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The Alternative Horizon Tutorial: How to Create Great Portrait Images for Online Publication

Here are some composition lessons learned from my recent photo challenge for getting great images for blog article.

First the basics

1 Read the manual — know your camera, learn what each button does, which the flash is, which the backlight, which is the timer is and how to control the zoom.

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Finding Your Light on Stage and in the Field

The sun is a magical light source — the mother of all luminosity — and we have tried since we first struck flame into fire, to contain and replicate its hot, molten, goodness of warmth and healing rays. “Finding Your Light” is an important duty in each of our days because sunlight, and even starlight, breaks the darkness and guides us more fully into the span of the horizon.

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Dia da Mulher and Disappearing Women

In honor of International Women’s Day — here is “Disappearing” by Yemeni Photographer Bushra Almutawakei — shared by Fundação José Saramago on her behalf:

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Five From France

I was supposed to be sharing more of Portugal today — but as I am in France this weekend, it seemed to be more appropriate to share five from France.

Firstly, France is Freezing!  We woke up to snow on Saturday morning — first time I have seen it snowing in over four years.

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Hurricane Sandy, as Told by Instagram

Many years ago, people scribbled on cave walls — the bison they hunted, and the experiences they shared. Years later the scribblings were made on papyrus, and eventually printed with a printing press, which eventually evolved to include color photographs. What all of these things had in common was that in order for anyone to take part in these shared experiences, they had to go to where the written experiences were or to get a copy of the experience somehow — subscription or otherwise.

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No PATH Photos for You!

The other day, I was riding the PATH Train from New Jersey to Manhattan and the Conductor — he’s the guy who manages opening and closing the doors and making announcements while the Engineers “drives” the train — came up to an Asian couple and demanded the woman delete the photograph of the train she took right before boarding. The woman was confused and embarrassed, but she followed the order and the Conductor watched her remove the photograph from her cellphone.  If she’d been using a traditional film camera, would the Conductor have confiscated her entire film roll?  The woman’s boyfriend took a more aggressive perch, and said, “There are no signs prohibiting taking pictures.”

The Conductor brusquely retorted, “There are signs everywhere.  Look for them.”  Then the Conductor left the car.  A few minutes passed and the Conductor came running back into our car to retrieve the train keys he’d left dangling in the control panel switchbox so he could bawl out the woman.  I thought to myself, “Which is a greater threat to the people riding a PATH train?  A tourist taking a photograph, or a Conductor who leaves his keys behind for the taking?”

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Then Here I Am Now

Irina Werning is a SuperGenius photographer who has found her niche.  She looks for old photographs and then updates the images years later by re-staging them with the same people in the images while simultaneously preserving the tone and substance of the original shot.

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