A Collection of Suggested Photography Tips

NEW Jan 2016
Lens Buying Guide - Click here

Website Templates
Squarespace websites - created with modern browsers and mobile devices in mind. They employ the latest HTML, CSS and Javascript techniques. They are an all in one provider with many templates and ones directed at photographers. See http://www.squarespace.com/templates

Zenfolio - You can do a similar website as the one mentioned above in Zenfolio. Without purchase options and to have your own domain, look into the $60/year account.

Convert - old super-8 and 16mm films to digital - massamediaservices.com

Adaptalux - An adaptable miniature lighting studio - kickstarter.com

Five Rivers Metroparks Photography Permit - Annual permit $100, Weekly permit $25 to photo or video in public areas at all Metro Parks. (937) 275 - 7275.
For applications and rules - Click here

Lost or Stolen Equipment
* Stolen Camera Finders - Click here
* LensTag - Click here

Lens Rental - Click here

PSA (Photographic Society of America) - Click here

Camera Care - Proper Care and Maintenance for DSLR and Smartphone Cameras - Click here

Camera and Photography History - The history of cameras and photography and how they have evolved over time - Click here

Macro Indoors - Click here

Adaptable Miniature Lighting Studio - Adaptalux - Click here

Holdfast Gear Money Maker Two-Camera Harness - Click here

Monitor Calibration - Click here

Free Adobe Lightroom 5 guide - Click here

Video Editing - by Dave Lundy - Click here

Frozen Bubble Photography - by Gail Larvenz - Click here

Flowers - A Guide to Flower Photography - Click here

HS Senior Portrait Tips - by Lindsay Alder.
Info Click Here
also, Click Here

Adobe Camera Raw - Info Click Here

Smoke Photography by Terry Watson - Info Click Here

Kids - Best Photography Resources for Kids and Teens from Deal News - Click here (See links lists at the bottom of their page.)

Miscellaneous tips

  • Cable releases - made for specific cameras. Make sure the one you get is for the particular camera you have.
  • Stitched panos & sky blending - Take the final image, lighten up the righthand side with a graduated mask. Duplicate the layer, flip it to screen mode, adjust opacity, and then apply a graduated mask.
  • Create PDF files - Primo PDF is free and very easy to use.
  • Moon photography - the Moony 11 exposure rule. Set aperture to f/11, then the shutter speed for proper exposure SHOULD be 1/ISO. So if you were shooting at ISO 400, 1/400th sec. should give a proper exposure. At ISO 100, you would use 1/100th sec. (Sunny 16 - same 1/ISO at F16 at noon.)
  • Wood ducks - North Chagrin reservation outside of Cleveland - wood ducks migrate through there in the spring and fall and it is the only place I've seen them that they don't fly away before you can even get them in frame.
  • Portrait Professional software to get skin flawless.

HDR (High dynamic Range)

  • Adobe CS5, CS6 - they do a good job.
  • Some people also like Nik.
  • Some use Photomatix and then pull it into dynamic HDR as single photo. Dynamic HDR is much less expensive and does a great job.


F11, ISO 100, prefocus before the fireworks start, with minor tweaks on the first couple of bursts and TURN OFF THE AUTOFOCUS, use bulb setting, holding the shutter open for 1 to 6 seconds.

Scott Kelby's instructions - F11, 4 sec, ISO 200

Tripods and ballheads

Really Right Stuff ball head and tripods are spectacular. Gimbal mount - It's a knockoff of a very popular one, and it's fantastic-a bit over a hundred dollars.

The Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod (which is light) and the very flexible ballhead (which is heavy). The legs splay out so it will go down to ground level...carbon fiber is so smooth you don't need a crank.Consider choosing the tripod based on its folded length in a suitcase, its height when fully extended, its weight, and its stability. Ballhead off when traveling - pack seperately.

Gitzo - worth the money.

Vanguard makes some good relatively lightweight tripod/head combinations for less than $200 and they are in stock at Dodd's in Fairborn - one that has a folding center column feature and ball head, with legs that fold out to about 15 degress from the gound (nearly flat), you can get a lot of angles. They also carry a "lifetime warranty".


Very popular - Manfrotto and the Really Right Stuff


Lightroom tutorial to create web gallery

Lightroom tutorials

Lynda.com - PS tutorials ($25 per year)

Photoshop TV - FREE - http://www.photoshoptv.com

Good book - Adobe Photoshop for digital photographers by Scott Kelby

Good magazine - Photographers' Guide to Photoshop. It is about 160 pages and covers CS and Elements, editing advice on RAW/layers/filters/tools/adjustments and it is filled with techniques and tutorials on how to enhance images, make corrections, etc.


Adobe Photoshop - you will need to design your logo/design on a transparent background layer to start.Try creating one with the logo in white, and one with the logo in black (best to create it as vector art first then import into your photo, probably raster-based program). Once you have your logo in black or white on a transparent background, then drop the opacity down to around 30%, so that your photo will show through. So you should end up with two files that can be used to overlay on your photos. Choose the one that looks best, depending if you are placing it on a dark or light area of the photo.

Best advice - Get a graphic designer's help if you are not experienced with logo design yourself. It will be worth it even if you have to pay a few hundred dollars. One bad photo here or there may not hurt your image as a photographer, but your logo will be on every image and it does affect people's perceptions about the quality of your work.

Register your Copyright

US Copyright Office FAQ page - Click here

Enlarging Photos

Inkjet photo printers typically require 300 pixels / inch. There is software to significantly enlarge photos while avoiding pixelization. Probably, the best known is Genuine Fractals (now called Perfect Resize - free trial) at


Free program with good reviews - SmillaEnlarger at


Also, PhotoZoom Classic with a free trial at


Exactly how much you can enlarge a photo depends on how much quality you're willing to sacrifice and from what distance you intend to view it.


12x16 fits on 16x20 boards with 2" border all around. 16x20 comes out of 32x40 mat boards. Which is a standard size.

Most medium size printers handle 13x19 paper (up to 13x44 for Epson). R3000 because of its B&W capabilities and ability to handle 13" roll paper. Google: "printer test image" - very good choices. Scroll over them to find ones that have large files/resolution. Sometimes they are smaller resolutions (say 300 to 500) but they link to a site that links to the full size image (say at least 1700 x 2000) for testing on 8.5 x 11 paper.

Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II does a 13 x 19. Amazing quality.

For printing, White House (WHCC) has an excellent reputation at the national level. Do follow their instructions on sending files.

WHCC - Once you're calibrated, you should be pleased. They have different icc profiles you can download (depending on which printer/paper) to "soft proof" in Photoshop. In general, prints will look darker than what you see on an illuminated screen since the light on a print is reflected, not illuminating.

Others have used MPix - very pleased with their prints and service.

Print, paper, and ink performance - A printer-nerd site about quality and life of inks and papers.
Info - Click Here

Monitor calibration

The xrite i1Display 2 for monitor calibration is a fine product.

Datacolor Spyder3Express - worked pretty well and reasonably priced.