When you see a great shot or say to yourself “that would make a great photo,” you want to be able to actually take that photo – right now. You don’t want to fumble around with your camera and lenses. Here’s a simple, simple way to take shots more quickly. (And, you’ll get better results.)
Meditation – a seemingly “new age” type of word that strikes an unhealthy fear of “hippydom” into people everywhere. No, I am not a Krishna offering flowers at an airport. Nor am I saying anything extreme here. Humor me. Let me show you how I see photography as a kind of meditation of sorts. Continue reading
The key to having an interesting photo is to have an interesting story about the photo. Every photo has a story. The story just must be thought out and written. That’s the hard part. I’ve made a template that I use and would like to share it and my thought process with you. Continue reading
Shot at 8mm, f/5.6 on an APS-C camera. The focal point was about 1/3 of the way into the frame at a point about 30 feet from the camera on the green grass where it meets the road.
Almost everything you will read will tell you that to have a great looking landscape shot it has to be sharp from front to back, and you have to shoot at f/16 or f/22 to get that.
That is not how it works in the real world with your eyes, and it is not how a camera or lens should be used either. I’ll break this down and destroy this myth. Continue reading
Sooner or later it is going to happen to everyone. Every photographer misses a shot from time to time. Sometimes often. Almost all the time, it seems, at times. Strings and strings of bad luck can just happen. Continue reading
I get asked fairly often if I give photography lessons. No, not really. But in this post is my primary method and you can have it for free. It is my gift to you.
But first, a discussion of the lessons that are out there. Photography lessons fall into only a few categories, in my opinion. They are as follows:
A great buyer’s guide if you’re in the market for some photo gear.
Source: Buying guides: Digital Photography Review
Comparing cameras and lenses before you purchase is always a smart idea. Here are some of the sites I use to learn more about lenses and cameras before I buy them. Continue reading
I’ve submitted many photos to microstock sites (sites that sell stock photos) and have had many rejections. All my rejected photos are perfectly good – even excellent. However, the microstock sites have their specific criteria, and they are very, very picky. Rejections are either for the noise of various kinds or content.
I’ve developed a technique that works to clean up the photos for submission that I will share with you in an upcoming post. As for the content, now that’s a different story, and you have to learn what these sites want before shooting and uploading. The microstock sites themselves will have content guides to help you.
With all the difficulty and prospects of rejection, why bother with microstock sites?
I’ve been reading a lot of camera and lens reviews lately, and they all label the users as one thing or another: Pro, Semi-Pro, Enthusiast, Novice, Casual User, Hobbyist, Amateur. I’m here to tell you; that’s all a bunch of nonsense. I stop reading when I see them labeling me or my equipment as one of these. I think you should too. Here’s why: Continue reading
If you shoot with a DSLR camera, I highly recommend a Ruggard Triumph 45 bag. I use mine daily. It has room for my DSLR Camera with the lens on it, and two additional lenses.
This padded backpack protects my gear while having an indispensable side pouch that I can unzip and pull out my camera at any time. It keeps me ready to shoot at all times.
Why Should You Break the Rules of Photography?
Photographs can start to look all the same. Look at any great site like 500px for example and you will find a lot of really great photos. But, they’re all about the same in technical quality and composition. Sure, different subjects, but still there is a “sameness” to them.
This is not surprising at all. Everyone in photography strives to get the best shot possible and to follow the rules of good composition. These are the things that make great photos. But it is consistently the rule-breakers that stand out in any crowd, isn’t it?
So you should stand out and you should break the rules at some point in your photography. But, when?
Werner Herzog’s “Rules” and Photography
Werner Herzog’s “life rules” (my term, not his) appear on the back of the latest book about this great film director as written by Paul Cronin. I find them uniquely suited to photography and have written my own interpretation and use of each.
I’ve read several photography books and here are my short reviews on some of them. I am mostly a landscape, nature, and travel photographer, so I have read more of these types of books than others, but there are books in here for any photographer that I would recommend! Continue reading
A Photo Critique
Here is a photo (small version above) that I posted to Nature Photographer’s Network. Click the photo or the link [here] to visit the page. It will be up for about a month after this post. There you will see the helpful critiques you can get on your photos if you post them there. I would highly recommend it, but also remember to take the criticism with care – it is not all helpful. Here are some of the critiques so far… Continue reading
If you’ve ever submitted a photo to a stock photo site such as iStockphoto, Bigstockphoto, Fotolia, or any of the stock and microstock photo sites, then you may have heard from them that “your photo has artifacts.” But what are these “artifacts” they speak of? And, more importantly, how can you get rid of them?
Some Guidelines (from my experience)
How Much Camera Do I Really Need?
The question inevitably will come up: “How much camera do I really need?”
It’s not possible to know the answer to this unless you know what you will do with the camera. But, here is a rough guide:
- Pro: the most camera you can buy for the money, dSLR, of course.
- Semi-pro: not more than a 15 Mp dSLR (Canon T1i/D500)
- Amateur: a high-end point and shoot (Canon G-series)
- Hobbyist: a compact point and shoot (Nikon L-series)
- Novice: a low-end point and shoot (maybe even just a camera phone)
This is a proven list by the way. I’ve lived it and I own those listed above.
What am I?
“But, what am I?”, you ask. Well here is another list for that: Continue reading
Why Copyright? Why not?
With the software for image processing and the cameras available today, is there any reason why someone would not apply copyright information to their photos? Why, yes, yes there is — it’s called “oversight” and “stupidity.” For as easy as it is, there really is no excuse not to apply your copyright to your images. Protect them. They’re yours.
I use Lightroom software to import and touch up my photos, and there is a provision for applying copyright information to the metadata of your image right at the point of import. I simply fill in the field that applies metadata and save it as my own preset. When the photos are imported from my camera into Lightroom, the copyright notice is automatically applied.
How Important is Light?
Light is everything. Everything. Light is everything to a photographer. Light is more important than the subject. A good subject but bad light = a bad photo. Good light wins every time. Continue reading
What is “Storm Light?”
“Storm light” is a special kind of outdoor lighting that occurs usually just after a storm has passed. The atmosphere is usually full of small particles of dust, rain, and ice, and this creates a unique coloration of the sky and land. It is one of the best, most difficult, most dangerous, and rarest of times to shoot landscape photos. Continue reading
I’m interested in making the best landscape and nature photos that I possibly can. With that in mind, I thought I would look at two outstanding sites where great photos are displayed and see what the best photos there all have in common. Here’s what I found… Continue reading
My photo of the entrance to The Peter Lik Gallery in Key West Florida just before I went inside.
Peter Lik is an amazing landscape photographer, and I’ve admired his work for years. I’ve been to his art galleries in Hawaii and Key West Florida, and the things that make his photos stand out to me are how he displays his work and how he prints them. I’ve studied his work and here’s what I’ve learned:
I’ve read several photography e-books, and here are my reviews of what I’ve read so far. Continue reading
Converting your videos to be compatible with web services such as Vimeo can be confusing. Here are the settings that I successfully use in QuickTime Pro when converting my videos to MP4 format for Vimeo. Continue reading
How many times have you had the opportunity for a great shot but missed it because you didn’t have your camera with you? Continue reading
There’s a problem with time-lapse movies that I see out there. It’s not that they’re not interesting or entertaining, but they cut from one clip to another quickly because time lapse photography compresses the time. I’d like to see a long, single subject, single scene timelapse movie that is over 5 minutes long and is entertaining enough to watch for that long. Bottom line – they’re too short, just like this post.
One distinct advantage that any photography website can have over another is the “load time.” This is the time it takes for a visitor to see and interact with the website.
If a site loads too slow, the viewer will not stick around to see the artist’s content. (click to tweet)
Here is a video that shows the load times of my site at larslentzphotography.com compared with Peter Lik’s site at lik.com:
What Does “Authentic” Really Mean?
To be truly great, fine-art photographs must be more than simply viewed, they must be felt. There must be an emotional reaction: “Oh, that’s really nice.” “Woah, what a shot!” “Wow. Amazing.” Don’t you agree? What was your reaction when seeing a great photo for the first time? Continue reading
Converting your videos to be compatible with web services such as YouTube can be confusing. Here are the settings that I successfully use in QuickTime Pro when converting my videos to MP4 format for YouTube. Continue reading
When it comes to your photos, how sharp is sharp enough? Almost everyone wants crisp, detailed photos without blur and in good focus. In addition some sharp edges look great in the right places. But how to achieve all of this? Continue reading