Today is National Elephant Day

No, no.  Just kidding…  EVERY DAY is National Elephant Day to me.  What a beautiful creature !


Have a great day.  Go hug an elephant !


Photo credits:

1. Image provided by Getty Images.
7. Uncredited

24 Light and Shadow Photography for Inspiration

This gorgeous photograph is one of 24 light and shadow ones to rev up your creative abilities.  I love B & W photos.  They portray vivid dramatic images that I think you might want to try  to emulate.  Here’s another sample:

More images can be found at:

Underwater Photos That Will Take Your Breath Away

Earth’s landscapes offer much to behold — but it’s equally stunning, in an entirely different way, under the surface of the sea.

In the depths of our oceans (and lakes and rivers), you’ll find extraordinary creatures and settings so striking, they don’t look like they’re from our planet at all.

Here, we’re sharing some of our favorite underwater pictures, taken off the coasts of Australia, Mexico, Hawaii and beyond. It’s the next best thing to donning a wetsuit and diving in yourself.


Kayaking at sunset in Papua, Indonesia


Going for a swim off the coast of Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach



Finding solitude beneath the sun-dappled sea in Oahu, Hawaii


Befriending sea turtles in Oahu, Hawaii


Shallow-water swimming in Slovenia’s Lake Jasna


Lemon sharks patrolling the seas in the Bahamas

Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii@galen.neil/Instagram


Take Better Landscape Pictures

Tired of taking ho-hum photos ?  Try these 12 tips to add some zip to your pictures.

Top 12 Tips for Better Landscapes | Photography Tips | Camera Techniques | Photography Revision

Landscape Photography can be very rewarding and is by far my favourite style of photography. You can spend hours in the country side or even your local city, finding the best light or composition. I know I’ve spent countless hours at my local beach waiting for the right light! By the time you’ve read these tips, hopefully you’ll be ready to capture some amazing landscape images!

Landscape Scotland

1. Take Images During the Golden Hour (sunrise/sunset)

Use websites such as to work out when the sun will set and then use the hour before sunset as your time to capture the Golden Hour. Sunrise will create cold calm blues and reds while a sunset creates striking oranges, yellows and long shadows.

You’ll need to make sure the image is properly exposed, so use the exposure compensation button to reduced the amount of light entering the camera. Therefore exposing for the sky not the land.

Long Exposure Landscape

2. Create Depth by Using Interest in the Foreground

Having an object in the foreground of an image can make the image seem more 3D then 2D as this creates depth. Examples of foreground interest include rocks, plants, lobster pots, benches and signs. Along with a small aperture this can create a greater depth of field.

Frost Landscape

3. Don’t be afraid to overexpose or underexpose the image

You can overexpose your image within the manual mode or using the exposure compensation button. If you want to use manual mode first go into aperture priority mode and see what the camera recommends. Then switch the dial to manual mode and input the settings and increase the shutter speed if you want an overexposure, or, decrease it if you want to underexpose the image.

The exposure compensation button lets you ‘add’ more light or ‘take away’ light. Underexposing the image can help with sunsets as this darkens the scenery and brings out details in the light.

4. Find leading lines within the landscape

Creating leading lines within your image generates depth and allows the viewers eye to wonder around the image and draw themselves in.

Natural lines can include waves, sun rays, trees, fences and paths.

Littlehampton Beach

5. Filters

Using graduated neutral density filters can make the image more balanced with an even exposure. By darkening the sky using the filter, this creates an even exposure over the landscape.

6. Tripod

A tripod is crucial for long exposures. Even the slightest movement from the camera by pressing the button can create a slightly blurry image. Therefore using a tripod is necessary if you are creating a sharp landscape.

7. Arrive at the Location Early

This allows you time to set up your gear and position the tripod and camera in the perfect position. So once the sun is in the perfect position you are not in a to get the perfect shot.

8. Revisit the location Over and Over Again

This is one of the most important things you need to learn early on in landscape photography, as you will see your images improve over time. So look back at some of your photos you aren’t happy with and revisit this location a few times to see if your images improve. Even try going back over different seasons and weather conditions.

9. Think About the Season

Photographing landscapes in different seasons can impact how the landscape appears. In autumn the leaves are a brownish red and as the weather is starting to get dramatic as we move into winter. Therefore the sea can get rough and generate larger waves over the coast line. Whereas in spring going into summer the flowers are out and the leaves are green making for more bright landscapes.

10. Move the Camera along Prominent Lines

This technique can create minimalistic images as you lose detail buy making more abstract photos. The next time you are outside with your camera, and it’s not too bright, use a shutter speed of around ¼ second and move the camera along the horizon or trees and see what the outcome is.

Tree Landscape

11. Use a wide angle lens

I brought a 10mm-20mm lens a few years ago and have only used it a few times because it always seems easier to use the kit lens that came with the camera. However I have started using it again and I have forgotten how much it improves the landscape as it creates depth. Judge the landscape for yourself and see what focal length best suits the landscape.

12. Research the location

If you have previously visited a location or are planning a trip to one, researching the location beforehand gives you an advantage once you are there. Look at Google Earth or Street View and see where the vantage points are. Type in the location on photography websites like 500px or flikr and see what other photographers have done to see what you have to do to make yourself stand out.

Thank you for reading this article, if you have any other ideas please leave a comment down below and I’ll add them to the list!

If you’re studying photography I highly recommend you check out these ebooks and articles:

Thanks again and if you enjoyed reading it please share and even pin it to your Pinterest wall!

Some of these links are affiliates which means I make a small percentage if you use my link.

A View of some Lake Geneva Mansions

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is home to some of the most expensive homes in the Midwest.  Some date as far back as the Great Chicago fire, when business tycoons like P.K. Wrigley (of the chewing gum Wrigley’s) built mansions on the lake while reconstruction of their Chicago homes were completed.  After completion back in Chicago, the Lake Geneva homes were used as summer homes, some which are still in the Wrigley family possession today.

On a recent boat tour, I snapped photo’s of many of these homes, most which would cost between $5-10 million dollars each.  Not bad for a summer residence.  Here are a few of these beauties:

Wrigley Estates


Stone Manor


Driehaus Estates


Alta Vista


And various other summer homes whose names escape me:





Which one of us would like a million dollar steam boat at their pier ?


If you are ever in the Chicago area, you might enjoy a boat cruise around Lake Geneva, less than 90 miles from downtown Chicago.  There are 1 hour, 2 hour,  lunch, dinner, sunset cruises and a special mail cruise in the morning featuring actual mail delivery by a very agile young delivery person.

Mail Jumpers and Mansions at Lake Geneva, Wisconson

The best part , I think, is all 22 miles around the lake is available to walk on paths provided by the mansion owners.  That’s right, you can walk in back of all of these homes as long as you stay on the path next to the lake.  Like so in back of Jerseyhurst:

jerseyhurst lake geneva wi

I don’t believe P.K. would ever have imagined it, but thanks to the city of Lake Geneva, it happens every day.

(Most of the photo’s I took.  The others I borrowed, but cannot find who should be credited.)