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Tag: photo effects

How to Create the Perfect Silhouette

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How to Create the Perfect Silhouette

Have you ever seen a silhouette of two people embracing each other on the beach and wondered how to translate it into a beautiful image? The romance of a silhouette is rarely matched. They are timeless and mysterious. These iconic images use the shape of a person, item or structure, devoid of details to create a simple but emotional photograph. Despite their simple structure, there are some technical and artistic techniques you can use to make the process easier and the end result better.
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Zoom Blur Effect In Camera

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Zoom Blur Effect In Camera

Tired of the same old shots? Want to add a cool effect without any post processing? Zoom blur may be just the ticket. With just your DSLR and a kit lens, you can take some creative photos that break the traditional mold. Use this fun technique to produce unique results and enhance your portfolio. Zoom on!
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Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

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Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

If you enjoy sports and other fast-moving things, then you’ve probably spent some time marveling at the amazing photos some photographers manage to capture of fast-moving subjects. You know the ones I mean: a sharp subject against a streaky, blurred background. A photo that says “speed.”

You may even have tried to capture a similar image. And unless you tried again … and again … and again … you probably came away from the experience frustrated and disappointed.

That’s because this technique, which has the deceptively simple name “panning,” is extremely difficult to master. And even photographers who have mastered it still get it wrong some of the time–maybe even most of the time, depending on how challenging the subject is. But I’ll show you the tricks to give yourself a better-than-even chance!
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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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Motion Blur Photography

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Motion Blur Photography

Every photographer knows the anguish of a photo that’s been messed up by motion blur. It happens to all of us – you’re trying to shoot a soccer game at dusk, and as it gets darker your aperture gets wider and your shutter speed gets slower. Finally, you capture that trick shot your son has been practicing all season and, dang. Motion blur. Your soccer star’s feet don’t show clearly, and the background is a mess. The ball looks kind of cool, though.

Ah ha! That’s the part you have to hang on to. The ball looks kind of cool. And motion blur photographs can be really cool, if you shoot them correctly, with purpose, and if you shoot a lot of them.
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The Magic Cloth Technique

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The Magic Cloth Technique

Advanced If you shoot landscapes – especially scenes containing water, such as waterfalls, oceans and lakes, you probably already know something about using a neutral density (ND) filter. The neutral density filter is the go-to tool for any photographer who wants to take a long exposure during daylight hours. All those stunning images of misty oceans and rivers that you’ve admired were probably taken with ND filters. But if you don’t have a set of ND filters there is another trick you can employ to capture similar images – and it’s less expensive and more flexible than a set of ND filters, too.
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How To: Using a Circular Polarizer

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How To: Using a Circular Polarizer

Modern digital cameras are capable of transforming almost any scene from ordinary to extraordinary. With the right tools and the right knowledge, you can actually create an image that is even more impressive than the scene you saw with your naked eye. Your camera’s settings are designed to help you achieve this, as are software packages such as Photoshop Elements. You can also use any of dozens of little tools and tricks to add that little bit of interest to your image that can go a long way towards transforming your photos from plain to amazing.

One of the most important of these tools is the circular polarizer. A circular polarizer is a screw-on filter that could almost be described as a pair of sunglasses for your lens.
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Painting with Light

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Painting with Light

You’ve heard me talk a lot lately about inspiration, and about how to find great photos in boring places. Let’s say you’ve tried a bunch of those tips but would really like to break out of that whole reality box and try something completely different. Here’s an idea: get yourself a flashlight, a few glow-sticks from the dollar store and a tripod and try painting with light.
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Finding Inspiration

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Finding Inspiration

It’s called “creative block”, and it’s an ugly beast. All artists complain of it at some point in their lives, even great ones. It can happen to you when you’re immersed in the doldrums of an uninteresting routine, or it can happen to you when you’re standing in the Mongolian grasslands during the Festival of Naadam. Creative block doesn’t discriminate, so you need to have an arsenal of tools at hand to fend it off when it decides to make you its next victim.

If you’ve ever stood in one place with your camera hanging around your neck and just could not for the life of you find a photo anywhere in your environment, you’re probably suffering from creative block on at least some level. The key to beating it is to start fighting it as soon as you recognize it, because otherwise it can keep you in empty memory cards for weeks. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do. If you use these tips and exercises, you’ll not only banish creative block, you may also come up with some really great photos that you probably would never have thought of if you hadn’t had a bout of creative block. Take that, ugly beast.
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Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

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Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

If I had to guess, I would say that 99 out of 100 hobby photographers never bend their legs. It’s not so hard to see why – human beings view the world mostly from one or two perspectives: standing up and sitting down. Occasionally we will also lie down in a place other than our beds or the sofa, but for the most part everything we see comes to us at a perspective of somewhere between five and six feet off the ground.

So most photographers don’t think about finding other angles, because the angle from which we view the world most of the time is so familiar and comfortable. But the sad truth is, it’s also boring. When you walk past that favorite city landmark and snap a photo of it, the chances are really good that your photo will look exactly like the last thousand photos that the last thousand photographers took of that same landmark–unless you spent some time thinking about your subject and how you could capture it in a unique way.
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How to Photograph Smoke

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How to Photograph Smoke

If you spend a lot of time on Flickr or just browsing through photography books in search of artsy, eye-popping images, chances are you’ve seen some really cool pictures of smoke – pictures that you aren’t quite sure how to duplicate. While it has its place in scenic photography, I don’t mean the smoke from a campfire or the stuff that comes out of a chimney. The photos I’m referring to are studio shots of smoke. You know the sort of thing I mean: those ethereal images of wispy, swirling smoke shot against a black backdrop–the ones that look like they were created by a computer or an artist rather than a photographer.
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Tips for great Halloween photography

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Tips for great Halloween photography

What do ghosts, goblins, and little princesses have in common? They come out after dark. You know, when it’s hard to get good pictures of them.

Halloween presents a lot of problems for photographers, because by the time all the action starts to happen that magic hour we love so much has already come and gone. But if you’re like every other camera-lugging mom, dad or hobbyist in search of a great shot, you don’t want to pass up a great night like Halloween just because the light isn’t right. There are still plenty of things you can do to get some great Halloween shots, and here’s a list to get you started.
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Creating Selections In Adobe Photoshop Elements

Creating Selections In Adobe Photoshop Elements

Whenever you paint something in your house, be it a wall or a door, you want to avoid getting paint on everything. So you use masking tape. Masking, or Selecting, in Photoshop Elements, is the same thing. The only difference is that there’s so much more you can do with it. Masking is a way of selecting certain parts of your image to paint on or apply effects and filters to. In this article, I’ll show you which selection methods are the best and how you can use them to isolate any part of your image.
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Dodge and Burn in Photoshop Elements

Dodge and Burn in Photoshop Elements

What if you want to fix a part of an image that was overexposed or underexposed? Maybe you want to draw emphasis to a certain part of your photo. What about when you forget to use a lens hood and stray light makes it into your photo? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you should consider using the dodge and burn tools that come with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Here are a few things you can do with them.
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A photography tool worth $1 Billion?

A photography tool worth $1 Billion?

[opinion] Instagram is a popular photo sharing tool on the web, and Facebook just bought it for $1 Billion. This an unprecedented move for Facebook. They’ve never made such a purchase, and they may never do it again. What intrigues me more than anything is that Instagram is nothing more than a simple photography tool. Why is it so popular, how can you use it for your own photography, and more importantly, how come it’s worth $1 Billion?
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