Monthly Archives: June 2017

Intentional Blur Motivation

Although in photography blurriness is often viewed as a mistake, there is an interesting and creative way to intentionally capture motion blurs in your images. By experimenting with shutter speed, you can snap some awesome shots that truly capture the action and dynamic energy of a subject in motion.

If you just purchased your first camera and you’re still not comfortable making these technical adjustments, consider checking out our online digital photography course before you dive in. Throughout the course you’ll login and learn the basic functions of your camera so you can begin to shoot in manual mode, capturing higher-quality images of the people and places around you. If you’re already a pro with your device and ready to get some practice, here are some tips for snapping that awesome motion blur we’re talking about:

1. Manual Mode
If you’re comfortable working in manual mode, your shots will come out best if you do so with this exercise. If you’re absolutely unwilling to get out of auto, you should start by playing with shutter priority mode for the best results. With this helpful tool, you can pick whatever shutter speed you want to work with and your device will do the rest of the work, figuring out the corresponding settings to capture a well-exposed final product.

2. Shutter Speed
If you’re unfamiliar with shutter speed altogether, try to think of it like this- there is essentially a small curtain within your camera that can be altered to open or close more or less, consequently letting in an adjustable amount of light. The longer that curtain is left open, the more light will come into your shot. So in terms of photographing something that moves, as long as that curtain is open, things going on in front of your camera lens are still being captured, creating that motion blur, ghost-like effect we’re familiar with.

To keep the background nice and sharp while capturing one swift motion blur of a moving subject in the foreground, you will need to use a slower shutter speed.

3. Gear
Depending on what you’re photographing and how long you’ll be capturing the movement, you should strongly consider using a tripod. As we mentioned before, as long as that shutter speed is left open, your camera is capturing any and all movement taking place- and that includes your own. If you’re somewhat shaky and can’t trust yourself to stay entirely still throughout a long motion capture, adding a tripod to your setup is crucial.

Adobe Photoshop For the Family Photographer

For a more comprehensive education and step-by-step guide to mastering Adobe Photoshop, check out our online Photoshop course to get started. For some simple tips, today we’ll talk about how to adjust some common errors we photographers tend to make in routine shoots.

Photo albums are often littered with pictures that are too dark because the photographer didn’t turn on their flash. In this picture, the photographer should have used fill flash to illuminate the bride and groom’s faces. All is not lost however. In fact, it’s a pretty simple fix most of the time. In Adobe Photoshop, choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. A histogram will open up. Slide the white triangle on the right until it lines up with the first peak on the right side of the histogram. Slide the black triangle on the left until it lines up with the first peak on the left side of the histogram. Then, you can move the middle triangle to the left until you get a pleasing amount of brightness in the photograph. Do not go too far or you’ll start to see artifacts and other damage to the pixels in the picture.

Sometimes, there’s not a problem with the photograph, it just isn’t the picture you want to see. For example, let’s look at this picture of a red and green bathroom. Quite festive, but what if you wanted to see what the room would look like painted in a different set of colors. You could go out and buy a couple of cans of paint and then spend the better part of a day or two repainting the bathroom for optimal family photos. Or, you could adjust the photograph to see if you like the color choice. First, choose Select > Color Range. Then, choose a color range from the pull down menu, or use the “eye dropper” to click on a color. In this example, we choose to adjust the red tones. Then, slide the Fuzziness arrow until the selection seems to cover the area you’d like to change. To complete the change, choose Image > Adjustments > Hue / Saturation and change the Hue to experiment with the look of the room. If you have an image with walls that don’t select easily using the “Color Range” technique, try using the Magnetic Lasso Tool to select them.

Five Tasty Food Photography Guidelines Worth Buying

Food photography has become quite a prevalent genre. If you do not fully appreciate this attractive art, no doubt you need a firsthand experience. You will get a golden chance to understand the basics behind achieving styling atrocities of a creepy ilk.

 Invest in Food Stylists

Food stylists play a crucial role in this photography. Professional food shooting is more than just placing some delicacies on the table and getting your camera ready for work. Who will even look at a meal that is not whetting their appetite? Experts in food styling understand the items to pick for photography.

Probably you do not know tomatoes could be sliced into some fancy shapes and put alongside beautifully made lettuce pieces. These stylists also co-work with photographers in rightly using stand-ins. All this is in the power of a professional food artist.

Get Your Background Setting Right

Ensure that you do not overly exaggerate your background. It might end up catching the viewer’s attention more than your food. If not a plain background, then go for a clean table cloth. Most preferably use a white fabric. It sends an important implication to potential customers. However, this does not mean you should avoid using props. Complementing your meal with a plain ice cream bowl serves an exquisite accessory.

When it comes to plates, avoid those that are of the same color with your food. They should either contrast or harmonize with the meal. Use of a wider aperture helps a great deal in blurring your background.

Be Sure to Create the Right Mood Using Illumination

Lighting makes food look appetite-whetting. Instead of taking general photos, the expert behind the lens should consider using stand-ins. They make your food look more fresh, which makes it mouth-watering. Proper manipulation will also enable you to create customized textures.

Usually, you should have your setting somewhere close to a window covered with a white curtain. That white clothing on the window plays a crucial role in light dissemination. Natural light has all you need to screw that plate of food. That said, be careful not use flash. It provokes the food’s delicate sensibility, making it unappealing and unnecessarily shiny.

How to Get Your Photos Featured in Magazines

Getting your first photos published in print is a dream that comes true. The feeling of seeing your signature below the photo in a magazine is all the incentive you need to pursue your career further.

Create a portfolio

Even though you may already have a portfolio, go over it again. What kinds of pictures are getting published these days? Are they documentary pictures taken quickly and in the heat of the moment or are they staged photos that convey certain messages. Depending on your style and passion, the portfolio you create will vary vastly. This means that you will be approached by some publishers but avoided by others – it’s only natural. Don’t create a portfolio filled with pieces you don’t feel comfortable with. If you want to get your photos published, make sure that you select the ones you are most proud of.

Focus on your best work when creating an online portfolio and use a very clean and accessible WordPress theme in order to do so. Make the job of browsing through your pictures as easy and fast as possible for the visitors. Picking a short catchy name for your professional career as a photographer is going to help you in spades because word travels fast between editors and publishers alike.

Think about the purpose

Why do you want to have your photos published in magazines? This is the most important question you have to ask yourself before doing anything concrete about it. As a photographer, your job is to find a certain niche in which you will create photos. If that’s magazine publishing, it will require a studio and equipment that will allow you to stage and direct photos for your publisher.

Create a series of demo photos that will showcase what kind of equipment you are dealing with and what you are passionate about. Convey the message that you are willing to work with magazine publishers in your portfolio and in the application paper that you send to the publisher. The more special they feel about you approaching them, the more likely you are to get hired long term.

Choose your publisher(s)

Instead of applying for as many publishers as you can think off, try making a shortlist of candidates that would suit you. Just like they are picking and choosing photographers. If you land a spot as a photographer in a magazine that you despise or don’t feel comfortable working with will affect your work drastically. Having a job that you don’t like is counterproductive, and it goes for photography as well as any other job employment.

Your quality of work might drop and you might feel depressed or stressed because you have your photos in a magazine that you don’t like. Focus on three magazines at most that work best for your style of work and approach each of them with an offer of cooperation. If you need help writing a letter or an application for a photographer’s spot, you can always get academic help online and have your paper written and edited, allowing you to focus on photos instead. If one refuses, you still have two more to contact, leaving your information with each one for further consideration. Don’t settle for anything less than what you think is worthy of your time and effort.

Use Creative Commons

Using Creative Commons (CC) license is essential in photography – you don’t want anyone to trick you into giving up your ownership rights. These licenses are free to use and should be applied to any photo that you create.

Depending on the type of photo that you made, try to give more or less rights for printing and publishing to your publisher. Don’t give them free control over your photos and always have a way to revoke them or charge for any additional use they make. This is an essential part of photography practice that many newcomers fail to grasp quickly enough, leaving them used and confused by the publisher.

(Social) Networking

Believe it or not, social media networking is the best way to get noticed by the public. Even though you may not have connections inside the publisher’s firm, this is a good way to place your name on their radar. While it may take longer to get hired, it’s not impossible to be asked to work for a magazine publisher instead of you coming to them. Social networking is very cheap and accessible, and all you have to do is create profiles on a couple of different platforms and start posting your watermarked photos.

The watermarks will help people recognize you as the author and also stop anyone from using them as their own. Approach and talk to as many people in the industry as you can, as soon as you start actively making photos. Everyone wants to publish photos from a photographer who is reliable and social. It will not only help you make friends and acquaintances but also get you exclusive photo opportunities that you would otherwise miss out on.

Patience and passion

The truth is that photographer’s lead a very difficult life. You are constantly on the move and thinking about your next photo-shooting. Not only that, but as a freelance photographer you are constantly thinking about your income and if you will have enough money to last through the month. The best photographers are the ones who didn’t give up when life was hard on them.

It will take patience to get hired by a magazine and have constant work coming your way. The only way to get there is to be passionate about your work and love to make photos. If you are doing it only for the money, you might be in the wrong line of business. Think about your purpose as a photographer and your passion will attract the publishers to you. Photos that are made by heart are easily spotted, and this will be your ticket to become a professional magazine photographer.

Conclusion

Getting your photos published by a magazine is only the start of your career. Magazines are one of the most read pieces of paper and this will work to your advantage. Once you are published, thousands of people will see your photos, and this will only bring you more job opportunities. Don’t give up before it’s over, and do everything you can to respect the art of photography and do what you love most.