Photo tip of the day: Shoot between poses to capture the most honest candid moments.
Whenever I take portraits I would always remind myself to be mindful and ready in capturing those candid reactions of my subjects. I would rarely put the camera down as I find that the most honest and sincerest photos I come up with on every portrait session, I get between poses or directions. Those unguarded moments will always reflect more personality and tell more of a story.
Of course making sure your subject is relaxed and comfortable is key and a good sense of humour or pleasing personality would go a long way too.
A few times a year I get booked to cover a children’s party. I truly admire and appreciate the parents who give their children the best they could offer for a celebration their young toddler would hardly remember without photos to look at. I love taking photos of kids and I truly believe photographing children is not as simple as it may seem. Best to do it in a controlled environment like a studio or in an outdoor setting, 1 subject, one candid moment, capturing sincerity, personality, cheekiness, the ‘oh so cute moments’ and of course genuine joy of being a kid.
Kiddie parties are different altogether, there are so many uncontrolled factors which involves a lot of chasing, running around and documenting every moment in the event . It’s like a mini-wedding with more bubbles, confetti, screams, cries and laughter. In all the fun and madness, as a photographer I still have to deliver the same style and consistency in my work that all my clients expect. Not that it’s a lot of work but its more about exceeding expectations. Kiddie parties can be artistic too…
Hiring a professional photographer to cover a children’s party would probably be last on the list when planning for one and most would probably ask a friend who has a good camera to take photos. Honestly, I have 3 kids of my own, and its not about the money I’m spending but the memories I’m investing on. Your kids will barely remember the extravagant party you threw for his/her first birthday and Im sure you wouldn’t too. Good images last a lifetime and snapshots taken from your phone or of people standing around taken by your friend would just be forgotten. Looking back and remembering the little things, the moments, a different perspective, the best light, and the emotions. Im sure great memories has more weight than gold.
How much do you value family memories?
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
– Aaron Siskind
What is colour? Objects absorb and reflect different wavelength of light, and how each object absorbs and reflects the different wavelengths is how they form colour. A red rose, well in this case its petals absorb all wavelengths of light except red. Some objects will reflect more than one colour in such cases when an object reflects yellow and red then it becomes orange.
In photography the colours we choose or capture impacts the overall emotion, mood or roles in an image. Knowing how to use or capture the colours around us is an important technique one can use and creative photography. Using a a single tone or many, combinations of different colours or the right composition or placement of colours will most definitely improve the way you tell a story or ‘the story’ in your images.
Let’s start with some general colours:
Red – in photography this colour is the most powerful or dominating colour. It represents passion, love, danger and yes stop. Stop because this colour grabs immediate attention. Personally I treat this colour with great respect, if you’re not careful it can be a distraction.
Green – the colour of nature, colour of health and life. Green is very soothing and calming but can easily be dominated by other colours. That is why in a landscape photo you tend to easily overlook this colour and search for other much vibrant colours such as colourful flowers.
Yellow – colour of nature and autumn. Yellow is also a strong colour such as the colour of the sun and of course all drivers will know that yellow means ‘caution’, feel free to use it but with a bit of restraint.
Blue – is a colour that can portray both positive and negative emotions. Coldness, sadness and loneliness are well portrayed in blue but can also represent serenity, peace, sereneness and tranquility.
Another important part of using colours as a technique in creative photography is understanding how to combine colours. It is crucial to know which colours clash and work well together. Clashing colours can either provide drama or just create confusion while using the right harmony of colours enhances an overall theme and a sense of completeness. Have a look at a colour wheel, the primary colours sit equidistant to each other, and flows from the closest shade to the next. Contrasting or complimentary colours would then be the opposite colour where it sits on the colour wheel.
It is also important to know how different colours behave in a 2D environment. Warm colours such as red and yellow would seem to pop-out or advance while cooler colours like blue and green tend to recede.
The next technique you can apply is knowing and experimenting when to mute colours or when to make them bolder or harsh. It will all depend on the story you would want to portray.
Remember, use colours to enhance your subject, as part your composition and to tell a much better story. No! Selective colouring when finishing your images is not a technique, to be honest Im not really fond of seeing them.
“ Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” – Matt Hardy
A group of people giving up a day, sharing the same passion, honing their craft, a day of camaraderie and fun.
Spent a day sharing what I know in photography last Saturday (August 12, 2012) with a group of great people. I can definitely say I’ve learned more from them that they did from me, from the conversations and the behind the scenes moment of the workshop.
The workshop was a fast track to artistic and creative photography, from the basics of proper shooting posture, operating their cameras to exposure and composition. Applying all these knowledge in being creative in artistic in their story telling. Knowing the basics gave them the freedom to experiment and of course creatively ‘break’ the rules.
To all the participants, our photographic journey continues, it’s just more fun now as we have all built good relationships sharing the same passion…taking fantastic images.
Watch out for the next one and of course the next series.
The workshop is open to anyone – from beginners to photo enthusiasts – anyone keen on sharing and learning the basics of photography and how one can fast track learning artistic and creative photography.
Review the basics
– Camera basics.
– Shooting posture.
– what you need and when you need it.
– the workflow, simplified for everyday photography.
Fast track to creative and artisitic photography
– The elements of the perfect exposure.
– Aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, ISO setting, white balance, exposure compensation.
– Composition, light, viewpoint, angles, lens perspective.
– Use of your flash & shooting techniques in low-light conditions.
– After reviewing the technical part, time to be creative.
– Artistic and creative composition, pushing the bounderies and telling a story.
– Concept, implementation and execution.
Working with your subject/ Application/ Model Shoot
– Working with your subject.
– Model posing. Lines, curves the best angle.
– Model Shoot, time to apply what was discussed. FUN!
– Artistic and creative portraits, the story the emotions.
– Organising your folders.
– Adobe photoshop simplified.
– Selective editing. Image enhancement.
No prior photography knowledge.
We recommend you have a digital DLSR although we cater for digital compact users.
Memory Card(s) – we recommend at least a 2GB card.
Charged camera battery and a spare.
If available, a laptop with Adobe Photoshop installed or Adobe Elements.
visit http://www.ninoestrada.com for a sample of what you can achieve through this workshop.
contact Roy, firstname.lastname@example.org to book your slot, slots are limited.
In the right light
Photography is derived from 2 greek words “photos” and “graphe” together it means “drawing with light”. Whether you would like to take photos using ambient or natural light or having full control using flash, light is an important aspect of a photograph. The type of light, angle, direction, and amount should always be factored in. Each element will have a its own unique effect and can change the overall appearance of a photograph.
Taking photos during mid day with the sun at its peak will result in deep shadows hence the need to use flash to properly expose your subject and the background. An afternoon sun can produce a nice glow to your subject when directed at the back of your subject. Overcast conditions are always good for taking portraits although a fill-in light should be used such as light bouncing off a reflector.
Always remember, if you can’t control the light or the direction it’s coming from, try to move your subject or yourself. Trying different angles and subject placements would do wonders on a photograph.
Using flash or strobes is always good in terms of making an image in a controlled environment.
Chase the light and tell a story
“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams
Keep your horizon straight
This is one of the most basic fundamental you can apply to capturing an image. Keeping your horizon straight provides the proper perspective to your photo. A sloping horizon would most likely ruin what could be a beautiful photo. Hopefully after reading this post you would be able to avoid this mistake that I have also done in the past.
With the horizon straight or level, the viewer does not need to tilt their head or look an image upside down to appreciate your final output. A straight horizon will also avoid making your main element seem like they are falling or sliding out of the image, making water appear to be leaking outside the frame or making your subject look like they are struggling to find their balance just to stay in the same spot.
When looking through your viewfinder or LCD screen, make sure that the horizon is parallel to the border of the frame. You could also use a hot shoe spirit level, which especially handy when taking scenic, seascapes or landscape shots. The last resort is to adjust it on a digital darkroom, although I would certainly always suggest getting the shot right the first time to make processing a lot easier. A thought that would often appear in my posts…don’t waste time processing a bad picture.
This small detail can greatly affect the overall impact of your photo and would sure convey a much different story. The general rule with horizons is that they should either be straight or sloping at an obvious angle, otherwise it would appear to be a mistake. As for all rules, it can be broken but remember that it should complement the overall theme and composition of the photograph. Knowing the rationale behind this rule would allow you to experiment effectively.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
This photo was taken at a photo assignment I did a few years back. I saw this gentleman outside a Catholic church asking passers-by for some extra change. I approached him hoping to start a conversation. He ended up sharing his story of losing everything, his livelihood, his love ones and according to him his dignity. I stood there and listened to him thinking of ways to encourage him (keeping the story of Job in mind), I decided to just listen and hear more, as a father myself I can only imagine the pain and hurt he’s been through.
It would have been very easy for me to take a portrait of this gentleman in his current state, sitting right next to this picturesque building door with crowds walking past him with only him noticing me and looking straight at my lens but I have come to know the man, I have heard his story and I felt it was more satisfying to show him in a different light, a smile. To him, his smile might have lasted for a second a mere reaction to whatever I said, maybe it was because he found someone who listened to him or maybe I had something on my forehead he found amusing I wouldn’t know, for that moment he forgot the hurt he forgot the pain…he smiled. For me his smile will surely last for more than a second, the conversation etched in my mind and the image printed and framed will always remind me of the deeper meaning of the photo and the story behind it.
A deeper meaning, a story within a story…