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What You Need to Know in Photography – Exposure

Where do you begin on your journey to become a photographer? The amount of information about photography out there is overwhelming! Most photographers today piecemeal their education. Without a specific plan, it can take years of study and practice to really know what...

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When to Photograph in Black and White

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...

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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...

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The Perfect Headshot from FitSmallBusiness

Peggy Farren was one of the many esteemed professional photographers to be interviewed for an article about getting the best headshot for "FitSmallBusiness". "Tilt Your Head Slightly Peggy Farren, a professional photographer from Naples Florida, recommends “tilting...

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New Orleans for One Day: Travel Photography Tips and Advice

My son and I took a road trip from Naples, Florida to Los Angeles, California.  The first day we drove over nine hours and were still in Florida. Florida is a really long state.  Our first fun stop along the way was New Orleans, Louisiana.  I’ve never been to New...

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Photographing a Wedding for Another Company

By Tom Tracy 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...

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Front and Rear Curtain Sync on your Flash

Here's a super simplified explanation of front and rear curtain sync for your speedlight.   Front Curtain Sync.  Triggers the flash at the beginning of the shutter duration, as the first curtain is opening. This is default mode for all flashes.Front Curtain sync...

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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...

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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, “You came to the right guy” —...

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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 needs to be 2500 pixels or less.  I chose...

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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 feature on a Florida ballet company. A public...

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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 continent. Think about that: an...

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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 I saw an announcement for the World’s Fair/Expo 1998 planned for...

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Lessons in Nature Photography

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...

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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 them to turn their head. They are sophisticated. They...

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How to Photograph Lightning

by Geoff ThomasSummertime 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 have than one...

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9 Steps to Photographing Large Bridal Parties

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...

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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: 1. Get down...

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Peggy’s Famous Jumping Shot

Look at the sheer joy in his face! 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...

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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 I meet strangers on the street and make their...

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Hiding in the Grass during a Beach Proposal

What to do when a client says your first priority is to stay out of sight. There’s always a first time for something in the photography business, and my most recent first-time request was from Ben, who called and asked if I thought it would be weird to secretly...

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Speedlite Tips & Tricks – Inverse Square Rule of Light

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 thing he...

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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 portray the image of...

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How to Set up Line Art in Photoshop Elements

It's great fun to create non photographic looking art using your photographs!  Today I'll show you how to create Line Art with one of your pictures! This is one of the 65 video series I did for eHow.com.  All videos are 3 minutes or less so I have to get to the point...

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Tribute to a Great Digital Imaging Professional, Linda King

Remembering Florida Nature Photographer and Graphic Designer, Linda King By Tom Tracy In the Fall of 2007 I was schlumped over in a hospital bed in Seville with food poisoning after days of eating my way across Spain, facing the likelihood of not recovering in time to...

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Turning Down the Noise

Event photographers have options for protecting their hearing by Tom Tracy Earlier this year I was hired last-minute to support the photo & video team during a children’'s charity gala hosted each year by the heavy metal drummer for — of all bands — Iron Maiden...

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Free PhotoWalk every month in Southwest Florida

Did you know that Understand Photography holds a free** photowalk every single month? We say "almost free" because although we do not charge, sometimes there is an entrance fee to where ever we are going. Join fellow photographers and come out and shoot! You'll enjoy...

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Finding a Photography Mentor – Shutterbuglife Podcast

I was a guest on Lynford Morton's podcast this week.  We talked about many different ways to find a photography mentor.  It's about 30 minutes packed with good info! http://www.shutterbuglife.com/podcast//020-finding-a-photography-mentor-with-peggy-farren     Peggy...

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Don’t Sell Yourself Short

I'm reading The Magic of Thinking Big for the umpteenth time and just finished the chapter on believing in yourself.   It's such a great idea to re-read the great motivational classic books!  I get something new or a nice reminder every time! While I was reading, I...

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