Monday, 25 November 2013

The Biggest Mistake a Photographer Could Make

The Biggest Mistake a Photographer Could Make

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

The Biggest Mistake a Photographer Could Make

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 06:11 PM PST

We photographers always seem to be on the sidelines, shooting scenes but not actually involved in the action. This can leave us feeling 'disconnected' from the world in front of us. And this is one of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make.

dance photography

“First Dance” captured by Richard Maluyo (Click image to see more from Maluyo.)

As soon as you disconnect yourself from your subject, your shots will suffer. Photography is always a two-way dance between you and your subject. This post will show you how to be the best dance partner possible, and capture exhilarating shots with precision and grace.

There are a wide variety of subjects you can photograph. Some are easier to 'dance' with and others are more difficult.

Easy Subjects to Photograph

Easy subjects are skyscrapers, buildings, landscapes, and any inanimate object. With that said, they aren't as easy as they seem -there is still a dance going on. The clouds, the light, the shadows, these are always changing. And the more tuned into these changes you are, the more you'll uncover the best times to shoot your subject.

For example, I was photographing the exterior of a house one afternoon and noticed the sun was at a certain angle, casting shadows that did not mix well my angle. The angle, however, was perfect for the composition.

So, instead of settling for a good composition with terrible light, I waited. And waited and waited.

This could be considered a very slow dance. But the reward was totally worth it.

Inanimate objects, like this house, are easier to photograph in the sense that they don't move. The difficulty is that they are harder to 'dance' with as you have to wait several hours for the right moment to capture the shot (I ended up waiting 4 hours for the right light).

architecture photography

“Tower Bridge at Sunrise” captured by Roger Patel (Click image to see more from Patel.)

More Difficult Subjects to Shoot

Animate subjects are harder to photograph in the moment, but easier in the sense that you don't usually have to wait several hours to get the shot. These types of subjects can include bald eagles, stray Chihuahuas, kangaroos, crocodiles, eastern-painted turtles, and even the common fruit fly!

wildlife photography

“Kangaroo” captured by Katelyn “Kate” Wall (Click image to see more from Wall.)

With that said, with animate objects you have less time to 'get to know' your subject and thus need to take every hint your subject gives you.

For example, if you are photographing a flock of birds that have perched themselves on a tree in your front yard, you have little time to shoot. Unless they visit your tree daily, you have one chance to snap the shot before they're gone forever.

What's your best solution?

Spend a couple of seconds interpreting their 'dance'. Pay attention to the social cues going on between the birds. Try to decipher exactly what these birds are doing in your tree. Relaxing? Foraging for food? A quirky mating ritual?

Next, try to choose exactly what bird (or birds) you want to dance with.

Once you've selected your dance partner, you're going to want to begin anticipating their next moves. By anticipating where the birds will be (even just one second before they get there), you'll give yourself enough time to focus and set the right exposure.

It's not easy, but it's easier than following them around and shooting after them. Photographers that work by following, instead of anticipating, are like dancers that step on their partner's feet! Don't follow, instead anticipate!

You are never just a spectator, watching.

Instead, you should always be moving along with the subject and predicting their every move.

photography and movement

“The Fisherman’s Song” captured by Ivan Pena (Click image to see more from Pena.)

You must anticipate and react gracefully to your subject

Whenever you are shooting subjects, they are always you giving hints and patterns of their movement. Additionally, the more you watch a subject, the more you notice certain reactions to things. An obvious example is how street birds always rush to food that pedestrians drop on the floor.

The closer you watch your subject, the more you'll notice hidden responses to certain things.

For example, the other day I was watching a group of seagulls at the beach and noticed one seagull was clearly the 'bully' of the group. I then noticed how, when other seagulls got to close the bully, he'd snap at them. From learning this, I could then anticipate the bullies snap whenever other seagulls would approach. Anticipating this reaction from the bully would allow me plenty of time to prepare with the right exposure and the right focus at just the right time.

bird photography

“Fighting Seagulls” captured by Carrie Weeks (Click image to see more from Weeks.)

Anticipation is what every great dancer uses to move with grace. And it's exactly what you need if you want to capture movement with precision.

About the Author:
Simon Takk, creator of , shows others how to open their eyes to the breathtaking photo opportunities all around them.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Photography Concentrate Pre-Black Friday Sale

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 04:34 PM PST

Black Friday is starting early for this publisher with 40% off each of these products. The discounts can be found here: Photography Concentrate Pre-Black Friday Sale

black friday photography

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Their four unique training packages have been very popular with our readers, so if you are looking for more help in any of these areas, now is a good time to check them out here:

essential camera skills1. Extremely Essential Camera Skills

Description: A downloadable tutorial that teaches you how to take control over your camera, and get creative and confident with your photography. By combining illustrations, text, photos and video, it will help you get control in no time.

simple wedding photography2. Simple Wedding Photography

Description: A downloadable eBook that teaches you everything you need to know about photographing weddings, and the business behind it. From diagrams of where you should stand throughout the ceremony to advice on all the final deliverables to the client.

super photo editing3. Super Photo Editing Skills

Description: A downloadable video tutorial that teaches you how to bring the best out of your images, using Adobe Lightroom. The key to effective professional photo editing is SUBTLE adjustment that brings out the best in a photo. Their course is based on this concept.

awesome album design skills4. Awesome Album Design Skills

Description: A downloadable video tutorial that teaches you how to quickly design beautiful albums using Adobe InDesign CS5. Designing and selling albums is a fantastic way to make awesome profits with your wedding or portrait photography business.

And many more, find the full list here: Photography Concentrate Pre-Black Friday Sale

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Modern Corporate Headshot Photography Methods (Video)

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 02:55 PM PST

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “corporate headshots”? If you’re like photographer Aaron Nace, you think of words like boring, traditional, stale, stiff, or forced. But it doesn’t have to be that way. See how Nace combines editorial style with corporate style to make great headshots:

This headshot lighting setup tutorial demonstrates how to create modern headshots that give a real picture of the subject while still being suitable for use on websites and corporate materials. The subjects are well-dressed, upbeat, and professional, but they appear more genuine than they might in a more traditional headshot.

For this style, Nace starts with a classic set: a grey seamless backdrop behind a subject seated on a stool. The lighting, however, is less traditional. He prefers to use one main light to light the subject from the front. For this, he uses a medium octobox directly in front of and above the subject. Lighting from above creates shadows under the eyes and chin, so he also uses a V-flat to produce fill light. The V-flat consists of two 4′ x 8′ sheets of white foamcore with two Einstein E640 Flash Units fired into it: one positioned low and one positioned high. The light bounces back onto the subject to fill in the shadows. Another light with a 7-inch reflector is pointed at the bottom of the seamless backdrop to produce a glow.


Typical corporate headshots are usually taken quickly, so, more often than not, they result in fake, uninspiring smiles. To get shots with relaxed, natural expressions, Nace gets out from behind the camera. He uses a Pocketwizard as a remote trigger for his camera so he can interact and connect with his client during the photo shoot. This way, the subject doesn’t feel as if he or she is on stage in front of a robot. They’re conversing with the photographer, who is chatting casually and using breathing exercises to calm his subjects.

Melding style, lighting technique, camera settings, and comfortable client interaction results in flattering professional headshots that give a sense of personality.




“People, when they’re a little bit calm, they tend to give you…who they really are. So we help people to get to that place.”

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Invisibility and Empathy in Mobile Street Photography (Video)

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 11:51 AM PST

To Sion Fullana, every passerby is a story waiting to be told.  Equipped with a background in both filmmaking and journalism, Fullana routinely wanders the streets of New York in search of aesthetic strangers to photograph. However, while Fullana's photography does sound similar to Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York project, there are two major differences:

Instead of a DSLR, Fullana shoots with an iPhone. Oh, and he's actually invisible.

Fullana is one of the world's leading mobile street photographers, but he prefers to be labeled as a visual storyteller. In this interview with Stated Magazine, Fullana shares valuable advice about maintaining "invisibility" and shooting with empathy on the street:

For Fullana, mobile photography is so much more than a petty novelty for capturing selfies or creeping on strangers. Instead, it's a means to document humanity as it plays out around him in the faces of those who pass him on the street.

"I suppose there are many out there who think there's nothing but an obscure intention behind the concept of photographing strangers, that it may be done either with the intention of ridiculing them or to satisfy one's perverted voyeurism in the era of the Internet," he said. "[But] what I care about the most is telling stories and transmitting emotions. Doing mobile street photography is a way of telling stories of real lives."

To that end, Fullana employs two skills as he works—invisibility and empathy.

I. Invisibility

Contrary to popular belief, photographing strangers in public places without their permission is actually both legal and ethical, as long as the images are taken with good intention and respect, and as long as they are kept out of the commercial sphere.

"In order to capture that true, honest, "unfiltered" vision of a moment in time, invisibility is key, even if it comes without explicit permission [or] direct interaction with the subjects," Fullana said. "Shooting with a phone allows you that extra level of invisibility."

sion fullana mobile street photography

In an article called, "The Ethics of Invisibility," Fullana discusses the ethics of photographing strangers on the sly.

It was the iPhone 3G that first drew Fullana to photography. Clunky DSLRs betray photographers with noisy shutter clicks, causing subjects to feel guarded and embarrassed, but the iPhone is unassuming and subtle—if one doesn't blatantly hold it at eye level and tap on the screen to focus.

Instead, Fullana shoots with the phone held horizontally in one hand. This allows him to pre-focus and lock the exposure with his thumb as he anticipates a shot. When the moment is right, all he has to do is let go. No mess, no release forms.

II. Empathy

Growing up with a love for psychology, Fullana has always felt an empathetic connection to others—and that emotional intuition comes out in his work.

"[Empathy] helps me 'feel' the scene or situation in front of me, to know the best moment when to take the shot, either with someone I'm taking a portrait of, a candid situation in the city, some actors engaged in a scene, or a speaker on the stage," Fullana said.

new york city photographer

Besides adding artistic appeal, shooting with empathy protects Fullana from offending his subjects because it teaches him to photograph them respectfully—flattering them as much as possible.

Through empathy, Fullana infuses photographs of total strangers with an evocative sense of familiarity—that same feeling of déjà vu that prompts people to ask, "Have we met?"

Without emotional connection to subjects, even the highest quality photographs will seem lifeless and uninspirational, which proves that photography is less about tech and more about artistic vision.

"Everyone's photos tend to start looking the same… [but a good photo] tells something that is memorable, or that makes you feel something, or reflect on something," Fullana said. "It's not the tool you have in your hands. It's your eye, your heart, your brain. That's all."

high museum art atlanta camera obscura

This photo has been selected for permanent display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Originally from Spain, Fullana worked there as a journalist before studying filmmaking in Cuba, and later became a professional photographer. Now, he routinely wanders the streets of NYC and posts his photographs on social media sites like Instagram and Backspaces, enjoying a large, loyal following and winning international acclaim.

For Further Training on Street Photography:

There is an 141 page eBook that covers everything about the genre even down to specific post processing techniques that can bring the best out of street scenes:

It can be found here: Essentials of Street Photography Guide

Go to full article: Invisibility and Empathy in Mobile Street Photography (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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