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Photography Tips

Select subject and edit in Lightroom

Lightroom mask

Using the 'mask' function in Lightroom, it becomes very easy to select a subject in your photo and then edit it. The program can even automatically recognize and select subjects quite accurately, which saves a lot of time in manual selection. In this item we give you some tips on how to use this feature and all its tools.


Tips on masking in Lightroom

  • To keep an overview when using different masks, it is useful to give each mask a name. Right-clicking on the mask title will bring up the option to rename it.
  • As mentioned earlier, it is therefore possible for Lightroom to select the subject itself. Of course it remains possible to make the necessary adjustments yourself with the 'add' and 'remove' functions. This can be done with different tools, such as a brush, linear or radial gradient. The area you select and adjust will turn red.
  • Selecting the sky can now also be done automatically, which is ideal for landscape photography. This is also done very accurately, but this can also be adjusted manually. If you want to assign a different color to the editing area, click on the color box and choose your desired color. You can also turn off the editing area by unchecking 'Show overlay'. With the hotkey 'O' you can easily turn it on and off.
  • With the brush you have a lot of freedom to edit specific parts of the photo. Selecting the brush already brings up a whole menu of settings and effects to choose from. The keyboard shortcut for the brush is the 'K' on the keyboard. With the feather you can choose how soft the transition will be. The larger the feather, the softer the transition.
  • The linear gradient, formerly known as a graduated filter, works as follows. While holding down the 'shift' key, use the left mouse button to draw a line from top to bottom so that the linear gradient appears. The radial gradient works much the same, where you work with a circle to select a certain area.
  • If you scroll down in the mask menu, you will arrive at the color range. If you click on this you will get the option to click on a color in the photo with an eyedropper. The adjustment now only takes place over similar colors in the photo. With 'HSL color' you adjust all color tones across the entire photo, here you have more control over the editing area.
  • Finally, the option to hide masks is also available in Lightroom. That way you don't have to permanently remove a mask, but you can temporarily hide it. Right-clicking on the mask brings up the 'hide' option.


Want to learn to photograph or gain experience?

Would you like to participate in one of the many workshops to learn more about your camera or image editing? Then sign up for one of our workshops. Would you rather join a multi-day photography trip? Then there is plenty of choice from our photo trips. It is also possible to order the ebook Lightroom Classic so you can get started yourself.

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Photography Tips

Shooting with slow shutter speeds and filters

Shooting with slow shutter speeds and filters

For those who want to photograph with long shutter speeds, different types of filters will quickly come into consideration. In this item we give you some useful tips for shooting with a slow shutter speed and using filters. This way you can get started yourself!


Capturing water and air

When do you use a slow shutter speed? For example, when capturing a certain movement, such as water and air. Think of a smoothly ironed lake or sea, or even a waterfall. The sky also makes for beautiful pictures, the movement of the clouds is captured by the long shutter speed. This effect makes the clouds appear long and stretched out, sometimes even more dramatic.


Useful photography tips

  • As with any kind of photography, planning and preparation is very important. Make sure you are in the right location with the right lighting conditions. By starting on time you can prepare everything calmly and practice if necessary.
  • Use a tripod to avoid motion blur as much as possible. Make sure you have a stable surface.
  • If you don't use filters, you will have to go out sooner or later, depending on the time of year. Before sunrise or after sunset gives the best light, during the day there is too much (bright) light.
  • If you do use filters you could shoot all day long. For example with gray (gradient) filters, ND filters and polarization filters.
  • Gray filters come in different types of transitions and densities. For example, a 0.9 blocks more light than a 0.3. Gray filters and ND filters can also be combined together. The higher the number, the more light it blocks. A filter with 6 stops could be used around sunrise and sunset, for the daytime one with 10 stops. More information about the types of filters can be read in the item photographing with filters.
  • Does your composition have a straight horizon? Then it is best to use a hard filter. For example, if you have a mountainous landscape, a soft filter is recommended. A soft filter has a soft gradient and thus gradually changes in density, while a hard filter has a tighter transition.
  • When buying filters, it is best to choose a filter kit with a holder instead of filtering for a specific size of the lens. With such a system, you can easily change filters. When purchasing, also pay attention to the quality of the filters. The lower the price, the more chance of color casts in the filter, something you don't want in your photos. The filter should show true-to-life colors.
  • Composition is an important part of taking a good photo. Placing elements in the foreground prevents a flat image. A good starting point for the photo would be a piece of rock or land coming into the frame from the side.


Want to learn to photograph or gain experience?

Shooting with slow shutter speeds and using filters is discussed in various workshops of Travelmarks-Photography. Would you like to participate in it? Then take a look at the many workshops. For the travel lovers there are also some cool photo trips where you can improve your photography skills. If you are interested, sign up quickly and till clicks!

Photography Tips

Tips for industrial photography

Industrial photography

Photography has many niches, one of which is industrial photography. You take photos at locations such as companies, factories and industrial sites. It is a somewhat rougher form of photography and can sometimes be compared to urbex photography, because some locations seem quite remote and deserted. In this article we give you a number of tips that you can take into account for industrial photography. The inspiration for this news item and the photos come from the C-mine in Genk, Belgium.


Tips for industrial photography

  • Take a whole day off when you go out. By being on location early, you have enough time to explore the area and prepare for the blue hour. Because the blue hour only lasts about 45 minutes, it is important to have all equipment prepared so that as little photography time as possible is lost.
  • Shoot in the evening, preferably after a rainy day with clouds. These conditions fit very well with the atmosphere of industrial photography. The clouds make the sky more dramatic and the fallen rain creates beautiful reflections in the water. Check in advance what the weather will be that day.
  • Another aspect of industrial photography is safety on location. If it is an abandoned location, with no barriers and lots of artifacts/machinery left behind, be careful where you walk and shoot. Often it is entered at your own risk. Everything at the C-mine in Genk is freely accessible and open to the public.
  • Light is of course very important in photography, but with industrial photography (especially at night) there is a chance that there is not much light left. So take a tripod with you for working with slow shutter speeds and use a flash if necessary.
  • When you want to focus on a certain point/object, use a larger aperture (F11-F16). A larger aperture provides a lot of depth of field. Of the total depth of field, 1/3 is in front of the focus point and 2/3 behind it, taking into account the determination of the focus point.
  • If you choose to photograph a certain item sharply, use the interplay of lines around it. Like the photo below, where the lines of the grids point to the subject. That way your eyes will naturally be drawn to the subject.
  • In addition to the interplay of lines, you can also play with different angles, angles from which you would normally not photograph so quickly, often resulting in surprising and unique images. In addition to trying out a different angle, you can also focus on the details. Like different structures or specific objects, making it almost macro photography. At a location like the C-mine you have endless options in which you can express your creativity.
  • Another creative way is to use steel wool for light painting. A good combination with the atmosphere and industrial location. Also take into account the safety of others and the environment. The sparks flying around can be dangerous.


Want to learn to photograph or gain experience?

Would you like to try out industrial photography yourself? Then take a look at the many workshops. During the workshops you can gain experience at your own pace, under the guidance of a professional photographer. Because the workshops are in small groups, there is enough time and attention for each student. Would you like to participate? Then sign up right away!

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Photography Tips

Capturing other cultures

Tips for capturing other cultures

For those who take the camera with them on a trip, they have to deal with someone else's culture and the associated norms and values. With cultural photography you will therefore notice that a lot can be achieved with mutual respect. To help you on your way to achieving this, we'll give you a number of tips and examples.

Immerse yourself in other people's culture

Preparation is essential on any trip. And by that, we don't mean looking up nice sights or holidays, but delving into the culture and faith there, such as their norms and values, but also their customs. For example, when photographing the Masai, it is customary to dance and sing to someone to thank them. This may seem a bit uncomfortable at first glance, but it is actually a form of gratitude. There are also some cultures that believe that a piece of their soul is taken from them the moment they are photographed. Then it is often wise to ask permission in advance. Such handy do's and don'ts can already be found online, so make sure to use them.

Cultural photography tips

Cultural photography is mainly about the interactions between the photographer and the subject. Earning the respect is therefore more important than the result. That is also the added value of this type of photography, where you mainly make personal images. Often people have a certain pride at the moment you show them their photo, something that is not at all self-evident for many in certain places. These kind of beautiful moments that you share with each other often make the best memories. We are therefore happy to give you a number of tips if you want to get started yourself;

  • Be respectful. You are, as it were, a guest, so don't be too pushy and don't cross other people's boundaries. Not everyone appreciates when pictures are taken of them, better luck next time.
  • Ask permission from the person you want to photograph. If you don't speak the language and there is no interpreter, it comes down to using your hands. Make contact with the person and point to your camera, often with a small gesture they let you know whether or not they want it.
  • Always go to the people with the pictures taken. Not only is it nice to show them and thank them, but this is also how you make contact and who knows, there may be a very nice story behind that person. As a thank you, a little extra such as money or food is often much appreciated.
  • What if you took photos without permission, for a spontaneous moment, but they don't want that? Then it is best to delete all photos on the spot and leave it at that. This can, for example, occur with the people who, as mentioned earlier, believe that a piece of their soul is being taken away.
  • Cultural photography often consists of portraits. Focus on the eyes and make sure you capture that person in their own unique way as beautifully as possible. The emotion in their faces makes the picture, which is why it's so important that the eyes are sharp. To ensure that there is a nice contrast, the challenge is to look for a calm background in the chaos. That way the subject comes into its own.
  • Storytelling is something that a good photo meets. With street photography, for example, there is something to say about everything, it is often an intimate insight into someone's daily life. For example, in the photos below. This woman had not yet realized that photos were being taken, so you can see her counting her last money with all her belongings on the street. Such a series of photos can tell so much without any prior knowledge, and that is precisely the art of storytelling.


Want to learn to photograph or gain experience?

Would you like to learn more about photography and your camera yourself? Or gain more experience during one of our photography trips? All Travelmarks workshops and trips are in small groups and accompanied by a professional photographer. For more information, take a look at the many workshops and photo trips and sign up.


Till clicks!

Photography Tips

Shooting in the winter

Shooting in the winter

The winter period is a great season to photograph. Now that winter time is approaching, we have listed a number of tips. So that you are well prepared and can shoot such beautiful winter pictures yourself.

The blue and golden hour

When photographing a winter landscape, good planning is very important. The best time for this is in the morning, around sunrise. Fortunately, the sun rises a little later in winter, so you don't have to get out of bed too early. It is important to be on location on time so that you can prepare everything properly and make optimal use of the so-called blue and golden hour. The blue hour is just before the golden hour in the morning, in the evening it is just the other way around. During the blue hour, the sky begins to take on more color as it transitions from night to day. At the beginning of that hour, at 'civil twilight', there is often still some fog, which even creates a fairytale atmosphere. The golden hour begins shortly after the blue hour.

If you want to capture the many ice crystals, you have to be there in time. They are best visible at sunrise, when it has frozen at night. It is coldest when the sun rises. Soon after, everything is slowly warmed up by the sun, and the ice crystals will disappear.


Choosing the composition

In addition to the right timing, choosing the location and composition is also important. It's good to know exactly where the sun rises and how you want to take your picture. During the sunrise you can shoot towards the sun for a colorful sky. When the sun is a bit higher, you can change position and photograph with the sun at your back. That way you get the soft and warm glow of the light in the photo.


Shoot with the right settings

Now that you know where and when to shoot, it's time for how to do it. For landscape photography, a large depth of field is recommended. That is, for example, an aperture between F11 and F16. For lovers of nature and macro photography, a low aperture is used. This is between F2.8 and F5.6, so you get your subject sharp and the background a bit blurry, so that more depth is created.


Want to learn to photograph or gain experience?

Would you like to learn more about photography and your camera yourself? Or gain more experience in the outdoors with guidance? Then take a look at the many workshops and sign up.

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Photography Tips

Photographing mushrooms

Photographing mushrooms

It's that time of year again when mushrooms shoot out of the ground en masse. There are thousands of species to be found in the Netherlands. So a good reason to go out and capture them. To help you on your way, we will give you a few tips for taking a beautiful and creative photo.


The season of the mushrooms

Summer is over and it's raining more and more. Ideal for the mushrooms, because they appear fairly quickly after a wet period. Those who want to shoot a typical autumn picture in the forest can of course not forget the mushrooms. It is almost a challenge to look for the most beautiful and unique mushrooms, because they often hide among the grass or grow on the trees.


Macro photography

Mushrooms are perfect for macro photography. Each mushroom has its own structure, color or shape and those details can be captured very well with a macro lens. Not only the top of the mushroom, but also the gills underneath the cap make for very nice pictures. When taking such detailed photos, also take into account disturbing elements, such as sand, twigs and damage to the mushroom.


Photography Tips

  • With 'photo stacking' you photograph the same composition several times, each time with a different focal point. When editing, these photos are merged together, creating a new image. This gives the photo depth without losing brightness or sharpness.



  • For those who want to display mushrooms a little more creatively, the 'twist-zoom' is an option. It's an example of 'intentional camera movement' (ICM), where you zoom while the shutter is still open. This creates an image with a spiral movement.


  • Light is a very important element when taking pictures. With the help of a flashlight you can play with the incidence of light, so that you can determine the atmosphere of the photo. Think light from above, through the cap of the mushroom. Or from below, so that the mushroom seems to give light. You could also use backlighting to make the silhouette clearly visible. By holding an autumn-colored leaf in front of the flashlight, you get a softer and warmer light.



  • By using lens filters you can play with the atmosphere in the photo. For example, it can give a warmer or colder glow, but also give a certain color to the photo. Do you want to know more about the use of filters? Read our photography tips about photographing with filters.


  • Another element you can play with is water, such as morning dew. But if that is not available, you can also create the droplets yourself with a plant sprayer. In addition, you can give the effect as if it is raining by spraying water from above while taking a photo. Drops of water can also give a bokeh effect. This is often blurred in the foreground or background, making the subject stand out even more clearly. With a large aperture you take photos with a shallow depth of field, so in this case the mushroom is displayed sharply and the background is not focused.

Learning photography

Want to learn more about macro photography? Take a look at our workshops and sign up!

During the workshops you will put what you have learned into practice in small groups. There is guidance where necessary and enough time and space for taking pictures, which you can still enjoy at home.

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Photography Tips

How do you photograph the Northern Lights?

How do you photograph the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are one of the most beautiful and magical natural phenomena out there. And for many photographers a dream to capture. That's why we tell you the best way to do that, and what you can pay attention to to take the perfect photo.

The Northern Lights

How do the Northern Lights actually form? This is due to electrically charged particles from the sun entering the earth through the atmosphere. These protons and electrons from the sun are thrown into space during a solar storm or explosion. Because the particles come into contact with the terrestrial gases, the northern lights appear in all kinds of colors and shapes. You are most likely to see this phenomenon in northern countries near the poles.

Tips for capturing the Northern Lights


– The darker the better. For this it is best to photograph in the winter with the new moon. You also don't want any light pollution behind the northern lights, so the intensity decreases.

– Take the photo as far north as possible and towards the north. You have the best chance of seeing the northern lights well without disturbing elements in the background.

– Choose a good location with a landscape or water in the foreground. That way you get more depth in the photo or a nice reflection in the water.

– Good preparation is half the battle. Being a natural phenomenon, it remains unique and unpredictable. It is therefore never exactly the same twice. Make sure you are at your location on time, because the Northern Lights can also be gone in no time.

– The Northern Lights always move from east to west. Since the light is quite active at times and moves quickly through the air, a faster shutter speed is better when capturing. If not, a slower shutter speed is recommended.

Good to know

For a good preparation, there are also a number of apps that can come in handy. First of all, an app that displays the KP index, in other words the activity of the northern lights due to the sun explosions in space. That way you know where it can be seen and to what extent.

If you want to make sure that there is no light pollution in the area, an app like Light Pollution Map is very useful. This map shows where there is the most light pollution, something you want as little as possible when photographing the northern lights. In addition, a weather app is always useful to see if it will be very cloudy, because clouds make the northern lights less bright.

Photography Trip Northern Lights Lofoten & Senja

Would you like to photograph the Northern Lights? You are most welcome on our photo tour!

Please take a look at our photography trip Lofoten and our photo tour Senja

Want to learn photography or brush up on your own photography skills?

Sign up for one of the many workshops!

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Photography Tips

Shooting with different lenses, which one do you choose?

Which lens do you choose?

Let's keep it simple. There are now so many lenses on the market that you sometimes can't see the forest for the trees. No worries! I explain clearly and clearly what you can pay attention to. This way you go out with the right lens in your bag. Which choice do you ultimately make? That is entirely up to your preference. You can divide a lens into two categories:

  •  Zoom lens
  • Prime lens

With zoom lenses you can of course zoom in and out, with prime lenses you can't. The advantage of a zoom lens is that you have a wide range. You can determine your composition comfortably from one place, by zooming in and out. A disadvantage is that the quality is somewhat less than with a prime lens. If you have a bright zoom lens, with a fixed aperture over the entire range, then the difference is not too bad. An example of this is a 70-200mm F2.8.  

Prime lens forces you to use your legs to determine your composition. In order to learn to photograph, you are therefore forced to look at your composition differently. Consider this an advantage, your creativity is addressed. Another advantage of a prime lens is that it is often brighter and therefore also more qualitative. An example of this is a 60mm F2.8 or a 100mm F2.8 macro.


Let's look at the variants. You have:

  •  Macro lenses
  • Telephoto lenses
  • Other lenses



A macro lens is required for photographing details. This allows you to get the subject close and, depending on the magnification factor, display it enlarged. It is not for nothing that these types of lenses are so popular in macro photography.

Telephoto lens

You can also capture excellent detail with a telephoto lens. You can bring the subject closer and show more detail. Ideal for macro photography is a range from 200mm. Keep in mind that with a telephoto lens you have to observe the minimum focusing distance. Often you need to have at least 1 meter distance between you and your subject.

Other lenses

  • Wide angle lens

Even with a wide-angle lens, you can get started with macro photography. Because you can often get very close to your subject with a wide-angle lens, you get very interesting perspectives. Try it out, you will be amazed at the result. 

  •  Portrait lens incl. extension cube

An extension cube can be a godsend if you do not want or cannot invest in a macro lens. By means of an extension cube (placed between your lens and the camera), the minimum focusing distance to your subject is reduced. So you can get closer to your subject, allowing you to view it larger. An extension cube is only a hollow intermediate ring and is attractive in terms of price. In combination with (for example) bright portrait lenses, you get a surprisingly good result.

Want to learn photography or brush up on your own photography skills?

Sign up for one of the many workshops!

Till clicks!

Photography Tips

How does focusing with a camera work?

Focusing with your camera

How does focusing work with your camera? There are several settings you can use on your camera. Let's go through them:


AF method

Something you've used before, but how does it actually work? When taking a photo, we press the shutter release button of the camera halfway. We see through the viewfinder or on the screen, one or more dots light up and press the button further to take the photo.

Focusing is done in a fraction of a second. The speed of focusing also depends a bit on the camera and lens combination.

Focus point

Not the entire image is linked to the AF sensor, but only a few focus points. That varies from 11 to more than 500. You see these focus points as dots or zones in the viewfinder of the camera. The middle point is the most sensitive. This measures both the horizontal and vertical contrast with an extra high sensitivity, in less light or low contrast. You can purposefully select one focus point, but you can also use an entire zone.

Many photographers use the center focus point and reframe the image, then take the picture. You can also choose to choose a different focus point, but then you have to focus properly for each photo. There is also a mode where all focus points are active and the camera chooses a point itself. This is by far the fastest method, but can result in a photo where the wrong element in your photo is in focus.

One shot / Ai Focus / Ai Servo

With One Shot, the focus point is locked when the focus point is found. So this mode is ideal for shooting still subjects.

Ai Focus recognizes it when movement comes from a still image. It then tracks the moving subject to focus. If something accidentally passes by, it can be detrimental, because you don't want to focus on the moving subject at all.

Ai Servo is the ideal mode if you have continuously moving subjects that you want to focus on. For example, think of a sports competition or car races. The focus point then continues to move with your subject.

Auto focus in liveview
With newer cameras with a touchscreen, it is possible to tap your focus point on your LCD screen. In this way you are no longer tied to the number of focus points that you see through your viewfinder, but you simply tap the subject you want sharp in your photo.

Autofocus vs manual focus:

Your camera has trouble focusing automatically in the dark. The camera will not find a bright spot to focus on. This is not a disaster, because fortunately we can also focus manually. Also with macro photography you will often want to focus manually. So good to pay attention to!

If you focus manually, keep a few points in mind:

  • Turn off the image stabilization on your lens
  • First, determine a good composition and place your tripod in the desired location.
  • Set your desired aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
  • Always take a test photo first and judge if it is good.
  • Macro photography is all about details. So make sure you have good focus to make sure that the right element of your photo is in focus.
  • Use the infinity sign (see photo on the right) for the largest possible sharpness area. You can recognize the infinity sign by an 8-like symbol. Adjust to this and turn back a very small turn. How much exactly? That differs per lens. So just try it out.
  • Take your photo and check whether you have the desired sharpness.
  • After each photo taken, you have to manually focus again. Every change in composition or setting creates a new situation. So refocus.
To manually focus via your LCD screen:
  • All of the above points also apply to manual focusing via your LCD screen.
  • On your LCD screen you can see more clearly what your photo will look like and whether it is sharp.
  • You are looking for a bright light source on your LCD screen. This can be anything, a lamppost, an illuminated shop front, a shop window, you name it.
  • Zoom in on the light source with your magnifying glass and focus manually. You can clearly see when it is at its sharpest on your LCD screen.                                      
Want to learn photography or brush up on your own photography skills?

Sign up for one of the many workshops!

Till clicks!

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