5 facts and one photograph
1. Each sunflower is actually thousands of teeny flowers.
The iconic yellow petals and fuzzy brown centers are actually individual flowers themselves. As many as 2,000 can make up the classic sunflower bloom.
2. You should harvest sunflowers in the morning, not the afternoon.
Planning to clip a few to display in a vase? If you wait until the afternoon, they may wilt.
3. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and were domesticated around 1000 B.C.
Even way back when, people saw the value in growing sunflowers, which are still harvested for sunflower seeds (and the oil you can make from them) today. In 2014, 1.7 million acres were planted in the United States, the USDA reports. The majority of those were found in North Dakota.
4. A dried sunflower makes a unique, natural bird feeder.
Feathered friends love to snack on sunflower seeds just like you do. To find out how to hang this garden-inspired feeder (no peanut butter required!), get the tutorial at Creative Cain Cabin.
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5. Each sunflower can contain as many as 1,000 to 2,000 seeds.
So there are tons for birdies to munch on! But you can harvest and roast them for yourself, too.
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LOS ANGELES 12th March 2019
Professional photographer Marco Secchi of Hungary was presented with the 12th Annual International Color Awards Nominee title in the category of Fine Art at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow streamed Saturday, March 9, 2019.
The live online gala was attended by 11,829 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry's most important event for color photography. 12th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Sotheby's, New York; Benetton, Ponzano Veneto; The Art Channel, London; Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg; Droga5, New York; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; Fox Broadcasting Network, Los Angeles; Gallery Kong, Seoul; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 761 title awards and 1,032 nominees in 37 categories.
"Winning awards is an endorsement that you are doing something right in your craft. I am delighted to win Merit of Excellence in the Food category and have another 8 nominations... a huge thank you to you and your support of photography," said Hugh Johnson, 2nd Place Winner in Food. Leigh Miller, 1st Place Winner in Aerial added, "Wow, I'm over the moon with pride and joy at getting 1st place and honourable mention in the amateur Aerial category. I'm privileged to have my work showcased alongside such talented and creative people. Thank you International Color Awards for the chance to show our work on an international stage and big thanks to the judges for their time."
"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,241 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "(Name)'s "(Title of Photograph)," an exceptional image entered in the (Category) category, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present (her/him) with the title of Nominee."
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.colorawards.com
Lens 16-55 f/ 2.8
Very happy to share that one of my images has won second place, in the Professional Category of the Cityscape category, in the 2019 International Chromatic Awards
Many congratulations on all the other winners and nominees and my thanks to the judges for their hard work.
It was shot on
Camera Make FUJIFILM
Focal Length 42.7mm
Carnival in Venice
This year the Venice Carnival will be from the 16th February to the 5th March 2019
The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest.
This congregation of masked people, called Venice Carnival, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century! During those years one of the first laws made by the Serenissima was that masks cannot be used around the city at night.
Later, Venice Carnival attracted foreigners - including princes - from all over Europe, who came to enjoy the wild festivities while spending fortunes.
During the ten days of Carnival leading up to Mardi Gras, Venice is a hive of activity and entertainment, from improvised street entertainment to performances put on by the organizers. A central idea is chosen each year that is taken from various cultural or show-biz themes. Saint Mark’s Square remains the heart of Carnival, with its huge stage, although other events take place throughout the city, helping to avoid an excessive build-up of people in pedestrianized Venice.
During this period I will offer with my team a Carnival Workshop where during the first 2 hours we will take pictures of the Masks and Costumes in St Mark’s Square and then we will head after a coffee break for the Venice Tour. 4h Tour Price is €500 Max 3 people or 2 adults + 2 Teens – Extra persons MAX 2 € 70 per person.
I have been photographing the brown bears of Slovenia for over three years and now I would love to share it with you. Believe me it is an amazing experience….even without a camera!
The trip will include bear hide visits, a visit to Rakov Škocjan, Krizna Jama cave and Grad Snežnik or Predjama Castle. Visit to the bears hide takes place after lunch to maximize the chances of photographing these amazing mammals. We will be taken by 4x4 to the hide locations and return to base camp as darkness begins to fall. This allows for some of the most amazing "golden hour" lighting, due to our position high in the mountains.
Our host, Miha, has been working with these amazing animals for many years and his guesthouse has friendly welcoming atmosphere not to mention great local food. Miha knows not only the terrain but also the wildlife and will ensure that guests are placed in the most productive hides at any given period.
The guesthouse is located in a picturesque village at the foot of the mountains through which runs a crystal clear river.
To check my Photo Tour click here
While talking with some of the Awakening photographers early this morning about the differences on a photography feature, reportage or news, it came to my mind that a couple of years ago I wrote this little peace.
The major difference between a news story and a feature story is that a news story is time-sensitive. Media outlets want to publish news stories as quickly as possible after an event occurs. Feature stories, however, are not as time-dependent and contain no urgent content. You can shoot one anytime after an event occurs.
The styles of a news story and a feature are different. In a news story, the emphasis is on content rather than form. News stories go straight to the point, using simple and strong images to deliver the facts quickly. They usually average between 10-15 images.
Feature stories are often wider and have a story telling structure and they have a creative flavour. Feature stories can be more than 20 images.
3. Beginning and ending.
A news story and a feature story have different types of beginnings and endings. News stories tell what the news is upfront and then give the most important details in the first few images . The beginning – or lead – of a feature story, on the other hand, doesn’t give the news straightaway. Instead, it hooks readers and keeps them looking at images until the last one.
A news story can end anywhere after you’ve described the most important facts, whereas a feature story ends with readers feeling satisfied that they gained some value and knowledge from viewing your images and the story.
Today Ljubljana woke up under a blanket of snow that gave to the city a more magical twist.
These are the Photography Awards I like / trust and sometimes take part
- IPA International Photography Awards Website
- Sony World Photo Awards Website
- Belfast Photo Festival Website
- Siena International Photography Awards Website
- Miami Photo Festival Website
- The Spider Awards: Black & White Spider Awards™ Website
- Chromatic Awards Website
- FAPA Fine Art Photography Exhibition Website
- Istanbul Photo Awards Website
- International Color Awards Website
- Monochrome Photography Awards Website
“Beauty has always been free. It came in the box with sunlight and eyeballs. It was granted to us upon birth as we first laid eyes upon our beautiful mothers and then mother earth. For those of us with extreme empathy and a wide-eyed approach to seeing the world, finding the beautiful all around us and capturing it is a deep and glorious honor. Yes, you can have that image at the top for free — perhaps not because it has no value, but because I simply want you to see what I can see. "
The above sentence by Swiss photographer Samuel Zeller reassumes in few short sentences the main reason why I do love making some of my images free on @Unsplash.
I have a very limited number of free images probably less than 30 but is something that I feel very passionate about it I love to give something back, share what i see for free plus there are few other practical reasons:
1) I am constantly inspired by the contents and images of @unsplash. Here the spotlight being on the pictures, they have the space they need. Between a fraction of a mobile screen, and a full screen, it’s obvious which is going to better display and enhance the content.
If you have ever visited Unsplash, you’ll agree with me that the feeds are filled with amazing pictures. Pictures that you can take inspiration and learn from.
I am also learning a lot on what people and companies are looking for. Here is not a matter of clicking to give a Like but is what they download and use. So it is good to perfect my craft and develop my skills as far as possible.
2) I started to receive small monetary donations from users showing their appreciation for letting them use my work. They didn’t have to do that. At the same way I do not need to give my photos away for free. But we both did. I also started to receive bookings and made partnerships that I would have not found in normal and traditional way or with my regular contacts, agents and channels. Due to some of the images I have on Unsplash, I got commercial jobs, to take pictures with my drone, work for hotels, touristic resorts, not to mention I got bookings for workshops and photo walks. In other words, I made much more money giving free these images than if I would have ever sold them, and that is for sure!
3) The culture of the new is the major problem with photography online on social media as curator and photographer Andy Adams explain « It’s always about the new which inevitably means the not new drops off our radars way sooner that it should »
Social network like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are for sure a problem for photographers due to this particular reason. They are good for commercial brands because they can afford to hire social media managers and post regularly.
The images I share for free on Unsplash don’t lose value, there is no difference at all between a year old shot and a week old shot. Their value are not based on time. When I do not post new images on Unsplash, even for a month or more I still get a lot of downloads, likes and views.....EVERY day. So I get promoted and is a free advertising. Try not posting on Instagram for a month… ;-)
Snow does not fall often in Venice and when it does, it doesn't stay on the ground for long. If you are lucky enough to be here when it snows do not waste any time and stay out as long as you can to capture magic moments!
Are you planning on shooting soft, silky waves? Do you wish to create dreamy, daytime landscapes with smooth, stretched clouds?
This post will help you improve your long-exposure skills and overcome the most common challenges that occur in daytime long-exposure photography.
Photo Stacking for Daytime Long-Exposures
When doing long-exposure photography–photography that requires light to hit your camera sensor for more than 2 minutes a lot of problems can arise and those can easily ruin your shot: false light, camera shake, accidentally tripping over your tripod, etc.
With exposure time around 4 minutes, you can easily waste a lot of time trying to capture the perfect shot of soft clouds or silky waves.
But by dividing the shot into several shorter exposures of the same subject and stacking them together in Photoshop, you can overcome most of the issues, spend less time on wasted shots, and come away with better images.
Photo stacking is not a technique for every situation, but sometimes stacking your long-exposures is the only way to get a good shot. However, it is important to recognise when you need it during shooting.
When to Use Photo Stacking
During the day, you’ll often have too much light available for long-exposure photography. Long-exposure photography in daytime light using a 10 stop ND-filter might still result in an overexposed shot.
At night or during the blue hour, when the light is limited, you can adjust your camera settings to give you a 2 or 4 minutes exposure even without using neutral density filters.
Photo stacking your daytime long-exposure photos will ensure that you get correctly exposed shots. Furthermore, if you don’t own a 10 stop neutral density filter, using a less strong ND-filter and taking multiple images to combine later will give you similar results.
Next to false light, shaking is the most common reason for failed shots in long-exposure photography.
At night, factors that can cause your tripod and camera to shake are usually lessened: lighter wind, fewer waves, and less traffic, for example.
But during the day, these factors are stronger, heavier, and more problematic for daytime long-exposure photography; strong wind or heavy traffic can make your tripod shake or vibrate, resulting in blurred or unsharp shots.
While we’re at it, remember to take the camera strap off your camera while shooting long-exposure. It acts as a sail in the wind and causes shaking to the tripod and camera.
And make sure the ground is sturdy enough to support your tripod and keep the camera steady for a long-exposure shot.
And then there are those unforeseen hiccups that can ruin a great long-exposure shot.
Regardless of whether its daytime or night, another common mistake is simply forgetting your remote. Without a remote, you are stuck with the longest exposure time your camera allows excluding bulb mode.
Bulb-mode without a remote requires that you press the shutter all the time, which is a no-go to avoid camera shake. My camera, like most, has a max of 30 seconds exposure.
How to Photo Stack Long-Exposure Photos
Factors like too much light, too much wind, or the risk of camera shake make it worthwhile to use photo stacking for your daytime long-exposure photos instead of doing a 2- or 4-minute exposure.
You now know when to use photo stacking; below you will learn how to use photo stacking–how to do it in the field and how to blend the exposures afterwards in Photoshop.
This is the equipment I tend to use for Long Exposure shots
Setting Up Your Camera
At the location, set up your gear as normal, but make sure your camera settings and ND-filters gives a good exposure with a histogram peaking just over the middle to the right when using an exposure time of 30 seconds. To get the effect of a 4-minute shot, aim for 8 good shots, each at 30 seconds (8 x 30 seconds = 4 minutes).
Get some extra exposures just in case some of them get blurred due to camera shake from a sudden wind gust or bypassing bus. You can leave out a particular shot from your sequence in the photo stacking process.
Processing in Photoshop
In Photoshop, go to File → Scripts → Load Files into Stack. In the appearing dialogue, choose Add Open Files to make the set of images appear under files to use for stacking.
Remember to check the boxes Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images and Create Smart Object after Loading Layers.
Click OK to begin the blending process. It usually takes some time for Photoshop to create a single Smart Object from all of the exposures.
Next, go to the menu Layer → Smart Objects → Stack Mode → Mean. This makes Photoshop automatically blend the images in the stack into a smooth long-exposure, to look like it was a single very long exposure.
At this point, you don’t need the layer to be a Smart Object anymore, and keeping it this way would prevent you from using a brush tool, for example, so you should convert it by right-clicking on the layer and choose to Rasterize Layer.
After this, you need to process the image as you would for a normal daytime long-exposure or any other image. To get the best results when you process your daytime long-exposure photos, be sure to only use selective sharpening of the areas in your photo that are not moving.
Long-exposures taken during daytime often have a lot of large white areas with clouds or silky soft water. If you apply sharpening to the areas that are supposed to be soft, you’ll cause an unwanted grainy look to your photo.
During your Photo Tour of Venice, I will point out details invisible to the untrained eye and reveal the best vantage-points on your chosen route. Learn to tell a story through images, take great shots of iconic monuments and capture atmospheric images off the beaten track.
So bring your walking shoes and be prepared to discover the mysteries of the city. Bring your camera and learn how to have more fun with your camera.
• Discover parts of Venice less travelled by tourists. • Hear interesting tales and stories • Take better photos • Turn your photos into exciting stories. • Have fun!
Let a Creative Italian Photographer walk you through the city of Venice in an unforgettable Photo Walk capturing real candid moments of your stay in beautiful pictures. Enjoy a relaxing vacation and bring home remarkable pictures of your visit.
Touring Venice can be a very exciting experience, but it can also be quite an adventure if you are unsure of which places to visit and how. The language barrier may also represent a curious obstacle but it can also be frustrating. We offer innovative and unforgettable Photographic Tours to welcome you to the most fascinating and romantic place in the world. Experience Venice through the eyes of a native Italian Professional Photographer. He will guide you in an exclusive tour through the most interesting Venice landmarks and monuments.
All city excursions are exclusively custom-made to fit your needs. You can explore the sites whichever way you like and at your own pace.
Walking around Venice together with a professional photographer is an enlightening experience. He will show you all the tricks of the game but it is also a fun and new way to visit a city like Venice. You will be able to visit, see, experience and tour places, situations, people that would be otherwise difficult to come across. The Photo Tours will take you through off-the-beaten tracks to the most important monuments and landmarks. You will avoid the tourist pedestrian highways and will take more secluded, intimate and truly Italian passageways. Let it be romantic, creative, fun and friendly, the astounding imagery will do the rest. We will show you the right places to eat, where true Italian dwell and the hidden beauties of the wonderful city.
- Tripadvisor Venice Photo Walk with Marco Secchi rated "excellent" by travellers
Editing a photo can be as easy as applying a one-tap filter in Instagram or as complex as creating a multilayered piece of artwork in Adobe Photoshop. Macphun Luminar 2018 is the in-between, covering the gamut from easy to advanced
Luminar 2018 offers everything a modern photographer needs for photo editing, including new filters powered by artificial intelligence, major speed improvements, a dedicated RAW develop module and a forthcoming in 2018; digital asset management platform.
Users will also benefit from the new intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support, and real-time noise removal. With workspaces that match different styles of editing, Luminar adapts to deliver a complete experience that avoids clutter and complexity.
Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for dramatic performance boosts. Existing filters deliver richer colors and depth in less time. A brand new streamlined user interface speeds up working with presets, filters, and masks. With full support of pro options like layers, masks, and blending modes, complex repairs and photo composites can be easily accomplished.
You can buy Luminar 2018 here
The Luminar 2018 Black Friday offer will be available from November 21-29 click here
- Current users of Luminar may upgrade at a Black Friday price of $49 ($39 with your coupon code)
- New users can purchase Luminar 2018 for $69 ($59 with your coupon code)
- A collection of bonuses will also be included with every purchase.
- A Pack of Urban presets from Contrastly
- Creative Look LUTs Collection for use in Luminar 2018
- The Ultra-Wide Landscape Ebook by Ian Plant
- Lights&Shadows Photo Training Video by Matt Granger
Luminar is a sort of mix between Lightroom and Photoshop. Sure, the image management feature isn’t here yet, and it’s not the graphic design powerhouse that Photoshop is, but it mixes the broad strokes of RAW processor with the fine tuning abilities of a powerful image editor, including support for adjustment layers. For the unfamiliar, layers allow users to choose different blending modes — similar to Photoshop — as well as adjust the opacity. With layers, you also have options for masking and copying entire sets of adjustments. These layers can be removed, and you don’t “damage” the original image, and it’s why photo-editing experts rely on layers in their workflow.
Luminar 2018 adds a number of unique filters and adjustments. One favorite of ours is the sunrays filter, which lets you add artificial light rays and adjust the glow of the surrounding area. When done right, the effect looks realistic.
A review on Nat Geo Collection on my Photography Workshops
My picture "Checkpoint 2017" was on display at the Biennale Arte 2017 at the Tunisia Pavilion "Absence of Paths"
An old Interview on the OnaBags magazine about me and my photography
Many thanks to OnaBags