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David Peterson

David Peterson is the creator of Digital Photo Secrets, and the Photography Dash and loves teaching photography to fellow photographers all around the world. You can follow him on Twitter at @dphotosecrets or on Google+.

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How To Master Three Awkward Photography Situations

Filed in Common Mistakes by on November 3, 2017 2 Comments
How To Master Three Awkward Photography Situations

So here’s the thing: you’re not a real photographer unless you’ve done something a little bit crazy in the interest of getting a better shot. Whether that’s lying on your back on a busy sidewalk, encouraging your kids to cover themselves with mud even though you know you’ll regret it later, or walking straight up to the meanest looking dude on the street and putting your camera in his face just because you think it’ll make a great picture, if you are willing to take risks for your craft, then your craft is truly important to you.

Of course there’s crazy and there’s awkward, and sometimes we’d rather be seen doing crazy things over awkward things. Does that mean you should avoid awkward photography situations? Absolutely not. Let’s look at some situations you are likely to encounter and talk a little bit about what the best way is to get good results out of those situations, awkward or not.
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Color Temperature Explained

Filed in Using Color by on November 3, 2017 2 Comments
Color Temperature Explained

If you’ve been taking photographs long enough, you already have a basic understanding of color temperature, although the specifics may not be completely clear to you. Generally speaking, color temperature has to do with white balance – it’s why you may notice that photographs you shot indoors under incandescent light have a bit of a yellow tinge to them, while photographs you shot in overcast conditions or in the shade may look a little bit blue.
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Photographing Boys

Filed in Children by on November 3, 2017 0 Comments
Photographing Boys

There are two kinds of kids in this world, those who like to be photographed and those who don’t. Whichever kind your toddler boy, preschooler, grade schooler or teenager might happen to be, the challenges of photographing him are going to be somewhat different than the challenges of photographing a girl.

That’s not meant to be a statement that has any gender bias in it, although I realize that it can be perceived that way. All kids are individuals and you can’t really lump photography techniques into “this works for boys” and “this works for girls.” Now having said that, it is a fact of our society that boys and girls are often raised a little differently and therefore present different challenges when you’re taking pictures of them. But again, it’s hard to generalize because what works for one boy or girl might not work for another. So this article is just meant to address some of those common issues that may arise when photographing boys, and how you could potentially cope with them. It won’t work for everyone, but it might help in certain situations.
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What to Photograph on Halloween

Filed in Holiday by on October 29, 2017 0 Comments
What to Photograph on Halloween

Are you suffering from the Halloween doldrums? Does the thought of taking yet another series of photographs of your kids trick-or-treating, visiting the same pumpkin patch, and putting up the same old Halloween decorations make you want to crawl back into bed and stay there until Thanksgiving? If so, you are clearly in need of some inspiration. Check out my Halloween shot list for some fun and unique photo ideas.
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How to Photograph your Kids Carving Pumpkins

Filed in Holiday by on October 29, 2017 0 Comments
How to Photograph your Kids Carving Pumpkins

“Ew! That is so disgusting.” Don’t you wish you could capture the moans and groans of your kids as they stuff their hands into those pumpkin guts? OK, you can technically do that if you put your camera in video mode, but the day has not yet arrived when you can easily put video clips in your scrapbook. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t capture a sense of the fun, excitement, and yes, grossness of pumpkin carving with a still camera, too. Keep reading for some tips on how to get some great photographs of your kids carving their pumpkins.

Halloween is not just about trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes, the jack-o’-lantern carving is a big part of the festivities and rituals leading up to the big event. It’s not enough to just have a photograph of the finished product – you absolutely must also have some photographs of your kids creating their masterpieces. But it can be tricky to get good photos of this activity because it tends to happen in low light and in cluttered conditions.
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Getting The Most out of Macro Mode

Filed in Macro, Tips by on October 29, 2017 0 Comments
Getting The Most out of Macro Mode

There was once a time when you needed a DSLR and a pretty expensive macro lens in order to capture excellent macro photos. Sure, you could add screw-on close-up filters and extension tubes to a regular lens and use that to get pretty close to your subject, but that still required that you own a DSLR. If all you had was a point-and-shoot or other camera without interchangeable lenses, you were pretty much out of luck.

The digital age has brought lots of innovations in camera technology, and one of those innovations is that you are no longer required to own an expensive SLR camera in order to take amazing close-up photos of small objects. Today, most point-and-shoot cameras have a macro mode, which allows you to get anywhere from 10 cm to up to 2 cm away from your subject. That means you can focus in on incredibly small objects and get richly detailed photographs of those objects without having to spend a fortune on equipment.
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How to Photograph Dessert

Filed in Food by on October 13, 2017 0 Comments
How to Photograph Dessert

Food photography as a general category can be extraordinarily challenging. Even under the best conditions, it can be complicated to make food look appetizing. The colors need to be right, the background needs to be perfect, and the composition and depth of field need to be spot on. If anything, it’s even more difficult to photograph desserts well. Desserts often feature messy sauces and garnishes, cold elements that are subject to rapid melting, and it all has to be photographed quickly and in such a way that it looks tantalizingly irresistible. How do food photographers do it? Read on to find out.
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How to photograph bats

Filed in Animals, Tips by on October 13, 2017 0 Comments
How to photograph bats

If you have ever tried to photograph birds, you probably thought to yourself, “These have got to be the most difficult animals to take pictures of.” And you’re not completely wrong. Birds are challenging subjects – they are flighty (literally), they are small, and they are fast. You need a lot of patience and a pretty long lens to get a good picture of them. But they are not, in fact, the most difficult animals to take pictures of. That honor belongs to another flying creature – the bat.
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How to Photograph Life

Filed in How Do I?, Tips by on October 13, 2017 0 Comments
How to Photograph Life

A wise man once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” OK it wasn’t exactly a wise man, it was Matthew Broderick in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But you can’t deny the truth in those words. I bet there are times when you stop and think to yourself, “The year is over and I totally missed it.” That’s a small tragedy, and it happens to all of us.
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How to photograph local environmental stories

Filed in Tips by on September 21, 2017 0 Comments
How to photograph local environmental stories

There’s really no way to sugarcoat it: human activities have an impact on the environment, sometimes a negative impact. Whether it’s just a new housing development, the deforestation of a wooded area, or of closing of a local park, there’s almost certainly something happening in your city or town that’s going to have a negative impact on the environment.

Now, different people see these issues differently, and we’re not here to discuss the merits of being pro-environment or pro-business. There are multiple sides to every environmental issue, and regardless of which side you happen to be on, you can still document these environmental issues with your camera.
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How to photograph reptiles

Filed in Animals, Nature, Tips by on September 21, 2017 0 Comments
How to photograph reptiles

Animal photography always presents challenges, depending on the animal and the situation. Wild animals, of course, are elusive, which means you often need a telephoto lens and a certain amount of patience to photograph them. Pets are easier, but making a playful dog sit still long enough for a photo or a curious cat resist the temptation to put her nose in the lens are challenges you might encounter even with the most photogenic of pets. No what about reptiles? They are neither friendly nor playful, and yet they can make for some incredibly interesting and engaging subjects. Read on for some tips on how to photograph them.
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How to enhance fall colors in post-processing

Filed in General Post, Tips by on September 21, 2017 0 Comments
How to enhance fall colors in post-processing

If you ask me, autumn is one of the best times of the year for photography. You just don’t get such a beautiful range of vibrant colors at any other time of the year. Spring comes close, but even in the spring those vibrant colors just aren’t as omnipresent as they are in the autumn, when every deciduous tree and the ground beneath it is overflowing with brilliant yellows, oranges and reds.
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Photographing the school days

Filed in Children, Tips by on September 15, 2017 0 Comments
Photographing the school days

Parents love milestones. If you are a parent, the chances are pretty good that somewhere in your photo album you have photos of all the milestones — first bath, first steps, first solid food, etc. And you probably also have a few “first day of school” images. But what about the day to day routine of primary school, learning, and school related activities like field trips and plays? Sometimes these activities become so routine and ordinary that we forget to capture them. And there’s nothing like looking back at your grown child’s album of memories and realizing that one of the most important chapters in his life went seriously under recorded.
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All about telephoto lenses

Filed in Lens, Tips by on September 15, 2017 0 Comments
All about telephoto lenses

When I was a new photographer, my dream lens was a 500 mm telephoto, like you always see sports photographers using on the sidelines of professional football games. To me, being able to get super close to fast action was the Holy Grail of photography. But back then I didn’t quite understand the subtle nuances of telephoto lenses that all photographers really need to know in order to get the most out of the lenses they have, and make the right decisions about the lenses they need. The truth is that telephoto lenses need not be overly long or overly expensive to be effective. It really depends on what kind of photography you are into, and the sorts of pictures that you plan to take.
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How to photograph a meteor

Filed in Stars, Tips by on September 15, 2017 0 Comments
How to photograph a meteor

If you’ve ever spent any time photographing the night sky, you are aware of the challenges. Despite what we see with our bare eyes, the stars are not stationary. They move across the night sky all night long, and because they only come out in darkness, that makes them tricky to photograph. Even trickier to photograph are those objects that we can see move with our own eyes — I’m talking, of course, about meteors, or falling stars.
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