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The Understand Photography Show
Photography & Software Techniques
Photography Equipment Advice & Reviews
If you are a fan of The Understand Photography Show, you know we talk about travel, nature and fine art photography. On one of our earliest shows, I interviewed travel agent Cindy Baldwin. She talked about Global Entry as an important component to making air travel easier.
Some of my buddies in the business may think it's overkill the way I like to get to an event photography job super early.
But it always pays off to arrive well ahead of a start time at conferences, weddings, luncheons, galas, headshot sessions and all other event photo jobs.
Assuming we know our profession, our gear and how to attack a job reasonably well, there is that one controllable factor — punctuality — that remains an interesting variable, rewarding us when we adhere to it and invariably punishing those who don’t.
Aperture is controlled by your lens, not your camera. Most “kit” lenses that come with your DSLR camera only open up to an aperture of 3.5 or 5.6mm.
Both Canon and Nikon make an inexpensive 50 mm 1 ...
First of all, this was the first time I (Peggy Farren) had ever done night sky photography! If you really want to grow as a photographer, befriend other photographers! I was lucky to go out with Joe Fitzpatrick, who seems to know EVERYTHING about photography, and Chris Hopkins, avid photographer and Everglades expert. Joe has been watching the sky via an app called "Sun Surveyer" and determined this is the best time to view the Milky Way in Southwest Florida. You can view it all summer but it will be higher and higher up in the sky so it will be tougher to get a nice foreground and the Milky Way later. Chris did some scouting to find a couple of good spots and Joe prepared us with astrophotography tips.
by Joe Fitzpatrick
Modern post processing software, as good as it is, still can't replicate the effect of some filters. Polarizing Filters, for example, can eliminate glare and reflections far more effectively than post processing software. Unfortunately, good filters can be fairly pricey. A good quality Circular Polarizer in the 77mm size will cost well over $100.
Simple tips to help you organize your photos.
One of the biggest problems we have as photographers is keeping our photographs organized. Some of our pictures are on our computer, our smart phone and/or our tablet. Here is a simple guide to getting yourself organized. I said simple, not easy!
Fall and winter in Florida means air shows and car shows. These events are fun to watch and draw hundreds, sometimes thousands, of attendees. This is great for the promoters of the events but presents challenges to photographers. The aircraft or automobiles are typically close together and surrounded by throngs of people. While images of attendees interacting with the displays are interesting, most of us primarily want clean shots of the planes or cars on display.
Add a little separation between your subjects or from the background to improve your composition. There are many ways to separate – you can use lighting for instance. Today, we’ll only talk about moving your body to improve your photographs.
I love some of the creative photographs I see on social media! One of the photographers in the Understand Photography Facebook group was on a levitation kick and posted several cool shots. On a recent photoshoot, I decided to try it.
I took three or four of each person, positioning myself in the exact same place for each photograph.
By Cindy Baldwin
A few years ago while traveling in Italy, I made a big mistake. I forgot to bring extra batteries for my camera. Instead of eating a stracciatella gelato while looking out on Lake Como, I spent all afternoon looking for a store that sold the right type of camera battery.
Since then, I’ve made an effort to be more prepared so that I can maximize my time while traveling. I try to cover all my bases by packing back-up camera equipment and finding a way to get through the airport as quickly as possible.
New to Lightroom presets? Read on to learn how to install presets in Lightroom.
Click here to view our video on installing Lightroom presets!
Whether you are a long time Neapolitan or just visiting Naples, you’ll see that Old Naples is filled with history. It’s really fun to walk or drive around and look at the old houses and landmarks, even more fun when you can practice your photography while doing so!
A big challenge is shooting through the fences at the zoo. How do you blur out the fence yet have the animal sharp?
Panoramic photographs are fun and easy with your smart phone. The camera automatically “stitches” several pictures together to make a super wide image. Panoramics are very easy to do. On a Droid, open your camera app, then tap on MODE. Choose Panoramic. On an iPhone, in the camera app, you’ll see an option for Panoramic.
Whatever your specialty is in photography, force yourself to get out of your comfort zone and shoot something different. I have so much training in portrait, event and wedding photography. I’ve been studying nature and travel photography for the past few years. I’m just not that interested in sports. But I love my family. My 17 year old nephew plays Lacrosse. So off I went to a Lacrosse game this week at Naples High School.
By Joe Fitzpatrick
On my recent trip to Old Car City USA I had some fun with my Speedlite and remote flash triggers. These pictures were taken in the middle of the day, but photographed to look like it was night time.
Exposure is the foundation of photography. The very first thing you need to do is to learn to shoot in the manual setting. You will truly feel lost for a long time if you don’t master exposure. Many of the internet instructors teach to shoot in Aperture Priority. While there is nothing wrong with this mode, it’s an automatic mode so you will have too many limitations and you probably won’t be thinking about the settings for each shot.
By Joe Fitzpatrick
I’ve always loved black and white images. Monochrome portraits and landscapes have a timeless, classic look. In many compositions color can be a distraction. Removing color simplifies, allowing one to concentrate on the subjects, forms and textures within an image. Lines, shapes, shadows and patterns are revealed, helping to lead the eye through the image.
A quick way to smooth out, clean up a studio backdrop in Photoshop.
By Tom Tracy
Necessity is the mother of invention, or discovery, as they say.
Last week following a periodic studio portrait session with a ballroom dance company, I was resigned to the fact that the white paper backdrop was simply going to get dirty with six dance instructors stomping around.
Tilt Your Head Slightly
Peggy Farren, a professional photographer from Naples Florida, recommends “tilting you head (ever so slightly) toward your lowest shoulder. That’s considered the “power pose” or “masculine pose”. It helps exude authority and confidence.
Peggy Farren, a full-time professional photographer and the founder of Understand Photography training center, recently stopped in New Orleans while on a road trip.
Click the story to learn about her experience there as well as see a few of her photos from her stay.
Benefits of occasionally ‘doing it someone else’s way’ as a subcontractor
Recently a buddy left me in charge of shooting one of his standard South Florida wedding jobs — a Cuban couple with “getting ready” at a landmark hotel, a church ceremony nearby with a dinner reception at a local venue where he is a preferred photographer.
Actually, it was something of a surprise to learn that this was the first time my friend fully delegated a wedding assignment to someone in his absence.
Having shot with him once or twice before and knowing how very specific he is in terms of how he does things and how devoted he is to the technical details, I pressed for a personal sit-down and review of some wedding jobs — his and mine — during which I could take notes and ask lots of questions. I wanted to minimize problems and potential misunderstandings.
Here's a super simplified explanation of front and rear curtain sync for your speedlight. First curtain flash is the default on most flashes. The flash will go off in the beginning of the shutter duration. Second curtain (rear) will cause the flash to go off at the end of the shutter duration, causing a more natural motion blur if using a slow shutter speed.
Here in Florida Fireworks are not just for holiday events. Disney World, Busch Gardens and our other major tourist attractions have turned fireworks into a nightly ritual. Photographing these magnificent displays often leads to disappointing results when you trust your ...
Can't get your newly downloaded copy of Lightroom Creative Cloud to open?
Find your Creative Cloud by clicking on Start and then All Programs.
Click Adobe Creative Cloud to open program.
Log out of Creative Cloud by clicking on ...
Is there anything more cool that a back-lit moment?
By Tom Tracy
When Peggy Farren, creator of UNDERSTAND PHOTOGRAPHY, sent me a list of possible topics for future photo-blog essays here, one possibility jumped right out and said to me ...
Creating a custom brush to use as a watermark or signature on your photographs is super simple!
Here are easy instructions in Photoshop CS/CC and then in Photoshop Elements:
Go to File-New
The width ...
Patience, planning and quick adjustments help catch the drama
by Tom Tracy
It’s a Friday in November and a monthly arts magazine has asked me to drop by for pictures of a Nutcracker dance rehearsal to accompany a holiday ...
Before the Ebola outbreak, photographing Sierra Leone & beyond
It might not be exaggeration to imagine that no one you or I know will ever again breezily visit one of the most vibrant and photogenic swaths of the African ...
How the ‘98 World’s Fair led to a destination wedding 16 years on
by Tom Tracy
I’ve long since forgotten how I stumbled onto it in those early days of internet surfing, but in the late 1990s ...
This free report will help you choose the right cameras, lenses and accessories for your travels. You'll need different equipment depending on where you are going, your finances, and the weight of the gear. We'll show you how to determine the best equipment for your needs. Also included is a comprehensive list on what you'll need, some things you may not have heard before but you'll be so glad we let you know!
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