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3 Tips To Help Novice Photographers Achieve Great Outdoor Portraits

outdoor photography winter

Whether you have purchased a new camera just because you love to take photos, or because you are hoping to one day turn this love into a money-earning business, one of the first areas you need to learn new skills is in the area of how to take a fantastic outdoor portrait. Shooting outdoors can be a lot more challenging for the beginner photographer, simply because you cannot control the elements that you are shooting in. However, by learning a few basics, you can produce outdoor portrait photos that will even win the praise of the professionals.

outdoor photography woman

Time Of Day

The best time of day to take outdoor photos is the time referred to as ‘the golden hour’. Even if you are photographing the most sensational setting in the world, it can still be left looking dull and lifeless if it is photographed at the wrong time of the day.

The golden hour refers to two specific times of the day. Firstly, it is the one-hour window that occurs after sunrise. Secondly, it is the final hour of daylight before the sun sets.

The reason why these periods produce such stunning photos is because during these times the sun is very low in the sky. This means that the light is there, but it is subtle and diffused rather than harsh and glaring like the midday sun can be. You don’t have to worry about overpowering shadows in your photos when you use these periods of daylight to your advantage.

Keep It Simple

One of the tough things when you are shooting outdoor portraits is to make sure that the stunning background does not detract the viewer from seeing the equally stunning subject of the photo.

A background that is free of too much clutter is best, and there are two ways you can achieve this. Firstly, choose a very simple natural background. A field, the sky or an interesting looking wall will all make fabulous backgrounds for portraits being taken outdoors. Alternatively, focus your frame right in on the object being photographed so that they almost fully engulf the frame. By doing this, the object of the photo becomes the subject and not everything that is going on around them.

Avoid Subject Squinting

outdoor photography

As previously discussed, the golden hour is the best time to take photos that will not be impacted by the harshness of the sun as it heads into the sky, but there will be times when your subject cannot meet with you during the golden hours. One of the main problems with shooting in bright sun is that your subject is going to want to naturally squint, and that will quickly be captured in your photos.

One way to reduce squinting is to find some shade that your subject can sit under. For example, learning against a tall tree will not only give you sun protection, but it will also give you a simple backdrop to photograph against.

Clouds are another way that you can reduce the impact of the sun as clouds diffuse the light. You will see pretty shadows, refined light and a non-squinting subject to photograph when the clouds come out.

If you want to be extremely creative, take along an old, white queen-size sheet to photography sessions that are outdoors. When you drape it over a branch to filter out the sun, you instantly have a light diffuser to protect the eyes of your subject.

Try putting these tips to the test the next time you need to take some outdoor photos and see how they work out for you. The more you practice your outdoor photography skills, the stronger your skills will become.

The Ins and Outs of Action Sports Photography

football

One of the more difficult forms of photography is action sports photography. Why is it so difficult? It is such a difficult form of photography because everything is moving really fast. You don’t have time to perfectly compose your shot, you need the right equipment for the job and you have to be there at the perfect time to snap the perfect picture. It is difficult and very rewarding at the same time. The perfect sports shot is a thing the gold is something that will remind in the minds of people forever. It is an emblem of victory or of sorrow.

racehorse

What You Need To Know For Successful Sports Photography

To do this type of photography you need to know a few things and that is what we’re going to share with you in this article.

1. Get the Right Camera

The first thing that you need to know about action sports photography is that you need the right camera. No, this does not mean that you need the most expensive camera but you need the camera with the right features. The first thing you need is a camera with a laser sharp autofocus. If you think about it sports action happened so fast that you need an autofocus system that can keep up. If you don’t have a quality autofocus camera then you going to end up with a lot of buzzy and out of focus shots. Though the things that you do not want and that will look like junk. So your first job is to research and find a camera that has a great autofocus system. This could be a full frame camera, a micro 4/3 are in APS – C sensor camera. Your choice on sensor size it’s up to you but the need for a quick autofocus and camera is not up for debate.

2. Shutter Speed Matters

sports swimming

You will also need a camera that has enough shutter speeds that will make shooting action photography worthwhile. What this means is that you need a camera with the very short shutter speed something that is around one 8000s of the second that way you can take those fast happening shots and stop it, make a Christmas shot with everything in focus and everything sharp. If you don’t have this aspect on your camera you will not get the shots that you desire.

3. Get the Right Camera Lens

The next important thing is that you need the right lenses for your camera. You can actually get away with one very good lens. You don’t often see action sports photographers change in lenses a lot when they are on the job. You don’t see them doing this because they don’t have time they have to be there when the shot is there. So our recommendation is that you either buy a telephoto zoom with enough depth of field to isolate the action from far away. You can also find a prime lens with the not focal length that can do that to but it will cost a bit of money. This is a must and it is not up for debate either. You need the right lens for the job. The right lens is one that has a long enough focal length to isolate shots from far away, that can allow you to create shallow depth of field, sharp images from far away and everything in between. You will likely be shooting a lens that is 80 mm to 300 mm. That is sort of the icing on the cake of sports photography shooting. Of course that focal length range is based on having a full frame camera you will have to figure out the equivalency for what ever sensor size camera that you on that.

4. Go out and Take that Shot!

lacrosse

The next step might be the most important one of all and that is to get out and practice. You don’t make great pictures from home and you definitely don’t learn how to shoot sports action photography on the Internet. You learned by doing it. So go out to as many games as you can and learn your craft. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom shooting your kid playing soccer or someone who aspires to shoot professional sports. You have to go out and do the work. Due to drills to get the skills. That means that you go out you try to achieved different shots, you try to test and stress and expand your skill set so that you end up becoming a pretty good sports action photographer.

Photography in Black and White

tea-party-black-and-white-photography

sports-black-and-white-photography

Some of the most expressive photography is black and white. Black-and-white photography is very compelling for many different reasons. It is compelling because it is very toned down. You’re not lost, controlled or influenced by a variety of colors. You left more with tone, composition and contrast. You can do a lot with tone, composition and contrast. Entire careers have been made offer just creating black-and-white photography. If you are into landscape photography do not think that you have to use color. Some of the most famous landscape photographers made a career using black and white film. They’re still modern-day landscape photographers who have critical acclaim who use black-and-white photography. It is a great medium to use. It even improves your photographic eye. It makes you see more, pay attention to composition and the tonal qualities that you’re going after. It is where the popular zone system got his birth. It is where you can make your mark as a photographer. It is where you might be able to find a new way to express your gift of photography.

cat-black-and-white-photography

When you do black-and-white photography you have to think about it a little bit differently than you would color photography. Where as you can get away with color photography allowing the camera to handle the controls, with the black-and-white photography you need to know a little bit about exposure. You need to know how to set up your camera and manual mode. You need to have an understanding of that the field, f-stop, shutter speed and using the right lens to get the job done. All of these things are not hard to learn and you probably have a basic idea of them already.

In the modern age of digital cameras one thing that people typically do is they shoot their pictures and color and then transform them into black-and-white afterwards. They do this to gather as much details in the image file as possible. It is a good technique to use but you do not have to use it. But it is a common to the people use. You might find that it works great for you and that he gives you a variety of options. You might find that a picture looks better and color or black-and-white. If you would have only shot black-and-white then you would be stuck with the black-and-white image.

chess-black-and-white-photography

Another thing that is a very popular is that people use postprocessing software to create the look that they want. They do this both in color and in black and white. Because this the digital darkroom because it allows you to edit and to control the look of your images just like you would an old-school film darkroom. But the editing software you can get plenty of plug-ins they can help you shape the look of your black-and-white photography. It can help you transform a color image into a black and white picture. You will get the best results when using postprocessing if you shoot your images in raw format. Raw format is preferred because it gives you the most image to work with and the most data remains in the image for you to alter. It is this data about the image that is manipulated by digital editing software.

Learning how to use digital editing software and postprocessing your digital files is an art within itself. It is a very useful art. It will help you get the most out of your landscape photography images that you shoot in black and white. It’s just another powerful tool that you have at your disposal to get the most out of your photography. It is well worth learning how to use these things.

The same rules for any other type of photography is also required. For landscape photography you definitely need to be there in the right time of the day to get the ideal picture. You need to plan when you going to make your shots. You need to choose to go out when the light is the best. This might be around sunrise or around sunset. This is when you will typically get the best images. This is true for black and white and it is true for color.

You can probably see by now, that black and white landscape photography is a ton of fun. It also allows you to learn many new things. It is a bare-bones type of photography that is very interesting and they can allow you to express things that you can’t in color. It is a worthwhile pursuit in every photographer to try to shoot in black and white every once in a while. They should do so because it allows them to test different photography skills that they should have. It allows you to see in a different way.

Take Pictures Like A Pro With These Newborn Photography Tips

newborn photo

Bringing a new baby into your home is one of the most magical events of your life. Capturing these moments on film will help you remember them in detail for many years to come. They will also provide a treasured keepsake that your child can look back on as they grow older.

newborn-photography

Ask any parent and they will tell you that children grow up way too fast. Their entire childhood can be over in the blink of an eye. Because of this, it is important to capture every moment that you can so that you can preserve the precious memories of your child’s early years.

Photographing a newborn is particularly important. Babies grow and change on a daily basis. Because of that, you need to work quickly in order to get photos of them in the newborn phase. The following newborn photography tips should help.

Two Types of Photos for Newborn

There are two basic types of photos that you can take of your child.

  1. Posed Portraits

The first style involves taking posed portraits of your baby where you position them in different poses and take their photos. Oftentimes, these photos can have a magical feel since you can incorporate props that add to the composition of the photograph and highlight just how tiny and delicate your child is.

baby portrait

 

2. Candid Photos

The second style of photos involves taking candid photos of your baby as they experience their everyday life. Typically, these photos incorporate other family members and can be a great way to capture all of the events in the earliest days of your child’s life. Oftentimes, as a parent, you will be so exhausted during this time period that everything is a blur. Taking photos from these early days can help you look back on the time that you were getting to know your child in a whole different way. Being able to see how much love was in your home can give you a whole different perspective on being a new parent.

candid photo of a newborn

For taking posed photos, it is usually best to start as early as you can. Generally, newborns can be put in just about any pose that you want for the first two weeks of their life without doing much moving. They spend most of their time sleeping and don’t mind being moved into different positions. This makes it far easier to do a photo shoot. Just make sure that whatever poses or props you choose are safe for your child. If necessary, have someone on hand that can be in the room with you to ensure that your baby doesn’t fall or get stuck in a particular pose. The last thing you want is to accidentally injure your child while you are trying to capture their image.

newborn-photo

If you really want your images to look great, you need good lighting. Spend some time researching how to properly light photos to achieve different effects. For instance, intense lighting from a particular angle can create a lot of drama whereas soft, diffused lighting can give the photos a delicate feel.

For lifestyle photos, you can generally capture amazing photos for the first month or two of your baby’s life. Try to find candid moments to photograph. For instance, if your spouse is lying down holding your baby, capture an image of the two of them together. If you have other children, try to get photos of your children along with your new baby.

Most importantly, make sure that you also get pictures of yourself with your baby. Oftentimes, as a new parent, you can get so caught up in trying to get pictures of your child that you forget about including yourself in the photographs. However, having photos of yourself with your baby to look back on can be truly magical. Periodically hand the camera to someone else and ask them to take your photo so that you have a record of these early days.

Finally, don’t forget to get some of your photos printed. These days, it is easy to get in the habit of storing all of your photos digitally. Unfortunately, that means that they can wind up getting stuffed in a folder somewhere on your hard drive and forgotten about. By printing them out and hanging them in your home, they can serve as a constant reminder of the joy that you experienced when you first brought your child home from the hospital. You can also get prints made for your child’s baby book so that they can see what their earliest days were like as they grow older.

These newborn photography tips should help you capture incredible photos of your child. Don’t be afraid to try experimental shots or to play around with different techniques. You never know what angles or camera settings will give you the best results. These days, with digital cameras, it is so easy to delete photos that you don’t like that you may as well take as many as you can. That way, you will have plenty to choose from when you are putting together albums or deciding which ones to hang in your home.

The Art of Self Portrait Photography

self-portrait-garden

self-portrait

In this age, the age of the ubiquitous and often annoying selfie, self portrait photography has gotten a really bad name. This often happens when we take something that requires skill and craft and thought and sum it up into a device like an iPhone and handed to every self absorbed person. But we are here just to talk down the self he but to improve the efficacy of self portrait photography which can be a selfie. What many self-portrait aficionados have learned is that the basics of good photography remain. It doesn’t matter if you taking your self-portrait with your iPhone or an expensive digital camera. The fundamentals remain the same and they are true hard and fast.

How to Make High-Quality Self-Portrait Photographs

The first thing that you have to learn to make high-quality self-portrait photographs is that light is your friend or your enemy. Light becomes your enemy when you do not have enough of it. We have all seen these pictures that people take where it’s all dark mighty and everything looks awful. That is an example of not having enough light. It could be the results of having a camera with a very small sensor, poor local light or poor use of light. It could be a combination of all of the above. But as a person was to take the ultimate self-portrait you need to pay attention to light and you need to make it your friend. This does not mean that you only have to take pictures in front of Windows are any other bright place, it just needs to be a manipulation and use of light that creates the best image.

Read more: Best Lighting Options for Photography

You need to learn how to properly compose your images. Composition is the number one skill and all forms of photography it is a worthwhile skill to learn. You will never be a great photographer if you do not understand composition and it doesn’t matter if you’re shooting for a fashion magazine are shooting the ultimate selfie for Instagram. You need to put much thought into how you going to post your body, how are you going to position other things in the shot, where in the frame are you going to place your body, what type of natural objects around you will properly frame the shot to give it the most detailed and the most feeling. You have to have the stalls in your mind to shoot quality photography no matter what genre of photography it is.

smartphone-selfie

Two iPhone or not, that ’tis the question! As a photographer it is very easy for me to talk down iPhone photography or smart phone photography but I will not because I see it as a very useful tool and one where great photography has and will continue to be made. My only thing that I can say negatively about it is that people don’t have the requisite skills and the small sensor size of a smart phones camera leads much to desire. In such small sensors on a smart phone do not make the greatest use of low light. But the most important rules still apply and can create great photography on any camera and that goes back to composition, light use in putting thought into what you’re putting in front of the camera. One issue that I do have with smart phone photography is that you don’t have enough depth of field, you can’t really shoot shallow depth of field and you’re stuck with the single focal length. But again there is a best practices for all pieces of equipment and it is up to you to discover which settings, which distances, what form of composition and usage of light creates the best image quality on your smart phone. So if anything, this article is suggesting that you take an experiential approach to learning how to shoot the ultimate selfie on your smart phone.

self-portrait-woman

So what more can we say in the article like this? The truth is that we can’t say much more because we have given you all the fundamentals that you need to know. Now is the time to start reading stop looking for more information and to start snapping as many pictures as you can. It is the time to let your creativity flow free and the test out as many ideas as you can because that is the only way to anyone has ever become of quality photographer.

Vital Cat Photography Tips To Consider

cat photo

Do you love cats? Well, one of the greatest things about them is the fact they are lovable and are just a joy to take a picture of. You have to be prepared when it comes to understanding what it means to photograph them because it is not easy at all.

You have to be a professional when you begin to take their photos because it can start to become a real challenge after a while.

So, what do you need to think about as a cat photographer?

Six Best Advice for Cat Photography

Here are the six pieces of advice that should assist you in the long-run.

1) Maintain Their Attention

cat attention

You don’t have much of a chance if you don’t have their attention. You need to grab something like yarn to keep them interested or they are going to run away, and then you don’t have a subject at all.

You need to maintain their attention to get them to focus on the camera. This si the only way to make things work.

If you don’t do this, you are looking at a situation where the cat could care less and will scamper off or look disinterested.

Both of these things are something you don’t want at all.

2) Use Automatic Mode

cat photography 2

The cat is not going to sit still and sometimes the best shots are when they move. So, you want to be prepared for movement at all times and make sure you are using automatic mode as soon as you can.

When you don’t use automatic mode, you are looking at something that will cause more issues than anything else.

You want to think about the camera settings before your little session just in case a great shot is the first one you take.

You want movement because it does create unique photos that you might prefer.

3) Natural Light Makes Them Look Better

You want the fur and all of its details to come out. You won’t be able to do this with artificial light, and it does not matter how hard you try. Natural light is always superior as long as you are getting the angles spot on.

You have to play around with the natural light, and it is better to put them near a big window.

It will help with the aesthetics, and you are going to get some of the best photos possible when you go down this route.

4) No Food

You don’t want to give them food. This is not the way to get their attention because they are going to lose interest. When they are away from food, they are willing to think about other things. You are going to lose that attention span they might have because of your mistake, and that is the last thing you need.

Instead of feeding them, you should be careful and look at keeping the food for later when they are done the session. Do not give it to them during the session.

It will only make it harder for you.

5) Eyes Matter

cat eyes

Where should your lens focus? This is a question some will ask about, and that is a good one because it shows you are serious about the craft and are not just pointing and shooting.

You want to focus on the eyes. This is where you want the attention to go.

If you ever skip through a lot of pictures, the ones that are prominent will always be the ones where the eyes are the focal point.

You want to zone in on the eyes because that is where you will get a valuable photo.

Sometimes, an average photo looks better just because of this factor.

6) Low Point Of View Is Best

cat photography

If you want to get a wholesome photo, you want to get as low as possible.

This is going to make them look bigger and that will help with the rest of the picture.

It is going to accentuate their look and give them this presence that you are never going to get from top. You want them to be the centerpiece of the photo, and that helps when you aim low.

You want to start from this position and then move around.

Use this advice as a means to make sure your days as a photographer are not short-lived. It is easy for a person to get lost in the shuffle and just think they will be able to take a good photo with ease. It does not work that way and what will happen is you are going to take something that might look good now, but is going to look awful in the long-run.

The tips that have been written down here are from the pros who know a thing or two about taking photos of cats.