My family and I always spend about 8-10 days out of every year in Panama City Beach, Florida. The gulf coast has amazing seafood, white sand, clear water, and magical sunsets! Need I even say more? We just arrived a couple of hours ago, and I’m already craving fresh seafood!
We always like to stay in a large high-rise with a corner unit, so I can photograph the sunset from the balcony without any buildings standing in between me and sunset. Yes, my wife specifically looks for corner units so I can take better photos. I’m a lucky man :-). Speaking of that, if you guys or gals ever need to book a fun-filled Disney vacation, my wife will handle everything for you for free! She is a Disney travel agent, and I can promise you that there is no one in this world that knows more about booking Disney trips than her. She has been doing this for 9 years, and You can check out her page HERE.
Anyway, it’s going to be an extremely fun week, and I can’t wait to spend time with my family, eat tons of seafood, and take some awesome photos! Of course, I have already put the X-T2 to work on tonight’s sunset, and you can see that photo below. If any of you live here, shoot me an email and maybe we can do a photowalk one day.
Let’s just hope the “wave incident” from last year doesn’t happen again! I’ll put that video below so you can see me and my D810 dripping with water…
Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 XF WR
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https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-XL2JbzS/0/090c839e/X3/i-XL2JbzS-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-05-05 21:40:102017-05-04 18:42:10I'm In Panama City Beach For The Next Week!
We spent the weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains at a beautiful cabin right at the top. The cabin had an amazing wrap around porch with a great overlook, so it wasn’t hard to find a location to continue testing out the Fuji X-T2. Here is a short video I made that gives you a quick tour of the cabin…
NEW PHOTO – “Don’t Awaken The Darkness”
We arrived at the cabin about an hour before sunset, and that is when I noticed that the porch and overlook were at the perfect position for a sunset photo. As time went by, the sky set fire to some of the most vibrant red tones I have ever seen, and the sensor of the X-T2 rendered the reds brilliantly!
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-38LbT7Z/0/X3/i-38LbT7Z-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-03-07 13:46:502017-04-12 01:42:33Don't Awaken The Darkness
Today we spent the first half of the day in Epcot while our friends and their son traveled from Georgia to spend the week with us.
It’s always nice taking photos and being in Disney during the most uncrowded times of the year. THAT is where it’s awesome having a wife that is a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. She always hooks us up with the best shows, fast passes, and dinner reservations.
Once our friends arrived, we met them back at the hotel and got ready for dinner at Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s World Showcase. If you haven’t eaten there before and you like Japanese cuisine, you are really missing out! They have some of the best sushi I have ever had in the states. Disney definitely prides themselves on making all of the countries insanely authentic with the people, architecture, food, and the whole cultural experience.
There was a fantastic golden hour today with tons of beautiful/warm light kissing the sides of the epic Disney Architecture. I was able to take one photo of the light hitting a clocktower in Italy that stands next to another awesome restaurant called Via Napoli. Great pizza!
All in all, it was an awesome first day with our friends, and we’re all looking forward to a great night of sleep to prep us for another day in the magical world of Disney. I should probably stop blogging now since I’m the last one awake. Look below for a few photos I took today with the Fuji X-T2.
Dia De Los Muertos(Day Of The Dead) – Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4
Clocktower in Italy overlooking Via Napoli restaurant. Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-CtM2HH3/0/X3/i-CtM2HH3-X3.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-01-23 00:37:282017-02-18 14:54:31Disney Day #2: Epcot And Dinner At Tokyo Dining
Ohhh, so THAT Is What Fuji Fanboys Are Talking About…
I am going on three weeks of being a “Fuji Shooter” with my X-T2, and I can say with complete confidence that it has exceeded my expectations.
I am primarily a landscape/nature photographer and have always used my big Nikon DSLRs. I have been very pleased with my D810 for the past two years, but there are four distinct features that I think sets Fujifilm X cameras apart from the other camera brands I have used.
#1 Light Rendition:
I have no technical explanation for this one. I have used tons of cameras, but the way the Fuji X-trans sensors record light is just magical. There is such a defined and attractive separation between highlight and shadow. I’m Pretty sure that Fuji performs some kind of wizardry on these sensors after Sony sends them over.
This image was taken during golden hour, and I still can’t explain how the sensor magically portrays the separation between the cold blue shadows and the golden highlights kissing the rocks.
#2 High ISO Detail:
This is a big one for me because I do a lot of printing. There many times where I see “the shot” and just have to crank the ISO much higher than normal to capture the moment before it disappears. Usually when this happens while I am shooting with my D810, it’s kind of a general rule that loss of detail and color starts happening around 3200 ISO. For sharing online or any kind of web use, 3200 and up is easily useable on the D810, but printing is entirely different. To my complete surprise, the XT2 files are still useable at 6400 ISO and up for printing. I ordered a 16×24 print from an XT2 TIFF file that was shot at ISO 8000, and it looked freaking phenomenal due to the amount of detail that held together at the higher ISO values on the Fuji XT2. If you would like to see a Fuji vs Nikon ISO comparison I did, you can read that blog post HERE.
This image was taken handheld at 5000 ISO with no noticeable loss of detail at all.
#3 The Mechanical Dials:
The image quality isn’t the only reason that the XT2 has been an absolute pleasure to shoot with. The handling and ergonomics of this camera simply make it fun to use. My favorite feature about the ergonomics of course are the mechanical dials on top for controlling ISO, shutter speed, metering, and exposure compensation. Not only does it make for a super fast workflow when shooting, but it also adds that beautiful bit of nostalgia as if I’m shooting on an old film camera.
#4 Color Rendition:
Last but not least, the color rendition on that Fuji cranks out of their files are stunning. It really has a look of it’s own that I have not seen before when using any other camera or software plugin. If you make the jump and purchase one of these Fuji X cameras, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Ever since the first few Fujifilm mirrorless cameras started to hit the market a few years ago, I have heard nothing but good things about their natural rendition of “colory” buttery goodness. Now I know why people won’t shut up about it ;-).
This image only had some micro contrast and sharpening applied to it. The colors and exposure are straight out of the camera. It impressed the heck out of me!
Conclusion And Video Going Over These Four Topics…
If you can’t tell, I am really loving this camera so far, but I have obviously found some quirks and cons that I will mention in my full review(coming soon). I will go ahead and put your mind at ease by saying that I haven’t found anything yet that bothered me enough to sell it or return it. I am going on almost a month of not touching my Nikon D810. It might sound weird, but when I get creative and feel like going on a photo adventure, I just naturally pick up my Fuji kit without thinking. It just feels right…
As Always, please let me know in the comments if you have ANY questions at all.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jfq5bcK/0/X2/i-jfq5bcK-X2.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2017-01-09 14:39:282017-01-13 22:44:06Why Are Fujifilm X Cameras So Special? Fuji XT2 Mini Review
This is just one of those photos that was really fun to capture and post process. I’m not 100% sure why this happens, but every once in a while I really show favoritism towards a specific photo.
I was on my way to a small town in Alabama to shoot Fall colors when I saw this beautiful overlook to my right. Obviously, I had to stop the car so I could determine whether or not the scene had potential for a great photo. Well, the second that I saw the little house with it’s own little section of the forest, I just fell in love with this scene.
Wait For The Light…
The clouds were moving very fast that day, so it was making it tough to capture the light at it’s best. For the longest time, that beautiful little house was in deep shade, but I waited as long as it took for that perfect beam of light to accentuate all of the magic that the landscape had to offer.
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-XRCqcJg/0/XL/SoShinesAGoodDeedInAWearyWorld-XL.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-11-10 16:17:362016-12-11 14:46:45So Shines A Good Deed In A Weary World
As an outdoor photographer, Autumn is one of the best times for adding great images to my portfolio for print sales and licensing. However, the past two years have been really dull and flat where I live in Georgia, so I typically have to drive out of state to find vibrant colors.
This year, I ended up driving to a small little town in Alabama that I have never been to before called, Mentone. It was a beautiful little town surrounded by even more beautiful state parks. Desoto State Park is where I took this photo, and I honestly didn’t think I would like the way it turned out since the mid-day-sun was beating contrasty light into the trees and water.
After reviewing everything on my computer, I thought that the lighting was actually pretty cool with the left side of the composition hidden in shadow. I just used some post processing tools to chisel the detail out of the huge wall of rock, and I ended up being really happy with the way this image turned out.
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-rB8SWZN/0/L/Desoto%20Park%20In%20Autumn-L.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-10-29 12:15:162016-10-30 14:40:43Desoto State Park In Autumn
One of the coolest moments from my trip to Florida was when my dad and I hired a private charter to take us to a secret part of the infamous, Shell Island.
My dad’s favorite thing in the world is fishing, and If you told him that he had to fish for his food every day for the rest of his life, he would consider himself a lottery winner. Anyway, my dad is good friends with this fishing guide who told him about a “secret” part of Shell Island that no tourist charters know about. He claimed that the water and the sand on that part of the island were more beautiful than anything he had ever seen in the Caribbean. Well, he was right!
When we finally arrived to the “secret” part of the island, the scenery was just unbelievable! we saw sea turtles, tons of majestic dolphins swimming together, and the best part….no other humans around!
I had to hang off the front of the boat on this windy day with my Nikon D810 and 70-200mm lens for about 30 minutes to get this shot, but it was so worth it! That entire private tour was a privilege to be on since I got to spend time with my dad, hear funny drunken stories from our crazy captain, and witness a small part of the natural beauty that the ocean has to offer. It would be pretty hard to find someone who loves the ocean more than me 🙂
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-xtjj5Mj/0/L/Majestic%20Dolphins%20Of%20Shell%20Island-L.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-10-02 14:00:282016-10-07 19:52:50Majestic Dolphins Of Shell Island
This photo is quite simple but makes me want to be on an adventure in the wizarding world, nonetheless. My wife and I are huge Harry Potter nerds, and we love simply hanging out in the theme park all day just soaking up the “mood” even if we don’t get to ride any rides. All we need is each other and some butter beer………and my camera of course 🙂
A quick photo tip for these extremely crowded places is to try the best you can to focus on the details. I say this because crowds can often prevent you from getting the great wide shots you want, so instead of adding 300 tourists to your portfolio photos, just look around for the details like this sign where you can zoom in and cut all of the people out. If you want even more FREE TIPS on theme park photography, check out the video I did with Matt from Art Of The Image where I give you all of my best tips for getting great photos in theme parks! CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
NEW PHOTO – “The Daily Prophet”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-32cbW3p/0/M/The%20Daily%20Prophet-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-03-28 17:50:262016-09-01 19:18:36The Daily Prophet
A Dedication to my late grandfather, Frank Mosley…
I love shooting sunsets, but it can be very hard sometimes to find truly magical sunsets here in Georgia. What makes a sunset magical? Well, it takes a few elements that all have to come together at the same time. The clouds have to be the right size and texture in order for the colors to reflect off of them, the colors have to be the perfect mixture of orange/purple/pink, the sun can’t be covered by any clouds so that the warm golden light can kiss the surroundings, and THAT is what makes a magical sunset…
I found this location and captured this photograph 4 hours and 11 minutes before my grandfather passed away and went to heaven. THIS photo turned out to be the truly magical sunset that I very rarely get to see. Some might say that it’s just a coincidence….. I say that God opened up the sky in the most beautiful way to bring home one of the best men I ever had the pleasure of knowing and being able to call my grandfather.
NEW PHOTO – “The Edge Of Night”
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Edge-Of-Night_100ppi.jpg10332028Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-03-23 23:13:532016-12-02 16:38:56The Edge Of Night -Dedicated To My Late Grandfather
Purchase My Prints and have them shipped right to your door!
I have been working for quite a while on a very easy and innovative way for people to purchase my prints. I have partnered with one of the best print labs in the country, and they will now be handling all of the logistics for my prints. I also offer METAL PRINTS now which I am so excited about since it’s one of the most unique ways to display your art.
I am only selling a select set of my photos for print. You will notice on my new online gallery that I have a folder named “Limited Edition Prints” where I will periodically be switching out photos once I have sold a certain amount of one print. If you see a photo that is not for sale, just email me and I can tell you if/when it ever will be. Thanks so much and have fun looking over my new print gallery! SEE PRINT GALLERY HERE
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Limited-Edition-Prints-Graphic.jpg8001000Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-03-19 23:02:452016-05-28 18:07:05Now Offering LIMITED EDITION PRINTS
I captured this one on my last night in Disney World watching the Illumination show in Epcot. While the general public was fighting over a front row spot by the water to get photos of the show, I was interested in capturing how the LIGHT was going to play off some of the surrounding villages. I know I say this all the time, but light is everything when it comes to photography.
I found this cool little village with a garden in the middle that I took photos from during the show while waiting for the unpredictable fireworks to cast some warm/contrasty light onto the village. After sorting through the photos and comparing how the light effected each one, I decided on this one. Enjoy!
NEW PHOTO – “Garden Of Illuminations”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-NQwjZqG/2/M/Garden%20Of%20Illuminations-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-02-26 17:23:282016-09-03 14:40:16Garden Of Illuminations
I am 100% serious when I say that there are endless photo opportunities at Car City! I was honestly like a kid seeing Disney World for the first time. My dad and I wondered around for a couple of hours and still didn’t see even half of the cars that are sitting there just waiting for someone to come along and make inspiring art out of the rusty ruins.
What caught my eye about this old truck was the crazy amount of broken glass, the green moss growing from the dashboard, and the odd shaped textures that were all over the truck. This truck just had so much “character” compared to all of the other ones sitting around it, and the way I decided to compose this shot even gives off a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel to this photo. This place is nothing short of an automotive cemetery…… and photography paradise 😉
NEW PHOTO – “Loyal To A Fault”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-PXTvsRD/5/M/Loyal%20To%20A%20Fault-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-02-09 20:28:192016-09-03 14:59:48Loyal To A Fault - Old Car City Part #2
My dad and I are the adventurous people in my family. We love spending days driving around and exploring places that most humans don’t visit. Well, we were exploring a couple of weeks ago and stumbled upon this cool little shack on the side of the road with a big “Old Car City” sign. As soon as we saw it, we knew that we had to go back the next weekend to dedicate a whole day to this crazy looking place.
When I got home from the day of exploring, I looked up Old Car City on Google, and I was immediately hooked based on all the photos I saw on their website. The place has 4400 classic cars that have been rotting and rusting since the 1930s. Anything that has been rotting away for that many years is a photographer’s cup of tea. Enjoy this photo I took of an old Ford truck that has so much rust and character, it should be considered art 🙂
NEW PHOTO – “Forgotten Over Time”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-zJngK5z/5/M/Forgotten%20Over%20Time-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-02-08 18:24:412016-09-03 15:07:51Forgotten Over Time - Old Car City Part #1
It can be really tough to capture good photos of the Wishes fireworks show in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. My best piece advice would be to show up EARLY, get your tripod and camera in a good spot, and don’t move one inch until the show is over.
While Disney is truly a magical place, unfortunately, the people are not the same. If you don’t show up early and try to secure a spot for the fireworks, I can almost promise you that someone will pick a fight with you while you’re walking through the crowds trying to find a last-minute spot. You would be surprised at how many parents in Disney act more childish than their own children. I’ve seen it too many times so just trust me on this one 🙂
The Wishes fireworks show is one of the coolest shows I have seen in any theme park, so I definitely encourage everyone to bring their cameras and go see it! Enjoy!
NEW PHOTO – “Wishes Fireworks Show”
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Disneys-Wishes_Web-Optimized.jpg38752500Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-02-01 23:59:462016-09-03 15:09:44Disney's Wishes Fireworks Show
Most of my followers know that I love photographing theme parks anytime I get the chance. This trip back in September of 2015 was the first time I was able to photograph the infamous, Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside of Universal Studios.
I grew up with the Harry Potter movies and have always been a huge fan. It’s only a dream come true to see what Universal has created for their guests, and I can’t even explain how excited and anxious I was to start making photos of that awesome place!
This photo was taken in Diagon Alley with the dragon blowing fire on top of Gringotts bank. I waited forever to time the photo perfectly with the big ball of fire coming out of the dragon’s mouth, and I finally nailed the shot! I hope you all enjoy!
NEW PHOTO – “Escape From GRINGOTTS”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-HxDDwRg/5/M/Escape%20From%20GRINGOTTS-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-27 18:35:412016-09-03 15:18:33Escape From GRINGOTTS
I love going to Sweetwater Creek right after a few days of constant rain! As you can see in this photo, the water is moving crazy fast for a creek that is normally calm enough to walk across in sandals. I was there hiking and shooting with my good friend Joseph, and we found a possible but not-so-safe way to set up our cameras on a rock that was inches from the rushing water. Yes, I may have almost fallen into the water a couple of times on the way down to the rocks, but I got a great photograph out of it.
I highly recommend visiting Sweewater Creek if you like to hike, take photos, or just enjoy being outdoors in a beautiful place. Also, a little “fun fact” about Sweetwater Creek that a lot of people don’t know is that quite a few scenes for the third Hunger Games movie were filmed all along the creek and the mill. Enjoy!
NEW PHOTO – “Symbol Of Hope”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-Q36FjkJ/6/M/Symbol%20Of%20Hope-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-25 16:48:202016-09-03 15:22:25Symbol Of Hope
Out of all the woodland creatures, owls have always been the most mysterious to me… It’s always fascinated me that owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees due to their fourteen neck vertebrae compared to the seven that humans have. They are so beautiful, and looking into their eyes can be quite mesmerizing! I have only seen one a handful of times in my life, and it never gets any less amazing to study and photograph them.
Depending on the reaction I get from all of you, I might make this a limited edition print. Hope you enjoy this one!
NEW PHOTO – “The Silent Observer”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-R3LJzKM/5/M/The%20Silent%20Observer-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-22 18:27:332016-09-03 15:32:30The Silent Observer
While trying to avoid a big parade in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I noticed this old man sitting behind a hut carving animal faces into small pieces of wood. Now, I’ve been to Animal Kingdom probably a hundred times, and I have never seen people selling woodcarvings. I was on the way to try and catch a show on the other side of the park, but I missed the show because I was so intrigued with watching this man so laser focused on his carvings…
I obviously wanted to capture a photo of him, but it was so hard deciding how I wanted to set up the composition. I wanted to encapsulate the cool “feeling” of this scene into one single photograph. You will notice in the photo that I only captured his hands. As a photographer, you have to think about how you are going to convey emotion to your viewers. Sure, I could have taken a wide angle shot of the whole scene, but I wanted to create a visual representation of the emotion and excitement that I was feeling while watching him work his craft. Think about that next time you take a photo 🙂
In conclusion, I approached him and made some small talk after taking the photo of his hands. I found out that his name is Mulei, he is obsessed with tigers like me, and he started woodcarving with his father over 40 years ago when he was a child growing up in Kenya, Africa. It was a cool moment in time to be a part of, and I even walked away with a cool photo!
NEW PHOTO – “Mulei The Woodcarver”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-d9FFrZ6/5/M/Mulei%20The%20Woodcarver-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-20 21:07:412016-09-03 15:45:01Mulei The Woodcarver
After loads of people asking how I give my photos a magical and etherial look, I made a video on how I post processed one of my most popular Disney photos. I hope you all enjoy it!
NEW VIDEO – Disney World Photography Post Processing #2
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Disney-Post-Processing-Video-2.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-07 22:34:122016-09-03 15:49:57Disney World Photography Post Processing #2
December of 2015 was my first visit to the Opryland Hotel, and it definitely took me by surprise. The hotel had tons of waterfalls, around 20 restaurants, offered riverboat rides, and was within walking distance of the historic Grand Ole Opry. Needless to say, it was very hard to fit all of this beauty and excitement into one photograph. As a matter of fact, I went out of my way to make sure I didn’t fit it all into one photograph. I believe that one of the biggest mistakes people make when documenting cool places is zooming their lens to the widest angle and trying to fit everything into one “crowded” looking image.
In my opinion, one of the most important things a photographer can give to his/her viewers is a feeling. Yes, it might sound strange. However, think about why you have certain framed photographs or paintings throughout your home. It had to have given you a feeling or made you think of a meaningful memory. Now you’re starting to see what goes into making a great photograph or piece of art. We do a lot of work to make sure that the way we compose the photograph expresses the feeling of the scene that made us so happy to take our camera out of the bag to begin with. Let that sink in for a bit 🙂
Have a wonderful week!
NEW PHOTO – Christmas At Opryland Resort
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-RKNSCsL/5/M/Christmas%20At%20Opryland%20Resort-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-06 19:28:442016-09-03 15:51:25Christmas At Opryland Resort
I was honored this week to be featured on the Art Of The Image youtube channel and website. I was asked to speak on my top tips for theme park photography. I have never spoken on this topic before, but how could I turn down the opportunity to be on this awesome photography show? I have posted the link to the video below, and I hope you all enjoy it!I was honored this week to be featured on the Art Of The Image youtube channel and website. I was asked to speak on my top tips for theme park photography. I have never spoken on this topic before, but how could I turn down the opportunity to be on this awesome photography show? I have posted the link to the video below, and I hope you all enjoy it!
NEW VIDEO – Theme Park Photography Tips
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Theme-Park-Tips-YT-Graphic.jpg7201280Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2016-01-01 23:49:042016-09-03 15:52:44Happy New Year With A NEW VIDEO
My wife and I were in Disney World for an entire week around the holidays last year, so I thought I would share a cool photo I took on our trip. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Resort which was beautifully decorated for Christmas! As you can see in the photo below, the lobby had this unbelievable Christmas tree that was one of the largest and most extravagant I have ever seen! The problem was, it was so beautiful that hundreds of people were constantly waiting to take photos of their families in front of the tree. Well, even indoor photography involves knowing exactly when the best time to shoot is. Unfortunately, the only time I could get a photo with no people around was at 3am…
I waited in the hotel room trying my best to stay awake after a long day at the parks and finally got the perfect shot in the middle of the night with no one around. Even the guy that was waxing the flowers offered to move out of my way for a few photos as long as I promised to show him the results. Everything came together perfectly, and I even gained a new fan(floor wax guy).
ALWAYS be willing to take risks! As you can see, sometimes it’s worth it. Merry Christmas and thank you ALL for the continued support!
NEW PHOTO – “Harambe Christmas”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-GRkXN2B/3/L/Harambe%20Christmas-L.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-12-25 23:15:372016-09-03 15:55:35Merry Christmas To All
Just incase you all haven’t noticed yet, I absolutely love taking photos all over Disney World!
There is just something so special about taking photos in Disney. I feel so creative and free when I’m there. As adults, we often hold back certain emotions, feelings, and creativity that was so easy for us to express when we were children. The reason I love art so much is because it’s the perfect platform for me to express all of those feelings as often as I want! Art/photography is an outward expression of the creator and should never be taken too seriously. Every time I capture and post process photos, I do it ALL unapologetically. What I mean by that is that there are no “right” or “wrong” ways to create art. Every person will create it in a different way… Some will use art to find themselves, and some will turn out like Thomas Kinkade who always used art to enrich the lives of others…
Always follow your dreams
NEW DISNEY PHOTO – “When You Wish Upon A Star”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-pQ3pc94/2/M/When%20You%20Wish%20Upon%20A%20Star-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-12-08 17:15:162016-09-03 16:00:03When You Wish Upon A Star
Here it is, folks! I am super excited to release the second photo in my Portraits Around The World photo series!
The subject’s name was Harry, and he was a really cool and nerdy guy…which I loved of course. We hit it off pretty quick once we discovered that we’re both die hard Star Wars fans. We spent about 10 minutes talking about nerdy stuff before I asked him for a photo, and you will see where the scenario goes from there when you watch the video below. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts!
NEW PHOTO – Portraits Around The World | Harry From England
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Harry_PATW-England.jpg39982751Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-11-20 18:32:192016-09-03 17:18:53England - Portraits Around The World
I am SO excited to finally kick off my “Portraits Around The World” photo series!
This really sweet Chinese girl in the photo is Rebecca Pik Kei Wong. While visiting each country in Epcot, I walked around for at least half an hour looking for the perfect person to ask about taking their photo. Lets go ahead and get your thoughts out of the way… yes, that last sentence makes me sound like a total creeper. However, there really is an art to choosing the perfect person to take a portrait of. I look for someone who will make eye contact with me, someone with a sweet smile, someone who looks approachable, etc.
When you approach random people and ask to take their photo, there is another form of art involved. You have to be great at building fast relationships based on trust. I say this because this day in time, random dudes with cameras asking people for a photo can be looked at as very sketchy or uncomfortable. I have made a video that goes along with each photo in this series where I explain exactly how I handled each situation. I go over how I approached each person, the words I chose to use while asking for a photo, and I will share some cool facts that I learned about each person I photographed.
I really hope you all enjoy these photos, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
NEW PHOTO – Portraits Around The World | Rebecca Pik Kei Wong
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Pik-Kei-PATW-Watermarked_Web-Optimized.jpg53823309Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-11-02 18:50:482016-09-03 17:37:14China - Portraits Around The World
It was the last day of our vacation in Panama City Beach, and I spotted this sailboat in the distance as we were all about to leave the condo. I immediately unpacked my camera bag so I could capture this cool scene!
I love how simple this photo is. It’s apparent that the main subject is the white boat, but the surrounding ocean with no land in sight ties everything together. As a viewer, I look at this photo and feel a sense of adventure, mystery, seclusion, peace, etc. I hope you all enjoy this one!
Let me know if you would like a limited edition print. Thanks!
NEW PHOTO – “A New Beginning”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-mBPd9QG/5/M/A%20New%20Beginning-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-09-28 21:50:452016-09-03 17:49:01A New Beginning
You’re probably wondering what my new project is all about! Well, my wife and I just recently got back from spending a week in Disney World. When I was driving us there, I had 7 hours to think of this interesting idea………
I always take photos while I’m in Disney, but 99% of my work is typically of iconic rides, fireworks, and cool architecture. While I believe that all of my photos have a signature look, there are still so many people that take photos of Disney architecture. I just wanted to do something different….something special. As I started throwing ideas around in my head, I knew that I wanted my special project to involve Epcot. Well, one thing lead to another, and I had this idea to do “Portraits Around The World” in Epcot’s World Showcase. For those who don’t know what that is, Epcot has a huge section of their park dedicated to replicating many different countries around the world.
Portraits Around The World
Now that you know how the idea came about, I will explain. Disney requires that each country in Epcot only hires employees that were born in the country they are working in. That is how Disney keeps everything super authentic. That being said, I put myself on a mission to take a compelling portrait of an employee or group of employees from each country in Epcot. I thought the mix of culture would be really cool to see! Now you see why I named the project the way I did. I knew it would be a cool idea the moment it came to me, and I hope you all like it as well! I think it will be a really unique series of images!
Conclusion And What’s To Come
I will release the first portrait of the series in a couple of weeks, and I will make a quick video that goes with each portrait. Each video will explain how I got the photo, how I chose which person to photograph, and I will share some cool info about each person. The key to getting a great portrait of someone you don’t know is to build a quick relationship and earn their trust. You will be amazed at how much better your portraits look when your subject opens up! Thank you all so much for the continued support, and I can’t wait for you to see the portraits!
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Epcot-Portraits-Around-The-World.jpg10001500Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-09-22 23:55:042016-09-08 16:42:50NEW PROJECT - Portraits Around The World
Well, the heading pretty much sums up my life this past week. For those who don’t know me, I spend a lot of time and effort making sure I don’t get sick. I take a fair amount of vitamins on a daily basis, I try to eat fruit every day, and I almost always cover my mouth around anyone I see coughing/sneezing. I am obsessed with the outdoors and photographing the outdoors, so I hate anything that prevents me from doing that.
A Quick Summary Of The Week
When my wife and I got home from our trip to Disney World last Sunday, I started feeling tired and congested. The next morning, I woke up with a fever and a terribly soar throat. I basically spent the all of last week until yesterday coughing up things I never knew my body could produce and creating kleenex mountains all over my house. I am thankful to say that I am finally recovering, and I am VERY sorry that there was no content on the blog last week! I haven’t even taken the two thousand photos I took in Disney and synced them with my main mothership computer yet. Needless to say, it’s been a crazy week. Thank you all for understanding, and I promise there will be some great new photos and videos coming your way!!
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Medical-Logo.png550550Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-09-20 17:23:522016-09-04 00:11:12Apology For My Lack Of Content - I'm Sick
Even though my wife thinks this is one of the most painfully boring rides to sit through, she rides it with me multiple times because she knows it is my favorite! It basically takes you on a journey through time about how technology has evolved over the years, and the ride ends in the middle of the big ball where they have created the illusion of seeing the moon in the distance of outer space.
The ball is the iconic shape and logo for Epcot, so I knew that I wanted to take a very simple photo of it. I mean, it would be hard to make a photo of a ball complicated, but I didn’t want to shoot it at sunset or with crazy clouds behind it…. just keep it simple. The ball is a piece of simply beautiful architecture all on it’s own, and I did my best to showcase that. I hope you all like it!
NEW PHOTO – “Disney’s Spaceship Earth”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-2KqGh89/2/M/Disney%27s%20Sapceship%20Earth-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-09-10 13:22:432016-09-04 00:16:48Disney's Spaceship Earth
We arrived in Disney a couple of days ago and spent our first night wondering around Magic Kingdom. We always stay on Disney property so that we have access to “Magic Hours” which is basically an extended time period that allows us to stay in the park when most other people have to leave.
As you might have guessed, we waited until most of the crowds left, and that is when I saw this cool scene of Tomorrow Land’s lights glowing across the water from Cinderella’s Castle. I love creating the kind of photos that even I could stare at all day. It was so peaceful there… Enjoy!
NEW PHOTO – “Disney’s Tomorrow Land”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-xtWLLnL/2/M/Disney%27s%20Tomorrow%20Land-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-09-08 01:04:472016-09-04 00:20:48Disney's Tomorrow Land
Disney’s Epcot is one of my absolute favorite places to take photos! This specific piece was very fun to create, so I made a super quick video where I let everyone watch me post process the photo from beginning to end…. On hyper-speed… Hope you enjoy!
Taken in Disney’s Epcot World Showcase – Morocco
http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Disney-Post-Processing-Youtube-Graphic.png450800Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-09-07 00:21:272016-09-04 00:23:32Disney World Photography - Post Processing
I captured this photo on one of Jekyll Island’s nature trails. Jekyll Island has such a beautiful resort with tons of trails, wildlife, oceanic views, and huge mossy trees that will blow your mind! Enjoy!
NEW PHOTO – “Jekyll Nature Trail
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-QVjkb2f/5/M/Jekyll%20Nature%20Trail-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-08-18 20:30:012016-09-04 00:47:56Jekyll Nature Trail
First, I LOVE shooting in Disney World! It is such a beautiful place to make art! So, reflections are a wonderful tool to use when composing a great photo. They add bits of magic and mystery that make photos much more appealing for the viewers.
One of my absolute favorite artists who used refections all of the time in his work was the infamous, Thomas Kinkade. He was most famous for his brilliant Disney paintings that are still cherished and featured all over Disney property. In fact, my wife and I own two Disney canvas Thomas Kinkade paintings, and they inspire me every day. I like to keep his work in mind when I photograph Disney World because it maximizes my creativity and shapes how I decide to use Disney’s magical lighting to make unforgettable art.
NEW PHOTO – “Cinderella’s Castle In Pink”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-4NGF2rd/2/L/Cindererlla%27s%20Castle%20In%20Pink-L.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-08-17 16:29:292016-09-04 00:50:02Cinderella's Castle In Pink
First, if you have never been to Barnsley Gardens, I highly recommend that you go! It is a beautiful resort with two great restaurants, a golf course, horseback riding, great hiking trails, beautiful gardens, and tons of amazing little cottages you can rent.
While I was hiking with my dad and wife on one of the trails, we approached this random circle of really tall bamboo sticks . The coolest thing was that you could walk in the middle of the circle and be completely surrounded by bamboo. It was a very cool sight, so I had to create a photo out of it. I tried to capture the bamboo from a really unique angle so the viewers would get the same cool view that I and in person.
I hope you enjoy this one! It has quickly become one of my favorites. Let me know if you would like a print. Thanks!
NEW PHOTO – “Sacred Bamboo Forest”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-rJG6L4h/5/M/Sacred%20Bamboo%20Forest-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-07-30 01:31:592016-09-04 01:06:08Sacred Bamboo Forest
One of the most incredible things about Jekyll Island is the beautiful scenery everywhere you look. I was in absolute awe over the serene land/seascapes, the amount of wildlife, and the crazy moss hanging from every tree!
I found the scene in this image while hiking on one of the island’s wildlife trails. I came across a cool little bridge, looked to my right, and I saw exactly what you see in the photo below. It’s not one of those “masterpiece” photos with insane colors and a double rainbow, but I think that is why I like it so much. It is beautifully simple. The waterway draws the viewer’s eye all the way through the photo, the sky is pleasantly blue, and if you look really close, you’ll see a fisherman way out near the water in the middle-right of the photo. While I was processing this one, I almost removed the fisherman from the scene, but I think he fits perfectly and adds a bit of character to the overall composition.
I hope you all enjoy this one!
NEW PHOTO – “Jekyll Waterway”
https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-5pkJpS4/5/M/Jekyll%20Waterway-M.jpg10801920Eric Marks (Author)http://findingmiddleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FME-X-THEME-LOGO-FINAL-1030x259.pngEric Marks (Author)2015-07-28 11:30:212016-09-04 01:08:39Jekyll Waterway