Aperture Settings in Photography

Most tips relating to exposure advocate the use of the aperture priority mode, and with good reason. The aperture priority mode allows you to control the shutter speed through the aperture settings, which are responsible for crucial picture dynamics that include depth of field, motion blur and freezing action.

Understanding how the aperture and aperture priority work, will help you as a photographer gain control over exposure and these critical picture dynamics.

adjusting aperture settings

Setting the camera mode dial to aperture priority puts the camera into a semi automatic mode, which means that you will have to take care of other crucial setting such as white balance, metering and ISO. In this mode the shutter automatically changes to compensate for the different aperture settings.

Tips to Emphasize Your Subject in Photography

When you watch a movie there is one element that never changes: a leading character. The whole movie centers around this leading player and the story is created around this subject. It is no different with a still image, like a photograph. Each photo should have its lead character, called the subject, around which the image is created.

photography subject

By creating this center of interest you form a visual focal point that anchors the eye of the viewer and holds it there. Everything else is discovered by the eye in relation to this one focal point. How the eye moves into the rest of the image is determined by this point. So in order for you to create a successful image you need to emphasize the subject. This is done in one of several ways, so let’s take a look:

1. Get in closer

When you get in really close to the subject it starts to fill the whole frame and the eye can no longer miss the subject. It powerfully directs your attention to the subject, as there is nothing else in the image to compete with it. It is a simple but dramatic emphasis of a subject. Use your feet more often when shooting and you will see just how dynamic the resulting images are.

2. Get further away

This may not seem a great idea in order to emphasize your subject. Picture this. The subject is a light house and there is an azure blue sky reflected in an ocean topped by white foam. The bold red and white lighthouse on the horizon is in stark contrast to the blue of the sky and ocean. It may not fill the image but it still dominates the scene in relation to the rest of it. Placed in the correct position it becomes even more striking.

3. Selective focus

Using a small aperture to control the depth of field, or depth of focus, lifts the subject out of a background that is now blurred by the very shallow depth of field. With the background details now blurred the subject stands out against it in clear focus. This simplifies the images and causes all attention to be focused on the subject.

How to Create Creamy Black & White Images in Lightroom

Don’t let your black and white images fall flat. Bring out the true beauty of your photographs by adding vibrancy and creamy tones. Zach & Jody show us how a few quick fixes in Lightroom can make your images sing:

In some cases, turning down your saturation may leave you with a nice black and white image. However, the image may fall short, leaving you with muddy tonal definition and lack of detail. Use Lightroom’s HSL Black & White module to define black and white color tones to bring back vibrancy and life to your image.

Be sure to have a look at Graffi’s Action sets in the Graffishop for more Black & White options: 

Hey Graffi Blog Readers:   for more looks like this especially created for Photoshop Elements, you might want to check out the PhotoLab Photo Effects action pack with an installer compatible with Elements



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How To Add Life to Your Black And White Images

10 Common Mistakes Made by New Photographers

Whenever I teach, I get a lot of requests to review images. Over time, I’ve started to notice that a majority of the mistakes I see come from the same small group of errors that are repeated constantly, particularly by less experienced photographers.

Please keep in mind that all of these common mistakes can also be advantages when done well and with purpose. This article is not about those times, but is an observation about how often I see them done the wrong way. As a photographer, you need to build the right foundation of skills before you can successfully veer away from them.

The Most Common Technical Mistakes

Chinatown at Night. Subtle but strong and natural colors.

How to Create Believable Photo Composites

Ever wondered how some of the stellar fantasy art is done or wished you could convincingly add or replace something in an image? The secret is in producing photo composites, but creating a believable sense of depth often seems easier said than done. Luckily, the solutions aren’t as tricky as they may seem. For starters, check out this video by the Aaron Nace. He shows us how to add fish to an image of a girl in water:

Nace demonstrates how to use the free transform tool to quickly resize, customize, and position the fish in the image. He then uses the Field Blur filter from the blur gallery to customize exactly where and how much blur each fish will have—the more blur, the deeper it will seem. (Please note that field blur and blur gallery are only available in CS6 and CC.) Afterward, he uses saturation and blending modes to colorize the fish to match the water.

Photo composites and blending options

Another trick to giving the fish more depth is to add water effects above them. In this case, Nace copies, pastes, and blends the bubbles and light refractions already found in the image on top of the fish to heighten the illusion that the fish are under the surface.

Adjusting the levels on a photo composite

Another thing Nace adds are various shadings and imperfections to make the fish seem that much more real. Whenever you’re making a composite, “It really helps out to add layers that add a level of variability to your image.” The lack of perfection helps to make things look real.

In the end, Nace shows that depth and layers will make (or break) a photo composite.

photoshop tutorial combining photos

“Every little trick you can do to make things look like they’re further inside of a photo, those things will really help your composite to look believable.”

Do you know any other tricks to adding depth to elements of a composite? Let us know!

More training: 26 Professional Photoshop Tutorials


Go to full article: How to Create Believable Photo Composites

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

[this post syndicated from Picture Correct]