From Digital Photography School – Best of 2015 Beginners Photography Tips

From Digital Photography a great compilation of their best guides to photography, including:


Lots of great ideas!



Monthly reflections – October 2015

October had lots of excitement, including the publication of the travel stock photos article in Digital Photography School, now with over 900 shares!  Also had the two photos I submitted accepted at the Ann Arbor Women Artists Fall 2015 Juried Show at our local district library.  I was told at the opening reception that there were 175 submissions and 75 accepted, so I’m pretty pleased getting accepted the first time.

I submitted some of the photos from the one day of large enough England photos so the Shutterstock site is up to 1366 images, some progress:

Shutterstock October new

Logos still the overwhelming winners in popularity, though you can see some of the Holland, MI shots among the top, and the flu shot and time change reminders made an appearance:

Shutterstock October popular

As for what is coming up, yesterday I submitted some of the Iceland photos to our College’s literary magazine, so fingers crossed on that one!

Best wishes on your photography adventures,


Milestone – Article based on stock travel photography in Iceland to be published in Digital Photography School!

So back in June I went to Iceland, had a wonderful time… I participated in the GREEN Energy Program then spent a few extra days driving around and taking photos of anything I wanted to, glorious time.  I didn’t write my usual tips article based on my experience for this blog because I proposed an article about stock travel photography to Digital Photography School‘s Tips and Tutorials section and it was accepted! I just learned that it will be published on the 20th of October. I’ll update this entry with a link to DPS when it comes out.  Update October 19th – you can find the article here.

So I saved the tips and my best photos for the DPS article, but here are a few other photos to give you a sense of what a lovely country Iceland is. Many of these photos were taken while on guided tours with Ardar, aka Addi, the best guide ever at South Iceland Adventures.

Got to see lots of waterfalls, such as Seljalandsfoss:

Hvolsvollur, ICELAND - JUN 15: Seljalandsfoss waterfall, shown here on June 15, 2015, was one of the stopping points in The Amazing Race 6 competition in 2014.

Hiked Sólheimajökull glacier:

SOLHEIMAJOKULSVEGUR, ICELAND - JUN 15: Sólheimajökull glacier, shown here on June 15, 2015, has retreated about a kilometer in the past decade.

Had a great time going on a puffin viewing hike at the Ingolfshofdi nature reserve: 

Atlantic puffin looking right, with straw in his beak, gray background

Got up close with an Icelandic horse:

Iceland 8 horse blond head

Had a great time at the Glacier Lagoon:

Iceland glacier lagoon

Beautiful country, lovely people…  You can also see some of my Iceland photos at my Shutterstock site.

October 24 update – Change featured image to a screenshot of the icon for the article at DPS. So cool to see it published and to have some readers stop by the blog and learn from past blog articles!

From DPS – 10 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography

Gavin Hardcastle has some great travel photography suggestions in this DPS article  Suggestions include:

1. Focus on faces

2. Shoot fast

3. Learn the lingo

4. Hire a translator

5. Smile and make friends

6. Ask for permission

7. Choose the right lenses

8. Carry two cameras

9. Step out of your comfort zone

10. Take responsibility for your own safety

You can see more of his terrific photographs in his Fototripper blog.

From DPS – 7 Tips and Etiquette for Taking Portraits in Public

Mujahid Urrehman gives some great suggestions in 7 Tips and Etiquette for Taking Portraits in Public.  Interesting comments enrich the conversation. The tips include:

1. Show your presence

2. Engage

3. Ask permission

4. Remember people

5. Show the results and make people feel good about themselves

6. Respect their possessions

7. Say goodbye and inform them of the use of their photo (legal)

Interesting comments add to the discussion. I have been surprised by how many times I am asked to take someone’s photo when I’m on a photo shoot, often they are just happy to pose and then walk away.  If circumstances seem appropriate I offer to email them the photograph – I’ve done that a few times and they seemed to really appreciate getting them.

From DPS – Digital Photography Tips for Beginners

Digital Photography School has a great set of tips for beginners along the categories of:

Basics of exposure

Learning to Use Digital Camera Settings and Features

Handling and Caring for a Digital Camera

Other Beginner Photography Tutorials and Tips

Common Digital Photography Problems and Questions Answered

I have found their short tips to be very useful, I encourage you to take a look –  here

From DPS – Digital Photo Editing Workflow – Better Images From Capture to Output

Just read a great summary in Digital Photography School of the complete process from the time you take the picture to the final photo. They discuss these steps:

Capture – Composition, lighting, exposure, focus

Pretty happy with my focus, work to do re. exposure, always learning

Import – Storage, file naming, database, backups

I used to have this compulsion to include in the file name one letter reminders of the stock photo sites each photo got into, my workflow got a lot simpler then I realized it didn’t matter… I use Carbonite as my back-up because it just happens automatically, you don’t have to remember to do anything. SO glad I had it when it looked like my hard drive might have been fried. Turned out to just be a bad cable, but good to not have to sweat it while waiting to have it looked at, and not having to worry I could have lost pretty much my whole photography business…

Organize – Selections, ratings, collections, metadata

I don’t go with folders, maybe I should, but the first word in my file is typically the location or key word, works for me…I definitely include the metadata

Develop – Crop/straighten, tone & color, sharpening, remove artifacts, creative effects

They cover this in great detail, nothing to add.

Output – Destination?, file settings, delivery

In my case, as you know, it’s the stock photo websites, starting to explore some framing…

To read more details and see some great photo examples, see Digital Photo Editing Workflow – Better Images From Capture to Output

From DPS – Top 10 Mistakes that Cause Blurry Photos

While we’re on the theme of avoiding blurry photos, here ‘s another article I think you’ll find quite useful. The causes they focus on are:

1. Your shutter speed is too slow
2. Not using a tripod
3. Bad camera holding technique
4. Your aperture is too wide
5. Not using autofocus
6. Not focusing in the correct place
7. Using the incorrect focus mode
8. Not using manual focus
9. Junk on or in front of your lens
10. Poor lens quality

Read the article for more details and example photographs. I’m still working on focus modes, the others I’ve definitely dealt with and am getting much better on. One step at a time…

From DPS – Ten go to editing tips for using photoshop

From the folks at Digital Photography School, some quick photoshop tools that might save you lots of time. They discuss:

1. Duplicating layer masks for other adjustment layers

2. Adding a curve adjustment layer with a difference

3. Dodge and burn

4. Layer comps

5. Stamp visible

6. The “place” command

7. Patch tool

8. CMD+T or Transform

9. CMD+T+Warp tool

10. Opening second window for the same document

Learn more about how they use these time saving tools here and share your favorite photoshop tips in the comments section below.

From DPS – How to Master Your DLSR in One Afternoon

Digital Photography School has another great article for beginners, this one gives an introduction to

Shutter Speed

These are the three components that determine how much light gets into your camera, and discusses each component’s effect on other factors such as focus area, noise, and focus, with good examples.

Read it here

From DPS – 5 Photoshop Tools to Take Your Images From Good to Great

From the folks at Digital Photography School, 5 very quick and easy to understand tools that will get your photographs that “pop”. They discuss the following tools:

– Shadow and Highlights
– Levels
– Color balance
– Hue and saturation
– Vibrance

which are pretty much the tools I use most of the time. Check them out here

From DPS – Learning about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, aka the Exposure Triangle

I mentioned Digital Photography School as an excellent resource for tutorials. They recently celebrated their 8th anniversary and posted their 15 most popular tutorials.

Three of these are some great tutorials about ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, which are the three settings that determine how sensitive the camera is to light (ISO), how long your shutter is open to allow light in (shutter speed), and how big an opening you have for that light to come in through (aperture, which affects how much of your photo is in focus). I encourage you to check them out:

ISO settings in digital photography

Introduction to Shutter Speed in Digital Photography

Introduction to Aperture in Digital Photography

Then let me know what you think in the comments!