Photographic Meditation?

Meditation

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Meditation – a seemingly “new age” type of word that strikes an unhealthy fear of “hippydom” into people everywhere. No, I am not a Krishna offering flowers at an airport. Nor am I saying anything extreme here. Humor me. Let me show you how I see photography as a kind of meditation of sorts. Continue reading

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Easily Set Up Your Camera for Exposure Bracketing and HDR Stacking

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HDR (high dynamic range) image processing can be very cool for some types of photos. Whether done manually or with a dedicated HDR program, it almost always requires shooting multiple RAW images at various exposures then combining them in software during post-processing. I’ll show you how I set my camera to get the photos – without using a tripod in most cases. Continue reading

Take Better Sunrise and Sunset Photos

Sunrise and sunset photos are among the most photographed things in the world. It is a natural thing for anyone to shoot these because they are spectacular. But I see a lot of sunrise and sunset photos that are poorly exposed or just shot wrong. Here’s an easy way to shoot them. Continue reading

Telling Stories About Photos

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The key to having an interesting photo is to have an interesting story about the photo. Every photo has a story. The story just must be thought out and written. That’s the hard part. I’ve made a template that I use and would like to share it and my thought process with you. Continue reading

Creating Photos With Realism

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Have you seen the photo that looks so real it almost comes off of the page or draws you into it? Have you seen one that gives you the sense of actually being there? Does it seem like you are there where the photographer was and now seeing it with your own eyes?

If you have, you’ve probably seen a photo that has one or more of the following qualities that make it look realistic. Continue reading

Why Shooting Landscapes and Nature is Better at f/11 or Less

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Shot at 8mm, f/5.6 on an APS-C camera. The focal point was about 1/3 of the way into the frame at a point about 30 feet from the camera on the green grass where it meets the road.

Almost everything you will read will tell you that to have a great looking landscape shot it has to be sharp from front to back, and you have to shoot at f/16 or f/22 to get that.

Not true.

That is not how it works in the real world with your eyes, and it is not how a camera or lens should be used either. I’ll break this down and destroy this myth. Continue reading

HDR Programs Compared

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HDR (High Dynamic Range) image processing can be a powerful tool for the photographer. However, if natural-looking images are what you’re after, there are only a few (maybe only one) that actually work. Here’s my assessment from my experience with several programs. Continue reading

Review: The Tough Camera I Take Everywhere Without Fear

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I worry about damaging my cameras. Who doesn’t? But I finally found one that I don’t fear taking anywhere I go. The Olympus Tough camera. It beats the GoPro hands down in my opinion. Here’s why: Continue reading

Review: The Sigma 8-16 mm Lens is Excellent for Landscapes

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Sigma’s 8-16 mm f/4.5-5.6 lens is the widest rectilinear lens made for APS-C sized cameras. This is the 35 mm equivalent of 12-24 mm. If sweeping landscape shots and front-interest images with tremendous depth are your things, then you’re going to love this lens.

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I Missed the Shot

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Sooner or later it is going to happen to everyone. Every photographer misses a shot from time to time. Sometimes often. Almost all the time, it seems, at times. Strings and strings of bad luck can just happen. Continue reading

Review: Why the Hoya HRT CIR-PL Circular Polarizer is a Winner

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The Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV filter is a winner in my opinion. It has both the polarization and UV protection, but most importantly it does not cut down on the light reaching your camera sensor as much as many of the others. Together with its low cost, I think this is the filter every photographer should own.

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A Free Photography Lesson

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I get asked fairly often if I give photography lessons. No, not really. But in this post is my primary method and you can have it for free. It is my gift to you.

But first, a discussion of the lessons that are out there. Photography lessons fall into only a few categories, in my opinion. They are as follows:
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Creating Cinematic Widescreen Photos and Video With an APS-C dSLR and Lenses

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The Revenant is a film to be admired by fans of widescreen images. Emmanuel Lubezki created this by filming with an ARRI Alexa 65 6K camera and lenses of 12 to 21 mm. My desire is to deconstruct and replicate this in an APS-C dSLR and lenses. Continue reading

Why Center-Weighted Average is the Right Metering Mode 85% of the Time

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I Think That “Center-Weighted Average” Metering is Best (Usually)

As you can see from the image above, most cameras have at least three metering modes (the region where the camera measures light to calculate the exposure.) Some have four or more. For years, I only used “center-weighted average” because it was how I was taught, and it worked well. Well, it still works the best. After trying the other types of metering and thinking about it a bit, I think I know why.

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A Secret to Getting Great Color and Focus

Sunlit LeavesWant to make the colors “pop” in your photos? Want to achieve great clarity and sharpness? There’s an easy way!

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