Author Archives: InCamera

File format – which type is right for photo-editing

Lone Walker Misty Morning. © Silke Stahl (with permission)

Lone Walker Misty Morning. © Silke Stahl (with permission)

Applications usually have a file format associated with them. Editors, like Photoshop, are no different. The native Photoshop file format is *.psd files. However, image editing applications can also use, and work in, a wide range of other file formats. So, what is going on?

Most applications have a native file format. That is because that application needs certain data and abilities which are built into the format. So, programmers designed an optimised file format so storage and data-use in the application is efficient. That means files can be manipulated or re-used quickly and successfully.

Many applications are able to use a variety of different formats of the same class. Image programs are a case in point. We know the common file formats for web images quite well. Examples are *.jpg, *.gif, *.png and *.webp. In general, these files are so common that most image editors can work with them.

Specific design

Those four web file formats are specifically designed for use on the internet to display images. They hold only the data that is specifically retained for showing the image – there is very little other information in the file. Web image files like these four types carry quite a small amount of data. An Internet picture can be quite a small file size. Whereas, a graphics file from an application like Photoshop needs much more information, structure and data. Such files, in Photoshop (*.psd format), may be a 1000 times larger than Internet *.jpg files.

Fit for purpose – dump the data

Web display file formats, like *.jpg, are intended for use on the internet because they are small, easily transmitted and quickly displayed. An image editor file is used storing and manipulating lots of data. However, it is just too large to transmit and display on the Internet. That is true even at today’s high Internet speeds. We routinely use *.jpg images of around 1000Kb (1 Mb) and it only takes seconds to render it in our browser from the Internet. However, when browsers were first invented transmission speeds were much lower. Back then, a 100kb image could take 3 minutes to render. Consequently, keeping file size down was really important.

Image file formats like *.jpg were optimised for web use and not for image editing. When image editors make these web files they must reduce the file size. So, the image editors literally dump all superfluous data to create them. These file types are generally dubbed ‘lossy’. That is because, when they are created all the data that is irrelevant to the actual display is dumped or lost.

Today, we may use *.jpg files of 1 Mb or more and they render quickly. However, a modern Photoshop file could be 100 Mb or more. If every image was in the Photoshop format (large files), images displayed on the internet would take minutes to render in your browser. A nightmare for web surfers! So, we still need these web-optimised image files.

Each file format has a purpose

Photoshop files have a very sophisticated file format. They handle large amounts of data as well as accurate and varied graphical parameters. They are also optimised for editing changes and to manipulate that data for specific output purposes. But, they tend to be very large files!

Canon, the camera manufacturer, does not want to design high quality image editing software. That is not its business area. Instead, Canon want to define an image format that will quickly gather large amounts of image data and organise it into a data file for storage. Then, output that data and quickly store it. Next, the camera can get back to doing what it does best – the next photo. The RAW file format is specifically designed to quickly capture and store data from the on-camera sensor/computer system. RAW is not designed for editing purposes. Editing files are huge and slow down the file-making process. Not good for a camera!

As a result, we use RAW to load the data into an image editor like Photoshop (a sophisticated editor) or IrfanView (a simple image handler/editor) and edit it there. Photoshop creates its own file format to work with the data it has loaded. So, it makes a *.psd file. Do your editing in that format. You can save your work in that format too. You can even print in that format.

Working with *.jpg files

A less sophisticated editor, like IrfanView, does not have a native graphical file format. Instead, it will load the RAW file which is output from your camera. However, it will create a *.jpg file for editing. Unfortunately, *.jpg files have to lose a lot of data when they are created. Consequently, the ‘lossy’ format causes that file type to be much less editable.

In common with most other image editors, IrfanView can also save in a range of file formats. However, it works in *.jpg and converts the results to other image file types if you need them. The result is always based on the original *.jpg file. Thus, the editing ability is limited.

Knowing which editor and file format to use

The image at the top of this page is by one of my students, Silke Stahl. The image tells a great little story. It has good compositional structure and the atmosphere she has captured is well balanced. However, while editing the image in IrfanView, she wanted to saturate the reds a little to give more atmosphere to the early sunrise. Great idea!

IrfanView is a brilliant application. It can do a huge range of image related things and it is really fast. In fact, I have used it every day for more than 20 years. However, it is not a very sophisticated image editor. It is intended for very quick, basic and low level edits.

As IrfanView works only with *.jpg, its colour management control is limited. The problem that Silke experienced was compounded by the edits being carried out in *.jpg format with its limited capabilities. So, using IrfanView and *.jpg, Silke could not get the control she wanted on the colours and colour balance across the image. Hence, the heavy cast of red across the image. She would have been better working with ‘Curves’ in Photoshop. That facility would allow her to adjust image colour and tone, as well as contrast, with great precision.

Which file format should you use?

This raises an interesting point. We know we cannot use the original RAW file format for image editing. So, should we save the file out of Photoshop as a *.jpg file optimised only for display? You could do so. However, you are limiting the potential to make further changes at a later date. This is because, as soon as you output a *.jpg file from Photoshop it is degraded by all the data it dumps. Worse still, every time you re-edit a *.jpg file it will dump more data and degrade further. The quality of the visible image can be significantly affected.

Editing *.jpg images is very bad practice. That file format is not very flexible in editing, giving you very little ability to make changes. The file contains only limited data about the original scene because of the ‘lossy format’. For best results, edit *.jpg files as little as possible – or better still, not at all. If you need to make changes to your *.jpg file, go back to the high quality graphics file (eg. your Photoshop *.psd file). Make your changes in that file format,save it, and then output/save a new *.jpg version for use on-screen or on the web.

The output file format matters

You will notice that image editor applications have a wide variety of file format types they can export. The web types like jpg, png, gif and webp, are only intended for display and internet rendering. There are many other types of image files. However, each has different properties and are used in different ways and applications. Here are the specific properties of the files we use for display and web use…

  • A *.jpg image file is relatively small for quick transmission, but it cannot provide transparent backgrounds. Thus, it is sometimes difficult to use on some web pages.
  • As a format, *.png is similar to *.jpg but can have transparent areas so the webpage to be seen through the transparency.
  • The *.gif format can have very small file sizes but a limited colour range. So, it is great for cartoon like images, and little animations.
  • Recently developed by Google, *.webp *.webp | External link - opens new tab/page format is smaller in size than *.jpg and *.png but has the advantages of both.

Wikipedia lists over 1500 file types Wikipedia lists over 1500 file types | External link - opens new tab/page. Just over 100 of those have a file format for some sort of image display, printing or manipulation. So, knowing how you want to use your image is critical. Then, picking the right file format for that purpose is also critical if you want to get the best out of your images.

Best practice
  • Export the RAW file format of image data out of your camera.
  • Save it as your unspoiled data storage for that image.
  • Try not to use *.jpg files from your camera as you cannot edit them effectively.
  • Open your RAW file in a good editing program (say, Photoshop) and do your edit work.
  • After editing, create a file saved in the native format for your chosen editor (e.g. *.psd for Photoshop).
  • For future edits, printing or changes, or to output to a different file format, go back to your *.psd file and re-export in the file format you need.

Enjoy your editing, and do it using the right file format!

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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 photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

10 Ways Photography Can Positively Contribute To Your Mental Health During the Pandemic

10 Ways Photography Can Positively Contribute To Your Mental Health During the Pandemic

Mental health is important to all of us. Undoubtedly, the best way to keep yourself positive is to do something you enjoy. Do some more photography during the pandemic. It can be a big benefit to your outlook.

Mental health is something everyone should, literally, keep in mind. With the COVID-19 pandemic, communities at large are facing plenty of life-altering effects. The immediate concerns are the physical effects of the virus and its complications. Furthermore, there is wide spread evidence of a rapid increase of psychological distress globally. Any sustained pressure in society leads to difficult behaviour. Consequently, the most common mental health issues arising from the outbreak include stress, anxiety, uncertainty, frustration and depression.

In a study made by QJM International Journal of Medicine QJM International Journal of Medicine | External link - opens new tab/page, the escalating new mental health problems are associated with the general fear and long lasting public anxiety over the spread of COVID-19. In addition, inadequate information provided by the media also increases the feelings of hopelessness and desperation. The abnormally elevated levels of anxiety are further associated with negative consequences. These include harboring of desperate thoughts and suicidal behavior.

Tough restrictions take their toll

Strict quarantine protocols have lead to feelings of frustration and made a lot of people feel frail and helpless. The data on the same study by QJM revealed more. Among individuals who were quarantined, frustration, boredom and loneliness are thought to cause an impairment of the subjective well-being and the overall quality of life. Furthermore, other Medical Journals have noted mental health concerns. These include sleep disturbances and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | External link - opens new tab/page. Unfortunately, these Mental health impacts can last, not only during the quarantine period, but even into the long-term.

The impact on mental health brought about by the rapid spread of the pandemic is enough to clearly recognize it as a major health priority. What should we do about it? There are still no official behavioral strategies to help reduce the dramatic mental health problems induced by the pandemic. Nevertheless, you are encouraged to take personal measures that can somehow alleviate the mental health consequences.

What can we do about it?

Thousands of studies have revealed different methodologies to care for people suffering from mental health problems. Unfortunately, the current Covid-19 protocols make it difficult to easily access mental health treatment options. So how does one cope with a personal mental health issue?

Reducing the stress is difficult. However, it does seem to be a most effective way to fight mental health issues. During the initial lockdown, and since then, relaxing activities at home were encouraged. An absorbing hobby or interest is said to reduce boredom and uplift your spirits. A study by Lancaster University researchers found that Engaging in photography significantly improves a person’s well-being Engaging in photography significantly improves a person’s well-being | External link - opens new tab/page. The visual arts have long been studied for their positive effects on both the physical and psychological health. Photography is a form of self-expression in the visual arts. Consequently, photography can contribute to your ability to maintain or reconstruct a positive outlook.

The benefits

Taking up more of your time with photography will have effects on improving both physical and mental health. To illustrate how photography can be a great benefit to those facing mental health struggles, especially during the pandemic, we have identified these benefits of photography…

1. Photography improves self-care habits

Dr. Liz Brewster of Lancaster University and Dr. Andrew Cox from the University of Sheffield have done a study that revealed how taking pictures daily and sharing them with others can actually improve self-care. Doing something new develops into a new habit. The process is therapeutic and makes a person feel refreshed. Furthermore, it keeps the brain busy by making it think about creative photos to take every day. (See: Daily photography improves well-being – Brewster & Cox, 2018)

2. Photography encourages community interaction

Making valuable connections significantly improves a person’s well-being. Taking pictures and sharing them to a community, like a social media group, helps you to meet new people with the same interests. Photography becomes a common ground that can spark conversations, make connections, and eventually find support to fight loneliness and boredom.

3. Photography makes an individual reminisce

Photographs capture unique moments. The pictures you take can help bring back memories from the past. At the same time, your photos bring back the positive thoughts that go with those moments. This is one reason why people who are feeling sad or depressed look through old pictures. It is an effective method to, somehow, lift the mood. The point is, photography is a lovely way to make memories as well as, looking back, to remember them in a positive light.

4. Photography provides a beautiful vision of the world

Every picture tells a different story. Taking pictures lets you see a unique beauty all around you. As you review your shots you will get to appreciate those things you once took for granted. You discover your environment with a renewed vision without even meaning to. The greatest thing about it is that photos let you freeze the beauty that you see as you take photos of the world around you.

5. Photography keeps the brain in great shape

The brain, like other body parts, gets old. Photography is a good exercise to keep the brain healthy. According to research by Professor Denise C. Park from the University of Texas, photography is an activity that demands high-cognition. In her study, participants who engaged in digital photography are able to enhance and improve their episodic memory and reasoning skills. In short, photography can help you ‘use it’, rather than ‘lose it’.

“Although there is much more to be learned, we are cautiously optimistic that age-related cognitive declines can be slowed or even partially restored if individuals are exposed to sustained, mentally challenging experiences.”
Mentally challenging activities key to a healthy aging mind Mentally challenging activities key to a healthy aging mind | External link - opens new tab/page

6. Photography can help the body get moving

Photography typically encourages exercise. If you go out and walk around in the hope of taking great pictures of the outdoors – you are exercising. This allows the body to burn calories, especially when you need to climb a tree, get closer to a subject, or do any physical activity that helps you find a good shot. Walking, especially in the hills, is great exercise and a great photo-opportunity too. Moreover, while getting fitter, you are improving your mental health.

7. You get to enjoy what you love even more

It is natural for a photographer to take photos of something that is of interest to him or her. The interest keeps you more engaged. As you become absorbed in an enjoyable experience you also see your interests in a different perspective. Absorption and engagement gives you a rewarding feeling that can boost your happiness.

8. Photos are positive mood stimulants

A study titled The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature | External link - opens new tab/page, art therapy can help reduce cortisol, a hormone that can cause stress in the human body. Photography is a form of art. Taking a good picture, therefore, makes a person feel relaxed. Consequently, taking positive photos helps you see the world differently and will keep you motivated.

9. Photography improves creativity

Activating the brain through photography is possible because it does not only awaken creativity. It actually lets the brain process different thoughts and encourages the body to translate its emotions into photos. The activity also promotes curiosity and gives you the courage to try out different techniques to improve every shot. As mentioned above, sustained, mentally challenging experiences help keep your mental processes active or even improve them. Of course, photography includes lots of challenging mental experiences – learning, observing and creating – to name but a few.

10. Photography gives you a sense of direction

Especially during the pandemic, people worry about the uncertainty of the coming days. Photography somehow eases you out of the daunting thoughts by making you look forward to what you will photograph next. Instead of brooding about what is in store, taking photos lets you enjoy each moment, guiding you to be positive. Think about your photography and get excited about the next day – that is a great step toward positive mental health.

Additional Tip:

How to Take Photos & Be Creative During Quarantine

By picking up a camera, you instantly challenge yourself to get creative. The problem, however, is that there are limitations set to maintain social distancing and lockdown protocols. Because taking outdoor shots may be challenging for some, here are some practical tips for photographers that you can do to enjoy photography while in quarantine…

Photo editing

Explore different methods of photo editing. For those who are working from home or are taking online classes, you may have a bunch of time in your hands. Use it to learn about improving your photos. You may enroll in online classes or explore any photo editing app that you currently have. This will allow you to revisit old photos and have you attempt to enhance them using what you have learned. Remember, learning is great for your mental health.

Photograph food

There’s no better time to actually appreciate the chance to enjoy cooking and eating than being in quarantine. Get creative with your meals and transform them into fine art photos. Eating AND photography – what could be better!

Go black & white

One way to develop your photography skills is by shooting in black & white. Most digital cameras have a setting for monotone shots. Try it with your family or pet as the model and try to hone your skills with this technique. Alternatively, you could try converting old photos to black & white in a photo editor. Your photography will improve by looking at your photos in a different way. In addition, new ideas and approaches is good for your mental health.

Take a photo scavenger hunt

This is a fun challenge that you can do at home to help occupy your time. Make it a contest. Get your family and friends and create a social media group where you can upload and see each others’ shots. Mix and match your ideas with others. In short, have a great time, and improve your mental health and well-being. (Download: Prepare a Photo Scavenger Hunt).

Get creative with a free background remover

Instead of brooding about not being able to get out, you can use a background remover to edit your photos. You can bring the outdoors into your pictures. Lighten the mood by editing yourself into travel destinations. Get a good laugh by having a virtual group picture with your friends and make it look real with a new background. There are tons of creative things you can do once you remove the background from the image. Once again, laughing and community are great for your mental health.
 

The value of photography is greater than just the pictures

Photography can help you to express yourself. However, it has become a lot more valuable during this pandemic. It can help you personally focus on positive life experiences, reduce stressors, and enhance self-worth. Photography is absorbing and interesting. The engagement you get from this hobby is important, especially as the world has gone through so many changes in the months since the outbreak started. Focusing on photography somehow gives the mind and body a sense of balance. As a result, you are ready to face the day with positive thoughts and attitude.

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Post contributed by :: Jenn Pereira

Jenn Pereira is the Product Designer of Removal.AI, an AI technology used to remove background from images. This tool also comes with a free online photo editor that allows users to create diverting graphics, banners and images. She is passionate when it comes to designing and creating new ideas to help brands and small businesses realize and achieve their goals through innovative product, UI/UX design application and strategic digital marketing.
Website: Removal.AI Website: Removal.AI | External link - opens new tab/page

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Seven Easy Photography Tips With Simple Props

Simple props  Seven DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects | External link - opens new tab/page

Seven DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects
(Image from the video)

Use your imagination

You are a photographer right? Then your imagination must be one of your key assets. So don’t just use it with your shots, use it to find simple props too. Think about how you can make your shot better without buying new expensive stuff. Go DIY. Just look around your home for inspiration. Here are some tips to get you started.

Simple Props – just look around you

When we are working on our shots we often think only of the difficult shot, the ‘different’ viewpoint, or the unique perspective. With all aspects of our photography we try to bring something different to the shot. Something to make our viewers think. Something to give them a new insight.

Often ordinary things in our lives inspire a new way of looking at things. In each of our houses are many things we can deploy as simple props in our everyday photography. The video below shows us some of those things and how to shoot with them. But it is not too much of a push for us to look at other household objects as inspiring for our shots. Here is a list of the sorts of things that can help you get started on some new ideas…

  • A pile of books
  • Kitchen tools
  • A candle
  • Chess board and pieces (or other game)
  • A toy
  • Drawing pins (or any stationary)
  • Cut glass ornaments

With a little imagination you use simple props to make some extraordinary shots. I am sure you have many such items you can use for your shots.

The key to using simple props…

There is nothing extraordinary about the simple props I have listed. What will make your shots different is how you use these things. You can start very easily. Get some ideas together first as inspiration. Try these links. The phrase in quotes was entered into the search engine:

Personally I find stationary is great for photography. It definitely provides simple props to work with. Here is an example of my own…

Simple props  Bulldog clip - When you are different, make sure you stand out! | External link - opens new tab/page

Bulldog clip – When you are different, make sure you stand out!
[Click the image to see it full size on http://365project.org/

Spend a little time playing with the phrase you put into the search engine. You will quickly expand the range of images you get as examples. Draw your ideas from the pictures you see. Then set about working on how you are going to use your simple props as you make your image.

7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects – the video


Uploaded by: COOPH

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Family day out – three tips to help you remember

Family day out :: Try not to take formal shots on the beach

• Family day out •
The memories are preserved better if you have relaxed shots. Don’t ruin the day obsessing about your photography – make a story. Forget the world class aesthetics and concentrate on the stuff of memories.

Capture the spirit of the day out.

The “Family day out” is one of the important bonding moments for a family. When you get to your destination the family relax and spend time doing what they enjoy. Memories are made of great days out. And, your pictures of the day make for wonderful memory-moments when you look back.

Often photogs out for the day tend to line people up in stiffly-posed formal positions. The informal clothing and location put these poses at odds with the scene. And it is not all about great aesthetics either. The family day out is more about people enjoying themselves than it is about achieving a world class image.

Here are three tips to help you get the most out of your family day out memory-shots.

Family day out – the candid moment

It’ll be fun, especially if you have the children there. So the most important thing is to get them doing what they enjoy. There is a problem though. You’ll never get a memorable family day out image if you spend the day fretting about getting it all just right.

Sometimes as photographers we get rather precious about poses, backgrounds, set up, simplifying scenes… It all has to be right. But does it really? Capturing a family scene is about your memory. Great aesthetics are one thing. Seeing your loved ones in a memory popping moment is another. So, relax your high principles – for the sake of a family memory moment.

Family day out :: candid moment

• A quiet moment at lunch •
Catch your loved ones in a candid moment. Tell a compelling story of your family day out.


There are lots of different aspects to photography. Instead of being an over-bearing photographer consider a different way. Just do something for you. You could make a great family day out miserable by regimenting them just so you can record it.

Alternatively, you could make the whole experience a vital and unique series of captures. Spend your time documenting what your family are doing. Catch them really enjoying themselves. Leave them be, spend your time getting the candid moments when they are most absorbed. That way you will see the deeper aspects of their character as well as making your shots tell a compelling story.

Capturing people doing what they enjoy

Doing what you enjoy on a day out is very character revealing. If you capture your subject in a moment that reveals their inner self then the shot is more memorable for you. It’s still in the spirit of the candid moment. Don’t interrupt them – capture them in action. It helps tell the story of the day. It also will help you remember the context of the shot and what you were doing at the time.

Family day out :: Capture your loved ones doing what they enjoy.

• Making pictures •
Capture your loved ones doing what they enjoy. It helps make the story of your family day out more compelling.

Family day out – vista shots – story continuity

As the family photog you can be happily engaged in your interest while the rest of the family pursue theirs. So don’t forget to have a good look around. There are plenty of things you can be photographing as well as your family. This is your chance to make your photographic skills come out. You can obsess all you like over the detail of things you photograph while you leave the rest of the family to have their fun.

Take in the vista too. Make sure you look at the surrounding area. Capture the things that interest you and others in your family. Think about how to put your “family day out” story in context. So make sure you take some shots of the scene and the surrounding areas or activities taking place. If you take the time to do this through the day you can build a story line with your pictures. It will make a great album for you all to remember your family day out for years to come.

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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+.

A ten point plan to “think photography” all day

• Unlock your potential - think photography all day •

• Unlock your potential – think photography all day •
Almost everything has texture, pattern, depth, contrast and interest for the eye. It is a question of lighting, composition and bringing out its potential. Find ways to think photography all day to help you develop the right techniques and skills.
(Click image to view large).

Improving and learning takes thinking and practice.

Each day we should focus on doing plenty of thinking to help improve our photography skills. It does not take long and it’s fun. You can fit it into things you are doing through the day. The idea is to keep you focussed. Here is what you do to help you “think photography” during your day.

1. Think photography :: Change your thinking

Try to think photography in a positive way. Photographers need to be positive. Always look at the light side. Don’t let your mind drag you down. Ignore the negatives and obstacles. Look at the good things, the easy ways and fruitful outcomes. Practice taking time to be positive about a situation where a negative thought popped into mind. When negativity looms, think of your favourite photographic situation and picture yourself there.

2. Think photography :: Problem solving

Photography is a problem solving skill. Pick up your camera. Now find some object to photograph. Find a way for the light to come at it from a low angle and from the side. It is this basic skill that gives you the shadows and contrasts you need to give an object texture. Do this daily. Do it even if you do not have your camera. Think photography by visualising what you would do if you could photograph it.

3. Think photography :: Appreciate a good thing

Make sure that every day you find a way to spend a few minutes appreciating the aesthetics in something. Lots of things have simple texture and pattern too. Look for them and find a way to bring them out. Do this even if you don’t have a camera to hand. Just thinking about it helps you get in the right frame of mind. The picture of a lock and bolt on a garden shed above is an example. Creative lighting and exploiting texture and shadow made a picture suitable for this article!

4. Think photography :: Watch television

Watch television. Yes, that’s right. Watch TV. I am sure you will find it illuminating – literally. Some of the best lighting and photographic tricks are on TV every day. Look for them – side lighting, top lighting, rim lighting, mood lighting, pattern lighting, catchlights. There is lots more to look for. You can use your leisure moments to improve your photography. (See also: A little known idea that will help your photography every day).

5. Think photography :: Do some reading

Each day, devote some time to reading a page or two of a photography book or an article online. Gradually things will begin to come together. It will help you keep thinking about improvement and new techniques. At the time of writing there are over a thousand articles and definitions on Photokonnexion. Try one of those!

6. Think photography :: Look at photographs

See if you can look at 50 photographs each day. Ask yourself questions about each one. Why you like or dislike it? What is the photographer trying to say? What is the theme? Why is this photo published? What composition tricks have they used to draw your eye into the shot? Which forms of perspective, shadow and light have they used to create depth? There are lots of other questions. Find as many ways as you can to analyse the shots. Really try to get into the photographers mind. You will really learn a lot about you, and how you “think photography”. (See also: 50 ways to improve your photography – every day! and also: 15 great links for you to see 50 photos a day).

7. Think photography :: Go back in time

Reprise one of your old photos. Why was it good, bad or indifferent? What could be done better? What were you thinking? Is there really something in the this picture worth shooting? Ask yourself the same questions as in 6 above. Really give it a harsh review. You will learn a lot about your own style and improvement.

8. Think photography :: Give yourself a treat

Make a photographic treat for yourself every day. Think of something you can make for your still life photography. Check out an article about a new camera. Look up an old friend. Among other things tell them about your photography. Buy a treat for your evening meal. Then think about how you could cook it and present it ready to be photographed. Find lots of ways to reward yourself in the context of photography. It will help your enthusiasm.

9. Think photography :: Keep a shot-list – add to it daily

Make a list. Every day try to add a shot you want to do. Try to imagine a simple plan for how to do that photo when you get a moment with your camera. Get ideas from Google images, magazines, television, books – everywhere.

10. Think photography :: Go to sleep

Photography is a great pursuit. It is also relaxing. Before you go to sleep at night close your eyes. Then think about how it felt to make your best image. Plan how you can have another success like that. You will sleep well and have some great ideas!

Keep your day relaxed and on focus – think photography

This post is really about finding ways to spend your day doing lots of things. But in the background keeping your passion fired up. Most of these things you can do while no one else knows you are doing it. But at the same time you are learning and having new insights. Its fun to spend time doing your hobby while your boss is sounding off or while you sit at your desk. Wow! Now that is the way to think photography!

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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+.

Make a new image – create a synthesis

Seaside Lady • A new synthesis on the streetart

• Seaside Lady By Paul Donohoe •
A picture from my Friend and fellow blogger Paul Donohoe  External link - opens new tab/page. He has hit the nail on the head. The added context really makes the scene. Look for ways to add to the image. Make the scene your own by creating a new synthesis.

Thinking about artworks.

A piece of work by someone else makes a great photo, or does it? Maybe, but in a way it is just a record, not a true expression of your view. Anyway, often a photo of an artwork loses something in the translation to a photo. Maybe you should be thinking of adding something to it.

Creating a synthesis

The person who created the original artwork or scene has gone to the same or more trouble you have. When you take a picture of their work you need to think about who is creating the work. A straight picture of another’s work is a sort of theft. However, in the context of the picture you can really make something of the scene – a new synthesis.

In the picture above you can see that Paul Donohoe  External link - opens new tab/page has waited to capture the lady. She is not obscuring the art work. On the other hand the slightly odd pace gives it a new feeling. It is as if she is fleeing the scene. The whole picture, art work and lady, are something new. A synthesis of the original art work and the new aspect to the scene.

A judges view of the synthesis

I have often seen great pictures of sculptures really marked down in photo competitions. They are really a record of the art work. Not the expression of the authors thought on the art. Judges don’t know what to make of that. Who are they judging the sculptor or the photog?

I once heard a judge make a great comment about how a new synthesis matters. In the North of the UK there is a beach with random statues of standing men. Each day the tide comes in and out. The men stand on the sand, stoically staring out to sea. Submerged, or not, they present a simple but powerful image of man watching the world go by. One photographer had taken a picture of one of the men. Boring. The judges comment was illuminating. He said, “When you see them standing there in the cold and wet like that you just want to warm them up. What this picture needed was a bright red scarf around the statues neck”.

On that cold and dreary morning the bright scarf would have made the picture outstanding. The addition would have make it both the expression and the art of the photographer. Yet the new synthesis would have left the statue as impressive as before.

Look to make the scene yours

No matter what you see you always present something of yourself. You cannot help but interpret the scene. When looking at the artwork of others the attention is lost from your picture to the art you are capturing. So, make the scene yours. Find a way to add something or change the scene so you are putting your stamp on the situation.

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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+.

Everybody Street… a new documentary about street photography

Video

Video

Documentary released for Film Festival.

Released at the “Hot Docs International Film Festival”, Everybody Street is about the street photography art of New York. Focusing on a range of street photogs it opens up the everyday reality of street photography.

The trailer for the documentary has been released and provides an insight to what may be in the documentary. It shows some stunning shots and some powerful insights. However, it also takes a rather voyeuristic and antagonistic view of street photography. While I personally don’t aspire to that approach there are others that do.

I believe that to act as an antagonist on the street is both dangerous and unnecessary. Personally I believe in respect, contact and participation in the street scene. But I do acknowledge that there are some people that take a different view.

I think it is worth seeing this documentary and I hope that one day it will be widely available. For now I leave you with the trailer. See what you think. The video is just over two minutes.

EVERYBODY STREET – New York City

Everybody Street Trailer from ALLDAYEVERYDAY on Vimeo.

Visit the website for the documentary at: http://everybodystreet.com/  External link - opens new tab/page

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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 photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.