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Famous Photographers - 3 Influential Photographers You Should Know

Photography is often the art of the anonymous - rarely do we find out who was on the other side of the lens. We can all name a few famous photographs, like the famous Time Square picture or the one of iron workers sitting high above a city, but most of the time we don't spend time looking at the history of the medium as art. However, by understanding influential artists, it can have a big impact on how we see photography and inspire new ideas.

Although there are dozens of photographers that we could have highlighted as making significant impacts on the art of photography, these three particular photographers helped to make photography the art form it is today. Just keep in mind that this list could have easily included legends like Ansel Adams, however we choose to focus on these 3 artists as their influence is recognized worldwide.

Photo Journalist Henri Cartier-Bresson

Though the name may not be as familiar, Cartier-Bresson was a giant in the development of modern photography. He is known as one of the forefathers of photo journalism and spent much of his adult life working on assignments for magazines like Life. Fearless and daring, Henri Cartier-Bresson captured images from some of the most volatile environments in history, including the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the liberation of Paris during WWII, and the Spanish Civil War.

Famous Photography by Henri Cartier Bresson - The Decisive Moment

Photographer Alfred Stieglitz

If you've ever studied photography or taken a photo class then you would likely recognize his name. Stieglitz was married to Georgia O'Keeffe, a legend in her own right, and many of his most iconic images center around her. He was responsible for forcing photography into the public view as a valid art form, which he accomplished through innovative exhibits organized around the country. Stieglitz was known as the father of pictorialism. Pictorialism is where the significance of the picture is more about the way in which the photographer manipulated the image than about the importance of the subject.

Famous Photography by Alfred Stieglitz- The Terminal

Photo Journalist Larry Burrows

Larry Burrows is a legend among photo journalists. Often referred to as the man who went off to war "with film in his socks," Burrows is most widely known for his work covering the Vietnam war for Life magazine. His images marked some of the most iconic and heart-wrenching reporting to come out of the region and also provided the public with a window into the conflict. Sadly, Burrows was killed in the conflict when his helicopter was shot down but his images have lived on as well as his tales of heroic actions like carrying soliders to safety and rescuing civilians.

Famous Photography by Larry Burrows - One Ride with Yankee Papa 13

Whenever we work in any art medium, it's important to remember the artists who came before us and the contributions they made. These 3 photographers have had an enormous impact on the validity and importance of photography as an art form. You should check out biographies or photo collections by each of these artists as viewing amazing and famous photography can often lead to great new paths.


Digital Camera Ratings at CNET

It can be hard to find a source of digital camera ratings that you do not fear is tainted by the commercial industry looking to sell more of their product. Those good reviews are out there, though, and CNET is one place to look for unbiased and interesting reviews that often tell you everything you need to know about a digital camera and also look for ratings and reviews from people like you who have previously bought and used the digital camera that they are rating.

Not only do you get the best of the official reviews from the CNET editors, you can also check out the average customer reviews and see what they have written about the cameras that you are looking at. CNET is easy to use, too, with the digital camera review section separated by price, megapixels, or several other options like the type, the zoom range, the LCD size, the manufacturer, and whether or not it has am image stabilizer.

You can search for a specific camera if there is one that you want to know about, or you can even check out some of the top cameras that are being viewed by others. In this way you can narrow down the search to exactly the camera or type of camera that you want, and even compare cameras side by side by feature. CNET offers a great digital camera rating system that rates the cameras on a ten point scale based on their features, performance, and ease of use.

Consumers can also rate the cameras on a ten point scale, giving you the professional opinion side by side with the popular opinion of consumers like yourself. This can be extremely useful if you are not sure whether you will be able to use a camera with the ease that the professional reviewers do. The rest of the populace that has reviewed the camera can show you with their ratings and their words what they think about the camera and how easy or hard it is to use.

If you are looking for reliable reviews of just about any camera on the market, CNET is a great place to go for your digital camera ratings and reviews. You can learn a lot about all kinds of cameras and can hopefully get the help you need to choose the right camera for your lifestyle, your needs, or your family.


How a Digital Photo Frame Compliments Your Digital Camera

A digital photo frame is a logical gift or add on for anyone with a digital camera. Most consumers in the digital photo world have made the transition to digital cameras and digital pictures. Digital cameras like all consumer electronics have reduced significantly in price, increased in things like megapixels, optical zoom, and internal memory, and in essence eliminated the need to get pictures developed. Since anyone with a digital camera is accumulating a large amount of digital images, a digital photo frame that allows them to immediately show them off makes perfect sense.

Digital cameras gave people a freedom in photography that didn't exist with traditional film. With the ever increasing capacity of memory cards, most of us with a digital camera can eagerly take an endless number of digital pictures and not worry about running out of film or how costly it will be to get them all developed. Digital cameras make all of us snapshot happy.

The negative to this of course is that most of us gather a tremendous amount of digital images. Go on a family vacation and you could come home with a couple hundred digital images. These will get transferred onto a computer or laptop, where they stay forever and rarely get looked at. Sure we may print a couple (photo printers are also now very affordable) and put them in some traditional picture frames around the house, but the hundreds or thousands of others are stored away into oblivion.

That's why digital picture frames are predicted to be on such a steep growth trajectory. A digital frame allows you to load you digital pictures and display them in what looks like a traditional picture frame, but with an LCD display device in place of the glass. You can either simply transfer the memory card from your camera to the frame, or transfer photos from the camera to a memory card in the digital frame, and start displaying photos. Some digital photo frames have internal memory as well (no memory card needs to be added) and you can download straight from your computer - very flexible.

The main difference between a digital picture frame and a traditional photo frame is their dynamic nature. A digital photo frame can display many images in a slide show type format. They also come with plenty of display mode features to define how many images to display, type of transition, multiple pictures on the screen, and can also display videos and play music as well. Digital frames are consumer electronics that take picture frames to the next level.

Digital photo frames are great for around the house or in an office, and also make excellent gifts, especially if you preload with pictures from your camera. Your gift recipient will open the frame and immediately start seeing pictures they recognize. In addition, as your digital photo collection grows, you can keep new pictures on your screen, or a friend or family member's screen, so that you always have new pictures on the frame. Many digital photo frames now have wireless features that makes sending new pictures from your laptop to digital frame even simpler.

So if you have a digital camera (and who doesn't these day), pay attention because a digital picture frame will likely be an accessory that makes sense for you. Its time to start showing off all those digital photos you've snapped, and a digital photo frame is a great way to do it.


The Variety Of Hidden Security Cameras And Their Purposes

With the innovative advances made in electronic technology, hidden security cameras have become easier to use and are available in numerous styles and designs and are also an affordable option for most individuals. Hidden cameras are being utilized for a variety of reasons that include monitoring employees, caretakers, homes, and catching cheating spouses. If you are interested in purchasing a hidden security camera, you will find the following information helpful in selecting one that is the most suitable for the needs of you and your family.

Hidden Cameras to Protect your Home and Personal Property

A hidden security camera placed in strategic locations on the inside and outside of your home can aid in deterring criminals and may also provide you with valuable evidence should you become the victim of a home invasion, burglary, or vandalism. Placing security cameras where they are visible inside or outside of your home is also a strong deterrent for many criminals. If you intend on utilizing hidden cameras to protect your home, professionals in law enforcement recommend that they be placed on both the front and back door in order to obtain video and photographs in the event that anyone should break into your home.

Hidden Cameras for Monitoring Caretakers

One of the most popular uses for hidden cameras is to monitor caretakers including babysitters or nannies and those who are responsible for the care of elderly relatives. These types of hidden security cameras are typically very small and wireless and are often referred to as "bullet" or "pinhole" cameras due to the overall size of the camera and tiny lens. Their size and wireless capability makes it easier to conceal them and they are commonly hidden inconspicuously in objects around the home such as plants or stuffed animals. You can also purchase these types cameras already pre-designed in a housing that looks like a common object such as an alarm clock, radio, or air freshener.

Personal Hidden Security Cameras

Personal hidden security cameras also known as "body-worn" cameras are often utilized by law enforcement and private investigators to record criminal activity or gather evidence. While the use of a microphone is typically prohibited in hidden cameras in most states, it is allowed in "body worn" cameras. These cameras vary in their capabilities among the different models and use an SD card (memory card) which records the images and can be plugged into a computer for playback later on. They can typically record up to two or three hours and the clarity of the images varies among the different models. This type of camera can be used to gather evidence of harassment or for a court case.

Body worn hidden cameras come built into many different common objects including ball point pens, sunglasses, key chains, watches, rear view mirrors, and cigarette lighters. Hidden surveillance cameras for the home come in many different sizes and price ranges and can be wireless or wired cameras. The wireless cameras are easier to install, however, they utilize a battery pack that must be recharged frequently. If you are interested in purchasing hidden security cameras for your home or business, you will have no difficulty in finding affordable ones for any type of surveillance that you desire.


Digital Photography 101 - A Beginners Guide to Digital Cameras

If you've never been around digital cameras, they can be rather intimidating at first. Buzzwords like "mega pixels" and "optical zoom" help to build a language barrier between new users and the industry, and sometimes it's hard to understand what exactly you're buying. So here is a quick walk through of the major elements of digital cameras to help you make the best judgment on which one is right for you.

The Difference Between SLRs and Automatic Cameras

An SLR looks and operates exactly like a non-digital camera, except instead of exposing film it exposes a light-sensitive sensor. If you pick a digital SLR, you will be able to manually adjust settings like shutter speed, aperture, focus and ISO. And generally speaking, if you're looking for the highest quality images, then digital SLRS are the way to go.

Automatic cameras or point and shoots often have a large LCD screen on the back and usually only require a single button press for taking a picture. Point and shoot cameras take lower quality pictures (although not by a lot) but provide a lot less customizable options. On the flip side, however, they are great because of their small portable size and ease of use. And if you're not planning to print out large pictures, then the quality difference is minimal.

The Mega Pixel Debate

One of the most important features camera manufacturers talk about is the number of mega pixels. But what are mega pixels anyway?

Mega pixels are how manufacturers measure the pixel count of an image created by a camera. A one mega pixel camera means that the camera will take pictures with 1 million pixels. You can think of mega pixels as the actual picture's resolution.

So which megapixel value is right for you? It really depends upon what you want to do with you pictures. For most users, who wish only to shoot a few photographs and upload them to their website or email them to friends at smaller sizes, anything in the 2MP to 7MP range is absolutely fine. If you're going to be blowing your work up to larger sizes, you should work with cameras that shoot at higher resolutions (10MP and above). The bigger you want your photo, the more important the mega pixel value.

The Difference Between Digital and Optical Zooms

Many digital cameras feature both digital and optical zoom. Optical zoom can be defined as the distance the camera is able to zoom its lens, whereas digital zoom is the distance the camera can "pretend" to make it from that distance. What an optical zoom does is magnify the subject like what a zoom lens would do, while a digital zoom simply takes a part of the image and blows it up. One good example of a digital zoom, is when you see on tv the video footage from a security camera that shows the pixilated and blurry face of a robber.

Generally speaking, a digital zoom is a useless feature so you're better off ignoring it when shopping for a digital camera. Images created using digital zoom have low quality and look pretty terrible, so if you're not close enough to catch it with optical zoom it's best to either get closer or shoot with what you have.

Buying a digital camera doesn't have to be a frustrating or scary experience. Just be honest about what you need and expect from your camera, as well as what your price range is, and go from there. As long as you pick a camera that suits your needs, you will be happy with the results. If you're not sure what digital camera is right for you, you're better off starting with a more basic camera and then upgrading later if you need to.


Bird Photography - How to Take Hummingbirds

The most challenging subject in the world of bird photography is the hummingbird. This jeweled bundle of energy has the ability to zoom around at record breaking speeds causing frustration for many a photographer. This article is written to help give you some tips so you can take better hummingbird pictures.

Set out the Hummingbird Welcome Mat

Most places in North America have hummingbirds either seasonally or year round. Just ask your local Audubon Society on when you should put out your hummingbird feeders. You can also find out from them if the hummingbirds in your area need to migrate, and if so, when you should take your feeders down so they don't get stranded in the cold.

Every serious hummingbird photographer needs a hummingbird feeder. When looking for a feeder, make sure you have one that is easy to clean and that it is easy to fill with sugar water.

Most birders suggest using 4 parts water to 1 part sugar or you can also try using a 3:1 mixture as well. Keep the feeders filled so that the hummingbirds don't head to a more reliable nectar station. However you should take them down periodically to clean but put them right back up. Also never use food coloring because it can cause dangerous growth on the hummingbirds beaks and it's not needed to attract them.

Hummingbird Feeders, Perches and Flowers

The biggest challenge with taking hummingbird pictures is that they rarely hold still. Hummingbirds are constantly zooming and darting so it makes it difficult to photograph them. Many photographers make the mistake of trying to follow them with their camera in hand. However, don't do that as it is best staying in one position and being patient.

You want to think about the kind of bird pictures you want and then set things up to help increase your chances of getting the shot. After you're all set up, all you have to do is have your camera ready and get comfortable. Many photographers use a stabilizer device like a tripod or monopod so the camera is always ready for the next shot. Some photographers use blinds so they can move without worrying about scaring off a hummingbird.

If you want photographs of hummingbirds hovering, remove the perches from your feeders. And if you plug all the holes but one it will be easier to get a pictures of one hummingbird at a time. You will still have hummingbirds zipping around trying to chase off the other birds from the feeder regardless of what you do.

Now if you want to take pictures of hummingbirds perching, watch where the dominant male goes after he fills up at the feeder. Usually, hummingbirds will perch where they have a good view of the feeder. If the perch isn't in a good position for you to take pictures, you'll need to do some rearranging. Move the feeder closer to a perch that works for you.

You can also move it farther from the natural perches and add a new perch that is in a photo friendly location. The hummingbird won't mind as long as he or she can keep an eye out for intruders. Eventually the hummingbirds will get used to you and your camera, but movement will likely frighten them off so make sure you're in a quiet area with very little activity.

If you have a particular flower that would make a lovely picture with the hummingbird but they are never there long enough for you to press the shutter release, try this photographer's trick: Using an eye dropper, gently fill the flower with some sugar water. This only works for a short time because the flower will begin to wilt after just a few hours.

As with feeders and perches, you can also hang a basket of flowers to help attract them for photographing. However no matter if you use a flower or feeder, you'll still only have about 8 seconds tops to take your pictures. Always be patient and don't press the shutter release until the hummingbird has a had a sip of nectar or sugar water. Otherwise if the flash frightens them off, they won't have as much incentive to venture back.

Check Your Background

The best background for hummingbird photography is something dark green that doesn't have any distractions in it like brown twigs or branches. If you want a mobile background try a dark green potted plant or a painted poster board. The main thing is to have a dark background that makes the hummingbird's colors pop.

If you look for hummingbird pictures in google images you'll get a good idea of what backgrounds work and what doesn't. Note how brilliantly colored hummingbirds fade into some backgrounds, like the bright green, sun lit trees and shrubs. A shaded area behind the feeder or perch also works well as a good background.

You can use photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop Elements, to blur the background and make the hummingbird stand out from the background.
You can also find tutorials on this on websites like Adobe.

Lights, Camera, Action

Once you have your hummingbird feeding station set up, now you just need to find a comfy place to sit with your camera and tripod. In order to freeze their beating wings, you will need a high speed flash but you can still get some great pictures with a good compact camera by using these tips.

Remember, hummingbirds may be the most challenging subject in bird photography, but with some patience you will soon have a nice collection of hummingbird photography to frame and display in your home.


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