Brush Up on Your Fireworks Photography Skills with These Tutorials

With fireworks season coming soon, it’s time to learn how to get stunning snaps of these aerial light shows or brush up on your skills if you already have an idea how it’s done. Cover photo by Andrew Harnik.

Whether you’re already planning to shoot fireworks during the upcoming Independence Day celebrations or will soon be attending events with fireworks displays, it’s always worth preparing to photograph the big day. We have loads of tips and tutorials you can use to learn how to shoot fireworks, whether you’re a total novice or someone who needs a refresher. Don’t know where to begin? We’ve picked a bunch for you to check out first!

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Cheat Sheet: How to Use a Light Box for Product Photography

Lighting is crucial when using a lightbox. Learn how to get it right with this cheat sheet.

Whether you have a product shoot planned or want to do some still life snaps, a lightbox will help you do the job right. However, if you’re new to it, proper lighting is one of the first things you’ll have to learn. Fortunately, we found a cheat sheet by Pare and Focus (link now unavailable) that should make it easy for you.

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Comparison: Sigma’s Lenses for Studio Portraits (Here’s What We Found)

We already know that Sigma’s lenses are fantastic, but which one is best for portraiture?

Portrait photographers these days enjoy using a multitude of focal lengths, and Sigma’s lenses offer a whole lot for the portraiture photographer. The company has spent years revamping their lineup with their Art series lenses and these lenses often top the charts on many proper lab tests. But we know that photographers don’t use lenses to shoot charts or brick walls and so we took them into a studio with models and lights to figure out which ones we liked the most. Our opinions may surely vary from yours and any professional working photographer will always lean towards a telephoto focal length. While this test has a lot of implications for professional photographers, it will also apply to lots of us who shoot and don’t demand the most professional needs.

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This Cheat Sheet Will Help You Learn Manual Photography Better

If you’ve decided to take the manual photography route, Skylum has a cheat sheet to help you get started. 

Another day, another photography cheat sheet. There’s a lot of them out there, especially for those who want to break away from the auto mode and take full control of their camera settings. But we can never stress enough how important it is to learn how to shoot in manual mode to maximize your creative potential. With this cheat sheet from Skylum, you won’t have to dive blindly into manual photography.

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Make Your Own 5×7″ Wet Plate Holder with a 3D Printer

Heads up, wet plate photographers! If you are in need of a wet plate holder, here’s how you can make one with a 3D printer. 

Planning to give wet plate photography a go but realized you’re missing a 5×7″ plate holder and haven’t been able to find one? To the rescue comes Robert Bieber who recently shared on the r/Collodion subreddit his design for such a holder. Now, all you need to do is get access to a 3D printer.

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What Is RGB and How Does it Work for Photography?

Ever heard of RGB but have no idea what it means? This quick primer should give you an idea about what it is and its role in photography.

RGB is a term (or acronym, to be precise) that gets thrown around in the creative fields, particularly among designers and photographers. For those who are just getting into these fields, however, what it means and how it works may still be a bit of mystery. In one of their recent blog posts, Shutterstock gives a quick overview on what RGB actually is and how designers use it for web design. Photographers will also find this a useful resource, so it’s worth the know-how, especially for those who want to do both creative disciplines.

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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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Photography Tips: Stuff I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Photographer

For his latest photography tips, J.T. of Run N Gun talks about the ten things he wishes he knew before becoming a photographer.

Being a photographer comes with its own set of challenges and misconceptions, especially when it relates to the topics of gear, making money, and creativity. As you delve further into the craft, you’ll gain your own perspectives and realizations about these things, and perhaps even make your own list of things you wish you knew before diving into photography — just like J.T. of the Run N Gun YouTube Channel has done with some of his latest videos.

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How a Photoshoot Fail Led to a Nice Car Park Shoot Instead

The original photoshoot may not have gone as planned, but this photographer managed to get a pretty good shoot in another location.

At some point in every portrait photographer’s career (or hobby), there will come a time when things just don’t go as planned, even when you think you got everything sorted out. When a shoot doesn’t go according to plan, you either have to be resourceful and improvise, or make the most out of what’s available to you. Recently, this was the lesson learned by Melbourne-based wedding and event photographer Ben Samuel. If it has yet to happen to you, his video below should give you an idea on what to do so the day won’t go to waste.

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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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An Easy Way to Create Moody Shadows and Hard Light With a Softbox

If you want to know how to create hard light, but still want some control over your light source, this video is for you.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would want to create hard light with a softbox. Isn’t the point of a softbox to create gorgeous, flattering light with soft shadows? Well, the answer is yes to that, but as we all know, many items have multiple uses, and it turns out that a softbox can be a great tool for creating hard shadows. After the break, we have a video for you that demonstrates how you can create moody shadows with a small softbox. Continue reading…

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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How to Balance Your Day Job, Family and Your Photography Hobby

Finding balance is generally one of the most difficult things for most amateur and enthusiast photographers to do. 

Life demands so much of you: and the most exhausting thing at times is finding balance between it all. My grandfather used to say to me “You go to school, and you come home, you sleep, then go to work, come home and sleep. And life is very repetitive.” He was right to a point, but I think that one of the best things that folks should do is find a way to keep a balance. It’s good for mental health, but it also means that you’re giving priority to the things that are very important to you.

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Three Tips for Beginners on Using a Softbox for Photography

Using a softbox for photography really isn’t difficult. Here’s how a total noob can do it.

When photographers first start using lighting, they often work with softboxes. I’m not exactly sure why; umbrellas and octabanks are superior in every way. But softboxes are still the light modifiers that everyone just knows and starts with. They’re the old reliable. But when photographers start out with lighting, they often don’t know the first thing about how to shape it. So here’s what you need to keep in mind with a softbox (in a bite sized package.)

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Portrait Photography Tip: More Ideas on Posing Non-Models

Need more ideas for posing non-models for your portrait photography practice? These quick and simple tips should get you shooting stunning portraits in no time.

Whether you’re a professional portrait photographer or someone still learning the ropes, you’ll definitely be working with non-models. So if you still need some help on how to pose them for your next project, we have a really useful video tutorial that should provide lots of ideas. Portrait photographers Anita Sadowska and Irene Rudnyk recently teamed up for a quick but really helpful video demonstrating poses for non-models. With Sadowska behind the camera and Rudnyk following her directions, we see a good variety of posing techniques that will make everyone look really great in portraits.

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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…

The Phoblographer Answers: What Is the White Part of an Instant Film Photo?

Ever wonder why your Polaroid and Instant Film photos have that border?

It’s always really nice to see your Instant Film Photo and the natural white border it has, but did you know there’s a scientific reason for this border? Yes, while the beautiful border on your Polaroid or Instant film photo is cool, there’s an important reason why it’s there.

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How to Master Backlighting for Natural Light Portrait Photography

Want the dreamy look that remains popular in portrait photography today? You might want to learn how to master backlighting when shooting in natural light.

If you hold a preference for natural light portrait photography, you might find backlighting as one the effective techniques to use for creating dreamy images. It’s not as simple as just shooting outdoors with the sun behind your subject, but a technique with the goal of a moody yet balanced look for portraits. In this quick video tutorial, Sydney-based fashion photographer Julia Trotti show us how it’s done and we can master it. Backlighting is just one of the techniques at your creative arsenal once you choose to do portrait photography in natural lighting. It gives your photos that dreamy and flattering look that many photographers are going for fashion editorials, wedding photography, and even themed portraits. With Trotti’s tips, you can start experimenting with this technique in no time.

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