The History Of Fine Art Photography

What is Fine Art Photography?

The first question is, “what is fine art photography?” The definition of fine art photography is creating luxury art by expressing creativity through the lens of a camera. The quality of fine art is high caliber and brings value to the consumer or viewer. Not only is fine art about expression, but aesthetics play a big role as well.

Fine Art Photography
Danny Sepkowski’s Limited Edition Fine Art Photo of “Nebula”. Order yours today!

The History Of Fine Art

According to Saatchi Art, “Historically, fine art encompassed painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry”. In todays ever changing society with advanced technology, it is safe to say that photography has been added as a medium.

The start of fine art can be dated way back in the Renaissance Period and even earlier. From the “Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh, to “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” by Hohusai, Fine art has made an impact in history.

starry night van gogh
“Starry night” By Vincent Van Gogh.

Fine Art only appeared as an idea in the 18th century. Charles Batteux was a french philosopher who was the author of “Les Beaux Arts réduits à un même principe in 1746″. His belief was that Fine Art should be defined as a single principle. He also believed that fine art was built by poetry, painting, music, sculpture and dance. His philosophy about fine art was-“let’s choose the most beautiful parts of nature, to make an exquisite whole, more perfect then nature, but never ending to be natural”.

History Of Photography

The first photographic camera was invented in 1839 by Alphonse Giroux. At first, the camera was used for commercial work or documentation. After years of improvements of the camera, artists started to emerge.

Giroux's daguerreotype camera, 1839

Giroux’s Daguerreotype Camera, 1839

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams was a San Francisco born artist that actually transitioned from being a musician to a photographer. He is a key factor in the history of fine art photography. His love for nature was second to none and his landscape photography showed it. His goal was not about making money, but to take care of the environment. Ansel Adams was a key player in “The American Conservation Movement”. The movements mission was to protect landscapes throughout the world. His work was also starting to be recognized as an art form which started to pave the way for landscape photography.

Ansel Adams
Legendary photographer “Ansel Adams” doing what he does best.

Robert Capa

Robert Capa was a war documentary photographer as well as a photo journalist. His work captured the emotional side of war as well as the story behind it. His photos still inspire photo journalists today. Robert Capa has to come to mind when it comes to the history of fine art photography. He was known to be a part of the action during his assignments. His assignment for The Spanish Civil War actually had him almost die in a plane crash. He walked away from that crash and documented some of the most historic war photos in history.

Robert Capa
Robert Capa in the work field.

Fine Art Photography Today

Fine Art Photography today is a different story. There are numerous mediums of Fine Art Photography which include landscapes, seascapes, abstract, and even portraiture. The level of art is unlimited in todays society with the ever vast advancement of technology. Who is bringing Fine Art Photography to another level in todays world?

Abstract Seascape Photography
Abstract Seascape of “Texturen” is available for purchase now.

Peter Lik

In terms of leading the game in Fine Art Photography today, Peter Lik owns that realm. His work has sold in the millions and his luxury fine art prints grace the walls of numerous celebrities homes as well as high class mansions around the world. His photo “Phantom” sold for 9 million dollars! His panoramic prints and detailed acrylic prints are not a cheap investment though!

My Take On Fine Art Photography

Waves and Seascapes are my favorite subjects to capture with my camera. Abstract photography would have to be my forte since I like to shoot and compose my photos tight. Over the years, my 100mm lens has allowed me to capture the details of waves before they actually break. As a result, I have found my style in photography and integrated my photography with Fine Art Prints.

Abstract Wave
Abstract Wave Photo Of “The Eye” will look great in any space.

In conclusion, the history of Fine Art impacts the way I take photos today. From being inspired by the composition skills of Ansel Adams, or the drive and hustle that Peter Lik has, I am always elevating my skills to bring my work to your walls. My luxury prints are also not going to cost you an arm and a leg compared to other artists as well!

Danny Sepkowski Photography

How To Transform Your Office With Wall Art

6’x8′ Large Format Print of “Agape”. Order your fine art print today.

Transform Your Office With Wall Art

How to transform your office with wall art. The office is a space where work can be done and goals can be achieved. Whether you are a business owner or working at home during these Covid-19 times, your office should be designed with pride. When it comes to business and achieving your goals, your surroundings can be a factor for your mindset as well as productivity. Businesses and workplaces have been impacted greatly due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. There is great news for all of you office dwellers out there. Art can relieve stress and increase workflow during these trying times!

When you have an office in mind, do you want clutter and paper surrounding yourself? Of course not! Minimalistic designs and peaceful art can transform the work environment. Having a simple clean aesthetic flow in your office can help you get work done and avoid distractions. When you add wall art to the mix, you can enjoy a peaceful setting and get work done with ease.

Inspiration And Your Office

There are various types of wall art to choose from in todays world. From paintings, to photography prints, the right piece of art for your office is out there! A big part of having the right print on the wall in your office is inspiration. Before you purchase a print to fill your space ask yourself, “what inspires me to get work done?”

dolphin print
Enhance your office with a fine art print of “Solitude” today.

For me, nature photography is a big inspiration in my life as well as making a living in Hawaii. With that being said, I have a fine art nature print of Dolphins swimming in the pristine waters of Hawaii. This print allows me to take a breathe when I need a break from work and it also reminds me how valuable it is to call Hawaii home no matter what I am going through at the moment.

Art And Being Organized

Being a wave photographer from Hawaii means that I have to be organized. From booking photo shoots to delivering fine art nature prints, an organized office is ideal. How can art help my workflow? My go to for keeping my workflow are wall calendars! Not only can you benefit with having everything written down, but you can have art (that is not too big) grace your walls.

My 2022 Calendar line can be a great fit for any office out there. Need to take a step back and enjoy the views of paradise? Our 2022 Tropical Beaches Calendar can help and is currently our best seller. The best characteristic of this calendar is that you are able to jot down goals, plans, and appointments and enjoy art at the same time.

Calendars can fill up wall space that do not require something too big. We all do not own a corporate office that can install a large format museum quality print. With a calendar, you can fill up the office space without over doing it and can still add a sense of relaxation to it as well. When it comes to designing your office, keep it simple! I believe that a simple office setup can relieve stress and help you stay focused!

2022 Dolphins Calendar
A simple office setup with our “2022 Dolphins Calendar”

Large Artwork For Office Walls

Large Artwork Install of “Agape” and “Parade” at “Better Homes Hawaii” Office.

When it comes to corporate offices, large artwork for their office walls will most likely be the call. The first step for purchasing art for your office is to think about your clients first! In a corporate office, the goal is to keep clients comfortable and almost feel at home which can possibly execute a business deal for the company.

In Hawaii, our Sealife Photography does well for offices. Our best seller is “Parade”. This Dolphin print has been gracing the walls of many offices over the years. Offices usually like to place this image in a lobby because it can help their clientele relieve stress and enjoy the scenery while they wait for a big meeting. Dolphins can give a sense of happiness so having this type of print may do better than a shark photo. Most people may think sharks are aggressive and might not enjoy the feel of that print as much as dolphins or whales.

ocean life decor
Our Sealife photo of “Parade” was taken during a pristine swim in Hawaii.

Breathing Room For Your Office Walls

Big prints in an office are ideal if there is space for it. My rule of thumb is to always let your prints breathe! Without breathing room, the prints will overtake the feeling of the room and can almost be a distraction. I like to measure the whole wall before installation and make sure that each side has an equal amount of space to breathe. This allows people to enjoy fine art photography while getting their work done in the corporate world.

Office Wall Art
40×80 print of “God’s Plan” seen here with perfect breathing room on the walls in a corporate office.

As you can see above, there is an even amount of space around this fine art wave print. This makes it easy for the viewers eyes and the aesthetics of the room is improved substantially. Bigger can be better in some situations but the art of balance and simplicity can go a long way. Workers will be able to see the difference with art on the walls and who knows, maybe it will help them make more sales as well!

In conclusion, it is all about simplicity and thinking about your clientele and what inspires you. Investing in fine art photography for an office is essential for all business owners out there. It is our goal to provide the highest quality wall art for any type of business. Feel free to shoot us an email at [email protected] for Office Wall Art Inquiries.

Danny Sepkowski Photography

How I Became A Winner Of “The National Geographic Travel Photo Contest”

The Process

How I Became A Winner Of “The National Geographic Travel Photo Contest” was a walk in the park… Not so fast. Let me start off by saying that this experience did not happen overnight and it was not an easy process. For seven years I submitted to every photo contest that I could find and spent a good amount of money doing it. During these seven years, I did not win any competitions. That’s right, none… I started to get discouraged about not placing in any of the competitions and wanted to give up. I honestly felt as if it were a waste of time and money. As time went on, I realized that my photos needed to change. 

In 2016, I felt that shooting every wave with my Canon 14mm f2.8 wide angle lens was not doing it for me. My underwater shots were getting better and I started to get some recognition in contests but obviously I wanted to win! At the end of the winter season in 2016, I decided to purchase a 100mm f2.8 Macro Lens. I had a feeling that this would be a game changer! As I started to use that lens, it actually hurt my photography for a while! I started to capture images in the water and learned that I needed practice. It took me almost two years to learn how to get one crisp photo with my camera setup in my waterhousing. That is right, two years of non stop horrible sessions and not knowing how to use this lens. I actually put the lens away and let it collect dust at one point because I was getting impatient with the process.

Canon 14mm f2.8 lens
Danny Sepkowski’s Underwater Setup includes this Canon 14mm f2.8 Lens

The Change

In 2017, I decided to take my 100mm out to Keiki shorebreak for the first time. This session changed my life forever. I ended up capturing my number one selling print “Agape” on this day. This is when my abstract ocean photography was born. After learning how to use this lens with my lens port on my waterhousing, my seascape photography excelled. Publications of my work from National Geographic started to flood the world’s feed and my contest results started getting better. In 2017, I realized that style is everything in photography. I finally captured my style and I knew that it was going to grab momentum.

Abstract Seascapes
Abstract Seascape image of “Agape” taken during Danny’s first session with his 100mm Lens at Ke’iki Shorebreak.

I told myself that I was going to only shoot waves with my 100 mm lens for the next two years. For two years straight I basically used the same lens. Whether the waves were firing or one foot, I shot with that lens as if my life depended on it. It was a huge learning process for me because the 100mm lens is not the fastest lens out there. There is a reason why people do not use it for water photography, but that did not stop me. When the stars align with this lens, it is pure magic.

Canon 100mm f2.8 lens

The Contest

After two years of shooting with this lens, I decided to submit my work to the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest. I usually like to submit as many photos as possible for a contest, but I decided to only submit one wave photo for that contest. That photo was “Dreamcatcher” which was taken in 2018 at Sandy Beach during the sunset. Sandy Beach is known for its epic sunrises and back breaking shorebreak. Capturing a wave photo with the sunrise can be epic but crowded as well. In 2018, I made it a mission to shoot Sandy Beach with a different perspective. Little did I know that Sandy Beach has epic lighting during the sunset.

National Geographic Winner "Dreamcatcher"
Award winning photo “Dreamcatcher”

I posted “Dreamcatcher” on social media in 2018 and the engagement with my audience was unreal. I honestly did not care for the photo but other people apparently did. Before I submitted any photos to the contest, I took a step back and thought about what other people liked and not what I liked. This was an eye opening experience for my career. Style and seeing what your audience enjoys through their eyes can help bring your photography and any business to another level. After I submitted my photo to the competition, I carried on with my life and almost forgot about the contest.

Is this photo contest a scam?

I vividly remember waking up one morning to check my email messages. I had a few messages to respond to and an order to fulfill. For some reason, something told me to check my spam folder. I hardly ever check my spam folder! As I scrolled down I received an email from National Geographic stating that my work has been selected for a final review for the contest! A part of me was excited but I was skeptical that it could be a scam. I only had two more days to submit a Raw photo of “Dreamcatcher” to that email so I decided to go with it. 

One month goes by and I receive another email confirming that I was a winner of the contest! Keep in mind that I am still skeptical about this… After they gave me that announcement, I had to keep my mouth shut for another month and not tell anyone about the news. Obviously a photo contest of this calibur pays so they wanted all of my banking information, social security number, w-9, and contact information. This is when I got really sketched out.

I ended up calling the financial team to confirm everything was legit. As I made the call, a man with a foreign accent answered the phone. At this moment, I thought my dreams were crushed and everything was a hoax. As the man asked for my information, I told him that I wanted to wait until the contest news was announced to make sure everything was safe.

National Geographic Photo Contest Winner

On June 12th 2019, the announcement was made and reality hit. My email and phone were blowing up and I started to receive inquiries from people around the world to purchase “Dreamcatcher”. Next thing I know, CNN is doing a cover story on my work as well as USA Today and other news channels. It was a relief to know that the contest was not a scam. My outer state sales skyrocketed that year and opportunities started to blossom. It was an honor to be chosen as a winner out of 50,000 participants. This contest helped my career today and has taught me that patience pays off.

Do you want to know How I Became A Winner Of “The National Geographic Travel Photo Contest”? Hard work and patience are ideal to get your photography out there. I believe if you develop your style over time and listen to your audience (to a certain extent) opportunities will arise. Instead of shooting with multiple lenses, try to shoot with one lens for as long as you can. I believe photography is all about perspective. Sticking with a lens for a long period of time can teach you about composition and lighting in a different way. Always submit your work and check your spam folder:)

National Geographic Winner Danny Sepkowski CNN
Cover Story on “Dreamcatcher” by CNN

How I Sold A 20ft Fine Art Print

Tru Life Acrylic Seascape Print Installation of “Zeus”

Attention To Detail

How I Sold a 20ft Fine Art Print was not an easy task at all. When it comes to making a sale with  high end clients, the attention to detail and accommodating their needs can seem endless. There is a reason why these high end clients will work harder for a better price, better material, and get what they want. The reason why is that they hustled their whole lives to get where they are today. These clients are smart with their money and know how to make decisions that will benefit them. This big sale was hard work and stressful at times but it inspired me to hustle even harder for my business. This sale was not only a game changer for the bank account, but more importantly my mindset.

How My Client Found My Art

First question most artists will ask me is “how did your client find your art?”. I was honored to be a winner of “The 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest” This award boosted National and International sales for me as well as online traffic. As time went on, I put a little more focus on my social media marketing and maintaining my website. A priority for my business is publications. The more publications you receive, the more eyes will view your art! Over time, I built a relationship with National Geographic and had millions of people view my photography. My client saw an article of my work online and the rest was history. I was also ready to sign a deal with National Geographic to have my prints be sold in their galleries. Due to Covid, that dream was shattered. It was a blessing in disguise…

Process Of Making A Fine Art Sale

An email enquiry was the first point of contact with this client. They saw an article about me online and decided to reach out. Right off the bat, the client provided a photo of the wall that they wanted to install art on. This wall was not small at all. As a matter of fact, this wall would be the biggest I would have  my work on, if the sale went through…  Keep in mind, this is during the prime time effects of the pandemic. The client asked to provide a mock up of some of my images that could be produced as a 6ftx20ft panoramic acrylic print. I don’t know about you, but as an ocean photographer, panoramics were not my forte. 

The photo of the wall before installation. 7ftx30ft were the dimensions.

I always had a mentality in life to just go for it. Not only did I have to find an image that could fit that size, but I had to find a manufacturer that could produce museum grade prints for my clientele. I had one week to figure everything out. I hustled like never before and contacted every print company that I could find online. After a week of non stop phone calls and emails, the winner was Artisan HD. Not only do these folks produce top grade prints, their customer service is next level. 

After a month of emailing and phone calls with my client, they agreed on the image “Zeus” to be tested out before they go with the purchase. This image captivated them in a different way and wanted to see if the image would be up to par for the installment. I decided to have Mike Goldner and the team at Artisan look over the image and test print some spots of the image. I shot “Zeus” with a Canon 1DX and a 100mm f2.8 lens. There will always be a debate about megapixels but if you have a good eye and composition, possibilities are endless for print. The Artisan team then took my file and added resolution to it for production. After multiple tests and more phone calls, the sale was made! 

Mockup of “Zeus” measured with 5 panels sized 44″x72″ each.

Production Of My Fine Art Print

The printing production of my fine art print took a little over two weeks. The team at Artisan did a great job at communicating with me and showing progress photos along the way. The team printed my image on Fuji Flex Crystal Archive Paper and mounted it on a Tru Life Acrylic face. The Fuji Flex Crystal Archive Paper has a high-gloss finish which adds depth and richness to make my image look almost 3D. The paper also adapts to light which can be mind blowing! The Tru Life Acrylic is a museum grade acrylic that prevents glare and displays art as its true self.

Part 1 of 5 Fuji Flex Crystal Archive Paper Prints in production.

While Artisan was hard at work, the client had to hire a professional team to install this beast. Timing was everything so I had to make sure all was well with both sides of the spectrum. After the Artisan team was done printing, they had to mount the paper to the acrylic. This process is tedious and can take some time. The back of the prints have a museum grade mount with z clips which make installation easier. There were a total of five panels for this project and the client wanted to link them together with no spaces. Mike at Artisan decided to come up with a concept and make a custom adhesive mount so that the prints can be united as one. 

Museum Grade Wall Mount with custom adhesive attachments.
“Zeus” being proofed before shipment.

After production, we had to pray that the prints would make it in one piece after shipping. Thankfully, the prints came in one piece and the installation process started. To give you an idea of what had to be done, check out below the scaffolds that were set up by the installation team. After the installation of the print was done, lighting was installed by a professional as well. Total process from start to finish of this project was three months! 

20 ft of Fine Art Prints ready to be shipped!
Scaffold setup for the big installation.

I encourage all of you artists and entrepreneurs to take your mindset to another level with yourselves! Step out of your comfort zone and hustle as hard as you can. Having fun while you do that can make it even better. I appreciate my clientele and would not be where I am today without them.

The Unforgiving Waves of The North Shore of Hawaii

Pipeline

Makana Pang pressing the eject button at Pipeline.

Every winter season in Hawaii, huge storms develop in The Northern Hemisphere near Japan. These storms generate open ocean swells that deliver waves of consequence for the Hawaiian Islands. The most iconic wave in the world is called “Pipeline”. This wave is the gladiator’s arena for surfing. “Pipeline” is also known as “The Proving Ground”. Every year, thousands of surfers pack their bags and make their way to this spot to try and show the world that they can tame this beast. In all reality, this beast is always in control. “Pipeline” has claimed more surfers lives than any other surf break in the world. The unforgiving waves of The North Shore of Hawaii are a must see in person.

Make sure to keep your phones dry while spectating at this arena!

What makes “Pipeline” so dangerous? There are two factors why this break is so deadly. The first reason is that the reef is actually shaped as boulders which create underwater caves. There can be shallow patches of sharp reef that drop into a 15 ft cave. Surfers actually do not like to go diving there in the summer because they would rather not see what the bottom looks like. The second factor is the crowd. This factor can be the most dangerous because there are people that should not be in the lineup. This causes pro surfers to get tangled up by surf leashes or even getting hit by random boards. There are days that have over 200 people trying to go after one wave. This wave of consequence is a must see in person, but do be careful. Big ocean swells sweep out the unsuspected every year that causes death and injuries.

Keiki Beach

Seascape Photography
“Keiki Shorebreak” showing her fury. Purchase “Consumer” here- https://www.dannysepkowski.com/product/seascape-photography-consumer/

“Keiki Shorebreak” is known for its neck breaking waves that collide on a shallow sand shelf. “Shorebreak” is a type of wave that breaks from deep water onto a sand bottom . These types of waves are very shallow and basically unsurfable. Only the brave decide to take on these types of waves. Neck and back injuries are common when it comes to these waves of consequence. The reason why these waves are so powerful is because there is no reef shelf to slow down the waves from deep water. When these open ocean swells unleash straight onto sand, it is a majestic sight to see. They are not only amazing to see in person, but can be deadly for any spectator out there. Drownings on The North Shore of Hawaii is one of the leading causes of water related deaths every year. 

Always keep a distance when it comes to watching these types of waves in person. Keep an eye out for signs that the lifeguards post up on the beach. If in doubt, don’t go out! The lifeguards on The North Shore of Oahu continuously put their lives on the line. There is no reason to make their lives harder at work! 

National Geographic published “Nebula” numerous times. Check it out here- https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photo-of-the-day/photo/sand-wave-hawaii

What makes Keiki Beach so special, is that every wave does not break the same. Because of this, photographers and bodyboarders around the world gravitate towards this beast of a wave. One of the masters of this wave is Andre Botha. He is a two time world champion and has been surfing this wave for over 20 years. His knowledge of this spot and stamina has allowed him to score multiple cover shots on magazines as well as worldwide media appearances as well. His diet and training helps him scoop into these deadly waves with ease. The most important thing for him is recovery! Getting pounded by these waves can take a toll on the body so recovery is key.

Andre Botha going for it, while Clark Little and Marck Botha get the shot.

I have had the pleasure of taking photos with this world champion numerous times. Timing and dedication are ideal to get that magical shot. It is also ideal for riders to not create splashes while they are riding the wave! It is a big pet peeve for us photographers because we do not have time to edit water droplets out of the picture. The smoother the ride, the better! It is definitely harder than it sounds.

Andre Botha riding with style on his Empire Pro Model Bodyboard.

Waimea Bay

Beach goers leave the beach after a full day of competition for the 2016 Eddie Aikau Invitational.

Waimea Bay is known for its big wave competition “The Eddie Aikau Invitational”. The contest is only on when the conditions are perfect and consistently 40ft high throughout the day. The stars have to align so it is rare for this contest to even happen! The waves that this competition provides are the most deadly known to man. Not only do the surfers have to paddle out in the treacherous current but they have to paddle into the waves with their own strength. 

The big waves on the outside of the bay are well known to surfers, but the inside of the bay is the arena for bodyboarders. Waimea Shorebreak is the biggest and scariest shorebreak in the world. There is no way of making this wave so taking a beating is mandatory. The undertow of the wave is long and heavy, so drowning is a high possibility. Photographers around the world love to shoot the shorebreak from the side of the road because of how majestic it can be.  

Mason Ho praying for the best during this wipeout…

Not only are the waves at Waimea iconic, but the history as well. The story of Eddie Aikau is legendary and heroic. Eddie Aikau was known as the best lifeguard that ever lived. He was in charge of saving lives at Waimea Bay back in the 70’s. Not one life was lost under his campaign. He was also known for his big wave surfing skills at Waimea. The talent he had was seen and loved by many.

He decided to take the honor of joining the voyage on the Hokule’a. The Hokule’a is a boat that was made by the ancient polynesians that navigated with the stars. No gps, no maps, and no motors. This was the polynesian way of travel back in the day. 

In March 1978, Eddie Aikau was onboard The Hokule’a when all of a sudden the boat crashed and started to capsize. He decided to grab his surfboard and paddle across the ocean to get help for the crew. He was never seen again. His humble soul is still recognized today all around the world.

It is ideal to be safe at these surf spots in Hawaii, but it is also important to know the history behind these locations. Make sure to be safe out there and always keep the beaches clean!

Tuesday Tips- “Nebula”

“Nebula” was taken during a late season swell on The North Shore of Oahu. I captured this photo with my 100mm f2.8 lens and Canon 1DX in an SPL Waterhousing.

Abstract wave photography has been my main focus these past couple of years. The reason why I like shooting with my 100mm macro lens in the shorebreak is because it is a challenge! My number one advice for all of you up and coming photographers and artists, is to be different and create with your own style. Shooting with a macro lens in the water is not an easy task and you will not nail every shot! I repeat, you will not nail every shot! The photos that you do nail will be magical and unique.

After shooting with a wide angle lens and being able to capture almost any shot became stagnant for me. That is just from my own experience, so don’t take my word for it. Shoot with different lenses and even different cameras! I believe that doing this will open up your creative outlet in a different way.

To get this shot, I had to shoot tight and look in my viewfinder while the wave was breaking over my head. This is when things get a little sketchy but the adrenaline level goes up and pure stoke is created after you see the shot come to life!

Settings:
Focal Length:
100 mm
Shutter Speed:
1/3200 sec
Aperture:
f/5.6
ISO:
200

The reason why I named this photo “Nebula” is because it reminded me of “The Pillars of Creation”. “Nebula” was featured in National Geographics Photo of the Day. Check it out here-
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/2017/05/sand-wave-hawaii/

Purchase “Nebula” here- https://dannysepkowski.com/limited/nebula/

Tuesday Tips-“Redemption”

When the sun sets on the North Shore of Oahu, the “Golden Hour” comes to effect and can provide colors like no other. My number one tip for capturing images during this time is to make sure your settings are constantly adapting to the light. As the sun goes down, the lighting gets darker so ISO and slower shutter can make it or break it for you. I suggest boosting up your ISO a little bit (I would not recommend going over 1000) to get the exposure right. It is also key to pay attention to your white balance as well. Most people like to shoot automatic WB but custom can be fun as well! I shot this photo with my 14mm lens and 1DX. My goal was to capture a wide perspective and give the viewer a small taste of everything. Check out “Redemption” here- 
https://dannysepkowski.com/product/redemption/

My settings were:

Shutter: 1/2500
Aperture: f 5.6
ISO: 400

Tuesday Tips-“Ohana”

 During times like these, you have to keep your composure and not blow the shot! Lets take a deeper look at “Ohana” for this weeks “Tuesdays Tips”.

Swimming with these beautiful creatures is a blessing and mind blowing. If you want to obtain clean shots of dolphins, make sure to have them come to you and never swim towards them. That will only agitate them and your photo is already ruined. When it comes to wildlife photography, you want to capture animals in their “Natural” element. When you let nature take its course, your photos will stand out more than ever.

During this shot, I had to make sure my exposure was right as well as my composition. Since I was shooting towards the sun, I had to make sure my shutter speed and ISO correlated. I decided to bump up my ISO a little to bring light towards the dolphins. Post production is a great tool as well when it comes to creating pristine imagery. Stay tuned for more tips in the future! Check out Ohana here-
https://dannysepkowski.com/product/ohana/

My settings were: 
Shutter Speed:
1/800 sec
Aperture:
f/5.6
ISO:
400

Tuesday Tips-How I Captured “Prays”

It comes to show that you should always have your camera on you. Rain or shine, nature provides breath taking moments like “Prays”. 

This day was a day to remember. The rain was non stop and there was no trace of the sun whatsoever. I remember being cooped up at home and editing photos all day. I was getting restless and something was telling me to go shoot. As I got in my car, I was already soaked in water from the rain. I wanted to go back in the house but that feeling of missing out hit me quite hard.

On the way to my destination I said a prayer, plus a couple more. I prayed to God to provide a mind blowing image and for me to not waste my gas money. As the rain poured, so did the traffic. I almost turned around half way there but I decided to stick it out and go for it!

As I pulled up to the spot, I noticed the clouds were starting to dissipate and low and behold, I witnessed one of the most eye capturing sunsets to date. For this shot, I illuminated the water with my flash and made sure that my composition was right with my fish eye lens. I decided to use my 10-17mm fish eye lens and crank it to 17mm. This allowed a tighter composition and decreased the warped corners that it provides at a wider focal length. 

This photo is one of my most popular photos in the galleries and I am stoked that “Prays” can help you go for it! Check it out here- 
https://dannysepkowski.com/product/prays/
My settings-Shutter Speed:
1/400 sec
Aperture:
f/4.5
ISO:
320

Tuesday Tips-How to Take Photos of Sharks

“Revival” was taken on a warm sunny day on the island of Moorea in Tahiti. I shot this photo with my Canon 1DX in an SPL Waterhousing. The lens I was using was the Canon 14mm f2.8. The main reason why I like to use the 14 mm lens for Underwater Photography is because of the crisp and smooth effect it has on my images. I also love how this lens does not bend on the corners like a fisheye lens would do.

My first point of advice for taking pictures (or swimming) with Sharks is to relax! I know that these creatures have a bad reputation in todays society but if you have an open mind, you will see that they are not meant to harm you. 

Alpha sharks are mainly swimming above other sharks, so make sure that you are close to the surface to show them that you are Alpha. Another great tip is to keep your hands close to your chest to let the sharks know that you are not there to harm them.

The settings I used for this shot were: 
Focal Length:
14 mm
Shutter Speed:
1/1600 sec
Aperture:
f/10
ISO:
200
 

Aperture is very important when it comes to over under shots. While using my 8 inch over under dome, my goal is to capture the landscape as well as the subject. I waited patiently for this moment to happen. Let nature come to you!  

Make sure that your dome port is clean and has a film of saliva to avoid water drops. Weird…I know. It works, trust me. Also dip your housing above and under water slowly to try and get the right composition. Moving around and trying new angles is key with the over under! 

Check out “Revival” here:https://dannysepkowski.com/product/revival/