Fruit Photography Tips

Still life photography is one of the oldest photographic practices that are still fascinating, versatile, and enchanting. The onset of photography had marked limitations including the need for long exposures. As such, photography of still objects was the most viable form of photography. In spite of the advances in technology, still life photography is still an interesting and potentially lucrative form of art. Down below you will find fruit photography tips
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Fruit Photography Tips and Ideas

If you are out to try new tricks in photography, perhaps fruit photography would be the right option to bring out the virtuoso in you. Raw fruits are beautifully colored, affordable, and readily available as a subject of your photography. Unlike other forms of food, fruits are attractive, varied in colors, differently shaped, and they can hold their form for a long time. And they may still be edible at the end of the shoot!
A perfect fruit photography shoot requires many ideal situations and set ups to work, and here are the basic tips that you may need to learn in order to have the best shoot. There is a need to have the perfect lighting, composition, placement, back drop set up, and creativity in angles and positioning to acquire the best shots.

Composition and Placement and Subjects

Your fruit composition is an important element in determining the unique and engaging nature of the shots that you will make. It is prudent to ensure that the frame of your still life only has the back drop and the subject with no other distractions. Applying the rule of thirds is the best way to achieve proper balance in your composition. However, do not be limited by the rule, you can try to be more creative by varying the composition of the subject as you progress through the shoot.
Patterns and repetitions often work well and the use of odd numbered items makes the shots more appealing to the viewers. But the rule of odds is not cast in stone, and you can still work well with even numbers once you have mastered taking the shots of single objects. It is also appealing to incorporate elements such as leaves and slices of the fruits in the frame as well as different types of fruits. You could also enhance your creativity by combining and mixing up fruits with contrasting colors, shapes, and textures to achieve a rich composition.

Lighting for fruit photography

Lighting your set up is crucial in accentuating the features of the fruits that you will work with. Standard lamp lights can be effective in lighting if used well. You could try different positioning set ups because all lighting does not have to come from the top or front of the object. You could try back and side lighting to add interest, depth, and shadows to the shot.
You could also choose to use natural light from the window or make you set up in outdoor spaces that are well lit. The natural light cast from one direction may be complemented by a reflector or lamp. You could change lighting angles or use alternative light sources such as candles or strobe lights to achieve the desired effect. Try to avoid shiny and reflective surfaces such as metal and glass because such surfaces may make your lighting effort very challenging.
Your lighting should be determined by the kind of mood you want to portray. Do you want shots with open shadows and blown out and bright highlights or shots that are moody, dark, and with deep soft shadows? You can use overhead lighting to create shadows and front lighting to lighten the shadows.

Getting the Backdrop Right

Developing an ideal back drop for your fruits plays an essential role in the ultimate success of your shots. It is recommendable to keep the backdrop simple and nice, so as to avoid the possibility of drawing attention to your backdrop and thus interfering with the focus on the fruit. A large sheet of plain colored paper or wall can be perfect for a backdrop.
Think about how the surfaces chosen can complement or contrast with the fruit set up to bring out the desired effect without drawing too much focus and attention to the background. For smaller fruit compositions, the use of backdrop may not be necessary. Instead, you may only need a surface upon which you will place the fruits. For this purpose a black velvet cloth may be ideal because it will absorb the light and appear like a solid surface.

Angles and the Setting of the Tripod

Based on the lighting available, you can use a shutter release and tripod or not. But it is recommendable to use these because they will permit you to observe and work with your fruit set up and use longer shutter speeds to get a small aperture ensuring the image is in focus front to back if you so desire. However, your creativity should not be stifled by a static camera. You can change the height and angles of your camera when shooting to avoid shots taken from one point, but as you move around avoid casting shadows on your set up.
As is the case with most close-up photography, it is recommendable to change to manual focus so as to avoid ��lense’ searching that occurs due to autofocus. Play around with different lenses to find out what they can offer by taking test shots before settling on your choice.

Draw Inspiration from the Masters

If you find yourself struggling with the structuring, composition, or lighting of any set up, you could greatly benefit from inspiration drawn from masterpieces done by other experienced artists. Borrowing an idea or two can help you in composing a better set up and choice of fruits that will help you achieve your desired end. Still life artists have posted numerous pieces of art online that can be your source of insight and inspiration. Studying these pieces of art will help you in visualizing about color, shape, form, shade, and composition. Finally, do not restrict yourself by any rules, but learn the few basic rules as a matter of necessity because if you have to break them, then it should be worth it!

Still Life with a Basket of Fruit, Saint Louis Art Museum
Still Life with a Basket of Fruit, Saint Louis Art Museum

Panning Photography Ideas

Panning photography is an amazing art of capturing moving objects. At the moment of exposure, your target keeps moving continuously. This results into a photograph that has a clear subject but the blurred background. This ground-breaking technique suggests velocity and speed to the photograph. More and more photography-lovers are boosting their panning skills nowadays because of its growing popularity.

panning photography ideas running squirell
Running squirell

Here are some tried and tested panning photography ideas that can be used easily, even by beginners:

Put your photographer hat on and venture out for capturing some great images. For ensuring an appealing composition, try to place your subject opposite to the direction of the movement i.e. towards the side of the picture.

Shoot a cyclist.
Capturing a peddling cyclist gives a picture-perfect capture of a blur horizontal motion. Try locating a cyclist in some park with greenery all around or some other vibrant location. This image will capture a nice motion with the green or vibrant background mingling together into horizontal blur lines.
eyes on the prize

Shoot from inside your moving car.
In such images, the main trick is to decide an object that is not moving with respect to cameras. So, you can either pick your dashboard or the side mirror. Side mirror is a more interesting option because it allows you to take portraits as well.
Panning

Shoot motorbikes
You can easy find these just by going for a walk or it could be great opportunity to visit motorbike events.
#01 EVA RT TEST TYPE-01 TRICK STAR / Kawasaki ZX-10R

Capture an image on a carousel.
Taking advantage of the spinning movements of a carousel is undoubtedly one of the best ways to capture still moments. All you have to do is to keep your camera steady with the spin and carousel will do the rest of the job itself.
panning

Shoot a sportsperson in its game.
There are numerous chances throughout the game when sportspersons give some amazing shots in the heat of the moment. Some of the great shots can be captured in the ending phase of some individual game like tennis or badminton.
Can't be stopped

Use escalator movement.
Taking panning shots on an escalator is the easiest because here people do not move in relation to one another. You have to decide the person you are going to shoot and adjust yourself on either the same or adjacent escalator. The escalator will do its work to give you some remarkable images.
escalator.jpg

Go for a flying bird.
Birds are anyway very beautiful and capturing them with blur backgrounds will further enhance the beauty of your photographs. You must locate a big bird flying over some water body or simply through a less chaotic backdrop. If you can capture the bird with completely open and flapping wings, that will be great.
owl launch

Shoot moving cars
Probably most common panning photography example. No need to go far away from home if you live in the city, just grab your gear out…
taxi in brighton uk

Capture vertical movements.
The best way to capture vertical motion is to try photographing on a seesaw. Snugly position your camera on the opposite seat to the one where the object is supposed to be. Now shoot some outstanding vertical movements when the subject is swinging like crazy.

Sull'altalena!

Shoot running children.
Try capturing some kids running down the streets to add cuteness and blurriness both to your image. This could be a common scenario in parks or some narrow lanes where there is almost no traffic. If you could locate some kite runners across the lane, it would add more remarkable element to your photograph.
Handoff

Take images from some high balcony.
You can use your own balcony or go someplace higher to capture speedily running cars and other vehicles below you. But make sure the road you pick doesn’t have a lot of traffic. One or two cars at a time will give a flawless image.
panning

Horse racing stands.
This is a perfect place for capturing both man and a graceful animal together. The speed of a horse promises an astounding panning photography with a jockey riding on it impressively.
Los Alamitos 8.12.16 1

Planes and helicopters
There are aviation festivals in every country once or several times a year, so you could grab your camera and make awesome images
Acro Sport. G-CCFX.

These are some of the panning photography ideas that are equally good for both the beginners and the experts. You can also try some other locations and backgrounds depending on the place you choose for photography.
You may also want to check How to: Panning photography tutorial

Rule of Thirds in Photography

The Rule of Thirds in Photography

When it comes to mastering photography, the issue isn’t always whether or not it can be done, it’s how are you going to do it easily and quickly? Unfortunately for many people, they just can’t seem to take the pictures they want no matter how hard they try. I am going to reveal to you one of the easiest and quickest ways that anyone, and I mean ANYONE can start to take better photographs!

But just before I go into that, you need to know that it’s far better to get your photograph as good as you can get it in the camera before you start editing afterwards. There’s nothing wrong with cropping your picture later on so that the composition looks right, but you’ll save yourself a lot of work and stress, and end up with a much better picture just by taking it properly in the first place. This applies whether you’re using a point and shoot camera on your mobile phone or an expensive top of the range SLR.

There are quite a few things that you need to consider when creating a great shot before you’ve even pressed the button and taken the picture, let alone started editing it, so I won’t be talking about Photoshop right now. Photoshop and the other well known editing software packages are fantastic, and you can do amazing things with them, but you should just concentrate on taking the picture first.

So what’s the secret to framing a great shot? There’s no hard and fast rule to this, but probably one of the easiest ways ANYONE with ANY level of skill can take a better picture with ANY camera is by using the Rule of Thirds – if you can call it a rule. As you’ll see, it’s not really a rule at all. Douglas Bader, the famous British WWII pilot once said, “Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools!” That may be a bit of an extreme way of looking at it, but it’s also true of The Rule of Thirds. It’s not so much a rule, more of an aid to good shot composition, so you can break the rule if you really want.

rule-of-thirds
rule-of-thirds

You’ll find that your pictures can often be greatly improved by mentally dividing the image into thirds like a tic tac toe grid (or noughts and crosses as it’s called in the UK) with two horizontal, and two vertical lines, so that the shot is divided into nine equal sized imaginary squares

As I’ve already said, the Rule of Thirds is probably one of the easiest and most effective ways you can improve your pictures when learning digital photography, or at any other time for that matter. Once you’ve divided the image up, place the main subject roughly where two of the lines intersect, rather than placing it in the middle of the frame, which is one of the most common mistakes that beginners make. If your subject is a person or an animal, try putting the eyes on the line marking the top third. Armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to start taking better photographs!

How to Use Rule of Thirds in Photography

Rule of thirds is an important principle to understand in the visual and creative arts industries that allow visual artists to compose great paintings, photos, videos and, designs. The visual arts composed make use of the fact that human eyes are naturally drawn to specific parts of a composition. This creates a composition that is very natural to the human eye and will look more appealing than composition that does not follow this rule. Of course, with any rule, there will be some exceptions to it, but do not attempt to bend this rule without first understanding what the rule is all about and how it works. I will explain this rule in more detail from a photography perspective.

Imagine for a moment that your image is divided into thirds by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines so that there are nine equal sized parts of the image. There will be four points where the lines will intersect. These four points will be of great importance when composing your shot as they are the strongest focal points in an image. Another way to imagine this is to picture a Tic Tac Toe game in action.

A Tic Tac Toe game consists of two horizontal lines and two vertical lines that are equally spaced and intersects at four points. The horizontal and vertical lines create nine equally sized parts in the image. Many digital cameras can even show you these lines in the LCD monitor, so it’s a good idea to check your instruction manual to see if yours has a menu setting for this. If not, it doesn’t matter – you can still easily do this without actual lines. Just imagine they are there.
The rule of thirds states that main focus to a subject should not be placed in the center of the composition. Instead, it should be placed at the thirds of the composition along one of the four lines. The best result will be to place the most important point of interest of your subject on one of the four points where the lines intersect.

When shooting landscapes, you would want to place the horizon of the scene along one of the horizontal lines, where the human eyes are naturally drawn to.
rule of thirds for landscape photography
For portraits, it is a good idea to place your subject along one of the vertical lines. If the subject’s face is the main focus, you should try to ensure that one of the four intersecting points sits around the middle of your subject’s face as that will create the best result, preferably with the subject’s eyes along one of the horizontal line.
the rule of thirds for portraits
Many digital cameras come equipped with a feature that allows you to activate the camera grid which will then divide your LCD screen display or viewfinder into nine equally sized parts. If your digital camera does not have this feature, you can always make one out of a transparent paper. Just cut out a small section of the transparent paper that matches your LCD screen display’s size and then draw two horizontal and two vertical lines, making sure they are equally spaced.

When using the rule of thirds to compose your image, you should generally ask yourself what are the main points of interest in the scene. Once you have identified the main points of interest, align them along one of the vertical or horizontal lines depending on where the point of interest is and how you wish to express that to the viewers. Do this many times and you’ll soon be able to apply the rule of thirds automatically without having to think too much where you should place your subject in the frame.

Light painting by Stephanie Sahler

Stephanie Sahler fom Canada shares her night photo shoot – Light Painting.
Connect with her on twitter here


I am always looking to learn different techniques and styles to improve my photography and expand my knowledge. I love taking photographs that capture memories, but I also love creating art. Creating something that catches the eye and makes people wonder how you did that. I was doing some research online one night, exploring different photography techniques when I came across a technique that is called light painting. I explored it a little more and decided I wanted to give it a try. It took a bit of experimenting before it was time to take the actual photos. For these shots I waited until it was pitch black outside.

Gear I’ve used

Using a tripod and my Canon EOS 70D plus 18-135mm lens.
As a light source used high power flashlight in a clear tube.

Settings for light painting

  • Shutter speed- Bulb mod
  • I set my ISO to 800
  • Aperture at f/9
  • Metering mode- pattern

light painting pier
With my settings set I had my model pose and hold that pose as still as possible while I held the shutter open for 1 sec and did my light painting during that time. You have to work quickly because you don’t want to overexpose the image. For the light source you can use anything such as sparklers, glow sticks, flashlights etc. It is a really fun technique with great results I think! The possibilities are endless!
light painting beach

Also check out this video about light painting

National Geographic travel photographer of the year 2016 winners

The National Geographic travel photographer contest is finished and below are best of the best.
Source National Geographic

#1 Winter Horseman (Grand prize)

The winter in Inner Mongolia is very unforgiving. At a freezing temperature of minus 20 and lower, with a constant breeze of snow from all directions, it was pretty hard to convince myself to get out of the car and take photos. I saw horsemen showing off their skills and commanding the steed from a distance. I quickly grabbed my telephoto lens and captured the moment when one of the horsemen charged out from the morning mist.
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Inner Mongolia taken by Anthony Lau

#2 First Place Winner- Cities

Marrakesh, Morocco, is an exciting city for any traveler, but I was tired of walking on the crowded street and being asked for money from local people, so I was looking for a place to settle down. Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef Madrasa, it was still a more quiet and relaxing place than outside. Suddenly a beautiful reflection appeared on the shallow pool when I was taking a rest.
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Marrakesh, Morocco taken by Ben Youssef

#3 First Place Winner, Nature- Wherever You Go, I Will Follow You

It was when I drove back home feeling disappointed with the fact that I had finished the day in vain without any anticipated subject that I heard the joyful voice from the car window like “quack, quack!” There they were: red foxes. Around the end of the winter, they meet the season of love; they care for and love each other enough to make us jealous.
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Hokkaido, Japan taken by Hiroki Inoue

#4 Honorable Mention, Cities- Divide, Manhattan

From a doorless helicopter looking south on Central Park West, dividing the architecture and Central Park, on November 5, 2014, a day before my 27th birthday. The flight was my birthday gift.
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New York, United States taken by Kathleen Dolmatch

#5 Honorable Mention, Nature- Bears On A Berg

This photo was taken far out on the sea ice in the Davis Straight off the coast of Baffin Island. This mother polar bear and her yearling are perched atop a huge snow covered iceberg that got “socked in” when the ocean froze over for the winter. To me, the relative “smallness” of these large creatures when compared to the immensity of the iceberg in the photo represents the precariousness of the polar bear’s reliance on the sea and sea ice for its existence.
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Nunavut, Canada taken by John Rollins

#6 Second Place Winner, People- Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi

I arrived at my guest house in Varanasi at 5:30am, I instinctively climbed the 7 sets of stairs to the rooftop (which happened to be the highest in the vicinity) to see the sunrise over the famous Ganges River. As the sun was rising I looked over the right hand side of the balcony and my jaw dropped with disbelief. Below were families – mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sister and dogs all sleeping on the top of their houses. It was mid summer in Varanasi and sleeping sans AC was difficult.
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Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India taken by Yasmin Mund

#7 Third Place Winner, Nature- Lagunas Baltinache (atacama Desert)

The Baltinache Ponds, also called Hidden Ponds are a set of seven salt ponds located in the area of the Salt Cordillera, near San Pedro de Atacama, in the second region of northern Chile, in the Atacama desert. After much research, I believe to be the first photographer to publish night photos of this place, but it is still necessary to confirm this information. Tech Details: Photography done in one shot. Foreground was illuminated by the moonlight.
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Antofagasta, Chile taken by Victor Lima

#8 Second Place Winner, Nature- Double Trapping

I was in the Brazilian Pantanal along the Rio Negrinho. I realized that the river, at certain points of the loops, created places where there were many yacare caimans. I saw a yacare sink suddenly, and I immediately looked for the best location to photograph when it resurfaced. The whole thing lasted only a fraction of a moment.
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Brazilian Pantanal taken by Massimiliano Bencivenni

#9 Third Place Winner, People- Remote Life At -21 Degree

Kinnaura tribal old women in remote village in Himachal Pradesh carrying big log back home to warm up her house
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Himachal Pradesh, India taken by mattia passarini

#10 Second Place Winner, Cities- Silenced

This photo was taken on my last trip to Guangzhou, China. This place is the school dormitories of South China Normal University. When I was hanging around, most of them were taking a break. After lunchtime, they needed to go back to study
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Guangdong Sheng, China taken by Wing Ka H.

#11 Third Place Winner, Cities- Celestial Reverie

Lightning seemingly strikes Komtar Tower, the most iconic landmark of George Town, capital of Penang state in Malaysia. It is symbolic of the rejuvenation that the city, famous for a unique blend of centuries-old buildings and modern structures, has enjoyed in recent years. While many of its old neighbourhoods fell into neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s, UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2008 sparked a transformation, and today, they are all part of a vibrant tourist destination.
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Pulau Pinang, Malaysia taken by Jeremy Tan

#12 Honorable Mention,people- Muscle Beach Gym

A weightlifter lifts a barbell loaded with heavy plates while a bodybuilder performs an aerial handstand at the Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, California.
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Venice Beach, California, United States taken by Dotan Saguy

How to Create Atmosphere for Portraits

Why it is so important to know: how to create atmosphere for portraits? A portrait has a special meaning for the person who orders it. The portrait is meant to bring out or illustrate the unique characteristics of a single person, a family group, a team or even a beloved pet, for the sake of memory or just to create a beautiful reminder of the face of a well-loved identity. So the definition of the word Portrait is that it is a photographic study, usually of the head and shoulders only, or from the waist upwards.

In learning how to create atmosphere for portraits, these topics will be covered:

1. Technical considerations, such as image, focus, depth of field, lighting and exposure.

2. Composition, which includes placement of the subject in the frame, the use of space, camera positioning, use of “verticals” and “The Rule of Thirds.”

3. How to capture detail in a photograph.

4. Framing the Image.

5. Photography in the Studio or the Natural Environment.

Creating atmosphere for portraits is a complex art, but it can be broken down in to specific techniques. Atmosphere itself is a difficult quality to pin down. For instance, what is atmosphere? Atmosphere is defined as a quality that elicits an emotional response. This emotional response makes an image memorable and makes the image one that the viewer will want to look at time and time again. Atmosphere can render a photograph as beautiful, disturbing or as any quality on the emotional spectrum that the photographer wishes to call forth.

frame portrait
framed portrait on the table image credit: pixabay

It takes practice to develop the skill of creating atmosphere in portraits. Techniques such as choosing an image, lighting and exposure are the first things to consider. Once the subject for the portrait has been chosen, lighting the image to create atmosphere can be achieved by backlighting, for a portrait that is taken in a studio, or by the use of portable flash units in a larger space or outdoors at night. Another rule of thumb for lighting is that small lights create large shadows and larger or more diffuse light sources create softer shadows which can be more flattering for photographs of the face. The angle that the light is coming from changes many of the final effects in a photograph. Most experienced photographers say that lighting a subject from a three quarter angle, placed in front of the subject, is the best way to capture the features and expression of the face. The study of lighting in photography, whether it is used to create atmosphere or otherwise, is a lifelong study. Some other tricks that photographers use to create atmosphere in a portrait are reflectors to fill shadowed areas, diffusers which make a soft glowing effect and “flags” or black cards which deepen the light in shadowed areas.

understanding exposure-triangle
exposure-triangle

Composition is an important portrait photography technique, that helps to create atmosphere. A classic portrait is best taken standing fairly close to the subject. This will help to create a strong focus on the face and force other distracting visual material out of the frame. The Rule of Thirds divides the frame of the photograph into vertical thirds. Even though close-ups create a more focussed image, it is better to leave some space around the head and shoulders of the portrait’s subject, especially forward space, or space that is in front of the subject. This forward space casts the subject in a visual perspective that suggests that he/she has an inner self, while empty space behind the subject can create a frightening or uncomfortable feeling. Interesting visual effects can also be created by tilting the camera. Tilted lines are more flowing and they give a more natural impression than very straight up and down lines. Remember that in trying to create atmosphere, straight lines will give a formal, stilted effect, which is the very opposite of what a portrait aims to create. The aim of portrait photography is create a natural and life-like study.

Detail can be very telling in portraiture. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and each detail of the human face that is captured in a portrait counts towards the creation of a more “descriptive” photograph. Detail is not about accuracy, it is about conveying more about the subject, so that even if detail may seem opposite to atmosphere, if it is handled carefully, it contributes to the atmosphere. The quirk of a smile, the arch of an eyebrow, patches of wrinkles, an expressive glint in the eye – these fine details can make a portrait even more personal and intimate. Sharp lenses are the best tool that a photographer can use to capture detail well. I do preffer to use lenses in range between 85mm to 130mm with wide aperturte. Macro lens can be also used, I personally own Canon 100mm f2.8 USM and really happy with the result’s.

try-different-portrait-photography-techniques
try-different-portrait-photography-techniques

Framing is another portrait photography technique which can add atmosphere to an image. In portraiture, framing is not the physical frame, but the objects, which may encircle or outline the portrait. Doorways and window frames can create excellent natural frames for a portrait. If the portrait is taken in studio, the photographer may have created a background scene which frames the image and contributes to the atmosphere of the portrait. The important point about framing a portrait is to be sure that the frame contributes some extra information about the subject. For instance, does the frame give some information about the subject’s profession, lifestyle or pastime? Does it contribute to the atmosphere of the portrait by creating a feeling of curiosity in the viewer, so that they study the portrait more thoroughly? If the framing of the portrait is merely decorative, it may not contribute to an overall, coherent atmosphere.

photo-geek-wedding-photographer
photo-geek-wedding-photographer

Technology has made the creation of atmosphere for portraits both simpler and more complex in that there are many pieces of technical equipment which photographers can add to their cameras or use in the development process. Software such as Photoshop can also teach amateur photographers how to develop their own style and photographic preferences. Techniques for creating atmosphere such as the use of smoke, lighting from eccentric angles such as underneath, cropping images, overlaying images and many others have not been discussed here. The art of creating atmosphere in portraits is wide-ranging, yet the most significant question to ask when making use of techniques which create atmosphere is does this technique add to the atmosphere of this portrait? Does it expand the narrative, pique the interest or produce a strong emotional response? These are the most desired results of atmospheric portraiture.

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Key Photography

Guide to high key photography
Guide to high key photography

In this tutorial, you are going to find out what high key photography exactly is and you are going to learn the key steps, equipment, and settings in order to achieve the desired outcome results.
Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced photographer, this high key photography tutorial may add valuable extra knowledge to your photography skills. So, let’s see what this technique is all about.

What is High Key Photography?

High key photography utilizes unnatural lighting to eliminate most or every single harsh shadow in a picture. High key techniques were initially created as an answer for screens that could not appropriately show high contrast ratios, yet has evolved into a more stylistic choice for photographers and models alike.
High key photos ordinarily pass on a positive or cheery tone. This technique may be ideal for a subject that is interesting, carefree or delightful.
If you pay attention, you will notice high key utilized consistently for model photography, relatively feminine subjects in nature or flowers. Another region ideal for the high key is item photography. For all intents and purposes, the brilliant way of the photograph truly highlights the item and can make for some interesting contrast. If we consider marketing practices, an item appeared on white has a tendency to recommend that it is excellent in nature.

Lighting Equipment

Successfully shooting inside in high key may be difficult in the event that you don’t have the adequate equipment (outside on a splendid day can be less demanding and less expensive). In the event that you need to accomplish that studio, white foundation look, you may want to have some studio lighting close by.
Beginning with studio lighting can be costly. Numerous starter packs are accessible from various producers. Moreover, depending on the amount and quality of equipment you desire, you can hope to spend anywhere in the range of $200-$1700 and past.
This conversation about lighting could rapidly get to be complicated however I will attempt to keep it basic here. Fundamentally, you have two essential choices: constant lighting or a flash. Inside continuous lighting you can browse either tungsten, meaning hot lights or fluorescent, meaning cool lights. Tungsten lights tend to produce hotter looking light, on the other hand, fluorescent lights run genuinely cool and produce something more alike sunlight.
The issue with both of these is that they are genuinely low-fueled, which can make it hard to obtain high key photography even if your lights are sufficient. On the other hand, flashes are more adaptable and capable and are in this way the main decision for some studios.

The Setup: High Key Photography Tutorial for Indoors

Once you have the necessary lighting equipment, you will have to set up your studio. The truth is that there are various approaches to shooting high key photography. There are huge amounts of spots and methods to get a beautiful high key shot. Yet this is the first option to give you a smart thought of a well known and very popular setting for accomplishing the effect.
Preferably you will have no less than three lights, four on the off chance that you have the gear. You will additionally require a white setting or some likeness thereof. Numerous experts mount a 9 ft roll of paper on stands, and then move it down over the background and finally onto the floor. In case you are on in a rush or maybe on a budget, you can have a go at utilizing a sheet (look for wrinkles) or an unfilled divider.
Place your subject in the focal point of the background and make a point to keep the shot’s edge inside of the limits of the paper so no holes are appearing. Then setup a key light and also a fill light. The key light is headed toward one side and it is your principle source of light on the subject. Ensure the lighting on the subject is approximately flat. As bizarre as that sounds, you should always remember that you are not aiming at differentiation here but rather at the brightness.
Having your key light to the other side will probably create harsh shadows on the inverse side of the subject. Here you set up a less bright light to smooth out some of those ranges. Shooting with just these two lights will create a dim, shadow-filled background. And since we are aiming for strong white, you have to kill these shadows by utilizing maybe a couple lights calculated and pointed at your background.
One thing to keep an eye out for is the light bouncing off your scenery, which can bring about unusual coronas around your subject. In the meantime, you need to ensure you’re extinguishing the background enough to get the desired solid white.

Most simple setup I’ve used for high key photo using two light sources and a white wall as a background

high key photography lighting diagram
high key photography lighting diagram

Got result like this

high key photography portrait
high key photography portrait

The Setup: High Key Photography Tutorial for Outdoors

– A camera (preferably one that shoots Raw)
– A large white sheet
– A frame or a support for the used sheet
You will also require a sunny day, so there is sufficient light, however, abstain from shooting in direct daylight due to the fact that there will be perhaps too many shadows and also too much contrast for the high key photography effects expected. A shady spot where the regular light falling on your subject and foundation will stay adjusted, regardless of the fact that the sun comes out, is a perfect place so you can continue shooting paying little mind to what the sun does.

Camera Settings

For the camera settings, set manual exposure mode to full control mode, with shutter speed at about 1/200 seconds and ISO. Choose a wide aperture, for example, f/5.6, and then take a couple test shots, changing the force of the front flash until the presentation on the subject looks right.
While utilizing various flashes, the proportion between them is more critical than individual force settings. For the high key photography look, we require the foundation flashgun to overexpose the white wall, thus set this particular flash to a powerful output.
On the off chance that one flashgun is compatible then you can utilize your camera’s remote flash function in order to trigger it. If this is possible, set the second flashgun to the Slave mode. On the off chance that neither one of the flashes is good, utilize the pop-up flash at a lower power and set both flashguns to the Slave mode mentioned.

Conclusion

In the event that you need to shoot high key inside, it is best to have some studio lighting accessible, ideally 3-4 flashes: two on the background and two on your subject. Likewise, ensure your camera’s settings are improved to let in a lot of light.
Ensure there’s sufficient to light up the scene significantly without fading the subject.
If you wish to shoot outdoors, the setup is very important. Pay attention to the direct sunlight and also, use the right camera settings.
Just to clear the high key photography technique once more before you try it, it tries to dispose of harsh shadows and result in a bright environment. It is, by and large, used to pass on a perky, interesting or wonderful subject, however, can be controlled to impart various moods, ideas or even concepts.

Why photography business is not for everyone

When do you think is the best time to start professional photography business

So, you are so good in photography, you want to start your own photography business? Wait untill you read this, to better understand: how it may change your life. I have made short pros and cons what may happen…

why-photography-business-not-for-everyone
why-photography-business-not-for-everyone

Pros

  • You are shooting for some time and have experience as a hobbyist
  • Your images get thousands of likes/shares/comments on social media
  • You have all the gear you need to start photography business
  • You feel like your images good enough to sell them
  • Your friends/family members asking you: why you do not start own photography business


But wait, still, there are some secrets behind this…
Here is the story from reddit which inspire me to write this blog post. https://www.reddit.com/r/photography/comments/3zuojw/i_started_professional_photography_two_years_ago/

So I started doing photography as a paid service almost two years ago. At first I only did work for a relative, but then I got other inquiries and I liked the idea of getting paid for my biggest hobby. I liked it when people said that it’s so cool that I’m a photographer. It was fun at first, but it’s not anymore.
Photography was always my biggest hobby and it started as a means of self-expression. I did self-portraits, edited them in Photoshop and put them on the internet. It was purely for fun and myself. Putting them online helped me to get better as many commenters had helpful critique for me.
I know it’s difficult to estimate how “good” your own photography is, but I put a lot of effort into this hobby and most people react very positively when they see my photos and ask me why I’m not a full-time professional.
I’m a college student at the moment and was always short on cash. I needed the money badly and it was nice to earn a little along the way. I got a job meanwhile and I earn the same per hour as I do with my photography.
Now, after two years, I only see my camera as a tool to earn money. I lost all joy in doing photos. I haven’t taken a picture for myself in a year and my camera rots away in a drawer. Therefore the quality of my client photos has also suffered and people started complaining. This led to a vicious cycle of me getting worse and people reacting negatively.
There is also the social networking aspect. I’m an introvert and find it exhausting to communicate with lots of people. But it’s necessary to know lots of people as word of mouth is the most important marketing tool for a photographer. So this is absolutely necessary, yet goes completely against my personality.
Now when I get an inquiry I get anxious, I’m afraid of the fed up clients who aren’t satisfied with my photos and the ass kissing I have to do. When I look at my camera now I miss my biggest hobby and I hate myself for it. I feel cheap for selling my passion, as if I’m whoring myself out.
I’m at a crossroads now. I had some great moments while doing weddings or children portraits, but ultimately I don’t think professional photography is for me. I know some photographers who are professionals and it seems very common that it sucks the joy out of photography for them as well.
tl;dr: I started professional photography two years ago. Before that photography was my biggest hobby and filled me with joy. Now I hate it and miss my old hobby. I’m thinking of quitting.

 

When do you think is the time to stop professional photography business career

Cons (these are made after some time of working as photographer)

  • You do not feel any fun/joy taking images
  • Camera become just tool of work to earn money
  • Because of your feeling/condition image quality become worse
  • Clients start reacting negatively
  • You as a person- introvert and have difficulties to communicate with clients
  • In your minds idea- to stop photography business

There may be more reasons to start or do not professional photography business, but as a starting point good enough to think about. If you do have any comments or want to share own experience please leave it bellow.


Some comments from linkedin: what photographers think about photography business after I’ve published this post

photography business not for everyone comments
photography business not for everyone comments from linkedin

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Low Key Photography

Guide to Low Key Photography

Low key photography basically refers to a style of photography in which dark tones are predominantly used to come up with a dark, dramatic looking image. Unlike in high key photography where you over light the subject to the point of reduced contrast, this style intensifies the contrast by intensely reducing the lighting.

Taking low key images can be a fun given that, while in normal photography you try as much as you can to avoid harsh shadows, here you ought to consider them in order to come up with a perfect dark image.

Indeed, there is a lot you can learn about the dramatic low key images as a beginner. Apparently, the purpose of this post is to take you through the main areas that you ought to know about this style of photography.

Beginner’s Guide to Low Key Photography

To make this post easy for you to comprehend, it has been divided into 4 major parts namely:

1. How to Capture Low Key Images in the Studio
2. How to capture low key images out of the studio
3. Important Camera Settings to Consider for Low Key Photography
4. Tips on How to Get the Best out of Low Key Style
Let’s take a closer look at each of the above subheadings:

1. How to Capture Low Key Images in the Studio

For the best results, there are various ways of setting low key shots in the studio. One of the top things you should consider when setting the studio for these photos is a black backdrop background. Though you can use any other backdrop for taking the shots, a black backdrop will go a long way in helping you achieve a classy solid black appearance associated with low key shots.

To ensure that you get the most amazing dark images, avoid hitting the backdrop with light in such a way that unwanted textures and wrinkles are appears on the photos.

Another important thing to consider when taking your low key photos at the studio is the position of the subject. The most preferred setup is placing the subject a few centimeters away from the backdrop.

Once the subject is in the right place, it’s now time to place the lighting. How exactly do you do this? You might be wondering… Well, for fascinating results, place the light source (i.e. flash light/soft box) on one side of the object so that it can light the parts of the object that you would like to be highlighted in the image. Placing the light in such a manner also ensures that dark shadows surround the light area in your short- creating a nice dramatic atmosphere.

If you would like to reduce the contrast between the highlighted subject and the rest of your shot, adding a few light sources on the background can do the trick. Simply use a reflector to direct some of the light on the backdrop downwards.

low key photography lighting-diagram
low key photography lighting-diagram

2. How to capture low key images out of the studio

A photo studio is not the only place for taking the finest low key shots. This means that even if you don’t own a home studio, you can still enjoy taking photos in low key photography style. Here`s how you can do this:

a). Using a dark room
When using this trick, the main room that acts as your studio should be totally dark. Also, there should be an adjacent room to the main one, with a door standing in between them.

Position your object a few centimeters from the door. Set up a bright source of light in the next room, in front of the doorway. The door is useful as it help block and control the amount of light coming from the other room.

To take your shot, stand before the wall out of the path of light entering “your studio.”

low key photography out of studio
low key photography out of studio
image credit: tutsplus.com

b). Taking images at night
You can also wait for the night to crawl in and take advantage of the darkness element that comes with it. Of course, you will also need to identify a good source of light before taking your low key images. Moonlight, parking lots and streetlights can be good sources for you.

3. Important Camera Settings to Consider for Low Key Photography

There are no specific camera settings for a low key photography session. In fact, this style of photography can have a wide range of settings, all of which will give you amazing results.
However, here are some of the primary settings you should consider in all your low key shots:

-The ISO should always be kept between 100 and 200- this keeps the image dark and free of noise.

-Keep the aperture between f/4 and f/6- this enables you to achieve the desired effects for your lighting setup.

low key portrait using one light source
low key portrait using one light source

4. Tips on How to Get the Best out of Low Key Style

  • Camera
    The choice of camera used for taking low lighting images matters. A digital single lens reflex (DSLR) is always recommended as it allows you to adjust major characteristics of the camera such as shutter speed, ISO settings and the aperture opening.
  • Aperture opening
    The opening controls the amount of light entering the camera. The smaller the aperture setting, the wider its opening is. For the best results, start with low aperture settings (wider opening) and adjust when the need arises.
  • Shutter Speed
    Keeping the shutter open for a longer time allows more light as well as motion to be captured. Motion entering the camera translates to streaking or blur. Therefore, a tripod or any other stabilizing device is necessary to eliminate the unwanted streaks and blurs.

Shutter speed should be kept slow enough to allow enough light to enter the camera. But again, it should not be kept slow such that it captures movement.

  • ISO Settings
    ISO settings of your camera determine the level of sensitivity of your image sensor. The higher the settings, the faster the sensor`s reaction to light. This means that using a bigger setting in low key shots allows the sensor to react quickly to the available light.

 

As mentioned earlier, always try to keep the ISO settings between 100 and 200 when taking low key shots.

Note that higher ISO settings (above 400) always results into grainy images with some cameras.


Final Thoughts
That’s everything you need to know about low key photography as a beginner. It’s a great photography style that allows you to create the most dramatic dark images and the fact that you can take low key images without owning a studio makes it highly affordable for all dark images enthusiast out there.


Macro photography ideas

Photography is an art. A photographer uses art as one of the ways of expressing themselves. Therefore to be at least a decent photographer one must move several notches higher from the common photographs such as flowers, plants, bugs just to mention a few common examples. Anyone can do this including amateurs. To be a distinguished and recognized photographer one must incorporate macro photography ideas so that their work may stand out among others. Great photos do not necessarily have to be extraordinary or from space, though if one could get one from space it would be an instant hit. Great photography can be achieved by being creative with the basic thing around you. Listed below are some great macro photography ideas to give an upcoming photographer a boost as they take their first baby steps in the remarkable journey of photography.

Water drops photography

Capturing a nice pictures of rain drops or water drops is an art by itself. Some of the best pictures can be captured in the morning before the dew evaporates. This however is a classic idea so the photographer needs to be creative and capture unique and interesting pictures. Some great ideas include droplets dripping from a cobweb or droplets on wire fences. To capture this, one needs to be fast so as to catch the drops before they hit the ground.

Water-drop-macro-photography-ideas
water droplet image credit Markus Reugels from molempire.com

Feathers

Another great macro photographic idea ought to be feathers. Naturally feathers are colourful and bright, most of them at least, this coupled up with a nice camera that has clarity and enough mega pixel is bond to result into a sensational photograph. The key thing is to be creative, the feathers can be arranged to create different features.

Fruit and vegetable macro

Fruits and vegetables are healthy foods and should be a main part of every diet. However there is this thing about healthy foods being a little bit boring and they also happen to have major incompatibility issues with the taste glands. So how about making the vegetables and fruits more appealing by taking great photos of them. To make the photos stand out, try fresh and rare fruits and vegetables. The dragon fruit is an excellent choice. Taking pictures of fruits and vegetables with bold and contrasting colours is also a great photography idea. Even when you take picture like part of it people can recognize it as it seen every day and very often used in advertising.

cherry-red-macro-photography-idea
cherry-red-macro

Tissues

Get some amazing abstract photos from the different and patterns from the tissue. They could be lines, dices or circles. To get better and more diverse photos one could get tissues of different colours and textures. To get quality pictures one would have to zoom in so as to capture the details.

Animal’s macro photography ideas

Generally animal prints are beautiful and lovely. A full pictures of macro photography of insects and spiders are most in common, but capturing close up pictures of various parts of an animal’s body may be quite interesting. This can be done by taking a close up photo of an animal’s fur, an animal’s paw or even the muzzle. This will not only create awesome pictures but it can also be loads of fun and adventure looking for great pictures to capture. The animals will also not pose for a photo so this is another aspect of creativity that has to be brought on board.

peacock-butterfly- macro
peacock-butterfly- macro

Corals and beach sand

Some of the best macro photography ideas are derived from nature. For those who live near a beach a great photography opportunity presents itself right at one’s door step. This could be taken literally. Corals and sea shells come in all sizes and shapes. It is also possible to get them in different colours and they will sure yield results that will make any photographer proud.

sand-macro-photography-idea
sand macro image credit: Niall Crotty from Flickr

Rust and shedding paint

It takes a true artist to turn something that was initially considered grotesque and unappealing into a master piece. Normally no one will see anything beautiful or outstanding in rust or flaking paint. But surprisingly, one can get great pictures from patterns formed by flaking paint on cars or walls. A garage or a parking lot might be a very resourceful place to take such macro photos. Reveal the hidden beauty to the world who would otherwise just walk by it without a second glance.

bolt-rust-macro-photography-idea
bolt rust macro image credit: www.goodfon.su

Toy cars and toys photo’s

For the car fanatics taking detailed pictures of various cars can also produce great pictures. Vintage cars have some very interesting shapes that could create great photography. You can buy one of these very cheap in shopping center or if you have own kids, I could bet, you will find some small toys in their room. Pictures taken from a good angle, perfect lighting can make a regular picture be a stunning success.

volkswagen-beetle-red-toy-car-macro-close-up
toy car image credit: http://wpwide.com/

Foil reflection

Shiny surfaces always create great reflections which in turn result into great pictures. And for a great picture one does not need expensive materials, the common items in the house will work just perfectly. In this case a foil paper. The foil paper creates great reflections, illuminating common things in the house that will result into stroke of genius. To get great and exceptional results, one must exercise a lot of patience but the results are worth the wait.

Coins macro images

We touch coins every day, but did you ever had closer look at them? All of them obverse and reverse have lot of details which, you can see in macro images. Numismatics know what I mean.

queen-Victoria--silver-shilling-coin-1887-obverse macro
queen-Victoria–silver-shilling-coin-1887-obverse
queen-Victoria--silver-shilling-coin-1887-reverse macro
queen-Victoria–silver-shilling-coin-1887-reverse

Human body parts

Let’s say eyes have different shape on every face- it is human soul mirror. May be in different colours. Often when capturing image of eye can reflect light around.

eye-macro-photography-idea
eye macro image credit: anniewinge from devianart.com

Snowflakes photography

It is really not so easy to capture snowflakes, but these images will be amazing as every snowflake is in different form and shape

snowflake-macro-photography-idea
snowflake image credit: wallpaper-download.net

Casual things

Casual things in our hands may look interesting in macro photography. You can brainstorm with no limits at all. Needle, threads, jeans, colourful pencils, pen end, keyboard, old micro scheme, mechanic watch inside parts and others.

needle-macro-photography-idea
needle-macro

Final remarks

The world of imagination is filled with an infinitive number of infinitives. Some say that the sky is the limit but in this case there is no limit at all. For great macro photography ideas, one must think outside the box and look beyond that which meets the naked eye. Creativity and uniqueness is key and is what will make a photo stand out. A few final pointer in achieving macro photography; position is key, the angle from which a photo was taken from makes a whole lot of difference to a photo. Light may destroy or enhance a photo. One needs to learn how to use natural light to their advantage.