Quick and Easy Tips on How to Take an Awesome Selfie

In the age of Social Media everyone is posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all the other emerging Social Networks. From celebrities like Kim K and Rihanna to everyday regular people like me… The year 2013 was the year of the selfie. And it doesn’t look like selfies will be going away anytime soon as Yahoo estimates that 800 billion photos will be taken in 2014. Yup, you read that right… Billions!

So how do you take an awesome selfie? With most smart phones having the flip-the-camera-to-the-front thingy, it has become much easier but here’s some awesome tips to get the best self portrait ever.

1. Gotta Look Good

If you’re just rolling out of bed and still have the sleepies in your eyes and a pillow pattern indented in your forehead, it’s probably not the best time to take a selfie. Make sure you look decent. Comb your hair, put on some make up and check yourself out. You can obviously always retake the picture if you see that your hair is out of place or if your lipstick is smeared all over your face but why waste the time, get it right the first time.

2. Think Background Continue reading “Quick and Easy Tips on How to Take an Awesome Selfie”

Top 4 Reasons Why Using Photo Effects Is A Good Idea

There are a lot of people who are simply in love with taking pictures. Some of them transformed the passion into a job and now work as professional photographer. As a professional photographer, you can obtain important contracts for working at big events, but you probably also have your own idea about what photography is and you probably travel a lot, trying to find the best scene for the perfect photo shot. Even though you are a professional photographer, I am sure that you use certain photo effects for the photo shots that you publish in magazines and for the ones that you display in your exhibits. Luckily, this is not a disadvantage, although there are numerous critics who think that the photo effects should not exist.

Both amateur and professional photographers know a lot about photo effects and even add effects to photos. There is nothing wrong in this as long as the photo is enhanced and as long as the photo’s story is not ruined. Those who are passionate about photography and who don’t use photo effects should consider joining a workshop, as learning how to use some cool photo effects is going to be an enjoyable experience that will bring numerous benefits to the one who takes advantage of it. The output can be amazing, so learning how to use the photography effects is a good idea and it definitely isn’t a waste of time.

There are plenty of photographers who know a lot about photo effects, but they don’t use them. Well, here are four reasons why they should change their minds, as they are in a clear disadvantage. Continue reading “Top 4 Reasons Why Using Photo Effects Is A Good Idea”

Seven Tips for Better iPhone Photography

With the dawning of the iPhone, a whole new age of photography has arrived: the iPhoneography era. Having a camera built into your phone makes it easy to take pictures on the fly. The sheer size of a SLR or DSLR makes it less portable and convenient than a phone, which most people have on them at all times. With all the benefits and fun that come these new smart phones, people everywhere are starting to play with iPhone photography. Here are just a few tips to help make the most of your iPhone photos!

1. Understand your Camera’s Limits
With the much smaller size and limited abilities, it is no surprise that the photos you take with your iPhone will not be the same quality as what you can get with your DSLR. Photos taken with a phone are going to be a much smaller file size so they won’t be able to be printed very big. Also camera phones are not designed to do well in low light situations so knowing this in advance can help you to avoid situations where you may not be able to get the best quality photos.

2. Keep Your Camera Steady
When you first start using your phone’s built-in camera, it’s natural to want to shoot pictures with one hand. However, holding your phone like a camera will steady yourself and ensure that your pictures are as crisp and clear as possible. For the greatest steadiness, be sure to keep your arms in closer to your body (nice and tight), bend your knees slightly and just lightly tap the shutter button with your finger. Continue reading “Seven Tips for Better iPhone Photography”

Understanding DPI and Resolution

The concepts of DPI and Image Resolution create unnecessary confusion. In this article I will show you how to determine the exact image resolution you require for your print projects. This will give you the knowledge you need to never pay for a larger image size than you require, and thus save you money on your projects.

Is there such a thing as a 300 DPI Image?

Not really. DPI stands for “Dots per Inch” and simply tells you how many dots your printer will print per inch across a page. Digital image resolution on the other hand is measured in pixels. They are two completely different animals.

You need to know the DPI of your printer before you can determine the image resolution you will require for your print projects. DPI varies widely. A very fine 300 or higher DPI is usually used for magazines, brochures, etc. when close up quality is required. A billboard will typically use a coarse DPI, such as 50.

Simple Math

We can use elementary school math to determine the image resolution we need to purchase. All we need to do is multiply the DPI of our printer by the height and width (in inches) of our final print. Continue reading “Understanding DPI and Resolution”

Rule of Thirds in Photography

Photographers who are new in the field may encounter a lot of theories, terms and rules. One of the most common among these is the ever famous “Rule-of-Thirds”.

The rule of thirds basically lets us imagine breaking an image into 3 parts, both in horizontal and vertical direction. After doing so, you can see a total of 9 squares equally divided. The points where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect are what we call the points of interest. There should be four points of interest – these are the areas where we put the focal point of an image, or where you might consider placing interesting points from your image. Not only does it add interaction with your viewer, but also the horizontal and vertical lines help you identify where you put other elements in which are also vital in the wholeness of your photo.

A good example of this is to imagine a bee sucking nectar from a beautiful flower. Usually, if your subject is a person or an animal, the point of interest can be found on the eyes or wherever you want the viewers to draw their attention to. For the given example, you can either put the imagined upper left point of interest, on the eye of the bee. This provides proper framing and gives a dramatic effect on the portrait. Continue reading “Rule of Thirds in Photography”

Basic Editing – Why is it Necessary?

Some photographers offer basic editing on some or all of the shots that they give to their clients? In the age of advanced digital cameras, shouldn’t the pictures look great right out of the camera if taken by a competent photographer?

Why basic editing is necessary

While it is true, that digital cameras today are better than they ever were, they differ from their film counterparts in many important ways. In the days of film the photographers choice of film had a huge effect on the resulting picture and different films were chosen specifically for different situations. Today, many of these film effects have analogous digital counterparts but the implementation is often clumsy. More importantly the development of the digital negative in the computer inside the camera, can be done much more precisely and effectively by a more powerful computer outside the camera. In fact it is almost always better to use the most neutral settings “in camera”. This results in a shot that might lack sharpness, contrast and pop, but it preserves the most digital information, allowing the photographer to apply these corrections in a much more effective way in post production. Applying these corrections on the computer also allows the photographer to view the images at full resolution, again allowing finer control over the finished product.

Color correction

The most important element to achieving natural color reproduction is shooting with a custom white balance. The lighting environment (sunlight, shade, fluorescent, halogen etc) that you are shooting in will greatly affect the colors in the photos. A custom white balance taken from a neutral source(usually a grey card) calibrates the levels of red, green, and blue to achieve a perfectly neutral grey. This will get color representation as close as possible ‘in camera” but can often be further honed after the fact. Further corrections that are often done are increasing overall saturation(the amount required great depends on the situation) and adjusting skin tones. Good looking skin tones are vitally important in portrait photography. Some skin tones photograph better than others and can often be greatly enhanced after the shoot. Continue reading “Basic Editing – Why is it Necessary?”

Fire Pit Photography

Photographing a fire pit is a delight and a problematic venture. First, to get a good shot of fire, it has to be a darker time of day, such as at dusk. Since that is the case, and darkness has its own set of problems like secondary light sources and their effect on the camera lenses, it is often difficult to get a good shot. Even the moon can cause problems. So, here is a short tutorial to enable you to take a good photo of a fire pit.

Your first consideration has to be that of whether or not your camera can take night pictures. If you’re a digital user, you probably have the ability to adjust your camera settings to allow good night photography. Take a good look at your instruction book and learn how to adjust the shutter speed to stay open as long as you need it to in order to have a good exposure and capture enough light to make a good picture. Most of the time, that adjustment has to be made in manual mode, not Auto (A) or Program Auto (AP) on your camera dial, although sometimes you can make the adjustment in Shutter Priority.

Your ISO will have to be adjusted as low as it can go without making too much “noise” in your picture. Noise is what happens when you get white or black spots or a sort of fog that covers the picture, depending on what you’re photographing, and a fire pit will tend to have white spots, or hot spots, if there is noise. Shutter speed and aperture will take a large role here, so make sure you know your camera’s capability. Continue reading “Fire Pit Photography”

Photography Lighting Techniques – 3 Vital Tips

Imagine how terrific it would feel to be able to pick up your camera, shoot any subject matter you want – and get jaw dropping, awesome photos – every time. All it takes is an understanding of some basic photography lighting techniques!

Three beginning photography lighting techniques that you really need to understand are:

1. Color: If you’ve ever photographed a landscape that looked dull, flat and lifeless – here’s what you do…Examine the COLOR of the light in your photo. It is a common mistake to shoot outdoor photos in the middle of the day.

Set your alarm and roll out of bed just before dawn, then go to your site…you’ll get shots with a soft, delicate pink touch. Or, shoot at sunset and get a landscape covered in gold! The light glancing off your subject will create gorgeous highlights and deep, defining shadows. It is the shadows that will make the subject appear 3D and POP! Continue reading “Photography Lighting Techniques – 3 Vital Tips”

Learn Some of the Basics of Camera Lenses

The price of a camera lens can vary, it could be less than $100 or even over $8,000, but these lenses all do similar jobs, they produce an image on the digital sensor. Generally though it is found that a higher quality lens is better able to produce better results.

Many peoples understanding of a camera lens is limited to what they usually use a normal film camera or a digital camera with a fixed lens, so we will go over some of the other lesser known distinctiveness of the photographic lens. As we go over this things you should have a better grasp of how the lenses operate and which lens may be of the best style for you to incorporate into your photography system.

Focal distance and angle of capture sight

Normally written in millimeters, the central length of a lens is the distance from its optical center to the digital sensor, in theory this is where it makes the clearest image. The angle of capture sight of a lens is the amount of the panorama, side to side and top to bottom, the lens can keep in the photograph. Either the film size, or the sensor and the focal determine the angle of capture sight of a lens. As an example a lens that projects an image, the size of the film format or image sensor, is what determines the angle of capture sight for a particular focal-length lens. Continue reading “Learn Some of the Basics of Camera Lenses”

Preparation For Newborn Photographs

What to wear- nothing! I usually photograph them in just a diaper, naked or wrapped in a blanket. If you have a cloth diaper cover that works even better. Clothing does not work so well for newborns as the clothing is usually too big for them and the shirts often get scrunched up around their necks. Its best also if the parents have black clothing that can also be used as a backdrop for close up shots of the baby. If you are having your photos taken in the hospital, please bring something black or dark/neutral in color so that we can use that as a backdrop for the baby.

Newborns hate getting their clothes taken off! Most newborns will get fussy when you take off their clothing. One thing that works really well to get the baby ready for pictures is to take off their clothes, wrap them up in a simple solid colored blanket (do avoid the hospital blankets as they are white and not as artistic) and then feed them if they are fussy and hungry. That way, when they are finished eating, they are calm and ready to be photographed. It also helps to wrap them in a warm blanket from the blanket warmer or a towel out of the dryer. If it is a home visit I ask that you turn up the thermostat to 75-80 degrees. Newborns are used to a very warm womb and get cold very easily. As long as they are fed and warm, I can usually capture great pictures. Continue reading “Preparation For Newborn Photographs”