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Tag: color

White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

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White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

Until you started taking photos, you may not have even been aware of such a thing as white balance. That’s because in the real world, white balance is a function of your brain. Our brains are pretty good at white balance, actually, so good that many photographers have to train themselves to consciously understand what our brains just do for us behind the scenes, every single day.

However, your camera isn’t as smart. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure you don’t get a color ‘cast’ in your photos.
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Using Complementary Colors

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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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Repeating Patterns

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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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How to capture photos in foggy or misty conditions

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How to capture photos in foggy or misty conditions

Fog. It’s eerily beautiful, potentially dangerous and can transform almost any setting into something either ominous, or quiet, moody and introspective. It’s also notoriously difficult to photograph. Have you ever tried? This is one of those situations where you feel certain your photos are just going to take themselves. The landscape is bathed in this amazing gray mist, there’s beauty everywhere, but for some reason your photos fail to recreate what your eyes see. Why?

The answer, as it so often and redundantly is in photography, is light.
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Outstanding Shots of Fog and Mist

Outstanding Shots of Fog and Mist

Foggy scenes are ethereally beautiful and seem like they ought to just take themselves. But fog is tricky–it can sap contrast and color, which may result in images that look flat and dimensionless. Don’t give up though–try putting something in the foreground, or try focusing on those beautiful foggy day light rays. And check out this list of outstanding foggy day images to see what really works for these challenging shoots.
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White Balance and Color Temperature Crash Course

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White Balance and Color Temperature Crash Course

Have you ever taken a photograph inside your house only to find that your picture had an eerie yellow tint that made your subject look jaundiced? The reason for the weird tint is caused by the naturally warm hue (color temperature) of the incandescent light bulbs which are common light sources in homes. Likewise, if you have ever taken a picture in a store or doctor’s office, your photograph probably had a blue tint to it; this is caused by the cool color temperature of a row of florescent lights. We don’t see the light’s color because our eyes have the ability to filter out the tint but our cameras aren’t as highly evolved as our eyes and often need our guidance to help create the proper white balance.
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Abstract Photography For Beginniners

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Abstract Photography For Beginniners

Photography as an art is usually based on your viewer looking at all the parts of a photograph and forming meaning based on their world experiences. Abstract photography removes the parameters of context. So it frees you to create the meaning you wish to convey… so your viewer will be able to look at something in a completely new light. Abstract photography is the art of stripping away and stripping down. It helps to have a keen eye for detail and the ability to see an object (often a common everyday item) as its individual parts rather than the whole. Abstract photography is a challenge but there are some basic tips to get you started off in the right direction.
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How To: Toss your Camera

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How To: Toss your Camera

OK, first of all, don’t try this. There. Now I’ll tell you how to try the thing you’re not going to try. It’s camera tossing, and it can create some really cool, abstract images. And also destroy your camera. So don’t do it, seriously. Unless you want to. But please keep in mind that I told you not to.

Yes, camera tossing is something that should be done at your own risk, because it’s exactly what it sounds like. You’re going to take your camera and throw it into the air, and then hopefully catch it again. This can (and probably will, if you do it enough times) cause great damage to your camera, but the results might be worth it.
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Creating Better Black and White Photos

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Creating Better Black and White Photos

Back in the caveman days, you know, when we took photos on film, a formal education in photography often began with black and white. Black and white photography was a good format for beginning students because the film was easy to process and darkroom techniques were straightforward. Today we bypass that whole film-to-darkroom thing, so a lot of us are passing over the opportunity to learn about shooting in black and white. After all, why would we want to shoot in drab shades of gray? We live in a color world.

If this is your thinking, it’s time to re-examine the way you think about photography – and the way you see the world around you. Black and white photos have something that color photos do not: simplicity. When you strip away all the color from a scene, you immediately have something that is simpler than its original.
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Tips for Summer Photos

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Tips for Summer Photos

Summer is fast approaching – in the northern hemisphere, anyway, and if that’s the half of the world where you reside you might benefit from some summer photography tips. (If not, then photographing winter landscapes might be more your thing.)

To photographers, summer is first and foremost a time of sun. Sun of course means bright, which of course means difficult lighting. You can get some great photos even in the middlish hours of the day, but you will need to keep a few things in mind. Here’s a short list to get you started.
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Understanding Light

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Understanding Light

Do you know what the difference is between a good photographer and a great one?

It’s light. Or rather, the way the photographer uses light. A good photographer knows how to compose an image, how to angle her camera so the viewer gets a completely unique perspective of an object, how to capture an event in an interesting and unusual way – even how to capture an emotion. A great photographer does all of this in the right light.

Light is pervasive, and because of this you may not always be consciously aware of it – unless it’s either blinding you or fading from view. Most of the rest of the time, light just is, so we don’t pay much attention to it. For this reason you may spend a lot of time just snapping photos without really thinking about the quality of the light.

But it’s worthwhile paying attention because you’ll get some stunning results…
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Photographing Landscapes at Twilight

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Photographing Landscapes at Twilight

You’ve heard me talk oh-so many times about that magic hour, the time just after sunrise and just before sunset when the light has that beautiful, magical quality that can transform a dull, flat scene into a stunning photograph.

What you haven’t heard me talk so much about is twilight. Twilight could be called something similar – that glittering hour, perhaps, or that surreal hour. Twilight photos are different because there’s that element of other-worldliness to them that only appears during that brief moment between day and night. Twilight can be a beautiful setting for any photo, but particularly for landscapes. Master creating twilight images and your photo collection will really be spectacular.
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The Classic Elements Of Visual Design

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The Classic Elements Of Visual Design

A few weeks ago, we discussed all the elements of visual design and how to apply them to your photography. Think of each one of these elements as an assignment, a place to start when you need some inspiration. Now let’s take a quick look back at each of the design elements and the ways that they can help you develop a better eye for a great photo.
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How Contrast Affects Your Photos

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How Contrast Affects Your Photos

If you’ve spent much time working in black and white, you already know how important it is to understand contrast. Contrast is what keeps your black and white images from looking flat. Contrast adds dimension, and dimension can go a long way towards making a photo more engaging. It invites the viewer into the image.

But contrast isn’t just important in black and white, and not every photo needs to have a complete range of tones to be an effective image. Understanding contrast and how it can help the viewer interact with a photo is an important step in developing your photographic skills.
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Visual Design: Using Color in Photography

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Visual Design: Using Color in Photography

Color is one of the six classic design elements, which also includes shape, form, line, texture and space. Like the other design elements, good use of color can evoke emotion and give the viewer something to think about.

Color is one of those things that was see all the time but often don’t notice, at least not on a conscious level. Sure, a beautiful field of bright red flowers will immediately catch our eye, as will a brilliant red sunset. But what we don’t notice is how subtle shades of color can affect mood and our perception of a scene, or how brilliant colors can send a strong subconscious message about what we’re seeing.
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