Don’t Call Yourself a Photoshop Pro Until You Know How to Do These Things

5th February, 2014

Despite the fact that Photoshop was originally more of a graphic design tool than a photo manipulator, professionals everywhere have taken it under their wing and the versions that exist today have made great strides in making it a photographer-friendly program. If you do photography on any type of a professional level, you certainly wouldn’t be handing over your photographs without a little digital enhancement via Photoshop or a program like it. That’s why before you can call yourself a pro at anything of the Photoshop variety, you should be able to do these few simple tricks that will make a world of difference in your finished products.

photoshop tips

Get Rid of Those Blemishes – The healing tool is by far one of the most useful tools that Photoshop has come out with, especially if your photography deals a lot with people. The spot healing tool takes the pixels from areas surrounding the blemish and replicates them over the area you’re trying to get rid of, making a more even skin tone just by dragging the tool over the affected area. Don’t get this confused with the cloning tool which simply replaces the affected area with an exact copy of the area you’re trying to replicate.

Change Your Photo’s Colors – You’d be remiss if you thought you were done with an image before toying with its color levels. Monkey around with the highlights and shadows in your Levels pane to really make your image pop. Likewise, experiment with the hue and saturation of the photo. Increasing the saturation can do wonders for the colors in your photo, but be wary not to go overboard. Pushing the saturation too far can make your photos appear fantastical or totally manipulated (unless that’s what you’re going for).

Sharpen That Thing Up – Nearly every image you have will benefit from a little bit of sharpening. There’s an unavoidable amount of digital noise that comes out in your photos dependent upon what kind of camera or settings you use. If you’re planning on printing the photos out on a home computer, you probably don’t have to worry a ton about sharpening the image as your photo will only turn out as good as your printer. But if you’re planning on putting the photo up in a digital setting, a decent amount of sharpening will make sure that the image doesn’t appear grainy or blurry when viewed online. 

This is a list of the basics every Photoshop user should know, but there are obviously a million other tools and techniques hidden in the depths of the program. If you’re serious about learning the ins and outs of Photoshop, consider buying a guide and dedicating some time to working through the examples they give you. There are also a number of helpful websites out there (free and otherwise) that offer tutorials on basic Photoshop functions and features. But the best way to learn the program is to just get started – so enjoy!


This article was written by Gary Klungreseth, owner and manager of a number of art related e-commerce websites including Blue Horizon Prints, the ultimate personalised gift solution for any occasion.








Answering the Common How to’s of Photography

28th January, 2014

When you are acquiring a new skill, there are always going to be questions. If you do not have any questions then you probably aren’t doing it right. Photography is no different. There are numerous how to’s concerning this field. In this article, we will point out the most common questions that are asked by beginners, experts, clients and lay persons about picture-taking and photography.

How to adjust the aperture?

photography tipsA beginner in photography would have questions pertaining to the elements of a camera. Aperture and its adjustment is one thing you ought to understand. Aperture is the opening of the lens. The more the lens opens, the more light passes through. The less wide it opens, the less amount of light would be allowed to pass through. Therefore, an aperture is crucial to a good photo. If you adjust the aperture appropriately, then you will be able to regulate the amount of light that passes through which will affect the photo that you take.

How to adjust aperture for poor lights?

It is advised that you refrain from using narrower apertures to make up for poor lighting. It is because you have to increase the amount of time for exposure while shooting to poor lighting. Therefore, it is suggested that you use wider apertures for portrait picture while regular lens apertures for poor lighting pictures.

How to look for a professional photographer?

This particular question applies to clients looking for expert photographers to cover special occasions. If you are also on the lookout for a professional photographer and do not know how to find the best one, you may want to look up on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These sites allow you to find the best photographer. There are usually pages that are created on such social sites which allow photographers to promote their services. If you are also looking for something interesting, then you might like to approach their services.

How to decide which photographer to hire?

Another question client consider while hiring a photographer is which one to hire. As mentioned already, there are so many in the market that it is a tedious task to pick and choose which one is the best. You can decide that by looking up the portfolios of these photographers and then deciding which is appropriate to your needs. One more thing is that their portfolio must be in accordance with the event. For instance, if you are trying to hire a photographer to cover your wedding, then the portfolio should be of a particular wedding event. This is how you will know whether the photographer can deliver what you want.

There are a number of questions that pop up concerning photography. The ones that are addressed above are only a few. Photography requires skill. When you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, make sure to do some research on the internet because it will permit you to make the right choices.

This article was written by Gary Klungreseth, owner and manager of a number of art related e-commerce websites including Blue Horizon Prints, the home of quality artwork in Australia.

David Doubilet: Underwater Photography Hero

23rd November, 2013

Born in 1946, David Doubilet has long been regarded as one of the best underwater photographers in the world. His work is synonymous with National Geographic magazine and he has also worked for them as an essayist, building on his years of knowledge in the conservation scene.

As passionate about his art and his technique as he is saving the biodiversity of our oceans, Doubilet is one of the most fascinating photographers/photojournalists working today.

Underwater photographyDoubilet acquired his fascination with the ocean at age 8, whilst on a camping trip. He claims that he was restless until his camp leader suggested that he put on a dive mask and look beneath the waves at the beach.

He talks about this as a transformative experience and that from that day forward he knew what he wanted to with the rest of his life. He has since won awards for his photography and currently resides in upstate New York where he lives on the beach.

Doubilet says he thinks of planet Earth as a “water planet”, and working underwater has remained an awe-inspiring and joyous experience for him even at this late stage in his career. He says his aim is to “convince the unconvinced” that the planets oceans are worth saving from the effects of climate change and overfishing.

He has worked with practically every type of underwater animal, sometimes judiciously entering situations with potentially dangerous creatures such as tiger sharks. Doubilet has spoken of his respect for the animal and his interest in the primal fear human beings have of sharks.

As a technical master of underwater photography, Doubilet advises using an SLR camera with a wide-angle lens, at least 14 to 15 mm wide with a fisheye and dome housing and shooting underwater. He has spoken at length about the need to pay careful attention to all aspects of the composition, so the above water and underwater shots are equally interesting, and the need to study the distortion that water adds to photography.

For example, the water magnifies objects by around 25%. Underwater photography also possesses the added challenge of restricting changes to the film and equipment underwater–it is practically impossible to do!

Doubilet has also spoken of the need for underwater photographers to keep dome housing clean and thereby reduce need to perform Photoshop editing on images. You can find more photography tips from him in various interviews from past years.

Sure to inspire generations to come, Doubilet has made a name in his field alongside important figures such as Jacques Cousteau and Henry Cartier Bresson. His work will be studied by students in the future, and he remains a powerful force in the field of photography today.

Expect to see more fascinating work by him and be enthralled by his passion and activism. To see more of his work, go to his official website at: You can also see his work published in National Geographic and he is a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

America Using Modern Art as a Weapon

16th November, 2013

Not long after the Second World War, America and the USSR fell out with each other and were trying to get one up on the other for a number of years.

It’s no secret that some of the methods the CIA and USSR deployed at the time were a bit on the imaginative side. This led to dubious plots such as poisoned cigars, creating exploding seashells and toying with the idea of lethal bacteria and poison pills. Yes, exploding seashells.

modern artWhether or not these stories are genuinely true or fabrications and smokescreens remains to be seen, but one weapon used to combat the USSR came in the unlikely form of what we have now dubbed “modern art”.

It seemed like a big ask and a wild stab in the dark as to whether or not the plan to use art as a weapon against the enemy would work. This, after all, was a period where the majority of Americans disliked and even despised “modern art”. So, it would take a lot of work to change public opinion in order to get their noses in front of the USSR.

The plan was to undermine communism using modern art. Russian art at the time was more easily understandable and thus, more popular. Using “Abstract Expressionism”, or what we now refer to as “modern art”, would show that the art and “Socialist Realism” coming from Russia was more rigid and stylised. It wasn’t creative or expressive.

America and the CIA, on the other hand, wanted to show the world that their artists didn’t play by any one person’s rules and that as a nation, they were forward thinking. They wanted to show that art from their enemy’s side lacked the freedom of expression and that in America, you could throw whatever it is you wanted at a blank canvas and call it art.

The CIA fully backed this new movement so that there was substantial proof for the public to see that in the US, creativity and intellectual freedom were celebrated. The US was leading the way in the propaganda war and there was a shift in cultural power that the USSR could not prevent. More importantly, they couldn’t compete.

All around Europe, American “modern art”, or “Abstract Expressionism”, was featuring more and more in exhibitions. It was also popping up in the film industry, publishing houses and writing. All in all, this propelled America’s new art to a whole new level and helped demonstrate globally that the West and America was devoted to intellectual and creative freedom without artists being dictated to.

This was a stark contrast to the world in which artists in the Soviet Union lived in. It was only a matter of time before communist artists started rebelling and adding elements of America’s Abstract Expressionism into their own pieces.

We all know the rest. You can find famous pieces of work from this era and pieces inspired by this movement all over the world today. I don’t just mean exhibitions and museums, but art that came as a result of America and the CIA’s initiative are displayed on walls as decoration in people’s homes, offices and referenced in popular culture.

Using art as a weapon to combat a nation sounds like a crazy idea, and it was, but the CIA pulled it off. It was only a rumour for many years in the art community until the CIA lifted the lid on the whole operation that led the movement to be “play an enormous role in the Cold War”.

That’s right. The art in your homes, or at your friend’s or family’s homes could be more than just a decorative piece. They could be a symbol of freedom. So next time you get dragged to an exhibition or someone shows off a newly purchased painting to you, just remember that could well be more than just blobs of paint literally thrown at a canvas.

Photo Collage Canvas

7th October, 2013

Canvas prints and home décor go hand in hand these days. They seem to be replacing more traditional photo frames as people want to display their favourite photos as big as they can, as best they can.

Photo collage canvasBy creating your own canvas print online, the possibilities are endless in terms of the size of the canvas, the orientation, the colours and the styles. This is why more and more people are turning to custom made canvases and collages because you can create more than just a picture to hang on your wall.

Canvas Collage Prints have always been a popular choice and not just in the canvas world. It only takes a quick glance on Instagram to see that they’re the most popular way to display photos. People like to display events altogether, which is why when you go to your family’s house they will show you a photo album from the same occasion rather than a mixture of different pictures from different times. It’s the same story when displaying pictures in collages.

It’s not the rule, of course, but it’s a very familiar theme.

Unfortunately, there are very limited options available to people that wish to make a high quality and professionally structured collage canvas that looks great in the home. This is where Blue Horizon Prints can help.

Blue Horizon Prints specialise in a wide variety of canvas prints and canvas collage prints to suit whatever tastes you may have. Not only do we have a catalogue of different styles of canvases ranging from pop art, motivational pictures and classical art prints, but we offer a fully customisable option for you to create your own designs for your own photos.

If you want to create your own collage of photos onto a canvas, then our unique ordering system couldn’t be any simpler. We believe that the best gifts and best pieces of art are those that evoke memories with special meanings every time you look at them.

That’s why the collage canvas ordering system here at Blue Horizon Prints is so detailed, specific and most of all creative. We want you to have the power of design and give you a range of different features to play around. That means that whatever you create is one-of-a-kind and most importantly, exactly what you’re looking for.

The ordering system is very user friendly and to begin with, you’ll need to upload the photos you want to display. We understand that variety is key so you’re able to upload 45 different photos at once onto the ordering system! What you do with them next is up to you.

The system itself is both easy to use and fun. Everything that you create will be displayed live on-screen so you don’t have to wait until you’ve selected your photos and ordered the collage canvas print before you know what it looks like.

There are 30 different collage templates to choose from and nearly 50 different background photos to choose from to be displayed behind the main photos. Of course, you could always choose one of your own photos as the background image to your collage – it’s your call!

There are different features available to select from for our premium design users such as border manipulation and colours. To top it off though, every customer has the option to play around with glow effects and whether or not you want to add text to your design. With a 3D graphic display of your canvas, every detail is covered to ensure what you create will be the perfect piece of artwork to hang on your walls.

So go ahead and wow your friends and family with a collage canvas print as a gift idea that has that extra personal touch. They can be presented for any occasion at any event on the calendar. Because of this, we have seen a rise in popularity in the online market place for bespoke canvas prints.

Whether it’s for a birthday, a wedding or celebrating a new baby in the family, the pictures you choose are centred around whatever occasion you want to buy for. Or, if you simply want some personal artwork in the home, Blue Horizon Prints will ensure that you buy the highest quality available to last a lifetime and to keep memories literally hanging on your walls.

Is it necessary to have an SLR camera to get into photography as a hobby?

28th August, 2013

Here is another of our photography q & a articles, we were recently asked… Is it necessary to have an SLR camera to get into photography as a hobby? This article / blog will hopefully shed some light on this question.

An individual does not require a DSLR in order to become a good photographer. The following are a few questions for you to ask yourself to  help you decide if you need a DSLR or not.

do i need a DSLR for photography1.) Do you need  flexibility?
Have a look at your current point-and-shoot camera and figure out the things you don’t like about it. In case your issues are generally about  visual elements, you want less complicated, or you would like to be a better photographer, then a DSLR most likely won’t fix your issues.
Having said that, if you’re trying to find versatility in camera settings as well as lenses, then a DSLR may be exactly what you’re searching for. A DSLR will allow you to capture instances normally difficult to do using a point-and-shoot – for example low light conditions (ISO), freezing a motion shot (shutter speed), or even creating depth-of-field (aperture).

2.Do you really have the money to spend?
Photography is not a low-cost hobby. A basic DSLR with kit lenses retails for around $1000, plus you need to consider the accessories you will need.  As a general rule, the better the camera, the more expensive the accessories will be.

4.Are you prepared to take care of your camera on a regular basis?
Compared with the point-and-shoot, a DSLR usually requires more than simply a good wipe to keep them thoroughly clean. Airborne dirt and dust can certainly enter into the image sensor each time you change the lens, leading to pictures with flaws. The DSLR usually needs regular care both from the outside as well as inside. Cleaning up the image sensor isn’t a D.I.Y project for rookies and it is generally performed by professionals at professional camera stores.

3. Is weight and size a concern?
A DSLR is not tiny or even light in weight which can easily hinder how along with what you would like to photograph. It may not end up being the perfect camera to use when you are on  a vacation, or at a birthday party . Should you just want to grab your DSLR for special events, it in all probability won’t turn out to be really worth it. Just buy one in the event that you’re genuinely serious about professional results to everyday items, environment and individuals.

5. Are you determined to educate yourself about photography?
Buying a DSLR doesn’t instantly turn you into a greater photographer. Your pictures may be more clear and sharper, however that doesn’t necessarily indicate that they are good. Becoming a great photographer {means|suggests} a continuing learning curve. From the fundamentals associated with lighting effects and composition to improving oneself with picture editing applications. Fortunately, you will find a good amount of totally free sources on the internet.

What Camera should a Beginner get?

28th August, 2013

We are sometimes asked by our customers questions about photography such as “What Camera should a Beginner get?”, this blog will answer this question as bets as we can, obviously there are a great deal of factors to take onto account but this will be certainly help the decision making process.
What Camera should a Beginner getTypically the final answer  is determined by your budget  along with what you would like to accomplish by using it nevertheless, opt for the very best within your budget.

Why don’t we just forget about compact and bridge cameras , an individual looking for ways to in to photography the right way must have some type of interchangeable lens system. You just don’t have that degree of flexibility using compacts or bridge cameras regardless of how great they may be. You will enjoy simplicity yet in the long run you will need a DSLR of some sort or other.

Ignore the brand new influx of compact system cameras for novices as well. Despite having interchangeable lenses these types of cameras seem like a good uncomplicated path straight into photography, well-crafted, compact as well as easily transportable however with the additional added bonus of having the ability to change the lens, and that is the main issue.
Extra lenses tend to be pricey as well as minimal on choice, stay with a DSLR.

It truly doesn’t make a difference if you go Canon or Nikon, both of them are comparable, have enormous ranges and so are supported by an array of Third party businesses as well. No matter what path you decide to go, you won’t end up being dissatisfied.

So, exactly what to purchase? This goes back to the beginning statement, invest just as much as you are able to afford, it will help you save in the long term. In case your spending budget just extends towards the basic level DSLR plus kit lens then excellent, do it. In the event it will go even further then begin looking all the way up the varieties.

With Nikon D3100 , you get yourself a good camera which has a pretty significant standard kit lens, however the basic level DSLR doesn’t provide the top screen with the settings on it. The D3000 never included the port to connect a wired remote of any type. If you’re able to adjust your budget a small bit more, the D5100 will make a much better buy.

For what you would spend on a D3100, you can get a used D90.  Overall it is a much better camera and it will last you a long time. If you’re able to purchase a D5100, think about a used D7000 and won’t need to buy another camera for quite a long time..

What are some good ways to unblur a picture?

27th August, 2013

We are often asked by our customers if there are any ways to unblur a photo and if so what are they, this blog endeavers to answer this question and provide a few options.

fix a blurry photoThere are many explanations as to why your digital photographs can turn out blurry. As an example, if you are taking a photograph of a moving object, or if perhaps your camera is out of focus, or if you have an unsteady hand. Even so, blurry photographs can usually be fixed, which means you should never just presume the photo is worthless and get rid of it.
There are many occasions when the photograph shows up blurry due to the fact what you are shooting was moving quickly or due to the camera shaking or moving. Whenever that happens trying to clear out the blur or trying to just sharpen the image is certainly worth a try. You can find several different software programs that can help with editing your photographs. Some like Photoshop can help to make an image that is blurry or slightly out of focus, sharper and more clear. There are also some free software programs, but you may want to keep in mind that the free ones won’t give you as many options for editing.

Typically, most software programs work pretty much the same as far as editing, so let’s use Photoshop as an example. The program is fairly uncomplicated and takes only five steps to complete.

The first thing you need to do is open the image editing program you are going to use, in this Photoshop.
Once the program is open you need to find the photograph you want to fix and open it from inside the editing program.  Usually, there is a tool bar and you simply need to click on ‘file’ and then select ‘Open’ then pull up the photograph and then open it.

Select the option to “Sharpen” the photograph. This option will probably be shown in the “Effects” area. Even so, the precise area of the Sharpen function will be different based on which software program you’re using.

Look at the photograph to make certain all the blur is taken away. In the event the photograph continues to be just a little blurry, continue to keep clicking on the “Sharpen” function until such time as all the blur has disappeared.

Then you need to Save the photograph. If you wish to write over the original photograph, click on “File” and after that select “Save.” Otherwise, if you would like to keep your original, simply click “File,” select “Save As,” provide the photograph with a brand new name and then press “OK.

On-line Software programs
Look for a internet site that provides totally free on-line photo-editing software applications. A good example of websites you might use include things like Picnik, LunaPic, FotoFlexer as well as PhotoShop (never to be mistaken for the program manufactured by Adobe). Based upon the internet site you choose, it might be required to become a member of the site.

Log directly into your own user account (when appropriate). Simply click “Upload.” Search through your personal computer files to choose the photograph and upload it on the online host.

Choose the option to “Sharpen” the photograph. Even though the sharpen method will probably be placed in the “Effects” area, the precise location may vary by internet site.

Look at your photograph to make certain all of the blur is taken away. In the event that blur remains, continue to keep clicking on “Sharpen” until such time as all the blur has disappeared.

Simply click “Save” in order to save the photograph. In some instances, the photograph is going to be saved on the website’s on-line server. In any other case, the actual edited photograph is going to be saved on your personal computer’s hard disk drive

The most prevalent explanations for why a photograph is blurry, is movement of the camera as a result of user’s hands moving, the malfunction of the camera to completely focus properly or even sluggish shutter speeds. Blurry photographs can usually be avoided if you make use of a tripod and let the camera to lock in the image before pushing the shutter control key.

Great Family Photos on Canvas

22nd August, 2013

Family photos usually have pride of place in the house, on the walls, above the fire place or in the hallway so people can see them as soon as they walk into your home.

Not all family photos are worth displaying but you know when you get a special one, at Christmas, on holiday or at a graduation that it will be framed and put on the wall. They are the kinds of photos that you never get tired of seeing and they usually evoke feelings of happiness, pride and nostalgia.

When you get a photograph which is really special, the first photograph of a new born child for example, and you want to display it in a particularly special way a canvas photo print is a great way of doing it.

You can have this extra special photo blown up to a specific size, placed on high quality canvas and then delivered ready to hang on the piece of wall which you have designated for it.  Photos on canvas are a new and exciting way of documenting your family’s history on the walls of your home. They stand out amongst the crowd and add colour and love to your home.

Easy to Order Canvas Photo Print specialise in creating photos on canvas. Their easy to order three step system allows you to upload your photograph, decide your style, size and shape and then all you have to do is place your order. It’s as easy as 1 2 3.

photo on canvas SydneyYou are able to choose the canvas shape, the tone of the picture (black and white, original or sepia) and the size. They even have a custom size option for when you need a very specific size for the walls of your house.

Another great option is their photo collage canvas; for when you have so many great photographs that you just can’t decide which one to pick. You can upload a number of photographs and have them fit on one canvas in various shapes and sizes. You can choose as many as fifty photographs to make up your unique family collage canvas.

These canvases can also be used as a great gift option. You could choose some special photographs have them presented on 100% cotton canvas and then have it delivered to a loved one for their birthday.

Family photos on canvas look wonderful in anyone’s home. Give your home a new look with a canvas photo print.

Creativity and the Artist: 4 Tips that Lead to Success

16th August, 2013

The world of art can be very competitive. Artists sometimes compete against the very best in their industry each time they make their own artwork available for public critique. However, budding artists can become successful and enjoy long and productive careers as artists when they adopt four very important approaches to their futures. Following these recommendations can ensure that artists make the most out of their chosen industry and embrace their creativity.

wall art online1) Do Not Be Afraid of Peer Reviews

Artists can be very catty with each other when it comes to reviewing each other’s artwork. Because of the competitive streak present in this industry, artists typically aim to make themselves feel better about their artwork, even if in reality another artist’s works are better. Even so, artists can maintain their competitive impulse and strive to improve their techniques by seeking out the reviews from their peers. While it can be helpful to take their peers’ reviews with a grain of salt, it can also provide enough constructive tips that artists in fact find ways to improve upon their creative approaches. Peer reviews, while not always kind, should not be feared in the world of art.

2) Utilize Mentors and Life Coaches

Even if artists have graduated from top-notch programs, they can still benefit by staying close to those who provided the inspiration for their works. Their mentors can remain a source of inspiration and encouragement, even after they graduate. Likewise, artists can increase their creativity and maintain a passion for art when they rely on a life coach. A life coach can provide inspiration, guidance, and objectivity when needed. While artists may not be able to separate themselves from their artwork sometimes, their life coach can provide them with the objectivity and rationale needed to view their creations in a new light.

Finding a local life coach within a person’s area can be made easy by utilizing an online professional life coach directory. With an international directory, a person can find a coach anywhere within their geographic location. For example, when a person is looking for a life coach Albany, NY based, by inputting Albany, NY within the search box, they can obtain a list of life coaches in that area. The list will provide a picture with a profile for each coach, where they are located, any special degrees they may hold, and an online review from former clients.

3) Avoid Too Many Mediums