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Create photos that win competitions!

Filed in Blog by on October 1, 2014 0 Comments
Create photos that win competitions!

Use the October Photography Dash to create photos that win competitions! But hurry – registrations close in less than 24 hours.

The Dash is a one month online photography course designed to vastly improve your photography.

Janet Patkowa has seen her photos improve so much over the last few months that not only did she gain the confidence to enter not one, but two photographic competitions… but the judges awarded her second place in BOTH!

Yep… second place in two photo competitions. And both using photos she took during her Photography Dash.

I interviewed Janet last week and asked her how she took the winning photos. Watch the interview here (and see the photos that won her second place):
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Photography workshops – how to prepare for and get the most out of them

Filed in Tips by on September 22, 2014 0 Comments
Photography workshops – how to prepare for and get the most out of them

There will come a point in your life as a photographer where you find yourself fantasizing about attending a workshop. You feel like you’ve hit a talent plateau and now you’re stuck. No amount of reading or shooting will make you feel like you are moving forward. This is probably the time for a workshop. Continue Reading »

Lifestyle Photography: Newborns

Filed in Tips by on September 22, 2014 0 Comments
Lifestyle Photography: Newborns

There is nothing sweeter or more ephemeral than a newborn baby. Those sweet milk drunk smiles and three hour naps don’t last long. All parents will, at one point or another, find themselves astonished to look down at their child and realize that little baby has turned into a child.
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The raw vs JPEG showdown : Which file format is better?

Filed in Tips by on September 22, 2014 9 Comments
The raw vs JPEG showdown : Which file format is better?

Since the dawn of digital photography, photographers have been fighting it out, trying to ascertain which photo file format is best. Some will swear by RAW files with their seemingly limitless options, while others claim JPEGs are smaller, quicker, and better. I’m here to help break down the differences, similarities, pitfalls, and perks of both RAW and JPEG to maybe even settle this age-old (or decade old) battle.
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Interview with Pip Farrow: Exhibiting and Selling Your Photos

Filed in Blog by on July 31, 2014 4 Comments
Interview with Pip Farrow: Exhibiting and Selling Your Photos

I received an email from a Dash participant, Pip Farrow – she was very excited that she had recently created a public exhibition for her photos, and she sold a couple! Here is her email:

Seriously David I owe you all the thanks these last 6 months with [the Dash] have been such a learning curve and I have come such a long way and I owe it all to you and your team.

I am currently in the middle of my very first public exhibition, this is the last week my works are on display. On opening night last Monday I sold 2 of my images. Thank you so very much your course content and the way it’s explained and set out is fantastic and I owe my improvement all to you and your team.

– Pip

Congratulations Pip. I appreciate your attributing all your learning to my team and I, but I think you did most of it! Very well done.
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Beyond Snapshots (or, why do all those other photos look better than mine)

Filed in Tips by on July 31, 2014 1 Comment
Beyond Snapshots (or, why do all those other photos look better than mine)

There are two types of photos in this world. No, I don’t mean black and white vs. color. I don’t mean digital vs. film. I mean snapshots vs. works of art.

You have probably taken your share of snapshots. We all have. Snapshots are what happen when we whip out our iPhones to grab a picture of Kid A or Kid B holding that preschool graduation diploma or smearing spaghetti sauce all over his face. And don’t get me wrong, a snapshot of something you want to remember is better than no photo at all. But why settle for a mere snapshot when you can have a work of art instead?
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Understanding Your Camera’s Settings

Filed in Tips by on July 31, 2014 14 Comments
Understanding Your Camera’s Settings

You finally did it. Goodbye point and shoot cameras with fixed lenses, bogus “digital zoom” and little idiot-proof icons in place of real settings. Goodbye sub-par images and limited functionality. You’ve finally entered the world of DSLR photography.

If you’re like a lot of people, the euphoria wore off as soon as you picked up your DSLR’s manual. That thing is like a brick with pages. Flipping through it is an exercise in uselessness and sitting down to read it is something you might have time to do after retirement.

So, maybe you put the manual away and sheepishly set your camera to “Auto.” And maybe that’s where it’s been ever since.

Today, I’ll show you what the most common settings on your camera do, and how to use them effectively.
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See These Gorgeous Photos By Dash Participant Sharon B-nejad

Filed in Blog by on July 25, 2014 2 Comments
See These Gorgeous Photos By Dash Participant Sharon B-nejad

I’ve been blown away at the creativity and photography advancement achieved by Dash participants. Sharon B-nejad has been a regular Dash participant since March, and has consistently improved her photos through the tips and techniques in the Dash.

Here is a sample of her excellent work:

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Ask David: What camera settings should I use on a sunny day?

Filed in Ask David, Tips by on July 25, 2014 0 Comments
Ask David: What camera settings should I use on a sunny day?

When you are photographing during the sunniest part of the day you are combating two major issues: The first is overexposure and the second is harsh shadows.

First, let’s tackle overexposure. Overexposure occurs when too much light gets into your camera and washes out your photo. To combat overexposure, it’s best to shoot in full manual mode because it will give you the most control. As you adjust each setting, keep an eye on your light meter. It’s going to give you a ballpark as you change your settings and will be your first indication if your shot is going be overexposed.
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Ask David: What’s the best way to change my camera lens?

Filed in Ask David, Tips by on July 25, 2014 0 Comments
Ask David: What’s the best way to change my camera lens?

What’s the best way to change lenses? What happens if I get dust on my lens? What about on my sensor?

The best way to change your lens is as fast as you can without damaging your gear. Minimizing the amount of time the camera and back element of the lenses are exposed to the elements minimizes the potential for dirt and other particulates to get into your camera body. Don’t change your lenses in a rainstorm, while cleaning out a dusty attic, or on the sand at the beach if at all avoidable. Those environments can wreak havoc on the internal workings of your camera.

Here is my typical lens change procedure, step by step:
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Ask David: What are the red and silver lines on Canon lenses?

Filed in Ask David, Tips by on July 25, 2014 0 Comments
Ask David: What are the red and silver lines on Canon lenses?

“Why do some Canon lenses have a red line and others have a silver line? What’s the difference? What about the gold line and the green line?”

Canon uses the different colored rings to denote a lens’s features and distinguish the different lenses from each other. It should be noted that while the colored rings always mean the same thing when used; Canon has been a little wishy-washy about always using them. Just because a lens is lacking the colored ring, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fall into one of the established lens divisions, it just means you will have to look harder to get the information you seek. Let’s discuss what each of the lines mean.
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Create Dazzling Macro Photographs

Filed in Blog by on July 21, 2014 9 Comments
Create Dazzling Macro Photographs

We love to look at Macro photographs (where the subject appears larger in the photo than it does in real life) because they show us a world we don’t ordinarily stop to look at. Perhaps that is why they are so mesmerizing.

For example, take a look at this fascinating macro photo of a cricket. We can see the astonishing detail in it’s scales, and even the hairs on those powerful back legs:


Image by Dash participant Sharon B-nejad

However, macro photography comes with has it’s own series of problems that can stop you from getting the results you want:

  • Get the focus wrong (even slightly) and your image will be blurry and unusable because of the shallow depth of field.
  • Even worse, your camera might focus on the wrong thing. Your bee is out of focus, but you can see all the detail on the flower they are sitting on.
  • And because you are so close, if your subject moves a tiny bit (or your camera moves slightly), your image won’t be crystal clear.
  • Finally, if your subject is a living creature (like a bee, or bug), it’s likely to be scared of your lens and will fly away.

Fortunately, these problems are all really easy to avoid – once you know how.

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Create Striking Black and White Masterpieces

Filed in Blog by on July 17, 2014 5 Comments
Create Striking Black and White Masterpieces

A question I often get asked is “All today’s cameras shoot in color. What is the best way to convert a color into a black and white photo?”. It’s a great question. Most cameras give you one ‘convert to black and white’ option, which works well on some images, but falls short on most photos you want to convert.

There are actually thousands of ways to convert your color image into black and white. The conversion inside your camera (or image editor) usually won’t produce a snazzy photo.

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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

Filed in Tips by on July 17, 2014 0 Comments
Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

Are you guilty of an occasional selfie? Most of us are. It’s true, we are a selfie-obsessed culture but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Self-portraits have a long history as part of an artist’s journey of self-discovery. They give us a way to try out new techniques, fail in privacy, learn, grow and adapt as photographers. They are also a way to chart how we physically change over time. Here are some items and practices that help me achieve the self-portrait I set out to create.
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Intermediate Night Photography

Filed in Tips by on July 17, 2014 1 Comment
Intermediate Night Photography

If you have dabbled in night photography, you are probably familiar with the unique lighting scenarios and magical images you can capture once the lights are out. You may think of night as a black time, but streetlights, signs, and car headlights add colored light to photos that you do not encounter during the light of day. You can challenge yourself and create beautiful images capturing fluorescent, tungsten, yellow/orange streetlights, or even multi colored neon light sources. There are also natural sources of light in the moon and stars just begging to be photographed. If you have already gone to the dark side and delved into the exciting world of night photography, read on to discover some new tricks to try. Jaw dropping photos await!
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