The Most Popular Articles of 2015 on PhotoTraces

Today is the latest installment of my “Top Lists” of 2015. Previously I posted The Most popular Photos of 2015 and The Most popular Tutorials of 2015 and today is the top list of the most popular blog posts, articles and reviews I published on in 2015.

The popularity of the articles was driven by my switch from a Canon DSLR to a Sony Mirrorless system. The first two articles in today’s top list were by far the most popular content on this blog.

Top Reason Why I Switched from Canon to Sony

After 10 years of shooting with Canon, I finally switched to Sony. I say “finally” because I was contemplating the move for a long time.

Many of my readers, friends and fellow photographers keep asking me why I jumped the ship.

Here is my long answer.

Sony A6000 & Switching From a Canon DSLR to a Sony Mirrorless

At the end of 2014, after shooting for a decade with Canon, I completely switched to a Sony Mirrorless.

Just before the Christmas holiday, I sold all of my Canon equipment and ordered the Sony A6000,Sony 10-18mm f/4, and Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 in one shot. I paid $2000 in total. Sony lenses are always pricy but I found that the price of the complete kit was very reasonable.

After six months of using my new equipment and, after taking about 10,000 photos, I am ready to give you comprehensive feedback on my experience in switching to Sony.

Introduction to Lightroom Rapid Editing System

Do you know what two factors are vital in establishing your style in photography?

Time and consistency.

Let me introduce my photo editing system that not only saved me an enormous amount of time editing, it also made my photography more consistent.

Essentially, this system helped me develop and establish my personal style.

I know it can help you as well.

Read moreThe Most Popular Articles of 2015 on PhotoTraces

The Most popular Tutorials of 2015 on PhotoTraces

Yesterday I published the list of 30 the most popular photos of 2015 on PhotoTraces. Today is the time to reveal the most popular tutorials of 2015.

2015 was the year of big changes in my photography and it affected the way I edit my photos. First, Adobe introduced HDR module in Lightroom 6 and it changed the way I approach the HDR editing. In the second half of the year, I developed the Lightroom Rapid Editing System which streamlined and speeded up my entire workflow.

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom

I am a big proponent of HDR photography and use it on a daily basis. I employ different HDR software and various editing techniques to achieve natural looking and balanced HDR photos.

Recently Adobe released a new version of Lightroom, version 6 (read my review Adobe Lightroom 6 Review – New Features). One of the biggest addition that surprised many photographers was the Photo Merge HDR module integrated into Lightroom.

The new edition to Lightroom drastically changed the way I produce and edit HDR photos.

Long Exposure Photography Without a Tripod

Long exposure technique requires a tripod and when you want to slow down the shutter speed in the broad daylight; you also need a Neutral Density Filter. This has always caused problems for me since I often like to go photo hunting in bright light and do not typically carry any extra equipment.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a new technique where I can achieve the long exposure effect shooting hand-held, without a tripod. The technique is based on blending multiple images in Photoshop using Smart Objects.

Lightroom Rapid Editing System for Landscapes

Landscapes are the most important part of my photography.

My initial motivation for developing Rapid Editing System was driven by my personal needs. The goal was to speed up my editing workflow and to be more consistent with my landscape photography.

Later I adopted the system to other aspects of my photography, such as People Photography, Architectural Photography, HDR photography. But the driving force of the entire process was always the landscapes.

Read moreThe Most popular Tutorials of 2015 on PhotoTraces

The Most popular Photos of 2015 on PhotoTraces

2015 is almost over and it is time to assess what we managed to accomplish at in the past 12 months and to create “Top Lists” of 2015.

Over the next few days, I am planning to reveal the most popular content of 2015 in the different categories: photos, tutorials and articles.

Today is the first “Top List” in photographs category. Below is the selection of 30 photos which were the most popular among the readers of PhotoTraces.

Not all of the featured photos I took in 2015 but all of them were published first time on PhotoTraces in the year of 2015.

Travel Photography Blog - Montreal, Canada
Canada. Montreal. Lachine
Loc: 45.429813, -73.690427
Travel Photography Blog - California, Santa Cruz, Greyhound Rock Beach
California, Santa Cruz, Greyhound Rock Beach
Loc: 37.078437, -122.267168
Travel Photography Blog - Quebec. Montmorency Falls
California. Big Sur. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Loc: 36.15775, -121.67209

Read moreThe Most popular Photos of 2015 on PhotoTraces

Photographer’s Guide to Writing an Effective Blog Post

We continue to expand the very popular section on PhotoTraces blog: Blogging Tips For Photographerswhere we address the topic on how blogging could help photographers to take their business to another level (Please check previously published: How to Start a Photography Blog in Under 10 Minutes and The Best WordPress Themes for Your Photography Blog).

Today, our guest writer Nancy Young is breaking down the process of creating an effective blog post for photographers.

Probably you have heard about blogging and that a photographer should have a blog. You have even seen a few successful photographers who blog. But why is blogging critically important for photographers? And more importantly, how to write epic blog posts worth your time efforts? In this article we’re going to discuss what topics to cover on your blog, why it’s so important for your business, and what services are the best to use.

Read morePhotographer’s Guide to Writing an Effective Blog Post

5 Key Factors of Successful Travel Photography Blog

A while back when I published the blog post Why Starting a Photography Blog is Crucial for any Photographer which covered topic not directly related to travel photography, I did not expect it would resonated with my readers at such a high level.

It motivated me to create a new section on Blogging Tips For Photographers where I continued to expand on how blogging could help photographers to take their passion to another level.

I added another two articles covered the same subject later: How to Start a Photography Blog in Under 10 Minutes and The Best WordPress Themes for Your Photography Blog.

Today, I would like to introduce you to Nancy Young. She is a passionate writer and blogger. She writes tons of inspirational articles on photography and web design, despite the fact that she is an economist by education. Nancy believes in magic of written words to inspire and motivate. She is a part of PhotoDoto Team. Check out their free ebook on landscape photography!

Nancy is going to identify and evaluate the main components of any successful travel photography blog.

Running a travel blog may sound cool and glamorous even. You travel the world and write about it, share photos and your emotions, what is there not to like? Of course, the reality is different. Travel blogging is a certainly a difficult breed. Travelling is well suited to blogging as travelers tend to document their journey with journals and photography.

Read more5 Key Factors of Successful Travel Photography Blog

Most Popular Photography Tutorials on PhotoTraces in 2014

This is my third and the last post which highlights the best content of 2014. First it was selection of the best photographs and then 10 most popular articles and today I am featuring the most popular tutorials of 2014.

Tutorial: Natural Looking HDR Photography Guide

With the increased popularity of HDR photo processing in the last 5 years, there are a number different tools you can use. By far the most popular tool is Photomatix from HDRsoft, which I use when I want to achieve an unusual, sometimes surrealistic look in my photos. For natural-looking landscapes and travel photos I use a different approach.

Tutorial: HDR Photography with Point and Shoot Camera

Today, I am going to demonstrate how I shoot for HDR using my $299.00 point-and-shoot camera, without a tripod (hand held) and my processing steps to produce HDR images.

Combining HDR Processing and Panorama Stitching Editing Techniques

Today I want to share my photography workflow when it is necessary to combine two different processing techniques: HDR photography and panorama stitching.

Spring in Montreal – HDR Landscape Photography with Photomatix 

Below you can find my Before&After Widget which illustrates 9 editing steps of my workflow. By clicking through numbers (orange squares) you can see how image transforms from step 1 (original raw image) to step 10 (final published photo).

Cross Processing Effect in Lightroom in Seconds

Below is a Before & After demonstration. I took this photo with my point and shoot camera, Lumix LX7, in the local park. I will show you how to achieve this stylish look in Lightroom in seconds.

Natural Looking HDR Photography with HDR Expose

A few months ago, I discovered and started using a new HDR tool that I later reviewed on my blog in an article entitled,  HDR Expose 3 – King of Natural Looking HDR. Many of my readers expressed interest in this tool and, as a result, I am releasing a step by step tutorial on how to achieve natural looking HDR images using HDR Expose.

Top 10 Most Popular Articles and Posts on PhotoTraces in 2014

In my last post I published my best photos of 2014. Today, I compiled the list of ten most popular posts and articles from 2014 on this blog (PhotoTraces).

Photo Location Guide: What to See and Photograph in San Francisco If You Only Have 2 Hours

But what would you do if you had only two hours to spend in San Francisco? Where would you go? Which locations would you choose to photograph?

That was the real dilemma in front of me a few years back as I was packing for my unexpected trip to San Francisco.

Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World

Today we have very special post. I asked top travel photographers from all over the world to answer one simple question.

If you had to choose what would be your favorite photography location?

So here are their answers!

Review: “The Art of Digital Blending” Video Course by Jimmy McIntyre

Instead of teaching us how to use Photoshop, Jimmy teaches us how to improve our photography. He does not try to scare users with technical mumbo jumbo; instead, Jimmy takes the approach of simplification, making it easy to follow and digest.

Photo Location Guide: New York City – the Best Spot to Photograph Panoramas of Manhattan

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of visiting and photographing New York on may occasions and I know what my favorite photo location in New York is: it’s Hamilton Park. From my perspective, the view from Hamilton Park represents the essence of the city because of: its condensed nature, architecture with iconic structures everywhere, and unique to New York city color patterns.

Zion Canyon Overlook Trail (Utah)

I find that Zion National Park is the most challenging place to photograph among all canyon locations I visited during my travel photography driving trip through Arizona, Utah, Nevada,  California.

Review of “Landscape Photography Tutorial Series: New Zealand” by Trey Ratcliff

Trey Ratcliff covers the topic of landscape photography giving us the whole picture from the conceptual idea to the final, ready for publishing, photograph.

Sunset at Moonstone Beach (California)

This is the spot I always plan to visit when I drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco along California Route 1. It is located right in the middle of the coastal drive, next to the San Simeon State Park

Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World – Part 2

Today, I have a very special treat for my readers. This is the second part of roundup post, “Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World“. The first part of the post was published about 2 months ago and it attracted a lot of attention from all over the world. At the same time, our readers pointed out that we did not cover any destinations from Africa and Asia. Today’s roundup post should fix some shortcomings of the original article.

Photo Location Guide: Cape Tryon – Prince Edward Island (Canada)

Cape Tryon always on my to-do list when I visit Prince Edward Island. It’s the one place I visit every time I’m there. It has all of my favorite landscape photography hallmarks: dramatic ocean views, a picturesque shoreline, a lighthouse and endless fields. The cliffs are elevated about 30 meters over the sea and feature thousands of nesting birds. It’s all amazing – and it isn’t very well-known either, so there are few visitors.

Blue Hour at Niagara Falls (Canada)

Niagara Falls consist of 3 separate waterfalls. The biggest and most impressive one is Horseshoe Falls which lie mostly on the canadian side of the Niagara River. Two other ones are  American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls which are located on US side. When you walk along Niagara River, you have a magnificent view of each falls, but due to the narrowness of the river, it is not easy get all 3 of them into one composition.

Best Photos of 2014 from by Viktor Elizarov

2014 was an eventful year for me. The first half of the year I traveled a lot. The highlight of the year was my spectacular drive through the Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California.

In the second half of the year my main concentration was my brand new blog dedicated to travel and landscape photography. I put a lot of effort into creating original content (tutorials, tips, photo location guide articles, reviews).

Below is the selection of my best photos from 2014

Travel Photography Blog - California. Moonstone Beach
California. Moonstone Beach
Loc: 35°35’5″ N 121°7’21” W
Travel Photography Blog - Point Lobos State Park
USA. California. Point Lobos
Loc: 36.52185, -121.95099
Travel Photography Blog: Big Sur California Coastal Drive
California. Cabrillo Highway. Big Sur
Loc: 36.331944, -121.889722
Travel Photography Blog - California. Big Sur. Pfeiffer Beach
California. Big Sur. Pfeiffer Beach
Loc: 36.236923, -121.815157
Travel Photography Blog - California. Yosemite National Park
California. Yosemite National Park
Loc: 37.736900, -119.599979
Travel Photography Blog - USA. California. Morro Bay
USA. California. Morro Bay
Loc: 35.378528, -120.862712
Arizona. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Loc: 36.726388, -112.058020
Travel Photography Blog - Arizona. Colorado River and Marble Canyon
Arizona. Colorado River and Marble Canyon
Loc: 36.8175, -111.6328
Travel Photography Blog - Arizona
Loc: 36.8321, -112.2556
Travel Photography Blog - Bryce Canyon
Utah.Bryce Canyon National Park
Loc: 37.516425, -112.264853
Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Montreal. Mont Saint Bruno National Park
Canada. Quebec. Montreal. Mont Saint Bruno National Park
Loc: 45.542355, -73.327213
Travel Photography Blog - New York
New York. Hudson River
Loc: 40.681944, -74.046667
Travel Photography Blog - Utah. Zion National Park
Utah. Zion National Park
Loc: 37°15’40” N 112°46’13” W
Travel Photography Blog - Ontario. Niagara Falls
Canada. Ontario. Niagara Falls. View from Rainbow Bridge
Loc: 43.09094, -79.06899


Show Us Your Best Photos of 2014

This is the first holiday season for my blog and I would like to start a new tradition.

The 2014 was very eventful year for me. In the spring of 2014 I launched this blog dedicated to travel and landscape photography. The rest of the year I was busy creating the content with the goal to share my passion and my knowledge, helping others to become better photographers.

I am very honored that my blog has such a strong following now. Community of more than 60 000 people follow through different social media channels, email and rss.

I would like to start the tradition where I share the best work of the readers, followers, contributors of this blog and anybody who is passionate about photography.

How to participate and be featured on this blog:
  1. Select your best photos you took in 2014. There is no maximum or minimum limits.
  2. Create blog post with your selected images if you run photography blog.
  3. If you do not have a blog, create gallery on Flickr, 500px, SmugMug, PhotoShelter, Facebook, Google Plus or any photography sharing site of your choice.
  4. Using comments form below this post send me the following information:
    a. Your Name
    b. Title of you blog post of your gallery
    c. Link to you post of gallery
    The Best Photos of 2014 On – Viktor Elizarov
    My Favorite Photos of 2014 – John Smith

The showcase of your best photos will be published on the first week of 2015.



The Best WordPress Themes for Your Photography Blog

Today’s post is the third instalment of my series, “Blogging Tips for Photographers.” In my first post I outlined my position on how every photographer can profit from running a blog. In my second article, I shared practical steps on how to setup your photography blog in less than 10 minutes. Today’s post discusses WordPress themes.

WordPress theme is what makes your blog unique. A theme defines the design of your blog, its layout (the position of the elements on your blog) and its functionality (mobile friendliness etc.).

Choosing the right theme is a crucial step in the process of building a successful blog. My experience with WordPress themes started a while ago when I created my first photography blog and picked one of the free themes. I customized the design myself and was a happy blogger for three to four months. However, with the next major update to the WordPress platform, my theme stopped working and I spent a week trying to repair broken code.

Read moreThe Best WordPress Themes for Your Photography Blog