- Backyard Photography Tips
- Quick Tips on How to Build Relationships with Photography Clients
- How to Become a Photographer in the Music Industry
Posted: 17 Aug 2013 04:43 PM PDT
Related New eBook: Learn how to bring out the best of any photo: The Art of Color Processing
One of the most common questions I am asked at workshops is where do I go to get my reference photos? Most people assume that I travel far and wide to get my shots. This is true I do travel as much as I can, but the bulk of my photo archive comes from places photographed within 100 km (60 miles) of my home. Good reference photos for your art are just outside your front door you just have to open your eyes and look…. really look!
The following article is a simple guide of how to look and see your surroundings and find their hidden beauty.
To achieve good photographs you obviously have to have a camera, but what camera do you need? My suggestion is a Digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera for several reasons. First, the lenses on SLR’s are interchangeable so you can achieve much more with a single camera. As your abilities increase you will want to purchase new lenses or better lenses then you started with. All-in-one cameras do not allow for any “upgrades” or interchanging of lenses.
An SLR camera will also allow you to attach longer focal length lenses like a 100-400mm telephoto lens. As for what brand to buy it all comes down to preference. Today most SLR Digital cameras are doing to take a great picture. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is how expandable is the make and model you are purchasing.
In my experience Canon (which I use), Nikon and Sony (which will fit all your old Minolta lenses) are the most reliable and expandable models on the market today. Start with a single SLR body like a Canon 50D or Nikon D90, a good short range lens like a 18-55mm and if money allows, a half decent telephoto lens like a 100-400 to get those far away shoots. If you are planning to photograph a lot of wildlife like I do, then a 100-400mm lens is a “most have”.
Traveling to Africa or Alaska is the obvious way to get great dramatic pictures, but very expensive. The drama in your backyard can be just as dramatic if you know where and what to look for. Lighting is everything. Learn to see light and position yourself to capture natural light in its most flattering state.
What do I mean by this? Most people stand with the natural light behind them so that they are photographing into a scene flooded with light. This light is great for a fast expose, but tends to “flatten” a scene because everything has the same intensity and lighting. If you positioned yourself so that you are shooting into the natural light you create a very dramatic “back-lighting” which has much more shape and form.
Try to set up the composition in your view finder so that lighted areas over lap shadowed areas. This will create a wonderful sense of depth in your photo. Overlapping will also create strong contrast in the composition and tends to help the sense of form in your picture. Taking the same shot with different exposure settings will also drastically change the quality of light in your photo. It is a good practice to take several different shots with under exposed and over exposed settings to make sure you will return to the studio with at least one shot perfectly exposed.
Look for things that can add character or drama to your photo. Directional lines help create a sense of movement in your photo. Position yourself to take pictures with strong visual lines that travel through your picture. This means that the line should enter from one side of your picture and leave the photo on one of the three other sides of the photo. Diagonal lines are the most productive for drawing the viewer into your picture and creating depth. Lines can also be made by changes in light (light to shadow), the edge of two objects meeting, tonal changes and warm to cool changes.
Learn to Capture Simple Things
Look past the obvious and see the wondrous in simple things. I have photographed hundreds of old barns and farm equipment over the years and some of those photos became the reference for many of my strongest art pieces. Objects that are old and aged create a sense of nostalgia in your photography. When ever I see an old barn the first thing I think of is ” what that old barn could tell us”. Sometimes it is what you are photographing that has is own character and charm. This character or charm then translates into “mood” or “presence” and creates life in your photo.
Barns are not the only thing with natural appeal to people, colorful skies, rolling green fields, waterfalls, babbling brooks all have a certain “character” to them that is natural and interesting. Ponds are a great location for not only settings, but wildlife. My pond offers a tapestry of color, form, directional lines, contrast and shapes. I have photographed almost every songbird indigenous to my area. The small waterfall is a favorite bathing spot for them. In addition to the birds are frogs, raccoons, fox, deer, squirrels, chipmunks and so on and so on.
The key to observation is to never stop looking. The same scene can look very different at different times of day. Lightning changes, climate changes, mood changes. Look beyond the “norm” and learn to see the basic beauty that is in everything around us. Humans really are the luckiest of all species because we have both the power to see and the power to appreciate!
About the Author
New, Bring Out the Best in Those Backyard Photos:
In a new training guide, professional coastal landscape photographer Christopher O'Donnell explains his color processing workflow in a step-by-step fashion, guiding you through each stage from start to finish.
It can be found here: The Art of Color Processing
Posted: 17 Aug 2013 01:30 PM PDT
One of the biggest hurdles to starting work as a professional photographer is attracting clients. Miller Mobley, an editorial photographer based in New York, keeps his clients engaged by striving to be the kind of person people want to work with. Learn more about his methods for establishing client relationships in this interview (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
During the interview, Mobley emphasizes the importance of persistence. Success in the business requires photographers to continue creating impressive work even when there is no money coming in. He keeps an up-to-date portfolio and uses it to connect with previous and potential clients. Meeting face-to-face with clients whenever he gets the chance, Miller Mobley works hard to build a client base that will come back to him again and again.
Go to full article: Quick Tips on How to Build Relationships with Photography Clients
Posted: 17 Aug 2013 10:31 AM PDT
Touring with a famous band, meeting the best musicians in the world, capturing once in a lifetime shots during a mega concert – music photographers seem to have it all. But becoming a photographer in the music industry isn’t as easy as going to a concert with your camera. Music photographer Rob Shanahan is one of the biggest names in the industry, and is Ringo Starr’s personal photographer. In this video, Shanahan tells you how he got into the industry along with some great stories about some of the most well-known musicians in the world (for those of you reading this by email, the seminar can be viewed here):
So how do you go from developing film in you bathroom, to shooting big names like Paul McCartney and Steven Tyler? Despite how difficult it might seem to break into the music photography industry, Shanahan’s advice is rather simple. First of all, be a people person.
Shanahan says you’ve got to be a people person in order to be successful in the industry. Musicians don’t want a photographer following them around like they’re part of the paparazzi. They want someone to talk to and hang out with. Shanahan is not only Ringo Starr’s photographer, but also a very good friend of his. They talk, they joke, and they have fun together. Plus, being personable allows you access to celebrities life off the stage, allowing you to capture more personal moments.
Shanahan’s other suggestion is perhaps the simplest and most basic piece of advice for any photographer: Know exposure. He says you just need to know what exposure you need at any given time. Some moments only last a second and if you’re fumbling around with you camera, you’re going to miss them. Though Shanahan doesn’t explicitly say that everyone should use a film camera, he does say that that helped him the most in learning how to expose any scene.
Go to full article: How to Become a Photographer in the Music Industry
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