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Monday, January 21, 2019
By Mike Moats Photography
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Sometimes you don't have to travel any farther then your back porch to find nature's art work.  Here is some covered lawn furniture that has an area that filled with water which turned to ice, oak leaves landed on the ice and a dusting of snow fell on the leaves.  I always like these subjects where the edges of the leaves are peaking out from under the snow.

 
Friday, January 18, 2019
By Mike Moats Photography
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If you are not producing great images, maybe you're just not working hard enough.

 

There is a book called "Outliers" written by Malcolm Gladwell, where he talks about some of the most successful people in the world, and found that the common denominator with all these successful people, was that they spent 10,000 hours practicing.

 

I doubt that you have the time to spend 10,000 hours to make photos, but the point here is that the more time you do spend making photos, the better you get at making photos.

 

So get out and shoot!!

 

P1010445

 
Sunday, January 13, 2019
By Mike Moats Photography
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Yesterday I posted that making a great macro images isn't as much about the equipment you use, but more about finding a great subject, composing the subject properly in the frame, and I forgot to mention, good post processing.

 

I also forgot to mention that it takes time to identify good subjects from poor subjects, it takes time and some education to learn how to compose properly, and lots of patience and time being good at post processing.

 

I started photography in 2001 and in the first three years I was shooting, not one of those images I produced are on my website today.  Not that my equipment and skills with the equipment were not good, it's just that I was shooting subjects that were not interesting, and my composition was all wrong. 

 

In 2004 I found the internet and was excited to find a group called Naturephotographers.net.  It was a critique site where you could post your images and people would give you advice to help out. My very first image I posted (which I thought was perfect) I was helped out with my mistakes on the composition of the image. 

 

In those first three years I was learning on my own and not doing well, and also didn't search out that education that would have helped me make better images. 

 

After I got help from the online sites, my photography took off. In the first year on the site, I took a second place image of the year in the flora category, and took a first place and third place in the next two years.

 

I studied all the great images that were being posted by other macro photographers, started to see good subjects and how to compose them, and also at that time I started to learn about post processing.

 

So those first three years on my own, no success, a little help from the more experienced photographers, listening to what I was taught, and I'm winning awards, getting images published in magazine, and getting companies wanting the sponsor me.

 

One last thing, once you learn all the correct ways to created a great image, you have to spend a lot of time shooting, and working with the post processing tools to get to the level you want to be.

 

Join photo sites online and study images, post images and ask for critiques.  Join my Macro Photo Club where there are over 160 instructional videos that I guarantee you will advance much quicker then doing it on your own.

 

 

 
Saturday, January 12, 2019
By Mike Moats Photography
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To many photographers think that if they buy a better camera they will make better images.  They spend most of their time on sites like DPReview, or Ken Rockwell, where they give you the updates on the latest greatest equipment offered.

 

If I post here on this blog about some new Tamron lens or some equipment important to what we do as macro photographers, I get tons of hits on those posts.  If I post something about composition, I get far fewer hits on those posts. People have it backwards.

 

My most successful image I ever shot was of a green fern on a black burned tree trunk, and that image won more awards, published in mags more times, and made more money then any image I ever produced, and it was shot in 2004, with a Fuji S2, 6 megapixel camera with an old macro lens from my film camera.  That system was many generations ago in the digital world and it produced my most successful image.

 

That image did well because it was a great subject and composed well.  It had nothing to do with the camera.  Because if it was about the equipment, then I should be producing more successful images with my more advanced system I use today.

 

My Nikon D7000 camera body is 8 years old and doing just fine, and the only reason I had upgraded from my fuji DSLR camera bodies was to get liveview.  So I have no need to do another upgrade unless there is some feature I want, like maybe an articulating LCD.

 

I don't do high magnification macro photography, but my favorite photographer who does is Thomas Shahan.  His spider and bugs images have been featured in National Geographic Magazine, he was interview by Al Roker on the Today Show,  and his original you tube video, "An Introduction to High Magnification Macro Photography" has close to 1.5 million views.

 

Even the most famous of all nature photographers Art Wolfe doesn't  come remotely close to 1.5 million views on any of his youtube videos.

 

Here is the link to Thomas's video CLICK and you will see he was using very low end inexpensive equipment to produced very successful images. I talked with Thomas back in the summer and he's still using inexpensive equipment.

 

I'm not saying you don't need a good camera, good quality lenses, (like Tamron lenses) and certain accessories needed for what we do, but once you have acquired those things, stop wasting time on the tech sites, and spend your time learning about what makes a image successful. 

 

You spend thousands of dollars on equipment and no money on education.

 

Having the tools to produce quality images, but not knowing the difference between good and bad subject matter, and how to compose a subject properly, is going to keep you producing poor images.

 

If you are one of those photographers that spends all your time on tech sites, change your direction.

 

 
Thursday, January 10, 2019
By Mike Moats Photography
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Here is a free peek at one of the 31 videos stored in the "Equipment / Tech Tips" category of the Macro Photo Club. There are over 160 instructional macro videos in four categories. One payment, lifetime memberships, only $79. Check it out. https://tinyurl.com/yd67oyk4