Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Wordless Wednesday: Dune Photographer

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4 Ways to Get Out of a Photography Slump

Muskegon Pierhead LightIt is always hard to have the energy to get out and shoot in the winter. It is so cold its hard to leave the house. The sky is frequently gray and dreary and the ground is covered in white. It can be tricky to make an interesting photo in these conditions. If you find yourself in a photography slump in the winter or any season, here are some tips to get your creative juices flowing again.

  1. Just go shoot. No matter the weather, just get out there. Taking your camera and stepping out the door is the first step to getting out of a photography rut. You will never get better if you don’t get out there.
  2. Go someplace new. I am always more encouraged to take the photo when I’m someplace I haven’t photographed before.  So, get in the car and drive. Don’t know where to go, check out RGPS – a great photo location app. You may find some spots you never even knew existed before.
  3. Learn a New Skill. Try out a new genre of photography. Do you typically shoot landscapes? Take portraits of your family. Try product photography. Learn off camera flash. Go shoot at night.
  4. Try out some new gear. Look through a new lens and get a different perspective. What does your backyard look like at 600mm? Photograph your garden with a macro lens. What could you do with a fisheye lens? Try out a mirrorless camera. Trying new gear is a great way to get your creative juices flowing! Don’t know where to start, I recommend LensGiant!

Have you ever been in a creative slump? I would love to hear what helped you overcome it! Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: McGulpin Light

McGulpin Point

Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is one of the greatest attractions in the state of Michigan. Beginning in 1906, Henry Ford began collecting objects of historical importance that are now housed in the museum. What kinds of things did Ford collect? George Washington’s camp bed, an Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, the chair from Ford’s Theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot, the bus where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat, Thomas Edison’s last breath in a sealed tube, a collection of Presidential vehicles including the limousine where John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a replica of the Wright Brother’s flyer, and many other fascinating objects from American History. The “of American Innovation” was only recently added to the museum’s name to clarify that this is Henry Ford’s museum, not a museum of the life of Henry Ford.

Originally known as the Edison Institute, the museum was dedicated by President Herbert Hoover on the fiftieth anniversary of Edison’s first successful incandescent light bulb. In attendance at the dedication were  Marie Curie, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Will Rogers, and Orville Wright. (wiki) One of my favorite pieces in the museum is a painting near the entrance to the museum that depicts the dedication of the museum and you can see all of the famous faces sitting in the place where you currently stand.

The Henry Ford (the complex that houses the museum as well as Greenfield Village and The Rouge Factory Tour) is known as America’s Greatest History Attraction  for a reason. I believe everyone should make a point to visit at some point in their life. The exhibits in the museum are well put together and there are things here that you will not find in any other museum. I always manage to find something new and interesting each time I visit.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Foggy Winter Day

Foggy Winter Day

6 Tips for Planning Your Next Trip

Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears, Michigan

In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, I thought I would share some of my best tips for planning vacations.

Flight Deals: Everyone is always searching for the best deal on flights. Assuming you’re not loyal to a specific airline, I recommend you check out the Hopper app. You tell it where you want to go and when and it will watch for flight deals. Every week it gives you an update on prices and if there’s ever a great deal, it will notify you. If you don’t have a set date or destination, I recommend Skyscanner and Airfare Watchdog as well.

Look Outside the Hotel Box: Hotel rooms are small and expensive. Get more space for less money by renting a room or a whole house. HomeAway, and airbnb are great places to look for a hotel alternative for your next trip. HomeAway  has been around longer than airbnb and is more sophisticated, HomeAway is great option if you are looking for accommodations for a larger group (castles and whole islands are available to rent on Homeaway).  On airbnb you are able to rent a whole home, but you also have the option of sharing a room or even renting a couch for even cheaper travel.

Hotel Deals: That being said, sometimes you want to amenities and comfort of a hotel. There are so many different sites for booking hotels that it can be really overwhelming. I typically look at two site: Priceline and TripAdvisor. Priceline is great because it has the name your own price option and express deals if you’re OK with not knowing exactly what hotel you’re booking. I have used Priceline quite a few times and I have never had a bad experience. Its a great way to get a high end room for a discount. Since you can’t book through TripAdvisor, I find that their reviews are the most honest and accurate.

Plan a Road Trip: I absolutely love using Furkot for planning road trips. It helps space out stops and helps you find a place to stay along the way. It can even help find stops along the way to help break up the drive.

Take a Cruise: Want a vacation where you visit a tropical island, go to sleep and wake up in a new place while dining in Five Star restaurants and seeing world class shows? Take a cruise. Don’t know where to start? Check out Cruise Critic. Also, listen to cruise reviews on Cruise Radio.

Things to Do: You have arrived at your destination. What do you do now? Check TripAdvisor. As mentioned above, users of TripAdvisor rate experiences and allow them to rank restaurants and attractions in a designated area. I have found some hidden gems while traveling (in my home town) because of TripAdvisor. If you travel without TripAdvisor, you are really missing out.

Do you have any travel tips for me? I would love to hear them in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter! Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Wonderland

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Sports Photography

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Last winter, we had the opportunity to photograph the State Games of Michigan. This past August, the State Games of American came to Michigan and we got to photograph athletes from all over the country.  We photographed a variety of sports from mountain biking and cricket to ice hockey. One of my favorite shots came from mountain biking (lower right).  What I love about this shot is that it looks more like an environmental portrait than an action shot, but I promise he was on mile ten of a twelve mile race, but he wasn’t too tired to smile for the camera when he came around the corner.

My favorite event to photograph during the summer games was probably figure skating. It was fun to try to guess how the skaters were going to move and when the best time would be to press the shutter. Even though we probably spent the most time at figuring skating, they were not my best shots. Although its not noticeable if you’re just a spectator, ice rinks aren’t that bright. With my telephoto lens, it was hard to keep my shutter speeds fast enough to freeze their motion and many of what looked like great shots at first had blurry faces.

Next month, we will head back to Grand Rapids to photograph the winter games again. Unfortunately, figure skating isn’t one of the sports this time so I will not be able to perfect my skills yet. Stay tuned to the blog for those images later this winter!

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Lighthouse

St. Joseph Light

West Michigan Winter

South Haven Lighthouse

As I mentioned last week, we recently took a trip out to Lake Michigan to capture the beautify its lighthouses in winter. As we learned last year on our day trip to Muskegon, the weather out there can be unpredictable. When we left our house, the sun was shining. By the time we were west of Kalamazoo, it because obvious that we were travelling at the end of a snow storm. After I returned home, I checked social media and learned that along Lake Michigan it had snowed for eight days straight. Needless to say, the roads were treacherous and the locals must have had a bad case of cabin fever, because shortly after we reached the lighthouse in St. Joseph, it seemed like we we not the only ones to have the idea to explore and photograph the lighthouse.

After we got all the shots we wanted, we decided to head north to South Haven while we still had some daylight. By the time we got there, the sun was setting and if it wasn’t for the lingering snow clouds, it would have been a stunning winter sunset. Alas, with the setting sun, the temperature was dropping and it was time for us to make our way back east. I am very glad we braved the frigid cold and the threat of snow to finally experience the beauty of these lighthouses in the winter when it would have been much easier to stay inside. I will be watching my instagram for the lighthouses to turn into ice castles and I may have to return.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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