Wedding Photography Styles

If your wedding is approaching soon and your photographer wants you to select a style of photography for your wedding pictures, then you would want to know what the different styles of wedding photography are. Here we tell you a little about these styles of photography.

There are very few memories that is as deeply embedded in your heart as the day on which you get married. Every moment of the day of your wedding is something that you would want to treasure and make a special place for. Capturing these moments is important and that is exactly where wedding photography comes into play. Every photograph from the wedding tells a story and these stories are enhanced by the style of the photography. Most wedding albums consist of photos that are clicked in one of the four styles talked about here.

Styles of Wedding Photography

Consult any wedding photographer about ideas for wedding photography and you will be asked to first pick a style that you would be comfortable with for your wedding. There are four main types of wedding photography. Depending on your aesthetic sensibilities and what you want from your wedding photographs, you can choose one or a combination of these photography styles for your nuptial ceremony.

Traditional Wedding Photography
This is the style of photography that most of us are familiar with as this is the most common style for wedding photos. The photographs tend be posed for in a certain manner and the photographer has a lot of say in how the photos will look. There will be a sense of chronology to the images. While traditional wedding photos ensure that there are many brilliantly posed images for the wedding album, the problem lies in the fact that it often looks stiff and too rigid. The happiness that is evident in candid photos tends to be missing with these photos. These photos tend to be slightly too formal and can be reminiscent of an era gone by. But the benefit of such a style is that you will have all the images that you expect out of a wedding album.

Contemporary Wedding Photography
With contemporary wedding photography one thing that you can be sure of is that you will never end up with similar photos. Every image will be as unique as you yourself are. There is a sense of fun and an element of fun that is attached to contemporary wedding photography. While there may be posing, there is a more stylistic sense to it. The backgrounds for the images will be such that they look straight out of a fashion or lifestyle magazine. This results in images that have a major feel good factor that is synonymous with it, thanks to the glossy appearance. The major problem with this style of photography is that after a couple of years there is a sense of age that becomes attached to the photos because it loses its trend factor. But despite that, if you are looking for gorgeous, fashionable photos of your special day, then this may be the style to pick.

Photojournalism Wedding Photography
You may wonder what journalism has to do with wedding photography? Well, the answer is that this style of photography uses the inherent characteristics of photojournalism while clicking pictures. The photographer becomes a part of the crowd clicking in-the-moment photographs that capture the special instances at the wedding. This style of photography is candid and very different from what is traditionally posed photography. There is certain freshness that is attributed to this reportage style of photography. Also there is a sense of a story that is being told through the photographs. The problem with this style of photography lies in the fact that you are never sure of how the photos may turn out. If you opt for this style of photography for your wedding then ensure that your photographer has experience with the style. You after all want to have many happy memories of the wedding.

Artistic Wedding Photography
What is the definitive feature of this type of wedding photography? Well, as is evident from the name given to this style of photography, the images of a painting like feel to them. Every image is unique either because of a conscious intervention by the photographer or due to sheer beauty of the setting of the photograph. If you want to choose this style of photography for your wedding, then you need to understand the style and see whether it holds any appeal for you. These image may be slightly unorthodox and risky. Choose this style if you want photographs that have a magical and other worldly effect in them. While this style may not have been very popular, many couples are breaking traditions and option for artistically clicked photographs.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and the memories from the day should be such that they last you a lifetime. Choose from the varied styles so that you have images from your wedding that will make you smile with happiness every time you look at them.

Best Tripod for Your Camera

To maintain stability of the camera while you click photos, it is highly recommended to get a tripod. However, choosing the right tripod can be a tedious task. We have put forth a buying guide that will help you in your feat.

A tripod can make all the difference between good and bad photography. Thus, amongst all the camera accessories, the tripod is the most important one. Stability at low shutter speeds and support for heavy cameras are the main reasons behind buying a tripod. In this Buzzle article, we have highlighted the things to look for while buying one.

Construction

The make of the tripod is the first feature that you should look into. Carbon fiber, aluminum, and basalt are the main materials used to make the tripod legs.

◆ Lightweight aluminum tripods lack the strength and thickness that are needed to keep the camera steady, while steady aluminum tripods are very heavy. However, they are cheaper than the other materials and thus, are widely used. You will find most media camera crew using an aluminum tripod.

◆ The carbon fiber tripods are light in weight and rigid, but come in trendy designs. These have a reputation of getting damaged when you drop them. However, due to their aesthetics, these tripods are costly.

◆ The new entrant in this market is the basalt tripod. They are low-end versions of the carbon fiber tripods, but lack the rigidity of its competitors.

Center Column

Center column tripods are not liked by many photographers. Once you extend the full legs of the tripod, the center column can introduce the unwanted vibration. The tripod is not at its stable best when raised to a higher level. But, you will find a lot of tripods that allow horizontal and vertical shooting due to flexible center columns. However, given a choice, it is better to buy tripods without such columns or the ones with removable columns.

Leg Lock

Tripods come with two types of leg lock mechanism: twist grip or spring-loader lever. The spring-loader lever is the quickest mechanism that is currently available, but has metal parts that can be subject to rust. The twist grip, on the other hand, is fast enough, but there are chances of slippage while locking/unlocking. However, there are no add-ons to this type of mechanism.

Leg Covers

Most of the tripods have foam leg covers that help keep this camera accessory warm while it is freezing outside. Though not an essential, it is better to check this feature when buying a tripod.

Tripod Head

One of the decisive factors in choosing the right tripod is its head. The tripod should be stable enough once you tilt the camera to one side. This is the best way to check the stability of the tripod head. Ball head and pan head are the two most widely available options.

◆ The ball head, as the name suggests, has a ball in the socket arrangement which provides you the freedom to rotate the tripod head using a knob. Due to the sheer comfort of rotating the head fast, motion photography becomes easy.

◆ Pan and tilt heads have handles that can adjust the camera in horizontal and vertical positions along with sideways tilting for portraits. By tightening the screws, the camera movement will be limited to a certain axis, which makes it ideal for landscape photography.

◆ The other type of tripod heads available are panoramic heads, which allow the camera to rotate around the nodal points of lenses. This makes capturing panoramic images easy due to the avoidance of parallax errors.

◆ You will also find gimbal head tripods that are suited for wildlife photography due to their fluidity, while handle-style heads have a bike handle-style arrangement, which upon squeezing allows the photographer to move the tripod in the desired direction.

Supports

Professional photography involves placing the camera on difficult terrains. Thus, it is necessary to support them in order provide the stability with filming. For this purpose, look out for photographic bean bags. These are similar to the ones that we use in our homes.

Maximum and Minimum Height

It is necessary to know the maximum height that the tripod will extend to. It should reach your eye level, else you will need to bend down to the camera to click pictures! The other factor that you need to consider is the minimum height that the tripod can be lowered to. This is needed for closeup shots or below-eye level photography.

Folded Height

Tripods will be carried everywhere you go. Hence, it is necessary to check the height of the tripod once you fold it. It should be convenient enough to carry.

Quick Release

This feature allows you to easily release and place the camera on the tripod. This option allows you to keep the hardware screwed to the bottom of the camera and press a lever to remove or install the tripod. Thus, you will be saved of the additional work to manually unscrew the tripod.

Alternatives

If you are hooked on a particular type of photography, you can choose special tripods made for those purposes.

◆ Monopods, as the name suggests, have only one leg. This gives freedom to the photographer to rotate the camera (and the tripod) in all angles. Such tripods are used in sports photography.

◆ Tabletop tripods are mini tripods that are free-standing, allowing the camera to sit firmly on the tripod without any support from the photographer. These are best suited for traveling and hiking. Though they are small in size, they offer features similar to actual tripods.

Best in the Market

◆ Benro Transfunctional Travel Angel Aluminium Tripod Kit

◆ Induro Alloy AT213 Tripod

◆ Manfrotto 294 Aluminium Kit (MK294A3-A0RC2)

◆ Vanguard Auctus Plus 283AT

◆ Velbon GEO E-530

◆ Slik Pro 700DX Complete

◆ Manfrotto 055CXPRO3

◆ Benro Versatile Transformer BRA2970F

◆ Velbon Sherpa 450R Complete

◆ Giottos Silk Road YTL8354 3D Column

Summary

◆ In case you are a first-time buyer, it is necessary to study your needs and then choose the tripod. Amateurs can go in for aluminum tripods with integrated head and legs. These are the cheaper lot in the market, and once you are used to using this additional accessory along with your camera, you can go in for high-end tripod models.

◆ As far as professional photographers are concerned, get yourself a better tripod that is lightweight and has quick-release heads. You can also try table tripods or monopods for specialized photography.

Before you buy a tripod, check whether it fulfills all your needs or not. If you own a heavy DSLR, choose the tripod accordingly, else you will end up ruining both equipment. When you finalize the tripod, make sure it makes a good compromise between the price, weight, and photography type.

Guide for Buying a Used DSLR

A DSLR camera can click high quality images, and has various features that enhance your photographs. However, due to its high price, it is not affordable to all. With the used camera option available, you can have this piece of beauty in your hand, at a reasonable price.

Digital Single Lens Reflex or DSLR cameras are best-suited for aspiring photographers and photography enthusiasts who want to progress to the next level and do more than just point and shoot. These cameras come with a variety of lenses with different focal lengths, that provide superior quality images. All those upgrading from their P&S (point-and-shoot) cameras will be amazed with the quality of images taken from a DSLR, in low-light and fast-action conditions. As these devices cost more than point and shoot digital cameras, opting for a used DSLR is the right choice for someone who isn’t willing to spend that much. But, it then becomes necessary to inspect and select the right DSLR, free of any defects.

Shutter Count (Actuations)

There are a finite number of shutter cycles for a DSLR camera, which means its life is fixed. Once this limit is crossed, you need to replace the entire shutter mechanism. The shutter count will give you a clear idea about the number of clicks done by the camera. It is also known as actuations. The seller can tell you the exact count, if he/she have kept a track of the same. If he has no idea about the same, then carry out the following steps to determine the exact actuations.

➽ You can look at the file numbering on the device, which tells you the exact picture count. However, you cannot rely completely on this method, because the file numbering can be reset.

➽ There are third party programs available on the Internet where you simply have to upload a picture taken from that camera, and the software will calculate the shutter count for you.

➽ For Nikon camera’s, find out the shutter count here. As far as Canon cameras are concerned, you can download EOSInfo utility on your system, so as to get the exact number.

➽ You can check the manufacturer’s website for the shutter count limit, and if the said device has crossed the limit, it is better to leave the camera then and there, as there is a need to replace the unit.

Sensor

The next entry in your checklist should be looking for dust on the sensor unit. You can check for physical damages to the sensor by lifting the mirror release. But if you simply take off the lens, you cannot see the sensor. Use the camera’s menu to lock the mirror, and then lift it to view the sensor.

➽ You can click a picture of any bright object with the lens aperture reduced to the minimum. Maintain adequate light conditions while doing so. Transfer the photo on your computer, and then magnify the image to see any visible dust spots.

➽ In case of dust issues, get it cleaned by using a lens cleaning kit, but if there are scratches on the sensor, reconsider before buying the product.

Sensor Resolution

Even though you have zeroed in on the camera model, it is good to consider the sensor resolution of the camera. It is always better to have a higher resolution sensor, but this could mean you may end up buying a pricey camera with high image noise.

➽ I may sound a bit blunt, here, but if you are rarely going to print your shots, I would suggest not buying a high sensor resolution camera, as you will never use it to its full potential.

➽ Take into account the regular print size (that you might print your images in), at the regular 300ppi resolution. This should give you a clear idea about the camera pixels. So, if you plan to print your shots in 6×4″ size, a 2.1 million pixel resolution is enough. However, to print in A4 or A3 sizes, you will need a 14.2 million pixel sensor resolution.

Lens

Depending on the DSLR that you intend to buy, you may or may not get the lens kit included in the camera price. Mostly, sellers give away their entry-level DSLRs along with their lenses. If you are among the lucky few, it is necessary to carefully check the front and rear elements of the lens for scratches.

➽ If there is an aperture ring, check its motion and folding of blades. Check for dents or scratches on the lens barrel.

➽ In case the seller hasn’t used the camera for a long time, chances are high that it was packed in a bag. There can be fungus deposits on the lens surface that could damage the glass beyond repair.

➽ Lens mounts and contact pins should also be checked for dents, scratches, or bends. If there are visible markings on the mount, it is clear that the seller must have used a heavy lens or dropped the camera. You can negotiate the price on this point.

Auto focus Accuracy

The camera’s auto focus can be checked by focusing on a particular object with and without the AF feature. Start by focusing on the main object in the manual focus mode. Now, do the same in the AF mode. Transfer both the images on your computer and view them in 100% zoom. There could be 3 scenarios depending on what you observe from these images.

➽ Scenario 1 – If both the photos look the same, there is no problem with the camera.

➽ Scenario 2 – If both photos look anything like either of the two images (see figure), your camera is working fine.

➽ Scenario 3 – But when one photo looks like one image (from the figure) and the other photo like the other image, we have problem.

➽ To check if you have a problem with the lens or camera body, try this solution.

Mount a different lens, click a photo of the same object, and transfer the photo to your computer. If you have a repeat of scenario 1 or 2, your lens has a problem. You can safely buy the camera, but without the lens. But, if you have a repeat of scenario 3, the camera body has a problem. You would be well advised to look elsewhere for your camera!

Screen

The LCD screen of your camera needs a careful examination too. Look closely at the screen for dead and stuck pixels.

➽ To check for dead pixels, point the camera at the sky with Live View on. The dead pixels will show up on the same place every time you move the camera. Apart from this, you can click several photos with different colors. Examine the images closely at 100% zoom and if you spot a pixel appearing in the same place, you have a dead pixel problem.

➽ To check for stuck pixels, you can set your camera to Auto or Aperture Mode, then turn on Live View. Now, if you point your camera and look through the viewfinder, and observe a pixel that never moves and retains its color, no matter where you point the camera, you have a stuck pixel problem.

➽ In case the device that you are interested in has two or three dead or stuck pixels, you can still buy the camera, but at a reduced rate. But if there are a lot of these pixels, it is better you don’t buy the camera.

Wear and Tear

The camera body condition says a lot about the handling and usage of the camera. While looking for a used DSLR, you are bound to come across cameras with scratches and dents. Minor blemishes are acceptable, but if there is significant damage on the exterior, it is clear that the camera would have been dropped.

➽ The working of the shutter buttons and dials should also be checked for any defects. Press each of those buttons and check if any of them are getting stuck, or you are finding it hard to press. If this is the case, you can ask the seller to replace the button or reduce the price of the camera.

➽ The neck strap shouldn’t have any material peel off and the lens cap shouldn’t have any clearance while fitting on the lens. If this isn’t the situation, you can always ask the seller to replace them.

➽ Next, click pictures by changing the camera modes, especially the program mode or auto focus mode. Check their clarity on the LCD screen. Also, record a video to check its operation.

Hot Shoe

The adapter where the flash is mounted is the hot shoe. Many a time, we fail to check this part of the camera for its fit.

➽ Mount the flash on the camera, and give the camera a gentle shake. If the flash rocks, ask the seller to fix it before you buy it.

➽ If there is no rocking of the flash but your flash doesn’t work, the camera might have a faulty flash switch. If you see an Error 05 popping up on the LCD screen, the flash switch is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Add-ons

Add-ons like battery charger, interface cables, body caps, etc., should be checked for defects and malfunction.

➽ Plug the battery into the charger unit and check whether it is getting charged. If not, you have a faulty charger or battery. Though these are easily replaceable, you need to shell out money for buying them, and its replacement cost can be deducted from the overall cost of the DSLR.

➽ If you are lucky enough, you might get lens filters, tripod, card readers, and extra batteries along with your purchase. You can click a few pictures with the lens filters on, and by transferring them on your computer, you can judge the image quality.

➽ Check the tripod screws. Place the camera on the tripod to check if it can withstand the camera’s weight. If there are any loose screws, you will immediately be able to spot them. Adjust the height of the tripod at various positions. If this operation is smooth, you have a great deal on your hand.

Warranty

In case you are purchasing the used gear from a store, you might get warranty on its parts. However, if you are buying one online, do not expect to receive any such offer.

➽ If the seller is selling off his new camera, you can always transfer the current warranty on your name. For doing so, you will need the original purchase receipt.

DSLR Options for Beginners

We have suggested a few models for first-timers in this field of photography.

☞ Canon EOS 70D: 20.2 megapixel
☞ Nikon D3200: 24.2 megapixel
☞ Sony Alpha A390: 14.2 megapixel
☞ Canon EOS 600D: 18 megapixel
☞ Nikon D3100: 14.2 megapixel

Whether you are upgrading your point-and-shoot cameras or trying your hand at professional photography, a used DSLR purchase is a wise idea because of the high costs of the new ones. But it is necessary to inspect the details of the camera thoroughly before striking a deal.

Choose the Best DSLR Camera

Do you want to know how to choose a DSLR camera? Here are some factors that can help make this decision easy for you.

There are a number of reasons why someone would want to shift to using a DSLR from a point and shoot digital camera. These reasons could range from wanting to get better image quality in your pictures to having the option of manual controls. Also, with photography becoming a more affordable hobby since the advent of digital cameras, it has also drawn more people towards it. After achieving a level of proficiency with digital cameras, most amateur photographers would want to use DSLRs. But how do you choose the best DSLR for beginners and what are the factors that need to be kept in mind? In this article, we give you tips that will help you choose out the best device fit for your needs.

Choosing the Best DSLR

Without beating around the bush, let us take a look at those factors that will help you decide which is the best DSLR for the money that you are spending on it. All the different features that you need to look out for in a camera to indulge in your interest of photography are listed out below.

Need
One of the most important factors to consider while buying a camera is what you are going to use it for. This is also probably the question that the salesperson at the store is going to ask you. Answer this question by figuring out what kind of photography you want to indulge in. Do you want to buy a camera to shoot pictures while going about life or do you want to specialize in sports or wildlife photography? Do not answer this question with what you would want to do in your fantasy land, but anchor the answer in reality.

Cost
Most of us have a fixed budget when we go out to buy a camera. This will be an important deciding factor when it comes to buying a camera. The price range where DSLRs are concerned is quite wide with basic models available for as less as USD 400 and going up to thousands of dollars. Setting a budget will ensure that you do not get confused with the variety you have at hand. Remember that your budget will also have to include the cost of lenses (in case you are planning to upgrade them), memory cards, camera bag, batteries (a rechargeable battery is a must have), and if the company offers an option for the same, then extended warranty for the device.

Tech Specs
Manufacturers often overemphasize the number of megapixels that a camera has. While important, this is not the only prominent feature. If you have the concept of megapixels explained to you, you will realize that higher megapixels does not necessarily mean that the image quality is better. A good resolution is definitely a must, but high number of megapixels are needed only if you need to print huge sized images. Another important factor to keep in mind is the image sensor size. The bigger your sensor size, the more the number of pixels it can accommodate, hence bettering the image quality. But then again, the need for this depends on what use you are going to put the camera to. If you are looking at buying one for sports photography, then look for one that has a very high shutter speed. Similarly, burst mode will enable you to shoot a series of images by just pressing down on the shutter release. Image stabilization or anti-shake as the feature is better known, is also an important feature. Other considerations are the range of ISO settings, the LCD size, so that you can view the images you click, and the flash which the camera provides. While cameras for professionals do not have a built in flash, most beginner level DSLRs for digital photography come with a built in flash.

These were some of the important factors to consider while choosing a DSLR for your use. Other factors to consider include the size of the device, as these cameras are not as light as point and shoot ones, so if you are looking for a compact sized device, you will have to search hard, as digital SLRs are generally weighty. If this is not your first DSLR, then check the previous gear you have and decide on your upgrade accordingly. If you had an SLR previously there is a possibility that the lenses you have are compatible with the new one that you want to buy. The same can be true for a memory card which may be compatible with both DSLRs and point and shoot devices. Also consider the possibility of a future upgrade, as this may be something that you need to keep in mind.

Some of the digital SLRs available in the market today are the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi Digital SLR, Sony Alpha Digital SLR-A300 Digital SLR, Olympus Evolt E-510 Digital SLR, Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR, and Olympus E3 Digital SLR. You can also take a look at the different charts of comparison available online to help make your choice. At the end of the day, the final choice can be made only once you have taken a look at the different models for yourself.