Articles by Charles Sichel-outcalt

Before You Mess Up That Hotel Room. . .

The last couple times I have traveled, I have made a deliberate effort to haul out my camera before I unpack my bags and strew my things around my hotel room.When I can hold back from making a mess of my room long enough to take a photo or two, I have been rewarded with some nice shots.Of course, these are good for memories, and they make me appreciate all the hard work that goes into making a hotel room look inviting, but they just might sell, too.So, the next time you find yourself in... continue reading

What I Wish I Knew Before Going on Safari, Part 2

Before I went on safari, I sought advice on what to take from every source I could find--discussion boards, books, friends who had done a lot of nature photography. . .Over and over, I was advised to take the longest lens I could, and to get a teleconverter to extend that lens even further.I listened to this advice, and it turned out to be useful.What I always never heard, though, was the suggestion that I take a wide angle lens.The advice I got (or at least the advice I listened to!... continue reading

Things I Wish I Had Known Before Going On Safari, Part 1

Before I went on safari to Zambia, Botswana and South Africa, I scoured the web and photo guide books for tips on how to prepare.I found quite a bit of good advice, but, once I got to my destination, I realized there were many things that I wish I had known.In the hopes that these ideas will be useful to others who might be in a similar situation, I'll post some of those 'things I wish I knew.'Here's the first:You don't have much control over your position or angle when you are out... continue reading

Mountains and Mountains . . .

OK, I think that I am finally starting to gain some momentum in editing the thousands (literally) of images I took on safari.I have been home for a few weeks now, and somehow the very large collection of safari shots became overwhelming.Where to start?How to decide what I like, what to delete, what to submit to Dt?Well, I guess that all journeys begin with, and proceed in, single steps.That in mind, I am going through the images day by day, trying to find my favorites from each.... continue reading

Taking the Long Way Around, Looking Down

There I was, in the midst of a family graduation.I made a point of getting as many photos of the graduation as I could, then I rushed over to the reception, hoping to get more candid shots of family and friends.Needless to say, there was a bit of stress involved, as this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for my sister, and for the other graduates.Would the weather hold up?Could I get natural-looking shots indoors without a flash?Would I remember to get pictures of all the friends?I... continue reading

Learning from the Pros

This fall, I will have the chance to take two different types of photography courses.The first is an intensive weekend (3 day) course, the second is an 8 week online class dedicated to landscape composition.I haven't taken any type of photo class before (as the reviewers who see my non-accepted images could tell you!), with the exception of a disastrous community ed course that involved a lot of standing in the rain.I am very much looking forward tothese chances to learn from the pros.... continue reading

What Do You Have in YOUR Attic?

Last year, I traveled through Scandinavia, with a side trip to St. Petersburg.The trip was amazing, especially the time in Russia.I would go back in a minute if I could.While I was in St. Petersburg, I ventured out to Peterhof, Peter the Great's rural palace.I was struck by the beauty of the palace, and took quite a few pictures.I didn't consider them for Dreamstime--I guess to me they meant good memories, not potential sales.By chance, I found a request on the discussion boards... continue reading

My First Safari Photo

Usually, I blog about an issue that I'm facing, or maybe to pass on something I have learned the hard way.Today, though, I just want to say Yahoo for my first (I hope of many) safari photo:I took 10 plane rides, about as many train rides, many boat rides, a million jeep rides, and even an elephant ride to get from the US to Botswana (where this photo was taken), Zambia and South Africa.I can't say enough about what a great experience this was, and I hope to have many more photos to share.... continue reading

Removing Tourists

Have you ever waited patiently in front of a landmark, maybe a fountain or cathedral, hoping that there would be a magic moment when there was no one in the frame--no dogs, no kids, no tourists taking their own pictures?I've spent many such moments, not always patiently.Sometimes I would give up, other times the image wouldn't be what I wanted because I needed to snap away in the .5 seconds when the coast was clear.I have discovered an almost unbelievable function in Photoshop:the... continue reading

The Inspiration of the New

I have been traveling quite a bit the last few weeks, almost always with camera in hand.It's amazing how much more creative I feel when I'm in a new environment.It's much easier to get a fresh angle on things, to see new potential interesting images. . .I live near Washington, DC, which has to be one of the most photographed cities in the world.I can't deny that the city (or at least large parts of it) are very photogenic, but it's been very helpful for me to break away from the usual and... continue reading

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