An Intro to Panning Your Camera for a Blurry Feeling of Speed

Looking to add some drama or action to your photos but not quite sure how? Look no further… In simple terms, camera panning (or motion tracking as some people call it) is a technique where you follow a moving subject, shooting with a slower shutter speed to create a feeling of speed or action. If done correctly and with a little patience, you’ll be able to create some amazing images that really pull your attention to the subject and add a new dimension to your photos. I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in London recently and occasionally take
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8 Tips to Try When Shooting Portraits for Better Results

Here’s a 5-minute video with 8 simple tips beginning portrait photographers can try in order to improve results. These words of wisdom come from photographers Jessica Kobeissi and Kayleigh June.

#1: Add Accessories

Giving your model accessories to wear can add a different dynamic to the shot.

#2: Get On the Model’s Eye-Level

Assuring that it is “proven by science,” June says shooting on eye-level with a model makes the photo “more comfortable” for viewing.

#3: Make Sure There is No Hair Around the Neck

Lots of hair around your model’s neck can make it appear like they don’t have
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A Beginner’s Guide to the Basic Studio Lighting Setup for Portraits

Want to get started with shooting portrait photos with studio lighting? Here’s a helpful 8-minute video by Adorama with photographer Mark Wallace that introduces the different types of studio lighting and the specific job they each perform.

Key Light

A key light is your main light. It’s “the cornerstone of your lighting setup,” and you’ll most often only be using one of them for your shoot. All of your metering efforts will begin with the key light, and subsequent lights are positioned and metered in relation to the key light.

Fill Light

The fill light is used to fill in
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On ‘Making It’ as a Photographer, or: What if Your House Burned Down?

What if your house burned down? Have you still “made it” as a photographer? 3 weeks ago I was sitting, much as I do now, winding down on a Saturday evening, finding some time to write a newsletter and blog post. I had just released an image shot for Kohler, a company whose advertising I had wanted to be a part of for a long time, and wanted to write something around this image and the process to create it. Earlier in the day, I had listened to comedian Bill Burr being interviewed on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. A good laugh,
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3 Pro Tips for Building Your Brand as a Photographer

Looking to build up your brand as a photographer? Here’s an inspiring 15-minute discussion with well-known photographers Chase Jarvis and Ben Von Wong that’s filled with advice on how you can do so. Back in 2012, Von Wong was a budding photographer knocking on the door of Jarvis’ studio and wanting to meet Jarvis and look around his studio. Fast forward 5 years, and now Von Wong is all over social media feeds (he has hundreds of thousands of social media followers) and his images are continuously going viral. Jarvis invited Von Wong onto his channel for this enlightening chat
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I’m Not Good at Street Photography… I’m Just Not Scared

Today I used Lightroom Mobile to capture images on the street for the first time. I recently remembered that you can sync images from Lightroom Mobile right to the Lightroom desktop application. This was huge for me as I’m tired of syncing via Airdrop. It takes forever to select which images you want to import. Anyway, when syncing the images I noticed each one took about 10-20 seconds — quite long, but worth it considering the images were RAW. This also gave me a little bit of time to inspect each image. I had nothing else to do so I
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‘My Wife Won’t Let Me Photograph Women’

When photographer Manny Ortiz first took up portrait photography, his wife Diana wasn’t happy about him photographing women — he soon learned that this was a common issue among other photographers online. In this 7-minute video, the pair discusses how they overcame their issues and grew stronger as a couple. The jealousy first began in the other direction early in the relationship, when Ortiz didn’t want Diana (who did modeling on the side while going to school) to continue modeling for other photographers. There was soon a mutual jealousy that caused problems in their relationship. “The thing that I did that
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5 Hacks for Adding Color to Portraits

Looking for some ideas for creatively altering the look of your photos? Here’s a 2-minute video by photographer Jessica Kobeissi that runs through 5 handy hacks. Using everyday items, you can easily introduce some abstract color into portraits.

1. Wrap colored cello paper around a light source.

2. Use suncatchers to cover the subject in rainbow colors.

3. Use kaleidoscope glasses for abstract shapes.

4. Draw on transparent sheets with colored markers for foreground tones.

5. Use Holi powder to add color directly to your model.

Check out the full video above to see how each hack is put to
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How to Combat Mirror Shock Using a Camera’s Mirror Delay

SLRs all suffer from the same problem: that mirror flapping up and down causes the camera to move at the time of exposure. “Mirror shock’ is what’s caused by the mirror itself and not the photographer’s ability to hold the camera still. Some cameras allow you to program an extra delay on the mirror, and this goes a long way to getting rid of mirror shock. Recently I was on a set and the photographer was using small HMI lamps with the Hasselblad H and IQ back. He was handholding the camera at 1/125 wide open and was getting what
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How to Optimize Images for Your Online Portfolio

As a photographer, designer or artist, your professional ethics could be wrapped into one line: work hard, (dis)play hard. You dedicate a lot of time to the creation of beautiful and meaningful images. And as you should, you want them to be showcased in the most professional way possible. This is especially the case when designing your online portfolio, the equivalent of your persona on the web that will help you grow a community and attract more clients. Full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Wix. The most challenging part? More often than not, the mere act of
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Why Leveling the Horizon in Photos Isn’t Easy

It might seem like one of the simplest parts of photography: leveling your horizon. Most photographers want their horizons to be straight, of course, but this isn’t an area of photography that gets too much attention. And why would it? Leveling the horizon is a very easy task — right? In practice, though, it requires more care than many people think. You can’t just rely on your camera’s “virtual horizon,” or your post-processing software’s “auto straighten” tool. Our perception of a level horizon is more complicated than that.

The Easy Cases

Sometimes, leveling the horizon isn’t tricky at all. In
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The Photo Lessons I Learned from Getting Stuck in NYC for 2 Weeks

Let’s be honest: how can one be stuck in NYC? NYC was supposed to be a four- or five-day stop for my project Around the world in 80 followers, but it worked out quite differently. With this project, I aim to travel the world by staying on couches of followers of my Instagram or project in general. Up until then, 90% of the places I stayed at were arranged beforehand with people who followed me on Instagram. Just to be clear: I actually did not know them! However, nine possible hosts after New York canceled or did not respond
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Tip: Use a Mannequin Head to Practice Portrait Lighting Without a Model

Want to learn portrait lighting but don’t have a model you can spend hours and hours with? Here’s a 4-minute video in which photographer Ed Verosky offers a simple suggestion: Buy a cheap mannequin head to practice your skills. Using a real model to fine-tune your skills can be uncomfortable and boring for the subject. By using a mannequin, you’ll have a simple test subject that won’t mind getting blasted by studio lights all day. You don’t even need a full-body mannequin. A Styrofoam mannequin head is cheap and can serve you well. Just stick it on a spike in
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14 Helpful Lightroom Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Photo Editing

Adobe Lightroom is an app that’s filled with all kinds of helpful features that can make life easier for you once you learn they exist. Here’s a 10-minute video by photographer Evan 5ps with 14 different tips and tricks that he uses on a daily basis. Here’s a quick rundown of the different tricks covered (watch the video to see how they’re used and what they can do):
  1. Jump from Library to Develop by hitting the ‘D’ key
  2. Change your background color by right clicking on it
  3. Easily straighten your horizon by hitting Cmd/Ctrl key to open the Straighten tool
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Great Photos Don’t Need to Be Technically Perfect

Do photos always need to be technically perfect? In this 10-minute video, landscape photographer Thomas Heaton discusses whether photographers worry too much about the technicalities of a photo, forgetting about what’s actually in the image. “The best standalone images are those that tell a story, those that make the viewer feel something,” says Heaton. This image shows water droplets on the lens, but it’s the only part of the photo that makes the viewer appreciate the horrible, rainy conditions Heaton faced on the day. Does that make this a bad photo? “For me, those water droplets actually really, really add to
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8 Reasons Why Photographers Should Learn Video as Well

As photographers, it is very easy to focus on stills and ignore the world of videography. However, video is an increasingly powerful tool and understanding it can benefit your work and career as a stills photographer. This 5-minute video by COOPH offers 8 reasons why you should be getting to grips with moving images and how you can quickly improve a short film. Here’s a summary of the 8 basic points: #1. Video is great for engaging with your audience on social media #2. You can create behind-the-scenes videos to attract new clients

#3. Vlogging allows you to build and
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How to Heal Blemishes in Portraits with a B&W Adjustment Layer

There are many tips and tricks in Photoshop that can make editing life easier if you know how to use them. Here’s a 13-minute tutorial by PiXimperfect that teaches how you can easily identify and remove blemishes in portraits using a black-and-white adjustment layer. Not all blemishes are readily apparent from the first look at an image. To make them more obvious, you can first create a new black and white adjustment layer. Now, pull down the red tones — you can pull it all the way down if you’re dealing with a light-skinned model. The result can be a
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How to Contact and Book a Model for a Photo Shoot

Whether you’ve been shooting for five minutes or five years, there will likely come a time when you’ll have to book a shoot with another person. Maybe it will be a friend or coworker and maybe it will be a full-time professional model. Whoever you’re contacting though, they’ll need to know some fundamental facts about what’s involved in your shoot before they agree to be involved. In this article, I discuss some of the key things you should include when contacting and booking a model.
A lot of shoots rely heavily on the fact that a model is going to
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Adobe Debuts New Photoshop Tutorial Series on YouTube for Beginners

Adobe has launched a new Photoshop tutorial series for beginners on its YouTube channel, titled “3, 2, 1… Photoshop!” The series is hosted by Adobe evangelist Julieanne Kost, and so far there are 7 videos in the series looking at different parts of the fundamental skills of Photoshop. While the tips are probably not going to be as helpful for more advanced users, there may be little tricks that you could have easily overlooked before. The first of the videos, which looks at the cropping tool, is embedded above. The rest of them are here for you
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Slow Life Down by Doing Some Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography can take time, planning, and patience in waiting for the right conditions to develop. In this 13-minute video blog, Thomas Heaton shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of long exposure photography. In the video, Heaton sets out to capture something slow and steady. Armed with his filters and wide-angle lens, he sets his sights on a castle with a beautiful sky reflected in the foreground water. But it’s the setup for the final shot which is the most interesting part. The video is an insight into what a landscape photographer needs to do to capture
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