11 Hot Photography Tutorials, Projects, Stories and Tips to Improve Your Photography

As we approach the end of our ‘Best of 2012 series‘ of posts it is time for another mixed bad of hot posts from the last year that cover a wide array of topics.

In this batch you’ve got some opinion posts, some challenges/assignments, an inspirational story of how one organisation uses photography to change lives and some ‘how to’ tutorials. Enjoy!

How to Transfer Prints to Wood (a Great DIY Photography Project & one of our hottest posts of 2012)

  1. How To Transfer Prints To Wood: An Awesome Photography DIY Project
  2. What Are Burning And Dodging And How They Can Help Your Photos
  3. That’s a Photoshop!
  4. Beach Photography
  5. 7 Secrets Every Aspiring Street Photographer Should Know
  6. Using Photography to Make a Heartfelt Difference
  7. 10 Photographic Assignments to Hone Your Skills
  8. The 10 Steps Every HDR Photographer Goes Through
  9. 10 Tips for Improving Your Wildlife Photography
  10. How to Read and Use Histograms
  11. How to Photograph Fire

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

11 Hot Photography Tutorials, Projects, Stories and Tips to Improve Your Photography

Using Flash Sync and Flash Exposure Modes

Many people never even use their flash sync, but this option is one of the many advantages of digital photography. In almost any DSLR camera, you will find flash sync settings that you most certainly should not ignore.

Flash sync can certainly turn good photography into amazing photography. Learning about flash sync is not something that you should put off. Your camera also includes flash exposure modes that are a must for combining flash lighting with exposure for a better metered image.

Just what is Flash Sync?

There are many reasons why most people do not even use flash sync. Many people simply do not realize it is an option. Some people may find the sync in their camera, but they may have no idea what it does. Others may think that flash sync actually is not needed for that many images. However, the more you learn about this technology, the more you will find that you can use it in digital photography. The first step to properly using flash sync will be to understand just what it is.

In essence, flash sync has to do with when the flash actually fires during the exposure. It is possible to change when the flash fires for various effects for the image. At times, using flash sync is a good way to compensate for certain difficult lighting situations. At other times, you may want to use flash sync to create specific artistic or dramatic effects in your photography.

The Three Flash Sync Settings

On any digital camera, you are going to have a choice of flash sync settings. You need to understand just what each of these settings is and you will need to know how they can be used in digital photography for various lighting situations. Below, you will find a breakdown of the three settings so that you can better understand their purpose.

Front Sync (Front Curtain Sync)
This is when the flash will fire at the very beginning of the image exposure and this is generally the default sync for a camera. However, this is not a sync that you will want to use in many situations. If the subject is moving, you could end up with a problem. When the flash fires at the beginning, the shutter speed stays open and your subject moves, you will end up with something called ghosting. The image will appear as if there is a ghost in front of the subject. It will be blurry and streaky. Generally, you do not want to use front sync for moving subjects unless you are doing something artistic.

Rear Sync (Rear Curtain Sync)
With this type of sync, the flash will fire at the end of the exposure. If the subject is moving, you will still end up with ghosting, but it will be a different kind of ghosting. In this type of situation, you will have a sharper subject with slight ghosting and what looks like streaks behind the subject. In many situations, this is an excellent way to translate motion. However, if you want a clear, crisp image, you will not get it with rear flash.

Slow Sync
With this mode, your camera will do two things. It will slow down the shutter speed deliberately and it will slow down the flash. What does this accomplish? Often, there are background details that will not be illuminated by the flash in most situations. When you want those details to be in focus, you can use this sync. The slow sync will slow the shutter speed enough to make sure light gets to those background details. To use slow sync, you must keep the camera very still and you will not want to use it for subjects in motion.

Exposure and Flash Exposure Modes

Camera exposure has already been discussed and you may have a good idea of how to use various exposure settings in digital photography. However, you also need to know more about flash exposure. These modes will be able to combine all of the elements of exposure along with the elements of the flash and the flash sync to create a better metered image. Your camera will include several different flash exposure modes that you will need to know how to use. They may go by different “techie” sounding names, but the exposure modes available in your camera include the following four.

TTL (through the lens)
This type of metering measures the exposure through the camera lens to set the flash. This method is useful in most situations. However, in some situations where light bounces strongly off the subject, this mode may lead to washed out images.

Pre-Flash
This method of flash metering works by the camera actually firing a flash before the image is taken. The camera uses the metering information of that pre-flash to set the exposure. This is useful when you are using certain elements with a flash like a diffuser or a darkener that could otherwise confuse the camera.
Integrated
This method also makes use of a pre-flash, but the camera actually integrates the information provided into the exposure before it ever takes a picture. With this method, the camera will be able to avoid washed out images in which light bounces off the subject.

Manual
In this method, you will be in full control. You will decide the level of strength that the flash uses and you will set the exposure. This method can take a great deal of patience and does include a learning curve. Your digital photography will take longer and you will need to be prepared for this. This method will not be the best option when you need to take pictures quickly.

When you will be using a flash in your digital photography, it is vital that you learn how to use flash sync as well as flash exposure settings. Through these two tools, you can gain much more control over your camera, your flash and your digital photography overall.

2013 Happy New Year Ecards

New Year is approaching and each will create planning that how to take pleasure in the New Year party. We determined to split some of the astonishing photographs of New Year festivity with you all. We as toward the inside in to 2013 it is actually an amazing thing. Everybody has their own method of celebrating New Year but the most excellent way to rejoice New Year is to have fun with friends. We just explosion the social gathering and enjoy in great level. Friends send New Year compliments and go absent for any attractive places. We can enjoy New Year well by means of family too. It determination be good skill to celebrate New Year with friends. We send New Year cards, gifts, Flowers to our beloved once and enjoy their contentment. One of the majority important things throughout New Year is able wounding at mid night. Some people fire crackers and lot will be done during the mid might of New Year. You can see some of the wonderful photographs of New Year.

Happy New Year (10)

Happy New Year (11)

Happy New Year (14)

Happy New Year (1)

Happy New Year (2)

Happy New Year (3)

Happy New Year (4)

Happy New Year (5)

Happy New Year (6)

Happy New Year (7)

Happy New Year (8)

Happy New Year (9)

Happy New Year (12)

Happy New Year (13)

Happy New Year (15)

2012 Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest

The editors of Smithsonian periodical have now announced the 20 finalists in their 9th annual photo contest. They’ve gently allowable me to split several of the concluding contenders below, counting some astonishing images from every of the competition’s five categories: Americana, The Natural World, People, Altered Images, and Travel. Be sure to appointment the competition page to observe all the finalists and to take part in an election for this year’s Reader’s option winner. Here are 20 beautiful annual photo contest images. Check these attractive pictures.

Attractive Nature Pics (1)

Attractive Nature Pics (3)

Attractive Nature Pics (4)

Attractive Nature Pics (5)

Attractive Nature Pics (6)

Attractive Nature Pics (7)

Attractive Nature Pics (8)

Attractive Nature Pics (9)

Attractive Nature Pics (10)

Attractive Nature Pics (11)

Attractive Nature Pics (12)

Attractive Nature Pics (13)

Attractive Nature Pics (14)

Attractive Nature Pics (15)

Attractive Nature Pics (16)

Attractive Nature Pics (17)

Attractive Nature Pics (18)

Attractive Nature Pics (19)

Attractive Nature Pics (20)

Frio River Cypress

Autumn Cypress

Autumn Cypress – Rio Frio, Texas
Copyright 2012 Jeff Lynch Photography

Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with GP-E2 unit attached, set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens and tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 100mm, f/16 for 1/6th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 4.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Follow @jefflynchphoto

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Frio River, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscape Safari, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography

I’m a ‘Typical Photographer’ and This Is How Much I Post Process

OK, I’m going to come right out and say it … there are a lot of lies in photography! It’s out there now and I suggest we all take some time to let it sink in before we do anything rash.

Of course we all know this but it’s not a subject that a lot of people openly talk about. Before I say any more let me be completely straight. I’m not saying that there are a whole load of photographers out there actively seeking to deceive you, more that most of us (me included) tell ‘little white lies’ about our images. Of all the subjects open for favorable interpretation is the amount photographers post process their pictures.

No Biggie?

I’m not saying for one minute that anyone is looking to be intentionally deceptive, most of the time all we are really talking about is the omission of a few minor finishing touches. So what’s the big deal? Well there isn’t really any big problem as such, however I remember as a beginner how frustrating it was trying to work out how much of a great image was due to gear, processing or falling that the skill of the photographer. Becoming a great photographer takes time, patience and practice and its understandable why more experienced photographers might want to protect their trade secrets.

Post Processing in Modern Photography

A common view is that post processing is a phenomenon that has only come about with the age of digital photography. To a certain extent this is true however we need to be careful not to lump all forms of image manipulation into the same category. In the age of film it was still possible to alter not only the basics such as aperture, shutter speed but also things like ISO, white balance and the overall aesthetic of the final image. It’s true to say that these adjustments were less convenient than they are today (you had to physically swap out your film etc) but we shouldn’t confuse the convenience of modern technology with any form of deception. It has always been necessary to ‘adjust’ the final image to achieve something more like reality and despite the capability of todays cameras and equipment this remains the case. The reality is that even the best photographers make at least minor adjustments to their images.

So How Much?

So as a beginner what you really want to know is how much processing do most people and how do you know if you are doing too much? When I started to get serious about photography this was a question that took up far too much of my time. To give you a sense of a typical photographers workflow here is a quick summary of my typical post processing routine and a few examples of how my images typically look before and after.

My Basic Workflow

My basic advice is this; only do as much post processing as necessary to achieve the look you want. If your goal is to achieve an image that is realistic to real life then assuming you have a decent initial image you should be able to do this fairly quickly. If however you want to achieve a more artistic result then you may need to take a bit longer.

The majority of my images are either travel or portraiture and therefore my basic post processing workflow is relatively simple. Pretty much every image I take goes through the following five-step process, although for specific effects I will often do more. Just so you know, I shoot all of my images in RAW with Lightroom being my editing software of choice.

  • Crop & Straighten – To clean up and correct any issues with composition.
  • White Balance – To correct any colour casts and ensure the image colour is as accurate as possible.
  • Exposure – To improve the overall tonality and dynamic range of the image.
  • Contrast & Clarity – To bring back any missing punch and bring out emphasis and detail.
  • Sharpening – Where necessary the last step is to apply selective sharpening to bring out any key details.

To give you an idea as to what this really looks like in the real world, here are a few examples of images I have taken and how they looked like before and after processing.

Example 1 – Travel Landscapes

Typical post processing for landscapes will include straightening and cropping to improve composition, followed by basic exposure and contrast adjustments. Finally I add some saturation and vibrance for impact.

Example 2 – Street Portrait

For travel portraits, its all about the white balance to ensure that the subject skin tones are spot on. After that I add contrast and boost detail with sharpening.

Example 3 – Studio Work

For studio portraits, white balance is again key followed by basic exposure and composition adjustments. In this case I may also spend more time working on more artistic effects and specialised image touch ups.

The Two Minute Rule

Obviously when you are starting out its important to spend time developing your processing skills, however as you start to get a handle on this its also very important to get efficient. Not only will doing so stop you from wasting hours in front of your computer screen, but its also the best way limit the potential for over processing. The ‘Two Minute Rule’ is the probably the best ‘pro tip’ I have ever heard and is something which has fundamentally changed my approach to photography. The basic idea is to limit the time you spend processing any image to no more than two minutes. Imagine that, just two minutes to do everything you need to get an image to look exactly as you want it to? Basically you should be asking yourself if an images needs more than two minutes of work in post, is it worth the effort? I’m not going to try and convince you that I follow this rule religiously but it is a really powerful way to focus your post processing efforts and I would certainly encourage you to consider building this into your own routine. Limiting the time you spend in post will stop you from trying to rescue dud images and also give you a rough guide as to when you may have gone too far.

The ‘So What?’ for Beginners

If you are a beginner or someone getting started in post processing, what am I really telling you? Simply it is this, most of this images you see will be post processed. Whether this is to overcome the limitations of our equipment, correct mistakes or achieve a specific ‘look’ most photographers will process their photos. The important thing is not to worry about what others are doing, rather on if you are doing the right things to create the images you are looking for. Focus on learning the techniques which will help deliver the photograph you want and use this as a way to hone your individual style and workflow to become an even better photographer. If you get this right, then it won’t be long before you can start fibbing about your photographs too!

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

I’m a ‘Typical Photographer’ and This Is How Much I Post Process