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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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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4 Steps on How to Read Images and Learn to Replicate the Results

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Bokeh, canon, Featured, landscape, Photography Tips, photoshop

4 Steps on How to Read Images and Learn to Replicate the Results

Earlier, I wrote an article called: why asking what camera settings were used may not be as helpful as you think, and in it, I touched on the concept of reading an image. Learning to read images – from a technical perspective and not a conceptual one – is something that I believe all photographers must be able to do, as it allows you to get a rough guide on what settings may have been used to create an image. They won’t be the exact settings; but you’re most likely not going to have the exact same lighting environment as what a particular photo was taken in. A wide aperture was used her to achieve a shallow depth of field. Dive in to read an image To begin reading images you must have, at the very least, a good understanding of aperture, shutter speed and to a lesser extent, ISO. You’ll want to understand how these things affect the image in different ways. For example, if you saw an image with a lot of motion blur, you would know from your understanding of shutter speed that a slower shutter speed was used. As you become more proficient with lighting and off-camera flash, you can even read how the subject was lit with artificial lighting, and begin to replicate how it was done. But don’t worry! This article will be focussing on the three major aspects of photography exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) to help you begin your journey to reading images. What shutter speed was used here – a fast or slow one? Step 1: Shutter Speed – Fast or Slow? I find that determining whether a fast or slow shutter speed was used first, can help greatly when it comes to determining aperture and ISO later. The first thing you will want to ask yourself when assessing shutter speed is; was it fast or slow? This can be decided by how much, or how little, motion blur is present in the image, as that is what shutter speed controls. If everything in the image is pin sharp, and there is absolutely no motion blur at all, then a fast shutter speed would have been used. However, if there is a lot of motion blur, then a slow shutter speed was used. Here are some points that you can take out of knowing if the shutter speed is fast or slow: But how fast is a fast shutter speed, and at what point does the shutter speed become slow? To answer this, think of your shutter speed in relation to your subject’s speed. For example, when photographing sports or other fast action, you may find using a shutter speed of 1/1000th is required to freeze your subjects. This is because your subjects are moving quite fast. However, if you were to photograph people walking down the street, you...

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Fashion Photography Portraits | Recreating The Work Of An Icon With The Icon Watching (David Bailey)

Posted by on Apr 17, 2016 in Fashion, Featured, Photography Tips, portrait, Portraiture

Fashion Photography Portraits | Recreating The Work Of An Icon With The Icon Watching (David Bailey)

John Rankin, otherwise known by his photographic working name, Rankin, is a rather wildly successful portrait and fashion photographer. He’s shot some of the biggest names for the biggest names in many genres. Names like David Gandy and Heidi Klum in fashion; Daniel Craig and Monica Bellucci in film; Rafa Nadal and Ronaldo in sport; and Katy Perry and Kieth Richards in music. His talent and client lists are populated as such that you’d imagine that whether on a yacht party during the Monaco Grand Prix, or the after party at the Oscars or fashion shows, you could throw a rock and you’re bound to hit 6 or 7 people he’s shot. 

In the noisy overpopulated photographic world in which we reside, he’s one that rises above the noise to a place of focus, and it’s hard to imagine there’s anyone he would find intimidating to work with, but there are – people like David Bailey. In 2009, Rankin released a documentary for BBC called Seven Photographs That Changed Fashion, where he recreated iconic images as tribute to the original greats; Photographers like Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, and David Bailey. For those into beauty and fashion, you’ll no doubt be acquainted with these names because they are the ones that have set the tone and standard for us all, and working with any one of them is a bucket-list item even for Rankin. In the video herein, Rankin plucks an image from Bailey’s files and tries to recreate it using the same camera, a similar model, and setting, and with Bailey Present. Bailey is known to be quite a presence. He actually lives round the corner from my family and I’m too cowardly to go and ask even to borrow sugar, so I cannot imagine the pressure of having to recreate an iconic Bailey shot in front of the man himself. It’s actually a brilliant piece of film though if you’re into fashion and portraiture. You get a behind the scenes look at how photographers like this hold themselves, how they interact with their subjects, what tools they use, and if you pay attention to the precise verbiage they use, how they actually think about the craft and their own work. It’s marvelous really, that we can get a glimpse into something like this. It’s also refreshing to see that Bailey is forthcoming with the information about the shot, about how it was created, and why. He informs Rankin, and the viewer, that it was shot on a Rolleiflex, with a continuous light source, a plain background, no hair stylist or MUA, and not even a fan to blow the hair. The hair, he said, was blown up just using a piece of white board. [REWIND: BEAUTY & FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY | THE SPECIFICS THAT DIVIDE THE GREAT FROM THE MEDIOCRE] If you know Bailey and his work,...

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Huge Savings On Canon & Nikon Full Frame DSLRs & 50% Off Memory Cards (Deal Dash)

Posted by on Apr 16, 2016 in Astrophotography, canon, Fashion, Featured, lightroom, macro, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait, Portraiture

Huge Savings On Canon & Nikon Full Frame DSLRs & 50% Off Memory Cards (Deal Dash)

If you’re reading this you’re aware that in our field, gear matters, and you’d have to have a bank balance bigger than your bank account number for you to acquire all you likely would want when the whim takes you. However, if you keep your ear to the ground like we do, you come about the best photography deals currently on the market, and within our Deal Dashes, we share them with you: Canon CANON 5D MK III The venerable 5D’s third iteration comes from a lineage whose reputation precedes it, and is loved and used the world over. If you’re in the market it’s $300 off the normal price sitting at $2,499, and can get that here. However, in addition to that you can get this bundle for $2,749 with rebate that includes: Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera Body Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 Lens Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Professional Photo Inkjet Printer Lowepro Nova Sport 17L AW Shoulder Bag, Slate Gray Sandisk Extreme 32GB microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I Memory Card That’s quite a rounded kit, and not around for long. Get it here while still available. CANON 7D MK II With a 20MP refined APS-C sensor with dual pixel AF, the 7D MK II quickly became an item to get for many pros and enthusiasts. It’s got a rugged shutter designed for 200,000 actuations, a whopping 65 point AF system, and full 1080p at 60FPS. It’s one of the really attractive offerings from Canon and now is $300 less than normal sitting at $1,499 and even bundled with Lightroom. Get it here. Canon 70D We recently featured a Star Wars desert shoot (see here) which has received international attention and the entire shoot was done on a 70D, proving again that it’s a capable, dependable higher-end APS-C DSLR and right now can be had for $999. It’s unlikely this price will drop further anytime in the near future, and it’s a great buy. Get it here. NikoN (Still Offering HUGE SALES ON FX CAMERAS) D610 The Nikon D610 is the Nikon ‘entry’ full frame camera, and is probably one of the best buys for those wanting to get into full frame since it came out. It is, in fact, my workhorse of choice, and despite the agility and speed of it’s big brother the D750, the D610 remains a staple for many pro photographers, and coming in now at $1,296, a cool $700 less than typical list, it’s an exceptional buy. You can see our full review here, and get yours here. NIKON D810 The D810 is one of the most accomplished cameras to come to market in recent memory, with wide adoption from wedding photographers, fashion photographers, portrait shooters, architectural and the rest. There’s a reason for that: With 36MP, no optical low pass filter, 51 point AF system and in...

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