Best Photography Sites for Photographers

Here is my personal collection of what I consider some of (but not all of) the best sites for a photographer to use: Continue reading

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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

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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“Photo Editing Overview – Caribbean Sailboat” by @larslentz of NegativeMoments.com on Vimeo

Here is a video showing my edit of one of my photos. In it, I show you the software I used, the basic techniques, and why I did what I did.

Watch the video in the player on this page, and switch to full screen to see better. HD also helps see more detail.

Thank you for watching!

Photo Artifacts in Stock Photography Submissions

“Artifacts”

If you’ve ever submitted a photo to a stock photo site such as iStockphoto, Bigstockphoto, Fotolia, or any of the stock and microstock photo sites, then you may have heard from them that “your photo has artifacts.” But what are these “artifacts” they speak of? And, more importantly, how can you get rid of them?

Some Guidelines (from my experience)

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Expose to the Right? NO! Go left!

Exposure

“Expose to the right” has been a popular saying and method of exposure for digital photographers for years, and it works in some cases. I’ll show you how to go the other way and make it work also. Maybe the time of “expose to the right” is almost over (in some cases). Here’s why… Continue reading

Maximum Lens Sharpness – The “Sweet Spot”

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What is a lens’s “sweet spot?”

Everybody wants sharp and focused photos. You can get good sharpness near to far in a photo by hyperfocal focusing, but what are the limits of sharpness of your lens? At what aperture (f-stop value) will you get the sharpest photos? This is also known as the “sweet spot” of the lens. Here is a simple test you can do to find out where your lens is sharpest. But first, some basic rules…

General Rules for Lenses

The rules are about the same for every lens. Here are the general ones: Continue reading

Copyright Your Photos

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Why Copyright? Why not?

With the software for image processing and the cameras available today, is there any reason why someone would not apply copyright information to their photos?  Why, yes, yes there is — it’s called “oversight” and “stupidity.”  For as easy as it is, there really is no excuse not to apply your copyright to your images.  Protect them.  They’re yours.

I use Lightroom software to import and touch up my photos, and there is a provision for applying copyright information to the metadata of your image right at the point of import.  I simply fill in the field that applies metadata and save it as my own preset.  When the photos are imported from my camera into Lightroom, the copyright notice is automatically applied.

In-Camera

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How to Export a Video for Vimeo

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Why Vimeo?

Vimeo is a video hosting platform similar to YouTube, but with much better video quality. I have started putting my videos on Vimeo because the user experience is so much better. True, there are not as many hits as on YouTube because YouTube is much more popular, but as a photographer I want the best picture quality in my videos. That better video quality available on Vimeo means I need to render or export my videos with the settings that work for Vimeo.

Vimeo Video Settings

Here are the settings I’ve successfully used: Continue reading

Camera Lens Filter Effects You Can’t Get From Post-Processing

Software can do a lot to post-process your photos, but it can’t do everything. Sometimes, you just have to use a filter on your camera to achieve certain photos. Here are what filters you will absolutely have to have on hand in order to get those shots! (click to tweet) Continue reading

Should I Watermark My Photos?

To watermark or not to watermark, that is the question. Often it is a good idea to put your name on the images you place on the internet – especially if they may be re-shared or, worse, stolen. Although theft is less likely that you think, it still happens and a benign way to prevent that and gain some peace of mind is through watermarking. Here’s how I do it and a few alternatives…

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Behind the Shot: Ludington Beach

Ludington Michigan on the West coast of Michigan’s lower peninsula is a beautiful lakeside city. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, it attracts visitors who are eager to get away from the cities and towns, and who are looking to enjoy the lake.  This photo was taken on the beach at Ludington, late in the day.

I got down low for this shot because I really wanted to capture that look and feel of a late summer day on the beach. However, the land and sky were hardly cooperating with me! I made do though and here’s how…

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GoPro Hero Camera Lens Corrections in Lightroom

GoPro Hero cameras are fantastic as movie cameras and also for taking still photos. The Hero 3 is the latest version and has options for 12 Megapixel Wide Angle, Medium Angle, or Narrow. The wide angle is by far the best for getting all of a scene in view, but the distortion around the edges is difficult to compensate and all objects appear curved toward the edges. Here is my formula for getting lens corrections in Lightroom for this camera. Continue reading

Toning Down Photos

Sometimes a photo will have just too much of a particular color (color cast) or overall too much color such as from a polarizing filter. The Singh-Ray LB Color Combo filter sometimes does this to my photos and I have to “tone them down” in Lightroom. Here’s what I do to achieve more pleasing color in these types of images: Continue reading

Increase Detail With Focus Magic

Focus Magic is a piece of software that sharpens and de-blurs photos in a special way through use of sophisticated algorithms. Besides using it to repair photos that have blur or focus issues, I also sometimes use it as a final-pass item that punches up the sharpness. It’s another of my “secret weapons.” Continue reading

Color Saturation – What is the limit?

I’m sure you’ve see what you think are “over-saturated” photos — those with too much color. But how much is too much?

The traditional way to judge this is purely subjectively by your own opinion and taste. Maybe you like more saturation or maybe you don’t. Maybe it fits with a particular subject and not with others. There are many variables to this and each needs further explanation and a breakdown. You’ll see, you have some decisions to make and a few tools that will help you: Continue reading

Capturing Color – What You See vs. What Your Camera Sees

I just returned from a trip to the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman and the colors of the ocean were so beautiful there. They were every shade of blue to green that you could think of, and I just knew I would never be able to do those colors justice in my camera images. Why? I know that my eyes capture more colors than any camera ever will… Continue reading