Best Photography Sites for Photographers

Here is my personal collection of what I consider some of (but not all of) the best sites for a photographer to use: Continue reading

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How to Shoot Better Photos More Quickly

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.)

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Photographic Meditation?

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Meditation

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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

Take Better Sunrise and Sunset Photos

Sunrise and sunset photos are among the most photographed things in the world. It is a natural thing for anyone to shoot these because they are spectacular. But I see a lot of sunrise and sunset photos that are poorly exposed or just shot wrong. Here’s an easy way to shoot them. Continue reading

Why Shooting Landscapes and Nature is Better at f/11 or Less

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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.

Not true.

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

A Free Photography Lesson

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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:
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Back-Button Focusing and Why You Should Use It

back of camera

Back-Button Focus

Ever want to be able to switch from shooting a static landscape to shooting action without having to worry about changing focus modes? Want to capture moving objects in crisp focus? Use back-button focusing and you can have it all. Here’s how to set it up. Continue reading

“Photo Editing Overview – Caribbean Sailboat” by @larslentz of NegativeMoments.com on Vimeo

Here is a video showing my edit of one of my photos. In it, I show you the software I used, the basic techniques, and why I did what I did.

Watch the video in the player on this page, and switch to full screen to see better. HD also helps see more detail.

Thank you for watching!

Microstock Photo Rewards and Rejections

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?

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Photo Artifacts in Stock Photography Submissions

“Artifacts”

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)

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Expose to the Right? NO! Go left!

Exposure

“Expose to the right” has been a popular saying and method of exposure for digital photographers for years, and it works in some cases. I’ll show you how to go the other way and make it work also. Maybe the time of “expose to the right” is almost over (in some cases). Here’s why… Continue reading

GoPro Camera Settings for Videos and Time-Lapse

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Testing the GoPro Video Camera Modes

The GoPro video camera has a lot of video modes and settings for shooting videos and time-lapse sequences, so how can anyone know which settings are correct? This was my dilemma, and it kept me from shooting anything because I didn’t know what settings to use. But, I said “screw this” and just went ahead and shot with whatever. By trial and error, I think I’ve figured out what works best. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading

Speeding Up a Normal Video to Simulate Time-Lapse

Speeding Up a Normal Video to Simulate Time-Lapse

This is a video of downtown Budapest that has been sped up to three times normal speed. To see the difference between it and the original, normal speed video, I included the normal speed video below also.

How I Made This Video – Speeding Up a Normal Video

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Another Still Image Time-Lapse – This Time Without Motion, Without Panolapse

Another Example: Sunset Time-Lapse – GoPro Still Image Conversion Method Using Only GoPro Studio

This is a time-lapse video of the sunset as taken from my front yard using my GoPro camera, same as the previous one [click here to see it], but this one I make without using Panolapse. I only used GoPro Studio. So, there is no motion shown. Which do you like better?

More About This Video and a Question for You

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The Still-Image Time-Lapse Video Production Method

An Example: Sunset Time-Lapse – GoPro Still Image Conversion Method Using Panolapse

This is a time-lapse video of the sunset as taken from my front yard using my GoPro camera. As it was a day to night transition, it was challenging to minimize the flicker and achieve the “Holy Grail” of time-lapse.

How I Made This Video

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The Video Time-Lapse or Hyper-Lapse Production Method

Driving Time-Lapse (a.k.a. Hyper-Lapse) – GoPro 4K Video Conversion Method

This is a time-lapse video of me driving from my garage into town (Williamston, MI) with a GoPro on my car roof. Click here to see a photo of my GoPro camera on the roof of my car. (This video looks really good at full screen and in HD, by the way.) It is sped up 21.978 times normal speed.

How I Made This Video – The Video Time-Lapse Video Production Method – An Alternative to Traditional Time-Lapse

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Camera Lens Filter Effects You Can’t Get From Post-Processing

Software can do a lot to post-process your photos, but it can’t do everything. Sometimes, you just have to use a filter on your camera to achieve certain photos. Here are what filters you will absolutely have to have on hand in order to get those shots! (click to tweet) Continue reading

How to Make Your Camera Settings Before You Need Them

Mode dial with custom settings of C1 and C2 shown.

Mode dial with custom settings of C1 and C2 shown.

I often take my camera with me, and rarely know exactly what I will be shooting. The best photos are not planned ones. How frustrating when I have to stop and set-up my camera. Here’s one thing that I do to make sure I am ready to shoot: Continue reading

Behind the Shot: Ludington Beach

Ludington Michigan on the West coast of Michigan’s lower peninsula is a beautiful lakeside city. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, it attracts visitors who are eager to get away from the cities and towns, and who are looking to enjoy the lake.  This photo was taken on the beach at Ludington, late in the day.

I got down low for this shot because I really wanted to capture that look and feel of a late summer day on the beach. However, the land and sky were hardly cooperating with me! I made do though and here’s how…

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Unfocus for Composition

When setting up for shooting a scene, evaluating your composition can be tricky with all the elements of the scene popping out at you. Try “unfocusing“. I do not mean to un-focus your camera. This has nothing to do with your camera at this point. I mean “unfocus” your view – through your eyes. Continue reading