Journal

Under-rated shots

Another question in relation to your own portfolio pieces.

I have several shots that I have thought “Bloody hell thats a good shot, better put it on RB”

However when on RB for whatever reason it tends to be overlooked. Which of your shots deserve, in your opinion, a little more exposure?

What's your favourite?

The question I put to you RB is… What is your all time favourite piece of YOUR OWN work?

I know myself that seeing your own shots day after day tends to ruin their appeal after a while. You get used to seeing your shots and you tend to no longer stand in amazement looking at them for ages.

But everyone has to have a favourite right?

Whats yours?

Try to link any shots – if you know how that is.

(Promise to check out any favs that are posted)

Check Him out - Mike Savad

Check this very very talented guy out.

Mike Savad has some absolutely outstanding HDR work in his portfolio. Think – Mel Brackstone on less of an epic scale and you will know what I’m getting at.

Anyway pop over and see for yourself.

Thank you whoever you are

I would like to say a big thank you to whoever decided to buy a T-shirt of The Quickest Way to a My Heart

This was just a momentary idea which I put together without much seriousness. I was VERY pleased to find that someone shares my questionable sense of humour.

Thank you

Whoever you are….. oh and be sure to post a Buyers Booth photo… please

A Tip for You - Smart Sharpening in Photoshop

I have just learned a really useful little tip for Sharpening images in Photoshop which I thought I should share with you all.…

Until now when I sharpened an image in CS3 with Smart Sharpen I used to sharpen and then leave it at that. As you may well know over sharpening can produce exaggerated noise and produce “halo” effects on your edges which look plain nasty.

Here’s a few useful tips to help you improve the quality of your sharpening.

- Always sharpen to a NEW LAYER (Merge all to new layer using SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+E on PC’s) – I always convert this layer to a smart object to allow me to modify any applied filter effects.- Always change the blend mode on this layer to LUMINOSITY. This massively reduces the halo effects on your sharpened image. (Try over-sharpening an image and then chan

Time for a break I think......

I have decided that I’m gonna take a week or so break from RB.

I have spent many an hour browsing around the countless pieces posted on RB and I enjoyed doing so.

However I think I need to spend this next week or so just with my camera. With me working all week I don’t get too much opportunity to just go out and look for shots. That is what I hope to achieve this week, that and to get a good bit further along with my CS3 training.

So hopefully in a week or so I will be back with tons of new shots, new styles and new techniques to show off and flaunt to all you RB lot.

I may still be around during my absence….I may not be posting but I will still be around….watching…….

See you all soon

Alan

TIP: A very useful colour adjustment tip

I am currently working through my third CS3 tutorial and I picking up a ton of useful tips for my photographic workflow. I just HAD to share this one with you.…

Regarding Hue/Saturation. When you overdo this on an adjustment layer in your photos your detail is lost and it looks really blocky. Sometimes you just can’t get the saturation adjustments you need.

Here’s how its done – Thank you to Chris Orwig for this one.

1) Open you image and convert it to LAB colour using: Image – Mode – Lab Colour

2) Create a curves adjustment layer

3) In the Curves dialog box ALT-click the grid to get a more detailed display

4) Go to the a – channel

5) Pull the black slider on the bottom of the grid into the right just one grid line (in this example although you can play!)

6) Pull the white slider oppo

A lot more to learn....for sure

I’ve just been browsing among the images in one of my groups…HDR photography.…

I have realised that although I have come a long long long way since I started with photography, I have a lot to learn.

This is a little scary I have to admit but at the same time I am buzzing to be able to see what I can actually LEARN to do myself. Some of the works I have been looking at are absolutely awesome……hands down some of the best I’ve seen for a long time.

Rest assured that I am compiling a mental list of who these Pros are and I plan to make use of their expertise as my skills develop.

I look forward to being able, in a year or two (possible more) to be able to have my work stand alongside the best here on RB.

As a great man once said “If I have seen further it is because I have stood upon the shou

Check him out

This is my first contribution to the “Check it Out” feature thats emerging throughout RB.

If you get five go check out Lachlan Kent

He has an excellent portfolio with a wide ranging collection of shots ranging from some stunning landscape shots to a ton of really good Abstract pieces.

From what I can see not many of the RB’ers I usually see around have commented on his pieces so lets all go pay him a visit eh?

Photo Competition for those in North East of England

I have recently found out about a Photo comp being held by the Port of Tyne Authority. The competition is to find the best photo of the Tyne in a number of categories.

As there has been so much interest in Millennium Bridge I have entered this shot into the “Night Tyne” category.

Anyone who lives in this area or has shots of the Tyne should check out the competition page Here and maybe enter.

All shots entered will be displayed at a gallery event and the winning shots will be printed in some sort of presentation. Details are on the competition page (Its not the best put together page but look around you will find the details you need)

I wish all who enter good luck

Join the fight

It has been brought to my attention recently that a website external to RB has been using the work of fellow RB’ers without their consent or knowledge.

This is wrong and we must do something to prevent this from continuing. A friend of mine Crokus Label is heading this revolt.

If your interested in joining the cause please head over to her profile page and you can find all the info you need about this and there is also a petition for us all to sign.

Please join the cause….. help keep our work as ours

Thankyou once more

Thanks to Marie Karen who just bought a medium-sized laminated print. My first…. she is a very good friend of mine so does that count??

Thanks K….

Why isn't this a feature of RB yet?

I love it when I log onto my PC and find I have made a sale. Now I don’t know about all of you lot but I would love to be able to personally thank whoever bought a piece of my work.

When I buy I always leave a comment or send a bubblemail to the person in question to thank them for producing a piece of work I find good enough to want to buy. Its a nice touch and I would love to have someone do it for me.

Why has RB not provided this feature yet?

I think it would be a valuable feature to add to this site and one I would get a lot of use from.

Alan

Another 6?? Sales Woohoo

Thanks to whoever bought six of my most recent Christmas Card posting “Please Can I help…”

I only created it last night on the spur of the moment but I’m glad someone loved it enough to buy several.

I’m so proud that somewhere, someone this Christmas will be opening one of my cards…….

Alan

One of those days

Has anyone out there had one of those days when EVERYTHING goes right?

I had one today :D

I took my wife to Kielder Water for a day out and we found ourselves at the Bird of Prey Centre. I love BoP so I really wanted to get some shots with my 70-300mm lens.

I was stunned at the variety of birds on display. I took over 150 shots. Most of which were excellent. Even though I was shooting with a tele-lens hand-held for most of the time there, my shots came out pin sharp and needed very little editing once I got home.

I can honestly say that I had one of my most productive shooting days today. Everything went right. I captured some of my very best shots today.

I am currently uploading them so see what you think.

Truly Astonished

It may seem a totally stupid and obvious thing to say it i am astonished at the sheer variety of different styles of art currently on RB. I have found myself continuously stumbling upon something new on a daily basis.…

Like I say you should expect it but I know I did not really give it much thought until i had started to experience it.

I joined RB to find out truly how good I actually was in reality. This, I though, should have been easy enough to determine by getting a good idea of what other photographers are producing. I was wrong.

If I started comparing my portfolio to for example say that of Mel Brackstone then in my own opinion I am almost definitely the amateur. The one thing i have learned in my time here with RB is that everyone has their own unique style that will appeal to s

My first TWO sales!!

Thank you so much to the person(s) who bout a card of King Edwards Bay and Altocumulus,

It means so much that someone likes my work enough to buy it.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Alan

TIP: What they don't tell you on the box

Having enthusiastically bought my DSLR some months ago I was looking forward to years of hassle free shooting with my sparkling new camera.…

However….something I was not aware of has caused me a small amount of frustration over the last few months. That certain something was DUST!

It manages to get in EVERYWHERE! I had assumed that the exposed lens would become dusty, obviously. This is easy fixed with a lint-free cloth. However when small spots started appearing on my lovely images I was annoyed to say the least,

I cleaned my lens (both sides) and still the spots persisted. I did a little online research and found that dust on the sensor was probably the culprit. The dust manages to seep into the lens even if you NEVER take the lens off your camera. Its inevitable.

As the sensor is

What makes a better picture?

While replying to a post on my “Composition” post I had another thought! Yes two in one day.…

What makes the better picture…..

1) A scene or shot that you have actually composed on purpose – that you have actually given thought to or planned and set up

OR

2) A shot that was not planned – taken on the spur of the moment or because you just KNOW that this will be a good shot.

Personally I think that the best of my shots have been unplanned, although know that every shot on some level is planned.

I have set up some of my shots – such as when I have shot portrait shots. They have came out just great.

But I do feel that the photo opportunities that just compose themselves when you happen to be there with your camera are the best shots. They look more natural and more life-like.

Its easy to cr

Composition

I have often wondered if, or how should I say, a photographer thinks about the composition of a shot.

I have found that I am always watching for my next shot. I take the shot and don’t really give any detailed thought to the composition. It just sort of happens behind the scenes in my head.

I only notice it when its commented on…I think…yeah actually that really is good composition.

Obviously its a learning curve with photography. You begin as an amateur and your sense of what will make a good shot develops as you become more experienced.

I find with myself that the composition happens consciously only on a basic level. The rest is done without any intervening thought……..

Am I just weird? Or is this how an amateur develops in photography?

TIP: Getting more views for your older work

I’ve noticed that some of my pieces get overlooked when I post them. Some of them just don’t seem to be viewed as much as the rest of my work. For whatever reason I would like to re-present my work so to speak.

On your portfolio page beside each piece of work are little buttons. They are “To very top” “Up” "Down"and “To the very bottom”

Use these….look at your work and any shots that seem to have not been noticed – click to very top. This makes it appear on a search for your name.

It works too…I’m getting more views on old work.

Have a go.

Do you TAG? - Getting your work Out there!

I’ve noticed several times while browsing RB that not everyone utilises the TAG’s very well.…

When I joined RB I distinctly remember being told to TAG my work effectively in order for it to be visible in searches. I did not TAG as well as I should have and as a result for a few weeks my work was only viewed by those that had stumbled upon it.

Of course I browsed around other peoples portfolios and commented frequently on their work. This of course gets you a little interest as I’m sure there is a whole “you look at mine and I will look at yours” thing going on here on RB.

But it doesn’t get your work the exposure it should do. Ask yourself – don’t you want everyone possible to be looking at your work?

Then TAG people.

TAG everything. Colours, shapes, objects, moods, style, locations, a

Thank you RB

Just a quick Journal entry to thanks all my fellow photographers on RB.

Since my first login a month or so ago I have found nothing but support and encouragement from all on RB. You have provided me with the drive to improve my skills and the motivation to strive to do so.

Not only have I gained many sources of knowledge and expertise, but I have also made new friends (I hope :D)

I honestly did not expect RB to be so socially addictive as it is. That is not a bad thing at all. Rather it is the driving force behind our community.

Joining RB has been the single most important step in my emerging photographic career.

It has provided me with the support, encouragement and self-confidence to want to take my work to the next level…..and its all down to you…..

Thank you Red Bubble…..

Your best photographic tips???

I want to know the best photographic tips you have.

After all I joined to benefit from the exposure RB gives my work as well as to learn from all of you lot.

So how about letting us all in on those nifty little tips and techniques you have picked up over the years. I think we can all benefit in some way which can only make us all better photographers.

Check out one of my earlier blogs for my tip on enlarging images for Poster prints.

What's your speciality?

I have been an amateur photographer for about a year now and I have always wondered about how a photographer decides upon a speciality.

Certain photographers seem to just do landscapes while others prefer portraits. To be honest I have tried to take photos of just about anything I find interesting.

You only have to take a look at my portfolio to see that I have tried my hand at most types of shot.

What do you think RB? Is it best to specialize? Or do you think you can become a better photographer by trying a bit of everything?

Nearly the end of my world......

I awoke this morning to find my beloved PC wouldn’t start properly.

I could smell smoke and so opened the case to see various glowing orange spots on my motherboard which were smoking.

I nearly cried. Everything I do is with my PC. All my photos, all my work and applications.

Wasn’t I lucky to have backed all my stuff up last night? Call it luck but had I not done so I would have lost 3000+ photos and 3 years of work.

Its really not worth “Not-doing”

So if you don’t back up regularly then please try to do so as you do not want to go through what I have done today.

It could possibly spell the end of your photographic world.

My First Home page Feature.......

Believe it or not my Blog on " My First Purchase" was somehow featured on the RB home page. Is that good?

I have no idea how or indeed why a shot or a blog ends up there. Does it happen at random or do you have to have a certain amount of views to be featured?

Either way I was very pleased to be “Featured” even if it was only for a blog.

Got to get some of my pics up there now…… hmmm

My First Purchase

I have purchased my first piece from RB.

Its a card featuring a shot by Mugsy called One Day. If you haven’t seen it yet then go do it now!

A brilliant shot and I think its going to make an ideal congratulations card for my sister and her husband when their second child is born in Feb.

Thanks Mugsy

My plans for my Favourites on RB

I had a good idea last night.

Obviously over the year I will favourite a lot of shots from a variety of photographers. Once it gets to December I am going to purchase cards of as many of them as I can. Its not much to pay for a card and I think its going to be worth it,

Any really good Christmas shots that I Fav I may buy multiples of to send to family and friends.

You never know I may splash out on a photo print or two.

I know that some RB members buy cards etc but I bet a lot of you dont.

Imagine how happy we all would be if we all bought at least three or four shots this Christmas……

A whole new ball game

Managed to get out this afternoon with my brand new 70-300mm lens.…

Its a whole different ball game using lenses such as this.

Apart from it being much larger and heavier (Which meant I needed a more sturdy tripod) it shakes like hell at 300mm zoom hand-held, as you would expect it to.

I have to remind myself that unless its bright enough outside for shutter speeds faster than 1/250 then its gonna be tough to get nice sharp images without a tripod.

I found myself to be amazed at the viewing angle provided by my little 18-55mm lens.

As soon as I arrived at my location I pulled out the camera and stood twenty feet from my subject only to find that this was about a quarter of the distance I actually needed. Hahahaha

Its going to take some getting used to but its going to be good to have the ad

A new lens....

Having had only the standard Pentax DA 3.5-5.6 18-55mm lens for my camera I have been somewhat restricted to the shots I can take.

Well I gave in to temptation and bought myself a reasonably priced Tamron AF 70-300mm Macro lens. Its a big bugger I have to say but its going to allow me to get a whole range of new shots.

I’m looking forward to getting the chance to use it.

First attempt at Panoramics

Had a trip out to the Lake District yesterday and it gave me the perfect opportunity to experiment at making a few panoramas.

I managed to get three in total. They were stitched together perfectly by CS3 and required only a little adjusting.

If you have the time pop over and comment. Be honest…….

I wanted to share this tip with you....

Now I discovered a rather useful tip for up-sizing photos for poster printing.…

Up until a few months ago any photo scaling I did was left to be resampled by PS. This isn’t a good idea generally.

Now when providing images for use on RB they ask for BIG files so I have been having to upscale some of my shots. Some of the seasoned pros may do this the way I will describe, others may not.

I have found that doing it this way upscales your images massively without any obvious loss in quality. (Thats not to say that there is not any though)

Open your image to be upscaled and open the Image size Dialog box from the Image menu in PS.

Select “Percentage” in the document sizes drop down menus and enter the amount you wish to upscale – I usually use 200%

Then enter 360 pixels/inch as your resolutio

Where to go from here????

I am slowly creeping in the general direction of my aim of trying to sell my pictures. I have to say that using RB has helped a whole load.…

I would guess that a lot of up and coming amateurs would feel the same way that I did a few days ago….. a little self-doubting as to if their work was any good. Thats where sites communities such as RB shine.

They allow friendly people of like-minds give good honest opinions of each others work.

I mean come on…if semi-pro photographers are giving you the thumbs up then thats telling you a thing or two I would say. I think I’m going to have a go selling my work. That is what I need your help for guys and girls.

Any of you have any advice or tips on the best ways to start doing so? Which of my shots in my portfolio should I try to sell?

Any advice

Let me introduce myself......

Hi to all you RB’ers who were kind enough to bother reading this.…

I thought it was about time to come and introduce myself to the community in the hope of making a few friends and getting some constructive criticism about my portfolio pieces.

I have been taking photos for over a year now. Initially as a way to record those special things you don’t want to forget. I found that I ended up with some cracking photos….which in my opinion wouldn’t look out of place in a frame on someones wall.

This was the point of no return. I wondered if I had uncovered potential in myself. Since then I have progressed from a handheld compact digital camera to a sparkling new DSLR. I have taught myself Photoshop CS2 and CS3 and I know my way around my camera pretty well now.

The problem is I have a folde

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