Stock Photography

Stock Photography is as a popular way of taking photographs of anything from nature to portraits and can be either sold over the Internet or displayed in photo albums. The reality is that there are more stock photographers around the world than in any other photography discipline. Stock Photography follows the same basic principles required for any other photography dealing with backgrounds, lighting, camera, lens, films, subjects etc. The remarkable thing is that there are many amateurs involved. For example, you can go for a mountaineering expedition and use your SLR or digital camera to take pictures of the base camp. If the picture comes out as an excellent composition then you can always display it on your website.

The standard format for stock photographs is 6x7cm and the smallest format is 6×4.5cm. Initially, the 6×4.5cm appealed more to most photographers because the image proportions of this format matched those from the 35mm. The camera and lens used for the 6×4.5cm is compact and small and can be carried around with ease. You will get around 15 shots with a roll of 120 speed film. It was not long back when the 6×4.5cm was rejected as the image size was no different from 35mm. This led to the introduction of the 6x6cm, which is a traditional size for medium-format photographs. The 6x6cm is ideal for fashion and portrait photography and even for social photography. But if you are specializing in nature or landscape photography then the square format of the 6x6cm will limit certain elements used in the composition of the photo. There will be more cropping, which will defeat the entire purpose of taking a stock photograph.

This leaves you with three options, which are 6x7cm, 6x8cm and 6x9cm. If you are in love with the 3:2 proportions of a 35mm, then the 6x9cm will seem like the ideal solution because it will offer the same ratio. The only camera available in this format is the Fuji GSW690III. The limitation of this format is that it will be difficult to use it with a polarizer and neutral density graduates. The next option is the 6x8cm but it is not good enough for stock photography. The only model available for this is the Fuji GX680. So this will leave you with only one option, which is the 6x7cm.

So now you know why the 6x7cm is considered as the ideal format for stock photography. Due to the rectangular image of the 6x7cm, it is easier and possible to create a dynamic composition, which can be horizontal as well as upright. The image size is also bigger and is five times that of the 35mm. One small limitation if you perceive it as a limitation is that you will get 10 frames only in a 120 film roll. But the good part is that due to the increased image size, you will be able to enlarge without any considerable loss of quality. The other key thing is that the 6x7cm color transparency is very impressive on a light box as compared to the 35mm and 6×4.5cm.

Nature Photography

Photography is an art that requires passion, an eye for a detail, a camera, and a subject. Nature Photography is not about taking a picture of a leaf or a waterfall but it is about how detailed the picture is, how beautiful it looks, and what impressions it produces for the observer. It is never as easy as it seems and to take pictures of cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers and snow-clad mountains can require a lot more than a good camera and passion for photography.

Nature photography also known as landscape photography comprises of a number of elements, and how you bring these elements together to present a whole picture is fundamental to this art. A photographic composition includes visual elements comprising of a photographer’s vision and the ability to see, identify, arrange, and frame a finished or complete image. This is definitely a distinct skill and if you think you have such a skill then landscape photography will be a great experience and career for you.

Let’s look at some of the basic elements that will play a major role in defining the final picture. The first element is Scale. If you take into consideration images of nature then you will find that most of them differ by the scale of the scene captured. The three different categories to be kept in mind are:

1.Grand Scenery: This includes huge expanses of landscape

2.Intimate Scenery: This is one of the most elusive of all sceneries, as you will have to isolate a “scene within the scene” and keep only the important part.

3.Macro Scenery: This includes enlarging the elements, which are small in nature and cannot be noticed otherwise.

It is very important to examine and interpret each of these scenes distinctively to get the best picture. The important thing to understand is that you should not block your mind or vision to a particular scale you need to have an open mind so that you can add variations and use the opportunities to your advantage.

The second important element of nature photography is Raw Material and it is further composed of sub-elements like:

1. Light: Very important element, you need to identify and adjust its direction, color, and angle

2. Shape: It consists of the outline as well as the surface of different objects in a particular scene

3. Lines: There can be straight, and curved lines, which may be pointing out or in from the frame towards a given object

4. Textures and patterns

5. Colors and tones

6. Frame boundaries

The third important element that you need to work on is Complexity. In any landscape photograph there is an underlying concept that drives the composition of that particular image. The concept will help the viewer to understand the picture or image with various connotations, and help identify the relationship between them and the image. This is why an image should neither be too simple nor be too complex but at the same time, it should be complex enough for the viewer to delve deeper into the composition to find the hidden meaning to make him/her think.

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Tips In Digital Photography That You Can Use

Perhaps one of the greatest invention in the 20st century is the digital camera. With its many outstanding features, novices in photography can produce great photos at less the effort. Not only does the digital camera provide convenience to photographers or those that are interested in the art but also savings to ordinary consumers.

There is no need to buy films or have the pictures developed in the darkroom or in the nearest developing center. One only need to click the camera, upload the files to a computer and print them out with a colored printer. Everything is so easy.

Of course, despite being so easy, there are things that one needs to know about digital cameras and digital photography. Here are some tips that will help you make the most out of your digital cameras and make the experience of digital photography truly memorable.

1. Know your camera

Without really studying the features that your digital camera has, how can you make the most out of it? Before using it, try to explore the different features of the gadget. Read the manual and take experimental shots. This will help you be familiar with the various parts of the camera. Doing it and trying it out will also help you remember the operations as opposed to just reading the text in the manual.

Reading the manual will also help you from pulling something that you should not be pulling. Often, gadgets like digital cameras get broken because owners do not allot any time to read the instructions in the manual especially the don’ts and the section where it teaches you how to take care of it.

2. Practice

There is nothing more educational than practice. Gadgets like digital cameras actually get broken not only because it is often used but also when it is not used at all. Do not keep it inside your cabinet, gathering dust. Shot away. Every chance you get, take a picture. This will help you get used to the feel of the camera and will also allow you to discover some of its many features.

3. Take care of your camera

Although it may seem a bit too much to always put it inside its case every time you are not using it or not putting it directly under the heat of the sun, digital cameras are delicate gadgets that need taking care of. Make sure that you always protect it and prevent it from hitting hard surfaces.

Winter Photography

Winter photography can be treated as a part of Nature or landscape photography and also as a separate discipline. There are many people who think that all you need to take winter photographs is a nice camera, patience, the right opportunity and passion. Well! They are almost right, except that there is much more than all this put together. So, if you are thinking about becoming a photographer specializing in taking winter photographs then you need to understand some of the fundamentals.

Although, the daylight hours in winter are short, it is fun working outdoors because of the variable weather patterns. Shorter days also mean that you can indulge in night photography, which is quite challenging. The best time for taking night photographs is always around 30 minutes after sunset because all though, it may be dark but there is usually a small amount of light in the sky. Let’s proceed to look at some of the components that can enhance your winter photography skills.

Photography equipment is one of the most important components of any kind of photography and the first equipment to look at is the Camera. They can mainly be divided between two types, one is the Pro Camera, and the other is the amateur Camera. The advantage that the top range pro cameras like Canon EOS-1V, Nikon F5, Nikon D70, and D100 have is weatherproofing. These cameras have been developed to work in poor weather conditions and as a result they prove a worthy asset if you are interested in winter photography. Then there are the underwater cameras like Nikonos, which can be great if you planning to take a jump in the cold waters of the Norwegian Sea. The Nikonos can work in all bad weather conditions including rainy and stormy conditions. If you have a normal or amateur camera then you will have to make alternate arrangements to take picture of a snowfall. You will have to cover the camera and lens with a plastic bag because snow or water will damage the lens.

Another important yet small component of a camera is the batteries. Most of the time, we are so engrossed in taking pictures that we forget to remove the batteries once the camera goes into the bag. The problem is that batteries run down faster in winter or cold weather conditions. To increase the life of the batteries, you can wrap your camera in some warm clothing like jackets.

A Film roll is something you cannot do without and hence, it should always be kept inside your jacket or any other warm clothes. In cold temperatures, the film can become brittle and may be difficult to load.

Snow problem is something you will encounter in winter photography. The snow covered mountains or landscapes will invariably fool the exposure meter built in your camera because snow adds to the overall brightness in the scene. So, you will have to increase the exposure although the amount will differ according to the lighting conditions as well as the metering system on your camera.

Using flash is an important aspect of taking spectacular winter photographs. If you are trying to shoot an animal in the snow then you will have to use fill in flash in the snow. The flash will help you to maintain a natural look if kept between -2/3 to -2 stops.

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Abstract Photography

Abstract photography and abstract art are very popular and involve a merchandise trade of billions of dollars over a century. Most art galleries and exhibitions as well as photography events are never complete without a section on this form of depiction.

Every year thousands of art students and photographers follow courses all over the world and try to vent their thoughts and ideas in the form of their own interpretation. In fact, abstract photography is a direct outcome of the earlier abstract art form that was made famous by many noted artists. Nearly everyone at some point of time has had a brush with this genre of photography and as we will see later in this article, has appreciated or collected the abstract photographs.

What is it really and is it the same as Abstract Art?

As the name implies “abstract” denotes what can be interpreted but not seen. The art form is many times debated to be complex and difficult to understand. Yet it attracts a horde of art critics and art collectors from every part of the globe, and several interpretations may accompany abstract paintings. Similarly, abstract photography draws the same popularity except it is done with a camera and not with brush and paint!

The exact definition of this art is difficult but it is sufficient to understand that there are no rules or norms for creating and in layman terms “anything goes” as long as it appeals to the eye! The photography technique is used to capture almost any event in a subtle manner such as a drop of water splattering in a pool to look like a crown or a piece of hemp rope at close quarters that looks like a striated bundle etc. The composition is immaterial; it is only the way a scene (really a photograph) is captured on film. The interpretation may come later.

How is abstract photography carried out?

It is necessary to have a professional high speed camera and sometimes a special high speed film. The best results can be obtained by using a black and white film and many valuable photographs are of this monochrome variety. The following aspects need to be kept in mind:

A perfect understanding of conventional photographic principles regarding shutter speed, aperture, focusing, film speed and lighting effects.

Telephoto lenses and close up lenses and flash equipment form a part of certain trick effects one wishes to create.

Films of different types like color, black and white, speed in ASA or DIN, tripod stands, remote shooting, filter lenses, shadow hoods etc.

Abstract photography is really the prerogative of a true artist and one who also has a scientific bent of mind. Composing a perfect shot requires the “artist” and taking the photograph requires the “technician”! Imagination knows no bounds and the best results are when one uses creative powers to its full capacity.

If you wish to try out your hand at this form of art, do read what some of the famous personalities like the Czech Josef Sudek and Jaromir Funk, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ernie Yang, Latvian Wilhelm Mikhailovsky, Henri Bresson, and Ansel Adams have to write about abstract photography.