Summer Air Travel – It’s Also About Your Camera!

by Rick Diffley on July 10, 2014

SW Airlines

Summer Air Travel – It’s Also About Your Camera!

Many of you may be doing a lot of traveling and that may include flying. There has been a change in how electronics will be screened for some flights *coming into the USA.* This impacts your camera.

This week the Transportation Safety Administration announced that they will not allow discharged electronics on planes. This goes beyond smart phones, iPads, laptops, and your camera! What does this mean to you?

Make sure that your camera batteries are charged before you head to the airport because if it won’t turn
on, it’s possible you can’t fly with your camera.

I can hear you asking, “When would I ever fly without my batteries being charged?”  For me that
happens often on the way home, after days of shooting or sometimes with a backup camera. That battery often hasn’t seen a charger in a few weeks.

So, a quick reminder to make sure you are all charged up before you head to the airport.

A little more info can be found in this Reuters Article -

Happy Vacationing…


Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

by Rick Diffley on June 30, 2014

Seattle Museum Scarfs


Finding a distinctive shot, be it a macro flora shot, landscape, or street photography, is about creating images that set themselves apart from the ordinary, and uninteresting, that many photographer’s capture. One way to get a distinctive shot is seen in looking for exceptional contrast.

Scarf’s From the Seattle Museum

With the above shot, contrast is seen in the various colors and line direction with each scarf.


Coupeville, Washington Pier Building…

In this shot, the contrast of bright red painted building against the dark, black windows, is visually very effective.

Two Brown leafs

Transparent Leafs…

With this shot, there’s a nice interplay created by the contrast of the two different sizes. 



Besides the size difference and structure of the two coneflowers, you can create or add contrast by varying your f/stop to focus the viewers attention by blurring the background. Finally, as the photographer, you can wisely choose the right shot in post processing to convert the final image to black and white.

Thank you for visiting!



Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

by Rick Diffley on June 23, 2014


This week’s photo challenge is to capture an image that is: “in the middle of two things.”

Hands weaving cotton_BW700pix

The Set Up…

Today, I’ve present you with two different post processing styles of the same subject. The first image, black and white, and the next, the original color shot.

Please give me your feedback about which post processing style you prefer and why. At the end of this post I will share my preference.

Hands weaving cotton_Color Verson_700pix

Shooting Location…

Conner Prairie is a outdoor museum setting in a historically-accurate community struggling to survive in the year 1836. The grounds, buildings, people, are exactly created for this time period. It is located in Fishers, IN. My wife and I were there last week for business, sightseeing, and some great photography.

The museum grounds are divided into several sections where different eras in history are recreated to create a kind of living timeline. Volunteers are in period costumes to demonstrate the way early inhabitants in the area lived. They explain their lifestyles in real live character while performing chores such as cooking, making pottery, and sewing as seen in my shot. Questions and comments outside the time period make no sense to the “in character” volunteers.

Note: Clothes were usually made by the women in the family. This took a lot of time because sewing had to be done by hand as seen here. The sewing machine was not patented until 1846.

The Image…

The photo is of an elderly woman’s hands showing her between talking with us about the time period, her volunteer role, and the type of sewing for the time period. She has been participating at the Conner Prairie farm museum for almost 30 years.

My Image Preference…

The black and white post processing image is my preference. Why? Hands, especially those of the elderly, provide terrific detail, and contrast. Also, the wool fabric provides nice structure. Oh yes, I also love the color image as well. What is your preference and why?

More Information…

For specific details check out “Trip Advisor” on your mobile devise and go to:




Spokane, Washington Artfest 2014

I had the pleasure of being the Volunteer Photographer for the 2014 Spokane Artfest. I had a wonderful time talking with this artist, learning about his background, and the details that goes into each piece of his artwork. He was nice enough to allow me to take his picture with the handcrafted art that was for sale.

Word Press Photo Challenge

The challenge this week was to become a documentary photographer and attempt to capture a candid moment of a person, place, or thing. “Put your National Geographic hat on and tell a story by documenting a moment in time through a single image.”

So what is Spokane’s Artfest?

MAC Logo

Spokane, Washington Artfest

This annual art show is provided by the Spokane MAC – “Museum of Arts & Culture.” It is hosted in Spokane’s Browne’s Addition historic Coeur d’Alene Park. People can stroll through this idyllic setting as they take in juried fine art, pre-packaged gourmet foods and hand-crafted products from 150 of the area’s most talents artisans.

Showcased is an extensive collection of work ranging from stunning sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewelry, photography, ceramics fiber arts and much more. This show truly has something for everyone. Folks can enjoy food booths and there’s live musical performances and a wine and beer garden.

Plus, there’s art-making tent for kids of all ages.

Art for kids Paper Cutting

Thank you for visiting…


Question: How Do You Expand Your Photo Repertoire?

Answer: “Photography Magic” Class starts June 6th

Profile Pic BW

My Story May Be Yours?

I started having fun with my first camera, learning how to work it, and discovering different techniques. As you know, it is a long journey, because there’s no end to the learning! Isn’t that the whole point of photography; you spend your time enjoying learning new and different techniques?

My invitation is to checkout the upcoming and fun online course: “Photography Magic” taught by professional photographer, Greg Robinson. Click on the link for more information:

Below is a sample photo of a technique called: ”Multiplicity” taught in the “Photography Magic” course. I’m sharing the camera technique and will walk you through the step-by-step post processing.

Finished Which Direction

How to Shoot “Multiplicity” Images.

Multiplicity” is a technique in which the same person is photographed many times within one scene. All the images are pulled together using Photoshop Elements or Photoshop.

Ideal Photo Equipment: A digital camera with a tripod. Ability to set F/stop, use manual focus, and a wireless or self-timer feature.

Image #1 Image #1

Scene Preparation

The Backdrop…

Choose your backdrop carefully. Lighting should be even. Be aware of bright areas that will show up as under or overexposed. Take a practice shot of just the background to ensure it will work and that there are no distractions.

Image #2 Image #2

Avoid any overlapping: Plan where you’ll first place yourself, then second, third, and so on. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t occupy the same space from previous shots.

Change of clothing: A change of clothing makes the final image fun and interesting.

Props: Here again, advance planning helps. As with a change of clothing, the use of different props makes your final image interesting.

Shot #3 Image #3

Shot Making

Shoot all the photos in full Manual mode or Aperture Priority mode. This ensures that each frame will have consistent exposure and that your focus is locked in. You don’t want the camera constantly re-focusing the scene when you step in and out of it. Next, put yourself in the frame and move yourself into different locations within the frame as seen with the above images.

Suggested F/stop ranges from f/11 to f/22.

Post Processing - Photoshop Elements

Step #1

  1. Transfer images to your computer. Name and save each image in the order that you placed yourself in the shot: Image #1, image #2, image #3.
  2. Open all images into Photoshop Elements in the following order: Image #3, #2, #1. Trust me, it makes the final steps easier.
  3. Image #1 ends up opened in the main workspace. As a result, in the Layers window to the far right, it is the bottom layer named: “background.”
  4. All three images will appear along the bottom in the “Project Bin.
  5. Drag [Left mouse click, hold, & drag.] image #2 on top image #1 in the large workspace and next, drag image #3 on top of the image #2.
  6. All images appear in the Layers window to the right. Image #1 the bottom layer, image #2 the middle layer, and image #3 the top layer.

Step #2 – Layers Window

Top Layer – Mouse click on the top layer to activate it. Next, click the Mask icon (Looks like a camera icon.) at the bottom of the layers window. A white box will appear to the right of the image thumbnail. Make sure to click inside this Mask to activate it.

Select the Brush tool (Keyboard shortcut “B”.) You can adjust the Brush size by using the keyboard shortcuts: “[“= smaller and “]” = enlarge.

Locate the Foreground & Background icon located at the bottom left of the toolbar. Set the Foreground to black. Note: The black square will be on top of the white square. Switch back-&-forth by pressing “X” on the keyboard.

Remember to first click inside the Mask to activate it. Take the Brush tool and completely erase yourself in the top image layer. All of the other images of you are hidden. If you accidently reveal part of yourself in one of the hidden image make sure you erase this by… Switch the Foreground color [Press “X” on the keyboard.] to white and use the Brush tool to erase. Remember to switch the Foreground color to black when you are done.

Step #3

Second Layer – First, before going forward, mouse click inside the top layer Mask and press “ctrl + “I.” This command is for “insert.” Magically, you will see two of you!  One from the top image layer and one from the second layer.

In the middle layer, mouse click inside it to activate it. Make another Mask and repeat the Brush tool process and erase only the second image of you from this layer. Remember, you only have to erase the second image of you.

Step #4

“Ctrl + I” – Make sure you’ve clicked inside the middle Layer mask. Photoshop Elements will display the next image of “you” from the last Layer window. Now, there will appear all three images of “you.”

Final Image – Guess what? You are done! All you do at this point is to save the image. If you wish, you can do any clean-up work from inside Photoshop Elements.

Multiplicity photography can be a real test of your patience as you work to create a vision. Like anything new, it just takes a few practice session to nail this new technique. This is also true with the post image processing and will reinforce the necessity to make sure you space yourself properly during the shooting process.

# # #

My Commitment

One of my key commitments to you is to demonstrate and make available information that will expanding your photography repertoire. One source is the photography classes offered through the ”Picture Perfect School of Photography.” Don’t forget to use my 10% discount. When you sign up for a class use the following code: “ppsop83762″

Thank you!




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