Category Archives: Information posting

Helping you learn photography. What do you need?

Learn photography | What do you want us to write?

• Learn photography – what do you want us to write? •
Let us know what you would like to learn about – we will find a way to write it up for you…

Photography is amazing…

There is so much to learn and so much to gain. You can go on learning for life and not learn everything. Every photo is a new experience and challenge. But photography can only ever be what you want. Other people will want something different. It is a uniquely self orientated activity.

What do you need to learn photography?

So much of your photography is a personal thing. As a result We want to try and meet your needs as closely as we can. I have some great ideas and some fun tutorials for this year. But this blog needs to be about you, our readers. As a result we want you to start sending in your ideas and problems. We want to see what you would like us to write. We want to address your problems.

Tell us and we will provide!

Please write to us to say what you need to learn photography. Tell us what we can teach you. Give us your ideas. Write a little about what you would find helpful. This blog is all about the way you learn photography. And. we would like to provide what you need.

Here’s how

There are different ways you can contact us to ask for an article. Try any one of these…

In a few words, tell us what you want us to write about. We will have a go at putting it into simple language. The aim, as always, is to give you the information to help you learn photography!

Comments, additions, amendments or ideas on this article? Contact Us
or why not leave a comment at the bottom of the page…

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Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Christmas 2013… and plenty more to come

Christmas is here

I intended to bring you some street photography shots of happy shoppers. I was out watching the final dash for the Christmas presents. However, after ten minutes my camera battery went.

Well that’s not a problem. I swapped it for another and started again. Hmmm! The camera, an old Canon 350D, steadfastly refused to start up. It would only show me the battery was charged. I changed the battery for another – just in case. This time I got a brief “Err05” and then it died again.

Undaunted

No camera. This is not a problem! Undaunted, I whipped out the smart phone.Then I spent a happy hour capturing the best of the happy shoppers.

Now picture this… I am sitting in a car at a WIFI hotspot. I am trying to upload the photos to my laptop. The laptop completely ignores the phone. The phone tells me it is “Not tethered to any USB device”. Well… drat!

Sometimes things go wrong even if you have a backup. I have two other cameras 12 miles away. But no broadband connection there. And, it is late on Christmas Eve. Sometimes blogging is hell! But, I am still smiling.

Supportive

This year, you, the readers, have been exceptionally supportive. I get a great deal of positive comments and thanks through Twitter, 365Project, Google+ and other channels. I also get comments here on the blog. So many positive things are said that it keeps me hard at the keyboard.

Courses next year

Many of my readers and friends have asked if I can start opening up my training courses more. So next year I will be doing a series of one day courses. To start with I will be running some courses on ‘going manual’ with your camera. Also, I am planning courses on portraiture and composition. So look out for those announced on these pages. Some other exciting things will be happening on this blog too so keep watching this space.

Thank you all

I want to send you all my Christmas Greetings. Whatever your beliefs or your holiday activities are about, I wish you all the best of the season and to have a great time over the next few days. I also wish you all the most prosperous and enjoyable New Year. But more than that I hope you have an excellent year ahead of great photography!

PS… Don’t forget to say Happy Christmas in the comments below!

Meanwhile, I think I will be upgrading an old camera  Camera sales after Christmas. External link - opens new tab/page shortly.

Your part in the amazing explosion of photography

Daily number of photos uploaded 2005-2013YTD

• Daily number of photos uploaded 2005-2013YTD •
Source: 2013 Internet Trends – KPCB  External link - opens new tab/page

Photography is about you and several billion other people.

The global phenomenon that is photography is growing at an incredible rate. Online posting of photographs is on-trend to double every year. In fact the number of photographs posted daily is literally mind-boggling.

Figures out

Published May 29, 2013, the “KPCB Internet Trends 2013 Report” by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers quotes some astonishing global figures for use of the Internet. The report publishes the graph above showing more than 500 million photographs are posted every day to just four online providers – Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. The figures are all derived from data published by the four companies.

Facebook the biggest photo-site

According to the report the biggest holder of photographs is Facebook. The social networking site handles more than 300 million photo  External link - opens new tab/page uploads per day. More than fifteen percent of the global population uses Facebook with more than sixty three percent of those using the site every month.

Despite the tsunami of photographs being posted online every day we must expect that many more photographs are not being uploaded. It would not be unreasonable to expect more than a billion photos are taken being taken worldwide everyday. Although the actual figure must remain speculation.

How many Internet devices are there in your house?

The KPCB Report gives figures for a wide range of global growth rates. Mobile Internet use and general mobile use has exploded too. Many families have more than ten Internet enabled devices in the home – computers, games machines, mobile phones, cars, televisions, tablets… the list goes on. Against that backdrop, photography is not an unusual growth case.

Video

Another area of growth of interest to photographers is video. A few weeks ago YouTube topped 1 Billion viewing hours in a week. In some countries young people are watching more YouTube than TV these days. Calculations from figures in the KPCB report suggest that about 1,008,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each week. This is corroborated by the YouTube statistics page: YouTube Statistics page  External link - opens new tab/page. Certainly the video channel is becoming a global phenomenon as it appears to be taking on TV and winning  External link - opens new tab/page. However, there are also many other online video websites.

How many other photosharing sites are there?

There are thousands of photo-sharing and publishing sites globally. I personally publish photographs on seven different sites. How about you? One thing is for certain. The global growth industry that is photography has not yet peaked.

The KPCB report in full

The report is in slide form which I have included below for you. Alternatively you can download a readable *.pdf version: KPCB_2013_Internet_Trends_052913.pdf  External link - opens new tab/page


KPCB Internet Trends 2013 by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Published May 29, 2013

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Can you write? Of course you can!
Write for Photokonnexion...

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Find out more…
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Art in photography has old roots

Is there art in photography? •  The debate has raged for as long as there has been cameras.

• Is there art in photography? •
The debate has raged for almost as long as there has been cameras.
[Image from the video below].

Today photography appears more realistic

Perhaps that is more true than at any time in the history of photography. Modern cameras give a very powerful reflection of the scene. Yet, today the artistic element in photography is as alive as the art in say, the history of painting. What is not so clear is just what we mean by “art in photography”.

Much of the modern wave of photography is about snapping the ‘picture’; just capturing what you see and moving on. However, the committed, artistic photographer, sees more in the frame than just the picture. The images we capture show form, shape, expression, balance – lots of intangible things that are not necessarily about just getting the picture and moving on. They saw the art in photography.

The art in photography debate

Early in the history of photography this very same debate raged. Some saw photography as being “realistic” and therefore not containing artistic elements. Anxious to establish photography as an art form in its own right the Pictorialists worked with the raw elements of the medium. That is particularly with lenses and negatives. They manipulated them to make the picture resemble the hand-made craftiness of paintings and drawings. They tried taking away the “realistic” look of the final picture. They were almost converting it to some sort of hand-drawn picture or a painting. They were turning the picture into an art form. They deliberately tried to create art in photography.

Perhaps this manipulation did make an art form out of some pictures. However, the basic point was missed by the Pictorialists. The underlying picture still needed an artful arrangement to carry off the translation into a ‘crafty’ final image. What the photog saw needed to be artfully seen in the frame.

Abstracts and the art in photography

This short video shows the arrival of an alternative school of photographers. The school of “Straight Photography” acknowledged the power of the camera to represent the world with a realism other art forms did not have. At the same time, Straight Photography revealed that through capturing reality you can see through the artists eyes. They went to great pains to retain the element of reality, clarity and sharpness in the pictures. Much of their work would today be recognised as abstract.

The Pictorialist emphasis was on shape, form and expression rather than the every-day and mundane view of the world we see with almost every blink of the eye. They went to great lengths to see things the ordinary picture did not show. They emphasised beauty in simplicity. The shape and form in the abstract was an important focus. It was about a new way of seeing detail by careful framing of every day objects. They created images that showed the ordinary reality by an extraordinary interpretation. True art in photography.

Pictorialist and Straight Photography


Debbi Richard

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Ten simple ideas to help your portraiture improve

Video

Video

Straight forward portraiture advice is difficult to come by…

In the video we have some great ideas that help you to map out a great Portraiture session. This is straight advice aimed at getting you to a good quality completed portrait as directly as possible.

I have to add that the book advertised in the video is also a great book. It is packed with some excellent ideas and written in a simple and easy-to-read way. If you are interested in following up on the book I can highly recommend it. My copy is pretty dog-eared these days!

 

Portrait and Candid Photography: Photo Workshop This is a great book packed with lots of hints, tips and ideas like the ones below. A really worthwhile read.

 

Ten points at the core of good portraiture

In the video Erin Manning highlights the importance of the following ten points…

  1. Don’t fix your subject in the middle of the frame. Instead, think about the rule of thirds – a more dynamic outcome.
  2. Poses and “cheesy” words to force a smile are false and make the photo look strained.
  3. Make your clothes simple and un-distracting. Forget patterns and fussy details. Simple solid colours help the subject to stand out, not the clothes.
  4. Avoid straight on shots with a big flash. The open pupil in the eye will cause light to reflect back to the camera and show bright red eyes… You don’t want your subject to look like red-eyed monsters. Use red-eye reduction settings if your camera has them.
  5. Vary your poses, angles and heights. The more angles you get the more you are telling a story about your subject. Get them in many different ways.
  6. Use flash to help reduce harsh shadows. The sharp sunlight of the middle of the day is very unflattering. The use of fill-in flash softens the shadows bringing out the subjects character.
  7. Look for great quality of light. Remember that hard light (harsh edges and strong contrasts) is very unflattering. Shoot in the later afternoon or early morning to get soft light with better colours. Use shade to reduce hard light if you are forced to work in bright mid-day light.
  8. Don’t stand too close and use a wide angle lens. This exaggerates the nose. Stand away and zoom in. This reduces nose size and is much more flattering. (Great advice).
  9. Pay attention to the background. If it is too busy make sure there is nothing distracting. Check to make sure the background has not created odd effects like poles sticking out of heads and flowers in ears!
  10. Make sure you have enough battery capacity and memory card space to cover the whole session. You don’t want to lose any shots when you are in full swing.
Erin Manning’s Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Great Portraits


Erin Manning

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

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Easter competition… two days to go – still time to win Prizes!

• Competition pictures •

• Competition pictures •
Spot the difference between the two pictures…

Spot the difference competion…

Over Easter we ran a simple spot-the-difference competition for prizes. Compare the pictures (full versions on the competition page). Pick out fifteen differences (from a total of twenty). You could be a winner!

Want to know more?

Just click here and have a look at the pictures… simple!

 

 

Pure white featureless skys? How to tone them down…

• Cokin neutral density filters (graduated) •

• Cokin neutral density filters (graduated) •
A quality set of filters that can be adapted to fit any lens size.
Buy: Cokin H250A ND Grad Kit

When your sky is too bright its a problem!

You lose all or most of the detail and your foreground is starkly highlighted by the blown out sky. The way to overcome blow out like this is to use various techniques with neutral density filters. All landscapers come across this problem at some time. The best way to overcome the issue is to tackle it head on in-camera. The best way to do that is to use “graduated neutral density (ND) filters”.

What are ND filters?

Neutral density filters are glass filters that you reduce the incoming light. They do this without affecting the colours in your shot. For blown out skies you want to reduce only the incoming sky light and allow the foreground to expose properly. The Graduated ND filter will allow you to achieve that.

In the picture above you can see the top half of each filter is dark. The bottom half is uncoloured glass. The trick is to place the filter in front of your lens. Place it in such a way that the line separating the dark and light lies on the horizon between the ground (proper exposure) and the bright sky which will be toned down by the filter.

If the sky is blown out in your picture the light is brighter than the camera can cope with. Normally that will be two stops of light or more above your exposure of the ground. The ND grads. normally come in three strengths. ND2 (two stops), ND4 (four stops) and ND8 (eight stops). Each stop of filtration is equal to half of the total light. An ND2 reduces the light by a quarter. An ND8 will cut down the incoming light to 1/16th of the light.

Video – Graduated ND filters for Landscape Photography

In this short video Tony Sweet demonstrates how he balances the dynamic range of a landscape composition using a graduated ND grad. filter working in a wooded valley. He wants to brighten the foreground with a long exposure. This would lead to the distant trees being too bright and would show burnt out spots. He uses a great technique to make the right light conditions…

Recommended purchase

I have been using Cokin filters for years. They are high quality filters that fit into a filter mount screwed onto the front of your lens. I prefer this type of fitting. It is simple to change filters and you can adapt graduated filters to the position you want quite easily. Round filters are far less adaptable and tend to be much more expensive.

If you want to buy an ND grad set of filters here is the kit I recommend…
Cokin H250A ND Grad Kit

You will also need to buy an adaptor for your lens to fit the filter mount. You can buy them singly…
Cokin filter mounts and lens adaptors

You can also buy a complete adaptor kit so you can adapt your filters to fit any one of your lenses…

 

 
If you feel like going the the whole way you can buy a kit that will cater for all your filter needs (including mount and adaptors) try this great kit…

 

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Can you write? Of course you can!
Write for Photokonnexion...

We would love to have your articles or tips posted on our site.
Find out more…
Write for Photokonnexion.