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Tips

How to Shoot Surreal Photos Without Post-Processing

Filed in Tips by on August 28, 2015 0 Comments
How to Shoot Surreal Photos Without Post-Processing

The cool thing about photography is that people have certain expectations about it. Why is that cool? Because when people have certain expectations, you can really make a big impact when you do things that shatter those expectations. Keep reading to find out how.
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How to Photograph Butterflies

Filed in Tips by on August 28, 2015 0 Comments
How to Photograph Butterflies

Do you remember chasing butterflies when you were a kid? If you remember those days, you are already aware of the challenges involved in cornering a butterfly. Like most wild creatures, butterflies really don’t appreciate humans. They definitely don’t appreciate small humans with nets, and I’m sorry to say that they also don’t appreciate larger humans with cameras. So today I’m going to give you some tips for how you can capture great, up-close photos of butterflies despite their complete and utter aversion to your presence.
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Defeating Dust

Filed in Tips by on August 28, 2015 0 Comments
Defeating Dust

OK, so I know that dust is not sentient, but sometimes it really does feel like it’s out to get me. It shows up all over my house, totally uninvited, regardless of whether or not I keep my windows closed. It makes me sneeze and it seems to have a magnetic attraction to my car, especially in those first moments after I’ve washed it. And no matter how careful I am, it always seems to work its way into my camera. Can anything stop the great dust menace? Continue Reading »

How To Avoid Sensory Overload in Your Photographs

Filed in Tips by on August 6, 2015 1 Comment
How To Avoid Sensory Overload in Your Photographs

The dog is barking. The phone is ringing. Something in the oven is burning. There’s some really fast-action, colorful stuff happening on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants on your big-screen TV, and your kids have the volume turned up all the way.

This is called sensory overload, and if you have kids you’re probably intimately familiar with it. But did you know that sensory overload can also plague your photographs?
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Tips For Photographing Lightning During The Day

Filed in Tips by on August 6, 2015 1 Comment
Tips For Photographing Lightning During The Day

Not every lightning storm happens at night. But if you’ve ever tried to photograph lightning, chances are you waited until a storm came by after sunset. It’s easier to photograph lightning after the sun goes down, because you can simply point your camera at the storm, open up your shutter, and leave it open until you’ve captured a strike or two. During the day, you don’t really have that luxury.

Except that you do, with the right equipment and the right know-how. Here’s how.
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Ask David: Why are my landscapes so boring?

Filed in Tips by on August 6, 2015 1 Comment
Ask David: Why are my landscapes so boring?

Just about everyone has had the experience of shooting a landscape photograph that didn’t quite turn out the way you’d hoped. For some reason, that beautiful, big, sweeping landscape just doesn’t look the same in the photo as it did in real life. It looks flat and dull, a poor facsimile of that gorgeous scene you really wanted to capture on camera. So what are you doing wrong? Here’s a short list of common pitfalls to help you debug your landscapes.
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How Clutter Can Wreck Your Photo

Filed in Tips by on July 31, 2015 0 Comments
How Clutter Can Wreck Your Photo

Yes, clutter. It’s the bane of most modern people – unless you’re Martha Stewart. Most people’s homes contain some version of clutter, whether you call it that or not. It could be that you have an extensive collection of knickknacks. Or it could be that you just aren’t very good at picking up the dishes after every meal. Whatever the case may be, the clutter that is so pervasive inside your home it is not very good background for your photographs. So apart from hiring Martha Stewart to organize your home for you, what can you do to avoid clutter in your photos?
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How to Photograph Farms and Farm Life

Filed in Tips by on July 31, 2015 1 Comment
How to Photograph Farms and Farm Life

Over the past decade or so, there has been a bit of a revival when it comes to the food we eat. It used to be that the average person got all of his food from a grocery store. People in the 50s and 60s loved their prepackaged convenience foods, and saw no reason to step outside of that comfort zone. Today, we are a little more cognizant of our food and where it comes from. Have you heard the expression “farm to table?” The word “store” doesn’t appear in that phrase at all, and that’s because the best food generally cuts out the middleman. So what does that mean for photographers?
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How To Photograph Clouds

Filed in Tips by on July 31, 2015 2 Comments
How To Photograph Clouds

Here’s a quick and simple experiment for you. Go to Flickr and open up a couple of landscape images. Flip through them, and rank them in order from your favorite to your least favorite. Now compare the sky in each shot. I’d be willing to bet that your favorite landscape images have something in common. More than likely, they have a dramatic sky full of beautiful, textured, clouds. Do you know why?
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What Filters Work Best?

Filed in Tips by on July 23, 2015 0 Comments
What Filters Work Best?

Buried deep within my closet is my collection of screw-on filters. I have warming and cooling filters for adjusting white balance, I have a red filter that can be used to increase the contrast in a black and white image, I have a yellow filter for darkening a black and white sky, I have special effects filters that soften images, add starbursts and do other cool things that were actually popular back in the 80s. I haven’t dragged that box out in years and haven’t really had a need to, either. Why not?
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Ask David: Why does aperture decrease when zoom increases?

Filed in Tips by on July 21, 2015 4 Comments
Ask David: Why does aperture decrease when zoom increases?

You’re the proud owner of a new lens. It’s a pretty awesome lens, if you do say so yourself. It zooms all the way out to 300mm, and down to 70mm, which means you can use it in a lot of situations – from photographing those birds in your backyard trees to capturing great candid shots of your kids playing on the lawn below them. But you just noticed something about that brand new lens – the aperture doesn’t always stay where you want it to. Why?
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What You Need to Know About Zooming

Filed in Tips by on July 20, 2015 0 Comments
What You Need to Know About Zooming

If your DSLR camera came with a lens, it was probably a “kit” zoom lens. Kit lenses are great for beginners. The ones that come bundled with most DSLRs typically have a very good range of zoom, usually somewhere in the range of 35mm to 70mm. Most hobby photographers don’t need to move much beyond that range of zoom for the majority of what they do with their cameras. But even if you love your kit lens and you never, ever plan to leave it, you do need to know a little bit about how it works and what it is capable of. With that in mind, here is your primer on zoom lenses.
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Mastering Composition

Filed in Tips by on July 17, 2015 5 Comments
Mastering Composition

(or, why you can’t just point your camera at something and press the button)

A bad photo is easy to spot. Even a lay person knows a bad photo when she sees one. The only people who don’t seem to notice bad photos are the people who take them.

You know the sort of image I mean. Just go to Facebook and click on any random friend’s collection of family and vacation photos. Sure, some are going to be great because some people have a better natural eye for composition than others. But a lot of them are going to be bad. Kids in chaotic clusters trying to chase a soccer ball. People who appear as tiny specs in front of giant landmarks. Seascapes with no sense of dimension. Where did all these images go wrong?
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A Field Guide to Great Landscapes

Filed in Tips by on July 9, 2015 4 Comments
A Field Guide to Great Landscapes

Anyone who is not a photographer will probably tell you it’s easy to shoot a landscape. Step one: find beautiful scenery. Step two: point your camera at it. Step three: take a picture.

Of course, that’s an over simplification. But not too much! With just a few extra steps, you’ll be taking superb landscape photos wherever you are.
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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Camera

Filed in Tips by on June 26, 2015 2 Comments
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Camera

Today, extra megapixels are really just par for the course. Consumers have convinced themselves that they want those extra megapixels, so manufactures will continue to provide to them. That means that until consumers come to realize how little those megapixels actually do for the average photographer, you’re going to have to filter out all that megapixel-related marketing noise whenever you go to purchase a new camera.

So where does that leave you, the consumer, when you enter that camera shop or your local Best Buy? You need to be armed with all the right questions, otherwise you may end up making a purchasing decision that’s based on factors that really aren’t that important to you.
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