Eric Klamm Photography: Blog en-us (C) Eric Klamm Photography (Eric Klamm Photography) Wed, 27 Jun 2018 01:46:00 GMT Wed, 27 Jun 2018 01:46:00 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.....

]]> (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!

]]> (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.




]]> (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.  


]]> (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.   


]]> (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.  


]]> (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.

]]> (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.

]]> (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.

]]> (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.


]]> (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.  


]]> (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.


]]> (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.  


]]> (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!


]]> (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.


]]> (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.


]]> (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.


]]> (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.


]]> (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.

]]> (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.  



]]> (Eric Klamm Photography) Art Kansas City Landscape Photography kc52 photography Fri, 01 Apr 2016 02:27:07 GMT