Posts Tagged With: how to

How to Shoot Travel Portraits

Learning how to photograph people while traveling can help your photography on the road and at home.  I use a few different methods to approach people whom I want to photograph while traveling, and I’ll try to explain that process below.  I’m sure there are many other techniques that other photographers might use, and if you have any you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments.

I’ll start out by telling you that I’m not an outgoing person at all.  I’m a shy guy.  I always find it difficult to approach people.  But I’ve learned that missing a good portrait because you didn’t ask hurts a lot more than getting rejected.  If you’re also a little shy, you’ll need to practice being more bold and get out there and ask people if you can take their picture.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not as hard as you think, and there’s even a little bit of a scientific process to doing it…

An blog post on how to photograph people while traveling

Kyoto, Japan - I was standing in this alleyway, waiting for someone interesting to walk by and pose for me in front of that nice wooden door in the background... Along came this Geisha. (See "The Trapping Approach")

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Controlling Ambient Light – A Commercial Portrait

Portraiture of all types can be the cornerstone of many photographers’ business.  Sooner or later, in one way or another, someone will want you to take a portrait.

The difference between a good portrait and and a great portrait is in the details.  Below I offer you the details to what might look like a simple location portrait, but was actually quite complicated to shoot.  Lucky for me, the most unpredictable factor in many portrait sessions, the subject, was incredibly natural and easy to work with.  Unfortunately, another important factor in a portrait, the light, wasn’t as cooperative.

Read all about this photo after the jump.

Taiwan Portrait Photography

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Photographing Lightning

Photographing lightning is a misunderstood technique that’s actually quite easy to do… once you learn the basics.

Most people seem to think that you have to have a quick trigger finger.  They think that you wait to see the flash of lightning, then quickly press the shutter button.  Truth is, this technique might actually work…  I’ve never tried it but some forms of lightning seem to linger in the sky for 1/4 sec or more… so if you have a fast enough finger and camera you might be able to catch the tail end of the flash.

But, if you want to learn the proper way to shoot lightning and get the whole flash!-boom!-bang!… read on!

This is a 30 second exposure at f/13 and ISO 200.  I set the shutter at 30 sec, then adjusted the aperture until the temple was properly exposed.  Louang Prabang, Laos.

This is a 30 second exposure at f/13 and ISO 200. I set the shutter at 30 sec, then adjusted the aperture until the temple was properly exposed. Louang Prabang, Laos.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Techniques – DIY Soft Box

DIY photography gear being all the rage, and me being a bit of a Mr Fix-it, I decided to see if I could build my own soft box.

I feel that I should start this blog by telling you that you can buy a mini-soft box for fairly cheap, but if you’re like me and like building stuff (or are incredibly skint), read on…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Techniques #7 – Handy Corporate Portrait

Corporate portraits are something you almost have to do as a professional photographer.

I recently shot a portrait for a client that wanted a very specific looking style.  They’ve been running a series of ads for a long time that have a consistent look to them.  Basically, one of their art directors must have come up with this brilliant, easy way to get consistently-styled photographs from different photographers.

The brilliance of this portrait is that it has style and is easy to reproduce…

Here’s how you can do it:

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Techniques #5 – On-Camera TTL Flash

Using an on-camera TTL flash (aka “strobe”) properly is one of the easiest ways to take your photography to the next level.  Once you have a DSLR and a lens or two (or three), probably the next piece of photographic equipment you’re going to want to buy is a flash.

Many DSLRs come with a built-in “pop-up” flash right on the top of the view finder.  This flash can work OK in certain situations, but it can be limiting due to its low power and inflexibility.  Buying a larger hot shoe mounted strobe will drastically increase the creativity you can get out of flash photography.

Much, much, more on on-camera lighting techniques after the jump. Continue reading

Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Techniques #3 – DIY Photography Gear

DIY photography gear and specifically DIY “grip” gear has been quite the rage for the past few years.  Photographers are finding many ways to save some money on all that expensive stuff and then posting how do it all over the interweb.  There’s a lot of interesting things out there to try to make on your own: from DIY ring lights, to beauty dishes, to snoots and grids.  Also have a look at my DIY Soft Box for Strobes.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me explain a few vocabulary words:

  • First of all, DIY = “Do It Yourself,” …like, der.
  • “Grip gear” (or just “grip”) refers to all the stuff you need for photography that isn’t cameras, lenses, flashes, etc.  “Grip” is the stuff that holds the cameras and flashes.  It’s tripods, light stands, light boxes (aka banks), clamps, gels, and even duct tape and screwdrivers can be called grip.  Basically, it’s stuff that makes photography a lot easier but isn’t really quite as (take a deep breath studio photographers!) necessary.

This is the stuff that most amateur photographers don’t have, but every professional photographer has a closet full of.  These days though, many amateurs are learning that this stuff can help you get better pictures, and these things are really not that hard to use.

Lots more on DIY photography gear after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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