Eric Klamm Photography: Blog en-us (C) Eric Klamm Photography [email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:19:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:19:00 GMT Eric Klamm Photography: Blog 120 80 Bad days? So last night I had what a lot of people would define as a bad day taking photos, considering that I took under 10 photos in the 2 hours that I was out.   A bad is all about perspective though.   As corny as it sounds, it's all about how you perceive that day, as well as what you do on that day.   I had a pretty good day of photos, without taking a winning photo.  I'll explain:


1.   Is there really a bad day taking photos?  If you are out exploring your city or the country, is that ever bad?

2.   While I don't think I have any worthwhile photos from last night (honestly I haven't even looked), I came up with a new location and I found that picture that I have to get.


So with further details, yesterday in the greatest city on Earth that is Kansas City (not even joking, please don't move here) the native were treated with big white fluffy cloud day.   I always enjoy these days (btw...those of you in New Mexico, is this every day for you or was I just lucky the several weeks that I have spent there?) and how could you not enjoy blue skies with big white fluffy clouds?   The problem arouse when I had a life issue I had to deal with.    That life issue had me on the phone for an hour and gave me a resolution that I wasn't extremely found of, but worst of all, when I walked outside afterwards, I noticed that most of the clouds had moved on!!!!!   I was so upset, but my beautiful and calming wife, told me I needed to go out regardless of what happened to the clouds.  So I did.  


What I found out when I tried getting pictures of the remaining clouds, was the spot I thought was good, was not.   While that sounds bad, and while it would have been better if I had known that before, it prepares me for the future.   Actually I had just noticed that spot a couple days before and didn't really have time to scout it, but by trying to scout it on the day I needed it, I managed to find another spot nearby, that will do what I envisioned.   So yesterday I missed, but I am better prepared for the future.  


My failure at that site and finding of what I wanted was great, but what I am really excited about, was what I saw on the way.   This will take a lot of work, but I should be able to get this shot:  I found a bridge where the train goes underneath.   When I saw it the train was just a few seconds from passing, but the shot was perfect.  PERFECT.  I was in my car and had no chance of getting that shot, but I recorded the time, and in the immortal words of Arnold "I'll be back!".   


So you see, while I didn't walk away with amazing photos, I enjoyed myself being out and about, plus I furthered my photo knowledge of locations and am ready for some future photos.  A bad day isn't always bad, it's all about your own point of view.....

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) art camera tips cityscape fine art fine art photography kansas city photography photography tips urban photography Wed, 27 Jun 2018 01:45:56 GMT
A word on shutter speed A common question I get as a photographer is "how did you do that".   Often times, the techniques that photographers use are actually quite simple, it's just the tools needed and the knowing (it's half the battle).   One of the more power tools is using shutter speed.   Using shutter speed I can freeze motion or I can blur parts of the picture, giving the feel of motion.   I'm just going to through up some quick examples, but there are many ways to use shutter speed.


A common question I get asked is how I took a waterfall photograph like the one here.  

The blurring of waterfalls in photographs is done often because it's very pretty.   It is also a very simple technique.  You need only a few things:  camera, tripod (those two are must haves, the rest can usually be worked around), filters to darken the exposure, shutter release.  If you don't have a shutter release, just use the timer on your camera.  If you are in the Pacific NW, then the filters probably are not needed as it's usually cloudy, but in bright sunlight you probably will need them.  Set up your tripod, frame your picture, and set your shutter speed to 1-2 seconds.   That should cover about 90% of waterfalls and camera settings(or at least it has in my experience).  Hit the shutter release and You're done!   That's it.  That's all there is to it.  


Other ways you can use long shutter speed times are photographs of traffic at night.  The lights on the vehicles will blur, and you can ghosts the vehicles like in this picture, or with a longer shutter speed, you will only see the lights and no car.  


Those are long shutter speeds, short shutter speeds are for freezing motion, such as in this water fountain.  


These are just a few of the ways you can use shutter speed and it can be used on photos with no motion to make rooms brighter or darker.   Experimentation is always the best way to learn, so grab your tripod and go try a few things!

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) art camera tips fine art photography instruction photography photography tips shutter speed waterfall Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:15:00 GMT
Bison Bison are large, powerful mammals, that used to roam the entire middle part of the country with impunity.  However they are a fairly docile animal, and were hunted extensively in the late 1800's-early 1900's, to the point that if you want to see one today, you have to go to certain locations.   Yellowstone is home to the most "wild" bison in the USA, with around 5,000 bison.  For the most part, Bison will ignore you, but keep your distance.  These things are big, fast, and you don't want them charging.   Otherwise, head out and watch them.   You can just feel the power as they lumber along, eating their grass and moving their massive heads.




[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) animals bison fine art photography landscape photography photography wildlife yellowstone Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Storms in Lamar Valley I visited Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park last year, and if I had to describe how that time was, the term wet would come to mind pretty quickly.   the weather was not perfect in the "I'm on vacation and want nice, sunny weather", but for photography, bad weather is good weather.   Lamar Valley was a great location, full of fall colors, mountains, a river, and large mammals.   You can sit there all day and see Elk, Bears, Wolves, Coyotes, Antelope, and while I didn't see any, I assume Bison go there as well.  Animals aside, you can also get great landscapes of the valley, aspens, and hopefully dark storm clouds rolling in.  


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) art fine art photography lamar valley landscape photography photography storms yellowstone Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Patience Often out in the world, it's all too easy to think your location is getting you nothing and take up the "grass is greener on the other side" mentality.  It's very easy to just pick up and move on to another location, however doing so might cost you a good shot.   Showing a little patience at a site, can turn into the shot you were looking for or even a surprise shot that you weren't expecting.   Sunsets are a great example of this, never leave a sunset until it is dark out.  I have stuck out many a sunset thinking that nothing was going to happen, but then just on the edge of darkness, the sky lights up with a brilliant pink that fades into purple and finally blue, creating a brilliant picture.  If you had left thinking you weren't getting good colors, that shot would be lost.


Another time for patience is with animals.   You may have already taken a majestic shot of your subject looking right at you, with a river running through the background, but animals are unpredictable and the unexpected could always happen.     Last fall, in Yellowstone National Park, I found a great grey owl up in a tree.   He was perfectly positioned on a branch sticking out from the rest of the branches, so I had a completely clear view of him.   After a couple minutes of waiting and snapping many photos, he looked directly at me and I took the first picture you see below.  I could have pulled up shop then and there, thinking I had the shot.   However you never know what happens, maybe you were out of focus on that shot, it's always good to stay longer with animals.  This particular time I was convinced that owl was going to take flight.   I felt he was hunting, and he was going to take to wing, and I was going to get a shot of him with his wings spread, taking flight.   Well, he didn't quite do what I expected, as he dived down instead of flying off.   However I was there, waiting and ready to get that shot, and I now have the bottom shot of that owl diving on unsuspecting prey.   


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) animals art birds birds of prey fine art photography great grey owl instruction owl photography tips yellowstone Tue, 01 Aug 2017 01:15:56 GMT
Theodore Roosevelt National Park Last month I found myself in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.   I was very surprised by how beautiful the park was with it's Badlands type rock formations combined with green grasslands.   I only had a day walking around the south unit, getting to view petrified forest, Bison, prairie dogs, deer, but most importantly:  WILD HORSES!!


To me one of the coolest things about this country, is the fact that we still have horses running free, roaming the country side for the best running ground they can find.  While there I went to the petrified forest portion of the park, there was one horse that was grazing all on his own.   He really seemed to be posing for me most of the time.   Not wanting to disappoint my model, I took a lot of pictures of the horse posing.  


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Landscape Photography Teddy Theordore Roosevelt fine art photography horse national park photography Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:22:47 GMT
The little things I travel for a lot of my photographs, and I find myself on the go constantly during those travels.   Stopping to enjoy things is good for the soul and gets you interesting stories.  Take this one from my last trip that I would have missed if not for my wife:


We were camping at Devil's Tower and decided to stay an extra night, so we went to the town of Huelett, Wyoming to grab more food for the extra night.  It was around one o'clock and neither of us had lunch yet and that seemed like a good thing to do there as well.   Huelett being a town of roughly 400 people, restaurant options are not that plentiful.   As we get out of the truck, my wife informs me that we need to hit a bar and grill, because she wants a cocktail too.   I really had no desire for one, but peer pressure and all, I go along with her.  


So into the Rodeo Bar and Lounge we go, and I quickly determine there is no food to be had in this place.  My wife however, feels the pressure of walking in and must sit down and have a drink.   So we saddle up to the bar, and grab two seats.  It being after one and on a weekday, the bar was not too crowded.  Off to my left, were a couple locals that looked to be in their late 60's, early 70's, and wore the overalls of farmers.  Off to my right, there were a couple guys that were working some construction job and have been local for a couple months.  They are probably in their 40's.   The bartender was a woman of undetermined age.   Left side was non-stop chatter, most of which were jokes about their wives.   They were hilarious.    Bartender asks us our drink order and my wife grabs a rum and coke, and I go vodka tonic.   The bartender then takes to making drinks, while left side continues their onslaught of jokes on an ever widening range of topics, laughing at their own jokes as loud as anyone.   Right side laughs often, occasionally throwing out a comment or two.  I joined in with the occasional comment, but clearly I was out classed in their war of banter.   Bartender, who has not smiled, laughed, or even really acknowledge the going ons, drops off our drinks and informs us of the price.   I hand her my credit card, and she stars blankly at me with a thousand yard stare that looked right through me and she very slowly shook her head with zero words.    OK.....I have cash, we can make this work.   


Tab resolved, banter continuing, laughing often, bartender comes up and puts two disposable shot cups in front of us.  One in front of each of us.  I was unsure what this was, but was worried.   A little bit later I was on the final drops of my vodka tonic, and she brings out a second one, takes the plastic shot cup, and wordlessly walks away.   I didn't want a second drink, I didn't really want the first one!   We come to find out that the right side guys bought us a round!   More banter followed, more people showed up and joined in, and good times had by all.    We eventually finished our second round, and slowly staggered out of the bar to continue our quest for food.  


It was a great time, with some charming characters that I will probably remember for life.  So in the future, take time for things like this.   Photography is about living life, and enjoying the things you see.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) huelett photography wyoming Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:25:23 GMT
Another word on equipment I got a new camera strap one or two year ago.  My old camera strap I had used for roughly ten years and it had worked amazingly.  The new one was a gift from my loving wife and it was very cool and very thoughtful (seriously I really liked it), however it broke recently.   What happens when your camera strap breaks?  That's right, your camera falls.   I got lucky and it was a short fall and nothing was damaged, it could have been a disaster.   If you have something that has proven to work and shows no signs of wearing out, it's probably a good idea to just keep using it.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) fine art photography gear photography tips Fri, 02 Jun 2017 02:41:46 GMT
A Word on Equipment Most photographers carry a lot of gear it's just the nature of the beast.   Now if you came here looking for a long debate on lenses, cameras, and the manufacture of those things, I am not going to talk about them.  The internet is full of that kind of information and people debate that all the time.   What I want to talk about is the other stuff that I don't find a lot of online.   A look at the gear that you use out in the field.  


The most important piece of gear a photographer has (aside from camera and lenses) is actually the camera bag.  I know that sounds pretty trivial, but when you spend 8 hours out taking photos, you quickly figure out nothing is trivial.  For example, if you get a messenger style camera bag for your large lens and heavy camera, it could end up causing a lot of pain.    All that weight on one side of your body for the day, can really start to hurt.  Pain means that you will probably stop taking pictures earlier in the day, and will end up missing shots.   Another problem with camera bags is ease of getting to things.   If it's a complicated process to get to your stuff, you will again miss shots.  Eventually, you might even start to avoid changing lenses, because it means getting into your bag and it's a pain in the butt.  When people are tired, they naturally start taking shortcuts.  Now here comes the bad news:  there is no perfect bag.  


I have two bags and they handle 99% of my days out.   One is just your standard camera backpack.  It holds all my lenses (though I have to pack it full) and it has the quick access pocket for the camera.  I use this in the city, when I might go inside shops.   It's compact and stays on my back out of the way.  It's a simple solution, but by no means my favorite option.  I use this roughly 20% of the time.   Again, if I think I will be going inside shops or restaurants, this is the bag I use.


For most of my camera days, I use a utility belt (think batman).   I have an individual bag on the belt for each lens, and a couple bags for filters and accessories.  I find this to be the best setup because it keeps all the weight on my hips (which reduces a lot of the physical stress of carrying all that equipment), and I can reach all my lenses and filters within seconds.   As there is no perfect bag, here is the problems with this set up: You can't go inside, as you will run into everything; it kind of disrupts your arm flow while walking and I find that a bit annoying (but just a bit, it can be ignored);  and it only works for day trips.  If you are actually in the wild and plan on camping, you can not wear a camping backpack with this setup.   Camping backpacks are large and have hip belts and you already have something on your hips.


Filters: if you are outside, there is one filter you have to have and that is the circular polarizer.   If you have ever worn polarized sunglasses, you get the idea, but basically the filter blocks some of the reflected light, which makes your pictures look better.   The other filter I use often is the graduated neutral density filter.  It's a long name, but it's a rectangular filter that is clear on one end and dark on the other.  So when you have those big fluffy clouds in the sky, this helps them to not be washed out and yet still have definition in the land under the clouds.


Finally I carry a small little backpack that is designed for cyclist.  It's just big enough to have a water bladder (staying hydrated is important), a snack, and if I shove it in, a sweater or rain jacket.


That gear gets me through most of my shots.  The main thing I wanted to point out was the utility belt.   I love that thing and have not looked back since getting it.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Landscape Photography gear photography Wed, 31 May 2017 19:36:06 GMT
It's been a while Life gets pretty busy for most of us, and sometimes taking photos becomes secondary.   Hey life happens and I don't want to tell you that you should always do photography, sometimes a break is good.  But if you still want to take photos but feel like you are too busy, just remember that a neat photo can be anywhere, including where you ate your dinner.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) fine art photography photography urban photography Fri, 27 Jan 2017 03:09:09 GMT
National Parks Service 100th birthday Today is the 100th birthday of the National Parks Service, and as a photographer, how can I not pay some kind of respects to the National Park Service?   They take care of a lot of my favorite places: Rocky Mountain National Park, Saguaro National Park, Yosemite National Park, Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier National Park, and many more.   So to pay my respects, I think I will debut my new photo of one of the more magical place I have been.  Crater Lake National Park.  


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Crater Lake Landscape Photography fine art photography national Parks photography Fri, 26 Aug 2016 03:24:58 GMT
KC 52 Week 24 The Henry Bloch fountain has new colored lights.   Not sure how I feel about that, but the white ones are pretty.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Kansas City Landscape Photography fine art photography kc52 photography urban photography water fountain Fri, 17 Jun 2016 03:29:11 GMT
Missouri St Penn A while back (I am way behind in my photos) I toured the former Missouri State Penn.   Old historic places such as the state penn are a gold mine for photographers and some of them are open to tours and will schedule private tours as well.  


So if you find yourself bored with your photography routine, shake things up by visiting a local site.  It's usually dark inside, so you will want to bring a tripod at the minimum.  Flashes or lights can also be very helpful.  Looks for unique angles, shadows, light, and try to capture the mood of the building and it's past history.  


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Missouri State Penn buildings camera tips fine art photography photography photography tips prison urban photography Tue, 14 Jun 2016 22:53:51 GMT
KC52 Week 23 Wow things have been busy lately.    I've been  on two photo trips in the last month (one weekend variety, one of the 10 day variety) and have over 800 photos to go through, plus I was at the Mulvane Art Fair last weekend.  I knew this project would get tough once the busy summer season started up, but I did get out this week (though I am a little late in posting) to the Muse of Missouri and Crown Center for some night time photos.  I am really upset at crown center though, the fountain was not on!


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Kansas City cityscape fine art photography kc52 photography urban photography Sat, 11 Jun 2016 14:43:51 GMT
KC52 Week 20 Week 20!  We are cruising through the year, and as it gets moving quickly sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses.  Bad puns and blog writing aside, it's easy to get caught up in the grand views, and the big showy pictures, sometimes just a flower will do.   Going out and taking some macro pictures is always a good change of pace and it helps you notice the little things in life.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Kansas City fine art photography flower kc52 macro photography rose Fri, 13 May 2016 03:27:43 GMT
KC52 Week 19 Well if you live in KC you know what is going on in KC this week, we have a light rail system!!!   It's not a big one, but hopefully it is just the beginning and I had to be there to catch it.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Fine Art Photography Kansas City Kansas City Streetcar Landscape Photography Streetcar cityscape kc52 photography urban photography Fri, 06 May 2016 03:46:07 GMT
KC52 Week 18 just over a third of the way through the year, thought I would go back and post some of the pictures that I chose not to post in earlier blog posts.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Fine Art Photography Kansas City Landscape Photography cityscape fine art photography kc52 photography urban photography Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:01:55 GMT
KC52 Week 17 Big clouds this week and I took some pictures at the Kansas Speedway and Sporting park.  Got kicked out of sporting, this KC52 project keeps getting me kicked out of places, I am not even really doing anything bad!   I just walk around taking pictures and then get told I need to leave.  So that last picture the clouds are a bit washed out, but I only got one shot and as I was getting a filter out to get the clouds better, I was asked to leave.  


Don't forget while you are out taking pictures of buildings, pay attention to what is reflecting in their windows.  You can get interesting pictures using the windows to help.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Fine Art Photography Kansas City cityscape kc52 photography photography tips urban photography Fri, 22 Apr 2016 03:18:19 GMT
KC52 Week 15 This week the fountains were turned on!!!!!     So you guessed it, I have a fountain photograph for you, and I played around with a bird today as well.  Getting those things in flight is not easy, total respect for every in flight bird photo I see.


And I played with this young hawk for at least an hour.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Kansas City bird hawk kc52 photography water fountain wildlife Fri, 15 Apr 2016 03:21:49 GMT
KC52 week 13 One of the best parts of KC, is that fact that just a couple minutes in the right direction gets  you into the country.  



[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City Landscape Photography kc52 photography Fri, 01 Apr 2016 02:27:07 GMT
KC52 week 12 In honor of the tournament this week, I am going with this hoop with downtown as a backdrop.  Makes me want to shoot there.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City cityscape fine art photography kc52 urban photography Sat, 26 Mar 2016 13:24:20 GMT
KC52 Week 11 Spring is almost here and I was out and about all week enjoying it.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City Landscape Photography cityscape fine art photography kc52 photography urban photography Fri, 18 Mar 2016 02:07:11 GMT
KC52 Week 10 This is the Rosedale Arch, a memorial to the WWI fallen from Rosedale.  Always remember.   


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Kansas City Landscape Photography cityscape fine art photography kc52 photography urban photography Wed, 09 Mar 2016 04:36:06 GMT
KC52 Week 9 I must confess, during week 9 of KC52 I had a birthday!  My beautiful wife surprised me with my first helicopter ride!


KC52 from above~

After the tour we had plenty of time before dinner at Voltaire in the Stockyard District (if you have not tried Voltaire, you should), so we stopped at Blvd Tavern for a cocktail and to let the day slip into night, then it was over to Union Station for some night shots.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Fine Art Photography Kansas City Landscape Photography cityscape fine art photography kc52 photography photography tips urban photography Fri, 04 Mar 2016 05:23:35 GMT
KC 52 Week 8 Fire Escape Slide

A city isn't just defined by it's cool, trendy, new things.   There is also the old, barely used things that give a city it's character.   The West Bottoms is currently have a resurgence after decades of mistreatment.   It's still pretty under used, but it's a really cool part of KC with old brick buildings, and different architectures.   This fire escape caught my eye, and the large slide next to it for one of the haunted houses that open in October.

The American Royal

Speaking of unused places, at one end of the West Bottoms sits Kemper Arena.  Aside from the American Royal, I am not sure that Kemper has been used in over a decade.


And apparently I was not the only photog out in the West Bottoms.   These days I don't think I am ever down there without seeing at least one other photographer, this day I saw 3 other than myself.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Fine Art Photography Kansas City Landscape Photography West Bottoms cityscape fine art photography kc52 landscape photography urban photography Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:48:36 GMT
KC52 Week6 Just last week I said "It doesn't always have to be some massive landscape or an iconic scene in Kansas City" and now I am posting a massive landscape.  I just discovered Kaw Point a month ago, and since I was supposed to have two straight mornings of partly cloudy, I got up early for sunrise.  Day one was a lie, and it was not partly cloudy, but day two worked out well!



[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City Landscape Photography fine art photography kc52 landscape photography urban photography Fri, 12 Feb 2016 03:17:28 GMT
KC52 week 5 Myriad Coffee hosue

It doesn't always have to be some massive landscape or an iconic scene in Kansas City.  Sometimes just a simple scene can be beautiful, like this potted plant in front of Myriad Coffee House.  


Other photo notes, I have messed up my back pretty good and I am struggling a bit with photos.  Also just strapped on my first new camera strap....well really ever.   I think I had the same one the entire time I have been taking photos.  Still keeping it around though, just in case the new one has some bad juju!   :}

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Landscape Photography fine art photography kc52 urban photography Thu, 04 Feb 2016 01:20:01 GMT
KC52 Week 4 Sauer Castle

The problem with this task, is that it's an every week thing.  So when I do things like go to Sauer Castle for the first time, well it's shoot and hope for the best.  Normally I would have scouted more, and waited for the proper weather (in this case clouds would have been nice).   There was also a fence in the way, so I could have brought a ladder to see over the fence, but it is what it is.  This is a beautiful Italian style house, that has unfortunately sat abandoned for 30 years.  The sun sank in the sky shortly after this, and I moved on to Union Station.  But it was apparently not my night, as I got reprimanded there because I was talking photos while using a tripod.  Tripods are apparently illegal there.  Anyways, I got these before they got mad.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City kc52 photography urban photography Thu, 28 Jan 2016 03:43:18 GMT
KC52 Week3 Kauffman Red White and Blue

It was a fun night at the Kauffman Center, what an amazing place to listen to music.  So at the end, I decided to get some pictures as well.  

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Kauffman Center cityscape fine art photography landscape night photography photography Fri, 22 Jan 2016 04:53:37 GMT
KC52 Week 2 After week one and the freezing temps, I decided inside might be a better option for this week's photo,  so to the Central Library I went.   The downtown library is what everyone I know calls it and it's a good stop for anyone that is taking a tourist day in Kansas City.   The building that houses the library was built in 1895 by W.F. Hackney but was not the original downtown library.   That honor goes to a building at 9th and Locust, which now house Ozark National Insurance.   The building at 9th and Locust was built by none other than W.F. Hackney.  The current building was originally a bank (I believe) and is a beautiful 5 story building with grand stairways, hallways, wood panels, marble, and everything you could want and would picture in a library from the 1800's in the heart of a city.   The problem with my evening was that I wanted to photograph all the rows and rows of old leather bound periodicals, and the dark room filled with wood accents up on the 5th floor.  Too bad for me, the periodicals have been taken down recently for their protection and that really cool room up on five was holding an event.  So that did not work out the way I had planned, but the library was still a good place to hang out for a while and take pictures.  If you plan on taking pictures there, remember it's a library and be as quiet as you can.   


The other pictures are from the Milwaukee Delicatessen Company, just up the block from the library in the Historic Cosby Hotel building.  The Deli was originally there in the 20's but closed around 1940.   The new one is in the same spot and even has a picture of it's namesake from the end of prohibition.  I had a very unique take on a pulled pork sandwich that was very enjoyable and my wife went with a calzone that she liked.  Its a cool little corner bar/deli.   Stop by and enjoy a pint. Central Library The Milwaukee Delicatessen Company The Milwaukee Delicatessen Company

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City kc52 photography urban photography Thu, 14 Jan 2016 01:24:31 GMT
Week 1  

The Scout

I got out early, but the part I did not think about on this project is how quickly I have to work on the photos and post them after I have taken them!  Getting me out to take pictures is not a problem, edit and write a blog post is another story.   :}




So for the first photos of the year, I decided that since it is night time most of the day, that a night shot would be a good start.  So we headed out to The Scout for photos.  The Scout is a sculpture of a Sioux indian, and has been watching over Kansas City for 100 years.  Originally The Scout was just supposed to be passing through KC, but a campaign called "The Kids of Kansas City" raised $15,000 to keep The Scout here.  It was really cold out that night and the wind did me no favors both by making it colder and by making it hard to keep even the tripod still, but I did come away with a shot that I liked of downtown and The Scout.


[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Fine Art Photography Kansas City Landscape Photography The Scout urban photography Thu, 07 Jan 2016 02:56:23 GMT
KC52! 2015 was a year with a lot of distractions (good distractions, but still distractions) from my photography.   So to get back into the swing of things and to show some love towards my city of Kansas City, I will be doing KC52, a photography project which will be a year in the life of Kansas City, the buildings, the fountains, the parks, and the monuments.     The plan for project KC52 is to be out and about KC 40-45 weeks of 2015.   I mean physically out those weeks, not I have a good day in January and therefore post different pictures from January over the span of 5 weeks.   This is a plan to be out as often as possible, while accounting for vacation of course!    Kansas City will be defined as anything within ten miles of either the Kansas City, KS or Kansas City, MO city limits.   Sorry to those cool places that don't qualify, but I have to set boundaries somewhere and I could get those places as well, they just won't qualify for KC52.   Stay tuned here for my photos and blog posts about the project!



[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Fine Art Photography Kansas City Landscape Photography The Scout urban photography Wed, 30 Dec 2015 02:36:07 GMT
Taking Lighning photos Over the weekend I was at the Linn Creek Arts Festival, and a nice couple had some questions about lightning photos.  Naturally I shooed them away as my photo skills are classified at the highest government level.   OK my secrets aren’t that secret, so I did actually give some thoughts and advice to taking photos of lightning to that couple, and since it was fresh in my mind and I have been completely ignoring this blog, I am writing an entry today!

Lightning at Liberty MemorialLightning at Liberty MemorialIn life the best way to be lucky is to make your own luck. I spent hours out in the rain and lightning, trying to get a good representation of lightning and managed to get several photos at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City with lightning. However spending all the time in not great conditions is what enabled me to photograph this stunning display of power.

So to start you are going to need certain gear to take lightning photos, starting with the tripod.   A good tripod is an absolute must as you will probably be dealing with longer shutter speeds when you are taking these shots.  Also, you will be in a storm which usually means there is wind present.  So you need that tripod to resist the wind and handle the long shutter speed.   Next you will need remote for your shutter release.  You need the remote because pushing down the button on the camera will cause camera shake and you are trying to avoid that.   You could use the timer on your camera, but if the timer is counting down and lightning strikes during that time, you will not be happy.   The standard 24-80 lens will probably work best for your range.  Finally you will want some kind of filter to make things darker, so that you can have a longer exposure time.   Optional items:  umbrella (rain is quite probable), lightning trigger (this just seems like downright cheating), cloth to wipe off lens (again, it might be raining), flashlight, and maybe a chair and some snacks.


Ok so now all your gear is assembled (be sure to keep it handy during thunder storm season, every second counts) what you will need is a good location.   This gets tricky, ultimately you want a spot where thunderstorms will consistently go through, but unless you are a meteorologist, determining that can be difficult.   I try to pick several spots in a small area, say 3-5 square miles.   That way you can move between spots if your current location is not getting much lightning.  Ideally your location will have a good view of the sky, and something interesting in the foreground.   Statues, skylines, monuments, lone trees on a hill, and barns all work well for this.   Scope these sites out in the daytime, and know where you want to stand and how you want your picture framed.  This way you aren’t walking around in the rain while all the good lightning is striking while you are still trying to scout the location.


When the time comes to shoot photos of lightning, the technique is pretty simple.  Use the filters to increase the length of your shutter, set your ISO as low as the camera can go, and set your aperture to the range of f16 – f22.   When I take lightning pictures with a cityscape, I can usually get a 20-30 second exposure time.  If you are shooting out in rural areas, there is probably very little light around, and you can probably increase that exposure time into the minutes (which is helpful).  Focusing your lens will be tricky.  In the city, there is probably enough lights off buildings that you can use them for focus, in rural areas you either need to bring a large flashlight to light up a target while you focus (if you have your camera on autofocus, set it to manual after you focus in on your target).  Without a target that you can light up to focus on, use the focus scale on your lens.  Turn the focus ring so that the infinity symbol is selected in the focus scale.   That’s not a perfect solution, but setting to infinity combined with the f22 aperture should get you in focus.  Then it’s a matter of using your remote to have a “constant expsore”.   Trip your shutter and listen for the shutter to close in 30 seconds (or whatever your shutter speed is set to) and then trip the shutter again.  Trying to react to lightning is not going to work.  So you just constantly take photos until the storm is over or you are out of memory.   It is not a very glamorous way to take the photos, but you should get a good show to watch and hopefully you come away with several good pictures as well.  Only pause your photo taking to wipe the lens off (a good lens hood could help your lens stay dry). 


So that’s lightning photos in a nutshell, just remember that no photo is worth your life, so be careful when trying to take them!  



[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) fine art photography instructions photography tips Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:28:04 GMT
in the beginning I always get asked by people new to SLR cameras for advice on what to do, and my advice is always the same and I shall share it here. 


1.  When you first get the camera, leave it on automatic!  Don't touch all those fancy buttons, just leave them alone.  I'm serious about that too, photography is more about finding the right thing to shoot as opposed to the proper technical settings.  If you feel like you absolutely must play with settings, then go with white balance.   No, I don't mean take pictures using the manual kelvin scale, way too complicated.  If it's bright and sunny out, set your white balance to the little sun, if it's cloudy then the cloud setting, and so on.   Really I mean this, just get used to looking through the lens and how angles can change everything.   Stay in automatic for bare minimum 6 months, and I mean six months of heavy shooting.  If you don't shoot that often, then a year or more.


2.   Once you are ready to play with settings more, you want to go to "A" or "S" modes.  My first step into the non full auto mode was in "S" mode because I was taking waterfall pictures a lot back then, however I expect most photogs to go to the "A" mode.   They stand for Aperture priority and Shutter priority.   Aperture is depth of field, so when you see a photo where only the subject is in focus, they used aperture to attain that effect.   What you need to know for aperture is that the smaller the number on your camera, the smaller the depth of field (when you read articles and they talk about using a large aperture setting they actually mean a small number.   I understand that this scientifically correct, but it's confusing and stupid if you ask me.).    So when you use the aperture setting you choose how much of the photo you want to be in focus and the camera choose the shutter speed to go along with that choice, it's semi-automatic.    So I am taking you up in steps.  Shutter priority, does the same thing as Aperture priority, its just that in shutter you select the shutter speed and the camera selects the aperture.  Shutter speed comes into play for night photos, blurring effects in photos (such as the water falling in a waterfall), etc.   Now you are paying attention to the angles of your shot, and one setting on your camera (two if you are playing around with white balance).  


3.    Finally you will think you are ready, and you can throw that camera in to "M" mode, which is the much revered Manual mode.   Full manual, there is no help with this one, and there is no faster way to screw up your pictures!  There is also no better way to have full control over your photo either.    Manual mode requires a lot of thought for each photo and you should always think about what you want the photo to look like and then try to achieve it.  Just remember that these days you have it easier.   You can look at the camera's viewfinder and tell immediately if you got it right or not.   Film days were terrible, you took a picture and hope you had things like you wanted.  


So that's my advice to newbies.  Take it slow and in steps.  If you try to take on too much at the beginning, it will overwhelm you and you won't have fun.  If you don't have fun, you won't continue working at it. 

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art camera tips fine art photography how to photography photography tips tips Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:09:42 GMT
The Zoo      Zoo are very underappreciated these days, both by people looking to enjoy their day, and by photographers.  A zoo is a great place to practice your wildlife photography.    Animals don't really cooperate when you are trying to take their picture, in fact after a while you will actually start to believe that animals know what you are doing and are purposefully trying to make it difficult for you.   So with this kind of blatant disrespect for you and your camera, you will need to learn their tricks and behavoirs so you don't end up with blurry pictures or sharp pictures of the animals rear end.  This is where zoos come in really handy, as they allow you to practice without having to spend money on a safari or deep jungle expedition.   Here are some tips to keep in mind that should help you at the zoo.


1.   This is practice.   The reason I say that is almost every zoo has rules that you cannot take pictures there and use them for profit.  So if you are looking to take pictures of lions and then sell them, well that's not going to happen at a zoo.  At least not legally.


2.   Get there first thing in the morning or if the zoo stays open late, get there near sundown.    The animals are more active early and late in the day and you will be able to get pictures of the bear when he doesn't look like a rug at the hunting lodge.


3.   Check the zoo's webpage for events ahead of time.  For example, I know a lot of zoos are starting to do events where they run the cheetahs.   Showing up and taking pictures of a cheetah cruising along at 40+ MPH is always a fun experience.   It's also pretty hard and helps you learn the techniques for moving targets.


4.   Telephotos rule.   Bring the longest lens you have.   However you should keep in mind that most zoos are very nicely landscaped, so you might bring along your macro lens for flowers as well.


5.    Be patient.   Sometimes sitting half an hour at one pen is going to get you the shot you want.   In the wild, you will be sitting at one spot most of the day and waiting for animals to come to you, so learn to be patient.


So that should get you started, just remember zoos can be a lot of fun.    I used to get a year pass to the local zoo, and when I had saturday mornings where I had no plans, I would just go to the zoo for a few hours and enjoy the kangaroos, elephants, turtles, deer like creatures (seriously who knows the names to all the four legged deer like mammals?), and otters.  BTW....taking pictures of otters swimming is probably harder than the cheetahs running, so good luck!

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Zoos camera tips fine art photography landscapes photography wildlife Tue, 25 Jun 2013 21:44:51 GMT
The Camera never Lies I read that online the other day and I couldn't help but think: yes it does!   Photographers can make a bright and cheery room seem dark and foreboding just by changing some camera settings.   Using various angles we can make things bigger or smaller, heck I can change the color of something if I really wanted to.   All of this inside the camera.  That's part of the fun of pictures.  Sure it's never going to put a giant elephant in the middle of your photo (though sometimes that might be fun), but that doesn't mean it doesn't lie.   The biggest lie from the camera though is the lie of omission.  While not telling something is technically not the same as lying, I am pretty sure if your friend hit your car but didn't tell you and later you found out, you would have considered that a lie.  The camera is good at this.


Take the photo that I loaded up on this post for example.   It is a pretty fall scene, with some colorful leaves and a small waterfall.   If I were to describe it I may say that its tranquil or serene.  It may conjure up thoughts of the deep woods, or some small little grouping of trees in a large field somewhere.   The camera will mislead you into believing that, it is lying to you.   This creek could be in the middle of the city.   Fifty feet to the right of that falls could be a parking lot for the local shopping mall, you can't tell because it's out of frame.   Maybe there isn't a mall next to it, maybe directly overhead is the overpass of a busy interstate.  That tranquil waterfall now is loud and obnoxious because of all the car noise.  The camera lies.


Why is this important to know?   Well for one thing you can use those lies to your advantage.   If this creek is next to a mall or interstate people won't know that fact if you frame the picture correctly.  Adjusting the angles and viewpoints can change your picture greatly.   So remember that when you want to take pictures but don't have time to drive all over.  Good pictures can be around the corner, it's just how well your camera lies.

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) camera tips fine art photography landscape photography Fri, 17 May 2013 01:18:00 GMT
I am doing a Landscape Photography blog!?     Landscape Photography, Fine Art Photography, Art!!!  Take that google!   Well I have finally put up a photography website.   It's been a long time in the works and here it is.  Now I apparently have to talk about it?  Well I am not big on words, and not really sure what to say at this point.  If you are here reading this, thank you for your support.   In the future there will be some blogs on what I have been up to, travel reports, photography tips, etc.   So please subscribe to my site, and buy lots of stuff.   :}

[email protected] (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Fine Art Photography Landscape Photography urban photography Sat, 11 May 2013 01:04:53 GMT