Iowa Tourism

Iowa is not always the first place people think of when they are deciding where to spend their tourist dollars. But the truth is, Iowa has a lot to offer tourists, and Iowa tourism is on the rise. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Iowa has tourist activities for each season, and there is always something to do no matter what time of year you are investigating Iowa tourism options.

Facts About Iowa

The many sites available for Iowa tourism have lots to offer. These tourism sites are also happy to give some facts about Iowa for tourists to note. For instance, the capitol of Iowa is Des Moines, which is located in the middle of the state and has a population of over 198,000. The state flower is the wild rose, the state tree is an oak, and chances are pretty good that in the spring and summer you may catch a glimpse of the state bird, the eastern goldfinch. Iowa is named for the Iowa Indians that used to live in that region.

What Can You Do In Iowa?

The question should not be what can you do, but what can’t you do. Iowa tourism is the quintessential travel destination in that it has something for every one. If you like to gamble, you can do it in Iowa. Iowa has some of the best cultural opportunities for tourists. Museums, art galleries, and musical and theater productions are common events in the bigger cities.

If you prefer the great outdoors, Iowa tourism is for you. You can hike, camp, fish, boat and golf on one of the state’s many excellent golf courses. There are plenty of state parks to explore to your heart’s content.

Iowa also offers tourists a rich heritage of history. There are historic sites to visit and learn about in every corner of state, especially along the mighty Mississippi.

And if you are just in the market for a good time, check out Adventureland, one of the best amusement parks around. Thrills and excitement are yours for the taking.

The Complete Microstock Photography For Beginner’s Guidebook

Stock photography is a very specific niche together with ever tightening criteria. A lot of web sites are actually full of images and don’t allow any new photos inside a number of areas. Many other places have raised their particular digital photography requirements simply so they receive fewer photographs.

It’s a jam-packed niche, yet you can still find a lot of substandard selling stock pics. A lot of stock pictures will not sell as they do not seem stock on the exterior, but are certainly not deserving for being called real stock images. Numerous so labeled stock pics are just canon fodder to fill up space or to end up being sold and used at discount prices.

To produce stock photographs which sell you have to start looking at what the market trend is. At the moment, the most effective selling and most selling category of stock photographs is definitely Online business. Including anybody wearing a business suit, paper work, computer careers, busy appearing workers, delighted staff and much more. Just think of something that might be in a classic workplace setting and you’ll have for yourself a great start on Microstock photo enterprise.

Though that is not good enough in order to always be best stock. There are many photos exactly like above, which means you require what other people don’t offer: just what buyers want. Glance at the top selling stock photography web sites and find out what type of business photographs sell specifically and you will discover a specific pattern.

Business pictures sell, however mainly unique types. Pictures associated with several business people, or employees promote especially well. Along with pictures regarding conferences, reports, team work as well as typically joyful or content people. Pictures which can be highly wanted are usually kinds that demonstrate actions.

It doesn’t have to be fast paced combating action or things of that kind. The type of action pictures you need to obtain is business action. These are items like handshakes, deal signing, jobs being carried out, and also just about any type of moving forward “motion” a small business and corporation can take.

Regarding the web, sales of pictures is speedily proving itself to be a worthwhile business enterprise. Professional as well as amateur alike, just about all the photography fans are at it. Outlined below are some excellent Stock Photography For Beginners Ideas to get you started out…

1. In simple terms absolutely no primary charge: There is not any primary fee needed. Only a photographic camera in addition to a good Internet web connection will be necessary.You do not have to have intricate configurations and equipment.

2. Ease-of-use: It’s very easy to sell pictures online. You’ll find so many websites which help people implement this. These are referred to as “stock web sites.”

3. Outsourcing: This can be actually the very best component that makes it a lot easier to operate independently. There are numerous photo enthusiasts, who have radiant careers. Physicians, an accountant, Young people, and a lot of these people will be selling pictures on the net.

4. You don’t need to study: This can be a major bonus with regard to promoting pictures on the Internet. Simply no actual investigation will be needed. Merely open up a merchant account using virtually any stock web site and publish photos.

5. A nice income: If the pictures grow to be well-liked, major money will be assured.

6. Develop: In cases when you have a studio, you can have your personal picture gallery to sell photos on the web. In this way you can give your online business enterprise a web profile.

Stock image web sites can easily help

These days, a good website is very important for virtually all companies. It is essential for companies to target at consumers on the web. Net offers a huge achievable customer. This has come up as an occasion for photography enthusiasts. Basically, the photos offered on the web are bought, not cost-free. The photos are required to make eye-catching websites. Therefore, firms must purchase the photos meant for their own Internet sites. Like this these kinds of stock Internet sites give great business enterprise opportunities for the actual customers.

Select The most effective Microstock photo web site. You can sell the pictures on-line and make a lot of money. This is a good business.

Photography For Beginners – Make Your Subject Really Stand Out

Great photography subjects are all around us. You don’t have to go far to find interesting people, flowers, or wildlife. The real test is to use your skills to create a photo with genuine impact.

How do you make your subject really stand out in a photograph? It is tempting, but quite wrong, to blame the camera when your photo doesn’t work out the way you want. You need to know right now that a more expensive camera will not automatically make you a better photographer. In truth, the techniques in this article will work for almost any camera. All you need are manual aperture and shutter speed settings, and a decent zoom lens.

Here are a few simple tips for adding impact to your subject.

Tip #1. Highlight A Brightly Lit Subject Against A Dark Background. If you are shooting a subject in full sunlight, with a shady background, the subject is always going to stand out. This is a simple principle to understand, but it is a little easier said than done.

When your photograph has two very different levels of light, the lightmeter in your camera can be confused. It may expose for the dark background, causing your subject to be overexposed. The trick is to expose for the subject.

You can’t do this on automatic. What you need to do is switch your camera to manual, and adjust the aperture and/or shutter speed settings until the photo is underexposed by one or two stops (according to the lightmeter). When you get the balance right, you should have a dark background and a perfectly exposed subject.

Tip #2. Use A Small Depth Of Field To Blur The Background. You have seen plenty of photos where the subject is sharp and clear, but the rest of the picture completely out of focus. You will find this an easy way to add impact to the subject, and a three-dimensional effect to your whole photo.

To achieve this, you use a combination of a large lens and a wide aperture. First, zoom in on the subject with your largest magnification. This will naturally reduce the depth of field. Then adjust the aperture to its widest setting. A wide aperture will reduce the depth of field even further.

The closer you are to the subject the more pronounced the effect becomes.

Tip #3. Use A Wide Angle Lens To Exaggerate Perspective. This technique is almost the opposite of Tip #2. A wide angle lens makes everything in your photo appear much smaller, so objects in the distance seem much further away than they really are. Meanwhile, you can stand very close to a subject in the foreground (a person, animal etc) and still fit it in the frame.

As a result, your close-up subject will appear to tower over a background in which everything else seems very small and distant. Although the surroundings will be mostly in focus (the wide angle lens has a much larger depth of field), they will seem relatively small and insignificant, making your subject seem larger and more dominant by comparison.

So there you have three fairly simple ways to add impact to the subject in your photos. Because my background is in nature, I usually think in terms of wildlife, but you can probably think of many subjects that will benefit from these techniques.

The great thing is, you don’t need a professional camera to try these ideas out. As I said earlier, if you have a zoom lens, and manual control of your aperture and shutter speed, you can add impact to your photos with just a little practice.

Even better, in the age of digital photography, practice costs nothing…so get out there and start snapping!

Learn Digital Photography – Street Photography For Beginners

We all have to start somewhere with our photography and one of the big questions I get asked by students is where do we begin. There is just so much to learn and not enough subjects to shoot. That may or may not be true. My answer is street photography. Why? Let’s read on.

Street photography for me is the most amazing way beginners can really get going with their photography. There is just so much to shoot and your choices are endless. It is great for photo outings in a group because there is something for everyone on the streets. It gives you freedom to shoot anything and everything within the limits of the law and human courtesy. If it moves shoot and if it doesn’t, shoot it.

Street photography loosely describes a type of documentary photography that revolves around taking photos of everyday life and objects in the open urban environment of streets, lanes villages and towns. It provides a visual commentary on the world around us showcasing humour, routine and daily life on the streets. Here’s some advice on how to do it.

1. Preparation

Although it’s a free for all at times shooting anything, it is still necessary to be prepared. This not only improves the quality of your shoot but makes it easier and more enjoyable. Expect to see something different, new or intriguing. Anticipate the actions of people and the result will be a great image. So when it happens you are ready.

2. Focusing

Key to street photography is focusing, not only sharpness but depth of focus or depth of field. More than other types of photography, excluding landscape, you need as much of the image in focus. Not so for individual objects but rather for street scenes. Set you aperture to f11 or smaller and manually focus if necessary. The great thing about street photography is reviewing your images later and finding little scenes within scenes. If you have a good enough depth of focus you’ll find many smaller objects you hadn’t noticed while shooting.

3. Subjects

Choice of a subject or subjects for your photo walk through the streets of a village can be an effort so think about it before you start. A great idea is to choose a theme or set yourself a little project like finding 26 subjects each beginning with a letter of the alphabet. Subjects don’t always need to include people and a series of images without a single person can be quite a challenge and have interesting results. Treat people with respect when shooting at market or sports events and you’ll have a lot more images than you thought possible.

4. Mono or colour

Street photography lends itself to great monochrome images. The variety of subjects, the contrasting lighting as well as textures and patterns result in wonderful black and white images. A lot of street photography by the more reputable photographers is mainly in black and white but that doesn’t mean colour gives bad results. One little tip here about shooting in black and white with digital. Converting colour to black and white after the shoot using software most times results in a better monochrome image.

5. Equipment

Just about any camera can be used in street photography. Of course, the better the camera the better the quality of the image. I prefer to have a camera or lens that is fairly wide-angled as this allows me to include more of the street scenes in the image.

Telephoto zoom lenses are also handy as they allow you to isolate scenes, pick out detail and frame your subjects more tightly. A large aperture helps when shooting in shade or lower light inside markets or public buildings.

Overall street photography should be fun and help you grow in your overall skills. It brings you back to reality and sometimes results in you viewing life differently. It’s full of characters and subjects that are almost endless. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment. Happy shooting!

Photography for the Beginner: Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer

“I’m shooting my first wedding and I’m freaking out!! Do you have any pointers you can help me out with?”

This quote has to be one of the most common that I have come across in my photography career. Taking the dive into the Wedding Photography field can be very daunting and does come with a lot of stress. Unhappy brides, hundreds of people and unforeseen weather can all add up to big problems on the day. Below are some tips that I have learned along the way that I hope will help you on your first big day and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible.

Wedding preparation is absolute key!

Things can and will go wrong at every wedding! No two weddings that you attend will ever be alike or will ever happen in the same way. The bride may be running exceptionally late, relatives could be arguing and friends might be in meltdown mode. The one big thing that will save you here and at every wedding will be your preparation. An earlier session with the couple at the venue to scope out nice locations close by and make sure that the lighting works well will save you time and time again. Also asking the Bride and Groom for 3 key photos that they want from the wedding means that you can concentrate on these 6 favourite photos, and if worst comes to worst the couple to be will still have their most cherished photos.

The Swan Principle

The Swan Principle is something that will serve you very well in years to come as you continue to grow and expand your knowledge in the Wedding Photography field. Have you ever noticed how a Swan in water looks so elegant and calm, with not a worry in the world. Under the water a swans legs are going a million miles an hour thrashing around to keep them in the one spot. This is optimal for every photographer whilst shooting a wedding. The Bride and Groom will already have enough stress on their mind and the last thing that should contribute to that is the photographer. No matter how stressed you are on the day, your only job should be to look after the bride and make sure she is as happy and comfortable as possible.

Present your personality

There are so many photographers out and about in the world these days. With such a big choice, the couple to be doesn’t want a stuffy, creepy photographer standing in the corner pushing the shutter button and stealing pieces of their souls. A beginner photographer can fall into the trap of wanting to act too professional on their first shoot and getting all rigid behind the camera. The bride and groom should already know that this is your first wedding and despite this should have high expectations for their Wedding Photography regardless. Always remember to talk to people, be bubbly and outgoing and remember that you are offering a service. Your service ensures that the bride and groom get amazing, heart felt images that truly reflect the memories of this wonderous day. The only way that you are going to achieve this is by making your couple comfortable with the camera, so that when those emotions start pouring out they are thinking about the moment and that moment only.

Too obtrusive or not confident enough. Creating the right balance

There will be times when you are shooting a wedding where you will need to be bold and outgoing. Taking control of the situation in order to get great photos and to reassure the couple that they are in good hands. Then there is the opposite, where it will be best to stand back and let the emotions of the day flourish away while you get creative and capture some amazing memories. Both of these style will have to be adapted during the day in order to get the full story. The best advice I can give is to be confident and bold when it comes to all of your posed images, whilst just letting things go along at their own pace in the preparation stage, when all parties are getting ready and drinks are flowing. The last thing that you want to do when the bride and her family are getting emotional about this momentous day is to get up in their face and ruin the moment. When the bride looks back on these photos she wants to remember the memory of that exact moment, rather than what the photographer was doing at the time. Your camera should always be at the ready and you should be trying to anticipate what is going to happen next. Anticipating and then acting to get in a good position, getting the next great image. As you gain more knowledge you will begin to have more understanding of the day and start to find patterns in each wedding. With this your photos will become more refined and your consistency of getting amazing images will also increase.

I hope these tips have served you well and give you more confidence going into your first exciting, demanding wedding.

Digital Photography For Beginners – Fundamental Pointers

The basics you need to comprehend when learning digital photography is what all the pros know concerning the art of photography. Digital photography for beginners may be a baffling time. Starting with the basics in addition to taking a few digital photography lessons can be the best way to go as well as it being the most natural position to begin from. It is in addition a good thought from time to time for photographers having some experience to go back to the fundamentals and further increase their talents.

Anyone is able to take a photo, it happens to be knowing a secret or two that can transform your picture from everyday to an eye catching masterpiece. First and foremost you need your digital camera. Don’t take too much notice of the intensity that a few people may make photography look. It, if truth be told, all comes down to the aperture and shutter speed. As digital technology advances keep an eye on the trained photographers then take note that they commonly work with portable and typically straightforward to work cameras. There are loads of digital photography books accessible that are able to teach you the common points of working a digital camera along with the definitions of aperture and shutter speed.

The bottom line is that aperture is simply a word for the width of your camera lens opening whilst it is permitting in light and the shutter speed is the length of time you allow the light to come in to affect the image. For instance if you would like to get a picture of a racing car traveling at a high speed, you require a wide aperture to let in plenty of light however an extremely short shutter speed so that you can capture the picture quickly and close the window to make certain the picture is captured prior to the light damaging the quality. Consequently an additional digital photo tip for today is that photography is in fact just about light.

You will discover that your camera will include automatic settings as well as manual options regarding aperture and shutter speed. During your digital photography lessons you should learn how to swap from automated to manual furthermore, you will understand the settings that suit various situations. When you come right down to it digital cameras will have automatic settings to facilitate the everyday photographer who is not concerned in learning anything other than just “point and shoot”.

Over the course of your digital photography lessons you will grasp a better perception of lenses and flash photography together with added ways you can control the lighting of several conditions. Right through your experience of learning, make a promise to yourself to never stop learning about this beautiful art. The better and more sophisticated you get in your skill to work with the equipment, the more you will learn and the more you will want to continue learning.

This now brings us back to the point that digital photography for beginners definitely should not be a baffling time. It ought to be enjoyable and fun as that is what photography is all about. Take the time and practice, having fun, taking photos at any occasion. Play around with your equipment and take advantage of several situations, inside and out, using various aperture and shutter speed options. Don’t fuss if your photo’s don’t work out, it is actually all part of learning digital photography.

Photography For Beginners – Do You Understand The Rule Of Thirds?

The rise of digital cameras has turned our focus very much onto the technical aspects of photography. Unfortunately, in our ongoing rush for more advanced equipment, the artistic aspects of photography are often neglected.

If you bought a great digital camera and your photos still look like snapshots, it is not the fault of your equipment. Perhaps it is time to start looking at your subjects with a more creative eye, and think a little more about good composition. Where to start? Well, a good place to start is the Rule Of Thirds, a convention used every day by experienced photographers.

What is the Rule Of Thirds? It is a sort of guideline to help you structure your composition in a balanced way that pleases the eye. Like all rules, it is made to be broken, but we will look at that later. Experience will give you the confidence to decide when you need to apply the Rule Of Thirds, and when you can get by without it. However, before you can make that decision you need to understand the Rule Of Thirds and how it works.

Imagine the rectangular shape of any photograph. Now draw a horizontal line one third from the top of the frame, and another one third from the bottom. Then draw a vertical line, one third from the left, and another one third from the right. Your rectangle should now be divided into nine equal sections.

According to the Rule Of Thirds, the lines that divide the picture into thirds are the most effective places to position objects in your photo. So, for example, the horizon should be positioned on or near the line a third from the top or a third from the bottom of the picture. Vertical objects like trees should be placed on or near the lines a third from the left or right of the picture.

Also according to the rule, the most powerful points in the composition are the areas where the lines intersect. So, if your horizon is a third from the top of the frame, a house or tree on the horizon would be best placed a third from the left or right, at the intersecting point of the horizontal and vertical lines. If you have positioned a tree along one of the vertical lines, a bird sitting in a fork of the tree would be best positioned where it intersects with the horizontal line a third from the top.

If this seems hard to follow, sketch it out and it will start to make sense.

This may sound a little too structured for the real world, and in most cases it is. After twenty years in photography, I can tell you that nature is not so neatly packaged for our convenience. You cannot expect all the objects in your photos to fall into place according to the Rule Of Thirds. However, by using the rule as a general framework, you can begin to create structure in your photography

Why does the Rule Of Thirds work? Don’t know, don’t need to know. But it does work. It satisfies our sense of visual proportion, so that photos structured in this way appear balanced in the eye of the viewer. You can prove this for yourself right now, just by looking at a book of your favourite photos. When you apply the framework to each picture, you will probably find that most of them, at least loosely, fit the Rule Of Thirds.

Many photographers have a natural sense of visual balance. They take their photos according to the rule of thirds without being aware of it. They may simply shoot the picture that ‘looks right’ or ‘feels right’ to them, unconsciously applying the rule as they go. For new photographers who are struggling with composition, this simple guideline will make a world of difference. In time, and with experience, these beginners will develop their own natural ‘feel’ for composition.

Am I suggesting that every photo must be taken using the rule of thirds? Is any photo that falls outside these guidelines a failure? Absolutely not.

Some photos are made more effective by deliberately ignoring the rule of thirds. It is possible to focus the viewer’s attention on a particular feature, by positioning it where we would not normally expect to see it. If it is done well, the impact of a photo can be enhanced by disrupting the natural sense of visual balance. I can give you a very simple example from my field of nature photography.

A sunset photo is usually all about the sky. A photographer can add impact to the sky by lowering the horizon to well below the ‘normal’ horizon level. The result will be a sky that really towers over the foreground and imposes more strongly on the entire picture.

There are probably millions of other examples of great photos that were taken outside the framework of the Rule Of Thirds. As I said at the start, all rules are made to be broken. That does not mean that photographers should not know the rule and practice it. There is no harm in breaking with convention. The important thing is that you do it knowingly and for a reason, to make your photos more effective. Breaking the rules is a lot more fun when you understand the rules you are breaking.

Landscape Photography For Sale – Ask The Right Questions

Have you experienced problems achieving success with your landscape photography for sale?

Maybe your landscape images take a while to sell. Or rarely sell. Or nobody seems interested in looking at them, and even worse, no one is downloading them either. Yes, you might happen to have taken photographs that don’t carry a ‘high need factor‘ for online buyers. Or maybe you just don’t know how to sell your photography effectively online, and you haven’t really pushed the potential of this as far as you could.

Let’s look into this further. For every photographer that has a successful sale, there’s a good number of photographers who miss out on the potential of that sale. In many ways, we’ll never know, because photo buyers don’t really stop to tell us why they choose one image over another. They continue on their way towards fulfilling their own, often time-urgent, project. Indeed we can’t expect them to explain their reasons why. But there is something we can learn from this.

And that is, we can look at what images do sell. We can look at the successful landscape photography for sale and see how it has been crafted and shot. What about it is different to the rest? What makes it unique or special? How did the photographer use the light, and where was the image taken, and at what time of day. What is it about this image that compels and interests you? Answer these questions and you’re on the right track.

And that’s a very good start. Because the fact of the matter is that selling photographs is very motivational. And it’s important… after all, you’ve most likely spent serious time in creating these landscapes. This doesn’t always mean though that you walked through rain storms, up and down mountains and got up really early on frosty mornings, but certainly you invested your time to create something that you consider valuable.

You also may be wondering, I’ve created some good landscape photography for sale, and I think it’s compelling work, and it should be selling, because it’s good. Lots of factors come into play here… Where are you selling your images? On your own website or at a stock photo agencies site? Does your own website get substantial traffic (visitors who are interested in what you do?) Are your images key-worded accurately?

Have you got enough images online that are available? Are they of common landscapes or unusual environments? Have you searched to see what other images exist that are similar to yours? Are you putting ‘essence of you‘ into the picture? And what I mean is that… your perspective is completely unique and there’s no one else like you, so use that unique individuality to make your photography stand out, and enrich the viewer.

Make sure, when you’re out there photographing, that you put you into the picture. :-)

And this goes for all themes of photography. Considering too, that maybe it’s not just landscape photography you want to sell. Maybe you’ve got a whole range of photography subjects you want to market and sell online. More choice could very well make things easier when it comes to your selling potential. Generally speaking, effective methods and techniques for selling photos online will work well for all types of photography.

For me, I’ve seen people who enjoy incredible success selling photos online… (just research the bigger stock agencies.) For many of us though, even for those with great photography in their portfolio, selling our images online successfully takes lots of learning and persistence. It takes a never give up attitude, and an abundance of ‘getting motivated by seeing other photographers make big online photo sales…’ and more.

Of course one day that other photographer will be you. (With regular, passive ‘asset building’ photo sales.) And no matter what theme of photography you specialize in, even if it’s just perfecting your best landscape photography for sale, portraits or nature photography, achieving real success will come from the decisions you make. You’ll create your own success, and photo sales, if that’s what you really want to do.

And when you do, make sure and dream big.