Let There Be Light – Photo Theme

Without light, we would be engulfed in darkness, so it’s not a surprise that we are drawn to it, both the natural and artificial light. Light is one of the most important factors to consider when taking photos. A great shot could be marred if the lighting is not good.

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Tip: When exposing for beams of light, it is best to under expose the entire scene. This adds some drama to the image and keeps some detail in the light beams themselves.

 

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Tip: Backlighting adds details of the subject. When backlighting, it’s best to under expose the image to allow the highlights to glow.

 




 

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Photography, artificial light, tips, image, under expose, have fun

 

Tip: Night time offers endless possibilities. Have fun with artificial light. Be on the look out for different sources of light and use them for your creative compositions.

 

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Tip: Light can bring emphasis to the story you want to show the viewer and when used well it leads the eyes to the important parts of an image.

Go ahead and have fun with all that light. Take the photography theme challenge for practice and check this link for more photo tips here.

 




 

 

 

Kids At Play – 10 Tips For Taking Great Photos of Children

If you want to relive your childhood for a little time, watch kids play. Their carefree attitude, laughter, joy and utter delight from the simple things of life reminds of so much that’s good.

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Children are beautiful subjects to photograph and if you are not attempting a studio photo shoot, take several photos at play time. However, anyone who has tried to photograph their kids will know how challenging and frustrating it can be. They never want to stand still and even when you get them to pose they’re constantly making faces!



Tips For Taking Great Photos of Children

 

1. Have Patience and be ready

Be ready for anything with kids! Expect the unexpected and be ready to shoot it. Sometimes they will be shy to start with, but don’t rush or force it. Just interact with them for a while and they’ll be comfortable enough to grant you those gorgeous smiles with missing teeth.

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2. Get Down To The Child’s Level

When taking photos always try to get down to the same level as your subject especially small children.

If you take the photo from your normal standing height, you’ll be looking down at the child this would give a distorted view of them from above.

Taking the photo at their level creates an opportunity to capture a more interesting background as well.

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3. Use Burst Mode To Capture Action Shots

Due to children’s nature of constant motion, it’s almost always a challenge to stay still and get them to do what you want them to do.

This is where the burst mode feature of your camera is useful.

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4. Seek Candid Moments

Some excellent photo moments present themselves at inopportune times which is why it’s necessary to keep your phone close by.  This means you can whip it out and capture those candid natural shots of your children just being themselves.

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5. Focus On The Eyes In Portrait Photos

When taking portraits try to focus on the eyes. Getting it right creates a warmer photo and engages the viewer.

6. Use Props and Costumes

You can create something different by using costumes and props.

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7. Try shooting in different locations for unique shots

Take your children to scenic locations where you can definitely capture some memorable shots.

 8. Keep it Simple

Props, costumes, and scenic locations are great but sometimes it’s best to just keep things simple.

9. Take Different Angles

Always look at alternative angles when taking the same subjects. Sometimes the traditional point of view won’t do justice to the image.

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 10. Have Fun! That’s the most important part.

Finally, remember to have fun! Whilst capturing the fun that your children are having, don’t forget to be part of it. It’s okay to be a goofball.

Take the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.



Jewelry Focus – Photo Theme

J FOR JEWELRY

For letter J of the photo theme challenge, I chose jewels for obvious reasons – I love jewelry.

Adorning ourselves with jewelry and gemstones have been a part of humanity since before history was written.

The ancient people wore jewelry made of feathers, bones, shells, clay, stones, plants and other materials available to them, unlike what we have in stores today.

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We wear them as objects of fashion statement, identity, functionality,  caring for our bodies, religious reasons, status symbol, showing commitment etc.

In some places such as India, they’ve managed to develop such a connection to jewelry that it is a part of their daily life and religion.

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We all love the Bling and I believe the beauty in wearing jewelry is in the simplicity of its usage. Maintaining that balance of wearing just enough and not so much at the same time.

 

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Jewelry needs not be expensive to catch ones’ eye. They could be cheap and cheerful and pleasing all the same.

 

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After over a hundred thousand years of using jewels and decorative items and more than six thousand years of metallurgy and gem processing, we can say with certainty that jewels – in whatever form they come in – will always be a part of people and civilization.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

 





The Daily Post – Focus

I, You, We All Love Ice-Cream – Photo Theme

I, You, We All Love Ice-Cream

I am yet to meet anyone who didn’t enjoy this sweetened frozen confection taken as snack or dessert. I love ice-cream and literally have to hold myself in check from indulging far too much.

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Some of my fondest childhood memories center around the occasional treat of the frosty delight from an ice-cream truck at Polo park so, between looking for an object to isolate and indulging in a scoop or two of ice-cream as part of photo research for the letter ‘I,’ choosing ice-cream was no hardship.

 10 Fun Facts about ice-cream

  • Ice was made from ice before milk based ice creams started in the 10th century.
  • The industrial production of ice cream started in 1851 in Boston, United States.
  • The World’s largest consumption of ice cream is in the United States. Statistics show that on average one person consumes 48 pints of ice cream per year.
  • The most popular flavor of ice cream is vanilla. After that come chocolate, strawberry, cookies n’ cream, etc.
  • One of the most unusual ice cream flavors is hot dog flavored ice-cream made in Arizona, US.
  • One dairy cow can produce enough milk for 9,000 gallons of ice cream in her lifetime!
  • Most profitable day for ice cream sellers is almost always on Sunday.
  • It takes 50 licks to finish one cone of ice cream.
  • One cup of vanilla ice-cream has 273 calories.
  • Ice cream comes in many varieties: plain vanilla ice-cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, reduced-fat ice cream, sherbet, gelato, and much more.

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Tips for Photographing Ice Cream

I learned through several scoops and efforts that though photographing ice-creams may seem simple, in reality, ice-creams are not easy subjects to photograph. If you are not fast enough, it melts into a puddle and without proper preparation, your composition will not turn out as you want it to.

Prepare in advance. That scoop of ice cream won’t wait for you before it melts away and except your target is to take snapshots of puddles of melted sweetness prepare your equipment – camera, tripod (if needed) lenses etc – ahead of time when the ice-cream still looks great.

  • Adjust the camera to the settings you need and once you are ready, grab your ice cream, place it in the place that you want and take as many shots as you can for some minutes.

 

  • Always check your lighting ahead of time. Aim for adequate natural lighting as much as possible. Too little light will make your ice cream seem insipid, while flashes can create harshness and shadows to the texture of the ice cream. If you are not using natural light, set the white balance setting on your camera otherwise the ice cream can take on yellow or blue hues. The automatic light balance rarely gets it the way you want it.

 

  • Check your background. Some backgrounds work well with food photography such as wood texture which evokes homeliness. A white background allows the food to stand out without crowding it and it also provides a lot of background light that shows off the food better. A garden backdrop creates a sense of relaxation and contentment while a dark background is also perfect because it allows you to focus on the ice-cream without detracting from it.

 

  • You could try the trick of putting your display bowl in the freezer for at least half an hour before the shoot if you are in a convenient place to do so. This way the bowl for the ice-cream would stay cold for a while and keep the ice cream cold. This would give you extra time to make necessary adjustments before it begins to melt.

 

  • For freestyle photos on the go, have your camera ready for those blissful moments of people and their ice-creams and do remember to ask politely before pointing your camera in people’s faces.

 

  • Take a lot of photos from different angles within the few minutes that you have. This way you will end up with images that are worth your effort.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.



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Hands and Their Stories – Photo Theme Challenge

H for Hands 

It is said that one’s hands can tell tales about the owner, from details of their background to character, health, relationship bliss, future and fortune. Therefore, it’s no wonder that hands are fascinating appendages of human structure that’s worth admiring and photographing.

For the H letter of the photo theme challenge, it was a tussle between doing photos for History or Hands. I love history and I am one of those who haunts museums and soaks up stories of long past history, but I settled for Hands in this case.

Close-up portraits of body parts can be magnificent. They can also have a meaning and send a strong message. Such photographic portraits imply which sex the part belongs to, the possible age of the owner, their social condition, and a lot of other things. Our body parts portraits reveal many details than one would be tempted to believe.

 

Photographing The Hands

While photographing these hands, my main interest is to tell the person’s story.  For example, the first photo is the cobbler that I pass by occasionally. His hands were always busy repairing shoes and I wanted to take shots of them whilst he worked.

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The second photo is a perfumer at work. She makes fragrance from natural ingredients and always had some henna painting on her hands. I wanted to capture her painted hands as she worked and filled the bottles.

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My focus is on my subject’s story. I wanted the character of their hands to show their reality and not glamourous images.

Tips & Recommendations for photographing hands:

  • Try to tell your subject’s story that anyone looking at the photo later can interpret the story that your image portrays.
  • Think about your lighting and use it to enhance the story.
  • Place continuous lighting on the side of your subject which will show the lines of the skin better.
  • Use a tripod when possible for best shots.
  • Use your macro lens for close-ups.
  • Have fun and be creative. Play with a variety of positions.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

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Gardens – Photo Theme and Tips

Flower gardens come in various sizes, from the smallest to the large outlay of beautiful blooms that are aesthetically pleasing.

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Your Garden

Knowing that the joys of a garden may well be short-lived, you could capture some of its’ beauty with the power of photography.

This would help you to keep those beautiful blooms and create new ways of seeing, and admiring, your garden over time.

A basic understanding of photography helps you to create fabulous photographs of your garden or the gardens that you come across.



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Things To Note

Alway bear in mind that when photographing gardens, it’s not all about the plants in the garden, but it’s about light.

Essentially, “photog­raphy” means creating with light, and finding the proper light that fits the image you want to create. The right lighting is the key to beautiful, lasting pictures.

Learn to look at your photos from your camera’s point of view. Don’t just focus on what you like, but what’s really being captured in your viewfinder before you click that button.

Are there things that you don’t want in the frame? If so, that’s the time to adjust your angle either by taking a few steps forward, backwards, left or right or by tilting your camera up or down et cetera.

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Lighting and Perspectives

Avoid bright, harsh lights. Most times, bright light is not the best lighting for your garden photos. Direct sunlight creates photos that have harsh contrasts while morning and evening light create softer and better images.

Try taking your photos from different perspectives, don’t centre the image and try to compose your photos with the rule of thirds in mind.

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To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

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To Catch A Cat – Photo Theme Challenge

To Catch a Cat

I don’t own a feline so it was a bit of challenge to find a cooperative cat. Taking photos of a flower is easy while catching a snobbish cat is another kettle of fish. 

I found myself running after the city strays cats for days on end and in the process, I’ve learned that not only are cats snobbish they also have cattitude.

I managed to find this fat black one in a corner. It stared back at me and sat still for a wee moment before sauntering off to go and do something important, I guess.

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After the black cat, I ran into an indolent one that had taken ownership of the park seat, basking in the warm early morning sun. I didn’t want it to run away so I was wary of getting too close.

 

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Flower Power

Flowers, however, make beautiful models. They just sit still and look pretty without an attitude.

 

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To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

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Compose in The Thirds – Essential Photo Tips

What is The Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds is possibly the most common essential photographic technique that is applied to your images to improve its composition and to create the right balance.

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 How to Use The Rule of Thirds.

The basic principle of the rule of thirds is to mentally imagine breaking your subject down into thirds in your viewfinder, horizontally and vertically, so that you have nine equal parts.

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With this breakdown in mind, think about the elements of your photo that’s most important, and try to place them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid. They mustn’t be compulsorily lined up as long as they’re close.

Rule of thirds could be used for any image because it’s versatile. The general idea is that an off-centre composition is more aesthetically balanced and pleasing to the eyes’ than one when the subject is positioned right in the middle of the frame.

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Playing or not Playing by the rules

Like most rules, the rule of thirds is not cast in stone and should never be applied blindly, particularly when it comes to creativity. In essence, this rule can equally be broken effectively and you would still end up with great images with its’ focal point in the centre of the square.

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Simply think of the rule of thirds as one of those rules of thumb and excellent starting point for creating balance in any composition. It would come naturally with practice.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

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10 Quick Tips for Budding Photographers

Quick Tips For Budding Photographers

So you’ve caught the passion for photography? As a beginner consider these tips on camera, learning, experiment, and practice below as you begin the journey of finding your foot in the huge world of image making.

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1. Resist the urge to splurge.

Yes indeed, this is a common weakness of picking up a passion especially one like photography. The urge to buy an expensive camera and many gadgets that you believe would make your images great. simply kicks in. It’s quite possible to get great shots with an inexpensive point and shoot cameras. The important thing is understanding the gadget that you are presently using and practice, practice, practice. By the time you are ready for an upgrade, you have a better idea of what you want. Going overboard to acquire gadgets sometimes leads to spending on things that we may end up not using.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Your cheap point and shoot camera might just surprise you with its output when you invest time to go through its manual and understand it. Play around and shoot with different settings and focal points as much as you can to see what you like and what works best.

3. Get a tripod or lightweight Gorillapod.

This gives your photos stability especially if your hands are not steady. Your images would turn out way better and there are lots of inexpensive tripods that you can invest in.

4. Keep your camera close to you.

Opportunities to capture unique photos present themselves unexpectedly and when you’ve got your gadget, you take advantage of such opportunities. So like the girl’s guide mantra says, ‘be prepared’

5. Don’t overlook the mundane.

Everyday ordinary things make great subjects to photograph. It all depends on your perspective as a photographer and the story you choose to tell through the image. Try looking at familiar grounds with a fresh eye and find inspiration all around you.

6. Keep a list.

Keep a list of ideas and things that you want to photograph especially when trying to recreate an image that you like. Taking special note of important details like the time of the day, lighting etc will come in handy. Create and compare.

7. Be hungry for knowledge and take advantage of free resources.

Study what professional photographers are doing. Do your research, check out websites that offer online learning resources. Some are even offered free now and again on Coursera and many websites.

8. Work outside your comfort zone.

Don’t always stick to the familiar. Be open to the things happening around you.

9. Learn the basics and practice them often to help assimilation.

Information overload could be overwhelming so stick to a bit at a time. Trying to rush the learning could lead to the opposite direction. Consistency and balance are the keys to sustaining passion.




10. Be patient and enjoy the process.

The most important aspect of learning and perfecting a craft is enjoying the learning process and patiently putting lessons learned to test.

What tips would you offer a beginner photographer?  To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

Ready. Steady. Say Cheese.

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Egg, You’re On! Make everyday objects interesting.




Egg You’re On

Photo theme for letter E offered Egg and Environment. The environment would have probably been an easier subject to shoot. It’s a big, wide world out there, but I chose to go a different route and explore the Egg.

I like the idea of finding everyday objects, something simple and ordinary and playing around with it to turn it into an interesting subject.

I grabbed an egg out of the crate, placed it on the floor near the window where light streamed in.

Photo Theme, Shooting an Egg

Make everyday objects interesting.

It was a bit challenging to balance on the smooth floor due to lack of friction, then I balanced it in between the floor tiles that offered a gap to hold the egg, and there you go.

Several shots from various angles later, I settled for this one which I took in a close-up and monochrome.

Well, after all the shooting of the eggy images a natural wish for some omelets gave way and the natural progression of followed.

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It’s Easter in a couple of weeks. Do create fun ways of playing with the eggs.

To join the photography theme challenge for practice, check this link and you can find other photo tips here.

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