Posted on Leave a comment

New 2024 Wall Calendars

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve just added new 2024 wall calendars to my online store. My original printing partner for calendars stopped offering them, so I’ve been looking for a new printing partner. I’ve finally found one who prints at a quality I’m happy with without adding their own branding to the back cover of the calendar. In 2024, I’m going to continue looking for a printer who can offer me the equivalent quality at a better price, but for now I’ve found one I’m happy with. Like all products bought directly through my website, shipping is free on my calendars.

Here are the calendars I’m currently offering:

Incredible Sunsets Calendar
Incredible Sunsets Calendar
This calendar is an 11″ x 17″ center bound flip calendar featuring twelve of my landscape photographs taken at sunset. This calendar has been updated from previous years to include three new sunset photographs, one taken in 2021 and two taken in 2023.
Spectacular Scenery Calendar
Spectacular Scenery Calendar
This calendar is an 11″ x 17″ center bound flip calendar featuring twelve of my landscape photographs. I have updated the copyright year and removed my old branding; otherwise, this calendar is identical to previous years.
Utah Temples Calendar
Utah Temples Calendar
This calendar is an 11″ x 17″ center bound flip calendar featuring twelve of my photographs of temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which are located in Utah. This calendar has been updated from previous years to include the Brigham City Utah Temple, the Logan Utah Temple, the Ogden Utah Temple, and the St. George Utah Temple.
Posted on Leave a comment

Understanding Dynamic Range

Last week, I wrote an article about exposure bracketing. In the article I mentioned that exposure bracketing can increase the dynamic range of your camera. Looking back, I probably should have written this article explaining what dynamic range is before writing an article on how to increase your camera’s dynamic range.

What is Dynamic Range?

Have you ever snapped a photo and the photograph didn’t capture the scene like you wanted? Maybe the colors weren’t quite right, the shadows were too dark, or the highlights were too bright? Maybe the foreground was perfect, but the sky was blown out? The reason for this disconnect between what you see and what your camera captures is dynamic range.

Dynamic range is the ratio between the largest and smallest values possible; in the case of photography, we are talking about the ratio between the lightest and darkest parts of an image. The human eye has a larger dynamic range than a camera. The best cameras can only capture about half of the range of luminosity as the human eye. This is why you can see a person’s face clearly when they have light behind them, but a camera will only capture the brightness of the light, leaving their face in shadow.

Overcoming Dynamic Range Limitations

As mentioned last week, one way to overcome the shortcomings of your camera’s dynamic range is to use exposure bracketing. With exposure bracketing, you can take several photos of the same scene with different exposure levels. The different exposures can then be combined in photo-editing software to bring details of both the shadows and highlights into the final image, resulting in an HDR, or high-dynamic-range, image.

Another method to overcome dynamic range limitations is to use a graduated neutral density filter when taking the capture. Neutral density filters darken the image to allow for longer exposures. Graduated filters are dark on one side and gradually lighten toward the opposite side. The darker side of the filter is placed over a high-intensity region, like the sky, and the light side is placed over the darker areas, like the foreground. This helps to even out the luminosity across the entire scene. Graduated neutral density filters don’t provide the same amount of correction as exposure bracketing, but they’re useful for shots where the difference between light and dark isn’t as drastic.

Is It Worth It?

You may be asking, “Is all of this worth it?” The answer to that is both simple and complicated: “It depends.” As with anything in life, there comes a point where the amount of effort exceeds the value of the rewards. No matter how much you increase the dynamic range of an image in editing, you will still be limited by the method of displaying the photo. Most computer screens don’t have the same dynamic range as the human eye, and most printers can’t print in the same dynamic range as your computer screen. If you’re planning to print your photograph, an HDR image may not yield the results you see on screen, but it will be better than an image with no correction at all.

Posted on Leave a comment

Exposure Bracketing

As a photographer, it can sometimes be difficult to get the correct exposure across your entire scene. I find this especially applies when taking landscape photographs with a bright sky and when taking photographs at night. This is when a technique known as exposure bracketing can be extremely useful. Exposure bracketing can increase the dynamic range of your camera so you don’t lose some of those details that inspired you to take the photograph in the first place.

So what is exposure bracketing? Simply put, it’s when you take a series of photos at different exposure levels, which you can then blend together to increase the dynamic range of the final image. It’s also sometimes known as HDR or exposure blending. Take these three photos for example:

Exposure bracketing example

In the first photo, the details in the building can be clearly seen, while everything else in the shot is extremely dark. In the second photo, the building is slightly blown out and most of the scene is still too dark, but some of the side details are starting to show up. In the third photo, the building is extremely blown out, but the details in the lawn and the underside of the trees are nice and clear. By combining these multiple exposures in Photoshop, I was able to create an image I was really happy with:

"Mount Timpanogos Temple at Night" (2017) by K. Bradley Washburn

Most digital cameras have a built-in function for exposure bracketing. The built-in function will take a series of 3-5 photos, depending on your camera. If more exposures are needed or desired, you can take a set of photos using exposure bracketing, adjust the base exposure, then take another set of photos. The above image was actually created using ten differently exposed photos, layered on top of each other in Photoshop.

Even if your camera doesn’t have a built-in function, you can still use exposure bracketing. Simply set up your camera and manually adjust the exposure between each shot.

Each camera manufacturer treats exposure bracketing differently, so I can’t go into detail on how to use it on your camera. You should consult the user manual for specifics concerning your camera.

Posted on Leave a comment

Understanding Exposure

When you shoot a photograph, what you’re really doing is taking the light you see and capturing it on film or in a digital file. In fact, the word ‘Photography’ is a combination of two Greek words which literally mean “light drawing”. To create a good “light drawing” it’s important to understand how cameras control the amount of light captured. This is called exposure, and it refers to the amount of light passing through the camera lens and reaching the camera sensor.

The Exposure Triangle

Exposure can be best understood using what is often referred to as the exposure triangle. The exposure triangle is the way a camera maintains the correct exposure for an image, and is composed of three elements: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. In the exposure triangle, these three elements are related to each other, and if one of them changes at least one other must change to maintain the correct exposure.

The Exposure Triangle
The Exposure Triangle.
Image courtesy WClarke and Samsara, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Aperture refers to the diameter of the hole in the lens that lets the light in. The larger the diameter of the hole, the more light can reach the film or the camera sensor.

Aperture diameter is measured in f-stops. An F-stop refers to the ratio of the focal length of the lens to the diameter of the aperture. The important thing to remember is that the smaller the f-stop number, the larger the diameter of the aperture.

Mechanically, the aperture is part of the lens, not the camera body. When you hear someone speak of a “fast lens” they are talking about a lens with a large maximum aperture, such as f/1.8.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed refers to the length of time the camera’s shutter is held open, allowing light to hit the film or camera sensor. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second. You will often see shutter speeds written as 1/250 or 1/125. For a shutter speed of 1/250, the camera’s shutter is held open for one two-hundred-and-fiftieth of a second.

In low light settings, longer shutter speeds are often used to get a correct exposure. On most modern cameras, the longest automatic shutter speed available is typically 30 seconds.


For beginning photographers, ISO can be the most confusing part of the exposure triangle, or at least it was for me when I started out. In film photography, ISO is also referred to as film speed. This refers to how sensitive the film is to light.

In digital photography, ISO can be thought of as how sensitive the camera sensor is to light. This is not technically correct, as ISO is really an algorithm run by the camera software, but it helps to think of it this way.

With ISO, the larger the number, the more sensitive the film or camera sensor is to light. Higher ISO numbers allow the camera sensor to capture more light, but higher ISO numbers also introduce more noise into an image. For this reason, it’s usually recommended to shoot using the lowest ISO number you can get away with.

Choosing the Correct Exposure

Unless you are using Manual mode, your camera will adjust at least one of these settings for you. Cameras have a lot of different modes which are beyond the scope of this article, but a good setting for beginners is “aperture priority” mode. This is usually shown as an A or Av on your camera’s dial.

Aperture priority mode allows a user to set the aperture and ISO values, and the camera will choose the correct shutter speed to maintain a proper exposure. If you find the shutter speed is too slow, you will need to adjust either the aperture or ISO to compensate.

I’ve mentioned correct exposure several times in this article, but it’s also important to note that proper exposure is as much a choice of the photographer as it is a technical aspect of photography. Sometimes photographers, including myself, will intentionally over- or under-expose an image during capture. The original exposure can then be adjusted later in post-processing or maintained as an artistic choice. Whatever exposure choices you make, remember to always have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Quest for the Perfect Shot

When capturing a photograph, what makes the perfect shot? Is it the lighting? The subject? The background? A combination of all three?

Maybe it’s the camera. Is a DSLR or mirrorless camera better than a cell phone? Is film better than digital? What defines better?

As a landscape photographer, my idea of the perfect shot may not be the same as if I were a portrait photographer. What may be the perfect shot for one landscape photographer may not be the perfect shot for another landscape photographer. Photographers are artists, and art is subjective.

A couple of years ago, I visited the Getty museum in Los Angeles. There were many great exhibits, but one particular piece caught my eye. The piece was a group of 17 silver gelatin prints, photographed by Robert Kinmont, and titled My Favorite Dirt Roads. The photographs themselves were not anything special, experts would even call them amateurish (this was intentional, by the way), but they made me feel something.

To me, that’s what makes the perfect shot. That connection, that feeling. It doesn’t have to be technically perfect. It doesn’t have to be large enough to hang above your living room couch. It just has to resonate with you on a level that makes you remember it years later. You may not even remember what the image looks like, but it makes an impression on you that lasts. Sometimes, we can’t even define why a particular image makes us feel something.

With My Favorite Dirt Roads, the connection was clear. I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and the piece made me remember my own favorite dirt roads. The dirt roads by my childhood home, leading to the trees I used to climb and the pond where I caught tadpoles. The dirt roads to my family farm, where I fed cows in the winter and cut hay in the summer. The dirt road up the canyon, where we herded cows every spring and went camping as a family.

I even began photographing my own favorite dirt roads as an homage to Robert Kinmont’s piece. I have since abandoned the project, but I may return to it in the future. The idea still makes me feel something, and I want to pass that feeling on in my own work.

I know such a project won’t resonate with everyone, but it will resonate with some. Maybe we shouldn’t always be concerned with getting that perfect shot, that photograph or artwork that will be loved by the masses. Maybe we should just focus on what resonates with us. We may not sell as many pieces that way, but art isn’t really about sales, is it?

Posted on Leave a comment

Understanding Image Usage Rights

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are meant as a guide only, and should not be construed as expert legal advice on copyright law. Any specific questions about copyright and intellectual property rights should be referred to a lawyer with expertise in United States copyright law. Copyright laws differ slightly from country to country, so a lawyer familiar with International copyright laws may also be required.

Product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Their inclusion in this article should not be construed as an endorsement.

Imagine you are working on a project for a major client. You’ve spent days getting the design just right and now you’re looking for that perfect image to make the project complete. You search through your image library, but nothing feels right. You try image after image, but they all fail to meet your expectations.

We’ve all been there. Like most designers, you probably turn to the Internet. A quick Internet search yields the perfect image for your project. You visit the website, download the image, and turn your finished project over to the client. The client is happy, your boss is happy, and life couldn’t be better, right?

Wrong. You forgot something.

That image you downloaded and used in your project belongs to someone else. You had no legal right to use that image and now you, your company, and your client find yourselves in court for violating someone’s intellectual property rights.

But the image was on the Internet, so it’s free for anyone to use, right?

Wrong again. Unless the image is in the public domain, any image posted to the Internet is automatically protected by United States copyright law, with or without a copyright notice. Even sharing that image on your Facebook page without permission is a violation of the author’s legal rights. While some claims of copyright violation are more difficult to enforce than others, any legal trouble can mean bad news for a designer. Your company may survive a lawsuit, but your job and reputation likely will not.

So how do you avoid this type of situation?

The first thing you can do is avoid using images found in an Internet search. While some of these images are either public domain or specially licensed for commercial work, most are not. A better approach is to subscribe to a stock photo service such as iStock or Shutterstock. Services such as these allow almost unrestricted use of their photos for either a monthly fee or a per-photo fee.

If money is an issue, there are many sites which offer free photos, but the image quality and resolution is usually not the same as those found through a subscription service. Sites like morgueFile and Wikimedia Commons offer free access to thousands of photos, many of which are restriction-free or require only that you provide attribution to the photographer. Also, with the exception of government trademarks and logos, images created by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person’s official duties are not subject to copyright.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to pay attention to an image’s license. Many artists have licensed their work with a Creative Commons license, allowing others to use their photos with specific restrictions. If you can’t find an image’s license, you should probably assume it is not available for use.

This article was originally published on the LearnKey Blog.

Posted on

Painting the Manti Temple using Imprimatura

I have little formal training in painting, so most of what I know I learned from articles on the Internet. I have been reading about imprimatura in painting and I wanted to try it out.

Imprimatura is an underpainting process where the painter creates a monochromatic stain of color on the canvas and uses the color to establish values of dark and light. Usually an earth tone is used, such as raw sienna or burnt umber. When painting, the artist is careful to not completely cover the imprimatura with paint so that some of the earth color shows through in the final painting.

Once I had decided on my subject, I began my painting by creating a basic sketch on my canvas board with a pencil. I then traced my sketch with ink so that the lines would show through when I put down my imprimatura layer.

Manti Temple painting - sketch

I created my imprimatura layer by mixing water and acrylic paint at close to a 1:1 ratio. I then used a foam brush from the hardware store to spread the thinned paint onto my canvas board. In retrospect, a foam brush was not the best tool for the job because it caused streaks in the paint. After brushing on my imprimatura layer, I used a paper towel to wipe the sky out so that the paint would be lighter in that area.

Manti Temple painting with imprimatura

Once the imprimatura layer was dry, I began by painting the sky and the temple. I found another use for my foam brush while painting the sky. I found that if I put tiny drops of paint on the sky, I could use the foam brush to create cloud streaks. There are probably other ways to do this, but I really liked the way the streaks looked when using the foam brush.

When the sky and temple dried, I painted in a brown foreground and added dark green trees.

Manti Temple painting - first layer

To finish off the painting, I lightly painted over the trees with a lighter green color to give some depth. I also lightly painted over the ground with a light green color, allowing some of the brown to continue to show through.

"Manti Temple" (2020) by K. Bradley Washburn

And that’s how I used imprimatura to create this painting. Did I use the technique correctly? I have no idea, but experimentation and creativity is what art is really about anyway.

This article was originally published on Artistic Imposter Design.

Posted on

Creating a Stereographic Projection in Photoshop

Several years ago, I was introduced to a way to create cool and unique pieces of art from a photograph in Photoshop. This type of digital art is known as a stereographic projection or “little planet” and, while you don’t see too many people doing it anymore, it seems like it was kind of popular a few years ago.

To make this kind of art is actually pretty simple and requires only a couple of things: a great photograph and a copy of Adobe Photoshop or a similar image-editing program. The best stereographic projections use a type of picture called a 360-degree panorama. This means that the edge of one side of the panorama could be placed next to the opposite edge of the panorama and the two sides would form a continuous scene. These types of pictures are often created by standing in one place and taking continuous photographs while panning the camera in a 360-degree circle, then stitching the photos together in Photoshop or a similar program. Many smartphone cameras now have a panorama feature that makes this easier.

So what do you do if you can’t get a 360-degree panoramic photograph? There are two options: either fake it by editing the image you have, or mirror the image. I have done both, and both options can provide great results.

Faking It

First, I want to show you how to fake it. I’ll use a copy of my photograph, Hovenweep, taken at Hovenweep National Monument.

After opening the photograph in Photoshop, I will go to the “Filter” menu, scroll down to “Other,” and choose “Offset…” from the pop-out menu. In the “Horizontal” text field in the dialog box that pops up, I will type “1000” and click the “OK” button.

Offset Dialog Box

My image will now look like this:

I can now use the Clone Stamp tool to replace areas of the image along the seam so that the offset sides flow into each other without a noticeable difference. Since we are creating a stereographic projection the seam doesn’t have to be perfect, but I will still make it look really good. Once I am finished with that, my image will look like this:

Hovenweep after cloning

You can still see a couple of places where I could have tried to make it look better, but it will be fine in the final result. Now that I have erased the seam, I will go to the “Image” menu, scroll down to “Image Rotation,” and choose “180°.” Back in the “Filter” menu, I will scroll down to “Distort,” and choose “Polar Coordinates…” In the dialog box, make sure the “Rectangular to Polar” radio button in selected and click “OK.” My image will now look like this:

Hovenweep after polar coordinates filter

The last step is to resize the image so that is a square. Some people do this step right after using the Clone Stamp tool, but I prefer to do it last. When I do it earlier in the process, I occasionally get weird artifacts in my final image. To complete this step, I will go to the “Image” menu again and choose “Image Size.” In the dialog box, I will make sure the “Resample” check box is selected and the link icon between Width and Height is not selected. I will choose “Pixels” from the drop down menu next to Width. Then I will change the value in the text box next to Width to match the value in the text box next to Height, and click “OK.”

Image Size Dialog Box

My final image looks like this:

"Hovenweep Stereographic Projection" (2017) by K. Bradley Washburn

Although not perfect, my seam is now not even visible.


For this example, I will use a different image. I’ll open up a copy of my photograph Cottonwood Creek in Photoshop. The first thing I will do is go to the Layers panel, click the lock icon on the Background layer, right-click on the layer, and choose “Duplicate Layer.” I now have two layers, each with the Cottonwood Creek image.

From the “Image” menu, I will now choose “Canvas Size.” In the dropdown box next to Width, I will choose “Percent.” Then in the text field next to Width, I will change “100” to “200” and click “OK.” This will double the width of the canvas while keeping the height the same.

Cottonwood Creek after resizing the canvas

Using the Selection Tool, I will drag one layer clear to the right of the canvas and drag the other layer clear to the left of the canvas. Then, with just one layer selected, I will go the “Edit” menu, scroll down to “Transform,” and choose “Flip Horizontal.” This creates a mirrored landscape and my image now looks like this:

Cottonwood Creek flipped

With the top layer selected, I will now press “CMD+E” (Mac) or “CTRL+E” (Windows) to merge the two layers, and follow the steps I took above to rotate the image, map to polar coordinates, and resize to a square. My final image will look like this:

"Cottonwood Creek Mirrored Stereographic Projection" (2017) by K. Bradley Washburn

That’s all there is to it! With a nice photograph and a decent image-editing program anyone can create a stereographic projection.

This article is an updated version of an article originally published on Artistic Imposter Design.

Posted on

Image Resolution

Many people get confused when it comes image resolution and image size, and how they relate to the amount of pixels versus pixels per inches (ppi, also known as dots per inch or dpi). In my two-decade career as a graphic design professional, I have even known many professional designers who didn’t understand the difference.

Photoshop users have it easy. The Image Size dialog box automatically calculates the inches for you based on the resolution you need. The most important thing to remember when changing an image’s resolution from 72ppi to a printable resolution is to uncheck the Resample Image checkbox at the bottom of the dialog box. If the box is checked, you will pixelate your image and it will be unusable.

To figure out the measurement of a picture in inches, you will need to divide the number of pixels by the resolution. A 3000 × 4000 pixel image at 72ppi will be roughly 41.6″ x 55.5″. When the image resolution is changed to 300ppi, it will be 10″ x 13.3″.

When it comes to image size, the resolution is not important – the total pixels are. The resolution can be changed, but the total pixels need to stay the same to avoid pixelation. A 3000 × 4000 pixel image at 72ppi can be changed to 300ppi, but the 3000 × 4000 pixels must NOT be changed. There are techniques to get around this in a pinch, but changing the amount of pixels should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

And remember…not all images need to be printed at 300ppi. 300ppi is the standard resolution for print, but it really depends on the project and the printer. Posters and similar items not meant to be seen up close can get away with as low as 150ppi. Also, anything larger than around 350ppi will increase your digital file size with no improvement in print quality.

This article is an updated version of an article originally published on Artistic Imposter Design.

Posted on

Changing Web Page Items Using JavaScript

This tutorial is designed for JavaScript newbies. It was originally written in 2009 and uses SWF objects, which are no longer supported in modern browsers. Regardless, the JavaScript can be adapted to work with any type of media.

I recently had a client who wanted a page with a SWF movie that could be changed to a different SWF by clicking on a button on the page. A while back, I did a project where the user could click a link and change the source of an image on the page using JavaScript, but changing an entire SWF seemed a little more difficult. The code to change the image to a different image looked like this:

<image id=”imagetochange” src=”pic1.jpg”>
<a href=”#” onclick=”imagetochange.src=’pic2.jpg'”>Change image</a>

This code was simple enough, so I tried modifying it to change the source of the SWF when I clicked the link. My code now looked like this:

<object id=”changemovie” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” data=”flashmovie1.swf” width=”640″ height=”400″>
  <param id=”changethis” name=”movie” value=”flashmovie1.swf” />
<a href=”#” onclick=”’flashmovie2.swf’; changethis.value=’flashmovie2.swf’;”>Change movie</a>

This worked in some browsers but it didn’t work in others, so I was forced to come up with a different solution. After some research, I was reminded of two JavaScript items that eventually made the whole thing possible: getElementById and innerHTML. After some tweaking, I ended up with a code that looked something like this:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
  function changeText() {
    document.getElementById(‘flashitem’).innerHTML = ‘<object type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” data=”flashmovie2.swf” width=”640″ height=”400″> <param name=”movie” value=”flashmovie2.swf” /> </object>’;

<div id=”flashitem”>
  <object type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” data=”flashmovie1.swf” width=”640″ height=”400″>
    <param name=”movie” value=”flashmovie1.swf” />
<a href=”#” onclick=”changeText();”>Change movie</a>

First, I created a JavaScript function called changeText(). Inside the function, I placed “document.getElementByID(‘flashitem’)”. This calls a function which searches the page for an element with the id of “flashitem”. Then I added “.innerHTML”, which tells the program that we are doing something with the innerHTML property of the specified element. I then set the value of the innerHTML property to the code for the SWF object I wanted to replace the original SWF, and closed the changeText() function. Now when the function is called, it will change the HTML inside a div with the id of “flashitem” to the code to place the new SWF on the Web page. Now I just needed to create the div and the link.

I created a new div with the code for the original SWF object inside and gave the div an id of “flashitem”. Outside the div, I then created a link to call the function changeText(), and it worked perfectly.

This article was originally published on Artistic Imposter Design.