MDSimages » Photography and HDR digital art by Michael Steighner

Light paints the trees in Luxembourg Gardens

“The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.” – Jean Piaget

I play…..alot.

I had this image in the archives and I think I actually published it before, but I decided to play a bit to see what other direction I could take the image. Sometimes, thats the best way to learn.

I tend to take a little creative and technical direction from a few I look up to from time to time, but use that as a guide. I then allow myself to get lost.

I like getting lost.

Light paints the trees in Luxemburg Gardens

Morning in the Memorial and another quick tip Tuesday

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu

Its easy to stay in bed. The sun’s gonna rise whether you are ready for it or not. It doesn’t wait for that snooze button (damn those buttons!)

I realized by the crowds gathered around the memorial into the late evening hours that the morning was in fact the only time that Abe and I were going to get a little alone time. Early in the morning. So, indeed, after a step…..a slow and coffee less step, I was off and running to see what I could capture. As luck would have it, it seems like many had not taken that first step. Love it!

More to come later in a quick tip about a few ways to get rid of those converging columns by the way, but for now….I kinda like it actually.

In the morning with Abe

So I recorded tonights quick tip video earlier today while driving (I promise, I was more aware of the road than it appears!)

Sometimes you just have to get started. It can sometimes appear to be a big step, but the key is to begin.

I personally experienced this today while working on a design for an event that seemed to have made it to the top of the “to do” list for several days running now. So I tried a little trick this time. Instead of looking at the project as a long and endless one that was going to take hours, I just convinced myself that I was just going to get is started. Begin the layout, place a few of the basic building blocks, and essentially get the skeleton created. 4 short hours later (it seemed like 1 actually!) and the design was over 90% there!

Sometimes its just the first step thats the hardest.

Just take it and fix the mistakes later……

Or watch the video here!

Poolside in Paradise and then meet the Artist – Scott Kelby

“I call the age we are entering the creative age because the key factor propelling us forward is the rise of creativity as the primary mover of our economy.” – Richard Florida, The Flight of the Creative Class

There is a lot to chew on in that quote. In this day and age of 24 hour news drama, if sucked in, one can easily get a dim view of what is possible for the future of humanity. I for one, choose to tune it out and take that time to educate and entertain myself to higher levels of energy.

The creative class…..I like the sound of that. I think I might order that book now that I think of it. You can check it out here!

Of course all of this has nothing to do at all with the image, but in a quick search for a quote to open up the post tonight about our artist of the week, I got a little side tracked.

Funny how that happens:)

So enjoy the image and Ill see you below for more to the story!

Poolside in Paridise
Like any creative journey in life, one looks for inspiration and guidance from masters. Shortly after my separation and then divorce, I found myself wandering and searching for a way to spend my newly found time and energy. My love for photography way back in the film and slide days was sitting dormant and patiently waiting for a chance to rebirth itself. Seemed like a perfect time to nurture that passion. A quick search in the bookstore led me to a unique teacher in the art of digital photography named Scott Kelby.

Meet the Artist – Scott Kelby

A passionate teacher at heart, his wit and sense of humor was what immediately drew me into his books and style of writing, but I soon realized that his was just the tip of the iceberg. Now I am sure that the photogs and digital artist’s that read this blog know who Scott is by now, but for those who don’t, I can’t recommend this guy enough. His amazing team of creatives over at Kelby One create some of the most amazing and inspirational training out there. I’ve mentioned it before here on the blog that the future of education is changing and as you can see, people like Scott are leading this evolution.

It all starts with passion though….as you can see here from this recent interview with the talented Karen Hutton!

Or watch the video here!

If you are beginning your creative journey, looking for inspiration, or fine tuning your chops, you MUST check out their training here! 

Trust me:)

After you are done there, here are a few other places to enjoy his art and gift he shares!

His daily blog




As always, thanks for stopping by:)

Quick Tip Tuesday – The Lunar Eclipse and how I processed the blood red moon

So I normally don’t get all “geeky” about these lunar sort of things, but I decided to stay up to at least see the beginning of what all the hubbub was all about. Just as the shadow of the earth started to inch its way over the moon, well, I got all geeky and quickly realized that I was in for the long hall.

2 hours, 2 cups of coffee, and 2 blood shot eyes later, I decided to retire for the evening…or shall I say morning.

I snapped a few as the sequence began, using the settings that I had blogged about in last nights post. Like I said, it was pretty cool to watch happen, especially when you start to think of the scale of what is actually happening.

Its when the moon was completely shadowed by the earth and when the sun started refracting its light around our planet to create that eire red glow when my settings got a bit messy. Could have been the blurry eyes and the empty 2nd cup of Joe, but thats a different story all together….
The sequence
Its not the best, but this is what happened after the sequence. I’m told that if I waited a few minutes longer, it was even more amazing. Maybe next time!

The Blood Red Moon
I recorded this Quick Tip video for todays post chatting a bit more about the process, my mistakes, as well as the techniques I used to create and finish off the image above.


Or watch then video here!

Another from the balcony – waiting on the lunar eclipse

Always find a comfortable place to park the tripod. Thats always a good start. For me, thats the patio. When anything “Lunar Related” happens, thats where you usually find me….and with a view like this, can you blame me?

So tonight, within the next hour, I’m told that we are to expect a lunar eclipse.

We the sticks are planted and the D800 is charged and ready for the capture. So what about the settings?

Lets have a look at those shall we….

Another from the balcony - waiting on the lunar eclipse-Edit-3I did a quick video about that before here, but this is where I am starting tonight…

How to Photograph the moon!

First Step – Grab your camera body and the longest lens you have and pop it on the ole tripod.

Second Step – Camera settings that seem to work well are 100 ISO, F8, and about 250th of a second. Oh yeah, make sure you are in manual and the auto focus is turned off. Unless you are using spot metering, the camera will try to compensate for the dark sky and render a rather nice large glowing blob of over exposed light. Not good….

Step Three – Use the live view and digitally zoom into the moon to manually set your focus and check exposure. If you do not see the detail you want or if the moon seems to bright, raise the shutter speed or check out a smaller aperture like f11 or 16. Again, you should be in manual and that includes staying away from “auto ISO” as well. Shooting in raw is also recommended as you will have a lot more latitude later in post

Step Four – Turn off live view and make your exposure by either using a cable release or using the self timer.

Step Five – Edit, crop, and refine in photoshop or lightroom. Again, shooting with raw should give you a lot more dynamic range to work with.

So here are a couple of quick grabs out of the camera (that is waiting so patiently to capture this event). Both it AND I are hoping for the clouds to clear. We will see!

Captured with the above process as seen un-cropped with a 70 to 200 lens set all the way to 200

The moon - small

 Captured with the above process as seen cropped and tweaked in Photoshop CC with a 70 to 200 lens set all the way to 200

The moon - large

Ill let you know how it all turns out in tomorrows post!

An here is that video I mentioned that I did before. Good luck!

Or watch the video here!

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