DesignM.ag » Photography http://designm.ag Articles and Resources for Web Designers Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:48:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 30 Gnarly Jaw-dropping Surfing Photos http://designm.ag/photography/30-gnarly-jaw-dropping-surfing-photos/ http://designm.ag/photography/30-gnarly-jaw-dropping-surfing-photos/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:49:31 +0000 Inspiredology http://inspiredology.com/?p=19150

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The marriage of challenge and defying physics over water are just some of the tantilizing reasons to attempt snagging some of these pics—hopefully these 30 photos will help start the itch. There isn’t a sport that connects man and nature as much as surfing. Having been practiced by the Polynesians for as far back as […]

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The marriage of challenge and defying physics over water are just some of the tantilizing reasons to attempt snagging some of these pics—hopefully these 30 photos will help start the itch.

There isn’t a sport that connects man and nature as much as surfing. Having been practiced by the Polynesians for as far back as 500 years in the past, its cultural significance is now very deep-rooted in our culture—now this art of riding the waves with a board is enjoyed wherever the oceans’ waters swell and break.

Naturally, there is always a risk in surfing on big fast-moving walls of water that can’t be controlled, only marginally predicted; however, that doesn’t stop the many hobbyists who surf simply for fun or the enthusiasts who join competitions where they bust out awesome tricks on the wildest waves.

This innate relationship with nature and its beauty coupled with the athleticism involved makes surfing a delight for photographers. But because of those very factors, it also makes taking good pictures quite the challenge. To help all you budding surf photographers catch the best moments on film, take heed of a few of my tips.

Preparing the Equipment

Before anything else, you want to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Starting with the camera, you’ll need one that has a fast motor drive to be able to capture the quick motions of the surfer and the waves; burst mode is essential, so hold down the shutter when the action is about to pick up—You’d rather delete bad pictures from the lot than regret not getting the good ones.

A telephoto lens is another essential piece of equipment: It lets you zoom in enough to focus on the surfer from the beach or the pier, allowing your pictures to translate the intensity of the moment. Other small things that you still need to consider are extra batteries and cards for emergencies, cotton cloth to keep your lens clean, and the right attire such as flip-flops and shorts.

Setting the Time

Lighting is key to producing good shots. Since you’ll be at the mercy of mother nature, you need to set your shots when the lighting is perfect: early in the morning when the sun is just rising and late in the afternoon when it’s about to set. Fortunately, surfers agree on those as the best times to hit the water.

During these times, you have a lot of freedom to play with the effects of the light. You can use the position of the sun to capture light passing through the waves, reflecting on the water, creating shadows and silhouettes for your subjects.

As always, be privy to weather updates and surf reports. Rain can ruin your photo shoots (or enhance), and little waves may not make for compelling pictures.

Composing the Picture

In taking the pictures themselves, you need to communicate the energy and the beauty within the surfer and the waves’ movements. Here are a few key points for this:

  • Positioning is one crucial factor. Finding yourself parallel to the breaking wave and the surfer riding it will usually get you a great shot, but don’t limit your options to just sitting by the beach.
  • Go up to a pier to get a closer view or look for a nearby cliff that can give you a whole new perspective. If you already have enough experience, you can even get into the water yourself for more dynamic close-up shots.
  • Experimenting with different vantage points will also let you include more elements into the picture. Nearby islands, rock formations, birds in the air and boats out in the sea all make for a more intriguing story.

Just don’t forget that you still want to keep your subject, the surfer, in focus. His or her image must be sharp to really contrast over the chaotic forces surrounding them.

Anticipating the Action

Finally, you must learn to have patience; it’s not all action all the time, so you need to be comfortable waiting. Just don’t end up getting frustrated or restless, as you might just miss the perfect shot.

It also helps to have a keen understanding of the surfer’s movements so you can anticipate when they’ll be busting out the moves on a killer wave.

To further guide and inspire you along the path to becoming an epic surf photographer, check out these breath-taking surf photos from the pros.

Inspiredology, surfing photography

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Hobgoods/Tahiti

Alek Parker

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Otis

North Shore Surfing 18

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How to Take Photos at Sunrise and Sunset http://designm.ag/photography/how-to-take-photos-at-sunrise-and-sunset/ http://designm.ag/photography/how-to-take-photos-at-sunrise-and-sunset/#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 12:38:43 +0000 Inspiredology http://inspiredology.com/?p=18752

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Most critically acclaimed photos incorporate sunrise or sunset. Lets explore how to better take advantage of these environments from photos taken by the finest photographers in the world.The reason these photographs are some of the best ever taken is because of their features, but getting these features is only obtainable if you know how to take […]

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Most critically acclaimed photos incorporate sunrise or sunset. Lets explore how to better take advantage of these environments from photos taken by the finest photographers in the world.The reason these photographs are some of the best ever taken is because of their features, but getting these features is only obtainable if you know how to take photos correctly at these times. Here we will explore how to take photos at sunrise and sunset in more detail.

Novia Chan & Jason To

Winter reigns supreme

It may be surprising, but winter is actually the best time to take these photographs. As the days are shorter, shooting in the winter is much more practical and will stop you having to get up at a silly time. Shooting in June, when the sun comes up at about 07:15 and sets at just after 17:00 is better than March when there is a 12 hour gap between the sunrise and sunset.

Do some scouting before shooting

Deciding to turn up to the first place that you find and shooting a picture will essentially leave you with a mediocre picture at best, unless you happen to stumble upon the right area. Make sure you put in plenty of research of what the sunrise and sunset looks like in specific areas before shooting. This way, you can get an idea of what you may expect before you have even taken your picture. You should explore at least five different areas before deciding where to shoot.

groupSetting

Research, research, research

With this type of photography, just turning up and shooting is rarely possible. So on top of the points above, you also need to keep an eye on the weather. The main thing you should be looking for is how much cloud there is supposed to be.

However, this does not mean you should be looking for clear skies all the time. The best sunrise/sunset photographs are often taken with broken cloud, but it really depends on the effect that you are looking to obtain.

groupSetting2

If you are looking for a wedding photographer in Brisbane or family photography in Brisbane, you should ask to see their current portfolio. When looking through it, you should see the photographer’s impression of sunrise and sunset. The quality of these pictures is often a representation of the class of the photographer because these photos are in most cases the hardest ones to shoot.


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The Grit and Money behind Stock Photography http://designm.ag/photography/the-grit-and-money-behind-stock-photography/ http://designm.ag/photography/the-grit-and-money-behind-stock-photography/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:52:16 +0000 Inspiredology http://inspiredology.com/?p=18118

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High quality DSLR cameras, and software like Photoshop, are making it easier for amateurs to shine, and sell, almost like the pros—It isn’t all fun and games though, making the moolah in Stock Photography takes patience, talent, and a little bit of grit. Types of stock photography For businesses buying stock photography, the process is quicker, easier […]

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High quality DSLR cameras, and software like Photoshop, are making it easier for amateurs to shine, and sell, almost like the pros—It isn’t all fun and games though, making the moolah in Stock Photography takes patience, talent, and a little bit of grit.

Types of stock photography

Photo of legs by bath

Image: © Christopher Robbins / Image Source – IS894-008

For businesses buying stock photography, the process is quicker, easier and cheaper than putting together a shoot. The downside is that many stock photos have a very generic feel (stock), and due to there being millions of images available, you often find many other similar images online. There are, however, multiple types of stock photography:

Microstock

Microstock photography is the most common type of stock photography and is the easiest to get into. The microstock business model is to sell as many images as possible at a low price. If you want to make decent money you will have to produce thousands of photos. These photos are usually lower quality and are typically the most generic. They are extremely popular with small businesses, individuals, and designers because they can usually be used in a variety of situations. Sites that include this type of photography are shutterstock.com, fotolia.com and iStockPhoto.com.

Photo of Businesspeople in meeting

Image: © Image Source – IS098U4Z3

Premium Stock Photography

Premium stock photography tends to convey concepts and offers a higher level of detail. Images are usually purchased because they deliver a brand massage, tend to not look too generic, and can scale really well to larger sizes. Premium photography may also come with exclusivity, with rights managed licenses ensuring that no one else can use particular images.

Photo of Railworker

Image: © Monty Rakusen / Image Source – IS099W0AD

Premium stock photos sell less frequently, but the higher quality is reflected in the price which can range from tens of dollars to tens of thousands. The quality is defined by the image quality and by the subject. Premium images are usually hard to replicate, they may capture genuine emotion or feature specialist content. Some sites that include these types of photographs are GettyImages.com, CorbisImages.com and ImageSource.com.

Image: © Image Source - IS099J4D9

Image: © Image Source – IS099J4D9

The Creative Process

Some agencies provide art directors to help you produce specific content, but when they are unavailable it’s always good to think about the potential end user. There’s no point in producing imagery that no one will buy, even if you do end up getting featured on sites like 60 completely unusable stock photos (this isn’t quite the highest honor).

Most stock agencies require model and property releases. This means that people featured in your photos have to provide written consent and property owners have to give permission for a photographer to photograph their buildings.

Photo of Skier jumping

Image: © Image Source – IS570-078

Submitting Work

If you’re new to photography, then chances are that you’ll have more success with microstock. This is because they are a bit more lenient with the content they accept; However, if you  are fortunate to have really great content, then premium stock photography may be a real money maker for you, but you won’t know until you try.

Photo of man filming girl

Image: © Image Source – IS098U2NC

Acceptance policies and royalty rates will vary with stock agency. Microstock sites tend to have a tiered structure starting at around 20% entirely based on sales. Premium stock agencies offer higher royalties at around 40%, although Image Source recently announced an increase in royalty rates for North American photographers to 60%. To get an idea of what will be accepted, it is worth comparing the microstock imagery of say fotolia to Image Source’s premium imagery—you may be surprised at the difference of quality.

Whichever agency you decide to go with, stock photography offers the potential to make a decent return from your imagery, if you’re willing to put in the time you need. What are some of your favorite stock photo galleries? Why? 


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Help! My Portfolio is Empty! http://designm.ag/photography/help-my-portfolio-is-empty/ http://designm.ag/photography/help-my-portfolio-is-empty/#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:13:45 +0000 Inspiredology http://inspiredology.com/?p=17020

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The instructions are clear: submit your completed application, a personal essay, recommendations, transcript and fee . . . oh, and a portfolio of your best work. Where do you get one of those? The mere mention of a portfolio creates a sense of panic in many students hoping to get into the best photography schools. […]

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The instructions are clear: submit your completed application, a personal essay, recommendations, transcript and fee . . . oh, and a portfolio of your best work. Where do you get one of those?

The mere mention of a portfolio creates a sense of panic in many students hoping to get into the best photography schools. What if my work isn’t good enough? How do I create a portfolio? Or perhaps, most panic-inducing of all: what if I don’t have anything to put in a portfolio?

Chances are, if you are applying to a college-level photography program, you have some experience behind the camera, and maybe even a few good shots that you’re exceptionally proud of taking. And while the admissions committee understands that applicants to their program don’t generally have extensive formal training, and probably don’t have a professional collection of work, they do want to see that you have a unique style, good eye for photography and enough technical skill to succeed in the program.

Here are some tips to build up your photography portfolio, even if you aren’t trying to get into an institution.

If you don’t feel that you have enough “portfolio-worthy” photos, though, all is not lost. You can get the photos you need for your application and gain experience, in a number of ways.

Contact a local photographer, and ask to job shadow or assist

Many photographers are more than willing to help aspiring professionals, especially students. Call a few who shoot in a style you admire, and ask them to let you tag along on a shoot with your camera. Not only will you get some photos for your portfolio, you might even pick up a few tips and tricks that you can use to make your photos even better.

Enlist your friends for a photo shoot

Need some portraits for your portfolio? Ask your friends to serve as subjects. If you have a friend or family member who has recently had a baby, gotten engaged, or simply needs a photo for their Christmas card, offer to take some photos for them.

Enroll in a workshop

Many adult education or community centers offer photography workshops and courses for local residents. Consider enrolling in one to get some photos for your portfolio. Depending on the workshop focus, you might have the opportunity to shoot portraits, landscapes, close-ups and more artistic photos – and learn how to edit and present them as well.

Photography Workshop with Photographer Gustavo Hochman

Take a photo walk

While many cities host annual photo walk events, where groups of photographers tour a specific route with their cameras, capturing the details of the environment, you don’t have to wait for a specific event. Grab your camera and tour your own neighborhood, looking for scenes or details that you might not normally notice in your daily rush. Look for textures, the play of shadow and light, interesting architectural details or vignettes that tell the story of life in the neighborhood. You’ll work on developing your own style and eye, while getting potential photos for your portfolio.

Carry your camera – always

In fact, most professional photographers have at least some type of camera with them at all times. You never know when you’ll pass a scene worthy of a few shots – a single flame red tree in early fall, or an arrangement of flowers just begging to be captured. Sometimes the impromptu, unplanned shots can be some of the best in your portfolio.

You probably won’t need a large number of photos for your application portfolio. The fact that you can only submit a handful of shots, means that the ones that you include need to be your best work and of the highest possible quality. Keep your photos organized, sorting out potential portfolio images into a separate folder. Don’t be afraid to edit your photos, and invest in high-quality printing and presentation. Your best work deserves more than discount photo paper, right?

Creating a portfolio to submit to photography colleges can be nerve-wracking, but taking the time to shoot and present beautiful, and effective, images is worthwhile. You’ll increase your chances of gaining a coveted spot in the incoming class – all while gaining experience and making others happy in the process.

What are some of your tips for creating a portfolio out of nothing…even if you don’t have that much experience?


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