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Useful Photography Tip


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Upon chatting with a couple of friends in the industry, a lot of us seem to have the same opinion about colleges and our college days. For what it’s worth, if you’re a college student, you should know that teachers don’t do enough to prepare you for the real world. You can only simulate so much of it in a classroom. A classroom and college will never teach you how to navigate office politics, networking like a pro, not being shy at an event where everyone is better dressed than you are and also chatting it up with no problems, and the art of the pitch–which in and of itself is a delicate balance between selling yourself and not making you sound desperate.

Sure, you’ll know how to press a shutter button and you may have a good portfolio of work, but how are you going to get people to notice you and hire you? How much do you know about social media marketing? What about price negotiations?

So what’s the solution? Go do internships. And we’re not just talking about any internship, do one in your field of choice. Then make mistakes, learn, and better yourself. For what it’s worth, you’ll learn a heck of a lot more from just doing internship after internship instead of just taking a ton of classes and doing a masters is worth. And if you’re aggressive and don’t slack off, you’ll have a better hold of your work life when you finally get diploma.



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Not all event photography can be done alone. Some times the scope of an event can span days as well as different locations. I recently had to do a week long job like this and I learned a lot. Group work requires planing , and the ability to adapt. It’s not just about camera gear it about people and interpersonal skills as well.

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As a photographer it can be hard to track your progress. If you are starting out in photography, or branching into new styles, you take a lot of photos and do a lot of projects–and when you’re on a roll then you can easily lose track. When creating a journal like this, remember it is for you. There is no limit to its length. It can also be used to build a proper resume later.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Stephs first edits (17 of 18)ISO 160

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Many of the world’s strobists tend to use manual flashes for affordability reasons and the fact that manual control is often better than full auto TTL. But one of the big problems with standard strobes is that you often can’t shoot at a higher shutter speed than what the light or the camera are rated for. In effect, this means that sometimes you can’t overpower the sun or ambient lighting.

The solution is a Variable ND filter. These filters mount onto the front end of your lens and when you give them a twist, they either cut out more light or let more of it in. To get rid of some of the ambient lighting, you’ll need to cut down the overall light. The thing that you’ll need to remember though is that doing this also cuts down the flash output. So you’ll need to conversely crank up the flash output or open your aperture up to let might strobe lighting in.

Chris Gampat New York Comic Con Day 2 Edits (31 of 65)

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Three years ago in my photography career, I became obsessed with catchlights. These little lights are highlights in a subject’s eyes that make them pop just a bit more. They’re quite often really beautiful and add a bit of character and beauty to a portrait. And after shooting subject after subject and using light modifier after light modifier, it took some time but I learned the secret of getting better catchlights. Believe it or not, I took the concepts applied to using a ring flash and used them for other lights.

So what’s the secret?

The simple little trick is to tell your subject to look into the light source. Is your big umbrella camera left and above? Have their eyes right up there, get in nice and tight with an 85mm lens, and let the light do the rest of the work. Many portraitists don’t ever think about this, but it works wonders.

To take the most advantage of this, you’ll need to move your light source closer to your subject or have a really massive light source. This is one of the reasons why I’m smitten with really large umbrellas–because the light from them gets spread out and the arms of the umbrella create an interesting shape in a subject’s eyes.

Try it out this weekend–you’ll see a big difference in your images as they come to life.

julius motal the phoblographer quick photo tip 87 natural frame image 01

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When making an image, everything from light and lines to color and composition need to be considered. Is your subject one part of the overall image, or everything you see in the viewfinder? If your subject is one aspect of the image – and this is especially the case for portraits – consider using other elements in the image to frame your subject.

In this case, my friend Briana Duggan and I went into the radio studio at school for a quick portrait session. She’s worked in radio before, so it seemed like a good fit to make a portrait. We carried on a conversation, and I moved around the small studio to get different angles. When I was directly across from her, I saw that the microphone and its holder framed her nicely, and it gives a clear indication that she’s in radio. It does a better job than a wider shot with her and the microphone as separate entities.

When the opportunity arises, try using elements of the environment to frame your subject. Don’t force it, though. It’s far more rewarding when it occurs naturally.