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Archive for June, 2013

The Photograph as Art

The Photograph as Art

What’s the difference between art and a snapshot? The answer is not usually very obvious. Art is subjective, and sometimes we recognize it subconsciously rather than consciously.
How does a photo make you feel? Does it make you think about a concept or an idea? Is it technically beautiful, and if not, does it break those technical rules beautifully? Taking fine art photos requires a lot of skill, experimentation and careful thought – but it is a pursuit that can be very rewarding. In this article, I want to explore the difference between a photograph as documentation, and a photograph as art.
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5 Camera Setting Tips for Shooting Great Portraits

5 Camera Setting Tips for Shooting Great Portraits

Intermediate Portraits are one of the most common photo ops out there. As a photographer, you’ll likely be asked at one point or another by family or friends to take their photo. Some photographers are naturals at capturing people while others freeze when the person is in front of the camera. They’re not sure how to pose them, how to find flattering light, or how to make the subject comfortable. After all, why should the subject be relaxed if your brow is sweating?

Take a deep breath, relax, and read these 5 tips for shooting great portraits before you agree to the challenge of a portrait shoot.
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Photographing Air Shows

Photographing Air Shows

Air show season, and means hot weather, high-decibel noise and a whole bunch of hazy photos of tiny little specs in the sky.

Air show photography is tough! Unless you’re in an airplane looking down at the performers, it can be difficult to get a great shot at an air show. But don’t worry, you don’t have to leave that camera at home. There are plenty of things you can do to get the most out of your air show visit.
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24 Outstanding Airshow Shots

24 Outstanding Airshow Shots

Airshows are great fun but it can be tough to get good images. The trick is having the right equipment and parking yourself in the right location. Keep distracting elements out of the background, but don’t be afraid to mix up those plane-on-blue-sky shots with some longer shots, shots of the crowd or images of parked aircraft and their owners. Bring a zoom lens: 300mm is ideal (anything much over 500mm may produce hazy images).
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6 Examples of Attractive Fence Photography

6 Examples of Attractive Fence Photography

There’s something about a fence, be it close up or in the distance or running along a long and winding road, that makes us want to pull over and photograph it. Sometimes they’re wrought iron, sometimes they’re wooden, and sometimes they’re barbed wire. The problem is, sometimes when we get our camera out and look at it through the lens, it just doesn’t seem as enticing as it did a minute ago. The truth is, it probably is still very enticing, you just need to train your eye to see them from different perspectives and angles.

These six ideas will help you take your fence photography to the next level. No more sitting on one!
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Tack-Sharp Images Using the Reciprocal Rule

Tack-Sharp Images Using the Reciprocal Rule

Intermediate With all the rules and laws for photography, it’s a wonder who came up with them. Just like rules, some are made to be broken, with a creative influence, while others are better off being followed. The Reciprocal Rule is one that ought to be followed. It is a relatively simple rule once you wrap your head around it. What is means is that to be able to handhold your camera without any recognizable camera shake, and thus blurring, in the image, the shutter speed should be at least the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens you’re using. Sounds complicated, but it’s really not in when you apply it.
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Photograph your Kids on Vacation (without boring your viewers)

Photograph your Kids on Vacation (without boring your viewers)

We’ve all been there. At a friend’s house, a photo album is plopped down in your lap. You try not to roll your eyes. It’s the dreaded vacation album, full of snapshots of kids – kids at the Old Spaghetti Factory with some kind of generic pasta sauce slathered all over their faces. Kids sitting in car seats, not really doing anything. Kids sleeping in hotel beds and posing in front of theme park signs. And somehow, that parental photographer has managed to get a bazillion shots of said kids at otherwise interesting places that still look, well, boring.

Now if you’re a parent, you probably hate the thought of someone rolling her eyes at those photos of your wonderful children. After all, they’re the cutest kids in the world–how could anyone not want to look at pictures of them?

Well, the very good news is that even the cutest kids in the world can appear in boring photographs, so don’t take it personally. And there is hope. You can take amazing shots of those adorable kids for your vacation album and not bore the hell out of your long-suffering friends. Here’s how.
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Digital Photo Secrets Video Released in 5 days

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Digital Photo Secrets Video Released in 5 days

I don’t usually share much of my personal life here, but I had to share an interesting convergence of dates.

My sister is currently (very) pregnant with her fourth child, and coincidentally her due date is the exact same day as I’ll be releasing my Digital Photo Secrets Video course. 11th June. In less than 5 days.
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Beach photography

Filed in Beach, Tips by 5 Comments
Beach photography

If seascapes are about nature, then beach photos are about people. I don’t have to tell you that your approach to each of these subjects is going to be very different. When shooting the water, rocks and the shoreline in general, you want to communicate a mood of tranquillity and beauty, or perhaps even one of ferocity, depending of course on the weather. But when you’re shooting the beach on a sunny day, you’ve got a very different mood to capture. Summer fun, family time, youth, sports and recreation – you’re going to need to tempo up a little and change your perspective. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of those beach photos.
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24 Outstanding Beach photos

24 Outstanding Beach photos

Almost every summer portfolio has a few beach photos in it. And why not? The beach is a great place to capture images of people having fun, relaxing and enjoying the weather. Unfortunately, because the beach is such a popular destination it can be easy to end up with photos that look exactly like everyone else’s. There are a ton of photographic opportunities at the beach, but to avoid those samey beach images you will need to find some unique and interesting ways to look at your subject and your environment. And don’t forget to take precautions – sand and your camera are not friends, so take steps to keep the elements away from your equipment.
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How to use Dropbox to Backup Your Photos

How to use Dropbox to Backup Your Photos

That moment of panic when you realize your hard drive has crashed (or something worse) and your photos are lost. Hundreds or even thousands of images can be lost in a split second in disastrous ways we don’t even want to think about. That’s why backing up is the only way to ensure you have extra copies of your files stored elsewhere just in case. One of the popular sites for backing up files is Dropbox. If you’re not familiar with them, think of them as an online storage cabinet that holds all your precious images. It’s easy to set up and use, and the peace of mind that comes with it will let you sleep better at night.
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Understanding autofocus

Filed in Focus, Tips by 1 Comment
Understanding autofocus

Intermediate Modern camera technology has done a lot for photographers like you and me. Intelligent metering systems have made it possible for us to take pictures on the fly in changing lighting situations, without having to stop to take new readings and make adjustments. Digital technology has vastly reduced the daily expenses of photography, allowing us to take a lot more photos than we used to, thereby increasing the number of truly amazing shots we capture in any one outing. And let’s not forget the often under-appreciated autofocus. Imagine having to manually twist that focusing ring every single time you wanted to take a picture, like they did in the olden-days. But do you truly understand your camera’s various autofocus modes and how they work?
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