Thursday, 31 October 2013

The 10 Golden Rules of Wildlife Photography

The 10 Golden Rules of Wildlife Photography

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

The 10 Golden Rules of Wildlife Photography

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 04:39 PM PDT

Generally speaking, people give close attention to good quality work. A good craftsman is appreciated; his skill, creativity and professionalism exude quality. Photographing wildlife is no different; the successful photographer must give attention to every aspect of his craft and treat it professionally. The following golden rules provide a strong foundation:

wildlife photography golden rules

“phesant through the trees” captured by gerry morgan (Click Image to See More From gerry morgan)

A good Wildlife Photographer:

1. Has good equipment and knows how to use it well.

Depending on the type of wildlife you photograph, this is an area where your camera system plays an important role. When photographing a subject there’s no time to fumble with the tools in hand – the photographer, like an experienced car driver operates his machine fluently, almost without thinking.

2. He’s passionate about his craft and wildlife.

Unless you’re passionate about wildlife you won’t go far. Why not? Because you need dedication. A wildlife photographer may spend many hours, days even years trying to get the right picture. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Let me tell you that some of the images that won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition took some of those photographers years to perfect.

3. His clothing and equipment doesn’t give away his position.

This rule may appear insignificant, but it isn’t. The color of clothing or any reflection coming from the photographer or equipment has frightened wildlife and brought an end to a session.

4. Never causes stress to his subjects for the sake of a picture.

It isn’t right to pursue or corner an animal to the point where this pressure will cause stress. This is unprofessional and evidence of an unfeeling, selfish individual.

wildlife photography tips

“Happy Hour Cows” captured by Debra Vanderlaan (Click Image to See More From Debra Vanderlaan)

5. Is always safety conscious.

Animals and even some birds of prey are unpredictable. Safety of self and others is paramount.

6. Is positive, perseveres and has lots of patience.

If there’s an area in photography where failure is tied very tightly to a photographer, is when these qualities are seriously missing. Wildlife photography by its nature is a waiting game, persisting again and again.

7. Is willing to get up before sunrise.

Early morning and late afternoon are the best times. This is the period the wildlife is feeding and very active.

8. Sends his best shots to competitions, isn’t afraid of failure.

Photographers need to continue stretching their abilities – competitions are an excellent way to learn. Failure is often taken negatively, that shouldn’t be the case. While not pleasant, it should serve as an incentive to press on and not taken personally. Sometimes magazine editors will reject some work, not because it isn’t up to standard, but because it was sent at the wrong time or in the wrong way. Maybe they just had a recent feature covering that same subject and there isn’t room for another one soon.

9. Takes time to do in-house research about his subject matter.

Preparation is half way to success. Learning a bit about the subject and location where you’ll be photographing is in my opinion, one of the most important golden rules.

wildlife photo

“In a Tigers Eyes” captured by Don Heffern II (Click Image to See More From Don Heffern II)

10. Is technically proficient.

The photographer must know how to get sharp pictures, compose the subject, know what’s the best light, how to use fill flash and all the techniques necessary to create a good picture.

About the Author
Carlos Pereira ( received a qualification from the British Institute of Professional Photographers. He developed a successful business in the UK as a wedding and Portrait photographer. He received further training in the USA from Monte Zucker, a master photographer. His Wildlife and Portrait photographs have been published in the UK and European photographic magazines. He concentrates his photography as a travelling photographer and a teacher, offering his expertise as a nature photographer through digital books. His vision has been moulded by the classic portraiture that was his business for a number of years.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

How to Retouch Shiny Skin in Portraits: Photoshop Tutorial (Video)

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 12:11 PM PDT

It’s becoming common practice to retouch the imperfections and blemishes that are found on everyone’s faces and skin. However, it’s sometimes easy to get carried away in editing and before you know it, your subject begins to look plastic and barely resembles their actual look. In the video below,  Lee Varis, explains the process he uses to edit portraits and help tone down shiny skin to make a portrait just right. Take a look:

After you make your initial corrections, such as cloning out stray hairs and removing any minor blemishes, Varis begins to move into more advanced editing techniques. But, don’t worry if you are just learning Photoshop, Varis delivers a very informative and easy to follow tutorial. Here is brief summary of his workflow:

portrait retouching

Varis’s portrait retouching workflow follows the above steps.

Varis’s technique is favored in part because it doesn’t drastically change the look of the subject. The simple method he uses simply corrects color imbalances and unflattering reflections of light. Below is the portrait that Varis works on throughout the video tutorial, before he has begun to retouch it.

photoshop blemishes

You can see the redness and shine on the skin is distracting and does not do much to portray the subject in the most favorable way. After just a few minutes of editing and making adjustments in Photoshop, Varis was able to enhance the portrait and give it a much more pleasing feel.

headshot retouching

When it comes to retouhcing portraits, more often than not, less really is more. That becomes evident in the work showcased above. The final portrait is balanced and true the subject, and  the photographer did not have to spend too much time making it that way.

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Photos You Probably Haven’t Deleted from Your Smartphone (Video)

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 11:30 AM PDT



“Oooh! I’m posting that one on Facebook!”

With the use of smartphones as cameras, conversations like this are overheard on a daily basis. Many people either don’t want to shell out the money for a DSLR or simply don’t have their camera handy, so they are turning to their cell phones to capture life’s special moments.

Grab your smartphone and start browsing to see how many of these common images exist in your gallery.

So, were you surprised by the number of these images stored in your cell phone? While this video is humorous, it is rather enlightening. Who hasn’t snapped a quick photo with the intent to brag about a certain life event, vacation, food, or experience?

baseball game photo

On the other hand, couldn’t we use these handy devices to snap pictures of items that are actually useful?

Photos You SHOULD Take With Your Cell Phone

  • Current Medications–Keeping photos of prescription labels can be helpful when you visit your doctor. This will ensure you know the exact name, dosage, and number of remaining refills of your medications.
  • Printer Cartridges–How many times have you been out shopping and remembered you were out of ink? Could you remember which of the hundreds of cartridges fit your printer? Well, wonder no longer when you have this photo stored in your phone!
  • Parking Lot Location–Clicking the panic button on your car in the parking lot not working so well? Take a picture when you exit your car so you can remember where you parked.
  • Hotel Room Number–This is an especially good tip if you are on vacation in a place where you will be coming and going from your room often or inebriated. Or if you are in Vegas.
  • Recipes–Faster than printing a recipe, a photo will record all the necessary information so you can make the delicious dish when you get home.
  • Damaged Items–Handy in a car accident or if you receive damaged goods in the mail, a quick picture on the cell phone can easily be e-mailed to lawyers, insurance companies, or responsible parties.

Let’s be honest, you will continue to use your smartphone to take “selfies” and ridiculously cute photos of your pet, but keep in mind your handy camera can also record helpful information with a quick snap of the shutter.

Go to full article: Photos You Probably Haven’t Deleted from Your Smartphone (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Smoke Photography Photoshop Tutorial

Smoke Photography Photoshop Tutorial

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Smoke Photography Photoshop Tutorial

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 04:27 PM PDT

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In this tutorial, I will show you how to process your smoke photographs using Photoshop. This is a follow up to the tutorial on How to Photograph Smoke – Step-by-Step Tutorial. If you want to know how to photograph smoke, please read the previous article and then come back to this tutorial when you’re done.

The main aim of this tutorial is to point out the key elements needed to bring out the smoke and make it more visually stimulating. I will be showing you my own methods that I learned through trial and error as well as tips from others. Photoshop has a myriad of tools that some professionals either don’t use or even know existed, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

smoke photo editing photoshop tutorial

Before and After Photoshop Editing

For simplicity, I have written this tutorial with the novice Photoshop user in mind and hope it is quite easy to follow. To avoid confusion, I will not be using any Photoshop shortcuts, unless there is no other way to perform an action. If you know the shortcuts to the tasks I describe throughout the tutorial, then by all means use them.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS4, which has some new tools and features compared to older versions. However, there shouldn’t be any confusion with control options as I will be using the most common tools which exist in all versions of Photoshop.

If you don’t understand some parts or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below and I will be happy to clarify.

Getting Started

I will be using the image below as the demonstration for this tutorial. It is the original RAW photo with no processing involved at this stage. As you can see, it has a few blemishes and does not stand out so much. We are about to change that in a few simple steps.

smoke photoshop tutorial

Sample photo to be used in this tutorial

STEP 1 – Adjust RAW settings

NOTE: If you did not shoot in Raw format, then ignore this part and start from Step 2.

Open the RAW file in Camera Raw (opening the file in Photoshop will automatically launch Camera Raw) and adjust the settings you require.

Usually when I process my smoke photos, I tend to adjust only the basic settings such as the Temperature, Blacks, Contrast, Brightness and Clarity, but only if it is necessary. I find it easier to do everything in Photoshop with greater flexibility as you can isolate parts of the image.

I adjusted the following settings only:

  • Temperature: from 6000 to 5500
  • Exposure: +0.50
  • Blacks: +10 (5 to 15)
  • Contrast: +15 (25 to 40)
  • Clarity: +15

The results of these adjustments can be seen below. The circled areas are blemishes that I was not happy with.

smoke photo retouching tutorial

RAW Adjustment Before & After, Circled Areas are Blemishes to Fix

STEP 2 – Open image and create backup copy

Once you have opened your image in Photoshop, it is best practice to create a backup copy of the image. This is so that you have the option of starting over if you make any mistakes or just don’t like the results.

Here’s how you create a duplicate layer:

1. Open the image in Photoshop

2. From the Menu Bar select the following: Layer > Duplicate Layer

3. Name the duplicate layer if you prefer. I tend to leave it as the default title “Background Copy”

4. Once you have created the duplicate layer you need to hide the original image. You do this by first selecting the image by clicking on it. If you did not rename the image when you opened it, then it should still be labelled as “Background”

editing smoke photos

Select Original Image

5. Now go to the Menu Bar and select: Layer > Hide Layers

smoke pictures

In the Menu Bar select: Layer > Hide Layers

Your layer should now be missing the ‘eye’ located to the left of the image. **[Photoshop Screenshot-Hidden Layer]**

This has made the original image invisible while you work with the duplicate copy above it. Now select the duplicate layer and you are ready to start editing.

STEP 3 – Highlight Blemishes

Now you have your duplicate layer selected you need to check for any blemishes. Remember, the black background of the smoke photo must be 100% black – RGB 0, 0, 0.

If you adjusted the blacks in Camera RAW then it may seem that it’s already pure black but, depending on the browser you are using, you may not be able to see it on your screen. However, if there are any flaws, they are likely to appear on other browsers.

To check for blemishes, spots, glare etc, do the following:

1. From the Menu Bar create a Levels Layer: Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels For easy reference later, leave the name of the new layer as “Levels 1.” Also, make sure that the levels layer is located above the image layer you are editing, in this case the ‘Background Copy.’ If it isn’t, then just click and drag the levels layer above it.

levels adjustment layer

Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels

2. Move over to the white levels slider and drag it all the way across to the left. This will highlight all the light colours of your image.

levels adjustment smoke

Drag the white slider all the way to the left

smoke edit

Highlighting the light colors shows you areas to clean up

As you can see, the image on the left looks workable without any major blemishes. However, after highlighting the light colours you can see how much of the image needs cleaning up.

STEP 4 – Remove Blemishes

Removing the unwanted blemishes is a very quick and simple task.

1. On the layer palette select the ‘Background Copy’

smoke edit layers

Select the Background copy

2. On the Tools Panel, Select the default Foreground and Background Colours by clicking the small Black and White icon. Make sure the Black is on top (Foreground)

default colors photoshop

Default Colors

3. Then select the “Brush Tool”

brush tool photoshop

Brush Tool

4. Go up to the Options Bar and set both the Opacity and Flow to 100%

smoke opacity flow

Opacity and Flow to 100%

5. Now brush over the blemishes making sure you don’t go over the edges of the main smoke image. You can make it easier to brush around the smoke by zooming into the image and selecting a smaller brush.

fixing smoke image blemishes

Brush Over the Blemishes

6. To zoom into the image go to the Menu Bar and select: View > Zoom In (shortcuts are displayed on the right)

smoke zoom retouch

View > Zoom In

7. Once you have finished perfecting the background, you need to delete the levels layer. If you need to adjust the levels then obviously keep it, but remember to bring the white slider back to its original position on the right.

levels layer adjustment

Removing the levels layer effects

There are many other ways to be more precise with this task, but this demo image has a simple shape and not much intricate work is needed, so I won’t confuse you by suggesting more on this tutorial. If you would like to know other methods then don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly. Leaving a comment will be ideal as others can benefit from the responses.

STEP 5 – Adding Colour

There are a number of ways to add colour to your image, but if you have many smoke images to process and little time on your hands, there is a very quick but effective method you can use. All you need to do is adjust the “Hue”

1. Go to the Menu Bar and select: Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation

2. Move over to the Adjustment Palette and play around with the Hue adjustment slider until you find the colour you like.

smoke hue adjustment

Hue adjustment slider for color effects

photoshop smoke editing

Smoke Photo Final Product

And voila! You have a beautiful smoke photo with added colour. I told you it was quick and simple…:-)

If you want to get more creative, you can use the Brush tool and manually add the colour and gradient. This will require more skill and patience though. You can also create a gradient layer with two different colours and use Blending Modes like Overlay or Soft Light etc…

The other methods require an entire tutorial of their own. I am working on creating Video Tutorials for each specific method.

About the Author
Jay from J.Hoque Photography ( London based Portrait and Asian Wedding Photographer covering all types of Asian Wedding Photography.

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Ultra Slow Motion of Dogs Shaking Inspired by Viral Photo Series (Video)

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 01:21 PM PDT

Some say that the secret to success in photography is finding your niche. A niche is a specialized area in a field in which you focus your work on. It is much more specific than a genre. Whereas genres cover landscapes, portraits, street photography, sports, etc., niches cover things like WWII veterans in modern day society, Arkansas state parks during the fall season, and still-lifes of objects that look like smiley faces. Many niches may seem strange and obscure, but all have an audience. If you don’t believe me, check out this unusual video that’s garnered over 1.4 million views in a week:

Some photographers attempt to be a jack-of-all-trades by incorporating portraiture, landscapes, sports, black & white, and other genres into their portfolio. Despite being a seemingly good idea due to the flexibility it provides, it often isn’t. Employers and other potential admirers of your work like to see something new and fresh. By being the jack-of-all-trades, you’ll most likely be taking basic cliche photos in each genre. However, when you focus on one genre and explore it thoroughly, digging deeper and deeper, you’ll often find a unique style within that genre. Over time you will exhaust the cliche shots and be forced to create something new and different, leading you to discover your niche.

Many, many photographers have found success this way. Carli Davidson, whose photos inspired this video, found herself photographing her slobbering dog. This led to a viral photo series, which led to this video, which also led to a book. Another dog-loving photographer, Seth Casteel, found a niche in photographing dogs jumping into pools. Over time his website exploded with people looking to buy his images and he published a book as well. (You can read more about him in this article.)

wet dogs shaking slow motion photography

If this niche can find an audience, what other undiscovered niches can?

It all boils down to trying new things and discovering your passion. Perhaps your thing is photographing expensive yachts or cross-processing your street photography images. Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and think outside the box.

Go to full article: Ultra Slow Motion of Dogs Shaking Inspired by Viral Photo Series (Video)

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How to Photograph Like a Pro (Video)

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 10:45 AM PDT

After a couple of years of producing tutorials, writer, producer, presenter, and photographer Kai Wong has met his fair share of professional photographers, and even a few modern legends. Through all of it, he has picked up on what it is that they all have in common, regardless of what types of subjects they shoot.  In this video, he discusses how to photograph like a pro in any situation:

The first illusion Kai strips away is gear – most of these encounters were part of the “Cheap Camera Challenge” – a recurring series which gets high-end professionals to shoot using low-end equipment. You might notice Vincent LaForet with a Lensbaby (we reported on that video a few months back), Chase Jarvis with a Legocam, and Douglas Sonders with a Holga. Despite popular opinion, a good camera has nothing to do with being a good photographer; an experienced shootist can capture a great image with anything.

pro photography tips

What really sets a professional apart is their ability to visualize, understand, and communicate their artistic vision, as well as their determination to do whatever is necessary to get the picture. Whether it’s chasing a shot into the street or waiting motionless for it to present itself, premeditation, patience, and perseverance are the hallmarks of great photography. Kai boils it down to “confidence and control”. It’s no great mystery or impossible feat, but something that we can all accomplish through enough dedication, practice, and hard-fought experience.

For more on the Pro Photographer / Cheap Camera series, see our articles on David Hobby and Zack Arias, too!

Go to full article: How to Photograph Like a Pro (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips