LEARN HOW TO BECOME A GOOD “SMART PHONE PHOTOGRAPHER”:

person in yellow jacket taking photo of white clouds
Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

There are many different ways to take photos today. You could have the DSLR camera, a Video camera (a Videographer), and then of course you would have your smartphone or cell phone.

Your smartphone can take really good photos, and the phone companies keep improving the camera part of your phone every year. So, yes, you can take amazing photos with your smart phone. I am one who may forget to take my DSLR camera with me, but I always have my smart phone. Let’s learn some tips on how to use your smart phone to take amazing photos.

KEEP YOUR PHOTOS SIMPLE:

Do not over complicate things by having too much going on in the background. Simplicity is key. Keep things simple. Watch out for distracting objects on the camera screen. You will be surprised by how sophisticated your photos will turn out in the end.

person standing on rock formation cliff
Photo by Martin Péchy on Pexels.com

HAVE A THEME:

You often hear people saying, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” Every picture tells a story. What does your picture say? If you can learn to tell a story with your photos, then you will have much better photos. Think of how this photo that I am about to take will fit in a story book. Check out this blog for more information about “stories”: CLICK HERE

SHOOT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE:

architecture bridge building city
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shoot the same thing a few times! Try to shoot from different angles; it gives you different perspectives. Be creative! Try different compositions. Shoot both horizontally and vertically. When you go back and review the photos you took, you will be amazed by how different shots give people different opinions and emotions. One of your pictures of the same object, shot from a different angle, may be that award-winning photograph. Let your creativity take flight! For more information about perspective, or how to shoot angles: CLICK HERE

DO NOT USE THE DIGITAL ZOOM

Only use optical zoom, no digital zoom. Zooming in beyond the smartphone’s optical range will produce grainy and pixelated pictures—chances are, pictures produced this way will be shaky and low quality. So, if you want to take a close-up shot of the object, my recommendation is that you move closer to the object (zoom with your feet) and click. Finally, you will start seeing smart phones coming out with “optical zoom” rather than digital zoom. So, next time you purchase a smartphone, and want good sharp pictures, find one that has an “optical zoom” instead of a digital zoom.

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS:

Where is the best place to share photos: INSTAGRAM is one of the better places that photos are shared. It amazes me some of the great photos you see on INSTAGRAM. 123Photogo has it’s own website for those who want to share their photos. We welcome all types of photographers. Here is how to share your photos with our readers:

FIND A WAY TO EDIT YOUR PHOTOS

Am I asking you to edit your photos so that they look different? Edit the temperature, the brightness and contrast, blur the background to make your objects stand out—these are some of the many things you can do. And part of the magic of smart phone photography is that a “shot gone wrong” can be transformed into something extraordinary. You can transform it into something artistic just by playing with the buttons in the app.

A FEW OF MY OWN CELL PHONE PHOTOS:

Knowing the strengths of your smart phone will let you take photos you couldn’t normally take with a DSLR. This photo is taken at night time, and the photo has already won awards for the amazing quality of the photo. True, I used a little editing and took out the orange color that street lights produce, but, it only makes it more pleasing. Plus, I could hand-hold the camera and it produced a photo that I would have had to use a tripod to take this photo with my DSLR. Taken with a Samsung S20ultra plus Note
Just being in the right place at the right time. Boats parked off the water during winter at Bear Lake, Utah. And the weather made it look even better.

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YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO TAKE UP PHOTOGRAPHY!

Photo by James Lewis on Unsplash

I call it: you are never too old to fulfill your dreams. Have you ever thought that maybe there should be an age limit to people taking photos? No, doesn’t seem like that should be. And since the pandemic, more older people are getting involved in photography.

AN OLDER PERSON CAN DO MANY GREAT THINGS!

 For many, it can be difficult sometimes to avoid thinking about what might have been if only you’d picked something up earlier in life or spent more time practicing it in the first place. Heck, some people seem to think that once you start down a particular path or surpass the age of 25 (four if you want to be a classically trained musician…) there’s little point in trying something new. But that’s an outdated way of thinking. 

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

We’re always hearing from readers who have taken up photography later in life or professionals who ditched their stable nine-to-five in pursuit of their photography business dream. Hobbies were on the rise during lockdown and more adults are willing to take a chance and set off down the road less travelled than ever before. 

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OTHER FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO STARTED LATE IN LIFE:

Photography isn’t the only creative discipline where late bloomers have confidently stamped their mark. It’s well known that post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne didn’t create his best works until later in life and literature is rife with famous authors who delayed starting their career. American author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, of Little House on the Prairie fame, was well into her 60s when her first book was published.

There are famous actors too:

Plenty of famous actors are late bloomers too. If Samuel L. Jackson had given up on his then-unremarkable acting career before his mid-40s, he’d have never starred as the unforgettable Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction and subsequently become one of the hardest-working and in-demand actors in Hollywood. 

REGARDLESS OF AGE, JUST GET GOING:

So, the next time you find yourself questioning whether it’s too late to try something new – photography or otherwise – grab the bull by the horns and do it anyway!

ANSEL ADAMS WAS 79 YEARS OLD WHEN HE CREATED ONE OF HIS FAMOUS PHOTOS:

Ansel Adams in his early years as a pro photographer.

In 1979, Ansel Adams was 79 years old when he was commissioned by President Jimmy Carter to take the official portrait of the President of the United States.

Ansel Adams was 79 years old when he took this photo for President Jimmy Carter.

123PHOTOGO IS THE PLACE FOR ALL PHOGRAPHERS, INCLUDING CELL PHONE PHOTOGRAPHERS!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR PHOTOS TRULY UNFORGETTABLE:

photography of sunset
Photo by André Cook on Pexels.com

When you think about a photo that is unforgettable, what kind of photo do you think of? Is it a sunset photo? How about one step further and go with a “twilight photo”. Or is it some person doing something amazing.

There are tricks to make your photos “unforgettable”, and I am going to go over these steps now. I have checked out all those photos that have been classified as “unforgettable” as well, and see if you agree. Don’t these photos just somehow fit the mold?

1- Frame your photo:

This does not mean to physically put your photo in a frame, but as you take a photo, if you have the chance to find something in the foreground or even in the background that can frame around your subject, you will be way ahead. Here are some examples:

daisies in frame
Photo by Ruslan Sikunov on Pexels.com
confident black lady with closed eyes near frame with plants
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com
Photo by Gable Denims

2- Movement in your photo:

When shooting something that has motion or movement with it, allow the subject to have something to move into.  For example, this would be better if the subject was not in the center.  If something was moving, have some area in the frame of the photo to move into.  See examples:

people woman jump show
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Seth Sanchez

3– Direction:

Our brain perceives information from left to right, so it’s best to position all the important stuff in the right side of the frame. Examples:

Photo by Elliot Kuhn
Photo by Alexander Hanji
Photo by Ramil Sitdikov

4- TRY A DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLE:

Try taking photos from a different angle.  Instead of taking pictures standing up, get down to the level of the subject, if it’s a pet or child.  You will find a different story to your photo:

Photo by Matteo De Santis
Photo by Miguel Angel Aguirre
Photo by Tom

5- TRY SHOOTING WITH “NEGATIVE SPACE”

There are two spaces in every image:

  • positive space (it shows the main subject);
  • negative space (usually it’s the background).

Don’t forget to keep an eye on what is happening in the negative space; you want it to emphasize your main subject, not cramp it.

Photo courtesy of Photography talk.com
Photo by Mohammed Bager

A great blog or article on “negative space” has been done before. Check out this article HERE to learn more.

6- GIVE YOUR PHOTOS “DEPTH”

Depth will give your shot a more three-dimensional and rich feel. There are few features that can help you achieve it:

  • parallel lines, which come to one point in the distance;
  • gradually dissolving fog will make your photo seem layered;
  • tone (volume is transmitted through color: darker objects appear closer, and lighter objects appear farther away);
  • depth of field (if you blur the background, clear objects will appear closer, while fuzzy objects will seem more distant).
Photo by Bas Lammers
Photo by Bas Lammers
Photo by Bas Lammers

7- HIGHLIGHT THE “FOREGROUND”

When taking a scenic shot, that has depth, add something in the foreground.  If you add something in the foreground, your viewers will feel like they can relate to the size and depth of the picture more.

Photo by Bas Lammers
Photo by Murad Osman
a beautiful yellow pea flower
Photo by Batitay Japheth on Pexels.com

8- Watch for shadows and reflections to make your photo amazing:

Use these elements to make your picture more interesting and dramatic. You can create a visual ’dialogue’ between the subject and its reflection (shadow).

Photo by Anna Atkina
trees near body of water
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
panoramic view of city lit up at night
Photo by Amar Saleem on Pexels.com

9- Take photos during the “golden hour” or the “blue hour”

The “Golden Hour” is my favorite time to shoot.  It is the one hour before sunset.  The colors have gone to a golden color in the sky and the colors everywhere are a nice warm golden hue.  It really warms things up and makes things very pleasant.

GOLDEN HOUR:

macro photography of pink flowers
Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Editor of 123Photogo

BLUE HOUR:

This is the time when the sun has set, or just before the sun comes up.  The light is predominately blue.  Check it out:  This is often called twilight:

Photo by Joe Penniston
Photo by Lanny Cottrelll – Editor of 123Photogo

CONCLUSION:

There are many ideas that you can use to create an unforgettable photo. Study these ideas shown here, and go make some unforgettable photos.

Want to share your photos? Check this out:

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PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE GARDEN:

assorted color flowers
Photo by Leigh Patrick on Pexels.com

I am an avid gardener, as well as photographer. Photography and gardening go together. My wife loves to do the flower garden, and I usually worry about all the bushes, trees, and vegetable gardening. Between the two of us, we have an amazing yard. We feed birds from a feeder hanging from our pear tree, so we have the beauty of the birds to add to that as well. This is truly one piece of heaven here on earth.

Photographing the different gardens

As a photographer, I am mostly looking for color and the beauties of the flowers. Here are just a couple of flowers from our garden:

TIPS ON FLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY:

  • Make sure you understand your depth of field control, to get the right amount of flower in focus, and the background out of focus (if you wish). Controlling your aperture is one thing that helps all photos, not just close-up photos, with the perfect picture I think. For further information on “depth of field” go HERE
  • Most flowers are small, and you want to fill the frame with the flower. Appropriate close-up equipment will work the best. #1 lens to be recommended is the macro lens. Check your cameras’ lens catalogue for the best lens for you. Another great source is “close-up” filters. CHECK HERE For more information. Another great accessory, if you don’t have, is EXTENSION TUBES, which is a blog I did just a few days ago.
  • Next thing to watch out for is the wind! Yikes! Now you want to get this picture, and the wind is blowing the flower around. That is not a good thing if you want a sharp picture. I know the flower will be there tomorrow, so I will wait a day or two. Or, you might try a fast shutter speed, and that could be easy enough when you have your aperture set at F4. Try that and if you still have issues with the wind, WAIT ANOTHER DAY!

TIPS ON VEGETABLE PHOTOGRAPHY:

close up photography of orange carrots
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I seem to notice that most photos of vegetables are done after the harvest. This might be good to do some experimenting on vegetable photography. Stay tuned for those photos in a few months.

As you take photos of vegetables, that you have harvested, try different ways to take the photo. Such as:

  • In someone’s hands
  • In a bucket, freshly picked or harvested
  • Arranged on the table
  • Shown boiling or cooking

Photos of your beautiful yard:

Ok, if you are a gardener like me, part of gardening is to see the whole beautiful yard, with flowers, trees, bushes, and vegetables if that looks good too. Here are some examples:

photography of table and chairs near plants
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com
assorted plants with trees photography
Photo by Creative Vix on Pexels.com
adult attractive beautiful brunette
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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COPYRIGHT AND PHOTOGRAPHY!

As a photographer, how does the copyright symbol protect you?

Why do we need copyright as photographers and what is its purpose? In a nutshell, copyright is there to stop anyone using your images for anything they want.

DOES THIS APPLY TO ONLY PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS?

The answer to this is NO. This works for any amateur photographer who takes pictures. and whilst it does protect professional creatives, it also applies to anyone producing any type of creative work on any level, including photography. Even a simple snapshot on your smartphone is copyrighted. 

However, thanks to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which was created in 1886 and has 179 country members including the UK, your work is pretty much protected the same wherever you are in the world.

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WHO OWNS THE IMAGE?

It’s simple – if you take an image, then you own the copyright to that image. Under UK copyright law, any person who ‘creates’ an image after 1st August 1989 is the owner of the image for their lifetime plus another 70 years. You don’t have to register your photographs to have them copyrighted as the law comes into existence as soon as the image is created.

WHAT IF SOMEONE ELSE TAKES A PHOTO ON YOUR CAMERA?

But what would happen if someone else took an image on your camera – would you own the copyright? No. The person who took the image has the copyright. There was a case a while back concerning a ‘selfie’ taken by a monkey on photographer David Slater’s camera. Slater claimed he owned the copyright to the image, whereas Wikimedia Commons and the blog Techdirt claimed as the macaque took the image then the photographer didn’t have the copyright.

Photo by Michalakis Ppalis with Pixel photos

Animal rights group Peta also became involved, saying the macaque should own the copyright. Slater and Peta eventually settled, with Slater agreeing to give a quarter of the funds he receives from selling the selfie to registered charities dedicated to protecting the welfare or habitat of the macaque. The image is still on Wikimedia Commons, against the wishes of the photographer, who can no longer afford to pursue his challenge.

There may be circumstances where you might take the image but not own the copyright to the image, for example, if you are employed by a company. Most photographers employed by an organization have to sign a contract before they start work to agree to release the copyright to their employer. Legally, a contract needs to be in place if the copyright is assigned over to another person or party. Although there are many downloadable documents online, we advise that if you
want your contracts to be used as proof in a court of law, you get a professional such as a solicitor or lawyer to draw them up.

If you are a follower of this website, you know I take great pride to include the photographer’s name with every photo. But, why can I use someone else’s photos on my website? That is because the photographer(s) have agreed to let anyone use their photo. I am sure they are hoping that their photo is used and gets out there, with their name on it, so it wasn’t in vain. I use two companies that offer FREE PHOTOS without the need to obtain copyright permission. And that is Pexels.com, and Unsplash. Both companies are using photographs from great photographers. And I have always made it a point to attach a name to that photo.

tree with maple leaves
Photo by Valiphotos on Pexels.com

I love this above photo, and you have seen this several times throughout my many blogs.

Do you need to add the © symbol to your photos?

No, you don’t need to add anything to your images for them to be copyrighted to you – they are automatically your intellectual property. Intellectual property rights (IPR) are the rights granted to creators and owners of works that are the result of human intellectual creativity.

Although you don’t have to copyright your images if you are posting or uploading them online, it can be a good idea to add a watermark and the copyright symbol as extra protection. Doing so gives a clear indication to your audience that the image is owned by you. Also if an individual or company wants to track you down to use your image for commercial purposes, they can find you more easily. Adding copyright information to the metadata of your image is also a good idea.

What should I do if someone steals my work?

This is always a tough situation. Here is what usually happens:

If a company or individual takes your work, this is called infringement and you have the legal right to stop them from doing so. How you pursue them is up to you, but it’s often best to avoid going to court as this can be costly. Instead, approach the individual or company directly to inform them of their breach. Once contact has been established, a resolution can usually be made. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) offers a mediation service at a cost to parties involved in an IP-related dispute (see links and reference boxout for details).

If no resolution can be made, you have the right to take the matter to court. However, as outlined above, this can be costly and seeking legal advice is advised. As stated on the government website, a court of law can stop that person from making further infringing use of the material by granting an injunction, award the copyright owner damages, and make the infringing party give up the goods to the copyright owner.

Will a signature on my photo work well as a copyrighted photo?

Here is one of my own photos with a signature on the front. That is a great copyright symbol.

I almost always feel that if you can put a signature on your photo, that would be harder for a person to take it off. However, they could just crop that area out, the same they could with a copyright symbol. But, a signature seems to make it definitely look like that photo totally belongs to this photographer.

I had a company by the name of PHOTOPOLISH to create my signature and an easy app on my computer to add my signature to all my photos. There are probably others, but, they worked well for me.

MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY USING EXTENSION TUBES:

selective focus photo of white petaled flower
Photo by Ithalu Dominguez on Pexels.com

EXTENSION TUBES ARE AMAZING TOOLS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:

How convenient would it be if you could use your regular lens to take close up shots of subjects just as if it were a macro lens? While macro lenses are perfect for close-up images, they can be expensive for someone who doesn’t do much macro photography. This is where an extension tube can be of help.

The nice thing about extension tubes is that no optics are used in extension tubes. If you worry about degrading your image quality, you don’t have to worry with extension tubes.

YOU DON’T LOSE QUALITY OR HAVE TO SPEND A LOT

Because extension tubes have no optics in them, the quality of your photo is as good as the lens you are using. If you have a good quality normal zoom lens, or even a standard lens, as long as it’s good quality your photo will be just as good.

EXTENSION TUBES USUALLY COME IN 3 DIFFERENT SIZES.

When you look at buying an extension tube, they generally come in a set of 3. Each tube can be used separately, or all 3 tubes together.

Extension tubes generally come in groups of 3, so you can get different magnifications with the different tubes.

The other thing to know is that extension tubes can either be automatic or manual. There are extension tubes that are just tubes. You can still get magnification using this tube, but you have no control with autofocus or aperture settings.

The best extension tubes will have the connections to allow your lens to still use autofocus, and aperture connections. This is what I recommend, and it will give you the ability to control that depth of field. That is really important when doing macro work.

The camera manufacture, of course, makes their own extension tubes, but there are other brands that make extension tubes for your camera. Remember that there is no optics involved in extension tubes, so you don’t have to worry about degrading the quality of your photo with extension tubes. So, in this case, I don’t have a problem recommending a good 3rd party extension tube.

To make this complete, we are including some good extension tubes for sale here:

extension-tubes

EXTENSION TUBES FOR CANON EF CAMERAS

Auto-Focus Macro Lens Extension Tube Set (12mm, 20mm, 36mm Length) for Canon EF/EF-S Mount Lenses n DSLR Camera 5D2 5D3 5D4 6D 7D 70D 80D 700D 760D 1300D T7 T6i T5i Regular: $99 for all 3 tubes

$65.00

Canon-Eos-extension-tubes

EXTENSION TUBES FOR CANON EOS CAMERAS

Auto Focus Extension Tube Set for Canon EOS 90D 80D 70D 60D 77D Rebel T6 T7 T5 T8i T7i T6i T6s T5i T4i SL3 SL2 EOS 6D Mark II 7D Mark II 5D Mark IV III 5Ds R 1Dx Mark III and More Regular: $150 US dollars

$95.00

extension-tubes-1

EXTENSION TUBES FOR NIKON D SERIES CAMERAS

Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set for Nikon D850 D750 D780 D3500 D3400 D7500 D7200 D7100 D7000 D5600 D5500 D5300 D5200 D5100 D5000 D3300 D3200 D3100 D800 D810 D700 D610 D600 D500 & More Regular price: $149.95 US Dollars

$99.99

extension-tubes-2

EXTENSION TUBES FOR NIKON Z MOUNT CAMERAS

Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set for Nikon Z50 Z fc Zfc Z7 Z6 Z5 Z6 II Z6II Z7 II Z7II Mirrorless Camera and Nikon Z Mount Lenses, Great Tool for Macro Photography Regular price: $129.95

$69.99

Canon-Eos-extension-tubes-1

EXTENSION TUBES FOR FUJI X MOUNT CAMERAS

Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set for Fuji Fujifilm X-T3 X-T4 X-T2 X-T1 X-S10 X-T30 X-T20 X-T10 X-T200 X-T100 X-H1 X-PRO3 X-PRO2 X-E4 X-E3 X-E2S X-A7,Replaces Fujifilm MCEX-11 & MCEX-16 Regular $99.95 US dollars

$64.95

extension-tubes-3

EXTENSION TUBES FOR MICRO 4/3 MOUNT CAMERAS (PANASONIC AND OLYMPUS)

Micro 4/3 Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set for Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III E-M5 E-M10 Mark III E-M1X Pen E-PL10 E-PL9 Pen-F,Panasonic Lumix G9 G7 G85 G95 GX85 GX9 GX8 GX7 GH6 GH5 GH5S GH4 & More Regular $99.95

$64.95

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NIKON Z-9 FLAGSHIP CAMERA OWNS 57% OF PRO MARKET

NIKON Z9 OWNS OVER 57% OF PRO MARKET, AND THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE ANY!

The Nikon Z9 has claimed the top spot of the professional mirrorless market, with a 57% market share according to Nikon in a latest press release. This data is based on a comparison of US unit sales of full-frame mirrorless cameras with an average selling price of $5,000 and above in the first three months of 2022.

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH AVAILABILITY OF THE Z9?

“This flagship category is vital; this is where the top-of-the-line technology, performance and reliability matter most, for the most demanding customers. We are constantly receiving shipments of the Z9 from the factory, which are immediately out the door to customers. We are working as hard as we can to fulfill the demand, and it’s truly invigorating to hear the overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive response from more and more customers everyday who are receiving their cameras.”

This is all well and good – great, even, for Nikon – but what about professionals and prosumers who are still awaiting for their brand new Nikon Z9? We all know there has been a severe shortage of cameras due to the ongoing chip crisis and limited supply of parts globally. So it does beg the question: how can the Nikon Z9 be on top when you physically can’t buy it anywhere? 

____________

10 DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY

Finally a course with 10 chapters on “The 10 different ways to make money with photography”. Written by the editor of 123PhotoGo! You love photography, and now it’s time to see what you can do to make money with your hobby, or photo business. Course regularly sells for $49.95. Special price for our readers:

$4.95

Most retailers in the US, UK, Australia and more do not have a Z9 in stock. What happened to the days of going to a camera store and picking it up there and then? Yes, you can place your money down at retailers and pray that you get one soon, but without the physical product how do people know it is “the top” professional camera? They don’t.

WHAT NIKON IS TRYING TO DO:

What I imagine is going on here is a very good marketing strategy for Nikon, which was once behind the pack on video features and other imaging settings. After taking a step forward and providing key features to users, albeit late and with a firmware releases, it can now boast about functions and try to regain the confidence from its users, and convince those that left Nikon behind for other manufactures to return.

This article was recently written by “DIGITAL CAMERA WORLD”, Thanks for your help to keep us all updated in the photography world.

RECENT PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

A Frosty Morning ~
© Trudy L. Smuin

There are many contests out there. And fun to enter. This particular photo contest is from the organization: BETTER PHOTO.COM. They had some amazing photos that inspire me, and hopefully you to take more pictures that are around us:

The March 2022 photography contest at BetterPhoto is fun, prestigious, and inspiring. Grand Prize this month goes to ‘~ A Frosty Morning ~’ in the March 2022 photo theme. Each month, we offer new photo challenges, assignments, and themes to spark photographic creativity.

Nautilus Shells
© Carolyn M. Fletcher
Just Another Tulip
© Christine Greenspan
Proud American
© Terry Cervi
Old Church in France
© Christine Czernin
End of a hot hot day
© Christian HARDOUIN

That’s all the grand prize and 1st place winners today. Have you ever thought of entering a photo contest. This is one way to greatly improve your photography.

Check this out so understand why contests are so valuable: CLICK HERE

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Here is one more link to show you some other winning photos: CLICK NOW