• A brief overview on how to know any paint brush
    Paint Brush,  Tips for Beginners

    A brief overview on how to know any paint brush

    With so many possibilities, it might be difficult to choose the ideal paint brush for your job. We want to assist. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the factors that pros consider when selecting the ideal paint brush.

    Poor artisans place the blame on their equipment. However, if you do not have the proper paint brush, you are denying yourself a chance.

    The proper paint brush is critical while creating artwork, painting interiors, or even painting the outside.

    With so many possibilities, it might be difficult to choose the ideal paint brush online for your job. We want to assist. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the factors that pros consider when selecting the ideal paint brush.

    Select the Appropriate Bristle Type

    You may get synthetic or natural bristles. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

    By matching the paint brush type to the paint type, a smoother finish and simpler application are achieved.

    Synthetic brushes are perfect for cleaning away paint or varnish with water.

    Natural bristles are good for varnishes and paints that include oil.

    If you use a natural bristle to apply water-based finishes, for example, the bristles will absorb an excessive amount of moisture, softening them. While synthetic bristles are compatible with oil-based varnishes and paint, they will not provide a smooth finish.

    Synthetic brushes are available in nylon, nylon/polyester blends, and Chinex bristles.

    Natural Brushes are classified as follows: Black China, Ox-hair Blend, and White China.

    A brief overview on how to know any paint brush

    Select the Appropriate Brush Size

    A little brush provides more control over the region, whilst a broad brush simplifies your life.

    The size of the brush changes according on the job. However, according to Family Handyman, the following are some fundamental laws about brush sizes:

    • A 12 inch brush is perfect for the majority of woodworking tasks.
    • If you’re painting trim that is wider than 3 inches, consider a bigger brush (say, 2 12 inches). 
    • When painting walls, you’ll mostly use a roller, with a smaller brush used for cutting in; consider purchasing a 3 or 4-inch broad brush, although most DIYers can get away with a 2 12 inch brush.

    The majority of tasks do not need brushes greater than 3 inches in diameter. Unless you’re painting huge siding, fence, paneling, or other side and flat surfaces, a broad and wide paint brush is unnecessary.

    Select the Appropriate Brush Shape

    You’ve chosen your brush’s bristle type and size. Now it’s time to analyze the brush’s form.

    When comparing paint brushes, you’ll note that some have angled ends and others have squared-off ends. Both kinds of brushes have their advantages:

    • An angled tip is simpler to manipulate and tends to be more precise; angled tips are good for painting trim or cutting in prior to rolling paint on your walls.
    • Square-tipped brushes are perfect for flat, large surfaces such as fence or paneling. 
    • Chisel trim brushes feature angled bristles and create a clean, straight line, making them ideal for trimming around corners and edges.

    If you’re just beginning your paint brush collection, invest in two or more varieties. They’re advantageous in a variety of scenarios.

    A brief overview on how to know any paint brush

    Take into consideration Brush Style

    There is a whole universe of brush styles that you may be unaware of.

    According to Sherwin Williams, each paint brush technique has its own distinct advantages:

    Sash with a Thin Angle: Slanted bristles and a narrow construction make tiny angled sashes perfect for drawing straight lines and cutting in corners and edges.

    These brushes have angled bristles and retain more paint than a narrow angle sash brush. They’re more effective when cutting into the ceiling or painting trim.

    Flat Sash: Because the bristles on a flat sash are straight, they are ideal for painting over flat surfaces.

    Trim brushes are flat and are intended for use on large, flat surfaces, such as external siding.

    Wall: Wall brushes are good for huge surface areas since they retain a lot of paint.

    After Use, Clean Brushes

    Spending a few minutes after each usage cleaning your brushes will extend their life. As Apartment Therapy explains, water-based and oil-based paints are cleaned differently:

    Clean your brush with warm water and dish soap before using it with water-based paints. With your hand, work the mixture through the bristles until the water runs clean. After cleaning, shake the brush to re-align the bristles and hang it to dry.

    For oil-based paints, swirl the brush for 30 seconds in a cup of paint or lacquer thinner, then wipe the brush on the cup’s side. Rep this process many times more until the brush produces no more paint. Rinse the brush one last time with soap and water, then shake it and let it to dry. Keep the brush in the sleeve that it arrived in. Click here for care of paint brushes after use.

    Make an Investment in a High-Quality Brush

    Brushes of higher quality rapidly pay for themselves. You may get a low-cost paint brush today only to discover that you need a second brush halfway through your endeavor.

    Yes, it’s tempting to get an inexpensive paint brush and discard it after you’re through. However, investing $10 to $20 on a single high-quality brush makes more sense now.

    Last but not least, good brushes. If you are a homeowner, you will eventually need to paint something. By purchasing a high-quality brush now, you may begin building your paint brush collection.

    Consider upgrading your paint brush now. Your future self will appreciate it.

    What Is the Significance of The Number On A Brush?

    This one is a little more difficult. The number on the side of the paint brush indicates the bristle thickness, length, or breadth. This number causes confusion since it differs across manufacturers. A brush branded with a “6” may appear entirely different from another manufacturer’s “6” brush.

    Brushes with Long Handles vs. Brushes with Short Handles

    Long handled brushes are frequently used for easel paintings. Longer handles enable the artist to hold the brush closer to the handle’s bottom.

    Shorter brushes are often employed in smaller paintings, detail work, and works on a flat surface. Shorter handles let the artist to approach the painting without the handle interfering.

    Concluding

    Finally, the best paint brush is the one with which the artist feels most comfortable. Short handled, long handled, filbert or flat – what counts are the markings and the finished outcome. It may take time and experimentation to determine which option is best for you and your application, but perhaps this brief guidance will assist you in making an educated choice.

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  • Care for your paint brush with these tips
    Paint Brush,  Tips for Beginners

    Care for your paint brush with these tips

    You owe your paint brush the best care. And these tips will teach you how to give it.

    1. Rinse new brushes well to remove sizing.

    To avoid damage while shipment, new brushes are often packaged with a water-soluble “glue” that holds the bristles together (even brushes shipped with a plastic cover over the bristles may have sizing in the paint brush). The bristles will feel stiff and crusty and may even get entirely glued together.

    If you merely break the bristles free of the size while the paint brush is still dry, a residue of sizing will remain in the paint brush, impairing its performance and causing it to dry hard again. At least until you’ve painted with it long enough to allow the sizing to gradually wash off.

    Rather doing that, rinse a fresh paint brush under warm running water and massage the sizing out of the bristles with your fingertips. It normally takes between 30 seconds and a minute to thoroughly rinse off all of the sizing. This step is only necessary when purchasing the paint brush for the first time.

    Care for your paint brush with these tips

    2. Before you begin painting, wet the brushes you want to use and allow them to absorb some water.

    Natural hair brushes, in particular, need a few seconds to absorb water before exhibiting predictable behavior. As synthetics improved (becoming more similar to real hair in behavior), this became true for them as well.

    When you’re ready to paint, dip the paint brush in clean water, wipe the excess, and place it on your table (preferably tip down).

    In addition to enabling the paint brush hairs to absorb water, this permits some water to travel up into the ferrule by capillary action. If any old paint was not completely washed off, this will allow it time to disintegrate and be rinsed out before it has a chance to make an uninvited appearance in your first wash. Additionally, having some water in the ferrule dilutes any paint that does go that far up.

    3. Rinse one more before proceeding with the painting.

    If any paint remained after the last painting session, this will allow it to be rinsed away fully immediately, before it may contaminate your initial wash. This is particularly useful if you’re working with bright hues such as phthalo blues and greens, or quinacridone reds, violets, and oranges. A trace of these vibrant hues remaining in the ferrule may find its way into your initial few brushstrokes. It’s rather infuriating if you intended to lay down a pure, light yellow!

    4. Avoid soaking brushes in rinse water.

    When painting with acrylics, it is customary to soak the paint brush in rinse water to prevent the paint from drying on the bristles. You may have been trained to do this as a youngster while using watercolour or tempera paint to avoid dropping a paint-filled paint brush on the table.

    While brushes with relatively stiff bristles and plastic handles may withstand this, a soft watercolour paint brush with a lacquered hardwood handle would rapidly deteriorate. Water absorbs into the handle’s wood, swelling it, cracking the lacquered gloss, and loosening the ferrule (the metal collar that secures the bristles) from the handle.

    Even if you merely immerse the paint brush tip in water, capillary action and time will bring the water up into the ferrule, where it may be absorbed by the handle’s wood. In certain situations, the glue that secures the handle to the ferrule is also destroyed, resulting in the handle falling off. In certain brushes, the paint brush hairs are bonded in place, and if left soaking in water, the paint brush may begin to loose hairs.

    Rather of that, have a sponge or towel nearby to wipe the paint brush dry and lay it flat or tip down until the next time you need it. While a paint brush rest or chopstick rest is convenient for resting a paint brush, a pair of towels will do. Click here to get how to know any paint brush.

    If you already have this tendency from acrylic painting, one technique is to temporarily use a tiny, light container for rinsing water. It’s a bit of a pain since you’ll have to replace the rinse water more often, but if the container seems like it’s about to topple over due to the weight of the paint brush, it’ll serve as a reminder to avoid leaving the paint brush soaking.

    Care for your paint brush with these tips

    I paint in both watercolour and acrylic, and I separate my rinse water into various containers to assist remind me not to saturate my watercolour brushes. (If you paint with acrylics, you may want to read my post on acrylic brush cleaning methods for suggestions on how to avoid paint from drying in your acrylic brushes until you end a painting session and have time to wash them.) Click here for more information about other techniques for cleaning and storing paint brushes.

    5. When you’re finished for the day, properly rinse them with clean water and set them aside to dry tip down.

    If any remaining watercolour dries in the paint brush or ferrule, it will not damage the brush. Even if watercolour is left undissolved for twenty years, it may be redissolved in water. However, capillary action sometimes draws a little amount of pigment into the ferrule. If you let the paint brush to dry tip down, the majority of the colour will migrate down into the ferrule, making it simpler to rinse before beginning your next painting session.

    I take an additional painting support, prop one end with a rolled-up towel, put another tiny towel over it, and dry my brushes tip down over it.

    6. Avoid storing damp brushes in jars.

    It looks nice and keeps your brushes handy, which is why many people store their brushes in jars, tip up. Likewise, I do (well, my acrylic brushes, anyway). However, not until they are completely dry!

    Allowing them to dry on their sides in the jar causes water to trickle down into the ferrule, where it has little chance of evaporating. This creates the same issues as soaking your brushes in rinse water. I have numerous watercolour brushes with broken lacquer and dangling ferrules as a result of reusing them before they were completely dry. Check out also Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

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  • 3 pro-like criteria for choosing a paint brush
    Art of Photography Guide,  Paint Brush,  Tips for Beginners

    3 pro-like criteria for choosing a paint brush

    Painting is an excellent method to revitalize a place. However, do not be deceived into believing it would be simple and fast. To do the task properly, a certain level of expertise and understanding is required, not to mention the proper tools. Prior to beginning your next painting job, ensure that you have all of the necessary supplies available, including the appropriate paintbrushes. If you’re unsure which ones to purchase, consider the following three critical aspects to consider when selecting the ideal paint brush for your job.

    1. The Kind of Paint You’re Going to Use     

    The paintbrush you choose will be highly dependent on the sort of paint you are using. For instance, latex paint brushes are constructed of synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, or a mix of the two. Natural fiber bristle brushes (such as animal hair) are ideal for painting with oil-based paints. If you use the incorrect paint brush material with the incorrect paint, the bristles will become limp and the region will be streaky.

    3 pro-like criteria for choosing a paint brush

    2. The Surface to Be Painted

    When it comes to purchasing a new paint brush, you will quickly learn that there are hundreds of options. With paint brush widths ranging from 14 to 5 inches, you may be tempted to choose the largest (after all, it would help you finish quicker, right?). Take a moment. When it comes to painting, the larger the better is not necessarily the case. 

    Professional painters understand the golden rule of painting: use a paint brush that is slightly smaller in diameter than the surface being painted. This enables you to have more control over the painting process and prevents excessive leaking from spoiling the project. Are you still unsure which paint brush is the best? 

    Here is a simple guide to assist you in making your selection:

    • Are you painting a little trim piece or a window? 
    • Doors and cabinets “” use a 3-inch paint brush • Large flat surfaces “” use a 4-5 inch paint brush
    3 pro-like criteria for choosing a paint brush

    3. Your Level of Experience

    You’ll be shocked at how fast a good painter can complete a task “” sometimes without even changing his paint brush. While a professional painter with years of expertise may be able to finish a job with just a few different brushes, this is not the case for the amateur or weekend painter. The majority of us ordinary people want assistance in completing our assignments in a smooth and clean manner.

    By selecting the appropriate paint brush, you may help prevent your next paint work from seeming sloppy and childish. This involves being aware of the appropriate bristle cut and tip for each region of the room. Uncertain which option to select? Here are some pointers to remember while paint brush shopping:

    • Square-edged brushes are ideal for covering big surfaces like as walls and doors; angled sash bristles are ideal for cutting around entrances, moldings, and other tiny areas. 
    • For cutting in corners and acute angles, use a narrow angle paint brush; for cutting in ceilings, use a conventional angle brush. 
    • Tipped or pointed ends are excellent for general painting work. While flagged or split ends provide a more professional appearance, they are more costly and are often reserved for more experienced professional painters.

    One of the most critical aspects affecting the result of any painting endeavor is the paint brush or roller cover you choose. The incorrect tool will jeopardize your efforts, resulting in time spent and displeasure with the outcomes. By selecting the proper paintbrush, you can ensure that the paint is applied smoothly and evenly. Click here to improve your painting skill.

    Your time is also valuable and investing time in a project is inefficient if you do not employ the appropriate tools. You may end up needing to restart or being dissatisfied with the result. Whether you are a rookie painter or have been painting for years, you will want to have the proper paint brush on hand to ensure that your task looks beautiful when completed.

    The Most Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paint Brush

    One of the quickest ways to destroy a room’s fresh paint is to apply it using the incorrect paint brush. Not only would the incorrect paint brush produce a streaky appearance in the space, but it will also make the work much more difficult. For instance, experiment with an oil-based paint and a polyester paint brush. You’ll notice that the bristles become soft and very hard to manipulate.

    When selecting paintbrushes, you’ll want to keep the following suggestions in mind.

    1. Scope of the Project

    When selecting one or more paintbrushes, the size of the area or space is critical. Are you painting a single wall or a full entryway? Is your home in desperate need of a makeover? The area to be painted will assist you choose the sort of paint brush to use.

    Paintbrushes are available in a variety of widths ranging from a quarter inch to five inches or bigger. The appropriate paint brush size is determined by the size of the surface being painted and the degree of detail on that surface. When painting a large, featureless area such as a door, paneling, or cabinet, you’ll want to use a larger paint brush. If you’re painting window trim, crown molding, or chair rails, use a paint brush that is somewhat smaller than the width of the trim you’re painting.

    Here are some helpful hints for selecting the optimal paint brush width:

    • Trim and windows with a 1 to 2 inch width
    • 3 inch wide doors and cabinets
    • Extensive flat surfaces – 4 to 5 inch width

    A smaller paint brush size is simpler to manipulate, but a bigger brush size retains more paint and does the task quicker.

    2. Paint Type

    The sort of paint used depends depend on the surface being painted. The paint brush used will be determined by the kind of paint utilized. This is one issue that, if overlooked, may adversely affect the outcome of your painting endeavor.

    Natural and synthetic bristle paintbrushes are the two primary bristle varieties. Natural bristle brushes perform nicely with oil-based paint. The bristles on this paint brush are composed of animal hair.

    Natural bristle brushes are ideal for staining, varnishing, applying urethane, and painting using enamel-based paints.

    Split-end bristles enable the paint brush to retain more paint and distribute it evenly. These are the best brushes to use with oil-based paints, stains, and sealers. They swiftly absorb water and may become limp very fast. Natural bristle brushes are not recommended for use with water-soluble paints.

    A synthetic bristle brush is the ideal option for latex paint. Nylon, polyester, or a mix of the two materials is used to make synthetic bristles. They work well with latex, acrylic, and alkyd paints that are water-based. These bristles are stiffer and non-absorbent than real animal hair. They are most effective when used with water-based paints and stains. They will provide excellent coverage and a silky finish. Learn more inspiration & useful tips about abstract photography.

    Additionally, bristles differ in terms of their degree of softness or stiffness. Typically, brushes are labeled as soft or stiff. For stains and varnishes, softer brushes are preferable.

    Natural bristle brushes are suggested for varnishes, urethanes, and oil-based paints in general due to their softness. If stiff bristles are used to apply these paints, they will dry with noticeable and unpleasant brush ridges. If, on the other hand, you’re cutting around trim or painting a delicate molding, a stiffer brush will offer you more control over the paint.

    3. Aesthetic Detailing of Painted Surfaces

    Another factor to consider is whether the bristles are blunt, straight across, and parallel to the ferrule, or angled. The form of a paint brush bristle may also have an effect on the final appearance of a product.

    Utilize a straight cut paint brush for flat surfaces devoid of complex molding and for cutting in close proximity to another painted area, trim, or other fine work. When prepping a wall for roller painting, cutting around trim, moldings with details and shaping, or when painting up an edge, use an angled paint brush.

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  • 12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners
    Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

    12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

    If you want to find out how to transform any ordinary picture into a masterpiece of digital editing and don’t know where to start, these cool Photoshop tutorials for beginners are the way to go. We picked the most useful tutorials for basic Photoshop tools and functions that will help you learn how to edit photos in Photoshop step by step. In these tutorials, you will also find some useful beginner Photoshop projects you can go through to practice your newly developed skills! Without further ado, here’s our list of the ten coolest free Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

    1. Photoshop 101 – The Mother of Cool Photoshop Tutorials

    Although it’s kind of outdated, Photoshop 101 is a great way to start learning the basics of Photoshop. The starter pack costs around $50.00, and it is literally brimming with tons of informative materials.

    With Photoshop 101 you will learn:

    • The ABCs of optimizing Photoshop in order to cope with your device;
    • How to work with Photoshop’s various tools such as layers, masks, channels;
    • How to alter a certain aspect of your pictures;
    • How to change colors;
    • How you can saturate or desaturate certain areas of the picture to improve it.

    In our opinion, Photoshop 101 deserves its place among our cool Photoshop tutorials, and it’s the easiest way to master the basics of this great picture post-processing software. Definitely one of the best collections of free Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

    12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

    2. Photoshop CC Essential Tutorials & Training

    Another awesome way to kickstart your Photoshop skills is CC Essentials, courtesy of Lynda.com, which is probably the biggest player on the tutorial market. With this cool step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to master the basics, such as working with layers and masks. Furthermore, discover how to use advanced post-processing features such as blend modes, smart objects and how to make fine adjustments to layers.

    Apart from the standard Photoshop tutorial, the CC Essential Tutorials & Training pack also contains instructions on how to work with other software from Adobe’s pallet, such as Adobe Bridge and even Camera Raw. Overall, Lynda’s Photoshop CC Tutorials & Training will teach you to perform the following actions in Photoshop.

    • Using Review mode to filter out rejected images;
    • Using smart collections;
    • The difference between RAW and JPEG files;
    • Toggling on-screen shadow or highlight clipping warnings;
    • Revealing hidden shadow detail;
    • Correcting lens distortion;
    • Sharpening details;
    • Adding a radial gradient;
    • Using cropping techniques;
    • Using the Refine Edge tools;
    • Additional tips for beginners.
    12 Cool Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

    3. Surreal Photoshop Tutorial

    Do you consider yourself a follower of the surrealistic school of art? Then with this Photoshop tutorial, you can transform your pictures, or any photo for that matter, into something that even Dali would be proud of.

    This great Photoshop tutorial was created by the renowned artist Marius Karasiewicz. It includes comprehensive tips on how to add that certain surrealistic touches to each and every picture. In this tutorial, you will learn how you can mash up different types of backgrounds like a desert, cloud, and sky with various natural patterns and designs. It’s one of the best Photoshop tutorials for beginners as it goes through:

    • How to use layers;
    • How to use groups;
    • How to adjust lighting and shadows to create a smooth transition from one element to another.

    If you’re interested in tracing the footsteps of surrealistic masters such as Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, or Andre Breton, you can learn how to create a surrealist landscape photo manipulation.

    4. Photoshop Tutorial Shortcuts

    Moving on with our cool free Photoshop tutorials for beginners, we have the  Photoshop Tutorial shortcuts that increase your productivity by showing you the major hotkeys which you can use in order to perform various actions.

    Note that the Photoshop Tutorial Shortcuts is designed to accommodate both Mac and PC versions of the software. However, apart from describing the most important keyboard shortcuts, this software does not have any step-by-step instructions regarding the ABC of Photoshop. But it’s still one useful tool to have around, especially when you’re fed up with having to click on multiple icons.

    5. How to Fix Dark Shadows in Photoshop

    Next in line on our top list of cool Photoshop tutorials is the “How to Fix Dark Shadows in Photoshop” education material which will help you get rid of some of those dark areas that can ruin the aspect of your pictures.

    In this tutorial, you will learn:

    • How to use the shadows/highlights options as opposed to the more destructive curves option;
    • How to work with various shadow effects;
    • How to work dark areas in a photo.

    More enticing is the fact that this tutorial is free to use, and for your convenience, all the essential information was gathered in the form of 6-minute YouTube video.

    Click on the link below to get started on your dark shadow fix tutorial – an essential part of learning Photoshop and, therefore, one of the essential Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

    6. How to Add Special Effects in Photoshop

    Thinking of sprucing up your dull photographs, but you don’t know how to do it? Then you should definitely consider taking a gander at the “How to Add Special Effects in Photoshop” tutorial, courtesy of the PHLearn team.

    In this comprehensive video and text tutorial, you will learn the following tricks:

    • How layering works in blending mode;
    • Using stacks and scripts;
    • Masking certain areas of the picture;
    • Adding blurs and pops of light;
    • Transform and duplicate layers;
    • How to use the levels adjustment option to your advantage;
    • How to eliminate dark and mid tone.

    7. How to Remove Glare from Glasses in Photoshop

    An absolute essential on our cool Photoshop tutorials list. Sometimes, as a photographer, you will also be appointed with creating professional portraits. However, this doesn’t have to discourage you from making art out of snapping portraits.

    Probably the nightmare of every photographer who uses photo post-processing software is to eliminate those pesky glares from glasses. Fortunately, Photoshop has all the tools you’ll need in order to get the perfect glare-free picture and this step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to do it.

    In this Photoshop education material, you will learn everything about removing reflections from glasses, which includes:

    • Working with clone stamp settings;
    • Tweaking opacity levels;
    • Tweaking flow levels;
    • Using the sample: current and below option;
    • Using the Clone Source dialogue options;
    • Flipping the pic’s width.

    Check out one of the best and easy to follow Photoshop tutorials for beginners here:

    8. How to Use Lens Flares in Photoshop

    This Photoshop tutorial aims to answer the question of when and how to use lens flares to enhance a photo. With this tutorial, you will learn:

    • How to add spectacular lens flares to your photos;
    • How to make the light work to your advantage;
    • How to create new layers;
    • How to work with filters;
    • How to change hue and saturation;
    • How to work with the Gaussian blur.

    To learn all about lens flares in Photoshop, please click on the provided YouTube clip.

    9. How to Enhance the Quality of a Photo with Curves

    Are you fed up with your photos looking so dull? Then why not spruce them up a bit using some curves and shades? This comprehensive 20-minute video tutorial will show you how easy it is to turn a boring picture into something new and totally unexpected.

    However, we do have to remind you that working with curves and depths is a little bit tricky, so be sure you got the basics of Photoshop before taking a crack at this one.

    Recommended read: Debunking the Myth of Kirlian Photography !

    10. How to take Advantage of Watercolor in Photoshop

    The advantage of using watercolor is that your pictures will look alive and more vibrant. Use Photoshop’s special watercolor art tools in order to transform your plain picture in a live expression of your inner self. In this tutorial you will learn how to master the following tools:

    • Applying textures;
    • Cutting different areas;
    • Use splatter brushes;
    • Using smart images and stock photos;
    • Layering stock images.

    If you want to learn more about watercolor, then we encourage you to check out this tutorial from PhotoshopTutorials.ws.

    11. How to Use the Photoshop Type Tool

    This little tutorial from TutPlus goes through the basics of using the Photoshop type tool to create stunning posters, cards, and designs:

    • Useful shortcuts for the Photoshop type tool;
    • How and why to create a Photoshop type layer;
    • How to resize and add visual effects to the text box;
    • How to add special characters to the text box;
    • How to create special effects within a text box. 

    After completing this tutorial, you will be able to add intricate pieces of text to your designs with proper alignment and creative text decorations.

    12. How to Use the Photoshop Selection Tools

    If you want to create complex designs which incorporate multiple elements from different image files, this tutorial by Simon Hubbert is a must read.  It covers:

    • The basics of multiple Photoshop selection tools;
    • How to use the Marquee tools like the rectangle, elliptical, single row, and single column tools;
    • How to use the Lasso tools, the magic wand, the pen, color range, and layer mask tools. 

    Not only does this tutorial go through every selection tool available and tells you how it works, it also uses visual examples to show you how to best use it. It’s definitely one of the best Photoshop tutorials for beginners you could try for free!

    Conclusion

    This is where our list of cool Photoshop tutorials ends. As a parting note, we want to paraphrase Ansel Adams who said that a photographer doesn’t take pictures, he makes them and sometimes, this creative process sprouts from the most implausible circumstances. Do you know other tutorials that would fit this list?

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  • Olympus PEN E-PL6 Review
    Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

    Olympus PEN E-PL6 Review

    The Olympus PEN E PL6 is among their best devices to date. Although an improved version is already on the market, the PL6 is still in production, mainly because it offers great value for money. While the new PL7 is designed to solve most of the issues noted in the PL6, it is a lot more expensive. The E PL6 camera is not meant for serious photographers but boasts great specs for its price range. This Olympus PEN E PL6 review will provide you with a general overview of the product and will offer you useful recommendations.

    General Specifications

    This camera is designed with a focus on quality and detail. Here are the specifications of the device:

    Type: Digital camera
    Resolution: 16 MP
    ISO: 100 – 25,600
    Shutter Speed: 1/4000 of a second
    Continuous Shooting Rate: 8 frames per second
    Size: 111 x 64 x 38 mm
    Weight: 0.72 pounds
    Media Storage: SD cards of up to 64 GB
    Pricing Options:

    • New on Amazon: $885.00
    • Used on Amazon: $320.00

    Your purchase will include long-lasting Lithium ion batteries, cables, straps, camera chargers, and adapters.

    Key Features

    The best feature of the Olympus PEN E PL6 is the great picture detail and quality. This is made possible by the 16 megapixel MOS sensor that is used in the making of the camera. It is also designed with a TruePic VI processing engine, which further improves the quality of images produced. The camera uses the standard zoom lenses. It is one of the best devices you can use in low light scenes.

    The camera has a highly sensitive touch screen that can be used to operate the device. Videos shot with this device are all full HD and are shot at 8 frames per second. Although this camera has no internal memory, it can support external SD cards of up to 64 GB.

    Another important feature is the Micro Four Thirds mount used in its construction. This mount allows great versatility – you can use more than 80 lenses with it!

    Olympus PEN E-PL6 Review

    Image Quality and Performance

    The Olympus PEN E PL6 digital camera was designed for high-quality casual photography and includes lots of features that improve performance. It has a rotating dial that can be used to adjust the aperture and shutter speed, therefore, changing the exposure compensation.

    New users will experience some trouble navigating the menu and settings. The settings have to be adjusted if you want to take exceptional pictures. For a start, you can enable the Super Control Panel and change the settings without having to go through the main menu.

    It has a 16-megapixel resolution, and this is enough to deliver very clear full-color images. The sensor used on this camera is similar to that used on the Olympus OMD EM-5. One main difference between the two is that the PEN E PL6 is smaller. It is one of the few cameras that can take high-quality pictures in dimly lit environments. This is because the manufacturer employed the AF Illuminator technology in its design.

    The autofocus functionality of this camera is quite fast. It uses 35 focus points, in addition to the Face and Eye Detection settings available. However, it does not come with an AF center function or with a built-in flash; if these are important to you, you might want to look over our Olympus OM-D E-M10 review.

    Design and Controls

    The Olympus PEN E PL6 has a highly sensitive touch screen. It has small buttons, and you might take some time to get used to the size. Although they are very small, the buttons are highly sensitive. Most of the controls have an intuitive design and will work as you expect. The device itself is very small and compact. It is easy to carry it around, and this provides great convenience to people who like outdoor photography.

    Olympus PEN E-PL6 Review

    The camera’s default settings are almost unusable, meaning you will need to spend some time adjusting them. Unfortunately, the menu is also complicated. With time, however, you will learn how to use it. As mentioned earlier in this Olympus PEN E PL6 review, you can enable the Super Control Panel in order to adjust the settings with ease. That way, you will not have to dig deep in the menu to access certain settings.

    The camera has a Micro Four Thirds lens mount. About 86 native lenses are available for this mount. This is another factor that sets the PEN E PL6 apart from its competition and previous versions. The Micro Four Thirds lens mount is highly versatile and is unmatched when it comes to mirrorless cameras.

    Pros

    Many photographers, whether amateur or experienced, have found the Olympus PEN E PL6 to be an ideal compact DSLR. Here are its main advantages:

    • Is compact and easily portable.
    • Uses a Micro Four Thirds mount, the most versatile mount available for mirrorless cameras.
    • Compared to similar products, it is highly affordable; it has a lot of features that you would not find in similarly priced products.
    • Has high resolution and produces sharp images.
    • Can take clear pictures in poorly lit environments.
    • Uses a highly sensitive touch screen.
    • Has fast autofocus functionality.
    • Can take 1080p videos at a speed of 8 frames per second.
    • Can support external SD cards.
    • Is covered by a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

    Cons

    Although it is a well-made device, the Olympus PEN E PL6 is not without its flaws. This list should help you make an informed decision regarding the purchase of this camera:

    • It has a poor default menu setup – critical settings are buried in the menu.
    • It does not have internal storage, but you can use external SD cards; it’s also worth mentioning that most good cameras at this price range do not have internal storage space;
    • Does not have built-in Wi-Fi functionality, but comes with a Wi-Fi card.
    • Has no built-in flash.

    Recommendations

    If you are a casual photographer, this camera will serve your purpose perfectly. It is much better than most smartphones. It is also very cheap, given that an improved version is already available on the market. The Olympus PEN E PL7 has been designed to rectify most issues that had been noted in this camera, and that has warranted the throwaway price of the E PL6. Since the manufacturer is still producing this camera, you can take the opportunity to get a nice product at an unusually low price. That said, this camera would not be recommended for professional photography. It would, however, work perfectly for vloggers and other casual activities. In addition, it can capture fast-moving objects well as it has a quick autofocus functionality. Also check about Akaso EK7000 Action Camera.

    Pro Tip

    As mentioned before, the Olympus PEN E PL6 is one of the best DSLRs in its price range. When compared to the CanonPowerShot SX710, the PEN E PL6 is much more user-friendly and boasts some great advantages, like the touch screen that is completely lacking in the SX710 PowerShot model from Canon. The PL6 also has a 300% higher maximum ISO, 26 more focus points, 1.6 fps faster continuous shooting mode, longer battery life, longer flash coverage, and more convenient price. It’s also a lot lighter, weighing 50% less than the Canon model.

    However, the Canon model uses built-in Wi-Fi which offers much better connectivity annd also has a built-in flash. The PowerShot model also has a much better screen resolution and comes with a microphone port, NFC connection, and smartphone remote control, which can definitely be helpful.

    Verdict

    The Olympus PEN E PL6 is a great DSLR camera, especially for its price range. It has been on the market for some time now, and an improved version has already been released by the manufacturer. Still, it has lots of strong points and a great usability score if imperfect wi-fi connectivity isn’t a deal-breaker for you. Most competitor products are either very highly priced or poorer in functionality.

    If you have any questions regarding this camera, feel free to send us a message and we will respond promptly. You can also leave your thoughts and experiences with the device in the comment section below.

  • Abstract Photography: Inspiration & Useful Tips
    Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

    Abstract Photography: Inspiration & Useful Tips

    Abstract art is among the most difficult to define art currents, and abstract photography is no exception. Often referred to as experimental, non-objective, concrete or conceptual, abstract photography depicts an image that doesn’t hold an immediate connection with the object, tangible world. It may include a fragment of the natural world, a deliberately staged setting, or an original mix of shape, color and light designed to create a separation between the object and its context.

    As the abstract images can be obtained with or without a traditional camera, the realm of abstract art is not limited to photography, extending to painting, illustration, film, and the digital world. Our article will cover the most important aspects of abstract photography, organized into three main categories. You will also find inspiration and useful tips on how to take your own spectacular abstract photos.

    Image source: PublicDomainPictures

    Black and White Abstract Photography

    Regarded as the most stylish and elegant type of abstract photography, black and white photography is often used in fashion, wedding, and architecture. Abstraction in photography works well when the subject is presented in a simplified color scheme.

    Macro photography is another type of technique that often helps artists create stunning abstract black and white images. Macro photography refers to taking up-close shots of various subjects, often resulting in abstractions of the real world. Flowers, plants, and everyday objects are just a few of the subjects artists use to create impressive abstract macro works.

    Black and white photography is a great medium for creating abstract images, as the lack of natural color isolates the subject even more. As the meaning of abstract photography is to present the subject out of  its normal context, black and white images are perfectly fit.

    Image source: Pixabay

    Masters of Abstract Black and White Photography

    One of the famous names in black and white photography is László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian photographer, and printer. Generally accepted as part of the Constructivist movement, the Bauhaus school professor has created a body of work that can easily fit the abstract aesthetic.

    His black and white images depict urban and industrial landscapes. The unique perspective he uses when taking the pictures makes his images a great study for abstract photography. All photography enthusiasts should be familiar with the art of Moholy-Nagy, a contemporary master.

    Abstract Landscape Photography

    Abstract landscape photography, also known as abstract nature photography, is an impressive endeavor. Through the use of camera movement, light and shadow, exposure time, and various focal lengths artists manage to produce amazing results. Abstract artists explain that taking advantage of light and the silhouettes it creates is vital to abstract landscape images.

    Almost any natural landscape can be transformed into an abstracted version of itself by a creative mind. Modern landscape photographers experiment with camera and subject movement, as well as various other techniques to create their images.

    A great example of expressionist abstraction of a natural landscape is the view of orange sandstone hills. Due to the unique angle chosen by the photographer, the image becomes an abstract pattern. This non-objective perspective invites the viewer to make his own interpretation of the subject. Choosing the right texture is vital for abstract landscape art; waves, beaches, clouds and fields being usually the favorite subjects.

    Image source: GraffitiWallpaper

    Masters of Abstract Landscape Photography

    Alvin Langdon Coburnis probably the best photographer to become famous for his abstract landscape artThe 20th-century artist is a pioneer of American pictorialism, becoming the first major figure to explore abstract photography.

    His work depicts natural and urban landscapes transformed into abstract concepts. Using unique shooting angles, Coburn manages to create a fine body of work that is still remarkable. His landscapes are hauntingly beautiful, taking the viewer away from the actual subject and into a realm of imagination. Learn more fascinating and controversial photography techniques.

    Abstract Portrait Photography

    Portraiture has also been subject to the influence of the abstract current. Although it might seem harder to create portraits that don’t hold a resemblance to their subjects, artists found a way. Through image manipulation, superimposition and even mixed techniques, photographers created stunning abstract portraits.

    Abstract portraiture first appeared in painting, but photographers were quick to adopt the techniques. The works of people like Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, and even of the 60s golden boy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, incorporated abstract tendencies in painting. Although mainly known as part of other artistic currents, all three of these painters produced abstract portraits, using different means.

    The most famous artist who made the transition between abstract portrait in painting and its photographic representation is Andy Warhol. Famous for his gigantic prints of up-close shots of celebrities, Warhol used multiplication and color manipulation to create abstraction. Examples of his works of abstract portraits are numerous, and still define our idea of the modern portrait.

    Masters of Abstract Portraits Photography

    An important artist you should check out if you need ideas or inspiration for abstract portraits is Lazar Markovich Lissitzky. Known simply as El Lissitzky, this Russian avant-garde artist produced a remarkable body of work. Starting as an architect and painter, El Lissitzky also experimented with abstract photography.

    His self-portrait, entitled The Constructor (produced in 1924), is a great source of ideas on how to create abstract art. Using monochrome photography, collage techniques and added drawn details, the artist produced a memorable abstract portrait.

    Abstract Urban Photography

    An urban abstract is exactly as the name suggests: any abstract image photographed within a city. What’s great is that the urban landscape has such a great potential and you can find opportunities everywhere you look. A great place to start would be the local neighbourhood, where one can begin practicing abstract urban photography and get the hang of it.

    Any abstract urban photographer would advise on seeing the environment differently, as if you were seeing those surrounding for the first time. There’s a need to drop any preconceptions about what an attractive subject is. In the abstract world, everything has potential and can turn into a piece of art.

    Isolate your subject, reducing your composition, so that your frame encompasses the element or elements most appealing in that environment. Attention to detail is very important when it comes to abstract urban photography.

    Image Source: Pxhere

    Masters of Abstract Urban Photography

    One of the most appreciated abstract urban photographers is Justin Green. His work has been featured in publication such as The Guardian, Photophique, Creative Review, and Time Out, among many others. Green shoots the abstract world within the cities he visits, looking at things like symmetry, texture, patterns, and decay. He photographs both natural and man-made subjects that often go unnoticed by ”inexperienced” eyes.

    Abstract Photography Ideas and Tips

    Abstract photography is one of the most permissive artistic forms of representation. The outside world, still life, natural elements and the human body make great subjects for abstraction. Now that you know what is abstract photography, you can start creating your own images. If you want to experiment with abstract photography techniques, here are a few abstract photography tips to guide you through this process.

    Concentrate on Shapes, Lines, and Colors

    Look for attractive patterns in your subjects and know that abstract photography benefits from the accentuation of one of these three compositional elements. If shooting in an urban setting, make sure to also check out our guide to architectural photography.

    Try Macro Lenses

    As we already mentioned, macro photography is one technique that will help you produce amazing abstract images, so give it a try. You will manage to capture previously unseen details of people, natural or urban elements, everyday objects. You can visit our collections of macro photography tips for more info.

    Use Objects as Filters

    Shooting through stained glass windows, a transparent glass bottle, or even water will distort your image, creating the desired abstract effect.

    Play with Your Camera Settings

    Throw out the rulebook! Abstract photography allows you to shoot out of focus, at extreme and unusual angles, and even upside down. Play around and leave the theory behind. Our collection of digital photography tips might come in handy.

    Have Fun with Editing

    Photographers are generally discouraged from heavily editing their work in post-production. When it comes to abstract photography, there are no limits to how you can manipulate your images. Experiment with coloring, rotation, even collage techniques until you get the perfect result.

    Combine Different Techniques, Styles, and Types of Photography

    You can try your hand at abstract macro photography as mentioned before, or even abstract nature photography and tips on nature photography for help.

    Explore Textures

    By photographing texture you’ll allow the viewer to almost ‘’feel’’ the image. Everywhere around us we can find interesting textures to shoot if we’re paying enough attention to our surroundings. Work with different angles to capture the feel of the texture best.

    Pay Attention to Shadows

    Shadows add depth to the surrounding elements, which is why it’s worth including them in your photographs. Plus, they also add contrast, making that image pop. In abstract photography, you are allowed to photograph all kinds of shadows, especially unusual-looking ones. Don’t be afraid to shoot them, especially if you’re a fan of abstract black and white photography. You will also like to learn best tips on Baby Photography.

    Image source: Pixabay

    Conclusion

    Abstract art photography is a style that allows creativity to flourish, so any passionate photographer should dip their toes in the world of photography. You can use almost everything as your subject, from buildings to plants and trees, to everyday objects and even nude models. Look at the work of the masters of abstract photography and then build your own style. The secret of abstract images is the constant experimenting with camera settings, lighting, and patterns.

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  • Kirlian Photography: The Myth & Technique Debunked
    Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

    Kirlian Photography: The Myth & Technique Debunked

    Kirlian photography refers to a series of techniques that are both fascinating and controversial. Discovered by Semyon Kirlian in 1939, this type of photography is based on the phenomenon known as electrical coronal discharge. The resulting images present the subjects surrounded by colorful so-called “auras,” which led people to interpret the products of these techniques in a variety of ways.

    Disclaimer: It is highly important to be aware that you are working with high-voltage currents which can be dangerous. Take all the safety precautions before turning on your device! Equally important, don’t get near the electrical plate when the power is on.

    Myths surrounding Kirlian aura photography have been since proven wrong by scientists, but the techniques involved are still as fascinating today. The good news is you don’t need to believe in vital energy, chakras, and telepathy to have fun with this photography technique!

    What is Kirlian Photography?

    Kirlian Photography is quite a simple process which can be even achieved without using a camera. The principle is straightforward: if an object is placed on a photographic plate which is then connected to a source of high-voltage current, an image will appear on the photographic plate. The resulting image appears because of the electrical coronal discharge taking place between the subject and the metal plate.

    Scientists conducted plenty of experiments using a variety of subjects, from inanimate to animate. Leaves, mushrooms, apples, coins, human fingerprints and hands, all served as subjects for Kirlian Photography. In every case, the object transferred to the photographic plate with colorful waves surrounding it. Science has since proved that the colorful shapes are the result of the moisture contained in the subject which transferred onto the plate under the influence of the current.

    The fact that people are still interested in this type of photography long after its paranormal qualities have been debunked is proven by the availability of Kirlian devices online. There are plenty of companies who sell this equipment, as well as provide insight into how to build your own Kirlian photography device.

    Debunking the Myth of Kirlian Photography

    As the resulting Kirlian photography pictures of both animate and inanimate objects display a colorful “aura,” a variety of parapsychologists were quick to jump to conclusions. People claimed that Kirlian photography depicts auras, or chakras, and can show the life force of the subject. As you will see below, all these claims have been since debunked by scientific research, but still, Kirlian’s discovery attracts a strong following even today.

    Even though both the living and non-living objects photographed displayed the colorful waves, that didn’t stop aura readers from claiming that Kirlian photography shows the energy levels of the human body. The New Age gurus and spiritualists of the 70’s were sure that what they saw on the metal plate is a representation of the human emotional state, energy level, and vital energy.

    However, all these claims no longer stand, as science explains that the variations in color are produced by quantifiable factors. The glowing shapes appear due to the water content in the subject, which makes the air around the object become ionized when exposed to high-voltage current. If the surrounding air contains any moisture, the resulting picture will contain a colorful silhouette around the object, a phenomenon scientifically called corona plasma discharge.

    Even if there is nothing supernatural, paranormal or psychic about the Kirlian photography, most photography enthusiasts will get a kick out of experimenting with this technique.

    Kirlian Photography Camera

    The Kirlian Photography device consists of a few components that you can buy separately and put together, or simply order online as a functioning camera. Kirlian photography enthusiasts still experiment with this technique, regardless of their beliefs related to chakras, auras, and vital energy.

    Below, you will find a simple way to build your own Kirlian photography device, as well as a few online resources for ordering one that is already put together. Any photographer who is curious about how to do Kirlian photography can find all the information below.

    DIY Kirlian Photography Camera Project

    The easiest way to build a DIY Kirlian photography device is by using transparent electrodes. Using this method, the electric field around the subject will become visible to the naked eye, and also easy to photograph.

    • Plasma photo plate
    • High voltage insulators (plastic cups are ideal)
    • A filling syringe for the electrode plate
    • Electric conductive solution (salt and water solution)
    • High voltage spark coil
    • Power pulse modulator
    • Sample (a leaf or coin)
    • Piece of wire
    • Tape

    After you have gathered all the necessary equipment and accessories, you are ready to start your project.

    Image source: Pinterest

    1. Get the Photo Plate Ready

    Firstly, you have to fill the electrode or plasma photo plate with an electric conductive solution. Mix salt and tap water until the salt dissolves without making the water cloudy. Using the syringe, fill the plasma photo plate with your solution.

    2. Place Your Subject on the Photo plate & Connect it to the Electrode Plate

    Carefully wipe the electrode plate with a damp cloth, making sure to eliminate all moisture or dirt. This way your picture will appear clear, not affected by any external factors.

    Then, attach your sample to the electrode plate using transparent tape. Choose a leaf or a coin, as they are easy to tape, and they will show interesting results after being photographed.

    3. Ground Your Connection

    After you have secured your sample, attach the piece of wire to the back of your leaf/coin using transparent tape. Then connect the other end of your wire to ground, which should be the same with the ground/earth connection of the power supply you use.

    4. Place the Setup on Insulators

    Turn your electrode plate over, with your subject sitting underneath. Carefully place the plate on insulators; plastic cups or glasses are ideal.

    5. Connect the High-Voltage Coil

    Either connect you high-voltage coil directly to the electrode or use another piece of wire for this purpose. Make sure everything is in place, as you will have to turn off the lights for the next steps.

    6. Turn the Power on

    Turn off the lights, and then turn on the power. It is important to keep the electric current flowing for just several seconds at the time. Otherwise, you will damage the quality of the transferred image. Typically the ideal time for exposure is between 10 and 30 seconds.

    7. Take the Picture!

    Use a camera that has a high-quality lens, or a high available ISO setting. This way you are sure to  take good photographs in the dark. Experiment with the shutter time to discover the best settings for your pictures.

    You can check out the RMCybernetics website for a more in-depth tutorial on how to build your own DIY Kirlian camera. Imagesco also offers a helpful guide to building you own simple Kirlian photography device along with more information about how to design the circuit.

    Order Kirlian Photography Equipment

    If you want to experiment with this technique, but don’t want all the hassle of building your own device, don’t worry.  There are plenty available options for your too. As Kirlian photography still attracts fans and passionate photographers, the online market provides enough resources. Anyone who wants to learn this technique can find an ideal product online.

    You can order a professional Kirlian photographic device which comes with film paper, as well as polaroid film. Fully equipped, these devices will help you take the best Kirlian photography without having to worry about connecting any wires.

    If you are looking to buy parts and use your own camera, there are spare parts available on Ebay. Know that the search will be more time consuming. You can order the transparent electrodes on Ebay, but you will need to provide the rest of the equipment yourself.

    Kirlian Photography App

    As a proof of the appeal of Kirlian Photography, there is an app dedicated to this technique that you can download from the google store. However, the app only reveals Wifi fields using long exposure photography techniques, simply drawing inspiration from the Soviet scientist’s discoveries. The Wifi visualizations are nonetheless fascinating, turning an ordinary element into something magical. Plus, it’s a blast at parties!

    Conclusion

    Kirlian photography is still fascinating for scientists and photographers, even after the myth of auras was debunked. Even if the surrounding New Age theories were proven wrong, this technique was not abandoned. Aspiring photographers, as well as professionals, should get a kick out of experimenting with such a controversial technique that is still attractive today.

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  • Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review
    Best Photographic Equipment

    Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review

    Akaso is known for their action cameras, which have become increasingly popular over the past decade. The EK7000 is one of their most advanced models and its main selling point is the 4K shooting capability. It’s a great asset for individuals who participate in extreme sports and want to document their adventures. The camera has been on the market for less than two years and has amassed thousands of reviews. It is also ranked as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon in the Cameras category. If you are not sure this is a good purchase for you, find out more in this Akaso EK7000 action camera review.

    General Specifications

    As we kick off this Akaso EK7000 action camera review, let’s take a quick look at the technical specifications and features that the camera has to offer.

    Type: Digital sports action camera
    Resolution: 1080p, 2.7K, 4K
    ISO:

    • Native ISO: Not specified
    • Extended ISO: Not specified

    Continuous shooting rate: 25 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps
    Size: 0.9″ x 2″ x 1.5″
    Weight: 1.4 pounds
    Media storage: MicroSD card

    Key Features

    With the Akaso EK7000 action camera, you have the option of shooting in 4K at 25 fps, 1080p at 30 fps, and 1080p at 60 fps. The camera has a 2″ LCD screen for viewing videos and a super wide angle lens that makes it easy to capture videos in all kinds of weather. We love the fact that you can use this camera 100 feet underwater without worrying about damage, thanks to the included waterproof casing.

    The WiFi capability is a nice bonus for individuals who love showing off their work to family and friends. You can also take advantage of this feature when editing or viewing videos on a phone or laptop. The Akaso EK7000 action camera also comes with a USB cable, a lens cloth, a protective backdoor, a bike stand, helmet mounts, and clips.

    Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review

    Image Quality and Performance

    The whole point of owning a camera is taking quality shots and shooting great videos. That said, it only makes sense that our Akaso EK7000 action camera review touches on the camera’s image quality and performance. The Akaso EK7000 action camera is capable of shooting professional 2.7K footage at 30 fps and 4K at 25 fps. It captures 12MP still photos at up to 30 fps. The 170-degree wide angle lens is a welcome addition that creates a great immersive effect. For a camera in its price range, the auto focus is spot on and the colors are incredible.

    You can capture footage and still photos in any of the available modes including single photo, burst photo and time lapse. The sensor can capture 12MP still photos at 30 frames per second. Contrary to what you would expect from a 4K camera, the Akaso EK7000 action camera recordings don’t look very good when shot in slow motion and at higher resolutions. Videos shot at standard frame rate are not too shaky and look smooth. For more information about image quality and performance on https://ctb.ku.edu/maintain-quality-performance

    Design and Controls

    If there is one area where the Akaso EK7000 action camera excels, it is design and controls. All of the components are housed in a smooth silver build, which is then encased in a transparent cover. The Akaso EK7000 action camera is quite compact compared to other models and the sensor protrudes from the body, but this isn’t too much of a problem. It ships with a 2.4G RF remote control that allows you to record and take still photos while on the move.

    You can also use it to frame photos without using your hands. WiFi capability makes it easy to pair the camera with your iOS or Android device. However, you will have to download the Akaso app to take advantage of this feature. This camera is powered by two rechargeable 1050mAh batteries that allow for up to 90 minutes of recording time. It also ships with a waterproof casing that is IP68 certified, allowing you to use it at a maximum depth of 100 feet underwater without worrying about damage.

    Note: If these aspects are important to you but this camera isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, we also recommend reading our review of the Victure Action Camera.

    Pros

    There are many things to love about the Akaso EK7000 action camera some of which are mentioned below.

    • Has WiFi capabilities.
    • Compact and lightweight construction.
    • Shipped with handy accessories.
    • 4K ultraHD recording.
    • Has a 170-degree wide angle lens.
    • Picture quality is crisp and sharp.
    • Great sound quality.
    • Spare batteries are easily available.
    • Compatible with GoPro mounts.
    • Waterproof casing works for a maximum of eight hours.
    • Great color production and exposure.
    • Has the ability to shoot time lapse videos.

    Cons

    • Doesn’t have any internal memory.
    • Low resolution still photos could be better.
    • Battery life could be better.

    Recommendations

    If there is one thing that this Akaso EK7000 action camera review has revealed, it’s that this is one of the best sport action cameras on the market. For one, you can shoot 4K footage at 25fps. You can also opt for 1080p recording at 60 frames per second if you want the smoothest video quality. We love the waterproof casing as it allows you capture still photos and videos almost 100 feet underwater. What’s even better is that the inbuilt WiFi allows you to remotely control the camera via iOS or Android.

    Pro Tip

    The Akaso EK7000 is a great investment – in fact, its the best action camera in its price range. It has great video quality and behaves extremely well in all weather and visibility conditions. However, if you’re serious about your action videography and only want the best, we recommend also taking a look at the GoPro HERO6. It’s a bit more expensive, but it makes up for the extra investment with great still image quality and functionality. Learn more techniques about abstract photography.

    Verdict

    For the adrenaline junkie who loves documenting their adventures, the Akaso EK7000 action camera would make a great investment. It works great for documenting skydiving, skiing, surfing, bike rides, runs and hikes. The camera boasts superior recording and excellent performance, something that extreme sport enthusiast look for. Users can mount it on the helmet, surf board, chest or bike and utilize their phones or remote control to frame shots. This action camera comes with many useful accessories including USB cable, remote control, bike stand, helmet mounts, batteries and more for an exceptional shooting experience.

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  • Canon PowerShot SX620 Review
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    If you are looking into cameras, whether DSLR, SLR, or point and shoot, you have likely noticed that there are a lot of options out there. Each model you look at probably has something different or unique to offer, so finding the right camera for you has become a battle of compromise and prioritization. Our goal here is to clarify models like the Canon Powershot SX620 and its competitors, so you can know exactly where they stand in terms of what you are looking for.

    Trying to find a camera that has the right balance of what you need in terms of features, specs, and budget can be quite a long night’s worth of research.  If you are looking for something with a kick in the area of specs and features, but maybe doesn’t make such a dent in your budget, then this is the article for you!

    What Is Canon PowerShot SX620?

    The Canon Powershot SX620 is a point and shoot camera that utilizes high tech specs to put in on the map as a day-to-day camera for beginners, or a traveling photographer’s back up or portable option. It brings 20 megapixels to the table which is great for daily photography and on-the-go photography as well. 

    It also has a 25x optical zoom with 50x ZoomPlus, which is a good range for most basic photography needs. With a shutter speed range of 15-1/2000 seconds, the Canon Powershot SX620 has most types of photography handled in that range.

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    The Canon Powershot SX620 offers many shooting modes—some standard like portrait and night scene, but many creative modes as well like fireworks, hybrid, fish-eye, poster effect, long shutter, and more. While there is no manual shooting option, the various creative and standard modes offer a wide array of pre-programmed specs to play with.

    Wi-fi, GPS, and NFC pairing are available with this model as well as print connection to make syncing, sending, uploading, and printing pictures fast, easy, and part of the photo-taking process.

    PRODUCT SPECS  

    This camera offers 20 megapixels which works well for most, and is high enough for some editing and a little blowing up. While on the lower end, the 25x optical zoom does help fill the gap users feel between a point and shoot and a DSLR model in terms of range, and the added image stabilizer helps ensure a clean photo. 

    The shutter speed range of 15-1/2000 is great—especially for the firework mode—and there is a lot of room in there to play with, but the ISO range is lacking at only 80-3200. The lower end of that range will work decently for low-light environments, but the rest of the bracket is fairly standard—if not below the standard—when compared to many cameras on the market now.

    The Canon Powershot SX620 offers a lot of standard and creative shooting modes that each come with pre-programmed settings. So, while the lack of a manual mode will be felt, there are a lot of options to play with in an attempt to alleviate that gap.

    Wi-fi, GPS, and NFC abilities round out this model in terms of up-to-date features that have become necessary in today’s photography world. The Canon Powershot SX620 also offers a video mode of 1080p full HD.

    Unlike many point and shoot cameras, the Canon Powershot SX620 is not meant to be a one-time only camera, so it also offers rechargeable batteries to replace the need for carrying an endless supply of AAs on every vacation with you. This addition is incredibly helpful for all users, though we do wish the battery life would last longer than 280 shots.

    Pricing  

    Prices on the market are always changing, and this is especially true for cameras. On average, we found this model online, which has a fair price. However, if you are looking for less expensive options, Amazon.com always has used and refurbished options that may fit well in your budget.

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    How It Compares

    We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.     

    As we said, this is a fair price, but we understand if it is a little outside of the budget for some. We recommend looking into used or refurbished options if you need a little more wiggle room in that price bracket.

    Ease of Use

    The Canon Powershot SX620 is designed to be easy to use. It is a great grab-and-go camera and has an easy setup and simple interface so you do not need to do much fiddling to get the camera where it needs to be for that perfect shot. 

    This camera body is small and compact, but that does not mean it is lacking in support. Though it is slim, the Canon Powershot SX620 still offers a grip around the side of the body as well as a thumb rest to aid in better handling.

    Our one real complaint is the lack of a touchscreen, which would make menu navigation and photo editing so much easier and faster. This would also appeal more to the users of today’s generation and would be more second nature to many users in general.

    Performance

    With decent megapixels and a higher optical zoom than the previous model, we expected a little bit more from the Canon Powershot SX620. As is, while the shooting modes are fun and offer lots of creative input, the combined specs of image quality and creative shooting or editing is not something new. In fact, it is something most users have in their pocket already: a smartphone. 

    With the exception of the zoom, many users may feel it is a slight downgrade from their smartphones as many newer phones offer manual mode-like editing and adjustments. If you do not have or plan on having a smartphone, then this camera may be worth the money. Otherwise, you probably already have all the specs and features this model offers sitting next to Facebook and Candy Crush.

    Design Quality  

    The design is slim and easily portable, which users appreciate, and the screen (though not a touchscreen) is very bright and colorful in any type of lighting. Everything the camera offers is easily accessible, and we cannot fault the Canon Powershot SX620 for the thought that went into the design. We can, however, suggest the addition of a rotating touchscreen to help in interface quality and variability in shooting angles.

    Warranty  

    Canon has a 1-year limited warranty for parts and labor for errors on their end. For a model in this price bracket, that is not a bad deal. However, given the retreat Canon has had with their lower end models on the market, it may be difficult to get replacement parts from them.

    PROS

    • Decent megapixels
    • Lots of shooting modes
    • Bigger zoom than smartphone
    • Wi-fi/GPS/NFC

    CONS

    • No touchscreen
    • Most features are already available on smartphones
    • No manual options

    This model offers 20 megapixels, but only 15x optical zoom. As a compact camera, the lens sensor is relatively large at 1 inch, which means this camera should work well in low-light environments. Like the Canon Powershot SX620, this camera works well for those on the go or needing something small to travel with. This model has 4K video capabilities, which is rare for such a small model, and the added touchscreen means there are lots of navigational and editorial options.

    This is quite a price jump up from the Canon Powershot SX620, and while this model does offer more, we really cannot say that we agree with the price. If you have your heart set on this model, though, look through the used or refurbished options on Amazon—you will likely find one that fits better in your budget.

    The aid of a touchscreen makes navigation even easier on this model, and it was easy to begin with. We have no complaints, nor have we found complaints on how this model operates and navigates. The build is intuitive and simple to pick up and go—no tutorial needed. 

    Compared to the Canon Powershot SX620, this camera has more options that your smartphone cannot give you in terms of shooting modes and quality; however, the price is just too high if you are simply wanting to outdo your phone. For a couple hundred more, you could get a decent beginners’ DSLR kit and have a lot of options that are not available to you otherwise. 

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    One thing to look at in this camera is the 4K photo isolation. It happens in-camera and you can pull great images out of 4K videos—which is something many smartphones would have a hard time with. This camera also has in-camera RAW photo editing and angle prediction when shooting video.

    The lens was one feature many users were excited about. It is a lens that works well with wide-angle shots as well as telephoto shots and most things in between. However, this is also where this model saw the most complaints. Many users felt that the lens and shutter operated slowly and were a bit clunky. Click here for beginners Photoshop tutorials.

    This model is well designed to be compact and easily portable. It is also a full-metal camera, which does add some points in terms of durability. Our only suggestion (which is the suggestion of some users as well) would be to add some weather proofing since the camera’s specs work well in different environments.

    Warranty  

    There is a limited warranty for manufacturer errors; however, we feel that with the cost of this model, some added protection would be appreciated.

    PROS

    • Decent megapixels
    • Durable body
    • 4K video
    • Photo isolation
    • RAW options
    • Touchscreen
    • Wi-fi

    CONS

    • Lens is slow
    • No tilting screen
    • High price

    Similar to the previous models, this camera offers 20 megapixels. However, it does have a higher optical zoom at 35x. It is not the zoom that helps this camera stand apart, though; it is the manual shooting option. Being able to switch over to manual is a coveted option for point and shoot users, and this model gives just that. This camera also has 4K video and Bluetooth connectivity so on the go users have nothing to worry about—no matter what they are shooting. While there is no viewfinder on this model, there is a tilting 3-inch screen to show you what you are looking at any angle.

    While this model has good specs, the sensor is a little small for this price point. Low-light shots will not be well captured, and this is a wide range of shots taken by users, so we feel the price should show that.

    Ease of Use

    While the use of the camera’s photo-taking settings are simple and easy to understand, setting up Snapbridge to sync photos or videos can be a pain. It is not as intuitive as some users hoped, and can be confusing to use with different computers or phones as some are less compatible. 

    Performance

    Given the specs, we were excited to explore this model. However, it fell short in more ways than one. The battery was our biggest complaint, and many users agree. It struggles to get through the promised 29 minutes of 4K video—often not making it halfway. Many users have needed to replace the batteries soon after purchasing as they do not seem to hold a charge well. This can be a real pain, especially if you want this camera for travel purposes.

    Our second issue was with the photo focus, which is soft at best and nowhere near as clear as we were hoping, especially after 15-20x zoom. This can really impact photo quality and was disappointing.

    Design Quality  

    While this model is a compact camera, it is on the clunkier side of the spectrum. There have also been complaints about how easy it is to crack or scratch the screen.

    Warranty  

    While there is a limited warranty, many users have had trouble using it, especially when it comes to replacing batteries so often.

    PROS

    • 4K video
    • 35x optical zoom
    • Bluetooth
    • Tilting screen

    CONS

    • Slow zoom and shutter
    • Poor image clarity after 20x zoom
    • Weak batteries
    • Not durable

    This camera was built as a rugged point and shoot. It offers 16 megapixels and is waterproof up to 50 feet and shockproof up to almost 6 feet. With only 5x optical zoom, it is not even in the competition for zoom range, but the fact that it can be taken almost anywhere to capture such a variety of images is a feat on its own.

    Given the rugged nature of the camera, we think this price is pretty fair.

    Ease of Use

    This really is a get-up-and-go camera. It is structured to be basic and easy to pick up so you do not need to spend time fidgeting with it.

    Performance

    The 16 megapixels do not do a lot to help quality, but the fact that this camera can perform where many others cannot is commendable. The zoom is almost negligible, though, and with not many shooting options this camera is fairly basic in terms of performance. 

    Design Quality  

    While there is always a more waterproof or shockproof camera out there, we feel that what this model has to offer fills many users’ needs. It’s designed to be compact and durable, and that is exactly what it is.

    Warranty  

    While there is a warranty, it is limited and we feel that rugged cameras especially require a different warranty to match their more risky usage.

    PROS

    • Waterproof
    • Shockproof
    • Durable body
    • Easy to use

    CONS

    • Low megapixels
    • Poor zoom
    • No unique features

    CONCLUSION

    After looking through each of these cameras and comparing specs and features, we feel the Canon Powershot SX620 deserves 3 out of 5 stars overall. It is mainly its performance bringing it down as we feel many users will likely have all of this camera’s capabilities and more in their smartphone already. While the specs and features are not poor, they are definitely behind, so we recommend looking elsewhere for newer features and more creative shooting opportunities.

  • Sell Photos: Here we Will Discuss the Top 10 Places to Sell your Photos
    Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

    Sell Photos: Here we Will Discuss the Top 10 Places to Sell your Photos

    Do you have a 500GB hard drive filled to the brim with photographs that have never seen the light of day? Digital photography has made this dilemma common in the 21st Century. If you enjoy taking photos, there is a chance that you’re storing some photographic gold inside the vault of your hard drive. Open those vaults and learn how to sell photos.

    Here, we will discuss who can sell photography, what makes for a great photo, some photography tips, and the top 10 places to sell photos.

    Who Can Sell Photos

    At one point in history, the fine art of photography was a closed market. Becoming a photographer who could sell photos was reserved for those who were privy to the technicalities of the complex machinations of complicated cameras and the chemical processing involved in developing negatives. Not to mention, they did it all in the dark.

    The digital photo revolution at the turn of the last century has completely transformed the photography industry. With these advancements in technology, nearly everyone has access to a camera capable of producing high-quality imagery.

    Photography is still a fine art. To sell photos, photographic images must represent the artistic nature of the craft. All art is subjective in the sense that its value is determined by the viewer. When creating impactful photographs, it’s important to keep the viewer in mind.

    Sell Photos: Here we Will Discuss the Top 10 Places to Sell your Photos

    What Makes a Great Photograph?

    Successful photography creates harmony by using the following elements:

    • The photo tells an original story
    • The photo evokes emotion
    • Balanced composition
    • Natural color, light, and shadows are utilized to enhance the image

    The beauty of living at this time in history is that anyone with a camera can capture an award-winning photograph. Photographers with a strong awareness of the aforementioned photographic elements will produce the most stunning and successful images.

    Tips for Getting Started

    When you are just starting out and want to sell photos, there are key tips to keep in mind. Here are the insights for becoming a success at selling photos.

    Define Your Niche

    Establish and hone in on your photographic niche. What do you like to shoot? What is your style of lighting, subject matter, and/or emotional tone? These and other considerations are all important factors to consider when honing your niche in photography.

    Be Original

    There are only so many times we can see an iteration of the same photo before we humans get bored and tune out. Avoid photographic subject cliches and be original. Find ways to be yourself and express yourself through your photographs.

    Sell Photos: Here we Will Discuss the Top 10 Places to Sell your Photos

    Build a Solid Portfolio 

    Building a solid portfolio is easier said than done, but it’s a crucial aspect of succeeding as a photographer. Build your portfolio so the images fit together. When a stranger is viewing the portfolio, it should feel like a cohesive project, much like a book of photography would.

    Get Technical

    Brush up on your knowledge of online marketing, keywords, and how to tag photos. To sell photos online, you must have a working understanding of how to attract buyers to your work. The proper use of keywords, tags, and other online marketing tools will help you find your audience, or allow your audience to find you.

    Go Natural

    Limit (or eradicate) editing and the use of filters. Editing, photo filters, and borders are more popular than ever, but they are often unsuitable photos you want to sell. Most sellers are looking for natural, untouched, high-quality photographs.

    Consider the Market

    When taking photographs, consider how that photograph might be used in a marketing context. Who are you marketing to? Would the image allow for text to be added? Is your subject something that the market is overly saturated with? These questions can help guide you with shooting photos that will sell.

    Top 10 Places to Sell Photos

    There are many avenues to explore when deciding to sell photos. Here we will discuss the top 10 places to sell your photos.

    1. Stock Photo Websites

    2. Smartphone Stock Photo Apps

    3. Social Media Marketing

    4. Art Galleries

    5. Art Fairs And Local Events

    6. Personal Website

    7. In Your Community

    8. Pro Bono Beginnings

    9. Newsletter Campaigns

    10. Online Marketplaces

    Stock Photo Websites

    Stock photography websites are some of the best places to sell photographs. There are many stock photo websites to upload your photos to. The process is to submit high-quality imagery (each site will list their size and pixel specifications), add tags, and allow your photos to exist in the public sphere.

    Buyers browse thousands of photos and purchase a license to use your photograph for their website or project. You will receive a portion of the proceeds from this license and the stock photography company keeps a portion of the money in trade for hosting your work.

    Each stock photography website has individual standards and regulations for photo contributors. Read each company’s contributor information pages before trying to sell photos. Some many respected stock photo companies include:

    • Getty Images
    • ShutterStock
    • Fotolia/Adobe Stock
    • 123RF
    • 500px
    • Dreamstime
    • iStock
    • Shutterpoint
    • Alamy

    Smartphone Stock Photo Apps

    The rise of smartphones has created a correlating increase in apps designed to help you sell photos. The process of selling photos to smartphone apps is similar to the process with stock photo websites. Sometimes these stock photo apps aren’t as particular or exclusive as their website alternatives.
    Uploading your photos to an app can help you get exposure to your work and gain both a following and cash.

    New stock photography apps arrive on the app marketplace frequently. Some of the most popular apps to sell photos are:

    • Bluemelon
    • DepositPhotos
    • EyeEm
    • Foap
    • ScoopShot
    • SnapWire
    • SmugMug
    • Twenty20

    Social Media Marketing

    When you are just starting out as a photographer, it’s important to build a following. The more people who are exposed to your work, the greater the likelihood you will sell photos. One excellent way to gain artistic exposure is through the social media channels your already use.

    Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to post your photos to a wide-reaching audience. Your friends or followers can also share your photos with others. You never know who might be looking for a quality photograph to use in their next big project.

    Art Galleries

    Photography is an art, and no place reminds us of this more than an art gallery. Once you have your portfolio in order, highlight art galleries that feature photography exhibits. It is beneficial to create an artist’s packet you can send to galleries as an artistic version of an application.

    Your artist packet could include small, palatable, but still high-quality, prints of your work, an artist statement, a short biography, and a cover letter specifically addressed to individual art galleries. Check with galleries to see if they prefer digital or hard copies of media.

    Art Fairs and Local Events

    Many cities and towns across the US hold arts and crafts fairs and flea markets. Book a table and sell your prints at one of these events. The perks of working at a local event include face-to-face interactions with your buyers, and the ability to set your own prices. 

    Personal Website

    When you are serious about selling your photos, it’s a good idea to create a personal website with professional appeal. Highlighting your portfolio on a website or blog, dedicated solely to your work, adds a dimension of esteem that people (buyers) appreciate. When your website is up and running, you can add your URL to your email signature and to your business card to attract extra traffic to your site.

    In Your Community

    Many local businesses want to feature art by local artists. You could pitch your portfolio to any business in your community. Coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and even doctors’ offices often feature unique photographs on their walls.

    Pro Bono Beginnings

    One way to build your portfolio and get clients when you are first starting out as a photographer is to offer your services Pro Bono with the possibility of payment for a satisfactory completion of the job. Working Pro Bono means you won’t necessarily get paid for those early gigs, but you will when the client is pleased with your work. At the end of the day, this is a great way to solidify your portfolio.

    Newsletter Campaigns

    Create your own newsletter featuring your photographs. You can start by sending it out to friends and relatives. Mention in your newsletter that any recipient is encouraged to pass the newsletter along to other interested parties. Keep your newsletter clear, clean, and concise. Let recipients know your work is for sale.

    Online Marketplaces

    Another way to earn money from photography is to sell photos in an online marketplace such as Etsy, Amazon, or eBay. On these platforms, you create a profile for yourself and your photographs. You add appropriate tags and keywords to attract buyers to your photos. Benefits of using online marketplaces are that you set your own price and have the potential for global exposure.

    Conclusion

    Photography, as a process, has transformed in the last 20 years. Easy access to digital cameras open the possibilities for a variety of people to sell photos. With the right training, strategic keyword placement, and a dash of ingenuity, anyone can sell photos online, in their community, and beyond.

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