The Basics of Photography If you are a sports fan, you know what it means when a team goes into a "rebuilding year". It is just when the owners or coaches decide its time to train new members and correct bad habits in others. And invariably, what team leadership says when they go into such a time is that they are going "back to basics." Sometimes it's good for us as photographers to go back to basics. And, of course, if you are just getting started in the world of photography and want to learn "the ropes", the basics are a natural start. But you want the basics of what the professionals know about the craft of photography. Anybody can take a picture. I attended a wedding reception where the wedding party left a disposable digital camera on each table at the reception for guests to snap photos. Before the evening was over, it was the children who were running around taking pictures of everything from the dirty dishes to their own underwear. These were not photographers and while those pictures will no doubt get a few chuckles, these are not the kind of professional pictures people want for their long-term memories. Obviously, the cornerstone of the basics of photography is the camera. When you see a camera geek walking around with enough equipment on his neck to launch a space shuttle, you get the impression that cameras are phenomenally complex, more than mere mortals can grasp. But look at the professionals and you see them working with portable, relatively easy to operate cameras. That is because the basics of running a camera come down to aperture and shutter speed. Now don't get nervous about fancy terms. Aperture is just a term for how wide your camera lens is open to let in light. And shutter speed is just how long you let the light come in to affect the picture. For getting a shot of a fast moving event, you want a wide aperture to let in a lot of light but a short shutter speed so you capture the event quickly and close the window so the picture is caught before more light hurts the quality. Photography is really all about light. You can and will get learn a lot about lenses and flash photography and other ways to turn the control over the lighting of a shot to you. So add to your core skills of photography a willingness to never stop learning. The better and more sophisticated you get in your ability to work with the equipment, the more you will learn and the more you will want to learn. You can get a greater control over these basic controls of the camera such as aperture and shutter speed by learning how to switch from automatic settings to manual settings. The automatic settings of any camera are just there for the general public who are not interested in learning the basics. So they give you some basic settings like landscape, portrait and sports settings. By switching to manual, you can learn what settings work best in different situations. And that takes us to the most important basic about becoming a great photographer and that is practice. Take some time with your equipment and play with it. Take it to situations and take photos with different aperture and shutter speed settings, in outdoor and indoor settings and different orientations to light. Don't get upset when some shots don't work. That's part of the learning curve. By learning by doing, you will build your confidence in your work and eventually become a great photographer. But don't get cocky, there is always more to learn. And that is one of the fun things about photography, isn't it? The Use Of Lenses In Photography Just having a camera is not going to get you the best pictures. Most of us who take photos are amateurs in the art world, but with the right equipment our photography can be elevated to a new height. Lenses are important especially when you settle on a medium you will train in. Most photographers choose one area of photography to specialize in. There are many types of lenses, the standard 35- 80mm, telephoto, and panoramic lenses. Most cameras have a 35- 80 mm lens, even the point and shoot type. Often when you purchase a camera casing they will sell you the standard lens with it. All lenses are interchangeable. You do have to stick with the same brand of lenses as your camera and make sure the diameter is the same. The diameter of most lenses is the same as long as you keep to the same brand. The 35- 80 mm lens tells you the extent of reach. While you can take photographs several miles away with a standard lens you will not have the distinction of features in the print that you need. The standard lens is great for close up shots, such as flowers, spider webs, people, and pets. To gain more defined picture miles away you need a larger lens. There are many telephoto lenses in photography. One is the 75- 300 mm lens. While this is not as massive as other telephoto lenses you may see a professional walking around with it is a great step up for mountain and wildlife photography when your quarry is some distance away. When you begin to move from the 35mm into something larger it is best to have a stabilizer with the lens. A stabilizer will help you hold the camera steady for clear shots even if your hand moves a little bit. When you move into the world of the telephoto lens you can by accessories to help with angles and light. Photography in the world of panorama is another way to take spectacular landscape photos. The panoramic lens allows you to widen the photograph, especially with a digital camera. If there is a mountain range or glacier that you wish to get the whole picture without pasting them together in Photoshop the panoramic lens is the best way to go. I'm sure you have seen landscapes with a panoramic view and wished you could have that option. Even with film cameras you could have a panoramic lens to widen the photograph. All three lenses are just the icebergs on the use of lenses in photography. Whether you are an amateur photographer or a budding professional you will want to maximize your photo taking skills. The next equipment you may want to purchase to help you with the larger lenses would be a tripod to stabilize the camera even more. Tripods are pretty simple and lightweight pieces of equipment and work great for portrait photography. All mediums in photography require moderate to top of the line camera equipment to produce a photograph with quality. Photography also relies on the photographer's skill and eye. Lenses are just a small part of the photography world when you start to study the art. If you have any questions on lenses the best places to find answers are your local photography shop. The Use Of Filters In Photography Filters have two different meanings depending on how long you have had photography as a hobby. Most of us today think as filters as an option with Photoshop. This is not the case. Before the invention of computers and things like Photoshop we had small glass discs to create the filtered affect. There are many options with filters you can blur a picture, sharpen the picture, and even block out the UV rays. Filters are often used to correct a problem or make a picture look a little different. Lets talk about filters that blur a photograph. When you are taking a picture of a waterfall at the bottom where the water rises in a cloud you can add a filter to create the cloud in the picture. Cameras don't always see what the eye sees. In some cases it can have a high resolution to depict the actual water drops rather than the cloud, so adding a filter to your lens can help create the effect your eye sees. Other filters such as the UV protector guard against the harsh rays. Along with the UV filter you should have a polarizer. The polarizer is used in photography when you are taking a shot into direct sunlight or other light. It will help balance out the photograph so that you don't get the washed out look. Other filters can give you the washed out effect if you feel your photography would speak more. The filters in Photoshop are not as wide as the filters you can actually buy for your camera, but they can have some of the same effects that you are after. Have you ever wanted to create a star effect when taking pictures of light filtering through the trees? You can create a star effect with any photograph by using a star effect filter. This filter allows light to pass through a series of thin lines etched into the filter letting the light streak outward in a star shape. Some filters actually help you create a depth of field or focal point. The fog/ mist filter is one of these. The fog/ mist filter allows for a glow or flare of light in the photograph. Photography is filled with much skill and equipment. Having filters to help create the perfect professional photograph will enhance your fun with your hobby. Lets look at a few more filters. There are color correcting lenses. If the sky is too blue for the photograph you can choose a filter that will tamp down the blue to a less bright state. If you are into underwater photography you might have filters that allow for the underwater colors. The color spectrum does not have a great range under water. A lot of things will look red even though they are not. It is easy to bring about the original color of underwater life when you use special filters for color correction. The use of filters in photography not only allows you to have special effects in a photograph to create something new and different, but it can help enhance the shot by adding color or dampening the natural effects of light. Photography has many types of equipment that require skill and knowledge making it a wonderful hobby or profession. If you need a hobby, photography allows you to be creative. Lighting Tips For Photography Photography requires a few skills to make your prints look professional. One part of making a print professional is lighting. Lighting in photography takes a little planning and understanding of a few techniques. You best subject or object might not turn out that way if the proper light does not help to laminate the area. Below are a few tips on using light for photography. First you must decide if you will use artificial or sunlight. If you are using sunlight you will rely on the Kelvin scale to determine the temperature of light and therefore the color of light. The color of light is important to maintaining the colors you see around you. For instance the warmer the light the redder the light will be, thus you may need to pick the time you will go out and shoot photographs. Outdoor lighting offers so many different times to take pictures depending on your need. Next a photographer needs to understand the sun's color scale. Pictures tend to lead the viewer towards certain feelings; often softer colors evoke more emotion. So understanding the suns impact on the colors will help you find the correct time of day. The sun evokes blue hues in the morning hours, while closer to noon you will find more neutral colors. The neutral colors can take away some of the definition you want in your print. Knowing how you want to shot the picture will also help you determine when you wish to take the shot. When using natural light you will need to work with the angle and direction of the sunlight. If the sunlight is broad and diffused you will have softer shadows while the more narrow the light is focused the more shadow you can create. Often at noon when the sun is in mid arc you lose definition of the subject. The subject could look grainy. This is why shadow is used; the shadows can give you more quality to the print if used correctly. This adds to the beauty of your pictures. You can also modify sunlight through certain techniques. Modifying sunlight when taking portraits outdoors requires the use of a background. You may wish for a breath taking landscape that will provide more composition to the photo. You may need to block the sun if it interferes with you or your subject's sight. You might also bring in a white surface to fill the shadows. Landscape photography requires less work than usually natural light for portraits. In fact using natural sunlight for landscape photography without modifications can yield you a better photograph. Landscape photography uses nature to provide the light and shadows. This is why you need to understand the light scale and temperature. Time is the most important aspect of using sunlight. To understand natural lighting you need to understand the affects the sun will have at certain times of the day. For instance if you are in a thickly vegetative forest the sunlight will have difficulty streaming in unless it is over head. You will have natural shadows in the forest and remember you can move around your subject to find the best angle with the sun. Photography is an art that requires techniques and practice. Lighting is a major part of photography, especially when you are using natural light. Sunlight can bring plenty of shadows or take them away depending on the time of day. Knowing the best time to take a photograph depends on the sun's angle. Photography is an interesting hobby and profession when practiced properly will give you plenty of prints for your home and others. Whether you are a professional or a novice photographer, you want to produce some exquisite pictures with the proper lighting. With this in mind, choose your lighting according to your needs and the needs of your subject or object. Your pictures will be delightful with brightness when you use the best lighting situation. Lighting Tips For Photography Artificial Light. Photography is art. Individuals will spend hours in museums and galleries analyzing a person's photographs for the meaning. Like painting photographs have a message, sometimes it will evoke sadness, happiness, a carefree attitude, and thought. There are many techniques a budding photographer will learn to evoke the emotions they desire. One such technique is using artificial lighting. Artificial lighting is not always as fun and easy as sunlight, but you can use it to create some wonderful photographs once you know how. Indoor lighting is often fluorescent and tungsten bulbs. Tungsten bulbs are used by professional photographers, as "hot lights" because of the high temperature they produce. In photography it is important to understand the temperature scale in relation to the colors they will produce. A hot light will produce more red and reduce the blue. Firelight and candle light though not artificial can be used in doors to create shadows and depth. When using indoor lights, specifically artificial light you will need to understand exposure. When you have less light it will take longer to expose the film to capture a photograph. Part of exposure is the angle. Lets talk about taking pictures in a museum. For instance I was in a museum with minerals behind glass and a woman made the statement if she took the picture nothing would come from it. This is not true. First in a darker room where you have direct light on the object you will not want to use the flash. The flash will bounce the light back at the picture. The next step is to get as close to the glass as possible. The third consideration is the angle. Taking the picture head on of the object will bounce the light and shadows about. You will need to angle the camera to the side or up from the ground to attain the photograph. If you do not have glass in the way the angle will still be important, especially when taking portraits. Shooting any subject head on is likely to create shadows and take away from the print. The best angle for shooting portraits is often up into the face. When shooting faces or other objects you usually want a three dimensional contrast. You will need to search for the planes and contours of the subject, especially in portrait photography. The planes and contours will help you determine the angle you will shoot the subject from. The shadows will often provide the three dimensional contrast if you find the correct planes and angle to shoot from. This helps with pictures that you want to stand-alone. Artificial lighting needs to be moveable. Just turning on your home lights will not give you the desired affect. Instead it can wash out the subject, place the light at the wrong angle, or create too much shadow in one area. You need to have lights set up on tripods to change the angle to suit your needs. Rooms are small which is one reason over head lights can either be too powerful or not direct enough. Following lighting tips will increase your photography skills. Most amateur photographers find taking a class on lighting and having a few books on the subject will help them learn proper lighting techniques. The reason for classes is to provide feedback. You may be happy with the shot, but suggestions can help you make the shot perfect in the future. Artificial lighting has advantages over outdoor or natural lighting, but sometimes the picture turns out better with natural light. It might be a matter of preference or the desire of a client or subject for that matter. You never have artificial lighting outside for the most part; you usually rely on your camera flash to help with the picture quality. When you choose your lighting, look for the best lighting situation to enhance your subject and make your picture as natural as possible. Choosing A Subject In Photography How do you know what photos you will take? Are you going to a family reunion? Are you going out for a hike and hope to see some wildlife? There are many questions when it comes to photography. You will want to have a basis of photography techniques to provide the best photograph and once you learn those techniques the subject will be up to you. Most photographers whether they are professional or amateurs like you will have a medium they work with. It is the same with other artists; you have painters, sculptors, sketch artists, and much more. Photography is art and therefore requires an eye for the right photograph. How do you know what subject you will shoot? This is where your interests lie. If you wish only to take pictures of wildlife then you will have to wait for the subject to come into view. Obviously you can go to a wildlife park such as the Rocky Mountain National Park and hope to find subjects. Most often it will depend on the time of year. Elk and Deer are more prominent when they come down the mountains to mate and eat. Birds will always be available, but the type of birds will vary. If you are in Alaska chances are you will have several chances of shooting a Bald Eagle, while in Florida you may find heron or cranes. When you are practicing techniques you will have to choose your subject accordingly. A lot of us are regulated to the area around us. Landscape photography requires the use of the land you have around you, unless you are going on vacation to some place new. This is another important fact to choosing a subject. You are either limited or you have the whole world at your feet. It will depend on your traveling abilities. For now we will stick close to home. Once you choose your medium you will then go in search of subjects. The subject that speaks to you is what you should choose to shoot. If a tree and the knots it's formed interest you, you will want to check the lighting of the area. Deciding which angle to shoot from will also make the decision on the subject. The lighting may not be right for the subject you have chosen and the other side of the subject may not yield the best picture. To choose a subject you will need a good eye for detail and observation. Often the best subject is not the one you can see with a plain eye. Have you ever looked at a tree and found a spider web hiding in the leaves? If you look closer you might even find a spider. A spider web can make a great picture not only because of the technique required to have the web show up in your photo with the silky threads, but also the pattern of a spider web. We are fascinated with an organism that can create a symmetrical pattern. Again your eye is the best tool for finding a subject. How you choose the subject will depend on what is available, the angle and the light. Moving slowly through an area such as landscape will help you determine the subject. Looking under leaves or rocks is often beneficial to finding something new and different. You never know where you will find a picture just waiting for you to click a picture. Some people and animals do things that will never again happen and this is when you want to have camera available. Most people interested in photography carry a camera with them everywhere they go. If this sounds like a habit, a real habit turns into a hobby and a possible income if you become good at taking the right pictures. As you get better at taking the pictures, you can then start displaying your pictures for others to see and possibly buy. Candid Photography, Taking Pictures Of Your Friend Without Their Attention Candid photography is by definition taking pictures of people when they are unaware. Part of the fun in photography is catching your human subject's off guard so that your pictures have more emotion. Photographers who work for magazines, like Time Life, have been able to get candid shots of their subjects. I think most of us can remember the black and white photographs of Africans and others giving rise to more emotion from the viewer. Taking candid shots may appear easy although there are few techniques in the photography world that will make the candid shot worth more than just a snap shot of friends. First and of course most important is to keep the subject in view while they are not paying attention. The next step is training your eye to catch the moment. You have to be able to move fast, but with design. You need to have your camera set for the picture before you are even aware you will take the photograph. The best way to do this if you have a digital or automatic camera is to keep it on the proper setting. Manual cameras take moments to focus and can loose the candid shot if your subject becomes aware of you. Candid photography relies on the light; however, you may not always get to choose the angle. The angle could be where you are standing at the time. As a photographer of candid photography, you know the importance of choosing the best angle at the right moment that is possible. The entire point of candid photography is to gain the unguarded moments of a person's emotions, whether it is tears, happiness, love, or other emotions. While it is true, you need to have light, angle, and a good camera to catch the shot it is more important to observe. Most photographers are trained observers. Their eyes will wander over the crowds, landscape, or other setting searching for the perfect shot. They will always have a camera ready. It can be extremely hard when you are taking photographs of your friends because they tend to be more involved in the conversations or activity. The key to taking candid photographs of your friends is to draw them away from the fact that you carry a camera. If they forget you carry the tool, they are more likely going to act natural. Some friends tend to pose in front of the camera while others will shy away turning their backs when you get ready to take a photograph. Knowing your friends will help you find the best way to take candid shots without their knowledge. Observing, having the camera ready, and understanding the basics of photography will yield you better results when you try for a candid shot. Posing or turning away from the camera will take away from the shot you hoped to attain so hanging to the side or a little ahead can get you the shot you may need. Profiles make great candid shots because the person will not realize you are taking a photograph until you have already clicked the button. Candid photography can be one of the most rewarding arts of photography, but also vexing when the subject is aware of the camera. Always remember the camera when going out with friends. Taking Great Shots Of Your Baby Your baby is very cute, and nothing makes a parent prouder than sharing pictures of their new child. Everybody loves looking at pictures of babies, too. If you have a little one in the house, get your camera ready and start sharing those cute baby pictures today. The more pictures you have the more fun you will have showing your precious pictures. Here are some great ideas to help you take better shots of your baby. Stay Ready: You can never know when your baby will do something entertaining or do something for the first time. For that reason, you always need to have your camera nearby and ready to go. That means making sure you have plenty of film if you use a film camera and making sure your have enough room on your memory stick or card if you use digital. You will also want to make sure that you have enough battery life in your camera at all times. Many parents use more than one camera, too. You can even put a disposable camera in the car or diaper bag for times that are just too cute to pass up. Get Candid Shots: Some of the sweetest pictures of babies are candid shots. You can take memorable pictures of your baby taking a bottle, sleeping and smiling. Candid shots look much more relaxed and natural than posed shots and you will only feel frustrated trying to be posed shots anyway. Babies are notorious for not cooperating for posed pictures. Do not waste your time and take candid shots instead. Do not forget all to take pictures of every part of your baby, such as those fat little fingers or those tiny toes. Those are always sweet reminders of this young age. If you have a good zoom lens, you can often take great candid shots of your baby from a distance. These are great because your baby will never even know you are there. Take Pictures in Black and White: You cannot get very many adorable pictures of your baby taken in black and white or in sepia tones. You can guarantee that grandma and grandpa will be gushing over those, too. Most digital cameras come with black and white and sepia settings, so take advantage. In addition, when you take black and white, you do not have to worry about what your baby is wearing, because everything looks good. The more natural the pictures the more fun you will have looking at them in the future. Kids caught doing what they do best is always a showstopper. They offer hours of enjoyment and catching all the excitement counts. Take Many Shots: You should take many shots of your baby doing the same thing. You may take twenty-five of your babies crawling of the first time, but may only get two or three that are worth using. The more pictures you take, the more you have to choose from the better. It is always best to take more than not enough. A professional as well as armatures know, that not all pictures turn out, especially if you use a high-speed camera. Just keep taking pictures to ensure you capture the moment. Do Something with Those Pictures: The last tip is to make sure you actually do something with your pictures after you take them. So many people leave undeveloped rolls of film sitting around for months or never print their digital pictures. Babies grow and change too fast. You should make it a point to print and share your pictures every week. In addition, if you use digital pictures, you should always make sure you back up your pictures onto a disk on a regular basis. You certainly do not want to lose these irreplaceable photos. This has happen too many successful photographers and does cause quite a commotion when you lose all your precious moments that you never again will see. Have You Seen The Latest Street Photography One of the most candid styles of photography is street photography. It consists of candid pictures taken of people in public situations. Street photography was done everywhere on the street and now has moved to the mall, at clubs, streets, parks, and practically anywhere. A street photographer never asks anyone to pose, and he or she does not want anyone to act as if he or she knows what might happen next. This takes away from the natural look needed when using the technique of street photography. Street photography stems from another type of photograph that called documentary photography. Documentary photography once said to be the most honest and true to life picture taking. There are professional and amateur brands of documentary photography, as well as street photography. Street photography reflects society in its untainted state. This accounts for many pictures we see on the internet and television that reflect what was happening at the time. Pictures of this genre use black and white film. Street photography often shows irony in situations. Many street photographers use wide view lens cameras to capture a wider area. The shots usually have the appearance of a screen or a window viewing the human state at a particular moment. The photographer becomes removed from the scene. This type of picture taking captures the most honest moments in life. Some photographers who specialize in street photography take their cameras to public events like conventions, meetings, and tragic sites. Others simply photograph life around them. A famous street photographer named Garry Winogrand was well known for capturing New York everyday for years. He was interested in shedding light on the contemporary social issues of his time. He became prominent after the 1960's. He shot about one hundred photographs a day for about thirty years, and left over three hundred thousand unedited exposures. One interesting thing about street photography is that sometimes a photographer might capture things on film that they were not even focusing on. Strange and funny things might be happening in the background or the foreground of a photograph that they do not even notice. When the film is developed, they often find things within the scope of their shots that are ironic, interesting, or funny. Many times, things are seemingly unrelated to the rest of the shot, but because of this factor, one can say that street photography is one way that we use to capture the moment. The genre of street photography started between the end of the 19th century and the mid to late 1970s. One of the assisting inventions of this type of picture taking was 35-millimeter film. Thirty-five millimeter film was introduced towards the late 19th century. Photographers from both Europe and North America spread the popularity of the genre and developed the art behind it. Including in the early development were photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson of France and Robert Frank of Switzerland. You do not have to be a professional to take on street photography. You do not necessarily have to use black and white film either. All you need is a way to take pictures. You can make your own documentary film series. The pictures you take can comment on society. Your photographs can record people doing mundane activities like eating or sleeping. It is important to remember, however, that you should not publish pictures of people without their consent. Becoming a street photographer can be a great hobby. You can donate your pictures to museums and websites, or you can start your own website. There are also photo archives that consist of collections of pictures that are available for public use. This is also a place that you may have your pictures displayed. Street photography is one way to capture the real moments of life. Thanks to technology, film editing is easier than ever. Once you try street photography, you find yourself caught up in the real world. The pictures reflect the everyday life and times. Getting Your Groove Back. Creative photography may be the most demanding of them all. That is because unlike commercial photography, your boss is your creative imagination and the artistic marketplace. And who knows from one week to the next what is considered artistic and what isn't. It isn't just poetic license that we are using when we talk about you following your creative muse when you use your photography as an expression of your art. You can look at a hundred settings and scenes and only you can know if any have the raw materials for a great artistic piece using your camera. It's a huge drain on your emotional system and your creative side but it is also one of the most satisfying things you can do. And if you can make a living at it, so much the better. But one of the problems any artist has is when that muse just won't talk to you for a while. Never mind if you have orders in or deadlines that mean that you have to be creative on a schedule. She just won't cooperate. So we need some tricks to get around these little dry spells and ways to can coax that muse back to work. One trick is to use the normal highs and lows of your creative side. You know that when it comes to inspiration, its either feast or famine. Sometimes the creativity explodes like a volcano and you have to pick and choose only the best stuff to work on right away. Well when that flow is exploding, take some time and get some of that inspiration recorded. An inspiration journal either on paper or on tape can be used to capture it as fast as it comes out of that side of your soul. Now this is where you are outsmarting that muse. When the well dries up, that inspiration journal can carry you through. You can start plucking the ideas out of there and developing them. Don't worry if you don't "feel" creative. You can ride the momentum of your creative high to keep your work moving forward. The other great thing about using your journal is often reading your inspiration from when things were popping in your imagination, that will prime the pump and get the fresh inspiration going again. Above all, don't panic when you feel your creative engines grind to a halt. Sometimes a day or so of rest will turn things around. Or go and see some artistic work done by others at the local museum. Seeing your fellow artists best work can do wonders to start the flow of ideas coming your way again. Creative funks are as much a part of the process of creativity as the flow of ideas are. So give yourself permission to go through dry spells and don't run yourself down about it. A trip into your archives to review your best work from the past is a great moral booster and it will help you remember that, yes, you are a creative person and, yes, you have done good work before and so, yes, you will do good work again. The final trick is to give yourself permission to create some crap. In other words, don't stifle the restarting of your creative mind by holding it to too high a standard of quality in every idea you get. You know from previous times of great creative flow that the good ideas come out with the bad. It doesn't help to try to edit them as they flow. So by telling yourself, I am going to go make some bad art, that liberates your creative side to just be free to express as it wills. It could be that such a trick may be all it takes to unstop the pipe and get the creativity going again. But it will flow again and you need to have the confidence that it will. And when it does the creative photography you start producing will be as good or better than anything you have done before. Digital Photography The New Way To Taking Photographs Photography is an art. It takes practice, skill, and an eye for the unexpected. Not all people will take the time to study a landscape, wildlife, building, or other subject to find the hidden depth within, but when they do often they will find great meaning in the photo they take. Photographers spend their lives looking for new and different ways to shoot a subject. Digital photography is just one new way of taking a picture. There are many advantages for working with digital photography. The darkroom is out the computer printer comes forward for most of us using digital photography. We are able to send our pictures to all our friends with a few clicks of the buttons. Digital photography makes taking a picture simple, by eliminating some of the guesswork. With the LCD screen on a digital camera you can now view the photo you just took without waiting and hour or longer to see the film develop. We are no longer limited by film capacity, but by memory cards. Most memory cards have 32MB or 1GB depending on how much you've spent on equipment. Digital photography can encompass the professional cameras with the interchanging lenses, manual setting or it can be a simple point and shoot camera. Whether you are looking for a professional grade picture or something your friends will laugh over digital photography has made taking photos easier. As I said before we can see the picture before we ever print, and also a lot of digital cameras will allow you to crop and save the photo before printing. Digital cameras can be all sizes from a key chain camera to the professional. We have all had a little fun with digital on our phones. If you are more interested in the professional side of photography the first digital camera you choose should have interchangeable lenses with a high resolution. It can be automatic if you feel more comfortable with light settings, however most have ISO settings, aperture, and shutter speed choices as well. Like with older photographer setting up your shot is half the fun. Determining the settings you need to use for light is the other. Setting up your shot still requires you to have an eye for the unusual or for making the unusual out of a common scene. Walk around the subject and look for every possible angle, you may even decide to take several photos to choose the best angle. This is where digital photography surpasses film cameras every time. Once you have looked at all angles and taken photos you get to see if the effect you wanted is there. It is a faster way for you to learn how to set the shutter speed and aperture on a shot and use lighting because you see the results while you still looking at the scene. Digital photography may not seem like it would still use all those skills you learned on your old camera, but this is definitely not true. Instead digital photography enhances your learning while you are still at the sight. Instead of long hours in a darkroom or waiting in line you can get the picture you want right then. It certainly gives more towards vacation photos when you can see if your thumb is over the lens or the camera strap was in the way or worse someone just walked in front of you. Digital photography like all things has evolved to help us experience a new way in photography. Digital Or Print Which Is Best In The World Of Photography In the past, you simply did not have to make a choice between any other photography methods than film. Everyone had a film camera and everyone either learned to develop their own film or took it to their local processor. Now, you do have a choice and many people who are used to film wonder, which is better. Today we have film cameras and digital cameras. Here are the pros and cons to using both digital and print photography. The Pros of Digital: Digital cameras are great for most people. Perhaps the best thing about a digital camera is that you have instant access to the pictures you have taken. When you use a digital camera, you can immediately see the picture that you just took and determine whether or not you need to re-shoot that particular subject. In addition, when you take digital pictures, you can easily download the prints to your computer. You can store your pictures, enhance them and print them on your printer. In addition, digital prints make for easy storage. You can shoot thousands of digital pictures and store them on a couple of disk. Compare that to the boxes of printed pictures that you probably have in your home. The Cons of Digital: There are many cons of using digital as well. For example, digital pictures are easily lost. If you are like most people, you probably download the pictures to your computer and never do anything else with them. If you do not back up your digital pictures to disk, all it takes is for your computer to crash one time and you have potentially lost hundreds of valuable pictures. Many people feel that digital pictures do not have the same look and feel as film prints. For this reason, most professional photographers still prefer to use film, instead of digital. Digital pictures can also become pricey if you print them out at home. A good quality printer paper, plus colored printer cartridges for your printer can add up quickly. . The Pros of Film: As mentioned earlier, many professional photographers still prefer to use film to digital. If you take pictures for hobby, you can adjust your film camera to get the exact look that you want. This is not always the case with digital pictures. Some people prefer to use a film camera, so it forces them to have their pictures developed right away. Rather than leaving your memories on a disk, you have to have your print pictures printed. You will always have them in your hand to look at. The Cons of Film: It seems that film cameras are losing popularity. Film is not as convenient as digital. He must wait to have pictures developed before you can look at them down is also expensive and having pictures processed, adds extra expense. In addition, when you use film, you must have everything on your roll of film printed out. You do not have the ability to scroll through and delete bad pictures on the spot as you do when you use digital. When considering film over digital, one is really no better than the other. The choice has more to do with your personal preferences than anything else does. If you are considering buying a new camera, look at both film and digital to determine which ones are right for your use. I have three digital cameras, a 35mm camera and a standard film camera. If I had to choose, I would choose the digital because of the option to view pictures right away. This way you know if you are capturing the image the way you intended too. I have been caught to many times with fuzzy pictures, missing heads and so on. Another thing is with a digital camera, if you need glasses, you will still be in focus, where as with a 35 mm focus camera, you might have a surprise, fuzzy pictures, and you may never find another opportunity like that again. Getting the Best Possible Audio from a Camcorder When you move from photography to videography as your means of capturing moments either personally or as part of your profession, you enter into a much bigger world with greater challenges as well. For one thing, you now have to deal with issues of movement. The problems of lighting and surface noise are just as big of an issue except now you have subjects that may be on the go and you have to go with them. But when using a camcorder to capture the event under scrutiny, whether it's a wedding, a speech or presentation or some other significant event, the issue of having the best quality sound presents unique challenges. So its best to do some concentrated planning on how you are going to accommodate the sound needs of the event to your equipment because if you have wonderful pictures but the words and sounds of the event are muddy or lost, then the quality of your final product is seriously damaged. Many an unsatisfactory video was taken with a camcorder because the operator depended too heavily on the small microphone that is built into the casing of the machine. The only situation where this microphone may be adequate would be if you were conducting a one on one interview in a small room where you could position the camcorder within three feet of the subject. Even then, surface noise from the surrounding building could become part of the audio outside of the awareness of the operator at the time. To assure that you have complete awareness of what is going onto your video recording of each event, the investment in a good set of closed back headphones to monitor the audio is an outstanding move. You can plug it into the camcorder and you are dynamically aware of what is going onto that tape at all times. If something gets into the audio that is not appropriate, you can use editing techniques or even re-shoot the segment if that is possible in the context of the event. For the majority of events, plan to use the auxiliary audio input plug to incorporate a mobile microphone unit rather than depend on the onboard microphone in the camcorder casing. This small plug alone opens up a large range of solutions to the problem of poor camcorder audio that is so often endemic of videos made with this technology. If you are working with an external microphone, be aware of the limitations of the wire if you are not working with a radio frequency microphone unit. In a situation such as a speaker doing a presentation, you can lay the cord down between the recorder and the speaker's stand assuming you have sufficient cord length to reach the where the microphone will mount on the stand. Be careful with the excess cord, perhaps securing it with duct tape so those listening to the presentation don't trip on the cord or pull it free which could cause injury and damage the equipment. In many situations such as one in which you plan to interview people in a roving fashion or to record a speaker who is on the move a great deal, a radio frequency microphone may be necessary. These can be more expensive but without the investment in this technology, your audio quality relying exclusively on the camcorder built in microphone will almost certainly be disappointing. Getting that Baby on Film In the many types of photography you may have to do as a photographer, baby shots may be the most difficult. Even if you are not a professional photographer but you are trying to get a great looking portrait of your own child, getting them to cooperate is a major undertaking. The first rule to live by with baby photography is that, as a matter of face, they ARE the boss of this shoot. The entire process has to be built around that fragile mood of this child. But there are a couple of tricks of the trade you can use, professional or amateur to get the best shot of that sweet baby. Baby's respond well when they are fed and rested, with people they know and trust and when they get all the attention. So right off the bat, you as mom and dad can see to it that the shoot happens when requirement number one has been met. Now, that is not always easy. If you have an appointment to take the baby to the get his or her portrait made at the local photography studio, that mood may not be the way you want it to be. That is why, if at all possible we would discourage taking the shots in a studio. If you can set up a shoot at the baby's home, where there is a comfortable setting and much that is familiar around, you have many more opportunities to get that smile that will make the portrait of a lifetime there. Now that calls for a "house call" by the photographer but if he or she is a photographer that wants only the best shot of the child, they will work with what you want. Another advantage of scheduling the shoot at home is that you know when the baby usually is at his or her best so you can schedule it when that time of day is just right. In fact if the photographer can show up during nap time, there is plenty of time to stage the shot before the angel awakens. And by eliminating the car ride to the studio, you take away a huge risk of that fragile mood going south en route. A second tip comes from the fact that babies like people they know. So if the photographer has time to meet the child, play with him or her and get a rapport started, then they will be more receptive to playful direction to get the shot you want. You will have to be clever how you introduce the camera as it can either be an object of fear or looked upon as a toy and the baby will want to play with it. As far as the camera goes, think about the kind of equipment you will utilize to get that perfect baby portrait. You want it to be portable, so you can do those on location shots that work so much better. It should be small, both for portability and to not alarm the child. Digital is best because you can shoot lots of shots and never have to reload. But make sure it's a good quality piece of equipment that will shoot at a high resolution so when you get that prefect shot, it will transfer to a portrait printing nicely. By setting up the room with the kind of backdrops that will create a good portrait, you can then have the baby begin to play with her or her toys and interact with parents, siblings or the photographer in a happy way. Before long that sound of the camera clicking and even the flash will become familiar and the baby won't pay it any mind. The best shots are of the baby laughing. Try to get on the same level with the child as he or she plays. Mom and dad know the notices or games that always get a giggle so exploit their inside information extensively. The baby will enjoy getting to know you and hearing those familiar games coming from you should do well at getting that sweet laugh or smile you want. By learning the baby's personality and how to get in sync with the child, you can coax pictures from the shoot that might other wise be impossible to get. And that is what you want if a portrait of a baby that you want to last a lifetime. Forensic Photography Used In Today's Society As the crowd pushes closer around the crime scene and yellow tape gets strung around the place of murder, theft or other forms of violence, little white chalk people get drawn around a corpse and its contortions there from the sidelines with a bag and lighting equipment comes the often unsung hero of our Articles. He or she is an important part of every investigation, with their sharp eye for detail and the patience of Job in the hustle and bustle that never fails to happen as the newest crime gets tagged, bagged and labeled. I am talking about the Forensics Photographer. Aside from taking fingerprints, dusting the crime scene and bagging evidence carefully to bring to the forensics lab and later the Court room, Photos are an important part of every crime investigation and later as evidence in Court. Forensics Photography is a fantastic Tool to collect and catalog Data as well. Sometimes a sweep of the surroundings with the Camera logs in Images which would otherwise would have been overlooked or forgotten. The Person in the third row of the onlookers. That broken piece of glass in the shadow. Our busy Patrol Officer might have not noticed it, but our Camera Lens has picked it up. One of the most important things in Forensic Photography is the sharpness of the Image. It has to be sharp as a well honed blade. Any fuzziness, pixilation or shake and it is as useless to the Court and the Investigators as an Eagle with pinkeye. The entire case rests on Forensic Photography and any flaw however sight, could cost a case to be lost. Never, ever disturb the crime scene. The first round of photos has to be taken before anything has been touched, removed or altered. It is the freeze frame of the Crime Scene. The closest you will come to having been there during the crime. So make sure you plan the photo before you take it. Later if you must small adjustments, like the adding of a measuring tool to show distance is permissible, but not during the first go over. Make sure you get a complete set of shoots. Those should include a close-up, a mid range and a wide angle. The Angel is very important as well. If you use the wrong point of view you may easily undo the best shoot by misrepresenting the relationship of distance to the object etc. Remember, your photo has to show exactly what is set out before you. You need to record everything in writing. Mark out specific items, but never mark on the photo it-self. For that it is wise to use an overlay that you can remove as is needed. Transparency paper is used for that purpose. Make sure you lighting and exposure is set correctly. There are a lot of extremely good literature available that can teach you how to set your exposure for which light, background and scenario. This helps take the perfect pictures needed. Lastly but not least. Photos can be messed up easily if your equipment is not in tip top shape. Make sure that your lens is clean at all times of dust. No smutches etc. I know it seems to be a topic that should not even have to be mentioned, but often it is the small things we overlook. After all the entire point of forensic photography is to capture those small seemingly mute points that are often overlooked. A suggest you make your-self a check list and place even the most common sense items on your list. Batteries, Film, dust free equipment, tripod, removing the lens cap. You can think of it, write it down. You will be surprised sometimes how easily even the best professional forensic Photographer can make a simple mistake that could have been prevented by a check list. Remember the victim is counting on you too. The Photography Safari Taking your love of photography on the road is one of the really exciting assignments a photographer can get. Whether you are going out into nature to photograph a great sunrise, a phenomenal river or to capture some other wonder of nature or if you are going to an urban area to get photos that tell the story of a people, the safari nature of the trip is the same. Safari is a good name for such a trip because like that hunter going into the deep jungle to bag big game, you are going to the unknown to get that perfect photograph. Your preparations have to be expert. Your discipline on the road must be focused. But above all, your determination to get what you came for must be relentless as you hunt the prize you want to bag, not with a gun but with your camera. One mistake to avoid is over packing for your adventure. It's easy to do because you may have the urge to bring everything in your studio "just in case". First of all, if you have every piece of photography equipment you own with you, the likelihood that something will get broken or stolen is pretty good. So you have to know how to strip down your travel gear to just what you have to have to get the job done. But how do you know that if this experience is new to you? One way is to do a few "dry runs". Just as you went out and did practice photographs when you were learning your craft, take one or two test trips to the next town. Do these without the pressure of a deadline or a deliverable that you have to complete. An overnighter to take pictures at the zoo in the nearest big city will surface what is needed and what is not. Then repeat the exercise to take photographs out in the country where you may have to backpack your equipment in. You will find out pretty fast what "stuff" is worth the extra weight and what needs to stay home. Your photography safari is a business trip to you and you have a mission. But your mission is about more than just going somewhere to get a snapshot. Just as every picture has personality and soul, the more you become part of the environment where you are traveling, the better your "eye" will be to capture the perfect photo. Yes, you must stay focused on the purpose of the trip and stay on schedule. But don't forget to enjoy the trip. If you are going to take a picture of a natural wonder, like Mount Rushmore, for example, spending time visiting with others going to that sight or talking to locals may surface some locations and secrets about the site that other photographers would not get if they just came, snapped a photo and left. Use the "down time" to charm the other travelers and let them charm you. Not only will your picture be a hundred times better, you will have a lot more fun. Finally, as you reach your destination, your preparations need to pay off and you need to let them pay off. Here is where focus and the eye on the prize is crucial. It is so easy, especially when traveling, to become obsessed with the equipment, with the set up and with your settings. Do all of that before you leave, or in the hotel room the night before. On location, the session is about your subject, not your equipment. Your equipment is there to serve you. Don't worry about it. Trust yourself that you did a good job getting ready. You have quality equipment and you have prepared the lenses, checked the batteries and done all the right things. It all will work when it needs to work. Now you keep your eye on the prize. Your expert eyes are needed to judge the lighting, the angle and every aspect of the shot to determine if it tells the story that you know this photograph has to tell. Here is where the artist in you works beautifully with the photographer to produce a photo that you will genuinely be proud of. And if you obey your disciplines and get that shot, it will be a photography safari that comes home having "bagged the big one" to add to your trophy room for sure. The Underwater World Captured With Photography Underwater photography is growing every year, those who go diving wish to bring the diving world visible to those who do not dive. We have always been fascinated with the oceans and bays of the world as an unknown world. Bringing vacation pictures home to your friends or selling them as professionals has been a time honored tradition and now we can bring the underwater world home through the use of digital photography. There are many types of underwater cameras. You have the highly expensive professional cameras and the one time slightly effective versions. Knowing which camera will work for you is very important. Part of finding the right camera may lie with in the housing you wish to purchase. Underwater photography requires you to protect your camera from the harmful affects of water so you will have to purchase housing with seals to eliminate the water. The housing you find may fit the camera you have. In fact, most companies will sell the housing for the cameras you have. If you find you, need a better camera for the underwater world you will need to look at packages. These packages will include the housing. Let us look at the 35mm cameras. Most of these cameras are just point and shoot. If they were meant for underwater chances are they have at least a mild filter to correct for the lack of color underwater. These cameras will not filter out the particles you find floating along in the water on a poor visible day. Usually they are limited to less than 100 feet. I would not use this type for anything below 80 feet. You would not want to loose pictures because the housing failed under pressure. While this is not common, it is a concern for most photographers. The more professional cameras are larger with a huge lens to let light in as well as have filters to help bring clarity to any photograph. Typically, these cameras require you to have a deep-set hobby in underwater photography, as the expense is high. Digital cameras are the best way to take underwater photographs because you can make sure you have the desired affects before leaving the seen. Of course, most underwater life will not hang around for a second shot, but coral reefs and the animals that inhabit them may remain. Most underwater cameras will also have a flash. It is best to take an underwater photography course before delving to far in your hobby. Sometimes the flash will help you with the photographs, but other times it will wash the subject out and ruin the print. You can also use underwater cameras when you are snorkeling. Some flashes are built in to the camera while others are external. The external flashes can be a stick with a little light bulb on top. When storing your underwater camera and flash you usually want to store them without the batteries as the batteries can die quickly. This is mostly for the cameras that use double AA batteries. Underwater photography is a great world to take home with you especially if you are on a dive vacation. Underwater photography requires a few more skills than regular photography due to the lighting conditions, but once you understand them you will be bring home great pictures every time. Techniques For Underwater Photography Underwater photography brings the underwater world to the surface. Some wonder wheat swimming in the ocean is like, but the don't wish to learn how to dive. Underwater photographers have taken it upon themselves to bring the underwater world to those who don't wish to dive or never had the chance. While all photography is an art the underwater world needs special skills to bring the highest quality alive. Unlike wildlife photography the underwater world needs to be viewed up close. That is to say the marine life needs to be photographed closely. This is because of the water. The water refracts images often distorting them so the closer you are to your subject the less water you have between you an the subject. Underwater photography requires a great deal of patience. You subject may swim quickly by like the shark, whale or dolphin, or they may hide with in the coral popping out only when danger is not felt. Water holds particles, most usually living organisms called plankton because these particles often float by while you are trying to take a picture you can loose contrast and sharpness of the image. Marine life uses the premise of hiding more than speed or survival of the fittest. This means you will often find your subject camouflaged rather than out in the open. You have to seek your subject with determination, without startling the subject. The underwater world demands respect. You don't want to touch the living organisms and therefore you must learn to move with the current while trying to attain the perfect shot. A lot of marine life will die if you touch it, especially coral so having a hobby of underwater photography requires you to follow the rules, a code of ethics. Underwater flash or more typically called a strobe can help you gain the light you need to take a perfect photo. It is essential to have a flash with an underwater camera. It will help you bring other colors rather than red and orange into the picture. The strobe only needs to be medium sized, any larger and it can hinder your photo taking experience. Composition is also very important. You will follow the same rule you did in regular photography; however, you still need to have an upward angle on the subject. This goes back to the camouflage technique of most marine species. They tend to melt into their hideouts or in some cases; their bodies are designed to hide in the water when swimming like sharks. When you are trying to get a clear shot when the subject blends into the background can be difficult and creates a challenge. When dealing with underwater photography as a hobby you will need to hone your photography skills on land first. Once you take great pictures on land you can move into the harder version of the underwater world, where some rules you've used no longer apply and attaining the best picture takes patience as well as skill. Underwater photography brings the marine life to the surface alleviating some of the unknown. If you find you are just starting to have an interest in underwater photography you will want to seek a professional underwater photography class to teach you some of the important techniques as well as practice. Adobe Photoshop In the history of photography, there has never been a time that we can achieve such phenomenal results in editing as has happened in the digital age. And while there are a myriad of tools that the computer and internet have made available to us to enhance and change the images that come from a photo shoot, none can top the popularity and power of Adobe Photoshop. The program has become so synonymous with editing and creating effects that the term, "to Photoshop" has become a verb that means to enhance or alter an image. We can "Photoshop in" new outfits, accessories or even people to a shot where it was just not possible before. So if you want a picture of you shaking hands with the president, you don't have to go to Washington to get it, just "Photoshop" your image into the image of the president and it will look as real as if you had been there. Similarly, we can "Photoshop" out things from a picture we don't want to see there anymore. So if you have a physical flaw, that can be removed. You can even remove a distracting person from the background of the shot. The program is so sophisticated that these images are possible and you really cannot tell the alteration has been made. Photoshop has become such a de facto standard for photo processing that if you are setting up a photography studio or business, a copy of the software is as necessary as Microsoft word or PowerPoint. The good thing about this software is that it is readily accessible and a lot of people know how to use it. So if you feel insecure about learning yet another computer application, you can probably find a college student, someone at the high school or maybe the junior high that knows Photoshop in and out and can help you jump start your use of the software as well. But Photoshop has not always dominated this genre. The program was created in 1989 by two brothers, John Knoll and Thomas Knoll. While the brothers developed Photoshop for custom uses they had at the time, it wasn't long before the market potential of this software became evident. So, being smart entrepreneurs, John and Thomas founded a little company called Adobe and began operations in 1990. Adobe has been a shining example of how to achieve success in the age of the internet. Today few of us who use the internet are not aware of Adobe. You probably cannot find a personal computer that uses the internet that does not have a free copy of the Adobe reader on it to read PDF files. The PDF format is yet another example of how this little company has created and then taken over a particular market of online business. To really become skilled at using Photoshop, the first thing to do is probably find a copy to play with. Like most computer applications, you can probably find a copy on a friend's computer just to tinker with it and get a feel for the controls. Then if your friend is a wizard at Photoshop, let him or her show you some of the real "wiz-bang" things they can do with Photoshop using the same menus you were just tinkering with. This little Saturday afternoon experiment could turn you into a Photoshop addict forever. After that, you would do well to download a copy for yourself. You can get an evaluation version that will give you most of the features. But you really only need that if you are not sure if you are going to buy a copy. Since Photoshop dominates this market, you almost certainly will buy a copy so you might save some frustration and purchase a licensed copy right away. Now, you will probably find yourself playing with the software for long hours just having fun and that's great. But don't overlook the value of taking some organized classes in photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. These classes can show you the shortcuts and how to get the most out of the software. From there on out, your imagination is the only limit to how you will use this tool to make your photographs better for your customers. And you will be able to respond enthusiastically when someone says, "that's ok, you can just Photoshop that and fix it right up." A Career In Fashion Photography We see them everywhere, in Magazines, on the Run Way, in advertisements on TV. They are the slender women strutting their stuff or extra ordinary Beauties with their sultry looks flashing their pearly whites while wearing the newest Styles from the hottest Designers. We are talking about the fashion models of today, yesterday and tomorrow. They are everywhere we look, but who brings them to us? Their images are captures with care and precision, patience and that special look for style, color and lighting composition. I am talking about the fashion photographers. In the fashion circles famous names like Mario Testino (easily one of the hottest names out there) and Eva Mueller (photographer for Fashion Magazine Allure) are just as sought out if not more then those men and women sauntering their way into our conscious. High Paychecks and glamour's Lifestyle of hob nobbing it with the rich and famous might be the dream of many young shutterbug, however it is not easy to reach the golden Staircases of the well-known fashion houses and magazines. For every one talented photographer, hundreds are left panting at the sidewalk, only dreaming about the moment that their photo will be chosen. Here are a few tips for the novice and dreamer of dreams in getting started in fashion photography. Study your subject. You can never learn enough. Read and look at any fashion Magazine you can get your hand on. There are fantastic books on Fashion and fashion photography available. Amazon.com has a true treasure trove available. You need one or two good cameras, tripod and a lighting system. Always make sure that you have plenty of film and batteries available. SLR and digital cameras take different photos, so make sure you find the best for your field. When submitting your work, hopefully to give a chance you have to have a portfolio on hand, just in case the editor of the fashion magazine wants to see samples of your work. I assure you if they consider working with you that is going to be a fact. The sharp, bright images of a 4X5" transparency show of your work to its best effort. If you have already had a publication, no matter if, it was a small neighborhood magazine/paper or a contest a tear sheet (literally a sheet you tore out of the magazine) works well. If neither is at hand a good high quality 8 X 10 "is acceptable as well. You want to make sure that you have a minimum of 20 photos in your portfolio and preferably different styles. You want to show your expertise in full figure or just partial body parts. Remember, fashion includes jewelry and accessories. Sometimes a watch from a famous maker on the slender wrist of a beautiful woman is a good fashion shoot. If you are applying for the job, be prepared to leave your Portfolio behind for an extended period of time, sometimes as much as a couple of weeks. I would advice you to make copies and have several on hand. This comes in handy when showing your work to many different people for consideration for fashion work. In the time of modern technology, it is good to display your talent as a fashion photographer online as well. Set up a website; submit your photos to contests. Submit them to an online fashion gallery. This helps with getting your work seen and people can see what type of work you actually do and can do for them. Most editors are looking for your personality in the photos you take. Each fashion photographer captures the soul of the fashion and its model differently. There are a couple of very good "how to get started" websites on the net. You might wish to start out with http://www.fashion.net/howto/photography/ or http://www.stylecarrer.com/fashion_photographer.shtml. Most importantly, if this is your dream, don't give up. Keep trying and I hope to see your images on the cover of my next hot fashion magazine. Still Life Photography Techniques There are many mediums to choose from in photography. Often a person will begin with still life photography and work their way towards portraits, wildlife, or landscapes depending upon their interests. Still life photography teaches a person to use light and shadows to find the emotion of the object. Here I will discuss many different aspects of still life pictures. Still life expresses the photographers self while using in animate objects such as pottery, flowers, candles, leaves, and fruit. The first step in still life photography is the lighting. You will want the object to have light from a single direction, so that you can cast shadows as well as light on the object. This will give it a depth of field, and dimension. You will need to choose whether you want a soft or harsh light. The more harsh the light the more shadow you will have. Often in still life reflectors are used to tone the light down. The best type of lighting for still life photography is side- lighting because you will attain more contrast between the object. With still life photography, you have color control. You can choose the colors of the objects you use. When choosing the colors say with leaves and fruits you will want a contrast in colors, but retain a natural look. Harmony is the best word to use when attaining color control. The color will attract the viewer's eye, so if it is displeasing to you the chances are your viewers will find it just as displeasing. With still life, you can choose an abstract motif. You may choose to put two objects together that do not make sense, but create a moving picture. You might have an interesting cut on fruit, such as a melon to reveal the inside core. The angle of the cut and the meaning of the picture will require thought from the viewer. Some viewers see different from what another viewer might see. This happens in the art world daily. What one thinks represents art another finds unappealing. Never let these influence your dreams and stop you from becoming even better in your work as a photographer. You can also have control of variations. You can use the same subject repeatedly with different backgrounds, arrangements, and other objects. The key is to avoid clutter while creating contrast. The rule of thirds of composition is a great way to utilize still life objects. You can create a pattern based on the rule of thirds. Setting up the arrangements and trying several shots will lead you to finding the harmony between the objects. You may think still life photography lacks the depth of other mediums; however, it can be used as a stepping-stone to greater photography. Still life can include an arranged garden to please the eye or a natural look. You can use natural light to offset the shadows and find the contrast. Still life inside or outside creating the arrangements is just one way to find pictures you will wish to display or give to friends. Remember lighting, color, and variations on arrangements will provide you will tons of subjects. Applications for still life photography can include taking photographs for magazines. Often magazines have still life photos to show flower arrangements or decorating ideas for the home. With the many choices in photography, still life takes a special eye for arranging objects and understanding lighting techniques. With all of photography being art you need to pick the subjects that will speak most to you and make them speak to others. These types of pictures go well when deciding to sell your photos or display them for the public. All pictures whether you think it or not may be just what someone wants to display and may offer to buy it. This helps you start a real goldmine of a business if you feel confident with your work. Start Your Own Photography Business When you are a kid and thinking about the many ways you can make a living when you grow up, what is the advice your elders always gave you? It was, "Do what you love to do and you will always be happy." And that has to be true because if you can spend your work week doing what you love the most, it really won't be work as much as it will be play that people pay you to do. So if your passion is photography, it makes sense to start your own photography business. But how to go about it? You see so many small photography shops that seem to spring up from nowhere. What is the best way for you to go about starting your own business like this? The first thing to think about when starting a photography business is how to do it in a legitimate way. You want a business that will last a lifetime so you want to start it out right. So don't fall for the "get rich quick" internet schemes or books that claim they will spill the insider secrets of other successful photography business. There are no insider secrets to this business other than what you need to know to run any business. To succeed you have to: * Pay your dues * Get your education. * Learn from the pros. * Know your stuff. * Network * Value your customers. You can accomplish the first five of these objectives by going to school and working part or full time in somebody else's photography shop. You may despair at the idea of more school. But your photography business will be about more than just cameras, photo shoots and dark rooms. You have accounting principles to comprehend and execute, taxes to be paid, a facility to rent, employees to pay, insurance to worry about, contracts to sign and all of that other "stuff" that goes with running a business. So start early and get some basic business classes under your belt such as accounting and economics. It will benefit you dozens of ways as you march toward success. Many trades have an apprentice system where you tutor under a master of the craft. But it might be a good thing for you to take this matter into your own hands. Plan to work for a photography shop long enough to learn the ins and outs of running a small business and of running a photography business. This gives you the chance to build your knowledge and exposure to equipment, learn technique and how to work with your subjects. In fact, it might be a good idea to deliberately apprentice at a number of different types of photography studios before launching out on your own. So you can learn the ins and outs of wedding photography, baby photography, fashion photography and others from specialists all before you spend a dime of your own money to start your own enterprise. In this way, you build skills, you build knowledge, you build experience and you can watch and take notes of the great things others do and the mistakes to avoid. Your employers will be thrilled to share their real world knowledge with you if you are open to them that you want to learn from the masters how to do this with the goal of becoming their competition in the future. Above all, you can build a client base from the many customers you work with before you start your own business. Buy taking care of someone else's customers, they can become your customers when you hang out your shingle. And that is good business. Sneaking Up on the Wedding Every wedding has a professional photographer who has been doing this for years. What they are going to produce is pretty much a known entity before the wedding even gets started. You know he is going to hold the wedding party over after the ceremony and do a bunch of staged shots. You know he will "stage" the feeding of the cake between bride and groom, the throwing of the bouquet, the dance of father and bride, all that standard stuff. But you may have the assignment as an amateur photographer to also take pictures of the wedding. This is not unusual. If the bride's brother is good with a camera or the groom's uncle knows a thing or two about photography, why not let them take pictures too. So if that assignment has fallen to you, there may be a few tips for you to keep in mind as the big day approaches. * You are the back up guy. So let the professional do his stuff. Remember, just because your sister or best friend has utmost confidence in what you can do to make the wedding album more interesting and fun, those traditional shots are important to the family and to the bride and groom. They may be old fashioned and a bit boring but that paid photographer was hired to do a job. So don't get in the way of the professional and if you do interact with him, do so respectfully. You don't want that guy in a bad mood. So give his space. * Be ready. You can bet that paid photographer came here having checked out his equipment and he knows what he needs and he knows it all works. So you be just as "professional" as the next guy and do your prep work the night before. That way when you step up to get that shot you know will make the wedding album sizzle, your equipment works perfectly too. This also includes arriving ready to go with backup batteries, tape, light bulbs and anything else you will need for a full day of shooting. * Use what he does. That professional is going to stage the people to get those shots that are on his list of standard shots all wedding albums get. But during that time when the wedding party is trying to be good but giddy with nervous excitement, there will be dozens of little moments that will make great photographs. Maybe get that shot of sister fixing the flower girls dress. Or that silly tickle session between bride and groom as they play with each other to get through the tension of the day. Use what that photographer is giving to himself. As long as you don't get in the way, you can grab some great pictures that way. * Those action shots during the ceremony. You have come with a more mobile equipment set than the professional has because your goal is to get the informal shots. So you have what you need pretty much on your back. You can move around the hall and get those little photographs during the ceremony of things going on up on that stage that everybody else will miss. The wedding party will love you for capturing moments that would have been lost to time if you had not come ready to work on your feet and get those little throw away pictures that are worth gold in the wedding album. * The kids are "down there". Don't overlook the children during the wedding or the reception. They add a lot of fun and joy. But remember, they are down there closer to the ground than you are. To get their shots, you have to go down there with them. Remember, this event is not about you. You are the proverbial fly on the wall to get those shots that the pro doesn't have on his checklist. But at the same time, don't forget that you are important to this wedding to. So put down that camera every so often and have that glass of wine and do the funky chicken during the reception with everyone else. Let someone else get that picture. Posing by Not Posing Hard as it is to believe, portrait photography is considered to probably the hardest of the many specializations in the profession. That moment of positioning a subject in front of that plastic fake background to sit on an uncomfortable chair and make a smile they would never use in any other setting is legionary and not one that you look forward to. And you can tell the subjects, especially the men, are enjoying this about as much as they like going to the dentist. So how to take some of the teeth out of the process. For some portraits, you cannot get away from the formal "seating". But even then, there are ways to relax the subject so the smile you get was one they really wanted to give you. The optimum portrait is one that is not a portrait. If you can get the subject talking about their favorite subject, interacting with someone they like or love and using their sense of humor, that sparkle in their expression and gleam in their eye is absolute portrait gold to you the photographer. Now, you cannot lie to the subject. So if you explain that you are going to be over here working on this stubborn camera, then just gently guide the conversation, they will begin to get used to hearing the shutter to off and seeing the flash but they may be able to not tense up. Some of the finest couple portraits I have captured happened when I got the couple having a loving chat or mild argument with some teasing and that natural flirtation came out. When you can snap that moment in time, you will have a photograph they will treasure for a lifetime. Obviously, the key to any photograph is to capture the personality and the "soul" of your subject. I was photographing a boy scout in his uniform for a very important photograph to the family because the boy had achieved the Eagle rank, which is a high honor. But I knew this kid had lots of personality so I wanted the "formal" shot but I wanted this kid's heart in it too. So I told him I would be snapping a few shots to test my shutter and I got him talking about boy scouts and camping. As I got him to tell me about the funniest moments he experienced camping, that smile came out and boom, I had my shot. It hangs in my lobby now as one of my finest moments as a photographer. If you can get the couple to do the portrait at home, in a restaurant or at some familiar setting, you can get that kind of rapport going much easier. This requires that you, the photographer must be not only a skilled artisan with your camera but somewhat of a politician, a psychologist and a hypnotist all tied up in one. So polish up some good "charm" that you will use to ease those personality shots out of your subjects. And perfect that charm for different personalities. You may need to flirt the smile out of a young girl or tease it out of a child. You may need to get some "man to man" humor out of that burley construction worker or make an off the cuff crack about a politician to get Mr. Business Man to chuckle. And for the babies, well, they will almost smile for their mommy and almost certainly smile for daddy so use them to the hilt. By combining your skills as a photographer with a generous portion of people charm and grace, you will make memorable portraits that will be better than the uncomfortable, stiff looks that so many accept as ok. Your customers will be happier and you will enjoy a pride in your work that you well deserve. Portrait Photography Do you just snap pictures of friends without a thought to how it my turn out? Portrait photography takes you a step up from people photography. It gives you elements to notice such as the angle you take the photograph, the lighting you will use, and the expression of emotion on a persons face. While you may be an amateur photographer deciding to take Christmas photos without the expense you will need to have some basic knowledge of techniques used by the professionals. First when taking a photograph of a person you need to study their face. The face is important to the angle you will shoot from. Though it is a cliche, it is true some people have a better side. This could be in relation to scarring or acne breakouts or even simpler. For instance my left eye is larger than my right by just a bit, and looking head on into the camera will cause a horrible portrait, however if the photographer comes from the right side and angles up a little the light and shadows will help even out the features while keeping the distinctions that make me who I am. Portrait photography is about capturing the essence of the subject, the personality. The little nuances of a face add character to the portrait. You will want to loosen up your subjects. If you are becoming a professional portrait photographer you will want to learn about your subject as you are taking pictures or perhaps meet them before the session. If they are just your family then you should know what would get their personality captured on film. Lighting is the next important step to portrait photography. A lot of photographers prefer natural light to artificial. Your subject will in part decide this for you. Remember you will use the light you have. Natural light will often require setting the aperture to compensate for the cameras lack of definition. In other words you need to create the contrast with the light and shadows for the effect you want. Often artificial light is harsh and not directed properly unless in a studio. Again you will need to use the manual settings on your camera to create the perfect portrait. The background is also important when discussing light. In a studio a photographer will pick a background that will not wash your features out or your clothing. They want to have a distinction or contrast between you and the background. This is also important of home portrait photography. You will want a background that gives color to your subject rather than taking it away. Finding a nice spot with a tree to sit on and mountains in the background can be a great portrait, but you will want to make sure the background is not too busy to distract from the subject. Make the subject seem apart of the picture rather than outside of it. The type of camera and film you use will also determine the quality of the photography. Once you combine techniques such as lighting, angles, and understanding your subject you will be able to create a near to professional if not professional portrait for your friends and family no matter the occasion. Just snapping a picture is possible, but it would be great to have a better portrait? Planning A Wedding And Still Looking For The Perfect Photographer Wedding photography is perhaps the most important field because these are the special moments in life we want to capture. Portraits are important and often play a major roll in wedding photography, but there are more to the wedding and finding the perfect photographer. Below are several tips to finding the right photographer for you. Equipment is one of the most important aspects. There are new photographers who will start out not being able to afford a lot of camera equipment, lights, tripods and so on. This doesn't make them a bad photographer, but it can mean they will miss important wedding moments when they are reloading the film on one camera. In today's world a wedding photographer should have at least one digital camera at the professional grade and two film cameras. A successful photographer will have enough cameras to put appropriate lenses on and be able to switch memory cards in the digital camera with ease. They should also have a video camera run by another person to capture the entire wedding. Experience will determine the cost of the photographer. Most photographers who have been on the circuit longer will charge between $3000 and $10,000 for wedding photographs. It all depends on the type of package you will want and how many assistants they will need to cover the entire affair. Other photographers typically charge between $300- $3000 depending upon the package and their experience. A well-known wedding photographer is going to cost more, just for the name. These packages often denote their experience as well as the equipment they can use. A digital camera does not cost film, but purchasing one can be expensive so most new photographers may charge a little more to replace the cost of the equipment. Price of a wedding photographer should only be a moderate issue. The top important aspect of a professional wedding photographer lies in their photography skills. They will instantly walk into the places your wedding and reception will take place and have ideas of the placement of equipment and lighting. They will also be able to show you a portfolio of past weddings. Wedding photography is about the moments that pass between your family and yourselves. The moment where you are looking at your betrothed with love written on your face when you think no one else is looking will make the best photographs. A wedding photographer needs to see these moments and capture them as well as obtain the portraits. Wedding photography is often seen around the home with the portraits. The portraits of the bride holding her flowers, the wedding party posing, and the groom and bride together. The traditional wedding photography will include the hands with the shinning wedding bands placed on a pillow or wrapped around the bride's waist. The arrangement of the wedding couple is as important as the photograph. The wedding photographer should be able to pose you while capturing the light and background. Photography is an intricate profession and when you have an important day such as a wedding you will want the best. You may have ideas of the photographs you want and the wedding photograph will be glad to help bring those ideas to fruition. Photography is about lighting, catching those unguarded moments, and creating memories that will last forever. Photography Through the Ages When you see videos of the early developers of photography, it's pretty funny especially in light of photography today. In those old movies, to get a picture, the camera was as big as a computer is today. The photographer had to put his head under a sheet and hold up a huge tripod which exploded with smoke and fumes to make the flash. Today photography could not be more different. In the movies, we used to be astonished when spies had cameras in their watches or the soles of their shoes. But now it is common for almost everyone to have a camera in their phone and to be able to pull it out and snap a photo virtually anywhere. Let's fill in a few gaps. We can go back to the origins of the language to find that the word "photography" began in the Greek times and it literally means "drawing with light. But the actual science of photography did not really take off until the 1800's in this country when a fellow by the name of John Hershel applied the words "photography", "positives" and "negatives" to the task of producing pictures. We had "negatives" of our photos from then until the dawn of digital photography in the last few years. For most of us, though, the company Eastman Kodak is probably the one we associate most with the early developments of photography. And it was the early pioneer of photography, George Eastman that made the first advancements on the primitive methods being used until his work in 1839. A little trivia? Eastman made the name "Kodak" up because he wanted his company name to begin with a "K". The developments began to come along pretty routinely as photography began to mature and become more sophisticated. Color photography was developed in 1861 by a scientist named James Clark Maxwell. Up until then all photographs were black and white or monochrome. Color photography was a huge leap forward but it really did not start to move into the public arena until two brothers named Lumière in 1907 invented the color plate. Over the decades to follow, photography moved forward steadily and moved out of the world of science and then journalism and into each of our homes. But the revolution that has turned photography into what we know it to be today occurred in 1981 when Sony invented the first camera that worked without film. The digital age was upon us. It was Kodak that again got the lead on the marketplace by getting the first digital camera out on the market in 1990 when they developed the Kodak DCS 100. As with all technology, early digital cameras were large (by today's standards) and much more expensive than we are used to now. Innovation in the field of photography has continued to march almost as fast as people could keep up. When digital cameras were offered that gave us a port to be able to download them to our computers, the internet explosion of imagery was fueled. Further development coming virtually every year since 1990 included the rapid and phenomenal expansion of memory in digital cameras along with the concept of swappable storage drives. This changed the way people took pictures because now the number of pictures someone could take was virtually limitless. The expansion of memory also gave developers the ability to add video capture to the same devices as were used for photography so that virtually anyone could become a cameraman with that tiny camera that could by this time fit in their shirt pocket. Much of the fun of internet sites like YouTube can be attributed to the ability of the average citizen to take video anywhere, anytime and at no cost to them. The photography and video industry has had to do a lot of adjusting to learn how to service this market that was changing at speeds unimaginable by George Eastman a century before. The affordable availability of quality color printers that enabled people to print their photographs at home was a boon to the amateur camera buff but a blow to the photography industry. But to their credit, the industry has kept up. But we can be sure that the developments are just getting underway. Who knows what new technical wizardry is ahead for the photography world. It is sure to be a fun ride, no matter what the future holds.
More Than Pictures -- Memories When you are hired to be the photographer for someone's wedding, it is quite an honor. For a professional photographer, we can sometimes just see it as another "gig". But it pays to look at the event through the eyes of the wedding party, the parents, the siblings, the groom and above all the bride. For the bride especially, there is nothing routine about this day. Everything is personal and getting the best possible photos of this important day could not be more personal and important to her and her family and her groom as well. So if you are expanding into or setting out on building your photography business to include wedding photography, you should plan to approach this task much differently than any other form of photography. You are doing a lot more than taking a few snapshots of an event. You are as much an integral part of the ceremony and the significance of that day for this bride and this groom as the minister or perhaps even many of the wedding guests. So what can you do to make sure the wedding albums you create capture not only the events of this day but the emotions and the spiritual importance of it as well? The key is to know the hearts and minds of the people who are involved in the event. That means, get involved early and be involved often. For most weddings, the planning begins as early as a year before the ceremony. If you get hired to be the wedding photographer, it is not too early to meet the wedding party and family that early also. To be a skilled wedding photographer, you should also have a bit of the investigative journalist, the amateur psychologist and the psychic in you as well. Your photographs will capture not only the images of the event but also the spirit of the people who attend. So get to know each of the key players individually. This certainly includes the bride and groom but a similar level of familiarity is appropriate for the wedding party, the parents of the bride and groom and their best friends too. There are some subtle ways you can learn the hearts of these people so you can plan to get photographs that will be ones the each person will say, "I am saving that one forever." Here are some suggestions: * Get to know the colors of the wedding. But more than that, find out how the bride and significant decisions makers view colors. Watch how they dress and show them examples of wedding photographs and listen to their reactions. You can plan the how to stage your pictures accordingly. * Every bride has that perfect romantic setting in their heart. If you can discover that hidden treasure, you may be able to frame a special wedding photo just to fit that dream. Perhaps she there is a public gardens in the city that has a fountain that she has loved since she was a child. If so you can make arrangements to have the wedding party meet out there when the lighting is just right in full dress and get some wedding photos that will be in her heart forever. * Don't forget the groom. Maybe he would love to have a fun photo showing him and the bride on his Harley. Or if he is a big sports fan, getting a photo dressed out in team regalia at some other time than the wedding can be a fun addition to the portfolio. And it will mean a lot to him too. Knowing the people, their personalities and what makes them tick makes you a better photographer. Don't miss a chance to be with the wedding party at every stage of planning. The key players will not only not resent your presence but they will see that you have the same commitment to making this day as special as it can be. And they will love the outcome and you will remain as much a part of this big day as the flowers and the chapel itself. Keeping it Legal Have you ever been watching a video or a show that includes public shots and some of the faces seem to be blurred out? No, that is not poor production values on the part of the video team. That is because the producers who eventually sold that video to be used commercially did not secure releases from those individuals. And if they used their images, they are laying themselves open for lots of legal problems. So how do you know if the work you are doing in your photography business requires such releases? After all, you would rather be safe than sorry and get releases from everybody you use as a subject than face a problem down the road. But there is a downside to securing them if you are not sure. That is the impression you create in the mind of your customer. If you primarily do portraits, weddings or other events where the intent of your work is to sell the photographs to the people being photographed, there is certainly no need for releases. So long as you have no intention of ever using any of those photographs in a sale that will profit your business other than the original way, then you should be fine. It is when you step over into that realm of photography in which you may be working with models to provide photographs for advertising, magazines, newspapers or any other purpose in which you are selling the images you have photographed for a profit, that is when a release is needed. This area of professional photography is tremendously profitable because you are working at a higher tier of professionalism than photographing the public to provide them with portrait level pictures. And because it is such a lucrative arena of professional photography, the competition to make those sales is stiff to be sure. When you are working with professional models, securing their releases is pretty much part of the program and never a problem. They are working for you and they know the photographs are for sale so their agents and lawyers do all the legwork so the releases are routine and understood. But from your perspective, don't let this detail go unattended to. Your customers, those magazines or ad agencies who look to you for professional photography work, are assuming you have this covered and that they can count on you to deliver not only quality work but work that has been legally released to be used for promotion. The complications come if you do your shoots in a public place such as a park, a mall or anywhere that there may be traffic that becomes part of the shot. If you complete the shoot and discover that the perfect shot that fits your customers needs just right happens to have miscellaneous members of the public in the background, you have to have releases from them or you cannot sell that photograph. You could think ahead and try to secure those releases on the spot. But if the people you are trying to convince to sign such releases know you are going to use their images for profit, and you pretty much have to tell them, you get into another whole level of negotiation. But you sure don't want to have to blur their faces out on the shot. You could Photoshop them out but that may lose the spontaneity of the shot. It's best to stage the shot from start to finish. If you want traffic to be occurring around your model, bring in models who can do the job for you. Any good modeling agency to provide you with "average looking" models to use for this purpose. You will have to pay them but at least you know that the shot is clean. Plus when you sell the shot, you are going to get questions about whether those models were paid and if you have releases on them too. You can find a standard release form on the web or your lawyer can help you develop one that covers the legalities you need handled but also reflects how you want to handle this issue. But don't let this issue slide through the cracks. By protecting yourself, you can do good business and profitable business but above all, legal business in perusing your professional photography career. Is Photography Art? The controversy about whether photography is art is one that has been raging in the art world for a long time and we are not likely to totally solve it here. But it can be an important decision you have to make if you are considering a career in photography with the goal of producing quality art works. If that is where you are, the idea that someone would say "That's not art, you just took a picture" is pretty disturbing. So it's worth looking at the question from several different angles before we pick which side to weigh in on. Of course, art is a subjective thing. Many people would look at a Jackson Pollack "splatter" artwork and determine most definitely that modern art is not art because it "doesn't look like anything." And if you spend any time in the modern art world, you will definitely see something at some time along the way occupying space in a perfectly respectable art museum that, to you, could never be considered art. So is it just a matter of opinion? To some extent, yes. But there is an art world and an industry behind it that depend on there being some standards upon which art is judged. One such standard is the intent of the artist. If you produce a photograph or an art work derived from a photograph that is intended to be viewed as art, then the viewer is obligated to try to see the artistic merit in it. Whether the viewer sees that merit or not may depend on the viewer's abilities, how good you are at getting your artistic message across or many other factors. But just wanting something to be art doesn't make it art does it? As a layman in the art world, I sometimes go with the "I don't know art but I know what I like" system of evaluating pieces I see. Art, after all, has a tendency to touch us in another place that is above and beyond the image. It is an emotional place, a place of reflection and understanding. Maybe we would say it touches our "soul". For a work to be art, there should be a message, a feeling, a reason the artist made the work because he or she wanted to say something, even if how I interpret the statement is different than what the artist meant. So that might also be an evaluation of a photograph as to its artistic merit or not. Now the primary objection to whether photography is art sometimes is that a photograph is often a realistic depiction of a moment taken with a machine and some would say that "anybody can take a picture." The implication is that the same mechanical skill it might take to paint a picture of sculpt a statue is not needed for photographic art. It's true that the mechanical skill that the guy at Wal-Mart might need to take baby pictures may be the same as a great photographic artist might need. But the objection doesn't hold up because the same human language is used to create great poetry as it takes yell out obscenities at a baseball game. So it isn't the skill that makes it art. Good evidence comes from the credit some great art experts have given to photographic exhibitions in the fine museums in the world. The very fact that photography is considered art by those who know may be evidence enough. So the conclusion must be that because the arguments against the artistic value of photographs are weak and people who know consider photography to be art, then we are safe in viewing what we do artistically too. And that opens up that side of your soul to express yourself through the medium you love the most -- photography. Insider Tricks to Create a Great Wedding Video. If you have been hired to create a video of someone's wedding and reception, it can be a really fun job. Not only is there a lot of joy, laughing and fun moments during a wedding celebration but it is really gratifying to know that the video you are creating will be part of family celebrations of these people for decades to come. Naturally, you want to do a good job. But whether you are just getting started or have been shooting video for years, you know things can sneak up on you and make your job more difficult. So there are some "insider tricks" that you should keep in mind especially on the big day so the wedding goes off like clockwork and you get that great video without disturbing the joy and fun of the family. The first few precautions actually happen long before you drive up to the church and that is a thorough equipment check. Check and double check your equipment and then check it again. It can't hurt to be a bit compulsive about this. Also, check that all of your supplies are new, in good shape and that you have back ups of batteries, bulbs, tapes or whatever recording media you are using. If you know your equipment is in good shape, you can walk in there like the professional you are. Next, be everywhere early and well prepared. In fact, it can't hurt to scope out the church and reception hall the day before to check the lighting and do some planning on where you might plan to get your best video from. If Martin Scorsese can preplan all of his shoots, so can you. Now be sure everybody knows who you are. Meet the bride, groom, the wedding party and others close to the planning. If there are security people, be sure they know who you are as well. If there is a need for passes or badges of any kind, be sure you have one well ahead of the wedding day. Part of networking with the key players includes getting some face time with others who may be supporting the wedding. Many weddings have a wedding planner who must know everything that is going to happen. Be sure he or she knows who you are and what you are going to do before you start disturbing their domain. It is also a great idea to meet the other photographers and do a bit of preliminary choreography so everybody can get their shots. Be aware that you really don't want to do such a great job of videotaping the wedding that you damage the experience of the wedding guests. This all takes lots of planning. If they rehearse, you rehearse. The rehearsal is one of the great missed opportunities that wedding photographers and videographers have to step through the wedding with the party and plan where you are going to be. Now secure permission to be there as you never want to surprise a nervous bride or her mother. But if they know you are working as hard as they are to get ready, they will be thrilled and you may find them giving you directions on shots they want included in the video and where they want (and don't want) you to be at strategic moments during the wedding. This information is gold on producing a high quality video for your customers. Once everything is ready, jump in there and enjoy the wedding right along with everyone else. You know you are ready and you like what you do so you can celebrate this big day and produce a top-notch video that will be a treasured memory for this bride and groom for many years to come. Video Like Scorsese When your passion and perhaps your livelihood is the creation of quality videos for people's events, you probably have some heroes. Martin Scorsese is somewhat of an icon because he is known for his stylistic videography in his movies. Now, you don't necessary need as much style as a Scorsese gets in movies that win him academy awards. But such professionals who are both precise and very good at their work and creative in how they get their shots are an inspiration to the rest of us. So how can you go about becoming your own version of "Scorsese" in reaching higher standards of professionalism in the video you do for your customers or friends? Well, sometimes you just have to go back to basics When you go on a shoot, think of yourself like you are going on an assignment into a war zone. Of course, hopefully, nobody will be firing guns at you. But like a battle, you have to be totally prepared going in. There is no calling "cut" if you are filming your son's first baseball game. You will get it or not on the first take so your equipment has to be ready and you have to be ready. So think through some of your pre-shoot preparations for the big day. Inspect, clean, repair and test your equipment the night before. Make sure you have any support materials such as batteries, lights for your flash or if you use a lamp to accentuate indoor shots. And think through the various ways your equipment may have to support you and how you can support it? What if something needs electricity but is too far from the outlet? Bring extension cords. What if you need more electricity then plugs are handy? Bring power strips. What if have extension cords where people will walk? Bring duct tape. What if you have to get that duct tape up fast? Bring a good knife or cutting blade. It pays to play these situations out in your mind and be prepared as you go to battle. Framing a shot so it looks good in the final cut takes some talent and skill to get what you want where you need it to happen. If the scene is very active, like a sporting event, you need to be able to move, set, shoot and break down and do it again and again all day long. That means your equipment has to be light and self contained but you need to be armed to swap things out on your feet. A well prepared supplies bag that you can get into, swap out a lens, a battery or other needs on the fly is essential to being that mobile. And you have to know your equipment so well that you can literally lock and load in seconds so important shots don't leave you behind. Some practice with your camera, tripod, lights, supply bags and anything else you have to have for such mobility will pay off big time during the shoot. You may have cringed when you saw the word tripod but get used to it. Don't cut corners on this "accessory". The tripod should be as flexible as your body so you can drop it for a ground shot and have it up and set quickly each time you need to reposition. But despite the "bother" this might cause, the tripod alone may make your shots 100% more professional. Knowing your gear and being prepared are the two top commandments of producing high quality professional video. It may not make you a "Scorsese", but it will take you a long way in that direction in the improvement you will see in your work. Tips For Photographing Your Cat Every cat is proud of his or her friendly feline. Cats make perfect subjects in which to photograph. You can catch your cat and a variety of interesting and fun poses when you know how to take pictures of your cat. If you are interested in photographing your cat, here are some tips to help you get the best shots. Catch your Cat Napping: Nothing looks quite as relaxing as a cat taking a nap. Cats do sleep a lot, so if you take a picture of your cat napping, you have plenty of opportunity. The best time to take a picture of your cat is to catch it when it is asleep. You can take close-ups of your cat either as it sleeps, or gently wake your cat up for a relaxed look. For a nice shot of your cat, try gently rubbing your cat's belly right when you want to snap a picture. This will encourage your cat to roll over on its back. Natural Sunlight: When you think of a sleeping cat, where do most cats enjoy sleeping? You can usually find a cat napping in the sun. If you have a window that gets full or filtered sunlight during the day, then try to open the curtains or blinds to encourage cap napping. As soon as you see your cat sit in the sun, try to take a few pictures. When the sunlight is good, try a few shots without using your flash. This will give your picture a nice natural glowing effect. In addition, natural light often works best anyway because if you use a bright flash, your cat will usually close his or her eyes or the eyes could end up looking red. Forget Posing and Planning: Cats are much for posing. You cannot really ask that a cat stay and sit. When you take pictures of your cat, you should always have your camera on hand for candid shots. Look at your cat during the day and determine your cat's schedule and favorite places. Work around your cat and you will get better pictures. Try to be spontaneous, and above all stay patient. It may take several tries to get a couple of great shots, but posing your cat rarely works. I have tried to get my three cats to pose and let me take a picture, but even though they sleep together, play together, they cannot stand or in this sit next to each without someone starting something. If I had three people to help and set back out of the picture, it might work. As you can see, cat's needs to do what cats do and take your pictures that way. Get Help: Another good tip for taking pictures of your cat is to get help. You can get great pictures of playful cats and kittens by having someone help you wiggle a string, the throw a ball or call the cat's name. It is very difficult to try to play with your cat and take pictures at the same time. Your pictures will turn out much better if you get someone to help you. In addition, if you are trying to get a picture of your cat looking directly at your camera, have someone stand above you can call the cat's name, or make a noise that will prompt the cat to look directly above your head. If you are a patient and willing, you can get some excellent shots of your cat. Cats are so fun to take pictures of because you never know what they will do. Keep your camera handy and ready to go as soon as your cat springs into action. Cat's normal activity seems to make us smile and laugh, their antics always may wonderful pictures. Pictures of kittens playing from birth on also make for some great pictures. If you have the camera, you will never miss the perfect picture. The World Of Underwater Photography Underwater photography can be very fun and interesting. It is not everyday that people get to go under water and take pictures of the wildlife that exists there. There are many different types of wildlife underwater including the living and moving ones such as fish and sharks, and the non-moving ones such as coral. Underwater photography has become a huge sport because of the different kinds of things that one finds to photograph underwater. Many digital cameras today are underwater cameras. More and more pictures are popping up all over the internet from underwater sources. This is because of the availability of taking cameras underwater and taking pictures of everything there. The only problem with these photos is that the people think that they can take a camera, go underwater and start taking pictures. The key is knowing how and where to take pictures. Many underwater photos come out horrible and it is impossible to see anything because the picture quality was poor. The sunlight works differently underwater and many times photos are just a white blur because taken directly into a sunray. Pictures underwater can turn out beautiful if you take it the right way. There is a lot of different gear that goes along with underwater photography. Many different forms of cameras, camera holders, and lights need to be purchased to make some perfect underwater pictures. Taking pictures in the ocean is probably the first step to taking great pictures underwater. Many times, lakes and ponds can be much too murky with mud and dirt and makes it unable to see anything. In the ocean, some parts are so clear you can see up to five feet down, so the underwater picture comes out perfectly because there is no pollution to disturb the image. Some different designed cameras work better underwater than others when diving. These pictures come out amazing, because they are usually several hundred feet underwater where not a lot of pictures come from in the first place. Some of the photos come out with strange things that one has never seen before. Other then the life forms that live in water, it is also fun to take pictures of people underwater. Underwater expressions can be quite funny if the right moment is captured. Many people take pictures of their children and each other under water while they are vacation. In Florida, many people take pictures of themselves with the manatees while they are swimming by. Taking real life underwater pictures is a great keepsake for the entire family and great to share with family and friends as well as area photographers who have never had the chance to experience such good fortune. Water is unpredictable and that is what makes underwater photography so great. The underwater effect that makes everything unpredictable makes pictures that were not expected. This makes the pictures all the better because it is extremely hard to set up a pose for an underwater photograph. Underwater photography will continue to change as the cameras in today's world continue to become more advanced. Photos can already be taken underwater while the person is still on a boat, making it much safer than before. We will continue to see more and more of these underwater adventures with amazing pictures coming from deep below the ocean surface in the coming years and see extraordinary photos from strange creatures that no one has ever identified Underwater photography will continue to become a thing that everybody wants to do more especially when you go on vacations and out of town to the ocean. It is a fun sport that anybody can participate in without much experience but a fun sport if the people know what they are doing with their equipment. When you decide to show your photography skills to everyone, they will see what they are missing and might decide to take up the hobby of underwater photography themselves. The Power of Black and White Photography It's interesting how sometimes older technologies or art forms take on an even greater value when they are made obsolete by the new and modern. This is certainly true of black and white photography. When color photography came on the scene, it seemed the days of black and white in both video and photography were over forever. But that was certainly not the case. Over the years we have seen black and white take on a new artistic value in both genres. In fact, it is not at all unusual any more to see a very modern movie filmed entirely in black and white. It is also common to visit a fine art museum and find a photographic art display that uses black and white extensively. Black and white has some artistic and emotional qualities that are just not possible to achieve in color photography. Probably the strongest quality that grabs the viewer with a black and white photo is its emotional power. Even if the photo is just of an old barn or an antique car, there is an emotional appeal that is difficult to analyze in words but universal to all of us as we look at a black and white shot. That is why black and white photos almost instantly take on an artistic look. So if you are evolving your artistic photography style and portfolio, including some experimentation with black and white will do a lot to improve your work. Black and white also focuses the eye on the emotional center of the piece. Probably the best subject for black and white photography is the human face. In even a tranquil expression, the viewer can see such a vast range of expression in the eyes, the tilt of the head, the subtle wrinkles or peculiarities of the face and the focus of the gaze. Black and white almost always invites the viewer to want to know about the story behind the picture. If it's a landscape, "What happened here?" is the question that often springs to the mind of the viewer and the longer they gaze at the photo, the more their imagination fills in the details. If you are viewing the face of a serene or melancholy girl, it is almost impossible not to wonder what she is dreaming about or what of life's issues is weighing on her mind. Along with the emotional power and the way black and white compels the viewer to search for meaning, black and white carries with it a tremendous romantic power that touches the heart in a powerful way. That romance can easily translate over to the sensual or even the erotic without having to become pornographic to achieve that effect. Shots that are trying to evoke the power of sensuality and romance do well when they involve moisture or a water scene such as the beach. Despite the lack of color, these colors appeal to the five senses in ways that color can never hope to achieve. You can experiment with black and white and gather the responses of friends and family to learn how to utilize the subtle but powerful artistic nuances that seem to come with black and white photography almost unconsciously. The digital camera has ushered in a whole new era of black and white photography. You see the form used even in otherwise non artistic settings like wedding portfolios or anniversary pictures. That is because of that emotional and romantic power that black and white conveys. If you have not started to experiment with black and white shots, it's worth the time to learn how to capture the powerful images this type of photography can make possible. Along with the creative use of light and framing, black and white gives itself well to editing that you can do with Photoshop to bring out the emotional center of each shot. Before long, you may actually find your self seeing black and white shots in a color world. Your awareness of what will make a great moment in this format will become acute and you will be ready to capture those moments spontaneously, which is always the best kind of photography. Wildlife Photography, Catching The Animals By Surprise Photography has been around for more than a century and our topics will never cease. There is portrait, landscape, wedding, and wildlife photography just to name a few. One of the most rewarding styles of photography centers on wildlife. It may take you several hours before finding the perfect picture and capturing it, but the reward is more than worth the wait. Wildlife photography is perhaps the most difficult in the profession. You have to have the time, inclination, and of course the camera. Most wildlife shots are captured using a telephoto lens because the animal will not walk near you. Every once in a while you will be able to capture the fox, elk, bear or other animal as it comes through the woods in your path, however most of the time they are yards away and elusive. Wildlife photography doesn't wait for you to happen a long and snap a photo. You need to immerse yourself in the site you choose your camera at the ready, and set for the light of the day. Most automatic cameras work great on the preset for those who are just learning to take wildlife photographs. Photography has always been about the moment and the best photographers can catch the moment with a speed and agility of the animal they are capturing. Start with small subjects when you begin your foray into wildlife photography. Practice on your pet. Let them roam naturally and see if you can capture the wild and crazy moments on film without the photograph ending up blurry. All great photographers have studied and practiced. They also use more than one shot. Making sure your camera has a quick shutter speed will help you take more than one shot as your move with the animal. When you have the subject in your site you need to follow it while focusing and then quickly snap as many pictures as you can before they move out of site. This technique is known as panning. Rather than the subject coming to you, you follow the subject. When you have mastered your pets you can begin to explore the outdoor world of wildlife photography. Some of your subjects will be standing still and this is another practice technique. Be aware of the lighting and placement while trying not to disturb the animal. It is most easy to get a squirrel when they are intent on eating or foraging for food. If you stay silent and walk carefully you can often get pretty close. If you are choosing a larger subject such as a deer or bear you will want to stay far enough away to get the shot, and not draw attention to yourself. Bears are dangerous creatures, but they can be photographed if you use common sense and don't tread upon their territory. Wildlife photography and thus the photographers have a code of ethics when attaining the perfect shots. You will want to follow these ethics for your safety and the animals. Wildlife photography is a waiting game for the perfect picture to sprint across your viewfinder. It takes patience and a lot of practice, but the reward of having a family member or friend go, " where did you get that photograph? I have got to have one," will sweeten the deal. Where to Go to Learn From the Photography Masters Whether you are looking for the right path for your budding student photographer in your family or looking on how to jump-start your own photography career, the right school can make all the difference. There is no question that photography is an outstanding career path with many different directions that someone skilled with a camera might go. The diversity of careers in photography is truly amazing. From the base talent in photography and a solid understanding of new and emerging technologies, the sky is the limit for a talented photographer with a solid education under his or her belt. That is because photography is both an art form and a solid technical skill. So the same school might produce an award-winning artist, a successful wedding photographer, a fashion photographer, a police investigator taking pictures of crime scenes, or a crack newspaper photographer. So the question emerges as to what kind of photography school to pick for yourself or the student in your family that wants the best education possible. How you pick any school is very much influenced by both how you approach education in general and what your objectives are. Some would advocate that you look to get into the finest artistic photography schools in the country. If you wish to go down that path, then for sure the Brooks Institute of photography or one of the elite east coast schools of artistic photography is a noble ambition. But there are three drawbacks to trying to attend such schools. First is, of course, the potential cost. Any elite school is going to charge elite prices. And if you are like most of us, you want to get the most education for your money. So doing some caparison shopping for a school is in order. The second drawback is getting admitted. Most of the top-flight schools have waiting lists and tough entry requirements that may make that ambition more demanding than is necessary. But the most meaningful drawback is that these schools may not be the right choice for the career you or the photography student in your life may wish to pursue. So a good general set of guidelines on how to evaluate a wide variety of photography schools is in order. The guidelines might include: * What kind of photography is right for the student? A program geared toward artistic photography that will result in pieces hanging in a modern art museum will have a very different approach than a program to train forensic photographers. Your student may not know right away what field they want to go into. If so, getting started at a generic school such as a photography emphasis at the local junior college may be the right choice until the career path becomes clearer. * Is it a legitimate school? You want to avoid schools that are run from the internet or that you read about on the back of a matchbook. A legitimate school will produce a recognized degree that will be well respected in the industry and will help the student get jobs. * What is available locally? Why go out of town or out of state if you have good local schools? Many state universities, junior colleges and local tech schools have find programs. * How diverse and up to date is the program? Will your student get exposed to the newest of technology in the field of photography? Will they get trained in how to service many different types of photography assignments? * How does the program's job placement rating look? What percentage of graduates from this program get jobs? How well respected is this school by businesses who employ photographers? These are solid evaluation criteria. And if you apply these standards to a couple dozen of the finest schools both locally and nationally, before long a short list of good schools will emerge. From there, some site visits and interviews with teachers and graduates will narrow things down. And you will be glad you "did your homework" to find the kind of photography school that will take you or the student in your life to the next level of success in their love of photography. What Do You Know About Stock Photography Stock photography, groups of photographs that people take, grouped and licensed for selling purposes. Instead of taking new pictures every time they need pictures, many people use the stock photography method. People that work for magazines, as graphic artists, and advertising agencies sometimes use public pictures instead of hiring photographers for individual projects. Alternate names for stock photography is picture libraries, photo archives or image banks. Typically, in order to use these pictures, although publicly available, there is a small fee or a purchasing of usage rights that comes with a fee in order to use the pictures. Sometimes a membership purchase allows you to have access to a particular group of stock photography. Saving time and money, stock photography is a great way to enhance newsletters, blogs, advertisements, company brochures and more. It is obviously less expensive than putting a full time photographer on staff and takes less time if you need images of something specific. Many times, it is as easy as using a search engine or checking an email. Sometimes full rights and usage is available for purchase. Other times, full rights are limited. In those cases, photographers might be requiring that they receive a certain percentage of sales and or royalties of usage. Agencies usually hold the images on files and negotiate fees. With the technology and easy access that the internet provides, negotiations are quicker and easier. The cost of using stock photos depends on how long the pictures will be used, what location the images will be used, if the original photographer wants royalties and how many people the photo will be distributed to or seen by. Prices for stock photography can be anywhere from one dollar to two hundred dollars. There are several different pricing arrangements. Royalty free stock photography allows the buyer to use photographs multiple times in multiple ways. When you buy royalty free pictures, there is only a one-time charge for unlimited usage. When the images you purchase have a royalty free section, the agency is able to resell the image to others. If an image is rights managed, there is a negotiated price for each time that it is used. Sometimes a buyer of stock photography might desire to have exclusive rights to the images. In that case, no one else will be able to use the pictures once exclusive rights have been purchased. It may cost thousands of dollars to purchase exclusive rights because agencies who handle the sales have to make sure that they are making a profitable sale. If a photograph would make more money staying in circulation, they would lose out selling exclusive rights. Stock photographers sometimes work with agencies producing images for them alone. Different subjects and categories might need multiple varieties of images. Sometimes contributors work for multiple agencies selling their photographs for a fee. They work out arrangements for royalties or they sell their shots for full rights. This has proved to be a big business for photographers around the world. Stock photography started in the early 1920s. It especially grew as its own specialty by the 1980s. Galleries hold hundreds, thousands and even millions of pictures available for purchase. Stock houses sprung up in many different places. By 2000, online stock photography became microstock photography, which we call photo archives online. Companies like istock photo and bigstock photo offer you the opportunity to purchase so many pictures and when you use them up you can add more credits for another fee. Photos that are distributed online are typically less expensive than those that are sold hard copy. Websites like www.shutterpoint.com and www.fotolibra.com allow stock photographers to upload and sell their images. It is a great way to market pictures and earn money with photography. You can also purchase images at those websites as well. With all the stock photography sites available, one may find pictures you never even heard of before. Wedding Pictures with Style Your wedding album will be one of the most precious memories of this big day that you will have. But have you ever noticed how so many of those "professional" pictures are all the same from wedding album to wedding album? In fact, one thing that jumps out about the wedding photographer is that for a little while on the wedding day, everything halts and it's all about him. You know the drill. The ceremony is exciting and fun and full of joy, some tears and plenty of meaning as the bride and groom kiss and become one family. Then it's all over and everybody files out to go to the reception to dance, have cake and celebrate this union. But wait, the whole proceeding has to grind to a halt while the photographer stages the wedding party for as long as an hour or more to "recreate" the ceremony and make those perfect wedding photos. Meanwhile the reception may be getting underway and many of the guests that the bride or the groom or others in the family want to hug and share the joy with may have to go because they just can't wait out a fussy photographer. Somehow this complete disruption to the day has become accepted as just part of what the wedding day is all about. And the worst part about it is that the photographs, while nice and well staged, look like a bunch of mannequins being arranged for a store window. The joy and fun of the ceremony is over. For decades to come everybody will say they are beautiful and meaningful but if you look closely the wedding party looks nervous, uncomfortable, bored and like they wish they were somewhere else. Well maybe its time to throw that tradition out and put some creativity into how the wedding photos and the wedding photographer works in your wedding. By finding a photographer who will put together some wedding pictures that have some style, some creativity and some sense of inventiveness, you will have that wedding album that really is full of memories worth remembering. To get that kind of photographer, you are going to have to start early. You have to find that maverick photographer that "gets it" that the wedding is about the people, not the gowns and the hall and that his photographs must shout out "this was a wonderful day and we celebrated this union." You may have to look outside of the conventional "wedding photographers" listing in the phone book. An artistic photographer may be more appropriate. But be patient and find one that is just as professional as any photographer in that yellow pages but can bring some creativity and investment of getting to know this wedding party to the job of taking your important wedding pictures. That wedding photographer should become as much a part of the wedding party as the groomsmen. After all, if he is going to capture the personality of this couple, he will have to get to know you. Spend some informal time with him and share those fun memories of when you met, those special times while you dated and certainly those very special places where important moments in your relationship took place. Armed with that kind of creative individual in charge of your wedding photographs, you will look forward with great anticipation to what he comes up with. Many of the best shots will be created before the wedding, at some of those special places and he can Photoshop them to blend them with wedding day moments. Above all that wedding photographer will understand that he is there to serve this wedding and capture those special moments as they occur. Sure, you may "pose" for a picture from time to time but this whole business of bringing the wedding day to a grinding halt to take stilted pictures of bored wedding party members will go out with the trash. The outcome will be wedding pictures with style, with life and a lot of love in them to reflect the love that was exchanged in those vows and the love of family and friends as they enjoyed this magical day with you. Videography Tips from the Pros Making videos or "videography" is a different animal from photography. When you are trying to capture great pictures for a portrait or an event, you think in terms of still shots. In your mind the objective is "what will make a great picture." Video opens up whole scenes to be captured on film, for better and for worse. But it also opens up a lot of opportunity for mistakes, unexpected results or interruptions and surprises. Not only do you have to continue to think about what makes a great shot, you now have sound and movement issues to factor in. So while videography is much more fun, it also can be a lot more work. You are trying to find a middle ground when you start offering video as part of your services. You know that anybody can bring a camcorder and capture video streams. These days they can even do it with their phone. But you want to create a more professional shot than the high school kid with a camcorder. Then again, you are not trying to win an academy award here. So the level of professionalism has to be better than amateur so you can justify charging for it but it doesn't have to be great art to be a good video that the customer will be happy with. To accomplish this mix of perfectionism and compromise, a few tips from the pros who have already set up a video business can help a lot. Here are what many of the old pros tell us to focus on especially as we are getting our video business up and running: The cornerstone advice that the pros give about making great video is plan ahead. The more you know about your shoot, the better equipped you are when you show up. If you are shooting a wedding, visit the chapel, perhaps the reception hall and plan where you will set up to capture the best images. Plan your routes as you move around so you can create a smooth flow that works with the wedding procession rather than interrupts it. The same is true of any event. Even a sporting event, as spontaneous as that is, will offer some less traveled areas where you can position yourself to catch the action. If the best location for capturing video is above or a distance from the activity, then you know you will need to use zoom and focus differently than if you can be in the middle of the action. This helps you plan how to prepare your equipment and your crew who will be supporting the shoot. Lighting is something that must be part of your preplanning so you have sufficient light so the action and facial reactions are easy to pick out on the video. Outdoors, keep the sun behind you if at all possible. Indoors, scout out how the existing lighting will look on video during the hours that you will be shooting. If they are not sufficient, you should get in there and set your lights in place well in advance of the event and work with the event organizers so they know your lights will be on during the event. The people who hired you want a great video so they will work with you. But you have to let them know what is going on. A good video is a combination of stability of the camera and constant movement. So use a tripod to stabilize the shots when the video is being actively shot. But you have to be able to move the set up quickly to a new location. So make sure that your equipment is well maintained and that cameras, tripods and that all supplies are quickly accessible for field changes or repairs. One of the most valuable insider tips is to shoot with the intention of editing. In that way, you will shoot more footage than you need, knowing you are going to edit it together later. You can go back and capture connecting video shots to smooth out the action and you don't have to get upset if you get some bad footage. These and many other talents you will develop will take you to that level of professionalism you want to reach. And your customers will notice it too and come back for more of your talented videography. Will Camera Phones Destroy Photography? In any "photo op" moment any more, it is impossible to miss the invasion of the camera phone. Where it used to be easy to tell when a camera was around and if people had them handy, now anyone with a phone could be a clandestine photographer. Even at occasions that used to be ruled by the professional photographer such as weddings and the like, we now see those dozens of hands going up snapping photos with camera phones that seem to dominate the scene. Conventional photography is a highly developed art form and profession. The precision of the equipment and the ability of photographers to deliver a high quality product to their customers is well known and the result of decades of evolution of the craft. But today it is possible for anyone to become an amateur photographer using that tiny cell phone in their pocket or purse. The question needs serious consideration for three audiences. For the professional photographer, is this the end of your profession? Will digital phones wipe out your customer base and make you obsolete? For the aspiring photographer, what about your future? Should you even invest in learning to use the sophisticated equipment that makes professional photography so superior? Why bother if camera phones are going to make it all obsolete? And for you the consumer, can you get the same quality of photographs with using camera phones as you can by hiring a photographer? These are valid questions. It is very common when a new technology begins to make inroads into a profession for the old guard of that profession to feel threatened. It happened when television came along and the media called it the death of radio. It happened when talkies and then color was introduced to movies and television and at each technological improvement in the music world. And with each dire prediction of the demise of an industry, the opposite took place and that industry adjusted, evolved, got better and prospered all the more. So there are good reasons not to worry that camera phones is going to destroy photography as we know it including: * Camera phones cannot achieve the same levels of quality. There is a good reason that the professional photographer has invested in the highly sophisticated equipment that he has in his studio and that he or she takes to a shoot. The many years and decades of research have surfaced the problems with quality that primitive equipment could not deal with. Modern photography equipment has precise instrumentation to handle lighting issues to properly frame each photograph and to produce a professional quality outcome that people want from a wedding, a portrait or any kind of professional photography. You can bet that forensic photography, fashion photography and photography for publication will ever be willing to accept the low standards of quality that are the outcome of camera phone pictures. * It's an amateur game. When you see kids holding up their camera phones at a concert to steal a picture, you know that device is not going to result in a professional quality shot. This is especially true in a live setting like a concert where there are myriads of issues such as lighting, visual noise and other problems that have to be overcome with sophisticated instrumentation just not available on a camera phone. Camera phones are an amateur photography device. And they will always occupy that niche. * Standards of the final product would be compromised. And high standards of quality are what make professional photography a value to it's customers. This is not to cast camera phones in a negative light. They have their place and they are great fun. But we in the professional photography world have nothing to fear from the growth of this technology. In Praise of Digital Photography In any discipline, you will have what many think of as "the purists". Purists are those who revere the way things have always been done and view new innovations in the field as upstarts and obviously of poorer quality than the tried and true methods. This is nowhere more true than photography. For decades the film and chemical processing method has undergone continual refinement to achieve higher and higher levels of sophistication and to find higher levels of quality. Small wonder that when the digital revolution came along, "the purists" were, to say the least, a bit snobby about the idea of professional photography moving in this direction. But there are some genuine reasons to at least incorporate digital technology into your professional photography game plan. These reasons are compelling enough that more and more we are seeing the big studios going all digital. So if you are running an independent photography business or if you are "just" a photography hobbyist (and thank God for the hobbyists), you may have to think through the value of moving to digital processing yourself. Ease of Use. The amount of fuss and sheer "stuff" of doing a shoot digitally is dramatically less involved than using the older technologies. Witness how the digital revolution in photography has revolutionized the personal camera world. Now people can take as many pictures as they want and have them to review virtually instantaneously. Probably the biggest leap forward in the use of digital photography is that you can do re-shoots quickly, easily and for virtually no cost. If you conduct a portrait session with a customer, you can have the "stills" of the session available almost as soon as the session is done. If a shot was good but not perfect, you can correct it and re-shoot immediately saving huge amounts of time and improving the chances you will get the portfolio you want and that the customer wants on the first session. Rapid Customer Service. The impression we get when a technology delivers so much value to the public is that quality will go down. But, amazingly, this is not the case with digital photography. If anything, the quality of the photographs is as good or better than any we could do with prior technologies. And the cost both to you as the photographer and to your customer drops off so dramatically that the age old complaint the customer has had about professional photographs costing too much can be eliminated making the customer want to use your services more often. Digital photography, being a child of the internet and the digital revolution that has swept our lives via personal computers, can be delivered in a myriad of ways and at a speed that was unheard of prior to the arrival of this technology. We can deliver the photos via email, by posting them to an online gallery or by burning them to a DVD or CD so the customer can order lots more shots for the same cost and have them delivered in a way that easy to view and store. Editing Editing has similarly moved from the realm of the back room wizards to something any of us can do due to the sophisticated computer programs, such as Photoshop, that we can use to improve the pictures we take. It is really amazing the effects that can be imposed on a picture with this software. But more importantly we can so much more easily correct minor problems with a photograph so what might have been a lost session can be improved to become acceptable with some clever use of digital editing. In virtually every way, digital photography, delivery and editing is superior to the way "the purists" would have us hold on to. It makes our lives as photographers easier, faster and more profitable. But above all, this is something our customers want us to use. They get to enjoy their pictures so much faster, at a more reasonable cost and the pictures can be emailed to friends and posted on their family web sites which is fun for everyone. So despite our desire to be "purists", every reason we need is there to convince us that digital photography is the way to go. How To Create A Professional Landscape Photograph Landscape photography is widely popular. I am sure if you look around your home you will see at least two landscape prints that spoke to you. Photography is an art that has a message. As a photographer you have to find the message you want to portray. If you specialize in landscape photography you might think your task is easy to complete. As with any photography you have to pay attention to the details, the lighting, shadows, subject, and the equipment. Black and white landscape photography is the hardest section to attain true artistry because you are not relying on the colors as much as the lights and shadows the image will create. Composition is very important. Composition in photography means to look for sharp edges, tones and textures. The basis of black and white photography is getting the camera to see what your eye sees in color; to bring the highlights and shadows forward with the angle of the picture. Typical subjects for black and white photography are buildings and water. Water gives the surrounding trees and rocks a contrast while drawing the eye. Landscape can encompass buildings or bridges among other subjects. Buildings lend to the angles and contrast you seek when trying for definition and emotion. When landscape photography is your subject in color you will need to have contrast between the colors. If the sky is blue and you have blue water below chances are the picture is not going to have the contrast you are hoping for. Like black and white photography you need to have definition or composition in the shot. You will need to take a few minutes to set up the shot and perhaps take several frames before being satisfied. Color photography takes less skill than black and white photography so if you have master the last you will succeed at the first. Lighting for landscape photography is natural rather artificial. This is important when setting up your shot. You will need to have filters for the sunlight if it is a bright day, perhaps a tripod to set up the shot and a professional grade camera to create professional prints. Studying your subject from all angles is also important. You want to make sure you are picking the best angle for the shot. Remember the message is brought forth by the skill of the photographer. You abilities should be honed and practiced. Digital photography makes landscape photography easier because you can assess the photo before you leave a site. Again the LCD screen isn't going to show you every aspect of the print so you will want to take a few shots of the same site to ensure a perfect picture. Even being an amateur photographer you can gain professional looking landscape photography. The best way to gain great photographs is to practice with a subject. Going back to the same site during different seasons can help you hone your skills and net you an even better print the next time around. All photographers' start at the same level, some may have innate skills and an eye for the photo, but practice will lead to the best print. Landscape photography may not require the skills of wildlife photography with panning the subject or portraits where you have to enliven your subject; however, it does require skills and practice. How Hard Can it Be to Take Our Own Wedding Pictures? Your wedding is fast approaching and as the anxiety grows in everyone associated with the big day, two big concerns weigh on everybody's mind. Those are: (1) How can we reduce the stress of this big day? (2) How can we cut the costs? These two questions are in conflict with each other too because in order to reduce stress, you have to increase the work that someone has to do. Sometime during the preparation time frame, the idea will come up, why don't we let "John Jones" do our wedding pictures? John Jones may be someone's brother who is "really good at photography" or just a friend of the family. The appeal is that they will save you a pile of money and probably do just as good a job as the expensive photographers. While you certainly want to watch out before you turn over this important job, maybe you or someone in the wedding party can take the photos as well as a professional. After all, how many wedding nightmares have you heard about a professional photographer who either damaged the romantic nature of the ceremony by butting in too often, aggravated the guests by blotting out their view of the wedding to get an action shot or charged an arm and a leg only to deliver poor quality photos. In truth, it is entirely possible for an "amateur" photographer to do a terrific job taking pictures at the wedding. But there are some guidelines you should follow if that job has fallen to you. If you are reading this as the bride, groom or anxious mother and you are considering using a friend for these photos, spend an hour going over these guidelines and not only will you get better pictures, your anxiety level will go down too. 1 - Know your equipment inside and out. Whether you are using a run of the mill digital camera or an expensive set up that has taken you years to work up, make sure everything is in top-notch working order and that you are thoroughly familiar with every nuance of the machine. Remember Murphy's Law. If anything can go wrong, it will. So keep Murphy out of the wedding by checking and double checking your camera and related equipment. 2 - Have spares of everything possible. If there are batteries involved with the operation of the camera, have several spare sets on hand and know where they are. If the batteries go out as the bride and party are posed at the alter, you don't want an hour delay why you run to the 7-11 to get more. The same goes for flash bulbs and even the camera itself. Have spares of everything possible so Murphy just goes to the next wedding down the road to make his mess. 3 - The photo is about more than the bride and groom. If you are used to "staging" your pictures, you may not worry that often with activity in the room. After all, if everybody is posing, the environment is controlled. This will not be the case during an action shot like during the wedding or reception. So keep a keen awareness of the room, the activity around the subjects, the lighting and background props. You don't want to produce the perfect shot of bride and groom kissing only to have Cousin Ned gagging on the cake in the background. 4 - Be aware of glare from windows, lights and eyeglasses. These can sneak up on you. As a rule, someone who is part of the event can get great shots because they know the people and can be mixing as those wonderful "little moments" occur. So it's worth a try if you feel good about the skills of your photographer and they follow these little guidelines. History Of Photography Have you ever wondered where modern photography originated? While we are now moving into the digital age and away from film, the lighting techniques and other photography techniques began in the 1820's. Niepce and Daguerre were the first inventors of modern photography. They used a chemical component from silver and chalk, which darkens when exposed to light. This type of technology used a glass negative to cement the picture. From the early cameras seen in western films we have moved on to manual cameras with film. This film or negative captured the image on a roll to be developed in a dark room to prevent over exposure. The manual cameras used a theory of setting up shots. You had to understand aperture, shutter speed, white balance, and metering to obtain the best picture possible. This meant you spent a lot of time setting up the shot and had to be a professional to catch wildlife in their natural habits. Aperture is measured by F-stops, or the amount of light the lens will let in. Focusing and depth of field are also important when setting the aperture on your camera. You have to know what numbers will allow more light to enter the lens and the converse to avoid over exposure and blurriness. Shutter speed is the amount of time a lens is open for the picture. You may have found in a darkened room without flash your camera takes a while to imprint the picture on the negative. This is because the light is dim and the shutter must correct for the lack of light. The lack of light induces a need to expose the film longer to obtain the picture where as more light will have the shutter moving at a faster speed. From the manual cameras we moved into the automatic. The camera became lighter. The shutter speed and aperture was programmed into the camera by the settings. ISO became important. ISO is the film speed. Instead of taking minutes to set up a shot you just had to pick the correct setting and hold the button down to focus. Many cameras came as automatic with manual options for those who still liked to treat photography as an artistic vocation. Digital cameras are the new era in photography. Now we can see the picture we take without the use of film and negatives. We can send the pictures to all of our friends and use our home printers to create prints. Photography has moved from the concentration of taking the perfect shot with a skill born to a few to everyone taking pictures. This is not to say photography and photographers will not remain. There is still the need for quality in taking professional grade photographs. Light sensitivity is still important when dealing with a digital camera and unless you spend a lot, you will find quality of photographs is still missing. Photograph techniques lay within the lighting provided whether natural or artificial for the subject. You might wonder how to create a photograph in a dark room like a museum to share with your friends and family. Knowing the past photography techniques will help you in attaining that perfect photograph with your digital camera. Photography may have originated with few people, but we can see the advancements their inventions have led us to now. Choosing A Photography School There are many places you can learn photography, but what is the right place for you? Sure there are online schools and courses, but they won't give you the hands on information you need. You need other students and the teacher's eye to become a better photographer. The online classes do have their uses for instance giving you the basic information to study. It can be difficult to choose the right school. Some require recommendation while others are apart of colleges. The information you wish to glean from a photography class will make part of the decision for you. For instance in a college setting that does not specialize in photography will offer the basic levels, but may not offer you an internship with a professional photographer in your field. If you are looking for photography as a hobby these basic level classes will often give you the information you need to produce pictures you can be proud of. Specialized schools as with any others will allow for more information on a specific topic. Most specialized schools will allow you to work with a professional to learn the specifics of your profession as well as expand your knowledge. This helps you learn quicker and learn more about the techniques used in photography while having hands on experience. The best way to choose a photography school is to decide what you want from your photography. Once you have decided that you can move on to finding out how to apply. Some photography schools are part of a studio and allow for anyone to sign up for a class. Other schools require you to attend a college or university first for basic photography and intern before you go on to the specialized school. Searching online will lead you to the schools available in your area and across the country. You will be able to find the application as well as descriptions of every class they offer. The sites will also list the qualifications you have to attend the school and what classes you will need to take to become a photographer. Although the experience you receive from a classroom is better, online classes teach you what you need to know. Some classes that you will need to will be in lighting, composition, and other basics. Depending on your field you will then need to branch out in studying ways to capture the subject. Like portrait photography you will need to understand angles, light, balances, and how to elicit the reactions you need from the subject. Digital photography is the new way to take photographs and there are a few different techniques to learn from the older manual cameras. Photography schools can help you become more adapt at taking photographs. You may decide you need a little help to step up from being the point and shoot type to a more complicated camera or you might decide there is a career for you. There are many types of schools for you and online sources will help you find it. Online photography classes can be helpful for you learning techniques, but you will still want other people to help you find your eye for art. If you have worked with manual cameras in the past chances are you will want to take a digital photography course when you switch. To touch on one more type of school we need to delve into underwater photography. Most colleges and other photography schools associated with studios do not specialize in underwater photography. It is often best to seek out a dive school for a basic course. You might decide to delve further and find an underwater photography school. Underwater photography has always been a unique and interesting hobby or profession. Seeing the results of your work is like nothing else one can imagine. When you look at the color and the amazing views, you will understand underwater photography more. Finding Photography Online Taking pictures is not the only way to litter our walls with photography. There are those who are not interested in being behind the camera, but appreciate the art. If you have wondered where you might find some wonderful prints with a professional touch, but do not want to go to the galleries you might want to take a tour of the online world. Many people who take pictures place the pictures online for all to see. This helps you gain reorganization and potential clients for photography work. The online world is full of photographers waiting to be discovered. Places like deviantart.com, eBay, and other online galleries exist for the convenience of finding new photographs for you home. Simply by putting the words photography, photographs, or prints will not lead you to the more professional prints online. When searching online you will need to use specific keywords. These keywords take you to picture of a specific nature. If you are more interested in wildlife it is best to use those key words along with photography. Another drawback to online searching is getting the product from a reputable source. You want to make sure that your credit card information is safe, that the shipping will be affordable and appropriate. How they ship the print is also important you want to make sure a shipping company will not damage it. The number one thing about shipping prints is they require some insurance to ensure your investment has protection against damage, potential lost and theft when delivered. There are several tips you will want to follow when shopping online. Perhaps the most important tip is remembering you are seeing the print scanned into the online store. This means you are not in the gallery to check the print over and analyze it to the full extent. You will want to be a little wary if the photographs are grainy or they appear to have flaws. It is often best to shop online at art galleries with a reputation. These companies generally have great reputations and offer different shipping methods and insurance. In order to find appropriate sites you will want to understand page rank. Google ranks the web pages in order to give you an idea of the pages with the information you want as well as letting you know the sites validity. The higher the page rank, the more traffic the website has seen. Big known websites might offer more pictures and quality picture from a reputable service or business. It can be very difficult to find photography galleries online that will actually sell their prints. It will take a little time and effort, but the results are most often worth it. Just searching for keywords may net you photography techniques or schools rather than galleries to purchase from. If you have a favorite artist or gallery chances are you can enter their name to find the prints you are looking for online. If you are hoping for quality prints, but do not wish to pay for an artist's name you may have to spend a few hours to find just the right photographs. Online galleries are just another way technology has become convenient for all of us. Finding photography online to purchase can be difficult if you are looking for an obscure artist or print topic. You will need to search with specific keyword or topics to find prints. If you are interested in Alaskan photographs of wildlife you should narrow your sure just by mentioning the state. We all find photographs add to a homes decor. Galleries are often the way most of us find photographs because we like to see the prints up close, however online is the new way for convenience. So the next time you wish to change out your homes decor you might look online for ideas if not the product to satisfy you and your families needs. Explosions in the Sky How do you photograph an explosion? Well, when it comes to a fireworks show, it takes plenty of planning and anticipation of what you will need. Despite the fact that a fireworks display is a preplanned event, that spectacular moment when the fireworks explode in the sky is still a split second when everything has to work right for you to get the perfect photograph. Now obviously, there are some equipment issues that have to be prepared to have your camera not only set up and ready but at the proper settings to capture that moment when all glory cuts loose in the sky. So from an equipment stand point: * A tripod. The activity of the fireworks is so dramatic that unless you stabilize your camera, the shot will be blurred and unacceptable to you and to whoever you may wish to sell it to. The tripod should be easily transportable and adjustable so you can make adjustments on the fly. * A shutter release that functions externally. * Equipment to work at night as that is when your subject is going to occur. You can get a head mounted flashlight at any camping store so you can direct the light at the camera and still have both hands free to handle your equipment. * A portable chair as there will be some waiting. Anything else that will help you ride out the wait such as food, water, music etc. should also be part of your preparations. Because the fireworks explosion is sudden and fast, you need to be able to adjust the shutter speed and have the camera set up to react to manual focus so you can use your eyes and ears to know exactly when to snap that shot. The key to a great or a series of great fireworks photographs is location. You want a location that has an outstanding vantage point view of the piece of sky where the most action will take place. This means you may need to take a position on a bridge, on top of a building or on a hill away from the crowds that come to see the show. This is not going to be easy to find so start early. It is not out of line to "scope out" your location days in advance and arrive hours in advance to secure that spot as yours. Experience is going to be one of your best teachers as to not only the right location but how to set your camera focus and shutter speeds and how to position the view from the secured location so you can capture the rocket at the moment of explosion. So find ways to do some practice shoots at other fireworks displays before you set out to do the "keeper" shot. Many times minor league baseball clubs have fireworks shows and they would happily let you take photographs of the show in exchange for a few free shots. Here you can experiment with your experiment and get your bearings before setting up for a larger show. Once the show gets underway, anticipate the explosion that you want to capture. Don't snap the first five minutes of the show but use that time to confirm that you have the right sky location scouted. The best times to capture the shot are right before the explosion which you can time by the sound of the rocket going up and the expected time before eruption. With some experience you will get your sixth sense about where and when to snap that perfect photo and when you are done, you will have some spectacular shots to include with your portfolio or to display proudly. And this will lead to even more work photographing explosions in the sky. Rule of Photograph When it comes to the most beneficial rule of composition is to keep in mind that there is a rule of thirds. This will be helpful to the professionals and amateurs. You will find that there rule of the thirds will help you to get your composition set up. It is not difficult to learn or even use. You will always want to keep the rule in mind so that you can see a drastic improvement in the quality of the pictures that take. Fortunately, our minds think in Rule of Thirds mode even if we do not know it. It is very important that you follow this real so that you can get things in motion taking a picture that is pleasing to look at and also appealing. If your viewfinder has a grid option, use it. This was set up to make using the Rule of Thirds easy. If your camera does not have this option, you'll have to imagine it. When looking at a frame, you will want to draw a mental note of a tic-tac-toe box so that you can see lines that running horizontally and vertically. Next, check out your subject matter in relationship to the horizontal lines. Your picture will have the most impact if the horizon is placed close to one of these lines, so that your sky occupies about 1/3 or 2/3 of the picture. This will have a visual impact. The next step is to look at you subject matter in relationship to the four points on the grid where the horizontal and vertical lines meet. Also known as "sweet spots" for photographers. By placing visual importance in these spots, your picture will look more balanced. A good photographer will include diagonal lines. It will appear more pleasing if they run through one or two of the sweet spots. You will find that your subject also matters when it comes to using the rule, but you should always keep the rule in mind when you are taking the picture of anything. You need to be willing to break these rules, but you need to understand the importance of the elements will help you to make great shots, however, you have to keep in mind that not everything will fit picture perfectly in the sweet spots. When you keep the rule of thirds in mind you can create wonderful pictures with more of an impact. You can practice using it when it comes to still life shots, landscapes, and when arranging portraits. You can take a good picture and make it great within a few seconds. Cleaning the camera Lens The lens of a camera is very important and you will have to clean the lens with care so that you don't end up leaving it dirty. You will find that when you sue a lens that is delicate, you will only want to watch it when it gets very dirty. There are a few ways that you can avoid doing damage to your lens and how you clean it so that you don't ruin your camera or damage it. You first need to remove the dust and dirt that is stuck to your lens. Gently brush this away with a brush tool. You will want to yield from brushing or wiping too hard, since the material that is harder can end up scratching and ruining the lens. Even though you may not be able to see it, microscopic pieces of stone may cause tiny scratches that cannot be fixed. The morale of the story? Be careful. This may be all it takes to make your lens usable again. If you stop cleaning it, you won't be putting it in danger of ruin.. Never put your camera in more danger than necessary. There are going to be oils and build up on the lens that can not be removed by a simple brush. You will wan to use a cloth to help you to clean your lens. Using high quality and making sure your cloth is very clean will prevent you from scratching the lens as you rub it. You should watch the cloth between the cleanings. One piece of dirt could ruin your camera. There happen to be two different types of cleaners to use to help clean your camera lens.. First, if the film built up on the lens is water-soluble, your best option is simply to use distilled water. You can purchase some distilled water at the local grocery store in the water isle, however, but breathing on the lens you will be able to form a use of distilled water. You need to use clean water like distilled water so that you can take out the harmful minerals in it. Pour the water onto the cloth, never directly onto the lens, where it can seep into the camera and cause irreversible damage. There are oils on your lens that will require you to use a kind of cleaner. You will want to use regular alcohol and you will want to make sure that it is 100% pure alcohol. If there are happen to be additives, you will find that the lens could end up damaged. You will never want to use things like paint thinners or anything that is considered toxic. This is because the camera is very close to your face. When it comes to oil-based saturation, you will want to get some camera lens cleaners that are specially made for it. You will want to make sure that you don't hurt your camera; since it is an expensive investment. You will also want to clean the lens without damage because you will want to have it when a beautiful moment arises. Aperture Aperture is a very confusing concept that is used by beginning photographers, but when you learn how to use it and how you can create better photographs. You will find that there are simple automatic settings on your camera. The aperture will help bring the subject matter into better view that will help you to make the photographs stunningly better. The most common apertures to use are mid-range, from f8 to f11. Known as a "sweet spot" in the photography world, this is the automatic depth-of-field most cameras use if you do not change the settings. When you use mid-range aperture, you will be able to balance the pictures and focus wisely. This is a good range to stay in for most photography, especially if you do not have the time to set aperture after every shot. You will find that it is find for you to use automatic features to help serve you well in most cases and photography. For those who are more creative, you will want to change the way that you sue the aperture to shoot pictures.. First, you can shoot in large apertures--f2.8 to f5.6--which will produce photographs with a low depth-of-perception field. In other words, use this option if you want to shoot a subject matter that is very close to your camera. If you are using a large aperture, you will be able to focus on the character or object, but also the background so that things don't seem so blurry. Large apertures are most commonly used for photographing wildlife and portraits. As for the small apertures, you will find that they do the exact opposite. An aperture from f16 to f32 will draw you into the picture by creating sharp focus in most of the elements in the frame. This is where larger depths of perception fields happen to be created and you notice that the pictures will look more life like. Most landscape photographers use this when shooting so that you get a sharper image, even with items in the distance such as mountains. When it comes to the overall aperture capabilities on your camera should be something that is studied so that you can get the perfect shot when needed. You will want to learn about how you can change aperture and depth of perception fields so that you can quickly take a picture and reflect a little more creativity. This is what will take a good picture and make it better. You will find that you can review all of your options before purchasing, but you will also want to make sure that you use quality aperture features for specific use when taking pictures to capture a moment. Landscape Photography For those who are doing their first landscape shot, you may be disappointed when the prints don't look as professional as other photographers. You will want to wonder what is going wrong, however, you will find that all photographers ask themselves the same question at some point in time. You can't redo a lot of changing when it comes to the scenery. You will also find that there is little research on landscape photography, but it also remains a mystery to many. It could be up to the chance of luck. However, although it helps to have a breathtaking view to start with, landscape photography is an art just like setting up a portrait or still life is. However, you have to learn to use what you got when it comes to making a landscape work for you and the pictures that you desire. First, remember the basics. Always think with a photographer's mind. You may not be able to move the scenery, but you can learn how to pick a good scenery to work with and also where you can apply many of the rules and techniques that you will learn about when studying photography. The scenery cannot move, but you can, so look for the perfect host to employ composition techniques such as the rule of thirds. Be conscious of where your horizon line falls, and look at how the elements of the frame work together to create diagonal lines. Although, if the shot isn't so perfect, you will want to learn to move on and find other places to capture it's essential beauty. You will also want to keep in mind the time of day and the season. Night shots can be beautiful, but it is very disappointing when you want to shoot a sunset and you arrive just as the last rays disappear behind the mountains. When you aren't familiar with the location, you will want to listen to local weather stations so that you can steer clear of the rain and other bad weather and capture the perfect sky in the background. The weather station can also be helpful in predicting storms and giving you information about the changing seasons. Gardeners familiar to the area are useful for this as well. They can tell you what weekend the autumn leaves will be the most brilliant or which month certain flowers bloom on the hillside. You will also want to think about color and tones. Most people look for spectacular colors of nature to make their photograph beautiful. You will want to use color to give the pictures added sparkle, however you will also want to learn to use the colors to enhance and not distract you from the lines of the pictures. In fact, if they are too intense, try simplifying things but cutting out color completely--shoot in black and white. Nature is one of the best snapshots that you can capture. You will find that the run light is perfect and the animals might even give you an added surprise. You will want to prepare to make the most out of your time in a specific location. You will want to have the film loaded and the camera ready to go, so that you can get a surprise shot and capture the beauty of the moment. You will be able to get mystifying shots when you keep in mind some of the basic rules for photography. You will want to learn how to use the rules and landscapes to make some magical pictures come to life. Natural Light with Photography When it comes to being a photographer, you will find that the weather can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You will find that it is impossible to control the weather to have idea conditions all the time for your shootings, however, you can make the most of what you got. When it comes to a sunny, rainy, or even cloudy day, you can still use the landscape to create beautiful shots. The golden hours are two hours in a day that are very good for photographers. These two hours occur right after sunrise and right before sunset and are generally longer in the summer and shorter in the winter. You, may be wondering why these two hours are known as the best for great shots, however, during the early morning and late afternoon, the sun is positioned for dramatic lighting, but will not create harsh shadows or blazes of light, especially when shooting with people. You may have noticed that if you take a subject outside to shoot a little bit before noon one of the three possibilities. First, your subject trying not to squint into the sun could ruin your picture. Second, your subject is too dark because they are standing with their back to the sun, creating a silhouette effect. Lastly, your subject's face and features look distorted because standing with the sun at one side creates awkward shadows. None of the options can product a good produce a good photograph. During the noontime hour, all the shadows will totally disappear, giving the picture a flat appearance. Sunrise and sunset provide just the right kind of lighting and shadows, and also a beautiful photographic opportunity in many cases, since the colors are so beautiful in the sky. When it comes to a cloudy day or overcast, you can still get some great pictures. The clouds in the sky diffuse the light so that the subject is illuminated with natural light, but the harsh shadows are gone. You will want to use a flash if the pictures look to flat, but you may also want to shoot in black and white, instead of color. Black and white photography works very well on overcast days when the colors would look washed out. For all those rainy days you may not realize, but you can still get some shots. Rain will add an interesting element to the image and you will still be able get to a good picture. However, you will find that the wet ground will make you want to protect your equipment from water. You will also want to consider bringing some other people to hold the umbrellas or carry the bags so that they do not have to be placed on the ground. You will also want to consider getting all your shots and use the rain to make a great and stunning effect on the pictures. However, you will want to make sure that you try your hardest to keep an positive attitude so that you can get some great shots Print Storage There is nothing wrong with you to continue to get copies of the photographs for scrap booking. If you're anything like me, however, it's hard to find the time to always complete pages as soon as you get the hard copies made. It is important to safely store your prints until you can create albums. There are many storage systems that can be found on the market and it will protect your pictures and your memories by using acid free products and by learning to keep them clean and well. Look for products that are specially made for picture storage; these organizational tools should always be acid free. One of the easiest and more convenient ways to storage is to buy photo albums. This will keep them from acid and will protect them from getting dirty. There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to acid free products and many safe albums to ensure you the protection of your pictures. Sliding your pictures into slots is not nearly as attractive as creating pages, but when you use a regular photo album, you can still share your pictures in a presentable way with guests until you have time to create scrapbooks. It will be best for you if you learn how to organize your pictures according to album, rather then theme. Also, you will want to think about virtual folders and other tools to help you to keep the pictures separate. You will find that there are folders that you can keep certain pictures in and you will find that they are much like a file or drawer. You will be able to label them and then you'll increase the type that it takes you to find something that you need. You will find that organization is the key, but so is the time it is going to take some time to get familiar with the scrap book organization system that you have going, but you will find that it is so much easier for you to start a project with some organization. Black and white Many professional photographers will choose not to do their work in color, but just black and white. The black and white pictures will give them a classic look, but it also shows a lot of class and techniques that are used and help save on film. Black and white photography is something that is easy for beginners, but also you will be able to learn the techniques easier in black and white. You will also be able to focus more on light and composition and character, rather than color. For black and white pictures, you will find that they are more rewarding some times than getting the pictures in color. You don't always have to have a perfect shot and the perfect conditions for the shoot either when you go with black and white. What may look excellent in black and white can often make a washed out, mediocre color photograph. Consider black and white photography especially when shooting outside on overcast days. If you don't have a lot of lighting you can still get a great shot in various colors when you use the colors that fade in and out of the picture to make some wonderful prints. On the other hand, you won't be able to see this effect in black and white, so your picture will be focused more on the actual subject matter. Whether you're exploring a new area on vacation or simply want some prints of your hometown, if the day isn't bright and sunny, consider black and white. Younwill find that black and white is a good choice to have for portraits. Skin tone is a tricky thing in many color photographs--people tend to dislike close-up shots because they can clearly see blemishes in coloring. Also, with black and white pictures you will be able to conceal the blemishes. Black and white photography can also get rid of the stark contrast between someone's bright face and the dull background. The black and white photography will help you to see things in a classy look and also it will add some whimsical romance to set the mood. That's why it is perfect for a wedding. Black and white pictures will be scary in some instances, but you will be able to use it like you would color. You will learn how to use black and white film to help others pay attention to the finer details like the shapes and lines. You will find that some of the best black and white pictures will help you to contrast very dark areas. When it comes to the rolls of film, you will be able to feel the wonderful pride that you will get from black and white photography. The photographer will be proud of their accomplishments you will be able to print all of the pictures that mean something to you. Digital Camera information If you are going to buy your first digital camera, you will want to research your purchase so that you don't end up being clueless on things like megapixels or what is the best storage for you. The salesperson will try to gang up on you and give you a lot of options, but you don't want to get confused. You will want to be prepared so that they don't intimidate you. You will find that when you do a little bit of research before you go to buy a camera, you will be able to save some time and help yourself out a lot. When most people first begin looking at digital cameras, the question in their minds is picture quality. On a digital camera, this is measured by megapixels. Higher is better--megapixels, in short, are simply the little dots on the camera's screen that make up the picture. If you own a personal computer, think about what something looks like when it is "pixilated." The less pixels, the more grainy your picture will be, so you'll probably want a camera that is at least at a 2 or 3. However, once you start going above that, you won't see much of a difference in your shots unless you are taking professional photographs that are going to be blown up or need to be of impeccable quality. The salesman will try to mention the shutter speeds, but they will also give you just a range. If you've used film cameras in the past, you probably understand shutter speed, but for novices, this may be a new lesson. When it comes to the speeds that they give you, you will notice that it takes less than a fraction of a second. Therefore if someone says the shuttle speed is 600, they really mean that it is 1/600 of a second. Faster shutter speeds are better if you will be taking a lot of motion shots; however, most people and situations will never need anything higher than 2000. You will be given a minimum shutter speed and that is counted when it comes to the full seconds. This is useful for night photography. If you want your camera simply for regular run-of-the-mill photography, shutter speed is probably not very important, but having these options is great for those who want to photograph things like sports or city lights. Storage options will confuse many people when it comes to a digital camera. Many digital cameras allow you to change the quality of your photographs--if you take lower quality, you can store more pictures. You probably can't keep more than a hand few of images on the camera without a memory card, so that is why it is so important for you to purchase the extra memory for the camera. The salesperson will try to talk you into the cards that hold more photographs and are more expensive, but remember that you only need enough storage until you can transfer your photographs to your computer or stop at a developing center. You will also be able to delete images that you don't like, and make room for all the ones that you do like. There happens to be more other things that you will want to consider, however, you should learn about how to buy a digital camera, before you go and purchase one. You don't want to buy one on impulse. It is very important to understand the quality that you are getting and how it relates to the budget. You will want to have a clear budget so that you can make a good and solid purchase. Tips on Buying a Digital Camera There is a lot to consider when it comes to buying new digital cameras. You will find that it can be hard if you have never owned one before. You will find that the digital cameras will be a lot more in cost, but you will learn to save money over time. You will no longer have to purchase film and you can delete pictures that are less than what you wanted. There happen to be many advantages that to owning to a digital camera. You will want to go through the purchasing cycle when it comes to getting the right camera. You will also be able to find what the best deal is for your money and a camera that meets all your needs. For a general rule, you will find that digital cameras are a lot cheaper online or at chain department stores, because they have access to supplies. However, in either of those places, you will not get the service or knowledge of a real photography professional, so it might be worth your money to explore some of the nearby specialty camera shops in your neighborhood. At the specialty shops, you will be able to find that the salesman and people who own the shops know a lot about the products and will be more than willing to help you learn the ropes too. At specialty stores, if you buy a camera from them, they might also give you discounts on services such as getting prints and framing. In specialty stores, as in department stores and other places where cameras are sold, the merchandise is usually kept in a locked case. You will want to take the time to ask some question and see all of the cameras that you are interested in or that you can afford within the budget that you have set. You can compare stats such as photo quality and features on a sheet, but without holding the camera and testing it out, you will not be able to tell if it is a good fit for you. If there are not batteries included in the camera package, you will want to ask the salesman for some batteries. The salesperson should be able to provide them so you can turn the camera on and test it. For those who aren't using a digital camera for professional purposes, then you don't really take about the quality of the camera compared to the price. You will want to think about going with a lower resolution so that you can save some money. You will want to decide what is important to you before you go to the store. You will want to get the quality standards picked out along with a budget before you go shopping. You will also want to think about the features of the camera. You will need to get something with a good zoom feature, but there are other features that you will want to consider. However, you should consider your gut feeling. If you don't like something, then don't buy it because it fits into your price range. You will want to purchase something that feels right to you. There is usually a return system for most stores, but you will want to find out before purchasing. A Photography Career For those who love photography, you may want to start a career in the photograph business and it might be perfect for you and your life right now. There are three different areas of photography such as, general, commercial, and advertising. You will find that most people will go into the area that best interests them and sometimes it is just in general photography. You will find that if you get some formal training in photography, you will be able to experience a lot of success when it comes to commercial or advertising photography. No matter how much experience you might have with taking pictures, when you take the classes or training program you may be able to learn something new about the art of photography. Many of the courses that you will focus on you will be able to focus on the business end of the field. You will be able to decide if you would like to join an existing company or start up your own company. You will also be able to find your niche in the photography market. General photographers are most commonly the ones who own their own business and work from home. Many photographers in general photo field, they do not use the job as their sole income, and they will not have a storefront most of the time.. Some of the things general photographers shoot includes weddings, senior portraits, and family pictures. General photography will help you to do some freelance work. You will be able to do freelance work for mostly commercial businesses, but the majority of their time will be spent building business relationships with people in the community and clients. As for commercial photographers, they will work in a different filed of business. Instead of working for the community, commercial photographers do work for companies. This includes doing work for catalogues, newspapers, architectural businesses, and other corporations that need photographs taken. They may be part of the company staff or they may just be freelance photographer and work by contract. Freelancers generally have more flexible schedules, but cannot rely on a steady paycheck like staff photographers. Most commercial photographers specialize in a specific area, such as food or exterior architecture. Advertising photographers will help a company to advertise. They will find a hard time breaking into this part of the job field, but they will also be able to get high rates of exposure when they do hit into the market. They will have their name in magazines, TV shows, and even billboards. They may also be about to get their name in other media channels. When it comes to advertising, it is very difficult for anyone to get into the field. You will have to learn how to climb the corporate ladder to find the success that you are looking for. Before you start your career as a professional photographer, you will want to realize that it will take a lot of time for dedication to earn your money.
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