Be My Guest Monday 11/29/10: Laurie Shupp

It's "Be My Guest Monday," the day of the week that's turned over to a talented guest blogger for a quick tip.

Today's guest: Laurie Shupp

One of the best tips I have found to help improve my photography (and to spend less time in front of the computer), is to make sure to be aware of everything that is around and behind the subject. Pay attention to any distracting background elements and do some minor cleanup if needed. Also, patience can be your best friend when it comes to capturing that decisive moment. Take some extra time to wait for the light or for your subject to make that special connection with you. This will make an ordinary snapshot into a artistic image that you can be proud of. (Even a Vulture can look pretty!)

In this case, I moved my position so that the background was in shadow and the light fell across the bird so that my subject stood out. There was some minor cleanup as you can see from the before and after image, but that took me only seconds to fix.


I used Nik Software's Viveza 2 to quickly tone down some of the light from the right and left side of the image by using a Control Point to bring down the brightness. Adding a little Structure with another Control Point on my bird helped to bring out some of the wonderful texture and patterns in the feathers.

So, the next time you are behind the camera, make sure you are aware of what is around and behind your subject as well.

• • •

My friend Laurie Rubin Shupp is base in San Diego, California where she spends her weekdays as the Education Project Manager for Nik Software and on the weekend, puts on her photographer's hat. Click here to see more of her award-winning images.

To learn more about Nik Software click here – and use this code to save 15% on your orders: RSAMMON

Explore the light,

P.S. I love those Nik Control Points, too. I used 'em on this image, which I took at the San Diego Zoo.