landscape photography magazine

Landscape Photography Magazine

Exquisite images of achingly beautiful places are found in this magazine produced in Scotland.

I’m not sure where I stumbled across this beauty, but extremely glad I did. Landscape Photography Magazine is a subscription-based online magazine that you can download to your computing device. Depending on your subscription level you can download all the content that’s available including all back issues, you would like or up to 12 current issues in a 365 day period.

landscape photography magazine bannerLandscape Photography Magazine Banner for the current May issue

There is lots of free content available if you just want to go poke around. That’s how they got me! The free content was so good I wanted to go deeper in the pages of the magazine and download them onto my computer for the more in-depth views and articles.

Here’s the genesis of the magazine in the words of Editor Dimitri Vasileiou

“In 2011, when I founded Landscape Photography Magazine, I could only have imagined how popular it would now have become. As a landscape photographer, I always felt the need for a bespoke and unique magazine dedicated to the wonderous art of landscape and nature photography – in all its forms.

Now, five years later, LPM has gained worldwide recognition. With a rapidly growing following and subscriber base we can now proudly claim the title of the leading online landscape photography magazine.

Published every month, LPM and its accompanying website has over 300,000 unique visitors in more than 190 countries, making it a truly international photography magazine for the digital age. Packed with refreshing content, exciting features and stunning imagery from around the world – all provided by innovative professionals and enthusiasts  who share one passion – that of landscape photography.

As LPM enters its sixth year, we have exciting plans in place to continue to move the magazine forward and cement its position in the marketplace. Watch this space and join us as we take you ‘Outside – On Camera – Online’.”

Click here for subscription rates

Hope you enjoy this magazine as much as I do.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob


tuesday photo art – helen yancy

Tuesday Painterly Photo Art – Helen Yancy

Tuesday’s on Successful-Photographer, now dedicated to the art of converting images beyond that of a photograph and converting the image in a more Painterly/Artistic direction. We’ll be taking to look at the artist/photographers who are forging their way forward in creating a new art form with photography at its base.

First up is a photographer Helen Yancy.

If you are a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) you have probably heard of Helen as she has been a stalwart of the organization having served on the Board of Directors and as President, and as a PPA Approved Juror and Jury Chair for many years. Helen has earned all the degrees and most awards offered by PPA.

Helen embraced Corel’s Painter Program to takes her images into the artistic realm and has been an instructor sharing her knowledge with fellow photographers ever since. Let’s take a look at some of Helen’s work.

helen yancy before imageHere is a before image

helen yancy after painter imageHere is the image after Painter. Helen said the panel of judges that viewed this were not for this treatment. When we are entering painterly images, we have to remember that art is very subjective.

helen yancy painter portraitThis painted photo is Helen’s granddaughter captured during a senior portrait session – Painter portrait in the traditional style – high key

helen yancy before cat photoYour subjects don’t have to be human. Pet portraits are good in this market. (Heck the subject doesn’t even have to be alive. I’ve done art pieces of buildings for businesses. ed.)

helen yancy cat portrait finalCat portrait painted by Helen

“Creating exquisite paintings from our images to a discerning clientele raise the perception of a photographer to that of an artist because the paintings truly are art pieces that will be a treasured investment for generations. There is certainly a learning curve, but learning to paint is possible for any photographer that has the desire. I will have a class soon in my camera room, very limited, and my book – Ordinary to Elegant: Painting with Photographs (or something like that) will be available for pre-sale on Amazon (published by Amherst Media) very soon.
Helen Yancy Commissioned Portraits
Where the camera is only the beginning…

helen yancy logo signatureSee more of Helen’s work here.

I hope you enjoy the new Tuesday Painterly series.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

earth day sunrise

Earth Day Sunrise Photo

Earth Day – Landscape Photography Magazine

April 22, 2016

Landscape Photography Magazine put out a ‘Day in the Life’ type call for images with people from around the world to capture a sunrise image wherever they happen to be. I found myself bummed. I was traveling and had a flight scheduled to head to New Hampshire to speak and judge at their convention during the sunrise time.

Not much chance of catching a sunrise photo from inside the airport.


Instead of giving in to the inevitable, I tried to think outside the proverbial box. I found that the sunrise was during my waiting time for the flight. After checking in through TSA, I found an east facing set of windows and to my surprise was blessed with a beautiful set of clouds and the sun working its way up to the horizon spreading color through the scene. I framed a scene and waited for a bit of action to help tell more of the story.

The density range of the scene called for multiple-exposures to capture the bright sunlight and the shadow areas of the scene. I was using the Lumix FZ1000 and set the camera to capture a bracketed set for five stops of light. I then had the option of blending the images together for the proper rendering of the scene that was before me.

sunrise exposuresHere is the sequence of images captured before processing

I chose four of the images and processed them in Aurora HDR software for MAC. I am really enjoying the new HDR software from MacPhun. There are a plethora of settings that allow you to dial in the settings necessary to render the scene as you wish. I prefer to have complete control and try to create a more natural rendition of the scene.

sunrise HDR photoFinal Image – submitted for the dawn capture

There were some additional adjustments made to take out the reflections in the glass and add a slight vignette to help steer the eye toward the center of the image and keep the viewers eye from leaving the photo.

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

PS – When you think there no chance of capturing the photo you are after… don’t give up!

sunday photo/art quote 5/1

Sunday Photo/Art Quote – The Art Spirit Robert Henri

I was recently turned on to this book and am enjoying it immensely. Robert Henri has written about art in a way I have never heard before. He is very straightforward in presenting his ideas about art and the creation thereof.

I have a feeling that I could use this book to populate the Successful-Photographer’s Sunday Photo/Art Quote for the better part of the year. Here is a quote from Henri…

robert henri art qoute“Paint like a fiend when the idea possesses you.” Robert Henri

I enjoy this quote as I occasionally find myself super-inspired in creative spurts. During these creative times I seem to see things in a new light, viewing everyday subjects in a new way. Strangely enough, this often happens when I am traveling or upon my return home from an extended stay away. (or on nights when I can’t sleep because I drank coffee too late in the day ; )>. I have a feeling that any huge change in environment tends to sharpen the visual senses. May I suggest that you strike while the iron is hot.

When it’s working, make sure you are too…

text from the art spirit“The student is not an isolated force. He belongs to a great brotherhood, bears a kinship to his kind. He takes and he gives. He benefits by taking and he benefits by giving.”  Robert Henri in The Art Spirit

I also share this quote as it explains to me some of the reasons that I am so passionate about sharing the knowledge I’ve gained with others. As he states, “He benefits by taking and he benefits by giving.” I learn so much when I am teaching. Much of the education comes in the preparation of the programs and more from the students when I am teaching as they share lessons they have learned.

I say if you want to learn something inside and out, teach or write a book about it.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

creating art from photography

Photography Art – Making Painterly Images

I am extremely fortunate in many ways, one of which is being named a PPA Approved Juror. This gives me the opportunity to be exposed to photographers creativity in a very intense, concentrated form. Thinking critically about the work and listening to my fellow juror’s opinions. It is an intense education.

Have I told you lately how much I appreciate the educational value of PPA’s Imaging Competition? Both as an entrant and a judge I learn more about photography every time I place images before my peers or sit on a panel sharing my opinions about the quality of work before us.

artist painterly image from photographyA painterly image by yours truely

I love to see new areas being opened up and explored. But, I would like to add a word of caution and offer my opinion on a new trend many photographers are embracing. Creating painterly images. There are some magnificent image makers who have embraced this and I applaud a lot of the work I see coming through. A word of caution. Some of this new work is less than stellar.

The reason behind this sub-par (in my opinion) image making is that painting is a whole ‘nother skill set. Those that are producing beautiful work have studied the work of classic art and artists. They have studied and practiced with software like Adobe’s Photoshop and Corel’s Painter programs to replicate the depth and dimension found in paintings. They have learned color. They have learned to balance blending of the painting technique with the photography using the Goldilocks method. Not too much, not too little but jus the right amount.

Other photographers have seen this art trend and tried to get the look via a shortcut. That is what inspired this post. You really can’t just push a button on a software plug-in and think you are creating artistic images. The software that ‘replicates’ a Monet or Degas style of painting does not work. They are flat. There are repetitious strokes that are quite evident in the work which will limit the amount of time anyone will want to be viewing the image.

Just as learning photography has a learning curve so does creating a look in the style of the old masters or any other artistic genre.

So what are the options if you want to offer this product line to your clients?

You can ‘half-a**’ it and push the button on a plug-in.

Or you need to study, learn and practice, practice and practice some more. You will need to want to create this type of art. Immerse yourself deeply in the new art. Explore the new world with the same ferver that you brought to learning your photography skills.

Or you can continue to make your photographic images and hire out the art creation. There are some marvelous photographers who enjoy the creation of the art and are excellent sources for a new product line for your studio.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing art and artists that I feel are transforming true art from their photography images. See if the difference shows from those who are at the top of their game. Hopefully you’ll find inspiration to take your work to new heights.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob


PPA Affiliate Organizations

PPA & PPA Affiliate Organizations

Busy week!

When I travel to speak sometimes, I get a little behind on my blog posts. For good reason. This past weekend I had the honor & privilege of sharing some knowledge and judging imaging competition for the New Hampshire Professional Photographers Association. What a great group! If you are in that neighborhood & not a member of this association you are missing out big time on great photography education and camaraderie with fellow photographers.

ppa logoI can’t speak highly enough about Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Affiliates. Education. Yes, there is a lot of it available online and through DVD and streaming products but I have to tell you nothing beats in-person education. Weirdly enough, your learning opportunities are magnified, and you learn as much or more during the breaks sharing ideas with fellow photographers over a cold beverage or hot meal.

I’ve been a member of PPA since 1997, and as soon as I moved to Arizona in 1999, I became a member of the Arizona Professional Photographers Association   (AZPPA) and, in spite of living almost two hours away, have been attending monthly meetings, conventions, and special events. That’s a lot of commuting time! I added to my education by using audio training on sales and marketing during the drive back and forth.

ppa affiliate logoIf you read this blog regularly, you know that I am a huge proponent of the imaging competition system. The state organizations that are PPA Affiliates are a great place to get your feet wet in the process. Most state affiliates have an annual competition with some of the PPA Approved Jurors on the panels. Also, they have some form of image critiques and networking with other photographers who are familiar with the best practices in competition. Please don’t let the word competition hold you back. It is not a battle against the other photographers for awards. It is a challenge against yourself to be better than you were the previous year. The awards start coming as you improve. I’ve seen it time and time again, those that get in and participate find they improve their photography skills exponentially. Those that say, “I’m not ready’ seem to progress at a MUCH slower pace.

Networking is another large part of belonging to associations. Getting to know the other photographers in your area can be a great help to you and your business. What do you do if you become ill or have an accident just before a big job?? Do you have backup people in place to make sure your clients are served correctly? Also, many photographers share leads with fellow photographers with overflow business or with genres of photography that they don’t pursue. Sharing ideas on lighting, posing and pushing each other to become the best they can be. Sharing time by heading out for little photo trips together. All these things tend to start with joining your local affiliate.

PPA affiliate directory imageWhat are you waiting for? Here’s a link to the PPA Affiliate list.

Become the best photographer you can be. Check out the next meeting in your state!

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob


at the zoo photography – part 2

Photography at the Zoo – Part Two

If you look at yesterday’s post you’ll see the capture and processing of an orangutan photographed through a dirty plate glass window which pushed capture and processing skills. Today I want to share an artistic rendition of our countries’ symbol of freedom, the bald eagle.

While we’re looking at this image let’s go back in time with the Steve Miller Band’s Fly Like an Eagle for a little musical accompaniment…

The theme here is to practice skills of photography. What did I get/learn while photographing the eagle that I can carry with me to my regular photography gigs??

Number one – People were moving through on a regular basis, so there were distractions to manage. awareness of surroundings while concentrating of my subject.

Number two – Patience. I wanted the eagle’s beak to be closed and there were only fractions of moments when this was the case. I had to learn this behavior and movement and time it to get the position I wanted.

Number three – The eagle was caged so there was the fencing to account for which meant shooting at a shallow Depth of field and focusing on the eagle and not the fence.

Finally, number four – Processing the image into an art piece that is more than the sum of the parts. Always working on these techniques to improve them. As they say, practice makes perfect…

phoenic zoo original eagle image captureOriginal photograph. Captured with Lumix FZ1000 1/400th sec f4 ISO 200 at 420mm (35mm equivilent)

eagle photo black & whiteA process through NIK Silver FX Pro 2 gave a very gritty black & white rendition of the eagle. I like the idea of the eagle in a square crop portrait style but not all the cage elements and distracting background.

eagle art portraitI wanted a larger portrait rendition so I choose a larger crop and started adding my art embellishments.

The artwork is accomplished using photographs of textures and colors combined together using layers and Blend Modes. Utilizing Layer Masks on the texture layers allows for control of specific effects in certain areas of the image.

I thought the eagle was just holding it’s wing up when I photographed it, but it was bothering me. Then my eagle-eyed wife Holly came in and liked the art treatment but also spotted that the eagle’s wing was probably broken hence the residence at the zoo. I did a little plastic surgery for the final image you see below.

Eagle art photoThe last bit of work was accomplished with Adobe Photoshop. I copied the broken wing onto its own layer. Then repositioned it as if it was folded in its normal place. Using a layer mask to blend it into place.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

at the zoo – photography

Photography from the Zoo

Wanna be a better photographer?

I do! I always try to improve my skills by pushing out of my comfort zone and create different images from different places.

I always try to improve my skills by pushing out of my comfort zone and create different images from different places.

So how do you do it? One of the best ways is to continually practice and expand your skillset. Anyone who is at the top of their game in any sport, yes I consider photography a sport as well as an art form, practice daily. Why do I consider it a sport? Depending on your photographic genre you need coordination, timing, and stamina. This goes for shooting sports, weddings, wildlife or other fast moving situations. Why art? Art because you need to create or recognize wonderful lighting in order to have your images rise above the ordinary. Both the ‘art and sport’ parts of your work can be improved by working on your muscle memory. And, you guessed it, that takes practice.

Guess what? Your composition gets better when you practice too.

You also need to practice your post production as well… And the more you do it, well you get the idea.

I always try to improve my skills by putting myself in different situations and today I’ll share some images from the Phoenix zoo. For a little accompaniment push the button to listen to Paul Simon’s song ‘At the Zoo’.

Paul Simon with Garfunkle “At the Zoo’ from around 1967. (am I showing my age here??)

orangutan original captureOrangatang at Phoenix Zoo. Captured with Lumix FZ1000 1/40th sec f4 ISO 200 – With a range of 25-400mm the FZ1000 is a very handy lens covering a wide variety of situations.

“OK Bob, so how is this zoo practice good for practicing other types of photography?

I’m fighting crowds to get the angle I want. Looking to capture expression which happens very quickly. In this instance, I am also going to be working hard in my post processing because this image was made in less than ideal lighting conditions through a thick, colored, and dirty pane of glass.

Did I say it wasn’t an ideal situation? That never happens on a regular photo shoot… (cue the laughter bouncing off the walls!)

orangutan black & white image phoenix zooHere is the final image I was able to pull from the original capture.

A couple of post processing tips I picked up from working on this photo of the orangutan. Adobe Camera RAW has a feature called DeHaze. This was quite helpful in getting a lot of the reflections and dirt on the glass to disappear. Did a much better job than I thought it would!It was designed to help with scenics to take some of the blue out of a landscape image but it worked very much like a Polarizing filter in this situation. I will be revisiting this filter more in the future. I love how tools and setting designed for one thing can be leveraged to do more.

After the initial processing in Photoshop I moved over to my favorite black and white conversion tool NIK Silver FX Pro 2. I made my black and white selections in the filter. These process out onto their own layer, and with a Mask, additional adjustments can be made. One more time back into Silver FX Pro 2 (it’s free now!) and I made some adjustments to the Structure, dialing in very strong enhancements to the mid tones and the fine structure. I changed the Mode of that new layer to Luminosity and filled the mask with black. Then I was able to paint with white on the mask to selectively sharpen specific areas of the image.

Last on the list was a Soft Light Mode Layer to dodge and burn.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – More from the Zoo tomorrow

sunday photo/art quote 4/17

Sunday Photo/Art Quote – Robert Henri

Thank you Helen Yancy!

Many times it is a small thought shared that opens large passageways of ideas. If you have attended any of my programs you know I am a fan of quotes from artists, photographers, inspirational speakers and authors. Helen was sitting right there in the front row and noting some of the quotes I had collected and was sharing in a slideshow before my program began.

She said, “Oh, you know of Robert Henri and his book The Art Spirit.“No,” I replied. She had seen one of his quotes go by on the screen and she said, “You really need to get that book and read it!”

So I did.

And, now I’m going to do for you the same thing Helen did for me. Get the book!

Here’s a quote from Henri…

robert henri art quote“When the artist is alive in any person… he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature.” Robert Henri

When I took Helen up on her suggestion I had ordered the book but let it sit on my side table before grabbing it one day. OMG. There is so much inspiration packed into these pages I don’t know where to start. When I went back through my collection of gathered quotes I found four already in there… And soon I will be adding many more.

Henri pushes you to think in different ways about your art. He was an artist but he was known more for his instruction and influence of other artists who followed in his footsteps. As he said in his book, “I have little interest in teaching you what I know. I wish to stimulate you to tell me what you know.”

And, stimulate you he does.

You never know where the next piece of your education is coming from. One reason I love teaching is I get to learn so much, from my students.

Helen thanks again for the tip.I can’t wait to read it again and really absorb Henri’s message.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

PS – By the way Helen is working on a book on the software program Painter with Amherst Media. If you are into Painter and want to push your skills you’ll be able to pre-order soon…

podcast with skip cohen

Podcast with Skip Cohen on Sprouting Photographer

Always fun chatting with Skip Cohen about the photography business. This is a chat about Embracing new tech in photography. Being a Lumix Luminary has moved me from being the last to jump into new technology to getting to try out new things that are changing faster than you can imagine.

sprouting photographer interview photoEmbracing new technology. Weekend Wisdom with Skip Cohen Listen here

With new ways of processing and capturing images in camera there are more tools at our beck and call then ever before. If you aren’t checking out some of the new ways to leverage these tools in your business you may be falling behind… Many cameras are now more like a computer with a lens attached. Time-lapse captures have never been easier with in-camera processing. 4K video allows you to capture video and pull still frames that can easily be printed to twenty inches. Again the 4K video can be leveraged to give you the opportunity to choose your focus point after the fact. I’m sure there are a number of cameras capable of many of the things I’m sharing here but, I’m familiar with the Panasonic Lumix cameras. The GH4, GX8, G7, FZ1000, LX100 and others are changing the way photographers work and the way photography is growing into the future.

Check out the podcast and let me know what you think…

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob