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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.