Long Exposure Experimentation

My Favorite Mistake   |    Author: Christina Heinle

While in Vienna, I practiced long exposure photography at night.  Capturing the streaking tail lights of cars with the historic buildings in the background was quite fun and overall I was pleased with the results.  I started at the Opera House, moved to Parliament and ended up at the Rathaus (city hall).  An event was being setup at the Rathaus and the fences along with little buildings detracted from the glory of the building.  Unenthusiastic about the scene, I still took pictures.  When the bus pulled into my frame and stopped at a light, I called it a night.  Non-scenic subject, buses ruining my picture and discouragement gave me the reason to pack up and head back to the hotel.


Later when I reviewed my pictures, my favorite photograph turned out to be the picture where the stopped bus created havoc on my picture.  Surprisingly, the long exposure of 15 seconds was long enough to capture the beauty of the Rathaus along with the inside of the bus because it was sitting motionless at the light.  The hand straps seen towards the top of picture and the “Ein stigen bitte Knopf drucken” button are my favorite aspects of the photograph.  If the bus had not stopped at the light and “ruined” my picture, I wouldn’t have captured such a unique photograph.

Christina Heinle is a Trip Leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

Instagram: christinaheinlephotography

Top 10 things to bring to Africa

Author:  Christina Heinle

Going on safari in Africa is a great vacation for photographers and non-photographers.  The opportunities for photographs and fantastic experiences are endless.  After my trip to Zambia, Botswana and Naimbia, I put together my list of top 10 things to bring to Africa.

  1. Have a camera with a zoom. I know this may seem like a DUH..OF COURSE item but I can’t tell you how many people on my African tour (granted it wasn’t a specialized photography tour) were taking pictures with their cell phone wishing they had a camera with a zoom.
  2. Bring mosquito repellant and repellant clothes. Ok, another DUH…OF COURSE item. I had one pair of bug resistant Exofficio (please link https://www.exofficio.com/) pants and long sleeved shirt and I used Jungle Juice repellant. (please link https://www.rei.com/product/799529/sawyer-jungle-juice-100-insect-repellent-98-percent-deet-25-fl-oz) The trick to any repellant is to apply it under all your clothes before you get dressed. My girlfriend only applied repellant to visible skin and the mosquito’s had a buffet all up and down her legs. Clothes were not going to stop these mosquito’s from their fine dining.
  3. Bring cash in small currencies and dated AFTER 2006. The bills dated after 2006 is something real merchants and businesses care about. I look a plane flight over the Okavango Delta and they only took cash dated after 2006. In Zambia by Victoria Falls, the street merchants take dollars (and don’t care about the dates) but you don’t want to hand them a $20 for a $5 item and ask for change.  They will talk you into buying something more. They are quite persistent and crafty. And don’t let them fool you, their brother back in the village didn’t teach himself to paint, their cousin didn’t hollow out the stone and the husband didn’t sand the salad tongues till it was smooth and shiny.  It is from China, just like the same salad tongs at the next street vendor.
  4. Carry your own toilet paper in a ziplock plastic bag. The restrooms were hit and miss as far as cleaniness and workability. One thing most of them had in common was no TP and the one thing you don’t want is to be stranded on the toilet bowl without a roll.
  5. One thing I used frequently were baby wipes. These are so handy and have multiple functions. From wiping down a toilet seat, cleaning hands and feet and wiping up small spills, these were invaluable. I used baby wipes more than my hand sanitizer but wouldn’t go anywhere without both.
  6. Bring a refillable water bottle and buy a 5liter bottle of water to refill the water bottle. Environmentally this is the smart thing to do and also insures you have ample water for drinking, rinsing hands and brushing teeth.  Many areas in Africa the water is safe but do you really want to take that risk?
  7. While in Africa I bought a small purse to wear diagonally across my body to hold the passport, credit card, debit card and some money. Originally I was using a small pouch that fit on my pants but that became a hassle to access and was uncomfortable. I moved it to my camera bag, which I almost always had with me but then I was digging for it continually.  My girlfriend had a small crossover purse and so when I saw a small, flat yet colorful purse, I bought it. Everything was easily accessible, light weight and non-bulky that I could leave it on while sitting in restaurants, traveling in the bus and didn’t have to worry about someone stealing it while I was wearing it. I love it so much that I continued to use it upon returning home and will use it for all travels.Africa_checklist
  8. Your medications. I put my medications in a small plastic bag and put the prescription label on the plastic bag. Make sure you go talk to a travel clinic to discuss medications required as compared to your primary care physician.  Your PCP isn’t a specialist in the areas you travel to and won’t have the vaccinations in inventory. I used Passport Health,(please link… https://www.passporthealthusa.com/) which has locations across the United States.  You sit with a nurse and go through the trip itinerary and discuss the vacations and medication needed.  Passport Health had all the vaccinations on hand and I was able to get my shots right there.  It’s best to talk with someone as soon as your trip is schedule because some vacations require multiple injections over the course of weeks/months to be fully effective.
  9. Bring clothes that are easy to wash and dry. Stick with quick drying, light weight clothes that are easy to hand wash and quick to dry. Stay away from jeans. I brought a little bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap that I used for hand washing, washing clothes, bathing soap and even shampoo.
  10. And finally, bring plastic hangers. My girlfriend brought two hangers which at first I thought how stupid but quickly changed my mind to that’s the best idea ever. Having hangers helps with drying clothes after hand washing or getting wet, letting clothes air out or shake out the wrinkles. She said she always travels with them and I can now see why.

Christina Heinle is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

Let your photos tell the story

Author:  Christina Heinle

Recently my girlfriend competed in the Arizona Ironman and while she was racing, I took pictures throughout the race.  Later when flipping through my pictures, I saw an awesome story unfold.  Here’s how the story goes.

Boy is running in the pouring rain minding his own business.


Girl starts to pass boy.  Boy wonders how is she so fast.


Girl passes boy.


Boy looks at his watch to see his pace and knows she is fast.


In the running world we call this “being chicked”.

Sometimes a story is not evident as you are taking the photos but can be seen as you review images after the fact.  This is what happened in this case and what a fun storyboard this makes.

Christina Heinle is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

Mac Lightroom Users: How to Stop Photo application on Mac from Opening

Author:  Christina Heinle

If you’re you’re a Mac and Lightroom user, you’ll understand the frustration of importing your photos into Lightroom and having the native Mac photo program automatically opening too.

To stop the Mac Photo program to stop automatically opening follow these simple steps.

  1. With or without Lightroom open, insert your SD or Compact card into the computer/card reader.
  2. If the message comes up about the Cloud, click Not Now.  Otherwise continue to the import screen.
  3. UNCHECK “Open Photos for this device”
  4. Quit Photo program (Ctrl Q)


That’s it.  Next time you go to import your photos, the Mac Photo program will not open.

Christina Heinle is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

September 11th – The Healing Field

Author: Christina Heinle

Healing fields (6 of 6)

The 9-11 Memorial Healing Field at Tempe Town Lake is on display September 10th – 13th.  Thousands of flags honor the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Each flag has a bio-card with the name of the individual, age, hometown, location on 9/11 and personal information. Yellow ribbons mark the first responders and sky blue ribbons identify the aircrew members, all that died that day.

I remember what I was doing when I heard the first reports of the plane hitting the first World Trade Center. When the second plane hit I became glued to the TV and later the web, hungry for news.  I couldn’t fathom, and still can’t, the devastation, the horror and the lives lost.  Wandering amongst the flags is sobering and I’m thankful that memorials like the Healing Field help me remember and honor the victims from 9-11.

Healing fields (8 of 6)

Christina Heinle is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops. You can visit her at www.christinaheinlephotography.com

Get the Most Out of Your Photo with the Dehazing Slider in Lightroom

Author: Christina Heinle

Since Adobe Lightroom came out with the dehaze slider everyone has examples of their landscapes being magically improved with the dehaze slider.  I’m no different and I love the new tool and not just for landscapes.  Take this bull elk munching on grass on the side of the road at the Grand Canyon found during our recent Grand Canyon Lightroom workshop.  The picture of the elk is just OK.


But use the dehaze slider and everything now looks brighter and clearer.  You can even see the grass sticking out of his mouth like a giant elk whisker (if bull elks actually had whiskers).

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Happy dehazing!

Christina Heinle is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.



Top 10 things you should know to get the most out of your Arizona Highways Photo Workshop

Author:  Christina Heinle

  1. You’ve signed up for an AHPW workshop to capture great pictures and your photographer has scoped out some great locations.  The best way to get great pictures is knowing your equipment. If you have a new camera make sure you take it out of the box before class and play with it.  Remember to bring the camera manual. If you’ve rented a lens, get it a couple days prior so you can be familiar with it.
  2. Keep an open mind, have a good attitude and be flexible.  The goal of the photographer and trip leaders is to give the students a fantastic experience and go home with great photographs.  To do this there may be changes in the workshop, such as a change in shooting locations or changes to meeting times.
  3. Understand some things are outside of anyone’s control.  A vehicle may break down or the weather may not cooperate.  Make the best out of it.  If the vehicle breaks down, take out the macro lens and look for things to shoot.  If the weather is bad, it’s a great chance to pull out your rain gear and capture storm clouds. Just make sure you’re safe and aware of your surroundings (this is true anytime you’re out shooting).
  4. You will be chasing the light which in the summer in Arizona means early mornings and late evenings.  Expect to miss out on your beauty sleep in return to capture awesome pictures.
  5. In conjunction with sleep habits being disrupted during a photo workshop, you’re meal times will also be at odd times.  In order to chase the light, you may be eating breakfast late or dinner very early/late.   On an Arizona Highways Photo Workshop the trip leader will have snacks but if you need more substance, feel free to bring your own snacks to tide you over till the next meal.
  6. The temperature will vary throughout the day.  Bring layers of clothing with you.  You can always leave the extra clothes in the car.
  7. Take advantage of the critiques. You have a world class photographer at your fingertips who is happy to talk about your photos. Bring photos with you (either printed or digital on a thumb drive) to discuss during feedback sessions.
  8. Don’t be afraid to speak up.  If you have questions or need more one-on-one time, ask the photographer or trip leaders.
  9. Bring your childlike curiosity.  You never know what you’ll learn or who you will learn from. Everyone is at a different experience level and you can learn a lot from other participants in the class just like they will learn from you.
  10. Don’t be lazy.  It’s too easy to talk yourself out of changing a lens or climbing on the ground for that shot.

Christina Heinle is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.