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Archive for November, 2012

Visual Design: Using Shape in Photography

Visual Design: Using Shape in Photography

Unless you count the air, there is really very little in our world that doesn’t have shape. Shape is everywhere. It is often the first thing you see when you look at a scene, whether you are consciously aware of it or not.

In art (and photography), shape is one of the six classic design elements, which also includes line, form, texture, color and space. Almost every photograph contains one or more shapes, but great photographs are those where the photographer has used shape in a unique or interesting way.
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7 Tips for Awesome Winter Sports Photography

7 Tips for Awesome Winter Sports Photography

Let it snow! Winter is a great time to hit the slopes for some action sports photography. Skiers and snowboarders in their colorful gear, high in the air, and kicking up flakes make for great images. Still, the snow and sun combination can be troublesome to deal with, but if you’re prepared, can result in some awesome photographs. Before you hit the slopes, consider these tips.
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Mother Nature: Photographer’s Friend or Foe?

Filed in Nature, Tips by 1 Comment
Mother Nature: Photographer’s Friend or Foe?

How many times have you planned a photo shoot only to put your camera back down because the weather wasn’t conducive? Fear of rain drops pelting your camera, being struck by lightning, thundering waves, climbing snow-mound obstacles, or dodging puddles in the streets. They’re all excuses for skipping out on a photo shoot. But, are they good reasons? Simply put… no! Amazing photos have come out of some of the most Mother Nature deterred photo shoots. It all comes down to a bit of common sense and being prepared.
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Monochrome Mode: Why Use It?

Monochrome Mode: Why Use It?

Black and white photography is considered to be classic and expressively emotional. After all this time and technology, it remains quite a popular format among all genres. However, unless you’ve spent time reading your camera’s manual or poking around the settings, you might not be aware that there’s a “Monochrome” option. This setting lets you both preview and shoot in black and white.
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Visual Design: Using Line in Photography

Visual Design: Using Line in Photography

Here’s an assignment for you: Take your camera out into the field, and photograph only those scenes that contain lines. It’s easier than you might think. Lines can be found almost everywhere in our world. And line is one of the most important design elements in photography. That is not to say, of course, that you can’t take a great photo without them, but if you learn to seek them out and incorporate them into your work you will find that they add great visual impact to your photographs.
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Tips for a Successful Portfolio Review

Tips for a Successful Portfolio Review

You’ve built up a collection of amazing prints. Your confidence and motivation are lifted when your friends rave about your work on Facebook. Your Flickr buddies all say your images are great. But, are you ready for a professional portfolio review? To receive unbiased feedback from experts in the field? I can tell you now that sharing your images online through social media, a blog and a website does not equate the same way. These tips will help you prepare for and go through a portfolio review.
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Photographing the Growth of Your Children

Photographing the Growth of Your Children

The excitement of a new baby brings out cameras faster than any other time until that child’s graduation. Almost everyone can access their baby photos that show their drooling smiles. It’s as though having your existence in the world documented is a birthright. Up until the day after your child’s first birthday party, the shutter doesn’t stop clicking. After that, there may be a drastic decline in photos until the first day of kindergarten. Life gets busy, the camera is put on a shelf, sans the occasional iPhone photo, and the rush is over. To ensure your child doesn’t end up in therapy due to a lack of photos documenting their upbringing, take note of these ideas:
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The Key Elements to Architecture Photography

The Key Elements to Architecture Photography

Buildings make for an often gratifying subject when photographed well. In some ways they’re simple because they don’t move! Being structures, they’re there whether you want to capture them in the morning, the evening, winter, spring, fall, or summer. Unless, of course, they’ve been destroyed with a wrecking ball, which is an entirely different photo op. The key elements below give guidance to architecture photography that might help you see buildings in new ways and open up doors to photographing them with a different vision.
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Why Does the Rule of Thirds Work?

Why Does the Rule of Thirds Work?

Rules. They started in school and seem to follow us through life. They’re made to give guidance. They’re made to keep peace in the valley. And, some would say they’re made to be broken.

If there’s one place rules are meant to be broken, it’s in anything creative. The catch is, if you’re going to break them, you have to know them in the first place. Photography’s Rule of Thirds is the perfect example of this. A lot of beginning photographers break this rule because they simply and innocently don’t know it exists. But, a seasoned photographer, one who knows better, not only abides by the rule, but knows best how to bend or break it.
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7 Tips for Successful Zoo Photographs

7 Tips for Successful Zoo Photographs

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my! Okay, so we’ve all heard the Wizard of Oz phrase ample times, but let’s face it, who doesn’t want to photograph these animals? Unless you’ve been invited on an African Safari or live in an area where wild animals roam, the likelihood of capturing great wildlife images is limited. That’s when most photographers head to the zoo. Where else can you capture a zebra, a gazelle, and a toucan within a short stretch? So why is it then that most people get home from the zoo, they want to delete the majority of the photos they took? Well, there are some tricks to zoo photography that will make the experience more rewarding and perhaps even look as though you were on that African Safari.
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Daytime Long Exposure Photography

Daytime Long Exposure Photography

As a general rule, most of the pictures you take during the day are shot with a short exposure. And why not? There’s plenty of light during the day, and a long exposure might create unwanted motion blur and maybe even put you at risk for that dreaded camera shake. With the right equipment, though, daytime long exposure photography can be a fun and interesting way to get some really unique and surreal-looking shots of otherwise ordinary scenes. But capturing a good photo with a long exposure can be tricky even at night time, so it’s worth understanding some of the secrets behind this very versatile technique.
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Displaying Your Photos

Displaying Your Photos

Today’s photographers take a lot more pictures than photographers did just a couple of decades ago. But on average, fewer of those images ever get seen. That’s because storing digital photos is easy, fast and requires virtually no extra space. We take photos, we offload them onto a hard drive and there they sit, waiting for us to make good on a vague promise to “have them printed” when time allows. So how can you break out of that rut and get your photos off that hard drive and out into the world?
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Making Your Subjects Look Better

Making Your Subjects Look Better

In the hands of a skilled and patient user, Photoshop can take 10 years and 25 pounds off of almost anyone. But how do you make your people pictures look better before you get them into Photoshop? It’s always preferable to bring out the best in your subjects during a photo shoot rather than after one, which will eliminate the need for time-consuming photo editing down the road.
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Street Photography: How-to Photograph Strangers

Street Photography: How-to Photograph Strangers

The grandfather of street photography was Henri Cartier-Bresson. His image here of the young boy carrying bottles of wine under his arms, and looking quite proud in doing so, is one of his most popular. It’s street photography at its finest because it’s spontaneous, fun, and it tells a story. Cartier-Bresson’s photographs of children were some of his best. Perhaps that’s because kids are spontaneous by nature, too.
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The Nikon Coolpix S800c: the camera that’s almost a smartphone

The Nikon Coolpix S800c: the camera that’s almost a smartphone

Like it or not, the smartphone is infiltrating our lives. We love our smartphones because no matter where we are, we can look up things we don’t really need to know. We love them because we can check email from the top of a mountain, as long as the signal is good. We also love them because they take pictures, but not because they take particularly great pictures. The reason most of us like our smartphone cameras is because the pictures they take can be instantly shared with friends and family–by email, Facebook, text message or any number of other online and social media services. But everyone knows that the smartphone isn’t really a camera.

So the next step in all this is, obviously, the camera that isn’t really a smartphone. Enter the Nikon Coolpix S800c, officially announced a few months ago. The Coolpix S800c is an Android powered camera that does all those things we love about our smartphone cameras, with the added bonus of being, well, an actual camera.
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