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The Final Dash

Filed in Blog by on May 20, 2017 26 Comments
The Final Dash

June will be the final month of topics for the Photography Dash.

Around a month ago, I made the heartbreaking, but necessary, decision to close the Dash. The number of participants has decreased over recent times – enough that the income no longer covers my fixed costs (like servers and hiring pro photographers). The Dash is now costing me money each month to run.

I know there are some people for whom The Dash is very useful, which makes shutting it down a really hard decision. I certainly haven’t taken it lightly, and I am truly personally sorry to be discontinuing The Dash when it is still used by people.

[Update: The DashInsider community will continue. Read to the end of this message]
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Gifts for photographers – My 2016 guide

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Gifts for photographers – My 2016 guide

If you’re not a photographer yourself, you might dread the whole idea of holiday shopping for the photographically – inclined. After all, cameras and gear are big-ticket items, and unless you never have a cash-flow problem or the photographer in question is someone you just love to spend a lot of money on, you probably try to steer clear of photography-related gifts. If that’s you (or if that’s someone who buys gifts for you every holiday season), here’s a list of gift ideas that should fit any budget, from $50+ to $10 and under.
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Photographing Thanks

Photographing Thanks

It’s true that Thanksgiving is primarily an American holiday, but there’s no reason why you need to live in America to photograph the things you are thankful for. The sentiment of Thanksgiving is a universal one – we all have things in our lives that we’re grateful for, whether we celebrate them with a formal occasion or not. So what better month than November to express thanks through photography? Keep reading for some great ideas.
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Gain Control Over Your Camera with the Photography Dash

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Gain Control Over Your Camera with the Photography Dash

Have you been wanting to improve your photography for a while, but don’t know where to start?

During September, I’m running two concurrent courses on how to gain control over your camera.

Because I want YOUR photography to shine!
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Holiday Gift Guide 2015

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015

If you have photographers on your gift list, you can count yourself lucky. Photographers are actually remarkably easy to shop for, and I don’t mean just for people who have bottomless budgets. Yes, lenses and DSLR accessories are outside of the means for the average Christmas shopper, but lenses and DSLR accessories also aren’t the only option for those photography-loving friends and family members. There are a ton of budget and semi-budget gift ideas for photographers, too—and some of them may even end up on your own wish-list.
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Taking Your Photos Beyond Snapshots

What’s the difference between a snapshot and a photograph? It’s all in the meaning you add to your photos.

Here’s a great example. This image is of a sad woman. That’s obvious from her facial expression and body posture.

But this photograph is powerful because it conveys ‘sadness’ in many ways other than the main subject:

  1. There is an empty ocean in the background, which conveys loneliness or sadness.
  2. The sea is choppy indicating turbulence, or unsafe. Both are emotions we feel when we’re sad.
  3. It’s a cloudy day – no sunshine (sunshine usually indicates happiness).

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How to Photograph the Zombie Apocalypse

How to Photograph the Zombie Apocalypse

You know it’s true. You are a human being, and that means you love a good zombie apocalypse.

OK, so maybe I exaggerate, maybe not everyone loves zombies. But there’s no question that as the Halloween season approaches, ghouls and goblins are on everyone’s mind. And for some reason, zombies are at the top of everyone’s list of favorite monsters. People love zombies, zombie movies, and seasonal zombie paraphernalia. I even have some friends who had a zombie wedding. So let’s have a little fun this month and take some pictures not just of those cute little trick-or-treaters, but of those decidedly less-cute zombies that are going to start wandering the streets in the days to come. Does that sound like a challenge? I hope so!
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Gifts for Photographers this Christmas

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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

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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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Create photos that win competitions!

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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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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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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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Create Dazzling Macro Photographs

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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

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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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Master Using Water In Your Photos During July

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Master Using Water In Your Photos During July

Water is a fantastic substance to include in your photos because it’s so versatile. You can freeze it in place and see it shimmer and almost glisten in the sunlight. Or create silky water flows in fountains or waterfalls. Just like in these two images:

Images by Dash Participants Jill Courtis and Vickie Deaton

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