Author: Jasmine Reinhart

Explaining How To Properly Use A Monopod

Unfortunately dragging around a massive tripod can often be a huge challenge, not to mention that a lot of the time we find ourselves in a position where it is impossible to use one. There simply is not sufficient space.

Therefore, most photographers (at least the ones that are concerned enough to want great pictures) end up getting themselves a monopod.

If you didn’t know – a monopod uses the same type of camera mount and so forth as a tripod, but has the benefit of only using one leg.

This feature is both good and bad…

Having only one leg makes it lighter and less tiresome to carry around – it can even be used like a walking stick if you’re trekking out in the wilds.

However, after a few uses, the majority of us shooters come to the realization that using a monopod is not any steadier than not using one. What’s more since it has only one leg, it wiggles around so much that it is usually WORSE than shooting without one. So we heave our monopod in a spare closet and never touch it again.

This is a huge mistake! Your monopod is entirely as solid as a tripod, it’s only that so few of us have learned how to properly use it.

Generally we use it like a stick with our cameras affixed to the top – rather, we need to be using it like a tripod!

Here’s how to use the monopod…

  • First… For stability we need three legs. Like a tripod. The monopod itself is ONE leg, our own two legs, separated a bit wider than shoulder width form the other two legs of the tripod.
  • Second… Place the monopod in front of you far enough out so that when you tilt it back and bring the camera to your eye, it creates a 45 degree angle to the front. You’ll have to increase the monopod’s leg by quite a bit to get the 45 degree lean yet have it positioned at eye level. There is your tripod, both your legs spread to the side and the monopods’ leg extended to the front…
  • Third… Your camera should be affixed to a swivel mounting head. Tilt the camera forward with the swivel mount so that when you tilt the Monopods’ leg back at a 45 degree angle to your eye, the camera is level even though the monopod is leaning at 45 degrees backwards.
  • Fourth… Then when you are shooting, position yourself into a stable stance and press your camera’s viewfinder tightly to your face. Finally you have a – virtual – tripod that’s every bit as solid as most – real – tripods. Along with the added bonus of being easier to use!

Posing for Family Group Shots

  • One of the easiest way to dramatically improve your composition is to stagger everyone’s head position (but keep them close). Arrange faces on different levels so that any pattern of height does not distract the viewer from seeing the group as being one cohesive unit.
  • Position each individual so they are visually connected to another individual. You can do this by having them stand very close to one another and better yet, have them touch another person. No matter the poses you go for, always try to incorporate direct contact through touch. Hands on shoulders, arms around waists, any way that you can get everyone in physical contact with each other. This will convey emotional closeness.
  • The other posing technique that I often use is to have the pose wider at the base and narrower at the top. Some photographers refer to this as the pyramid pose. This makes the group look like a single unit and the composition looks complete.
  • Pay attention to your subjects hands. It is usually a mistake to have everyone in your pose doing the same exact thing with their hands. Occasionally I will direct one or more of my clients to change their hand position to improve the pose as well.
  • It’s ideal to have everyone in the family looking in the same direction, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be in your direction. You can direct everyone to look behind you or at the youngest family member.

So it really doesn’t have to be stressful the next time you want to capture your family’s portraits. Be patient, be flexible and make it fun. You’ll end up with some awesome portraits, lots of real moments, happy parents and happy kids! Try it out! It will surely improve your photos.

About Lytro

Here are the main features of Lytro that photographers might find interesting.

  • The Light Field Sensor is a micro-lens with a digital image sensor. This is what helps produce good light direction, intensity and color. It helps define a photo.
  • Its 8x optical zoom with constant f/2 lens allows anyone to create photos with good details. With this feature, it is easy to take capture scenes as they happen without worrying about distance.
  • The Lytro has two modes of shooting,
  • Everyday Mode is ideal for those who want to stick with the basic point-and-shoot function of a camera. All that one needs to do is point the camera to the scene and then shoot. Refocusing can be done later.
  • Creative Mode is best for people who want to experiment and explore their imagination. In this mode, a user has more control, particularly in terms of the blur. For example, the camera can be refocused closer to the scene so that the photographer can aim it on the subject or area he or she wants to highlight. This can be done while one takes the shot so that lesser refocusing will be required later on.

This mode is perfect for those who want to create dramatic effects with their photos.

  • There are Manual Controls that allow users to adjust ISO and shutter speed. The Lytro’s minimum shutter speed is 1/25 while its ISO ranges from 80 to 32000.
  • The Perspective Shift is what one needs if he or she wants to change the point of view of a certain Lytro photo. This interactive feature allows a user to shift the view of a photo so that its perspective changes. The photo can be viewed upward or from the right, it all depends on which direction the user desires. A mobile app or a computer is needed for this tool to work. This feature is best for both stored Lytro photos and the newly taken ones.
  • For those who want to further add effects to their pictures, there are Living Filters. Users can choose from nine filters, all of them interactive. All you need to do is click on the filter you want to use and the photos will be enhanced.
  • Sharing is an important feature for majority of today’s devices and the Lytro is not far behind in this department. In fact, it has several advanced sharing tools. With the help of the camera’s Wi-Fi capabilities and its downloadable mobile app, any user can share photos on Facebook and Lytro.com. Resharing of photos on Twitter and Google+ is also easy. In addition, a user can convert his/her photo to GIF and then send it to anyone through email or SMS. Once the photo is shared, it can be refocused by simply tapping or clicking the screen.

Lytro is available in 8GB and 16GB (internal memory) versions. It can house 350 to 750 living pictures.

 

Starting Out in Photography

The question is no less important when you start thinking of working for yourself as a photographer, but unfortunately there is no easy formula available to calculate your fees. There are however a number of factors that you have to take into account.

You will need professional quality equipment, and you need to factor in the cost of initial purchase and the cost of eventual replacement or upgrading.

Your premises costs affect your charges: rent, utilities, cleaning are just some of the charges you’ll need to meet. Even if you work from home, there are basic costs like phone and electricity bills that you need to cover.

There is then the real question, which is how much profit a photographer should be making. There are three key factors here: the rate currently being charged by photographers in your area (either geographical or professional specialty), your reputation and how much you want the work.

When you are starting out, you need to be mindful of the rates being charged by other photographers in your area. Unless these photographers are rank amateurs, producing low quality work, your charges need to be similar to theirs. The simple truth is that most customers will have a budget, and when they have a choice of two similar services, they will usually choose the cheaper. So you need to do some research to see who is working in your market, and what they charge.

Once your reputation is established, your prowess and skill widely recognised, word of mouth recommendations and the quality of your portfolio will mean that you have many requests for your work. At that stage you can review your charges, perhaps quoting on each project depending on how much you want the work.

Because this is the final factor to consider. I think we have all heard of builders or plumbers who submit very high quotes for the jobs they don’t really want to take on. A similar reasoning applies to working as a photographer: a high-status job which will give a wider audience to your work may be worth getting at any cost.

Take Good Beach Photos

  • Recommendation 1: You can ask your traveling companion who is holding the camera to capture your turning around moment with a big smile and looking straight at the camera. Capturing the exactly turning moment is the key to make this pose successful, which requires privity between you and the photographer.
  • Recommendation 2: Back facing the camera, you can fondle your hair with your left hand and take your large brim hat with the right hand. Your should face towards the direction of the wind at beach, so your hair and brim hat will sway like dancing along with the wind. What a beautiful moment that would be!
  • Recommendation 3: When the sunshine become soft at dusk, you can capture the scene when the sun is sitting in the horizon of the sea. Stand on your toes and ask your partner to squat, with the sunset ornament your body, you would become part of the beautiful sight.
  • Recommendation 4: You can make a good use of the sands. Sands can be the easiest tool for taking beach photos. Actually it can be very useful for many poses. Today I recommend you this simple one: just fiddle up the sands and shoot the exact moment when they are spreading down, PS with a nostalgic grounding color, your eyes won’t want to leave such a picture in the photo albums.
  • Recommendation 5: You can also lie down at the beach to let your companion take the photo from your head side. With both of your hands at the wide brim beach hat and kneels stay higher than your head, you can make a lovely photo pose. The hat is better being white, the same color with the clouds, or blue, the same color with the sky and the sea.

Creative Photography

Don’t Be Afraid To Break The Boundaries

One of the most common mistakes amongst beginner photographers (and not only!) is that they are afraid of breaking the patterns, of trying something new and revolutionary, something no other photographer has tried in the past. It is OK to be different, and remember the thumb rule when it comes to photography: you can break all the rules of photography, as long as the final result is outstanding!

Use Tricks In Your Best Interest

Every photographer, regardless of how good he is uses tricks and photo editing programs to enhance the quality of his images. Trick photography is a great way to take pictures on a budget, as you do not need to invest in heavy equipment nor do you need a certain environment to take a unique shot that can make history. Photo editing programs, on the other hand, are widely used all over the world – from correcting skin flaws to adding a touch of color to clouds or a lightning, these programs are truly amazing and they can help you.

Become Familiar With Shutter Speeds

In a nutshell, there are two types of exposure: long exposure and short exposure. This refers to the amount of time the camera’s shutter is open. The shutter speed coupled with the aperture of the lens determine the amount of light that reaches the film. A slower shutter speed is recommended if you want to introduce an element of blur, while a very fast shutter speed can make a moving object to appear frozen.

Macro Photography

The world is amazing in all its beauty, so why not take photos of the small elements of nature that we often ignore? A bug, a butterfly or a caterpillar – they can all be great elements for creative photography. This is where macro photography steps in and allows you to zoom very much without distorting the quality of the image in any way. Up-close shots require the macro technique, otherwise the object in the picture will be blurry and your effort is in vain.

Think Outside The Box!

In the end, this is the purpose of creative photography – it aims to teach both photographers and their subjects how to think outside the box. Do you have an outrageous idea that you want to use in your future shootings? If so, then go for it! Dress up as your favorite character, wear your high school’s mascot costume or add some homemade items and crafts – whichever suits you best!

Shutter Speed and Exposure in DSLR

It is indicated by some numbers like 1/10, 1/200, 1/4000, 1/2 etc. Basically it is always calculated by the fraction of a second, which means, 1/2000 shutter speed indicates the single unit of the time which we will get if we break 1 second into 2000 equal units.

  • Faster the speed of shutter, the sensor will be less exposed to the light. Faster shutter speeds are often required to capture very fast moving subjects like a panther chasing a deer or a formula one car at its top speed.
  • Fast shutter speed is one of the key things to freeze a subject which is a quintessential part of Sports Photography or Wildlife Photography.
  • Typically, a highest shutter speed in an entry level to mid-level DSLR camera is 1/4000 which extends to 1/8000 in the professional DSLR bodies.
  • A slow speed is also a very much handy tool for creative photography. When you are at a place with low light, it is necessary that the image sensor is exposed for a long time to capture your picture perfect image. Suppose you are eager to capture the Taj Mahal on a moonlit night, then the slow speed is the main thing which is going to help you to get your dream image.
  • It is treated as a slow one when it became 1/10 or slower than that though there is no hard and fast rule for defining slow ones.
  • Main obstacle often photographers face while handling a low light environment with a slow speed is the blurred effect in image known as motion blur and camera shake.
  • The motion blur is caused by anything (a car or a person) which was in motion during the exposure time. A slightest movement in someone’s body can also cause a motion blur when you are capturing images in slow shutter speeds. So, be aware of movement during shooting. But this motion blur could be interesting and an effective tool for creativity if you can handle it efficiently and intelligently.
  • The camera shake is caused by the movement of body or parts of the body of the photographer. Though you might think that it is very little and nominal, but your high precision DSLR treats it huge like you treat the earthquake. To eliminate this problem, a sturdy tripod must be used.
  • A remote shutter release cable with a sturdy tripod is the best combination when you are planning to capture photographs at night with slow and long shutter speeds.
  • The slowest one in almost every DSLR camera is 30secs, after which it gives an option known as “BULB”, in which the shutter remains open as long as the shutter release button is pressed.

Pick the Ideal Digital Camera

If you’re an amateur photographer, keep to the low-end of cameras, one that you can afford. Then teach yourself about composing photos, exposure, along with other techniques.

Once you determine that you enjoy photography as a hobby and you would prefer some advanced functions, then you can sell your old equipment and graduate to higher-end models.

If you figure out that you’ve got a secret gift in taking great pictures and you’re thinking that you may genuinely wish to make some money from your talent, then you can spend more money on fancy equipment.

But your cash goes furthest if you get quality lenses. This will make a bigger impact than buying a costly camera body.

The biggest misconception when picking a camera is that the megapixels make a big difference in the quality of your images.

Unless your image is going to be plastered on a billboard, every camera presently on the market should be perfectly sufficient to satisfy your MP needs.

Instead, think about these distinctions between high-end DSLR vs. low-end DSLR vs. point-and- shoots.

  • Price (the difference between the top and bottom could be a few thousand dollars)
  • Response time (the time it will take the camera to take the photo after you hit the shutter)
  • Auto-focus
  • Functionality in low-light conditions
  • Video functionality
  • Weather-proof bodies

So here’s how to tell if you are a true photography buff: if you’re always snapping pics with your camera, particularly of things that many people probably would not consider photogenic, then you can consider yourself a real aficionado. In this case, you’re probably a person who would take advantage of the extra features of a DSLR.

Make The Most Out Of Photo Editing Software

Resizing Your Photos

Aside from editing flaws, you can also use online image editing software to help to resize your images. Sometimes when a photo had been snapped, there is a lot of unnecessary scenery in the background. By resizing the image you can simply remove this. Also, of course there are strict size regulations in place for some profile pictures on the internet, and banners and images for promotional items require that a document is printed at a certain size. By using software to change the size, you can easily make sure that your photos comply with the regulations that are in place.

Image Rotation

Sometimes you may have taken a great photo, but have captured it upside down, or in a manner where it would look better if it was rotated. Software on the internet will allow you to be able to rotate the image, turning it around to blend in with your requirements. Photo editing software will help you to be able to do just this.

The examples in this article where photo editing software can be used to your advantage are just a few. The list is really endless and could go on and on. Technology is developing each and every day and we are now able to turn the worst photos, into the best ones with the simple use of online tools. This is great news for people that want to be freelance photographers and have a dream to work from home and make a career out of freelance photography.

Improve Your DSLR Photography Skills

Find out how to play with the shutter speed. You may choose to snap a quick picture or choose a slower exposure to capture a flow or movement in its entirety. You’ll have to experiment with this and discover what type of speed matches specific situations. This is a question of personal style instead of a general rule to follow.

It is possible to allow the camera pick the proper white balance for any particular environment, but sometimes the camera will get it wrong and the photo will look washed out.

If you’re having difficulty holding your camera straight, purchase a tripod. A tripod will go a long way in helping to keep your camera in position, so that you can focus on other variables aside from balance. Tripods work great if you’re in the wilderness or in an irregular terrain.

Use a fantastic lens to have a better image quality. It is possible to make artistic pictures with any sort of equipment if you work hard and adapt your style to your gear. But getting a fantastic lens opens up more possibilities.

Make use of lines to draw the viewer’s eye to the photograph. If done properly, the lines themselves may even be an interesting subject themselves. The use of lines in photography is a complex topic, but the most important issue to consider is they should draw you in, not push you apart.

You can do a lot to change the quality of your pictures by adjusting the focus of this shot. This doesn’t always need to be in the middle of the photo. Getting your subject in the lower right hand or left hand corner, as an instance, can increase dramatic aspects of your picture.

You may move the subject around so you can get a shot you find interesting. Depending upon the impression you wish to convey, try shooting your subject from different sides or from above and below.

Patterns can be an excellent design motif if you use them properly. You will find patterns on almost anything. You can locate them on lots of clothes, in design, and even in character.