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    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Low Perspectives appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    This week, the weekly photography challenge – low perspectives!

    Matthew Henry

    That’s right! Get down low and take photos from a low, interesting perspective. They can be of absolutely anything – they just have to be taken from an angle that is close to the ground.

    It could be architecture, interiors, still life, landscapes, street photography, or people. It can be color, black and white, moody, bright or whatever you like!

    I can’t wait to see your shots!

    © Caz Nowaczyk

     

    Some inspiration from some Instagrammers:

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Sweety Sharma (@sweetysharmaphotography) on

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Tales of Light (@talesoflightphotography) on

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by ericsweijen (@ericsweijen) on

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Jeweleeanna Eagle (@j.d.e.photo) on

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Ashar’s Captures (@asharscaptures) on

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Roland Spilak (@roland.spilak) on

    The following articles are helpful for the challenge:

    How to Make Your Photos More Creative Using Camera Angles

    Why Using Ant’s View Perspective Can Take Your Photography to the Next Level

    Finding Fresh Angles to Shoot From – Digital Photography Composition Tip

    How to Photograph Kids Playing, Running Around and Generally Being Kids

     

    Weekly photography challenge – low perspectives

    Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll be embedded for us all to see. Or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge!

    Share in the dPS Facebook Group

    You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

    If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPSlowperspectives to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

     

    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Low Perspectives appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Weekly Photography Challenge – Low Perspectives

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=159809
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/BNlPx68DHTk/

    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Low Perspectives appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    This week, the weekly photography challenge – low perspectives! That’s right! Get down low and take photos from a low, interesting perspective. They can be of absolutely anything – they just have to be taken from an angle that is close to the ground. It could be architecture, interiors, still life, landscapes, street photography, or […]

    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Low Perspectives appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Fri, 14 Dec 2018 18:00:00 +0000

    The post 5 Photography Hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    In this video by Brandon Woelfel, he outlines 5 Photography hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography.

    5 Photography Hacks

    1. Phones

    Hold the phone up to your camera lens to reflect the image and light for a cool effect.

    2. Thinking like an editor

    Think of locations. Look at a scene in a way that your final edit will be applied. Mentally isolate a location in your head so when it comes to physically shoot your subject, you can apply what you had in your head.

    3. No model hack

    If you feel inspired but have no model, use your hands and a cool object such as glass ball, lights, and play with shallow depth of field.

    4. Altering light

    Manipulate natural light by using textured materials. Bounce light off a sequinned pillow. Shoot light through colanders, CDs, doilies etc.

    5. Use an object near your lens

    Hold a leaf or other object and hold it close to the edge of the lens

    Follow Brandon on Instagram.

    You may also find the following articles on our site useful:

    10 More Photography Tips to Help Take Your Images to the Next Level

    How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    How to use Colored Gels to Create Unique and Creative Portraits

    Copper, Prisms, and Orbs, Oh My! – 3 Creative Techniques for People Photography

    4 Great Pieces of Camera Equipment to Help You Get Creative

     

    The post 5 Photography Hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    5 Photography Hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=159838
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/Hf6Lrq9lidU/

    The post 5 Photography Hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    In this video by Brandon Woelfel, he outlines 5 Photography hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography. 5 Photography Hacks 1. Phones Hold the phone up to your camera lens to reflect the image and light for a cool effect. 2. Thinking like an editor Think of locations. Look at a scene in a way that your […]

    The post 5 Photography Hacks to Improve Your Creative Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:00:00 +0000

    The post 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    1 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    If like me, you live in the southern hemisphere, you’ll be well amongst the season of spring. Although this can mean the onset of the dreaded hay fever season, it’s a great time of the year for photographers to capture an amazing diversity of flowers that bloom in the warmer months.

    Flowers make beautiful subjects for photography. In fact, they’re probably one of the most photographed subjects in history. An abundance of colors, species, and sizes means that flowers provide an endless array of photographic opportunities.

    2 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    However, floral photography isn’t limited to spring either. If you aren’t currently living it up in the southern hemisphere, now is a great time to show some self-love and buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers…because you deserve it! And for photography purposes, of course.

    No matter if you are in the thralls of spring or living vicariously through this post, this quick list is a great way to load up on ideas for that next floral shoot.

    3 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    Macro photography

    Macro photography is the photographic reproduction of small subjects at a size that is larger than real life. Through macro photography, a photographer can take extreme close-up photographs of small subjects, reproducing them at a much larger size. Macro photography is often used to photograph flowers because it reveals attributes that can’t be seen by the naked eye. It’s easy to observe a flower in passing. But it takes a photographer to reveal the hidden details of a flower’s complex shape and structure.

    A variety of dedicated macro lenses, as well as extension tubes and filters, mean that macro photography gear is becoming more and more accessible. For my macro flower photography, I use a set of extension tubes. They’re simple, don’t break the budget and they produce lovely results.

    4 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    5 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    Abstraction

    Abstract photography itself is a little hard to describe. Wikipedia defines abstract photography as “…a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world”. Abstract photography relies on compositional aspects like form, shape, color, line, and texture without worrying too much about depicting identifiable subject matter.

    It’s a complicated subject, but flower photography is a great excuse to explore abstract photography for yourself. Try focusing on the details that make up the network of organic shapes in a flower, or home in on the subtle lines that form the flower’s shape. Don’t worry too much about the bigger picture. Go for it – it’s a lot of fun!

    6 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    In this abstract image, the flowing lines and natural color lend the impression of an organic subject

    Color

    Focusing on a colorful subject matter is a great way to form a dialogue between a photograph and viewer. Flowers are known for their abundance of color and variety. Their beautiful and sometimes surprising hues make them wonderfully diverse photographic subjects.

    For vibrant color in your floral photography, you want to photograph a well-lit subject. If you are photographing outside, aim to shoot on a day with a good amount of sunlight. If you are inside or shooting on a particularly cloudy day, try incorporating on-camera flash into your photography. Direct flash will usually blow out a subject, so try using a diffuser or bouncing your flash for a softer effect that will lift a flower’s color without washing it out.

    7 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    Taking advantage of the color in floral subjects will allow you to build up a body of diverse botanical photography by relying on the natural features of the flower

    Black and White

    Of course, not all flower photography has to be in color. Color photography can have the drawback of directing attention away from the subject itself. Black and white photography, on the other hand, enhances form and texture by minimizing distraction.  And because flowers are associated with color, black and white photography also lends a timeless, surreal angle to your floral imagery.

    To photograph flowers in black and white, you can set your camera to shoot in monochrome mode. Or, you can convert your images to black and white in post-production with programs like Photoshop or Lightroom. Either way, black and white photography is a great way to add a unique perspective to your flower photography.

    8 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    This photograph of was taken using a process called Scanography. The black and white scheme accentuates the subtle details in the subject

    Perspective

    Perspective dictates the way a viewer places themselves in a photograph. As a basic example, a high perspective can remove the viewer from the scene, inviting them to asses a photographic environment clinically. It introduces a sense of unease, as height is considered innately dangerous. A low perspective amplifies the height of subjects, lending a sense of grandeur to an environment. At the same time, it can also instill a feeling of ‘smallness’ in the viewer, as if they were an ant inspecting an impossibly tall building.

    Viewers get drawn to images that are out of the ordinary. Creatively utilizing your camera’s point of view challenges the way a viewer sees their surroundings. For a unique twist on perspective, try photographing floral subjects down at their level. It’s amazing how much a subject can be transformed with a quick change in perspective.

    9 - 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    Conclusion

    Focusing on color, black and white, perspective, macro, and abstract photography are only some of the ways to approach flower photography. Even the smallest flower poking its head through the cracks in a path can bring a smile to someone’s face. So, combining photography and flowers is sure a sure-fire way to create beautiful imagery. I’d love to see your results below!

    The post 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=157888
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/_WIallRiBis/

    The post 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    If like me, you live in the southern hemisphere, you’ll be well amongst the season of spring. Although this can mean the onset of the dreaded hay fever season, it’s a great time of the year for photographers to capture an amazing diversity of flowers that bloom in the warmer months. Flowers make beautiful subjects for […]

    The post 5 Tips for Photographing Flowers with Impact appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:00:41 +0000

    The post How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

    1 - How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    This image is a creative street photo. The overpasses lead the eye towards the image within the prism.

    Taking photos has many facets to it, and getting these right gives you a successful photo. A key element is how you use the light, and in this article, you’re going to learn how to split the light! Using a prism in your photography can give you new possibilities, and is another way of utilizing refraction in your photography. So, read on to find out about prism photography, how to make rainbows, and create beautiful photos that look like multiple exposures!

    What does a prism do to the light?

    A prism is a glass object and is therefore subject to the effect of refraction. The light is bent as it passes through the prism, creating several effects that you can use in photography. You can’t use it in the same way as a crystal ball, which works like an external lens optic and inverts the background image within the ball. However, there are two ways you can use the prism.

    2 - How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    You can clearly see the rainbow light from the Prism. Also visible are the shards of light emitted from different angles to the direction of the sun.

    Prism photography for making rainbows

    An excellent way for you to use the prism is making rainbows. The larger the prism you have, the larger the rainbow becomes. The other way to increase the size is by increasing the distance between the prism, and the surface you are projecting the rainbow onto. The catch with increasing the distance is the rainbow light becomes more diffused and less intense. You also need to pay attention to how high the sun is in the sky. This is because the angle the sunlight hits the prism effects the angle of the projected rainbow. It is easier to project the rainbow onto the ground during midday when the sun is high in the sky. To project the rainbow more horizontally aim to photograph when the sun is lower in the sky, after sunrise, and before sunset.

    The rainbow as a detail photo

    Rainbow light is colorful, and when projected onto a surface this can make for a beautiful photo. Look for a surface that has a neutral color such as gray or white. A surface that has some nice surface texture may add more interest to your photo. Now twist the prism until you’re able to see the rainbow projected onto the surface you’re photographing. It’s possible to take the photo while holding both the prism and the camera. If you have a friend to help hold the prism, your results can be improved. As this is a detail photo, using a macro lens for this type of photo is better, but you may find other interesting compositions by using another lens.

    3 - How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    It’s possible to create your own rainbow using a prism.

    The rainbow with portrait photography

    Undoubtedly one of the most popular forms of prism photography involves projecting a rainbow onto someone’s face. The rainbow you project won’t be large, and it would be best if another person held the prism. The small size of the rainbow means a head shot would work well. A play on David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ portrait is a good starting place in which to start. You’ll want to set this up as a standard portrait, so use a prime lens for this photo. Ideally, you’ll want to blur the background through the use of a large aperture.

    Three images in one frame

    The other way to use the prism bares similarities to using a glass ball. This time you’ll be shooting through the glass, at images that appear inside it. Hold up the prism, and twist it. You’ll notice how you can see images inside this glass. These images are not those directly ahead of you though. Also, depending on how you twist the glass, you may see one or two images. It’s these images you can work with to make a unique multi-exposure type image, with a single click of the shutter.

    The choice of lens

    The best lenses for prism photography are a wide-angle lens and a macro lens. Unless you’re lucky and have a friend to hold the prism, you need to hold the prism and photograph through it at the same time.

    4 - How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    This image uses a macro lens with the prism, and looks like an optical illusion

    Aperture for prism photography

    The aperture you use for these type of photos are mostly dependent on what you want to do with the background, and how sharp you want the image within the prism. A large aperture of f/2.8 or bigger certainly works to blur out the background. The majority of photos need that background though, to achieve the multiple exposure feel. That means an aperture of around f/8 is the right balance between a background with detail and avoiding the prism having too sharp a line in transition to the background.

    The background image

    A prism has a fairly small width, and even with a macro lens, the background is a high proportion of the frame. So what works as a background for this type of photo? Primarily, you’re looking to avoid it being too busy.

    5 - How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    The use of background symmetry can be effective with a prism.

    The image in the glass

    Now the tricky part – getting a good image within the prism. The images from the prism can be at 90-degrees to the way you’re facing, or perhaps 60-degrees and to the side and front of where you’re standing. Incorporating this into your composed background is the challenging aspect of prism photography.

    6 - How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    Adding a model to this image made for an interesting cherry blossom portrait photo.

    Using fractals

    Fractals are yet another item that uses refraction in photography. They produce prism-like effects but aren’t in themselves a triangular-shaped prism. Working as a handheld filter, you can photograph through them without worrying about images being at 90-degrees to you. It’s often used to make creative portrait photos with soft edges. It can equally be used to make a more abstract looking photo.

    Time to go and split the light!

    If you are looking to try something different with your photography, you’ll love the prism. It’s a little challenging to photograph with, but that’s what makes it fun. Have you ever tried prism photography? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and see your photos in the comments section below. So, now it’s time to get hold of a prism, and go out and experiment with it!

    The post How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

    How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=158850
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/RZMN9t4yksg/

    The post How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

    Taking photos has many facets to it, and getting these right gives you a successful photo. A key element is how you use the light, and in this article, you’re going to learn how to split the light! Using a prism in your photography can give you new possibilities, and is another way of utilizing […]

    The post How to Make Creative Photos with Prism Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

    Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:00:18 +0000

    The post So You Want to Make a Website? Part 1: Squarespace versus WordPress appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

    Welcome to the first of a 5-part series of articles on how to create your website. The series examines which platforms to consider using, through to SEO (how to get your website to rank better on search engines). While the focus of these articles is on the DIY aspect, a specialist web designer can be a worthwhile investment in many situations. Some are also cheaper than you think.

    As with the discussion of Apple versus Android, the discussion of the better platform to build your website on has staunch supporters on both sides. While there are other service providers, this article focuses on two of the leading site builders used today;  Squarespace and WordPress.

    Choosing which web platform to use can be a hard decision. Both are excellent, used by many companies and individuals and both platforms have their strengths & weaknesses. There are pro’s & cons to each system. However, you can create a great website using either platform.

    The Apple versus Android arguments transfers well into discussions over which of these two platforms you should use. Squarespace is a closed system that “just works,” whereas WordPress is a much more customizable system, with a multitude of plugins to use. However, WordPress requires a slightly higher level of knowledge to get the best results.

    Let’s look at each platform in a little more detail.

    WordPress

    Screenshot of WordPress screen

    WordPress may look complicated, but it isn’t as scary as you think.

    WordPress is insanely popular. The WordPress website states that 32% of the web runs using their platform. Moreover, the website you are reading this article on uses WordPress too.

    WordPress.com and Self-Hosted

    In reality, WordPress has two different platforms: the self-hosted version (you host the website on your own choice of servers) and WordPress.com, (the hosting gets managed for you). Web hosting is the space on the web that stores your website. When visitors type in your website address, it retrieves your website from the server so that the visitor can view it. Hosting costs can vary depending on your needs, but you can find reliable hosting for your WordPress site for under $5 per month. Our sister site Problogger.com has a great deal with Bluehost for self-hosting to share with our readers. Get it here.

    The key appeal with WordPress is its flexibility. Many people tend to go for the self-hosted version because of the ability to add more plugins and themes. Whereas wordpress.com limits the plugins and themes you can use, which is in some cases for good reason. However, I shall get to that in a moment. The ability to use these relies on you choosing a more expensive monthly plan.

    Although it may seem daunting for the uninitiated, self-hosting is more simple than you may think. If you purchase your domain name (the website address), and the hosting with the same company, things are even easier. Many hosting companies have one-click WordPress install, which means your hosting service installs the latest version for you at the click of a button. Using self-hosting also means you can set up a professional email address associated with your website (name@yoursite.com).

    Templates

    The main reason people love WordPress is its flexibility. As an open source platform, WordPress has thousands of templates to create the perfect style for your website. Their style and prices range from free to hundreds of dollars. Generally, the paid themes come with more features. However, there are some fantastic free themes to get you started.

    With some coding knowledge, you can tweak your website design to achieve a completely custom look. However, that means learning how to code or employing a developer, which may not be something you wish to do.

    As well as an almost infinite number of themes, there are also a multitude of plugins available. These plugins can help with everything from improving your SEO, through to creating beautiful galleries or adding purchasing options to your site. Whatever you want to do with your site, chances are there is a plugin out there to make the job more simple. These plugins (like themes) range in price from free through to around $50 (US) for premium plugins from high-end developers.

    While also a strength, the main issue with WordPress is its open source nature. Many of the themes and plugins out there are well created, but there are some that are created by amateur developers. These plugins may have issues that can range from content not displaying correctly on your site through to taking your whole website out with an error. You also need to be mindful of security. You do not want your website to get hacked via a rogue plugin. When choosing your hosting, always make sure you look at the protection they offer you and your website.

    Learning to use WordPress

    The learning curve with WordPress is steeper than a platform like Squarespace. For those with little technical knowledge, it can be daunting. However, there is a vast online community to help and thousands of hours of training if you have the time to invest. As no-one strictly owns WordPress, there is no specific customer service option like you get with Squarespace. So, if you run into a problem that you cannot fix, you have to be reliant on your knowledge, Google searches, and the kindness of others through the forums.

    Squarespace

    Squarespace styles page screenshot

    So many design choices can be made without any need for coding knowledge.

    Chances are, you’ve heard of Squarespace. They have a slick advertising campaign that’s all over the media. While there are other website builders out there (Wix being the main alternative), Squarespace is considered by many to be the best.

    Simplicity

    Squarespace is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website builder. The design works around a style editor, where you can change the design of your site. While it’s not as customizable as WordPress, you can make a lot of changes to your pages without any coding knowledge.

    The key to Squarespace’s success is simplicity. Squarespace takes care of hosting your site, and you can register your domain through them too. These options make the whole process more straightforward than the WordPress option. However, this comes at the expense of the vast range of customization options available with WordPress.

    Templates

    Squarespace has many beautifully designed templates. To the untrained eye (nearly all of the general public) the templates look like you have spent much money on a beautiful website. In general, the style is quite minimal, with the focus on photography to make the template shine. All Squarespace templates come optimized for viewing on mobile devices. You can also preview your website on a computer, tablet, and phone with the simple click of a button. These templates are all tried and tested and guaranteed to work across devices, which is gives peace of mind.

    Within each template, there are several page designs to get you started. You can tweak these using the tools within the software to create a personalized page. You can change the position of text, image sizes, colors and fonts, all without needing to learn a single line of code. That isn’t to say there is no learning curve with Squarespace, but it won’t be long before you feel confident using it. There is also a vast support network online.

    Plugins

    Plugins with Squarespace are limited. However, they all work seamlessly and make the process simple. By now, you may be sensing a theme here?

    Dedicated customer service

    Something that is helpful for many users is the dedicated customer service available. You can email your issue, and one of the Squarespace team gets back to you personally, addressing your specific issue. This feature is awesome for the less technically minded. Squarespace is quick to respond and always provides you with the official information to fix the problem.

    Custom CSS

    If you’d like to get a little more creative with your Squarespace site, you can write custom CSS into pages and inject code. However, most people choose Squarespace, so they don’t need to bother writing code. You probably want to concentrate more on what you do, which is take photos. Rather than learn how to code and spend much time learning how to work a website platform.

    Online shopping

    Concerning small business, Squarespace has features to sell products through their platform. Moreover, they are now adding email marketing to their platform too. So, Squarespace is becoming a one-stop shop for small businesses.

    Cost

    The final thing to factor in with Squarespace is the cost. Prices start at $144 per year or $16 per month. For the top e-commerce package (which many of you won’t need) comes in at $480 per year or $46 per month.

    To sum up, Squarespace is a more expensive option, as the costs are ongoing. However, when you compare it to the price of paying for hosting, purchasing a nice theme and a couple of decent plugins for a WordPress site, there is little difference over the first 12-18 months of ownership. After that first year though, WordPress is a cheaper option.

    However, if you want a new theme after 18 months (which many people tend to), the price comes back to being even (if the theme is not free). Also, you have the benefit of tried and tested designs and plugins as well as customer service.

    So, which should you choose?

    That depends on your needs. If you’re a technically-minded person and have the time and inclination needed to get the best from it, then WordPress could be the ideal platform for you. However, if you want a website that looks great and is easy to set up and use, Squarespace is for you. Although, just like iPhone and Android, once you get into a system, you tend to stick with it.

    Me? I’m a Squarespace guy (and an Apple guy). The reason is simple. Squarespace is pretty much hassle-free.

    Although I have a grasp of coding and consider myself technically minded, Squarespace has everything I need. It is simple for me to work with now that I know my way around its features. There is support on hand should I need it, and the pricing difference isn’t big enough to make me move over.

    I have had WordPress sites before (and am looking at it for a project I am working on right now), and I know lots of successful companies who use them (DPS for a start). I like the minimal hassle and if that comes at the expense of customization, then so be it. However, that’s me. What do you guys think?

    The post So You Want to Make a Website? Part 1: Squarespace versus WordPress appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

    So You Want to Make a Website? Part 1: Squarespace versus WordPress

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=159040
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/a3fAzXVT1tc/

    The post So You Want to Make a Website? Part 1: Squarespace versus WordPress appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

    Welcome to the first of a 5-part series of articles on how to create your website. The series examines which platforms to consider using, through to SEO (how to get your website to rank better on search engines). While the focus of these articles is on the DIY aspect, a specialist web designer can be […]

    The post So You Want to Make a Website? Part 1: Squarespace versus WordPress appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:00:25 +0000

    The post Win One of Two Lenses from Tamron! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Win a Tamron Grand Prize 100-400mm (model A035) in winner’s choice of Canon or Nikon mount, and a Tamron 45mm (model F013) in winner’s choice of Canon, Nikon or Sony-A mount.

    Over the last several years, here at dPS, we’ve run some very popular competitions with our partners to give away some of their great photographic products to lucky dPS readers. We are fortunate enough to be able to do it again this month. For this competition, Tamron is giving away TWO lenses.

    Win one of two lenses from Tamron

    These two unique prizes are designed to help every level of photographer create BETTER pictures. Tamron is the world’s most awarded photographic lens line. Each prize will be won by a different dPS reader.

    Here’s what you could win:

    Grand Prize

    100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

    Our Grand Prize Winner will receive a Tamron 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD Ultra Telephoto Zoom Lens. 100-400mm Di VC USD Ultra Telephoto Zoom – Value $799. Winner’s choice of Canon or Nikon Mount. No Substitutions.

    2nd Prize

    SP 45mm F/1.8DiVC USD

    The 2nd Prize Winner will receive a Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD with Hi-Resolution and image stabilization – Value $599. Winner’s choice of Canon, Nikon or Sony-A mount. Sony Mount Model with VC. No substitutions.

    Learn a little more about Tamron here.

    How to win

    To win this competition you’ll need to:

    By “best” – we’re looking for you to show an understanding of the lenses and how they will best suit your needs. So, you’ll need to check out the product pages to put yourself in the best position to win. There’s no need to write essay-length comments – but we’re looking to hear what you like about the lens and how it would help your development as a photographer.

    This contest is open to everyone, no matter where you live – but there is only one entry per person. To enter – simply leave your comment below.

    Focal length: 300mm Exposure: F/8.0 1/500sec ISO: 200
    Tamron Stock Photo

     

    Focal length: 45mm Exposure: F/1.8 1/320sec
    Tamron Stock Photo

     

    About Tamron

    Disclaimer: Tamron is a paid partner of dPS.

    The post Win One of Two Lenses from Tamron! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Win One of Two Lenses from Tamron!

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=159358
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    The post Win One of Two Lenses from Tamron! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Win a Tamron Grand Prize 100-400mm (model A035) in winner’s choice of Canon or Nikon mount, and a Tamron 45mm (model F013) in winner’s choice of Canon, Nikon or Sony-A mount. Over the last several years, here at dPS, we’ve run some very popular competitions with our partners to give away some of their great […]

    The post Win One of Two Lenses from Tamron! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:00:00 +0000

    The post Going Back to Basics – My Week With a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    The demise of my first Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens was an unfortunate one.

    First, I dropped it – which is OK.

    It happens. Still recoverable, I know.

    Until, clumsily, I stood on it too.

    And, just to be sure it was finished, what was left of the lens then rolled down a small hill. When I caught up, I scooped it up in my hands, all scratches and broken glass. It was my first, and I was gutted.

    Nevertheless, after what seemed like an appropriate period of mourning, I did what any photographer would. I bought something newer, and shinier.

    I decided to graduate to a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. From there it was all systems go, zooming in and out of those hard to reach spots and enjoying the freedom that a versatile medium-range workhorse affords. And despite the occasional bashing here and there, its been my go-to lens ever since.

    Recently, however, I acquired another Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. Just like my old one, but much less crunched. So I decided to see what going back to a prime lens would be like. Especially after relying so heavily on the reach of the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Here’s a quick rundown on my week with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II and why a break from your old favorite can be surprisingly beneficial.

    Suddenly lighter

    The first difference I noticed after clicking the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II into place was the weight, or should I say, the lack thereof? The bulk of the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM was enormous compared to the little ‘plastic fantastic’ (as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II has come to be known). Photographing with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, I had a lot less neck pain, which meant I could stay out shooting for longer without needing some painkillers.

    Ditching the weight of the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM had another benefit too. Without swinging around a heavy lens, I was able to move a lot more freely. I could crouch, jump up and down, do some parkour…

    Okay, I’m not that athletic.

    However, being able to move allowed me to line up shots with more ease.

    A lighter lens meant I could easily sneak my camera under this umbrella for a photograph

    Slowing it down

    The technical differences between Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II took some getting used to – zoom being one of the most pronounced. Instead of getting closer to a subject in-camera, I needed to reassess what I wanted to achieve. This meant strategically positioning my body to get the shot. Sure, I walk around seeking out subjects to photograph all the time. But, with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, I needed to be just a little more active to get the image I was after.

    Sticking with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II got me thinking about the physical and mental elements that come together to create a successful shot. It made me slow down and appreciate the machinations of photography and the tactility of the image-making process.

    Lots of light

    One of the biggest differences between the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is written in the name of the lenses themselves. It’s aperture. While the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM can manage a valiant F/4, it doesn’t quite cut the mustard compared to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, opening up to an aperture of f/1.8.

    What does this all mean? Basically, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II can allow a lot more light to pass through to the camera’s sensor. That’s a big deal in low lighting conditions. For example, shooting at night with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM may require a much slower shutter speed or higher ISO value to achieve the same exposure the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II can at a faster shutter speed and a lower ISO. This means that the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II can produce much better image quality in low light.

    Photographing in darker environments can be challenging. But the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II allowed me to experiment at different times of the day without having to worry about available light. Of course, its a consideration when calculating exposure, but I was a lot less concerned about clogging up my images with insane amounts of noise than I would be with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM in the same conditions.

    The f/1.8 aperture of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II allowed me to take this shot with a lot less noise and a faster shutter speed

    Extension tubes

    Another benefit of the ample aperture of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is its versatility when coupled with a set of extension tubes. Extension tubes physically move your lens away from the focal plane. This makes the minimum focusing distance (the shortest distance at which a lens can focus) smaller, meaning you can get closer to your subject while still maintaining focus. It’s a way to shoot macro photography without an expensive dedicated lens.

    However, extension tubes do have their drawbacks. One of them being diminishing the available light in a scene. With the addition of each extension tube, less light is able to reach the camera sensor. This drop in light can be difficult to contend with if you don’t have a tripod and a perfectly still subject. A fast lens like the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is ideal in this situation. Even on a terribly overcast day, I was able to get some nice, sharp shots at a decent shutter speed. It meant that I could hand-hold my camera to take macro shots that may have required a tripod with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.

    Bokeh

    One aspect of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens that I was eager to experiment with was its capacity for bokeh. A Japanese word meaning ‘blur’or ‘blurry’, bokeh refers to the quality of the out of focus parts of an image. The term is often used to describe how unfocused bright points in a scene are rendered as disks of light in a photograph.

    While all lenses are capable of bokeh effects, zoom lenses tend to smooth a background over rather than shape it. Prime lenses, on the other hand, deliver a more defined disk-like bokeh result. In addition, bokeh requires the lowest possible aperture value to take full effect. This makes the maximum f/1.8 aperture of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II ideal for some sweet bokeh magic.

    Seeking out opportunities for bokeh made me re-evaluate my surroundings. I had to quickly develop an eye for points of light that I could use to disperse into globes of color. But with the ease that a small camera lens affords, the little ‘nifty fifty’ produced some really fascinating results with little effort on my part.

    Testing bokeh out on a rainy night in the city

    Conclusion

    There are plenty of other comparisons to explore between the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. I know, a week isn’t a very long time to truly get accustomed to a new piece of equipment, but challenging myself to a week of prime-lens-only photography was a lot less difficult than I thought it would be.

    In fact, it was pretty fun!

    Up until now, I’ve been a one-camera-one-lens kinda gal.

    But playing around with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II made me think twice about my equipment repertoire. And with the weight and maneuverability of a small mammal, captivating bokeh and such a tight performance in low light conditions, I think I might just add it to the camera bag too. Just in case.

    Without stepping on it this time.

     

    Do you use the nifty fifty? What are your thoughts?

    The post Going Back to Basics – My Week With a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    Going Back to Basics – My Week With a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=158631
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    The post Going Back to Basics – My Week With a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    The demise of my first Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens was an unfortunate one. First, I dropped it – which is OK. It happens. Still recoverable, I know. Until, clumsily, I stood on it too. And, just to be sure it was finished, what was left of the lens then rolled down a small […]

    The post Going Back to Basics – My Week With a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    Tue, 11 Dec 2018 18:00:19 +0000

    The post Using Face Detection and Recognition in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Stacey Hill.

    Are you a person who takes lots of photos of people? Perhaps you shoot weddings or events? Family portraits? Maybe you like to capture images of family and friends? Eventually, you end up with many images. Some are easy to sort through when they have only one person in them.

    However, what about group photos? How do you tag/catalog/sort through those? Do you have to list out everyone’s name in the meta tags manually?

    What if you don’t know all the names immediately? What if you find out later that Heather is actually Helen and you have to go back and change it?

    Finally, how can you find all the images with a specific person quickly and easily?

    Luckily, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 makes this task easy with the new Face Detection and Recognition capabilities.

    How to set up Face Detection and Recognition

    1.  Open the program and in ‘Manage’ mode, navigate to the desired folder where you have stored your images.

    2.  Click on an image of the person you want to name and click on ‘View’ to open in View mode.

    3.  Face Detection identifies the person by outlining their face.

    4. If this outline box is not present, click on the ‘Show Face Outlines’ button (or Shift + B).

    5. Once the face is selected, we need to apply the name. Click on the ‘Face’ Tool (or Shift + F) and a dark grey text bar pops up under the outline.

    6. Click in the text bar and type the name of the person and press ‘Enter.’

    7. If you select any other image with that person and open it in ‘View mode,’ it should automatically select their face and apply the name.

    A key point regarding the naming structure you use is to put some thought into what naming convention you use and then keep it consistent. For example, something along the lines of: first name (space) last name or first name_last name. Doing so makes a difference later if you are using search parameters to find people.

    What happens if you have more than one Joe Smith? What if you start off using only first names and then you have 3 x David, 4 x Michael, 2 x Louise all in the same wedding party? Being as specific as possible when naming addresses this issue.

    How it becomes useful

    Once the software has recognized the face and you have assigned a name to it, it detects that face amongst all your other photos. While it works across any images currently stored on your computer, the data is saved and applied to any new images you import onto your computer.

    Therefore, you should only have to tag the person once. ACDSee remembers their name and applies it to any future image with their face in it.

    Now you might want to search for all the images with Heather.

    1. In ‘Manage’ mode, select ‘Catalog’ on the left-hand panel. The panel is broken up into different sections. At the top is ‘Categories.’

    2. The second panel down is ‘People.’ All the names you have applied to your images are listed. Click on any name, and it goes through the database to pull out all the images with that face present in them.

    3. In ‘Manage’ mode, you can ‘Quick Search’ by typing the name in the Quick Search box.

    Searching for multiple people

    1. Search for two or more people by holding down CTRL while selecting a second name in the People section of the Catalog panel. The software finds the images for those people. You can also utilize the ‘Easy Select’ arrows next to the names to select multiple people.

    2. Find an image with two specific people in it together by typing both of their names in the ‘Quick Search’ bar as Person 1 + Person 2 to run a Boolean AND search. It is during this process that it’s essential to understand the naming convention you used originally.

    In ‘Manage’ mode, select the folder you want to search in and click F3 to search (or right mouse click and select Search). Make sure you put ‘People’ in the ‘Categories’ section or it will search the entire database and potentially pull up other images.

    3. You can also run a search from the ‘Catalog’ pane. In the ‘People’ section, select all the people you want to search for by using the ‘Easy-Select’ arrows or CTRL/SHIFT clicking. Click the gear icon on the People section header, and change the search type to ‘Match All.’

    Managing name data

    You can edit/change/remove the name data you have stored, which comes in handy if you have to update the spelling on one. Maybe you forgot you already had a ‘Sebastian’ in there, and you need to change one of them.

    1. In ‘Manage’ mode, select ‘Tools’ from the top menu option.

    2. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Manage People.’

    3. A ‘People Manager’ box opens up with all the names you have saved. You can edit each one as needed by selecting them and using the bottom buttons.

    Things to note:

    1. The naming convention you use is important, so plan that out in advance.

    2. If the face is not automatically detected, and you have to create it manually, the software will not further recognize it in Face Recognition. Also, note that if you use the Remove Faces or Redetect Faces command on an image, manual faces aren’t retained. The Rerun Face Detection option remembers them if you edit images.

    3. Currently, there is no facility to import face recognition tags from other software (Picasa as an example). However, a search through the support forums has this listed on the ‘Potential Ideas for Future Updates’ list. It also appears to apply to the exporting of images from ACDSee as well, with the intention of retaining the face recognition tags.

    4. There is no easy way to establish if there are currently any unnamed faces.

    5. If the software has assigned the wrong name to someone, you can remove it with the Remove Faces function. This removes all face data from the selected image, not just the one wrong one.

    6. To ensure a better success rate, you may need to manually select several images of one person so that the software can ‘learn’ that face with accuracy. You achieve better accuracy by naming as many faces in the (first) image as possible.

    7. You can manually remove the names from incorrect selections and can rescan in ‘Manage’ mode via Tools | Redetect Faces. You need to correct the wrong name, rather than remove it, otherwise rescanning continues to return the wrong name over and over.

    Conclusion

    Face detection and recognition is a tool that can make life easier for a photographer with many images of people in their portfolio. The ability to assign a name to a person and have the computer run an algorithm to find all the other images is significantly faster than doing it manually.

    To be able to search for images with a specific person (or range of people) becomes faster and more efficient as well.

    Is it perfect?  If I am honest, not 100% all of the time. However, it is easy to use, easy to manage and does a pretty good job for most requirements. It could be useful for many other things that they may implement into the next version.

    Right now, it is an effective time saver for the home photographer with photos of family and friends, through to commercial photographers with wedding/event shoots filling up the portfolio.

    The previous 2018 generation of ACDSee was the first version that bought a range of features all together in one space. Thus, giving you the capability to manage and view files, edit Raw files, do creative editing with layers, all in one piece of software.

    Leading with this Face Detection and Recognition, the 2019 iteration builds on that initial foundation by bringing specific functionality to boost capabilities even further. Thus, making for a compelling consideration for anyone looking to purchase editing software, especially when it is available via one-off perpetual license purchase.

     

    Disclaimer: ACDSee is a paid partner of dPS

    The post Using Face Detection and Recognition in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Stacey Hill.

    Using Face Detection and Recognition in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=158023
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/Xj8cbjD-DlA/

    The post Using Face Detection and Recognition in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Stacey Hill.

    Are you a person who takes lots of photos of people? Perhaps you shoot weddings or events? Family portraits? Maybe you like to capture images of family and friends? Eventually, you end up with many images. Some are easy to sort through when they have only one person in them. However, what about group photos? […]

    The post Using Face Detection and Recognition in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Stacey Hill.

    Tue, 11 Dec 2018 13:00:06 +0000

    The post Why You Should Have Photography Heroes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

    Why You Should Have Photography Heroes Kayan Girls

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    Daily bombardment by images can leave us desensitized to truly inspiring art and cause creative catharsis. Pictures crowd our lives more than ever before. They are on the internet, social media, tv, billboards, pavements and walls. Images are on pretty much every product we purchase. Filling the whole sides of buildings or as miniature graphic icons on our phones.

    Anyone interested in growing their photography skills may find this saturation somewhat nauseating.

    Narrow your sphere of influence. Purposefully. Feast your eyes on the best and your creative muse will be full and satisfied. Indulging in visual junk food will only make you bloated and unhealthy. Uninspired.

    Those Who Have Gone Before Us

    Masters of the camera are plentiful. True photography heroes have produced impressive bodies of work in every genre imaginable.

    Learn from the best. Find those who have distinguished themselves and whose work stands out and moves you. These days it’s very easy to research and locate portfolios of photographs which inspire you.

    How to Find Your Photography Heroes

    Why You Should Have Photography Heroes Karen Men

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    Make a list of the styles of photography you are most interested in. Maybe there’s just one. Google your results and include the word ‘photographer’. You might search ‘street photographer’, ‘landscape photographer’ etc. The results will provide you with a starting point you can work with and refine. Also, try searching photography specific sites like 500px. Pinterest is another good option. Searching hashtags on Instagram also produce fruitful results. But on these uncurated websites be careful to find the best, most renowned photographers.

    Don’t just read camera manuals and ‘How To’ books. Read blogs and books by photographers whose work you admire. Reading what they write can provide valuable insight into how a photographer thinks. How did they achieve a certain look and feel to a particular photograph? What was the process they worked through in the development of their distinctive style? Which equipment did they use?

    There are lots of amazing online documentaries you can watch about famous photographers. Sitting down for an hour or so to see and hear how photographers work is a terrific way to learn.

    Go to exhibitions. Viewing curated bodies of work, printed and framed beautifully is a far different experience than looking at photos on a computer monitor or on your phone.

    Talk to your photographer friends and find out who they draw inspiration from.

    Follow any of these suggestions and your inspiration will increase.

    New to Photography? Seek a Wider Sphere of Influence

    Why You Should Have Photography Heroes Lahu Smoker

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    If you’re new to photography and not sure where to start, take a broader approach. Look at books on photography where more than one artist and style is discussed. Draw from the ones who move you the most.

    I think the very first photography book I owned was called The Camera. It’s part of the classic Time/Life series ‘Life Library of Photography’. The last chapter of the book profiles ten photographers and introduced me to the work of Ansel Adams, W. Eugene Smith, Diane Arbus, amongst others.

    Two photographers who caught my attention in this book are Irving Penn and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I have continued to study their styles and methods over the years. Looking back I think it is the connection with the people they were photographing that touched me the most.

    Natural Light Portraiture

    Why You Should Have Photography Heroes Karen Woman Smoking

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    Some years later I picked up Penn’s book ‘Worlds in a Small Room’. His use of natural light in his portraits had always captivated me. In this book, he writes about developing his outdoor studio and using it in countries like Papua New Guinea and Morocco. He motivated me to emulate this innovation. I designed and built my own version of a natural light studio and use it in the mountain areas of northern Thailand.

    From time to time, as the opportunity arises, I enjoy photographing the various ethnic minority peoples who live in this part of the world, (where I also live.) During the past ten years or so, I have had many enjoyable experiences photographing these people in their villages. The studio allows me to photograph them in their space, within their comfort zone. Using the studio, I have more control over lighting and background than I would otherwise have.

    Photomontages

    Why You Should Have Photography Heroes Saamlor Photo Montage

    © Kevin Landwer-Johan

    Shortly after purchasing my first camera I was introduced to the photo joiners David Hockney was dabbling with at the time. I saw this video. The idea of making images beyond the conventional photographic boundaries of time and space constraints appealed to me, so I experimented.

    Back then we had no internet and information, and examples of Hockney’s photographic montages were hard to come by. I started messing around and chewing through lots and lots of film.

    Once I went digital a whole new world opened up. I began to produce video and photos to incorporate into my montages. I am still experimenting more than thirty years after being introduced to this cubist form of image making. The concept still captivates me and draws me to explore wider and deeper.

    Be Purposeful in Your Hero Worship

    Seek to emulate. Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Make the most of what you see in other photographers work. Don’t just admire it, mimic it. Build the techniques and methods you see your heroes using into your photography. Then incorporate your ideas, or things you have seen in various other photographer pictures.

    The daily bombardment of images into your eye space hopefully presses you to produce better, more exciting and creative photographs. It is too difficult to do on your own. Find your heroes and pay them homage by developing a style of your own, inspired by the images they’ve produced.

    The post Why You Should Have Photography Heroes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

    Why You Should Have Photography Heroes

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    The post Why You Should Have Photography Heroes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

    Daily bombardment by images can leave us desensitized to truly inspiring art and cause creative catharsis. Pictures crowd our lives more than ever before. They are on the internet, social media, tv, billboards, pavements and walls. Images are on pretty much every product we purchase. Filling the whole sides of buildings or as miniature graphic […]

    The post Why You Should Have Photography Heroes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

    Mon, 10 Dec 2018 18:00:56 +0000

    The post Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    Search Instagram for #foodphotography today and you’ll find almost 30 million posts.

    Blogs and social media have turned what was once a weird little niche in photography into a worldwide phenomenon. From Baltimore to Beijing, there is no doubt that people love to take pictures of food.

    However, as appetizing as your filet mignon may look to your eye, it may not to the camera. Throw in some bad restaurant lighting and a wide angle smartphone lens into the mix, and the potential for ugly food photography is high.

    Here are my top five tips for great smartphone food photography for social media that will make your Instagram and other social channel images stand out.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    Use Natural Lighting Whenever Possible

    When it comes to food photography lighting is everything. The knowledge of how to use light is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

    Although flat lighting has been a trend in food photography lately, food looks best when the light is natural and directional.

    The reason a lot of food images taken in restaurants looks so bad is the fluorescent lighting, which is hard and unflattering. It is also often tinged with a green or yellow color cast.

    When shooting food indoors on your smartphone, try to get beside a window.

    Natural window light is what every professional photographer tries to mimic with complicated and expensive flash systems.

    It is very flattering for food.

    Just be sure that the sun is not too bright, as it can also cast harsh shadows that are unflattering to your dish.

    When shooting food with a smartphone, notice where the light is coming from. It should be from the side or the back of your plate or set-up.

    While front light is beautiful in portraiture, it will make food look flat and also can cast unwanted shadows.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    Choose the Right Angle

    Does your plate ever look like it’s sliding off the table whenever you shoot with your smartphone?

    This is because the camera has a wide angle lens, so certain angles make your food look distorted.

    To achieve the best results, shoot your scene at 90-degrees or straight-on. A 3/4 angle rarely works.

    An overhead angle gives a graphic pop to an image because it flattens depth. You can also get a lot more into the frame than you would if you were shooting at 45-degrees.

    It’s a perfect angle for tablescapes, but also more minimalistic compositions.

    90-degrees is not a good angle for tall foods, like burgers or stacks of pancakes. You want to see those layers, so shoot these kinds of subjects straight-on.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    Take a Minimalist Approach

    Tablescapes are fun and look appealing, but they are oftentimes difficult to do.

    It can take a lot of moving the various elements around to make a pleasing composition and by the time you get it right, the food will no longer look appetizing.

    A minimalist approach usually works best, especially if you’re a beginner. After all, the focus should be on the food!

    Look at it this way: if your food is nicely plated and styled, then you’re already more than halfway there!

    All you need is an additional prop or two, like a utensil or a piece of linen tucked under the plate.

    How you approach your propping will really depend on the food. In the image of the poke bowls below, the food is already bright, colorful, and full of texture. Adding more than a set of chopsticks would have distracted the viewer’s attention from the dish.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    Heed the Rules of Good Composition

    One problem you often see in food pictures on Instagram is that they look messy. Sometimes the food looks messy but also the environment in which the food is captured in.

    The background is cluttered, or there are too many props that are distracting and don’t add anything to the shot.

    Some of this can be solved with tighter shots and by taking some unnecessary elements away.

    But you should also be aware of some of the basic principles of composition.

    Try to have some negative space in the image. That is a clean area where the eye can rest for a brief moment as it moves through the image.

    Resist the urge to fill every part of your image.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    If every area of your surface is covered with ingredients or a prop, it confuses the viewer and gives a claustrophobic feeling. Negative space provides a bit of breathing room and helps us focus on the main subject.

    You should also be familiar with the rule-of-thirds. This is a compositional guideline that divides an image into nine equal parts, using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines, like a tic-tac-toe board.

    Rule of Thirds

    The important elements in your scene should fall along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.

    Smartphones already have a grid like this as an overlay when you turn on your camera. Use it to help you place your focal point. That is the area where you want to create emphasis and draw the viewer’s eye.

    A focal point can be created with color, an area of contrast, or isolation. A garnish can serve as a focal point.

    Tell a Story

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    I have stated that a minimalist approach is often best, however, be mindful that adding a narrative quality to your images can also be very powerful.

    Everyone loves a good story. Give your viewer an idea of a wider story taking place beyond the confines of the frame.

    For example, you can do this by partially cropping out some of the elements in an overhead table shot, or show someone’s hand serving food or holding a cup of steaming coffee.

    This human touch has become wildly popular in food photography, and this lifestyle element has spilled over from Instagram into the world of commercial food photography because it creates a sense of atmosphere and relatability.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media-Darina Kopcok-DPS

    In Conclusion

    Hopefully, this article has given you some tips to improve your smartphone food photography for social media.

    Whichever approach you choose, be conscious of consistency and developing your style.

    If you look at the most successful accounts on Instagram and other social media, you will find that they have a specific look in terms of color treatment or palette.

    Take a good look at your images for the consistencies in your style and work on developing them. This may mean you take a lot of bright and airy images, or maybe you do mostly close-ups of your food.

    The more you hone your style, the tighter your feed will look and draw an audience that loves what you do.

    I’d love to see some of your smartphone food photography, so please share in the comments below.

     

     

    The post Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

    Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=158614
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/unyM5gBwYrg/

    The post Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

    Search Instagram for #foodphotography today and you’ll find almost 30 million posts. Blogs and social media have turned what was once a weird little niche in photography into a worldwide phenomenon. From Baltimore to Beijing, there is no doubt that people love to take pictures of food. However, as appetizing as your filet mignon may look […]

    The post Smartphone Food Photography For Social Media appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

    Mon, 10 Dec 2018 13:00:52 +0000