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Category Archives: Photography

Flower Photography

One of the characteristics that makes an image strong is when it presents a scene in a way that we don’t normally get to see it. As you walk through life each day, you see EVERYTHING, for the most part, at eye level. As beautiful as a Tulip may be, if you photograph it from your normal standing position, it will look like every other Tulip you have seen over the years. Beautiful?… yes, Unique or interesting?… probably not so much.

Look to present Tulips in a way they are not usually seen. When was the last time you got down on your belly on a nice day and gazed upward at the flowers? Maybe never, right? By gaining a different perspective than what you are used to seeing, the image now possesses the unique and interesting factor that makes it visually appealing.

If you happen upon a scene that contains a field of Tulips as far as the eye can see, or one where there’s a glorious mountain or sunset as the backdrop, well then you’re pretty much golden to start shooting away. However, for the other 99% of the time, you will be faced with less than glorious surroundings. This is when it is important to manage the scene. Even the most dazzling flowers will not be as appealing when you see parked cars, campers, stores, etc. behind them. Unless the background elements support your photograph, they should not be included.

There are several ways in which you can remove distractions from your background. One is by simply walking around your scene and finding a vantage point in which the less than desirable background elements are not visible. An example of this might be to shoot upward from a very low vantage point. By using the sky as the backdrop, you have avoided any existing distractions that may have been there. In addition to getting down low, you can attempt to photograph the flowers close up with a tight crop. Any items that may have been behind our floral subjects are nowhere to be seen and the focus of the image is on only the Tulips.

Depth of Field (or DOF), is basically the distance between the nearest and farthest elements in a photograph that appear sufficiently sharp in focus. When an image has a large depth of field, most elements in the scene from front to back will be in sharp focus. If an image has a shallow depth of field, the subject of the photograph will be sharp, while elements in front or behind it will be out of focus.

Controlling DOF can be a very powerful tool in creating strong images. Let’s go back to the previous tip, regarding backgrounds, for example. In addition to the strategies we discussed for removing distracting background elements, you could also use depth of field to your advantage. By throwing a background element out of focus, you will draw less attention to it.

Manipulating the depth of field can really assist in producing a strong and dynamic image. For example, with an out of focus foreground and background, you can keep the attention on a single Tulip just by keeping it sharply focused.

Controlling the depth of field is a technique that deserves its own article. In short, however, there are a few ways of achieving it. One of the most common ways is to use a large aperture (lower f-stop number) for shallow depth of field and a small aperture (higher f-stop number) for greater depth of field. This means you will have to get yourself out of the automatic setting and choose either manual mode or Aperture Priority mode on your camera.

Get Perfect Head Shots

The problem with professionally taken head shots like actor head shots and corporate head shots is that the object doesn’t have much control; the photographers give out instructions to follow, which oftentimes can be quite intimidating and confusing. The worse thing is that these photos are taken with the goal of creating a good impression, so the pressure is definitely on! It truly is quite awful when the shots turn out looking all sorts of funny and awkward. Pros can’t risk the displeasure and dissatisfaction of clients, which is why they have decided to share helpful tips so the photos will look impressive and completely appropriate. Check out what expert photographers say about this.

It’s always good to start out knowing that you’re properly made up; the right hair, the right make-up, the right clothes – these can provide a strong confidence boost. Do some facial exercises to relax those facial muscles – with relaxed facial muscles, smiles come easier and look more natural. Rotate the neck and shoulders as well, which at times tend to look stiff in head shots.

Take a deep breath and let it out slowly before posing. The release never fails to relax the muscles so a more comfortable expression is created. Practice the three-quarter profile shot because it’s often the most attractive and frequently used for photo displays. Corporate photos are typically taken in this particular shot.

Think of pleasant things so the eyes would look “alive.” The eyes should be able to smile on their own. A trick to help you achieve this is to look down first before looking straight into the camera. If the photo shoot will allow for several shots, try different facial expressions – smile, don’t smile, look serious, look fun. One of them will likely look naturally attractive.

Tricks Improve Photos

Use the rule of thirds

Most good photos have a main subject which uses the rule of thirds. This is one tip every photographer should know. Where the subject is placed has a big impact on how the overall photo will look. The rule of thirds is placing your subject on either four points of intersection of three horizontal and vertical lines.

Develop your own style

Developing your own style is essential to create distinctive photos. Everyone has their own definition of what a good photo is, different perspectives and angles on how to shoot a good photo. You do not want your photos to be exactly the same as other people’s photos as that does not show who you are as a photographer.

Colour translation

Be aware of how the colours you see in person would be translated onto the photo. No matter how breath-taking the scene seems, if you do not know how they will turn up on the photo, that photo would not be a good one.

Understand all the features of your camera

It is essential to understand all the features of your camera if you want to improve your photos. You must know how the shutter speed affects your photos and in what way. The same goes to aperture. You must also know the different modes that your camera can shoot at. This would enable you to shoot the best shot with less trouble. Shooting photos would be more fun and rewarding.

Know different settings

Taking pictures of portraits are very different from taking pictures of landscapes. You have to know the different settings for each type of shot. A slight difference in lighting can turn a potentially great photo into a bad photo.

Do Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography can work well for anything that’s moving fast. We slow this down to create a sense of time passing. Subjects such as fast moving cars, planes, people or water make good subjects to create time lapse photos from. Water tends to be more gentle and romantic than urban scenes with fast cars. You can also create something truly ethereal with time lapse water photos.

Water is a very popular subject to photograph. Waves, streams, waterfalls constitute wonderful time lapse photos. As photographers we are drawn to the energy and power of water. Creating a blurry motion effect is the key to successful time lapse photos of water.

So let’s look at how to create a lovely time lapse photo of water. When creating time lapse photos the water will look like a soft blanket of silk. This is what’s known as the “silken effect”. The silken effect occurs when you have a slow shutter speed. The shutter remains open so that the camera can capture every moment. The longer the shutter is open the more likely this effect will occur.

One of the problems with the shutter remaining open for a long time is over exposure. Over exposure occurs when there is too much light. Your scene will have a big block of white and absolutely no detail. The shutter stays open and too much light enters the lens for too long.

So just how do we get a nice amount of silken effect without over exposing the photo? There are two main ways to do this. The first is to shoot at night. Leaving the shutter open for 30 seconds of longer, at night, will usually yield some nice results. You can create the silken effect without much trouble.

What happens when you don’t want to do night photography but still want to create a nicely exposed image and create the silken effect too? You could try using an ND filter. ND stands for Neutral Density. This is a special kind of filter that reduces the light and retains the colour whilst giving you the silken effect.

Don’t forget your tripod. There’s nothing worse that a beautiful exposure that’s blurry in all the wrong places. The trick to this method is to keep your camera still so everything but the water is blurry. Even though the blurred water will create the silken effect, you still want your trees and sky to be sharp into the distance.

Subjects that move are great elements for creating time lapse images. Water is just the beginning. Cars at night create streaky lights. Planes create the same effect. The secret is a long exposure, a still camera and ways to reduce the potential over exposure.

Producing Unique and Special Photographs

Understanding the Light:
In order to understand the trick photography and use of special effects that can be incorporated into a photograph, you should know the potential your camera and most importantly understand the light and its impact on the photographs. We all know that no photographer under the sun can take photographs in utter darkness. Though understanding light is the most difficult part of photography, it is the most important as well.

Creating the Right Mood:
Once you understand the light and its impact on a photograph, you will be able to create the right mood out of your subject using the right lighting effects. All great photographers are the ones who have captured the photos when mood right. You have to understand that the light can be harsh, soft or cool and you have to make use of the right lighting effect to make your picture look alive.

Trick Photography Techniques – Light Paintings or Drawings:
Just as we use different kind of illumination such as back lit, side lit, etc to get the desired texture, light paintings or drawings are taken by manipulating the source of light which in turn produces different effects. This all may seem easy to read but is difficult to master. Once you master this technique, you can take pictures that are unbelievably awesome and brilliantly deceptive. As a starter you might want to take pictures of the people drawing their names in the dark using a light and then slowly become creative.

Understand The True Potential Of Your Camera:
People who understand the true potential of their camera often take better pictures than others. Understanding you camera includes knowing the shutter speed of the camera and controlling it. The shutter speed determines how much light that you are letting in while capturing a photo. You should also understand the function of the aperture which controls the width of the hole in the lens. Using aperture if you are able to let the right amount of light into the sensor, you are bound to get a good result.

Create Professional Food Photos

Food photography looks good if the food shows textures. Texture is a vital factor to making food sell. Enhancing texture is done through side lighting. Side lighting reveals texture as it brings out the brighter areas and shadows on the food making it more appealing to the viewer.

A lot of food shoots are taken using the soft, diffused light from a window. Window light is subtle light that works to emphasize contrast without really having to do anything overly specialized. Many food photographers use a softbox to create that “clean and white” look, but they never light the front of the food. I’ll explain more in a moment.

Why food is never lit front-on

Beautiful food photography relies upon the angle of light for contrast to create texture. Even the most even surfaced foods like cheese needs side lighting to generate some appeal. If the food is lit front-on we lose the texture that side lighting offers. Flat light can make food to appear boring and tasteless.

Side lighting, using diffused window or softbox light is a common way to light food yet sometimes we don’t want light on one part of the food. In this situation we need something to reduce the light on that area. This is where your trusty gobo comes in handy. A gobo is a go-between. It’s a portion of black material or cardboard that reduces the lighting in one section of the image. I use a range of gobos to cut light out of a food image. I have large and small ones that help me do this. These pieces of black cardboard cost me under ten dollars from a office supply shop.

Cutting light from food shots using a gobo is commonly used in a rustic type of food image. Food images of country kitchens, wooden benches and old cuttlery are things that come to mind when thinking of darker, dimly lit food photos. Many wholesome food products are photographed this way. Foods such as brown bread on wooden boards, home made vegetable soups and pasta and rice are examples of foods used in a country shoot.

On the other hand you can use the “bright light, white” technique of shooting as well. You may have seen brightly lit photos of breakfast cereal like puffed rice, sweet cakes and biscuits. This approach simply uses side lighting and another light to illuminate the background. Softboxes, white shoot through umbrellas and reflectors are ultilised in this style of food photography.

About Glamour Photography

Who May Have a Glamour Photo

Everyone. This is the simple answer to this. The dream of having a mesmerizing picture does not need to remain a dream. With the latest technology and professional photographers that a studio can offer, it is possible for anyone to have a glamour shot. It is understandable that some clients who are not professional models may shy away in front of a camera. The deal here is not all about self-esteem. Even people with so much confidence in themselves are not comfortable in having a photoshoot because they do not know what to do in front of the lens. In this case, the success of capturing the best shot resides in the close collaboration of the client and the photographer.

What it Takes to Have a Glamour Image

As mentioned earlier, make up has a lot of importance here. To achieve sexy photos, the stylist will usually give a heavier powder and paint to your face to accentuate the eyes and lips. Compared to the standard make up, glamour shoot needs to be bolder and warmer where the eyes appear smokier. You may come with your favourite dresses and accessories or you may go semi nude to flaunt that body of yours. Lighting techniques are also of grave importance as it will help highlight the features of your face. However, keep in mind that these are just standards. Whether your picture will be cool or emotional will depend on your preference.

Abstract Photography

Many abstract photographers hold to the idea that macro hides inside micro and use their camera lens to focus on the details creating a new subject from out of the larger whole. What may be a small part becomes epic in scale in the photograph. With the focus literally upon it looking closely enough you can find some things that immediately catch the eye or are easily recognized familiar concepts. Sometimes it is the items with the least attractive surfaces, with their complex forms and patterns, which often produce the most striking images. It is a matter of removing the context and drawing out the particular qualities you want to highlight. In this manner, partial shots of rusty metal, rubbish bins, old walls with peeling paint and cracked tiles- any kind of surface and texture usually ignored – suddenly become subject matter for abstract photos.

To create photo abstractions you can use both digital and analog cameras. You can apply the rule of thirds, The Golden Ratio, or break all the rules and do as you please. In the arena of abstract art, this is all fair game. The first objective should be to react with your environment, see what draws you in deeper. Instead of backing up and spanning around for a panoramic photo, this is a time for finding the details that might seem hidden in plain sight. Or alternately, it may be you have to go inside or to the bottom of larger objects to find what it may hold inside. This is much like a treasure hunt, the hunt for artistic photographs. And here I feel I have introduced a topic which can very easily be a fun activity for anyone to try, especially if you have a digital camera handy, try composing your own abstract art photos. See if you can find something interesting or maybe even spectacular to the point that you wish to hang it in your home. I hope you have learned something and perhaps have found a new fun art activity.

Get Portrait Photographs Right

When you have experienced portrait photographers for your events, be assured of an enjoyable experience. However, before you hire one there are several things that you need to check out. You need visually appealing pictures for your memory’s scrapbook. So ask for the portfolio of the portrait photographer you intend to hire. While you are skimming through the images, make sure that they appeal to you emotionally. Such photographers are usually hired for weddings or family functions. Portrait photography is all about capturing the right emotion of an individual, couple or a group. Hence, the photographer must have a great timing and understanding of human emotions.

A picture tells thousand stories. When you are looking through the previous works, it will surely provide you an idea about the skill of the photographer. There are many families who like to have family portraits. Clicking a group of people isn’t that easy. The photographer should be able to portray the ideal essence of your family or friends. The best part of portrait photography is that you can choose a location of your choice. If you are shooting outdoors then your fun filled moments can be captured. In addition to this the photographer can utilize the natural lighting to shoot.

When Buying Camera Bags

When you start shopping for camera bags, the first thing you will notice is how many of them you have to choose from. It can be downright overwhelming, but the more you look the more you will see that you can narrow your options just by size and shape and type. There are going to be some bags that just aren’t attractive to your sense of style.

A shoulder bag is one of the most common types of camera bags on the market today. These are those bags that are attached to strap and then worn on the shoulder. This is a great type of bag if you want to be able to access your equipment relatively quickly because it’s all right there where you can reach in just a moments notice. If you have a larger camera, you may find that a shoulder bag gets big and bulky pretty quickly, so you need to determine whether or not this is right for you and the type of photography you are involved in and how much you will be moving.

Camera backpacks are also very popular. These are backpacks that are developed with the camera in mind so that there is plenty of padding to protect your camera no matter where you go. This is a great option if you have a larger SLR camera or something of the sort, because you won’t have to worry about a bulky bag swinging and hanging form your shoulder. You won’t be able to access your camera quite as quickly, but if you’re not in an urban setting, you may not need to have quick access to the camera, making this an ideal bag for you.

When shopping for camera bags, you might want to look into lens bags. These are bags that are meant specifically for the extra lenses that you may purchase for your camera. If you don’t have extra lenses, you obviously won’t need to make this purchase, but if you do have extra lenses you may find that these bags are just what you need to protect your investments while also ensuring that you can keep all of your photography components organized.