Tag Archives: featured

national-geographic-winner

The Real Secret to Taking Spectacular Photos

I just got this a little while ago, in large part to having read Tom Ang’s enlightening “how to win photo competitions” post – and also because I just got an email from National Geographic telling me I’m close to getting this shot published in an issue of their “your shot” issue.

 

It really got me thinking about what it takes to take a truly great photo and it’s actually very simple. Here’s the real secret:

Show people something they’ve never seen before

If you think back to a photo that really inspired you or moved you, it was probably a photo of something that you’ve never seen before. Or it was a photo of something you have seen – but captured in a really unique way that you’ve never seen before.

There are billions of photos out there of people posing in front of things, there are billions of photos out there of places and things – and they all eventually fade together – but what makes a photograph really spectacular is something that captures attention.

This is why I love HDR, tiltshift, fisheye shots, and anything else that’s just different from the norm. You don’t even have to go anywhere to take a spectactular shot – just look around wherever you are and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

To help you get started thinking in the right direction, here are 10 ideas:

1. use shadows

2. get closeup

3. capture patterns

4. use long exposure

5. get low

6. blur it

blurred Ineta

7. use lots of empty space in your composition

8. use reflections

9. capture motion

10. get down, look up

And that’s not even scratching the surface – there are plenty more resources for taking unique, interesting, and creative photos.  Not often discussed, but perhaps equally important if you are planning to do this as a business is to make sure copyrights are set in place as well.  A great resource to gather information on how to do this properly is www.mydefence.ca

While I’m mentioning resources, I should say that when I established my company, I had many questions on the business side of things, since my background was on the creative side. I found a great book at garybizzo.com that really helped me with the business side so I could focus on the artistic/creative side.

Anyway, all that said,  go out there and capture something truly unique.

"Light graffiti"

An Insight Into Light Graffiti

 

What the Heck is Light Graffiti

Light graffiti, also known as light painting, is a photographic technique which creates dramatic images using long exposures and various light sources as a drawing tool. It is a great way to experiment with your camera and the power of light, as well as to show off your creative skills.

Photo by Eran Hakim

Show Me How

All you really need to get started with light graffiti is an understanding of shutter speeds and preferably a DSLR camera (and lights of course). First of all you will need to find a dark space, ideally a dark room or outside during the evening. Once you have selected your spot, set up your tripod and set the shutter speed to a low setting. Get ready as once you click the shutter you will only have a short period of time to write, draw and graffiti. You can either stand directly facing the camera and aim your light into the lens as you draw, or you can choose to aim the camera towards a surface such as a wall which you will use as your canvas. Now all you have to do is press the shutter and get to work!

If your image doesn’t turn out as planned don’t stress about it, just play around with the shutter settings, location and light source until you achieve the effect you want.

Light selection ideas:

  • Glow sticks
  • LEDs
  • Candles
  • Torches
  • String lights
  • Car lights
  • Street lamps
Photo by Lichktfaktor
The Cheat’s Light Graffiti

Not quite ready to fire up the DSLR? Well fear not, you can still create awesome light graffiti photographs without ever having to leave the house!

Did someone say Photoshop…

However magical it might be to create light graffiti for real (in camera) sometimes good ole’ Photoshop can pretty much get you the same effect, without the effort.

Check out this incredible tutorial from Abuzeedo – Create a Glowing Light Painting Effect

Get Inspired

Need a little inspiration? Take a peek at these awesome light graffiti pics below…

Photo by Julien Breton

Photo by Lichktfactor

Photo by Khaled Almoayed

Photo by Jakob Wagner

Photo by apai biszign

Photo by Mhelanie Banzon Silao

Photo by Matt Knorr

Photo by Mhelanie Banzon Siloa

Have you been experimenting with light graffiti? We’d love to take a look at some of your shots.

Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll let you know what we think.

Lion King

25 Incredible Photoshop Tutorials

tilt-shift-photoshop

Tilt Shift Photoshop Tutorial: How to Make Fake Miniature Scenes

I discovered the Tilt Shift technique perusing the photography of Drew Wilson, an uber talented young photographer here in Sarasota. I asked him about the process and he was kind enough to share it with me.

Lil raft

hdr-photo

How to Take HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photos

In the first part we covered what an HRD photo is, now we’ll go into a basic tutorial about how to create your own HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo. Please keep in mind that I’m very much an amateur – I just started experimenting myself so this is more of a “how to get started” type of guide. sunset HDR photo

The photo shoot

What you need:

  • Camera (with ability to change exposure settings)
  • Tripod (not required but highly recommended)
  • Photomatix Pro ($99, but you can get it for $85 with our Photomatix coupon code ) or Photoshop CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5/CS6  with Photomatix HDR software plugins
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