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Dan Ballard

Dan Ballard

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Affection

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Dan Ballard is an internationally known travel and landscape photographer and keynote speaker. He gives presentations on photography around the world at symposiums, festivals, trade shows and workshops.   Dan has visited 60 countries on five continents around the globe, and his work has attracted the attention and praise of some of the biggest names and companies in the photo industry.  Dan's images have been on display around the U.S. in museums and galleries, and he has sold images to clients around the globe, including The National Geographic Society and The Travel Channel. He is proud to be on the Mpix, Zenfolio and BlackRapid Pro Teams, and to have strong working relationships with the most trusted names in photography, including SanDisk, ThinkTank Photo, Nik Sofware, and Really Right Stuff.  His images have been published in magazines and calendars worldwide, and he has won or been a finalist in numerous prestigious competitions. Large, framed prints of his work can be found at stores around the country. Dan’s image ”Let ‘er Fly” was recently featured in a Smithsonian Channel episode on what makes an award-winning image.
  • Nikon D810
  • Nikon D800E
  • Nikon 16-35mm, Nikon 50mm, Nikon 70-200mmf4
  • Really Right Stuff Tripod & Ballhead
  • Think Tank and Mindshift bags
  • BlackRapid Straps

Light Up the Dark!! Night Photography Lesson

Published July 27th, 2011

Just because you can’t see the light, does not mean there is no light!

The photo below was taken about an hour before the sun came up. I literally couldn’t see anything of the photo I was about to take, but in my mind’s eye I basically knew what the image would look like. It can be a little difficult to learn how to take pre-dawn photos, but once you get the hang of it; it can yield incredible results. Not only do you have the chance to show off the stars, but moving clouds and in this case smoke, can make an otherwise ordinary photo extraordinary. I will give you a few basic tips to get started.

First off, you must have a tripod and a cable release. Most night photography exposures are between 20 seconds and 1 hour. If you have the equipment you need and find a night sky to shoot, the next step is to focus your camera. At first that would seem to be a difficult task as the scene will probably be to dark for your cameras auto-focus; however, all you have to do is focus at infin ...

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"A Tale of Near Death in Tibet"

Published July 27th, 2011

The story below may just be scariest thing that has ever happened to me while traveling. I have been robbed at gun point twice, was almost thrown in jail in Syria, spent several crazy days in Iraq during the height of the conflict there, slept on the street most nights while hitchhiking through Europe and the Middle East, amongst other things and this was by far the closest I felt I have come to dying.

“A tale of near death in Tibet”

The mountainous area of western Tibet is a rarely explored mix of dizzying heights, culture, religion and often tragedy for those who choose to explore its upper reaches. For a landscape photographer it is heaven. Peaks reaching to over 24,000ft ascend from the grassy plains into clear blue sky, or red and orange sunrises.

The first four mornings I was in the area I was up at 4 am ready for the tough 2 hour hike from the town of Kangding to around 10,000ft to shoot the surrounding peaks. By the fifth morning I was tired of the hiking and ready for the c ...

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Great Quote

Published July 27th, 2011

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it. ~Author Unknown”

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"Germany in Autumn" ~ Sharpness

Published July 27th, 2011

Sharpness is perceived. Of course some lenses are sharper then others. The camera your using can have an effect. But sharpness is perceived! I get asked about sharpness as much as any other aspect of photography. “What lenses do you use?” “What amount of sharpening do you do in Photoshop?”“What is your sharpening process for enlarging images?” Etc. The answer is……… ask a different question. Yes sharpening on the computer and shooting with great equipment has an effect on the sharpness of your image. But the circumstances in which you take a picture are actually much much more important. “How do you take a better image?” is the right question.

If you want sharper pictures, the key is good light, clear air, color, and making the subject stand out with either light or an out of focus background. Red and orange seem much sharper to the eye. When a scene has warmer tones or red or orange colors it will appear sharper then a scene with cooler blue tones. If you shoot in gr ...

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"Tunnel of Time" ~ Great Photography

Published July 27th, 2011

Can you teach someone to make a stunning photograph? I have always thought the answer was yes. You teach them about simplifying the image. To shoot in good light and to understand all light. The guidelines of composition. How form and colors and textures can work with you or against you. How to let your subjects “in” and truly “feel” what your shooting. How the camera “sees” the world differently then the human eye. How to think like an artist, be more creative……and to shoot with passion.

I just returned from the Imaging USA photo expo in San Antonio yesterday, and I had the opportunity to do some shooting on the way down. As I was looking at the photos on my computer last night I was very much aware of the quality of the images compared with my horrible photos from a few years back. It was a battle, but what a difference!! I truly believe that anyone with dedication and an open mind can learn to be a better photographer. I have never heard of anyone who was great when ...

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