Tag: Lightroom

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The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is almost over now and while I only went a couple of times it was great to be there again. I took hundreds of photos, some better than others, but still, it got me back into some macro photography. I really enjoyed playing around with the macro lens and the Lensbaby Velvet 56.
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Earlier in the week I received an email to tell me that my application for accreditation to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was accepted. I’m looking forward to spending some time there, for photography, and also to get some ideas for my own garden. I thought today I might take a look at previous visits from the last couple of years. I’m going to repost a blog from 2015. 
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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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

Finally

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.

For those of you who have been editing your photos for some time now should be aware of these terms. However, they are often unknown or confusing to people who are new. So what is destructive and non destructive editing? Let’s see if I can explain it in this mini tutorial.

Simple explanation

Destructive – as you work on your photos you do things in a way that makes it impossible to go back and change anything. If you make a mistake, then you have to start again.

Non Destructive – everything you do on your images can be undone. Nothing is permanent, so if you do make a mistake you can go back and change it.

Working Destructively

It is very easy in Photoshop to work in a destructive way. If you avoid using layers, or continue to flatten your images you start to make it so you can’t undo a previous mistake or process. There are those that think this is fine, and I see people others this way, but it should be avoided.

The image has been processing in a destructive way, you can't see what has been done to it, and therefore can't undo anything.

The image has been processing in a destructive way, you can’t see what has been done to it, and therefore can’t undo anything.

All the processing is done in the one layer. While you can go back into your history to undo things, there is only so far you can go back. If you save the image with the idea of working on it again later, you will have lost all the history. While you continue the work and if you find you missed something in the earlier session it may be impossible to change it. The only option could be starting over again.

Working Non Destructively

There is a way to work so that you can protect or change anything you have done, which is to do your images in a non destructive way. In Photoshop this means working in layers and every adjustment you do is done in a different layer.

All the processes and adjustments to this image are done in separate layers.

All the processes and adjustments to this image are done in separate layers.

While not much editing has been done to the image you can see what was done by looking at the layers. You can turn them on and off to see if they work. If you realise you have forgotten to do something you can go back to it the later and fix the problem.

Lightroom

This program by Adobe is by nature a non destructive editing platform. Everything that is done in it can be undone. It is a great program in this respect.

There you have it, a quick description for what these terms mean. If you have other terms you would like explained, let me know and I will do my best to give you an explanation.

Why are my images always so crooked? It is a question I get asked a lot from new photographers. They often wonder if there is something wrong with them, but in reality, it actually happens to a lot of us. I still take images that aren’t straight. Here is a quick look at some of the ways you can use Lightroom for straightening your images, another mini tutorial.

The assumption with this tutorial is that you know how to you use Lightroom. At least import and export images.

Select the image you want to straighten and make sure you are in the Develop Module.

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You can see in the image above that it needs straightening.

The easiest way to use it is almost a one click method. Go to the Transform Mode.

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At the top of this mode you can see about six rectangles that all have something written on them. The default one is off. For this you need to click on Full.

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Once you do, you will see your image get straightened, however there are still white bits from the moving of the image. To get rid of these click Constrain Crop.

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You will lose some of the image, but there is nothing you can do about it for this method.

The image is now straight and ready to use.

However, if this didn’t work, then you can try using the straightening tool in the Crop Overlay mode. To get to this click the Rectangle at the top of all the modules.

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You can see the level in the above image. Click on it and go to you image and a find a straight edge you can use the level on. It is has to be one that you want straight in the final image.

Once the level is selected, click on the line you want to use then drag it down the line, you should see the line as it is drawn. Once you unclick Lightroom will automatically constrain to the crop for you and it should be straight.

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Sometimes this method can be much harder than you think it will be. One way to get it so it looks straight, but may not necessarily be is to rotate the image.

Go to Transform and look for the slider that has Rotate. Move it to the left or the right depending on your image.

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You can use the grid that Transform puts over the image to help you straighten it.

Once it is where you think it should be, click the Constrain Crop box.

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The image should be where you want it.

It is very easy process to straighten images, which should tell you how often people need to use it. If it was a rare occurrence then it wouldn’t be an easy process.

Hopefully you won’t feel bad about taking crooked images now. You should feel the same as we all do, annoying, but easy to fix.

 

The weeks are flying by and before we know it Christmas will be here. I have a lot going on and a lot I want to do. I am trying hard to be productive, but I can get distracted quite easily at times, especially when it comes to going out and taking photos. Let’s take a look at my news.

Dynamic Range Magazine

As I’ve stated previously, if things don’t get better with it, meaning sales, then I am going to shut up shop with it. The people who have supported it have been amazing and I truly thank you for that. However, we do sell very few copies cover-finaland the money made certainly doesn’t cover my time, let alone anyone else’s who works on it. We are not giving up just yet, but the writing is on the wall.

To try and improve things for the next issue, which will be out in a couple of weeks, we are taking away the Photography by Women. I don’t know if that makes a difference, but there is this idea that if it is meant for women then it must be pink and frilly. If you knew me you would know that is not me at all. I never wear pink and am far more comfortable in black.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is how many people are surprised when they get it. Surprised at how good it looks and how professional the articles are. So it seems the pink and frilly thing continues, and people are expecting that and finding that it is really nice inside. So to combat this, we have decided to give away a previous Issue so you can see how good it looks. We have decided on Issue 3 to give away.

Here is the link that will let you download it for free,

Issue 3, Dynamic Range Magazine

That should work. We were really finding our feet with this issue and if you were to ask me, was probably the first one that we got right.

The Six Seasons of My Backyard

six-seasons-coverSales for the book have been interesting. I’ve sold almost none overseas, albeit a few, and sold a few here. I suppose I knew that people would be more interested in the book here, but I had thought I would sell more overseas. I guess you just never know.

I’m now getting ready for the book launch. It is going to be on the 24th of November, if you are in Melbourne and interested in going let me know and I can give you the details.

This Blog and Website

I have been talking about changes on this blog for a while and I think it is time I got more serious about it. I want to start being more professional with how I run it. I am figuring out that my writing is okay, certainly better than what it was, and that is where I should concentrate my efforts.

I’ve spoken about doing reviews here, but I also want to start doing some editing posts as well. I’m not keen to show people what I do, I think if I was earning a lot of money from it, yeah, I would be happy to. I just know that if I start sharing what I do then someone who is better at marketing than me will make a lot more money from it, and I don’t think that is fair.

However, what I am prepared to do is share my knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom, and maybe introduce you to other software editing platforms. I have been given a couple to play with, and I know at least one of them seems quite good and not very expensive, but more on that later.

That is about all for now, but start expecting some changes soon, maybe even next week. I would also be interested in hearing what you thought and if there are posts and such that you would like to see me do.

Photos

Today I thought I would show you more photos from my day at Rippon Lea in 2013. This time I have all the photos from the garden there. They are magnificent and if you go on a lovely day the photos can look stunning. I must go back with my Lensbaby gear.

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Back in May I did a post on my photography wishlist. I did it for some fun, but I also knew there were things on that list that I did really want. Since then, I’ve changed my mind about some of them, still want some and have got some. I am going to repost what I wrote here for you and put in the updates.

So here is my wishlist.

  • A new camera, a Nikon D810 or D750. I am not sure which. I think they are both great cameras.

I would still like a new camera, though I think I would go for the D810 by Nikon now. Still with what I know and the gear I have, it does make sense to stick with it. I’ve been noticing a lot of hot pixels when I do long exposures and I’m wondering if that is just something I have to put up with, or if it is something that happens with older cameras.

  • A 28-300mm lens by Nikon. I love this lens and would really love my own.

When I had this lens I couldn’t imagine living without it, but since I haven’t had it since June, I can’t say I have really missed it. I manage very well with what I have. If I could have anything I think I would wish my 24-70mm was a little longer, so maybe the 24-120mm would be a better lens for me. 

  • Maybe a Nikon 24mm Tilt Shift lens. I like architecture and wonder if I should get one, but then I was with someone recently who had one and it was a bit of mucking around to get the photos, so not so sure now.

I have now decided that I don’t think I could be bothered with it. So this is also coming off the list.

  • A slightly smaller tripod, I would like some new carbon fibre legs from Gitzo.

This is still on the list, though I think I have found the one I want, only it is from Benro instead. I’ve been loaned a travel tripod from them to try out and if I’m honest, I really don’t want to give it back. Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind I won’t be. Hoping I can get a good deal. It is exactly what I wanted. It is light to carry around most of the time and great for photographing the city.

  • A geared Really Right Stuff tripod head with a L bracket.

I finally got my L bracket, but not from them. I found a great alternative from Sunwayfoto. I also got a new top bit for my tripod so the L bracket fits it very easily. It is great. The bracket is like the Arca Swiss brackets, so fits all those as well.

I love the L bracket and it has been one of the best purchases I’ve made. I had got one from Manfrotto, a total waste of money. I hated it.

  • Complete set of Formatt Hitech ND Filters for my Nikon 14-24mm lens.

I have to say this has been a long time wish and I finally got some last week. I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet, but I will be very soon. I got the holder and the 10 stop and 16 stop for that lens.

  • Pay for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for about 5 years.

This is still very much on the wishlist. I couldn’t live without these programs so it would be nice to just get them.

  • Maybe a Tamron 150-600mm lens.

I haven’t really been out taking bird photos for so long, and, if I’m honest, I have never really thought of myself as a bird photographer. I think I could take this off my list.

  • New laptop.

This is still on it. My husband and I are having small disagreements over which I should get. He thinks I should get something that will be a lot more expensive, and I don’t think I need one that good.

I can’t think of anything else. Is your list close to mine? What would you get?

If you want to see what you might have said here is the link to the previous post, My Photography Wishlist.

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Bolte Bridge, Docklands. I used this image for MM, but it was monochrome.

Changes

There are things that have changed and things that I want that are more to do with photography in general rather than just with gear.

Ambassador

I keep seeing this word being used for many other photographers and it carries a lot of weight, but I don’t seem to be able to get anyone to think that I am good enough to be an ambassador for. It is frustrating and quite depressing really. I don’t know what else I have to do.

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Writing

I am really enjoying the life of a writer and I would like to do a lot more of it. I would like to write for magazines as well. I would be more than happy to earn most of my money from it.  I don’t know if that is possible anymore, but I am going to continue trying.

I’m also planning on doing a lot more writing for this blog. As I said previously, I do want to start doing reviews, perhaps some tutorials, some articles on photography. Time is going to be my biggest factor. It would also be good if I could get companies to advertise or sponsor posts. Though, having said that, I need to be clear that the posts would always be about photography. I’ve been approached in the past and so far have turned many down because I don’t like what they want me to do for them.

Finally

I think that is about it really. I keep hoping that some of the opportunities that other photographers get will swing by my way, but it isn’t looking hopeful.

How is your wishlist going? Have you changed you mind about some things? Maybe you have been able get some of the items you wanted? Let me know.

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My head has been spinning for the past couple of weeks, but more on why further on in the post. Things are getting busy, but they always seem to be really. I don’t mind, it is nice to be busy and working hard. I just wish that it would transfer to sales, but I’m working on some things that will hopefully help with that.

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Dynamic Range Magazine

The magazine is starting to take shape for the next issue. We have had a few false starts and people pulling out and I’ve had to scramble to find others to write articles. I guess that is the problem with running a magazine and now I have to sort it out.

Speaking of writing, we would still love to hear from anyone who is interested in writing for us. We can’t pay, but if you are starting out then it is a great experience.

Sales still aren’t great, but I am trying to work out how I can sell the magazine using other platforms rather than mostly here. I really need to do a course in marketing and see what I can learn. I’m finding that my time is stretched so thin these days it is hard to give it my full attention. What I need to find is someone who wants to learn about marketing, or a student that can see what they can do. Sadly there is no money to pay anyone.

Remember, if you haven’t purchased your copy here the link to buy it now.

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One on One Photography Sessions

I have to say that I’ve had an increase in the number of these in the past few months. It has been great. I do enjoy them a lot and it is nice getting out showing people my Melbourne. I have also met some amazing people as well.  I have a few more coming up in the next few weeks too.

One thing that I really like is the number of people coming whoo want to learn long exposure photography. I have set myself up so I can teach people to how to use the filters, but also so they can use mine if they don’t have their own. It is a great way for people who are curious about doing them to learn how and experiment before spending the money on buying them.

If you are interested in doing a One on One with me go to this link.

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Strahan in Tasmania. Looking across Macquarie Harbour to the town.

Tutorials

This is where I have been concentrating a lot of my thoughts this week. Trying to come up with some video tutorials for people to buy from me. I know that people hate that everything is for sale, but I do have to make a living, unfortunately.

I’ve been thinking about what I can do, and one thing I realise is that I don’t want to compete with all the other online tutorials teaching people how to use Photoshop or Lightroom. I am thinking of doing something a bit further advanced. I am still mulling it over, so will discuss it more later on.

I am going to do what I said last week and do one video package and see how that goes before I decide on doing a series.

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Sunset behind the Bolte Bridge in Docklands

Instagram

I’ve been doing a course on how to sell on Instagram. It has been interesting and I do know that I have been putting  a lot of my efforts there. The course has been about how to turn followers in customers, so I will have to see if I can make it happen. I am going to see if I get people buy my tutorials or get me to teach them photo editing. I know I can teach, I just need to find my customers now.

Speaking of Instagram, all the photos are what I have had up there this week and haven’t had here. I have put captions so you can see them. If you want to follow me on Instagram my handle is @leannecolephotography.

Just lately I’ve been playing a game with some friends, well photography friends. It is a bit of fun and I thought, hey why not, let’s play too.

If someone gave you $15000 what would you spend it on? It has to be on photography gear.

So here is my wishlist.

  • A new camera, a Nikon D810 or D750. I am not sure which. I think they are both great cameras.
  • A 28-300mm lens by Nikon. I love this lens and would really love my own.
  • Maybe a Nikon 24mm Tilt Shift lens. I like architecture and wonder if I should get one, but then I was with someone recently who had one and it was a bit of mucking around to get the photos, so not so sure now.
  • A slightly smaller tripod, I would like some new carbon fibre legs from Gitzo.
  • A geared Really Right Stuff tripod head with a L bracket.
  • Complete set of Formatt Hitech ND Filters for my Nikon 14-24mm lens.
  • Pay for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for about 5 years.
  • Maybe a Tamron 150-600mm lens.
  • New laptop.

I can’t think of anything else. Is your list close to mine? What would you get?

It is fun to dream and think about what if.

night-hosier-lane-melbourne-graffiti-5906

It is nice to be able to show you the photos I’ve had up on Instagram this last week. I will put them into a gallery for you, but first I want to talk about something.

Selling Images.

I don’t try and sell my images. It isn’t that people can’t buy them, I just don’t see the point in trying to push it. I don’t want to sell my images for small change and I find that most people on the internet want them for free, or for that small amount.

When you buy one of my images you are buying my experience and expertise. That hasn’t come cheap. I have a three degree behind me, I have spent thousands learning how to use Photoshop and Lightroom. My gear has cost me a lot of money as well, so I don’t want to give away my work. I am an artist and I would like to be paid accordingly. I know that most people don’t want to pay me what I think my images are worth, fair enough, and I get that. However, I get emails from people all the time wanting to know how much an image would cost, when I tell them, I never hear from them again, I don’t even get an answer to say they can’t afford it, or no longer want it.

In response to this I have now added a price list to this site, so hopefully I will stop getting those emails. If you are interested in purchasing one of my images then before you send the email please take a look at the list, here is the link, Price List.

Shall we take a look at the photos from Instagram this last week?

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