Objects in motion stay in motion. Not for photographers, though. We can stop them in time; hold them still with one click of the shutter. Yet we’re often trying to do it while capturing the sense of movement. For us, objects in motion are memorialized in motion—and can be darn challenging to capture. Continue reading
It’s a common misconception that you have to be in a stunning place to take a stunningly good picture—the ocean at sunset, a
trailer park after a tornado, war, a wedding, the Serengeti. You get the idea. The reality is that you can take an incredible picture almost anywhere. It’s about slowing down and paying attention to your surroundings. It’s about trying to see those surroundings from different perspectives, looking at patterns, shadows, colors, lighting, details, and the total uniqueness of each moment.
In the 1995 independent film Smoke, Harvey Keitel plays the part of Auggie Wren, an amateur photographer and the owner of a tiny smoke shop in Brooklyn. For 14 years, Auggie has taken one picture a day, every day, from the street corner outside his store.
“People say you have to travel to see the world,” Auggie says.
“Sometimes I think that if you just stay in one place and keep your eyes open, you’re going to see just about all that you can handle.”’
When someone tells Auggie that all of his photographs look-alike, Auggie points out the infinite changes in the light, the season, and the expressions on people’s faces. Ultimately he provides a lesson about photography that also happens to be a lesson for life itself: Slow down, be present, and pay attention to what’s special about what’s right there in front of you.
What are some of the best pictures you’ve taken of “nothing special” kinds of places?
Rather than complain about how smart phones are “ruining” photography (they aren’t), or pan them as “not-capable cameras” (they are), we are finding ways the iPhone and other smart phones can help you become a better photographer. And we’ve found another app, a camera accessory, which allows you to use your phone to help with your “old fashioned” camera!
It’s called “Cine Meter”. Working on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch it functions as a light meter, waveform monitor and has a false-color picture mode. It checks white balance and color temperature. It will also show you hot spots and shadows on the green screen. You can calibrate Cine Meter to match your other meters to a tenth of a stop. The waveform monitor shows how light levels vary within a scene. The false-color picture lets you see which shadows will be underexposed and which highlights will be gone forever.
Think about that for a second – before you even turn your camera on, this app will help you light your set and solve problems.
Interested? Learn more about it here.
Now, get out there with your camera and have a good time!
Photography, or “drawing with light”, requires a certain amount of understanding of how light will change perspective via the camera. Most of the time, little fixes to lighting, or moving yourself or your subject will help. When it comes to using studio lighting, there are ways to get the photo you want while keeping it simple. This blog will be about using a single-lighting source when in a studio.
This is, obviously, very easy and will help amateur photographers learn the basics of lighting to create drama and contrast to the photo. When using a single-source, you can choose on-axis or off-axis. You’ve seen this before when models are standing in front of a crop and are posing. The light is either directly on them (on-axis) or moved up to 20 degrees to the right or left (off-axis).
The difference between the two is easy to see – on-axis, or direct, removes shadows that can add contours to a photo. This helps when trying to eliminate imperfections. The photo is flat. This isn’t a bad photograph and is most often used in ads you see for products in magazines. Off-axis adds shadows and creates dimension and contrast to the subject.
You should play around with this technique and see the stark differences. You can also learn more about studio lighting at Lawrence Camera Saturday January 26th. This is part of our ongoing photography classes that we offer. Click the link to learn more!