Tips to Be an Awesome Second Shooter

I've been a second shooter at a number of weddings now and was recently informed that I'm a pretty stellar second shooter. (In fact, I'm one local photographer's first pick - which made me absolutely giddy.) I'm lucky to have Ryan as my second shooter for weddings which works out beautifully for me. We both have a similar style and we understand one another really well. I can always count on Ryan to get really strong images from a different perspective too and he fills out each weddings album of images really well! So I thought I'd write an article giving some tips on how to be an awesome second shooter based on my experiences with a second shooter and as a second shooter for someone else.

1) Do NOT promote yourself!
This is probably the most important rule of second shooting, and I would hope it's common sense. While you are working - you are a member of your main photographers business. It is completely inappropriate and unacceptable to advertise or market your own business while you are working for another photographer. In fact, by trying to market yourself while working for another photographer you will more than likely appear very unprofessional and amateur. So do yourself and the photographer who was kind enough to hire you for the day the courtesy of forgetting you have a business for the day. And as an employee for the photographer, you should be prepped to answer a few simple questions about your photographer if guests should ask and have business cards ready to hand out too!

2) Look for new angles
The last thing your photographer wants is for you to take duplicates of every shot he/she is taking. They hired you for your eye and their hope is that you'll look for different angles. On wedding days, it's the main photographers job to capture all of those formal straight on images. But you have the fun and unique opportunity to look at each shot from a different angle or perspective. Keep an eye open for something different and things the photographer might miss between shots too!

3) Be sure you're not in the main photographers shot
This can be a common problem for new second shooters. It's always important to keep an eye on where the main photographer is and be sure you aren't going to show up in the backgrounds of their images. Remember their shots are more important than yours! So stay out of their way! And remember to look for those different angles too she/she isn't in the background of your pictures either.

4) Pay attention to details
Another nice thing you can do to help your photographer is to pay attention to the details when he/she is setting up a photo. If you notice the brides dress is wrinkled funny, straighten it. If you see that the grooms handkerchief isn't perfect, correct it. If a bridesmaid has some hair out of place, go up and fix it. Both the photographer and the client will thank you for your attention to those details.

5) Be attentive to what the main photographer needs
Oftentimes second shooters double as assistants. So always keep your eye on the photographer to see if there's something he/she needs. This is really great when you've worked with one photographer for a while because you start to know what lenses he/she will be wanting when they're setting up a shot. And you can be ready and waiting with their lens prepped for them when they need it.

6) Be friendly and chat with client while the main photographer preps for the next shot
Don't feel like you can't be friendly and chat with the client just because they aren't your clients. Often brides and grooms feel most uncomfortable in those in between moments while the photographer is getting prepped for the next shot. Ease their discomfort by telling them how awesome they look, asking them if they're enjoying the day, asking what they are most looking forward to. This is a great way to keep the clients distracted and happy and giving the main photographer the time they need to get ready for the next shot.

As you can see there are a lot of things you can do to help your photographer on the wedding day. While the main photographer has to focus on getting images he/she is sure the client will buy, you get the opportunity to capture some really unique and creative images too! Plus it's your duty to make sure the photographer is taken care of as well as his/her clients. And don't forget - while you are working for a photographer, you cannot advertise or market yourself. And hopefully these six tips will help you become the best second shooter you can be!

Stephanie lives in Central IL, is married to her best friend, Ryan, and enjoys the company of her rambunctious lab-beagle pup, Kit. She is the owner of Green Tree Media and is passionate about photography. To learn more about Stephanie Gagnon of Green Tree Media, visit her website at: http://www.greentreemediaonline.com

Take Pictures Online

The amount of files stored on computers and mobile phones is growing more and more these days. One of the main reasons for this is that it's becoming much easier to take high quality pictures and make HD video's wherever you are these days because more and more people own a smartphone that can do these things.

Where do we store all of these digital media files? Most people store all of their digital media on their computer and/or their smartphones. But what if your computer or smartphone loses these files due to a crash or another mishap? Most of these digital media files are very precious because most of the photo's or video's you make display a special occasion or event such as the first steps of your child or another memorable event. All of the countless people that have experienced the loss of all of their precious digital media wish they had made a backup so they could recover all of those special moments in life.

Maybe it's worth considering a safe and easy way to backup your precious files. Until now, backing up your files could be done on cdr, dvdr or usb stick. But with the amount of data that comes with the high quality photo's and video's these days, it's time to look for another way to safely store your digital media files. The safest and easiest way to do this is by backing up your files online. So maybe it's time to take pictures online. This way of safely backing up all of your files is also known as cloud storage. It's a fast, safe and very easy way to backup all of your precious files and there's more than enough space available to store all your hd photo's and video's and you can even backup all of your music.

Another great benefit of this type of file storage is that you can also access all of your files with your smartphone. So if you want to free some memory on your smartphone, you can easily store some files online. On the other hand you can also download some files from your online storage to your smartphone. This can be very handy if you want to listen to a song that's not on your phone or if you want to show a picture to someone that came from your computer. With the growing amount of people who can go online with their smartphone, there is also a growing demand in online file storage.

Photo Colorization Tips and Process

With the advance in digital technology, several new grounds have been covered in the photography niche. Gone are the days when pictures are taken in black and white only. Gone are the days when your picture has to look very different from your real self. With the help of digital photo technology, it's now possible to capture images that resemble their exact sources.

Several processes are now going on in digital photo world. Photo Colorization is certainly one of them. It's a unique process of perfecting the color of a picture. The right color can be added while unwanted color can also be removed. A lot of processes are usually involved. Special digital tools and computer gadgets are also used in making the services effective.

Image colorization is one of the aspects usually considered. It's a unique process of adding color from a simple grey scale to a monochrome image. This usually requires special skills. Professional editors are also involved in the process. This makes the entire processes very effective and less expensive. Color separation and other techniques are also engaged. All these make the photo image to look sharp and presentable.

Black and white image colorization is also part of the processes usually engaged. If your picture has been snapped in the olden black and white system, you don't need to bother. It can easily be retouched and colorized. You simply need to take the picture to an expert photographer who will do the colorization in an effective manner. You may not even recognize the old picture after the changes have been effected.

Image re-coloring is also part of the services. If you don't like a particular color in your photo image, it can be changed to a better one. You simply make your choice and let the expert complete the rest.

There's also room for progressive colorization. This usually demands special expertise. Lots of special tools are also engaged in the process. You simply go for the best service that can suit your need.

A lot of skills are required in such services. You need an expert in the field to help you out. You don't have to choose any photographer you see around except you don't want the best. There's always the need to locate professionals who know every bit of the colorization process. Why not take some time to locate them today through the internet? They are always available to offer the best of services. You don't need to spend much when looking for quality photo retouching or colorization service. In most cases, such services are offered very cheap especially when you locate experts in the field. You'll always enjoy the best of photo editing services when you get the right expert.

Creative Black and White Photography Techniques

Learn Self-Expression and Interpretation Using These Black and White Photography Techniques

This is not to say that the same learning process is not offered in color or digital photography, but by removing the color from your images, you take them one step from the depiction as a simple likeness. They are now unlike the world as we all see it around us. This is where knowing a bit about composition and the elements of photography comes in. You are in essence designing your images. The black and white photography techniques learned here will help you create some amazing pictures.

First, I must say that it does not matter whether the photo is black and white or color, digital or traditional, the success of the image depends on the photographer's aesthetic sensitivity to capture the nature of the subject, or his or her perception, vision and imagination.

The Rule of Thirds

One important design element, and black white photography technique is the use of the rule of thirds. This means that you want to position your subject into one third of the view finder, either vertically or horizontally. Stay away from centering your subject. This technique will help to create balance as well as focus on the important information in the frame.

Framing Your Image

Framing the image well is another important black and white photography techniques. Make sure that you fill your frame well with the subject matter. For example, if your subject is a candle sitting on a table in a room, get close to the candle, using a large aperture and focusing sharply on the candle, will blur out the rest of the room, which is not what you want to bring to the viewers attention.

Your technical ability to select the best aperture and shutter speed, the most appropriate viewpoint, and focal length and the right moment to release the shutter is something that you will need to give plenty of practice.

Keep in my your intention. In other words, what is the point of the photo? What do you want the viewer to understand or recognize? What is the story you are telling, visually? Practicing using your aperture and shutter speed to make the image come out as you have intended. This is not a time to have your camera on auto settings. You will need to use the manual settings in order to have the control you will need.

Taking Control

It is important that you take control. Learn how to use your camera properly. Whether you are shooting film and end up in the darkroom or using a digital camera and computer, you need to be in control from the negative to the computer output. This way you are able to manipulate the tonal range yourself--the shades of grey between black and white, which is very important in black and white photography.

More Techniques to Keep The Viewers Attention

Once color is not involved in a photograph, you will need to play up other details help keep the viewers interest. These are some examples:

Play Up Texture--Surface texture gives you the sense that the picture you are looking at has a tactile quality and so helps you to imagine what it would be like if you could reach out and touch what is depicted.

Lead The Eye--Lead your viewer's eye by linking the subjects elements by lines occurring naturally in the scene, such as a flight of steps and balustrade, leading to something you wish to stress.

Framing The Subject--Strengthening the photograph can be as simple as choosing a camera angle that shows the main subject framed by other elements of the composition. Often times, all you need to do is shift your camera position until they and the subject align properly when seen through the camera's viewfinder.

When implementing these black and white photography techniques, try grasping just one or two at a time. You will see how each one will make your photographs 'pop' in a unexpected and unique way. Happy shooting.

Mary E. Foster, MFA, is a professional photographic artist and educator. She enjoys teaching as well as working with all aspects of photography, from developing film, and making black and white prints in her darkroom to shooting digital imagery and editing it on the computer. You can find many more helpful photography tips, resources and lots of inspiration by visiting her website at http://www.photography-tips-and-resources.com. While you are there sign up to receive a new photography tip every week through your email.

Tips to Photographing Flowers


You see them everywhere, flowers in full bloom. They are colorful and so easy to photograph. You can use them as art prints, backgrounds for images, Facebook Timeline Cover pages, or just for the joy of capturing the beauty of a flower. There are some "tricks" that can elevate your images beyond snapshot level, into images that really express a flower's magic.

If you add only a handful of these approaches to your photography, you will be amazed at the results.

Camera tricks:

    Use a shallow depth of field (get your f-stop or aperture set to the lowest number you can.) This gives you a sea of color while making one flower pop out.
    Try a slow shutter speed, 1/30th, 15th or even 3 seconds, on a windy or breezy day. This creates a wonderfully pastel emotional image.
    Get close in, macro if you can. You will see unique detail rarely seen that will delight the viewer, especially if you print it very large.
    Bring along some tools - reflector cards to open up shadows, large cards to act as wind block. You can bring along a colored card or even a photo of a background to put behind the flower, have the background go out of focus for a believable transition.
    Set your file size to as large as you can for prints or cropping options.

Composition tricks:

    Get down low, "eye" level with the flower; unique angles always make flower shots interesting.
    Look for lines and shapes, like diagonals, s shaped curves to give the image a flow. Use them as foreground elements to frame your main subject.
    Photograph them really early in the morning or just as the sun goes down for rich soft light on them.
    Spray water on them for that morning dew look.
    Always place your "key" flower into the rule of thirds grid for most impact. Work with depth of field to isolate or find one that is a different color than the rest. Find one that is somehow different from its surroundings.

Unique uses:

    Use them as background elements to float smaller images on top off.
    Create a larger image and put real flowers in front of them.
    Use them on your timeline photo in Facebook.
    They can become texture overlays to your portrait photographs.
    Create your own greeting cards with them.
    Add inspirational copy to them then print or post them to mentally frame your day.

That old phrase, "stop and smell the roses" could also have you stopping to photo the flowers. They and their beauty don't last long but a photograph will enrich your life with their beauty forever.

Mark Laurie is a Master Photographer, international speaker, author and studio mentor. He teaches extensively in England and Canada. His Revealing Venus Nude & Glamour Photography Workshop is run in Italy. Mark has published 7 books. You can find information on his books, photography, and training at http://www.InnerSpiritPhoto.com. He is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/innerspiritphoto

Tips To Taking The Perfect Picture

Taking great pictures and seeing the end results can be so much fun. However, it involves just a tad more than just a love for taking pictures in order for you to take a lot of great pictures, especially if you are doing it as a career. In addition to having a love for it, you will also need to have knowledge and know how to get the best possible pictures when you are involved in photography.

In order to become a very good photographer and to get into the exciting field of photography, one of the things that you will need to do is to get to know your device well, especially if you are into digital photography. This is so due to the digital cameras of today are so much more advanced than the ones that were designed ten years ago. If you are an amateur photographer you may not be too versed at using a new digital camera, and as such, your user guide should be your best friend. It will tell you how to use the different settings and about all the other important aspects of your camera such as how to zoom, crop, cut, edit, etc. You just need to learn as much about your camera as you possibly can, in the same way that you would learn about any other tools you work with for any other job.

There is a manual mode on many digital cameras these days. As such, it is advisable that you do some experimentation on manual mode to better learn about your camera. In addition, many digital cameras have several preset features that will help you to capture great photographs in many conditions, in the morning, at dusk, indoors, outdoors, while the subjects are in motion, etc. After you have become accustomed to your camera, you should then use your manual mode, do that you can learn more about zooming, exposure time, picture resolution, focus, among many other exciting things about your camera.

You should also learn about using a tripod stand when you are into serious photography, but also if you are doing photography as a hobby. This can help you to get pictures that are more in focus as you will not have to be dealing with your shaky, sweaty hands holding the camera. It will also allow you to be in group pictures, instead of having to be the one taking the pictures and always being left out of fun, family pictures.

Tips To Improve Photography Skills

For those just getting into photography, there are quite a few things that you need to know in order to get started on the right foot. You can find these kinds of photography tips in this article.

Try different settings on the camera such as shutter speed or what works the best for you. Photography can help you get that split-second moment or to blur those large time periods. A fast shutter speed can stop a moving object in its tracks, while a slower speed allows you to blur motion a bit, such as water moving over a waterfall.

Make sure your subject is in focus before you take important shots. This will help improve the composition of your pictures. Centering your subject is a tried-and-true method for getting a decent shot, but some of the best shots come from knowing when to spice things up by taking an off-center photo.

A Canon a1200 is actually recommended for the purpose of this.

You may be tempted to shoot low-quality images so you can store more on your camera card. However, you may be sacrificing the print quality. Reserve the lower settings for images that are going to be shown only on a computer monitor.

Don't miss a shot because you're trying to correct your settings. Conversely, avoid buying cameras that only offer automatic settings, because you will lose the chance to have some creative influence over your shots. Learn all of your options, and choose a setting that will let you change up the elements that you want control over.

When you are shooting in environments that do not have much lighting, it is vital to the outcome of your photos to lower the f/stop setting, also known as aperture. What happens is you end up opening the aperture really wide, and that allows the most amount of light to pass through while taking the picture.

The actual Canon a1200 is actually suggested intended for this.

Once you have found the picture you want to take, do not move and hold your breath. Even if you move the camera a little, it can ruin the photo. Do not breathe when you are taking the shot; it is worth the effort.

A slightly blurred background is better for shots of people. If you focus less on the background and more on your subject, you'll find that the focus will be directly on them. An easy way to do this is to make your background is further from your subject.

Choose what you want to have in your photograph. Great pictures are like tiny windows highlighting specific things about your subject. Don't attempt to include too much. If you are trying to capture an impression, take a couple of photographs instead of just one singe picture that has no detail or focus.

It's possible to go from photo hobbyist to photographer artist. Use these tips and you can become the photographer that everyone envies by creating pictures that can rival the professionals. Just remember to keep practicing so you can perfect the new skills you have learned.

Tips for Photographing Fireworks

Everyone loves a great fireworks show and it seems that lots of people take pictures while they are at the show. Here is a question for you. How many great pictures of fireworks have you seen taken by any of your friends or relatives?

I'll bet your answer is not many. Now, have you ever wondered why everyone doesn't have at least a couple of really good shots of fireworks? After all, the shows are free and the people that there seem to be snapping pictures like crazy.

I'll answer the question for you. It is because a little preparation and planning is needed to increase your chances of getting some really nice shots at a fireworks display.

The following are a few tips that might help when you are photographing fireworks.

Use a Tripod: This fireworks photography tip applies whether you are using a point and shoot Digital Compact Camera or a Digital SLR camera. The reason you will need a tripod is because it is best to photograph fireworks at slow shutter speeds.

Slower shutter speeds allow the camera to gather more light from the fireworks scene against the dark sky. When a camera is hand held and a slow shutter speed is used, the result will be a blurred picture.

If you don't have a tripod, try placing the camera on a steady surface when taking the pictures. Sometimes, even the roof of your car might help.

Arrive early, claim a good spot: If you have time before the show, this fireworks photography tip can be very useful. As you probably know, fireworks shows are usually pretty crowded and you don't want to have to reach over someone's head to take a shot.

Some people might like to be close to the fireworks, but from a photography standpoint, it is better to be a little distance away from the actual scene. It is better to be able to shoot towards the fireworks rather than shooting straight up at them.

Also, if you are not right upon the fireworks, you might be able to include a little more than the fireworks burst in your picture. A building, a monument, or a skyline along with the fireworks bursts might make the images a little more interesting.

It is up to you to decide if you want anything but fireworks in your pictures. However, no matter what you decide, make sure you have a clear line of vision before you begin to photograph the fireworks.

Horizontal or Vertical? It doesn't make a whole lot of difference if you hold the camera in the vertical or horizontal position when photographing the fireworks. However, since fireworks are shot upward in a vertical plane, it might not be a bad idea to shoot single bursts with the camera in the vertical position. On the other hand if there are several bursts going on at one time, the horizontal position will give you more room to frame the whole scene.

Exposure settings for photographing fireworks: If you are using a compact digital camera, you cannot manually change exposure settings. Try using the fireworks scene mode of your camera. The fireworks mode will automatically set a slow shutter speed to photograph fireworks. (once again that is why you need a tripod or a steady surface for the camera).

If you are a Digital SLR user, use your cameras' manual mode. It would be great if you use the bulb "B" shutter setting. The "B" setting allows you to keep the shutter as long as you like. That way can open the shutter just before the burst, and close it right after if you choose to do so.

If you don't use the "B" setting, experiment with shutter speeds from 2-8 seconds. Also, try using a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake from pressing the shutter button.

As for the camera lens aperture settings, use smaller aperture openings between F8 and F16 if possible. Although the sky is dark, the fireworks are bright and overexposure is possible when using large aperture and slow shutter speed.

Use low ISO settings like ISO 100 if possible: Higher ISO setting like ISO 800 or ISO 1600 might produce grainy looking images. (depending on what camera you use.) So try to use an ISO setting of ISO 200 or less.

Timing is everything: Fireworks bursts will appear quickly and disappear just as fast. Pre focus your digital compact camera on an area where the fireworks are being generated from. Hold that focus until you are ready to take your next shot. You will save time by not having to focus once the firework is in the air.

If you are using a Digital SLR camera use your manual focus feature prior to or during the first burst. You won't have to refocus if you stay in the same location and use the same focal length.

Listen for a thump like sound or a whistling sound in the air. Those sounds indicate that fireworks have just been shot into the air. For best results do not wait until you see the bright explosion. Press the shutter as soon as you know something has been fired into the air. That way your camera will get the full effect of the burst from the beginning.(that is if your camera is already pointed right at the area of the fireworks and set at a slow shutter speed).

Photographing fireworks might be a little tricky at first. However, with a little practice you should come out with some pleasing results.

I hope these tips on photographing fireworks will be useful to you.

For more useful information about taking pictures, visit http://easybasicphotography.com or for more about fireworks photography visit http://easybasicphotography.com/photographing-fireworks

Handy Sports Photography Tips

Tip#1--Have the Right Camera
Having the right camera does not mean that you have to invest in state-of-the-art camera equipment. But, for best results, using a DSLR or a SLR with the option to shoot continuous shots while holding the shutter down will help. Most SLR's have this option, so make sure you know how make use of it. This way you won't have to worry about missing the important action, while you are re-focusing or waiting to press the shutter release again. These types of cameras also allow you to look through the lens or directly at the finder on the back to see exactly what is being captured as opposed to some point an shoot cameras which don't have this option and can be little deceptive as you may not get exactly what you see.

Tip #2--Use a Long Lens
Whenever possible, get as close as you can to the action, without getting in the way of it. Often times though, this is not possible. So, pack a long lens just in case. You will be able to focus and get close-up shots without getting in the way of the action. Be attentive and ready to release the shutter. You never know when someone is going to steal a base or a dunk the basketball, not to mention the expressions of the team members as these events happen. You don't want to miss those either. Using a long lens gives you the opportunity to keep up when things are moving fast.

Sports Photography Tip #3- Shoot For a Shallow Depth of Field
When shooting sports or any type of fast action, you want to make sure that the subject is the main attraction. Using the (AV) mode on your camera will allow you to set your camera to aperture priority. With this function, you are able to use a larger aperture opening which will allow you to focus on the subject sharply while blurring the background and basically ignoring other activity that is happening around the subject. This mode also allows you to show motion, such as slow motion of the home run hitter sliding into the base.

Sports Photography tip #4 Set Your Camera to (TV) Shutter Speed Priority
Using the shutter speed priority on you camera allows to show "stopped action." Think about getting a shot of a basketball player as he is flying in the air getting ready to put the ball in the basket. You can show this action stopped by using a fast shutter speed and knowing when to click the shutter. Use a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 of a second. You will be amazed at the end results!

Tip #5--Be Prepared
The last of our sports photography tips, being prepared, may seem obvious, but is worth mentioning. Make sure you have everything you think you may need for the shoot.

Always carry an accessory bag, that contains extra lenses, batteries, memory cards, and filters to help with lighting. If possible, carry an extra camera just in case of a malfunction with your camera.

Keep these basic sports photography tips in mind and you will become a natural in no time at all!

Mary E. Foster, MFA, is a professional photographic artist. She enjoys teaching as well as working with all aspects of photography, from developing film, and making black and white prints in her darkroom to shooting digital imagery and editing it on the computer. You can find many more helpful photography tips, resources and lots of inspiration by visiting her website at http://www.photography-tips-and-resources.com. While you are there sign up to receive a new photography tip every week through your email.

Simple Tips to Meliorate Your Outdoor Candid Portrait

"If photography is what you dream of and if it is the first and last thing on your mind, You are probably a lucky guy in the world of no rewind."

Pictures must convey emotions, environments and relationships which can be best portrayed outdoors. While clicking an outdoor portrait you expose yourself to a more volatile environment where poses, people and objects will be more dynamic than ever. In this case you get a chance to be candid, honest and make 'real life' pictures appear 'larger than life'.

Here are 5 simple Tips for making your outdoor candid portraits 'look' and 'feel' real.

Tip 1 - Wait and Watch - The one least appreciated quality in a photographer is impatience. The more will click. Time you take to study the subject, the better picture you Watch what the object is doing, study his background, his relationship with the environment around him etc. This will give you an edge over a random click. The point in making a portrait candid is not being formal or 'made up'. Let the subject do whatever he is busy in and then click a picture. A candid picture must set up a mood or convey an emotion. A lack of this quality will make the picture dull and lifeless.

Tip 2- Use a Longer Lens - A longer lens serves a great purpose for the picture. It makes the field view narrower and lets you focus solely on your subject and the background you chose for it. Moreover, a longer lens like the telephoto lens will not disturb your subject. You may focus on them without interfering in their activity. Anyone may become extremely conscious of themselves if they suddenly see a camera in front of their eyes, trying to click a picture. Keep the focal length at 150-200 mm for the best picture.

Tip 3- Avoid Direct Sunlight - Presence of bright sunlight may often excite you but it is better to use a little shade while clicking a portrait. Too much sunlight will affect the white balance and make it hard for you to process and retouch your photos later. Use shadows to your advantage in outdoor photography and let the shadow of your subject's features and the objects around them fall in to perfectly match the background.

Tip 4- Use the RAW file format - While using a DSLR, you may often click on the.jpg format which becomes accessible after the photo has been processed on the camera. If there is a slight deviation in the real picture than what you wanted it to be, you may want to retouch it later, which becomes a little difficult with the.jpg format. Save your pictures in the RAW format. This unprocessed file may be easily played with on your editing desk and you may finally save the picture in.jpg after the desired result is obtained.

Tip 5- Use Bokeh for a Dramatic Effect - Though an unplanned bokeh is dreaded by some photographers, a planned and critically placed bokeh will make a manually clicked picture as good as a digitally edited one. The bokeh effect slightly softens/blurs the background making the subject look prominent. This trick would specially work if there is light in the background and makes the sources of light appear like small luminous circles. Use a larger aperture with a smaller f-stop number and keep the background as far off as possible. The real trick is best observed in the night with artificial sources of light in the backdrop.

Compare Canon Rebel T3i VS T4i


Which Canon Rebel is right for you?

When considering a Canon Rebel T4i VS T3i, first impressions can be misleading. In this case, the T4i looks pretty much like a knockoff of the older T3i. But when you examine the new digital SLR in more detail, you find some astounding changes.

Changes Abound

It's time to get up close and personal so you can appreciate the differences between the new and the old. However, before getting into the techy stuff, there are some things to observe on the camera body. You will have to find the name on the front of the camera to know which Rebel it actually is. Look at the top of the camera and notice that there is a slightly different mode dial on the newer DSLR.

You can see two new mode selections. They are "Hand Held Night" mode and "HDR with Backlight" mode.

"Hand-held Night" is kind of self-explanatory. The user can apply this selection when light levels are overly challenging.

One of the more popular features for new models is HDR. It gives the photographer a series of 3 shots, changing the exposure of each shot and then combining them into a single "High Dynamic Range" picture. The sudden popularity of HDR makes this one feature very desirable to many camera buyers.

The "Nuts and Bolts" Have Been Fine-Tuned

The addition of a new DIGIC 5 image processor has made some of the newer features possible. Canon hasn't enhanced the processor for quite some time, but the claim is that the DIGIC 5 has "four times the processing power of the DIGIC 4."

Going back several years and models, the Canon Rebel T4i has the same size, 18 megapixel CMOS sensor. Similar 18-megapixel sensors inhabit the bodies of such models as the Canon 60D and 7D.

In spite of being the same size, it is quite a bit different. Does "hybrid CMOS AF sensor" make an impression on you? The improved technology adds significant performance in continuous focus in Live View and video, as well as facial detection. Of all the new and improved features, this one has impacted my personal opinion of the Canon Rebel T4i VS T3i most.

Here is a first from Canon. Touch-screen LCD technology is the newest cutting-edge feature for the Canon Rebel T4i. This is very cool, and it will entice some of you tekky folks with iPhone-like actions such as pinch to enlarge and swipe through your images by moving your finger across the LCD panel. Not only that, you can now select settings by touch. You don't have to learn which button to push or which direction to go using the myriad of selectors on the right side of the LCD screen.

ISO sensitivity has also been upgraded. On the T3i, ISO max is 12800, but on the T4i that number has doubled to 25600.

Improved Performance

Continuous shooting rate is another major upgrade. Continuous shooting rate is how many images your camera can record per second. Faster rates make it easier to capture actions shots. Here are the numbers: 5.0fps for the T4i and 3.7fps for the T3i.

A new focus system which includes 9 cross-type focus points vs just one for the T3i is another impressive improvement. It would seem that this one item will push the T4i to a level playing field with the 60D.. just sayin'. (I'm no expert, just a casual observation)

Three elements of video have been improved.

    First, as already mentioned, one now has the capability of continuous auto focus.
    The second point also has to do with focus. It is "touch screen" focus while in video mode. Just touch the point on the screen that you want the main focus on, and the camera does a great job of keeping that point in focus.
    Additionally, there is also better audio input. There are now two stereo mics repositioned on top of the camera to pick up sound so much better. The videographer can also set the sound input level, something new for a Canon Rebel camera.

Digital Photo Imaging in Movie Advertising

A Film-Industry Photographer's Personal History of Digital Photo Imaging--The Famous "Silence of the Lambs" Moth and Other Stories--

20 years of Digital Photo Imaging

As a photographer that has worked professionally for 35 years, I have the particular perspective of having had an approximately equal number of years in straight photography as I have had in digital photography/imaging. Having seen the photographic industry make monumental and dramatic changes as new digital technology revolutionized photography, I am in a unique position to describe some ways that digital photography and digital imaging evolved over the last 20 years or so.

Before this time, I was primarily a still photographer. My revenue came from photographing products along with some live model photography to illustrate a product or service for my clients.

Emerging Technology -- New Emerging Demand in the Movie Industry

My own personal boom came about when Home Movie rental became a huge industry. Video box images were in high demand and the home movie studios wanted them all yesterday. They needed images for every movie they had rights to so that the video store shelves would bulge with choices for entertainment consumers.

After becoming established in home video, I moved on to theatrical releases shooting photos for some movie posters that became very well known and even award winning.

Famous Moth over Jodie Foster's Lips in Silence of the Lambs

One of my early assignments turned out to be the easiest movie poster job and the one that earned the most acclaim. This was the moth over Joe Foster's mouth for Silence of the Lambs. My part was to photograph the moth. The studio sent me the moth in a little box, I pointed a camera down at the moth and took a picture. Simple.

The interesting thing about that image is that the "skull head" was made up of nude humans kneeling in positions that formed a skull-like image to serve as the moth's head, indicating the gruesome nature of the film. This death head was also an homage to Salvador Dali, who had a similar painting. The nudes could not be used however, because the MPA (studio ratings board) would not allow nudes (even though these were so tiny as to be invisible) on a movie poster. Instead, body suits were retouched onto the nude figures to preserve modesty.

Body Double Photography

This became a big niche in the 80's to early 90's. Somewhere around ninety percent of movie posters and promotional materials using actor likenesses are actually body doubles with the actors heads pasted on later.

Typically, the film's star actors were on location for the next movie or otherwise unavailable for studio ad campaigns. So I worked with stills from the movie shoot and used body doubles to create the action shots, poster images and artistic composites that made up some of the most recognizable movie posters created to date.

The new technology of digital imaging allowed for some interesting options in movie poster/video box creating. One of my earliest body double projects needed an artistic rendering of a concept that had the actors appearing to sit on each other's shoulders tiered three men high. The dilemma of how to get that effect was solved by my having the body doubles lay on the floor of the studio, arranging them so that they would appear to be on top of each other's shoulders, and then shooting them from above. The actor's heads were then Photoshopped in after the fact.

As actors had likeness approval, they could nix an image. So some artwork, like this project, were not used... although I still got paid.

Angelina Jolie's action shots for the Tomb Raider movie poster/promotional material series were a particular challenge. Because stars have likeness approval, the challenge is to find a body double with a better body than the actual actor. In her case, this was impossible. So in Frankenstein manner, we had to piece together a kickboxing models legs, torso and arms and use Angie's real breasts and head for the first Tomb Raider billboard image.

An interesting aside is that I used digital photography to capture the images of the legs and arms of the body doubles, but Ms. Jolie's parts were photographed in regular analog film at the film shoot. A certain amount of graininess or "noise" had to be added to the digital parts of the image so they would match the regular film part of the image. After that, it was widely agreed that future photographic stills at movie shoots would be captured using digital.

These and many other stories make up a varied and enlightening tale of how digital photography was first being applied in the highly specialized world of the movie industry print advertising.

Lee Varis has worked in the field of photography for over 35 years and is widely known for his Hollywood movie posters and video covers. Lee´s creative imaging has been featured in National Geographic and Fortune magazines as well as numerous trade publications including: Photo-Electronic Imaging, Studio Photography, PC Photo, Rangefinder Magazine, Photo District News and Mac Art & Design.

He conducts nationwide seminars on the finer points of digital photography and maintains close relationships with numerous hardware and software companies. He is also the president of LADIG (Los Angeles Digital Imaging Group) To see Lee's newest photo tips, projects and photographs visit: http://www.blog.varis.com/

Lee's expertise offers techniques for the intermediate and advanced photo imager seeking to increase his or her competence level. His books: "Skin" and "Mastering Exposure" are essential additions to the libraries of photo-technicians everywhere.

To receive a FREE, exclusive, 2-part PDF tutorial guide that will introduce you to essential and unique photo techniques visit: http://www.varis.com/DigitalZoneSystem/VarisLanding.html

Canon EOS 5D Mark III


Taking advantage of the arrival in stores of the first copies of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III have kidnapped one of them for a couple of days by 24-70 mm f2.8L II lens. Our goal: to test the performance of full-format CMOS and 22 Megapixel and a first look at their renovated autofocus system. Despite the brevity of this intense cohabitation did not want to miss the opportunity to tackle the brand new Nikon D800 full frame EOS against, who also walked QUESABESDE.COM office.

Fortunately, Canon EOS 5D Mark III has not waited for so long as the EOS-1D X. Just 20 days after this Canon, the first units of this full-size SLR has begun to reach the windows of the country. Thanks to the cooperation of Casanova Photo QUESABESDE.COM was tinkering with one of these cameras for a couple of days and collect a first galleries of samples that can give a good indication of its performance.

Because at the moment and we talked a lot about the aesthetic and technical innovations that housed this new body canon, now comes the time to focus on results from their tormentor, with particular attention to the chapter high sensitivity. One area in which, on paper at least, the Mark III promises to stand out.

Although the ideal would be mounted on the camera is the new (and somewhat 'expensive, many players complain) Canon 24-70 mm f2.8L II, we were able to get this test. Instead, we had to make do with the original version of this zoom light, which is however also a good tandem with the new EOS.

Same management, the new details
Dimensions very similar to its predecessor, the fact is that in his hands, the EOS 5D Mark III quickly convinced. Overall we thought it best to trim topped by a more solid and professional details. In addition to confirming the first impressions that we had to fiddle with a pre-production model a couple of weeks ago, yes there are some noteworthy details.

The display not only grows to provide a 100% coverage, but also achieves the points of brightness. In fact, after placing the eye in the eyepiece of the SLR and the Nikon D800, Canon model is slightly different in terms of brightness.

Note very well for the rear screen, which grows in size (3.2 inches) and resolution, as well wager a 03:02 format useful for the revision of the catch. Get used to high quality screen, this deserves to get into that category of monitors, that images appear better than they really are. Aware, then, the disappointment when it comes time to play shots on the computer screen.

The huge dial-a classic rear Canon or "Q" to gain access the quick menu also seem to be very successful. Interestingly, also the detail that the small button "ISO" is indistinguishable to the touch, making it possible to change this value, without necessarily separating the observer's eye.

Everything perfect? Of course not. Without going any further, the power button on the right side tend to look and not under the dial. And the management of the focus detection mode (this option has a separate menu) is not very agile. In fact, the camera menus require infinite good configuration session and review of all options before getting to work.

Plan already squeamish, the level of messages through the viewfinder is too invasive, and most disappear shortly before the photo.

Faster
Moderation in the number of megapixel brings an interesting increase in speed camera shooting. Which for many may seem a minor detail, but strengthens the polyvalent DNA EOS 5D. Without doubt an incentive for many professionals.

With a top speed of 6 frames per second, or significantly affect the use-card we have seen, according to the duration of the cadence. Thus, high-end CompactFlash (SanDisk Extreme Pro, to be exact), shot in JPEG and RAW is an unlimited number of remains of about 20 consecutive shots and then fell sharply, but without stopping. If you combine both formats, this figure drops to just a dozen, but the camera also fails to block.

However, with a class of SD Card 10 digit suffer. Shooting in JPEG format on a high-speed runs after about 60 shots. Same thing occurs in RAW before arriving in two weeks of frames and the simultaneous recording of both formats can be reached only after 6 consecutive images.

In addition to different rates of recovery, the EOS 5D Mark III also offers silent shooting mode (single or burst) that considerably dampen the noise of the mirror and shutter.

Autofocus is another of the protagonists of this renewal. The new system of 61 points is certainly very effective and agile, and just like with the Nikon D800 is only in very low light scenes, where we can find a problem, both bodies that show very similar performance.

Although so far there has been no time to stop and check the operation of the monitoring strategy (another of the strengths of the EOS 5D Mark III and his brother, the EOS-1D X), first impressions are positive. In other words, nothing to do with the system of focus seen limping slightly on the EOS 5D Mark III, the critical goal of most crop SLR.

22 million points
Although many expected a huge step forward in resolving this full-format SLR, Canon surprised to rest for a 22 megapixel CMOS only. A figure-smaller enough compared with 21 million points of the previous generation or D800-36 to remove the lens and check their behavior.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR is the perfect choice digital SLR for professional photographers. Read more detail about this camera click here.

Bridge Camera Vs Digital SLR


Nowadays people want something more than your iPhone can handle. What do you do when you want more clear portraits, close ups or the capability to enlarge for prints?

For the longest time there was really only one option, a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. Lately however, the new kid on the block is the "bridge" camera, which 'bridges' the gap between the point & shoot and the DSLR, both in functions and price.

Let's compare the pros and cons of the two.

Digital SLR Camera

Pros

Sensor is generally better.

Interchangeable lenses.

Better zoom and macro capabilities

Cons

More pricey

Purchase of extra lenses

Not as portable

Need more knowledge to operate properly (although they are becoming easier and easier)

Bridge Camera

Pros

Typically Less expensive (not always the case these days with entry level DSLR)

No need for extra lenses.

More portable.

'Auto' settings easy to start with. (again, entry level DSLR's are pretty simple these days)

Cons

Limited zoom capabilities

Typically poor low light performance

Limited capability to improve your skills

So, which camera is best for you?

You first need to ask yourself, what you are trying to achieve in your photography?

As with most things, it also depends on how much of your hard earned money you're willing to part with.

With bridge cameras, you can get a lot of options without spending too much money. If you don't want the ability to change a lot of the camera settings, the "auto" setting is very capable. However, this basically makes it a point and shoot on steroids. If you want to expand your skills and learn to adjust the settings, you have that capability, albeit in a limited fashion. One thing to keep in mind is that not all bridge cameras allow for full "manual" control.

DSLR cameras provide the most options and flexibility, but come with a higher price tag and less portability. With an almost unlimited range of lenses, flashes and lighting you can expand your photographic horizons in an unlimited fashion. In the past, you couldn't plan on taking stellar images right out of the box, but the auto settings on some of the entry level DSLRs available today make that more possible. If you want to dive deep into the camera settings it can take a while to learn how to use it properly. Also, you are going to want to buy more than the kit" lens that came with the camera. Keep in mind that lenses are not something that spread across major brands. If you buy a Canon 7D you can't use Nikon lenses. Although there are some brands, namely Sigma and Tamron, that make lenses for multiple brands of cameras.

What it all boils down to is: what are your needs? If you simply want something to give you more zoom range than your smart phone, then a bridge camera is probably good for you. However, if you want to expand your skills with room to grow, then a DSLR is the way to go. Be careful though, DSLRs can be addictive and have been known to become an expensive hobby when you want to buy new lenses and accessories!

My personal recommendation as a professional youth sports, school and event photographer, is to go with the DSLR. They have become really affordable and the auto settings make things easy. However, if you have no desire to ever change the auto settings, then there are some really awesome bridge cameras these days.

If I was to make a recommendation for an ENTRY level DSLR it would be the Nikon D3100. A little background; my company does high volume photography, mostly youth sports, school and event photography (we will photograph over 100,000 kids this year). My youth sports photographers find the D3100 to be quite adequate for our purpose. This is pretty significant for me since my personal camera is a Canon 7D. If*you are looking for a professional level camera I cannot say it more clearly, GET THE 7D! It is hands down the best camera on the market for the money.

Andy Stockglausner is the owner of MVP Studios, a youth sports photographer in San Diego. Visit http://www.mvpstudios.com/ for more information.

Tips To Improve Photography Skills

For those just getting into photography, there are quite a few things that you need to know in order to get started on the right foot. You can find these kinds of photography tips in this article.

Try different settings on the camera such as shutter speed or what works the best for you. Photography can help you get that split-second moment or to blur those large time periods. A fast shutter speed can stop a moving object in its tracks, while a slower speed allows you to blur motion a bit, such as water moving over a waterfall.

Make sure your subject is in focus before you take important shots. This will help improve the composition of your pictures. Centering your subject is a tried-and-true method for getting a decent shot, but some of the best shots come from knowing when to spice things up by taking an off-center photo.

A Canon a1200 is actually recommended for the purpose of this.

You may be tempted to shoot low-quality images so you can store more on your camera card. However, you may be sacrificing the print quality. Reserve the lower settings for images that are going to be shown only on a computer monitor.

Don't miss a shot because you're trying to correct your settings. Conversely, avoid buying cameras that only offer automatic settings, because you will lose the chance to have some creative influence over your shots. Learn all of your options, and choose a setting that will let you change up the elements that you want control over.

When you are shooting in environments that do not have much lighting, it is vital to the outcome of your photos to lower the f/stop setting, also known as aperture. What happens is you end up opening the aperture really wide, and that allows the most amount of light to pass through while taking the picture.

The actual Canon a1200 is actually suggested intended for this.

Once you have found the picture you want to take, do not move and hold your breath. Even if you move the camera a little, it can ruin the photo. Do not breathe when you are taking the shot; it is worth the effort.

A slightly blurred background is better for shots of people. If you focus less on the background and more on your subject, you'll find that the focus will be directly on them. An easy way to do this is to make your background is further from your subject.

Choose what you want to have in your photograph. Great pictures are like tiny windows highlighting specific things about your subject. Don't attempt to include too much. If you are trying to capture an impression, take a couple of photographs instead of just one singe picture that has no detail or focus.

It's possible to go from photo hobbyist to photographer artist. Use these tips and you can become the photographer that everyone envies by creating pictures that can rival the professionals. Just remember to keep practicing so you can perfect the new skills you have learned.

Tips To Improve Photography Skills

For those just getting into photography, there are quite a few things that you need to know in order to get started on the right foot. You can find these kinds of photography tips in this article.

Try different settings on the camera such as shutter speed or what works the best for you. Photography can help you get that split-second moment or to blur those large time periods. A fast shutter speed can stop a moving object in its tracks, while a slower speed allows you to blur motion a bit, such as water moving over a waterfall.

Make sure your subject is in focus before you take important shots. This will help improve the composition of your pictures. Centering your subject is a tried-and-true method for getting a decent shot, but some of the best shots come from knowing when to spice things up by taking an off-center photo.

A Canon a1200 is actually recommended for the purpose of this.

You may be tempted to shoot low-quality images so you can store more on your camera card. However, you may be sacrificing the print quality. Reserve the lower settings for images that are going to be shown only on a computer monitor.

Don't miss a shot because you're trying to correct your settings. Conversely, avoid buying cameras that only offer automatic settings, because you will lose the chance to have some creative influence over your shots. Learn all of your options, and choose a setting that will let you change up the elements that you want control over.

When you are shooting in environments that do not have much lighting, it is vital to the outcome of your photos to lower the f/stop setting, also known as aperture. What happens is you end up opening the aperture really wide, and that allows the most amount of light to pass through while taking the picture.

The actual Canon a1200 is actually suggested intended for this.

Once you have found the picture you want to take, do not move and hold your breath. Even if you move the camera a little, it can ruin the photo. Do not breathe when you are taking the shot; it is worth the effort.

A slightly blurred background is better for shots of people. If you focus less on the background and more on your subject, you'll find that the focus will be directly on them. An easy way to do this is to make your background is further from your subject.

Choose what you want to have in your photograph. Great pictures are like tiny windows highlighting specific things about your subject. Don't attempt to include too much. If you are trying to capture an impression, take a couple of photographs instead of just one singe picture that has no detail or focus.

It's possible to go from photo hobbyist to photographer artist. Use these tips and you can become the photographer that everyone envies by creating pictures that can rival the professionals. Just remember to keep practicing so you can perfect the new skills you have learned.

Basic Photoshop Editing


Most people limit their photo editing to the basics and there is software available online for photo editing, with the most popular being Adobe Photoshop. People can use Photoshop for free, via the trial version, but must be careful because some websites offer free Photoshop and people later realize that the files are laden with viruses. The Adobe website trial version of the software is good for 30 days. However, if you want the full capabilities of Photoshop, you have to buy the full version. The thing is that the complete version has a lot of features that ordinary photographers may not need. Most average photographers need the following photo editing basics.

1. Correcting Exposure

This is probably the most common adjustment people do to their pictures. Photoshop allows exposure correction of photos in a wide range of formats, including RAW and JPEG files. Wrong exposure can be corrected by going to "Image" in the menu, clicking "Adjustments", and then clicking "Levels". The histogram will be shown. You can make fine adjustments by moving the sliders. The photo will turn darker or lighter, depending on which slider you move and how you move it. Adjust the sliders until you get the desired brightness.

2. Correcting Blown Highlights

An easier way to do this is to go to the "Curves" option. But this can be an annoying command for beginners. It takes a while to perfect this, but it is worth practicing the "Curves" command because it can correct blown out highlights or lighten up shadows to retrieve more detail. The best way to avoid this problem is to underexpose the camera in high contrast environment.

Balancing the overall exposure is tricky. Another way to tone down very bright highlights is to use the selection tools to select highlights. You can then choose to darken these highlights. This is also tricky. Make sure you have a backup copy of the file, in case you mess up the current one during the post-processing.

3. Editing Color Casts

Color casts are usually an in-camera error. This can be corrected at first by making sure you choose the correct white balance during your photography session. Setting the white balance in your camera is a no-brainer. But before you correct the color cast, make sure you have corrected the exposure first. Once the exposure is fixed, fix the color cast by using the "Color Balance" tool and the "Color Match" tool.

4. Color Editing

Aside from color correction, another easy adjustment you can do is altering the color of your photos. This can range from simply making your photos appear warmer or cooler. You can also mute colors to create a classic grayscale photo. You can also saturate the shades to make the photo more expressive. More advanced photo enhancement includes muting other colors, and making one shade stand out.

5. Sharpening

Even correctly focused pictures can be enhanced through sharpening to make outlines more obvious and compelling. It is one of the basic photo editing that can be done even with other types of software tools. Just make sure you do not over-sharpen your photos.

There are other basic photo editing techniques, like red eye removal and noise reduction. But make sure you edit your photos to enhance them. Over-enhancement can backfire and make your photos look peculiar. Make sure you save your original files separately from your edited files so that you have something to go back to if the editing work goes awry.

To find out more about Adobe Photoshop visit our website http://adobeconnection.com

Tips For Making The Family Portrait Fun

Every family needs a portrait and not everyone wants the same traditional group photo. These days people are after a more human touch and may include fun and wacky ideas.

Location

Finding the right location can completely alter your photo. The background adds lots of contrast and will alter the mood of the photo. A photograph tells a story and you will want a location that will complement the story. Here are a few ideas to make your family photos more interesting:

Trendy: If you're in town take a walk down the city streets and look for trendy spots, such as garage fronts, brick buildings, park benches and side walks.

Grit: Visit your local junkyard and take a few shots between piles of scrap metal and written off cars stacked on top of each other.

Fewer distractions: The best natural shots do not have a lot going on in the background and appear calming and friendly. A great place is big open fields filled with tall grass. Instead of walking to the park, take a walk down a nature trail and you will find some amazing spots. Take a few shots with the family leaning on a tree or sitting on fallen trees. Surrounding rivers, lakes and water beds also adds a natural and calming touch.

Think outside the square: If you're looking for an unusual twist then take any of the locations mentioned above and add a couch or chair. A couple good examples are sitting on a red stool in the forest or on a couch at the junkyard.

Natural Shots
Some of the best photos are natural shots with a close depth of field. However if you are going to take close images you will want to be relaxed so expressions appear natural.

Activity: Working with kids can be lovely or it can turn into a disaster. If you try to force kids to stand and pose this will only cause fake smiles. Let the kids run around for natural shots and you will notice their personality coming alive. Also, getting the family down to the kid's height will lower intimidating effect of standing above them.

Dining rooms and restaurants: eating places are great places for activities as they are hardly filled with empty space. When taking photos of food and people you will need natural lighting to bring out the colours and vibrancy of the foods. Use windows for natural light and not direct sunlight as this can make the food shimmer or shine. Flash photography will also set the colour and contrast off, instead set the flash off and use a shallow depth of field.

Night: consider shooting the same image at night, as this provides depth, excitement and displays interior activity that sunlights hides.

Pets

Having the family cat or dog in the photo adds warmth to the family portrait.

Natural lighting in open areas or rooms with plenty of lighting and large windows are great places for the shoot when the family pet is involved. That will help avoid the need for flash photography that may upset the pet.

Focus on the eyes: a pets eyes are the most important as they are more expressive than human eyes. Some of the best pet photography uses a sharp tack with a focus on the eyes.

Lower ground: As opposed to having the pet sit next to the family, have the family come down to his level and take the photo at their eye level or below. Having the family go to the pet will be much easier than trying to get them to stop wandering around.

A professional photographer will help to boost the image of any family portrait. If you would like to find out more about fun photography then visit the creative and professional Brisbane Photographers at Studio Kirby.

As a writer I have published a number of articles in the photography industry and am happy to be working for the team at Studio Kirby, as well as a number of different industries.

Photo Tip - Get Better Photography, Lessons From A Sniper

Today's photo tip will help us get better photography, learn to master our camera equipment inside and out and get comfortable with all our photo gear! Blindfolded and in the dark.

In the last several portrait photography photo tips articles, we've been studying lighting. Admittedly it has been some pretty heavy weight learning. For today's photo tip, let's kick back a bit and ponder...

Have you ever noticed how being a photographer and being a sniper are very similar?

First off, there's the obvious term - shoot. A sniper is trained to shoot and a photographer is trained to shoot. We call it shooting a portrait or shooting a landscape - having a model shoot and so on...

Next, no good sniper would ever take a shot without recording it in his shot notebook. It's how they learn the effects of heat and cold on a bullet. They learn how the ballistics are altered by varying wind speeds, altitudes and etc.

While less than 1% of you are likely to be keeping a notebook, the top photographers do. I've been harping on it forever. This one simple act can propel your photography to heights you can only dream of right now.

Have you ever studied the stance used by good (rifle) shooters when they are shooting from a standing position?

It is SOLID! Both in the legs and upper body.

The legs provide a strong steady platform and the rifle is held tightly against their shoulder. All to minimize any possible movements.

BTW - the stance is exactly the same every time too! They learn to do it the best possible way - then never alter it! It becomes a muscle memory.

Then they gently squeeze the trigger - so they don't inadvertently alter the rifles aim.

If you observe a top photographer, the stance is very similar - if not exactly the same. A steady base is just as important for a photographer as a sniper.

To avoid movement, the camera is held tightly against their face, while they look through the viewfinder. (If you are holding your camera at arms length and watching the viewing screen - stop it. RIGHT NOW!)

And they gently squeeze the shutter release to avoid camera shake.

I could go on and on... but the similarity I want to discuss in today's photo tip involves putting on a blindfold or going into a darkened room.

Can you imagine a highly trained sniper not knowing what a certain button or knob on his or her rifle does?

By the way, I say his or her because there ARE female snipers out there. Did you know that Dr. Ruth is a trained sniper?

They knot only know what each one does, but they can make whatever adjustments are needed without looking. In fact, they practice completely taking apart their weapons and reassembling them while blindfolded or in the dark.

But that isn't enough... not only do they practice doing it in the dark, they practice at doing it faster and faster!

Why?

They do this so that they become so familiar with every aspect of their rifle that they don't have to think about it anymore. It becomes second nature. In a high stress (possibly deadly) situation, they don't have to wonder about what to do. It just happens.

If you were blindfolded or put in a dark room, could you change lenses? Identify what every single button and knob does? Change batteries?

When you are shooting, there are a million things to think about and consider. Add to that the fact that - often it is a high stress situation and cannot be repeated (weddings or other once in a lifetime events). Do you really want to lose the shot because you had a hard time getting the battery compartment back in place? Or the memory stick was inserted incorrectly?

You may never find yourself in a high stress - or life and death situation, but the confidence of knowing your camera gear inside and out will eventually show in your photography.

For today's photo tip, study your camera equipment manuals until you know what every button, knob and dial does. This means all your photo gear, not just the camera. It's amazing how few of us really know how to use an on camera flash! Then practice making adjustments, changing batteries and so on - in the dark or while blindfolded.

To learn more and enroll in a FREE "photo tips" course, go to: http://OnTargetPhotoTraining.com/PhotoTips

Bonus... You will also get YOUR free copy of "7 Secrets To Stunning Photos!" AND you'll get a FREE daily photo tips newsletter! Check it out right now while you are thinking about it!

Dan Eitreim has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years - his data base exceeds 6000 past clients, and he says that learning photography is easy, if you know a few tried and true strategies.

Tips To Taking The Perfect Picture

Taking great pictures and seeing the end results can be so much fun. However, it involves just a tad more than just a love for taking pictures in order for you to take a lot of great pictures, especially if you are doing it as a career. In addition to having a love for it, you will also need to have knowledge and know how to get the best possible pictures when you are involved in photography.

In order to become a very good photographer and to get into the exciting field of photography, one of the things that you will need to do is to get to know your device well, especially if you are into digital photography. This is so due to the digital cameras of today are so much more advanced than the ones that were designed ten years ago. If you are an amateur photographer you may not be too versed at using a new digital camera, and as such, your user guide should be your best friend. It will tell you how to use the different settings and about all the other important aspects of your camera such as how to zoom, crop, cut, edit, etc. You just need to learn as much about your camera as you possibly can, in the same way that you would learn about any other tools you work with for any other job.

There is a manual mode on many digital cameras these days. As such, it is advisable that you do some experimentation on manual mode to better learn about your camera. In addition, many digital cameras have several preset features that will help you to capture great photographs in many conditions, in the morning, at dusk, indoors, outdoors, while the subjects are in motion, etc. After you have become accustomed to your camera, you should then use your manual mode, do that you can learn more about zooming, exposure time, picture resolution, focus, among many other exciting things about your camera.

You should also learn about using a tripod stand when you are into serious photography, but also if you are doing photography as a hobby. This can help you to get pictures that are more in focus as you will not have to be dealing with your shaky, sweaty hands holding the camera. It will also allow you to be in group pictures, instead of having to be the one taking the pictures and always being left out of fun, family pictures.

Toronto Photography Scene


The Toronto photography scene is full of young and upcoming new Canadian photographers, and there are many ways to get involved in this exciting area of Toronto culture. One way is by visiting one of the many photography galleries in Toronto. There are more than 20 of them in the city, including the Christopher Cutts Gallery, Gallery 44, and the Monte Clark Gallery. Many of these double as Toronto photography studios or printing workshops, but also feature work by famous, as well as local photographers. Some even offer photography workshops and classes, such as the IX Gallery in Riverside, which holds such events monthly. Others boast special exhibits of specialty or vintage photography regularly. Analogue Gallery focuses on music photography of famous artists, such as Bob Dylan, Bjork, and the Beatles, while SPORT Gallery focuses on sports photography. Whatever your artistic tastes, Toronto has a photography gallery that you will enjoy.

Another way to get involved is by joining the Toronto Camera Club. It was founded over 100 years ago, in 1888, and on its website, claims to be the "oldest camera club in Canada." Although membership fees for a year are $100 (or $50 for students), membership gets you access to their Toronto photography library and darkroom, the ability to enter their competitions, and the chance to go on club outings. They hold weekly meetings with competitions, weekly lectures, monthly visits to local Toronto photography hotspots, and occasional overnight photography field trips. They also have workshops and training to help you learn new techniques and improve your photography. It's a great way to get to know other people that love photography and want to have fun too!

Finally, go out with your camera and take some pictures! There are lots of great Toronto photography photo opportunities, such as Union Station, Lake Ontario, the many gardens, and the older historic parts of Toronto. Niagara Falls is only an hour and a half drive from Toronto and is perhaps one of the most photographed locations in the world. If you shoot a photograph that you think is particularly good, submit it to one of the Toronto photography galleries that accepts submissions from emerging local artists. Bau-Xi Photo, a relatively new photo gallery, is encouraging new photographers to submit their work. 44 Wide specializes in helping new artists print and exhibit their photography, and even offers discounts to artists who use their printing services.

So don't be shy: Get out there and get involved in the Toronto photography scene! There are lots of great opportunities to admire, learn, and even display your own work.

Living Face Photography provides professional, artistic Toronto photography. Living Face founder and Toronto Photographer Bard Azima has photographed all kinds of events, situations, and people during the last 18 years. Since founding Living Face Photography in 2001, Bard has photographed everything from casual to corporate and is a sought-after Toronto wedding photographer, as well. To schedule a personal appointment with Bard, call 416-732-1904 or visit http://www.livingface.com/

Photography From Cameras To Smart Phones

Photography has come a long way over the past few decades. When I was a kid I remember we had to put in film roles into the camera every time we plan to go out on a picnic. And with each new film role we could only take 34 to 50 pictures. Then the roles were sent to the studio in order to get the film strips developed into photographs. The entire process took a couple of days before the pictures get ready for you to check them out. And if you weren't unable to finish the film role at one event, you had to wait for another event to take pictures so that you could finish the roll and have it developed. Even with so much trouble, those times we fun.

As we grew up, dad got us the first digital camera. That thing was new and very advanced for that time. You could click hundreds of pictures and directly download them on your computer. Anyone who owned a digital camera made it a point to show it off at every function and make the other kids jealous. I did pretty much the same, until one day when I saw a friend taking pictures with his mobile phone. I was hardly 15 at that time, and this mobile camera was quite fascinating for me. But it was not so advanced at that point. I waited for about two years and bought the latest mobile that had a built-in camera in it and entered the mega pixel war game.

While we had all our energy focused on getting the mobile with the highest mega pixel camera, smartphones entered the arena. And those phone could do magic with pictures. People did not even have to copy the pictures to their laptops to upload them on any social networking site; it was all being done directly from these smart mobile phones.

While I was busy figuring out the features of my first smart mobile, the app market was bombarded with thousand of amazing apps that could help you do numerous super cool things with you mobile gadget. One category of those apps were focused on developing apps for the smartphone camera. Some applications allowed users to edit pictures or add contrast and color to them, same enhanced the camera features of the smart phones and some allowed the users to play cool tricks with those images.

I just checked out a similar photo app for iPhone users with the name of Pic Talk. The best part about this app is that you can record you voice with the picture after clicking it. So you don't done have to write a caption for the picture, you just have to say it. It's a fun app allowing users to save their memories in a whole new way. I think every iPhone user must have this app on their mobile devices!

Fantastic Tips for Baby Photos

1. Baby Wraps

When working with a baby wrap I recommend to always bundle the baby as tight as possible to simulate the security and warmth of the womb. Having a happy (and still) newborn baby during your photo shoot is essential to getting great shots. Wrapping the baby tightly is, in essence, the same as swaddling; which has been proven by specialists to calm infants because it recreates the warm and comforting feeling of the womb. A baby that feels secure and safe is a happy baby!

2. White Noise

Babies, particularly newborns, are accustomed to the sounds of the womb so white noise can have a powerful calming effect on them. Most professional baby photographers keep a white noise machine handy in their stash and will even use it during the entire photo shoot. If you don't have a white noise machine or are unwilling to buy one, there are free and paid iPhone apps that simulate these machines machines (just search iTunes for "White Noise"). If you have your laptop with you on site and there is an internet connection available, you can find a number of different websites available that simulate white noise machines (just search "White Noise Player"). For babies or toddlers that are a few months older, sometimes a white noise machine doesn't do the trick but the little one may have a favorite song that he/she likes to hear and this can have the same soothing effect (although it might drive you crazy!). When you arrive for the photo shoot just ask whoever is there if their baby has a favorite song or musical toy that they like to listen to when they nap.

3. Bring Wipes!

Protecting the value of your hand-chosen photo prop stash is super important. It is inevitable that in working with little ones on a regular basis most of your props are going to face an unfortunate, occasional accident. Keeping a pack of wipes with you on the set of your photo shoot so you can react right away to accidents will help the long term durability of your props. Most parents will keep wipes in the house that you might be able to use but you don't want to rely on this or come across as imposing so just bring your own. You'll be glad you did.

These are the top three tips that I keep coming back to in my experience. Even some of the best photographers can sometimes forget about these three tips.

For other great baby photo tips and a wealth of fresh ideas to inspire your own baby photo ideas, visit http://www.babyphotoideas.us.

Digital Photography For Beginners

Poor, lifeless, or simply lacklustre photos are often triggered through idleness. Regrettably, a lot of photography enthusiasts, amateurs and even professionals, will approach a photograph assignment having a pre-created preconception of attack - mostly from either their own set style (and attempting to be cautious) or not wanting to go against the grain of acceptance. Rarely will the digital photographer take one step back, lower their camera for a few seconds, and size-up the job in hand before proceeding. Instead, a lot of us will execute the photo in the position we initially perceived the topic, never thinking to review the possibilities and the environment first.

Consider this. A well-known and respected world class digital photographer once stated "Look at it like this - the subject you wish to photograph is the nucleus of an atom. You, the photographer, are the electron spinning around the subject until you find just the right angle and distance. Not until then will you have successfully evaluated every aspect of that subject and its possibilities." Furthermore, he added, "Just the slightest move to the right or left, up or down has the potential to make or break the photo. Don't be in such a hurry to finish and leave."

This is why I say to you "Dare To Be Different". Some time ago I attended an Advanced Photography Workshop which was held over a beautiful summer's weekend. A large number of photography enthusiasts accompanied me. On Day One we spent the whole morning in a popular wedding venue with the models for a photo session where everybody was directed and challenged to consider photographs they'd not usually do. After the session, everybody was told to review and select their 10 favourite images ready for appraisal during the session the next morning.

What I believe everybody found so interesting was that although we had all worked with the very same models, with the potential for carrying out exactly the same poses, actually everybody had chosen to see things from different angles, and therefore generate highly creative poses. This was purely down to the fact that they had been instructed before the shoot to challenge their normal limitations, and "think outside the box". Instead of just charging in, which is easy and habitual to do, the photographers were taking that proverbial 'one step back' before taking each shot. Subsequently, each attendee genuinely presented a totally different group of images to one another and, most importantly, really set themselves apart.

So next time you are out with your camera, remember this most simple, but effective, digital photography trick. Take a step back and think carefully about the various ways that you might take the photograph. You may be pleasantly surprised just what the finished result is.

If you have enjoyed this digital photography for beginners tutorial, check out http://www.photographycourseonline.info for details of how you can learn great new skills within just 14 days.

Jewelry Photography Basics

Jewelry photography is a specialty style of photography. Most people will use a lightbox, or tent which is simply a cube that is build up of translucent material shaped in a cube. The translucent material is used to diffuse hard light to avoid harsh shadows. But usually what you end up with is super low contrast flat lighting. This style is most popular with catalog style photography. But if you are looking to create a stunning photo of a piece of jewelry you are going to have use a different method to create a "beauty" shot as they call it in the industry.

Chose a background color, or texture to enhance the photo. For the color you can use a contrasting color from the stones. Avoid similar colors and tones as the stone or color of the gems. For texture, a granite tile works pretty good. Or some stones, bamboo, and even some props can help enhance the photo to create a scene and something more visually appealing than your boring white background.

Instead of using all softbox light, throw in some hard light to hit stones and make them really pop. A photographic bling if you will. Mirrors or silver reflectors can be used as your hard light source as well.

The second most important part of jewelry photography is depth of field. You want to get the most focus out of the shot as possible. Usually using a small aperture will do the trick. Remember not to zoom too far in as that will also kill your depth of field. More than likely you want a lens that has macro capabilities. This way you can get as close as possible to the object with your camera, keeping you from having to zoom in and lose your deep of field (dof).

White balance is another big concern when it comes to jewelry photography, especially with gold. If you don't have your white balance set correctly your gold will more than likely come out a brownish color and tone. If you come across this issue you know that you have too much blue or green in your color, and should adjust accordingly. Usually setting up a white card in the beginning of the shoot is a good idea. And you can reference that for you source of white point. Exposure is also important to keep your gold jewelry from turning brown. Check your histogram to make sure you are at proper exposure.

Craig Smith is a Dallas Jewelry Photographer. Specializing in advertisement style photography, and shoots product photography in Dallas for catalogs, retail, online stores and more.

Mother's Day Portrait Tips And Ideas - How To Be Creative

I wanted to share some portrait ideas and tips for Mother's Day. Believe it or not, Mother's day is right around the corner and choosing the perfect gift can be extremely difficult. I always tell photographers to plan ahead and to plan this at least a few weeks before the occasion. If you can plan a couple of months ahead...that's even better. I know where talking about Mother's Day here, but this applies to any Holiday or special occasion.

Let's be clear about something here

Your job as a photographer and a marketer, is to help your clients find that special gift by offering them a unique portrait session and with Mother's day near as I wrote this...we'll use this as our example. Always remind them that this is guaranteed to be the most favorite gift she'll receive and it will last longer than a bouquet of flowers!

They can choose from a generation portrait, a family portrait, a Mommy and me session or simply just photograph the children by themselves. A beautiful portrait that captures a moment in time is a gift from the heart and will be treasured forever. But...you already know that.

Here's a couple of unique portrait ideas for inspiration!

Take a photograph of the Mother and child's shoes or capture a close-up of them holding hands. Find a meaningful quote and personalize the portrait using Photoshop or create a unique personalized collage.

Photograph a little girl playing dress-up in her mother's or her grandmother's clothing or wedding gown. The client can help you create this family heirloom portrait by bringing along their mother or grandmother's wedding gown. If they don't have a gown, they can bring a favorite dress or outfit and shoes. You can also ask them to bring any vintage hats, old family photographs or other special mementos to personalize their portrait.

Children will have a ball playing dress-up! Using their mother's or grandmother's clothing, photos and mementos makes it extra special. I recommend using a vintage trunk that the child can sit on or they may even want to climb inside. A few years back I created a portrait of our daughter wearing her great-grandmother's nightgown and was admiring her old black and white wedding photos. As you can imagine, her great- grandmother was absolutely thrilled when she received this on Mother's Day. This unique gift idea is sure to be a hit and will be cherished for generations to come.

So...I hope this gets you thinking of the possibilities that can be created by using some simple props and classic portraiture. Don't over complicate things when creating these special portraits. Just keep in mind that the Mother/Grandmothers will be thrilled to have a keepsake from their child or children.

Scott Voelker is the creator of NewPortraitBiz. He has taught 1,000's of students how to start a photography business. To receive his Free video lessons and Blog posts visit New Portrait Biz Blog.

You should also check out this Digital Portrait Idea he posted that shows you a simple technique you can use for inspiration.

Easy Tips For Taking Better Pictures Everyday

Photography is a difficult art, it takes and master to achieve awesome results, but it's not difficult to take great photos and improve our technique. On-line you can find a lot of guhdes that will teach you how to use the camera, capture the light, compose the picture and so on. All those advices are very helpful, but I wanted to help by adding my ten tips that have helped me become a better photographer every day:

    Don't buy a new camera: Yes, everybody says you need a fancy camera, but trust me, you don't. The reason is tip number 2, you need to use your camera as much as possible, so what happens if you lose your fancy new camera? And what if you forget somewhere that old one?

    Take pictures: Yes, it might sound stupid, but it's not. You must take pictures everyday, and not just one. Use your commuting route as a way to focus on your environment and take pictures of it. As many as you can.

    Select your best pictures: Spend 20 minutes every day to download your pictures, look at them and choose the best three.

    Analyse your best pictures: What makes those three nice? What did you do to make them so good? Analyse your "success" so you can apply it the next day.

    Share your pictures: Take part of an on-line community and share your pictures there. Ask for critics, advice and comments. The users are your jury and you will learn much from them.

    Use the composition: Play with the pictures composition to distort the view and show what you found interesting in the spot you are picturing.

    Use the light: The light is a wonderful way to hide and show objects. Play with it so you can make the interesting points stand out and hide what is meaningless for the photo.

    Use a tripod: Tripods are good to hold the camera and give you time to work with your composition and lights. If no tripod is available find a spot were you can stand the camera still.

    Wake up early and go to bed late: Sunshine and sunset are the best times to take photos, the sun is not up and shadows are amazing. Take advantage of it so you can play more with the picture and make details stand out.

    Work, work, work: Keep focus and remember to take pictures everyday. Your technique will improve with time and you will find more and more difficult to choose your best pictures.

I really hope this tips are useful for you and that you grow, day by day, to become a better photographer. Thanks for reading!

I'm John Scott-Adams, I love pictures, mines and from others. So I choose daily a city picture to share with the readers of my blog thecitypictures.net.

Professional Photography Backdrops

Titanium and Platinum backdrops add quality and flexibility to your photographs. The light- weight materials make it easy to photograph people in any location desired. With the ability of being portable and having the quality of professional looking images, titanium and platinum backdrops gives you that essential attractive look that is a hundred percent complete. Being able to transform one room to look completely different with these backdrops gives you the freedom to make any look and feel you are going for a success.

These titanium backdrops are made of fleece materials with a non-fading quality so you never have to worry about the light absorbing your image or design chosen, the platinum backdrops are made of muslin materials with the same non-fading quality and both choices are washer and dryer safe. That makes it perfect for situations that may happen if for any reason your backdrop gets dirty you have the option of cleaning it in your own home, not only is that a time saver that you can do in off hours but it is also a good money saver for the simple fact that you do not have to take your backdrops to a professional cleaner. It also prevents having to throw your backdrops out because they are no longer able to be used.

Titanium and Platinum material made professional photography backdrops is the idea backdrop for anyone who would like to order a wide variety of colors, designs and images, they are easy to fold up and store where ever you would like. Placing them in a bin that had a lid to keep them out of moths and bugs way (considering they are made of material), a bin can be easily stored in your storage or coat closet or garage wherever you choose to keep them is all up to you.

Shopping around you will find that material based backdrops are a little pricy but if you stop to think about the quality of non-fading machine wash and dryer safe easy to store backdrops right at your fingertips that not only give you the ease with ownership but fantastic professional looking photographs is well worth the purchase.

Let's say you decide to go have your picture taken by a photographer that owns a studio down town, what would you rather sit on if you had to pose on the ground, a backdrop made of thick canvas paper covered with a sheen or a soft piece of material that still has the same sheen to it but not the same uncomfortable texture. Material based backdrops can give you that comfort and still keep the same professional looking sheen and style that you are going for.

All I can tell you to do is shop around before deciding what type of backdrop you would want to sit on or have your picture taken in front of and then examine if you feel your customers would want the same. Sometimes it's good to try something new, this might just be that good thing you have been searching for.