perjantai 20. huhtikuuta 2018

Weekly Photography Challenge – Panning

Panning is a great way to add a feeling of motion and movement to your images. It works well with street photography to isolate your subject and add a little drama.

Need more help? Read these dPS articles:

Weekly Photography Challenge – Panning

Here the subject and background were both frozen using a faster shutter speed.

In this image, a slower shutter speed like 1/30th was used to blur the background, while keeping the car sharp. This is called panning. You use a slower shutter speed and move your camera to match the speed of the subject to achieve this kind of image.

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

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Panning and Tips for Adding Motion to Your Street Photography

One of the things I teach people on my photography workshops and tours is how to do panning. It’s a great technique to add to your skillset for shooting great street photography. Panning helps to isolate a moving subject and freeze it while at the same time blurring a potentially boring or ugly background.

panning street photography

I happened upon this bike race in Trinidad, Cuba. The street was full of people and the scene was very busy. So I chose to pan the riders as they went past to add a sense of motion and speed.

See the difference in this shot where I did not pan and everything is sharp. Notice how busy the scene is and the bikers are almost lost. Doesn’t it look like they are going a lot slower or frozen in place here as compared to the image above? 

Tips for doing panning

Here is a video from Gavin Hoey and Adorama TV where he demonstrates how to do panning. He also walks through the camera settings to use to get started and how to adjust them as needed. Have a watch.

Street photography with slow shutter speeds

Here is a different approach to adding motion blur to your street photography, by photographer Doug McKinlay. In this video, he talks about the need for a neutral density filter if there is too much light, and using a tripod to blur moving subjects or part of your scene using long exposures.

Panning demonstration

Finally, here’s one more video that has a really good demonstration of how to execute panning, and what not to do as well.

I hope that gives you some ideas and starting points for adding panning and motion to your street photography.

The post Panning and Tips for Adding Motion to Your Street Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences With Custom Audiences

Want to expand your ad reach on Facebook? Looking for new ways to target potential customers? To explore creative ways to combine Facebook lookalike audiences with custom ad audiences, I interview Rick Mulready. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to [...]

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torstai 19. huhtikuuta 2018

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

Photography can be a lonely business, but there is no reason why that has to be the case. Of course, there are many that enjoy the solitude. If you’re a photographer who enjoys more of a community there are some great ways to get together for group photography.

The reasons to join a group are varied, and even if you’re a lone ranger there are likely some ideas here for you. Linking up with others could just be about an online community, or meeting up in person. However you like to do group photography, here are seven ideas for you.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

Who’s going to take your photo if you always photograph alone?

1 – Create a photo walk

One of the easiest and most informal types of group photography event is the photo walk. These are often organized by photography clubs, and there is a popular one run annually by Scott Kelby. The nice thing about a photo walk is each participant can go at their own pace. The general idea is to have a start point, a finish point, and a time limit. You may choose to walk together as a group, or split off individually.

There may be some members who pass on tips to other photographers, making this type of event an informal workshop. At the end of the walk take some time to get to know your fellow photographers by having a meal, or stopping for a drink somewhere. Finally, share the photos you’ve taken that day on an agreed social media platform of some description.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

Some people like to take all their gear to the photo walk! Or is the check-in for that flight this way?

2 – Photography clubs

Joining a photography club is one of the best conduits for group photography. Through a club, there is the possibility to organize many of the other ideas mentioned in this article. Photography clubs typically meet at regular intervals of perhaps once a week or once a month, though lots of activity can occur online between meetings.

The best place to find these clubs is through searching social media, your local community center, or perhaps there is a school club near you. These clubs are a great place to learn new photography skills, with evening post-processing workshops being fairly typical. Are you having trouble finding the right club for you? You could always start up your own group!

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

Meeting up with other photographers at a photo club is social, and is also a great way to learn.

3 – Group photography projects

These are projects that a number of photographers partake in together. The idea at the end is to have a body of work under a common theme taken by every member of the group. A project like this could well lead to a group exhibition or a collaborative photography book.

In most cases, you’ll work on the photography individually, though the leader of the project may seek to curate your work in a certain direction. The following are a few ideas that you could try:

  • Subway project – Most big cities have a mass transit system, with many stations. The aim of this type of project would be to take one photograph per station. The larger cities usually have many stations, so dividing up the workload makes sense. In projects like these, it’s often a good idea to seek permission from the authorities before beginning to do any photography.
  • 365 days or 52 weeks – Instead of working on your own project share it with others, and ask them to make photographs on the same theme as your own! The dPS weekly photography challenge could form the basis of this project.
  • Food photography – Everyone loves good food, so combine this with your photography. Each photographer can pick a country. Then make food from that country, and photograph it. You could even make this into an international cookbook.
7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

This photo was taken as part of a subway project in Seoul. It was a big challenge to photograph all the stations.

4 – A photography team

There are times when forming a photography team will give you the edge as a photographer. The more you move into the commercial world of photography the more this becomes a need, as you can’t be everywhere all the time. Think of events like weddings, sports, or festivals. The need to cover all your angles means teaming up with other photographers so they can be where you’re not.

  • Event photography – Having more than one photographer allows one of you to concentrate on the wider scene, while the other covers moments closer to the action. Think of when tennis players go from singles to playing in pairs on a team. In doubles they have different roles and need to complement each other.
  • Portrait photography – Another great example of when a team of photographers is needed is portrait work with strobes. In this scenario, there is one main photographer, but having other photographers or assistants there to help with lighting equipment is desirable.
7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

Teaming up with other photographers can be a great way to pool resources.

5 – Create an association

Related to creating a photography team is making an association. In this case, you’re creating more of a guild, and indeed a photo team could be formed from members of that guild. A grouping of photographers like this will look to use each other’s strengths, to form a stronger unit when a client comes along.

Such an association might look to create a stock library of their images, albeit on a much smaller scale to larger firms such as Getty Images. Other models for such a grouping of photographers would be the Magnum organization, though of course on a smaller scale.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

The more the merrier as long as you don’t step on each other’s toes!

6 – Weekly challenges

Weekly challenges are a good way to do group photography on an individual basis, and you can decide to opt out of weeks that are not your style. There is a great weekly challenge run by Digital Photography School, and you’ll find other photography communities that run a similar program as well.

It’s of course, possible to organize these on a more local level, where perhaps you meet up in a coffee shop together once a week to make your own challenge.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

Seasonal photo challenges are a yearly staple for many photography groups. Spring is often a popular theme.

7 – Enter a photo competition

A final way you can interact with your fellow photographers is through a photo competition. The weekly challenge is, of course, a competition, but there are many different types of competition. Among the biggest contests are those organized by National Geographic or Sony to name but two. These are annual competitions and often have themes for contestants to try and fulfill.

There are also photography contests that require you to tell a story through a sequence of perhaps 10 photos. Once again these contests can be adapted to you and your community. If you have a photography club, why not take a leaf out of the bigger company’s book, and make a competition. A little competitive edge within your group can often be a great way of pushing you out of your comfort zone to help you produce even more amazing results.

How will you do your group photography?

There are many good ways to collaborate with others and do more group photography activities. Have you tried any of the ideas in this article before?

Perhaps you have a new more novel way to make a photography community that can be shared here. As always I’d love to get feedback from you, so leave your comments and I shall endeavor to respond.

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5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning

The holy grail of travel photography is a stunning photo looking into the vast distance taken at sunrise or sunset. It seems to just work as a blend of color, composition, and light to create something that often makes the viewer utter that famous word that any photographer wants to hear, “Wow!”.

But why is it then that so often when you look at your own sunrise or sunset photos they don’t look so stunning? Here are 5 reasons why your sunrise or sunset photos don’t live up to your expectations.

5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning - sunset on the coast

#1 – What’s the point?

I remember a picture editor once told me, “This might sound controversial, but a sunrise or sunset is actually pretty boring.” What he was referring to was the lack of compelling subject matter in a photo of a sunrise or sunset like for example an empty beach with just the setting sun.

While sitting on a beach and seeing a sunset can seem like a wonderful experience, unfortunately, the camera cannot replicate that. Most successful photos of sunrises or sunsets have a point of interest in them, in that there is a subject that is the main story and the sunrise or sunset is providing the light and the atmosphere.

That story doesn’t necessarily have to be a person or an object in the frame. The story could be the beautiful scenery or the crashing waves against the coast. But the key point is that there is something that gets the viewers’ attention. So, don’t just rely on the sunrise or sunset, try to build your composition using it as an addition rather than the story.

boring sunset photo - 5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning

This photo just isn’t very interesting. There’s a lack of interesting clouds or even water movement.

In this image, the big rock in the foreground, footsteps in the sand and the people all add interest and context to the photo.

#2 – Clouds or no clouds?

For example, one element that can dramatically improve your sunrise or sunset photos is some clouds. Take your generic empty beach scenario from above, but this time add some dramatic clouds that the light can bounce off and suddenly you’ll go from something mundane to something that looks fantastic.

The clouds here add drama to the scene.

Of course, you can’t control the elements and no clouds in the sky means, there’s nothing you can do. In that scenario, you just have to work harder to frame your shot and give the viewer a point of interest.

While you generally want some clouds in the sky, too much cloud cover and you will often find the light seems flat and dull and the whole photo looks uninteresting (unless the sun can set below the clouds and light them up from underneath). So, in conclusion, while you ideally want some clouds, it’s important not to have a completely overcast day. You can, of course, plan your shoots around times when you will have the best conditions.

5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning

#3 – Are your highlights and shadows correct?

One of the big challenges in photographing sunrise or sunsets is the vast contrast you get between highlights and shadows. Your highlights are the light areas of your photo (such as the sky for example) and your shadows are the dark areas in the photo (for example your foreground).

If either is pushed too far you will get completely white areas for highlights and completely black areas for shadows. This means that these areas contain no pixel details and is something you want to avoid.

The problem you face when photographing sunsets or sunrises is that your sky will be bright, and your foreground will be dark (a high dynamic range). The way that you can ensure that your highlights and shadows are exposed correctly in this scenario is to use a graduated neutral density filter to balance out the difference in the highlights and shadows.

There are also other techniques such as exposure bracketing as well that can help you achieve this in post-production and actually just brightening or darkening these areas in a software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. But whatever you decide, just make sure that your highlights and shadows are exposed correctly and fine-tune them if you need to in post-production.

5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning - clipped shadow areas

The blue areas on this photo indicate where the shadows are being clipped (black with no detail).

Here the same image has been adjusted in post-processing to hold more detail in the shadow areas. 

#4 – The image isn’t framed correctly

One of the key elements in ensuring the final photo looks great is to frame your composition correctly.

The easiest way to do this and a good starting point for any photographer is the famous Rule of Thirds where you try to place key points of interest on the intersection of the lines. But the Rule of Thirds is also worth remembering for your horizon line. Usually, you will find that placing the horizon either on the top third or the bottom third will look better than slap bang in the middle.

Horizon centrally framed.

Using the rule of thirds, the horizon here is on the lower third – off-center.

But try to consider the whole picture when framing your shot. Think if there are any areas that are just wasted space where you can crop in tighter. Or if your camera angle is slightly off and you can benefit by just moving a little to either side.

The beauty of photography these days is that you can usually take as many photos as it takes to get your shot framed right. So, play around with your composition and capture a few alternatives that you can then review later in post-production.

5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning

Your camera may have the option to display the Rule of Thirds grid when you’re shooting or in image playback mode.

#5 – You haven’t fixed mistakes

Usually, the first bit of feedback that I often give newbie photographers when I look at their sunrise or sunset photos is on elements that could easily be fixed in post-production. Whether you are an advocate of post-production or not there are certain things that you simply should not forego on any photo.

The two biggest of these are:

  1. Ensuring that your photos are straight, that means the horizon line needs to be dead straight.
  2. Making sure you have the correct white balance for the photo (if you haven’t already done so when taking the photo). Think about the scene that you are showing, is it a warm and golden scenario or is it a cool and crisp setting? Either way, tweak your white balance until it is correct.

If you do nothing else in post-production, just making sure these two settings are correct will immediately improve your photos.

5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning - crooked horizon line

This image is clearly not straight as can be seen from the horizon line.

Here the image tilt has been corrected.

Conclusion

Sunsets and sunrises are wonderful times in the day to photograph things. The soft golden light can transform an ordinary scene into an extraordinary one. When done well, they are often the photos that will be the “show stoppers” in any portfolio.

But always remember that a sunset and sunrise needs to work in combination with your composition and subject matter to create a wonderful photo. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to capturing great photos of sunrise and sunsets.

Now it’s your turn to get involved. Share your great sunrise and sunset photos below.

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How to Use Facebook Ad Dayparting to Optimize Your Results

Want to make sure you serve Facebook and Instagram ads when your followers are online? Have you considered dayparting your ad campaigns? In this article, you’ll discover how to use dayparting to schedule Facebook and Instagram ads to pause and run on specific days and times. What Is Dayparting? Dayparting is the practice of scheduling [...]

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