Monthly Archives: June 2015

Photographers ID Birds Online with their Bird Photos.

I was on a bike ride with my daughter when I spotted two large birds in a marshy area not very  far off of the trail . I happen to have brought my camera along in case I saw something interesting to photograph so I quickly got off my bike and started to take pictures.  After  following these birds on foot, and snapping off lots of frames,  I decided I had a few photos that I would like to enter into the VotoArt cash contest.  The problem I faced was I did not know the names of the Birds.  Enter Merlins Beta Photo ID for birds.   A neighbor who new that I liked to photograph birds told me about this site where you upload a photo of a bird, answer a few questions, and it gives you the birds ID.  I went to the site Merlin Bird Photo ID . Merlin Bird Photo ID is an outgrowth of the Visipedia research project, engineers started about 5 years ago as a sort of “visual Wikipedia”. In short I was able to quickly identify the bird in my photo with zero stress or friction. The site was easy and fun to use. Here are the steps it took me through to identify my mystery bird. Continue reading Photographers ID Birds Online with their Bird Photos.

Quick Tips for Award Winning Landscape Photography

Phil Koch is a fine art photographer who has won numerous awards and over $350 with his landscape photos on VotoArt. This blog post features some of his excellent work and gives a few tips of where to start and what to consider if you want to be a successful landscape photographer. To see more of Phil Koch’s photography, visit Phil Koch Fine Art Photography Portfolio

Phil Koch 007
Photo by Phil Koch

Shooting at Dawn

Shooting during the Golden hours is known for producing award winning landscape photos and dawn is one of the Golden hours. At first the light of dawn is a cool blue then just before the sun starts to rise the light is flat and almost colorless. As the sun breaks the horizon the magic starts to happen. The landscape is bathed in beautiful hues of red and orange illuminating everything it touches with its glorious rays. Unless you are naturally a morning person, trying to capture this beauty may mean work and persistence. You must be willing to head out in the gloom when there are lots of reasons for staying in bed at 3am knowing that there is a risk of it being cloudy and cold. Some landscape views may only work well at certain times of the year, depending on the position of the sun. You can determine where this will be by using a sun compass or an app that shows you where the sun will rise each day.

Things to consider
Continue reading Quick Tips for Award Winning Landscape Photography

The Key to Creative Success is Changing your Lens

keyRecently I went to a small Meet Up group for photographers where we all brought some of our latest photos to share with the group. I was amazed at the talent and creativity that I saw but I was even more amazed at how one of the best photographers was hesitant to show her own work.  Not because she thought it was bad  but because some “Experts” from a photography club had told her it was not good enough to merit their approval.  After the meeting I encouraged her to enter her work in one of the VotoArt contests where other people could vote on it and give her a different perspective.  As a photographer she needed to change the lens she was looking through to get a better perceptive of her own work.   Reluctantly she signed in at and entered her latest photo in the Cash WonUP contest.  That day she competed against another very successful photographer and won her first cash prize.   What a surprise that was to her.  As of this writing she won a second match up and remains the current WonUp Champion.  Will she continue to win until she has claimed the Maximum amount of $600? Maybe she will, maybe she won’t,  but she has already gained something far more valuable.  A healthy perspective. She almost let a few judges opinions  take her out of position for reaching her  potential as a photographer.  To be truly successful, we have to be willing to change our lenses and explore different perspectives. If we only allow what others think of our  work to drive our decisions, we are limiting ourselves to a single lens. Maybe the wrong lens.  The  VotoArt contests are a fun way to change your lens and discover  different perspectives about your photography.

Lots of people vote on VotoArt. Some you may agree with and some you may not, but that is the point. You get a chance to see through different lenses and explore multiple perspectives.

Like our photographer in the above story, here are some examples of things that could help you change  lenses and be successful as a photographer?

  • Don’t Assume there is only one perspective that is right. Don’t let the opinion of a so called expert discourage you from moving ahead.
  • Find a way to see from other perspectives. She was willing to put her photo on Votoart and found that not everyone agreed with the judges opinion about her work.
  • Don’t limit  your own perspective to a single solution. Like the photographer in the story take a risk and  put your stuff out there. is a great place to start.

Remember : It is easier to hit delete than it is to capture what you have already missed. -Dean Bennett-

Here is a video I found on Youtube that may serve as a good motivator for you if something is holding you back from being in that place of potential and opportunity.