Sunday, January 22, 2012


It snowed yesterday, and for me that means either dramatic landscapes or birds. I chose birds, so I headed over to my local nature center to catch the activity.

Click on the image below to take you to a slideshow of a selection of nice photos I captured in the span of about an hour.

Main Site: Photography by Matt Schrier

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ocean City Morning

It was a beautiful morning last weekend along the New Jersey coast. I like the winter trips to catch sunrises because the sun rises so late. A 7:15 sunrise allows me to wake-up as late as 5:00 and still get down there in time to position myself for a nice sequence of shots.

This morning the pre-sunrise color was not that great, even though I thought the light cloud cover would provide very nice colors. But I got a good 30-40 minutes of a fantastic post-sunrise sky. I was very glad to have this because it took me much longer than I thought to locate the old 59th Street pier. I thought I was going to completely miss any good shots but I was able to get a couple of very nice ones.

Below are two choice photos from that morning.

Site: Photography by Matt Schrier

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Adobe Lightroom

I have been a Photoshop user for years. Although I am not an expert I am able to execute most of the image processing that I need to do for my captures. But as powerful a tool that Photoshop is almost everything you do is tedious. Despite the fact that this software has been around for so many years it was never tailored or tweaked for ease-of-use. For example the image adjustment actions that are most frequently used (e.g. curves, contract, color balance, etc.) are always at least 2 clicks away in the menu structure. (Image -> Adjustments -> etc.)

I have known about Lightroom for a while, but never decided to actually purchase and use it. So when I saw this package for sale at a deep discount around Thanksgiving I just had to bite. I've just installed the software and have only used it for a few days, but I think I'm going to be very happy (and productive) with Lightroom.

For example Lightroom allows you to make quick B&W/monotone conversions of your color originals, as seen below. The process took me only a few minutes, and I had much more control over the process than I ever had before.

This is what the editing panel looks like. Each section contains nicely arranged groups of controls that make adjustments a breeze. All of this can be done with Photoshop but you need a lot of experience and/or training to get the same work done.

Original image files are not modified during the editing process. The adjustments are applied on top of the originals. This reduces excessive disk-space use, and prevents accidental over-writing of original files (which I am guilty of doing on occasion)

Lightroom has organizational tools that allow you to label and locate images much more easily even if your library includes many thousands of images.

There are many other benefits that I have not explored yet. I'll be learning these over the new few weeks and months. I expect to be more productive and to create a larger variety of images during this process.