Recent Lessons, Tips & Hacks

I write a Lessons, Tips & Hacks blog called Bad Ass Photo Info. Here are some excerpts of the recent articles.

Black & White Photography — Take a Fresh Look

Hemingway?

Hemingway?

Working in black and white gives the photographer a different perspective, and is a great way to look at subjects in a new way. Taking color away from a picture places greater accent on shape, texture and detail. An effective black and white photograph can look far more striking than the color equivalent.

The simple act of taking color away from images forces the photographer to look at things in a new way. Color can be a powerful element of composition, and by removing it the photographer needs to work in a different way. Looking at the world in black and white is a great way to improve your photographic skills in general….Black & White Photography — Take a Fresh Look

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6 Easy Steps to Improve Your Portrait Photography

The difference between a good portrait photograph and a great one can be very subtle. It’s possible to take beautiful portrait photographs with some basic equipment, and expensive cameras and lenses aren’t really needed. Portrait photography is often more about how you relate to the subject rather than having great technical skills with a camera.

The following basic steps will set you on the path to taking portrait photographs to rival the experts.

Luis Vasconcelos

Luis Vasconcelos

Look at the background. When you are taking a portrait of a person, always begin by paying attention to the background. Ask yourself if the background is distracting for any reason. For example, is the background a bright colour or bold pattern which will distract the eye from the real subject of the shot? It’s usually very easy to deal with this, and in doing so you will make an instant improvement to the portrait. You can change the angle you are shooting at or move the person to a different spot before taking the picture. Alternatively, you can open the aperture of the camera’s lens and blur the background to reduce or remove the distraction. Alternately, you can also move in, or zoom in, very close, to fill the frame with the subject and greatly reduce the background….6 Easy Steps To Improve Your Portrait Photography

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Common Mistakes Photographers Make When Shooting Portraits

Everyone shoots pictures of their friends and family, and this can develop into a passion for portrait photography. An effective portrait photograph should capture a subject’s personality and character, and this requires more than camera skills. Most photographs of people look like snapshots rather than portraits because of basic mistakes. The following are the common mistakes photographers make when shooting pictures of people.

1. Shooting with background distractions.

Some styles of portrait photography involve shooting the subject in the context of their surroundings. This is often called an environmental portrait.  If you simply want to shoot the person, pay attention to the background before you press the shutter button. Distracting backgrounds can ruin an otherwise great picture. If the background draws your eye away from the subject, change your shooting angle or move the person to a different spot. If you are using a camera with interchangeable lenses, create a shallower depth of field by opening the aperture or switch to a telephoto lens to blur the background.  Also, move the subject further away from the background, so it is not in sharp focus.

2. Telling the subject to smile.

A forced smile usually results in a disappointing picture. If you want your subject to smile you must encourage them to do so naturally. A smile isn’t the only facial expression which works in a portrait photograph, so talk to the person and observe the different expressions they display. Different expressions create different moods, and a frown or more somber look may actually suit a portrait better than a smile.

3. Not shooting from the right level.

Shooting at the subject’s eye level is generally the most effective for portrait pictures. When shooting portraits of children, crouch down so that the camera is at their eye level. Even slight differences in eye level can make dramatic differences in a portrait picture. If my subject is sitting down for a formal portrait, I often mount the camera on a tripod to keep it at the appropriate height.

Again, this is a rule to be broken if raising the camera above the subject, and aiming down, can create a clean and uncluttered background….http://www.badassphoto.info/5-common-mistakes-photographers-make-when-shooting-portraits/

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