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By Jeff Carlson | Monday, January 05, 2015

Want to Be a Better Photographer? Get Out There and Shoot

To be a better photographer, go out and shoot in your neighborhood

“What’s the most important thing to know about photography?”

The woman asking was in the back of a touring van with me, two of a dozen photographers bouncing along the highway between destinations on a photo workshop. She was relatively new to photography, enthusiastic about making images with a new DSLR that she was only just beginning to understand how to use.

I think she expected me to answer with something about lens choices or camera features. I had become an unofficial geek consultant during the workshop, happily fielding questions about camera gear, iPads, Macs, and software. Those things naturally shuffled through my brain, but after a moment I changed tack and said, “To go out and do it.”

Even as I spoke, I knew that sounded like the most obvious, clichéd, bumper-sticker answer one could come up with. Just do it! Carpé diem! Seize the sunrise! All that.

But to be a better photographer, you’ve got to develop and nurture a photographer’s eye. And to do that, you need practice, which means going out and making photos.

By Joseph Linaschke | Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shoot Great Macro Photos — with a Cheap Plastic Cup

WhiteCupMacro_02_assembled

Have you ever shot really close-up hand-held macro photography and struggled with keeping your subject still, holding your camera steady, or avoiding harsh, ugly shadows?

I’m going to show you how to solve all of those problems in just a few minutes with nothing more than a plastic cup and some scissors.

By Kristin Ellison | Friday, August 22, 2014

Pixel Playground: Spruce Up an Interior Shot

PixelPlayground_61

This week, Bert walks us through how to improve an interior shot by adding a door under the sink, lighting the candle, and cleaning up here and there.

By Joseph Linaschke | Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shoot Macro Photos — with a Pringles Can

PringlesCan_10

Macro photography requires a big investment in lots of expensive gear, right? Well, maybe not. With a little creative thinking, you can save money by doing some amazing things at home.

A ring light is an expensive but incredibly useful accessory for shooting flash photography of close-up objects. If you aren’t ready to invest in one, but want to play around with one, try this:

Using nothing more than a Pringles can and a few common household items, I’ll show you how to create softly lit macro photos with a pop-up flash.

By Jim Heid | Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shooting macros with your phone: The Practicing Photographer

Using the Easy-Macro lens band

Watch The Practicing Photographer at lynda.com.

Cell phone cameras are compact and convenient, and they deliver better image quality than ever.

But what phone cameras aren’t is versatile. For example, their tiny, fixed-focal-length lenses usually can’t focus very close. Several companies have come out with close-up attachments that let you shoot macro photos with a phone. But most have two disadvantages. They can be on the pricey side—$60 and up is a lot to pay for a tiny lens that you may not use all that often. And they tend to be designed for a specific model of phone. If you switch brands or upgrade—or if your family mixes and matches models and brands—you’re out of luck.

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