Sometimes Less is More

Sometimes it’s more important what you leave out of the image than what you include. When you’re making an image always look around the viewfinder for anything that might be a distraction. If you are making a photograph of a wildflower, is the telephone pole in the background adding to the photo? Just changing the camera position relative to the subject can remove many distractions.

So what do you do if you cannot work around the distraction? This is where you have to get creative. In the photo below, I considered the trees a distraction but there was no way to remove them from the composition and still keep the reflection in the water. Since I was making a photograph of the sunrise, I simply underexposed the trees turning them into silhouettes and removing them as a distraction. Without detail, the eye ignores the silhouettes and goes straight to the colors in the sky, which is exactly what I wanted.

Red Sunrise

How Many Photos Fit in a Terabyte? We Are About To Find Out.

FilckrFlickr has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet with the latest upgrade to their service. For us long time Flickr users, this has been a long-awaited upgrade. With the recent shakeup in the top management at Yahoo, most of us had high hopes that its Flickr service would get a much-needed overhaul. And overhaul it they did. Gone is the sea of white space and the plethora of blue-colored links replaced by a user interface focusing on the photos instead of sharing the screen real estate with mundane metadata. Don’t worry though, the mundane metadata is still available, albeit hidden a little. Just click on a photo and scroll up to find all that metadata goodness.

I haven’t made it through every nook and cranny in the new user interface but the parts I tried are definitely a step in the right direction. As with any upgrade, there will be some tweaking applied as the feedback rolls in from the users. The couple of things I saw I didn’t like are minor and not worth getting in a fuss about.

Recently, it seems that with every good there is a bad, and with the Flickr upgrade there is a doozy. For us Pro account holders, the Pro account model just ended. There seems to be some conflicting opinions whether Pro accounts may be renewed indefinitely to keep the unlimited storage and ad free status. Hopefully, Yahoo will make this clear in the next few days. The forums are flooded with all kinds of guess-work and the potential firestorm should be quelled as fast as possible.

Based on Flickr’s calculation of the image size from an average smartphone, a terabyte of storage will hold 500,000 photos. That’s a lot of photos of your lunch, your girlfriend, and the cat. Better start snapping.

Make Them See It Your Way


When you look at the accompanying photograph of a basket of oranges, where does your eye go? Is it to the orange in the front? If your eye landed on that area, it went exactly where I wanted it to go. One of the greatest tools you have available as a photographer is the ability to direct the viewer around and through the image.

How did I know that you would look at the orange up front first? Actually, I didn’t—that was an assumption on my part. I gave your brain a number of visual clues in the image to entice it to think about the image as I do. Let’s look at one of those visual clues. We will look at others in later blog articles.

One of the visual clues I used in this image is selective focusing to create a well-defined focal point. Notice how the orange up front and a little of the table surface underneath is the only part of the image that is in sharp focus? Your eye will instinctively seek the parts of an image that are in focus and your brain places more importance on those areas. If all the oranges were in focus, the viewer’s eye would hop from orange to orange looking for details and most likely confusing them in the process.

Jeff Burton Takes Honors in 2013 IAL Membership Art Show

Just You and MeJeff’s photograph Just You and Me of a sunset in Grand Haven, Michigan was awarded First Place in the Photography Division at the 2013 Illinois Art League Membership Art Show. Established in 1960, the purpose of the Illinois Art League remains the same today. The League offers workshops to help members increase their artistic skills, juried shows that allow members to display their work along with a newsletter and website to keep members informed of all activities.

Just You and Me captures the quiet moment of a stroll along the beach at the end of a wonderful day. The waves of Lake Michigan lap at the feet of the couple as they soak up the rays of the sun with the Grand Haven lighthouse in the background. The warm golden color of the sun glints through the glass enclosure of the lighthouse acting as if to light the way for those seeking to come home from a long summer day.

Jeff’s photograph of the falls in Turkey Run State Park named Punch Bowl was awarded Second Place in the Photography Division and his photograph of sunrise on Johnson Lake in Kewanee, Illinois called When Morning Arrives was awarded Honorable Mention in the Photography Division.

Jeff Burton is a Peoria, IL based Fine Art Photographer, who seeks to capture moments that instill a sense of calm and wonderment with the world around us. His photography style emphasizes the rich texture and tones of his subjects which are often overlooked.

Jeff Burton Awarded Third Place in 49th Rennick Juried Art Show

Peoria, Illinois

Jeff’s black and white image of downtown Peoria, Illinois from across the Illinois River was awarded Third Place in the 49th Annual Rennick Juried Art Show sponsored by the Peoria Historical Society. The show theme is Central Illinois with works depicting life within the region.

Peoria, Illinois captures the world-class skyline of Peoria Illinois. The night-time image emphasizes the urban romance of the city by accentuating the lights and glitter of the downtown region. The nighttime skyline is rich with history and commerce including the world headquarters of Caterpillar, Inc. Along with the skyline, the beautifully lit riverfront area illustrates the nightlife of the city and the “Spirit of Peoria” paddle-wheel riverboat is visible in its home dock.

Jeff Burton is a Peoria, IL based Fine Art Photographer, who seeks to capture moments that instill a sense of calm and wonderment with the world around us. His monochrome photography style emphasizes the rich texture and tones of his subjects which are often overlooked.

Peoria, Illinois and Morning Workout works will be on exhibition at the 49th Annual Rennick Juried Art Show in the Peoria Public Library, Main Branch, LL1 Gallery May 1, 2013 through May 31, 2013.