Home Main Google Yahoo Bing WC Aol Deja Duck AJ Lycos IX Yan DP BH WM OD T BB Baidu A YT GMap
  • Sign In   
  • N M C R
      


    You are not logged in. You can not add RSS Feeds untill logged in

    Apott.com RSS Feeds

    Logged in Members can add and delete some personal RSS feeds(Under Terms of Service). If they do not work- Mail Me and I will fix.

    The post 6 Tips to Improve Your Black and White Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    black and white landscape photography tips

    Are you looking to take your black and white landscape photography to the next level?

    You’ve come to the right place.

    In this article, we share six easy-to-follow tips that’ll improve your black and white landscapes; we also share plenty of examples, so you can understand exactly what goes into a good black and white photo.

    Specifically, you’ll discover:

    So if you’re ready to capture black and white shots like the pros…

    …then let’s get started!

    1. Learn what scenes work well in black and white

    When shooting in color, you can rely on the strength of hues to create drama and interest. Often, the key to good color landscape photography is to find a dramatic scene and photograph it in the most beautiful light possible. That’s why so many color landscape photos are taken during the golden hour or just after sunset.

    Black and white landscape photography is very, very different. Without color, you have to work to create strong compositions. You can’t rely on color contrast and golden light; instead, you need to learn to look for the building blocks of photographic composition, such as leading lines, shapes, patterns, tonal contrast, and texture. In other words, you must learn to see in black and white.

    For example, this photo works well in black and white because of the contrast between the twin waterfalls and the dark rocks:

    black and white landscape waterfall

    Educate yourself about black and white landscape photography by looking at the work of masters, like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, who worked predominantly in black and white. Also, look at what modern-day photographers are doing on Instagram and 500px. Some names to search for include Cole Thompson, Rob Dweck, Arnaud Bertrande, Thibault Roland, Joel Tjintjelaar, and Nathan Wirth.

    When you look at their work, ask yourself: What makes their black and white landscape photos so dramatic and powerful? What light are they shooting in? What photographic techniques are they using? How do they approach composition? The answers will teach you a lot about black and white photography and will help you understand which elements and scenes lend themselves to black and white and which are best avoided.

    2. Look for tonal contrast and texture

    I touched on this in the previous tip, but I want to emphasize it here because it’s so important.

    Tonal contrast is the term used to describe variations in brightness between different parts of the image. Take the photo below as an example; the jetties are dark and the sky is much lighter. That is tonal contrast. And it looks amazing in black and white.

    lighthouses out at sea in black and white

    The alternative – low tonal contrast – tends to look very mushy and flat. Tones don’t separate out, key elements fade into one another, and the composition loses impact. Remember: You can’t rely on changes in color to differentiate key elements, so it becomes all about the tones.

    Texture (and contrast between textures) is super helpful, as well. If you think about the elements that appear in landscape photos – cliffs, rocks, grass, trees, mountains, oceans, along with human-made objects like piers, jetties, and old barns – you’ll notice that they all have distinct textures. Some feature rough, heavy textures, while others are intensely smooth.

    In the photo below, the arch, the cliffs in the distance, and the rocks in the foreground are all heavily textured. The sea and the sky are much smoother. There is a strong contrast between the roughness of the rocks and the smoothness of the sea and the sky.

    long exposure rock at sea

    And thanks to that textural contrast, the photo is much more impactful!

    3. Shoot in black and white mode

    Did you know that your digital camera can teach you to see in black and white?

    All you have to do is set it to its black and white (monochrome) mode. Your camera’s rear LCD will show you a black and white Live View feed – and if your camera includes an electronic viewfinder, it’ll turn black and white, too (you can literally look at the world in black and white – how cool is that?).

    As you can imagine, constantly looking at the world through a black and white LCD or viewfinder helps you see how black and white scenes are rendered. This, in turn, makes it easier to see how a photo will turn out in black and white. And it’s also just far easier to compose black and white shots in black and white because you can see how tonal contrast, texture, lines, shapes, patterns, and light will affect the landscape.

    camera with black and white LCD

    One note, though: Don’t forget to set your camera to shoot in RAW. RAW files contain all the information captured by your camera’s sensor, including color – so if you decide you don’t like an image in black and white, you can always convert it to color and process it that way instead.

    4. Learn to use neutral density filters

    Neutral density filters are the secret weapon of the black and white landscape photographer. Grab one (or more) of these accessories, and you’ll be able to capture jaw-dropping images beyond your wildest dreams.

    (Am I exaggerating? Honestly, I don’t think so. Neutral density filters are a huge deal.)

    But what makes ND filters so special?

    ND filters are basically dark pieces of glass that go in front of your lens and prevent too much light from hitting your camera sensor. In other words, ND filters block out the light.

    Now, as a landscape photographer without an ND filter, you’ll often be using a shutter speed between 1/2s and 1/125s, assuming you’re shooting with a relatively narrow aperture of f/13 or so (which is generally a good idea).

    But what if you want to increase your shutter speed for creative effect? By lengthening your shutter speed, you can blur water, stretch clouds, and create all sorts of other cool effects that look amazing (especially in black and white).

    Unfortunately, in most situations, dropping the shutter speed beyond 1/2s or so just can’t be done. The light is too strong; if you try it, you’ll end up with an overexposed image.

    Unless you have an item that can block out the light – such as a neutral density filter! The ND filter keeps your camera from overexposing the scene even when you’re dealing with lots of light. That way, you can get the stretchy clouds and blurry water that you’re after.

    For an example, check out the photos below. The first was taken at dusk with a shutter speed of 1/5s; slow enough to introduce some blur into the water, but not slow enough to really flatten out the water while making the clouds turn into interesting streaks:

    relatively short seaside rock exposure

    Then I added a neutral density filter and made the next photo using a shutter speed of 180 seconds. The water is completely blurred, and the clouds have moved across the sky for a streaking effect:

    long exposure black and white seaside landscape photo

    Bottom line:

    Neutral density filters give you control over your shutter speed, which you can then use to enhance your black and white landscapes.

    5. Don’t just take photos like everyone else

    Black and white landscape photographer Cole Thompson has an interesting idea. He practices what he calls “photographic abstinence,” where he doesn’t look at the work of other photographers. The theory is that it enables him to see the landscape through his own eyes without being influenced by other people’s photos.

    I’ve never taken this idea to its extreme; I believe it’s important to research an area before you go to find its most photogenic parts. But the problem is that the most powerful images you see during your research tend to stick in your mind. The natural tendency is to want to create similar images – which then end up looking like everybody else’s.

    Resist this urge. Instead, take some black and white images that are truly you.

    Let me give you an example. A few years ago, I visited the Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedral Beach) in northern Spain. Search for it on Google or 500px, and most photos will look something like this, showing the cathedral-like arches for which the beach is named:

    arches in black and white

    Anybody who visits the beach will naturally want to take photos of those arches. They’re the reason the spot is famous, after all. But this can be a hindrance when it causes you to miss other possibilities.

    So after getting my rock arch photos (such as the shot displayed above), I really started looking. I saw some rocks in the sea that made an interesting minimalistic composition. I made the following photo:

    long exposure rocks in water

    It doesn’t feature the arches the beach is famous for. But it’s more personal to me and was more satisfying to make.

    6. Travel when you can

    All the photos that I have shown you so far were taken while traveling – and unless you are lucky enough to live in a breathtaking area, it’s likely that, like me, you need to travel to find inspiring landscapes to photograph.

    Even if you do live somewhere with spectacular landscapes, you will need to travel to expand your experiences and add depth to your portfolio. All my favorite landscape photos were taken while traveling, and the two activities really do go together very well – travel is more interesting and exciting when there’s a purpose behind it, and landscape photography can give you that purpose.

    Without travel, I would never have experienced and photographed places like this (taken in Bolivia):

    mountain landscape

    At the same time, I recognize that traveling is costly and time-consuming. So even if you can’t travel, try to cultivate a traveling mindset – where you see the world around you with fresh, new eyes. Tackle more familiar scenes with this newfound excitement (and you’ll be amazed by what you start to see!).

    Black and white landscape photography: final words

    Hopefully, this article has given you plenty of helpful tips and tricks for black and white landscape photography.

    So get outside. Give black and white shooting a try! It’s a new way of seeing the world – and one that can be a lot of fun.

    Now over to you:

    Do you have any tips for black and white landscape photography? Share them in the comments below!

    The post 6 Tips to Improve Your Black and White Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    6 Tips to Improve Your Black and White Landscape Photography

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=113202
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/MYW0yGUBQrY/

    The post 6 Tips to Improve Your Black and White Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    Are you looking to take your black and white landscape photography to the next level? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we share six easy-to-follow tips that’ll improve your black and white landscapes; we also share plenty of examples, so you can understand exactly what goes into a good black and white […]

    The post 6 Tips to Improve Your Black and White Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    Sun, 25 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post How to Create Stunning Wide-Angle Portraits (Using an Off-Camera Flash) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ken Koskela.

    how to create stunning wide-angle portraits

    Wide-angle portrait photography is unique, it’s fun, and it can make for some outstanding photos. But how can you capture great wide-angle results? What’s the secret to powerful portraits like the one below?

    wide-angle portrait of girl in the dirt

    In this article, I’ll provide plenty of guidance, taking you through the ins and outs of wide-angle portraiture. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll be able to shoot like a pro.

    Also, before starting, I’d like to let you in on a little secret:

    Creating photos like these? It’s not actually that difficult. You just have to pay careful attention to your camera settings, your technique, and your lighting.

    Let’s dive right in!

    portrait of a man smoking a cigarette

    1. Use a (relatively) wide-angle lens

    Lens choice is critically important in portraiture. Most portrait photographers reach for their 85mm or 105mm lens when heading out because these focal lengths give a nice, realistic look to the subjects.

    However, I find myself drawn to portraits that have a surreal look to them and that include extra context to help tell the story. Also, wide-angle lenses require you to shoot close to your subject, which also draws your viewer into the scene.

    So the first step is to leave your 85mm or 105mm lens in your camera bag and grab a wide-angle lens instead. Most of the portraits you see here were created at 24mm on a full-frame camera (use a 16mm for the same view if your camera has a cropped sensor). For me, this focal length is the perfect blend of reality and distortion.

    In fact, if you go wider than 24mm, elements closer to the lens, such as arms and hands, look big or elongated. Also, wider focal lengths require a much bigger background, which isn’t always desirable or convenient.

    man crouching by ships

    2. Choose a compelling subject

    In wide-angle portrait photography, your subject is paramount. The Indonesian dockworker above was an amazing subject; I spent 20 minutes photographing the guy and had a difficult time choosing the best image.

    On the other hand, you could spend all day photographing me on the same dock, in front of the same ships, and have nothing but terrible images at the end of the day.

    The point? Make sure your subject is genuinely interesting.

    I look for people who have experienced life. The ideal subject has some sort of interesting quality, something that makes them stand out from the rest, though my subjects do have an everyday person quality about them. Finding subjects can be challenging, especially if you live in the suburbs (like I do). I am a travel photographer and usually find my subjects in rural areas overseas, but there are great subjects everywhere – you just need to look!

    Clothing is critically important. If your 90-year old rural villager is wearing a hat that says, “I Love New York,” then you will probably want to politely ask them to take it off, or at least turn it around for the picture. Don’t let out-of-context clothing ruin or weaken your shot!
    4 Smiley Guy

    3. Choose a complementary background

    Your image is only as strong as its weakest part – which is often the background. This is because, as photographer Jim Zuckerman puts it, “The world is a compositional mess.” So unless you deliberately choose a beautiful background, you’re going to be stuck with, well, a mess.

    There are two important qualities you want to focus on:

    First, at the very least, your background must be non-distracting. Before snapping a wide-angle portrait, carefully scan the scene and make sure nothing draws the eye. Beginners, and even intermediate photographers, can overlook obvious distractions in the background, such as trees that look like they are growing out of the subject’s head, patchy spots of bright light, colorful objects, straight lines, and geometric shapes. You don’t want anything that competes with your subject for attention, so make sure to simplify your composition until you get what you’re after.

    The background in the image below isn’t at all distracting; the man is standing in front of a shipping container, which won’t win any awards for beauty, but gets the job done. Plus, it’s a good picture because of the strength of the subject.

    dockworker smoking wide-angle portrait

    Second, whenever possible, include a background that complements your subject by providing context. I’ve shot many images with simple, non-distracting backgrounds. But my favorite pictures include a background that tells a story about the subject.

    It’s the reason I love shooting in places like rural China and Indonesia. The countries have many ancient villages that provide opportunities for amazing backgrounds, like the path in the photo below:

    cheerful man in a hat

    A quick piece of advice: I like to keep all evidence of modernity out of the background. I don’t like plastic stuff in my pictures, and I don’t include modern-looking buildings or cars. Instead, I prefer rural areas with weather-beaten buildings. If you’re like me, and you want to create more rustic, pure wide-angle portraits, then I’d recommend you do the same.

    4. Shoot in the right lighting conditions

    Great wide-angle portrait photography requires great light.

    Try shooting either early or late in the day (when the sun is low in the sky) or in overcast conditions. I actually prefer a soft, overcast day (though I still shoot relatively early or late).

    5. Put your subjects at ease

    I don’t hire models, so some subjects work well and others less well. What you want to avoid is a picture of your subject standing flat-footed, straight up and down, and holding a fake smile.

    For that reason, it’s a good idea to start your session by gaining their interest and confidence. If you have some images you’ve shot and processed, show them to your subject to give them an idea of what you are looking for (and hopefully pique their interest).

    Plus, showing past photos will help communicate immediately that you are not looking for your subject to just stand and smile. It should also show that your posing expectations are basic.

    woman with a cat posing on a chair

    6. Work the scene for the best compositions

    Once you’ve found the perfect subject, don’t just take one photo and pack up. Instead, take quite a few (assuming your subject has the patience). And as you take your shots, make sure to work the scene.

    I like to get quite close to my subjects. For me, the eyes are a critically important part of the picture and must be very sharp. I focus on the closest eye, though I re-focus frequently as I move around the subject.

    I generally ask the subject to look directly at the camera and not to smile, although not always. I then start moving slightly left or right. I ask them to keep their head still and just follow the camera with their eyes. I usually shoot from slightly below eye level, and I have them stand or sit at an angle to the camera. If the subject is standing, I ask them to put their weight on the back foot.

    I like to include the subject’s hands in my compositions. With a wide-angle lens, hands in the foreground will look large, so try to strike a balance (make sure the hands are prominent but not too large). Simply position the hands closer to or farther away from the lens.

    girl laughing wide-angle portrait

    7. Make sure you have the right equipment and settings

    For the best results, you’ll need a camera, a lens, and a single off-camera flash. Your camera should be equipped with an internal or external flash trigger to control your off-camera flash.

    Here is how I set things up:

    1. Start by leaving your flash or trigger initially turned off.
    2. Set your camera to Manual mode.
    3. If the session is outdoors, dial in some basic settings – I usually aim for an aperture of f/7.1, a shutter speed of around 1/160s, and an ISO of 100. You can adjust your f-stop and shutter speed, but keep in mind that you cannot shoot faster than your camera’s maximum flash sync speed.
    4. Make the necessary adjustments to slightly underexpose the background by 1/3 to 2/3 stops. I usually start by adjusting shutter speed, but go no slower than 1/60s and no faster than 1/160s. If necessary, adjust the aperture to f/5.6 (at the absolute widest). Then, and only then, should you start bumping up the ISO.
    5. If you are indoors, begin with a higher ISO as a first step, and then make your adjustments to shutter speed and f-stop in the same manner.
    woman standing next to building

    8. Carefully position your flash for the best results

    For 90% of my portraits, I use a single off-camera flash diffused with an umbrella or softbox. I recommend you do the same (while natural light can work, it generally won’t be as sculpted or as dramatic).

    The most important rule with flash is “Don’t ruin your shot,” which is usually done by putting too much flash on your subject. Instead, you want to get a decent balance of natural and artificial light, so that the flash is undetectable to the untrained eye but lights your subject brighter than the underexposed background.

    Now, turn on your flash and trigger. Here are some starting points:

    Wide-angle portrait photography: conclusion

    As you hopefully gathered from this article, capturing wide-angle portraits isn’t hard, and it can look incredible.

    So grab your camera, your lens, and your flash, and get out shooting. Remember the tips from this article. And have fun!

    Now over to you:

    Do you have any tips or tricks for wide-angle portrait photography? What are your favorite lighting setups? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    Table of contents

    Portrait Photography

    The post How to Create Stunning Wide-Angle Portraits (Using an Off-Camera Flash) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ken Koskela.

    How to Create Stunning Wide-Angle Portraits (Using an Off-Camera Flash)

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=102682
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/6jvDOm_HS6g/

    The post How to Create Stunning Wide-Angle Portraits (Using an Off-Camera Flash) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ken Koskela.

    Wide-angle portrait photography is unique, it’s fun, and it can make for some outstanding photos. But how can you capture great wide-angle results? What’s the secret to powerful portraits like the one below? In this article, I’ll provide plenty of guidance, taking you through the ins and outs of wide-angle portraiture. By the time you’ve […]

    The post How to Create Stunning Wide-Angle Portraits (Using an Off-Camera Flash) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ken Koskela.

    Sat, 24 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post The dPS Weekly Photography Challenge – The Street appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

    This is a pretty broad theme, I’m sure you’ll agree! “The Street” or #dPSTheStreet has but one goal and that is to get you, at some stage in this next week to take your camera with you when you leave the house and head down the street. Find a scene and make it interesting. This photo is of my friend Elly who owns a coffee shop around the corner from my house, we’re all back in lockdown here in Melbourne, but a cafe can operate and so I head around to support them and grab my morning coffee. Today I took my camera with me (A Sony a7RMk3 and a 35mm lens) with the goal of making a frame for this challenge. I was going to go with the front window cakes (We have to order through the door and stay outside) display, but when I brought the camera up to my eye and half-pressed my shutter to focus, the camera had other ideas! My focus point was set to single and was slightly off the middle and just caught Elly in the frame and the photo was made. I like the image, despite it being a little less sharp than I’d have liked, because of the various elements in the frame, kinda takes me on a bit of a journey.

    Anyways! Find a street scene and make it interesting! Looking forward to seeing what this week’s images have in store.

    Find your photograph and share it with us in the comments under this post, or share it to social media and tag us!

    The dPS Weekly Photography Challenge - The Street
    “Stillman Street”

    Carry your camera everywhere and make some photographs!

    As ever, some help with sharing your photo in the comments below (don’t click on this photo to upload your photo, scroll down to the Disqus section, log in, THEN click on the little camera icon in the comments)

    Weekly Photography Challenge – Looking Up

    Simply upload your shot into the comments field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get 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.

    The post The dPS Weekly Photography Challenge – The Street appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

    The dPS Weekly Photography Challenge – The Street

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=213396
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/ElToXt3i5so/

    The post The dPS Weekly Photography Challenge – The Street appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

    This is a pretty broad theme, I’m sure you’ll agree! “The Street” or #dPSTheStreet has but one goal and that is to get you, at some stage in this next week to take your camera with you when you leave the house and head down the street. Find a scene and make it interesting. This […]

    The post The dPS Weekly Photography Challenge – The Street appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

    Fri, 23 Jul 2021 20:00:00 +0000

    The post Tamron Launches Gorgeous 18-300mm Zoom for Fujifilm (and Sony) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

    Tamron launches 18-300mm zoom for Fujifilm and Sony

    Earlier this week, Tamron unveiled the 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD, an all-in-one lens designed for both Sony E-mount and Fujifilm X-mount cameras.

    While Tamron has spent several years perfecting mirrorless lenses for the Sony E-mount, the company has not yet launched glass for Fujifilm users. The announcement hints at a new direction for Tamron; assuming the X-mount version is sufficiently popular, you can expect future Fujifilm-compatible lenses, a major win for Fujifilm’s dedicated fanbase.

    The lens itself draws on Tamron’s experience with flexible zooms and will sit alongside products such as the 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6. According to Tamron, the 18-300mm “is the world’s first all-in-one zoom lens for Sony and Fujifilm APS-C mirrorless cameras featuring a 16.6x zoom ratio,” and indeed, the zoom range is remarkable. At 18mm, you can capture landscapes, wide street shots, and architectural shots. And at 300mm, you can photograph tight telephoto landscapes and even some birds, thanks to a near-500mm field of view (with the crop factor applied). Then there are the midrange focal lengths, and you can use these for portrait photography, sports photography, and much more.

    If you enjoy capturing the occasional close-up shot of insects or flowers, then you’ll love the 18-300mm’s close-focusing capabilities. You can shoot at up to 1:2 magnification, perfect for casual macro photography (and you’ll even be able to capture an abstract close-up or two for variety).

    Tamron also promises “extremely fast and precise autofocus – the highest level in its class.” As you can imagine, this is a big deal for fast-paced travel and street shooting, not to mention bird and wildlife photography. Users will need to be content with a relatively narrow maximum aperture (f/6.3 on the long end, f/3.5 on the wide end), but the Vibration Compensation should offset this problem somewhat when shooting in low light.

    Of course, when purchasing a lens, a lot hinges on optical quality, and superzooms are notoriously finicky – though Tamron promises “high-resolution performance” and “high image quality that is among the best of all all-in-one zoom lenses.” Bottom line, the 18-300mm is bound to work for photographers aiming to keep their backpack lightweight and minimalistic. For the right shooter, this lens could genuinely replace an entire bag of glass, saving on space, money, and more.

    So if you like the sound of a convenient superzoom and you’re a Fujifilm or Sony user, keep an eye out for the 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3. While the price hasn’t yet been revealed, bank on a Fall 2021 release date and prepare for some fun photoshoots!

    Now over to you:

    What do you think about the Tamron 18-300mm? Is it a lens you’d be interested in? What would you use it for? Share your thoughts (and images) in the comments below!

    The post Tamron Launches Gorgeous 18-300mm Zoom for Fujifilm (and Sony) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

    Tamron Launches Gorgeous 18-300mm Zoom for Fujifilm (and Sony)

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=213375
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/zRhiQpNhgQ4/

    The post Tamron Launches Gorgeous 18-300mm Zoom for Fujifilm (and Sony) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

    Earlier this week, Tamron unveiled the 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD, an all-in-one lens designed for both Sony E-mount and Fujifilm X-mount cameras. While Tamron has spent several years perfecting mirrorless lenses for the Sony E-mount, the company has not yet launched glass for Fujifilm users. The announcement hints at a new direction for […]

    The post Tamron Launches Gorgeous 18-300mm Zoom for Fujifilm (and Sony) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

    Fri, 23 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post The Essential Guide to Positive Space in Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    positive space in photography: a guide

    You may have heard of negative space, which refers to the more subtle areas surrounding the main subject in a photograph. However, positive space, the populated or focal point of an image, is a term that tends to fly under the radar.

    In this article, we’ll take a look at positive space in composition and how you can use it to improve your photos.

    What is positive space in photography?

    Positive space refers to the subject matter or areas of peak interest in a photograph. It’s the key component of almost every great photo.

    That said, like all compositional elements in photography, positive space is influenced by other aspects of a composition. Perhaps one of the most significant of these aspects is negative space – positive space is often sculpted by negative space and vice versa. You see, when photographing a clear subject, there is usually “occupied” or positive subject matter contrasted with negative elements that are not key focal points. Therefore, when discussing positive space, it’s hard not to mention the role of negative space, too.

    cat in a window positive space
    Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/5.6 | 1/200s | ISO 100

    While positive space may constitute the main show, negative space serves as the stage. And although the word negative seems to imply a lack of content, the term doesn’t just refer to areas completely devoid of subject matter. In fact, negative space only has to be visually quieter, less populated, subtler, or more restful compared to the main subject.

    A brief history of positive space

    Positive space – and the interaction of positive and negative space – has been used in art throughout history. Painters, sculptors, architects, potters; all have balanced positive and negative dynamics to allow for areas of visual rest, rhythm, focus, activity, atmosphere, etc.

    For example, negative space in traditional Japanese art styles is often embraced to accentuate or balance the weight of the expressive and spontaneous brushstrokes that constitute positive subject matter.

    Another example is Edgar Degas’s careful use of negative space in his scenes depicting ballet dancers. The negative space imbues the photos with a greater sense of movement, context, and contrast, creating interesting juxtapositions and framing detail.

    With the invention of photography, the artistic possibilities of positive and negative space expanded to the photographic image. From Anna Atkins, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Robert Frank to Diane Arbus, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Steve McCurry, and Didier Massard, photographers have used negative space to support key (positive) focal points.

    Why is positive space important?

    Positive space matters because it can steer the narrative of an image or draw a viewer’s eye. Without positive space, negative space often looks directionless. In turn, a photograph lacking negative space may seem crowded or overwhelming.

    Positive space creates momentum, narrative, and visual climax. Negative space can provide context, emphasis, isolation, and breathing room, funneling the viewer’s eye toward positive space and allowing the focal point to flourish.

    plant in a forest
    A plant tendril makes up the central, positive component, framed by the negative space of the unfocused background.
    Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with extension tubes | f/2.8 | 1/250s | ISO 100

    Working with positive space: the basics

    There are many ways to approach photographing positive space. Here’s what I recommend to get started:

    1. First, identify the positive areas of the scene – the elements of the composition that immediately stand out.
    2. Next, evaluate the negative space (you can use the viewfinder or your LCD for this). What does the negative space do? Does it uphold the positive space? Does it add context? Depth? Atmosphere? Narrative? Beauty?
    3. Finally, consider the technical aspects of your photo and how they might affect positive and negative space. For example, widening the aperture will create a shallow depth of field, and a shallow depth of field will often produce more negative space.

    These basic considerations will help you improve your use of positive space.

    aircraft acting as positive space
    Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | f/11 | 1/250s | ISO 200

    Advanced tips and techniques for working with positive space

    If you want to take your compositions to the next level, here are a few tips and tricks to help capitalize on positive space:

    Tip 1: Apply compositional techniques

    Positive space is a fundamental part of photographic composition, but it doesn’t exist in isolation. It can work alongside other compositional techniques such as leading lines, depth of field, framing, symmetry, and perspective to create beautiful photos.

    So the next time you’re out with your camera, think about positive space. And also think about how you can use positive space in conjunction with composition principles to get the most impactful results.

    landscape with rocks in the foreground and mountains in the background
    Canon 5D Mark II | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/10 | 1/200s | ISO 100

    Tip 2: Be mindful of both negative and positive space

    The key to striking a successful positive/negative balance (or intentional imbalance) often lies in awareness. When composing a photograph, make sure you carefully check the negative space that surrounds the positive space and ask yourself whether it works as it is – or whether it needs to be modified.

    (A quick visual scan through the viewfinder or on the LCD is a small action that can save time and many wasted shots!)

    the moon as positive space surrounded by dark negative space
    Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | f/5.6 | 1/1600s | ISO 500

    Furthermore, when framing a subject, running through a quick checklist can be helpful. Ask yourself: What is the negative space contributing? What is the positive space contributing? Does the positive space benefit from the negative regions that surround it?

    Briefly pausing to consider the positive/negative dynamics in a photograph can increase your chances of capturing a successful image.

    Tip 3: Use your camera settings

    Positive space can hinge on negative space that occurs naturally (i.e., the sky, shadows, etc.), or on negative space that is deliberately created through camera settings.

    For example, in a busy urban environment, a slow shutter speed can blur the flow of traffic to create negative space (and this will, in turn, emphasize static subjects like buildings and sculptures that constitute positive areas of interest).

    ICM (intentional camera movement) can sometimes create blurry and abstract negative areas that highlight positive focal points. Selective focus can emphasize or deemphasize visually positive areas, and by adjusting the aperture settings, you can blur the background and/or foreground surrounding a positive subject. Zooming in or out in-camera or cropping in post-production can also manipulate the dynamics of positive and negative space.

    In other words:

    If you want more positive or negative space, you can create it yourself! Just tweak your camera settings to achieve the effect you’re after.

    bokeh with rain-stained window
    Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4 | 1/25s | ISO 200

    Tip 4: Know your narrative

    Like all compositional tools, positive space can evoke emotions and tell stories. By determining your narrative in advance, you can use positive and negative space to create an impactful, coherent image.

    For example, a smaller positive subject set within a large amount of negative space can evoke a sense of scale, isolation, simplicity, grandiosity, and distance. Negative space in the form of a bold, dark vignette can frame a positive subject for added impact. An image with predominantly positive space can generate immediacy and energy. Evenly distributed positive and negative space can lend an impression of harmony and balance.

    (The list goes on!)

    Tip 5: Experiment!

    Any positive (and negative) space is affected by an endless amount of compositional variables. Experimenting with creative techniques, subjects, and conditions broadens the creative potential of any positive subject.

    And although the term “negative” suggests “nothingness,” negative space, as we have seen, is just as versatile and important as its positive counterpart.

    So while experimenting with positive space through the mindful manipulation of negative space can be a balancing act, gaining a good grasp on both forms of space will result in the best photos overall.

    intentional camera movement power lines
    Canon 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/22 | 1/4s | ISO 100

    A guide to positive space: conclusion

    Positive space is a critical part of photographic composition. While the discussion of negative space is more common, positive space is the driving force behind countless photographic images.

    Consciously working with positive space encourages a greater connection with the subject matter, and it’ll also help you create more powerful compositions.

    Now over to you:

    Do you have any favorite ways to work with positive space? How do you balance positive and negative space? Share your thoughts (and images!) in the comments below!



    The post The Essential Guide to Positive Space in Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    The Essential Guide to Positive Space in Photography

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=211185
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/qE1uz20oSVg/

    The post The Essential Guide to Positive Space in Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    You may have heard of negative space, which refers to the more subtle areas surrounding the main subject in a photograph. However, positive space, the populated or focal point of an image, is a term that tends to fly under the radar. In this article, we’ll take a look at positive space in composition and […]

    The post The Essential Guide to Positive Space in Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post Capture One vs Lightroom: Which Editing Program Is Best? (2021) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Dawn Gilfillan.

    Capture One vs Lightroom: Which program is best?

    Not sure whether to use Capture One or Lightroom for your image editing? Both programs have plenty of fans, but which option is best for you?

    This article aims to give you a clear, unbiased assessment of the pros and cons of Capture One vs Lightroom. By the time you’re done, you’ll know all about these two programs – and you’ll know which one is right for your needs.

    Let’s get started.

    Capture One overview

    capture one vs lightroom

    Thanks to its advanced tools, Capture One is often the choice of professional photographers and retouchers. It’s a high-end program that offers powerful tethered shooting, in-depth image editing, and a robust image-organization system that’ll satisfy even the most demanding of photographers.

    Pros

    Cons

    Lightroom overview

    Lightroom Develop module interface

    Lightroom offers image organization and library features, as well as RAW, TIFF, and JPEG image processing. Thanks to Lightroom’s smooth integration with Adobe Photoshop, many photographers use both programs for image editing. Lightroom is easy to use and includes a range of one-click presets to speed up your workflow.

    Pros

    Cons

    Capture One vs Lightroom: in-depth comparison

    Now that you’re broadly familiar with these two programs, let’s take a closer look at how they stack up, starting with:

    Editing tools

    While both Capture One and Lightroom offer a near-identical range of basic image editing tools, there are some key differences worth considering.

    First, Capture One offers adjustment layers, while Lightroom does not.

    Capture One adjustment layers
    Adjustment layers in Capture One.

    Lightroom is designed to be used alongside Adobe Photoshop, an advanced layer-based editor. So if you want to use adjustment layers, you do have the option to send your Lightroom-adjusted files across to Photoshop, though this can be inconvenient compared to Capture One’s more comprehensive, one-stop-shop approach.

    Both programs offer lens corrections and profiles, as well as the usual cropping and rotating features, etc. As a quick aside, the Crop tool in Lightroom is simpler to use than the one in Capture One – and it’s also far easier to find!

    The Lightroom Crop tool
    Crop tool in Lightroom.

    Capture One and Lightroom can process RAW files, but Capture One does have the edge here, especially considering the amount of fine-tuning you can do with the shadows and highlights. Capture One offers high dynamic range editing of your RAW files, which lets you make significant adjustments to the highlights, shadows, blacks, and whites:

    Capture One Exposure and High Dynamic Range tools
    High Dynamic Range tool in Capture One.

    While Lightroom offers RAW exposure adjustments of its own, the options are clunkier and less sophisticated compared to Capture One.

    What’s one area where Capture One really beats Lightroom hands down? Color adjustments. The Capture One Color Editor doesn’t just offer Basic and Advanced options, but also a tool to fine-tune skin tones, plus an outstanding interface that serious color editors will love.

    Capture One color edits
    Color Editor in Capture One.

    Capture One also offers the Color Balance tool with Master, 3-Way, Shadow, and Highlight options. If color grading is your thing, Capture One blows Lightroom out of the water; its sophisticated tools are capable of performing even the most demanding of color edits.

    Capture One Color Balance tool for color grading
    Color Balance tool in Capture One.

    Lightroom does offer color adjustments, of course, but nothing comparable to Capture One:

    Lightroom HSL panel
    HSL panel in Lightroom.

    Tethered shooting is also where Capture One excels. I have used it extensively, and it’s fast and efficient. Although Lightroom does offer tethering, it’s not reliable, and it’s slow and glitchy at times. It just doesn’t cut the mustard for a pro photographer, especially one who has clients waiting to see the RAW shots during an in-progress session.

    Ease of use

    As far as I’m considered, Lightroom is much easier to use; the interface is simple, and you can view all the tools and features on one screen. 

    Capture One, on the other hand, uses a series of tabs, cursor tools, menus, and sub-menus, and it’s easy to get lost or spend ages hunting for something you need.

    The Lightroom Library system is also clear and simple, while Capture One makes this unnecessarily complicated. 

    Organizing images in Lightroom
    The Lightroom Library.

    Using presets in Lightroom is easy. Download your presets, import them into Lightroom, and they’ll appear on the lefthand side of the Develop module. Hover your mouse over a preset to see how it will affect your image, click to select a favorite, and you’re done. Just look at the simplicity of Lightroom’s Preset panel:

    Lightroom presets

    Capture One doesn’t do presets – sort of. It does have preset equivalents, but they’re called Styles, and you’ll have to go into the Adjustments tab and follow the sub-menu to find and apply them:

    Capture One Styles

    Also, Styles packs are expensive, whereas there are plenty of free Lightroom presets on the market.

    Supported file formats

    Capture One supports the following file formats:

    Lightroom supports these file formats:

    If you want to use PSD or PSB formats, then Lightroom will be your best choice. It’s also best for those who want to import the supported video files listed here. As noted with Capture One, DNG files from all cameras are only supported in the Pro version, whereas all DNG files are supported in Lightroom, regardless of which camera they came from.

    Is there a mobile version?

    Lightroom offers a totally free app for your device, downloadable from both iOS and Android app stores. You will need an Adobe subscription to access several advanced features, but once you’ve purchased Lightroom, this will take care of itself. Also, note that images and edits from your Lightroom app will sync across your Lightroom CC programs – so you can edit on your phone, then see the changes on your desktop (and vice versa).

    Unfortunately, Capture One doesn’t currently offer any kind of mobile app. If you want to edit images taken on your smartphone, you’ll need to transfer them to your computer (and if you want to edit images on your phone, you’re out of luck, though you can always grab the free Lightroom app).

    Pricing

    As with all Adobe apps, Lightroom is only available as a monthly subscription. You can purchase Lightroom CC on its own – with 1 TB of cloud storage – for $9.99 USD per month, or you can grab Lightroom as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which includes access to Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop CC and starts at $9.99 USD per month, though you can pay extra for additional cloud storage.

    Unfortunately, Capture One is quite expensive, and the pricing structure can be confusing, too. You can buy the program outright or rent it via a monthly subscription, and you can buy plans for specific camera brands, such as Sony, Fujifilm, or Nikon (these camera-specific plans are cheaper, but can only be used on images from certain cameras).

    Capture One Pro is $299 USD for a new perpetual license, and subscription plans start at $19 USD per month. An annual prepaid subscription for Capture One for Fujifilm, Nikon, or Sony is $149 USD (which comes to around $12.50 USD per month).

    Capture One vs Lightroom: final thoughts

    Ultimately, the software you choose will be a reflection of your preferences, your skill level, and your budget.

    Therefore, if you are a professional photographer who requires an integrated workflow from tethered shooting through to finished images, then Capture One is the best choice. It’s also the program to choose if you like advanced editing and color grading on adjustment layers. 

    Lightroom, on the other hand, is great for beginners, intermediate, and pro photographers who don’t need the huge array of features and tools available in Capture One. Lightroom is also less expensive, plus it’s more pleasant to use.

    I’ve used both programs extensively, and each has its own strong and weak points. If you’re still on the fence, I’d recommend you take the time to determine the features that are important to you in an image editor. That way, you can make an informed decision regarding the best program for your editing needs.

    Now over to you:

    Which program do you like better, Lightroom or Capture One? Which do you plan to purchase? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    The post Capture One vs Lightroom: Which Editing Program Is Best? (2021) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Dawn Gilfillan.

    Capture One vs Lightroom: Which Editing Program Is Best? (2021)

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=209070
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/WX4udat66lE/

    The post Capture One vs Lightroom: Which Editing Program Is Best? (2021) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Dawn Gilfillan.

    Not sure whether to use Capture One or Lightroom for your image editing? Both programs have plenty of fans, but which option is best for you? This article aims to give you a clear, unbiased assessment of the pros and cons of Capture One vs Lightroom. By the time you’re done, you’ll know all about […]

    The post Capture One vs Lightroom: Which Editing Program Is Best? (2021) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Dawn Gilfillan.

    Wed, 21 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post Leading Lines in Photography: The Essential Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anne McKinnell.

    leading lines in photography guide

    What are leading lines in photography, and how can they improve your compositions?

    In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about leading lines, including:

    So if you’re ready to become an expert, then let’s get started!

    Leading lines in photography: a definition

    Leading lines refer to lines that lead the viewer’s eye from one part of a composition to another. Usually, these lines start at the bottom of the frame and guide the eye upward, from the foreground of the image to the background.

    When used as a compositional technique, leading lines generally move toward the main subject of a photo. For instance, a river might lead the eye toward a fog-covered mountain in the background, or a log might lead the eye toward a stunning sunset.

    Note that leading lines can be anything: rivers or logs, as mentioned in the examples above, but also marks on a road, pointed rocks on a beach, lines in the sand, the walls of a house – if it looks like a line and is capable of guiding the viewer’s eye, then it can work!

    lines leading toward building

    Why are leading lines important?

    Leading lines guide the viewer through a composition.

    So by carefully positioning leading lines in the frame, you can draw attention to areas of a photo that matter, like a beautiful mountain or sunset on the ocean. In other words, you can use leading lines to get the viewer to look where you want them to look – and avoid areas you’d prefer they avoid.

    You can also use leading lines to create flow, often referred to as dynamism, throughout a composition. Leading lines naturally take the viewer on a journey around the photo, which keeps them engaged (always a good thing!).

    Plus, leading lines are a great way to create three-dimensionality (i.e., depth) in an image. By emphasizing the start of a line before letting it fall away into the backdrop, you create a 3D illusion that looks incredible in scenic landscape photography.

    log leading toward mountains

    How to use leading lines: the basics

    Working with leading lines requires two simple steps:

    1. Find a leading line
    2. Incorporate that leading line into your composition

    Of course, this is easier said than done, but neither of the above steps is actually difficult; they just take a bit of perseverance. Let’s look at each step in turn.

    Step 1: Find leading lines

    No matter where you live, and no matter where you like to take photos…

    …leading lines are all around.

    It might not seem likely, but it’s true. After all, remember that leading lines are just lines, and plenty of those exist, right? The key is to find them (and incorporate them creatively into your compositions, as I discuss in the next section).

    So where, specifically, should you look for leading lines?

    Personally, I think the best place to start is with a path; paths are inherently leading because they go somewhere, and the path edges often create a vanishing point on the horizon (the place where two or more lines converge at theoretical infinity). Plus, you can find paths all over the place – in forests, at parks, in the city, even in the countryside (roads count as paths!).

    Leading Lines, Avenue of Oaks, South Carolina
    The leading lines of this road converge at a vanishing point.

    But you can find plenty of other leading lines, too. While photographers certainly use paths in their compositions, they also work with patterns in the sand, fallen logs, bunches of flowers, interesting rocks, bridges, fences, and more. Here’s a whole list of items to consider:

    Human-made leading lines

    • roads
    • fences
    • boardwalks
    • bridges
    • bricks
    • anything in a row, such as lamp posts
    • buildings
    • doorways
    • window panes

    Natural leading lines

    • rivers
    • shorelines
    • waves
    • sand dunes
    • trees
    • tall grass
    • cliffs
    • rocks
    • sunrays

    Of course, the list is hardly exhaustive; there are always more leading lines out there just waiting to be found! So the next time you’re setting up a shot, take a moment to examine the scene for prominent lines. You’re bound to find some good ones, even if it takes a bit of searching.

    logs leading toward house sunset at Ross Bay, Victoria, British Columbia
    The logs on the beach lead the viewer’s eye into the frame and lead up to the house.

    Step 2: Incorporate leading lines into your composition

    So you’ve found a leading line or two. Well done – but the work isn’t complete! Now it’s time to actually incorporate the leading lines into your composition, a deliberate, thoughtful process.

    First, ask yourself: Where do I want this leading line to take the viewer? Oftentimes, the answer will involve an interesting feature in the background – such as a sunset – so you’ll need to adjust your camera position until the leading line points roughly in the right direction.

    (If the leading line isn’t going where you want it to, you can try moving forward and backward or side to side along the line, or you can find another leading line that works better in your composition. A leading line that points away from your main subject is likely counterproductive.)

    Next, ask yourself: Is the leading line interesting enough that it can act as a foreground subject? And can I get close enough to make it large in the frame?

    If your leading line is interesting and you know you can get close, do it. The best photos often involve a strong leading line, one that draws the viewer into the foreground then leads them from foreground to background, like the stones in the photo below:

    water leading toward cliffs Boquillas Canyon by Anne McKinnell
    The soft leading line of the river’s edge creates depth.

    Of course, some leading lines just can’t hold the viewer’s attention, or they’re not accessible, and that’s okay – leading lines are always powerful, even if they aren’t showstoppers. You can still use them, but make sure you find an interesting foreground subject that catches the eye or really tighten up your composition to focus on the main subject.

    Finally, once you’ve roughly positioned your subject and any leading lines, evaluate the scene one more time. Think about ways that you could enhance the effects of the leading lines, perhaps by changing your camera position, by getting lower or higher, or even by using a wider or longer focal length.

    Then take your shot!

    Tips and tricks for working with leading lines

    Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s discuss a few tips to improve your compositions with leading lines, starting with:

    1. Use the widest lens you have available

    You don’t need a wide-angle lens to create stunning leading line compositions.

    But it really, really helps.

    Why? Well, a wide-angle lens lets you capture an expansive scene – so you can position leading lines toward the bottom of the frame, then let them flow into the shot, slowly getting farther and farther away until they disappear (or reach your main subject).

    Compare this to a telephoto composition, where the leading lines generally start close to the subject, then quickly terminate. Less dynamic, less interesting, and less three-dimensional.

    Many landscape photographers shoot with ultra-wide focal lengths for this exact reason. They often find a leading line, use a wide-angle lens to emphasize it, and create a stunningly deep composition.

    Make sense?

    path leading toward mountains

    2. Don’t be afraid to incorporate multiple leading lines into a single composition

    A single leading line is nice…

    …but if you can find multiple leading lines, all guiding the viewer toward your main subject, your composition will be insanely strong.

    For instance, you might use both edges of a road to point toward a distant mountain. Or you might use two lines in the sand – one starting in the bottom right, and one starting in the bottom left – to point toward a blue ocean.

    road leading off into the distance as a leading line

    Note that all of your leading lines should point toward the subject as much as possible. If the lines deviate from your subject, they’ll guide the viewer in the wrong direction, which will prevent them from fully appreciating the image. Getting two or more lines to converge toward your subject may take some creativity, but the end result will be worth it.

    3. Use the near-far technique to create plenty of depth

    The near-far technique is especially common in landscape photography. It’s a simple way to create tons of depth in your photos, and it’s how you can capture powerful photos like this one:

    stones leading through a Japanese garden

    It’s also really simple to use. Here’s what you do:

    First, make sure your leading line is suitably eye-catching. It should act as a subject in its own right – like an interesting rock or a patch of colorful flowers.

    Second, make sure you use a wide focal length. I’d recommend working with at least 35mm (on a full-frame camera), but 24mm, 18mm, or even 14mm is better.

    Third, mount your camera to a tripod and get down low over your subject. You want to make the leading line prominent in the frame, even if it means getting a few inches from your subject. And you’ll want to dial in a narrow aperture, such as f/8, f/11, or even f/16, in order to keep both the foreground and background sharp.

    Your final shot will look incredible – with an interesting foreground subject, a line that leads the eye, plus (hopefully!) an interesting background subject to complete the composition.

    How to use leading lines for better compositions: final words

    Leading lines are the key compositional elements that carry our eye through a photograph. They can be used to tell a story, place emphasis, and draw a connection between two objects.

    So start thinking about leading lines wherever you go. Practice finding leading lines in the chaos of everyday life. Your compositions will get very good, very fast!

    Now over to you:

    What do you think about leading lines? Do you plan to incorporate them into your photos? Do you have any examples of leading line photography? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    The post Leading Lines in Photography: The Essential Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anne McKinnell.

    Leading Lines in Photography: The Essential Guide

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=52733
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/g1sgxqzcA3M/

    The post Leading Lines in Photography: The Essential Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anne McKinnell.

    What are leading lines in photography, and how can they improve your compositions? In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about leading lines, including: Why every photographer should learn how to use leading lines (hint: they can majorly increase a photo’s impact) Plenty of easy places to look for leading lines How […]

    The post Leading Lines in Photography: The Essential Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anne McKinnell.

    Tue, 20 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    reverse lens macro photography: a guide

    If you want to capture beautiful close-up images but don’t want to spend hundreds (or thousands) on a macro lens, then you’ve come to the right place.

    Because in this article, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about reverse lens macro photography. It’s a simple technique that lets you turn a standard lens into a macro lens so you can capture photos like this:

    droplet of water on a flower

    In fact, if you already own a 50mm prime lens or a standard kit lens (in the 18-55mm focal length range), then the reverse lens macro technique is the least expensive way to capture magnified images.

    So let’s dive right in, starting with the absolute basics:

    What is reverse lens macro photography?

    Reverse lens macro photography is a method of capturing highly magnified images using an interchangeable lens camera, a lens, and a cheap adapter. You turn your lens around so the rear element points outward, then use an adapter to attach the reversed lens to your camera body (or to another lens).

    In other words: You take your lens. You flip it around. And you’ll be able to shoot at macro magnifications.

    If you’ve never seen the reverse lens macro technique, it may seem a bit strange – after all, why does reversing a standard lens let you shoot at high magnifications?

    But it really does work, and the diagram below shows why. In normal use, a 50mm lens focuses light from far away to create a much smaller image, one that fits onto film or a digital sensor (which is often around 35mm wide). Reverse the lens and the opposite occurs: the 50mm lens magnifies what it sees, giving near life-size reproduction:

    diagram showing how reverse lens photography works

    How to do reverse lens photography

    There are two ways you can use the reverse lens macro technique:

    1. Single lens reverse macro

    This method involves reverse-mounting one lens to the front of your camera. First, purchase a reversing ring (also known as a reverse ring) like this one:

    reversing ring for macro photography

    You can buy these adapters for cheap on Amazon. One side screws onto the end of your lens like a filter, while the other attaches to your lens mount. Here’s a reversing ring in action:

    reversed lens attached to a Canon 40D

    Note that the reverse macro technique works best if you use a lens with a manual aperture ring. That way, you can stop down to increase the zone of sharpness (which is very helpful because depth of field decreases as you get closer to your subject).

    Unfortunately, if your reversed lens doesn’t have a manual aperture ring, you won’t be able to make any f-stop adjustments and you’ll be forced to work at your lens’s maximum aperture. But while this can be inconvenient, don’t let it stop you – you can use a reversed lens at its widest aperture to take some beautiful photos. You just have to get creative!

    2. Twin lens reverse macro

    This reverse lens macro technique is less popular but will get the job done. Instead of reverse-mounting one lens to your camera, you mount one lens normally, then reverse mount a second lens on the front of the first, like this:

    twin lens reverse macro in action
    I’ve attached a reversed 50mm lens to my 85mm prime lens. In this setup, the 85mm lens is called the primary lens and the reversed lens is called the secondary lens.

    The actual mechanics are nearly identical to the single lens technique discussed above; simply purchase a coupler ring (shown below). Then use it to mount the second lens to the first.

    macro coupler ring for twin lens photography

    Now, when using the twin lens reverse macro technique, the reversed lens acts like a powerful close-up filter, except that it’s much stronger than any filter I’ve encountered. In fact, the twin lens technique offers two major benefits over the single lens technique:

    1. It offers insanely close magnifications. Depending on the focal lengths you use, you can achieve up to 3x life-size reproduction. (That’s three times as close as most professional macro lenses!)
    2. It increases your depth of field flexibility. You can leave the reversed lens open at its widest aperture, while stopping down the primary lens to increase depth of field (even if you don’t have a manual aperture ring).

    Note that you can do this technique with essentially any lenses, though the longer the focal length, the more magnification you’ll achieve. What’s most important is that the filter thread sizes on the two lenses match – that way, you can buy a coupler ring that will easily join them together.

    (If your lenses have different filter threads, you do have the option of purchasing a step-up ring in addition to your coupler ring, but this can be inconvenient.)

    Caring for the reversed lens

    The reverse macro technique does leave the rear element of your reversed lens open to the elements, regardless of which method you use. So you should always work carefully to avoid scratching the exposed element.

    lens with extension tube

    If you have an extension tube, you can attach it to the back (now front) of the reversed lens, as I did in the photo above. This helps protect the rear element and also acts as a lens hood.

    Also, because of the risks to the lens, I’d recommend using relatively cheap glass, like a 50mm f/1.8.

    Image sharpness

    The reversed lens technique gets you so close to your subject that it’s virtually impossible to handhold the camera. For the sharpest results, use a tripod to keep the camera steady and use a cable release to fire the shutter.

    I find it best to use a reverse lens macro setup indoors, especially for delicate subjects like flowers. If you try it outside, the slightest breeze can move the flower and spoil the photo.

    Of course, you can always embrace a blurry result and create some interesting abstract shots – but if your goal is to create magnified-yet-sharp photos, you’ll need to follow this advice closely.

    If possible, stop down your primary lens to at least f/4. That way, you’ll get increased depth of field, and if you’re using the twin lens technique, it’ll help you avoid the softening that may happen when the first lens is at its widest aperture setting.

    How to light reverse lens photography

    close-up of bubbles

    As long as you don’t mind using a tripod and long shutter speeds to obtain the required exposure, natural light will work just fine.

    However, flash is also an option. And you don’t need a specialized macro flash – I use a Canon Speedlite with a small softbox (though you’ll probably want to make sure you’re using an off-camera flash to avoid shadows cast by the lens).

    A flash and a softbox were all I needed to take the photo featured above. Here’s a diagram of the setup:

    flash setup for reverse macro photography

    In general, I’d recommend you start with natural light, unless you’re relatively familiar with artificial lighting. That way, you can experiment with different lighting qualities and directions and you don’t have to worry about complex lighting techniques.

    What lens should you use for reverse macro shooting?

    kit lens with 18-55mm focal length

    I’ve used a 50mm prime lens for the photos featured throughout this article. And a nifty fifty is a great way to get started with reverse lens macro photography.

    But don’t forget that you can try this out with just about any lens (though I do recommend using a cheaper option, just in case your lens gets damaged). Kit lenses like the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II (pictured above) work great.

    Reverse lens macro photography: conclusion

    Now that you’ve finished this article, you should be able to confidently create a macro photography setup (without spending lots of money on a dedicated macro lens).

    Reverse lens macro photography is a lot of fun, so order your reverse ring and get shooting!

    Now over to you:

    Do you prefer the single lens reverse macro technique or the twin lens reverse macro technique? Do you have any tips for improved macro photography? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    Table of contents

    Macro Photography

    The post Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=37508
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/fJRF8pK0rKs/

    The post Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    If you want to capture beautiful close-up images but don’t want to spend hundreds (or thousands) on a macro lens, then you’ve come to the right place. Because in this article, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about reverse lens macro photography. It’s a simple technique that lets you turn a standard […]

    The post Reverse Lens Macro Photography: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Andrew S. Gibson.

    Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post 10 Rural Landscape Photography Tips (+ Examples) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

    10 rural landscape photography tips

    Have you ever wondered how you can capture stunning images of rural landscapes? Whether you live and shoot in rural areas or you’re simply taking a trip to a rural location, this rural landscape photography guide is for you.

    Specifically, you’ll discover:

    Let’s dive right in, starting with…

    What is rural landscape photography?

    Rural landscape photography refers to “photography in the countryside” and covers the rural environment.

    While rural landscapes often contain architecture – much the same as urban landscapes – rural landscape photography is more about capturing the life and elements found in the countryside. This can include humans in the landscape as well as elements of human influence.

    Rural landscape photography can also encompass rural scenes including buildings, animals, and stunning countryside scenery.

    Now that you understand what rural landscape photography actually is, here are some tips to help you capture your own rural landscapes:

    1. Experiment with different rural subjects

    rural landscape with water and pastures

    Rural landscape photography offers you the chance to capture a whole range of interesting subjects, including:

    You might also include modern rural elements, such as houses, working farms, and more.

    When doing rural photography, don’t confine yourself to a single subject. Instead, experiment with all these different options. If you find an old barn, take the time to photograph it – and if you find a shiny new farmhouse, photograph that, too!

    2. Shoot when the light is soft

    rocks in the fog

    You can photograph rural landscapes at any time of the day…

    …but golden hour, blue hour, and nighttime offer some of the best times to get out with your camera. The light tends to be soft and flattering, perfect for rural subjects.

    Golden hour provides a magical glow that can elevate your images, while blue hour adds a cool tone that works well with subjects such as old houses and derelict buildings.

    If you prefer to photograph at night, you may need to be more creative, as the building lights will likely be switched off. I recommend taking a flashlight and painting light on your subject to make it more visible in the final photo.

    3. Think about the sky (and the weather)


    Want to capture creative rural landscape photos? Make sure you spend plenty of time thinking about the sky, which has the power to elevate – or ruin – your images.

    Ask yourself: What type of atmosphere do I want to capture? For moody photos, you can head out during rain, snow, or fog. And for upbeat, colorful images, shoot in strong sunlight.

    By the way, you’ll want to consider whether the sky should be included in your photo. On overcast days (where you don’t have much cloud moodiness, but you also don’t have any nice sky color), you may want to leave out the sky completely. But on stormy days, or during dramatic sunrises and sunsets, the sky will add an extra dimension to your photos.

    elevated rural landscape with city in the distance

    4. Use architecture to anchor the viewer


    I find that architecture makes for a great focal point in rural landscape photography; it often contrasts beautifully with nature.

    Traditional structures can work great, especially barns with rugged, weathered facades. They’ll create a rustic look and feel, which can really capture the viewer’s imagination. For instance, take a look at this image of an old barn:

    barn with mountains and trees

    Other architecture that makes for interesting rural landscape images includes abandoned houses, old farms, and buildings that have been left behind by people moving to cities. You can capture their aging, rundown characteristics within the surrounding countryside.

    5. Don’t be afraid to include people


    People often make great subjects in the countryside! After all, they are an integral part of the rural landscape.

    One great thing about rural settings is that there is always human activity. At farms, people can be seen tending to their land and farm animals. And people may be out riding horses, exercising, or operating machinery, all of which can make for beautiful images.

    shepherd with sheep

    6. Animals and the rural landscape


    When you go out into the countryside, you will always come across animals. These might be wild animals, which are often well hidden and harder to photograph. Or they might be captive animals, such as horses, cows, and sheep.

    Take advantage of these photo opportunities. Experiment with different forms of lighting to create unique farm-animal images. And don’t be afraid to shoot when the weather gets foggy; it’ll offer plenty of stunning atmosphere to play with:

    horses in a misty field

    7. Carefully position your subject for better compositions

    As with all landscape photography, composition is an essential part of the best rural photos – so it’s important you get it right.

    Start by asking yourself: What is my main subject? What is it that interests me most about this scene? Then determine where you want to place that main subject in the frame.

    You might put it right in the center of the shot, or you might put it off to one side. It often pays to remember the rule of thirds, which suggests you position your main subject about a third of the way into the frame (either vertically or horizontally).

    Also consider whether you want to capture the entire countryside or if only part of it appeals to you. Wide-angle lenses are great for landscape shots, but don’t be afraid to go tight for a more intimate perspective, one that highlights details within the scene.

    misty monastery

    8. Use the right settings for sharp photos


    For rural landscape photography, the best camera settings vary depending on the shots you’re after as well as the weather.

    Generally speaking, a mid-range aperture of f/8 will give you an adequate depth of field to keep everything in focus, and this often works well. But if you want to throw parts of the frame out of focus, go with a wider aperture – f/4 is a good starting point, with f/2.8 decreasing the in-focus area even further.

    You will want to keep the ISO fairly low, so go for an ISO of anything between 100 and 400. Any higher, and you’ll be risking unwanted noise – but if you’re shooting in low light, an ISO of 800 and beyond may still be necessary.

    As for shutter speeds: If your scene includes moving subjects (such as a swaying horse), you’ll need at least 1/100s and probably more. For scenes without significant movement, I’d still recommend keeping your shutter speed above 1/60s or so (though you also have the option of using a tripod).

    Of course, shutter speed often does involve experimentation. So don’t be afraid to test out different speeds and see what works best.

    9. Head out when the weather is bad

    misty rolling hills and trees

    It’s true:

    Bright, sunny days – especially around sunrise or sunset – offer great conditions for rural landscape photos.

    But shooting in bad weather can bring another level of drama to the scene. For instance, fog can add tons of atmosphere, rain can look gloriously dreary, and snow can take your photos to new heights.

    So don’t confine yourself to good weather. Instead, be prepared to shoot whenever the rural landscape looks dramatic (which is often on the most unpleasant days!).

    10. Take a walk in the landscape


    Here’s your final rural landscape photography tip:

    Take a walk. Head out with your camera. Have fun.

    After all, the countryside is a beautiful place, and you never know what you may find. You might come across wildlife, blooming flowers, hay bales, and more – all great subjects for photography!

    bluebells in a forest

    Rural landscape photography tips: conclusion


    I hope you found these tips on rural landscape photography helpful. The countryside truly is a wonderful place to explore!

    Now over to you:

    Do you have any favorite rural landscape subjects? Do you have any tips for composition, lighting, or subject choice that we missed? Share your thoughts (and images!) in the comments below.

    The post 10 Rural Landscape Photography Tips (+ Examples) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

    10 Rural Landscape Photography Tips (+ Examples)

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=210691
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/Beoz8uY4Dic/

    The post 10 Rural Landscape Photography Tips (+ Examples) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

    Have you ever wondered how you can capture stunning images of rural landscapes? Whether you live and shoot in rural areas or you’re simply taking a trip to a rural location, this rural landscape photography guide is for you. Specifically, you’ll discover: The best lighting for rural landscape photos Key tips to take your compositions […]

    The post 10 Rural Landscape Photography Tips (+ Examples) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

    Sun, 18 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000

    The post How to Take Better Beach Portraits at Any Time of Day appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

    how to take better beach portraits

    Are you struggling to work with light during beach portrait photoshoots? You’re not alone.

    But while doing beach photography can be tough, don’t worry – because there are a few simple tips and tricks you can use to keep your beach portraits looking gorgeous, even at high noon. And that’s what this article is all about.

    Specifically, we’ll share:

    Let’s dive right in, starting with our number one tip:

    1. Know where the sun is at all times

    To capture stunning beach portraits, you need to know where the sun is, no matter the time of day. That way you know when to schedule a photoshoot, where to set up your camera, where to position your subject, and how the light will change over the course of your session.

    The easiest way to do this is to use an ephemeris app (I personally use this one). It’s a tool that can help you see where the sun will be at all times. Note that an ephemeris can show you the position of the sun anywhere in the world, so simply plug in the location of your photoshoot, and you can see all of the important details.

    the photographer's ephemeris
    Using an ephemeris app, you can see where (and when) the sun will move across the sky.

    So before – or even while – you’re scheduling your session, quickly check this tool to see the sunrise, midday, and sunset positions and times.

    sunrise and sunset times and places on the Photographer's Ephemeris

    This is really helpful since no beach is alike and the direction of light differs from one side of the world to another. For example, in California, the sun sets behind the beach, whereas on the East Coast, the sun sets in the opposite direction.

    Also, different beaches may face different directions, so it’s good to know where the sun will be during your session.

    2. Morning light is a great time to do beach portraits

    Morning light on a beach is magical. It has a whole different color temperature than evening golden hour, and it can provide a nice soft glow if you have your session early enough.

    woman on a log on the beach in the morning

    The light is a little bluer in the mornings, and depending on the beach where your session is taking place, the sun can rise over the ocean or peek through the trees. A beach on the East Coast may let you catch the sunrise while photographing.

    beach portrait in the morning girl with family

    Alternatively, on a beach in California, you’ll catch the sun hitting the water from the land side. This will give you a beautiful yellowish-blue glow on the water if your session is within a few hours of sunrise.

    woman on the beach in the morning portrait
    On the left, we see the sun rising behind the bay. At right, the sun casts shadows around midday.

    If the morning light is causing unwanted shadows, use a simple reflector to bounce light back onto your subject. This is especially useful if sunrise is behind the water at the beach.

    3. Use flash or reflectors to deal with midday light

    Midday light at a beach is pretty harsh. Therefore, it’s good to have some kind of additional lighting equipment to help with shadows. You can use an external flash, pop-up flash, or a reflector.

    people jumping on beach at midday
    Seeing the shadows in front of your clients means the sun is behind them. This family is lit with an external flash, one that’s mounted on-camera (and pointed straight ahead).

    You can also go without an additional light source. If you choose this route, however, it’s good to underexpose your photos a bit so you can bring up the shadows in your editing software. Otherwise, you’ll end up with blown-out skies. Of course, this all depends on your style of photography.

    When the sun is at its highest point during the day, it might be a good time to take your clients under the shade of some trees or opt to capture playful photos of the family. Have your clients walk, run, splash in the water, build sandcastles, or just have a bit of fun together.

    The sun is at its highest at different times around the world, so make sure to check the ephemeris to know exactly when to expect high noon.

    midday beach photo with flash
    Same session, same beach, one photo with flash and one photo without.

    Once the sun passes the highest point, it will be at a bit of an angle as it starts to go down for sunset. That’s the sweet spot for photographing during the midday hours at the beach.

    midday beach family portrait with flash
    Here, I used flash to correctly expose the photo and fill in shadows caused by the sun.

    When the sun is at a bit of an angle, you can pose your clients with the sun behind them to keep the light out of their eyes. This means you’ll be in the sun, but it’s better than having your clients facing the sun directly; that way, you can avoid unflattering shadows, uneven lighting, and squinting. The sand can also work as a natural reflector, bouncing light back into their faces.

    family portrait on the beach
    The sand can act as a natural reflector and bounce light back onto your clients.

    4. Keep your portrait subjects facing away from the sun just after midday

    Light after midday can be different in the winter compared to the summer, but the sun will always sit lower in the sky compared to high noon. I recommend you position your clients so they’re looking away from the sun; that way, the sun starts to fall behind them (and this will prevent the issues I discussed in the previous section).

    mother and child on the beach in the shade

    After midday is actually a pretty great time to do beach portraits. Depending on the angle of light, you can get some really interesting light, and it’ll get more and more golden as you approach sunset.

    family on the beach with two kids

    If you angle your subjects away from the sun but you’re still getting harsh, unflattering light, you may want to consider using a reflector or some fill flash to deal with those unwanted shadows.

    5. Use a flash or a silhouette technique during the golden hours (sunset)

    Actual sunset only lasts about 5-10 minutes. However, golden hour begins about an hour before the sun dips below the horizon, which means the angle of the light is pretty low and directional. And while golden hour light is beautiful and warm, it also makes it difficult to capture your clients evenly against the background.

    husband and wife on the beach

    It can be especially troublesome if the sun sets over the water because you’ll struggle to capture the beautiful colors while also lighting your clients.

    golden hour couple portrait

    So to light your clients while including the sunset in the background, bring along a flash or external light source. You can also underexpose your photos a bit, then bring up the shadows later without compromising the sunset.

    woman's pregnant stomach beach

    You can also try silhouetting your clients with the sunset light to offer a different look to the final images:

    beach silhouette portrait

    One more quick tip: Golden hour is the perfect time to turn your clients toward the setting sun. That way, you can capture that beautiful golden color cast on their skin and hair, plus it’ll contribute to the overall look of the photos.

    6. Use a slow shutter speed (and potentially a tripod) during blue hour

    Blue hour is the 20 to 30 minutes (sometimes less) after the sun has completely disappeared from view. Blue hour is a great time to photograph because of the beautiful colors like blue, orange, pink, and purple that come out after sunset. The lighting is a bit darker, so you may need a tripod.

    long exposure in the water at blue hour
    During the blue hour, you can get some additional light on your clients by facing them toward the spot where the sun has set.

    Ask your clients to hold still and attempt some slow shutter speed photos. Capturing movement in water can create a more fine-art beach portrait result.

    couple on a rock at night

    7. Try these beach portrait ideas…

    couple in the shade on the beach
    Cloudy days are perfect for beach portraits. However, you might not get an especially bright sunset (compared to a clear day).

    It doesn’t matter the time of day; it’s good to include variety in your beach portraits. For that, try some of these ideas:

    mother and sun on the beach and off the beach
    If you are waiting for the sun to go down a bit, you can take some portraits near trees that aren’t on the beach. This also adds variety to the final set of images.

    Beach portrait tips: conclusion

    Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re ready to capture some beautiful beach photos – so get out with your camera and have fun!

    Over to you:

    Do you have any tips for shooting at the beach? What’s your favorite beach photography lighting? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    couple on the beach with splashing waves

    Table of contents

    Portrait Photography

    The post How to Take Better Beach Portraits at Any Time of Day appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

    How to Take Better Beach Portraits at Any Time of Day

    https://digital-photography-school.com/?p=172358
    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DigitalPhotographySchool/~3/qfcR022T5JU/

    The post How to Take Better Beach Portraits at Any Time of Day appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

    Are you struggling to work with light during beach portrait photoshoots? You’re not alone. But while doing beach photography can be tough, don’t worry – because there are a few simple tips and tricks you can use to keep your beach portraits looking gorgeous, even at high noon. And that’s what this article is all […]

    The post How to Take Better Beach Portraits at Any Time of Day appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

    Sat, 17 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000