7 Tips for Shooting in Troubling Lighting

Leeni at the Blip Festival
If you’re an event, wedding or concert photographer you know the pains of shooting in low light all too well. Some of the main problems are focusing, white balance issues, high ISO noise, and ensuring that you capture the correct motion. All of this can be pretty tricky, especially if you’re trying to get a variety of angles to ensure that your shots don’t all look the same. Here are some tips for shooting and how to save your work in post process.

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Happy Holidays One and All

Teddy Bear has a Message For You

Just a quick message from me to all of you readers letting you all know that I wish you have a safe, fun-filled and happy holiday. Thank you for making this year awesome.

Those we forget in the cold

And also please keep in mind and try to help those less fortunate than us. It’s their holiday too even in these harsh economic times and even worse weather.

Getting the Photos No One Else Has

Belle is beautiful

You’re a photographer, you hate seeing the same or similar photos over and over again even more than others do. That said, you also need to keep in mind that your photos need to stand out. Making them do that isn’t hard to do as long as you remove personal boundaries and think outside of the box.  To start, the elements of photojournalism (the unusual, the newsworthy, the emotional and the intimate) may really help aid you in the your street photography. Here are some tips to help you do so.

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Tips to Keep Your Inspiration Alive Through Photographic Exercises

The Colors

Let your little light shine! As a photographer, you often can get either bored with what you’re shooting, totally demotivated, or may even run dry of your inspiration. If you shoot professionally, this is not good at all. If you’re a semi-pro or amateur, it can be a real drag for your hobby. I experienced such a problem recently after shooting for three years and I dedicated my time to ensure that the photographer in me doesn’t die out the way being a musician did for me. Here are my tips to ensure that you keep trudging and moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel during the hard times.

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Tips to Shoot Awesome Portraits

We all do portraits.  It’s something that we learn how to do when we are first trained as photographers. Sometimes though, many portraits look the same after a while. Therefore they become boring to look at unless you find a way to make them fun and different than anyone else. Here are some tips to shoot that awesome portrait.

Break the Rule of Thirds

Christine on the floor

This rule is so extremely essential to creating interesting portraits. The rule of thirds is how us photographers are taught to compose our shots in order to make them effective and pleasing to the eye. If you’d like a more interesting shot, try messing with the way your viewer will look at the shot. In the above shot, she is totally off the rule of thirds. It shows her being relaxed, happy and totally serene/confident with herself. If you set up the rule of thirds composition lines on this shot you’d see that it doesn’t exactly meet the standards. On top of that, you’ve got the lines going horizontally as well as her arms and body going in the same direction. Slap on a black and white filter and you make this one really cool shot. [Read more...]

Tips For Shooting Sunsets

The Sunset in Queens

Shooting sunsets is something that isn’t as easy as one would think. Keep in mind that you can’t always be in the right spot at the right time to consistently be able to get those dreamy, beautiful shots. Also remember that sunsets only last for a little while at a time and that the sun continues to go down into the horizon until it isn’t visible anymore. With all this going against you, here are some tips for photographing those beautiful sunsets.

Shoot Wide, Crop Later

Shooting wide allows you to get a view of the entire sky. Depending on the timing, it can also show how the light is hitting the surrounding areas. If you shoot wide first, you’ll be able to fix the shot later in post-production where you can recompose how to wanted it to look. Most consumer zoom lenses close the aperture up as you zoom in. This can create an unbalanced shot depending on how you are metering what’s in front of you. In my experience, primes do the best in this situation.

Part of this also depends on your own positioning to take the shot. Similarly in shooting fireworks, your position to accomplish the type of shot that you want is critical because the sunset happens quicker than you’d think.

The New York City Skyline

Set Your Depth of Field Correctly, Use Neutral Density Filters

While shooting your picture, keep in mind your vision. Do you want the entire sky in focus such as in the picture above? Or perhaps you’d like the sunset to be nothing else but blurry and beautiful bokeh like the first shot in this posting. Either way, figure that all out is worth it in order to save time and getting your shot perfect.

Additionally, you may want to try a neutral density filter. ND filters allow for a shallower depth of field. If the sunset is above water, the ND filter will allow for a slower shutter speed in order to achieve a really slow and milky water effect. Other ideas could be perhaps setting your camera to take the picture at different temperature or exposure brackets. When it’s all done with, you can combine the photos in Photoshop to look exactly the way you want it to. While ND filters will slow down your shutter-speed, generally try to keep it fast enough to not get an overexposed picture or the sun trailing. Additionally, shoot at the widest aperture that you can.

The Seaport at sunset

You Don’t Always Need the Sun To Make a Nice Shot

Yes, despite the fact that you are shooting a sunset your viewers can know that you are doing it without shooting the sun. In the above two shots you don’t see the sun at all but you can easily tell that the sun is going down. Instead, the focusing is on different areas that work for the shot because of positioning and saturation of colors. Everyone that looks at those shots always says, “Nice sunset.” or something else along the lines.

The Colors of The Wind

If You Can’t Get the Sun, Get the Surrounding Sky

A great example of this is what you may have seen in the news recently with the clouds. Every now and then, the sky will literally turn into a pinkish color that is very saturated and almost orangish-red. We get this every now and then in New York City and it’s quite lovely but also very scary too because you sometimes don’t know what is really going on. But if you just shoot the sky with buildings in front or trees of some sort you can achieve a very lovely shot.

What About Your Tips?

Do you have some sunset tips to add?  Let us know in the comments or feel free to share your shots in the forum.

8 Great Tips to Get More Out of Your Camera Batteries

Olympus's Micro 4/3rd's camera

Wouldn’t it be an absolute nightmare to have your batteries die in the middle of an important shoot? Granted, we’re all responsible people that take great care to ensure that something like that doesn’t happen when we’re out on the job. However, after shooting with different systems one can easily see that the battery life of cameras from different companies can vary. Being in the tech industry, I’ve learned tips for conserving battery power and extending overall life. At the beginning of the year, I’ve started applying those tips to cameras: with amazingly positive results. Here are 8 pointers to keep in mind no matter what type of camera you shoot with. [Read more...]

How To Shoot Fireworks

The 4th of July is coming: that means BBQ’s, fireworks, and lots of picture taking. You’re not the average person that just likes taking snapshots of everything and gets mediocre photos to share with their friends. You’re the type that will take lots of pictures, pick the best of the bunch and publish them. You may even sell them. Here’s how to ensure that your images of the fireworks this 4th of July stand out from other people’s. [Read more...]