Worth a Thousand Words: Issue #013


Worth a Thousand Words, Issue #013 — You Could Be Wasting Your Time Editing Photos!

May 18, 2011

You Could Be Wasting Your Time Editing Photos!

Is "calibrate monitor" on your todo list? If not, you are missing an essential step in your photo processing workflow. I will go so far as to say that if you are editing your images after you take them, and your monitor is not calibrated, then you are wasting your time! If you’re not sure what monitor calibration means, why it’s important, or how to go about it, READ MORE:

Creativity Exercise

Title First

Some copywriters start by writing their title first to focus their prose. Usually, as photographers, we title our images after we’ve taken them. Try turning things around! Create your title first, and then make a photograph to fit the title. Remember, restrictions always force you to be more creative, and having the title before you get started is just another form of restriction. Here are a few titles to give you some ideas. If you don’t like these, then try using a song title!

One is the Loneliest Number
Joy to the World
The Journey
In the Beginning
Road to Nowhere
Ode to Monet

Something Every Photographer Needs to Know: Tip of the Month

Flowers: Filling in the Gaps

Here’s a trick I use a lot when I’m photographing flowers close up. I often find that there’s a spot or two where the background shows through, and sometimes that can be distracting. To fill in the gaps with something that matches the image, I hold a flower of the same kind, or at least of the same color, behind the flower I’m shooting. If my depth of field is shallow enough, this means that the background flower becomes just a soft wash of color. You can also hold a leaf in the background to get a natural green filler. Grab a leaf from the flowers you are shooting, or something from your garden. If there’s nothing outside, try a lettuce leaf from the fridge; it works like a charm! Don’t worry about movement of your background flower or leaf due to your hand shaking. Since you’re shooting so that it’s out of focus, a little motion blur won’t be noticeable, and may even help you get a soft background.

Too Cool Not to Share!

Jonathan Harris: Today

The day he turned 30, Jonathan Harris began a simple ritual of taking one photo each day and posting it online, along with a short story. See his images here, as well as a short video narrated by him that explains his project. Be inspired to start your own one-a-day project!

What’s New this Month at Ultimate Photo Tips

Monitor Calibration

Make sure to read my new article (linked from the teaser above) on monitor calibration. This is an essential step in any digital photo workflow.

Photography Specials

Check out this week’s specials from B&H Photo Video. They have a couple of great cameras bundled with a free Red Giant B&H Production Bundle (a $494.95 value), which consists of Magic Bullet QuickLooks, Magic Bullet Grinder (Mac only), Magic Bullet PhotoLooks, and Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop.


Photo Challenges

The topic of April’s photo challenge was " Travel." Take a peek if you’re looking for some great vacation destinations! And make sure to check out the wonderful winning image of The Sage Gateshead by Akhtar from the UK:

The topic for May’s challenge is "Creative Nature." You can enter any image that uses Nature as the basis for the subject matter, but you should include your own creative twist. It could be adding some motion blur, converting to black and white, using selective focus, making an interesting crop, or even having some fun in Photoshop. This month’s winner will be someone who shows some imagination in interpreting a Nature subject. The trick is to find a technique that complements the subject matter, without being distracting.

Submit your creative nature images here:

Happy shooting from Ultimate Photo Tips!