Ars longa, vita brevis ... Art is long, Life is Short

Graphics and Photography

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3D graphics can created using expensive hi-end applications like "Poser", "Maya" or "lightwave" and others. Terrain generation using software like "Mojoworld", "Vue", and "Terragen". The world of 3D and 2D graphics is available to everyone. With Freeware software like "Blender" and "DAZ Studio" and a little imagination you can create your own 3D visual masterpieces, and Freeware applications like "XNview" can help you to edit your photos, and 2D graphic software like "The Gimp" can assist you in your artistic creations.

Photography

POWER OF OBSERVATION "Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology." Ken Rockwell.
Great photographs are made by noticing something interesting and taking a picture. The important part is noticing something interesting. Taking the picture is easy. The hard part can be saying something with your images. Photography is an art. It's abstract. It's easy to blame bad photos on a camera. When you get better at photography you will realize that you should pay more attention to your images and less to your camera. You have to go out, look around and wait for the light and inspiration and take pictures. Many great shots are made only after years of observing a subject, learning when it looks best, and returning to photograph it at its most spectacular. This is how real photographers make anything look extraordinary.
OPEN YOUR EYES "Composition is the strongest way of seeing." Edward Weston.
You see more if you're looking. The more you look, the more you see worth photographing. If you're not looking, you'll walk right past some of the most extraordinary opportunities. Photo opportunities are everywhere, open your eyes and they will appear.
A good photographer can make great images with a cheap camera because he or she knows its limits and how to use it. On the other hand, plenty of poor photographs are made using very expensive cameras by people lacking vision, regardless of how much technical skill they have and how sharp their lenses are.
Lighting is absolutely the most important technical issue there is, watch the play of light on objects, wander about in the early morning and evening light and observe the shadows and different color casts of light and how they can enhance your shot. Then apply your knowledge of composition as well and you'll have just about everything you need to worry about solved. With todays digital cameras just set them on auto and shoot. You can learn some of the technical aspects of your camera later, concentrate on developing your powers of observation.

TRAVEL PHOTOS Taking the time to find a pleasing and effective placement for your main subject is crucial to the success of your travel photographs. One method that artists have been using for centuries is the rule of thirds. It involves mentally dividing the viewfinder frame into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The four lines and four intersections of these lines can then be used as invisible guidelines to help you find the most dynamic subject placements. By locating a subject at one of the four intersections—as opposed to nailing it squarely in the center of the frame, for example—you give it added emphasis.
In outdoor photography, where you place the horizon line in your frame has a powerful effect on how your compositions are interpreted. Shifting horizon placement by tilting the camera up or down can alter the entire balance of a scene.
To keep from including too much extraneous information in a photograph, try to fill the frame with your subject and nothing but your subject. Filling the frame from edge to edge leaves little doubt about what your intended target was.
Exploring your subjects beyond predictable first impressions, you can create new and startling compositions. With photography you are telling a story, remember "a picture is worth a thousand words".
Look at your subject from different angles. Take a shot from above, lie on the ground and shoot up, tilt the camera at an angle. Digital photography give you the freedom to shoot many photos, then review and easily delete the one you don't want.
Don't forget it's not all about the latest camera or lens. Digital technology has revolutionized photography, but a good photograph is created by your own personal vision.

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UNDER WATER PHOTOGRAPHY
This mostly deals with amateur underwater photography, photos taken while snorkeling in some tropical destination. With the advent of new waterproof digital cameras, such as the Olympus tough series, it now easier and less expensive for the amateur photographer to take better underwater photos. The price of underwater housings for digital cameras also has come down, and you can find some great deals on sites like "EBAY". The best time to get good under water photos while snorkeling is usually mid morning, light is good and the water has not been disturbed too much. Try to avoid turbulent waters and crowded beaches where the water has been clouded by all the swimmers. Try not to be over active while taking underwater shots, chasing fish with your camera just scares them away. Look for areas of activity under water, such as large coral outcroppings and fish cleaning stations (a spot on the reef where cleaner Wrasses groom other reef fish), just hang out in these spots quietly and wait your opportunity. Don't worry about using your camera view-screen or viewfinder, these can be hard to deal with under water, just point the camera in the general direction and shoot lots of photos.
Later when you review your photos on your computer don' be discouraged by the results. You can rescue many photos using some photo editing software.("Photoshop" or free software like "Xnview") Some basic tips, first adjust contrast and brightness, next apply color correction, usually a red or magenta filter, and then maybe a dust and scratch filter to remove excess particles in the water, and lastly a sharpen filter.

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