lets talk infrared photography

I enjoy infrared photography to extend my shooting day. Harsh light doesn’t do much for regular color imaging. I believe it is beauteous, when captured with a camera that has been converted to infrared.

My current camera was converted to infrared by LifePixel. It is a Lumix G6 (now out of production) I keep a Lumix G Vario 14-140mm lens attached. I stay with the standard 720nm (nanometer) filter. It replicates the original black and white ‘IR look’ I enjoy. I’ve written about IR for several publications.

Here are a few links to try out if you would like to learn more.

Courthouse Butte in Sedona, AZ created with camera converted to infrared


Created on Oak Creek at Crescent Moon State Park Sedona, AZ


Love how the palm leaves render in infrared. Pond at Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ


Let me know if you have any questions.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

watson lake prescott arizona camping & shooting

I’m testing out my build on my RAV 4 for boondocking by staying at a local campground. Two  nights here and get to play with imagery including water, unique looking rocks and a full moon.

I’ll be sharing some of the things I found out in some future posts. In the meantime here is my office today and a couple quickly processed images.

Here’s my office for the day.

Hopefully a better version of this image is coming tonight as the sun will be higher in the sky when the moon makes it’s appearance. Two images combined.

Earlier in the day I found this dragonfly perch.

More soon…

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

The Oly OM-D E-M1 Mark three is becoming a favorite. The Lumix LX100 has become my BTS camera. Fits comfortably in a small camera bag, the Mirrorless Mover 20 from Think Tank There is a newer LX100ii version that is a couple hundred dollars more…

click con nation 2020/2021 speaker

ClickCon – A photography and videography conference where the community comes together to innovate, create, and collaborate.”

While the live event ClickCon 2020 has been postponed until next summer, they have collaborated and come together to create something quite innovative: a virtual educational conference that takes place not over one, two, or three days during one week a year, but rather a collection of educational days taking place for a full day, once a month, for nearly a year!

For my part I’ll be presenting an hour on my PhotoSynthesis program in October.

This is a dive into Photoshop as a creative tool to enhance images. I use this type of processing a lot and note that I am a Lens Based Artist.

clickcon nation speaker badge

A year of photo education every Sunday. Or, the day you decide to watch! Get 20% off with code COATES15

“Taking your images to another level is one way to set yourself apart from other photographers. Bob has chosen to move his images to a more-painterly feel. He accomplishes this by fusing many images together utilizing a single subject blended with many textures from nature, decaying made-made items and everyday items found through serendipity. The result is an image that has depth and dimension and will often reveal different things to the viewer no matter how many times it is seen.

Learn more about the ClickCon Nation programing. I’m but a small part… If you use my code COATES15 you’ll get a 20% discount to sign up.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

LED light review f7 pocketlite fold

Got a chance to play with a new LED light called the PocketLite Fold. I had the previous model F7 PocketLite and here’s a review from last year. I like them both. But, I like the Fold more than twice as much. It has twice the light and a built in control from the phone APP DeSal Lite which you can download to control your lights at no additional charge.

Having a small, powerful light is a good thing to have in your kit. This will work super as a fill light, a special effects color light and creative tool. If you are not at a far distance it will even serve as a main light. I measured 1/30th of a second at f/2.8 ISO 200 at four feet. The beauty of working with LED lights is WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get.

Yours in Creative Photography,         Bob

Photoshop webinar for PPC

I did a webinar for the Professional Photographers of California (PPC) last week. The subject was Photoshop including some ideas on creating art. Check out the Photoshop Party where I shared some ideas on Photoshop Selections, Blend Modes, Single image HDR with Aurora HDR 2019, creating cloud brushes and more…

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob

fireworks time-lapse with Lumix G9

The Lumix G9 with Leica DG 100-400mm lens was set upon a tripod and made mostly worry free for the duration of the show. Since I was making decisions on the other cameras. (see Part one Fireworks set-upPart two Olympus LiveComp Mode) I was looking to get images on the G9 without doing anything other than making sure the fireworks were framed properly.

Blended images Photoshop

Once the files were downloaded I culled the empty frames and the ‘less than stellar’ captures. Then I took multiple frames into Adobe Photoshop and combined some of the images. For best results I recommend the Screen Blend Mode. Put a mask on the file and use a black soft edge brush to remove the parts of the image that don’t add to the final look for which you are going.

Three frames blended together using Adobe Photoshop


Settings for this camera were 5 SEC f/11 ISO 200. In addition, the in camera time-lapse was invoked. A one-second break was added to allow the camera to reset between frames. I was making the images with still photos in mind. If I was creating a time-lapse movie the settings probably would have been more like a two second exposure to help explore and record the movement and to have enough frames for a longer movie. As it is after removing some frames I ended up with only 134 frames, which makes for a pretty short movie.

Let me know which frame rate you prefer and why if you get the chance.
Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

Olympus livecomp mode and fireworks

The Olympus cameras now have a feature called LIVECOMP. This is short for live composite. You set a base exposure and then the camera repeats that exposure but only allows new light to be added. You get to view this as it is happening live, hence the name, which allows you to stop the exposure when you have gathered all the information you need.

Most current Olympus cameras have the feature. You’ll find Live Composite Mode in OM-D, PEN and TOUGH cameras.


olympus fireworks photo

All images in this posy Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with M.Zukio 40-150mm f/2.8 lens. F/11 4 SEC ISO 100

If you need more time to capture the light effects of your scene and were to increase your exposure time the dark areas of your image would begin to become muddy and over exposed. It is definitely a specialty feature, but one that has some great uses. For example, keeping your frame exposed to catch lightning, car trails, carnival rides and fireworks. I’ll let you imagine the others but I’m going to share some settings and images made during the fireworks from the fourth of July.


olympus fireworks photo

F/14 4 SEC ISO 100

With the camera firmly mounted on a Fotopro Eagle E6L tripod I found the base exposure. I was looking to render the building lights and allow the fireworks to be against a dark sky. Knowing from past experience the fireworks would have time to streak in the sky showing the burst if they had about three to eight seconds ISO 100 @ f/8. I choose four seconds for my base exposure. Once I started seeing results on the camera back I made adjustments to the aperture to allow the fireworks to record just a bit more color and changing to f/11 then f/14.

Single frame capture

olympus fireworks photo

F/14 4 SEC ISO 100

Normally, to get multiple bursts in a single frame I combine images in post-production. With the LIVECOMP in play each image you see here was done in camera. The shutter was opened and recorded a four second exposure with the shutter still open additional four second exposures were recorded adding only the new bursts of light. When I saw enough bursts were captured I ended the exposure.

Next time

In the next fireworks post I’ll share settings for automatic recording of captures using the time-lapse mode of the Lumix G9.

Yours in Creative Photography,   Bob

restart posting with an article on fireworks

My writing for the Successful-Photographer blog has been lagging a bit. I’ve been writing for many different publications including Photofocus.com and photography magazines. I’m sort of reminded of the story about the cobblers children having no shoes. Or, on an even more personal note, my dad was a TV repair man always off to help other folks get their sets tuned correctly when I didn’t know that other people in the world didn’t have a green cast. Kidding aside I want to get my home base back to work.

Start off with fireworks

And, what better way to get things going than to set this first new post off with some fireworks??

fireworks cottonwood arizona 2020

Four images combined in post production. Captured with Lumix GX85 and the G Vario 100-300mm f3.5-5.6 lens at 100mm. Exposure f/8 four sec at ISO 200

On July 4th Cottonwood, AZ, the next town over from Sedona had a fireworks display. And, in honor of the state of Covid-19 they used all aerial shells so people could spread out to enjoy the night of colors streaking across the sky.

It worked it very well. I’ll share some ideas on capturing your fireworks for next year with some new things I learned. (you may want to bookmark this page) I’ll share my set-up for using three cameras on this post. The next two posts will be on the Olympus LIVECOMP setting and making a time-lapse.

Three tripods

Three tripods for three cameras

Three tripods set close together allows for different looks.

On to the set-up with three cameras mounted on tripods. Two were standard and I added a Joby Gorillapod with legs wrapped around one of the taller tripod legs.

Joby Gorilla tripod holds the Lumix GX85 camera

Two of the cameras were set for capturing five second exposures with a one second delay using the time lapse mode. Somehow one of the cameras got off its time-lapse mode and I ended up firing it by hand. The third camera was the Olympus E-M1 Mark III which was set to LIVECOMP mode which I’ll detail in the next post.

Yours in Creative Photography,   Bob

skylum valentines day deal

Here’s a Skylum deal that will be around from today through the 16th of February 2020.

As I am an affiliate, you can use the Code COATES to receive an additional 10 bucks off the prices listed below. Link here to get the deal.

I personally use Luminar 4 as a plug in. (love the sky replacement feature!) And, I feel that Aurora HDR is one of the cleanest, natural HDR software programs around. (See the Max Edition deal at the bottom)

• Single Edition: Luminar 4 + Romantic Looks and Skies Pack $79 instead of $138

• Double Edition: 2 Copies of Luminar 4 + Romantic Looks & Skies Pack $159 instead of $227

• Max Edition: Luminar 4 + Aurora HDR + Romantic Looks and Skies Pack $139 instead of $237

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – If you are looking to upgrade link here then look at the bottom of the page for the upgrade path. You’ll still get the $10 off as well.

One senator has hold on CASE Act bill

One Senator put a hold on the CASE Act bill S.1273. Better known as the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act. With bi-partisan support the bill would allow photographers along with other artistic creators the benefit of small claims settlement of copyright infringement. Currently, the only recourse for theft of images is to go to federal court. Federal court is impossibly expensive for a small business.

 Thousands of photographers recently raised their index finger in unison to protest Senator Wyden’s hold on a bi-partisan bill that would help all small artists.


Right now a photographer or other artistic creator who has work stolen from them have no recourse. If someone is using your photography image without your permission it has to be adjudicated in Federal Court. This can run well over $300,000.

Professional Photographers of America CEO David Trust said, “ It’s not fair! If I were to go in a store and steal a $1.25 candy bar (not that I would do that, by the way) the owner could call the police. If someone steals a thousand, or five thousand dollars, worth of imagery from a photographic artist there is no recourse within the current copyright system. Passing the CASE Act would give photographers and other creators a small claims option.”

What can you do to help?

You can help put pressure on Senator Wyden to lift his hold and let the bill come to the floor for a vote. Take a picture of yourself holding up one finger (index finger please) with a serious look on your face. Not a scolding look or angry look, just serious. Post this image to all your social media accounts with the hashtags #justone and #caseact.

Also ask your voting age friends, fellow artists and art groups, and other parties who are interested in seeing artists have a fair system in place weigh in.

Contact Senator Wyden

You can contact Senator Wyden’s office asking that he lift the hold as well. E-mail your comments on legislation here https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/email-ron Oregon offices: Portland: 911 NE 11th Ave., Ste 630, Portland OR 97232; 503-326-7525. Salem: 707 13th St, SE, Ste 285, Salem, OR 97301, 503-589-4555.

Add your voice to the thousands letting Senator Wyman of Oregon know that he needs to release his hold on the bill. Learn what you can do to help and see more of the story in my previous post.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob