Some Macro Digital Photography Basics

Macro photography is underused by many amateur photographers. Professional photographer use macro photography to take extremely high quality macro photos that impress their viewers. Here are some facts about such macro digital photos.

We have all seen macro digital photos even if some of us did not realize that they were such. The two most common macro digital photos objects are flowers and insects. But macro photography is not limited to these objects. Creative photographers take macro photos of objects that you would never think of and create astonishing digital photos. For example taking a macro photo of a simple screw that is half way screwed in a piece of wood can be an amazing digital photo if taken using the right techniques of lighting and macro photography.

So what is macro photography? There are many definitions that can be used. The most intuitive one is simple: digital photos that are taken from very close to the objects. Another definition is digital photos that present objects in real life sizes when printed on a 4X6 paper. Yet another definition extends this to a real life size (1:1 ratio) or better (i.e. bigger than in real life).

Professional photographers use special equipment that was designed specifically for macro photography. Special lenses, lens tube extenders, flash units such as ring flashes and more are used. There is no doubt that such equipment can help specially in scenes that are hard to photograph. But even the cheapest digital pocket camera is capable of pretty good macro photography if only used right by the photographer.

Practically all digital cameras can be put in a macro mode”. Usually this mode is illustrated as a flower icon” (probably because flowers are the most common object for macro photography). When you put the camera in a macro mode the camera optimizes its settings for the best macro digital photo. If your camera allows manual control of some of its settings (like aperture and focus) you can improve the quality of the photos further more.

In macro mode the digital camera will set a wider aperture in order to achieve a narrower depth of field. This helps create a macro photo that is focused on a very close item with its background blurry. The camera will also optimize its focusing algorithms to focusing on a very close object. In fact in macro mode it will be hard to make the camera focus on objects in normal or infinite distances.

Some cameras also set the flash intensity to lower since the object is close less flash light energy is needed to light up the scene. Macro photography lighting is a complicated issue due to the close proximity of the object to the lens. A right angle, source and intensity of the flash are hard to achieve. For that reason it is always better to take macro digital photos in a highly lit environment like in daylight.

In conclusion like most other photography techniques it is important to use macro photography in the right scenarios. It also takes a lot of practice to achieve high quality macro digital photos. For example if you want to get a macro photo of a bee on a flower you need to learn how to lock the camera focus press the shutter button half way while all the settings are set and wait for that bee to show up. Also take as many photos as you can so hopefully one of them will be the perfect one you were aiming at. Go out and start taking macro photos to practice your skills. It is a good idea not to limit yourself to flowers and insects, anything can be a good object, a nail, a screw or a piece of candy.

Basic Skills In Digital Photography

Basically, there is not much difference between using a digital camera and a manual camera. In fact, most experts believe that using a digital camera actually spoils the photographer, making everything so easy for him. Still, there are many who remain daunted by the prospects of using a digital camera especially when their training comes mainly from manual photography.

There are a number of skills that one needs to learn before switching to the digital format. Read through and find out some of the things that you need to develop.

Computer skills

Digital photography involves dealing with computers. In fact, operating the digital camera is like operating a small computer. There are functions that are actually similar to the computer like formatting and delete and a whole lot of other things. You need to be familiar with the functions in order to be able to maximize the digital camera.

In addition, you also need to be really familiar with computer when storing your picture files and adjusting your photos. With this, you need to be able to perform computer tasks such as cutting, pasting, copying, renaming and opening and closing of files and folders.

There are a number of good books that provide tutorials that will enhance computer skills as well as teach you some of the basics in using the computer with regards to photography. Some books in photography, digital photography will for sure contain sections that deal with computers.

Knowledge in graphic programs

One can actually adjust photos and create a whole lot of effects with the use of graphic programs such as Photoshop. One can actually change the size of the photo, alter the pixels and even change the format into different file types. One good thing with digital cameras is the fact that one can actually alter the pictures taken before printing it.

With the use of these programs, one can erase flaws, sharpen some features of the photo, blur the background and even transfer one photo with another. If one is really good, you can even create one new photo by cutting different elements in various photos and put them all together.

Working knowledge with the various functions of the camera

As mentioned before, working with a digital camera is similar to working with a small computer. In order to maximize the digital camera, you need to master the functions including adjusting the various levels such as the shutter speed, the brightness, the contrast. There are even digital cameras that you can actually use as a manual camera; you just need to learn to adjust the functions.

Color Photography The Transition

Color is the essence to many things from photographs to a blooming flower to a deep blue ocean. The ability to take color photo prints has changed the world of photography in more ways than one but then it never used to be so colorful back in the early 19th century.

In the initial days, film rolls and photography were in black & white format, but the search for color film rolls continued throughout the 19th century. There were experiments conducted but the colors in the photographs could not be retained and they faded away fast. According to history, the first color photo was taken by James Clerk Maxwell, a physicist in 1861. One of the earliest methods of producing a color photograph was painstaking and a total of 3 cameras had to be used.

Prokudin-Gorskii, in 1915, was the first one to use this process to take color photographs. He used a color filter and placed it in front of the lens for each of the three cameras. This way he was able to get three basic channels also famous as the RGB or Red, Green, and Blue. Prokudin-Gorskii followed this by another technique in which he utilized three-color plates, and used them in succession.

As more experiments continued, H. W. Vogel was able to produce emulsions in the early 20th century that could generate the required sensitivity to red and green light. Later on, the Lumire brothers invented the very first color film called Autochrome. The Autochrome was launched in the market in 1907. This process involved the use of a screen plate filter, which dyed dots made from potato starch.

The Autochrome was the only available color film until Agfa, the German company, introduced a color film in 1932 called the Agfacolor. Following its example, Kodak introduced an integrated tri-pack color film in 1935 and it was called the Kodachrome. Kodachrome was based on three color emulsions.

Following Kodachrome, Agfa in 1936, came out with Agfacolor Neue. Agfacolor Neue had color couplers that were integrated with emulsion layers and this simplified film processing and created an impact in the photography industry. All color films except for Kodak, are based on the Agfacolor Neue technology.

Creativity begets creativity!

It can be proved from the fact that the Kodachrome color films were invented by Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, Jr., two very accomplished musicians. Leopold Godowsky, Jr. was the son of one of the greatest pianists of his time, Leopold Godowsky.

Color photography actually revolutionized an era and brought out the impact of colors through vivid and detailed images including the ones from the World War II and the destruction caused by natural disasters.

The color photographs captured emotions and the surroundings in such a way that they were being used more and more in newspapers, magazines and even for book covers.

Photography – Passion To Business

Photography is a passion for many of us. Many of us are interested in wildlife photography, while some of us are interested in still photography. Seldom do we think of concerting this passion of us into a profession. The thought may have struck us many times but we never pursued it. The reasons can be many. We may have second thoughts of leaving our cushy jobs and going out on our own. Secondly we may not have enough ideas to how to go about it. We have tried to elaborate in brief about photography business.

For starting any business you need to have a proper business plan, which should include your objective, your choice of photography and even the revenues that you are expecting. Next you need to make your business a legal entity with a proper registration, bank accounts and insurance. Now you have done it all, so how do you go about getting customers. The best way to get customers is by getting in touch with people who are professionally associated with the business and have an existing network. They can be friends or acquaintances who are associated with photography. If you are interested in still photography you need to develop a studio where you can have your photo shoots done. If it is an outdoor shoot you need to pack your photography kits and move to the location where the shoot is scheduled to take place.
Setting up a photo studio at the first instance may be overkill. We suggest that you use the infrastructure of an existing studio by paying an hourly rate for the initial period of your business. When your revenue stream becomes constant then you can go about and set-up your own studio.

There is another very important aspect of photography business. If you have decided that photography is what you want to pursue as your profession, you need to have a tie-up with a professional photography lab to process your photographs. To get a true finish to a photograph it is very important that they are processed by hardened professionals.

Since you are new you may not be aware of how much you should price your services. Check out the current photography service rates for different genres and price your service accordingly. Try offering discounts for long shoots which will benefit your customers. It is imperative that you always add value to your customers when offering services. Suggest locations for outdoor shoots, dress for the models and give other ideas which will benefit your customers. Always use your creativity to give a product that your clients have never experienced before at a price which they will appreciate.

There are other points that you should keep in mind. Take assignments which you think you can handle within your bandwidth. Keep to your commitments as it is important in photography business. Your delay can cost your customers on their model fees, location hire charges, lights etc. As a photographer always try to use the best equipment which goes a long way in producing that perfect picture.

Photography Equipment

Photography is one of the most expensive hobbies that a person can get into. In addition to the camera, one will also have to buy films and spend for the developing. And as you become more enmeshed with the activity, you will probably be adding a list of different add ons for your camera or even buy special cameras that perform specific tasks.

One of the most common add-ons that professional and even amateur photographers spend their money on is the lens. This is one of the most basic parts of the camera and yet the most crucial. There are different kinds of lens that function according to the needs of the photographer.

Most cameras especially those that are used by professionals have the option to interchange or add lens. There are actually to main types, the fixed focal lenses, which are also called the prime lenses and the zoom, which is primarily used to alter the focal length and lets you take shots of objects that are really far away.

Wide angle lens, for instance, will allow you to take photos within short distances. This is ideal in photoshoots that are done with limited space. With a wide angle lens, the photographer need not walk backwards to be able to get the whole image. Telephoto lens, on the other hand, will allow you to narrow down the angle of view. This is also called the long focus lens because it allows one to take pictures in long distances. One kind is the short telephoto lens that are especially great with pictures from head and shoulders. This is why it is also called portrait lens.

Another kind of lens is the zoom lens, which come in different focal lengths. You should remember that there are zoom lens that can also function as a telephoto or wide-angle lens. This is why some photographers invest in good zoom lens instead of buying separate lens. In addition to the convenience in price, buying zoom lens will also lessen the equipment that you have to carry.

Other equipments that a photographer have to invest in are tripods and of course a good camera case that will protect it from all kinds of weather. Tripods are used to minimize the shakiness of the camera that will result in blurred or double images. For personal use, tripods are handy if the photographer also want to be included in the photo.

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.

Photography Portfolio

Photographers are known through their profiles

A photography portfolio is like a resume or a portfolio that a super model creates to promote to the public. A well written profile can do wonders for the photographer since the first contact with the art critics and public is through this medium.

As in any profession it is important to sell oneself and the promotional technique used will determine how successful or otherwise an artist would become. One must learn this art of seductive persuasion for attracting the public to make a beeline for one’s Galleries.

What are the steps of preparing a Photography Portfolio?

All good things happen in threefold! Let us consider the 3 most important steps to achieving a write-up that everyone will think is written by a professional copy writer!

The first step one should take is conceptualizing the USP of your art. By USP we normally mean the Unique Selling Proposition but in our particular case let’s rename this acronym as Unrivalled Self Portrait! What needs to be written or included in good and effective personal achievements in the artistic world?

What ever you have so far completed in terms of picture composing should be placed as a theme in your Photography Portfolio. The theme is what you do best in photography and must be illustrated with an aesthetic design of your theme work.

Maybe you are a black and white photographer of the abstract kind, or a realistic current affairs political events reviewer in pictures, or dedicated to the artistic bent of mind that young children depict and need to be encouraged etc. Always plan your theme presentation before choosing or taking appropriate photographs.

Secondly, be very careful and judicious in picking your best photographs and in case you require a new set for the chosen theme, take pains in creating new photos. A photography profile cannot be just a collage of photographs. They must be systematically placed in the profile document to tell a specific story to the reader.

Out of a multitude of pictures to your credit you must only choose the very best that exhibit your artistic talent and place them interspersed between short text that enhances the art form. It is not that length of your resume matters so much as the relevance of how you promote your acumen towards the theme art being depicted. This makes up the gist of a professional photography profile.

Thirdly and finally you are ready to exhibit your work in the form of a portfolio. This is just what a super model or budding fashion model also does! Become a true salesperson and visit local art collectors and critics who matter.

Learn the art of online and offline marketing to approach your family, friends, acquaintances and show them your aptitude in a subtle manner. Remember, you cannot really promote yourself by giving lectures and talks at seminars etc, but you can surely sell your artistic bent of mind or “camera fingers” by creating an extraordinary photography portfolio.

Understanding The Techniques Professionals Used To Achieve Great Digital Photography

When people are in school, the teacher will always lecture the students on the proper ways of doing something. A good example is math because doing this the wrong way will never make the person get the right answer.

There may be some subjects that can be memorized such as history but the rest will have to be understood. This is because the lesson book and the question in the exam are different and it will take some time to figure it out.

One hobby that needs a bit of understanding is photography. This is because the individual does not only point and shoot to get a picture. The person needs to follow and understand certain rules to achieve the right technique in each shot.

The first rule when it comes to photography is being able to fill all the available space when taking a shot. This must be done to get the intended subject that is achieved by zooming in or out on the intended subject.

The second rule for anyone who wants to take a picture is for the individual to pay attention to shape on the image. There are many ways to take a shot but it is only by studying it in detail that one picture will stand above the rest. It takes practice but this will surely pay off in the end.

The third deals with the kind of background chosen for the picture. Photographers shoot either in a studio or on location. The person must know when and where this must take place to be able to achieve the desired effect in the shot.

Believe it or not, motion also plays a factor in a shot. This is because it can disrupt the viewer’s attention away from the model instead of the subject taken. Those who decide to have background should use those that have diagonal or curved lines since it will not make the person look anywhere else.

In the past, pictures were taken in black and white. Color has changed all that so contrast is also something that needs to be understood by the photographer. This can capture depth and emotion making each photo artistic in nature.

The basic rules and techniques in getting the shot are important. It is one thing to read it and another to put it into practice. The individual should understand then apply it so this can be mastered eventually.

Another technique to be just like the pros is to observe proper lighting when taking a shot. Some pictures will look better when a flash is used while others need to be adjusted to get a night shot. Digital cameras have this feature, which are not available in the old 35mm cameras made many years ago.

The individual should also know when to zoom in or out. There are two important factors such as the number of people and the type of background. The focus must be on the subject with the landmark or whatever is behind as the accent for the shot.

A lot of photographers both professional and amateur shoot with the model in the middle. Some have noticed better pictures when this is done with the subject on the side, which may work depending on the location.

The techniques in shooting just like the pros can be self-taught. There are also books and magazines available but it will be better if someone critiques the pictures by participating in a seminar or in a contest. The objective isn’t to win but to improve in the skills already learned by the individual.

The person can concentrate on taking great shots especially when there is no need to worry anymore about buying a roll of film or developing.

Learn How To Develop Your Technical Skills In Nature Photography

Photography is the art of creating a special medium beyond your self-expression. It requires good taste, good sense of appreciation and technical skills in capturing the subjects. Many believe that they can profit in this chosen field as long as they develop their technical skills and knowledge in becoming a talented professional photographer.

Nature photography has always been inspiring and exciting. It thrills every photographer with its mystery and the beauty of wildlife.

One of the most amusing subjects for nature photographers are the birds.

Bird behavior has had great impact on pictures. Birds attract many photographers with their mastery of flight and their distinct diversity in nature.

Here are some guides that will help you focus on improving your skill in capturing images on these magnificent creatures of nature.

1. You need to know what interests your mind. You have to know your topics so that you will not be confused. You should learn more about birds by investing on a good birding guide. This will help you know more about their behavior, breeding season, and bird eating habits.

2. You should always keep your subjects well being in mind. Avoid those instances that create stress on your images. If the bird is not in its natural behavioral characteristic, you should leave the bird alone and allow the bird to recover first from its stress.

It can also be a sign that the bird might be nesting eggs somewhere near the site and that is why it portrays a predator luring” behavior.

3. You should make your vehicle as your just like your camera an accessory. In some areas, you may see birds more adapted to vehicles and consider your vehicle less harmless than a person positioned on his tripod trying to take a good shot. You should learn how to be patient in finding the right place where the birds can accept the presence of your vehicle.

4. You may use fast shutter speeds cameras. This device is good in taking great bird images. Most birds are fast and can disappear quickly in the air. You may need a 1/500 second shuttering speed. This can capture sudden movements and flights.

As a nature photographer, you should maximize your surroundings. A good place for you to start your hobby in nature photography especially with birds is in your own backyard.

You can then practice the art and techniques of capturing great shots and wonderful images that nature has to offer.

Wedding Photography, Selecting A Photographer

Wedding photography is one of the most important roles that will occur at your wedding. It is also the best way you can preserve those wedding memories forever. You want to make sure the photographer will do a great job, so selecting the perfect one is important.

If you have to cut down on what you spend in your wedding, this is not the place to slash your costs. You want to make sure that you get the best wedding pictures possible and that your photographer is a professional.

One way you can make sure that you get a great photographer is to talk to your friends and relatives who have been married recently. Many times they will have suggestions and let you in on how their photographer performed.

If you are thinking of trying a photographer that you are not familiar with, you may want to check around and see what others have to say about their work. If you hear any horror stories, you would be best to keep on searching.

Style Counts
When you are picking someone to do your wedding photography, you will want to see the pictures that they have taken in the past. Unless you know the photographer well, you might not want to pick someone who is just starting out. By looking at their portfolio of pictures, you can get a sense of their style and the work that they do. Look for special poses that strike your fancy and make sure the photographer’s style blends with yours.

Price is always an issue when you are considering wedding photography. You may want to check with various photographers to see who can offer you the best prices. When you are comparing prices you can also see what the packages offer with the related prices. While some prices may seem a bit higher than others, often it is because the package offers more features like extra pictures or even video of your ceremony. Whoever your choose, make sure that you are getting real value for your money.

Black and White Photos
When deciding on a photographer, you will want to consider what exactly you want at your wedding. Do you want special photos like black and white pictures, or would you like video taken at your wedding. Are there special poses that you want taken or special moments that you want specifically captured.

If you have specific needs for the wedding, you must discuss them with the photographer. For example, do you want to have video footage at your wedding? You will want to hire someone else if the photographer cannot do this for you. Or, you can hire someone else to do the video separately.

Remember that this is your wedding and preserving this day is important. You want a photographer who will capture your day for you and do it on your terms. If the photographer seems overbearing or will not listen to you and what you want, then you need to choose someone else for your wedding photography.