3 Spring Flower Landscapes to Photograph in the US

by Robyn Porteen
( March 3rd, 2015 )

Lavender Field of flowers

Spring is almost here for the US and those of us that have seen nothing but white landscapes in the past 4 months are definitely ready for it! Maybe this blog post will trigger the weather to warm up and bring on those Spring Flowers!

There are many sites all around the world that photographers gather to get the perfect floral landscape shots. I have picked my top 3 places to photograph Spring flower landscapes in the US.

Sunflowers in North Dakota

1. Sunflower Fields in North Dakota

I had the rare opportunity to travel in North Dakota on business a few years back and had to drive across the state. There were endless rolling fields of sunflowers as far as the eye could see! It’s a memory I will retain forever and if you get a chance to visit this beautiful state, do so! You can pull over on the side of the road to capture many beautiful scenes.

Blue Ridge Mountains


2. Spring Flowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Another one of my favorite places in the US for peace and tranquility is the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains. There are plenty of places to pull over and hike in. Plan a trip in the Spring and you will find areas of wildflowers along the roads and in the valleys. This is also another great photography destination for waterfalls.


Antelope Valley in California

3. Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

This one is on my bucket list. It is the Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley, CA. There are beautiful landscape photography opportunities here with rolling hills and mountains as your backdrop. The Poppy is the California State Flower and this reserve is the place to go to see more poppies in one place. The blooming season depends on the amount of rainfall they get in the winter months, so check ahead.


Lavender Fields: Copyright: Debbie Orlean 
Sunflowers: Copyright:pakhnyushchyy
Blue Ridge Mountains: Copyright daveallenphoto 
Antelope Valley: Copyright: Ken Wolter 


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5 of the Most Colorful Festivals to Photograph

by Robyn Porteen
( February 18th, 2015 )

Paris Festival

In celebration of Mardi Gras this week, I thought it would be fun to showcase some colorful festivals.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, you know that color and composition transform ordinary photographs into intriguing and compelling art work. One of the best places to find that color is at one of these world festivals. You’ll not only come home with some terrific shots, but you’ll have a good time as well.

Mardi Gras

1. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. From the floats to the beads to the king cakes, New Orleans is an explosion of color during Mardi Gras season, the two weeks preceding Lent. The daily parades and nightly parties offer wonderful photographic opportunities. Of course, New Orleans isn’t the only place in the world that celebrates the week preceding Lent. Brazil and the Caribbean island of Trinidad both have large Carnival festivities.

Day of Dead

2. Day of the Dead in Mexico. On November 1st (All Saints Day), Mexicans honor their ancestors with colorful costumes, paper flowers, pastries and street parties. Though it might seem like a macabre concept, the reality is far from grim.

Balloon Festival

3. The Albuquerque Balloon Festival. This event, which takes place each year in early October, is a feast for the eyes. More than 700 hot air balloons take part in this nine-day event, the largest hot air balloon event in the world. The crisp, clear blue New Mexico sky makes a perfect backdrop for the brightly-colored balloons.

Dublin Party

4. St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. What started out as a religious day to commemorate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, has turned into a secular celebration, complete with green beer, parades and partying. Practically the entire city wears shades of green, making it a fun and colorful display.


5. Oktoberfest in Munich. Munch’s annual harvest festival draws more than six million revelers each year and has spawned hundreds of similar events around the globe. Munich’s celebration, which takes place at the end of September and early October, features lots of beer, carnival rides, food and fun. The colorfully-decorated beer tents and traditional Bavarian costumes make for great photographs.

If you’re looking to expand your photographic skills, take your cameras on the road this season and attend one of these colorful festivals.

Venetian Carnival, Copyright - erickn

Mardi Gras Float, Copyright - Sean Motola

Day of the Dead, Copyright - Julio Aldana

Balloon Festival, Copyright - Steve Estvanik

St Patricks Day, Dublin, Copyright – Aitor Mouz

Oktoberfest Photo, Copyright - Francesco Bucchi 

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9 Ways to Create Photo Titles with Impact

by Robyn Porteen
( February 14th, 2015 )

Grandpas Hand

Grandpa’s Hand

As a photographer, you put a little of yourself into each photo you take. But without memorable titles and captions, your photos may not achieve the maximum impact you’d like. It is especially important to use creative titles if you are entering your photos in competition. The photo above was selected for third place in a world wide photo journalist competition. The name could have been Cutie Pie, Pull My Finger or the Childs name – Allie. Selecting “Grandpa’s Hand” told the best story of this photograph. It allows the viewer to see the love of family, and I believe it helped this photo take a winning place.


Follow these nine tips for creating photo captions and headlines that make an impression on the printed page, on the web, on social media, in competitions and elsewhere.

Mother EarthMother Earth

Set the right tone

Before writing your headline and caption, determine the appropriate tone. Is your photo sad, funny, inspiring or whimsical? Make sure your word choice matches the mood of your photo.

Use action verbs

In school, you learned to create sentences using the traditional formula: subject, verb, object. That structure works great with headlines and captions, where action verbs create the most impact.

Can You HearCan You Hear Me Now?

Use present tense

Write photo titles and captions in present tense in almost all cases, since viewers are seeing the action now.

Your MajestyYour Majesty

Write with sharing in mind

When you create your headlines and captions, consider social media and what you would be most likely to share as a user. Consider the most compelling aspect of your photo, and make that prominent.

Capture the heart of your shot

You only have a few words to grab your reader, so focus on the overall subject of your shot rather than on extraneous details.

How to Title Your Photos

Camel Love

Use humor

When appropriate, humor is one of the best devices for grabbing viewers. Socially shared content often makes people laugh.



Keep it brief

Captions and titles in printed pieces almost always are short. Online and in social media, photographers have the option to become more verbose. Resist the temptation.

Don’t repeat information

Even if you don’t think there’s much to say about your photo, try to use unique information — or at least unique language — in your titles and captions.

Capitalize appropriately

Capitalize the first word in your title, along with proper nouns. Other words should be left lowercase. Known as “up-and-down” style, it’s considered easier to read and is used by many newspapers.

A well-written photo title serves as the marquis to your image. On Instagram, Twitter and elsewhere online, your headline may be the only means of persuading a viewer to take a closer look. Ensure that your titles and captions enhance the impact of your images by setting the right tone, conserving words and writing with sharing in mind.

To The Moon

To the Moon

Grandpa’s Hand – Copyright Robyn Porteen
Mother Earth - Copyright Robyn Porteen
Can You Hear Me Now? - Copyright Robyn Porteen
Your Majesty - Anna Yakimova
Camel Love - Copyright Robyn Porteen
Smugness - Copyright Robyn Porteen
To the Moon - Copyright Robyn Porteen

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