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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Ways To Fast Track Photography

Update your camera gear

There comes a time when your digital camera doesn’t do your skills justice. While point-and-shoot cameras are convenient and cheaper, they are restricted by their simplicity and their smaller sensor size.

Unfortunately, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is still the truth. Even an entry-level DSLR and kit lens will produce sharper and bigger images, and allow you to play with a wider aperture range, from at least f/4 to f/22.

If you’re into landscape photography, a sturdy tripod is a must, as is a polarising filter to darken blue skies. A cable release will prevent camera shake during longer exposures. A decent kit bag will protect your expensive gear, and enable more efficient access to it.

Subscribe to a photography magazine

The racks of most bookshops are stacked with numerous photography magazines. My favourite is Digital SLR Photography*, which boasts a higher standard of writing than found in other titles from the UK. Of course, these days you can subscribe to the digital version of magazines, and download them to your mobile device of choice.

Start a personal project

A popular pastime is to shoot a photo every day for 365 days. The idea is to force yourself into the habit of getting your camera out regularly, not just for holidays, or special occasions. Shoot ordinary events or items.

Dedicated 365 websites give tips and ideas.

You could photograph a ‘selfie’ in the mirror to record your beard growth for 12 months, and then create a time lapse.

Another worthwhile project is to choose a numeral (e.g. 8) or a colour (e.g. red). Walk around town for a day, only shooting this topic. You will be amazed at how such a focussed assignment will hone your observation skills.

Enter a photography competition

Success in a local, national or even international competition is not only a huge boost to your confidence, and reputation – you may collect some fantastic prizes too. Competitions range from promotional gimmicks at local events (think A&P shows or radio stations), non-profit organisations (think camera clubs) to magazines which run these on an annual basis.

This is a great way to expose your work to a wider audience, and broaden your skill set. The more prestigious competitions will charge entry fees, particularly the umbrella organisations for professionals, where winners are highly acclaimed.

Get your work published

If you love to photograph in a narrow niche (e.g. animals, gardens, fashion, children, or sports), and believe your images will withstand an editor’s scrutiny, why not send a sample CD off to your favourite publication? Magazine editors are forever on the lookout for fresh takes on old topics. Follow up with a phone call, or better, a personal visit.

If you’re a competent wordsmith, even better, as you’ll get paid more for quality writing than for a handful of photos. However, be warned: editors are notorious for not replying, so you will need to be tenacious. Don’t give up.

Some Impact of Visual Content

Images can be accessed on the web or Google images, etc. But, these images are usually owned by individuals or agencies. Therefore, their usage can be a legal issue.

Nowadays, there are stock image sites which have a collection of a wide variety of images that can be used.

There are two options available for using stock images:

1. Some websites offer images that can be used legally free of charge. The drawbacks of using these images:

  • The number of images is limited.
  • Images are not of very high quality.
  • These images are common. They are used by most bloggers, designers, etc.

2. There are websites where a monthly subscription can be purchased and their images used on a regular basis. The benefit of these sites is that the user can upload unique pictures in his content/ website. However, the drawback is that the user needs to pay for the images.

It is up to the user to decide which website to use, based on the aspects that are significant to him. The user should select images that are relevant to the content.

We can see the significance of images in modern-day marketing. Great images help in creating a bond between a brand and the consumer. So, it is vital to select high-quality images relevant to the site/ content to enhance its influence.

Snow Canvases

Lighting is the key – Get your exposure right!

Winter and Snow means – lots of dark and white! Our camera generally do a pretty good job of exposing our images correctly for us – but, when it comes to scenes with lots of black or white it can struggle.

Every camera is designed to expose as close to medium grey as possible, which is fine for an evenly lit scene, but in a situation like a snowy day with lots of sunshine, your camera sees all that bright white and tries to balance it by underexposing the entire scene. The answer is to dial in between +1 and +2 stops of exposure compensation.

You should be able to do this with any reasonable spec camera from a compact through to a DSLR. Try it and see how white your snow becomes!

Shoot raw OR with a warmer white balance

Shooting raw rather than jpeg gives you the opportunity to recover a lot of detail from any blown highlights in post-production, should you overdo the exposure compensation. You’ll also have a chance to deal with any white balance issues that might occur because your camera will probably make your snow look a little blue. If your camera doesn’t have the ability to shoot raw don’t worry! Choosing a warmer white balance – either cloudy or flash – should get you in the right ballpark.

Do not forget spare batteries

Because batteries drain much quicker in cold conditions it’s a good idea to have a couple of spares with you. Instead of leaving them in your bag you can keep them warm by putting them in a pocket close to your skin.

Click without waiting to check

Click… click..click – follow the basic digital photography rule to avoid losing the important moment. Winter and snow can be tough time to do family portraits outside when everyone will want to quickly get into warmer insides OR to even hold camera with your fingers and nose freezing – so, do not wait for the perfect moment but keep clicking! You are bound to capture many beautiful moments.

Digital Photo Frames

However, problem with those regular, non-digital frames is that you can only display one picture. So if you want to share ten pictures you will need ten different frames. That’s not a practical thing to do. Today, given our lifestyle and our reliance on digital media so much, we need something that could multitask even if it is a display item. Digital photo frames are thus your best bet. These are specifically designed for showcasing multiple photos of you or whoever you want to gift to. They give a brilliant and novel look wherever you intend to keep them. You can enthrall anyone with the idea of displaying his/her pictures in digital format without using any gadget.

They come handy with Wi-Fi connection, SD card or USB port. These are the sources that display your photographs in digital format. Some also have Bluetooth and printer application through which you can easily send commands to printer and take out hard copy of your favorite pictures.

One of the most interesting features about them is the extensive connectivity these offer. All the time you can connect with Facebook or WhatsApp, in the same way you do on your computer, mobile phone or laptop. You can easily share your pictures with your family and friends, just enter the email address to which you want to share pictures and enjoy amazing, uplifting comments.

Digital photo frames come in varied shapes, sizes, colors and features. The best is the one with rotating display feature. It keeps updating everyone. Timed display is yet another interesting feature where you set time to change the display after a specific interval. It cannot get more customizable than this, isn’t it!