Digital Flash Photography

Some of the tips listed will only pertain to Digital SLR users. These cameras allow you to manually adjust settings, change lenses, and also they provide a hotshoe to mount an external flash. This external flash is much more powerful than the built in flash, & it can give you the option to bounce and diffuse the flash.

Point and shoot cameras will often have a built in flash of their own. This does not provide the creativity of the SLR camera, but some of the following suggestions will pertain to these cameras as well.

  • Clearly see your background: Anything in your field of view behind your subject will also be in your finished photograph. Carefully check to see that any shiny metallic surfaces or mirrors are not lurking there. The light from your flash will bounce off these surfaces and come right back to your lens. The result being a big blob of white light.
  • Be sure to charge your batteries: The condition of your batteries will determine how long it will take your flash to recharge. In other words, how long before you can shoot another picture. The fresher your batteries are the quicker you can shoot again. Also, if your flash doesn’t use it’s complete charge, your recycle time will be a lot faster. It is always important to have fresh batteries, & maybe even a backup set.
  • Flash Falloff: Flash falloff is when the flash is more powerful in the center of the photo. This is most common with the compact cameras. To overcome this, try and position your subject to be in the area with the best light.
  • Type of Light: Light from a flash can often be very harsh. It is often helpful to bounce the flash off a wall or the ceiling, especially lighter colored ones. Another handy tip is to use a diffuser over the flash. Small plastic units will work, some use hosiery, some will angle a white notecard in front of the flash. Trial and error will help you determine what works best for you. Keep in mind that diffusers will reduce the amount of light produced. You must adjust your exposures accordingly.

Get Paid to Take Pictures

Invest in the Right Equipment

The right photography equipment can not only improve the quality of your work, but it can also save you time as well. Even if you are working on a tight budget, you should not base your purchases solely on price. Look for products that offer the best value, which means finding those that provide the best features for the least amount of money. The most important equipment you will need is a camera, computer, editing software, and possibly a bag to carry everything in.

Gather Samples and References

As in any business, you will have to provide your customers some proof that you are competent photographer. You can do this by building samples of your work and providing references of past customers. If you are just starting out, then offer to take pictures of friends or family for free. Combine these sessions with some artistic or outdoor shots to show a variety of your talents. Put it all together in a portfolio or brochure you can hand to your clients. Just don’t skimp on the quality since this is the first impression they will have of you.

Market Your Services

Finding the best way to advertise can be difficult, especially if you are on a budget, but the key is to be creative. Start by designing your own business card with a memorable photo on the front. Pass these out to everyone you know and leave small stacks of them in public places. For mainstream exposure, use online classified sites that let you can post your services on for free. Of course a website is also helpful, and this can be done easily by building a blog. Some photographers also use their blog to post new photographs of their work.

Great Uses of Anti-Fog Spray

Photos are also taken on special occasions, like when your baby takes their first step, when they go to “big school” for the first time or when they graduate. Memories such as these are precious and are even easier to remember when you have pictures to look at. The only horrible thing about photography is when you take the most beautiful picture, only to discover that your lens was dirty and the picture came out terrible and you cannot retake it. There is only one solution to this problem.

Anti-fog spray works magically on cameras. Before you are going to be clicking away, take a soft cloth and some anti-fog spray and clean the lens. That’s all you have to do, it’s quick, easy and the cleanness lasts! You will not have to wipe the lens after every photo you take; it lasts for quite some time before you will have to clean it again. Do not drench the cloth with spray, just put on enough to make the cloth slightly damp. Wipe the lens softly, and the work is complete, you can now start clicking away!

So now you can take those pretty pictures and they will come out just as the original thing you saw, anti-fog spray really does the trick.

Using Filters for Special Effects

Star and Cross Effect Filters

Star filters are typically used when you want to enhance reflections into a specific star shape. You’ll see these used in pictures of streetlights, theme parks, and sun reflections of surfaces like glass structures. Two of the most common are the Star-Six and the Star-Eight filters, which refer to the number of “points” on the star shape.

If you are taking photos of ladies wearing expensive jewelry, a Cross Screen Filter will add a “flare” in the shape of a four-cross. This is how they produce that dramatic effect in jewelry ads that focus your attention on the sparking diamond.

There are other variations, such as the Spectral Cross Filter and the Vario Cross Filter. Spectral cross filtering produces a cross of light with a soft-focus effect, particularly good for portraits. A Vario Cross Filter will add the effect of four rays of light coming from each light source.

Close-up Filters

Instead of just being limited by a camera’s zoom, you can add close-up filters and Macro filters. Macro close-up filters are good for taking shots of small insects, flowers and other tiny objects at close-up. They typically have a +10 diopter rating with a 2-element, 2-group construction lens.

Another creative filer is the Split field filter. This splits the image so that half is a close-up shot while the other half is normal.

Multivision Filters

If you want to create the effect of the same object being repeated in a photo, check out Multivision Filters. These are available in 3PF, 3F, 5F, 6F, and 6PF where the number determines the number of times the object will be repeated. These work best with dark backgrounds or larger objects.

Multivision filters are made up of optical glass accurately cut into different facets. Color multivision filters add different colors to the image. There are two types available – 3F with three faces in red, green and blue, and 5F with five faces equally divided into orange and green colors.

Diffusion Filters

Diffusion filters provide a soft focus effect on the image due to an irregular or uneven surface. This kind of filter is specifically used for portraits.

Center Spot Filters

The center of this filter has a clear spot that gives the center image a clear and sharp effect, while the background can have an effect of fog to make it romantic.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to enjoy the use of special effects filters. Try adding one or two to your collection and experiment with them in different situations. Who knows… you could come up with a whole new unique look-and-style!

Advertising Photography For Christmas

They would deliberately look at advertisements so that they can make wise buying decisions.

And it is now that the advertisements should be made more attractive, more informative and more compelling. And advertising photography plays a more important role in this situation. The role of advertising photography takes a significant place in advertisements for print media, static media and online media. Yes, the periphery of advertising photography has increased and has crossed the boundaries of print media and has reached and covered the area of static media as well as online media.

And since Christmas is round the corner and people would watch out those banner ads on various websites, on billboards and kiosks and also in their favourite magazines, therefore it is absolutely very critical that the advertising photography should be very impressive and attractive. If you had thought that advertising photography is just the image that is to be there in the ad, then wait, there is more than what meets the eye.

In any ad, it is not just the content or the ad copy that speaks to the viewers. Words do play a very significant role, sometimes as significant or more than the image. But it is the picture which primarily speaks to the audience. It has the very tough job of attracting the reader and compelling him or her to stay and read the ad. This is really really tough, and if the Advertising photography is unable to do that, then the competitors might just have a hands down victory.

Using Retro Stock Photos

Many people are now considering using retro styling in their website designs not only because they are much more decorative but they equate to a certain set of values that one expected of the period when they first appeared. Certainly using some retro rather than the high tech styles that many other website owners prefer will provide your site with something that is unique and is likely to catch the eye of any potential new customer.

The kinds of pictures that a person will be using for their site that fit into the retro group are those from the 1950’s and 1960’s and certainly these equate to a time when live was a little more easy going. Certainly some of the most well known retro stock images that you will regularly see being used are photos of such icons as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Audrey Hepburn.

Yet when it comes to you using such images for your own site there are two different types that are now available and which can be easily obtained through the internet. Below we take a look at just what these are.

Non Exclusive Images

These are ones where you will be required to pay a licence fee every time you use a particular image but it also allows others to purchase the same images using the same licence as you.

Exclusive Images

With these particular retro stock images a person is again required to pay a licence fee in order that they may use the image they have selected every time that they actually use it. However unlike the non exclusive images once you have paid the licence fee in order to use that image then you and you alone have exclusive use of it.

However if you are considering using any kind of retro stock images in your website design it is important to make sure that they will fit in with the overall image of it. So you really need to consider the kind of audience that you are trying to reach and what you are trying to say through the use of such images. Once you are able to understand this then you will be able to select those images which will be able to meet with your requirements perfectly.

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.