How to Create Watercolor-Like Photographs of Dancers

A while back I started out with creating a new series of watercolor like photographs of dancers.

Being a legally blind photographer, part of my ambition has always been to tell stories the way that I see them and to let the world understand how I see the world. Something that I often describe it as is looking at the world and seeing it as a painting. I’ve learned more and more about how to make images look like paintings much to the dismay of pixel peepers. But personally speaking, I don’t care too much about those folks and never have. Instead, I’ve embraced creativity since the beginning. And to that end, I decided that I’d take a moment to share with folks how I’ve been doing a series that I’m currently creating.

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The Cinematic Look: Three Tips for Candid and Street Photography with an 85mm Lens

Street photography with an 85mm lens isn’t totally unheard of; it can give us a much different look than what’s out there.

Though the purists in street photography will tell you that you need to get up close and personal to someone on the streets, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with using an 85mm lens. Of course, any wrongdoing comes with the intentions of the photographer. In this case, your intentions should be to try to get a different look at the scene and capture it as it happens with less chance of being seen. If you feel like calling it such, you can think of it as being a fly on the wall. Something many street photographers aspire to be when they shoot.

So after years of testing various 85mm lenses, here are some of our tips.

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Every Photographer Should Learn How Photograph Darker Skin Tones

Darker skin tones can still use some extra attention from photographers and even industry professionals like make-up artists and stylists.

Portrait and fashion photography should be an all-encompassing craft, especially at this time and age when we’re supposedly more open-minded and accepting of other cultures and perspectives. This means that photographers today should be able to use their expertise to create photos of darker skinned models and individuals in a way that highlights their natural beauty. A video by Buzzfeed reinforces this idea with a photoshoot done with dark-skinned models, encouraging photographers and even industry professionals like make-up artists and stylists to do the same.

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Travel Photography Tip: Comparing 35mm vs 50mm Lenses

If you’re just getting started with travel photography and have been browsing around for some tips on the best lenses to use, this 35mm vs 50mm comparison should help.

Are you an aspiring travel photographer who can’t decide between 35mm and 50mm lenses as the better choice for the job? In case you’re still looking for tips and resources, Australian fashion and portrait photographer Julia Trotti comes to the rescue with a quick comparison video for both focal lengths during her recent trip to Gdansk in Poland. Since Trotti specializes in portraits, it’s only proper for her to begin the comparison with a bunch of portrait shots. She works mostly with prime lenses given her genre of choice, hence the focus on 35mm and 50mm prime lenses for this comparison. She also shot with the Full Frame Canon 5D Mk IV, so keep in mind that you’ll get different results if you shoot with a camera with crop frame sensor. Since this is about travel photography, she made sure to give examples for portraits we’d typically shoot during a trip: mostly half body or full body shots with careful attention to  include the landmarks behind or around the subject. Apart from portraits in both half body, full body, and close up, Trotti also provided some examples for other popular subjects in travel photography: food and landscapes.

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The Beginner’s Guide on How to Do Your Own Firefly Lamp Portrait Photography

That firefly lamp portrait photography trend is pretty simple to do on the cheap!

The trend that has taken over Instagram and lots of cinema is firefly lamp portrait photography. Lots of folks don’t know how to do it themselves or simply just associate it with other photographers. But the truth is that it doesn’t need to be that way. You can put your own twist and spin on it using Christmas lights, which is very affordable and gives you a ton of options. The bottom line: it’s all about being in touch with your own feelings.

Trust us, this isn’t difficult; let’s take a look!

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Portrait Photography: Connect with Your Clients Easier with These 3 Tips

portrait photography

When it comes to portrait photography the way you communicate with your client is far more important than the gear you’re using.

We’ve all been there at some point in our careers: we have a great model, or an awesome client, but we just don’t know how to effectively communicate or connect with the person standing in front of the camera. A lack of communication skills can kill a shoot quickly, so being able to build connections with those you work with is far more important than the gear you use. The three tips that are shared in a new video after the break will help get you set up for success and will hopefully help you figure out what to do to connect with your clients. Continue reading…

How to Light Your Macro Photos and Get Sharper Images

Macro photography doesn’t need to be shot at ISO 32000; but you can do it with just a little bit of help from a flash.

When you think about macro images, we often imagine those really, really detailed close up photos. As long as there is good lighting, it’s simple to do with focus stacking or even just stopping the lens down with enough light in the scene. Many photographers on their spare time adore the meditative act of fixating on an object and photographing it to get every single detail of the subject. These objects are typically small toys, food, insects, plants, etc. It’s fun and requires the photographer to make a number of very repetitive but careful movements. But of course, every bit of lighting is always useful and we don’t always have good lighting naturally around. But don’t worry: using a flash in this situation is pretty much brainless.

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How to Shoot Natural Light Portraits in Flower Fields (And Posing People!)

The ultimate dream of mine as a photographer is to shoot in beautiful fields of vast picturesque flower fields.

Every spring and summer my clients know where to find me and my camera. Finding the perfect location for a portrait shoot is always one of the greatest challenges in photography. And once you think you have found the perfect location for your photoshoot, coming up with the creative idea for how to capture both the subject beautifully and the location cohesively can be equally as difficult to execute. The perfect combination of a beautiful location, stunning natural light and eager subject is all a photographer can dream of to create dramatic and ethereal images.

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How I Edit Photos in Capture One Pro and Affinity Photo

Take your architectural photos to the next level by using the two most powerful editing programs available – Capture One Pro (v12) and Affinity Photo.

In this tutorial I show you my simple architectural photography workflow while editing an image in Capture One Pro and then doing the finish work in Affinity Photo – no Photoshop needed! Knowing how to edit your raw photos is an important step to delivering great photos to your clients. Adobe Photoshop may be considered the industry standard and go-to software for many creatives, but I have always had a hate/love/hate relationship with Photoshop and Lightroom over the years.  It’s often buggy, sluggish (no matter how maxed out my computer is), and never gives me the absolute image quality I know my cameras are capable of – and that I demand.

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How to Shoot Portraits in Harsh Noon Sunlight (Make it Your Best Friend)

Whatever the reason, if noon is the only time you can shoot portraits, here are some tips to help you work with the harsh light.

Any photographer will tell you that noon is the worst time to shoot portraits because of the harsh light of the sun and the unflattering shadows it casts. A fact of life is that most people just don’t look good in lighting like this when out in the open. Even the backlighting method is very difficult to do at times under noon lighting. If you absolutely have no choice but to shoot in that light (like when you’re on assignment and on a tight schedule), these tips and tricks from boudoir photographer Michael Sasser should help you get some good photos. In fact, noon lighting can become a friend.

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How Close Should You Be to a Portrait Subject When Shooting With a 35mm Lens?

Modern day 35mm lenses are quite good; so good that they’re good enough for portraits.

Many photographers swear by their 35mm lenses and almost never want to shoot with anything else. The reason for this is because it so closely simulates what the human eye sees and so it’s easy for a photographer to go out there and shoot a scene just the way that they see it. That would be great, if 35mm lenses were absolutely perfect. While they’ve greatly improved, 35mm lenses are still not perfect and when used for portraiture still can’t replace or do what a proper telephoto focal length can. But with patience, you can figure out how to make the most of a 35mm lens for portraiture.

Here are some quick visual tips.

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Quick Tips for Beautiful Flower Photography in Early Spring

Flower photography season is afoot with the coming of spring, so here are some useful tips to get you prepared.

Spring season is the perfect time to get those macro lenses dusted off and ready to shoot — what else, but beautiful, dainty flowers! If you already have plans set and a picture-perfect location spot on, we’ve got just the video tutorial to help you with your flower photography. Professional wildlife photographer Paul Miguel has already started making rounds in his local woodland to photograph the dainty wood anemones, so it’s time we all get started with it as well. If you’re trying this out for the first time, with his tips below, you’ll surely pick up some tips and ideas for beautiful flower photography fitting for spring.

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5 Short Tips on Shooting Better Portraits with a 35mm Lens

The 35mm lens is a versatile option for many, and shooting portraits of people with it can be really simple.

For many years, a 35mm lens wasn’t considered a viable option for shooting portraits–and depending on who you ask it still isn’t a good option. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, it just means that it’s much more difficult to do effectively vs other options that are longer on the market. But the 35mm lens has become standard in the way that many photographers see the world. In turn, they want to capture the world just as how they see it. For portraiture, we’re going to give you some bite sized creative tips on how to make the most of a 35mm lens.

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An Introduction to Shooting Portraits in Natural Light

Don’t have a strobe or not sure how to use one? You can still create some good portraits using natural light

Photographing portraits using natural light as the sole light source have become such a rage lately that some photographers have branded themselves as “Natural Light Only Photographers.” While you can certainly create some stunning images with the proper use of only natural light, understanding how light behaves and being able to harness light in all of its forms, natural or otherwise, will help shape you into a better, more complete photographer.

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Portrait Posing Tutorial: Making the Nose More Flattering

Lots of folks are self-conscious about the way their noses look in portraits; so it’s your job to fix this.

One of the biggest things that photographers shooting portraits need to learn is how to pose. The idea that you can simply just capture things happening isn’t creative and it doesn’t necessarily do your subject any justice. With posing comes paying attention–especially to the nose. Though modern lenses and software technology have helped us all make images that are more flattering to subjects, we as photographers shouldn’t rely on technology alone to create better photos. There needs to be an obvious human element that comes forward. So to make a person’s nose look better, try these tips.

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Creating Stunning Portraits Using Beautiful Golden Hour Light

While you don’t need the golden hour to get the best portraits, it surely does help.

For the uninitiated, Golden Hour describes the short, fleeting period of time just after the sun had risen or immediately before it is about to set. During this momentary window, the sun appears very close to the horizon and produces a quality of available light that tends to be beautifully diffused and typically embodies a warmer tone than usual. Portrait photographers, particularly those that rely heavily on natural light, often prefer to photograph their subjects during these ephemeral minutes because of the beautiful quality the light imparts onto their subjects. We have a wealth of tutorials here on The Phoblographer that cover topics such as portrait subject posing as well as how to best interact with your subjects to bring out the expressions you’re looking for, but for the purposes of this particular tutorial, we are going to focus specifically on the challenges that you will likely come across when photographing portraits during Golden Hour and what you can do to combat them.
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These Two Pro Photographers Share Their Tips on Posing Couples

All images by Vanessa Joy and Tracie Maglosky, used with permission.

One of the common challenges many portrait photographers will face at some point during their careers is how to best pose their subjects to capture them in their best light during a photoshoot. When photographing couples, things get more difficult because now you’ve got to worry about not one, but two subjects. We recently had the opportunity to speak with New Jersey-based wedding photographer Vanessa Joy as well as Cincinnati-based wedding and portrait photographer Tracie Maglosky, and these seasoned veterans generously shared some valuable insight into photographing and posing couples. Vanessa is perhaps best known for her wedding photography education work on top of being one of Profoto’s Legend of Light, and Tracie is one of Olympus’s Visionaries and a Profoto Legend of Light as well.

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Review: Masters of Photography With Albert Watson

Masters of Photography is back again with a new online course. This time you will be given in-depth knowledge from the prestigious fashion and portrait photographer, Albert Watson.

From the first minute I picked up a camera I had that passion. And when I was shooting last week I still had that passion” says Watson. An opening statement that gives the student reassurance they’re about to learn from someone still enthusiastic about the art form. With our excitement bubbling over, let’s take a deeper look at Albert Watson’s Masters of Photography course…

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How to Never Take a Blurry Photo Ever Again as a Result of Camera Shake

Photographers of all skill levels can benefit from learning how to take less blurry photos.

While some photographers will tell you that shooting a camera is often like shooting a gun and that it has to do with your breathing, they couldn’t be any further from telling you only a partial truth. There’s a whole lot more that goes into shooting an image and maintaining a lack of blur caused by camera shake. It depends on a number of factors that image and sensor stabilization alone aren’t really going to help you out on. The saying goes something like “It’s not about the camera, it’s about how you use it.” To that end, the technology inside the camera and lenses can help you, but they’re still not completely responsible for getting a camera-shake-free photo. So here are some tips to help you out.

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How to Get the Colors in Your Portraits to Pop With Less Work

If the colors in your portraits are bland, then try something else.

One of the biggest problems that photographers have when it comes to portraiture can be dealing with the colors. The simple way to do this is to simply just shoot during the golden hour, but that takes away a major part of the creative process. Making the colors in your image pop not only has to do with effective placement, but it also has to do with their tones, the lighting, and your processing. Let’s delve further!

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Quick Lighting Tip: How Light Diffusion Can Sometimes Kill Details in a Photo

Is diffusion always a good thing when it comes to photography?

Diffusion: in regards to photography, this is the softening of light as it pertains to the quality of it. There is hard light which is often much less diffused while soft light is very diffused. Diffusion can break things known as specular highlights–which are little bits of light and details that come out due to the illumination found with light. Flash duration and a number of other things also play a role. But with diffusion, light’s super powers can be nullified.

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