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The ‘What’ and the ‘How’ of great photography!

This video by Joel Grimes ties in nicely with one of my prior posts about How to Become an Outstanding Photographer. Joel talks about what makes a great photograph, and his main point is that photographers get sucked into the technical side too much. Creating a great photograph is a creative process, above anything else. Of course, the technical side is important, but all the photography gear, all the shooting techniques and all the post-processing tricks are just tools. It’s your creative vision that counts. Therefore, you should ask the ‘What’ questions before you ask the ‘How’ questions.

Sunset Palace

Sunset Palace

Solitude Palace is a beautiful place just outside of Stuttgart, Germany that has become one of the recreational attractions. It’s a great vantage point to view across the Württemberg lowlands. The palace has been built in the 18th century as a hunting lodge and summer residence. This is actually one shot from an entire bracketing series shot for an HDR image, but I decided to use only one of the frames to demonstrate the power of the Easy Preset System.

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How to become an outstanding photographer

Wow, that is a bold title for a blog post, isn’t it? And I bet you’re expecting a fool-proof list of actions that will make you outstanding – maybe a list of gear or a set of techniques that will take you there. But what I will tell you in this post is of a different nature. It is not about gear or techniques – it is about you and your attitude towards photography or any other creative passion you may pursue.

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16 Top Photography eBooks to Step Up Your Game

What’s the best way to invest in your photography? You may buy a new camera, some lenses or a crazy new tripod, that’s for sure. But will this make you any better as a photographer? You have to be strong now, because the answer is… wait for it… NO! New gear is great, and we all have a gear acquisition syndrom to a some degree, but the only thing that will really make you take better pictures is Education!

In this post, I am sharing mini reviews of 16 asweome photography eBooks with you. These are all premium products, and you will not get them for free, but you can get them for an incredible price in the next few hours.

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$2,000+ Photography Tools for $89 – Less than 12 hours to go!

If you’re not living under a rock, you’ve probably already heard about the incredible deal that the team at 5DayDeal offers until October 20th (today!): A $2,000+ bundle of photography resources for only $89 (95% off). In this post, I will give you an update as we are on the finishing straight. There are less than 12 hours to go before this bundle deal will be gone forever. If you have not snatched your copy by now than… well… it’s time to act.

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Zack Arias – One Light 2.0 (Full Review)

Lighting a scene in-studio or on location can be an intimidating task, even for an experienced photographer, and even more so for a beginner. Most professional shoots that you see and read about are incredibly complex using multiple lights, a whole set of modifiers and some expensive props. How in the world are you ever going to pull off something like this?

If that’s what you feel like, than this video course by Zack Arias is perfect for you. Zack shows you how to light a scene with one light and one modifier. That’s all it takes to – as Zack himself puts it – take pictures that don’t suck.

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The Secrets of Frequency Separation Retouching

Frequency separation retouching is an amazing technique for separating two main tasks of retouching in general: editing the fine details in your image and editing the tones, shadows and colors. In many cases, it can be hard to get both right at the same time if you are using conventional retouching techniques. If you are using the frequency separation technique in Photoshop, however, you can divide your image into two layers: one that only holds the fine details and one that only contains the tones and colors. Those can then be edited separately and independently of each other.

In this featured video, Aaron Nace from Phlearn.com shows you how to use frequency separation on a portrait in Photoshop.

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Shape the light in your photos with Photoshop and Camera Raw

In this excerpt of a CreativeLive class, Jack Davis shows you that the lighting that you captured in your images is not carved in stone. He shows you an interesting HDR workflow where he blends three exposures from an interior scene. Instead of simply merging them and letting the tone mapping decide what the final look will be, he takes control by blending them manually. By doing so, you can create light where you want it and give a scene a whole new mood.

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How to hold your camera correctly

The way you hold your camera while you’re shooting has profound effects on the quality of your photos. Remember: If you are shooting hand-held, you are the tripod! It’s surprising to see how many people are actually having trouble with that.

Now, as with most things in life, it’s hard to give you a definite right and wrong here. After all the exact way you hold your own camera is still depending on you and your body. But there are some best practices, and in this article, I will share how some professionals go about holding their camera when they are shooting hand-held.

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Starbursts – How to create and control them in your photos

Starbursts can be a nice feature in your photos – especially in landscapes and night shots. But somehow, they seem to show up only infrequently and randomly, right? So how to you create an image that purposefully has a starburst in it to improve your composition and give your photo some additional interestingness?

In this featured video, John Greengo explains what you could almost call the science of starbursts. Now, personally, I had a few rules of thumb on how to actually make them appear in my photos, but John has a whole lot more to tell you. Check this out if you want to make better use of these little dots of light in your photos.

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