If you would like to submit photography or photo restoration tips to this blog, please email me at KevinRetouch@gmail.com.

We will gladly provide a link to your website or blog along with your contribution.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

40 Outstanding Award Winning Photos Around the World

By David F. Bezold
This mountain lion’s favorite spot is a large rock formation where he rests in the late afternoon. I waited patiently until he stared directly at me.

Erwin von Arx – Science

By Majed Sultan Ali

JoHanna Wienert (Newport, OR)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Most Important Photography Tip

There are many composition tips recommended by photographers, books, courses, workshops, blogs, etc. Everyone talks about them and they are certainly important and basic to create images that are not boring and that have a WOW factor. We also mention them in our blog and in our Photo-Tip-of-the-Day simply because they are important and secondly because the more you hear about them you will eventually learn how to apply them.

Composition rules are basic guides that tell you how an image will go from dull to exciting. Rules are also meant to be broken, but you have to learn why and when to do so. Some of the composition rules are even difficult to understand, you need a scientific mind to do so and I will not go into those. For me photography is an art so why complicate it even more.

Photographers already have to deal with color, light, contrast, detail, depth-of-field, modes and many other technicalities. At the end of the day you might be able to learn and apply all the tips and techniques but your images might still not be the ones that win photo contests, that get published, that get exhibit or that simply make you sigh.

The most important tip that hardly anyone talks about is ‘Train Your Eye’. The eye of a photographer is his or her most important tool. Train your eyes to see light and you are on your way to creating awesome images. Train your eyes to differentiate 2D from 3D and your pictures will suddenly have volume. Teach them what is contrast and they will identify detail. You will create amazing images as long as your eyes make decisions on what to include in your photograph and what to eliminate, the choice of angles and light.

First tip to training your eyes – look at a scene, close your eyes and open them again. Does the scene cause the same effect as when you first saw it, in other words, did you sigh after re-opening your eyes. If you did maybe you have a great shot in hand. Go for walks and practice framing in your mind different scenes, open and close your eyes. When you are able to look at a scene and continue to be amazed you will have trained your eyes to actually see great shots.

Our eyes see the world in 3-D, photos are a piece of paper in 2-D. What sometimes feels like an excellent shot when printed it turns out to be a photo without interest. Train your eye, go for walks, frame your scene and then close one of your eyes. If the composition looses spark and now looks chaotic, then you do not have a good image, if you still sigh, see detail and perspective then you have a great shot.
Now squint with the open eye, suddenly contrast and detail will seem more obvious and things will pop out. If they do, you still have a great shot if they don’t then you are missing shadows and details. The more you exercise your eyes the more you will train them to see a great image.

Cameras have certain advantages and certain disadvantages compared to your eyes. Use them. Cameras can focus and see details that your naked eye will not see, so train your eyes by closing and squinting. Your camera will frame your subject and block the rest, your eyes won’t, train them to do so. Your camera only sees with one eye and your camera cannot read the balance between highlights and shadows. Train your eyes to see changes and different light angles. Walk again early morning and late afternoon and see how light goes through the leafs of the trees, how it reflects on water and on windows, move around, go up, go down and train your eye to see how light changes as you move around.

Train your eye to frame as your camera does. Take another walk but know with a frame made out of carton and pick your scenes. Soon your eye will be trained as your camera to see what the frame allows you too and block the rest. Practice a lot using this simple and cheap tool. Your frame can be a small 1″ x 1/5″ cut on a 5 x 7 photo paper or as large as a 4″ x 6″ on an 8 x 10 photo paper, as long as you can see your composition and block the rest.

Train your eyes to see color. Walk around pick a color and focus on it. Walk some more and you will see that color popping out. Continue walking and focus on a different color, suddenly you will now see this other color. Practice makes perfect.

Train your eye and capture amazing breathtaking images.

Each ‘Photography Project’ is a new challenge for The Duenitas Digital World, which we meet with great motivation and enthusiasm! We are technically proficient under any conditions and work in an unobtrusive respectful way. The Duenitas Digital World is flexible and reacts well to unplanned happenings; capturing the perfect image as we go.

The Duenitas Digital World is based in Miami, Florida and covers South Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. We specialize in the following Photography Topics: Weddings, Resort, Real Estate, Product, Family & Event and Commercial Photography.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Learning to Select Appropriate ISO Settings

All photographers, irrespective of their level of experience, know the term ISO as it is one of the essential requisites, which enables them to take effective photos in varied light conditions. As one of the three components of the exposure triangle, the ISO setting is defined as a value which represents the sensitivity of the digital camera’s image sensor. This value is expressed in form of a definite number and is inversely proportional to the amount of light meaning that the lesser the ISO value, the more is the light required and vice versa. If you take a look at the two photos below you will notice the effect that the different ISO settings have on the final outcome – the one on the left has been taken 100 ISO and the one on the right at 3200.

It is essential for a photographer to adjust the ISO value while taking a photograph in combination with the shutter speed as well as the aperture because it is this setting which determines the final outcome of the photograph. Therefore, whether it is a professional photographer trying his talents in a deep rain forest or an amateur practicing at a concert, unless the ISO setting is adjusted in accordance with the amount of light in the surroundings, one would only end up taking dark images.

While selecting an ISO setting, there are four parameters which need to be kept in mind by the photographer namely light, grain, tripod and the status of the subject. While reference to light is to inquire whether the subject is well lit, the reference to grain whether it is a finer grain, which is required along with its noisiness. Likewise, the status determines whether the subject is moving or stationary and the fourth factor pertains to the use of tripod by the photographer.

Many photographers tend to take pictures with their digital cameras set in the ‘Auto Mode’ since in this mode the camera determines its own ISO setting in accordance with the surrounding conditions. In case the individual wishes to select his own specific ISO, then it should be accompanied by a change in the aperture setting and shutter speed as well. The ISO value, which is the normally accepted norm for acquiring crisp shots with the least amount of noise and grain is 100, although it can be altered either way.

And 100 is considered to be the optimum ISO value because a value which is higher than this figure results in noisy images with more grain. Although people do not mind a bit of noise since it does not always disturb the picture, there are other demerits which are likely to occur like reduced sharpness and reduced contrast ratio. However, these are minor problems which could be overcome by opting for a more technologically advanced camera.

Certain situations that call for a higher ISO setting are indoor sports events which involve a fast moving subject in a limited light setting, concerts which also feature limited light, art galleries and churches and birthday parties. Similarly, situations which could be shot with a low ISO value are shooting a stream, taking pictures of a field on a sunny day and trying to take photographs indoors without the images being too bright.
An adept photographer is always quick to realize the importance of the ISO setting in a digital camera and hence dedicates his efforts towards getting in-depth understanding of the subject. Ultimately, mastery in this area could be acquired by practically experimenting with different ISO settings and judging their impact on the photograph.