Under Water Portraiture


  • Camera: Olympus u770SW
  • Lens: 6.7 – 20.1mm
  • Focal length: 6.7mm
  • Exposure: 1/60sec f/3.5 @ ISO 100
  • Method: Handheld / Available Light
  • Post processed in Photoshop CS6



  • Camera: Olympus u770SW
  • Lens: 6.7 – 20.1mm
  • Focal length: 6.7mm
  • Exposure: 1/320sec f/3.5 @ ISO 80
  • Method: Handheld / Available Light
  • Post processed in Photoshop CS6


Father & Daughter

  • Camera: Olympus u770SW
  • Lens: 6.7 – 20.1mm
  • Focal length: 6.7mm
  • Exposure: 1/500sec f/3.5 @ ISO 80
  • Method: Handheld / Available Light
  • Post processed in Photoshop CS6


Under water family portrait

  • Camera: Olympus u770SW
  • Lens: 6.7 – 20.1mm
  • Focal length: 6.7mm
  • Exposure: 1/320sec f/3.5 @ ISO 80
  • Method: Handheld / Available Light
  • Post processed in Photoshop CS6



  • Camera: Olympus u770SW
  • Lens: 6.7 – 20.1mm
  • Focal length: 6.7mm
  • Exposure: 1/60sec f/3.5 @ ISO 100
  • Method: Handheld / Available Light
  • Post processed in Photoshop CS6


© Copyright 2013 Robert Mark Elliott (Photographer), All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – Wedding Photography Checklist

Wedding Photography Checklist

A wedding photography poses checklist is crucial to get all the shots right on the big day. But with all that’s going on, even with loads of preparation, it can be easy to miss some vital shots. It’s important therefore to put together a full list of all the poses you need to include.

The following sections of this article will list all the important shots and you can use it as an aid memoire on the day and tick off the shots one by one.

wedding photo checklist

“Thinking” captured by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva (Click Image to See More From Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva)

Bride’s Preparations:

  • Bride preparing herself
  • Bride or Maid of Honour/Chief Bridesmaid adjusting Bride’s gown / veil
  • A shot of bride in mirror
  • Mother of the Bride adjusting Bride’s veil
  • Bride with Mother (full length & closeup)
  • Bride with Father (full length & closeup)
  • Bride with Bridesmaids (full length & closeup)
  • Pinning on the corsages
  • Flowers being delivered
  • Bride with Grandparents (full length & closeup)
  • Bride with other family members; sisters, brothers etc (full length & closeup)
  • Various shots of clothes hung up, close up of shoes etc (the clutter and the chaos can make excellent candid shots and a lovely reminder to the couple of all the stuff that goes on around the main event)

Groom’s Preparations:

  • Groom getting ready, putting on tie for example
  • Groom with Best Man (full length & close up)
  • Groom with Best Man shaking hands (one looking at eachother & one with both looking at camera
  • Groom with Mother (full length & close up)
  • Groom with Father (full length & close up)
  • Pinning on the corsages
  • Groom with Grandparents (full length & close up)
  • Groom with other family members; sisters, brothers etc (full length & closeup)
  • Some fun ones with Groom & Best Man (make them look as natural as possible)

Before Ceremony:

  • Bride’s arrival
  • Bride and Father walking into venue
  • Bride kissing father
  • Bride with mother, parents and bridesmaids
  • Guests on arrival
  • Usher showing guests to their seats
  • Various guests being seated
  • General shots of all the guests seated

The Ceremony:

  • The Bridal party walking down the aisle
  • Bridesmaids, ring bearer, best man walking down the aisle
  • Father giving away bride
  • Bride & Groom exchanging vows
  • Bride & Groom exchanging rings
  • Bride & Groom – The First Kiss
  • Signing the registry
  • Close up of hands/rings

During the Reception:

  • Guests arriving
  • Main guests arriving….Bride & Groom’s immediate family and friends especially
  • Take a lot of shots of venue – especially any special features
  • Photos of table placings and decorations
  • Bride and Groom greeting guests
  • Each of the speeches
  • Children playing/dancing
  • The first dance
  • Lots of informal shots of guests – especially any children dressed in their best wedding outfits – they look adoreable
  • Shots of musicians / the band
  • The cake (on its own)
  • The cutting of the cake
  • Bride and Groom – close up of hands (with napkins and/or flowers)
  • Groom dancing with his Mother
  • Groom dancing with Bride’s Mother
  • Bride dancing with her Father
  • Bride and Groom leaving
  • Bride and Groom in car
  • Bride and Groom looking out of rear window of car


Professional photographers consider all these factors seamlessly and it would appear to the observer that all the shots on this wedding photography poses checklist come fairly naturally to the professional, but for the amateur wedding photographer, this will be much harder, as there is so much to think about, so the details of the poses will need a concerted effort to get right. However, this one wedding photography tip can make a huge difference to the final set of photographs.

Don’t rush, step back a little and take a view of the composition and guide everyone to stand in the right position and this can really pay dividends and give a more relaxed and natural look to the images.

This is not an extensive list of wedding photography poses checklist, but should serve to give some guidance. Have fun and take more rather than less, but try to include all the above as a base.

About the Author:
Are you puzzled by what to include in a wedding photography poses checklist, or need general advice on wedding photography tips, then click on http://weddingphotographytipsandtricks.com for a wealth of valuable information.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Photography Tips For Creating Tack Sharp Shots

Photography Tips For Creating Tack Sharp Shots

There are lots of ingredients to making a spectacular photograph, but the most important is for the picture to be in sharp focus. Even the slightest blur takes away from the picture, no matter how good the subject, lighting and color.

Photographers have somewhat varying opinions on what constitutes a tack sharp picture, but generally, a tack sharp photograph has good, clean lines. The picture has clear definition, instead of a soft blending of lines, or even downright blurry.

sharp photo

“Floating Mosque” captured by Jet Rabe (Click Image to See More From Jet Rabe)

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting that coveted tack sharp picture.

Hand-Held Digital Photography Tips

If you’re hand-holding your camera, brace your arms against your sides to help steady the camera. If your camera has anti-shake technology such as Vibration Reduction (VR) or Image Stabilization (IS) lens that can be switched on and off, this is the time to have it turned on.

You can also lean against a wall or tree or whatever sturdy object that’s handy, and help keep yourself and your camera steady. Alternatively, lean or lay your camera or lens on some readily available sturdy object to help steady the camera.

Steadying your camera by hooking the strap under your elbow and wrapping the rest around your forearm will also help stabilize the camera and hold it steady in your hand.

Getting those tack sharp photos while hand-holding your camera can be difficult, so to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot, use the burst or continuous shooting mode on your camera to take several shots at once. That increases your chances that at least one of the pictures will be in sharp focus.

"save us 1" captured by Raluca Mateescu

“save us 1″ captured by Raluca Mateescu (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Tripods For Better Focus

There’s no getting around the fact that it’s easier to get a tack sharp photo using a tripod. You just can’t hold the camera as steady as a tripod will. And like most things in life, with a tripod you get what you pay for. A cheap tripod will help, but won’t hold your camera rock steady like a more expensive tripod will. The moral of the story is to buy the best tripod you can reasonably afford.

The more expensive tripods don’t come with the head attached. You have to buy it separately, but that means you get to choose what suits you best. To get a sharp photo, buy a quality ballhead that won’t let your camera slowly slide to one side.

If you’re somewhere that carrying a tripod just won’t work, beanbags make a nice cushion for cameras in these settings. They cushion your camera, helping to steady it and increase your ability to situate the camera to focus on the subject you want.

To improve your chances of a tack sharp photo even more, use a cable release instead of pressing the shutter. It may not seem like much, but the movement from pressing the shutter will make the camera move enough to prevent getting those tack sharp photos.

If you don’t have a cable release, the self timer will also work. It allows you to press the shutter, while giving the camera time to stabilize before it actually takes the picture.

sharp pictures

“Our Finest” captured by Derrick Smith (Click Image to See More From Derrick Smith)

Advanced Photography Secrets For Sharp Shots

If you have a digital SLR camera, there are even more ways to make sure your camera stays steady while taking pictures.

The first is to use mirror lock-up. This locks your camera’s mirror in the up position so when you take a picture the mirror doesn’t move until after the picture is taken, limiting the movement inside the camera. This means to take a picture, you will have to press the shutter release button twice on your remote or cable release (you’re not going to all this trouble and pressing the shutter release on the camera are you?). The first press lifts the mirror and the second press actually takes the picture.

The second method is to turn off the Vibration Reduction or Image Stabilization. That may sound counter productive, but when you’ve stabilized your camera with a tripod and other methods, the vibration reduction keeps looking for shakes/movements. If there isn’t any movement, the vibration reduction actually causes some shaking while looking. A good rule of thumb is to keep these turned off when shooting with a tripod, and only turn them on when you’re hand-holding the camera.

One last way to increase the sharpness of your pictures is to have good glass. The lens you use makes a big difference. A quality lens with good glass is more expensive of course, but it’s another instance of getting what you pay for. Think of it as an investment in great photos.

Use as many methods as you can to steady your camera, and you’ll have a much better chance of getting those lovely tack sharp photographs.

About the Author:
Digital Photography Tips has information on digital cameras, digital photography and more athttp://www.thephotographylearningcenter.com/.

PictureCorrect Comment: A gorillapod is a great portable solution for insuring that your camera will be steady in difficult situations. It is a unique kind of tripod with flexible legs.

For further training, check out this recent eBook that is an invaluable resource for photographers who want to further develop their technique of on-camera and post-production focus. Finding the best expression of your photographic vision can only happen when your working knowledge and skills produce images that direct the viewers’ eye to what you intended, found here: Finding Focus

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PictureCorrect.Com – Make Your Photo Subject Really Stand Out

Make Your Photo Subject Really Stand Out

Great photography subjects are all around us. You don’t have to go far to find interesting people, flowers, or wildlife. The real test is to use your skills to create a photo with genuine impact.

How do you make your subject really stand out in a photograph? It is tempting, but quite wrong, to blame the camera when your photo doesn’t work out the way you want. You need to know right now that a more expensive camera will not automatically make you a better photographer. In truth, the techniques in this article will work for almost any camera. All you need are manual aperture and shutter speed settings, and a decent zoom lens.

"1 Flag" captured by Keith Willette

“1 Flag” captured by Keith Willette (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Here are a few simple tips for adding impact to your subject.

Tip #1. Highlight A Brightly Lit Subject Against A Dark Background. If you are shooting a subject in full sunlight, with a shady background, the subject is always going to stand out. This is a simple principle to understand, but it is a little easier said than done.

When your photograph has two very different levels of light, the lightmeter in your camera can be confused. It may expose for the dark background, causing your subject to be overexposed. The trick is to expose for the subject.

You can’t do this on automatic. What you need to do is switch your camera to manual, and adjust the aperture and/or shutter speed settings until the photo is underexposed by one or two stops (according to the lightmeter). When you get the balance right, you should have a dark background and a perfectly exposed subject.

Photo captured by Vaughan Nelson

Photo captured by Vaughan Nelson (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Tip #2. Use A Small Depth Of Field To Blur The Background. You have seen plenty of photos where the subject is sharp and clear, but the rest of the picture completely out of focus. You will find this an easy way to add impact to the subject, and a three-dimensional effect to your whole photo.

To achieve this, you use a combination of a large lens and a wide aperture. First, zoom in on the subject with your largest magnification. This will naturally reduce the depth of field. Then adjust the aperture to its widest setting. A wide aperture will reduce the depth of field even further.

The closer you are to the subject the more pronounced the effect becomes.

Tip #3. Use A Wide Angle Lens To Exaggerate Perspective. This technique is almost the opposite of Tip #2. A wide angle lens makes everything in your photo appear much smaller, so objects in the distance seem much further away than they really are. Meanwhile, you can stand very close to a subject in the foreground (a person, animal etc) and still fit it in the frame.

"October leaf" captured by Katrina

“October leaf” captured by Katrina (Click Image to Find Photographer)

As a result, your close-up subject will appear to tower over a background in which everything else seems very small and distant. Although the surroundings will be mostly in focus (the wide angle lens has a much larger depth of field), they will seem relatively small and insignificant, making your subject seem larger and more dominant by comparison.

So there you have three fairly simple ways to add impact to the subject in your photos. Because my background is in nature, I usually think in terms of wildlife, but you can probably think of many subjects that will benefit from these techniques.

The great thing is, you don’t need a professional camera to try these ideas out. As I said earlier, if you have a zoom lens, and manual control of your aperture and shutter speed, you can add impact to your photos with just a little practice.

Even better, in the age of digital photography, practice costs nothing…so get out there and start snapping!

About the Author:
Andrew Goodall writes for http://www.naturesimage.com.au and is a nature photographer based in Australia. He manages a gallery in Montville full of landscape photography from throughout Australia.

PictureCorrect Comment: A popular wide angle lens is the Canon Zoom Wide Angle EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. A ring-type USM means both fast and silent AF, as well as full-time manual focus when in the AF mode.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Capturing Birds in Flight

Capturing Birds in Flight

A shot of a bird in flight has always been a challenge to photographers. Seeing a perfect print image only serves to make them eager to create the same result. Photographing a bird in flight presents one problem, but capturing that one special bird-in-flight shot that’s in focus and has good composition plus good light can represent a whole set of problems. Everyone has his share of good flight shots where the bird may be just a tiny bit soft. Those are easy. But, how do you get a great flight shot?

"flying" captured by nelson

“flying” captured by nelson (Click Image to Find Photographer)

The camera technology of the last several years has made flight photography easier than it was before, but there are still lots of variables that need to be added to the equation to make good bird-in-flight photography a common part of your repertoire. Here are some fundamentals to help you increase your supply of flight shots:

Camera Body Features

The camera body equipment out today has made action photography much easier than it was when manual focus was the rule rather than the exception. The first handy feature to set is the continuous focus mode called AI Servo on Canon and Continuous Servo on Nikon. This setting allows the lens to keep changing the focus as long as the shutter button is depressed halfway and the subject is in the set auto focus point.

Second, Canon has a custom function that expands the auto focus point activation area to either 7 or 13 points. This is a great function, as it allows for the subject movement to remain in focus even if you don’t keep up with the movement of the bird in your primary AF point.

Drive mode is the third camera function to set. Here, the best setting is “high-speed continuous” where you get the most frames per second that your camera body will allow. While you’ll burn quite a few shots with this setting, it will allow more shots to choose from for the wing position and lighting you like best.

Photo captured by Beebo Wallace

Photo captured by Beebo Wallace (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Lens Selection

Lens selection is a very subjective topic with plenty of correct answers. Being a Canon shooter, I’ll refer to Canon lenses, but many other brands have some comparable lenses. If you want to do flight photography handholding your camera and lens, the best choices are the 400 f/5.6 and the 100-400 IS. These are, by far, the best lenses on the market for flight photography. (Canon shooters have the advantage here, as the comparable Nikon lens, the 80-400 VR, is very slow to focus. People in my workshops have wanted to throw their Nikon lenses as far as they could when they couldn’t force them to focus fast enough.)

When handholding, try to keep your hand as far out on the barrel of the lens as possible to provide better balance while you’re panning and moving around with the subject. Also, tuck your elbows into your body as far as you can and keep your legs about shoulder-width apart. This position helps you turn your body into a tripod.

Your skill level also plays a part in proper lens selection. When you’re starting out in bird photography, it’s best to use the above lenses as opposed to “big guns” such as the 400 f/2.8, 500 and 600mm lenses. The reason is that shorter focal length lenses will provide easier tracking of the birds in the viewfinder. With the larger lenses, you have a very limited viewing range when the birds are close. You have to get them in view when they’re farther away and stay with them until they move close enough for you to take your shot. After time and practice, you’ll find it easier to focus on them when they’re close, but even then you’ll miss some shots. Longer focal lengths also allow you to work at greater distances with less change in subject position. Birds going across the frame are easier to track, particularly with a long focal length, than those coming directly into the camera, since they stay at roughly the same distance.

If you plan to shoot from a tripod instead of wanting to hand hold the camera/lens combination, a big lens will definitely do the trick. If you’re setting up a big lens on a tripod, by far the best option for a tripod head is the Wimberley head. The gimbal action is designed for action photography and makes panning with the birds easier than you could imagine if you’ve never used one of these heads. You can use a sturdy ball head, but you have to be careful with how loose you keep it. I primarily use my 400 f/2.8, sometimes with an extender, with the Wimberley head and then keep a second body close at hand with a 70-200 f/2.8 lens and either a 1.4 or 2X extender attached.

"Flying Close" captured by trinko

“Flying Close” captured by trinko (Click Image to Find Photographer)

The faster the f-stop of the lens, the better, as quick shutter speeds are imperative in getting sharp flight shots. It’s best to be able to stick with a f/2.8 lens but this isn’t always an option, depending on how much money you can spend. F/4 and f/5.6 are about as slow as you want for getting quick action shots, whether the subject is birds-in-flight or any other fast-moving subject.

Advancing lens technology has made flight photography much easier, but not foolproof. Auto focus is the major development that has helped to capture action. Be aware that owning an AF lens is not a guarantee of sharp results. There is no substitute for good technique. However, auto focus does yield a higher percentage of acceptable images when you’re shooting birds in flight, especially if you have a camera body that can shoot upwards of eight frames a second or more.


Because digital cameras keep improving the quality of images you get at higher ISO settings, it’s now alright to push the setting to 200 or even 400 to get good flight shots, depending on the available light. The caution to keep in mind is that a shutter speed of at least 1/500 is needed–preferably even 1/1000 or more, if possible. Doing a little bit of testing with shutter speed and f-stop will help you determine what the ISO needs to be for you to obtain the desired shutter speed.


As with any other subject, lighting is critical with flight photography. The best light condition for flight photography is front lighting, with the sun at your back and the birds coming towards you or across in front. The best light is still those two golden times of day when the sun is low on the horizon, but because the subject is high in the sky, you can extend your shooting time as the higher sun can still bounce nice light off the bird.

Photo captured by Thomas Hawk

Photo captured by Thomas Hawk (Click Image to Find Photographer)


A key detail to keep in mind when you’re composing flight shots is which auto focus point is set. You need to become adept at changing the auto focus point on the fly for you to get good flight shots. As multiple birds are flying around your location, you have to be aware of which point you’ve selected for the best composition.

The best compositions have space in front of the bird in the direction the bird is flying. Having its beak/ bill crowded against the leading edge of the shot makes for a potential throwaway image, even if everything else is right with the shot. Your subject needs room to breathe, and continually changing the AF point for better composition will provide the space you need to maintain in front of the bird.

Starting out, keep the AF point on the center point and try to get the bird’s eye focused there. This will ensure there is room in front of the bird for it to fly into the frame. While the eye will be in the middle of the frame, the majority of the bird will be behind it, so you’ll be keeping the full bird from being centered in the frame.


The farther away you can get the subject into your viewfinder, the better. If you try to focus only on a bird that’s close to your position, you’ll never get a good flight shot. As you see a bird coming in your direction, get it in the viewfinder, and track with it as it moves closer. Once it’s in the position you like (the preferred frame size and in good light), you can fire away.

When you’re panning a bird in flight, continue the panning motion even after you’ve taken the final shot. Following through will keep that last shot in focus better than if you abruptly stopped the movement. It’s the same idea as a golfer doing a follow-through on her shot or a baseball player continuing with his swing. A good way to do this is to continue shooting after the bird has passed you by. The last couple shots will be throwaways, but you’ll have included the shot you really want.

Photo captured by Larry Powell

Photo captured by Larry Powell (Click Image to Find Photographer)

The eyes have it. As with any wildlife photo, you need to have the eye in sharp focus. If the eye is out-of-focus, then the shot is not of a technical quality suitable for publication. If possible, try to set your AF point on the eye. If you can’t do this, at least get the focus on the neck, as the neck of a bird is on the same plane as the eye.


The biggest factor to keep in mind when you’re shooting flight photography is the relationship of the wind and the sun. Birds will always (well, almost always) take off and land into whatever wind or breeze there is. Getting the wind under their wings help them with lift and drag. Putting yourself in the right position to get the best flight shots means having both the wind and the sun at your back, allowing the birds to come towards you.

As you see, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind when you’re taking flight shots of birds. You have to think about how much you want the bird to fill the frame, what the background is like, and the direction of the subject in relation to the sun. Since these variables change from picture to picture, you begin to understand that creating great flight shots requires more than just getting the subject sharp. You’ll need to give yourself time and practice. In the meantime, you always have the delete button on both the camera and the computer.

My 600 f/4 sitting on a Wimberley head with my camera set to high-speed continuous and the sun and wind at my back will keep me happy for a good long time. I try to get caught up with what’s in front of me, fly with it, and become part of the action. The next stop for me will be in front of my computer, looking at lots of shots of birds in flight and, hopefully, lots of keepers.

About the Author:
Andy Long is an award-winning photographer / writer who devotes his photography work to the beauty of the world around us. As a leader of workshops ( http://www.firstlighttours.com ) since 1994, Andy likes to help people explore new areas and to go home with a memorable experience as well as great images.

With more than 100,000 stock images, work has appeared in more than 30 publications and books as well as appearing in National Geographic and Animal Planet television shows. Besides these, Andy’s work has also appeared in Birder’s World, Outdoor Life, Audubon Regional Field Guides, regional AAA magazines, Montana Magazine, Outdoor and Nature Photography, Photo Media, National Cowboy Museum’s Persimmon Hill, Ancient Images note cards, travel brochures, Sierra Photographers Focus and in ads for Rollei cameras. He is a previous winner of the national RoseWater Network Photographer of the Year award.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Waterfall Photos: 10 Tips to Photograph Falling Water

Waterfall Photos: 10 Tips to Photograph Falling Water

The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela, South America. It measures 3.212 ft (979 meters). Getting a good photo of Angel Falls could be a challenge simply because it is so high. You have to get the right lens, probably a wide angle lens, and you must find the right position from which to shoot. This waterfall is nearly a kilometer in height.

waterfall photography

“Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground” captured by Mark Broughton (Click Image to See More From Mark Broughton)

Not everyone wants to travel to Venezuela to capture the world’s highest falls, but photographing waterfalls is fun and rewarding when you see the results of your efforts in print.

Here are ten tips that will help you get the best photos from your efforts.

1. Height adds drama. Even if a trip to South America is out of the question, you can find waterfalls that are dramatic because of how tall they are. (If you live near Norway, you are in luck. Seven of the top twenty highest falls are in Norway.)

2. Check the weather. Of course, you don’t want to be out in weather that is not conducive to getting good photos, but more importantly, make sure the place your will be traveling to has had enough precipitation. Periods of low rain or snow could lead to a disappointing flow of water.

3. Plan your trip. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the best time of day for your photo adventure. Even though early morning and late afternoon are usually the best times for lighting, they may not be optimal for the waterfall you have chosen. Find out what the lighting conditions are where you will be shooting to get the best results.

4. Change your perspective. Normal waterfall photographs take in the whole waterfall, but being creative with your position can get you some stunning results. Try getting above or underneath. You will want to protect your gear if you are in the spray area, but it may be worth the effort. Sometimes there are boats to take you right up to the bottom of the falls, and in other places there are falls that you can go behind.

waterfall photo tips

“When water meets rocks…” captured by Ævar Guðmundsson (Click Image to See More From Ævar Guðmundsson)

5. Composition changes photos. Try different focal lengths and positions to add interest. Include scenic objects such as tress and rocks to increase interest as well. Your camera and lens choice can be a major factor in your photo shoot. Again, change lenses to see what the difference is.

6. Use a filter. Waterfalls offer some very wide ranges of color and lighting. A neutral-density filter may be just the thing for adding depth of color range to your shots. Polarizing filters may also be helpful.

7. Check your shutter speed. Some of the most dramatic shots are made with either a very slow shutter speed or a very fast shutter speed. Slow gives a nice, silky look. Fast will stop water drops in mid-air to add drama. Try both.

8. Take a tripod. Steady is good, especially when slowing down the shutter speed. You want smooth and silky, not blurry. Also try using a delayed shutter release or remote release switch when using slow shutter speeds.

9. Check your white balance. You can make use of camera presets such as cloudy or sunlight, but using a filter can change how the camera perceives the correct white balance. One way to overcome this problem is to shoot in RAW mode. Then you can set the white balance in your post processing using Photoshop or some other editing software.

10. Use bracketing. Most camera have the ability to bracket exposures up to 3 stops. This will help get all the light ranges into the shot. You will need to combine the bracketed exposures in post processing, or some cameras now have HDR capability built right into the camera software.

waterfall pictures

“Smooth rocks” captured by Simon Lambert (Click Image to See More From Simon Lambert)

No matter which waterfall you choose to photograph, take lots of shots, change lenses, and try different camera settings. The most disappointing experiences are when you get back to your computer and discover you could have made a few minor adjustments and gotten much better results.

About the Author:
Wayne Rasku has been an amateur photographer since 2003 (http://photographyclassesatlanta.org/). He runs sites related to photography classes in Atlanta Georgia and a Canon lens organization site.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Character Portrait Photography Tips & Techniques

Character Portrait Photography Tips & Techniques

Capturing character through portraits has always been a real and true representation of people photography. The magazines always show us perfection by misrepresenting the imperfections of models and actors and other celebrities. Character portraits capture reality and the essence of the subject.

So how do we go about capturing a true character photo that is genuinely representative of the person being photographed?

Photo captured by Stephen Pacinelli (Click Image to Find Photographer)

1. Treat the subject with dignity

The role of the photographer is always subservient in the relationship with the character being photographed. The subject is the most important and needs to be treated with respect and dignity. Without these key elements the resulting images may be detrimentally affected. The character is giving you time and this needs to be remembered.

2. Capture the face

A full face photograph is always a great way to start. Isolate it from the rest of the seen with a telephoto or zoom lens. You want to get in close and tight and see the detail and character lines of the face. This is where you will read the history and experience of your character.

“Snowstorm” captured by Arman Zhenikeyev (Click Image to Find Photographer)

2. Planning

This is an essential part of your shoot. Get to know who you are going to shoot and the circumstances of their life, career or pastime. Knowing your shots, angles and framing is vital if you are going to make a success, so work out a shot list before.

3. Add some environment

A person is a part or product of their environment. Environments say a lot about the person’s character and their world. Add a little of this to the image and contextualise them. The tools of their trade, hobby or pastime will reveal some of the passion of the subject. Be careful not to make it too busy as you’ll not want to have elements competing with the subject.

“Harrier Pilot” captured by andre stoeriko (Click Image to Find Photographer)

4. Relax your subject

A relaxed subject is always going to make a better portrait than someone who is nervous or stressed by the shoot. Engage your subject and perhaps have a third person involved who can chat with the subject and help with the relaxation.

5. Focus on the hands

A face captures expression but hands can show just as much expression. Carefully watch how the person uses their hands and isolate in a tight image. Tradesmen or people who use their hands will show a different aspect with scars and reflections of their work.

6. Black and white

A lot of character photography is done using monochrome. There is just something about a contrasty black and white image. Watch your lighting and think black and white. Some colours when shot in monochrome look very similar and lack contrast so it’s important to try some test shots and. Make sure your subject has an alternative set of clothes of different colours to counter this.

“last one” captured by Sanja Kulušić (Click Image to Find Photographer)

7. Available light

You don’t want to go into a character session with huge lights, softboxes and umbrellas. Beside the inconvenience of it all it can unsettle the subject. Use available light. By planning well and using the right time of day for the setting you’ll be able to find the right location in the person’s environment to shoot. Available light from a window, doorway or skylight can be sufficient with maybe a little fill in flash from an off camera strobe. But, use your available light effectively and you’ll get some stunning images.

Character photography is all about capturing the essence of your subject and conveying who they are and what they do. Vary your lenses and be prepared to experiment. Each setting is different and needs thought and attention to detail.

About the Author:
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography. He has produced 21 Steps to Perfect Photos; a program of learner-based training using outcomes based education

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PictureCorrect.Com – Top Photography Tips for Beginners

Top Photography Tips for Beginners

New-found interest in photography came about when the digital age made it easier to take photos and share them with a bigger audience, whether through blogs or social networking sites. Taking pictures can be a truly gratifying experience when you see the lovely outcome.

Now you don’t really need a sophisticated camera to take a stab at photography. Even the simplest device can beautifully capture a moment or scene when a skillful eye takes the lead. Budding shutterbugs will find it useful to follow these tips:

“Sunny People” photographed by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva. (Click image to see more from Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva.)

1. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Often mentioned in the world of photography, the Rule of Thirds was actually discovered by Greek artists who were masters of their craft.

Imagine the scene you’re capturing to be framed in a rectangular shape that is divided into nine equal parts by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Now create more drama or depth by putting your subject at any of the points where the lines meet. The ideal composition of your picture can also be achieved by moving in closer to the subject and taking out the unnecessary elements. Lastly, keep the horizon aligned properly when taking landscape photos.

2. Pay attention to lighting

The amount of lighting available can help you get the effect you’re hoping for. Remember that the direction of the light is an important factor when you take your picture. Bring out a soft glow by making use of indirect light. For wonderful outdoor scenes, make sure that you’re standing behind the sun so that the subject is facing the source of light.

3. Keep snapping!

When using subjects such as animals and children, it may be difficult to control their movements while you’re waiting for that one cute pose. Just snap away and review the series of pictures afterwards. That’s the huge benefit of digital photography – maximize it! Later on, you can browse through your shots to find that special photo that catches your eye. Through constant practice, your fingers will be more trained to hit the shutter at the right moment.

4. Use the right shutter speed

Play around with the speed settings of your camera’s shutter to be able to capture images in their dynamic form. Generally speaking, moving objects must be captured by a fast shutter speed, unless you deliberately want a blur. Then, once you feel more comfortable fiddling with settings and stuff, you can start experimenting with the right type of lens to complement the speed setting. Sports photographers, for instance, are often seen toting cameras with huge and long lenses in order to catch that winning shot close up and as it happens.

“Bastion Square Grand Prix 2012″ captured by Nathan Philps. (Click image to see more from Nathan Philps.)

5. Experiment with angles

A view of a house or room can become more interesting when shot from a different angle other than eye level. Try taking pictures from ground level, or climb up a chair for a different perspective. Or try slanting your camera from 10 to 45 degrees. Unless you’re taking a landscape picture, a little slant tends to add dynamism to your images.

About the Author:
Once you’ve become more comfortable with the camera, improve your photography skills even more by investing in important equipment such as tripods, filters, and lenses, and learn to use them. Who knows? Your new hobby just might open up for you a lucrative new career in food photography or wedding photography in the future.

For Further Beginner Training, PictureCorrect Suggests:

Check out Photo Nuts and Bolts – Know Your Camera and Take Better Photos; a very popular instructional eBook for any photographer who feels that they would like to know more about how their camera works, and how to become more confident at using it to take better photos. By the end of it you’ll understand camera settings and be in a much better position to make decisions on how to best use them rather than just sit in Auto mode. If you’re not satisfied that it is helping your photography within 30 days they will refund your money in full so there is no risk in trying it.

It can be found here: Photo Nuts and Bolts eBook

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PictureCorrect.Com – Why Professional Photographers Do Not Give Customers All the Files?

Why Professional Photographers Do Not Give Customers All the Files?

It’s very common for a professional photographer to have a customer ask to be given all of the photo files from a day of shooting. Invariably, the photographer will try to persuade the customer against it, or even refuse outright. It leaves some customers confused, or possibly even angry. So why won’t your photographer let you have the product of the entire photoshoot?

What Is The Customer Entitled To?

In reality, the customer has no right to the work in progress. If you were commissioning a painting, would you later demand all of the sketches and studies that went into the finished piece? Or if you had a dress made, would you ask for the muslin fitting trials or the fabric cut-offs? Or the stone chips leftover from the carving of a sculpture? Obviously not. However, asking to be given every shot taken during a session amounts to the same thing. The photos that are not used are cast-offs, the detritus leftover as an artist works on a beautiful piece. There can be no benefit to seeing these unused, unnecessary bits of material.

“Skiathos Wedding” captured by Skiathos Wedding Photography. (Click image to see more from Skiathos Wedding Photography.)

But, you’re still asking, what’s the harm in having all of the photos? There can be a good deal of harm done to the professional photographer. If a customer were to show these unedited, cast-off photos to friends and family, it could seriously harm the photographer’s reputation. A professional artist shows off his best work, after all of the very best photos have been chosen and edited to their greatest advantage for pictures of the most supreme quality and beauty. Having raw, discarded photos represented to others as his work, as pieces that were supplied to a customer, would make a photographer look unprofessional and inept.

The Truth Behind a Photo Session

“23″ captured by Dimitrios Tsourtsoulas. (Click image to see more from Dimitrios Tsourtsoulas.)

Let’s face it, not every photo is going to come out perfectly. A photographer will take many, many photos during your session – hundreds of them in total. From these, he will cull the very best, the ones that are most flattering to you, and have the most potential to be works of art. And then he will perfect them, editing them until they are the best they can be, balanced and natural. These edited photos will show the best possible you, which is what you want out of your pictures, right? Wading through hundreds of unedited, unused photos, sometimes dozens of the same pose with only minute differences… there is nothing to be gained from this when your professional photographer will hand you the very best shots, edited to the best possible standard.

The photos that aren’t chosen to be edited were left behind for a reason. No one wants to think of themselves as unphotogenic, but sometimes a shot will be plain unflattering, or from a bad angle, or will unintentionally highlight flaws. No matter how much a customer assures a photographer that they will not be upset by the raw, unedited stack of hundreds of photos, this invariably turns out to be the case. The customer sees themselves portrayed in unflattering ways in these unused photos, and become angry or upset, and are left feeling doubtful about their photographer’s abilities. If the photos are of a particularly important occasion, like commemorating an engagement or the birth of a child, the emotions attached to these photos can be very high. And no one wants to see a newly engaged woman burst into tears when she sees her photos for the first time!

“Florist” captured by Samantha Foster. (Click image to see more from Samantha Foster.)

Trust The Professional

If you still want to see all of the photos, ask yourself why. Is it possible there might be a really great shot hiding in amongst all of those discards, something that you might be missing out on? Your photographer has carefully combed through all of the photographs, and just as carefully chosen the very best to be edited and presented to you for your album or for framing. Trust that he has created these for you from the very best shots of your session together. He is just as interested as you are in having those photos be beautiful and memorable, highlighting his talent and hard work. Your photographer knows his art, and you chose him for a reason, trusting him to capture your image and your essence. Now trust him to complete his work, to find the true gems among the photos, and to make them shine.

About the Author:
Alexander Soloviev is a family photographer based in Wiltshire, UK. Alexander does a wide variety of photography related to people and their activities – family, parties, weddings, events, personal profiles, nurseries, schools – you name it! Pet (especially horses) photography is another object that tightly connected to everyday human life.

For Further Training, PictureCorrect Suggests:

Check out Digital Wedding Secrets; a very popular and comprehensive instructional eBook package for aspiring wedding photographers and has guidance on virtually everything needed to start a professional wedding photography business. With 189 pages of information and many other materials such as shot lists and sample contract templates, there is immense value here for any level of photographer interested in wedding photography.

A word of guidance…Their website is a little obnoxious to navigate – you’ll see what I mean. But we have found them to have an effective wedding photography training package. Their free eBook that comes with the newsletter is a little helpful, but the primary ebook package and all it’s extras are a lot more useful and actionable. It also carries a 60 day no-questions-asked guarantee, if you are not satisfied with any part of the product just let them know and they will give you a full refund so there is no risk in trying it.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Portrait Lighting Tips – How to Shoot Pro Portraits

Portrait Lighting Tips – How to Shoot Pro Portraits

Extraordinary portraits do not require extraordinary gear. In fact, just one off camera flash can work wonders. A properly executed portrait, with an interesting expression, good composition and lighting has more power, more magic, and more allure to more people than any other type of photo.

portrait lighting

“tones of the evening sun” captured by Jason Lavengood (Click Image to Find Photographer)

With few tricks and a modicum of knowledge you can achieve professional results in your portrait photography. I am going to show you how to make artistic and professional portraits with nothing more than your SLR, a hot-shoe flash, a couple of bedsheets, a piece of cardboard, and a few other inexpensive odds and ends. Portraiture is a big topic and I cannot cover it all in this article but I can give you a few highly versatile lighting setups that will work well for anyone, anywhere. You will find shortcuts, tips and tricks that can instantly change your portraiture from mediocre to memorable – all without breaking the bank.

Professional portraitists for the most part use multiple-flash systems with as many as four strobes. To get the same results with a single hot-shoe flash unit, you first need to know what each of these strobes does. It is simple, since each light in a four light system has one and only one function:

photography portrait lighting

Photo captured by Elena Kuznetsova (Click Image to Find Photographer)

The main (or key) light:

This light is used to illuminate the subject and measured to determine exposure. Your main light will be your hot-shoe flash linked to your camera via a 10-25 foot off-camera cord. Yes, you know it already and I repeat it here again: the number one way to improve your flash lighting (not only for portraits) is to get your flash unit off the camera. An on-camera flash creates flat and featureless lighting, mostly causing red eyes.

Positioning your main light off-camera allows you to sculpt shadows and highlights to enhance bone structure, skin and other features of your subject’s face. There is simply no way to be as creative when your flash unit is locked in a hot shoe! Some modern cameras have the feature to trigger the flash unit wireless, if not, then you have to buy a cord which is long enough.

portrait light tips

“Music Video III” captured by Per Janus (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Fill light:

After you have positioned the main light, next comes the fill light, used to soften the shadows produced by the main light. It does nothing else and is optional if you do not need or want to control the shadows. If the main light is set to the left or right of the camera position, the fill light is usually set on either the opposite side.

Tip: You will get better results if you use a fill, but you can forgo buying a second flash unit if you make your main light also as your fill light. Just use a large panel of shiny white cardboard to reflect part of the main light back from where you would normally set your second fill light. If you want to cut the shadows from the main light even more, wrap aluminium foil around the cardboard sheet before you position it. Whatever the reflector, place it closer or farther from your subject to control its effect. An ideal and cheap tool which you can bring wherever you want is a collapsible reflector with two different surfaces for different effects.

pro portrait lighting

Photo captured by Ekaterina (Click Image to Find Photographer)

The background light:

This light is used only to illuminate whatever happens to be behind your subject and is optional if you do not want to light up the background. This light is usually placed behind the subject and is always aimed at the background. You can skip the expense of a background strobe simply by using a dark background, which is often preferred. For an easy dark background, hang a black bed sheet 4 or 5 feet behind your subject (the distance works to keep folds, tears and cloth patterns from appearing in the picture).

If you can take your shot in a large room and can darken it completely, you can also position your subject 10 or 15 feet away from the background wall, light only the subject, and you will have a black surround without the need for a cloth at all. But if you insist on a bright background and do not want to buy a background light, shoot the portrait a few feet in front of an open window during daylight. Let the background blur. Caution: Using a light colored wall without separate lighting, the wall may look washed out and dirty in the picture.

The kicker light:

The kicker light (also called a hair, rim, or edge light) is used solely to separate the subject from the background. It is usually placed above and slightly behind the subject and aimed at the hair, or placed behind the subject and aimed at the back of the head. My advice: Forget the kicker, for normal shots, if you place your main light properly, the kicker does not really do much. It is nice to have sometimes but in my opinion you will end up with a less clichéd, more artistic portrait if your shot is unkicked.

Author: Gerry Aeschlimann, photographer

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