10 Fashion Photography Tips

1. Fashion photography should convey an essence of authority, so your direction of the model(s) needs to be confident and self-assured.  Showing signs of anxiety, stress or lack of direction will invariably be reflected in the performance of your model so make the subject feel comfortable and involved.  Organise a shot list before the shoot and rehearse technique and composition for each shot in your mind. Prepare the location, props and clothes ahead of time and for a truly effective shoot be sure to communicate your agenda, objective and posing directions coherently and calmly.

2. Fashion photography is all about clothes and beauty, so pull all the elements of the scene and the model together to reflect this. For example if the shoot focuses on the clothes– use make-up and hair styling to compliment the garment – and vice versa.  If you desire a provocative or seductive look opt for dark, heavy make-up and over styled hair; alternatively for an innocent or natural feel choose subdued pastel tones, gentle make up and soft flowing hair styles.  Unusual looking folk bring interest and personality to the piece, whereas female models with large almond eyes, big lips, small chins and symmetrical faces are deemed “more commercial”.

3.Posing can be a tricky point to master but browse through the latest men’s and women’s magazines to target a few inspired suggestions as well as getting a grip on what is currently fashionable. Using ‘broken down’ poses or poses that require angular body shapes can add interest and edginess to the piece – as well as help to elongate body length.

4. A studio is an ideal place to perform a fashion shoot because photographers can easily control lighting and stabilise conditions. If you are shooting in a studio environment remember to meter all areas of the scene to avoid unwanted shadows and the use of a separate light meter rather than the one in your camera, will offer a more accurate reading.

5. If you can’t afford to hire a professional studio and all the pricey equipment there is a way you can cheat at home. Clear a space in a room that benefits from large windows and peg a white sheet, net or fabric across the window. On a bright sunny day you’ll have yourself a homemade soft box – ideal for flattering even light.

6. When shooting in low light or into the sun, you may require an extra light source. If all you have is flash then rather than shoot straight on, set it to bounce of a nearby reflector, wall or ceiling. Experiment with angles to create an array of effects and discover what works best for you and the scene you are shooting. Be careful to pay attention to unwanted shadows that may fall across the face and body.

7.  Props are fantastic for telling a narrative within a fashion shot, but one of the best props to use is a mirror. A mirror can be a used to tell a story and act as an effective tool that allows the photographer to display the front and back of your model. Take a spate reading for the mirror and you may need to bracket your exposures here. Be careful to position yourself, lighting equipment and anything not to do with the shoot out of the reflection.

8. Location, location, location! Getting the right location is important if you want to convey a narrative within your shot.  For example if the clothing and beauty styling are edgy, hard or provocative you may want to consider an urban setting , alternatively for spring/summer and natural fashions find a rural environment like; a field, meadow, beach, woodland or river bank.

9. Influence the image by moving around the scene and exploring which angles work best to full expose the garment. This could mean climbing a ladder, crouching low, working a slanted angle or moving closer to the subject. Think about what the message is here and create a composition to reinforce it.

10.  Fashion photography is achievable alone, but to step it up a gear rope in a friend, family member or photography student as an assistant. Often photographers need an extra pair of hands to position reflectors, angle and reset lighting equipment, tweak the positioning of garments and clear the scene.

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The Best Camera

The best camera is not necessarily a Nikon D3x or a Canon 5D MKII unless its always with you at all times. In my case my camera is with me all times and better yet who wants to lug around with a DSLR all day long just for the sake of having it.

Thats where my iPhone come in. Thats my best camera and i proved that yesterday when i caught a picture of the sunset while driving.

It wasn’t the best picture in the world but those who saw it demanded a copy. So don’t get all hung up about having a DSLR…simplicity goes very far.

Top 6 Night Photography Tips

Night photography opens up a wealth of photographic possibilities!

City streets are at their most colorful when street lights are aglow. Sunsets create dramatic settings that make landscapes a great subject for night photography. Really, the possibilities are endless! You can create beautiful low-light night photos with the basic DSLR camera and kit lens that you’ve purchased. All DSLR’s camera have the essential tools and image quality needed for excellent night photography. “Point and Shoot” cameras with some degree of manual control can also be used for creative night photography. Here are a few basic tips that will have you creating exciting photos at night in no time.

1. Use a Tripod

A sturdy tripod is the best tool for getting sharp photos at night. Yes, I know, they’re a pain to carry around. However, this is the best way to insure that your low-light photos are sharp. Many recent cameras and lenses have Vibration Reduction or Shake Reduction features built in, to give you sharp photos at lower shutter speeds. However, the best way to insure that you obtain the sharpest low light photos is to use a tripod. You can generally find a sturdy model that fits your budget. Just make sure that the model you purchase is rated to carry the total weight of the camera and lens you plan to use.

2. Use Your Camera’s Aperture Mode Setting

By selecting the aperture, you allow the camera to select any shutter speed it requires for the proper exposure. F:8 – F:13 aperture settings on modern APS-C sensor DSLR cameras will insure that the entire landscape or cityscape will be in sharp focus from front to back with typical 18-55mm kit lenses. Most point and shoot digital cameras with smaller sensors should produce sharp images with F:4 – F:5 aperture settings. Here again, a tripod is good insurance against blur as shutter speeds can be one second or longer in night photography. It is also generally a good idea to select your camera’s lowest ISO speed to insure noise free, top quality images. Wikipedia provides a detailed definition of lens aperture to help you better understand this important feature of camera lens.

Night Photography Tips

3. Use A Cable Release, Self-Timer or Remote Shutter Control

Use a cable release, remote shutter control, or the camera’s self-timer to activate the shutter. This eliminates any chance of vibration caused by manually clicking the shutter with your hand. I generally find using the camera’s two-second or ten second self-timer perfectly suitable with a tripod mounted camera. Many DSLR camera have a mirror-lockup feature on the 2-second Self-Timer setting. Check your camera manual for this (DSLR cameras only, point & shoot models do not have mirrors). It is a great feature that insures that the flipping of the mirror before the shutter opens in DSLR camera is eliminated as a potential source of image-blurring vibration. Use it for the sharpest possible photo. You camera manual will show you how to set these features for your model camera.See Wikipedia for an in-depth explanation of mirror-lockup.

4. Set White Balance to Daylight

By default, most digital cameras have white balance set on Auto. However, the Auto setting will not give the most vivid sunset or evening colors as it will try to correct light color to pure white. This will often remove the beautiful sunset hues that you want to see in your photos. The Daylight or Sunny setting will preserve the vivid sunset colors without attempting to adjust them. Here is anexcellent tutorial on camera white balance.

5. Shoot In The Best Light

The best night or evening photos are captured when there is still a bit of color in the sky. This produces more colorful and dramatic images than shooting in near darkness in most cases. The image shown above was shot about fifteen to thirty minutes after sunset to take advantage of last light of the day. This time of the day is typically called “the golden hour” by photographers because of the warm hues and tones produced by the setting sun. When dramatic natural light mixes with street lights the results can be quite attractive. The half hour before, during and just after sunset can be great times to shoot.

6. Review Your Images And Adjust

Compose your photo and shoot using the techniques outlined above. Review you image on your camera’s LCD screen. Do you like the image captured? If it is too dark, use the exposure compensation tool to adjust the exposure for a slower shutter speed. If the photo is too light, use the exposure compensation feature to adjust the exposure for a faster shutter speed. There is no perfect exposure. Experiment by shooting at different exposure compensation settings until the results please your eye.

With these tips and a bit if practice, you will improve your ability to capture beautiful and memorable evening photographs!

Photo: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ. Camera: Nikon D3000 & 18-55mm kit lens. Photo by Don Peterson.

The Kindle Fire For Photographers

As a professional photographer who likes to travel light, I am keeping a close eye on the Amazon Kindle Fire. Here’s what we know about it so far:

The Amazon Kindle Fire has a 1024 x 600 pixel screen resolution at 169 ppi, showing 16 million colors. Therefore, it can be  the perfect portable device for storing and sharing photos and web pages. A photographer can use the Kindle Fire to keep a portfolio of work with them at all times. I imagined some possible uses of the Kindle Fire as a photographer’s tool on my last post. As a web designer it allows me to show people what I do without having to open a laptop. That makes it a handy business tool.

As a magazine reader, the Fire can be a great way to keep up with the steady flow of trade magazines for my profession, and my favorite photography magazines (including the always stunning Arizona Highways) without the bulk of print-based subscriptions.

Amazon’s cloud storage and cloud processing adds major appeal to the Kindle Fire experience. Amazon will back up any digital media you purchase (e-books, apps, music) and serve it back down to you at your convenience. Being able to have instant access to your archived media content also makes up somewhat for the limited storage on the device (just 8GB). In addition to archiving your purchased content, Amazon’s included Cloud Drive service offers to store another 5GB of any additional content you want to access (photos, music, documents, and so on). That Cloud Drive service can be a great way to back images online when you are out shooting all day and want to keep things light.

Adobe will soon release Photoshop Touch for Android. Since the Kindle Fire is an Android based tablet, Photoshop Touch will allow us to do some basic touch-screen based image editing. That is a big plus in my book, especially when you consider low $9.99 cost of Photoshop Touch.

Speedy web browsing is also promised. A unique Web browser called Silk is included on the Kindle Fire; it splits the work of loading Web pages between the device and Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) system, part ot Amazon’s cloud storage. The result, in theory, will be faster page loads, as well as some predictive loading of content and sites you access often. No other tablet on the market has a feature like this–not even Apple.

I’m liking the idea of a Kindle Fire more and more. With a bit of ingenuity, this may become the digital equivalent of a Swiss Army knife!

The Ideal Photography Workflow

For many years photographers have tried to perfect their craft and some have been able to do so. From their shooting styles to their work flow. One of my all time favourite photographers, Chase Jarvis did an in depth video of his workflow. Now i must say that to each his own and you dont necessarily have to have this same setup to be successful just get a workflow that best suits your needs.

Take a look at the video below and tell me what you think.

Hope you learnt something from this video, like, always have a back-up hard disk to store you data!!!

Nikon D7000: Review

Brought To You by Kai W.

Here’s a in-depth review of the Nikon’s newest the D700.

Nikon D800 – The best goes to those who wait?

by Raphael Chieza

It has been over 3 years since Nikon released its D700, a nice full frame camera that we use almost every day in the DR office. There have been dozens of rumours about a slightly improved 700S but we have pointed out that Nikon will skip 700S and release D800 with the D3S capability, better movie mode and increased sensor resolution. While we weren’t sure why a Nikon D4 won’t come out with these specs first, we were convinced in mid-2010 that a 16MP D800 was imminent. However Nikon decided to release D7000 instead, and we guess the D800 went back to the drawing board because it was not considered competitive enough to take on the 5DII market.

Now the D800 is going to be with us soon and we are super excited about it, at least spec wise. Perhaps we have been secretly hoping for so many years that Nikon would release something amazing to disrupt the DSLR video world currently occupied by Canon, we are very eager to find out exactly how video performs on the FX 18mps sensor and how AF works during video mode.

There are circulating rumours about a 36mp FX sensor being used in D800, which we don’t believe to be true. The following spec sheet is based on the best information we could get from our sources, and we believe Nikon has been focusing on – above all – boosting the video performance of the camera.

Nikon D800 Specifications

Sensor size 36.0 x 23.9mm Full Frame FX format
Sensor type CMOS sensor
Sensor resolution 18 megapixels
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (Extendable to 102400)
Continuous Burst Speed 6fps (8fps in DX mode)
Focus System Multi-CAM 3500FX 51-point AF
Video Mode Full HD 1920x1080p (24, 25, 30fps) and 720p (up to 60fps) with Stereo sound & AF
LCD 3-inch (921k dots) VGA LCD

Sony Alpha A77 vs. Canon EOS 7D

 

Before I start this comparison, I have to confess that I have been a Canon EOS 7D user from pretty much the time it hit the market. It’s been a great buddy in pretty much all my shoots and has become almost an extension of my hand. With the said, you can’t blame me for initially turning my nose up in disgust when I was told I was required to review a Sony camera and not even a “proper” DSLR at that but one of the SLT. However, reviewing the specs before getting my hands on theSony Alpha A77 really got me thinking whether Sony have finally got something serious going beyond the consumer crowd.

Sony Alpha A77 vs Canon EOS 7D – Reviewing the Specs

Features

Canon EOS 7D

Sony Alpha SLT-A77

Sensor Type

APS-C CMOS sensor

APS-C CMOS sensor

Sensor Size

22.3 x 14.9mm

23.5 x 15.6mm

Effective Pixels

18.0 megapixels

24.3 megapixels

LCD

3-inch (920k dots) Clear View II LCD

3-inch (921k dots) Xtra Fine TruBlack LCD

Tilt LCD

No

Yes

Live View

Yes

Yes

Viewfinder Type

Pentaprism

Electronic

Viewfinder Resolution

Optical

2359k dots

Viewfinder Coverage

Approx. 100%

100%

Viewfinder Magnification

Approx. 1.0x

1.09x

Focusing Screen

Fixed (Transmissive LCD screen)

No

HD Movie

1920×1080 (30, 25, 24fps), 1280×720 (60, 50fps)

1920×1080 (60,50, 25, 24fps, AVCHD), 1440×1080 (30,25fps, MP4)

AF During Movie Recording

No

Yes

Max. Continuous Burst Speed

8fps (126JPEG / 15RAW)

12fps (17JPEG / 13 RAW)

Metering System

TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC

TTL full aperture metering with 1200-zone evaluative metering

AF System

19-point cross type AF System

19-point (11p-point cross type) AF System

Built-in Image Stabilisation

No

Yes

Image Sensitivity (ISO)

AUTO(100-3200), 100-6400 (Expandable to 12800)

100-16000

Shutter Speed Range

30-1/8000 sec, Bulb

30-1/8000 sec, Bulb

Built-in Flash

Yes

Yes

Memory Card Slot(s)

1x CF Card (Microdrive/UDMA compatible)

1xSDXC/SDHC/SD Card

Body Material

Magnesium Alloy body covers

Magnesium Alloy and high-grade plastic exterior

Weight (Body Only)

Approx. 820g

Approx. 653g

Dimensions (W x H x D)

148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm

142.6 x 104.0 x 80.9

Price

$1063.99

$1235.23

First thing you’ll pick up on from the spec sheet would be the sensor resolution of course. With a hard hitting 24.3 megapixels sensor in the Sony A77, it does make the otherwise very decent 18 megapixels sensor of the 7D feel a little low in comparison. Of course, with a resolution that is higher than that of the Canon 1Ds Mark III, you would expect it to be a bit slow and sluggish and not suitable to sports like the 7D is. Here again, Sony throws us a curve ball and completely overwhelms us with a 12fps continuous burst mode. Combining high resolution with high speed, the A77 does look mouth wateringly good. However, if you like to keep your finger on the shutter for more than a second or two, the larger number of JPEGs the Canon 7D can keep shooting still keeps it well in contention.

Another point of note is that, at least on paper, the Sony A77 seems to outgun the Canon 7D. While the focusing system on the Canon 7D appears better and the LCD size and resolution also look the same, the A77 shines with tiltable LCD, higher maximum ISO sensitivity and a much lighter weight for the body. The A77 also uses SD-family type cards as compared to CF cards of the 7D. However, this hardly seems worth commenting on anymore since better SDXC cards delivers excellent speed and reliability. Throw in built-in GPS and in-video full-time phase detection AF for the Sony A77 and you start considering the future possibility of a 7D Mark II.

 

How you eye your composition – Sony Alpha A77 vs Canon EOS 7D

Make no mistake, I still love the Canon 7D and of course the optical viewfinder is still very much that… optical. Perhaps the main reason for the long time gap from the Sony A55’s release to the “replacement” of the A700 is that a viable electronic viewfinder (EVF) needed to be in place. Hopefully without sounding too old school, I would say that if you are serious about your photography, composing with the viewfinder is pretty much a necessity in most cases where physical constraints don’t play a part. Using a consumer grade EVF for serious photography is like putting Fred Flintstone in place of the engine of your Bugatti Veyron. The 2.4M dots OLED EVF is definitely a vast improvement over the previous EVF offerings anywhere and makes using the A77 very comfortable. Is it as good as the optical viewfinder of the Canon 7D? Nah… I don’t think so. Still, given all the other goodies in the A77, I can accept the difference.

 

Is DSLT finally getting the best of DSLR?

Shooting with the A77 felt really responsive with the AF being very intelligent when I give it free rein. Built-in image stabilization also works better with an EVF because I can see how whether it’s doing enough to compensate as oppose to guess work for other DSLRs with built-in stabilization. The importance of image stabilization in lenses will diminish so that should allow you to save your money and use lighter non-IS lenses.

This of course draws the line of whether the Sony Alpha A77 is getting better of the DSLRs and of the Canon EOS 7D in particular. Well, I have to confess that it’s there. Sure, I won’t trade my 7D for the A77 or future SLT models anytime soon due to my personal preference but I will certainly be keeping an eye on what they come up with. If I was using a Canon 600D and did not have many lenses though, I would be looking long and hard on the A77, that’s for sure. The Sony A77 has proven that SLT and EVF technology are good enough to go beyond consumer expectations into the enthusiast / semi-pro segment. Whether it will make it higher will really depend on how the technology evolves.

 

Sony Alpha A77 vs Canon EOS 7D – My Conclusion

If you are still in the entry level DSLR range or simply don’t have many lenses so changing system won’t be an issue, get theSony A77. You are getting “more” features in the A77 as it is with the way of things when new “tech” products are released. However, if you are already experienced and use it mainly for stills, I am still tempted to say stick with the Canon 7D simply because it feels more pure. Mind you, that thought didn’t last long with me when I finally moved away from film shooting and embraced digital…

 

 


 

Well, I suppose it had to happen. I’ve got to do a Who Shoots Canon List, so here’s a Top 5 list of celebrities/well-known figures who use Canon DSLRs.

5. Elisha Cuthbert

To borrow a commonly used expression by her on-screen Dad in tv-series 24 – “Dammit” she’s a Canon user! She’s been papped here holding a Canon 450D on the beach.

4. Miley Cyrus

The star of Hannah Montana and daughter of Achy Breaky Heart singer Billy Ray Cyrus uses a Canon 5D Mark II. She uses a Leica too, so she does have good taste.

3. Seal

Another famous Leica user, who came out with some superb, classic songs and is married to supermodel Heidi Klum. That’s a Canon 1D Mk III in his hands. No, really.

2. “King of Siam” (Thailand)

If it’s good enough for Royalty, then it’s good enough for…errr, Canon users. Yeah.

1. President Obama

Quite amazingly, President Obama is a Canon user. Here he is captured by White House photographer Pete Souza using a 5D Mark II.

Quirky Looking DSLR’s

Most DSLRs these days looks pretty much the same, despite there being a good handful of manufacturers the looks are generally quite samey. But there have been a number of DSLRs* that haven’t conformed to the norm:

1. Sony A900

Overall, it shares a similar silhouette to many DSLRs, but the crazy action is happening up top. Look at the bump on the top and you’ll notice a kind of retro-looking pentaprism, very point shape. But it’s also the bizarre little details like the non-rectangular top LCD screen, which makes it look quite freakish.

2. Epson R-D1/R-D1S/R-D1X

*Now you’ll probably notice that this is not actually a DSLR, so we cheated here, but even though it differs from a DSLR in terms of not having a mirror that lets you view through the lens, it does share the same quirky charm that the other cameras here do. This is a digital camera, so you’re probably wondering why there’s a film advance lever on top. Interestingly, the world’s first digital rangefinder used a lever to manually re-cock the shutter after every shot, which is just as well as the battery life was pretty poor on this camera!

3. Olympus E-1

Olympus’ first flagship DSLR – the E-1 – looked quite revolutionary, which was couple with their new concept of the Four-Thirds format. A major part of the body was the grip on the right-hand-side of the camera, with nothing on the left-hand-side of the body to grip onto, it looked very futuristic and forward-looking, and their new format idea sounded very intriguing too. Just a shame that neither were really adopted by the masses.

4. Panasonic DMC-L1

Some might say it’s Leica-inspired, and I would totally agree. There is something about the shape that is just so rangefinder-like, and that is probably the fact that it doesn’t have the hump you usually get from a penta-mirror or penta-prism. This is a DSLR, not like the Epson R-D1, it does let you look through the lens via a porro prism. As nice as it looked, this camera never really took off because it was a Four-Thirds camera and the porro prism meant that the viewfinder was a most tiny, dark think.

5. Olympus E-300

Now, this actually has something in common with the Panasonic camera above in that it has a porro prism to give it a hump-less body. That means that it suffers from a tiny, dark viewfinder also. Olympus like their quirky cameras, but the trouble with this one is that whereas the Panasonic DMC-L1 at least looked good, this E-300 is somewhat uglier.

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