Facebook loves video, apparently, so I have been trying to do more. Which then brings another problem, what do I do videos of?
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been updated, but reading through it I could see that a lot of what they were saying was not applicable anymore and out of date.
You must have guessed that there would be more posts on this, especially as I learn more about what I’m doing. I’ve been doing more research and playing in Photoshop to see what I can do. Part of the reason I chose the filter for the sensor that I did, was that I was meant to be able to get some colour into the images. As it turns out, it hasn’t been as easy as I thought. I have spent all afternoon on the computer trying to see what I could find out.
The 12 Apostles would have to be one of the most photographed natural wonders in Australia. They are right up there with the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. Over 2 million visitors a year, not bad for a country that only has 24 million people living in it. When you are there you will find loads of tourist buses arriving from Melbourne filled with overseas visitors who want to see the wonders of the Great Ocean Road and this spot is the main draw card.
It isn’t a secret that I want to challenge myself more with my photography and I’ve been trying to think of ways to do it. I do have a lot of ideas and I know that I want to start compositing and combining images. I am still not sure how exactly, but I do want to start experimenting. I don’t want to accept the world as it is. So when I was out the other day taking photos I saw this shop front.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and 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,
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
Sales 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.
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.
Here are we are again, and it is time to take a look at what I’ve been up to.
Lensbaby on Digital Photography School
Here is the link to my latest article for Digital Photography School
This is my review of the Velvet 56 lens. I really like it. If you like the article consider sharing it. Thanks.
Dynamic Range Magazine
We are getting the next issue ready for you. We have some articles and a feature on Kathleen Clemons, a fantastic macro photographer from Maine in the USA. It will be ready around mid November.
My Blog and Website
I am hoping you realise I’m trying to make changes here. The reality is that being a photographer is hard work and trying to compete with everyone is even harder. I have decided that I need to do my own thing. So what will that mean?
To start with I’m going to still be teaching and if people want to learn from me that will always be an option. I just don’t get enough people wanting it, so I have to start this rethink.
One thing I always intended was doing reviews here. I often get approached to write about products and I can’t always do articles for Digital Photography School. Many companies are happy with my blog and what I do, so I do want to do that a lot more.
I just received a heap of new gear from Formatt Hitech which includes their new filter holder so I will be doing a test of it and will let you know what I think of it.
I’m also considering starting some small tutorials, teaching little things. Writing tutorials is hard work, but I may start doing some basic video tutorials. Not sure yet how this will happen. I do want to run classes for people who want to learn Photoshop beyond the basics, but I might do some basic tutorials here.
I have been thinking about some bylines for me and my site. I’ve come up with the following two:
Dare to Different!
Don’t just accept what the camera gives you!
They both reflect how I feel about photography, but would like to know what you think.
They are all just thoughts, but you should start to see some differences soon.
The photos today were taken about 3 years ago on a visit to Ripponlea. I really must get back. I would love to go there with my Lensbaby lenses. The gardens are stunning. Today I have some photos of the house for you.