Tag Archives: learn digital photography

Photographer Meet-Up Group hits membership milestone

Image Maker Photographic Workshop now has 250 member photographers!

I am happy to announce a milestone of  note.  The Image Makers Photographic Workshop has just reached the 250 member mark.  This is a group I have organized on Meet-Up.com for digital photographers from around New England.

Professional photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine announces that the Image Makers Photographic Workshop Meet-Up group has 250 members, amilestone in growth for this group od active digital photographers. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine -All Rights Reserved

The Image Makers Photographic Workshop Meet-Up group has just hit the 250 member mark. Organized by photographer Dan Splaine, the group provides digital photography events for adults throughout New England. For more information go to the group website: http://www.meetup.com/Image-Makers-Photographic-Workshop/

This meet-up group is free to join and is open to adult digital photographers of all skill levels.  The  goal of the group is to encourage photo enthusiasts to improve their creative talents and to build their skills as photographers.  We present a program of digital photography events and workshops at the Test of Time Photography studio in Nashua NH and at locations throughout New England.

Since February 2010 we have presented over 120  events for photographers  These have included photo tours to Canada, the Isle of Shoals and  the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Our photo workshops are topic specific and are a mix of classroom and on location  field photography sessions.  The photography education program presents a range of photography interests and  for all skill levels.

One of the most popular events and one of my favorite programs to host are my photo critique sessions.  Once a month I get together with the photography students that attend my photo workshops and we spend a few hours going over their photography.  We  have a theme for each of these photography review sessions so the group  can learn about a particular photo technique.  As a photography educator and  someone with a passion for photography,  these photo critique sessions are exceptional!  I can see how my photo students have taken the lessons from my photo classes and used them in their image making. It is very satisfying  to see the growth in their creative photography skills and the dialogue we share is always inspiring.  (Next photo critique dates are Dec. 13 and Jan. 17)

I want to express my thanks to all the photographers who have become members and I invite any other photographers to check out the group on Meet-up 

 

 

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Group Photo Project – Learning together

Check out the photography of my 52 Photo Walk Group!

Photograhy made by the 52 Week Photo Walk group organized by photographer Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography.  The online group is part of his program of photography workshops and photographer tours he presents.

One of my goals as a photography educator is to give my photography students opportunities to practice the photography skills they learn in my workshops.  The photographer tours that I present are all built around the bringing photographers to unique locations to practice different types of photography.The 52 Week Photo Walk group I have organized on Flickr is another methods I have provided to get folks out with their cameras.

We have a group of 95 photographers  participating in the Photo Walk program! This group has worked hard all year and much of their beautiful image making is found on our group page.

Becoming a good photographer requires regular practice.  The more you work at learning your tools, practicing your camera work the better your photography will become.  Make sure you take some time to look at the photography produced by this wonderful group of photographers   I hope you admire their efforts and appreciate the work they are putting into their photographic craft.

Want to learn more about becoming a better digital photographer?

Make sure you sign-up for my email list (see right sidebar for form) so you can receive notices about my photography education program and photo tips.  I present photo workshops in my studio and at locations throughout New England and beyond.  In 2013 I will be introducing more interactive online learning programs that you will not want to miss.

 

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New York City Photo Workshop registration is open – President’s Day weekend

New York City Photographer Tour - President's Day weekend with Photographer Dan Splaine and NH Tours

 

Registration is now open for the New York City Photographer Tour on President’s Day Weekend.  Join Photographer Dan Splaine and NH TOURS  for this 2 night , 3 day excursion from New Hampshire to New York City.  Explore the city, with your camera and learn new night photography and street photo techniques.  The best part is we do all the driving!

This package includes round trip bus from NH and two nights hotel in Times Square.  We will spent the weekend in the heart of Manhattan , taking in the sites and making some images of the urban landscape.  For complete details and registration CLICK HERE.

This photographer tour is one of a program of photography education events presented by Test of Time Photography.  We offer workshops in our Nashua, NH studio and at locations throughout New England.   We partner with NH TOURS for all of our travel events and destination photo workshops.   For more information contact us at info@testoftimephoto.com  or sign up for our email list (see sidebar).

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The Power of RAW in Digital Photography

RAW format is  the best choice for image capture.  JPEG format is the best choice for image distribution

 

Unsure why you should shoot RAW format images?

Don’t know how to process a RAW file  on your computer?

 

I have the answer for you.  On Thursday night  (11/1) I will be presenting my RAW WORKFLOW WORKSHOP that will introduce you to the advantages  for using the RAW format in your image capture.  In this class we will cover the procedures and techniques you can use in your post production to use those advantages in your digital photography.

Screenshot of Adobe Lightroom develop module.  Photographer Dan Splaine will cover this tool in his RAW WORKFLOW WORKSHOP on November 1, 2012.  For more information coat him at info@testoftimephoto.com

We will be primarily using Adobe Lightroom to show how to  process RAW images  and  we will review the similar features in Adobe Bridge  Camera Raw.  In Lightroom we are  working primarily in the Library and Develop modules and this workshop is a good introduction to this productive tool for digital photographers.

Topics include a review of digital asset management (DAM),and then will move in photo editing techniques  (white balance, exposure. tonal correction, etc..).  The aim is to introduce the digital photographer to a systematic approach to post-production of their RAW format captures.

 

RAW image conversion to the DNG format will be covered.  I will explain the value of using the DNG format that  has been introduced by  Adobe.  In my client photography I have found this  a very useful option and I think it will ultimately become the industry standard for a universal RAW format.  For a good explanation of the DNG format and some of the future capabilities  that Lightroom will have to work in this format check out this article on CNET   ” Revamped DNG format shows new Lightroom possibilities”

 

The RAW WORKFLOW WORKSHOP is one of a series of  digital photography classes that I present.  This program of photography education  includes class sessions at my  Nashua, NH studio  and in locations throughout New England along with photography tours.  The photography tours single to multi-day workshops at great locations for photography. Recent photo tours include Quebec, the Bronx Zoo, the Isle of Shoals, and the summit of Mt. Washington.  On President’s Day weekend (Feb. 16-18, 2013) I will be hosting a Photography Weekend in Times Square, presented with our travel partner NH Tours.  For more information on these photo workshops contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com

 

 

 

 

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Photographer Critique Sessions

My goal  for all the people who attend one of my workshops or photo tours is to make them better photographers. They have  to pick up a new skill, learn a new technique or become more confident in their creative approach in my sessions .  If they don’t,  I fell like I have not delivered for them with my photography education experiences.

The question then becomes how do I know my students are learning from these workshops?

Photographer critique with Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights treserved

Photographer and Photo educator Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH presents a program of photo workshops and photographer tours. A big part of his photography education program is the monthly photographer critique sessions he held for his photography students. These meetings are a way to learn from other photographers and review the photographer skills taught in his workshops. For information contact Dan at info@testoftimephoto.com, ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine – All Rights reserved

The simple answer is that I have witnessed the improvements in ability during my photography critique sessions.  For the last three years I have held a monthly photo critique session with the photographers who have attend my photo classes.  The proof of the success of my teaching efforts is  in  the quality of photography they are producing .

As an educator there is genuine satisfaction in seeing  how my shared knowledge is learned and embraced.  Having verification of the effectiveness of my teaching methods is rewarding.  What matters most is how delighted I am in seeing the growth in my photo students ability and powers of creative expression!

The photo critique sessions allow me to offer my photo students feedback on the lessons they have learned in my workshops.  The value for them is that they can practice on their own and then learn by presenting those results to the group.

The dialogue and freely shared insights of the collected photographer at these monthly meetings has been a true source of inspiration and a wonderful learning experience.

For more information about these critique sessions contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com.

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The Most Important Photo Accessory

A point that I make in all of my photo workshops is about the most important photo accessory that every photographer must use. What is the “most important” photo accessory? you ask.  Your feet.  If you want to improve the look of your image; move!

Changing your camera position, your point of view,  is the  best way to improve how your photography looks. Compose your image carefully and fill your frame.  Only include the essential visual elements in your frame. Determine your camera position relative to the direction of the light falling on your subject.  Select a focal length the create the arrangement of distance you want to appear in your photo and then move your feet.  Don’t believe me ?  Here is what the iconic photojournalist had to say about the subject.

Source: pinstamatic.com via Dan on Pinterest

 

I offer a program of photography workshops and photographer tours at my studio in Nashua, NH and in locations throughout the Northeast. For more information contact me at info@testoftiemphoto.com .

My next photographer workshop is October 13-14  in Lincoln, NH.  For information about the third annual WHITE MOUNTAIN PHOTOGRAPHER WEEKEND  go to the workshop website.

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Cog Railway- Mount Washington Observatory Photo Workshop – New Date Added!

New Date Added for The Cog Railway – Mount Washington Observatory Photography Workshop

 

Test of Time Photography and Photographer Dan Splaine are happy to announce we have sold out the Sept. 10 session of this photography workshop and we will be adding a second date for this workshop on Sept. 11, 2012.

This one day photography workshop includes photography instruction, round trip passage on the historic Cog Railway to the Summit of Mount Washington with four hours for field photography.  The workshop also includes a guided tour of the Mount Washington Observatory which is rare privilege.  Access to this working weather station is restricted, and the tour will be one of the most unique features for this workshop.

This workshop presented in partnership with The Cog Railway and The Mount Washington Observatory with Test of Time Photography.  Our goal is to give high quality photography education experiences in unique locations and the summit of Mount Washington could not be a better place for our photography event.  This workshop will emphasize landscape photography techniques and we could not ask for a more dynamic location.  The dramatic terrain , lively weather and lighting that we can encounter during this workshop is as unpredictable as exciting!  The potential for creative image making makes this a truly one-of-a-kind photo learning and skill building experience.

Space is limited  and registration is required to attend this workshop.  For complete details and to register CLICK HERE

This photography workshop is one from the program of photography education events presented with photographer Dan Splaine.  These include digital photography workshops and photographer tours  held in locations throughout New England. In the last three years over 1200 photographers have attended on of the events presented by Test of Time Photography with professional photographer Dan Splaine.

Our next photography workshop  is the WHITE MOUNTAIN PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND held on Oct. 13 and 14, 2012 at the Mountain Club on Loon  in Lincoln NH. This is the third year we are holding this workshop at this great resort and location for photography. For details and registration CLICK HERE.

 

 Cog Railway - Mt. Washington Observatory Photo Workshop with photographer Dan Splaine on Sept. 11, 2012 ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine

 

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What is ISO and how do use it in my photography?

Some Tips And Info For Selecting The “correct” ISO For Your Digital Photography

ISO selection is important because it is allows the photographer to adapt to the lighting conditions found in their scene. The ISO value you select is one leg of the exposure triangle, along with aperture and shutter speed, which allows for precise exposure and creative control.  Understanding ISO and how to use it is a fundamental photographer skill.

With digital cameras the ISO is a numerical value given for the level of sensitivity your camera sensor has to light.  We saw the same rating system with film.  Remember shooting ISO 100, 400, 800 etc… rated rolls of film?  Do any of you old timers remember ASA ratings on film (pre-ISO)?   With digital cameras we have the option to select a particular  ISO value for every shot, which is a big advantage with digital photography.

In general the lower the ISO setting the less sensitive your sensor will be to light, the higher the ISO setting the more sensitive your sensor will be to light.  This means that when you are shooting in bright conditions you can use a low ISO value and when shooting in low light conditions you select a high ISO value.

Most digital cameras offer a range of ISO values to choose from; 100 to 3200 is a common range of choices, although many models of camera go higher and lower.  In general, the lower the ISO the better quality your results will be.  Using a higher ISO will increase noise (digital artifacts), reduce sharpness and decrease the contrast ratio of your results.  Digital cameras with larger sensors produce less of these negative effects than cameras with smaller sensors. Low ISO setting will then have less noise, more sharpness and a larger contrast ratio which will produce the higher quality images relative to high ISO settings.

In my opinion these disadvantage, the reductions in image quality have to be weighed against the benefits of having the option to shoot at a higher ISO rating. Most issues with noise, sharpness and contrast can be restored with software and I would urge you to shoot high values when conditions dictate.  Being able to shoot action photos at high shutter speeds, with a telephoto lens in an indoor scene is only possible with high ISO values  (1600, 3200, 6400) makes the trade-off in quality  acceptable .

A variable ISO allows you to adapt your exposure settings to the scene and the creative options you want to use in your photography.

My general recommendation is to select the lowest ISO value that will allow for a proper exposure with the least noise. 

ISO TIPS FOR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

Here are some of my recommendations for using  different ISO values in your digital photography.  This is an important photographer tool and I encourage you to explore this option for exposure control in your photography.  Good images always start with good camera work and ISO is a fundamental tool for photography.

 

  • TURN OFF your AUTO ISO – By using auto ISO you are letting the camera give a ISO value choice and you are not deciding which ISO suits your photographic intent best the  scene. This is one habit you want to change if your goal is to take control of your creative results.Turn AUTO ISO off, and leave it off!
  • SELECT the ISO FOR THE SCENE:  When you are beginning to determine your exposure settings, one of the first steps is to select an ISO value that is right for the scene and your photographic intentions.  If you are in the woods with an overhead canopy of foliage blocking your light you would select a higher value.  If you are shooting portraits with plenty of window light and you want to use large apertures for shallow depth of field then a low value would be your best choice.  Evaluate the lighting resources and exposure options for the image you want to create and choose the ISO according to those objectives.
  • CHANGES in ISO ARE EQUAL TO “STOPS” –  When we change our exposure settings (in whole stop increments) we are halving or doubling the amount of exposure.  For example if you move from F 11 to F 8 you are doubling the aperture size or if you move from 1/250th of second to 1/125th of a second you are cutting the duration of your exposure in half.  The same ratio holds true with ISO, when you move from 400 to 800 you are doubling the sensitivity setting or as we would say increasing it by a “stop”.  Digital cameras allow for incremental changes in EV (Exposure Value = Stops) usually and half and third stop amounts.  You can refine exposure equally with aperture, shutter speed or ISO in those partial stop increments.
  • SHOOT RAW -  RAW is the best format for image capture and will yield the best results because you are collecting the maximum amount of data when you make your photo. JPEG is great file format to distribute photos but it produces less quality for capture.  RAW files can be processed with photo editing software post capture to yield the highest quality images.  The negative effects of shooting with high ISO (noise, sharpness, and contrast effects) are increased when shooting JPEG compared to RAW
  • PLAY with EXPOSURE COMBINATIONS – There is no exact recipe for exposure combinations.  Play with a variety of exposure combinations and ISO settings and compare your results on your computer. Each variable in the exposure triangle makes a difference in how your images will ultimately look. Experimenting with combinations will produce a variety of visual results.
  • USE A TRIPOD – If you are seeking low noise, high sharpness and a wide contrast ratio that low ISO settings provide use a tripod.  Long lenses and long exposure times make hand held photography difficult, especially in dim light at a low ISO.  Securing you camera on a tripod is the solution for this type of shooting situation.
  • SHOOTING HAND HELD with TELEPHOTO LENS –  Long lenses are difficult to use when shooting  hand-held.  By increasing your ISO setting you can then shoot at faster shutter speeds which will eliminate the blur caused by camera movement.  For example an ISO of 1000 with a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second shooting with a 500 mm lens.
  • HIGH SHUTTER SPEEDS = HIGH ISO -  If you want to stop subject action you need to shoot at high shutter speeds.  Increasing your ISO will allow you to increase your shutter speed.  This is especially useful for shooting indoor sports or performances with limited stage lighting.
  • USE ARTIFICIAL LIGHT – Sometimes we run into the limits of ISO choices in particular photographic conditions.  For example you are shooting a portrait in a low available  light setting.  Facial details and skin looks best at low ISO values (100-200) and raising the ISO to a high value will produce less than flattering results.  The solution to this situation it to use flash or other artificial light sources to keep the quality you desire.  More light is often a better solution than a higher ISO.
Digital cameras have very precise exposure refinement tools and a variable ISO option is one of the most important.  Understanding this feature and how to deploy, and how to select ISO for your scene ,to achieve your desired photographic result is essential for good image making.

Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, New Hampshire. ©2012Daniel J. Splaine

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. His company TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY based in Nashua, NH provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. He presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England.

 

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To Become a Better Photographer Look at Photography Critically

A tip for improving your photography

Do you ever look at the photography in magazine and on websites and think “why does this image look this good”?   Are you wondering why your photographs seem to lack the impact that you see in  professionally made photographs?   Let me first say that if you are asking these questions, if you are thinking critically about your photography – Congratulations!

 

Good photography is thoughtfully conceived and executed.   Devoting time looking at other photographers work and finding inspiration and insight in those images is an important way to improve you own photography.   Now, I am not suggesting that you mimic or outright rip off the work of other photographers.  My advice is to develop your critical eye, to learn how to find the qualities in an image that make it successful.  Use that insight to inform your own creative process and approach to image making.

How do we define an image as successful?  My standard for success is very straightforward: the viewer response.  If you make a photo that engages the viewer, which captures their attention and elicits a response, you are successful.  If the viewer is distracted by a technical flaw or bored, you’re not.  A response can be cognitive – your photo makes them think, emotional it evokes a feeling or perhaps they become engrossed in narrative the story in your photo.

Good photography engages the viewer, it captures their attention. Good photography also inspires, entertains and is a catalyst for action.  For example the photography of Lewis Hine (1874-1940) who used photography as tool of social reform.  His photography directly led to child labor law reforms because of the impact they had on the public awareness of the issue.

When you look at photography made by others begin to deconstruct the visual elements and creative techniques employed in its creation.  Break down the building blocks, the creative components of the shot. Analyze lighting sources  – quality and direction, subject features, composition, optical choices, camera position, color, tone, mood, emotion and all the features of the image.  Consider the relationship of these elements and the impression they have on you – the viewer.  Use those insights when you make your photography.  Identify the elements in your scene and use your critical assessment skills to arrange them in your camera frame.

Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography  in Nashua, New Hampshire. ©2012Daniel J. SplaineABOUT the AUTHOR:  Photographer Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience creating original photography for corporations, institutions and individuals. He operates TEST OF TIME PHOTOGRAPHY in Nashua New Hampshire, a commercial photography and corporate assignment photography services company.  A live action and location photography specialist, he is most noted for his photography of people.  His assignments have involved travel to dozens of countries and at locations throughout the United States. ranging from tropical rainforests to the hall of Congress.

Dan Splaine is also a photography educator and  he presents a program of digital photography workshops and photographer tours.  The tours and workshops are held in New England and at international locations.

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What Photography Students Say About My Photo Workshops And Photographer Tours.

Ten testimonials from some of the photographers who have attended one of my recent digital photography workshop and photographer tours. 

I present a program of photography education for adult photographers of all skill levels.  I host my digital workshops at my studio in Nashua, NH and at locations throughout New England.   The photographer tour I organize at locations in New England as well at international locations.

Listed below are some of the testimonials posted by my photography students on the website of the IMAGE MAKERS PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKSHOP meet-up group I run. These comments are much appreciated and I think they show the level of positive experience my photo workshops offer to my photography students

 

“It was a great class. Dan was very informative. I really enjoy his easy-going and comical personality/instruction. He makes confusing concepts very easy to understand. Perfect Boston sites for this workshop.”  Izzy S.

“OMG, this was such an AWESOME Class! Dan was AWESOME! I learned so much and had so much fun! And I’m looking at my pictures now and I am SO PLEASED! They came out incredible! Thank you so much for your time and sharing your knowledge Dan!!! “  Erica M.

“A great opportunity to see Boston in a different light (pun intended!). Dan provides the foundation before letting us loose to shoot, then provides whatever amount of supervision/advice each person wants. Definitely recommend”  Marian

 “A lot of really awesome work to review this month! Dan’s informative comments about each participant’s individual shots are so helpful. These meetups are a great way to share knowledge and learn how-to’s from other photographers. Again, thanks Dan for putting all the time in and being so willing to share your knowledge.”  Sharon R.

 ”I always take away at least a few new ideas from Dan’s classes and this workshop not only did that but gave me a great way to challenge myself even more with a handout that included exercises. Thanks again, Dan.” Corinne C

 “Had a great day and shot some decent images. Now to work on editing. Met some new people, practiced a new technique, shot some good images, had a great lunch and got exercise. Can’t ask for more…Thanks Dan it was really great”   Laurie L-B

 “A very welcoming, fun, casual gathering of budding photographers,lead by a pro who graciously lends his time, studio space, knowledge and humor to the group. I’m looking forward to next month’s meeting”  Linda L.

 “Great weekend full of information and techniques…and the ability to go out and try these tips. It was wonderful that if we needed one-on-one assistance Dan was there to help. Thanks very much for a successful photo weekend getaway.”   Christine C

 “Thanks, Dan, for the well-presented workshop and accompanying worksheets. You’re great explaining all the points and oh, so patient with the queries.”  Jeanne P.

 “I loved the informal setting. It was very easy to ask questions and the discussions were very informative. I walked away with a better understanding of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. And also learned some valuable tips. I loved this workshop” Angela Smith

Digital photography workshop at the TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY studio in Nashua, NH. The photo class is one of the many offered by professional photographer Dan Splaine at the studio and locations throughout New England. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights Reserved

 

My digital photography education program for adults includes field photography, studio photography, on-location sessions involving a range of photography topics. The photo tours are held in interesting locations and events around New England. For more information contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com  or visit the TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY website and add yourself to my email list.

Thanks to all the photography student who attended one of my recent workshops and photo tours.  A special thanks to all of you who posted sch positive comments and testimonials. I look forward to seeing you at your nest photo workshop.  _ Thanks, Dan

 

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