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All articles by Joy Asto

 

Stop Asking for Other Photographers’ Camera Settings

Let’s get the facts straight: You’re not going to learn how to take compelling photographs by asking for other people’s camera settings. Or their EXIF data. Sure, you can get away with it for the first few times when you’re still a complete beginner fiddling with your camera’s controls. But you will never truly learn...
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Mitja Kobal Documents the Japanese Way of the Blade Today

Whether you’re a practicing photojournalist or simply interested in real-world photo narratives, today’s fascinating set will certainly inspire you. Many centuries after the samurai rose to power in medieval and early-modern Japan, the excellent craftsmanship of their blades still persist to this day. This is what Vienna-based photographer Mitja Kobal has found and chronicled for an interesting photo documentary project....
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How to Get Sharply Focused Photos with a Wide Aperture

Shooting with a wide aperture allows you to drastically isolate your subject from the background and play around with bokeh, making it a neat technique for portrait photography. However, it also comes with a cost: the focus tends to be sharp only towards the center of your frame. Irene Rudnyk shows us how to get our subject sharp throughout your frame even with apertures as wide as f1.2....
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Sonia Szóstak’s “Magic Hours” Depict Vivid and Gorgeous Landscapes

Nature has been mankind’s biggest sources of inspiration and ideas for all kinds of creative pursuits. Nothing compares to being inspired while immersing in the hues, textures, lines, shapes, and formations that we can find in the great outdoors. Such was the experience of photographer Sonia Szóstak and her team while travelling across the beautiful landscapes of Bolivia and Peru....
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“Broken” is an Emotional Depiction of the Golden Years of Togetherness

When couples are photographed, we usually see them in their ecstatic, soon-to-tie-the-knot mode in engagement shoots, or in the euphoria of their wedding day. What usually happens in the golden years of marriage, however, is something that we don’t really see documented in photos or snapshots. This is most likely the idea behind a recent collaborative work between Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson of Kremer Johnson Photography and digital artist Jeff Whitlock....
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George Muncey Shoots Large Format Portraits for Dickies

Today, the distinct look of film photography is sought after not only by ardent film shooters and professional photographers looking for alternate mediums, but apparently, by brands as well. It’s not even limited to independent brands anymore, as George Muncey of Negative Feedback proves with a recent large format portrait shoot for Dickies....
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This One, Convenient Image Sums Up The Technicalities of Photography

We live in an era where learning things has become a lot easier, including photography. On top of courses and modules that you can enroll in, there are tons of photography resources that you can access with just a few clicks. One of them is a simple and neat basic photography infographic that could jump start your learning in photography, or even save you a considerable amount of money on beginner courses....
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Why You Should Do the One Camera, One Lens Challenge

There are many reasons and advantages for using different lenses for your photography, especially when you’re doing it for commercial work or specialized projects. Still, we come across photography tests like the “one camera, one lens” challenge, the goal of which is to see what kind of images we’ll come up with if we have to push through the limitations of using just one lens....
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Øystein Sture Aspelund Captures the Beauty of Getting Lost

There something enchanting about wandering aimlessly and emerging somewhere strange and unfamiliar but all the same breathtaking. This is often the thrill sought by photographers who are keen on photographing distant lands and unchartered territories. But for Norwegian photographer Øystein Sture Aspelund, it’s more compelling to capture the stories and emotions that arise when we’re faced with the promise of discovery and getting whisked away from the familiarity and occasional boredom of daily life....
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Maria Svarbova’s Poolside Origins Explores Symmetry and Duplicity

The beauty of symmetry and the intrigue of duplicity are some of the most commonly explored techniques in conceptual photography. If you find these themes particularly interesting, this curious-looking set of Slovakian photographer Maria Svarbova is a delightful mix of both....
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How the Inverse Square Law Affects Your Lighting

Whether you work extensively with flash and studio lighting, or have a preference for natural and outdoor light, understanding the quality of light when you shoot is crucial to getting well-exposed photos. To our rescue comes the Inverse Square Law of Light, which sounds very intimidating but is actually one of the photometry concepts that...
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Mark Broyer Captures the Beauty of After Hours in Hamburg

Cities take on a different persona at night, and they can either be full of energy or melancholy, depending on the city, the districts, or time of the night. Street photographers who prowl their towns by nightfall sure know this very well, and it’s interesting how their photo narratives reveal which part of the night they prefer to document. For Hamburg-based photographer Mark Broyer, it’s the colorful after hours of his city....
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Ken Hermann Imagines the Story of a Spaceman’s Crash Landing

Space exploration has been one of mankind’s biggest missions, and discovering Earth-like worlds has captured the imagination of many in the last two decades. If scientists and engineers have been responding to this with provisions for space travel, artists like Copenhagen-based photographer Ken Hermann have been turning to their creativity to imagine what it would be like if cosmic travelers do find one in the not-so-distant future....
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Ken Hermann’s Smoke is an Eye-Catching Explosion of Color

Looking for some explosive photography inspiration? Whether you’re fond of making your photos pop with color or simply find vibrant hues hypnotic, you’ll enjoy the burst of colors in this intriguing work by Danish photographer Ken Hermann....
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How to Shoot the Classic Highway Long Exposure Shot at Night

Ever wanted to get those gorgeous long exposure shots of busy cities with light streaking along the streets? It’s one of the classic highway and cityscape shots that every photographer does every now and then because it conveys a lot of energy and activity in just one frame. If you can think of a nice vantage point where you can capture this beautiful city scene, you’re already halfway there. The other half comes in this video tutorial from Serge Ramelli....
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Learn Proper Lighting for Men vs. Women for Great Portraits

Whether you’re planning to practice portrait photography for personal projects or build a career out of it, one of the lessons you’d find valuable is knowing proper lighting for your subjects. It’s actually not as straightforward as keeping your subjects evenly lit. Daniel Norton of Adorama tells us why it’s important to know how to light men vs. women to create the most eye-catching portraits....
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Kremer Johnson Photography Duo Introduces Los Angeles in Portraits

It’s been a tried and tested way to document a place by photographing its people, which is why it remains a popular creative venture for photographers. The collaborative duo of Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson gives us a glimpse of Los Angeles by photographing random people making their way around the city for a set called Angelenos....
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Portrait Photography Tip: Classic Arms Up Pose

Portrait photography these days often call for creative and uncommon poses, but there are still a handful that never go out of style. If you’re wondering how you can make your portraits pop and eye-catching, try this pro tip of getting your female model to do the classic arms up pose....
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August Udoh’s Powerful Portraits Show Nigeria’s Everyday Life

One of the most amazing things about photography is how it has the power to give us a glimpse of everyday life in places we’ve never been to. It’s the main element that drives photojournalists and documentary photographers to search for compelling stories to translate into visual narratives. Photojournalist August Udoh may just be one of many who have documented his hometown in Nigeria, but his portrait set aptly named Everyday People is an emotive introduction to the characters of his everyday life....
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Maximilian Motel’s The Traveller is a Beautiful Ode to Space Exploration

All images by Maximilian Motel. Used with Creative Commons Permission. Photo manipulations and composites can be sensitive topics for some photographers, yet it’s a common method used by many to realize their creative vision. Once in a while, we also come across projects of this nature that are simply praiseworthy works of art. The Traveller, a...
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Attention: You Could Be Shooting with Radioactive Lenses

If you’re a film photographer or an avid collector of decades-old photography gear, chances are, you’ve run into some or heard about radioactive lenses. Or, you could be actively shooting with them right now and are completely unaware of it. Puzzled? Afraid? Curious? Let’s get to the truth of the matter....
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Irene Rudnyk Shoots Beautiful Outdoor Portraits with a Cello

Running out of ideas for shooting portraits? Sometimes, all you need is a prop that you can use as a major part of your portrait’s story. If you’ve been working in the studio for a while, you might want to bring your session outdoors to give your photos a scenic or even moody look. Case in point is the lovely session by Irene Rudnyk where she took portraits in natural light outdoors with her model holding a cello....
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Shooting Film with the Metz 45-CL4 Flash Looks Awesome

If film is your chosen medium and flash photography is something you’re yet to try, we have something that may be of interest to you. Sure, you could be shooting with your camera’s built-in flash. But it’s worth watching what it’s like to shoot film with an impressive-looking handle mount flash. George Muncey of UK-based film photography website Negative Feedback gives us a demonstration of shooting his favorite flash, the  Metz 45-CL4 Flash....
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Kremer Johnson Photography Snaps Life on El Mirage’s Fast Lane

If you enjoyed browsing through the many faces that Kremer Johnson Photography photographed around Los Angeles, you’ll surely find their many other narrative portraits equally interesting. For today, let’s head out of their usual playground and revisit their portrait adventures in the central Mojave Desert....
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Survey Says: Smartphone Users Want Better Lens and Improved Zoom

September 12 was a highly anticipated day for two things: first, Apple announced its next generation of iPhones; and second, the Mobile World Congress Americas debut a three-day conference. In light of these two events, it has become even more fitting to take a closer look at the seemingly blurring line between photography and smartphone technology. With professional photographers and photography enthusiasts owning a smartphone that doubles as their everyday camera, what does photography in the age of iPhone tell us?...
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The Dead Zone is Home to Julien Coquentin’s Childhood Memories

Childhood memories often serve as sources of inspiration for creatives, so it’s not surprising to find many compelling works driven by its nostalgic imagery. However, instead of presenting images of gentleness, innocence, and fondness for a time gone by, French photographer Julien Coquentin takes his viewers to what he calls The Dead Zone, which reimagines his childhood haunts....
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Memorywall Transforms Your Wall into A Dynamic Photo Display

If you’re looking for an eye-catching way to display your photos but the usual frame won’t do, Memorywall may be the creative solution that could do the trick for you. The fun frame promises to bring any wall to life with their dynamic frames that you can maneuver into any shape you want for a 3D effect....
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Shoot Beautiful Portraits on Location with these Quick Tips

Thinking of experimenting with shooting portraits on location? If you’ve never tried working outside of the studio, now would be a great time to give it a try. Not only will it give you fresh perspectives and ideas, you can also take advantage of the different shooting conditions and elements of your chosen spot....
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Minimalist Photography Tip: Liken Your Photo to a Painter’s Canvas

Minimalist photography may sound easy in theory, but it’s challenging when you’re not working with a blank canvas. Photographers, like painters, work with a canvas to create their visual masterpieces. However, the differences in the craft aren’t limited to the tools of the trade. The canvas itself offers a clue on how these two artists work and the challenges they work around with to create an artistic image....
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Lars Stieger Reimagines Architecture as Spaceships

All images by Lars Stieger. Used with Creative Commons Permission. Architecture photography can be mundane or too abstract to some, but it seems that Hamburg-based photographer Lars Stieger sees it as fodder to the imagination. Case in point is his impressive set called Spaceships, which, as the title suggests, is a clever reimagining of buildings and...
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How to Create Window Light in a Windowless Location

Window light is one of the most popular lighting setups for all kinds of photography and video projects today for many reasons. Mainly, it creates a positive and relaxed atmosphere, while it also illuminates the subjects with a clean and cozy high-key lighting. However, what if you want to create this effect in a location...
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An Easy Way to Get That See-Through Frame Effect for Cool Portraits

Thinking of making your portraits extra cool or fun? Sure, you can use props and colors to jazz up your photos, but there are many other tricks to create interesting images. One of the techniques you can try today is a see-through frame effect. It’s incredibly simple and you only need a few things to...
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Explore Julien Palast’s Abstract Stellar Landscapes Made of Ice

Abstract photography is one of those styles that don’t adhere to a strict definition, and can be hard to pin down in terms of tasteful execution. Still, it’s pretty popular among photographers who are looking for different ways of looking at things. Paris-based commercial photographer Julien Palast is definitely one with his intriguing series called Stellar. On his Behance page, Julien simply says they’re stellar landscapes made out of ice, but to the untrained eye, it’s not that easy to recognize. With all the jagged textures, mishmash of colors, and the uneven cracks here and there, it’s really a challenge to figure out how Julien achieved his intrguing abstraction. Did he use crunched up clear plastic? Is that a hint of something metallic there? What is he alluding to by calling this set “stellar”?...
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Ekaterina Busygina Envisions Moscow as a Serene White City

For anyone who has mastered the art of architectural photography, one of the tricks of the trade involves creative use of details. This is exactly what we see in the works of Russian architectural photographer Ekaterina Busygina, who uses this technique to highlight the geometric harmony found in buildings and architectural elements. Aside from this pleasant display of balance, her set called White City also depicts what future cities would look like. Much like how Lars Stieger reimagined buildings and structures as spaceships, Ekaterina used Moscow’s architecture to explore the idea of ultra modern cityscapes being stark white, serene, and strikingly coordinated. It’s a fascinating exercise on how architectural photography can be an effective tool to harness the power of imagination....
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Sebastião Salgado and the Silent Drama of Photography

Many of the most iconic photographers have lived colorful and interesting lives, filled with events and encounters that have shaped their brilliant works. Such is what we can discern from the works of Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist known for his dramatic black and white photographs that explore man’s relationship with nature and with each other. If you’re discovering Sebastião Salgado’s works for the first time, prepare to be amazed and inspired. His timeless photographs remain relevant and captivating even for today’s budding photographers, so you’ll definitely enjoy this video primer on his life and work by Aidan Moneyhon. Here, you’ll hear Aidan briefly cover some important details about Salgado’s life, and get a glimpse of the imagery that earned him worldwide recognition....
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Stefano Gardel Captures the Pervading Darkness in London

There’s something about cities at night that get photographers prowling the streets in search of stories. Sometimes it’s the seemingly alternate world that comes to life when the sun sets and the city lights bathe everything in a different glow. Maybe it’s the way everything and everyone slows down and unwinds, making it easier to catch them unguarded for a candid moment. But for Switzerland-based fine art photographer Stefano Gardel, the darkness that envelopes the streets of London at night is particularly intriguing....
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Use Color Gels in Your Studio to Create Vibrant Portraits

Do you want to add a touch of color on your portraits? You can create a really cool effect with the help of a simple trick using color gels. If you haven’t worked with them before, knowing what they can do will allow you to confidently play around with moods through colors. If you already...
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How Shutter Speed Determines the Look of Your Photos

For photographers, shutter speeds can mean everything. The advent of digital photography has made it easier to just leave the settings to the camera to get a clear and perfect shot. However, it pays to learn more about how your camera works, especially if it allows you the option to go full manual. Knowing how to set your shutter speed, for example, opens your photography to many creative applications. If you’re just getting started with photography, learning the technical side of things may seem daunting at first. But if you break it down to the essential concepts, such as finding out how shutter speeds work, it will be easier for you to apply them when you practice later on....
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Shooting Night Photography with Kodak Portra: Things to Consider

Doing night photography or shooting in low light is pretty easy when you’re using digital gear, but it’s certainly more challenging to do when you choose to work with film. Going blind and shooting unprepared with a film camera has been the source of frustration for many who are just getting into it. The good news is, you don’t have to....
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Contax T2: The World’s Trendiest Compact Camera?

One of the most popular picks in the compact film camera scene, the Contax T2, has retained its allure almost three decades after it was introduced. It was created with the professional market in mind, at a time when the “luxury compact” was in vogue around the 90’s. Its titanium body (for which the “T” stands for), sleek design, handy size, and excellent optics (an f2.8/38mm multi-coated Carl Zeiss T* Sonnar lens) cemented this superstar status in the photography world....
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Jan Erik Waider Photographs the Stillness Up North in Arctic Silence

Hamburg-based Jan Erik Waider is a photographer captivated by the northernmost parts of the globe. These areas have been captivating travelers since time immemorial, and the photographers of today continue to show the rest of us why. Arctic Silence, one of his projects born out of expeditions throughout  the Nordic landscapes, is one such compelling example. Through the stillness of the waters and the ghostly fog enveloping the jagged icebergs, one can almost imagine — and feel, even — the eerie mood that surrounded Jan as he took these photographs. And yes, it’s oh so quiet....
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Why a Polarizing Filter Should Be Part of Your Photography Arsenal

While some photographers these days may just use a Polarizing Filter for the color benefits, there are other uses. Surely, many of us have struggled with the problem of glare on our photos for countless times. Glare from window reflections, glass displays, and even water have ruined one too many photos. However, before you resign your future snaps to removing glare with Photoshop, you might want to get some help from the trusty polarizing filter first....
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Display Your Instax Photos with CAIUL Clear Acrylic Photo Magnet Frame

The concept behind CAIUL Clear Acrylic Photo Magnet Frame is actually really simple. You put your print in between two acrylic blocks which are held together securely by tiny but strong magnets on each side. With this, you can switch photos in your frame with ease and display your prints completely without leaving tape residues or risking damaging them....
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Give Your Photos a Modern Duotone Look with Free Photoshop Actions

Ever thought of playing around with colors for your fashion snaps and powerful portraits? You can now do it when you post-process by converting them into modern and stylish duotone artworks. Thanks to design resource website Pixelo, you can now give any image a vibrant new look with their free Duotone Photoshop Actions....
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Make Cyanotype Prints at Home with this Easy Tutorial

On a more technical note, cyanotype is a UV light-sensitive photographic process, which means you’ll have to do your exposures in full sunlight or with the help of a UV light box. You also need to prepare your materials in a darkroom or a dimly lit room. Making the exposure is actually as simple as putting an object over a taking medium coated with the UV-sensitive cyanotype chemicals. How long you should expose it depends on the intensity of the sunlight you’re working with....
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Robert Shults on Photographing Homelessness with Insight and Empathy

While it’s now frowned upon to just dive headfirst into “documenting” stories of homeless people, it can still be puzzling to some as to what exactly makes it distasteful. Former homeless photographer Robert Shults has recently shared his perspectives about this matter in an insightful interview with Photo District News (PDN). Despite its popularity and relevance, street photography has seen its own share of controversies, particularly when it comes to the ethics of photographing people without their consent. The rules against it aren’t definite, but the common stance is that anyone out in the streets is fair game, and it’s the photographer’s goal to not get caught. This becomes extra tricky when you put homeless people into the picture, so to speak....
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Get Stunning Starry Photos with this Easy Astrophotography Tutorial

If you’ve ever drooled over those stunning snaps of a clear night sky peppered with stars, you’d probably be thrilled to know that you can get those photos, too. All you need to do is to plan a shoot on a cloudless night, find a nice spot to camp away from the city lights, equip your camera with a wide angle lens (a 24mm f/1.4 will do great), a tripod, a cable release, energy to pull an all-nighter (you’ll want to experiment), and watch this astrophotography primer....
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Get Punchy Monochromes from Russian Type-D Black and White Film

If you’re looking for a new film to try — perhaps something rare, like a handmade black and white film — we have some interesting news for you. Foqus, an analogue photo store and photolab based in St. Petersburg, Russia, is carrying a handmade black and white film called Type-D. According to their blog post, this 35mm film was introduced in 2016 by a group of film photography fans in Russia, making it possible for their fellow analogue lovers to enjoy more fresh black and white films. And so we’re telling you all about it because we’re positive that most readers won’t know what it is....
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Escape Into Hussam Eissa’s Surreal Double Exposures

Despite the risk of creating something overdone, many photographers and visual creatives continue to make double exposures part of their visual storytelling tools. The dreamy works by Egyptian photographer Hussam Eissa make perfect examples of why they seek to master it. With its origins tracing back to the days of film photography, double exposure simply involves exposing a frame of film twice, yet the creative applications it opens are only limited by one’s imagination. With results that are often ethereal, reflective, and moody, it continues to persist as one of today’s most popular photography techniques, whether traditional or digital....
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A Peek Into Photographer David Bailey’s “Swinging London”

If the United States had Richard Avedon, the United Kingdom has David Bailey. Hailed as one of the pioneers of contemporary photography, the English photographer continues to be a big name in the world of fashion and portrait photography to this day. ...
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