Take Properly Exposed Wedding Pictures

There is a simple solution to this; set your exposure to +2/3 WHEN the bride is in the picture. Don’t forget to dial your expose back to normal when taking pictures of only the groom (in fact, you might want to go -1/3 exposure in these situations) or of the guests.

Other things which can screw up your exposure are:

  • Reflections of the sun on objects (try to find something to block the reflection)
  • Bright lamps/lights behind the scene. (try to find something to block the reflection)
  • Bright Windows in the frame. (increase exposure by 1+)
  • Mirrors and your flash (try to move so something is blocking the mirror)

By keeping this all in mind, you are more likely to get properly exposed pictures without having to photoshop them later.

Another important thing to do, regardless if you think you are sticking the exposure or not, is to take your pictures in RAW format. Although the extension and software used to manipulate RAW images differs from camera to camera, raw images offer a much broader latitude in changing the exposure settings. Where a JPEG might be able to be manipulated +-1 stop, a RAW image can be manipulated +-2 stops due to it containing much more meta information and it being a 16 bit image. Most cameras which shoot in raw ship with software allowing you to manipulate raw images.

PhotoShop Novices

  • Create custom, project-specified workspaces. Each project that you endeavor will require a certain set of palettes.You will want to take advantage of the feature that lets you save them
    independent of one another. Here’s how it’s done: When you have the palettes for a given project lined up as you like them, choose Window> Workspace> Save Workspace.
    Assign a name to the particular workspace and then click Save.
  • Plan ahead when naming workspaces so that in the future each will ring a clear bell in your memory. Multiple projects over time can get confusing to remember.
  • Use two different windows to display each image.You often need to zoom in for closer looks at pixels. When you make changes to a zoomed-in image, you need to know that it will work
    effectively when you zoom back out. So, instead of zooming in and out constantly, it is far easier and less time-consuming to have two windows opened containing the same image at different zoom levels.
    To do this, simply select Window> Arrange> New Window. The same image will appear in a new window. Keep one zoomed at 100% and the other however you need it to work on it.

Using Props

Obviously if you want to remain portable and travel these will be smaller, however if you have the luxury of a studio you can use a vast variety of props.

For example some of the props I use consist of, baby baths, rocking horses, skateboards, bikes, bats and balls and a variety of others. I find an ornamental baby bath an excellent prop, it not only looks good but it stops the young child moving too far! I usually sit the bath on a table about 2 foot off the ground, the table is draped with a simple sheepskin fur and then adorned with some cheap netting material, some of which is overlapped into the bath.

Any prop similar to a mini bath is just as useful, for example a big cooking tin or storage crate. Obviously with this type of container you need to pad it out with soft material. It also a nice touch to use some white netting to fluff around the container. As I said above the biggest advantage of a container is that it contains the child from moving! Try this with your next shoot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at it’s effectiveness to root the baby in one spot!

Last minute simple props can turn an ordinary picture into something special. One of the simplest and best tips I can give you in this respect is to place a baseball cap on the young baby’s head. What would otherwise be an ordinary shot can be turned into a memorable and amusing shot that the parents will treasure for years, just by the quick addition of a baseball cap! Experiment here, use a variety of ‘last minute’ props.

Here’s another favourite of mine, a soft white towel, which provides a natural frame for the face.

Props come in all shapes and sizes, you can use a prop bigger than the subject! You may imagine this would look awkward, however it can show the loving side of a young child cuddling their (giant!) beloved soft toy.

Remember photography is about emotions, it is about sparking that emotion in parents through the creativeness in your images.

Ideally if you are posing groups of people along with the baby, you would want to use posing stools of varying heights. For example if you want to shoot mum dad and baby it may be that dad is very tall and mum very small. You can get round this by sitting dad on a smaller posing stool.

Many photographers use a much less expensive but just as effective option, bottle crates. These can be arranged and stacked at a variety of lengths and heights and draped with cloth similar to that of your background.

If you purchase no other props for your baby photography the two I would recommend would be a small baby bath and a big soft bean bag. The bean bag is excellent for positioning very young babies in a way that allows them to feel safe and comfortable and allows you to root them to one spot.

A Chaise Lounge is also an ideal prop for children around 9 months, who are finding their feet! The curvature on the back is ideal for them to lean over and the height of the back is perfect for this age. When looking for ideas for choice of props, look at some of the baby shots in mail order catalogues.

History Surreal Photography

Surrealism was a movement in the art and intellectual activities, emerged after World War I. Andre Breton, was the founder of the surrealistic concepts and he has gathered the influence from the Dande movement. Surrealism is actually the real expression of mental emotions, without any polishing. Andre Breton describes surrealism in Surrealist Manifesto, as the pure psychic automatism expressed in the real functionality of a person. Surrealistic art forms characteristically differ from the conventional forms in not having specific shape or idea. It can be the expression of basic human instinct and imaginative faculties of the unconscious mind. But, when surrealism comes to photography, the critics did not even imagine such a possibility. However, “Marquise Casati” by Man Ray, made a change to the belief, as it featured multiple eyes for the photograph. Even though, it was an accidental blurring, it proved the chances for the feasibility of surrealistic works.

Man Ray and Lee Miller are considered as legends in surrealistic photography as they were very successful to overcome the limitations of photography to create surrealistic images. Maurice Tabard is another famous surrealist, who had his own technique for surrealistic imaging. Hans Bellmer creatively used mechanical dolls to symbolize sexualized images, where as for Rene Magritte camera was the tool to make photographic equivalents of his paintings.

Surrealist photographs are described as the images, which symbolically represent dreams, night mares, intoxication, sexual ecstasy, hallucination and madness. The difficulty with photography medium is that it imbibes the reality, and often the real images cannot be sufficient to express such unconventional patterns. But, the famous surrealist photographers are able to fulfill the task since they can use the photographic techniques effectively. The ordinary snapshots, body photographs, anthropological photographs, medical photographs, movie stills, and even police photographs are manipulated to create the impression of surrealist images in the photographs.

Surrealism in photography is mainly performed using the different techniques. The differential techniques of light and lenses can itself be the primary technique for surrealism. Photomontage is one of the popular processing techniques, in which the several images are coupled together. In photogram, a photographic paper can be used instead of camera to imprint the image. The images produced by the flush of light can create amazing images that has a surrealistic look.

Multiple exposure is another technique for surrealism, in which the camera is clicked twice or more, without rolling the negative. The second image will be superimposed on the first image and the final product will be an undefined mixture of both. Cliche verre or glass negative is the surrealistic technique that uses negative coated from glass plate. Anyhow, solarization or Sabattier effect seems to be the most remarkable technique for surrealism. It produces dramatic effect of patterns through the flushing of the light on the photograph, while developing in the darkroom. It was discovered by Lee Miller, which have selective reversal of highlights and shadows. The light and dark areas with the distinct line of reversal make it most appropriate for surrealism.

SLR Lens Buying

  • Make Your Wishlist. Go to your favorite online lens source and create a wishlist for each type of lens you are thinking about. Then go shopping and find ALL the lenses that are offered for your camera that fit into your categories. Filter out your selections by dropping anything over your absolute budget threshold. I found 9 super-wides, 8 super-telephotos, and 4 macros– but I included primes and zooms.
  • Prioritize Your Options. Start sorting your lenses based on the information at hand, your intuition, and any cost criteria you may have. Typically, the more expensive lenses are also the better quality lenses (aside from price differences of around $100). My advice is to buy the best you can afford and you’ll never be disappointed.
  • Pick Your Flavor. Do it now or do it later, but if you have more than one type of lens you want, you’ll have to choose at some point. If you do it now you’ll save some time with the research. I decided to leave my options open — I couldn’t decide yet.
  • Do the Research. You want outside opinions and evaluations on each of the lenses you’re thinking about, and it’s best if you can find those evaluations from the same source — but this isn’t always possible. Get multiple reviews too.
  • Make Your Decision. At this point, you should have a good idea of which lens is the best one for you from any given category. If you had more than one category to decide between, pick one. I had 3 categories to decide between, and after my research I had one lens from each category. Based on my budget, I could either get the super-telephoto OR the macro and the super-wide. I chose to get two lenses instead of one! There’s no rule against that!


Photographing Groups

The more people you have in the photo, the smaller they appear, and the harder it is to see the individual faces. Ideally, you want to fill the camera frame with people both vertically and horizontally, and this is achieved with thoughtful positioning of the subjects. By doing this you can get closer to them and they appear larger and easier to see in the photos.

The first thing in any group is to have people stand at a 45-degree angle to the lens, rather than shoulder-to-shoulder facing the camera. This does several things. It allows you to get your subjects closer together, they appear slimmer, and it’s more professional-looking. And don’t have them all facing the same way unless they’re a ’60s Motown group. Better to have them turned toward center on both sides.

Small groups of three to eight can be taken standing together to produce a pleasing picture. They will fill the camera frame from top to bottom and side to side nicely.

Left to pose for a picture without direction from the photographer, a large group of subjects will usually stand shoulder to shoulder in a long line. This produces a photo with small people and excess space at the top and bottom of the frame.

Any group larger than eight or so should be positioned in levels, either by having some people in front sitting on chairs, or in back standing on steps. I like to have somewhere around 35-40% of the group in chairs and the rest standing behind, as this fills the frame better than an equal number of seated and standing subjects. Alternatively, you can have the first row standing in front and the second row on a step behind. Try to keep your rows close together, and try to position them so the people in the back row are standing between the two people in front of them, not directly behind them and hidden from camera view. A good way to check this is to ask each subject in back to make sure that they can see the camera with both eyes, thus ensuring that you’re not photographing just part of their head.

For a group of around 25, a good posing scheme would be some people on chairs, some standing behind, and some seated on the ground in front. Alternatively, you can have a second row standing on a step a level above those standing behind the chairs. The point is to fill the picture both side to side AND top to bottom.

The larger the group becomes, the more imperative it is that you find stairs to put your subjects on. Estimate how many rows you have to make in order to fill the frame top to bottom and side to side. The best approach is to have the subjects line up according to height. Start the bottom row with the shorter people, and end the top row with the tallest. This keeps a taller person from blocking a shorter one behind them. Subjects seated in bleachers or stadium-style seating is also very popular in schools and sporting venues, and can produce good results. You can follow the same principle as positioning on stairs.

If stairs or bleachers are not available, you have another option: setting the camera at an elevation above the crowd and shooting from above. This can be accomplished by using a ladder to get slightly above a small group, or a rooftop or balcony for a large group. Everyone can just look up, but you may still have to position people so taller subjects are to the rear of the shot.

Having someone to assist the photographer in positioning larger groups is extremely valuable. Only from dead-on camera position, that is, looking through the viewfinder, can you judge whether a face in the crowd will be fully visible or partly or totally blocked. Having an assistant position subjects while the photographer looks through the camera saves a lot of time and footwork.

The easy way to light is to just have everyone looking toward the sun, but the results can be disappointing. Your subjects will be squinting, they will have shadows under their eyes, and if it is hot they will be uncomfortable. The preferred method is to have the subjects’ backs to the sun, and to use flash to illuminate them. For a small single-row group, you can use your camera mounted flash. Multiple row groups will need a flash mounted on a camera bracket or light stand. This is to prevent shadows being thrown onto the people standing in the back rows. Large groups will need multiple flash units on tall stands. You can trigger them with remote receivers from your camera-mounted transmitter. Three flash units work well, one on the left, one on the right, and one next to the camera. And make sure they are high enough so they don’t produce shadows on the faces in the back rows.

You’ll also need a good lens hood to block the sunlight from hitting the lens and producing a flare. If the sun is low or you’re shooting directly into the sun, you may also need to position something above the camera to block the sunlight, and throw a shadow on the camera lens. This can be done with something as simple as a piece of cardboard or a magazine, or even an umbrella. There are also professional devices you can buy.

Composition in Landscape Photography

Main Subject

It should be self-evident that before shooting we should know exactly what our main subject is. We must do our best to convey the viewer’s attention to it, without distracting elements. This does not mean that we must exclude everything except the dominant feature in our image. In fact, we have three options:

  • Macro-photography. Show only the main subject and nothing else. This yields the advantage of no distractions to the viewer.
  • Intimate landscape. Show the main subject together with its neighborhoods to give it a spatial placing. This can be useful to make it easier to recognize the subject or to say something more about it.
  • Grand scenic. Show the subject immersed in its entire surrounding. This can be done if the surrounding is meaningful to the feelings you want to convey.

In any case, the viewer’s attention must be attracted to the main subject first, and only then he can wander around the rest of the picture. If the viewer’s eye does not go directly to the main subject as soon as he looks at the picture, the photographer has failed his mission.

Here are a few useful tips in order to emphasize the dominant feature. Put your main subject in the foreground so that it appears bigger. Typically, this requires a large depth of field. Another popular method is using converging lines toward the subject to direct the viewer’s eye where we want to. Putting the dominant feature against a contrasting colored background is effective, too. For instance, the main subject could be a splash of color against a complementary colored backdrop. Finally, a shape with a textureless background will serve the purpose of making the main subject figuring prominently. An example of this might be a flower in the desert sand.


In a photograph, more than one object or person is usually present. Each item in an image must be properly balanced. A balanced composition is pleasing to the eye because inspiring a sense of stability. Each item has a weight or visual importance that depends on the level of attraction for the viewer’s eye.

Balance can be symmetric or asymmetric. In asymmetric balance, a small object is balanced by another bigger having more or less the same visual importance. For instance, this is the case when a small highly colored or contrasted object is related to a bigger but plain or textureless item.


Rhythm relates to time and it implies adding the time dimension to photographs. As we saw, the viewer should be first attracted to the main subject, but then there are other (well-balanced) items in the picture he should look at. The photographer should be able to take the viewer in a journey, to involve him in the image. The journey begins with the main subject, and then the viewer should be led to the rest of the picture smoothly and with participation, along items of secondary importance. Think about this imaginary journey and try to compose it in your picture so that the viewer will be delighted to follow you and to go all over the path of your vision.

Double Exposure

  • SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS. Your prospective photobuyers will see you in a leadership role as you present a luncheon talk, seminar, or trade show presentation in front of a room filled with prospective clients. Increase the visual impact by enhancing your delivery with your personal photography. Join local and national organizations that can help you improve your speaking performance and keep you informed about the opportunities open to you through public speaking.
  • NETWORK. Develop a vital list of inner-circle contacts in the industry. Keep your list up-to-date, and keep these important persons up-to-date by contacting them regularly with news about your accomplishments, future travel plans, latest credits.
  • PUBLICITY. Not paid-advertising, but publicity. Which is free. Maintain a local, regional, and national list of camera columnists, camera clubs, photo schools, photo organizations, photo workshops and seminars, photo magazine editors, newspaper and newsletter editors, and freelance photo writers. According to the latest BACON’S PUBLICITY CHECKER there are 6,108 trade magazines published in the United States and Canada. Make a media person’s job easier by preparing a well-edited news release of interest to his/her audience, involving your photographic activities, accomplishments, projects, appropriately targeted to their interest areas, that fit your coverage areas.

Photo To Oil Painting

There are different genres in painting such as landscape, portrait and still life. Portraits are creating a painting of a life model, landscape is the painting of the environment and the last genre is still life which will be discussed in this article.

When creating still life paintings, the artist has full control of the subject. The artist would need to set the subject in a proper place where lighting is good, most likely north facing a window, having artificial lights or reflectors. When the artist has established this he can now be able to focus on his art.

First thing you’d need to ensure is that the painting is just how you want it. Try having a practice drawing first with sketches since painting it is completely different form looking at it. Then try to analyze the tonal values and make sure that the light patterns are just right. After the practice sketch and the tonal values, you will now have to deal with the color schemes.

After all those have been done, you will need to finalize. Finalizing includes making sure that the lighting and composition is correct. Many artists will not paint exactly what they see; they will in fact have some modifications to either make it better or to be able to express their personality in it.

The next step will be completely up top you; it all depends as to what style you will be using. You may want to handle the approach via the old master which is time consuming because it requires repeated layers of paints and glazes. But it allows great control and variety.

Here are some suggestions to make your still life painting more realistic, that even some people might think it’s the real deal.

  • Don’t light all objects equally; choose an object that will be the center of interests.
  • Decide on the concept, give the object some mass and paint some shadows.
  • Create a distinctive shape for every different object. Don’t make all your different fruits look all like apples. If the grape and lemons you plan on making seems to look like an apple I think you have a problem.
  • The object can either be across looking shallow or into the canvas.
  • Start your painting with the center of interest.
  • For objects to be lighted, the surface in which they are on must also be lighted
  • Try to add other colors by using the monochrome to make the object more realistic and prevent dullness.
  • Decide and understand how you will be able to bring what you want pout of your subject.
  • Establish the ground plane because it is also important.
  •  The darkest part in the picture is the line of shadow in the objects.

Writing With Light

Where am I going with this? Well, I think that with the increased emphasis on the number of MegaPixels and the intellect-snaring delusion that nirvana in photography is achieved by photoshop-ing, we are forgetting the basics. First things first, get the light, right.

Here are some basics:

  • If shooting a human subject take special care of how light causes shadows on different parts of the subjects face.
  • Be sensitive to “hot spots” being created in different parts of your photograph. Surely you do not want a shiny distractive element in your photo.
  • Look at your complete frame and see how light plays with; either by attenuating or amplifying; different elements. If a background element is being overplayed or under-emphasized, you are doing something wrong.
  • Not all your photography mistakes can be done away with on Photoshop. For instance, an image processing algorithm can never undo the crime of shooting when the color temperature is not appropriate.
  • Use a flash, but only if you have to. And then use a professional flash. The real cheap ones or the inbuilt fluorescent ones will make your pictures look unreal and also make them unappealing.
  • Make use of the best light source — the Sun. Used effectively, it generates the best pictures.