The way things were going with pricing and technology with regard to digital cameras, I saw a definite boom about to happen with regard to Digital SLR sales back in 2004. Now a good few years on I couldn’t have been more right!
For people who have previously owned film cameras or simple point and shoot digital cameras, and now as prices start to fall for the more exclusive semi professional DSLR’s, the opportunity to join the rest of us in the exciting world of the DSLR (Digital SLR) is more affordable than ever when beginning digital photography.
This new breed of cameras is quite simply amazing and I sometimes despair when I read reviews and forum comments that air their disappointment when a new camera just released hasn’t addressed the issue of “having to go to the menu” to make an alteration, for example.
When you are reading reviews about a certain digital SLR camera that you wish to buy, please take them with a pinch of salt.
The reviewers are there to delve full on into every possible avenue open for discussion and any
What holds most people back is the fear of failure or messing up a paying clients’ images coupled with the notion and fear of not “making it” in the world of professional photography. I also read regularly about people “not being quite ready” just yet.
These fears are hard to overcome and there is not much I or anyone else can say to make you feel like the time is right…it is never right! After all it took Thomas Edison 10,000 failures to finally perfect the light bulb (although some credit has to go to Joseph Swan, a British inventor who actually invented the light bulb first).
Regardless, Edison did not stop at failure number one, two three or even 9,000…he kept going and that is the point. You may well “slightly” mess up your first wedding or portrait sitting.
You might get home after shooting the interior of a hotel only to realise that your rear LCD screen when checking images for exposure was on “bright” mode and all your images are underexposed by a few stops.
Becoming successful in photography, whether personally or professionally, can seem like an uphill slog sometimes so how can you make it easier?
The main thing to remember and concentrate on is your mindset! Think like a photographer for long enough and you will become one.
Sounds strange? Well, your mind is the most powerful asset you have and can also be the most destructive. If you continuously think you cannot do something, you won’t…period! If you truly believe in yourself and stay persistent in your efforts, you can achieve anything.
Don’t be put off by naysayers or beautiful portfolios that you come across, be inspired and motivated by them.
Don’t be put off by the sheer number of photographers out there doing business all around you if you are in a built up, busy area. Just understand that it is a huge market and you can easily grab your own share if that is what you want. The more working photographers in your area, the more work that is probably available, see it as a positive thing!
Since its birth and for around 100 years, photography hasn’t really changed that much if you think about it. You had a box with a lens attached which streams light in and records it onto a film plane and now onto a digital sensor.
In Ye Olde days of film cameras, the only things that changed with regards to technology were the lens quality and the mechanics of the camera itself, the shutter, the exposure system, the speed etc, the recording media (film or emulsion) hasn’t really changed too much over time, especially towards the end, not when you compare it to digital and its rapid advances.
They tried to miniaturise cameras with the 110 range as well as the appalling Kodak Disk cameras but nothing really caught on or excelled. Compare that to mobile camera phones now.
Things were easy then although I didn’t know it at the time.
You could have a top of the range pro SLR shooting Fujichrome Velvia and you were set for years. If the quality of the slide or film changed, you simply used that instead…no need to upgrade the camera.
How different things are now
As with most things in life, we all have to start somewhere and after seeing, commenting on and critiquing many stock images so far at ATP Members, the private membership section to All Things Photography, I thought I would inject a little motivation into the proceedings.
On a recent stock photography course held here in Weymouth, we took some images whilst out and about in town as well as one or two for fun in the studio at my house. Of those images, many have been accepted at all microstock agencies and a few have started selling already.
Further to this, I had charge of the kids last Sunday as my wife had to go into work so I took them to the park for a play on the swings and a few games of tennis…of course I took my camera. I also dusted off my 15mm semi fisheye lens that I barely use as I wanted to re-ignite my passion for it.
I experimented with some off camera flash to light up the subjects whilst purposely underexposing the shot. What this does is kill all or any highlights on the subject from strong, midday
I keep coming across people accusing and being accused of “cheating” an image by using the wonders of Adobe Photoshop, and that their work isn’t really photography at all, but another form of art altogether.
First of all, my opinion is “so what”? What does it really matter how the artist or photographer got to the finished image? As long as it is thought provoking and pleasing to the eye, and as long as it can be used in any necessary context for publication if so desired, do we really need to know how and/or why it was done?
Sure, a hard-core, original style photographer would say that the true image should be made at the time of capture, as the event happens and that any later enhancements are misleading to the end viewer. To that I say “poppycock”!
For me, the only true and real photography is that of photojournalism, and as I am sure you will agree, photojournalism should not and must not be tampered with for monetary gain or to purposely mislead the viewer.
Some of the most awesome and thought provoking photo-journalistic images have stayed in my mind since I was at primary school. One image that springs
In our digital world we sometimes forget that a photograph looks best when it is printed out, in the flesh – or paper, as it were. There are numerous printers aimed specifically at photographers and photo printing, but which are worth considering? Well, here are five of the very best to narrow your choice down…
1) Epson Stylus Photo R2880
One of the more expensive printers coming in at a penny under £1000, this Epson is for the established professional. Though released in 2008, it still boasts some of the best printing capabilities in the industry. With its three black-ink system, the R2880 can achieve some of the highest quality black and white photos around. 5760x1440dpi takes care of the HD resolution and advanced magenta pigments add vibrancy to when you want a little colour.
2) Canon PIXMA MG7550 All-in-One Wi-Fi Printer
While its sleek design does resemble an early broadband router, the Pixma is a fantastic printer for the photographer on a budget. Alongside its Wi-Fi capabilities, it is also capable of Cloud printing, making life easier for the busy photographer who keeps their life up in the air. Though it does also
When buying a digital camera, I feel that after visiting so many photographic websites and reading so much advice on what to buy, and by frequently visiting the photography forums online, I have to speak a little on this subject.
For the majority of the camera buying public, there are just 2 main categories that we fall into when starting out or upgrading our equipment in digital photography, the “Absolute Beginner” or the “Amateur” (or serious amateur also sometimes labelled as the semi pro).
Starting with the Beginner, or someone getting started in photography altogether (not just digital), the choice when buying a digital camera nowadays is quite overwhelming!
Everywhere you look there are cameras, and not just in the camera shops like the good old days, but on the internet, in mobile phone shops, in the papers, magazines and supermarkets. You can even get given a cheap digital camera as a free gift for buying something else in some places.
Nowadays, you even get reasonably powerful digital cameras up to 12 megapixels (!!!) in the newer and more expensive mobile phones…and they come in all shapes and sizes.
So where do you start, and how do you make the choice for
Since I have been using the internet over the past 4-5 years, I have come across many photography sites, some quite excellent and some that are quite honestly abysmal.
The danger with the internet is that when a “photographer” with a newly built website, is possibly someone who has just taken up photography, bought themselves an overly expensive and professional camera and then maybe stumbled across a great photo or two!
They then learn how to do a few tricks or manipulations with editing software such as Photoshop and “Da-Naa” they are a professional photographer.
I wouldn’t want to put anyone off this great hobby, past-time or vocation, but it is extremely important to establish the credibility of the individual giving out the advice and amateur wedding photography tips, PARTICULARLY when it comes to wedding photography.
I have occasionally read amateur wedding photography tips and advice from sites on the net that really wouldn’t pass muster as being from a wedding photographer, as not once did I see the words professional or professionalism. Anyone can click away with a top end digital camera at a wedding, but to do it correctly, in sequence, with all the required and necessary photographs being taken efficiently and
Ever wondered how professionals take such awe-inspiring landscape shots? Maybe you’ve been there yourself, camera in hand, but not had your photos turn out the way you wanted. There are many components to it: being in the right place at the right time and post-processing, to name a couple. But this article will focus on that moment when it all comes together, just before you press the shutter, and you need to decide what settings to use.
First, a word about control modes (Aperture/Shutter Priority, Portrait, Sport, etc.). If you don’t have the camera on manual or if your camera doesn’t have a manual setting, some or all of the settings discussed below are controlled by the camera.
When using these modes, all of the things I discuss in this article will still be helpful, as you will know which modes and settings to use to help the camera make the right decision. While these concepts are most useful when shooting with cameras with the highest level of control, such as (D)SLRs, they will also improve your result with point-and-shoot or even phone cameras.
There are three primary settings that affect how the camera operates:
These are the sort of adjectives that spring to mind when you look at a well-executed black and white image, whether it’s a portrait of an individual, a still-life or an action shot. But what makes a particular monochrome image stand out from the crowd and how can you achieve this with your own photography?
Photography is, if nothing else, the manipulation of light and shadow, black and white, darkness and illumination. All photographers can learn about this from the works of the Great Masters of the art world – chiaroscuro is the term used to describe the use of strong contrasts of the light in painting, photography and cinematography. Immerse yourself in the works of Rembrandt, El Greco and Caravaggio to gain an insight as to how effective this technique can be.
Understanding correctly how to use lighting in your photography can directly affect the mood of your picture – and its impact on your audience. So how do you go about achieving these different affects?
With a reputation for over-heating and exploding, the use of continuous lighting was until recently not particularly popular. However, with the advent of more light-sensitive cameras and better fluorescent lighting, it’s now coming back into fashion.
Recently, a good friend of mine Todor Ostojic asked for some advice as to what SLR I would recommend for him to learn the basics of film photography using kit from the 70’s and 80’s. His reason for this was that he felt he had somehow “cheated” his way into photography by going straight into digital.
Some of the cameras I mentioned were the SLR’s I drooled over as a penniless teenage newbie to photography back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Cameras such as the Canon A1 or AE-1 Program, the sturdy Olympus OM-1, OM-2, and OM-10 with cool manual adapter, that you plugged into the side of the camera. Then there was the solid, reliable Nikon FM range.
Whilst I think that digital photography still presents a challenge and still requires the same skills to shoot great photography, I kind of agree that nothing beats the old school film photography learning curve that lasted for well over a century. I am talking about:
- Complete manual control of your camera with sometimes the most basic of metering
- The skill of loading a film into the camera in the dark so that you
Who needs a corporate headshot and why?
The easy answer to this is any career-minded professional or businesses whose key players need to be seen. As is the case with all forms of professional photography, the reason why the picture has been commissioned is one of the key considerations to getting it right.
The business headshot has a number of uses but the primary function is to enhance communication with customers, colleagues and other professionals. They are used in annual reports, newsletters and magazines, on company websites, for resumes and issued with press releases for use across a wide range of media.
The good, the bad and the ugly
No one wants to put out a picture of themselves that is anything less than flattering. As well as looking their best, your subjects would like to appear trustworthy, friendly, approachable, intelligent, stylish and good-looking. It’s a big ask but photographers who can consistently take natural-looking corporate portraits that shine a benevolent light on their subjects’ characters are going to be the ones most in demand.
From the company’s point of view, these employee portraits will be going out on the marketing frontline. They
Time lapse photography is when you take a series of photographs at intervals of more or less the same exposure and frame rate, and then stitch them together to make a short video.
For example, you have probably seen footage of flowers opening super quickly, clouds flying across the sky or ice melting really fast?
This can be great fun and quite challenging so why not give it a go!
You will need a tripod to keep the camera in exactly the same position throughout, unless you are really creative, and it needs to be very stable. You will need enough memory on your card to hold a large number of images and you also need to work out the timings for your shoot.
How long do you want the finished time lapse photography footage to be…5 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute? Anything too long will not look right or could bore the viewer. Time lapse is meant to be short and sweet and show a world we generally never get to see other than in super slow, real time.
Let’s say a flower takes a full day to open and you want to show this in around 30 seconds of footage. If you took one
In the past we have considered adding a section devoted to your camera phone to ATP but felt the resolution and popularity of most mobile phones with cameras didn’t justify it. Now however, most mobile phones being manufactured include a high quality camera and video feature as well as all the other goodies that they pack into mobile phones these days.
Do you use the camera much on your mobile phone? Do you use the video? How important would you say the camera feature is when buying a new cell phone camera? Please share your thoughts, ideas and images at the bottom of this page, we would love to hear from you!
We will start to incorporate camera phone photography into ATP now that they have better:
- Ease of uploading images to the web
- Face recognition
So it may be time to start looking into how to take better photos with your camera’s phone.
Because these mobile phones and their cameras are so incredibly portable, we are seeing a huge surge of images being taken at venues that:
- Don’t allow traditional cameras
- Are generally not suited for bulkier cameras
Camera phones are great for
In February last year I was looking around an entire gallery of competition winners and one thing that struck me was the fact that I struggled to find an image that hadn’t been heavily Photoshopped. Don’t get me wrong, there were some amazing images there and quite deservedly so but it got me thinking about what makes an image good!
I change my mind from one day to the next as to what makes a photo really good. One day I get annoyed at those heavily manipulated images that seem to be all the rage with many photographers these days and the next day I am loving them, processing and creating them myself!
For example, the following image from a recent wedding I shot was a set up from the start, from an idea I had when I saw the brides hotel bedroom. It was taken with just the camera and lens, nothing else. However, it has been through about 8 or 9 processes in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the end result. That result is exactly as I imagined it and I actually quite like the end result.
However, a short time later during another semi-posed session, things broke down during the set
The nature of this article does in no way mean that I condone the repetition of its contents. Nor do I suggest for one minute that anyone copies my actions, this is just to alleviate some of the unnecessary panic and stress when faced with a dirty sensor…its not that bad!
I am by no means an expert and the reason I am writing this short article for All Things Photography is not to make any recommendations or suggestions but simply to point out a few facts and mistakes to avoid.
Many believe that leaving the camera switched on when changing lenses causes the electronic “charge” to act like a magnet and attract dust that way. I am not so sure about this as the mirror and shutter should be closed anyway therefore preventing any dust being attracted to the sensor during this time.
The most obvious reason is probably due to lack of care and attention. Taking the lens off in a clean, wind-free environment is your best bet to keeping things dust-free inside the camera.
Any dust that gets in (and it will) during lens changes will eventually find its way onto your sensor
It is too easy to come home after a days shooting, whip out the memory card, have a play with your new images and forget all about maintenance of your kit.
If you are like me, anything new that I buy over time (car, motorbike, watch, glasses etc), get cleaned immaculately at least once a day. Then after a few weeks it falls to once a week or so and then just “on the odd occasion” or when they look really dirty.
Because photography is my livelihood, I have to physically make myself grab my camera bag, go and sit somewhere quiet and take a good half an hour to an hour after a shoot to clean every piece of equipment that I have used.
This kit has cost thousands and its cleanliness has a direct bearing on the quality of my images and the longevity of its use. Not only that but as I upgrade my equipment, I may want to sell on my old cameras at the best price.
These are the checks that I make;
Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – Lenses
Obviously take great care when cleaning the glass, it is what makes the lenses so expensive and costly to repair or replace. Use only
If I was to drive from my home in the West Country of England all the way to Scotland I’d choose my comfortable, familiar 1.8 Hatchback. Imagine how surprised I’d be if I was stopped at Carlisle by a Traffic Warden who told me my car was unable to go any further, and that I’d need a 4 Litre SUV to continue the trip.
But that’s pretty much what a camera shop salesman tried to tell me last week. His theory was that the only way forward was with digital photography. I gave him my opinion, and after a while he agreed with me that I had a point.
My much loved Canon AE-1P is still going strong, still capable of producing quality pictures after all these years (I bought it in 1982). It’s never “gone out of date”. In fact, my twenty odd year old camera is almost as up to date as the newly arrived Canon EOS 350D. And that will continue for a few more years yet. Don’t believe me..? Every time a new film emulsion comes out I can load it and use it, updating the vital heart of my camera, and restoring my cutting edge performance.
One way that I got myself noticed and remembered when we moved the photography business to mainland Spain was to always carry my camera everywhere!
Not only does this let people know you are serious about what you do, it also sticks in their mind that you are a photographer. The main reason for me though is that you never know what you will see or experience on your travels!
Have you ever thought “Damn! I wish I had my camera!”
Not only may that image you get be useful for your website or blog but it may well be in demand at a news agency or even be a top seller for a stock photography agency!
When you finish a job or get in from a long days shooting, get into the habit of charging your batteries straight away, emptying the CF cards, formatting them and cleaning the camera and lenses.
Have everything ready, neatly put away in your camera bag or rucksack, and have it ready to pick up and go…mine stays by the door of the office.
I have been here in Spain for a while now and occasionally I get a call
Developing a creative eye is about seeing things in a different way; a personal visual opinion rather than obvious point of view.
When we first use a camera we take pictures of all the obvious things around us, landmarks, people we know, family pets, Uncle George etc. This is all a very necessary part of learning photography and after repeatedly taking these pictures, boredom starts to creep in.
If we get bored enough, we tend to look further than the obvious for our photographic subjects, hopefully encouraging us to interpret these subjects in a different manner – but, as we so often see, some people continuously take boring pictures, until they become experts at doing so.
The problem is that we all have pre-conceived ideas about how something should look, and that is what we photograph, so if we want to be creative we must drop these pre-conceptions, and start looking at things from a small child’s “innocence”.
- What would a worm see if it looked up?
- Spend a day taking photos of everyday things from a height of 600mm to 800mm, how a small child would view them.
- Isolate part of an overall scene, using the camera’s viewfinder.
- Show things