- The Biggest Mistake a Photographer Could Make
- Photography Concentrate Pre-Black Friday Sale
- Modern Corporate Headshot Photography Methods (Video)
- Invisibility and Empathy in Mobile Street Photography (Video)
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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:
Posted: 24 Nov 2013 04:34 PM PST
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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.
Go to full article: Modern Corporate Headshot Photography Methods (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.
To that end, Fullana employs two skills as he works—invisibility and empathy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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