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Photographing Star Trails: Part 4

Post Processing of Star Trail Images

  •  Here’s my workflow post-processing of Star Trail images. I empty the storage card of all the cameras onto the desktop, and into the solid state drive so that the processing of a large number of files is quick. There are always many sets of star trails that Neelam & me have captured on site. The next step is to browse through all the images and identify the sets of star trails. I shift the separate sets of trails into different sub folders with proper names. At this stage it is important to exclude the test images that have been clicked in between sets. Usually it is seen that people incorporate the test frames while making the final image, these test frames contribute to the image in a disjointed or even shifted manner. You also need to eliminate the test shots of various exposures. Only the main continuous part of the sequence should be included and all the rest should be excluded.
  •  All our original shots are always in raw format, without exception. The next step is to select a set of images and then convert the raw images into jpegs. I use Adobe Camera Raw inside Photoshop to apply changes and convert from raw images to Jpegs for the entire set of images in one go. Lightroom can be used in exactly the same manner to do the job.
    The underlying raw processing engine is actually the same for both Photoshop and Lightroom.
  •  Here are some thoughts uppermost in my mind when converting from raw to jpegs for the purposes of making a star trail
  1. I like to retain star colour by reducing highlights and increasing vibrance.
  2. I do not like too many stars in my star trail images. Too many stars form a sort of bright background in the image. I like less stars in my star trail images and towards that end I reduce the exposure, sometimes drastically up to -2.
  3. If the location was in or near a city, with bright lights in the frame, then I drastically reduce the highlights as well as the whites.
  • After the jpegs are obtained from the Adobe raw conversion, I browse through all of the converted images for problems. Usually there are aeroplanes in multitude of images. If I want to remove planes from the images, then all the images with planes need to be opened in Photoshop and planes removed using the Spot Healing Brush Tool. You need to reduce the brush size and brush along the path of the plane to remove the aeroplane streak. Each of the image which contains a plane streak needs to be edited in Photoshop. Since the planes are in separate images, the stars don’t get affected in the final star trail image. Here is an image from San Francisco with a number of planes in it. Below you can see an image from New York where all the planes have been removed from each of the sub-frame.

  •  The next step is to blend all the jpeg images into one. I use the software known as “Startrail” which is available free for download from www.startrails.de It is very simple software and does a quick job of processing the star trail image. If you happen to use a mac, then you can use Starstax which is a similar software. Startrail and Starstax have a couple of options like falling stars, and making frames suitable to be made into a time-lapse movie where you can see the star trails progressively grow frame by frame.

 

 

  •  You can easily blend together all the frames of a star trail in Photoshop. Use these functions of Photoshop:
  1. To load all the jpegs as layers, use – File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack
  2. To blend together all layers – select all layers in the layers panel and change the blending mode of all the layers to lighten.
  3. Flatten image to make a single layer – Layer > Flatten Imageo It’s that simple.
  • Some additional post-processing that I do in star trails is to remove the gaps in the trails. For removing the gap I use the command in Photoshop – Filter > Stylize > Diffuse(Anisotropic).

 

 

  •  Sometimes I like to sharpen the star trails, especially when shooting in city conditions, the star trails are overwhelmed by the city lights, sharpening the trail brightens the trails and become more visible. I use this command in Photoshop – Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Generally, I like to use this command on a separate layer and then change the blending mode of this layer to lighten to remove the dark halos around the trails.

I sincerely hope that this essay in four parts and the associated images have inspired you to take up star trail photography. The process is simple and results fascinating!

 

If you have any further questions please do email me at ajaytalwar80@yahoo.com
Twice a year I conduct an astrophotography workshop “Sky Photo Trip”. In this workshop, all the possible equipment is provided to the participants. The location of the workshop is in the Himalayas. The next workshop is scheduled for 22 November 2019. Do consider joining the workshop.

For more info, you can join the Star Trails Photography Workshop

Ajay Talwar is one of the most prolific transient sky events photographers in India. Ajay travels with all his astrophotography gear to all across India, especially the Himalayas, places like high altitude Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, Ladakh, high peaks in Himachal Pradesh. His interest in dark skies also takes him to the white desert in northwestern India. Ajay Talwar regularly holds astrophotography workshops, including practical programs in the Himalayas where participants are provided the necessary equipment to photograph the sky. Through his TWAN contribution, Ajay hopes to photograph many of India’s heritage under the starry sky. 
Chiiz Photographers, Photographer's Talk, Photography Inspiration, Workshops,

Photographing Star Trails: Part 3

Method of Star Trail Photography

Star trails are mesmerising. It is as if the spirals made of bright stars are trapping people’s eyes. You’re showing something remarkable to the world. Something that’s happening out there, in the universe, but no one can see with the naked eye:
In your endeavour to shoot star trails, you are on a beautiful location, stars are shining and the landscape is unique, the site is secluded, no one around to disturb you with torches and lights.Here’s how you start off your star trails.

Checklist

  •  Before starting, check camera battery (& extra battery) are fully charged; memory card and spare empty.
  •  Setup your tripod on firm ground and hang the weight laden cloth bag under the tripod. The hanging weight should not sway with wind. Whenever possible, keep the tripod low.
  •  Set camera to manual mode, set ISO speed, set aperture. Turn off Long Exposure Noise Reduction. Set image quality to RAW, set exposure, set autofocus to manual, on the lens. Display Image after shooting – off, camera auto sleep – off, Camera to single shot, timer – off, set flash – off.
  •  Attach the camera to the tripod, and check any movement. Attach the desired lens, attach the hood and set the correct focal length if you are using a zoom lens.
  •  Focus accurately with live view, on a bright star. Use maximum zoom. Don’t touch the focusing ring, hood or change zoom after focusing. You can focus on a very bright star in one direction and then frame your picture in any other direction. Just take care that you do not move the focusing ring while framing. Take care also that the focus is kept in MF before shooting.
  •  Frame your night landscape, you can only frame nicely after you click and see. Check that the horizon is horizontal. Whenever you shift the tripod for a better frame, check the bubble level of the tripod. Follow the Rule of Thirds of photography; walk your eye on the perimeter off the frame. Check your framing by shooting a quick and dirty shot. Remember the small screen behind the camera is a poor indicator of framing and exposure. Zoom in and check entire image by scrolling. You may like to use a tab for checking the frame (larger screen will beneficial). If you are using a zoom lens, and you need to change the focal length while framing, you will need to focus again.
  •  Take a test shot for checking exposure, check the histogram, increase exposure till histogram hill is separated from the left side off the histogram graph. Is the earth portion exposed properly as desired? Correct or less exposure will give star colours; overexposure will render all the stars white.
  •  Programme the intervalometer carefully; gap between exposures should be bare minimum (1-3 sec). Hang the intervalometer at a convenient place, so you can reach it when you want to shut off the sequence, and is visible from far.
  •  Can your memory card accommodate the number of planned exposures? After how long will you have to change the card?
  •  Start your light frame sequence. Tripod should not move at all during the sequence. More frames the better. Watch out for dew formation around you.
  •  Protect your memory card; back up your images as soon as possible.

 

The main process of Star Trail photography consists of four parts:

  •  Focus
  •  Frame
  •  Test Exposure
  •  Start Exposure Sequence

Step 1 – Focusing is important and needs to be done slowly and accurately. You may like to connect the camera to your laptop or a tab to get a bigger picture, so as to focus sharply. You could also carry a magnifying glass to check accurate focus. Start live view and point to a bright star to focus. Once the camera is focused, you can change the direction of the camera to frame.

Step 2 – Framing the sky is one part, but getting some interesting part of the Earth is the artistic touch that the photographer provides. Take care not to have direct bright lights in the frame as well as halos from the light just outside the frame. The tripod & camera setup must not move at all during the entire sequence. You could tie the tripod down to some rigid structure.

Step3 – Test exposure is clicking an image and checking its histogram to see if the exposure is right. You do not want to keep the ISO at its maximum, you will certainly get more stars, but they all will be saturated, lose their natural colours and become white. You could try an ISO of 200 or 400. The length of the exposure will determine the length of the star trail on the sensor, longer the exposure, longer the star trail. But you need not increase the exposure just to get a very long star trail, there is a trick with digital cameras.

Once you have decided the optimum exposure, then you need to shoot the same exposure over and over, with a minimum gap in between exposures. Later these individual shots would be blended together for the final star trail image.

Step 4 – Exposure Sequence is the main process of star trail photography. Program the intervalometer carefully. Sometimes astrophotographers shoot a star trail sequence for the entire night! In such case you need to ascertain if the storage card and battery would last for the entire duration of the sequence. You can either use multiple batteries in a grip, or use an AC adapter.
For the images, you could connect a laptop so that all images are downloaded to the computer and there is no limitation of the storage card.

Avoiding common mistakes while shooting star trails:

  •  Level the camera properly.
  • You should include a good amount of terrestrial object in the frame, many a times you have only top half of a tree in the field; that looks bad, you should frame in such a manner that full tree or the base of any structure should be captured in the frame.
  •  Exclude power cables, telephone cables, towers and water tanks wires in the field of view. These look very bad in the final image.
  •  A lot of people want too many stars in their star trail, to this end they use higher ISO setting, and in the process they saturate the star colour. Actually you want the opposite – less number of stars in the star trail, so that it does not become like a bright background -with no details. A star trail image looks good with less stars and when the star colour is retained.
  •  Many a times you have gaps in trails, that’s because you did not programme the intervalometer properly, and the gap in between exposures was long or you shot the exposures manually.
  •  You need to setup your camera where no interference from vehicle lights, avoid other observers who will be shining lights in the periphery of your field of view during your entire sequence.
  •  You should plan for minimum 2 hours of continuous shooting, minimum. Towards that end you need to have sufficient storage space, empty your card before starting, also the battery needs to last for the full time you have planned. While you are testing – focusing, framing etc. use one battery, but just before you start the sequence you should change to a fully charged battery.

Shooting star trails from the city:

Normally an astrophotographer would not think of shooting star trails inside a city claiming it to be too bright and that stars not visible, but it is very much possible. Here you can see two examples of star trail shot from middle of New Delhi & Lucknow.

Shooting star trails from the city would certainly be a challenging situation. Although you will never be able to photograph the number of stars you catch from dark location, nevertheless shooting star trails would be nice from the confines of a bright city. Keep the following points in mind while shooting star trails from the city:

  •  You need to keep exposures really short, the histogram is your guide to correct exposure. As soon as the histogram separates from the left side, that is your correct exposure. Single exposure could be as short as 5 seconds. Do take care that the histogram does not touch the right side at all, i.e. there are no bright saturated spots.
  •  Since you are shooting short exposures you will need to shoot many more images, you should have enough spare storage space in your card. If your exposure is 5 seconds, then you will gather 720 exposures in one hour!
  •  Focusing is very important for shooting star trails in the city. If the focus is slightly off even by a millimetre, light from fainter stars will spread out, and consequently these fainter stars will get lost in the bright city background.
  •  You need to keep a lookout for clear transparent nights in your city. The best seasons are in the monsoons, when clear nights come un-announced. You should be ready with a fully charged battery! Winter months are also likely to be clear and transparent.
  •  Plan to shoot late at night when the city has switched off most of its lights.
  •  Look out for bright constellations. Winter Hexagon is a large part of the sky which contains really bright stars like Sirius, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Castor… Plan to shoot when the winter hexagon is rising or setting on the horizon. Other areas of bright stars in the sky are Sagittarius, Scorpius, Cassiopeia etc.
  •  Keep a lookout for planets and their conjunctions. Like the conjunction of bright Venus and Jupiter. Trails of planets are easy to shoot from the city.

 

For more info, you can join the Star Trails Photography Workshop

Ajay Talwar is one of the most prolific transient sky events photographers in India. Ajay travels with all his astrophotography gear to all across India, especially the Himalayas, places like high altitude Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, Ladakh, high peaks in Himachal Pradesh. His interest in dark skies also takes him to the white desert in northwestern India. Ajay Talwar regularly holds astrophotography workshops, including practical programs in the Himalayas where participants are provided the necessary equipment to photograph the sky. Through his TWAN contribution, Ajay hopes to photograph many of India’s heritage under the starry sky. 
star trails
Photographer's Talk, Photography Tips,

Photographing Star Trails: Part 2

The first part of the series ‘Photographing Star Trails’ dealt with an introduction and prerequisites of star trail photography. While the star trails photography looks amazingly easy to capture, there is a lot of planning that goes behind creating those stunning images that make everyone go “Wow!”.

star trails

Sydney South Pole Trails

The travails and travels of star trail photos

A surprisingly satisfying amount of planning goes into making star trail images. I and my better mate in astrophotography, as well as life – Neelam Talwar, plan our star trail images sitting at home. Neelam goes on her flight duties to interesting cities of the world and comes back with a bucket full of sequential images, which then I process into star trail images. Let me explain with a couple of examples.

Prominent Locations

You should plan your star trails at prominent locations wherever it is possible for you to go. Neelam was on a flight duty to Sydney and the most famous icon is the Harbour Bridge. Sydney- siders call it ‘The Hangar’ because of the resemblance. Everyone in the world also knows about the Opera House nearby. We wanted to shoot the South Polar Trails in the sky along with these two icons on earth. What would be the possible location where we could capture all three in one image? Google Earth helped us and we identified the location of Luna (amusement) Park across the harbour, where the South Celestial Pole would be visible above the Hangar and the Opera House would be visible below. Neelam spent the entire cold night at Luna Park to collect the 650 images that went in to making this image.

Dark locations 

star trails

Fantasy Star Trails and Milky Way

Dark locations, i.e. places where you cannot see many city lights. Such places are getting rare by the day. Unfortunately, the Milky Way is becoming a mythical being just like the unicorn, due to omnipresent city lights. Western Indian Himalayas have many choice locations which are really dark, dry and conducive for astrophotography, especially the high altitude desert of Ladakh. But it is not always possible to travel long distances and you long for a nearby dark location. Here is an example of Milky Way and star trail image from a place called Saragthal in Haryana, which is 76 km northwards of my place in the middle of fully lit Gurugram. 

How did I find the dark location of Saragthal? By using Google Earth and a special layer of Earth Lights provided by NASA. Here is how (see the screenshot of Google Earth). Neelam and I went on a one-night observation trip to Saragthal and came back with this fantastic image from a nearby dark location. 

Kepler’s Observatory, the site of our Star Trail Workshop, is one such place which is really close- by to Delhi and Gurugram. 

Google Earth

Vantage locations

Vantage locations, where the eye can see till far distances, are really conducive for stunning star trails. Inside the city, you can look for high rise buildings, where you will be allowed to photograph for long periods without interruptions. The foothills of the Himalayas offer many such locations where you can see till far off in the plains. Look for such locations to go and shoot star trails. Here is an example from Surkhanda Peak, which is near Dhanaulti and about 25 km from Mussoorie. Looking southwards from the peak you can see Dehradun, Shivalik Range, and Roorkee. Towards the north, you can see many snowcapped Himalayan peaks of Uttarakhand.

Neelam and I trekked up the steps leading to the peak one evening and made this image from the vantage location. It was the evening of the Holi Full Moon Night, this year. Here is the image. 

star trails

Dehradun from Surkanda Devi

 

Vintage locations

Since 1937, 82 years back. This is probably the most photographed bridge in the world, a vintage location. Need I say more? 

Star Trails

Golden Gate Star Trails

When to go out? Weather, temperature, phase of Moon, do you want moon or don’t want moonlight?

Check the weather before you go out, In India the clear winter months after the monsoons have settled the dust, are best. The Himalayan skies are also clear and fully studded with stars. Deciding the phase of the Moon is important. A moonless night will have a dark sky, but if you are after a nightscape, i.e. a night landscape image, you better plan for a night when the Moon’s phase is half or less. The landscape would be beautifully lit by the natural moonlight. Here is an example from Narkanda on a full moon night. Neelam and I had especially traveled to the location in the month of January, after carefully watching for the weather. There was rain in the plains, and snowfall in the hills. Just as the snow and rain settled, we immediately made for Narkanda, even though the phase of Moon was full. 

 

Star Trails

Motorcycle at the Forefront of the Star Trails

Star Trails in the city & Prominent Constellations

Photographing star trails in the city call for really short exposures to subdue the city lights below. Whereas at a dark location you would be shooting exposures of 20 seconds to 40 seconds or even more according to the ambient lights, but while shooting star trails at a city location you need to carefully manage the exposures. The length of the exposures needs to be short, as short as 2-3 seconds. Again the ambient light dictates the length of the individual exposures. 

Plan to shoot city star trails in the direction of prominent constellations which feature bright stars. Orion is a very popular winter constellation, a region of the sky which contains bright stars. Another bright constellation to consider is Ursa Major towards the north, Sagittarius and Scorpius are bright summer constellations towards the south. Other bright constellations to consider are Cassiopeia & Perseus; Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila; Taurus and Canis Major on either side of Orion are bright constellations. 

How do you find these bright constellations in the sky, on a particular date, season and time of the night? Plan for these constellations using planetarium software. On your desktop, you can use Stellarium. On your smartphone, you could use Sky Safari app. You can set the location, date and time in the software. You can even run an animated sky motion at any speed and plan your shoot. 

Star Trails

Manhattan Star Trails

Here is an image showing the famous skyline of Manhattan on the Earth and the bright Hunter in the sky, i.e. the Orion constellation. 

As I said before a surprisingly satisfying amount of planning goes into making star trail images. 

– Ajay Talwar

Learn more at the Star Trails Photography Workshop by Ajay Talwar

 

Ajay Talwar is one of the most prolific transient sky events photographers in India. Ajay travels with all his astrophotography gear to all across India, especially the Himalayas, places like high altitude Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, Ladakh, high peaks in Himachal Pradesh. His interest in dark skies also takes him to the white desert in northwestern India. Ajay Talwar regularly holds astrophotography workshops, including practical programs in the Himalayas where participants are provided with the necessary equipment to photograph the sky. Through his TWAN contribution, Ajay hopes to photograph many of India’s heritage under the starry sky.

 

star trails
Photographer's Talk, Photography Tips,

Photographing Star Trails: Part 1

Every photographer, at some point or the other, has thought of capturing one of those hypnotic star trail images. What most of us fail to understand is that a star trail requires more than just long exposures. Here is a brief introduction to star trails and the prerequisites to capture them.

What is a Star Trail?

Many people see a star trail image and wonder ‘Where on Earth can I see this phenomenon?’ To understand a star trail image some explanation is required. This is not some instantaneous phenomena which can be seen with your eyes. In a normal situation, you can’t see any of the stars in the sky moving, but all the stars are steadily moving across the sky. You see – the Earth is rotating, once in 24 hours!
A star trail is a type of photograph that uses long exposure times to capture the apparent motion of stars in the night sky due to Earth’s rotation. A star-trail photograph shows individual stars as streaks across the image, with longer exposures yielding longer arcs.

star trails

Duration

The total duration of a star trail image varies quite a bit. A star trail image could be 10-15 minutes long, such as this one from Sydney. You could also plan to shoot a star trail for about 1-2 hours such as this one from Surkhanda Devi peak looking towards Dehradun. Sometimes astrophotographers plan an all-night star trail lasting 8-10 hours, such as this one from Devasthal peak, Nainital district.

star trails

Direction

Changing the direction of your camera while shooting star trails produces dramatically different results. Changing the field of view of your camera also produces varying dramatic effects. Here is a star trail image using a 200mm lens, providing a 10° field-of-view looking towards Eastern direction. The peak is Panchachuli II and the image has been shot from Thamari Kund. Alongside here is an image which has been shot using a fisheye lens providing a 180° field-of-view. The periphery of the circular image represents the horizon. The entire horizon, from North to East, South and West. It’s a full skydome image.

star trails

Equipment considerations

Star trail photography can be a simple affair in terms of equipment considerations. Patience is a more abundant requirement. Patience to shoot longer and longer duration of star trails. Recently I was invited to use the Huawei P30 Pro phone for my astrophotography pursuits. I was amazed to learn that it has an inbuilt function to shoot star trails on its own. While Huawei was going through its process to provide me with their instrument I went ahead and purchased a couple of adapters which would allow me to attach the camera phone to a tripod. The importance of a good tripod and adapter was uppermost in my mind.

Here are two images clicked using the Huawei P30 Pro camera phone.

star trails

There are a few other smartphones which are currently capable of producing star trail images using their inbuilt special function. You get a completed star trail image right out of the box, with no extra post-processing required from the photographer.

Get a good sturdy tripod. Astrophotography requires a tripod, no matter what kind of astrophotography. The importance of a good sturdy tripod must be stressed. Generally, people do not think of a tripod too much and spare just a minimum amount of rupees for it. You will be wasting that amount, and you will also be wasting a lot of time and effort trying to make that cheap plastic tripod work for you. Get a good sturdy tripod, it will serve you for a long time and produce good results.

Here is a simple checklist of equipment that is needed to photograph a star trail.

  • Camera

    Any camera which is capable of shooting a long exposure is suitable. Examples of cameras that are capable could be the GoPro camera, Ricoh 360×180 camera, point-and-shoot camera, and many others, A DSLR or a mirrorless camera is much suited as it has all the manual features to control and fine-tune the exposure to the maximum. The best feature of a DSLR or a mirrorless camera is that it produces the least noise in low light photography.

  • Tripod

    Get a good sturdy tripod.

  • Wide angle lens

    A wide angle lens is far more suited for making aesthetic star trails. Further, a fast lens such as f/2.0 or f/1.4 is much better. Usually, prime lenses have much better/fast aperture than zoom lenses. Some zoom lenses have a tendency to shift their focal length when pointed upwards towards the sky and need to be taped with masking tape to maintain their focal length. Prime lenses do not have this shifting problem.

  • Intervalometer

    An external wired intervalometer proves to be of immense advantage for making star trails. An intervalometer is a device which counts intervals of time. It is also known as interval meter and interval timer. Such devices commonly are used to signal, in accurate time intervals, the operation of some other device. For instance, an intervalometer might activate something every 30 seconds. In photography, intervalometers are used to trigger exposures. This is often done for a time-lapse series. It may also be used to take or begin taking pictures after a set delay. On their own, Digital Single Lens Reflex or DSLR cameras are limited to 30 second or shorter exposures. An intervalometer can be connected to take long (>30 seconds) or very long exposures (minutes or hours) using the “Bulb” setting. Here is what an intervalometer looks like. AAA size batteries. It has a cord which plugs into the timer port of the camera. Each camera has a different shape timer port and you need to buy an intervalometer for your particular camera model. The real advantage of an intervalometer is that you can program it for a number of exposures.

I do hope this little essay excites you to try making star trails on your own. I will be completing this topic in four parts. The next part will explain how to plan your star trail images.

 

For more info, you can join the Star Trails Photography Workshop

Ajay Talwar is one of the most prolific transient sky events photographers in India. Ajay travels with all his astrophotography gear to all across India, especially the Himalayas, places like high altitude Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, Ladakh, high peaks in Himachal Pradesh. His interest in dark skies also takes him to the white desert in northwestern India. Ajay Talwar regularly holds astrophotography workshops, including practical programs in the Himalayas where participants are provided the necessary equipment to photograph the sky. Through his TWAN contribution, Ajay hopes to photograph many of India’s heritage under the starry sky. 

 

photography tina
fashion, Photographer's Talk, Photography Inspiration, Photography Tips,

Photography Tips with Tina Sokolovskaya

Tina Sokolovskaya stared with night clubs and ended up with Playboy Ukraine’s magazine. This isn’t just luck. It is when hard work pays off and Tina surely has her way with it. This Ukraine-based photographer now works with celebrities, famous artists, and singers all over the globe. Currently working in New York, Tina shares the tips and tricks of photography with Chiiz. Read on to see what she has to say!photographerTina Sokolovskaya- Photographer

1. Preparation

In my opinion, preparation is the most important part of photography. The most important advice that I can give you is to always prepare before shooting. It’s better to prepare ahead of time so that you do not waste extra nerves on the shoot. Form your team – make-up artist, hair stylist, stylist for clothes. Prepare references and make a mood board. This will help to visualize the idea. Always remember – every detail is important. Make a list of everything you need so you do not forget anything. I, as a photographer, always make myself a check-list – What camera should I take, what kind of lenses, flashes and ancillary things I need. The same list should be made by other team members.

photography

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

2. Locations

Always check the locations in advance. It is better to do this a day or at least a couple of hours before shooting. This way, in case of unforeseen circumstances, you have time to find a backup option.

photography tina

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

3. Experimentation in Fashion Photography

Sometimes, during the shoot, you realize what you are shooting is not quite what you need. Do not be afraid to deviate a bit from the concept and experiment. Remember that the final picture in your camera should suit you.

photography

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

4. Be ready to take a picture any second

Most masterpieces are serendipitous. Your finger on the shutter button should always be ready to take a picture. At that moment, nothing exists except for you, the camera and the model. Concentrate.

photography

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

5. Light in Fashion Photography

Light. Light. Light. Light is everything. With the right lighting, your photograph will stand out. Remember this. Photography means-  “I write with light” and as a photographer, you must be able to write correctly with light.

photography tina

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

6. Model

Do not trust the photo on Instagram! Often, models in real life look very different. Hence, when choosing a model, make sure you do a model test before shooting. This is done to see how it works in the frame and whether the model fits the concept of your shooting.

photgraphy

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

7. Atmosphere

A friendly, comfortable atmosphere is the key to successful shooting. Take care to maintain a good mood for the whole team. Music, wine, jokes – everyone has their own individual recipe for success.

photography

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

8. Postproduction

Correctly processed image can “save” any frame, even if it was not very well shot. But do not overdo it. In everything, there must be a measure.

photography

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

9.Inspiration

Read more magazines, see as much as possible the filming process of famous photographers. Study them, arrange them, and remember: “Steal like an artist”.

10. Update your portfolio and social networks all the time

Activity in the network is very important! Do not forget to share backstages and the results of work with your subscribers.

photography

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

chiiz Photography Cycling Leh
Chiiz Photographers, Photographer's Talk, Travel,

Travel Photography Trip to Leh: Faiz Sikandar

The road that leads to Leh from Manali is a spectacular route that has been an awe-inspiring adventurous excursion for most of the seekers. A Travel Photography Trip to Leh by Nomadic Expeditions took a group of riders on their bicycles to this amazing journey of uphill and downhill escapades. Faiz Sikandar, from Prayagraj, played a major part in this journey as a cyclist as well as a photographer capturing his dream itinerary.

A freelance wedding, lifestyle photographer & a traveler by choice, Faiz Sikandar is more of an offbeat photographer. His images state the simple stories but never fail to bring out the art within them. Faiz is truly a professional photographer people always look out for. Chiiz talks to Faiz about his photography escapades in the mountains. 

How would you define your style of photography? How was this cycling/ travel photography trip to Leh different?

I prefer placing my subjects in a very wide frame which breaks the frame in uneven proportions and that works for me most of the time. This travel photography trip to Leh tested not only my patience but also the patience of the cyclists. It was difficult at times but beautiful all throughout. One of the cyclists felt it was easy while planning the trip; but since I had been to Leh before, but on a motorcycle, I knew mountains are never easy. This time it was engaging, a lot of time we had to wait for the cyclists to cover a certain distance in a day and they surprised us by covering it earlier or disappointed when they couldn’t finish. But the experience was enthralling.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

Learn to take amazing photographs like this in our travel photography workshop to Ladakh.

What difficulties did you experience with regard to photography, while you were on your trip?

It wasn’t difficult at all, the beauty of the landscapes keep you amazed and entertained. The changes in the temperature and climatic conditions and the altitude keeps the adrenaline in you rushing.

The only thing that crossed my mind then was where to place my subject at, since its such a wide scape you see through the EVF, and at times you miss a few shots and sometimes you make some good ones. Part of the game.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

What are your go-to techniques for shooting in the mountains and what are the things that you refrain from?

Shooting in the mountains excites every photographer. As my go-to technique, not only in the mountains, is to have a wide lens with variable focal length and a wide open aperture. Whenever I’m shooting videos, I keep an ND filter handy, I just plug that thing over my lens and start moving the camera.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

I refrain to shoot a lot. In Leh, you don’t know if you’d get electricity to charge your equipment, or to dump your memory card. So planning your day is very important. Speak to your marshal, the driver, the people around, go for small walks to enjoy but shoot only when it’s necessary.

What were the most visually appealing moments of this trip for you?

To start with, the ride began from Himachal Pradesh, it’s anyway very beautiful. On our way to Leh, most visually appealing places were the Ghata loops, More plains, and Tsokar valley & lake.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

With the knowledge that Ladakh is becoming an increasingly common site for photographers, how did you plan to be different from the rest?

The thought that many photographers around any place make the place common is very funny. A photographer is known for his style, his type of images, rest a lot of photographers are just influenced by them. So there might a lot who go there, but very few who’d shoot something new.

What are your takeaways as a photographer from this cycling trip to Leh?

Mr. Pullarwar, an eminent painter/artist, and a cyclist in the group suggested that life is like riding to Leh. You take one step at a time to cover the mightiest distance. That’s my take away from Leh, to keep moving in my genre, one step at a time.

Travel Photography Trip to Leh

 

Learn to take amazing photographs like this in our travel photography workshop to Ladakh.