Shooting Top-Down Light-Painting Photos Using a Drone

There are a couple of different ways to use drones for light-painting. Some people will attach LumeCubes to their drone and paint an environment with them or will fly a drone around the sky or an object and have the drones lights creating images in the sky. However, there is another way to use them that isn’t widely used yet: using the drone’s camera to capture light-painting from above. Drones are becoming more and more popular these days and it’s not too expensive to buy one and play with its possibilities. Note: Always be aware of your surroundings when
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The Case Against the Photo Watermark

Inevitably a time will come around when a budding photographer decides to start “taking this seriously,” “discouraging image theft,” and (my personal favorite), “gaining exposure.” And they do this, of course, with a watermark. Now mind you, before I get to the nitty-gritty of why this is BS, I’ll cover the surface level problem with this. First, 9/10 watermarks made by a beginner look horrendous. Too big, too small, too opaque, too transparent, or gaudy. Not to mention most beginners haven’t settled into a legitimate business name by the time they start watermarking images. So ten years later they
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5 Signs You’re Progressing in Photography

Recognizing personal progression and improvement is a wildly beneficial yet often overlooked exercise for our confidence. It’s human nature to want to be “better” at things. We don’t have to be the best right now, but we all want the affirmation that we’re improving and moving in the right direction. Photography is no different and in the digital age can feel rather short-lived as the majority of images created are shared on social media and eventually with time, slide off into the digital archives rarely to be seen again. We tend to only view what we’ve created in recent months
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A Secret Rule of Photo Composition: The Middle Line

Here’s a short 4-minute video by Light Club that looks at using a vertical or horizontal middle line through the frame, something it refers to as “a secret rule of photo composition.” Examples given in the video show how both photographers and artists throughout history have created compelling compositions by placing their subjects and scenes along the middle line (e.g. portrait photographers placing one of the subject’s eyes directly on the line). The rule of thirds proposes that placing points of interest off the middle lines helps produce tension and interest, but this video argues that “there’s magic
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25 Tips and Ideas for Your Landscape Photos

Although landscape photography can look easy at first, it takes more than a simple point-your-camera-and-photograph kind of action. The purpose of landscape photography is to convey a state of mind and to express something more than just the landscape in front of you. Reality is something that we all see every day. That is why, in my opinion, landscape photography should not be a simple duplicate of it. Subjects should not be presented in front of the viewer or occupy the entire photo: composition should guide your eye to the final destination of the image, which is the point of
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Street Photography and Photographing Children

Imagine, you’re partaking in Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market on a sunny summer afternoon in Toronto, Canada, walking around with your Fuji X100F in hand looking for that Cartier-Bresson “decisive moment.” Suddenly you see a child leaning against a dilapidated, graffiti-splashed wall the likes of which would make Banksy nod in approval. The child has his mug buried into an ice cream cone, working it over like a worldwide ban on ice cream is but hours away. Maybe he has a red, child-sized “Make America Great Again” cap on, along with a pair of oversized “Blues Brothers” sunglasses and
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6 Camera Gear Storage Ideas in 90 Seconds

Looking to organize your ever-growing collection of cameras, lenses, and accessories? Here’s a short and sweet video in which Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography shares 6 DIY storage hacks in just 90 seconds. One thing to look out for when looking for an efficient way to store and retrieve your lenses is repurposing solutions that are actually designed for storing other things. In the video, Forbes shows how things like wine racks, lazy susans, and pantry sliding storage racks can be the perfect homes for your gear.

7 Actionable Steps to Capturing Photos That Grab Attention

Capturing images that grab attention is a goal of any photographer. It’s exactly this skill that separates a good photographer from an average one. An image can grab the viewers attention in many ways. A typical one (especially in recent years) is through the use of strong and vivid colors. However, such images (with many exceptions, of course) tend to give only a momentarily “wow”-effect, just to be forgotten as quickly. You want to do more than this, though. You want the viewer to remember your image. You want them to come back and look at it again and again.
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How to Stay Creative When Regularly Shooting Weddings

I love being a wedding photographer. I get to work with amazing couples, travel to incredible places and do something that is fundamentally creative. While weddings offer unparalleled opportunities for creativity due to the nature of shooting so many different people in different places, there are things I consciously keep in mind to make sure I mix things up and have the best chances of always remaining creative… no matter where I am. Here are my top tips for ensuring creativity at weddings, right from the get-go.

Equipment, inspiration, and learning

Before even picking up a camera, it’s worth considering
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Travel Like a Photographer: Here’s Some Advice for the Soul

This headline might come off a bit pretentious for some of you. I mean, how do photographers travel any differently than the rest of the population? Fair question, but for better or for worse, we are different in our own way. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” —Anthony Bourdain For
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What is Missing from Photography

It has been bugging me for a while now: there is just something that is missing from photography. From my personal work to the majority of photographers out there. I’m talking about the photos on your feeds, be it personal to commercial. It has been bugging me and I finally found out what it is: what is missing from photography is stories. A disclaimer, I’m not talking about photojournalism, or anything relating to the Pulitzer Prize. Those are photos with real stories that are important and need to be shared and told to the world. The photography I’m talking about
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How to Find the Perfect Angle

You know those moments when you’re chimping and wonder why that amazing shot that you thought was going to be, well, amazing just isn’t? Your exposure was right – check; white balance – check; aperture – check; shutter – check. Lens… hmm. Let’s see. Lens? Yes, I shot with the right lens. If you are shooting competently and things are still not working out like you would want them to, I have a great piece of advice for you. There is a tool in your kit that beginners rarely use to full advantage. I’m talking about your feet. At first,
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5 Wedding Photography Tips for If You’re Just Starting Out

While I was working full-time as a wedding photographer, I was shooting around 30 to 40 weddings a year. I would spend my weekends shooting and during the week I would be editing, responding to emails, writing blog posts, and watching cat videos… errm, I mean doing very important other business related stuff like making videos for my YouTube channel. With that being said, these tips are coming from someone who has experience on what to expect when diving into the world of professional wedding photography. Perhaps youʼve been shooting weddings all along, some of these tips might still be
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Don’t Ruin Your Wedding Photography Career Before It Starts

So, you are about to embark on your first solo wedding shoot of your career. You’ve got butterflies in your stomach, you’re stressed, and the pressure is most certainly setting in. Don’t panic, read this carefully and you will be well prepared for photographing the most important day of someone’s life. A little background on me, I’m the founder of Mott Weddings destination wedding photography studio in Vietnam. I’ve shot weddings all over the world for over a decade. I’m also on a reality TV show about photography show so I obviously know what I’m talking about because the TV
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How to Shoot Better Portraits in Harsh Sunlight

Wedding photographer and Nikon Ambassador Brett Florens recently gave this 9-minute workshop demo on how you can shoot better portraits in harsh sunlight. “If you know your gear and lighting, shooting at the worst time of the day can create great results,” Florens says. Here are the different setups and strategies Florens uses along with the resulting photo created with each one:

Direct Frontal Sunlight on Model

Direct Sun with Collapsible Scrim

Backlighting the Model with Sunlight

Setting exposure value (EV) to +1 helps properly expose the model.

Backlight with a Collapsible Reflector

Backlight with an On-Camera Speedlight

Backlight with
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7 Pro Tips for Crushing Your Night Photography

People ask me all the time how I get my night shots with the stars, so I made a video on the subject. Here are my 7 tips for crushing night photography. Tip #1: Get away from the city. The less light pollution the better!
Tip #2: Take your first photo with the highest ISO and lowest aperture possible. It’s a test shot. Get your composition right and then try those settings: ISO3200, F/2.8 (or your minimum), 25″. From there adapt.

5 Portrait Composition Ideas (Not Rules)

Photographer Eric Floberg made this 5-minute video tutorial on the subject of composing portraits. “Rules are rules for a reason, but they are meant to be broken, so let’s follow the rules and also break them a little,” Floberg writes. “This video features my favorite ideas for composing portraits.” 1. Centeredness “isn’t just putting your subject in the center, it means balancing the image out.”

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2. Negative Space “draws attention to your subject in a way that interprets how small they are…”

The Ways of Zen Photography

When most people think of the word Zen, a meditating monk in a monastery comes to mind, a practice of enlightenment, a person being in the present or someone without attachments. When I think of Zen, I think of a lifestyle that has profoundly influenced my photography practice. I would like to dive into the ways of zen photography and how it might enlighten your creative practice. The word Zen is from the Japanese interpretation of the word Chan which has ties to the Indian practice of meditation. Zen originated as a school in China, influenced by Buddhism.
It later
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How to Find and Photograph Bears in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is one of the most visited parks in the United States, and for good reason. It’s full of unique thermal features and one of the last great destinations for an abundance of wildlife. Even if you come for the geysers and hot springs, you’ll want to stay longer and keep coming back for the wildlife. There’s always a new experience, and you never know what might be waiting around the next corner. Almost unarguably, the most sought-after species to photograph in Yellowstone are the wild grizzlies and black bears. Conservatively estimated, there are around 150 grizzlies inside the official
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10 Tips for Taking Your Vlogging to the Next Level

In our recent ​Creative Hustle video series, ​PetaPixel​ challenged two photographers, ​Steven John Irby​ and ​Nate Luebbe​, to vlog their way through 24-hour photo challenges. This meant the photographers needed to not only be the star of the show, but also the directors and producers too. For photographers interested in giving vlogging a whirl and becoming the next Peter McKinnon, here are 10 things we learned from the Creative Hustle vlogging experience…

#1. Learn classical narrative structure

If you can tell a good story, you’ll be able to create a good vlog. Generally speaking, classical narrative structure
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