Photography by Jon Adams

Jul 2012

Ghosts in the Forest


Sometimes when you are out in the forest at night, strange sights and sounds come creeping through. Or running and yelling, a lot like kids with something that glows. What is it about things that glow that captivates kids. (and some others of us who haven't grown up yet) Many photographers live for the golden hours of dusk and dawn. It seems counterintuitive to keep your camera out after the last gleams of sunshine have gone cold into the night. There is a ton of fun to be had with the dark black canvas of night.


Master Time
With the sun out of the picture, you can hold open the shutter of your camera for a long time and not worry about overexposure. This absence of light lets the photographer compress time. A child moving through the trees and spinning something glowing for thirty seconds can be captured in one frame.


How To
Stability is paramount for shooting things like this, You'll want whatever is motionless in the scene to be sharp. A sturdy tripod is the key. A cable release or remote control is also a good idea. If you don't have a remote or cable release, use the built in timer, I set mine to 2 seconds so the shutter opens when nothing is touching the camera or tripod. Experiment for a moment with Shutter speeds, ISO and F-stop to find a setting that gives you what you want. Sometimes you'll want to allow more of the scene to burn into the final image, other times you'll want everything to go dark in the environment around your shot. So simply lock down your camera so it can't move and open up the shutter for an extended period of time. The shots in this blog were all from ten to thirty seconds. Nothing fancy is required here.

Final Note
The following image was from an earlier shoot I did. While driving up this mountain road I saw these three trees. Behind them, of course was more trees and mountains etc. I thought I'd really like to isolate these trees. I could have gone for shallow depth of field causing the background to go to blurry color bliss. But I wanted more isolation, maybe against a solid blackness. So I came back well into the night with a spotlight and a maglight to paint in the color against a solid black canvas. Stunning isolation is what resulted. Then in post I found out I really liked the inverse of what I shot so I turned the background white and the trees black. This image is available to order from my gallery site. It's quite stunning as a canvas wrap on the wall. I have one in my home and really enjoy looking at it. Here's the link.

Trees BW

I'd like to thank your for joining me today in this post. As the days now start getting shorter, start planning and practicing your night photo options. Please check out the rest of and my youtube channel

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Lightroom Virtual Copies and Export Settings

Hello Everyone,
You're wonderful people! In this video I attempt to show you about Virtual Copies in Lightroom. Virtual Copies can really be your friend. What if you want to compare two effects side by side on the same image. Maybe you are making some prints for your 8x10 frames and need to crop one down to that ratio but don't want to alter the original. Maybe a square crop for the website. The list goes on and on. Virtual copies aren't real copies in the fact that they don't take up all the space a real copy does, in every other way (as far as Lightroom goes) they are full fledged copies. Also in this video we will look at how to turn those virtual copies into real copies if your heart so desires.
Thanks for watching!

Nex-7 Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu Waimanalo Hawaii Pano Farmland

We recently had an opportunity to visit the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. My wife and I spent our honeymoon there ten years ago. What a treat it was to get to go back to this magical island. This was my first "real" air travel trip with my Sony Nex-7 camera system. We were traveling very light trying to get a weeks worth of stuff in a regulation carry on bag. We did it! mostly. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to carry on with my previous 35mm format gear. I was able to carry lenses ranging from 8mm to 200mm a tripod and all the filters and chargers etc that I wanted, along with my clothes, and iPad into a small roller case.

How did it do?
Short answer, Amazing. This little camera was easy to carry with me just about anywhere I wanted to take it. Along for the ride on some steep hikes, out to the memorials and museums. Down to the beach to capture the surf. My back never ached. Image quality is just fantastic with this little guy. I utilized my variable ND filters for some nice wave painting. Shot Panos and made huge files out of those. Here are a few of the images that I've looked at so far It seems like it's very difficult to get time to get through all the images you make on a trip. I still have some really nice images to edit, I'll post more of those at a later date.
Get out there and shoot!


DSC08561 HDR Edit


DSC08046 Edit


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