Author: Jasmine Reinhart

Photograph Interiors

Decide on camera position.

When photographing an interior, do you do that with the eyes of the visitor or user of a space or the designer? A designer may want you to give an overview of the interior to enable him to explain the layout of the place. The camera standpoint is that much higher than that of a visitor. For a good coverage you may want to do both.

When positioning the camera, use a sturdy tripod with good leveling possibilities. You will find that the so called ‘ball-head’ tripods used for flexible positioning are far from ideal for this type of work. Better is to use a tripod head where you can adjust every dimension independently. The build-in leveling device will give you a good starting point. Look for walking patterns and view lines in the interior. Make sure that the vertical lines remain vertical, in a way that walls don’t fall and furniture doesn’t look pear shaped. Try to realise that when transforming a 3-dimensional space into a flat 2 dimensional image, the picture needs to be pleasing to the eye. So look for classic diagonal view lines and try to implement the rule of thirds. Subsequently look for horizontal lines in relation to the frame of the picture. If the horizontal lines are level with the picture frame than this would be perfect. Don’t forget that any correction of vertical and horizontal perspective in post-processing will eat into the overall resolution of your image. The use of wide angle tilt-shift lenses will make live easier and gives you more flexibility in choosing your position. Also live view is a very necessary feature of your camera with this type of photography attached to a laptop or tablet computer. In the olden days, analogue photographers took these images with large bulky technical view camera’s and had to judge the ‘preview’ upside down covered with a black sheet… Although I am not that old I used to work with them when I studied photography that the Academy of Art in Groningen.

Exposure and contrast

The wide angle lens and tripod enables for great depth of focus by using small apertures. For a 17-24mm lens for a full-frame camera, use f8-f16 for the sharpest images at iso 50-200. Use a remote control or the timer to avoid any camera shake.

You will find huge differences between the lighter and darker area’s of an interior, especially when bright daylight is coming in. If you use the centre weighted average or evaluative exposure mode of the camera the white walls and ceilings will look dull and grey and the shadow area’s will lose detail and colour. A simple way to overcome this is over-exposing the image and darken certain area’s in post processing by ways of dodging and burning. The success rate of this way will depend on the contrast, exposure and the dynamic range of your sensor. Better is to use a combination of analogue techniques and digital contrast enhancement in post-processing.

By adding light to the darker area’s the overall contrast will decrease and colour and clarity will return in the shadow area’s. Obviously, this needs to be done in a subtle way so that the natural atmosphere of the space is not changed.

Another way is combining multiple exposures in Photoshop. Do this by adjusting the exposure time and take 3-6 exposures depending of the overall contrast. Make sure that the camera doesn’t change position during the exposures and that there are no moving subjects in the image. There are various automated ‘HDR’ type software methods to combine these images automatically, but I find that the end result tends to look very artificial. I use a manual method called DRI, or Dynamic Range Increase in Photoshop. I start with the one or two stops over exposed image and then put the darker ones in layers over each other, by selecting the highlights and masking them. This will take a bit of practice, but you will get very natural results!

Obviously in some situations you can combine the two above described methods.

Colour temperature differences

An interior will have a wide variety of light sources. Fluorescent will generate a green-ish image, whereas tungsten will make the surrounding area of the light source brown-red. Incoming daylight contains a lot of blue light and the flash light as well. It is therefore crucial that you adjust the whitebalance of your camera as accurate as possible using live view and some careful interpretation as it is impossible to remember how it was when you are sitting behind your monitor.

Usually the colour balance will lean towards tungsten and the camera should be set somewhere in the region of 3000 – 4000 Kelvin. Some partial editing will be needed to certain area’s to bring these within an acceptable level. Usually the blue effect of daylight is accepted and very much liked in the interiors industry because of the high tech stage light effect.

Handy Tricks to Master Google Photos

Turn off cellular data

This is essential for smartphone users that don’t have unlimited data. Many users use Google Photos to not only back up existing photos on their cameras but also automatically back up images that were taken on their smartphones. For this reason, it is crucial to turn off back up over mobile data and also allow the Google Photos app to only back up when you are charging your phone to protect your battery life.

Upload old photos

For you to save more storage it is important to upload your old photos to the Google Photos Library. This is a simple process that only involves dragging and dropping the photos from your external storage. In the library, the photos will appear based on the date they were taken hence, making it easier for you to locate them when you need to. Your connectivity will determine how long the uploading process will take.

Free up more space on your phone

For a user without an SD card or a phone with unlimited storage, it is important to regularly free up space on your device. Google Photos does this really well by just tapping at free up device storage in the settings menu. This is a safe process because although the backed up photos will be deleted you can always access them when you are connected to the internet.

Label your photos

Labeling the people in your photos comes in handy in the future. This is because you can easily identify them by searching by their name in Google Photos. This makes it easier to find every picture of the person you are looking for. It also saves time especially when you are in a hurry.

Get free unlimited storage

Google Photos offers unlimited storage with a minor caveat. It only offers a maximum of 16MP resolution. This can be tricky while saving videos and photos at their original quality because they will eat up into all the space that there is. To solve this it is crucial saving your photos and videos at high-quality resolution. This majorly helps you free up some space.

Edit and save your photos

Google Photos has an option to edit your photos to the desired look you’re after. This feature allows you to add a background color, crop among others. You can easily remove what you don’t want on your videos or images. It is, however, important to save the images once you edit them.

Remove geolocation

Images and videos were taken by your phone nowadays have a lot of location details on them. This is good for your storage because you would want to remember all about the details. However, Google Photos uses such information to actively map out where your pictures were taken. This is not good because you do not want people viewing or receiving these photos knowing exactly where they were taken, especially when you share via emails. For this reason, it is best to remove geolocation.

Ultimate Camera Controls

Practice, practice, practice

This is by far the most important, but it must be done consistently and with a concentrated effort. It took me a long time to understand the relationship between each of the crucial settings on my first camera, but the more I practiced and experimented, the quicker I understood, and then once it just clicked and I no longer had to think about it.

Practice costs nothing other than time, especially now that we are in a digital age with a delete button, to erase our mistakes!

Simplify the scene

Including too much in your scene is often too much to view, hence why one of the most effective techniques is to lessen what’s in your shot. Keeping a single subject, complemented by a plain simple background or surroundings will make all the difference.

Line edges up

Using the edge of something in your scene to interact with another edge creates a visual pathway. The shoreline of a beach leading out to a headland can create the impression of a continual line. Use these to your advantage, line up as many things as possible to lead to your subject.

Tell a story

I am always looking for a way to convey a message in my photography, and it can often mean finding a bizarre angle, a lower vantage pint or simply getting closer. But all in all, every photograph is about telling a story and to do so, you need a connection. The stronger the connection between your subject and its surrounds/environment, the stronger the message, therefore the stronger the appeal of the image. Look to include items/things/views etc that compliment the subject or challenge it, either way, questions drawn from your image, all lead to building a story.

Experiment with colour

A colour photograph isn’t the aim for every photograph. Experimenting with different colour hues, such as converting to black and white or sepia, or some other monotone, or even just desaturating (removing some intensity) the colour a little can help be less distracting. Too much colour, can sometimes distract the viewer from the subject, because they wow over the colour and then look for a subject. It’s all about experimenting.

Show it off

Showing you work is one of the best ways to get feedback. Show your images to everyone you can, friends, family and little to their very first reaction… “wow” or “oh OK”, or “that’s nice”. The latter two is your first indicator that the image didn’t grab their attention immediately.
Look at what can be improved and get out there.

Defy Gravity With Awesome Moves

One of the simplest, yet most overwhelming and inspiring feeling is found in the types of photographs where the subject seems to levitate above the ground. Levitation photography is still one of the most eye-catching and spectacular types of photographic subjects. However, despite the seemingly complex nature of these photographs, many of them are simple to achieve either all “in-camera”, with the use of Photoshop technology or even using an application on your phone.

For most amateur or aspiring photographers, the ability to improve your picture-taking skills is actually easier than we might think. Presented in this article is an informative preview about levitation photography. The article also shows you how to incorporate this type of special effect into your repertoire. The following are tricks to aid you accomplish levitation photography.

Jumping Technique

The most spectacular effects are the simplest of all to photograph. The subject simply jumps in place, above the ground and then snaps the photograph. There are no post-production or editing effects required since everything takes place inside the camera. However, it does take more than just simple jumping to achieve the effect.

Stationary objects should also be included. In other words, the levitation effect is more pronounced when we see objects that are normally stationary in the frame of the picture, such as a house, vehicle, furniture or any type of stationary object in a levitated position.

The human subject must not look like he or she is jumping. You can achieve this stationary position with a calm expression on the face, slight bending of the knees so that the feet will appear to be floating effortlessly off the ground and some kind of rigidity on the clothing, which, does not give away that the subject, is in some type of motion.

If your subject has long hair, it would be important to press the shutter button during the middle of a jump, and not in the final phase while the subject is descending with their hair appearing to be hanging from the sky thus giving away clues of a poorly taken jump shot. You can also use hair styling product to minimize hair movement to make the shoot easier.

The shutter speed on your camera must be set fast enough so that there is no motion blur as motion blur occurs when someone is moving quickly. Such instances of motion blur happen while you are jumping. You can hire a skilled model, particularly a dancer or athlete who is accustomed to jumping to be the subject, making it a more realistic effect.

Double Exposures Technique

The next type of levitation trick is using objects for example stools and ladders to support the subject. After this, you should mask out the subject in post-production editing with the use of a photo editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop). This is perhaps the most common type of levitation photography.

This type of levitation photography can achieve some spectacular effects if done correctly. You should ensure that objects used to support the subject are easy to remove in post-production editing. To perform the post-production editing, you will require double exposures (i.e. shoot two images for post-processing).

Tips on how to capture images

  • Use a sturdy tripod to hold your camera, and place the tripod at a fixed position for the entire shoot.
  • Use manual mode on your camera to achieve your desired lighting exposure, and maintain the same setting for your entire shoot.
  • Use manual focus-mode on the camera lens to achieve your desired focus point on your subject, and maintain the same focus point for your entire shoot.
  • Consider using a remote shutter release or set your camera on self-timer mode. This is if you are modeling for your own shoot.
  • While shooting double exposures, the first image should consist of only the background without the subject and supporting object. The second image should consist of the exact same background but with your subject and the required supporting object.

After capturing the images, you will need to use the Photoshop software to align the two images. You can then easily remove the supporting object by using the masking technique.

In essence, there needs to be a significant color difference between the supporting objects and the subject itself. This makes it easier to isolate and remove the supporting object while editing.

Tips on how to make your picture appear more realistic

  • Try to include or create shadows of your levitating subject. You should shoot the picture under soft lighting to achieve soft shadows, as it will make your work easier during the post-production editing. When necessary, you can clone out the shadow of the supporting object and add in artificial shadows using the burn tool in Adobe Photoshop.
  • The complex the background, the more believable is the levitation. Using a simple, solid color background makes it very easy to achieve levitation effects. However, the more complex and natural the background, the more believable is the image. Removing and replacing the support structure is more difficult to achieve.

If you apply the above tips and tricks on how to shoot levitation photography, you will definitely add wings to your existing portfolio and help you draw impressed audience at a quicker rate.

Photography Tips for Amateurs

Get a PEZ on the hot shoe

Trust me the kid will just fail to look away. He has all his attention drawn on the PEZ dispenser put up on the camera’s hot shoe.Get some candies too. Incredible genius is what accomplishes will call you later.

Flashing day and night

If you are an outdoor photographer, the same kind of lighting is sure to get you bored. A wedding or an engagement is where the lighting can never be forced upon. The trick to changing the lighting is to the flash at maximum power. The subject will turn out to be extremely bright.

Likewise, in case you need it out to darken all the way, the background can be turned to night just by changing the focus of the subject to expose on your camera settings. There you go, Night in the middle of broad daylight.

Take the lens off

Take the lens off and hold it in front of your camera t makes it function like a macro lens. This is one of the neatest tricks to get the exact that works as if it is a charm.

Make a bokeh out of cardboard

Make a bokeh of any kind, and hold it over the lens. But the aperture has to be very large if you are using this kind of a bokeh. The bokeh is simply to be made by cutting out a cardboard to a shape, and then sharpening it by a knife. The shape should be large enough to accommodate a nickel.

Classifications of Commercial Photography

  • Aerial – This type involves clicking from a higher elevation using high end devices. They are mostly taken from balloons, helicopters, aircraft as well as parachutes. They use variety of concepts like focal length, frame numbers, fiducial marks, stereographic coverage and index maps etc. for the accomplishment of the purpose.
  • Advertising – This is mainly used for promoting brands or services though the magazine, newspapers, leaflets, etc. They can also be seen on billboards, television ads, websites and digital ads. They are fundamentally sales were driven and e usually accomplished by the design firms and advertising agencies.
  • Automobile – As the name suggests this type of photography is mainly put to use by the automobile dealerships and the car companies at the time of launching a new car, or making the customers aware of the existing features as well as the brand new add-ons if any.
  • Architecture and Interiors – This is used for capturing the buildings, structures as well as the interiors of the restaurants or any housing. A number of features like the proper techniques of lighting and the shooting tips are used by the shutterbugs to bring forth the beauty of the space. These are predominantly used in the real estate business and the restaurants to attract and turn the potential customers to buyers.
  • Sports – This one involves taking the snaps of the all the important happenings of the sports world. These are used for covering sports news or player-related news or cover the important events related to sports.
  • Jewelry – This is necessary for every jewelry business. For attracting the customers, the photographers see to it that every intricate and subtle design is highlighted in every piece of jewelry like that of the earrings, bracelets, rings, etc.

The above are only some of the varieties of commercial photography and there are many more. The significance of these is utterly enormous in today’s economic world for brand building and promotion.

Birefringence Photography

In terms of photography, birefringence involves using a polarized filter to take a picture of clear plastic that is already under polarized light. The result is photographs that show a liquid combination of colors instead of the normal clarity of light.

Birefringence photography basically involves the use of two polarizing filters: one between the subject and the light source, to polarize the light, and a second on the lens of the camera.

The first filter should ideally be linear, but the one on the camera can either be circular or linear. Polarized light sources are easy to find, because most LCD television screens and computer monitors already feature linear polarization. If you really would rather not use a screen or don’t want those RGB pixels, just try a light table that has polarizing paper sitting on top instead. If you don’t have a polarizing lens filter, you can use a polarized sun glass instead.

Here are some tips to get the best results from birefringence photography.

  • Providing back-lighting to the subject gives the photo-elasticity (the liquid look to the colors) the best effect. If you use a computer screen, make sure that it is pure white. The easiest way to get this is to open Paint or Notepad, and make the program full screen. Adjust the brightness as necessary.
  • Then, put the polarizing filter onto the lens. Turn it around to see how the appearance of the subject changes. If your camera has the “Live View” option, this is much easier to manage. Check out the LCD screen, and when the subject looks like you want it, take your picture.
  • If you want a stronger effect, apply more than one plastic layer.To make a hip, retro image of a cassette tape that would make a fun 80s party image for an Evite, set the cassette against the all-white monitor screen. When the polarizing filter is on your camera, you can see the swirling bands of color on the clear surface of the cassette.
  • After you take the picture, you can edit the background from white to the color of your choosing. Going with black allows the bright colors of your cassette to stand out with the most contrast.
  • You will wow the people on your invite list with your photographic wizardry!

Lens Hood

Lens Hoods

The hoods are supposed to prevent the lens flare or glare. But when it comes to lens hoods, the range of choices is quite large. Firstly, there is the basic version. This is similar in resemblance to a lamp shade and it is utilized on the lenses which work in the larger areas of the tele zoom. Since in this case the angle of vision is very narrow, the phenomenon of vignetting (obstructing the field of view used by the lens) will not appear. Today’s market offers various types of lenses which can start from wide and continue to telephoto regions. In this case, the regular lens hoods cannot be used particularly since they can cause vignetting.

Design

The aspect of design is taken care of by using hoods which are specially created for this purpose. They are constructed by measuring the horizontal and vertical angle of vision in a separate manner. Normally, the horizontal angle is larger than the vertical one and the sunlight brought by it. This requires a design shaped as a flower or even a petal.

In what concerns the hood for every lens, this needs to be created according to the angle of the lens or else vignetting will appear. In addition to this, the lens hood also protects the lens from getting physically damaged. Some of the hoods for cameras (prosumer models) fix filters of teleconvertors directly on them. When it comes to macro photography, the short lens hoods have ring shaped LEDs placed over them. This way great lighting is assured from closer angles. The hoods mentioned are very flexible and offer great freedom to photographers. But when battery packs are included, the camera might lose its stability a bit.

Matte Box

The matte box is used especially in the video area rather than in the photo field because it can help the photographer adjust the length of the fins. Also known under the name of French Flags, the fins come with a great flexibility and freedom of movement. They are less used in the still photography and they are mainly dedicated to small environments such as studios (mostly due to the huge size of the matte box). Next to this, they also are a great place to fix plastic or glass filters.

Thus, when you decide to purchase an object of this type, you should also include a lens hood in the deal because it will provide a better quality when working with direct sunlight. This way a better contrast is created and pictures can look more powerful due to the hoods, since sunlight will not fall on the front elements of the lens.

Essential Accessories for DSLR

Camera Bag

Hauling your camera and its accessories around can be quite distressing if you lack the proper way to carry it. A camera bag eliminates all the hassle. Acquiring one should be based on how much equipment you have. Shoulder bags are the go-to choice for most as they offer easy access to the camera. It is likely that you will buy filters, flashes and lenses down the road and having a safe place to keep these will matter. Besides, a bag will shelter your camera from dust and rain.

Utility Strap

Holding on to your camera for the entire length of your photography session can be quite tiresome. If you need to use your hands, you are compelled to lay down your camera, which exposes it to damage and theft. This conundrum can be solved by investing in a utility strap. It will ensure the camera is close to you at all times. It is especially recommended since it eliminates all risk of you accidentally dropping your expensive DSLR.

Tripod

Tripods are awkward to carry around, but their usefulness cannot be understated. It is a must have if you want to capture the most stead shots. You might not use it every time you are taking pictures, but it is very important that you have it with you. Aluminum tripods are good and sturdy, but also heavier to carry around. Carbon fibre ones are lighter, but also more expensive to buy.

These are the most important accessories to start out with. You might also want to think about lenses, density filters, flash diffusers and flashes as well if you want to make the most of your photography experience. The cumulative cost for a one-off purchase for all these can be quite high, so it makes sense to start out with what you will need for your kind of photography (nature, weddings, etc). The abundance of proprietary stores online should make it easier to find something that works with your needs, and budget.

Capture Objects In Details

Since customers cannot view the products physically, it is a huge responsibility to present every possible detail concerning the product. It is part of the process by which a customer gets acquainted to a product before it is delivered. When the image and the real thing have almost no dissimilarity, the bridge of trust gets stronger and business grows. Realizing the importance of presenting authentic details may be crucial to the success of any online vendor.

This two step job also requires the availability of right camera, lens, studio and a lot of other technical faculties and tactics. A product photography studio comes with all the facilities. The advertising photographers are constantly working on new techniques to take the best shot. Even after the invention of some of best lenses and cameras many commercial photographers opine that capturing of details is more about lighting properly. The straight from the top shot is a classical light setup. This with a combination of Soft gradient from the top and hard on the bottom, with the strip box through the diffuser and bare strip box, below the camera in front, respectively.

But how can some objects like cosmetic brushes or watch dials be shot with details. The correct use of lens with the ideal zoom can be applied. An alternate method could be to shoot the objects from 20-30 degree angle. The lighting must be arranged accordingly. Keeping the light from the top diffuser unchanged, it brings out even smallest details finely. This setting is perfect for product image of things like brushes. It helps to capture the brush hair in its original tone as opposed to its darker tone

Capturing the details of objects in commercial photography also include some other elements. For example how can one focus on the bricks while showing the interiors of a home? This is also a party of commercial product photography. The depth and also the variant of the atmosphere support the detailing. This helps to capture the best elements of the snapshot. The light even if it is controlled should flow seamlessly. It should to look contrived and generated. If it does the viewer gets distracted from the main theme.