Monthly Archives: July 2016

Travel Photography Tips

Traveling and photography go hand in hand. Most of us can’t travel without taking photos, some travel for photography, while some work as photographers in order to travel! The allure of photography to a traveler goes much beyond just having a memory of having been at a particular place. It is an attempt to capture the very essence of the place he/she has visited, an effort to bring to life what makes the place tick, an innate desire to make others see the place through his own eyes.

In today’s digital age, it is virtually impossible to take a bad picture, with the variety of tools at our disposal. However, there are still some basic methods that need to be followed and tips that need to be mastered through practice so that your travel photography becomes more than just a pastime. Here’s more about the practicalities of this enriching hobby. Here are some tips and tricks in travel photography for beginners.

Travel Photography Tips and Tricks

Start Using a DSLR Camera
Starting off with a seemingly obvious one, but a surprising amount of wannabe photographers still desist from buying a DSLR, and persist with their point-and-shoot playthings. A DSLR gives you complete control over a lot of things that you can’t adequately control in point-and-shoot cameras, the most important of which is the type of lens you want to employ. It also allows you to shoot RAW pictures, which is akin to having the negative of a picture at hand to be molded however you want to, rather than the ready-made JPEG pictures captured by point-and-shoot cameras. The latter is fine if all you are going to photograph is family gatherings, but for serious photographic journeys, you seriously need a DSLR.

Pack a Variety of Lenses …
Different lens settings are useful for different scenes. To be efficient with your equipment, you only need two types of lenses: one that can be versatile with its focal length; a 25-200 mm lens (or thereabouts) will work just fine, and another that has a prime focal length, such as a 50 mm lens.

… But Don’t Pack Too Much
Unless you are a professional photographer, you don’t need (and probably can’t afford) a whole range of variable lenses. As said before, you only really need two lenses; even one would suffice. As they say, it’s the photographer that clicks the photo, not the camera! If you find a beautiful scene, even a standard, kit 18-55 lens is more than enough to make it look fantastic. When the perfect moment unfolds before you, you don’t want to be stuck changing your lens―you want to be clicking away.

Research Your Location
Of course, there are beautiful scenes wherever you go, but getting the opinion of other, more experienced photographers about certain places is really important. If someone you know has been somewhere you are going to go, bug them for information about scenery, the best locations to view it, and weather conditions. Look up various locations around your destination on the Internet, and get involved in photography forums.

Limit the Number of Touristy Photos
Yes, you got to have a photo of you and your smiling partner next to the Eiffel Tower, or holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but try to limit yourself to wasting a minimal amount of time on such photographs. A photo is not just what you see, it’s about what you want to show. Try to take pictures with your unique take on the familiar scene.

Include People in Your Shots
And I don’t just mean portraits by that. Places don’t come alive thanks to the stunning architecture on a medieval wall. They don’t come alive thanks to fields of flowers stretching before your eyes. They come alive thanks to the little boy staring intently at the wall, and the little girl running through the flowers. There may be appealing scenes, but in travel photography, what you want to show is the people that make up a place. The places remain the same, but the people may never come to that particular spot again.

Use the Golden Hour
Golden hour photography is a freebie given away by nature for newbies. It makes everything appear more beautiful and warm. Use the moments just before and just after the sun sets and rises (don’t be too lazy to wake up before sunrise) to give your frame that enviable golden luster. Cityscapes look much more inviting and appealing in the golden light, and portraits carry a bronzed hue.

Keep a Backup
Let me just repeat that: Keep a backup! Memory cards love getting lost and putting you in a fix. An easy way to defeat their purpose is to back up your photos to your laptop daily. Better be pedantic about keeping a backup than sorry about losing your precious memories in one tiny stroke of bad luck, right?

Stay Safe
That shot you think would be amazing of a waterfall taken from its summit? There’s a device for taking such shots, and it’s called a helicopter. That shot you just got to have of that snake staring into your lens? What you actually need is a lot of distance between you and it. Don’t put yourself in undue danger for the sake of a photograph! The point of photography is to make memories, not be one!

Use Image Editing Programs Lightly
Some ‘serious photographers’ are incredibly self-righteous about photographers who use such software, and fair enough, if your photo has to be ‘rescued’ with the help of Photoshop, you shouldn’t be clicking photos. But there is nothing wrong with using it for basic functions, such as optimizing the contrast and color settings, or removing red-eye. Do the best you can with the initial photo, and only use editing programs to refine the shot, not to virtually make the shot.

Photography Tips and Ideas Baby Pictures

When your baby entered the world, your joy knew no bounds. Everything seemed perfect, and problems were forgotten. Your world was filled only with happiness. Those little hands and feet, that bundle of joy, was everything that would make you forget about all that was bothering you, and would teach you how to appreciate the little things in life. But, babies grow up fast, and before she/he started growing up, you knew you had to capture the growing years of the one thing that had changed your life for good.

Before we start, you should keep one point in mind. There are no perfect photographs. Yes, they can be clicked in a manner that is touching, that stirs your mind and soul when you look back upon those memories, but any picture with your little one is simply perfect.

* Click on the images to enlarge them.

Bits and Pieces
You can capture your newborn as a whole new being who has entered your world and made it perfect. Or you can capture bits and pieces of your newborn that make her/him as perfect as she/he is. The hands, the eyes, a yawn, a sudden smile, holding your finger in her/his whole hand, all these little things are what make pictures memorable, and bring back wonderful memories of happy times when everything seemed so simple, and everything else, irrelevant. Take a cue from the images given below.

Hello World
When it’s time to take your bundle of joy outdoors, the happiness or confusion on her/his face is simply amazing. For them to view and digest all that the world has to offer is indeed a big thing, and what better can you do than capture these beautiful moments for eternity? Whether it is a trip to the grocery store, or a day at the park with her/his siblings, or a shopping spree, don’t spare any moment to capture gorgeous photographs of your little one. Here are some great images that you can learn from. The first image is reminiscent of Maggie Simpson from ‘The Simpsons’, isn’t it?

Bonding Time
What are babies without their parents, siblings, or even pets? Some of the best photographs of babies have emerged out of nowhere, randomly, and are plain impromptu! So, whether it is you and your baby sleeping together, you bathing your baby, your baby bonding with pets or siblings, these are all gorgeous keepsakes for you. There may be several such photos, where you are probably calling your baby towards you while she/he crawls, throwing her/him up in the air, telling her/him a story, or just playing with her/him. You could create a picture book based only on events that your little one goes through in one day. Whether it’s time spent outdoors or indoors, every moment is special, and every moment will speak to you when you look back in time and reflect on these.

With these ideas, and some photography tips and techniques, you will be able to create and store some of the best memories of your little one – memories that you and your baby will always cherish for life.

How to Take Good Pictures Like a Pro

There is no easy way out to clicking good pictures as most would think. It is not something that you can learn only in a studio or with the assistance of great photographers. Good pictures are all about having the ability to see the possibility of a good frame and also being in the right place at the right time. Most fantastic photographs are rarely planned. Given below are some useful photography tips that can give you great results.

How to take Good Shots
It doesn’t always matter if you have the latest model of the camera or the leading brands in the market. Whenever you are deciding upon the subject or the moment you come across some very exciting element in nature, look out for the area around the subject. It may be nature photography you are interested in, and having a cluttered background around your subject can actually cause it to merge rather than create an emphasis about what you want to portray through the picture.

Is it not necessary that one should use a flash only at night. In photography, a flash is useful on cloudy days when it can to throw some light onto the subject. Photographs that are clicked in bright sunlight can cause harsh shadows on the face, and this would definitely not flatter any person. In such cases, use the flash to even out the harsh light on the object, which would also result in better clarity of the picture.

It is not always compulsory to keep your subject at the center of the frame. This is one very useful photography tip; having your subject off center can help to create some dynamic and very interesting compositions. You will need to visualize a grid which would help you in planning a better composition.

Develop the skills of using lines within the composition. You need to develop an eye to see geometrical patterns within the frame. The use of curves, diagonals, and straight lines can help to create an added element of interest for any picture.

Study the direction of light and how it can help to enhance your subject. Harsh light is a strict no no for portraits. Refer to the works of great photographers and study the distribution of light. Use soft lighting for people photographs. For landscapes, long shadows and photographs that are clicked in the early morning hours and late evenings can give dramatic results.

If you are looking to understand how to take good pictures, you need to realize one basic thing. It all depends on your power of observation. When you are out clicking photographs, you can also observe and hunt for some reflections and shadows that can help to add depth to an otherwise boring structure or backdrop.

Having everything in focus may not always work wonders for you. At times, you can have your subject in focus and keep the background slightly blurred. This is possible through the use of different apertures settings, and you can know more about the manual settings once you refer to the camera guide.

It is definitely up to the photographer to use his/her skills to the best of their ability. Following the basic rules can help you get the best possible frames. To be able to take good pictures also depends upon the extent to which you develop your skills. Ensure that you refer to the latest trends in photography and be up-to-date with the developments as well. And of course, be creative.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/photography-tips-how-to-take-good-pictures.html

Essential Photography Tips

When Is The Golden Hour?
The golden hour is the first and last hour of sunlight in a day. Check the sunrise and sunset times in your city to make the best of the precious hour.
Golden light photography is like being dealt a pair of aces in a game of Texas hold ’em. It’s a great hand, but you still have to raise the stakes to rake in some real moolah, you have to be careful not to go overboard with your bets and mess it up, and the five community cards can still mess up the hand of your life.

The golden hour is (approximately) an hour after sunrise and before sunset, and this time can vary from region to region. The light during this period is ideal for amateur photography, and a very helpful natural aid for the pros.

Photography is all about light and the best ways to manipulate it. In a studio setting the photographer is in full control of the lighting, and can determine just how ‘fresh’ the latest aspiring model would look. Nature, on the other hand, is a fickle mistress, and your best-laid plans can be ruined by the slightest of showers in the middle of summer. So it’s best to go along with the flitting moods of Mother Nature, and take advantage of the times when she’s helpful.

But first, let’s get something out of the way. Just why is the golden hour so important, and why is the golden light so venerated?

It is balanced
The golden hour is the perfect mixture of light and dark. The difference between the darkest and brightest elements of a photograph is the smallest during the golden hour. This means that you can take beautiful shots and experiment more, without fearing a blowout of the highlights or the abyssal darkness of the shadows.

It is soft
In photographic terms, golden light is very soft. Soft light doesn’t make you squint, and makes your subjects look better. Its effect is not just limited to human portraits, but extends to natural elements such as trees and sand. When contrasted against the beautiful golden light, even something as inanimate as a road looks warm and inviting.

It is warm
Speaking of warm, golden light has a high color temperature. There is very little blue light present, since it is dispersed by the Earth’s atmosphere, and the vivid reds and yellows are present in full bloom. This enhances skin tones, and brings about an effect similar to tanning. Who doesn’t like that much-vaunted bronzed look?

It Is 3D
Photography is the representation of 3D elements on a 2D medium. Golden light, with the inherently long and soft yet pronounced shadows, is the best tool to merge the two.
There are some simple tips for maximizing the gain from the golden light. Here are the prominent ones…

How To Capture The Golden Opportunity

Focus on the golden light

When you get up before the crack of dawn just to shoot the glorious sunrise, there is really no point in not focusing on the golden effect the light brings. As a photographer, you always have to be on the lookout for an inviting frame, but when shooting in the golden light, concentrate on shooting in the golden light. Try to capture frames that feature the golden light prominently, and make the golden light an element in your photos.

If you are photographing a client, try to schedule your sessions around dawn or, more preferably, dusk. If clicking away for fun, take the effort of getting up before the sun rises, and march to the perfect spot. The clicks will be worth it.

Keep your equipment ready

When the first, precious golden rays peek out from behind the doors of the horizon, do you want to be diving into the action head-on, or do you want to be setting up your tripod that always gets stuck precisely at the perfect moment, and sorting between your lenses?

The annoying thing about the wonderful golden hour is in the name – it only lasts for an hour, at most. More often than not, clouds will obscure the sun and other uncontrollable elements will be determined to get in and ruin your picture. The ideal lighting conditions in a golden hour actually last for less than half an hour. So keep your camera battle-ready, well before the sky turns yellow.

Don’t use the flash

If there’s one thing that ruins the whole effort made to use golden light, it’s using the flash. The flash has a very specific set of uses, and golden hour photography is not one of them. Use the beautiful natural light fully. If you intend to shoot both portraits and landscapes, do the portraits first, and use the tripod for the slower shutter speeds for the landscapes.

Use both front and back lighting

Fully explore the effects of front lighting and silhouettes at different times. Partial silhouettes and even full silhouettes early in the evening will look drastically different from silhouettes captured later on.

Adjust shutter speed according to aperture

Getting the aperture right can make or break a photograph; this is especially true in golden hour photography. Keep the aperture constant, and adjust the shutter speed according to the light reading. For candid portraits against the backdrop of the setting sun, keep the aperture wide (keep the f-number low), and use faster shutter speeds to catch that perfect smile. Use the tripod for landscapes, and keep the aperture small (keep the f-number high) to capture the intricate details of the silhouettes of trees, buildings, etc., with a slower shutter speed. A small aperture will also bring the Sun itself into the shot as a conspicuous element.

Use every precious moment

Don’t just click a couple of shots and go back home to perfect them on Photoshop. Lighting conditions change rapidly in the golden hour, especially during sunset, and a scene may look completely different just a few minutes after you gave up on it. Keep clicking away.

Here’s an illustration of why golden light is the best light for photography.

Some minor elements in the following images are ‘Photoshopped’, but would not affect the image drastically if removed. The images are chosen to illustrate the difference between similar scenes.

As you can see, golden light can completely transform any scene with a wave of its magic wand. Clicking great photographs is as much about technique as simply being at the right place at the right time. The golden hour is a natural lifeline to that end – use it wisely and exploit its full potential.