Don's March 2016 Photography Newsletter
Don's Destination         Don's Tour Promotion
Don's Photo Tip            Anya's Pick of the Month

Don's Destination:

Niagara Falls

For this month's destination I've chosen Niagara Falls. I grew up in this area and though I haven't lived nearby in almost 30 years, it still holds a special place in my heart. I often go back to visit friends and relatives. Niagara Falls isn't even one of the higher falls in the world, and it ranks just 3rd worldwide, in volume of water tumbling over its precipice, but for Americans, it is probably the most famous waterfall and one that many folks like to compare other waterfalls to. I am still wonderfully impressed every time I visit and though it isn't easy, I try and imagine what the area was like when it was truly wild and uncommercialized. With this image here I tried to show the raw power and awesome spray that the American Falls generates. In certain places you can actually feel the earth vibrate from the falling water. Very cool!   
Rock and earth and sky - always impressive in Arches Nat. Park

Don's Tour Promotion:

Arches National Park Photo Tour

It's been a couple years since I've offered a photo tour to Arches National Park, Utah and I miss it, so I've decided to take interested folks once again. How do you make rocks and sky look impressive on photos? The answer lies, as usual with photography, in THE LIGHT. We'll point our cameras at all the famous features of this park and we'll definitely chase the light on this tour. I plan on staying out during the night at least once during the week for star trail and star point photography as well. You could say that we'll 'chase the dark' that night.
I'm taking sign-ups now for this small group photo tour. 
Dates: Aug. 31- Sep. 4th, 2016
Price: $995/participant
Base: Moab, Utah mid-range hotel (should be around $90/night)
More Info: Don Mammoser Arches Photo Tour
Backlight is the most dramatic light in photography

Don's Tip of the Month:

Use Backlight for Dramatic Images

Backlight is when you point your camera in the direction of your main light source - usually the sun (unless you are a studio photographer using artificial lights). I often recommend my students to give backlight a try as the results are definitely dramatic and often awesome. Things to think about for backlit shots:
  • If not including the sun in your shot, shield the front of your lens with a lens hood or your hand. This prevents flares. If including the sun (as in the Arches shot above, don't worry about flares).
  • Watch your exposure as cameras can be tricked easily with so much light. Check highlight warnings on your camera and adjust accordingly.
  • Anything hairy or fuzzy will have this amazing halo effect from the backlight. This can make for wonderful images.
  • Sometimes a small amount of fill-flash can help you avoid very dark areas on the parts of your subject which aren't getting much ambient light.
  • Expose for the sky at sunrise or sunset and create a silhouette. Silhouettes, by definition are a type of backlit technique (again, see the Arches shot above).
The young mountain lion above has strong backlight. Are the flowers in the foreground overexposed? Yes, but does it matter? No, the dramatic lighting makes for a strong image.
Carnival in Lima, Peru

Anya's Pick of the Month:

Carnival in Lima, Peru

This image of mine, chosen by Anya for the month of March, 2016 shows some of the colorful dancers in Lima, Peru. About this photo Anya says - "We were at the end of a 3 month South American journey and had arrived in Lima mostly as a place to fly home from. We had three days to explore the capital of Peru and we just got lucky that a huge, colorful carnival was happening. Most of the city streets were shut down and dancers and performers and thousands of spectators played music and partied. Don and I watched on two separate days and each time the parade seemed endless. It went on for hours and truly was a grand spectacle. I especially like the colorful yellow building behind this group of dancers in Don's shot."