Cloudy DayWhat is a fake picture? Some would say doing anything to the picture after it is taken makes it fake. Others think you can push as many pixels and that is fine. I fall somewhere in the middle. I do believe that some degree of correction or assistants is need to most pictures. But changing the color of a flower to match your couch might fall more into the art realm than photography.

Where ever you fall some degree of modification slash enhancement takes most pictures from being forgettable to WOW. Scott Bourne from This Week In Photography wrote a great post on how to make a picture better in under 90 seconds. Now quick heads up he uses Aperture a Mac only photo organizing/light touch up program in his article. But as a Lightroom user I was able to take many things away from his tutorial. Even if you want to be as naturalist, like someone who does not use deodorant, it is always learn something new.

Adding Pop To Your Images via {TWIP.com}

So you have a DSLR, more than likely it came with a kit lens, probably something like a 3.5 – 5.6 18 to 70mm zoom lens. Now you are ready to go hunting and take those award winning pictures. But for some reason, your pictures don’t look as great as you would like. What went wrong? It is your lens.

Gary Voth wrote a very good article on his blog Gary Voth Photography about the forgotten 50mm lens. Back in the days of film the kit lens that came with your new camera was the 50mm. In the article Gary explains why the kit zoom lens are not ideal for people who bought their DSLR to take pictures of their kids. Gary’s article is not just for beginners but also for the seasoned amateur who just need a refresher or a reason to buy a new lens.

“Beyond their sometimes dubious optical performance, my major criticism of these lenses is their slow speed. Many of the world’s most evocative and best known images were made under natural light with fast lenses and film. Creating such images is nearly impossible with “slow” zoom lenses, which are harder to focus and inadequate for use indoors without flash.”

Why You Should Ditch That Zoom for a Classic 50mm “Normal” Lens via [Vothphoto.com]

ZoeyCan you take great portraits like the celebrity photographers? You probably don’t have a fancy camera, ring lighting, $3,000 worth of soft boxes or your own studio. But even with a $150 point and shoot camera you can take great wall hanging portraits with the help of Darren Rouse from the Digital Photography School.

The Digital Photography School, (DPS), has 10 great tips on how to improve your portraits. Writer Derren Rouse explains why thinking outside of box will give you the wow factor in your portraits. He suggests changing your prospective, eye contact, composition and many more.

“Most portraits are taken with the camera at (or around) the eye level of the subject. While this is good common sense – completely changing the angle that you shoot from can give your portrait a real WOW factor.”

10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits [via Digital Photography School]