web analytics

Useful Photography Tip

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 85mm f1.4 review images (1 of 3)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

When photographing a portrait subject, we can’t always expect everyone to have the best fitting clothing for them or always have the best fashion sense. But we as creatives and photographers can help them with just a couple of slight modifications.

Firstly, we recommend that you bring safety pins, hair ties, and gaffers tape with you to your shoot. Generally when you’re shooting portraits, you’re photographing the front of the person. So let’s say that their button down shirt doesn’t fit them in such a way that makes their body look the best.

Now you’ve got a couple of ways to approach this but it all has to do with working with what’s behind the subject.

– You can go behind the subject, pull the shirt in tighter on them, and tie it in the back to hold it in place.

– Pull the shirt in a lot in the back and tuck it in.

– Pull the shirt in and use safety pins to hold it in place.

– Pull the shirt in and tape it into place

All of this doesn’t affect the front, only the back. You can do the same with pants, blouses, dresses, etc. Just work with the back of the subject and you’ll be all fine.

Give it a shot at your next portrait session.

Model: Lulu Geng

Model: Lulu Geng

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

Before we get to the big, meaty part of this post that you’re all here for, let’s quickly go over the elements of flash photography. To control what the image looks like, you have your shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and flash output. For argument’s sake, we’re going to say that you’re dealing with a manual flash instead of a TTL light–and we’re also going to assume that the light is off-camera.

– Shutter speeds: control the ambient lighting in the scene

– ISO: controls the overall sensitivity of the other parameters.

– Aperture: controls the depth of field and how much light from the flash actually affects the scene.

– Flash output: a specific powerful level. If you have a 500 watt second monolight and are shooting with it at around half power, you’ll be shooting at 250 watt seconds. That’s around three or four standard hot shoe flashes.

Using the different combinations of these parameters you can blend the lights accordingly to look more natural. Then there is the other obvious part: using a large light modifier to make the light even softer.

Finally, we now get to what’s really important. The biggest secret to making flash output look more natural has to do with its positioning. Much of the light that we normally see in life is above us. Ever notice that?

Walk through a hallway, and the lights are in the ceiling. Go outside and sun is shining down on you from up above.

So one of the biggest tips that we want to give you is to raise the light up above your subject and aim it downwards at an angle. Additionally, bring the light to the side and forward. By doing this little trick, the light in your scene can look a thousand times more natural than if it were from below.

Just think: how many times do you see the light coming from below someone?

Want more? Check out how to make strobe look natural, using an ND filter with strobes and blending strobe and ambient light.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 4.38.42 PM

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

The art of creating high contrast black and white images has to start with what first comes out of the camera. To do that, you first need to create an image with very bright whites and with darks as dark as you can possibly get them. You’re most likely to skew one way or the other. But the biggest edits come in the post-production stage. This is where you need to work with the entire dynamic range are of the image since the colors are more or less moot due to the color scheme being removed.

So at this point you’ll need to work with four critical areas in Adobe Lightroom:

– The Blacks

– The Whites

– The Tonal Curve

– Clarity

Blacks adjust the most extreme end of the dark area while the whites do the opposite. Then you’re going to need to work with the entire space in between–which are the midtones. You can manipulate these mostly using the clarity slider for quicker adjustments but more fine tuned adjustments should be done through the tonal curves.

At that point, you’ll be playing with the settings to get a look that you want. These are the basic tools that you’ll need to get iHigh Contrast Black and White images, so go ahead and give it a shot.

[click to continue…]

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 12.34.54 PM

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

While you can manually white balance in the camera with the aid of something like the ExpoDisk, you might not always have the time to do so during a shooting situation. Providing that you’ve shot in RAW, you can still get a great deal of latitude in the editing process. To get the best white balance though, you should start a very neutral point. The way to do this is to start with something along the lines of what’s known as middle gray.

Start by using the eyedropper tool next to the white balance sliders in Adobe Lightroom and scrolling it over the image. You’ll need to find the pixels that are the closest to 50% in the RGB sections, which you can see as you scroll over the areas. In order to save time, try looking at the areas where the darkest blacks meet the whites in the image if that’s possible. Once you have something close, select those pixels and you’ll get something near to a neutral white balance.

From that point, you can manipulate the image to be either warmer or cooler and set your tint levels accordingly to how you want them to be.

Give it a shot. Then when you’re done with this, check out our tips on how to get better color.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 9.04.57 PM

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

Don’t ever pretend like something negative or crazy doesn’t happen in your life. No one has the perfect life no matter how positive of an image we all try to put forward as creatives. But every now and then, something awful happens to all of us that nearly ruins our day. For some of us it happens many times–over and over again. And for the most unlucky of us, it can happen consistently and we have no control.

But we, as creatives, have the gift of being able to express ourselves in ways that others can’t. We, as photographers, have the gift of being able to create a scene that illustrates the way that we feel in a way that someone else will see it and either sympathize with it or be completely captivated by it.

I’m going to repeat this again: we are creatives. We have a gift–and no photographer should ever forget this. Rather, we should embrace it in some of our darkest times. It will see you through to the end and the person you are will never change because of these rough times.

So how do you persevere through rough patches? It quite literally involves channelling the negative energy into creative energy. To do this, you need to find a way to illustrate how you feel and be imaginative about it. Again, it’s about expressing yourself. Sounds easier said than done, right? Well here is a check list to help you. In your mission to channel the negative energy, liken the answer to each of these questions to something else and then go ahead and create a scene:

– Who or what hurt you?

– Why are you hurt right now?

– How do you feel?

– What about your personality makes this hurt so much?

– What time during the day or night did this happen?

– If your life were a television show or a movie, how would the scene look right now?

Start with these questions and while answering them, try your hardest to focus on these and only these. Then create something. And the beautiful product you create that was fueled by the negative emotions will be the positive result.

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer 85mm vs 50mm portrait test Sigma 50mm f1.4 other (1 of 1)ISO 2001-640 sec at f - 2.8

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

Besides straightening a subject’s back and adjusting the shoulders, another really important part of the body to look at when shooting portraits are the thighs. Human beings are taught from day one to sit back and sit up straight. When shooting a portrait, this is a giant faux pas.

If a subject sits all the way back in a seat until the backs of their knees touch the edge, then all of the weight is distributed on the rear and their thighs. What this ends up creating is outlines and arches that make your subject look much wider than they actually are. So to make them look more flattering, ask your subject to bring themselves to the near edge of the seat. But in order to make them not fall off, have them sit so that their thighs aren’t on the seat.

In effect, what you’re doing is putting all of the weight on the rear, and making the thighs look much thinner. From here, you can do a multitude of different poses: and we have lists for men and women.

Beyond this, other strategies that you can do have to do with the overall body shape of the person and it can number anything from:

– Crossing their legs

– Sitting with the legs apart

– Stretching them out and having one foot crossed over the other

It all depends on what kind of body language you’re trying to get across in the photo.