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Inspired Art Photogaphy

Sandy's Tips
Sandy ArroyoSandy Arroyo is an award winning retired photographer, educator and web master. A retired professional photographer for over 20 years he: taught photography, recorded weddings, covered political figures, corporate events, natural scenery as well as portraits in both the United States and Europe.  You can see a sample of his work at the Gallery. He also created one of the oldest and most comprehensive educational websites call The Classroom.
Online Resources
Kelby-Videos Scholarly Articles Digital Photography World
Lifehack Digital Camera World Popular Photography
Smashing PhotographyMad Improve Photography
FStoppers Digital Photography   National Geographic  
PetaPixal   TechRadar   Bob Books 20 Essential Tips
Professional Advice
Record Keeping: Keep a record of your picture taking. When you have finished, develop your pictures and compare them with your notes. Keep a mental note of the pictures and the settings so that you will not repeat your mistakes. The best thing about digital cameras is that you can see your images instantly and delete the disappointing pictures.
Camera Storage: During the summer months never leave your camera or film in the car. The infrared will ruin your film and the heat in buildup can damage your camera. Rule of thumb if it can melt a candy bar it will hurt your film! During the winter try to keep your camera with you to avoid extreme cold. Buy a gadget bag to protect your camera from heat, cold, jarring and moisture.  
Lens Cover: Buy a lens cover and a UV protector. Have it on your lens. It is far cheaper to replace them than a new lens. 
Camera Label: A good idea would be for you to put your name and address on your camera and your camera bag. If you happen to leave it somewhere you might just find a good Samaritan that just might return it to you. 
Background: Check the background before you start shooting. Check the entire view finder from one end to the other. Often there are distracting people, cars, trees and buildings etc, that will make your picture less than appealing. Wait till the distraction has moved or move your subject to a better location. You will find that your picture will have a professional look. 
Battery: Check your camera's batteries often especially if you are taking pictures with a digital camera. Digital camera's are power hogs and need to be checked after you shoot 200+ pictures. 35 mm cameras need to be checked at least once a year. I recommend Christmas since that is when most pictures are shot! 
Strap: Use the strap supplied by the manufacturer or buy one that is strong and comfortable. Without a strap you could easily drop the camera and the cost of replacement or repair could be substantial. 
Accidental Deletion: What do you do if you accidently delete a photo besides cry? Don't take any more pictures because your camera's computer will begin to remove any trace of your image. Take your card to your computer and find a photo recovery software program on the internet that can locate and restore the deleted file. Make sure the program is from a reliable source and has a high rating. Some camera stores have this program so call around. 
Baby Picture: Some of the most remarkable pictures ever shot are those of babies. Their natural features and spontaneity makes them natural subjects. Emotions are shown freely and openly. They can be restless and uncontrollable but with skill, patience and understanding you can create pictures that will bring smiles to the family and friends. You may have to wait till after their nap, meal or burp but a great picture is always possible. Shoot freely over the years, for a baby grows rapidly and the moments can be lost forever! It is impossible to reshot once they are grown. 
The Eyes: Center your lens on the baby's eyes. This is the seat of all expression. 
Help: Get someone whom the baby trusts to get them to smile or coo. Those are priceless pictures. 
Set-Up: Don't try to prop a very young baby up on pillows or other objects. You will find the baby looks very un-natural. 
Communication: Try to get the baby to relax by using a soft voice and a gentle touch. Yelling and using a firm hand will only cause them to cry and mess up your picture. 
Background: Putting the baby on a textured cloth will emphasize the smoothness of a their skin.  
Flash: Don't shoot with a direct flash into the baby's eyes. You will only startle them and could hurt their eyes. 
Child's Picture: Children grow fast and move through many stages of growth. An album filled with pages of their pictures can become your most treasured possession. You can look back at these pictures with cherished memories. If the pictures are shot correctly and with flare they will bring to life your child's growth and development in ways you have yet to imagine.
The Eyes: Center your lens on the child's eyes. This is the seat of all expression. 
Shooting: Try shooting at the same level as the child. You might have to crouch or lay on the ground for a natural look 
Timeliness: Take pictures often. Children are less self-conscious if they are use to having their pictures taken.
Share: If you are shooting with a digital camera show the pictures to the child. They will become excited and will want you to take additional pictures. Some will even make some very interesting suggestions. 
Activity: Trying shooting when the child is doing one of their favorite games or activity. You will find the picture more natural. Patience: Shooting children can be frustrating, be patient and use humor. 
Fourth of July: We all love to see and hear the fireworks that light up the skies of America. You can save some of these memories by using a, camera, tripod and the proper settings. Fireworks offer a unique opportunity for you to capture the excitement of a night. The many colors and glows are always different and always exciting. Enjoy the show with a record its memories.  
Tripod: The light is very limited and a tripod will reduce the effects of shaking and low light exposure.
Focus: Set focus to infinity (except with longer telephoto lenses, which should be refocused on an earlier burst) 
Composition: Aim your lens and adjust the composition at the display. Make sure no one or anything is in your way 
Shutter Settings: Set the shutter on "B" 
Flash: Disable or remove the flash 
Exposure Setting: Set exposure at either f8 at ISO 100, f11 at ISO 200, f16 for ISO 400 and f22 for ISO 800.* 
Timing: Make a time exposure for a few seconds while capturing several bursts (works best with a remote shutter release).
*Increasing exposure your lines will be thicker while decreasing the exposure will the lines thinner.
How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images
Spring Flowers: Use a close-up lens and set the camera up to the flower image in the automatic setting dial or sue the information from these sites: Improve Photography, Exposure Guide, Tutsplus, LightStalking.
Composition: Decide what you want in your picture. Do you want people, insects, greenery, background or just flower. Try different components until you get a picture that thrills the artist in you. Remember to adjust your settings to get what you want in focus and what you want blurred for effect. Here are some sites that might help: Picture Perfect, Aprogee, Imaging Resource, Digital Photography School
Lighting and Timing: The Golden Hour is the best time to get a dramatic shot. it lies before 10am and after 4pm. Time time between two periods is too intense. You will get a warmer and more vivid colors during this period. A good lighting environment is a lightly overcast day with low intense shadows. Here are some sites that might help Photographic Life, Cambridge Colour, Back Lighting, How to Master Natural Light Portraiture Digital Photography School, PetaPixel,(Light & Weather), PetaPixel (Harsh Mid Day Lighting)
Wind: The wind can be both a positive and negative affect. If you are looking to add movement to your photo set your camera accordingly and shoot when the flower sways with the wind. Try it a slow speed and a fast speed and you will see the dramatic effects. If you want the flower still wait between gusts and shoot quickly, stake the flower stem down off camera or place some sort of wind blocker on the side from which the wind is blowing but remember the wind will effect the background. 
Flower Maturity: The level of floral maturity will determine the feel and impact of your image. Most photographers will shoot at the peak of the flowers development but some will want to show the age differences. I have made some photos using the different stages to show a dramatic life of a flower with great effect. 
Snow Pictures: A winter's snow can be a curse to some people but an opportunity to a photographer. The contrast of white and black, the sun glistening through ice and the many other beauties of winter make for a photographer's dream. Cold will affect you, your camera and your images so wrap yourself and your equipment up warmly and start shooting in a magical wonderland. 
Effects: You will need to keep yourself and your camera and flash warm. Carry your camera, when not in use, near your body and take it out only when you plan to take a picture. Return them place as soon as possible. 
Batteries: Keep your extra batteries available and in a warm place. Put the previous battery near your body and it should recharge. 
Tripod: Quickly use a tripod. A tripod can take the cold better than the camera however itís lubricants can eventually freeze. A tripod will make your pictures better because the light at this location is different. 
Static Electricity: If you are indoors discharge the static electricity on some metal object before you touch your camera. Static electricity can do damage to the computer components in the camera 
Special Clothing: Go to a camper or ski shop and get supplementary heating devices. Chemical packets, battery heated gloves, boots and so forth. Find gloves which have removable fingertips so you can easily push the control buttons. Put the tips back quickly to prevent frost bite! 
Condensation: To prevent condensation wrap your camera in a plastic bag before you go inside the warmed structure. The moisture will condense outside of bag and not in the camera.
Equipment Adjustment: Allow your equipment to adjust before you go into the cold by placing it in the camera bag near a window sill or an area that is colder than the area inside but not as cold as the outdoors. 
Moister Control: Try to avoid getting your camera wet from either snow or ice. Water can damage the inside workings of your camera. You might want to use a snorkelers waterproof devise. It protect your camera from snow and ice.
FStoppers Seven Tips and Ideas for Better Winter Landscape Photography
Practice: Practice some shots using your camera before you start shooting the real shots you want to take. Since it is a digital camera you can see which shots are working and jot down how you took the picture so you can repeat itís settings. 
Summer Beach: Great pictures can be shot at or near the beach. Children and adults playing and surfing  the surf pounding the shore, sunrises, sunsets and the many animals that call it their home.
Equipment Care: Take care of your equipment. Salt water and sand can do great damage to the camera, film or CSMOS. Keep it in a protective case until you are ready to use. Never go into the surf with your equipment.  
Close-up: Take pictures of sand pebbles, shells, plants and in some cases animals by using your macro setting, otherwise you will need to set your f-stop at a narrow range of less than 2.8 and to use a tripod. 
Beach Action Scenes: Brings out the be best in both adults and kids. Often they will run, jump and frolic. Ste your camera on Action (running man) and you will be able to catch them in mid stride. Use an f-stop or over f-1/60. Further information provided at: Learn How to Capture Action Shots 
The Horizon: When shooting the ocean keep the following in mind:
         1. It must be straight otherwise it will look awkward.
         2. Putting the horizon in the upper half narrows the perspective.
         3. Putting the horizon in the lower half increases the perspective.
         4. A good tripod can insure a level horizon.
Further information can be seen at: Better Photo Ideas  
Night Photography of the Starry Sky.
Lack light is crucial to anyone interested in this type of photography. Note don't even think about taking this type of image without a tripod and a manually controlled camera! No you cannot use a smart phone! Remember that you are working with extremely low light, so you might want to learn about the 500 Rule to prevent trails and proper exposure. You must set the aperture at it widest settings (f/2.8 or better). I recommend a good quality wide angle lens of at least 24mm. You might want to set the shutter speed at 30 or use a bulb exposure, however this may cause blurring or distortion. As to ISO try using 1000, 3200 or even 6400. Check the weather and sky conditions before you venture out. Light pollution, clouds and smog can ruin your outing.
Further detailed information can be seen at: Digital Photography School, Popular Photography, National Geographic, Dave Marrow Photography, Makezine, Digital Trends
Landscape Photography
Camera TypeAny SLR (35mm or Digital) camera can take very good picture however a High Resolution or Larger Format camera can take pictures with greater details.
Lens: A wide angle lens is preferred so as to give the greater amount of imagery and scope of the terrain.
Tripod: A tripod will add stability that will avoid blurring caused by camera shake.
Lighting: Flashes and umbrellas are unnecessary but my recommendation is to shoot at dawn or dusk make dramatic pictures and before 10 and after 2 create the best shadows.
Camera Settings: On digital cameras set the panoramic on the settings. If you wish to set it manual use a small aperture (high f-stop).
Special Use Lens: For special and unusual effects you can use a polarizing lens which will darken the sky and tree colors, a neutral density lens which will reduce the amount of light and also darken the colors, UV Zero lens will reduce the purple fringing from ultra violent light.  Fstoppers Why the Telephoto Is My Go-To Landscape Photography Lens
Other Sources: Darren Rowse, National Geographic, Best Landscape Articles on DPS for 2017, FStoppers Seven Tips and Ideas for Better Winter Landscape Photography, Digital Photography School How to Make Storytelling Landscape Photos - 4 Steps  
Wedding Photography
Interested in becoming a Wedding Photographer? Having done over 250 weddings here are some of my suggestions and advice!
Equipment you will need: Craftsy, BH Photography, Coles Classroom, Digital Photography School, FStopper, Apogee,  Photography Life, Small Business Trends, KiKiCreates

Professional Tool Box: Contracts, Check Lists, Model Release, Wedding Packages
As a photographer you will need great patience in dealing with multiple personalities and individuals, all wanting to get your attention.
Remember the bride and the groom are your primary client and try to follow their requests and feelings.
Check with the minister before you start shooting during the ceremony, it can be embarrassing to have him or her stopping the ceremony to ask you to stop shooting (this happened to me).
Provide the following before the wedding: a non-refundable deposit, a contract signed by the bride and the groom specifying what you will provide them for your services, a check list of specific shots and events to be shot, a signed release for you to use any and all pictures. a written statement that you can shoot during the service, a map showing directions to the wedding, reception  and any other events of the wedding.
During the wedding: don't allow anyone to shoot while you are shooting (this will distract your subject and violates your exclusivity), stay as unobtrusive as possible (the bride and groom are the star of the show), don't use a flash, discuss where to shoot with the church staff to avoid any conflicts, dress appropriately for a wedding, avoid talking or movement, after the ceremony move to the front of the church to prepare for the group images. 
After the wedding: collect your balance, present the images, album, DVD and or CD, specialized items, proof book and any other promised items.
Here are some sites for further suggestions The Knot, The Knot Must Have Photos 68 Essential Wedding Photography Tips, Step by Step Beginners Guide To Photographing Your First Wedding