Tag: editing


Macro photography can be done in many ways. You can choose which direction you want to go about it, whether that is through focus stacking or just having fun with it, being satisfied with what you can get. Like all things with photography it is up to you. The same can be said for processing your macro images.
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It seems like a good time to have this conversation as I was recently reading an article that was written when Adobe first started the whole subscription based deal for Photoshop and Lightroom. The article has since been updated, but reading through it I could see that a lot of what they were saying was not applicable anymore and out of date. 
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Just recently I’ve been playing with different editing software to see what it is like. With all the talk of what Adobe are doing with their subscription use of programs a lot of people are unsure of jumping aboard, while still others are worried about what happens if they keep putting the price up and up so that we can no longer afford it. The problem with the subscription idea is that once you stop paying you no longer have any access to it at all. It is like paying rent on a house, I guess.
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Gear: Wacom Tablets

Those of you that follow me on Instagram know that I recently went away and was finding it difficult to work on photos without my Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. I have one at home, but it is a bit big for carrying around and I didn’t want to damage it. I can’t be without it for my day to day processing of my photos. The pen that comes with it means I can do fine detail work.
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Whether you are a weekend photographer or someone who wants to be more serious, learning photography is a great thing to do. We have all been there, and we have all taken photos that we now look at and cringe, it is a natural part of learning, but you can help yourself by taking some steps to make it easier.

Here are 7 tips for what you can do, or things not to do, when you first start out in photography.

  1. Which camera to pick

It is not the camera that does the work, it is you. So, someone with a phone, could, potentially take just as good an image as someone with a high end DSLR. Of course, it depends on the conditions, but the point is just having an expensive one does not make you a photographer.

Think about the type of photography you want to do and then decide what will be the right camera. Having the wrong one could mean you don’t take many images and could put you off photography. If you love taking photos, for instance, with your phone, then do it. Whichever one you get learn how to use it. Study it and experiment.


  1. Getting off Auto

If you buy a camera that you can use aperture, shutter speed, and pick your ISO, but you continue to put your camera on Auto, then ask yourself why did you buy a camera like that. While you might get some great photos with it, there will be missed opportunities because it doesn’t cut it. Learn how your camera works and taking it off auto, is something you will never regret doing.

Find a class or photographer who can teach you how to use your camera which will enable to use it to its full potential.


  1. Copying other photographers

This is a great way to learn. Find photographers whose work you like and try to emulate it. There is nothing wrong with copying, but only if you do it in the process of learning and never pass it off as your work. It is probably best not to put it up on social media as well. Use it to teach yourself, then get on with your own work.


  1. Study what others do

Like the comment above, you should also be looking at what other photographers are doing. See what they are photographing, and what you can learn from them. Study the compositions, how they use light and even what their subjects are.

Especially look at photographers who do work that you aspire to, who you find inspiration from. It is like that saying, if you want to get better at writing, then read the material that is like what you want to write. Photography is the same, if you want to do some photos of a particular thing or style, then look at images of them a lot.


  1. Do courses from respected people

Learning what you are doing can never be underestimated and is valuable. You can learn by yourself, but there are always going to be aspects you miss out on and you lose lots of time trying to figure out some stuff. It is great to have someone to ask questions, especially when you get stuck.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but make sure that whatever course you choose will teach you everything you want to learn.


  1. Learn basic editing

Whether you want to do it or not, you do have to learn some editing. It is like using the darkroom. Photos straight out of the camera might be nice, but they never seem to have that polished look that photos that have been edited have. If you look at some of the great landscape photographers and see how they edit, they often don’t do a lot.

You don’t have to learn how to use everything, or even learn Photoshop, but Lightroom by Adobe is a great editing platform and easy to use. It is a great place to start and for many it will always be enough. There are some other editing platforms you could try as well, such as On 1 or Zoner Photo Studio X which is one I’ve been trying out.


  1. Critiquing

Getting people to critique your work can be invaluable, but it can also be very destructive and can kill your creativity. Don’t put photos up on sites and ask everyone to give you their opinion, because they will and you might not like what they have to say. If the image is bad, you will get lots of advice, however, if the image is good, then you might get some bitchy comments.

You need to find someone you trust, who you know will give you honest feedback, but isn’t there to bring you down, or make you feel like crap. Paying someone can be good too, as they, you would hope, wouldn’t be horrible to you. I know when I critique work I try and be gentle and encouraging. I want people who pay me to come back and get more work critiqued.


If you love photography learning how to do it is not something you will ever regret doing. It will always be money well spent. It could be the start of an amazing adventure and there are so many places to share your work. It is also a very social thing and people love going out with others to take photos. Good luck.

Last week I did this post and I’m not sure many saw it, so I am going to repeat some of it, I hope that is okay. It has been a slow week really. I moved my desk into the room vacated by my daughter and I have spent a lot of time this week setting it up. It is nice to be in a separate room and one that will make it much easier to Skype from.six-seasons-cover

Book Launch

I had my book launch last night. It wasn’t a big affair, but very glad to have it done. The book is still for sale and now i have to market it, not sure how I am going to do that, but will see what happens.

I had to give a speech, which is something I always dreaded, me speaking in public. However, this was the second speech I’ve had to do recently and I have to say, I almost enjoyed it. I wasn’t nervous at all. I just got up and said what I had to say. I think the teaching has helped a lot with it. Gives me confidence for something new I want to try out.

Dynamic Range Magazine

The magazine is still available for you to purchase, and you can buy it by following this link.

As I said last week, looking at sales for the current issue, the next issue will be the last. It is, of course, disappointing that the magazine hasn’t worked out, but I am happy to put it behind me and move onto some new things. I have enjoyed doing it and I’ve learned a lot. I have done things I didn’t think I would be capable of, especially in dealing with other people. It hasn’t all been good, but that is how it goes I suppose.

One thing I’ve learned is that I do really enjoy writing, and it is something I definitely want to continue. I am on the look out for more places that I can write for.

Article for Digital Photography School

My latest article for dPS is now available to read, follow the link:

7 Common Questions About Long Exposure Photography Answered

New Ventures

I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing some sort of course about editing. The truth is, I want to do something, but I don’t want to add to the millions of tutorials that are out there already. My thinking is that I should work on my strengths. I’m told constantly that my work is unique so perhaps that is the angle I need to come from. The artist that uses photography.

To start with I’m going to do some podcasts or short videos on being an artist. They will start soon. I want to start sharing things about being an artist and hopefully people will find them interesting.

Now that I have one book done, I’m looking forward to doing some more. I’m planning on one with a friend next year. There is another one I’m thinking about, but will have to think about that one more.

I suppose it is the constant search to find something that will be successful and make me more successful. I don’t know what it is about me. It is weird, but people don’t seem to take me seriously. I have friends who will pay others to teach them, but not me. It is weird, not sure what I can do about it, but there you have it. Anyway enough of that.


Today I am taking us back to 2014 and a trip I did into the Docklands one weekend. Sounds like it was a big trip, but it was just for a day. Back when I was trying to do the Social Snapper outings, no more to say about that. Docklands can be an interesting place to take photos, just have to look really. I will be back there this weekend, I wonder how it will look then.