Just click blue buttons to join a workshop - all major cards accepted. Paypal also accepted for 1-1 lessons.
20151231 Hamilton Firefighter Patrick Wolterman funeral ©Malinda Hartong

Hamilton Color Guard and Patrick Wolterman’s crew accompany his Engine 25 for his last ride at Spring Grove Cemetery.  ©Malinda Hartong

Taking time at the close of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 to divert from teaching photography to photojournalism, family, future.

Waking up Monday, we were expecting a quiet week with visits and fellowship with local and distant friends. But almost immediately I learned about the tradegy in Hamilton overnight. We had lost another member of our fire and police family in 2015, our 3rd just this year.

Even though Glenn & I don’t personally get to know every one of them/you, we have become friends with so many over the last decades, and it’s a very close family. Shooting news, we’re there for everything – cadets, weddings, retirements, and memorials, fires, floods, and more. There has been too much tragedy in 2015. (more…)

How to Focus Your Nikon Digital SLR

20121124-063952.jpg

Moving subjects – switch to CONTINUOUS focus mode – constantly adjusts & tracks subject as you 1/2 press shutter button.

Factory settings can be very frustrating when it comes to focusing your Nikon Digital SLR Camera where YOU want.

Explaining what the buttons do together can get a little complicated but here goes. Afterward with some practice you’ll be able to change them to suit your subject and get many more successful sharp shots of your subjects.
(more…)

20121124-063952.jpg

Fix Focus On Your Digital SLR Canon Camera

Factory settings can be confusing and very frustrating when it comes to focusing your Canon DSLR, and explaining what all 3 buttons do together can get a little complicated but here goes. Hopefully afterward you’ll be able to change them to suit your subject and get more successful shots. It just takes practice…
(more…)

Which Photo Editing Program Should I Use?

I get this question quite a bit: Photoshop or Lightroom?

Yes. Ok, I’m not really kidding. Stick with me here… It does depend on what you shoot as well as how much time you want to be chained to your computer, or if you want to Edit on the Go with your tablet. Plus do you want to “rent” your software or own it? Let’s start with Lightroom from Adobe, then Photoshop, then Photoshop Elements and the basic difference between them, then a quick HOORAY for tablet editing.

before-after-pam

Photoshop major retouching to remove shadow on face and heal hand (way too bright).

Why I Love Lightroom

  1. speed. it’s quick to edit a TON of images in a short amount of time IF you’re not removing large objects from your shots. Copying color, contrast, exposure, noise reduction, sharpening, from 1 photo to several hundred in just a few clicks??? YES please! Presets are life changing!
  2. small footprint. Because Lightroom only remembers what you want to do with an image and doesn’t DO it until you export, photos take up as much less hard drive space since I have fewer copies. Exporting is coffee break & stretching time 🙂  Oh, and want a color AND a black & white of the same shot? NO problem – just make virtual copies to apply different edits to the same original photo – it duplicates the preview so it doesn’t take up tons of room.
  3. organization. Like a card catalog for my photos, I can place any photo into collections, keep track by client, event, date, keyword, favorites,… easily sort a photo shoot, and more.
  4. compare side by side. I LOVE this feature -you can see before/after editing as well as compare one shot to another to check sharpness, expression,… I really miss this in current versions of some other options I use.
  5. MOBILE. With the $9.99 Photoshop & Lightroom subscription from Adobe, I can sync collections on my iPad and do quick edits on the go, plus show my work, even share to someone’s email from my iPad since the preview is available (not the full size image – that’s on my hard drive).
Retouching using Photoshop (CS6 OR Elements 10-12), and Nik Sunlight filter plus contrast color range. Lessons available in person or virtual. Hartong Digital Media. Malinda Hartong, 20 years experience, NAPP member (National Association of Photoshop Professionals). ©Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc. Cincinnati Ohio

Start in Lightroom, Finish in Photoshop.

Why I Love Photoshop (full version)

Yes Photoshop is complicated. You can do ANYTHING with it. Everyone has different needs. I’m just sharing a bit of what I do with it… I’ve used it since version 4. NOT CS4, really 4. No I don’t know how long ago that was. Back in the dark ages for sure! 🙂

  1. SERIOUS photo editing – for getting up close and personal with pixel by pixel serious retouching (almost) nothing beats Photoshop.
  2. advanced graphic design – I use photoshop for all my posters, flyers, business cards,… hey, 20 years of practice and you can do quite a bit.

Whats the difference between Photoshop & Photoshop Elements?

  1. $$$ – the simple answer – dollars! To get “big” Photoshop requires a monthly subscription, is always updated, and comes WITH Lightroom. You might be able to OWN Elements for $60 – period. Upgrades for Elements are almost as much as buying new but hey, it’s still pretty cheap!
  2. Photoshop Elements is like Photoshop with training wheels. There are some editing features that you have less control but SO many of the features I use in “big” Photoshop are now available in Elements (though some don’t work as well).
  3. What I miss in Elements vs Big Photoshop – curves & type tools! While curves is hiding in Elements, its not nearly as powerful.

Both Photoshop (PS) & Elements (PSE) vs Lightroom (LR)

  1. better selection tools & retouching. If I want to edit specific parts of any image, PS or PSE work much better. Layers, masking allow for amazing editing. So PS is better for minute details and retouching than Lightroom. But you CAN do an acceptable job in Lightroom as well – major improvements in recent versions.
  2. PS & PSE are way slower and use much more hard drive space! While I can copy adjustments from one image to another it’s much more labor intensive in Photoshops.
  3. I have to open EACH IMAGE individually or batch edit in Photoshops. Please send food to my desk while I’m chained to the computer!
Learn TONS of hidden tricks on your iPad

Learn TONS of hidden tricks on your iPad

Bottom Line – Which Photo Editing Program Should I use?

So – if you want to ORGANIZE your images, sort into groups, compare side by side – you can use Lightroom or Photoshop Elements – no clear winner.

If you want to apply the same edits to MANY photos at one time – Lightroom – hands down! If you shoot hundreds of images per shoot, Lightroom ROCKS! But you will probably need some version of Photoshop to go with it as a ‘companion’ for really intricate healing as well as text stuff, if you ever do that stuff.

If you’re a casual editor and don’t need high end graphics or tiny details fixed, Elements will work JUST FINE rather than needing big Photoshop. Save your $$ and avoid the subscription.

If you want to edit on the gosubscribe to Lightroom & PS, get Lightroom Mobile & Photoshop Fix on your iPad.
OR use my favorite apps like Snapped (free!) and Filterstorm on your iPad (especially with an sd card reader) – great for quick edits on the go.

I hope this helps! If you want to learn easy pro tricks for ALL of these, join me for a private lesson (in person or virtual) or one of our ongoing group workshops – I’m more than happy to share 20 years of pro secrets that will help you create drop-dead gorgeous images!

 

Big Tips

So for your reward for reading all my hems and haws, here’s what I typically do.

  1. Ingest using Lightroom and pick my favorites (library module), and use Lightroom ingest dialog to add keywords, captions,…
  2. quick edits (develop module) like exposure, contrast, color, vignette with an adjustment brush I made, maybe a bit of ‘iris enhance’ with another adjustment brush preset, sharpening, noise reduction
  3. if i NEED photoshop to do intricate facial retouching or heal power lines,… I’ll ask Lightroom to EDIT IN under the photo menu up top. Lightroom sends it to either Photoshop OR Photoshop Elements – works with either one! Edit and close, saving the image. Photoshop (big or little) sends me back to Lightroom.
  4. Then I get automatically “fixed” one added to that collection in my Lightroom catalog when I close , and I go right to the next photo in Lightroom & keep on editing.

Thanks for visiting! I hope to see you in our next class soon! Check out the photo below edited solely in Lightroom (no extra photoshop needed 🙂

Learn Photo Editing
lightroom before after

Lightroom only. Petals healed, bee shadows dodged, increased the magenta saturation and sharpened in LR

“Pool” Photographer

Pool is a common term in news coverage where 1 photographer or media outlet, still or video (most often 1 of each), is asked to provide images/feed for the rest of the media as opposed to each media outlet having their own crew. In Cincinnati we have 3 newspapers, 4 tv stations, and 2 radio stations – that’s a minimum of 13 people – each needing still images as well as video. Pool is typically used for sensitive events such as large trials, funerals, and the like where having that much media in one location is just not doable. It puts pressure on that single person or team to provide images/video as quickly, professionally, accurately as possible with the best quality for use by local outlets as well as Associated Press and others nationally and worldwide. (more…)

Creating Art from Photos is Easy

I have a few favorite apps for painting my photos on iPad. With the new iPad Pro, I’m really looking forward to the Apple Pencil making this even more amazing!

My favorite app to start this process is Adobe Paint Can – especially since it’s FREE. I’ve recorded this video transforming an image into a painting. Final touches will be completed in another app. I’ll add more info on that soon.

No artistic skill required. No mess either. You can work on paintings anywhere, anytime.

Painting Photos on iPad on Vimeo.

iPad Photo Painting Tips

  • Start with a large brush and gradually decrease brush size.
  • Start with a very large brush with lots of texture to create an interesting background.
  • If the brush size itself does not change, pinch to zoom in.
  • Use smaller brushes for finer details, especially eyes and faces
  • Vary textures for more interest – choose different brush types
  • Vary opacity of brush to blend, especially when blending background
  • Don’t crop – you can always crop later. It’s usually better to have some room around your subject, especially if you’re going to order a canvas gallery wrap (like from MPix)

Visit our Girls Night Out page for more on iPad Photo Painting Parties for groups of 4 or more. Use your images or ours.

iPad Painting Party

ipad-paint-hartong

Photos from the annual photo walk – Smale Riverfront Park, The Banks, Fountain Square.

[flickr_set id=”72157659431773571″]

 

See more at Flickr

Woodlawn Multi-Alarm Apartment Fire

The problem with being married to a photojournalist, and being one yourself, is you never know…

Multi-alarm Woodlawn apartment fire ©Malinda & Glenn Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc

Multi-alarm Woodlawn apartment fire ©Malinda & Glenn Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc

The best news photographers take the Boyscout Motto of Always Be Prepared to heart – like a divine directive. And the best news photographers are never really ever “off”, even when they’re “supposed” to be on “vacation” (like Glenn at this particular moment).

  • always have a long telephoto and a wide lens available on camera bodies
  • always have batteries charged & handy, and spares if possible (especially in winter)
  • always have media cards with room (spares too)
  • always reset your camera to “default” when you put it back in the vehicle, which for us means ISO 400, A or P mode (depending on if we’re talking Malinda or Glenn had the camera last), 0 exposure compensation, large jpeg file*, auto white balance*, center point focus**, AF-S**, high speed continuous motor drive*. We always have time to reset buttons putting the cameras away, so we know what they’re set on when we pull them out – like at today’s fire.
    *never changes. ** almost never changes
  • always have bottled water & snacks (for the firefighters as well as us if at all possible)
  • always have safety vests (2! one for each of us), as well as other safety stuff like flash lights, fire extinguisher, boots of some kind (sensible & protective shoes ladies!), rain gear (heavy duty!), and for me – sunscreen, bug bite medicine, bug spray, bandaids as I’m always at the park)

So when we saw a command SUV careening through Springdale closely followed by West Chester’s engine, of course I had to follow it, after I blocked the intersection and waited for them to pass – waving wildly at the idiot who ran the light with them coming through! About a block later we saw the large column of dark smoke, knowing immediately it was more than just 1 house on fire (2o years of practice after all). While I changed shoes and gathered the 4 waters that were handy, Glenn headed for the fire with a Nikon D7000 with a 300 zoom and a D600 with a 24-85.

We’ve uploaded a gallery of 80 images from the fire with very basic toning in Lightroom (most untouched), shot by both of us. To see the settings, view the info or exif data. And remember to thank your local firefighters – and GET OUT OF THE WAY so they can save someone’s dog as well as their home!

Flickr Album [flickr_set id=”72157657215015148″]

 

World Wide Photo Walk with the Hartongs

World Wide Photo Walk with the Hartongs

Cincinnati & N Kentucky World Wide Photo Walk 2015

October 3, 2015
8:45AM meetup with group photo at 9am near the Lager House
12:00PM Lunch at The Banks eatery of your choice
Destination: Smale Riverfront Park & Fountain Square
Map address for parking: 120 East Mehring Way, Cincinnati 45202

WALKER REGISTRATION

bridge-wwpw2014

What to Bring:

  • (any) camera with lots of fresh fast media cards
  • jacket & gloves – it’s windy by the river. Plus it’s Cincinnati – you never know what to expect in October!
  • $ for parking (click park link above) & lunch – Rates as posted on parks website 8/10/1: 1st hour $3; 2nd hour $5, 3rd hour $7; Daily maximum or 4 hours $9 – special event rate varies as posted. (our personal fave are bbq cheeseburgers from Moerlein Lager House)
  • Wide lens for Scenery shots
  • Telephoto lens for “street” photography, flowers, & Fountain Square details
  • Walking shoes & comfy clothes – we’ll be stair climbing, concrete walking, photo shooting crazy people for 3 hours! 🙂  If you’re not a stairs fan – feel free to hang at the park – easy access to TONS of photo ops right there.  (remember last year with me on crutches???)
  • Friends & family! They can walk along with us (& maybe sweet talk them into helping carry gear), or hang out at the park & join you for lunch. They don’t need to register unless they’re participating. Check out Smale link above for TONS of family activities!
  • Bad weather like pouring rain? punt! Kidding. We’ll shoot for Sunday 10/4.

Share on Flickr!

Be sure to check out photos from WWPW 2014 & WWPW 2013! After you register, join the group for 2015 here. Flickr gives you oodles of storage free – plus you can see the data used to take the photo – very handy! See some photos at the bottom of the page!

WALKER REGISTRATION

Directions & Things to Do

Click image to download jpeg map. Stay tuned to the blog – I’ll post some “things to do” while you’re downtown. 🙂

smale-wwpw


Shoot First – Edit Later

Whether you’re using a smart phone or other camera, I always recommend get the best detail in your image in straight color with no extra filters first. You can always edit it later, and create a wide variety of looks from any image.
Here are a few tips I follow every time I’m shooting, no matter what it is.

  1. Walk around or move your camera around your subject to find the best background. Using a smart phone up close to your subject includes an interesting background.
    To reduce distractions in a busy background, zoom in with a “big” camera.
  2. FOCUS! You might think it goes without saying but many folks don’t know they can adjust focus on their phones simply by touching on their subject on the screen before taking photos.
  3. EXPOSURE – many apps and cameras have exposure adjustments to help you get the shot YOU want to take instead of the camera’s “happy medium” average exposure. This varies with each type of camera. If you’re using an iPhone, try touching anywhere on the screen and slide your finger up/down.
  4. Skip the filters! If I get a great shot – I want it in color, even if I’m going to make a black & white from it later. My favorite app has color filters just like in the old days to make certain colors appear lighter or darker – really amazing for both landscapes & for people! If I shoot it in black and white IN CAMERA I’ve lost that major feature of my editing app!
    Edit Later! I love editing on my iPad.

Check out more about that and our upcoming On the Go Photo Workshops for in-depth shooting & editing classes using any smart phone or tablet.

On the Go Workshops

If you’re using a “big camera”, you might want an SD card reader

Photos on the Go Smart Phone Photography Workshops - Great Parks of Hamilton County Parks led by Freelance Photojournalist & Photo Instructor Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc. Various apps and lenses allow you to create amazing photos when you shoot for detail and in color without filters - Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, Android, iPad, and more.  © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

Shot on Nikon SLR, edited on iPad. © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

from Apple to import your photos onto iPad.

Photos on the Go Smart Phone Photography Workshops - Great Parks of Hamilton County Parks led by Freelance Photojournalist & Photo Instructor Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc. Various apps and lenses allow you to create amazing photos when you shoot for detail and in color without filters - Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, Android, iPad, and more.  © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

I shot this in color with iPhone6 , edited on iPad, and printed a beautiful 16×20 at MPix. © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

Photos on the Go Smart Phone Photography Workshops - Great Parks of Hamilton County Parks led by Freelance Photojournalist & Photo Instructor Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc. Various apps and lenses allow you to create amazing photos when you shoot for detail and in color without filters - Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, Android, iPad, and more.  © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

You can even make a tinted look on iPad with a free app. © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

Photos on the Go Smart Phone Photography Workshops - Great Parks of Hamilton County Parks led by Freelance Photojournalist & Photo Instructor Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc. Various apps and lenses allow you to create amazing photos when you shoot for detail and in color without filters - Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, Android, iPad, and more.  © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

Get detail in the photo first, then add saturation and adjust later. © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

Photos on the Go Smart Phone Photography Workshops - Great Parks of Hamilton County Parks led by Freelance Photojournalist & Photo Instructor Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc. Various apps and lenses allow you to create amazing photos when you shoot for detail and in color without filters - Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, Android, iPad, and more.  © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

Avoid adding filters when shooting – if you press the little 3 circle icon on the iPhone (here bottom left in landscape orientation), choose NONE in the center to avoid adding a filter when shooting your photo © Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media llc.

 

 

4 Star Cincinnati Photo Walk

Limited time! Now through July 18, 2015 only!
wwpw_hartong009Family & Friends 4 Star Photo Walk!
Bring any camera & meet me downtown for a group photo walk with up to 4 family/friends. Learn cool pro photo tips for your smart phone, point & shoot, or any other camera. I have handouts for most popular camera models, including iPhone.
Choose a special location:
  • Fountain Square – meet me near Graeter’s Ice Cream – and try some – it’s amazing! Their candies are delish too – amazing dark chocolate. 511 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Smale Riverfront Park – meet me by Moerlein Lager House – park below on Mehring Way for easy access to all the attractions nearby. 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Covington’s Riverside Street – gorgeous views of Cincinnati’s skyline. Meet me at George Rogers Clark Park
$199 no additional travel fees required for up to 4. Book below with PayPal or any credit card – just click a day. Cancellation fee of $25 if cancelled at least 24 hours before appointment.