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Posts tagged ‘how -to’

No-Edit Methods to Improve Your Photos

No matter what type of camera you use, from the old school film units to modern digital SRLs, or disposables to your phone, there are a few things you can do that will not require doing any edits and will improve your photography.

1. Do not always center your subject

In many instances, a subject positioned slightly off-center can be more appealing. See my article on the Rule of Thirds.

2. Do not always shoot in either landscape or portrait

If you are shooting with a standard camera, the tendency might be to go with a landscape shot and rarely switch to portrait. This is the opposite for cell phones. Change things up once in a while, you will be pleasantly suprised.

3. Do not use your flash on default

When at all possible, you should avoid the flash. This is because it tends to cast hard shadows and wash out the people or objects in your photos.

My latest e-book “Pesky Shadows, Pretty Shadows”

During March, I completed my latest effort in e-literature and am excited to share it with you.

Just like my other e-book from 2011, “Making Beautiful Photography,” this one is something of a how-to guide when it comes to the art of photography.

The new work is called “Pesky Shadows, Pretty Shadows” and is available now. Among other things, it focuses on the use of light and how it pertains to the issue of shadows, both good and bad, within a given image. There are also tips and tricks on how to make the most of soft shadows while doing your best to avoid the harsh and unflattering ones.

If you are interested, check it out!


How’d the photographer do that?

Have you ever had a photo capture your eye

and then wonder how the photographer accomplished the effect within that piece of art? For a lot of us, this happens fairly frequently. And if you’re really interested in finding out how that particular image came together, what do you do?

In this digital age, it’s quite possible that your first instinct is to turn to Google or whatever else may be your preferred search engine. However, in many cases, you may not be able to find what you need with a simple “how to” style search. Even if you do get results, there’s a good chance you’ll end up finding some conflicting information. No need to worry though, there is a much easier way to figure out what a you’ll have to do in order to get the qualities you love into images you shoot on your own.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Flickr. For those of you who haven’t, it’s a photo storage and sharing tool with a bit of a social networking quality as well. The site has undergone some awesome visual upgrades lately but one of its coolest features still remains. That would be the ability to see the technical details of each image. With this information, it should be pretty easy to recreate an image similar to those you admire so much.

You’ll be able to tell exactly what shutter speed, aperture, ISO and more is the combination that produces the desired result. All you have to do is go out and find an image (on the site) that you want to emulate and go from there. Sure, some photographers may not like the fact that you can access this info. But the way I see it, it’s like sharing with and learning from other professionals and not really any different than when someone posts a Photoshop tutorial on Youtube. And besides, photographers essentially OK this when they decide to sign up of the site in the first place.

Check out the video I have created below to find out how to access this information for yourself. In this case, I used a model photography shot that I took myself but it works the same for every image throughout the entire site.

Writing for your blog – keep it simple

As any of my long-time readers probably know by now, as well as anyone who has run a blog for themselves has likely found out, not all methods of writing are created equal or appropriate for any situation.

Blog writing is no exception and thus  is an animal unto itself.

blog writers

Here are some tips

Blogs tend to be either informative or entertaining:

As such, chances are that your readers/viewers don’t want a challenging read. They prefer to pick up something new quickly and with relative ease.

Don’t write like an academic:

Using an old-school example, print newspapers often feature content geared toward about a 4th grade reading level. Even the elite papers rarely go beyond that of the standard 7th grader. While you don’t want to insult your readers with over-simplistic content, there is no need to write the next War and Peace or  The Odyssey. If a person is looking for something like that, they won’t be coming to a blog to find it.

Avoid being technical:

No, I don’t mean writing about the tech industry. What I mean is that when possible, blog writers should avoid using jargon or terminology related to a specific industry or field. These types of terms and phrases can make for a more difficult read and also turn off anybody who may just be starting to learn about your topic.

Brevity and flow:

With any online resource, keeping your content flowing well and to the point is a major asset for any of your readers. In today’s world, people want quality information in a quick and concise manner.

Last but not least K.I.S.S.:

The acronym K.I.S.S. can  be used as either (Keep It Short and Sweet) or (Keep It Simple Stupid). Both phases are intend to mean that any person trying to convey a message, and in our case blog writers, would be best served by avoiding going overboard with details and keeping the content easy to follow and understand.


How to have an epic time at your favorite music festival

Guest Post By Courtney Cummings

When attending a music festival, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made in order to guarantee that you have an epic time.  It’s not as simple as buying your over priced ticket and finding a designated driver to make sure the weekend ends safely.  You need to plan plan plan ahead.  Here are a few tips from a music loving, hipster avoiding festival veteran.

love photo

1)      Do not go with people you don’t LOVE.  This seems like it would be an obvious tip, but you must make the distinction between the friends you like to hang out with and those who you can actually tolerate for three inseparable days.  Nothing is worse than being stuck to a kid that can’t handle the heat, has claustrophobia or is just way too high maintenance.  Look for people who are drawn to the same bands and don’t mind taking a backseat to the bands on stage.

bottled water

2)      Drink TONS of water.  Nothing is worse than being “that guy” who goes to the hospital because they didn’t drink enough water.  When attending a festival in the heat, you are going to get dehydrated.  Nothing good comes out of that.  So just remember that you would rather be listening to music than have an IV strapped to your arm with some unattractive nurse at your side.  Water is free.


3)      Don’t let people know you’re just looking to party.  Music lovers plan their entire year around music festivals.  After it is over, they spend weeks on end reliving the experience and wishing that they could wake up from this dream that is reality.  If you are just looking to get drunk with your friends and don’t really care about the music, do not let anyone figure it out.  People will hate you, and there is no way you will achieve that coveted first row spot.  Remembering the amazing acts before your eyes is a must!

comfy clothes

4)      Wear something you’re comfortable in.  Too many people go to these shindigs as if they are walking the red carpet.  Yes, it is awesome to look like an over-styled hippie but not today folks.  It is important to take into consideration that there will be mud, sweaty people and ketchup that falls from your hot dog.  Make sure to be happy with your look, but keep the designer bags at home.

look up on google

5)      Look up bands you don’t know.  It’s the best feeling in the world going to a live show and knowing every word to every song.  Let’s get real.  This is rare for many people going to a massive festival.  Familiarize yourself with the artists that strike your fancy.  It is always so much better that way.  Also, get to know the smaller up and comers.  Festivals serve as an excellent opportunity for small bands to get exposure.  If you check them out early, you’ll be able to tell everyone that you knew of them even before they made it big.

crazy crowd surfing concert

6)      Do something you won’t regret.  Going to one of these large events is one of the best things you will ever do.  It is the ultimate celebration of youth and freedom.  Embrace it.  Don’t be afraid to jump a fence or make the muddy grounds your personal slip-n-slide.  The festival security is nearly nonexistent.  In ten years, you will not kick yourself in the butt for crowd surfing or meeting your favorite band.  Take advantage of this opportunity to be in the moment.

How to convert images to Black and White effectively in Photoshop CS5

Method 1

The fastest method, can also use the shortcut Command+Shift+U on macs, and Control+Shift+U on PC’s

Step 1

Select your layer, then navigate to Image>Mode>Grayscale

Step 2

When prompted, select the discard button. We can always use command+z to undo any steps, so don’t worry.

Method 2

Step 1

By navigating to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Hue/Saturation you can change the image to black and white while maintaining control over values. This method is also referred to as “nondestructive” because it can be reversed at any time (as long as it’s saved as a PSD).

Step 2

With the Hue/Saturation sliders on hand, lowering saturation, hue, and lightness values can give you a customizable black and white image.

Tutorial provided by CJ, a talented Photoshop enthusiast and intern for Three Rivers Creative Arts .

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog focusing on the wonderful world of all that is artistic.

From concert reviews for how-to tutorials, this blog will cover everything from photography to literature to music.

Stop by and check us out frequently for some new material. And, don’t forget to ad your two cents with comments.

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