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Tag Archives: photo tuts+

20 Invaluable Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer

You’ve heard there is big money in wedding photography and you want a piece of the action. After all, it sounds like a good gig, right? Five hours of work one evening on a weekend and a $1000+ payday! What could be simpler?

Before the dreams of grandeur and big pay checks start clouding your vision, here are 20 tips I hope will help steer your growth so you are an asset to the happy couple entrusting you with their fond memories.

20 Invaluable Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer.



9 Tips for a Perfect Portrait Background

This article by Valerie Robinson repeats a chunk of what is taught on our Portrait Photography course

Flatter your portrait subject with the perfect background, even if you don’t have professional backdrops or lighting. A little exposure and composition know-how can get you a long way toward a beautiful portrait background.

 This tutorial is a grab-bag of helpful ideas for photographers of any level. I’ve written them with the idea that once you master them all, you will have a bag of tricks at your disposal. Pull out one or combine several, and you’ll be able to quickly adapt to all kinds of lighting and subject situations and walk away with a wonderful portrait. Many of the techniques, however, work best with just one or two subjects. As a group becomes larger, you’ll find your available options becoming fewer. Such is the life of a portrait photographer!”..…..MORE

Step 1: Crop Out Distractions

Have you ever looked around you and been disappointed about your subject’s location? Maybe it’s a messy home interior or an unremarkable backyard. A location might appear boring at first, but you can improve it by thinking about what your camera “sees”. Look through your viewfinder and pay attention to what’s visible in the background. Get down low or up high. Get in close and to the side. Notice the effect of your movement on what you see in the viewfinder.

One of the most important things you can do to get rid of background distractions is to get in closer to your subject. This is thought of as “in-camera cropping”.

In the two images below, check out how the image was transformed when I got in close and cropped out the parent. All possible disractions were removed and the complete focus of the image was on the baby. One other important thing that happened is that the parent’s solid dark purple sweater looks almost like a professional backdrop.

portrait background photography

Lighting: Indirect window light. It is a north-facing window, but that’s not as important as the fact that it was just not the direction the sun was shining directly in.

Lens: 85mm fixed lens at aperture 1.8. Shutter speed doesn’t really matter. Just has to be fast enough to avoid camera shake.

Step 2: Look Down or Up

In almost every situation, if you get above your subject and look down, you’ll likely find a decent – or even great – background. At the very least you’ll avoid power lines, street signs, or any other distractions. I’m not very tall, so sometimes this means that I need to have my subject get on the ground, kneel, crouch, or otherwise. Or, I’ve been known to climb trees or stand on walls, chairs, park benches, etc. Taking pictures of a child or baby? You’re all set! One other approach is to look up and use tree leaves or the sky for your background.

This isn’t a background tip, but If you’re trying to slim someone, looking down at them and having them extend their chin slightly can be quite effective.

portrait background photography

Using Flickr For Photo Backups

One of the things I talk about in our Understanding Your Digital SLR Camera courses is the need to back up images so if your computer fails you have a set somewhere else, on discs, a separate external hard drive etc. I have also advocated the use of on line storage, this means that even if your house burns down your most important images are stored on some one else’s server. I use Flickr for basic on line storage and this article on Photo Tuts says much the same.

“Although the main purpose of Flickr is for sharing your images, the online service will also safely store the original file you upload – providing you have a Pro account. This costs $24.95 for one year, removes any upload or storage limits, and lets you save and access very large resolution files.

If you have a very large photo library, the process of uploading your entire catalog of old images is going to take a very long time. There’s no way around this, and it’s the cost of using any off-site type of backup system.”…..MORE

Adobe Camera RAW for Beginners: Basic Adjustments

Last night when teaching the first class of our Photoshop course I was asked about RAW processing. This is not something we cover on this course but I am writing a course on Lightroom at the moment however whilst over at Photo Tuts I found this tutorial. RAW processing is not difficult to understand, it might take a while to fully get to grips with all the permutations, and this tutorial will get you started if you have never tried. Go here for the link to the Photo Tuts RAW processing tutorial


Create a Stunning High Key Portrait Photo

When I am looking for interesting tutorials I often head over to the Photo Tuts site which is crammed with good stuff. High key is a regular favourite subject area and this tutorial in a 30 minute video is pretty good at explaining how to achieve those washed out high contrast effects. Personally I prefer to read tutorials rather than watch videos but these days everyone want to be on tv, shame. Go here for this excellent tutorial

6 Elements of Design for Striking Photographs

One of my favourite sites for tutorials and tips is the Photo Tuts site, I can’t help thinking they deserve a better name, but there you go. This tutorial on creating a well designed image hits all the button

What makes a striking photo? Often, it’s merely ordinary things composed in an ordinary manner. That’s because they always tend to have a single theme or idea, and because clutter is kept to a minimum. They are simple, true, and sincere. Today we’re looking at the elements of design (line, shape, form, texture, color etc) that can turn a simple subject into a striking photo.

 Successful photos rely on order, and the main elements that bring and emphasize order in a composition are: line, shape, form, texture, pattern, and color. Every photograph, intentionally or not, contains one or more of these element, which are known as the elements of design.

All of these elements have a huge impact on a photo, especially the line, texture, and color. Usually we recognize and utilize these elements unconsciously. This depends on the individual’s sensitivity to the different visual components out there, and is very much affected by the person’s memories and life experiences that are registered on their own personal mind tape.”…..MORE

©Keith Barnes

Learn Lightroom in a week parts 6 and 7

Learn Lightroom in a Week – Day 6: Printing, Slideshows and Web Galleries

Learn Lightroom in a Week – Day 7: Export and Publishing

The last 2 parts of the fantastic learn Lightroom in a week (7 parts, search the blog for the others if you haven’t seen them) from Photo Tuts