Posts Tagged With: Aperture

Techniques #4 – Natural Light for Portraits

Getting good natural light for portraits is an easy concept to understand.  It can often be difficult to find the perfect location, but once you know what to look for, it becomes easier.   This post is dedicated to helping you take good portraits and learn how to see and use good natural light.

I recently posted a series of portraits on Flickr. I got a great response, so I though I’d explore why these portraits were successful.  I was just playing around with a new camera and decided to shoot some quick pictures of a bunch of kids that I teach English to here in Taipei, Taiwan.

I use the term “quick pictures” very deliberately.  All of the portraits were taken on a playground at playtime and I’m sure you know that 5 year-olds don’t stay still for very long.

What’s nice about this playground is that it’s got great light that is fairly even all over it.  Before we talk about the light specifically, let’s look at some other things you need to remember to get a good portrait.

First, of course, you want an interesting subject.  Cute kids, old wrinkly people, skateboarders, and monks are among my favorite subjects.

Learn more about natural light portraiture after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

My Love Affair with Aperture

I bought a new computer about 6 months ago.  I feel like I shouldn’t even call it a computer… it’s not.  It’s an Apple MacBook Pro.  It’s awesome.  The LED screen, the fast processor, the 4 gigs of memory, even the keyboard is awesome!  I could go on and on, but the real thing I’m mostly in love with is the software it came with (or I bought soon thereafter).  Specifically, Apple Aperture.

If you’re a professional or semi professional photographer, you need to check out this application.  It does 95% of what I need a photo application to do.  I love not having to open Photoshop and deal with those drop down menus!

It’s taken me nearly 6 months to learn all the in’s and out’s (I’m a slow learner), but… like… WOW!

OK, I’m not a software reviewer so I’m not going to get too in depth, but the way that Aperture catalogs and allows you to browse your photos is brilliant.  I’ve recently been importing all my old pictures and have come across quite a few that I forgot about and have been having a great time seeing for the first time in years!  Here are a few that I forgot about:

This first one is Shwedagon Pagoda.  The truth is that there’s not much happening in the picture.  But look at that architecture!  Brings back good memories!

This is Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar).  Truthfully, there's not much happening in this picture...But look at that architecture!!!  What a beautiful place!

This is Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar). Truthfully, there's not much happening in this picture...But look at that architecture!!! What a beautiful place!

A shower somewhere else in Burma (Myanmar)

A shower somewhere else in Burma (Myanmar)

Number two shows a bit of my artsy side, I suppose.  I remember walking to this shower with my camera and tripod and a travel companion asked me something along the lines of, “What the hell are you doing?”  I told him that the shower was kinda f**ked up, but it looked nice.  He said, “Yeah, it’s f**ked up good.”

Angkor Wat, near Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, near Siem Reap, Cambodia

The photo from Angkor wat is just a nice look at the worship practices of the people in Cambodia.  I’ve had a similar photo on my website for years, but totally forgot about this one shot from the front.

People dancing in two large circles in Lijiang, China's town square.

People dancing in two large circles in Lijiang, China

I have a similar one to this last one on my website too, but this one sticks out for some reason.  I think I went with the other one on my website because that guy in the sweat suit sticks out a bit too much.

So that’s it.  Apertures rules because it lets you easily find old photos and edit them in .01 seconds.  If you’re not at least a semi-professional photographer, the $200 price might be a bit too much… but truthfully, it’s not that bad.

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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