Tag Archive: Photography

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

flowers yellow and purple

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

corvette

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

superman

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

fern

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

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.

Learning The Basics Of Portrait Photography

beautiful-woman's portrait

Portrait photography is one of the most impressive and dynamic techniques. It has a tremendous power of conveying emotions, thus being widely used by most expert photographers. When done right, this technique can display the personality, the mood and the expression of the subject. Most such images focus on the person’s face, but there are lots of situations that involve the whole body or even parts of the background. Decades ago, portrait photography has become widely popular, as its main purpose was to replace painted portraiture. Its popularity was mainly due to the fact that it significantly reduced the required sitting time for the subject. Even the old daguerreotype technique was much faster than hand painting, so people were happy to have their portraits done this way instead of having to sit for long hours or even days in a painter’s workshop.

portrait of woman's face

Portrait Photography: Artistic Expression

Today’s portrait photography serves a totally different purpose. It is an artistic expression, a slice of life captured on camera, a way of communicating values, moods and feelings. The photographer who wants to learn the basics of this art form has to be prepared to go the extra mile to get people pose for him at the right time and in the right setting. This is the real challenge of this trade, and very few professionals understand the importance of establishing rapport with their subject before proceeding to the photo session. A portrait can tell a story, but only if the individual behind the camera knows how to capture its essence.

portrait of a woman

The technical side of this skill is also quite challenging. Good portraits are the ones in which the subject is detached from the background. The focus has to be only on the important elements in the frame, everything else being blurred. The quality of this blur is also important. This is why you have to be very careful when you choose the best lenses for this photography style. Prime lenses are the best, as they enable a sharp focus on the subject, while creating nice bokeh effects in the background. A 50mm f/1.4 lens can enable a good artist create amazing portraits, impossible to replicate by amateurs. However, you have to be aware that such lenses may cost you many thousands of dollars. This is an investment not everyone can afford. Nonetheless, if you have a passion for learning portrait photography, you can start by purchasing cheaper f/1.8 lenses that are almost as good but cost only a fraction of the price. They aren’t cheap either, but they won’t break your bank. If you only have zoom lenses in your kit, you can try to use them for portraits. Zoom in as much as you can, and try to shoot subjects at a relatively small distance. This technique enables you obtain those blurred backgrounds that help detaching the subject from the other elements in your composition.

The intensity of light is another element you have to learn how to master, if you want to create stunning portraits. You have to understand the relationship between exposure, ISO and aperture and practice multiple settings until you manage to get the best one. Set your camera to operate in manual mode, as this is how you can set each parameter as you desire. If you repeatedly fail at finding the right settings, you can switch to the Aperture Mode. You set your f-stop value, and the camera is going to adjust the other parameters as needed for an optimal image. Download your images and study them in detail, in order to understand how the camera made those choices.

Such exercises are very time consuming, so you may want to use a doll or some still life composition for your tests, as human subjects may not have enough patience to sit still and keep their mouth shut until you’re done. Nonetheless, if you manage to keep your motivation up until the pint where you are gong to master your trade, you are gong to be able to capture awesome portraits in minutes. Always make sure to allocate some time for getting acquainted to the subject. Empathy is a must-have for a portrait photographer, as it is going to help you communicate with people and capture their real essence.

Tips For Proper Magazine Photography

magazine model

Thinking about getting a gig with a local magazine? Want to get your images in? The editor is going to be selective, and they get a lot of inquiries especially when we are talking about the big brands.

These are magazines who are not going to mull around with the wrong images for too long. They will toss them aside and get on with their lives.

You want to impress and it begins with these tips because the experts believe you need to implement all of them as soon as you can.

This is the only way to get cracking in this industry.

magazine

1) Understanding Depth

Begin with the depth. How many subjects are in the image you are taking? Are you able to convey the right depth with the image you have chosen?

You should not have it all over the place as that is amateurish and most people are going to look right past it as they should.

The image has to be spot on with the depth. You need the lighting to be focused on the right subject, and it should not blur out to a point where you are not sure about what is going on.

Think about this as you decide.

2) Quality Is Everything

magazine photography

Magazines are all about quality. In fact, it is not just about natural quality, but about making sure, you have perfected what is being shown. You have to learn how to edit well with magazine photography as it is going to resonate with those who are peeking through.

You have to realize the people who are going to read a magazine might not be as nuanced about what they see, so the only thing they’ll remember is the quality.

If you are not hitting on the quality, the magazine is going to die a painful death regarding sales.

3) Lighting Should Evoke Emotion

Lighting is the name of the game for magazine photography, and that will never change. You have to play with the lighting and make it as bright as you can. It is often an exaggerated brightness that you are going to aim for.

You want it to shine through on the subjects you are showcasing.

It should make it easier to get the quality you want as well because that is what the magazine is all about. If you are not getting the lighting right, the rest of the image is meaningless in the end.

You have to be smart with how lighting is maximized.

4) Understand The Magazine’s Underlying Theme

Are you aware of the magazine you have selected to take images for? What is the theme of this magazine? Would it make sense to start writing articles on cars, if you were a National Geographic writer?

The same mindset has to be applied to photography as well.

You cannot ignore what the theme is and the colors they use in the magazine. Grab a few of the previous editions (if it is an older magazine) and go through what they prefer.

This is your foundation, and you need to follow this theme, or you will get rejected.

5) Don’t Forget The Text

It is not about you adding in the text, but about understanding, it will be included. You need to give room for the text and understand how it will reflect the image.

Let’s say the magazine is on fashion; you are most likely going to use bright colors for the image. You want this to correlate with the colors of the text that is going to be nearby.

It is rare to find a page in a magazine which is focused on just the image. It is often a combination of the photo and text.

These are things you can use for magazine photography regardless of how experienced you are. Experts who are in this industry always talk about the minor details and how they have to nail them to keep getting work. You need the same mindset.

You have to understand what a magazine editor requires and then nail those expectations with the images you are putting together.

You need to bring your ‘A’ game without a doubt in this aspect.

Taking Pictures From Afar: Tips On Astrophotography

aurora

It is stunning. The blood red moon expands to cover your eye line. When you snap a shot of it with your high-powered smartphone camera, it is a real bummer. It seems infinitesimally small by comparison. It is so blah, in fact, that it could just as well be a street light or a flashlight. All of the color is drained from it.

moon photography

What you have just performed is an attempt at a field called astrophotography. Astrophotography is a special type of photography for capturing images that appear in the night sky.

Your first attempt at astrophotography probably still eclipsed the quality of the very first lunar image snapped back in 1840 of the moon. They did not have the technology to capture the starry night until technology caught up sufficiently, later that century.

Though, subsequent photography efforts as technology improved actually informed the star map for future discoveries. Here is how.

 

Just Because You Cannot See It Does Not Mean It Does Not Exist

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same question could be asked of astrophotography, but the question has an answer.

It turns out there are plenty of images that we could not see with the naked eye from our vantage point on earth that are recorded all the time. Taking photographs of faint nebulae and far-off galaxies is something that astrophotography excels in doing.

night sky

The use of longtime exposure is effective at accumulating light over extended time periods. It was in large part thanks to the ability to achieve long exposures that astronomy expanded. After all, if were not for the ability to record images of stars and nebulae, no one would have known they existed. If no one knew they existed we would never have seen the development of better lens technology for astrophotography, including perhaps even used in space exploration.

 

How Do You Use Long Exposure On Quick-Moving Objects?

It turns out that while long exposure is excellent for getting a good image of most of the interesting objects in the night sky meteors are the exception. They move into and out of sight so quickly that even the quickest photographer is challenged to react fast enough.

While either you have the quick reflexes combined with some luck and a wide-aperture lens or you do not. The key is that the lens has to allow in plenty of light too. Add in the quality of a DSLR, the stability of a well-positioned tripod, and a clear night sky, and then you may be able to get a nice picture of a meteor.

 

Up Close And Personal

stars at night

If you are wondering how to get the nitty gritty pictures of the moon craters in all their glorious detail and depth, or how to snag images of galaxies for yourself you are in luck.

With a telescope and a DSLR camera, you can make all of this possible. A good way to begin is by deciding what you want to shoot and how fast or slow it will happen, and be willing to go the distance. For instance, putting the camera onto the telescope to get the image makes this level of depth and detail possible.

And, you just thought there were a whole lot of stargazers out on starry nights. Many are astrophotographers, choosing their spots wisely to get a good image of different fascinating sky shows that the galaxy has in store for you.

Take beautiful astrophotos with just a simple camera on tripod. It lets you take shots through your telescope. You can take some amazing shots closer to home — the sun and moons. Or, you may get as far away as other galaxies, nebulas, and stars.

This is the most exciting thing people can do with a DSLR camera, at least as far as astrophotography is concerned. The combination of its clarity and power with the telescope makes for stunning imaging with crisp and clear detail and depth.

While it can take much effort to get used to taking photographs this way, it is a skill and art that is honed to precision in time. Most photographers agree this is effort that is well spent.

It means that you need to know what you are going to shoot at what time of day or night, and the speed because you need to determine the correct exposure to use. Focusing is another effort that is worth it. Always make sure your shot is not going to be blurry.

The great part about digital photography is that the cameras allow you to scroll through and choose images you want to keep and edit onscreen while you bide your time. And, always try to learn from your mistakes. Either way, astrophotography will deliver an exceptional experience for you as if you are discovering the entire universe for the very first time.