Dave Morrow Photography: December 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Night Hawks

Got home from Maui yesterday afternoon sporting a hangover and 3000 pictures. This morning was spent trashing the bad ones and organizing the good ones in Lightroom 4. Who else hates that task? I really wanted to put it off but figured I'd be productive.

PS: I just put up the new page for my Summer Star Photography Workshops, so if you've been wanting  to learn, here is your chance:)

The Shot
This is my first posted shot using my new Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens & man this thing is amazing. I have been using it nearly as much as my 14-24mm lately. I'll post a review on my Lens Reviews Page later this afternoon.
Night Hawks

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Under the Stars: Night Photography Workshop - Mount Rainier

My 2014 Star Photography Workshop Schedule is now up and running and can be viewed by Clicking HERE Shoot Me to the StarsCheck out my FREE Star Photography Tutorial  and  Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial  Ready to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know. | Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops |This shot was taken at Sunrise Point on Mount Rainier, one of the spots we will shot from.

Mount Rainier is one of my favorite places to capture the night sky and other various beautiful landscapes. There are endless compositions to shoot and a million and one beautiful places to visit. This workshop will take you to some of my favorite spots and provide 1 on 1 and group instruction along the way. We will meet Friday at Tipsoo Lake and start our adventure with sunset. After that it's on to an array of great locations to photograph the night sky,  followed by a sunrise shoot, then a 3-4 hour post processing session. I will cover everything I know about night sky photography, provide beginners with a strong foundation to build upon, and give already knowledgable star photographers more information and new views to work with. I will also cover my post processing techniques that will make your night sky photos stand out in print or on the screen. Join me for a night of adventure, learning, and star photography in the wilderness of Washington State's Mount Rainier National Park.

I also offer 1 on 1 instruction any time near the new moon. Just shoot me an email if interested.

You can find all my tutorials at: www.DaveMorrowPhotography.com/learnphotography

Want me to teach a star photography workshop near your home base? All we really need is dark night skies and enough interested people. If you have both of these things shoot me an email, I am always open to travel.


Due to high demand I have opened another workshop for ( August 10th - 11th ) SOLD OUT

Mount Rainier ( June 7th and 8th ) SOLD OUT  or ( Aug 9th - 10th ) SOLD OUT 

125$ will cover everything included below and can be paid through PayPal at the bottom of this page. To hold your spot in the workshop a 75$ non-refundable payment is required. The remaining 50$ must be paid a minimum of 60 days before the workshop in order to keep your spot. You are also welcome to pay the full amount of 125$. Refund and cancelation policies are also included below.

Workshop Schedule:
Review camera settings and other pre-shoot details to ensure everyone is informed and ready to get the best shots possible of the night sky.

Shoot the our first Milky Way shots learning and reviewing various different “field” techniques for capturing the most of the night sky. There are so many different possibilities for shots at Tipsoo Lake, including views and reflections of Mount Rainier. This is one of my favorite places to shoot stars!

Drive to Sunrise Visitor Center, snow permitting (The highest parking area on Mount Rainier).

Capture the night sky with Mount Rainier in the foreground! ( The shot above was taken there )

Snap off some more star shots getting various different compositions at the location and learning tons of great info on how to capture the most out of every star shot. Along with shooting and learning you can throw questions my way at any time during our adventure. 

Drive 30-45 minutes to Reflection Lakes. ( The very bottom picture on this page was taken there, but the moon was out. )

We will grab a few more star shots at the lakes. This is a great spot capture Mount Rainier, the Milky Way, and even some star reflections in the lake.

For anyone that is still awake, let's watch the sunrise. Reflection Lakes is an amazing place to watch the sun peak over the top of Mount Rainier. 

After sunrise we will pause for a 5-6 hour nap and then set up for our star photography post processing adventure. I personally sleep in the back of my car. There are options for tents as well.

Upon joining back up I will cover my complete star photography post processing workflow and any other questions you may have about Lightroom, Photoshop, or star photography in general. If we have extra time any questions concerning post processing are always welcome:) 

That's Great & All, But What Will I Learn?
Learn the key points of planning for your adventure to the stars or your shoot as some call it.

In depth knowledge of "The BIG 3", ISO, Aperture and Exposure and how they pertain to the different kinds of star shots you would like to capture. 

Troubleshooting 101: How to set up for the perfect night shot in any conditions. This includes focusing at night, multiple exposure images, etc.

Using your creativity and external light sources to bring the dark to life.

How to get great shots of the Milky Way and the worlds that surround us.

Open floor session. Each one of you provide something you would like to learn and we will all go through the process step by step.

My complete post processing workflow including many tips, tricks, and ideas that I bring with me to the shoot and the desk in post processing.

Post Processing Noise Reduction.

Photoshop Digital Blending.

Luminosity Masks in Photoshop.

Color Correction and final editing touches.

Open floor post processing questions and learning.

A free set of my Under the Stars Lightroom Presets will also be included:)

OK OK, So What Should I Bring With Me? 
Please note you can take the workshop without all of the following requirements, but I can not promise you will achieve the great results you would otherwise.

A DSLR Camera, any will do, but keep in mind star photography is one of the few fields where a better camera really does help to produce better results. A full frame / 35mm sensor will really help you to capture the best of the stars, but is not required. Renting a camera and lenses is always a great option. There are a bunch of websites that provide this service. Here are a few:
Also check your local camera shops, they often offer these options.

A wide angle lens is very important. Any lens between 8mm-24mm will work depending on your camera. You will also need an aperture of at least f/3.5 minimum speed. These can also be rented at the links provided above.

A tripod. Any will work but the bigger/stronger the better. 

A big memory card. Two 16-32 GB cards are preferable. 

Batteries, batteries, batteries, I carry at least 2. Long exposures drain the battery quickly. I also carry a car cigarette lighter plug inverter in my car. It is not necessary, but nothing's wrong with more battery juice for an early morning shoot or a quick power up on the way to a new location. You can find them at Walmart or online. Here is an example.

Intervalometer / camera timer. 

Tons of clothes. The weather is extreme on the mountain and it's better safe than sorry. A wind breaker is always great to have. 

Lots of bug spray.

A head lamp, It does not have to be anything expensive, but must have RED light option. Something like THIS works just fine.

Tasty treats, snacks, food or anything you may like to eat or drink over the 20 hours we are together. Food is not included in the workshop cost, nor will it be provided.

Water, did I say water? I usually buy a gallon jug and bring it along.

Your laptop running the following programs: It helps to have at minimum 4GB of RAM as well.

An external power if/as necessary. Some laptops will run for 3 hours of processing pictures on a full charge. Others will not. I personally carry something like THIS just in case. Keep in mind we will not have access to charging outlets, unless you would like to recharge in your car.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 or above.
Adobe Lightroom (preferred) or Adobe Camera RAW.
Adobe Bridge (optional)
Your laptop plug/power source.

Will Weather Cause Workshop Cancellation? 
The workshop will only be canceled if the weather conditions are dangerous and may cause safety issues. Otherwise it is on rain or shine so bring the appropriate clothes and camera gear:) 
In the case of cancelation due to weather I will re-schedule another workshop to make up for the lost time. 

If you are not able to make the workshop for any reasons you may cancel up to 60 days in advance and receive a refund of 50$ out of the total of 125$. The 75$ deposit is not refundable. 

You are responsible for your own transportation. I will provide detailed instructions on driving directions, along with other necessary info through email to everyone that signs up. If you would like to see for yourself, type "Tipsoo Lake Mount Rainier" into Google Map search.

Can I Bring a Friend?
Of course, if your friend is to carry a camera they must pay for the workshop, if they do not have a camera it is free of charge. We are shooting in a National Park after all, I do not own the land, nor care if we have some people that want to star gaze with us:)

Feel free to email me with any other questions or give me a buzz at 717-360-1191 if you are more comfortable calling.

Here are a few more of my star photography shots....
Galaxy Number 9read more about my trip to Lake Tahoe at www.DaveMorrowPhotography.com
Nothing's ShockingReady to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know. | Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops |
When Worlds CollideReady to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know. | Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops |
Dare to DreamReady to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know. | Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops |
The Photographer's Apprentice

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012: A Year in Pictures

Last year around this time, I opened Photoshop for the first time and set off on a journey that sent me traveling all over the world. It's been a fun first full year of photography, here are some of my favorite pictures that went along with it.... Enjoy!

I recently put up my favorite photos of 2013 as well for anyone that's interested:)

If you want to learn how I take & process these shots check out www.DaveMorrowPhotography.com/learnphotography

Shoot Me to the Stars
Dear New York
Old Friend
Nothing's Shocking
Battleship Grey
When Worlds Collide
The Wind & The Door
The Midnight Sun
After Midnight at the Hallgrimskirkja
Day Break
The Hive
The Vista
Seattle Super Moon
Come Join Us
Curtain Call
Morning Star
Cruise Control
Picture Lake Sunrise
Night Tremors
Chasing the Sun
Icelandic Falls
As We Part Ways
The Lone Ranger
Dare to Dream
Sundown on Second Beach
Lost in Iceland
Enter The Dragon
Seattle Underground
My Witness is the Empty Sky
A Night at the Fairmont
As We Enter
Dawn on the Blue Lagoon

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The Streets of Reykjavik

Just got done driving the Road to Hana and caught one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. WOW what a night...

The Shot
While walking around Reykjavik Iceland I found an outdoor park that served beer and had a dj and on the turntables... pretty sweet spot actually. There was graffiti all over the place, here was one of my favorite captures of fat pig that I usually find ruining all the fun. What started as a few beers and some music eventually turned into a great night of bar hopping. When the sun never sets it's hard to stop, that being said, Iceland got the best of me. 
Pig Boy

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunset on Second Beach

Maui is a blast so far, I have been playing with my camera less than usual and relaxing a bit more. Sunrise and sunset are obviously still a must. Tomorrow is Christmas and we will be driving the Road to Hana on a full blown day of photography. Any suggestions for the best stops?

The Shot
It's been a year since I was out on Second Beach, but I hope to journey back in the near future. This is just one of the great spots to shoot in the area.
Break on Through

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Maui Bound

Off to Maui Hawaii for 8 days of sun. Gotta run, will post some pictures from the Island:)

The Shot
This one was taken in a neat little spot on the Oregon Coast. I snapped this off after shooting a subpar sunrise. It reminded me of beautiful sunny days, so I decided to share:)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Swing & Miss

Just processed 4 new pictures from my 16mm f/2.8 super sexy fisheye lens. Anyone else shooting with it? What an awesome piece of equipment  it opens up entirely new realms of life... The LSD of camera lenses you ask? Yes, fisheye is a must try!

Is anyone interested in a star photography workshop this coming summer? I have a few requests but need a few more in order for the whole thing to work out... let me know if you're up for it!

If you want to learn to process some star photography my new Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial may be just what you need;)

The Shot
The one and only Ruby Beach, I posted another photo not so long ago from here, and can't wait to return in the coming months to grab some more.
Swing and Miss

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Glacier Climbing in Iceland

T-Minus 3 days til Maui Hawaii calls my name. Lots of stuff to do planning wise. I finally got around to going out and shooting with the new Nikkor 16mm fisheye I got in the mail a few days ago.. Awesome all around lens!

If you missed my recently posted Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial, you gotta check it out:)

The Shot
Southern Iceland has some of the most rugged terrain and amazing glaciers I have ever seen. I took this one when walking down the glacier at Skaftafell National Park just before a nasty storm rolled in..
Calm Before the Storm

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Inspirational Photographers: Conor MacNeill

      Welcome to my new blog section on Inspirational Photographers, every few weeks or so I will share a photographer that has helped me find inspiration in my photographic journey. My first selection is the Great Conor MacNeill, this guy's photos are some of the first to inspire me to start HDR photography. His travel portfolio is packed with hundreds of locations from all reaches of the planet. If you're looking for inspiration, great pictures or just new places to travel check out his three websites listed below.

The Fella.com
Here is the short interview I did with Conor...

How many years have you been “behind the lens"?:
I've been doing photography for just under 2 years now. In January 2011, I saw a Canon 500D on sale on Amazon and thought I'd give it a go. I did a little bit of photography when I was around 14 years old, but like most childhood hobbies, it shortly fell by the wayside.

the Three People Who Inspire You Most:
It's hard to narrow down my inspiration to just one. The first thing I tried when I got my camera was HDR photography. This was due to two people. The first one, and perhaps a clichéd and common choice, is Trey Ratcliff (http://www.stuckincustoms.com). His work a few years ago was very inspiring and to some extent, also his recent work.

The second person to inspire me to get started was actually my friend Greg Annandale (http://gregannandale.com). He mainly does HDRs, but also has a vast range of styles and techniques and often brings a fresh slant on things. His advice on processing (and gear) has been invaluable.

The third person who has inspired me is yourself,  Dave Morrow. I discovered your work on SmugMug after you left a comment on my portfolio and I was flabbergasted. It's been a long time since another photographer has consistently impressed me and left me speechless, but you have managed to do it. Your scenes and processing are actually second to none and you're currently my favorite photographer. I say currently, so keep up the hard work or you'll drop a place...

Photography Rituals:
I don't really have any particular rituals per se. If I'm traveling on my own, I'll often listen to music when scouting out locations. This music is usually ska or grunge. When I'm actually involved in a shoot, what I do depends on where I am. A lot of times, I'm at a remote location, just before sunrise, so I like to take out my earphones and just sit in silence and take in the mood. It's not often you get to see the sun set over the Great Wall of China or rise over a mystical lake in Slovenia, so make the most of your time and appreciate the scenery for what it is.

Favorite Post Processing Tools:
The tools I use all the time are Photomatix and Photoshop (CS6). I love the new crop tool in CS6, as it makes seeing your final result much easier. Plus, it's non-destructive and having an option that's reversible is always a bonus. As for plugins, I nearly always use NIK Color Efex. Within this, I'll most likely use the contrast filters, sometimes cross-processing and nearly always the darken/lighten center, which gives a much nicer and more subtle vignette than anything else I've used. I will nearly always have a vignette on each of my images, even if it's almost imperceptible, as it will still draw your eye in, whether you realize it or not.
I will often delve into the various Topaz filters and sometimes use OnOne Perfect Effects, although very subtly, as I find their filters to be a bit over the top and need turned back for my style of photography.

Conor’s 3 Favorite Photos: Find the full portfolio at The Fella.com

Cormorant Fisherman by Conor MacNeill
Majestic Norway by Conor MacNeillYangshuo Cyclist by Conor MacNeill

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial

 Update: January 6th, 2014

Michael Shainblum and I just launched our new Star Photography Post Processing Master Class which is a video tutorial experience that teaches you our full star photography post processing workflows from start to finish. You even get our RAW picture files to work along with us at home!

You can pick up these tutorials on this page or at www.LearnStarPhotography.com which is our new website dedicated solely to night sky & star photography education, tutorials, mentoring and workshops. If you like star photography then www.LearnStarPhotography.com is the website for you:)


Star photography seems like a daunting task, but trust us it's much easier than you think. With our step by step digital workflow tutorial you will master night sky photography post processing in no time. In our tutorials you will learn all of the steps necessary to create some beautiful looking pictures, some of the skill sets include RAW file conversion and digital blending; then, on to luminosity masks, and, finally, color correction as well as final edits in Photoshop. ( All the skill sets provided in the videos are listed below )

Anyone can take a picture of the night sky using my Free Star Photography Tutorial, but wouldn't you like to take a picture and turn it into something like this? Follow along with Michael and I in our video tutorials as we show you our full post processing work flow from start to finish! We even include the RAW files for you to work along with us at home:)

Ready to Buy? 

Select the button below for secure checkout using PayPal or major credit card, or scroll down for more information about the tutorials.
To pay using credit card select the "Don't Have a PayPal Account" option after clicking Submit Order.
Add to Cart

What did this picture look like before I edited it? Keep reading....full details below the first picture.

Nothing's Shocking

Even the best digital cameras on the market such as the Nikon D800 can only pick up a fraction of what the human eye can really see. I start each shot with a RAW picture file, as seen below, and turn it into the work of art displayed above. Using the tools provided in programs such as Adobe Lightroom, Camera RAW and Photoshop we can take the image our camera gives us, add some imagination, and and produce something beautiful.

Follow me on a journey of post processing that will allow you to see and capture the night sky like never before. A quick rundown of everything you need to know is included below...


What You Need to Take the Tutorials

  • Adobe Lightroom 3 or above ( running currently updated software versions )
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 or above ( running currently updated software versions )

What You Receive with Your Master Class Download

100% Satisfaction Guarantee - If you're not satisfied with the videos you can return them at any time for a full refund. 

Since Michael & Dave both process pictures in an entirely different manner you won't be learning the same thing from one instructors as you do from the other.  Each of the (2) video tutorials will provide entirely new content for you to add to your star photography post processing arsenal. 

More details including the actual picture files you will be provided and working on over at www.LearnStarPhotography.com
  • (2) Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorials. ( 1280 × 720 Video Quality in MP4 Format )
  • Michael's Tutorial is 38 minutes in length.
  • Dave's tutorial is 64 minutes in length.
  • Dave's Under the Stars Lightroom 4 & 5 Presets
  • (2) RAW picture files ( the same as the ones we work on in the tutorials ) that you will work on while following along with the video tutorials provided. You can view each of these RAW files above. ( Dave's RAW file is from a Nikon D800 and Michael's is from a Canon 6D ) 
  • All of the skills you need to take full control of your night sky / star / Milky Way photography post processing.
  • Complete explanation / theory behind each step and skill set provided in the tutorials.
  • Full understanding of luminosity masking & digital blending techniques.
  • Creating luminosity masks and applying them to your night sky shots. You can use these techniques for landscape photography as well.
  • Night Sky Color Correction Techniques.
  • Advanced noise reduction techniques.
  • Using luminosity masks to apply selective noise reduction in Photoshop.
  • Lightroom & Photoshop post processing expertise.
  • Detailed explanation of Photoshop adjustment layers.
  • Layer masking & how to apply it to your night sky workflow.
  • Sharpening / Web Sharpening skill sets.
  • Artistic cropping.
  • Random tips & tricks to increase Lightroom and Photoshop efficiency.
  • Using "groups" in Photoshop for even greater detail and control.
  • Making detailed selections in Photoshop.
  • Explanation of Photoshop Blend Modes.
  • Using the Channels Module in Photoshop.
  • Using the Layers Module in Photoshop.
  • Applying vignettes in Photoshop.
  • Applying selective adjustments using layer masks. 
  • Contrasting the Milky Way ( Making it POP! )
  • Final photo presentation and display.
  • In depth commentary from both Michael & Dave.
  • The ability to Share your pictures with everyone else that has taken the tutorials!
  • Much Much More!!!

Ready to Buy? 

Click the button below for full purchase details and secure checkout options. Not sold yet? Check out some more Before and After results from both photographers below.

Star Photography Post Processing Master Class ( 75$ )

To pay using credit card select the "Don't Have a PayPal Account" option after clicking Submit Order.
Add to Cart

Just Interested in One of the Photographers' Tutorials? 

You also have the option to buy just Michael's or just Dave's tutorials. They include one out of the two video tutorials included in the bundle package for the photographer of your choice. They do not include the presets or any videos from the other photographer. Select either button below to purchase.
To pay using credit card select the "Don't Have a PayPal Account" option after clicking Submit Order.

Buy Dave's Tutorial ( 65$ )

Add to Cart

Buy Michael's Tutorial ( 65$ )

Add to Cart

A few pointers for learning the techniques contained in these tutorials..
In order to fully understand and master each tutorial you must move in order. It will be very hard to learn the material contained in Part II without fully understanding everything in Part I. 

The pause button is your friend. When I am learning from tutorials, I constantly pause the video, learn the new method, then continue with the tutorial. 

If possible, use two computers. One of the best learning tools is having an extra screen to watch the tutorial on, this will cut down on the confusion from learning a new subject and switching back and forth between windows.

Last Words of Advice: (See the bottom of the Luminosity Masking Tutorial Page for more tips)
The content contained in these tutorials is by no means easy to learn, it took me hours to put these techniques together, let alone learn them for the first time. Do not get discouraged, instead learn as much as you can and continue to learn until you are happy with the results. Over time these techniques will become second nature and you can start to tweak the different methods and allow them to easily integrate into your own workflow:) Keep in mind there is no right or wrong way to process a picture!  Along with my tutorial, I highly recommend the content I have provided in the links below.

As always if you have any questions email me, or better yet leave them below so everyone can learn!

Here are some other useful star photography links that I provide on my website.
Online Post Processing Star Photography Workshops
Under the Stars Lightroom Presets
My Free Star Photography Tutorial

Want to learn more about luminosity masks? These tutorials are great!
Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Mask Tutorial

Want to learn more about digital blending and HDR Photography? Check out the link below. 
Awesome Tutorials & Useful Links

You can find all of my star photography by following the link below.
My Star Photography Portfolio

To process the following pictures I used the exact same skill sets that I cover in my tutorials above...
Shoot Me to the StarsCheck out my FREE Star Photography Tutorial  and  Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial  Ready to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know. | Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops |
When We Were Stars - Palouse, WAfrom www.DaveMorrowPhotography.com
Lost: In the Valley of Dreams - Washington Stateread more at www.DaveMorrowPhotography.comCheck out my FREE Star Photography Tutorial  and  Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial  Ready to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know.  Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops
Galaxy Number 9 - Lake Tahoe, NVread more about my trip to Lake Tahoe at www.DaveMorrowPhotography.comCheck out my FREE Star Photography Tutorial  and  Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial  Ready to learn star photography? Trust me it's easier than you think. Check out the link below for my summer star photography workshops, where I will teach you everything you need to know.  Under the Stars Night Photography Workshops
Dare to Dream
Night Tremors
When Worlds Collide

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