Candid

Candid Photography has been one of the most enjoyed photography where people or things are clueless about the camera or the photographer. Most of the photographs presented in books, newspapers and historical images are candid photographs. It can also be called as a secret photography type which also comes under the rubric of photojournalism. Street photography and reaction photography falls under the candid photographic genre. Though it is the most popular genre, mastering candid photography takes years of practice in managing the speed, lights, flashes, moments etc. Candid photography captures all the uniqueness and natural facial expressions to have a very strong emotional impact.

Your Portfolio Is Only As Good As The Worst Image In It {Be Your Own Art Director Part 5}

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Candid, Featured, Food, lightroom, Photography Tips, portrait

Your Portfolio Is Only As Good As The Worst Image In It {Be Your Own Art Director Part 5}

Hey Loungers! This is the last part of my Be Your Own Art Director series. If you haven’t already, first, read part one, 6 Steps to Planning a Photo Shoot, part two, 6 Tips to Executing Your Planned Photo Shoot and part three, Powerful Post Production for Greatest Impact and part four, How to Give and Accept Critique. Selecting just the right images for your portfolio or for publication elsewhere is one of the most important parts of being your own art director. Mindfully curating, or choosing, which images you’ll present to the world can have a profound effect on the work you’ll attract in the future and the first impression you’ll leave with those who view your work. So, how do you go about choosing which images to include? Here are a few things I keep in mind when choosing images for my portfolio, publication on a blog, entering a competition, curated exhibition or applying for a grant. Consistency is Key When choosing a group of images for a portfolio, I try to make sure there’s a common theme amongst the images. The images should be amazing by themselves but also create a statement about you and your work as a whole. When choosing images for my portrait portfolio, I first gathered all of my favorite images into a smart collection in Lightroom. Then I took a look at them as a whole and asked myself, “What do most of these have in common?” I discovered my favorite images are bright, colorful, candid, joyful, whimsical, and many of them show motion. So, those words became my guideline for choosing which images to include in this particular portfolio. For my corporate website, WorkStory Corporate Photography, my portfolio is broken into individual jobs/clients (stay tuned, my website is almost done!). Even in this case, the overall feel of your entire portfolio should be consistent. The work should look like it came from the same artist unless you have more than one distinct style, then I would advise you break those up into separate portfolios to show the diversity of your skill set. Having one or two randomly different styles in your portfolio will make them seem out of place and not artfully and intentionally chosen. Be Objective The purpose of a portfolio is to show off your absolute best work in order to get more work, right? So this is where you have to exercise some tough love for yourself and try to be objective when choosing which images to include. Just because your own baby is super cute in a photo doesn’t mean you should include it. I’m very cautious about including my own kids in my portfolio because, well, I think every photo of them is adorable! Try to see your work as if you are seeing it for the first time and you don’t know the people...

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Reducing the Stress of Group Photos at Weddings

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Candid, Featured, Photography Tips

Reducing the Stress of Group Photos at Weddings

I am sure you understand how important the family photos are on a wedding day. For me, they used to be the most stressful part of the day, I would almost dread them. Logistically they can be challenging, gathering all the guests and particular family members, organizing them into the right groups, then getting the shots right. There is a lot to do and think about. I have sure you’ve heard the age old story, about how the couple went to their friend’s wedding, and the photographer bossed them around, and spent ages doing countless group photos. None of us want to become that photographer, with the help of this short guide and bit of preparation, you can prevent that. After shooting over 100 weddings, I have I slowly figured out a sort of system, which helps me manage the process better. I have cut down the number of recommended family shots I do. This allows the couple to have time to relax during the reception, and gives me a little more time to shoot candid shots, or even spend a little bit more time with the bride and groom, creating something more creative. Some of the points within the article my be more relevant to wedding photographers in Europe, who tend to shoot the group photos after the ceremony during the cocktail reception, but you may still find some of the points useful if you are based in the US, and shoot them before the ceremony. Setting the scene – initial meeting with couple When you are in the process of booking a new wedding couple, I would suggest having a short chat with them about the group photos. It is good to discuss how many family formals they envision you will take on their day. It is also worth mentioning that you limit the number of family formals you take, to provide them with the best possible experience on their wedding day. Spending less time doing the family formals, will allow them to have more time relaxing during the cocktail reception with their friends and family. The last thing I would want a bride and groom to remember from their wedding day, was that we spent their whole cocktail hour standing around taking endless group photos. Email to couple with booking confirmation To make the group photos as easy as possible on the wedding day, I would suggest that you email a recommended shot list over to the bride and groom beforehand, asking for them to fill in everyone’s names. This means that during the formal photographs you can call people by first name, which will make you much more amenable to the guests. Here is my sample list that I normally work from, which covers most of the bases: Bride and groom with bride’s family (please confirm which family members) Bride and groom with bride’s parents...

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The Not So Decisive Moment – How to Increase Your Chances of Getting the Best Shot

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Candid, Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips

The Not So Decisive Moment – How to Increase Your Chances of Getting the Best Shot

To a certain extent Henri Cartier-Bresson has a lot to answer for. Yes, he’s certainly one of the photography greats, and his work has inspired countless photographers, but his book “ The Decisive Moment ” and the meaning of its title, is frequently misunderstood by many, and has created a whole raft of confusion. Many photographers have made the assumption that Cartier-Bresson was referring to a sort of magic moment, where the photographer manages to instinctively see a perfectly formed image in a fraction of a second, bring the camera up to their eye, and take the image in its perfect form, before moving on. Interestingly, the French version of the book is called “Images on the Run”, which seems to almost suggest the opposite. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and a study of his contact sheets tells a rather different story. I’ve been photographing weddings professionally in a photo journalistic style, for well over 10 years. When I started out, I too thought that capturing these types of images was simply about looking and reacting. However, I soon learned that by taking control and being proactive, rather than reactive, I could significantly increase my chances of getting the shot. There really isn’t a magic formula, and is possible to stack the odds in your favour, to greatly improve your chances of getting the image. Sometimes it really is luck and good reactions, but more often than not, the techniques outlined below will produce more consistent and predictable results. Set up your camera On a very practical level, it’s vital that you have the right camera, and that it’s set up correctly. It must be quick, with virtually no shutter lag at all. You’ll also need to get used to timing your shutter actuations. This can be done with practice, by repeatedly photographing moving objects, such as passing cars or bikes, until you’ve completely gotten the feel of the timing, and speed of the shutter release. This is vital, as the coordination between your eye, the shutter release, and the camera needs to be instinctive, to achieve the split second timing that’s needed. You might find that shooting with a prime lens is faster as well. Using a zoom will inevitably waste precious seconds zooming in and out, it’s often quicker to just move. You might also find that the focus on a prime lenses is a bit quicker, and that you compose better with a prime attached to the camera, rather than a zoom. As far as camera settings are concerned, again, it’s all about anticipation. Set up the camera, wait, and shoot. Often this will mean using a number of auto controls – have a go at using auto ISO, auto white balance (to be corrected from the RAW files in Lightroom) and generally shoot in aperture priority mode. For this type of photography, the...

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My New Favorite Lens: The Fujinon 35mm F1.4 R

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Candid, canon, Featured, macro, Photography Tips, portrait, Portraiture

My New Favorite Lens: The Fujinon 35mm F1.4 R

Before I switched to Fujifilm I was a Canon EOS user. My favorite camera was the EOS 5D Mark II and my favorite lens the 85mm f/1.8. I liked that lens because it was ideal for portraits, and for close-ups revealing details. When I switched to Fujifilm I expected the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 lens, the closest equivalent (on an APS-C crop sensor camera) to the 85mm, to become my new favorite. It’s a great lens, especially for portraiture. But, to my surprise, the humble 35mm f/1.4 lens, bundled with the X-Pro 1, has become my new favorite. At first I was a little puzzled as to why. With Canon I owned a 50mm lens, and while I tried to use it in practice, it didn’t get used much. It was more of an experimental lens – I used it with extension tubes, and reversed for experimental close-up and macro photography. Occasionally I used it while out shooting, but always ended up preferring either the 85mm (short telephoto) or a wide-angle. So what happened with the 35mm f/1.4 lens (which has the same angle-of-view, and is a normal lens for an APS-C camera)? I think, a number of things happened. The 35mm suits the X-T1, the camera I use most of the time, very well. The camera feels well balanced, and is light enough to carry around all day. This camera and lens combination is ideal for taking candid photos of people, without being too far away (losing the sense of intimacy and closeness) or having to get too close to fill the frame (where I would be getting close enough to bother people). People may notice me with it, but they don’t seem to be worried by it. It’s an ideal focal length for environmental portraiture. I used it the 35mm lens a lot during a recent trip to China, where I had a lot of fun photographing people. It allows me to capture a scene with people in it, without revealing too much (always a danger with wide-angle lenses) or too little (as can happen with short telephotos). These two photos are great examples. Another thing I like about the 35mm lens, is that it focuses quite close to the subject, allowing me to move in close for detail shots without having to use a close-up lens or extension rings. The 85mm lens that I used with my Canon camera didn’t focus quite so closely, and I had to use a 500D close-up lens (filter) with it for close-up photography. Here’s an example. One of the benefits of a mirrorless camera system, with an APS-C sensor, is that the lenses are smaller and lighter than those made for camera systems with full-frame models. The 35mm lens is small (it’s only 55 mm long) and light (it only weighs 187 grams, 6.5 ounces). Compare those dimensions to a 35mm...

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Body, Lenses, or Lighting | Which Should You Upgrade First?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Bokeh, Candid, canon, Featured, landscape, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait, sony

Body, Lenses, or Lighting | Which Should You Upgrade First?

Stepping Out Of Little League You’ve been taking photos for a while. You’ve made your Facebook photography business page (I have 3…), and now are looking into making a serious investment. Photography equipment can figuratively cost an arm and a leg, and to be honest, you don’t have to spend that much to capture beautiful images. Michelle and I have some tips and direction for you, depending on what discipline of Photography you want to study. Body, Lenses, or Lighting | Which Should You Upgrade First? Click to Subscribe! Our Recommendation For Aspiring Landscape Photographers For the aspiring landscape photographers, both Michelle and I agree that lenses are the first thing you should upgrade. The keyword here is wide-angle, and there are plenty of affordable lenses that will not only give you stellar performance and sharpness but are also used by professionals as well. Lenses We Recommend For Landscape Rokinon 14mm f/2.8: $298.50 Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM: $649.00 Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX: $559.00 Also, if you’re interested in learning more about landscape photography, I highly suggest following our own writer Matthew Saville. His wealth of landscape photography knowledge will have you shooting epic star trails in no time. Our Recommendation For Aspiring Natural Light Portrait Photographers If you’re interested in taking natural lifestyle portraits, like senior portraits or engagement sessions, then we would recommend investing in a lens first. Prime lenses are going to give you the best value, specifically the nifty fifty (50mm f/1.8), which is usually around a couple hundred dollars or less. The 85mm focal length is my personal favorite lens for portraits because of its beautiful bokeh producing abilities. Lenses We Recommend For Natural Light Portraits Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens: $125.00 Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens: $131.95 Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens: $369.00 Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Lens: $476.95 Our Recommendation For Aspiring Street/Travel Photographers Michelle and I have different views on street photography, but we agree that a smaller mirrorless body is the first thing you should upgrade to (if you don’t already have one). A mirrorless camera has the advantages of being discreet and portable, making it perfect for street and travel photography. There are so many different mirrorless systems now, all with their own pros and cons, so I would encourage you to do your research before investing in a new system. But let’s say you already have a mirrorless camera, or don’t want to ditch your DSLR system? Well, the next thing you should invest in is your lenses. I’m not going to list out all the lenses I would recommend because there would be too many, so instead I’ll list the focal lengths. The 35mm Lens This is my favorite lens when traveling or doing street photography (The Sony RX1R II is the ultimate travel camera to me). This focal length is...

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Avoid Expensive Repair Costs With These 10 Ways to Protect Your Lenses

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Candid, canon, Featured, macro, nikon, Photography Tips

Avoid Expensive Repair Costs With These 10 Ways to Protect Your Lenses

Damaged lenses are a no win situation. It’s expensive to replace them, and it’s expensive to repair them. Nothing fills a photographer with dread like the prospect of getting a repair quote for their exotic glass. Fortunately, you can minimize the risk of breaking a lens by taking several simple precautions. The strategies for protecting your lenses can be generalized into three categories: Protective Accessories Electronics Support Proper Storage By following these ten methods of keeping your lenses safe, you can drastically reduce the risk of receiving an unpleasant surprise from the repair shop. Accessories 1. Use the Lens Cap: This one’s somewhat controversial. Lots of people never use lens caps, so that there’s no way they’ll miss a shot as they fumble to take off the cap. The added risk of their lens being damaged is balanced out by the value of the photos they might capture. This makes sense for event photographers who need to be ready for anything, but all too often, other photographers mimic this style and end up with scratched lenses for no reason. You don’t have to put the cap on after every shot, but when the camera goes back in the bag, you don’t want the front element rubbing against all the grit and miscellaneous objects that have accumulated in there. If you have bad luck, and you’ve lost your lens cap, spend the $5 and get a new one! 2. Use the Lens Hood: We can all agree on this one – using a hood on the lens is always* beneficial. Not only does it block stray light rays from sucking the contrast out of your photos, but a hood also protects the front element of your lens from any balls, frisbees, arms, or other objects that might otherwise try to ruin your day and your lens. *Unless you’re shooting macros and the hood would block your light. 3. Use a Clear/UV Filter: A good filter can be a lifesaver in bad conditions. The beach is a prime candidate for filter use – all that sand, water, and salt can take a toll on a lens. It’s worth spending a bit of money on a good filter to avoid having your lens’s coatings eaten by salt or scratched up by a sandy breeze. Some lenses even require a filter to complete their weather sealing. 4. Don’t Use a Filter: On the other hand, filters aren’t always helpful. In fact, sometimes they can do more harm than good. Since they’re made of thinner glass than the actual lens, they tend to shatter more easily. Hence, it can be safer to leave the filter at home, rather than take the risk of it shattering into sharp fragments all over your lens. For example, a lens could probably survive a bump with someone’s elbow, but a filter might not fare so well. Sigma may...

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