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Which Filters Do I Need?

As photography has advanced, filters become less and less necessary.  The old black and white photographers used a lot of filters.  Now we use very few (and some none at all).  The only filters I personally use – or that I really think are useful – are Polarizing filters, Neutral Density filters, and Graduated Neutral Density […]

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How Much Editing is Too Much?

Unfortunately, there is no answer to this question.  Different people have different ideas on this topic.  Some people want everything to appear natural, and the tipping point for them is when their photos does not.  Others couldn’t care less about that and in fact don’t want their pictures to appear natural.  Neither approach is correct.  […]

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How Can I Get Great Background Blur?

I know you want me to tell you a secret or a gadget that will get you great background blur easily.  Don’t worry – I will do so – but first please indulge me while I stress the fundamentals. Aperture Settings As you likely already know, getting a blurred out background or shallow depth of field […]

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Should I Get a Variable Strength Neutral Density Filter?

I actually do not recommend you getting a variable strength neutral density (ND) filter.  That might surprise you.  It is not that I don’t agree that they are a wonderful idea (they are), it is just that I don’t think they work properly. A variable strength neutral density filter is actually not a neutral density […]

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What Strength Neutral Density Filter Should I Buy?

Common strengths of neutral density (ND) filters are 3-stop, 6-stop, and 10-stop.  I recommend that you start with a 6-stop, but any of them will be fine. I find that a 6-stop filter is powerful enough to achieve virtually any goals I might have in terms of lengthening my shutter speed.  At the same time, […]

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Which Photo Editing Software Should I Get?

One question you might have as you start your photographic journey is which photo editing software you should get.  For a long time now, Adobe has been at the top of the chain, with Photoshop and Lightroom dominating the market.  So complete was Adobe’s dominance, that others companies were content to market their software as mere […]

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Computers for Photographers: What to Look For

If you are considering a new computer, you will want to make sure it can handle your photography needs.  Even if you are content with your current machine, you might like to see how it measures up.  How do you do that, when there are a million models out there?  And if you start looking at […]

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8 Travel Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss

This week we have a guest post by Dr. Summit Shah from Columbus, Ohio.  He specializes in travel photography and you can check out his work at SummitShahTravelPhoto.com. The Traveling Experience Traveling is a once in a lifetime experience, and there are amazing places throughout the world to visit. The differences in cultures, architecture, people, […]

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Back Button Focus

Today I would like to introduce you to a change you should make in your focus controls.  This is a change you probably don’t think you need.  Even after I tell you about it, you might not think it terribly useful.  But it is. People I have taught have consistently pointed to this change as […]

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Creating Great Photos: What It Takes

If you are reading this, it is because you have a passion for creating great photographs.  You think a lot about how to improve your photos.  You work at it.  Probably a lot.  So let’s talk a little about how to do that.  Specifically, what does it take? But First, What It Doesn’t Take You […]

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How to Photograph Fireworks

If you haven’t done it before, photographing fireworks might appear difficult. It really isn’t though. As support for that statement, I point you to the image above.  I am pretty happy with it, but I took it many years ago, very early in my photo career, with basic entry-level equipment. So this is definitely something […]

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Pier at Puerto Vallarta

  I am writing about this picture because I hope it will inspire you to keep looking when you are pretty sure you are destined for failure. I was down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. If you haven’t been there, there is a lot of beach with heavy commercial development up and down the coast. This […]

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Texas: Chisos Mountains (Big Bend National Park)

Where the Rio Grande winds its way through desolate countryside between Texas and Mexico, there is a large bend in the river. On the north side of this bend is a national park aptly named Big Bend National Park. Measured in land area, it is one of the larger national parks (over 800,000 acres). Measured […]

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