My personal “Holy Trinity” derives from my LOVE of Travel, Music, and Photography. It is always heavenly when I get to experience them all together. This years festival in Gentilly took me to the 5th level.
I love the challenges and the opportunities afforded by daytime festivals. The challenges afforded by Natural Light (contrast ly backgrounds, dark shadows, extreme highlights, etc.), view obstructions (people, staff, equipment, etc), and equipment choices.
In modern cinema, (movies, tv, concerts, etc) I have noticed that contrast is now sometimes flaunted. In the past it seems that solid color clothing or the subject appeared against contrast ly backgrounds. Now I see a lot of contrast against contrast.
It seems to me that my first generation Z6 coupled with my NIKKOR 18-300 mm; 2.8 DX telephoto lens did a pretty good job with this extremally contrast ly shot. The depth blur seems to have made the difference. What do you think?
“I AM” constantly looking for the shot within the shot. When you find them they can sometimes turn into some amazing ART!
Although the subject gets lost in the background, “I AM” still drawn into the frozen action. Face is still illuminated showing her Big Beautiful smile!
The SPIRIT in me saw this. I try to find “perspectives” from within. You gotta feel it! Also I think this color palette is unique and very pleasing to me.
As mentioned above there are always challenges. When shooting concerts my biggest personal challenge is to get all the band members it a single frame. Showing all in the midst of their personal performance mode is difficult yet magical.
This is how I now live my life. After living 40 plus years involved in the ownership and management of my family own business I finally get to do what I love to do. “I AM” so thankful and grateful.
I spent the day working with my first generation Z6 coupled with my f mount NIKKOR 2.8; 18-300mm DX telephoto lens. I think it does a pretty good job even though it is not a full frame lens.
Being older I have to consider the amount of walking and standing. One camera body, one lens, my cell phone plus extra batteries, and storage is ideal. When I shoot festivals this represents my go to equipment.
Freelance Travel Photographer/Artist. Founder of the Digital Age Travel Agency affiliated and registered with Inteletravel.
I have combined my love for Photography and Travel into a digital platform to share with like minded Artist/Entrepreneurs.
Street photography can provide some of the most engaging photos. So here are 10 of the best street photography destinations in the world…
1 Fez (Morocco)
This historic northeastern Moroccan city is one best locations in the world for street photography enthusiasts. Whilst the architecture is also of interest, for street photographers, nothing will beat wandering around the UNESCO World Heritage old town (or medina).
As you amble around the narrow maze-like passageways, you’ll be treated to locals going about their daily lives, artisans making products and shopkeepers haggling with shoppers on everything from carpets and souvenirs to pottery and lamps. The only challenge will be being able to capture sharp images as the narrow streets are fairly dark, so you will have to raise your ISO accordingly to have a fast enough shutter speed for handheld photography.
2 New Delhi (India)
3 Bangkok (Thailand)
The capital of Thailand might be famous for its temples and sky bars, but it is also a wonderful street photography destination. Walking along most streets will offer opportunities to photograph locals going about their day or even artisans and craftsman working in their shops. You will also see plenty of street food carts which are also great points of interest for street photographers.
But arguably, the best street photography location in Bangkok will be in Chinatown along Yaowarat Road in the Samphanthawong District. Visit at night and the neon signs will be shining bright and street food stalls and restaurants full of activity.
4 Hanoi (Vietnam)
Sitting along the Red River, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. Like most cities in this part of the world, you would expect plenty of street photography opportunities and you won’t be disappointed.
The Old Quarter is an explosion of activity and when you are not busy jumping out of the way of scooters, you’ll be looking in every direction for the next photo. What makes this location unique for street photography (besides the conical hats) is that the streets are busy from dawn to dusk. So you can shoot all day in a relatively small area.
5 Rome (Italy)
The Eternal City is one of the most significant cities in the history of western civilisation. So much of its influence can be seen across Europe. The city itself is beautiful and worth a photography visit.
But beyond its museums, historic buildings and magnificent food, Rome also offers fantastic street photography opportunities. Whether its people whizzing about on their motorbikes, or locals chatting over an espresso, you won’t be disappointed with your street photos from Rome. Especially as your backdrops might just be some of those stunning famous buildings that we all know so well.
6 New York (USA)
The Big Apple has always been a favourite location for photographers. Whether you are after cityscapes or food, NYC has it all. And naturally, it is also a great street photography location as well. From city executives on Wall Street to locals playing cards in Chinatown, New York is a city that is made for street photography.
7 Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Head to La Boca in Buenos Aries, and you can immerse yourself in two of Argentina’s biggest passions, tango and football! The colourful buildings will provide the backdrops for street performers who will go through their rendition of the tango. And when you have shot enough tango photos, turn your attention to football where street art of famous footballers and Argentina’s favourite player Diego Maradona is seemingly on every wall.
Just be very careful walking around La Boca alone as it’s a very dangerous place. My best advice would be to get yourself a local guide and be sure to leave before it’s dark!
8 London (England)
It may not be an obvious choice when it comes to street photography, but London is a great city for anyone who wants to look beyond the famous monuments. Head to the East End of London for those gritty and authentic street photography opportunities.
But even in the centre of London, there are plenty of places where you can capture unique street photos. For example, Leake Street graffiti tunnel, the skate park in Waterloo, the Southbank, Camden, Soho and even the passages in Neil’s Yard off Covent Garden are all great places to explore and capture very different photos of London.
9 Istanbul (Turkey)
Straddling two continents, Istanbul manages to offer both modern and old in the same city. The Old City is home to the famous and historic buildings that are so synonymous with this city. But there are also plenty of street photography possibilities.
One of the biggest and best places to visit is the Grand Bazaar which is one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world. Photography is challenging in the market due to the low light, but you will find that around most stalls there will be enough light for handheld photography at a fast enough shutter speed.
10 Havana (Cuba)
I have saved (possibly) the best street photography destination till last! No amount of time will be enough to capture everything that you possibly can in Havana. Every street in La Habana Vieja (Old Havana) is picturesque and there is always a photo opportunity.
But even beyond Old Havana, for a street photographer, the photos don’t stop. In fact, I firmly believe that you can simply stand on any given street corner and end up with a ton of great photos by the end of the day. The best advice I can give anyone for photographing Havana is to simply walk around and take your time. Oh, and to take plenty of memory cards!
Every picture tells a story and I’m passionate about telling stories and sharing my travel experiences through my landscape and travel photography websites.
Quite often, people ask me about what kind of camera gear I use to capture my images. Back in the 1970s, I started out shooting with a simple Olympus film camera. I am a photographer that doesn’t rely on a lot of fancy technical gear. There’s a lot of people that think that if you don’t have the perfect camera, the latest gear, or the best accessories, then you’re not ready to be an effective travel photographer. But, it’s not the tools that make the photographer. Tools simply help you to bring your ideas to life. If it’s my iPhone that’s in my pocket when I see the perfect shot – then that’s what I shoot with.
Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for 14 years, I’ve had a chance to meet and work with some incredible photographers. Their stories and experiences have changed the way I look at things. I’ve also had the privilege of trying out a lot of different types of travel photography equipment. Listed below are some ideas I’d like to share.
Travel Photography Cameras
So, what makes the best camera for travel photography? This is a complicated and constantly-evolving question to answer, but it’s probably a camera that allows you to capture great-quality images and doesn’t weigh a ton. Camera manufacturers are always changing their line-up with the latest and greatest features, but the things to look for in a good travel camera is image quality, long battery life, size and weight, simple to use, and that doesn’t cost a fortune. The most important thing about a travel camera is that it doesn’t get in your way of enjoying the adventure and at the same time delivers stunning images. The best travel camera for you is going to be very dependent on your needs and situation.
Fine Art Black & White Photography
I’ve gone through a number of camera bodies throughout the years but, for now, have settled on the Canon EOS 6D full-frame DSLR camera. I have investigated and tried mirrorless cameras, but because the weight wasn’t significantly less, I’ve stuck with what works for me and gets me great photos. The Canon 6D is one of the lightest weight DSLR cameras (1.7 pounds with the battery). The camera battery gives me decent life (if I’m not using GPS). The processor delivers enhanced noise reduction and exceptional processing speed, all in a compact body. Because if it’s compact size, it fits into my hand like a glove.
Camera Lenses for Travel Photography
Whilst it would be wonderful to have a large range of lenses to take with you on trips, the reality of travel is that you can only carry so much before you feel like a weighed-down camel. It’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. I personally use three lenses 99% of the time. When we consider travel photography, we capture landscapes, portraits, street scenes, architecture, and so on — all of these subjects require different lenses to be properly framed.
So, let’s look at a few lenses.
The “Do It All” Camera LensThe 24-70mm lens or 24-105mm lens is enormously versatile. The 24-105mm lens is the one I use mostly because of its versatility. It gives me a wide-angle to nearly telephoto range and allows me to capture large landscapes, close-up portraits, and everything else in between without having to change lenses. It’s a good size and doesn’t weigh a lot.
My Canon EF 24–105mm F/4L is II USM camera lens is a great general-purpose lens and was a great value when I purchased it with my 6D DSLR kit. If I could only take one lens while I’m hiking or biking, this is the one. AT 24mm, it is especially valuable for landscape photography and for capturing images in tight places. The 105mm focal length on the long end is really useful for a wide range of subjects, including portraits.
The Ultra Wide Zoom LensThe 16-35mm lens or something close to it is the ultimate go-to lens for a travel photographer looking to capture landscapes, cityscapes, or even internal building spaces. Not all wide-angle lenses are the same, so you need to do a little research. You want to make sure it creates sharp, beautiful images with little to no barrel distortion or fish-eye effect. Some lenses are better at this than others.I love my Canon 16-35 F/4L IS wide-angle lens and it has been popular with many landscape photographers. It’s an extremely sharp ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, delivering prime-grade image sharpness right into full-frame corners. A stellar-performing image stabilization system makes this lens a great lens. I can use it at the top of a windy mountain and shoot incredible quality, deep depth of field imagery without the use of a tripod. I had the Canon 11-24mm F/4L fisheye lens out in the field many times, but it was heavier and necessitated me carrying a larger camera bag.
The Telephoto LensHaving a good quality telephoto lens in your travel kit is a big plus for landscape photography. Sometimes you just need that tighter close-up shot to get more detailed photos. I would recommend a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens because of its versatility. You can get a little longer, like a 100-400mm, but it adds weight and costs a lot more. The 70-200mm f/2.8L is what I use, but it’s also the heaviest lens in my kit.
I use Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto lens for my travel photography. This lens gives me an impressive image quality and focuses accurately very fast. It has a 4-stop image stabilization, weather sealing, and has become one of my favorite and most-used lenses. I love the image stabilization on this lens which helps me to obtain sharp images even while I’m hand-holding the camera.
So, for travel photography, it’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. That way, you are more likely to take them with you and use them.
Camera Bags for Travel Photography
There are a lot of camera bags on the market today and so many options to choose from. It can get a bit confusing trying to figure out which one is the best bag for travel photography. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you must do your research. Being a travel photographer means you have to look at not only size; but also… do you need one that’s completely waterproof, crush-proof, designed for climbing rocks as well as hiking? If you are swimming through the Zion Park Narrows – then that’s a completely different story.
The following are some questions to ask yourself:
Do I want the bag to be multi-functional so it can act as both a camera bag and a day pack?
Do I want to carry a laptop computer or tablet in the bag?
Do I need a trolley strap included so you can attach it to rolling luggage?
Camera backpacks are one of the most popular options for carrying around your gear, but you may also consider a shoulder bag. Sling bags that have one strap offer quick and easy access to a camera. Holster cases are designed to be used with a camera and a single lens if you want a lightweight option for biking. Spending money on the right bag to protect your gear is cheaper in the long run. So which bag is the best bag for you?
I think it’s best to take your gear to the store and try out a bunch of camera bags – that’s what I did. So, here’s what I use:
My Lowepro Classified 160 AW shoulder bag is great for one camera plus three lenses and goes with me everywhere. Plus, the bag is easy to store in overhead bins on a flight.
The Alta Access 28X shoulder bag is what I pull out when I have a few extra lenses to haul around. The bag effortlessly carries a professional gear kit which consists of my Canon 6D DSLR, 4-5 lenses (up to 70-200mm), a flash, and a multitude of accessories. It also is no problem to store in overhead bins on a flight.
I also use a Lowepro holster bag when I’m biking. It provides good protection in a small package for my camera and attached lens.
Other Useful Travel Photography Accessories
I highly recommend carrying a lightweight carbon fiber photography tripod. I love my Sirui T-025SK carbon fiber travel tripod. It’s super lightweight and folds up into a 12-inch length. It’s maybe not the sturdiest of tripods, but it’s so much easier to carry around when hiking and biking.
I also carry a circular polarizer filter which helps to reduce reflections and glare by filtering out light that has become polarized due to reflection from a non-metallic surface. It cuts down on certain types of light in a way that can benefit your images.
6 to 10 Stop ND filters can be really useful for landscape photography when you want to slow down your shutter speed to capture creative landscape photos.
Not Just Camera Gear
Besides camera gear, it is also important for travel photographers to dress properly to handle cold and stormy weather. When I’m out and about and the temperatures start falling, there’s nothing better than a great winter jacket. I love my Eider Men’s Lillehammer III Jacket with underarm air vents in case it gets really hot. Good, waterproof hiking boots and thick wool socks are critical. I have owned a pair of Guardo boots for about one year and love them. They’re stylish, comfy, warm, and have a super grip on slippery surfaces. I find that if you don’t want to get sick, keep your head, chest, and feet warm. This merino wool t-shirt is top quality and offers great warmth.
Travel photography isn’t just about making photographs; it’s about choosing a life of curiosity, exploration, and wonder… immersing yourself in the world around you. If you want to be an effective travel photographer, it is important to carry the right photography equipment and know how to use it. I hope you find these tips useful to get started. Do you have any questions? If so feel free to ask them in the comments below:
Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for 14 years, I’ve had a chance to meet & work with some incredible photographers and printing experts. Their stories and experiences have changed the way I look at things. Photography isn’t just about making photographs; it’s about choosing a life of curiosity, exploration, wonder, and immersing yourself in the world around you. Follow our adventures at – www.photographyadventures.ca and get your FREE e-book today – “5 Truly Amazing Places to Visit Before it’s too late!
I was given the amazing opportunity to do my thing with Low Light Photography. Low-Light Event Photography is one of my favorite genres.
I think I enjoy the challenge. In order to create a photo, the main ingredient is of course LIGHT. And, as you can see there is very little of it.
My low-light photography requires some degree of post-processing. I use several programs including PhotoShop. (considered by most to be the Holy Grail)
Sometimes I go a little further. In this photo, I used Photoshop and PhotoScape. PhotoScape has been my “escape” from Photoshop’s demanding learning curve. PhotoScape’s main drawback seems to be its approach to layering.
When shooting any event. I am constantly looking for opportunities to showcase crowd interaction and emotion.
I try really hard to not use flash. (sometimes it’s impossible) I am constantly looking for ambient light. I try to stay completely away from flash!
When I absolutely have to, I pray for walls to bounce the light. Oh yeah, I often use flash for promo shots with the artist, before or after the performance.
From a personal point of view, this is my favorite shot. Black and White, contrast, showing texture, and illuminated with ambient light.
I began this shoot using my first generation Nikon Z6 Mirrorless, coupled with my Tamron 24-70mm, f2.8. Later I switched to my Nikon 18-300mm FX lens. Not known for its low light capabilities, but excellent for long-range candid shots. I ended my session with my go-to; Nikon 50mm, f1.8 Prime.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Owners and Management not only for the opportunity to practice my craft but also for the opportunity to participate in an event for such a worthy cause; The Mississippi Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Freelance Travel Photographer/Artist. Founder of the Digital Age Travel Agency affiliated and registered with Inteletravel.
I have combined my love for Photography and Travel into a digital platform to share with like minded Artist/Entrepreneurs.
5 top tips for taking competition-worthy photos of incredible old buildings, structures and standing stones often found within stunning landscapes
From grand castles and imposing stately homes to crumbling ancient cities and lonely standing stones, the world is awash with historical ruins if you care to go searching for them. They can be tricky to photograph, but you don’t have to travel far and wide; there are likely some castles, churches, abbeys and ruins close to where you live.
Before making a big trip abroad to a ‘honeypot’ site, practice your skills locally, but do check opening times, car park fees and entry fees ahead of time. Here are some of our top tips to get you started…
1 Capture castles in context
Is the castle on a hill overlooking an epic landscape? Is there a moat around it? Is a drawbridge its visual highlight? Although castles are traditionally seen as grand military structures that were designed to be imposing, they were usually built in places that gave the inhabitants wide-ranging views and early site of any approaching invaders. Many are also surrounded by landscaped grounds. Either way, try to capture the connection between a castle and the environment it exists in.
If you want to get a castle in context then consider using a wide-angle lens, which will enable you to get more into your composition and keep it sharp. Depending on how wide-angle it is you may be able to approach the castle and capture it from close in while still placing it in its environment.
Before you start shooting take a stroll around the grounds, getting a feel for what’s around and what you might want to include in your shots. Resist the temptation to start shooting immediately; take your time and investigate the site for details you might want to emphasise. Read about the building’s history, if only to decide what the most important structures are, and how they’re normally photographed.
2 Give standing stones some space
There are thousands of prehistoric circles, standing stones, henges and burial chambers throughout the UK and Europe, yet they can be difficult to photograph. A lot depends on what’s around them; some are surrounded by flat grassland while others are on peninsulas, on tops of peaks, or nestled in forests. Your position is everything since standing circles, for example, don’t tend to look much more than a bunch of stones unless it’s captured from above, or at least an elevated position on a nearby hill.
Do your research before you visit, not only about the monument’s environment, but about theories on its history and function. If you’re going to photograph a burial chamber that’s aligned with the rising Sun, consider visiting at sunrise to shoot a ‘sun star’ shot. You can do that by using a large aperture and a slow shutter speed.
3 Create an unusual composition
Looking for something that no one has seen before in an ancient monument, and getting the shot right, is difficult. But it’s what good photography is all about. Sometimes it can be something as simple – at least in retrospect – as capturing a reflection and turning it upside down (see above). Another way to treat this same shot could be to capture it at night and have stars reflecting in the river.
Find interesting items for the foreground of your image. Vary your height; take shots from low to the ground for an unusual point of view. Look for leading lines in walls, pathways, drawbridges and corridors.
While the wide-angle shot has likely been done before many times, where you can do something new is with close-ups. So pack a zoom lens, which will allow you to isolate architectural details from crumbling walls to rusty door handles. Try to shoot through a window or upwards where the roof used to be.
Look beyond the cliches. The photos on the postcard or guidebook cover and the ones to avoid, not the ones to replicate. If there are lots of visitors, avoid getting them in your photos by watching where they’re going and heading to the other end of the site. It can also be worth finding out if the monument in question is illuminated at night; if it’s not you could try some long exposures that include stars or possibly, in summer, the Milky Way.
4 Wait for an unexpected event
A legion of photographers have taken shots of Stonehenge at day and at night. Sure, there are literally 360º opportunities to take something different even from a distance, but they mostly end up looking very similar.
So wait for something genuinely different to happen in the sky above. That could be an eclipse of the Moon or the Sun, or it could be something not predicted by science at all, like the arrival of a comet. That happened for just a few weeks in July 2020, with savvy photographers heading to the old stones to get a shot of Comet F3 Neowise. For many it was a simple repeat of a shot they had mastered years before, but with the added bonus of a space rock hurtling through the sky above.
If the sky above is all-important when photographing monuments from afar, the weather is your friend. If there are clear blue skies a polariser will enhance them and also help reduce reflections. Clouds can often be exaggerated to seem like a bubbling storm. Sunrise is a great time to be at ancient monuments, not least for the possibility of rising mist, which can add an ethereal dimension to your inherently mysterious subject. It also maximises your chance of being there alone. Close to sunset you may spot crepuscular rays in the west.
5 Get off the beaten track
Head to Angkor Wat, the Colosseum, the Pyramids or Machu Picchu and you’ll have to constantly battle crowds, queues and restrictive opening times. That’s going to reduce your chances of taking original shots. The more popular they are the less likely they are to allow in tripods, while some ban photography altogether (or charge extra for photography permits). Better to head to lesser known, but equally as dramatic sites where you’ll have lots of time and the place to yourself.
Although most famous monuments have something lesser known and just as picturesque close by (such as Beng Mealea north of Angkor Wat, and Kuélap, Llactapacta and Choquequirao close to Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley), you can find UNESCO World Heritage Sites sprinkled throughout the world.
Jamie Carter is a journalist and author focusing on stargazing and astronomy, astrophotography, and travel for Forbes Science, BBC Sky At Night magazine, Sky & Telescope, Travel+Leisure, and The Telegraph.View all articles
Like any other business, your photography business requires good marketing and a strategy to help increase its revenue. Here are five simple ideas you can try out…
One of the most important lessons I learned early in my photography career was that to be a commercially-successful photographer, you cannot just be a good photographer. You need to view your photography as a business.
That means being proactive in promoting your work and marketing yourself to potential clients, which is even more critical these days when there is so much competition out there. To help your business grow, you need to start thinking like both a photographer and a marketing manager. These five ideas will help you get into that frame of mind.
1 Write a marketing plan
All photographers are guilty of the ‘scattergun’ marketing approach. This means the type of marketing strategy that involves the odd social media post, Google ad or a sporadic email to a client. Not many photographers take the time to think and plan their marketing strategy. But planning one presents a real opportunity.
Start by thinking about your photography business overall. Write down what you are hoping to achieve short term and long term. For example, ask yourself, are there any particular customers who you would like approach? Or do you want to start selling photography-related products like calendars and prints? Once you have an idea about your business goals, you can begin devising a marketing plan.
Create a marketing strategy for your photography business and set a range of goals on what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term.
Think of all the different marketing avenues that you can follow, such as social media, email and networking, and create a strategy for each one. It is not enough to think, “I’ll post a photo on Instagram”. You need to know why you are doing it and what you will be doing. For example, you might choose to use Instagram to showcase photos you want to sell as prints, whereas in an email to your client list, you might like to talk about a shoot you have recently finished. The important thing is to treat each marketing channel separately and create a bespoke plan for each one that ties into your overall strategy.
My Instagram profile showcases a curated selection of my images and highlights some of the clients I work with.
For a deeper dive into channel-specific social media marketing, check out the dedicated guides found on your Picfair Dashboard here.
One of the best ways to market your business is to continually keep your contacts and clients informed with news and updates about you and your work. For example, when you finish a new shoot, you could create an album on Picfair with your best images and send an email to your contacts and customers to tell them about it. A proactive approach like this could mean you end up with more sales than you were expecting!
Emails don’t need to be regular. You should make sure everything you send out adds value to your photography business. Make a list of ideas, upcoming shoots, or anything else that is relevant. Then make a note in your diary and who you want to email so that you are ready when the time comes to get in touch.
Popular holidays such as Halloween and Christmas are also a great reason to get in touch with your customers and showcase your themed images.
Send your customers themed holiday emails that showcase your work. Image buyers regularly purchase holiday-themed images. And a friendly email is an ideal way to remind your customers about your photography.
You may also find that emails tailored to particular clients or potential customers will be more successful than blanket emails and better appreciated by the recipient. This is another reason why it is essential to make a proper plan of who you are emailing and why.
Create a calendar for your emails so you can plan well in advance and make sure what you’re going to send out adds value each time.
Create a calendar for your emails so you can plan well in advance and make sure what you’re going to send out adds value.
3 Don’t neglect print marketing
If you are old enough, you may remember how great it felt when you received a postcard from a relative from their vacation. In today’s digital world, we have somewhat lost the practice of sending out physical correspondence. But you should not underestimate the power of sending out something related to your photography business in print. It will stand out much more than an email and help the recipient keep you in mind every time they see it.
Start by getting some quality, professional-looking business cards printed. Business cards will always be handy to have on you to give people that you meet. And if you’re on a shoot where you could encounter potential customers, like at an event, you’ll have something you can give them.
I often send my best clients and customers something in print, like a set of postcards, desk calendars, or even a small print of one of my photos. I almost always receive an email back with a thank you for the item. Just make sure you enclose your business card with what you’re sending out too!
You can also go further and create something even more significant in print! Here’s a personal magazine of my photography that I’ve made to send to my clients and potential customers.
4 Keep your contact information up to date
I often write travel articles for some of the UK’s biggest brands, and recently I was working on a project where I needed travel writers. It was astonishing how difficult it was to find contact information for some people, so I gave up. Those writers missed out on the project I was working on simply because I couldn’t find contact information for them. Keeping your contact information up to date is one of the quickest and easiest marketing fixes you can make. The best way to do this is to set yourself a reminder once a month, along with a checklist of places to review your contact information.
Keep a list of the places you have your contact information, and keep this up to date. Some of the places where you may keep your contact information may include your Picfair Store, external blog or website, social media profiles, email signatures and any organisations or trade bodies where you are a member.
As well as your necessary contact details, you may also want to update other relevant information related to your photography business. For example, you may have just won a photography competition, or learned a new type of skill (like aerial photography) or even moved location. Make sure your information tells people about it. Otherwise, you could potentially be missing out on work.
If you’ve recently up-skilled or added a new type of photography to your offering – make sure you add this to your contact information. Image by Gabriel Codarcea.
5 Engage with other photographers
One of the downsides of photography is that it can be a lonely profession or hobby, which was the case even before the pandemic. However, it’s essential to know that there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to connect with other photographers. Often in associations, camera clubs or even community groups based on the photography subjects you enjoy.
You may think, “How will that help my photography business?”. The answer is that you never know when someone might recommend you for work or know someone who requires your services. Expanding your photographer network will help you get your name out there and lead you to new customers.
At the very least, you should join some private groups on social media (like Facebook groups). These groups also allow you to interact and share ideas with likeminded individuals. Who might inspire you or give you some ideas on how you can improve your images.
Engaging with like-minded photographers will help you expand your network and could lead you to potential new opportunities. Image by Dan Martland.
If you want to make your photography business more profitable, then a well-planned and executed marketing strategy is necessary.
Remember, marketing your photography business is no different from any other business. And the sooner you get to work on your strategy, the sooner you’ll start seeing the benefits.
In 1907, Auguste and Louis Lumière presented autochrome—a revolutionary method for reproducing color in photographs. The world was stunned and enraptured. “Soon the world will be color-mad,” photographer Alfred Stieglitz wrote that July from Munich. “And Lumière will be responsible.”
We’ve come a long way in the last century, and we no longer need potato starch—the crucial ingredient in the autochrome process—to render color. But the power of color hasn’t faded over time; all these decades later, the world is still color-mad.
While you can find color theory in any painting classroom, it remains a somewhat overlooked field in the world of photography, so we’re devoting a three-part series of articles to examine colors and the relationships between them. This is just part one–an introduction to the color wheel–so keep an eye out for the rest in the coming months.
The Color Wheel
A color wheel is just a convenient way of visualizing the relationships between colors. The most common wheel used by painters is based on RYB color system–where red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors. Mix those colors, and you end up with secondary colors orange, green, and violet. Combining those results in one of six tertiary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, or red-violet.
Sometimes, however, photographers might use the RGB system–in which case, red, green, and blue are the primaries. Mixing these colors will create secondary colors yellow, cyan, and magenta. The RGB system also has six tertiary colors: orange, chartreuse green, spring green, azure, violet, or rose.
In this brief introduction, we’ll look at six easy ways photographers can use the color wheel and simple “color schemes” to strengthen their compositions. While photographers can certainly use the RGB system, we’ll rely on RYB for right now.
A monochromatic color scheme uses one of the twelve colors on the color wheel with different tints, shades, and tones. You create a tint by adding white to your base color, a shade by adding black, and a tone by adding gray. Photographers can use these schemes to create harmony throughout a composition.
Puchong Pannoi’s photograph of the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar has many layers, from temples to trees to a hot air balloon floating in the distance. While these elements could be distracting in the eyes of another photographer, Pannoi has brought them all together beautifully–with a little help from a monochromatic palette.
Monochromatic color schemes can often be bold. According to photography legend, Ansel Adams was once so displeased upon seeing one of William Eggleston’s most famous monochromatic photos that he remarked, “If you can’t make it good, make it red.” Fortunately, these days dramatic color is not only accepted but embraced–with stunning results. Take a cue from 500px Contributor Estislav Ploshtakov, and use it to make a strong impact.
For a complementary color palette, use two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. Complementary color schemes are well-suited for photography because they add contrast–resulting in pictures that “pop” off the page and screen. Here, Da Miane uses complementary colors green and red.
In this street photo from Singapore, Peter Stewart uses complementary colors blue and orange. No need for an overly complex composition–these colors catch our eye all on their own.
In this variation on a complementary color scheme, you’ll select your base color, and then instead of using the color directly opposite, you’ll use the two colors on either side of it.
In this colorful photo, Claudio de Sat photographs the blue sky against the architecture of East Berlin’s Plattenbauten buildings. He then incorporates hues closer to red-orange and yellow-orange on the color wheel. The result is a striking and harmonious photo with a little bit less of the dramatic tension we’re used to seeing in photos with complementary colors.
A tetradic color scheme, sometimes called double-complementary, features a total of four colors, including two sets of complementary colors. Of the basic color schemes we’ll cover here, this one might be the trickiest to pull off–if only for the fact that it incorporates four colors.
This photo by Alena Haurylik does it brilliantly. By using two complementary pairs (orange-blue, green-red) in moderation, it succeeds in being both eye-catching and sophisticated.
Analogous color schemes incorporate three colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel. Wildlife photographer Jonne Seijdel encountered this dazzling Rwenzori three-horned chameleon while traveling through the Rwenzori mountains in Uganda. In this photo, he was able to include side-by-side colors for a pleasing and dynamic result. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given this example, analogous colors are often found in nature.
When using analogous colors, photographers usually choose one dominant color and then use the others in a supporting role. Designers use what they call the “60-30-10 rule”–meaning that the main color (usually primary or secondary) takes up 60% of the space, while a supporting color (secondary or tertiary) takes up 30%, and the final color takes up just 10%.
This photograph by Jovana Rikalo, appropriately titled Orange Dream, features mainly the color orange, with red and yellow accents.
A triadic color scheme comprises any three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. Like complementary colors, these schemes are vibrant and full of contrast. In the majority of situations, these will be the three primary or secondary colors. 500px Contributor Sabrina Hb’s portrait of a woman and fruit in Colombia might be called Yellow, but those touches of blue and red on the woman’s dress complete the photo–giving it that extra “oomph” and vitality.
Designers generally recommend sticking to the three primary or three secondary colors for that “clean” look. Use too many tertiary colors, and you run the risk of a photo that looks muddy. This landscape by Gunar Streu is another perfect example of color done right because it uses the three secondary colors of the RYB color system: orange, violet, and green.
While color theory might be easiest to implement in the studio, these talented photographers remind us that photographers of any genre, from street to wildlife to architecture, can use it to their advantage. Color is a photographer’s playground. Experiment with different schemes, and see what works best for you. We’ll see you again in part two of this three-part series on color theory.
While color theory might be easiest to implement in the studio, these talented photographers remind us that photographers of any genre, from street to wildlife to architecture, can use it to their advantage. Color is a photographer’s playground. Experiment with different schemes, and see what works best for you.
Stay tuned for part two of this three-part series on color theory.
In his view, landscape paintings worked best not when sky and land were given equal weight, but when one or the other took up an entire two-thirds of the canvas. Contrary to popular wisdom, which favored the “formal half” or a one-to-one ratio, he wondered if the most appealing compositions, in fact, featured a different ratio altogether: one-to-two.
In 1797, the engraver and painter John Thomas Smith, who worked as the keeper of prints at the British Museum, came up with a revolutionary theory.
Smith’s theory predates the invention of the camera by about twenty years, but these days, we know it as one of the guiding principles of photography. Now, when we discuss composition, we still use the same term Smith coined all those years ago: the rule of thirds.
Once you understand this common photographic technique, you can learn to position your subject in any image so that the photo is both visually balanced and interesting to your viewers. In this article, we’ll explore the rule of thirds and how you can use it to your advantage.
What is the rule of thirds?
The rule of thirds is one of the easiest ways to experiment with your composition; it is simply a matter of placing the elements in your image so that each of them carries the proper amount of visual weight.
Imagine you are looking at a tic-tac-toe board. Notice how the lines on that board create three distinct horizontal sections and three distinct vertical sections. There are also four points where the lines intersect. According to the rule of thirds, placing your subject along a line or point on this grid will create a more dynamic composition.
You have the option to view a rule of thirds grid as an overlay in your DSLR viewfinder, and you can even look for a grid option in the camera settings on your phone. This can be helpful when you’re practicing the rule of thirds, but be wary of using it too much as it may interfere with your ability to visualize other compositions while you shoot. The best way to master the rule of thirds is to practice visualizing it in your mind.
How to use the rule of thirds
New photographers tend to put their subjects in the very center of the frame. While this can result in a strong composition under the right circumstances, it can also create static images that lack interest.
This is partly due to the way our eyes view a scene: they naturally try to follow the lines and points on the grid, even when the grid is not visible. It’s also due to another compositional element: balanced asymmetry. Usually, your subject will already carry the greatest impact out of all the elements in your image, so it wields a lot of visual weight. By positioning the subject so that it takes up approximately one-third of the image, you’re leaving enough negative space to balance that weight.
In landscapes Try aligning your horizon line with one of the two horizontal lines on the grid. This keeps your viewer’s eye from getting stuck going side to side. If the sky is distractingly bright, this is an easy way to balance that punch of brightness with the more muted detail in the land portion of your image.
In portraiture The eyes are usually the focus of a portrait, so try to line up your model’s eyes along the grid to give them high visual exposure. For group portraits, use stools, steps, or natural height strategically to utilize different areas of the grid.
Some things to consider
The rule of thirds is a great “cheat sheet” for getting dynamic compositions out of almost any scene. However, it’s not always the best choice for every photo. If you’re shooting in one of the following circumstances, the rule of thirds might not be right for your image.
You want something to have a larger-than-life effect Platon is famous for his in-your-face portraits of celebrities and world leaders. You really get a sense of who they are, and for that kind of impact, the subject is the only thing that matters. Although some of his other work does use the rule of thirds, these pieces would only be hindered by it.
If you already use the rule of thirds too frequently This rule is meant to stimulate creativity, not inhibit it. If you’ve come to rely heavily on the rule of thirds and notice that a lot of your work is looking eerily similar, it may be time to try something new.
You’re battling lens distortion If you’re using a wide-angle lens, placing your subject in one of the outer thirds could cause them to appear too distorted. If that’s not the effect you are going for, switch lenses or switch photography rules.
The rule of thirds in post-processing
Sometimes we want a rule of thirds composition, but due to shooting circumstances, it’s not easy or possible on-location. If you’re shooting macro photography of insects, for example, you’re already using a lot of mental energy just to get the right point of focus before your subject moves on. In a situation like that, it can help to shoot just a little wider than you think you need. That leaves you room to crop for the rule of thirds in post-processing.
If you plan to do this, check your camera settings before you shoot. Be sure you are shooting in RAW and give yourself a nice, high-resolution file to work with so that you aren’t cropping away all of your image quality. Keep a copy of the original image in your backups in case you need to go back to the drawing board.
If you simply want to enhance the rule of thirds effect, you can use an adjustment layer mask (or in Lightroom, an adjustment brush) to draw attention to elements that line up with the grid. You can add a little pop of saturation, enhance the brightness, or do some selective sharpening to draw attention to those areas.
Practice is all it takes to master this rule completely. Try setting up a dedicated shoot for this technique and see how many different compositions you can think of. When you walk around without your camera, try visualizing compositions from the things you see around you that follow the rule of thirds. You can also gain a lot of inspiration from finding examples of images that use the rule of thirds to analyze.
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Photographers like to talk about golden hour photography and the beautiful, glowy light they find right before sunset or after sunrise. Golden hour is amazing. But for my money, you can’t beat blue hour photography for some peaceful, serene images. Don’t be so hasty packing up your gear after the sun has set. Stay a little while to enjoy the blue hour!
Exactly what is blue hour photography and how do you shoot it? Follow along below for our beginner’s guide on when, what and how to shoot to take advantage of this really cool period of day!
What is Blue Hour?
Blue hour is the period of morning or night when the sun is below the horizon but still casting light into the sky. The result is a beautiful, cool sky that makes a stunning backdrop for your photography. Blue hour skies are crisp, cool and full of gauzy shades from indigo to navy with hints of red and pink.
When is Blue Hour?
The general rule of thumb for blue hour is up to one hour after sunset or one hour before sunrise. Your blue hour might not last a full hour, though. Sometimes we only get 20-40 minutes of photography of beautiful blue before the skies turn completely black at night or the sun clears the horizon in the morning.
How long the blue hour lasts and what it looks like depends on your location, season, and the weather. The best blue hours, in my opinion, occur on nights with few clouds.
Why Should You Shoot Blue Hour?
Shooting during blue hour has several advantages. First, blue hour can add more visual interest to your images. The blue hue of the sky is a more appealing backdrop than a completely black sky, and is a great contrast to electric lights.
Also, blue hour photography helps add creativity to your photo by allowing you to convey motion. Because there is less ambient light, you can use a lower shutter speed like 1/60, 1/10, 5, or even 30 seconds. A slow shutter speed lets you convey motion by smoothing out water, creating light trails, or blurring clouds. Also, you aren’t fighting mid-day or late evening sun. So blue hour gives you more flexibility when it comes to adjusting shutter speed, aperture, and ISO in dim light.
What to Photograph During Blue Hour Photography
Blue hour is a popular time to photograph lots of different types of images, from portraits to carnivals. Try shooting any of these images as blue hour photography subjects:
Travel images like busy, winding roads or freeways
Landscapes like beaches, bridges, wharves, or marinas
To capture your own blue hour photo, make sure you’re ready with the following gear:
DSLR or mirrorless camera that shoots in manual mode and RAW. Your camera should also be capable of shooting in bulb mode to create long exposures.
Lenses that matches your intended composition. A wide-angle lens, such as an 18mm or 24mm, is a great choice for cityscapes and landscapes.
Tripod (to stabilize your camera)
Flashlight (to adjust settings in the dark)
Stopwatch or intervalometer (for a time-lapse photo)
Remote shutter release (cable or wireless)
Extra batteries and warm clothes if you’re shooting in cold temperatures
How to Capture the Blue Hour
Blue hour photography isn’t a hard concept to master, but it does take some planning and forethought to get it right. Here are my best tips!
Plan your blue hour photography shoot ahead of time. Scout out possible locations in the day and know when blue hour will occur for your location. An app such as PhotoTime or Photopills can help! Look for locations that have artificial light for interest but aren’t overwhelmed with light pollution. Too much light in the background dilutes your skies. You’ll get a sky that’s orange or pink instead of that tranquil deep, dark blue.
Pack your gear ahead of time. Make sure you have everything you need for a blue hour shoot before you leave the house. You don’t want to find the perfect location and have beautiful weather only to realize you’ve left your tripod at home.
Arrive early to set up your equipment. Allow plenty of time to set up your tripod, frame your shot, and dial in focus and settings. I always plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to sunset or 90 minutes before sunrise. The best blue hues can fade quickly, so you want to be ready to make the most of your opportunity.
Choose your settings based on your goals for the photo. Slower shutter speeds help create light trails or smooth out water or clouds. Wider apertures such as f/2.8 or f/1.8 can create beautiful bokeh orbs. Narrower apertures turn points of light into sun stars. Prioritize your settings based on what’s most important in your image.
Be patient! Don’t get in a hurry to start snapping pictures too early! You want to wait for the moment when the sun has sunk below the horizon at night. For morning blue hour, you’ll want to wait for the moment when the light turns from black to dark blue.
If light trails or buttery water/clouds are your goals, shoot in shutter priority mode. That way the camera will choose ISO and aperture for you, allowing you to focus solely on shutter speed, composition, and timing.
Turn off auto white balance. The camera gets fooled by the blues and tries to neutralize them, which kind of defeats the point of shooting gorgeous blue skies! I prefer to use Kelvin instead. Start in the 6500K range and adjust as needed.
Use a shutter release cable or remote to fire the shutter. This will make sure you aren’t jiggling the camera and creating blur in your images when you manually press the trigger. If you don’t have a remote or cable, you can also use the timer function of your camera. This lets the camera settle first before firing.
If you’re still getting blur even if using a tripod and remote, try shooting in live view or locking up your mirror. Occasionally the minor act of your mirror flipping up to expose your sensor is enough to introduce blur into your image. But if you shoot in live view or adjust your setting to lock the mirror in the up position, the mirror stays in place and helps eliminate shake.
Remember your other composition rules! Use the rule-of-thirds where appropriate. Look for leading lines to accentuate your subject. Shoot from different angles and perspectives.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Try different combinations of settings to give your images a slightly different look and find what YOU like best. For example, I usually keep my ISO between 200 and 400. But you might find you really prefer the added grain of ISO 1000 better. Take multiple exposures with different settings and pick your favorites. Soon you’ll find your perfect blue hour setting combo!
Post-Processing and Editing Blue Hour Images
How you process your images will vary according to your personal style. I always shoot in RAW so I have the most flexibility in post-production. My style is bold and colorful, so I usually add some vibrance, saturation, and contrast to my images from the hour blue. Split toning helps enhance the color of the sky while keeping natural skin tones. Split toning also ensures you don’t wind up with all blue photos…remember it’s the contrast between blue and the other colors in the scene that add visual interest. Finally, adjusting the luminosity may give your photo the pop it needs! Try editing in your typical style first, then tweaking your blue hour images to find a style you best!
Don’t be such a slave to the golden hour that you miss photographing in the blue hour. It really can be every bit as magical as golden hour and lends a certain tranquil and calm spirit to your photo. You’ll love the tones and ethereal quality for landscapes, cityscapes and more!
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