Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Learn Wedding Photography - Preparation Basics For The Big Day

Pix by Visuallens

Like many professionals, Tom Jackson began his
career by shooting weddings. You can make a substantial income shooting weddings with very little overhead. He would like to share with you of his experiences in this article.

If you have been used to taking photos with a traditional camera and film, you may be surprised at how easy it can be to lose a whole memory card full of pictures, because of seemingly simple errors. With a film camera. it does not matter if the battery gives out right at the time you take a photo. The only problem that might occur, is that you lose that one shot. You just rewind the film, and you are good to go. As great as digital is, there are pitfalls that can really bite you if you do not prepare for them.

You need to make time to plan ahead whenever you are about to take important photos for any event, be it a wedding, graduation or even a family day out sightseeing in a new city. And the reason for the time? Lets take a deeper look. Each of the points I cover here carry the same weight as the other. In other words, do all of the following to make sure that you have a successful day, taking wonderful photos for you and the subjects.

1. Make sure that all your batteries are fully charged.

If your camera uses a proprietary battery, then you need to make sure that it is fully charged before you start the days event. Depending on how many photos you may take on the day, (see, more planning), you may need to buy an extra battery and have it fully charged as well. A lot of the smaller compact cameras, and even the larger DSLRs, often take special built batteries. They can be quite expensive, but if you think you might be taking a large number of photos, then it will be to your benefit to purchase an extra battery. It will always come in handy in the future, so it will never be a waste of your money.
2. Make sure that you have enough memory
cards to hold all of the photos you will be taking on the day.

Many of the smaller compact cameras can
only take smaller capacity memory cards. So, if you are planning on taking photos for a special days event, then it would be wise to make sure that you have one or two spare memory cards. Also, be aware, that if your camera can take the larger capacity memory cards, and you think you can take all the photos on just one large card, then you also need to consider that if you have problems with that card, you will lose all the images from the day. That’s why I often suggest having two or three cards available, so that if anything were to happen to one of your cards, you would still have images on the other cards. Some of the larger capacity cards available these days, can store hundreds and even thousands of images before you need to change to a new card. I can only imagine the pain of losing a card with hundreds of irreplaceable images.

3. Before you start the days event, make sure that you format the memory cards and get them prepared for the days event.

Be sure to format the card in the camera you will be using for the days event. Industry experts all agree that the best way to format and prepare a memory card, is to do it in the camera you will be using. Do not format the card using your computer. By using the cameras, it ensures that you have maximum compatibility. Also, if there is going to be a problem with the card, this is most often the time where the problem will show up. If the card does not format properly in the camera, then do not use that card during the event, but try and rectify the problem when you return home. Never try and use a card that shows any sign of a problem. It is just not worth the effort. You can try all kinds of things once you get home and have the time to spend and diagnose the problem.

4. Never use a memory card in more than one kind of camera without formatting the card.

You run the risk of causing problems if you take a card out of one camera and use it in another camera that is not the same make and model. Most cameras will write the file a little differently, and so if you use the card in a different camera, you again run the risk of losing images. If you intend to use a card in a different camera, that make sure that you copy all the files onto your computer, and then format the card in the other camera before use.

5. Part of the reason for item 1 above (fully charged batteries), is not just to make sure you have enough power to take photos during the days event, but also to ensure that the camera will not power off during writing a file to the memory card. If the camera battery fails while writing a file, you will not only lose that image, but the rest of the images on the card may be lost forever. A memory card is just like a computer hard drive. It has a directory and file structure so that the camera and your computer know where the files are, how many files are on the card, and how big the files are. If the camera fails during writing a file to the card, it can corrupt the card, just like a hard drive crash. Also, never take a card out of the camera while the file is still being written to the card. Always make sure that if you need to remove the card after taking a photo, wait a few seconds to make sure the file has been written to the card to avoid problems.

6. When it comes time to move your photos onto your computer’s hard drive, I suggest that you use a memory card reader and not the camera. Again, it is always possible that the camera’s battery could fail during the process to copy the photos over to your hard drive. This will not usually be a problem, but it could cause the card to become corrupt and therefore potentially lose your images. Also, it is usually much faster to use a memory card reader to transfer your images. Card readers are very inexpensive, and you have a choice of using a multi format reader or one designed just for the card type your camera uses. They are so cheap, that I always carry one with me so that if I need to, I can either copy files to a computer that happens to be at the location I am shooting, or to display some of the images onto the computer monitor for the client or subjects to see right away.

So, if you would really like to lose all those treasured photos, if you really want to have the hassle of explaining to your client, family or friends that you have lost all of the images you took, then just ignore these tips. You will lose some money, some friends and have to endure the wrath of some potentially very angry people. And you will lose the word of mouth advertising that can end up making you a lot of money over the years. There are wedding photographers who consistently make well into the 6 figure income. And in the US alone, the wedding photography market is in excess of five billion dollars a year. Not a bad market to be in.

So, if you follow these simple steps, you will ensure that your images will be saved, and everyone will live happily ever after. OK, well, maybe we do not need to be that melodramatic, but I am sure you get the picture (pun intended). Your clients will be happy, you will be happy, and your wallet will be happy. Plus, you get the benefit and the pride of knowing that you did a good job and that a small part of you will live on and be enjoyed by generations of people looking at your photos. Just like an artist has people viewing their paintings. It just does not get better than that. Enjoy.

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You can get more info on wedding photography, cameras and computer image editing, and see examples of his work, or get more info on how to start your own business http://howtoshootweddings.net or for free hints and tips visit the blog http://learnweddingphotography.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Digital Photography Secrets For Creating Tack Sharp Shots

Story By: Pat Lyne Pix by HomePhotography

Whether you are a beginner or serious photographer,  this is an article by Pat Lyne, to share with you the tips how to take a sharp and focus photo.

There are lots of ingredients to making a spectacular photograph, but the most important is for the picture to be in sharp focus. Even the slightest blur takes away from the picture, no matter how good the subject, lighting and color.

Photographers have somewhat varying opinions on what constitutes a tack sharp picture, but generally, a tack sharp photograph has good, clean lines. The picture has clear definition, instead of a soft blending of lines, or even downright blurry.

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting that coveted tack sharp picture.

Hand-Held Digital Photography Tips

If you’re hand-holding your camera, brace your arms against your sides to help steady the camera. If your camera has anti-shake technology such as Vibration Reduction (VR) or Image Stabilization (IS) lens that can be switched on and off, this is the time to have it turned on.

You can also lean against a wall or tree or whatever sturdy object that’s handy, and help keep yourself and your camera steady. Alternatively, lean or lay your camera or lens on some readily available sturdy object to help steady the camera.

Steadying your camera by hooking the strap under your elbow and wrapping the rest around your forearm will also help stabilize the camera and hold it steady in your hand.

Getting those tack sharp photos while hand-holding your camera can be difficult, so to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot, use the burst or continuous shooting mode on your camera to take several shots at once. That increases your chances that at least one of the pictures will be in sharp focus.

Tripods For Better Focus

There’s no getting around the fact that it’s easier to get a tack sharp photo using a tripod. You just can’t hold the camera as steady as a tripod will. And like most things in life, with a tripod you get what you pay for. A cheap tripod will help, but won’t hold your camera rock steady like a more expensive tripod will. The moral of the story is to buy the best tripod you can reasonably afford.

The more expensive tripods don’t come with the head attached. You have to buy it separately, but that means you get to choose what suits you best. To get a sharp photo, buy a quality ballhead that won’t let your camera slowly slide to one side.

If you’re somewhere that carrying a tripod just won’t work, beanbags make a nice cushion for cameras in these settings. They cushion your camera, helping to steady it and increase your ability to situate the camera to focus on the subject you want.

To improve your chances of a tack sharp photo even more, use a cable release instead of pressing the shutter. It may not seem like much, but the movement from pressing the shutter will make the camera move enough to prevent getting those tack sharp photos.

If you don’t have a cable release, the self timer will also work. It allows you to press the shutter, while giving the camera time to stabilize before it actually takes the picture.

More Advanced Digital Photography Secrets For Sharp Shots

If you have a digital SLR camera, there are even more ways to make sure your camera stays steady while taking pictures.

The first is to use mirror lock-up. This locks your camera’s mirror in the up position so when you take a picture the mirror doesn’t move until after the picture is taken, limiting the movement inside the camera. This means to take a picture, you will have to press the shutter release button twice on 
your remote or cable release (you’re not going to all this trouble and pressing the shutter release on the camera are you?). The first press lifts the mirror and the second press actually takes the picture.

The second method is to turn off the Vibration Reduction or Image Stabilization. That may sound counter productive, but when you’ve stabilized your camera with a tripod and other methods, the vibration reduction keeps looking for shakes/movements. If there isn’t any movement, the vibration 
reduction actually causes some shaking while looking. A good rule of thumb is to keep these turned off when shooting with a tripod, and only turn them on when you’re hand-holding the camera.

One last way to increase the sharpness of your pictures is to have good glass. The lens you use makes a big difference. A quality lens with good glass is more expensive of course, but it’s another instance of getting what you pay for. Think of it as an investment in great photos.

Use as many methods as you can to steady your camera, and you’ll have a much better chance of getting those lovely tack sharp photographs.

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Digital Photography Tips has information on digital cameras, digital photography and more at 


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ten Tips For Working With Macro Digital Photography

Photo by pixellens
Macro photography is a fun way to get close up shots look stunning. If you want to get technical, the real definition of macro is the image on the film or sensor being as big as the actual subject. In this case, the camera lens must have the capability to focus on an area as small as approximately 24×36mm because this size is the size of the image on the sensor. This is frequently referred to magnification of 1:1.
What makes macro photography so enjoyable is that it’s intensely creative and powerfully flexible. You have a lot many opportunities around you right now then you think for macro photography. And you don’t need expensive digital photography equipment to do it, in fact the secret is in your lens.

Before we get into lenses in full detail, if you’re starting out in macro this type of photographic category can be a helpful starter to gaining new knowledge very quickly. You can learn new tricks and have fun experimenting in the comfort of your own home. Here are ten tips to getting sensationally clear, beautiful up close macro shots;

1. Always use a tripod. It’s important to get yourself a good quality tripod. A poor quality tripod will slip, and won’t hold the camera steady. You will get a lot of use from your tripod, so see it as an investment. You can use a good tripod for table work too, which is ideal for taking macro shots of flowers in a vase in your own home.

2. Look at your lens. It’s very important to get some good extension from your lens when taking macro shots. If you already own a macro lens have a look at the 2x tele-converter to double its effective focal length. A tele-converter lens will work to provide greater maximum magnification at the minimum focusing distance.

3. Use a shutter release cable. Using one of these very handy things will reduce any potential vibrations, movement or harmful blur. Add a self timer to your macro along with your shutter release cable to add razor sharpness to your images.

4. Don’t forget your mirror lock-up if you have this available to reduce camera vibration, movement or blur even more.

5. Remember that aperture affects depth of field. Using an aperture of between f16 and f32 is a good place to work with. You can also use a while aperture such as f2.8 which will give you a very shallow depth of field and then you can be very selective on what you want to focus on.

6. For beautiful flowers or parts of trees or bushes, remember a windy day will just frustrated you as it will most likely create blur and it will be very hard to capture your flower well. Try cutting it off the branch (if possible) and bring it inside. You can peg it up or put it in a vase to keep it still and out of the wind.

7. Keep a clean background in mind. A background with a lot of busyness is distracting. It will take the viewers eye off your main subject. Try a pure white background to emphasize cleanliness, or a pure black background to enhance bold colour. You can use neutral tones for macro such as pale blue or brown. All you have to do is use coloured 

8. Break the rules. I have never listened to anyone when taking macro pictures. I love to take weird, unusual, totally abstract subjects to include in my macro collection. You can also use metal as an interesting subject. (Jewellery, pins, forks, spoons, etc.)

9. If you don’t have adequate lighting then use your own. Don’t be afraid to use a lamp, or flash off-side, but not too close. You don’t want to overexpose your subject. You can try a torch if you like to create interesting shadows. And don’t forget black and white macro shots look fantastic too.

10. If you use a low ISO such as ISO 50 for example, just remember you’ll get better results for your macro shots. Since you should be using a tripod, a low ISO should not hinder you. Its fine to use anywhere from ISO 50 to ISO 200 for your macro shots. Any higher and you’d be getting nosier images. I’ve always set the ISO to the lowest setting when dong macro, such as ISO 50. I would recommend to use a noise reduction filter on your camera if possible or you can use some very nifty tricks for reducing noise after the shot has been taken. (See my blog with article about reducing noise at: www.DigitalPhotography.WordPress.com) If possible try shooting in RAW mode for the absolute best in image control at the post process level.

You will get a lot of inspiration by looking at images from professional photographers. Look and learn and then find your own style.

By Amy Renfrey

Article Source: http://www.content.onlypunjab.com

Monday, September 8, 2008

Top Ten Digital Photography Tips

Story by Derrick Story, author of Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition

You’ve heard this before: Digital cameras do all the work. You just push the button and great pictures magically appear. The better the camera, the better the photos. Isn’t that right? Heck no!

The truth is that you can make great photos with a simple consumer point-and-shoot camera, or take lousy shots with the most expensive Nikon. It’s not the camera that makes beautiful images; it’s the photographer. With a little knowledge and a willingness to make an adjustment here and there, you can squeeze big time photos out of the smallest digicam.

To help you down the road to great image making, here are ten tips that will enable you shoot like a pro (without maxing out your credit card on all that expensive equipment).

1. Warm Up Those Tones

Have you ever noticed that your shots sometimes have a cool, clammy feel to them? If so, you’re not alone. The default white balance setting for digital cameras is auto, which is fine for most snapshots, but tends to be a bit on the “cool” side.

When shooting outdoor portraits and sunny landscapes, try changing your white balance setting from auto to cloudy. That’s right, cloudy. Why? This adjustment is like putting a mild warming filter on your camera. It increases the reds and yellows resulting in richer, warmer pictures.

If you don’t believe me, then do a test. Take a few outdoor shots with the white balance on auto, then take the same picture again with the setting on cloudy. Upload the images to your computer and look at them side by side. My guess is that you’ll like the warmer image better.

2: Sunglasses Polarizer

If you really want to add some punch to your images, then get your hands on a polarizing filter. A polarizer is the one filter every photographer should have handy for landscapes and general outdoor shooting. By reducing glare and unwanted reflections, polarized shots have richer, more saturated colors, especially in the sky.

What’s that you say? Your digital camera can’t accommodate filters. Don’t despair. I’ve been using this trick for years with my point-and-shoot cameras. If you have a pair of quality sunglasses, then simply take them off and use them as your polarizing filter. Place the glasses as close to the camera lens as possible, then check their position in the LCD viewfinder to make sure you don’t have the rims in the shot.

If your camera doesn’t accept filters, then you can still achieve the effects of a polarizer by placing your sunglasses over the lens. Figure 2a is shot normally without any filtration. Figure 2b is shot during the same session, but with sunglasses placed over the lens. Notice the enhanced colors and deeper sky tones. (Canon PowerShot S200, Program mode)

Without a filter.
Figure 2a.

With a filter.
Figure 2b.

For the best effect, position yourself so the sun is over either your right or left shoulder. The polarizing effect is strongest when the light source is at a 90-degree angle from the subject.

3. Outdoor Portraits That Shine

One of the great hidden features on digital cameras is the fill flash or flash on mode. By taking control of the flash so it goes on when you want it to, not when the camera deems it appropriate, you’ve just taken an important step toward capturing great outdoor portraits.

In flash on mode, the camera exposes for the background first, then adds just enough flash to illuminate your portrait subject. The result is a professional looking picture where everything in the composition looks good. Wedding photographers have been using this technique for years.

With fill flash.
Figure 3. By placing the subjects in the open shade beneath a tree and turning on the fill flash, both the boys and the background are properly exposed. (Canon PowerShot G2, 1/250th at f-4, flash on)

After you get the hang of using the flash outdoors, try a couple variations on this theme by positioning the subject so the sun illuminates the hair from the side or the back, often referred to as rim lighting. Another good technique is to put the model in the shade under a tree, then use the flash to illuminate the subject. This keeps the model comfortable and cool with no squinty eyes from the harsh sun, and this often results in a more relaxed looking portrait.

Remember, though, that most built-in camera flashes only have a range of 10 feet (or even less!), so make sure you don’t stand too far away when using fill flash outdoors.

4. Macro Mode Madness

Remember as a kid discovering the whole new world beneath your feet while playing on the grass? When you got very close to the ground, you could see an entire community of creatures that you never knew existed.

These days, you might not want to lie on your belly in the backyard, but if you activate the close up mode on your digital camera and begin to explore your world in finer detail, you’ll be rewarded with fresh new images unlike anything you’ve ever shot before.

Even the simplest object takes on new fascination in macro mode. And the best part is that it’s so easy to do with digital cameras.

Close up mode.
Figure 4. Nature looks much different, and sometimes more compelling, at close range. (Canon PowerShot G2, Programmed exposure, spot meter, Close Up mode, flash off)

Just look for the close up or macro mode icon, which is usually a flower symbol, turn it on, and get as close to an object as your camera will allow. Once you’ve found something to your liking, hold the shutter button down halfway to allow the camera to focus. When the confirmation light gives you the go ahead, press the shutter down the rest of the way to record the image.

Keep in mind that you have very shallow depth of field when using the close up mode, so focus on the part of the subject that’s most important to you, and let the rest of the image go soft.

5. Horizon Line Mayhem

For some mysterious reason, most human beings have a hard time holding the camera level when using the LCD monitors on their digicams. The result can be cockeyed sunsets, lopsided landscapes, and tilted towers.

Part of the problem is that your camera’s optics introduce distortion when rendering broad panoramas on tiny, two-inch screens. Those trees may be standing straight when you look at them with the naked eye, but they seem to be bowing inward on your camera’s monitor. No wonder photographers become disoriented when lining up their shots.

Finding horizontal lines.
Figure 5. How do you square up an image in the LCD viewfinder so it appears “level” when you view it later on the computer? Look for nature’s horizontal lines and use them as guides. Sometimes you can use the line where the sky meets the ocean, other times you can use a strip of land as your level. In this case I used the shoreline of a mountain lake to help me align this composition. (Canon PowerShot G2, Aperture Priority exposure set to f-8, polarizer filter)

What can you do? Well, there’s no silver bullet to solve all of your horizon line problems, but you can make improvements by keeping a few things in mind.

First of all, be aware that it’s important to capture your images as level as possible. If you’re having difficulty framing the scene to your liking, then take your best shot at a straight picture, reposition the camera slightly, take another picture, and then maybe one more with another adjustment. Chances are very good that one of the images will “feel right” when you review them on the computer. Simply discard the others once you find the perfectly aligned image.

If you practice level framing of your shots, over time the process will become more natural, and your percentage of level horizon lines will increase dramatically.

6: Massive Media Card

When you’re figuring out the budget for your next digital camera, make sure you factor in the purchase of an additional memory card. Why? Because the cards included with your new high-tech wonder toy are about as satisfying as an airline bag of peanuts when you’re dying of hunger.

If you have a 3 megapixel camera, get at least a 256MB card, 512MBs for 4 megapixel models, and 1GB for for 6 megapixels and up.

That way you’ll never miss another shot because your memory card is full.

7: High Rez All the Way

One of the most important reasons for packing a massive memory card is to enable you to shoot at your camera’s highest resolution. If you paid a premium price for a 6 megapixel digicam, then get your money’s worth and shoot at 6 megapixels. And while you’re at it, shoot at your camera’s highest quality compression setting too.


Why not squeeze more images on your memory card by shooting a lower resolution and low quality compression settings? Because you never know when you’re going to capture the next great image of the 21st century. And if you take a beautiful picture at the low 640 x 480 resolution, that means you can only make a print about the size of a credit card, not exactly the right dimensions for hanging in the museum.

On the other hand, if you recorded the image at 2272 x 1704 (4 megapixels) or larger, then you can make a lovely 8- x 10-inch photo-quality print suitable for framing or even for gracing the cover of Time magazine. And just in case you were able to get as close to the action as you had liked, having those extra pixels enables you to crop your image and still have enough resolution to make a decent sized print.

The point is, if you have enough memory (and you know you should), then there’s no reason to shoot at lower resolution and risk missing the opportunity to show off your work in a big way.

8: Tolerable Tripod

I once overheard someone say, “He must be a real photographer because he’s using a tripod.” Well, whether or not you use a tripod has nothing to do with you being a true photographer. For certain types of shots though, these three-legged supports can be very useful.

The problem is tripods are a pain in the butt to carry around. They are bulky, unwieldily, and sometimes downright frustrating. Does the phrase “necessary evil” come to mind?

For digital shooters there’s good news: the UltraPod II by Pedco. This compact, versatile, ingenious device fits in your back pocket and enables you to steady your camera in a variety of situations. You can open the legs and set it on any reasonable flat surface such as a tabletop or a boulder in the middle of nowhere. But you can also employ its Velcro strap and attach your camera to an available pole or tree limb.

The UltraPod II.
Figure 6. The UltraPod II is lightweight and affordable (less than $20 typically).

You might not need a tripod that often, but when you do, nothing else will work. Save yourself the pain and money of a big heavy lug of a pod, and check out the svelte UltraPod. Yes, then you too can be a real photographer.

9: Self Timer Fun

Now that you have your UltraPod in hand, you can explore another under-used feature found on almost every digital camera: theself timer. This function delays the firing of the shutter (after the button has been pushed) for up to 10 seconds, fixing one of the age old problems in photography: the missing photographer.

Hey, just because you’ve been donned as the creative historian in your clan, that doesn’t mean that your shining face should be absent from every frame of the family’s pictorial accounting. You could hand your trusty digicam over to strangers while you jump in the shot, but then you take the chance of them dropping, or even worse, running off with your camera.

Instead, attach your UltraPod, line up the shot, activate the self timer, and get in the picture. This is usually a good time to turn on the flash to ensure even exposure of everyone in the composition (but remember that 10 foot flash range limit!). Also, make sure the focusing sensor is aimed at a person in the group and not the distant background, or you’ll get very sharp trees and fuzzy family members.

Self timers are good for other situations, too. Are you interested in making long exposures of cars driving over the Golden Gate Bridge at dusk? Once again, secure your camera on a tripod, then trip the shutter using the self timer. By doing so, you prevent accidental jarring of the camera as you initiate the exposure.

10. Slow Motion Water

I come from a family where it’s darn hard to impress them with my artsy pictures. One of the few exceptions happened recently when my sister commented that a series of water shots I had shown her looked like paintings. That was close enough to a compliment for me.

What she was responding to was one of my favorite types of photographs: slow motion water. These images are created by finding a nice composition with running water, then forcing the camera’s shutter to stay open for a second or two, creating a soft, flowing effect of the water while all the other elements in the scene stay nice and sharp.

You can create a painterly effect with moving water by mounting your camera on a tripod and slowing the shutter to an exposure of 1 second or longer. (Canon PowerShot G2, Aperture priority set to f-8, shutter speed 1 second, polarizer filter, UltraPod II tripod)

With slowed shutter speed.
Figure 7a.

With slowed shutter speed.
Figure 7b.

You’ll need a tripod to steady the camera during the long exposure, and you probably should use the self timer to trip the shutter. If you camera has an aperture priority setting, use it and set the aperture to f-8, f-11, or f-16 if possible. This will give you greater depth of field and cause the shutter to slow down.

Ideally, you’ll want an exposure of one second or longer to create the flowing effect of the water. That means you probably will want to look for streams and waterfalls that are in the shade instead of the bright sunlight.

Another trick is to use your sunglasses over the lens to darken the scene and create even a longer exposure. Plus you get the added bonus of eliminating distracting reflections from your composition.

Final Thoughts

Most digital cameras, even the consumer point-and-shoot models, have a tremendous amount of functionality built into them. By applying a little ingenuity and creativity, you can take shots that will make viewers ask, “So what kind of camera do you have?”

You can tell them the answer, but inside, you’ll know it’s not the camera responsible for those great pictures. It’s the photographer.

Derrick Story is the digital media evangelist for O’Reilly. His current book is The Digital Photography Companion. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Better Photo Tips - New Photo Insights

Photo By:Pixellens
Story By : Tedric Garrison

We all do it at one point or another. We like taking photos of nature (for example), so we take more and more photos of nature, and tend over look other areas of photography. Then one day, someone calls up and says, "Hey, we were talking the other day about you doing photography. I think I have some extra work for you, are you interested?"

"Sure!" You say enthusiastically, then almost as an after thought you ask, "What are we shooting?"

The person you are talking with has decided to go for the World Speed Record in a wheel chair. Now, I've taken photos of people and I've taken photos at more traditional sporting events, like Football, Basketball, and Soccer; but how do you gear up for something you have NEVER shot before? The first photo tip to remember is to always have business cards with you. Because even though he said "the other day" you realize it has been almost two years since you had this discussion, but you did give him a business card and obviously he kept it.

Back to the problem at hand, this photo shoot is prior to the actual event. The photos he wants you to take are to be used as promotion shots. The customer suggests a local park for the photo shoot location. The first photo obstacle is the location itself, yes there are some nice points but, this park has office buildings on one side and a huge school on the other side. Always be aware of the background in your photo shoot.

Admittedly this was a new situation for me, but the first dozen shots or so just didn't feel right to me. Then my mind starting thinking about how I take photos of little kids at weddings; I get down on their level. Yes, this was a full size adult, but the photos didn't feel right until I was at the same level he was. If the subject is looking down and you photograph looking down at him, there is no interaction. Always take your photos with interaction in mind.

This particular person designed this particular wheel chair specifically for racing. Being totally naïve regarding handicap racing, I had to reply on his expertise to get the right photo. Regardless of the type of event you are shooting, remember this photo tip: use other people's knowledge to make your photos look more professional. In wheelchair racing for example; the front wheels control all the steering. If I had only shot photos with his hands resting on the back wheels, anybody who did know the event would know I (the photographer) didn't know what I was doing.

Even though we started this photo shoot early in the morning, the higher the sun got, the more dramatic the shadows got. When the subject was in an actual racing stance and he was leaning forward in his chair it did create some really deep shadows. I experimented with a reflector, a flash and some photos with both. Even though it was a beautiful day, quote "not a cloud in the sky"; I had to be prepared to control the existing light.

To review the lessons learned when photographing something totally out of your everyday experience, this is what I had to learn, or relearn to get the job done:

A) Always have photo business cards available, you never know when they can lead to new and exciting photo opportunities. (Even two years later.)

B) Always be aware of the background! That sounds obvious, but you want to make sure the subject is the main center of attention in your photo, not a reflection off an office window.

C) Always take photos with interaction in mind. Originally I was going to say at the same eye level, but during this photo shoot I also got down and took pictures at ground level as well.

D) Always use other people's expertise to make your photos look good. This is especially true when shooting things you have never shot before. The subject is more likely to like your work if he or she knows they actually helped with the input.

E) Always be prepared to control the light in your photo to meet the needs of the shoot. A bright sunny day is not always the best time to take a great photograph. Remember this: the brighter the light, the harsher the shadows.

A final thought, as a photographer, your most valuable tool is your mind and the ability to think and see creatively. Do not get so wrapped up in one specialty area of photography that you forget to apply those same photo tips to other areas as well. Life is a journey, not a destination. Likewise, who and what we are as photographers is what we learn from the different types of things we allow ourselves to photograph.

Award winning writer / photographer Tedric Garrison has over 30 years experience in photography. As a Graphic Art Major, he has a unique perspective on the Elements of Design and how those elements relate to all aspects of photography. His photo eBook "Your Creative Edge" (http://www.betterphototips.com/creativeedge.htm) proves that creativity CAN be taught. Today, he shares his wealth of knowledge with the world, at:http://www.betterphototips.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tedric_Garrison


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