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Friday, 29 November 2013

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Bikini Photo Shoot

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I invite you to visit blogger publisher articles section.  Here you will find more articles and all the answers you need to know, to make the most out of photography!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

How to Choose a Model for Your Photo Shoot Assignments - 7 Tips to Make the Right Choice

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 7 Tips to Choose a Model for Your Photo Shoot Assignments

I invite you to visit  blogger published articles section. Here you will find more articles and all the answers you need to know, to make the most out of photography!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Canon EF 200-400mm F/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens Preview


Canon announced the development of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens over two years ago. Ever since then, I have been longing for the release of this lens. When the official announcement finally came right after the midnight hour of May 13, 2013, I immediately placed my order even though the weight and price are higher than I have expected - 7.98 pounds and $11,799. My equipment supplier informed me I am in the top 5 of the waiting list and as soon as the first shipment arrives, the lens will be shipped out to me without delay.
I am a wildlife photographer and have been using Canon equipment for almost twenty five years. My subjects range from tiny Hummingbirds to Blue Whales, the largest animal on Planet Earth, ever. Over the decades, I have used and owned many 'L' series prime, zoom and Super Telephoto lenses. When the Series II versions of the Super Telephoto lenses came out in 2011, I refrained from upgrading until I have a chance to use the EF 200-400mm lens. Generally I am not overly excited by any new piece of Canon equipment, the EOS-1D X camera was the last exception but this new lens carries all the promise of a zoom lens with a built-in extender, all packed into a Super Telephoto lens barrel. I cannot emphasis the advantages of having a top quality super telephoto zoom lens. For years, I have suffered through missed opportunity when using prime telephoto lens on wildlife. Once the animal comes too close, there is a mad scramble to back up or try and grab another camera with a shorter focal length. Inevitably, I would end up missing crucial shots.
The EF 200-400mm is a large but manageable lens. It measures 5 inch in diameter and 14.4 inch in length without the lens hood. The front and rear lens elements are fluorine-coated to repel water, dust and dirt. When used with the Canon EOS-1D X camera, it will make cleaning much easier out in the field. It has a built-in 1.4x extender (see bulge in photo) specifically designed for the lens and three IS modes, like all the other Series II Super Telephoto lenses. Mode 1 is for stationary subjects. Mode 2 is for panning subjects, like bird in flight. Mode 3 is available only on Series II super telephoto lenses. In Mode 3, IS sound can be detected when the shutter release is half-pressed, but the image is not stabilized until the precise moment when the shot is taken. When I use an IS equipped lens, I always leave the IS on and set to Mode 1. To be honest, most of the time, I find there is a difference without a distinction between Mode 1 and 2. After panning for so many fast moving wildlife shots over the years, I have developed a rather good technique for myself already.
Up to now, no Canon Super Telephoto lens comes in a zoom. Adding a built-in 1.4x extender and a fixed f/4 aperture over the entire zoom range is a game changer for me. By the way, the minimum focusing distance over the entire zoom range is only 6.6 feet. Although this lens is revolutionary for a 'L' design, Canon actually experimented with the FDn 1200mm f/5.6 lens with a built-in 1.4x extender back in 1984 during the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
To say the EF 200-400mm lens' zoom range is flexible is an understatement. In addition to the built-in 1.4x extender, the lens also accepts the EF 1.4x and 2.0x III extenders. This means it can have a possible zoom range of 200mm to 1,792mm, when used with a combination of full frame, APS-H and APS-C cameras. EOS-5D Mk III and the EOS-1 bodies will allow AF down to f/8. Auto-focusing with apertures smaller than f/8 is not possible but this lens is well designed for that with FTM (full time manual) focusing built-in. This immense focal length range encourages creativity and open up many possibilities for long lens photography.
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my EF 200-400mm lens and have a few wildlife photo shoots coming up this summer, including Svalbard, Alaska and Africa. It should deliver photos with excellent image quality providing I have good luck with the wildlife sightings. Once I have given this lens a good workout in the field, I will write a detailed review of it as soon as possible.

Licenses of Stock Photography


It is easy to buy photos from Stock Photography Sites. But the buyer needs to be aware of certain licenses which are necessary to know when going for buying photos online.
In Stock Photography, along with the photos certain rights are also sold. The buyer needs to be aware of all these rights in order to make the right choice of license it requires to buy.
The types of licenses used while buying Stock Photographs are:-
1. Royalty Free License 
2. Rights Managed License 
3. Extended / Enhanced License

1. Royalty Free License:-
Royalty Free License is always referred to as RF. This is the most commonly used and affordable license for Stock Photography. Royalty Free licenses are the ones where in the buyer can use the image several times without paying for the image every time he uses. Instead he just needs to pay the license amount and the photo charge once and get done with the payment. The disadvantage of Royalty Free License is that these photos can be purchased by many buyers and are non exclusive. Royalty Free images are sold by file size. A high resolution version of an image with a large file size (such as 60 MB) would cost more than the low resolution version of the same image with a small file size (such as 1 MB).
2. Rights Managed License:-
Rights Managed License is referred to as RM. Rights Managed Licenses are those where the buyer needs to pay for every use of the photo. Also, the buyer has to pay according to the usage of the image. Each usage is calculated separately and an image is sold for a 'single use'. A Rights Managed License gives exclusive, time-limited use of a stock image. Right Managed Licenses also include Model Release agreement. Even though Rights managed images are expensive to license, they offer protection against brand dilution and allow for larger print runs.
3. Extended / Enhanced License:-
Some Stock Photography companies allow you to purchase an Extended or Enhanced license that extends the permitted uses of a previously licensed work. The license extended is usually the Royalty Free License. Extended licenses give you the permission to "extend" upon the uses granted in the original license. These uses may include increasing the number of copies showing the image, use it for resale purposes, or allow for other methods of distribution and use. Uses vary from company to company, so be sure to read the licensing agreement in detail.
Where an image is intended to be used extensively across multiple media for instance, a Royalty Free image may well be much more cost effective, or if an image is to be associated with a premium brand a Rights Managed image would probably be more appropriate.

Model and Photographer Trust - You Need It For Professional Photography


Do you want to make more money in your photography business? Do you shoot people? If you do, let me tell a little story I heard from an acquaintance of mine. It's one about; trust. You see, if you want to get the best models or have your customers truly help you get that perfect shot, then you need to develop a strong rapport - and ultimately a trusting bond. Why you ask? Well, if you model or customer knows that you will do great work, they will loosen up, be at ease, and their smiles will be real and not fake. By doing this you get the best work, and thus, your portfolio of great work grows and grows, along with referrals too.
About the worst thing you can do is be unprofessional, moody, perturbed or uninterested. This brings immediate skepticism to your client who may not be confident that you are out to do your best work. This brings with it a negative connotation and preconception, meaning they will be actively looking for flaws in your work, even if those flaws are actually their own or their own image which you perfectly captured. See that point? And if even if you hadn't considered this the prior, you need to be thinking here now that I've brought it to your attention.
Arguing with a client gets you nowhere, simply because; "a person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still," meaning you've alienated your client even if you think you've won an argument. When there is trust on the other hand your client, especially your models and human involved pictures will turn out even better. I have a feeling the same is true if you are shooting animals and pets for your clients, if those pets trust you, and inherently like you, your job will be so much easier and those pictures will make those pet owners proud and your bank account swell.
If you are shooting glamor shots and you want to shoot the best models, you have to show them that your portfolio is filled with people you've made to look absolutely stunning. When they see that, they trust you, they follow your instructions and they work with you, in total confidence. This again means you get the best shots and your work will speak for itself bringing you where you need to be to move your professional photography business forward. Please consider all this and think on it.
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Monday, 8 April 2013

Tips and Tricks on How to Photograph Architecture


When you think about photographing architecture, just remember it includes many more structures than just buildings and that's what makes it such a popular and fascinating venture. Architecture can include all types of man-made creations from the most primitive to the most modern in the world. These include bridges, monuments, windmills, towers, and lampposts etc. No matter where you travel there will always be many opportunities to capture some great shots of architecture.
There are some techniques which could help you take more creative and interesting shots and many of these include lighting, framing, and composition. As with all types of photography, the best way to develop your skills in it is simply by practicing. This will allow you to injecting your personality into the images.
Modern designs
If your goal is to capture some magnificent images of modern architecture it often works when you use an abstract or more modern style of photography. You could do this by trying out a wide-angle lens as it will give you an extreme perspective. Another good method is to take shots from unique angles. Since modern skylines feature buildings that sit close to each other you may want to try cropping in tightly in a building as it won't appear unnatural.
Photographing Older structures
When you're photographing architecture of older buildings and structures, it's a good idea to use simple and straightforward composition techniques. This will enable you to show off the elegance and natural beauty of your subject. You may also want to include a bit of surrounding background or scenery as it will add some context to the structure while letting it seem less cramped.
Adding surrounding scenery
Some people prefer to show the surrounding of a structure in their shots while others don't. it really depends on personal taste and how you want viewers to see the photos. It's a wise idea to ask yourself if any surroundings will take away or add to the context of the image and how you want to portray it. If you feel the surrounding scenery makes the shot better than go ahead and take a wider shot. Adding more to the photos is a good idea if it tells a story. For example, a centuries-old church sitting in between a pair of skyscrapers would be a scene begging for some surroundings to be added if you wanted to show the contrast between the old and new.
It's important that you get the lighting right in architectural photography. This means you're going to have to use the available light as well as you can. The best type of lighting for architecture is generally side-front lighting. It usually offers enough illumination as well as long and interesting shadows. This often creates a more three-dimensional appearance since the detail and texture is more visible. The worst type of lighting is back lighting since it results in dark, uniform surfaces. You could try a longer exposure with back lighting and possibly crop the sky out for a better image. Of course, you could always shoot the structure as an interesting silhouette.
Night shots
Some of the best architectural shots are taken at night, especially modern structures since many of them are designed to be shown off as part of the skyline when the sun goes down. Once night falls many of these structures are lit up in a kaleidoscope of colors to give them a life of their own and to create some brilliant shadows. It's a good idea to take a tripod along at night and use a low ISO setting to reduce the noise in the shots.
Longer lenses
The walls of a building can sometimes look distorted if you're shooting from close range. If you don't like this effect you may want to try a telephoto lens while taking shots from a further distance. This will provide you with straight-looking lines and walls. A telephoto lens will also allow you to come up with some fine-looking abstract effects. Taking the photos from a distance will usually flatten the subject's perspective and create parallel lines.
Keep it interesting
While the overall appearance of a structure can often be fascinating on its own, many buildings have small designs details that can stick out. Just think of all the smaller aspects of an old church or cathedral for example, such as sculptured gargoyles and angels etc. Taking shots of smaller details can tell a lot about the character and type of architecture.

Image Masking - Useful Info


Image masking is the art of using a PhotoShop software in removing the background of a picture. It's one of the popular methods of editing a digital or analog photograph. It can be used for regular picture enhancement.
There are diverse kinds of methods used for image masking. Clipping path is one the best techniques. It's mainly used in changing the original background of a picture and replacing it with a new one. This kind of method is mainly offered by an expert in the picture editing field. It requires the use of special tools and processes.
PhotoShop masking is yet another good technique that is widely used. It's mainly used in omitting a picture background and using a different background for the photo. In most cases, the picture will be cut out and placed in another different setting.
To make image masking successful, the pixel values of the picture is usually set to zero. Once this is done, the masking process can then be carried out in two major styles. First, an image can be used as the mask. To create this, a unique particle analysis tool is usually used. The pixel is set to zero as the editing process begins. The second style is the use of a unique masker tool. This requires the use of batch files and scripts. The tool makes the entire process very smooth. The pixel value of the image is not set to zero when the tool is used. The expert sets the pixel to edit the image as desired.
Meanwhile, image masking is never an easy process. It can be very tedious and time consuming. It requires the use of special techniques and tools. It also requires experts in the photo world. In most cases, well trained photographers go the extra mile in learning more about image editing. They take time to study more about photo masking and other means of editing pictures. They also take time to master different kinds of software programs used for picture editing. In any case, the quality of the image to be masked usually determines how tedious the process can be. It also determines the amount of time that will be used. In most cases, digital images are easier to mask than the analog types. Oftentimes, computer programs and other PhotoShop applications are used in making the editing process very smooth and fast.
In all, image masking is always very beneficial. It can give an old picture a new background. The process is best handled by well trained photographers or artists who have a working knowledge of picture editing techniques.

How To Take Advantage Of Photo Effects


Photography is a huge passion for thousands of people who are ready to give it all up just in order to dedicate their time and effort to this field. It is easy to understand the reason why so many people are so addicted to photography: it really is amazing. The feeling you get when you transform an event into a lifetime memory and when you show others what only you saw is fantastic. This is one of the reasons why so many people are ready to make the passing from amateur photographs to professional ones. They know that by getting their passion to the next level, they get the chance to even make a living by doing what they like best.
What is very important to know about the professional photographers is that they always use some tricks in order to transmit their messages without any problems. What do these specialists do? It is easy: they add effects to photos. They take advantage of the fact that there are so many free photo effects that stand at their disposal and that they can use in order to transform a good photo shot into a perfect one. Those who don't have a formed eye, can't even tell that the photo shot was actually a little bit modified with the help of some cool photo effects, so there is nothing wrong in taking advantage of the existence of such tools.
However, there are some professional photographers who don't use the photo effects that stand at their disposal in order to simply better transmit the photo's message to the viewer. They take everything to the next and last level and use these tools in order to add the personal touches that will transform the perfect photo into a work of art. People have to understand that a photo can't be called a work of art as long as the personal touches of the photographer are not highlighted. These personal touches represent the personal signature of the photographer and they definitely play a very important role.
A professional photographer has to know how to use cool photo effects, as their role is very important. No matter how much experience or talent you have in the field, there are situations in which errors occur and you are the one responsible for making them disappear if you want to publish that photo shot and to even make a lot of money with it. This is the reason why, as a professional in the field, you need to know how to work with the cool photo effects that stand at your disposal. If you don't do this, you lose, as you are not taking advantage of them! By using the photo effects, you take advantage of them as tools and this is a great thing! If you are not using photo effects, then you can only call yourself an amateur, not a professional. Make sure that you understand their role and their importance when you enter the field.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Top Tips for Photographing People


Interacting with your subject
I'll start with what I think is the most important thing to think about. As a photographer of people my relationship with my customers is key. Not just because they pay me but also because I want to get the best from them. I spend a lot of time and effort getting to know my clients. I have spent all my life working with people and I use all of my skills to really understand what makes them tick. It can make the difference between some nicely shot couple photographs to some really beautiful images that really show the emotion between them.
To achieve this I not only get to know them but I let them get to know me, I share my personality with them. I build up a trust that means when I ask them to do something they do it, believing in me.
So that's what you need to do. You probably won't have time for three meetings and a pre-shoot before hand like I do with my Brides and Grooms but you can still achieve something. Do you know the subject at all? No? Then before you take any pictures spend some time getting to know them and letting them get to know you! Have a cuppa, have a chat. Relax in each other's company. If you already know them quite well still take some time to talk before you start. Tell them what you are going to do, what they should expect as you take their picture and you make their portrait. Ask them about the style of pictures they like. Calm their fears if they undoubtedly say, " I don't like having my picture taken". By the way 99% of people say that to me and my aim is to hear them say, "I really enjoyed that" after a photo shoot!
This time invested will pay fantastic dividends as you start to shoot and they are relaxed and trusting with you. I will talk about children in more detail in part two but getting to know your subject and explaining what you are doing is even more vital when you're photographing children.
This is the second most important thing to consider when you are making someone's portrait. The picture won't only show them it will show their surroundings and maybe other people or objects. Before you start think about what places would make a nice backdrop. Are you able to take the subject where you want or are you limited to say their garden or a room in their house? It doesn't matter you can still get some really good shots. If possible go to the location before hand and have a look around. Look for places that will make a good backdrop. Don't discard anything. It doesn't have to be a nice view either. One of my favourite places is a beach in Devon where there is a beautiful old stonewall!
So how do you choose a place? Keep uppermost in your mind that your picture will be about a person or persons, so wherever you choose it mustn't 'take-over' the picture. It mustn't be the focal point or be too distracting. What would make it distracting? The eye will tend towards areas that are bright or colorful. So look at your background (and foreground) carefully is there anything in it that will take the viewers eye away from your subject? You should consider carefully exactly where you place your subject against your chosen background. Make sure that they don't have a building, lamppost or other object growing out of their head! Move yourself or your subject! In part two I will explain how using a little technical know-how you can mask the effect of visual debris. If you are shooting inside someone's house don't be afraid to ask him or her to move (see below reference lighting) and ask to take down pictures etc. from the walls!
You need to decide weather you are going to shoot your subject at full length or weather you are going to 'crop' in close. What ever you do the rule is to avoid the joints. Don't end your picture at a joint such as the knee as it can make it look like the limb has been amputated. It is fine to crop a limb but just not at a joint. Lastly think about where you will place your subject in the frame? Dead centre is fine but can be a little boring. Placing the subject off centre (in the left or right third) looking into the unused space can look really nice and is pleasing to the eye. Put their head in the top third too.
My biggest piece of advice to improve your composition is to look at pictures in books and magazines. Look at how they are composed, where is the subject and how are they placed in the frame. Look at what you like and copy it!
You don't need to be an expert and have any sort of fancy gear to take a nice well-lit picture. The best light to use is natural light and the best natural light is overcast light. The main reason is the bigger the light source the softer the light, therefore what bigger light source could you get than an overcast sky? There are other advantages like the lack of harsh shadows; your subject won't be squinting and colours are not all bleached out, as they would be in bright sunlight.
If it's a sunny day and your only chance to photograph this person then don't despair. Move them into the open shade; make sure there is some light falling on them though. If there's no shade and it's bright sunlight you have to make a choice. The classic choice is to have the sun falling directly on the face. This will light them up but it will be hard for the subject. The other thing you could do is to have the sun directly behind them. This will necessitate the use of some fill in flash to light up their face. It works best if you can alter the amount of flash that is fired at the subject until it is just enough to give a nice natural look to the face. If you can't alter the amount of flash then be aware that it may look a little bit unnatural. You could always move back to lessen the amount and crop later in the computer back to what you originally wanted. If you can only shoot inside then use the natural light from an open door or a window. Place your subject so this light falls gently on their face, if the weather's bad it still work through glass! Try and avoid using direct flash in to their face wherever possible.
You could also use a reflective surface to throw light onto the subject. You don't need to pay out on expensive reflectors but if you do use white for older people as it's kinder on the skin and silver on the younger faces to give them more zing! Avoid gold reflectors unless you really want to give your subject a golden glow! So what can you use instead? A piece of white card or a white sheet will work well. The closer the card/sheet to the subject to more light that will fall on them. Experiment, more it around until you find the best spot. Remember to make sure it's not in the picture and you might need a helper to hold it for you! You could also use a mirror but the effect will be much more pronounced and it will have to be much further back.

How To Take Digital Photos - No Easy Sell


Getting your digital camera to capture photos for the purpose of selling them is not easy. For every 1 person that has gotten rich selling digital photos, there are 3 people that failed. Some even take the same photos. The difference between the two is that the successful photographer put in more work and effort.
That being said, your state of mind will need to be focused on your goal. It's going to take commitment.
Re-read that again
That bit of knowledge you just received will become vitally important if you plan to be successful in your digital photography endeavors. Your energy must be genuine and passionate because this energy will reflect in the finished photo. Once you have fully understood in depth the meaning of the above info this understanding will help you maintain the patience that it's going to take for you to go out learn which of your digital photos are selling and which are not.
Your cash flow will only increase with the amount of time you put into it. To be sure you should have at least 4 hours a week, or more if you really want to see a positive financial impact.
Get creative
Almost as important as your mindset is your level of creativity. It's possible that you can take a thousand digital photos and not one will sell. You have to be original and pay attention to what is selling and what's not. So try some new surroundings, go places you've never been, and start thinking outside the box. From the moment you decide to try to sell your digital photos it would be best for you to take your digital camera with you everywhere you go and be on the lookout for THAT SHOT. A great photo could be anything from a shard of ice to a whole landscape. This is where your creativity and imagination come into effect.
Editing software
Even your best photo may need a little doctoring on to make it that much more perfect. There is a lot of money to be made, but there's also a lot of beautiful photography to be made, as well. While trying to edit multiple photos a good picture editing software would be a great investment on helping you achieve this. While there is a lot of money that can be made in selling digital photos, this also means creating a lot of beautiful digital photos. While your photo may be beautiful to you, the person or company you try and sell it to may not think so. 
This is why you must be able to deal with rejection well. It's the same as a person and their pet amongst a crowd. That person may think the world of their beautiful pet, but someone in the crowd will disagree. With that said just know that you won't be able to please everybody. So if you have a digital photo that you know for sure is a work of beauty, someone else doesn't agree with you. Most of the people who buy digital photos are looking for certain shots anyway. Most of the key to success in this business is getting your photos seen by the right people. This is why you must be able to deal with rejection. If you have a passion and patience along with creativity you will be successful.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Glamour Photography Tips and Ideas


If you want to capture great glamour photography you'll first need to know how to properly pose a model.
In this post, we're going to share with you some glamour photography poses and tips that you can instantly use to spice up your shots.
Just remember that you're working with the human body, so you don't want the models to try poses that are hard to achieve and/or are uncomfortable because these won't seem natural.
In fact, a good pose shouldn't really look like the person is posing at all. It doesn't matter how beautiful the person may be, if the poses and angles aren't right the photos won't be flattering!
Be up-to-date
Unfortunately for some, we're not living in the Swinging Sixties anymore.
Poses that were common decades ago might not be in vogue in today's era. It's true that some things are cyclical, but you can usually spot an out-of-date hairstyle and outfit and the same can be said for glamour photography poses.
These can be ideal though if you're trying to create a retro or historical feel to the shoot, but if you're aiming for something more modern, think natural, provocative, and sensual.
Use props
Using props is usually a good idea as it will make it easier for the model to pose.
It's can be pretty hard for some models to try and pose without a prop in their hands or something to lean, sit, or climb on etc. This is especially true for beginners.
If you provide your model with a prop of any kind you can also see how they interact naturally with it.
Ideas for types of props you can use include a scarf, a rose with a long stem, flower petals, a sleek black walking cane, large necklaces, a fedora style hat, a chair, etc.
Accentuate the positives
While some people sure may look it, nobody's perfect though.
If your model happens to have any visible flaws you can always try to hide them with the poses you suggest. For example, if the glamour model is a little on the heavier side you should shoot that person at angles instead of straight on.
A straight on pose accentuates the broad shoulders, which you do not want to do. Having the person turn at an angle to the camera can instantly shed a few pounds!
Also, make sure the shoulder facing the camera is tilted slightly lower. That helps thin a person out visually as well.
Finally, never shoot from a low angle. Low angles will make the person look heavier. If possible, always shoot from a higher than eye level angle as this tends to make a person look leaner.
On the other side of the coin, if the model is quite thin you may want to do the opposite.
Having that person shift their weight to the foot furthest from the camera will make the image more interesting as the model won't appear to be flat footed.
If the model has obvious strong points you should emphasize them in the poses. With thinner models, mostly any type of angle goes, as you don't have to hide many physical flaws.
Show, don't tell
If you want to communicate properly with your model it's a lot better to show them exactly what you mean instead of telling them.
This will eliminate many wasted minutes, ore even hours!
Don't be afraid to show them how to pose by doing it yourself. They will pick up on this and then interpret the pose in their own unique style.
Also, don't take the shots from one position. Move around your model and shoot from different angles until you find the perfect shot.
Be complimentary
When the model poses exactly the way you're looking for and the image is perfect, show it to them to boost up their confidence and motivate them.
In a way it's similar to giving an athlete a pat on the back after coming up with a big play. You'll be amazed at how much this simple trick will work wonders for the rest of your shoot. A confident model always makes for a better photographed model!
Keeping it clean
If you're interested in tasteful nude photography you can try it in a non-suggestive way if you want to stay away from x-rated shots.
Just make sure that your model knows what they are getting themselves into beforehand. Ask them up front if they are comfortable with this type of photography. Some people are and some are not.

How to Protect Your Online Photography


When it comes to protecting your online photography there are many ways to prevent people from copying or distributing your artwork.
Protecting Your Imagery
If you are like me you have probably uploaded your precious photography at one time or another to either your own website / blog, or to an online gallery such as 500px or Flickr. The benefit to showcasing your imagery is obvious, you want visitors to see your work, but you want your work to be secure and represented the way you want and importantly where you want.
Locating existing or previously uploaded photography being used without your permission.
Google Images
The first thing I recommend is to visit the mighty Google Images page. Where is unmatched for searching textual data, Google Images is the king of pixel based searching. Google Images utilizes a special algorithm to find imagery that is exactly your work and imagery that is visually similar. The interesting thing with Google Images is that you can drag and drop your photos directly onto the search bar. Of course if you want to be boring, you can always just use the camera icon.
TinEye is another reverse image search engine. Very similar to Google Images but it offers many additional services including the ability to register your imagery. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist.
Additionally you can use it as a tool to locate higher resolution versions of imagery (which seems extremely hypocritical considering the nature of this article - but I digress). Either way it's tremendously useful for tracking down your online imagery.
Taking Steps to Protect Your Photography From Being Stolen
Watermarking is one of the most critical anti-plagiarism tools that you can deploy to combat the theft of your work. First off, it's free and it solves 2 issues at once. One being that it visibly demonstrates that you want your work protected and that it's not free or licensed for distribution. Secondly, it provides a level of self promotion back to your blog or online gallery which enhances the opportunity that your work will be credited or for that matter you get new clients / fans or stalkers.
Where there are many options for watermarking including visible and invisible the standard for most photographers is to add your name to the bottom or side of your image. I personally recommend that you add your website / blog or online gallery like 500px or Flickr to your watermark.
The option of visibly watermarking your image comes in 2 forms. One being my preferred method, a simple stamp at the bottom or along the side of your image. It's a tasteful way of claiming ownership without obstructing the image. This way the experience for the viewer is pristine and if done correctly it will not steal any attention from your artwork.
The second version is the full image watermark. This method is reserved for those that absolutely want to maintain full control of your imagery. Unfortunately, this technique also obscures the photo and in my opinion ruins the ability to appreciate the art. However, I have used this watermark technique for a client that knew their work would be stolen. You can often see type of watermarking being used in stock art photography. Of course if the person stealing the image really wants they can take the time to clone out most watermarks albeit it's never really done well.
Making a Legal Difference
If your watermark is removed by someone you have a case under the copyright law for infringement which can provide additional damages against the accused violator. You can reference - 17 USC § 1202 - Integrity of copyright management information
Metadata - The Good and the Bad
Many photographers are aware of the hidden data that is embedded into your digital files. One being EXIF which stands for "Exchangeable Image File Format" and is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras and now smart-phones, scanners and other systems. The other 2 forms of metadata that can be embedded are IPTC "International Press Telecommunications Council" and XMP "Extensible Metadata Platform".
What Makes Metadata Amazing
Let's talk about the good part of metadata. For one unless it's deliberately removed it's permanently attached to your image. In terms of this article, which is preventing photographic piracy, this is a digital blessing. Not only does it keep track of your cameras technical data, it also contains your copyright information.
Continuing on the plus side of meta data is the ability to add keywords to your photography. The value that this adds to your photography is often overlooked by most photographers. While the debate is out on if metadata is used by search engines I have found through my experiences that it enhances SEO. I will be covering this with an article in the future.
Adjusting the Copyright Info in Your Camera
Most DSLR camera's today will allow you to add some metadata directly into your photography via a menu in your camera settings. This ensures that every shot made with your camera is injected into the digital thread of your image. This is something that I HIGHLY recommend that you do.
Typically you can add several lines which include your copyright, name, and URL. While most photographers add this info when they are processing their imagery I prefer to have the data embedded to avoid forgetting to attach it later on.
Never Upload a Full Resolution Photo
If you are planning on uploading imagery to your blog or to your favorite social media site I recommend more than any other tip on this page to hold back from uploading the original resolution. For example if I shoot with my Canon 7D at full res 18 mega pixels I will only upload a 4 mega-pixel photo at the most to any social site or online gallery. I tend to keep my imagery at about 1200px on the longest side for most of my online portfolio work.
First off there have been many photographers who have had their work lately ripped off of social media only to be used overseas for stock art companies which sell the photos without paying you. Secondly, you can prove that the image is absolutely yours in the case that someone claims that they took the photo. Understandably, you can up-res photos to mimic a higher resolution but pixel peepers will be able to distinguish the fake.
Unless you're selling your imagery online for digital prints or canvas work I would stay away from larger imagery. It just opens the door for digital thieves to plunder your talent.
Ongoing Photographic Vigilance
Google Alerts
This is a gem of a tip. If you are serious about keeping track of your imagery then Google alerts may be one of the best hidden tools you can utilize. Google Alerts allows you to set up keyword triggers that sends you an email based upon the criteria that you enter. In essence it can monitor the Web for the exact content that you want.
This basically turns Google Alerts into your own personal spider bot. You can use it to enter your name, (I would use quotes to surround any specific term, for example I have one set for my name "Erik Sacino" - this weeds out getting false readings) Also, you can search for specific names of your images. You will want to make sure that you have a good nomenclature established to differentiate between your imagery and others. I have used in the past a special alphanumeric combo such as "dragon_one_solargravity_3s88z2g3q.jpg the chances of someone using "3s88z2g3q" is pretty rare and you should have no problem finding your work.
Give All of Your Photos a Unique Name
The interesting thing that I have found is that most digital thieves will not rename the photo. This works in your favor.
Additionally, I have discovered that when people steal your work they often rip the description directly from your image. This actually a good thing since you can digitally tattoo your own words.
My Example of a Unique Description Trigger
"This photo represents one of the most spectacular evenings I have ever photographed. The cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field that I was in, all these variables aligned for me this evening. I knew at the time that this combination would only happen a few times in my life."
In Google Alerts I have set up an alert to trigger on the phrase (notice the quotes) "cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field". This unique combination of words is as unique as a special 56 digit alphanumeric when used.
In Conclusion
You can really make a difference in preventing your photography from being uncredited or even worse sold online without your knowledge with a few easy steps. Remember to watermark your imagery and to embed your copyright info into your metadata. Using a passive search tool like Google alerts will help assist you in your battle to guard your intellectual property.

Learn Basic And Essential Requirements To Be A Model

A modeling career can be highly rewarding and offers fantastic monetary benefits within a very short period of time. However, if you start off on the wrong note then you are in trouble.
Consider examining all requirements needed to be a model - this is an absolute must. Once you have taken care of this step, modeling becomes a more of a delight, especially if you become well known in the fashion world.
Meeting Basic Requirements Give Models A Good Start
Behind the world of glamour and good looks, models work very hard. They have to maintain a healthy body and skin tone.
Exercise is necessary to sustain physical attributes and the perfect figure.
A healthy diet keeps the skin glowing.
Cover these basics well, and you are well on your way to getting a good first break.
Newcomers must have the required physical characteristics before entering the world of modeling, especially if they are female and are looking at walking the runway.
Height - A minimum height requirement of 5' 8" is necessary for high-profile assignments like fashion or runway modeling.
Slightly shorter stature may work for specific assignments, but body structure should highlight a good, well-proportioned figure.
Hair - Must not have split ends. Grow long hair, if needed.
Teeth - Maintain straight, white teeth, and keep flashing a smile.
Decide On Modeling Career Options With Limitations In Mind
It pays to do a bit of groundwork and identify exactly what is needed for a specific field within modeling.
You may have a beautiful face but may need touch-up to appear more photogenic.
Now is the time to identify the perfect look and then go for an audition. There is plenty of scope, so browse the Internet to gather valuable information on different aspects of modeling.
Here are several categories you could consider depending on your interests and physical attributes.
  • Runway
  • High Fashion
  • Beauty and Glamour
  • Body Parts Modeling
  • Teen Modeling
  • Plus Size Modeling
  • Catalogue
  • Commercial
  • Petite Modeling
Entry into modeling is possible only if you meet requisites defined for each category. Body parts modeling may allow you to model your hands, feet, and other body parts.
It is obvious specific requirements must be fulfilled. Similarly, modeling for leading fashion companies may expect you to have particular traits and skills such as having a dynamic stage persona or the ability to give an assortment of facial expressions.
Having The Right Attitude Helps
Professionalism is the key to success in modeling. There is no room for error in terms of preparation or maintaining good health.
Competition is stiff. If you are not available, there is always someone ready as a replacement. It does pay to be punctual, dressed for current fashion trends, and willing to work beyond normal working hours to complete an assignment.
The Travel Model
Travelling is often required. Some prefer to work locally. Assignments may then be limited to local brands.
For example, the best modeling gigs would come through agencies like Ford. Top recruiters require models to travel quickly and still look fresh for the assignment.
These are personality traits developed by working for some time in the field.
However, it is not difficult to fulfill all requirements to be a model, if you have the right attitude and fit the part.

What to Wear to Your Photo Shoot


Your photo shoot is about you, whether it be for a wedding, your new born baby or just some family photos, so you need to feel comfortable in what you are wearing in order to feel comfortable in front of the camera. There are general guidelines for what is and is not a good idea with regards to some accessories or colours so bear those in mind when choosing what would make you feel your best.
Generally, it is not recommended to have props, clothing or patterns that detract from the subjects of the photograph as they must remain both the centre of the photo and focus of the viewer's eyes. This means that you should not wear bright colours that drastically contrast with the colour of the skin, such as orange, red or yellow. You want to bring out your most natural and beautiful natural tones without them being overpowered by a bright jumper. Also, avoid wearing large or bold patterns or logos on your clothing (if the photo shoot is not aimed at business advertising) as you want to remain the main focus of the image without their being distracting or overpowering features.
Depending on what you want to achieve from the photo shoot, you can wear an array of styles of colours. If you are having the shoot for a couple's portrait then you may want to keep the focus on your faces which means having a subtle one-tone clothing style, with added touches being different textures of materials, such as a silk scarf or heavily knitted jumper. This all depends on what you want to achieve and what you want the focus of your images to be. The same goes for accessories or jewellery, where simpler or streamlined and elegant is the most suitable for traditional portraits. You may also want to coordinate your clothing so that if you are doing a family portrait that you are wearing similar colours or clothing so to keep the focus on your faces rather than the differences in clothes. The colours don't need to be the same, but they should harmonise with each other so that they do not detract from the intended focal point of the photos.
It is always advisable if you want to look a little slimmer, to wear black clothing that is neither too tight nor too baggy; you don't want to look like you are wearing a banana skin or a tent. Also, if the photo shoot is not for modelling, then it is not advised for you to wear shorts or skirts that are too short as they limit movement and flexibility that could lead to rigid photos.
Apart from the clothing, it is advisable that you bring a hair brush, some hairspray, if you use it and some light powder to touch up any shiny parts of your face during the shoot. Please see our other article on How To Prepare For Your Photo Shoot for more information.
It is most important for you to be comfortable in your clothing but you must also feel confident and fabulous so that you can relax and make the most of your photo shoot.
Have a look and see what other people wore to their photo shoot.

How to Take the Best Model Photos, Photography Tips and Tricks


Be punctual and prepared

It's important that you're well prepared for the photo shoot. This means being on time and making sure that you have all of your equipment with you and that it's set up and ready to go. It's a good idea to speak with the model s few days prior to the shoot to let them know the type of shots you're looking for. This will enable them to also come prepared by practicing certain poses and expressions.
Speaking to the model ahead of time will also help he or she to be aware of the type of clothing to wear and if any types of accessories or jewelry are needed. In addition, they will be able to adjust their makeup and hair to fit in with the theme of the shoot. If you meet with the model before the job the odds are that you'll both be more relaxed when working together.
Setting the scene
It's always a good idea to find out what type of environment or setting the model prefers to work in. You can ask what type of lighting and music they're comfortable with and make sure they are allowed their privacy. Little things such as the temperature of the studio can also be discussed since you want the model to feel as comfortable as possible. Of course, on some occasions the theme of the photo shoot will dictate these things, but by asking, the model will realize that you're trying to make them feel at ease.
Communication is key
Most models appreciate it if you're specific in your instructions. If you're vague they may not know what it is you're looking for. One of the best ways to let the model know what you're trying to capture on camera is to actually show them examples from various websites or magazines. This way they can visually see what it is you're trying to achieve. Asking a model's opinion at the photo shoot is also beneficial since they may have some helpful tips or experience to share.
Explore different angles
if you just stand still while taking your shots, you're basically going to see that all of the images will be taken from the same angle and height. You should get a little creative and try out various height levels and angles by moving around. Try as many different angles as you like, including from below and above and don't be afraid to try something unconventional.
Believe in yourself
When holding a photo shoot with a model you need to be confident in your abilities. Always be professional and know what it is you're trying to achieve. If you're not confident in yourself then there's a good chance your model won't be confident in you either. Stay calm and take your time.

Monday, 18 March 2013



Those of you who are not very familiar with photography terms might not have heard about this, but most of you surely have seen this type of photograph, without even noticing it. Apparently, there is an intense debate in the photographic community about this special and somewhat new domain. So, what is HDR photography and why should you know about this?
First of all, it stands for High Dynamic Range and many professional and amateur photographers alike have tried this technique. In the age of digital photography, there have been many advances in the field of photographic processes and techniques. High Dynamic Range is just one of these fields and it has its adepts, but also its contestants.
Basically, a normal photograph has some light areas and some dark or shade areas. The High Dynamic Range stands for an increased dynamic range between these two areas, created by several different methods. The easiest way is to take two or more photographs at different exposures, usually a normal exposure image, an underexposed image and an overexposed image.
These image can then be used and combined to create a high dynamic image, with an increased amount of details. This can be achieved by using a software program that has this function, resulting a visually appealing image. Although there are many ways of creating this type of photographs, this is usually the simplest one, as modern digital cameras have the function to create bracketed images.
There is also the question whether to shoot in RAW or JPEG when doing HDR photography. As most experts would teach and as common sense dictates, if you are serious about photography, then always shoot RAW. This gives photographers a greater control on the final image, as you can usually edit most characteristics of the photograph.
As High Dynamic Range photographs need a lot of editing to get the perfect result, RAW format is preferred by most photographers. This does not mean that if you shoot in JPEG you cannot get a high dynamic image, it just means that you usually get better results in RAW. Unless you are an expert professional photographer, or an amateur with no editing skills, then always shoot in RAW.
The problem with HDR photography is that not everyone appreciates it and there are photographers who consider this cheating and not respecting the rules of photography. By combining multiple images with different exposures, the resulting image has a deep dynamic range, seldom resulting in surreal photographs and sometimes the results are even unnatural.
This characteristic of high dynamic range photographs is mostly contested by some photographers. But this domain also has many fans and the field is surely appealing, especially in commercial photography, where there is a need for extremely attractive images.
Whatever the reason might be, if you are thinking about trying high dynamic photography, remember that this is just another form of photography and you still have to know everything about photography in order to get good results. Also, remember to always specify how you obtained the results.

Guide to Nikon Digital SLR and Compact Cameras


Here's a simplified guide to Nikon digital SLR and Compact Cameras. When it comes to quality photography, photographers want a wide range of products and accessories so that they can choose something that suits their skills, and if required upgrade to something better, preferably from the same manufacturer so that the learning curve is easier.
About the Brand
Nikon is definitely a trusted brand in the eyes of most photographers. They have been around for several decades and have cameras suitable for both amateurs as well as professionals. They have launched several new models in recent times and believe in delivering good quality imaging techniques. It was somewhere around the nineties, when Nikon started producing top quality SLRs, that the brand took a upturn and their cameras started getting quickly latched up by photographers.
Competition Check
They definitely have good completion from the likes of Canon and Sony who also have a good range of products. The good thing about Nikon is that their cameras have better quality of image and better usability.
Generally speaking, Nikon cameras when compared to other brands, especially their DSLR cameras, provide several advanced features which the serious learners can make use of. If you aspire to be a professional someday, its always best to choose a camera that has enough advanced features that will let you shoot under varied conditions.
Various Models
In terms of the offerings, Nikon has the following series of cameras: Nikon D series (SLRs), Nikon L, P and S series compact cameras.
Professional photographers can choose from the D7000, D5000 or the more affordable D3200. Those looking for compact models can opt for the extremely popular COOLPIX series. These can be used in the auto-mode, which is pure shoot and click mode, and also provides lots of features if you want to apply specialized settings for your shoot. These pack a lot of power in a small package.
What to Choose?
It depends on what you want to shoot. Point & shoot cameras are compact, convenient, easier to carry and suitable for most social gatherings. However, it doesn't give you lots of manual control something that serious photographers want. So you need to keep that in mind.
If budget is a concern and you find the price of a new Nikon camera model prohibitive, you may also explore the possibility of going in for a used one, as camera nowadays are really robust and can last a long time, if proper care has been taken.

Equipments That You Would Need For Night Life Photography


Clicking photographs in dull/low/ almost no light is not everyone's cup of tea. For amateur photographers, this is perhaps the most difficult form of photography. To get impressive ad amazing outcomes for night life photography, you need some specialized digital camera equipments that will help you capture the scene appropriately. Although most of the cameras have an automatic night mode that will reduce your efforts, experts recommend you to manually play with the settings such as setting the exposure, the f-number, and the ISO speed. Irrespective of your camera settings, there are a few digital camera accessories that you must use to capture stunning low light photographs.
In night life photography, a tripod is basically used to hold the camera in a particular position in order to stabilize it during the long exposure duration. The time may range from several seconds to few minutes. This is because, during night, there has always been a light deficiency and longer exposure will help you capture more light.
Attaining stability during long exposure is very difficult manually and therefore, make sure you carry this equipment with you. If you don't have a tripod, you may mount the camera on a wall, a table, etc. but these objects won't be as effective as a specialized tripod. You can always play with height, angle, and orientation along with eliminating the risk of getting blurred images.
Battery grip:
This equipment not only provides better grip over your camera but also increases its power. It provides extra battery power for long exposure shots that are required during night life photography. It helps in taking shots even after your original battery becomes down. Moreover, it is very useful in cold weather conditions, as more energy is required by the camera during such severe weather. It's better to use a battery grip in order to extend your shooting time and avoid missing any important photo opportunity due to battery issues.
Shutter release:
For better shots, you must restrict unwanted camera movements. Chances of camera movements are higher during night as you would be using long exposures. Therefore, you must use shutter release, as it cuts off any physical contact between you and your camera during opening or closing of the shutter thereby helping you to avoid the chances of camera shakes that might have caused due to shaky hands or improper pressing of shutter release button.
Fast Lenses:
Since there will be very less light, you must use a fast lens with an aperture setting around f/2.8. The faster the lens, the better will be the results. The choice of lens should be based on the camera you have and the situation that you will be photographing.
Light Meter:
Light meters provide correct exposure and are very useful for creative and professional photographers. It is also known as exposure meter. This equipment will inform you about the intensity of light during your night life shots so that you can fine tune your camera and its settings.
Getting clear and fascinating images during night life photography requires utmost practice and concentration along with above mentioned equipments.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

7 Key Pointers on Photo Submission to a Promotional Modeling Agency


Type of Photos: First off, be prepared with one headshot and one full-length body shot. A good body shot doesn't necessarily mean you need to be in your bikini or underwear. One that accurately portrays your body type without cutting anything off will work. Last but not least, your photos do not need to be professionally done but pictures of when you look your best. In accordance with the pictures you submit, you will need to look your best when working for the agency or client you are promoting.

Personality: Make sure your photos showcase your personality. Promotional events require brand ambassadors to be upbeat and outgoing. As you can imagine, having pictures that represent a great personality will boost your odds of earning an interview and your odds of booking work.

Background: Make sure the background is not distracting. Pictures taken in your bedroom or other rooms in your house are fine, just so long as there is not massive clutter. A solid and/or natural background is ideal.
Accurate Representation: Send photos that represent what you actually look like in real life. Keep edits and filters to a bare minimum. If your picture has been edited to the point where it doesn't even look like you, coming to an interview will be a waste of our time and yours. Strange filters, lighting, and dated pictures also fall into information distortion. Send in photos that are current- taken in the last year.
Strange Angles: Please do not send in "mirror pics". Clients can request to see pictures of the models they would like to have at their promotional event. We cannot provide them with "mirror pics" or other strange angles. The agency shouldn't have to crane their necks in order to see a normal portrayal of a model.
Taste/Classiness: Do not EVER send nude or overly sexualized photos. This is not what we are looking for, nor is it the kind of modeling you will ever do with our agency. Any pictures displaying your crazy party side will be frowned upon as well. Again, keep in mind your submission photos are used to represent you when booking work.
Make-up and Outfit: Natural make-up is best. If submitting a photo with more dramatic nighttime make-up, make sure to send in a natural look as well. In regards to your attire, keep it simple.