PictureCorrect.Com – RAW vs. JPEG: Digital Camera Image Formats

RAW vs. JPEG: Digital Camera Image Formats

There is much confusion among new photographers as to which format, JPEG or RAW, is best to use. The problem is there’s no one correct answer to the dilema. To be able to know when to use either of the formats, it’s best to have a solid understanding of each of their drawbacks and advantages. The following article will explore both sides of shooting in either RAW and JPEG image formats.

digital camera settings

“JR 1″ captured by Pablo Ramos. (Click image to see more from Pablo Ramos.)

JPEG

A file saved using the JPEG compression format is just that–the image saved to the memory card is compressed using an algorithm. Because the image is compressed, there is an inherent loss in quality. However, the issues associated with JPEG go deeper than just the image saved to the memory card. If you do any post-processing work on your images, every time you save a change, the compression algorithm is re-applied to the image. This causes further loss in quality with each edit/save cycle. The average size for a JPEG image taken at full resolution on a 10.1 megapixel camera is somewhere around 2.6MB.

RAW

A RAW file simply contains the data collected by your camera’s sensor. In itself, it is not an image. It must be converted before it becomes an “image file”. RAW files are significantly better to work with in the post-processing stage. You can very easily adjust many parameters of the image. The average size for a full resolution RAW image on a 10.1 Megapixel camera is 9.3MB. This is approximately 3.5 times larger than a high quality JPEG image.

The Comparison

If you were to look at two pictures taken of the same scene, one in JPEG and one in RAW (without any post-processing) then, you might think the JPEG image looks better, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, if you were to look at a RAW image with post-processing work done you would think that it was the superior image. But why?

One of the most important factors for getting an image to look technically correct is to get the white balance right (I say “technically,” because you can take a technically correct image with bad composition and it can still be a bad image). Going into exactly what white balance is and how it affects the image is beyond the scope of this article, but I feel a few words on it are needed.

White light is composed of all the colours of the rainbow mixed together with the result that it looks white. Some light sources (e.g. sunlight or an incandescent bulb) have a larger proportion of the colours at the red end of the visible light spectrum, giving the light a ‘warm’ feel. Other sources of light (e.g. fluorescent strip lights) have a greater proportion of the colours at the blue end of the spectrum, giving the light a ‘cold feel’. For your camera to get the colours correct in the scene it is ‘seeing’, it needs to know the proportions of each colour that are making up the light. This is called the “colour temperature” of light and is measured in K (Kelvin).

"Spain, Barcelona" captured by Desh Kapur. (Click image to see more from Desh Kapur .)

“Spain, Barcelona” captured by Desh Kapur. (Click image to see more from Desh Kapur .)

Most amateur photographers will usually shoot using AWB. AWB does an OK job of getting the colour temperature (and therefore the colours of the image) correct. Now, I come back to my original question:why should a RAW image look better than a JPEG? The answer is RAW images are much easier to manipulate using image editing software such as Photoshop. In Photoshop you can easily adjust many parameters of an image such as white balance, exposure, colour saturation, colour tint, fill light, brightness, contrast and others. Of course, you can also do this with a JPEG image, but it is not so easy, the results aren’t as good, and you still have the problem of gradual degradation of image quality from the JPEG compression algorithm. In Photoshop (and indeed other image editing programs) you can very easily and quickly manipulate a RAW image to be superior to its JPEG alternative.

So you may now be thinking, “why not always shoot in RAW?” As discussed earlier, RAW image files are approximately 3.5 times larger than JPEG image files. However, this is increasingly becoming less of an issue as flash memory gets cheaper and cheaper. There is another issue associated with RAW. Opening up a RAW file, manipulating it, and saving it as an image file (e.g. JPEG or PNG) can be time consuming when you have a large number of files to process. There are programs that will do a batch conversion, but the results are not as good as if you were to individually tweak and convert each file. There is, however, a solution to this. Many cameras support the option to shoot in both RAW and JPEG simultaneously. This allows us to review the JPEG images and decide which ones need some manipulation without us having to process and convert numerous RAW files.

"All Saints Church" captured by Hernan Vazquez. (Click image to see more from Hernan Vazquez.)

“All Saints Church” captured by Hernan Vazquez. (Click image to see more from Hernan Vazquez.)

Conclusion

Better results can be obtained by shooting in RAW. However, converting the files is time-consuming and tedious. The camera does a pretty good job at rendering JPEG files on its own, but it does sometimes get it wrong and it is easier and better to correct a RAW file than a JPEG in the post-processing stage. If you have a decent size memory card, I would recommended using the JPEG + RAW option. When this option is set, the camera saves both a JPEG file and a RAW file to the memory card. This then allows you to quickly look through the JPEG files later and decide which ones need some post-processing work, saving you a lot of time converting files. Of course this does use significantly more space on your memory card. I have an 8GB card, which I find to be enough for a days shooting with a 10.1 Megapixel camera using JPEG + RAW (my card currently has 485 RAWs and 672 JPEGs with 50MB to spare).

About the Author:
Alexander Sommerville writes for Use my Canon (www.usemycanon.com). The aim of this website is to introduce beginners to the Canon EOS digital camera, moving them away from the ‘Basic Zone’ and into the ‘Creative Zone’.

For Further Training:

There is a downloadable multimedia tutorial (that is discounted for Mother’s Day) with videos that teaches you how to take control over your camera, and get creative and confident with your photography. By combining illustrations, text, photos and video, it will help you get control in no time. Includes a bonus Field Guide—a printable pocket guide with some of the most essential information beautifully laid out inside.

It can be found here: Extremely Essential Camera Skills

Go to full article: RAW vs. JPEG: Digital Camera Image Formats

Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – Last Minute Wedding Photography Tips

Last Minute Wedding Photography Tips

In the eleventh hour, your best friend who’s getting married is in tears.

The professional she hired to photograph her wedding bailed. You happen to have a digital SLR and all of a sudden you’re it. Here’s my survival guide for you.

Photo captured by Olesia Kliots

Photo captured by Olesia Kliots (Click Image to Find Photographer)

1. Make a “Shot List”

Think of this as your “storyboard.”

A guide to the different scenes you want to see if you were doing a movie.

This shot list will break down what you might concentrate on in the 3 phases of any wedding: preparations, ceremony and reception.

It’s your cheatsheet on the order of the events, various arrangements for the formal portraits, so go over this with the couple.

2. Shoot lots of candids

Just because you have everyone bossing you around, telling you to take their picture, it doesn’t mean you have to pose all your subjects in every picture.

"Amanda and Taras" captured by Tatiana Garanina

“Amanda and Taras” captured by Tatiana Garanina (Click Image to Find Photographer)

3. Scout out the location

If the ceremony, reception and preparations are all at one location, then you can thank your lucky stars. Count on starting your day with the bride wherever she plans to get dressed. She may do this at the church or at home, so count on knowing the route.

4. Borrow or rent a second camera body similar to the one you own

Since you’ll be working quickly, having identical camera bodies will allow you change settings faster. Consider renting identical flash units if you don’t have one. Never shoot a wedding with just one camera. Always have a backup. If you have to rent more memory cards and batteries for the cameras, do so.It will be worth your piece of mind.

5. Do as many of the formal group portraits beforehand

If the couple is open to this and don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, do as many of the formals portraits beforehand.

Photo captured by Ksenia Ashihmina

Photo captured by Ksenia Ashihmina (Click Image to Find Photographer)

6. Shoot closeups or details

Be on the lookout for tight shots of the diamond rings, bouquet of flowers, party favors, textures on the bride’s gown et cetera. These will make good backdrops for albums and backgrounds for DVD menus. These detail pictures will also give you variety in your coverage.

7. Enlist the help of Maid-of-honor

Women like this role more often than men. (Must be their maternal instincts)

The Maid-of-honor is usually more than happy to help. If you don’t hit it off with her, try the Best Man.

8. Establish a rapport with the DJ & Wedding Coordinator.

Get to know the DJ & Wedding Coordinator. Being on the same page with both of them means you will be scrambling and out of position for the toast, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, the first dance and so on.

Photo captured by Tatiana Garanina

Photo captured by Tatiana Garanina (Click Image to Find Photographer)

9. Be considerate of the other guests.

Even though what you’re doing is important, don’t be obnoxious. If another guest is in your way, ask politely for them to move.

10. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

You can’t be expected to be everywhere especially if this is your 1st wedding. Generally speaking, once the ceremony and the formal portraits are done, you can catch a breather. The rest of the proceedings will not happen without the DJ & wedding coordinator consulting you if you followed tip #8.

Remember if you’re not having fun taking pictures, your images will reflect that.

About the Author
A Riverside-based freelance photographer, Peter Phun, who also teaches photography at Riverside City College. He does portraits, weddings and editorial work. He writes about photography, Macs and the internet. He also designs websites and is a stay-at-home dad.

For Further Training on Wedding Photography:

Check out Simple Wedding Photography, it covers everything you need to know to photograph a wedding and the business behind it. From diagrams of where you should stand throughout the ceremony to advice on all the final deliverables to the client. This 200 page ebook will be useful to wedding photographers of any experience level. It also carries a 60 day guarantee, so there is no risk in trying it.

It can be found here: Simple Wedding Photography eBook

Go to full article: Last Minute Wedding Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – Keeping Your Camera Functioning in Arctic and Sub-Zero Temperatures

Keeping Your Camera Functioning in Arctic and Sub-Zero Temperatures

Most SLRs cope remarkably well with freezing temperatures. I’ve had no problem using Canon EOS SLR cameras below zero for weeks on end, often down to -20°C and in extreme down to -30°C. This article is for those trying to keep such a camera going under expedition conditions, such as an icecap crossing or mountaineering expedition in the arctic: ie no power sockets, adverse weather, sleeping in tents on the ice and for a period of weeks. However much of the advice also applies to using a camera in cold conditions generally.

"ten men on a natural wonder" captured by David Hobcote

“Ten Men on a Natural Wonder” captured by David Hobcote (Click Image to Find Photographer)

THE TWO MAIN TECHNICAL PROBLEMS TO OVERCOME ARE:

1. Condensation
Condensation forms when moving from a cold to a warmer environment, you don’t need to worry about damage to your camera moving from a warmer to a colder environment. Even in arctic conditions the temperature inside a tent is often well above zero yet well below zero in the shade. this means there is often a temperature gradient when bringing a camera into a tent which leads to condensation forming. Condensation on the front element or view finder is an inconvenience, but condensation on the electronics can give permanent malfunction, and condensation in the inside glass elements can write off the camera off for hours or days till the lens totally dries out.

2. Reduced Battery efficiency
Batteries are many times less efficient in cold weather due to the reduced speed of the chemical reaction that powers them.

"Into the Light" captured by David Hobcote

“Into the Light” captured by David Hobcote (Click Image to Find Photographer)

TIPS FOR REDUCING CONDENSATION

1. Place camera in plastic bag
The camera should be placed inside a polypropylene freezer bag, loosely knotted or twisted and then placed back inside the camera bag. You don’t want to put a waterproof bag around the entire camera bag as any moisture in the camera bag would then condense on the camera body. Ziploc bags, and Ortlieb style dry bags may sound better but often don’t fit neatly inside the camera bag and are much heavier and more expensive. The freezer bag also has the major advantage that you can stuff it below your camera in the bag when not in use, but you need to take spares for when it gets damaged.

2. Use camera bag insulation
The padding on most camera bags (especially the holster style common on expeditions) offers some insulation value which can reduce the dramatic temperature change, when moving from environments of different temperatures.

"On Into the Light" captured by David Hobcote

“On Into the Light” captured by David Hobcote (Click Image to Find Photographer)

3. Try and warm up slowly
If there are environments of differing temperatures try and make the warm up process for the camera as gradual as possible.

4. Avoid breathing on the lens
Obvious maybe, but If you need to clean the lens just use a camera cloth to avoid ice forming.

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH REDUCED BATTERY EFFICIENCY

1. Carry multiple batteries
As a rough guide plan to take 2/3 times the number of batteries you’d need for equivalent shooting in temperate climates. My personal strategy if to take multiple batteries for an extended trip in the wilderness rather than deal with the uncertainties of solar chargers. This makes planning easy as one can ration a battery to last a given amount of time.

"Mist and Ice" captured by David Hobcote

“Mist and Ice” captured by David Hobcote (Click Image to Find Photographer)

2. Warm batteries by keeping close to skin
Carry your spare close to your skin so your body can warm then. An apparently dead battery can be given more life by warming in this way so on very cold days you may find yourself rotating batteries in this way.

3. Adjust shooting style to conserve power
Accept you will get less out of your batteries so adjust you shooting style to conserve power. The biggest thing you can do is turn off after shot preview and reduce to a minimum previewing your images later. Addition power saving tips to get the most out of your battery are to turn off image stabilisation, don’t use flash and minimise half-press pre-focus.

About the Author:
Quintin Lake (http://blog.quintinlake.com/) is an Architectural and Fine Art Photographer based in Cheltenham with strong links in London, available for work worldwide.

What are your thoughts on this article? Join the discussion on Facebook or Google+

Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – How to Protect Your Photography Online

How to Protect Your Photography Online

When it comes to protecting your online photography there are many ways to prevent people from copying or distributing your artwork.

lombard street san francisco

Lombard Street, SF

Protecting Your Imagery:

If you are like me you have probably uploaded your precious photography at one time or another to either your own website / blog, or to an online gallery such as PictureSocial, 500px or Flickr. The benefit to showcasing your imagery is obvious, you want visitors to see your work, but you want your work to be secure and represented the way you want and, importantly, where you want.

Locating photography being used without your permission.

Google Images

The first thing I recommend is to visit the mighty Google Images page. Where Google.com is unmatched for searching textual data, Google Images is the king of pixel based searching. Google Images utilizes a special algorithm to find imagery that is exactly your work and imagery that is visually similar. The interesting thing with Google Images is that you can drag and drop your photos directly onto the search bar. Of course, if you want to be boring, you can always just use the camera icon.

TinEye

TinEye is another reverse image search engine. Very similar to Google Images but it offers many additional services including the ability to register your imagery. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist.

Additionally, you can use it as a tool to locate higher resolution versions of imagery (which seems extremely hypocritical considering the nature of this article – but, I digress). Either way it’s tremendously useful for tracking down your online imagery.

Steps to Protect Your Photography From Being Stolen:

Watermarking is one of the most critical anti-plagiarism tools that you can deploy to combat the theft of your work. First off, it’s free and it solves 2 issues at once. One being that it visibly demonstrates that you want your work protected and that it’s not free or licensed for distribution. Secondly, it provides a level of self promotion back to your blog or online gallery which enhances the opportunity that your work will be credited or for that matter you get new clients / fans or stalkers.

central park

Central Park, NY

Where there are many options for watermarking including visible and invisible the standard for most photographers is to add your name to the bottom or side of your image. I personally recommend that you add your website / blog or online gallery like 500px or Flickr to your watermark.

The option of visibly watermarking your image comes in 2 forms. One being my preferred method, a simple stamp at the bottom or along the side of your image. It’s a tasteful way of claiming ownership without obstructing the image. This way the experience for the viewer is pristine and if done correctly it will not steal any attention from your artwork.

The second version is the full image watermark. This method is reserved for those that absolutely want to maintain full control of your imagery. Unfortunately, this technique also obscures the photo and in my opinion ruins the ability to appreciate the art. However, I have used this watermark technique for a client that knew their work would be stolen. You can often see type of watermarking being used in stock art photography. Of course if the person stealing the image really wants they can take the time to clone out most watermarks albeit it’s never really done well.

Making a Legal Difference

If your watermark is removed by someone you have a case under the copyright law for infringement which can provide additional damages against the accused violator. You can reference – 17 USC § 1202 – Integrity of copyright management information.

new zealand

Photo location NZ

Metadata – The Good and the Bad

Many photographers are aware of the hidden data that is embedded into your digital files. One being EXIF which stands for “Exchangeable Image File Format” and is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras and now smart-phones, scanners and other systems. The other 2 forms of metadata that can be embedded are IPTC “International Press Telecommunications Council” and XMP “Extensible Metadata Platform”.

What Makes Metadata Amazing

Let’s talk about the good part of metadata. For one unless it’s deliberately removed it’s permanently attached to your image. In terms of this article, which is preventing photographic piracy, this is a digital blessing. Not only does it keep track of your cameras technical data, it also contains your copyright information.

Continuing on the plus side of meta data is the ability to add keywords to your photography. The value that this adds is often overlooked by most photographers. While the debate is out on if metadata is used by search engines, I have found through my experiences that it enhances SEO. I will be covering this with an article in the future.

horse in new zealand

Friendly horse in Glenorchy, NZ

Adjusting the Copyright Info in Your Camera

Most DSLR camera’s today will allow you to add some metadata directly into your photography via a menu in your camera settings. This ensures that every shot made with your camera is injected into the digital thread of your image. This is something that I HIGHLY recommend that you do.

Typically you can add several lines which include your copyright, name, and URL. While most photographers add this info when they are processing their imagery I prefer to have the data embedded to avoid forgetting to attach it later on.

Never Upload a Full Resolution Photo

If you are planning on uploading imagery to your blog or to your favorite social media site I recommend, more than any other tip on this page, to hold back from uploading the original resolution. For example, if I shoot with my Canon 7D at full res–18 mega-pixels–I will only upload, at the most, a 4 mega-pixel photo to any social site or online gallery. I tend to keep my imagery at about 1200px on the longest side for most of my online portfolio work.

First off, there have been many photographers lately who’ve had their work ripped off of social media only to be used overseas for stock art companies which sell the photos without paying you. Secondly, you can prove that the image is absolutely yours in the case that someone claims that they took the photo. Understandably, you can up-res photos to mimic a higher resolution but pixel peepers will be able to distinguish the fake.

Unless you’re selling your imagery online for digital prints or canvas work I would stay away from larger imagery. It just opens the door for digital thieves to plunder your talent.

lake wanaka

Watersports Flyer over Lake Wanaka, NZ

Ongoing Photography Vigilance

Google Alerts

This is a gem of a tip. If you are serious about keeping track of your imagery then Google alerts may be one of the best hidden tools you can utilize. Google Alerts allows you to set up keyword triggers that sends you an email based upon the criteria that you enter. In essence it can monitor the Web for the exact content that you want.

This basically turns Google Alerts into your own personal spider bot. You can use it to enter your name, (I would use quotes to surround any specific term–for example, I have one set for my name “Erik Sacino”– this weeds out getting false readings). Also, you can search for specific names of your images. You will want to make sure that you have a good nomenclature established to differentiate between your imagery and others. In the past, I have used a special alphanumeric combo such as “dragon_one_solargravity_3s88z2g3q.jpg. The chances of someone using “3s88z2g3q” is pretty rare and you should have no problem finding your work.

Give All of Your Photos a Unique Name

The interesting thing that I have found is that most digital thieves will not rename the photo. This works in your favor.

Additionally, I have discovered that when people steal your work they often rip the description directly from your image. This is actually a good thing since you can digitally tattoo your own words.

downtown la

Downtown LA

My Example of a Unique Description Trigger

“This photo represents one of the most spectacular evenings I have ever photographed. The cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field that I was in, all these variables aligned for me this evening. I knew at the time that this combination would only happen a few times in my life.”

In Google Alerts I have set up an alert to trigger on the phrase (notice the quotes) “cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field”. This unique combination of words is as unique as a special 56 digit alphanumeric when used.

In Conclusion

With a few easy steps you can really make a difference in preventing your photography from being uncredited or, even worse, sold online without your knowledge. Remember to watermark your imagery and to embed your copyright info into your metadata. Using a passive search tool like Google alerts will help assist you in your battle to guard your intellectual property.

times square

Times Square, NY

About the Author:
Erik Sacino is a motion artist, tech geek, photographer, blogger, designer, science fanatic, author, marketing addict and perpetual dreamer // visit his blog and discover more (www.solargravity.com). If you’re interested in reading how you can read your Metadata or strip the info out of your photos visit for further info.

Go to full article: How to Protect Your Photography Online

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – These Photos of a Ukrainian Roofer Will Give You Vertigo

These Photos of a Ukrainian Roofer Will Give You Vertigo

When people think of being a professional photographer, they don’t often think of it as being a high risk career. But, once taking a look at these photographs one might reconsider. The subject, aUkrainian roofer, risks his life by climbing and hanging from towering buildings and scaffolding. The brave photographer follows suit, putting his own life in danger to create the images you see below:

ukrainian skywalker

man risks life by hanging from side of building

brave photographer captures friend

Ukrainian roofer photos

extreme roofer captured in photographs

man climbs buildings with no harness

photographer seeks birds eye vew

daring photographer suspended above city

extreme sports photography

thrilling photography

incredible photos of roofer

skywalking photos

Many find the images nauseating to look at, much less partake in; however, it appears as though these types of high risk activities are on the rise. The Ukrainians are not the first to do this type of stunt. In fact, this group of daredevil photographers is not unlike the group of Russian skywalkers we featured in a previous article. These collections make you ask yourself: At what point does getting the photo stop becoming worth it?

Go to full article: These Photos of a Ukrainian Roofer Will Give You Vertigo

What are your thoughts on this article? Join the discussion on Facebook or Google+

Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – Don’t Be Afraid Of High ISO on Modern DSLR Cameras

Don’t Be Afraid Of High ISO on Modern DSLR Cameras

This article is written by Andrew S Gibson, author of Understanding Exposure – a guide to controlling your camera to achieve perfect light exposures.

As the internet grows and grows, photography tutorials are becoming more and more abundant. All that information can be a good thing, but it can also create problems as it sometimes has the magical effect of turning one’s opinion to fact over time. Read around about digital photography and you will come across the ‘stock’ advice that some people give. Over time, this gets repeated until it becomes part of the conventional wisdom about photography.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-1
One of these is in relation to ISO. The usual advice is to use the lowest ISO possible when you take a photo. There’s a good reason for this, as the image quality is always higher at lower ISOs than higher ones. But, what the authors don’t mention is that the quality at high ISOs on modern DSLR’s is now very good indeed.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-2Given that high ISOs, especially if combined with prime lenses, enable you to take photos with a hand-held camera in low light conditions, when the quality of light can be amazing for subjects like portraiture, I think they are worth experimenting with. Embrace high ISO. Use it whenever the light is low. It depends on what camera you have, but you may be surprised how little noise there is at ISO settings like 1600, 3200 and 6400, especially if you follow the tips presented later on in this article.

ISO Improvements

There are several factors that make the high ISO settings more usable on recent digital cameras:

  • Sensor technology and noise reduction. For example, the latest EOS cameras use the DIGIC V processor. The DIGIC V is faster and more powerful than previous versions and one of the benefits of this is that it’s better at reducing noise when you use the JPEG format (if you use RAW, noise reduction is carried out by your RAW processing software instead).
  • Sensor size. If you have a full-frame camera it produces images with less noise at high ISO’s than cameras with APS-C sensors. (All of the photos in this article were taken with a full-frame EOS 5D Mark II).
  • Better software. The noise reduction algorithms in the latest versions of Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop work amazingly well. As RAW processing software gets better over the years, so does its noise reduction function. (The photos in this article are processed with Lightroom.)

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-3

High ISO Techniques

There are a couple of things that you can do to help avoid excess noise at high ISOs. These apply no matter which ISO setting you are using, but the improvement in quality is more noticeable at high ISOs than low ones.

Expose to the right. This requires that you set an exposure that gives a histogram that leans all the way to the right without crossing the right hand side of the graph. In other words, there are no clipped highlights. This technique works well in low contrast conditions when the brightness range of the scene is less than the brightness range the camera’s sensor is capable of recording.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-4

Aim for your photographs to be exposed more the right side of the histogram, trying to avoid clipping.

In the above example, I was able to increase the exposure by two stops over that recommended by the camera without clipping any highlights. This was made possible by the low contrast of the scene.

Post Processing

Take care in post-processing. If you lighten an area of your photo that is dark, you increase noise levels. The higher the ISO used, the more noticeable this is. If you have dark areas in your image, it’s best to leave them that way. Incidentally, you can make light areas darker without increasing noise, and this is one of the reasons that the expose to the right technique works.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-5

Using Texture To Reduce Noise

Be aware that you will get noise in blue or black skies. Noise shows up most in areas without much texture, such as sky. It is also more pronounced in the blue channel. If you take a photo at high ISO and include blue sky or the night sky in the image, you will see a lot of noise in the sky. I don’t want to put you off taking photos that include sky (such as the one above) as you can create some beautiful images that way, but you should be aware that they will contain more noise than photos without sky.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-6

Alternatively, if you take photos of something that contains a lot of texture, such as the books in the photo above, the texture has the effect of obscuring noise. Using the noise masking capabilities that texture has on an image can effectively boost the quality of your high ISO photography when it is taken into consideration during the composition phase.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-7

Grain and digital noise can be used as a creative tool

A little critical thinking and you may be able to visualize new ways to frame your photograph so the texture is at its most beneficial position inside the image.

Use Noise Creatively

With early digital cameras noise was so pronounced, even at low ISOs, that most photographers wanted to reduce or eliminate it. But, now that high ISO performance has improved so dramatically, maybe it is time to start exploiting the aesthetic qualities of high ISO?

For example, photos taken at ISO 3200 and 6400 on my EOS 5D Mark II and processed in Lightroom 4, such as some of the images used in this article, have qualities similar to that of grain on fast films. Photographers like Sarah Moon and Robert Farber used high speed film and grain to create beautiful, evocative images in the seventies. Their subjects predominantly included portraits and the female nude. Maybe the day will come when a photographer makes their mark by using high ISO creatively the same way?

Get creative and start experimenting with whatever DSLR you have, you may discover new ways that you can use digital noise to add drama to and even enhance your photographs.

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – How to Gain Your Client’s Trust as a Photographer

How to Gain Your Client’s Trust as a Photographer

There are a lot of things that make for a great photographer. Understanding composition, light, and the technique required to make a great picture are only part of the puzzle. One of the most important aspects of being a really great photographer is being able to make your clients feel comfortable in front of the camera. Some people have a natural gift for this, but some don’t come by this gift so easily. Here are just a few things you can do to help your clients feel at ease in front of your lens.

"Model" captured by Trandinhkhiem. (Click image to see more from Trandinhkhiem.)

“Model” captured by Trandinhkhiem. (Click image to see more from Trandinhkhiem.)

Relax

If you, yourself, are tense… odds are your clients are going to feel that. The easiest way to help others to relax is to relax yourself. Stand up straight when you talk with them; it portrays confidence. If you portray yourself as confident in your craft, this will also help your clients feel comfortable.

Choose Your Words Wisely

The way you speak can have an impact on how your clients perceive you. Saying “um”, “like”, and “uh” can give the impression you don’t really know what you’re doing. You also never want to say “whoops”, “uh oh”, or “that doesn’t look good”. You will never imbue confidence into your clients if they catch you muttering dissatisfaction to the LCD screen on your camera.

Give Guidance

Most people are not comfortable in front of the camera. They don’t know how to pose themselves or what to do with their hands. You are the expert. You are the professional. Take control and help guide them into poses that are going to be flattering. The more you take control and help them, the more relaxed and natural they will feel.

"Sunny Girl 2" captured by Tracy DePaola. (Click image to see more from Tracy DePaola.)

“Sunny Girl 2″ captured by Tracy DePaola. (Click image to see more from Tracy DePaola.)

Be Yourself

People are more likely to be comfortable and act natural in front of your camera if you are yourself. Don’t try to be anything you’re not. Be yourself. If someone hires you, it’s because they like you and your work. So be yourself, so your clients can be themselves.

Be Ready to Shoot

The least professional thing you can do is show up to your shoot without the equipment you need–batteries not charged, memory cards full. The best way to approach a shoot is to have already talked to your clients about their expectations, know the location, and be prepped and ready to go. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a tardy photographer who is not ready to go.

Be Aware of Boundaries

Not everyone is comfortable being touched. Always ask permission before touching a client, even if it’s something small like brushing their hair out of their face or adjusting their hand. You never know what a person might be uncomfortable with, so avoid this by asking permission first.

Show Them A Few of the Pictures

Not everyone agrees with this advice. But I often find that if my client is nervous or doesn’t think they look good, showing them a few of the pictures we just took gives them an immediate confidence boost. Just make sure the pictures you show them are good pictures and ones you’ll be presenting them in the finished product.

"By The River" captured by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva. (Click image to see more from Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva.)

“By The River” captured by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva. (Click image to see more from Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva.)

So whether you have a natural gift for making a person feel at ease or if you struggle with it, you can see how these simple tips can help your clients feel more comfortable. Remember to be relaxed and confident and to always be yourself. Don’t forget to give your clients guidance and encouragement along the way and you are bound to see your clients relax and feel at ease in front of your lens.

About the Author:
Stephanie lives in Central, Illinois, is married to her best friend, Ryan, and enjoys the company of her rambunctious lab-beagle pup, Kit. She is the owner of Green Tree Media (http://www.greentreemediaonline.com) and is passionate about photography.

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Under Water Portraiture

Emily

  • 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

Emily

Emily

  • 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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Emily

  • 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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

© 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

Conclusion:

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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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.