In this tutorial, we will take a look at Nik Software’s Silver Effects Pro 2 plugin for Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom. This lesson will introduce you to quickly creating amazing black-and-white photos with breath taking detail. w00t!
This tutorial will show you how to quickly strip colors from your photo to emphasize more on your subject, and change the overall emotion of the scene. We will utilize a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in Adobe Photoshop to quickly achieve this effect. w00t!
This tutorial will show you how to backup your photography and important assets to the cloud via Jungle Disk. Give your client the peace-of-mind of knowing their photography is safe in your hands; even in the worst case scenario.
This quick tutorial will demonstrate how to apply a simple photoshop effect on your wedding photography to get a dreamy, surreal look. It also cautions you on getting a bit too crazy with it.
Have you ever watched an old movie from the 1950’s and found that it was not quite as exciting as a movie today? Well, cinematography has changed quite a bit since then and I am not talking about the explosive special effects department. One of the biggest factors utilized by the great Alfred Hitchcock, is the rotation of shots at different angles and proximity in one scene. Could you imagine if you watched a 90-minute movie where the shot never changed? There is a good chance that you might fall asleep before it ends.
In both the cinematography and photography industry, these “rotating shots” are often called: an establishing-shot, where the scene is established (think of Seinfeld when they introduce the outside of the restaurant or Jerry’s apartment), then there is the long-shot where you would see full body shots of the characters in their environment (in this case, inside the building). Next you might see a medium-shot from a different angle of the waist up, this might be of Jerry pouring milk into a glass behind a counter. If you watch drama television shows such as Law and Order, the show may cut to a close-up-shot of the face of a subject during an interrogation so the audience can connect to the character and feel the emotion of the scene. Sometimes the show may give you a glimpse of the room or environment such as cutting away to the clock on the wall or the subject fidgeting with a pen, this is called a “cut away”. The cut away shot helps build a sense of place and timing.
All of these “rotating shots” help build a progression of emotion, much like how music builds up and builds down with different instruments. It is a method for telling a story without boring the viewer. I would like to point out that the word “STORY” is the magic ingredient that many photographers in all genres forget. When you fail to tell the story, you have lost the essential purpose of photography. Composition and framing is only 50% of a great photo.
If you are still wondering what all of this has to do with photography, as I stated before, many of us photographers need to remember that when we are covering a shoot, we need to keep two very important things in mind; 1) Know our subject or story and ensure that we are composing the scene and the initial shot to let our audience build a natural correct assumption of what is going on without words. 2) Switch our lenses and change our angles like a good movie would. Don’t be a photographer who shoots an event all with one lens or your portfolio and albums will be like a movie that never changes shots.
In photojournalism, a good photographer much like a great cinematographer will know that they need a series of different shots and different angles. If you are just starting your journey into photography and don’t have the budget to buy new lenses, try using the next best thing to give some variety to your portfolio, “your feet” to create distance between you and your subject. Interview the subject or investigate thoroughly what your photography assignment will be. Learn the story and try to visualize colors and lighting that will express that story (such as a dark mood could be express with dark red and black colors with harsh shadows and minimal light).
I recall one of my great mentors, Chip Maury, a veteran combat photographer and professor at Syracuse University telling me “If you would like to learn more about being a great photojournalist, try looking at comic books or picking up a book on cinematography.” Remember the key to both of these traits is being a great storyteller, not someone who knows all the technical details about photography.
I found myself in a position when I was a young graphic designer where I grew tired of scouring the Internet for the perfect image to match my vision or a simple image to meet the client’s expectation. I also found it a bit annoying that there were many restrictions on textures and certain photos that were fairly easy to find (via Google image search). I grew very frustrated as a graphic designer trying to play the photography copyright and search game. These frustrations grew into my desire of wanting to take my own photos. I noticed a friend of mine was selling a Minolta Dimage 7i, and so my journey of photography begins.
The first thing I did much like many newbie photographers was totally avoid reading the instructions and went strait for shooting. I took pictures of plants, streets, cars, rusty stop signs and so on. I thought to myself that photography was super freaking easy and it did not require too much talent or skill (I will come back to this later). I was shooting everything with auto ISO, and in program exposure mode for a year simply because I never bothered to take two hours of my time to learn what these features did.
I posted these photos in forums and showed them to my mom. I was relished with “you’re an awesome photographer” and “wow your just too awesome, you the best photographer ever!”. All of these comments from people who had no idea about photography went strait to my head and this gave me an even greater incentive on why I never needed to bother reading the manual or simply just try to learn my equipment.
I soon found myself giving other people advice on photography and camera equipment that I honestly never really knew too much about. I was quickly becoming a very arrogant artist and I had nothing to be arrogant about. Today I look back at the photos I took and I realize how much I regret that attitude. My start in photography however did expose that I naturally understood the rule of thirds and good composition but I had no idea about exposure and how to mold lighting to truly bring out the beauty of a photo.
It was not until I joined Combat Camera where my mentor taught me the art of photography and showed me that not everyone who picks up a camera can take a great photo. I showed him a few pictures, which I considered were my best work in Lake Tahoe of the mountains and the lake. He totally ripped me apart and told me that a five year old could take these photos with a point and shoot camera. He explained to me that a mountain and a lake never move. My photo could be duplicated easily by someone standing in the same spot I was. The true value of art and photography is to have something that no one else can duplicate. You may have learned about this little thing in your economics class as scarcity (it’s so rare, it builds value over time). My mentor went on to explain in the case of photojournalism that the art of it is to find a moment within a split second that can never be captured again. He flipped open a copy of National Geographic and showed me a tear jerking photo of a girl crying in front of her burned house in Texas. I thought to myself “wow that’s a moment”. Not only did the photographer who took this amazing photograph have to capture the moment but they also had to quickly frame it and ensure it was optimized for the best exposure.
It was not until I was sent out for my first few times as a combat photographer that I truly understood what it was like to be a real photographer, not someone who just bought a camera and was told by their mother that they take beautiful photos. I soon felt so ashamed and embarrassed about my photography knowledge that I grabbed the manual for my command issued Nikon D2X and learned every aspect of the camera. I searched the Internet for tutorials and feed my hunger to be a better photographer. Soon this hunger built an extraordinary passion that taught me photography is not just about learning the body of the camera or how to compose a great shot but it is a journey that has many variables that you must learn to control and understand. A photographer must come to terms that they always continue learning their craft. There is no such thing as the best photographer, only a better one.
If you are starting off, avoid the mistakes I made. Learn to be humble and embrace your graphic design skills. Read the manual and find a photography mentor that can guide you and show you why photography is an art form that can be very challenging but very rewarding!
Wedding photography has been going through a period of change. Traditional wedding photographers line people up and take posed photos. While they typically take some “candid” wedding photos what you see is what you get. The latest option for wedding photographs is to have them taken by a wedding photojournalist.
A photojournalist is a photographer who tells a story through pictures. Much of the wedding day will be captured through a series of interesting and unique photos. A photojournalist uses a variety of lenses and angles that will help to snap the best photos of your wedding day.
When you choose a photojournalist you can expect her to take a large array of photos throughout the day. You may not always see where the photographer is at all times but you can be sure that she’s in the midst of taking a spectacular photo. The result will be a wonderful and unique variety of photographs that show emotion and capture the mood of the day.
The photojournalist will capture many unique moments throughout the day – moments even you may not have noticed. The best photos are those that are taken when least expected however a good photographer will take planned photos as well. The photojournalist is particularly adept at finding and capturing wonderful moments throughout the day.
Photojournalists are exceptional photographers. They are more versatile than other photographers. Photojournalism is one of the most difficult arts to master. While almost anyone can snap pictures of people standing in poses it takes the creative experience of an artist to take photojournalistic photos.
A photojournalist is ready to take a photo at any given moment. Suddenly she’ll see a perfect look or an interesting subject and will capture it for you on film. A photojournalist is used to taking photos on the fly so you’ll find this type of photographer is the perfect choice for a busy wedding. The photojournalist can take whatever comes her way and make something great out of it.
The photojournalist enjoys the excitement of the day and is constantly looking for photos that will capture the essence of your special day. When you choose a photojournalist you can expect to get plenty of interesting photos that consist of both planned and unplanned moments.
Your wedding day will be memorialized forever in wedding photos. The best photos are often those that are taken using natural light. Have your wedding on a sunny day to ensure that your wedding photos will be the best they can be.
Choose a ceremony location that has plenty of natural light. Sunlight coming in through windows or skylights will help the photographer create beautiful photos. Be sure to check with the church to find out if they allow flash photography. Even if the weather is cloudy there will still be some natural light. Natural light is best for wedding photographs.
Time of Day
Carefully choose the time of your wedding. Midday may produce harsh shadows that may require your photographer to use additional lighting. The best natural lighting is typically in the few hours before sunset. Check out the location on a similar time of day to see what the lighting will be like inside and outdoors.
Take Outdoor Photos
Add some time into your wedding day itinerary for some outdoor photos. Choose a nearby location to take outdoor photos. A good time to take these photos is often between the wedding ceremony and the reception. Check the outdoor area of your church or reception venue to find alternate options for outdoor photos.
Talk to your photographer to determine the lighting options that are open to you. In dimly lit locations your photographer will need to use artificial light, which can detract from her ability to take spontaneous photos. Visit the reception venue prior to your wedding day to determine what the lighting needs are.