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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Be a Photoshop Pro - One Click at a Time

Photoshop is really on a rampage these days. From the average person to the corporate graphic design world, this application has been used widely and extensively. There are a lot of pictures being modified with cool Photoshop effects to create something spectacular that will keep the online world abuzz for days.

Julie Ordon
You can download and install the application to your computer, either by buying the full version or simply installing the trial version to get you started. There will be simple yet cool Photoshop effects you can start with such as devil eye modifications, bubble effect or creating water reflections. There will be entry-level visual effects you can add by playing around with the available tools within the application.

If you do not know where to start, there are available online tutorials that will help you manipulate the tools available to achieve cool Photoshop effects to your photos. You can browse them and follow their instructions on what options you need to click and adjust to achieve the effect on your photo. Most online tutorials will offer screenshots to guide you in the entire process. However, be careful with the version being used with the tutorials as they may be using older versions than the one you have.

The application is not only available for common folks but also to the professionals such as graphic artists, photojournalists and even web site designers. The professional world really entails a huge demand for more advanced Photoshop effects to create more graphically intensive scenes, backdrops or even texts on the design. Graphic design will be less difficult to materialize with the use of Photoshop. With the right tutorial to help you, you can put amazing and cool Photoshop effects to your design. One thing to note is that achieving these professional-level cool Photoshop effects on your design may entail more effort and time spent to perfect them.

Miranda Kerr
Even if you are not a graphic or web designer, you can still follow these online guides to help you create eye-popping details to your photos. There are tutorials that will help you create impressive photo effects, abstract watercolor effects and fantasy photo manipulation with specific themes. Some online tutorials even offer steps on how to manipulate your photos to have movie-like effects.

Photoshop can be very daunting in terms of the available tools and options you can tinker within the application. Familiarizing yourself with the available options and tools will do wonder for you as it will make it easier for you to add cool Photoshop effects on your design. With great courage and online tutorials to help you, you can master this great application in no time.

Author: Madrey Cattier

Do you want to create fantastic and spectacular photos? If yes, I recommend taking a look at Trick Photography and Special Effects by Evan Sharboneau in order to boost and enhance you photos with outstanding special effects!

Monday, 30 January 2012

They Say a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words - I Say It Can Also Be Worth a Thousand Dollars

Money can be simply earned through the use of stock photography agencies. Their aim is to represent a photographer and sell his photos through their company. The 'micro stock' domain of the agency deals with low price photography. These are generally web-based allowing quick uploads. The customer benefits by simply selecting and downloading the photo of interest in a matter of minutes. This is much appreciated in today's hectic world.

Candice Swanepoel
Create a Portfolio

The first step for a photographer wishing to make use of a micro stock agency is to create a portfolio. In order to do this correctly, you must be able to choose the most appropriate photos from your collection. Ideally, the photos should communicate a clear idea or concept to the customer, which would make the latter deem the photo as beneficial.

Be Aware of Anything Protected by Copyright

Your next task is to prepare the photos according to the micro stock website guidelines. Depending on the different requirements of each individual site, it is expected that you upload your photos in the correct format and resolution. At all costs, there cannot be any copyright material evident in your photos; all trade-marks, labels and logos must be removed.

Do Not Forget Those Model Release Forms

If needed, a Model Release Form signed by the person modeling in your photos must be enclosed. It is important to note, that though there might not always be an identifiable person in the photo, consent of the model to be photographed is necessary.

The micro stock agency's reviewers check hundreds of photos that are being submitted and will refuse to accept them if they go against any of the said guidelines.

The Importance of Key Wording

Reon Kadena
Getting exposure on the micro stock site is a must. Because competition is high and thousands of new photos are added weekly, it is crucial that your photos are key worded correctly. It serves you well in making an effort when choosing which keywords to insert with your photos because the keywords attract potential buyers. In turn, you will get a good rating and better sales. In other words, these keywords are vital to customers in finding the right pictures they are mostly interested in.

How Do You Get Your Money?

Once the hard work of compiling a good portfolio is completed, it is usually not before long that the small amount of money earned for each photo is multiplied by volume. The result can add up to a tremendous amount of money. Generally, as a photographer using an online micro stock agency, you will be paid when a predetermined amount is reached. The payment would then be received by means of a cheque or through the use of a PayPal account.

The Sky is The Limit

As your confidence gears up, you might wish to make use of more than one micro stock agency. This way you increase your chances in making more sales, thus making more money. Most of the sites are not exclusive, so there is no reason why you should refrain from doing so.

If you are still a novice and you do not know from where to start, I strongly suggest that you have a look at this incredible product - DigiCamCash A step by step guide on how to turn photos into cash!

Author: Michael Abela
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Saturday, 28 January 2012

What Is ISO And How You Can Use It To Take Better Photos?

Donna Feldman
First of all, what is ISO. ISO stands for International Standards Organization, it used to be the American Standards Association also know as the ASA and is a term that comes from the days of film photography. Basically, everyone wanted film that acted the same so technically you could buy one brand of film with a speed of 200 and buy another brand with the same ISO and get the same results. Speed refers to how long it takes for the film to process the image in front of it.

Digital photography has put a new twist on all of this. At one time if you went from shooting out doors to indoors you had to compensate for the type of film that you had, or possibly waste what was left of a roll and put a lower speed in. Now with digital photography you simply press a few buttons and you are set with your new ISO settings.

What does all of this mean?

Speed refers to the sensitivity of the film. The chemicals in a high speed film would react faster and thus need less time with the shutter being open to take the photo. This was great if you were doing sports or low light photography, however there was a nasty little trade off. The chemical compound on the film would many times make it grainy or have what is commonly referred to today as "noise." This works well in certain photos where it's dark or foggy and you wanted to create a certain ambiance; however a clear day where you may desire sharp images you will want to use a low speed.

Reon Kadena
ISO Application: The following is a list of speeds and where you want to use them.

100-200 Daylight
400-600 Multipurpose/Indoor
800-1200 Indoor/Low Light

A veteran photographer once gave me 2 of the best pieces of advice that I have ever had.

The first one is to know your equipment. Make sure you read the owner's manual so you can make the full use of your camera.

The second is to play around with your camera, take "risk," at one time taking "bad photos" was costly, however now offending images can be forgotten simply by hitting the delete button and doesn't cost anything but time. So don't be afraid to press that shutter button, look for new angles, and try to find different ways to incorporate the basics. It is the only way to  get better at this wonderful hobby.

Author: Mark M Wilson

An easy to follow, step by step course in mastering the art of digital photography is Learn Digital Photography Now.  If you would like to further your knowledge in digital photography, I strongly recommend that you aquire this digital book.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

What Is a Model Expected to Wear for a Photo Shoot? Master These 3 Effective Photo Shoot Styles

What I am supposed to wear for my photo shoot? This is a typical question you will be faced with when shooting photo shoots. In answering this question one has to establish what type of 'look' one is trying to achieve before planning the actual clothing outfits. In helping individuals to sort out their ideas I like to categorize the styles in three classes. The following are three of the most popular styles that people tend to opt for when doing a photo shoot.

Petra Nemcova
The Casual Look

This is a very basic and straight forward look, both in terms of clothing attires and set up. Outfits in line with this look are jeans, skirts, plain tops and sweaters. Runners are the most appropriate shoes for these types of clothes. To visualize this type of style, think of what the girl next door would wear to go to high school or university.

Ideal outdoor locations that would offer suitable backgrounds are urban areas or greener areas such as playgrounds and parks.

Shoot the model from a normal perspective as seen by a person when relating in a one to one everyday life situations.

The Glamour Look

This is a very popular style with female models aspiring to make a break through in the entertaining business. Clothing items that are associated with this type of shooting are party outfits, swimwear, bikinis and lingerie. The sensual type of underwear that goes hand in hand with attractive dresses and skimpy outfits are push-up bras and g-strings. High heels are a very effective way in getting that sexy posture.

Donna Feldman
Outdoor locations that are popular with these types of photo shoots are exotic beaches, summer resorts, hotels and gardens.

Suggest the model to lower a bit her chin and look straight at the camera, to get that seductive look.

The Corporate Look

A photo shoot with a business oriented look is usually sought by seniors. A classic two-piece suit is the most frequent choice of clothing. The choice of colour most of the time is a darker shade of grey or blue. In case of a female model, a blouse underneath is highly recommended. It is elegant and at the same time very feminine.

Though these types of shoots are commonly done in an indoor studio, I strongly suggest that you be creative and do these on location. I have seen various outdoor work depicting construction sites, factory floors and other production areas in the background. These kinds of backdrops manage to tell more about the work and profession of the person being photographed.

I suggest incorporating some low angled shoots to emphasis the authoritative feel in a way that reflects the model's profession.

Alyssa Milano
While at it, it is worth mentioning the importance of posing the models properly. In the above mentioned set ups, directing the models to pose properly is part and parcel of a successful photo shoot. It is of extreme importance that you adapt posing styles that reflect each particular look, to get effective and dynamic results from your photo shoots.

Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide Vol.1  by Malcolm Boone is a unique and practical tool which will guide you step by step, in mastering the art of posing a model.  I strongly suggest that you give it a thorough look.  It is definitely worth the money!

Author: Michael Abela

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What Makes a Great Photograph?

I'm sure this article will be controversial. I mean, after all, how do you objectively characterise what makes a good photograph? It's not like marking a mathematics paper, where there is always a right or wrong answer. Photography, much like any other art form, is very subjective. That said, I do believe that there are certain elements that all great photographs share in common. Here's my (subjective) attempt at defining them:

Jordan Carver
Great use of Light

I've placed this in position 1, because photography is essentially all about light. As has been said many a time, photography literally means 'painting with light', and to become a true master of this discipline requires that you can read and understand light in the same way that you read and understand language- Metaphorically, it is one of the linguistic building blocks of photography.

When taking a picture, great photographers will consider the direction as well as the quality of light. Is the subject side lit, or back lit? Is the light source hard or soft? Will I set up the picture so that it is low-key or high key? Depending on the answers to these questions the overall emotional feel and aesthetic of the image will change radically, thereby changing its meaning. To give you an example, look at some classic pictures taken of jazz clubs in low light. Typically these are low key in nature and they create a very definite 'noir' aesthetic. Play around with light so that it supports the meaning you are trying to convey in the image.

Great Composition

As in great art, great photographs generally have a sense of compositional form and balance that is pleasing to the eye. As a starting point it's a great idea to understand the basic rules of composition, such as using the rules of thirds. Once you have learned them though, don't be afraid to play around with them and break the rules. It's a way of establishing your own unique style, and who wants to be limited by rules anyway?

Emily Scott
A Sense of Timing

Take a look at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the undisputed master of street photography, and you will notice that, as well as having complete mastery of composition, he was also a master of timing. He knew how and when to anticipate what he called 'The Decisive Moment'; that point in time when all of the elements of the image fall into place and when the emotional 'pitch' of the story is at its peak. Great timing is essential in photography. Practise being patient, and remember to try to anticipate the best moment at which to engage the shutter button.

A Clear Subject

Great photographs generally have a very clear idea of what the core subject of the photograph is. If you find that when you frame an image the subject is unclear then try taking out any unnecessary elements. Sometimes simplifying the image is the best way to improve it.

Try experimenting with these different elements to see what works for you. Don't forget you only get better with plenty of practise. Good luck!

Author: Matt Foden
Posted by:

An easy to follow, step by step course in mastering the art of digital photography is Learn Digital Photography Now.  If you would like to further your knowledge in digital photography, I strongly recommend that you aquire this digital book.

Monday, 23 January 2012

7 Ways a Model Can Turn a Photo Shoot Into a Nightmare - Simple Rules for a Successful Photo Shoot

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Petra Nemcova
Occasionally I come across models that out of carelessness and neglect they manage to turn a prospective photo shoot into a nightmare. Simple situations that could have been easily avoided turn to be the crux for a failed session. There are unwritten rules that are obvious for some but not for others when shooting a session. It is high time that these rules are put down in writing and followed rigorously. I am sharing these rules with both models and photographers in mind.

Never Try to Fit In Clothes Smaller Than Your Size

If a model is a size 12 there is no point in wearing size 10 or 8 dresses. This would only make things worse. Dressing appropriate clothing according to one's figure is vital. A girl with a heavy bust should make sure that her shirt buttons up nicely and underwear fits properly. If a model has thicker legs direct her to go for longer dresses or trousers.

On the other hand, if your model still persists to wear certain sizes and styles one can consider other measures. If the shooting is being planned well in advance, one can easily enrol at a local gym and follow a programme intended for one's needs. Nothing is impossible if the model is committed and willing to do it.

Do Not Drink and Smoke

Any responsible model should avoid drinking or smoking heavily the night before a photo shoot. It would be difficult for the model to follow your directions and concentrate on the job. In short, the model will not give her best and perform poorly. It is important that a model is in a sober state when doing the session.

Marisa Miller
Do Not Eat Before a Photo Shoot

Eating a snack is fine; on the contrary eating a three course meal would make the model look sleepy and tired. Heavy meals before a photo shoot should be avoided. A bloated model would likely be less able to perform awkward and demanding poses.

Never Try a New Brand of Make Up on the Day

The make up should be tried and tested way before the actual photo shoot. Particularly this is very valid if the model is going to work with a different brand of make up. Skin or other reactions arising from non compatible products is not uncommon.

Do Not Get Sun Burned

If a model intends to wear off shoulders, tank tops, boob tubes and other revealing clothing special attention should be given when sun bathing. Whereas a nice evenly golden tan is encouraged, sun burns should be avoided at all costs. It is imperative that the appropriate sun screens are used and mid day sun bathing avoided.

Do Not Wax Before a Photo Shoot

If waxing is done the night before, the results are a reddish skin covered with goose bumps. This is definitely unattractive and not always possible to cover it up with make up. Any waxing should be planned days before.

Last But Not Least Get Ample Sleep

In order for a model to be alert and manage to focus on her photo shoot she must get the right amount of sleep. A couple of days before the shooting the model should be getting roughly a solid 8 hours sleep every night. This means that a model should keep away from partying till the early hours!

Alyssa Milano
Most of the points mentioned above are pretty obvious when you think about it. Still many tend to oversee them, be it by choice or by neglect. The end results are most of the time disappointing photo sessions. In making sure that you are not let down, next time you plan you photo shoot make sure that you check these guides.

Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide Vol.1  by Malcolm Boone is a unique and practical tool which will guide you step by step, in mastering the art of posing a model.  I strongly suggest that you give it a thorough look.  It is definitely worth the money!

Author: Michael Abela