December 08, 2011

明明很爱你,很想靠近你,可是害羞些,变成见面时普通的说话,一起自娱自乐,你逗我开心我逗你开心。真的真的爱你。

December 07, 2011

Some people will do anything , anything at all cost , do make themselves famous.

November 02, 2011

Turn Photography Into a Business

The business of photography like any other business, takes planing, dedication, effort and many other things. With proper planing, research, marketing, dedication and effort you can make a decent living in photography. Is it difficult? The answer is: very difficult.

Not only do you have to run a business, but it largely depends on your skills as a photographer, the subject of your specialization, location, as well as other factors. Once you have decided, that your photo skills are complete, had your photos criticized by those who know, have a large inventory of photos (at least 1000), then you should consider how to market them or rather market yourself.

First of all, deciding on what photo genre will comprise the vast majority of your shots is paramount. Will you specialize in one type of subject: only weddings or only flowers. This approach has relatively a low flow of sales, but when the need arises for your specialty, then you're the one. More generalized photography guarantees a stronger sales flow, but requires a lot more effort also. However publications know that they can count on you for a variety of subjects.

Consider portrait photography, nature photography, photojournalism, and scientific photography. All have their challenges but all can be rewarding.

Portrait photography is relatively easy to enter, but requires a considerable up front expenditure. You will need reflective equipment, such as umbrellas, tripod, several backgrounds, props, a complete office, business cards, insurance, tax forms, should I go on?

Portraits subjects are however easy to find. Weddings, birthdays, baby showers, bachelor parties, reunions, births, pregnancy and glamour, boudoir, etc. You should also have several samples to display in your store front and to include in a marketing brochure, even if you have to take the photos free of charge. Nothing will sell you better than your photos. You can do without the office if you can set aside a room in your home to meet clients, do paperwork and work on the shots. As far as pricing, a simple research into your area's photographers will do the trick. Start reasonable and escalate as your reputation and demand grows.

Nature photography is quite well represented, but editors, publishers, publications are always looking for fresh material. Before you submit anything to any publication, ask in writing for a want list which is a list of the publication's most in demand subjects. Also consider creating a stock list of the subjects which you already have on file. Ask for a submissions guidelines and stick to them. Unsolicited material is often discarded, and if lucky, returned to you. Strongly consider writing an article to go with the photos, even better write an article and shoot around it. Publications are always in need of articles and ideas that align with their material.

Think small when starting. Newspapers, small local magazines, calendar companies, greeting cards companies, book publishers, poster makers, even product catalogs are purchasers of photographs. Inquire about submitting materials to them. Don't forget to label your contact information as copyright on any material which is finally submitted as well as to include captions with information about the photograph, such as location, name of the creature, flower, plant etc., scientific name, and technical information.

Submission to photographic stock houses. Many stock agencies require a minimum of photographs to even consider you, usually between 300 to 1000. But there are some that will require much less. In any event, whatever you submit must unequivocally be your best work. Very sharp, accurate exposure, top of the line, not just "slightly" out of focus, but 100% technically perfect.

You will receive the advantage of being represented to photo buyers, and the disadvantage of competition from many seeking exactly what you are. You should strive to make at least $2.00 per shot per year. So a submission of 30, 000 photos should gross you $60, 000 minus your costs the rest is profit. This requires that you shoot a large number of shots per month, at least 1000. Many agencies will also require exclusivity, especially if you begin to gain recognition for you work, so choosing which agency to represent you requires thought.

The idea is to gain recognition first before venturing into the major markets such as National Geographic, which by the way has their own staff of photographers, or Audubon Magazine.

Photojournalism. Many publications have their own staff, but regularly use the work of independent photographers. Look for ways of receiving updated news information of breaking news, look for planned events such as demonstrations, news conferences etc. Approach the editors desk of publications which you are interested in submitting your work to and register with them as a free lance photographer. Many will accept your registration and will look at your material with prior knowledge and since you don't get paid until your material is accepted it is easier for them just to register you. Do obtain a submission guidelines and acceptable formats as many prefer black & white formats. Consider joining a photojournalist association for important updates and leads.

Scientific photography. You will need very specialized material and the know how of the subjects you will be working with. keep in mind that bacterias, viruses and others can pose a health risk and many require a permit before you can get your hands on them. Approach publications the same way as you would approach any other photo publication.

As mentioned before, keep in mind your overhead costs, if your cost estimate calls for a $20, 000.00 per year in overhead, then you gross in sales should be $40, 000.00 per year.

Read plenty of photography magazines, look at current publications, posters, greeting cards, new books to get an idea of what is the trend. Good is also to enter contest whether you win or not, but get your name out there.


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November 01, 2011

How to Prepare Your Photo Equipment for a Holiday

We need to start thinking about images a long time before we go for holiday. First of all, knowing where and when we go, we need to rethink the equipment, which we intend to take. When you want to spend two weeks in Egypt on the Red Sea and you intend to spend most of this time in warm seas, probably you will need underwater housing, as well as a way of securing equipment from sand on the beach. However, if you are preparing for a week trekking through the mountains, a key element will be the comfortable bag in which you will pack your photographic equipment, while the tent, food, clothing and camping equipment will be put in the backpack.

It is worth making a list of things that you need, and then see what you already have, and what you need to buy. Think hard and do not take with you unnecessary things. On the other hand, you would be sorry if the lack of a specific gadget ruined your photo opportunity.

If you plan to stay in a developed country, you do not need a large supply of batteries. When we take into account the lack of power in some places during trip then that you need to have lots of spare batteries.

Supply of memory for storing photos is another thing to consider. Capacity of memory cards is rising, and prices are falling, but if someone just bought a brand new 10-megapixel SLR, that each photo will use lots of space. Buying a memory card with big capacity is a major expense. The alternative is to have reserve flash cards sufficient for 1-2 days of photographing and then you can archive data on your computer. You can also burn your photos on CD in internet cafes, but that way you risk losing your images - we can not verify that they were well recorded.

The last thing on your list which you should consider buying is convenient backpack or bag for camera equipment. Which of these accessories you choose depends on your preferences. But remember that the bag which is comfortable for walking in the nearby park does not necessarily proves to be good for full day of hiking. You may find that in addition to camera equipment you need to pack water, sandwiches and a warm change of clothes. It's better to choose a bag which will have a spare room for extra stuff, not necessarily only photographic accessories.

Do not wait with purchases until the last moment before departure. Do this to avoid the rush and overpaying. You should avoid taking equipment which you never tested before - even the best camera made by the most reputable company can break down in the first two or three weeks - this may be the effect of shipping damage or manufacturing defect. It happens sometimes. Avoid such surprises by buying equipment in a timely manner. If you have time try to learn how to handle new equipment, which increases the chances for successful photos.


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Create Natural Images With the Dodge and Burn Tools

Turning flat images into real or natural images by bringing light and shadow into it can be a tricky thing to do credibly. The Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools enable you to accomplish this task in a realistic and credible way.

The Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools are just like conventional darkroom tools. Dodge tool lightens the dark areas. The Burn tool darkens the image areas. The Sponge tool intensifies the effect. Photoshop generates the tools very accurately, although you should exercise care when using the tools, to avoid your images looking unnatural.This article will focus on the usage of the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools.

The Dodge Tool

This tool is use to lighten dark areas, choose Shadows, Midtones or Highlights and apply an exposure value. This means the Dodge Tool bring out the details in dim parts of an image. You should choose an appropriate size brush and paint over the areas to be lightened - do not over apply the strokes or else the brushed image area will start to wash. The default setting is 50%, try a lower value with a soft edged brush for a fine effect.

The Burn Tool

The Burn tool darkens areas of the image.This means that the burn tool bring out the details in over showing image parts or highlights.Apply short strokes rather than scrubbing, this way you can apply an undo (Ctrl+Z). Here is a trick, darken the edges and corners of an image, this makes the central part stand out and it works on digital pictures too.

The Sponge Tool

The sponge tool exactly looks like a tiny sponge, and shares space with the dodge and burn tools. You can brush over an area to intensify the colours or reduce them with the Sponge tool.This tool lets you "paint" with saturation. This means that you can easily make the color of an image more or less intense by simply moving the sponge tool over the part of an image.

It does not matter whether you are trying to make a dim day more convincingly bright or adding depth to an image, you must always consider where the light is all coming from. Do follow the basic guidelines and you will be able to create images with real depth or substance. These tools are for creating authentic shadow and light.

Start using these powerful tools to make real or natural images and be a pro!


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October 31, 2011

Using A Model Pose Guide - Give Portrait Photos That Professional Edge!

A model pose guide can be an asset when looking to get the best kind of portraits. Anyone can look fabulous and attractive in their photographs by using the tips that professional models and photographers use to produce that perfect cover shot.

Looking Good In Front Of The Camera

You can gather the tips for posing from a collection of magazines with your favorite model shots, by choosing a specific photographer's portfolio or generally looking at the poses that recur consistently in the publications. On the other hand, one can find a guide that combines all these ideas into one book for reference whenever you want a portrait done.

It is always good to try out different model poses during the shoot and modify them to suit your personality. You do not have to be as slim as the models or dress the same way to get the right pose. Simply look your best and trust the photographer's guidance and it will show in the resulting photographs.

Portrait photographers can also make use of a model pose guide for their assignments. Whether you are taking pictures of children or doing more corporate shots, a guide for poses is excellent for adding a professional touch to the photos. A posing guide does contain tips for handling all kinds of clients to bring out their best side, which in turn reduces frustration and makes the photo session more fun.

Advantages Of Using A Model Pose Guide

A posing guide is a reliable source of advice for photographers and models because it is written by photographers who have years of experience in the portrait photography field. It can also inspire creativity since there is always room to adjust the model according to the context of the photo shoot. Some modeling techniques work universally regardless of the model or the location, and these can be applied to produce interesting results.

The guide can provide information about the best colors to wear for the portrait photo, the best kind of lighting to use, and how to choose the right location for the shoot, both for indoor and outdoor photography. A reliable guide guarantees good portraits every single time since the author has used some tried and true methods to build their careers.

With all these benefits, a model pose guide is ideal for portrait photography, both for the photographers and the subjects of the shoot. Look for the best guide available today to start improving the quality of your photographs and build an impressive portfolio today.


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Photography - Hip Shooting

Hip shooting, which was named after gun fighting, is a photographic style described as shooting photographs from waist level without using the viewfinder of the camera to centralize the subject. This is a learned technique and can be very hit or miss while you are learning it. However, once you have the skill mastered, you will usually have some amazing photographs. This method of photography is preferred by many photographers for the unique and varied artwork that can be constructed from the photographs.

There are several advantages to using this style of photography. Photographers that have learned how to do hip shooting have an advantage over other photographers because they are able to capture the natural side of their subject instead of having them posed. When the subject is a person, they may be very relaxed and natural when they think the photographer is not aiming the camera at them, and they become rigid, tense, and unnatural when the camera is raised to the photographer's eye. Hip shooting allows the capture of a natural, relaxed moment.

Another advantage of this style of photography is the speed at which you can take the photographs. Without taking the time to bring the camera up to the eye and focus, many more pictures can be taken in a shorter amount of time. This can be especially helpful when you are taking photographs at a sporting event or theatrical event where people are moving continually.

If you want to try hip shooting with your camera, you will first want to make sure that your camera is on auto focus. By having the camera on auto focus, it will make it easier for you to get a quality shot while using this method. You will also want to get as close as possible to your subject so that you are able to get the photograph that you are hoping for. A good way to practice hip shooting is to have your camera on and ready to go and go for a walk. While you are on your walk, snap as many photographs as you can without editing them, you will do that step when you return home.

Remember that shooting from the hip is a learned skill. It will take time to perfect it, but once you do, you will have some amazing photographs. This technique is very popular among street photographers as their subjects often do not know they are being photographed. Have fun with it and remember to take as many shots as you can because for every fifty shots that you take, you may only get one or two usable shots.


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October 30, 2011

Exploring Your Creativity With Online Photo Collage Tools

The internet has provided several opportunities for people to expand on their creativity using a number of tools. One of the most exciting innovations feature is the photo collage online tools, which makes it easier to be creative and also relish the memories that are represented by your huge collection of photographs. If you have an artistic mind, then make sure you take full advantage of these tools since there are several sites that enable you to make your own collage.

There are various software available that allow you to make photo collage online wherein several different photographs are merged together to create a single image. If you look at the picture from afar, it looks just like a regular picture. But when you examine it up-close, it is actually a collage of several different photos placed together.

There are three options available for those who wanted to make their own photo collage online. The first option involves making a collage using the photos that are stored in your PC's hard drive. However, there is no need for you to upload every single photo that you wanted to use for making the collage, which could take a long time especially if you are dealing with high resolution images. Depending on the software you use, some will be able to create the collage using only the thumbnails of the chosen files or images. Hence, you can speedily add pictures that you wanted to use such that you can get it done easily without having to wait for too long. Plus, some tools might not even require you to register or download anything. It's that easy!

Another way that you can make your collage of photos using online tools is to take pictures that are already uploaded on the internet. Hence, there is no need to look up the photos on your hard drive or uploading them since they are already accessible via the World Wide Web. However, more advanced tools offer a desktop version such that you can make your own collage even when you are offline. You need to download that version though so you can make collage of your photos right from your desktop without the need to connect to the internet. All of these services and features vary depending on which tool you have chosen to use.

Meanwhile, there are also a few tools that enable you to edit your photo collage online. Then, you can use those edited photos for making simple collages that will showcase your creativity and the wonderful memories that you have shared with friends or families through these photos. Indeed, it is another interesting way to preserve those good times while also being a great decoration at home!


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October 29, 2011

So You Want To Be A Photographer?

Well, to be honest there has never been a better time to do it! You have had it on your mind for a while; the New Year rush has come and gone when you vowed, "this year, this year above any is going to be my year". Yet you still haven't done anything about it, yet you still want to.

It is those first steps that are the most difficult. Sometimes fate will intervene and give you a helping hand- such as being made redundant. It takes great courage and a leap of faith at the moment however to go from the security of employment, especially with all the media hype on the economy- whether we have been declared out of recession or not!

So what are those first steps? There is good news for those who have been made redundant, or are about to be. There are still local government initiatives around, for how much longer we don't know, but these initiatives will pay for or towards the training you need to get you started in your new career. Your local Business Link is a good place for most people to start, as they will have the latest information on grants available, and also offer sound advice on setting up a business and getting going. The Regional Business Link is coming to an end in November this year- so I would suggest anyone who feels they could benefit from this service to act sooner rather than later, before this valuable service is gone forever.

The next step is to sort out your training. Do you need to start from Beginner level courses all the way through or can you consolidate your existing knowledge and build upon that? This is where you need to take a long hard look at your current skill level. Be realistic about your abilities, without being too hard on yourself. If you are lucky enough you may be able to speak to an established photographer who can give you advice on where your skill levels are at and where you need to go in terms of training; based upon your current skill level and your future aspirations. You could call a photographic training company; any trainer worth their salt will take time to talk you through your future plans and between you to devise a training plan to help you get there. I say 'help' here as ultimately the best trainer and photographer in the world can train you; but ultimately how well you do is down to you- your enthusiasm, your commitment and your artistic and business talents will all go to shape your future destiny and success.

When choosing a training school, you need to make sure you make the correct choice. Are the courses on offer going to give you the skills to enable you to do what you need to do? Is there any sort of governing body providing accreditation of the courses on offer? Look for governing bodies such as Skillset as not only do they provide assurance to prospective clients in terms of high quality training and course material on offer at a centre, but in terms of client health and safety issues, company procedures and also value for money. It also helps for those looking for funding, as Skillset is a recognised governing body. If you have been made redundant you could speak to your local Job Centre Plus or the Department of Work and Pensions as they have Certified Training Providers in place too.

Above all you need to go with a provider you feel comfortable with. Do they provide a clear, but comprehensive website with all the information you need to know? Do they provide videos showing the facilities on offer? Will you get hands on training and dedicated time spent with your tutor? Look for smaller group sizes; as some courses will take anything up to 10 or even more people per tutor and this tends to produce a 'paparazzi' style of teaching where course delegates end up shooting over other peoples heads; without being able to line up a single shot due to the volume of people trying to take a picture. This style is helpful to no-one and should be avoided like the plague if you actually want to come away from the course having learnt something. Look for realistic but beautiful images on the website. You want to be able to create images like this yourself, especially if you are looking at being a Wedding or Portrait Photographer. You want to avoid being sold down the route of producing 'Arty' images, which are highly processed and completely unnatural. At the end of the day people want to see themselves looking beautiful, and naturally beautiful at that. You just won't sell images where your client is part of the furniture or made to look ridiculous. Your client will undoubtedly be paying you good money to make them feel special and look beautiful, with images they can be proud of. You should look at shooting with this in mind- this is a good tactic for you and the added bonus of this is increased sales. Not only this, you don't want to be producing images that date quickly. You want to produce images that people are happy with for years to come. This gives you the very best opportunity at establishing a repeat client base and word of mouth recommendations.

Another good point is the use of course images to promote your own business. I am often asked about this and I always suggest against it. Hopefully this will make it clear. Imagine if a training company was to get 200 clients a year through the door and all those clients take away photographs with either the same models or in the same locations. Any client 'shopping around' for a photographer will soon rumble this. It can also be an issue with trading standards as the images you are using were set up on a course and therefore are not ones you have produced on the job. Therefore by all means show your potential clients the images and say you can take pictures like that, but avoid putting them on your website or leading your potential clients to believe that the images were taken on a job. It's fair to admit you have trained in your profession- I mean I would be dubious about someone who had never received any form of training. However, replace these images taken on a course with your own work as fast as possible. There are two other ways to get your portfolio of work going to start with; you can assist a photographer and perhaps get the chance to get your camera out too; or you can book in a 'portfolio-building' day, where you set up the shots and arrange the models- that has all been arranged by a training company. As part of this you get to use equipment you will need for your shots as well as have the comfort that someone experienced is on hand to help should you need help. Be wary however of training companies that say you can use course images for your website marketing or portfolio, some go as far as saying you can use images in applying for photography qualifications, this advice is bad and given by someone who wants your money; rather than by someone who wants you to go away and succeed and not hit huge hurdles when you are at the most vulnerable point in your career. You need to find a training company that gives you the confidence to go away and be able to take them images for yourself, giving you the tools for success.

Are you finding it difficult to motivate yourself? My best advice is to build a mental picture of you in your successful business, doing what you want. Then take small, regular steps towards achieving that goal. You cannot hope to set up your business overnight; websites need designing, companies need to be formed, insurances need to be sorted, bank accounts, terms and conditions, pricing structure, advertising etc... This all takes time. Keep your eye on where you are going and with the continual small steps in the right direction one day you will find yourself on top of that 'insurmountable' mountain, wondering how on earth you did all that! Above all, enjoy the journey there; it is full of highs and lows and steep learning curves, but is highly rewarding and to top it off it is something you did by yourself for yourself!

Tammy L Tidmarsh LBIPP is Director of In Focus, an Award Winning Photographic Training Centre based at The Spout Farmhouse Studio in the picturesque Peak District National Park. Courses on offer vary from Beginners Photography Courses, Wedding Photography Courses, Landscape Photography Courses and Digital Imaging Courses. We also do Photography Holidays to Nepal, India and Morocco.

http://www.swinfocus.co.uk/

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

Tammy L Tidmarsh - EzineArticles Expert Author

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Photography Tips - Understanding Aperture Settings

Most tips relating to exposure advocate the use of the aperture priority mode, and with good reason. The Aperture Priority Mode allows you to control the shutter speed through the aperture settings, which are responsible for crucial picture dynamics that include depth of field, motion blur and freezing action.

Understanding how the aperture and aperture priority work, will help you as a photographer gain control over exposure and these critical picture dynamics.

Setting the camera mode dial to aperture priority puts the camera into a semi automatic mode, which means that you will have to take care of other crucial setting such as white balance, metering and ISO. In this mode the shutter automatically changes to compensate for the different aperture settings.

Aperture and F-Numbers
The aperture is basically a hole behind the lens which allows the light to pass through the lens to the image sensor located within the body of the DSLR. The aperture uses numbers (F-Stops) corresponding to the different sizes of the aperture (or hole if you like).

The F-Stop is derived from the mathematical relationship between the aperture diameter and the focal length of the lens.

Typical ranges
A typical range of F-Numbers or F-Stops is:
F 3.5, F4, F4.5, F5, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8, F9, F10, F11, F13, F14, F16, F18, F20, F22

These numbers are the range available when using the 18-105mm AF-S NIKKOR lens, with the lens set to 18mm.When set to the other extreme of the lens (105mm) the F-Stop range changes from F5.6 to F36, and so it will change for each focal length. For example at 50mm the range will be from F5 to F32.

The increment value between F-Stops can be changed on many DSLR cameras. Typically the light is halved or doubled for each F-Stop increment.

Picture dynamics
So what's the big deal about using Aperture Priority? In most cases the beginner accepts the exposure set by the camera's choice of shutter and aperture combinations. This still gives a good picture, but does not take into account the look of the picture in terms of depth of field, movement and frozen frames. The aperture setting can be used to control all these dynamics.

Given factors
A wide Aperture (small F-Number):
- Narrow depth of field
- Fast shutter speed

A small aperture (High F-Number)
- Wide depth of field
- Slow shutter speed

Taking into account the factors above one can see how the three picture dynamics can be controlled.

- Depth of field. This is the area in front and behind the subject that is in focus. A small F-Number results in a very narrow depth of field, so the background and often the foreground is out of focus. This is great for portrait photography where the attention is focused on the subject. Because the shutter speed is normally high in this mode it is easier to shoot without blurring the picture.

- Movement through blur. Using a high f-number will force a slow shutter speed when the camera is set to aperture priority. This is great when you want your picture to show movement. A typical scenario is when shooting a waterfall. The water is blurred through movement while the rest of the picture remains sharp. A tripod is essential for this type of shot. The camera can be panned swiftly to follow a moving subject, keeping the subject sharp but blurring the background.

- Freezing the subject. This of course depends on the shot you are attempting. Anytime you want to avoid blurry pictures, a faster shutter will become your best friend. The snag here is that the higher the shutter speed you use the more light you will need. A high F-Number will give a fast shutter speed when in aperture priority mode.

When you need a really fast shutter, keep an eye on the warning light in your viewfinder which indicates the shutter speed is cutting off too much light and the aperture range for that lens has been exceeded. This is a common problem.

A good example is when photographing birds. The best time of day to shoot is often when the light is low. A necessary compromise in these poor lighting conditions is to increase the ISO. Why compromise? Well too high an ISO introduces noise into the picture, influenced largely by the quality of camera model. This can be a nuisance when enlarging photos in post production.

Increasing the ISO increases the shutter speed, so one need to make a choice between capturing a great photo that is hard to repeat, or risk introducing noise.

Practice
Practice in manual mode and play with the shutter, aperture and ISO. Some cameras offer an anti blur feature which in essence is automatically creating the fastest shutter speed with the right combinations of the three (aperture, shutter and ISO).

Next time you are photographing the kids indoors, try getting the fastest shutter speed before resorting to your flash, which sometimes is the only way to avoid blurry shots.

Flexible solution
In summary, aperture priority mode offers the most flexible exposure control when striving to create certain picture dynamics on demand. Experience will teach you when to use another mode such as Shutter Priority, Program Mode or Manual. The ultimate goal is to go manual and take full control of exposure and other features.

Rob Gray is a media practitioner mainly in the field of video and photography. Rob is involved with training, production and consultation. Rob worked for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in both radio and television.

Rob's new web site offers free tips on photography and video production. Also see the news window available to all.

Check out all the training pages and services. These include Digital Photography, Photoshop and Video Production.

Also watch out for mini workshops in photography and Photoshop, which are available to purchase on DVD.

Visit http://www.facetmedia.co.za/ and see the blog issues for more on aperture

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


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October 28, 2011

5 Quick Tips for Photographing People Outdoors With the Camera You Have

So, let me guess...

Your pictures of your friends, parents, children or grandchildren don't always come out the way you like, and you are frequently frustrated by the harsh ugly shadows on their faces when you photograph them outdoors... but you want them to look as good as they can and are, because you care about them. (or you wouldn't be taking their picture, right?)

So here are 5 easy tips for improving the pictures you take with almost any camera.

1) FIND SHADE!!! (or wait until a cloud covers the sun) Direct sunlight is directional and harsh. If you want to avoid harsh shadows on peoples faces, find shade to place your subject in. shade gives you diffused (non directional) pleasant light instead of harsh directional light. I know this is contrary to what you think, but trust me... It helps!

2) Use your flash. Your camera will automatically turn the flash off when it is in auto mode in a bright environment. If you override this, and turn on your flash, it will fill in shadows created by the sun, and brighten up the subject without effecting the background much. (This is usually accomplished by pushing a button with an emblem like a lightning bolt, and selection the option that looks the same.)

3) Use a reflector. You can buy reflectors specifically for photography, but you can also use reflectors for car windshields, or a piece of white mat board. Position the reflector so it shines/reflects light onto the subjects pace on the shadow side. It will fill in the shadows and even out the light for you.

4) Position the subject with their back turned almost straight towards the sun, and use your flash to illuminate the subject. The sun will shine through their hair, creating an angelic beauty look. And the flash will illuminate the person's face pleasantly, and the ambient light will even the shadows for you. This will also avoid the squinty look from having the people staring into the sun. Please note that you may need to use your hand or hat to shade the lens, so sunlight does not shine directly into the lens and create lens flare.

5) If you are photographing children, make sure your shutter speed; (how fast the camera takes the photo, and represented as fractions of a second); is at least 1/125th of a second, and preferably 1/250th or faster. This will keep them from blurring as they squirm! Putting your camera into action mode will usually achieve this.

And Lastly, keep smiling and tell some jokes if it takes you a bit to get your exposure right, people get stiff if they stay posed for too long.


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October 27, 2011

The 3 Things You Should Do When Shooting Macro Photography

If you're looking to improve your macro photography, then you should do these three things to get the best results from your photography. First, you need to keep everything steady. Second, you need to turn off any kind of image stabilization on your lens. And last, but not least, you need to be patient. After reading this article, you should be able to get sharp picture from your macro photography.

One thing that you always need to keep in mind when shooting macro is to keep everything steady. One thing that I always do when shooting macro is to use a tripod. In addition, I always use a cable release to further minimize the camera shake. And lastly, just before I press the shutter button, I always hold my breath as the tiniest breath of air can make my picture blurry.

Next, you'll want to turn off the Image Stabilization feature on your lens. If your macro lens does not have this feature then you don't need to worry about it. You want to turn off the image stabilization feature because that feature will keep looking for any kind of vibration, even if there is none. This will make your picture look less sharp. In some camera model, such as Nikon or Canon, the image stabilization can be turned off via the lens. On some camera model, the image stabilization can be turned off via the menu function on the camera body. You'll need to consult your camera manual to do this task.

Lastly, you'll need to be patient, sometimes very patient. All the best macro photographers that I know have tremendous amount of patience. This is very important to keep in mind because there are just something that you cannot control such as the weather, wind blowing to your subject, and many more things that can break your shot. When this happen, just be patient! Keep on trying and keep on shooting! Work hard, get lucky! You can also try experimenting with different angle with your shot if one angle does not work.

Let's summarize what you have learned in this article. You have learned to keep everything steady to get a sharp macro shot, you'll need to turn off the image stabilization feature on your lens to make it even sharper and you have learned the value of being patient when shooting macro. With this 3 tips, you should be able to get a better macro shots. Good luck with your macro photography journey and happy shooting!


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Importance of Professional Website Design and Online Marketing Services

However small or big your business is; your biggest asset in this internet era is your online presence. Believe it or not, it is the most important and effective tool of surviving and establishing your own brand. If you think, your website featuring all your products and services is just sufficient to survive in today's fast competitive world, think again! For establishing reputation and a brand image online, you need to have a good website design with unique logo supported by continuous addition of quality content. The design agency will help in increasing customer base. It is a long-term investment that pays you off by increasing traffic to your website and producing more business leads.

Logo creation, website design, branding and photography is something which add to your business image. In order to create the very best design, it is necessary to research markets and audiences and read current trends. Along with this, you continuously need to publish quality content filled with keywords that allow traffic to divert towards your website. The process includes a lot of hard work, time and investment but this is the only way to create, establish and maintain your online image. In such a scenario, taking services from a trusted and well-known design agency and marketing agency can be a wise step to create your corporate ID online.

The importance of a professional design agency and marketing agency in creating your online image can be easily understood by those who are in business and already facing a tough competition in the market. Although there are several tactics and techniques to develop and promote your business on web but you will need to recruit a separate department for this and spend lot of money. Availing services from an SEO agency is far better and more cost effective than recruiting manpower. There are several companies that offer such services at very affordable prices.

Importance of a high-end web design, unique logo and SEO marketing can be ignored in the era when internet is one of the most popular platforms to propagate your business. A business should have an appealing web design supported by quality content and persuasive online portfolio. You can take advantage of numerous techniques such as brand development, online advertising and campaigning, email marketing, copywriting, photography, packaging, web designing and redesigning, corporate and promotional literature and content management to improve your online image.

Once you've made up your mind to take advantage of professional services, finding a well known and trusted marketing and design agency is the next step. Although due to increased popularity of online marketing business, many companies offer these services but you should not get impressed by their marketing stunts and cheap offers. Rather, it is good to conduct an online research and get an idea of who offers what and at what prices. You can also check out their ranks in Google. The mantra is to select a veteran as you can rely on their experience and way of working.

A good website design and unique logo can help you improve your online image and can fetch more business deals. It is a long term investment that you may think of if you really want to stay ahead of the competition. As staying ahead is the only way to survive in today's tough competition, it is wise to avail professional online branding and marketing services.


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October 26, 2011

Top Photo Contests Anyone Can Join

If actors crave the recognition they get from awards and writers from the number of sales their book generates, photographers want the approval of their peers in the photography community. It is not surprising then that there are a number of prestigious photography contests out there. Each one of these typically receives a lot of stunning photographic works of art.

The judges have a hard time deciding which photographer deserves the ultimate recognition. But at the end of the day, they need to choose the "one". Whether or not you joined one of these photo contests before should not be a hindrance to your applying again! After all, art is a constantly evolving field. It is also subjective and who knows, your submission might have been close to winning in the past. Your time to win might be now. So here are some of the top photo contests you should look into:

National Geographic - are you seeking international recognition? If so, then consider submitting your most interesting shots to National Geographic. Most submissions have a cultural or human interest theme. It might just give you that big break you've been wanting.

Shutterbug Awards -one of the most prestigious photography awards in Australia, it is also accepting international submissions. The award promotes the work of passionate photography enthusiasts. Practitioners of all levels are welcome to submit their work. There are a number of prizes to be won, most of which comes from Olympus.

Earth Shots - there are just so many things to capture about nature. If you're an enthusiast for everything related to the earth and its beauty, then joining this competition might just be for you. Winners are picked on a daily basis. The site itself is a showcase of everything that's beautiful on the planet.

Backpacker - although there is no monetary compensation for this contest, your photos will be published in their magazine which is enough reward for most individuals. Participants are allowed to send up to six photos.

Aperture Academy - this institution is holding a contest for 2011: The Extraordinary Exposures Photography Contest with several categories including wildlife, nature's landscapes, and urban landscapes. There is a prize of $1,000 in cash for the winner together with a print package and a roller bag. The 1st prize winner will receive $250 and a AW bag while the 2nd and 3rd placers will receive a print package and gift certificate.

Photo Burst - are you an avid travel photographer? If so, then make Photo Burst one of the sites to submit to. There is no entry fee to join the contest. The site can provide exposure to budding photographers who are waiting for a break.

There are many other organizations that hold photo contests on a regular basis. In today's digital age, everyone is on the lookout for the best images that will exemplify a variety of subjects and interests. Just keep your eyes open for firms that accept submissions. Joining these contests is definitely worth it!


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5 Wedding Photography Tips You Must Know About

One of the easiest ways to learn anything is to just do it. When you make mistakes you learn from them. When it comes to wedding photography you really don't want to make many mistakes. Hopefully by the end of this article I will have provided you enough quality information for you to take better photos at your next wedding.

Wedding photography is unlike most types of photography in that you only have one chance to capture a shot, there's no retakes once a shot is gone you will never be able to recapture that moment. So if you want a happy bride and groom, less stress and more money in your bank account then keep on reading because these handy tips will save your butt when it comes to shooting weddings.

1. Create a shot list

If you're just starting out then a shot list is vital. Having a shot list will allow you to make sure that no shots have been missed. If you start shooting weddings on a regular basis then chances are that you won't need a shot list after a while but I believe it's always handy to have one as backup. Some of the shots I recommend taking include:

The wedding dress hanging up/leaning over a chairThe brides dress getting done upBrides garterBride getting hair done/looking in the mirrorBride/bridesmaids having makeup put onGroom tying his tieGroom hugging parentsParents/best man straitening grooms tieBride and father arriving at ceremonyFamily members being seatedBridesmaids walking down the aisleGroom waiting/checking his watchGroom seeing bride for the first timeBride before making her entranceFather and bride walking down the aisleThe back of the father and bride walking down the aisle (if you have a second photographer)Close up of bride and groom exchanging vowsClose up of the rings going onto handsThe first kiss as married coupleWalking up the aisle as a married coupleBride and groom outside the locationFamily throwing confetti at bride and groom

After the ceremony you will usually get a chance to get the bride and groom along with the bridesmaids and groomsmen to pose for some photos. I said usually because I have shot wedding where couples didn't want these types of shots. You will find the majority of couples expect these photos however and personally these types of photos I enjoy taking. Here is a shot list of some of the posed photos you should take.

Full length bride shotBride and maid of honour (3/4 and full length shots)The bride with all of the bridesmaidsThe bride and her parentsGroom with parentsBride and groomBride and groom with each set of parentsGroom with his best manGroom with bridesmaidsBride with groomsmenBride and groom with bridesmaidsBride and groom with groomsmenBride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen

One tip I would give you when shooting big groups is that you have to take control. One of the first weddings I ever shot I had people not paying any attention to me and looking in different directions. When I realised this I quickly took control and specifically asked everyone behind me with their digital cameras to stop taking photographs until I had taken mine and then I would hold the group together for a few seconds so everyone with their digital cameras could come in and take their photos. It worked and I had no problem with people looking in the wrong direction.

Another tip I would give you is to ask everyone to first look at your camera and then close their eyes. Then ask them to open their eyes on the count of 3. When they open their eyes ask them to find your camera lens with their eyes as quickly as possible. I would then recommend taking a burst of shots. This will help minimise the chance of anyone having their eyes closed.

One final tip when dealing with group shots is to say "can everyone see the camera", then follow that line with "if you can't see the camera it can't see you". This will make sure no one's head is being covered by another guests.

Once you have moved past taking the group shots you will want to start taking photos at the wedding reception. The following is a shot list I would recommend capturing:

The outside of the reception siteCandid photos of guests outside the receptionThe bride and groom arriving at the receptionThe bride and groom laughing and joking with guestsInside of the reception before guests arriveLittle details on the table such as patterns or decorationsGuests names on cards at tableThe wedding cake (multiple shots and angles)The first danceParents dancingCutting of the cakeToasts/speechesThe throwing of the bouquetBride and groom leaving

Having a set list will help you make sure that you don't miss a thing, however don't rely on them too much as you may miss some spontaneous shots. I would also recommend sending the set list to the bride and groom before hand to see if there are any additional shots they would like.

2. Having the right equipment

Now I'm sure the best photographers in the world could produce stunning images with point and shoot digital cameras, however unfortunately I'm not the best photographer in the world and have no shame in admitting it. I do however book more than enough weddings every year to earn a living from it. Having the right equipment will make your job as a wedding photographer much easier.

Wedding photography can be expensive to get into, however you can pay off your initial investment and turn a profit by just shooting one or two weddings.

I recommend at least two camera bodies and at least two lenses at a minimum. The reason for this is that in a wedding setting you don't have any time to change lenses. So for this reason I recommend using camera lenses that cover a wide range of focal lengths. If you're a Canon photographer I recommend the following two lenses as must haves:

Canon 24-70mm f2.8 Luxury Lens (Medium Range Lens)

Canon 70-200mm f2.8 II IS Lens (Telephoto Lens)

You may also want a lens such as the Canon 17-40mm F4 L lens for wide angled group shots.

If you're a Nikon or Sony photographer then look out for similar lenses.

3. Use Flash

Now when your outdoors there may be a temptation just to use natural lighting and there's nothing wrong with this at all. However simply adding a little flash will do wonders for your images. Having a flash to give a little fill light will give you nice catch lights in the eyes and will get rid of any nasty shadows cast on the face from sunlight.

Once again if you're a canon shooter I would recommend owning at least 2-3 flashes with wireless triggers. The following flashes are what I use at weddings:

Canon 430 EX II Speedlite

Canon 580 EX II Speedlite

I also wouldn't leave my home without a Gary Fong diffuser. This little accessory attaches to the top of your flash gun and makes the light less harsh, giving your images a much softer and natural feel.

4. Stick to the bride like glue

OK perhaps not like glue but you get the idea. Where ever the bride goes you must follow her and keep eyes on her at all times. Now you may be thinking what about the groom, the truth is you want to include the groom as much as possible but in reality all eyes are on the Bride. People want to see her hair, her flowers, her makeup and anything else you can imagine. The bride is the centre of the attention on her wedding day so make sure your photos reflect it.

5. Make sure you have backups

Thankfully I have never had any of my equipment fail on me, however if it did I have equipment ready to back it up. For this reason I carry two camera bodies, 3-4 lenses, multiple batteries, multiple memory cards and 3 Speedlites.

If something did go wrong you wouldn't want to be in a position where you couldn't shoot the wedding. Be prepared and you will do fine.

Conclusion

I believe it takes a special type of person to become a wedding photographer as wedding photography isn't for the faint of heart. Wedding photography can be stressful but I believe if you're prepared then you can take a lot of the stress out of the situation.

Things will go wrong when you're shooting a wedding. If you stay calm and composed however there is no reason as to why you can't handle any situation thrown at you.

Most importantly enjoy the experience. Quite often guests and family members will take care of a photographer who has been respectful and courteous. I personally love the pressure put on me to get good shots in a wedding and I think because of this my wedding photography work improves each and every time I photograph different weddings.


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October 25, 2011

The Image Makers And Photography

Photography is a fascinating art. It expresses the cultural and social values and promotes the culture of the people of a country. It also helps in introducing the way of living and their style to the modern world. It preserves the culture of the people of a country.

Photography is a fascinating world. Photographs are full of colors and life. Photography is the art or process of taking photographs.

The digital age has arrived and taken over the world of photography. The old fashioned way of taking photographs has been vanished. In days gone by, photography was not an art but a craft used primarily to capture faces and portraits of subject seated primly and stiffly in front of lavish backdrops that were supposed to look artificial as their poses.

Photographs, or, rather, portrait photography, was then a serious business and not just for those posing but also for those behind the cumbersome and unwieldy cameras that required equally huge flashlights. Images were then stored on negatives and not on computer chips. Touching entailed working on negative and positive forms of film and color was added by hand. The traditional may not have been recognized as artists but they truly were-the proof of this lies in the flourish with which they added color to black and white world they captured and knowing eye with which they picked the right tints and hues to use.

But this pain staking craft has all but died out. Images are now stored on machines and touched up in photo shop and this has sounded the death knell for the whole world of photography. Even the act of taking a passport photograph, portraiture in its own way is no longer required.

Photographs try to capture a world that after some time become the part of history and helps to remember the image makers and people who are gone away.

Indeed as critic John Berger once said:

"All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget."

Photographs is used to express the social and cultural life of people of a country. It as also used to capture the culture, cultural values, festivals and beauty of some specific regions like Kalash Valley and Cholistan desert etc, of Pakistan. It helps in introducing the ancient cultures to the modern world. Photography preserves the culture history and art of the people.

As the culture and history are the heritage of a country so it should be introduced to the modern world. Photography familiarizes people with our ancestors heritage.

Hence, photography is a very realistic art and gives life to photographs.

According to Elliott Erwitt:

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I have to found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them".


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White Flip Ultra HD - How to Find the Best White Flip Ultra HD Deals Online

Have you decided the white Flip Ultra HD is for you?

The many advanced features make it one of the easiest HD cameras to use. A lot of us enjoy shopping online for video cameras because it's so convenient, and you can get the greatest deals. After we take a look at all the features we'll share some ideas on how to find the best deals online.

No more feeling queasy when watching playback

One of the biggest complaints when sharing videos with friends is that the constant giggling makes it difficult to concentrate on the film. Flip has a new "image stabilization feature" that makes shooting true HD videos better than any of its earlier models. We can now make our videos look more professional than ever. No more getting dizzy during playback, people can now enjoy my videos.

Easier and quicker than ever

The new thinner design makes it easier and quicker than ever before to get those precious shots that just have to go on your Facebook page for the whole world to see. Having to lug around that big bulky recorder makes it difficult to have it handy for those spur of the moment events that are just too good to miss.

No more complicated software to deal with

With Flips, shoot and share simplicity makes posting to your site or emailing to a friend so convenient you'll never want put it down. When you're finished recording, just connect the flip-out USB arm to a PC or Mac and use pre-loaded FlipShare software to organize, edit and share your videos.

How to get the best deal online

Shopping online is the smart thing to do because it's much simpler than trudging around the big-box stores to find exactly what you're looking for. Comparing prices with different stores is so much easier when shopping online; you'll never want to shop for price in the malls again.

I never have to deal with the crowds and crabby salespeople, with just a few clicks; exactly what I'm looking for is on its way. It just doesn't get any simpler than that.

So if you agree that shopping online is convenient and you are looking for the best deal online, here's how to get it.

One way to get a great deal is to do a search for your white Flip ultra hd and then visit all the sites that come up. Check them out one by one and figure out which one has the best deal for you. But, this method takes a great deal of time, is very confusing, and not always reliable.

Another way is to visit each merchant's site and search for your particular model, making sure it's in stock, then compare all the shipping costs and prices. You'll also have to check out the return policy in case you unsatisfied after delivery.


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October 24, 2011

How to Select the Best Photoshop Tutorials

Digital photo editing is today's equivalent of dark room and it is an essential part of photographic process. This is why any person serious about their photos need to have skills to edit their work. But photo editing software can be complicated to use so it is quite often necessary to seek help in the form of tutorials. There are hundreds of them available on the market. Some are web based courses, other are classes you have to attend in person. Majority of them is expensive, so it is essential to choose wisely. Here are some things to consider before committing to any course.

1. Find out who the audience is
Photoshop is used by a huge variety of people - photographers, graphic designers, photo editors and some others. Each of these groups uses the software in a different way, so the training they receive need to be different. So before you sign up for a course find out who it is designed for. If you are a photographer you will not benefit much from a course for designers and vice versa. This is why it is crucial to have an understanding of what exactly is a content of the training program you want to buy.

2. Get a trial
Never ever buy a course if you can't try it first. It is simply too risky. Additionally, if a course provider does not offer free trial or free lesson than potentially they have something to hide. Most often it is a poor quality of their product they don't want you to find out about. Getting free trial is also important, so you can find out if you like how the instructions are being provided, if they are clear and easy to follow. You don't want to end up with tutorials you don't understand.

3. Ask other for feedback
This is probably the single best thing you can do to ensure you are getting good product. Find a couple of discussion forums online dedicated to photo editing and ask about a course you are considering. You are guaranteed to get a response from forum members. People active in that kind of online communities love to share their experiences. They will be able to provide lots of information about what is being offered in a course, if it delivers what it promises and if they find it useful.

Those three simple steps will help you to save money and frustration, so it is definitely worth spending a couple of days researching your purchase.


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DSLR Guide, Be Informed Before You Buy Your First DSLR Camera

D300, 40D, 7D, 550D, 500D, if your life revolves around these numbers, then yes you do have the buyer's dilemma. A state where you can't figure out which product best suits you, frankly because all of them look good around your neck. In this state, there is only one thing to do to help you make up your mind, read on!

Let's take it from the top, understanding the working of a DSLR will help you in making an informed choice so that you don't end up buying a camera and regretting it. Basically, every digital SLR works on the same principle: what you see is what you get. SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, meaning that there are mirrors inside your camera that help in showing you exactly what the camera's lens is seeing.

So, we've established how a DSLR works; now coming to the selection. First, you have to determine what kind of use you'll be subjecting your camera to. For example, if you are a sports photographer, you'll have to take photos on the spur of the moment. In that case, you need Canon's 40D or Nikon's D300, which give you a speed of 6-7 photos per second. On the other hand, if you are a beginner and are learning photography, you should opt for Nikon's D3100, which actually shows you how changing the settings can affect your photograph.

Nikon' newly launched D3100 camera is bundled with some attractive features.

You also need to consider lenses with your DSLR purchase, because lenses may actually change the view and quality of the photograph you are going to shoot. You have option to choose from wide variety Zoom lenses, or opt for wide angle lens, some work may also require you to shoot very close photographs With the help help of macro lens.

There are a number of cameras to choose from for different styles of photography. There's one for macro, one for action, one for landscapes and so on and so forth. shutter lag time can actually how you can use you camera. Choosing your style will take you a long way towards uniting you with your dream machine.

After you've defined your style, start looking for cameras that complement your styles. Learn some DSLR jargon, like aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc. There is no harm in being informed, after all, is there?

The above are all you need to choose the camera that is right for you.


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October 23, 2011

Five Reasons to Use Photography for Gift Giving

Personalization. In my opinion the first and biggest reason to use photographic gifts is the personalization that it affords the giver. I'm not talking about just giving someone a photographic portrait of yourself, although that is an excellent and very personalized gift. How about giving that special person a coffee mug or t-shirt that has their favorite (or yours) on it? The idea is to give them something that is as useful as it is artistic.


Exclusivity. By using a photograph that you have made yourself or that you have purchased from an outside source, you are offering the recipient of the gift something that can't be bought at a department store or, for that matter, even at a jewelry shop.


Individualality. With the artistry of the photographic image, you can tailor a suitable gift for anyone on your gift list. Do you have a friend or relative that likes to cook? Give them an apron with a photograph of a cake they've made. Have a person on your list that likes dogs or cats? Give them a coffee mug with a photograph of a favorite animal. Is one of your special people a nature or outdoors lover? Give them a framed print of an especially favorite scene or panorama.


Decorative. Imagine how good you'll feel when you visit someone that you sent a photographic greeting card to and they have it displayed on their desk when you arrive. Think of how good you would feel when you are complimented on your "good taste" in art.


Useful. Photography as "art" is a given, but you can use that art to create gifts that are useful as well as attractive. Consider giving a grandmother an attractive refrigerator magnet with a portrait of the grandkids on it or a favorite pet displayed there. Give your children a t-shirt that has a favorite scene displayed on it. Do you know someone that is a bird watcher? Give them a coffee mug with a photograph of a Northern Cardinal on the cup.


These are just a few suggestions on how you can use your (or someone else's) photographic talent to create gifts that are sure to be treasured by the person that received them.


The list of possibilities for photographic gifts grows constantly as new uses for our artistic talents expand. I have already mentioned a few items that may be created but here are a few more in case you need help. Do you know someone that is a card player? Give them a deck of playing cards with scenes from a vacation they (or you) especially enjoyed. How about giving your favorite cook an apron with a picture of one of their specialties on the front of the apron? There are an awful lot of people that enjoy assembling jigsaws and one of your favorite photos might be just the thing for them. How about a beautiful nature scene that you admire? Have a photograph of the scene printed on canvas and frame it for display in your living room for everyone else to appreciate as well.


My name is Alan Chin and I am a professional photographer specializing in photojournalism and event photography. Visit http://www.facebook.com/alanchinwenglon to see examples of my work. If you would like to order prints or photographic giftware follow the links on the gallery pages where you can purchase many of the items I have listed in this article.

5 Ways an Assistant Will Improve Your Photography

As an amateur photographer have you ever been guilty of watching a professional and saying "I really don't see a big difference between her and I."? I can guarantee almost all professionals have a secret weapon you don't: an assistant, or even better- several assistants. Assistants are a huge piece of professional photography.

Face it, if you ever plan to lead a portrait photoshoot of any kind, your work will improve if you add an assistant. The best part is, they aren't that hard to find. The even better part is if you are willing to do a little coaching you can even teach a friend or relative to help you in a bind. At some time or another, pretty much anyone in my family or close friend of mine has worked as my assistant at one time or another. Here are 5 ways your photography will immediately improve with the addition of an assistant:

(1) Not every piece of equipment fits conveniently on a light stand: Your assistant is the most portable and versatile light stand you can have. I almost always ask my assistant to hold reflectors, and even stand on a chair to hold a flash. If you can't squeeze a light stand in a space, I guarantee you can squeeze an assistant in there.

(2) You need someone to manage people outside of the photo: Especially important at weddings. At weddings my assistants know to not allow people behind me to pull out point and shoot cameras and snap away at the same time. Any time there are people present outside of your model these people can become distracting. My assistants do a great job managing these outside distractions. And with groups someone always wanders off. My assistants know to keep track of key people and if someone is missing, they run them down while I make sure everyone else stays put.

(3) The Details: My assistants do a great job looking at the small things in the picture, the details I may forget to look at. When I'm composing a shot I am focused on the lighting and overall image, and my assistants watch for the small things: the hands, feet, clothing out of place, etc. Most of the time these things are handled with the overall image, but that one or two times during a photoshoot when I overlook something my assistants help keep an eye on the details.

(4) An assistant of the opposite sex will see things you won't: Seriously. I like my assistants to be female because they notice things I am not programmed to notice. As a man, I am not programmed to notice hair out of place, or a dress slightly out of place, or unattractive shoes that need to be hidden, and all of the other fashion and hair faux pa's that are so common. I only notice the major no-no's like the fanny pack or the socks with Tevas, and the occasional pair of Crocs. The same goes for female photographers - a male assistant will be a great help making sure your male models appear masculine and strong.

(5) The invaluable role of a second person: Having a second person on your side can be invaluable, whether it is an awkward social situation where you need your assistant to distract and divert the weird uncle, or if you need your assistant to help calm down a bridezilla situation, or when you forget something (and at some point you will forget something) your assistant plays a major role in filling in the gaps you could not possibly handle on your own. Even if you just have your assistant carry your equipment around, this saves you the time and energy and allows you to focus more on composing your shot and dialing in your lighting.


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October 22, 2011

Ten Top Tips For Getting Started With Time Lapse Photography

If you're a keen amateur photographer or even a pro and want to have a go at time-lapse photography and time lapse film making, I've listed some top tips to help you get started. Don't think you'll be able to do what the time-lapse movie specialists do and time lapse in all sorts of challenging conditions for long periods of time. That takes very special know-how and equipment. However, for simpler applications, and just to get you started, I'm going to give you ten top tips. Here goes...

1. If you have a camera with a built in intervalometer (timer) that's great. If not, you'll need to go shopping to buy an intervalometer. They are more commonly called 'remote control triggers' nowadays. But just make sure they have an 'intervalometer' function; that is a function that allows you to set up to take images at pre-set intervals. There's no use me recommending any intervalometers or remote devises here - as it really depends on what camera you have. But a bit of web research should give you some ideas of which one may be best for you. Before you get started properly, get to know the intervalometer and what it can do.

2. Timing is all-important. Like a good comedian, a good time lapse photographer must get his/her timing right! The most common error for all time-lapse newbie's is setting unrealistic intervals between exposures. If the intervals are too long, you wont have sufficient frames to do an edit. It is better in some ways if you have too many (as you can always 'lose' some). But just be aware that too many may mean your camera having problems with processing. Plus, you don't necessarily want to work the shutter on your camera too much! Setting the interval time between exposures is something that will come with practice and experience. You end up getting an instinct for it. But, a few things to bear in mind to help you are to A) think how long you want the time lapse sequence to last, and B) hold in mind that your edit will be sequenced at around 25fps (frames per second). Think! You'll have to get 25 exposures / frames for 1 second of sequence. Someone once asked us to take 4 frames over 24 hours for a week and edit a time-lapse sequence for them.......until we pointed out that the 'sequence' would only run for a fraction over 1 second!

3. Camera settings are important, and these all depend on the type of time-lapse you do and the various factors involved. It can get quite complex. But, to get started, just set the camera on AV (aperture value), set your f-stop modestly to around 4 and just a few hundred on your ISO (we don't want noisy images). This should give you a nice balance between controlling your camera and letting your camera decide some things for itself.

4. Get a tripod. It may sound obvious. But we've seen people trying to do time lapse by perching a camera precariously somewhere where it can easily be knocked. Remember, time-lapse photography and film-making only works by getting images that are captured from exactly the same fixed position. If you see a sequence edited together from frames that are different - because of camera movement - you'll see the whole sequence shaking and wobbling! No good! A tripod, locked into position will give your camera a nice stable platform.

5. Get a decent size memory card. It may sound obvious again, but it's another common error. As the proverb says, 'You have to cut your cloth according to your coat'. Take a test image. What is the file size that the image is coming in at? Now multiply this by the number of images you'll be taking. Is your card big enough? No? Then you'll need to do either the following OR a combination of the following: a) get a bigger card b) reduce the file size (quality) of your captures c) do a card-swap at necessary intervals (taking care not to knock your camera). The real experts may output to an external storage device.... They may insist on bringing their images in HD (high definition) and creating HD time lapse movies.... but I'm trying to keep things simple for you here!

6. Be aware of power issues. Again, if you are time-lapsing using a camera with a single battery, you'll need to be aware that it will run out relatively quickly. You'll know how quickly if you know your camera. To solve, you can use a battery grip to extend the time you have, or even better, get an ac adaptor and plug your camera into the mains!

7. Do indoor projects first. You can control your environment and the lighting this way. Outdoors, you potentially face greater challenges; the weather, changes in light, away from power sources and so on. We know people who have wrecked very expensive DSLRs by leaving them unprotected out and not noticing its been raining!

8. Stick to things that wont take too long to capture at first. What about an ice cube melting, for a really short time lapse? Then, as you become more ambitious and experienced, you could always progress to cress seeds growing or an indoor potted flower opening. A simple favorite is to deprive an indoor plant of water for a while, then water it and time-lapse its recovery! Another great one is to place a white flower in water, add food colouring to the water and time lapse the nice effect of the colour climbing up the flower as it drinks....

9. You have all your images. It's time for the edit. What? You can't edit? Well that's fine. Although again, the experts put their images through a number of processes in post production - we are keeping things simple. And what surprises most people is that there is a simple way to edit. It wont be anywhere near as good as what the experts do - in fact the experts wouldn't really call it editing strictly. However, it works for our purposes. The secret is throwing your images into one of the applications that just auto-sequence them together. I can't mention any of them here...but do your research.

10. I said there were ten tips..... so here is the tenth. Get your work out there, share it. Look at what others have done, join a forum, swap tips, practice, and above all...have fun getting started with time lapse photography.


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October 21, 2011

When Is Image Touching Required?

Now with digital solutions even backgrounds can be changed. Additions can be made to the original photo. Or two images can be merged effortlessly. Such perfection is only possible through the services of the digital photo studios. With many companies giving online services, image touching can be done. The main aim of any Photoshop operation is to attain a realistic image that will be liked. This realism can mean many different things for the professional dealing with images and what the client needs. To some refers to the overall quality of the image, others look into minute details and the rest believe in making the picture look like a living entity but without the imperfections. As photo retouching includes many image makeover procedures, it comes handy to all of them. Imagine now even black and white pictures can be colorized with the efforts of photo imaging.

Often people have spots and scratches on their faces. Though it is difficult to get rid of them in reality, but, they can easily be removed from images. All those images that look so perfect have always have undergone many sessions of image retouching. So, with the help of image retouching it is not very difficult to erase some unwanted marks, wrinkles or fine lines and some other imperfections.

Photo retouching is also very vital for photo restoration services. Often some of the portions of old photographs are spoilt. But with the help of image retouching, they can be recreated and the entire image gets a new life.

Another important avenue of the image retouching procedure is the color correction methodology. A lot of pictures come with uneven or unattractive colors. It is then that the professional induce color correction methods. The color correction procedures are not limited to the back ground effects only but are often used to brighten the images.

Photo retouching can brilliantly transform black and white image into colored pictures. It is vital that the sharp contours of the images are maintained while changing them from black and white to colored copies. The artist can select the suitable color for the image and can even alter the tonal quality of the colors. It is also used to increase or decrease the shine of the pictures. Often a different effect is achieved through altering the sheen of the pictures. Often the pictures that paper on magazines are far glossier than the original copies. On the other hand, images can also be faded to make them look more real. Even the photo texture can be altered to give it the right look. Often photographers take color pictures and then convert them into black and white to retouch the image- Perhaps to get the right emotional drama to the entire picture. One cannot underestimate what possibilities can exist with Photo retouching. It has been instrumental in helping several businesses to improve on their product presentation on the website and brochures.

All this and many things more can be easily achieved through image touching.


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The Photographer Who Takes Dog Portraits For A Living

Sometimes, it just seems that dogs exhibit behaviors of a human being. Not only dog owners believe that their pets are almost human that every intelligent canine worthy of love and care feels such emotions as embarrassment, annoyance, irritation, and is startled by certain sights and sounds. Knowledge about a dog's moods as well as its interests makes for a successful animal portrait.

Refusal to have his picture taken could be indicated by his baring at the wrong instant, the wagging of his tail, or the refusal to prick up his ears. The dog could start being hardheaded and give the portrait artist a difficult time. Instead of appealing to the dog's sense of smell to get it to do a noticeable pose, try to surprise it by appealing to its sense of hearing. If a dog sniffs around, he would tilt his neck upward and ruin the lines and contours of the shot, but if the dog is slightly startled, he would stand with ears up.

A dog's photograph is best shot in the early morning since this is when he is bright and alert. Being always alert, the hungry dog is more capable of doing the pose. During this time of the day, it is cool and so his mouth would not be hanging open as much compared to the later hours of the day. Tired looking dogs and dogs with mouths wide open do not make good portraits.

We can say that the studios of dog photographers are similar to the studios of radio broadcasting stations in one particular way. Different kinds of sound effects are available for use just in case one sound effect cannot be used to bring out the attention the photographer wants. Available sounds include mouse squeaks and duck quacks.

A breeder wants to see perfection shown in his dog's portrait as he inspects the proofs. An artist who sketches has work that is distinct from an artist who photographs dogs. In drawing a picture, the artist makes an effort to show only what he can see and not what he knows is also there. But with dogs it is just the opposite and the photographer must try to get into the plate what should be there rather than what is easily visible.

Magnify a daschund's length. Dogs' bodies should be slightly tilted at an angle and their feet should be placed firmly on the ground for the shot. Handling German boxers would be an arduous task. While friendly to humans, he is capable of being unfriendly with other dogs present.

Although taking pictures of dogs while they are hungry make the task easier, amateur photographers often forget this fact. They make a mistake of feeding their dogs before or during the shoot and naturally have lazy and disinterested subjects. The alert dog assumes his stance without difficulty.

Most photographers want the breeder absent when they are posing a dog. Dog owners can make a big fuss about a lot of things regarding their dogs, and it is for this reason that they do this. Since the dog knows what tricks the master would do to get his attention, the owner's presence wouldn't help much. The desirable response of the animal would be brought out if various sound effects were used.


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October 20, 2011

Photography Tips for Honeymooners

Isn't it great that after your special day you get to go on a great holiday? Even better, you know when you get back you will have your wedding photographs ready for that first draft viewing? Even better, you will have loads and loads of great honeymoon photographs. Won't you? Well, the usual answer to the last question is..erm...possibly! In this short article I am going to share with you some of the secrets to taking real photographs, not just holiday snaps!

Tip 1 -Think about Composition - don't just point and shoot.

This sounds simple but is really a great tip. Think about the photograph your taking. What is the subject, what is behind the subject? We have all seen photos of people with things sticking out of their heads!
Make sure the background is interesting for Tip 2...

Tip 2 - The Rule of Thirds

This is a great rule used by professional photographers the world over. When you're looking at the back of your point and shoot or DSLR imagine the screen has lines on it that split the view into thirds.
Place you main subject where the lines intersect and you are generally onto a winner. Make sure you follow Tip 1 to get some interesting background!

(Rough stone walls, tree bark or landscape / seascapes are all interesting backgrounds by the way.)

Tip 3 - Get your self a little tripod or beanbag!

These are great if you want to take that all-important shot with both of you in the photograph and there is no one around to take it for you. A beanbag is really cheap and you only need a very small one. The tripod is a little more expensive and the best of the small bunch are the Gorilla Pods that can be wrapped around anything.

Tip 4 - if you can afford it invest in a cheap DSLR

You don't need to spend a fortune to get a really great camera that will give you so much more scope for your honeymoon photographs and provide you with an introduction to an addictive hobby - photography! Anything more than around ?450 including a standard lens is too much money, unless you're buying from e-Bay. (and if you do make sure the camera isn't't damaged!) Obviously if you can afford it you can pay a fortune - but save your money for those honeymoon treats!

Thanks
Andrew Miller


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October 19, 2011

The Truth About Shooting Good Pictures

If someone tells you that you need to buy a good camera or lens before you can get better pictures, don't believe him or her. In this article, I will be debunking two myths about shooting good pictures. The first one is that you need to buy a good camera before you can take good pictures. And the second one is that you need to also buy a good lens. At the end, I will explain why growing your skills as a photographer is the only thing that will improve your pictures. After reading this article, you should be able to avoid the pitfall of buying new gears with the hope of getting better results and will be more informed about the importance of a photographer's skill.

The first myth that I will debunk is that you don't need to buy expensive camera to take good pictures. Given the current advance in technology, most camera manufacturers are striving to make the best possible product to stay ahead in the market. The brands that cannot do so will soon vanish from the marketplace. In addition, they will also need to offer competitive price. Therefore, given the current competition, it is actually harder to find a bad camera than to find a good one. When you are buying a camera, just make sure that it is above 8 megapixels and it comes from a well-known brand.

The second one is that you need to buy an expensive lens to take a good pictures. Again, just like the first point, this is not often the case. A lens will take a while to get used to, especially the expensive ones. Buying a new, expensive lens will soon make a beginner photographer feel frustrated and can end up giving up the lens or even giving up photography as a hobby altogether. You really need to know what lens you want and why before purchasing one otherwise you'll end up wasting time and money.

This brings us to the conclusion that the most important things that a photographer must have is good skill and vision. Having these two skills will greatly improve your pictures to a degree that will surprise you and even your friends and families. If you are really a good photographer, they can also realize that even though your camera is not as good as them, you can take better picture than them. Also, patience is key when you are trying to grow your skill and vision. It will not come overnight. Only by working constantly on improving your composition, approaching different subject and studying more will you be able to grow your vision.

Now you know why buying an expensive camera or lens will not help you take better pictures. Even more, you know that he most important thing in photography is your skill and vision. Stick to this newfound tips and you'll be on the right path of shooting a truly good pictures. Good luck in your photography journey.


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Choosing the Best Cameras for Traveling

Part of the fun of traveling is sharing your memories through photographs, either when you return home, or while you're still on the road via the web. For those who love to share photos of their travels, the right camera is as important a travel accessory as the best backpack or your passport. But choosing among the many kinds and styles of cameras available can be tricky. If you're getting ready to head out for a trip overseas, consider which factors are most important to you in choosing a camera for your travels.


Which Camera is Right for Me?


Cell phone cameras are convenient and fun for quick snapshots with your friends, but the picture quality you'll get with a cell phone camera is questionable at best. Unless you're planning to limit your picture-taking to quickly uploaded snapshots of friends and scenes, your cell phone camera probably won't cut it.


Point and shoot cameras, also known as compact digital cameras, are lightweight and easy to stash in a pocket. The picture quality of the cheapest compact digital cameras is better than all but the very best cell camera phones. For many travelers, compact point and shoot digital cameras are the ideal companion on a vacation, and many of them even have the capacity to upload your photos directly to your blog, Flickr or Facebook account.


If your photographs are important to you, you'll likely want to step up the range to EVF - electronic viewfinder - digital cameras that have better lenses, and take much better pictures. They're still small enough to pack for your trip and easy to carry, though they won't quite fit in your pocket. For all but the most dedicated picture takers, EVF digital cameras will fill their needs.


If you're a serious photographer, you'll want a good digital single lens reflex - dSLR - camera, which are the most expensive cameras with prices that can range up to thousands of dollars. They're also heavier, weighing several pounds, and are harder to carry with you if you're backpacking or doing major walking while sightseeing. But the pictures will be top quality, and the range of lenses and accessories will allow you to take magazine-quality photos for serious work.


Specialty Digital Cameras


Many top-of-the-line dSLR cameras are equipped with rangefinder lenses, which automatically measure the distance to the subject and adjust the lens so that every photograph is in sharp focus.


Digital camcorders allow you to capture digital video as well as still shots. They range in price from very inexpensive, with quality to match, to very expensive, with accessories and everything you need to take high-quality digital video of your travels.


Other Considerations


Travelers have several things to consider when choosing the best cameras for their needs. They include:

Power source: If you're traveling overseas or in a remote area, you'll want a camera that operates on easily available batteries, such as standard AAAs. There's nothing worse than missing the shot of a lifetime because you've run out of batteries.Weight: If you're going to have to carry your camera on a backpacking trip or day trip with lots of walking, you'll start feeling its weight pretty quickly. Consider how much weight and space you want to give over to packing your photography equipment.

October 18, 2011

Bird Photography on Your Southern African Safari

If you are a bird photographer then a southern African safari has much to offer you, not only in the prime summer months, but also in the winter months!

Here we discuss our birding experiences in four of southern Africa's most famous game reserves to help you choose your destination.

Kruger National Park
The Kruger Park's diverse range of habitats is responsible for a bird list of over 550 bird species, while the availability of food in these habitats ensures that many species occur in abundance.

The Park is especially good for large raptors which are rare sightings outside of large conservation areas, while many other scarce and migrant species are attracted to the Kruger's unspoilt wilderness.

Birding is good throughout the Kruger but the far north tends to be the most productive bird photography area. One of the best-known birding hotspots in the north is the Pafuri picnic site where you could find a whole lot of 'specials' that are not found in the rest of the park.

Commonly seen Pafuri specials include Lemon-breasted Canary, Wattle-eyed flycatcher, Yellow White-eye, Greyheaded Parrot, Mottled Spinetail, Crested Guinea-fowl and African Finfoot. Less common but occasionally seen, are Dickinson's Kestrel, Thickbilled Cuckoo, Pel's Fishing Owl, Goldenbacked Pytilia, Rackettailed Roller, Whitebacked Night Heron, Narina Trogon and Yellowspotted Nicator.

These specials should be looked for all along the Luvuvhu river and not just at the picnic site. This Pafuri area has such good bird specials because it is close to the Mozambique coast and the Limpopo River, which acts as a migration corridor for birds that are normally found further to the north and east.

The bridge over the Luvuvhu River and Crook's Corner can be particularly rewarding with sightings of the rare Pel's Fishing Owl.

The other sixteen Picnic sites are also worth walking around as the birds are used to humans and allow you to get close to them.

There are eleven bird hides located throughout the park of which we have found Lake Panic hide near Skukuza camp and Sweni hide near Satara camp to provide the best bird photography opportunities.

All the main camps and bushveld camps are excellent for birding - some cottages have bird baths in front of them, which attracts many different birds while at night you should look for the resident owls and nightjars!

Whether you are driving along the roads or sitting at your bungalow, you will have the opportunity to see and photograph hundreds of different birds, some of the more common ones being Rollers, Drongos, Storks, Starlings, Doves, Guinea-fowl, Francolins, Hornbills, Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, Swallows, Vultures, Eagles and Owls.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve
The Pilanesberg is good for birding with over 350 species being recorded. When we first started visiting the Pilanesberg we used to see raptors but during the last few years eagle and vulture sightings have been very scarce. The park is, however, superb for its water birds.

There are a few bird hides that have been constructed on the edges of waterholes and dams that provide excellent game and bird photography opportunities.

Lake Mankwe, for example, is a prime spot where you can photograph Kingfishers (Malachite, Giant, Pied), Cormorants, Spoonbills, Herons, Fish Eagles, Osprey and a host of other water bird species. The lake is large so you are able to photograph birds in flight as they fly from the shore to land on the dead trees in front of the hide.

Birding is also very good in the camps where you stand a better chance of seeing some birds, such as the Crimson-breasted Shrike.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Even though the Kgalagadi offers a wide range of birds (over 280 bird species have been recorded) it is most well-known for its birds of prey.

There are three main birding environments in the park; the dune roads, the Nossob and Auob riverbeds, and the three main camps. Most bird species are found throughout the park but some tend to be more common in one of these three environments.

Check the trees in the three main camps for owls and other bush-veld species. Most of our raptor sightings have been at the waterholes along the Auob and Nossob river roads.

Even if you are staying at one of the wilderness camps you should also be rewarded with good bird sightings, depending on which camp you are at. We have seen Secretary Birds, Martial Eagles, Lanner Falcons, Goshawks, Sand-grouse and Owls from our dune cabins at the wilderness camps.

Etosha National Park
Bird photography in Etosha can be good in winter but is best in the summer months from when the rains start, normally October, until April. Over 412 bird species have been recorded in Etosha.

Namutoni - The waterhole is not great for mammals but it can produce some good bird sightings including Caspian Plover, Red-billed Queleas and Greater Painted-snipe.

In camp keep a look-out for the Palm Swift, Sunbirds, Starlings, Barn Owls and Red-faced Mouse-birds. Fisher's pan, which is just behind the camp, can produce some nice summer migrants such as Black-necked Grebe, Lesser and Greater Flamingos, Yellow-billed Stork, African Openbill, and Saddle-billed Stork.

Halali - This camp is our favorite for birds. you may see Bare-cheeked Babblers, Violet Wood-hoopoes, Carp's Tit, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills and Southern White-faced Scops Owls - all in camp.

At the Moringa waterhole we have seen Doves, Pygmy Falcons, Fork-tailed Drongos and at sunset huge flocks of Namaqua Sandgrouse with Owls later in the night.

Okaukuejo - In camp there is a Sociable Weaver nest in a tree right at the waterhole wall and the Weavers will keep you entertained for hours. You can see many birds either at the waterhole or in the camp.

By day keep a lookout for Namaqua Sandgrouse, Red-billed Queleas, Lanner Falcons, Gabar Goshawks, Red-billed Teals, Southern Pied Babblers, Crimson-breasted Shrikes, Violet-eared Waxbills, African Hoopoe, Groundscraper Thrush, Dusky Sunbirds, Acacia Pied Barbets, Golden-tailed Woodpeckers, and large flocks of Double-banded Sandgrouse.

At night watch for Pearl-spotted Owlets, Verreaux's Eagle-owls, Barn owls, and Rufous-cheeked Nightjars

Bird Photography Gear
Photographic equipment for bird photography is virtually the same as what is needed for wildlife photography - long lenses, good support in terms of tripods, bean bags, and gimbal heads, plus good long-lens technique to ensure sharp photographs of birds in flight. We use the Nikon 80-400mm VR zoom lens plus the Nikon 600mm f4 (non-VR) lens for our bird photography. You could also use a 300mm f2.8 or 300mm f4 plus a tele-converter to get good results.


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