Back to Basics: Using Focus Creatively
May16

Back to Basics: Using Focus Creatively

By Suzanne D. Williams— You can exert a great deal of creative focus control over your images once you learn how to use some of the basic functions your digital camera offers. First, though, let’s define a few terms that are essential to the process. Photographers who use the term “point of focus” refer to the subject or object in a photograph where they want to draw the most attention. “Focus” itself...

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Seeing Differently
Apr29

Seeing Differently

By Michael Freeman— One of the first tenets of professional photography is that you have to try harder, always and all the time. There’s almost too much said about this, so I’ll restrict myself to one only, from American photographer William Albert Allard: “You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.” Well, maybe I’ll allow...

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Take Great Holiday Party Photos!
Nov18

Take Great Holiday Party Photos!

By Maggie Kornahrens– There will be a plethora of cameras and smartphones at every party and soiree in the coming weeks and if you want to capture the spirit of the holidays in fresh and exciting ways, be willing to branch out of the ordinary. Cameras these days are advanced enough so that anybody can shoot great family party photos. Here are a few tips that can take your holiday pictures from ho-hum to ah-ha. Keep it Simple. Holiday...

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What Rembrandt Taught Me About Portrait Lighting
Jul30

What Rembrandt Taught Me About Portrait Lighting

By Joel Grimes– Part of the requirements for receiving a BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona included half a dozen semesters of art history.At the time I felt like this was overkill and was only interested in attending my photo-related classes. In hindsight, one of the greatest influences that shaped my personal vision as a photographer did not come from studying the work of the master photographers, but that of a master...

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Back To Basics: Orientation Can Make Or Break Your Image
Apr29

Back To Basics: Orientation Can Make Or Break Your Image

 By Suzanne Williams– The composition of a photograph is exactly what the word “composition” itself implies.  It is the way the objects in an image are “composed”, or we could say, “arranged”.  Composition is, for the most part, subjective to the photographer’s eye.  The fact is that there are many ways to arrange the same scene. Think of a well-known photograph.  Ansel Adam’s...

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Spark Up Your Holiday Photos!
Dec18

Spark Up Your Holiday Photos!

By Suzanne D. Williams– We’ve all done it, taken that endless stream of holiday photographs with the same people doing something, only we can’t exactly tell what. Then there’s the familiar, “Oh look at the tree!” only it’s slightly blurry and the top is missing. Sound familiar? Who doesn’t have similar Christmas and other holiday pictures somewhere? Believe it or not, there is such a thing as...

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How To Print Beautiful Antique Christmas Cards
Dec06

How To Print Beautiful Antique Christmas Cards

By Arthur H. Bleich– The Christmas card-giving tradition began in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole commissioned an artist friend, John Horsley, to design a card that could be mailed to his friends. Some say Sir Henry thought up the idea to avoid writing long letters in reply to those sent by friends and acquaintances– an English tradition at Christmastime. He had a “To___” printed at the top so he could write in his friends’ names–...

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My Photographic Evolution
Oct12

My Photographic Evolution

By Suzanne D. Williams– My daughter’s graduation from high school some years ago prompted me to comb through files filled with old photographs. She’ll always be my baby and I had several of those “mom moments,” wishing to re-enter my now rosy past. But I was also forced to revisit some really bad photographs. Why in the world did I save all of these? There is something to be said for viewing the overall grand design of...

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Back to Basics: Resolution Simplified, Part 2
Nov14

Back to Basics: Resolution Simplified, Part 2

By Arthur H. Bleich– In Back To Basics: Resolution Simplified Part 1 camera and print resolution were explained. In this part, we’ll cover printer resolution, how to select the best printer settings for quality output and how to add more pixels to an image to enlarge it (within reason) without it looking like patchwork of pixels. To make things as easy to understand as possible, I’m not diving too deep because I...

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Back to Basics: Resolution Simplified, Part 1
Oct20

Back to Basics: Resolution Simplified, Part 1

By Arthur H. Bleich– Resolution goes hand-in-hand with almost every aspect of digital photography– from image capture to the final print. If you want your photographs to be the best they can possibly be, it’s necessary to have a basic understanding of it. At first, it may seem confusing because many who try to explain it often use the wrong terminology or throw lots of numbers around which only makes things worse. This is my...

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Exploring Light
Jun19

Exploring Light

By Bryan Peterson– You can do one of the best exercises I know near your home whether you live in the country or the city, in a house or an apartment. Select any subject, for example, the houses and trees that line your street or the nearby city skyline. If you live in the country, in the mountains, or at the beach, choose a large and expansive composition. Over the course of the next twelve months, document the changing seasons and...

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Try Soft Light For Great Portraits
Jan12

Try Soft Light For Great Portraits

By Arthur H. Bleich– In the early days of amateur photography, enthusiasts were always being warned to “keep the sun at your back” because films were slow and  needed lots of light to record a decent image. But before photography became the beloved hobby of the masses, Victorian studio photographers had discovered that the best way to light their subjects was to avoid the sun altogether. They set up indoor studios with...

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How To Survive If Your Drive Takes A Dive
Dec05

How To Survive If Your Drive Takes A Dive

By Arthur H. Bleich– There are few things more chilling than to see this message pop up on your computer screen during startup: “This disk is not readable by this computer.” Is your data still on the hard disk? Is it a software problem? A hardware problem? A connection problem? What happened? If it’s your internal drive that’s gone south, you won’t even be able to get online for help. You get that numb feeling of fear. Well, hang in...

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What To Think About BEFORE You Shoot
Sep09

What To Think About BEFORE You Shoot

   By Arthur H. Bleich– Chances are you already know about different post production work flow techniques that can be used in Photoshop and/or Lightroom after you’ve shot your pictures. But it’s equally important to establish a workflow you can follow before you even make the shot. Here are nine things you should think about before you lift the camera to your eye. I’ve grouped them so when you begin to follow this recipe you only have...

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Quickstart Guide To Inkjet Papers
Aug10

Quickstart Guide To Inkjet Papers

By Drew Hendrix –Today’s selection of inkjet papers provides amazing creative opportunities for photo enthusiasts by offering quality, control and cost savings previously unknown to photographers who worked with conventional photo papers. There are many more options to let you match the paper’s surface to suit your photographic style. Weight, texture, shade and more can finely tune the look and feel of your prints. Never in the...

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Frame Your Images for Maximum Impact!
May12

Frame Your Images for Maximum Impact!

By Arthur H. Bleich– Throughout history, great works of art have been showcased in frames and your best images deserve no less. It’s amazing how they’ll stand out and gain stature; a framed photograph seems to announce: “Look at me, I’m worthy of viewing!” But how do you choose the right frame? For years I’ve put off framing my best images for two reasons. First, I wasn’t up to learning how to frame from scratch; for example, making...

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Digital Photos Are Not Forever!
Mar17

Digital Photos Are Not Forever!

by Drew Hendrix – Today’s digital world is fraught with danger when it comes to protecting precious photos. They easily can be ruined even when we think they’re safe and securely stored on magnetic or optical drives, CDs and DVDs or somewhere up in the Cloud. Digital disaster regularly befalls governmental agencies, educational institutions and companies big and small despite their best efforts to prevent it. It can also happen to you...

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Shoot Masterpieces On Your Kitchen Table
Feb17

Shoot Masterpieces On Your Kitchen Table

by Arthur H. Bleich– When the weather outside turns frightful why not stay inside, where it’s nice and warm, and shoot some still lifes. What’s a still life? It’s simply a creative arrangement of objects which you design. You’ve probably seen classical still life paintings such as flower arrangements or bowls of fruit with fish or fowl in the scene. While these are more traditional still life subjects, yours should be...

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Great Photo Ops Lurk In Unexpected Places
Dec08

Great Photo Ops Lurk In Unexpected Places

By Arthur H. Bleich– I rarely just wander around looking for good pictures. Instead, I almost always have a clearly defined goal in mind when I sling my Pentax over the shoulder and set out for a shooting session. For example, doing a series of images at the town’s train station in the early morning light, catching some action at a kid’s soccer game or shooting a summer band concert down by the river–­ thematic subjects like that.  ...

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Wider is Better
Jul29

Wider is Better

By Arthur H. Bleich– Most amateur photographers lust for longer focal length lenses that bring distant subjects nearer. But most professionals will tell you that if they had to choose between a telephoto or a short focal length lens, they’d take the wide-angle every time. First, it’s a very versatile lens, especially for shooting close-up action. It has great inherent depth of field; you can disengage your camera’s autofocus, set the...

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