- 4 Tips for More Interesting Travel Photos
- Locking Hearts, Not Jaws: Photographer’s Portraits Help Change Pit Bulls’ Reputation (Video)
- Photography Tips for Using Flash on a Black Background (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Skiing Under the Aurora Borealis
- Teen Taking a Selfie Gets Kicked in the Head… by a Freight Train (Video)
Posted: 18 Apr 2014 10:21 PM PDT
Everyone loves to take photos when they travel. It’s a way to maintain the memories, to share experiences with our friends and families, and, quite simply, a way to prove “I was there.” But let’s face it—not everyone is a great photographer. At one point or another, we’ve all sat through a tedious slide show of seemingly endless travel snapshots.
While I can’t tell you how to avoid sitting through a boring vacation slide show, I can share a few easy tips on how to avoid giving one. There are a few simple rules to change mere ‘holiday snapshots’ to a more robust collection of photographs that capture the images and emotions of a recent vacation. In a nutshell, remember to keep the human interest in your photos. This makes your photos tell a story, rather than just say, “I was here.”
1. Don’t put yourself in every shot.
Yes, you were there. Yes, your family was there. But having your entire crew posing in front of—and blocking the view of—the Grand Canyon is not an interesting shot. Take a few photos of the landscape or point of interest with no one in the frame. This creates a context for the vacation: the backdrop, the start of the story. But don’t try to capture everything. When I was recently in the French Alps, I was surrounded (literally) by towering, impressive mountains. There was no way I could capture their grandeur in a single frame. So instead, I focused on a few “interesting” peaks so I could focus on the rugged detail. Once you’ve got your basic shots out of the way, take one or two photos with the group (whether it’s just yourself or twenty of you) in front of the landmark or scenery.
2. When you do include yourself, make it subtle.
There are a number of ways to say “I was here” in a photograph, without a formally posed snapshot. Having everyone grouped together, squinting in the noon sun isn’t generally very interesting, and it doesn’t tell any sort of story. Instead, take more candid shots of your traveling companions as they’re observing the landmark or talking to each other about it. Make many of your shots be action shots: capture people pointing at something and talking to one another about it. Just don’t forget to include whatever they’re pointing at in the frame, too. That makes the story come alive.
3. Look for the everyday.
This is especially true when you’re visiting a more exotic location, but it can apply to any holiday. Don’t focus so much on the landmarks, as on the actions and emotions of the locals.
When I was in Mali, photographing the local children in their villages (with their permission) gave my photos much more human interest and context than just shooing them away and capturing the village empty of people. The story of the village is, after all, in the people who live there. But even in a less exotic location, look around. Don’t be afraid to take photos of other people, if that makes the photo interesting. For example, you can be visiting Disneyland, and you may capture the glee on another child’s face after she witnesses something particularly spectacular. Holiday shots don’t just have to include your own traveling companions if there’s an interesting story to tell that highlights the feeling of the place you’re visiting.
4. Make Landmarks Interesting.
Of course, your vacation photos will include the ‘typical’ landmarks; they can’t (and shouldn’t) be avoided. But try to add interest by capturing the scene from a slightly different angle. Walk a few feet off the beaten path (either literally or figuratively) to take photos that are slightly different. After you take a photo, think to yourself, “Could I find this exact image a million times on the internet?” If so, you may want to consider a different approach. Perhaps try a different angle or include some interesting people, or wait for a different time of day.
When I went to Kyoto, the famous Fushimi Inari temple (with thousands of bright orange/red prayer arches that create long corridors; Google it and you’ll know what I’m talking about) has been taken so many times, and I didn’t want just another collection of typical shots of this amazing place. So I went at dusk and took the ‘corridors’ on a long exposure. The result is mysterious lighting, but, more importantly, ghost-like images of the people walking through. This captures both the human interest, but also the emotional feel of the place.
These are just a few tips to help you begin to think about how you take photos while you’re away.
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Posted: 18 Apr 2014 03:55 PM PDT
There are certainly dangerous “bullies” in the world, but photographer Doug Sonders doesn’t believe that pit bulls and other “aggressive” dog breeds should be named among them. After adopting a pit bull mix rescue named Emma from a local animal shelter, Sonders’ desire to advocate for these so-called “bully” breeds culminated in a portrait project called Not a Bully that serves to provide the public with positive exposure to these dogs.
In the following video, Sonders discusses his inspiring project and photographs a loving pit bull mix named Porter, who was rescued by his current guardian after being severely beaten by a real bully:
Like many of the dogs that Sonders has photographed for his Not a Bully campaign, Porter was viciously brutalized by humans but has displayed not one hint of resentment or violence since his rescue. In fact, Porter’s guardian, Julie Conway, describes him as “just a love” without a mean bone in his body and an “ambassador for the breed.”
How to Relax a Dog During a Photo Shoot
To top it all of, Sonders is assisted during the photo shoot by Cesar Millan, a dog trainer who is widely known as a “dog whisperer” for his innate ability to understand dog behavior. Millan provides Sonders, Conway, and viewers alike with an expert tip on how to calm a dog during a portrait shoot. Rather than stroking a dog’s fur, Millan prescribes a deep tissue massage up and down middle region of the dog’s back.
Go to full article: Locking Hearts, Not Jaws: Photographer’s Portraits Help Change Pit Bulls’ Reputation (Video)
Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:47 PM PDT
Shooting portraits against a black background makes a dramatic statement. It forces the viewer to give the subject their undivided attention, and it can give off a wide range of emotions. However, it also presents lighting challenges for photographers. In this video, photographer Joe McNally demonstrates a simple approach to these challenges:
To illustrate the difficulty in photographing on a black background, McNally first shoots an image with the on-camera flash. The result is harsh, heavy on contrast, and unflattering:
To soften the light, McNally uses the on-camera flash to trigger a remote Speedlight, which is then aimed at the subject through a diffuser, resulting in a natural-looking light with soft shadows:
For yet another look, try a large diffuser panel (McNally uses one that measures 3 feet by 6 feet). Those who don’t want to buy or rent one can create a makeshift panel from a bedsheet. Diffusing the light over such a large area will create a soft, allover glow on your subject:
Depending on the mood you’re trying to capture, any of these lighting setups could be the right one for you. But as always, it pays to familiarize yourself with a variety of approaches.
Go to full article: Photography Tips for Using Flash on a Black Background (Video)
Posted: 18 Apr 2014 12:23 PM PDT
Canadian photographer, Reuben Krabbe has made quite the name for himself in the action sports photography world. With his obvious passion for the art and his determination to find obscure locations and unique perspectives, Krabbe has seen success in renowned magazines and all over the internet. His hard work and dedication was proven after he traveled 2,000 kilometers to the Yukon and camped in -30 degree conditions to capture an image of a skier under the Aurora Borealis:
Shot in Tombstone Park, Yukon, the surreal photograph shows the amazing beauty of Aurora Borealis over Mount Monolith, as skier Tobin Seagel cuts his way down the snow covered mountain. The photo was originally printed in SBC Skier Magazine.
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Skiing Under the Aurora Borealis
Posted: 18 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT
While hiking to Macchu Picchu next to some train tracks, a teenager named Jared Michael Frank had an epic idea for a selfie. He would stand right beside the tracks but angle the camera so that it looked like an oncoming train would hit him. Yes, his social media followers would rejoice this day and the ‘Likes’ and ‘Retweets’ and ‘Shares’ would flow freely.
But Frank didn’t get the world’s greatest selfie. Instead, due to his severe miscalculation of the speed and proximity of the oncoming train, all Frank got was a right smart kick in the head from the train’s conductor… and this viral video footage that makes him look, in his very own words, “stupid”:
Perhaps Frank’s judgment was impaired by the task of operating his camera backwards, or maybe he was simply distracted by listening to The Chainsmokers’ obnoxious #SELFIE song with his earbuds and honing his mantra for his upcoming portrait. Whatever the case, Frank’s epic fail hints that the seemingly-innocuous selfie craze may not be so harmless after all.
The train was only traveling at 17 miles per hour, which explains why the conductor’s well-placed blow didn’t injure anything but Frank’s pride. While some speculate that the conductor might have been trying to save the teen’s life by kicking him away from the tracks, Frank feels skeptical that the man had good intentions since Frank was a “safe” distance away from the train.
In case you weren’t able to see the actual kick take place in the video (via PetaPixel), here’s a play by play:
Frank insists that his video is real, but after Jimmey Kimmel’s recent viral video pranks, one involving a girl who accidentally set herself on fire while twerking and another involving a wolf wandering the athletes’ village at the Socchi Olympics, many speculate that Kimmel is behind Frank’s video, too.
What do you think?
Go to full article: Teen Taking a Selfie Gets Kicked in the Head… by a Freight Train (Video)
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