Friday 22 April 2011

Digital Photography Terms That You Should Understand And Know

Digital photography brings with it a whole new set of terms and abbreviations that requires getting used to if you've been using film cameras in the past. Many of the terms are totally unique to digital cameras and photography, and if you don't understand them there is a good chance that you won't be able to get the equipment that you really need for taking digital photographs. So let's review some of the most important digital photography terms to help you understand them.

   Pixel - everything in digital photography actually begins with the pixel. Simply put, it is the very smallest part of a digitized image. You can think of it as that when combined with lots of other dots around it, makes up an entire photo image

   Resolution - this usually has to do with the total number of pixels in a photograph, and the higher the resolution, generally the sharper and better quality the picture is.

   Megapixel - this simply stands for one million pixels. The more pixels that make up a photograph, the higher the resolution and better quality the image will be. So a digital camera that takes a one megapixel image will usually not have anywhere near the image quality of a camera that takes a four or five megapixel image. And the differences become even greater when the photograph is enlarged.

   DPI - this stands for dots per inch and often applies to printers or monitors. For instance, most laser printers have a resolution of around 300 dpi, whereas most monitors display only 72 dpi. Photo quality inkjet printers usually come in at least 1200 dpi.

   Megabyte - this stands for an amount of computer memory that is somewhere around one million bytes of file storage.

   JPEG - this acronym stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is now a recognized format for the storage of images is in most digital cameras.The JPEG format allows for quite a bit of image and file compression, making files that are in this format much easier to display on the internet and send to others by e-mail. However, the kind of image compression that is used by the JPEG format can also cause some loss of image quality and so is not suitable for high quality prints.

   Memory card - all digital cameras have to store the digital files on some kind of removable media, and most often it involves the use of a small memory card. These cards come in various sizes depending on how much storage space they have available. A few digital cameras are also able to store files directly on CDs instead.

   LCD - this stands for Liquid Crystal Display, and these are usually found on most digital cameras to help the photographer preview the scene before taking the photograph, and then review that image later on after the photo was taken.

These are the digital photography terms that are most commonly used today, and understanding them will help you better select and use the digital equipment that you buy.

Monday 11 April 2011

How to take a Photograph out of a Plane Window

Here’s a quick set of tips for those of us lucky enough to be taking a trip in a plane and wanting to get the classic ‘out of the window shot’ that often is featured early in a travel photo album.

One common mistake that people make with taking this shots is to put their camera’s lens right up against the glass of the plane window in the hope that it will help cut down on reflections and in the hope that it will steady their shot.

While it might help a little with reflections it generally does anything but steady the shot and will often usually increase camera shake’ due to the vibrations of the plane.

A better strategy, if you’re using a DSLR with a fitted lens, is to attach a lens hood to your lens and get in as close as you can to the window without actually touching it.

Alternatively, use your free hand to cup around the lens as much as you can to shield it from reflections.

Of course for high quality aerial shots you’ll want to shoot out an open window from an appropriate altitude – but then most of us are not in that league so the window seat on an airliner is our best option.

Here are five more tips that come to mind on photographing out a plane’s window:

1. Switch to Manual Focus
Quite often cameras get confused when shooting through glass (and on most planes its two or three scratched and marked sheets of glass). Switching to manual focussing mode and locking your focus on your main focal point can help a lot.

2. Shoot early in the Flight
Windows tend to ice up or get condensation on them once you’ve been flying for a longer period of time. Shoot early when you’re window is clearer and your shots will be better for it.

3. Be ready for the Plane Banking
It is difficult from an airliner to take shots of the ground (due to window size and the angles that are possible through them) but opportunities do present themselves for such shots on the few occasions that the plan banks before landing and after take off. The key is to be ready and to shoot fast as these moments don’t last long.

4. Turn off your Flash
For starters it’ll have no impact on your shot (its not strong enough to have an impact beyond a few meters) and secondly it’ll just cause reflections against the window.

5. Look for points of Interest
Sometimes the scenes out of plane windows seem quite spectacular to the eye but when you look at your photos they can be a little empty and un-inspirational. Look for a point of interest to bring your shot to life. It might be the wing or engine of the plane, it could be a cloud formation, another plane, a coastline, a change in the landscape below or a setting sun etc. It could even be something inside the plane.

Monday 4 April 2011

Photo catalog record

There are several important factors that photo to be taken into account for each catalog. Because a catalog photo is main purpose to help sell the product it is important to ensure that every single one of these important factors carefully considered is, deliver your brand the best chance of success in a highly competitive market.

One of the first factors that must be considered is clarity. Obviously, it makes sense to you, that your catalog shows photo should make sure the product in a unique way, clearly show the product in a way that is neither confusing nor distract so that customers who see best chance looks exactly like the product. This is easier said than done, of course, and there are many obstacles on the way to the creation of a photo of advertising this achieved. Many items of jewellery can look at the end like glass, mirror can reflect the Studio or the lights in a way that is disturbing and food can set up often clearly unfit, if you shoot a full, that number will take more than a few minutes. Clarity is important, but it is not the only factor taken into account.

Another element in the success or failure of a catalog is how effectively it stands out and attracts the attention not only of anyone, but your target group photo. If you ever have found captured your attention by a certain display, posters or photo that you well may questions would be, why. What was it about the special photo that your eye caught, and what was it about the many other images in the vicinity which are not? The answer is probably that the image or photo was designed to appeal to you in any way. Maybe it’s a lifestyle, aspirations, or attitude, but an advertising photo – receives it to not only clearly shows a product, it is effective also on sale.

A third question is to examine, society. This is important, because out there you need are your brand apart from many other companies to sell the same or similar products. It can only a pencil, but how can you it in a way that is both clear and appealing to your target audience, as well as it in an original way the appearance of photography? I find that most of your competitors show the whole pencil, the necessarily from a distance will be, and bearing in mind that you can show your product clearly by it very close up shot of only the top and first half inch of the pencil. Perhaps is a grainy, structured sheet parchment song with one artistic pencil mark elegantly positioned in shot, and a soft focus on the edges. This is just one way in which an image clearly can point in a way, the may appeal to your target hearings (calligrapher, artist, etc.) and it shows your product in a way that more than used by your competitors is original.

A fourth issue is cost, of course, because size for many small and medium-sized companies, the it impossible, the high cost of many professional catalog of photo studios applied provide can be. It is however worth bearing in mind that although you have seen prices announced, that are easy on your budget, means that’s not to say that it cannot not yet Studios ready to help you. In fact, there are professional Packshot photography studios invite less than professional catalog photo shoot, and they are almost certainly in a position ?10 for one to help, on the other three aspects to, including clarity, appeal and society provide. If you are looking to sell your product, rather than just admire how your warehouse is full, then make sure that everyone adheres catalog photo that you use to these four factors.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Photoshop is vital to your digital photography

The Lasso tool. This tool allows you to highlight an image that you have made in an image or an image you have opened in Adobe Photoshop. This marquee tool likes to have smooth hard edges to follow. If you a photograph that doesn't have a easy to follow edge around objects you will find it hard to use this tool. You have probably seen this when people cut their heads out of a picture and paste it onto somebody else's body. It is a very funny feature and this is the tool that does it! The lasso tool has three different variations. The second version is the Polygonal Lasso tool. This tool can make different shapes and curves when tracing around or cutting out a piece of an image. The third variation is the Magnetic Lasso tool that only works on images that have defined edges. The tool will clamp onto an edge and give it anchor points to shape the corners. This is good when you don't have that steady hand you used to have back in high school. I use this myself because I am not the man I used to be!

The next feature is the three types of Eraser tools. The most basic is the Eraser tool itself. You can change the size of the area that the eraser returns to the original background. The Background Eraser Tool does exactly what it states. It is able to erase the background without any use of changing layers. Once you have done this you can add in colors to make a new background at will. The Magic Eraser tool acts like the Magic Wand tool. It will erase an area based how it is clicked and verified.

Oddly enough, three more features that were previously hidden to the human eye are now available for you to view on the left menu. This time though the names have almost nothing to do with what they do. First up is the Dodge tool. This tool lightens an area on the image. The Burn tool darkens an area on the image and the Sponge tool changes the level of saturation on an area in the image. These all have their special purposes that you will come to find out about. Burn and Dodge are usually used for making shadows or erasing shadows.

The Path Selection tool and the Direct Selection tool are both used for paths. The Path Selection tool will allow you to select a path component even if it is surrounded by many different paths. The Direct Selection tool will only select a segment of a path. This is a way to reshape a segment to a different path after it has been created and saved.

The tools described below are a set of useful features that you may find useful in addition to some of the other options. I believe some of these tools are used in conjunction with the other tools. However, this makes it a little simpler if you want to do it the old fashioned way. First is the Eyedropper tool that helps sample color from an area. The Eyedropper tool is pretty basic though. The Color Sampler tool has a few more features that allow you to gather the color data from any layer without calling that layer. You can see levels of gradient or replace colors and shapes back to an image. The Ruler tool helps you measure things inside of an image if you are trying to be precise about how you do things. This helps if you are a web developer and you are trying to make every symmetrical and in order. I personally try to do this sometimes and have to slap myself. I like to be organized myself, but I don't want my websites to look so fine tuned that they would be passed up as not being original. The Count tool helps you count.

Have you always wanted to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop but you think that it's not possible? Think again. There are easy to use step by step guides on how to use every feature on Photoshop so you can start making pictures and design graphics that look like they've come right out of a magazine. You can get started by learning the basics like removing red eyes, creating 3D effects logo techniques (text swoosh) etc. Learning Photoshop in a couple hours is definitely a possibility. It won't take you that much time to view the tutorials and apply them, but as with everything practice makes perfect and this is no different. Once you learn how to use Photoshop it will only be a matter of time before you become an expert.

Monday 21 March 2011

Ten Tips for Better Flower Photographs

At a flower show , there is an enormous number of beautiful flowers. Don’t rush to photograph the first blossom you see. Find a plant with the best combination of form, color, lighting and background.

2. ISOLATION. For impact, isolate your subject. Find a camera angle that minimizes distracting elements, such as other flowers or spectators. Take the time to try low angles, high angles, or moving to the right or left. A wide lens aperture ( a lower-numbered f-stop on and SLR camera) will enhance this effect by softening the background.

3. COMPOSITION. Pay attention to the position of your subject in the viewfinder. Putting the subject in the dead-center of the picture is often the first instinct, but is not always the most aesthetic composition. Concentrate on what you see in the viewfinder, and recompose the picture until it looks the best to you. And don’t forget to try vertical framing, as well as horizontal.

4. TRIPOD. Because the light in parts of the Conventions Center (or building) is varied, you may be forced to use slow shutter speeds. In this situation, hand-holding your camera might result in vibrations and unsharp pictures. Use a tripod to steady your camera if it has a tripod screw-socket. If you don’t ( or can’t) use a tripod, try to steady your camera in other ways- nestle it on a bean bag or your coat; brace the camera against a wall; or at the very least, take a firm stance while shooting, with your legs slightly apart and your elbows braced. When using and SLR camera on a tripod, cable a release can significantly reduce unwanted vibrations.

5. PATIENCE. When photographing flowers outdoors, be aware of small breezes that might set the flowers in motion. Likewise, breezes can be caused indoors by the opening of a door or the brisk movement of people. For sharp picture, you must be prepared to wait for all movement to cease before releasing the shutter.

6. ENVIRONMENT. Wonderful photographs can be created by showing the relationship of you subject to its environment. A simple way to achieve this is with a wide- angle lens on a SLR camera, or the wide mode on a dual-lens or zoom lens point-&-shoot camera. Position your subject as close as possible in the foreground.

7. EXTREME CLOSE-UPS. Flowers take on an entirely different look when viewed in extreme close-up. Use your viewfinder indicators to move in as close as possible, while still maintaining sharp focus. If you are using a 35mm SLR camera, your macro (close-up) capabilities can be extended with accessories such as a macro lens, a macro teleconverter, or even screw-on supplementary close-up lenses or extension tubes for your present lenses.

8. THE WHOLE PICTURE. Consider the whole plant when you photograph, and not just the colorful bloom. Examine the fascinating textures and geometries of leaves, seed pods and fallen petals.

9. EXPERIMENT! Don’t be afraid to shoot a few extra pictures. Try different angles and different lighting. Also depict your subject from several different viewpoints.

10. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. If your picture don’t convey what you saw in your mind’s eye, ask yourself: “What went wrong?” If you study your mistakes, you will be rewarded wit a greater number successful photographs on your next outing.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

5 Simple But Crucial Digital Photography Tips

Digital Photography is a highly complex activity, with a steep learning curve and many advanced techniques that take years to master! However, we all have to start somewhere. So, here’s a list of 5 Great Tips that will ultimately help you improve your digital photography, and set you off on the right foot.

1. Use a Tripod or Bean-Bag.

Yes, these can be such a pain to carry around, but they’re definitely worth the time. Using a Tripod or alternative such as a bean-bag will add stability to your camera, meaning you have greater control over exposure times and composition. You’ll also never see that annoying camera shake ruin a picture again whilst using a tripod!

2. Get a High Capacity Memory Card.

Have you ever had one of those photography days which is going perfect? The light was great, your subjects look fantastic, the weather is holding off, your capturing the shots you only dreamed of…Then it happens.. Your Memory Card is full and you don’t have a spare! You could manually sort through and delete, but it’d take hours. It’s a much better idea to spend a bit more and invest in a high capacity memory card. They’re now available up to 8GB!!

3. Use a UV Filter.

Using a UV filter on your camera lens is a great idea. They’re small circular pieces of glass that screw over the end of your lens, and offer great protection from scratches, dust, finger prints and also filter out UV rays, improving the color of your images. Best of all they’re dirt cheap!!

4. Add Warmth To Your Tones.

The White-Balance settings on your digital SLR control the tonal effects of your images, so try experimenting with them. Don’t think that just because a setting is called ‘cloudy’ that you can only use it when it is cloudy! In fact, using the ‘cloudy’ setting when taking pictures adds warmth. Perfect for a sunset or evening landscape shot.

5. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot!

This will obviously depend on your memory card size as discussed in point 2, but is still very important in trying to get those great shots. Simply put, do not rely on a single shot to capture a great image. Imagine taking time finding a fantastic composition, only to find later that the shot you took has a lens flare or dark shadow in it! Its very frustrating indeed! Take several shots for each composition, try slightly changing the angle each time. This way you can compare and choose the best one later. Remember you can always delete the images you don’t want, that’s the beauty of Digital Photography!

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Portrait Photography Tips and Methods

Portrait is defined as, “A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer, for example.”

In the area of portrait photography there are some guidelines that you should consider when you go to take photos of people. 

The different types of portraits are: close-ups, facial shots, upper body shots or environmental portraits. Environmental portraits are where you focus on the subject and on their surroundings that provide more character to the subject. 

When people have a camera in their face it usually makes them nervous and they will try to put on a face that does not portray who they really are. The real skill to portrait photography is trying to capture photos when the subjects are comfortable and not worried about a camera. 

Many professional photographers try to capture their subject’s true essence by using tricks. One example of this is counting to three so the subject prepares and then while they are relaxing after taking a planned photo the photographer will snap a few more unplanned photos. In most cases the subject won’t even know that more than one photo was taken but it’s usually the photos that the subject wasn’t expecting that capture their true essence.
Another more common strategy professionals use is to tell funny jokes that make their subjects genuinely laugh or smile. I’m sure that you have probably experienced something like this yourself.
These usually have the subject’s shoulders and head or less. They are framed around the face. These are the most common and best at capturing expressions and glamour shots. For these it is very important to have the light coming from a good angle. To accent wrinkles or small details you should have the light coming from the side or from the top. To create flattering pictures you should choose a cloudy day or try to create diffused light so there are hardly any shadows. Also make sure the subject is brighter than the background to reduce distraction.
For close-up portraits you should use a wide aperture (low f/stop) to make the background out of focus and therefore less of a distraction. Professionals commonly use a fixed telephoto lens that’s 90 mm or higher for portraits in order to de-emphasize the subject’s nose or any other unflattering feature. It works because at that distance the nose or any other feature does not seem closer to the camera than the rest of the face. 

These are easier to capture because the subject is probably more relaxed because it’s less personal. These include a little more of the background than close-ups. These are commonly used for both single subjects and multiple subjects. This is the kind of portrait used to mark occasions such as graduation, yearbook, birthdays and other parties. The ideal lens would be about a 90 mm fixed telephoto or more wide angle depending on how many subjects there are. 

These are the portraits that let you into the life of a subject. They might include the whole subject in a scenario or the subject participating in some hobby that they enjoy. These are best for telling a story to the viewer about the subject. They are almost always used by photojournalists to look into the lives of interesting people. They also make great Black and White pictures. 

Use this information to develop what kind of portrait style you would like to take, and then practice it before dealing with any serious clients.