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Archive for April, 2010

Photo Critique: The Jumper

Photo Critique: The Jumper

Last week, I did a two article series on how to create a composite sequence photo with a digital SLR camera and some photo manipulation software. I have received some excellent examples of photo sequences, and I would like to share and critique one of them with you. The following image was sent by Jack Bivins, and it is a prime example of an action sequence. You get a true sense of motion and a subject who is visibly thrilled to be jumping over 30 feet into the deep blue.
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Are High Speed Digital Camera Memory Cards Worth the Extra Money?

Are High Speed Digital Camera Memory Cards Worth the Extra Money?

If you’ve been in the market for a new camera recently, you may have noticed all the different kinds of memory cards you can buy. Memory cards don’t just vary in terms of the amount of data they can store. They all have different data transfer speeds. Because it can be unsettling to purchase a new memory card after already having dropped at least $800 on a new camera setup, many people wonder if the extra data transfer speed is really all that important. How fast does your memory card need to be?
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Macro Photography Without an Expensive Camera

Macro Photography Without an Expensive Camera

You wonder how it is done. How is it possible to get something as tiny as an insect to appear larger than life? You have probably tried to get really close to small things and photograph them, but you have undoubtedly learned just how challenging it can be. Many people think they need a very expensive camera setup to get great macro photographs, but this isn’t necessarily true. You can use a point and shoot to take macro pictures that are almost as good as what you would get with a digital SLR. It all depends on how you take the shot.
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Why Do I Have Camera Shutter Lag And Other Delays?

Why Do I Have Camera Shutter Lag And Other Delays?

It’s a huge drag. You just want to get the shot, but every time you press the shutter, there’s a delay. Your friend does something amazing, and you keep missing it because you can’t line your shot up with the action. What is going on?
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Photo Critique: Out On A Limb

Photo Critique: Out On A Limb

This week, we are treated to a photo taken by Stephen Miller. Stephen describes the picture as a “lucky shot,” and indeed it is. Photographing wild birds can be incredibly difficult, especially because they move so darned fast and they spend a lot of time in the air. While it’s sometimes good to have a picture of a wild bird in mid-flight, these pictures usually don’t have enough reference points to tell a story. Stephen’s picture is the rare instance in which a photo of a single moving bird can maintain a viewer’s interest.
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Giving Your Subject Space To Look Into

Giving Your Subject Space To Look Into

There is something peculiar about people. We are amazingly adept at reading one another. We can look into someone’s eyes and see emotions without having to think for a second about it. Because people are so good at this, photographers have to be careful when they frame portrait pictures. If you don’t give your subjects a space to look into, the photo will seem a little strange. Most people won’t be able to tell you why they think the photo is strange. They simply won’t like the picture.
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How To Get Killer Sequence Photos Part 2

How To Get Killer Sequence Photos Part 2

In the last tutorial, we got started with creating our first action sequence photo. We got out our tripod and went on location to shoot five photos continuously. Now we are going to take those pictures and stitch them together to create a sequence. Before you begin, I highly recommend Adobe Photoshop for this tutorial, but any image manipulation software that allows you to work with layers will do the job. Photoshop Elements is a low cost alternative that is perfect for what we want to do here. A free alternative is Gimp, however you will have to learn a little more to use it.
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How To Get Killer Sequence Photos Part 1

How To Get Killer Sequence Photos Part 1

Sequence photos provide a truly amazing perspective for action shots. They allow the viewer to see the progression of something as it is happening. Unlike video, all of the important parts are frozen, so we can see every step. There a lot of sports where action sequences bring out the true character of the athletes. Who doesn’t want to see a tennis racket slowly progressing toward the ball or a basketball player inching his way up to the hoop? Sequence shots allow you to convey movement in a way that single photos can’t.
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Photo Critique: An Evening in Riga

Photo Critique: An Evening in Riga

It’s always a good idea to critique photos and to have one’s own photos critiqued. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to develop an eye for great photography. You just need to sit back and think about what appeals to you in a photo. Oftentimes, this is some combination of color balance, composition, and subject matter. True photography magic happens when all three come together perfectly.
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Is Digital Camera Image Stabilization Important?

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Is Digital Camera Image Stabilization Important?

If you own a digital point and shoot or SLR camera, you may have been sold on its the built-in image stabilization system. For some camera models, this is available through the lens. On others, it is in the camera. Either way, you probably want to know what it means for your photography and whether it is ultimately effective.
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What Does The MM Mean On A Lens?

What Does The MM Mean On A Lens?

Most photographers have a pretty basic understanding about lenses. But if that mm number printed on your lens barrel is still a bit of a head-scratcher, it’s time for a crash course in focal length. Here’s everything you need to know.
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Photo Critique: A Dusting

Photo Critique: A Dusting

Photographers often learn by example. None of us who get deep enough into this hobby have made it where we are today without seeing something we like and taking note of it. Good techniques are copied and put to use in future photos. That’s why it’s important to step back and critique our work and the work of others. The more we notice what we like and don’t like about certain photos, the better we get at creating more of what we love.
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How To Take A ‘WOW’ Photo

How To Take A ‘WOW’ Photo

Some pictures are simply impossible to describe. They yank us right out of our seats and force us to pay attention. The only thing we have left to say is “Wow! I didn’t think you could do that.” It is the photographer’s dream and ultimate goal to produce pictures like this, and even the best photographers will tell you it isn’t something that happens every day. While luck is definitely a factor, there are ways to increase your odds of creating a stunning image whenever you go out and shoot. Here are a few tips that will help you knock people to the floor with your photography.
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Using a Flash When Outside

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Using a Flash When Outside

It might not occur to you to use a flash outdoors, especially in the middle of the day. After all, there’s plenty of light around, and all of your shots should expose without any camera shake issues. I won’t argue with you that there is a lot of light outdoors, but where is it coming from? The sun is basically one giant lightbulb in the sky, and it only shines in one direction on the surface of the Earth. What are you going to do if it isn’t shining on your friend’s face?
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When and How to use a Telephoto Zoom Lens

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When and How to use a Telephoto Zoom Lens

The easiest way to achieve this is to use your feet. You can get almost as close as you want to a subject just by walking up to it. It’s so easy (and important to good photos) that my very first tip on my free tips course is Move Closer. Filling the frame entirely with your subject makes a terrific difference to your photos.

Of course, that assumes you can actually walk up to the subject in question. Sometimes you have other objects in your way, or your subject is high above you. This is where having a zoom lens in the telephoto range comes in handy.
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