Monday, May 25, 2015

New Posts on Golden Hour and Newborn Photography

Don't miss out on these two great guest posts I have up over at Craftsy!


This ultimate guide is a roundup of all newborn, toddler, and maternity photography posts over at Craftsy. A great one-stop resource for anyone interested in newborn and baby photography!




How to Make the Most of the Golden Hour


The Golden Hour is a magic time for photography. This post shares tips and tricks for calculating, using, and maximizing Golden Hour light in your photography.








Boost Your Photography: Learn Your DSLR is now available from Amazon. Get the most out of your camera with practical advice about the technical and creative aspects of DSLR photography that will have you taking beautiful pictures right away.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Year Ago on Boost Your Photography

2014:


  • Focus on Focus. An introduction to how to focus, including why to use a manual focus point, the difference in autofocus modes, and how and why to focus and recompose. 
  • Deciding Where to Focus. This follow-up post elaborates on the importance of knowing where to focus when shooting.




2013:
Rephotography: Dear Photograph | Boost Your Photography
  • Rephotography: Dear Photograph. This rephotography project idea comes courtesy of the web site Dear Photograph. All you need is a set of older photographs and the time to return to the original location and match your your shot. Presto! (Read the full article for more details.)
Why Won't My Lens Focus? | Boost Your Photography
  • Why Won't My Lens Focus?. This first article in our occasional series for beginners zeros in on some common focus problems and offers straightforward advice and suggestions for immediate correction.
  • Missed the Shot? Remember Camera Zero. This article covers the default settings (Camera Zero) that you should be using with your DSLR. Never miss a shot again by having your settings mixed up from your previous shooting.  Use Camera Zero, and you will always know your camera's settings!
Start a Series: from where I stand | Boost Your Photography
  • Start a Series: from where I stand. This creative approach to selfies involves creating a collection of photographs where you include your feet for both context and scale. Read on for more ideas and inspiration!


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Saturday, May 9, 2015

5 Tips for Better Flower Photographs


Right now is an incredible time for flowers! Where I live, the crab apple trees are bursting into bloom, the red buds are turning purple, and the lilacs are just hinting at the colors and scents to come. Read on for some simple tips to help your flower photographs stand out from the rest.

Experiment with Orientation

Try both vertical and horizontal orientations for your flower photographs. Individual blooms or a thin vase can be accentuated by a vertical orientation. Groups of flowers might work better as a horizontal shot.


Pay Attention to the Background

Do not let your interest in your subject overwhelm your attention. Think just as much about the background of your photograph as you do about the flower itself. Moving yourself slightly or choosing one flower over another nearby can make a dramatic difference in your photograph.


Shoot in Aperture Priority Mode

Aperture priority mode allows you to set the aperture on your camera, while the camera chooses the shutter speed (and ISO if you use auto ISO). Read more about aperture priority mode here, or read up on aperture itself here.


Use a wide aperture if you want to blur the background and isolate your subject. The crab apple blossoms above were shot with an aperture of f/1.8. While the front flower is in focus, the focus fades very rapidly, resulting in the pleasing background blur.


Background blur can also be achieved at narrower apertures, if you pay attention to the placement of your subject relative to the background. Here, the flower in the front is significantly closer to the camera than the rest of the tree. An aperture of f/11 was used to keep the entire flower in focus, front-to-back, while the greater distance of the flowers in the background allows them to remain out of focus.


You can also use a narrow aperture (generally with a tripod) to get a crisp photograph of the entire flower close-up. This rose was shot using a 30-second exposure at f/22, with the camera mounted on a tripod. This was done inside, to avoid any possible movement of the flower due to wind.


No tripod? No problem. You can also use a technique called focus stacking to create a super-focused photograph out of a series of photographs shot at varying focus points. Read the full details behind focus stacking here.

Get in Close ... Then Closer

Many times, we feel tempted to include the entire flower in the photograph. That's fine, take that shot. But then move closer. Or zoom in further. Fill the entire frame of your shot with just one part of a flower. Find and isolate an interesting detail.


Try a Different Perspective

We love to sniff flowers, and our default tendency is to view and photograph flowers from that point-of-view: just above and looking down. If you want to do something a little more original with your flower photography, you need to try a different perspective.


Get down low - way down. Try laying down or holding your camera low to the ground. Looking up at flowers can significantly change your photographs.

What's your favorite tip for incredible flower photographs? Share a tip or image in the comments!





Boost Your Photography: Learn Your DSLR is now available from Amazon. Get the most out of your camera with practical advice about the technical and creative aspects of DSLR photography that will have you taking beautiful pictures right away.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Year Ago on Boost Your Photography


The original Boost Your Photography 52 Weeks Challenge is a wrap! Congratulations to all participants and finishers! Missed out? Never fear. The 2015 version is still underway, and new members are always welcome. Join here.

2014:


  • What the ... White Balance? This break-through post explaining white balance, what it is, and how to make the most of it, is one of our top five popular posts of all time.
  • Teaching Kids Photography: shooting modes, focus, and exposure. This is the first in our series of posts about teaching kids photography, based on my experiences running a photography club with elementary and middle school students. Learn about where to start, regardless of whether you are using phone, point-and-shoot, or DSLR cameras.

  • Photographing Architecture - watch your lines! The focal length of your camera and the distance between yourself and your subject can cause various kinds of distortion in your images. Learn how to watch your horizontal and vertical lines for better architecture photographs.

  • Capture a Day in a Single Image. Learn how to shoot a series of photographs over the course of a day and how to layer then together in Photoshop for a unique image depicting the entire day. Tips, advice, and Photoshop how to all included.


2013:

This iteration of A Year Ago on Boost Your Photography includes two of the top five articles of 2013. Enjoy!

Spinning Fire with Steel Wool Photography | Boost Your Photography

  • Spinning Fire with Steel Wool Photography. It's easy to capture amazing photographs with steel wool spinning. This article will walk you through all that you need to do to creative these types of photographs safely and easily (even with a point-and-shoot camera)!
Shoot the Moon with the Photographer's Ephemeris | Boost Your Photography

  • Cheap and Easy Macro: Comparisons and Recommendations. This summary article provides a quick overview of the most common, inexpensive ways to capture macro photographs, along with links to all the detailed articles about each method. The final head-to-head comparison will help you decide which method(s) may work best for you.

Don't Miss a Single Post from Boost Your Photography

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Interested in a Daily Photography Challenge for May?

Daily photography can be a great way to hone your photography skills. I am partnering with Craftsy for the month of May to organize a daily photography challenge.

Clicking the pin below will take you to the full article and list of daily themes. Participants who share photos via Craftsy and use the #MayPhotoChallenge hashtag are eligible for inclusion in a drawing for a Craftsy Mystery Box at the conclusion of the challenge!




Consider joining the 31-Day Photography Challenge today!





Boost Your Photography: Learn Your DSLR is now available from Amazon. Get the most out of your camera with practical advice about the technical and creative aspects of DSLR photography that will have you taking beautiful pictures right away.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Introducing Madison Camera Style

Looking for some inspirational or a cool new photo project? One of my friends in our local Photography Meetup Group just started a new blog called Madison Camera Style that you might find interesting.



Hi there. My name is Patrick Kuhl and I'm here to introduce my new blog Madison Camera Style. Lately, I have been doing a lot of black and white street photography and also experimenting more with film. To get more inspiration, I have been studying other people's work in this realm, and have been enjoying the perspectives of the people of Tokyo, Japan.

I eventually found, and devoured all of the archives of two sites called Japan Camera Hunter and Tokyo Camera Style. The man who runs Tokyo Camera Style, John Sypal, takes photos of the cameras he sees around Tokyo. He mostly focuses on film cameras there. He's able to do so easily because film photography is still quite popular there.


After discussing it with him via email, I then started up Madison Camera Style. My intent is to focus as much as I can on film photography as well, but that will probably be somewhat difficult, as digital SLRs are always popular here in Madison. Regardless, film is still alive and kicking, and I intend on enjoying and promoting it while I still can. I and my friends Adam and Caroline will be taking shots of people and their cameras, as well as film and film cameras in various shops, in and around Madison.

Hopefully you enjoy it!

Patrick Kuhl
madisoncamerastyle.com
Hosted on Tumblr, so you can follow us there too.
Connect with Patrick via Flickr or on Twitter as @patrickkuhl.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Book Alert: Photos Framed by Ruth Thomson


Photos Framed: a fresh look at the world's most memorable photographs (2014) by Ruth Thomson. (I received this book as part of Candlewick's Best in Class mailing program, but all opinions expressed are my own.)

I received this book for review on my teaching blog, The Logonauts but thought that readers of Boost Your Photography would also find much of interest. This photography book is geared towards students but provides a great background in the "photography classics," as it were, for readers of all ages.

Photos Framed contains 27 images from the history of photography organized into four major topics: portrait photography, nature photography, photography as art, and documentary photography. Each two-page spread presents a full-page version of the photograph and a quotation on the right-hand side, paired on the left-hand side with a quick write-up about the photograph itself, the photographer, and questions raised by the image.


This book is a great way to dip into some of the long history of photography as well as some of the issues photography has raised. Classic photographs are presented, such as Ansel Adams' The Tetons and the Snake River or Eadweard Muybridge's series The Horse in Motion, as are more recent images, such as Hugo Bernand's Royal Wedding. The "Photo thoughts" questions force the reader/viewer to contend with issues about composition, framing, and manipulation of the photographs presented.

Despite being marketed to kids, this book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the history of photography and of iconic photographs. Take the time to read through this book carefully and engage with the questions asked. You will find yourself thinking more critically about both the photographs that you see as well as those that you will take.





Boost Your Photography: Learn Your DSLR is now available from Amazon. Get the most out of your camera with practical advice about the technical and creative aspects of DSLR photography that will have you taking beautiful pictures right away.