Mirrorless vs DSLR – A (Still) Ongoing Contest

The mirrorless vs DSLR debate is still a hot topic among photography enthusiasts and professionals alike, and it is starting to resemble the tradition vs technology debate in various other walks of life. The arguments are there for every camp, manufacturers are starting to take sides more staunchly, and (as is the case with every controversy) objectivity is in short supply.

We have laid out the mirrorless vs DSLR arguments, spread across several sections, yet we still find the pronouncing of a verdict a daunting task. Read our exposition so you can make up your own mind.

mirrorless vs dslr

Mirrorless vs DSLR – The Question of Proportion

Everybody knows that DSLR’s are the weightier of the two and that mirrorless cameras are far easier to manipulate, however, that does not tell the whole story as there are far more implications to the differences in size and weight.

The actual size of the body of a mirrorless device can be misleading because if one takes into account the lenses available for them, they are just as bulky as those of a DSLR. Furthermore, things are not going to change in the future, because the technology of lens building is not projected to go through revolutionary changes. When discussing lenses, full-frame mirrorless cameras do not possess a significant advantage over their DSLR counterparts, with only APS-C devices providing significant size and weight advantages. Yet, the handicap in quality of the APS-C mirrorless cameras does not tilt the balance in favor of the mirrorless cameras in this section.

The same is true when considering the paltry offer of lenses for APS-C’s, therefore making a choice purely on the size and weight argument does not actually make that much sense as simple specification comparisons would entail. No outright winner here.

mirrorless vs dslr size

Autofocus System

From a technological point of view, DSLR’s are can be staunchly placed in the traditional optics category. And while in the past the phase detection method of autofocus used by the DSLR’s had better practical results than the mirrorless’s technique of contrast detection, over the past few years things have improved tremendously, with the important investments the companies have put into the development of sensors.

Nowadays, the sensors of mirrorless devices use contrast detection and phase detection, delivering amazingly quick autofocus. Furthermore, DSLR’s have a limited amount of focus points, while the continuous evolution of electronic sensors may render this limitation obsolete in mirrorless systems in the not-very-distant future.

If we are to consider this parameter at present, then realistic differences are negligible, yet the possibility of advancement for the mirrorless cameras is theoretically unlimited, thus we will give the slight edge to the mirrorless systems on this one.

mirrorless vs dslr autofocus

Image Preview

DSLR cameras preview the image in real time thanks to the optical viewfinder, a process which can be actually resumed by the old cliché “what you see is what you get”. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, used to only offer the possibility of previewing the image on-screen, a technique that often spelled inaccuracy, especially in demanding situations. Presently, almost all mirrorless devices are equipped with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) that mimics the functionality of the optical viewfinder.

The DSLR’s optical viewfinder directly reflects light into the eye, which means that the previewed image will always be as true to the final product as is possible, irrespective of lighting conditions. And while there have been important developments in electronic viewfinder technology over the past several years, mirrorless cameras still find themselves lacking in previewing fidelity when lighting conditions are less than ideal.

Considering these factors, we’ll have to give DSLR’s a modicum of advantage when discussing image previewing. Furthermore, if we are to speculate on the future, the DSLR’s are bound to indefinitely maintain the upper hand here, because the laws of optics are not bound to change according to the whims of camera manufacturers and marketers.

Image Quality and Stabilization

The methods of achieving image stabilization are quite simple – in the case of DSLR’s, built-in movement sensors detect the level and direction of the shakiness and adjust parts of the lens system in the opposing direction, while the mirrorless cameras perform the same technique of adjustment by just slightly tweaking with the sensor.

In the quality department, differences between the two types of devices work along the same lines as is the case with image stabilization. With the advent of full-frame mirrorless cameras, similar lenses are now available for both types, consequently, we are at a stalemate.

In the image stabilization and image quality categories, we must declare a draw.

mirrorless vs dslr image quality

Shooting Speed

Better technology does not always entail better quality, however, it almost always means a speedier process. The presence of the mirror in its constitution means that DSLR’s will always be limited when it comes to shooting speed. And while the differences are not that pregnant at the moment, the gulf between the two types of devices will certainly widen in the not-too-distant future.

Nowadays, there are still some mirrorless devices that use mechanical shutters (like the DSLR’s), yet advances in electronic shutter technology will definitely mean quicker frames per second in the future, with totally silent shooting. The physical limitations of the DSLR’s mean that mirrorless cameras are a categorical winner here.

Video Capabilities

For the interpretation of evidence regarding video capabilities, we must return to the aforementioned methods of autofocus. The method of contrast detection used by DSLR’s in video shooting is much less accurate and has a tendency of producing blurry clips.

On the other hand, the phase detection capability of the mirrorless devices means that they are much more adept at shooting video. The incorporation of 4K video technology is also a relevant argument in this debate – 4K is to be found in lots of mirrorless cameras (sometimes irrespective of price), while only high-end DSLR’s come with this technology.

The advantages of the mirrorless cameras at this level is somewhat compensated by the better battery longevity of the DSLR’s and performance in low lighting conditions, overall nevertheless, we still go with the mirrorless cameras on this one.

Accessories Arsenal

This used to be a no-contest area because the tradition of the DSLR’s meant that the number of lens choices was practically endless, irrespective of profile, price or manufacturer. The sheer novelty of the mirrorless systems meant that time worked against them in the accessories department.

That being said, the continuous proliferation of full-frame mirrorless cameras at affordable prices means that the accessories market for mirrorless devices is experiencing a constant expansion, with the DSLR’s seeing their significant lead cut short in this department. Nevertheless, DSLR’s still hold a slight edge.

mirrorless vs dslr lenses

As it is here to be seen, the mirrorless vs DSRL contest is a close one. At present, there are no areas where one hold a definite advantage over the other, and newer mirrorless releases make even a crude pricing comparison difficult. It is evolving into a contest of fractions that should be left to each individual’s judgment.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

How to Become a Professional Photographer – Tips for Greatness

Asking yourself how to become a professional photographer if you feel like you have what it takes? Well, it really isn’t all that hard as long as you’re committed to the goal. If you want to quit playing and get in on the serious stuff, you’re going to have to push for excellence.

It’s a competitive business and only the strongest survive. Pretty much like in the corporate world, without the 9 to 5 work program. You will probably lead a bohemian, colorful life, and have access to great events. Some photographers work with celebrities, so you might even get that autograph you’ve been hoping for your whole life. It sounds good on paper. However, it does come with sacrifices and a lot of effort.

photographer

Here’s How to Become a Professional Photographer in Just 6 Easy Steps:

1.      Invest in Photography Classes

You don’t need a college degree to become a photographer, but you will need to know the technical stuff as well. You can’t rely only on talent when you have to work a complex equipment such as a DSLR camera with various lenses. There are many companies and organizations offering photography courses, and some aren’t expensive at all. You might even find free ones if you do some Internet research. Read online reviews, ask around, make sure you have chosen an excellent course. You will learn how to get the best out of your camera, what techniques to use, learn everything about photography gear and even develop contacts that may be of use in your future career.

2.      Build a Portfolio

While you’re taking your classes, spare some time and start shooting. It’s never too early to start building a portfolio. It’s the only way of demonstrating the quality of your work. Post your photos online on websites such as Flickr or DeviantART. It’s free, and you can easily share the link to your portfolio with prospective clients. Only post your best shots. As always, there should be quality over quantity.

3.      Get a Job as an Assistant

Working as an assistant to an expert in the field is even more useful than specific education. You will gain valuable work experience, but more than that, you’ll develop all the skills you need to become a professional photographer.

4.      Get Inspiration

It’s good to know what other photographer are doing. It doesn’t mean you should start copying their work. No. You have to develop your own style so that people will recognize your work without even having your name next to it. But you do have to look at other photographers’ photos to see how they use lighting, for example, and other elements that make the shot incredible.

5.      Get Yourself out There

Now that you have the skills and the portfolio, you have to get popular. This means also becoming a social media expert. Set up social media accounts and share your photos. Interact with your audience to gain popularity. Check out business pages and try to get in contact with them to offer your services.

You should also act as a sales person if you want to gain profit from your work. At first, you can offer your services or free. When you feel like you’ve won your clients, you can start charging money gradually. Don’t expect to become a professional photographer if you stay within your bubble.

6.      Be a Professional

No, we’re not talking about being a professional photographer. Although, it should come with the job. It’s about how you treat your clients. Answer e-mails, phone calls, messages, as quickly as possible. Even if you have to turn down a job.

If someone isn’t happy with your work, try to reshoot it or reprocess it. But never get angry at your clients. After all, the customer is always right.

You should also keep track of receipts, invoices, taxes. Stay organized at all costs.

Now that you have developed your general skills, you have to find your focus. Try sticking to one field of photography. Be the best at that one thing you’re most fascinated about instead of risking to provide mediocre work because you want to do them all. Below, you’ll find some other useful tips for wedding, wildlife, and sports photographers.

How to Become a Professional Wedding Photographer

wedding photographer

A wedding photographer has one of the toughest jobs. They have to take shots of people on the most special day of their life. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. Well, not always, but for most it really is.

  1. It’s crucial that wedding photographers invest in a good camera and great lenses. You can’t remake photos taken in church or at the wedding reception, so you have to be sure your camera will provide high-quality shots.
  2. Before you start shooting weddings for money, take photos at your friends’ weddings. They most likely have hired a professional photographer, and you can observe the way he works and constructs his composition.
  3. Get yourself known as a wedding photographer. Establish a name for your wedding photography business and use catchy words and phrases to attract clients. You must bring your marketing knowledge to the table to become a professional photographer.
  4. Set your rates low. That is, at first. Most people don’t afford to spend money on an expensive photographer, and you’ll get more clients if you’re not greedy.
  5. Study portrait photographers. Because you have to take photos of people, it’s essential to know what angles work, what are the right poses and how to post-process your pictures.

How to Become a Professional Wildlife Photographer

wildlife photographer

  1. Invest in expensive lenses. Wildlife photographers usually shoot at the lens’ maximum aperture. This way, they get the fastest shutter speed to focus on the action and blur the background. Because of this, they prefer fast super-telephotos: 300mm ƒ/2.8 to 800mm ƒ/5.6. These are expensive lenses, but you can’t do it otherwise.
  2. Study animal behavior. If you know at least a little about how the animal mind works, you are already way ahead others. Animals are tricky and unpredictable. You must learn to be patient and always keep yourself safe around dangerous animals. Don’t be a hero.
  3. Find a mentor. See what wildlife expert photographers work within your area and are willing to help you with pro tips. Enter contests and have your work receive critiques and suggestions. Feedback helps you improve your skills.
  4. Wear camouflage. Besides the fact that you have to be as silent as possible, you have to blend in with the environment. You might not have something to shoot if the animals spot a stranger in their environment.
  5. Buy particular hygiene products. This means not using shampoo, soap, deodorant, and other hygiene products, that smell. You should be able to find odorless ones in stores as well.

How to Become a Professional Sports Photographer

sports photographer

  1. Be a fan of sports. You won’t make it if you don’t love the game. A sports enthusiast will better capture the essence of it rather than someone who’s in it only for the money.
  2. Practice your skills by photographing amateurs. Start small and work your way up to the big league. It’s also better to begin by shooting sports with less movement.
  3. Use the right lenses. Just as wildlife photographers, those who want to shoot sports have to invest in expensive telephoto lenses. A wide aperture isolates your subject from the background and fast shutter speed enables you to freeze the action. Dig deep in your pocket to get the best results.
  4. Be competitive. You have more in common with the sports you’re photographing than you think. Photography is a competitive business, and you have to develop both your technical and people skills to win the race.
  5. Get a job at a newspaper or sports website. You’ll have access to all the major sports events, and you’ll get to be as close as possible to your subjects. And you’ll even be making money in the process. It’s a good starting point if you want to become a professional photographer.

IMAGE SOURCES: 1234

15 Examples of Free Photo Hosting Sites

Free photo hosting sites are resources that every photographer has a use for, and there is a multitude of reasons. Maybe one just wants to quickly share images with friends and family, maybe they are in dire need of just a modicum of storage space (because of the unavoidable clutter), maybe it is for backup or maybe one just hopes that by being present on these sites the rabbit will jump out of the hat, and gain a bit of renown.

While these platforms perform the basic function of hosting your photographs, there are also the criteria of usability (how easy it is to upload and perform at least basic editing actions on the photographs), accessibility (easily identifiable features – date, subject, or other arrangement) and quality (the photographs shouldn’t be dramatically compressed).

Now we will consider 15 free hosting sites which every photographer needs to know about, with our main concern being the storage space.

Free Image Hosting Sites

15 Free Photo Hosting Sites

 

1. ThisLife

Will host an unlimited number of photos for you. It is amazing in its role as an aggregator as it can sync with your other accounts (on Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug or Instagram) in order to organize your material according to time and space.  There also is no limit on the resolution of the pictures, and, for privacy reasons, galleries can only be viewed by possessing the link known only to the owner of the account.

2. Post Image

Is chiefly used by forum administrators to store their images, yet it can be a great pick for anyone as it poses no limit on the size of the file or the resolution. One interesting twist with this platform is that it allows its users to store adult content, as long as it is not too extreme. You can upload an unlimited number of files at once.

3. Shutterfly

Is another concept, because it offers the possibility of buying photo prints, in addition to the storage facilities it offers. The main attractions are the unlimited depository and lack of restriction on file size and resolution. You can import to Shutterfly images from most social networking sites, and it has a good connectivity due to apps for iOS and Android.

Image of Shutterfly Logo

4. Flickr

May already be a ubiquitous reference, yet its massive 1TB of storage space on offer, no limits regarding resolution or file size, make it deliver on its renown. Albums are easily created, thanks to Flickr’s easy to use interface, and images may be uploaded from e-mail or the corresponding smartphone applications. As a bonus, high-definition clips (1080p) are also part of the deal.

5. Cluster

Provides a virtual space for groups to upload and share photos, with no other pre-requisites than the creation of an account. Image feeds can be viewed from a variety of devices, if you have the permission of the creator, and photos can be uploaded from desktops, Android devices or iPhones. No limitations on size, uploads, downloads or resolution.

6. Google Photos

Is best used for instant back-up for photographs taken with an Android smartphone, due to an option available in the Goggle+ app. You may upload an unlimited number of photos in the “standard size”, in addition to the 15 GB of space you can use at your discretion, yet that is shared with your accounts on Google Drive and Gmail.

7. Free Image Hosting

As its name suggests works well for uploading files (within the 3000 kb threshold, however), and the user can create galleries. For sharing purposes, the platform provides you with a unique HTML code. The images are forever saved on its servers, even in the extreme case of an anonymous user, which I find intriguing.

8. Tinypic

Is in the same vein as Free Image Hosting, in allowing the user to upload an unlimited number of files, providing a snippet of code by which through which you can share the uploaded photos, and also a system of tags that instate order in your files. The only restriction imposed is regarding resolution, as images can be no more than 1600px, in both width and height.

Image of Tinypic site

9. Imageshack

Is the perfect alternative if you view each photograph you take as your child. There are no restrictions in place, except for file size, no more than 25 MB. Other than that, tags can be put in place to create albums, which you can share according to your choice. Furthermore, Imageshack applications enhance your experience.

10. Imgur

Is not actually for professionals, as its main aim is aggregating viral images, however, it is quick and painless on the uploading front, imposing generous limitations: 20 MB for photographs, and as a bonus the user can store animated gifs up to 200 MB per file. You may share your files via URL, and there are also mobile Imgur apps.

11. Photobucket

Has an attractive, simple interface while also providing a number of editing instruments for your photos. Granted, there is a limit of 2 GB of storage space, yet no other limitations on file size or resolution. One neat feature is the system of text tagging that allows the user to organize the images into presentations that tell a story.

12. Canon Irista

Is a new service and don’t let the name fool you, the user doesn’t necessarily have to own a Canon in order to access the platform. The free plan includes 10 GB of storage, features for creating a whole range of albums and uploading programs for both PC and Mac.

Image of Canon Irista platform

13. Apple iCloud

May discriminate against Windows users, but should still be taken into consideration, offering 5 GB of free storage, photos that can be viewed as Web pages and tools for designing calendars.

14. 500 px

Has its sights set on creating a community, as photos uploaded are publicly visible, unless the user chooses not to make them public. In order to ensure that people don’t abuse their uploading privileges, you are limited to 20 uploads a week. Therefore, quality is safeguarded, with no limitations on size or resolution. For more services, you will need to pay a fee.

15. Smugmug

Has the advantage of seniority, but also comes with the disadvantage that it is only free for a 14-day trial period. I have chosen to include it on this list because of the great number of tools that cater mostly to professional photographers, and quite frankly the monthly plan of $3.34 equates to it being free, considering what it can do.

Logo of SmugMug

 

The continuous spread and popularity of devices that can take photographs means that there are many more free photo hosting sites out there, yet we hope we have been thorough enough in our examination of the platforms that grant the best palette of services for free.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Online Photography Portfolio Examples

Photography portfolio examples provide a source of inspiration for every aspiring photographer, whether he/she is  freelance (self-employed) or has a steady job and is looking for part-time commissions.

Although Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky used to say “I sit at the piano at 9 a.m. and the muses are kind enough to visit me every day”, those who possess less of a genius need earthly sources of inspiration. A portfolio is part of the critical resources of a photographer, so its creation requires careful consideration. The fact that we’re only talking about online portfolios goes without saying.

This post begins by taking a look at some of the most attractive photography portfolio examples, followed by a set of tips one should absorb before embarking on such an undertaking.

photography portfolio examples

 

Suggestive Photography Portfolio Examples

  • Christina Marie Photography showcases the author’s specialty as a wedding photographer. It is more of a textually-driven approach, yet avoiding a common temptation – bombarding the visitor with a lot of information. It has five distinct sections (though the “about me” and “contact” section could be merged). The blog section is optional (and could be replaced by a “testimonials” category) especially for a debutant photographer, however, if one wishes to create traffic this is a must. The actual images in the portfolio are arranged for the purpose of story-telling, which is particularly appealing if you are a specialized photographer.
  • James Day Photo offers a more minimalistic approach to the presentation. Its author delves into more than one subject, and the style of presenting images right from the arrival on the website denotes that versatility. The kaleidoscopic arrangement of shapes, sizes and colors is a feature on all the sections of the portfolio, and should work well for those who have an impressive number of photographs available. This example is useful principally for exhibiting achievements in portraiture and possibly even landscape photography.
Portfolio of James Day

James Day’s website

  • Amy Deputy Photography displays achievements in portrait and wedding photography. It does not follow the story-telling path of the first site presented, and it is more of a combination between the two styles discussed above. Numerous thumbnails of equal dimension on the (larger) right part of the screen are set against the textual information on the (smaller) left side. Therefore, the artwork is still the main focus of the portfolio, while the personal information is not wholly relegated to a meaningless background.
  • Timothy Hogan does work in the realm of advertising. But this is not about his work, it’s about how he mixes the images and the text. This interactive, hypertextual manner of presenting one’s work definitely requires a significant budget, however if your work is more ambivalent in character, this could be the way to go. If you are not willing to go overboard with the finances, then a web designer’s talents are your only alternative. We believe this is a clever practice if you want your name (or info) to integrate with your work in the portfolio.
  • Lisa Bettany’s portfolio might be a great inspiration if you have a unifying motif in your work. By incorporating the same theme both in your photography aspect of your business and on the marketing side of things, you might hit the jackpot. People love nothing more than a sense of omnipresence and systematization, as it suggests vision and dedication. These are assets in every profession, but especially in photography because mixing art and business in a unifying vision really is your whole purpose.
portfolio of Lisa Bettany

Lisa Bettany’s website

Tips on Creating an On-line Portfolio

As you may have remarked, there is more to creating an expressive portfolio than just great existing work. Here are some important facts that are sometimes overlooked by zealous photographers who believe that their work will speak for itself:

  • Balancing the Sections – you should be mainly concerned with two sections: the gallery itself and the contact information. The examples above show that there are a number of ways to display the contact info, either separately or by integrating it into a sort of slideshow. If you are just taking your first steps into the business, then making a name for yourself should be your priority, so create a number of prominent links towards your info and maybe add a CV in such a way that it does not take attention away from the images.
  • The Demographic Target – know thyself and others. Who would be looking for your service? Consider that different groups of people have a different approach in surfing the web, different layouts speak differently. Design your online portfolio with a target audience in mind for the specific services that you provide. The text should be complementary to the images, not separate and definitely not independent. There are pre-designed layouts, so if you’re not that into web design be sure to check them out.
  • Use Your Only Best High-Res Work – this one is a total no-brainer, yet you could find yourself in the middle of a conflict between image size and the loading speed of the website.
  • Website Navigation – the sections of your website should always be available for the user, so insist on creating multiple “buttoned” areas. And do try to limit scrolling, as it is pernicious for user experience, as well as loading times.
  • Copyright – copyright infringement will never go away, thus make sure of embedding watermarks on your images. In addition, try disabling the right-click on your website, or using your photographs as background images, as it may limit the damage.
  • Details – most clients require an explanation that goes with the photograph, and more so if it is a single themed gallery. As one portfolio displayed in the list above shows, you could also find yourself in the business of story-telling, therefore you should provide adequate contextual information.

Some portfolio

Of course, one should take into consideration that these photography portfolio examples and tips are not set in stone. The freedom you have at your disposal in revealing your work to the world is practically unlimited. This is suggested by the diversity of the examples I have selected. After all, everyone is different and inspiration can be found everywhere.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Comprehensive Guide to Buying Used Cameras

With the market offer changing periodically, many photographers choose to sell their used cameras and invest in new equipment. While a sign of a healthy organic market, this also allows other photographers to upgrade their equipment to the previous generation without making a qualitative compromise and save money in the process.a guide to used cameras

Buying a used camera and navigating through used cameras offers may prove tricky. We put together a guide to buying used cameras. Whether you are an entry level photographer and looking to fine tune your skills with entry models or you’re looking for backup camera, our comprehensive guide will walk you through the essentials.  

Buy Used Cameras From Trustworthy Sources

There are plenty of online resources that offer used cameras for sale. Some are more credible and authoritative, while others less so. Pick your resource carefully. We hope you find the best place to buy used cameras in this short list.

  • eBay. As with used camera lenses, eBay is a great resource for used digital cameras or used film cameras. With plenty of filters that can be activated from the left menu, eBay is a sure shot.
  • FredMiranda forums. Among FredMiranda forums you will find forums dedicated to selling and buying used camera and used camera gear. These forums are unlike a used camera store, but they host a wide variety of used camera equipment and used cameras from vetted sources.
  • KEH.com. KEH is another great online resource. Photographers looking for good deals on previous generation photography gear may find just what they need. KEH used cameras are a top sellers as this is a great site for its return and money-back policies in case something doesn’t go as expected.
  • B&H used cameras. B&H has been a trustworthy resource among used camera stores for a while now. Check their offers too when venturing to purchase used cameras and used camera gear.more used cameras in a  used camera store

Buying used cameras online requires a trustworthy resources. These places are emphasizing feedback and reliable ranking to enable future buyers to perform a thorough background check on the potential sellers. Nonetheless, keep in mind that:

  • You should be able to examine the used cameras or used camera equipment you are about to purchase. Look for this option first and avoid going with luck.
  • Words like “mint condition”, “perfect condition”, “rarely used” and other variations don’t mean precisely that and they’re simply marketing tricks.
  • You must check the return or money guarantee policy before proceeding with the purchase of used cameras.

Conduct a Short Examination of the Used Camera

As appealing as an offer looks, used cameras may hide a couple of imperfections. Provided you were able to establish a face-to-face meeting with the seller or the used camera store has a sound return policy, follow these guidelines to perform a quick examination of the camera.

  • First of all, take your laptop with you to a potential meeting. A laptop is necessary to check for image defects and imperfections. AF inaccuracies, dead pixels or sensor defects are easy to detect with a quick test.
  • Check the used digital camera sensor for dead pixels. A couple of dead pixels aren’t necessarily a deal breaker. Many more than that are. Thus, we advise you to shoot one image with the used camera. Make it RAW with base ISO setting and keep the lens cap on. The laptop will prove useful to check for dead pixels when the image is at 100% zoom.  
  • Shutter Count is important. Camera manufacturers rate their cameras for a certain shutter actuation number. It’s true that some cameras can go way over the tested number. Nonetheless, when looking for used cameras and settling for a model like a used Canon camera or a used Nikon camera, make sure you know the exact maximum shutter actuation number for the respective model. The same RAW image used for the dead pixels test can be used to find the shutter actuation number of the used camera you are about to buy. Used PhotoMe or other programs to check the number. The shutter life of used cameras is important for the life expectancy of the camera and the price of used cameras. There’s a slight difference between ‘barely used’ and shutter actuation number 10,000. shutter count on used cameras

Nikon used cameras or Pentax used cameras will render the shutter count in the image’s EXIF data. For other used cameras, check PhotoMe, MyShutterCount or Shuttercounter to pull the info on the shutter actuation number. Used Canon cameras require different programs for the actuation number.

  • Chamber/Sensor Dust. Used cameras will naturally have accumulated some dust specs on the sensor. However, too much dirt or dust may require a manufacturer clean-up of the used cameras. This aspect should be well reflected in the price of used film cameras or used digital cameras. Also check for sensor scratches or other imperfections. The image snapped with the used camera will reflect most of the sensor problems. Take a picture of the sky and view it at 100%. The lens aperture should also be set at the highest available number.
  • Check Autofocus. As in the case of used camera lens, AF errors must be checked for. Thus, add a lens to the used camera and see how it focuses. The standard autofocus test involves a distant subject shot with regular phase detect and live view. Autofocus differences or serious issues should be immediately noticeable.

Check Used Cameras’ Mechanical Condition

The mechanical condition of used cameras is not a trifle. The simple appearance of used cameras are telling of the conditions they’ve been used in. Not all imperfections reflect on the quality of used cameras, but they should be reflected in the used camera prices. grip rubber on used cameras

  • Exterior dents and scratches. Used cameras will inevitably feature a few scratches here and there. They don’t impact the mechanical condition of used DSLR or or used film cameras, but it’s useful to get an idea of how the camera was used. Check if the camera was dropped and then check for the possible internal imperfections. Some used cameras are heavy and made for rough conditions. Nonetheless, a drop and a heavy camera body may result in internal damage that is costly to fix.
  • Take a peek at the memory card compartment. Pin connectors should be in perfect state inside the card mount. The slightest bent may damage memory cards beyond repair.
  • Check cover materials. If the rubber on the used camera’s grip or on the back of used cameras is coming off then it may have been used in very moist conditions. It’s not too important as the rubber can easily be glued back on. However, moist conditions may impact the body of the camera. So be sure to check everything inside out.
  • Lens Mount. If the lens mount of used cameras isn’t in perfect condition without bends, dents and unclean contact pins, the camera lens won’t mount securely.
  • LCD Screen and the Viewfinder. Also check these for scratches and dust. An LCD screen that’s already scratched will be fairly costly to replace.

We hope you find our guide on how to buy used cameras useful. Remember that buying used cameras is a great way to upgrade to previous generation gear, often without investing huge sums.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

The Dos and Don’ts of Aerial Photography

Fly high and touch the sky with this aerial photography guide. All photographers, be they amateurs, intermediate, or advanced will acknowledge that there’s nothing more sublime than a photo taken from high up in the air. Whether it’s by drone, by helicopter, or by small plane, aerial photography paints the world from the perspective of the gods. You can now see the clouds gathering, the crowds forming, and the smoke and dust rising.

Magic takes hold of everything, and the new perspective opens up a better understanding of the world. When everything, including cars, look just like ants busying about the ground in a swarm, you start to get a different worldview, realizing just how tiny you are in the whole grand scheme. With aerial photography, you still get a sense that you can become bigger, that somehow you can rise above and see the world for what it is. We’re here to show you how to get that feeling.

aerial photography tips

We’re going to present you with a run-down of tips and tricks, dos and don’ts of aerial photography, aerial landscape photography, helicopter photography, kite aerial photography and drone aerial photography. This is so that the next time you’re searching high and low for aerial photos, you’ll know exactly what to do.


Aerial Photography Things to Do


Look for Inspiration

The next time you go searching for subjects to photograph with a drone, one of the best tips is to ask a professional. If you don’t know one, find your inspiration online. Many well-known photographers share their work on their social media accounts.

Bryan Daugherty and Colin Landforce are two of the most talented aerial photographers. Both of them are from Portland and each has an active Instagram account. Take a look at their work and find unusual angles to shoot your own photos from.

Plan ahead

When using a quadcopter or a camera attached to a kite to snap a vintage photo of Florida or Miami, you need good plans. If you show up or fly your device over Seattle on a whim, you’ll probably end up with a bunch of bad photos and not much to work with. A good idea is to look for examples on Google Images. You’ll see how professional photographers approached a certain angle. The next time you want to photograph Hawaii at night or during the day, you’ll know how to do when your drone is high up.

aerial photography inspiration

Become Friends with a Pilot

Pilots make great teachers, especially if you want to polish your aerial photography skills. They’re more than happy to help and they offer their services for free in most cases. If you don’t have a relative or a friend who’s a pilot, you can look for a flight group and join it. Maryland, Texas, Dallas, Denver, Utah, Cincinnati, Boston, and Alabama are only 5 of the places which have such dedicated groups.

Learning from pilots and working together with other photographers is a sure proof way of expanding your knowledge of the concept of aerial photography.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Camera

Professional photographers will tell you that getting to know your camera is key. Before taking up photography as a business, you have to test different devices with different prices. GoPro cameras make good equipment to play with. Learn the settings, experiment with the focal length and all the other options.

aerial photography camera

Lighting conditions, exposure, and especially focus are extremely important when it comes to aerial photography. The GoPro Solo is an ideal model to test out all these details.

Make a List of what You Want to Photograph

It’s essential that you know beforehand what kind of photos you wish to take. As soon as you’ve arrived at the place you want to have your photoshoot at, make a couple of mental notes. The objects you’ll be focusing on can be anything, from a great-looking tree in Phoenix to a historical building or a brand new building in San Francisco. After you’ve looked around, you’ll feel more organized and ready to take amazing photos.

Google Maps is Your Friend

If you want to see how a terrain looks like from above, Google Maps is the perfect instrument. This tool uses different devices to show features and anomalies. A UAV is one of them. You’ll get a good look at Los Angeles from a real perspective. You can then decide whether you want to take an aerial+B2: B35 photo of it or choose Chicago instead.  A lot of companies use Google Maps when they scout for locations for their buildings. Aerial photography works just as well.

Now that we know the dos of aerial photography, time to look at the don’ts.


Aerial Photography Things to Avoid


Don’t Disable the GPS Mode

When the GPS mode on your drone or helicopter is off, photos will lack stabilization. The definition of a good shoot includes the stabilization part. Before you fly over St. Maine, San Diego, Cape Cod, or North Carolina, remember to enable this mode. Do the same if you plan on visiting the North Pole for one of your photography jobs.

aerial photography gps

Once you know more about your location, make time to fly there. Remember to let go of the quadcopter’s controls and allow the GPS mode to do its job.

Don’t Forget to Check the Weather

Sometimes, even intermediate and professional photographers forget to look at weather reports. When you want to shoot an aerial view of St. Louis or your vacation estate in the Midwest, it’s important to know what kind of weather you’ll have. If the winds are strong, you won’t get a steady shot. Our recommendation is: if you want a photo of Lake Michigan, it’s best if you look for clear weather.

Don’t Forget to Enable Night Settings

Fancy shooting New York, Tampa, or Atlanta at night? Results will be astonishing if you use special lighting accessories. Quadcopters are equipped with front lights that turn dark photos into very bright and shiny ones. Lighting is important especially if you want to take photos during sunset. With these accessories, Sacramento and Austin by night will look fantastic.

aerial photography settings

Don’t Use Any Old Camera

Drones work with both basic and professional cameras. Even so, aerial photos of Philadelphia or NJ will look better with a powerful device. The latter should have the following:

  • low light capacity;
  • 10MP+;
  • strong overall resolution;
  • higher frames per second for video;
  • strong view modes.

Be ready to spend more on a powerful camera if you want the best results.

Don’t Work with Just One Battery

Having more than a battery ready or inside your device of choice lets you shoot more stills. Not only that, but you have extra time to set up photos. You can also explore more of your surroundings.

aerial photography battery

These were our dos and don’ts for aerial photography. Tick them off your list before taking photos of Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, or any other state with a drone or small helicopter. Buy a powerful device if you don’t want to end up with bad photos.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Underwater Photography: 12 Mistakes to Avoid

Is underwater photography something you want to become good at? Do you think you’ve got what it takes? We’ll have you know that underwater photography is not a simple walk in the park (or in this case, the sea). Snapping photos under the sea is sometimes very different than basic photography. That’s because there’s a whole new world down there, a mysterious labyrinth of corals, rocks, and wildlife, where the laws of optics get severely distorted.

Don’t worry though! You may know that Elena Kalis, Eric Engbretson, and Howard Schatz are famous photographers. Even they didn’t know anything about the subject at first. So if you want to make a career out of it and start publishing your snapshots in famous magazines, you’d better learn some quick tips and tricks.

underwater photography tips

The beautiful marine wildlife is waiting for you, all you have to do is press a button. Here’s a guide of 12 mistakes to avoid:

1. Relaxation Is on Holiday

National Geographic has a great selection of animal photography. Let’s say you’re underwater and you see one of your favorite fishes lost in a dance with other sea creatures. It’s easy to get frantic while looking for your camera in a wild rush. You’ll not only get overly agitated and snap a blurry photo, you’ll also more than likely scare the fish away.

Other than patience, underwater photography requires calm, and a long period of training. Tell yourself that everything will be alright, then reach for your camera. Nothing, not even a wave can stop you now.

2. Blurred Subjects Everywhere

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors, PADI in short, have many tips for novice photographers. The oceans and seas Mother Nature blessed us with are rich in all kinds of fish species. Be they colorful, or monochrome, fast swimmers, or slow lurkers, you need to be prepared to press the camera button at any time to capture them.

Here is some advice from PADI: the best thing to do is pick a strobe and stick with it. Check and see if its shutter speed is good enough to freeze a subject that swims like a race car. That usually means higher than 1/70th of a second.

3. You Snap Pics Horizontally

Raise your hands if you don’t understand people who film vertically with their iPhone. When you’re underwater, though, no one will judge you for that since fish aren’t really virtual underwater photography connoisseurs. Snapping pics with the landscape setting on is a no-no, especially for reef scenes.

On the other hand, photos taken with the portrait option don’t include important background details. Once you know this, you’ll have no problem participating in a photography competition.

4. You’re Too Far Away from a Subject

This is one of the most common mistakes if you don’t know how to find the best distance to not to scare wildlife away. That also happens when you want to take professional pics of your beautiful dogs diving underwater with your GoPro gear.

The best advice you’ll hear: “Get close, then get closer”. There’s a good reason for that: the amount of water shooting through is minimal. Approach your subjects from a small distance. Things such as contrast, saturation, and color will improve.

underwater photography fish

5. Irregular Lighting

Wide-angle images tend to be badly lit when shooting underwater. We recommend turning off the strobe, then exposing the scene with ambient light. This settles the blues. When you’re done, add the device’s strobe light back in.

There are many internship programs available for those wishing to learn more about lighting and how it can greatly improve the quality of a setting and the resulting photography.

6. Not Enough Patience

Calm isn’t the only quality an underwater photographer should have. Patience is key if you want to show your friends amazing images of the Coral Reef. It’s always a good idea to take your time when photographing your surroundings. Don’t just focus, press the shutter button, and be done with it. Such a happy snappy attitude will make you miss out on some amazing results.

Use all those 16GB in your camera. You will probably end up with something so good, NYC art galleries will be begging to organize an exhibition for your creations.

7. Loss of Color

What looks vibrant above water doesn’t anymore when you’re under the sea. Images turn blue and red is invisible. Water acts like a filter upon colors, absorbing and distorting most warm shades, and giving them a bluish hue.

If you’re too far away from the subject, you’ll get the same result. Getting up-close-and-personal and strobing the lights are the perfect and simple ways to solve the problem. A fisheye lens or a good filter offer some other quick fixes.

8. No Sharpness

Just like regular photography, underwater images need focus. When your subject isn’t sharp, the picture will look bad. If you want to photograph a fish, find its eyes and focus on them. Regular training done at a workshop or dedicated photography course can work wonders.

After you complete one of them, look for diving lessons and for jobs to practice what you’ve learned. Martin Edge shares helpful tips and tricks if you go to his online channel. He discusses macro photography, filters, and everything else in-between.

9. Too Much Editing

As we all know, beginner photographers love over-editing their images. This isn’t the way to make sure your photos are flawless. Martin Edge suggests that what you need to do is think of editing as a tool. When you want to increase exposure in post-processing, use manual exposure underwater.

underwater photography editing

10. Don’t Look Down

When immersed in the art of underwater photography, it’s best if you don’t try to shoot from an overhead perspective. The lighting will distort your image and the photo will be out of focus. Instead of picturing things from above, try and take your photo from another viewpoint: from the side or from down below.

11. Too Much Backscatter

When strobes aren’t placed correctly, backscatter appears. Move them further out and make sure they’re behind the lens. If visibility is low, use ambient light by slowing the shutter and opening the aperture.

12. Too Much Clutter

Admiring semi-nude models at fashion underwater shoots in Hawaii or Australia is fine. Looking at a busy reef in photos, on the other hand, is tiresome. Concentrate on the details of your subject, even if it’s just your pet dog swimming in a pool. You can also try your hand at maternity photography where the model is the baby girl or boy.

underwater photography fashion

Shooting photos of brides and grooms during a wedding session are perfect opportunities to propose an underwater shoot! It doesn’t matter if you take 200 photos and all are bland. Post-processing will bring these photos to life. There are a couple of blogs you can take inspiration from. Several books have also been written on the subject. Another tip for you: surf the Internet for schools that offer underwater photography classes.

If you want to make a splash with your underwater photography skills, these are the things to avoid. You don’t really need professional equipment or special techniques as long as you listen to these small tips. A DSLR, digital cameras, or iPhones with waterproof cases work just as well. Simply follow the list of the most common mistakes for underwater photography included in this tutorial and you’ll be fine.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

8 Photography Contests 2016 that Are Worth Entering

Always wanted to show the world your incredible photos? The photography contests 2016 has in store might be the perfect chance to do that! This year is filled with exciting photo competitions that you will definitely want to take part in. All you need to do is register online and submit your work. The prizes at the end are sure to catch anyone’s camera eye. Your creation could even end up in the National Geographic magazine! Here are the best 8 photography contests 2016 you need to enter right now:

photography contests 2016 prizes

World of Windows

Here’s a nice concept: windows. They make the world around us. They are the eyes of our houses and the gateways of sunshine. From the small wooden framed glass panes of a treehouse to the mammoth glass skyscrapers glaring in the sundown skyline. You can use any to capture a few pictures for this photography contest!

The theme (obvious by now) is windows and how you capture what’s going on inside or outside of them. The deadline is March 31, so be quick about it if you want to enter. According to the rules, the fee is $15 for up to 4 photos. The entries will then be reviewed by a panel of professionals in order to select the winners.

Here’s a look at the cash prizes:

  • First place: $250.
  • Second place: $100.
  • Third place: $75.

Apart from a prize in money, the winners will be offered their own gallery exhibition. Their work will also be promoted on social media. Last but not least: the photos will be included in the World Photography Network newsletter.

What’s New Pussycat?

Is your pet a cat and do you love nothing more than to snap photos of it? Judging by my personal Facebook news feed, most of my friends would be eligible for this purrfect contest. There’s nothing in the world that can come close to the cuteness of little fuzzy-wuzzy cat photo.

You can take part in this competition if you submit your work of photo-art by March 6. The contest is organized by the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles. You can find out more from their Facebook Event page. The entry fee is $35 for up to 5 photos. If you want to show them more than five, you’ll have to pay $5 for every extra image you submit.

The best 3 photographers will have their photos published on the event’s page. The “Best In Show” winners get to see their 10 photos featured in the 1650 Spotlight online gallery. They’ll also be featured in the newsletter.

Showtime

The Showtime photo contest takes place every year. The downside being that it’s only open to Canadian residents only. If you like to dwell on summer dreams, catching blissful moments at parties, or anything that has red in it, then this year might be the one for you! Alight your aspirations of winning one of the photography contests 2016 holds by taking part in this one!

Local amateur and professional photographers are more than welcome to join the competition. Entry is free and you can send your images at showtime@photolife.com. Each participant can only submit 5 photos per each contest theme. The deadlines for each theme are as follows: March 15, May 15, and July 15. With such diverse themes and a total number of 15 photos that one contestant can submit, this contest is perfect for a debuting photo artist. Better yet, there’s no need for expensive DSLRs as this competition accepts even photos take with your iPhone.

photography contests 2016 summer dreams

A perfect summer dream photo example, well worth one of the prizes.

Abstract Nature

Looking at the world through a different view, seeing odd shapes, odd angles, optical illusions, and pixels made of dreams. That’s what the makers of this photography contest challenge you to do. The Digital Photographer Team will judge this photo contest. According to the jury, they “want to see a whole different approach to nature photography (…).”

The photos you submit should be abstract. You can choose an outdoor animal portrait, a child on a beach, or a horse in Iowa. The prizes for the expert’s winner and the crowd’s winner are two Lowepro Photo Sport BP 300 AW II backpacks, one for each. The Digital Photographer magazine will also publish the photos of the crowd winner, as well as the expert’s winner’s top 3 images. The deadline for the Abstract Nature competition: April 3.

Geometry

Looking at the world through a different view, seeing odd shapes, odd angles, optical illusions, and pixels made of dreams. That’s what the makers of this photography contest challenge you to do. The Digital Photographer Team will judge this photo contest. According to the jury, they “want to see a whole different approach to nature photography (…).”

The photos you submit should be abstract. You can choose an outdoor animal portrait, a child on a beach, or a horse in Iowa. The prizes for the expert’s winner and the crowd’s winner are two Lowepro Photo Sport BP 300 AW II backpacks, one for each. The Digital Photographer magazine will also publish the photos of the crowd winner, as well as the expert’s winner’s top 3 images. The deadline for the Abstract Nature competition: April 3.

The grand prize for the winner is a $200 Amazon voucher. She or he will be able to use it to buy any type of photography equipment. Furthermore, the winner’s work will be work featured on the website’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Urban 2016 Photo Awards + Exhibition

The star of the photography contests 2016 has to offer, the Urban Photo Awards are centered on the urban, the natural, and the active. If you’re into equine photography, the Urban contest is one way to get your equine photos noticed. No matter whether your submission is a bird in Arkansas or a dog and its owner in Texas, the judges will be more than anxious to receive it.

The competition has 3 main themes: street photography, nature, and sports. High-quality images can be submitted by May 31. The entry fee is $11 for the first photo and extra images are $5.54 each. The winner of the Themed Photos section will receive $1,109 and a medal, second place gets $554.53 and a medal, while third place receives $332.71 and a medal.

Intrepid Travel

A popular contest, the Intrepid travel is open to people who love to snap photos while on holiday in a foreign land. You can use either a digital camera or your mobile phone. Shoot photos of exotic food, fine wines, or of teens playing on the seaside.

The deadline is June 30. You don’t have to pay an entry fee, but you do need to be over 14 to enter it. There are 6 monthly themes. The first three are “Food from the road”, “Local Faces”, and “Europe & Turkey.” The other three are “Streetview”, “Friends traveling”, and “Travel icons.”

The winner will receive an $800 voucher from Intrepid Travel.

photography contests 2016 destinations

Monochrome Awards

Photographers who like to shoot in black and white are invited to the Monochrome Awards 2016. Your images can range from fashion presentations to a baby making its first steps. A student going to school or teenagers participating in a state fair are also great ideas for submissions. You need to capture life as it is since inauthentic photos are very easy to spot. Try to incorporate everyday moments and paint them in black and white so as to give them a tinge of memory-like nostalgia. A good monochrome photo can bring even us grownups to tears.

Watch out, though! You have until July 3 to submit all your images. You’ll also have to pay a fee (unspecified) to upload them online. The Photographer of the Year will receive $2000. The Discovery of the Year winner will get $1000.

Conclusion

This concludes our list of the best photography contests 2016 has for us. Did you take part in a photo competition in 2014 and 2015 without winning anything? These 8 photography contests 2016 will give you offer another chance to make it big. Show these professional judges what images you’ve captured and your digital masterpieces could travel the world.

Image source: 1, 2, 3

10 Premium Photoshop Actions Used by Pros

Premium photoshop actions can be real lifesavers for photographers that need to edit and process a great number of photos. They might not come for free, but they can make your life a lot easier if you are a beginner at photography editing, since they will ensure that your photos look professional with a minimum of effort.

Whether you are enhancing wedding photos, adding an Instagram vibe to your collage, or making sure newborn portraits have the appropriate lighting, there’s no way you will regret buying a premium package. Make sure you buy them from trusted websites and forget about getting them off a torrent. A lot of hard work has went into creating these Photoshop features. Here are our top 10 premium Photoshop Actions.

1. Flare Lights Photoshop Action

Photoshop Actions for nature photos

If what your photos need is a warm vintage glow, then you should use Flare Lights Photoshop Action. This premium feature will turn you into a DeviantArt professional with only a few clicks.

2. Comicbook iT

10 Premium Photoshop Actions

Those that are trying to give a comic book or cartoon effect to their photos should look no further than the ComicBook iT Photoshop Action set. One click is all it takes to turn you into the next Andy Warhol. You can choose from 4 different rendering styles, from colorful to black and white ones.

3. Portrait V2.0

Photoshop Actions

This Photoshop Action covers everything from skin, to eye, teeth, or lips retouches that will turn your subject into a work of art. Buy it in order to create some of the best portraits ever made, all blemish-free. You can correct for bloodshot eyes, give a luscious aspect to those auburn locks, or whiten those teeth.

4. Free Faux HDR Actions

Photoshop Actions for sunsets

This is a set of 13 Actions which will give that HDR-effect to your photos. Each of these actions can be powerful tools since they also add a sharpening effect to your works. In case you are not happy with the results, you can revert to the original photo.

5. Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions for newborn photos

All Greater than Gatsby Photoshop Actions are useful tools for professional photographers and novices alike. Their packages are compatible with both PC and Mac. Regardless of your Adobe Photoshop version, be it a CS3, a CS5,  or CS6 one, Greater than Gatsby will show you how it’s done. All their Action Sets come with detailed tutorials on how to download, install, export, or create cool effects.

Their Newborn Essentials package is hard to top in terms of usability and variety. You can paint away jaundice, red splotches or purple toes, so that those newborns look as clean as a whistle. This package also comes with an entire batch of amazing elements from which you can choose your favorite light vignette or enhancement.

6. Florabella Action Sets

Photoshop Actions for close ups

Florabella Action Sets are great for those that are looking to create dreamy portraits and remind you of a pure atmosphere. You can use each element in the package to edit your selected images. You can even make new photos look like old ones by adding a matte vintage effect. If you are planning to shoot weddings, Florabella Action Sets will take your clients to the moon and back when they see the end result.

7. Watercolor & Pencil Photoshop Action

10 Premium Photoshop Actions for Photographers

Whether you’re interested in a pencil or watercolor effect, this action set will help you set a new record in terms of the artistic qualities of your works. You can edit as many frames as you want using this Action, so that you create that perfect fusion of colors. They even offer help installing it.

8. MCP Actions

Photoshop Actions for portraits

Newborn Necessities Actions, Fusion Actions or their season-themed Actions, all are totally worth the investment. MCP will help you save time and gain more money by being more productive than ever. Over 50 Action packs are stored in their shop, where you can buy each one of them.

9. Look Filter Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions for Photographers

If you want to hang out with the pros, then you have to get the Look Filter Photoshop Actions. They even offer free trials in case you might want to try their products first. You can bet you will feel privileged if you get your hands on one of their limited edition sets. Offering a wide range of new sets, Look Filter makes sure you don’t repeat yourself when editing those photos. You can choose from The Dark Knight Rises (inspired by old Hollywood movies), The Holy Helmut (dedicated to Helmut Newton), or The Lith Process (inspired by Lith Prints).

10. Totally Rad Photoshop Actions

Premium Photoshop Actions for Photographers

As the name suggests, these Photoshop Actions are totally rad. Not only are they rad, but they are also legendary (or so their website claims), with many photographers choosing their products. You can use them to adjust color, saturation, brightness and contrast, or to add that little extra something that your work needs. You can try their stuff for free and you can choose from the TRA1 – The Original Mix or TRA2 – The Revenge, which feature a plethora of elements to add to your photo and help you finish that project faster.

Extra Mention – Free Online Actions

You can also find many free Photoshop Action sets on the world wide web, in case you are not willing to pay. The CoffeeShop won’t give you coffee, but you might find amazing downloads that will only leave you to worry about finding the appropriate file format for exporting your work. The same can be said about The Pioneer Woman. Polaroid frames are quite popular among hipsters, so there is no need for you to invest money in Photoshop Actions that can mimic photos taken on film. You can find many of them online with a simple google search. 

These were our top 10 choices for premium Photoshop Actions. You can shop for them online and you might even find some of them on sale. Now you are ready to create a Tumblr blog and start uploading your creations.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Best Online Photography Schools to Get You Started

Whether you are an amateur photographer or a more seasoned one, an online photography training course is exactly what you need to refine your skills and knowledge in this form of art. Learning photography anytime, anywhere and in your own available time is perhaps the greatest benefit offered by an online photography school. Maybe you want to develop your Photoshop skills, your portrait photography knowledge, and abilities, or you just want, to become an expert in travel photography. No matter what your passion is, some of the best online photography schools out there offer detailed courses and even one-on-one training. Today we will look at some of the best online photography schools and see their major advantages.

online photography schools

The New York Institute of Photography

One of the most prestigious accredited online photography schools, the New York Institute of Photography offers nine online photography courses that address both the amateur photographer and even the professionals. All the online courses are prepared by pro and awarded photographers, and the school itself is licensed by the New York State. Let’s take a look at this online photography school and its great offer.

Online Photography Courses:

  • Beginner Photography Course: this course introduces the amateur photographer into the digital world, teaching them the basics of this art;
  • Professional Photography Course: it is specialized in landscape, nature, travel, journalism, weddings, portraits, studio photography and still life;
  • Photoshop for Photographers: prepared by Adobe certified experts, the course offers introductive and advanced teachings in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements;
  • Video Making Course: it is dedicated to advanced photographers who want to step up their game and become pros at using the video cameras as well;
  • Wedding Photography Course: it teaches the participants the professional techniques of wedding photography;
  • Portrait Photography Course: it teaches the participants the fine-tuned techniques of capturing individuals, groups of people, children and pets;
  • Travel Photography Course: one of the most appreciated courses, this one trains the participants in learning the language of travel photography, including landscape, nature, still life but also photojournalism and documentary;
  • Marketing for Photographers: dedicated to pros, this course teaches photographers to find their business niche, sell their products and brand themselves successfully.

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art offers an accredited Photography online course that allows the students to obtain an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor, and Master Degree in Fine Arts in Photography. One of the greatest advantages of following this online photography school is that it provides the participants not only with the best photography courses but also with recommendations for their future. In other words, it teaches its graduates what to do with their degrees after finishing the courses. The Academy of Art University focuses on three main and important fields of photography:

  • Documentary
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Advertising / Photo Illustration

Future-oriented, the experts teaching at this online photography school emphasize on the graduates’ ability to find the best working niches and start a successful career.

The Icon Photography School

Combining theory with practice, this is one of those online photography schools offering a wide variety of courses for the beginners and the advanced photographers. Combining theory with practice, this school doesn’t emphasize on deadlines, but it does indeed emphasize on quality. The courses are prepared by some of the most appreciated pro photographers and they have an element of novelty which is important to be highlighted: the courses teach more than just skills, they teach the participants to immerse in the world and see it with different eyes, sense it, feel it and understand it from a unique point of view.

Online Photography Courses:

  • The Gold Package: this 14-course module teaches the participant to re-discover his/her world, manipulate reality through the use of the camera, create dramatic effects, make advanced compositions and even create their portfolio for future employment opportunities.
  • The Silver Package: based on 14 modules, this course teaches participants to find inspiration from photography masters, manipulate reality, use specific color techniques, discover their style and create advanced compositions.
  • The Bronze Package: organized in 14 modules, this course introduces the participant to the world of photography and the discovery of the world through the camera lens; it also teaches participants different photography styles and basic photography compositions.

Bryan Peterson School of Photography

One of the most prestigious photography schools online, Bryan Peterson School of Photography uses some of the best instructors in the country. They are specialized in different types of photography (from advertising to creative portraits and beyond), thus offering their students a very wide area of expertise. The courses address everybody, from beginners to pros, allowing them to either set the foundation for a future career in photography or develop on their hobby.

Online Photography Courses:

  • Understanding Exposure
  • The Art of Seeing
  • Mastering Nikon Flash Photography
  • Mastering Canon Flash Photography
  • Capturing the Face
  • iPhone Photography
  • Posing and Directing
  • Photoshop Elements Essentials
  • Travel Photography I and II
  • Food Photography Au Naturel
  • Intro to Lighting with Strobes
  • Photography Magic
  • Pet Photography
  • Street Photography
  • Capturing the Beauty of Flowers
  • Lensbaby Magic
  • Stretching Your Frame of Mind
  • Creating Compelling Compositions
  • Fine Art Nature Photography
  • The Use of Gestalt in Photography
  • Photoshop Layers Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Food Photography
  • Lightroom for Everyone
  • Wedding Photography

The online courses of this online photography school last 4 or 6 weeks. At the end of the course, the participant may opt for another one, thus strengthening his skills and increasing his chances to become a professional photographer in a chosen area.

The Photography Institute

Dedicated mostly to beginners, this is one of the best online photography schools for those who want to test the waters and get the best introduction to the world of photography. Prepared by professional freelance expert photographers, the courses include interactive assessments and permanent mentorship. The main goal of the online course is to transform the amateur photographer into a pro who can make a living from freelance photography. The Photography Institute focuses on all aspects of photography, ranging from the use of the camera to selling high-quality photos to newspapers and websites.

There are plenty of other online photography schools, and if you are interested in taking such online courses, we recommend you to carefully analyze each and every one of them, depending on your skill level, passion, or interests.

For further info, take a look at our selection of top photography schools in the US. If you have any questions or suggestions, drop us a line in the comment section below. Cheers!