Anyone who has ever spent much time on the subway will understand that life underground is not drastically different from life above ground; almost anything that people will do at home, they will also do on the subway. This includes — but is by no means limited to — eating, sleeping, listening to music, arguing with family members, personal grooming/getting dressed. You get the idea. If you’re into photography, you may find the subway to be a paradise of sorts where, in spite of the confined space, life happens unabated.
Weather can be maddeningly fickle; this simple statement might be more or less accurate depending on where you live, but I’m quite certain that photographers in virtually every part of the world have had their plans foiled by unexpected and unwelcome changes in weather. What should you do if you ever find yourself confronted by bad weather? Here are a few ideas.
For the uninitiated, flash photography can be scary. There’s all this talk about lighting ratios and sync speed and…it gets to a point where some people just check out of the conversation and carry on using their pop-up flash, despite less than stellar results. But even those who have made the courageous move to at least experiment with off camera flash often find themselves hating the way their photos look. The most common cause of this unhappiness is due to using bare flash. It won’t matter if your settings are perfect, aiming a bare flash at your subject is sure to stand between you and photographic satisfaction. The good news is bare flash syndrome is easily averted — all you need to do is modify the light.
Lightroom is unquestionably a powerful image processing application; even if you were to make use of only its built-in tools, you (and your photos) would be in pretty good shape. But, as with anything, there’s always room for improvement. Fortunately, Lightroom makes it easy for users to fill in gaps left by the software. One of the most common ways of extending Lightroom’s usability and expanding its power is via the use of presets. Lightroom presets, in short, allow you to enhance (improve?) your photos in a simple, streamlined fashion. Two questions frequently asked relating to Lightroom presets include: “Where do I find them?” and “How do I install them?”
High key photography, when done properly, can yield some spectacular results. Originally developed, in part, as a means of overcoming the fact that early film and television were severely limited in their ability to handle high contrast situations, the technique was soon adopted by photographers as yet another creative way to express mood — typically a happy or energetic mood. While the high key look can be achieved in Photoshop, purists will insist on doing it the “right” way: using multiple light sources, bumping up exposure a bit, etc. True high key photography is not about overexposure; it is, rather, about bright, nondirectional lighting and a lack of contrast and shadows. Here are 16 radiant examples of high key imagery.
Macro photography isn’t something you can do by shooting from the hip like street photographers might do. There’s no doubt that you can take a relaxed approach to macro photography — plenty of macro shooters just grab their camera/macro lens combo and go out hunting for insects of whatever subjects might tickle their fancy. But […]
The appeal of macro photography should be obvious to most, whether you’ve ever made a macro photograph or not — it’s all about the wonder and fascination of being able to capture in fine, “life-size” proportion the details of things otherwise beyond the scope of what the naked eye is capable of discerning. Macro photography can also prove to be a formidable challenge for many shooters, as the levels of precision, persistence, and patience needed to produce a satisfactory image are arguably of greater importance than some other genres of photography.
Less is more. It has become a rather trite expression, but that doesn’t make it any less true. There are times when creative works benefit by being constructed from only the bare essentials, no extraneous stuff. No distractions. Minimalism, or the use of stripped-down design elements, is about, as comedian Bob Newhart once declared, “saying the most with the least.” It’s not always necessary to fill the frame in order to make an interesting photograph. To be sure, minimalism is wide open to interpretive flourishes; macro, negative space, and abstract photography can also be minimalist photography. This a highly effective artistic strategy, beautifully demonstrated in the images in this post.
Indoor sports are in full swing this time of year. And while indoor sports like basketball are fun to watch, they can be frustrating to photograph, mainly due to poor lighting conditions. If you’ve been wondering how to get better shots of your kids’ basketball games (many of the ideas here will also apply to other indoor sports such as volleyball or gymnastics), the tips that follow should help get you on your way.
There really is no definitive list of elements that contribute to a great image; ask 10 experienced photographers and you’ll get nearly as many different opinions, which is great, because there’s no right or wrong when it comes to creativity. But if you listen to enough people with insight, you’ll begin to find some common themes about how to create great photos. Here are but five of those commonly recurring ideas.