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Archive | July, 2014

1 Vital Tip for Creativity by Olivia L’Estrange-Bell

Just a little over two weeks ago, I completed my third 365 Photography Project.

This photograph (below) marked the 365th day

it also marked my 1,095th day if you count my two previous 365 projects

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Here I am cantering my horse, Tigerlily without a bridle – showcasing another part of my life, where I spend a lot of time training horses with Parelli Natural Horsemanship. For non-horsey readers, being able to ride Tigerlily like this, with the same amount of control & directional-control is immensely difficult and takes years of training. 

I know, you’re thinking, “THREE?! That’s just crazy!” and it is – I had no idea I could complete one 365 project, let alone two… but three? Unbelievable.

I did a scary calculation, and realised that, these three projects combined, meant that

I had spent 1,095 days thinking about photography

and 1,095 days asking myself this same old question, day in and day out:-

“What am I going to do today?”

Each project was different, some parts were easier, some harder. However…14436550704_114f4b40c5_z

the constraints of the project meant I pushed my own boundaries, and did things I wouldn’t have thought about…

Which brings me to the point of this post… Boundaries, constraints and restrictions.

Constraints Create Creativity

First let me just say that I’m not suggesting you take on your own 365 project – but if you do want to, then I suggest getting this eBook to help you.

What I am suggesting you do, is try to look at your constraints, and love them… and if you don’t have any real constraints, create them.

How Constraints can Help you

Embrace your constraints – may they be physical, economic, or self-imposed. They will challenge you, and push you, and help you to see and do things that you may not ever do, or may have missed if you had all the freedom, equipment, and locations in the world.

Constraints are challenging, and really provocative. They make your mind stretch and work harder than if everything was handed to you on a silver platter. So, love your constraints. Embrace them. They made me better, and they will make you better. Beyond belief.

My restraint was that I forced myself to capture 1 photography every day for an entire year – and two more years thereafter.

also branched out and constrained myself to a limiting 100 Jump Photographs Project which meant I had to make jump photographs look creative and different, 100 times over.

What a challenge.

But what an achievement – it was my most popular project and almost all of the jump photographs have been used in the press, to endorse brands, products and more.13432824175_102d5a855a_z

Our Self-Imposed Constraints

We have tried NOT constraining ourselves, and have found that it’s a bit of a disaster – lack of inspiration, lack of motivation kicks in, because there’s no focus, and no real goal, other than the basic “improve” goal… which is ok, but not very provocative.

So we have stuck to constricting projects, of which are:-

  • 365 Photography Project (6 in total, divided by 3 of us – Olivia = 3, Sasha = 2, Rosanna = 1 )
  • 260 Photography Project (5 photos per week, 1 year. Sasha = 1 *in progress)
  • 100 Jump Photographs Project (No time limit, but 100 photographs of people jumping. Olivia = 1)
  • 50 Autumn Photographs (Capture autumn in 50 photographs. Sasha = 1)
  • 100 Quote Photographs Project (Inspiring quotes matched with photographs for a visual impact. Sasha = 1 *in progress)
  • 70 Summer Memories Project (title speaks for itself. Olivia *in progress)
  • 104 Photography Project (2 photos per week. Rosanna = 1 *in progress)

Along with these projects, we’ve also limited ourselves to certain photograph locations. Part of this is because of a time-constraint. We don’t have so much time that we can travel all over the country all the time – so we stuck to a few good locations, which actually helped us, because we learnt about the weather, how you can use it to impact your photographs, and get creative in one spot.

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Self-Imposed Constraints – Ideas for you

So, although it’s contradictory – constraints do help you to become more creative, and do more, even though you have less, or have less options. Whether you apply this to a location, equipment, timeframe, models… the options are endless, but the opportunity is boundless.14745913281_e05cf424c2_z

A way to impose some constraints on yourself is by doing set projects. Here are a few ideas you can work from:-

  • Theme based project, such as “Fairytale” restricted.
  • Number based project with specific subject, such as “30 Self-Portraits’
  • Consistent project, daily, weekly, monthly – such as “52 Project, 365 Project”
  • Equipment Constraints (such as a series of photos only taken with a particular lens)

Whether you restrict yourself to a certain timeframe, subject, or equipment, the idea is that by constraining yourself, you will get more creative.

Trust me, it works.

But it isn’t necessarily easy. But the results are ten times more productive, and powerful than when you don’t try this method.

Try it, and let us know how you get on.

Need help with a project you’re doing?

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If you’re about to attempt a 365 project, or something similar, as mentioned above. Or if you’re already doing one, then take a look at our 365 Photography Project eBook – it’s a guide to challenging yourself with a constraining project, whether you do an actual 365, or something else, the eBook is packed full with valuable information we have gathered over the past 5 years of project experience.

Check out “How to: 365 Photography Project” eBook.

This will really help you to avoid those sticky situations when you have no clue what to do, or what the best composition is, or what to photograph, or how to photograph something. It’s a complete guide to photography, and a challenging project.

I’ll let the page do the talking; find out what’s inside the eBook, and how it can help you, even if you don’t want to do a big project like we have – it’s a total guide to your DSLR, how to use it to the best of anyone’s ability, and how to dramatically become a stunning photography, in any field of photography.

“How To: 365 Days of Photography Project” 

http://direct.thebellsisters.com/how-to-365-photography-project

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10 Advantages To Using “The Sunflares Pack”

Advantage 1: Better Sunsets

A great advantage you get with The Sunflares Pack is you can create better, more powerful looking sunsets.

Below are two images that were taken at sunset, however we added the sunflares to them to increase the strength of the sunset – so they look bigger and more vibrant!

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 Advantage 2: No More Dull Light

No longer do you have to settle for photographs with dull light, you can simply add a burst of natural looking sunshine to an image that has flat light that can look so much better  and exciting while still looking real.

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 Advantage 3: Rainbow Flares

Adding rainbow flares is very easy with The Sunflares Pack. They can look amazing when applied to photographs that already have sunlight in them or photographs with natural brightness.

The photographs below are a prime example of what the effect looks like – the ideal place to position a rainbow flare is the bottom right/left corner of the image like we have done.

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Advantage 4: Replacing Dark Areas with Sunshine

Another advantage to using The Sunflares Pack is replacing dark backdrops/areas with sunshine. This picture I took of our whippet lying down by the flower bed was pretty much “picture perfect” she looks great, composition is good etc but I wasn’t happy with the dark background in the right hand corner so I added a sunflare to it.

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 Advantage 5: Golden Hour Effect

The golden hour effect can be achieved using the “The Multiply Effect” which is setting the blending layer(s) in Photoshop (or any other software program which allows you to add layers to an image, such as Gimp and others) to multiply.

“Multiply” is one of the darkening modes – so if you’re using any other program, set the layer to a darken mode if the word “Multiply” is not there.

Once you have done this, you may want to lower the opacity to make it less strong, this effect works very well for photographs with a white sky or photos which are looking quite dull and colourless.

The Sunflares for this type of effect are included in the Queen/King Pack with all sort of shapes and colours to keep things interesting!

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 Advantage 6:  The “Peeking” Effect

Don’t you just love it when the sun peeks through the trees, behind a door or through a window? It’s pretty irresistible! This effect is easily achieved with The Sunflares Pack, along with all the previous effects mentioned so far.

Here are two pictures showing you what we mean by the “peeking” effect:

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Advantage 7: Gorgeous Sunrays

To keep mixing up the effects, so the sunflares look unique, here is another thing you can do – daylight sunrays.

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 Advantage 8: Bright Portraits

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 Advantage 9: Beams of Sunshine

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 Advantage 10: More “Feeling” In The Photographs

Not only do the the Sunflares improve the light in the photographs and make them look more beautiful, they also add a lot of atmosphere and feeling to each picture. You don’t have to wait for the perfect moment, with The Sunflares Pack you can take the moment and make it perfect.

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How To Get The Sunflares Pack

The Sunflares Pack is easily available to get on our website, and you can start with our very popular “Starter” pack if you’re nervous about trying something new. You can always upgrade at any time without paying twice.

Click the link below to get it and to see before and afters:

direct.thebellsisters.com/the-sunflares-pack

1 Year 100% Satmoneyback-300x300isfaction Guarantee

We believe you will love our products and find great value in them as we do, and hundreds of other photographers around the world.

However to give you confidence in purchasing from us, we have a 100% Satisfaction or Money-Back-Guarantee which can be taken up with us in the first 12 months of your purchase.

So just like all of our products, The Sunflares Pack comes with a 1 Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

For more information on this guarantee click here: http://direct.thebellsisters.com/product-guarantee/

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The 7 Things Successful Photographers Have in Common

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Click the link below, then you will be on another one of our pages, where you can see exactly what’s inside our gift and download it RIGHT NOW!

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23 Beautiful Portraits to Inspire You this Summer

Summer is a fabulous time to take portraits, but it’s easy to feel uninspired sometimes, or even overwhelmed when there are so many different options – so here we have collected 23 Beautiful Portraits to Inspire You this Summer.

Scroll down to see the photographs and start getting portrait inspired!

Feeling Cheeky

Golden Hour Self-Portrait

Lying in the Warm Grass

Summer Slumber

Playful Skipping through Fields

Embrace Summer - Day 316/365

Windswept

Windy?

Early Morning

I'm in a haze... Day 81/365 (explore highest pos #5)

Running Carefree

Embracing Life - Day 332/365

Playful

Puppy Cuddles - Day 8/365

Enjoy the View

Timeless View - Day 275/365

Friendship

Best Friends

Capture Freedom

Summer Freedom - Day 104/365

Enjoying the Beach

Watching The Waves

Sunny Glow

Sunkissed

Embracing the Summer Rain

Still smiling, even in the rain - Day 209/365

Thoughtful Pose

Summer Warmth - Day 204/365

Enjoy a Book

Summer Reading - Day 216/365

Bicycle Ride

Summer Walks

Savouring a Moment

Time for Reflection - Day 323/365

Love is… Family

Sisters - Day 334/365

Sunlit Portrait

Summer Glow - Day 54/365

Cosy with Nature

Summer Time - Day 87/260

Laid Back

Sunbathing

Love the Rain

Rainy Days - Day 280/365

Sleepy

Cuddle Time - Day 327/365

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The 7 Things Successful Photographers Have in Common

Take the first step to becoming a better photographer, sign up to our most incredible free gift ever.

The value in this gift we are about to give you is worth £61 (that’s $98 USD), but you can get it for free today and immediately start improving!

Click the link below, then you will be on another one of our pages, where you can see exactly what’s inside our gift and download it RIGHT NOW!

Click HERE to get your Free Download

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If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends, and other photographers by clicking one of the “Share Buttons” below; whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

By sharing this post you’re helping other photographers with their goals and helping us reach our goal, of helping as many photographers as we can turn their dreams into reality by helping them become better and more savvy with their photography.

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My Newest Photographs, with The Sunflares Pack – Before & After Examples

With my third 365 Project (i. e. take a photograph everyday for a year) still going on, I’m constantly uploading new photographs, and recently there’s been a trend where many of those photographs are edited with the newest addition to our product range; The Sunflares Pack.

It’s something I’ve been using on and off for the past two years, spending many hours experimenting with the effects and how to get the best results.

As I post these new photographs online, I’m inundated with requests to see the before / after examples, and requests for tips on how best to apply the sunflares to images to make them look as best as possible.

So in this short post I thought I would share some new before & after examples, and some older ones, which are rather dramatic…!

use the arrows on the left & right of the photos to click forward & backwards

All of the photographs “before” the sunflare have been processed in Lightroom – so they’re not totally raw. However this is pretty much my routine:-

1. Import my photographs into Lightroom

2. Edit them

3. Export the photographs into a dated folder, such as:- 2014_01_01

4. Any photographs I think would suit a sunflare, I open in Photoshop.

5. I then go through the sunflare images I have, and try a few, until I find the one which suits the photograph in question.

I’ll even add 2-3 sunflares, depending on what type of effect I want – what I love about the sunflares is that they’re totally customizable – one sunflare is nice and subtle, another is seriously powerful.

Then there are different types, so you can add a little warm glow, and then some rainbow flare as well – which means every sunflare on every photograph can look unique and as realistic as possible.

Try “The Sunflares Pack”

If you haven’t already got your copy of The Sunflares Pack, which is compatible with Photoshop, Gimp, Photoshop Elements etc. Then I highly recommend you give it a try.

There is a nice and affordable pack called “Starter Pack”, which you can try, and if you want a larger pack later on, you can upgrade without paying twice (our system will email you with this option after you’ve purchased).

The benefits are endless, but just to list a few, see below:

  • They look like real sunshine.
  • They mimic sun flares and sun bursts
  • They add light to images which are somewhat dull.
  • Easy to use
  • Quick to apply
  • Work on almost any photograph – both indoors & outdoors.
  • Suitable for Portraits, Landscapes, Still Life, Nature, Food etc.
  • Large range of colours and strengths of sunflares
  • Totally unique to you as you can customize them easily (instructions to do this are in our “How To Guide”
  • Excellent High Quality Resolution for Printing
  • Suitable for winter, autumn, spring & summer photographs as there are varied sunflares for each season.
  • Suitable for client work – such as wedding photography, portrait sessions, and event photography.

The list really does go on.

Order your copy:-

Take a look at the official The Sunflares Pack page for a lot more Before & After examples. Including full details on what’s inside the packages, what options are available to you, and the additional benefits of using a package like this.

A Bluebell Jump Photograph - edited with The Sunflares Pack.

A Bluebell Jump Photograph – edited with The Sunflares Pack.

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