Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Outlined below is a list of genres that call for specialized treatment in the process of creating outstanding photographs. These thematic approaches will be discussed in detail here, though there are few more categories and sub-categories in thematic photography like ad messages, corporate brochures, under-water photography and so on.
Wildlife photography is often assumed to be an exciting and high adventure genre of photography. In reality it is extremely challenging and wildlife photographers find themselves at the mercy of inclement weather and sometimes even face danger. Here are some suggestions for this specialized form of photography.
Understand the life form that you plan to photograph in terms of living habits, habitat and behavior. In other words you need a perspective on ‘a day in the life of’ your wildlife subject. Books and online research will throw light on your subject. The importance of getting acquainted with the behavior of the animal is a lot more important when you have to shoot dangerous jungle animals that can attack like lions or tigers or even bears. Animals will become aware of you when you enter close to their habitat but will usually not attack if you keep your distance. But you have to be clear on the distance at which an animal will begin to feel threatened by your presence and decide to attack you.
It goes without saying that you can’t expect any kind cooperation from your subject! You have to fit yourself in, place yourself in a vantage point and have your camera set and ready and then wait for the ’right moment’ to take the shot that you are looking for.
You may have to wait many days before you can capture the right shot. Your subject could not care less if the light is diminishing or the light is at its best. You may have perfect light conditions on a particular day but your subject may not be in the right spot for you to take the shot.
You need telephoto lenses to shoot from a distance and other camera features like Center-weighted metering. The Center-weighted meter allows you to meter the wildlife subject at the center of the frame and vary the size of the sensing area based on the dimensions of the subject and its distance from you.
Taking landscape pictures within a city from atop a building or on the beach is one type of landscape photography. But if you want to get closer to nature and shoot unique pictures of nature and environment in remote locations like wild forest area or mountain ranges, then you have your task cut out for you just like a wildlife photographer. You need the spirit of adventure within you in order to travels around to different places and scour different regions for landscape opportunity.
It is tough to firstly identify the right spots, you may have to explore for days before you find an idyllic panoramic landscape to shoot. You then have to wait for the right light conditions while braving the weather and the rough living conditions. In terms of equipment, landscape photographers need to go in for a variety of wide-angle lenses since this type of lens is capable of lending depth in the photograph. A wide-angle zoom lens is useful in this type of photography because of the range of focal lengths it can provide while fine-tuning a shot. But there is also the need for telephoto lenses for certain shot though not of the high focal length required by sports photographers. Landscape photographers usually go in for telephoto lenses with focal length less than 300mm (a telephoto lens has a focal length greater than 50mm, a wide angle lens is less than 50mm, and a standard lens has a focal length of 50mm).
Those who have made a career of photographing sporting events have a different style of operation to capture the high action of dramatic moments in a game. The length of the lens, the location of the photographer taking the shot and the need to limit blurring are the three critical aspects in sports photography.
Sports photographers use a telephoto lens. This type of lens magnifies the subject. The focal length to choose from in telephoto lenses varies from 60mm to 1000 mm. A lens with a high focal length can give you a wider visual area which is a necessity when you photograph field events. Sports photographers by and large prefer 35mm cameras and use focal lengths of 300-600mm especially for field events like soccer.
The location where photographers position themselves to take different shots is directly responsible for capturing the relevant high-points in a match. It also helps if you have a good knowledge of the sport. This ensures that you identify the right moments and are alert and ready when a memorable situation occurs during the sport. You can get the right shots if you are able to move around and use the right location in different points in a game. However, quite often the areas of movement are restricted for photographers and the best way to tide over this problem is to use a lens of focal length in the region of 600mm to enable shots of the far end of a court or field. Though a good location is usually described by the angle and distance from the court or field, the other aspect of a good location is also the play of light from your vantage point. Most photographers have the task of avoiding shadows caused by the quality of light. The intensity of color in a photograph is reduced in dull light conditions while bright sunlight can create shadows in certain angles.
To limit blurring and capture action during a special game moment, you need to have fast shutter speeds at your disposal. A 35mm camera that is generally favored in sports photography can provide the high shutter speed necessary for action shots. Besides shutter speed, the speed of the film also plays a role. Higher film speed enables higher shutter speeds. A film speed of 100 is inadequate in sports photography. You need a 400 and above speed film.
The autofocus mechanism in is also useful in sports photography especially when manual focus is difficult to achieve quickly in certain sports situations.
An interesting technique called panning is applied in capturing action shots. You have to avoid holding the camera still when you shoot action. A rule-of-thumb is to hold the camera steady but move it along with the action rather than attempting to hold still. This steady movement of the camera along the path of motion of the player; incredibly, has the effect of minimizing blur. On the other hand, you will get a blur if you hold your camera still while the action is taking place. This technique is actually based on sound scientific principles.
It should also be mentioned here that the art of sports photography actually goes beyond capturing action or high points in a game. The readers who view these photographs in newspapers and magazines want to see player expressions, the thrills, the disappointments, the concentration that players display is something that readers find captivating and it becomes a talking point. Readers also like to see crowd reactions and reactions of family members of the players in certain critical game situations. To cater to the public sentiment, a photographer has to also attempt to click these special poignant moments during a game by capturing reactions and facial expressions.
Photojournalism is a different ball game altogether. It is visual storytelling. It has a strong social and cultural context and is a visual form of reportage based on newsy and current affairs topics. Being in the right place at the right time and understanding the situation as it unfolds helps a photojournalist deliver reader interest material. The objective is to usually pick up contemporary topics and portray a visual story that creates an understanding on the pattern in which people live their lives or social changes that impact them in different walks of life. Photojournalism also lends credibility to the written word and can support a public interest story with visual proof. The visuals complement the written reportage on the story.
A visual representation of contemporary situations is a powerful way to make a point and the photographer who is into photojournalism has to be a firstly aware of the socio-political and cultural scene of a region to be able to shoot the relevant pictures. The equipment required by photojournalists varies by the type of story they pursue. If a photojournalist is picking up images of a town or if the photography is the type that portrays cultural and historical sites, or if the task is to follow the campaign trail of a political leader, each of these require a different treatment.
A fashion photographer needs to be a creative thinker with a good eye for aesthetics and the ability to use sound judgment in implementing out-of-the-box ideas. Fashion photography is meant to render an elegant, stylish effect on readers so the mundane and the run of the mill shots will not work. Each photograph is a piece of art in itself and has to be original.
Creating an impact in fashion photography requires the photographer to take a leap in imaginative thinking and to create images that are different and unusual. The treatments that have been tried over the years range from the surreal to muted black and whites, to geometric shapes to brilliant color schemes. A fashion product has to be portrayed creatively while at the same time conveying style and classiness. A fashion photographer needs a high level of visual sophistication combined with ideation skills. It also helps to try and understand the psyche of models that fashion photographers have to regularly interact with, in order to get the best out of them. Your choice of camera and accessories will vary depending on whether you shoot indoor or outdoor, light conditions, theme of the picture, etc.
-->Black and White Treatment
The black and white effect is used by artists and fashion photographers to create abstracts or classy ‘other worldly’ images. The camera equipment required in black & white is not very distinct from other types of photography but the key actually lies in the processing and printing quality. This is an important area of emphasis in black & white photographs in order to get the desired effect.
You will need an assortment of lenses for different situations – such as a combination of wide-angle lens as well as a standard lens. If you want large prints, you may need a camera with a high-resolution digital image sensor for sharpness of large format prints. The resolution should be more than 3 mega pixels.
Whether you develop your photographs in the darkroom (traditional film based camera) or process the pictures digitally (digital camera usage), when you develop the picture yourself you have the leeway to heighten or reduce the contrasts in tour picture based on the type of impression and visual impact you hope to create. You can also scan from traditionally processed negatives onto a computer and then process the images digitally.
To fine-tune the images digitally you need some basic knowledge of Photoshop software. Without manipulating the main picture in any way, you can enhance your black and white images by fine-tuning the contrasts. Photoshop assists in optimizing the images. The principles are the same as those used in a traditional darkroom. Using Photoshop you can apply various techniques like dodging (you selectively lighten a certain portion of a photo), cropping, optimizing density and fine tuning the contrasts. Fine tuning the contrasts is important in creating the right effect in black and white.
The print quality is another important factor in creating high impact black & white photographs. If you intend to print digitally processed images, you need a good printer and long lasting ink in your printer. You should also use photo quality paper to print your images.
Celebrity photography is challenging and the same time an exciting, glamorous field. When you deal with celebrities, firstly you have very little time to work within. There is always a time constraint even after you pin down a celebrity for a photo session. You have to therefore have good infrastructure and be ready with the necessary equipment. You have to plan the shot and adjust your camera, before asking your celebrity to pose.
Celebrity faces are well known so the key lies in attempting to capture something a little different, to create a different perspective. You need to build a good rapport with the celebrity and have to persevere to get the right mood to capture the real essence of the person. If you are photographing the celebrity for an ad, then the strategy behind the ad has to be considered to blend in the celebrity’s expressions and posture to suit the requirements of the ad.
To sum up, the discussion - Wildlife photography requires you to brave rough conditions and thoroughly understand the habitat and behavior of the animal. The relevant and useful tools in your camera system are the right lenses and center-weighted metering if you are into shooting wildlife. Landscape photography requires you to be a wandering explorer, constantly seeking out those spectacular scenic settings. You mainly need wide-angle lenses in your camera system to demonstrate depth and scale in your picture. Sports events need a good vantage point and if you want to freeze the high action in the game, you have to learn and hone the skill of panning. Photojournalism calls on your social and political consciousness and is the art of visually unfolding a story, while Fashion photography requires ideation and out-of-the-box thinking. The impact of Black & White treatment can be heightened during the processing phase using various techniques and, Celebrity photography is not all glamour. Capturing the right mood and the essence of the celebrity becomes the key to a good shot and you often work within time constraints.
It is apparent that different photography streams each have their own specialized approaches and style of treatment. Your mind-set and your interests should influence the path that you choose as a photographer.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
How is Digital Photography Changing the Industry?
Digital photography is nothing if not convenient. You can take pictures, preview them instantly, delete the bad ones and print only the good ones. There is an element of instant gratification that makes digital photography attractive to both amateur and professional photographers alike. You can quickly see problems and make adjustments that will improve the quality of your end result, and you won't end up with a stack of blurry or unflattering prints. For most amateur photographers and hobbyists, digital photography provides everything they need.
Clearly, the demand for digital photography technology is on the rise, but is it replacing traditional film? And does the increased quality of amateur photography pose a threat to professional photographers?
Digital Photography vs. Film?
Digital photography or film? It doesn't have to be one or the other. Digital photography and traditional film photography can coexist and even complement each other. Each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Digital photography may change the way many people take pictures but that doesn't make film obsolete.
Professional photographers can often get better results with traditional film. Especially when shooting landscapes or producing larger size prints. Professional photographers have finesse with film—from shooting to developing—that allows them to produce high-quality images.
How Does the Rise of Digital Photography Affect Professionals?
Digital technology is convenient in many ways. It allows photographers to get images to clients more quickly. It also allows them to see whether they got the shot right away. Digital technology gives more immediate results—at least in theory. The workflow changes with digital photography. The post-production process may be longer and more expensive in terms of equipment. Digital technology also requires photographers to stay current in their knowledge of tools and software.
Whether professional photographers choose to use digital photography or film, the camera only plays a role in the success of the work. The photographer controls the lighting, creates the composition and imbues the subject with meaning. There will always be a need for professional photographers with technical knowledge and a strong sense of artistry.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Why do some people desire a painting than a photograph? What’s the difference between having a canvass, brushes, and paints from having a camera? But for some reasons, there are three essential components of what we call art. First, is the artist; second, is the medium; and third is the artwork. All of these are interrelated according to Tad Beckman.
Photographic art has a lot of definitions. It will depend on how we understand it. Others say it’s about creating a stunning image that is an interpretation of the panorama that you saw in your mind captured on film, rather than just a recording of what is already there. It is playing with the lights, weather conditions and the colors. Timing is everything. The most challenging is that there are some things that you can control but the weather throws out surprises that can add that hint of drama to a picture. These hindrances will result creativeness.
A photographer will capture an image that delights their eye. They will create something that is close to their heart. That is why a photograph is more than just a piece of paper with a representation on it. Well, they are allowing you to see how they perceive the world to be, one moment at a time.
Does subject matters? I assume it’s not. There are a lot of subjects. It is in the heart of the photographer on what really his passion. As for me, I like landscapes and sunsets. Others prefer sports, portraits and flowers. The image you captured is subjective. Your approach is different from your viewer’s approach.
It is in the heart and hand of the creator behind the brush, camera or pen that executes the creative vision. Not the tools used. Then photography really is an Art.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Nature photography is one of the best ways to create an appreciation of nature, whether that nature photography is flowers, landscapes or animals.
Nature photography can be one of the most rewarding - and one of the most frustrating - types of photography. Wind can cause blur, not only with too much motion in the flora, but also making it difficult to depress the shutter smoothly. (If background is unimportant in your nature photography, consider a light tent to reduce wind and to block out background.) Sunlight also can cause problems in nature photography with too much exposure. Experiment to find what works best with what you want to accomplish through nature photography.
One thing that you'll want to be able to do with nature photography is to take close-ups of flora. Make sure to have a zoom or macro lens. A tripod is helpful to stabilize the camera in nature photography. Tripods that have a rotating central shaft allow you to get in closer.
Experiment with angles in nature photography. The most common angle in nature photography is looking down from the top. This has the advantage of being able to photograph flowers that are very close to the ground. Try eye level or photographing upwards for an interesting and unique shot.
Try differing backgrounds in your nature photography. If you have nothing in the background, context is hard to determine. Too much in the background, though, will detract from the main focus of your nature photography. However, by zooming in closer, the background will become softer. Your main focus, then, will stand out in sharp relief.
Another way to experiment with nature photography is with camera position. Most photographs are horizontal. See what kind of self-expression you come up with by simply rotating the camera 90 degrees.
With practice nature photography can become second nature.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Once the purchase of a digital camera is made, the beginning steps have begun as a professional photographer. Correctly handling the camera is a great tool to begin learning. The images it sends out are pretty close to perfect, but it takes a little while to get to that point. Understanding how it runs, what steps need to be learned, how to shoot indoor and outdoor pictures, or just limiting ourselves to a point-and-click style of photography are all part of knowing what to do. To not understand any of this is doing great injustice to the camera, which is made for better use. To avoid not learning, or simply not knowing, how to take a picture - we need to follow ten top shooting tips.
1. Too many novice or amateur photographers rely entirely on photo-editing tools to digitally enhance the photograph. Do not depend on this - in the back of the mind will always be the thought, "if it does not turn out, I can always fix it with software". The pleasure of photography should begin with the way the picture is shot, along with its emotional connection, not the result of the digital manipulation with a half-done picture. There is nothing the matter with the photo-editing tools, only what we do with them to make our photos look good.
2. Underexposure lacks color quality, so it really should be avoided. What happens is the sensors fail to read the colors that form the image. However, if given a choice, several photographers choose underexposing above overexposure. This is because even if underexposed, the details of the photograph are still recorded. In addition, it can still go into an editing program over overexposed photographs.
3. Digital cameras use millions of assorted pixels to produce the final image, with each sensor designed to capture a certain tonal range. When we do not allow full light to fall on the sensor, we are doing a great injustice to the image. Most of the pixels are unable to capture the tonal range in their full sweep and brightness, which ends up lowering the picture quality. The choice of sensor size is equivalent to choosing between assortments of formats - 35mm, medium and large format cameras. There are many different sensor size options regarding depth of field, image noise, diffraction, cost and size/weight.
4. When focusing on a subject, there are three factors which affect the depth of field: focal length of the lens; distance from the camera to the subject; and the size of the aperture or setting of the f-stop. You must focus on the subject, and not on people or objects around the subject. The subject at a greater distance will have greater depth of field than one that is close-up. This will reduce the noise level in your photographs. Also, less worry needs to be given to being out of focus, bringing in clarity and sharpness to the image.
5. When a picture is overexposed, too much detail is too high in tonal range. Just as under exposure makes a picture dark and toneless, over exposure makes colors too rich giving the picture an artificial hue - causing highlight to lose their detail. Over exposures also blanks out light and dark effects, along with the tones that give an image a natural look causing everything to look gray with less saturation.
6. Exposure warning lights have a purpose - with the word "warning." We must learn to look and respect under exposure warning lights just like a red flashing light at an intersection. These are especially good for beginners who can change the exposure until the blinking areas disappear. Later, the user can start using their own insights in deciding the exposure levels.
7. The camera can take a great picture, but we as the photographer prepare before then. The best photographs are those whose parameters are decided by the human mind. No amount of automation can change this fact. We, too, should gradually move away from automated functions and start making our own combinations when it comes to exposure, color, noise etc. Only then will we find gradual, but unmistaken, improvement in the quality of photographs taken.
8. Thinking of the composition should be the focus before clicking the button. Composition is the art of focusing on the subject using frames, movement, lights etc. We can learn composition techniques either from a senior photographer or from a book. Then we should start practicing them with new techniques. We will find an automatic improvement in the quality of our photographs.
9. To constantly improve one's photography skills, take as many different pictures as you can - all the time. Take enough pictures that you can tell how they will turn through experience, fixing them in advance.
10. The last one tip is to think ahead, think what you want to shoot, think how it is to be shot, think about its exposure, color, noise - all about visualization. We must learn to critically examine each image that we shoot as if it were our last. Try and find out the weaknesses of the photograph. Shoot again to remove the weaknesses - until we are completely satisfied.
Art photography is a recently new form of art that has just started to become incredibly popular over the last couple of years as the advancements in digital photography has jumped a level or two. So what is art photography? Basically it's just a form of picture taking that is rendered in a certain way to reflect something 'arty' and that also has some kind of hidden meaning behind it that makes it more special than just a normal everyday photograph.
Many people refer art photography to pictorialism, which then intern means the method of constructing a picture keeping in mind that the picture take must be a form of art or can be turned into a art piece later using computer related technology. In fact this method of taking photos ceased to exist for quite sometime when important artists came to believe that more emphasis was being placed on design rather than on the picture.
With digital work, art photography is becoming more prevalent nowadays and, with the help of a computer, certain effects can be deliberately achieved so photographs can be made to look like an oil painting or as pastel, but this is governed mainly by the expertise of the photographer's own abilities.
Buying art photography at a gallery is relatively a simple task and with the advent of online art photography galleries, buyers can locate photographs that best suit their individual desires and tastes without the need of commuting or attending art exhibitions. Art photography is basically art that is creative, more so when it is visually aesthetic and is mostly appreciated for a having lots of imaginative and intellectual content.
There are two types of cameras that a photographer chooses to use, manual and automatic. The photos are processed by hand and only experienced printers have the ability to make sure the photo is not damaged and comes out perfect in the end.
Many photographers choose to take black and white photos for their art photography as they believe that they can play on more emotions that have the ability to affect the human psyche in a more effective manner. However those photographers who tend to use more color in their photos believe the opposite is true that in fact color has the ability to create more emotions and inevitably stir more senses in the brain that black and white could ever achieve. If you are starting out in the world of art photography than it's best to implement both(perhaps in the same photos if possible)
Remember the old expression, "a picture speaks a thousand words"? Photo blogging is the embodiment of this concept. Instead of people voicing the stories that they want to share by writing them out, they do so using photographs. These pictures can often convey sentiments that are hard to express in words and invoke the emotions of those who view them. Not all of them are dramatic portraits that required years of skill to take. They can be as simple as a mother smiling with tears in her eyes, as she holds a new baby in her arms. A picture like this sends a lot of messages, from the appreciation of new life, to the huge responsibilities that parents hold, as symbolized by the child in the mother's arms.
Many photo bloggers are expert photographers and share their art with the world through their blogs. Many of these photographers have received acclaim for their skills and have been recognized as the true artists that they are. They post pictures that they have taken all over the world, from serene mountain scenes, to violent confrontations. All of their pictures convey certain messages by the images that they contain.
Amateur photographers also use photo blogging as a way to establish themselves as artists. They may not be able to travel the world over to obtain their pictures, but can still take them locally to convey their messages. A picture taken of children at play in a schoolyard can carry invoke all kinds of emotions if taken at the right angle and with varying light. Even a picture as simple as a person deep in thought while walking a dog can convey the message of a how an animal can be happy while attached to a leash, while also showing how humans can suffer although they are free to do what they want.
Photo blogging has become so popular that forums have been created for them. Here people can talk about blogging, get advice on techniques or share their pictures. So much for the old photo albums that you used to pull out when you had a visitor. Now you can share all of your favorite photographs with the millions of people that surf the web just to view them.
If you love to take pictures and are proud of your work, consider starting a photo blog. It may be the most rewarding way for you to enjoy your hobby and display your craft.
When you look into a picture that pleases the eye, can you detect the subtlety that makes it appealing? We all know a well taken photo when we see one. Here are some tips that you can use. These tips apply to both digital and traditional cameras.
Here are four tips for a better picture.
1. Get a little closer, do not be shy. One of the biggest mistakes most beginning photographers make is shooting from so far away. They leave too much distance between themselves and their subjects. Instead, get up close and personal. Fill up as much of the camera frame, with your subject, as you can. You can always reshape, trim, and resize a good quality shot. But you cannot continue to blow up a distant subject and hope that it will come into focus. It just won't happen.
2. Focus your shot on only one subject. Determine what the main subject of the photo will be, and catch that image. Try and find the one key subject, person, or event that accurately portrays the feeling you are trying to capture.
3. In addition to getting one subject, in your photos, you will want to make the background of the photo as simple as possible. Busy, distracting backgrounds pull the attention away from the central theme of your photo. The subject of your photo is absolutely the most important element, and anything that detracts from the subject can ruin your shot.
4. Subject placement. Most people place the subject at the exact center of the frame. There is nothing wrong with this. However this often leads to a bland and uninteresting picture. You may use a method called the rule of thirds. Imagine having a camera lens split into 9 equal sized boxes, 3 across and 3 down (like having a tic tac toe game printed right on your camera lens). Where those "tic tac toe" lines cross, should become the focusing point of your subject, when you are arranging to take your photo.
Based on this tip, every time you compose a shot, the main subject of your photo should be located primarily on one of these "third" lines.
These are just four very fundamental tips and strategies to help improve your photos. Photography skills can always be improved and is never ending. You have to keep on practicing and shooting in order to improve your photography skills. Get a critic and show them your pictures. Then you will able to improve your skills. You can even post your photos to online forums for them to rate your pictures. Take advantage of these and hopefully you will become the next award winning photographer.