How to Get Out of a Rut with Street Photography and Continue Growing

Street Photography is as much about psychology as it is about skill and creativity.

There is a mental process that goes into making photographs of everyday people in the street. Confidence is a huge driving force in getting strong, compelling visual content. When confidence is high, so is your creative flair. However, there will be times when you’re not your best self, and a high level of creative productivity is not always sustainable. Almost unknowingly you fall deep into a rut and your photography suffers. You can all of sudden feel stuck, and find that you are asking yourself, “how do I get out of this?”

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Creating Unique Portraits: Ideas for the Portrait Photographer

This is a syndicated blog post from Digital Photo Magazine. It is being republished here with permission.

No matter what type of photography you like, at one point or another, you’ll find yourself shooting a portrait. I know landscape photographers who swore they would never shoot a portrait in their career, and one week later they were shooting a portrait. Weddings, graduations, holidays or even a day at the zoo all present great opportunities to photograph people.

But how do you create an interesting portrait? We’ve all seen the cliché snapshots and boring group shots suffering from static, stiff poses. Creating compelling portraits takes a combination of good posing, interesting light, relevant location and good rapport with your subject.

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Video: How to Become Henri Cartier Bresson (And Zone Focus with Your Fujifilm Camera)

Zone focusing with your Fujifilm camera is pretty easy, but there are two big ways to do this.

Recently on our Instagram TV channel, we showed how photographers can zone focus with their Fujifilm cameras. Believe it or not, it’s pretty simple. However, it depends a whole lot on the lenses you’ve got attached to your camera and can also depend partially on your EVF or screen.

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How to Get More From Your 85mm Lens for Portraiture

Using an 85mm lens is pretty much as simple as mounting it and shooting. But here’s how you can get more from it.

The 85mm lens is a darling of many photographers due to its design. It is a short telephoto focal length and one of the best options when it comes to portrait photography. Many photographers enjoy its versatility; an 85mm lens can shoot street photography, candids, portraits, and landscapes if you’re in the right place. And like most of photography, getting the most from your 85mm lens requires you to be in the right place at the right time while making the most of your subject matter. For example, did you know an 85mm lens can deliver a variety of looks even though it is arguably the best option for portraiture? Let’s dive in.

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Explore Photography’s Origins with George Eastman Museum’s Photographic Processes Series

Photography may already have progressed by leaps and bounds, but an interesting video series by George Eastman Museum reminds us of how it all began.

For today and future generations, film photography may already seem to be as traditional as photographic processes go. But it actually stretches way back. For us to be able to appreciate how far photographic technology has come, George Eastman Museum created a series of videos that take us back to the processes that revolutionized how we see and capture the world through photography.

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Want to Get Into Leica on the Cheap? Go Steal One!!! (No, Not Really)

You don’t need to spend a whole ton of money to get into Leica cameras on the cheap.

Every photographer, whether or not they want to admit it, has dreamed of a Leica at one point or another. Their ergonomics are top notch, the reliability of their film cameras has always been top notch with recent digital editions following suit, and they’re cameras that you truly need to work and save for. But if you want to get into owning a Leica and working with the system, there are ways to lower the barrier of entry.

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Here’s How Your DSLR’s Phase Detection AF System Works

Did you know that your DSLR’s autofocus system uses phase detection and that it works somewhat similarly to a rangefinder.

Whether you’re buying your first DSLR camera or finally upgrading to a better model, one of the first things you might be keen on looking at is the autofocus feature. In this very quick but very informative video, we learn how exactly the autofocus works in DSLR cameras, and how this knowledge can help you decide on your next buy.

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Get Better at Black and White Photography With These Quick Tips

If black and white photography has been on your mind, you may want to bring this handful of quick tips with you the next time you go out and shoot.

Black and white used to be the only way to go back in the old days of photography. Today, however, there’s more than one way to make sure your black and white photos are on point. With these quick tips from London-based photographer Jamie Windsor, you can at least have a head start on getting better at black and white photography, whatever the genre you want to take on.

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The Noob Photographer’s Introduction to Wrap Around Lighting

Wrap around lighting is one of the best ways to do more with less when it comes to portraiture.

When I first learned about wrap around lighting many years ago, I discovered it by accident. Wrap around lighting is a technique used by many photographers to envelope their subject in a lighting that is both flattering and efficient. Lots of portrait photographers do it, and one of the aims is to try to mimic the look of the sun and clouds in certain situations. So today, we’re giving photographers a bit more of an introduction to how to do it.

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This Detailed Comparison Shows the Difference Between Slide Film vs. Color Negative Film

If you want to get serious with film photography, especially when shooting with slide films, this comparison video will give you an idea when it’s the better choice over color negative films.

With film discontinuations here and there over the years, shooting with slide films has become either rare opportunities that you save for special shoots, or quirky experiments using expired film stocks. Still, for those who really want to get serious with film photography, knowing how to make the most out of the fresh slide films still available out there is paramount. In this very informative and detailed comparison video by Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens, we get to see two of today’s popular slide films, Fuji Provia 100 and Fuji Velvia 100, go head-to-head with a color negative favorite, the Kodak Portra 160.

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Tutorial: The Differences Between a Parabolic Umbrella and a Beauty Dish

Photographer Anita Sedowska takes us through what a parabolic umbrella and a beauty dish do for portraiture.

When it comes to portrait photography there is no doubt in my mind that softboxes are the most popular diffusers, but parabolic umbrellas and beauty dishes are also a favorite of many photographers. If you’re just getting into lighting, then it can be difficult to look at an image and determine whether a softbox, umbrella, or beauty dish was used to shoot it. Anita Sedowska takes you through this in her latest tutorial video which you’ll find after the jump, but we thought that we’d go into our archives to dig even deeper.

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Mijonju Introduces Photographers to Shooting Large Format with a Wista 45D Camera

For the latest installment of The Mijonju Show, we get some quick tips on shooting with a large format camera.

In case you haven’t heard yet, everyone’s favorite camera lover and collector Mijonju is back with The Mijonju Show. We’ve previously seen him test and review the MiNT InstantKon RF70 prototype a few months ago. In his most recent analog adventure, he takes us to a quick portrait session with a 4×5 large format camera. Step right up if you’re planning to shoot large format soon!

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This Lightroom Trick Will Let You Change The Color of Objects In Your Images

Thinking outside of the box with a Lightroom trick like this can yield some powerful techniques for adjusting your images

Lightroom is an interesting piece of software, on one hand, if all you want to do is apply a preset or make some basic adjustments to your image it can be an incredibly simple and straightforward experience. On the other hand, if you want to take things to another level in your postprocessing workflow without leaving Lightroom there are some more advanced ways that you can tweak and modify your images to great effect. One such method is this way to adjust the color of specific objects in your images within Lightroom utilizing the adjustment brush. Continue reading…

Hasselblad Shows Differences Between 35mm and Medium Format in Comparison Videos

Curious about what makes medium format different from 35mm format? These comparison videos by Hasselblad will serve as a technical and unbiased primer.

Because there’s now more to the distinction between 35mm and medium format than the frame size and shape, it’s worth knowing their differences given today’s technologies and applications. With the help of photographer and technical expert Karl Taylor, Hasselblad has created a series of comparison videos that put both formats to the test, and shows the advantages of medium format in an unbiased manner.

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Sand on an ND Filter Made a Nice Bokeh Effect on This Long Exposure Photo

Who knew an accidental sprinkling of sand could work some bokeh magic on a long exposure shot?

During one of our routine rounds on Reddit’s photography threads, we spotted a post by Brandon Nguyen on r/photocritique asking for thoughts on one of his long exposures taken at Lake Tahoe. There doesn’t seem to anything out of the ordinary about that at first, except for the bit about sand making a “neato bokeh effect” on his shot.

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How to Take the Best Photos of Fireworks That You’ve Ever Made

Experiencing even a small fireworks show is a purely sensual delight.

For the eyes there is the synchronized bursts of color and lights arcing across the sky, compounded by the light reflecting off the smoke, nearby buildings, and low clouds, but there is more to it than visual spectacle. If you are close enough you can even feel the concussive whump of the shells exploding overhead, smell and taste the acridness of fire and burnt chemicals. For the ears there are the irregularly syncopated booms and bangs of launch and explosion accompanied by the sliding whistle and sizzle of individual stars, and at the end the sheer fusillade of sound followed by silence at the show’s end. It is this sort of whole body experience that makes the show exciting- that and the primal psychological yin-yang attraction to and fear of controlled danger. As a photographer, I see it as my job as trying to transmute that full range of experiences into a visual document which communicates the excitement I felt, across time to someone who was not there. That for me the great challenge.

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How to DIY a Pinhole Camera for Some Cool Solargraphy

Our photography funny man, Lou Guarneri, is back with a new “Lou-torial” showing us how to make a pinhole camera for trying out solargraphy.

Are you in the mood to get crafty and try something new? If you said yes to both, we have just the right stuff for you today – a new “Lou-torial” for a DIY pinhole camera! You’re going to love step one — grab a can of your favorite drink and chug the contents down, because that can will be your camera for the day!

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How to Shoot Fireworks with Film: An Analog Photography Tutorial

Photographing fireworks on film surely does require more work than when shooting digital.

With pyrotechnics, the stars of the show are quite literally shooting stars (“stars” being the fireworks industry’s term for those bits of flying sparkly fire). As in any performance, stars need a stage, and in a photograph the stage is everything else in the frame: the dark sky, buildings, or monuments, even your fellow audience members watching the show.

Although shooting on film eliminates digital photography’s near immediate feedback loop, it has other advantages. If you use color transparency film, you give up dynamic range with film and the ability to easily manipulate color in exchange for sensationally saturated color against a very dark background. The challenge is to get the exposure right while shooting without resorting to post-shoot processing manipulations. On the other hand, ISO 100 to 400 color negative films have an inherently large highlight range and lower contrast which is great for recording the color and details of the bright but short-lived streaks.

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Review: Masters of Photography Featuring Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry was my first photography influence, and I didn’t even know it

When I was a kid back in the 1980’s, I devoured issue after issue of National Geographic at the library. I’d read them cover to cover, one after the other. I can still remember seeing his iconic Afghan Girl portrait, which is among the greatest pictures ever created.

It’s weird. ​If you ask me about my biggest influences, I’ll say Albert Watson, Irving Penn, and Richard Avedon. But my actual portrait work says​ it’s Steve McCurry all the way.​ ​That’s astounding to me ​because I started my photography journey in 2008, over 15 years after I stopped reading National Geographic. So when Masters of Photography announced a class with Steve, I was pumped, and not just because of my nostalgic connection to his work. I loved Masters of Photography’s class with Joel Meyerowitz, and I’ll always jump to learn from the masters.

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