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  • 1.BetterPhoto.comTHE BETTER WAY TO BETTER YOUR PHOTOGRAPHYTIP BOOKLETUse these handy tips from the pros tocreate photos with WOW impact.Jim Miotke,Founder,

2. Tips by Kerry Drager1. Developing a Tripod WorkflowI use a tripod for every landscape scene - to achieve the best in image quality and to fine-tunemy compositions. But that doesnt mean I break out the tripod immediately upon seeing asubject I like. After making the effort to expand the tripod legs and lock the camera in place,its verrrrry tempting to stay put, without fully exploring the subject. Thats not the artisticapproach!Instead, the tripod set-up should come near the end of the creative process, not the beginning!Let me explain my tripod workflow:When I come across a promising landscape scene, I set the tripod aside (assuming theres a safeplace). Then, with camera in hand, Ill wander around in search of the best viewpoint, the rightlens focal length, etc. Only when Ive lined up the approximate shot do I grab the tripod, attachthe camera, and frame the composition just the way I envisioned it.2. Composition: Dont Stop Now ... Keep ShootingWhenever I find a photogenic (and static) scene that really motivates me, I work it every whichway I can within whatever time constraints I have. This means trying different compositions,different focal lengths, or different lighting angles. But this process also might mean thefollowing: Try different f/stops ... in order to experiment with the depth of field (the range ofsharpness in a scene that has front-to-back depth). Try different shutter speeds ... in order to experiment with subject motion - by freezingthe action or by showing a soft blur of movement. Kerrys Photo Courses: 4-Week Course: Creative Close-ups 8-Week Course: Creative Light and Composition 3. Tip by Ibarionex Perello1. Great Light for Outdoor PortraitsThe kind of light I often favor is open shade. I dont like the look of direct sunlight in many ofmy portraits, because the contrast is often too high and you get some harsh shadows on theface particularly beneath the brow, the nose and chin. By finding some open shade, I have thebenefit of more diffused and soft light, which produces a more pleasing result. A cloudy orovercast day is an ideal time to be making portraits because it provides the same kind of softlight provided by open shade.I received a great tip from a great photographer and fellow BetterPhoto instructor, NeilSilverman. While we were walking in San Francisco making photographs, he pointed out that itwas a good idea to look at the light reflected off large white surfaces like a building. The lightreflected off the wall produced an amazing quality of light, which is just beautiful. Its similarto the quality of light produced by a giant softbox. Its taught me to not only pay attention towhere the original light source is coming from, but also what it is reflecting off of. Ibarrionexs Photo Courses: 4-Week Courses: Learning the Canon EOS 40D Learning the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Camera Learning the Nikon D60 Learning the Olympus Evolt Portrait Photography Using Available Light Posing and Portraiture Techniques The Pursuit of Light 8-Week Courses: DSLR Features: When, Why and How to Use 4. Tips by Brenda Tharp1. Analyzing a Photographs EffectivenessIf you look at your picture in front of you quickly, you can often see what grabs your attentionright away, and where the eyes travels. If you try to do this after youve been looking atsomething else for a few seconds or minutes, its easier. I put my picture up on my computer,then I look at a magazine or something on my desk, for a moment or two, and when I lookback at the computer, Im mentally ready to analyze what grabbed my attention first, wheremy eye traveled, etc., and what things I found distracting. I have used this in classes, where Iwill have everyone look at the projected image, and then Ill move off it, then move back to it,and ask them right before I change to quickly read the picture when it comes up. That firstimpression tells us so much about how well we did with composing our picture.2. Getting sharper pictures in low lightIf you are working in low light conditions, and are hand-holding or using a monopod, heres anidea that will help you get sharper pictures.Put your camera on continuous frame shooting mode, and hold the shutter release down forthree or four frames. The ones in the middle will typically be sharper, as pressing the shuttercan cause camera shake, and releasing it can, too. The ones in the middle will be made withthe button already down. This works for film and digital cameras, although digital compacts areharder to do this on because of the shutter lag Brendas Photo Courses: 4-Week Courses: Travel Photography: Capturing the Spirit of a Place 8-Week Courses: Creating Visual Impact 5. Tips by Jim Zuckerman1. The Visual Power of Ultra Wide Angle Lenses by Jim ZuckermanOne of the ways in which I dramatize subjects, whether Im shooting architecture, people,landscapes, or anything else, is to use ultra wide angle lenses. I consider ultra wide to befocal lengths in the 10mm to 16mm range for less-than-full-frame sensor cameras (rememberthat for Nikon and Canon cameras you have to multiply the focal length by 1.5x and 1.6x,respectively, to determine the real focal length of the lens), and for full frame cameras focallengths 20mm or less is ultra wide.The closer you place the foreground to a wide angle lens, the more distortion youll get.Sometimes this isnt what you want; in other instances, it produces amazing images that youlllove. In the extreme, you can create outrageous pictures that will crack people up, especiallyif the subjects happen to be funny anyway - like cows (I dont know what it is about cows, butthey make people laugh).Using a lens like this is a way to design your images in a dramatic way. It does not duplicatewhat you see with your eyes at all, but its a valid and intriguing way to photograph manysubjects. When tripods are allowed (like here), you have the luxury of being able to close thelens down for maximum depth of field. Even though ultra wide angle lenses have tremendousdepth of field, when foreground objects are placed very close to the camera position, thedistant background wont be as sharp as youd like if you use a large aperture like f/2.8 or f/4.2. Hold Your Breath, Low-vs.-High ISOHere are thoughts on ensuring that your photos are just as sharp as you want them to be: When you are forced to shoot in a low-light situation without a tripod, hold your breath as you very gently push the shutter button. Dont pounce on the shutter with enthusiasm and end up with a blurred image. Lean against a wall or brace yourself against a rock -- anything you can find - for stability. That will help you get sharp images. Dont use an ISO that is inappropriately reduced for low lighting situations. We all should be shooting at 100 ISO or thereabouts to minimize digital noise. But ... there is no point in going this low if your pictures wont be sharp. If you are not using a tripod, you have to adjust your ISO until your shutter speed is fast enough to hand hold the camera. Making your pictures noise-free is irrelevant if they will be blurred. 6. Jims Photo Courses:4-Week Courses:Making Masterpieces with Corel PainterStock PhotographyTaking the Mystery Out of Flash PhotographyTechniques of Natural Light PhotographyWildlife Photography8-Week Courses:Developing Your Creative Artistic VisionEight Steps to More Dramatic PhotographyFundamentals of Photography Made EasyMaking Money with Your PhotographyPerfect Digital ExposurePhotoshop: Advanced Creative TechniquesPhotoshop: Creative TechniquesPhotoshop: Thinking Outside the BoxSelf-Discovery in Photography: Where Does Your Passion Lie? 7. Tips by Tony Sweet1. A Key to Flower Photography Success: Background!Watch out for busy backgrounds, hot spots, black holes, and extraneous elements enteringthe frame. In fact, the background is at least as important as the subject. Nothing can kill animage quicker than a busy background. There may be as little as an inch or less of camerarepositioning to go from a distracting background to a pleasing, detail-less, muted background.2. Have Your Toothbrush?Dust and small particles can get into dials and other nooks and crannys on camera equipment,digital and film based cameras and all lenses. This is quite prevalent if one shoots on beaches,dunes, or just out in the wind. Also, if your stuff is just sitting around for a while, it canaccumulate dust.I always keep an old toothbrush in each of my camera bags and have often found it the righttool for the right job to get sand and dust out of tight areas on cameras and lenses! Tonys Photo Courses: 4-Week Courses: Creative Nature/Outdoor Photos with Lensbabies High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography Mastering the Nikon D200 and D2X/D2Xs Mastering the Nikon D3 and D700 Mastering the Nikon D300 8-Week Courses: Fine Art Flower Photography Image Design: Revealing Your Personal 8. Tips by Susan and Neil Silverman1. Finding Lost ImagesIf you have ever mistakenly deleted your images from your compact flash card, all may notbe lost. Most of the card makers provide a software program that you can download and itwill help to retrieve almost all of your images, even if your camera may tell you that there areno photos on that card. When you purchase a card, check the manufacturers Web site fordownloadable retrieval software. And if you are traveling with your laptop, keep it on yourcomputer. Hopefully, it will be one program that you do not need!2. Close Up Lenses-An AlternativeWe like the macro and micro lenses the best BUT a great inexpensive way to get wonderfuleffects is to purchase the Nikon diopters even if you shoot with a different model camera thanNikon. They come i

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