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Archive for July, 2015

How Clutter Can Wreck Your Photo

How Clutter Can Wreck Your Photo

Yes, clutter. It’s the bane of most modern people – unless you’re Martha Stewart. Most people’s homes contain some version of clutter, whether you call it that or not. It could be that you have an extensive collection of knickknacks. Or it could be that you just aren’t very good at picking up the dishes after every meal. Whatever the case may be, the clutter that is so pervasive inside your home it is not very good background for your photographs. So apart from hiring Martha Stewart to organize your home for you, what can you do to avoid clutter in your photos?
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How to Photograph Farms and Farm Life

Filed in Nature, Tips by 1 Comment
How to Photograph Farms and Farm Life

Over the past decade or so, there has been a bit of a revival when it comes to the food we eat. It used to be that the average person got all of his food from a grocery store. People in the 50s and 60s loved their prepackaged convenience foods, and saw no reason to step outside of that comfort zone. Today, we are a little more cognizant of our food and where it comes from. Have you heard the expression “farm to table?” The word “store” doesn’t appear in that phrase at all, and that’s because the best food generally cuts out the middleman. So what does that mean for photographers?
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How To Photograph Clouds

How To Photograph Clouds

Here’s a quick and simple experiment for you. Go to Flickr and open up a couple of landscape images. Flip through them, and rank them in order from your favorite to your least favorite. Now compare the sky in each shot. I’d be willing to bet that your favorite landscape images have something in common. More than likely, they have a dramatic sky full of beautiful, textured, clouds. Do you know why?
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What Filters Work Best?

What Filters Work Best?

Buried deep within my closet is my collection of screw-on filters. I have warming and cooling filters for adjusting white balance, I have a red filter that can be used to increase the contrast in a black and white image, I have a yellow filter for darkening a black and white sky, I have special effects filters that soften images, add starbursts and do other cool things that were actually popular back in the 80s. I haven’t dragged that box out in years and haven’t really had a need to, either. Why not?
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Ask David: Why does aperture decrease when zoom increases?

Ask David: Why does aperture decrease when zoom increases?

You’re the proud owner of a new lens. It’s a pretty awesome lens, if you do say so yourself. It zooms all the way out to 300mm, and down to 70mm, which means you can use it in a lot of situations – from photographing those birds in your backyard trees to capturing great candid shots of your kids playing on the lawn below them. But you just noticed something about that brand new lens – the aperture doesn’t always stay where you want it to. Why?
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What You Need to Know About Zooming

Filed in Lens, Tips by 2 Comments
What You Need to Know About Zooming

If your DSLR camera came with a lens, it was probably a “kit” zoom lens. Kit lenses are great for beginners. The ones that come bundled with most DSLRs typically have a very good range of zoom, usually somewhere in the range of 35mm to 70mm. Most hobby photographers don’t need to move much beyond that range of zoom for the majority of what they do with their cameras. But even if you love your kit lens and you never, ever plan to leave it, you do need to know a little bit about how it works and what it is capable of. With that in mind, here is your primer on zoom lenses.
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Mastering Composition

Mastering Composition

(or, why you can’t just point your camera at something and press the button)

A bad photo is easy to spot. Even a lay person knows a bad photo when she sees one. The only people who don’t seem to notice bad photos are the people who take them.

You know the sort of image I mean. Just go to Facebook and click on any random friend’s collection of family and vacation photos. Sure, some are going to be great because some people have a better natural eye for composition than others. But a lot of them are going to be bad. Kids in chaotic clusters trying to chase a soccer ball. People who appear as tiny specs in front of giant landmarks. Seascapes with no sense of dimension. Where did all these images go wrong?
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A Field Guide to Great Landscapes

A Field Guide to Great Landscapes

Anyone who is not a photographer will probably tell you it’s easy to shoot a landscape. Step one: find beautiful scenery. Step two: point your camera at it. Step three: take a picture.

Of course, that’s an over simplification. But not too much! With just a few extra steps, you’ll be taking superb landscape photos wherever you are.
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