Sometimes we will have a guest who will blog an article, if you have suggestions let me know.

Guest post : Simon Choi on landscape photography

Seeing most of us that are active with modelphotography are stuck with something else to photography I think a guestblog post (or more, feel free to contact me) about other subjects can be interesting, today Simon Choi…. so take it away.

The Best Aperture For Landscape Photographs
When you are trying to take the best landscape photographs, you are trying to balance sharpness with the scope and breadth of the image. There are a few rules of thumb listed below that you can use, and you can use these tips as you adapt to your style of photography. You can read how other photographers do their work, but you need to find the “sweet spot” that works best for you.

What Is The Basic Rule Of Thumb?
The best aperture for landscape photographs is often f/8 or f/11. This is because photographers have found that these apertures blend a good mix of breadth and focus. You could move to these apertures right away to see if they work, and you can adjust from there. You may want to try a few shots from the f/8 or f/11 aperture. You can look over the shots you have, and you can decide if you like them. You might feel comfortable with one aperture or both. If you do not like the way they look, you can use another rule of thumb that helps photographers everywhere.

Come Back Two Or Three Stops
When you are clicking through the f/stops on your lens, the sharpest picture often comes from the stop two or three from the end. Therefore, if your lens ends at f/11, you should come back to f/8 or f/9 to get the sharpest image. If your lens goes all the way to something like f/14, you can come back to f/11 or f/12.

You can test these stops much like the optometrist does when you get a new prescription. Toggle between the two until you decide which one you like most. This is a better way to get good images because you are not trying to force an image that appears to have been shot by a panoramic camera.

What Happens If You Go Too Wide?
If you go too wide, you will find that the background is too blurry. This is why this article is not using f/4 or even f/2.8 to describe landscape apertures. You will get quite a lot of material in the shot, but only the foreground of the image will be sharp. The background will look like it came from an impressionist painting. However, for certain types of photography where you want some bokeh it can be great. For example, I recommend starting with an f/4 for lensball photography so the image in the lensball is very clear and to have some blur in the background. Lensball photography involves using a crystal ball for creative photography, it is used most commonly for landscape photography.

We are talking about the overall sharpness of the image. You need to move back to something a little bit smaller to get the results you want. You will be able to see all the items in the shot, and the clarity in the images will make it much easier for people to enjoy them.

What If You Use Something That Is Too Narrow?
When you use anything that is too narrow, you might blur anything that is in the foreground. This is might be a good way to make the whole image look nicer, but you could lose some sharpness around the subject itself. You need to balance your focus on all the things in the background of the image with the subject.

It makes much more sense to consider the whole picture before you get started. When you are fixated on just one object, you will lose some of the items that are just as interesting. These photos can be so wide that you will not even notice some of the most interesting parts. Review the area before choosing your lens.

What If You Are Not Getting The Results You Want?
When you are not getting the results you want, you might want to use a technique called focus stacking. You can take different pictures of the same area as you change your lens. You will get different levels of sharpness in different parts of the image, and you can mix them in the editing process. This might be the only way for you to get the results that you want, and you can create images that are nearly impossible to shoot with a standard camera.

Photographers often get frustrated when they are trying to choose the appropriate lens or find the “sweet spot” on the lens. You can use editing to help make your images look better. However, you will get better at finding the “sweet spot” over time.

Conclusion
You should invest some time in finding the sharpest image possible when you want to cover a wide area. Do not go too wide because you will lose any items in the foreground. If you are using something too narrow, you will lose items in the foreground. You do not want to compromise the quality of the images you are shooting, and that is why you need to go through some trial and error until you find the ultimate “sweet spot” on the lens.

Simon Choi is an avid landscape photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. After departing a corporate career in Financial Services and Consulting, Simon pursued his passion for landscape photography, nature and creativity. He started Refractique, an online niche photography retailer which distributes the lensball. 

Hope you guys enjoyed the guestblog, if you have ideas again feel free to contact me and who knows… maybe you’re next.

Guestblog : John Stuart

Today in our guestblog series : John Stuart, about something that’s incredibly important….

 

How to Help Clients Pose Less Awkwardly

Helping subjects feel more comfortable and less awkward in front of the camera is not always easy. Whether they are models or non-models, everyone gets camera-shy every now and then. This can easily spoil the pictures as the tense and stiff posture of the subject comes across as unnatural and awkward. Fortunately, there are ways to help people relax when you are taking their photo. From making a few jokes, to suggesting a few poses and offering advice on what they should do with their hands, as a photographer you can lighten up the mood and make your subjects look super natural so you can achieve candid shots.

 

1. Talk to Your Models

There’s nothing more awkward than a silent shoot where all you can hear is the sound of your shutter. You should communicate with your model both before and during the photo session. Take the time before shooting to establish what you want to achieve. For example, if you’re preparing for an engagement photo session, talking to the couple is essential. Finding out what they like and dislike will not only give you an idea about what they expect from you, it will also help them become more comfortable in front of you.

 

Communicating with your subjects is essential but you should never put them in uncomfortable situations. While it’s recommended to offer advice and tell models how to stand or where to look, you should never force anything. An uncomfortable pose will end up looking cringey, strained and false. Neither you nor your client will be happy. So, instead, offer advice, but let the model bring their own contribution and adapt the pose as they see fit. This will look more natural and the pictures will be candid.

 

2. Keep Your Model Moving

Making your subject stand still while you keep snapping photos might make them even more uncomfortable. You can easily avoid this by making the model move around. Direct them to take a few steps towards you, run their fingers through their hair or play with a lock of hair. This will help them loosen up and be less tense. They will act naturally and the photos will reflect their mood. Only by asking your models to move will you be able to take unique photos of them that reflect their personality or the persona you are trying to convey.

 

Remember that you don’t have to stage but rather direct. Your models should meet you half-way and help you bring a character to life. Try to incorporate objects into your photo and let the model experiment with the poses. This will also help them feel less awkward and more comfortable in front of the lens. If you’re unsure about how to interact with models, especially when these are clients you’ve only just met, join a professional photography workshop. This will not only help hone your skills, it will also give you pointers on how to talk to models according to each situation.

 

3. Create Scenarios and Give Encouragement

Don’t use technical terms with your clients, otherwise you risk making them even more uncomfortable. Keep your directions simple and clear. One thing that really helps non-models pose less awkwardly is giving them scenarios. Depending on the setting where you are shooting, create a short story to inspire the model and make them pose more comfortably.

 

For example, if you’re taking photos of a couple in a park, ask them to talk to each other about a funny or goofy memory. They should easily lighten up and become less tense. If you are taking photos of a girl at the beach, tell her to imagine she’s on holiday, away from her stressful job and worries. By using simple, relatable stories, you can make your clients be less camera-shy and act naturally while you are snapping candid shots of them.

 

4. Pay Attention to Their Body Language

Subjects who are feeling uncomfortable are bound to be stiff and tense. They don’t feel at ease so their gestures are unnatural, their smiles are fake and they don’t know what to do with their hands. This is where you come in, with expert knowledge about what looks good and what doesn’t. The first tip to remember is to ask your clients to slightly pull their chin forward. This eliminates the double chin effect and makes your subject appear thinner.

 

You should also pay attention to the model’s shoulders. Ask her to pull the shoulders back and down slightly, which elongates the silhouette and makes her look taller. When posing women, tell them to bent the front knee and put their whole weight on the back leg. To thin the physique even more, ask the model to slightly rotate the hips to the left, bringing the right leg a bit forward.

Guest blog : George Minton

What To Consider Before Posting A Video On Youtube

Today a guest blog about YouTube by George Minton.
I’m sure you will get some tips from this one.

 

Search engine optimization is now one of the most critical activities on the internet. There are numerous articles on pagerank and linking et al. There are several different types of media that require SEO but this one specifically gives Tips on Video Search Engine Optimisation VSEO.

So you have video content that needs to go out to the wide world web and its pretty portent stuff even if you do say so yourself! That is the right place to be. Make sure that the content that you have is interesting or useful or hilarious but be sure that it will get viewership first! The following are some of the real considerations to success that will help you in creating a more successful YouTube strategy:

What To Consider Before Posting A Video On Youtube

Utilize SEO in Your Title and Description

When you are giving your videos a title and writing their description, you must use keywords that will help your videos to be found by your target market. In this sense, it is no different than any other marketing strategy. However, you do want to be careful not to overstuff your videos with too many keywords. Using
just one or two is going to be sufficient to provide you with positive results.

Making changes via the video manager

One of the easiest things to get wrong is the proper format for your video. To avoid inadvertently locking any potential viewers out make sure that your video is available in many different formats. This way platform m compatibility and or connectivity speeds do not become a limiting factor to increasing your ranking.

Legal considerations

When it comes to making your own YouTube videos with your own digital camera, you will want to make sure that the videos are actually yours. It is common to find videos on YouTube that have similar ideas or concepts; that is okay. What is not okay is actually using someone else’s work. This is actually illegal, as many videos, television shows, movies, and music videos are protected by copyright laws. Copyright laws
aim to protect those who legally own a piece of work, like a television show, movie, or music video. Since someone else’s work is often protected by law, you could suffer serious consequences for using someone else’s work, especially if you try and claim it as your own.

Try Something Unique

A lot of businesses that are new to YouTube marketing spend too much time trying to do what every other business has done. This is putting your business at risk. Instead, you need to try something completely unique. Unique videos are the videos that tend to go viral. Instead of perusing through the YouTube videos to see what is possible for you to do, look at it with another angle. Try viewing other YouTube videos to see what hasn’t been done before. This is what is going to put you at the top and drive traffic to your website.

Be Concise –

Keep it short and sweet. Getting straight to the heart of the matter in your videos will help audiences take your message seriously and also retain their attention. Lengthy, complicated clips tend to turn some people off or cause them to not be able to concentrate, tuning important parts of the video out.

Connect with a Diverse Audience –

As you’re creating a solid online presence, you should deliberately try to make sure your videos appeals to people from various cultures, age groups, genders, and educational backgrounds. Catching the attention of different kinds of viewers usually confirms the strength and uniqueness of your marketing efforts. Having a campaign that transcends the characteristics that normally link people together is a dynamic that’s difficult, yet gratifying, to pull off.

Guestblog Martin Poole

In todays guestblog photographer Martin Poole.
Remember that our guestbloggers take time to write something for the blog and for you guys to get an inside in what they use as techniques and gear, please show them the love 😀
Get those questions ready for Martin.

Martin, the blog is yours (well for this time)
You can find Martin online at :
 www.speedlite.com.au  and Insta @speedlitephoto

 

Working Solo in the real world of fashion.
With over two decades of experience working as a professional photographer, it’s not unusual to find myself still having to plan and expedite a whole fashion shoot on my own with little or no help.  In today’s highly demanding world of fashion there are countless up and coming designers, models and business’s whose budgets will never match that of the big names and as a sole trader I am only too willing to have a win-win situation with new talent.  We also all need to keep our portfolios fresh and in helping each other we both hopefully end up with the images we need and want.

After working in London in the theatre industry I relocated to the land down under in 2007.  I now live and work in Sydney, Australia which has an abundance of up and coming raw talent in the fashion industry and I consider myself lucky that I have an abundance of recognisable locations to shoot street or beach fashion all within a 25 Km radius of the Sydney, CBD district.

 

I was recently contacted by a UK based Travel blogger who needed street & Park images for a New Fashion blog and Instagram account and wanted the images before returning to the UK.  She also had items that she wanted to be included in the shoot which had been provided by sponsors of her up and coming fashion blog.  We agreed a flat rate budget for a day’s shoot and I then set about planning a location.

 

To do this I use my Pinterest account and ask the client to join the Pinterest board that I create and share ideas on and within minutes I can see the type of clothing and mood that the client wants.  All this can be done by email and on the phone without spending precious time away from the studio.  We finally agreed a theme and discussed looks for the day, the number of looks is dependent on how much the client can haul around during the shoot and I suggest they keep it to a minimum especially if they’re doing their own makeup and hair.

 

What’s in the bag?
I must keep my equipment to a minimum as Sydney council require permits to shoot in the CBD and if I go over my allotted amount you’re looking at big money.  So, I only carry a Canon 5D MKIII, 4 x SanDisk 32g fast cards, 24-70 F2.8 L & 70-200 F2.8L MkII, ND filters, several batteries, a Canon 600 EX RT Flash with battery pack and a tripod.  There’s no room for bounce boards or laptops as these are not allowed on the normal shooting permit.

 

Making the most out of your Location and equipment
For this shoot, we chose Sydney, CBD and decided to meet early morning at a mutually agreeable location, so Hyde Park on Elizabeth street was finalised. I always like to meet and have coffee with the client before the shoot so we can finalise ideas or talk about any changes to the shoot.  Hyde Park is brilliantly situated as you can always find shade and its city backdrops of high buildings and busy pathways create great atmosphere and movement.

So, with the restrictions of permits and budget I’m going to be reliant on natural light and this is where your experience of working with very little equipment or assistance will come in handy. I always shoot Manual in RAW Monochrome with the highlights flashing to give me a good idea on the back of the screen what’s getting blown out.  A trick I learned from Peter Coulson when shooting skin tones, is use spot metering and always meter for the darkest shadow on the skin tone and go a third of a stop over and you won’t be far out.

The Shots 
Here’s an example of this technique below in a shot from the day using natural light in a shaded are of the park.  Shot 1. I positioned Ashli in a shaded area just on the edge of bright sunlight and used the sandstone from the floor to bounce light back into her face.  We also got the sponsors watch in this image and created the look that Ashli had been talking about from our initial meeting.  I always think it’s a good idea to show models their picture on the shoot as it keeps them involved and interested. When Ashli saw this image in B&W she decided to use it and apart from a slight crop, this is the original image from Camera.  (Canon 5DMKII, 24-70 2.8L) 70mm F/3.5 1/400 Sec ISO 200

 

Shot 2. Positioning Ashli high on a wall and getting below her and using the natural elements of wind breeze naturally through her hair creating movement. Another product capture of the sunglasses. (Canon 5DMKII, 24-70 2.8L) 70mm F/4 1/160 Sec ISO 100.

Shot 3.  This next image I will share with you is of Ashli crossing the main road that separates Hyde Park and the war memorial.  Once again a product shot of shoes and dress and jumping movement. A common move in Fashion and with the right technique comes off a treat. A little help from Photoshop here with shadow (remove manhole cover) and sky. The rest, straight out of Camera. (Canon 5DMKII, 24-70 2.8L) 66mm F/8  1/1000 Sec ISO 500

Shot 4.  Sydney Barracks within 500 meters of shot 1. A brilliant doorway with Arch and a great tall door in a tone that suits the bricks and Ashli’s skin tones and hair.  This is a great example of using your environment to enhance the models black dress and silver belt.

This shoot was all done in one day and with the equipment mentioned above and no hidden props.  No people were harmed or injured and we had a great day.

 

You can find Ashli on Instagram @wanderingwolfchild.