Category Archives: Photography

Better Landscape Photos With One Simple Trick

unduhan-36Landscape photography is probably the most popular genre, and for good reason. There is no lack of subject matter. It’s generally easy to access. And it’s fun to explore the world in which we live and document it with our cameras.

Of course, every photographer wants to improve his or her work, and landscape photographers are no exception. Though there is a seemingly endless array of tips and tricks that you can use to improve your landscape photos, there is one that stands out as being highly impactful, yet really simple to implement: leading lines.

Let’s explore a few reasons why leading lines are such a great addition to your landscape photos.

The short answer is that lines draw viewers deeper into the image. Think of lines as a little visual highway that directs people’s eyes through the shot. Lines help the eye explore the photo from foreground to middle ground to background, giving viewers a better understanding of how each area of the photograph relates to the others. What’s more, leading lines can also help give greater balance and flow to your images. In some cases, lines can even confine the viewer’s eye, helping to direct their attention toward the primary subject, much like the fences direct your eye toward the sunset in the image above.

When we think of lines in landscape photography, what comes to mind first is likely a straight stretch of road, a trail, a fence line, and other features that stretch into the distance in a relatively straight fashion. And though straight lines are certainly a powerful variant of leading lines, they aren’t the only option.

If the perspective is right and there is a good enough view into the distance, lines can be of the converging variety, which appear to get closer together as they fade into the distance. Railroad tracks are an ideal example of this. And even though the lines are perfectly parallel and straight, the visual impression is that they converge, which gives more interest to the shot.

The Ocean Photographed Like This Before

unduhan-35Brian Bielmann

The incredible image above was taken by world class photographer Brian Bielmann off the coast of Hawaii. The image was created to help Brian celebrate 40 years of being a surf photographer. I think we can all agree that the image is compelling in more ways than one!

But as Brian has discovered, even the best still images can be made better by adding motion to them. As we introduced in an earlier article, there is a new web cloud-based platform that has allowed Brian and other photographers from around the globe to easily add motion graphics to their still images. That platform is Plotagraph

As you can see above, Plotagraph allows you to add dynamic looping content to a single still image. There’s no messing about with multiple still images or videos – you upload one still image and use Plotagraph’s easy-to-use interface to add layers, crop the image, feather edges, and a whole host of other advanced controls. I think you will agree that the results are quite incredible! What was a stunning still image has become an even more eye-catching motion graphic with movement all around the surfer that draws you deeper into the shot.

The best part is that Plotagraph’s simple interface and online community makes it easy to create and share images like the one above. Start creating dynamic content today by visiting Plotagraph.

Wait for Golden Hour

We all know that Golden Hour light is just about the best light you can use for portrait photography. The problem, of course, is that it’s not always possible to get up at the crack of dawn or hang around until just before sunset to take the portraits you need.

But, as Mark Wallace of AdoramaTV explains in the video below, you don’t have to wait for Golden Hour because you can just fake it! All you really need are a few essentials: a flash, orange gel, and a variable neutral density filter, and you’ll be able to replicate the warm, soft glow of golden hour light each and every time. Have a look at the video and see just how easy it is!

It used to be that stock photography sites were really only for professional photographers. For the everyday amateur, the professional-level gear and training needed to take top-notch stock photos was simply out of reach. But that simply isn’t the case anymore. There is an insatiable need for stock images in today’s image-heavy world, so stock photography websites have opened their doors to all levels of photographers with all sorts of cameras, from iPhones on up.

Obviously, you first have to take high-quality photos. Otherwise, they won’t be accepted by stock sites. What’s more, there is stiff competition for buyers, so even if an image is accepted, it still needs to stand out from the crowd to catch a buyer’s eye.

Leave at Home as hotographers

Let’s face it – photographers have tons of gear. Even if you’re just headed out for the afternoon to take a few casual photos, you’ve still got a laundry list of items that you will definitely need. In addition to that, there’s an even longer list of items that you may or may not need for that particular shoot.

It’s a lot to keep track of, so to be sure you’re as prepared as can be for your next photo shoot, consider this list of 12 essentials you simply can’t leave at home.

Small Tripod

There are times when you need a full-sized tripod to get the job done. But there are plenty of other times when a small tripod is more than sufficient. Though there are tons of miniature tripods out there, one of our favorites is HandlePod.

The beauty of HandlePod is that you can use it in a variety of ways. Shoot hands-free by attaching it to a fencepost or another stationary object using the built-in elastic cord. Hold HandlePod in your hand and use it as a stabilizing grip for low-light photos or even for shooting video. Of course, you can also use HandlePod as a stabilizer by pressing the handle up against a flat object for a fast and easy way to keep your camera from shaking while you shoot. You can even use it to stabilize your smartphone. It’s simply that versatile! Learn more about HandlePod by visiting their website.

Collapsible Reflector

If you take portraits, a collapsible reflector will be one of your top tools. Many reflectors come in a 5-in-1 kit with various colors that give you different types and intensities of light, including gold and silver. Even better, you can use a black reflector to add shadowing or a white reflector to diffuse light, all of which fold up into a tidy package that’s easy to carry.

Blower

No matter where you go, no matter what you’re photographing, your lens and camera will get dusty. All that dust needs to be removed somehow, and a blower is the best way to do that. Just a few puffs from a blower can get a good portion of the dust off your lens glass and camera sensor. And the more dust you can get rid of, the less likely it is to show up in your images (or negatively impact the functioning of your gear). As a result, a blower is a must-have accessory for any photography outing!

Cleaning Cloth

As important as it is to get rid of dust, it’s equally important to ensure your lens glass is absolutely clean. Fingerprints and smudges can render otherwise gorgeous photos useless, so having a lens cloth or two with you will help you do some housekeeping with your lenses as you’re out shooting. Don’t forget the lens cleaning solution either!

Planning Stages in Photography

Getting a photography business up and going is a daunting task. There are likely many questions to be had, from how to write a contract to how to market yourself to the most fundamental step, how to write a basic business plan. Diving into business for yourself is certainly a long process, but with a good measure of patience and the right tools at your disposal, you can make a successful career for yourself.

To get you started off on the right foot, we’ve put together this list of four crucial business-building steps that will help you put together a plan for success.

Your first task when building your photography business is to develop a clear pathway for getting your business started and then maintaining that business in both the short and the long term. A business plan allows you to do that.

Essentially, a business plan is a written document in which you outline every aspect of your business. In it, you list the products and services you intend to offer, including the type of photography you’ll be doing (i.e. portraiture, landscapes, fine art, etc.). Also included in the business plan is a discussion of where you’ll do business – will you be based out of your home or have a dedicated office space?

Additionally, by creating a business plan, you give yourself a chance to think about how many employees you need and what their job descriptions will be. You outline details about projected costs, including overhead like employee wages, insurance, rent, and utilities. A specific list of revenue streams is another crucial part of the business plan, as is an assessment of your current finances, like assets you can use to fund your growing business or liabilities that might make it more difficult to pay the bills.

The chances are that you’ve already thought about these and other aspects of starting a business. The business plan allows you to put all those random thoughts and ideas into a coherent, organized document that will help you (and any investors you might have) identify strengths, weaknesses, and obstacles that could stand in your way.

Your Kit Lens is Actually Kind of Awesome

Ask any photographer worth his or her salt, and they will say that the single most important piece of equipment they have is their lens. It’s certainly more important than a tripod, a set of filters, or other accessories. It’s even more important than the camera you use. In fact, a good lens that’s properly cared for will last much longer than a camera body. That’s why professional photographers spend their money on good glass first and a good camera second.

However, though kit lenses get poo-pooed as being cheap (which they are), that doesn’t mean that the instant you buy a new camera that you have to find the best possible lens. In fact, kit lenses can be pretty awesome if you give them a chance.

Read on for three reasons why your kit lens isn’t quite as bad as you might think.

One thing is for sure – kit lenses challenge you to be better. Kit lenses don’t have the best optics. They often lack many features of higher-end lenses. Their focal length is usually in the arena of 18-55mm, so you really lack the focal length to take photos of far-off objects.

And while those are certainly key disadvantages, your kit lens will also force you to learn how to do more with less. Rather than depending on your lens’s features or focal length to help you do your work, you have to figure out how to do your work all on your own, and that, in the end, will make you a better photographer. Yes, having a better lens will make it more likely that your images will also be better. However, you have to first learn how to compose a shot, how to work with focal length to frame the scene, and how to use light for impact. You can easily do all those things with a kit lens.

Kit Lenses are Inexpensive

Where a top-of-the-line lens can easily run into the several thousands of dollars, a kit lens usually comes bundled with a camera body, essentially making it a freebie. Again, though you get what you pay for, at least kit lenses are accessible and don’t require you to sell an organ or take out a second mortgage to have one.

Just think about all the amazing pictures taken over the years with mobile phones. They have completely changed the way in which people approach photography, and with pretty terrible lenses to boot (at least compared to the top-end lenses we’d all like to have). Like the lens on your phone, the kit lens for your DSLR might not have the oomph of a top-shelf lens, but in a lot of situations, it can still get the job done. This is especially true for beginning photographers – you can practice basic photography skills with a kit lens just as easy as you can with one that costs 10 times as much.

Photography Tips

It’s hard not to enjoy the beauty of nature and wildlife. Even animals that are fairly common in your area can be fun to watch and great subjects for wildlife photos. Of course, the problem with photographing wildlife is if you’ve never done it before, it can be difficult to know where to start. After all, it’s the basic fundamentals that will help you build a solid foundation for wildlife photography success.

Steve Perry is a long-time wildlife photographer, and he offers up 10 essential wildlife photography tips in the short video below. Each tip addresses the basics of photographing wildlife such that when you have an opportunity to capture an image of a wild animal, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to do so. Have a look, and learn what you can do to be a more successful wildlife photographer.

You’ve done all the hard work of getting there early and painstakingly setting up the ideal shot. Then what happens? Another photographer gets up in your space to try and replicate the shot you’ve tried so hard to get. What’s even worse is when the offender proclaims that they’re a photographer too and that you should check out their work!

For many of us, photography is a fun activity that we do to relax and unwind. For others, photography is a job that requires the utmost concentration to get the shots that are needed. But that’s hard to do when a Chatty Cathy arrives and talks your ear off. Whether it’s a friend on a photo walk with you or a random stranger that wants to shoot the breeze about photography, the result is the same – it’s hard to concentrate on taking high-quality photos when all you hear is chatter in your ear.

Monetize Your Copyrighted Images

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing image copyrights. In previous articles, we hit on the facts about copyrights and myths about copyrights. We’ve also discussed how to protect your images from being stolen and what to do in case someone uses one of your images without permission.

Now we move on to the subject of monetizing your images. In the past, amateur and enthusiast photographers relied on stock photography sites or selling prints locally to make money off their photos. But now, there’s a new way for you to make money off of your images that could prove to be quite lucrative. Let’s look at each avenue of selling your images in more depth.

It used to be that stock photography sites were really only for professional photographers. For the everyday amateur, the professional-level gear and training needed to take top-notch stock photos was simply out of reach. But that simply isn’t the case anymore. There is an insatiable need for stock images in today’s image-heavy world, so stock photography websites have opened their doors to all levels of photographers with all sorts of cameras, from iPhones on up.

Obviously, you first have to take high-quality photos. Otherwise, they won’t be accepted by stock sites. What’s more, there is stiff competition for buyers, so even if an image is accepted, it still needs to stand out from the crowd to catch a buyer’s eye.

In that regard, trying to sell images on a stock photography site can be a daunting task. Consider all the crucial steps needed to make it more likely that your images will be purchased:

  • Conduct Research – You can’t just upload whatever images you please to stock sites. Instead, you need to do a little research to learn what sort of images are in high demand. Having a clear understanding of what people want will help you tailor your images to the needs of consumers.

  • Sizing Appropriately – Stock photography websites have strict sizing restrictions, which, if not met, will result in your images being rejected. As a rule, the larger the file size, the better, as it opens up a wider variety of applications for the end user. For example, uploading images at the highest possible resolution allows buyers to shrink it down or blow it up based on their specific needs. Having that kind of usability will lead to more sales for you.

  • Tagging Images – Once you have your images uploaded, you need to use keywords to describe the image such that potential buyers can find them. This can be a tricky task, however, because using the wrong keywords might mean buyers that are interested in your image can’t find it. Alternatively, using too many keywords or adding keywords that have nothing to do with the image as a way to draw more attention to it might cause your image to be removed.

  • Maintaining Your Collection – Your stock photography collection must be maintained, just like your website or your portfolio. Old, outdated images should be removed and fresh ones added on a regular basis.

  • Creating a niche – Though it might seem like a better idea to cast a wide net and try to have images in your stock photography collection to fit every need, doing so will only muddy the waters and probably lead to a lot of subpar images. Instead, creating a niche in which you cater to one or two specific and popular needs will often get you more sales.

Simple Tricks Spice Up Your Photos

Whether you’re just starting out as a photographer or you’ve been doing it for many years, there is always room to learn and grow. What’s more, there are always some interesting tricks out there that can help you spice up your photos and create something that’s a touch more interesting than the photos you normally take.

In that spirit, the Cooperative of Photography (COOPH) created the video below, in which they highlight nine easy-to-use tricks that will give your photos that extra bit of pop. Whether it’s using perspective to make objects look bigger, making your own DIY macro lens, or learning how to create bokeh, the video below has some excellent tips that will help you take your photos to another level. Check it out!

If you take portraits, a collapsible reflector will be one of your top tools. Many reflectors come in a 5-in-1 kit with various colors that give you different types and intensities of light, including gold and silver. Even better, you can use a black reflector to add shadowing or a white reflector to diffuse light, all of which fold up into a tidy package that’s easy to carry.

No matter where you go, no matter what you’re photographing, your lens and camera will get dusty. All that dust needs to be removed somehow, and a blower is the best way to do that. Just a few puffs from a blower can get a good portion of the dust off your lens glass and camera sensor. And the more dust you can get rid of, the less likely it is to show up in your images (or negatively impact the functioning of your gear). As a result, a blower is a must-have accessory for any photography outing!

Cleaning Cloth

As important as it is to get rid of dust, it’s equally important to ensure your lens glass is absolutely clean. Fingerprints and smudges can render otherwise gorgeous photos useless, so having a lens cloth or two with you will help you do some housekeeping with your lenses as you’re out shooting. Don’t forget the lens cleaning solution either!

Annoying Kinds of Photographers

If you’ve taken a reasonable number of photos in your life at any popular destination, the chances are that you’ve encountered a photographer that just rubbed you the wrong way. Maybe they talked incessantly. Perhaps they tried to copy your photo. The might have even tried to teach you a thing or two without you asking them to do so.

Or, even worse, maybe the annoying photographer is you.

Either way, Tony and Chelsea Northrup feel that it’s important that we all understand the most fundamental annoyances so we can avoid committing these sins (and maybe let others know when they commit these sins too). They’ve created a hilarious video (see below) that exhorts us all to be on our best behavior.

The Copycat

You’ve done all the hard work of getting there early and painstakingly setting up the ideal shot. Then what happens? Another photographer gets up in your space to try and replicate the shot you’ve tried so hard to get. What’s even worse is when the offender proclaims that they’re a photographer too and that you should check out their work!

The Chatty Cathy

For many of us, photography is a fun activity that we do to relax and unwind. For others, photography is a job that requires the utmost concentration to get the shots that are needed. But that’s hard to do when a Chatty Cathy arrives and talks your ear off. Whether it’s a friend on a photo walk with you or a random stranger that wants to shoot the breeze about photography, the result is the same – it’s hard to concentrate on taking high-quality photos when all you hear is chatter in your ear.