4 Amazing Tips to Capture the Christmas Lights and Spirit

The holiday season is here, and with it, come along breathtaking décor and lights. City streets, houses, office buildings, and malls everywhere bathe in fun and festive lights during this time of the year. Even they may be pretty easy to see and enjoy, Christmas lights and spirit can be a bit tricky to capture in the form of photographs. However, with the help of these 4 timely tips, you will be properly able to capture the real essence of the holiday season.

1. Bring Along The Right Accessories

Since you will probably be using a slow shutter for shooting in the low-light setting, bringing a tripod may be a good choice that will help you avoid blurry images with shaky hands. A tripod will also help if the lights are flickering or timed to music.

2. Prepare for Action

After you have set up your accessories, watch the sky. As it gradually darkens into a deeper shade of blue, you will notice that the lights will appear to be brighter. The best time for this is the fleeting 10 to 15 minutes, so shoot away without pausing, and make sure to check the photographs on the back of your camera and see if everything is tuning accordingly.

3. Pay Special Attention To The Light

When shooting Christmas lights indoors, try turning on the lights in your room in order to increase the ambient light, instead of using the flash. This is because flash can produce a high-contrast, harsh quality that dilutes the light’s brilliance. A carefully placed incandescent light can boost the ambient light without overpowering your holiday lights.

4. Turn off Automatic White Balance

In numerous photographic circumstances, white balance can be lifesaving. However, not all photos need white balance. Simmer down the saturated, rich colors of a sunset and you are left with practically nothing. Try to white balance fireworks display and you will be left with de-saturated, dull and lifeless streaks of light. Bu turning off the automatic white balance option and you will surely capture the exaggerated colors and spirit of Christmas.

A Guide to Photographing Outdoor Architecture

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The world is full of architectural wonders, old and new, waiting to be captured and cherished. Outdoor architectural photography is no doubt an intriguing, rewarding and exciting job. Masterpieces conceived and constructed by humans, surrounded by wonders created by nature are inspiring and exhilarating. Photographing outdoor architecture requires creating a balance between its composition and presentation. Some of the guidelines to create an amazing shoot are as under.

Have Proper Equipment

Camera is the weapon of a photographer. Along with a good camera, a variety of lenses, filters, tripods, and different types of lighting tools are essential to take the best photographs. Just like a beautician needs quality cosmetics to enhance your natural beauty, a photographer needs these tools to produce a masterpiece.

Using Guiding Lines

Every building has many facets and a photographer might choose or find one of them worth capturing. In order to make sure that the viewer’s eye is directed to that focal point, guiding lines are used by the photographers. These might be fences, bridges, roads etc. Guiding lines, when used properly, should lead the viewer’s eyes towards the focal point that exists in photographer’s mind. This technique might back fire if these guiding lines drag viewer’s eye away from the point in consideration.

Use of Light

Use of light is vital in photography. While shooting an outdoor architecture, the angle of light falling on the building must help reveal the depth of its design. Most of the buildings have their own lighting systems, which will affect the results. Lighting conditions should be checked during different times of the day. Dawn and sunset are the best times to take architectural photographs because the internal light system is on and surrounding light is soft yet enough to capture the atmospheric elements such as clouds, sky and the likes.

In addition to these, architectural photography is a job open to new addition on a daily basis. Using reflections, order, color, moving objects, size of the surrounding objects, creating different textures in the background, and capturing parts of the structure are some of them.

Photoshop Editing Skills You Need to Develop

Photoshop

Photoshop is one of the most important tools for photographers, but it can be overwhelming for some owing to the sheer number of editing options available. Get to the grips of Photoshop with the following tips.

  1. Using adjustment layers

    Adjustment layers are basically an expert way to add edits to your photographs. These layers sit on top of the Background layers (the original image), and enable you to make several adjustments without changing the original image or deteriorating its quality. Adjustment layers are accessed by clicking on the half-black and half-white circle icon at the base of the Layers panel. If you wish to save a picture with adjustment layers still intact you will need to save it as a PSD or TIFF – JPEG is a compressed and flattened file type of format, which does not support layers.

  2. Turning any picture Black & White

    If you want to convert a color image to black and white you will almost instantly achieve better quality by converting the raw file in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. However, if you are working on a JPEG file and wish to convert it to mono then the Black & White adjustment layer is a great option.

  3. Making your images pop with levels

    It is quite common for images to turn a bit flat when you open them in Photoshop. The most common solution to this problem is the Brightness/Contrast feature, but you can achieve even better results by using either ‘Curves’ or ‘Levels’ tools. Using Curves is a little advanced, but you can pretty much achieve the same results with Levels. Click Ctrl+L on Windows or Cmd+L on Mac. Another method is by opening the image by clicking the adjustment layers icon and selecting Levels.

How To Photograph Your Next Eclipse

how to photograph

How To Photograph the Next Eclipse

While lunar eclipses are pretty safe to view with the naked eye, solar eclipses are not. If you wish to maximize your chances of capturing a breathtaking image and at the same time minimize the possibility of frying your eyeballs, here is what you need to know.

Safety First

When photographing a lunar eclipse, you need not worry about using special filters to protect your eyes on the camera. But in case of a solar eclipse, you will need to invest in a good pair of eclipse glasses or eclipse filters to protect your vision. However, at totality (when the moon completely blocks the sun), make sure to remove the filter so you can view the sun’s external atmosphere – the corona.

Don’t Fret Too Much About the Camera

Sure, a DSLR-captured image will be better, but any quality camera such as: Canon 5DS are good choices to take great photos during the eclipse; because after all, the best piece of equipment you can have is a good vision and eye for the image you wish to create.

Look All Around You

During a solar eclipse, the sun is without a doubt the most commanding element around you, but make sure to look past that. With totality, the whole landscape will be bathed in long shadows, creating an eerie landscape. In such a scenario, pointing your camera anywhere can yield excellent results.

Go For a Wide Angle

The wide-angle technique is the easiest way to photograph a lunar eclipse. You can use any camera as long as it allows long exposures, of 5 seconds or more. For capturing the best long-exposure shots, it is best to put the camera on a steady tripod.

Shoot Lots of Photos

Especially if you are making a sequence, you will want to shoot as many photos as you can, which is because each phase of the eclipse will have a different beauty to it, something that you don’t want to miss. For more info on how to photograph visit this website.

 

From Photography Beginner to Pro in 4 easy steps

From Photography  Beginner to Pro in 4 easy steps

You may think you need to spend thousands of dollars on cameras and gear to take high-quality pictures, but that’s far from true. Here are 4 things you can change to take pictures unlike a photography beginner.

photography beginner

1) Angles

You shouldn’t rush when taking pictures. Before taking the shot, use your own eyes to decide what’s the best position to take the picture you want.

If you are taking a picture of an object, it’s usually best to be at the same level. But you can move around and see what different positions do. You may be surprised by how cool photos from unconventional positions can be. Play with your angles, study the picture and then press the shutter.

2) Lighting

You don’t need professional lighting to take well-lit photos. You can use daylight for clear photos, or you can use artificial lights and play with shadows.

But what if you don’t have good light to take the picture you want? Well, you can always be patient and take the photo at another time. The best time to take pictures with natural light is the golden hour. If you want your pictures to look like it’s nighttime, remember you can always modify them with post-processing.

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3) Frame

It might shock you at first, but leaving objects from the foreground while focusing on something in the background creates wonderful effects. Trees, windows, columns, use whatever you can to create a framing for the background subject. This will give a whole new depth to your pictures.

Plus, framing can usually add to the story behind the picture. Without losing focus on the main subject, you can place objects to the sides and add some context.

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4) Express yourself

Let’s say you visit Machu Picchu. Thousands of photographers have already visited it and many of them have taken amazing pictures, so what’s the point of even taking your camera?

Well, photography is about interpreting a moment and sharing it. Instead of taking the same photo as everyone else, you should take some time, appreciate the view, and then take some pictures that capture the essence of the place from your perspective. Use your camera as a painter uses its canvas.

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Tips And Tricks In Photography

Taking long exposure photographies is a stunning way how to capture a world where the power of light creates surreal creations hidden for your own eyes and also a cool way how to add motion to your picture, using the natural power of wind or water stream. You can find here some cool tips and tricks how to take long exposure photographies.

Equipment

There is only one crucial thing you will need to take long exposed pictures – TRIPOD. If I can give you a good advice, do not spend money for a plastic one. You need to be sure of the maximal stability of the tripod. Additionaly I suppose you own a camera with a manual exposure settings if you read this as well.

Basics

As you have probably realized the long exposure photograph will be taken during a longer time and sometimes with a larger aperture (f-number) as well. Where to use the long exposure? Basically you can use it in situations when you have less light in your scene or and here comes the trick part when there is something in the scene that is moving (e.g. on the background and you want to capture the movement of the object on the background).

 

Usage examples

Water streams. The stream of water is an ideal object to test your time settings skills. A common rule says that the longer you expose the stream of water the smoother the photographed surface of the water is. There are no visible single drops. If you take your time and practice enough your long exposed photographs of water can be STUNNING!You can watch here some examples

Night Traffic. Traffic in the night is another great object for the long exposure photography. The moving lights of cars create the same effect as the water stream from the example above. If you photograph the same speed traffic you will be able to see rails of light red and white of the rear and front lights. If you take a picture of a slowing down or speeding up traffic the density of the lights will change. The lines of light are going to be thinner in places where the car speeds up.Again watch some examples here

Night sky. As you know the night sky is a moving object as well (thanks to the Earth’s rotation] and it has its own light – stars. So it means you can take a cool photographs of the night sky as well. The main trick here is a superlong exposure in minutes or tens of minutes as the light from the stars is weak.

Do you need a tip how to start to create these great trick photographies? Simply take your tripod, camera go to the nearest stream (water, traffic, people whatever). Install the camera on the tripod and just play with the time and stops you will soon realize how it works. I really recommend to start with the water stream photography.

Remember on golden rule: The composition is the king. Never underestimate it. A cool water stream trick can be half-destroyed when composition of the picture is poor!