Monthly Archives: November 2008

San Jose Photographers – How to Shoot Good Pictures Still life photography has many uses. Perhaps you want to take a picture of a beautiful shell or perhaps take a picture of a product that you’re selling on eBay. Other reasons for learning still life photography may include selling still life photograph downloads at microstock sites or to food magazines. No matter what your reason, still life photography is a great skill to learn. Unless you are photographing specific products or pictures for a magazine assignment, the subjects for your still life photography are endless. Despite common belief, still life photography isn’t limited to just pictures of apples and grapes. Even something like artfully arranged spools of thread can be interesting and visually appealing. Microstock sites like Shutterstock and iStock that cater to commercial users have a high demand for all sorts of still life, often of very simple objects, like a cup of coffee or a key. People often times think of still life photography as a lot easier than other types of photography like sports or landscape photography. With stills, you often have full control over the composition and can arrange the inanimate objects exactly how you want them. And sometimes, good quality still life pictures can be even more challenging to photograph. That’s because they are close up so it’s easy to spot imperfections like a blemish on a piece of fruit that would usually pass unnoticed. Despite its challenge, using basic photography skills and the following tips, you can create quality still life pictures.   Lighting for Still Life Photography Professional photographers usually use a soft box or a light box to shoot their still lifes. Although soft boxes can help out a lot, they still aren’t absolutely necessary to get good results as you’ll see shortly. However, if you do want one, you can find a soft box online or you can easily make one using instructions you find online. The purpose of these lighting tools is to provide even light on the subject. You can also get a good quality of light by setting up your photo shoot outside. A high overcast or bright sky can create a natural soft box effect without having any of the harsh shadows. Composing Still Life Pictures When composing your photograph, you need to arrange the objects in a pleasing composition. You should consider using classical composition techniques like the “Rule of Thirds,” “Leading Lines” or “Frame within a Frame” for ideas of how to best compose your pictures. Artfully arrange the objects, and use your imagination. For example, if you’re taking a picture of an apple try taking a bite out of it to give it some added interest. Fill the Frame with Your Still Life Subject When taking still life pictures, always remember that your subject should be the only thing that you see in your viewfinder or LCD screen. You need to remove any distractions or clutter from the background so you can have a […]

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Children Portrait Photographer *** Photographers who focus of children’s photography more often than not take pictures of a group of two or more children at the same time. This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of children’s photography that can produce some of the greatest pictures, but it can also be quite challenging as you work to keep the children in sync with their eyes all looking the same direction and the faces smiling in unison. First, keep in mind that some of your best photographs are going to come from the children interacting with each other and playing together. A natural smile is typically much better than a forced one, especially with children. Keep your camera close, the unpredictability of children means that a great shot could happen at any time. When the children are grouped together and ready for a formal shot, the best way to achieve unity is to have them all look at a common point. If they are young, this can be a fun toy that draws their attention, if they are older, they may simply respond to your instruction to look at the chair in the corner of the room. Keep a supply of children’s photography props close at hand. Not only will the props divert their eyes to where you want them to look, but the props can also help small children smile. Children photography often involves a greater degree of height differential than when working with adults. Consider the height of each child when grouping them together. For groups of three, a triangle pose may work best with the two taller children sitting or kneeling and a younger child standing behind them. Never, line up any group side by side like paper dolls. Always have some appear higher and some appear lower. The group of three could work equally well with the two taller children in back and the shorter child in front, in an inverted triangle. The triangle arrangement can also work with larger groups of odd numbers such as five or seven. For even numbered groups of two, four, and six or more, the triangle arrangement doesn’t work as well, but it is still necessary to keep them height differential and not line them up side by side. If it is a formal pose, don’t allow for open space, keep them close together. You may trying having the arms of children in the back drape over the children in the front or placed on the shoulder of the child in front. This helps tie the picture together and produces an image of love, affection and closeness. If there is a notable age difference between the children, you may want to encourage cooperation by seeking out the oldest child of the group and enlisting him or her as your ally. Before you start your photo session, pull them aside and ask for their help. Explain that you need them to set an example for the younger child by listening to […]

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