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Techniques for Working Textures Into Your Photography

Textured-purple-flower-600Where do you begin when you are considering using textures in your photography? I suggest you begin with the absolute best photo possible. Adding a texture to a bad photo does not make it a good photo. You want to make sure you have it exposed correctly, composed well, have a clear subject and not too much in the competing in the background competing. Textures work best with photos that are not too busy to start. Once I have chosen the photo I am going to work with, I do all of my edits before I add the texture, including adjusting the colors and sharpening.

In this article I’ll share some of my techniques for working textures into your photography.

Sharpening your image

You want to sharpen your photo before you add the texture. This is so that your subject is sharp and the texture isn’t over sharpened compared to the subject. You want the texture to enhance your photo, not compete with it. When I sharpen the photo I use the high pass filter as opposed to the unsharp mask. I like this method best because it defines and clears up all the edges of your subject without over-sharpening all the fill areas. Below is how I do this and the settings:

6 Tips for Getting Great Pictures With a Basic Camera

Great pictures don’t necessarily come from high-end cameras and expensive lenses. Here are tips that you can apply even when using cameras like the one on the iPhone. If you can use these principles to get great pictures using basic cameras, imagine how much better a photographer you’ll be with serious photography gear!

1. Use Available Light

Available light usually means natural sunlight, but it can also include available sources of artificial light, e.g. an overhead dining table lamp. With the light positioned correctly, you can get professional looking pictures without any additional flash equipment.

baby portraiture

“Untitled” captured by Whitney Stapleton (Click image to see more from Stapleton.)

Using the Develop Module in Your Lightroom 5 Photography Workflow (Video)

More and more photographers are turning to Adobe Lightroom 5 as their choice post-processing software. While Adobe Photoshop CS6 equips all manner of visual artists with tools for their various crafts, Lightroom is a streamlined processing software tailored to photographers who need advanced image editing and management capabilities without unnecessary clutter.

However, without an effective workflow, even Lightroom can become needlessly time-consuming.

In this video, landscape photographer Robert Rodriguez explains his creative workflow process in Lightroom, with particular emphasis on showing the “why” behind each step and providing tips for developing a personalized workflow that maximizes efficiency, flexibility, and accuracy:

An effective workflow is one that is flexible, efficient, and accurate as it works towards the goal of realizing the photographer’s vision for a particular photograph. To that end, Rodriguez offers three principles that guide his own workflow process.

Quick Macro Photography Tricks

If you delve into the incredible world of macro photography, with the aid of a few digital photography tricks, you can take photographs of insects that will blow your mind.

macro insect photography

“Summer Mantis” captured by Gary Vernon (Click image to see more from Vernon.)

A normal housefly may seem just annoying, but up close and personal, you can capture a macro image that reveals every single hair on its body and the millions of tiny dots that make up its eyes. You see an array of magnificent colors that you do not perceive with the naked eye. Once you have truly experienced macro photography, you will never see tiny creatures in quite the same way again.

Some Reasons Why to Shoot High ISO

1/125th at F2, ISO 6400 (Fuji X100s)

Fuji X100s: 1/125th at F2, ISO 6400.

The most common photographic fear that I come across these days is when people are afraid to raise the ISO setting on their cameras.

Just a handful of years ago, these fears were justified.  Raising your ISO to 1600 or 3200 was a no-go for a majority of cameras.

But no longer. Things are changing.

Some Reasons Why to Shoot High ISO  

4 Questions to Help You Discover Your Photographic Style

If you’re new to the world of photography, you may hear other photographers talk about their photographic style quite a bit. But what does this mean and how do you find your own style? I’m sure you’ve heard of photojournalism (shooting moments with no posing), traditional photography (completely posed), and lifestyle photography (which is a blend of the two). But a photographer’s true style is more than just a description of his or her shooting method. It encompasses the whole look of the photographer’s art. Below are four questions you can ask yourself to help pinpoint your style.

child portrait photography

“Untitled” captured by Irina Oreshina (Click image to see more from Oreshina.)

What do you like to shoot?

This can sometimes take awhile to discover, especially if you’re new to photography. Most photographers discover that there is one subject in particular that they really enjoy shooting more than any other. Sometimes that’s weddings or newborns, or maybe it’s kids and families. Whatever you prefer to document directly affects your style. The way you photograph kids is probably completely different from how you would document a bride and groom. So knowing this can prove to be a huge indicator of your style.

Where do you like to shoot?

Though this may not seem like a contributing factor to your style, it can play a role in the look and feel of your images. For example, I love shooting outdoors, preferably in a park, forest, or reserve. Somewhere beautiful and natural. But one of my good friends loves to shoot in grungy, dirty, dilapidated areas. The locations she likes to shoot, coupled with the grunge overlays she adds to her portraits, sets her style apart from my more natural, pretty, and soft artwork.

How to create an abstract colour halftone effect in Photoshop

colour halftone

Go to Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone, and in the Max Radius field enter 30 and hit OK.

Your image is now split into dots of CMYK colour, but if the dots appear too small or big in your image, increase the Max Radius value.

How to create an abstract colour halftone effect in Photoshop

The resolution of your image will affect the number of dots in the effect, so it’s worth experimenting with different settings for the right balance.

[this post syndicated from Photoshop Daily]

Top Photography Articles of the Year 2013

As the year ends and a new one begins, we looked back at what articles & topics attracted the most attention. Listed below are some of 2013?s most popular posts, which range from useful tips to amazing images to tear-inducing stories. As we researched the top articles we were excited to learn that our visitor base grew nearly 20% this year (6 million photographers stopped by) and we are busy planning exciting things for 2014, thanks so much to all of you who continue to visit us! This site would not be possible without you.

We would love to hear your thoughts on these articles, please tell us which one was most useful to you and why on our Facebook Page or Google Plus!

shanghai-cityscape

Top Photography Articles of the Year

1. 10 Photography Assignments to Stimulate Creativity — With a new year and new goals ahead of us, these creative assignments will get 2014 off to a great photographic start.

2. Young Elk Decides He Does Not Like This Photographer — This too-close-for-comfort interaction is a reminder to photographers that wildlife is…well…wild.

3. 23 Photos Taken a Split Second Before Disaster — Ah, schadenfreude. A quick click of the shutter can preserve life’s unfortunate–yet entertaining–moments in a still frame forever.

4. Cancer Victim’s Story Spread All Over the World Through Photography — Photographer Sue Bryce helped a woman with cancer spread a beautiful message with this heartfelt video.

5. Massive Walrus Naps on Submarine Hatch — Crew members on a Russian submarine had a fun photo opportunity when a huge sea visitor fell asleep in an inconvenient place.

6. Top 15 Photoshop Tools Every Photographer Should Know — Photoshop is a powerful program that takes time to master. Jump start the learning process by mastering these essential tools.

7. Stunning Timelapse of New York City — It took two photographers, eight cameras, and two weeks to film this energetic timelapse of New York City.

8. Photographer Captures a Perfect Moment — Zak Noyle, a world class surf photographer, demonstrated his talent when he took this stunningly well-timed image.

9. 15 Surreal Photo Manipulations — These amazing works of art demonstrate the creative possibilities of Photoshop.

10. How to Get Stunning Colors in Your Sunset Photography — Get breathtaking sunset photos bursting with color by metering properly and using neutral density filters.

11. Camera Settings for HDR Photography — We’ve all seen over-processed images. Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro show you how to keep your HDR photos looking realistic.

12. A Guide to Understanding ISO in Photography — This article explains and illustrates ISO’s integral role in the exposure triangle.

13. 5 Simple Tips for Better People Pictures — Do your pictures of people leave something to be desired? This informative list of tips will help you improve your portraits.

14. Student Wins Contests With Stolen Photos — The winner of the Smiles for the World photo contest made headlines when it was discovered that he pilfered the winning image from Flickr.

15. How to Determine Exposure With the Histogram — Relying on your camera’s LCD is often a recipe for disaster. Take control of your exposures by understanding the histogram.

[this post syndicated from Picture Correct]

Lightroom effects: use the Virtual Copies feature to test different looks

You can test different Lightroom effects using the software’s Virtual Copies feature. Find out how this tool can dramatically speed up your photo editing time.

Lightroom effects: use the Virtual Copies feature to test different looks

Photography is all about making decisions – on lighting, composition, exposure, equipment and a hundred other things. But the decision making doesn’t necessarily stop when you put down the camera.