Sat, Jan 20, 2018
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Photography is not merely about saying cheese and clicking photos. It is a skill. It is an art. One has to have an eye for it. Anybody can take photos. However, it takes an expert in photography to take splendid photos that stand out from the rest. Nonetheless, while one has to have an understanding of a good capture, it does not mean that you cannot acquire the skill of photography and the art of taking exceptional photographs. With learning and a lot of practise, anybody could become a photographer. With the emergence of YouTube and social media, people can easily take a few tips from these places and end up clicking ‘wow’ photos. The idea behind this is if others can do it, then you can do it too.

It is never too late to acquire the skill. If you are a beginner, then you can still do something about it. Let’s start with the basics. Follow through this article and comprehend the basics to help you on your journey to photography excellence.

Your camera is your bible!

Bible is to a priest, what camera is to any photographer.  Amateurs generally possess a basic digital camera. Nonetheless, if you are learning photography, then you would like to purchase a semi-professional camera. It is because a professional camera will have added features that are much needed when it comes to learning the skills. The additional settings in the camera could be learnt through the digital camera handbook. You can understand the basics by reading through the manual.

Learning how to adjust the light

In any professional camera, the quality of the photo depends upon the light adjustment factor. How you position your camera in accordance with the light will determine the results of the photo. The way you utilize any light source is crucial to your picture. Excessive light darkens the picture because it blinds the lens. The camera lens can only accept a certain amount of light. Therefore, it should be given only as much as it asks for.

The setting is important

A professional photographer understands the fact that humans and wildlife are not captured the same way. This brings the importance of setting while taking pictures. When you are capturing wildlife, you can use the detailed or the macro lens of the camera to emphasize upon details. On the other hand, when taking pictures of humans, the setting and the light will change according to your need. Therefore, know the difference between light and setting while taking pictures.

Multiple clicks for best shots

It is good to have multiple clicks for a particular scene. If you have more than one shot, then you will be able to decide which one is most-suited to your needs. With the advent of digital cameras, taking multiple shots is not a hassle. Previously, people would worry that taking multiple shots would use up the camera film. Therefore, when you take multiple shots, you can easily save the best one.

Becoming a photographer requires interest and understanding of the basic techniques. When you master those, you can certainly become a professional photographer.

About the Author

This article was written by Gary Klungreseth, owner and manager of a number of art related e-commerce websites including Blue Horizon Prints, Australia’s favourite canvas prints company offering the highest quality wall art at the lowest prices.

Category: Photography Tips

Looking for the next great model to use in your stock photography?  Try looking in the mirror.  Using a self-image is a tried and true tradition in the art world.  Who can forget Vincent Van Gough’s startling insight into his troubled mind, or Norman Rockwell’s iconic painter using a mirror to capture his own likeness?  Similarly, a photographer’s own essence can be their biggest asset.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

The first challenge you’ll find when trying to be both photographer and model is achieving great focus.  While the easiest solution is to have a friend or helper in the studio to do the physical focusing, chances are if you’re photographing yourself, you’re a one-man show.  I have found two methods work well.  The first is to use a remote shutter release that allows control of the autofocus feature on your lens.  The trick here is to have a way to get the remote out of the picture before the shutter is released.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

The second trick is to have a “stand-in”.  I have Clancy.  He’s an oversized teddy bear, which on a stool or sitting down is the exact same height as I am (fortunately, we are NOT the same width!).  I can have him “sit” in for me to achieve perfect focus, and swap him out before the shot is taken.  The trick to focusing for self-portraits is to ensure the eyes are always crystal clear.

Which brings in the second challenge – lighting.  When working in a studio, there are two tried and true methods for achieving perfect lighting in a scene.  The first is to have your “stand-in” to use while fine tuning lighting.  Just make sure the object you are using will truly fill the space you are trying to light.  Otherwise, it is a good idea to simply use softbox lighting to completely fill the photo area.  Outdoor photography is a little trickier.  Here I suggest using natural light as the main lighting source and utilize your on-camera fill to assist.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

Implied in the previous two topics is the choice of shutter release methods.  You can either use your camera’s timer or work with a remote shutter release.  The timer method gives you flexibility to compose the scene and adjust camera settings before jumping into the shot, but the down side is getting yourself perfectly composed and settled before the shutter is released.  While the remote shutter release allows you to calmly control the scene, you are giving up the ability make last minute camera corrections before each shot.

Either way you choose, be prepared to take a lot of pictures.  It will be important to frequently check your shots for focus, lighting and composition to ensure you are capturing what you think you are.  If you have the ability, shooting tethered – where the camera is hot connected to the computer for better viewing of the resulting images - can be a great help.  There is nothing more frustrating than downloading a photo shoot only to realize that every picture is out of focus or otherwise not technically perfect.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

You should also plan on checking yourself frequently between shots.  Being the model, the make-up artist and the photographer of an image requires great attention to detail.  Have a mirror handy and use it to check yourself often.  Taking the time to fix straying hair or wilting make-up can make a big difference in the success or failure of your efforts (okay men, you man not have make-up, but you should still fix your hair!).

When choosing camera settings you will need to play a balancing game with aperture and shutter speed.  Because it is difficult to control focal distance as finely as when you are standing behind the viewfinder, it is best to allow a broader depth of field to provide for margin of error.  However, remember that you will need to sit perfectly still for the shot to avoid blur and this can be extremely difficult when using long shutter speeds.  Bumping up lighting or shooting with a higher ISO can give a little more flexibility for these settings.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com     

I like to shoot with a wide-angle or fisheye lens.  These give you the ability to have the camera closer to you  – even close enough to manually use the shutter release button for focusing and aperture control.  They also allow for fun perspectives and unusual pictures.

Now that you have the technical aspects under control, it’s time to have some fun!  The great thing about using yourself as a model is there is no one there to judge your efforts.  You are free to lose your inhibitions and try different ideas out.  Plus you are not on anyone’s clock but your own.  Loose yourself in the activity and let your creativity flow.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

Try interesting angels.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

Think of creative concepts you can try to represent.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

Don’t forget the darker side of life as well.

Copyright Karen Foley | Dreamstime.com

Once you’ve gotten the hang on things, try adding family members or friends to the sessions for added possibilities. 

And finally, if you are planning on selling your images, you will need to provide a model release signed by you as both the photographer and model.  

About the Author

Karen Foley is a freelance stock photographer who contributes her work exclusively to Dreamstime Stock Agency. Look for her blogs about photography and portfolio of work at: Karen Foley Photography.

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Category: Photography Tips

Everyone with a smartphone has the ability to take pictures, but just because you have a camera doesn’t mean that you are now a talented photographer. Learning how to take great photos requires a great deal of studying and practice. There are different settings for different types of pictures, and there are tricks and tips that can help you take the best possible photos, whether with your smartphone or a real camera.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when taking pictures is misusing their flash. Most people have been taught that you use a flash when inside and you don’t use a flash when outside. Unfortunately, this information is incorrect. The following are seven ways that you’re incorrectly using your flash.

Mistake #1: Using flash for distant objects.

Sometimes you try to capture a photo of an object in the distance, and this is perfectly fine. However, if you try to use your flash during that shot, it won’t turn out right. First, your flash is only designed to travel a certain distance, which means that there is no possible way your flash is going to reach your desired subject. Plus, if there are other lights (or other camera flashes) going off at the same time, you’ll end up creating a blurry photo. When you’re taking pictures of objects in the distance, turn off your flash and instead try to increase your sensitivity settings.

Mistake #2: Using flash to photograph light.

There are times when you’ll want to take pictures of objects that are illuminated, such as Christmas trees or decorations. Most people turn their flash on when taking pictures of these objects because they assume they’re too dark, but doing so will make the lights seem blurry. When taking pictures of lights, it’s important to turn the flash off. You’ll receive enough light from the lights themselves, and they will give more definition to your photo.

Mistake #3: Using flash on people.

When you’re taking a picture of someone inside, most people assume they need the flash. However, if you use your flash on someone while inside, it’s likely that your subject is going to look washed out. Instead of using a flash on someone, use the natural lights in the area instead and turn the flash off.

Mistake #4: Using flash indoors.

Almost everyone turns their flash on when taking pictures inside because they assume there’s not enough natural light. However, when you use your flash indoors, it washes out your subject and makes it look flat. Instead, use the natural light inside for your photos and turn the flash off. Your photos will have more color and they will also have more dimension.

Mistake #5: Not using flash when outside.

Yes, the sun provides natural light when outside, but it’s not enough. In fact, the sun will often produce unsightly shadows in your photos, which is why it’s important to use flash when photographing outside. The flash will add an extra layer of light to your photos and will work with the natural light to create balance in your photos. You’ll eliminate any harsh shadows, and you’ll create photos with much more definition.

Mistake #6: Using flash on glass object.

If you use your flash when photographing a glass object (or against a glass object), you’re going to create an unsightly burst of light in your photo. Whether you’re trying to take pictures of fish at the aquarium or a nice photograph of that beautiful wine glass, it’s important that you turn the flash off for the best results.

Mistake #7: Not using your flash.

Your flash is there for a reason, so it’s important to use it when appropriate. Some photographers avoid using their flash because they don’t understand how to use it properly, and not using flash when you should will result in horrible photos. Be sure to learn tips and tricks for using your flash, and don’t be afraid to use it.

About the Author

Terri Walker is a freelance writer, a podcast enthusiast and a busy wife and mother. Rather than listening to talk-radio, Terri loads her iphone with her favorite podcasts for convenient listening while on the go.

Category: Photography Tips

Hiking and photographing the Zion Narrows is a unique experience. The Narrows, the largest slot canyon in the world, having been carved by the Virgin River, poses challenges and risks to photographers. Due to the fact that in order to experience the Narrows you will need to hike directly through the river, those with thousands of dollars worth of camera gear are naturally going to be concerned with the risk involved in bringing their gear in. I would like to offer some recommendations for those of you that will be visiting this area.

First of all... Bring that gear!!! The narrows are far too good to go without having the appropriate camera gear to capture it's beauty and print it BIG!!! It is an absolutely stunning landscape,unique and dynamic.

Here is a list of camera gear I would recommend for the narrows:


Extra Batteries

Spare Memory


Polarizing filter (I consider this a borderline must)

Dry Bag for camera gear

Wide Angle Lens (essential)

Mid to Telephoto lens (I almost never bring anything beyond a wide angle. However, if you enjoy shooting abstracts, the narrows have plenty of beauty in the details to work with)

Here is a list of non-camera gear recommendations:

2 liters of water per person


Clothing appropriate for the season


Dry Bag (for any food or clothing needing to stay dry)



Extra fleece top (I will discuss this below)

Special footwear has been developed to assist in making your hike safer and more comfortable. In the narrows, the majority of the footing takes place on wet, bowling ball sized boulders. This footwear is made with specially formulated rubber that sticks very well to wet rock. In addition to this footwear, a sturdy hiking stick is recommended. Some people will use their tripod as a stabalizer, and I would recommend strongly not to do so, there is a decent probability of damaging that piece of gear.

During certain times of the year you may need either dry pants or a dry suit. In the spring, winter or fall, these should be taken into consideration. There is a local outfitter in town called Zion Adventure Company that rents footwear, dry bags, dry suits, etc.

The desert is a WILD place and can be highly unpredictable. During mid-July through early September is monsoon season. Heavy storms can roll in without warning which can create very dangerous situations in the Narrows. Be sure to check the forecast before your trip into the canyon. Flash flooding is a potential danger that should be taken very seriously. If you are in the canyon, even if it is mid-summer and you experience a strong rain, tempertures will drop dramatically. So much that if you have to wait out a flash flood, hypothermia is a very real possibility. Be sure to bring a fleece top, even if it's 100 plus degrees out.

Plan your hike, be safe and enjoy photographing one of the most inspiring scenes in the American Southwest.

Seth Hamel is a professional landscape and adventure photographer working and living in the Zion National Park area. Tracking the light in the narrows throughout the year, Seth knows where the best is, and when it occurs. Guided Zion Narrows photography trips are offered daily throughout the year. Please visit  http://www.zion-photography.com for more information.

Article Source:  http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Seth_Hamel

Category: Photography Tips

Bears, elk or perhaps moose are wonderfully photogenic animals, yet experienced photographers tend to think outside the box when shooting wildlife.  Most birds have been captured, although rookie cameramen love finding that rare one to send into National Geographic to get their name out there.  For the middle of the road camera bearer, or slightly above novice picture snapper, we present five simply gorgeous animals that, with the right backdrop, could make an excellent photo shoot and send your career soaring northward.


Sonic has nothing on these needled beauties, who spend their winters sleeping off their rampant summer months – without once waking up.  Primitive to Asian, New Zealand and African terrains, the right backdrop could provide photographers an epic opportunity to capture nature’s hidden gem, provided one could get close enough to control shutter speed necessary for an effective shot. Their presence is limited since they’re known for hibernating for several long months; catch them while you can.


Nocturnal summer dwellers of North American, Asian and European territories, badgers aren’t afraid of bears, coyotes or even your sack lunch.  Numerous camera bearers pack their native areas to snap action photos of badgers who, from a distance, somewhat resemble skunks with their striped facial features.  While they’re comfortably feasting on main courses consisting of several hundred earthworms in underground setts, perhaps brave the underground and find them for your next photo spread.

Sockeye Salmon

Although normally salmon present mankind with a traditionally bluish-silver hue, hang around until these exciting fish, primitive to U.S. and Canadian territories, spawn.  Sure, photographers may treat the sockeye salmon as simply embarrassed when changing into their red and green spawning shade; this is simply their way of continually blending into the fresh waters during their skin shedding episodes.  Catch them frolicking in and out of waters for an even more breathtaking pictorial account of their existence.

Bird of Paradise

Avian action shots have always clamored experience from photographers, yet with the Bird of Paradise, even rookies can capture this beautiful flutterer, indigenous to Indian Ocean climates.  Unfortunately endangered due to feather and pelt popularity, these lovely male birds schmooze the ladies with dance, poses and shape shifts to ward off ‘skanky’ females.  Those who could freely travel to New Guinea could traverse the forest on any given warm day to find the Bird of Paradise.

Temminck’s Tragopan

Normally the bored hunter’s prized kill target, this pheasant features a red and multi-blue chest and stands proudly for cameramen in Southern Asia’s Tragopan area.  Another commonly extinct fowl, finding this bird roaming around shouldn’t prove problematic for aggressive photographers, although getting too close isn’t advised.  The bluish area on their frontals? It’s actually skin, not feathers.

In Closing: Tis The Season

Summertime creatures residing within our planetary confines present wonderful opportunities for savvy, or newbie, photography lovers seeking interesting waterfowl, avian or aquatic animal shots. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever challenges the backdrop – in this case, water or wilderness – presents.  Finally, always respect the critters’ domains since many have issues with extinction, and are guaranteed to be protected locally. And, if you're looking for the best places to capture animal photos, check out the top 5 locations.

About the Author

Roger Kowalewski is a freelance writer and photography buff from Indiana. You can follow him on Google+.

Category: Photography Tips