8 Tips for Photographing Men

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Fashion, Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, Portraiture

8 Tips for Photographing Men

When I put my hand up to write an article about photographing men, it didn’t occur to me (until I sat down in front of a blank screen) just how big a topic it actually is. While much could be written about photographing men, from lighting ratios to posing, post-processing and more, there seems to be a drastic imbalance in the amount of material devoted solely to photographing men, as compared to women. A guide to how lighting ratios can differ for men, women and children are covered in the article Lighting Ratios to Make or Break your Portrait, and Tips for Posing Men offers suggestions, along with Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to get you Started with Photographing Men. When it comes to context, men are photographed within the genres of photojournalism, fashion, sports, travel, wedding and family photography, and corporate portraiture to name a few. My primary genre is family photography, and I also shoot corporate portraits. There is a growing demand for more relaxed professional portraits for clients to use on their LinkedIn profiles, professional Facebook pages – even online dating sites. Clients want a portrait that flatters, showcases their personality or perhaps the type of work they do, without looking too corporate. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be talking about photographing men mostly within these two contexts. Tip #1: Include him in the consultation process This tips sits at number one with good reason. One of the most common complaints I hear in portrait photographers’ forums is that of the reluctant father/husband – the guy who turns up to the family portrait session, looking like it’s the last place on earth he wants to be. His crankiness is infectious, and makes your job of capturing all those joyful family connections close to impossible. I confess, it was one of my bugbears also until I realized how often I’d been leaving male partners out of the consultation process altogether. In every grumpy dad case I encountered, I had mistakenly assumed that the women I spoke to during consultation would communicate everything to their partners, and in turn, share with me any concerns their partners had. Following a major light-bulb moment, I started to include men in the process, and it made a world of difference. Turns out, they just want to be heard. The more you engage with a man before the shoot, the more comfortable he will be when you are wielding a camera, and the better the photos you will get. This applies whether you’re photographing a paying client, the guy next door, or your brother. Ask him if he has any features he’s sensitive about. A prominent nose, a double chin, acne scarring and a bit of a tummy are common sensitivities. Allow him to express his insecurities without feeling silly, and reassure him that you can work around these with...

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A Guide To Content Aware Fill | Is it Still Useless?

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Bokeh, canon, Fashion, Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait

A Guide To Content Aware Fill | Is it Still Useless?

Ever wanted to remove something from your photos? Stupid question. We all have, and Content-Aware Fill is one of the many tools Photoshop provides which aids us at this endeavour. Whether it be a blemish, person, car, or building, Photoshop is your friend. Content-Aware Fill, however, has often been thought of as less than useful, to putting it politely. But advances in technology have improved it drastically, so Is this still the case, and for those that don’t know, what is Content-Aware Fill anyway? What is Content-Aware Fill? Content-Aware Fill, in the conventional sense, is accessed via Edit > Fill. Make a selection around the item you want to be removed, go to Edit > Fill, and you’ll be presented with the dialog you see below. Select Content-Aware from the drop down menu at the top, click ‘OK’, Photoshop analyses the pixels surrounding your selection and perfectly removes the offending object. At least, that’s how it should work. In practise, the results can vary wildly. As well as this “conventional” form of Content-Aware Fill, you will also find it in other forms throughout Photoshop. There’s Content-Aware Scale (Edit > Content Aware Scale), Spot Healing Brush, Healing Brush, Content Aware Move and the Patch tool. To one degree or another, each of those tools utilises, what I can only assume to be, a similar algorithm. The algorithm analyses the pixels surrounding your selection (or brush strokes) and replaces those pixels, thereby removing the object. The big difference between using Content-Aware Fill via Edit > Fill Vs. any of the other tools mentioned above, is that applying the effect through Edit > Fill requires your layer to not be empty. In other words, you’ll need to duplicate your background or create a merged layer for the effect to work. That can be annoying as it increases the file size dramatically and makes maintaining a non-destructive workflow a little more problematic. However, if you insist on continuing in that fashion, at the very least use the shortcut Shift + Backspace (PC) or Shift + Delete (Mac). [REWIND: AN EASY & QUICK WAY TO REMOVE DUST SPOTS USING CONTENT AWARE FILL] As well as the blank layer annoyance, another big difference between the methods mentioned above is the ability to adjust Structure and Color. The Patch Tool and Content Aware Move tool allow this refinement, even after you have made the adjustment. Now, I’m sure some of you are going “huh!?”. Let me explain. If you head over to Photoshop and select the Patch tool (hit shift > J until it appears) you’ll see the following menu and, hopefully, ‘Structure’ and ‘Color’. Those two settings allow us to restrict Photoshop. The higher the number, the more we give Photoshop free reign to adjust either the color or structure of whatever we are editing. Pick an image, use the patch tool to remove an...

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Quick tip: Understanding what your diopter is and how to change it

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Featured, Photography Tips

Quick tip: Understanding what your diopter is and how to change it

After three years with my current camera setup, I know every nook and cranny of my DSLR and accompanying lenses. Despite this, there has always been one component that took longer than I care to admit to properly understand. The diopter. Here to share what a diopter does and what purpose it serves in your […] The post Quick tip: Understanding what your diopter is and how to change it appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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Historical, Iconic Images Highlight the Power of Photography | Video

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Featured, Photography Tips, portrait

Historical, Iconic Images Highlight the Power of Photography | Video

Photography is powerful. That’s not a new concept or one that we, as photographers, are unaware of. Most of us won’t create an iconic image that will be seen around the world for centuries, but our images are important nonetheless. They may only be seen by a few eyeballs, but the wedding photo of a bride and her father is precious to those in that family, and even more so when the loved ones are no longer with us. Then there are images we see in the newspapers, online, and in magazines that are part of the history of our world that will someday be looked upon by future generations to get a glimpse of what life was like, and the world events that shaped the future as they happened during this time – just as we, today, look back at images of the past. There are images that are so recognizable and iconic they have the power to immediately transport us back to where we were when we saw them. Such is the power of photography. [REWIND: PHOTOGRAPHING THE PRESIDENT: THE WORK OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER PETE SOUZA] When I was twelve years old, I was rollerskating outside my parent’s restaurant, and in the front of the store there was a row of newspaper dispensers. I remember stopping in my tracks one day and seeing an image of one man in a white shirt standing in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square. I was completely enthralled with the bravery of that man and bought the newspaper to share it with my class the next day. Even today, I feel emotional when I see that photograph, and in the COOPH video below, that image blends into a montage as only one example of the truly iconic photographs in our history (minute 1:36). The remainder of the almost 6-minute video shows the powerful stories that photographs can tell, and have told through the years. From Dorthea Lange’s portrait of the “Migrant Mother,” showing the desperation and starvation of families in the US during the Great Depression, to Marc Riboud’s image of a woman placing a flower in the barrel of a soldier’s gun in protest to the Vietnam War; and some of the lesser known images such as the couple who had just lost their infant son at sea by John Gaunt. The series of images in this video will move you and serve as a reminder, to “take out your camera” and capture a moment in history – however large or small.        Share...

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Travel People Photography – Tips and Pitfalls

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in canon, Featured, Photography Tips, portrait, sony

Travel People Photography – Tips and Pitfalls

“Oh the people you will meet!” goes one of Dr. Seuss’ famous lines, speaking to a particular joy of travel. We don’t just travel to see new places, we travel to experience new cultures full of new people – and as photographers, we’re intrigued to take their photo. Yet it’s not as easy as taking photos of foreign mountains or cityscapes. because, gasp!, those people are full of life and feelings and opinions. They might be speaking a language we don’t understand. We are left wondering what they are thinking as we start to bring our camera up to our eye. I’ve been photographing for 26 years, and traveling regularly for the last eight. I don’t know it all, but I have learned, through trial and error and research, what helps and what hinders travel portrait photography. The Tips Watch the light Photography is about light. You’ve likely heard it a hundred times before. Sometimes we forget that when out of our comfort zone, but it’s important to remember that great photos need great subjects, and great use of light. Before raising your camera, know your light. Know what light will be available, and how best to use it. This article: Understanding Natural Light Part 3: Direction of Light – has a wealth of knowledge to get you thinking about the natural light at your location. Of course, you can use a flash as well, but most of us rely on natural light for our travel portraits. Connect Hot Button Topic: To connect before or after you take a photo? This decades-old discussion will not be settled here, but I will give my opinion as fuel to the fire. I believe in give and take. If I’m always taking photos when I travel, I feel more the part of an interloper than a welcome guest. There are irresistible times when someone is doing something soooooo perfect, we have to have a photo, we think. Introducing ourselves will ruin the moment and break the magic we are witnessing. My advice is to take those photos, but give something back. Approach your subject after the fact and introduce yourself. Smile, make eye contact, promote goodwill, and be nice. If they are a vendor, buy something they are selling, or at least take a look. Canon, Sony and others now have portable printers you can bring with you, and what better way for give and take than to hand over a printed copy of the portrait you now treasure. It’s more work than just taking photos and continuing on your way, but it is also more rewarding. Get their feedback Building on the point above, show your subject their portrait. It’s part of giving back. Get their feedback on how they think they look. You might hear good things or bad, because everyone tends to be their own worst critic. Ask their...

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