Posts by Jack

7 Food Photography Mistakes You Might Be Committing

»Posted by in Photography, Tips&Tricks

7 Food Photography Mistakes You Might Be Committing

In this age of smartphones and social media, anyone can be an instant photographer. For us professional photographers, the ease and accessibility of taking high quality photos has made our job even more challenging. And quite obviously, the most common subject of wannabe photographers is food.

But while some have that natural knack at photography, capturing some great and enticing food photos, others end up making terrible images that result in some awfully unpalatable dishes. If you want to take awesome food photography that looks appetizing to the eyes, be sure to avoid these 7 common mistakes.

  1. Using flash

The use of flash isn’t a good idea in food photography. Well, this can be used by professional photographers using high definition equipment. Your smartphone flash can make the food look flat and unnatural. As much as possible, use natural light when dealing with foods as subjects.

  1. Taking very close photos

Some of the best dishes don’t really look pretty, right? For instance, a saucy, gravy-filled barbecue in a smoker, such as the one you’ll see at https://smokeysteakranch.com/, would surely have “bad” side. If you take the pick too close, you’ll be highlighting and zooming in these unpalatable details. Instead of getting too close, try moving out and setting up a background scene. You can also add lively garnishes or other details, such as a plate, utensils, or napkin. Add story and emotion to the image not just the dish itself.

  1. Improper focus

A good way to highlight the dish is to use a shallow depth of field. But be careful as it faulty focusing can also present a problem. Make sure to use your focus points properly to get a dramatic, ethereal effect. The best way is to manually focus on the subject.

  1. Using odd color combinations

Some colors are just hard to complement with food. Lively colors such as red, orange, violet, and neon green just don’t fit into food photography. As such, avoid using these elements when plating your dishes. The colors might detract from the main subject. Neutral colors and pastels often blend well with food subjects.

  1. Taking pictures from the wrong angle

Always remember that choosing the right angle is crucial in photography – and more so in food photography. The most common mistake of wannabe food photographers is taking photos from the same angle of which you eat the food. That diner’s view (45-degree angle) only makes the food look bland. Move around and experiment which angles gives the food justice.

  1. Forgetting to check the scene

It’s not unusual to be in a hurry taking photos of the dishes. A lot of times, you are too focused on foods that you forget about what’s around the food. After taking the shot, you’ll be surprised to see some unwanted additions like messy plates, dirty napkins, etc. If you are taking photos of a barbecue on a smoker, like the one at SmokeySteakRanch.com, check the smoker if it has some unsightly grime. Always remember, before you click, check all stuff that gets included in the frame.

  1. Overdoing on post photo edit!

Sure, filters and edits are good. But overdoing it can make the photo look unnatural. Don’t forget: food is meant to be enjoyed as is. The editing should make it appear natural and not the other way around. As much as possible, take photos that won’t require post edit.

There you have it! Some tips to beef up your arsenal of photography skills! Next time you take photos of your favorite dish, you know what not to do!

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How To Be a Professional Photographer

»Posted by in Guide, Inspiration, Photography

How To Be a Professional Photographer

Professional photography is a great career choice of the people who want to get paid by showing their creative talents. One can be easily a professional photographer without having a good academic result. It is a field where there is no need of college degree, age limitation and fixed duration as you may need for a government job or others. It is also worth saying that photography is a very competitive field; if you want to be a freelance photographer, you should be prepared to start building a portfolio that can be used as your best work. You should also consider some definite things before you become a professional photographer. Those are given below.

How to be a freelance photographer

It is worth saying that you need a fancy camera with multiple lenses to be successful in your professional photography life. It can help you to improve your business and quality of work. Before being a photographer, you need to know your camera and its gear. To be a successful photographer you also have to know ins and outs of camera basics. You can gather information about different cameras and their usage by reading books, magazines, news paper, and online articles.

You will need to have a portfolio built up to show off your best work before being hired by someone. This is the best way to be hired soon. This is because your portfolio composed of five to ten photos can approve your best quality to them. You should take more different photos from different places to make a wide range of images that you can choose for your portfolio; people would like to see your best work you have done.

You should take decision on your forte. You can advertise yourself as a portrait or wedding photographer, if you have a great passion to do them. Choose what your favorite is and get out to do work for it.

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Must-Have Gear for Travelling Photographers

»Posted by in Photography

Must-Have Gear for Travelling Photographers

As you know, I often find myself in the role of a typical travelling photographer. I started out as more-or-less a beginner, but have learned some valuable lessons through the years. One of the things that I have learned is that there are some extremely handy items made especially for the travelling photographer, which are invaluable on the road. Here are just some of the things I tried out, and now couldn’t do without.

  1. Cleaning Gear

It’s a terrible feeling when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles from home, and there’s a nasty grease spot on your sensor. That’s why I always make a point to carry with me the essential cleaning gear I need for quick cleanups. When you’re travelling, just take a standard rocket blower and a small brush, and you should be set for any major inconveniences without making your back hurt from all the luggage.

  1. Roller Bags

In the same way that you should have a gun safe (like the ones here) if you own weaponry, you really should have an all-compact roller bag for all the lenses, straps, bodies and other equipment you are sure to be lugging around. This piece of travelling gear has become a standard item with travelling photographers, for obvious reasons.

  1. bunch of memmory cardsExtra Memory Cards

I learned this lesson the hard way. It’s a devastating feeling when you want to capture that perfect shot, you take out your camera and click, but then – No More Memory! By the time you clear your memory card and think about which shots you want to keep and which you want to erase, that perfect moment might be gone. This is why the travelling photographer has to make sure to have extra memory cards which are empty and ready to be inserted at a moment’s notice.

  1. Insurance

Although you can definitely do without this, and it’s not technically a piece of gear, I find it absolutely essential. Accidents happen, often when you’re least prepared for them, so you need to make sure you have all your important gear insured. Usually you can get some insurance for as little as 20 dollars a month, so for me this one is a no-brainer.

  1. Non brand straps

Although this again is not an essential piece of gear, in my experience it’s good not to walk around unfamiliar places with a strap that shows off just how expensive your camera was. Just take your brand strap and replace it with a basic black one, and you just might save yourself the trouble of having someone try to snatch your camera off your shoulder or neck.

  1. A Travel Tripod

Make sure you take a light travel tripod on your journey. You never know when you might need to take that long exposure shot, and it would be a shame for it to come out all blurry just because you wanted to avoid an extra half-pound of weight. You can find cheap travel tripods that are stable enough for some nice photos!

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Lighting and Photography

»Posted by in Guide

Lighting and Photography

There are many factors which affect the final quality of a photograph. The angle of the shot, the saturation of the colors, the contrast between different elements in the picture, and especially the type of camera being used to take the photograph all play a part in creating pictures. It could be that lighting is the most important factor of all, though. Modern digital cameras have somewhat managed to get around low or bad lighting conditions, but it used to be the norm that if you didn’t have proper lighting, your images were going to be of poor quality; that’s if you got any visible pictures at all!

You have a few options for getting adequate lighting to take your pictures. The first and easiest one is of course to work outdoors, during the day and under the cover of natural light. This is certainly the cheapest option available, but it isn’t always reliable. Some shoots take place during the evening, and the sun can quickly be blocked out by clouds during a storm or other inclement weather. Because of this, every decent photographer should have some secondary light source they can take with them to their jobs. A spotlight (or several, really) is a good example of a secondary light source.

Using lights like the ones you can find at http://lightbarland.com can give you even lighting at a low cost; lighting which is also highly portable. You really can’t ask for much more than that when it comes to getting enough light in your photographs either. Whatever you decide to use as a secondary light source, be sure you carry some replacement bulbs in case the ones being used burn out or are otherwise broken or damaged. Lighting is such an important part of photography that no photographer should be without reliable lighting.

Just think about it for a moment, if you will. Without proper lighting, colors and contrast really don’t pop as much as they should in a picture. Without proper lighting, shadow effects become all but impossible and you lose a degree of depth you would normally be able to include in your pictures. Without proper lighting, reflective surfaces will look flat and dull, and many important details in an image could be blurred of blocked out entirely by darkness. If you underestimate the importance of lighting in your work, you really shouldn’t deign to call yourself a photographer.

Luckily, this issue is very easy to fix. I’ve already outlined a couple methods for making sure you get enough light when you’re taking pictures, so be sure to try them if you find yourself stuck working in the dark. Oh, and one last thing. Sometimes low lighting can do more good for a picture than intense, revealing light can. It’s really up to you how much light you saturate your image with, and if you’re not sure what would look best, you can usually try taking the same image several times under different conditions. Compare the captured images later to see which looks best.

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Make a perfect photo of your woodwork

»Posted by in Guide, Photo Session, Photography, Tips&Tricks

Make a perfect photo of your woodwork

When you connect art and nature, one of the possible results it is woodworking. And I like to capture with my lens all what is beautiful and special. Those people that deal with woodworking have the increased need to demonstrate their work on the Internet. But if they want that one picture pointed out all the qualities of one work in the right way, it is necessary to know how to take pictures of objects made of wood.

Taking photos of the wooden surface is not the same as taking pictures of people or nature. Yes, it is possible to add and subtract color, light, a shadow, etc. in programs for editing images, but that also requires a lot of knowledge and often can be a laborious task. It is best to make the best possible shot, that you will not have to repair. Besides possessing the good camera, the following tips can be helpful to take a good photo of the woodwork.
Use solid color backgrounds, preferably ones with bright colors, that your woodwork came to expression. Colorful backgrounds and too many details around your object will drag attention away from your masterpieces or cast shadows, and your work will not come to the fore.
Direct the light. To view all the details of your woodworking, you must use the right light. Natural light is best, but if you do not have it, then it is necessary to obtain the appropriate lamp. Good lighting is to photograph the same thing as a good wood lathe for a woodwoker – a necessary tool. It is almost impossible to deal with woodworking without a wood lathe. If you are considering buying one, Woodlathereport has all the answers to your questions. And when you create your masterpiece, lighten it well to take a good photo on which will be seen all details.

Place the main light in front of your work, on a greater height, in order to get the proper shade and to highlight all vertical details. Then, add a side light, which should be opposite to the main light. It should be positioned down. That way you minimize the appearance of shadows.

Control glare. On some wooden surfaces, a bright background may make a glare that will not highlight your work, but only make it unclear. To avoid this, do a test shot and check where the glare occurs. Try to reduce it! Set a dark surface near those parts. In this way, you can show the depth of the picture and the dimensionality of your work. Also, play with lights if you want to highlight some parts that were obscured by a shadow that falls on them. Set a light surface in front of these parts, that will reflect the light.

Experiment. Make a few shots, change the position of the lights, zoom or try shooting from different angles. In this way, you can get many photos of your woodwork, including the one that requires a minimum of editing.
Dedicate yourself to the processing of wood instead of processing photos. Make perfect photo of your woodwork. It takes only a few small tricks.

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