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Using Photo Challenges To Improve Your Photography

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One of the best ways to improve your photography is through practice. But sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself without a specific subject to photograph in mind. This is where photography challenges can help.

My Most Treasured Gift
My Most Treasured Gift by -Gep- on flickr (licensed CC-BY-ND)

Photography challenges will provide a theme or idea, and then you must try and take the best photo you can that satisfies that theme. You upload your best photo to the challenge, along with many other photographers. There is nearly always a specified time limit to the challenge that you must take and submit the photo within.

When the challenge is completed, some challenge groups will have a voting process where members can vote for whichever photo they like best.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

January 22nd, 2013 at 9:33 am

7 Tips For Capturing The Perfect Digital Photo

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Author: Dan Feildman

Many people find shooting a digital photo to be harder than expected. You might find that you have been taking digital photos since first introduced but have never quite captured that perfect shot you set out for.

Nothing is as disappointing as missing that important event, such as your daughter's dance recital or even your anniversary trip to Italy. When that once in a lifetime moment is remembered with a horrible photo, the frustration can be overwhelming.

That leads us to the question of how do you take that perfect photo? The first rule lies within the photographer themselves, for it is with the photographer that the photo begins, not the camera itself. It's just that simple. Think about how you can see a photograph that a child has taken playing around with a simple disposable camera and it is wonderful while a photo with the priciest SLR can turn out to be awful.

Read these tips on shooting digital photos and apply them the next time you have a chance. Before long, you'll be shooting photos like a pro!

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Written by Guest

April 24th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Using a tripod for flower photography

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Some photographers feel a good tripod is essential for their photography. Others don't use one at all, feeling that a tripod encumbers their freedom. Most of us like having one available so that we can use it for certain shots, but don't like having to carry one around with us. Never the less, a tripod can help us capture images we otherwise wouldn't be able to.

In this article I'll look at the pros and cons of using a tripod from the specific point of view of photographing flowers. I'll also cover the features that you should look for in a tripod if you want to use if for flower photography.

Using a tripod for flower photography

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

August 30th, 2015 at 9:36 am

Fun and Creative Photography Techniques to try with your camera

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Whether photography is a hobby for you, or a career, it's highly like that you take photos because you enjoy it. One of the enjoyable aspects of photography is trying out new techniques, and capturing images that show a different view of reality to that you see with your eyes.

In this article I'll share five techniques that are fun, creative, and can result in some great 'out of this world' photos.

Fun and Creative Photography Techniques to try with your camera

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 17th, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Abstract flower photography tips

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Abstract flower photos are usually created by focusing in on only a small part of a flower and / or using a very small depth of field to give the image a soft look.

Abstract flower photography tips

For taking abstract flower photos I would recommend using cut flowers or potted plants that you keep indoors. By taking the photos indoors you can eliminate any problems with the wind blowing the flower while you are trying to compose and focus your photo. This also gives you more control over lighting - you can use long exposures without the worrying about the wind, or set up some lights and position them as needed.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 29th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

When to use manual focus

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The autofocus systems in modern cameras can usually focus a lot faster than we can focus the camera / lens manually. But there are some situations where using manual focus may be preferable. In this article we'll look at some examples of where using manual focus can give better results than autofocus. (Tips on the actual process of focusing manually will be covered in a separate upcoming article).

Piece of cereal splashing into a bowl of milk - manual focus used
cannon ball by fRandi-Shooters on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

The most obvious situation when you'd want to use manual focus is when autofocus isn't working. When the camera can't autofocus correctly, or is finding it difficult to autofocus, you'll often find that the autofocus will 'hunt'. This is where the focus is racked back and forth between infinity and the closest focus of the camera, in an effort by the camera to try and find the point where the subject is in focus.

Most cameras will flash the active focus area in the viewfinder or on the LCD and beep when focus has been successfully achieved. If your camera is having trouble autofocusing, then switching to manual focusing would be advisable.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

October 25th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

What to look for when buying a Speedlight Flash: Size, weight, and usability

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In recent years many photographers have decided to try and cut their kit down to a smaller and lighter selection of gear that doesn't give them a bad back after a full day shooting. This smaller and lighter mantra can extend to the choice of speedlight as well.

However, what you give up in terms of weight and size with a smaller speedlight, you are also likely to give up in terms of power and ease of use. But with good high ISO capabilities on modern cameras, a low power flash is not as big a problem as it used to be.

In this article we look at the size, weight, number of batteries a flash takes, and the usability of flash units, to help you decide which features are most important to you.

What to look for when buying a Speedlight Flash - Part 5: Size, weight, and usability

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

February 28th, 2016 at 11:27 am

What would be a good basic lens kit?

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What lens should I buy? is probably one of the most commonly asked photography questions by those with interchangeable lens cameras. Unlike cameras, where differences between different models tend to be fairly minor, the differences between lenses can be quite large.

Lenses can be quite expensive as well, sometimes you may pay more for a new lens than you do for the camera itself. While you may replace your camera body in the future, lenses don't often get outdated, and so should be considered more of a long term investment in your photography. So it is a good idea to think about whether you really need a particular lens before splashing out on it.

Camera and two lens kit
Camera and two lens kit

Ultimately, what lens to buy can only be decided by you. A good lens kit depends on the kind of subjects you like photographing, your budget, and even your style of photography. However, there are a number of things you can think about to help you in making a decision that will provide the most Bang for your buck.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 24th, 2013 at 9:51 am

The Crop Frame Camera Advantage

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In recent years camera manufacturers seem to have greatly shifted their focus towards 'full frame' cameras. (A full frame camera is one where the image sensor is the same size as a piece of 35mm film, whereas a 'crop frame' camera has a smaller image sensor - typically 1.5 - 2x smaller.) The reason for this is not that full frame cameras are inherently better, but simply that they have a higher profit margin on the full frame models.

I've read a lot of comments from other photographers, and also a few articles that seem to treat full frame cameras as the holy grail of photography. But I think many people are being led astray by the full frame marketing brigade. Yes, a full frame camera is the best choice for some photographers. But for others a crop sensor camera may be a better choice.

So, in this article I want to redress the balance, and look at some reasons why a crop sensor camera can be a better choice than a full frame camera.

The Crop Frame Camera Advantage

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 10th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Garden Wildlife Photography Tips

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When you think about wildlife photography, most people would think of visiting a wildlife reserve, national park, or just getting out in the wilds. However, you can take great wildlife photos much closer to home.

Garden Wildlife Photography Tips

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

November 9th, 2014 at 8:04 pm