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What is the difference between shooting photographs in automatic vs. manual?

Manual mode refers to the settings on your camera that allows you to manually control aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Together, these three elements combine to effect the exposure of your photographs (how light or dark they may be), which in turn impacts the general appearance—and sometimes quality—of your photos.


The difference between shooting your photographs in automatic vs. manual means that when you shoot in automatic mode, you are letting your camera have control over these aforementioned settings as opposed to you having direct control over them.


Many people are very intimidated by shooting in manual mode, especially those who are relatively inexperienced or new to the art of photography. So while you can choose to let your camera do the heavy lifting for you, choosing to operate in manual mode gives you way more creative control than the former.


For example, if you choose to shoot in manual mode, you have direct and explicit control of just how your photos turn out. When you have complete control over shutter speed and aperture, you get to decide how your completed work of art will turn out. If you let your camera determine these things for you, you lose a lot of your creative control and opportunities to truly make the shot your own.


If you surrender control to automatic mode, you cannot physically and personally control your aperture, which means you don’t get to choose how focused or unfocused your shot will be.


Moreover, you cannot control the shutter speed if you choose to work in an automatic mode. Maybe you want more blur or less blur—if you want to dictate that choice, shoot in manual mode!


Additionally, manual mode lets you take the reigns on how bright your shot will turn out. This is made possible by manually determining the shutter speed, aperture and ISO, which you cannot personally determine in automatic mode.


So the choice is pretty clear: if you want to make sure your shots come out exactly the way you personally desire, you should consider ditching the automatic in favor of the manual.


Be aware that mastering the manual settings takes time, so practice is a necessary activity. At the end of the day, shoot in the setting that makes you happiest because that will really show through in your end product.

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Shooting in Black and White








There is just something about a black and white picture. The color scheme seems to make everything about the photo classier, chicer and generally more special. But did you know there are certain steps you can take to specifically improve your black and white photography skills? If you want to know just how to capture the best black and white photograph you can produce, follow our tips on how to optimize your outcome and end up with an image you can be proud of.


Visualize in black and white

Take a second to think about your shot. Now think about it in the black and white color scheme. What do you see? You should notice how shadows, shapes and lines truly constitute a great black and white image and you should therefore shoot with this in mind. Just because you are shooting in color does not mean you cannot visualize the optimal end product.


Seek out contrast

Just as you should be visualizing your shot in shadows, shapes and lines, you should also visualize and choose your shot based on contrast. Contrast will often make a black and white photo more dramatic and engaging. Moreover, if you seek out contrast you will surely be able to notice the shadows, shapes and lines that make all the difference in a good black and white visual. It is important to remember your best black and white photo is not just about Photoshop edits or affects, but about how you set it up.


Make sure to incorporate gray and texture

It may be called a “black and white’ photograph, but a good black and white shot is nothing without a good amount and assortment of gray tones and textures. To create a visually diverse and engaging image, you cannot just rely on the stark contrast between black and white. Instead, you need to be sure to have layers of elements that will enhance your visual.


Grab your camera and go

You can read all the tips in the world on how to take the perfect shot but when it comes down to capturing it, you need to just grab your camera and get to shooting. Find what interests you and captivates your imagination—this is what will truly produce your best work.

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Own The Process: Why in-house printing is integral to owning the process

It’s no secret that printing can be quite pricey, which is why many photographers turn to third parties to process prints. For many photographers—both amateur and professional, the thought of dropping major money on an at-home printer is a daunting option, and therefore many end up continuing to send their work off to printing centers instead.

But did you know that in house printing is an absolutely integral element in owning the process? First of all, owning the process essentially refers to retaining your creative control and direction over the entire process—from the moment you snap a picture until the moment you grab it hot off the printing tray.

When you send off your work—work that you have more than likely spent hours sifting through and editing—to an out of house printer, you no longer totally own the process. Basically, you lose the critical time in which the prints are electronically sent over and formatted for print. You do not get to make sure everything is exactly how you intended for it to be, and you do not even get make sure you actually like the finished product.

For these reasons, in house printing is the production method you need to be following. After all, you took the shot and did all of the hard work that comes with getting that perfect snap so why would you hand over your perfect bundle to someone else to physically produce?

If the cost is still a deterrent for you, you should know that investing in an at-home printer will actually be way less expensive in the long run. Sure, it hurts a little bit when you have to front a large amount of capital for a machine, but when you do the research, it quickly becomes clear how in house printing is far superior than any other option—both financially and creatively speaking.

So if you, as a photographer of any level, want to completely own your process from start to finish, and to have total creative direction in order to make your vision come to life, you absolutely have to begin in house printing.

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When deciding on what method to utilize when you have photographs to print, you probably want to choose the process that will print the highest quality images. Photography aims to capture the most realistic image possible, so a printer that captures this same quality is desirable. Anything less would be a waste of taking such a vibrant photo.

There are three most common methods of printing widely used in both personal and commercial printers today – inkjet, laser, and dye sublimation.

Inkjet is widely used because it is available is a spectrum of qualities for a fairly affordable price. The higher priced inkjet printers will produce decent quality prints without knocking out your budget so much. However, inkjet printer do have their disadvantages in terms of photo printing. The quality of an inkjet-printed image won’t compare to a professionally printed photograph. This is because inkjets print images by making miniscule dye dots on the paper, basically poking small colored dots until the full image is formed. Due to this method, the image will not look very good when you examine the overall photograph closely.

Laser printers are very affordable. The best thing about laser printers is that it shoots out many copies in a short period of time. However, this is definitely not what you want when you print images.

The best printing method you can choose is dye sublimation. These prints are pricey and slow, so whether you do it yourself or hire a company to do it for you, you will spend quite some money and time to obtain your prints. However, dye sublimation provides a quality that stands a fighting chance when compared to film photographs, especially when printed on high quality photo paper. This method uses heat to transfer the dyes onto the surface of the paper, and will allow every part of the image to completely permeate the surface.

When printing photography, you should aim to achieve the best quality images. Regardless of the price and time a dye sublimation printer will require, it is the best method available for this job.