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Category: How To

18 Mar

Why You Need A Neutral Density Filter

I studied film in college and work for a photo app full-time, so I like to think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to DSLR photography. Admittedly, having recently just gotten back into taking my own photos, I may have forgotten just how much there is to consider. Specifically, beyond what camera, lens, aperture and tripod to use, I quickly remembered the importance of the oft-ignored filter. For instance, there I was, out on a pier in San Francisco, wondering why I couldn't get the shot I wanted of the Bay Bridge's Bay Lights. Flustered, I scrounged through my camera backpack desperately trying to find something - anything - that could help me get a better looking shot. And then...
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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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5 Feb

10 Genius, DIY Valentine’s Day Photo Booth Backgrounds

Every year on Valentine's Day, people send one billion cards, buy 35 million heart-shaped chocolates, deliver 220 million roses and devour eight million conversation hearts. Still, it can be challenging to declare your love when it's hard to find the right words. With that said, be innovative this Valentine's Day. Print out some Valentine's Day photo booth props, create a glamorous backdrop and snap away. After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words! 1. Paper Heart Balloons Courtesy of Design Improvised. You’ll need: Helium-Quality Balloons Tissue Paper Mod Podge Foam Brush Scissors Baker's Twine/Ribbon Heart Template Wash Cloth Instructions: Step 1: Print and cut out the heart template. Step 2: Trace the heart template onto the tissue paper. Then cut it out. Step 3: Use a foam brush to apply a thin layer of...
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3 Feb

Zen and the Art of Meditation Photography

My goal with meditation photography is to quell my worries, fears and uncontrollable thoughts that often take over my mind in order to operate in the present to become a better photographer. As a photographer who has tried many different methods of shooting, who has had plenty of trial and error and who has seen cameras and technology change drastically over the past 10 years, I find that when I got past the Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) stage, I wanted to find my style and a meaning to my photography. I found this through photographic meditation. This meditative state puts me into a hyper-awareness where I absorb the atmosphere around me - everything from the wind blowing, the smells and senses...
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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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22 Jan

10 Tips for Ultra Instagrammable Cat Photos

Celebrity cats, from sad-eyed Snoopybabe to sourpuss Tartar Sauce, have taken over the Internet and kneaded their way into the hearts of an entire generation of web users. According to a study by mobile network Three, pet owners between the ages of 18 and 34 share 3.8 million feline photos each day, compared to approximately 1.5 million selfies. Over a quarter of a million cat owners have created a Twitter or Facebook account for their kitties hoping to achieve what’s known as the viral spiral. Scientists have also proven that our growing love for online felines is purely therapeutic - a form of digital pet therapy. According to a study published in the journal of Computers in Human Behavior, visual cat-candy...
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21 Jan

Everything You Need to Know About Video Resolutions

Not sure about the difference between HD and 4K? Video resolutions used to be a transparent setting that filmmakers understood clearly. With cameras pushing the threshold of picture quality, it’s important to know how such developments are affecting your shooting experience. Here’s a closer look at one of the most controversial topics floating around the film industry today. Aspect Ratio and Dimensions The best way to understand what you’re looking at is by tackling the basics of aspect ratio and screen resolution. Firstly, video files are commonly measured by pixels. For example, if you have a clip that is 640 x 480, it means that the dimensions of the file are 640 pixels wide by 480 pixels high. Aspect ratio refers to...
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