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Archive for April, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Increase ISO Too Far

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Why You Shouldn’t Increase ISO Too Far

Modern digital camera technology has blessed us with something we never used to have: noise-free, high ISO photos.

Cameras have come so far in their ability to capture images at high ISOs that camera manufacturers have started to really use this as a selling point. You’ll often see modern DSLR cameras advertised as being capable of ISOs of 25,600, or even as high as 128,000. In fact it’s kind of like the new megapixel (and contrary to popular belief, high megapixels aren’t necessarily better). But should you really use this as a reason to purchase or not purchase a digital camera?
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What You Should Know About Lenses

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What You Should Know About Lenses

Before you bought a DSLR you didn’t really need to know a whole lot about lenses. Your point-and-shoot camera came with a lens already attached, and there really wasn’t anything you could do to change it. You probably knew how much zoom it had, and if you paid attention to the specs you may have also figured out what that meant in millimeters. But if your knowledge didn’t really go any further than that, well, no one can blame you.

Now that you have a DSLR, though, it’s a lot more important to know something about not only the lens that you bought with it, but the other lenses that are available to buy once you decide it’s time to expand your arsenal.

Now as it turns out, there’s a lot to know about lenses. A lot. It’s not just a matter of wide-angle vs. telephoto, there are a lot of other things to take into consideration as well. But let’s start with the basic stuff, and that’s lens classes.
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Five Ways to Overcome Creative Block

Five Ways to Overcome Creative Block

Have you ever planned a photography day, just for yourself? Let’s say you woke up one morning and grabbed your camera and headed out there into the big world, ready to fill up that memory card with wonderful photos of wonderful things. And then you found yourself just standing there, camera in hand, bored.

Sometimes it seems like you’ve already shot it all. Sometimes it seems like there’s just nothing interesting left, nothing camera worthy. And at those times you may find yourself bored with what was once a hobby you were passionate about.

Don’t worry. It’s called “creative block,” and it happens to everyone—photographers, artists, writers, sculptors—if it’s a creative pursuit, then creative block is always a looming danger. Just because it’s happening to you doesn’t mean that you’ve lost your passion.
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Nine Fun Uses for a Fisheye Lens

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Nine Fun Uses for a Fisheye Lens

Fisheye lenses are cool. What’s not to love? With a fisheye lens, you can get fun, quirky images unlike pretty much anything you can get with any other kind of lens. And the’re surprisingly affordable too. Let’s look at nine ways to create unusual images with a fisheye lens.
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Using Complementary Colors

Using Complementary Colors

What could be simpler than color? Color is all around us. We understand it from the time we are very young — in fact the names of colors are some of the first words we learn. So really, it does seem like understanding color ought to be the simplest thing in the world.

You have probably heard people talking about complementary colors, split complementary colors, analogous colors, and various other fairly muddy color theory concepts. Today I’m going to try to wipe away some of the mud, so you can get a foundation in color theory that you can start to use in your photography. The concepts are actually quite simple, as long as you have access to a color wheel, and a few basic pieces of information.
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How to Bracket without Auto-Bracketing

How to Bracket without Auto-Bracketing

Our cameras are wonderful tools. They can measure the available light and use that information to make a good guess about what settings are required to get the highlights, shadows and everything in between pretty close to the way it was in real life. As photographers, we rely on our cameras and metering system to do this job – without those metering systems, we’d have to use our eyes and brains to figure out the right shutter speed and aperture combination.

But here’s the thing: all that wonderful technology still isn’t good enough to guarantee perfect results every single time. Your camera does a pretty good job of most of the time But it can’t account for all those different variations in light that might happen in unusual situations.

That’s where bracketing can work well. Today, we’ll look at bracketing, why it works, and how you can bracket your own images without needing to let the camera do it.
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How To Take The Perfect Silhouette

How To Take The Perfect Silhouette

There are a few things in photography that kind of walk the line between mistake and brilliance. One of those is the silhouette. I’m sure you’ve taken lots of photos that you didn’t really mean to be silhouettes, and when you saw them after the fact you wished that you’d shot them differently. Loved-ones’ faces obscured in a silhouette aren’t always a good thing, especially if the shape of the silhouette itself has few identifying characteristics. But there are situations where silhouettes can be used creatively – so it’s a very good idea to know what to do and what not to do when it comes to deliberately including silhouettes in your photographs.
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How To Take Pictures Indoors Without a Flash

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How To Take Pictures Indoors Without a Flash

When you were a kid, your mom probably took a lot of pictures. When she wasn’t taking pictures outdoors, she was using a flash. Remember that? “Oh wait dear, don’t move, the flash has to warm up.”

If you look back at those photo albums full of all those pictures that your mom took when you were a kid, you may notice a common theme. Those photos probably don’t look very good. In them, your kid-self probably has a washed-out face and/or red eyes, and there are most likely some really big, ugly black shadows directly behind you. These are all hallmarks of direct flash.

Now that you’ve grown up and have a camera of your own, let’s see how to take photos that don’t look like the ones in your mom’s photo album.
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Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns

The human eye loves pattern. Patterns are predictable, and in a way that makes them soothing. They are harmonious, and they have rhythm—not unlike a favorite piece of music. But they are also dynamic—patterns are always moving, even when they aren’t. Your eye moves across a pattern, from the first to the next to the next, and even when that pattern leaves your vision you still imagine that it continues on, outside of the world that you can see. There are a mirriad of patterns available in our world. Let’s talk about a few, and how using them can enhance your photos.
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