- In-Camera Photography Tricks & Techniques
- Exposure Basics: How to Choose ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed Settings (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Collapsing Iceberg in Cape Spear
- How a Sony World Photography Award Winner Captures Her Wet Dog Photos (Video)
- Tips for Creating Portrait Sequences with Photoshop (Video)
Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:23 PM PDT
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The great thing about digital photography is that you have a wide room for creativity once you are in Photoshop. You can create any kind of effect by playing around with your shots in any way you choose. But what are some in-camera techniques for cutting edge, creative shots? Let’s look at some of the techniques you can play with to get the best professional and artistic shots. It’s fun, and your only limit is how far your imagination can go.
Zoom as You Shoot
One way to put a sense of movement in your image is to zoom your lens in or out while taking a shot, keeping your camera still as you do so. While panning puts a vertical motion into the picture, zooming gives a dynamic 3D effect. When you combine zooming with slow sync flash, you get pretty dramatic results. Try it and see for yourself.
Move Your Camera
You may have been taught that to get very sharp images, you need to keep your camera still while shooting. I am not about to dispute that. But sometimes you want a different result than sharp. You can add motion to your shot by moving the camera while shooting. To achieve this effect, you can pan, rotate, or even toss your camera.
Put Your Camera on the Ground
Catching your subject from this low angle gives a totally new dimension to your shots. You get to see your images from a new perspective. You equally capture an interesting foreground and maybe even one or two surprising objects along the way.
Experiment With Different Exposure Levels
Adjusting your shutter speed to overexpose, you can earn you bright, burnt-out images. Use this technique if you are shooting colorful objects, because it can give you the images on bright, burnt out background.
Use Low Sync Flash
This technique is your best bet if you are shooting in low light conditions with ambient light and a subject you want to light up with a flash.
Shoot From a High Pedestal
Here you attach your camera to a tripod or an extended monopod and a long shutter release cable. You are able to catch objects high up (billboards, for example) and equally shoot down on scenes you could otherwise not be able to see before. Fish eye and wide angle lenses make it even more fun.
Try Out Multiple Exposures
Not all digital cameras have the ability to do multiple exposures, but if yours does, you can achieve some extraordinary results. Take photographs of the same scene from slightly different angles and focal lengths. This is particularly effective with recurring patterns. You can achieve the same effect in Photoshop if your camera does not have a multiple exposure feature.
Change White Balance
You can put a variety of color casts into your images by playing with different white balance settings. White balance settings are designed to compensate for different types of light situations. You can warm up or cool down the image by experimenting with these images.
Understand Bulb Setting
By holding down the shutter release button, you can keep your shutter open for as long as you want. This allows you a lot of room to play around, especially in low light conditions. The bulb is quite useful when you want to capture light trails or fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
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Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:29 PM PDT
If you’re trying to break free from the auto settings on your camera and make an entry into the world of manual, it’s necessary to understand ISO, aperture, and shutter speed–in addition to knowing how to make them work for you. In this quick video clip, John Greengo does an excellent job of explaining how to get all three of the settings working together to make properly exposed photos:
To find the optimal exposure value, it’s a good idea to start by thinking of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO separately.
Envision the photo you want to take and decide which aperture setting would create the result you’re after. For example, if you want everything in sharp focus, choose a small aperture (bigger number). If you prefer to blur the background, opt for a wider aperture opening (smaller number).
Shutter speed determines whether you freeze or blur action. Decide how you want action portrayed in your photo, and go for a fast shutter speed if you’d like to capture your subject frozen in the air.
Most of the time, you’ll probably want to start with a low ISO to prevent noise.
Prioritize Your Choices
Now that you’ve chosen your ideal settings, you’ll likely see that your camera’s exposure meter is way off. Decide which of the three exposure components is most important to you, and adjust your settings until you get a good exposure reading. For example, you might raise your ISO or sacrifice the sharpness of the background in order to freeze action.
In the video, Greengo shows an example photo of an eagle grabbing a fish from a stream and discusses which settings he uses. Though he wanted to shoot at an ISO of 100 to achieve the best possible image quality, he ultimately decided to boost the ISO all the way up to 800 to gain correct exposure. He decided on boosting the ISO because his aperture was already at its widest opening to let in the most light and he couldn’t slow down the shutter speed and still be able to freeze the fast action.
Go to full article: Exposure Basics: How to Choose ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed Settings (Video)
Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:47 PM PDT
Sometimes an amazing photograph has everything to do with skill, and sometimes it has to do with being in the right place at the right time. Photographer William Follett combined the two factors in this amazing photo of the Cape Spear Arch iceberg collapsing off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada:
On his Flickr page, Follett explains:
Coincidentally, one Youtube user captured a video of the same iceberg via drone just one day earlier:
Imagine what it would have looked like had he arrived a day later (and what it would’ve cost to replace that drone)!
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Collapsing Iceberg in Cape Spear
Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:01 PM PDT
A dog’s bath time can be a pretty stressful experience—for both the dog and the owner. In her Wet Dog portrait series, photographer Sophie Gamand forgets about the human stresses involved and really connects with her animal subjects as they are caught in this vulnerable moment. Gamand’s images show the true emotions each dog goes through as he or she is left soaked, dripping, and soggy:
For this photo shoot, Gamand teams up with pet stylist Ruben Santana to capture the best moments of doggy bath time. Both the photographer and stylist share a love for pets, which has brought them together to collaborate on many similar projects. This fun little video shows how Gamand and Santana work together to get the perfect shots portraying each dog’s unique personality, ranging from quirky to sullen and often adorable.
On the day of this shoot, Gamand uses a Sony a99 to provide the clear, crisp images and really get up close with the dogs.
Recently, Gamand won the 2014 Sony World Photography Award in Portraiture for her Wet Dog series. She also has a book of her wet dog portraits coming out in the Fall of 2015.
Go to full article: How a Sony World Photography Award Winner Captures Her Wet Dog Photos (Video)
Posted: 11 Jun 2014 05:50 PM PDT
When it comes to studio lighting, there are numerous options and preferences. Portrait photography alone comes with a wide array of lighting techniques and possibilities, but some of them aren’t always an option, especially if you’re working in a small home studio. With the help of a young model, photographer Gavin Hoey put together this fun, youthful video to show us how to use a translucent shoot-through umbrella to create two very different outcomes and how to turn your photos into a portrait sequence:
The shoot-through umbrella is a pretty versatile tool. It comes in many different sizes and can be either translucent or reflective. In the above video, Hoey shows us how the lighting tool can be used to create darker, moodier headshots or bright, cheerful, evenly colored portraits.
How to Use a Shoot-Through Umbrella for Portraits
Hoey prefers to shoot with translucent umbrellas as opposed to reflective, because he can get them really close to his subjects or back them off for two entirely different looks. If you’re going for dark and moody, then get the translucent shoot-through umbrella as close to your subject as you can without actually getting into the frame.
If you want brighter, evenly colored photos, back the umbrella and light away from your subject. This will make the light that hits your subject much more even and about the same brightness as the background. Hoey uses a Canon 5D Mark II for the comparison, and while both shots are stunning, you can really see the difference the umbrella light makes.
How to Create a Portrait Sequence Using Photoshop
As you can see, the darker headshot doesn’t leave much room for a creative and fun portrait sequence, but give a kid a bucket-full of colored balls and the photo party’s just getting started. Hoey’s goal here is to photograph Joel, the young model, as he plays with and throws the balls. After the photo shoot, Hoey will then take his pictures into Photoshop where he’ll turn individual photos into a stunning portrait sequence.
To prepare for the shoot, with post-production in mind, he sets up his equipment with pre-planned settings and makes sure nothing changes during the shoot. With the camera on a tripod, Hoey frames up the image and makes sure the zoom, exposure, and aperture don’t change. He even tries to make sure Joel doesn’t move too much. All of this pre-planning will pay off when it comes time to join the individual images into one large image in Photoshop.
To create your own portrait sequence from individual photos, choose the images you want to use and open them in Photoshop.
One of the downsides to shooting in a small studio is that you don’t have enough room to move the camera back and zoom in or have a wide enough background, so you end up with extra area around the picture that you don’t need. If you find there’s something in the picture, like the wall showing outside your set background, that doesn’t belong, just crop it out.
When you’re happy with the pictures you’ve chosen:
Hoey’s final image turned out great. It’s playful, crisp and just all around good times. Why don’t you give it a try with your own sequence idea? Then let us know how it went in the comments section below. We also want to hear any other tips you might have to create amazing and unique portrait sequences.
Go to full article: Tips for Creating Portrait Sequences with Photoshop (Video)
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