Monthly Archives: April 2016

Portrait Photography Tips

You need not be an expert or professional at portrait photography to click a stunning portrait of your subject. A portrait can be defined as a person’s similitude. Though the definition is very simple, the portrait in itself has a deeper meaning. A portrait can capture the features, character or nature of the subject.

A great portrait is the one that reflects the uniqueness of the subject along with the “wow” factor. Now, if you are new at portrait photography, then keep in mind that there are simply no rules for capturing portraits.

How to Capture Stunning Portraits

Tools of The Trade

The very important tool that you require to create a wonderful portrait is a camera Search on the Internet or visit a nearby store to make yourself aware of the cameras available. Digital cameras make some of the best cameras to be used for portrait photography. They are easy to work with when compared with film cameras, due to their versatile nature and accuracy. Certain features of such cameras help to enhance the beauty of the portrait. Avail a good deal on a tripod while you’re at it.

The Perfect Shot

Catching the exact expression of the subject is a must for a beautiful portrait. Ensure that you make your subject comfortable throughout the session. The portrait should look natural and not artificial. Smile is not just an expression that you can capture in a portrait. Experiment with your subject’s expression, mood and come up with a unique style of the subject.

Take clicks with different angles and not in just horizontal and vertical directions. If the subject feels it uncomfortable to pose, take help of some props. This will help to make the portrait look more natural. See that you make a clever choice of props. The color combination of the prop and that of the subject’s outfit should compliment each other.

Background

Decide the background or location where you want your subject to pose for the portrait. You can go for an outdoor or a studio portrait photography. Whatever location you choose, a plain background is usually a good option. This is a very important factor that will decide how good the portrait will result.
See that the location is not distracting. A distracting background may reduce the focus on your subject. Choose the background that will blend well with the physical features of the subject. You can use blurring effects to hide a distracting background. This will bring more focus on your subject.

Lighting

One more important factor that decides the fate of the portrait is lighting. Natural daylight gives best results for portrait photography. You can experiment in innovative manners for different lighting effects. Shadow effects by introducing obstructions between the light source and the subject can give spectacular results. You cannot always rely on natural light and hence, many a time you may require to take help of artificial lights, in order to give better effects to the portrait.

Eye Contact

Eye contact or the direction of the eyes of the subject plays a significant role in snapping portraits. A different eye direction can bring great impact on the portrait. You can make your subject look at another subject within the frame, or you ask the subject look outside the frame as if the subject’s attention is towards something that is out of the focus of the camera lens. Else you can also make the subject look straight into the camera lens.

The basic tip for capturing a portrait is to keep it simple and natural and you will end up capturing a wonderful portrait.

 

Tips Choosing Camera Lenses

Camera lenses provide direction to the path of light rays so that these rays create an image, which is as accurate as possible, on the film . Different types of lenses are capable of reproducing different variations of the same image. So, you might want to select a type based on your needs and requirements. This makes it important for you to know about the various types of lenses and their mechanism.

The manner in which light rays reach the film, determines how an image gets imprinted on it. As light rays are emitted from an object in various directions, there has to be a way to control these rays, so as to get a proper image. Lenses are therefore created for the purpose of controlling the amount of light which will eventually reach the film.

Standard Lens

As the name suggests, a standard lens records images in a standard or normal manner as visible to the human eye. There is no added distortion or a change in size of an object. For digital cameras, focal length of standard lenses is 35 mm, while for film cameras it increases to 50 mm. In medium format cameras, it is somewhere in the range of 75 to 105 mm.

Macro Lens

You can capture great close-up pictures using a macro lens. Also, a macro lens will give you all the details while capturing a large picture. These lenses are not capable of giving pictures of great depth and it is therefore essential to set your focus on the most crucial part of the whole frame.

Long Telephoto Lens

These are considered to be excellent when it comes to enlarging or magnifying distant objects, because of their longer focal lengths. You can click a picture of an object far away, but it will appear to be very close in the picture. These lenses are large and heavy.

Short Telephoto Lens

This is considered to be the best for taking portrait pictures. It is similar to a standard lens as it does not distort images. It is also good for taking pictures from a short distance.

A variation in long telephoto lens is the mirror lens. These lenses have a very long focal length, thanks mainly to the fact that they are made of mirrors and not glass. As light falls on these lenses, it radiates light in a ‘folded’ manner, thereby creating a longer focal length. Problems with these lenses can result in poor quality images.

Fish-eye lens

A fish-eye camera lens has the unique ability to make the image appear like it is in a fish bowl. It does this by producing a highly wide-angled image and making it appear convex. It may be used to capture a close up picture along with surroundings, or for taking funny or unique pictures.

Ultra/Wide Angle

The best use of ultra/wide lenses comes while capturing a big scene. These lenses have the ability to enlarge depth in an image, thereby helping you to highlight the foreground while capturing the background. Image distortion is inversely proportional to the width of your frame. More the width, lesser the distortion.

Landscape Photography Tips and Techniques

There are so many magical moments in nature that are worth relishing for a thousand years. There is something about landscape photography, that makes the vision melt in the colors of the rainbow or the fresh dew on leaves. For photography lovers, capturing the many moments of stunning views of the nature, is like passion infused in blood. There are many that have been more than successful in mastering this art.

Landscape Photography Techniques and Tips

With your skills and talent, the photography techniques mentioned below, are a small effort to expose you to the magic of breathtaking landscape photography!

Equipment
Using a good quality lens is the key to excellent photography. This is a ‘but obvious’ element in photography that most of us know, but is also not worth a miss in landscape photography tips. Use a tripod when required. When implementing a shutter speed for a long time, one cannot afford a shaky picture, the best option is to use a tripod, that can hold the camera in place and still for the entire duration of the exposure. When capturing backgrounds like sky and the horizon, most of the time the picture rules with too much of contrast. A solution is to use different types of filters and adjusting the exposure well. This also narrows down to adjusting the ISO to the most suitable unit for that particular picture. Using different filters can give your picture a completely different look. Some of the graduated, neutral density, color correction, polarizing filters, etc., can get you some perfect blends and balance in the picture.

Composition
A good composition is the most important aspect of the picture. Consider the scene like you would be creating it on your own. How would you set the view, with placing each aspect of the scene in a particular position or an angle. Decide what elements will be making your picture, and adjust the view accordingly. Most importantly, if you know the rule of thirds for a picture, it will be easy for you to capture a well-balanced and focused picture. The magic of shapes and lines is another trick to capture a breathtaking visual. Lines and other shapes like curves, can give a lot of depth and scale to the image, while letting the audience travel into the scene. A bland image can also be refreshed by adding any object, that creates motion in it. For example, capturing a flying bird or moving cloud in the foreground, with a beautiful and serene background will make the picture more alive and interesting. Reflections can be a good part of the picture, while they add more depth to the image.

Miscellaneous
Understand and study the place that you are going to capture, you may not be living right in the lap of nature, so most of the time you will have to hunt for those treasured corners that have stunning views. Start off with your favorite place and try different angles and view of the same picture. You will have to be patient and study the scene till you get that exact shot of excellence. Do not click many shots in the same angle and then choose the best. Take fewer, but high quality shots, so take your time to observe and compose. Also avoid shooting in jpeg mode, some photographers will have their digital sets tuned in jpeg mode. But the quality of shooting in a raw mode cannot be compared at all, so get your images shot raw, you may convert them later into jpeg. This also gives you room for correcting and enhancing the final output of the picture.

Focus and Aperture
A landscape photograph usually rules with silence in the picture, however you do not want the photo to be a blank scene and without any element in focus. So look for that striking element, it may be a leaf or a plank of wood too. What is landscape photography without the traditional element of depth of field. Though you may want to create some breathtaking views with a narrow fields, engage as much of the scene as possible in focus. For achieving maximum and apt focus, you can make use of a small aperture that can help you focus on the scene (unless you want to highlight a certain object or element and diffuse the background). Exposure is the most important element and keeping shutter speed apt creates a lot of difference in the quality and the output of the image. Try and bracket your exposures, like when shooting contrasting backgrounds, use a exposure level that is recommended by the meter. Then take another one that is slightly higher than the recommended one and the next that is lower than the recommended exposure level. You can then compare the outputs and can decide on the shutter speed and exposure.

Weather, Location and Time
While most of the photographers will hunt for perfect places, shadow and light exposure. It is wise to understand what time of the day will the picture give you the most of admiration. Sunrise, that is early dawn, and sunset are the saviors of bad focus and light. Capturing nature before exposure to sharp lights, can help a lot with the overall result you get. Another point is that during dawn and sunset, the moderate sunlight will dilute the shadow, and give fine detail in the picture. You will be amazed to see the result of capturing during sunrise and sunset with the variations in the depth, angle, patterns and more. It is usual to get going for some amazing shots of nature, on a clear and bright day, but the true emotions of nature can be captured on most rough and windy days. Bad weather is the best for aggressive and expressive landscape photography. Heavy rain and thunder, winds and cloudy skies, fog and mist will give you many moments worth a click.

Techniques of Shoot Photography

This style of photography isn’t what it sounds like; well not all of it. You can’t just point at any image and start shooting them. Of course, there are times when people don’t really care about the angles, lights, different modes on the camera, or any particular features on the camera. However, I would ask you think again about that. A photograph stays with us for decades, sometimes through many generations. They can speak louder, better, and more clearly than any words spoken. Then why would you subject yourselves to plain and boring images? If you want to be a good photographer and wish to capture all the events in your life properly, even if it is with a point and shoot camera, go through this beginners photography guide for helpful tips and techniques to get the right picture.

As a good photographer, you should always keep in mind that the number of pictures don’t really matter. The quality, theme of the picture, and your creativity is what counts. In the following article, we have laid down some basic, yet essential photography tips and techniques.

Manual Mode

Try to use the manual mode as much as possible. The ‘Auto’ mode may not give you the desired effect to the picture you want to click. ‘Manual’ mode incorporates many options like controlling aperture, shutter speed, controlling ISO, etc., depending on the camera. Take a lot of pictures of the same objects with different modes and you will get the best output; the outcome of the picture you desire. These features used to be in the SLR cameras for beginners, however, with new and better digital photography; you can give the picture any effect that you want.

Flash Away

There are times when turning the flash on can ruin the picture. Yes, that does happen. To avoid that, go to options or the multi-controller button and turn it off. When there’s enough ambient light, turn off the flash and click to get the best of the natural lighting. In case you are indoors and the natural lights do not suffice, you can always turn the flash on and click. These lighting tips will make a world of difference to your images.

Nighttime

Now, let’s discuss some night photography techniques. When clicking at night, use a tripod. At nights the camera needs to get more light in to get that perfect picture and to get that much light, the camera needs to be stable for a longer time. So, if your hand shakes while clicking at nights, the picture might just come blurry. Similarly for landscapes, use a tripod to keep your camera steady and yes, remember the shutter speed.

Sunset and Clouds

Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, the question about “how to take good pictures” is always on everybody’s mind. A perfect picture is not always possible when the object is centered in the frame and the background is faded. Use your imagination; if you are at a beach, see if you can focus on your object but can also capture the water or the beach or the beautiful sun setting behind the waters. That might uplift your picture.

Capturing Colors

Spot colors in the field and capture them. Catch bright colors; click a picture in black and white, play with the exposure. The more experiments you do with a particular scene, the better your results will be. See how you can make dull colors more interesting and enjoyable. These tips will only be helpful to you if you practiced and taught yourself. If you make any errors in clicking some pictures, it’s alright. You will get other opportunities.

Different Angles

Don’t just start clicking all objects in the usual way. Play with different angles, try lying down on the floor (sometimes in weird positions), or climb somewhere on a wall or chair to take the picture from above. Besides these angles, you can also try your hand at underwater photography. Get the best waterproof camera to capture the magnificent images underwater. Experimenting with various angles might just surprise you and get the best photographs you’ve clicked in quite some time.

Handy Camera

Keep your camera handy all the time. You might just come across that picture-perfect-scene; you don’t want to miss that. Always carry your camera along with you. Clicking pictures with your friends and family or just plain nature, will give you immense pleasure of that particular moment. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with having your camera with you at all times.

After Effects

Even after you have done all the settings in the camera and clicked the pictures you wanted, you can further modify them in Adobe Photoshop. That will just enhance the pictures even more, giving you the best pictures you ever dreamed of. Show them to your friends, family or the mentor you have chosen for photography, they will, perhaps, help you by telling how best you can take the picture in many other ways.

I hope that these basic photography techniques can be of use to you and can help you in getting many gorgeous images. You can also enroll in some classes at a community colleges; they will definitely help you become a better, more skilled photographer.