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Archive for May, 2014

Easy Steps To Clean Your Camera and Lens

Easy Steps To Clean Your Camera and Lens

Let’s say you just got home from The Best Vacation Ever. You’ve got some down time, so you decide to check out all those wonderful photos you took on your trip of a lifetime. You sit down at your computer and open up the first one – it’s a lovely shot of the ocean under a deep, blue sky. But what’s that over there in the corner? It looks like a piece of lint. You’re tempted to try brushing it off but it’s not on your computer screen, it’s on your photo. Damn.

While we can clean that spot in an image editor, it’s going to be around on every one of your future images. So let’s get rid of that spot forever. Let’s talk about a little Camera Cleaning.
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Pros and Cons of Extension Tubes

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Pros and Cons of Extension Tubes

Do you want to take extreme close-ups? Whether it is flowers, insects, coins, or any other variety of things, how can you get closer focus than your lens alone allows? I have discussed other aspects of macro photography in previous articles. This photography niche is fun to explore but is very expensive if you purchase a macro lens. There are other options like using a close up lens or lens reversal tricks, but there is also a simple addition to your camera equipment called an extension tube. Read on for the pros and cons of this option.
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Photographing The Perfect Shadow

Photographing The Perfect Shadow

Photography is known as the art of capturing light. But did you know that the counterpart of light, the shadow, also plays an important role in the creation of an image? We all know what a shadow is, it’s that stalker that keeps following us on bright sunny days or well-lit places at night! Shadow is more than that though, it is also the darkest area of a scene as opposed to the highlights which illuminate the brightest. The challenge in shooting a scene that contains both highlights and shadows in it is to record the details without washing out the highlights or turning the shadows into unrecognizable black areas.
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Learn to Take Spectacular Night Photos during June

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Learn to Take Spectacular Night Photos during June

After teaching photography for almost 10 years, I know that taking great photos at night can be extremely frustrating. If you don’t know the tricks to night photography, all you’ll get are a series of blurry shots that are way too dark. Photos that miss the magic and wonder you can experience at night.

Night Photography Made Simple

During the whole of June, I’m running a dedicated Photography Dash on night photography. I’ll show you the easy fundamentals so you can have success with your own night photos.

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9 Tips for Perfect Urban Decay Photography

Filed in Street, Tips by 1 Comment
9 Tips for Perfect Urban Decay Photography

When you think of urban photography, what photographs come to mind? You may think of towering skyscrapers or maybe speeding cabs come to mind. There is also street photography which captures the reality of everyday life in your particular urban space, but there is another type of photography centered on urban areas which features abandoned buildings. For us, as photographers, they offer a strange and wonderful look into our urban past. Photographing these buildings and other similar urban landscapes is called urban decay photography. Here are nine tips to capture this crumbling metropolitan beauty.
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Enhance your Flower Photography during June

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Enhance your Flower Photography during June

Ah, Spring is here (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) and nature is alive with the colors and smells of renewal.

June is an excellent month to be outside with your camera. There are so many new colors and textures to photograph, and everyone seems to be in a much better mood than during the middle of winter.

Fabulous Flower Photography

Spring is also the time when flowers bloom their brightest. And it’s the best time to be out and about with your camera photographing the best that Nature has to offer! During June, I’m running a special Photography Dash dedicated to help you take the best photos of flowers you have ever taken!

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Artful Architecture Photography

Artful Architecture Photography

It seems like it ought to be easy to take photographs of buildings. After all, they don’t move, they don’t make faces, they don’t want you to wait a second while they primp their hair and they don’t have public tantrums because you’re taking too long. Yes, it’s true, I spend way too much time taking photographs of children.

Unfortunately it’s not as easy to take photographs of architecture as it really seems like it should be. Sure, the whole no-tantrum thing is a huge plus, but a stationary object is not automatically easy to shoot just because it’s stationary. It’s deceptive, though, to the average photographer – because what could be simpler than raising your camera, framing your subject and clicking the button? Well you can answer this question yourself by going to Google images and doing a quick search for “Washington Monument.” How many photos do you see in the search results? How many of them are taken from the exact same angle? How many of them look exactly like a hundred other images of the Washington Monument?
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P is for Program Mode

P is for Program Mode

Are you stuck shooting solely in auto mode? You have a sophisticated DSLR, but you are working on auto, letting your camera make all of the decisions for you. Besides choosing and framing your subject, you have no control over any of the elements that can make your pictures better or add an artistic flair. It is time to branch out! If you check out your dial, you will most likely see M, A, S, and P. At this point, a great first step is to turn the dial to P and explore the new world that opens up when shooting in program mode. Program mode refers to programmed exposure or programmed auto, and it is a great place to learn. It is not the same as auto! Your camera still makes critical decisions for you, but you have control over ISO, white balance, and flash. I will explain how you can ease into using more of the incredible features your camera has to offer!
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Why Use A Polarizing Filter?

Why Use A Polarizing Filter?

Do your landscape shots lack the wow factor? If so, you may want to consider the addition of a polarizing filter to your gear collection. Many photographers, particularly those of the landscape or nature genres, consider this an essential piece of equipment. Polarizing filters can enhance color, and can take an otherwise average scene and transform it to extraordinary.
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Outstanding White on White Images

Outstanding White on White Images

White on white photography has a ton of potential. Shoot white on white to create clean images that sell products, or use it to make an artistic statement. Whatever you decide, remember that a good white on white image is all about light; where you place it, how you use it and what qualities it has. Still not sure what to shoot? Here’s a list of some outstanding white on white images to give you a little inspiration.
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White on white images

White on white images

If you’ve ever spent any time photographing products in a studio setting, you’ve probably tried capturing images of white objects against a white background. Done correctly, white on white can be really stunning. Done incorrectly, it’s still a valuable learning experience. That is, if you don’t throw that beautiful white egg across the room in frustration, splattering it all over your poor dog, wife/husband or that painting that you never really liked much anyway.
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Choosing Photos for your Portfolio

Choosing Photos for your Portfolio

Professional You’ve been taking photos for a while now, right? You’ve got a lot of great shots of your kids, some beautiful landscapes, some macro images and a handful of photos that are pure art. Your brother wants you to photograph his wedding and now an acquaintance has just asked if you’ll take some shots of his newborn son. Photography is starting to look like it isn’t just a hobby any more–now it has some pocket-cash potential. What next?

You need a portfolio. If you’re considering taking photos for money, or if you’d like to display your work at a local gallery, or if you’d just like to take your photography to a more professional level, a portfolio is an absolute requirement.
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8 Ways to Steady Your Camera Without A Tripod

8 Ways to Steady Your Camera Without A Tripod

“You should have shot that with a tripod.”

Ah, those hated words. They’re meant to be helpful, they really are. But it’s advice that doesn’t always mean anything, because sometimes you just can’t shoot with a tripod. So what do you do? Here are 8 ways to steady your camera if you don’t have a tripod handy.
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How to Take Great Photos at Midday

Filed in Light, Tips by 3 Comments
How to Take Great Photos at Midday

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you before that you ought to avoid taking photos in the middle of the day. I’m pretty sure. But just in case you missed that advice, I’ll say it again – mid-day is a lousy time to take photographs. If you have a choice, you should always opt for shooting during the magic hour – those golden moments just after sunrise or just before sunset, when the light is soft and warm. In fact, if you have a choice, shooting after dark can actually yield better results than typical mid-day shooting conditions.

But let’s be realistic. Sometimes you just don’t have the choice. Sometimes, your child has a soccer game at high-noon, or his best friend’s mom scheduled a lunchtime birthday party, or maybe it’s just because your lunch hour is the only available photography time-slot you have during the week. Sometimes you’re forced to make the best out of a bad situation. So how do you make the best out of this one?
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Effectively Using Repeating Patterns in Your Photographs

Effectively Using Repeating Patterns in Your Photographs

Repetition in our mundane daily lives can be boring. Repeating patterns however, add life, zeal and impact to an image. Patterns are to photography, what rhythm is to music. Repeating patterns, if captured the right way, strengthen an image. Ten pillars on a porch, a hundred umbrellas on the beach, a thousand bricks on a wall and a million petals on a field… repetition takes a life of its own.
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