Beginner’s Tips on Better Bird Photography

Capturing birds in flight will require mountains of patience. Most environments where bird photography are favorable aren’t all that accessible too so if say, you are hiking up a mountain, it’s impractical t carry extremely heavy telephoto lens. Any extra weight in a long lens can also cause hand shake blurs, etc. In this post, we are listing down practical tips for better bird photography for beginners:

Using Shutter Priority Mode

One of the first things to keep in mind when shooting fast-moving subjects is exposure. We recommend using the shutter priority mode so that you can spring into action any time. Birds, even when they are standing still, can take off any time. And if you want to capture this moment, you have to make sure you are ready for any action at any time. You an use a wide aperture like f/2.8 or f/4 for a shallow depth of field but if you want total control over the shutter speed and aperture, you can turn to manual mode and set the ISO to auto.

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Focusing on Subjects

The focus of the subject will depend on what approach you are taking and the kind of equipment you have. For instance, some lenses and cameras bodies offer faster auto focus so a little tweaking every now and then will help you learn how to work your camera to certain environments.

Because birds are moving objects, we recommend changing your auto focus to continuous focus mode. This is usually called AF-C or AI Servo. Continuous focus mode tracks the subject’s movement. However, if you want to experiment a little, you can focus manually and find different ways to set up your equipment to get the best shot.

Timing and Location

Birds are usually at their most active during spring time. Spring is the time when the ground softens and the seeds are sprouting everywhere. Bugs are crawling out and this is the kind of feast birds are looking for all winter long. This means to get great bird photos, springtime could be the best time to take photos. Similarly, autumn could be a great season for bird photography  because this is the time when most birds are gathering food before the frost sets.

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Achieving Better Field

While the main focus should be about capturing amazing photos of birds, don’t overlook the background too! The background should not clash with the subject so a clean and simple backdrop is ideal. Avoid too much clutter that’ll distract the eyes from the subject itself. You can use your perspective as well as your own point of view to remove certain elements from the background and blur out any other details to shift the eyes to the subject in the frame.


5 Architectural Photography Tips To Take Your Photos To The Next Level

Bringing out the beauty of a living space starts at painstakingly finding the best angle. This helps create interesting textures, highlight colors and enhance the general ambiance of the space. In this post, we are listing down 5 architectural photography tips to help you capture next level amazingness in every living space!

Finding Inspiration Online

Can’t find great inspirations to shoot a specific space? Why not do a quick search online to pull a range of images by professional and amateur photographers? This will give you an idea how to plan your attack as far as shooting a specific living space. The key is analyzing the angles; see how every photographer managed to overcome challenges in every photo such as tall interiors, natural light, etc.

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Analyzing The Geographic Elements Of Your Building

Natural light can be a good thing and a bad thing in photography. For capturing architectural snapshots, natural light can be tricky. Most modern buildings have features that take in as much natural light as it possibly can, such as floor to ceiling windows, etc. This is great if you are an occupant in the building but it can be a challenge if you are trying to photograph said space. That’s why it’s imperative to study the geographical aspect of the building you are shooting, determine which part of the day is best to shoot and knowing which side of the building is best for shooting at specific times of the day.

Setting Up and Finding Unexpected Angles

Before snapping away, make sure the space is at its best Remove any elements that you don’t want to include in the frame such as unorganized items or clutter, wrinkles in fabrics, etc. Ideally, you want to scout the space first and find “special access” places, like elevated spaces, nooks and crannies that may give you a different view of the space.

Staged Space or Au Naturel

Before scheduling a shoot, see if you can find out whether the space has been staged or styled by a designer or not. If it’s the former, then you are in luck! Styled spaces take away the guesswork of looking for the perfect angle for a shot. On the other hand, if the space hasn’t been styled, you will need to put more effort in figuring out how to make the space look better or special. Find elements in an un-styled space to highlight in every photograph to make it stand out.

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Check For Vertical Lines

Ideally, you want to use a wide-angle lens when shooting for architectural photos. Why? Because such lens have a tendency to cause converging verticals. This means two parallel lines will look as if they are leaning towards each other. In order to make any photo appear polished, professional, check for converging vertical lines. The easiest way to do this is by taking a step back or use Photoshop to correct the converging lines.


Covering A Special Event? Our Pro Tips For Shooting in Special Events

It can be quite stressful covering a special event. More so if you are expected to come up with amazing photos of the event too! Fret not, we got you covered. In this post, we are listing down practical tips on how you can nail the part and come out with great pictures too!

Dress Like You Belong

Sure, you are hired to chronicle the event in pictures but that doesn’t mean you can show up to a black tie event in your ratty jeans from the 90s. There are many times when, as a photographer, you can show up in jeans and shirts. This isn’t one of those times. Dress the part and have fun! The idea here is to blend in. If you are unsure about the dress code in higher-end events, you can always opt to wear a suit and tie and then if you are overdressed, you can just take off your coat and keep your tie in your pocket.

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Shooting Pre-Event

Don’t just take photos while the party is at its peak, consider taking pre-event photos too. These kinds of photos might be useful for something for you clients. We recommend taking pictures prior to the arrival of the guests.

Shooting Carefully

With the hustle and the bustle of a party, it’s so easy to go overboard and you end exasperating the guests. In any event, the top priority is to give people a great time. The same thing goes in your line of work, you want people to have a great time because their mood will translate in the pictures. So make a mental note to not photograph the same people over and over again.

In addition, if the lighting is great, bump up your ISO and start taking candid shots with ambient light. Once the program starts, shift your focus on the state then move on to the cocktails and the reception later. Finally, as a general rule, never take photos when people are eating so shoot conservatively once the food comes in.

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Shooting Quickly

Again, you want the guests to enjoy the event, they are likely to mingle with others, chatting, drinking, etc. So be quick when taking photos and move. You don’t want to disrupt the flow of the party.  When shooting in a panel discussion or anything on a stage, we recommend using a long lens. Taking close-up shots are great during parties or special occasions but you want to maintain the flow of the event by blending in and quietly taking shots, not by being a cause of distraction.

 


5 Pro Tips on Shooting Portraits in Public

Shooting in public for anything is a challenge because you cannot avoid nor control the crowd of people coming in from every conceivable direction. And if someone is making a face in the background, the whole image is ruined. In this post, we give you pro tips on how you can shoot portraits in public, trouble-free!

Creating Shallow Depth of Field

When it comes to portraits in public, it’s important to blur the background so the focal point of the image is your subject. You can achieve this by using wide apertures. Wide apertures create a shallow depth of field. In shooting in public, this translate to drawing the eyes to the focal point of the subject by blurring the background. When the background is blurred, not even the prankster making a face can ruin your photo.

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Ditch The Shorter Lens

Shooting in public places will require longer lens. This helps you two ways. One, there is little chances of people disrupting the photo by walking though and second, using a telephoto lens gives you a shallower depth of field that blurs the background.

Be Patient

Achieving great photos in any challenging situation will require more patience. You just can’t expect to create a perfect shot in one try. When you are in the middle of a crowd, you are bound to come across a frenetic flow of activity. But there will always be a gap in the crowd and that’s what you want.

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Shooting in challenging locations, it’s mostly patience that get you the photo you want so sit back and find a window of opportunity to shoot.

Reframing Your Shot

Trying to get rid of an unwanted detail in the background? Try reframing your shot. You can do this several ways like making your model take a step aside to cover the unwanted detail, reframe your shot and block the people or moving a little to block the unwanted detail, it’s a matter of being a creative to achieve the setting you want.

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Check Out The Angle

When it comes to shooting portraiture, the general rule is t never shoot up at your model because it can cause a lot of unflattering effects such as double chin, weird angle or an unwanted view of the inside of your subjects’ noses. But if you are shooting in the crowd, shooting up can actually be a good thing because it’s a practical way to get rid of people in the background.


Another 5 Photography No-Nos That Will Ruin Image Quality

It’s so easy to mess up and ruin a great set of photos with a simple mistake. But not to worry, we’re continuing our list of photography no-no’s that will ruin image quality:

Overdoing The Sharpening

A sharp image is compelling, mesmerizing. But over-sharpening an image may cause the opposite effect. An image that has been over-sharpened will look fake or just plain weird. Plus, it will look like it was blown up to a larger size. So when shooting, make sure the camera’s resolution is set just right. If you use the right settings, you don’t need to polish the image for sharpness after.

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Don’t Sharpen After Resizing

Don’t make the mistake of sharpening an image AFTER resizing said image. Sharpening the image has to be the last step in tweaking with photos after the image is resized to its final print size. Sharpening the image before resizing will affect the final results negatively.

Not Knowing How To Use Correct Color Space

When it comes to achieving crisp, sharp images, you need to know how to use correct color space. Although digital printers cannot print all of the colors in ProPhoto RGB, most printing services prefer files in Adobe RGB. A quick tip: you can save your files with the most amount of color information, check your camera if it allows this kind of setting.

sRGB is the best colorspace to use for images meant to be shown on the web. You can convert your ProPhoto or Adobe RGB images to sRGB if you plan to show off your work online. Additionally, make sure you keep the original images for future reference.

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Forgetting To Use Exposure Compensation

Did you know that light might fool the camera’s sensor when shooting in the dark using Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority mode? Some cameras may try to over-brighten if shooting in the dark or will darken the scene if you try capturing images in very bright lighting. During these times, don’t forget to compensate for the changes in lighting to get the best results in every shoot.

Reset Before You Shoot

Our final tip is pretty simple yet you’d be surprised at how many pros forget it: Always check your camera settings prior to shooting. There are times when resetting the ISO, autofocus switch or white balance setting slips our mind. And if you shoot without checking to see if your device is on the right settings, you might lose the chance to capture the perfect image on that particular moment.  So check before you shoot!


5 Photography No-Nos That Will Ruin Image Quality

At some point in processing the photos you will make mistakes along the way, inevitably ruining an amazing image. Don’t worry, we all have to start somewhere. The good news is, these mistakes are very easy to avoid! In this post, we are listing down the first five photography no-no’s to watch out for to avoid ruining image quality:

Do NOT Leave Image Stabilization On When Using a Tripod

Image stabilizers, as the name implies, helps stabilize the lens to create sharper images by minimizing camera shake. What most photographers don’t know is, if you are using a tripod and you left the image stabilizer on, the motor can actually cause the camera to shake and the result is a photo that is not perfectly sharp.

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Check Shutter Speed

In order to achieve a sharper image, your shutter speed has to be at least 1 over your focal length. For instance, if you are shooting at 50mm, your shutter speed has to be at least 1/50th of a second; otherwise, the quality of the image will be compromised. Always pay careful attention to the settings of your camera before you start shooting away so you don’t have to redo the entire shoot.

Forgetting To Adjust ISO

There are times when the light is too harsh that you will need a fast shutter speed and a large aperture to take the photos. During these moments, don’t hesitate to raise your ISO. Some people try not to raise the ISO level over at 200 but when the situation calls for it, go over it! Newer versions of cameras come with ISO levels as high as 3200. Sure, these levels may add digital noise in the photos but in some cases, the quality of the image is enhanced despite the noise. And in some instances, image noises play a role in enhancing the general look of a photo.

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Moving While Shooting

This one is a no-brainer, if you want to create sharper images; you need to be as motionless as possible when shooting photos. This is a simple rule; you need to stop any motion before you take a shot. Keep your hands still and take that shot, it’s as easy as that. If you want to achieve high quality photos, you need to make sure you took all necessary precautions prior to pushing the shoot button otherwise; you will end up with photos that aren’t up to par in quality.


How To Achieve Picture Perfect Summer Photos

Because summer’s in full swing, we figured you are raring to take in the scenery and immortalize the beauty of the season in photographs. And we can’t blame you! Summer offers an amazing opportunity to immortalize vivid colors and cheery landscape. That’s why we’ve put together a great list of tips on how you can achieve great summer photos for your portfolio.

Mastering The Light

Because summer time means harsh natural light most parts of the day, make sure you know the best times to get the perfect lighting. Knowing how light illuminates various subjects at different times of the day is just as important too.

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Of course, mastering light can mean different things in photography. It could mean mastering your manual setting or the timing and even your camera’s flash. All these elements can affect the outcome of each photograph.

Reflect Every Potential Subject

Don’t just randomly shoot at various subjects without an idea what story you want to get out of it. Taking great photographs doesn’t happen by accident. It takes timing, the right setting and the right point of interest to create compelling images. So challenge yourself by contemplating whether or not a specific subject is interesting enough to be photographed. Find an angle that makes every subject compelling.summer 3

 

Changing Focal Length

Rather than staying to the same focal point over and over again, why not change things up by using different focal point this summer? Get out of your comfort zone and discover great ways to achieve better summer shots.

Explore, Explore, Explore!

Go out there and discover hidden gems buried in hard to reach places. Don’t go where the rest of tourists go, you don’t want to shoot the same thing that others have. Summer is perfect for hiking and the days are longer so it’s a great time to venture further, discover awesome places and achieve the kind of summer-y effects you want in your work.

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Shoot in Bad Weather

Some photographers hate shooting in bad weather conditions and for good reason, you don’t want to go as far and ruin your gears in the process. But shooting in bad conditions is also a great way to get unique shots you might not otherwise get from your average sunny days. You can start at places that are often packed on great weather and then almost empty during bad weather. This is an amazing time to showcase a popular haunt in a different light.


6 Tips For Better Travel Photos

Traveling to new places is the perfect time to polish up on your photography skills. Of course, if you want to come home to great looking shots, you need to keep these nifty tips in mind on your next trip:

Taking Your Gears

You want to make sure you have the right gears to take with you on your next trip. You don’t need a souped up camera with all the bells and whistles to take great shots. But, you do need a camera made in the last five years. Why? Because technology is changing so fast that newer models are better than old ones. And you will see the difference once you test old and new cameras and compare the same shot.

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Knowing The Right Settings

A camera is basically useless if you don’t know how to work it. You have to break away from the Auto mode and dig deeper. So get familiar with your camera, find the best modes to use on specific times of the day and take advantage of every setting in the right conditions.

Cover Your Ground

Don’t travel to a place with not a single idea where the best places to shoot are. You need to take a bit of your time researching about the best places to take photos and take advantage of the beautiful scenery. We recommend checking different travel sites, blogs and even forums to get an idea which places to start.

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Check Out The Locals

One of the best opportunities for photography is shooting locals especially if you are visiting an exotic place like the African bush or the Himalayas. This is the perfect time to get to know the people and take several photos of the locals. But fair warning, don’t stick your camera to people’s faces without asking. You need to know bits of the local dialect first, be friendly and strike a conversation.

Explore The Sites

Don’t limit yourself beyond the tourist spots, one place can offer a lot of places to photograph. So make sure you go out there, explore and see places that have yet to be discovered by others. Get lost, enjoy every minute of it and make sure you immortalize every scenic view with a photo.

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Finding The Best Light

Rather than wasting precious time and effort on using artificial lighting, take advantage of natural light. But don’t shoot between 8 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon because the light could be too harsh. Instead, set up your gears before dawn and wait for the sun to come or until the sun is about to set. These times yield the best natural light for photography.


The 6 Elements of Design in Photography

Line

The line is the most important of all the 6 elements of design. Without line, there is no shape. And without shape, there is no form. Without form, there’s no texture and so on. Line consists of vertical, horizontal, diagonal and curved.

When used correctly, it can help you create compelling, powerful images. The line after all, guides the viewers’ eyes towards the point of interest in a frame. Line can also set the mood or overall feeling of an image.

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Shape

Another important in a design is the shape. The shape is the main element of a design’s identification. In order to create an identifiable shape, you will need to achieve a strong contrast with its surroundings as a way to detach itself from the background. Creating an identifiable shape may also require frontlighting or backlighting. You can also use shapes as silhouettes and we recommend waiting for the golden hour to take a great shot.

Form

A form is composed of three-dimensional shape. The best way to accentuate the form of a subject is t cast side lighting. This produced soft shadow that gives viewers an idea of a form’s depth, as well as amplifying the sensuality of the surrounding.

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Texture

Texture helps exude a specific emotion and even the most seasoned photographers find it extremely challenging to capture a form’s texture. In order to achieve compelling texture, the lighting has to be perfect. The texture of a form is amplified when it is lighted and ideally, you want to do your photoshoot early in the morning or early in the evening to capture the best lighting. You may also use an overhead light when the sun is vertical and high in the sky to capture a subject’s texture.

Color

Comprised of saturation, hue and value, color helps elicit a certain emotion, send a specific message or set the mood to a particular shot. Because different colors can evoke different mood or send different message, color can make or break the impact of an image. For instance, vibrant colors brings to mind cheerfulness while cool colors like blue or green is soothing to the eyes and are calming.

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Pattern

Great patterns make for a mesmerizing image. Thankfully, the world is full of visually stunning patterns. To the keen eye of a professional, you can capture compelling patterns by properly placement of the frame to the subject.

There are two techniques you can use when trying to capture patterns in photography, either enhance the pattern or break it totally. To emphasize a frame, you can zoom in and fill the frame with the pattern. In terms of breaking the pattern totally, you can focus on an element that disrupts the flow of the pattern in a frame.


Turning Photography Into A Hobby

The things that separate hobbyists from professional photographers include the invested time and money on the craft. Most professionals often turn to the craft to make money. They depend on working as professional photographers to pay the bills and put food on the table. The amount of time they use in the craft will directly affect their wage.

On the other hand, hobbyists turn to photography not as a source of livelihood but as leisure. They can make money from time to time but they do not turn to the craft as a way to make major cash that’ll support their lifestyle. Most hobbyists have other priorities than taking photos so they spend less time behind the lens than a professional photographer does. In this post, we are listing down ways on how you can approach photography not as a professional, but as a hobbyist.

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Start By Experimenting

Photography is all about discovery; why not start turning the craft into a hobby with a little experimentation? From checking out different tools to utilizing various settings, you can discover which style suits your taste the best. Play around with your device and do bits of researching online. You can also check out your camera manual to learn different ways to maximize any of its functionality.

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Get Out There

What’s better than indulging in your favorite hobby? Finding like-minded individuals who share the same passion for photography. Go out there and meet new people, join clubs and share your work. There are so many organizations to check out online and offline. Scour internet forums, subscribe to different websites and browse through any photography-related social media sites for tips and tricks. There’s no shame in asking questions about the craft especially if you are new in photography. It may be a bit scary to have others critique your work, but in the end, you will be better at what you want to do.

Investing on Your Talent

Photography is a fairly expensive hobby. The more you invest in your work, the better the outcome of every photo. That said, you don’t need to buy all the pro gears to get you farther to what you want to achieve as a hobbyist. Basically, all you need is a working camera, a couple of essential gears (a tripod and a couple of software) and you are ready to go.

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That said, if you want to hone your skills, you need to invest a lot of time in the craft. Even the most advanced gears won’t give you the results you want if you don’t take time to learn more about your skills. This is not to say that you have to get out there and take photos for days at a time. Just take several photographs, experiment with different settings, and share your work. Find motivation by checking out different sceneries and stretch your creative muscle. As time goes by, you’ll be able to refine your skills and discover techniques and styles that suit your own.