Category Archives: Photography

Make Your Video Look

Everybody loves the look and aesthetics of film. Video is great for capturing the reality of the moment but what if we want to create a cinematic look. Over the years I explored different ways to make my videos look more like film – without a big budget. A lot of the wedding videographers in LA offer their clients the cinematic look. How do they do it? Here are some ideas to get your next project looking more like film.

THE CAMERA

Not all video camera are the same. HDV (High-Definition Video) is one of the best choices for creating video that looks like film on a budget. With a native 16×9 aspect ratio and 1920×1080P resolution, you will be able to frame your shots in a cinematic manner and with enchanced clarity. Not be to left out, it’s very important that your camera shoots 24 progressive frames per second. Otherwise known as 14P. Why? Because motion picture records at 1/48 of a second, otherwise known as 24 frames per second. a 24P ready camera like the Sony Z1U will give your video the feel and motion of film. Perfect for shooting cinematic weddings or documentaries.

DEPTH OF FIELD

One issue that plagues video is the greater-depth-of-field that keeps the foreground and background in focus. Clearly, this creates a very flat looking image unlike the prime lenses used in motion picture. The advantage of a shallow depth-of-field is you can separate the foreground from the background and divert attention to what is most important in your composition. You can change the depth-of-field by changing the F-stop. The wider the appature, the shallower the depth-of-field. To compensate for opening up the iris, you will have to use a neutral density filter (ND) to cut down the increased amount of light now entering the camera.

LIGHTING

How you light your production and how you set your exposure is an important consideration. Its important to note that a video camera’s CCD responds differently to light than film. The photochemistry of film has a higher dynamic range, typically about 12 to 14 f-stops compared to 6-8 stops for video. It’s quite a difference. The limited dynamic range of video means you must be careful to not blow out your highlights otherwise you’ll end up with a washed out images. As a rule of thumb, it is better to slightly underexpose your video than overexpose. The reason is that video is better able to preserve information in the blacks or dark areas as compared to the highlights. This is corrected in post by pushing the black levels up a stop or two.

So how do you go about seting the right exposure? Modern video cameras feature a zebra setting in the viewfinder at 70 – 100 IRE. What this means is you will see zebra lines over the part of the image that is either 70 or 100 % of the maximum brightness level allowed by video. In normal conditions you want skin tones to lay at about 70 IRE and your maximum white levels to peak at 100 IRE. If your shooting under bright conditions outdoors you wan always use a ND filter to bring it down a stop or two. This will let you preserve your F-stop and deth of field while trimming down the exposure. When assessing your image and exposure, you don’t want large areas of pure black with no detail. Use fill light or a reflector to bring up some detail in the shadow areas. White poster board is often good enough if you can’t afford a professional reflector. Things to consider are the intensity, direction, and hardness of the light. For interviews, I like to keep my lighting soft and diffused because it has a more soothing look on the skin and bring out detail and texture in the face.

Other Tips …

Match Your Camera Settings

Make sure your white balance settings are identical to prevent color mismatch. Keep your exposures manual for maximum control. Automatic exposure is not as accurate as you would think – often times the camera will overexpose the whites. A very ugly quality of video to avoid. I like to keep my focus manual too. If you have shallow depth of field you may find the cameras focus drifting if left automatic.

Shoot extra footage

All too often videographers load their video project on to the computer only to find out that they don’t have enough footage or they only took one take of what could be a great shot. I always shoot as much as possible, knowing that its much easier to cut out footage then it is to replace it.

Simple Lighting Techniques When Making a Video

So you’re making a video for the first time. Your first thought may be – where’s the script? And then – how much money is this going to cost? Can dry ice and glitter be involved? At some point, you will need to think about lighting. How do you get that picture-perfect, cinematic quality in the final cut?

The good news is that you don’t have to hire an entire production crew to master professional lighting. Here are three techniques to reduce harsh shadows, disperse light across your subjects, change temperatures or moods, and ensure your video looks and feels like it came straight from Hollywood (or close to it).

1.) Move

Okay – time for set up. You have the lights, but where do you put them? The most basic formula to light your scene is the 3-point system: key, fill, and back. The highest-powered light, key light, should be placed in front of the main subject of your scene. Position another light source to the side of the subject, usually in a lower position to balance shadows and harsh contrasts. Another light is placed behind the subject to separate from the background and to create highlights. Now move the lights until the scene illuminates that perfect shot. You can rent lighting kits that range in various prices, but ARRI Kits are favored for their durability and simplicity. They rent for $100-$125 per day.

2.) Diffuse

Cast, props and crew are in place. But you notice shadows casted across one of the actor’s face. And you are not necessarily going for that Maltese Falcon kind of tone. The best way to soften light and spread it over the entire scene is to use diffusion methods.

Three essential gear choices to correct your scene are 6×6′ Silks, Diffusion Gel, or Softboxes.

Diffusion gel is the most versatile tool because it’s disposable and easy to pack, especially for location shooting. They can be placed just about anywhere with a few C-47s. Clip onto your light’s barn doors and this heat-resistant material will soften extreme spotlights. Gels comes in ¼, ½, and full diffusion varieties for less or greater amounts of softening. You can buy one sheet for $5 or an entire roll for $100.

Silks are used to diffuse harsh, direct sunlight when shooting outdoors or can be placed in front of tungsten lamps and HMIs. The benefits to silk frames? They are easy to set up and move around set, you can reuse them for the next shoot (go green!) and they are available in multiple sizes. This is key if you want to have consistent lighting across a wide shot. You can rent 6×6′ silk sets for $50/day and 24×36″ or 18×24″ flag sets for $25/day.

If you have more money to spend on production, a Softbox, or Chimera, will give you better control on how lighting hits your subject. These attach directly to your lights and are great for portrait photography and interviews. If you need a lot of light but want it soft and evenly dispersed across your subject, the Joker 800 HMI is an optimal choice. You can rent a kit for $175/day.

3.) Reflect

Next up – the beach scene staged in conference room two. How do you emulate the sun and make it look authentic? Reflectors are an inexpensive way to redirect light from other light sources onto your subject. Change your shot’s mood with four color options: silver for high-contrast, edgy and cool; gold for warm, natural, and sunny; white for neutral and fill light; and black to get rid of unwanted reflections or casts of color. You can buy a 5-in-1 reflector for $40.

Free Digital Photography Tips

Online blogs are ideal for those photographers who are keen on taking good clean shots and organizing their photos into part of their daily life, whether it just be online photo albums or the need to turn this popular hobby into a thriving online business.

These free digital photography resources are the result of professional photographers sharing their digital photography experiences that will soon have you hooked as though you were buying a monthly photography magazine, the only difference being that all of these photography tips are free.

Now if you’ve already heard enough and want to head straight over to Google and begin to find the very latest digital photography tips, but typing in “Digital Photography Tips”.

If you want to read a bit more about the overall content of these many many digital photography tips, then you will be pleased to know that there are a whole bunch of photography tips for both beginner and advanced levels.

Even if you haven’t bought your first digital camera yet, then you will find many tips for seeking and subsequently purchasing the best deals, for a camera that suits your own personal photography needs. If your intention is to sell photos online, then you should make sure you get a camera with enough megapixels, so that the resulting photos are of sufficient quality to be sold through the numerous Microstock photography sites, so getting the best education is vital so you don’t just end up throwing your money away.

Fireworks Photography Tips

Fireworks Photography Tips #1 – Slow Shutter Speed

When you photograph fireworks, it is very important that you set your camera to a slow shutter speed. Since slow shutter speeds will be in need, you will also have to ensure good camera support. This will make sure that the pictures taken will turn out looking steady and clear.

Fireworks Photography Tips #2 – Ensure Camera Stability

No doubt, one of the best ways to ensure camera stability is to use a tripod. Nonetheless, if you do not have a tripod, you can opt to brace yourself against a building, or maybe a tree. Otherwise, you can have your camera placed on wall. When you use DSLRs, you can use the shutter release cable or self-timer function. Using any of these 2 options will release the shutter without any camera shake.

Fireworks Photography Tips #3 – Do Not Use Flash

Don’t use flash when in attempt to photography fireworks. Flash will not help capture fireworks at a distance. Nonetheless, flash does help lit subjects; be it objects or even people in the foreground. A perfect example of this is when photographers shoot portraits with fireworks as the background; they will often use flash to illuminate their model.

Fireworks Photography Tips #4 – Set To Manual

Fireworks photography is definitely special photography genre where you will have to be brave and enter into the world of manual settings. Both your lens focus and exposure must be set to manual. Adjust the focus ring so that it is set to infinity focus. The symbol for infinity is similar to the number eight figure, except that it is turned sideways. A vast majority of lenses have distance scales imprinted onto them.

Fireworks Photography Tips #5 – Exposures

One thing that you should do is to experiment with long shutter speeds. This includes a shutter speed that is anywhere between 1 second and 16 seconds, about ISO 100. The shutter speed that is suitable varies depending on the amount of ambient light as well as the amount of fireworks in the sky. Why use relatively long exposures to photography fireworks? This is simply because long exposures can capture the burst of fireworks, producing moving streaks against the dark sky. Using long exposures will indeed produce stunning fireworks photography effects.

There really isn’t any perfect shutter speed. All you need to do is to try different shutter speeds and get the sort of fireworks photography you are after. Another thing you should do is to dial in a low f/stop. Anywhere between f/8 and f/16 will be good. Doing this will prevent the scene from being overexposed during the long exposures. Despite that, using low f/stops will also help refrain from light blooms that come from the explosions of fireworks in the sky.

Firework Photography Tips #6 – Use One Long BULB Exposure

With one long BULB exposure, you can combine a few fireworks together into one picture when you hold the shutter open for half a minute or longer. Adjust your camera settings so that it is set to manual, and use the top-mounted Main Dial. The shutter speed will then be set to BULB.

As long as you the release is remained depress, the shutter will also be kept open. This will allow you to photograph a few bursts of fireworks in one picture, rather than just one burst of fireworks.

While you’re at this, remember to block off the lens and sensor in between the bursts of fireworks. Doing this allows you to refrain from facing problems such as skies looking muddy grey in pictures. Yes, the sky can look muddy grey if it is continuously being overexposed while you wait for a few bursts of fireworks to occur.

Beginner Photography Tips

With that in mind, I’d strongly advise you to read through the whole article, even if you’re an average amateur, just to freshen up on the mental aspect of photography. I’ve never written an article on my way of thinking when taking pictures, but I think it’s cool because it’s not like your everyday photography. “Potrait photrography tips”

Learn To See Creatively

The best way to learn to see creatively is to take more photos. The reason being is because the more pictures you take and the more time you spend on your about photography , the more you will begin to see things you would normally never see. The eyes of a true photographer, or artist, sees shapes, patterns, light and color when walking down an ally or across a street. For example, let’s imagine I took a photo of a railroad track at night in a big city:

I saw a good photo because of the 1) light reflecting off the metal 2) the contrasts in color between the wood and metal 3) the strong diagonal lines of the track leading from edge-to-edge. Before I learned how to see creatively, I’ve probably walked over that railroad track a million times and not once have I seen it the way I do now. All these things added together create a great picture for the eye. That’s good and all, but, the photo is missing a strong message. It doesn’t emit a strong enough feeling/emotion when one views the photo. To get that, you gotta:

Feel The Moment

If the following makes any sense what-so-ever, it’s that I believe everyone has the ability to see creatively in their own personal way. To see creatively is, in my opinion, to set your mind free and get in-tune with your feelings. These feelings are what drive powerful photographs. And if you can get your brain, eyes and camera to link with your feelings then you’ve just opened up a door that has the potential for you to become a great photographer.

You want people to feel your photos; To get a strong emotional reaction because it’s all about the feeling, the impact and the structural composition of a photo. There are just a few key steps to improve the feel and impact of your photos, making them into memorable masterpieces. It’s certainly not as easy as you’d think and definitely not something you can learn in a few hours or a few days. It may take weeks, months and sometimes years. It’s all up to you and how much time and devotion you spend taking photos and learning photography. When you are out shooting and see something you want to take a picture of, stop and ask yourself these three questions:

  • Why do I want to take this photo?
  • What is the main message of the photo?
  • How am I going to take the picture effectively?

Keep asking yourself these three questions before you press the shutter and, I promise you, there will be an improvement in your photos. Let me explain the questions in more detail:

The question “why do I want to take this photo” forces you to explain your feelings. You did after all stop to take the photo because you “felt” it could be a good photo. But why? Was it because the light was good? Was there something extraordinary happening? The more you ask yourself why and the more you answer why, the more you’ll start to feel the moment and start seeing creatively. Remember, it’s all about feeling and communicating that feeling to the viewer.

So now that you know why you want to take the photo, you have to ask yourself, “what is the main message of the photo?” This question will better refine the first question, helping you define the actual subject whether it be exquisite shapes and colors or a person whose face tells a story of a life-long struggling journey. Whatever it is, it prepares you for the next question:

“How am I going to take the picture effectively?” Well, you can start by thinking of the first two questions and what their answers were. Imagine this as an example:

Say you’re sitting in a car at a red light and see a man starting to cross the street. You feel it can make a good photo, so you ask yourself “why” and answer “because the sky is blazing red and the timing just right.” So you quickly ask yourself the next question, “what is the main message of the photo” and answer “to get the feeling and mood of an urban sunset.” Next you swiftly take out the camera (shame on you not having it out already) and ask yourself the final question; “How am I going to take the picture effectively?” You struggle at first, then you realize that timing is everything. So you quickly compose the shot, frantically making sure the buildings are lined up roughly using the rule of thirds and wait until the man crossing the street is right in the middle of the blinding sun, creating an awesome editorial like silhouette.

These three questions will become second-nature to you and soon you will find yourself asking and answering these questions sub-consciously. Just remember once again, that communicating your feelings through your photographs by using your creative eye and brain, all linked together will make for amazing, memorable photos.

Study Amazing Photos And Books

Granted, I’m not an amazing photographer by any sorts, just an average amateur, but I believe that if you want to take good photos, you can, and you can do so without going to school. I am self taught in pretty much everything I do, photography being my main passion. A big influence for me are amazing photos. You can learn a lot by studying them and figuring out what makes it an awesome photo just by asking yourself the same three “why”, “what” and “how” questions mentioned above. I sometimes spend hours just analyzing photos, both to enjoy and also to figure out the ingredients of making it a memorable photo. Go to sites like Flickr, Photo.net, 500px and 1X because not only do they have photos, they have amazing photos. Especially 1X. Look at the photos that interest you and ask yourself why they interest you. Just start studying them, and read the peoples reactions to the photos. Learn everything there is to know.

If you like to learn through books and want something good to read, I’d suggest picking up at least 3 out of the 5 books mentioned here because all 5 of these books have made a significant impact on my photography:

  • The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman
  • Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson
  • Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 by Scott Kelby
  • The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes by Joe McNally
  • The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 1) by Ansel Adams and Robert Baker

Did you notice that I picked 5 books on 5 completely different subjects? That’s because with these 5 books you can learn everything from off-camera lighting and composition, to Photoshop and exposure. These books combined together are just awesome to read and study, and because they’re written by very well known photographers, you know there’s good info to gather inside.

Get Constructive Criticism

Improving your photography and taking good photos means you have to get advice from the pros, because they’ve been where you’re at and know the good and bad, and the right and wrong in photography. I personally have never talked to a real “professional” photographer face-to-face. I’ve only chatted with pros through the use of web forums and email. I’d suggest, if you can, to meet a few pros and join them in a few gigs or whatnot, which is actually something on my to-do list because working with an actual pro will give you hands-on experience and get real feedback, real constructive criticism, unlike the kind your family and friends give you.

I’d suggest you sign up to one or all of these critique websites because they, too, can give you honest but sometimes blunt, constructive criticism. Google the following to find the sites:

  • photocritique
  • flickr
  • digital-photography-school
  • And last but not least my favorite and by far the best of them all, 1X. You have to sign up to see and use their critique system, but it’s totally worth it, and free.

What you do is you sign up to one or all of the critique websites, and post a photo that you want to receive some feedback one. Most of the time these sites require you to give feedback on at least one photo before posting your own. This makes the community balanced, so everyone doesn’t just keep posting pictures for critique and never give out any critiques themselves.

In addition to critique websites, there are a few photography blogs that I love, also. The first being the well-known blog authored by David Hobby called Strobist. His blog is mainly about off-camera lighting, or hence the name, strobes. I have to mention him just for the sake of mentioning him, Ken Rockwell. He’s pretty much a Nikon fanatic that talks jokes a lot about a wealth of different subjects. He also has a lot of great information on Nikon camera gear. Joshua Hoffine is probably one of my favorite photographers because he sets up his shots as if they’re movies. He also has a great blog so I would recommend that you follow him just so you can see his latest amazing work and how he creates them.

And now for the no brainer…

Keep Pressing That Shutter!

Practice makes perfect and taking photos is no exception. If you want to become the next best photographer in town, or in the world (hey it’s possible!) you have to get out and start shooting more. And for those who log in 60 plus hours of work a week and still strive to be a great photographer, you have to find time to get out and shoot. It’s tough, I know. I only work around 50 hours a week at my retail job here in Berkley, Michgan and know first-hand how hard it is finding time to take photos.

If you want to get better, you have to dedicate time to shoot pictures. When I first got into photography I didn’t spend more than a few hours a month with my camera. And it showed; My photos looked the same as they did when I first started. Something needed to be done so I got into the habit of spending a few hours every week working on my technique. That eventually developed into a few hours every other day learning how to take photos. Soon I’d find myself spending hours upon hours every single day taking photos and learning, that I think my head literally got a few centimeters bigger from all the information I had gathered!

Final Words

If there’s one thing that I’ve found out over the last year while trying to become a better photographer, it’s that attitude has everything to do with photos. Most of this article has nothing to do with an actual photography “technique” if you will, because I feel that if you’re told to take photos a certain way you’re constricted within a set silly rules, and you will never be able to explore photography with your own feelings. Anyways, I hope I brought up some good points, ones that you will take into action soon because if you do, I know you’ll soon discover that there is a great photographer within you. You just gotta have the motivation to continue and have the right attitude.

Creative Photography Tips Step-By-Step Guide

There is no doubt that composition and framing are both components that play very important roles at producing stunning photography results. There are little-known creative photography tips that have to do with framing that photographers can implement to bring about extremely creative photography effects.

Creative Photography Tips #1 – Enclose Subjects within Frames

When you keep your subjects within the natural frame, this will bring the viewers of your photographs to be led towards the focal point. It also adds interest to the photographs. A few examples of natural frames are windows, doors, and also encompassing trees.

Creative Photography Tips #2 – Frames As Center Stage To Compositions

Another great creative photography trick is to shoot images where frames take the role of becoming the center stage to compositions. When you do this, make sure you the results turn out in an abstract fashion so that it becomes the primary subject of the frame.

Creative Photography Tips #3 – Subjects with Repetition

You can use these photography tips and implement them onto the various subjects. The main thing to look out for is the existence of repetition on your subjects. For instance, you can use these creative photography tips on a group of trees. You can also shoot photos of a corridor of doors.

Creative Photography Tips #4 – Step-by-step Guide To Photographing Pylons

Another example of subjects with repetition is pylons. Pylons can be found in areas such as suburbs and rural areas. I will now reveal you a complete simple step-by-step guide to photographing pylons.

Here is a very important key pointer to note when photographing pylons; make sure that the day you conduct this photography attempt is a day where the skies are blue with beautiful and puffy clouds. Avoid photographing pylons in overcast situations.

Step #1

First of all, look for the pylon you want to photograph. Once you have located it, be sure to ask for the permission to photograph the pylons from the land owner.

This is just a matter of courtesy and to avoid getting into unwanted troubles. Land owners are normally more than pleased to give you the permission you seek, if asked properly.

Step #2

Properly attach your camera to the tripod. What I did when I photographed pylons back then was to set my camera to the aperture-priority mode. I also dialed up an aperture of f/14.

Try shooting through the legs of the pylons and shoot to a telegraph pole located a distance away (if possible). This is to allow the pylon to frame the image.

Step #3

Next, check the results of the image you photographed on the LCD monitor. The image taken should be framed with the pylon still girders. Your goal is to have the result of the photograph taken to turn out looking abstract.

Step #4

If you happen to not be satisfied with the earlier creative photography attempt, try again. This time however, you can try out another viewpoint.

Re-adjust the positioning of your DSLR camera that you have attached to the tripod so that it faces the next pylon along the field (approximately 500 yards away is good enough). You can use the corded remote release to reduce camera shake.

Step #5

Check the result of the shoot once again through the LCD monitor. The result of the shot should turn out looking better than the first one because of the viewpoint; the power lines of the pylon naturally frame the shot well.

Step #6

Nonetheless, the color of the blue sky may be washed out, making it look really pale. When this happens, you can use a circular polarizer to your lens to fix the pale blue sky.

The polarizer makes the blue sky’s color richer. The sky will also appear looking more saturated. Using a polarizer definitely adds punch onto the photographs.

You can use a square-shaped ‘Cokin-style’ polarizer as it brings about the same effect.

Step #7

Now, try photographing the pylon from another viewpoint – right under the main pylon of your choice. Photograph this scene with your camera attached to a tripod. Adjust them so that the lenses aim straight up towards the top of the pylon. Whenever possible, consider using a remote release to better aid camera stability.

Step #8

From my experience with this viewpoint, pictures turn looking way better! The framing of the image looks perfect with the criss-cross metal structure that the pylon has. This gives the result of the photograph an abstract feel.

What you can do after taking your first shot is to take a few more shots from this same viewpoint. Reason being you’ll be better able to ensure that it is symmetrical.

Creative Photography Tips #5 – Polarizing Filters

What exactly do polarizer filters do? These filters actually help to darken skies and get rid of unwanted reflections that appear on surfaces like water and glasses. This is possible as filters act to reduce directional light. Polarizing filters produce a much more intense and saturated image.

The 2 main type of polarizing filters that are tailor-made for DSLR cameras are;

A) Slot-in Polarizing Filters

These types of filters fit perfectly into a special filter holder. If you want a recommendation, I suggest that you get the Cokin’s P-system. It is indeed the most well-known, also the most reasonably priced slot-in polarizing filters in the market.

B) Screw-in Polarizing Filters

These filters are made available in a range of filter threads so that it fits your lens. Hoya screw-in polarizing filters are definitely an excellent range.

Tips Your Wedding Photographer

Getting married soon? Congratulations! As wedding season approaches, us wedding photographers have one eye at all times on the weather – and another on the constantly shifting requirements of our clients. It’s with this in mind that I thought that this week, I’d put together some hints and tips for how to plan your perfect photography on the wedding day.

1. Be realistic about the photography which is achievable at your venue.

To start with a bit of a dampener – take a good hard look at your venue, your surrounding location and your timings. If you’ve been browsing wedding photographer websites, particularly those set in the beautiful South West locations of Somerset and Devon, you’ll no doubt have been beguiled by gorgeous shots of couples drifting through stunning yellow rapeseed fields, looking out to sea over dramatic cliffs, or dappled in sunshine with evening sunbeams drifting through woods. All these shots, and more, are undeniably beautiful. However, let’s face it, unless you’re getting married next to a wood, a cliff or a rapeseed field, you’re not going to have the time on your wedding day to go out and get these shots – or, indeed, wait until the evening sun is just right and abandon your guests halfway through the wedding breakfast to take advantage of ‘golden hour’.

Realistically, the vast majority of these type of shots are not taken on the wedding day, but on post-wedding ‘love the dress’ shoots, where you have all the time in the world to travel to the perfect location, wait for the light to be just right, and relax without worrying about your guests or holding up the wedding breakfast. Most couples on their wedding day have around half an hour for their ‘couples shots’, if not less – so bear this in mind and work with your photographer to find the right backdrops at your venue where you can get gorgeous wedding day shots without putting undue pressure on your timings. If you do want the stormy clifftop scenes or woodland idylls, however, just ask – most wedding photographers will offer post-wedding shoots, and even better, you get to wear your dress all over again!

2. Lineups, lineups – love them or hate them, how to do them.

Nearly all of my wedding photography work is carried out in reportage, or candid style; it suits my client’s needs and wishes and provides a more truthful, honest record of the wedding day, allowing me to work much more unobtrusively. However, nearly every client of mine specifies that they also need some lineup shots – generally for the mums and dads, who want these for the mantelpiece. If not managed properly, lineups can take far too long and keep your guests away from the celebrations – something which neither the photographer nor the guests want! So, here’s a few tips on how to keep your lineups quick, effective and relatively painless.

– Make a list of the lineups you want before the day and talk these through with your photographer. You might find that you actually don’t need as many as you think, and an organised approach will save time on the day.

– Make sure your Master of Ceremonies, best man or other key wedding party member has a copy of the lineups and helps with getting the right people into shot. Many hands make light work! – Look at potential locations for your lineups prior to the wedding day, taking into account the size of the groups and where the light will be at the time you’ll be doing this on the day. Always have a ‘Plan B’ in the eventuality of bad weather.

– Remember that it’s easiest to get these lineups done whilst you’ve got all your guests together – so do the large groups first, allowing people who aren’t required for smaller, immediate family & wedding party shots to return to the party and not be left hanging around.

3. Trends quickly turn into gimmicks – so beware

No doubt you’ll book your wedding photographer based, at least in part, on the style of the photography you’ve seen on their website. As with most things, photography (and in particular, wedding photography) can go through trends – in composition, in style and in processing. As a wedding photographer, I spent a lot of time discussing the look and feel of my client’s photographs prior to the wedding day, with the ultimate aim being to reflect the couple’s own style and personality.

However, one of the things I always advise clients is not to plump for any photographic or processing style which is too quirky. For example, retro styling and processing is great – but let’s do it with a feather touch, not an iron fist. You’ll be looking at your photographs for many years to come, and the last thing you want is to fall out of love with the shots you loved so much at the time, just because the processing style is no longer in vogue.

So, if you have a defined ‘look’ which you’d like for your photography, think carefully about how it might look in five years’ time – and if in doubt, err towards a more classic look, or a photographic or processing style which has been around for a long time. For example, cinematic style processing which replicates the look of some of the great slide and 35mm film brands STILL looks great, many decades after it was first used on the big screen.

Inspiration for Your Wedding

Many couples have already booked their big items, like their venue, photography, food, etc. Once you start looking at the smaller details, it is useful to have a theme in mind to tie it altogether. But where do you start? Some couples will have their theme thought out long ago and some have no clue where to start. This is more for the latter, to hopefully get the creative juices rolling.

Your Story

As cheesy as it may be, dig deep and remember your journey together. Do you both enjoy going to the movies? Maybe an old-fashioned cinematic theme would work for you. Are you both very eco-friendly? Consider having a very green wedding theme. These sort of similarities (or sometimes differences) can be a great starting point to a theme.

Colours

It definitely helps to pinpoint a few key colours to use throughout the wedding, however this can also be a good starting point. Colours evoke emotion and mood. Maybe the bride has a set colour palette in mind, but nothing to go along with it. Use these colours to brainstorm – what do these colours feel like? Are they warm or cool shades? Is it whimsical/romantic/fun? A turquoise and yellow colour palette may suggest a more fun and light feeling, than a palette of reds and purples. And on the contrary a whole banquet hall set in deep reds and purples may give an opposite vibe to fun and light if that is what you wanted.

Seasons

Will your wedding happen in the sunny days of summer or will it be a brisk fall day? The season can be a great indicator of themes that can be created for your day. Picking a seasonal-oriented theme or even to just have some elements of it in place could save you money on flowers. Tip: Flowers are seasonal and will cost you more on the offseason, sometimes significantly more. It is always a good idea to check with a florist before you are set on having a specific type of flower for your wedding, especially if you are not having a summer wedding. Tropical flowers in the fall or winter, for example, will definitely come at a premium.

Your Venue

Sometimes your venue is a blank slate or sometimes it has its own look already. This is definitely something to consider when planning your theme. It would be hard to do a modern theme at a grand Victorian ballroom, or a princess theme in a sleek new building with all wood and glass. It can be done of course, but it would take a lot of extra decor and details to pull it off well, or you risk it looking like a poorly executed theme.

Indoor Portrait Photography Tips

Here are some indoor portrait photography tips that does not require you to have access to expensive studio lightings, but will still be able to produce professional indoor portraits.

What say you if there are ways you can conduct indoor portrait photography at the comfort of your own home? Although with only one light source, you can still take photographs that look stunning. All you’ll need is an angle-poise lamp.

8 Tips For Indoor Portrait Photography

Photography Tips #1 – Background

To begin, position your subject to be sited in front of a light absorbing black velvet. The velvet creates a black background for your photo shoot. As to support the velvet, you can use about anything to hold it up. A bookcase for instance, is good enough.

Photography Tips #2 – Lighting Tips

After your model is comfortably sited, adjust the lamp so that it is positioned just slightly above his/ her head. Also, have the lamp positioned towards the right side of your model. This light setting will create a classic and stunning portrait photography result.

There are many other lighting effects you can try out. So go wild with creativity and don’t limit yourself.

Photography Tips #3 – Fast Shutter Speed

Set your shutter speed to be relatively fast. I normally set my camera to 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO500. Also, it is advisable that you use a tripod to complement your photography.

Photography Tips #4 – Use A Tripod

The tripod will get rid of camera shake, hence refrains from ruined indoor portrait photographs. The indoor portrait photos produced will be sharp when you use a tripod.

Photography Tips #5 – Longer Focal Length

I normally use the 80-200mm f/2.8 lens and set it to 145mm. This is because longer focal lengths will result in a much more stunning indoor portrait photograph.

Photography Tips #6 – Take a Few Shots

Another thing you can do is to take a few shots just to test the exposure and general set-up. If you’re satisfied with the settings for the photo shoot, you can start your indoor photography session. It will be great if you can discuss with your model beforehand about the various poses and expressions he/she can do.

Photography Tips #7 – Experiment The Various Lighting Conditions

Different lighting angles will result in a different indoor portrait photography effect. All you have to here is to try the different lighting positions and see which one works well for you. Such lighting angles include the right side, above, the left side, below and from behind your subject.

Photography Tips #8 – Use A Reflector

Whenever the light is too harsh, it creates unwanted shadow that ruins your indoor portrait photography attempts. What you can do here is to use a reflector on the opposite side of the light source. The reflector bounces the light onto your subject, thus creating a much softer light illumination.

How to Photograph Meteor Showers

There is nothing quite like the show that mother nature puts on for us in the night sky during a meteor shower. If you can find yourself a dark spot the show will be well worth it. What would make it complete and spectacular is if you could photograph the event. According to an article, the Perseids and the Geminids meteor showers produce about fifty to one-hundred per hour. First off, you will need to take a long exposure with a 16mm lens afterwards, the starts will be just streaks. If you are lucking, you might capture at least one meteor in a single exposure. The only way to capture a meteor shower with your camera is through stacking multiple images together. In order to do this, you need to take the widest lens you have and shoot back-to-back thirty-second exposures. Once you are home and at your computer you can take all the single frames that contain a meteor than mask out everything other than the meteor within Photoshop. What you will get as a result will be a composite of all the meteors in one nice shot.

When even the Perseids peak (Aug12 to 13) and Geminids (Dec 13 to 14) you should find yourself a nice location that is dark. If you are searching for someplace to help with your traveling plans than you might consider Hotwire. With Hotwire, you can find great deals on hotels, car rentals, flights and vacation packages and with their partnership with Groupon Coupons you can save even more than ever before.

Travel with ease when you use Hotwire and save when you visit Goupon Coupons first for money saving discounts and coupons. Act now and get an extra $30 off with this promo code. Enjoy $30 off $200 with this promo code. Use this promo code and get an extra 60percent off plus $30 percent off on hotels. Use this code and enjoy a 5star hotel for $79 per night. Use this promo code and get 60 percent off on hot rate hotels. Act now and score savings with this promo code. Act now and get 60 percent off car rentals rates with this coupon. Enjoy economy cars from $9.99 a day with this code. Get up to 60 percent off three-star hotels with this code. Use this code and get up to 40 percent off flights. Get 60 percent off on hotels when you use this code. Act now and get up to 60 percent off four-star hotels. Act now and get 40 percent off flights with this code. Save with Cancun deals and get 26 percent off on four star hotels with this coupon. Enjoy up to $570 off flight and hotel packages with this code. Use this code and get 60 percent off on hotels. From economy rentals cars from $13.99 a day to saving when you travel to Los Angeles you will always be saving when you visit Groupon Coupons first.

Use Hotwire for all your family and business traveling needs. Be sure to see Groupon Coupons first to save yourself even more money.