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Stock Photography Articles and Tips

The ShutterPoint article link library consists of useful photography information and tips, contributed by various subject experts. Each article was manually reviewed and approved by the ShutterPoint team. Submit your own article.

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Ten years ago, digital camera technology was still being developed and people had to take film to a store for their photos to be developed. Here is a short guide to operating your digital camera while taking quality photographs. Read more»
Many professional photographers take awe-inspiring photographs of sparkling city skylines. Vast skyline photographs can be just what a professional portfolio needs to stand out from the rest. On the right day, at the right time, a photographer can capture an award-winning photograph that showcases the beauty a city has to offer. Below is a list of the five best cities for photographing skylines. Read more»
I shoot using aperture priority. That means, I set the aperture for the detail/depth of field that I want and let the camera determine the fraction of a second necessary for the correct exposure. It could do this by “reading” the light available in the center of the frame, or by averaging a number of areas in the frame, but I chose the area I want it to evaluate. That’s what spot metering is... Read more»
Whether you have been creating photographs for years or only for few weeks, finding inspiration is not always easy. We all experience periods of creative blocks when we get stuck and all our good ideas come to a halt. Inspiration seems to elude us. Read more»
Have you ever snapped a photo of someone or a group of people and noticed that one or all of the people in the picture had red eyes? Did you ever wonder how this could have happened? The cause of red eye in photographs has a simple answer, with an even simpler solution. Read more»
In most slideshows, you have photos shown in sequence, one after the other, with some transition between them - like in the examples in the first part of this test. As you can add captions and frames, each image is not just a photo anymore, but a "slide" - a single-photo slide. In a multi-photo slide, a group of images is shown together on the screen, and you can then have several of these slides presented one after the other, or even a combination of single- and multi-photo slides. I tested Memories on TV Pro and ProShow Gold, which have the capacity to create multi-photo slideshows. Read more»
Having seen videos using the Ken Burns effect for zooming and panning photos, I was enchanted by the dynamic presentations obtained with it, so I started looking for a software that would allow me to create such presentations. A bit of internet search took me to many sites, some with demo versions available. I picked six of them and compared and tested them. The results are shown herein. Read more»
Vaseline does wonders, not only for your skin, but can also help you to create impressionist masterpieces. You can transform just about any subject into something interesting and exiting. If you like the soft, poetic look in your photographs this simple technique is for you. Read more»
Stalking animals takes practice. They have a much better sense of smell than humans, so it is important to approach downwind of them where possible. Better still though, is to let the animal come to you. This is where fieldcraft and knowledge of the animal really comes in. Read more»
I think everybody loves such kind of photography.I wish to share the technique for taking such images. I am not the first one to do such work,you can get lot of information on internet.This is an attempt to share my personal experience with you. Before starting to work on this I must say one needs lot of patience for getting good images.One has to select really good images out of the bunch & be ready to throw average images. T A N G O Green smoke The Dancing Smoke My few tips for capturing such good images will be as given below: PLACE: You will need a place with good ventilation but enough protection for not disturbing the smoke. SOURCE: The source for smoke can be cigar,incense sticks etc. I prefer incense sticks because they are not harmful for health & pleasant considering long time needed for working on such shots. BACKGROUND: Use a black background for getting good contrast with the smoke color.The another advantage is that during post processing when you invert image you ca Read more»
In part 1 I discusssed the artistry behind landscape photography. Before I start on the technique, I'll say a little about micro landscapes. Micro landscapes are pretty much as the name would suggest, landscapes on a small scale. This could be a detail shot of a small area or perhaps even a macro image showing the minute details in a very small scene, maybe showing the habitat of an insect or other small animal. Read more»
Landscape photography is perhaps one of the most varied forms of photography, ranging from urban landscapes, through to dramatic mountain scenes and even micro-landscapes; the small scale landscapes of small subjects. The basic rules and principles remain though, whatever the subject. Read more»
Macro photography is arguably one of the more difficult forms of photography to master, it is certainly more technical than some others and it is important to understand the effects of depth of field. In many ways, depth of field is one of the biggest hurdles a macro photographer has to overcome, either by using a narrow aperture or to embrace the narrow depth of field in such a way that it becomes a form of creativity. At wider apertures, the depth of field can be measured in millimetres. Almost without exception, manual focus should be used because of the narrow depth of field, even at f/16. Read more»
What makes football a high-paced, anything-can-happen event also makes it very difficult for digital photographers. To help you score a touchdown with your digital photos I've listed 9 digital photography tips. Read more»
A newer, 'better', faster, and cheaper digital camera seems to always be available, making your current camera seem 'uncool', agonizingly slow, and obsolete. How can you purchase a digital camera that will continue to stay cutting-edge for years to come? Read more»
Especially in today's troublesome economy, with the high prices of digital cameras, rechargeable batteries, tripods, filters, and other accessories, you might be tempted to save some money by purchasing cheaper, generic digital camera media. And why not? Photos taken with cheaper media should look just the same as those taken with more expensive media, as long as the files get written correctly. Your JPG images will not come out more pixilated, and uncompressed TIFF and RAW files will contain the same information. However, "saving money" has a few potential downsides. Read more»
Almost all photographers and copyright holders want to keep a firm grip on their work, or in some cases, their artists' work. Photographers especially can get pretty annoyed when they see people using their images without permission for anything from MySpace and desktop wallpapers to printing out lo-res copies to hang on their walls. Let it go. Read more»
The photography world is buzzing nowadays with the latest technique in creating perfect exposures every time - the High Dynamic Range (or HDR) photo. Using a series of images ranging from underexposed to overexposed, a perfect image can be blended together using Adobe Photoshop CS2 or CS3, assuming you've got the right equipment and follow the procedure accordingly. It may be a bit daunting at first, but it can quickly become second nature. Read more»
A new article on depth perception and parallax, with special reference to the compact camera Canon G7. Some new pictures as well. Read more»
There was a vogue a few years ago, which seemed to coincide with a general surge in the popularity of a certain maker of square filters, for using ever more outlandish combinations of filter effects. Read more»
'Act in haste, repent at leisure' is a concept I am well acquainted with. It was something that popped into my mind when I took delivery of my prize a week later. Read more»
If you were to read a number of the magazine articles about this lens you might be forgiven for expecting to find a little red 'S' in place of the trademark 'VR' badge on the satin black casing. Read more»
Photographing the desert southwest can be tricky. If you follow the basic rules, however, the difference in creating a simple, but elegant photo can be astounding. Read more»
She's the cutest thing in the world, a pink and chubby bundle of happiness. So capturing your baby’s beauty on camera should be the easiest thing in the world. But too often the results are not as good as you’d hoped. So follow our guide and you’ll soon be filling albums with delightful digital pictures of the new addition to your family. Read more»
One thing I get asked a lot is "How come your pictures pop and mine don't?" The answer is quite simple, but like any hobby, it just takes practice. It's not about the camera or the equipment, it's all in how you take the picture. You'll only need the newest and greatest digital camera if you've managed to master everything below it while also looking for the challenge of learning how to bring even more control into your photos. Read more»
Digital Photography has provided a unique opportunity for experimentation and trial shots without the time and expense of processing before we see the results. This article describes a new method of taking pictures using the parallax effect and image stitching to give improved depth perception in 2d images. Please see also ...search ... 3d effect on the Shutterpoint website. Read more»
We've all run into them; websites which take far too long to download, I for one usually leave if a website is too slow to download. The speed at which a website loads if usually largely attributed to the compression of the images displayed on the site and although this is an easily fixable problem, many websites do not do so. Read more»
Photographing people can be intimidating. Lighting, posing, which lens to use, where to do it, are all parts of the equation. This basic guide shows gives you a step by step process for creating natural, beautiful pictures of real people. Read more»
An electrifying event in the game of baseball, a grand slam instantly changes the pace and outcome of a game. With one swing of the bat, the long ball with the bases loaded lets a team instantly take a commanding lead of the game. You can change the outcome of your game - shooting digital photographs - with these digital photography tips Read more»
This is a step by step guide to what to look for when buying a digital camera. It will focus you on the right model for you. What are the significant features you should look for, and what do those specifications mean? This guide will not help you buy the best digital camera, it will help you buy the right one. Read more»
When you're driving through the mountains somewhere, and you notice a car parked half off the road and some guy leaning to the left to avoid a branch with his SLR camera with a long lens, in the act of focusing, you've met me. I do this because, to me, a trip isn't fulfilling unless I've preserved that beauty for posterity. I'd like to share some of the techniques that make scenic photography such a wonderful artform - simple, yet elegant. Read more»
In the digital age, color-correction is a much more attainable skill than it was in the film age. Anyone who knows how to read numbers can color-correct a photo with a computer. Read more»
You can't know for sure if a sunrise or sunset will be as spectacular as you and your camera hope. But by paying attention, you can make a good guess as to what colors to expect when that sun hits the horizon. Read more»
Bring your ShutterPoint photos automatic to your site, using only a few lines of PHP code and the RSS feed provided by ShutterPoint. Read more»
As a rookie nature photographer who ends up throwing away at least 99% of the images I shoot, there are a lot of things I wish for. For example, considering all the great automated features of SLR camera's, I wish someone would invent an SLR that would beep or buzz or even chime when I achieved the very best composition in the frame. Maybe there could even be a recorded vocal alert that would say: "Warning! Composing the frame requires more thought than just choosing a subject!" Read more»
Night photos can take on a somewhat magical quality you may find lacking in normal daytime photography. Amazing night pictures certainly can attract attention. As the sun goes down, however, it becomes harder to capture images without the proper equipment and techniques. Read more»
A baseball game is the perfect way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, plus it provides opportunities to take photos that last a lifetime. While many claim the sport of baseball is a slow-paced affair, when action does occur, it can happen very swiftly, almost too fast for an unskilled photographer to shoot the photos they desire. Thus, before you plan on taking photos at a baseball game, you may wish to read the following advice. Read more»
There is a myth that in order to be good at composition, one must be born with a certain visual sense. Fortunately for the majority of us, this isn't true. By studying the elements of composition, it is possible for anyone to improve their ability and get great images. There is another myth that composition is hard, yet we all know what we like and what we don't. Getting in touch with this sense of what we like is one of the fundamental ways to help us improve our composition without making it hard. Composition should not become simply an academic pursuit devoid of our connection to the image and what we feel about it. Read more»
It may take you a while to master manual exposure; it may also tend to slow you down when shooting, at least at first. You will probably make mistakes when learning also but don't be discouraged. It can take some time to learn to do this well. Have a bit of patience, and you will come to appreciate the ability to know what your results will come out as. This added control will make you a better photographer. Read more»
There once was a time when the Arca-Swiss B1 was the ultimate tripod head for "serious" nature photographers. While expensive, it was a reputation well deserved. Over the years though, competition has resulted in an ever-increasing number of excellent alternatives. A tripod head is a very personal thing. Read more»
Trying to get the colors right on your prints can be an exercise in frustration. If you've explored this to any degree, you've undoubtedly come across the voodoo art known as Color Management. Contrary to what it might seem though, Color Management is not really that hard, it just appears that way at first. Trying to make sense of it all so far may have left you feeling a bit lost, but there is hope. Read more»
Contrary to popular belief stunning nature pictures can be taken when shooting into the light. Whilst this may contradict advice given to beginners to always shoot with the light coming from behind the camera the art of backlighting is a technique that can produce wonderful nature photography. Read more»
"Always remember the importance of detail". I can still clearly hear these words that were repeatedly drummed home by my college lecturer. Whilst they seemed unimportant and irrelevant to me at the time, they have over the years taken on a much greater significance and have become ingrained in my philosophy. Read more»
Without doubt there is something awe inspiring and wholesome in the big view. Every year there are vast arrays of calendars all full of pretty landscape and nature pictures adorning our high street shops. Many we can relate to and one day would like to see for ourselves. Read more»
Wondering about the best way to get aorund in the winter woods for taking pictures? Here's a comprehensive article on choosing snowshoes and going snowshoeing. Read more»
Comprehensive basics on photographing the winter landscape - and staying comfortable while you're there. Read more»
Snow reflects back whatever color is in the sky. Here are some thoughts on how to maximize these hues in the final photo. Read more»
People often ask me which camera they should purchase. Here is what I tell them. Read more»
Photographic Equipment   Equipment

by Adam Tow  |  August 21, 2003
The Agfa Ephoto 1680 was the first camera that I ever owned, digital or film. I bought it in October, 1998, right before the World Series between my San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees. Read more»
Most of my bugs are photographed in the natural environment. I don't chill them, or spray them, or glue them, or nail them down. I will sometimes move some blades of grass or vegetation to get a better view. Even less often, I will try to relocate the bug to a new location. Nonetheless, they are always alive and well when I shoot them. Read more»
Hides   Nature

by Nigel Dennis  |  August 20, 2003
Other than birds living in the campsites of popular reserves or island nesting sea-birds, both of which have little to fear from man, successful bird photography requires some means of making oneself invisible. Read more»
Fill Flash   Technique

by Nigel Dennis  |  August 20, 2003
The soft golden sunlight that occours all too briefly early and late in the day is undoubtedly the best for photography. However to photograph only in "good" light is pretty limiting. Read more»
It seems every decade something new and exciting happens in photo hardware. In the seventies we saw the arrival of accurate auto-exposure. This proved a great boon as we could stop having to constantly fiddle with light readings and camera settings and concentrate on the important aspects of picture taking. Read more»
Light   Nature

by Nigel Dennis  |  August 20, 2003
Working with light is undoubtedly the key factor in making attractive and striking images. Even the most impressive bird subjects will look dull and uninteresting when photographed in the flat glare of the midday sun. Although our eyes perceive detail in both the brightly lit and shadow areas in bright harsh light, unfortunately photographic film is unable to record these extremes of contrast satisfactorily. Read more»
Ethics   Nature

by Nigel Dennis  |  August 20, 2003
I believe that almost without exception, people take up nature photography because they find the natural world to be a fascinating, wonderful and beautiful place. Undoubtedly, to capture a little of that beauty and wonder on film is immensely satisfying. Read more»
Shooting Action   Nature

by Nigel Dennis  |  August 20, 2003
Until a few years ago action photography of birds was a very difficult business indeed. Most of the pictures of birds in flight were taken with high speed flash triggered by an infra red beam device. Also, because it was necessary to know exactly where the subject would be flying to trip the beam, this pretty much restricted the use of all this paraphernalia to birds approaching a nest site. Read more»
Having invested in a good quality telephoto lens, you have just returned from the first trip using the new equipment and are eagerly reviewing the results. However, apart from a few "good uns", most of the pictures are rather below the calendar quality you had anticipated. Somehow they lack the bite and crisp detail expected after parting with a great deal of hard earned cash for the lens. What went wrong? Read more»
In this feature we will be looking at various ways of ensuring that the birds you wish to photograph are going to appear right in front of your hide. Read more»
Due to the difficulty in approaching our subjects, telephoto lenses of between 400mm and 600mm are regarded as pretty much standard fare for bird photography. However, tele lenses have what at first may appear a great drawback in that their depth of field is extremely shallow. Read more»
It is often said that bird photography is the most difficult field of nature photography. Certainly compared with photographing game in reserves where they are habituated to vehicles, then bird photography may seem a tough proposition. Most of us, after buying our first telephoto lens, are dismayed to find that birds almost invariably fly away before you can get close enough for a picture! Read more»
Cropping slides scanned into Photoshop can be tricky with a photo that has abundant dark areas at the edges, especially silhouettes. But an easy way around this problem is achieved using Adjustment Layers. Read more»
The first question many digital newcomers ask when scanning an image for computer use is: What DPI should the image be? The answer these people usually get is: 72 DPI. However, the correct, controversial answer is: It really doesn't matter. Read more»
With all the advances in digital photography technology, about half the professional photographers I know had switched from film to pixels, and a couple of them consistently ask me why I haven't switched too. Read more»
Sizing Digital Images   Basics

by Eric R. Jeschke  |  August 18, 2003
One of the wonderful things about digital images is the ability to crop and manipulate them in a variety of sizes and orientations with such relative ease. However, sometimes you need to be able to determine with some accuracy the size that a digital image will occupy when presented. Read more»
Replace a background in a photograph with a completely different one. Read more»
Portrait photographers sometimes employ special "soft" lenses to impart a glowing, flattering and "dreamy" feel to their subjects. Learn how to simulate this effect digitally. Read more»
Learn how to effectively retouch images to enhance skin tone, remove blemishes and wrinkles, whiten teeth, etc. Read more»
Photographers using prosumer-level digital cameras have very little ability to effectively employ shallow depth of field techniques because of the small sensor size these cameras use. Learn a powerful technique to simulate shallow DOF for enhancing portraits and other images that could benefit from shallow DOF. Read more»
Learn how to convert color images to black and white and then selectively restore color to certain areas for artistic appeal. Read more»
Sharpening images is a necessary step in the digital image workflow, but it can exacerbate noise or film grain to unacceptable levels. Learn effective ways to sharpen without affecting the noise. Read more»
Learn how to combine two different exposures of the same scene to create composite images with greater dynamic range than the film or sensor would otherwise be able to handle. Read more»
Digital cameras, like slide film, are notoriously unforgiving of overexposure; overexposed areas tend to blow out to completely white highlights with no chance of recovering the lost detail. Learn how to salvage such images. Read more»
Although lens vignetting of the unintentional variety is usually unwanted, vignetting can also be used intentionally to create a sort of "spotlight" effect that, if done subtly, draws the viewers eye to the subject of the photograph. It is particularly well suited to portraits. Read more»
In this tutorial I will show you how to simulate black and white infrared film. Infrared film is sensitive to both ultraviolet and infrared wavelength light. Green foliage reflects a lot of infrared light, which is why infrared film is often used to take "supernatural" landscapes. Cameras do not focus infrared light the same way they do visible light, which is one reason infrared photographs tend to be a little blurry. Read more»
Learn a fast and effective technique for removing hot pixels (dark current noise) from nighttime and long exposure digital camera images. Read more»
In this tutorial I will show you how to sepia tone a color or black and white image. This technique is modeled on the traditional darkroom method of sepia toning in that the sepia color is applied "unevenly" to areas of different tonality. Read more»
Learn an effective technique for reducing excessive contrast. A contrast mask allows you to reduce overall contrast, simultaneously bringing out more detail in highlights and shadows. Read more»
Savvy photographers often use a neutral density filter to compress the dynamic range of a scene to allow the film or sensor in their camera to properly expose it. Learn how to tweak images with large underxposed areas to appear to have been properly exposed using an digital analogue of this technique. Read more»
Learn a dead simple technique for matching the toning of one image in another. A trivially easy way to do sepia, selenium, platinum, palladium, cyanotype and other classic tonings! Read more»
Digital cameras are prone to sensor noise, the digital counterpart to traditional film grain. Learn how to ameliorate the problem of sensor noise. Read more»
Learn a variety of different ways to convert your RGB color images to black and white. There are more ways than you think! Read more»
A key to good landscape photography is knowing when to use a polarizing filter. But sometimes predicting the exact results of a polarizer can be tricky, and the only way to do so is to put it on a lens and have a look. Read more»
Usually there's nothing you can do about bad light. However, when that bad light is caused by weather, then paying attention to your environment can help you find a better time or place to make some photographs. Read more»
Sometimes you may not have your tripod handy. Sometimes that's okay, but often it's not. But don't fret; there are alternative methods for holding your camera more stable than you could with just your hands. Read more»
Immediately after the sun rests below the horizon, too many photographers pack their gear and leave the scene, thinking of all the wonderful photos they made. If only they knew what wonderful opportunities they were leaving behind Read more»
There are many ways to fail to execute a good photo shoot, and, at some time or another, I've done most of them. The trick is to ensure that the same mistakes don't happen twice - and here are some good mistakes to avoid. Read more»