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Archive for December, 2013

How to Photograph Water Droplets

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How to Photograph Water Droplets

Cameras are excellent at capturing moments in time. But besides just capturing babies in their full, unbridled cuteness, cameras can also capture moments in time that we don’t even notice. One example is whisps of smoke just before they vanish into the air. Another is falling drops of water.
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Outstanding Photos of Water Droplets

Outstanding Photos of Water Droplets

Water droplet photography looks really impressive, so impressive that you might think it requires a lot of complicated equipment and an expensive setup. Not so! With just a few simple pieces you can build your own droplet photography studio and get some very impressive shots. Once you’ve mastered those water droplets, try shooting drops or milk, or add some color to the water and the background. Pretty soon, you’ll have some shots that are as impressive as these.
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Camera Shake: Not Just For Deleting Anymore

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Camera Shake: Not Just For Deleting Anymore

Modern photographers love to push the envelope of all those old-school philosophies. Lens flare? Love it. Severe overexposure? Kind of cool. Camera shake? Awesome.

Wait, camera shake? Isn’t that the reason why you bought that oh-so expensive but light, sturdy and portable tripod? So you could avoid camera shake?

Let me backtrack just a second. Camera shake is still mostly bad, most of the time. You don’t want camera shake messing up your long-exposure landscape image or that fabulous photo of the spinning fairground ride. You don’t want it to mess up the clarity of any image that you intended to be, well, clear. But there are certain instances where camera shake can be used for creative effect. Most of the time (but not all the time) this is an intentional decision on the part of you, the photographer. So when is camera shake actually a good thing?
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Outstanding Intentional Camera Movement Images

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Outstanding Intentional Camera Movement Images

There is probably no truer example of the old adage “rules were meant to be broken” than the use of intentional camera shake or intentional camera movement (ICM) in photography. Despite what practically everyone has ever said to you about using a tripod and keeping your camera steady, there are times when intentionally moving your camera can create really interesting, beautiful and abstract images. This is purely a creative and subjective form of art, so experiment, shoot a lot of frames, and check out these examples for inspiration.
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5 Uses for a Wide Angle Lens

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5 Uses for a Wide Angle Lens

Most people end up with the kit lens that comes with their new DSLR. It’s a good place to start, and this lens is usually in the range of 18-55mm or an upgrade to 18-135mm. The reason for a kit lens is to give you a diverse lens that will accommodate much of your image capturing needs. However, if a kit lens is all you have, and you’ve expanded your photography skills and interest, it’s likely you’ll want a few more lenses in your bag. The type of photography you do will influence your choice for your second lens. Today, I’ll make the case to purchase a wide angle lens.
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How To Capture Gorgeous Kid Shots

How To Capture Gorgeous Kid Shots

[I’m trying something new this week. I have asked professional photographer and writer Becki Robins to contribute a long-form article on capturing gorgeous photos of children. Enjoy! – David]

I take photos of everything. Landscapes, buildings, bugs, patterns, you name it. But my favorite images by far are the ones I take of kids. And why not? Kids are cute. Kids are genuine. They’re not trying to be something they aren’t – except of course when they’re trying to be dinosaurs or pirates.

Now here’s the problem with kid photography: when it’s bad, it’s really bad. No one likes to look at bad photos of someone else’s kids. And the vast majority of kid snapshots are the kinds of things that belong in photo albums, to be perused by the proud parents, their families and not really anyone else. And I say this as a parent, too, because I’ve taken my share of bad kid photos. In a lot of cases they do end up in that photo album despite the utter badness of them, because they’re the only shots I’ve got of Event Whatever. But my favorite photos by far are the ones where I really captured the essence of my child and whatever it is she was experiencing at the time. These are the images that I’d be proud to show to anyone, not just my husband and my mom.

Great kid shots are a wonderful thing to have, but how do you get consistently great kid shots? Kids can be hard to photograph. They’re generally uncooperative, they run around a lot and they enjoy making faces. All recipes for bad images. But you can’t not take pictures of them, because they’re so darned cute. So what’s a photographer to do?
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Gifts for Photographers (Or Your Wish-list)

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Gifts for Photographers (Or Your Wish-list)

They say you can never have too many cameras, or too much equipment. Or maybe it’s just me who says that. But it really is true. Really.
Most of us, though, don’t actually buy all the cool new toys we want because while they look fun and/or useful, we just can’t justify the expense. Hey! That’s what Christmas is for. So what do you want this year? Let me tell you.
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Beautiful Bokeh

Filed in Bokeh, Tips by 7 Comments
Beautiful Bokeh

Whether you realize it or not, you have seen bokeh plenty of times. It is there in any photograph with a shallow depth of field. In its simplest form, bokeh is just blur. That great portrait shot you take with the blurry background? The background is called bokeh. Whether the bokeh is “good” or “bad”, and if it adds to the artistry of the photo is a matter of opinion. There are several key factors in creating what many consider beautiful bokeh – those areas of pleasant, soft focus. Read on to learn about the “qualities” of bokeh, how to create it, and some creative composition techniques that utilize it.
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High Burst Rate Explained

High Burst Rate Explained

Have you ever attempted to take photos of a fast moving subject and failed miserably? Sometimes the moment you release the shutter is not quite the moment you actually wanted to capture. An advantage of a DSLR over a point and shoot is the quick reaction of the shutter to your finger. Even with responsive shutter release it is not always quick or timely enough to get the most important shot. You may snap away only to realize you barely missed the game winning goal. Wouldn’t it be nice to increase your odds of getting a great shot? Using high burst rate mode is a way to take multiple shots with one push of a button, improving your odds of nailing it.
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Win Photography Awards By Following David’s Tips

Win Photography Awards By Following David’s Tips

I received a lovely email from Gabriel Parsons this week. He recently took a wonderful photo a waterfall at the Balita falls in the Philippines. He entered the image into ViewBug’s competition area and received a commendation from the judges on the photo. It’s not surprising either – it’s a spectacular image showing off the blues of the water; the greens of the forest floor; and the water streaming down the waterfall.
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How To Choose an Aperture to Control Depth of Field

How To Choose an Aperture to Control Depth of Field

If you own a camera, you’ve probably at least heard the term “aperture.” But your understanding of what that means may depend a lot on what kind of camera you own, and how you use it. Today, I’ll explain exactly how the aperture setting affects your images, and what aperture settings to use in which situations.
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6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

Windows provide light and add beauty as an architectural feature. As a photographer your concerns about glare and reflections may cause you to steer clear of windows, but you may want to consider including them more. If you do it properly, including a window in your composition can actually add visual interest and of course light to your photos. If you are stuck in a creative rut, this may be just the ticket. Read on for six ways to use windows in your photographs.
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Keeping your subjects interested (and interesting)

Keeping your subjects interested (and interesting)

If you’re a parent, you already know the situation I’m about to describe. You probably know it intimately. You’re trying to get a photo of your kids in their holiday finery, or maybe you just want a nice group shot of them on the first day of school. Or you just want to get that one best-of-the-best shot that you can send off to your far-away family. So you decide to take your child(ren) outside for a photo shoot, and it all goes downhill from there. Your kids don’t want to have their pictures taken. They don’t want to smile. They don’t want to go stand in that one place and do that one thing.

Take heart, you are not the only person who has ever had this problem. Even photographers who photograph adults have to deal with bored subjects quite regularly, because that’s just one of the hazards of taking pictures of human beings. And bored subjects usually (though not always) make for boring photographs. So what’s a portrait photographer (or a parent) to do? Let’s find out!
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