Category Archives: Inspiration

Standing Posing Guide

Posing can be a stressful task. You have a million things going through your mind during a photoshoot: light, camera settings, interacting with the client. Then you have to come up with interesting and flattering poses for each and every shot! Yikes!

Or, posing can be easy. True story! You don’t have to stress. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to memorize a million poses. You don’t even have to change things up that much to get variety!

The key to stress free posing is to make small adjustments in order to get a LOT of variety from one simple setup. Yep, it’s that easy. Tweak things a little, engage the couple, get them to interact, and get some great expressions. Then tweak again, and repeat. You’ll get a ton of variety, without having to worry about thinking up a completely different pose for each shot.

Today we’re going to look how to use this idea with standing poses and a couple. Standing works in pretty much every situation, is comfortable, and has roughly a billion different setups possible, so it’s a great place to start!

Eventually you’ll put together different simple setups like standing, sitting, and lying down. Then you’ll get mega variety!

First, the most basic setup: standing side by side, holding hands, facing their bodies to the camera, looking at the camera.

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Inspiration, Portraiture, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look


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Stress Free Posing: Sitting Edition | Photography Concentrate

Alrighty! Last time on Stress Free Posing we went through some standing poses for a couple, now let’s take a peek at some easy ways to create natural sitting poses.

The basic idea here is the same: start with one option, then make small changes to the way they’re sitting, looking at each other, and holding each other. Excellent variety + minimal work = maximum fun.

Let’s discuss a couple quick points about sitting before we dive in.

First off, sitting a great equalizer, height wise. It brings both heads to roughly the same level, allowing for more interaction. If you have a really tall guy, and a much shorter gal, sitting poses are going to be your go-to option.

It can also be very flattering when you shoot your subjects from a slightly elevated position (it lengthens out the neck, gets rid of double chins, and opens the eyes up a bit more). This is super easy to do when your couple is sitting, so take advantage of that.

Finally, if you’re going to be sitting in a field, or working with a bride, bring something to sit on. A small blanket works well, as you can hid it if you don’t want it to be in the photo. Or, if you use a Shootsac, just pull off the cover with a flourish and let them sit on that—you get awesome points when you do that.

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via Stress Free Posing: Sitting Edition | Photography Concentrate.

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Inspiration, Portraiture, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look


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How to Use Steel Wool for Beautiful Light Painting Photographs

Here’s an awesome tutorial that teaches you how to create beautiful light painting sparkler photos. The materials are pretty cheap: all you need is some steel wool, an egg whisk, and a rope or cable. Simply place the steel wool inside the whisk, light it on fire using a lighter or 9V battery, and swing it around at the end of the cable while your camera snaps a long-exposure photo. Just be careful not to start a fire!

Recommended Starting Settings:

Manual Mode
Tripod Use
Shutter Speed: 30 secs or Bulb
Apperture: F/8
ISO: 200
White Balance: Tungsten
Format: RAW

via How to Use Steel Wool for Beautiful Light Painting Photographs.


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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Inspiration, Night Photography, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look


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Wondering what filter to use? | Camera House

Wondering what filter to use?

by CameraHouse

Including a filter or two in your kit can change the look and feel of your photos for the better.

Whether you’re shooting digital or film, you’ll find that if you begin to incorporate the use of filters into your photography you’ll achieve much more professional results. Polarising and neutral density filters or even colour converters are useful additions for any photo enthusiast’s camera kit ( though a lot of colour correction can be done via white balance with a digital camera). Still, you’ll be surprised how the addition of filters can make an image look much more natural as they help your camera to compensate between the way your eye processes an image, to how your camera sees it… This is the reason that most snapshots lack the look and feel of reality. Your camera simply doesn’t process or see things the way your brain does. Similarly, the use of a filter can help you cheat with the look and feel that you want – say by bumping up the colours on an overly bright day or when shooting in the midday sun.

Here’s a rundown on some basic filters that will help you achieve better looking photos.


A blue yellow polarising lens is great for picking up the depth of blue in the sky while also adding a much warmer tone to any earth colours in your image. It’s particularly useful when shooting at high contrast times of day such as midday – although its best to avoid using these on an ultra wide angle lens as the sky varies too much and your image can wind up looking a little weird. Also don’t forget a polarising filter will reduce the light entering your camera by 1-3 stops, so bear this in mind when taking your shot.


Absolutely essential if you plan on shooting B&W film. A yellow filter will help you avoid overexposed skies and generally kicks up the tone in your photos, making them look much crisper to the naked eye.


Our quest to be green friendly has a down side – fluorescent globes seem to be everywhere these days – which are an anathema to a shooter thanks to the hideous green cast they seem to give to any humans within a few feet of them. What’s the answer to avoiding that green-tinged hue? A purple filter. Presto! No one looks like the Wicked Witch of the West any more.


Popular with landscape shooters the world over, neutral density filters are available in solid or graduated formats and suppress the amount of ambient light coming into your camera. A graduated ND filter is great for enhancing detail in the foreground whilst assisting you in avoiding over exposing your background. Therefore it’s particularly effective when shooting land and seascapes. A graduated ND filter is great for this purpose as the colour of the filter fades from dark to light and can be manipulated to suit the area of your image requiring correction.


Popular with shooters who like to experiment with monochrome, the infrared filter filters out all wavelengths apart from red and infrared. The result is a blood red image that can look spectacular.


Most popular with SLR shooters, UV filters not only protect your lens from everyday scratches and grime, they also reduce the effect of haze or UV scattering – so they can be particularly useful when shooting on water. However the grime they are meant to protect your lens from can just as easily wind up deposited on the filter, so be sure to clean thoroughly before use.

via Wondering what filter to use? | Camera House.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Filters, Inspiration, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look


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Macro photography tips with example photographs and images

Macro photography tips with example photographs and images

by Tanya Puntti

Macro photography tips, images and photographs

Shown below is a set of 10 amazing macro photographs. Each photograph includes an explanation of the camera equipment that was used and tips on how it was taken. While many of the images have been taken with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, the settings can be reproduced with any real macro lens. You’ll aslo notice they were photographed with an entry level DLSR camera from quite a few years back now! My point being, anyone with a DSLR camera can shoot awesome macro photographs.Click on each image to see a larger version of the photograph.

1. Hoverfly in flightmacro example of a hoverfly insect in flight

Photograph of a hoverfly in flight was taken with a Canon 400D SLR entry level camera, a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens and a Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX flash.

Exposure shutter speed: 0.005 sec 1/200
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 100 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Program: Manual
Metering Mode: Pattern

Macro photography tip #1: If possible, use a ring flash or twin lite flash when shooting macro. It will allow you to shoot at a reasonable speed, yet enable you to keep the aperture on a high f/11 for sufficient depth of field. Of course, I understand it isn’t always possible for fellow DSLR photographers to purchase such equipment. No problem, keep reading for other tips.

via Macro photography tips with example photographs and images.

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Flash Photos, Inspiration, Macro, Worth a Look


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Using Photography to Appreciate Life

by Michael Zhang on PetaPixel from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.

Back in 2008, photographer Hailey Bartholomew was feeling down even though everything seemed to be going for her in life. After getting some counseling, she began an exercise in reflection and gratitude by purchasing enough Polaroid film for an entire year, and taking a single photo every day of something she is grateful for. Before long, she began noticing things that she otherwise would have overlooked, and her life was transformed by simply looking for the small things in life that are easy to take for granted.

Seeing and celebrating the good in my life affected not only the way I felt spiritually and physically but it improved my relationships with others too. It was not long before it was hard to only take a single photo each day. The more I noticed and took photos the more I began to notice the good and great moments in my life and want to capture them. [#]

After sharing her project, which she calls a 365 Grateful project, through Flickr, Bartholomew is on a mission to spread gratefulness and an appreciation of life to other photo enthusiasts.

365 grateful (via Digital Photography School)

via Using Photography to Appreciate Life.

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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Inspiration, Musings, Worth a Look


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It’s a Snap: How to Pick a Digital Camera

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

by Tech News Daily

It’s hard to keep track of all the digital cameras and high-tech features out on the market, but according to experts, shoppers should be wary of all the bells and whistles offered with new devices that don’t actually enhance the quality of the photographs.

Tom Cavalieri, a student adviser at the New York Institute of Photography who works with aspiring photographers, believes digital cameras often include fancy-sounding features at higher prices that aren’t essential for taking great pictures.

“There are tons of high-quality models out there that aren’t too expensive, so people shouldn’t fall into traps of paying more for features they don’t need,” he said.

For example, Cavalieri said selecting a device that has the ability to take very high-resolution images isn’t as important as one would think.

“If you can save a couple of dollars deciding between a 10-megapixel camera and a 18-megapixel cheaper, go for the cheaper one,” Cavalieri said. “You don’t need 24 megapixels to take decent pictures, especially when so many images today are just being viewed online.”

High definition video capabilities are also making its way onto more digital cameras: “If all you want to do is take pictures, you don’t need a built-in microphone and video technology that will just add more dollars to the overall bill.”

As for picking the best one to fit your needs, Cavalieri advises avid travelers to seek out digital cameras that take batteries instead of those that rely on a plug-in charger.

“The last thing you want to worry about when traveling is finding a place to recharge your camera,” he said. “You can buy batteries almost anywhere or pack more ahead of time, so you never have to wait on your camera to be ready to go.”

Although the Internet is a key tool for researching and finding information about digital cameras, Cavalieri also suggests shoppers go into retail stores and test out different devices before making a purchase.

“Some digital cameras are heavier than people think and if it’s not comfortable and easy to hold, they might not get used,” Cavalieri said.

Camera expert Ken Rockwell, who runs the photography tip site, also encourages people to get their hands on digital cameras to make sure they can find all of the features.

“Lenses, zoom rates and resolution are basically all the same, but if you can’t figure out where all of the features are, you’ll miss capturing what your kid is doing or what funny thing is happening at a party,’ Rockwell told TechNewsDaily.

Rockwell also said that compact digital cameras have reached a mature state over the years and haven’t actually gotten better.

“If you already have a digital camera, you most likely don’t need another one to take better pictures,” Rockwell said, adding that it’s more about being a good photographer than having a high-quality expensive camera. “A pianist will be able to play a toy piano much better than someone with limited piano experience playing on a top-quality piano model.

Cellphone cameras

Rockwell believes that digital cameras are expected to slow in the next five to ten years, as more people reach into their pockets for cellphone cameras to take pictures.

“In most cases, cellphone cameras are just as good as compact digital cameras you would buy at the store,” he said. “The iPhone has a very strong built-in camera, and coupled with apps that help you edit and fine-tune colors, you may not even need to buy a new camera.”

There are a few ways to optimize an iPhone to take better pictures, Rockwell said. For example, when taking a picture of someone’s face, tapping the device’s screen showing that area will tell the camera which part of the picture is the most important and what you want to see in detail.

Meanwhile, before taking a picture on the iPhone, users can also tap a button on the bottom of the screen to adjust the brightness level. However, one drawback to cellphone cameras is that they don’t take pictures very quickly.

“If you are trying to capture something such as a sporting event in real-time, it will be difficult on a cellphone,” Rockwell said. “But missing the shot also happens at times on compact cameras. Most people don’t realize you have to push the camera button halfway down at first to preset it for exposure, focus and other key reasons.”

Pushing down the button again a few seconds later will ensure that it will go off in time to get the shot you want, Rockwell said.

The bottom line: “It doesn’t matter if you are using a camera that costs thousands of dollars,” Rockwell said. “If you aren’t using your camera right and are a bad photographer, you will just keep taking bad photographs.”

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN

via It’s a Snap: How to Pick a Digital Camera | Tech News Daily.

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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Featured, Inspiration, Worth a Look


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