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Author: Gracie Ryan

4 Apr

The Inspiration You Need to Break Out of the Dreaded Photo Slump

The dreaded photo slump is every photographer’s worst nightmare. It’s the dark valley of disappointment that all photographers - professional or amateur - fall into at some point during their relationship with the art form. Sometimes, the slump only lasts a few rather annoying seconds, like when a long exposure doesn’t turn out the way you were hoping or when you realize your shot of the winning touchdown is out of focus. Other times, the slump can agonizingly last for weeks or months (I once went six months without picking up or really even thinking about my camera). If gone unattended, the slump can extend for years. Regardless of whether your camera has been collecting dust for years or if you...
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14 Mar

Your Lens Can Make Or Break You: What To Use For Every Type of Shoot

How to pick the right lens
When it comes to photo equipment, lenses are everything. You could have the most expensive camera bodies that Nikon and Canon make - the $6,000 Nikon D4S and Canon EOS 1DX - but that won’t matter if you’re not bringing the right kind of glass to your shoots. If you show up to a basketball game with only a fixed 50mm lens, you’re never going to capture those layups or fouls that happen across the court. If you show up to a portrait shoot with nothing but a macro lens, you might end up with great images of your subject’s eyes, but you won’t capture any portraits worthy of a high school yearbook or a family album. If you’re trying...
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23 Feb

5 Tips for Creating Stunning Food Photography

Everybody loves food photography. But oftentimes, taking compelling and delicious-looking images of food can be harder than the food-related hashtags on Instagram make it look. Food photography is more nuanced than many other types of photography. The beauty and the art of a strong food image is in the details. Everything matters, down to the last grain of rice, drop of milk or sprig of garnish. This makes food photography difficult, and at times, extremely frustrating. Unless, of course, you know a few tricks. 1. As is true with all photography, when taking pictures of food, lighting is everything. And in the case of food photography, natural light is your best friend. The first mistake most amateur food photographers make is...
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17 Feb

Create Your Own In-Home Photo Studio

DIY in-home photo studio
Photo studios are a terrific place to shoot high quality, professional looking images. They often offer a range of backdrops in different colors, with thousands of dollars of lighting equipment - all of which is moveable, adjustable and available at your fingertips. But, unfortunately, few of us actually have a fully functioning photo studio at our disposal, which is why we have to create our own. And the great thing is, it’s easier  to do than you’d expect. You don’t need to be a professional photographer or own thousands of dollars of professional equipment to shoot studio photography. All you need is a camera, a few household items, a little space and a lot of creativity to set up your very...
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12 Feb

Capturing Moments: Advice from a Photojournalist

Photography, in all of its forms, is first and foremost about capturing moments. Whether its the moment a pole vaulter clears the bar to break their personal record or the moment a droplet of water falls from a faucet, the job of the photographer is to capture that fleeting image, which, in real time, might only last a fraction of a second. No one understands the importance of capturing moments and emotions more so than photojournalists. Everyday, photojournalists are thrown into any number of different settings and are expected to capture the spirit and energy of that place or event through the people around them. Sometimes these events are happy ones - festivals, same sex marriage celebrations, concerts - but more...
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25 Jan

The Beautiful Trial and Error of Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography requires equal parts planning, patience and luck. It can be frustrating, what with waiting to see how photos turn out, fumbling with unwieldy tripods and trying to make blurred images look intentional rather than accidental. But it can also be extremely rewarding. The waiting usually pays off; the tripods end up being extremely useful; even the accidentally blurred images can end up looking artistic. Long exposure photography comes in many forms, from shorter exposures of 1/30 or 1/60 of a second to exposures as long as 30 minutes to an hour. It all depends on what you’re shooting, the action being captured and how much of a blur you want to create. A great way to ease into...
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7 Aug

7 Travel Photo Projects for the Adventure of a Lifetime

It's easy enough to take stunning travel photos. When you're abroad, everything seems like a great photo opportunity and even if it's not, the sheer fact of you being in a new and different place will bring in the Instagram likes. But diverging from the typical touristy travel shots and focusing on a single themed project can enhance your trip like you might never have thought possible. Focusing your photographic energies on one project will help you become better immersed in the culture of the place you’re visiting. It’ll force you to single in on one aspect of that culture and talk to locals to learn more about your subject. And at the end of your trip, you’ll return home with...
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21 Jul

Target Open House is the Most Futuristic Home You’ve Seen Since Disney Channel’s “Smart House”

Target Open House is a must see for anyone who loves IKEA, the Disney Channel Original Movie “Smart House” and the future of home furnishing. This part lab, part retail space and part meeting venue opened on July 10 in San Francisco’s Metreon shopping center, and is a destination for art and tech lovers alike. The 3,500 square foot acrylic house features all sorts of “connected” technology, otherwise known as The Internet of Things. The idea is to connect everyday household items -- like thermostats, lamps and coffee makers -- to the internet for a more personalized and efficient living situation. “Putting a house in the space, we felt, was the most relatable and welcoming way to introduce these products,” said Todd...
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16 Jul

Barbados’ New Sugar Tax Is Not So Sweet For Everyone

Starting on August 1 in Barbados, fans of sugary beverages will have to start forking over a 10 percent tax on all carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, sweetened fruit juices and juice drinks. The new sugar tax was created in an effort to combat the Caribbean island’s obesity epidemic and to change consumer behavior -- but the residents of Barbados are far from happy. Despite the fact that widespread obesity in Barbados has reached an all-time high, residents view the tax more as a money-grabbing effort by the government, rather than a healthy living initiative. The Barbados government, on the other hand, believes obesity has reached a level that cannot simply be fixed through personal lifestyle adjustments and must instead be...
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12 Jul

The Concrete Jungle Is About To Get A Little Greener With The World’s Largest Passive House

The Concrete Jungle is about to get a little bit greener with the world’s tallest passive house tower in the works -- but only if the building can meet the strict passive house requirements. According to the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, the passive house is not a brand name, but rather a building standard, designation and philosophy. In order for a building to be deemed a passive house, it must consume 90 percent less heating energy than the average building. This can be achieved by installing special windows and a shell of thermal insulation in the exterior walls and in the paneling of the roofs and floors. New York City’s passive house residence hall is being built for Cornell Tech’s new campus...
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