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Recent Articles

Gifts for Photographers this Christmas

Filed in Tips by on December 13, 2014 1 Comment
Gifts for Photographers this Christmas

The holiday season is finally over, and now you can put aside all that gift-buying stress and settle into the new year.

Wait, you mean it’s the holiday season again, already? How did that happen?

Yes, it is true, the months have flown by practically without you noticing and it’s now time to shop for the holidays again. You’re a photographer, so you likely have friends who are also photographers. If not, you probably enjoy getting gifts yourself (who doesn’t?) but you may not really have any ideas about what you might want this year. Whether you’re in the first category or the second category, I’m going to make this easy for you. Because at the rate at which the holiday season comes and goes, you need all the help you can get.
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Improve your Photographer’s Eye

Filed in Blog by on November 24, 2014 0 Comments
Improve your Photographer’s Eye

Are your photos boring?

All looking the same. Shot after shot of boring landscapes (you now can’t remember where they were taken!) or the same photo of your family every Christmas.

It’s time to wake up your Photographer’s Eye.
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Ask David: When do I use different shutter speeds?

Filed in Tips by on October 9, 2014 1 Comment
Ask David: When do I use different shutter speeds?

Your camera is an amazing creative tool. That’s not really intuitive to a lot of beginners, because cameras are so good at recording reality. But the fact is that you can use your camera to manipulate reality just as you can use it to recreate reality and the simplest creative tool your camera has is shutter speed. Shutter speed works in two directions–you can either slow it down or speed it up. Use a slow shutter speed to emphasize movement. Use a faster shutter speed to freeze movement. So how do you decide when to choose a slow shutter speed, and when to choose a faster one?
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A Primer on Lens Filters

Filed in Tips by on October 9, 2014 0 Comments
A Primer on Lens Filters

During the old days of film, the lens filter was an important piece of equipment. It was often used to balance colors or to add special effects to an image but today’s digital technology lets us set white balance manually, or make changes after-the-fact in post-processing. Is there still any use for those filters? If so, how can we use them? How can they help improve our photos? Now’s your chance to find out.
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Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 4 Comments
Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Good news, you’ve got a fancy new camera. Bad news, you have no idea how to use it or what any of the settings do or mean. Making the jump from a point and shoot to a DSLR requires you to embrace a massive learning curve. Below is some information to demystify the shooting modes and help you differentiate each mode from the others.
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15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 2 Comments
15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

For many of us, the zoo is the closest thing we are going to get to going on safari. If you know what you’re doing, you might even be able to take photos that look like you are on safari without the price tag of a vacation in a foreign country. Likewise, photographing in a zoo will allow you to get shots of animals from all over the world in a single day instead of needing to take several trips. Photographing animals in the zoo also produces some interesting challenges. Here are some pointers to help you get the most out of your day at the zoo.
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Tips for Scouting Locations… and Actually Using Them

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 0 Comments
Tips for Scouting Locations… and Actually Using Them

Are you getting bored with your ‘go to’ locations? Let me guess, you’ve explored every nook and cranny, found all the hidden spots and stellar backgrounds. If you aren’t there yet there will come a day when you flip through your portfolio and realize you’ve over-utilized those favorite locations. If you’re there already, you are due for some location scouting and if you haven’t, well, a little forethought never hurt anyone. Here are some things I’ve found help me find and remember stunning locations.
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Create photos that win competitions!

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

I recently had a chat with Photography Secrets reader and Dash participant Janet Patkowa. Janet has seen her photos improve so much over the last few months of participating in the Photography Dash 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!

I recorded this interview with Janet 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 10 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

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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)

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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 15 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

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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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