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About Deviant Artist Gerard CallaghanMale/United Kingdom Recent Activity
Deviant for 6 Years
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Twin Peaks 1 by mjohanson

I think I was drawn to this shot because of the variety of bright saturated colours. This is almost like a picture of two halves, with ...

R 4 by IcToPuZ
R 4
by IcToPuZ

Hi. This is an interesting work with caught my attention. I think the reason for this is the contrast between the near-white walls of t...




Gerard Callaghan
United Kingdom
I'm a keen amateur photographer from Northern Ireland, and have been seriously into photography for over 6 years. I have been developing my technique by reading books, internet sites and largely trial and error.

I am currently learning a lot through feedback on DeviantArt and other websites. Anyone who has viewed my gallery will notice that I have a habit of taking many photos of the same favourite locations. I enjoy seeing how scenes develop through the seasons, as well as trying to improve on my previous work.

In August 2009, I upgraded my trusty Nikon D80 for a D300s. I am enjoying learning how to use this new camera and I am pleased with the results so far.

My goal is to try to make the photo look like how I remember the actual scene, then take it slightly further to make the scene look more pleasing and vibrant than it may have been in reality.

Current Residence: Belfast
Favourite style of art: Romanticism
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: IPod
Wallpaper of choice: Super Fresco
Skin of choice: Mine
Favourite cartoon character: Homer Simpson
I thought I would sneak out another journal update while I have a little time on my hands... :)

As the year draws to a close, I was reflecting on what I had learned this year to improve my photography. The more I learn the more I feel there is to learn. While I write this as a reference as much for myself, here are some quick tips, most of which I'm sure are widely known, which I hope to apply to my work in future:
  1. A minute extra spent when shooting the photograph can save an hour in post-processing. i.e. if circumstances permit, take time and try to shoot the best you can get. Don't rely on Photoshop to cover up any mistakes.
  2. Move around the scene. Observe how the position of objects in the viewfinder changes if you move a step to the right or left, or if you lower or raise the camera.
  3. For landscapes, use a sturdy tripod if possible. A cable release or setting a shutter delay will also help avoid shake.
  4. Shoot at the lowest ISO you can get away with to reduce noise.
  5. Clean you sensor regularly, and make sure your lenses and filters are clean too.
  6. Don't automatically shoot everything at eye level. Get down low to the ground for a different view.
  7. In many cases, use a circular polarizer outdoors and take time to rotate it to find the best results. It has a noticable effect on reflections. You cannot replicate this filter in Photoshop!
  8. When shooting, check the histogram (in camera) to make sure the exposure is correct. A well-exposed shot will have the histogram fall away at both ends. Also check the blinkies.
  9. Where the dynamic range is too great - i.e. the histogram is not near zero at both ends - it is better to underexpose the shadows than overexpose the highlights. The eye is more sensitive to the brighter tones.
  10. Large memory cards are cheap. The extra capacity means you can take many shots, and bracket them at the same time.
  11. Use a graduated filter where the sky is bright, but the land is not. Alternatively, combine two bracketed exposures in Photoshop.
  12. If in doubt, just take the shot. It might just work out. If not, it will cost nothing to delete it later.
  13. Learn about colour spaces e.g. sRGB, AdobeRGB. Convert to sRGB for web images.
  14. Calibrate your monitor and your printer. It really makes a difference, especially if you are producing your own prints.
  15. Shoot RAW as this allows the most flexibility for post processing adjustment later on. For RAW processing, I suggest looking at DxO Optics.
  16. Use the Shadows/Highlights in Photoshop, but not too much, or the results will look awful.
  17. Check your camera settings before shooting! I have been caught out shooting at the wrong ISO, the wrong resolution, and (embarrassingly once) JPEG mode.
  18. Read books, blogs, everything! More importantly, look at the really popular photos and try to analyse them. What has the photographer done with exposure, composition or lighting?
  19. Look at any of your photos which have very few faves, have drawn criticism, or which have been rejected by many groups. Compare with a popular photo of a similar subject and try to work out what you could do better.
  20. Don't get too disappointed by having photos rejected by groups. If they give you constructive feedback, take it on board. Some groups have an extremely high standard, and I would bet have rejected some works which are worthy of a DD.
  21. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. If every photo we took was perfect, we'd never learn anything new.
  • Mood: Christmas Spirited
  • Reading: "Rivers of Belfast"

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mecengineer Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015
Happy Birthday
inObrAS Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012
Happy Birthday to You! :rose::wave::cake::heart:
MustafaSEZER Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Happy Birthday my dear friend :beer:
RedHeadLilith Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Your Amazing Work Been Featured Here :[link] :rose:
ShadowLetheria Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
you have some truly breathtaking photographs here
Partner-in-crime Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Such a great gallery of places I know and love! NI Artists! <3
ali-gee Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
You have a serious eye for photography my friend! I just love your gallery. You capture the natural world so beautifully.
SchallaArt Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Hello Gerard!
I just watched your shots and they are beatiful. And additonally, your journal is a big help, so thanks a lot for the work to write it out for other people, it was really a big help for me.

Tsukiiyo Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love your gallery. I wish you could join me in my group [link] to share your creations.
inObrAS Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011
Thank You very much for the :+fav:! :hug:
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