wedding photography tips
Here is a photography tip that is so simple that it is often overlooked. The crooked horizon. As many of you know, I am not a professional photographer but own a photography studio. My job is to correct mistakes, through photoshop, that come through my studio. I would guess that besides the obvious removing people from the background, removing stray hair, etc, straightening the horizon is way up there. When you set up to take a shot, especially on the beach where the horizon plays a very big part of the background, make sure the horizon is straight and not going through the head of your subject. This task is sometimes more difficult for taller photographers. Just take a moment before you click your shutter and make sure the horizon is below the head and that it is straight.
Beginner Photography Tips by Myrtle Beach Photography
The biggest misconception in outdoor photography is the use of fill flash. Fill flash confused me more than anything when I first started trying to understand photography. It is like accounting. When you think you should debit, you credit. To us (unprofessional/
Go to your settings, override the auto flash(make sure that the flash icon does not have a line through the lightning bolt or flash symbol) and force your camera to flash. This will fill in the shadows (often cast by hats, glasses, noses etc) and light up the faces of your subjects. On the other hand, if your subjects look overexposed and washed out, you can’t decrease the flash strength try moving back a little from your subject and using your zoom to get a tighter framing as this will decrease the impact of the flash. Also remember, with most cameras, about 6 or 7 feet is a normal flash range. Experimenting is the key. Sample images above show the difference between an image outdoors with the flash on and the flash off.
Get out there and flash away. Find out which settings work for you. We will talk about creating mood with lighting later which we will play with not using flash to create different moods. But for now, when you are out in that bright light and you see shadows being cast, remember that the flash in bright conditions is your friend.
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Photography Tips by Myrtle Beach Photography
The Three Basic Elements of Photography
Each of the three aspects of the triangle relate to light and how it enters and interacts with the camera.
The three elements are:
- ISO– the measure of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light
- Aperture– the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken
- Shutter Speed– the amount of time that the shutter is open
These three elements are what determines how your image will turn out.I will have to say that as a student of photography, these elements were the most difficult for me to understand.Remember, I have had no professional training and have had to pick up this knowledge from the professional photographers who work at my Studio’s in Myrtle Beach.I also have ADHD so these concepts were difficult for me to grasp.It was only after sitting in my daughters gym and playing around with all three, that I began to understand how they all affect the image.I would understand one and then the others would change and I had to finally realize that each affects the other.Most importantly – a change in one of the elements will impact the others. This means that you can never really isolate just one of the elements alone but always need to have the others in the back of your mind.
3 Metaphors for understanding the digital photography exposure triangle:
Many people describe the relationship between ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed using different metaphors to help us get our heads around how the three work together.One of my photographers, Joe, explained the concept like an human eye.Another used the window analogy.Here goes my “photography for dummies” attempt at a more simple understanding of these basic photography elements.
The Human Eye
Imagine your camera is like your eye that opens and closes or blinks (the shutter).If you stand in front of a mirror and hold your eye open and shine a flash light into your eyeball, the pupil will enlarge and become smaller based on the amount of light.Your eyelid opens and closes which when open, the pupil becomes smaller because there is more light and larger when the lid closes because of less light.Your eyelid is the shutter and your pupil is the aperture.Now imagine that you’re wearing sunglasses.Your eyes become desensitized to the light that comes in (it’s like a low ISO).
Let’s talk about the shutter speed first using the eye analogy.The speed of your blink (shutter) determines how much light gets to your pupil (aperture) to determine how large or small the pupil/aperture needs to be depending on the light you need to see.The slower you blink, the more time light has to reach your pupil and the smaller your pupil becomes.
Now for aperture.If you walk outside into bright sunlight, your pupil will suddenly shut down or become smaller just like the aperture on your camera because it needs less light.In reverse, if you walk into a dark room, your pupil will enlarge to be able to take in as much light as possible under the dark conditions.
These two functions of the eye work together, like with your camera, to determine the best light for you to be able to see in a dark or bright situation.Example:You walk into a very dark room.Your blinking (shutter speed) slows down so that more light can reach you pupil (aperture) so that it can become larger and more light can get in so that you can see more in a dark place.
Lastly, let’s talk about ISO.The ISO is like sunglasses.The eye is effected by wearing the sunglasses or taking them off.Now imagine that you’re inside the room and are wearing sunglasses (hopefully this isn’t too much of a stretch). Your eyes become desensitized to the light that comes in (it’s like a low ISO).
There are a number of ways of increasing or decreasing the amount of light in the room. You could increase the time that the shutter is open (decrease shutter speedby slowing down your blink), you could increase the size of aperture (increase pupil size) or you could take off your sunglasses (make the ISO larger).
Just remember, if you are in very bright light, your camera does not need as much light to create a good image so you will need to lower or close down your aperture and/or you can speed up your shutter.
In reverse, if you are in a low light situation, you will need to open up that aperture and slow down that shutter speed.If you still need more light once you open up that aperture and slow down that shutter speed there is something else you can try.Increase you ISO to allow more light.
I hope I have not confused you with this analogy.It really helped me understand the concept and hopefully that it helps you as well.Go out and play around in different light with these techniques to see how these elements effect you image.
To practice, I sat on my sofa and turned off all the lights except for a few small lamp.I was using a CanonMark III and an 70-200mm f2.8 lens.I put the camera on my knees to steady the lens and was taking pictures of my bookshelf across the room.I started at with a high number f-stop and a shutter speed at 800 and a low ISO.The image was black.I then lowered the f-stop to f2.8 (which my very good lens allowed me to do) and lowered the shutter speed to 100.The image was ok but not great.The next image I left the F-stop at 2.8, kept the shutter speed low and cranked up the ISO higher and finally got an image that was good.Good luck with this and I can’t wait to see if any of you have a “light bulb” moment and finally understand this very complex elements of photography.
I included a graphic at the top of this post to show examples of the eyeball and the lens to help with this explanation.
Myrtle Beach Photography Tips
RULE OF SPACE
This rule states that if the subject is not looking directly to the camera, or looks out of the frame, there should be enough space for the subject to look into. This technique creates interest in the minds of the person viewing your image. An interesting fact is, the person viewing you image will look where the subject is looking.
If you are taking action images or landscapes with animals, the rule of space also applies. For example, you are taking a image of a horse running, remember to leave an active space for the motion to continue. (don’t always center the horse in the frame but rather leave space for motion in front of the horse. This simple rule will show in the still image that the horse/object is actually moving and has a destination. This also enables viewers to instinctively look to where the object is heading, thus, building excitement within the image and sets its mood.
Not only does it add dramatic accents in your photos, but it also creates a flow to naturally drag the attention of viewers to the direction of the subject.
While following this technique can help you achieve your desired photo, it can also be very interesting if you break this rule.
Breaking this rule, especially in moving objects where the space behind is what breaks or makes the image. Doing this kind of tactic will give the viewer an idea how fast the object had been and where did it come from.
Changing the framing and the look-space direction will also give a different meaning. A subject who runs and has too much dead space behind, means that he is leaving swiftly. But if you put active space in front of it, then it would suggest that the subject is leaving with a goal or target in front.
Play around with your photography to create a story within your image.Let Myrtle Beach Photography know how this works for you in your own photography.See examples of Rule of space below.Would love to hear your comments.Also, if there are things you would like to know, please post and we will try and get to them.
The biggest misconception in outdoor photography is the use a flash. Most people know that if they are indoors, they use a flash. Most point and shoot camera flashes default to auto flash, meaning, if the camera detects there is not enough light for a good picture, the auto flash will kick-in, in low light. What most people don’t know is when you are outside and your camera is set to auto flash, it will automatically shut down your flash. This is perhaps when you need your flash the most. For example, you are out of the beach and it is 5pm, shadows are heavy and your subjects faces are shaded. This is where your fill flash can help. Go to your settings, override the auto flash(make sure that the flash icon does not have a line through the lightning bolt or flash symbol) and force your camera to flash. This will fill in the shadows (often cast by hats, glasses, noses etc) and light up the faces of your subjects. On the other hand, if your subjects look overexposed and washed out, you can’t decrease the flash strength try moving back a little from your subject and using your zoom to get a tighter framing as this will decrease the impact of the flash. Also remember, with most cameras, about 6 or 7 feet is a normal flash range. Experimenting is the key. Sample images above show the difference between an image outdoors with the flash on and the flash off.