Author: Paula

All You Need To Know About Cityscape Photography

If you’re into photography and like to read photography blogs, it’s very likely you’ve read several articles about landscapes. Of course, landscapes make for beautiful pictures and every photographer likes to be good at it.

But since most photographers live in large cities, I wanted to do something different: in this article, I want to teach you how to take beautiful cityscapes.

Tip #1: Go for the blue hour

When taking pictures of cities, there are no rules. It’s up to you to find the best place and the best moment to start shooting.

In my opinion, large cities look best at the Blue Hour. That’s the time right before (or after) the Golden Hour. It’s that time when the sky is dark, but there’s still some luminosity around. And the city lights are usually on, which can give your pictures a beautiful effect.

Tipo #2: Shoot from high points

Shooting cities is very similar to shooting landscapes, but there’s a major difference: there are people, cars, houses. Usually, if you shoot your cityscapes from a low location some people or cars or houses will appear in the foreground of your pictures.

I find it’s best if you find some high location where you can get a full view of your city. It can be a hill, a lookout, or a large building.

Tip #3: Always take your tripod and a hot coffee

You know you need a tripod to take awesome pictures. But with cityscapes – and particularly during the blue hour – you’ll need it even more. So don’t forget to take your tripod!

Also, if you’re going to be taking photos during the blue hour, it will likely be cold out there. Prepare some coffee before leaving your house, it’ll help you stay awake and warm.

Tip #4: Use a cloth and a polarizing filter

If you’re taking pictures from the other side of a window you’re going to need a cloth and a polarizing filter. The cloth will help you clean the window and remove any imperfections that could appear on your photos. The polarizing filter is a must to avoid reflections.

Tip #5: Share your results!

When I started taking cityscapes I was a bit shy about my pictures. But once I started showing them to my family, my friends, and other photographers, I realized I was actually good at it. You should do it as well!

How I Mastered Black And White Photography

You can’t deny black and white pictures look amazing. Among professionals, black and white photography is considered an art form. Don’t believe? Go check the work of Sebastião Salgado or Ansel Adams.

But what happens when you lose color? When I first started taking pictures in black and white, I thought there was something missing. And you might be feeling the same.

Black and white photography is all about composition. With color, you can easily get a great contrast between different objects. When you switch to black and white, most colors turn to grey and you lose that contrast.

How did I get the contrast back? I came up with some simple rules that I always follow to take more dramatic photos.

First of all, I always use the RAW format on my canon 5DS. This allows me to have more control in post-processing.

Then, I add some dramatic effect to the sky (if I’m shooting a landscape or an urban picture) by using color filters. When taking black and white photos, you can use yellow or red filters to get darker skies and get better contrast.

Plus, when I’m taking pictures trees or plants I use a green filter. This isn’t necessary, but it adds a special effect that makes everything look alive.

Another trick is to modify the brightness and contrast in your camera. What I do is I try to pay attention to the shadows. I change the brightness and contrast until I can clearly see the outline of the shadows.

If the shadows don’t show up clearly, I change the light. This is critical for portraits: with the wrong light, black and white portraits will look two-dimensional. Find the correct light and you’ll get amazing, three-dimensional, dramatic portraits.

Follow these simple rules (shooting in RAW, color filters, contrast, and lighting) and you’ll master black and white photography as well.

better pictures

How To Take Better Pictures Of Your Pets

If you’re an animal lover, then you know how it’s like: you try to take a photo of your dog or your cat and all you end up with is a blurry picture. Luckily for you, I’ve got some tips that will allow you to take better pictures!

1) Make them look at the camera

The hardest part of taking photos of your pets is getting them to cooperate. You may have tried to call them or get their attention with food or a toy, but that will last for a second or least.

My advice is to have your camera ready to shoot and to focus manually on their face. Then, you can try some strange noises that will make them look in your direction.

There are some free apps for your smartphone that can help. The ones I recommend are Dog Squeaky Toy and Human-To-Cat Translator. The hardest part will be to hold the camera and your phone at the same time. Once you get used to it, you’ll be able to take awesome pictures with your pet looking straight into the camera!

2) Portraits with blurred out backgrounds

Once you get your cat or your dog to look at the camera, you can try some fancy effects. If you want your dog to stand out, you can shoot close-ups with blurry backgrounds. They look great!

You should set your camera to Aperture Priority mode with the widest aperture possible. That’s it! Make sure your dog is far from the background and start taking pictures. It can take some time, but you’ll get the grasp of it in no time.

3) Don’t forget about action pictures!

Would you rather photograph your dog or your cat running and jumping? That’s easy! The key is a fast shutter speed and being able to focus on your moving subject.

To take better pictures while your dog runs through the park or your cat jumps around in your house, you should use a continuous focus mode. Increasing your shutter speed shouldn’t be too bad, unless you’re taking pictures with little light. In that case, you want to increase your ISO.

Ready to take amazing pictures? Get your camera and show the world your beautiful pets!

Three Tips for Amazing Landscape Photos

Three Tips for Amazing Landscape Photos

Landscape Photos

 

When taking landscape pictures, you’ll usually find yourself alone in a huge space with gorgeous views. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the wide range of possibilities to take pictures. But how can you make the most of that opportunity?

1) Composition

Walk around your location and take some draft pictures. Let your imagination and your creativity flow, in order to find the best views. Once you find something that’s worth, work on your composition.

If the land or water is interesting, it should fill two-thirds of the picture. Otherwise, it can fill one-third and leave the rest to the sky. If there is a subject in your landscape (a tree, a house, a person), place it using the rule of thirds, and try to guide the viewer’s attention to it using leading lines.

2) Use a tripod

In order to avoid blurriness, you should use a tripod. Place it in a firm location and adjust your camera to the exact position and zoom you want.

When taking pictures with a tripod, you can set a timer of 2 seconds. By doing this, if you move the camera at the moment you press the shutter, it won’t affect the photo. This is crucial when your landscape includes wildlife, rivers or waterfalls.

https://unsplash.com/search/photos/landscape?photo=HPeyuY6SrUw

3) Exposure and aperture

Before taking a picture, you can check the histogram in your camera and see if the highlights are too bright or the shadows are too dark. Your histogram should be balanced. However, if you are not sure of what’s the best exposure, you can take a series of pictures with varying exposure levels and then chose the best one. Always remember to shoot RAW so that you can later modify your pictures in Lightroom or Darktable.

When shooting landscapes, it is essential to have a wide aperture to get a wide depth of field. You should set your camera to aperture priority, between f8 and f22. Once again, try different apertures and chose the best one.

https://unsplash.com/search/photos/landscape?photo=arGsFV-xIlQ

These tips will allow you to take better landscape photos. Now it’s up to you to go out there and find the best views!

Dramatic Night Photographs

Night Photographs can be dramatic shots that you will treasure. It is also one of the most difficult types of photography you can do. It will be trial and error at first and until you get familiar with taking pictures of this type.

It would be best if you could use a camera which allows for manual adjustments. You will need the flexibility.

Dramatic Night Photographs Take Preparation and Timing

Prepare in advance when you are going to shoot at night. Know when the sun will be setting and when the moon will rise. Plan where you will be doing your nighttime shooting. Check the weather reports so you can decide if you want to go or not.

At dusk, if the moon is out, you might want to include both the sun and the moon in your photograph. Having both in the same photograph would be outstanding. Shooting at dawn or dusk can afford spectacular special effects with shadows and a little color in the sky can add an extra dimension. Some of the best shots are made right after twilight.

Night Photographs Require Use of a Tripod

Always carry and use a tripod. It will be impossible to shoot long exposures at night without a steady camera. The only other option is to have the camera set on a solid surface, but you will not be able to direct the shot like you would with a tripod.

A Cable Release Really Helps with Night Photographs

Another way you can avoid camera shake is to use a cable release. If your camera is not equipped to handle a cable release, a self-timer is a good option.

Avoid using the shutter button on the camera as this can be seen as blur in the final shot. If you camera has a mirror lock function use it. The internal workings of a camera can also cause blur.

Learn Your Camera and Avoid the Flash for Night Photographs

Do not use the flash at night. It will overexpose the near objects but the subject of your shot will be underexposed. Flash is only effective a few feet out. Adjust the ISO settings on your digital camera or use a higher film speed so you can shoot at faster shudder speeds. This will make for better night time photography.

Nighttime photography is very tricky as there will be lighting situations that give bright and dark areas in the same photograph. In this case bracket your photos. Expose for the light areas and then bracket for the dark areas. Determine the exposure then make the shot at a ½ shutter speed lower then make a shot at ½ shutter speed higher. If your camera can automatically bracket then use that feature.

Your camera will probably have difficulty with autofocus at night so use manual focus if it has that capability. Again a camera which allows for manual settings is preferred for night shots. Always review your shots. If you are using a digital camera you will have instant feedback.

Night Photographs Require Multiple Shots with Varied Camera Settings

Take shots with a number of exposures at a scene (a fundamental rule of photography). You can then choose the best shot. Use different exposures for different shots. Taking a lot of pictures increases your chances of getting a really nice shot.

Keep a Good Journal of Your Night Photographs

Always log your shots along with all the background information. Comparing the log with the shot results will accelerate your understanding of nighttime photography. Night Photography can be great fun particularly when you get to the point of knowing what you are doing.

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