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8 Steps To Creating a Fantasy Lighting Effect

One of my ABSOLUTE favorite things to do in Photoshop is to play with lighting effects. Whether that be to make something glow, create a spotlight sort of effect, or set my hands on fire, I'm always so impressed with the many ways Photoshop allows you to alter lighting. Because of the skills I've gathered for bending light to my will, I no longer look at an image I've taken and think, "Oh man, I wish I would have brought some flash equipment with me so there could be light spilling through the archway from behind her." I now just think, "Wouldn't it be simply fantastic to have some magical light coming from behind her? Yes, yes it would ... I think I'll add some." Don't get me wrong it's always going to look better if there was actually some real light falling on your subject from the get-go, but that's not going to stop me from adding a bit of illustrative oomf to my images whenever I see fit!

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Make Internet Friends. Now Go Meet Them.

I was invited by the glorious human Valerie Kasinski (pictured above for those of you that skipped over the caption), to a Flickr gathering at her family's cottage in the small town (village?....area?) of Silver Lake, in upstate New York. What is a Flickr gathering you ask? Well friends, it's this odd phenomenon in which you meet a bunch of strangers on Flickr.com and decide that it's a good idea to gather together and take pictures of each other. It is a good idea. It's actually the best idea ever. Period. The End. (Not the end of the blog post, please keep reading.)

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Photograph Your Vacation, But Also Be Present

I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked how I take so many wonderful, amazing, perfect pictures on a vacation and yet still seem to be present and enjoy the experience with my own eyes.  Just kidding I can tell you... none, no one has ever asked me that.  However it is a thing I often struggle with (by "often" I mean whenever I'm on vacation). I'm sure at some point we have all had a conversation that went something like, "Man it's so hard to take lots of photos to document my trip, (for when my brain is old and wrinkly and can't remember all the details), but then I get home and realize I was barely even on the trip because I spent the whole time playing documentarian. I was constantly spying on the world through a view finder or fiddling with settings to get everything looking just right, and I hardly remember what it was actually like to be there."

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