Month: July 2016

How to Boost Your Creativity by Including Props in Your Photography

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Props: are they a blessing or a curse? In photography, props can often make or destroy a photo, and because of this some people try to avoid them, some are afraid to use them, and other people love to use them.

I moved from being afraid to loving props because I found they are amazing tools to unlock creativity.

Photo00

Freshly squeezed coffee. A different way to prepare a fresh cup of coffee.

Why use props?

Usually, the role of the props in photography is to help add character and interest to a photo, or to add context to the scene.

Some kinds of photography, such as conceptual photography, cannot exist without props, as they are needed to translate the abstract concept or message into an image.

Photo01

Musical scores.

Props in commercial photography

In tabletop photography (product, food photography, and still life), props are used to build the scenography of the photo you are crafting.

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The teapot, the plate, and tea leaves are all elements of the scenography used for the pile of chocolate biscuits in this a classic food photograph.

Props in landscape photography

Props are sometimes present even in landscape photography, usually with the task to add interest to the foreground. A classic example would be to photograph a camp site in the wilderness, with a lit tent under a starry sky.

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This tent is, indeed, just a prop. I brought it along with me solely with the intent to add interest to this nocturnal landscape.

Props and portrait photography

Using props will also help you to create more interesting portraits. Are you into self-portraiture? Cool, but there is only so much you can do with your face, and after a while you will probably feel the need to start using props, The more creatively you can use them, the better and more interesting your portrait will be.

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A simple ball thrown in the air with a bit of timing can make for a dynamic, “It’s a kind of magic” portrait.

So, props are all those objects that photographers add into the scene they’re photographing that are not the main subject of the image. I don’t consider hats, jewelry, wristwatches, and all those accessories your model wears for a portrait, to be props.

Another plus with props, especially in portraiture, is that they can help your model to be more comfortable in front the camera by giving him/her something to do or to focus on, thus forgetting about you and your camera.

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A prop in the hands of a 3 year old toddler (my son in this case) can lead to interesting results without making a fuss.

Things to look out for using props

So where is the problem with the use of props? Why people can be negative about them? My guess is because they are so widely used in photography that the risk of fall into photographic clichés is quite high.

Below are five tips to help you be creative with props, instead to fear them.

Before you continue allow me a final word. While it is true that many things can be do inside editing software, to really exercise your creativity don’t be a lazy photographer, craft your images for real as much as possible.

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I consider the flame and the smoke in this photo of a hot pepper to be props. The fun in crafting the image with real fire and smoke was unbelievable.

Tip #1: Use a classic prop in a fresh way

Old film cameras are classic props in portraiture, and the ways to use them are variations of my son’s portrait you saw above.

Among those cameras, the most photogenic ones are, in my opinion, the TLR (twin lens reflex) cameras, such as Rolleiflex, Rolleicord and Yashica. Because these cameras have a huge focusing screen you have to look into from above, the usual way to use these props is to have your model look down into the camera.

A less common way to use those TLR cameras as props is to take advantage of their massive focusing screen, which is many time larger than any SLR camera viewfinder, and to photograph the scene the TLR camera is seeing.

Once you get the setup right, don’t stop after the first shot, but experiment with poses and props.

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Trapped!

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To reveal the child inside us.

Tip #2: Build your own props

Another way to get creative with props is to craft them yourself. This will not only ensure you have unique props to work with, but the whole process of making the props will make you think more creatively about how to use them.

A one meter long, origami paper boat, and a yellow balloon are good props to make one of my son’s fantasy and childish adventures come to life.

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A fantasy childhood adventure gets real in this photo.

If you are into origami, and tired of taking the usual portraits of your children, you could try to create adventures for them by folding big paper planes or animals, or whatever you know how to do with a piece of paper. Plus, you can find plenty of origami tutorials waiting for you online.

Once again, it is true you could easily compose the adventurous portrait of your child by adding elements to the photo later in Photoshop. But, again, what fun would that be for both of you?

Tip #3: Break the physical laws and go surreal

One of my favorite prop to work with are helium balloons, those you usually buy for parties. They are colorful, cheap, long lasting and very versatile.

Inspiration for their use is everywhere; have you watch the animation movie Up recently? Cool, wouldn’t it be fun to fly away holding tight to a bunch of balloons?

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Up, up we go. Here the low key really helped a lot to make the pose believable.

What about breaking the physical law by playing “tug of war” with those balloons, instead?

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Up and Down are quite arbitrary in this kind of photos. Here I was lying down on the floor but I tried to keep my shoulder off the ground, so that once I turned the photo 90 degrees counterclockwise, the pose was still believable. The low key helped by getting rid of the floor.

Tip #4: Prep your props

Sometimes, you can obtain something original just by prepping up a classic prop, such as the omnipresent book. Books are often used to fill a still life scene, or to get more interesting portraits.

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A funny contrast between the surprised grown up, rude, and bearded man, and the book of one of Winnie the Pooh adventures.

To make things more interesting, dynamic and less cliché, you can prep a book by sprinkling body powder on its pages and then have your model to blow the dust off while you take the photo. Or have him slam the book shut just before you fire the shutter, so to record of white powder flying out the book creating clouds.

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By adding body powder to the mix, you can obtain much stronger and dynamic portrait.

Powder makes things much more interesting, and the only limit is your creativity (or the absence of a working vacuum cleaner to clean up after the mess). You can sprinkled some body powder on a ball (another common prop) and make your model hit it with the hands just before taking the photo. You will capture great puffs of powder, helping to convey a feeling of action and power.

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Basketball and body powder mix in interesting ways.

Tip #5: Go crazy with conceptual photography

While it is challenging per se, I consider conceptual photography to be the best playground to learn to be creative with props.

When you do conceptual photography, your subject will be a concept, and the challenge is to translate it into an image by using props. At first, keep it easy, and don’t be afraid to get inspired by the work of other photographers.

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The chicken’s great escape, a concept I saw online and I made it mine by using my personal style, and adding the escaping chicken.

Because you want to convey a message, even with the simplest setup, you have to pay attention on how you place your props into the scene.

In the previous photo, the dark, out-of-focus chicken in the background is there to give the idea of the chicken moving away from the egg. While the broken shell with marks on its inside make the viewer think of it as the chicken prison. Had I placed the chicken in the foreground, in-focus and well lit as the egg’s shell, the message would have lost some strength.

When you do conceptual photography, do not focus on the photography aspect at first, but let your ideas and concepts spawn naturally from your everyday life. Are you cooking your favorite food? In that moment the idea that photography is a bit like cooking could strike you.

In photography, as in cooking, you combine what reality puts in front your lens (the ingredients) to create your vision of such reality (the finished food).

This idea struck me once and this was my personal way to translate it into a photo: the ingredients are the colorful paper rolls in front the lens of an old TLR camera, and those ingredients combine in-camera to reveal an origami nocturnal seascape crafted using the paper from the rolls. Photography magic.

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The fun of doing the origami seascape for real and the challenge to frame, focus, and light it, so I could photograph the scene through my old TLR camera, was so much more than just use an editing software to copy/paste, move, rotate, resize and bled all the different elements together.

Once you start this game, you can find concepts everywhere; was your Mexican food too spicy even for a chili lover as you are? Something like that could pop in your mind.

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The most useful kit for us chili lovers.

Bonus tip: The hunt for props

Now you know how you can get creative with props in many ways, even using common ones, but it is always good to hunt for more interesting ones.

A good way to hunt for unique and weird props is to visit flea markets and shops selling kitchen supplies, vintage clothes, and such. And then, as usual, once you’ve got your props, use them in a fresh and unconventional way.

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A variation of the concept shown in the photo opening this article; the same concept can be photographed in many different and original ways. Creativity is your only limitation.

Once again, the way you use and prep the props is crucial to create a convincing image. The coffee stains on the table and the squeezer, the squashed and broken capsules, and the smoke from a hidden candle, make the viewer understand what the meaning of the photo is, and the reason behind those props.

Conclusions

Don’t be afraid to use props in your photography to add something more. Just remember to use them wisely and creatively to push your photography further, and to avoid falling into photography clichés.

The post How to Boost Your Creativity by Including Props in Your Photography by Andrea Minoia appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

How to Achieve Background Blur or Bokeh

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If I show you two different portraits, one with a blurred background and one with a sharp background, you will automatically prefer the one with the creamy bokeh. Why? Because that’s just how it is. No, the bokeh effect is very flattering because it isolates the main subject by separating it from the background.

If you did not know, bokeh means blur in Japanese, and it is purely aesthetic.

Most portrait photographers blur their backgrounds, and I certainly do it because when I take a picture of someone, I want the viewer to focus on the person’s face and not what’s going on behind them.

IMAGE 1

Portrait with nice bokeh in the background.

I always want good background blur when I shoot portraits, that’s one of the main reasons why I shoot on Aperture Priority and let the camera do all the rest of the work. My minimum shutter speed has to be 1/100th, so I increase my ISO to 400 to compensate – this is for portraits with natural light.

Bokeh basically depends on how shallow your depth of field is (note that the further the background is from your subject, the smoother the bokeh). Depth of field depends on three main things

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In this image, the bokeh looks really good because the background was really far from the subject (the bird).

The Aperture Matters!

The bigger your aperture (smaller the f-number), the shallower your depth of field (e.g., f/2.8 is a large aperture opening, and it creates shallow depth of field).

The first thing I did not understand when I first started photography is that I used the biggest aperture on my lens but the background was not completely blurred.

At that time I used the 18-55mm canon kit lens with its maximum aperture of f/3.5. The user’s manual on my camera told me to just use the smallest f/stop on my lens and I would automatically blur the background. However, they did not mention a lot of other factors to get this result, like how big should my aperture be. After hours of trying to get a background blur with my aperture of f/3.5, I was left very frustrated because I did not get the results that I saw on the internet.

I later understood that bokeh depended a lot on how big my aperture was – I wanted to get bokeh for portraits with a focal length of 50mm. I had to buy a lens with a bigger aperture to get a completely blurred background, and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 was the answer. It is a relatively cheap lens to get started with portraits. You can find other lenses with an aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.2 but the bigger the aperture, the more expensive the lens.

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Portrait with an aperture of f/1.8

With a regular lens like 50mm, you will start getting nice bokeh starting from f/2.8. So lesson number one is to buy a lens with a really big aperture – this is the first way to achieve flattering background blur. You probably know this already, but this is important to mention before giving the two other points.

With a big aperture, you will be sure to get a nice background blur. But, there are other ways you can blur your background without having a wide aperture.

The camera to subject distance controls the depth of field

Let me show you my point: lift your right thumb (or left thumb -it doesn’t really matter) in front of your right eye and stare at it while closing your left eye. While focusing on your thumb, notice that you cannot clearly see the background. Now move your thumb farther away from your eye, keeping your thumb in focus. You will notice that the background won’t be blurred anymore. This works with your camera the same as it down with you eyes. The closer you get to your subject, the more blurred the background will be.

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At 40mm, f/5.6 you can see that I’m not getting any bokeh in the background.

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At 40mm, f/5.6 you can see that with the same focal length and aperture I can get a nice bokeh by getting closer to the tree.

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At f/1.8 I get a nice bokeh with the 50mm lens.

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Still at f/1.8 with the 50mm, if I get closer the effect gets more intense.

I understood this when I finally managed to get nice bokeh with my kit lens (I still did not have my beloved 50mm f/1.8). I used to practice my photography, and background blur on a tree. The f/3.5 aperture was not good enough for me so I tried different things. The first satisfying bokeh I got was when I focused my camera really close to the tree.

If you take a second and think, you will realize that all the macro photography images have a shallow depth of field, therefore a smooth bokeh. This is because macro photographers get really close to their subjects.

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By getting close to your subject you will blur the background.

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Here I used a zoom macro lens (at 300mm) and got as close as possible to the leaf.

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Here I used an aperture of f/1.8 with the 50mm, and got as close as possible.

Even if you have an aperture of, let’s say f/5.6, if you get your camera really close to your subject, you will have a blurry background.

Note that macro photographers use special lenses that enables them to take images really close to their subjects. Standard lenses have a limit regarding their focussing distance. If you cannot afford a lens with a big aperture nor a macro lens, extension tubes are a good solution to extend your focusing distance.

The shorter the distance between your subject and the camera, the shallower the depth of field will be. The bokeh really depends on that distance, because I can shoot a landscape scene with an aperture of f/1.8, and there will be no background blur. That is because there is a huge distance between my camera and the subject I’m trying to photograph.

The lens focal length changes the perceived depth of field

If you cannot get close to your subject, but still want to isolate it with a background blur, then use a long focal length lens.

IMAGE 11
Image taken with a long telephoto lens.

The cool thing with longer focal length lenses, is that you can photograph portraits, wildlife, macro, and isolate anything you can’t get close to. The other advantage is that you don’t need a large aperture, an aperture of f/6.3, for example, will give you creamy backgrounds.

A longer focal length will appear to give you a shallower depth of field, because the subject is compressed, and the isolation between your subject and the background is more important.

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A shorter focal length will appear to give you a larger depth of field. Let’s go back to the example of the tree. If I put my aperture at f/4 on a 16mm lens in front of the tree, the background will appear quite sharp. Whereas if I focus on the tree from the same distance, with the same aperture, but with a focal length of 50mm, I will notice that I get a background blur and a shallow depth of field.

IMAGE 13

Taken at f/5.6 and 70mm.

IMAGE 14

Taken at f/5.6 and 300mm without moving.

Conclusion

So you must be thinking: the best bokeh you can get is to have a long telephoto lens, focused really close to your subject, with a really wide aperture. That’s pretty much it!

The sad part is that these lenses are very expensive. But, I have two portrait lenses, and together they cost less than $400 – and, I am still able to take good looking portraits with nice bokeh. So it’s about combining these things, the best you can with the tools you have.

IMAGE 15

Using a telephoto lens and getting really close.

The post How to Achieve Background Blur or Bokeh by Yacine Bessekhouad appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

25 Speedy Images That May Leave You in the Dust

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How you photograph a moving subject really depends on two things:

  1. Your intentions (to blur or freeze it)
  2. The lighting conditions (it may be low light)

You could decide to blur the object, adding a sense of motion to your image. Or make a complete abstract.

Diana Robinson

By Diana Robinson

Manfred Majer

By manfred majer

Or you could freeze motion using a fast shutter speed.

René Something Something

By René something something

Chris Chabot

By Chris Chabot

Here are 21 more images that show speed:

CLAUDIA DEA

By CLAUDIA DEA

Jasper Nance

By Jasper Nance

Marc Forrest

By Marc Forrest

Pierre Anquet

By Pierre Anquet

Elvin

By Elvin

Nikos Koutoulas

By Nikos Koutoulas

Curtis John

By Curtis John

Bryce Bradford

By Bryce Bradford

Houman_thebrave

By houman_thebrave

E01

By E01

Damianos  Chronakis

By Damianos Chronakis

Loïc Lagarde

By Loïc Lagarde

Sama093

By sama093

Lena Vasiljeva

By Lena Vasiljeva

SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr

By SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr

Howard Ignatius

By Howard Ignatius

Renato Carvalho

By Renato Carvalho

Photophilde

By photophilde

SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr

By SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr

Stephanie Wallace

By Stephanie Wallace

Greg Heo

By Greg Heo

The post 25 Speedy Images That May Leave You in the Dust by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

7 Travel Photography Mistakes to Avoid

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Travel photography has been captivating people for years. But capturing unique travel photos isn’t easy, and often people who are starting out make the same mistakes several times. There’s no doubt that a well composed, and well lit travel photograph, with an interesting subject, has the power to convince someone to head to a destination.

Here are seven mistakes to avoid when doing travel photography:

#1 – Taking Tourist Photos

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If you type any famous landmark or location in the world into Google, or any image library, you will likely get thousands of images showing up in the search results. So the reality is that it is becoming more and more difficult to capture unique photos. But that is the challenge for you as a photographer. Most photography editors will tell you that they do not want photos that are the typical tourist photos that you see, simply because most people have seen those hundreds of times. But how do you make yours unique?

This comes down to three things.

  1. Do your research so that you know what already exists. It’s not enough to simply look at a handful of photos; you need to understand everything from the angles, to the weather and the lighting.
  2. Be creative and think of a unique way to showcase the subject. This part comes down to your creativity, and largely to the amount of research you have done.
  3. Commitment to ensuring that you capture the photo, even if that means waiting around somewhere for hours for the perfect conditions, or having to return later until you can get the shot.

Beyond these there is also a fourth way, which is to get lucky. Sometimes, you will get to a location and find something happening – be it with people, animals, or even the weather – that will give you a stunning, but different photo. Unfortunately, those days are few and far between.

#2 – Avoiding People

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A location’s people are as integral to our experience of it as the famous buildings or landmarks. But unfortunately many new photography who are starting out in the travel genre, avoid photographing people because of shyness. Most people are friendly, and if you make the effort and spend the time to get to know them, they will be more than happy to accommodate you taking their photo. So don’t be shy, because all you are doing is denying the viewer a crucial part of the story.

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#3 – Being Lazy or Impatient

I’m always amazed when I see people come to location, take a snapshot and move on. Removing the photography element all together, how can you possibly enjoy and experience a location, if you are simply jumping from one place to another?

As a travel photographer sometimes it’s easy to be lazy and impatient. After all, why wait for two hours for the perfect light, when you can take a photo and head back to the hotel and sit by the swimming pool? But part of the reason that we are fascinated by travel photos is because they show us a glimpse into another culture. The only way to do this is to make the effort and spend the time, not only to understand and appreciate it, but also to execute taking the photo.

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#4 – Photographing from the Viewpoints

This way to “sunset point”. Every traveller and photographer has seen these signs wherever they have gone. Sometimes these “viewpoints” are magnificent, and in some circumstances and conditions they are absolutely the place you should visit and photograph from. But the majority of the time they are simply the most accessible place for the masses, and as a result, a view most people have seen.

So you have two choices, either try to capture a unique photo from that point, or find a unique view. The latter will require more effort, hard work, and sometimes cost more to achieve. The decision will ultimately rest with you.

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#5 – Forgetting the Small Details

One of the great things about photography is that it allows us to capture the small details that are often missed with the naked eye. After all, it’s so easy to get caught up in the big beautiful scenery, and miss the smaller details that often sit around it.

Sometimes, it’s these small details that actually enhance the experience of a location through photos. So always remember to look around for unique moments or details that you can capture on your travels. They will help diversify your portfolio and give a much more intriguing angle to your destination.

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#6 – Travelling with Others

One thing that I learned a long time ago is that photographing while travelling is completely different to travelling to take photos. However hard the latter is, it’s even more difficult when you are travelling with other people. Be it, friends, family, or a tour group, most people don’t have the patience, or the interest, to wait around for you to take photos. You soon end up in a tense situation, which means you can’t get what you want done and other people don’t enjoy their trip.

The best way is to separate the two completely, and either use a trip as a holiday with the focus being on relaxing and enjoying yourself, or consider it work. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are travelling with other people, try setting yourself a few days or even a few hours where you can go off on your own.

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#7 – Forgetting to Enjoy Yourself

As much as you need to dedicate yourself to the photo when travelling, you still need to remember to actually enjoy yourself as well. Like any job or hobby, if it starts to become a chore and you no longer enjoy it, this will reflect in your work.

Ultimately you are in a place that is new exciting so make sure you allow yourself some time – even if it is just small windows – to enjoy the experience of being there.

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Travel photography is a wonderful job or hobby, and most people have a list of destinations that they would happily travel to, and photograph. This means that motivation to photograph it well is usually not an issue, so with a bit of hard work and by avoiding some of the mistakes, you can capture wonderful photographs.

Have you learned from any of your travel experiences? Please share them below.

The post 7 Travel Photography Mistakes to Avoid by Kav Dadfar appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

More Ways to Create Better Images Without Buying More Gear

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Jay Maisel has to be one of the most interesting photographers alive today. He is 85 years old and he still makes a point of carrying his camera with him every day, everywhere he goes. I recently watched a few videos where Scott Kelby spent a few days with Jay, just wandering through the streets of New York and later, walking through Paris.

In these two different videos, Jay imparts his photography philosophy, and how he makes his images. The remarkable thing I noticed is that Jay almost never talks about photography equipment. Rather, he speaks about technique, about getting it right in camera, and making sure you spend time getting the best shot possible.

This article is a follow on from an article I did a while ago, which had a similar title to this one – 5 Ways to Create Better Images Without Buying More Gear. I now want to expand on that and add 5 more things you can do to improve your photography without buying more gear.

#1 Show the viewer something different

This is something really important that, but we don’t often think about. There are so many things being photographed every day.

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Think about this: if you go to Paris, you will no doubt want a photo of the Eiffel Tower. Of course, every photographer does. The challenge is, we have all seen photographs of the Eiffel Tower, so, how will your image be different from anyone else’s? Better still, how will you make the image look like it is taken from a new vantage point or angle.

These are the tough questions, the things that we need to think about as photographers. You could try a few things, go in really close and get some detailed shots of the metal structure, find an area of it that is looking old and grungy, maybe try and shoot it from a very extreme angle, work hard to show your viewer something they haven’t seen before.

Think of the photos you have seen of the Eiffel Tower. If your image looks like any of those shots, then you need to try something different. The goal here is not to be different for the sake of being so, but to try and be unique.

Of course, you should shoot the usual postcard shot, at least you have that, but then play around, walk around, lie on the ground, shoot straight up, put your camera lens against the structure, try anything to get an angle that you have never seen before.

Show me something I have never seen before. – Jay Maisel

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Look for something you have not seen before

This is one of Jay Maisel’s key messages, “Show me something I have never seen before”. He is not being flippant, we have all seen a car, a tree, a glass building, and people on the street. What he is looking for is to be shown these everyday subjects in a different way, that’s the key to this principle.

#2 Practice patience

In the video with Jay Maisel, he mentions that he was once out doing street photography with another well known photographer. As a typical New Yorker, he was walking at a pretty quick pace. After some time, the other photographer turned to him and said, “Jay, do you know why you aren’t getting any good shots? You’re walking too quickly”.

That comment caused Jay to slow down. Not only did he slow down his walking pace, but he slowed everything. He would stop in a place for five or 10 minutes. He would find a scene he liked and then, like a theatre stage, he would wait for the actors to appear, the people on the street. So he stands in a particular spot sometimes, for up to 20 minutes, and just waits for something to happen.

Sitting and waiting can result in some great images

Sitting and waiting can result in some great images

Give it a try. Next time you are out photographing in your city, stop for a while. Observe the scene in front of you. Make note of how people are moving through that scene, and start looking for an opportunity to make an image. It may take a while, if you can, sit down and just watch, pretty soon, the right person will enter your “stage” and you will have your image.

#3 Change your composition

We all know about the rule of thirds, very often it is our first introduction to composition. It’s a good starting point for creating good composition, but there are many other ways to make your images look compelling.

Composition is one area of photography that can make a vast difference in your images. Simply changing from landscape to portrait orientation for example. More than that, look a little deeper. There are some great techniques you can use to enhance your composition.

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One of these is using depth of field. A shallow depth of field will isolate your subject and make the background less distracting. Speaking of backgrounds, make sure that you have looked at the background in your image and that there is nothing distracting that will take the viewer’s eye off the subject.

You could also try and frame your subject using a door frame, a window, or some overarching trees. The frame will point the viewer to the subject and, if done correctly, framing can be a very powerful compositional tool.

Remember to change your viewpoint. Lie on the ground, get as low as you can, or maybe get up as high as possible. If your viewpoint is unusual, your subject will benefit immensely.

Shooting from a different viewpoint can make all the difference

Shooting from a different viewpoint can make all the difference

#4 Go out empty

Another piece of Jay Maisel wisdom is to go out empty, and let your images fill you up. What does that mean?

Very often, you may go out on a shoot and are “hunting” for a particular image. Maybe you are looking for a man with a blue shirt riding a red bicycle, which is pretty specific, and really difficult to find. The challenge is that if you are looking for only that one type of shot, you may miss all the others that are out there.

By going out empty, you are open to whatever comes into your viewfinder. You may get a shot that you never thought of before or have seen before, that’s the point. Sometimes it is good to shoot with constraints, it forces you to be creative.

 

By going out empty, you may be surprised at what you will see

By going out empty, you may be surprised at what you will see

At other times, go out without any limitations, simply look at what unfolds in front of you and shoot whatever you find interesting. That’s one way to get some great shots. Also, be open to what happens while you are out shooting.

I was photographing in an old area in the East Side of Vancouver. A lady came up to me and asked what I was doing, and I told her I was looking for some great shots of the homes in the area. She asked if I wanted to see inside her home, I am so glad she invited me. Her home was amazing, and it was a great opportunity to see inside a true heritage home.

#5 It’s not about cropping, but about framing

As photographers, we can become a little lazy. We will compose the shot, look at the scene, and realize we need to move a little to the left because there is something distracting in the shot. Many times, we might think, “It’s okay, I can crop that out later”.

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Yes, that is true, you can crop it out later, but it may change the whole perspective of the shot. I might mean that you lose another important piece of information.

Jay Maisel reminds us that it’s about framing, not cropping. He says that it is the photographer’s responsibility for what is in the frame and, sometimes more importantly, what is NOT in the frame. Instead of assuming you can crop something out later, maybe move around the subject a bit, look at it from different angles, and then decide what needs to be in the frame and what doesn’t.

As Jay says, “The photographer is responsible for everything in the frame”. Make sure that everything that’s in the frame is there for a reason, otherwise, change it.

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You are responsible for everything in the frame.

Of course there are no rules in photography, there are only guidelines. These ideas are simply suggestions that can help you improve your images, and to see more clearly. Once you begin practicing these things, you won’t have to think about them as much. You will do them instinctively, and that’s when your photography will change and become more mature.

So get out there and give these ideas a try, practice one of these suggestions on each photoshoot or photowalk you do. Keep making the changes and slowly working on your craft, and you may look back in a year and be astounded at how much your work has improved.

The post More Ways to Create Better Images Without Buying More Gear by Barry J Brady appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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