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Take Better Photos

This blog post I’ll go over some general things I pay attention to when taking photos. Taking better photos is something you’ll just get better at as time goes by. The more you use your camera the more you’ll learn how it functions under different circumstances. You’ll start to be able to get a good idea in your head how pictures will come out before you even take one. I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t. What I know today is a result of trial and error. I’ve never took a photography class so I might not know all the different photography terminologies. What I write here is what works for me and allows me to take photos the way I do. I’ll be updating this post as time goes by with more information and example photos to better illustrate my points.

Lighting / Exposure

I personally think lighting and exposure are the 2 most important things when taking a photo. When I say lighting I mean how dark or bright is your scene. They create shadows and affect how strong colors are in the scene. Controls the mood of your photo. They can make your photo more dramatic or give it a happy vibe. Can add a nice color tone to your picture or a bad one. When I’m taking a photo the biggest thing I pay attention to is how lit the scene is. I cant necessarily put into words my thought process when it comes to this. Its something I just feel inside. The whole day I think to myself random things like the sun is shining perfectly on this cup. It has a nice soft shadow isn’t over exposed and highlights aren’t to strong. Color is just right I bet it would come out great in a photo. I wont even take a picture if I dont like the lighting because I already know it’ll come out bad in the photo. The camera can do amazing things but if your scene isn’t setup good for a photo the camera cant suddenly make everything perfect. You could of course do touch ups in Photoshop. However I try my best to take the best photo I can without Photoshop. Just because it means less work in Photoshop and in the end you have the best natural results. Photoshop is an amazing tool but if your original photo isn’t good you cant expect the program to turn your bad photo into a work of art.

The sky is a beautiful thing and a lot of people like to take pictures of clouds. However clouds can be a tricky thing to photograph. A lot of the photos I see are usually over exposed or under exposed. If they’re over exposed clouds loose detail and you’re left with strong white highlights. If they’re underexposed the image is flat and dark colors aren’t bright. You also run into the problem of the sky is perfect but ground is to dark or opposite.

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Photography Wallpapers

Pictures WallpapersI decided to create a Wallpapers page on my site. There you’ll find some of my photos available as wallpapers in 1920×1080 resolutions. Some of the wallpapers might differ from the original photos as I might tweak them for desktops. Feel free to download the wallpapers and use them as backgrounds for anything. If you intend to use the photos for anything besides a background please let me know. This is the internet and you cant stop anybody from stealing your photos. I like taking photos and em proud of my pictures. If you do use them for a project send me a email or message on Instagram. I’m just curious what you would do with them. If you take one of my photos and claim it as yours you’re a bad person. I’ll be adding more wallpapers over time check back regularly to see new ones. Some of the ones I have now are shown below.
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GfxTown My Other Site

Other WebsiteI also own another website where I used to upload my photos. GfxTown.com is my other website and its over 7 years old. I haven’t really touched it in the past year. I’ve always liked playing around with Photoshop and even dabbled in CG. You can see some of my CG renders and models I created in 3DS Max. There are also some basic Photoshop tutorials. There are even various wallpapers Ive created for fun. Most of the wallpapers aren’t available in big resolutions because my computer wasn’t the best and Photoshop would lag with big files. I also didn’t have the monitor I have now back then. I plan on doing some major updates to the website soon. You can see some of my older photos on there that aren’t even on this website or my Instagram. The images below are just a few I grabbed from the site. I made the girl celeb wallpapers mainly because I like designing stuff and find girls beautiful. So it was more fun for me to create those than lets say wallpapers featuring vegetables. Visit GfxTown.com to see more.
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My Old Photos

Old PicturesIn this post I thought id share some of my older photos. These pictures were taken with a Sony DSC-W7 and Panasonic FZ7 digital camera. The Panasonic was a replacement for my Sony which broke. These were taken almost 10 years ago. The first picture below was taken in Upstate New York one summer day. The one next to it was taken around 2005 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The photo next to the green ball was taken during my vacation in the Bahamas. The photo with the blue light trails was when I first started experimenting with long shutters. The photo next the the snow globe was taken in Upstate New York. The cool grass macro was taken in Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park. The Manhattan pictures were all taken the same day. They were shot during my visit to the Statue of Liberty. You can see some more of my older photos on my other personal website GfxTown.com
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Follow My Instagram

You can see all my photos and my most recent ones on my Instagram at @samirgfx. I also take pictures with my iPhone 5 and usually dont upload those to this website. My Instagram also features some photos I’ve taken with my camera that I haven’t uploaded here yet. I like to upload my pictures to Instagram because its real people and its one of the quickest ways to get my photos seen. Feel free to follow me and I’ll follow you back. I try to also respond to everyone’s comments. If I dont reply to yours its only because I didn’t see it.

I use the Cropic app when I want an image to fit into the whole frame that was taken with my iPhone. I sometimes also use Photo Editor by Aviary when I want to do some quick touch-ups. However the editing tools that come built in with Instagram do a pretty good job. I’ll make another post going into a little more detail how I edit my photos with Instagram.
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First Blog Post

Thought I would incorporate a blog into my website. So here’s my first post. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll write about. Maybe for this first post I’ll give a little insight into what programs I use and which camera. All my photos are shot with a Canon Rebel T2i DSLR camera. I use a Canon EF-S 55-250mm lens for the most part and Canon 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 Is Auto Focus Lens. When I’m on the move and I dont want to miss a shot I shoot in Sports Mode. When I can take my time and want to capture something exactly the way I see it I put my camera on Manual Mode. I rarely use the other modes. I’m sure they’re good can be useful but these 2 work for me. I also always for the most part play around with Manual Focus. I focus on something with auto focus than switch to manual focus and tweak it to my liking. It allows me to have more control over depth of field blur.

I only use Photoshop CS5 with no third party plugins. Ive tried some plugins that create some cool effects however they always seemed to over do it for me. The effects were always to strong and program options left me feeling not in full control. I mainly mess around with the brightness/contrast, levels, curves. I also play around with selective color. It allows me to tune each color getting it to exactly where I want it. I like rich vivid colors deep blacks crisp images. I try my best to not go overboard. I dont want it to seem like something that cant exist or totally edited. I’m never satisfied with the end result at the moment in regards to image quality. My current camera gear cant deliver the quality I aim for. My next DSLR something along the lines of a Mark III with other lenses should help me take better quality photos.
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