The Rubber Duck Project

In 2014 I began a somewhat silly photography project while on a trip in Europe. The rubber duck project. Basically, I used a rubber duck as a model across four countries and tried to take photos with some of the most recognizable sights in Europe. Later this project extended to Brazil in a 2016 trip. I plan on continuing this project on any major trips in the future as I have found it fun and at times complex. Please enjoy the photos of Doctor Quackenstein on his many travels.

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5 Things Only Photographers Will Understand

1). Never having enough gear – No matter how much money is dumped into this hobby or profession, one will never have enough gear. I have one DSLR body, 4 lenses, an external flash, and a tripod. Of course, this isn’t enough, I am hoping to get a ring flash and of course everyone who isn’t a photographer has been questioning why this addition is needed…it just is!

2). Continuously staring at a computer – Download. Edit. Upload. It is systematic and efficient if done correctly, but my eyesight still worsens everyday.

3). Waiting for “The Shot” – My family has often claimed that I’m “crazy” for getting up at 4 or 5 AM to take photos while on vacation, but always seem to enjoy the results.

4). “From a magazine” – I submitted some photos to the local fair one year and when I went to see how my photos did there was a couple there. They were discussing how my photos must have been from a magazine, so I told them where and how I took the photos. This still happens and I never know if I should take it as a compliment or get frustrated. Explaining helps either way.

5). “I could do that with a camera like that” – No words can express what that phrase or phrases similar to it make me feel. It’s best described as wanting to laugh in their face and also yell about how I shoot on manual and have learned over literally years to take a photo like that without manufactured settings, but please tell me how you’ll walk over, press a button and get the same results. -_-


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Normally, I stick to only photography related posts; however, this is another special milestone for me and A+ Photos. Hitting 200 followers has made me realize there is a fairly large audience who enjoy my work, so I will continue with putting my efforts into this blog. I would like to thank anyone and everyone who has ever “liked” or “commented” on a post and I give another massive thank you to my followers. The more people who improve their photography skills the better! Again, an enormous thank you to the audience for your support! 🙂

Photographing the San Antonio Missions

Yes, I’m finally back blogging. It has been awhile, but here is part of the reason for the absence.

San Antonio, Texas is a great city for photography. Photographing the San Antonio missions is something everyone who visits the city should try to do. The four missions were built in San Antonio by Spanish missionaries and are named as follows: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada. Each of these missions presents amazing opportunities to learn about history,cultures, and your creativity. Yes, one may learn about and develop a new sense of creativity at these locations, because of how many different subjects there are. So, I now present the audience with tips for photographing the San Antonio Missions and missions in general.

  1. Look Up – Many missions have domes near the front of the church at the mission. If the church has a dome, it is likely that the dome will be painted and present a unique subject for a photograph. Many people usually overlook the dome, because one would have to be looking up; which, is unusual, but makes for a great photograph. These churches usually have dim lighting, so it is likely a long-exposure photograph will be necessary. Either a tripod or a very steady hand is necessary. In my case I have neither, so I ended up laying down on the church’s floor and received some interesting looks, but it was worth it.IMG_0804 IMG_0412 IMG_0377
  2. Try different angles – Taking photos from your normal upright and straight forward position is easy; however, these may not be the most interesting photos. Instead try getting low to the ground or standing at an angle. The subjects in these kinds of photos are, in my opinion, more interesting.IMG_0799IMG_0344
  3. Stacking and Framing – These are two photographic concepts that are presented frequently at missions. Stacking many subjects in a photograph can create a captivating effect. Framing focuses the audience in on the subject and creates a more natural introduction to the subject. This can be achieved by finding many candles in a row, for stacking, or many arches. For framing, one may use an old window or tree branches.

IMG_0386 IMG_0394Hopefully these tips can help some of you if you ever decide to visit one of the many missions located in the southwestern United States. Here are some more photographs from the trip.IMG_0366 IMG_0407 IMG_0431 IMG_0791 IMG_0916 IMG_0689 IMG_0552If you enjoyed this post please like or comment.

The Epic Saga of Clouds in Photography

Now, I know what some are thinking, “How can the history of clouds in photos be an epic saga? That sounds dumb”. Well the truth is, it does sound dumb. Then again you don’t judge a photo based on how it sounds, do you. Anyway this will be a brief post on the importance clouds have played and continue to play, in photography, for both amateurs and professionals.

Ansel Adams. You may have heard of him. If you haven’t, get out from under your rock! Just kidding. Ansel Adams, is said to be the grandfather of landscape photography. His photos are recognized globally and are some of, if not, the best photos taken in the history of photography. This photo titled, The Tetons and the Snake River, is a beautiful example of the work Adams produced throughout his lifetime. Taken with a large aperture, using a combination of back and diffused lighting, and using a mid-range shutter speed; this photo is beyond beautiful. Many of his photographs are nature based and as seen below. Notice the use of clouds to give an ominous and powerful feeling to the mountains and sky.

Taken by Ansel Adams, who is said to be the grandfather of landscape photography. His photos are recognized globally and are some of, if not, the best photos taken in the history of photography. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Now this is just one photograph, from one photographer. I wouldn’t be convinced of the role clouds play in photography just yet. So…hear is Peter Essick.

Peter Essick, who was recently named one of the top 40 most influential nature photographers in the world, is one of my favorite photographers. His photos have been featured many times on National Geographic and are simply amazing. This photo titled, Thunderclouds, Garnet Lake, has great lighting coming from behind enormous thunderclouds, giving a sense of nature’s strength and beauty.

Taken by Peter Essick, who was recently named one of the top 40 most influential nature photographers in the world. Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

Okay, two photos from two established and well respected photographers. Here’s another.

Ian Plant. Another well respected nature photographer, Mr. Plant is an editor of Popular Photography, magazine and a frequent contributor to many other magazines. In this photo titled, Ebb and Flow, one will notice it was a long-exposure photograph with a large aperture and features great back-lighting of clouds and small islands. Yet, again more clouds!

pic 3

Photo courtesy of Google images/

So, three professional photographers with three examples of clouds being frequent in their nature photography. What about amateurs?

I am considered an amateur so, here are just four, of several dozen of my favorite photographs containing…CLOUDS! Go figure.





So, it is safe to say that clouds have and,will likely, always play a major role in landscape photography, not only because they occur naturally and photographers can’t make them leave, but because they give photos a sense of character and add drama. From professionals to amateurs, nearly everyone who owns a camera has taken a photo either of clouds or a photo where clouds are a major contributor to the photo’s subject.

So, the next time you see a cloud…thank it, for making photography interesting and sometimes challenging, I’m talking to you rain clouds!

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