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Recent Articles

May Photography Dash Starts on Thursday 1st May

Filed in Tips by on April 18, 2014 0 Comments
May Photography Dash Starts on Thursday 1st May

What are you going to learn about your photography this month?

I’ve just opened registrations for the May Photography Dash, and I’m really excited about our topics for May – Post Processing and the Dash Blend.

What is the Photography Dash? The Dash is a month-long photography course designed to help you take much better photos with your camera. Twice a week, I’ll send you new course material with a fun photographic challenge that helps you ‘lock in’ the knowledge in the course. Share your image with other Dash participants on our Dash community website, and receive feedback that will further help you improve your photography.

The May Dash follows on from the wildly popular Dashes I have held over the last three months. In the March Dash, over 700 participants together photographed and shared over 6,000 spectacular images during the month. At the same time as learning heaps about their camera.

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Using the Levels Tool in Photoshop Elements

Filed in Editing, Tips by on April 18, 2014 1 Comment
Using the Levels Tool in Photoshop Elements

Do you use the brightness and contrast sliders in Photoshop Elements to correct photos with poor contrast or flat tones? Stop that immediately! Those brightness and contrast sliders are really pretty limited compared to what you can do with the levels tool. The Levels tool is a hugely useful tool for all photographers, and today I’ll show you how to use it!
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Photographing Insects and Spiders

Filed in Tips by on April 18, 2014 0 Comments
Photographing Insects and Spiders

Let’s say you just found a black widow spider living in your woodpile. Do you A) scream and run away B) scream and run away, then come back armed with a can of NAPALM and a flame thrower or C) get your camera?

The answer is “C” of course! And after you take that picture, what you do with that spider is of course up to you. Though I personally don’t suggest NAPALM or flame throwers as safe extermination methods.

Of course I’m not really here to give you pest control advice. I’m here to tell you how to capture that spider with your camera. Because getting a great shot of a spider or an insect isn’t just a simple matter of grabbing your macro lens and tripod. Insect photography requires some special tricks and techniques and yes, some sneakiness. Read on to find out how.
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Outstanding Insect and Spider Photographs

Filed in Gallery by on April 18, 2014 0 Comments
Outstanding Insect and Spider Photographs

Don’t fear them–photograph them! Bugs and spiders make fascinating subjects for any macro photographer. Once you’ve got a few great shots of these amazing little creatures in your portfolio, you may never go back to photographing inanimate subjects. Taking photos of spiders and insects gives you a close-up look at a world you might otherwise never see, and that can be a little addictive.
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What is Light Painting?

Filed in Tips by on April 18, 2014 1 Comment
What is Light Painting?

Have you ever seen one of those wedding pictures where the happy newlyweds used sparklers to spell out their date? This is called light painting. Light painting is the use of a slow shutter speed and a light source to create or enhance a photograph. This process allows you to use light in a similar manner as you would a paint brush. Using your camera and a light source, you can create a completely new photograph or add emphasis to an established scene. Here’s all the light painting information you need to illuminate yourself.
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Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

Filed in Tips by on April 10, 2014 4 Comments
Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

If you enjoy sports and other fast-moving things, then you’ve probably spent some time marveling at the amazing photos some photographers manage to capture of fast-moving subjects. You know the ones I mean: a sharp subject against a streaky, blurred background. A photo that says “speed.”

You may even have tried to capture a similar image. And unless you tried again … and again … and again … you probably came away from the experience frustrated and disappointed.

That’s because this technique, which has the deceptively simple name “panning,” is extremely difficult to master. And even photographers who have mastered it still get it wrong some of the time–maybe even most of the time, depending on how challenging the subject is. But I’ll show you the tricks to give yourself a better-than-even chance!
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Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

Filed in Tips by on April 10, 2014 3 Comments
Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

Intermediate If you use a photo printing service, such as the one offered by your local drugstore, you may occasionally (maybe even frequently) get photos back that don’t look the same as they did when you shot them. I don’t just mean color and exposure (which can often be wrong when you use a commercial printing service), I mean decapitated heads, scenery that’s missing important elements and crops that just look, well, wrong. Why does this happen?

It happens because of your camera’s sensor size, and the fact that your commercial printing company didn’t print your image with the same aspect ratio as your file. But let’s back up a little.
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The Benefits of a Raw File Format

Filed in Tips by on April 10, 2014 4 Comments
The Benefits of a Raw File Format

Intermediate Raw vs. jpeg is a debate that continues to exist in the digital photography world. But there are some distinct advantages to the raw format. If you have considered adjusting your camera’s image quality setting to raw, it is worth a try to see what all of the fuss is about. You will need to be prepared to spend more time post processing (at least initially), but therein lies the beauty of a raw file. There is so much you can do!

Raw files, or digital negatives, contain the complete data from your camera’s sensor. Just like raw food is uncooked, raw images are unprocessed. They are not compressed or modified in any way. It is truly untouched and “as is”. None of the typical adjustments your camera may make to an image in terms of sharpness, noise reduction, etc. have occurred. The file must be processed and exported as an image file for use. Raw opens up a whole new world of editing possibilities. Many of the common problems with images, like poor exposure or improper white balance, can be “fixed” in post processing of a raw image.
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Ask David: The scourge of photography: Blurry Images

Filed in Tips by on April 3, 2014 6 Comments
Ask David: The scourge of photography: Blurry Images

Has this happened to you? You pack up your camera and go to a football game. It’s a great game, and you’re sure you’re capturing some fabulous images. You’ve got a perfect, clear view of the field, a good telephoto lens and shots of all the best moments. When you arrive home, you can’t wait to see what you’ve got. You load the memory card up on your computer and you open up your photos in Photoshop and…

They’re all blurry. Every single one of them. What happened?
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Back Button Focusing For Tack Sharp Focus

Filed in Tips by on April 3, 2014 17 Comments
Back Button Focusing For Tack Sharp Focus

We are all on the quest for those tack sharp photographs. We spend thousands of dollars on new high end glass and upgrade our camera bodies annually seeking out those extra megapixels. What if I told you there is something you could be doing right now that would increase the clarity of your photos for free? No, I’m not joking. I’m talking about back-button focusing.
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How to Photograph a Comet

Filed in Tips by on April 3, 2014 0 Comments
How to Photograph a Comet

Did you remember hearing about Comet ISON in December? It was meant to be the brightest comet seen in our skies. What was supposed to be “The Comet of the Century” fizzled out as it shot past the sun at a range that was clearly a little too close for comfort. Now it’s just some dust and debris. No one is more disappointed than us astrophotographers. Well, maybe the folks at NASA, but we astrophotographers are pretty disappointed too. So much for “The Comet of the Century.”

The good news is, naked-eye comets are not so rare that you’ve just forever missed out on a golden opportunity to get some astounding photographs. In fact, if you know where to look, there are a number of comets visible this year. With a little bit of know-how you can get some great photos of comets. Here’s how.
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How to Photograph the Moon

Filed in Tips by on March 28, 2014 1 Comment
How to Photograph the Moon

OK, raise your hand if this has happened to you. You’re sitting around on your deck or maybe you’re inside doing something, and suddenly you notice through the trees or through your front window that the moon has just come up, and it’s HUGE. The scenery around the moon is picturesque–maybe it’s beautiful trees still lit by the last light from the sunset. Or maybe it’s the skyline of the city where you live. Wow, you think, that would make an awesome picture. You grab your DSLR and go outside to find the perfect vantage point. You frame your shot, take the picture, and viola! A tiny, featureless, glowing ball of overexposed light. Frustrated, you spot meter the moon and adjust your camera’s settings. Now you have a shot where you can actually see a couple of craters, but everything around the moon is pitch black.
Obviously, there’s a secret or two to getting great shots of the moon. I’m going to tell you what they are.
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Outstanding shots of the moon

Filed in Gallery by on March 28, 2014 2 Comments
Outstanding shots of the moon

Moon photography is one of those things that doesn’t always work out the way you’d hoped it would. In fact, unless you are well versed in the art of moon photography, it probably hardly ever works out the way you’d hoped. But take heart, it is possible to get a great moon shot with just a tripod and a 200mm or longer lens. To include the scenery, however, you may also need to be understand the art of Photoshopping–you’ll need to combine two shots (one of the moon and one of the landscape) to get a final image that is well exposed for both parts of the scene.
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Cloudy Day? Perfect for photography!

Filed in Tips by on March 28, 2014 0 Comments
Cloudy Day? Perfect for photography!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t take photos on overcast days. Sure, cloudy days have their challenges, but they don’t call them “nature’s softbox” for nothing. Just follow a few simple tips and your cloudy day photographs will prove to those naysayers that overcast conditions really are perfect for photography.
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Outstanding Shots of Overcast Skies

Filed in Gallery by on March 28, 2014 0 Comments
Outstanding Shots of Overcast Skies

Clouds not only create a beautiful, soft, even light, they also add drama to the sky. Shooting a cloudy sky at sunrise or sunset can almost not fail to create a compelling image. If you find yourself in a beautiful setting on a cloudy day, stick around until sunset and grab a few magic hour shots of the skies as the sun goes down. That’s what these photographers did, and look at how amazing their results were.
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