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WELCOME TO MY BLOG for Judith M Photography:

Tips for Creative Digital Photography and Lighting

 

JUNE-JULY 2015 Photo Tips: Geek Stuff

June 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

  1. How to type copyright symbol: © - Option G (MAC) or Alt-0169 (PC). Note that the MAC uses the Option key while the PC uses the Alt key and the numeric keyboard to the right. On a laptop, need to use the NumLock key and the substitute keypad or just use the Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop. You should add your copyright to the metadata of all your photos along with your contact info. For the Copyright IPTC info in Lightroom for example, I would use: Copyright Judith Monteferrante ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Under Usage Terms: No usage without prior explicit and written permission.
  2. For my watermark, I use my trademark Logo. The Trademark Symbol: ™ is Option-2 on the MAC and Alt-0153 on the PC. See the JMP ™
  3. Update to Lightroom CC with bundled Photoshop via Adobe Creative Cloud. You can still purchase stand alone Lightroom, but updates will not be available.
  4. New Lightroom CC features: Merge to Panorama or HDR in develop settings under Photo.  High dynamic range or HDR in Lightroom (see image above) only needs 3 exposures (-2, 0 and +2 recommended) and with merge to HDR, a RAW HDR image as a dng file is created allowing a greater range of post processing capabilities. There is also a People View that will automatically scan for faces and help you sort and name people in your photos.
  5. Other LR CC highlights: In Preferences under Performance if you have a graphics processor, this will automatically be check and increase your processing speed tremendously. I also like the ability to check the “Ignore clicks on badges” that I used to hit inadvertently. Another is the ability to correctly set the white and black point by holding down the Shift Key and then double click on the toggle switch for the Whites and then the Blacks.
  6. My favorite OLD Lightroom feature is the View Mode set up in View Options to display only Common Photo Settings (SS, F stop, ISO, focal length and lens) plus Exposure Bias. I have learned a lot of photography over the years by using this feature along with the histogram on the camera display and then to help in processing.

MAY 2015_Flower Photography

May 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Try different lighting in the studio, such as back lighting with a softbox (or use any light softened with a white sheet) behind your flowers.

Add a secondary light to the flowers themselves for emphasis.

Change the background to black with black acrylic for reflections for more drama. Digital paint for a romantic look.

When able to do outdoor photography with spring to summer flowers, try wide open apertures to get bokeh, or soft backgrounds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       f/3.2 f/3.2 f/36


April 2015 Blog_ Photography of Shopkeepers

March 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I never really appreciated rapid fire street photography but rather admired portraits of people, such as shopkeepers, that I would find in my locale or in travels. This blog will highlight some of the shopkeepers I photographed during my exploration of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Here are some suggestions:

1. Get to know the people you are photographing. Make them comfortable. Ask about their shop and their jobs.

2. I always like to give back. I return on many occasions to the same locale and bring prints for them as gifts or give them jpegs if desired for their own social medial and PR. Word spreads and the cooperation keeps improving.

3. Linger. Don't rush. Be part of the community. This will allow you time to set up for a particular photo even using off camera flash without causing discomfort or alarm.

4. Accept humble offerings of coffee, cheese, pasta etc. since they want to show you that your work is valuable to them. Show respect and they will respect you.

5. Enjoy your new found friends. Expand your horizon and try other neighborhoods that you would like to get to know.

 


March 2015_Macro Photography

March 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
  1. Remember, Depth of Field (DOF) is very different with close up photography. The closer you are to your subject the less depth of field you will have, even at small apertures such as f/22.
  2. If you shoot at a wide aperture, such as f/4 and using selective focus on one part of the subject, the rest of the subject will go soft. Thus, the eye will be drawn to the sharpest spot.
  3. Position the lens on the same plane as the subject, to maximize sharpness (parallel to the front of the lens).
  4. Fill the frame with your subject.
  5. Try for soft colorful backgrounds using a long telephoto lens. Your camera needs to be closer to your subject than the subject is to the background shooting wide open (such as f/2.8 or f/4) at a focal length of 200 to 300 mm.

2015_Become a Better Photographer

December 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Make your top priority for this New Year to become a better photographer.

  1. You do not need a new camera to take a great picture. Learn to use your camera and study the User Manual as the first step. Take the manual with you or download a digital copy to your portable device. Understand all the controls. Shoot often and rate your photos. Then reevaluate your favorites frequently. In Lightroom, save your favorites in a Collection to make this easier.

Shoot in aperture priority with exposure compensation to make adjustments in exposure as your go to setting. Learn to use manual when you need greater control, such as the studio setting with accessory lighting.

  1. Knowledge is everything. Never stop learning from reading, taking workshops, on line tutorials such as Kelby One Training. Photography is ever changing and there is always more to know. Learning lighting – available light to strobe (flash or studio) is important.
  2. Composition and design elements are the key to making your photograph compelling. Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye” is an excellent review and a great investment.
  3. I always shoot in RAW, save as DNG’s and process and organize my images in Lightroom. I still do use Photoshop CC when needed, especially when adding texture layers, masking, creating book covers with text overlaying an image or doing extensive dust or pollen removal. But then save, not save as to bring the image back into Lightroom. A big advantage to Lightroom is that it is nondestructive and you can always get back to the original by choosing Edit Original. Lightroom history saves all. In Photoshop you would need to always use the Smart Filter option.  I occasionally use SilverEfex Pro for B&W conversions and some other Nik or Topaz filters.
  4. Critique is Key to improvement. And not from family or friends. Enter competitions, juried shows, portfolio reviews and become active in art association photo interest groups. Don’t let Facebook become your only focus group. 

Please let me know what I can do to help. Would a Lightroom Boot Camp or "Learning to See the Light" tutorial help? Group or individual instruction is available. judith@judithmphotography.com.                Happy New Year, Judith

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