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Five Tips for Special Event Photography

Often times shooting special events is not the most glamorous gig in photography, but when a client calls you up looking for a photographer to shoot an event, you take the job.  Sometime’s you end up somewhere great like the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, other times you’re in a small, dark, dull event space with only 20 people making the best of the situation.  Regardless of the size or location of the event, you’re job is to make some great images.  There are a lot of little things that can make diving into special event photography much easier or much harder on yourself, below are a few ideas of how to prepare and execute the photography at your next event.

Event photography tips 01

#1 Dress Like You Belong There

Ways to Improve Your Wildlife Photography Composition

Composition in nature photography comes easy to some, but many new photographers struggle to find their balance. This is especially true where wildlife is concerned.

wildlife photography

“Warming Up in the Warm Morning Sun” captured by Dennis Rademaker (Click image to see more from Rademaker.)

There is a bit of false wisdom that says: “You should never put your animal right in the middle of the photo–only to the left or the right.” This is simply not true, but it is a notion that causes all sorts of anxiety for new photographers.

wild animal photography

“Save Best Fox for Last…” captured by Dennis Rademaker (Click image to see more from Rademaker.)

If you don’t put your animal in the middle of the photo, where do you put it? And what do you do with all that extra space? Well, it may (or may not) encourage you to know that there is not really any hard and fast rule to answer these questions. Like all things in composition, it really depends on your own sense of visual balance. Good composition requires you to have the confidence to trust your own judgment.

That doesn’t mean you are on your own when it comes to learning composition. The answers to the following questions may help you if you are struggling to get started.

How to use Lightroom: 8 mistakes every photographer makes (and how to fix them)

Discover how to use Lightroom more efficiently. Here are 8 classic mistakes photographers make while editing photos in Lightroom and solutions.

How to use Lightroom: 8 mistakes every photographer makes (and how to fix them)

Adobe Lightroom is an incredibly powerful image organisation and editing software package. With just a few clicks of your mouse it enables you to tag images and add key words so you can find them quickly and easily in the future.

It also has tools to help you correct exposure and white balance problems and adjust contrast.

Of course the downside to having such a powerful tool at your disposal is that it’s possible to make some pretty significant mistakes, especially when you’re first learning how to use it.

To help out we’ve drawn up a list of the most common mistakes that photographers make when using Lightroom and have some advice about how to get things right from the outset.

SEE MORE: Master Adobe Lightroom in 12 minutes or less

Worst Lightroom mistakes: 1. Not using keywords

Worst Lightroom mistakes: 1. Not using keywords

Keywords are an incredibly useful feature that allow you to find images quickly.

However, applying them takes a bit of discipline and forward planning.

For example, you need to give some thought to how far you breakdown keywords.

This will probably depend upon how many shots you are likely to produce of a particular subject.

SEE MORE: Lightroom vs Photoshop – why Lightroom has all the tools you need

Someone who only occasionally shoots flowers, for instance, is likely to find giving any flower pictures a keyword of ‘flowers’ sufficient, but a professional plant and flower photographer may require more detail with keywords for specific plants.

If you find that your collection of images with one keyword grows, you can always add another sub-keyword at a later date to help break it down at a later date, but it’s better to get things straight from the outset if you can.

Keywording an extensive back-catalogue of image is a pretty daunting task, so we recommend starting with new images and applying keywords as you import each new batch.

Once you’ve built up a collection of keywords you can start assigning them to older images.

Worst Lightroom mistakes: 1. Not using keywords
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 2. Moving image files outside of Lightroom
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 3. Clipped highlights
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 4. No blacks or whites
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 5. Over-adjusted Curves
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 6. Over saturating colours
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 7. Over-use of selective colour
Worst Lightroom mistakes: 8. Over-sharpening

READ MORE

Adobe Lightroom basics: 6 things you need to know getting started
Professional photo editing tricks: how to get perfect skies in ALL your raw images

Best photo editing tips for beginners: 18 quick fixes to common image problems
Adobe Lightroom presets: how to make your photos stand out and save time

[syndicated from Digital Camera World]

Beginning in Photography: Understanding the Light

Understanding how different lighting affects an image is half the work of creating better photos. This article aims to give a brief overview of the different types of light you might encounter as a photographer and how to use each type to your advantage.

"Northern California Dawn Patrol" captured by Don Campbell

“Northern California Dawn Patrol” captured by Don Campbell (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Direct light

Looking through the family photo album the other day, I noticed a recurring theme: photo after photo of us squinting into the sun, looking like ghosts with our flat, white faces and dark holes where our eyes should have been. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when taking photos in direct sunlight. By standing with your back to the sun, you effectively flatten out the light and therefore your subject. All of those interesting lines and textures disappear, and you are left with a one-dimensional image.

Lightroom Lens Correction: how to fix common lens and perspective problems

The Lightroom Lens Correction controls offer a powerful, yet easy-to-use, tool to fix troublesome imperfections. In this Adobe Lightroom tutorial we’ll show you step-by-step how to use it.

Lightroom Lens Correction: how to fix common lens and perspective problems

With Lightroom’s range of powerful tools, fixing lens and perspective issues is a quick and easy affair. This month, we’ll look at a few common problems.

First off, there’s distortion in our factory scene, with the wide-angle lens making straight lines look bowed.

Lightroom has a database of lenses with information on distortion issues for particular lenses at specific focal lengths, so as long as the lens is included in the image EXIF data (it will be if you shoot in RAW) then fixing distortion is a single-click job.

How to Remove a Bra… in Photoshop, Of Course

It takes a tremendous amount of time and patience to nail every aspect of a photo shoot at once—sometimes you’ll catch the smile but the lighting will be off, or the lighting is great but the framing is wrong. If you’re lucky, everything will turn out perfectly—but you’ll have missed a few details, like a sneaky bra strap poking out of the shirt. The video comes from the fine people at Phlearn and takes a quick and witty approach to solving the problem using Photoshop:

“This is something that’s going to come up quite a bit when you’re taking photos of people… You’re gonna be photographing, you’re going to be thinking about other things, like the lighting, are they smiling, am I getting all my settings right. And a lot of times, you miss little things—like bra straps showing, a little bit of hair, stuff like that.”

It’s easy: all you to is use the spot-healing brush, click “content-aware” at the top, and run the cursor over the object you want to erase. This will replace the object in question with its surrounding textures, like so:

adobe-photoshop-tutorial

Definitely a useful tip for starting photographers, and a good reason not to let little details ruin your shots.

[this post syndicated from Picture Correct]

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

As part of our ongoing series to help you get more creative with your digital camera, each month we publish some fun, seasonal, creative photo ideas to help inspire your imagination. Along with some amazing images, we’ve also provided some quick photography tips by both amateur and professional photographers who are experts in these fields.

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

We’re kicking off April with a slew of fun projects like creating street collages, photographing baby birds, finding numbers in nature, getting abstract with portraits and, as you’ll see below, becoming more in tune with the natural world. We also have many other creative photography projects that are perfect for this time of year.

On each page you’ll find a stunning image and an explanation from the photographer on how it was made.

Bird Photography: How to Take Great Bird Photos

One of the most popular aspects of animal photography is bird photography. Taking perfect pictures of birds in the wild can be very challenging, but you can create many wonderful photo opportunities in your own backyard.

bird photography

“Chaffinch on Cherry Blossom” captured by John Booth (Click image to see more from Booth.)

Setting up your Backyard Photo Shoots

Useful Lightroom Plug-ins

Lightroom Export to PicasaWeb plug-in

In previous articles you learned: how to create a photo website using the Koken plug-in for Lightroom, how to use The Fader plug-in to add an opacity slider to Develop Presets, and how to upload photos to 500px using their own plug-in (scroll down to read that section).

Today I’d like to look at some other Lightroom plug-ins you may find useful. To clarify, I’m referring to plug-ins that add extra functionality to Lightroom by enabling you to do things with finished photos. Not programs such as those made by Nik or OnOne Software that are also plug-ins, but are used for editing photos.