of course, it had to wait until I had an internet connection to help me recall the name and the details.  What we were seeing was a mirage from the Apostle Islands approximately 25 miles across Lake Superior.  Below is a map from Google Maps giving you some perspective.  Click here to see in Google Maps if you wish to see larger:

imageimage_thumb%25255B2%25255D

According to the Wikipedia article: A Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon. It is an Italian phrase derived from the vulgar Latin for "fairy" and the Arthurian sorcerer Morgan le Fay, from a belief that the mirage, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land designed to lure sailors to their death created by her witchcraft. Although the term Fata Morgana is sometimes incorrectly applied to other, more common kinds of mirages, the true Fata Morgana is not the same as an ordinary superior mirage, and is certainly not the same as an inferior mirage.

I’d be the first to admit, perhaps these may be an “ordinary” superior mirage, but it was cool to see and I’m glad I finally had some kind of an idea of what it might be like.

NorthShore78NorthShore78_thumb%25255B15%25255D

I hope to post a few more photos from the trip soon and also a special post from a writer that used one of my photos in a recent project. 

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Photography Weather/Atmospheric Landscape https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/6/fata-morgana Tue, 14 Jun 2011 06:37:00 GMT
Tych Panel https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/tych-panel-1 I learned about a neat tool for Photoshop and blogging from @Photoshop_ GU on Twitter.  This tool is a Photoshop Extension that automates diptychs and triptychs creation, perfect for photoblogs.  To me, this a nice alternative way to present photos – rather than just one single photo in the column.   To read more about and download, go to http://lumens.se/tychpanel/

Here are a couple of example layouts.  There are several to choose from:

Tych PanelTych Panel_thumb[1]

A diptych featuring our cat, Pixel.

Tych Panel 2Tych Panel 2_thumb[2]

A triptych from photos underneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

I thought this was a nice, quick little tool that others might want to be aware of.  Have fun with it!

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/tych-panel-1 Fri, 08 Apr 2011 17:14:00 GMT
Tych Panel https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/tych-panel I learned about a neat tool for Photoshop and blogging from @Photoshop_ GU on Twitter.  This tool is a Photoshop Extension that automates diptychs and triptychs creation, perfect for photoblogs.  To me, this a nice alternative way to present photos – rather than just one single photo in the column.   To read more about and download, go to http://lumens.se/tychpanel/

Here are a couple of example layouts.  There are several to choose from:

Tych PanelTych%20Panel_thumb%5B1%5D

A diptych featuring our cat, Pixel.

Tych Panel 2Tych%20Panel%202_thumb%5B2%5D

A triptych from photos underneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

I thought this was a nice, quick little tool that others might want to be aware of.  Have fun with it!

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/tych-panel Fri, 08 Apr 2011 17:14:00 GMT
OTA Sessions, the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls and a new Nikon https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/ota-sessions-orpheum-theater-in-sioux-1 Where to start!?

I had the extreme pleasure of doing event photography for the OTA Sessions in Sioux Falls on Friday.  The OTA sessions are described as:

Creativity and originality of thought are critical to our success as a region, but without action and implementation it's all just idle chitchat. OTA challenges us to bring originality and action together. o + a

The OTA Sessions are a chance for all of us Midwesterners to shatter the perception that creativity and thought leadership in business, marketing, communications and education live solely on the east and west coasts.

I was blown away by the speakers:  Sally Hogshead, Ellen McGirt, CC Chapman, Ann Handley, John Winsor, Ricardo Crespo, Rod Arnold, Jeff Slobotsky and Dusty Davidson.

All were very motivating and a pleasure to listen to.   Sally Hogshead had me cracking up (while trying to be steady and focus), John motivated the heck out of me and Ellen and Rod moved me immensely.  I was torn in some ways as I couldn’t be both focused on the presentations and focused with my camera.  I was there to take photographs!

Working with Hugh Weber, the founder of OTA was fantastic.  He’s put together a fantastic event and I really identified with his motivations for creating this event.

The venue for the OTA Sessions was the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls.  What a fantastic place!  I was so excited as soon as I got a look at it. 

My plans for PJ Anderson Photography this year called for a new camera so that I had a solid backup for the spring/summer weddings.  I also wanted to get up to the next level of pro cameras.  As great as my workhorse Nikon D300 has been for years, I was more than ready to get up onto the Nikon D700.   With the OTA event being held at the Orpheum, I knew I wanted to get the D700 in my hands immediately - to make sure that I could take advantage of the great high ISO results.  I wanted to be able to walk away with photos that weren’t overly grainy in the dark light of a theater.

The D700 did NOT let me down.  I am very pleased with the quality of the images!  This is going to open up even more opportunities at weddings in darker churches.  Should allow for some wonderful moody lighting situations!

I’m in the middle of editing/finishing four assignments, but while taking a break – I tossed together 7 or 8 photos in Photoshop that I shot “hand held” in the Orpheum to create an interesting panorama. This photograph is in no way to be considered a “finished” product.  If I was going to shoot this in a serious fashion, I would have definitely set this up on a tripod and would have spent some serious time getting the shot down perfectly.  I might have even took some time to try an HDR study. BUT, I do think this shows the power of the camera (and the beauty of the theater.)  So, just for fun, here you go!

Orpheum-Theater-pano-2Orpheum-Theater-pano-2_thumb[1]

Nikon D700, ISO 2000, f/2.8, 1/60 second – multiple exposures stitched in Photoshop

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Events Photography Equipment https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/ota-sessions-orpheum-theater-in-sioux-1 Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:51:00 GMT
OTA Sessions, the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls and a new Nikon https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/ota-sessions-orpheum-theater-in-sioux Where to start!?

I had the extreme pleasure of doing event photography for the OTA Sessions in Sioux Falls on Friday.  The OTA sessions are described as:

Creativity and originality of thought are critical to our success as a region, but without action and implementation it's all just idle chitchat. OTA challenges us to bring originality and action together. o + a

The OTA Sessions are a chance for all of us Midwesterners to shatter the perception that creativity and thought leadership in business, marketing, communications and education live solely on the east and west coasts.

I was blown away by the speakers:  Sally Hogshead, Ellen McGirt, CC Chapman, Ann Handley, John Winsor, Ricardo Crespo, Rod Arnold, Jeff Slobotsky and Dusty Davidson.

All were very motivating and a pleasure to listen to.   Sally Hogshead had me cracking up (while trying to be steady and focus), John motivated the heck out of me and Ellen and Rod moved me immensely.  I was torn in some ways as I couldn’t be both focused on the presentations and focused with my camera.  I was there to take photographs!

Working with Hugh Weber, the founder of OTA was fantastic.  He’s put together a fantastic event and I really identified with his motivations for creating this event.

The venue for the OTA Sessions was the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls.  What a fantastic place!  I was so excited as soon as I got a look at it. 

My plans for PJ Anderson Photography this year called for a new camera so that I had a solid backup for the spring/summer weddings.  I also wanted to get up to the next level of pro cameras.  As great as my workhorse Nikon D300 has been for years, I was more than ready to get up onto the Nikon D700.   With the OTA event being held at the Orpheum, I knew I wanted to get the D700 in my hands immediately - to make sure that I could take advantage of the great high ISO results.  I wanted to be able to walk away with photos that weren’t overly grainy in the dark light of a theater.

The D700 did NOT let me down.  I am very pleased with the quality of the images!  This is going to open up even more opportunities at weddings in darker churches.  Should allow for some wonderful moody lighting situations!

I’m in the middle of editing/finishing four assignments, but while taking a break – I tossed together 7 or 8 photos in Photoshop that I shot “hand held” in the Orpheum to create an interesting panorama. This photograph is in no way to be considered a “finished” product.  If I was going to shoot this in a serious fashion, I would have definitely set this up on a tripod and would have spent some serious time getting the shot down perfectly.  I might have even took some time to try an HDR study. BUT, I do think this shows the power of the camera (and the beauty of the theater.)  So, just for fun, here you go!

Orpheum-Theater-pano-2Orpheum-Theater-pano-2_thumb%5B1%5D

Nikon D700, ISO 2000, f/2.8, 1/60 second – multiple exposures stitched in Photoshop

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) Events Photography Equipment https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/4/ota-sessions-orpheum-theater-in-sioux Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:51:00 GMT
Converted and added my old blog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/converted-and-added-my-old-blog-1
I started looking around to see what would be a good alternative. A few friends used Blogger and so this is where I ended up. However, then I found out Microsoft was automatically moving our blogs to WordPress!

Well, I’ve maintained a link here to my old blog – but I figured most wouldn’t see the link or even if they did – they wouldn’t go look. It is sort of sad that I’ve lost connections with many that used to stop by the old blog.

However, today I found out about a service that can convert WordPress blogs to Blogger for import. I figured it would probably bring the text, but not the photos. BUT, I was surprised and the photos and comments and all came with! How terrific. Of course, there is some quality issues with the old photos, but I am not going to complain too much.

If you find yourself in a similar spot, here is the tool I used: http://wordpress2blogger.appspot.com/

Posts prior to July 2010 are from the old blog if anyone wants to dig that deep! I hope you do as there are some photos I really would like people to see!

Until next time!]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/converted-and-added-my-old-blog-1 Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:12:00 GMT
Converted and added my old blog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/converted-and-added-my-old-blog
I started looking around to see what would be a good alternative. A few friends used Blogger and so this is where I ended up. However, then I found out Microsoft was automatically moving our blogs to WordPress!

Well, I’ve maintained a link here to my old blog – but I figured most wouldn’t see the link or even if they did – they wouldn’t go look. It is sort of sad that I’ve lost connections with many that used to stop by the old blog.

However, today I found out about a service that can convert WordPress blogs to Blogger for import. I figured it would probably bring the text, but not the photos. BUT, I was surprised and the photos and comments and all came with! How terrific. Of course, there is some quality issues with the old photos, but I am not going to complain too much.

If you find yourself in a similar spot, here is the tool I used: http://wordpress2blogger.appspot.com/

Posts prior to July 2010 are from the old blog if anyone wants to dig that deep! I hope you do as there are some photos I really would like people to see!

Until next time!
]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/converted-and-added-my-old-blog Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:12:00 GMT
Shooting tethered in Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/shooting-tethered-in-lightroom-1 I’ve seen videos online of people shooting with their camera tethered to their computer.  It has often been one of those things I thought I’d try someday, but I really had no pressing desire to do so.  I rarely shoot in a studio environment and when I do, I hate to be tied down with cables attached to my camera.

However, the other day I was stuck in my office waiting on an important call that I couldn’t miss and my camera and computer were just sitting here.  The thought popped into my head to give it a shot.

I connected my camera to the laptop with the USB cable and fired up Lightroom.  Once there, it was really a no-brainer to set this up.  I work on a PC, so I opened the File menu and selected “Tethered Capture”.  This opens the following window where I can name the session, set the location where the files to be saved and set my Metadata presets.

imageimage_thumb[4]

After clicking the OK button, a new toolbar opens in lightroom:

imageimage_thumb[2]

I could quickly see the camera attached and the settings currently set on it – ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance.

What really interested me was the ability to set the develop settings in Lightroom.  These settings are applied as the file gets transferred to the computer and is then displayed in Lightroom.  Being I was taking self portraits of myself (yikes!), I opted immediately for a black and white preset that I like.

imageimage_thumb[6]

Then, all I did was click the big grey button on the far right of the toolbar to trigger the shutter release.  I had my camera set to autofocus and it did that first and then triggered the shutter.

In just a moment, the photo appeared on my screen.  I’ll spare you the agony of looking at most of these captures – not easy taking a self portrait that I liked!  However, here is one of the end results that my family and friends say best looks like me.

PJ Tethered 2-2PJ Tethered 2-2_thumb

I really may think more on this – in particular when I am doing some product photography or working with models in a studio environment.  It was worth playing with.

Hope to talk again soon!

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/shooting-tethered-in-lightroom-1 Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:06:00 GMT
Shooting tethered in Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/shooting-tethered-in-lightroom I’ve seen videos online of people shooting with their camera tethered to their computer.  It has often been one of those things I thought I’d try someday, but I really had no pressing desire to do so.  I rarely shoot in a studio environment and when I do, I hate to be tied down with cables attached to my camera.

However, the other day I was stuck in my office waiting on an important call that I couldn’t miss and my camera and computer were just sitting here.  The thought popped into my head to give it a shot.

I connected my camera to the laptop with the USB cable and fired up Lightroom.  Once there, it was really a no-brainer to set this up.  I work on a PC, so I opened the File menu and selected “Tethered Capture”.  This opens the following window where I can name the session, set the location where the files to be saved and set my Metadata presets.

imageimage_thumb%5B4%5D

After clicking the OK button, a new toolbar opens in lightroom:

imageimage_thumb%5B2%5D

I could quickly see the camera attached and the settings currently set on it – ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance.

What really interested me was the ability to set the develop settings in Lightroom.  These settings are applied as the file gets transferred to the computer and is then displayed in Lightroom.  Being I was taking self portraits of myself (yikes!), I opted immediately for a black and white preset that I like.

imageimage_thumb%5B6%5D

Then, all I did was click the big grey button on the far right of the toolbar to trigger the shutter release.  I had my camera set to autofocus and it did that first and then triggered the shutter.

In just a moment, the photo appeared on my screen.  I’ll spare you the agony of looking at most of these captures – not easy taking a self portrait that I liked!  However, here is one of the end results that my family and friends say best looks like me.

PJ Tethered 2-2PJ%20Tethered%202-2_thumb

I really may think more on this – in particular when I am doing some product photography or working with models in a studio environment.  It was worth playing with.

Hope to talk again soon!

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/2/shooting-tethered-in-lightroom Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:06:00 GMT
Winter Landscapes https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/1/winter-landscapes-1 Earlier this week, I was in Madison, South Dakota doing some commercial photography for J-Gable.  The client was driving, so I was a passenger for this trip.  On the way home that afternoon (about 60 miles) I was blown away by the light and the blowing snow creating a very moody look.

As soon as I made it back to Watertown, I turned my truck back south chasing that great light.  The blowing snow had disappeared, but I still found several good shots as the sun was starting to go down.

Taking photos with snow is always a challenge.  Getting the exposure right can be tricky.  I’ve been shooting a lot of auto bracketed photos lately so that I can combine certain images into HDR shots.  Being it was REALLY cold and windy, I thought I’d just continue to shoot that way to make sure I got the shot.  So, I composed my shot, made my best choice on exposure and bracketed by 2 stops.  This gave me one at the exposure I selected and two underexposed and two overexposed.

With the sun setting I had very bright highlights (sun and snow) and some dark shadows (tree line and farm).  Turned out this was one of those great opportunities to use HDR pro in Photoshop CS5 to merge these different exposures.

I tweaked the final product using onOne’s Phototools and I think this image really reflects what it felt like on that day on a lakeshore beside the old Meridian Highway (US 81)!

 

Winter-sunset-for-webWinter-sunset-for-web_thumb[3]

ISO 200, 1/50 sec, f/13 – Nikon D300

Happy New Year (and stay warm!)

]]>
(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/1/winter-landscapes-1 Thu, 06 Jan 2011 15:07:00 GMT
Winter Landscapes https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/1/winter-landscapes Earlier this week, I was in Madison, South Dakota doing some commercial photography for J-Gable.  The client was driving, so I was a passenger for this trip.  On the way home that afternoon (about 60 miles) I was blown away by the light and the blowing snow creating a very moody look.

As soon as I made it back to Watertown, I turned my truck back south chasing that great light.  The blowing snow had disappeared, but I still found several good shots as the sun was starting to go down.

Taking photos with snow is always a challenge.  Getting the exposure right can be tricky.  I’ve been shooting a lot of auto bracketed photos lately so that I can combine certain images into HDR shots.  Being it was REALLY cold and windy, I thought I’d just continue to shoot that way to make sure I got the shot.  So, I composed my shot, made my best choice on exposure and bracketed by 2 stops.  This gave me one at the exposure I selected and two underexposed and two overexposed.

With the sun setting I had very bright highlights (sun and snow) and some dark shadows (tree line and farm).  Turned out this was one of those great opportunities to use HDR pro in Photoshop CS5 to merge these different exposures.

I tweaked the final product using onOne’s Phototools and I think this image really reflects what it felt like on that day on a lakeshore beside the old Meridian Highway (US 81)!

 

Winter-sunset-for-webWinter-sunset-for-web_thumb%5B3%5D

ISO 200, 1/50 sec, f/13 – Nikon D300

Happy New Year (and stay warm!)

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2011/1/winter-landscapes Thu, 06 Jan 2011 15:07:00 GMT
Remembering summer days with HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/11/remembering-summer-days-with-hdr-pro-in-1 I spent some time today putting up Christmas lights on the house today.  The temperature wasn’t bad, but there was a pretty good wind out there.  We are also looking at a winter storm tomorrow!

When I decided to review an HDR (high dynamic range) training on the National Association of Photoshop Professionals website this afternoon, all the photos that I pulled up to play with were from our summer vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  The holidays are a nice time of the year, but spring and summer is when I thrive!

Very pleasant memories as I practiced this methodology.  I’ve done several posts on HDR, so if you are unfamiliar with it, you might want to look back (primarily at the old blog – link on the right!)

The process began with my original photos five photos auto-bracketed in my Nikon.  The original photo and then an underexposed by 2 stops and 1 stop.  Overexposed by 1 stop and 2 stops.

After importing all photos into Adobe Lightroom, I selected all five frames, right clicked to select Edit > Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop.  In the Merge to HDR settings, I increased the detail and then the strength and the radius to dial in the look I wanted.

imageimage_thumb[1]

I saved the result from Photoshop (returning the photo to Lightoom) and then fine tuned the image in Lightroom.  Note: For those not using Lightroom, you can accomplish this in Adobe Camera Raw as well.

imageimage_thumb[4]

Here’s the final result and my warm memories of Sylvan Lake:

imageimage_thumb[7]

Below is the original correctly exposed base photo:

imageimage_thumb[9]

ISO 250, 1/13 second, f/16 – Nikon D300

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/11/remembering-summer-days-with-hdr-pro-in-1 Sun, 28 Nov 2010 18:15:00 GMT
Remembering summer days with HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/11/remembering-summer-days-with-hdr-pro-in I spent some time today putting up Christmas lights on the house today.  The temperature wasn’t bad, but there was a pretty good wind out there.  We are also looking at a winter storm tomorrow!

When I decided to review an HDR (high dynamic range) training on the National Association of Photoshop Professionals website this afternoon, all the photos that I pulled up to play with were from our summer vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  The holidays are a nice time of the year, but spring and summer is when I thrive!

Very pleasant memories as I practiced this methodology.  I’ve done several posts on HDR, so if you are unfamiliar with it, you might want to look back (primarily at the old blog – link on the right!)

The process began with my original photos five photos auto-bracketed in my Nikon.  The original photo and then an underexposed by 2 stops and 1 stop.  Overexposed by 1 stop and 2 stops.

After importing all photos into Adobe Lightroom, I selected all five frames, right clicked to select Edit > Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop.  In the Merge to HDR settings, I increased the detail and then the strength and the radius to dial in the look I wanted.

imageimage_thumb%5B1%5D

I saved the result from Photoshop (returning the photo to Lightoom) and then fine tuned the image in Lightroom.  Note: For those not using Lightroom, you can accomplish this in Adobe Camera Raw as well.

imageimage_thumb%5B4%5D

Here’s the final result and my warm memories of Sylvan Lake:

imageimage_thumb%5B7%5D

Below is the original correctly exposed base photo:

imageimage_thumb%5B9%5D

ISO 250, 1/13 second, f/16 – Nikon D300

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/11/remembering-summer-days-with-hdr-pro-in Sun, 28 Nov 2010 18:15:00 GMT
Lightroom Publishing the Sequel https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/lightroom-publishing-sequel-1 I just discovered one additional tidbit on the Publish to Flickr tool in Adobe Lightroom 3.2.

Because this publishing is an on-going relationship between Lightroom and Flickr, when someone makes a comment on a photograph on Flickr, that information comes back into Lightroom.

Here’s a screen shot.  Thank you to Lisa for making comments and thus making this discovery possible!

imageimage_thumb[1]

Closer:

imageimage_thumb[4]

I’ll have to see how this plays out over time to determine how valuable this is.  For now, it is just “cool!”

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/lightroom-publishing-sequel-1 Tue, 07 Sep 2010 17:45:00 GMT
Lightroom Publishing the Sequel https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/lightroom-publishing-sequel I just discovered one additional tidbit on the Publish to Flickr tool in Adobe Lightroom 3.2.

Because this publishing is an on-going relationship between Lightroom and Flickr, when someone makes a comment on a photograph on Flickr, that information comes back into Lightroom.

Here’s a screen shot.  Thank you to Lisa for making comments and thus making this discovery possible!

imageimage_thumb%5B1%5D

Closer:

imageimage_thumb%5B4%5D

I’ll have to see how this plays out over time to determine how valuable this is.  For now, it is just “cool!”

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/lightroom-publishing-sequel Tue, 07 Sep 2010 17:45:00 GMT
New Publish Feature in Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/new-publish-feature-in-lightroom-1 I’ve been putting off creating a presence on Flickr for a VERY long time.  With a rainy Labor Day keeping me inside and working, I started to look into it again.

The timing is pretty good as the newest release of Adobe Lightroom has a “publish” feature that allows me to post photos directly to Flickr (and Facebook, SmugMug and other sites.  A plugin is also available to do the same thing on Zenfolio – one of the sites I use).

Thought I’d just walk through an example and post a photo out to Flickr.  For a more detailed explanation/demo, you might want to check out this video from Julianne Kost at Adobe TV

I do more and more of my work in Lightroom and this feature makes it so easy for me to get my working photos off my computer to the web without first having to do a bunch of file handling (sizing, naming, metadata entry, etc.)  All these items are set up in my publish settings.  This means, all I do is drag my photo for the Library Module in Lightroom to the appropriate site to publish to and essentially say “go”!  Sweet.

Here is a screen shot of some variations on a photo I talked about in the last post.  If I want to quickly post the photo with my logo to Flickr – here is what it looks like.

1.  With my photo selected in the Library Module, I just drag the selected photo to the Flickr section under Publish Services.

imageimage_thumb[1]

2.  Next, clicking on the Photostream section, I can see the photos that have been published and those needing to be published.  Clicking on Publish is all I need to do.

imageimage_thumb[3]

3.  With my publish settings in place, you can see all my metadata is also uploaded with the photo! 

imageimage_thumb[5]

I guess I have all the tools in place.  Now it is just a matter of getting the appropriate photos posted to Flickr!

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Lightroom Plugins Software https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/new-publish-feature-in-lightroom-1 Mon, 06 Sep 2010 13:36:00 GMT
New Publish Feature in Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/new-publish-feature-in-lightroom I’ve been putting off creating a presence on Flickr for a VERY long time.  With a rainy Labor Day keeping me inside and working, I started to look into it again.

The timing is pretty good as the newest release of Adobe Lightroom has a “publish” feature that allows me to post photos directly to Flickr (and Facebook, SmugMug and other sites.  A plugin is also available to do the same thing on Zenfolio – one of the sites I use).

Thought I’d just walk through an example and post a photo out to Flickr.  For a more detailed explanation/demo, you might want to check out this video from Julianne Kost at Adobe TV

I do more and more of my work in Lightroom and this feature makes it so easy for me to get my working photos off my computer to the web without first having to do a bunch of file handling (sizing, naming, metadata entry, etc.)  All these items are set up in my publish settings.  This means, all I do is drag my photo for the Library Module in Lightroom to the appropriate site to publish to and essentially say “go”!  Sweet.

Here is a screen shot of some variations on a photo I talked about in the last post.  If I want to quickly post the photo with my logo to Flickr – here is what it looks like.

1.  With my photo selected in the Library Module, I just drag the selected photo to the Flickr section under Publish Services.

imageimage_thumb%5B1%5D

2.  Next, clicking on the Photostream section, I can see the photos that have been published and those needing to be published.  Clicking on Publish is all I need to do.

imageimage_thumb%5B3%5D

3.  With my publish settings in place, you can see all my metadata is also uploaded with the photo! 

imageimage_thumb%5B5%5D

I guess I have all the tools in place.  Now it is just a matter of getting the appropriate photos posted to Flickr!

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) Plugins Software Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/new-publish-feature-in-lightroom Mon, 06 Sep 2010 13:36:00 GMT
Adobe Lightroom and Presets https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/adobe-lightroom-and-presets-1  

Wild Cone FlowerWild Cone Flower_thumb[3]

I don’t think there is a more valuable tool in my digital darkroom than Adobe Lightroom.  I’m using release 3.2 these days.

A couple of weeks ago I had serious problems with my laptop.  A corrupt user profile – if you’ve ever had to deal with that issue, you know how frustrated I was with that!  However, to try to find a positive slant to this, it did require me to reload a few things.  I guess once you get things set the way you want, it is easy to forget that there are other settings or opportunities available.

Today I reloaded some free presets for Lightroom developed by Photoshop Guru Jack Davis.  I was fortunate to see him speak a couple of years ago at Photoshop World in Orlando.  Anyways, what a great pack of tools  AND you can’t beat the price.   I downloaded the presets from the onOne software site (one of my favorite Photoshop add-on’s.)  If you use Lightroom and want to try these yourself, click here.

The photo at the top was achieved by applying three presets called Wow-Antique 1, Wow Antique 2 and Wow-f_Vignette_Lt_07.  Finished with a thin black ‘Edge Treatment’ in onOne’s Phototools.

Here is the original and a two additional pre-sets.

Wild Cone Flower OrigWild Cone Flower Orig_thumb[5]    Wild Cone Flower c_HSL-Only BrownWild Cone Flower c_HSL-Only Brown_thumb[3]    Wild Cone Flower CreamtoneWild Cone Flower Creamtone_thumb[3]

Original, c_HSL-Only Brown (Jack Davis preset) and Creamtone (LR preset).

This photo was taken in Custer State Park in South Dakota with a Nikon D300.   ISO 200, 1/1600 sec, f/4.0, 55 mm.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/adobe-lightroom-and-presets-1 Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:17:00 GMT
Adobe Lightroom and Presets https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/adobe-lightroom-and-presets  

Wild Cone FlowerWild%20Cone%20Flower_thumb%5B3%5D

I don’t think there is a more valuable tool in my digital darkroom than Adobe Lightroom.  I’m using release 3.2 these days.

A couple of weeks ago I had serious problems with my laptop.  A corrupt user profile – if you’ve ever had to deal with that issue, you know how frustrated I was with that!  However, to try to find a positive slant to this, it did require me to reload a few things.  I guess once you get things set the way you want, it is easy to forget that there are other settings or opportunities available.

Today I reloaded some free presets for Lightroom developed by Photoshop Guru Jack Davis.  I was fortunate to see him speak a couple of years ago at Photoshop World in Orlando.  Anyways, what a great pack of tools  AND you can’t beat the price.   I downloaded the presets from the onOne software site (one of my favorite Photoshop add-on’s.)  If you use Lightroom and want to try these yourself, click here.

The photo at the top was achieved by applying three presets called Wow-Antique 1, Wow Antique 2 and Wow-f_Vignette_Lt_07.  Finished with a thin black ‘Edge Treatment’ in onOne’s Phototools.

Here is the original and a two additional pre-sets.

Wild Cone Flower OrigWild%20Cone%20Flower%20Orig_thumb%5B5%5D    Wild Cone Flower c_HSL-Only BrownWild%20Cone%20Flower%20c_HSL-Only%20Brown_thumb%5B3%5D    Wild Cone Flower CreamtoneWild%20Cone%20Flower%20Creamtone_thumb%5B3%5D

Original, c_HSL-Only Brown (Jack Davis preset) and Creamtone (LR preset).

This photo was taken in Custer State Park in South Dakota with a Nikon D300.   ISO 200, 1/1600 sec, f/4.0, 55 mm.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/9/adobe-lightroom-and-presets Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:17:00 GMT
Photoshop CS5 and HDR https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/photoshop-cs5-and-hdr-1 One of the features I was excited to try in the new release of Photoshop was the upgraded High Dynamic Range (HDR) functionality.   In the past, HDR required additional plugin products or a lot of labor intensive work.

After doing a photo assignment today, I had the opportunity to photograph a couple of South Dakota landscapes with some dramatic clouds in the sky.   I shot three rapid fire photos with a bracketing setting on my Nikon D300 as I often do these days to open up options in post production.

When I arrived at home, I was thinking I wish I had CS5 already as it would make some of my editing go easier (referring to other features – perhaps a future blog post.)  I decided I’d download the trial software as I will probably be upgrading in the next month.  Of course, the FIRST thing I needed to try was the HDR! 

I started in Lightroom and identified the set of photos I wanted to work with.  Here is the landscape in the photo exposed at the level I decided was “correct”.

Highway OrigHighway Orig_thumb[7]

Right from Lightroom, I selected “merge to HDR in Photoshop”. 

imageimage_thumb[1]

There are many presets and much more control in the new release.  I selected a preset for “surreal” and then played with sliders to more closely match what I saw with my own eyes a few hours ago.

imageimage_thumb[3]

And along with a frame from onOne Photoframes, here is the finished product!

Highway HDR 1bHighway HDR 1b_thumb[3]  

Find me on Facebook

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/photoshop-cs5-and-hdr-1 Thu, 22 Jul 2010 20:41:00 GMT
Photoshop CS5 and HDR https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/photoshop-cs5-and-hdr One of the features I was excited to try in the new release of Photoshop was the upgraded High Dynamic Range (HDR) functionality.   In the past, HDR required additional plugin products or a lot of labor intensive work.

After doing a photo assignment today, I had the opportunity to photograph a couple of South Dakota landscapes with some dramatic clouds in the sky.   I shot three rapid fire photos with a bracketing setting on my Nikon D300 as I often do these days to open up options in post production.

When I arrived at home, I was thinking I wish I had CS5 already as it would make some of my editing go easier (referring to other features – perhaps a future blog post.)  I decided I’d download the trial software as I will probably be upgrading in the next month.  Of course, the FIRST thing I needed to try was the HDR! 

I started in Lightroom and identified the set of photos I wanted to work with.  Here is the landscape in the photo exposed at the level I decided was “correct”.

Highway OrigHighway%20Orig_thumb%5B7%5D

Right from Lightroom, I selected “merge to HDR in Photoshop”. 

imageimage_thumb%5B1%5D

There are many presets and much more control in the new release.  I selected a preset for “surreal” and then played with sliders to more closely match what I saw with my own eyes a few hours ago.

imageimage_thumb%5B3%5D

And along with a frame from onOne Photoframes, here is the finished product!

Highway HDR 1bHighway%20HDR%201b_thumb%5B3%5D  

Find me on Facebook

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/photoshop-cs5-and-hdr Thu, 22 Jul 2010 20:41:00 GMT
Through the Viewfinder (TTV) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/through-viewfinder-ttv-1 I discovered a photography technique that piqued my curiosity on PhotoJoJo some time ago.   Their posting described how some photographers have been shooting a photo of their subject through the viewfinder of an old TTL camera for an interesting effect.  Here is the original posting:  Photojojo

I decided to give it a try and so I found an old vintage Voigtlander Brilliant on eBay for the right price.  I didn’t want to spend a ton of money at first – at least until I saw some results.  The Brilliant is a pseudo twin lens reflex camera (TLR) that was manufactured in Austria in the 1930’s.  You can read more details about this camera (and many others) here: Camerapedia

My first chance to really try was last week while I was doing a photo shoot with Taylor Kearns, Miss ND USA 2010.  We had found a wall that had a great shade of red on it.  The setting sun was shining on the wall with a relatively intense light.  I figured that would be a perfect time to try.  Taylor and the wall would be well lit and I could block the sun on the viewfinder of the Brilliant with my body.  I’m sure holding the vintage camera at waist level with my left hand and trying to focus and compose a shot with my pro DSLR had to look ridiculous, but I was excited about the results.  In this first photo, I’ve cropped a bit, but still included my hand and the camera in the shot.   Did a little work in Photoshop to remove the color in all except what is in the viewfinder.  I also added a border from onOne’s PhotoFrame tool.

TaylorThruTLRTaylorThruTLR_thumb[2]

 

I went on to finish the “real” shoot with Taylor – you can see some of that series on my Facebook page here: Taylor.   As we were packing up, I happened to notice a bicycle leaning up against a fire escape on the next building.  Now THAT was exactly the sort of subject I had been looking for.  I grabbed the Brilliant and fired off another shot.  In this one, I cropped the photo down to just what was seen in the viewfinder.  

Bike TLR photoBike TLR photo_thumb[1]

I can see this is going to take a bit of practice and maybe some trial and error.  Even still, I think this is going to be a creative way to produce some interesting photographs!   Hopefully, there will be more to share in the future.

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/through-viewfinder-ttv-1 Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:28:00 GMT
Through the Viewfinder (TTV) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/through-viewfinder-ttv I discovered a photography technique that piqued my curiosity on PhotoJoJo some time ago.   Their posting described how some photographers have been shooting a photo of their subject through the viewfinder of an old TTL camera for an interesting effect.  Here is the original posting:  Photojojo

I decided to give it a try and so I found an old vintage Voigtlander Brilliant on eBay for the right price.  I didn’t want to spend a ton of money at first – at least until I saw some results.  The Brilliant is a pseudo twin lens reflex camera (TLR) that was manufactured in Austria in the 1930’s.  You can read more details about this camera (and many others) here: Camerapedia

My first chance to really try was last week while I was doing a photo shoot with Taylor Kearns, Miss ND USA 2010.  We had found a wall that had a great shade of red on it.  The setting sun was shining on the wall with a relatively intense light.  I figured that would be a perfect time to try.  Taylor and the wall would be well lit and I could block the sun on the viewfinder of the Brilliant with my body.  I’m sure holding the vintage camera at waist level with my left hand and trying to focus and compose a shot with my pro DSLR had to look ridiculous, but I was excited about the results.  In this first photo, I’ve cropped a bit, but still included my hand and the camera in the shot.   Did a little work in Photoshop to remove the color in all except what is in the viewfinder.  I also added a border from onOne’s PhotoFrame tool.

TaylorThruTLRTaylorThruTLR_thumb%5B2%5D

 

I went on to finish the “real” shoot with Taylor – you can see some of that series on my Facebook page here: Taylor.   As we were packing up, I happened to notice a bicycle leaning up against a fire escape on the next building.  Now THAT was exactly the sort of subject I had been looking for.  I grabbed the Brilliant and fired off another shot.  In this one, I cropped the photo down to just what was seen in the viewfinder.  

Bike TLR photoBike%20TLR%20photo_thumb%5B1%5D

I can see this is going to take a bit of practice and maybe some trial and error.  Even still, I think this is going to be a creative way to produce some interesting photographs!   Hopefully, there will be more to share in the future.

PJ

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/7/through-viewfinder-ttv Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:28:00 GMT
Spring! https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/3/spring

 

Apparently, Emily Dickinson called Crocuses “Spring’s first conviction.”

I sure can't top that! So, I'll stop writing now and show you a photo.

Spring… finally.

Crocuscrocus5b45d ISO 250,  f/5.6, 1/250 second, 55mm – Nikon D300

www.pjandersonphotography.com

www.facebook.com/pjandersonphotography

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/3/spring Fri, 26 Mar 2010 07:07:00 GMT
HDR Style Photo in Lightroom https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/3/hdr-style-photo-in-lightroom

I came across this tutorial on the Digital Photography School website from a link on Facebook posted by the Adobe Lightroom team.  I guess that’s just an example of how posting something on a blog or on Facebook or LiveSpaces can really get a message out.  Even though I get emails directly from DPS and look at that site from time to time, I somehow missed this tutorial .

If you’ve read my LiveSpaces blog in the past, you know that High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a technique that I am fond of.  Not only for the effects, but knowing that my eye sees a much broader range of light than my camera can (at least today) and a single photograph doesn’t really capture that range.

Over the last few years, I’ve been completely sold on shooting RAW images in my camera.  Knowing that it is giving me the most information about my photograph.  Much more than a jpeg that is processed inside my camera.  This tutorial really shows how to take advantage of all that information.

I won’t type out all the instructions, but rather send you to the source here.  I will, however, give you the “before” and “after” of one image that I worked on.  The author does recommend starting with a photo that is a bit underexposed so that we don’t lose the information in the shadows and that is why I picked the following image.

I used a similar photo to this one on an earlier post.  This was shot one evening on my drive on US Highway 212 on my way home from Minneapolis.  The sun was setting and really lighting up a bank of storm clouds with wonderful shades of red.

Beforebefore_thumb5b25d ISO 200, f/16, 0.6 sec, 28mm  - Nikon D300

You can begin to get a sense of the dramatic sky here, but no where near the impact I had while seeing it with my own eyes.  I shot this and several other frames at different exposures (on a tripod) with the intent of combining three photos for an HDR photo in Photoshop.  You’ll have to jump back here in the blog to last June 1st to see how that turned out.

One thing I liked about THIS technique, is I’d be using one RAW file and working exclusively in Lightroom.

Storm Cloud LR HDR-001 emailstormcloudlrhdr-001email_thumb5b65d

In the final image, I am able to pull back the blown highlights in the sky and also see the subtle shadows in the grass and in the tree line.  Definitely going to be a technique I’ll play with more!

I’m looking forward to the return of spring!  Hope to have more photos to share on a more regular basis.

http://www.pjandersonphotography.com  

http://www.facebook.com/PJAndersonPhotography

FB Badgefbbadge5b35d58a93a5a

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/3/hdr-style-photo-in-lightroom Tue, 16 Mar 2010 16:12:00 GMT
My Office Manager https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/2/my-office-manager

 

Just for fun.

This is my office manager – Pixie Feather Sue (Pixel) Anderson.

Pixeljpgpixeljpg5b35d ISO 1000, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, 28mm  - Nikon D300

Pixel joined our family last autumn.  She was a rescued pet (that I sort of fell in love with at first sight) from Dr. Gretchen Gerber’s Country Care Pet Hospital, LLC and Helping PAWS Pet Rescue, Inc. in Washburn, WI.

Dr. Gretchen told us all “no one leaves without a kitten” – she didn’t have to twist my arm too much!  By the way, what a fantastic veterinarian!  She’s been a fantastic help in Pixel’s transition to a family cat.

Anyway, this is one of Pixel’s favorite afternoon tricks.  Wait for me to get off my chair at my desk and then steal my spot.  She doesn’t give up that seat too easily either!

FB BadgeFB%20Badge%5B3%5D%202A05CE02

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/2/my-office-manager Sat, 13 Feb 2010 14:31:00 GMT
Homage to “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/2/homage-to-road-by-cormac-mccarthy

It has been a ridiculously long time since I posted!

Thought I’d jump back in with a photo I played with and the steps I took to get there.

This all started when I was looking at Photoshop tutorials available on www.wikihow.com.  I found one that demonstrated how to polarize an image in Photoshop here.  I have to admit, the last couple of years there have been many times I wish I had my circular polarizer in my bag – and yet it was back at the office.  So, I figured I’d give it a go.

After I played with the test image there, I decided to give it a go with one of my own images.  The one I selected isn’t anything to write home about.  However, it was an interesting place – I took a few photos with the intent to go back at another time and do it justice.

DSCF9862dscf9862_thumb5b45d

ISO 400, f/13, 1/15th second, 50mm – Nikon D300

I won’t repeat all the steps, as you can read about them in the Wikihow article, but here is the same photo after the polarizing tutorial.  I can see where I might use this in some situations.

Polarized SmallPolarized%20Small_thumb%5B8%5D

If you are like me, on occasion you might start messing around with Photoshop, just to see what happens.  In this case, I had an interesting surprise that ties it back to the title of this post and the book called “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.  (NY Times Review)

A theme from the book that always pops into my head is how the world is pretty much covered in dust and is very dark.

Well, when I changed the last step in the polarizing tutorial (where it says to change the blend mode to  “Overlay”) I decided to go with “Difference”.  With the result, I was transported directly into that bleak world of McCarthy’s – dark, foreboding and covered in dust.  It is kind of a creepy feel.  I’ve got no clue if this is what the author had in mind, but this sure worked for me.

TheRoadFence2theroadfence2_thumb5b55d  

I think most of my photos try to show the world and nature in its most beautiful light.  So, this is a bit of a departure for me!  I’m not sure if anyone else would like it, but it was fun for me to do.

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2010/2/homage-to-road-by-cormac-mccarthy Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:35:00 GMT
Old Boots https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2009/12/old-boots

 

File this under “They don’t make ‘em like this anymore!”

After I came in from shoveling this morning – I found myself staring at my snow boots.  I’ve had them for most of my life.  Started doing some math in my head… this is about the 29th winter with these boots.  I have had no desire to get new ones.  My parents bought these Sorel’s for me back in high school when we lived in northern Minnesota.  Granted, I don’t use them nearly as much here as I did up on the lake in the middle of the Superior National Forest, but they go on most winter trips with me.

Anyways, I thought they looked cool and I figured I’d play with some photos.  I’m still convinced the day to day, normal, simple things make the best photographs.  Things you generally just walk by on your way to photograph that flower or that sunset or beautiful bird in the feeder.

Here’s a black and white that I liked:

Sorel Boots-1Sorel%20Boots-1_thumb%5B6%5D ISO 800, f/5.0, 1/60th sec, 28mm   - Nikon D300

And here are a series of different treatments of the same image.  All have been tweaked in Adobe Lightroom.  I used a number of different pre-sets.  If you want to know more – give a shout.  My personal favorite is probably the third one – but they all have some fun to them!

Sorel Boots-3Sorel%20Boots-3_thumb%5B3%5D

 Sorel Boots-4sorelboots-45b45d

Sorel Boots-5sorelboots-55b45d

Sorel Boots-2sorelboots-25b65d

Wishing you the best of the season!  Hope to have more posted before Christmas and New Year, but you know how it goes!

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2009/12/old-boots Mon, 14 Dec 2009 08:39:00 GMT
A Winter Curse https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2009/12/winter-curse

 

You’ve heard of the old saying “It always rains after I was my car.”?

Here is the South Dakota winter version.  “The snowplow always comes after I finish shoveling the driveway.”

I figured as long as I’d have to shovel again, I could at least capture a photo of the darn thing.  Here it is – just for fun.

Snow Plow 2snowplow25b55d ISO 200, f/14, 1/125 sec, 30mm – Nikon D300

Stay warm!

Patrick

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2009/12/winter-curse Thu, 10 Dec 2009 06:01:00 GMT
Pageant Program Book https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2009/11/pageant-program-book

First off – I’m apologize to all my friends here in LiveSpaces.  I’ve been away for quite a while with no updates at all!

Been a rather trying period as I deal with work and the economy, but I would like to say I’ve made some progress in that arena.  Thanks for your positive vibes sent in my direction.  I appreciate it.

Ok, on to photography.  In October, I was involved in shooting glamour/pin up style photos for the Miss ND USA and Miss ND Teen USA pageant program book.  For the most part, I tried to shoot my photos in an “old hollywood glamour” style.  It was a complex style to shoot, but SO much fun compared to normal modeling work that I do on a regular basis.

I’m going to post a couple of my favorites here, but I’ll post links to ALL the photos at the end of this message (if you want to see more!)

Pageant038pageant0385b75d Jenna - ISO 250, 1/250 sec, f/11 – Nikon D300

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Kyla – ISO 250, 1/250 sec, f/11 – Nikon D300

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Rachel - ISO 250, 1/250 sec, f/11 – Nikon D300

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Lena - ISO 250, 1/250 sec, f/11 – Nikon D300

The rest of my photos are here on my Facebook Page. 

I only shot a portion of the contestants.  I encourage you too look at the rest shot by Matt Lentz here: Miss ND USA

I’m working on some other photos.  Hope to have another post soon.

Patrick

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(PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2009/11/pageant-program-book Mon, 09 Nov 2009 06:26:00 GMT