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74

It's all about the lighting! Most people seem to think it's all done in 'shop but a lot of work goes into the actual setup. Many of the supposed "Dave Hill look" imitations have just used HDR style tonemapping, and the results are nothing like the work of Dave Hill. Compare this: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=dave%20hill%20look&w=all with this: ...


40

What a critique isn’t: There’s no better way to say it… A critique is rarely short, because it is specifically designed to provide the artist with detailed, constructive feedback. It’s primary purpose is not to make the photographer being critiqued feel good (though that’s not to say that it can’t be a side benefit), or bad (though again, this can happen as ...


24

I'd agree with Peterson (e.g. Understanding Exposure). One I've found very useful is Michael Freeman's The Photographer's Eye - some excellent stuff about the composition of photos, with plenty of good examples, and very helpful diagrams.


16

I have to say that the Scott Kelby book "The Digital Photography Book: The Step-by-step Secrets for How to Make Your Photos Look Like the Pros" was a digestible and easy page turner which is small enough for a beginner to lug around whilst still referring to situation specific shot suggestions. A little tongue in cheek in tone in places, but I found it ...


14

The curves tool stretches or compresses ranges of input tones according to the line you draw. Because it represents a mapping, it's nonsensical for the line to go backwards horizontally — which means you can't possibly draw a "proper" S — you have to draw one that is tilted (that is, slanted) to the right. These examples are in grayscale because you can ...


13

It's a very clever and effective trick, but provided you have good quality source images it is not that difficult to achieve. You need to overlay the profile and frontal images so they match up at the corner of the right eye and corner of the mouth (shown by the green circles). Then it's a case of blending between two layers along the red line. Certain ...


11

Well, I would recommend this site first. ;) Discussing the editing and post-processing of photos is one of the primary purposes of this site, and as a strong support here, I can't help but promote it. It may be rather slim right now, but given the overall success of StackExchange sites, I do not doubt that this site can become one of, if not the, top ...


10

I found Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting really good book for photographers. After all photography is nothing but managing light. The chapters mostly use artificial lighting, but it is the concept building of why a particular setting was used makes the book informative.


8

The "best" answer to your question is not going to provide a full tutorial of the D7000 and how to use it. I would recommend becoming familiar with basic photography techniques and skills, then simply reading the manual or the Magic Lantern guide on your specific model if you have any questions on the actual execution of the techniques you are interested ...


7

Digital Photography School has plenty of tutorials ranging from basic to advanced. Have a look at their list of tutorials for beginners. I'd also recommend just getting out there and trying stuff out! Nothing will help you learn photography better than experimenting with the camera, then sharing the results on sites like flickr and deviantart. Have fun! ...


7

Other things to try: leave mids and highlights neutral-to-warm, cold tone only the shadows selective sharpening (Edit with the new example, I'm pretty sure on this one. Though whether it's a fundamental aspect, I couldn't really say. Could probably work globally just as well.) slight overexposure Local Contrast Enhancement, or its sibling, Adobe's ...


7

Scott Kelby's "Digital Photography" A great book to really improve your photography is Scott Kelby's Digital Photography. It's a hints and tips book, not a thorough working through of the principals, but I came away from it with a lot of really good solid practical things which I now include in my photography, so I'm sure it would be helpful.


7

The book Light Science and Magic is just about the best resource on product photography for beginners. It's about lighting in general but it's written by a product photographer and most of the material and importantly the examples relates to indoor small product photography (there's a bit on portraits later on). It's very easy to read yet in covers the vast ...


7

Use 2 points to create an 'S' shape in the curves editor. See: http://www.chromasia.com/tutorials/online/curves/images/basic_s_curve.jpg So basically the curves editor is a chart. For each pixel in an image, its brightness is represented by a number from 0 to 255. 0 is pure black, 255 is pure white, and everything in between is a shade of grade gray. ...


6

This is nearly impossible to condense into a single question / answer. The entire site you see here, as well as countless others, is devoted to pretty much exactly the thing you describe. You asked about learning your specific camera, and yes, you're going to have to do that. Your user's manual is a great place to start. If you have a relatively popular ...


6

The free resource you point to (digital photography school) has a great reputation and produces quality content. Start there and don't think about spending money until you start feeling like you you find yourself unable to push your craft forward with the resources available. When you're ready to start investing in being taught, take a look at resources like ...


5

A light tent is a good way to do it. There are a few different designs, each of which have their own pros and cons. How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY Homemade Light Box for Product Photography I like these two in particular, because they are easy to make, inexpensive, and fairly small, which allows for easy setup/storage. Edit: One good ...


5

The one that helped me the most and that I read the most times is The National Geographic Photography Field Guide. Unlike most modern books it is about photography itself, not manipulating images. It also puts talks about techniques in context for different subjects.


4

Scott Kelby's "Digital Photography" The first book to really improve your photography quickly is Scott Kelby's Digital Photography. It's really a hints and tips book, but I came away from it with a lot of really good solid practical things which I now include in my photography.


4

Here are some excellent books on nature and landscape photography that I have found invaluable to my own work: General Nature John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide 100 Ways to Take Better Nature & Wildlife Photographs Waiting for the Light Working the Light: A Landscape Photography Masterclass A Landscape Beyond: Journey Into Photography ...


4

I have started with the guide comming with Apple Aperture, it can be downloaded here: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/aperture_photography_fundamentals.pdf It's not the most complete guide of course but it explain basics in a very clear way


4

I don't think you will find secrets in how to do this technique. HDR in my experience is a lot of pushing the values up and down untill you find something you like. It is different for each image set and each location shot. Photomatix Pro or Photoshop Merge to HDR are good places to start. Once you have the software portion, create the HDR, then bring the ...


4

I'd usually just say something to the effect that to get really good results consistently you have to put a lot of work in and that goes above and beyond simply feeding images into Photomatix, and whilst that's still true, I think in this case I can offer some more specific advice. I pretty sure those images were done by manually blending two images, one of ...


4

Those are easy actually but with the right tools. The key is that you need a long exposure which requires: Stable support like a sturdy tripod. Long shutter-speed which you dial-in in Shutter-Priority or Manual mode. A low ISO, to maximize shutter-speed. A small aperture, to maximize shutter-speed. A ND density filter should the previous two steps not ...


4

I have no doubt that the information you need can be found on the internet for free. It's a matter of you knowing what you need to learn and going and finding it. You won't find the best articles on every photographic subject on one site, nor will you find it in any course. If you take the time to look around you can find the information from a number of ...


4

I can't speak from personal experience on the topic of paid vs free web seminars, but I have been a business analyst for 30+ years, where these sorts of decisions are daily challenges. Nearly all business is about making decisions with lots of unknowns. I suggest you rephrase your question a little bit: As a beginner, with limited funds, how do I most ...


3

This could be split into two tasks, 1) making a 360 panorama and 2) using software to rotate the panorama around a central "view". In the link you provided the 2nd part is being handled by JavaScript from the three.js project. Making images to work with three.js would require making a "flat" panorama first and cutting it into the right pieces. It's ...


3

The light tent/cube isn't really a product that will help you extend your photographic skill. It's designed to make the process easy and make anything look pretty good: just put the object inside the tent, position the lights around so that the whole tent is lit, and take a photo. The tent won't allow you to add a hard light for an accent, for example, ...


3

This site is actually a good place to begin learning! Specifically, there are several tags (post topics) that cover a lot of the basic information, and if you can't find what you need, ask away and you'll probably get an answer. Beginner tags: Photography Basics Camera Basics In fact, all of the topics in the question are well-covered under: aperture ...


3

For true beginners, Joe McNally's LIFE Guide to Digital Photography covers all the basics in a very readable style. I love his Hot Shoe Diaries and The Moment it Clicks, but not sure they're really good "first books" for someone wanting to learn photography. Tom Ang has also written a number of books, all of which are loaded with images and easy to digest ...



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