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Archive for February, 2012

Beat Your Best Photo With These 5 Tips

Beat Your Best Photo With These 5 Tips

Sometimes we get stuck. Maybe it’s been years since you produced your last great work. Maybe you’ve settled into a certain style of photography, and you just need to open your eyes to see what’s possible. Every now and again, I challenge myself to create a picture that’s better than my very best. It’s the most difficult thing for me to do as a photographer, but I’ve noticed that once I cross that threshold, everything improves dramatically. Here’s how you can beat your very best.
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The Hyperfocal Distance and Why You Don’t Need To Worry About It

The Hyperfocal Distance and Why You Don’t Need To Worry About It

As someone who has seen many of photography’s trends come and go, I’m still surprised with how many beginning photographers are worried about little things that ultimately amount to nothing. One of those little ideas is the hyperfocal distance. It’s put forward as some sort of golden mean, a perfect place to focus to get optimal results. But while the hyperfocal distance might help some photographers with a few photos, it’s barely relevant to most folks who still need to learn the basics. Here’s why.
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What is Exposure Bracketing?

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What is Exposure Bracketing?

If there’s one point I keep mentioning over and over again, it’s this. Automatic mode doesn’t always give you the best images. It can get very close to what you want, but because it can’t gauge the light perfectly, you sometimes end up with images that are either too bright or too dark. Your subject might have his or her face blacked out while the sunset in the background is a perfect orange. That’s why I’ve encouraged so many of you to learn manual photography. And guess what? Exposure bracketing is what I’ve been telling you to do all along.
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What is diminishing perspective? How can it improve your photography?

What is diminishing perspective? How can it improve your photography?

During the renaissance, painting went through a distinct revolution. Gone were the medieval two dimensional paintings. Artists had figured something out, something significant about the way we perceive the world around us. We call that thing “perspective,” and it’s just as important in photography as it was in painting. The use of diminishing perspective can add an extra sense of depth to your images. Here’s how you can harness its power.
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Direct and Indirect Light

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Direct and Indirect Light

There are two types of light in this world; direct light and indirect light. Each of them serves a unique purpose in photography, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Direct light is straight on, sometimes harsh and sometimes warm and colorful. For example, without direct light, the image to the right wouldn’t be nearly as colorful. Indirect light comes from all sides and completely illuminates your subject. Let’s take a moment and consider how each might be useful in your own photography.
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Want Money For Your Photography? 3 Things To Watch Out For

Want Money For Your Photography? 3 Things To Watch Out For

Even if you haven’t been practicing photography for too long, you might start getting the itch to charge people money for your services. It’s not uncommon. Once somebody tells you how awesome your work looks, a little light bulb goes off in your head. Suddenly you think, “I could make a business out of this.” Right you are, but there are a few common roadblocks we inevitably hit before beginning a lucrative career as a professional photographer. Here’s what you need to watch out for.
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Study Other Great Photographers

Study Other Great Photographers

There is a resource out there that you can tap into, and it will improve your photography in ways you could never imagine. It will inspire you. It will show you what’s possible with a little determination and a willingness to learn. What am I talking about? Other photographers, the great ones who have gone down in history for producing some of the most breathtaking images ever seen. Many of them were the first do what they’ve done. It’s worth taking a moment to see how they did it.
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What Is Visual Weight? And How Visual Weight Helps Your Photos

What Is Visual Weight? And How Visual Weight Helps Your Photos

There’s a term photographers use when discussing the finer points of framing and composition. For many, it’s absolutely critical to making your photos interesting and well-designed. That term is “visual weight,” and it’s everywhere you can find it once you notice it’s there. For example, the red jelly bean on the right carries more visual weight because it stands in stark contrast to its surroundings. Let’s figure out what it is and how you can use it to improve your composition skills.
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Getting Over Self Doubt

Getting Over Self Doubt

If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to depart slightly from my normal subject of tips, and talk about your worth as a photographer (either pro, or just as a hobby). I hear from a lot of people asking “Am I creative?” “Am I talented enough to do this?” I’ve also had these thoughts. I’m sure you have too. It’s not uncommon for photographers (or everyone really) to feel self doubt. These thoughts, unfortunately, can stop us from doing all the fun stuff we want to do. Photography is not a particularly risky business, but there’s always an element of fear when you put your work out there for the world to see. How can you get over it? How can you learn to believe in yourself again? That’s what we’ll discuss today.
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When And How To Use A Neutral Density Filter

When And How To Use A Neutral Density Filter

There are a number of filters on the market today. You’ve probably heard of polarizers, warming filters, and cooling filters, but what about neutral density filters? The language sounds overly complicated, but rest assured it’s not. If you’ve ever wondered what one these filters does, and how you might use it in your own photography, you are about to find out.
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Some Tips For Snowy Day Portraits

Some Tips For Snowy Day Portraits

When you think of cold temperatures and snowfall, you rarely think “hey, what a great opportunity to snap some portraits of my friends.” Most of us are a slave to the notion that cloudy weather equals bad photography. We somehow believe the color will be washed out or everything will look gray. Not so my friends. I want to challenge that idea and show you why a snowy day can yield some pretty fantastic results.
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A Fifteen Minute Exercise To Improve Your Photography

A Fifteen Minute Exercise To Improve Your Photography

Have you ever wondered why some photographers just seem to have a knack for what they’re doing? It’s almost as if they have some sixth sense for photography, an uncanny ability to pick anything of interest from a scene and make it stand out. I believe we all have the ability to see what they see. I don’t think it’s rocket science. You just need to try out this simple fifteen minute exercise.
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How To Get An Eye For Photography

How To Get An Eye For Photography

Ah, the elusive photographic eye. Is it something you’re born with, or is it something you develop over the years? I’m inclined to believe the latter. I know that with enough practice and understanding of what makes a good photo “good,” you will soon start hearing that coveted compliment from your friends too. It’s not hard to get an eye for photography. You just have to start paying attention to the photographic opportunities around you.
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Camera thieves. Are you prepared for the unthinkable?

Camera thieves. Are you prepared for the unthinkable?

We like to think we’re safe. I know I take all of the right precautions to make sure my camera equipment never gets stolen. Even so, we’re still human. We’ve got busy lives, and that means we’re prone to leaving ourselves vulnerable every now and again. How many times have you left your camera equipment in your hotel room while going out for a quick meal? Did you really think you were safe? Here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the unthinkable.
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