Author Archive: max
There are many different tools and effects a photographer can use to improve their image composition. You can make use of the rule of thirds, leading lines and contrast for example. One hugely important feature a photographer can use that is sometimes overlooked is perspective. Perspective can transform images and add extra depth to an otherwise flat and uninteresting photo. So what is perspective, how does it affect a photo, and how can you use perspective to your advantage; read on to find out!
Perspective – a definition
In the general sense, perspective is how we view something. We can view an object from a certain perspective for example. Let’s say that you are looking at a large skyscraper in the middle of a street; if you walk up to the base of the skyscraper and look up, it appears stretched and elongated – that is one perspective. If you then moved away from the skyscraper and looked at it from an adjacent street, it would look completely different – that is a different perspective.
Every object we look at has many different perspectives. Angles, distance, and positioning can all affect our perspective. We can use this to our advantage in photography to create interesting and unusual photos. We can take a photo of the same object from several different angles or positions and create a new perspective each time. You can change the perspective of a photo to turn a boring an uninteresting scene into something unique and unusual. The following tips should help improve your use of perspective:
How can you use perspective to create amazing photos?
Consider using different lens types
A DSLR camera can benefit from a variety of different lenses. Each camera has a myriad of lenses such as wide-angle, zoom and telephoto. If you have access to a range of lenses for your camera, remember that different lenses can change the perspective of your photo. A wide-angle lens with a 22mm focal point, for example, could make a gorgeous countryside landscape appear to stretch for miles width-ways. If you shot that same scene with a zoom lens at 75mm, the end result would look completely different. Know your lenses and understand how they can improve a photo’s perspective.
Consider taking a photo from a different angle
A simple shift in angle can change the perspective of a photo drastically. Most people when taking photos will simply stand straight, and shoot whatever is in front of them at shoulder height – this often results in bland and uninteresting compositions. Consider crouching on the floor and shooting up towards an object, or reaching a higher position to shoot down onto it – this change of height and angle can create some wonderful compositions. Play with different angles and move around your subject – don’t stay still and shoot head on!
Consider how contrast affects composition
The contrast within a photo can change its perspective. A photo with little to no contrast, for example, will have a 2D perspective and appear to have no depth. Alternatively, a photo with a high level of contrast and plenty of light and dark areas will appear 3D and have much greater depth. Use contrast in your photos to change its perspective; look at how light and shadow is affecting the scene and altering an image’s depth.
Consider the positioning of objects
If you are taking a photo of several objects together, consider how those objects are positioned in relation to each other. The positioning of objects can create some cool perspectives and change how we view a photo.
You are taking a photo of a field for example that has a tree in the center and several rows of hedges. You could shoot the tree in the foreground with the hedges in the background – this would make the perspective of the tree appear larger and give it focus. Alternatively, you could move position and shoot the hedges in the foreground, leaving the tree in the background – this shifts the perspective and makes the tree appear further away. Try positioning focal objects differently to see how this alters the photo’s perspective.
As you can see, perspective can be a potent tool for a photographer. Use these tips when you next head out with your camera and see how you can use perspective to your advantage. Changing the perspective of your composition really can take your photography to the next level!
The winter months bring a host of changes both welcomed and unwanted. Temperatures drop and daylight hours lessen. Trees and plants shed their greenery and are left bare in the biting cold. Snow sometimes falls and transforms our surroundings into a magical winter wonderland. Rivers, lakes, and ponds can freeze over with thick ice.
This change in condition, weather and landscape are simply fantastic for photography – the winter season can create some absolutely amazing photographs that simply can’t be produced at other times of the year. There is no denying however that winter photography can be tricky and if you want to take some spectacular shots, you must prepare accordingly! Luckily the following guide will help you fight through the winter weather and improve your photography during those cold months!
Understand your camera and its functions
It is first important to know how to operate your camera during winter. Due to various factors and weather anomalies, taking a photo during the winter months requires extra care and attention. The following are some basic tips relating to your camera and its functions:
Adjust your shutter speed to suit the situation
During the winter months, you are often presented with a host of moving objects such as snow and wildlife for example. Consider altering your shutter speed to suit each individual photo and to change the effect of the final photo. If you want crisp and sharp falling snowflakes, for example, you must have a quick shutter speed. Alternatively, if you want to create a blurry seen that emphasizes motion, consider choosing a slower shutter speed. Try altering the shutter speed to see what different effects you can create and how it affects your photo.
Manually change your exposure
Exposure is also key to taking successful winter photos. Oftentimes during the winter, you are presented with bright landscapes full of snow, or dull landscapes with shaded areas. If you allow your camera to automatically expose a photo, it may result in washed out areas – for example, a bright skyline or a snow-covered field may have little to no detail. Manually alter your exposure to tone down the brightness of these areas. Try and find a middle ground that has most parts of a photo correctly exposed – you can always change the exposure afterward using post-processing software too.
Consider using manual focus for low contrast images
Winter scenes often have low contrast and this makes it difficult to use the cameras autofocus feature. For example, if you are taking a photo of a snow-covered landscape, your camera may struggle to pick out a point to focus on. This can be frustrating and result in a host of blurred and out-of-focus photos. Consider switching to manual focus and picking out a focal point of your choice. In most cases, you will have to turn the focus ring on your camera lens until your chosen area becomes crystal clear and sharp.
Always carry a spare battery and warm casing
DSLR cameras do not always perform well in cold weather. Batteries, in particular, are prone to freezing and running out extremely quickly during the winter. It is important therefore to protect your equipment and carry a sufficient array of spares. Consider wrapping your camera and batteries in bubble-wrap for extra insulation, and take one or two spare fully-charged batteries with you in the winter. This will ensure your equipment remains warm, and if you do encounter problems, you have spares to continue shooting!
Let nature provide inspiration for your shots
Aside from changing the settings of your camera, you should also make use of what nature gives you during the winter season. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs, winter is like no other time and you can create some unique and interesting photos.
Use snowfall to your advantage to create interesting patterns. Look for bright colors such as berries or holly in-between the sea of whites and browns. Walk into towns to snap the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations. Head out into the countryside and immerse yourself in the harsh but stunning winter landscapes. Use your imagination, explore and don’t be afraid to wrap up and head out of your home to see what magical photos you can create!
You should now feel a little more prepared to step out into the world and make the most of the winter weather. Don’t let the cold put you off – you really can take some beautiful and memorable photos during this time of the year!
Travelling can be a truly life-changing and enthralling experience – what is there not to love about exploring new places, meeting the locals and learning about different cultures? For many people travel is a way of life and its what they thrive upon – from the open plains of the Serengeti and the bustling cities of Europe to the beautiful jungles of Asia and the rainforests of South America – the world is a huge and varied place.
Photography often goes hand in hand with travel – people love nothing more than taking their camera with them during their travels and snapping away to capture beautiful foreign landscapes and memorable moments. If you love traveling and you want to improve your photography skills, these five useful tips are sure to help:
1. Don’t stick to conventional daytime hours
The earth’s cycle of light can be a hugely potent tool when taking photos during your travels. Most people simply take photos when they are exploring or on guided tours – whilst you can create fantastic photos in this way, consider the other times of day such as sunset, sunrise, and twilight.
During the day (and night), there are many different periods of time where the sun interacts with our surrounding to create some truly magical effects. Consider getting up early in the morning to photograph a beautiful sunrise, or maybe you can stay later in the evening to capture a flaming sunset – experiment with the varying daylight hours and use sunlight to your advantage.
2. Look for a unique angle or perspective
Many people fall short in travel photography because they take the exact same photo that a thousand other people have too. How many photos have you seen of someone holding up the leaning tower of Pisa? Or how many photos have you seen of a generic monument taken from the exact same position as 50 other tourists stood next to you?
Be different, step away from the crowds and try to look for a different angle or perspective. You should still, of course, take that generic photo, but be creative too and try to capture that unique shot that no one else has thought to take. Consider focusing on a certain point, try getting low to the ground, or even climbing up to a higher place – perspective, angles, uniqueness!
3. Explore and go off the beaten track
Whilst everyone loves to take photos of well-known landscapes and buildings, it does get a little tedious. Travel photographers excel when they are presented with the unknown – instead of sticking to the tourist traps and well-trampled routes, consider wandering off the beaten track and exploring unknown regions. Its times like these that you will often find some truly stunning and unexpected scenes that are crying out to be shot.
4. Perform reconnaissance beforehand
If you want to take a particular photo it is advisable to scout the area beforehand and ensure that you understand your surroundings. Let’s say you want to photograph a lake surrounded by mountains. What is the best way to get there? Where is the ideal place to best capture the lake? Is there a car park available? Do any animals or birds appear at a certain time of the day? If you prepare yourself and scout the area beforehand, you can take a much better series of photos.
5. Try to tell a story
A photograph that can tell a story is a potent image that we can truly relate to and invest in. What would you find more interesting – a photo of a Buddhist temple or a photo of a Buddhist temple with a group of monks meditating in the foreground? Use objects, humans, and animals in your photos to create an interesting story and add extra depth to your work.
Hopefully, you have found these tips useful – travel and photography go hand in hand and knowing how to capture moments skilfully can greatly enhance your enjoyment whilst on the road. The most important piece of advice we can give however is to know when to put your camera down! Don’t become lost behind your lens – whilst photography is an amazing hobby, be sure to actually immerse yourself in your travels too!
If you happened to read my previous articles about why street photography is dying, you would probably already know why I’d think using your phone to do some street photography is a good idea, especially if you are a new photographer.
Anyway, here are some reasons why:
- Composition and Light Takes Priority
As greatly improved as today’s smartphone cameras are getting, they are still nowhere near the quality of a good APS-C or full-frame sensor camera. This means that they are limited in what they can do, especially when it comes to low light situations. As a result of these limitations, when shooting street with your phone you are more likely to focus on how to use available light and better compose your shots.
- You’ll Always Have Your Camera
A lot of photographers find it hard to take their cameras with them all day, and give this same excuse for not taking enough photos. If you use your phone as your street camera, you won’t have to miss any more crucial shots no matter where you are.
- You’ll Learn to Tell Stories
As a street photographer, it is important to tell stories through your shots. With a smartphone, you focus more on the content because there’s only so much your phone can do as far as the quality and ‘look’ of photos is concerned. You will start observing everything around you when you have your camera with you at all times, so you will see things that you would otherwise ignore.
- Learning will Come Quicker
All of the afore-mentioned benefits will lead to much quicker learning for you in the art of street photography. You will take more photos, notice more compositions, use light more efficiently, and tell stories through your photos rather than just using fancy lenses to make photos that look pretty.
So, in conclusion, if you want to step into street photography and don’t have a camera to help you, using your smartphone camera may actually help you become a better street photographer than using a DSLR or mirrorless camera would. Â
Everything alive is bound to die one day or another. This statement does not apply only to living things, but also to objects we hold dear, the things we own and use every day, and the buildings we live in. Places, especially, become stark reminders of this notion when they are abandoned. Buildings start being reclaimed by nature and the very ground they stand upon. Their walls crumble, their windows break, and people are reminded of how time can change the world we live in.
To help you better understand what I mean, here is a collection of images showcasing some of the most unusual and abandoned places that make for some great photography.
- Belgium’s I.M. Cooling Tower
The massive cooling tower’s standout feature is the hole in the center that looks like a black hole. This hole sent hot water down through small troughs and slats made of concrete, cooling the water as it traveled. Now, the massive structure is abandoned and clad in green, giving you the chance to photograph its raw beauty.
- Australia’s Floating Forest
No other place in this list speaks of nature’s perseverance more than the floating forest that has developed over more than a hundred years on top of a large ship in Homebush Bay. Not only is that, but the sight is something that offers the opportunity for some truly breathtaking and meaningful photography.
- Ukraine’s Radioactive City
The once nuclear city of the Soviet Union, the city of Pripyat is a ghost town reminding humanity of the disastrous nature of nuclear technology. Since the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986, the city has been radioactive and unfit to live in. You can take guided tours of the city, however, and photograph the after effects of nuclear disaster firsthand.
- Italy’s Abandoned Mill
This wheat mill was left isolated in 1866, and stands to this day alone in seclusion. It is an utterly eerie sight, and once again shows how nature can find its way into any abandoned structure. You can visit the mill in the Valley of the Mills if you want some truly haunting photos.
- Georgia’s Train Station
During the War in Abkhazia, this train station was abandoned. This abandoned location stands out amongst the others in this list as it still has a good amount of its original plaster work and wooden furniture intact. This, combined with its abandoned nature, makes it a very interesting place for a photography excursion.
- Russia’s Wooden Houses
If you want to visit some other unusual places that are beautiful to look at but have been left in isolation, then these small buildings in Russian forests might be something up your alley.
- China’s Underwater City
And last but not the least, the underwater city known as the Lion City, in eastern China is perhaps the eeriest of all the locations in this list. The city is said to be over 1300 years old and has stayed submerged since 1959.
In this digital age, it is much easier than some decades ago to take pictures. This is both a good thing and bad in my opinion. It’s good because, of course, more people have access to cameras these days, hence allowing them to pursue their photographic ambitions. On the flip side, a very negative effect of this is that many kinds of photography, including street, are becoming more about capturing every single mundane thing around you and putting it up on Instagram rather than actually caring about the story you’re telling the world.
While there are merits to going out and shooting the streets, the fact that so many people are doing it these days is not helping anyone. Let’s see how the digital age of photography is slowly ruining street photography.
It’s Too Easy!
The foremost reason why a majority of ‘street photography’ these days is not up to par is because it is way too easy for anyone to pick up a half decent camera and go into the streets without a second thought. At the time when street photography was at a high, people had to carry heavy gear outside, they had to wait full days for that one shot that would make sense to them. I’m not saying that the advent of cheaper and lighter cameras is bad, but the sheer presence of a multitude of them means that anyone can pick one up and go out without any real interest in street photography.
As a result, you see so many similar photos these days that it is nearly impossible for anyone to stand out. Steaming coffee cups on rainy days, yellow taxis in a monochrome urban setting, thoughtless juxtaposition of elements; these are what constitute a major chunk of street photography these days. And it’s quite sad.
The Real Stuff is Lost
In the midst of all these coffee cups and sign boards, the really good street photographs, taken by people who actually care about their content and spend days in its pursuit, are lost. Any good, really good, street photographers that exist in the world remain undiscovered because there is so much saturation throughout the internet that it takes a lot of work and patience to stumble upon something promising.
And that is the main reason why I think street photography is headed towards its doom.
Do you ever wonder why your camera can’t take photos as sharp as those you keep seeing on the internet? While sometimes this is simply because of a better camera, mostly the reason for photos that are not so sharp is because photographers tend to omit some important things from the process of taking a photo. These simple tips and tricks can help improve your photos’ overall sharpness a great deal, so go through them carefully.
- Use an Appropriate Aperture
Yes, a wider aperture helps you take photos with a faster shutter speed but you also need to understand that the smaller the f-number is on your camera, the shallower the depth of field will be. This is great for portraits, where you would want the background to be blurred out and the subject is perfectly still for you to focus properly, but the same aperture setting will not be suitable for a busy scene because your camera might not focus precisely on the point you want it to focus on. So use a narrower aperture for busier scenes to get more in focus.
- Use a Low ISO
The ISO is the biggest culprit for bringing unwanted noise into your photos, and hence cause them to look blurry. Keep this value as low as you can during day time, and find out what the maximum usable limit of your camera’s ISO is for night shots. The lower values can be offset with a wider aperture and slower shutter speed to get ideal exposure.
- Shoot in RAW
You won’t believe the amount of detail you can pull from your image if it was shot in RAW format. For example, if you take a RAW photo with a low ISO and later find out that the exposure isn’t perfect, you can get a great deal of light back into your image simply through the RAW processing.
- Give Your Camera Some Stability
First, you should learn how to properly hold your camera to minimize the shake while taking a photo. Then, you should invest in a tripod for any sort of stationary shooting. A tripod is an essential device to taking tack sharp photos of landscapes, architecture, or the night sky. If you like to walk around while taking photos, consider buying a monopod instead. This added stability goes a long way into making your photos sharp and well-focused.
- Use Optical Zoom
A great advantage of cameras with interchangeable lenses is that you can easily slap on lenses of different focal lengths. It’s always better to zoom into your subject optically rather than cropping them later on your computer. Cropping an image digitally almost always leads to drop in quality, so it’s better to either get closer to your subject when shooting or investing in a good telephoto lens. You can even get compact cameras with super zoom lenses these days.
So the next time you go out to take photos, keep these tips in mind. You’ll see how much difference these simple tricks make to the overall quality and sharpness of your photos.
Digital photography has come a long way in recent years. Things that were not easily achievable before can now be done through a smartphone. Small lenses can take your camera’s sight to the moon, small bodies can produce images previously only achieved by heavy DSLRs, and fast action can be frozen in an instant.
However, there are still a few things that camera makers are constantly trying to improve upon. One of these is low light photography. While this type of photography has also come a long way, it still is not an easy process to get a perfect shot at night. Till that day comes when all you have to do is press the shutter button to take a great low light photo, here are some tips to help you be better at night photography:
Use a Wide Aperture
Using a lens with a wide aperture is essential if you want to take night photos easily. While it is possible to get a decent low light photo with a narrower aperture, a wider lens is going to make the job much easier because it pulls in more light into the camera sensor. This has two subsequent effects; you don’t have to lower your shutter speed too much and you don’t have to crank up your ISO to an unusable level.
Buy a Tripod
Long exposure photography is a great way to take creative night photos. For this purpose, you need to use a tripod to make sure your camera stays still during the long exposure. You can take photos of the stars, create light paintings, and much more with the help of a steady tripod.
Start Using Lights
You should also use some external lights to brighten up your scenes. There are some great DIY solutions that you can employ in your photography, so you don’t have to spend too much money on these either. Sometimes even a simply flashlight can help you create an amazing long exposure shot at night, or a simple diffuser in front of your camera’s built-in flash can help take a great portrait.
Find the ISO Limit
New photographers are often attracted towards high ISO numbers. Of course, a higher ISO means a brighter image, but it also means an uncontrollable amount of noise in your image. So before you start taking the ISO way up, learn what its upper limit is that can be used without ruining image quality. Do some tests in your room with the lighting turned down, and see how high you can take the ISO before you start seeing visible noise. Most cameras are good up to 800 ISO, and many can go till 1600 before showing too much noise.
So keep these tips and tricks in mind the next time you go out to take some images at night or in the dark. You don’t have to use up too much money or put in a lot of effort to learn how to take good photos in the dark.
I see a lot of new photographers trying to find the best camera out there, with no knowledge of what each type of camera is best suited for and what their own needs are. Most people, when they want to get into photography, tend to go out and buy a DSLR camera when they might not even need all that power.
If you want to buy your first camera, it would be very helpful for you to actually do some research as to which kind is best suited to your needs. But first, read this post to get a basic idea of what each camera type is and what you can achieve with it.
Compact Cameras – From Casual to Enthusiast
If the extent of your photographic endeavors will be taking photos at family vacations and parties, you could get by with a compact camera. While most compact cameras come in small bodies with not-so-great sensors, there are those that are aimed at enthusiast and professional photographers. These, unlike DSLRs, can be had for quite cheap and are lightweight and small enough not to be burden.
So take a look at some of the best high end, manually controlled compact cameras available because chances are that these will be all you need.
Bridge Cameras – For a More Ergonomic Photographic Feel
If you want a camera that handles like a DSLR but doesn’t vary in quality based on what lens is attached to it, then you should look for Bridge Cameras. These cameras usually have larger sensors than typical point-and-shoot cameras, and complete manual controls for your creative needs. They also typically have super-zoom lenses, so they can be used for a variety of shooting needs from casual family photos to landscape and action photos.
Mirrorless Cameras – A Lighter and Smaller Alternative to DSLRs
If you are even slightly involved in photography news or technology, chances are that you have heard the term mirrorless camera. These are what many people call the future of photography, as they combine an immense amount of power in bodies that are a little larger than an enthusiast compact camera. Mirrorless cameras have fast autofocus, small bodies, and a massive lens collection. They can even be used with lenses that are not originally made for them through the use of adapters. So if you want a DSLR just because it’s the more ‘professional’ type of camera, do some reading about mirrorless technology.
DSLR Cameras – A Matter of Personal Choice
As previously mentioned, a mirrorless camera is as close as it gets to a full blown DSLR. However, DSLRs do have a few advantages still over mirrorless cameras. These include quicker autofocus for action and sports, and a larger variety of native lenses created for these cameras. Ultimately, the choice between one and the other comes down to personal preference, and both these systems can be used for professional photography.
So now that you know a little about the different choices in cameras that you have, do a little thinking as to what you want to use your new camera for before making the purchase.
Social media has really changed the way the world communicates with one another. So many people around the world get their information exclusively via social media websites, be it Facebook, Twitter, or any else.
So when you know that these social platforms have so much reach and so much potential, why haven’t you started using them for your personal benefit as a photographer?
Get Your Work Seen!
Once you upload something on a social media site, you’re putting it in front of millions of potential eyes. It’s important, therefore, to put up work that you want people to see. You also need to learn how to label and title your photos properly. Whichever site you choose to showcase your work, it’s important that you understand how you can maximize the reach of your art.
For Facebook – Make a Page
As a staggering amount of people who use social media regularly are on Facebook, uploading your photos here can be huge. But your Facebook account probably has your friends and family added in it too, which means you might post more casual photos on the website from time to time.
That is why it is important that you make a professional Facebook page for your work. This will help you create a distinction between casual uploads and those that you want potential buyers and clients to see. Upload to your page regularly, write engaging captions and, if possible, run a paid promotion for some time to get more followers.
For Instagram – Be Distinct
Being distinct on Instagram entails two things. First, you should use separate accounts for professional and casual posts. And second, you need to define your individual style.
The former condition is important because once someone opens up your Instagram profile, they see the first few photos you’ve posted right away. These photos, if you are trying to make a name for yourself, should not be casual family ones but rather very carefully chosen ones that you want people to see.
The second condition is important because Instagram is filled to the brim with exceptional photographers from around the world, and it is very hard to make your name here in more niches than one. So take some time to develop your skills, learn what kind of photos you excel in taking, and then make an account on Instagram. Try to upload only within your selected niche, so that your profile has a theme to it when someone opens it. Also, hashtags are important and they need to be precise and well-thought.
Whether you choose to make your photographer profile on Facebook or Instagram, you can be sure of having potential access to millions of customers. All it takes is some commitment, hard work, and a dedication to taking photos. Be smart about what you upload, and how frequently you upload, and try to be regular with your posts. Keep your audience engaged with interesting captions and stories about your images, and your social media presence will sky-rocket before you know it.
Instagram is one of those social media platforms that are not only fun to use but also provide some serious amount of exposure, depending on how you use it. People have been using the platform for years to engage with their friends, expand their social circles, and even sell their products or promote brands to turn it into a viable source of income.
Now, if you’re wondering why your photos don’t get the attention you want them to get, maybe you need to start doing some things differently. There are a lot of ways to get more attention on Instagram but if you ask me, the first thing you need to do is make sure your posts are as visually stunning as they can be. To do that, you should raise your editing skills to the next level by using any number of the following apps and tips. (more…)
It was in 2007 when the first iPhone was announced. The next decade would see phone manufacturers compete with one another rigorously to create a better device. Every component of the smartphone, from the screen to the speaker, saw rapid development over this time. One of the only few aspects of smartphone design that seemed to lag behind was the camera. While manufacturers had managed to cram in a lot of megapixels into their phone sensors, they could only be used for taking casual photographs at family events. (more…)
Whether you like Mac OS or you are a diehard Windows fan, like me, you can’t really deny the stability and impressive performance that Macs are usually known for. Yes, they may be expensive and may not have all the features you could get from a Windows machine in a similar price range, but it is still a fact that a massive number of people around the world have no problem spending a little more money to gain the added stability that comes with a Mac. (more…)
Photography has turned out to be one of the best hobbies nowadays and people are being much interested in learning about the subject more and more. It is a passion for some, love for some other and a way of living for a few more.
Photography isn’t as easy as it seems. You need a lot of dedication and will power to bring a photograph to life. As they say, photographs talk about moments so you must make sure you are able to bring the moments into life. (more…)