Photography 101

Tips For Coming Up With Creative Still Life Photography Concepts

still-life-photography

Over the years, still life photography has continued to be one of the most popular styles of photography. When you look at just how beautiful these photos can be, it is no wonder that it has enjoyed such long-lived popularity.

From an artistic standpoint, however, there is a bit of risk associated with taking still life photographs. Unless you are careful, you could wind up with photos that look boring or cliché, depending on the subject matter that you decide to photograph.

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Tips and Tricks for Shooting Still Life

The best way to avoid this problem is by coming up with creative still life photography concepts that have not already been done to death. Of course, that is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are some simple tips and tricks that you can use to keep your creative juices flowing so that you can come up with some truly unique concepts that are all your own. Check out these tips to get started:

1. Keep a journal.

You never know when an amazing idea is going to strike. Because of that, you should keep an inspiration journal that you carry with you everywhere that you go.

Small memo pads that you can find in the school supply area of any store are great for this since they are extremely small and easy to carry. Just tuck one in your pocket or purse so that you have it with you at all times. Then, if you get an idea for a great photography concept, you can jot it down in the notebook. That way, you won’t forget about it by the time you get home. Anytime you are stuck for inspiration, all you have to do is flip through your notebook for ideas.

You can also do something similar with a voice recorder. All you have to do when you get an idea is pull it out and record your idea to refer back to later. If you have a smartphone, you can even record your ideas on your phone or text them to yourself.

2. Spend time outdoors.

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Countless studies have shown that spending time in nature can dramatically boost creativity. If you are stuck inside all day, your brain will start to lose its creative edge. Make an effort to get outdoors at least once a day. Don’t spend your time outside with your eyes glued to your phone or another electronic device. Instead, look up and look at the world around you. Pay attention to the tiny details in nature.

The patterns of nature will help relax your mind, allowing creative ideas to flow. That doesn’t mean that you have to limit your photographs to natural elements. Instead, you are using nature to unlock your creativity. Once your mind is relaxed and receptive, you may be amazed at the ideas that you can come up with. Try spending an afternoon laying on the grass watching the clouds go by and see how many fantastic ideas you can come up with for still life concepts.

3. View other art.

Spending an afternoon looking at amazing artwork can be incredibly inspiring. Take a trip to a local museum and browse some of the artwork that is on display. If you don’t have any museums in your area, you can also visit local galleries. Seeing the creativity of other artists can help bring your own creativity bubbling to the surface. The idea here is not to copy other artists. Instead, it is to gain inspiration from their work and their creativity.

4. Experiment.

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One of the best ways to come up with unique concepts for still life photography is through experimentation. You never know how something is going to look until you try it. These days, you are most likely using a digital camera. That means that you don’t have to worry about wasting film on failed concepts. You can snap as many pictures as you want and it won’t cost you any extra money since you aren’t buying film. Because of that, it is worth taking every chance you have to try out different arrangements or lighting scenarios to see what types of effects you can generate.

The more you do, the more you will be inspired to do. Creativity builds on itself. Once you start making an effort to be creative, that part of your brain will naturally kick in and begin generating even more ideas. Before you know it, you will have so many ideas that it will be hard to choose which one you want to do first.

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Coming up with creative still life photography concepts is not easy. However, as long as you use some of these tips, you should be able to find just the inspiration that you are looking for. When it comes to creativity, it is generally best to avoid pressuring yourself. In a lot of cases, the harder you try to be creative, the more stifled your creativity will become. A far better method is to find ways to relax and to appreciate beauty in the world around you. Once you start doing this, the creative ideas will start to naturally flow.

 

Your creative mind functions best when it is given room to play. Try not to judge any of your ideas too harshly. Instead, allow yourself to brainstorm freely and experiment with new concepts until you find something that works. By silencing your inner critic and giving yourself a chance to play, you can come up with some truly amazing ideas.

Creative Pregnancy Photo Ideas

Creative Pregnancy Photo Ideas

When you first find out that you are expecting a child, your whole world changes. All of a sudden, there is another human being growing inside your body that you are going to be completely responsible for after they are born. Pregnancy is a magical time that is over before you know it. Capturing this time on film is a great way to preserve your memories for a lifetime. That is why more and more expecting parents are setting up maternity photo shoots with professional photographers.

7 Creative Pregnancy Photo Ideas

During these photo shoots, the photographer attempts to capture the beauty of pregnancy and the excitement of the expectant parents. If you are getting ready to have your own maternity photo shoot, check out some of these creative pregnancy photo ideas.

1. Include your sonogram in your photo.

Instead of just having the photographer take a photograph of your pregnant belly, why not hold your sonogram in your hands in front of it. If you have your partner join you in the photo, it will be like your first family photo together. A good photographer can position you so that this type of photograph comes out looking beautiful rather than overly posed.

2. Take photos with your partner.

If you are married or are in a relationship, consider including your spouse or partner in your photos. After all, just because you are the one who is pregnant doesn’t mean that they are not also becoming a parent. Both of you should be captured on film sharing this magical time in your lives. That way, when you show your child the photos in the future, they will be able to see how excited you both were for their birth.

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3. Try a silhouette.

Ask your photographer to try to capture a silhouette of your body standing against a bright backdrop. This can accentuate your baby bump, creating a beautiful photograph that captures the essence of pregnancy and motherhood. This works particularly well early in the day or late at night when the sun is coming up or setting. With the glow of the sunlight silhouetting your body, you can create a beautiful photograph that will look amazing framed on your wall.

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4. Get the baby’s siblings involved.

If you already have children, ask them to be in the photos with you. Getting a few photos with your children and their future sibling can be a great way to capture the love, excitement, and anticipation surrounding their birth.

5. Use props.

Props can be incredibly cute in maternity photos. For instance, you could try bringing a tiny chair to the photo shoot and setting it between you and your partner, showing that you are waiting for your baby to arrive. Alternatively, you could bring a favorite storybook, baby clothing, a tiny pair of shoes, or other props that the photographer can incorporate into the photos. You may be surprised by how many cute and creative ideas you can come up with when you start to play around with these different props.

6. Don’t be afraid to have fun.

Sometimes, the best shots from any maternity photo shoot are the unplanned ones. Don’t be afraid to joke around with your partner or to try silly things. You never know which photos are going to come out looking the best. As long as you have an attentive photographer who is on the ball enough to capture these special moments, you may be amazed at the photos that you get.

7. Try to avoid posing.

Ideally, your maternity photos should be as natural as possible. A pregnant body is so beautiful on its own that it doesn’t need fancy poses to look amazing. In fact, in many cases, if you try too hard during your photo shoot, the photos can come out looking contrived or cheesy. This is as true for the photos that you take by yourself as for the ones that you take with your partner. Work on staying relaxed and just being yourself. After all, you are trying to capture a sense of what your pregnancy is really like. Ask yourself whether or not a particular pose that you are doing is a good reflection of who you really are. If not, don’t be afraid to stop for a minute and re-adjust so that you feel more like yourself.

Hopefully, these creative pregnancy photography ideas give you a good jumping off point for your photo shoot. Ultimately, the key to getting amazing photos is to have fun during your shoot. By finding a way to stay relaxed and comfortable, you can get natural looking photos that truly reflect the beauty of your pregnancy. As long as you are working with a qualified photographer, you should be able to capture the magic and excitement of expecting a child on film so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.

Five Amazing Photography Theme Ideas

Five Amazing Photography Theme Ideas

If you want to improve your skills as a photographer, you may want to take on a themed photo project. You can learn a lot by taking a variety of pictures that follow a specific theme. These themed photos could eventually be used in some kind of gallery showing.

Top Five Amazing Photography Theme Ideas for a Project

With that said, it can be difficult to come up with ideas for a theme project. If you want to tackle a project like this, but are in need of some inspiration, keep reading. You’ll be able to find all of the ideas that you need and more.

1. Color Themes

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One of the simplest photo themes — and the one of the most effective — is color. Try to capture a variety of images that share the same color. This type of theme is more effective if you focus on a specific shade. For example, you could try to take a lot of photos of things that are light blue or lavender.

Try to photograph things that exist in nature as well as things that are man-made. It will be interesting to see flowers and insects that are the same color as road signs! Work to showcase the incredible variety that exists in our universe.

2. Vintage Signs

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Most people don’t think of signs as something that are very interesting exciting. However, a lot of signs have a very compelling look. This is especially true of signs that are worn down or older.

Make a point of photographing every interesting sign that you see. You may want to try capturing pictures of billboards and road signs as well.

If you take on a project like this, you may have a hard time getting started. However, once you find your first few vintage signs, you will start to see them everywhere you look.

3. Superheroes

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It seems like everybody loves superheroes these days. If you prefer to take photos that feature human subjects, you might want to use those heroes as a source of inspiration.

There are all kinds of ways you could explore a superhero photography theme. For example, you could snap shots of ordinary people in classic superhero posts. You could also try to recreate beloved scenes from superhero movies out of toys, such as LEGO, and then photograph that.

Think about what you love about superheroes. Is it the action? The costumes? Try to bring those elements into your pictures. With your camera and a few good ideas, you can bring your favorite heroes into the real world.

4. Shapes

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Sometimes, the best photography themes are also the simplest ones. If you want to take a basic idea and turn it into something exciting, you could try photographing shapes.

If you try this theme, it’s best to pick a single shape. For example, you could try to capture pictures of triangles or circles. Once you’ve settled on a theme, you can snap shots of every example of that shape you see.

Once you settle on a shape, you will start seeing it everywhere. This type of theme will encourage you to be more creative, and will help you to look at the world in an interesting new way.

5. Perspective

If you want to photograph a variety of subjects and objects, but would still like some sort of cohesive theme, you may want to consider taking all of your photos from the same perspective. For example, you could take a series of photos that are captured looking down from up high, or a collection of pictures that are taken while you are lying on the ground.

The perspective from which a photo is taken can have a significant impact on the way the picture looks. Even small objects can seem overwhelming when they are captured from the right angle.

Try taking pictures of the same thing from different perspectives and see which perspective appeals to you. From there, you can start taking more shots from the same perspective.

These five photography theme ideas should get you off to a very solid start. There are all kinds of great options when it comes to themed pictures. Follow these suggestions and see if you can come up with a strong idea for some pictures.

3 Tips To Help Novice Photographers Achieve Great Outdoor Portraits

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.