11) Affinity Designer: A Fantastic Photo Editing App

affinityThanks tons to Ed for pointing us to Affinity Designer. Yes, it’s currently available only for Mac, but for all the Windows users out there, the writers say a Windows beta is just weeks away. (You can sign up to be notified.) The great part is — it’s not a ‘subscription-based’ deal. Pay $50. Own it. For good. Love it. Looks like one of the most powerful photo-editing tools we’ve seen, but, then, we don’t use Mac — so you’ll have to verify in the comments following this post in the web version – please.

13) The Best Place to Learn Photography

photography206Let’s face it: If we’re mobilizing, we sooner or later have to take pictures. It’s easy these days to take AVERAGE pictures. But I’m convinced that it’s just as difficult as ever to take GREAT pictures. There are bound to be some great websites out there that take some of the pain out of learning. For example, if you are lucky enough to have a Nikon, then you have a GREAT resource at…

I wish Sony had a similar site. I’ve recently switched over to a Sony Nex-7 and sobered sometimes by the fact that I have to wind my way through several buttons and menus levels to get it to do what I want. (But granted — that’s after 20 years on either Canon or Nikon.) Do you have a favorite helpful site for learning your equipment, or skills, or technical aspects of taking great pictures? For example, maybe it’s worth paying for an online class at a site like…

I wish there was an equivalent to Popular Photography Magazine — only online. (Is there?) If you have a favorite site, would you be kind enough to share it with us by clicking “Comment” after the web version of this item? If so, thank you!!!

4) Wow: You Suddenly Own the Majority of Getty Images

Getty ImageAt least… you now probably have the right to use them on your web pages, that is, copyright free. Keep in mind, their byline is fairly good size and, from what I can determine, it won’t reduce. But just hop on over to…

About 4 out of 5 images now have “embed code” for you to insert in your own web pages or reports. Have fun decorating your blog or report with the best images ever, all for free and no registration required.

5) Cool Tools: the Right Camera for Travel









I was hauled into the back of a swat truck once in Uruguay because, unbeknownst to me, policemen were making a drug bust in the market I was photographing. I think they concluded I was working for some magazine or something because the camera I was using had one of those long telephoto lenses on the front. It was too high profile. My suggestion is – carry a camera that’s comfortable and practical for you, but beware of equipment that raises your profile unnecessarily. Last year, after carrying the Canon “G-series” for a decade, I switched to Nikon. The Nikon P-7700 was the sweet spot for me. High-def 1080 video WITH a mic jack into which we can plug a wired or a remote lavaliere mic (essential to bump up the audio quality for videos). It’s one of those unique cameras that has essentially all the settings of a digital SLR, without the look of one. In fact, it carries reasonably well in my jacket or vest pocket, completely out of sight. But the secret is to find something that works well for YOU. Pick up a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. I still carry an external flash too (with the Nikon, I’ve gone to one of the Speedlite series) when I need to light up the entire room. I suggest you get one with a head that you can pivot upwards to “bounce” the flash off the ceiling so it illuminates generally, instead of only from a flat front view. The Nikon Speedlite series meters through the lense of the camera with a small test flash first, allowing for a perfect exposure every time. Outstanding units.

2) This Free Photography Course Book Might Help Your Pix —

Want to learn how to be a better photographer? How to tell stories with your pictures? … how to “see” through photos? … bump up your creativity? … get inspired? Now you can do all that and more with Scott Bourne’s “Essays on Inspiration, Creativity and Vision in Photography,” available as a PDF download at…


It’s 47 pages, packed full of beautiful photo examples of his teaching.

7) Need Quality Video & Photographs?

… of minority people groups and general lifestyle in SE Asia? Check out the growing portfolio of media resources for SE Asian based missions at

This material is available at very reasonable royalty free rates. Purchasing it will not only enhance your next video, power point or brochure, but it will also help fund the work of Acts Multimedia in providing affordable custom services for missions. For more info send them an email

11) The Backpage: Learn To Tell A Story With Your Photos

I’ll be the first to confess that I’m no professional photographer. I have so much to learn. What little I *do* know about taking pictures, I learned as a 10th-grader in the Nikon School of Photography on the campus of Indiana University. Although it was just a one-week class, I have to give them credit: they worked us from 8am until 8pm for five days straight. But take note: that was back in high school and those same lessons still echo in my mind today.

My point? Few of us have time to go obtain a degree in photojournalism. But virtually all of us could learn something in five days of study or less.

Example: Visit this site…

There you’ll find a series of 24 lessons, each taking 60 seconds or so. Read and digest one a day, then try to take a few pictures that day to illustrate that lesson for yourself. In 24 days, you’ll be a better photographer or they’ll refund your money. (That won’t be hard. The lessons are free. :-) )

The goal of all this? If we can just learn to capture better images, our stories will be more effectively told… more people will identify with the needs we’re highlighting, and presumably greater numbers will be involved in missions. Simple, right? :-) Well obviously, there’s a lot more to the missionary call than good images… but admit it — don’t you find yourself looking at pictures of unreached people just as often, if not more so, than looking at endless rows of data? So … what are we waiting for? Let’s all improve our ability to capture images! Start today.
Got a favorite photography tip, website, or book? Post it here by clicking “Comment” below this item on the web.

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