Tips for Cleaning Your Digital Camera Lens

A well maintained, clean lens is vital to any photographer. Here are 10 simple top tips for cleaning your digital camera lens. 1. BUY a simple camera lens cleaning kit – not expensive and impossible. – Commonly includes a microfibre cloth, a blower brush and some lens-cleaning fluid. 2. DO NOT overlook your casing. Regularly…

A well maintained, clean lens is vital to any photographer.

Here are 10 simple top tips for cleaning your digital camera lens.

1. BUY a simple camera lens cleaning kit – not expensive and impossible.
– Commonly includes a microfibre cloth, a blower brush and some lens-cleaning fluid.

2. DO NOT overlook your casing. Regularly clean the casing as this will pick up grime, grease, and dust quickly.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. If there is grease, oil or a smudge on the camera lens, use a liquid based lens-cleaning fluid. Use sparingly, use with microfibre cloth, and rub in a circular motion.

7. LENS WIPES are an excellent alternative to microfibre cloths. They are cheap, disposable, and have excellent cleaning capabilities.

8. 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!

9. 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.

10. 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 is not exactly mind-mindbogglingly difficult, but soonheless it is a task that should be performed regularly, patiently, thoughtfully, and attentively. Arm yourself with the proper lens cleaning tools which are and estimated investment and will be worth their weight in gold.

FAQs About Wedding Photography

What equipment should I use to photograph weddings? If you are using film, you should use professional 35mm equipment. For high quality photos you should know how to use your equipment. Although, there is no particular brand that you should use, you should ensure that the brand that you go for is of high quality.…

What equipment should I use to photograph weddings?

If you are using film, you should use professional 35mm equipment. For high quality photos you should know how to use your equipment. Although, there is no particular brand that you should use, you should ensure that the brand that you go for is of high quality.

If you are using a digital camera, you should go with a DSLR. The reasons for this is because DSLR's typically give high quality images that are more than 5 megapixels.

In addition to a camera you also need to have an external flash shoe that is meant to provide a bounce flash.

What exposure should I use for a candlelight wedding?

There is no particular exposure that you should use and all you need to do is to practice and master how to use your camera's meter to find the proper exposure. The exposure that you should use varies depending on the candles that are lit and if there is any additional lighting nearby.

What lenses work best for wedding photography?

The lenses to use depend on your style of photography. Regardless of your style, you should always ensure that you use lenses that have a max aperture of f2.8 or greater. Although, these lenses tend to be expensive they usually give excellent results.

How do I avoid harsh shadows when taking outdoor pictures?

The best way of avoiding shadows is practicing. Here you need to take many photos and note the settings that look the best.

In addition to taking note of the right settings, you should try to shoot on cloudy days or when the sun is setting. You should particularly practice taking photos when the sun is setting if you are interested in mastering how to take outdoor wedding portraits.

If you have to take photos and it's sunny, you should put the subjects in a shady area. You should be very careful when putting the subjects in a shady area. For example, you should keep an eye on the background and ensure that it's not too bright to spoil your photos.

Another option is to take photos with the sun behind or perpendicular to your subjects and use a fill flash to illuminate the photos. A great way of going about it is using a camera in full auto mode while in the sun with -1 or -2 flash compensation.

Complete Tips For Street Photography, What To Do When Confronted, and the Best Camera Setting

Hi! How are you doing? I hope everything is going pretty well on your side. Street photography is getting more common in the photography world. While it is quite simple, yet there are some things that you want to keep in mind when you hunt for street photos. I would like to share you some…

Hi! How are you doing? I hope everything is going pretty well on your side.

Street photography is getting more common in the photography world. While it is quite simple, yet there are some things that you want to keep in mind when you hunt for street photos. I would like to share you some tips to help you shoot great street photos. Well, here they are!

1. Crowd is your golden nugget

The key to successful street photography is people. This means that the more people you encounter in an area, the better your chances are to witness a moment and capture it. For that reason, it would be very helpful if you know your area well.

By knowing your area, you know where the crowds are, and you will know where to go to take street photos. I do not say that you have to completely rely on the crowded places that you already know. In fact, sometimes having a walk to random places may be very rewarding too.

One thing for you to keep in mind is that hunting photos in a big area will overwhelm you. My suggestion is to focus on a small section of street or a corner for each trip. Either way, to start with, I would just plan my roaming route before I go out to take photos. This will make my quest be more focused.

If you are new to an area, I would suggest you visit the community center to gather information on where the people gather. Another alternative is just go and roam around the neighborhood and see what the town has to offer.

2. Risk Versus Reward

Street photography is quite different compared to other types of photography. In street photography, in case you have not read my previous article, all moments are captured as it is, spontaneously. Whatever you in the frame is what is really happening.

You may be encountering some 'golden' moments for street photography such as gang fires, drug dealer transactions, wars, etc. I would say those things are super rare for street photography. Yet are they worth it? You can make those kind of photos in a studio with the help of professional models anyway.

Another moment which you may want to think twice before capturing it is like a mother changing her baby's diaper. It's like, do you really want to capture the moment?

Keep in mind that street photography is also an art which has to be done for aesthetic reason.

3. Permission, Law and copyright

Do you really need permission from the people you are taking photos of? I do not really tell people for their permission. Asking permission it is not necessary as long as you are not using the photos commercially.

If you are selling your photos, let's say on microstock libraries, then you have to get the model release from the person you are taking picture of.

Using the photos for commercial purpose also requires you to get rid of any logo, brand, and symbols. Those things are copymitted, and you'd better erase them or otherwise you have to pay royalty for using them commercially.

For a private collection or putting them on your private blog, you do not need to sign any release. The photos are the manifestation of your own creative intelligence. You have a full right on your creation.

4. What to do when confronted

At some point you will be in a situation where the person you take picture of gets upset. The best response you can give is to smile. You are not doing any fraud to anyone. If he demands to know what you are doing, just explain humbly. You are an artist or a photographer, and tell the person that the photos are for your own collection.

Most of the times it's enough to just look at anything but the person. If the person calls the police, then just explain that what you are doing is an art or street photography project. As street photography tells what happens in society as it is, you also have to explain what you are doing as it is. Just be honest and in most cases you will be just fine.

5. How to not attract people's attention

Preventing is always better than curing. Here are some tips to minimize the possibility to get noticed by your street photography objects.

• Wear dark clothes. Bright colors attract attention easily.

• Keep your elbows in when taking the photos. Spreading your body makes you stand out.

• Have the camera set. Get the photos quickly.

• Keep the camera strip high, closer to your head. It minimizes the movement required to have the camera ready.

• Get use with the camera. Always carry your camera everywhere, as if it was your second skin.

6. Find interesting street photography subjects

Street photography is about telling a story on what is happening in the society through your camera. You can get an interesting story with a proper preparation. There are some ways to get a good story for your image.

You can find an interesting people and follow them, expecting they will encounter an interesting moment for you to capture. For example, during the autumn season last year I was planning to shoot a picture of people enjoying the foliage. So I waited in a spot where I often saw people walk by, which has autumn foliage. After a while a couple of young people walked by and I took the picture. Easy.

You can spend a good amount of time before coming to a street photography theme. For me, I do not like to spend too much time on planning, instead I would plan a simple subject and then hunt for the photos immediately.

7. Get your camera ready all the time

You do not want to lose the moment. Some moments in street photography may not happen again forever. I have to admit that I have missed some precious moments because I did not bring my camera when I needed it the most.

The bad news is that moments may occur unpredictably. The good news is that as you become more experienced in street photography, your instinct is getting better.

Train yourself to be at the right place at the right time.

8. Good time for street photography

Here is the thing. You would need high shutter speed to capture a precious quick moment, right? Then you have to have much light to compensate. I personally, many other photographers may argument differently, prefer more light quantity than quality.

With a bright light, you can maximize your shutter speed to freeze your frame completely.

Having said that, my favorite time for street photography is morning and evening, especially during the summer time when the sunlight is abundant.

9. Where to shoot from

This one could be tricky. The point here is that you want to capture the whole scene, but you do not want to look so suspicious.

I would suggest you to stand close to your object. The first reason is that you will be able to capture the scene perfectly. Secondly, standing too far will make you look suspicious.

When you encounter a great moment, take plenty shots at it. You do not want to leave too early and regret later.

10. Camera Setting

What is the best camera setting for street photography? I would say first is maximizing your shutter speed. But remember to compensate with the light. If the light is less then you may want to reduce your shutter speed.

Most of the time I use shallow focus 1/5 so that I could emphasize the object I want to focus on. But when I want to capture the whole scene, then I go with smaller focus 1/22 or lower.

There is no exact textbook correct camera setting for street photography. It is an art. If you are happy with the photos, then you are doing perfectly fine.

11. Color or Black / White?

Again, street photography is all about your own preference. Nothing is better than the other.

Black / white, for my opinion, is good to give a retro impression. If you have big desire on classic-type photos, then black / white may be suitable for you.

If you feel that the color has the power to tell the story of your street photography image, then colored photos are the best.

12. Take action now!

Street photography totally requires you to go out and take photos. There is no other way to be a great street photographer other than going through a decent hours of practice.

I hope these tips are useful for you. Have fun taking photos!

What Is Street Photography? What Are the Challenges and Rewards of Street Photography?

Hi guys, In this article I'm going to share with you about an interesting topic of photography, and quite controversial, which is Street Photography. I will also explore how an image could have been included in this category, and the challenges and rewards of capturing the photos. Street photography is one of many kinds of…

Hi guys,

In this article I'm going to share with you about an interesting topic of photography, and quite controversial, which is Street Photography. I will also explore how an image could have been included in this category, and the challenges and rewards of capturing the photos.

Street photography is one of many kinds of photography. It could be a single or series of photos, which shows an object as it is. This particular type of photography emphasizes the object as the point of interest in public space.

Street photography is an art photography which shows human conditions and its interaction in public spaces, without necessarily showing a street. The origin of the term 'Street' refers to a time rather than a place. The time (street) could be when a couple is dating, a person is exercising, or a woman walking in an open space surrounded by people working.

The public space does not need to have a street. Other public spaces like a cafe, mall, market, or even garden can be used as a public space. The point of interest can also vary. For example people, events, tools, equipment, weather, shadows, and many others.

In other words, street photography is like mirroring what is happening in the society. There is no manipulation or specific instructions to the person in the image to do a certain pose.

Now I would like to continue to discuss what makes street photography. What elements are required for the image? Well, here are some lists which I would point out.

1. The photo should be taken in a public space. Studio photography is definitely not street photography. There has to be an element of “candidness”, unplanned fixed poses in the picture.

2. Showing a moment in society as it is, without any manipulation. Again, there has to be an element of candid in a public space with an urban feeling.

3. The photo theme should be normal activities in daily life.

4. The person in the image should be presented not as an individual, instead as an anonymous character in a public space.

The interesting fact about street photography is that, this particular photography genre is not common among photographers. Only few photographers are really into this particular genre of photography. The good news is that the moments captured in the photos could happen only once in a lifetime. That is why street photography could be extremely valuable, due to its scarcity and uniqueness.

The bad news is that it can be challenging for photographers, especially for those who can not remain calm under pressure. Many times people do not like their photos taken by a stranger. They may shout and get angry at you or ask their photos to be deleted.

While some problems may occur, the experience gained will be invaluable. It is true that to being a successful street photographer requires 80% courage and 20% skill.

Trick Photography – Beginning With Photo Editing Effects

Photo editing is now possible using different programs such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Corel draw etc. Photo editing software can sometimes be strenuous to work with but they enhance the creativity in photographers. There are a variety of photo editing practices that will transform greatly your pictures to an extent. Either getting rid of unnecessary…

Photo editing is now possible using different programs such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Corel draw etc. Photo editing software can sometimes be strenuous to work with but they enhance the creativity in photographers.

There are a variety of photo editing practices that will transform greatly your pictures to an extent. Either getting rid of unnecessary parts from picture, extracting dust, marks and spots or resizing the image properly are among many editing strategies.

There are lots of stages in editing. Presently I will be discussing some photo editing tricks to try at home. These include getting rid of common errors in photos:

1. Tinting the Image – This is changing of color temperature of photo to make the subject emerge greener. The green look will make the colors become cooler, and this will surely create a vintage look that features a lot of influence on individuals.

Tweak the contrast of the photo, and fine-tune the slider setting that regulates the whole tint. Normally, image editors allow users to adjust the tint of images without the need to work on certain areas of the image.

2. Stylizing Action – To make an action photograph look more dynamic, you will need to make duplicates of your original photo and change the color pattern so that you will have different color scales to work with. Primarily green or blue tints are good for dynamic, stylized action snapshots. The blurring effect is attained once the stylized photo duplicates are placed together in a layer.

3. Black & White – Vintage style is still in vogue, due to the fact individuals are frequently bombarded by color selection. A black and white picture works well when you are trying to lay emphasis on the actions your subject is performing. High contrast images have a tendency to undermapse the background, therefore make sure you alter the brightness level and white balance in order to achieve the correct balance of light and color in your final output.

4. Pre-set Filters – Instagram and a variety of smart phone photo editing applications use pre-set filters to adjust color temperature and contrast level of images. Fill free to use your iPhone or Android device to take snapshots!

With the available photo editing tools you will be able to express and make editing even if you are away from your PC or Mac. My advice for you is to consistently take pictures using the highest possible settings.

You can always take off pixels from an image, although adding pixels once image is shot is impossible that's the reason professional photographers prefer taking pictures in the RAW format, regardless of whether it takes up plenty of storage space in the memory card.

5. Sharpen Images – Digital sharpening through Photoshop and other similar program eradicates noise but also at the expense of some of the detail of the photos.

Here, if you are going to sharpen your picture, it is advisable to focus on certain areas instead of the full image. This is to help retain dramatic parts of expression. Initially, it may not seem much, but when it comes to realistic look, excess sharpening can affect the reality and quality of your pictures.

Editing digital photos with software such as Photoshop is considered as part of a person's creative flexibility, so you should be free to use image editing software at any point in time. Majority of the magazines as well as online publications make use of Photoshop and others software one way or the other.

13 Tips To Perfecting Your Landscape Photography

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.” – Ansel Adams This type of photography actually only requires you to be at the right place at the right time. One of the success keys for landscape photography is patience, and thats it! Just click and there you go!…

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.” – Ansel Adams

This type of photography actually only requires you to be at the right place at the right time.

One of the success keys for landscape photography is patience, and thats it! Just click and there you go!

Having said that, there are some small details which are forgotten.

I will try to discuss those small details, you can read while sipping your coffee.

1. Sky versus land?

Pick one. Which one is more preferable for you? The sky or the land?

Well, I would just pick both. Why not? Keep in mind that both the land and sky are supporting each other to generate a highly desirable photo.

Do not be greedy, though. Prioritize the stronger one. For instance, during the golden sunset time, the sky will be more tempting than the land. Yet you have to keep in mind the classic photography textbook guideline, the Rule of Thirds.

As the rule of thumb, the part you want to emphasize should be put on the 2/3 part of the frame. But do not solely rely on the rule. Art is all about your personal preference. What I would suggest is to become familiar with the Rule of Third, and then break it.

2. Find the focal point

Focal point is not necessarily the point of interest (POI), but POI could be the focal point. On top of that, focal point can be the initial point to explore POI.

Focal point is where you want the eyes of the viewers to fall when they first see the landscape photography. Focal point can be any object in the frame.

3. Do not Underestimate Foreground

While many photographers focus on finding the best background for their landscape photography, foreground is also very important.

Foreground, when placed correctly, gives the viewers the depth sensation. Foreground can also be used for focal point in many cases. You can use any objects as your foreground, such as rocks, trees, or even a person.

4. Be Friendly With Your Tripod

This particular photography equipment is a dilemma in many cases. It is too heavy to be carried, yet its function is too vital to be left behind. The main function of a tripod is to prevent the camera from shaking.

When I'm going to hunt landscape photography, bringing my tripod along with me is a must. For me it's better to carry a heavy load than to regret the result of not bringing the tripod.

5. Use Depth of Field (DoF) to the Maximum

Landscape photography is typically sharp from one end to the other. Use low focus, f / 22 or lower, to maintain the sharpness of the landscape image.

6. Capture the Nature's Movement

Many people consider landscape photography as capturing an image of the peaceful, relaxing, and motionless nature .. In fact, we can add some “drama” to our landscape photography. Capture the movements in the nature, such as water flow, cloud movement, and swinging leaves.

Capturing these kind of moves definitely requires a tripod and neutral density (ND) filter. When we capture the image successfully, it could seem like it is from another world with a very strong mood.

People may anger “that does not look real, does it?”

“Well, I did not take photos for documentation, did I?”

7. Cooperate With the Weather

Weather is unpredictable. It is either good weather and take photos, or bad weather and do it another time. What if I told you bad weather is good for your landscape photography?

Too many photographers take photos only during the good days. On the other hand, if you capture the moment of a thunderstorm, blizzard, and other bad weather condition, your photos will be very unique and maybe the only kind in the world.

Keep in mind that everyone can make use of good clear blue sky, but only a few photographers work in the bad weather. Go against the mainstream and be unique.

8. Golden hour & Blue Hour

Golder hour refers to the time during sunset. You will see the golden color of the sky when the sun sets.

After the sun sets, do not pack up and get ready to leave. Instead, wait for a moment until the sun completely sets and you will witness another best timing for landscape photography. This is called the blue hour.

Blue hour is the time after the sun is gone and before it is completely dark. You will see a dark blue sky. Turn your camera on and capture the moment. Quick!

9. Line and Shape

Play with composition. Lines and shapes give a very strong impression to an image. Also remember the perspective and vanishing point. Both give a great depth of field sensation which is very interesting to a viewer's eyes.

10. Change Perspective

I can not overemphasize it, explore as much as you can. Get the infinite creativity in landscape photography. Change your point of view when taking photos of an object.

Even switching from high angle to low angle gives you a totally different effect and mood.

11. Capture the Details of the Landscape

Landscape photography is not completely wide angle. Experiment with different types of lens. If you only have a normal lens, then panoramic photo can be an alternative.

12. Use HDR (High dynamic range) Technique

HDR for landscape photography can be a great alternative when camera filter is not available.

The way to do it is by taking images of similar objects with different exposures, then combining them. Combining the images can be done using image editor software such as Photoshop.

Do not overprocess your image. Make it look natural, not a 3D cartoon.

13. Keep Shooting!

After reading all the tips, it is time to start and take action. Remember guys, knowing is nothing, applying what you know is everything. The very best thing you can do to improve your skill on landscape photography is by doing it.

Take your camera, go out take photos and have fun!

The Photography Composition Tips That You Don’t Want to Miss

Photography composition, like any art composition, depends on individual preference. Neverheless, there are some rules which may be a great help for any photographer. Having said that, rules are, in my opinion, something which you have to work with well, get comfortable with, and then try to go beyond (read: break them). What I'd like…

Photography composition, like any art composition, depends on individual preference. Neverheless, there are some rules which may be a great help for any photographer. Having said that, rules are, in my opinion, something which you have to work with well, get comfortable with, and then try to go beyond (read: break them).

What I'd like to share here is not some textbook based rules of photography composition, instead I'd write how to get creative around the basic rules to get amazing photos.

1. Rule of thirds is still important – when you want to play around the photography composition, the basic foundation you should be comfortable with is the rule of threes. This is simply where the viewer's eyes are looking at when they see your images.

2. Get out of common angle – An image of flowers taken from the side is boring. Try to take it from a lower angle, and capture the blue sky along with the flowers. Not only the color combination is more attractive to the eyes, but also the impact of low angle strengnthens the flowers.

3. Simpler is stronger – keep your image simple. Simple images leave stronger impressions on the viewer. You may also consider that sometimes a background is not necessary. Filling the frame fully with the main object can be an alternative.

4. Synergize – reduce and eliminate elements That do not support to your main object in the image. Composition photography is all about viewing view angles that get rid of unnecessary objects and enhance your image.

5. Check and recheck your composition – you have to be quite a detailed oriented person when dealing with photography composition. Minor details, many times subtle, can damage or reduce the message you want to deliver.

6. Practice makes perfect – no matter how talented you are, the rule of thumb is that repetition is the mother of skills. Take as much photos as you can, learn from your experience to sharpen your instinct and improve your photography composition skill. The only way to get the ability to produce high class images is through hours and hours of practice. I do hope you really like taking photos, or otherwise this process will be painful.

7. Learn from people's experience – I do get inspired to explore the possibilities on photography composition by simply looking at people's works. In my early days in photography, I only shoot pictures from the eye level perspective and put everything at the middle of the frame. Looking at people's pictures online really helped me to gain ideas to tap into new paradigm of photography composition.

While photography composition has a lot of rules to it, it is still part of an art. There is no right or wrong in arts. The only mystery you have is the limit that you set for yourself. Keep exploring the possibilities to improve your photography composition.

Good luck and have fun!

Are You a Photographer or an Image Manipulator?

When the use of digital cameras took off, the photography world changed. I used film, and the most important factor was to know your camera inside out. When I purchased my first digital camera I was so guided and eager to start using it. I used the full auto setting and started shooting pictures. After…

When the use of digital cameras took off, the photography world changed.

I used film, and the most important factor was to know your camera inside out. When I purchased my first digital camera I was so guided and eager to start using it. I used the full auto setting and started shooting pictures. After a while I realized that full auto is not what I wanted and only then did I start studying my camera.

With the film camera, not the aim and shoot, you must know how you want to capture your picture. When you take your pictures using film, the quality is important, there is no delete button. Then it is the excuse to get the film developed. It's as if you're opening your present and you're not sure what to expect. Will you have to retake the photo's or are they perfect? Did you handle your film correctly, not exposing it when you're not suppose to, did you hand shaking?

You can scan the film to your computer and manipulate the photo's. Do you really want to do it? Is not the challenge to take perfect photo's from the first press of your camera's button?

A professional photographer, according to my view, is someone that take the perfect photo. Not having to manipulate the photo's is the real challenge. Do you challenge yourself?

I love my digital camera, but I also prefer to take the perfect picture. No deleting of images. Only using the correct settings. Do you know your camera? Did you read through your manual? Do you understand how to read the “surroundings” of the area or person you want to capture? Did you take a light reading?

I am not against the use of software to help you to add text, watermarks, attention grabbers, humorist changes and so on. Old photo's that need restoration is a good way to use photo software and when you need visual arts, communicating, content designs and forms of advertising. There are a lot of good photo manipulating software available. There are free open-source software which is of a high quality. If you want to change something on your photo's, decide what you want to do, and then decide on the type of software you need. Your first option is to take a good photo and not to manipulate it to look good. You've got to support photographic integrity. Rather label manipulated photo's for your readers. Do not hope that they will not notice the manipulation. If caught out, this will greatly damage your reputation.

Read the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Press_Photographers_Association

One of the problems that you as photographer encounter is that viewers have difficulty in believing what they see. I am not referring to artistic work. There are very good artistic work where photographers manipulate images.

If you want to see wonderful examples, search for manipulated photo's online.

Keep up the practice and soon you will go bragging with your professional photo's.

10 Tips for “WOW” Portrait Photography

Dear photographers, Portrait photography is, for me personally, quite unique compared to other fields of photography. Portrait photography deals with a person and the surrounding environment. For those who are born with the talent to capture WOW portrait photos, I say good for you guys! Unfortunately for me, I did not have the talent. And…

Dear photographers,

Portrait photography is, for me personally, quite unique compared to other fields of photography. Portrait photography deals with a person and the surrounding environment. For those who are born with the talent to capture WOW portrait photos, I say good for you guys! Unfortunately for me, I did not have the talent. And I would share some of my experience to those who are struggling with portrait photography and want to improve on it.

Here are some tips which I learned from my experience playing with portrait photography.

1. Experiment with Perspective – The textbook guide of portrait photography is to capture images at the eye level. While I would say following the guideline is not going to do you any harm, yet I would encourage photographers to go beyond the rule and be comfortable with experiments. Challenge yourself to find new perspective.

2. Eye contact VS look away – Eye contact is indeed very essential in delivering the message of an image. Yet having the model looking away from the camera is also giving an intriguing effect. The good news is, there is no right and wrong in photography.

3. Be aware of the frame – Composition is, based on my experience, the most important element of portrait photography. Make sure all objects are well framed. It does not mean that everything has to be inside the frame, yet you may want people's eyesball to be able to catch the main element of your image in the first glance.

4. Composition – I am a big fan of the rule of thirds of photography. I would suggest you to become very comfortable with the rule of thirds, and play with it to be successful in portrait photography. Moving the person quite at the side of the frame sometimes creates a bigger impression.

5. Experiment with Lighting – Lighting is the catalyst of your image. Play well with it, and your portrait image is going to be amazing. I do not think that there are some specific rules about light, but it is more as a common sense. You do not want your image to be too dark or bright. I like to play with lighting. As long as you feel comfortable with the lighting, then it is right.

6. Get off the comfort zone – Make your model move. Instead of having a fixed pose, movement is more natural. The 'snapshot' effect gives a stronger impression for a portrait photography if you do it right.

7. Make use of the environment – Props are really helpful to strengthen the story of your portrait photography. A flower, a tree branch, a spoon, or anything can be used to improve your image.

8. Focus on a part without losing the whole – Instead of capturing the whole face, shoulder, and neck of the model, focus on his / her shoulder with a tattoo is going to improve your portrait image.

A wise man said that the sap is contained in the whole rose flower

9. Wide variety of theme – Get out of the box. Library background does not mean you can only take people-studying kind of portrait pictures. Try to be creative and explore on different kinds of images you can produce. For instance, having your model to jump and scream in the library would be unique and intrigue viewers.

10. Be an idea machine – Art is all about creativity. There is no right or wrong. The only limitation is your 'predefined' idea capacity. Be wild creative, explore ideas, and the possibility is limitless for portrait photography.

Take as many photos as possible. Repetition is the mother of skills.

I wish the tips are useful for you. Good luck with your portrait photography.

4 Reasons Photographers Should Always Carry A Tablet

A tablet is the best tool for displaying your portfolio and networking. Surprisingly many photographers do not even own one, let alone carry one around. In this article, we will cover the four main reasons photographers should always carry a tablet by comparing them to popular tools of choice such as a website. At the…

A tablet is the best tool for displaying your portfolio and networking. Surprisingly many photographers do not even own one, let alone carry one around. In this article, we will cover the four main reasons photographers should always carry a tablet by comparing them to popular tools of choice such as a website. At the end we will look at what features you need to make getting the right one easier.

1. Tablets Provide An Immediate Response

Tablets provide potential clients with immediate visual evidence of your work and creates the opportunity for them to decide whether they wish to work with you. Responses like “How much do you charge?” Egypt “I really like your work / style!” direct the conversation in the right direction and provides great feedback. A request for your business card or number will usually follow, even if they think that you are out of their budget at the time.

Notice your business card goes to interested parties. “A random photographer cave me a business card” is rarely a lead.

2. They Allow For Greater Picture Quality Than The Web

You optimize your photographs before they go on the web, sacrificing quality to provide a great user experience. On tablets there is no comprise, you only need to scale photos down to HD resolution (1920 x 1080). You want potential clients to see the highest quality possible and you get that with tablets.

3. They Do not Need The Internet

You have to wait for your website to load; this can take beyond the time a potential client's patience will allow for and can make you look unprofessional. By comparing with a tablet you turn the screen on, open your portfolio, and a beauty HD resolution images appear in a slider. This could be the difference between obtaining future work or losing it to your competitor.

4. Better Word of Mouth

As conversations develop with new people, they will ever ask the question “So what do you do?” You talk about being a photographer and at this point you should be showing them your work; passion and enthusiasm is contagious, they will market you without any prompting.

To summarize, having a tablet with you at all times is great for marketing, client engagement, and business development; you should never really be without one.

Oh and the recommended features below are at non-optional if you wish to make the best impact.

  1. A Full HD 1920 × 1080 display as a minimum
  2. Minimum 8 “Screen, 7” is just too small for displaying work
  3. Memory does not matter, 8GB will suit your needs, your tablet is like 500px, only your best work should be on there

More to come.

Thanks for reading, Bakara

How To Photograph A Kid’s Birthday Party

When you ask expert photographers for birthday parties about their experience in capturing children, the answer you will get from most of them is that capturing children is not always easy. This type of party will have its own challenges and it will provide unique opportunities as well as per the words of these experts.…

When you ask expert photographers for birthday parties about their experience in capturing children, the answer you will get from most of them is that capturing children is not always easy. This type of party will have its own challenges and it will provide unique opportunities as well as per the words of these experts. An expert in this field adds that when it comes to partying with kids, there will be a lot of clutter, a lot of chaotic places with moving subjects and also there will only be a little space for photographers to get the right angle to capture any candid moment. This is why these experts give the following tips for ensuring the best out in the form of pictures during birthday parties:

Party photographer: When it is the birthday party of your little girl or boy, you wish that the photos should come out well. Even if you are a photographer by yourself, the best thing you can do is to hire specialized photographers for birthday parties. This is because, you might be specialized in other forms of photography, but capturing kids is not going to be an easy task for you. Also, when you move around with the camera looking for the best candid moments, you can not concentrate on the actual events and you can not enjoy the moment. This is why hiring a professional would be a great idea.

Get a child's perspective: Also, experts recommend that when capturing kids, it is better to sit at their level of height. In many photos taken at kids birthday parties, adults would have captured the photos standing, and this will spoil the look of the entire picture. Even though, it is true that few shots can be taken in this perspective, it is better to take most of the pictures by sitting at the level of children to get great looking images.

Focal lengths and shooting angles: A lot of life can be injected to your party shots when these two things are bought together. When it comes to group shots, you can try shots from standing up high even in a chair. Also, you can try out different focal lengths right from wide angle shots to close up shots.

Some of the above-mentioned tips can work out for photography in conferences too. Here too taking professional help from a professional with expertise in photography in conferences can work.

Camera Basics 101

Camera Basics – Understanding ISO, SHUTTER, and APERTURE. Your camera is actually nothing more than a box with a hole in it. Yes, all that money you have spent and that is basically what you've got. The basics of a camera have changed very little since day one. You have a box with a hole…

Camera Basics – Understanding ISO, SHUTTER, and APERTURE.

Your camera is actually nothing more than a box with a hole in it. Yes, all that money you have spent and that is basically what you've got. The basics of a camera have changed very little since day one. You have a box with a hole in it and you control how much light is allowed into it.

The best part about these newer cameras is that they can think for you. They meter a scene and adjust the settings. These settings are simply the shutter and the aperture. You simply have to compose the shot and push a button. This works well for the most part. But, you did not spend all of that money to allow the camera to do all of the work for you, did you? These cameras have manual settings, as well. These settings allow for creativity and for you to override the auto settings that the camera has already selected for you. I'm going to let you in on a little known secret; that camera, as smart as it is, does not always get it right! Sometimes, you will need to override its settings. Other times, you will choose to override its settings. This article will show you how to do just that, as well as providing you with some examples and / or circumstances as to when it may be necessary. This article covers the very basics of exposure control. There is more to learn about this subject but this will help get you started.

Let's get started …

ISO

ISO, determines how sensitive your camera is to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive to light your camera will be. Remember, though, the higher the ISO, the more noise you will introduce into your image. Ideally, you should always shoot at ISO 100. This is the best setting. However, this is not always possible. Let us say that you are indoors, at an event, ISO 100 will probably not work very well. Meaning, it will not allow you to hand hold your camera at 1 / 60th or higher. We will cover more on that later.

So, what you have to do is start bumping up your ISO. Try 200, then 400, etc., until you can achieve a shutter that you can hand hold. Most cameras, today, are much better with noise. Using an ISO of 800 can still produce good quality, clean images. An ISO of 1600 can even surprise you with nice quality. I recently did a shoot, at The Kentucky Derby Festival Balloon Glow, where I was shooting at ISO 1600, and I was impressed with the results.

Just remember, your goal is ISO 100. You should stray from that only when absolutely necessary. Why would you ever need to stray from that? Well, let's say that you are indoors at a sporting event, and at ISO 100, your shutter speed is at 1 / 20th of a second. That is not going to work. Your images will be blurry. So, you bump up your ISO until you can achieve a shutter speed that will stop the action. We will cover shutter speed in more detail later. But, in general, you bump up your ISO, which makes your camera more sensitive to light, allows for a higher shutter speed, and smaller apertures. But, the downside to higher ISO is noise.

Shutter speed or the TV setting on your camera

Shutter speed is calculated in seconds. A shutter speed of 1 / 60th means 1 / 60th of a second. A value of 1 means one second, while a value of 2 means two seconds, and 1/1000 means 1/1000 of a second. Yes, this is very fast! Most of the newer cameras will go up to 1/4000 to 1/8000 of a second. Most of your photography will not need to utilize these speeds. In general, you will find that your average needs will be met using anywhere from 1 / 60th to 1 / 500th of a second.

Now, what exactly is shutter speed? Shutter speed is the amount of time that the shutter remains open. In other words, it controls how long the flap to the hole remains up. Longer time equals more light. A byproduct of this longer exposure is blurred images. Sometimes, this is a desirable effect. For example, when photographing a running stream and you want the water to look silky smooth. However, this is not what you want when shooting sports or action shots. You want a faster shutter speed to stop that action and capture the images. Generally, a good action stopping shutter speed is around 1 / 200th of a second and up. You will find that 1 / 500th of a second is not uncommon to stop action at a football game. For this type of image, the faster the shutter, the better. This is where ISO comes into play. Remember, you can bump up your ISO to make your camera more sensitive to light. This will allow for faster shutter speeds. You can also change your aperture to increase shutter speed. More on that later.

Generally speaking, for hand held photography, you want the shutter speed to equal your lens focal length. For the mathematicians, this is: Min shutter speed (secs) = 1 / focal length (mm)

So, if you are using a 55-200mm lens and your zoom setting is at the 100mm mark, you want a shutter speed of 1 / 100th of a second. This works well, except when you get below a 60th of a second. A 60th of a second, in general, is the minimum hand held setting you want to use.

On a side note, many new lenses now come with vibration reduction, or image stabilization, which will allow you to easily hand hold at 1 / 40th of a second, and possibly even slower shutter speeds. This all depends on how steady you are. In general, try to keep your shutter speeds at 1 / 60th or faster.

Slower shutter speed equals more time that light is being allowed in.

Using shutter speeds under 1 / 60th. equals blurry images. To capture silky smooth looking water flows, you have to slow things down to around one second or slower. Obviously, you can not hand hold a camera at that speed so you will need a tripod.

Faster shutter speed equals less time that light is being allowed in.

Fast shutter speeds stop action. Remember, the rule of thumb; shutter speed should equal the lens focal length. Still, in my experience, I try to double that, if possible, for sports. For portrait shots, the rule of thumb works fine.

Aperture or the AV setting on your camera

Aperture controls the size of the hole or iris that allows light into your camera. It is the doorway to your sensor. Smaller apertures mean less light, while larger apertures means more light.

There is an inverse relationship with this. Small apertures, like 1.8, mean the aperture, itself, or the hole is larger. Higher values, like 5.6, and 8.0, mean the hole is closing up, getting smaller. So, a larger aperture number means less light is getting in. Remember, this determines the flow of light coming in, while shutter determines how long it is allowed in, or how long the flap is left open. Once open, the aperture is the size of the hole the light is passing through.

Other than the amount of light being let in, the aperture will also determine how in focus the objects around your main subject will be. This is called depth of field. A large aperture, such as F1.8 or F4.0, will tend to blur objects in front of and behind your main subject. Let us say that you are taking a portrait and you want to blur the background. You would choose a larger aperture, the largest your lens will allow. This could be 1.8, or 5.6, which it is, this is an ideal setting for a single portrait shot. This works very well with zoom lenses. With a zoom set at a 5.6 or lower setting, you can generally turn your background into a soft blur, this is called bokeh.

* Note that the further away the background is from your subject, the greater the blur will be.

Here is a simple test that will show you just how different apertures work in the real world.

Take your camera, along with several batteries. Stand the batteries up and place them on a table about 16 inches apart. Have at least 3 for this test. Now, take your camera and put it into AV mode, then set your ISO around 1600. You may even need to go higher since you are indoors. Remember, you want a shutter speed around 1 / 60th of a second, so if you have to bump up your ISO more, that's fine. You will notice, as you move your aperture, your shutter speed will automatically adjust for you. Your goal here is to be able to hand hold your camera for this test. Bumping your ISO up will help you achieve a faster shutter by making your camera more sensitive to the light.

Now, focus on the middle battery and take pictures with different apertures. Start with the largest, that would be 1.8, 5.6 etc. and work your way up to F16. Notice what happens to the other batteries with the smaller apertures of F8, 11 and 16. They begin to come into focus. At 5.6, and below, they are somewhat blurred.

Portrait photography is all about making the subject stand out, and one way to do this is to blur the background by using a large aperture of F5.6 or greater. Remember, larger equals smaller numbers. If you are shooting a large number of people, then you will not be able to do this, because you will need a smaller aperture, of around F8, or so, to bring the crowd into focus. Remember, you can only focus on one person but you will have many at different distances from the camera. A smaller aperture, ie, a larger number, can compensate for this difference.

Small aperture = larger numbers: F5.6, F8.0, F16 etc.

Large aperture = smaller numbers: F1.8, F 2.8, F4.0 etc.

Wrapping things up, some tips to remember

  • Remember, when hand holding a camera your goal is to have a shutter speed of 1 / 60th of a second or faster. Otherwise, you risk getting a blurred image. You can change your aperture to a lower number to help achieve a faster shutter speed, or bump up your ISO to make your camera more sensitive to light. Both of these will help you achieve a faster shutter speed. If you are zooming out remember to bump up your shutter speed. Try to match or exceed your focal length. If you are zoomed out in the 200mm range, a shutter speed of 1 / 60th will most likely be blurry. You want at least 1 / 200th of a second or faster.
  • Larger apertures means the opening to your sensor is large; while the numbers, themselves, will be low. F1.8 is considered fast and this is a large hole into your camera. F2.8 and F4.0 are, also, still considered fast.
  • Smaller apertures are designated by larger numbers, F5.6, F11, F16, etc. Remember, also, the smaller the aperture, the more in focus objects will be around your main subject. Also note, when shooting something like a flower, close up, you will want a smaller aperture. Something around F8 will work very well. This will give you greater detail and bring the whole flower into focus.
  • Do you like sun stars or sunbursts; those shots with the sun in them that look like a star? Then, try using an aperture of F16 or F22. Do not look directly into the sun, of course. I have often photographed this type of image, using a tree to block the sun, while allowing the sun to just barely peek through. You can also achieve this effect by positioning the sun off to the left or to the right of the image.
  • Keep your ISO at 100, if possible. Typically, bump it up only when you need the speed, ie a faster shutter speed or a smaller aperture.
  • Slow that shut down and use a tripod to get silky smooth water flows. Try using settings around 1-3 seconds or slower.
  • Remember, the further the background is from your subject, the more blurred it will become. This works especially well with a zoom lens and an aperture setting at F5.6 or lower. Pro photographers utilize this technique a lot during portrait shoots.

Some common settings on today's cameras:

AV = Aperture Priority

You set the aperture and the camera will set the shutter for you.

TV = Shutter Priority

You set the shutter and the camera will set the aperture for you.

P = Auto

The camera will set both the shutter and the aperture for you; warning you if your shutter speed falls below 160th of a second. You still control the ISOFilm speed.

Green Mode = Full auto

The camera will set both the shutter, aperture, and ISO, as well as fire the flash, if necessary.

Wildlife Photography Tips

Before you start Check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. Think about waterproofs (for you and your camera) or sun-block and a lens hood for the summer days. Pick a topic, theme or subject and then work that subject, capturing in it in a variety of ways. If you're stuck for inspiration then look at…

Before you start

Check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. Think about waterproofs (for you and your camera) or sun-block and a lens hood for the summer days.

Pick a topic, theme or subject and then work that subject, capturing in it in a variety of ways. If you're stuck for inspiration then look at the local nature activities happening near to you.

Take a tripod, if you have one or can borrow one. Wildlife pictures are often on maximum zoom and / or in shady, darker areas and this can lead to camera shake and blurry pictures if you are hand holding your camera.

When you're out

Be patient, expect to spend long periods waiting for that 'picture'! Remember to take some food and drink to keep you going. If the subject you have chosen is not doing anything do not just move on. Sit still, watch and wait.

The best wildlife photography shots often coincide with hours spent sitting and waiting. Anything can happen at any time but most things happen rarely or not when you expect them to. Spend some time getting to know your subject and if necessary spend days returning to the same place and watching their behavior and maybe you will be able to work out some patterns and predict what they might do!

Take a pair of binoculars so you can look around you and make sure that you do not miss anything!

Get down on the subjects eye-level, it really changes the perspective and brings something special to the shot.

A great way to capture the wildlife is to get a nice big close up, so how can you achieve this?

1) Move closer to the subject but this may not always be possible as it could scare your subject away.

2) Use the camera and zoom-in, either by altering the focal length of your DSLR lens or by making use of the optical zoom on your compact camera. Do not use the digital zoom; it makes the pictures pixelated and really poor quality.

3) Use your binoculars. Put the lens of your camera against one of the eye-pieces of your binoculars, focus the camera and then take your pictures. It does take some practice but the pictures are great once you get it right.

A lot of cameras come with a remote trigger and using it is a great way to take shots without scaring everything away. Set up your camera on a tripod and then position yourself some distance away but within eyesight. Press your trigger when birds or animals come near, you'll be amazed at the results you can get.

Light

Try to avoid the middle of the day as the sun can be very bright, it can cause harsh shadows, burnt out colors and lens flare. The light around sunrise and sunset has the most beautiful golden glow and as the sun is low it comes from the side rather than directly from above. The shadows are much softer and can give shape, form and dimension to your picture. Do not worry if it is an overcast day. Photographers call this type of light 'God's soft-box'. Colors are strong and true, there are no harsh shadows and you do not have to worry what direction you are shooting in.

If you are out and have forgotten your tripod, then improvise! Use a wall, a fence or similar. Invest in a small beanbag. They're not expensive and really help when you are using a wall and need to alter the position of you camera, for example tilting it forward to compose the shot to include everything you want.

The action of pressing the shutter button on the camera will move the camera and could cause it to wobble; this can make your pictures a little blurry especially if your shutter speed is on the low side. If you have a cable release or remote trigger for your shutter then use it as it will mean that your camera is completely still when you press the shutter. If you do not have either of these then use timers on your camera and it should be still by the time the shutter operates and the picture is taken.

A good way to start and 'learn the trade' is by using your own garden. You can set up your camera, trained on a bird table say, in the comfort of your own home. Make sure that the windows are clean though. You can then practice in the warm and dry and get some great shots of popular garden wildlife.

The last tip is the most important! Wherever you are photographing wildlife wherever it's at your local park stalking squirrels or in the Masai Mara watching lions and elephants then do not forget to enjoy what you are seeing. Take in the moments you are witness to, enjoy nature in all its glory but keep taking pictures!

Photography Basics – How to Take Good Photos

A good photograph is not just a physical photo or a digital cop, but it's someone's story, memory or even life. When we take photos we tend to preserve the most important events and people in our lives. The ceremonies of birth and birthdays, marriages and anniversaries, holidays, travels, and new houses are all recorded…

A good photograph is not just a physical photo or a digital cop, but it's someone's story, memory or even life. When we take photos we tend to preserve the most important events and people in our lives. The ceremonies of birth and birthdays, marriages and anniversaries, holidays, travels, and new houses are all recorded because they matter to us. Photographs are our personal story, a timeline of our lives filled with faces and places that we love and cherish. They are our story, which we can share with others or preserve for life.

So, photographs are part of our life, our history, they allow us to express our love, feelings, share our thoughts, they also are used as a tool to express complex situations around us or capture those emotions, photographs have the power to move us. And when you are taking those photographs for yourself or for others there are a few key points you should remember and follow.

First : * You do not take a photograph, you make it. * – Ansel Adams, yes, it's so true. Taking a good photo is as much an art as painting, you need to really study the subject, environment around you, alter your perspectives, and try and focus on the subject but yet look at the big picture.

Second : * A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know. * – Diane Arbus. Any subject you capture, living or non-living, has a lot of emotions attached to it. Much of these emotions are not seen, they are hidden within those subjects. A good photograph tells a story, story of something that we do not know or did not see when we actually saw it. That is what you should aim to capture.

Third : Break the rules, there is no single way to take a good photograph. Whether it's a rule of composition, placement of subject or any such rules which you learnt in your photography class, break them! They are off-course a good learning and produce aesthetically good photos but you do not need to restrict yourself to that. They can be part of your post processing.

Forth : Experiment! Yes, Experiment with your subject, experiment with light, objects around you, focus, shutter speed, variations in zooming (obscure some parts of the subject), get subjects to move out of comfort zone, candid moments, etc. There is a lot more you can try with your subject then just making them stand in front of you and taking photos.

Fifth : Understand various technical aspects such as exposure (Aperture, ISO, shutter speed), metering, field of depth, white balance, etc. They take your photos to the next level, and you get better at taking photos as you learn and click more and more photos.

-After you have taken your photo! –

Sixth : Post-Processing, it's an un-avoidable step in today's digital world. Post-Processing is basically altering and enhancing your photos to make it look better. Some may say it amounts to cheating, but in some scenarios it's an important step. You need to draw a line on where to stop post-processing, and that mostly comes from the ethics and values ​​you carry. In today's world post-processing is considered as a digital darkroom and it's definitely fun to do post-processing using tools such as Photoshop, Light room, etc.

Learn more about taking good photos by watching photography basics video here http://914videos.com/Article/photography-basics .

Know the Three Basic Steps to Enhance the Quality of Your Digital Photographs

The advent of digital photography has revolutionized the entire gamut of photography industry. Nowadays, people are getting more fascinated in taking photos as many shots as possible, than what they used to do earlier and they also enjoy sharing them on the Internet with their friends and families. It is quite easy to blame on…

The advent of digital photography has revolutionized the entire gamut of photography industry. Nowadays, people are getting more fascinated in taking photos as many shots as possible, than what they used to do earlier and they also enjoy sharing them on the Internet with their friends and families.

It is quite easy to blame on one's camera in case the images do not come as compared to some other images, which one may come across online. However, if one tries to follow certain basic steps as detailed below, it will be possible to enhance the quality of your digital photographs and you do not have to spend a lot in buying a more expensive new camera.

Tips to Enhance Quality of Digital Photography

Composition is the Heart of Photography: It is important to check on the position of various components within a frame. Firstly, you need to divide your frame of your digital camera into approximately equal sized nine square boxes.

Then try to bring the focus of your photo along these grid lines and connections and visualize the focal image getting distributed over these nine boxes. This would allow you to get a more vivid and visually fascinating shot than the one, where your subject-matter is positioned extreme middle. Nowadays, most cameras have this grid feature that can be initiated during shooting.

Fine-tune the Level of Exposure: If you have not set up your camera on complete manual mode before shooting, your camera will automatically decide on the exposure level of a photo.

The modern digital camera does have automatic scene mode that will allow the photographer to probe through various scene modes or one can adjust the exposure compensation, represented by +/- mark. In case the photo seems to be dark, then increase the scale above zero; if it is too light, reduce it down.

Adjust Your White Balance: You can also manually adjust the level of white balance in your camera before shooting under a particular light. Various types of light project different levels of color density.

Your digital camera will either automatically identify the type of lighting you are in and accordingly it will fine-tune the color level in order to make the photos look really natural. In a point and shoot type of cameras you would need to set the white balance level if you are shooting under mixed lighting arrangement in order to get brilliant photos.