To assist you in developing your photography skills and abilities, we have included the following information.

September 2016 – Photo Tips


Welcome back to our camera club meetings.

I have included below some recent articles in a wide range of photography topics which may be of interest to you.


How To Be Different And Make Your Photography More Unique – When starting on the path of learning photography, it is common for some to already have an idea about what their work is supposed to look like. They admire and look at the work of photographers and want to be able to do similar work themselves. While this is an important part of the learning process, the best photographers all eventually go off in their own direction, and creatively it’s very important to think in this way. You want your work to ultimately be different. Here are some steps to help you figure out how to go against the grain and make your photography more unique. – READ MORE

Aperture: Get Creative – The primary purpose of the aperture setting is to regulate the amount of light that passes through the lens. Along with the shutter speed, it determines the quantity of light that reaches the camera’s sensor (or film) and forms a third of the ‘exposure triangle’. But, of more interest to most photographers is the creative potential of the aperture and shutter speed settings. I wrote about shutter speed a few weeks ago and today I’m going to explore some ways of making the most out of aperture. – READ MORE

Why Semi-Automatic Mode Is The Best For Choice For Wildlife – There is a mindset that a lot of photographers seem to have around anything but manual mode is cheating. Not only does this frustrate me as a statement, but it’s just bad advice, that hinders the photographic progress of others. I would argue that there’s no cheating in photography, and that using your camera in fully manual modes actually makes it harder to achieve the photo you’re looking for – so let’s take a look at why semi-automatic modes are a good choice for wildlife photography. – READ MORE

More Ways To Create Better Images Without Buying More Gear – Jay Maisel has to be one of the most interesting photographers alive today. He is 85 years old and he still makes a point of carrying his camera with him every day, everywhere he goes. I recently watched a few videos where Scott Kelby spent a few days with Jay, just wandering through the streets of New York and later, walking through Paris. – READ MORE

Now To Achieve Background Blur or Bokeh – If I show you two different portraits, one with a blurred background and one with a sharp background, you will automatically prefer the one with the creamy bokeh. Why? Because that’s just how it is. No, the bokeh effect is very flattering because it isolates the main subject by separating it from the background.

If you did not know, bokeh means blur in Japanese, and it is purely aesthetic.

Most portrait photographers blur their backgrounds, and I certainly do it because when I take a picture of someone, I want the viewer to focus on the person’s face and not what’s going on behind them. – READ MORE

5 Ways To Keep Your Photography Talent Sharp – There are so many rewarding aspects in life, and one of them is growing in something you love, something that you’re good at. Not only do we feel a sense of accomplishment, but we feel larger on the inside. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiastic hobbyist with a knack for photography, improving your talent is a special thrill. On the flipside, there are few things more frustrating than that feeling of being stuck under a glass ceiling where you feel jaded, your work starts to feel dull, your passion begins to wane, and your creative juices dry up. We all plateau from time to time, and it’s important to get out of the rut quickly. So, how do you sharpen your photography talent? Here are five ways to get back on track. – READ MORE


7 Musts Of Great Composition In Photography – Speaking of musts, every discussion about photography and composition must begin here. Before you ever hoist your camera or touch your shutter, you should say to yourself, “This is a picture of a ____.” When you fill in the blank, be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the better the picture you can take. This is one of the truisms of photography. To have a great picture, you must have a clear, unmistakable subject. – READ MORE

5 Ways To De-Clutter Your Composition – You’ve probably heard a number of “rules” of photography composition such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and adding foreground interest. But there is one other simple guideline that you can apply to all of your compositions that will help raise the quality of your photos to a new level: de-clutter!

Simple compositions with only a few elements tend to have more impact than photos that include too much. – READ MORE

The Importance Of A Focal Point In Photo Composition – A focal point is the part of an image that draws the eye of a viewer to the most important part of the image or the area that you want to highlight. How you do this will make or break the final image. If you don’t know how to create this point then you will not achieve much in your photography. – READ MORE


5 Tips To Nail Focus In Your Landscape Photos – Focus is a topic that comes up often in my landscape workshops. How should I focus my camera? What do the different focus areas do and when should I use them? Where in the scene should I focus?

Here are 5 focusing tips to help you nail focus and get tack sharp landscape photos. – READ MORE

Tips For Doing More Spectacular Sunset Photography – The first thing I was told to do when I wanted to learn how to photograph landscapes and cityscapes, was to always shoot during the sunset. I have always asked myself why, but the answer is actually pretty easy. You get amazing colors in the sky, dramatic clouds, and soft light.READ MORE


5 Tips For Better Wildlife Photos – Wildlife photography is a pursuit that can be challenging, frustrating, but ultimately rewarding to any photographer. The arrival of digital cameras has inspired a whole new generation of photographers to take an interest in wildlife photography. – READ MORE


Why Off-Camera Flash Isn’t As Scary As You Think – The word alone has the potential to cause dread, even among experienced photographers, bringing to mind images of overexposed faces and red eyes. Because of this, many photographers avoid flash altogether, keeping a safe distance at all times. I think that’s too bad.

It’s a missed opportunity. Sure, flash may not always be applicable to your situation – but it’s very helpful to have another tool in your bag of tricks if and when it is needed. – READ MORE

Soft Box Lighting Techniques To Sculpt And Shape Your Model – Lighting setups tend to fall into two categories—simple and complicated—especially when it comes to multiple light setups. However, lighting plays a significant role in the overall outcome of your image, despite the complexity of your setup. In this helpful tutorial, professional photographer Wayne Johns shows how you can use softbox lighting controls to sculpt and shape your model: – READ MORE & VIEW VIDEO

June 2016 – Photography Tips


For our June 2016 Photography Tips, I have included below some recent articles on various photography topics.


Why Is Black And White An Excellent Way To Start Photography – Black-and-white photography is the place to start if you’re serious about becoming a better photographer.

Go back to the dark ages before digital. Dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and the equivalent of Adobe Lightroom was a small piece of card on the end of a wire.

The first thing beginner photographers would learn is to shoot, develop, and print a roll of black-and-white film. We can go back to those roots today to solidify our skills. – READ MORE

How To Find Your Personal Photographic Style – Finding your personal photographic style is something of a holy grail to photographers, yet seldom an overnight occurrence. Nor would you want it to be, as developing a style that is uniquely yours is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of photography. For a lot of photographers, it is an ongoing, ever-evolving process, influenced by many factors. Some photographers find a single style that works for them, which they stick to and hone, while others might develop two or more dominant styles. – READ MORE

Why You May Be Failing To Reach Your Potential As A Photographer – There are a number of reasons why someone might not succeed at reaching their full potential, more than I can cover in this article, so please feel free to add to this list by telling us what obstacles get in your way. If you have solutions to someone else’s problem, feel free to offer up some advice, and help out a fellow photographer. – READ MORE

Seeing The World Through Clothslines – Padding through the tight cobblestone alleyways of Venice, it’s common to see clotheslines connecting one house to its neighbor. Drying machines are rarities in Italy, and women of these historic homes take great pride in the meticulous hanging of their families’ garments. There is a proper way to air-dry everything from linens and undergarments, and much can be learned about one’s neighbors simply by the skill and etiquette displayed during laundry day, when the fragrance of detergent commingles with that of the salty canal.

Having grown accustomed to the (often wasteful) use of machine driers, American tourists to foreign countries are astonished by the colorful arrays of drying clothing. Indeed, there is a genuine artistry to the ways in which faraway residents care for their clothing. In Italy, laundry, called bucato, is particularly meaningful in the older cities, where wisdom is passed down from one generation to the next, usually by women. – READ MORE

How To Create Gorgeous Flower Images Using A Flashlight And A Reflector – In this tutorial, I’m going to share with you some simple and inexpensive ways to create beautiful flower images. You will learn to add light by using a flashlight and a reflector. If you add in some imagination and patience, you will soon be creating gorgeous flower images of your own.

In addition, you will gain insight about seeing light, and how and recreate it on your own. – READ MORE

100 Best Photographs Without Photoshop – Nature and humankind are both great artists, and when they join forces, amazing masterpieces can be produced.Today Bright Side has collected for you works in which the combined efforts of mother nature and photographic artists have captured magic moments showing the wondrous diversity of modern life and the natural world. – CHECK OUT THESE AMAZING PHOTOS HERE


5 Tips To Improve Your Background And Make The Subject Stand Out More – If you are looking for a quick, simple, hassle-free way to make your images pop more and stand out, this is the article for you!

You don’t have to be a Photoshop genius – in fact, this may help you spend less time in Photoshop. These simple tips can elevate the photos you take. If there was one element in many images I see that could greatly improve it, it would have to be this: backgrounds. An ugly or distracting background can easily reduce the impact of even the best subjects. A clean, un-distracting background will help improve your images and make your subjects stand out even more. The best past is, you wont even have to spend a cent to do this. – READ MORE

How To Improve The Impact Of Your Urban Images Using Lines – If you are struggling with getting your photos of cities and architecture to pop out, chances are that you are underestimating the power of lines in your images. Lines help you structure your images in ways that lead your viewers to look at different parts of the picture, and create interest in both your main objects and the surroundings. – READ MORE

5 Creative Compositions Tips From Huntington Witherill – Our new video is about mastering the art of visualization, and no one does it quite as uniquely as photographer Huntington Witherill. Witherill’s approach to composition is one he models after some of the greatest photographers of all time. He quotes Edward Weston when he describes visualization as “the strongest way of seeing.” As you’ll see in this video, his imaginative composition is inspired by photographer Minor White, who said “photograph things for what they are, and for what else they are.” This video is sure to get you creative composition juices flowing. – READ MORE

How To Photograph Modes Of Transportation – As a landscape photographer, shooting planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation is not something I do very often! But I find that tackling new subjects and breaking out of my comfort zone is always beneficial and I think you will too. You’re bound to learn something!

For this theme, you are not limited to just planes, trains and automobiles; use your imagination to discover all kinds of vehicles, as long as they are (or at one time were) capable of taking you from point A to point B. This can be on the road or off of it, in the sky or on the water. They can be still or in motion, near or far. As long as it can carry people, it counts! – READ MORE


Tips For Taking Family Photographs – Family portraits fall into three main categories: traditional family portraits, candid family portraits, and lifestyle family portraits. Most families have had their picture taken, but few have had a chance to have their portrait shot, because of the difference between the two. One is a quick snap, with little attention given to the technical aspects of the image; the other has more consideration given to how the final result should look.

It’s often said that a good portrait captures the personality of the subject(s), and that’s true, but what it also does is record the subject(s) in a way that’s different from other pictures they’ve had taken of themselves. By using a couple of simple techniques – anyone can move from the realm of ‘snapshots’ to discovering how to deliver distinctive family portraits. – READ MORE

5 Travel Street Portraying Photography Tips – Capturing an authentic image of someone on the street is not a very easy thing to do. To really capture their soul—an honest moment of someone looking straight into the camera and revealing themselves—that’s magic. Photographer Kenna Klosterman uses travel street portraiture to really connect with a culture and its people while she’s traveling. Here are her top five tips to connect with strangers and take better street portraits: – READ MORE


10 Expert Tips For Taking Photographs – Surrounded by the beauty of nature, many photographers experience a longing to capture those stunning vistas, towering mountains and waterfalls, decorated valleys, and quiet pools, alive with light and color. Unfortunately, after photographing landscapes, many photographers often experience a startling sense of defeat when the images turn out to be shapeless, emotionless and otherwise amateur in post-processing.

In this video, award-winning landscape photographer Antony Spencer shares 10 tips for landscape photographers looking to hone their craft and produce high quality work—including some composition advice to help infuse photographs with shape and feeling: – READ MORE

Using Sun In Your Images – Including the sun in your photos can be a creative way to capture different lighting in your images. But, the sun can also be a bit overpowering. Like any good composition, think about how and when to add the sun for the most effective impact.

Early morning or late afternoon, when fog rolls in, is a great time to add the sun. It will create a moody, silhouetted feeling much like what was captured in the image of the Atchafalaya Basin swamp below. The fog filters the sun reducing its bright hot spot to a manageable exposure. – READ MORE

May 2016 – Photography Tips


For this month’s Photography Tips webpage, we have included some of the most recent articles under the following categories:


The Ultimate Guide For Mastering Light In Your Photography – In photography, if you do everything ‘by the book’ and lack some experience, you’d think that selective focus is what makes the eye focus on the subject, and that light is used to make everything look nice and beautiful.

While that is partially true, both light and focus play the exact opposite roles as well. Beginner photographers often don’t realize that light is everything. Light is beauty, light is focus, and light by itself can make or break a photo. – READ MORE

How To Photograph Weather – Welcome to another instalment of “Great Subjects”! Today we’ll discuss how to photograph weather and make the most of snow, rain, fog, clouds, wind and even sun.

Outdoor photography is highly dependent on the weather, which can often be a little bit unpredictable. Depending on where you live you might be enjoying sunshine on the snowy streets, enduring a storm, sloshing through rain puddles, or basking in the heat of the desert.

Every great landscape photographer needs to know how to make the best of any type of weather. After all, photography is less about the subject itself, and more about the light it’s seen in. – READ MORE

Photographic Standard: How To Critique Your Own Photos – It has been that said the most difficult thing for man to do is to judge his or her creative work, objectively. Be honest, can you tell when your work seems to be missing something? More importantly do you know what it is that’s missing? You can only improve your photos if you set a high photo standard to compare yourself against.

When Time-Life selected 250 photos for the Great Photographers volume of their Time-Life Photography series; they chose 68 photographers out of thousands. Those editors defined “great” photographers based on three main factors. – READ MORE

5 Steps To Increase The Sharpness Of Your Photographs – Somewhat of an obvious point, but a very important one nonetheless. If your lenses and/or filters have dust or debris on them, however small and unnoticeable to the naked eye, it can create ugly soft spots on your photograph. There have been countless times I was in such a hurry to go shoot, I didn’t check the glass to see if it needed a good cleaning. This especially holds true if the lens I am using has been sitting on my shelf for a while, collecting dust. Even if the lens has been wrapped up in a pouch with a cap on top, it can still accumulate dust on the outer element. – READ MORE

The Dutch Angle: Tilting The Camera To Dramatic Effect – The Dutch Angle (or Dutch Tilt) is a technique that involves tilting your camera to one side, resulting in a frame that isn’t level. Jacob T. Swinney of Fandor created this 3-minute compilation video showing the technique being used in a large number of movies.

We see slight tilts of 5 degrees all the way up to huge tilts of 90 degrees. The Dutch Tilt “can be used for dramatic effect and helps portray unease, disorientation, frantic or desperate action, intoxication, madness, etc…” – READ MORE

Landscape Photography

Beginner’s Guide To Better Landscape Photography – If you’re new to photography, you most likely get a little confused when it comes to keeping all the jargon, camera settings, and composition rules straight. We’ve all been there. And those of us who are visual learners will appreciate this helpful landscape photography infographic below, which clearly illustrates all the basics. – READ MORE

5 Tips For Beginner Nature Photographers – Candace Dyar (formerly Candace Bartlett) is not a household name in landscape photography circles and if you were to see her images you would question, why not? After visiting Candace’s website, we were so impressed that we decided to invite her to an interview for our InFocus Magazine. Naturally the question we asked was how can someone just getting started in landscape photography capture stunning images like the ones she has. Here is what she had to say:

Since beginning my photographic journey roughly six years ago, I have absorbed a great wealth of information along the way that has helped me to evolve and advance my abilities both in the field and in the realm of post processing. While some tips can seem very basic and mundane, they may also prove to be extremely helpful in the long run. Here are the first five out of ten tips I have compiled for aspiring landscape and nature photographers who are just getting their feet wet and want to eventually take their photography to the next level. – READ MORE

Five More Tips For Beginner Nature Photographers – I have compiled for aspiring landscape and nature photographers who are just getting their feet wet and want to eventually take their photography to the next level. While it was difficult for me to narrow it down to ten tips, I tried my best to provide as much helpful information as possible.

If you are passionate about landscape or nature photography, this is the most important skill that you should nurture and develop. Although it does not apply to all situations, attractive and high-quality landscape photos are frequently defined by the light in which they were taken. This involves looking around for appealing combinations of shadow, light, texture, and color. Keeping the sun in front of you creates silhouette scenes and can also provide a pleasing dramatic or burst type of effect, depending on the conditions and your composition. – READ MORE

5 Tips For Great Sunset Photos – Sunsets and sunrises are inspirational subjects for any photographer. In fact, a good sunset photo is often the reason people become interested in nature photography. You don’t need to have a great camera or professional training; almost anyone with a camera can take great sunset photos.

The great news is that good sunset photos are surprisingly easy to take. In my gallery, I don’t actually display many sunset photographs. You see, they are hard to sell, because almost everybody has a few great sunsets they have photographed themselves. Rather than buy mine, they are more likely to grab their camera and show me the picture they took the night before! – READ MORE

Macro Photography 

Micro-sculpture: Incredibly Detailed Macro Insect Photographs Reveal Their Beautiful And Bizarre Forms – These incredibly detailed images of jewel-like insects reveal the beautiful, surprising, and often downright bizarre sculptural forms of some of the tiniest creatures on Earth. And when they are printed at up to three metres across, these macro photographs allow the viewer to examine each insect’s unique evolutionary adaptations.

The breathtaking images, taken by British photographer Levon Biss, are being shown in an exhibition, titled Microsculpture and held at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford. On show in the museum’s main court, the largest of the photographic prints measures up to three metres across and virtually surrounds the visitor. Placed alongside the tiny insect specimens themselves, this transformation of scale reveals the array of sculptural forms visible at a microscopic level. – READ MORE

Portrait Photography

How To Capture Dramatic Hard Light Portraits With One Flash – For a lot of photographers, hard light isn’t the first choice when it comes to making portrait photos. There’s a lot of negativity around hard light, making photographers think long and hard before planning a shoot with this light.However, hard light isn’t always a bad thing. When you use it in a clever way, hard light can produce some really dramatic results. Pye Jirsa demonstrates:

“Hard light can be a little bit cumbersome to work with. You have very hard highlights, very deep shadows, not a lot of transition. So, you really have to work with the posing. But the cool thing about hard lighting is that it can really chisel out your subjects in scenes that are very complex.” – READ MORE






April 2016 – Photo Tips

Yellow_gate_sign_webFor this month, I have included some recent photography articles and videos on a wide range of topics.

Take some time to review the articles and videos to widen your knowledge in photography.  Only through continual experimenting will you increase your photographic abilities.


The 5 Elements That Can Help You Make A Great Photo – Often a great photo relies on a combination of factors coming together to produce the final result. On a few rare occasions, all of these elements present themselves in perfect harmony by chance. However, the majority of the time as a photographer, you have to research, plan, and put a lot of effort into capturing a photograph that has these elements in it. – READ MORE


10 Ideas To Instantly Improve Your Photography Composition – My photography training took place back in the early 90s, at an intense technical photo school in California. I love tech in all forms, and I love reading my camera manual. I love the precision and procedure of processing my own colour film, and I love learning the ever-advancing skills on photo software – I am a total tech nerd. But technical knowledge will only get you so far; it’s really the second part of the story in photography. Photography composition is the first part. – READ MORE

How To Improve Your Photos Using Micro-Composition – One of the most fundamental elements of photography is that of composition, or how your subject, foreground, background, light, and other elements work together to produce a complete picture. While understanding how this works is fundamental to mastering the art of photography, the underlying principles behind composition go much deeper than just getting all the big things right so they look good in the frame. Masters of the medium are able to balance many different techniques of composition at the same time ,and put them together to launch their work into the upper echelon, and one rung on that ladder is a concept known as micro-composition. – READ MORE

Photography Rules Are Made To Be Broken – As a beginner, wouldn’t it be nice if the whole thing could be explained with a simple set of rules that were easy to understand? Surely someone could just tell you what aperture to use in a given situation, or how to structure a composition to get the best results every time.

Photography is a lot like learning to drive. With a car, you need to know the road rules, and you need to know the basic skills of steering, accelerating, and braking. These can be learned easily with a bit of practice. But even when you have mastered the essentials, you still need to get to know your car, because each car is a little different. Then you need experience with night driving, wet-weather driving, off-road driving… – READ MORE



Beginner Tips For Shooting Action Photography -Digital camera owners who are not that experienced in taking photos often find it hard to capture the action scenes they so desire. With their subjects being mobile, they may not be aware of what to do with their camera to take the best action shots.

Indeed, it can be quite a challenge to engage in sports and action photography. Movements are fast and unpredictable, so you need to be quick in clicking your shutter. Whatever type of digital camera you have, you really need to take the extra effort to take clear pictures of people and animals in motion. It’s also best to learn the right techniques so you won’t get frustrated with your photos.READ MORE


Black & White Photography Techniques – Black and white photography is a rewarding and challenging field of artistic photography. Even people who don’t care about photography can find themselves drawn to a great black and white image. As a photographer, black and white can allow you to discover a whole new character in a familiar subject. For many digital photographers, black and white photography is nothing more than colour photography converted by software. It is a matter for your own judgement whether this is effective for your photographs. – READ MORE



Portrait Cropping Guide – Framing your subject up for a portrait can sometimes be difficult. Should you get closer? Further? Cropping in close is particularly challenging because you don’t want to change it in such a way that it looks like your subject is missing limbs. A poorly cropped photo can make all the difference when it comes to portraits. To help you out, here’s a little cropping guide shown from Digital Camera World that shows where to crop and where not to crop. Green lines mean it’s a good place for the edge of the frame, red means it’s a bad place: – READ MORE

5 Secrets For Finding Great Indoor Portrait Locations – Not all photographers choose to have a dedicated indoor studio, but sometimes you need to shoot a session indoors. Maybe it’s freezing outside, and you don’t want to be out in that weather. Maybe you have a bride who wants bridals, but is worried about her dress getting dirty. Maybe you just want something fresh and a little quirky. Maybe the building has special meaning to you or the person you are photographing. – READ MORE

6 Portrait Lighting Patters Every Photographer Should Know – In classical portraiture there are several things you need to control and think about to make a flattering portrait of your subjects, including: lighting ratio, lighting pattern, facial view, and angle of view. I suggest you get to know these basics inside out, and as with most things, then you can break the rules. But if you can nail this one thing you’ll be well on your way to great people photos. In this article we’re going to look at lighting pattern: what is it, why it’s important, and how to use it. Perhaps in another future article, if you enjoy this one, I’ll talk about the other aspects of good portraiture. – READ MORE



5 Reasons To Use Flash To Improve Your Travel Photography – When it comes to travel photography, I am all in for carrying less. However, a good flash is always within reach in my everyday camera bag. I strongly believe that a flash helps to achieve much better results in a number of situations, and here are five reasons and examples – READ MORE

March 2016 – Photography Tips


For this month’s Photo Tips webpage, I have included the latest information on a wide range of topics.


3 Easy Steps To Photograph Glassware With Minimal Gear – Photographing glass objects is always a complicated task because of the reflective surface, and at the same time translucent nature, of this material. The catalogue images with great glassware perfectly illuminated, are usually done with complicated setups, in studios that allow the control of reflections, and lighting equipment with accessories that are not accessible to most photographers.

In this article I will show you how photograph a glass on both white and black backgrounds, with minimal equipment, and a fairly simple lighting setup. – READ MORE

Intentional Blur – How To Create It And Why It’s Awesome -Open up any photography magazine or website, and I promise there will be at least one article, and a half dozen ads, discussing image sharpness and how to get it through technique or gear. Don’t get me wrong, sharpness is great. When I’m shooting a classic landscape or portrait, if the image is a hair out of focus, it goes in the trash. But, at times, blur is exactly what you want, and occasionally, it’s exactly what your sharpness-obsessed brain needs. All you need, is a camera that allows you to manually control shutter speed. – READ MORE

Understanding Normal And Cross-Type Focusing Points – Look through the viewfinder of any DSLR camera and you will see several dots, or squares, that represent individual points at which the camera is capable of focusing. The purpose of these focusing points may seem fairly obvious, but not all of them are created equal. When you press the shutter button (or back button) halfway, some of these points will light up, indicating that everything at that specific spot is crystal clear and your photo will be nice and sharp.

However, the speed at which your camera can focus on one of the points, as well as how accurate the focus will be, depends greatly on whether the individual focusing point is a single or cross-type. Understanding the differences in how they operate can help you decide which ones to use to take better photos. – READ MORE

5 Creative Ideas To Improve And Inspire Your Photography – If you are a photographer who takes pictures day in and day out, perhaps because it is your livelihood or you are a keen hobbyist, there are times when you may want to digress from the day to day, and do something new on your day off. You can do this purely for the fun of it, or to set yourself some new learning challenges. This is a good practice to implement regularly because it pushes you to think outside the box, hone your skills, enlarge your vision, and challenge your creativity.

Here are some creative ideas on what you can do to take a break or depart from the usual, even just for a day. – READ MORE


Black And White Photography Tips – It is often believed that good photos are ones with beautiful colors. However, there are other forms of photography such as black and white, monochromatic, infrared etc. There is much more than simple, shining colors in pictures.

Photography is the recording of light regardless of color and outcome. Black and white has been popular since the early days where cameras would only take these images and were unable to interpret colors. –  READ MORE

Black And White Techniques -Black and white photography is a rewarding and challenging field of artistic photography. Even people who don’t care about photography can find themselves drawn to a great black and white image. As a photographer, black and white can allow you to discover a whole new character in a familiar subject. For many digital photographers, black and white photography is nothing more than colour photography converted by software. It is a matter for your own judgement whether this is effective for your photographs. – READ MORE


Storytelling Photography – A few weeks back I visited George Eastman Museum of Photography where there was an exhibition on travel photography. It was a great experience to see the world’s best photographs showcased in a two hour tour of the exhibition halls. After looking at most of the photos, I found an intangible element in almost all the photos. It’s the “story” behind the photo. What can make a simple photograph of two children staring at the camera from inside a window of a mud house in Peru so unique and worthy of being displayed to thousands of people visiting the museum? – READ MORE

4 Steps To Creating Images With More Meaningful Composition – When I wrote about making dramatic images using shadow and contrast, a reader rightly pointed out that a couple of my photos were also good examples of color contrast.

This is interesting because it shows how two photographers can look at the same scene, and see different things. In those examples I saw textures, shadows, and tonal contrast, and instinctively converted them to black and white. But another photographer might place more importance on the strong colors, and make them the centre point of the composition. – READ MORE

Composition: 10 Photography Tips For Amazing Results – Composition doesn’t come naturally to many photographers. The technical aspects can be learned relatively easily but some say that composition can not. Although I don’t believe this to be completely true, photography is an art form and does require some natural ability. – READ MORE


How To Balance Ambient Light With Flash – Many camera and flashgun combinations do a great job of producing images with exposure that’s nicely balanced automatically in a wide range of situations, but if you want to take more creative images or be able to assume control when the automated systems fail, you need to understand how to do the work yourself.

This is something that many photographers are nervous about, but it’s actually pretty straightforward provided you’ve got a good grasp of shutter speed and aperture. – READ MORE


Leading Lines In Landscape Photo Composition – Composition and good photography go hand in hand. Anyone can (with practice) perfect the technical skills to take a well exposed photo. It’s your flair for composition that will set your photos apart from the crowd.

The difficulty is, while technical photography can be taught using concrete rules and numbers, composition is a little more ‘artsy.’ A lucky few are born with a natural sense of visual style and balance. For the rest of us, it takes plenty of time and experience to develop a talent for composition. – READ MORE

Benefits Of Shooting Landscapes With F5.6 – Mark Littlejohn believes in leaving preconceived ideas behind and aiming for images that emotionally connect with the landscape. He explains how shooting at f/5.6 has produced some of his favourite photos. – READ MORE

11 Surefire Landscape Photography Tips – My first love in photography when I first got my trusty old Minolta SLR as a teenager was landscape photography. There’s something about getting out in nature with the challenge of capturing some of the amazing beauty that you see. Perhaps it fits with my personality type – but I loved the quietness and stillness of waiting for the perfect moment for the shot, scoping out an area for the best vantage point and then seeing the way that the light changed a scene over a few hours.

While I don’t get as much time as I’d like for Landscape Photography these days – I thought I’d jot down a few of the lessons that I learned in my early years of doing it. I’d love to hear your own tips in comments below. – READ MORE

How Do You Make Your Landscape Photographs Stand Out From The Crowd? –You set up your tripod at some often photographed location. The scenery around you is stunning. Great, but what next? How do you make sure that your landscape photographs stand out from the thousands or even millions of photographs taken by others in the same spot? Landscape photography is pretty easy to do but it takes a lot of effort to do well.

Simply finding a beautiful or interesting location is not enough to ensure quality photographs. In this guide, I aim to share some tips that will help you take better landscape photographs, photographs that stand out from the crowd. – READ MORE


Travel Photography Simplified: 4 Changes That Made Me A Better Photographer – When I look back and analyze how my photography has changed over time, I see that the last couple of years were the most eventful in regards to the evolution of my photography. I see that rapid advances in technology, in combination with my attempts to simplify various aspects of my photography, gradually changed my entire workflow.

If I had to identify the key moments that triggered the rest of the changes, my switch from DSLR to a mirrorless system would be at the very top of the list. – READ MORE

Organize your Photos with software

Software tip for managing out of control photo collections.

This is just a tip for those who are trying to make sense out of a mixed up collection of photos on your PC or Mac.  You know you have lots of photos on your machine but you also know that you have a lot of duplicates.  Web versions, slideshow versions etc. as well as your full sized out of the camera JPG or RAW files.

Here are links to some software that may help tame the mess.


Be sure you have a complete backup of your photos before attempting to clean them up.  Hard drives are cheap and  a good backup can prevent a lot of hair pulling and teeth grinding.

Duplicate finders


Best one that I have used is a free one (donations welcome.


Sorts and finds duplicates, easy to use and has Autoselect to choose duplicates with an easy to use slider to determine how exact the match is.  Not fast but very accurate.
I found it so good that I went to the trouble of copying all my images from Mac to a
Windows Fat 32 formatted hard drive so I could run this program. After sorting I will copy them back to the Mac and update Lightroom catalogs.


Several good ones but all of the Mac versions tend to find duplicates that are not really duplicates, eg: multi frame shots where the image only changes by a fraction etc.  You have to go through and check the found set to ensure there are no errors.  Easy to do as they display images side by side and one click can cancel the marking.

Photo Sweeper

Photo sorters, File sorters


File sorter
Big Mean Folder Machine

Will sort from multiple folders to single folder or from single folder to a folder structure based on size, name, etc.  Can rename or just add a series letter or number when encountering duplicate file names.

Beautiful Backup

Will sort your photos based on the metadata within as well as videos.  It can create any kind of folder structure you wish based on templates.  It can also be set to filter out small images (you decide on size) and place them in a separate folder on your destination.

I use this one to collect images into Year/Year/Month/Day format and then read them directly into Lightroom.


I know there are some out there.  Send me some links if you have used them and I will add them to the list.

Remember rule number one,   BACKUP

Revised – February 2016 – Photography Tips


For this month’s tips webpage, I have included some of the most recent articles on a wide range of topics.


Seven Myths About the Need For Full Frame Camera – A few years back, I made the switch to micro four-thirds and mirrorless cameras. I am more convinced than ever that these cameras perform as well as ANY camera in 95% of the situations where it counts.

While I used to be an advocate for full frame cameras, I changed my mind when I saw the advantages of going small. So to counter all the posts that are out there advocating why you need a full frame camera, here’s why I think you may not. – READ MORE

These Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Shooting Raw – Raw files (the correct files format differs from manufacturer to manufacturer) are simply a “digital negative” of your image (but aren’t negative at all, only referred to that way in reference to the film era). In Practical terms, a raw file is all the bits of information the sensor captures, packed in one file without any compression or loss. But why would anyone need all that info? After all, raw files are 10x larger than jpegs, right?

Yes, and it means they contain much more information. If you edit a raw file and need to brighten the shadows and equally tone down the highlights, you won’t lose any detail (if done in moderation of course and if there is no clipping). On the other hand, with jpeg you don’t get much more than what you see. – READ MORE

How Auto White Balance Can Hinder Your Photography – You’ve likely heard that auto settings like auto exposure and autofocus aren’t fail-proof. They’re strong features, no doubt, and most photographers take advantage of them at least some, if not all, of the time. But the key to success with auto-anything is to make it work for you; that is, to understand its limitations, and know when it’s not going to give you the best results.

If you’ve been a photographer for very long, you’ve likely run into the situation in which a very bright scene, a snowy landscape, for example, caused your camera’s auto exposure to significantly underexpose the shot, giving you murky gray snow instead of brilliant white. Likewise, a shot that was naturally dark, like a portrait of a black dog, might have been recorded too light, also resulting in unwanted gray or brown. – READ MORE


6 Advanced Composition Techniques To Improve Your Photos – When you think of composition in photography, what is the first idea that pops into your head? Let me guess – the rule of thirds?

Likely that was true for many of you who reading this, why do you think that is? The rule of thirds is probably the most widely known, and well used compositional tool in photography. Most often, it is the first composition tool we are taught (it was for me anyway). Once we know it, and use it, we don’t really think about it, or about any other compositional techniques. – READ MORE

Composition: 10 Photography Tips For Amazing Results – Composition doesn’t come naturally to many photographers. The technical aspects can be learned relatively easily but some say that composition can not. Although I don’t believe this to be completely true, photography is an art form and does require some natural ability.

So what can I do? My composition sucks. – READ MORE


Mastering On-Camera Flash – You get caught off-guard with a photo assignment and you might not have time to set up additional lights or have the luxury of using a reflector. Maybe it’s an awards event in a large room and you don’t want the background to go completely dark. You see a celebrity, rock star, astronaut or maybe it’s the president of your company that you need to photograph (see image below), or maybe you just need to travel light, with a minimum of gear. – READ MORE

Balancing Flash And Ambient Light – Is a generalization and there are exceptions to that rule, but for now I’m going to keep it simple and start there.

I find the easiest way to understand how this works is to see it in action using different settings with the same subject so you can see how adjusting the settings changes the resulting image. If you want to follow along find yourself a subject and set up a scenario where you can try out some flash photography. – READ MORE


Why You Need A Telephoto Zoom Lens For Landscape Photography – When you think about landscape photography, you might immediately think of the wide angle zoom lens, which is great for capturing those expansive landscapes and “taking it all in.”

But, a telephoto zoom lens can also be helpful when photographing landscapes. To understand why, it’s important to know what determines perspective and how perspective can help convey a particular feeling in a photograph. – READ MORE

11 Surefire Landscape Photography Tips – My first love in photography when I first got my trusty old Minolta SLR as a teenager was landscape photography. There’s something about getting out in nature with the challenge of capturing some of the amazing beauty that you see. Perhaps it fits with my personality type – but I loved the quietness and stillness of waiting for the perfect moment for the shot, scoping out an area for the best vantage point and then seeing the way that the light changed a scene over a few hours.

While I don’t get as much time as I’d like for Landscape Photography these days – I thought I’d jot down a few of the lessons that I learned in my early years of doing it. I’d love to hear your own tips in comments below. – READ MORE

5 Basic Things You Need For Successful Night Photography – Much is made of technique when it comes to long exposure photography — after all, you have to have some idea of what you’re doing and how to do it. But in this particular photographic niche, your gear matters almost as much. It matters not in the sense of being some sort of status symbol or commentary on your skill level as a photographer, but in the sense of allowing you to efficiently and effectively accomplish what you’ve set out to do under cover of dark: create beautiful long exposure images.

As you will see below, the basic list of items required to get the job done isn’t extensive, so if you have been thinking about trying long exposure night photography you don’t have many excuses to keep putting it off. – READ MORE


Character Portrait Photography Tips & Techniques – Capturing character through portraits has always been a real and true representation of people photography. The magazines always show us perfection by misrepresenting the imperfections of models and actors and other celebrities. Character portraits capture reality and the essence of the subject.

So how do we go about capturing a true character photo that is genuinely representative of the person being photographed? – READ MORE

January 2016 – Photography Tips


With the Christmas Season over, we each ponder on what areas to expand our photography skills over the next 12 months.

To assist you in this journey of exploration in photography, I have included some recent articles and videos on a wide range of photographic topics below.


5 DIY Hacks To Have In Your Camera Bag – I stopped using the camera strap that comes with the camera (DSLR) quite awhile ago now. My fundamental gripes were as follows:

Not at all comfortable to wear around the neck, especially if you have a long lens attached to the camera. – READ MORE

Back Button Focus: What Is It And Why Should You Try It? – What operation on a camera could possibly be more simple than pressing the shutter button to take a picture? There’s not much to it, really – you look through the viewfinder (or at the LCD screen on the back of the camera), press a button with your index finger, wait for the camera to focus, and voilà! You’ve got a photo.

Well, as the popular saying goes, what if I told you there was a better way? Hidden deep within the settings of most cameras is a feature called Back Button Focusing, and enabling it can transform your approach to photography. – READ MORE


How I Work With Compositional Lines In Photos – Composition can make or break a photograph. This is why it’s important to understand it and know how to effectively and creatively use it. In essence, composition describes the position of relative elements in a photograph. A strong composition will tend to have leading lines that draw attention to your subject: these can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines depending on the placement of your subject in the frame.

Have a look at the following images and see how I have composed each scene with the use of lines leading towards my subjects. I have drawn arrows in Photoshop on the photos to help share my vision when I was composing each shot. Hopefully those who aren’t familiar with composition will be able to visualise and understand it’s importance and how to go about composing the perfect shot. – READ MORE

Elements Of A Great Photograph – As a photographer, it’s incredibly important to know what makes a great picture. Just having a nice camera and fancy tools isn’t enough to really make it in this industry anymore. Knowing what to look for and honing in on those specific things can help you capture truly unique, personal, and in the moment images that will hopefully help to set you apart from your peers. Here are just a few things that I look for during a session. – READ MORE


How To Create Dark Moody Low-Key Portraits With Minimal Gear – To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown, “Grids: when you absolutely, positively got to kill every lumen in the room, accept no substitutes.” Do you have a room or environment that you want to appear black? You don’t even need a black backdrop or the dark cover of night to create a dark, dramatic scene. All you need is a flash, a grid and enough space to allow your subject to be at least 5-10 feet away from any walls. As long as you can keep your strobe light from falling on the ground, background or other objects in the scene, only the subject will be illuminated. – READ MORE

Mastering On-Camera Flash – You get caught off-guard with a photo assignment and you might not have time to set up additional lights or have the luxury of using a reflector. Maybe it’s an awards event in a large room and you don’t want the background to go completely dark. You see a celebrity, rock star, astronaut or maybe it’s the president of your company that you need to photograph (see image below), or maybe you just need to travel light, with a minimum of gear. – READ MORE

8 On-Camera Flash Tips: How To Get Better Lighting From Your Flash – You can get great lighting for your portraits with on-camera flash. And there’s no need to purchase expensive attachments to modify your light, because everything you need is already there. The thing to understand is that your flash unit is just another light source at your disposal. Fortunately, you can learn to control the light it produces and shape it to your needs. Plus, it has the added benefit of doing some of the thinking for you when you need it to.

Since the light your flash unit produces directly can appear rather harsh, you’ll have to do one or both of the following in order to get more pleasing lighting from it: – READ MORE

Bounce Flash Photography In 4 Simple Steps – Bounce flash photography. It sounds like a complicated procedure, one of those mythical flash techniques we try desperately to avoid.

We’ve all been there. You’re at a party or gathering and want to take a picture that captures the atmosphere of the moment. When shooting in low light, your first instinct is probably to use a tripod with a long shutter speed, or increase the ISO to shoot handheld. – READ MORE


5 Tips For Beginner Nature Photographers – Since beginning my photographic journey roughly six years ago, I have absorbed a great wealth of information along the way that has helped me to evolve and advance my abilities both in the field and in the realm of post processing. While some tips can seem very basic and mundane, they may also prove to be extremely helpful in the long run. Here are the first five out of ten tips I have compiled for aspiring landscape and nature photographers who are just getting their feet wet and want to eventually take their photography to the next level. – READ MORE

5 Tips For Capturing The Magical Beauty Of Waterfalls – Waterfalls are one of our planet’s most amazing natural features. Whether you’re witnessing the sheer power and enormity of waterfalls such as Jim Jim Falls, Victoria Falls, or Niagara Falls, or enjoying the charm and serenity of one of the smaller falls located all over the world, waterfalls have always held the human imagination captive.

Capturing waterfalls photographically, however, has proven elusive for many who have tried. And, as we all know, an elusive subject can easily lead to frustration. I would suggest, though, that successfully photographing waterfalls is not so much defined by assessing a level of difficulty but, instead, comes about by knowing a handful of tricks and techniques that will help you get the job done. – READ MORE

Tips For Mountain Photography – Depending on your physical distance from the mountain, shooting with a wide angle lens can cause the mountain to look like a puny bump on the horizon when in reality, to your eye, it has a commanding presence.

One solution for this is a technique known as a focal length blend. It takes a bit of ingenuity in Photoshop, but what it entails is shooting your foreground at the wide-angle focal length of your choice and then, to counteract the pin cushion effect of the mountain, increasing your focal length and shooting the mountain and background to capture them ‘scaled-up’. You then combine these two exposures in Photoshop which can be tricky, as the two will not line up one to one. While the specifics are too involved to explain in this article, this technique essentially involves finding areas of texture or hard edges to use as transition points between the two layers. Ultimately, this is a great way to compensate for the short-comings of the wide angle lens… that is, if you are up for the challenge in Photoshop. – READ MORE


13 Tips To Perfect Your Landscape Photography – In my opinion, landscape photography actually only requires you to be at the right place at the right time. One of the keys to success for landscape photography is patience, and that’s it! Just click and there you go!

Having said that, there are some small details which are often forgotten. Let me discuss those small details; you can read them while sipping your coffee: – READ MORE

A Complete Guide To Landscape Photography – When you first get started in photography, at the bare minimum, you need three pieces of equipment: a camera, a normal zoom lens (24-70mm), and a tripod. Many other pieces of equipment are nice to have and you will eventually need more to produce great photographs, but these three items are enough to start developing your skillset as a photographer. Besides a mastery of your equipment, you’ll also need to understand the role light, terrain, and weather play in landscape photography. This understanding will dramatically increase your chances of coming away with a stunning image. – READ MORE

6 Top Landscape Photography Tips From A Landscape Pro – Always check the weather forecast, and if walking is involved, make sure I know the route. Proper clothing, make sure people know what time I should return, etc.

Although weather plays a great part in landscape photography, I firmly believe there is no such thing as bad weather – simply different types of lighting. Rain, snow, wind etc can all create interesting landscape pictures. In fact, living in the lakes, a clear blue, cloud free sky is probably my least preferred lighting conditions. Once you get to know an area well, you know what direction light comes from, but I try to go on every shoot with a totally open mind, I hate pre-planning shots, because when you reach the location, if the light is different from you planned, you feel that you’re not getting the shot. I would far sooner react to the light that is there, and work with what is available to create the style and type of shot that works on that day. – READ MORE


Still Life Photography Tips And Techniques – Still life photography has many uses. Perhaps you want to take a picture of a beautiful shell or perhaps take a picture of a product that you’re selling on eBay. Other reasons for learning still life photography may include selling still life photograph downloads at microstock sites or to food magazines. No matter what your reason, still life photography is a great skill to learn. – READ MORE

December 2015 – Photo Tips

Xmas_header_2For this month’s Photo Tips webpage, we have included the latest articles on a wide range of topics which our club members have expressed an interest in.

Specific articles and videos are under specific topics below:


Tips For Taking Photos Indoors This Holiday Season – Find as much light as you can – you’d be surprised how much of a difference opening up the curtains, the blinds or a door (if the weather allows) can make on the amount of light available in the space where you’ll be taking photos. When possible shoot photos as close to one of these natural light sources as possible. – READ MORE


A Helpful Checklist To Use Before Photographing Anything – If you are reading this you probably find photography exciting, maybe even so exciting that from time to time you forget changing your camera settings according to the subject you’re shooting. You have probably already missed at least one amazing shot, just because you forgot to change the ISO or shutter speed. – READ MORE

Your Guide to Creating Unique Conceptual Photography – What is conceptual photography? Have you heard about it, but not been able to work out what it is? Who are the artists doing it? How can you do it? If you have asked yourself any of these questions, then read on and see if they can be answered for you.

Conceptual photography is a type of fine art photography. Like the latter, everyone you ask will give you a different definition. It is an art form that has been around for as long as people have been making art. It seems to be something that people have only started talking about in the last 10 years or so. – READ MORE

6 Tips for Using ISO Effectively With Your Camera – ISO has long been called the third corner of the exposure triangle, but was it really? In the film days you couldn’t even change your ISO, except by changing your film. In the early days of digital, you could change your ISO after each shot, which was a definite improvement. But, if you dared to increase the ISO, your picture would probably end up with a lot of digital noise in it. The reality is that most of us were confined to a very narrow range of ISO values when making our exposures.

Times have changed though. Newer cameras offer a lot more flexibility when it comes to ISO. First of all, they are capable of taking pictures at higher ISOs. Cameras now will routinely shoot at ISO 25,600 (and higher), which was almost unheard of just five or six years ago. Secondly, when newer cameras do shoot at higher ISOs, they produce less digital noise. – READ MORE


Leading Lines: From Roads & Borders To Infinity – You may have seen these two photographs being shared around the Internet. They strike at something very profound in us, although we might not know exactly what it is. The Tuscan highway glows with lively warmth at a cool, meandering pace, while the Swedish/Norwegian border is cold and biting, but exhilarating. The images are completely different in tone and texture, yet we can all feel that they are the same—parallels of each other from flip sides of the European continent. They are both endless, stretching as far as the eye can see in either direction. They are the Yin and Yang, identical and opposite, adding up to the infinite. – READ MORE

Diagonal Leading Lines In Photography Composition – Of all the lines used in photography, diagonals are the most dynamic. You can use them to create a strong impression of movement or you can use them to create a tremendous sense of depth. All images are created with lines—some vertical, horizontal and others converging—but knowing how to place them affects the mood and composition of the final image. – READ MORE

How To Think Like A Pro – Improving your composition is one of the biggest challenges in photography, and sadly there isn’t a convenient button on your camera you can press to fix poor framing (although you can often turn on grids to help you adhere to the rule of thirds, etc). Composition and framing decisions take place before you press the shutter button, and although there is a certain amount you can fix in software through cropping, it’s best to get it as right in camera as you can. – READ MORE


Outdoor Flash Photography Tips With Children & Pets – As we all know, photographing children can be very challenging. It is tough enough just to keep them in sharp focus. Who in their right mind would complicate the task even further by adding pets and flash lighting to the mix? You should! Adding the right amount of flash at the correct angle can turn an ordinary snapshot into a work of art. – READ MORE


Chip Phillips: 5 Tips For Photographing In Winter – I’ve done a lot of winter photography in the Canadian Rockies, the Tetons, and various mountains in my home state of Washington and it’s one of my favorite times to shoot. Ice and snow can convey so much drama and color, and create really beautiful and unusual opportunities for composition. It does, however, come with its own set of challenges. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful along the way. – READ MORE AND VIEW HIS IMAGES


Night Or Low Light Photography Tips -Twilight is a magical time. Just because the sun is down doesn’t mean you should put away your camera. When the sun sets, a different looking world exists for photographers. Colors don’t appear the way they do in daylight. Instead, colors display based on your camera’s white balance setting and how that setting matches the various light sources in your scene. – READ MORE


How To Photograph Nature And Wildlife – Nature has the endless mine of wonders and beauty which we all want to capture. We often get amazed by the stunning nature or wildlife photographs in the popular travel or science magazines. So what is the secret of taking stunning nature photographs?

Well, as true for every form of art, photography is something which you need to master. Knowledge, practice, creativity and a good camera is what you need most of the time. Please be aware that this article is not meant for pros. This is targeted to help someone who has just got started or thinking of getting started. – READ MORE