Photography & Software Techniques

Maximizing Your Filter Collection Using Step Rings

by Joe Fitzpatrick Modern post processing software, as good as it is, still can't replicate the effect of some filters. Polarizing Filters, for example, can eliminate glare and reflections far more effectively than post processing software. Unfortunately, good filters can be fairly pricey. A good quality Circular Polarizer in the 77mm size will cost well over $100.

Photography & Software Techniques

Help! My Photos Are All Over the Place!

Simple tips to help you organize your photos. One of the biggest problems we have as photographers is keeping our photographs organized. Some of our pictures are on our computer, our smart phone and/or our tablet. Here is a simple guide to getting yourself organized. I said simple, not easy!

Photography & Software Techniques

Top Tips for Shooting Car Shows and Air Shows

Fall and winter in Florida means air shows and car shows. These events are fun to watch and draw hundreds, sometimes thousands, of attendees. This is great for the promoters of the events but presents challenges to photographers. The aircraft or automobiles are typically close together and surrounded by throngs of people. While images of attendees interacting with the displays are interesting, most of us primarily want clean shots of the planes or cars on display.

Photography & Software Techniques

Improve Your Composition: Separation

Add a little separation between your subjects or from the background to improve your composition. There are many ways to separate – you can use lighting for instance. Today, we’ll only talk about moving your body to improve your photographs.

Photography & Software Techniques

My First Attempt at Levitation Photography

I love some of the creative photographs I see on social media! One of the photographers in the Understand Photography Facebook group was on a levitation kick and posted several cool shots. On a recent photoshoot, I decided to try it. I took three or four of each person, positioning myself in the exact same place for each photograph.

Photography & Software Techniques

10 Tips for Traveling Photographers

By Cindy Baldwin A few years ago while traveling in Italy, I made a big mistake. I forgot to bring extra batteries for my camera. Instead of eating a stracciatella gelato while looking out on Lake Como, I spent all afternoon looking for a store that sold the right type of camera battery. Since then, I’ve made an effort to be more prepared so that I can maximize my time while traveling. I try to cover all my bases by packing back-up camera equipment and finding a way to get through the airport as quickly as possible.

Photography & Software Techniques

Installing Lightroom Presets

New to Lightroom presets? Read on to learn how to install presets in Lightroom. Click here to view our video on installing Lightroom presets!

Photography & Software Techniques

Old Naples Photo Tour

Whether you are a long time Neapolitan or just visiting Naples, you’ll see that Old Naples is filled with history. It’s really fun to walk or drive around and look at the old houses and landmarks, even more fun when you can practice your photography while doing so!

Photography & Software Techniques

Photographing Through a Fence

A big challenge is shooting through the fences at the zoo. How do you blur out the fence yet have the animal sharp?

Photography & Software Techniques

Pano Dash Using Your Cell Phone

Panoramic photographs are fun and easy with your smart phone. The camera automatically “stitches” several pictures together to make a super wide image. Panoramics are very easy to do. On a Droid, open your camera app, then tap on MODE. Choose Panoramic. On an iPhone, in the camera app, you’ll see an option for Panoramic.

Photography & Software Techniques

Sports Photography – Boys Lacrosse at Naples High School

Whatever your specialty is in photography, force yourself to get out of your comfort zone and shoot something different. I have so much training in portrait, event and wedding photography. I’ve been studying nature and travel photography for the past few years. I’m just not that interested in sports. But I love my family. My 17 year old nephew plays Lacrosse. So off I went to a Lacrosse game this week at Naples High School.

Photography & Software Techniques

Using White Balance and Flash Creatively

By Joe Fitzpatrick On my recent trip to Old Car City USA I had some fun with my Speedlite and remote flash triggers. These pictures were taken in the middle of the day, but photographed to look like it was night time.

Photography & Software Techniques

What You Need to Know in Photography – Exposure

Exposure is the foundation of photography. The very first thing you need to do is to learn to shoot in the manual setting. You will truly feel lost for a long time if you don’t master exposure. Many of the internet instructors teach to shoot in Aperture Priority. While there is nothing wrong with this mode, it’s an automatic mode so you will have too many limitations and you probably won’t be thinking about the settings for each shot.

Photography & Software Techniques

When to Photograph in Black and White

By Joe Fitzpatrick I’ve always loved black and white images. Monochrome portraits and landscapes have a timeless, classic look. In many compositions color can be a distraction. Removing color simplifies, allowing one to concentrate on the subjects, forms and textures within an image. Lines, shapes, shadows and patterns are revealed, helping to lead the eye through the image.

Photography & Software Techniques

Finishing Touches with Photoshop’s Surface Blur

A quick way to smooth out, clean up a studio backdrop in Photoshop. By Tom Tracy Necessity is the mother of invention, or discovery, as they say. Last week following a periodic studio portrait session with a ballroom dance company, I was resigned to the fact that the white paper backdrop was simply going to get dirty with six dance instructors stomping around.

Photography & Software Techniques

The Perfect Headshot from FitSmallBusiness

Tilt Your Head Slightly Peggy Farren, a professional photographer from Naples Florida, recommends “tilting you head (ever so slightly) toward your lowest shoulder. That’s considered the “power pose” or “masculine pose”. It helps exude authority and confidence.

Photography & Software Techniques

New Orleans for One Day: Travel Photography Tips and Advice

Peggy Farren, a full-time professional photographer and the founder of Understand Photography training center, recently stopped in New Orleans while on a road trip. Click the story to learn about her experience there as well as see a few of her photos from her stay.

Photography & Software Techniques

Photographing a Wedding for Another Company

Benefits of occasionally ‘doing it someone else’s way’ as a subcontractor Recently a buddy left me in charge of shooting one of his standard South Florida wedding jobs — a Cuban couple with “getting ready” at a landmark hotel, a church ceremony nearby with a dinner reception at a local venue where he is a preferred photographer. Actually, it was something of a surprise to learn that this was the first time my friend fully delegated a wedding assignment to someone in his absence. Having shot with him once or twice before and knowing how very specific he is in terms of how he does things and how devoted he is to the technical details, I pressed for a personal sit-down and review of some wedding jobs — his and mine — during which I could take notes and ask lots of questions. I wanted to minimize problems and potential misunderstandings.

Photography & Software Techniques

Front and Rear Curtain Sync on your Flash

Here's a super simplified explanation of front and rear curtain sync for your speedlight. First curtain flash is the default on most flashes. The flash will go off in the beginning of the shutter duration. Second curtain (rear) will cause the flash to go off at the end of the shutter duration, causing a more natural motion blur if using a slow shutter speed.

Photography & Software Techniques

7 Settings You'll Need to Know for Photographing Fireworks

Here in Florida Fireworks are not just for holiday events.  Disney World, Busch Gardens and our other major tourist attractions have turned fireworks into a nightly ritual.  Photographing these magnificent displays often leads to disappointing results when you trust your ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Lightroom Update Problem and Fix

Can't get your newly downloaded copy of Lightroom Creative Cloud to open? Find your Creative Cloud by clicking on Start and then All Programs. Click Adobe Creative Cloud to open program. Log out of Creative Cloud by clicking on ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Sublime Silhouettes by Tom Tracy

Is there anything more cool that a back-lit moment? By Tom Tracy When Peggy Farren, creator of UNDERSTAND PHOTOGRAPHY, sent me a list of possible topics for future photo-blog essays here, one possibility jumped right out and said to me ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Quick Tip: Making a Custom Brush in Photoshop or Elements

Creating a custom brush to use as a watermark or signature on your photographs is super simple! Here are easy instructions in Photoshop CS/CC and then in Photoshop Elements: Photoshop CS/CC Step ONE: Go to File-New The width ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Leaping into Dance Photography

Patience, planning and quick adjustments help catch the drama by Tom Tracy It’s a Friday in November and a monthly arts magazine has asked me to drop by for pictures of a Nutcracker dance rehearsal to accompany a holiday ...

Photography & Software Techniques

West Africa -- in (slightly) better times

Before the Ebola outbreak, photographing Sierra Leone & beyond Tom Tracy It might not be exaggeration to imagine that no one you or I know will ever again breezily visit one of the most vibrant and photogenic swaths of the African ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Wedding Photography and Travel in Portugal

How the ‘98 World’s Fair led to a destination wedding 16 years on by Tom Tracy LISBON I’ve long since forgotten how I stumbled onto it in those early days of internet surfing, but in the late 1990s ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Lessons in Nature Photography

by Peggy Farren If you have been following our blog, you know that I purchased a 100-400mm lens recently.  I used it for the first time photographing dogs on dog beach.  http://understandphotography.com/my-new-100-400mm-lens-and-a-better-beamer/ Mike Sullivan and Peggy Farren ...

Photography & Software Techniques

How to Photograph Cats - It's Easier Than You Think!

by Amanda Rattigan For most people, photographing Dogs will be a bit easier than Cats…and I understand why. Cats don’t care. LOL They simply don’t care that you are making funny little noises and whistles to get ...

Photography & Software Techniques

How to Photograph Lightning

by Geoff Thomas Summertime in Southwest Florida means a few things:  Heat, humidy, mosquitoes galore, and a landscape photographer’s dream- STORMS!  And with storms, there comes lightning!!  How much more drama and emotion in a landscape image can you ...

Photography & Software Techniques

9 Steps to Photographing Large Bridal Parties

by Peggy Farren Large bridal parties make for really fun photographs but it sure is tough to manage that many people – and in a very limited amount of time!! As the professional photographer, you must quickly pose everyone, get your lighting right and make it fun! Here are some tips to make the most of the bridal shoot:

Photography & Software Techniques

Photo-ops in Jerusalem’s Old City

A chance to see where it all began -- and still is happening By Tom Tracy JERUSALEMWhen I first visited the Holy Land, in 1996, there were a series ofhorrific city bus bombings and one of these deadly events ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Six Steps to Better Dog Photography

by Jennifer Brinkman For many of us, our favorite subject to photograph is our beloved dog! Not only are dogs adorable to look at, they know how to love better than any other creature on earth. Here are a few quick tips to improve your pet photography:

Photography & Software Techniques

Peggy's Famous Jumping Shot

Photo sessions should be fun! If there are young people involved, I almost always end my photo sessions with my “famous” jumping shot. I want my clients to be left with the memory of a great time during their session. I teach this shot during many of our classes at Understand Photography. Everyone loves it!!

Photography & Software Techniques

Street Portraiture

Portraits of Strangers by Bob Dein Photographers love to learn new techniques, like post processing wizardry, or how to use flash to freeze Peggy Farren* jumping in the air. But once you get past gear and techniques, what do you ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Hiding in the Grass during a Beach Proposal

What to do when a client says your first priority is to stay out of sight by Tom Tracy There’s always a first time for something in the photography business, and my most recent first-time request was from Ben ...

Photography & Software Techniques

Speedlite Tips & Tricks - Inverse Square Rule of Light

by Joe Fitzpatrick Recently I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Booray Perry at the Southwest Florida Professional Photographers Association monthly meeting. Booray is a great speaker and his presentation touched on a variety of photographic subjects. One ...

Photography & Software Techniques

What should a photographer wear?

If you are professional photographer, remember to dress... professionally!   If you are a bird photographer or strictly an artist, you can wear whatever the heck you want to!  But if you are photographing weddings, portraits or events, you need to ...

What Camera Should I Buy?

There are numerous models and types of cameras avaialble. How do you know which is the right choice for you? Watch our video to understand how to make the right choice!

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What you need to learn to become a solid photographer

With a plan, you'll progress so much more quickly! In this short video, Peggy Farren will reveal the most important things you need to learn to become a strong photographer.

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About Peggy

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.

With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

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Essential Preparation Tips for Travel Photography

This free report will help you choose the right cameras, lenses and accessories for your travels. You'll need different equipment depending on where you are going, your finances, and the weight of the gear. We'll show you how to determine the best equipment for your needs. Also included is a comprehensive list on what you'll need, some things you may not have heard before but you'll be so glad we let you know!

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Essential Preparation Tips for Travel Photography

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