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Archive for January, 2014

What Does This Button Do?

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What Does This Button Do?

Have you ever wondered what all those buttons and settings on your camera do?

I used to. I wondered why camera makers bothered with adding all those dials and modes when Auto mode was all I ever needed to take good shots.

It wasn’t until years later that I realised that the only reason my shots were just ‘good’ and not ‘Amazing‘ was because I had not ventured out of Auto mode.

I was holding myself back!
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The Photography Dash Starts 1 February 2014

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The Photography Dash Starts 1 February 2014

The Photography Dash Is Back!

What is it? The Photography Dash is designed to accelerate your photography skills by helping you to practice something new with your camera a couple of times a week in a supportive environment. It gets you out and practicing your photography, so that when you next need to use your camera on a special family occasion (or maybe just because you saw something you’d like to take a photo of), you will know exactly what to do to take spectacular photos.
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Photographing that Winter Wonderland

Photographing that Winter Wonderland

I know, the weather outside is frightful. And the fire… well, please don’t be tempted to sit there in front of it. Yes it’s true, fire can be a lovely and challenging photographic subject, but there’s only so many pictures you can take of that one log burning down under your mantle. You’re out of excuses! It’s time to put on that warm winter jacket, a good pair of fingerless gloves and your snow boots. It’s time to pack up your camera and take some pictures of all that lovely snow.
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Improving your Mountain Photography

Improving your Mountain Photography

Perhaps nothing is more breathtaking than a mountain. Snowy peaks in the winter, flowery slopes in the summer, a mountain looks majestic no matter what the season. So why do some mountain photos look, well, un-majestic?

The trouble with mountains is precisely that they are majestic. We are used to feeling awed in the presence of a mountain – their size makes us feel small, overwhelmed and sometimes insignificant. The fresh air makes us feel invigorated. The smells make us feel like we’re a part of the landscape and in tune with the seasons. But a photograph of the mountains lacks all these external stimuli. Unless your photo is printed at, say, 24,000″x48,000″, your viewer isn’t going to have that feeling of being overwhelmed by size. And unless your image is scratch-n-sniff, you won’t be able to recreate any of the smells, either. And the fresh air, well, I suppose you could have your viewer look at the picture while standing in front of a mountain, but that would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

So how do you make a mountain photo look as majestic as the mountain itself? You have to know the tricks.
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Outstanding Photographs of Mountains

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Outstanding Photographs of Mountains

It’s challenging to condense a 20,000 foot peak onto a small, flat photograph and still have it look as magnificent as it did in person. The good news is that you just need to learn a few simple tricks, pay attention to the light and shoot a lot of frames. Taken with skill and care, a photograph of a mountain can be stunning, and will certainly be worth the effort of dragging all of your gear out there into the wilderness.
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Five Tips For Tack Sharp Focusing

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Five Tips For Tack Sharp Focusing

I know it’s happened to you, because it’s happened to me, too. It happens to everyone. You point your camera at something really cool. You shoot. You check your LCD. Awesome! You just grabbed the most amazing shot ever. You go home and open up the photo on your computer. And it isn’t sharp.

Oh no! What happened? What went wrong? And most importantly, how can you stop it from happening again?
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What is Lomography?

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What is Lomography?

If you own a DSLR camera, you’re probably at least a little bit of a techie. You love that high ISO capability, the aperture-priority setting and those beautiful, high-resolution images that can be blown up to poster size without any discernible loss of quality. You probably can’t remember how to load a roll of film (if you ever knew how to at all) and you think a dark room is what happens when the power goes out.
If that’s you, it might be time to get back to your roots. Because while there aren’t very many people who would say that all that high-tech is a bad thing, sometimes a little low-tech can be good for you.

Now you can dig out that old film camera or you can try something even more low-tech: lomography. Wow, that sounds kind of high-tech. So what IS lomography?
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Outstanding Lomographic Images

Outstanding Lomographic Images

Lomography is the low-tech branch of photography that gives you permission to be creative and break every rule you ever knew about composition, lighting and technique. Lomographic cameras are notable for their cheap, plastic construction and plastic lenses, which leads to quirky images with flaws generally considered undesirable by traditional photographers: vignetting, soft focus and light leaks, for example. Lomographic cameras use film, which is often manipulated to create strange color casts (cross processing slide film with negative chemicals is one technique, using expired film is another). If you’re tired of always following those pesky rules, a basic lomographic camera will give you the freedom to experiment and create something really unique.
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How To Photograph A Ghost

How To Photograph A Ghost

Confession: I have never photographed a real ghost. So this tutorial is not going to help you stake out a haunted house or a cemetery, or advise you on which expensive piece of equipment you’ll need to buy in order to detect subtle changes in the inter-dimensional paranormal space-time continuum other-side.

The good news is, fake ghosts are a lot more agreeable than real ones. You don’t have to worry that your fake ghost is going to go floating off through a wall, leaving nothing but a puddle of ecto-plasmic goo behind for you to slip in. Fake ghosts do what you tell them to do, because they’re fake. That makes photographing them infinitely more enjoyable, and a lot less scary.
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Outstanding Spooky Photos

Outstanding Spooky Photos

Ghostly photos are easy to fake, but some scary images happen by accident, too. Are they real or are they cleverly created using slow shutter speeds, reflections and post processing tricks? Here are a few outstanding examples of spooky photos – do you think any of them might be real?
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