Archive for February, 2015

Cameras are complex machines and to get the most out of them you need to know how they work. When you’re a new photographer shooting with a sophisticated camera for the first time, the complexity can be overwhelming. There’s just so much to learn! Now that I’ve been shooting for more than ten years, it’s interesting to go back to my early days and see the mistakes I made.

In this article we’ll have a look at four of my first DSLR photos and I’ll share what I know now that I wish I knew then, so hopefully you can learn from these mistakes.

Mistake #1 – not using exposure compensation

1/250sec f10 ISO100

1/250th of a second,  f/10, ISO100

The camera’s exposure meter will try to make the exposure “middle grey”. Since the camera has no way to tell how bright the subject is, middle grey is a good average bet. But when the subject is much brighter or darker, like the sky in this photo, it ends up getting it wrong. Today if I see a shot like this on the back of my camera, I know why it is under exposed and will adjust it by dialling in some positive exposure compensation. That would have made the clouds much brighter, and brought out details in the dark tree-covered hillside.

Mistake #2 – afraid to increase the ISO

1/30sec f5.6 ISO100

1/30th,  f/5.6, ISO100

Towards the end of an overcast day, we arrived at a rocky shoreline while on holiday. I liked the texture of the rock, the white dead tree branch, and churning water. However there wasn’t quite enough light. At this stage I didn’t even know how to change my ISO, but even if I had, I’d heard that increasing it made your photo noisy. This was certainly true, especially of DSLRs 10 years ago, but 1/30th of a second at 200mm focal length just wasn’t fast enough. As a result there’s enough camera shake to ruin the photo. Today, even if I was still shooting with the old Sigma SD10 I had then, I’d know that it’s better to increase your ISO to get a shorter shutter speed, even if it results in more visible noise. A noisy photo is better than a blurry one.

Mistake #3 – not exposing for the highlights

1/200sec f10 ISO100

1/200th, f/10, ISO100

If some parts of the image are very bright, such as the sky and clouds around the sun in this photo, they can be “clipped” by the camera. This means that there is more brightness than the sensor can differentiate, and as such, whole areas of the photo are rendered as white with no detail. Once part of a scene is clipped, nothing can bring that detail back, and it can ruin a shot. Clipped highlights are unattractive and draw the eye in a negative way. In high contrast situations it can be really tricky to capture detail in the highlights and shadows at the same time, but because they draw the eye so much, it’s preferable to preserve detail in the highlights.

While the sun is always going to clip in a photo, preserving details in nearby clouds is possible. For this shot I should have dialled in some substantial negative exposure compensation. Even if this made the rest of the photo too under-exposed, because I was shooting in RAW, I’d still be able to bring out a lot of detail when processing the photo. That way only the sun would be clipped and the clouds and water would look much more natural.

Mistake #4 – not controlling depth of field

1/200sec f8 ISO100

1/200th, f/8, ISO100

I wanted to capture the gorgeous texture on this interesting rock, but still show enough of the background to give it context. The background however, is too in focus and ends up being a distraction, competing for attention with the rock, which should be the star of the photo. I was shooting in program mode (auto), and there was plenty of light. The camera realized this and chose an aperture of f/8. This was narrow enough to increase the depth of field so that the background wasn’t nearly blurry enough. If I was taking this shot today I would put the camera into aperture priority mode with the mode dial, and open the aperture wider. Possibly to its full width, which on this lens was only f/5.6. This would have blurred the background more, letting the rock get all the attention.

If I could go back and tell myself something when I was starting out, I’d emphasize the importance of shooting as often as possible, not to worry about making mistakes, and keep looking to other photographers (both online and in person) as a source of inspiration and learning. Finally, I’d tell inexperienced me that you will never ever stop learning.

How about you? What are the biggest things you learned (or are still learning about) to improve your photography?


pnbvideo_box.pngNeil is so invested in helping others to become confident with their cameras that he has created dPS’s very first online video course Photo Nuts and Bolts. From shutter speed, to aperture and exposure, Neil explains clearly so that you can start shooting with confidence…

The post 4 Mistakes New Photographers Make and How to Avoid Them by Neil Creek appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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So you just installed Lightroom, now what?

You could spend some time just playing around and learning through doing, but if you’re looking for a nudge in the right direction here are a few simple concepts that I wish I’d thought about before starting my own Lightroom journey – hopefully it helps you! Five things you should know about Lightroom before you start:

#1 Your organizational strategy

organize-in-lightroomThis might not seem important at first, but Lightroom is an amazing organizer of your photographs if you choose to use it as one. So before you start haphazardly uploading photographs into your Lightroom catalog try to come up with some sort of basic organizational strategy first.

Some ideas for organization include:

Organizing by date, by location of shoot, or by specific events. Think about your style of photography and the subject matter you plan on shooting. For example a wedding photographer would probably want to organize by date/bride-groom name, where as a wildlife photographer may organize by location/animal.

Lightroom has many different tools for organizing your photographs from colors, star rating and flags. You could for example use flags as a simple yes/no option to quickly cull images, while colors could be for various states of post production workflow (i.e. blue is for images that need to be processed and green is for images that are finalized and shouldn’t be touched).

This might sound overwhelming at first, but if you get into this habit early on, it will simply become a part of your Lightroom workflow, and trust me an organized Lightroom library makes things a lot easier when you’re dealing with thousands of photographs.

#2 How you want to import photos

This is a simple question, but one that you should know the answer to before you get started with Lightroom. When you first open up the import dialog box you’ll be asked whether you want to Copy as DNG, Copy, Move, or Add. Knowing the difference between these four options will help you make the best choice for your workflow. So here’s the Cliff’s notes version:

  1. Copy as DNG – Converts the file type to Adobe’s .DNG format. Read all about Adobe’s DNG format here.
  2. Copy – Retains the original file type of your image (on your computer or memory card) and copies it to a new location on your computer or hard drive.
  3. Move – Moves the image from one place to another on your computer (or from the memory card).
  4. Add – Adds the image to a Lightroom catalog without moving its physical location on your computer or copying it.

For a more detailed look at importing photographs in Lightroom check out: Quick Tip: Importing to Lightroom Made Easier

#3 How to use the Lightroom Develop Module

lightroom develop moduleNow that you’ve got your organizational strategy situated you’re starting to get into the fun stuff, before you go all hack and slash post-production on your first photograph it does help to learn some basic fundamentals. Here’s three quick points to get you started.

  1. Learn what the basic tab does – The basic tab is the workhorse of Lightroom it is what will bring your image to life. At a minimum master these five Lightroom sliders and you’ll be on the road to successful image processing.
  2. Learn the art of local adjustments – Once you’re comfortable with Lightroom’s basic tab you’ll probably want to move onto learning things like how to apply adjustment brushes, graduated filters and radial filters to your images. These tools function in much the same way as the sliders within the basic tab, however, they allow you to have more isolated and local control over your images.
  3. Learn the finishing touches – Finally within the develop module you’ll want to learn a bit about the finishing touches that Lightroom is capable of providing. Things like the clone/heal tool, sharpening, and noise reduction are a good place to start. You may also want to learn about how to remove chromatic aberrations and correct for lens distortion as well. These types of tools are subtle, but powerful, and really will bring the entire image together as a final printable work.

#4 What are presets and how you should use them

While you may be tempted to start with presets it’s better that you learn your basic tab and various other tools first – why? Simply because all presets are created from these settings so once you learn those settings not only will you know a lot about the presets you’re choosing, but you’ll also be able to create your own.

When it comes to presets think of them as a starting point, not a finished product. Learn how to use them to speed up your workflow by creating your favorite looks within a preset, then applying what you know about the various sliders in the basic tab to fine tune the results.

For more info on Lightroom presets: A Concise Guide to Lightroom Develop Presets

#5 What your export settings should be

Here you are, ready to export your first photograph from Lightroom, and just when you thought you had everything figured out, this screen pops up. What do you do now?

Lightroom Export

First you’ll want to remember that Lightroom doesn’t save your processed images, only the instructions of how to process them, that’s why you need to export (export = “save as”) a file out of Lightroom. This image is separate from the original camera RAW file, and as a result will need its own name, and place of organization.

You’ll want to determine what file type and size you’re going to export, and whether or not you want Lightroom to automatically add a watermark to your photographs. These things are all going to be preferences for your own work and there’s no right or wrong way to go about doing it, but you should learn about the implications of each before you start exporting hundreds of photographs.

What Else?

What else would you tell someone who’s just getting their feet wet with Lightroom? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

The post 5 Things You Should Know About Lightroom Before Starting by John Davenport appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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DPS3

There are few things in photography that people love more than dreamy sunrise shots full of bold oranges, big suns, washing waters, and burnt horizons. The dawn of a new day is a spiritually significant event as our past misdeeds of yesterday are forgotten under the promise of fresh beginnings. Sunrise also affords us some of the best light to work with in photography.

However, if you live near the coast and you plan to get up early to take some sunrise shots that involve you being in or around rocks on the water’s edge, there are some key things you must remember, especially in the cold, winter months.

1. Set the alarm earlier than you think.

This is stage one. You’ve calculated that the sun rises at 6:00 a.m., you want to get there by 5:30 to set up, it takes you 10 minutes to get there, so you set the alarm for 5:10. But be honest, it never works like this does it? The alarm goes off at 5:10, it’s cold, you’re snug in bed, it’s dark outside, you were in the midst of a dream, and you roll back over. Missed sunrise. How often do you ever jump straight out of bed at 5:10 to take photos, in the midst of winter? By learning this mistake, I set the alarm for 4:40 then give myself three hits on the snooze button to take me to 5:10. It never fails (unless it’s cloudy!!)

2. Make sure you have shoes with spikes on the bottom.

Think about it – you’re an avid photographer who has set up a kit to your liking with lenses, filters, batteries and your camera. You put it in your bag, put your shoes on, head to the wet, rocky location then bammo, you fall over on the freezing, slippery moss. Either you or your bag gets wet, and neither is a desired result. There’s nothing scarier than trying to keep your bag on your back and out of the water as you slip around the rocks on ill-equipped shoes.

I have fisherman’s boots that cost $40. They have small metal spikes on the sole, perfect for getting across the rocks, and for scurrying to new locations quickly. They’re waterproof too. Alternatively, you could try the little clamp-ons that hikers use in icy conditions. They work well too, but your shoes will get cold and wet.

3. Use a head torch (headlamp).

The first time I brought mine I felt utterly ridiculous, like I was a miner heading down into the pits. Now, I wouldn’t dream of not having one. The convenience of having both hands free to see where you’re going, to open and close your bag, and set your camera up in the dark is without comparison. Especially if you are trying to get filters and holders attached to the ends of lenses.

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4. Have at least two lens cloths and other lens cleaners or pens.

Imagine this scenario: you are changing your lens out on the rocks and you put your cleaning cloth down to free your hands. There is a little bit of residue on the rocks so when you pick up your cloth and started wiping the lens, it gets coated in a film of goo. You may be able to clean the lens with different parts of the cloth (depending on the type of rock goo!) but it will likely leave most of the cloth dirty. Therefore, you will be unable to clean other lenses later on when they inevitably get hit by sea-spray.

How can I picture such a scenario? Sadly, I have lived it, and there is nothing worse than getting up early to a prime location, only to have your single cleaning cloth ruined before your shooting appetite has been satisfied, leaving you unable to do anything with other lenses that need cleaning. Now I always carry at least three cleaning implements in my bag.

5. Study the tides.

Ideally, you should know exactly what you want to shoot, so you can frame the shot before you go and know where the water will be. This is not always possible, but at least you should know what the tide will be at sunrise. You might go somewhere the day before and see a perfect shot in your head, only to return at dawn the next day and find those beautiful rocks covered in two metres of water. There’s no point setting the alarm for 4:40am if the subject you want in your shot is submerged like a sunken ship.

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6. Know where the sun rises. This may seem ridiculous – east you say! Well yeah, the sun rises in the east, but exactly where on the horizon will it rise for you? The angle changes every day. I once woke at 4:00 a.m. to get a shot in at sunrise only to realize after setting up that even my Sigma 10-20mm couldn’t get the sun and subject in my frame. East isn’t just east. Know exactly where the sun rises on the horizon in order to frame the shot you want.

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7. Mittens not gloves.

In the wintertime, near the coast, you need something to cover your hands. But not gloves. Mittens are those cute, little gloves that have all the tops of the fingers cut off. The very reason you need mittens is to keep the tips of your fingers free to play with the camera and to get everything set up. This is very difficult with padded, woolly gloves on. Also, don’t make the mistake of buying woollen gloves, then cutting the tops off yourself. This leaves threads hanging that get longer and longer every day, and more and more annoying.

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The joy of getting those early morning shots makes a perfect start to the day. Follow these tips and all you’ll have to worry about is framing that perfect shot.

The post 7 Uncommon Tips for Winter Sunrise Photos Near Water by Iain Stanley appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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You’ve got your DSLR and you are excited to test it out. You might have gone out for the first few days or perhaps weeks and then all of a sudden the excitement wears out. Why?

Because you don’t seem to get what you want out of your mighty DSLR, right? You may have spent countless hours in your college, office, or at home in search of a best DSLR that can take the best photographs you want. All your efforts have gone in vein and you have a frustrating backlog of your actual work.

Next time you feel such frustration about your photography remember this quote:

“You will only fail to learn if you do not learn from failing.” – Stella Adler, The Art of Acting

So, get ready to learn about the 10 common photography mistakes that you may have committed and how to overcome them.

1. Wrong White Balance (WB)

The first and foremost mistake is setting the wrong White Balance. We see white as white under all lighting conditions, but the camera doesn’t. You have to guide the camera to know the light source of the current scene you are photographing.

Say you are shooting in daylight; if you set the camera’s White Balance to Cloudy then the scene will have orange cast. On the other hand if you are shooting in cloudy light and the camera White Balance is set to Daylight then the scene will have blue cast.

Here’s an easy way to remember this:

  • White Balance Temperature (K) setting = Actual light source = No Cast
  • White Balance Temperature (K) setting < Actual light source = Blue Cast
  • White Balance Temperature (K) setting > Actual light source = Orange Cast

Solution: Set the correct White Balance in the field or shoot in RAW mode. If you shoot RAW, you have a choice to set the correct White Balance in post-processing.

1 Common Kingfisher blue bird Bokeh Effect Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Keoladeo National Park Nature Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

2. Overexposed Highlights

Remember that the dynamic range of your eyes is far greater than the camera’s dynamic range. Dynamic range is the ratio between the brightest elements to the darkest elements in the scene.

You might see the details in both brighter as well as darker regions, but the camera wouldn’t be able to record those details. As a photographer, it is your responsibility to make an exposure that is pleasing to the viewer’s eyes.

Humans are more sensitive to the highlights than the shadows. Overexposed highlights (white patches in a photograph) are more unacceptable to our eyes than underexposed shadows (black patches).

Solution: Expose for the highlights so that nothing gets overexposed, unless you are doing it intentionally. Almost every DSLR will have a blinking indicator (highlight warning, also simply called The Blinkies) that shows overexposed regions in your photograph on the LCD monitor during image playback.

2 Magnificent Swiss Alps Switzerland Mountains Nature Landscape Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

If there are blinkies, then go ahead make exposure compensation (underexpose the scene by the required amount) to get that right.

3. Subject in the Center

It is a common tendency of a beginner photographer to keep the subject in center of the frame, which yields a boring, static composition. The viewer has nothing else to look for his/her eye goes straight to the subject and is stuck there.

Solution: Use the Rule of Thirds and keep the subject out of the middle of the frame. An off-centered subject makes the photograph dynamic and uneven negative space creates interest.

3 Jungle Babbler Shallow Depth of Field Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Keoladeo National Park Nature Wildlife Bird Photography Prathap

4. Wrong Focus

No matter how good your photograph is technically, if the focus is not sharp enough, then your photograph doesn’t work. The main subject of interest needs to be in sharp focus, otherwise viewers will get distracted and will not find a point to rest on in the image.

We see objects sharp in reality so we expect them (at least one) to be in sharp focus to make any sense.

Solution: Make sure you check the focus by zooming in on your subject after you take a photograph (zoom feature in playback mode). Make sure there is enough light or color contrast between the subject and the background so that autofocus is able to lock the focus properly.

4 Perfect Reflection of Frog submerged in Water Nature Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

If you are making a portrait, then focus on the eyes of the person (or bird or mammal), because the viewer needs to make eye contact.

5. Breathing Space

It is quite common to fill the frame with your favorite subject so that it looks big in the frame. But how often does it feel that they are squeezed in the frame? They look suffocated because there is no place to move, forget about the movement there is no place to breathe!

Sometimes there will be enough space around the subject, but in the wrong direction – which is no good either.

Solution: Rule of Thirds is the best composition technique that helps you to give enough space around the subject. Think about the image border as a concealed box where there is no ventilation, you don’t want your favorite subject to suffocate.

5 White tailed Kite Taking Off in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Keoladeo National Park Best Bird Sanctuary Rajasthan Nature Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

6. Cluttered Background

This is probably the most common mistake of all. Why? Because, it’s a common tendency to take photograph the moment you see something beautiful or interesting. So, what’s wrong with that you may ask.

Nothing. But have you paid attention to the background? Probably not. You are so overwhelmed by the subject, that you hardly notice anything around it.

A cluttered or distracting background plays the major role in ruining photographs.

Solution: The real photography starts after you choose your subject. Once you’ve done that, forget about it. Pay attention to the rest of the scene; include only those things that complement your subject and exclude everything else.

6 Painting with Light Art in Nature Backlit flowers in Golden Hours of Sunset Nature Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

The background makes the picture. Cleaner background makes the subject stand out making it the primary focus for a viewer.

7. Skewed Horizon

Another mistake that I see quite often is that horizon is not perfect. This is such a simple thing to notice but still a whole load of photographs have skewed horizons.

How can you miss that? Viewers feel uneasy when the horizon is skewed. It also indicates that the vertical subjects should be perpendicular to the ground. A person, building, bird, or tree tilted to one side makes them vulnerable to fall (unless of course they are tilted in reality like the Leaning Tower of Pisa).

Solution: Use the grid overlay while composing in the field, or correct the horizon using the Crop and Straighten Tool in the post-processing stage. Find a subject in the scene/photograph that should be horizontal or vertical in reality, and use it as a reference when you straighten the image.

7 Beautiful Sunrise in Indiana Dunes State Park Beach in Golden Hours Nature Landscape Seascape Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

8. Lack of Depth

Remember, Photography is two dimensional medium but we see everything in three dimensions. Photographers often miss the depth that is inherent in photography.

You saw that most beautiful scene in 3D and you captured it, but you wonder what went wrong as you stare at your monitor, right? Something is missing. This is not what you saw.

Why? You didn’t realize that you are capturing a 3-Dimensional scene in a 2-Dimensional photograph.

Solution: There are lots of ways to create depth – include a foreground object, use leading lines, use perspective distortion, change the point of view, and so on. But the most important thing to remember when you are out in the field is that a photograph is 2-Dimensional.

8 Beautiful Fall Foliage on the way to Agate Falls in Upper Peninsula Michigan Autumn Colors Nature Landscape Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

9. Too Much in the Photograph

Too much of anything is bad. When you see a scene, you see it as whole, which is natural. But if you try to include everything that you saw in one image then you end up with a photograph that has too much.

When you looked at the scene, were you really looking at the entire scene at once? Think about it. If you do this exercise of how you actually consume a scene you will know a whole lot more.

Solution: Try simple compositions. Instead of making one photo of the entire scene, ask yourself what interests you the most? Then pick that subject and make a photograph that emphasizes only that subject.

9 Backlit Flowers in Golden Hours in Sunset Rollins Savannas Forest Preserve Gryaslake IL Nature Macro Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

What is in a photograph is just as important as what is not in there. Once you master these simpler compositions you will be able to take grand landscapes in a much simpler, but more interesting ways.

10. Bad Light

Photography is all about Light. No light means no photography. But light has quality and direction. The best photographs are normally done in the golden hours and just few hours before and after sunrise and sunset when the light is at its best.

Many photographers don’t seem to care about the direction and the quality of light at all. Either the light is so harsh that there are multiple patches of light and shadows in the scene, or the subject’s eyes are in dark shadows, or light is just flat making the photograph 2-Dimensional, and so on.

Solution: Remember that photography is all about Light. More you learn to see the light better photographer you will become.

10 Double Crested Cormorant Golden Hours Sunset Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Keoladeo National Park Best Bird Sanctuary Nature Wildlife Bird Photography by Prathap

The best way to appreciate light and its amazing qualities to transform a scene, is to go to the scene before sunrise and stay beyond sunset.

Final Thoughts

Still waiting to hear more?

Go ahead and correct the mistakes now. You will see yourself becoming a better photographer when you take control over these common mistakes.

Good luck!

The post 10 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Overcome Them by Prathap DK appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Feb
24

How to Take Better Action Photos

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141005 Semper Paratus 4022There are many sports photographers. We generally hear about those who specialize in a specific genre of sports photography like motorsport, tennis, golf, or surfing.

If you are just starting out and want to gain some experience and build a portfolio, what can you do to take better action shots?

What separates a true sports photographer from an amateur?

A sports photographer will get the shot they want as they see it, of the action they need to report on, every time. Their ability to pick the correct exposure, composition, focus, and amount of blur in the background comes down to their knowledge and understanding of the elements covered below.

Know your equipment

Your camera, whether it is an entry level or top of the line DLSR, has the ability to take amazing action shots.

You need to take control of your camera so that you get the results that you want from it when you push the button. You will need to adjust the way your camera focuses, allow continuous focus tracking, set the focus point on your camera to be focusing on the right spot, and set your camera to take multiple frames per second. Controlling the shutter speed and aperture so that you can blur the background or freeze action, allowing you to get the shot you envisage.

Understand your sport

Before you even pick up your camera, you really need to understand the sport that you want to capture. You need to know where the action is happening, and when it’s likely to happen. You will also need to know what will make your pictures amazing in the eye of the competitor, or their sponsor, (your customers).

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With motorsports, for example, it may be a spot on the track where accidents happen or a corner that will show the skill level of the driver. You need to know which part of the racetrack the drivers use, and which angle would suit that section of track.

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In understanding drag racing, I know that the moment the driver puts his foot down on the green light, the car will lurch forward and the front wheels will lift like this by using a fast shutter speed I have been able to freeze this action.

With surfing, it may be which wave in a set will deliver the best surfing and allow the rider to get the most out of the wave. You must be able to pick out which are the good surfers and which are the amazing surfers, just by seeing how they interact with the waves, how long they will stay up, and if they are doing tricks.

In short, you need to be aware of what is going on where the action is. This allows you to plan your photo so that you can adjust the composition to suit.

Compelling composition

I personally prefer an action shot where the athlete has space to travel into, making sure that he/she is the main focus of the image. With this in mind, picking the correct focus point so that objective is achieved may mean not using the centre focus point. By using a different length lens you can change your composition without having to move to another location. Longer lenses can get you too close to the action, which sometimes means you may miss what is happening around the athlete – so experiment with a few different focal lengths.

Shooting fast action 04

In this image I have used the right most focus point and given the rider room to “ride into” by panning and blurring the background. Thus, I have been able to make the rider stand apart from the crowd.

Make what’s important stand out

By setting your composition, you can then decide if you need to blur the background or make it part of the drama in the shot. You can do this by controlling the shutter speed; slowing it down to blur, speeding it up to freeze, panning with your subject, or by using a large aperture lens and shallow depth of field to blur the background.

Why blur the background at all?

Generally, you need to blur the background to separate the athlete or the subject from the background; ideally, they are the main focus of the shot. With spectator sports, the spectators in the photo may distract the viewer of the photo. By making them out of focus or blurring them with a panning motion, you make the athlete stand out.

Shooting fast action 03

By using a small number aperture I have been able to separate the rider from the crowd.

If you are going to use panning to blur the background, make sure that you have a focal point in the shot that is sharp. That spot needs to be the pivotal place in the photo. If it is an athlete for example, you usually need to make sure their face is sharp. With motorsports it could be one of the sponsor’s logos or the racing number, but could easily be the driver’s helmet. This is important as without one thing in sharp focis, it tends to be more of an abstract art piece than an action shot. As artistic as these blurry pans are, if the sponsors can’t see their logos or the competitors can’t see their faces, you may have a tough time selling the pictures.

Aperture priority versus shutter priority mode

With this in mind, you need to make a decision to either use aperture priority and a large aperture to blur the background, or shutter priority mode and slow down the shutter speed and pan to blur the background. If you are looking to do slow shutter speed panning, make sure you have taken enough sharp frozen images of the event before you practice this. At least that way you will have some images for your portfolio.

Now that you have your camera settings sorted, you need to anticipate when the action is going to happen. This would also include following the path of the athletes as they pass you. If you have set the shutter speed and picked your composition, you lastly need to use tracking focus.

Using continuous focus

Start focusing on your subject BEFORE they are in the right spot for the composition, and continue to keep tracking them after the shot. More unexpected action may happen after, so it’s best to be prepared to photograph it. Knowing how your camera will act, and react, when you push the button with shutter lag (the time between pushing the button and the picture being taken) and multiple frames per second, you can start to follow your subject well before you intend to take the picture. But be ready to shoot at any moment’s notice as the action happens.

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By continuing to shoot after “the shot” I caught the car hitting the ground and the sparks flying even though this was happening quite fast I didn’t use burst mode, instead I took every frame.

Burst mode

If you have the luxury of multiple frames per second, and lots of memory cards to fill, you could follow and just continuously shoot, then cull the images you don’t like. Memory cards are cheap, but is it the best use of your time? Both while at the event and after the event?

Photograph the whole event, not just one aspect

When you are going to an event to take pictures, plan it. Make sure you are aware of where you can stand and how that will affect your pictures. Change your locations to get a mixture of angles. Change your focal length to get a mixture of wide and long shots. Change your shutter speeds to get a mixture of freezing action and blurring the background.

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By using a mixture of vantage spots, you can get some very different angles of the same event.

Step by step checklist:

  • Make sure the camera is set to: Multiple frames per second (as high as it can be), continuous focus, the correct shutter speed or aperture setting
  • Set up your shot compositionally by using different focus points
  • Track your target for as long as you can before you take the picture
  • Keep tracking your subject after you have taken the shot, as there may be more action
  • Use the multiple burst modes sparingly – be decisive about what you want and take one or two shots either side

So what are you waiting for? Get out your manual, make the changes to your settings and take a few risks (with the settings of course) and push yourself to take better action photos.

‘s photography journey started in the late 1990’s when he bought a film camera and started motor sport in the mid 2000’s, published in various car magazines. He enjoyed capturing a mixture of the cars, and people. Contracting to an event company doing school formals, he worked on posing and getting people on side quickly. Building on the above he started No Green Square, teaching you how to get the best out of your camera.

The post How to Take Better Action Photos by Michael Coppola appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Adding layers of dimension with the Lightroom brush

Lightroom has the power to completely transform your landscape photograph into something far more powerful, something that hits home with viewers, and something that pops off the screen.

By default digital cameras create flatter image files than what you see with your eye. Your eye has the ability to see dimensions like no camera can really capture. Although many try.

What is Dimension?

The definition of dimension is: an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing. When utilizing the word dimension in your photograph, think of the features of specific locations and objects within the frame. As an example, in the photo you will see here, there are multiple layers of dimension to play with. There’s the sky, the water, the rocks, the buildings, the grass, and the shed. Each has its own uniqueness to it, and can and should be treated as such.

The Adjustment Brush Tool

Like the other local adjustment tools in Lightroom, the adjustment brush tool has the ability to fine tune specific parts of a photograph. Using the tool can create new dimensions you would never have otherwise seen from a camera rendition. Your eye, however, most likely did see the dimensions.

Lightroom Brush Tool

Where to find the Lightroom brush tool

You can see in the first photo that it’s a really cool lighthouse scene, but there is something drastically gone wrong. The photo is super flat. That is because it was a very rainy day with tons of fog everywhere, and mist from the water constantly hitting the camera.

To use the Lightroom Adjustment Brush, open a photo in the Develop module, then select the brush icon at the top right, just under the Histogram (the keyboard shortcut is K).

Once selected, a variety of local adjustments will appear. From there you have a wide range of options that you can make on a very specific section of your photo. For example, sharpness, exposure, or even brushing on a new color.

The first thing you should know before starting with the Adjustment Brush is that Lightroom keeps your last settings whenever adding a new brush. To zero out the settings simply double click on the word Effect.

Also, the Auto Mask feature is very smart. Think of it like a content aware brush. Simply put, it looks at the cross hairs inside of your brush and will try to stay “within the lines” and not brush on what doesn’t match up. This is fantastic for edges. However, the Auto Mask feature uses more Lightroom performance, so you may notice a slow down. My workflow is to fill in big spaces and then turn on Auto Mask when I need it.

As you are brushing in areas, hit the O key on your keyword to see a red mask of where you have brushed (hit Shift+O to cycle through the available mask colors).

Lightroom masking

Hit the O key to view the current mask in a red overlay

I started brushing the middle section of the photo with more contrast, and reduced highlights and shadows. This broke through the haze and enhanced the greens enough to where I like it.

I then made another brush by clicking on New in the brush panel. This one was to bring down the extreme highlights of the house and lighthouse. I brought it down just enough so it’s still white, but doesn’t blend in with the sky, which is also very white.

Then came a third brush, which was for the rocks. I wanted to make sure they popped out more than anything else. I didn’t want them to just have contrast, so I also used the clarity slider. Clarity will enhance a lot of edge detail, which is awesome on rocks.

Lightroom brush clarity

Add clarity to select objects using the Adjustment Brush

Now that the grass, the structures and the rocks all have different dimensions of contrast, clarity and light, it is time to play with the color dimension. So I created another brush with a hint of transparent blue to the water. This adds more life to the boring gray tone it had previously.

I then did the same with the sky, but with less transparency due to the whiteness of the sky already. Adding a hint of color the white sky helps separate the house and lighthouse from the background even more.

The last brush I added to the photo was on the roof of the house. The intention there was to recover the red color subtly, so it doesn’t take away from the rest of the photo. So I increased the contrast, dropped the exposure slightly and added a hit more red to the roof.

Lightroom brush color

Add color to specific areas using the Lightroom brush

At the end of the day, the photo has multiple layers of dimension. It’s no longer flat, and notone section has the same feel as the rest. Using the brush feature in Lightroom I was able to not only recover color and contrast, but add even more texture and life to the scene.

Think of the Adjustment Brush tool like layers in Photoshop or onOne Software. There are no actual layers but rather brush points which can be adjusted individually.

Below is a video showing what I’ve done with this photograph.

There is a lot more that can be done, like sharpness, noise reduction and even changing color temperature and tinting for specific areas in a photo. But what I have shared here is a handful of what you are capable of doing within your favorite photography workflow software, Lightroom.

I’d love to see some photos you have processed using Lightroom Adjustment Brush tool. Please comment to share with the dPS community.

The post Using the Lightroom Adjustment Brush to add Dimension to a Landscape Photo by Scott Wyden Kivowitz appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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The New Age of Architectural Photography

Gone are days of interior photos looking like furniture showrooms. So, too, are the days of exterior photos being full of uplighting accents and HDR effects.

NewAge2

Today, architectural photography is all about lifestyle. The appeal of luxury has shifted away from the material luxury and flashy spaces of high society to an intangible luxury that transpires during quiet moments with loved ones. It’s more about quality of life than quality of goods.

When shooting interiors, your goal as photographer is to create a space that makes the viewer want to be there. You want them to imagine themselves in that space, and most importantly, to escape to it.

As a photographer, you not only have to read a space for its light, material, and flow, but you also need to feel the space. Consider a sleek urban condo in a downtown high-rise versus a historic Victorian house in family neighborhood versus a new construction in a suburban development. Each architectural development stirs up different feelings, and these are what you want to capture in your photography.

So how do you transfer these feelings into your images? Here are four steps to get you started.

1. Set the Stage

Focus on the personality and live-ability of the space. Luxurious bouquets of roses set in an empty room at sunset won’t do the trick. Instead, emphasize the day-to-day moments — an open book and some cushions on the seat of a bay window, a comfy throw blanket draped over the couch, or jewelry laid out on the dresser of a walk-in closet.

NewAge1

2. Mixing Cleanliness with Reality

Yes, the space should be clean. Yes, it should be cleaner than usual. However, it shouldn’t feel sterile. You want it to feel lived in, but not dirty.

All flat surfaces should be wiped down and cleared, except for staging items. Every light fixture should be in working order since they’ll be turned on to ensure the space has adequate lighting. Floors should be mopped or vacuumed. Any areas where the carpet or hardwood floors look old and worn, such as in high traffic areas, should be covered up with inexpensive area rugs. Be aware of any clutter that we get used to in our day-to-day life. A small pile of clutter goes a very long way in photos, and so all those stacks of mail, magazines, and books should be tucked away out of sight.

NewAge3 2

3. Use Optimal Lighting

A well-lit space is crucial! You want to create a look that feels natural, happy, and real, so use all of the light resources available to you. Photos should be shot during the day so you can take advantage of any soft sunlight that pours in.

As a secondary light source, be sure to turn on all of the lights. Yes, all of them. They’ll be turned on to give the space a warm and inviting feel. Long exposures shot on a tripod help brighten up shadows a bit, but you can also use a flash to bounce light off walls and ceilings to fill in shadows.

NewAge4

4. Vary the Photo Set

Wide shots are vital and dramatic and show the overall space well. However, details can be just as compelling.

Materials and traditional luxuries themselves are not important to show in detail. Rather, you must show the personality in the details. Staged items are perfect for shooting close-ups and setting the tone.

That pen and paper on the desk. The pastry and coffee cup on the side table next to an arm chair. The puzzle in progress by the bay window with a view. The tea kettle steaming with boiling water on the stove. These touches take your shots from a simple set of interior photos to the story of a lifestyle.

What are your tips for giving architectural photography a natural look and feel? Share your thoughts and photos in the comments section below.

The post How to Make an Architecture Space Look and Feel Natural in a Photo by Natalia Robert appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Let’s get a discussion going on what you wish you understood better when you first got in to photography. Please fill in the poll below, you can check off up to three choices, and add your comments below.

If it’s not listed check off “other” and add a comment.

What was your biggest obstacle? What did you struggle most to understand?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

The post POLL: What do you wish you understood better when you started photography? by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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What would you do if you could book more clients and earn more money with your photography? If you’re like me then you’d probably just blow it all on that new lens you’ve been thinking of buying for the past few months. You likely have a few clients every now and then, but for some reason they’re either not booking you and going with someone else, not buying your prints, or they’re just doing a disappearing act never to be heard from again after your first meeting. The truth is that you’re probably making one or several of the sales mistakes listed below and it’s costing you a lot of money.

Five Sales Mistakes MarkTioxon 0001

1. Being too focused on making a sale and not helping your client

Have you ever helped your friend make a decision on whether or not to buy that new lens or camera body? You probably shared your experience and listed six reasons why they should or shouldn’t make the purchase. You weren’t going to profit from the sale but you helped your friend make the best decision for them and their situation. You didn’t focus on making a sale. You were trying to help your friend, and that’s exactly how you need to handle clients.

You’re the photography expert. They are coming to you for help. Yes they want you to make great photos, but they also want you to lead them through the rest of the process. They need your help to buy the right print packages, canvas wraps, and albums. Basically they need you to help them spend their money! So just help them like you would any good friend (except you probably can’t borrow the canvas prints of their family, like you would borrow a friend’s new lens).

Don’t try to sell to your clients. How do you feel when a bad salesperson starts trying to run their awful pitches on you? Your clients feel the same way and will probably want to run away the moment you start “selling”.

2. Asking questions and not shutting up

Five Sales Mistakes MarkTioxon 0002

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone that doesn’t stop talking? They’ll ask you a question and then give you their answer without listening to you. Too many photographers do that exact thing when they’re meeting with clients. They get so excited, and they want to share everything with their clients that they don’t give anyone else a chance to talk. Clients end up thinking that the only reason the photographer asked any questions was just to listen to themselves talk. Or worse, the clients think that the photographer doesn’t care about anything they have to say.

After you ask a question, stop talking. Literally just shut up. Don’t say a word until the other person speaks. When they finish speaking, take a breath and see if they have even more to say while you sit there listening.

You’re not there to ask questions so that you can answer them. You’re there to listen to whatever truths your client will share with you. That’s how you find out how you can help them (refer up above to mistake number one).

3. Not being an expert of your own product

Five Sales Mistakes MarkTioxon 0003

You know why I like tour guides? Because they know EVERYTHING about the tour you’re following them on. They know all the important stats, the history, and answers to almost every question you can come up with. How embarrassing would it be if your tour guide wasn’t very familiar with the exhibits? You’d feel like your time was wasted right?

That’s exactly how clients feel when photographers don’t know their products inside and out. When you don’t know how much your prints costs, or what options are included, or all of the different ways a package can be structured, it makes your clients start to worry about giving you their money. Definitely not what we want our clients thinking about. Sure you’re an expert at photography, but now the client wants to buy. Are you an expert at selling your product?

Or to phrase it better, are you an expert at helping clients buy your product?

You should know your product as well as you know your photography. Remember, your product is more than only the photos you make. In what ways can you help your clients make a buying decision?

4. Missing the most important person at your meeting

Five Sales Mistakes MarkTioxon 0004

Who is the most important person to have at your meeting? The decision maker. It’s a simple answer, but so many photographers have meetings that end up being a waste of time. Have you ever met with a client only to have them say they needed to check with so-and-so before deciding? How much time would you have saved if that person was there for your meeting, or even on the phone? Some photographers never talk to the decision maker even once throughout the whole process. They’ll have three meetings with different people that all have to check with someone else. It’s a complete waste of time.

A worse mistake is when the decision maker is present, but the photographer doesn’t realize it, or they think the wrong person is the decision maker. The photographer spends all his time talking to one person, but ignoring the most important one! Then they wonder why they didn’t book the client. Make sure you have an opportunity to communicate directly with the decision maker, whomever that may be. It’ll save you a lot of wasted effort.

5. Not being brave enough to ask for the sale

Five Sales Mistakes MarkTioxon 0005

I have a friend who does a great sales presentation with his clients. He explains the benefits, makes everyone laugh and they truly feel like he’s helping them with whatever they need. His clients are often ready to buy when he reaches the end of his presentation. They literally want to give him their money and all he has to do is ask.

Instead of asking them to sign the contract or if they’d like to put down a deposit that day, he mumbles something like, “I know this a big decision so go ahead and think about it and let me know what you decide.”

That is not asking for the sale. That’s avoiding asking. That’s putting it off. That’s not being brave enough to ask for your money.

How do you close a deal? You ask for the sale. It doesn’t have to sound like you’re asking for the sale either. There are many different ways to do this. You can ask how they’d like to pay, cash or credit. You can ask which package they’d like to purchase. You can even just ask them if they’d like to sign the contract. I know it sounds crazy, but if you did your job during the meeting, then they’ll be ready to sign your contract right there in front of you.

Five Sales Mistakes MarkTioxon 0006

You’ve done a great job of learning your craft. You’re a great photographer but no one’s hiring you. It’s not your photography that’s the problem. It’s just that you’ve been too busy to focus on the sales part of the business. Not everyone is cut out to make a living at photography but you’re not like everyone else. You can do this. Learn how to correct the mistakes mentioned above and your sales will increase, your clients will be much happier, and you might be at the start of a great photography career. How amazing would that be?

The post The Top 5 Sales Mistakes Costing You Money Right Now by Mark Tioxon appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Feb
20

30 Alluring Images with Shallow DOF

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This week we’re going back to the basics and looking at some images that utilize a large aperture to create a narrow or shallow DOF (Depth of Field).

Often called bokeh, large apertures can create that magical look of out of focus blobs (highly technical term).

Here are a few images demonstrating these things to inspire you.

Photograph The Path by Joe Azure on 500px

The Path by Joe Azure on 500px

Photograph Can You Smell the Cinnamon? by C Rankin on 500px

Can You Smell the Cinnamon? by C Rankin on 500px

Photograph Slither by Justin Lo on 500px

Slither by Justin Lo on 500px

Photograph some hooks by Sak Rum on 500px

some hooks by Sak Rum on 500px

Photograph Strength  by Nadav Yacobi on 500px

Strength by Nadav Yacobi on 500px

Photograph Shades of Orange by Ursula Abresch on 500px

Shades of Orange by Ursula Abresch on 500px

Photograph Green, green grass of home by Páll Guðjónsson on 500px

Green, green grass of home by Páll Guðjónsson on 500px

Photograph Standing Alone by William Dodd on 500px

Standing Alone by William Dodd on 500px

Photograph Shallow DOF: Padlock by Tom Cunningham on 500px

Shallow DOF: Padlock by Tom Cunningham on 500px

Photograph 5 string bass by Jim Zielinski on 500px

5 string bass by Jim Zielinski on 500px

Photograph Tip of Flower by Srujan Chennupati on 500px

Tip of Flower by Srujan Chennupati on 500px

Photograph autumnal farewell by Darragh Hehir on 500px

autumnal farewell by Darragh Hehir on 500px

Photograph Healing Crane by JL Kong on 500px

Healing Crane by JL Kong on 500px

Photograph A New Heart by Dustin Abbott on 500px

A New Heart by Dustin Abbott on 500px

Photograph The Meeting of The Moons by JL Kong on 500px

The Meeting of The Moons by JL Kong on 500px

Photograph in flight by Katie Andelman Garner on 500px

in flight by Katie Andelman Garner on 500px

Photograph Cupcake by Katie Andelman Garner on 500px

Cupcake by Katie Andelman Garner on 500px

Photograph r by belu gheorghe on 500px

r by belu gheorghe on 500px

Photograph There There by Sam PortraitsBySam on 500px

There There by Sam PortraitsBySam on 500px

Photograph Bull's Eye by Adrian Tavano on 500px

Bull's Eye by Adrian Tavano on 500px

Photograph Because i’m Happy by Joseph Saadeh on 500px

Because i’m Happy by Joseph Saadeh on 500px

Photograph Laughing dog by Robert Chrenka on 500px

Laughing dog by Robert Chrenka on 500px

Photograph When You Wish Upon a Star by Magdalena Ginalska on 500px

When You Wish Upon a Star by Magdalena Ginalska on 500px

Photograph Romantic Morning by Roni Hendrawan on 500px

Romantic Morning by Roni Hendrawan on 500px

Photograph night view of Setagaya by takashi kitajima on 500px

night view of Setagaya by takashi kitajima on 500px

Photograph Mr. Red by Max Rinaldi on 500px

Mr. Red by Max Rinaldi on 500px

Photograph Sadhu and Monkey by Anton Jankovoy on 500px

Sadhu and Monkey by Anton Jankovoy on 500px

Photograph night shift by G T on 500px

night shift by G T on 500px

Photograph Veiled Beauty Redux by Sean Molin on 500px

Veiled Beauty Redux by Sean Molin on 500px

Photograph *** by Dimitry Roulland on 500px

*** by Dimitry Roulland on 500px

The post 30 Alluring Images with Shallow DOF by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Feb
19

10 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography

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How to improve your travel photography

Get the most out of your travel photography and capture the moment with these 10 simple tips. Most of these tips are pretty basic and some of them are useful for traveling in general.

1 – Focus on faces

Sounds obvious I know, but whether it’s wildlife or people, it’s often best to focus your lens on the face of of your most important subject. We are naturally drawn to eyes, so that’s where you’ll usually want to focus.

10 Ways to improve your travel photography

2 – Shoot fast

Photographing people in fascinating cultural situations requires a totally different mindset to shooting landscapes.

Forget your tripod, forget low ISO settings and think less about image quality and more about capturing the moment. Be ready, by relying on your autofocus and fast shutter speeds to freeze the action. Handheld is the way to go because you just don’t have the time to be fiddling around with tripods.

In bright sunlight you’ll get away with ISO settings between 400 and 1000 but when the light starts to get low, don’t be afraid to crank that ISO way up into the thousands.

Use wider apertures like f/2.8 to achieve faster shutter speeds and get a pleasing shallow depth of field to accentuate your main subject. Shooting in Aperture Priority mode (AV) lets you quickly dial in the desired aperture while your camera decides on the shutter speed.

If your lens has some kind of vibration reduction be sure to switch that on when going handheld.

Travel Photography tips

3 – Learn the lingo

Take at least a few hours while traveling to learn the basic language skills for your location. Knowing how to say ”Hello, excuse me, please, thank you, sorry, yes, no,” etc., goes a long way even in countries where English is spoken in tourist areas.

Having some basic language skills can make a huge difference to the type of access you’ll get, and the things you’ll get to see. Language opens doors that would otherwise be closed to the average tourist.

4 – Hire a translator or guide

Getting access to people’s everyday lives is often difficult if you don’t know any locals, especially if it’s your first time at a particular location. Consider hiring a guide or translator so that you can communicate with locals on a deeper level than just knowing the basic phrases.

I’ve done this a few times and you sometimes get to make great friends with your guides, who will be happy to introduce you to interesting people and places.

Travel Photography Tips

5 – Smile and make friends

When taking pictures of strangers or communicating with locals, don’t be a dour faced tourist. Smiling is universal and softens what might otherwise be an intimidating approach to people who have little experience with adventurous foreigners.

If you want people to like you, a smile is a good place to start.

6 – Ask for permission whenever possible

If you’re able to ask a person for permission to take their picture, you should. In many countries there is no legal obligation to do so but it’s just good manners, and some people may have religious reasons why they’d really prefer not to have their picture taken.

Conversely, don’t interrupt a delicate social situation if there’s a chance it might be socially awkward. This picture I took at the very famous What Pho in Bangkok is a good example. The monks were taking an exam in front of hundreds of tourists under a high pressure situation so I’m hardly going to walk up and interrupt.

Wat Pho Thailand - Travel Photography Tips

7 – Choose the right lenses

When it comes to capturing atmospheric cultural shots, I’ll choose prime lenses that offer a lovely blurred bokeh effect while keeping my main subject sharp. Typically these will be in the 35mm, 50mm or 85mm, range on a full frame camera. These types of lenses will give you that lovely cinematic look that all-in-one zoom lenses just can’t deliver.

You can achieve a similar look with big telephoto lenses but those are less portable. Smaller primes also make you look more low-key and have great image quality.

Best lenses for travel photography

One of my favourite lenses for travel photography is the Sigma 85mm 1.4 prime.

8 – Carry two cameras

This goes back to what I said about shooting fast. With people and animals you often won’t have time to switch lenses, so consider carrying two cameras that have lenses for different purposes. Let’s say a wide angle lens on one camera, and a lovely 85mm prime for portraits on the other. This way you’ll be able to cope with most situations at a fast pace.

If you are going to carry two cameras, try and keep one in a small bag at all times. If you look too much like a paparazzo it might intimidate some people.

9 – Step out of your comfort zone

I’m not advising you to put yourself in danger. You should always use common sense, but consider doing things you might otherwise find yourself saying NO to. That’s where you’ll find the best photo opportunities.

An example of this would be my recent visit to a mountain cave in Thailand called Phra That Cave in Kanchanaburi Province. The cave has no lights, claustrophobic tunnels and thousands of bats, some of which you’ll have flying right in your face. To me, that’s fun, but to others it’s a living hell.

10 Travel photography tips

”Bats, you say? Thousand of bats?”

10 – Take responsibility for your ownsafety

Third world countries (and even some first world countries) have a very vague concept of Health and Safety. Modern day westerners are raised in a bubble of relative safety that can sometimes result in us having a misplaced sense of responsibility.

Use common sense when traveling, and don’t assume that those hastily built steps you’re about to climb have been passed by a safety inspector.

Got Your Own Tips?

I’d love to hear your travel photography tips. From always carrying toilet paper to having your lawyer’s phone number on speed dial, please share your hard earned experiences and let’s grow this tip list.

The post 10 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography by Gavin Hardcastle appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How many social media websites do you upload photos to regularly? I have five – a Facebook page, my personal Facebook profile, Google+, Flickr and 500px. Some people have more. For photographers who want to get their work out there, this seems like a must. Yet it’s time consuming and, truth be told, an inefficient way of working.

If this is you, then you’ll be interested in new photo sharing website, Expojure. A startup based in Mumbai, it lets you upload the photos you want to share to a central Expojure account, arrange them in Collections, add keywords, titles, tags and descriptions, then upload them to as many as six photo sharing websites (the five listed above plus SmugMug).

Expojure review

I’ve been using Expojure for a few weeks now and I’m very impressed with the setup. The website is well-designed and easy to use. The layout is simple, doing exactly what most people will need it to, without adding unnecessary extras.

There’s also a plug-in for uploading photos to your Expojure account directly from Lightroom.

How Expojure works

When you sign in to Expojure you’ll see a page that looks something like this – it is your Dashboard. If you’ve uploaded any photos to Expojure already, you will see them here. If not, you’re presented with the option to sign into the photo sharing accounts you wish to use. Just click the buttons to do so. Connected accounts are shown afterwards on the left.

Expojure review

Once you’ve connected to some photo sharing websites, it’s time to go to the Organizer and add photos. Uploaded photos are automatically placed in a new Collection. You can rename the Collection and add a description using the panel on the right. You can also move photos around between Collections.

Expojure review

You can add or amend details of individual photos by clicking on them and entering the new information on the right. If you haven’t already added a title, description, or tags now is your chance to do so.

Expojure review

Click the green Publish buttons in the bottom right corner to upload the photos. Expojure places all the photos in the Collection into a new Set on your selected website.

Expojure review

Every photo in the Collection is sent to the chosen website. If you want to upload a single image, you need to create a new Collection and add the chosen photo to that first.

Here’s a photo that I uploaded to Flickr. The title, description, EXIF data and tags have been successfully added. The only thing left to do is add the photo to any Groups or mark the location on the map.

Expojure review

Expojure Lightroom plug-in

If you click on the Settings tab at the top of the Expojure website page you can download a free plug-in for Lightroom. Use Plug-in manager to add it. It shows up in Lightroom’s Publish Services.

Once installed, you can create new Publish Collections containing photos to upload to your Expojure account. Lightroom uploads them when you press the Publish button. The images are held there until you log in and distribute them to your photo sharing websites.

Expojure review

Notes about Expojure

At the time of writing Expojure is free to use, and has been since the service went live. However, at some point (most likely after this article has been written, but before it is published) Expojure is switching to a subscription model. There will still be a free account, which limits you to uploading 20 photos a week and connection to two social media accounts. Paid accounts retain unlimited photo uploads and unlimited social media accounts.

If you have a free 500px account, you will receive an error message when you upload photos to it. This is because free accounts don’t support Sets. However, your photos are still successfully uploaded to 500px, despite the error message.

Expojure will add more features, and more services to its supported photo sharing websites over the next few weeks. Some of these may be active by the time you read this article.

Alternatives to Expojure

The only alternative to Expojure that I’m aware of is Lightroom’s Publish Services (please let us know in the comments if you know of any others). The benefit of Lightroom’s Publish Services is that it is free (once you own Lightroom). However it’s not as efficient or easy to use as Expojure and doesn’t support websites like Google+ out of the box (plug-ins are available for many photo sharing websites).

Expojure review

Conclusion

Expojure is a well thought out service that greatly simplifies the task of uploading photos to social media websites. If you find the process of adding images to multiple websites frustrating, then please take a look at Expojure’s website, you’ll be glad you did. The video posted at the top of the article gives you a good overview of how it works.

Which photo sharing accounts do you use and how do you manage them? Please let us know in the comments.


The Mastering Lightroom Collection

Mastering Lightroom ebooksMy Mastering Lightroom ebooks will help you get the most out of Lightroom 4 and Lightroom 5. They cover every aspect of the software from the Library module through to creating beautiful images in the Develop module. Click the link to learn more or buy.

The post Upload Your Photos to Multiple Social Media Websites with Expojure by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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