Monthly Archives: September 2016

Types of Photography

A photograph is not just a representation of what one sees in reality. It often represents something that is not seen by an ordinary observer. A photograph is definitely worth a thousand words, and it has the power to convey a whole new meaning of a particular situation. While photography may be a hobby to some, this art form is a complete profession to many, as it offers various avenues to aspiring photographers.

The world’s most spectacular photographs need not require the most expensive equipment. A stunning photograph would require the expertise of a skillful eye that is trained to capture moments in the best way possible. Although color photography gained popularity with time, photographers are aware about the full potential of black and white pictures as well. So, whether it’s the passion for fashion or nature, photographers all over the world are having a delightful time clicking away! People with an inclination towards photography can check out some of the types of photography that also make fantastic career options.

Fashion Photography
This genre is one of the most lucrative kinds. Photographs are one of the most effective ways of communication in the world of fashion. Here, photography is used to bring attention to the clothes and the accessories. Models are exclusively selected to showcase products in the best way possible.

Fashion photographers today, create the particular look either in natural environment or one that is created in the studio. Often, these fashionable photographs find their way in leading fashion magazines. These magazines cater to the niche crowd that loves to know the best in clothing and other fashion accessories.

Glamor photography is also about fashionable visuals, however, with a difference. Glamor photography highlights the model in a different light rather than laying emphasis on the clothing or accessories. Often, nude images are also a part of glamor photography. These can be found on the covers of magazines like ‘Playboy’.

Advertising Photography
Advertising photography is all about creating the right environment to highlight the product to be advertised, in the best way possible. The photographers generally come up with ideas or visuals. At times, design houses also brief photographers about the concept required, in order to obtain specific results. These photographs are always planned in coordination with the advertising firm.

Still Life Photography
Still life photography is all about capturing objects on camera that are deliberately grouped together to create a particular composition. This form of art requires the photographer to have an excellent sense of composition and lighting. A photographer in this case, can create different textures and use objects that add interest to an otherwise normal composition.

Wedding photography is a specialized field of this art form, which is dedicated to snapping the most memorable moments in various creative ways. A photographer can take his/her own approach towards this subject. While some prefer the traditional ‘posed’ ways, there are others who base their photographs purely on the actual moment.

Photographers can also make these pictures fashionable with particular themes if agreeable with the client. There are many cases where such glamorous wedding photographs are captured specially in the studio. Today, many people are willing to explore new ideas, which opens up many new, creative avenues for experts in wedding photography.

Fine Art Photography
Fine art photography is all about visuals that resemble a work of art. These are highly creative images that have an abstract appeal. Therefore, these photographs can be equivalent to an artist’s expression on canvas. This genre of photography is not restricted for commercial purposes, but could be used for creative pursuits as well. A fine art photographer should have the ability to look beyond the obvious settings.

Nature Photography
Nature photographers are very much sought after by media houses. Works of these creative geniuses can be seen in magazines like ‘National Geographic’. Nature photography encompasses various other types of photography, such as:

These photographs mainly highlight the natural beauty of any place. It includes areas of wilderness, deserts, mountains, or even waterfalls.

Photographers that specialize in wildlife photography spend many hours in the wilderness to capture some of the most amazing shots of animals against a natural backdrop. A photographer in this case, would need to be an ardent animal lover and know his way around in the wild.

Underwater photography is an interesting art form that explores a whole new world beneath the deep blue seas. It’s an extremely challenging task because a photographer should know all about swimming and scuba diving to capture the best images while clicking pictures in the blue waters!

This style of photography is completely dedicated to capturing various images of cloud formations. Black and white photography in particular can be creatively used for this branch of photography.

Seascape Photography
Capturing nature in her many moods would be interesting for all lovers of the environment. A photographer who is dedicated to seascape photography should always lie in wait for the beauty of the sea to unfold. Here, the concentration is mainly on capturing various moods of the ocean, at different times of the day, or even in different seasons!

Travel Photography
Travel photography involves capturing images of a particular landscape or even people from different countries. A photographer captures various traditions and customs of different places.

Architectural Photography
Architectural photography, as the name suggests, is all about capturing images of different styles of architecture in different lights. This type of photography would require the photographer to be an expert in the technical as well as the visual department.

Portrait Photography
Portrait photography is all about capturing the mood of a person, with an emphasis on the face and expression of a person. This style of photography need not only be about professional models, it can encompass any kind of a person. Family portrait photographs are quite popular today. There are many creative ways a photographer can use to make a portrait photograph look stunning!

Photojournalism
Photojournalism is all about telling a story about a particular event or incident through a single photograph. This genre of photography is used mainly by publications to represent the latest news. In this case, the photographer’s visuals and the writer’s story should complement each other. For example, if a writer is making a specific mention of a particular location in the story, the photographer can find innovative ways to capture the same on camera. Photojournalism can be further classified into:

Documentary Photography
Here, the photographer has to present an image that best represents the incident being spoken of, in true form. In this case, press photographers usually submit their images to the concerned publication. However, recently, press photographers from all over the world have started displaying their works at exhibitions as well.

Street Photography
This is all about capturing candid images of public places or even people in their natural element. A photographer, in this case, requires the skill to mingle with people and capture the best frames, without being conscious of people around. Henri Cartier-Bresson used the technique of wrapping the camera inside his handkerchief. Of course, one also has to consider the legal issues, as there are many places where this type of photography is prohibited for security reasons.

Celebrity Photography
Celebrity photography is all about capturing celebrities from various fields. Various media houses use such photographs – from publications (magazines, newspapers) to the online media. In this case, there are various ways of approaching the subject. In the first instance, celebrities are shot with meticulous planning in a studio or at an outdoor location, where the styling is well planned for; this includes the clothes, make up, and the accessories. Apart from this, photographers who specialize in celebrity photography also need to capture them at various functions or press conferences. Whereas, there is a third type of celebrity photography known as the paparazzi. This is about capturing celebrities on camera without their consent. These photographs are exclusive and often fetch a premium price for all photographers.

Sports Photography
This genre of photography is dedicated completely to capturing the best images in action, for any kind of sport. A photographer, in this case, should have the knack to capture stunning images on camera with great speed. There are many photographers who have dedicated themselves completely to this segment. These photographs are mainly used by publishing houses and other branches of media.

Nude Photography
Nude photography is about the depiction of the human body in the nude form. These photographs are not meant for eroticism but purely for the study of the human body. Here, the face is not always the focal point, and the compositions are stylized with experimentation in terms of light and backdrops.

War photography is about capturing photographs that depict the situations at war in terms of the people or the particular instance. Here, the photographers are always at risk and often the target of the warring groups.

Candid Photography
Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the first names that crops up in one’s mind when it comes to candid photography. This can be said to be one of the purest forms of photography, which does not include any staged situations. Candid photography is all about being spontaneous!

Fire Photography
This form of photography would require the photographer to be equipped with protective clothing. The photographer, in this case, clicks photographs of firefighting operations. This type of photography is useful for investigations.

Forensic Photography
Also known as crime scene photography, here, the job of the photographer is mainly to capture images for an accurate representation of the scene of crime. In these cases, a photographer will have to cover all the possible angles of the particular scene for investigation purposes. These images could be about any scene of crime or even accidents.

Secret Photography
Here, it is the primary aim of the photographer to capture images of people without their knowledge. Professional photographers mainly use this type of photography for investigative purposes, and unethical publication of the same can result in various legal issues. Here, the photographer can also conceal himself/herself from the concerned party, including the camera being used.

Macro Photography
This style of photography is completely about close-up images of a specific subject. This style is used particularly to capture details of organisms or nature that may not be visible to the naked eye.

A photographer who is into aerial photography needs to be an expert at capturing images from a high elevation. There are various techniques used to obtain these images; a photographer can click these images from a helicopter or an aircraft, and more recently, kites are also being used, wherein the camera is attached to the kite to click photographs when the kite is in the air.

Headshot Photography
This type of photography focuses mainly on the person’s face (mug shots), but is different from portrait photography. The images, in this case, are plainer in nature as the client would need to use these images purely for work purposes.

Food photography is mainly in demand due to the rising needs from the advertising industry and publishing houses. It is the photographer’s skill that is required to make the food item look very interesting and appealing to the viewer.

Astrophotography
Astrophotography focuses completely on capturing images from space. This could range from the planets to the stars or any other interesting formations. It is very difficult to capture a clear image of any incident in the starry skies owing to many technical problems a photographer may face. However, with the advent of new technology in this field, many innovative options are being added to make this type of photography easier for avid photographers dedicated to this field.

In this case, the photographer should definitely have a knack to handle children to capture their best moods and moments! These types of photographs are used for advertising purposes or even for personal reasons.

Black and White Photography
With the advent of color photography, black and white photography would have been passé. However, this is a medium that offers vast options for photographers. The timeless appeal of black and white photography can be used for any topic. Photographers, in this case, would need to use lighting and textures, apart from composition, and the latest techniques to be rewarded with beautiful visuals.

Digital Photography
Digital photography is all about photographers opting for the digital cameras over the traditional ways, to click images that are faster to transmit. However, there are many photographers who still prefer to use film to digital cameras for better clarity and representation of light and dark.

Night Photography
Photographers in this case completely specialize in night scenes. Due to the problem of minimum light, new techniques are being incorporated. A photographer can use artificial light or even a long exposure to capture clear and precise images.

These various types of photography clearly give an indication of the blossoming of this art form. Technology has made it possible to go beyond the obvious frames. Today, photography is all about the combination of the expertise of the photographer as well as techniques. But in the true sense, an excellent photographer would only need creativity and strong powers of observation to be able to capture visuals that are truly beyond the ordinary.

Point and Shoot Photography

This style of photography isn’t what it sounds like; well not all of it. You can’t just point at any image and start shooting them. Of course, there are times when people don’t really care about the angles, lights, different modes on the camera, or any particular features on the camera. However, I would ask you think again about that. A photograph stays with us for decades, sometimes through many generations. They can speak louder, better, and more clearly than any words spoken. Then why would you subject yourselves to plain and boring images? If you want to be a good photographer and wish to capture all the events in your life properly, even if it is with a point and shoot camera, go through this beginners photography guide for helpful tips and techniques to get the right picture.

As a good photographer, you should always keep in mind that the number of pictures don’t really matter. The quality, theme of the picture, and your creativity is what counts. In the following article, we have laid down some basic, yet essential photography tips and techniques.

Manual Mode

Try to use the manual mode as much as possible. The ‘Auto’ mode may not give you the desired effect to the picture you want to click. ‘Manual’ mode incorporates many options like controlling aperture, shutter speed, controlling ISO, etc., depending on the camera. Take a lot of pictures of the same objects with different modes and you will get the best output; the outcome of the picture you desire. These features used to be in the SLR cameras for beginners, however, with new and better digital photography; you can give the picture any effect that you want.

Flash Away

There are times when turning the flash on can ruin the picture. Yes, that does happen. To avoid that, go to options or the multi-controller button and turn it off. When there’s enough ambient light, turn off the flash and click to get the best of the natural lighting. In case you are indoors and the natural lights do not suffice, you can always turn the flash on and click. These lighting tips will make a world of difference to your images.

Different Angles

Don’t just start clicking all objects in the usual way. Play with different angles, try lying down on the floor (sometimes in weird positions), or climb somewhere on a wall or chair to take the picture from above. Besides these angles, you can also try your hand at underwater photography. Get the best waterproof camera to capture the magnificent images underwater. Experimenting with various angles might just surprise you and get the best photographs you’ve clicked in quite some time.

Nighttime

Now, let’s discuss some night photography techniques. When clicking at night, use a tripod. At nights the camera needs to get more light in to get that perfect picture and to get that much light, the camera needs to be stable for a longer time. So, if your hand shakes while clicking at nights, the picture might just come blurry. Similarly for landscapes, use a tripod to keep your camera steady and yes, remember the shutter speed.

Sunset and Clouds

Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, the question about “how to take good pictures” is always on everybody’s mind. A perfect picture is not always possible when the object is centered in the frame and the background is faded. Use your imagination; if you are at a beach, see if you can focus on your object but can also capture the water or the beach or the beautiful sun setting behind the waters. That might uplift your picture.

Capturing Colors

Spot colors in the field and capture them. Catch bright colors; click a picture in black and white, play with the exposure. The more experiments you do with a particular scene, the better your results will be. See how you can make dull colors more interesting and enjoyable. These tips will only be helpful to you if you practiced and taught yourself. If you make any errors in clicking some pictures, it’s alright. You will get other opportunities.

Handy Camera

Keep your camera handy all the time. You might just come across that picture-perfect-scene; you don’t want to miss that. Always carry your camera along with you. Clicking pictures with your friends and family or just plain nature, will give you immense pleasure of that particular moment. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with having your camera with you at all times.

After Effects

Even after you have done all the settings in the camera and clicked the pictures you wanted, you can further modify them in Adobe Photoshop. That will just enhance the pictures even more, giving you the best pictures you ever dreamed of. Show them to your friends, family or the mentor you have chosen for photography, they will, perhaps, help you by telling how best you can take the picture in many other ways.

I hope that these basic photography techniques can be of use to you and can help you in getting many gorgeous images. You can also enroll in some classes at a community colleges; they will definitely help you become a better, more skilled photographer.

Macro Photography, Tips to Get the Perfect Shot

One of the greatest joys of photography lies in the way it can be used for different purposes by different people. While some use it as an artistic medium, by producing abstract images while others use photography to create detailed and accurate representations of real life. I am always amazed at the superbly shot wildlife photos or close up photos that appear in National Geographic or Nature magazine. These photographs never fail to fascinated me and leave me wondering how much effort and skill is needed for that one elusive shot. Recently, I happened to meet a good friend of mine who gave me the low-down about such photographs. These shots are taken by a technique known as macro photography.

What is Macro Photography?

The word macro means ‘large’, or ‘of great size’. In photographic terms, it can be called a type of close-up photography that normally tries to produce images on a 1:1 ratio. In other words it tries to create images that are of the same size as the objects or subjects they represent. These techniques are popularly used in nature photography, wherein it is often required to produce images that exhibit the true detail of a plant or animal that is being photographed. Nowadays ‘point-and-shoot’ digital cameras come equipped with in-built macro functions making it easier to photograph close-ups. However, a single lens reflex (or SLR) camera is generally considered superior for such type of photography. This photography is especially useful in forensic science, where small details at accident or crime scenes may often be substantial. Fingerprints, skid marks, or trace evidence which are vital to any crime case are easily recorded using macro photography.

Macro Photography Equipment
The following equipment is generally considered essential for macro photography techniques.

Camera

As said earlier, many point and shoot digital cameras nowadays have remarkable macro capabilities making them an obvious choice for beginners. But for best results you should opt for a single-lens reflex camera (SLR) or if your budget permits a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR). The latter allow you to attach special-purpose macro lenses and show you in a bright optical viewfinder that are very useful for close-up photography.

Macro Lenses

These lenses are also, confusingly, sometimes called ‘micro’ lenses by manufacturers. These are one of the most vital macro photography equipment. Macro lenses are generally fixed focal length lenses that are particularly designed to produce sharp images at a magnification of 1:1 or higher. Latest available macro lenses can even produce magnification ratios far higher than this. Generally most macro lenses are fixed, you will be required to choose the focal length that best suits your purposes. for example, a focal length in the region of 50-60 mm would be sufficient for fairly small objects, whereas 100 mm focal length would suffice for things such as insects and details of flowers.

Flash and Diffuser

Lighting is very important in any type of photography, a hand-held flash comes in handy for lighting your subjects and is powerful when used just a few inches from your subject. While sometimes a flash might give you a sharp and noticeable shadow, giving your picture a harsh, stark effect. For softer light, try to diffuse the light from the flash, by using transparent white cloth or paper for example, colored gels. If you are keen on capturing close-ups of small things then you may experiment with different lighting techniques and get amazing results.

Tripod and Other Equipment

A tripod or monopod will decrease the risk of camera shake. The movement by the subject is also an important element, as this type of photography enlarges the subject, thereby leaving a possibility for blurred photos. Tripods or monopods could prove to be useful, especially while taking photos of flowers. Though flowers, unlike animals, are usually very patient and if there is no wind they stay still. People use different techniques and ideas like, using paper clips to keep a grass leaf still while taking a photo of some insect on it. Or the use of dead flies to feed spiders or other “deadly” insects which might make a great shot. A bottle of honey to feed butterflies or some other hungry beasts out there. Be creative and think about what you may need before you go on a hunt.
Macro Photography Ideas and Tips
Here are some DSLR macro photography tips that can spell the difference between ordinary and excellent close-up photographs. Also some lighting tips are provided.

Check Focus

One of the basic necessity of any photography, let alone macro or close-up photography, is focus. While shooting at 1:1 or higher magnifications the distance in front and behind the subject of focus is extremely narrow. So, one needs to double-check if the subject is in exact focus or not. Check the image in your LCD screen, if you’re using a digital camera. Zoom into it as far as your camera can zoom, this will let you to confirm that your subject is in exact focus.

Eliminate Background and Foreground Clutter

A thumb rule in photography is that the viewer’s eye, naturally, gravitates towards the brightest spot in a photo. So, while shooting in mixed light, bear in mind about what’s in the background, change your point of view or move closer and fill the frame with your subject in order to negate the background. Another idea is to hold a sheet of plain white paper or any branch or leaf foliage behind your subject. One smart tip to control background clutter is by shooting at wider apertures. This reduces background focus, using a ring light is a nice way to eliminate the background since a ring light throws most backgrounds into darkness. While shooting through dense foliage trim away blocking branches or leaves if they are hindering you view of the subject or try to find another angle. The essence is to keep on trying till you get the perfect frame for the perfect shot.

Get the Correct Exposure

The correct exposure can make or break a near to perfect setup. One has to be especially careful about exposure, greater the distance between the film or sensor and the subject, the longer the exposure or wider the aperture. If your camera has exposure metering through the lens, then your task is much easier, somewhat. A tip for correct exposure will be to check your histogram repeatedly.

Right Lighting

One of the toughest task in photography is sufficiently and evenly lighting the subject. In extreme close-up photography it is impossible to place a light between the camera and a subject that close. Nowadays some cameras can focus on subjects so close, that they almost touch the front of the lens. Using off camera flash is the next lighting tip, as the subject will be so close that the light on your camera will fall beyond the subject, hence this flash needs to be off camera. Besides, extreme close-up work means that there is almost no natural light falling on the subject. Using a ring flash or a two-flash, lens-mounted setup can help to achieve greater depth of field and sharper focus. Sometimes overhead sun causes harsh shadows, diffuse it with a translucent white umbrella. Right lighting will enable you to exhibit greater details in your subject thereby enhancing your shot quality.

Get Real Close

Close-up shots require you to get down to the subject’s level which might mean getting dirty, but it’s worth the effort. Not only does it produce a more dramatic point of view but also adds to the area of focus. Getting your lens parallel to the subject enables more of the subject to be part of the frame reducing background and foreground clutter. Moreover, while being parallel, the subject is more in focus than if the lens were angled with you looking down. One of the best option is to use the right tripod, the one whose legs can spread out almost flat enabling you to get right down low. Another tip is to get the heaviest tripod, though it might not be fun to carry around but you’ll be rewarded with better quality photographs.

Shutter Speed and Self-timer

If you cannot shoot faster than the length of your lens then use a tripod. A general rule of thumb for hand-held macro shots, is that if your lens is 100 mm focal length, then the shutter speed should be 1/100th of a second, or faster, to achieve a sharp image or photograph. If you are shooting in a spot which has shade or indirect sunlight, use a tripod to achieve great results. An important tip is regarding the use of the camera’s self-timer. This feature is vital in limiting vibration and camera shake while pressing the shutter button. A self-timer is basically a delayed shutter release that allows jerks and vibrations to subside before the actual photo is taken. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to see how it works on your particular brand of camera.

Be Patient

One of the most vital yet oft-ignored asset is learning to be patient. In my experience, there is no point in chasing an insect, like a mad photographer, that won’t sit still. It simply doesn’t work! You’ll be surprised to know that many insects are just as curious of you, as you are about them. Try to make good use of morning sunlight to capture details or bring out certain aspects of the subject that may not be seen otherwise. While many photographers don’t like shooting into the sun, when it comes to macro or close-up photography, I find it can often help highlight a feature or characteristic of the subject. For instance, early morning light can be used brilliantly to capture dew drops or an insect’s tiny hair. You do need to be careful not to capture lens flare though. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes it does. Trying numerous angles and distances to help you find the best position and capture the best shot.

These were some of the close-up photography tips and techniques which I found extremely helpful in improving my photography skills. Enough of the theory, it’s time to have fun. Get out and keep shooting, don’t be afraid to experiment, Shoot closer, still closer and then some more. The closer you shoot, the more you will be rewarded for your patience and toil. Get clicking and enjoy exploring and photographing the tiny world that awaits you.