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Author: Gracie Ryan

1 Jun

Surviving Without a Smartphone in 2015

Smartphones have become a staple in the lives of two thirds of Americans. They have a myriad of uses -- from finding directions to online banking to checking email to stalking exes. For many, smartphones are a crucial tool for staying connected. But the beauty of a smartphone-free life can outweigh the convenience of being constantly plugged in. I’ve worked in photojournalism for the past three years and have traveled internationally by myself -- all without the help of a smartphone. I don’t send Snapchats or post Instagrams or use Google Maps for directions. I’ve gotten lost countless times and have gone days without checking email or Facebook. But despite the occasional inconvenience of navigating through the world without the help of...
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1 Jun

Tackling a Year-Long Self Portrait Project

81 down. 284 to go. I’m halfway through my year-long self portrait project, and I’ve completed a quarter of my goal of 365 self portraits in 365 days. A year of self portraits is a challenge every photographer should undertake. It forces a camera in your hands everyday and requires you to think about how to shoot the same subject in hundreds of different ways. Plus, who else would let you photograph them anytime, day or night, for an entire year? Other than your dog, probably no one. Self portraiture allows for practice with composition, focus and metering. It brings you to new places and forces you to think differently about what can be considered a ‘portrait.’ And over the past six months, I’ve...
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12 May

Shooting the Sun: 5 Techniques for Manipulating Light

Lighting plays a crucial role in photography. It can draw attention to or away from a subject, and sets the tone of a photo. As photographers, we compose pictures around the light. And unless we’re in a photo studio surrounded by portable electronic mini-suns, we have to work with what Mother Nature doles out. It can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five simple techniques for manipulating the sun in photos. 1. Sunburst Creating a sunburst is a great way to incorporate light into photos, especially on cloudless days when the sun is high in the sky. Sunbursts can add an element of interest to landscapes, portraits and detail shots. Creating the effect is easy — it’s all...
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