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New Rejection Options For Group Hosts - Woohoo!

If you’re a Host like me, you’ll know what I mean when I say the long-standing tick-the-box reasons for rejecting submitted artwork have always been a bit limited, to say the least!…

Fortunately, the powers that be at RB have listened, and the recent underhaul of the whole website included greatly increasing the options for Hosts when rejecting work.

Here are the new additional reasons we can give for rejecting artwork, in case you haven’t been able to find them yet:

  1. We have reason to believe you have joined this Group for the sole purpose of submitting one artwork for a Challenge we are running, after which you will leave the Group and walk away from us. Well tough, it ain’t gunna happen!
  1. Since you obviously couldn’t be bothered reading the Rules before agreeing to them, we can’t be bother

The Easy Guide to Photographing Waterfalls


I am often asked for tips for shooting waterfalls, and I am always pleased to provide some. This tutorial is simply a means of stopping the process of re-inventing the wheel, so to speak, every time I do. I was going to include it in my forthcoming The Photographer’s Guide to Blue Mountains Waterfalls, but because the tips are universal in application and the Guide is ballooning in size, I decided to cut it out and publish as a stand alone.

Some of the subject matter I cover is not new and indeed has been covered by others, including Gene Walls. But the words are all mine, so please respect that.

Gear up!

Unless you’re into “freeze-frame” shooting of rapidly-moving water, which I am most definitely not (as discussed here under the heading Sample 2 – Waterfalls) you need a tri

The Easy Guide to Creating Rainbows


Would you like to learn how to easily create this …

… from this?

If yes, and you have Photoshop, then this guide is for you. It’s just a few simple steps to creating a rainbow effect using a special effect specifically designed to do all of the hard work. The basic method which is described by the series of steps is not mine, as I learnt how to create my own rainbows from an article in Digital SLR Photography by Matty Graham. This tutorial, however, is all my own work.

Step 1 – Choose your image

Got a landscape shot with clouds? If not, then blue sky will have to do but remember the point throughout the guide is to create an effect that’s reasonably realistic, so a clear blue sky doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

And heed the sage advice of Jim Worrall, who gave this crucial t

The Easy Guide To Understanding Aperture (f Stop)


Have you ever asked yourself a question similar to one of these?

  • What’s with all the f/2.8 and f/1.4 and f/22 stuff people use in their Descriptions? Are they just being numerically anal or are they telling us something useful?
  • What’s the freakin’ difference between a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a 50mm f/1.8 lens? Why is one way more expensive than the other?
  • What do people mean when they describe a particular lens as being “fast”? Where is it going?
  • What do lenses have to do with aperture and f stop? Isn’t that what a camera does?
  • What does “stopping down” mean?
  • If I’m meant to “stop down” why are the f numbers higher? Shouldn’t they be lower?
  • What’s “aperture”?
  • Is “aperture” the same thing as f stop?
  • How does changing aperture change my photograph?
  • I shoot in Auto mode. Why do I need to kno

An Introduction To Tilt + Shift Photography

[Please note that an update to this Guide is being prepared for upload in late August 2012.]


1. Introduction
2. What is a Tilt+Shift Lens?
3. The Tilt Function
4. The Shift function
5. The Tilt and Shift Effect
6. The Rotation Function
7. Independent Tilt and Shift Functions
8. Who Makes Tilt+Shift Lenses?
9. Sample Images
10. Further Reading/References

1. Introduction

We’ve all seen them – ‘fake miniature’ photographs of city streets, country towns, trains and what not. They look pretty cool when done right. But you’ll also see their creators saying in their Description they used the “tilt-shift effect” to create them. Wrong. So so very wrong!

Fake miniature images are created firstly by taking a photograph that is focused throughout the focal range (ie foreground, midg

List of Photography Tutorials

Many of my RB tutorials are buried in Archive folders or simply hard to find, so in response to a request, here is a linked complete list, which I’ll keep updated:…

Serious-but-easy-to-follow stuff

  1. The concepts of Aperture and f stopexplained
  1. Understanding ISO – explained here
  1. Orton Effecthow to do it
  1. Basic Photoshop tips, eg sharpening, straightening, cropping
  1. Creating artwork samples for your profile or public view page – how to
  1. Creating a linked samplehow to
  1. Creating linked text – just like this
  1. What is mirror lock-up and when to do it – a guide
  1. Motion blurhow to
  1. Adding clouds to an image – how to
  1. How to shoot waterfalls – some tips
  1. All your questions about shooting in RAW answered here
  1. The most comprehensive easy-on-the mind guide to Neutral Density filters on the planet, with a sequel

The Easy Guide to Converting Digital Cameras to Infrared

[Breaking news December 2012 – LifePixel (see below) have slashed their prices for doing IR conversions!]

Shot hand-held with an Infrared-converted Canon EOS 10D

1. Introduction

This is not a “how to” guide as such, as the process of converting a digital camera is apparently quite precise and technical, with only a handful of businesses in the world prepared to do it. It is instead my generic response to the most common questions I get asked via bmail.

Thus, my purpose with this tutorial is to:

  1. Explain what the deal is with converting a digital camera to shoot only infrared.
  2. Give the reasons why you might want to do this rather than use IR filters on your normal digital camera.
  3. Provide what I believe is a comprehensive global list of where you can get a conversion done.
  4. Provide a

How (Not) To Shoot Seascapes Like A Pro


For the purposes of today’s lesson, my good mate Crispin kindly agreed [not] to demonstrate the steps he takes in shooting a quality seascape. I captured the evidence of his experience with a hand-held infra-red converted Canon EOS 10D and the awesome Canon EF 100mm f2.8L IS 1-1 Macro Lens during a dawn shoot at Whale Beach Rockpool and surrounds.

Getting ready for the shot

First of all, carefully lay down your tripod. A real pro doesn’t need one. Notice also the position of the cap. This is so you can look through the viewfinder without knocking your cap into the sea. It also makes it clear to other photographers that a pro is in action.

Most of all, notice the pockets. Try to count them. Only pussies need things like backpacks. A real pro needs only a photographer’s jacket

The Ultimate Guide To Neutral Density Filters

This Journal is subject to copyright. You do not have permission to copy it, in part or whole, and re-publish it. It is for information purposes only.

Currency Statement: Last updated on 12 November 2012.


This Guide explains and demonstrate the use of extreme neutral density filters, with particular focus (groan) on the Hoya 9-stop ND x400 Filter, the Lee “Big Stopper” 10-stop ND Filter, and the 10-stop B+W #110 ND Filter, with some discussion of neutral density filters in general.

There has been a world-wide shortage of those particular filters as they’ve gained popularity with DSLR users, with Hoya, Lee and B+W being caught out by the sudden upsurge in demand. I attribute a chunk of the cause to the popularisation of their usage by such websites as Redbubbl

The Easy Guide To Basic Photoshop


Not so recently I was asked if I could create an Easy Guide to some basic photoshop processes. This is it. If you already use Photoshop as a matter of course, don’t bother reading on, as the four things I cover are:

  1. Straightening
  2. Cropping
  3. Spot removal
  4. Sharpening

As I said, basic. More to the point, the above processes are mostly used to “repair” a photograph before presenting it to the world. Cropping can also be used to massive creative effect, but this Guide steers clear of preaching in that regard [or at least tries to].

The aim is merely to explain in an accessible way how to use various Photoshop tools without being a layer or masking wizard.

The order in which I explain the above 4 repair jobs is deliberate. For example, any time you straighten an image you will then need t

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