Photographing children is a joy because of their innocence, the honesty in their faces, and their beauty. At different stages of their development, a photographer needs to understand how to interact with them and how to elicit the best expressions, whether they are serious, sweet, joyous, or moody.
Photographing people in motion is challenging on many levels. Whether you are shooting athletes, dancers, cowboys, or workers, the same issues come into play. First, it’s hard to keep them in focus. Even with the sophisticated autofocus systems built into modern cameras, it is tough to hold focus on fast moving subjects. Second, it’s impossible to study a subject in motion and then compose the picture with deliberation and forethought. The composition constantly changes millisecond by millisecond, and that means you have to think and react quickly and hope that you captured something good. Third, exposure can change as your subject moves through areas of shade or highlights. While automatic meters do a good job in most situations, they can be fooled into over or under exposure depending on how much contrast is in the scene and how light or dark the background is relative to the subject.
On The Cover
With summer upon us, we’ve dedicated this issue to nature and outdoor photography. No one exemplifies exploring the outdoors better than Josh Miller, who shot our cover photo of Elves Chasm while he was rafting the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon. To see more of his adventurous photos, see page 132. We also take an in-depth look at the top photo backpacks and sling bags as the importance of these traveling accessories cannot be overstated. Finally, we review the latest and greatest photo gear, from software to lighting equipment.
After you buy a good camera that allows you to change lenses, it will become obvious to you that it is not the camera that enables you to be creative in photography. It is the lenses. The features on your camera, like fast auto focus, a large LCD screen, accurate Metering modes, and various custom functions are all important, but it is the lenses that have everything to do with the artistry of the images you take.
Welcome to our travel and location photography special. This month we present photo journeys that take you to towns big and small as well as trails and rails in the US and across the globe. We also have an informative insider’s report from pro photographers who expose business tips that you need to know in order to make travel photography a successful endeavor. In addition, we tested a range of products that you’ll want to take on the road this summer, including the Calumet Genesis 300 B monolight, the Nikon D7000, and the Tamron 18-270mm VC lens.
While browsing through my archives recently, I rediscovered a fascinating 1944 magazine piece in which several artists, photographers and educators offered their views and expectations of photography after World War II. The article, which appeared in Popular Photography, gave new meaning to the famous Winston Churchill quote “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
Imagine yourself walking into a room where there are numerous objects covered with small mirrors. The mirrors follow the form and shape of the objects. The walls of the room have a slot that goes continuously around the entire room. Behind the slot is a light that shines into the room and that travels the entire distance, from wall to wall. As the light travels it passes through numerous color filters built into the slot. The light reflects off the mirror facets on the objects. You can also move throughout the room and observe the objects and the light by standing with the light coming in over your shoulder, from the side or even standing behind the objects as the light hits them.
In this article I’ll show you how to add dramatic movement to your images, as well as rich color and strong graphic design to create a striking impression. This is a trick you can do in Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4 and CS5.
Backlight is light that comes from behind the subject, whether it’s an artificial source or the sun. In the following examples, I decided to use the sun as my only light source, placed behind the subjects and guided by reflectors both natural and man-made.
This month we explore pro raw converters and image-editing options. While our reviews feature products that pose an alternative to Adobe Photoshop, they will handle many of your image processing needs. We also explore the use of image stabilization with tripods to see if they are friends or foes. Finally, beauty shots of New York City’s Eventi Hotel/Beatrice luxury apartments were a key part of Jon Ortner’s assignment for the property developer, but to find out what inspired his on-the-fly creativity, you’ll have to get down to street level on page 120.
Lighting portrait subjects with different hair and skin color can be a challenge, especially when you are using a dark background. With a little time spent adjusting the color temperature and placement of your lights, you won’t have to rely on color correcting the images later. No lighting challenge is too extreme if you break it down into a few simple steps. Do you want hair lighter or darker; do you want to complement or contrast the skin tone; and what is the overall “look” you desire—warm or cold? By answering these questions, you will be able to determine which color temperature of light you need to create the mood for the image. Again, don’t just set the camera on auto white balance. Set your daylight or tungsten balance lights accordingly and manually adjust the camera’s color temperature—you’ll be glad you did.
I was privileged to be able to photograph a champion Gypsy Vanner horse, Romeo, with a beautiful model in period costume. I chose late afternoon about an hour before sunset to take advantage of the spectacular backlighting on the blond mane, the tail, and the feathering around the feet. For this particular photo session, I wasn’t able to shoot Romeo in an open field, and the corral fence behind him (#1) bothered me at the time but there were no other options. I knew I wanted to separate my subjects from the background at a later point in time during post-processing, but what makes this breed of horse so beautiful—the long, flowing hair—is a nightmare to deal with in composite work.
When fighting with the sun, your flash might not be powerful enough to fill in the deep shadows created by that large key light in the sky. Luckily, we have help in the form of reflectors which send almost all of the reflected light onto the subject. I will be referring to two types of reflectors here: the Flexfill (and its variations) and reflective (silver-sided) foam core.
As you might suspect, the photographic industry has been greatly impacted by the horrible devastation of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the ongoing nuclear crisis. While we continue to pray for the injured and those who lost their lives, it’s not too soon to acknowledge the severe impact the March 11 disaster and it’s aftermath has had on many of the world’s leading camera and accessory companies.
On The Cover
This month we are providing a reality check on the state of the photo stock market as pros reveal the winners and losers, and how to smartly play the game. We hope their thought-provoking ideas will help you evaluate your own situation when contemplating joining the stock fray. And if you are considering turning pro, be...