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#81 Where do you find your inspiration comes from?

Posted by Ashish92 on 10 December 2013 - 10:19 AM

Inspiration in my opinion comes when we come across something that clears our mind and soothes our feelings. 

Being a designer and having a hectic schedule I often find my mind too cluttered with ideas and it often happens that due to time constraints I need to find something that makes me feel good and inspires me in a short time. Fortunately I have a open roof in my house where we have a small garden planted by my mother and father. Whenever I feel short on inspiration or confused I just go out into the gardens, stay there quietly for half and hour or more watching the trees and just being there silently in nature's arms and soon I find myself getting inspired to get a move on. 


I believe our inspiration comes from something that makes us happy, when it comes to photography whenever I see something be it a nature related or any random thing that makes me happy I try to capture that very moment itself. 



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#67 Embedding Instagram Images

Posted by Photographa on 02 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

Many of us use Instagram, so I'd like to show you all a way to share Instagram photos on our forum.


All you need to do is find the public share URL of a photo (you can do this from your phone or from Instagram.com) and embed it in media tags like below. 


The result is:


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#236 Graphics Tablet

Posted by fantanoice on 28 December 2013 - 11:07 PM

These great machines allows you to edit your photography on the computer using Adobe Photoshop. They allow editing whether it be taking out the background and adding a black n white themed effect.


Personally I find them a very useful tool and defiantly any photographer should have without a doubt, as they are becoming far more accessible as the price becomes lower.


Well, that's not exactly what they do. They basically replace your computer's mouse with something shaped like a pen and paper, making it simpler to do artist work on the computer for people who prefer traditional methods.


My parents gave me one in my early teenage years but I was an idiot at the time and it got broken somehow (don't remember how). What sucks is that I now want one so that I can do proper illustrations and stuff on the computer because I love drawing freehand (basically the only way I can draw).


As for editing photos, I probably wouldn't use one for that. I'm too used to using my mouse!



I wonder if the iPad will replace traditional graphics tablets in the future. There's already lots of iPad-made art out there, and just recently I remember reading about new styluses coming out that would make it even easier to draw on an iPad.


Not yet, the iPad screens aren't sensitive or precise enough to replace a Wacom / graphics tablet. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note phones and I *think* the Samsung Galaxy Tabs both use Wacom screens, so they are effectively graphics tablets themselves.

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#134 Light Painting Procedure

Posted by Photographa on 21 December 2013 - 03:52 PM

Painting with light basically describes the process of using a long shutter speed and controlled lighting to create artistic blur.


When the camera shutter is open, the sensor on your camera collects light. When it's dark, the shutter can stay open for longer so that it can collect more light from the environment and produce a brighter, more detailed photo.


If you're in a dark street, you can set the camera on something stable (a tripod works best) and take a photo of a subject with a light source using a slow shutter (the shutter will stay open for longer), and if the subject moves the light source (a flashlight or sparkler works well), the light source will appear to blur (it'll look like a line of light in the photo).


For creative light-painting photos, you'll want a shutter that can stay open at least 3-5 seconds (if you want a group to write or draw something). You can go above or below this as you wish. When you've found a good shutter speed that works for whatever you're trying to draw, you can adjust your aperture and ISO to allow your photo to be decently exposed.


I'd recommend an ISO of 200 - 400 for light painting photographs. This will reduce noise in the photo and can give you enough brightness.


Your aperture will vary based on how bright your scene is and how long you want to keep the shutter open. A constricted aperture will allow your shutter to be open for longer periods of time (and in brighter areas), but if you want a quick drawing with a faster shutter, or if you're in a darker area, you can open up the aperture a bit.


Anything that light shines on will show up in your photo. If you have something backlit in the background (such as city lights) and a person who isn't lit walks in front of the lights and then steps away the photo will seem as if the person never walked there. If you have a group of people with flashlights pointed in the direction of the camera, and if they're not lit up, they won't be visible in the photo, but the flashlight light will be.


If you'd like to have your light artists visible in your photo, but you don't want them blurred, you can keep them as dark as possible (and moving quickly if there's light in the background), and you can fire a quick flash at the end of your shot to expose them without blurring them. (Background lights will also be visible well if you do this.)


Play around with it and see what you can do!

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#12 Manual Photography Guide for Beginners

Posted by Photographa on 15 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

Fully manual photography opens up an exciting world of creativity. This concise guide will teach you the basics from which you can build on for remarkable photos in specific scenes.


The most critical concept to understand is how photos can be affected by light. There are three adjustments you can make to adjust how light enters and is processed by your camera-


ISO adjusts your camera’s light sensitivity.

A more sensitive sensor (or film) can capture more light faster (a bright picture can be taken in less time), but a more sensitive sensor also produces more unwanted grain. A less sensitive sensor produces clearer pictures but needs a bigger aperture or slower shutter to produce the same picture, since more light needs to hit the camera sensor for the same result. Light sensitivity increases as the ISO number increases.


Aperture adjusts the amount light entering camera.

The aperture is the opening on your lens which controls the amount of light entering the lens and hitting the sensor. A larger aperture opening allows more light to enter, allowing for a faster shutter speed and/or lower ISO. A smaller aperture opening allows for greater depth-of-field and slower shutter speeds to capture motion blur.


Shutter Speed adjusts exposure time

The shutter speed is the amount of time that light is allowed to strike the camera sensor for a certain photo. Fast shutter speeds can capture an instant in time, whereas slower shutter speeds can be used for creative motion blur.


So how does it all come together?


When you enter the world of manual photography, you open up your creativity by controlling the settings you want. Most cameras will let you shoot in four different manual [exposure] modes: P (Programmed Auto), A (Aperture Priority), S (Shutter Priority), and M (Full Manual).


Programmed Auto is a nearly-automatic mode to photograph with. The camera chooses your shutter speed and aperture for you (and shows you which settings it chose so you can learn from it), and allows you to set your ISO and exposure compensation. Exposure compensation can be set with (+/-) buttons on your camera and is used to make photos brighter or darker by changing the aperture and shutter speed – pay attention to how your camera changes aperture and shutter speed change to create brighter and dimmer photos and you’ll be on your way to learning full manual.


Aperture Priority is an exposure mode which allows you to choose your own aperture and ISO and allow the camera to select a shutter speed for you. This is a fantastic mode to use when trying to be creative with depth of field; a larger aperture opening creates a more shallow depth of field, and a smaller aperture opening creates a larger depth of field. Keep in mind that a smaller aperture will need a slower shutter to get the same amount of light to the sensor, and remember that lower numbers (f/2.8, f/4) are larger openings than higher fractions with higher denominators (f/16).


Shutter Priority is an exposure mode which allows you to choose your own shutter speed and ISO and allow the camera to select an aperture for you. This mode is great when switching between shots where you want to freeze time and shots where you need motion blur. Depth of field will vary in these photos since the aperture will be set dynamically depending on the shutter speed and light conditions.

ISO can be set manually or left up to the camera to set in a certain range in any of these modes. A higher ISO will increase the sensitivity of the sensor, which means that a photo can be taken faster, but will also include more grain. ISO varies greatly depending on the type of shot you’re trying to take, but a general starting point would be 100 on a sunny day, 200 on a cloudy day, 400 when indoors during the day, and 800 when indoors with lights on. Always experiment before choosing an ISO for a shoot, and remember that the lower you go, the clearer your pictures, but you risk getting dim or blurry shots if not enough light reaches the sensor.


In full manual mode, you choose your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.

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#90 What music do you have playing in the background?

Posted by Ashish92 on 13 December 2013 - 09:41 AM

I don't have any such particular taste for a specific genre (country comes quite close though). But when I start doing some work I just open my itunes library and set it on shuffle mode and pick up one song that I want to hear at that time and then let shuffling do the rest. 


At times I often forget what's playing in the background but it actually helps me in isolating myself from the world and letting me concentrate on my work only. 


I find songs by Bryan Adams quite good for a kickstart like (The best of me, Cloud number nine, All I want is you etc.)

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#53 Where do you find your inspiration comes from?

Posted by Adam on 18 November 2013 - 06:10 PM

I believe the easiest form of inspiration would be nature. Near me for instance, there is a fantastic walk by the river which attracts wildlife such as butterflies and the huts allow for some great viewing across ponds. You see plenty of pond life on a sunny day and plus its the kind of place where you can relax and take your mind off things which is a bonus.

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#451 Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Posted by Sharon on 12 March 2014 - 01:01 PM

Photography is a hobby that I want to have as a "serious" hobby.  I want to be that person that friends and family go to and ask if I can go to their event because they trust I take great photos but won't charge them an arm and a leg.  But more so than anything I want to be that photographer that takes certain pictures and people just naturally go "oooh that's a nice shot!"  I get that reaction now with my photos with my Point-and-shoot Samsung WB150F but I want to take my hobby to another level.  


I've been reading reviews on the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and it's gotten some really great reviews from users. My worry is I have never owned a DSLR camera before so I've nothing to compare it to really.  I hear that it's the lightest DSLR camera in the market right now which is a huge plus.  My brother has a different Canon camera, I never took note of its model but I remember taking pictures for him for my nephew's Christening and I had the camera for less than 20 minutes and my arms were exhausted! =)


What do you guys think of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1?  Would you recommend anything else?

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#45 Best way to print photo's

Posted by Shortie861 on 18 November 2013 - 06:39 AM

At the moment I currently go to a professional to print my photo's, however that can be quite expensive and I am looking at possibly doing it myself however I have been looking at printers and the paper and it is all quite confusing. Does anyone here know the best kind of printer and paper to use to get professional looking photographs that I would get from a professional place? Doing them with normal paper or just picture paper and a normal printer I have attempted however the photo's never turn out the same.

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#355 Favorite Photography Apps

Posted by Collin on 17 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

I've seen this one for Android, but I can't think of the name. It turns your camera into a professional DSLR camera by letting you set the exposure settings, lighting, focus points, and more. I don't have it installed any more, but hopefully I can find it. ;)


Let me know if you guys see any good camera apps out there; I know there are many.

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#338 First Software?

Posted by Daisy on 16 January 2014 - 12:57 PM

I started with GIMP about a year ago. I didn't see the point of spending money on Photoshop, although it looks a little better, when GIMP works just as well for what I need to do.

It runs pretty well on my computer. Usually, anyone I know with Photoshop says that it runs slowly on older computers. The portable version is also useful if you're using someone else's computer.


GIMP can do almost everything Photoshop can do - and for free. But I might buy Photoshop one day, it looks useful and I'd like to have a try with it now I'm used to photo editing on GIMP.

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#331 Site Load Speed

Posted by Phos on 15 January 2014 - 08:29 PM

Page speed is huge for websites -- especially those looking to grow and maintain a large following. According to Google Developer's, "High performance web sites lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions." This statement is true in every way. Having a speedy website keeps your visitors happy and they'll want to return. I'm a big advocate of tailoring a website to its audience, and one good rule of thumb for any audience: ease of use. Page speed is also factored into ease of use, because having a slow website means frustration with browsing.


Optimize, optimize, optimize. If your website is graphic-heavy and you don't want to ruin the aesthetics of it, optimize the images. Use Yahoo!'s smush.it tool, open up photoshop and downscale the resolution (but try to keep the integrity intact), and make use of CSS sprites. Don't have a site that looks fantastic but loads slowly. You'll end up losing those visitors after their first page load (or before).


There are plenty of free tools and plugins online that can help with page speed, so utilize them. If you can't yet afford to move away from shared hosting, opt for caching services such as Cloudflare's free program, or go for MaxCDN and spend an extra $5 a month having your images served across multiple servers world-wide.

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#326 First Software?

Posted by Eclipse on 14 January 2014 - 08:11 PM

When you first began creating graphics, which software did you begin on? We all started somewhere, either with GIMP, Paint, or even straight to Adobe Photoshop.


I for one started on GIMP. I downloaded the software to make a few graphics and really liked it. I was then given Adobe PS CS5.1 for Christmas one year and started using that. To this day I still use PS, It's very unique and easy to use. All it takes is practice and dedicated time for the practice and for learning :)

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#249 Best photo sharing site?

Posted by Photographa on 28 December 2013 - 11:55 PM

Wow, I never knew Google+ was a useful photo-sharing site, I always just saw it as the thing that nobody except me realised was infinity times better than Facebook. However, it might be worth reading through Google's Terms of Service, because its possible that you might be signing your Intellectual Property over them. It's the same reason I don't suggest people use Instagram or Facebook for portfolio work, as they make you sign over ownership of the pictures when you use those applications (it's all on the ToS).


I've heard decent things about Flickr but never used it myself. Never heard of Picasa or 500px so can't really recommend either.


I studied about copyright at my university and it's strange how the law works at times. By using these social media sites you're technically giving them all rights to your photos....except it's not in the way you'd think.


I believe that these ToS that sites use are only to protect them from liability.

  1. If Facebook or Instagram or anyone started using people's photos without their permission, or especially selling work without permission, the PR storm would be massive, and the sites aren't going to be willing to take that hit. The site's won't use your content without expressly asking your permission (and maybe offering to pay you, or at least attributing the work to you) because it's suicide from a public relations standpoint.
  2. Even if a site did this (using your content without permission) the original author could sue the site and say that the terms of service shock the conscience. If a judge decides that the terms hidden away in fine print are "manifestly and grossly unjust" then those terms don't apply. It's like sneaking something ridiculous like "You must give me your first born baby" into some terms of service - it's just weird, and even if you sign them, they won't apply. The way the sites could get around this is if they constantly remind us that they're taking all of our rights when we upload, every single time we upload. Something like this can't be hidden in the ToS.

Social media sites are trying to protect themselves against liabilities, they're not going to take your content.

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#234 Canon EOS 700D (Rebel T5i)

Posted by fantanoice on 28 December 2013 - 10:44 PM

Hey guys,
So, I recently bought this camera and it is my first DSLR camera ever (very exciting). I was originally going to go with the model below it, the 650D, but managed to score this one for a good deal brand new ($700 with a Twin-lens kit, which was around the same as the model below it second hand on Ebay).
I know next-to-nothing about cameras, but picked this one after reading some favourable reviews and because of some of its features, namely the swivel-live-view-thingy, the HD movie recording and a few other bits-n-pieces. 
Anybody else have this model? Any tips you can share about it?
Oh, and here's a few example photos I've taken with it in my beginner state. They're terrible, sorry:


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#201 Are smartphone cameras powerful?

Posted by Mr.Panos on 28 December 2013 - 03:09 AM

I have been using my cell phone's camera for years, but I always have the same question. Actually, it's not a real question. Let me explain you. I own an iPhone 5S which has 8 Megapixels, and I have another professional camera which has 12 Megapixels. The problem is that my iPhone takes much better photos than the camera. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because of the age of the camera. I bought it 3 years ago. Could someone of you advise me? What should I do to "fix" the camera? Is this camera really powerful or not?
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#185 What does a bigger aperture do?

Posted by Photographa on 27 December 2013 - 01:00 AM

The iPhone 5S has a larger aperture on both the front and rear cameras.


The aperture is the opening between the lens and the camera sensor. It's a bit like a pupil in that it can constrict to have less high make it to the sensor, or it can enlarge to have more light hit the sensor.


The big deal about having a large aperture is that a large aperture will let more light hit the sensor, which is good for low-light photos. If you don't have enough light hitting the sensor, you need to either increase the sensitivity of the sensor to light (increasing the ISO - which introduces more noise into the photo) or you need to keep the shutter open for longer so more light is collected (which increases the probability that the photo will be blurred). With a large aperture, you can use a lower ISO / faster shutter to reduce the problems of those two elements in low-light situations.


Aperture also controls the depth-of-field of a photo. A large aperture has a more shallow depth-of-field, but in terms of smartphone photography this is largely irrelevant.

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#166 Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L vs. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L

Posted by Photographa on 26 December 2013 - 01:39 AM

Both lenses are of excellent quality. You can trust that Canon's L-series lenses will be top-of-the-line with respect to build quality and image quality.


Here are each lens' unique benefits:


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L

  • You're getting an aperture that's a full F-stop larger than the f/4 on the 24-105mm. This is a huge advantage if you want to freeze motion, especially in low-light situations when you want to avoid a higher ISO. This also means that you can achieve a more shallow depth of field and create a smoother background blur.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L

  • Image Stabilization is a feature of this lens, but not on the 24-70mm. This will reduce blur from camera shake, but the 24-70mm can eliminate the blur from moving subjects in your photos (IS can't help with that) and the large aperture would allow you to shoot at a faster shutter speed, hopefully eliminating blur from camera shake.
  • 35mm more zoom.
  • 10 oz lighter, about .5" shorter.
  • Around $800 cheaper, depending on where you buy.

The choice really comes down to what you need in a lens. The 24-70mm will be superior for low-light photos and is fantastic to those who value very smooth bokeh, but the 24-105mm is a fantastic "walk-around lens." That is, it's a very versatile lens to have for many shooting situations, and it's perfect if you want a single lens on your camera that you don't switch out much. Image Stabilization is something that many photographers love because it allows them to take handheld photos at slower shutter speeds.


The choice would also heavily depend on your budget and the number of other lenses you have. There is an L-class 70-200mm F2.8 which would pair wonderfully with the 24-70mm f/2.8. If you carry both lenses and feel comfortable swapping them out when needed, you're all set for a very wide range of focal lengths and you have the benefit of a large aperture for fast shots. (The 70-200 also includes image stabilization.)


If you like the versatility of the 24-105mm f/4 L but need something for low-light situations and portraits, Canon's L-class lens lineup also includes a portrait prime lens with a large aperture for speedy shots and incredible bokeh - the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II.

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#153 Best photo sharing site?

Posted by Amy on 24 December 2013 - 12:42 AM

A lot of photographers are using 500px. It's a newer site for photographers to upload their photos for the public (in a way something like a public portfolio) and it allows photographers to set-up a store to sell their photos. The main advantage of 500px over traditional forms of social media is that it's made first and foremost for photos, so you don't get the glitchiness of Facebook and you don't need to mess with privacy settings. The design of the site is also very clean and straightforward.


Picasa and Flickr are sites where you can create albums for the public, similar to 500px.


Google+ is a cool new solution in this space that some photographers may be looking at. Google+ revamped how photos are hosted and displayed on their service, and photographers using it will have the advantage of having people "follow" a feed of their photos and posts.

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#139 Using Photoshop's Spot Healing Brush to remove unwanted objects form photos

Posted by Photographa on 22 December 2013 - 04:31 PM

In this tutorial I'll show you all how to use Photoshop's Spot Healing Brush to remove small unwanted objects from your photos, such as someone's hand in the corner of your photo or an individual in the background. This technique can also be used to remove unwanted facial features or fix spots someone's clothing.


This is a photo by Paul Stevenson that has a few pages in the background - I want to remove these pages. I'll open up the photo in Photoshop and select the Spot Healing Brush tool from the left (it looks like a band-aid).




The Spot Healing Brush is a powerful tool, but when we want to remove objects to make it as if they were never there, we'll want to use the content-aware mode of the tool. Select this mode from the top of your window.




At this point, using the tool is as simple as using the brush to brush over areas you want to disappear. Photoshop will delete those areas, and will intelligently gather information from the content around that area to fill in the blank area. This works best with a soft brush, so you don't get a sharp edge between the original content and the computer-generated content. This also works well if there's a pattern in the background, such as water, grass, or a fence.


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