Photo Filters and How to Use Them

If you want a more natural looking photograph, whilst at the same time adding a certain effect or style to the picture, then you should use filters rather than adding the effects later on by using a photo editor. Photo editors are a great tool, however, they cannot completely recreate the kinds of pictures that you will capture with a filter fixed to your camera lens. In this article, we will look at some of the different and most popular filters that most professional photographers use, as well as how they can change the way you take pictures forever.

Of course, you do not always need filters in order to take great pictures; however, they are useful when the time comes to improve the quality of the image, or to soften an image or to control the light. There is a plethora of different camera lens filters to choose from, and some can add effects such as fog, starbursts, and even kaleidoscopic effects.

Some of the more Popular Filters Available Today

UV filters are a popular choice amongst amateur photographers as they can help to protect expensive lenses from becoming scratched, dirty or smudged, as well as protecting them from water intrusion. Unfortunately, most professional photographers tend to avoid them, as they are concerned that any kind of filter in front of the lens, no matter how clear, can affect the final image. That makes sense; however, if you are an amateur that has spent a large sum of money on a new lens, then you should consider this type of filter. Basically, if you take a lot of outdoor shots, then using a UV filter is a good idea, however, if you take most of your photos indoors, then you can possibly get away without using one.

If you take a lot of pictures that involve cars or other items that have reflective surfaces, then a polarizing filter is a good addition to your camera accessories bag. A polarizing filter will help to eliminate the glare caused by too much light being reflected from the surface.

Finally, a warming filter will help to add more warmth to pictures that are being taken in dull and dreary lighting conditions, and this will give skin tones a much more natural appearance. Not only that, but they will reduce the unnatural blue tint that can occur when taking photos in snowy conditions.

Hopefully, this article has given you a few ideas on how you can make use of the many different filters that are on the market today.

Simple Steps to Take Better Travel Photos

You can make your travel photos more interesting to your friends and family. Here are a few simple things to remember.

Compose your shots using the the rule of thirds. I remember this from elementary school art class. It may seem like a silly thing, but this easy to remember rule can be the difference between a beautiful shot, and something you throw away. If you don’t remember, here’s how it works. When photographing something, mentally break up your “canvas” into nine equal parts with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Align your subject along these lines, and center your key image on the intersections points.

For example, if you were photographing a desert with a single large cactus, you would want to place the horizon on one of the vertical lines, and line up the cactus with one of the horizontal lines, instead of centering the cactus. When photographing people, the rule is essentially the same. You want to try to keep the eye line on the top vertical line, and use the same focal points. One good thing about this is that most digital cameras have this as an option on their display, so you can actually use the lines as reference points.

Know the difference between optical and digital zoom. Your average point and shoot camera will say something like “4x optical- 20x digital zoom” on the lens. Optical means the lens is wide enough to create the zoom. Digital means the computer in the camera is expanding the image digitally. In most cases, you should avoid using digital zoom, because you would actually be better off zooming in a photo editor. Also, when you are zoomed in digitally, it’s nearly impossible to hold the camera still enough to get a good shot. Advanced cameras do not usually have this feature if that tells you anything.

Learn to use a simple photo editor. You don’t need an expensive program to make your photos more professional. There are many free photo editing programs that work great! All you really need to know are two basic functions: crop and rotate- you will find your photos are all of a sudden much more interesting.

Experiment with your camera. Before you leave, take the time to learn the basic functions of your digital camera. You may not want to use the auto function for every setting. Sometimes just knowing how to turn off the flash is the difference between a good photo, and a great photo. Here’s a hint: if you have a 12 megapixel camera, set it to take the photos at 6 megapixels. For most point and shoot cameras, it will not effect your final photo, and unless you’re planning on blowing up a photo for print, you won’t ever need a photo that large. You will also save a lot of space on your cameras memory card. If you’re just uploading your photos to the internet, many sites automatically compress your pictures anyway!

Bring extra memory. You can never have too much memory! Cards are pretty affordable, and it’s always better to have too much than not enough. Once you fill up a memory card, keep it with your luggage so you don’t lose it. If you can, upload your photos to the internet in an uncompressed format so you can edit them later. Since there are internet cafes all over Europe, this is usually easy to do.

Organize. Take your time and go through your photos before showing them to your friends and family. While it’s great to take a dozen photos of the same image for the sake of quality, you only really need to show off your best one. Sort your photos by the time they were taken to show them in a chronological order. Learn to take pride in your travel photos and you will find yourself getting more positive feedback!

By following these simple steps, you will be entertaining your audience, and feel better about your photo taking ability.

Photo Editing Software For Beginners

Choosing the right photo editing software

For beginners, try to select a photo editor that begins with a trial version. Of course the trial version should convey a good introduction to the full version of the software and try to select a photo editing software that can handle with a couple of click of mouse and add good characteristic to your photos you desired.

It is better also if your photo editing software is user friendly and carries all kind of photos like jpg, bmp, gif, and png and you should also consider that the software could easily locate the photos on your hard disk by dragging the photos into the main interface of a photo editing software and then add your own photos with your desired background or template then apply some effects like mask, adding some cartoons and clip-art, outline, borders, frames and text etc.

And the last things you should consider are, if your photo editor lets you rotate your images, resize it, brighten up them with cartoons, text effect and clip-arts, etc and lets you decorate your own images the way you want it and lets you save also your decorated photos as wallpaper, you need to consider also that the software has a lot of beautiful template you need to apply for your images.

The trial version of photo software comes with a 30 day evaluation period and its free to use but after 30 days you need to buy a license key to use the software as a full version without any limitation. It means you have enough time to evaluate and to learn on how to use the photo editing software and how beautiful it is when you decorated your own photos using the software.