Browsing category

Photography Tips

Photography Tips, Workshops,

Smartphone Photography Workshop by Shweta Malhotra

As photographers, we are always capturing moments we encounter in our everyday loves, particularly through the lenses of our cameras. 

With the rise of apps like Instagram, we see that everyone loves to document their lives on the go. That’s where our smartphones come in super handy. 

We use our smartphone cameras almost daily, capturing travel moments we ordinarily wouldn’t on our DSLR’s. We’ve grown fond of the wonders that phones photography brings and their ability to snap the spontaneous, instead of the planned. 

To propagate this emerging style of photography, Chiiz conducted a Smartphone Photography Workshop with ace artist and photographer Shweta Malhotra.

This workshop was conducted in the National Crafts Museum, a beautiful site filled with amazing visual elements waitinh to be turned into beautiful photographs.

The workshop started with a photowalk around the premises of the Museum with Shweta leading the walk, instructing the participants throughout the walk.

Photography is bound by a few set of rules; understand these few simple photography composition basics and you’ll have your mobile photography game nailed in no time. Shweta introduced the participants to the basic techniques of phone photography. She rehashed the rules of photography and talked a lot about framing and composition.

Getting your focus right is very important important in photography. Usually, phones pick up where they ‘think’ the focal point is, but you should tap the object of your focus on your screen and the camera will do the rest. Often, this will also help you to manage which part of your photo you’d like ‘exposed’, which will help you to stop your shot from being too dark or blown out. The participants were made aware about such nuances of focusing through their phone cameras. This opened a new door to experiment with the lens focus on their phones. Techniques likes slow motion and time lapse videos were also taught.

Phones aren’t very well-equipped to deal with low light which means night photography can be tricky – but not impossible. Night mode along with panorama, portrait mode, and HDR were discussed and practised in the workshop. The Crafts Museum provided for ample opportunities to experiment with each mode.

Cameras have come a long way since they first appeared on phones, but unfortunately, they still offer almost no control over settings like shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. On your phone, these settings are normally controlled automatically, but downloading a camera app allows you to adjust each frame manually and capture mobile shots to rival any DSLR! We discussed the best smartphones to invest in and the mobile photography apps that are best for photography and photoediting.

Behind just about every epic photo you see in your Instagram feed today is an epic editing process. Editing your photo makes your photo stand out from the crowd, and breathes new life into an ‘okay’ photo.  These photo editing apps allow you to improve your photo with ease, through the click of a button and a few minor tweaks. We worked on some of these apps to better acquaint ourselves with them.

Smartphone photography is becoming increasingly popular for consumers, bloggers, creatives, and even professional photographers. Shooting photos with your smartphone’s camera can be much more efficient because of its mobility, quick editing apps, and sharing capability. Plus, many newer smartphone cameras are developed with specs compatible to expensive DSLR cameras. Therefore, all of the perks of smartphone cameras allow you to be a photographer at anytime and anyplace. What are you waiting for? Get going!

exposure triangle
Photography Tips,

Sure-Shot Ways to Perfect the Exposure Triangle

Beginners in photography might have heard the term ‘exposure triangle’ more times than they can count and rightly so. While it may sound like a complex mathematical formula, it is much easier and simpler to work with. It is a concept that most photographers struggle with. However, photographers who have mastered the exposure triangle find half of their work done as they can control the most important element of photography- light. Let’s find out what exactly is the exposure triangle and how can you make it work for you!

exposure triangle

Photo by: Mark Harpur

What is the Exposure Triangle?

Exposure is the amount of light reaching the image sensor of your camera. It can be determined and controlled by the three settings in your camera-shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (film sensitivity to light)- which together form the holy trifecta of photography, better known as the ‘exposure triangle’.

The triangle is essentially the result of how the combination of these three settings creates an exposure. It controls how much light enters (Aperture), for how long it can enter (Shutter Speed), and how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to the light (ISO). All three aspects are measured in stops of light or fractions of stops. Whenever you adjust one it will change your exposure, and so knowing how each affects the light in your photograph is very important in choosing how you make adjustments. It is at this intersection, where these three elements cross paths, that the perfect exposure is found.

 

Why the Exposure Triangle Is Important?

Mastering the three settings of the exposure triangle and understanding how they are interrelated helps you perfectly expose your photographs. More importantly, it is essential for artistic expression. You may want a creamy bokeh effect, freeze motion, or shoot in low light. Knowing the exposure triangle allows you to achieve your creative expressions while still correctly exposing your photographs.

Let’s understand these settings in detail:

1.ISO

ISO stands for the International Standards Organization and it is the standardized industry scale for measuring sensitivity to light. Now the question is how does it work and how can you leverage it to have good exposure in your photos.

The ISO settings are dependent on the light level that you have while shooting your photo. There is a simple trick to use your ISO. Lower ISO is used in brighter conditions and higher ISO  is used in low light conditions.

ISO is the amount of noise, or graininess, that you will allow in your photo in a trade-off for proper exposure. So the more your ISO, the grainier your photos become.

2. Aperture

Your aperture controls the size of the opening in your lens that allows light to reach your camera’s sensor. Think of this as opening the window in a house. The wider the opening, the more light comes in. Your aperture settings are determined using a series of f-stop values on your camera. The smaller the f-stop, the wider the opening will be –and the more light will be allowed in. So f/2.8 is a wider aperture than f/16.

exposure triangle

Photo by Simon Migaj

The aperture doesn’t just control light. It also adjusts the depth of field in your composition. So for a narrower depth of field, where everything in your image is clear and in-focus, you’ll want to use a smaller aperture (a bigger number) –like f/11. On the other hand, using a wider aperture (smaller number) –like f/2.8 will let more light in; resulting in a more narrow field of focus.

exposure triangle

Photo by: Anton Petrov

3. Shutter Speed

Your shutter speed determines how long your camera’s sensor is exposed to the light. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second for normal photography or seconds for long exposure photography. The fastest DSLR cameras have a fast shutter speed limit of 1/8000th of a second. The longest shutter speed limit, without using a cable release or remote is normally 30 seconds.

exposure triangle

Photo by: Anders Jilden

The light impressions that the camera sensor picks up, during the time where the shutter curtain is open, is what translates into a digital image. If you get too much light to the camera sensor because a slow shutter speed will result in an image that is too bright, and therefore overexposed. If you get too little light, your image will become underexposed.

exposure triangle

Long exposure is used for images like these. Photo by: Robert Lukeman

Shutter speed can be used creatively as well. Landscape photographers use a slow shutter speed as a way to show the movement in waves, clouds or even grass. This is done by using a tripod to ensure that the camera will remain static, so the movement that occurs while the shutter is open only comes from the elements in the scene. With fast shutter speed, you can freeze high motion action while getting sharp images.

exposure triangle

Fast shutter speed is used in fast action photographs. Photo by: Pietro Mattia

The Rule of Equivalent Exposures

The combination of the above settings will set the exposure for your photograph. While there is only one combination for each image, the means to achieve the same exposure might vary. One such way is to follow the rule of equivalent exposures. This rule states that if you cut the light by half in one way, you must double it in another to retain the same level of brightness.

Practice and follow the above rules to get the right exposure for your image! You can upload your images on chiiz.com and win amazing prizes!

Legends, Photographer's Talk, Photography Inspiration, Photography Tips,

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. 
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 fashion
fashion, Photography Tips,

7 Tips and Tricks Every Fashion Photographer Needs

Every genre of photography requires certain skill sets to highlight and emphasize the object of interest. But when we talk about fashion photography, there are always certain rules that apply to highlight not only the person but also their outfit and accessories. Here are some noteworthy points that will get you shooting for fashion magazines in no time.

Always create a counterbalance

chiiz fashion

Photo by: Meiji Nguyen

Every image credits its composition to balance. Not too much negative space, not overcrowding. However, if at all, you are required to place your subject at unusual angles or places, you can always create a counterbalance. To maintain the rhythm required, sometimes additional objects or subjects need to be introduced to the frame.

Make your photos Vibrant

When your clothing is in block or poster colors, a great way is to have highly colorful and vibrant photographs. This demands attention and catches the eye immediately, and among several other photos, a person will subconsciously only always look at these first, and longest.

chiiz fashion

Photo By: Thom Kerr

Remove all noise

Another good idea is to eradicate any and all background noise, just the opposite of the previous trick, where we create a lot of it. Sometimes, when one wants to highlight just one particular aspect of any fashion, this trick works wonders. When a person looks at the picture, they automatically only pay attention to the model, and even more so to what they are wearing. The eye does not waste time or get disturbed by anything else.

chiiz fashion

Photo by: Tina Sokolovskaya

Use props

Using props fills up an image while becoming a part of the subject itself. Umbrella, tea/coffee cups and Books are some of the most common props. They help give the models motion and helps them to pose effortlessly. The can also be used to create or justify a background.

Photo By: Meiji Nguyen

Generate Curiosity

Make the viewer wonder what the model is looking or doing. Why are they so happy? Where are they going? Why are they turned around? Creating a curiosity point makes the viewer look longer – to try and decode the unexplained. The picture above entices you to look at the ballerina longer to simply be able to understand her form.

chiiz fashion

Photo By: Ruslan Bolgov

Read More: Dos and Don’ts for Models

Give Expressions

chiiz fashion

Photo By: Vipin Gaur

Add emotions to your images. Is the model sad? Confused? Happy? Angry? Content? Give your subjects, emotions and expressions. This removes the ‘fake’ and ‘still’ aspect of your photograph, making it look more candid and thus, real. It also shows how the outfit or ornament looks even when you are not your best, or, in your most comfortable state – not posing.

Create a story

Make your model interact with the environment. This way you can make use of the otherwise noisy background. This is a step ahead from giving emotions and creating curiosity. This actually generates a story. The above image shows two women in a rather odd engagement. This puts them in actions. The image also makes sure that nothing is added at the cost of the subject’s fashion. You see them in comfortable positions and wonder what brought them there. Your eyes slowly move to each and every aspect of the image, looking at the details and objects within it. Now you know how fashion feels in real life. How it works and acts. Such a story trumps even the most vibrant images at times. Above all these, it is most important to be able to use the materials and situation at hand to create a scenic photograph. And always remember, if all else fails, go with your instinct.

chiiz fashion

Photo By: Meiji Nguyen

Click here to participate in a Masterclass for Fashion Photography

About the Author: Ruchi Kapoor is an enthusiast and an observer. She makes a note to write down about everything she finds interesting and funny. She practices as an Architect and believes that she can take the best photographs of the built environment; which she calls ‘man-made art’. She is a realist and dedicates her resources to doing instead of dreaming. This quality of hers is what makes her write about the realities of our world, instead of fiction, and this governs how she perceives others and how others perceive her.
Photography Tips,

5 Photography hacks to simplify your work of capturing

Human minds have a fleeting memory, thus, to help preserve special moments and some other unexpected ones taking photographs is probably the best option. Even those who are shy and usually hide when a friend takes the camera out is overtaken by an urge to take a picture when something touches their heart. And once you start taking photos, you want to do better. “If only I had better equipment…”, isn’t this a line of thought that every budding photographer’s mind takes? But not every one of us, have the ability to afford them.  So here are a few inexpensive photography hacks that will have even seasoned campaigners fooled.

 

  • Make your own Light Box

 

hacks

Picture By: Google

All you need for this is a sheet of paper and tape. First, tape the sheet of paper to a window and then place your subject before it. Put your camera on Av mode and set the Exposure Compensation to +1 or +2 and you are ready to shoot. This way you’ll be saving thousands in exchange of a few loose bucks for tape and a sheet of paper.

 

  • Make Custom Bokeh Shapes

hacks

Picture By: Google

This is a hack for the proud owners of a DSLR camera and people interested in Bokeh photography.

Things needed:

  1. A piece of black paper
  2. Pencil
  3. A pair of scissors
  4. Duct tape
  5. Craft knife to make different shapes

Make a round tube with the black paper and then connect it to the Lens of your camera. On the other free end, attach a piece of paper with a cut of a shape of your choice. Then using a low aperture setting shoot in manual mode facing your light source, through the cut-out. You will need to adjust the focus ring to get the desired Bokeh effect. This way you will be saving around 3,000 bucks.

 

  • Hazy photos with a sandwich bag

 

hacks

Picture By: Google

This is about the easiest way and probably the most pleasurable way of adding another special effect to your photos. It involves eating and then some working! So, after you have finished off your sandwich, do not throw the bag away, rather, attach it to your camera lens in a way that some parts of the lens are obstructed by the bag and now go about clicking those aesthetically hazy photos.

 

  • Soft Focus Lens Effect

 

hacks

Picture By: Google

Cut a square of clear plastic, add Vaseline on the outer parts of it and attach it to your camera lens with a rubber band. This can also be achieved by using a piece of gauze. Cut the center of the fabric with a pair of scissors and attach it to your lenses. Let the loose ends of the fabric fall over the lens. Thus, you will achieve the soft-focus lens effect.

 

  • Shadow effect with a Tea Strainer

 

hacks

Picture By: Google

This innovative hack can be achieved by using the old tea strainer lying about your kitchen. This is perfect if using the natural light streaming in through a window is on your mind. The light should be strong enough to get shadows on the object you will be shooting and bring out beautiful patterns on it.

Armed with these hacks, you will be able to produce pictures good enough to grace the glossy pages of a magazine. Go on, take help of these hacks and see how good your photos look and your popularity soar. After all, everyone is grateful to have a friend who is smart around a camera.

Also Read: 9 TIPS TO MASTER THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY MANIPULATION

Written By: Utsha Roy

“An aspiring photographer, Utsha Roy travels the world taking pictures and writing stories of the people she met. She I believe that everyone is in this world to tell great stories and it is a duty to make them as colorful and vivid as possible.” 

Photography Tips,

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: SUBTLE ART OF SHOOTING THE STREETS

Street Photography portrays the human condition in public locations but it does not have to be literally on street always but is often urban environment also. The goal is to preserve history by capturing a moment. It can be candid or posed.  Sometimes it can be called a street portrait. Now a day perhaps the most popular genre in the segments of photography is Street Photography. Street photography isn’t easy. It’s a fast moving world out there and it takes a lot of practice to be able to capture it well.

street photography

Picture By: Shubhadip Biswas 

Where to start Street Photography?

Make your camera a part of YOU! Never go anywhere without the camera. You never know what situation is waiting for you so slow down and shoot.

Keep your hesitation aside!

Just take the photo, don’t think too much. Stop looking at peoples who are making you uncomfortable, focus on the shot.

Keys to success

Practice makes it Perfect! Over the time and with practice your photography will improve. You’ll not only get better at technique but also spotting the things to focus upon on the street.

Light is your best friend and your worst enemy. Try to avoid shooting into the sun and the shadows that direct sunlight can produce but in street photography breaking these ‘rules’ can lead to great shots. Try to use the sunlight and learn how to create great images in against sunlight.

street photography

Picture By: Pinkesh Bhati

Have an attitude that impresses, not depresses!

  • Talk to strangers

It is really very important that how you connect with your subjects to bring out their true self. The most important part about photographing a person is winning their trust and confidence. Being able to come up or down to one’s level to ensure a strong communication is what it takes to honestly connect with a person.

  • Perfect Moment

You are never sure of the perfect moment because you’re always looking and anticipating. You are never quite sure when the moment is right because it can either peak or disappear. So it’s your intuitive and reflexive to guess for the perfect moment!

  • Smile often

By giving a simple smile you can gain the trust of your subjects. So while taking a shot, smile and make yourself and others comfortable.

  • Ask for permission

Yes, ask permission when you are not shooting candid. Most of the time this trick helps.

street photography

Picture By: Aradhika Bhattacharya

  • Be respectful

If you are respectful to your subject then you’ll get some respectful shots as well.

  • Always say “Thank you”

Always say thank you after you finish your shoot.

  • Carry Minimum

Try to carry minimum types of equipment while you are shooting.

A good street photographer needs to remember:

1: Stop comparing yourself to other photographers

Photography is an art and you are the creator of your particular art. You have to create your own identity through this art and that will be your own signature. Develop a style on your own and fill a niche that sets you apart from the rest, which is really important, this is your main goal.

2: Do not delete your photos randomly

Do not delete your photos randomly, keep them for some time and see them again and again. Even after one year, you might find them interesting than today. Do not delete your images just because it is not sharp enough or just does not meet the rules.

3: Spend more time on shooting than social media

Shoot as much as possible. Networking is good but invests time for good effort. Read the interview, see other photographers work, build your circles but don’t always sit in front of social networks.  

street photography

Picture By: Sudipta Das

4: Study one photographer’s work every day

Try to practice it at home. Select any photographer’s works that inspire you and spend your time knowing about his advice, tips, and photographs online.

Have a look at this as well: 

5: Believe in your dreams

No matter how much difficulties you face, believe that you will overcome everything and will be able to achieve your dreams. Remember that Photography is not a competition or it is not even a rank to fight for. Make photography your friend. You will see one day this photography will never let you feel alone just will become your best friend!

 

6: Show your best shot

Remember when it comes to street photography, not each one of your shots is going to be good. You are going to take a lot of crappy photos in order to make the good ones. Show only your best shot, not the average one. During the course of time, you have to learn how to choose your best shot. This is a very important part which you have to learn on your own. You must share your shots with other photographers also and discuss their opinions as well.

street photography

Picture By: Vibhansh Saini

It’s not difficult to find a street, so grab on your camera, look at the petite things around and start shooting the peculiar commodities hidden in those streets.

Also Read: TIPS TO PAVE YOUR WAY IN FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY

Written By: Nishtha Goel

 

    “Youngest explorer of the team, an amateur writer with bubbling optimism, Nishtha’s enthusiasm for her work is infectious. A bibliophile at heart, she loves to travel miles and connect to different people, in imagination as well as in reality.”