Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas Video Card

We thought it would be a fun and different way to make a Christmas greeting by making a video card. We have been very pleasantly surprised by how popular it has become.

Here is the permalink

There is also a $20 coupon on that page.

Some people are wondering how the video was made. I made it using Photodex's ProShow Producer Producer is a great program with lots of possibilities. Like everything with photography be prepared to spend some time fiddling but its very fun and creative.

We have thought about offering a course on making slideshows. I am just trying to figure out the logistics of uploading the slide shows.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bald Eagles at Conowingo Dam

Recently I took a day trip to the Conowingo Dam in northeastern Maryland on the Susquehanna River. Conowingo is a place where Bald Eagles congregate in the winter because fish are plentiful. Conowingo is supposed to be one of the best spots east of the Mississippi to view Bald Eagles. There are lots! It was really amazing to count 100 or more mature and juvenile eagles. There were many other birds as well. The place is sort of a bird watchers mecca.

The eagles were fishing and flying up in the trees to eat their fish.

There were lots of fish fights and skirmishes too.

I had never shot with a super telephoto lens before but I rented a Canon 500mm f/4 IS from my good buddy Roger at Roger is very helpful and gave me some pointers for using the lens and fixed me up with a heavy duty ball head. For a horse photographer like me this was a real departure! That lens weighs 8.5lbs. I experimented with shooting on a monopod, tripod and even hand holding a few shots.

Let me digress for a moment and tell you that there were at least 100 photographers there with 500mm or longer lenses. Plenty of 800mms in fact. It was a stunning amount of big glass. You would think you were at the Olympics or something.

It was an amazing day, to be in the presence of those apex birds of prey. Super nice people too, those bird photographers. It was very different kind of shooting with big guys saying "Come on! Get in here, we'll make room for you so you can get a shot too." For this kind of photography it was all about gear and technique and a shared passion for the eagles.

Winter Snow photos

Winter arrived in my part of the world weeks ago and it's showing no signs of going away. Here are a couple of photos from this past weekend (Dec. 7th).

Our January Short course - Winter Photography is starting on January 1st and the class is filling fast. If you are sitting on the fence about taking this fantastic course, I say Jump off and sign up!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Welcome to Learn To Take Photos!

Hi everyone!

Be sure to bookmark our Blog site, we'll be talking about and sharing lots of useful information. Visit the school site for free photography tips and view the list of online photography courses. The full courses start on January 14, 2009 and the next round of short courses start on January 1st. All our courses are taught in a friendly, supportive online environment. Our classes are active and fun. If you want to learn the basics or take your skills to the next level, we can help you do it.

There are currently 4 full courses:
  • Creative Composition
  • Digital Photography Basics
  • Silhouettes & Black Shadow Backgrounds
  • The Business of Equine Event Photography

and 3 short courses:

  • Pet Photography
  • Winter Snow Photography
  • Digital Photography 101

Take a tour over, sign up for our email newsletter to be kept up to date on new courses, new free tips & tricks and tons of other great stuff. Be sure to tell your friends.

See you there!
Christina & Laura