Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Blogsite

Heads up, my new blog is now It's up and running, a work in progress.  I'll be posting to this new site from now on. My website continues to be  and the new blog will be part of this site as well, but with a direct URL of

“Falling Stars” over the Shiloh March area of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of my favorite place to photograph night or day. With this photo, the camera was oriented west and photographed with a Nikon 16mm fisheye lens. The lighter part in the center is the Milky Way. I’m very excited about getting together with friends this summer and photographing the stars in the US and in Canada! 

Check out upcoming workshops this August in Canada...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Photofocus Podcast...

Thanks to +Richard Harrington for interviewing me for the Photofocus Podcast on March 5! It was great to talk about everything photography, plus some of my very favorite topics, infrared, long exposure, timelapse and even those cool little cinemagraphs that are making their rounds in the digital world! I first met Rich in NYC during PhotoPlus Expo, and I enjoyed his energy, and passion with photography. We had great fun talking and it was good to continue our conversation on Photofocus. I hope you will listen in, here's the link... 
If you want to learn more about long exposure photography, I'll be speaking in Niagara Falls, NY for NFRCCC, and also NECCC this summer in Amherst, MA. You'll find more cinemagraphs popping up on my blog and on Tumblr too. Thank you for listening in!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Long Exposure Creativity using a 10 stop ND filter...

One of the fascinating aspects of photography is the ability to convey the passage of time, or create a sense of motion though the art and technique of long exposure. There is a bit of a learning curve involved, however this technique lets the photographer to create beautiful fine art imagery. In the photo examples, I used a 10 stop neutral density stacked with an additional neutral density filter. There are several great 10 stop neutral density filters available, including the Singh-Ray Mor-Slow, and the Lee Big Stopper. It's a challenge to be able to find one in stock as 10 stop neutral density filters are very popular! The Mor-Slow and Big Stopper decrease the amount of light entering the camera by 10 stops, giving the photographer the opportunity to control the length of exposure for creative effects such as blurring water or clouds.

Using a 10 stop ND filter is like using an infrared filter, as the filter is too dark to easily see though to focus. To use the filter, compose, meter and a focus first, then mount the filter on the lens (and turn off autofocus). Close the eyepiece shutter, as you may end up with unwanted light leakage. If you have Live View, you'll be able to see enough detail to position a graduated ND at the horizon line. A 10 stop ND filter creates a silky blur with water and softens clouds for an artistic look through the extended exposure time. How much  the clouds blur depends on how fast or slow they move during the exposure, but a cloudless day can produce interesting results as well.

You can also create a silky blur with water by shooting early morning or late evening, stopping down so that the exposure is long as possible. A polarizer can help with this, or a variable neutral density filter can extend the exposure time slightly. Anything goes compositionally, however the elements of sky and water fit together for a dramatic image. Exposure time can run into minutes. You'll need...
  • Tripod, and cable release, bulb mode (Nikon MC-30, or similar)
  • Neutral density filters 
  • Timer  (stopwatch on the iPhone)
  • Exposure calculator (free app, NDTimer Exposure Calculator)
  • Close, or cover the eyepiece window 
  • Use Mirror Lock-up, lowest ISO
Meter for the exposure without the filter attached, focus and compose. Turn off autofocus. Calculate the exposure for the 10 stop ND filter based on the metered exposure. For example using a 10 stop neutral density filter with a metered exposure time of 1/125 equals 8 seconds with the filter attached. NDTimer Exposure Calculator is a handy app and it's free, below is a screenshot.

There may be a slight color cast with 10 stop ND filters, which is easy to tweak in post processing. Using a custom white balance, or dialing in a custom setting helps. I'm drawn to the traditional look of black and white long exposure imagery. Converting to black and white creates a fine art look that is very dramatic and allows the elements of long exposure to stand out beautifully.

Long exposures using neutral density filters can capture beautiful color in an image, and convey the passage of time for a surreal and compelling photograph. This gives the photographer a fascinating way to tell a unique story about a familiar subject. I'll be speaking at NFRCCC and NECCC about long exposure creativity, I hope to catch up with you at these events! ~ Deb

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Create a cinematic look with OnOne Software

Havana, Cuba on moonlit night with OnOne Perfect Effects
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Create your masterpiece in minutes with a huge library of effects and creative tools in both of these powerful new products. Achieve classic black and white looks with full control of shadow, hightling, and selective color, and create a unique look of your own with professionally-created photographic effects, glows, textures, and borders. With the ability to stack, combine and blend effects, and paint in effects to specific areas, your creative options are endless.

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The cityscape above was photographed in Havana, Cuba, and post processed with the very cool cinematic Movie Looks, Havana for a golden touch. Follow this link to OnOne Software.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Selective Color with B&W Photography

Cinemagraph of fountain in St. Michel Paris in black and white with red metro sign.
Cinemagraph from St. Michel in Paris
Selective color can add a colorful touch to a black and white photograph. I used to hand paint color on black and white prints with Marshall Oils long ago. It's much easier to do now digitally with selective color options in tools like Nik Silver Efex Pro or Topaz Labs BW Effects. Selective colorization of part of an image can create a lot of drama. With the image above, the red metro sign color was revealed, which takes just seconds to do. This image is also a cinemagraph, part video, part still, and a lot of fun. Plan ahead for a very cool trip to Paris in 2014, click here for more information. Happy shooting! ~ Deb

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Paris 2014 Workshop...

Golden light Eiffel Tower with textures, photography workshop in Paris.
Paris is beautiful night and day, and there is much to explore––a photographer's paradise! In September of 2014, mark your calendar to experience, and photograph Paris in a six day creative and inspiring workshop. Our itinerary will cover Basilique du Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge area in Montmarte, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Champs de Elysee, the iconic Eiffel Tower,  Le Louve, Musee d'Orsay, the Paris Catacombs, Luxembourg gardens to name some of the highlights of the workshop. This workshop is planned for September 7, to September 13, 2014. Your pro photographer guides Deborah Sandidge and Kevin Pepper have both been to Paris, and will guide you on capturing the beauty of the city night and day. We'll also have opportunities for image review and critique. Plan ahead! I hope to see you in Paris! Follow this link for registration and more information. For info on other upcoming workshops and seminars, check the Workshop page of my website.

Monmarte area of Paris, Moulin Rouge at night with spinning windmill.
Moulin Rouge, in the Montmarte area of Paris.
Paris at night with tower in golden lights surrounded by lights in the city.
Paris, the "City of Light" from the top of the Tour Montparnasse, a wonderful view of the city at night! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Texture Blending for Creativity...

Crescent City Bridge photo with a painterly look with  texture blending creativity.
Texture blending is a beautiful way to create expressive one of a kind images. Very different from  plug-ins and filters, textures can take your photos from an edgy grunge look to a soft painterly rendition of the original image. You get to the be the artist! With the photo above of the Crescent City Bridge in New Orleans, I wanted to accentuate the color and add a painterly touch. This is easy to do by adding a layer of texture. With this image, my favorite texture Icy Rose from Flypaper Textures Summer Painterly collection was added to the bridge photo with a blend mode of Soft Light.  For a more intense and defined look, you can duplicate the texture layer. That's all there is to it! If you want to read more about texture blending with photos, you can read my tutorial here. You can use code DEBS for saving on Flypaper Textures!

If you want to learn more about photographing at the edge of night and beyond, come along with me on a workshop, or attend a seminar! My 2013 schedule is just getting started, and new events are being added.  Check the Workshop page of my website to keep posted, or subscribe to the newsletter. Here are a few upcoming events...  Hope to see you soon!

NANPA Summit Photo Walk, Jacksonville, FL

Artistic Imagery Presentation, Oviedo Camera Club, March 2, 2013

Downtown Orlando Photo Walk, March 22, 2013

Presentations Infrared Photography, and Long Exposure Creativity Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Clubs Convention March 15-17 2013

Creative Digital Techniques in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, April 25-28 2013

Badlands of South Dakota, Jun 2-5 2013

Day with Deb Sandidge in Toronto Workshop August 9, 2-13

2013 Canadian Caravan - Kawartha Region of Ontario, August 10-16

Morocco Photography Workshop, March 16-23 2014