Today' Guest Blogger Betty Wiley Shares Her Vision of Cape Cod

I am so excited to be doing a guest blog post for Rick.  I have followed Rick for years. I remember attending one of his excellent and engaging presentations at Photoshop World in Boston many years ago which was about travel photography.  Traveling to great places, meeting interesting people and experiencing different cultures AND taking great photographs…well, lets just say that I wanted to be like Rick when I grew upJ

So here I am, years later writing this guest blog post and I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity. Thank you Rick!

While I do some travel photography, mostly for pleasure, I am a free-lance photographer based on Cape Cod and I am often called upon to photograph assignments for a number of the local magazines. My magazine assignments have included everything from scenics, gardens and interiors of beautiful homes to “lifestyle” features.  Many of my Cape Cod scenes have appeared on the covers of these publications.  Everyone tells me that my work is recognizable…and that my images have a “Betty Wiley” look and feel to them.

The Cape is known for it’s beautiful light and my not-so -secret sauce, so to speak, is the light but also knowing WHERE to go as well as WHEN is just as important.  I am usually out with my camera before dawn and again, at the end of the day when the light is soft and warm…however, I make a particular effort to get up early and head out before sunrise if there has been rain overnight as I love to capture a sunrise with beautiful cloud formations.  Similarly, if there has been rain in the afternoon and if it looks as though the skies might show signs of clearing towards sunset, then I head to some of my favorite spots based upon what the conditions are at the time.

Opening Image: Early morning at Paines Creek. It had rained overnight and it was still raining when I headed out in the dark before sunrise . . . it would have been so easy to stay in bed but I knew how good it COULD be if the skies cleared early.  As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm.  Conditions were ideal…I knew the low tide at this location could provide beautiful reflections of the clouds.

Above: Approaching storm at Grey’s Beach. Some of my best photographs have been taken when a storm is approaching the area or immediately afterwards…I often tell people bad weather is GOOD because that’s when I get the really beautiful light and dramatic skies.  Summer thunderstorms can be particularly dramatic here on the Cape.  For this particular image, I had to shoot quickly and there was no time to set up a tripod.   Since I was hand-holding and because I wanted a smaller aperture to get sufficient depth of field., I had to crank up my ISO to ensure that my shutter speed was fast enough to ensure a sharp image.  When faced with low light in these situations, I don’t hesitate to raise my ISO if necessary because I can manage the noise in my post-processing work but I can’t rescue a blurry image.

Above: Double Rainbow over Cape Cod. As the storm was moving so quickly, I knew that it wouldn’t be too long before the skies would begin to clear – hmm – this usually means a rainbow…and living on the Cape, I know where to go to capture a panoramic vista and hopefully a rainbow as the skies clear.So, I jumped in my car and drove to where, geographically speaking, I would be in the proper position where I would eventually have the sun at my back as the rain and clouds were moving off-shore.   This meant waiting in the pouring rain but I was confident that my patience would be rewarded. it was…a double rainbow appeared and I was ready…this time I had set up my camera up on a sturdy tripod, and I was using a wide angle lens (16-35mm), cable release and a BW circular polarizer on the lens to enhance the colors.

Above: Pot of Gold. Rainbows don’t hang around for too long but I kept shooting…the light kept getting better and better…I switched to my 70-200mm, F 2.8 telephoto to get a tighter shot of the rainbow and boats in the harbor below. Again, I used my circular polarizer to enhance the colors in the rainbow.  I often start shooting a scene with a wide-angle lens then move in with my telephoto lens as I work the scene to get some of the tighter, more detailed shots.

So what is the take home message here?  Living in and knowing an area is really helpful… photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and 500px can be valuable resources, guidebooks are also a huge help as well as reaching out to other photographers who are familiar with the area…and knowing your gear and envisioning what it is you want to capture…and finally…patience and perseverance…sometimes you just have to wait for the right conditions…and sometimes it doesn’t always happen the way you want it to and then you go back or move on.

Above: Clearing Sky at Race Point. This is another image taken after a storm had moved through the area.  This was taken at Race Point, near Provincetown on the Cape.  I recently launched an ebook which details the how, when and where for many of my images.  This is a book for photographers written by a photographer and it includes GPS locations, technical information and settings for every shot as well as other shooting considerations specific to each location.  If you are planning on visiting the Cape, this will be a valuable resource for you. 

For more information and how to order, please visit these links:  

My new e-boook
My Web site.

Thanks again, Rick

Photograph the "Old West" on My Casper, Wyoming Photo Workshop

I am gearing up for my "Old West" photo workshop in Casper, Wyoming later this year. Can't wait, and I hope you can join the fun.

Fun? I run a lot of workshops, but this one will be a ton of fun, as illustrated in this video.

I took the opening image for this post on my previous Casper photo workshop. Yes! We got a horse in the Wonder Bar, and we'll do it again - for you!

In going though my files, I came across some of my favorite Old West images (from a shoot in Spearfish, SD) along with some captions. Enjoy.

Reflecting on the day. The most important element in a photograph is the mood, feeling or emotion. I created the mood in this photograph by “painting” the cowgirl with the light from a $5 flashlight. My goal was to create an image with dramatic shadows. Shadows are the soul of the photograph.

Lone rider. I like the feeling of  freedom that this image captures. That’s part of being a cowboy.

Looking for her. I am drawn to faces. It was the intense look on this cowboy’s face that inspired me to make this photograph. To add to the artistry of this image, I removed the color. When you remove the color from a photograph, you remove some of the reality.

Best friends. The eyes are the windows to the soul. It was this cowgirl’s beautiful eyes that first drew me to make this photograph, but then I noticed the look and “feeling” in the dog’s eyes. Both subjects seem to be having the same feeling, so I included both of them in my frame.

Daybreak on the range. I like shooting at the crack of dawn, capturing dramatic silhouettes against the rising sun. I like to challenge myself to make pictures in these high contrast situations, as the light changes very, very fast.

Good morning, pardner. The perfect silhouettes of the horses and cowboys drew me to make this photograph. Silhouettes add a sense of mystery to a photograph.

After the storm. I like the way the dark clouds create the mood in this image. Not every picture needs to be taking on a bright, sunny day.

Heading home. This cowboy was riding as fast as he could. To convey the sense of speed, I used a photographic technique called panning, which blurrs the background but keeps the rider in sharp focus.

Ride 'em cowboy (and cowgirl),

Why KelbyOne is #1 in Combining On-Line Training with Live Learning

KelbyOne is #1 when it comes to combining on-line courses and live-learning. Sure, one of the reasons I like these guys is because they did a great job producing the 11 on-line classes I have on their site, including my two most popular classes: Composition and Light.

But then again, the KelbyOne team does a great job on all its classes, taught by the top pros in the industry, many of whom are my friends!

But there's more:

KelbyOne offers the opportunity to network and to be part of an awesome community at Photoshop World. I hope to see you there later this year! I will be teaching plug-ins and travel photography.

 Free apps? KelbyOne has 'em, too.

As KelbyOne member, you also have access to nationwide seminars, PhotoshopWorld magazine (I have an article in the current issue) and cool discounts.

And don't forget The Grid, which is a free, weekly KelbyOne on-line program that can help you become a better photographer. Last time I was on the show Scott and I talked travel photography for almost an hour.

Scott also has an awesome blog, Photoshop Insider.

Here is another reason why KelbyOne is #1: It starts at the top. :-)

Explore the light,

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P.S. Actually . . . the main reason KelbyOne is #1 in my book: They give the instructors at Photoshop World a cool hat. :-)

August 2016 Mt. Rainier Landscape Photography Workshop Planned

I'm planning my August 2016 Mt. Rainier, Washington landscape photography workshop. I took the photographs in this post on my two previous visits to Mt. Rainier.

Shoot me an email to get on the info list.

I'll cover using ND filters to create the beautiful flowing water effect, as well as how to get everything in the scene in focus.

If you need advice in advance on composition and exposure, check out my KelbyOne classes on composition and light.

We will get up early to catch the beautiful predawn light.

I'll teach HDR - and when not to use it. New to HDR? Click here to get a 15% discount on Photomatix.

If we are lucky, we'll see some great sites in the evening sky. I took this shot from the gas station that is next to our hotel.

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I'll teach Photoshop, Lightroom and plug-ins, and how to create dramatic black-and-white images.

I hope you can join me and a small group of dedicated photographers in August 2016 in Mt. Rainier, where photographer Kevin Brown took the above photograph of yours truly.

Like landscape photography? Check out my on-line class: Master Landscape & Seascape Photography.

Explore the light,

Registration is Open for My Atlanta "Capture the Classics" Workshop!

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Above: Mail car, Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. This is an HDR image. For HDR, I recommend Photomatix. Click here to get a discount on Photomatix.

Registration is open for my fall 2015 Canon EOS Destination Workshop: Capturing the Classics: Old Cars and Antique Trains. I can't wait to return to our two awesome locations: Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum - which are outside of Atlanta, GA.

I'll be teaching: composition (the strongest way of seeing), "croposition" (combining composition with cropping), storytelling,  lighting, HDR – and how to use reflectors, diffusers and a speedlite when photographing a model.

My friends from Canon will be there to loan you the newest gear (including fish-eye lenses and super-wide-angle lenses) to photograph some of the oldest cars in the country. You will also have plenty of time to process your images – for our group slide show/critique session. And, you'll even get to make a print or two on Canon printers.

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Above: Lounge car,  Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 15mm lens.

For now, here's a look at some of my favorite photographs from my previous trip to Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. 

I removed some of the reality from my images in this post either by using a fish-eye lens, by altering the true color of a scene, by applying a plug-in, by shooting HDR, by selectively blurring parts of an image –  or by using a combination of all these techniques.

I can show you how to apply digital enhancements during the workshop. Of course, I'll show you how to get awesome straight shots, too.

About removing some of the reality from a scene: When we remove some of the reality from a photograph, the photograph can - but not always - look more artistic.

Photoshop, Lightroom and plug-ins make creating artistic images relatively easy - if you have a creative vision.

Speaking of creative vision, check out my new book, Creative Visualization for Photographers.

And speaking of plug-ins, I'll be teaching plug-ins at Photoshop World this August in Las Vegas. All my seminars are listed here.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70mm lens.

On my workshops I stress light and composition, the topics of my two latest classes on Kelby Training. The picture above of our model Hanna illustrates the benefits of shooting on an overcast day, when contrast is low. It also illustrates creative composition: shooting at an angle creates a sense of depth in an image, the Bel Air insignia adds a sense of place to the image, and shooting at eye level helps the viewer of the photograph relate to the subject.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. Effects added with Nik Color Effects Pro. Several Photoshop CS6 enhancements.

Above: Old Car City.  Like abstracts? You will find them in pealing paint and in rust at Old Car City.

Another element of photography we talk about on my workshops is the importance of cropping. In the above photograph, the extremely tight crop (I know it's extreme) emphasizes the fins and tail lights of this cool Caddy.

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Above: Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens.

Yes, the railway cars and old automobiles are awesome subjects. But hey, I especially enjoy photographing people on location. That is why I was so glad we had a great model. Thank you Hanna for doing such a wonderful job.

We will have another great model for the 2015 workshop.

I hope to see you at Old Car City and at the Southeastern Railway Museum - where we not only make good pictures, but where we also have a ton of fun.

If you can't make that workshop, all my workshops are listed here.

Explore the light,