A Place Called Banff

Banff in its Glory

It truly had been a few years. Ok, it had actually been a few decades. I had fond memories of my trips to Banff. It was one of the highlights of my trips, anytime I visited my relatives in Alberta, Canada. And, it was especially fun when all of us cousins got together, to go to Banff!

When I was small, the highlight of the trips to Banff were the hot springs. I mean, I thought that the word, “Banff,” and “Hot Springs” were synonymous and was quite surprised to find out that they were not! As soon as we would arrive in Alberta, Canada, we would start planning our trip to Banff and I would start unpacking my swimsuit to pack it in my little day bag ready for the long trip out to the wonderful “swimming pool” in the mountains. Back then, the short trip from Calgary to Banff seemed like a long trip, but, chatting with my cousins made it go by faster.

The Beauty of Banff

It was a bit different this trip. First of all, I was able to enjoy it with my husband, Michael, who hadn’t had the experiences of going to Banff growing up. And, my dear cousin went along with us and blessed us with a tour of this beautiful place, allowing us to re-discover its elegance and quiet majesty, and to do so in the best of company.

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The Philippines and The Photographer

as told by Michael Anderson


I could taste the dirt in my mouth, the textured grit between my teeth. It seemed that no matter how much I tried to block its entrance, it had a way of taking up residence and making me want to expel it. However, the knowledge that that expulsion would only end up back in my face taught me to simply endure the uncomfortable experience of racing through roads that were not anything like the least maintained roads that I had ever experienced growing up in the country.

I didn’t know if the taxi driver received a higher payment by delivering his passengers in a faster amount of time, but that trip from Manila to Tuguegarao helped me to appreciate the speed laws in the Americas, and even appreciate that there is the existence of highway patrol. I closed my eyes and hoped that I would arrive in one piece when we got to Tuguegarao. Obviously we did, or I would not be here describing my visit to the Philippines so many years ago, now.

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Is Professional Photography Dead?

Interesting viewpoints on the topic of professional photography by Theoria Apophasis. He brings out some very interesting points.

I may not agree with 100% of what he says, but quite a bit of what he is saying is on target.

Warning: This video is not appropriate for young people. There is some language that should be bleeped out and some topics mentioned that would not be appropriate for most young minds according to their parents. But, if you are an adult and interested in this topic, there are some interesting perspectives shared.

Please show some love for the video owner and his/her YouTube channel (like, share, comment, etc.). And, don’t forget about SeasidePhotographs.com while you are at it – We love engaging 🙂

With all of the tools available, including post-production enhancements, the sky is now the limit for the photographer. What once belonged to the painters, now is shared with the photographers and the photographic designers.

Abstract Photography: First Definition

As is the case where beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the definition of abstract photography.

To some it is a case of the definition of what someone is viewing, in the photograph, has no words to describe it. It is probably fair to say that if it cannot be defined or described, it is abstract. The picture, below, is closer to fitting that description.

If you want to stare at the picture for a while to see if you can come up with words to describe (or define) it, I suggest clicking on the image and it will open in another tab (presumably) so that you have the time to do that, without the spoiler alert that follows this.

Abstract Photography Eye Test

Ok, are you ready for the Spoiler Alert or answer? It is a bunch of guitars in a guitar store. How many of you figured that out already? If so, this image isn’t really classified as abstract because it is definable and can include a definition. But, we are on the prowl for a better example of abstract photography, according to the first definition 😉

Abstract Photography: Second Definition

You can see a sepia version of what we are about to describe, at the top of this post. Here is the same image, in a color version:


If you would like the sepia version of this photo, for your own collection, you can click on the link provided. Or, if you would like the colorful version for your collection, you can visit here. And, a darker (emotionally)
version here

For this definition of abstract, it is the converse. Rather than looking at a photo and asking ourselves whether we can define it or describe it, we ask if it is in the most natural form. In this case, are these sheep looking as they would look in a normal field of sheep or a pen of sheep? No, they are quite abnormal, or as some would say, abstract.

That said, there are definitely varying degrees to which one could take this and most of those degrees are much further than the sheep photographs. But, I love these photos (and not just because I included an affiliate link and my husband Michael took them 🙂 ) and so I just had to include them.

Truth be told, the photographer (a.k.a.. Michael) does not agree with my definition of abstract when it comes to the sheep photos. But, in all fairness, I think we need to include different definitions.

After all, art is about the beholder and art does not know boundaries and now photography has entered into that realm, along with the more traditional art. Am I right?

Learn how to get those views to your YouTube channel - only $20 and presented by expert Ileane Smith (affiliate link, but the course is that good that I recommend it!).


Why Abstract Photography

If you think about it, especially in a historical context, photography was meant to replicate the facts of what was seen (no pun intended).

So, if a news reporter was trying to report on a crime scene (and the police allowed it), the photographer would want to capture the scene in the most accurate means possible. At that point, you don’t want post-production efforts (even though the most rudimentary methods did exist “back then”) and you wanted the photo to represent exactly what it was supposed to represent.

We have come along way since then, especially with digital photography. Add software like Photoshop into the mix, and the sky seems to float a little higher yet, allowing even more opportunities for art.

So, it makes sense that abstract photography was born, whether that was ever the intention or not.

Now we are allowed to bring emotion and expression into our photographic work and post-production work.

How Does Abstract Photography Compare to Abstract Art?

Well, we have already highlighted a couple of things, like no longer needed to represent things exactly as they are and the expression and emotion of the photograph.

But if you think about it, photography has had a chance to go through a bit of a metamorphic progression, in the same way that art did. Granted, it was probably faster, in comparison, and has a lot to do with the digital photography movement, but still, there is a progression.

Let’s take art, as an example, looking at a sort of historical timeline:

  1. Starting in the 19th century, moving toward the 20th and beyond, we had impressionists;
  2. cubists;
  3. expressionists;
  4. minamilists
  5. and much more…

I’m not an expert on the timing or anything related to the art, but I know that there was a progression as we appreciated the different types of art. I am a connoisseur of art when it comes to the admiration in museums and the occasional acquisition myself.

In Summary

Through this beautiful thing called abstract photography, we have the opportunity to experience so much more, no matter how we define it. And, who wants to sit and figure out a definition when one is already enthralled with what they see and enjoying it?

For me, the photograph of the sheep enthralled me and I would stand speechless before it. For me, that represented the emotion and expressed the feelings that I desired to have. That was enough, no matter how one wants to define it.

Photographing Four Tearooms in Los Angeles

Finding anything on the internet, even tea rooms in Los Angeles

First, Los Angeles is a wonderful place to capture photographic moments, and why not Tea Rooms?

Tea Rooms have been around for centuries and exist in many countries and cultures. The version of tea may differ, as well as the accompanying delicacies, but the act of congregating and sipping a hot (or iced tea) seems to be a common cultural enjoyment. For example, China has its list of top tea rooms, with the Asian culture taking precedence (definitely worth the addition to your travel plans!). The US has adopted the cultures of many countries in providing English tea, Japanese tea, and Chinese tea, to name a few.

Please note: We wrote this about a year ago, for another site and we have since beefed up this article with our professional tips for photography. However, with all of the companies coming and going, it is possible that these four may not have stayed at the top (or even on this earth). Nonetheless, the photography tips still apply to places that match the aesthetics of these particular tearooms and so the photography tips do not expire 😉

Here is a listing of some of the top tea rooms located in Los Angeles, CA, favorite hotspots for Deborah E (#1 Jazz Singer) of deborah.info.

Chado Tea Room

369 E 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA * (213) 258-2531

A bright and spacious establishment, Chado Tea Room features a large selection of teas, including various blends and organic varieties. Indoor and outdoor seating is available at this downtown Los Angeles tea room. White tablecloth settings and comfortable chairs are accentuated by an extensive assortment of teapots, teacups, and other tea-related items that are displayed on shelves.

Afternoon tea is served daily at Chado Tea Room, with several refreshing food items to accompany the experience. A nice menu of sandwiches (often called “tea sandwiches” in certain cultures), soups, salads and desserts are available, to be served at the Chado Tea Room, which is open daily.

Olivia’s Dollhouse Tea Room

1450 S Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA * (424) 274-1115

A fun place where tea parties regularly take place, Olivia’s Dollhouse Tea Room features an elegant, yet fun decor and atmosphere that is all ready for the tea party. A wide variety of teas are served at Olivia’s, and prices are very reasonable.

This tea room is a popular spot for birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, and other types of events. Private tastings are available, as are party packages for people of all ages. With the décor and appeal, it is a great place to use to introduce the younger crowd to the concept of a tea party.

The “Olivia’s Dollhouse Tea Room” that is linked, above, is actually the Lomita location, even though it is the Los Angeles location that is being written about in this article. The original link was the link at http://oliviasdollhousetearoom.com. Interestingly, a couple of months after we wrote and linked to that website (which is also linked from the Lomita website, as the “corporate Olivia’s Dollhouse TeaRoom” site) went down, never to return. Following that, a site showed up at http://oliviastearoom.com and that one did not make the wayback machine at http://www.archive.org, but did show as active, judging from the Google listings and links, but then went offline, as well.

If you haven’t gathered, it Olivia’s Dollhouse Tea Room is a franchise opportunity. That information was on the corporate site, when it existed, and we were able to read about it via the wayback machine, with the first corporate site. So, that explains why there is such a differentiation in how the sites and domains appear, even though there is a consistency in what we see as the princess experience that is offered. Ok, on to our Professional Photographer’s recommendations, should you find yourself able to visit any of the Dollhouse Tea Rooms (or open one yourself!)…

American Tea Room

909 S Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA * (213) 239-9100

This Los Angeles tea room, a part of the multiple locations of the American Tea Room, possesses a hip and modern environment that includes a living-garden wall. High ceilings and exposed woodwork provide a pleasant setting for enjoying the impressive selection of teas offered at the Los Angeles locations of this tea room. An appetizing food menu is provided, and a bar is also on the premises.

Pacific Dining Car

1310 W 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA * (213) 483-6000

A wonderful afternoon tea is presented daily at this classic Los Angeles restaurant, Pacific Dining Car. At this afternoon tea, eight different teas are served, along with champagne, sherry, scones, lemon cookies, and petit fours. Elegant surroundings and top-rate service make this tea room one that floats high on the list of posh and exotic places to visit and partake in the tea room experience (and more).

For a list of 14 “Posh places” to have the Los Angeles afternoon tea, visit this list article. The article is worth bookmarking, as it adds and removes tea rooms according to what is going on in the “tea room scene” in Los Angeles.

10 Tips for Stunning Photographs

Here are some quick tips to help you with your photography success.

Tip 1 – Use All Your Available Space

Don’t be afraid to use all of the space in your photo. If you want to take a picture of something, it’s ok for it to take up the whole shot with very little background showing.

The key is to keep the photo free from distractions. So, if you have half a plant in the corner of your background, that is what people will be looking at rather than the primary subject of your photo. In that case, remove the plant prior to taking the photo.

Tip 2 – Study Forms

This is a vital aspect of photography. Understand the form in your photography. Rather than seeing objects, see the form and the angles of your subject. This is art. Photography is art. It is an opportunity to express yourself in your art.

Tip 3 – Motion In Your Photos

You do not want motion in your photographs. If you do, you end up with blur. This is not ideal. In a perfect world, you want stationary subjects. Also, learn patience. For example, if you are taking a picture of a chihuahua sleeping, you want to have the patience to wait for him and ensure that he is not disturbed from his sleeping position.

With all that said, there are times to use motion. In that case, the motion is sometimes used for an artistic flair but should only be used with an understanding of how to use it for that purpose. Sometimes, this skill can be acquired through a trial and error practice process.

Tip 4 – Understanding How to Maximize the Use (or Non-Use) of Color

The use of extreme color or black and white can be used to grab attention. The key thing is to understand the project. Understand what the goal or objective is with the final outcome of the photograph. For example, if the objective is NOT to grab attention, but to make more of a subtle or gentle artistic impression, then this is not what you would want (extreme color or black and white).

Tip 5 – Get Closer To Your Subject

Do not be afraid to get up close to your subject. It is probably kind if you let them know that this may be the case so that you do not scare him or her by getting within their personal space.

Some of the most stunning photos can be taken by getting candid shots up close.

Remember, as well, that you do have post-production available to make any needed edits to the photo.

Tip 6 – Shutter Lag

Many times, you can get the correct shutter lag by turning off the auto-focus. This issue really only existed in the past. It is a bogus issue, now that we have more professional cameras, even available in the affordable range for the novice photographer. But, if you are curious about historical tips, this would be one of them.

Tip 7 – Shutter (and capturing images from video)

For the action shots, you want the highest shutter speed possible so that you can capture that instead of the blur.

One of the questions that comes up is if video could be used to capture the “action shot” for a photographic output. The reason that this question is asked is that in this age of video, one technique is to capture the action using video and then pull snaps from the video, for the photography output.

This technique is used by quite a few web novice photographers. However, the resolution is only 25% of what could be captured with a quality camera by a professional photographer. This is why Michael doesn’t even care to suggest this technique, even though it is used by many web professionals (but not necessarily photography professionals).

Tip 8 – Continuous Shots (Shutter)

To use a pan method, you would need to be able to capture shots continuously. It helps if you have a digital camera that can do that.

This step is a bit of a continuation of Tip 7. A high shutter speed can be used and this will give you the ability to capture some high quality (high resolution) action shots, but fewer of them than what may be expected (an opportunity to practice the skill of managing expectations).

Tip 9 – Taking Stunning Nighttime Shots

It is important if you are taking nighttime shots, to do it right.
Otherwise, you have not-so-great photos. Or, a black photo with no subject.

Nighttime shots take knowing how to use light or the lack thereof in order to capture the magic. In addition it takes the patience of Job and practice, practice, practice.

Maybe one out of 1000 nighttime shots will be magical while one out of 100 regular daytime shots could be spectacular. One needs to know how to position whatever light is used (referencing artificial light) in order to capture what is needed or desired and even then, there is the element of surprise and capturing the magic when least expected and not capturing the magic after one has expended an exceeding quantity of time and effort. This is where the patience is needed.

Tip 10 – Know Your Stuff (Use the Manual)

While it is great to read the manual that comes with your digital camera, a more up-to-date method is to find an online version of your manual (most vendors keep an online version available and update it). Download that version, print it, and take it with you in the field to practice the techniques (and develop your own and then blog about it to the world!).

We don’t want to waste paper, but there is no loss if your printed out version gets lost in the field. And, you can make notes (save them on the computer, too) that will help you in the field. You can probably make the notations on the digital version on your computer, but you can definitely write in the notes on your printed version, as well. See the benefits?

In Summary

Now, with all of these tips, you are armed to create fabuous and stunning photographs and you have moved a few steps forward in your own skill set, eh?

The Professional Chihuahua

Here are photos of the “Professional Chihuahua.” If you would like to purchase any of them (for as low as $1), visit our profile on 123rf.

Los Angeles as a Photography Epicenter

Los Angeles is the cultural epicenter of the West Coast. From burrows and enclaves to artistic retreats and writing rooms, the city itself has been inspiring artistic types of people since its inception. The city started with mission walls covered in mosaics, depicting historical timelines and storylines. Every generation since has contributed to the cultural wellspring. Though all types of media have taken root and excelled in Los Angeles, photography has a special place in the artistic mosaic of the city.

Aside from being beautiful, photography serves many functional purposes. Photographs tell stories that even the most beautifully written prose cannot. They document events, both human and natural. They prove that the human race was there, that this moment in history is proven to have happened. They bring parts of the world that may never be seen, otherwise, right to a person’s fingertips. They help the viewer to relate to other cultures and bring critical issues to the world stage. Since it’s beginning, photography has been a proving ground for the shared human experience.

These two forces together have created some of the most poignant and inspiring art of the century. Pictures of the tragic Los Angeles riots helped turn the tide of public opinion during the Civil Rights movement. Journalists used photography to tell the story of the growing poverty gaps. Photographs of the ocean, sprawling cityscape, and unique cultural aspects have brought Los Angeles to the world.

Photography has captured Los Angeles like no other artistic medium has and to truly capture the essence of the city, it helps to find a professional photographer to create the magic. It also helps to understand who the truly creative photographers are, to understand the art itself and what is involved in creating the combination of photography and what Los Angeles has to offer. Yes, a person can capture Los Angeles with a smartphone camera, but there is another layer of beauty that can be reached with photography and capturing that point in time.

Photography has presented the natural splendor of Southern California, the Pacific Ocean, the beaches, and the rolling slopes that lead to the “Valley.” (Note, there are many valleys in the greater Los Angeles area, but thinking in terms of the 1980s and “the valley girl” is the reference here).

Photography has shown Compton, the riots, and gangs that have simultaneously destroyed and created parts of the city, in the positive aspects of cultural camaraderie. Paparazzi have made photography synonymous with big cash and big names in Los Angeles. Nitty gritty, beautiful, flawed, cultured LA. That is what photography has brought to the world when it comes to LA (and other locations).

This wonderful coastal city brings a multitude of cultures together and does it with local color, art, and no small amount Joie de Vivre. Photography brings this wonderful mess to life with proof and documentation that helps even non-residents feel like part of what is going on in this famous and multi-faceted city.

And, before we go, just a reminder to let your creativity flow. Do not limit yourself to still photography only, but be sure to include video, as well. Here is a program that we are helping to promote, that helps with creating quick (or quicker) videos, even for those who are less experienced. And, that is something, considering we should be recommending our own professional high-quality videography services instead! Video Maker FX for all of your quick, effective videos.

The Big Impact of Asian Small-Clawed Otters

The Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) is a wily, adorable representative of the otter family. Commonly found in zoos in several regions, spanning several countries, these sleek little animals lead active lives. Even in captivity, they enjoy playing and trying to coerce their keepers into giving them more fish treats.

These otters are easy to love, with their affectionate personalities. They are also very intelligent. It is easy to see why the act of observing these animals is an enjoyable way to spend the day.

Physical Description

Asian small-clawed otters are also known as Oriental small-clawed, Asian short-clawed, and a few other variations of similar names. They are the smallest otters and weigh up to 11 pounds. They are about two to three feet long. Their tails are responsible for about a foot of that length.

In most cases, these otters have brown fur with a white or gray lower jaw and neck. While this coloration is common in other otter species, it’s particularly pronounced in many of the small-clawed otters. They have tiny, round ears, and a relatively petite snout, both of which contain structures to close off the ears and nose when the otters dive underwater. The Asian small-clawed otter has only partially webbed paws with short claws that aren’t always easy to see. Their facial whiskers help them to locate prey in the water. The way that these whiskers accomplish the task is by alerting the otters to movement in the water. The otters’ whiskers can feel that water movement. They have short legs and arms covered in ample skin to manage what needs to be done in the water and out of it.



Habitat and Conservation Status

Asian small-clawed otters are considered vulnerable. The otters live along riverbanks, lakes, streams, coastlines, and also in rice paddies in Southeast Asia. The major threats that these animals face include humans who hunt them for their fur. There is also the threat of humans trying to exterminate them in rice paddies. And, if the intentional hunting and extermination aren’t enough, there is also the poisoning from agricultural chemicals. Beyond the humans, there is the threat of reptiles, which is also considered a major threat to these small otters.

Zoo habitats usually include rocky areas with some greenery, as well as a pool of water in which the otters may spend their time swimming. Observers may be able to watch the otters sleep in hammocks or play with toys that have been provided to them by their keepers. Many times otters who live in zoos have been harness-trained. When they are trained in this way, they are often seen talking walks about the zoo with their keepers.

Asian small-clawed otters eat small shellfish, fish, and frogs. In zoos, they can quickly become aware that keepers have fish, resulting in the otters begging for food (even if and when they are already well-fed). This act of begging has often been used to entertain onlookers.

Family and Affection

These otters form large families with a primary mother-father pair and multiple litters. In the wild, the group will often disband if a parent dies. The groups are female-dominant and often consist of up to 12 otters. The otters aren’t always one happy family; they have been known to reject a family member in some cases.

Baby otters do not know how to swim when they are born. They have to be taught. The mother grabs the pup (baby otter) by the neck and drags the pup into the water, diving up and down in order to teach the baby how to swim. Male otters can take part. The males do not always take part, but it does happen in raising the young.



The Asian small-clawed otter is also the noisiest otter. This noise, comprised of a range of calls, is used in conjunction with their musky scent in order to communicate. This communication method of noise and smell works well in the otter kingdom.

Otters also get along well with the human keepers, often playing affectionately with the keeper. The otters love sensory input, ranging from playing with stones to playing with electronic keyboards at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

The Asian small-clawed otter is an indicator species. What this means is that if the population of otters is doing well in the wild, it is an indicator that other species may also be doing well in the area. However, increasingly smaller regions of wild territories are making it more difficult for the otters to survive. Zoos have stepped in to play an essential role in preserving the otters and allowing humans to study their behavior, in hopes of helping the otters and helping them to thrive.

Red Pandas: Rightful Rulers of the Panda Roost

Red pandas (Ailurus fulgens fulgens and Ailurus fulgens refulgens, (previously styani), are relatively small animals, but they are huge in the world of pandas and panda history. These housecat-sized bundles of fur, commonly found at zoos around the world, were first seen in 1825, by zoologist Frédéric Cuvier. This occurred many years before the giant panda was found.

Red pandas are currently considered to be in their own family, as you head further up in the taxonomic scale. The red pandas are considered to be distantly related to raccoons. However, red pandas are so distantly related that they are considered living fossils. If that isn’t confusing enough, scientists keep changing the theory of whether there is a connection at all. Basically, if they are not related to another species (i.e. raccoons), they are one in and of themselves, which is why they may be considered living fossils, by definition.


Red pandas have long tails that they use to help stabilize themselves. These tales not only help them to keep their balance, but also keep their faces warm when trying to nap in the cold weather. Including these multi-purpose tails, the pandas typically measure about 42 inches long.

Their underbelly fur is black and their top fur ranges from red to orange in color. This special coloring allows the pandas to be camouflaged when they are up in the trees. Any predator looking up from below will not see anything but the black fur of the panda’s underbelly, especially in the dark. Any tree-borne predators looking down cannot see the pandas because the pandas’ red fur matches the color that frequently matches that of common tree moss.

As red pandas age, they can sometimes develop alopecia. This is a case where the pandas lose fur/hair. It is similar to baldness in humans.



Red Panda Activity

Red pandas are arboreal and crepuscular, meaning they like to hang out in trees and are active primarily at twilight and at dawn. They have semi-retractable claws that help them run up and down tree trunks. As they climb down, they turn their front paws inward a bit. They can also jump nimbly from branch to branch. Their paws have an additional wrist bone that helps them grip items like bamboo stalks and apple slices. All of these special skills help the red pandas to keep themselves safe and to obtain the food that they need.

The animals are known for climbing all over people, too (i.e. in zoos). Zookeepers must keep in mind that a red panda who trusts a keeper will eventually start climbing the keeper’s clothing, especially if the keeper is holding any treats.


Their natural habitat is in Nepal, China, Tibet, and Myanmar, in high-elevation forests that have ample bamboo. As with the giant panda, bamboo forms a large part of the red panda’s diet. However, the red panda is picky and will eat tender young leaves and shoots only, and not older, tougher leaves. Zoos usually feed red pandas a combination of bamboo leaves, leaf-eater pellets, and treats of sliced apples, grapes, and other fruit. Red pandas love these fruits and have been known to compete for slices. Red pandas are mainly herbivorous, but they will also eat eggs, small insects, and even other small animals, like rodents.

The animals thrive in colder weather and have fur on the pads of their paws to help with traction on ice. Hot weather is a problem for them, with summers in zoos leaving them panting unless they are provided with a cool place where they can rest.




Female red pandas have between one and four cubs per litter. Red pandas love to play. Often the mother tackles and wrestles with her cubs and the cubs do the same to each other. Once the cubs reach about 18 months old or so, they become more independent. In the wild, this generally marks the time when they start to separate from their mother.

They communicate with high-pitched squeaks that usually indicate alarm. They also communicate with odd, low-pitched, quacking sounds called “huff-quacks.” The huff-quacks generally indicate irritation.

Looking to the Future

Red pandas are considered vulnerable, meaning the wild population is decreasing. Deforestation and poaching pose two of the biggest threats to the pandas. Zoos take part in breeding programs, and some zoos raise the pandas to be released into the wild. There is much hope that conservation efforts can help in growing the red panda populations throughout the globe.

10 Steps To Perfect Bird Photography Post Processing


Post processing of bird photos is extremely important for making them realistic and suitable for commercial stock usage. Your image is competing with millions of other photos and when your photo isn’t something exceptional, it is the post processing that would make your image stand out of the crowd. Here is a suggested workflow:

  1. Shooting in RAW is important. After uploading the RAW, apply noise reduction settings, initial in-camera sharpening settings and chromatic aberration correction using the RAW processing software supplied by the camera maker. Carefully choose the lens barrel illumination settings to avoid dark corners in telephoto shots. It is very important. Convert the file to 16-bit TIFF (and NOT 8-bit TIFF or JPEG) and open with your primary editing software such as Photoshop.
  2. The first step would be to get a clean root image to work on. Do the dust spotting as the first step. Take out all small distracting spots and hot pixels using the clone or spot healing tool. It is useful to create a copy of the background layer (main image) and work on that so that if you get something wrong and the step is out of range of the undo memory, you can just start with the original layer below. When you are satisfied, delete the lower layer and duplicate the “properly edited layer” again…
  3. Check the composition and do the cropping if necessary. Make sure you remove all distracting elements from the frame. Try to get the head of the bird according to the rule of thirds and leave space for user application. Do not crop away the images too tightly.
  4. Does your image have bright and dark colors together? If you have an image of a stork with bright white feathers and a dark black beak, apply shadows/highlight correction. It is best to have tonal range set at 25% and radius 30 px for normal adjustments. Totally disable all other functions except the shadows adjustment. Set the histogram clipping values to 0 instead of the default values.
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Top 5 Outdoor Spots For Your Family Portrait

When it’s time to get the family together for a unique family portrait, consider the benefits of having the shoot done outside. This is a great way to capture everyone in a special location, whether it’s the beach you all love or a park where your favourite picnics have occurred. If you’re looking to get a distinctive and personal family portrait, consider these top 5 outdoor spots.

Sun, Sand and Surf

The beach is a fantastic place for a stunning family portrait. The kids will love the chance to play on the sand and run in for a swim in between shots, creating a truly natural atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. Not only is it a visually beautiful backdrop, but an enjoyable trip to the beach means that the photographer will have more of a chance to capture everyone relaxed and having fun.

Home Sweet Home

Sometimes the best locations are the ones close to the heart. Portraits within the house setting are a great way to make everyone feel relaxed and quite literally at home. Whether it’s gathering in your lounge room or venturing outside for some lovely garden shots, having your portrait done at home can be very successful. This is especially important for those that have little ones who can be upset by too much of a change to their routine. Another benefit of being home is that your family pet can easily participate in the portrait too!

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