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Going on a Winter Photography Quest: Tips and Advice

January 12th, 2015

winter treesThis winter is proving to be quite a cold and snowy one in many parts of the US and the World. While the cold weather can be annoying, all that snow and frost provides lots of great photography opportunities. Just grab your camera, switch on your imagination and create your personal winter wonderland. And to make sure you succeed, here are some tips from DropShots.

1. Plan Your Route

When you go on a photography excursion during the summer months, you have the luxury of warm weather and long hours of daylight. Winter doesn’t give you all that, so you’ll need to plan your route in advance. Try to find places that look good in snow. This could be a park with its benches and lampposts, or something more rural where you can spot a snow-covered barn. It’s up to you to choose, but you need to plan your trip to catch the maximum amount of daylight. Read the rest of this entry »

DropShots Wishes You Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

December 24th, 2014

Merry ChristmasChristmas is nearly here and the year 2014 is coming to an end. We want to wish all those who celebrate Christmas a very merry one, and those who celebrate other holidays lots of light and joy during this festive season!

This year has been full of changes here on DropShots – we’ve redesigned the whole site and added lots of new features. It’s become easier to upload, share, comment on photos, as well as protect private albums and find friends on DropShots. We’ve also made the site responsive, so that you can visit it from any mobile device and get an awesome experience.

We’ve also partnered with Walgreens and made it possible for you to order professional photo prints and pick them up at your nearest Walgreens store. We are now working on adding more pickup locations. And now we’re working on a new feature that will let you create and order photobooks, large prints, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Out Your DropShots Photos with Walgreens and Kodak

December 2nd, 2014

Today we’ve got some really exciting news to all our users – you can now print out your photos using Walgreens and Kodak. This means that you can order high-quality affordable prints and pick them up at your nearest Walgreens or Target store, sometimes even the same day. In this post we’re going to show you how to order your Walgreens or Kodak prints.

How to Order Walgreens Prints

Ordering prints is really easy. First of all, you’ll need to open the photo you want to print. Then click on the hamburger menu in the top right corner and click on the printer icon:

order prints Read the rest of this entry »

Three Tips for Better Autofocus

November 19th, 2014

tilt shift little villageIf you’ve just got yourself a shiny new dSLR, you may have trouble getting sharp photos. You will discover that your camera’s autofocus has a mind of its own and often “misses” the things you want to photograph. In this article I’m going to share with you three tips for better autofocus and sharper photos.

1. Use the Right Focus Mode

Your dSLR (and even your compact camera) gives you a choice of several focus modes. You should choose the mode depending on what you’re taking a photo of.

If you’re shooting a still subject (landscape, portrait, still life and so on), you should enable AF-S (on a Nikon) or One-Shot autofocus on a Canon. When this mode is on, your camera will focus on a subject and it will keep the focus even if you move the camera to recompose the shot.

If you are shooting a moving subject, like a car or a person playing sports, you should select the AF-C (for Nikon where “C” stands for continuous) or Al Servo autofocus. With this mode on, your camera will track the moving subject and keep it in focus. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Avoid Blurry Photos

November 12th, 2014

blurry photoSo you’ve been talking photos of something exceptionally beautiful or interesting, and then you upload them to your computer and see that they are blurry and good-for-nothing. That’s a huge disappointment that happens to even the best photographers, but most of the time this happens to beginners. In this article we’re going to tell you how to avoid blurry photos altogether.

Adjust Your Shutter Speed

The most common reason for blurry photos is too slow shutter speed. This usually happens when you are shooting in conditions where there is not enough light, so your camera adjust the shutter speed to match the low light conditions. The problem is that it’s next to impossible to hold absolutely still for even as little as 30 seconds. As a result, you get a blurry throw-away shot even if you are using a lens with an optical stabilizer.

To fix this, you have to adjust your shutter speed to avoid camera shake. It’s easy when you are using a dSLR. The right shutter speed depends on several factors, such as the size of your lens, light conditions and even the way you hold your camera. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Take Better Holiday Photos

November 5th, 2014

The holiday season is almost here, so soon all of us will grab our phones and cameras to shoot some holiday photos. If you look at your photos from last year, you may find that a lot of them didn’t turn out as well as you’d have liked – some are blurry, some are too dark, some look terrible because of the flash, and some are just not what you wanted them to be. But don’t worry, this year we at DropShots are going to give you some tips that will help you take better holiday photos.

1. Avoid Using the Flash by Adjusting Your ISO

In many situations, it’s OK to use your camera’s automatic mode. But if you’re shooting indoor holiday photos, your camera will most likely start using the flash. This will result in unnatural colors and nasty shadows on people’s faces. Simply disabling the flash is not an option because your photos may become out of focus. The solution is to switch your camera to program mode and adjust the ISO settings. Setting your ISO higher will let your camera use less light and help you avoid the flash. Don’t set the ISO too high, though, because it will result in grainy images. Just make sure you practice adjusting ISO setting beforehand and you’ll have red-eye-free photos filled with warmth. Read the rest of this entry »

Essential Tips for Meaningful Street Photography

October 29th, 2014

Many people say that they are into street photography. To tell you the truth, most of them just have dozens of photos of people walking down the street. Sometimes these people even look slightly interesting. But capturing people walking is not enough for quality street photography. In this post I’m going to share with you some essential tips that will help you take meaningful and interesting street photos.

Capture a Story

What makes street photography interesting and captivating? A pretty face? A nice background? Not really. It’s the story that you capture. Look at people walking and try to see beyond their clothes and hairstyle. Try to see an emotion, an idea – something that tells a story and makes the viewer look at the photo and think about the people in it. What’s just happened to them? What’s going to happen next? Your photo has to speak to the viewer. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Common Mistakes Newbie Photographers Make

October 22nd, 2014

common photography mistakesJust like most things in life, photography is a skill that can be improved. Newbies often make subtle mistakes that spoil their photos and have no idea how to fix them. In this post we are going to go through five common mistakes beginner photographers make.

1. The Horizon Line Is Not Straight

This is the most common mistake I’ve seen in many photos, including my own. True, you can fix this later on using software, but that will crop your image. As a result, you may lose something you intended to be in your shot or will have to stick to the original one with the tilted horizon. To fix this problem, always make sure your camera is not tilted. You can use references in your composition, like a wall or a tree, to make your images look straight. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips for Choosing Your Best Photos

October 15th, 2014

sorting your photosWhat’s the most time-consuming and frustrating part of photography? If you ask me, it’s sorting through your shots trying to choose your best photos. All those unedited photos look so similar and there is so much junk that it’s easy to get annoyed and leave your images as an unsorted digital pile. Worse still, you spend hours looking at your photos, agonizing which ones to keep and which to delete. If this sounds familiar, read on and hopefully these tips will help!

1. Don’t Let Unsorted Photos Accumulate

The worst mistake photographers make is when they let shots from different sessions accumulate in one bloated “Unsorted” folder. Make it a habit to sort through your photos as soon as you come back from a session, so that unsorted photos don’t accumulate.

Another thing to remember is to avoid taking too many shots in the first place. If you still remember the days of film cameras, imagine that you don’t have the luxury of unlimited storage space and compose your photos well before you release the shutter. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Beginner Tips for Landscape Photography

October 7th, 2014

Do you browse Pinterest and repin all those breathtaking landscape photos thinking that you’ll never be able to create anything like that? Actually, shooting great landscapes is not that hard. Here are four tips that will help you get started.

1. Find a Location

Location is key to great landscape photography. To be fair, if you live somewhere where there are no photographic opportunities for landscapes, you can’t expect to shoot anything spectacular. So you may need to research interesting and beautiful locations near where you live and plan a trip. Google will help you plan your trip – search for the place where you live and check out the image search to get inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »