Author: Jasmine Reinhart

Tips For Flattering Photos

Break the Rules

Rule of the thirds implies that the subject can be on the either of the frame but never in middle. Though it does make for a good pose there are no strict rules in photography. If you think that a photo will look good with the subject in middle then go for it. Let there be no boundaries to stop you from taking your perfect shot. You’ll be surprised to see that the most striking photos come from bending or breaking the rules.

Eye contact

Have the subject make eye contact with the camera while holding the camera at their eye level. This simple trick can make the subject seem more alive and will get you an engaging photo. But there are other things you can try to make the shot more alluring. The ‘off camera look’ has the subject focusing on something outside the frame. Any emotion from the subject will intrigue the viewer as to what is making the subject look surprised or sad. Another great idea is to have the subject focus on something within the frame of the camera. If there are two subjects, let them face each other or just a glance. This will create a story or relationship between the two subjects and a second point of interest for the viewer

Watch the light

Morning and the time before the sunset is the best time to take photos. The orangey glow makes the subject look better, unlike the midday sun that makes any imperfections on the skin stand out. The light is softer which makes the colors stand out. There are numerous ways you can use lightening to your benefit. Side lightening or backlighting obscures the subject but makes their frame more prominent. Silhouetting also hides your subject’s feature that looks extremely attractive. Use flash even during the day. This forced extra light will fill in the shadows of the midday sun.

Use Props

Right props can enhance the shot and give it more meaning. Focus might shift from the subject, but the prop will add a depth to them. The prop can be something personal or anything that might add fun to the shot. Personal props make the best kind of props, the hidden meaning is only evident to the subject but the right photographer can make the viewer also feel its importance. Make the shots timeless so that they might not seem outdated on the mantelpiece 10 years from now like a chair in the middle of anywhere makes for a very good shot.

Be mindful of Limbs

Arms straight down the sides makes arms look larger and gives a dull look. The static appearance doesn’t add much to the photo so it’s better to position arms in a way that shows movement. Similarly, when the subject is sitting and their legs is showing, show more fluidity in the pose. With male subjects, be careful of poses that might seem feminine.

Lens For Every Occasion

TELEPHOTO AND MACRO LENSES

Telephoto lenses are probably the most popular of all lenses. They are perfect for portrait and wildlife photography as they offer a closer view to your subject and in doing so, keeps distortion low. Faster lenses, with some type of stabilization are best, look for stats such as F2.8 or similar with IS or OS.

Macro Lenses, often used for focussing on finite detail in very small objects, are usually high quality lenses, and well manufactured. Find a lens with a fast maximum aperture of F2.0 or F2.8 if possible. You’ll pay more for it, but your ability to experiment with selective focus will be much greater.

TILT SHIFT LENSES

Tilt Shift lenses are high end and ideal for correcting camera perspective, caused by angling upwards or downwards, which results in a “leaning in or leaning out” type distortion. The frontal lens element is shifted to oppose the tilt of the camera. Usually not wider than 90mm, expect to pay upwards of $2K per unit, but hell it’s worth it.

Tilt Shift lenses can also be used to create a miniature effect known by the Japanese as “Bokeh”. This effect mimics the extremely limited depth of field by fast, shallow depth of field lenses, and can be used to incredible effect.

WIDE ANGLE LENSES

Wide angle lenses, are identified by the bulbous shape to the glass front of the lens. They are loved by landscape photographers, the world over. A good lens should include high quality glass, have a low corner distortion rate, where a falloff in sharpness in the corners is minimal, and versatile features such as Image Stabilization (IS). Ideally they should also include a lens hood to minimize lens flare, when shooting into light or the sun. Generally the heavier a wide angle lens the higher quality of the glass used in manufacture, and the better the lens overall.

FISHEYE LENSES

Fisheye lenses are amazing bits of glass, with the bulbous element protruding from the housing of the lens, they are quite fragile, and easy to scratch. they cant be protected by a UV filter, but instead use slip in gelatin filters in the rear of the lens. Find one thats fast, F2.8 or 3.5, like Sigma’s 8mm. Look for edge to edge sharpness as well, again price will dictate quality. These are great for fitting the whole world into one shot, almost literally, with most providing a full 180 degree view! Expect to pay between $1K and upwards of $3K for top end.

About Photographing Slot Canyons

In slot canyons, the best light occurs mid-day, on cloudless sunny days. The best light is not direct sunlight hitting the walls of the canyon, but rather “reflected light”. Reflected light occurs when bright, harsh, direct sunlight hits a canyon wall and reflects that light onto another wall. This is the type of light that produces rich, saturated glowing colors in slot canyons. It is very important to keep even a peep of sky, or direct sunlight out of your photos, as this produces blown out areas of your image, and can produce a nasty “haze” near those areas. Naturally there are exceptions to this rule, but they are uncommon.

The Zion Narrows, and Antelope canyon are significantly different canyons. The Zion Narrows is the largest slot canyon in the world! Carved by the power of the Virgin River, the narrows is a canyon where you will be hiking in the river itself. Antelope canyon is a dry canyon unless there has been recent rainfall. Due to the narrowness of this canyon, and having a large water gathering area for water during the monsoon season, this canyon has been carved by powerful raging flash floods. Due to the differences in these canyons, camera settings can vary with each.

To obtain professional quality images, a tripod is required. As a general rule, setting your ISO to 100 will give you crisp, printable images. In canyons, typically you want to have the entire scene in focus, no blurring of the foreground or background (again this is a general rule). In order to obtain such depth, set your aperture to a higher number. F16, F18 or F22 are useful. From there, read your camera’s internal light meter and adjust your shutter speed in order to get the appropriate exposure. These settings are a very safe bet for Antelope Canyon.

The Zion Narrows presents situations where controlling your shutter speed is the 1st priority. Due to the beautiful flowing water in relation to this magnificent canyon, controlling what the flowing water looks like plays a major role in the artistic outcome of your image. Good shutter speeds range from 1/2 second to 1/10 second. This requires some experimentation with different speeds of water flow, and the effect you are hoping to achieve. After setting the shutter speed, I would adjust my aperture, and then the ISO. This can be a tricky balance. Having an experienced mentor in this situation is helpful.

Slot canyons are amazingly beautiful, awe inspiring and is a candy land for any level of photographer. Keep in mind, during rainy periods, slot canyons are very dangerous due to flash flooding. Be sure to do your research on flash flooding and weather conditions before you enter into these canyons. There have been numbers of fatalities in both of these canyons.

Tips for Event Photography

Take Some Pre-event Shots

You may want to capture some shots of the main room before the guests arrive. The event planner will be able to use these shots in order to sell their business services down the road. The pictures will be very valuable for your client and they may hire you again for your services. Therefore, taking some shots before the event starts is a stroke of genius and it will help you grow your business.

Don’t take too many photos

While you may want to take more shots than you need, taking photos unnecessarily is not a good idea. Taking amazing photos is the goal, but make sure you don’t spoil the mood of the guests. The attendees should be able to have a great time and it should be your priority.

The attendees would love to be photographed, but make sure you remember which ones you have had photographed. After all, you don’t want to take photos of the same guests over and over again.

Be Quick

You have to be really quick when taking photos. For instance, while taking photos of candids, make sure you take three frames and then move on. Taking more than three shots may annoy the guests. Moreover, when taking photos during a panel discussion, make sure you takes lots of photos with your DSLR. Although close shots look great, you should make sure that the faces of the guests look clear in the photos.

Edit Carefully and Deliver Fast

While editing, you may have to delete half of the shots. Usually, the shots are good but some shots may be a little better. Moreover, if you have taken three frames for the same pose, you may have to delete two of the frames. In other words, you want just the cream of the crop.

Collecting Classic Cameras

The first thing we budding photographers had to learn was a sequence of f-stops (aperture sizes) – f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16, etc – and that each was twice/half the size of its neighbour, with f2.8 being the largest, and f16 the smallest. Similarly, the shutter speeds were 30th, 60th, 125th, and 250th (on my camera anyway), and each was twice/half the speed of its neighbour. The final bit of information came with the film; a slip of paper that said something like this (for 100 ASA film):

1/125th and f/16 on a sunny day with distinct shadows
1/125th and f/11 on a slightly overcast day with soft shadows
1/125th and f/8 on an overcast day with shadows barely visible
1/125th and f/5.6 on a heavily overcast day with no shadows
1/125th and f/4 on in open shade or at sunset

All the camera settings were guesswork, and some shots would inevitably be incorrectly exposed, or blurry. The solution was to learn from mistakes (give it a bit more/less exposure in certain conditions) and gain more knowledge via and understanding of aperture/shutter speed combinations, and depth of field.

The correct exposure setting can be maintained by corresponding adjustments of shutter speed and aperture choices. For example 1/125th at f/8 is the same as 1/60th at f/16, and the same as 1/250th at f/5.6, and so on. The most obvious application is using a higher shutter speed with a larger aperture is elimination of motion blur.

Depth of field (hyper-focus) is the distance over which all objects are acceptably sharply in focus. Many cameras had a handy scale of the lens that illustrated the depth of field for each aperture setting. The concept to be grasped was that large apertures have a small depth of field (only the subject might be in focus), while small apertures have a large depth of field (the foreground, subject and background could also be in focus). As distances had to be guessed, the best method of ensuring good focus was to use smaller apertures. However, good photography demands that differing apertures should be deliberately selected to expand or compress depth of field, so that backgrounds can be intentionally sharp, or blurred.

This was the point at which I moved up to a new camera to eliminate some of the guesswork: an accurately focus-able SLR, which dispensed with the need to hyper-focus, and allowed a more creative use of shutter speed/aperture combinations and depth of field. My camera didn’t have a built-in exposure meter, so I had to get a hand-held.

Taking a picture took a long time (composition aside). You had to take a light reading and transfer settings to the camera, think about the relative importance of freezing action and controlling depth of field, and adjust accordingly. Then the sun would go behind a cloud and you’d have to start over again.

Life was much easier when I moved-up to a camera with an integrated exposure meter. One of the joys of a simple viewfinder match needle metering system was that you could continually monitor the quality of the light, and easily make exposure compensations to over or under expose when necessary by not matching the needle pointer (when you knew better than the meter).

Better yet, the next development was shutter or aperture priority auto exposure (most cameras featured one or the other, but not both), where the user had to make one selection, and the other would follow automatically. While you still had to apply the same thought processes, there were a lot less knobs to twiddle, and most systems could be made to work backwards (e.g. manually changing a shutter speed would force a preferred aperture selection).

Automation started to get a grip on camera design, and not all of it was good. For example, exposure compensation might require changing the ASA setting to force a different exposure, or twiddling a dedicated exposure compensation dial. It wasn’t really progress, and it didn’t make operation easier. I was just a different way of doing things.

I guess increasing camera automation was largely aimed at new photographers. It allowed them to use the tool without knowing about shutter speeds, apertures, and depth of field, but for those of us who had started with a simple wholly mechanical camera, it felt like creative control was being lost.

The next big development was auto-focus. This was a very attractive proposition, since a necessary task could be performed by the camera freeing-up concentration on creative control. However, auto-focus came with auto everything else. Cameras had become the high-tech version of the point and shoot I started with in the 1960s.

My first auto-focus camera was a Pentax MZ-5n. This camera had various program modes, which essential addressed set-up decisions for the type of subject I was trying to photograph. Instead of thinking about shutter speed, aperture, and depth of field, I had to think about navigating menus to tell the camera what I was photographing so it could affect an appropriate set-up on my behalf. It wasn’t easier to use; it wasn’t better; it was just a different way of doing things.

My interest in photography (as opposed to operating a camera in the same way one might operate a washing machine or any other bit of electrical equipment) faded once I’d acquired the MZ-5n. I think it only ever had one film passed through it. More than that, film photography was dealt a death sentence shortly after when digital cameras came of age.

My next camera was actually a digital, and I easily acclimatized to the fact that it does everything for me, but I use it in a very different way. The digital camera is a tool in a multimedia age. I use it to captures images in a way that is factual, and unemotional. To be creative, I still reach for one of my old film cameras, and put some effort into capturing the moment.

Camera Aperture

Put quite simply your camera aperture is the opening in your camera’s lens that allows differential amounts of light through the lens to the cameras light sensitive sensor behind it. Together with the ISO value and shutter speed of your camera it controls the light exposure used to create your photograph.

The size of your camera aperture is controlled by settings called f/stops. An f/stop can also be likened to the human eye as the iris which controls the size of the eye’s pupil. Similarly the smaller the f/stop value (iris) the larger the camera aperture (pupil) and the more light that passes through the lens to the cameras sensor. The larger the f/stop value the smaller the aperture and the less light passes through..

Digital cameras will allow you to choose from an f/stop range dependent on your camera lens capabilities. For example purposes let’s say from f/stop 1.4 to f/stop 8. Imagine that you are sitting in a dark room, the pupil in your eye (camera aperture) will be fully open to allow enough light through to your eye’s retina to enable you to see more clearly. This would be f/stop 1.4 on our example scale. If you then walk out of the dark room into bright sunlight the pupil in your eye would close considerably to prevent you from becoming blinded by the sun. In our example scale this would mean the aperture would close to f/stop 8.

This example uses extremes at both ends of the f/stop scale but of course there are steps in between. If you change your aperture setting on your camera from f/1.4 to f/2 the camera aperture is smaller than it was at the f/1.4 setting and It lets half as much light pass through the lens to the cameras sensor than it did at the f/1.4 setting. This remains true each time you move to the next highest f/stop value.

If however you change your aperture in the other direction from f/2.8 to f/2 then the reverse is true and the aperture is now larger than it was at the f/2.8 setting and twice as much light passes through to your camera’s sensor. This is again remains true each time you move to the next lowest f/stop value.

Changing your aperture f/stop value has two different effects on the end result of the photo you take. It determines both how much of the photo will be in focus (the depth of field) and working in conjunction with your ISO and shutter speed values determines how bright or dark your photo will come out.

Depth of Field

The term depth of field refers to how much of an image is actually in focus. When you look through your camera and focus on a subject there will be some amount of material both in front of and behind the subject that is also sharp and in focus. After that focus will drop off and anything that is further away from your focal point will appear soft or out of focus. As a general rule approximately 1/3 of the range of material in focus falls in front of the focal point and 2/3 of the range of material in focus falls behind the focal point.

Photo Brightness

Photo brightness is affected not only by camera aperture settings but also by ISO values and shutter speeds. This though is how your camera aperture affects the brightness of your photo. The larger the f/stop number the smaller the aperture size. Therefore less light is allowed through your lens and your photo will be darker. The smaller the f/stop number the larger the aperture size. More light is let through the lens therefore your photograph will be brighter.

Ideal Place to Find Art Photography

In its beginnings, photography closely resembled other types of fine art. It required a process that was recognized as difficult by anyone who tried it and many photographers found it to be unpredictable. It wasn’t until the photo was taken and the film developed that the person knew what the result would be. Having gained acceptance as a genuine art form, art photography is displayed in galleries with a dedicated following of art photography enthusiasts around the world. Many conventional galleries are acknowledging the popularity of photography by including it in their exhibits of traditional art to give people more of what they are interested in.

The art gallery exhibits photographs deemed to be the best pieces of work during a fairly short, or long time span. As with any traditional art gallery, one that showcases photography will often have exhibits that are based on a specific theme. This could include various subjects such as landscapes, cityscapes, or people, or types of photography such as vintage.

One of the reasons that many people feel that art photography has grown so popular is because of the realistic subjects that it portrays. Unlike the abstracts that are such a large part of traditional art, art photography brings realism into any room where it is displayed. Photographs also differ from paintings in the way they are displayed. While paintings are typically framed, photos are not. They are simply placed on cardstock so that they do not have a frame style to add to the overall theme of the photo.

Although there will always be those people who refuse to accept photography as one of the fine arts, there are many others who appreciate the dedication of photographers to present realistic representations of so many of the things we are familiar with in life. As technology continues to improve, we can only hope that the quality continues to improve as well.

Select Digital Camera for Wildlife Photography

It should give good image quality

This is one of the first requirements when it comes to buying camera for any purpose, isn’t it? However, the amount of focus on good image quality differs from person to person. For example, land photographers would want good image quality with a wide dynamic range to cover the finer details. On the other hand wildlife photography does not focuses more on the subject than the details present in the surroundings. Even higher ISO settings are useful in wildlife photography.

Auto Focus ability

This kind of photography is often about animals in motion. When in motion, animals rarely give the photographers any chance to adjust the focus of their camera prior to capturing the picture, isn’t it? In such situations, it is important to have a camera with good auto focus ability that helps you capture even the smallest detail of the subject to perfection.

Long lenses

You can either opt for a camera with longer lens or simply buy the lens separately. Having a long lens with a good zooming ability makes it easier for you to capture the subject accurately particularly in situations when you can’t afford to get too close to the animal.

Durability

Wildlife photography is not about shooting from a tripod. On the contrary, a large part of wildlife photography talks about clicking the animals in the most unfriendly conditions. Therefore, wisdom lies in investing in a camera that comes with a high rating for durability and system ruggedness. You can always refer to the internet for suggestions on such models prior to purchasing anything.

Smart Phone Photography

What a surprise! The photography possible with this machine is far better than any camera owned previously. It takes shot after shot of incredible photos whose detail can be enlarged and studied. Like the camera before it of course it takes videos as well.

This is a far cry from the first camera that my brother gave me when I was around 8 years of age. It was quite small but the photos I took have survived and are a record of the family history from those early years. Film had to be inserted and then the photos developed through the local chemist. It meant saving my pocket-money to redeem them.

From that time to this photography has been one of my hobbies and the quantity of shots from just about everywhere travelled or experiences enjoyed are filling albums and taking up storage space around the home. That is unnecessary with the new technology. The computer stores anything needing to be kept while some photos are printed immediately either through my printer or the local shop.

The difference in convenience and cost is astronomical and the pleasure of taking photos has increased enormously thanks to the new smart phone.

Features of the Canon EOS 70d

Touch screen

The touch screen on the EOS 70d makes light work of changing almost any setting using the Q menu. The touch screen menu is highly responsive and crystal clear to look at. It even includes an option to pinch-zoom pictures for better clarity when viewing the latest snapped images. Besides the onscreen controls, the menus are backed up with standard physical controls to take care of the basic shooting options if preferred. The touch screen is also design to flip out to one side to make easier viewing. This is especially helpful when working with video format.

Auto focus

A high-quality auto focus system is essential to take sharp pictures. The EOS 70d is installed with the latest Dual Pixel AF technology to make it easier to shot fast-moving objects. This DSLR auto focus system includes a total of 19 focal points. This increases the cameras capabilities to focus on the subject. Also, the 70d comes with a bigger 20.2MP sensor to help improve the contrast and clarity of the picture quality.

Video

A further aspect of the Dual Pixel AF technology is the ability to increase the quality of video recordings. Earlier models of the DSLR cameras had issues with loss of focus as objects moved around. This problem is solved with the 70d due to its ability to swiftly auto focus as the camera is moved from subject to subject. The camera supports standard HD (50 and 60p) and full HD video (24, 25 and 30p) capture.

WiFi

The Canon EOS 70d includes WiFi as standard and a welcome feature for a number of reasons. WiFi access offers complete ease in connecting the camera to a computer, tablet or smart phone. This makes it easy to download and view pictures using the Canon EOS app. Pictures can also be printed to a wireless printer or viewed on a DLNA equipped TV. Another benefit of using the app is the ability to remote control the camera. This is certain to help the photo shots taking place in a studio.