Some things in life are permanent and predictable. The Golden Gate Bridge. The Sydney Opera House. The rising and setting of the sun. And that one weird guy who always pushes his bike around the neighborhood instead of riding it. If you want to photograph these things, you’re not going to have any trouble seeking them out and getting the shot. You can do so year-round, with almost no exceptions.
Other things in life are fleeting. A lightning storm, for example. A rainbow. Or wildflowers. Here are a few tips for photographing the latter. Continue Reading »
If you’ve ever taken a basic drawing class, either in high school or in college, there’s a good chance that one of the first things your instructor asked you to sketch was a bowl of fruit. Now, looking at some classic still life paintings, you would think that the only thing the old masters had to do with their time was to sit around and contemplate bowls of fruit, but there was really a lot more to it than that. Because of its shape, a piece of fruit is a wonderful study in light and shadow. And depending on the skin or peel of that piece of fruit, it can also be a wonderful study in texture. So how can you use this abundant and classically photogenic subject to create beautiful images? Keep reading to find out. Continue Reading »
When you’re new to your camera, you will most likely just stick with your auto modes. After all, the photos your camera takes are all pretty good. You never really get camera shake or motion blur, and your photographs are usually pretty well exposed. There comes a point in time, though, when pretty good isn’t good enough anymore, and that’s when you’re going to want to move out of auto mode and into the more advanced settings. But before that happens, you have to understand why certain problems happen, sometimes even in those auto modes, and what you do to correct them.
[This is a continuation of my “Beginner Photography Questions” series. See the first post here.]
Every artist needs a source of inspiration, whether it’s a “muse” (your kids, your spouse), a list of your favorite photographers on Flickr or a place, such as a beautiful natural spot or your own neighborhood. But sometimes even the most tried and true sources of inspiration can fail to give you the kind of motivation you need, and that’s when you need to find other ideas. Personally, I like to adopt a project—not necessarily just a particular theme but a whole project idea, something that will require time and effort. I find that after I’ve spent a few hours, days or even weeks absorbed in a specific project, my creativity gets a big boost overall. Do you have any photo projects you’ve been longing to try out? Now is the time—and if not, here are some of my favorite ideas. Continue Reading »
If you’re new to your camera, or to photography in general, it can be really easy to get discouraged. After all, most modern cameras have a seemingly infinite number of
different buttons and menu options (confession: there are probably one or two menu options my own camera has that I still don’t know how to use), and that manual is approaching the size of War & Peace. If you spent some time bumbling around your menu system and then just put everything in auto mode in order to end the pain, I can’t say I blame you. But I’d also like to reassure you that being a beginner does not mean that you have to let your inexperience dampen your creativity. Even as a beginner, you can take some awesome, pro-quality images just by following a few basic tips. Here’s how.
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We love our pets—they bring us happiness, laughter and unconditional love, no matter what their size, shape or color. But here’s the thing: if your favorite furry friend is all black, you may find that you consistently don’t love the photos you take of her. Instead of that charming, whiskered face, you’ve got loads of photos that feature a black blob with eyes. So what’s the secret to getting great photos of black animals? Keep reading to find out.
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I am going to let you in on a secret. In this article, I am going to tell you the single most important thing that you need to do before you can really call yourself a photographer, the one thing that you must master in order to achieve greatness. It’s not aperture, it’s not the rule of thirds, and it has nothing to do with what kind of camera equipment you own. Are you ready? Here it is:
You must let go of your pride.
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There is nothing quite so wonderful as the look on a child’s face the moment it starts to snow. But if you are a veteran of many play days in the snow, you know that getting great snow photos is not as easy as it seems like it ought to be. If you frequently find yourself scratching your head at those weirdly gray photos of what is supposed to be a white winter wonderland, keep reading.
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Photographing strangers while out in public is one of the biggest challenges that any photographer has to face, regardless of whether you are a beginner or a professional. It can be really scary to walk up to someone you don’t know and ask for a photo—and it can be even scarier to get that photo without that person’s permission.
Now, photographing people (or anything, really) at night is a different kind of challenge. Put those two things together and that you got a pretty big hurdle to overcome. Today, we’re going to talk about how to get over that hurdle.
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What could be more simple than photographing perfectly still, perfectly tranquil water? It’s gorgeous, it doesn’t move, and it doesn’t get impatient. Still water should be right up there with well-behaved adults and two-dimensional works of art as amongst the easiest things to photograph.
Except of course that nothing is really as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to photography. So what makes photographing still water such a challenge? Keep reading to find out. Continue Reading »
Have you ever found yourself in a rut? I don’t mean a professional one, or a personal one, I mean a photographic one. Let’s say you take pictures every single day, and when you open them up on your computer you just find yourself, well, bored. All those pictures of your grandkids look exactly the same. Your landscapes all look exactly the same. Even your street photos seem to be missing something. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to break out of that boring photo rut.
Creative block is difficult to overcome, no matter what your art form. So what can you do to jumpstart your way out of this rut? Read on to find out. Continue Reading »
If you share your home with a dog, cat or other furry creature, then you know that being a pet owner is about more than just caring for a non-human animal. We love our pets, and they love us. Animals are a part of our families.
So when you take pictures of your dog or cat, how often do you try to capture some of the love between your furry friend and your other family members? It’s one thing to take a beautiful portrait of your cat sitting next to the window or an action shot of your dog chasing a ball in the backyard, but what do these photos really say about your pet’s place in your family? Read on to find out more about capturing those people-pet moments. Continue Reading »