Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Photography Poses – The Missing Ingredient

Photography Poses – The Missing Ingredient

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Photography Poses – The Missing Ingredient

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 04:55 PM PST

Final Reminder: Only a little while left in the launch sale on: Portraits – Striking the Pose

You’ve read all the “best digital camera” articles, got the best price on your first digital camera, and even glanced at its owner’s manual. Are you itching to take some great shots, or what?

Slow down, soldier. Before you take 200 shots that seem great at the time, but then upon review of the final picture are less than what you expected, let’s prepare. Prepare?!?! I’ll bet you thought charging the battery was the hardest part of taking great photos, didn’t you? Sorry to disappoint you, but if you want to improve your photo results 50% in 2 minutes, let’s review some basic advice of the pros.

photography poses

“Cuban stories” captured by Elena Zotova (Click Image to See More From Elena Zotova)

There are two categories of GENERAL ADVICE which applies, regardless of whether you’re using a digital camera to take professional portrait poses, group pictures, pet portraits, baby pictures, funny photos, or even maternity portraits. The first category is…

“Good Planning” Advice for Photography Poses

1) Prepare For The Event
Prepare for the event by thinking about every photograph you want to take and what kind of photography pose or poses you would like to capture. Consider who, where, how, and the type of environment.

2) Take Multiple Photographs
Take multiple shots of each pose (remember, digital memory is reusable, a.k.a. “free”). Regardless of what you say or do, people will blink. And don’t count on spotting small problems on the tiny camera LCD screen (even on full magnification); which leads to…

photo poses

“Wedding Photo” captured by Tatiana Garanina (Click Image to See More From Tatiana Garanina)

3) Check LCD Screen
Check the digital camera’s LCD screen for general framing of the picture, any movement, visibility of faces, and the histogram. Note that you can think up a fantastic photography pose; arrange the subject perfectly; and, have the photograph “frozen” (no blinking, and no shaking of the camera)…but, when you check it out in the LCD, you see 2 drunks fighting in the background! And, my favorite…

4) Funny Phrases
Have some funny phrases handy to use just before you take the photo. Don’t use it when setting up for the shot. And, don’t use the same phrase all the time. Throw in funny anecdotes, phrases, names, words that you know the subject will find more amusing than “cheese.” A natural smile looks four times better than a fake one. The second category is…

“Location” Advice for Photography Poses

Taking indoor portrait photography, is very different than outdoor portrait photograph (duh!). For INDOOR pictures…

photography poses tips

“Music Video” captured by Per Janus (Click Image to See More From Per Janus)

1) Wide Angle
You will tend to use the wide angle more often than your telephoto setting. Pay particular attention to your “end people” (those farthest to the right and the left in your viewfinder), and verify there is enough space in picture, so that if cropping is required, the end people don’t have to lose a limb.

2) The Flash
Flash considerations are critical. Do not be outside your “flash range.” For example, if at ISO 100, your flash can properly illuminate 12 feet, don’t attempt any photography pose that requires anyone to stand at 14 feet (unless, of course, it’s evil cousin Ira who you want to appear in darkness).

3) Plan “B”
If you need to be further away than your flash allows, here are 2 things you can try…First, increase the ISO setting (but not so much as to produce to much noise), or second, move to a significantly brighter location.

4) Watch Your Background
If there are distracting features, change your settings to blur the background (see the Techniques page). The best photography pose in the world won’t look right with a distracting background. And finally…

poses in photography

“Autumn Girl” captured by Arman Zhenikeyev (Click Image to See More From Arman Zhenikeyev)

5) Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall
If there are mirrors or reflective surfaces in the background and you can’t find a different location, only take the picture in such a way that the flash is NOT PERPENDICULAR to the surface, but at an angle (unless you WANT a nice photo of your flash).

Outdoor portrait photography has completely different issues. For OUTDOOR photography…

6) The Sun
Avoid photographing in direct sunlight, or in mixed light and shade, especially faces. Optimal lighting results from a slightly overcast sky.

7) Shade
When photographing in shade, use fill-flash (see terms) when necessary. And, REALLY finally…

7) Beauty
If practical, take the picture at one of the beautiful natural settings near you. Imagine the result of a creative photography pose captured in a stunning environment. Can you say: “Over the mantle!”?

Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Robert Bezman is a professional photographer and owner of Custom Photographic Expressions. Robert has created to help the digital photography users create better photographs.

For Further Training, Posing eBook Deal Ending Soon!

A bad pose can ruin a Portrait. A great pose can turn it into something special. As a portrait photographer (at any skill level) it's your job to make sure the people in your viewfinder are positioned perfectly so their beauty can shine and be captured forever. This new eBook shares posing tips and tricks that author Gina Milicia has used on royalty, rockstars & supermodels. It is currently 33% off for the launch sale which ends soon ($20).

Launch sale found here: Portraits – Striking the Pose New eBook

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Setting Up a Nighttime Race Car Photoshoot (Video)

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 02:12 PM PST

Ever wonder what it is like to be a professional photographer who gets paid to photograph wicked cars on location? Wonder no longer as you watch this behind the scenes clip of a photo shoot for Falken Motorsports with talented photographer, Frederic Schlosser:

The shoot was done at a shipping yard, where the stacks of containers added interest and helped set the mood of the images. You may have also noticed that Schlosser‘s camera was not the typical Canon or Nikon you see in the hands of many pros, but instead the powerful Sony Alpha A850. It’s always refreshing to see pro photographers step outside the norm and make room for equally capable equipment.

racecar_shoot_1 (1)

For lighting, Schlosser’s setup is fairly basic, using mostly the existing light and supplementing it with a strobe. For some shots, a Profoto Softbox was added to the light to help diffuse it. The lights were controlled using the Phottix Strato II Multi with a Sony mount. Lastly, to add further interest, Schlosser had his crew hose down the roadway and the vehicle to give the final images a shiny, wet look. The combination of techniques certainly made the car “pop”.

Go to full article: Setting Up a Nighttime Race Car Photoshoot (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Interesting Photo of the Day: Traveling at Warp Speed?

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 12:41 PM PST

Looking like a vortex to another world,  this photo was actually taken from the back window of a Chicago red line subway train:

light trails photography

View from a fast-moving Chicago train, captured by Michael Salisbury (Via Imgur. Click for larger image.)

Titled “Helm, Warp One Engage!” (for the uninitiated–a Star Trek reference to warp-speed travel), the photo was captured by photographer Michael Salisbury with a 2-second exposure. He used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM wide-angle lens at f/2.8 and ISO set at 640.

Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Traveling at Warp Speed?

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Lasting Impressions: How to Create Memorable Travel Photographs (Video)

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 10:30 AM PST

Luke Ballard didn’t begin his photography career as a globetrotting travel photographer. Like most of us, he ventured into the industry as a portrait and wedding photographer. Twenty years later, Ballard has gained worldwide renown for his stellar work and workshops. He’s photographed in 120 countries and counting, so he’s learned a thing or two about travel photography.

In this B&H Event Space lecture, Ballard discusses the elements of a memorable travel photograph, the process he follows to capture unique travel images, and the key ingredients for becoming a successful travel photographer:

The Elements of a Memorable Travel Photograph

1. It is correctly exposed. Yes, you can fix exposure in Photoshop to a certain extent, but the best photographs tend to be those that are correctly exposed at capture. Don’t be afraid to take test shots to get your settings just right.

2. It correctly uses white balance and color balance. Pay special attention to the colors in your images—they should be natural, but striking.

3. It is properly composed. Travel photos aren’t exempt from accepted standards of composition such as the rule of thirds, so keep those principles in mind as you compose images.

4. It is free from distraction. Check your scene carefully for any unnatural, distracting elements, such as a piece of trash or a clump of dawdling tourists. Remove what you can, hide what you can’t remove, and use long exposures to make moving tourists disappear.

5. It has meaning to you and to the viewer. Travel photography is storytelling; it’s about documenting a given area’s people, culture, and geography. Know what story you want to tell before you click the shutter.

6. It is different than other photographs of the same subject or location. Don’t settle for capturing the same old shot of a tourist attraction. Figure out how the icon is usually photographed and force yourself to be creative and do something new.

“It needs to be something a little bit different, something a little bit special,” said Ballard. “I know that I am not the first person to photograph Machu Picchu, but I’ve got to be the first person to photograph it the way I’m going to.”

llama machu picchu temple mountain

Deviating from the standard elevated view of Machu Picchu, Ballard opted to “go low” instead.

Ballard’s Photographic Process

Ballard’s photographic process can be broken up into two categories: before travel and on location.

Before Travel

1. Research. After Ballard nails down a given trip’s itinerary, he performs detailed research to learn all that he can about the place(s) he will be photographing. Any useful information goes into his handwritten journal, which he carries everywhere. He includes information such as maps, contact details, permissions, weather expectations, and sunrise and sunset hours, as well as his itinerary and photographic goals. To get this information, Ballard reads books and online articles, calls travel agencies, and—most notably—talks to locals.

2. Have achievable photographic goals. Even a vague photographic goal like a loose theme (e.g. circles) will provide more of a foundation for building solid images than no goal at all. Ballard often goes so far as to sketch out image plans as he envisions each shot, which allows him to ensure that he is generating new content.

3. Make the necessary preparations. Before every trip, Ballard finalizes his itinerary (leaving space for flexibility), upgrades and organizes his camera gear, and prepays his accommodation or transport fees as necessary. He also packs his camera bag chock full of cameras, lenses, and other gear, which he then skillfully obtains permission to carry with him on the plane.

castle new york city night

In this image, Ballard creatively used the castle’s floodlight to light paint it during a long exposure.

On Location

1. Observe and evaluate. Walk around and watch what everyone else is taking photos of and how they are taking them. Do something different. In terms of composition, determine the ideal lighting for your photograph and consider how best to use your foreground.

2. Take a test shot. Ballard often takes his test shot in automatic mode to see how his camera interprets the scene.

3. Re-evaluate your settings and photographic goals. Is everything working together in the way that you hoped? Are any elements in the image distracting? Is your exposure correct? Ballard often finds that his most common problem is tourists, which he fixes handily by using long shutter speeds.

4. Set-up the final image. After Ballard takes a test shot and re-evaluates his photographic goals and settings, he pinpoints the additional gear that he will need to create his ideal image and makes the necessary adjustments.

5. Optimize exposure. For most travel photos involving still scenes—especially landscape photos—the lower the ISO and the slower the shutter speed, the better. Remember the saying, “f/8 and be there,” or if you’re from Australia like Ballard, “f/8 is your mate.”

“The slower the shutter speed, the more vibrant your photograph is going to get, the more data the camera is going to be able to capture, the more color is going to really just pop, and the more light is coming in,” said Ballard. “Moving water is going to slow and mist, still water is going to become reflective [and] anything moving faster than the shutter speed is going to vanish.”

6. Use the rule of thirds in composition. While it is certainly possible to create stunning images by breaking the rule of thirds, it doesn’t happen often, so make breaking the rule a rare exception. Following the rule, remember to create two thirds of positive space and one third of negative space and place the focal point or points in the key areas of the frame.

7. MacGyver. If obstacles stand in your way to getting the best shot, move them (with discretion). When you have a vision, be resourceful and make it happen.

“Think about what else is around you,” said Ballard. “Quite often I’m using duct tape from my bag to prop up trees or branches out of my way so that I can get a better shot. Leave your environment how you found it, but you know, play with it a little bit.”

8. Remove distractions. As mentioned earlier, there’s nothing worse than when some detail in an image draws the viewer’s gaze away from your intended subject. If you can remove a distraction, then remove it, but if that isn’t possible, simply adjusting your perspective to block the distraction from view will do the trick.

9. Ensure that you love it. After Ballard has taken a photo, he studies it long and hard to determine whether he is crazy about the shot or if he should re-evaluate and re-shoot in a different way. If you don’t like it, chances are, viewers won’t either.

10. Ensure that it is different. Have you taken the same old photograph that everyone takes, or have you pioneered something new?

“Something completely different is going to make it memorable. It’s going to make it work,” Ballard said. “If I can get away from the group, if I can get away from the tourists, if I can get away from what everyone else is doing, the chances are, I’m going to get something different. I’m going to get something that’s pretty striking.”

Luke Ballard brisbane australia fireworks

Ballard took this image in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia.

How to Become a Successful Travel Photographer

1. Travel. It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s so important that it’s worth mentioning. Travel photographers must travel. Even if your travel only consists of driving to the next city, go.

2. If you can’t travel, photograph your hometown. Not everyone can afford to travel as often and exotically as Ballard, but everyone can afford to explore their own home city. Once a week, take two hours, decide on a particular photographic goal, and go on a photo-walk. Figure out how to shoot your city’s icons in a fresh new way.

3. Always be ready to take the photo. If you aren’t ready, having practiced for long hours with your camera to learn proficiency, you might miss the perfect moment.

4. Get up early. While Ballard does enjoy a good sunset, he’s particularly fond of sunrise when everything is “fresh,” right down to dewy blades of grass.

“Anyone who thinks sunset is better than sunrise just doesn’t want to get out of bed,” Ballard said. “Real travel photographers get up at 3am. Professional travel photographers do it on a Monday.”

5. Find locals. To capture the pulse of a location, photograph the people who live there.

“Every city in the world has a culture, has a vibrancy, has a vibe, has a feeling, and we can get that from people in our photographs,” Ballard said. “Not tourists, we don’t want tourists. We want the locals.”

6. Don’t stop learning and take photos every day. Read books and watch tutorials on photography every week. Look at others’ photographs as often as you can. Practice taking photos every day, working toward proficiency and eventually, mastery.

“Take photos every day,” Ballard said. “Wander around. Explore your neighborhood. Explore everything and try new things. Look at other people’s photos and sort of say, ‘Okay, what are they doing that I’m not?’”

crafts beads jewelry clothing local landscape remember forever

This photo would be much less striking if it didn’t include the local woman making crafts.

For those interested, Ballard carries the following gear with him on nearly every trip:

Go to full article: Lasting Impressions: How to Create Memorable Travel Photographs (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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