The Top Five Lessons I’ve Learned about Blogging

By Connie S. Reed

In my six years of blogging about travel, I’ve learned a few things. I did some things correctly from the get-go, like creating social media accounts and letting all of my friends and family know about my blog. I emailed tourism bureaus and asked to be added to their press lists. And I got busy writing articles, mostly about local attractions, at first.

But there are many things I had to learn along the way. Here are the top five:

  1. Build relationships. Networking with other bloggers and with destinations is important. I joined several travel-writing and blogging Facebook groups from the start. Today I’m active in only two of those groups–the ones that include bloggers I have the most in common with. We bounce ideas off of each other and sometimes work together on collaborative articles. I also keep in touch, through social media, with destinations that have hosted me. In fact, I’ve become Facebook friends with many destination staff members. Building relationships has brought me many opportunities, including requests for paid writing assignments outside of my blog.

  2. Write multiple articles about a destination. When I visit a destination, I don’t stop at one article that lists everything I did there. Instead, I first write focused articles on each attraction I’ve visited. Then later, I write a round-up, a summary of each attraction, and I link back to those focused articles. This practice has gotten me many invitations for return visits to destinations.

  3. Don’t procrastinate. After dreaming about travel writing for years, but not doing anything about it, I took Great Escape Publishing’s blogging course to learn the basics. Then I jumped right in. Blogging is a good way to get into the travel-writing world because you don’t have to write query letters and keep your fingers crossed, hoping an editor will like your ideas. You write about what you want, when you want. And you get your writing out there immediately for the world to see.

  4. Populate your blog, but take a break when you need it. I began posting article after article, about three a week. This was a good thing, at first. After all, the more content you have in your blog, the more page views you’ll get through Google searches. But writing so many articles became a burden. It didn’t leave enough time to market my blog on social media. I was stressed. Eventually, I cut down to two articles a week, and then one. I’ve even skipped a week occasionally. And you know what? It hasn’t affected my stats at all. In fact, my page views have continued to increase.

  5. Use SEO. To get onto the first page of a Google search, you have to use Search Engine Optimization. That means you include words in your article and title that match terms that people might search for. At first, I guessed at terms I should use. A few years into blogging I discovered there are helpful tools available, like Yoast, that guide you on SEO usage. Today, about three-quarters of my blog’s page views come from search engine searches.

Learn from my experiences. Incorporate these tips into your strategy for quicker blogging success.

[Editor’s Note: Connie completely reinvented her life at 60, with a part-time blog about her local region. You can do this with your own locale… with your favorite hobbies… or with international travels and adventure. Whether you love luxury spas or cultural immersions… history or shopping… all you have to do is pick what you love and get started.

Do What You Do!

Create Your Lifestyle!

It is truly a blessing and a wonderful feeling to wake up each day doing the things you truly love to do.  It is also amazing that those things create for you the lifestyle of your choosing.  For me it is travel photography.

Early in life I discovered my love for art.  Sketching in pencil, pen, ink, and charcoal.  Later in life I was introduced to analog photograph.  I became obsessed.  But, because of the cost of film and printing, I had to abandon this love.

Now that I am retired I have returned to my passion.  I am fascinated by this new era of digital imagery. Thus, the creation of Digital Age Professionals.

We first, had to consider who our potential customers were going to be.  Secondly, we had to identify the problems DAP could solve for these customers.  After, this we had to establish a location for our potential customers to visit.  

Web Site

Working from the digital format, our first step involved building our web site. Our website is our digital home (real estate).  We have made our home as delightful as possible.

As with any home we expect guest.  Guest come in two distinct forms, invited, and uninvited.  I don’t know about you but certain close friends are allowed to drop by anytime.  Of course, the option of admittance is entirely at my discretion  🙂

Then there are those uninvited guest.  That you really have to consider if they are worthy for admittance. However, with our business home we want everybody interested in our product or services to stop by at any and all times!

Marketing

Marketing, is where my problems began! I quickly realized that even though I had a web site, no one was stopping by.  I became very lonely. In this instance lonely equates too low income.  I had to quickly learn to market my product to those who are interested in my problem solving capabilities.

Thanks to Six Figure Mentors and AWeber I have now developed superior marketing skills and capabilities.  Not only for me, but to other business owners who have marketing problems.

Marketing is the most important part of our business development.  Without customers there is no business.

Choosing A Niche

Even though my problems began with marketing, choosing my niche quickly became my largest problem.  I am writing this post for all new marketeers who are wrestling with this very same problem.

Affiliate marketing got me started, then I soon realized that I had to develop marketing plans that were concentrated on a particular speciality according to my personal desire.  This is where the rubber meets the road.

I spent months trying to get this right.  I now understand that many marketeers struggle with this problem. Thankfully my love for photography led me to my perfect niche. 

By the way, what I have learned from all of this, is that finding the proper niche is an evolutionary process. Don’t get hung up, let your heart lead you to the lifestyle you desire.

Check out this blog:

Tip of the week: Creative ideas to help you target a specific niche in photography

Health Wealth & Love……… “Namaste”

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Tip of the week: Creative ideas to help you target a specific niche in photography

Written by Nelson Ikheafe November 25, 2019
User archive

When starting out in the photography business, it’s tempting to be a jack of all trades, shooting everything that looks interesting. While this approach may get you hundreds of unique photos, it will not set you apart from the competition.

Competition is a good thing, professional photographers who have embraced the power of intense competition in stock photography have discovered the power of branding for a specific niche. A niche will help you learn and zero in on what works and what doesn’t.

What type of photography sparks your creative juices? Your passion should be an indicator of your photographic niche.

Embrace Competition

Succeeding in the crowded field of stock photography requires tenacity, a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and work. Those that have succeeded in stock photography, have discovered the power of being focused on a specific niche.

Research on different niches to find out about the competition, gather as much information as you possibly can to discover what works in the niche and what doesn’t. Gather relevant statistics about sales and market demand. This should help you come up with strategies for joining the niche.

Embracing competition also means seeking out new areas that are underserved. Look for what customers are constantly asking for, what seems to be in short supply, join photography forums listen to the hub talk. Discover where there is demand.

Creative photography

Photography is all about painting with light, Creative photography is an art that transcends all spheres, essentially this means that you can shoot any kind of image, your creativity is what will direct your photography business.

You cannot be an expert in landscape photography, portraits, astrophotography, weddings, food, street photography. Approaching photography creatively requires that you zero in on a specific niche, buy the right gear and practice to shoot amazing photos in this niche.

Creative photographers, don’t really have to be professional, they can be hobbyists with an eye to see what works and what doesn’t. If you are a hobbyist with a keen photographic eye, expand your knowledge level through training, courses, and practical applications, as you concentrate on your chosen niche.

What is a niche?

The business dictionary defines a market niche as

“a small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer, Market niches do not exist by themselves but are created by identifying needs or wants that are not being addressed by competitors, and by offering products that satisfy them.”

Photography has different specific niches, to discover which ones are profitable, and which ones aren’t you have to research. Study each niche in detail, and list only those niches that are of interest to you. Do you have the right gear and equipment for this niche?

Here is a list of a few niches that you can research on:

Real Estate Photography, Wedding Photography, newborns, Business, landscape Photography, Black and White Photography, Fashion Photography, Studio Photography, Street Photography Pet Photography, Photo-Journalism, Celebrity Photography, underwater Photography, Product Photography, Portrait Photography, amongst many others.

If you are a beginner starting out in photography, you will have limited knowledge about the equipment needed for specific niches. Start by learning about various types of photographic gear that will help shoot high-quality photos.

How do you identify a niche?

Your interest should lead you., Your interest, however, may not be good enough as an indicator of how profitable is. Researching about every area of your expertise to understand the market dynamics will help you settle on a profitable niche.

As we said earlier Photography is an art of painting with light, you may be good in one area and not the other, as an artist, identify areas you are good at. Proceed to do complete market research, this should direct your focus in the area that will eventually become your bread and butter.

When starting on your photographic journey, try out everything, see what works and what doesn’t, zero in on what is working. Study what prospective customers are asking for but seems to be in short supply. Are you in a position to work on meeting this demand? Do you have the required knowledge, expertise, and equipment to shoot images for this specific niche?

Before settling in one niche try out several niches to find out where your unique skills meet a demand in the market.

Challenges of niche Photography

Niche photography is a highly specialized approach to photography, it segments the industry into specific photography markets. Each market requires a specialized approach, in addition to special skills, some segments like astrophotography or insect photography require specialized equipment.

This means that no matter how passionate you are to shoot photos in a certain market, you might be limited by the availability of the right gear. Work in a niche that you have the right equipment and skills to produce high-quality images.

Your location will also determine the type of niche you can join, for example, if you live in the rural areas, you cannot shoot street photos, this, therefore, cannot be your specialty, unless you relocate to a city.

The location will also determine the type of images you can shoot, for example, you cannot shoot underwater images unless you live near a body of water. And have the right gear and scuba diving equipment.

Connect your brand to your niche

Once you have settled on a niche, prepare to ride the storms. As you go through the learning curves, you may find some months will be rough, you may be tempted to quit. Niche photography is a highly specialized photography genre that approaches a select group of buyers who may at first hesitate before committing to buying from you.

When you approach your niche with the end in mind you will stick in there for the long haul. Niche photography is a marathon and not a sprint. The easiest way to attract buyers fast is to have a wide selection of images in your niche.

Brand your images with a style template, as an individual your portfolio may not grow fast enough to stand out in the market. If you have the means you can hire other specialized photographers to shoot images that you can then post-process using your style template to retain uniformity.

If you do not have the means, build your business one brick at a time, work on your brand awareness, build your presence and don’t be in a hurry, the right buyers will eventually discover your unique talents.

Summary

Targeting a market niche is hard work, and is not for the faint-hearted, it is, however, the most rewarding and long-lasting successful way of joining this highly competitive business.

Do you want to make a stable career out of your photographic skills? Let stiff competition not derail your ambitions. Choose a niche, study the niche, roll up your sleeves and get to work, you will definitely succeed.

Photo credits: AlphaspiritFamveldmanIg0rzhIndra Eka PutraSrecko DjarmatiPhysykScyther5Sean PavoneWisconsinart.

HEALTH WEALTH & LOVE

Health Wealth Love

I have come to realize that my purpose in life, in simple terms is; to promote Health Wealth and Love.  It is truly a blessing to be able to enjoy my daily life uplifting humanity by fulfilling my purpose.

When you think about it Health, Wealth, and Love combined are the foundation on which true happiness is built.  Man’s greatest aspiration should be for, him and his family to enjoy life in good health, filled with an abundance of wealth and love.

There is great debate as to which comes first or, which is more important.  I have come to the conclusion, that the order does not matter.  To be lacking in either results in unhappiness.

I think we all would agree that the driving force in the universe is “Love”.  I also think that all would agree that without good health, happiness is impossible. However, there arrises uncertainty about wealth.  The question arises; can you be truly happy while experiencing lack?

Motives of Man

In his book “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill identified nine basic motives of man. 

  1. Self Preservation (Health & Wealth)
  2. Financial Gain (Wealth)
  3. Love
  4. Sexuality
  5. Desire for power and fame
  6. Fear
  7. Revenge
  8. Freedom of body and mind
  9. Desire to create

While Mr. Hill wrote in reference to selling techniques, these motives are inherent in all.

If you will note Health, Wealth, and Love are at the very top of the list.  Man was created by “Divine Providence” (God) to enjoy the abundance of the universe.  And, the abundance of these three attributes is uppermost. 

Beliefs and Thoughts

Man is limited only by disempowering beliefs and erroneous thinking.  Strangely enough, most of our disempowering beliefs come from erroneous religious teachings.

Teachings derived from passages such as; “ the love of money is the root of all evil”.  Or, “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into heaven”. 

Please, examine such text more thoroughly.  Passages are often misunderstood.  And sometimes, further study may reveal other passages that should be examined.

Take a look at this passage;

Ecclesiastes 10:19 …a feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

Now, what do you think?  Regardless of what you think, you probably can’t argue with the fact that financial condition directly affects all three of these very important areas.

We must have money.  Money is only a medium of exchange that is used as a tool to not only satisfy necessities but to also forge a lifestyle.  You get to choose your lifestyle.

It is “only” your thinking that determines your lifestyle.  With thoughts of Health Wealth and Love, you create circumstances that in turn manifest the desired environment.  Therefore, you get to enjoy your life.  On the other hand, thoughts rooted in fear, produce poverty, lack, and ill-health.

My thoughts of an abundant lifestyle led me to the creation of Digital Age Professionals. Built on the Six Figure Mentors, affiliate marketing platform I now lead a lifestyle of complete freedom.  I get the opportunity to promote Health Wealth and Love while I travel the world enjoying my two greatest passions; writing and photography.

I hope I have given you “Adequate Motive” to Create a business that satisfies the basic motives within your being. Join us, and turn your passion into the lifestyle of your desire.

START HERE!

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The Most Important Steps In Digital Photography

Written by Kent DuFault

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on our sister website, LightStalking.com

This is a fact that you may, or may not, be aware of- At this point in time, a digital photograph “REQUIRES” a number of Fundamental Editing Steps to become the gorgeous photograph that you intended it to be. The Fundamental Editing List, discussed in this article, includes the most important steps in digital photography.

Why? Read on.

Let me begin by stating, “There is a caveat to the above statement…”

If you’re still in the digital “Stone Age” and shooting only in the .JPEG format- well there’s little that I can do for you here.

By shooting .JPEG, you’re letting the camera decide how great your image processing is going to be. Yes… When a digital camera creates a .JPEG image file, it is “processing” the file inside the camera.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term, “post-processing”?

With a .JPEG, I guess you can call it, “pre-processing”.

Okay! I concede that you can make “selections” on your camera to skew how the camera will record the scene.

“YES”, I know that you can still alter the image in post-processing after downloading the file from the camera.

However, you are starting out with a tainted original- (Tainted? Is that a nasty word in this circumstance?) The camera bias is already locked into your image file.

Why paint a picture on a canvas that already has paint splattered on it? (This is a metaphor for you visual learners.)

Why not begin with a clean canvas?

This is the important point to grasp; the camera settings, for creating a .JPEG image file, have no truly measurable system for the photographer to control what is happening to their image output. The camera software is taking over. These settings might include such terms as: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Faithful, Landscape, Portrait, or Monochrome.

I’m not saying that you should never shoot a .JPEG image or use these settings. (Although personally, I never use these settings. I leave them as neutral as possible.)

I always shoot .JPEG images. There is a place for them in the photography world. I shoot them for those moments when I need an image quickly: to send a sample to a client or upload to social media.

But my important work… that’s all coming from the raw file format.

I set my camera to shoot both raw and .JPEG.

Why does my important work always come from the raw file format? Because the raw file format is a clean canvas; it’s a digital negative. The camera created a neutral image with the full recording power available to it, and now (similar to film- where a color printing technician must pull the visual energy from a piece of film), you must post-process the beauty of the original scene back into your image file.

Why do cameras still have the .JPEG option? It is still the file format of choice for many applications. Photo labs use that format. The Internet is primarily set up to use the .JPEG format.

Important Point: Shoot and post-process in the raw file format, and then convert to .JPEG for distribution. Set your camera to shoot raw & .JPEG simultaneously if quick turnaround is a factor. Set your camera to the raw file format only if trying to conserve memory card space.

There are 14 primary post-processing steps that virtually every raw file should receive and 2 “semi-optional” steps.

I believe the 2 “semi-optional” steps are mandatory as well. However, that is my personal preference, and those 2 steps are included in my “workflow”, or what I call my “Fundamental Edits List”.

I don’t know about you- but that word “workflow” has always been kind of scary to me. Or maybe scary isn’t the right word? Useless? I came from the film days where the idea of workflow hadn’t been created yet.

Before, we get further into this idea of workflow in post-processing. (Because as it turns out, workflow is super-important.) I would like to share a couple of excerpts with you.

One is from Nikon, and the other is from Canon.

NIKON: “Nikon’s unique RAW (NEF/NRW) formats let you get the complete Nikon image creation experience, while fully exploiting the high level of image quality produced by Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses.”

CANON: “If you consider your RAW images files as digital negatives, then like traditional negatives, they need to be processed in order to reveal their true colors and tones.”

BINGO! (Those two above quotes were for the naysayers out there.)


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This is a fact that you may, or may not, be aware of- At this point in time, a digital photograph “REQUIRES” a number of Fundamental Editing Steps to become the gorgeous photograph that you intended it to be. The Fundamental Editing List, discussed in this article, includes the most important steps in digital photography.

This article is not going to spew forth on the wonders of the raw format (any more than it already has).

If you’ve read this far- there are two things that I hope you truly understand. (Soon, you will discover the MOST important steps in digital photography!)

  1. You should be shooting the raw file format for maximum quality, and control, over your photographic product (pictures).
  2. All raw format image files require at least 14 post-processing steps to reveal their fullest potential.

YAY! YOU GET IT!

Let’s talk about the 14 post-processing steps. (I’m going to leave out the 2 optional steps due to article length.)

I call them, “The Fundamental Edits List”.

Side note– If you want to get a complete breakdown of my Fundamental Edits list. Including step-by-step ‘how-to’ instruction in Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements. I’ve published an eBook on the topic called the Ultimate Guide to Fundamental Editing » Go here now to take a look.

There is a story behind my writing about my Fundamental Edits List.

This topic came to mind when I remembered a conversation that I had with a newer photographer several months ago.

She’d been into digital photography for about 3 years.

She was telling me about her frustration with her photography.

She said that she had studied the guides on composition, exposure, ISO, lenses- yada yada- but her photos still didn’t spark like all the others that she saw on Flickr and 500px.

I asked her, “What kind of editing are you doing?”

Her response stunned me.

She said, “Oh. I don’t do that editing thing. I’m a purist. I like shooting landscapes and capturing the beauty of nature just the way it was presented to me. I like light…”

I must have had a strange look on my face because she asked me, “What?!”

I asked her, “What do you think editing is?”

She got a little indignant.

“It’s like when you change the color, or add texture, or remove something that you don’t like… or put something in that wasn’t there-”

“Whoa!” I said. “Look me in the eyes. It’s virtually impossible to have a great shot in digital photography without doing some fundamental editing, or what people refer to it as post-processing.”

“That’s not what my uncle says, and he’s a retired professional photographer,” she responded.

“He is? Does he shoot digital photographs now?”

“No. After he retired, he took up fishing.”

(Folks, don’t take photography advice from someone who hasn’t been active in the industry it for at least the last 3 to 5 years. The industry is changing that fast.)

I believe that in fundamental editing there are three goals.

  1. Fundamental edits should take your original concept, as designed in-camera, and bring them to life within the digital realm. Fundamental editing restores depth, color, saturation, and contrast etc. to something closer to what your original vision was when you snapped the camera’s shutter release button.
  2. Fundamental edits should make your file as “printable” as possible. If you were to go 
to a photo printer and have a print made from your original digital file, as it emerged from the camera (raw format), chances are the print would not look very good. The fundamental edits whip your file into shape so that you get the best possible photographic print.
  3. Fundamental edits should be used to fine-tune your composition.

What is the Bottom line? Fundamental Editing, (or post-processing if you prefer that language), isn’t about big changes. It’s about the subtle changes that mold your image file into what you originally intended it to be.

Here’s an example-

The image on the left is the raw file that came out of a Canon 6D camera. The image on the right is my final shot, as I pre-visualized it, when I snapped the shutter, and after conducting my Fundamental Edits List.

As you can see- the basic tenor of the photograph has remained the same.

It seems logical, at this point, to mention some examples of what Fundamental Editing IS NOT- (in my opinion anyway)

  • It isn’t HDR
  • It isn’t converting to black and white (or any monochrome tone)
  • It isn’t high contrast
  • It isn’t super-saturated color
  • It isn’t muted color
  • It isn’t selective color
  • It isn’t adding textures
  • It isn’t applying any funky filters or apps

It’s about restoring the raw file to a digital photograph that more closely resembles what your eyes saw and your memory recalls.

Now, let’s go back to workflow.

Having a Fundamental Editing List really requires a “workflow” to have predictable results.

If you’re an aspiring pro, or just have the desire to create the best possible images that you’re capable of- then you must take post-processing workflow seriously.

Completing a Fundamental Editing List in an established pattern will create predictable results.

What can happen if you go about applying fundamental post-processing steps in a willy-nilly manner?

  • You can increase the noise
  • You can create destructive edits that can’t be reversed
  • You can blow out your highlights
  • You can turn your black tones into inky blobs or grayish muck
  • You can throw your color off
  • You can over-sharpen and create ugly artifacts
  • Etc.

Let’s take a peek at the items on my Fundamental Edits List:

  • Opening the image (How- you open the image can have significance)
  • Crop
  • Noise Reduction
  • Global Exposure Adjustment
  • Clipping on the Shadow End – Black Point
  • Clipping on the Highlight End – White Point
  • Color Temperature
  • Color Tint
  • Clarity
  • Vibrancy
  • Saturation
  • Efex – Vignette (optional)
  • Efex – DeHaze (optional)
  • Localized Exposure Adjustments
  • with the Adjustment Brush
  • Localized Sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
  • Global Sharpening (always- last)

I can’t cover the “how to” on each of these edits here. Quite frankly, it’s too much information to fit into a blog post. (Which is why I wrote a whole book about it)

However, let me give you some highlights.

Opening the image can have a significant impact on how you’re going to work on the file. It can also have an impact on how you will find the image at a later date. Depending on which program you’re using, it can affect images that you open up “after” a particular image. A key phrase here is workflow. Develop a pattern as to how you’re going to open your images. Complete the same steps every time. Those steps may vary depending on the editing software that you’re using. The steps for Photoshop won’t be the same as they are for Lightroom or Adobe Elements.

Crop in a non-destructive manner, this means in the ACR camera raw window or directly in Lightroom.

Do noise reduction early in the Fundamental Edits List. I do it right after my cropping. The reason for this is that the noise reduction process might affect some of the other steps. My noise reduction policy is to try and get it done outside of Photoshop or Elements (in the ACR camera raw processing window).

Use a very light hand in any global exposure adjustment. If you wish to become a real pro at post-processing, you need to master the Adjustment Brush. Professional use of the Adjustment brush will help you to eliminate sweeping global changes across your images that are the hallmark of amateur photography.

Clipping is a term that Adobe adopted to indicate lost image detail. In order to understand clipping, you need to have a working knowledge of the Histogram. It would also help you to study up on the Zone System. Clipping on the shadow end means that you’ve lost details in your black areas. If you look at your photographs, and the deep black areas tend to look like black blobs (with no detail); you’re likely clipping the shadows. On the reverse end is highlight clipping. If your highlight areas look like white blobs (with no visible detail) this means you’re likely clipping the highlights.

Clipping is a problem that I see all the time with photographs on the Internet.

Many of you digital photographers probably don’t remember Dean Collins. Dean was one of the original Photography Instructor Gurus. He was a true master of the photographic medium.

I took one of his workshops many years ago.

It was there, that I first truly learned that in a photograph there is “white” and then there is “WHITE”. The perception of “white” varies widely. When a bride is wearing a white dress, the dress should look “white” but not “WHITE”.

Do you get what I’m saying?

There should be texture and tone to the white dress. If it looks “WHITE”, (if it’s a white blob), then your highlights are clipped.

The reverse is true with shadows. A black cat on a black silk scarf should look “black” not “BLACK”. There should be tonal variations in the shadows. Those tonal variations should include texture and detail. If you can’t see that in your photograph, you have shadow clipping.

I’m not going to delve deeply into the Histogram and the concept of tonal range. However, it might help you to know this…

The number 255 on the Histogram is “WHITE”. Any number from 254 to approximately 230 is somewhere on the scale of “white” (with tone and texture).

The number 0 on the Histogram is “BLACK”. Any number from 1 to approximately 30 is somewhere on the scale of “black” (with tone and texture).

The photograph of the bride shows you “white” (with texture and detail), there’s no clipping.

Color temperature and Tint
 represents the Wild West of post-processing. Why? We all see color differently. But, (and this is a big “but”), if you’re creating photographs for a customer, someone who isn’t going to see the world through your eyeballs, then an expectation of accurate color is pretty mandatory. This is a huge “workflow” step. Managing accurate color. Develop a system for color adjustment, and stick to it for predictable results.

Clarity is your friend. Use it wisely. Clarity helps to give your photograph the impression of sharpness without adding noise. Caution though- don’t go too far with the Clarity setting.

Vibrancy and Saturation are the most abused Fundamental Edits outside of Sharpening. If you’re shooting strictly for yourself, then you have free reign over these bad boys. However, if you’re taking on assignments, or wish to move in that direction, you must learn how to “accurately” set these two Fundamental Edits.

In order to do that, you must be able to accurately read and understand a Histogram. You must also develop the skill of evaluating “what is happening to the Histogram” as you make changes throughout your Fundamental Edits List.

This is important.

You must learn how to read a Histogram, and develop the skill of judging how the Histogram is changing as you make Fundamental Edits.

Vignette, DeHaze, and the Adjustment Brush aid in the altering of the composition in post-processing; I’m only going to discuss the Adjustment Brush here in this article.

In my opinion, the Adjustment Brush is the single most powerful Adobe tool in post-processing.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using Lightroom, Photoshop, or Elements (known as the Smart Brush in Elements). This tool allows you to completely change the composition and mood of a photograph. If you don’t know how to use this tool, learn it. I’ve written about it extensively.

Finally, we have Global Sharpening. This step is always last in my workflow, and I believe it should be in yours as well. If you’ve done a good job with the Clarity setting, and with localized sharpening using the Adjustment Brush, you likely will have to barely use this setting at all. That’s a huge advantage for you, because so many photographers abuse this setting and create obvious artifacts in their images.

Proper fundamental editing, with an established workflow, will push your efforts above your competitors!

I’ve got something special for you on the next page…

If you’re unsure about your Fundamental Editing, or you would like some guidance from me on how to apply a Fundamental Edits List properly. I have written a comprehensive guide on the subject.

It covers all three Adobe products: Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements. Plus it includes a free printable step-by-step editing checklist with that you can pin-up, or leave next to your computer.

If you missed out on your copy last time. It’s available again, and on sale right now.

Click below now, to read about it on the next page…» NEXT PAGE

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Kent DuFault became a photographer in September of 1974. He took a “Basic Photography” class in high school and was hooked for life. His best-selling guide, Fundamental Editing has helped more than 10,000 photographers learn and

The Fear of Truth; What Makes Us Run From Truth?

Fear of Truth

We find ourselves living in a most interesting era, where society seems to be moving in opposite, yet parallel directions.  We are beginning to acknowledge the significance, and power of “Thought based on Truth”.  Yet we run from Truth as if it were a venomous serpent.

We are moving into a new age.  An age where the last frontier is not infinite space, or within the confines of the ocean, nor is it anywhere within the sphere of the earth.  This new frontier lies within the understanding of the omnipresent “Universal Mind”, in relation to man.

This  “Aquarian”, age of transformation, grows from the roots of Truth.  The truth about the “creative principle of thought”.  The understanding of the power of thought is considered to be the greatest discovery of all time.  Correct thinking grounded in Truth, ignited and fueled by the emotion of love is the key.

We should seek Truth in all aspects of life.  Most importantly we must seek the Truth about our universe and how man relates to the whole of it.  The truth about the Universal Spirit, Mind, and Energy, commonly called God.   The Truth about our human connection to the whole of the universe, even though we function as Individualized Spirit.

There are those who actually know and have known and accepted the Truth about the power of the mind, and then there are those who have not yet come to “Absolute Understanding” of who we are and the power we possess through thought. 

Those that have come to realize the power of the mind of man, and how that mind works in conjunction with the Universal Mind, have excelled to enormous heights.  They understand that the Universal Mind is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscience, and that the universe is guided by “Natural Laws”.   These individuals have used the spiritual power within them (cause) to create a network of influential power (effect) throughout the world.  Thus, the continual  construction of,“The New World Order”.

The advancement of this power consortium is moving at a rapid pace toward the creation of a state of “Totalitarianism”.  Centralized world control by autocratic authority;  a political concept that places the citizen under one absolute worldwide authority.   Ideas such as worldwide baking and education systems paired with global communication and artificial intelligence.  All created under the guise of global alliance, which stimulates world trade, and ignites “global consumerism”.  Ideas that have created the matrix in which we now live and have our being. 

Then there are those less fortunate beings who are just now coming to an understanding of “Truth” in regard to how our universe functions.  It seems that the larger number of earth’s inhabitants have allowed dis-empowering beliefs to cloud Truth.  We fear Truth simply because Truth challenges our preconceived beliefs.

These preconceived beliefs are the causes for the circumstances, and the environment in which we live.  Our thoughts are directed by our beliefs, and our thoughts lead to actions whether positive or negative.  Our beliefs manifest into reality.

Those of us who refuse to challenge our beliefs. have been thoroughly immersed in the oil of deceit. This well-defined oil has the viscosity of quicksand.  The more you struggle to get out of this deception, the deeper you sink. 

Engulfed, we now become the very oil that lubricates the system.  A system oiled by our ignorance and powered by our labor that produces the currency which fuels this global system of consumerism.  

So how do we change our circumstances?  We must challenge our beliefs!  We must seek TRUTH!  The truth about God’s Universe, and how we are all connected beings functioning as individualized Spirit.  The truth about our creative ability using the power of correct thinking impressed upon the Universal Mind of God.  These principals of Truth must be told to each generation, and to every people in new and varied ways.

We must take a better look at the conflict between science and theology.  We must study and compare religions.  We must understand that all our power comes from within (the Kingdom of God is within).  We must understand that thought is the controlling principle of the universe, and that correct thinking creates desirable environments and circumstances.  These efforts will destroy traditional ways of thinking which have become antiquated, and impotent.

We must also develop new ways of participating in this global economy.  We must change our position as common laborers and consumers to the status of producers.  The creation of income-producing entities will reverse the situation.  This is where the positive connects with the negative and creates the power to create your ideal environment.  Change your way of thinking, change your circumstances.

We are standing on the doorstep of a new era.  The common man is finally learning the secrets of his mastery, thereby ushering out the “New World Order” and ushering in a “New Social Order”.  More wonderful than anything imagined.

The Power of Thought ! Man’s Greatest Discovery

Creative Thought

Look around you, every material object you see, started out as a thought in some man’s mind.  The car you drive, the bricks that form your home, the toaster you used for breakfast this morning, the plate you ate from, the cell phone that you can’t put down.  All things (material objects) have their origin in the mind of man, and the manifestation of these objects are the result of Thought.

The Mind

The mind of man is creative.  It must be understood that this creative power originates not in the mind of man but in the “Universal Mind”(God), the source of all power, wisdom, and intelligence.  This “Universal Mind” is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscience.

Being omnipresent, mind permeates all things and all space.  “The ALL(God) is in Everything, and Everything is in the ALL(God)” This means that the essence of God resides within you, and all individuals. (“ The Kingdom of God is Within”)  We are Individualized Spirit.  All your power comes from within.

This mind permeates every cell of your body in the form of negative energy.  We have come to understand that this energy comprises our “subconscious mind” it acts without our conscious knowledge. This subconscious mind is our true connection between God, the universe, and our conscious mind.

The Universal Mind and You

 “God made man in His own image” (Spiritual Image).  A through examination of the word man will bring you to its origin, which is the word mind. Now replace the word man with the word mind.  The scripture will then read “God made mind in His own image”.  Thus, the mind of man is a part of the Universal Mind.  It should be noted that a part of anything possesses the same substance and quality of that from which it comes.  The only difference is one of degree.

The subconscious mind is the connecting link between the Universal mind and the conscious mind of man. Our subconscious mind is responsive to the desires (will) of our conscious mind.

The conscious mind is the positive energy of thought. The only activity of mind is thinking.  Our conscious mind thinks, and impresses upon our negatively charged subconscious mind, which is the connecting link between you, and the Universal Mind(God).  This connection produces the power necessary to cause the manifestation of that particular thought.  Making your conscious mind the creator of things, environments, and circustances.

Thought, then is our only reality.  Conditions, and environments are but the outward manifestations of our thinking.  To create a better environment and or better circumstances you only need to change your thinking.   “As A Man Thinketh So Is He”, a must read by James Allen.

Thoughts and Beliefs

Be very careful, your creative conscious mind is susceptible to all forms of influence, gathered in by your senses, what you hear, see, smell, taste, and or feel.  Your thoughts are not only influenced by impressions from your senses, but they are also affected by your beliefs, most of which are received via heredity.   Your beliefs guide and direct your thoughts, therefore shape your reality. (circumstances, environments)   It must be noted that your deeply ingrained beliefs can be either empowering or disempowering. Examine all your beliefs.

I must take a moment to enlighten you to that most of us are oppressed, and subjugated.  We have an oppressor in some form or another, whether it be in the form of government or some elitist power.   This oppression is rooted in consumerism.  As a consumer you are the power that fuels our intricately “constructed society”.  And, your beliefs are shaped to keep us in that position.  You can only change your position by becoming a producer, thereby lessening the effects of consumerism.

Your subconscious receives all thoughts both good and bad it does not discriminate.  If your thoughts are of peace, love, wealth and happiness, your circumstance and environment will be good.  But, if your thoughts are based on fear, poverty, and lack, your thoughts will manifest circumstances accordingly.  You have been given the power to think on the level of “The Absolute’(God), now use that power.

You Are a Creator

Now that you understand that you are a creator, what are you going to create?  Are you going to continue to create bad circumstances by harboring thoughts of poverty and lack, based on fear? Or, are you going to think thoughts of joy, peace, and abundance?   Resulting in a life of true happiness filled with good health, wealth, and love.

The power of thought could be considered to be man’s greatest discovery.  I submit to you that the major difference between the super rich and the common man is this discovery and the use of it’s power.

There are those who made this discovery and have used this power to create large amount of wealth. Then, there are those who have made this discovery and have not acted on it.

Then there are those who are just now becoming aware.  Now that you are beginning to develop this understanding, what are you going to do with it?  What kind of lifestyle do you wish to manifest?

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Change Your Circumstances; Do Something Different!

Live Your Dream

You Can’t Change Your Circumstances By Doing the Same Things. In order to get a different outcome, you must change the way you are doing things. You can’t expect a better environment or circumstances when you continue to do the same things the same way. OK, I think you got the point.

Anyway, what I am trying to convey is a well known Universal Law, called Cause and Effect. The law simply states; For every effect, there is a cause. Therefore there is a cause for any and all of your circumstances, as well as the environment in which you live.

Now comes the hard part, and that is accepting that YOU are the cause! We all have a tendency to place blame everywhere but on ourselves. In the allegory of Adam and Eve, Adam placed blame on Eve for his disobedience. We all have a tendency to look for others to blame.

You are the cause! Being created in the “image and likeness of God” makes you a part of Universal Spirit (God is omnipresent). A part of anything possesses the same substance and qualities of that from which it comes. Remember the “Kingdom of God is within”.

All power including the power to change things comes from within. Now ask yourself:

    • Are you happy with your circumstances/environment?

    • Are you happy with your job? 

    • Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck?

    • Are you tired of working 60 hours per week just to make ends meet?

    • Are you tired of just being the consumer?

    • Are you tired of spending your whole paycheck on bills?

If you are dissatisfied with your answers to any of these questions, you need to change the way you are doing things. Change the way you think!

Explore your options, consider your purpose, and your God-given gifts and talents. Find your niche and create a better experience. You are individualized Spirit, placed on earth with a purpose to create something. Look around you, everything you see that is not animal, vegetable or mineral was created by man acting in harmony with Universal Spirit.

My new creation is an internet marketing business called “Digital Age Professionals”. I have found that the internet marketing platform provides me the opportunity to participate in a global economy, offering unlimited income potential, all while living a lifestyle of freedom.

Acting within my purpose which is to help people, I believe in the greatest good for the greatest number. I am offering you the opportunity to join me and help to make a change “one person at a time, from the inside out” Click the banner below to launch your new lifestyle at no cost! Let your journey begin!

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Change Your Lifestyle! Prostitution is Illegal!

If you work a regular 9 to 5 job, you are a prostitute and your boss is a pimp. You provide the service for pennies, and he makes the big bucks. It is time for a change. It is time for a lifestyle change.

This economy is wholly based on consumerism. We trade our time for money so we can buy stuff. We always want more stuff so we invest more time to get more stuff. Then we have no time for the important things in life, our family.

Think about your job and your situation.

  • Does it really provide the lifestyle you want?
  • Are you compensated adequately for doing the job you do?
  • Are you sacrificing family time?
  • Do you have job security?
  • Are you tired of doing your job, and everybody else job?

If you continue to do the same thing, you get the same results. So you must make changes to create a better outcome. So how do you change your situation?

We were born to create. Consider your gifts and talents. Now, consider your passion. These should lead you to your purpose. Your purpose should be your gift to the universe.

Your Dream

Now consider starting your own business. Consider a business that can be built around your purpose that will enable you to shed your chains, and still provide the lifestyle you were born to live.

Technology has changed the whole landscape of Entrepreneurship. We now live in a “digital age”. This age of transformation allows us the opportunity to remove your shackles, and step into the lifestyle of the “Rich and Famous”.

This digital age opens the door to a virtually unlimited income, by extending your market area to encompass the whole world.

Step forward and begin your journey. Your “laptop lifestyle”, awaits.

BEGIN HERE!

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