8 new year resolutions to make you a better photographer

The Photographer by Paul Bate

A new year is always a great time to kick your photography plans into gear. If you haven’t done so already, here are 8 new year resolutions to consider

1 Take more photos

Help a shark! Photo by Jessica Sjödin – f/7.1 | ISO 200 | 1/400s

My number one advice for anyone wanting to improve their photography is to simply take more photos. It’s like anything, the more you practice something the better you will become. So whether you are a landscape photographer, travel photographer, wildlife photographer or even if you enjoy taking portraits, try to set time aside regularly to just focus on your photography. Or if you find it difficult to do so when you are home because of everyday life, why not book to go away for a few days to just concentrate on photography? You’ll be amazed at how much your work improves over time by simply taking more photos.

2 Do something with your photos

Paris photo book flat-lay. Photo by Ben Locks

There is no doubt that the positives of digital photography (as opposed to film photography) far outweigh the negatives (excuse the pun). However, I think one of the big negatives of digital photography, is that for many photographers, their photos just end up sitting on their hard drives forever.

So, this year, why not plan to do “something” with your photos? You can of course look to sell them through Picfair. Or you can just get into the habit of posting regularly on social media. For those who have a bit more time on their hands, you can even create a photo book of your best photos. Not only do these kinds of things help promote you and your work, but it’s also great to just have your work out there rather than on a hard drive.

Learn something new

Professional photoshoot outdoors. Photo by Imagerisium – f/7.1 | ISO 100 | 1/160s

Photography is like any other hobby or profession, in that there are always elements that you can improve at. At the start of each year, I set myself a goal of learning something new that is related to my profession or business. For example, a few years ago I purchased a drone and learned how to use that for aerial photography. Another year, I taught myself all about SEO. Last year I learned how to create reels for social media.

Learning something new can be incredibly rewarding not to mention help improve your photography. For example, you may be someone who has never used a flash but want to or you may struggle with photographing in low light conditions. Or maybe you are not hugely confident in using editing software. So think about what you would like to learn and spend the next 12 months working toward learning or improving whatever that may be.

Set yourself a goal

Hauklandstranda. Photo by Lukáš Veselý

As well as learning a new skill, another great New Year resolution is to set yourself a professional goal. In other words, something that you would like to achieve. This could be anything from shooting something you have always wanted to shoot, or for example, this might be an event, a place or even a type of photo that you have always wanted to capture.

Or your goal could be more business-driven like having a photo published in a magazine or newspaper. You could even set yourself a goal of winning a photography competition and spend time actually trying to capture photos that are going to have the best chance of winning. It’s OK if you don’t achieve your goal. This is about giving you something to focus on.

Look through your old photos

Working with digital photography. Photo by Ikostudio – f/4 | ISO 400 | 1/30s

I’m sure like me, there have been times when you have looked through your old catalog of photos and found a few great photos that you missed when you were editing. In fact, there have been so many times when I have found photos from past shoots that have gone on to sell very well. So, if you have time, it is always worth having a look through your old collection of photos and possibly even re-editing some photos to see if you can find some hidden gems that you missed.

Remember that photos that are sitting on your hard drive will never sell. But if they are in your Picfair Store or out in the world, they might. You never know.


Learn how we can increase your sales, develop your brand, and generate interest in your site.

Join a local camera club

Photowalk. Photo by Oliver Pearce – f/5.6 | ISO 320 | 1/500s

Photography can be a lonely hobby or profession most of the time. You generally work by yourself and may not get the opportunity to bounce ideas off other people. Joining a local camera club is a great way to improve your photography by sharing your photos and getting feedback from fellow photographers. Camera clubs often also put on competitions which are again great for focusing you on something specific.

And there are of course often talks by professional photographers which can be very helpful in giving you tips and advice on a whole range of different topics.

Work on a personal project

The photo project. Photo by Jason Kessenich – f/5 | ISO 1600 | 1/13s

 think that even if you are a seasoned pro, it is always very useful to have a personal project on the go that you can work on. This can be a great way to escape the everyday mundane aspects of being a photographer and allow you to do something that you love or are passionate about. Or it could just be a photography technique that you want to experiment with like light painting or macro photography.

Try to think of a project that you are so passionate about that it won’t feel like work. But rather something that you can spend months working on without any hesitation.

Update/refresh your website

Retro workspace. Photo by Showitbetter – f/3.5 | ISO 800 | 1/200s

All of us photographers (me included) are guilty of neglecting our websites. It’s just one of those tasks that often fall at the bottom of the list. But your website is incredibly important as it showcases you to the world. So set aside a day or two to go through and update your website accordingly.

Make sure that you have added any new work that you have done or had published. Shout about your achievements, update your contact details, and most important of all, make sure that your website is optimized so that it doesn’t take ages to load. Trust me, as someone who regularly commissions photographers, nothing is more frustrating for an editor than having to wait for each page or image to load.

You may of course have your own new year’s resolutions, but the above will not only make you a better photographer but might also make you a more successful one too.

  • AuthorKav Dadfar

Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world. View all articles

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Gentilly Festival 2022

Gentilly….New Orleans

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.

Magnificent Backdrop

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.


Nomatic

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?



Photographic Art

“I AM” constantly looking for the shot within the shot. When you find them they can sometimes turn into some amazing ART!


Get Seasons | Desktop by Rebecca Stice as Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets
Professional Dancer In The Making

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.


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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.



Do What YOU Do ……& Love IT

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.

HEALTH-WEALTH & LOVE!



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Indian cycle rickshaw driver sleeps on his bicycle by Dmitry Rukhlenko

Best street photography destinations in the world

  • AuthorKav Dadfar
  • Reading Time4-5 mins

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)

Market in Morocco. Photo by Irene – f/3.5 | ISO 320 | 1/25s

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)

DELHI, INDIA – SEPTEMBER 11, 2011: Indian cycle rickshaw driver sleeping on his bicycle in the street of New Delhi, India. Cycle rickshaws were used in Kolkata starting about 1930 and are now common in rural and urban areas of India.

3 Bangkok (Thailand)

Old guy from Thailand. Photo by Ykä Kiukkonen – f/1.4 | ISO 3200 | 1/125s

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)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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)

Trastevere street shadows. Photo by Richard Kendrick

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)

Colourful street view in Manhattan. Photo by Perry van Munster – f/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/125s

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)

Boca Juniors tattoo. Photo by Danny Last – f/1.8 | ISO 20 | 1/800s

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)

Black and white on Brick Lane. Photo by Don Ferguson – f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/210s

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)

Istanbul lovers. Photo by Wangting – f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/1250s

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)

Street life in Havana. Photo by Mark Allison – f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/100s

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!

Author notes:

There are so many other great street photography locations that I could have included in this list. For example, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and even places like Tehran, Tokyo and Beijing could easily be on the list. But then that’s what is great about street photography. Every street in the world has the potential for great street photos.

Author
Kav Dadfar

Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world.
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Brazil’s first digital nomad village opens this month, here’s why you should go

Brazil is the first country in South America to offer a visa for digital nomad, and the first to create a digital nomad village.   –   Copyright  Canva

By Giulia Carbonaro  •  Updated: 13/11/2022

After living in lockdown for the best part of two years, the idea of packing a bag and moving to the other side of the world is very tempting – especially as the cost of living crisis bites.

If you’re able to work from anywhere in the world, you should consider doing so from sunny Brazil: the country has a thriving digital nomad community and plenty of things to see and do when you’re not working.

“Think of anything and you’ll find it in Brazil”, says Rafael Luisi, Assessor of Embratur’s Presidency, the Brazilian Tourism Board.

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“If you talk about culture, we have it. We have the best gastronomy, and it’s very different from the south to the north. If you talk about ecotourism and nature, we have that too. When you think about Brazil, you think about sun and beach tourism. It’s much more than that.”

How can I become a digital nomad in Brazil?

The country’s digital nomad visa is called Temporary Visa VITEM XIV, and people can apply for it at any Brazilian consulate.

The visa costs €97 ($100 USD) on average, though it can vary, and lasts for one year, but can be extended for a second. During that time, you can leave the country and come back.

Among the most important requirements is proof of employment or a relationship with a company based outside of Brazil and a minimum income of €1,455 ($1,500 USD) per month, or a bank balance of €17,460 ($18,000 USD).

Is it expensive to live in Brazil?

Brazil isn’t the cheapest country in the world, or in South America. But the cost of living in Brazil is much lower than in European countries.

According to the website Expatistan, food is 101 per cent more expensive in France than in Brazil, while housing is 131 per cent more expensive and transportation 41 per cent more costly. Overall, the cost of living is 67 per cent more expensive in France than in Brazil.

In Germany, the cost of living is 74 per cent more expensive. While in Italy, it’s 46 per cent more expensive. In the UK, it’s 99 per cent more expensive.

When should I move to Brazil?

Between November and March, during the Brazilian summer, is usually the best time to go, though it’s also the time when most tourists travel to the country.

The weather is usually sunny and warm, perfect for hitting the beach after work. And in case you want to catch the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival, you can do so in February.

During the Brazilian winter, temperatures are still quite warm compared to European standards, at an average of about 18 degrees Celsius.

Where should I stay in Brazil?

Brazil is a massive country, double the size of Europe. Every area is different, so deciding where to go might depend on your specific tastes and interests. But these four things are important to every digital nomad: cost of living, fast Wi-Fi, community, and nightlife.

For all these things, these are the best places to move to.

Pipa

The first digital nomad village in South America is going to be built in Brazil, in the small northeastern beach town of Pipa.

The village will be created by the Lisbon-based start-up NomadX, who have named the project ‘Nomad Village Brazil’. The village will offer a range of accommodation options and facilities for digital nomads (including a swimming pool), and will open this November, with an initial run until 30 April 2023.

“You have the beach just in front of you, with the water temperature at 24 degrees Celsius”, says Luisi, adding that the village is in a great location for visiting other states in Brazil.

Florianopolis

White sandy beaches, dramatic-looking mountains, and a buzzing nightlife: Florianopolis, an island in the south of Brazil, has everything a digital nomad could dream of.


Florianopolis has one of the most thriving digital nomads communities in the entire country.
Canva

This is probably why the city, considered a paradise on earth, is a favourite destination for digital nomads in Brazil. There’s a thriving digital nomad community here, and plenty of co-working spaces to meet like-minded people.

Jericoacoara

The small fishing village of Jericoacora, or Jeri, has grown in recent years, becoming a magnet for digital nomads looking to work while surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of this secluded beach town.

Encircled by stunning white sand dunes and crystal clear blue waters, Jeri is located in the middle of a preservation zone and it’s known to be a haven for kite and windsurfers

The small town of Jericoacoara is for those digital nomads looking to relax by the beach.Canva

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is a big city, but not as busyas Rio or Brasilia.

Living here would be less of a tropical dream and more of the perfect balance between work and fun, rest and productivity.

The city has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bar hopping and networking opportunities. On the negative side, working from a cafe isn’t really something people in Belo Horizonte do, so you might struggle to find a place to work outside of your apartment.

Brasilia

The charm of Brazil’s capital is often overlooked, but the city has a lot to offer. Brasilia’s construction was heavily influenced by the writing of Dom Bosco, an Italian monk who dreamed of a utopian capital city in the ‘New World’. Shaped like an aeroplane, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to many impressive buildings, parks and unique architecture.

Brasilia’s Congresso Nacional is considered one of the most iconic building in the capital. Canva

The city is very safe and every embassy is based here, so if you only speak English, you’ll be just fine.

Rio de Janeiro

Once in Brazil, Rio is a must-visit. The city is just so representative of Brazil, and it’s the first place people think of when they imagine Brazil.

The traditional carnival parade in Rio takes place every year in February. Bruna Prado/AP

If you need to build up your confidence to move deeper into the more secluded spots in Brazil, Rio, with its several co-working spaces, cafes and the international community, is a great place to start.

São Paulo

If you want to be at the centre of life in Brazil, go no further than São Paulo.

The metropolis is the country’s economic powerhouse, and you’ll find plenty of start-ups, multinational companies and digital nomads

The Catedral de Se de São Paulo is one of the most majestic churches in the city. Canva

With so much to do, it’s almost impossible to be bored here, plus São Paulo probably has the fastest internet in the entire country.


BRAZIL
REMOTE WORKINGBEACHTRAVELDIGITAL NOMAD

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Gospel Brunch…Ground Zero…Biloxi MS

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.

Watch for upcoming opportunities to support Brest Cancer Awareness and Research During the month of October. Ground Zero’s integration into the Biloxi community is having a phenomenally positive impact!



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Urban Stroll…

Houston TX…..H Town

sometimes you just look up and you just SEE things….

In my beginning attempts to enjoy this particular niche within the scope of “urban architectural street photography”(my terminology), I quickly realized that you must keep your head on a swivel.

Keep an EYE out for perspectives that just jump out at you. They are everywhere, left, right, UP, and down. By the way; when they jump out at you, please UNDERSTAND, it came from “with-in.”

This caught MY eye. The foliage seems to envelop the buildings in the background. Not only creating a natural frame but, also adding to the feeling of depth.

I absolutely Love the color contrast in this shot. Looks like October to me, this was actually taken on Christmas Eve 2021.

reflections everywhere….

I shoot around water often, and the reflections always suck me in. Be careful, they will get you too!

i call this “symmetrical lines”

I have always been taught to use and follow lines. Which ones should I follow?

sometimes i just get real crazy….for some reason i like it this way….

When I returned to the hotel, downloaded, and began to sort, I realized immediately that CONTRAST identified with my Spirit. Light, Color, and Geometrical contrast is what made this shoot unique to me.

When I continued to sort through, I realized that the sky was very flat. Actually, this is one of the first things I noticed when I began my stroll. I remember thinking, that “I will just add clouds during post-processing” Which is simple enough to do.

So I added clouds to a few shots and realized that “I” liked the contrast between the structures and a blue sky. The results speak for themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll downtown ” H Town”. When you get to a place in life where you truly enjoy what you do; it truly brings your Being (YOU) to “Heaven On Earth”. I am truly GRATEFUL!

Health Wealth & Love! Lump

All photos were taken with Nikon Z6 (first generation mirrorless), coupled with a Tamron 24-70; F2.8)

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10 tools to improve composition in your photography.

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SmugMugFollowingSep 9, 2020 · 5 min read

Have you ever taken a photo, certain this one will be a masterpiece, only to find your final shot doesn’t convey the power, emotion, or story you hoped it would? There are lots of factors that contribute to a photo’s impact, but one of the biggest is photo composition.
What is photo composition?
Composition in photography is defined as the visual arrangement of elements in your photo. Believe it or not, there are better and worse ways to compose a photograph based on how we see and interpret color, light, and shape.
Let’s consider your photo from the introduction: Each element to create your masterpiece may be in the frame but, for some reason, the finished photo doesn’t have the impact you wanted it to. It could be that certain objects within the frame are distracting your eye from the main subject. Or maybe a misplaced line is leading your eye away from the focal point of your photo. Perhaps a particularly dark or bright feature in your photo is overwhelming the rest of your image.

Photo composition takes all these factors into account. By learning a few simple rules of composition, you can make sure your next shot is a masterpiece.

Before we get to the tools, though, let’s clear up one point of common confusion: photo composition versus composite photography. Composite photography is taking multiple images and layering them into one. Photo composition is how you capture or arrange elements within a single shot. Composition plays a big role in composite photography, too, but we don’t want to get too in the weeds here. On to the tools!

Composition in photography is defined as the visual arrangement of elements in your photo. Believe it or not, there are better and worse ways to compose a photograph based on how we see and interpret color, light, and shape.

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10 tools for better photography composition.

  • The rule of thirds: How you line up your subject in the frame plays a huge role in how visually interesting your photo is. One of the most common rules in composition is known as the rule of thirds. Imagine a grid that divides your photo into nine equal sections. Using the rule of thirds, your focal point should be placed around one of the four spots where these lines intersect, or along one of the horizontal or vertical lines. This helps you establish a balanced image that’s pleasing to the eye. Many cameras have the ability to display a grid while shooting, which should help you keep the rule of thirds in mind.
  • Negative space: Negative space is the space in your photo that isn’t occupied by your subject. Depending on what you’re shooting, you may want to fill the frame and leave as little negative space as possible (keeping the rule of thirds in mind!), or use lots of negative space to your advantage to simplify your photo and focus on your subject. Pay attention to colors and brightness with this technique: contrasting colors and light levels will emphasize your subject far better than similar tones.
  • Frames: While the edges of your photo naturally frame your subject, you can add some extra impact by including more structure and visual interest in your framing. For example, when photographing architecture, look for pillars, archways, posts, or other elements that you can use to frame your subject. When taking landscape or wildlife photos, trees, branches, and other plants can serve the same purpose, putting your viewer into the shot and adding an element of mystery or exploration.
  • Lines: Lines in photo composition are used to guide the eye of your viewer, drawing the eye to a focal point. Lines can also contribute to the feeling your image evokes. Horizontal lines can convey stability, like the horizon in a landscape. Diagonal lines often convey motion or distance, especially when they converge (think of a road going off to the horizon). Vertical lines are excellent for imbuing your image with height, structure, and grandeur (trees, architecture, etc.). When shooting, note the relation of your frame and your lines, and try to be intentional about the way you use these lines to your advantage. Does that powerline lead the eye away from your subject? Is that road cutting across your frame where it shouldn’t be? Maybe find another vantage point to eliminate unwanted lines.
  • Focus: This one is simple: It’s important not to have too much distraction from your main subject. While your photo may have more than one focal point (or a broad focal range), if there’s too much going on the viewer may feel lost. Make sure your focal point is clear and uncluttered.
  • Juxtaposition: This composition technique uses two elements that contrast each other, often to draw a comparison between the two. Sharp and soft, happy and sad, tall and short, light and dark, near and far — the options are endless and can make for a much more interesting photo than either subject on its own.
  • Symmetry: There are times when the rule of thirds isn’t your best option. When the subject has exciting details that are symmetrical, you can place your subject in the center of your frame to excellent effect. For example, an ornate staircase, a path through the woods, or a reflection on a still body of water can make a great subject if you want to play around with symmetry.
  • The rule of space: When your subject is traveling or facing a certain direction, give it some room to breathe! The rule of space refers to the amount of space in your frame given to the direction that your subject is traveling or facing. For example, if you’re photographing a car driving from left to right, you may want to have more space on the right side of your photo than the left to keep your image from feeling cut off.
  • Patterns: Repeating or otherwise visually appealing patterns can make for a beautiful photo. Pay attention to the lines, symmetry, and directions when composing your photo and make sure the pattern highlights or points to your subject.
  • Odd numbers: When you’re composing a photo, it’s more visually appealing to have an odd number of elements than an even number. The theory behind this is with an even number of elements, the viewer has trouble choosing what to focus on. This same rule is often used in decorating.

While all these tools may seem daunting if you’re first starting out, once you begin to practice them they’ll start to become second nature. Keep these in mind when shooting, and watch your photography skills grow — then experiment! Once you have a handle on photo composition, intentionally breaking a rule or two can give your photos even more impact.

What do you do to improve the composition of your photos? Leave a comment below or share with us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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5 marketing ideas for your photography business

ByKav Dadfar

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.


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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.

Man playing with drone on the open field

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.

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.

Next steps


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.

Kav Dadfar

Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world

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How to Become a Travel Photographer – the Blueprint

BY VIKTOR ELIZAROV

If you want to learn how to become a travel photographer, you in the right place.

It was a beautiful day in Montreal. I was on a regular afternoon jog listening to a popular photography podcast. The topic of the episode was travel photography. The guests of the show were two professional photographers with the years of experience.

At the end of the podcast during the listeners’ question and answer session, the first question immediately grabbed my attention. Why? Because I’ve been asked the same, or nearly identical, question many times before.

So what’s the question?

“I want to start traveling more specifically for photography, but I do not know where to start. Do you have any idea where I should go or how to plan my trip? Should I edit photos while I am there or should I wait until I return home? What cameras, lenses and other equipment do I take? Help! I am suffering from analysis paralysis“.
Ok, so perhaps the question has multiple parts but it still rang true to my experience. I was curious to hear the answers because I knew it was a loaded question and definitely not an easy one.

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The photographers’ answers surprised me.

Here are some of them:

“South Asia is a good place to go.”“Do not go to Bangkok.”“If you do not know, choose a place randomly.”“Europe, maybe.”
Instead of addressing the complex subject of travel photography, the photographers only concentrated on a single aspect: the location. Their answers disappointed me because I do not consider the location to be an essential part of travel photography. You do not need to travel to a remote and exotic destination to enjoy travel photography.

A simple 4-step process on how to become a travel photographer

I decided to put together a blueprint or guide to help people who want to get involved in travel photography but do not know where to start. I used a similar approach when I first started and it has proven successful over the years.

First and foremost, please do not start your travel photography journey with a trip to South Asia. It will be a waste of time and money, not to mention it will be full of disappointments.

Start smaller and grow from there.

Northern California. Morro Bay.


Step 1: Testing Ground

Find a local park in your neighborhood, preferably within walking distance or a short drive. Make this your testing ground for your equipment and photography routines.

Any urban park has all the essential elements of travel photography: landscapes, cityscapes, people, etc….

Plan your visits during different times of the day. Learn how to deal with the harsh midday light, overcast, rain, sunsets and sunrises. In doing so, you will figure out what minimum equipment you need to cover different scenarios of travel photography.

For example, I realized pretty early that a minimalistic approach to photography suits me the best and all I need is a camera with a walk around lens. For years, I used a combination of a Canon 60D + Sigma 17-70mm and now I have a similar setup of a Sony a6000 + Sony 16-70mm.

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I am lucky enough to have a beautiful park in only short walking distance from where I live. Even now, when I have a new piece of equipment, I always test it there. When I switched from a Canon to a Sony, it was a steep learning curve and the local park was the ideal place for learning and testing my new equipment.

Now that it is winter, I ordered new photo gloves and, when I receive them, I will go to the park for a few hours to see if I like them or not.

Park Rene Levesque in Montreal is my testing ground


Step 2: Mini Simulation

The next step is to go on a day-long trip at a location within a 1-2-hour driving range. In my case, I know all the national and provincial parks around Montreal and most of them make perfect destinations for short photo trips.

This trip will take you away from the comfort of your home for the entire day and will allow you to start micro planning and testing your skills.

Make sure you plan in advance what spot to visit at sunset or sunrise. It is not always easy to do both during a short trip, so choose only one and make sure you visit the best spot. Use Google search, Google maps, and 500px to pinpoint the perfect location for your sunrise or sunset shoot.

Also, you have to decide how many camera batteries to bring with you, if you need spare memory cards, and so on. If your trip involves challenging hiking, it also might be a good idea to leave the tripod at home.

These trips are designed for photographers to make mistakes and to learn from them. With every new trip, you will learn more about planning, your equipment, and your habits.

When you comfortable with the short trips, it is time to graduate to multi-day trips.

Mont-Saint-Bruno national park is only 30km from Montreal


Step 3: Multi-Day Driving Trips

This is how real travel photography started for me.

Montreal is located within a 5-7 hour driving distance from New York, Boston and Toronto with Niagara Falls. My trips dedicated exclusively to photography started with 2-3 day driving trips to those destinations.

Multi-days trips require much more planning where you should always do your research first and then plan all your sunrises, sunsets and everything in between.

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Another new challenge you have to face on these trips is to figure out how to deal with editing and backups.

I am not giving you a specific scenario to follow because, based on my experience, travel routines are always changing and evolving.

For example, in the beginning, I always did some basic edits of my new photos by the end of every day of the trip. Now, I only concentrate on my shooting and I start the editing process when I am back at home. But, I always have the option to edit photos simply by connecting my tablet to camera using Wi-Fi, grabbing a few photos, editing them with Snapseed and posting them to social media.

At the same time, my backup routine has not changed a lot. By the end of the day, I backup all new photos to two external hard drives and always make sure to keep them in two separate places. I have one with me at all times in my bag and the second I keep in the safe in the hotel or in the trunk of my car.

Also, I do not rush to format my memory cards. I keep photos on the cards until I run out of space on all four of them and only then do I start formatting.

The beauty of driving trips is that you do not have to be too selective about the equipment you bring with you. You can load your trunk with everything you own and later figure out what pieces are essential for your style of photography.

New York. Taken from Staten Island Ferry.

Step 4: Hacking Family Vacation

The next step is to hack your family vacation.

You have to be careful with this one so as to ensure you do not agitate your loved ones or ruin the vacation for them.

A family trip can serve as the perfect opportunity for testing your air travel routines. It requires additional research to figure out carry on allowances on every leg of your trip and to decide what equipment to bring.

After I brought all my equipment on one of my first family trips to Cuba and hardly used any of it, I started to pack differently by bringing only the necessities along. Also, after I switched from DSLR to Mirrorless, I can pack everything (almost everything) in my carry on without worrying about lost luggage.

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So how do you start planning?

Begin by planning your vacation as you normally would and concentrate on family activities first. When these are done and everybody is happy, you can enhance your trip with photography adventures.

During the vacation, the only time when you can be 100% dedicated to your photography is when everybody is sleeping. On each day of vacation you will have a few hours between sunrise and breakfast to concentrate on your photography. And, not only will your family be in bed at 5 am, about 99.9% of tourists will be in their beds as well. In fact, you would be surprised how beautiful Venice looks at sunrise – it is completely different and calm without the chaos of crowds.

Cuba. Sunrise at Cayo Coco beach.


Last year, my wife and I went to Niagara Falls in the middle of summer on a weekend getaway. It was so crowded during the day that I had no chance of using a tripod. It was even difficult to take any pictures without having people in the frame. But, when I went to the Falls the next morning just before sunrise, I had the entire place to myself. The only person I met there was another photographer who had the same idea.

The goal of successfully combining a family vacation with photography and to be able to enjoy them both is to plan every single sunrise in advance. The rest of the days will be dedicated to family activities and are much more difficult to plan. You can enjoy your family while trying to be as opportunistic as possible with your photography.

After you have completed dozens of one-day local trips, half a dozen of short driving trips and at least a couple of family vacations, you will be ready to go on extensive trips dedicated exclusively to photography. You will acquire the necessary skills and establish personal routines that will help you be comfortable, confident and safe during your travels.

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Conclusion

Learning any new complex process requires breaking it down into smaller digestible chunks that you can then start to tackle one at a time. Travel photography is no different. You cannot learn everything in one shot. By starting small, you will gradually accumulate knowledge, experience and establish your unique routines.

I hope my simple blueprint will help you fulfill your dream of becoming a travel photographer and accelerate the learning process.

By Viktor Elizarov

I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

Photography And Color

In the midst of this Travel Shut Down, I have been devoting my time to learning as much as possible about photography. My love of photography crosses a multiplicity of genre.

Whatever the genre, as a photographer we must address the big three; Light, Color, and Composition. For whatever reason my study of color has been limited.

While I am stuck at home I intend to increase my knowledge of this most important subject. The blog below from 500px Blog is my starting point. Check it out!

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Color theory for photographers: An introduction to the color wheel

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.

Monochromatic colors

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.

Complementary colors

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.

Split-Complementary Colors

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.

Tetradic 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 colors

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.

Triadic colors

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.

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