lauantai 17. helmikuuta 2018

Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers

Whether you are traveling abroad or within your own country, there are several mistakes that I’ve seen travel photographers make that hinder the process of making memorable photos.

Five Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers

Mistake #1: Not being aware of cultural sensitivities and laws

When you travel to another country it’s easy to forget that the people there may see certain things differently than you. For example, in China, you will see signs up in temples asking you not to take photos. So it should be fairly obvious that doing so may cause offense.

Others are not so obvious. Did you know that in Spain the law prohibits photographers from taking photos of people in public without permission unless they are taking part in a cultural event such as a festival? That’s right, Spain is not a great place to be a street photographer (although that doesn’t stop people from doing it).

Unless you know this, you probably think taking candid photos of people in Spain is perfectly okay (as it is in most other places). Once you understand the attitude (and the law) towards photographing people in Spain, you can adjust your behavior to fit in with local expectations and behavior.

If you want to create a street photo of somebody, it’s best to stop them and ask for permission. That way you protect yourself and (added bonus!) keep out of trouble with the police.

Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers

I made this street portrait in Cadiz, Spain after asking the street vendor if I could take his photo. If I had tried to take a photo without him noticing it would have been illegal, and if he had called the police I would have been on the wrong side of the law.

Some countries have laws forbidding the photography of certain buildings, like airports. Did you know that photographers have been arrested, jailed, and accused of spying in Greece for photographing an airshow at a military base? If you’re going to Greece it’s a good idea to know which buildings are out of bounds for photographers. Make sure you’re aware of any legal restrictions in your country of travel.

Mistake #2: Being disrespectful to local people

When you travel somewhere new, especially somewhere that is exotic to you, it’s easy to treat people as if they were laid out, like colorful extras in a movie scene, for you to take photos of. That is not true, and it’s disrespectful and unkind to act as if it is. Imagine how you would feel if somebody from another country came and tried to take photos as you went about your daily life, without consideration for you and your feelings.

It seems to me that a big part of the problem is when people travel through other countries without interacting with locals in anything other than a commercial context, such as renting a hotel room or eating in a restaurant. Sometimes this is down to language – it’s hard to strike up a conversation in China if you don’t speak Chinese, for example.

But your travels (and life in general) can become a lot more interesting if you are open to non-commercial experiences with local people. Try having conversations with people about their hopes and dreams, what they do for a living, how they like living in their town and similar topics. You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the places you’re traveling through when you do.

Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers

A Spanish friend of mine invited me to see a farm owned by a member of her family. I would never have gotten to see the farm or make this photo if we didn’t know each other.

Language study is an excellent way to meet local people. I have many good friends in Spain and South America that I met online through websites aimed to help people learn other languages. I’ve met most of them in person and learned a lot about their culture and countries in the process.

Mistake #3: Not putting safety first

Another mistake I’ve seen photographers make is forgetting to take care of their personal security or failing to take appropriate precautions to guard their gear against theft.

Most photographers travel to most places without any security problems, but there is always the potential for something to go wrong, especially if you don’t put much thought into your personal safety and the security of your camera and computer equipment. Some countries are safe, others can be dangerous, so make sure you do your research beforehand and take any appropriate precautions.

A good travel insurance policy that covers your gear (check the fine print) will help give you peace of mind if the worse does happen.

Mistake #4: Taking too much gear

We’ve all seen the type of photographer that walks around with a large dSLR camera and telephoto lens, perhaps even two, swinging from their side.

At the other extreme are photographers who travel with just one camera and one lens. When I worked at EOS magazine we published an article about a photographer who traveled to India with one camera and a single 50mm lens. He made some beautiful images so the approach worked for him.

Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers

During a recent trip to China, I calculated afterward that I had used my 35mm lens for 73% of the photos, including the one above. That tells me that I probably could have taken just that lens and still enjoyed a very productive journey.

There’s nothing wrong with taking lots of gear, especially if it works for you. Professionals often take lots of lenses so they know they are covered for just about any situation they may encounter. But there are a couple of things worth considering.

  • The first is that a large camera and lens combo is an obvious target for theft. Smaller cameras attract less attention and don’t look as expensive.
  • The other consideration is creative. If you have too much gear it’s heavy to carry around and you can waste time trying to decide which lens/camera combination to use.

The key is to think in advance about the subject matter you intend to photograph and what gear you’ll need for it. If you are into long exposure photography, for example, then you’re going to need a tripod, cable release and neutral density filters.

If you are photographing people, you need to decide what lens or lenses you are going to use for portraits. If you are photographing local architecture, you will probably need a good wide-angle lens. If you are going to walk around all day taking street photos, a small camera and lens are much less tiring than a large DSLR with a telephoto zoom.

You get the idea. Ultimately, you need to find the right balance between taking enough gear to meet your needs and taking too much. Also, if security is a concern, you may want to consider leaving your more expensive gear at home.

Mistake #5: Not doing enough research

If there’s one mistake that links all the others, it’s this one – not doing enough research. It’s important because it makes you aware of any local laws or cultural sensitivities you need to know (mistake #1).

As part of your research, you may get in touch with local people (mistake #2) who can give you advice or help you gain access to places or events you would never know about otherwise. Some photographers go even further and work with a fixer – somebody who introduces you to other people, translates if necessary, and acts as a bridge between you and the local culture.

Research alerts you to any security considerations (mistake #3). It helps you decide what gear you need to take, and avoid overload caused by taking too much equipment (mistake #4).

In other words, doing your research is a key part of avoiding the mistakes that many travel photographers make.

Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers

Research also helps you find interesting places to photograph, such as this ancient fishing village in north Devon.

Conclusion

These mistakes are based on my observations of other photographers while traveling. But what mistakes have you seen other photographers make? What mistakes have you made yourself? I’m looking forward to hearing your responses in the comments section below.


The Candid Portrait

If you’d like to learn more about street and travel photography then please check out my popular ebook popular ebook The Creative Portrait.

The post Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Photography can be traced back all the way to the camera obscura; which was an aid for artists who could then draw their subjects from the projection created by the light passing through the pinhole. Following that tradition, in this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a drawing by outlining the subject from your digital photo to create a fun, cartoon-like image.

Deer cartoon - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Getting started

You can use this technique on any photo you want and apply it to any subject you like. However, I find it best, especially for your first attempt, that the subject is well defined or isolated so it’s easier for you to outline it. I also personally prefer and recommend that the image is not too busy. So, once you have chosen your photo, open it in Photoshop.

Outline the subject

To trace your subject you are going to use the Pen tool. The way it works is that you create anchor points with each click. A straight line then connects those points. Do this all around the subject.

Once you have this, change the Pen tool to the Convert Point Tool, which you can find by holding down on the Pen until the drop-down menu opens. With the Convert Point, you can curve the straight lines to make it fit the silhouette best. Just click on the anchor point and start dragging it. From each anchor point, you will have to handles, each one to control the line in each direction of the anchor.

Pen Outline - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

This will help you get a smoother silhouette and avoiding unnecessary bumps that you would get if you only trace by adding anchor points.

Straight lines - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

A straight line.

Curve - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Using curved lines.

Create your outline

Once you have outlined the silhouette of the subject, create a new layer. You can do this by going to the top Menu > Layer > New Layer. You can rename it as “silhouette” or “outline” just to keep things tidy, as you will be creating more layers further along.

What you’re going to do next is turn this path into a drawing, more precisely, the line that borders your drawing. Therefore, you can choose which color it will be and how thick you want it. To set it you need to go to the Brush tool and select a hard brush as thick as you want. I’m doing 8px in this case.

You can also choose the color by clicking on the foreground color at the bottom of the tool palette, for this example, I’m using black. Turn off the background layer (click the little eye icon) so you can see how it will look like and then choose your settings.

Silhouette - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Now that you have this ready, leave the new layer active go to the path palette. If it’s already opened you can open it by going to the top Menu > Windows > Path. In there you will see that a Work Path has been created, the icon will show the image as a grey rectangle and the path is the silhouette you traced.

Next, right-click on the Work Path and choose Stroke Path. A pop-up window will appear, make sure the Brush option is selected and click OK.

Stroke Path - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Adding details

You have a border or a silhouette now, but you still need details. Each one will be a new layer and a new path, that way you have it separated and can, therefore, control it more precisely.

If you want two details on the same layer, for example, to keep the two ears in one layer so that any changes apply equally, then you keep working in the same layer. But you do need to create a new path for each one.

Notice here that I have my background layer which is my original image; a Layer 1 that corresponds to the Work Path which is the outline; and a Layer 2 that contains Path 1 and Path 2 which are the two details of the ears. This is why I suggested earlier that you should rename the layers and the paths to keep track of them easier. Continue doing this as many times as you need to finish your drawing.

Layers and Paths - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Apply a filter

Once you’re finished with this, duplicate the background layer. With this new layer active, go to the Work Path (the one that has the outer line of the drawing) and right-click it. From the drop-down menu, choose Make Selection. This will select your subject so that the filter you’ll apply next doesn’t affect the background, otherwise the entire will turn into a cartoon.

Now go to the top Menu > Filter > Filter Gallery. A window will appear with all kind of filters that you can apply and a preview image. In this case, you’re going to select the one called Cutout from the Artistic Filters. On the right side there are sliders to refine the effect, just move them around until you are satisfied. I’m going to do it as Number of levels 7, Edge simplicity 5 and Edge fidelity 2. When you’re done just click OK.

Cutout - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Other tricks

You can also multiply your cartoons, apply modifying layers to change colors or saturation, and anything else you can think of! And the best part is that you can do this to any kind of photo, here are some other examples; share yours as well in the comments!

Three deers - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

The post How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop by Ana Mireles appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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Snapchat Rolls Out New Analytics

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Snapchat rolling out new analytics with Carlos Gil, Pinterest updates with Jeff Sieh, and more breaking social [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle



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perjantai 16. helmikuuta 2018

Weekly Photography Challenge – Hands

Last week I sent you off to photograph feet – this week let’s try the other appendages – hands!

Hands can be young or old, tough or tender, but are always very expressive. What do the hands you’re photographing have to say? Add some storytelling into your hand photos for extra marks!

Photo by JORGE LOPEZ on Unsplash

Weekly Photography Challenge – Hands

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.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Hands by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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Photography Equipment Comparisons – Entry-Level Versus High-End Gear Does it Matter?

Photographers tend to get obsessed with having the latest, greatest toys. But does it matter which camera or bits of equipment you use? If so, how much? Or is it more about how you use it, and the skills you possess?

Let’s take a look at three video comparisons of some of the top level photography equipment available and some entry-level options.

Rich photographer – poor photographer

I like the play on words here, hinting at the concept of the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series of books by Robert Kiyosaki. In the video, the guys over at f-stoppers do a portrait shoot with two different sets of lighting equipment. One which costs nearly $10,000, and the “poor man’s” version which will run you about $425.

Can you see a difference in the final portrait results? No, I can’t see much difference either.

$1100 versus $5499

In this second video, Peter McKinnon looks at the virtues of both the Canon 80D ($1099) and the Canon 1Dx Mark II (Note: at the time of writing, this camera is listed at $5499). Is the latter worth five times as much? You decide.

If you are a sports shooter, you may need the extra frames per second rate the 1DX offers. But if you’re a wildlife photographer you may prefer the extended reach of the crop sensor in the 80D. Portrait photography can be done with either, but you likely don’t need to spend the extra money on the 1DX if that’s what you shoot.

Note: when the video was made the 1DX was likely priced higher, so please note the difference in prices in the video to current pricing.

Camera shootout – it’s not about the gear

In this last video let’s see what happens if two professional photographers each pick up an entry-level Canon Rebel T3i and hand their Canon 5D Mark IV to an amateur. They do a little shootout with the same model, in the same lighting conditions and studio. Let’s see who comes out on top.

The Canon T3i is discontinued, the price for the current model, the T6 is $449 with the 18-55mm lens. The Canon 5D Mark IV  is $3299 + $1699 for the 35mm f/1.4 lens shown in the video = total $4998.

Your thoughts?

So what are your thoughts after watching the videos? Have you made the decision to invest in high-end lenses or a full frame camera body? If so, have you found it to fill your needs better – was it worth it? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

The post Photography Equipment Comparisons – Entry-Level Versus High-End Gear Does it Matter? by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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Webinars: How to Market and Sell Using Webinars

Looking for a proven way to sell courses and consulting? Interested in boosting webinar attendance and conversions? To learn about selling products and services via webinars, I interview Amy Porterfield. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers, [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle



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