If there’s one thing photographers of all experience levels agree upon, it can sometimes be tough to create a beautiful photograph with a mobile phone. Luckily, the most common photo fails are getting easier to fix as smartphone technology improves. Whether it’s simply wiping the lens of your camera phone, switching to the manual mode, or composing and or autofocusing, there are various fixes and hacks. Here are 8 of the most common issues with smartphone images and the easy changes you can make to fix each one.
One of the reasons I use specific white balances like Daylight when shooting photos is because it tends to take the guesswork out of editing and colors. Daylight white balance is balanced to be fairly warm and to counteract the already very cool light that daylight is. Though many times there are situations where you’d rather have warm skin tones in the scene. For the most part, what people tend to do is just work with the white balance to make the skin warmer but then in the process just make the whole scene warmer.
This happens a whole lot when working during the blue hour, in overcast weather etc.
This is a guest blog post by Ellis Vener. All images and text by ©Ellis Vener are being used with permission.
Being in the path of totality during a total solar eclipse is one of the very coolest, weirdest, and most benign natural phenomena you can ever experience. As the eclipse progresses through totality the air around you cools, natural sounds change, and during totality not only does the sun go dark except for the sun’s corona’ extending beyond the edge of the moon, but the light in the sky and on the land is like nothing else I have ever experienced. To say it is an awesome (a word which when used here means “extremely impressive and very different from anything else I have ever experienced”) experience is an understatement.
Gels are bound to scare away most portrait photographers and strobists simply because they don’t understand how to really use them. But one of the coolest things that you can do as a photographer is learn how to use gels to tell a different story in your portraits and overall in your photography. You see, gels color the light output of your flash which is typically balanced to Daylight and therefore is very cool. But once you understand that you can make that light all sorts of various colors, you’ll get how awesome it can be to use gels.
First of all the result with this Fiery Wedding Photo: The Hot Rod on Fire Shooting inspired me to this one. But there was a huge difference, this photograph was done with only one exposure. We got it done after a lot of preparation – a nearly three-meter-long diy fire torch, two strobes and a 4.4 seconds exposure created this image. Planning took this time much longer, Because we had to build a small pond with a platform for the reflection. Additionally, I had to cut down some branches from a tree to get enough space.
Photographer Chantal Routhier recently did a short tutorial on how to get that wind whipped look in your hair for portraits that everyone loves. One of the biggest secrets: put the hair half back and half in front. Of course, this tutorial works best with longer hair and with more of a blustery day. Chantal has some excellent tips in her post but, to add more to this, the higher your elevation is, the better the chances for you to get more wind. Additionally, going to a waterfront will work wonders. Chantal speaks about this and states that you should go behind rocks.
The 4th of July is tomorrow and we’re all surely prepping for some BBQs, fireworks, more fireworks, friends, family, fun, and even more fireworks. Go ahead, shoot some photos of those fireworks. We’ve got plenty of tutorials to teach you how. But what you may also want to consider is also just photographing the good times and moments that occur. Sure, your fireworks photos will be beautiful, but so too will all those picturesque moments you end up capturing throughout the day and night.
With that said, don’t forget to turn the camera on your friends and family. Capturing them having fun is a whole lot more personal and will remind you and them of some of the fun times from that night and day. Your fireworks images are simply just that, personal. They’re for you. And they may get you some likes on Facebook, but involving other people will get you even more.
Sounds crazy? No, not really. Party photographers do it all the time. Sometimes they find a way to shoot wide and incorporate people in their photos and the fireworks with it all.
In the end: just remember to take photos of the people who are closest to you.
Happy Birthday America.
On the Phoblographer, we tend to talk a whole lot about color, black and white, and how incredibly important it is to use them effectively in your photography. We typically apply them to portraiture, but it’s also not too terrible of an idea to apply it to landscape photography. You see, in landscape photography there are a few basic rules to creating better landscapes photos and for the most part they apply to creating better color images. But when it comes to making black and white or even just creating more striking color, there are a few other techniques you may not have tried yet.
You know the feeling if you’re a photographer with some gear on you: you go about walking around for a while but then after some time you need a break. You have to refuel but most importantly, your feet hurt. That can sometimes be the biggest issue when it comes to photowalking. Everyone will tell you to wear comfortable shoes; but no one really goes into that any further. For me personally, sometimes my nicer shoes tend to be comfortable enough for most excursions I go on. However, that all depends on what gear I have with me.
And with that, I’m going to get really into how to choose the right shoes for photowalking.
Shooting photos from planes can honestly be tough to do some times, but believe it or not what really, truly matters in the end is the final result. If you’re one of those folks sitting at a window seat, you should really take advantage of all the intoxicating views that are granted to you to the best of your ability. Of course, you’ll generally need to be some place away from the wings for starters and then you can concentrate on whatever is in front of of you so that you can share that gorgeous vista later on with all your friends on social media.
Take the advice of a photo editor who travels a whole lot for work.
Today, we’ve got a really quick portrait tip for everyone and it involves creating the look of the Golden Hour when the sun isn’t setting. Granted, sometimes the best time to do this is during the blue hour or at a time when you’ve got everything nearly perfectly lined up in the frame.
So how do you do it?
Photographer Kate Hook is an experimental, creative, modern analog film photographer who loves experimenting with new ideas and tricks. We’ve featured her work here before when she souped her LomoChrome Purple film; and now she’s back with a video on having fun with a disposable camera. While most photographers would scoff at using one due to their plastic lenses and crappy quality, Kate has the idea of being experimental and embracing it. In fact, she takes it even further.
Something that I enjoy doing for fun is looking for a way to make my images emulate the look of film straight out of camera. Though I know that it’s never going to be perfect, I like to see just how close I can come. So recently after looking through a number of older scans of Kodak Portra 160 NC, I’ve found ways to get a look fairly close to what the older version of the film looks like. Of course, it’s again not perfect, but here’s how you can get the look from your Sony camera.
Don’t listen to anyone that tells you that wonderful portraiture can’t be created during anytime of the day or night. There are great ways to shoot equally great portraits during the day or night and they don’t always involve the use of a flash. Instead, they rely more on a photographer’s ability to see and understand light. For starters, you’re going to tell you to use spot metering. Now that you’ve got that locked in, here’s how you make great portraits.
Some of the biggest problems with mirrorless cameras for photojournalists, street photographers, wedding photographers and others has to be the performance. Sometimes it’s just too slow when they need to capture a moment super quickly lest they completely miss it. In street photography, if you’ve already seen the moment, it’s gone. Surely, anticipation can help, but it can only do so much.
To get the most from your mirrorless camera, we’ve put together a number of tips on how to get faster performance.
The 24mm lens: it’s a classic focal length that for a very long time has been close to the hearts of many photographers. When I say many photographers, I’m really not kidding. There are great reasons why it’s the wide angle of a 24-70mm lens and there are great 24mm lenses on the market that are fairly compact and high quality. So if you’re getting into using a lens like this or considering it, check out these tips.
If you’re a natural light portrait photographer, then I simply cannot express to you how much a reflector can help you create better portraits. They’re so incredibly versatile–being able to reflect light of certain colors into a scene or even diffuse light as you see it coming into the scene. So YouTube channel Weekly Imogen decided to put together a video to show you just how reflectors work; but not just any reflectors.
In a few days from the publication of this piece, we celebrate World Pinhole Photography Day. Pinhole photography is very experimental, ethereal and really cool. More importantly, it’s just plain fun to do whenever you get a chance. Lots of photographers have done pinhole photography and many believe it to become absolutely addicting due to the slow and very different process from everything else out there.
For the photographer just getting into pinhole photography, check out these tips.
Lead image by Chris Gampat.
Shutterbug and photographer Jordan Matter are at it again with a new Portrait Tutorial video showcasing tips for photographers who are just starting out in portraiture. While some photographers simply don’t know how to work with people; other photographer are just challenged by finding better locations to begin with. But Jordan shows you how to make the most of something random and all around you.
All images by Ivan Tsupka. Used with permission.
We’ve previously featured the experimental portraits of Ivan Tsupka; and something I’ve always loved about Ivan’s work is his openness to be very experimental with the work and concepts. So recently, he pitched his Flashing Lights series to us and showed in an email a lot of what’s possible when working with models, a flashy dress, and moving lights.
Here’s what Ivan did in his own words.
If you’re a photographer who has thought about getting into the medium format world, then congratulations: you’re ready to step up into the next level of creating better portraits. You see, medium format photography often forces photographers to think in a different way simply because the format is so much larger than traditional digital and film photography formats. Artistically speaking things can change. But more importantly, things change technically.