I take pictures. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

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  • Stock Tip #4

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    Just thought you would like this stock picture story. I recently sold this Kenya image for a two-page spread and it was a nice sale price. Will be used in Travel Brochures for a big company for quite a while in their brochures.

    I learned a long time ago in my career that if you leave a lot of "negative space" in your images, the pictures are used much larger in magazines & brochures. (and I tend to like them more anyway as they really show the "space" the person lives in). That tree in this image is almost as important as she is to show her world. She was selling jewelry, but I had her stand up and look in the distance giving breathing space to the image. No filters, no special effects. I still shoot a lot like I did with slide film. My old editorial past stays with me.

    Notice I did not have her looking at the camera. When I do a tight portrait, I do want to see the eyes directly into the camera. But then it becomes a "portrait"... here I wanted her to be in her environment. So I think it is a more powerful image with her looking away as a strong woman in this rough terrain. 

    If you are in tight on the model (which I also do when shooting) it becomes only a 1/4 page pic. Also if you leave space, it can be used for advertising as there is room for their important copy in the ad.

    If you leave room at the top of verticals, it often can be used as a magazine cover. I shot some verticals of her with space also. Just some little hints when you are shooting.

    May the light be with you.

     

  • North Pole Alaska… Santa Greetings a Little Late!

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    I wanted to write this last month at Christmas, but I left town for the Holidays and did not get to it. But perhaps in January it will bring some Holiday joy a little late.

    I visited the famous North Pole in Alaska several times on my many trips to fabulous Alaska. It is a real place and the Spirit of Christmas lives in this little town year round.

    The town of North Pole has only 2200 residents, but they receive hundreds of thousands of letters from children around the world each year. They all desire a letter from Santa returned with the North Pole postmark on the envelope.

    Think of the joy each of these children receive when they get in the mail a real letter from Santa with that postmark! The famous Santa Claus House is the main attraction in the town and it has so many thousands of creative Santa-type souvenirs.

    vertical2The famous Santa Claus House at the North Pole, Alaska.                                      A local man and his pet wolf... you meet many characters in Alaska. 

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                                                          The Alaskan Railroad stops here at the El Dorado Goldmine Camp not far from Fairbanks. 

    North Pole is 14 miles Southeast of Fairbanks and is 140 miles South of the Arctic Circle. The also famous Alaska Railroad passes right thru the town and it is well worth a ride. You feel like you are riding in the real wild frontier as you board this fun train. 

    The photos I enclose with this blog show a couple other things to do while visiting Alaska & Santa Claus House. Try to get to a glacier ferry ride and watch the icebergs "calving" -- huge chunks of iceberg falling into the water. Also if you have the time, drive up a tough road to the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway. Look around as you drive and you will see the famous Alaskan Pipeline... fun to get out and take pictures. 

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                                                You will see the expansive Alaskan Pipeline all over the area if you have a rental car. 

    Speaking of highways, you really earn your stripes by driving the treacherous Alaskan Highway. The Alaskan Highway is 1523 miles of ROUGH road! I have driven the entire thing several times and I can say honestly you definitely deserve the T-shirt! Once I drove a rented 4-wheeler from Vancouver thru British Columbia and the Yukon and then all the way through Alaska on the horrible Dalton Highway and back. What a trip that was and I returned the rental car to Vancouver with three cracks on the windshield. Any trip on the Alaskan Highway is not for the timid. 

    To my women readers: men outnumber women 10 to 1 in Alaska. Unfortunately, I've talked to many women in the state and they have a saying about that ratio. "The odds are good, but the goods are odd."

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                                           Make sure you take a ferry ride to see the icebergs breaking off from the glacier. This is called "calving". 

     

    Vertical3The beginning Mile 0 of the Alaskan Highway -- what a trip ahead!                                                                Close up of glacier before the calving.

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                    Try to get onto a white water rafting trip while in Alaska. That's me in the back right with no hat as we all held on for dear life!  Great, great ride...

    If you travel to Alaska -- in summer or winter -- try to stop to see where Santa lives and works. Your children will forever remember the adventure.

    So, a warm greeting from Santa a month late to all of you! Ho Ho Ho…

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                                                                                               A belated Ho Ho Ho from North Pole, Alaska. 

  • OMG the wonderful Dolomites in Italy

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    My goal on this entire blog project is to:

    1.  Show you FABULOUS places on our planet Earth that you may want to visit from the blog & photos. I hope to whet your appetite.

    2.  Hopefully give a couple of short tips that can help you in your own travel photography.  Consider them free lessons to improve your WOW factor in your own photography!

    3.  Introduce you at times to my wonderful travel group with a COOL name -- Bachmann Tour Overdrive -- that travels the world with me once or twice a year.  If you are over 40, you remember the group BTO .... well, we substituted Tour for Turner and spelled Bachmann the correct German way!  Some of the blogs from time to time will be about one of our exciting trips.

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    Today's photos and story is about a part of Italy that you may well not know about.  Italy is one of my five favorite countries in the world and I will have stories later about Tuscany, Portofino, maybe Rome.  But this area in the extreme Northern Italian Alps is so special to me.

    I enclose three pictures of little isolated villages & churches in the Dolomites.  Your hint for shooting almost anywhere in the world is look for the WOW factor -- in your viewfinder and in your lighting.  Pick the late afternoon sun whenever you can!

    The Dolomites are part of the Alps just like the Grand Tetons are part of the Rockies in Wyoming.  But they look different -- much more sharp, peaked, majestic as the limestone pinnacles rise straight up from the regular mountains.  If you have seen the Grand Tetons, you know they are unique.... so are the Dolomites.

    These three pictures are from an area called Val di Funes.  My goal was to showcase the ISOLATION and the WOW factor in these images.  These little towns and churches are totally isolated, yet also totally awed by the majestic Dolomites!  Do not hide in Photoshop where you create things that were not there --- get it RIGHT in camera.  If I had one criticism in today's photographers, they so often shoot average pictures (even in HDR) and then hope that all the filters, tricks, and bells & whistles will save the pictures.  My advise to you from someone who has been shooting commercially for a long time with film before digital ..... shoot for the WOW factor IN CAMERA!  Sure, you can enhance some later, but your goal should be to shoot wonderfully with your eye & your camera.

     

    I hope that you agree that these images possess a wow factor.  And I hope sometime you get to visit this isolated part of Northern Italy -- the food, the people and the Alpine feel (many speak German rather than Italian!) of this terrific area of Europe is well worth the trip!  Stay tuned for more exciting travel & photography blogs ahead!!

     

  • Photo Interview

    This week's blog will be  a new interview from Wallace Weeks at Image Centric Media.  It is an interesting interview and, hopefully, informative to other photographers.  We had a good Cuban cigar and talked and he recorded it for the interview.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.aboutphotographyblog.com/about-photographers/bill-bachmann.html