Saturday, October 14

Photo Self-Critique Notes

Below are personal notes for what one (I) need to check when reviewing a shoot or post-shoot review of photos prior to sharing. These are from group meetings, online discussions and actual feedback from friends on my photos.

.. the subject in the photo must be the dominant element 
.. get close to subject either by using a zoom or your legs 
.. answer "what's the subject" and "why am I taking this shot" before shooting
.. avoid distractions (trees out of subject's head, debris on the ground, etc.)
.. force yourself to check the four corners of the viewfinder for distractions 
.. consider 'Rule of Thirds' when composing and in post-process
.. if you see distractions or bright spots, then change your position or angle
.. check if the scene/subject has a 'vertical' perspective - then shoot a portrait
.. there is no requirement that all photos should be horizontal (try both ways)
.. use people or known objects to show scale
.. clouds are an important element in landscapes, if there are none - come back
.. post-process: rotate your photo to get leading lines or different perspective
.. post-process: use (not overuse) vignetting
.. post-process: crop distractions and to make the subject more dominant
.. post-process: darken bright areas and highlights so they do not distract
.. post-process: remove distractions by crop, erase/clone and vignette

If photography is your passion, especially low-light and Golden Hour landscapes and street photography, join our Photographic Destinations - Florida Facebook Page.otos.

Saturday, July 8

How to Shoot and Edit Photos for HDR

FCCP - 'Learn Photography with Jeff (Director)' July 8th class was 'Learn How to Shoot and Edit Photos for HDR'. 

Key background that set the stage for capturing full tonal range in a photo:
  • our cameras can only capture a limited amount of image dynamic range (10-12 stops) 
  • the human eye captures much more (up to 24 stops)
  • HDR (high dynamic range) allows the photographer to record a greater range of tonality than what can be obtained with one photo 
Recommendations for shooting HDR:
1. use a wide angle to normal lens
2. lock down camera to avoid blur - use a tripod
3. use an electronic release or the camera's self-timer
4. set camera to the lowest ISO
5. take more than one shot (preferably 3) at different exposures

Recommendations for editing for HDR:
1. use software like Lightroom (included), Photomatix ($99 recommended), Nik Collection HDR (free)
2. note: if you are simply looking to extend dynamic range and essentially maintain the look of the photo without extensive color and intensity Lightroom should suffice. 
2. Shoot in AEB (auto exposure bracketed
3. begin (learn) by shooting 3 exposures -2 ev, 0 ev, +2 ev
4. by all means read your camera's manual or guides online

Additional Resources:

Monday, July 3

Resizing Photos Using Lightroom

Lightroom greatly simplifies the image down-sampling / resizing process. Here is the author's workflow process:
1. Import images into Lightroom
2. Make necessary adjustments to the image I want to resize
3. Make additional adjustments in Photoshop, Luminar etc. (if necessary)
4. Export the image in sRGB color profile with specific settings
Source: Resizing images in Lightroom and 'Other' online sources here.

Friday, June 30

Luminar Learning Resources Announcements - June 2017

Essential Filters & Presets For Travel Photographers
AI Comes to Luminar Neptune 
Using Luminar Presets on Skylines
Capturing and Creating Dramatic Coastlines (video)
Getting the Most from Your Travel Memories
Converting Color Images to Monochrome
Luminar 1.2 Release and Review
MacPhun Luminar Neptune: Features (1 hr. 13 min.)
Using Luminar Quick and Awesome Workspace
New Vignetter Filter
Using Advanced Contrast Filter

Wednesday, May 31

Flickr Help Forum

The Flickr Help Forum is a resource for related questions and solutions offered by its members. The site has suggestions to get started and with the extensive FAQ there is a good chance you will find answers to many questions.

One Approach: Post-Processing WorkFlow

This article provides specifics on important steps to include into your post-processing workflow. It isn't the only process that you'll want to implement, but provides a good starting point. See Cambridge in Colour.

Things You Can Do in Google Photos

Google Photos may seem like a simple image hosting service, but it's actually quite powerful. Google Photos bridges the gap between cloud storage, image hosting, and image sharing services, giving stiff competition to Flickr, iCloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive. See 18 Things Google Photos Can Do

Tuesday, May 30

Tutorial: Using Nik's HDR Efex Pro 2

This tutorial will take you through the workflow and the process of creating an HDR image through the use of HDR Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software. See (error?)

Good Guide for HDR using Nik Efex Pro 2 HDR

Video: Using the Nik Collection - Start to Finish

The Nik Collection by Google has been available 'free' for a while. If you haven't explored it features as a plug-in to Lightroom or Photoshop (note: several of it components can be used as stand alone editing apps) see the videos below.

The Nik Collection video:
Using Nik HDR Pro as a stand alone:
Using other components as stand alone:
Peta-Pixel Google Abandons Nik - but Use It

Friday, May 26

How to Blur the Background

Believe it or not, it is actually quite simple. Follow these steps.
  1. Extend the zoom (if your lens has it) out as long as it will go.
  2. Get as close to your subject as possible while still maintaining focus.
  3.Keep the background a long way away.
  4. Open the aperture (f/1.4 to f/5.6)

Yep, it really is that simple and it is perfectly possible to get those blurry (bokeh) backgrounds with a simple kit lens that came with your camera. And practically any camera is capable of it.

Friday, March 31

Adobe's Free Creative Cloud MyPortfolio Website

In 2016, I shared an Adobe-free website feature that would allow non-programmers the ability to create their own photography website. Recently, after reviewing some of the tutorial links below, I revised my site and began updating my site  with what I call me 'better' pics.   

Links to resources:
Quick Guide to MyPortfolio by Adobe 
10 Day Adobe Portfolio Challenge - design your site in 10 days (reverse order)
Creating Your Adobe Portfolio - Full detail by Julieanne Kost +++
How to Build your Adobe CC Portfolio - Get on the Web - Excellent Video!
Adobe Portfolio Knowledge Base
How to Build a Website with Adobe Portfolio and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC
Using Adobe Portfolio by Creative Pro
What's a PhotoGrid and How to Create One

My Portfolio Website

Tips and lessons first time users may find useful:
1. you must be a Lightroom CC subscriber to access this feature
2. web search and view several tutorials in advance of website creation
3. don't overthink design navigation - learn the website build 'concept' or flow

4. after editing any element, be sure to 'Update Live Site' to save changes
5. export images at 1200 pixels longest edge to protect others from 'stealing'
6. create a MyPortfolio Export Preset for export convenience and efficiency
7. create a MyPortfolio Collection Set and Collections to match site 'Projects' 
8. aspect ratio edit (under projects) provides other alignment options
9. look to make fonts consistent across site
10. to check which element is being edited, select an edit function and look for gray 'zebra' highlighting on page
11. don't overlook using Adobe support. See Adobe Portfolio Link (above) 
Photo captions can be added and customized - use consistent font and size
12. the latest added feature is Grid View. Note: you have to reload images to the Grid once enabled.

Monday, January 30

Features of Google Photos

Google Photos is a simple tool that automatically organizes your photos and videos based on different factors. Take a deeper look and find tons of amazing new features that makes photo organizing a breeze. See 15 Google Photos Tips.

Friday, January 6

The Basics of U.S. Copyright for Photographers

In case there’s any confusion, the little copyright symbol, ©, doesn’t actually add any copyright protection to your work. It’s a good idea to use it, but in reality its main function is to let people know that you’re paying attention to your copyright. See PetaPixel article.

Wednesday, January 4

Tips for Using Google Photos

Here are some recent tips on using Google Photos:
  1. use the auto backup feature for mobile device and desktop photos-
  2. weekly or monthly assign recent photos to album or albums (see next)
  3. maintain a written list of existing albums (on mobile device or paper) 
  4. during album assignment, manually remove duplicates
  5. find the number Google Photos use Dashboard -
  6. use 'search' to find people and/or subjects -