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Water droplet photography is a dream for almost every creative photographer. When a water drop collides with another drop, it creates beautiful crowns and other shapes that look fabulous. Capturing those moments is a very satisfying experience for a photographer.

Taken by Andrea Laybauer using MIOPS Splash Water Drop Kit

Until now it was not easy to create such shots, but thanks to the advancement of technology, now we have some gadgets that could make this process almost effortless for us. One such gadget is the MIOPS Splash Water Drop Kit which is the world’s first water drop photography gear that can be controlled by your smartphone.

It not only controls the size and timing of drops with great precision, but it also controls your camera or flashes so that you can focus on other creative tasks like lighting, background, and different settings to create unique pieces of art.

So, let’s find out how you can create extraordinary splash photographs using this amazing device.

Photo credits: In this article, we are featuring examples done by myself, as well as three photographers and MIOPS Splash Water Drop Kit customers; Andrea Laybauer (a specialist who shoots drops and splashes), Jos Daanen (a primarily wildlife photographer), and Paul Lindqvist (a specialist in food, stop-motion products, and portraits).

You’ve heard of the fabled Project 365, right? A photo a day for a year. We’ve even posted theme ideas here on dPS for those interested in a long-term project. But what about if you know that you aren’t going to make it all year, especially when the weather turns ugly and you love shooting outdoors? Enter, the Summer Project92.

What is it?

The idea is the same as the Project 365 but with a larger emphasis on getting outside and exploring your world with a camera. Keeping this project short and simple will hopefully encourage you to pick up that dusty camera and head outside. Smartphone, drone, underwater…it doesn’t matter the type of camera you are using, the point is to use it!

If you sometimes get stuck when looking for subjects, I have a list of weekly themes that should help give you some motivation. There are 13 weeks and one day to summer with the first day being June 21. So I’m going to follow the sun on this one and make all weeks start on a Thursday, just to mix it up.

Some Ideas
  • Week 1 – June 21stBlooming – There are tons of flowers out there, just begging for a...

One of the questions that a lot of photographers ask, is how much I should charge for my images? It is very hard to do, and hence a lot of artists struggle with it. There is so much more involved, and many don’t quite understand. So, how do you go about pricing your photography?

Flinders Street Station, this image took me about 3 years to get and I spent hours processing it. Hence it would have a high price on it. Learn from the masters

There is a great story about Pablo Picasso, the famous artist. It goes like this.

Picasso was sitting in a Paris Café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin – but not before asking a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked and asked, “How can you ask for so much? It only took you a minute to draw this.” Picasso replied, “No, it took me 40 years.”

Whether this story is true or not is hard to know for sure, but it has a very good point. Most people do not consider the experience of the artist. Along with that are many other...

If you have been considering getting a new camera or have been considering upgrading a camera, you have probably heard all about crop sensor cameras but what does it mean? How does crop factor affect lens selections? When you are considering systems, often it is not just the camera bodies you must consider, but the selection of lenses for that system as well.

Sensor Optics and Equivalences Crop Sensor Optics

Most new photographers often start out with crop sensor cameras because they are usually less expensive. But as you become more advanced does it make sense to upgrade to a full frame system? If you are thinking about upgrading is there a reasonable upgrade path?

For example, should you buy full frame lenses to use with your crop sensor body? It seems so confusing and to be fair, it is a little complicated and the simple rules of thumb don’t tell the whole story. Rather than look at the differences in camera sensors themselves (they are all pretty good), let’s try to make sense of the lenses themselves.

Starting a photography blog was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I never would’ve guessed when I pulled the trigger on my first blog post how much good would come from it.

I talked briefly about starting a blog in this article, 10 Photography Lessons I’ve Learned Over 10 Years, and I decided it would be worth going deeper. The benefits of sharing your photos on your own blog are many, and I’m going to talk about 12 of them here.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully, it will inspire you to start a photography blog of your own.

1. Having a photography blog will help you grow

It’s easy to get stale in your photography sometimes. You tend to shoot the same things the same way and post-process using the same presets.

A blog can help inspire you to get out of that stale rut and grow as a photographer because you will naturally want to share something new and exciting. Knowing that people are viewing your photography blog is a great motivator to post a better photo today than you did last week.

If you haven’t yet printed some of your favorite photos, trust me you are missing out on a lot. The joy and pleasure that you get by looking at the prints cannot be matched by the digital copies. This article might excite those photographers who have gotten their photos printed at least once. But if you haven’t yet, this might be the beginning, give it a try!

The majority of you may already be using Adobe Lightroom to post-process and color correct your photos. But did you know that you might be saving your final digital copy to be sent to the printer using the wrong export settings? Do not panic, this article will help you cross-check some of the key export settings that you want to follow.

Getting the Dimensions Correct

Trust me, this is one of the most basic and silliest mistakes that you might make while exporting the final copy to be sent for printing. To make sure that you get the dimensions correct, simply crop the image (if needed) using the desired aspect ratio the moment you import the photo to Lightroom. This will make sure that the final prints are in the perfect dimensions and you do not have to pay the printer extra to correct the ratio.

Note: You can use a Virtual Copy to crop for print and leave the original for online.


Over the last two weeks, you’ve done images of spring in general, and then flowers last week. So for this week’s photography challenge, let’s see if you can see the forest for all the trees!

Image by Adam Welch, dPS writer.

Need some help? Here are some tips:

Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees Image by Anne McKinnell, dPS writer.

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there...

In photography, you can use filters in many ways to alter and/or enhance your images. But what if you don’t have any filters, or can’t afford the high prices to the top of the line ones? Time to rummage around the house for some things to make DIY photo filters!

8 DIY photo filters you can make at home

In this first video from COOPH, see how you can use some everyday things you likely have around the house to make some fun and interesting DIY photo filters.

Keep in mind that you may not get top-quality images or award-worthy ones this way, but the point is to experiment and have some fun and see what you like. Then you can decide if you like a certain technique and will use it whether or not it’s worth investing in a more expensive filter.

Make your own photo filters

Next up is a video from CNET with a few more ideas for DIY photo filters.

Get some colored cellophane, a wine glass, some plastic wrap and a bit of Vaseline and you’re ready to give this a go.

6 Creative photography tricks

This last one isn’t so much about filters as it is things you can put in front of your lens (that’s kind of like a filter right?) to alter the image. Again, it’s about being creative, thinking outside the box and asking the question, “What if?”

A wine bottle is always a tricky subject to photograph. The highly reflective nature of the glass makes it hard to use frontal lighting, while backlighting will not reach the label.

In short, the perfect light for the glass will usually not work for the label and vice-versa, often leading to the capture of various images that are later on composited in post-production, creating the final image in this manner.

In this article, I will show you step-by-step, how this image was photographed and composited using Photoshop.

Image capture

This image was photographed with a full frame DSLR, a 100mm macro lens, and two speedlights.

One of the speedlights was fitted with a yellow filter, this provided the background light. The other speedlight was fitted on a stripbox and provided the light on the bottle in different positions for different shots.

Light areas

Planning ahead and deciding which areas to light are key factors for the success of the final image composite.
In this particular image, the areas that were lit for each image were as follows:

  • The label
  • Gold logo
  • The embossed letters
  • Light side light
  • The background

None of these...

Have you ever been on a vacation only to return home disappointed with your images? Many people take pictures while on holiday but find they are unsatisfied with their results. You can improve your chances of capturing better vacation photos by learning the basics and applying a few simple techniques.

1. Choose the right equipment

Firstly, you don’t need expensive equipment to achieve photos from your travels that are satisfying. If you’re looking to buy a camera, choose one that suits your needs and budget. Digital cameras now range from professional DSLRs to great compacts that can produce quality images. Even mobile phones can give you stunning results.

Generally, a camera with more megapixels will provide a better picture resolution and higher quality images when printed. Whichever camera you decide to use, choose a compact with a good quality lens and broad optical zoom or a digital SLR with a zoom or telephoto lens depending on the subjects and angle of view you want to capture.

For example, a wide zoom would help to photograph a wide sweeping landscape and a telephoto can be used to capture wildlife. Also consider the size and weight of your equipment and make sure you can carry your camera kit comfortably.

One of the joys of travel is capturing all the new and exciting destination sites from your own perspective. Sometimes you make conscious decisions of what to leave behind and other times you realize you forgot to bring something, only after you got there. Whatever the case, a few travel photography hacks can help you save the day!

1. Pack Light

Many times, the biggest challenge in travel photography is whether or not you will be able to capture the essence of the place with the gear you packed. If you are going on vacation, you certainly do not want to take every lens you own. Other than adding weight, there is a chance that much of it will not be used.

This is a good reason to research your destination is to help determine what images you want to capture. Are you going to shoot more landscape scenery or trying to capture the people living there? Your decision will affect what gear you take with you.

Are you taking too many photos where the background is distracting from your main subject? It’s a common mistake for beginner photographers to pay attention only to their main subject and not what’s in the background. You also need to carefully look at what’s behind your subject when you are composing your photos, and a better background is part of better overall images.

Here are 8 tips to help new photographers achieve photos with a better background.

1. Choose Plain Backgrounds By getting down low and looking up at your subject, the sky can make a great plain background.

Look for plain backgrounds and avoid strong patterns or clutter behind your subject. A single subject against a plain background will stand out better and make a stronger image. If what’s behind your subject is visually imposing it will distract attention from your subject.

By taking your photo from a low angle the sky will make a good plain background, especially on a cloudless day or at night. Get up higher, above your subject, and a nice lawn or large paved area can work well. A long fence or the side of a building with no windows will provide you with an effective plain background as well.

2. Give your Subject Some Distance

A common question among those starting out in macro photography is, “What lens should I choose?” Given the number of options, this is difficult to answer and depends on a number of factors (physical requirements, budget, subject, style, etc.). There is no one ideal macro lens. However, this article will provide a guide to choosing the ideal macro lens for your needs, focusing on three main considerations: focal length, image quality, and price.

A Note About Image Quality

When it comes to choosing lenses, photographers often focus on image quality, especially sharpness.

I am happy to tell you that, for macro photography, this is generally less of an issue. Why? Macro lenses are incredibly sharp. Even lenses on the lower end of the price spectrum offer professional-level sharpness, especially when stopped down slightly. I have used a half-dozen macro lenses over the course of my photography career, and I have never been dissatisfied with the level of sharpness.

However, this does not mean that low-end macro lenses are indistinguishable from the pricier options. Expensive macro lenses do often provide better sharpness and bokeh.

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018 was released recently and it has a lot of options included in a single software program. It offers a combination of features covered by the likes of Lightroom, Bridge, and Photoshop in one setup at a competitive price.

Depending on your skill level, it caters to beginner through to advanced users. This new 2018 version combines previously standalone programs into one with some new features added. Development for future versions is also underway, so it’s an option that is undergoing improvement.

For the purposes of this article, I will be using Lightroom and Photoshop as the basis for comparison as those are the tools I currently use.

Let’s work through the usual steps that this software would be used for, from the point of view of a beginner photographer and someone new to the software as well.

  1. Setting up the program
  2. Basic layout
  3. Import images
  4. Raw image editing
  5. Edit mode with layers, etc.
  6. General comments
1. Setup and Install

Setup and installation are fairly standard. You are required to set up an account as part of the install process (I tried to skip out of it but it canceled the Install when I did) which then requires an extra registration step with an email confirmation. However, once that is done there are no other impediments to using or starting up the program.

It does allow...

We’ve all been there; in a new country, a new city or just a new part of your local town. Camera in hand, you shoot and shoot and shoot as your memory card never seems to fill up. It’s thrilling and you don’t want to waste a moment because there is so much to capture. But what if putting your camera down, even just for 20 minutes, can help you take better photos?

I don’t mean leave it unattended. But I do mean put it away or leave it behind as you go for a walk in your new environment.

I know some of you are getting the shakes at the mere thought of being without your camera in a new area, but indulge me for a moment. In this article, I will bring to light a few thoughts on why putting away your camera might actually help your photography.

1 – Greater Awareness

How can you truly capture the essence of a location without first experiencing it? There are always bright and colorful things to shoot. But if you go around grabbing each little scene like a bird grabbing nectar from a cherry blossom, you risk miss seeing the whole tree.

In any art form, we have those who seem to transcend the medium itself. Those who by their very accomplishments earn the respect and admiration of those who view their work. We call these esteemed individuals “Masters”. In photography, there great names that we hold high because their photographs move us on some emotional, nearly spiritual plain. We see these people as masters of photography not simply because of their level of technical skill but how their application of those skills makes us feel. At the same time, we strive to reach that same level of proficiency.

In this installment of Lessons from the Masters of Photography, we are going to examine the work of Edward Weston. We will look at the photographs and also the man to see what valuable lessons they can teach us about photography.

Edward Weston Edward Weston by Fred Archer- 1915

Weston was born in Highland Park, IL on March 24th, 1886. He began photography at the relatively young age of 16 when he was given a No. 2 Bulls-Eye camera by his father. The camera used 3 ½ inch roll film and Weston used the incredible little box to make photographs around Chicago where he spent a large portion of his childhood.

After moving to California in 1906, he worked as a surveyor and began working in photography essentially as a “door-to-door” photographer. A couple of years later, Weston...

In this article, we’ll take a look at optical versus electronic viewfinders so you can get a better understanding of the differences and strengths and weaknesses of each.

Coke versus Pepsi, Star Wars versus Star Trek, football versus futbol. The world is full of great rivalries, and photography is no exception. Aside from simple brand loyalty and lens preference, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other tools, features, and options that photographers to argue about. One of the most recent but most pronounced has to do with how you see the world in front of your lens.

Some cameras have optical viewfinders while others sport more technologically advanced versions called electronic viewfinders. Other cameras even have hybrid options that attempt to combine the best of both worlds. So which is better? Just like most rivalries, that question is impossible to answer, but it is worth exploring some of their individual strengths and weaknesses to help you know which one might be right for you.

Seeing the scene

A viewfinder is one of the most basic elements of any camera; it’s what you use to look at what you will be photographing. When you hold your camera up to your eye, whether you’re shooting DSLR or mirrorless, the tiny little hole you look through is what’s known as the viewfinder. This is what...

What is spot color in an image?

Some people refer to it as selective coloring. However, these two techniques are not the same thing.

Traditionally, selective coloring is something that is done in post-production. Photographers would highlight a certain area of the image, or a certain object, and leave it as the only thing that has colored in the frame.

They would turn the rest of the image into monochrome, or on occasion increasing the color saturation of that object while lowering it in the rest of the photograph. This is to call attention or focus to that particular part of the image.

Do you remember the days of black and white prom dresses with red corsages? Or, do you remember a black and white image of a model with red lips? Those are classic examples of selective coloring.

Difference between spot coloring versus selective

Spot coloring uses the available colors in a scene and then composes the image so that one color stands out from the rest of the frame. Spot coloring is a technique that is used in-camera (done by the photographer). It works by placing a color against other colors that allow it to stand out in the composition.

Selective coloring is a technique where one color is prominent in the final shot whereas all the other colors have either been...

One of the joys of photography is sharing it with the world. Once upon a time, a photography portfolio was a collection of prints, but digital photography and the internet have changed everything. Photography portfolios these days come in many forms, and they are almost exclusively online.

So, do you need a portfolio, and how do you decide where to proudly display your photos for the world to see?

Why You Need a Photography Portfolio

You may be asking why you need a portfolio at all. Maybe you’re happy keeping your photos to yourself and never sharing or printing them for anyone else to see? It’s your photography, and you can do what you like with it. But, there are a few benefits that only come from sharing your work, though.

A photography portfolio allows other people to see and enjoy your creations. I’m betting you love not only the process of creating images but also the final product. So why not let others appreciate your artwork too?

You will be driven to stretch yourself and work on improving your photography if you put it out there for others to see. This is often a quiet voice nudging you to try a new technique or take a workshop or develop your post-production skills. A portfolio opens your...

If you are a landscape photographer, you might already be using various lens filters to get desired colors and saturation in your images. What if you do not own these filters or forget to carry them along? There is a tool in Adobe Lightroom can help you.

The HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Luminance) tool is a savior for all photographers, especially those shooting landscapes. This is because the HSL tool allows you to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance in your photos very efficiently.

Where is HSL Panel located in Lightroom?

First, you have to make sure that you are working on the Develop module, in order to access the HSL tool.

Once you are in the develop module, you can now see all the toolbars on the right-hand side of the window. Simply scroll down a bit until you see the “HSL / Color / B&W” panel. As you will be working on the HSL tool, just click on the “HSL” tab.

Using the Hue Sliders in HSL

The first tool that we shall be discussing is the Hue tab, which as the name suggests allows you to adjust the hue (or color tint) of a photo. Hue enables you to adjust the...