My New Portfolio

I always wanted to create a nice looking portfolio to showcase my photographs, but every time I tried, I didn’t really like the result. Most of the times it was due to lack of sufficient time to work on the design. I had to do everything myself because I couldn’t afford to hire web-designer.

This time I had a little more time, and I also found a partial solution – after a few hours spent in search I bought a premium WordPress theme that I liked, and then tweaked it to look exactly as I want. So most of the design was ready, and I had only to perform minor changes.

You can view my portfolio either by clicking on the link “Portfolio” which is located above the top banner of the blog, or clicking here.

I would really like to know what you think. Any constructive comments would be appreciated!


Till the next time, take care!


Daily Photo from my iPhone – Introduction

About a week ago I received a birthday present from my sister. Though my birthday is still a few months away, my sister knew that I really wanted this present so she didn’t keep me waiting and simply gave it to me – the new shiny iPhone 3Gs!!! And, of course, first thing I did with it was to check out the camera it has. I played with it a little and the best thing about this camera is that it is always with me. I noticed that amount of photos that I take grew significantly since I first laid my hands on the iPhone. In addition I got several programs for iPhone that create various effects to the photos and enjoyed playing with those also.

In order to improve my photographic skills (mostly composition-wise) I decided to take on a mission (!) – post one photo each day, here on my blog, directly from the iPhone. Each day I will choose one photo from my daily shots and post it on the sidebar. This way in the future I will be able to see my evolution in photography from these daily photos. I also think that it can be interesting to you, my readers. And yes, I know that the technical quality of the photos from iPhone is much worse than from my DSLR, this is why I am aiming mostly to improve my compositional photographic skills (and not technical) through this project.

As always, your thoughts, comments, critiques and anything else that you’d like to share are highly appreciated!

Till the next post, take care!


Sharing a personal achievement and a few tips

Good day everybody!

I hope this day was as good for you as it was good for me. My photo was printed in National Geographic magazine, Israeli August issue! I wanted to share my joy, and I’d also like to explain how I did it. I imagine that this is a dream for many photographers.

As you know (or might guess) there is a National Geographic web site – At their web site they also have a section named “Your Shot”. In this section people from all over the world submit their photos. Each day twelve photos are picked to be displayed on the site that same day – they call it “The Daily Dozen”. But in addition photos that editors like the most are picked and printed in the printed version of National Geographic magazine.

Since many countries translate National Geographic magazine to their language, they also add to each issue some articles regarding the local country. In that section they sometimes also print photos from local photographers with a few lines about the photographer and the photograph.

I created an account at National Geographic Your Shot section and uploaded my photo there. It turned out that they liked it in NG headquarters in Washington and also in Israel, contacted me and asked for a little info about me and the photograph. Then after a month or two – voila! my photo was printed, and I also received a free issue of that month.

Now I will show my photo (show off!!!) and describe how I shot it. First of all here is the photo:

Tel Aviv Sea boardwalk night scene photography. Tel Aviv old port

I took this photograph about 40 minutes after the sunset, and in addition I was using polarizer to reduce the light even more. Actually polarizer created an additional effect – it made colors more saturated by eliminating the reflections (or anything that was left of them after the sunset). Of course I was using a tripod and a remote shutter cord to eliminate camera shake. The exposure time was 25 seconds and the aperture was f7.1. I used wide angle lens (Canon 10-22mm) at its almost widest angle (12mm).

The interesting thing about this photograph was that during the 25 seconds of exposure many people went by, but they are not seen in the photo! It was because people were too dark and stayed too short time inside the frame to get “noticed” by the camera. The only person that is visible is the one that was sitting during all that time on the bench.

I shot several photos at that location slightly changing the composition. I had a shot without the rail in front. That shot was “divided” in two sections – the sea, and the boardwalk. I felt that it was out of balance, and searched for something to balance the photo. The rail across the bottom of the photograph provided this balance creating the final shot I was satisfied with.

You can see more photographs from that day on my web site where I display my work: IsraNature in the album named “Sea World”. Well what the heck – click here to go directly to that album. I recommend watching all the photos on full screen (there is a button at lower right corner).

And last but not least here is the link to the National Geographic “Your Shot” section: Your Shot

8 Advanced Tips for amateur photographer

I learned the following tips from two professional photographers I happen to know. These are not the most common tips that any amateur receives like “Try shooting the same frame with different exposures and see what works best” or “To freeze action use fast shutter speed”. These tips are more profound and “rare” as I call them, having more meaning than I can actually explain here, so you will have to rethink for yourself some of them. And one more thing – some of them can be achieved only with SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera.

1. When looking through the viewfinder “scan” with your eye the whole frame.

Human eye is seeing the sharpest only the object that it looks at. All other objects are not in perfect focus. But camera sees all the things that are in the same plane in the same sharpness, and if your aperture fairly small then many more planes will get sharp. So when taking the shot you have to be aware of other “sharp” objects that will be visible in the final photo.

  • One way to do this “scan” is to first focus with AF (auto focus) on what you want, and then rotate the manual focus ring just a little bit. It will make the whole frame a little blurred. When everything is blurred your eye will automatically scan the whole frame for something sharp, thus going over the whole frame.
  • Another way is just to stare into the view finder for a few seconds, not trying to focus on anything specific. This is something that takes a little practice to master.

2. Use manual focus override to adjust focus to what you need.

Sometimes you need to control the DOF (Depth Of Field) to achieve the desired result. First you focus on your main subject using auto focus, and then while the shutter release button is half-pressed you turn the manual focus override ring to adjust the focus to what you need. Have in mind though that manual focus override is not featured in all lenses. There are cheaper lenses that can work only in automatic or manual mode but not both simultaneously.

3. Initially compose the photo for cropping or adjustments.

Many amateur photographers just shoot the photo and then when they open it in photo-processing software (such as Picasa, Lightroom, Photoshop, ACDSee etc.), and only then, they start thinking what they can do to improve it. Maybe crop it like this? Maybe emphasize a little more shadows? Try to think about these things (especially the crop) before pressing the shutter-release button.  It will make it much easier to perform cropping and other adjustments later. You will also be forced to THINK before you shoot.

4. During the shoot of an event – shoot on manual.

When you are shooting events that happen fast, you can’t afford to mess with camera controls. You can miss the shot of the day that way. So what you can do is: set your camera to aperture priority mode, and choose the desired aperture. Then half press the shutter-release button and on the screen (or inside the viewfinder) you will see the suggested shutter speed. Take a few photos and see if you like what you get (in terms of exposure), if not adjust exposure compensation. After you are satisfied, switch to manual and set the same values of shutter and aperture. From now on shoot on manual during the whole event with the same settings, unless there are drastic changes of light in the scene. I realize that this is kind of “half-tip” and many professional photographers are working only in manual changing between f-stops and exposure automatically to get the best results. But here I am talking about amateurs, like myself, who are not just yet there.

5.Don’t look at the back LCD screen after each photo.

Actually this tip is pretty controversial, but I’ll stick with it. Not looking at the LCD display after taking each shot makes you THINK more before each shot, and also leaves a room for anticipation towards the final images. This is a good exercise, and while it might not be a good idea during an important shoot, I advise to do it wholeheartedly during your everyday shooting. Think of it, if you have this habit of looking at your back screen after each photo, and you are in a scene where everything happens fast, you just might miss an interesting shot while looking at the LCD display.

6. Don’t just convert to b&w – shoot with intention for b&w.

Instead of going over your photographs after a shoot and thinking “Well, this photo might look good in B&W, lets try to convert it!” Shoot the photographs with B&W in mind, think B&W. When shooting B&W, highlights and shadows have more importance, and also other artistic aspects of the photo (such as facial expressions, hand gestures, etc.) stand out more in B&W, because you don’t have the “distraction” of the color. When shooting with B&W in mind you pay more attention to tones (light/dark) than to colors.

7.When shooting people in low light take spot light metering from their skin.

In difficult light conditions, particularly in low light, when using center-weighted average metering most of the chances that you will over-expose your photo. So it would be better to switch to spot metering and take the measure from the skin of the person you are about to shoot. If for some reason it is impossible, then take the measurement from the palm of your hand while placing it in similar lighting.

8. When shooting with slow shutter speeds hand-held, don’t release the shutter button.

When you shoot with slow shutter speed, you have to do everything in your power to reduce the camera shake, so in addition to holding it steady, leaning against the wall etc., when you press the shutter button, don’t press and release it straight away, but press it smoothly leaving your finger on it for a while after you hear the shutter sound. This little trick can improve greatly the outcome. In many ways shooting photos with slow shutter speed is like sniper-shooting a rifle – most of the actions are the same: for example it helps to take a deep breath in, then breath out, and then press the shutter-release.

Well, I hope you’ll find these tips useful and would really like to hear your thoughts about them. I probably will write more on some of these tips in my future articles.

Welcome to PhotoPathway


I am Greg, and this is my place named PhotoPathway. You’ll find here lots of info regarding all aspects of photography.

More about me and PhotoPathway is on my About page.

You are welcome to browse PhotoPathway for all its posts, photos and categories.