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Felix Esser The Phoblographer Lightroom 5 Black and White Conversion

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out here.

Back in the days of film, when color wasn’t as commonplace as black-and-white, one of the most important things for any photographer to learn was to look past the colors they’d see in the viewfinder, and concentrate on the intensity of the light. Because when you shoot monochrome, you don’t get any color information, you get shades of grey. Equally important when shooting without color is composition, that is the various forms and shapes in an image and their relation to each another.

In general, learning to work with light and shapes is a good idea in photography, because it’ll help you get better pictures. Better in this case means pictures that are pleasing to the eye, and that evoke an emotional reaction in the viewer. Learning to see just the light and the shapes in an image, and to neglect all color information, is not an easy task. But luckily, in this day and age of digital cameras, there’s an easy and effective trick that’ll help you not be distracted by colors.

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Recently, I have been using manual focus more often. I also have an obsession with old Nikon glass. While a good majority of my lens have autofocus, when not working I find myself drawn to manual lenses. Whether it be coffee photography or product shots, I prefer the results I get with a manual focus lens. This does not come without sacrifice though. It has to be something you want to do, as more thought has to go into focusing manually. It’s a skill you have to practice, and there are pros and cons to using manual focus. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but at some point in your photography life you will do it.

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If you have ever played an MMORPG, then you know that there are important lessons it teaches. You get better with experience. There are very few who start off at the top. This is ultimately true in portrait photography. Sometimes people think they can just shoot portraits without sitting for one. They are afraid of being in front of the camera and are either uncomfortable with themselves or with the process. Portrait photography can be its own world in photography. If the photographer can’t make the subject comfortable, it will show in the final image. To truly make your subject comfortable, you as a photographer have to be comfortable. The best way to do this is to get comfortable with yourself.

So we’re going to start out by saying this: do not take selfies. Take self-portraits. If you are not really comfortable with yourself, you are probably taking selfies. However, making self-portraits can teach you a lot.

We have many posts on portrait photography that you can check out. But here are a couple of short and quick tips for you.

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Use Social Media to Enhance Your Photography

We, as photographers, have been using social media for a while now. Some of us use it for work, and some of us use it to chat. Social media, however, is a great tool to enhance our photography. With it, we can get ideas, meet mentors and find answers to problems. Through it, we can see trends form it styles develop. For photographers, social media is important.It’s a level playing field and anybody can use it. Here are some ways social media can enhance your photography.

 

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Image Via WikiMedia Original photographer unknown

Jimi Hendrix Image Via WikiMedia Original photographer unknown

I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix with my dad. He is by far one the best guitar players of all time. His guitar playing revolutionized music. In a way it can also revolutionize your photography. Jimi Hendrix’s life and legacy can teach you a lot in how to deal with your photography, if you look at it the right way. He was a unique individual who did things his own way. However, he also learned from many of those who came before him. I’ve studied Jimi Hendrix quite a bit and it dawned on me that this is a great way to learn photography.

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Once you acknowledge, “Yeah, my photos do suck,” and you have not put down the camera, there are some things you can do to get better. They are not difficult but will require discipline and dedication. Improvement, in anything, comes with time and effort. We have talked about why your photos suck.  It’s not about gear, it’s not about filling your SD card or photoshopping your images to death, it’s about you.

Here are some tips to get better.

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