Sins of Indoor Photography

  • Insufficient balance of Custom White.
    Many of you know how and why you must set your white balance manually. You should always the time to do it because virtually all indoor photography has some type of a mixed lighting situation. It is a definite that auto or other presets available on your camera will not give you awesome results.
  • Camera Flash.
    By using the on camera flash for indoor pictures will definitely give you a unflattering, washed out photograph. This must be avoided it at all costs if you can, even if the ISO is needed to be raised, avoid on camera flash whenever you can.
  • Composition is everything.
    Indoor photography consists of many architectural lines, so keeping a good composition is of the utmost significance. You must pay attention to how you frame images, particularly in places that have exposed tile or brick work. Sustaining a nice, event flow through the images is vital and being slightly off balanced it will be noticeable.
  • Paying Attention to Small Details.
    Whatever you’re shooting, whether it be friends over for a dinner party or architecture, the small details absolutely matter! Look for things out of place, like pens and notepaper on counter tops, do they belong there in the shot? A toilet seat cover being down will probably look more attractive, and take time to even out towels on a rack if needed; this will provide a better picture. Are dirty dishes in a sink? clean and put them away. Ashtrays that are full look disgusting and crooked picture frames can make properly composed photographs look crooked. Take the time notice all the small details.
  • Bouncing the Flash.
    If you have to use a flash inside, try to use a hotshoe mounted flash, not the pop-up on-camera one. I suggest a flash bracket to get the flash further away from the lens and also reducing red eye. Bounce the flash off a ceiling or wall, and, if none are available, use an Omni Bounce or something similar. Remember that by bouncing or diffusing a flash, you will lose some of the effective power of it. You may also need to use the exposure compensation on your camera or adjust the ISO slightly higher to compensate for the difference..
  • Mirrors, Windows, Glass Cabinets and Picture Frames.
    Definitely one of the most frustrating things to overcome while shooting indoor photography is reflective materials, especially with a flash. Always try and avoid using your flash if there is glass or reflective materials in the room. A circular polarizer filter will deal with the reflective and glass objects in your shots, but be aware you could lose 1/2 to 2 full stops of light, so adjust accordingly by either opening up the aperture or bumping the ISO higher.
  • Tripods are Your Friend!
    We all know it’s virtually impossible to shoot candid photos of people with a tripod, but if you’re doing architectural shots or stationary matter indoors, use a tripod. It will allow you to use the lowest possible ISO for the least amount of digital noise and provide a solid platform for you to compose and align your photograph. Indoor photography can be a bit tricky and a lot of people tend to give up quickly. I suggest that you continue to experiment and take several shots of everything, also known as bracket shooting. You will then have a better idea of what works for you. One thing often overlooked is knowing the time of day and the weather outside, and how that affects the house or building you’re shooting in.

Cleaning Your Digital Camera Lens

  • BUY a simple camera lens cleaning kit – not expensive and invaluable. Commonly includes a microfibre cloth, a blower brush and some lens-cleaning fluid.
  • DO NOT overlook your casing. Regularly clean the casing as this will pick up grime, grease, and dust quickly.
  • DO NOT be heavy handed when cleaning the lens. Remember it is a fragile piece of equipment. If grime is hard to get off, do not rub it harder! Keep it light and be patient.
  • Use a Blower Brush for removing dust on your lens. Remember to extend a zoom lens to its narrowest or widest focal length to make the glass accessible.
  • Some lenses are weather sealed, however try and avoid using a cloth dampened with water if possible. A dry microfibre cloth should remove all the dirt, and dust just fine.
  • If there is grease, oil or a smudge on the camera lens, use a liquid based lens-cleaning fluid. Use sparingly, use with a microfibre cloth, and rub in a circular motion.
  • LENS WIPES are an excellent alternative to microfibre cloths. They are cheap, disposable, and have excellent cleaning capabilities.
  • Buy a CAMERA LENS FILTER. This will protect the front element of your lens. A standard UV filter is ideal. Also replacing a damaged filter is much cheaper than replacing a damaged lens!
  • A fine soft painters brush is an excellent cheaper alternative to a blower brush. A soft bristle, camel hair brush is ideal, commonly available in art stores, or online.
  • NEVER forget the importance of keeping your digital camera lens clean! The exposed glass elements on your lens are the most important parts when it comes to optical quality.

Every photographer should regularly check their lens for dust and smudges. It is not only to ensure you are taking the ‘sharpest’ possible shots, but also a smudge or a fingerprint left for a long time could cause permanent damage to your expensive camera lens. As we all know keeping your lens clean isn’t exactly mind-mindbogglingly difficult, but nevertheless it is a task that should be performed regularly, patiently, thoughtfully, and attentively. Arm yourself with the proper lens cleaning tools which are and invaluable investment and will be worth their weight in gold.

Light Painting Techniques

  • Try out different light sources. This is one very important technique. You shouldn’t try painting everything using the same light. To avoid odd and flat pictures, consider using different light sources otherwise your work will defy the sole purpose of light painting which is creating different unique light impressions on different landscape parts at night.
  • Use dimmable light sources: For the best results, you need to choose dimmable light sources for obvious reasons i.e. because light painting relies heavily on light intensity. To get the best results, you must be able to alter light intensity whichever way you like to ensure every part of a photo gets the right amount of light.
  • Take care of the noise: It is important to note that long exposures create more noise. Because of this, take time painting in light but don’t forget to factor in this small detail because it can be the difference between good and bad lighting photography.
  • Take multiple shots: To get the best light painting photos, you need to take as many shots as possible. Multiple shots help you treat different parts of a photo separately which should be the case in light painting.
  • Use flashlights which don’t have hot spots: Moving your flashlight beam randomly when taking light photos doesn’t make a big difference even if your flashlight has a hot spot (a bright circle located at the center of the beam). The hotspot however makes a big difference when you are considering fine details in scenes. If you don’t have money to buy the perfect flashlight, consider taping tissue paper or wax paper over your flashlight lens to eliminate hot spots.
  • Include night photography techniques: This is another important tip to consider. Just because you are light painting shouldn’t mean you forget typical night photography techniques. You must consider techniques like mirror lockup, cable release, long exposure noise reduction e.t.c. to ensure you get the best outcome.
  • Mix ambient light: You should also remember incorporating ambient light like street lights, moon light e.t.c. to add mood in your photos. Using flashlights shouldn’t mean you ignore all other light sources.

Juggle Modelling With Education

A good education is vital and something all aspiring models should not neglect. Experts can show you how to break into the world of freelance modelling whilst still ensuring that you get a good education. Many of our clients are still at school and manage to juggle a part time modelling career along side their exams. You need a supportive family and a strong mind to be able to do this.

If you are at school, college or university and you want to try and break into the world of modelling, then the best thing to do is fit castings and auditions in during your free time. Don’t miss exams and important lectures, as you will rely on your education if modelling doesn’t work out for you. There are many ways to get into the modelling world, either through a good model agency, through contacts or through self-promotion.

Indeed the modelling industry itself has many careers within it that could be just as rewarding as being a model. A qualification in fashion, make-up/ styling, photography, journalism or business management can land you a great job in the modelling industry – probably with more longevity than modelling itself. Don’t burn your bridges, leave all your options open. After all, your potential may reveal itself as you get older.

Your school or college should be supportive if you need to take time off to attend castings or photo shoots. However you should not expect to miss school or college during important exam periods. If you are putting yourself up for a casting and you know the job is during exam time or when you should be revising then don’t go to the casting. If you know you will not be able to attend the job (if you get it) then don’t waste the casting directors time, as they may not use you again. If you are studying then consider modelling as a part time job only – wait until you have finished your exams to delve deeper into the industry and discover what you could achieve.

Zion Narrows Photo Gear

First of all… Bring that gear!!! The narrows are far too good to go without having the appropriate camera gear to capture it’s beauty and print it BIG!!! It is an absolutely stunning landscape,unique and dynamic.

Here is a list of camera gear I would recommend for the narrows:

  • Camera
  • Extra Batteries
  • Spare Memory
  • Tripod
  • Polarizing filter (I consider this a borderline must)
  • Dry Bag for camera gear
  • Wide Angle Lens (essential)
  • Mid to Telephoto lens (I almost never bring anything beyond a wide angle. However, if you enjoy shooting abstracts, the narrows have plenty of beauty in the details to work with)

Here is a list of non-camera gear recommendations:

  • 2 liters of water per person
  • Food
  • Clothing appropriate for the season
  • Backpack
  • Dry Bag (for any food or clothing needing to stay dry)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Extra fleece top

Special footwear has been developed to assist in making your hike safer and more comfortable. In the narrows, the majority of the footing takes place on wet, bowling ball sized boulders. This footwear is made with specially formulated rubber that sticks very well to wet rock. In addition to this footwear, a sturdy hiking stick is recommended. Some people will use their tripod as a stabalizer, and I would recommend strongly not to do so, there is a decent probability of damaging that piece of gear.

During certain times of the year you may need either dry pants or a dry suit. In the spring, winter or fall, these should be taken into consideration. There is a local outfitter in town called Zion Adventure Company that rents footwear, dry bags, dry suits, etc.

The desert is a WILD place and can be highly unpredictable. During mid-July through early September is monsoon season. Heavy storms can roll in without warning which can create very dangerous situations in the Narrows. Be sure to check the forecast before your trip into the canyon. Flash flooding is a potential danger that should be taken very seriously. If you are in the canyon, even if it is mid-summer and you experience a strong rain, tempertures will drop dramatically. So much that if you have to wait out a flash flood, hypothermia is a very real possibility. Be sure to bring a fleece top, even if it’s 100 plus degrees out.

Sensor Gel Stick For Cleaning Lenses

First of all, you should get the sensor exposed. Once the whole sensor becomes visible, you should clean the lens with the gel stick. Then you should clean the dust off the gel using the adhesive paper that comes with the gel stick. Remember: don’t make a rush when cleaning the camera. You don’t want to drop the camera accidentally.

You can use the gel several times repeating the process over and over again. Once you are done, you should turn the camera off, install the lens and set the aperture to f/32. Now, take a photo of a white wall or a white piece of paper. If the picture is free of any spots, the lens is clean.

Usually, sensor gel sticks should not be used in a room with a temperature lower than 40F. The ideal temperature is 70F if you want the best performance. Using the product in too low or too high temperatures will not give you the best performance. In worse cases, you may end up reducing the shine of the sensor, which will adversely affect the image quality. Therefore, you may want to check the temperature of the room first.

Since the stickiness of the gel varies based on the coating technologies applied on the sensor filters, we suggest that you don’t use one sensor gel stick for cleaning the lens of different cameras, as one shoe can’t fit everyone.

Normally, the cleaning product can be used on all digital cameras that come with interchangeable lenses. The good news is that most camera manufacturers have cameras that have interchangeable lens.

Some mirrorless cameras feature a coating technology that allows the gel sticks to leave behind some residue on the sensor filter surface. As a result, you will need to clean the sensor thoroughly. You should use the right type of sensor gel stick for cleaning these cameras.

Cameras that don’t come with a mirror are not easy to clean. Therefore, it’s a lot better to go for a camera that can be easily cleaned. A lens that is not clean won’t allow you to take high-quality pictures, as the quality of the pictures depends largely on the clarity of the lens or sensor. Therefore, cleaning the lens with a quality cleaner is highly recommended.