When is Altering Your Image Acceptable? A Debate on Post-processing

Have you ever used Photoshop’s ‘Content Aware Fill’ tool to get rid of some unsightly object in your otherwise perfect image? Have you ever cropped your image in order to give it a more pleasing composition? I know I’ve done both on many an occasion and I feel no guilt or remorse whatsoever.

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I was kinda shameless, I have to admit. I processed it away though! I was the bridesmaid that passed the groomsman’s coat to the flower girls and opted for my own coat…a very purple coat. We shall say that it did not exactly match the extant palette. The wedding photographer didn’t alter the color of the coat. It was reality, after all!

I had other things in mind, like not being the sore thumb in the loud coat. I may have stepped overboard when I downloaded the picture and darkened and desaturated the purple out of existence. I did get thanks from my cousin, the bride, and I was absolved of my self-imagined crime against the day. Still, the question of photo-processing acceptability is a very real one.

Where is the line: temporary things? unsightly things? Do I airbrush the bags under my eyes away or do I tweak the lighting at the time of the photo and play with contrast in post-production to minimize them? It’s still debatable and very personal too.

Why Prints Matter to You as a Photographer

Digital has done wonders for our industry – it allows us to learn faster, it gives us technological opportunities that we could have only wished for in the “film” days and it has made completely new styles of photography possible.

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Before I knew how huge photography would become in my personal pursuits, I worked with a wonderful guy named Billy. He was a disc jockey of old, and a photographer, when he wasn’t working at the baseball stadium with me. He refused to shoot some gigs with a digital camera, opting for the organic feel of analogue photography.

Without knowing it, the author of this article taps in to that desire to have something tangible and organic. Maybe we’re subconsciously nesting among all of the photo frames and canvases. They represent our memories, life moments, wishes of where we’d like to be, things that conjure a mind space where we may find escape a little easier.

Obviously, there are other reasons to have physical prints, and the author covers them too: control over color, texture and size, and the perception of tangibility that ties in worth. It’s a great article, you should read it!

10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

Over the last 12 months I have conducted countless productivity experiments on myself, interviewed some of the most productive people in the world, and read a ton of books and academic literature on productivity, all to explore how I could become as productive as possible. This is what I’ve learned.

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I commend the author of this article for doing something that anyone who reads productivity articles asks themselves. We’re such a moving target, a lot of productivity advice doesn’t have time to stick. That doesn’t even take in to account that what works for one of us, isn’t going to work for others.

This article is a great review of a lot of information, it takes a step back and looks at productivity more than the seemingly infinite means to increase it. What you take away is a wider view of the landscape of productivity.

Flash Photography Tips for Beginners

In this video Phil Steele shares some good flash photography tips. The tips are relevant for a variety of types of cameras but really are going to be most useful to beginner photographers (who I know make up a large proportion of our readers). Enjoy!

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On-camera flashes are horrid. I always bought cameras where the flash was physically obstructed unless I wanted it to blind people or get me in trouble at museums.

I bought my first off-camera flash hours before having to use it at an event featuring Dan Aykroyd. Needless to say, I had a rough night of trial and error ahead of me. I learned then, and I continue to learn. This video is a little longer than some others I’ve watched, but there’s a good balance of information on a lot of different cameras. It goes in to the more advanced use of flashes in situations were you may not think to use a flash in.

Why Composition is So D–n Important

It’s easy to pick just about any photography-related topic– exposure, lighting, etc.– and make the claim that it is the most important element of photography.

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It’s hard to pick what the “most important” element of photography is, and of course the same goes for video. Composition ranks up towards the top of the lists of elements that make up a good photo. It sets itself apart because it’s been fascinating us for the longest.

More than two millennia have passed since the golden ratio has intrigued artists and mathematicians alike. Statues and buildings embodied the ratio, similar sequences and spirals emerged. Art continued to follow form. The innateness of composition across individuals and across generations certainly contributes to its power to captivate is.

Composition is the task of the creator, first, and the reaction of the audience, after. It’s an unspoken exchange that can’t be told by lighting or aperture alone.

Shoot the Blue Sky to Check for Sensor Issues on a DSLR Camera

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A short and functional article for anyone who is purchasing used or owns a DSLR camera that they’d like to check for dust, dead pixels or hot areas on the sensor. This is also a key item to keep in mind if buying a used camera. You may not have equipment or boards handy, but mother nature can help in a pinch!