Marisa D. Aceves. Foiled Again 2: Shine Smokey Shine. Digital Photography. 2019.
Marisa D. Aceves. Foiled Again 2: Shine Smokey Shine. Digital Photography. 2019.
article by Marisa D. Aceves
Want to be a photographer?
Do you dream about having a solo show of your award-winning artwork?
Hearing about the results you can get from the latest two-thousand dollar DSLR can make you sigh in agitation and hopelessness.
You know you don’t have that kind of money.
But, giving in to despair is futile.
Here’s one thing that can give you hope.
You’ve got a powerful photography tool in your pocket, your smartphone!
What is smartphone photography; why is it so popular?
Smartphone photography is simply photography taken with your smart(mobile) phone. Its’ popularity is no mystery.
The easy accessibility and lower cost of smartphones help them surpass DSLRs in sales. With today’s smartphone camera technology, you can achieve stunning results with a high-quality, decent range of print sizes. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have also increased the use of cell phone cameras. Uploading and sharing pictures has never been easier!
If you love photography, the best time to start is NOW!
Take advantage of these useful tips and resources to make the most of your smartphone accessories.
Not all smartphones are created equal.
The features on your friends’ Android may be different than those on your iPhone. Even within the same brand, camera features vary.
For example, according to iMore, a popular iPhone photography website, Apples’ iPhone 11 has a dual-lens rear camera system with ultra-wide cameras perfect for shooting amazing landscapes and street scenes. Only the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max Models carry a telephoto lens. It’s important to know when to make adjustments.
Here are some videos and articles comparing Apple and Android models to help you make the best decision for your individual needs:
You take your smartphone everywhere.
Eventually, the camera lens is going to get dirty.
To prevent unsightly smudges, marks, and specks of dirt from diminishing the quality of your photographs, keep your lens or lenses clean.
Magic Fiber, sells an affordable and easy to use microfiber cloth you can purchase here:
Except for macro shots, avoid digital zoom on your camera.
Using the digital zoom tool can produce grainy, low-quality photographs. Instead of using the zoom, get closer to your subject.
Learn how light affects your subject.
Using a broader light source creates a softer lighting effect.
It reduces contrast, minimizes texture, and softens shadows.
Light will change its’ appearance depending on whether the light source is closer or farther away from the subject.
Popular Photography’s tutorial will show you how to use light to your advantage:
Understanding light without learning about exposure paints an incomplete picture. Exposure changes the look, feel, and development of your photographs.
Master aperture, ISO, and shutter speed with these helpful articles:
Studying perspective allows you to see both the objects or subjects in a picture plane from different vantage points and their relationships to one another. It improves the composition of your photographs.
For example, if you shoot an object or subject from above (aka. shooting downwards), you are looking down at it. The compositions that result from using this technique help your viewers to better connect with your subject. It’s especially useful for shooting food photography or portraits.
Shooting from an extreme side angle achieves the illusion of uneasiness and greater depth.
Read Photography Pro’s article for the latest tips and tricks to improve perspective in your photography:
Increase what your cellphone camera can do.
Invest in some must-have smartphone accessories.
Tripods, lighting kits, and lens attachments make it possible for you to shoot pictures you’d take with your DSLR.
Check out Expert Photography’s iPhone equipment list to help you find what you’re looking for:
Don’t know what to photograph?
Photography theme prompts are the solution. Prompts are words and phrases that spark ideas for the creation of a photograph such as nature, family, cars, people, etc.
Visit iPhone Photography School to discover ways to increase your creativity:
Are you sick of using your hands to take a photo?
Your smartphones’ self-timer will save the day.
Take portraits, landscapes, and macro photography with ease.
Explore your options with Expert Photography’s article on how and when to use the self-timer tool:
Experiment with the camera modes on your smartphone.
Night Mode will help you shoot striking dark scenes.
Portrait Mode allows you to capture engaging portraits.
HDR Mode enhances details in the dark and light areas in your photographs.
To create unforgettable pictures with the modes on your camera, read Iceland Photo Tours’ excellent article:
Editing doesn’t fix bad photographs.
It enhances strong ones. Aim for better quality photos before you edit.
To discover the best way to edit while preserving your pictures, use Expert Photography’s handy guide:
Understanding the arrangement and location of objects in a photo is key to great photography. Master the rules of composition, and you are on your way to breathtaking pictures.
Improve your understanding with Photo Workout’s guide to conquering composition:
From photo editing to changing color and lighting, free and paid photo apps magnify what you can do with your humble smartphone.
Sample a variety of sweet photo apps mentioned in this stellar Pixpa article by Gurpreet Singh:
Not everyone buys the best smartphone available. Sometimes, your budget gets in the way of your dreams. However, with a little bit of creativity and a lot of planning, your best photos are possible.
If you’re considering buying a new camera, here are some options for you to consider:
The term RAW refers to an unedited digital photograph.
RAW files are larger and not ready for sharing or printing.
While you have to edit RAW files, they are easier to adjust than JPEG.
Shoot RAW with this great Popular Science article:
If you prefer sharp pictures, avoid blur.
To solve this problem, use both hands to hold your phone, keeping your elbows to your sides. Rest your phone on a sturdy object or use the burst function to prevent shake.
Use Eye Ems guide to prevent blurred photos:
If you lack a steady hand and you have a love of gadgets, reach for a tripod.
Find a tripod that suits your needs with Gear Hungry’s expert review:
Lens filters allow you to shoot incredible photos while avoiding a large amount of editing. Haze lens filters reduce UV light making images warmer. They prevent them from appearing washed out. Polarizing lens filters eliminate glares and reflections, which makes them perfect for nature scenes and landscape photos.
If you plan on using filters, familiarize yourself with Photos With Phones valuable guide:
Shooting in black and white gives your photos a film noir edge.
Compositions that focus on light, shape, form, and leading lines greatly benefit from a monochromatic treatment. Rich shadows come to life; textures hold mystery; nature becomes poetic.
Learn more about black and white photography, read Eric Kims’ how-to article:
Finally, never shy away from discovering engaging subjects to photograph!
Try creating a street photography series from a different perspective! Produce a photo essay providing winning insight into the lives of people connected to an underground community! Record your immediate family history as you live it!
The best photos come from a healthy combination of skill and creativity!
You might be surprised at the results you can achieve. For more information about how to expand your photography knowledge, check out my recent article on the top seven websites to learn photography.
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article by Marisa D. Aceves
Experienced photographers agree.
No one can take away the excitement of buying your first camera. There’s nothing like discovering the wonderful world of photography. Sure, there are painful growth spurts, lighting, and exposure lessons that frustrate a beginner, but in the end, the reward of being able to share your unique story is worth the rocky journey.
Here are five comprehensive photography websites to help you create something amazing.
Chock full of helpful information, creative ideas, and plenty of inspiring examples from learned photographers, The Photo Argus is a valuable tool for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced photographer. It also has a helpful community where photographers can learn from each other. You can sign up for their weekly newsletter, visit the archives, and follow them on Instagram.
While the magazine, created by the Bonnier Corporation in 1937, released its’ last printed issue in April/May 2017, it still exists as a valuable online photography aid. It has helpful how-to articles, a complete buying guide, up-to-the-minute photography news, YouTube tutorials, contests, and photo-of-the-day motivation. Join Popular Photography on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
If you’re excited about photography, Digital Photography School will help you reach your goals. With daily tips, tutorials, ebooks, courses, and more, this handy website should be added to your arsenal. Enjoy increasing your knowledge as you follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
The official site and leading marketplace for trending courses, Udemy has a mountain of information to offer. Anyone can acquire the skills to take their photography from novice to pro. You can choose from a wide variety of instructors from around the globe, ready to help you reach the top of your niche.
It bills itself as the home of digital photography. With helpful tutorials, easy buying guides, news, and reviews, this site will have you craftily creating innovative, eye-catching shots in a matter of weeks. Digital Camera World even has a section for drone photography. Their friendly forum is sure to answer any questions you might have about the latest gear and specific photography techniques.
This site is perfect for the niche-oriented photographer.
Learn how to shoot wedding photography, documentary photography, and portrait photography from professional photographers. Besides a variety of instructional articles, Photo.net covers the business side of the art form.
FS covers difficult issues photographers often face as they try to maintain the motivation to keep improving. In addition to popular tutorials, and plenty of beautiful photos to move you, they offer themed contests to increase your exposure. You can also join the discussion with their Groups’ feature. Select a group and receive informative feedback on your progress.
Learning photography is an ongoing process. It’s good to know there are several online outlets where you can gain the knowledge you need to reach success. Whether you’re experienced or just discovering the photographic arts, always practice patience and a healthy amount of compassion.
For helpful art articles, art news, and more, subscribe today!
Marisa D. Aceves. Mysterious Mexican Heather Hexagon. Digital Photography. 2020.
To view more of my work please visit acevesart.com .
“One word of encouragement can be enough to spark someone’s motivation to continue with a difficult challenge.“
Roy T. Bennett
The hope Of Life -Don't falter.
Marisa D. Aceves. Ruby Prism Hibiscus Square. Digital Photography. 2019.
Our world has changed.
Will it ever be the same again?
The threat of the coronavirus looms large in our minds and hearts. We can try hard to escape it, retreating further into our virtual world of social media madness, or we can take some time to reflect. Whatever we choose to do in these uncertain times will reveal our core nature. What is it that we need as a culture, as a society? How can we learn to love our neighbor when the fear of loss steals our security by the minute. Where’s our spring? Can it live in our hearts even if our lives have been destroyed by fate? I’d like to think we can. We must challenge ourselves and others to maintain a positive attitude despite the chaos, defusing the hate instead of adding to it.
Marisa D. Aceves. Penscape 1. Digital Photography. 2016.
To view more of my work, please visit acevesart.com.
Article by Marisa D. Aceves
Every artist knows.
Creativity equals happiness.
When you get a new idea, you race to your studio with sparkling eyes and child-like enthusiasm.
Then, you read dozens of art marketing articles telling you to write an artist statement for your website.
People, galleries, and your art-loving aunt need to know why you do what you do.
There’s only one problem.
You’re not sure how to write about your art.
You start to begin, but the inevitable happens.
The joy fades.
Your story seems far away.
Why is writing about what you love to do so intimidating?
If the thought of captivating your future collectors makes you succumb to writers’ block and toss your laptop out the window in disgust, you’re not alone.
Let me share with you a simple truth that many artists and creative business owners fail to realize:
You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway to write about your art.
Learning to craft a compelling story isn’t child’s play.
It takes practice, dedication, and a healthy dose of humility.
You could spend hours learning the long way.
Many people do.
You’re not many people.
That’s why you’re here.
Follow these simple tips, and you’re on your way to success.
Galleries, collectors, and the general public are anxious to know how, when, and why you became an artist.
Some artists take the traditional college/art school route, while others discover their love of art after many years of success in another occupation.
Include this information in the course of writing about your work. If you’re an artist who has a background in other fields of expertise, and you apply this experience to your art, explain how this adds to your unique approach and perspective.
Practice removes your fear of writing.
While this advice seems scary at first, if you’re still learning, you’re always new at something. Set aside time in the day or week to write down your thoughts and feelings about your work. Create a schedule that you know is easy to keep.
Short writing bursts keep you on track.
Sitting yourself down to write for an hour or two can lead to procrastination as you wait there, tapping a pencil to paper, hoping the words will flow. If you know that you freeze when forced with a long, drawn-out job, you may want to spread it out and do other things in between writing. Taking frequent breaks or time alone to reflect eases your anxiety and helps you to collect your thoughts.
Research strong artist statements, essays, and grants that have intrigued galleries and collectors in the past.
The best way to learn how to write about your art is to familiarize yourself with the way fellow professional artists write about their work.
When you’re studying articles artists write about other artists, consider these questions:
a) Do they include background information about the artist before describing what they do?
b) Are they providing information about the artists’ level of education, awards, and experience?
c) Is there an attempt to describe what is unique about the artists’ work?
Once you understand how to extract small pieces of information from art articles, you’ll approach yours with less intimidation.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you examine other professionals’ artist statements:
a) What are the main themes or subjects of their work?
b) What is their particular medium?
(ex. Are they a painter, sculptor, photographer, …?)
c) Why do they create their work?
d) Who is their audience?
(ex. Is it for a rural community, animal lovers,…?)
As you read their statements, make sure to answer the questions mentioned above. When you finish, you’ll have a rough map of the information that you’ll need to include in your statement.
Before you publish or submit your writing sample, make sure you correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and delivery. This is especially important when applying for grants and scholarships. You may not get a second chance. Have a writing editor proofread your work for any inconsistencies in style and delivery. Make sure to get additional advice from mentors and other professionals in the industry, so you know what they’re looking for.
You can learn to write about your art, or pass on the responsibility to others who may or may not truly understand your vision. Sure, it’s kind of scary at first, but as you face your fears around the art of communication, your steady progress will open up opportunities you could never have imagined.
Your art deserves it.
Marisa D. Aceves. Grateful Heart: Twinkling Heart Stars. digital photography. 2016.
To view more of my work, please visit acevesart.com .
I feel that I must share this series at a time when many would question whether there was any good in this world.
The frequency with which we view violence and hate in our everyday lives leads us to believe that love is a myth. However, there are people out there that do know what love is all about. Perhaps you’ve met some along the way. They appreciate you, support your efforts, and are encouraged by your success.
Sweethearts are wonderful. We all wish we had one.
However, in their absence, we can remain appreciative. Take the time this weekend to remind the special, giving people in your life how much you care.
Let’s kill those Valentines’ blues.
Have a blessed weekend and a joyful week!
Remember always, to live life creatively!