Photography is natural beauty

Photography is natural beauty

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Good at photography

Good at photography

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Tips Focus to Your Portrait Subject

images-18Whether it’s a portrait of a person, a dog, or a wild animal, selective focus allows you to bring greater attention to your subject by keeping it ultra sharp while creating a background that’s nice and blurry.

Bryan Peterson of Adorama TV shows us exactly how to accomplish this look in the video below. Using a NIKKOR 200-500mm lens with a Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set, Bryan is able to get in super close on his subject – a butterfly resting on a flower. What’s more, the shots Bryan gets with this setup shows the subject in crystal clear detail, but in front of a deliciously blurry background, even though he’s just a few feet away from the butterfly.

Have a look at the video below and inspect Bryan’s sample images to see what a positive effect selective focus has on his images!

Photographing waterfalls under clear skies presents a whole host of challenges, not the least of which is the intense, contrasty light you get under a clear, blue sky. But waiting for some cloud cover associated with bad weather opens up all sorts of possibilities for photographing waterfalls.

With clouds present, the light immediately becomes softer and more diffuse. With no harsh shadows or reflections to deal with, you can take both short and long exposures without the risk of having an overexposed image. You might even be able to take your photos without the use of a filter, as the light will be so soft and dim. However, if it’s raining, it’s not a bad idea to use a polarizing filter, just to cut down on any bright spots reflecting off the wet surfaces in your shot.


Forests represent another ideal bad weather subject because of all the visual details present in the forest scene. The shape of tree trunks, the color of foliage, and the subtle areas of light and shadow in a forest all come to the forefront when the weather turns bad. A foggy forest, for example, forces the eye to inspect the details listed above because the fog provides a stopping point for the eye. Rather than gazing deep into the shot, the viewer is all but forced to appreciate the little details in what they can actually see in the forest.

Another advantage of heading to a forest in bad weather is that you can simulate the darker, moody effects of photographing such scenes before sunrise or after sunset. As noted above, when clouds are present, the light is soft and diffuse, much as it is early in the morning or late in the evening, though the color temperature is far different. Nevertheless, cloud cover means you can take advantage of that soft, diffuse lighting, even during the middle of the day.

The Sky

As great as a cloudy sky is from a lighting perspective, it doesn’t make for a very visually interesting image. Take the image above as an example. Though there is some contrast in the clouds that give them depth, there is no strong subject to grab the attention of the viewer.

Night Landscape Photography Tips

images-19If you peruse photos in PhotographyTalk’s galleries, on Flickr, or on Instagram, it’s hard not to come across a great number of nighttime photos. These images often feature the movement of the stars or the Milky Way, they might include the Northern Lights, or show off the dazzling lights of a nighttime skyline.

Whatever the subject matter, photographing at night presents a number of challenges. Primary among them is getting the focus just right such that you have a sharp, final image. Here’s how to do that.

Use Live View

When shooting in the daytime, your viewfinder is the way to go, to be sure. But at night, it’s difficult to see all the details you need to see through the viewfinder. At night, use live view so you have a larger space to see the details you’re attempting to photograph. Look for the brightest area of the scene, then use the zoom function on live view to zoom in on that object. Use whatever that object is – a star, a streetlight, or the headlamp your friend is wearing off in the distance – as your focal point. Since you can more readily see it in live view, you can ensure that the entire photo will be in focus.

If the scene is very dark and there aren’t any bright objects upon which to focus, use a bright flashlight to illuminate the scene. Doing so allows you to select an area of focus, such as an object in the foreground, to ensure a sharp photo. You could even place your flashlight somewhere in the field of view of the camera facing toward you to serve as a bright focal point. Then turn off the flashlight, adjust the camera’s exposure settings, and take the photo.

Choose Manual Focus Over Autofocus

Autofocus is great, and with every new camera that’s rolled out each year, the power of autofocus seems to be vastly improved.

However, even today’s highly advanced autofocus systems still struggle to find a reference point on which to focus at night. As a result, manual focusing will get you better results.

With the brightest area of the photo referenced above serving as a guide, use the manual focus ring to adjust focus until the focal point is tack-sharp. You might need to adjust the focus back and forth several times to pinpoint the sharpest focus, but again, this process is made easier by using live view.

Try Focusing at Infinity

Perhaps the easiest trick you can use to obtain sharp nighttime photos is to focus at infinity. In many instances, this will get you relatively close to the sharpest point of focus and is a good starting point for sharper photos. For example, when shooting a star-filled sky, focusing at infinity will get you pretty good results.

Recommended Cameras:

There is a disclaimer for using this technique, though: the sharpest focus is usually slightly before infinity. As a result, go straight to infinity, and then dial back the focus just a touch. You’ll likely find that fine-tuning the focus in this manner will get you results that are nice and sharp.

This technique is a good trick to use if your camera isn’t equipped with live view. It won’t be perfect, and the results likely won’t be as sharp as those you can get with live view, but your photos should still be in greater focus than if you simply point and shoot using autofocus.

So, focusing at night is really quite simple. Stay away from autofocus, use live view, or try focusing at infinity. You’ll likely find the resulting images show a greater degree of sharpness!

Tips For Better Landscape

unduhan-53We all want to take stellar photos, but sometimes, the results we get just aren’t all that great. Perhaps your technique was a bit off, or your subject wasn’t quite right. Maybe the composition suffered from a common mistake or the lighting wasn’t ideal. In some cases, more than one of these critical aspects of a great photo might be a bit off.

If you want to overcome those obstacles, have a look at the video below. In it, Joshua Cripps gives an in-depth overview of technique, subject, composition, and lighting, and how each is a crucial component of the success of your images. He takes you on a virtual tour of a shot of his, explaining what went right and which of the four crucial elements of a good photo could use some attention. In the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how each of these elements can impact your images.

Insights from Beyond the Lens is a short new book from landscape photographer Robert Rodriguez Jr that explores the art and craft of landscape photography from a holistic perspective. Based on real world experiences as a photographer as well as an instructor, speaker, and blogger, Robert distills his approach to capturing evocative images in a series of essays based on his popular Beyond the Lens blog.

Beautifully illustrated with Robert’s original photographs, you’ll get an inside look at the mental process Robert uses when he’s in the field scouting and making his images.

While many books focus on the gear and technology, the aim here is to look inside the motivation, passion, and vision involved in successful landscape photography. Go behind the scenes as Robert explains how several images were made, how he draws inspiration from the Hudson River School of painters, and what resources he recommends for further exploration.

Black and White Landscape Tips

Few subjects lend themselves to a black and white treatment like a landscape. Yet, not every landscape is a prime subject for rendering in black and white. There are a few essential features that need to be present if the image is going to meet its potential, all of which can be included in the image if you concentrate on the composition of the scene.

Look for Shadows

Black and white landscapes must have a large dynamic range. If not, they can look flat, washed out, and generally uninspiring. Though there is a need to have bright whites, they aren’t as critical as deep shadows. Shadowing gives depth and dimension to the scene and makes it appear as though it’s more three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional. Additionally, the presence of shadows makes the lighter tones in the scene – like the aforementioned highlights – pop even more, giving the image added impact.

Shadows are obviously a consequence of lighting, and the best lighting for creating shadows is that which enters the scene from the side. When looking for landscapes to render in black and white, concentrate on finding scenes that have long shadows cast from one side to the other as a result of a rising or setting sun. You’ll find that doing so gives your landscape image the dynamic range needed for maximum interest.

Pare It Down

While you’re looking for great shadows to include in the scene, look as well for opportunities to simplify the landscape. Without colors to help distinguish one feature from the next, a typical landscape that looks great as a color photograph can look cluttered and overwhelming as a black and white photograph. In fact, if you aren’t careful, your black and white landscape can take on an almost camouflaged look if there’s too much going on.

When simplifying the scene, look for one, strong subject, something that will serve as a visual anchor. It can be anything – a mountain peak, a tree, a waterfall, and so on – just so long as it has visual qualities that make it interesting to view. Once you identify a potential target, work to find the ideal angle and perspective from which to photograph it, again, doing so to make the shot about that one subject while eliminating clutter around it.

Evoke an Emotion

All photography – color or otherwise – benefits from creating an emotional connection between the viewer and the photograph. But this is especially important when creating black and white images. As noted above, photographing black and white landscapes is partly about simplifying the scene. Yet, in paring things down, it’s easy to go too far and create an image that is stark and boring. As a result, it’s imperative that when you find your desired subject that you portray it in a way that not only catches the viewer’s eye but also intrigues them, compels them to put themselves in the scene with the subject, and begs them to ponder the senses they would experience being in that scene.

So how does one do that? Add people.

How to Edit Your Milky Way

All too often, novice and intermediate photographers see an image like the one above and think that it’s just too advanced for them to replicate. Images of the Milky Way are stunning and impressive, to be sure, but they really aren’t that complicated to create, assuming you’ve got decent instruction regarding how to capture and edit them.

Luckily for us, Kenneth Brandon, also known as the Dark Sky Chaser, has an in-depth yet qu

ick tutorial on how to process Milky Way photos in Photoshop. In the video below, he takes you through his entire workflow, from starting with the raw image, through each editing step, and ending with a breathtaking shot that shows off our home galaxy.

  • 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor
  • EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens expands picture-taking possibilities
  • 3-inch LCD TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor for easy viewing and sharing
  • EOS 1080p full HD movie mode helps you capture brilliant results
  • Features include continuous shooting up to 3fps, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, creative filers, built-in flash and feature guide
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If you want to overcome those obstacles, have a look at the video below. In it, Joshua Cripps gives an in-depth overview of technique, subject, composition, and lighting, and how each is a crucial component of the success of your images. He takes you on a virtual tour of a shot of his, explaining what went right and which of the four crucial elements of a good photo could use some attention. In the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how each of these elements can impact your images.

Photographers MistakesThat You Should Know

It’s no secret that if you want to succeed in the photography business these days, you need a killer website. You need an online presence that not only presents your work to the public brilliantly, but also reflects your personal style and immediately engages your visitors. It also needs to encourage them to buy your works or services, since that’s the reason for having an online portfolio in the first place. Unfortunately, many of the photographer’s sites we see fall short, due to some common mistakes. This article will point out some of those errors and show you how to correct them.

Designing it Yourself
Now, I know some readers are going to take offense to that right away. After all, you’re a photographer and you know all about composition and layout and color and… Granted, but that doesn’t make you a website designer. Stick to what you know and leave the highly technical work of website design the the experts.

Limiting Your Content

I’m not saying you should put everything you have out there. The concept of only showing your best work applies, always. But choosing a host that caps the number of galleries or videos or pages you can have on your site is a mistake that’s going to cause you a lot of frustration as your portfolio grows – and it needs to grow.

Fixed Sizes

Yes, you want your photos to look good on a laptop screen, but for those visitors that have the capability, your photos – and the portfolio pages, too – should resize automatically to fit, without loss of quality. It’s possible now with updated web technologies and you need to be taking advantage of that to impress your viewers with big, bold, sharp photos and a site that fits the viewing screen.

Poor Navigation

Developers have been telling their customers since the early days of the Internet that navigation is everything. If visitors can’t get to point B from anywhere within your site, they’re going to leave. The browser’s “Back” button isn’t the answer. Make sure your site is easy to navigate from one end to the other and at every step along the way.

Slow Delivery

It doesn’t matter how good your work or how dynamic your site, if it takes too long to load, online visitors won’t wait for it. If your website isn’t streaming to browsers smoothly and quickly, or your videos pause and reload constantly, you need to update the technology or find somewhere else to host the site.

Using the Same, Old Theme as the Other Guy/Gal

Again, your site needs to be as unique as your work. You don’t copy someone else when you shoot, right? Don’t just choose a template or theme and run with it. Change things up. Move things around, Choose your own colors and fonts. Create new landing pages. Get your logo out there. Remember, this portfolio is about YOU.

No Sales or Licensing Outlet

Sure, showing your work is important, but isn’t selling it the real point? Visitors should be able to purchase or license your work without any interaction needed other than a few clicks. If they can’t you’re losing sales and wasting your efforts.

This is far from a complete list of mistakes we see on portfolio sites, but these are the most common. You may have gathered from the text above that where you decide to build your online portfolio can have a lot of impact on its success. Here at PhotographyTalk, we understand that there are a lot of websites and hosting services out there and we’ve done some serious legwork for you, with the help of our member photographers.

We highly recommend the portfolio sites and servers offered by PhotoFolio. Their hardware-accelerated, cloud-based, technology-rich servers, award-winning, fully customizable design templates, true WYSIWYG management interface give you everything you need to create a clean, fast, custom portfolio in no time. They provide sales and licensing services for your work, too. Their customer service is second to none and you can even customize your payment plan. Don’t take our word for it, though – go visit their website right now to see for yourself.

Ruin Your Business

There’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into developing your own photography business. With your eyes on the future and with an excitement for things to come, it can be difficult to sit down and think about what might go wrong. And even when you make that necessary list, there’s a few events that you might not think about that could still end up completely ruining everything you’ve worked for.

This isn’t to say that starting your photography business has to be done under a black cloud of “what ifs,” but you should certainly consider all the possibilities of what could go wrong, and then prepare for them so you’re sure that your business survives and thrives for years to come.

Consider this…

There’s a Fire

You come back from a well-deserved vacation to find that there’s been a fire in your studio, destroying part of the roof and rendering the building unusable until it can be fixed. Though much of your gear was spared – you thought to store it in a large, fireproof safe – that doesn’t change the fact that your workspace will be out of commission for awhile.

With business income and extra expense coverage, you can rest easy knowing that you have up to one full year of coverage for loss of income as a result of the fire. What’s more, the extra expense portion of the coverage will help you find a temporary business location while yours is being repaired. With this kind of coverage, you can be up and running again in due course. Without it, you run the risk of going under.

There’s a Break-In

While you’re out on location for a shoot, someone busts into your studio, stealing several lenses, your laptop, a strobe, and several other items. In the process of doing so, they break the door and cause damage to another window as they throw things around, searching for items of value. Without the stolen laptop, you can’t post-process your images, and without the lenses that were stolen, you’re left only with the 22mm wide-angle lens you had with you at the time.

What are you to do?

If you’re in this situation and don’t have insurance, there’s not a whole lot you can do. However, if you thought ahead and got business personal property coverage, the sting of being robbed is at least a little less acute because you can rest assured that the stolen items will be replaced. What’s more, if you have the right kind of coverage, even damaged items will be replaced and physical damage to the property will be fixed too.

There’s an Accident

On the way to a photo shoot on location, you’re sideswiped by another motorist. Aside from the damage to your vehicle and a few bumps and bruises, you find that your camera was damaged as it bounced around the inside of the car after being hit.

Having a damaged camera could spell the end for many photographers. As expensive as they are to purchase, they are just as expensive to repair – if repairs are even possible. And though you might have a second camera body, working with just one camera leaves you exposed to problems down the road should the second camera stop working or get damaged as well.

Photographic off-premises insurance resolves this kind of issue. For cameras that you own, you’re covered from damage while you’re away from your place of business. Coverage extends to $5,000 per item and up to $25,000 per occurrence. Accidents happen all the time – having this kind of coverage ensures that should an accident happen, your business won’t be derailed.

Insurance is the Common Denominator

As scary as these situations are, the common theme here is that being prepared ahead of time with proper insurance coverage will help keep your business in good health in spite of maladies that would otherwise make it difficult or impossible to continue working.

There are plenty of insurance companies out there that can provide you with coverage for your photography business, but why not go with a company that specializes in coverage for photographers? National Photographer’s Insurance has been covering photographers like you and me for 80 years and is licensed in all 50 states. No matter where you live, you can get customized coverage that addresses the specific needs and risks that photographers face each day. Don’t let break-ins, fires, accidents, and other significant issues impact your business. Get in touch withNational Photographer’s Insurance today to see what sort of coverage you can get for your business.

Creating HDR Panoramas Tips

Creating HDR panoramas used to involve a ton of work, but with recent upgrades to Adobe Lightroom, you can now stitch together HDR RAW files to create stunning images of wide vistas in far less time.

Basically, the process involves creating HDR DNG files using Lightroom’s photomerge option. Then, you compile all the HDR PNG files into one huge RAW file panorama. From there, you simply retouch the large HDR panorama file as you would any other RAW file, then import it into Photoshop for final finishing.

Are you an aspiring landscape, architecture, interior, or real estate photographer? Do you struggle with a lack of detail in the highlight or shadow areas of your scene? Then the world of high-dynamic range (HDR) photography is for you. This guide by pro photographer Tim Cooper will help you understand how to capture your subjects and process them for amazing, realistic results.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was designed from the ground up with digital photographers in mind, offering powerful editing features in a streamlined interface that lets photographers import, sort, and organize images. In this completely updated bestseller, author Martin Evening describes features in Lightroom CC (2015 Release)/ Lightroom 6 in detail from a photographer’s perspective. As an established commercial and fashion photographer, Martin knows firsthand what photographers need for an efficient workflow. He has been working with Lightroom from the beginning, monitoring the product’s development and providing valued feedback to Adobe. As a result, Martin knows the software inside and out, from image selection to image editing and image management. In this book he’ll teach you how to:

•    Work efficiently with images shot in raw or JPEG formats
•    Import photographs with ease and sort them according to your workflow
•    Create and manage a personal image and video library
•    Quickly apply tonal adjustments to multiple images
•    Integrate Lightroom with Adobe Photoshop
•    Export images for print or Web as digital contact sheets or personal portfolios
•    Make the most of new features in Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 such as face recognition, multi-image processing for HDR and panoramas, GPU support for the Develop module, and Slideshow and Web improvements

Tools for Creating Amazing Sunset Tips

If you’ve got Lightroom, you know it’s packed full of features that allow you to make some truly incredible changes to your photos. You also know that the sheer number of tools, presets, and functions can be a little overwhelming, particularly if you’re new to using the program.

When it comes to sunset photos, there are lots of edits you can make to increase their visual appeal and impact. In the video below, YuriFineart zeroes in on his favorite techniques for making a ho-hum sunset photo something that’s truly spectacular.  It’s a workflow that you can easily replicate! Watch as he provides an overview of some of the most essential tools and demonstrates the many different adjustments you can make to create a photo that leaves viewers exclaiming “Wow!”

  • The Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan features the world’s best photography tools, including Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom desktop, mobile and web at an amazing price
  • Everything you need to organize, edit, enhance and share stunning photos on any device, anywhere
  • Always stay up to date. Automatically get access to the latest features and product updates including support for new cameras, hardware and operating systems
  • Access an extensive library of video tutorials to get you up to speed quickly and master new skills

Print on Wood Tips

We’ve spoken in the past about printing on alternative materials – metal, acrylic, and everything in between. Now it’s time to discuss why wood should be added to your list of materials on which you should print your photos.

Now, there are a surprising number of companies today offering prints on wood. But just like with companies that print on paper, not all wood-printing companies are equal. I’m speaking from personal experience here – I’ve seen the differences in quality first hand, and I have to say that WoodSnaptakes the prize as the best print-on-wood company that’s around today. Let me tell you why.


I’ve seen a lot of products over the years – some good, some not-so-good, and some that absolutely blew me away. WoodSnap belongs to the latter group. Upon seeing my first WoodSnap, I was floored by the vibrancy of the color. I assumed that printing on wood would result in colors that were washed out and dull, but I was completely wrong. The clarity is amazing – you really have to see it for yourself!

The reason that WoodSnap can recreate such incredible colors is their revolutionary printing method. It’s akin to the process of tattooing – the ink is actually embedded into the wood grain, becoming part of the wood itself. The image and the wood grain are fused together, creating a highly durable product that will last you for years. And since they are moisture and heat resistant, you can place your WoodSnap product in areas of your home – such as the mantel above the fireplace or in the bathroom – where you wouldn’t dare place prints made on other products.


WoodSnap takes pride in the fact that their products are eco-friendly. Not only is the wood a gorgeous premium baltic birch that’s harvested much like Christmas trees (so there’s no deforestation), but the inks themselves are also sustainable and water-based. That means you get a beautiful print with vibrant colors while knowing that the product doesn’t add to the environment’s troubles. Even better, for every WoodSnap product you create, WoodSnap plants a tree as part of the Roots for Trees program. That’s not a bad deal!

What’s more, WoodSnap’s sustainable products are also tough as nails. In fact, WoodSnap actually encourages customers to put their wood print to the test by scrubbing it with a scouring pad and dish soap. Let me tell you, I gave it a try and was astonished at how durable the product really is! That means that if there’s a spill or a splash and something gets on your print, clean up is as simple as wiping it away with soap and water. Your print will remain unscathed.

It’s Just A Better Way to Print

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the look of my photos printed on paper, but I have to say, now that I’ve seen my photos printed on WoodSnap, it’s a totally different experience. There’s just something about the uniqueness of a wood print that gives my images an added layer of interest. Instead of being something that family and friends glance at as they walk by, my WoodSnap prints have become conversation pieces. Photography is all about connecting with others, and WoodSnap makes that happen on a more meaningful level.

As if all that isn’t reason enough to give WoodSnap a try, consider this – they offer prints of all sizes, even up to wall-sized murals. There’s something for every need, every occasion, and every budget. Trust me when I say, you will not be disappointed when you get your wood print in the mail from WoodSnap! With a 100% money-back guarantee, what have you got to lose? Give printing on wood a try, and reaps the benefits of a sustainable, high-quality, product that will become the center of attention in your home. Visit WoodSnap today!