Tag: details

Architectural Photography (II): How to Work With Historical Buildings

In the previous article of this series, I gave you some general tips to improve your architectural photography. Today I will go a bit deeper into historical buildings. Let’s start!

#1. Do your homework before visiting a building

A lot of Historical buildings are taken care of and some are open to visit, so it is easy to find information about them either online or at the site itself and in tourist information centers. Once you choose a building, you should spend some time checking the activities/events that the building holds, opening hours…etc. Knowing these details will help you to decide the best moment for you to go.

Historic architecture photography
The beautiful Dome of the Rock is situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. If you want to access the Temple Mount, you should check the tourist visiting hours in advance because it is open for visitors just at certain times of the day and only on certain days. It also depends on the political situation, so if you don’t check it you might find it closed.

#2. Take your tripod with you to avoid blurry photos

Using the tripod is always a good thing when you are taking photos of architecture. Some of these buildings can be quite dark, so if you want to take a photo during sunset for example (usually the golden light in this time creates a beautiful effect on this type of buildings), you might find it necessary to use low shutter speed, for which a tripod will be handy. In addition, some of these buildings, because they are interesting to the public, are illuminated at night. If you want to capture them at night, you will need again to use long exposure photography. Having a tripod grants you more stability and lessens camera shaking and blur.

Historic architecture photography
The Sagrada Familia (Barcelona) is the unfinished Cathedral designed by Gaudi. It is beautifully illuminated at night. A tripod is always a good thing to have if you plan to take photos after sunset.

#3. If using a tripod is not an option, there is always an alternative

Keep in mind, using a tripod is not always possible. If the building is open to the public and there is a respectable amount of people visiting, setting a tripod might obstruct the passage for other visitors and cause an inconvenience. For that reason, tripods are not allowed in some Historical buildings (this is another good reason to get information about the building in advance). If you can’t use a tripod, look for an alternative approach in order to avoid blurry photos! You can increase the ISO to keep the shutter speed higher (remember that increasing ISO means adding noise to the image). Or you can look for tripod alternatives like monopods, a wall or even setting the camera on the floor (or on any other stable surface).

Historic architecture photography
I wanted to take a photo of this church in Hannover, but I had no tripod at the time. I increased the ISO, so it turned out really noisy. I decided to edit in white and black and leave the noise to give a feeling of an old photo.

#4. Historical buildings look great in classically composed shots

Historical buildings look great when shot from conservative perspectives because they are usually quite balanced and symmetric. Leading lines and symmetry will work really well with this type of buildings:

Historical buildings architecture photography
In this photo, you can see the building of the Catalan Parliament. In the afternoon golden hour light, you can see how well balanced and symmetrical the building is.

#5. Try exploring new perspectives to give diversity to your images

I know I just said how well the conventional/classical perspectives fit historical buildings… but that doesn’t mean you should not explore a little (or a lot), otherwise you can end up with a complete collection of photos that look all the same. I usually take photos in more than one style, it helps me to not feel restricted and also makes my collections interesting to more people. In the case of a Historical building, having both classical and unorthodox perspectives can be a great option.

Historical buildings architecture photography
A typical perspective of the Central Postal Office building in Barcelona. For editing, I used the Blue Hour Cityscape preset from the Brick and Mortar Workflow.

#6. If the building doesn´t fit in the frame, make it look even bigger

Maybe you are in the same situation as I am and you don´t own a wide angle lens and/or a full sensor camera that allows you to fit big buildings in a single frame. When I find myself in this situation, my go-to solution is to make panoramas. The downside of it is that taking a panorama is not always possible (you are in a hurry for some reason, or you needed a tripod and you don´t have it with you for example). In these situations, I change my mindset. I let go of the idea of capturing the entire building and I focus on getting a photo (or photos) of that building that will convey the feeling that the building has more to it than seen in the photo. So I choose a part of the building, usually the top part, and I try to emphasize the distortion to make it look huge and important. You can do this by lowering the shooting point (kneeling down or even lying on the floor if you don’t mind getting dirty). This increases the tension of the photo, adding some interest on it.

 

Historic architecture photography
Here I am, lying on the floor, taking a photo of the Blue Mosque (Istanbul). This photo was taken by my friend Nuray Akman. If you are going to do this, I recommend you to take care of your belongings better than I do in the photo, someone could have easily take my glasses or step on them…

 

Historic architecture photography
And this is the photo. I managed to fit a big part of the mosque in the frame and the vertical distortion adds to the feeling of grandiosity.

 

#7. Take some photos of decorations and details

Many times historical buildings are full of details that add to their story and atmosphere. Take advantage of that and include them in your photos. Take some close ups of the decorations, or of statues. This will add diversity to your shots and they will tell a bit more about the building. Having a small collection of photos from the whole building and some details will be a great way to show the building to anybody that has not been there.

Historic architecture photography
This is the Buddhist Monastery located in Garraf Natural Park (Catalonia), it looks impressive from afar.

 

Historic architecture photography
Taking a photo of the details helps to complete the collection. Here I included a photo of one of the Snow Lions on the Stupa. These Lions are important in Buddhist culture, they represent a clear and precise mind, free of doubt and unconditional cheerfulness.

#8. Include some hints in the image

Some historic buildings are not so widely known, so adding some hints of where they are located might add to the story. A flag, letters, people dressed in popular clothes and so on. These are examples of details that can be easily related to a country or region

Historic architecture photography
The discrete German flag gives us a good hint about the location of this church (Dresden Frauenkirche, Germany)

 

#9. Keep in mind that some of these buildings are extremely meaningful to people

Some buildings have a strong emotional baggage associated with them. A good example is religious buildings. If you want to take photos there, be Especially respectful of the people around you. They might be praying or in any other type of intimate spiritual moment, so don´t make them feel uncomfortable with your camera. Read the rules of the place or ask, if you don´t see them written anywhere, to make sure you can take photos. Follow all the other rules, such as dressing code and times.

Historic architecture photography
I took this photo of the Stone of Anointing in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem). According to tradition, this is the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial. Christian people come here from all around the world to practice their belief, for some, it is the trip of a lifetime, be respectful as the people around you can get very emotional in these situations.

#10. A film look can make your photo more original

Some historic buildings look really nice if you edit them to look like in a film. Photos of the really well known monumental structures can sometimes look too touristic to my taste. In these cases I like to edit them to look like old style photos, it is a way to give them a nostalgic look.

Historic architecture photography
Eiffel Towers looks great with a film look. To get this look, I used the Brick and Mortar workflow.

I hope my article will be helpfull to you, feel free to write any comment or question. Have a happy shooting!

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Architectural Photography (I): Composition Tips

One of the best things about architectural photography is that it is available to everybody. Even if we live in a small place, we can easily find several types of buildings or man-made structures that can be an interesting subject for our images. However, architectural photography is not just “point and shoot”. In the first article of this architectural photography series, I will start by showing you some concepts about composition and perspective and their importance in this type of photography.

#1. Leading lines help to lead the eye to the interesting part of your photo

It is a natural tendency of the human brain/eye to look for and follow lines. By paying attention to the placement of lines and angles of the building we can exploit this to improve the composition of our photos and to guide the viewers to focus on what we want them to.  Buildings are rich with lines and geometric shape and you really should use that to your advantage. For example, if you take a photo in a church that has a beautiful stained glass window and you want the viewer to focus on, you could align the aisle and the window so that it will look like the passage is leading to the window

Architecture Composition
Arches, tunnels and similar constructions usually provide great leading lines for architecture photography.

 

Architecture Composition
Buildings surrounding your image main object can be a source of leading lines. Here you can see how the lines of the two buildings in the foreground lead the eye to the building in the center: the Born Market (Barcelona)
Architecture Composition
It is fun searching for leading lines. Here I found that the concrete benches form a curvy line that takes the eye to the Sydney Opera.

 

#2. Include the surroundings into the frame if they add to the story

If the surrounding adds to the building, include it in the composition: It is a good habit to analyze the background/foreground of the building you are shooting at. It is true that sometimes the background might look messy, boring or ugly. However, other times the background adds something to the story of the building. “Contextual background” is called so because this is what its role is, to give a bit of context to the building. This context might tell that the building is in the forest, next to the sea, or that the photo was taken on a special event (for example a photo of the Bastille in Paris on Bastille Day which includes the celebrations as well).

Architecture Composition
This is a close up of a building that I found interesting. If you are familiar with the flags hanging in the balconies, you will know that it is a building in Catalonia. But you can’t deduce anything more than that.

 

Architecture Composition
I decided to include a bit of the surrounding into the frame. By the context you can now deduce that the building is probably placed in a touristic area because of the postcard stores you see in the foreground. This photo was taken in Barcelona Old City.

 

Architecture Composition
For me, Australia is a remote place because I live in Barcelona. I am sure that for a lot of people it is obvious that the Opera building is placed close to the Harbor, but it was not so evident to me. For that reason, I decided to take a photo of the wonderful Opera building that also includes part of the port. For another person, this context might not be interesting and the framing of the Opera might be totally different (probably a close up). The decision of adding to the building some context is subjective and it depends on what we find interesting and the story we want to tell with the photo.

#3. Symmetry gives a sense of balance to the photo

Symmetry will give a sense of balance to your images: man-made structures are usually full of lines and geometrical shapes. If you can show in a picture the symmetry of this shape, it will look balanced and pleasant to the eye. Symmetrical images might look a bit too static sometimes (too perfect as well). But this is an effect that can work really nicely in architectural photography. If you are aiming for a symmetrical image, try to make it as symmetrical as you can, otherwise, it won´t have the same impact. You can also get symmetry by playing with reflections (windows, lakes, pools…)

symmetry architecture
Symmetry always makes images look more balanced.

#4. Lighting is important in architecture photography

The quality of light has a strong effect on how a building would look like and it changes along the day. At sunrise and sunset, we usually have a soft light that comes with an angle. Shadows are usually long and soft. At midday, on the other hand, the light is hard falling directly from above us and casting sharp shadows. The different types of light will make the same building look different. Shadows will look more interesting during the sunset and sunrise; on the other hand, colors will be brighter during the midday.

Architecture Composition
This photo from a Buddhist Monastery was taking in the midday. The light was strong (hard). This type of light might create hard shadows (see next photo), but it also increases color saturation. In that case, this light works well with the subject.

 

Architecture Composition
This image was taken also in the midday. It is a good example of the hard shadows you can get taking photos with the hard light of this time of the day. If you don’t want this shadows, it will be better to take your photos during other times of the day.

 

Architecture Composition
This building were not under the direct light when I took the photo, so they have not hard shadows on them.

You can also include sunburst in your architecture photography to make the building look a bit different. You should consider what you want to capture in your image and adjust your time accordingly.  I recommend you to experiment with it.

 

Architecture Composition
If you catch the sun in the border of the building, you can get a sunburst. I personally like them, but some might think that they can take a bit of importance to the building itself.

 

Ah! And don´t forget night photography! Some buildings have lights that make them look even better at night. For night photography I strongly recommend to use a tripod and play with long exposure.

Architecture Composition
Sydney Opera building looks great at night.

 

#5. Details are also interesting

When talking about architecture photography people tend to think of wide-angle shots and trying to capture the entire building or as much of it as possible. Sometimes, however, you can get really impressive photos if you focus on the details. The easiest examples to find would be in medieval structures with all the gargoyles or stained glass windows. However, you can take awesome photos by focusing on patterns and details of any building; capturing how the ceiling is reflected on a marble floor in an office building or the design of the tiles can also make interesting photos.

Architecture Composition

 

#6. Compose your image as a panoramic shot to include it all

It can be quite a challenge to fit a whole building in a frame. For this maybe you need to go far in order to “make” the building small. But this approach is not always possible for lack of time, or just because the building is surrounded by others that will block its view even from far. Something that might help for fitting a whole building in a frame is to have a wide angle lens. However, if you don’t have it, there is still a chance you can take a photo of a big building: Do a panorama. If you don’t know how to do it, don’t miss the tutorial of Jordan Younce about making a panorama using Lightroom.  I have to admit that a panorama takes more work than just shoot and go, but on the other side, it is totally worth it.

Architecture Composition
I have not a wide lens, so I was not able to fit Suleymaniye Mosque (Istanbul) in a single frame. But it worked with a panorama.

#7. Include human figures to give a sense of size

I usually like architectural photos that include just my min subject.  If there is a human figure in the image, we instinctively give it a lot of importance, so I am always scared that the people become the main subject of the photo and the building would pass to a second place. However, lately, I learned that including human figures can give a sense of scale to the image. We are familiar with the high of a person, so when we place somebody close to a building, our brain compares its size with the one of the people. The trick is to keep the people small in a way that we still can see it is a human being, but that the important thing in the photo is the big staff (meaning the building).

Architecture Composition
By comparing with the size of the human figures in this image, you can guess how tall the buildings were,

#8. Distortion

One of the problems of architecture photography is distortion. I am referring to the effect of having in the photo buildings that seems to be leaning because vertical lines in the image are not parallel, but converge. This is an effect produced by the way of taking the photo. Lenses are usually built by taking the parallel lines as parallel, but when the camera is pointing straight. When you tilt the camera in order to take a photo of a building, you get these vertical converging lines. There are different things you can do to avoid vertical distortion. You can get a tilted/lens that is specially built to solve this issue. The problem here is that they are quite expensive. Another option is that you correct the distortion in post-processing. I will show you how to do it using Lightroom.

Architecture distortion
The photo I am going to work with is from the Cathedral of Tarragona (Catalonia).

 

Architecture distortion
The blue arrows show you the vertical distortion. As you can see, the vertical lines of the building are not parallel but convergent. We can correct this distortion using Lightroom.

 

Architecture distortion
There is a really fast way to correct distortion. In the Develop Module, you need to look for “Lens Correction”. In the Basic section, you can click on Auto and Lightroom will correct the photo. As you can see, this is a really quick way to do it and it works quite well in a lot of photos (including this one). However, you might not be happy with the result, so I will show you another way to do it.
Architecture distortion
Also in the Develop module and Lens Correction section, go to Manual.

 

Architecture distortion
By moving the Vertical slide, you can correct the most part of the distortion.
Architecture distortion
You might need to move a little the Distortion slide to finishing correcting the perspective of your photo. After the corrections, you will probably have some white areas that you need to remove. But it is easy!! Check the next photo to know how!
Architecture distortion
Check in “Constrain Crop” and the white areas will disappear from your image!!

Or last option, you can accept the distortion and use it as a creative effect.

Architecture Composition
This photo has a clear vertical distortion, so it gives the feeling you are looking for the buildings from down to up. It is up to you to decide on each photo if you prefer to keep the distortion or correct it.

I hope you find this first article about architectural photography interesting!! Have a happy shooting!!!

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The Power of Seeing Monochrome: Tones of Black and White

Colors have a way to give you a bright and cheerful feeling. There is just something about a photo that speaks colors. It brings out that energy and brightens up your day with it. Did you know that even photos in Black and White/Monochrome can intrigue you?

people

Black and White definitely gives you a retro feeling of the olden days, when photographers like Andre Kertesz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fan Ho created wonderful artistic memories. At the same time, in current times you will find many photographers including myself, trying to experiment shooting or even editing in Black and White to create a different moment with a touch of the past.

How do we find the right photo to edit in Black and White? Or maybe capture a moment in Black and White?

In a recent assignment titled “Cities in Black and White” on National Geographic by Matt Adams, I tried to experiment and submit to the assignment. We were allowed to edit photos into black and white. In the assignment, Matt gave us a guide as to what to see or how to find the right photo to edit. It was not easy to choose the colored photos to transform them in Black and White yet, it was a fun learning experience. It has also continued to help and guide me to keep improving and trying out various edits to get the right tones of Black and White.

chair

Seeing through black and white can be a challenge but it can be simple. We have been quite accustomed to having the option of shooting in color that when looking at black and white it feels too plain. It is in that simplicity that many great moments have been created in the past and even today.

The photo above has been shot in pure black and white. There was the “Weekend Hashtag Project WHP” on Instagram at the time titled “Shadows and Light” if I recall correctly. This project helped me to experiment capturing in black and white. I saw the chair and the sunlight during the day was pretty good to create a shadow effect. From a particular angle, I captured the shot, to portray the serenity of the moment using the chair as my object.

We now turn to comparing between color and monochrome photos to see how editing and conversion can also bring out a good black and white tone to photos.

art

art

This prominent red colored photo of an art gallery brings the moment to life with the red, the artwork and the structures. I chose this photo to transform it into black and white. As you will see once transformed, there is a completely new sense of the moment. Everything is the same the artwork, structure, and perspective. We can’t say that color is missing as the essence is the same. It is now just a matter of personal preference.

drops

drops

In this photo, the raindrops with the bluish green background bring the raindrops to life with every detail of it. After we convert it to black and white we can see not just the raindrops are alive but every single aspect of the photo is visible. There is complete clarity. The black and white is my personal preference as it defines what I wanted to capture the moment.

people

people

Walking around Patan Durbar Square, Nepal this scene was quite pleasant. The details of the wonderful palace building with the sunlight blue skies and people walking around created a lovely moment. Capturing this in color and after a while transforming it to black and white, made the moment feel more captivating. The details of every aspect pop out more through monochromatic tones.

inside

inside

The insides of Patan Museum, Nepal was a feast for the eyes. The architecture and intricacy kept me fascinated looking for various aspects to capture this royal beauty. As we entered, without thinking I just clicked this scene of the girl standing and people sitting around. After completing the National Geographic assignment, I tried experimenting by converting this image to black and white and turns out the transformed version is much better. It focuses completely on the girl standing thus, creating a complete moment around it.

church

This moment was another pure black and white capture inside a Cathedral. The lighting inside was perfect to bring out the details and the black and white tones defined this moment entirely.

grounds

grounds

Lastly, through this patterned inside ground of Istiqlal Mosque, we can see how the colors combined with the skies form symmetry. Patterns can help to define black and white tones in moments more. Changing the image to black and white gives it a refined touch where all the lines and structure come in harmony together.

There is no perfect combination or formula to doing it right, just simply practicing. Fan Ho said, “it was always his goal to wait for the lighting and composition to fall into place when photographing.” That could be our benchmark when capturing in monochrome. As for editing, there could be many things we can take into consideration like patterns, structure, architecture or even people. It really all depends on finding the right balance and tones to convert it. Requires a lot of trial and error to get what you are looking for in the photo.

structure

Monochrome will continue to be something we experiment on as we do not have the limit of films and that is what makes it a challenge. The questions of how did they do it in the past? How did they learn the balance of composition? The simplicity and limit enhanced their creativity to get it right. They were able to capture the essence of what composition is not quickly, but smoothly. With color, it can feel like we have more distractions when focusing on an object or moment. Both has its positives, eventually, the choice is ours to make and create photos to share and inspire.

A day in the life of a photogenic kitten

I own a sassy little Scottish Fold called Mimi whose rambunctious personality gives me unique photo-taking opportunities every day. Though I mostly focus on portraiture, taking photos of animals gives me a chance to broaden my creative horizons and familiarize myself with mind-opening, genre-specific techniques. With this in mind, I decided to focus on an average day with my cat and find interesting creative doors as the day progressed. Here are the results.

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While some cats are nocturnal animals, others enjoy sleeping at the same time as their owners. Mimi is a combination of both, switching from a peaceful nighttime cat to a wild creature lurking in the dark. The former is preferred by everyone not just because it gives the family an undisturbed night of sleep, but also because it makes Mimi fairly sleepy in the mornings – the ideal time to take cozy pet photos. A kitten experiencing the light of a new morning is exceedingly charming. This time of day is particularly useful for those who own wild kittens; photographing them early in the morning will help you avoid taking unsuccessful and blurry shots. Keeping the curtains drawn on a bright morning will also provide you with the best light: a mild yet clear environment for the best indoor pictures.

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Mimi turns into a hyper creature as soon as she devours her breakfast. While this part of the day is a challenging one to capture, it’s worth diving into thanks to the often funny creative opportunities that arise. The light during this time is still mild, so worrying about lighting conditions isn’t a necessity. Taking into consideration the importance of capturing movement, the good lighting conditions are a huge plus. If the light isn’t favorable when your cat is in a playful mood, consider increasing your camera’s ISO number for less blurred results.

To make playtime more entertaining for both you and your cat, consider using distractions such as toys and snacks. These will catch your pet’s attention and serve as visually appealing foregrounds. Other objects which have the potential of becoming striking foregrounds are hair, blankets, and plants. Remember to reward your cat every few minutes so it feels encouraged and loved. Grumpy pets don’t make the best models, no matter how sweet they may look.

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Exploring the apartment is something Mimi thoroughly enjoys, no matter how well she knows every room. Washing machines, doors, tables, and windows all fascinate her beyond measure. For unique and endearing images, follow your cat around and notice what interests them. Photograph them while they’re in their own bubble of curiosity. Exploration is the perfect time for spontaneity, and spontaneity is perfect for eye-catching and impressive shots.

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Take advantage of your cat’s favorite hobby: napping. Mimi can sleep for hours on end, occasionally getting up and freezing mid-stretch. Since cats are so flexible, their sleeping and resting positions are often quite amusing. Mimi, for example, loves sleeping with her paws lined up neatly in front of her, just like The Sphinx of Giza. Photographing your cat’s unique quirks will give your photos more personality, so use your pet’s naptimes as an excuse to take awesome photos.

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It really is all in the details. Focusing on parts of your cat – its paws, ears, eyes, and so on – will allow you to think more creatively due to the fact that it takes careful observation to find outstanding details. Instead of photographing your cat from a distance, find graceful parts that stand out to you. Making a collage out of those parts could be the start of an interesting project, for instance.

In just a day, you could acquire a plethora of sweet cat photographs. Imagine how wonderful your results would be if you photographed your pet more often if you started a project tracking its development and growth. Such projects, tough as they may sometimes be, are fantastic methods of improvement. Whatever you decide to do after reading this article, remember to reward your cat, be present while shooting (even if you’re focused), avoid stress, and most importantly, enjoy this wonderfully pleasant time together. The experience will leave you feeling warm and the photos will be the beginning of something wonderful.
Good luck!

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Shooting Wedding Details: A Comprehensive Guide

Effectively capturing details is essential to communicating the atmosphere and emotions of your clients’ wedding day. Formal shots and group photos are essential, but often times it’s the little things that really bring back memories.

First, let’s clarify exactly what is meant by the word “detail.” In this case, “detail” refers to two things: smaller articles that are particularly valuable to the couple (wedding rings, especially), and things that do not necessarily carry any sentimentality, but aid in expressing the spirit of the celebration. Adequately documenting these particular elements requires that the photographer adheres to a few simple guidelines.

The Basics

Regardless of what you are shooting, it’s important to pay attention to angles and composition. When I’m working on details, I always shoot directly above or directly in front of my subject. Usually, any other angle detracts from the image and makes the photograph appear unbalanced.

bouquet-of-roses-1246490_1280

If you’re shooting small details, using a macro lens is imperative. It’s impossible to photograph a multifaceted diamond without one. Again, I’m emphasizing wedding rings, but this applies to any tiny object that would otherwise lose detail without a lens that lacks the ability to focus closely.

Furthermore, lighting plays an extremely important role in sufficiently enhancing smaller features. Position your subjects next to a window or another source of natural light. Artificial light typically comes from above and casts harsh shadows (just as if you were shooting outdoors at high noon).

Photographing Sentimental and Essential Details

Valuable objects directly related to the wedding must be captured clearly and thoughtfully. Jewelry, clothing, decorations, the cake, etc. are the unique accessories that showcase the couple’s personalities and will thus be some of their most treasured photos. The goal here is to highlight each item without complicating the image and detracting from the subject. I like to add outside elements that complement the subject. This is really a great way to augment shots of jewelry or other accessories that are very small. If you have the opportunity to work outdoors, you can use sticks, leaves, rocks, and so forth to give the image a rustic, nature-inspired vibe.

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If you can’t go outside, simply find ways to add eye-catching textures or patterns to the shot, or incorporate something else that is special to your clients to add interest.

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The bride’s dress is equally important. The same rules apply, but it can sometimes be difficult to get a creative shot of the gown. Again, incorporate textures and patterns when you can.

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Creating a unique dress shot requires a little artistry and sometimes, improvisation. At one of the weddings I worked last summer, we had been having a tough time finding a nice place to photograph the dress. The hotel was beautiful, but the circumstances just weren’t quite right. We ended up taking the dress down to the lobby and asked the concierge if we could hang it from their chandelier. Surprisingly, they agreed, and it looked perfect. Then, as I stepped back through the automatic doors to get a wider shot, I ended up with this:

dress_mini

The point is, you can always find creative ways to work around seemingly impractical or unappealing situations. Keep in mind, too, that when you’re shooting wedding dresses, it is important to get wide shots of the entire dress as well as close-ups of the fabric and details.

dress2

Photographing Non-essentials

After you’ve covered the necessities, you can really get creative with the more obscure details. These are particularly important, though, because they really help convey the feel of the entire day. Not to mention, this is really a lot of fun during the reception or whenever you have some downtime. I also take a lot of pride in images like these because they sincerely express my unique photography style.

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I try to choose things that will evoke strong feelings in the couple long after the wedding. They may forget little things like what they were eating while getting ready, details in the room where the bride prepared, and so forth. When they look back at these photos in years to come, all of the emotions of the day will come flooding back, and that is really the fundamental goal of quality wedding photography.

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To further enhance your wedding day details, Sleeklens offers a wide array of Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions.

How to make Extreme Macro Photos

Today we want to explain to you how extreme macros are made.

Macro photography is one of the most interesting fields in photography, not only because it’s giving you an insight of the small things we can’t see, also because you will develop a knowledge of how important camera settings are when you are working with low light conditions or moving subjects such as insects, in which the details can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Especially insects offer spectacular colors and structures and many insects actually can be found easily everywhere. The best time to photograph insects is in the morning when the temperatures are low and the insects are still asleep and less active, so they will not move and you can make the best possible photo of that insect. After a cold night in the summer, you will find thousands of dew-drops on the insects, this will add a nice extra to your macro shot. Furthermore, the light in the morning is probably the best light you can have during the whole day.

Fliege Tautropfen 3

If you want to achieve some great results, there are some essential things you will need for sure:

  • Tripod
  • DSLR (with Image Stabilizer)
  • A Macro Lens (different types of lenses for extreme macros are described down under)
  • Remote Shutter Release (to avoid camera shake caused by the exposure)
  • Focus Rack/Slider (slider allows you to slide forward/back to take a lot of pictures at different focus points, which will be stacked afterward in Photoshop)

Optional

:

  • Angle Finder (makes a low-position shooting easier)
  • Diffusor (to get the best light and the most out of your macro shot)
  • Flash (use a macro ring flash or a standard flash combined with a small softbox)

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For increasing magnification to get extreme macro shots, there are some options:

Canon Mp-E

If you are using a Canon camera, the best lens for extreme macros is the Canon “Mp-E” Lens. It is extremely sharp and its maximum aperture is f/2.8, so it’s perfect for low light conditions and to receive a smooth & clear background. The only disadvantage is that this lens is pretty expensive, as it costs around $1,000, but quality has its price as we know.
More info about this special lens

Macro Snap-On Lens Adapter

Snap-On Lenses are used as an adapter which can be mounted on your actual macro lens. Using a Snap-On Lens such as the “Raynox DCR-250” will be the right choice if you prefer low budget macro photography. It will for sure produce rich and razor sharp macro images. Furthermore, it has a low weight, small enough to fit in any photo bag and works perfectly with any macro lens.
More info about the Raynox DCR-250

Extension Tubes

Extension Tubes goes in between macro lens and camera. The more tubes you use your camera and lens, the closer you will get to your object. A disadvantage of using extension tubes is, that you will not be able to focus automatically, but focusing automatically isn’t advisable anyway if you want to get a macro photo.

Reversed Lens

This is probably the easiest and most inexpensive way to get an extreme macro shot. The reversed lens technique is what the name says: You just mount your lens backward on your camera. All you need is to get an adapter to mount your lens on your camera body.
A 50mm standard lens will become a great macro lens and will let you explore all the details you want to photograph.
If you want to learn more about the reverse lens technique check out following Youtube Link.

Kleinlibelle Frontal

One important note when doing macro photos is, that I would not recommend using autofocus, this will not work if you want to get an extreme macro, making extreme macros is all about manual focus. Especially live-view will help you to get the right focus point. If you want to photograph insects, one thing that has to be in focus must be the eyes.
So, make sure you get the right equipment before you start shooting small things and if you decide to photograph insects, bring along much patience, as successful shots sometimes depend on a great deal of patience.

 

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