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WELCOME TO MY BLOG for Judith M Photography:

Tips for Creative Digital Photography and Lighting

 

MAY 2015_Flower Photography

May 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Try different lighting in the studio, such as back lighting with a softbox (or use any light softened with a white sheet) behind your flowers.

Add a secondary light to the flowers themselves for emphasis.

Change the background to black with black acrylic for reflections for more drama. Digital paint for a romantic look.

When able to do outdoor photography with spring to summer flowers, try wide open apertures to get bokeh, or soft backgrounds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       f/3.2 f/3.2 f/36


April 2015 Blog_ Photography of Shopkeepers

March 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I never really appreciated rapid fire street photography but rather admired portraits of people, such as shopkeepers, that I would find in my locale or in travels. This blog will highlight some of the shopkeepers I photographed during my exploration of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Here are some suggestions:

1. Get to know the people you are photographing. Make them comfortable. Ask about their shop and their jobs.

2. I always like to give back. I return on many occasions to the same locale and bring prints for them as gifts or give them jpegs if desired for their own social medial and PR. Word spreads and the cooperation keeps improving.

3. Linger. Don't rush. Be part of the community. This will allow you time to set up for a particular photo even using off camera flash without causing discomfort or alarm.

4. Accept humble offerings of coffee, cheese, pasta etc. since they want to show you that your work is valuable to them. Show respect and they will respect you.

5. Enjoy your new found friends. Expand your horizon and try other neighborhoods that you would like to get to know.

 


March 2015_Macro Photography

March 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
  1. Remember, Depth of Field (DOF) is very different with close up photography. The closer you are to your subject the less depth of field you will have, even at small apertures such as f/22.
  2. If you shoot at a wide aperture, such as f/4 and using selective focus on one part of the subject, the rest of the subject will go soft. Thus, the eye will be drawn to the sharpest spot.
  3. Position the lens on the same plane as the subject, to maximize sharpness (parallel to the front of the lens).
  4. Fill the frame with your subject.
  5. Try for soft colorful backgrounds using a long telephoto lens. Your camera needs to be closer to your subject than the subject is to the background shooting wide open (such as f/2.8 or f/4) at a focal length of 200 to 300 mm.

2015_Become a Better Photographer

December 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Make your top priority for this New Year to become a better photographer.

  1. You do not need a new camera to take a great picture. Learn to use your camera and study the User Manual as the first step. Take the manual with you or download a digital copy to your portable device. Understand all the controls. Shoot often and rate your photos. Then reevaluate your favorites frequently. In Lightroom, save your favorites in a Collection to make this easier.

Shoot in aperture priority with exposure compensation to make adjustments in exposure as your go to setting. Learn to use manual when you need greater control, such as the studio setting with accessory lighting.

  1. Knowledge is everything. Never stop learning from reading, taking workshops, on line tutorials such as Kelby One Training. Photography is ever changing and there is always more to know. Learning lighting – available light to strobe (flash or studio) is important.
  2. Composition and design elements are the key to making your photograph compelling. Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye” is an excellent review and a great investment.
  3. I always shoot in RAW, save as DNG’s and process and organize my images in Lightroom. I still do use Photoshop CC when needed, especially when adding texture layers, masking, creating book covers with text overlaying an image or doing extensive dust or pollen removal. But then save, not save as to bring the image back into Lightroom. A big advantage to Lightroom is that it is nondestructive and you can always get back to the original by choosing Edit Original. Lightroom history saves all. In Photoshop you would need to always use the Smart Filter option.  I occasionally use SilverEfex Pro for B&W conversions and some other Nik or Topaz filters.
  4. Critique is Key to improvement. And not from family or friends. Enter competitions, juried shows, portfolio reviews and become active in art association photo interest groups. Don’t let Facebook become your only focus group. 

Please let me know what I can do to help. Would a Lightroom Boot Camp or "Learning to See the Light" tutorial help? Group or individual instruction is available. judith@judithmphotography.com.                Happy New Year, Judith

BONUS SLIDESHOW:


Break Some Rules for the New Year

November 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
  1. Forget the Golden hours of Dawn or Dusk: Shoot in mid-day with an infrared converted camera or digital SLR for high contrast images or on a cloudy or foggy day to create mystery. B&W or toned is often best.
  2. Ignore the rule of thirds for greater freedom: Move with your feet and not just use your zoom lens. See the world from all angles to find a unique perspective.
  3. Avoid Program or Auto modes as well as Scene modes if you want to advance your photographic skills: Learn aperture priority with exposure compensation to adjust your exposure; darker for silhouettes or lighter. Or, even better, use manual and adjust your aperture or shutter speed to achieve the look you want. Take control!
  4. Ignore the Histogram only after you learn how to interpret it: The histogram is just a guide since every picture will have a different histogram. Just avoid blowing out the highlights (look at the binkies) and try for detail in the shadows. 
  5. Don’t always shoot with the sun at your back: Side lighting will reveal texture and detail while back-lighting can create rim light or silhouettes.

Learn the rules but then try breaking them to see the effects? Have fun and look around you. Slow down by using a tripod. Learn by making mistakes.