Tips Lighting for Top Portrait Photography

Light is the most important aspect of photography. Photography is an art and light is its touchstone. The title on “Photography Tips – Lighting”, will capture your interest all throughout.

Photography in simple words is just – “CLICK the image”, but technically, photography has lots more to offer. Perfect light, angle and time are hallmarks of good photography. Lighting determines the mood of the photograph or the video shot. Right use of light reflects your innate creativity. A video or a picture is alive only through good photography skills.

Photography Tips on Lighting

Appropriate use of light is one of the most important factors that determines the quality of the picture. It can be awesome, spectacular, dramatic or terrific. The camera has an inbuilt light meter that measures how much light is being reflected to the camera. Automatic adjustment of aperture and shutter speed enables the camera to measure the amount of light reflected and thus the clarity of the picture.

Source of Light
The quality of the picture resolved depends upon the source of light. The source can be natural, like the sun or artificial, like constant light sources, strobes and different types of light sources used in studios. The effect of rays of light is very spectacular. A setting sun, rays cascading through the windows, landscapes and portraits create impressive pictures with intelligent use of lights. Use of brighter light from behind the object is the typical way to create silhouettes. You can simply experiment with different types of light in order to get different images with different effect.

Angle of Light
Angle of light is a very important aspect while creating special effects in the photographs. Half cast shadow, full bright, dimmed low, back lighting, front lighting, side exposures, diffused light, etc are a few examples where adjusting the angle of light is very important.

Camera Exposure
The time of camera exposure depends on the shutter speed and the aperture speed. To get a good resolution there should be a narrow aperture and slow shutter speed. Increase the exposure time to get a clear image. For example, a camera with a high f/stop (depth of field) aperture value and low shutter speed 1/X (secs) gives a good resolution. f number determines the amount of light entering the aperture and the time of exposure of the shutter is denoted by seconds.

Film Speed
Film speed is one of the important parameters in determining the quality of a picture. The sensitivity of light towards the photographic film determines the film speed. ISO system has been introduced to measure the film speed. Higher the film speed, higher the sensitivity. But a high film speed (high ISO value) results in poor quality of the image.

Portrait Photography Tips

Behavior of light, intensity, brightness and contrast are the important parameters for portrait photography lighting. Controlling the intensity and brightness can be done in studios with the help of strobes. There are devices such as gobos, snoots, scrims, grid spots and barn doors, which can direct the light according to the need of the photographer and create different effects. The light’s color temperature is also one of the factors governing portrait photography. Contrast of the image is dependent on the size of light source and the distance from the object. These are the basic know-how of portrait photography. However it is always best to LEARN photography tricks from a professional photographer.

Digital Photography Tips

Digital photography also has the same basic principles of lighting. Know to handle the camera with subtlety and use your creative skills to get a good resolution. The tips and tricks are simple. Know the buttons, adjust the techniques and click.

Travel Photography Tips

Traveling and photography go hand in hand. Most of us can’t travel without taking photos, some travel for photography, while some work as photographers in order to travel! The allure of photography to a traveler goes much beyond just having a memory of having been at a particular place. It is an attempt to capture the very essence of the place he/she has visited, an effort to bring to life what makes the place tick, an innate desire to make others see the place through his own eyes.

In today’s digital age, it is virtually impossible to take a bad picture, with the variety of tools at our disposal. However, there are still some basic methods that need to be followed and tips that need to be mastered through practice so that your travel photography becomes more than just a pastime. Here’s more about the practicalities of this enriching hobby. Here are some tips and tricks in travel photography for beginners.

Travel Photography Tips and Tricks

Start Using a DSLR Camera
Starting off with a seemingly obvious one, but a surprising amount of wannabe photographers still desist from buying a DSLR, and persist with their point-and-shoot playthings. A DSLR gives you complete control over a lot of things that you can’t adequately control in point-and-shoot cameras, the most important of which is the type of lens you want to employ. It also allows you to shoot RAW pictures, which is akin to having the negative of a picture at hand to be molded however you want to, rather than the ready-made JPEG pictures captured by point-and-shoot cameras. The latter is fine if all you are going to photograph is family gatherings, but for serious photographic journeys, you seriously need a DSLR.

Pack a Variety of Lenses …
Different lens settings are useful for different scenes. To be efficient with your equipment, you only need two types of lenses: one that can be versatile with its focal length; a 25-200 mm lens (or thereabouts) will work just fine, and another that has a prime focal length, such as a 50 mm lens.

But Don’t Pack Too Much
Unless you are a professional photographer, you don’t need (and probably can’t afford) a whole range of variable lenses. As said before, you only really need two lenses; even one would suffice. As they say, it’s the photographer that clicks the photo, not the camera! If you find a beautiful scene, even a standard, kit 18-55 lens is more than enough to make it look fantastic. When the perfect moment unfolds before you, you don’t want to be stuck changing your lens―you want to be clicking away.

Research Your Location
Of course, there are beautiful scenes wherever you go, but getting the opinion of other, more experienced photographers about certain places is really important. If someone you know has been somewhere you are going to go, bug them for information about scenery, the best locations to view it, and weather conditions. Look up various locations around your destination on the Internet, and get involved in photography forums.

Limit the Number of Touristy Photos
Yes, you got to have a photo of you and your smiling partner next to the Eiffel Tower, or holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but try to limit yourself to wasting a minimal amount of time on such photographs. A photo is not just what you see, it’s about what you want to show. Try to take pictures with your unique take on the familiar scene.

Include People in Your Shots
And I don’t just mean portraits by that. Places don’t come alive thanks to the stunning architecture on a medieval wall. They don’t come alive thanks to fields of flowers stretching before your eyes. They come alive thanks to the little boy staring intently at the wall, and the little girl running through the flowers. There may be appealing scenes, but in travel photography, what you want to show is the people that make up a place. The places remain the same, but the people may never come to that particular spot again.

Use the Golden Hour
Golden hour photography is a freebie given away by nature for newbies. It makes everything appear more beautiful and warm. Use the moments just before and just after the sun sets and rises (don’t be too lazy to wake up before sunrise) to give your frame that enviable golden luster. Cityscapes look much more inviting and appealing in the golden light, and portraits carry a bronzed hue.

Keep a Backup
Let me just repeat that: Keep a backup! Memory cards love getting lost and putting you in a fix. An easy way to defeat their purpose is to back up your photos to your laptop daily. Better be pedantic about keeping a backup than sorry about losing your precious memories in one tiny stroke of bad luck, right?

Stay Safe
That shot you think would be amazing of a waterfall taken from its summit? There’s a device for taking such shots, and it’s called a helicopter. That shot you just got to have of that snake staring into your lens? What you actually need is a lot of distance between you and it. Don’t put yourself in undue danger for the sake of a photograph! The point of photography is to make memories, not be one!

Use Image Editing Programs Lightly
Some ‘serious photographers’ are incredibly self-righteous about photographers who use such software, and fair enough, if your photo has to be ‘rescued’ with the help of Photoshop, you shouldn’t be clicking photos. But there is nothing wrong with using it for basic functions, such as optimizing the contrast and color settings, or removing red-eye. Do the best you can with the initial photo, and only use editing programs to refine the shot, not to virtually make the shot.

Portrait Photography Tips

portrait-photographyPortrait photography is a distinct art that reflects the minute features of the subject. A number of techniques are necessary to be understood before clicking a portrait.

You need not be an expert or professional at portrait photography to click a stunning portrait of your subject. A portrait can be defined as a person’s similitude. Though the definition is very simple, the portrait in itself has a deeper meaning. A portrait can capture the features, character or nature of the subject.

A great portrait is the one that reflects the uniqueness of the subject along with the “wow” factor. Now, if you are new at portrait photography, then keep in mind that there are simply no rules for capturing portraits.

How to Capture Stunning Portraits

Tools of The Trade

The very important tool that you require to create a wonderful portrait is a camera Search on the Internet or visit a nearby store to make yourself aware of the cameras available. Digital cameras make some of the best cameras to be used for portrait photography. They are easy to work with when compared with film cameras, due to their versatile nature and accuracy. Certain features of such cameras help to enhance the beauty of the portrait. Avail a good deal on a tripod while you’re at it.

Background

Decide the background or location where you want your subject to pose for the portrait. You can go for an outdoor or a studio portrait photography. Whatever location you choose, a plain background is usually a good option. This is a very important factor that will decide how good the portrait will result.
See that the location is not distracting. A distracting background may reduce the focus on your subject. Choose the background that will blend well with the physical features of the subject. You can use blurring effects to hide a distracting background. This will bring more focus on your subject.

Eye Contact

Eye contact or the direction of the eyes of the subject plays a significant role in snapping portraits. A different eye direction can bring great impact on the portrait. You can make your subject look at another subject within the frame, or you ask the subject look outside the frame as if the subject’s attention is towards something that is out of the focus of the camera lens. Else you can also make the subject look straight into the camera lens.

Lighting

One more important factor that decides the fate of the portrait is lighting. Natural daylight gives best results for portrait photography. You can experiment in innovative manners for different lighting effects. Shadow effects by introducing obstructions between the light source and the subject can give spectacular results. You cannot always rely on natural light and hence, many a time you may require to take help of artificial lights, in order to give better effects to the portrait.

The Perfect Shot

Catching the exact expression of the subject is a must for a beautiful portrait. Ensure that you make your subject comfortable throughout the session. The portrait should look natural and not artificial. Smile is not just an expression that you can capture in a portrait. Experiment with your subject’s expression, mood and come up with a unique style of the subject.

Take clicks with different angles and not in just horizontal and vertical directions. If the subject feels it uncomfortable to pose, take help of some props. This will help to make the portrait look more natural. See that you make a clever choice of props. The color combination of the prop and that of the subject’s outfit should compliment each other.

The basic tip for capturing a portrait is to keep it simple and natural and you will end up capturing a wonderful portrait. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your camera and shoot the best portrait you can.

Creative Photography Techniques

Here are some creative photography ideas that will help you capture some unique pictures. Just explore the depths of your imagination to improve your photography skills, and get that perfect snap.

Are you struck for some unique and new photography ideas? Well, this is a common problem faced by many amateur photographers. They love to click, but don’t know what to capture! If you are one of those, bored of capturing the same scenes, then here are some classic and creative photography ideas for you.

Creative Photography Techniques

Capture an Action

Most photos are still pictures, but this time get some action snaps. Actions happen and an ordinary human eye will just miss out, so, why not capture the same! Capturing such actions is a great idea. Saw the way a stone thrown in water travels inside? Then, just capture it and have a nice snap. You can also take such a pic by throwing a stone or a small object in a huge vessel. Or how about bullets piercing a bottle filled with water? Try and capture such actions and have a good collection.

Explore the Zoom-in

You might have restricted the zoom-in option for faces and far-away objects, it is time to use this to have some detailed photograph of closer objects. Yes, one of the creative photography ideas is to explore this option and you are sure to have some amazing snaps in the memory card. Look for those small stones, cents, shells, flowers, butterflies, a color palette and many more such things which you might not have thought of capturing by pressing on the zoom-in button and have classic snaps.

Monochromatic Photography Theme

What’s your idea of a monochromatic photograph? Black and white photography? Well, that’s right and definitely what most of you think. But, black and white photography is not all. Monochrome is a photography theme which means ‘of one color’. What this ‘one color’ is, completely depends up to your choice, it can be red, black, violet, green, yellow or just any color. Ever wondered how classy a photograph would look in shades of a single color?

Shoot at Different Time
There’s no need to explain the difference in view of a mountain range in early morning and during the late evenings. So, got an idea? Capturing the same object, place or view at different time of a day is definitely one of the best photography ideas. Night photography is something that you would just love to do again and again. Those colors, shadows and shades, which are nowhere during the daytime can be seen during the dark nights giving you some extremely beautiful snaps.

While you can always try the aforementioned creative photography ideas, don’t forget to explore your interest areas to click some unique photographs. If you love those speedy racing bikes or cars, just capture them. If capturing emotions is what you love, you can definitely get a lot of good snaps. One of the fun photography ideas is to click an object in various angles, no need to mention the funny upside down pictures! Other creative techniques like time-lapse photography, still life photography can also be considered to complete your collection of out-of-the-box photographs.