Weekly Photography Challenge – Blue

Color is an important element of composition in photography. Cool colors have a very different feeling then do warm colors. See how the color blue appears in some images here.

Tim Green

By Tim Green

Weekly Photography Challenge – Blue

This week we challenge you to find and photography some subjects which are blue. Then photograph it in a compelling way. Remember to consider lighting, composition, and center of interest to create a unique image.

Neil Tackaberry

By Neil Tackaberry

Di_Chap

By Di_Chap

Alvaro

By Alvaro

Darlene Hildebrandt

By Darlene Hildebrandt

Share your images below:

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images on the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

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18 Tranquil Images of Blue to Cool Your Thoughts

Different colors evoke different emotions and have a different feeling to them. Warm colors like red, orange and yellow feel alive and vibrant. Cool colors like purple, green and blue feel calming and relaxing.

Here is an image collection of various different photographers use of the color blue. View each and see how they make you feel. Do these blue images have a calming effect on you? I feel more relaxed just looking them.

I’ll start off with three of my images from the “blue” city of Chefchaouen in Morocco.

morocco-2016-0610-1100px

morocco-2016-0649-1100px

morocco-2016-0678-1100px

Andy

By Andy

Nick Klein

By Nick Klein

Matt Bradley

By Matt Bradley

Xavier

By Xavier

Pablo Fernández

By Pablo Fernández

Maarten Takens

By Maarten Takens

Alain Tremblay

By alain tremblay

Julian E...

By Julian E…

Martin Fisch

By Martin Fisch

Geir Tønnessen

By geir tønnessen

Modes Rodríguez

By Modes Rodríguez

Mirai Takahashi

By Mirai Takahashi

Genji Arakaki

By Genji Arakaki

Hansel And Regrettal

By Hansel and Regrettal

Davide D'Amico

By Davide D’Amico

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The post 18 Tranquil Images of Blue to Cool Your Thoughts by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Sell More New Products from One Vision Imaging

 

New products and product updates from One Vision Imaging are here!*

In addition to adding four stunning new wall-display products to buy and sell, we've also made several improvements to some of the most popular existing products.

Read on to see what's new!

 


 

New Products

 

Illusion Frames

Illusion Framed Prints are a masterpiece in contemporary dynamic design. Your professional colour-corrected print is suspended within crystal-clear acrylic seeming to hover within the frame, leaving the viewer intrigued as to the magic behind it.

 

Trinity Frames

Trinity Framed Prints offer an exciting new way to display multiple images on your finished products. The triptych layout showcases three prints mounted on bevelled-edge blocks, which are then dropped into a deep-set frame, lending prints the appearance of floating. 

 

Framed Canvas Wraps

Framed Canvas Wraps represent the perfect marriage of framed prints and canvas wraps, embracing One Vision Imaging’s decades of experience in creating industry-leading wall art for both these product lines.

 

Shadow Boxes

Shadow Box Prints present an evolution of the standard framed prints available from OVI. Offering a deeper-set frame moulding and crystal-clear acrylic glazing, Shadow Boxes come with a lightly grained wooden frame in your choice of black or white.

 

 


 

Product Updates

 

New Frame Mouldings

We have updated the range of frame mouldings available for framed prints to be in line with the current range offered by OVI directly. Now you and your customers have even more choice when creating wall art to suit your home. 

 

​More 3:2 Framed Print Sizes

Until now if you wanted a 3:2 ratio framed print at a larger size than 12×8", you would have to settle for a print without a mount. No longer! We've added several larger framed print sizes with mounts for 3:2 ratio prints, ranging all the way up to 36×24".

 

More Multi-Aperture Framed Print Sizes

Further, larger sizes have been added to our range of Multi-Aperture Framed Prints from OVI, which also take advantage of the new frame mouldings now available for single-aperture framed prints.

 

More Fine Art Papers

In addition to the Museum and Portrait papers already available, we have added the rest of the range of One Vision Imaging Fine Art papers. You now also have these new Fine Art Papers to choose from: Smooth Art Silk, German Etching, Photo Rag and Bamboo. 

 

Photo Book improvements

The ever-popular Lay Flat photo books are a marvel, with images spanning a double-page spread absent of any visual gutter. We noticed we were missing a single image double-page layout for the 8×8” book and have now made this available!


 

 


 

Top Tips

Make The Most of Printing

 

Even in our digital age, professional photo prints remain the ultimate way to showcase your photography. Here are some top tips for ordering prints, selling prints, and maximising your sales for the holiday season. 

 

Order free One Vision Imaging Test Prints

One Vision Imaging offers a class-leading complimentary colour correction service on prints. Your free OVI Test Prints help you decide whether you prefer your prints with or without colour correction. 

 

Order through your own account

Your Zenfolio website isn't just a storefront for your clients; it's also the easiest way to order prints for yourself from your favourite partner lab. Decorate your home or present a gift to a loved one, all at base lab prices. 

 

Add products to your Price Lists for selling

Once you’re ready to start selling, you'll need to create a price list. Simply add your chosen products, set your pricing, assign the price list to your galleries and you're good to go! 

 

Maximise your sales

As we approach the busy holiday shopping season, make sure to prepare by updating your site, planning your promotions and formulating a marketing strategy in advance. Also check out our free Marketing & Selling Guide for some great tips.

 


*One Vision Imaging products are available for Pro and Advanced accounts only. 

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Pricing Strategies for Portrait Photographers

by Shari Warren

 

At some point, you decided to take your passion and talent for portrait photography from being a hobby to officially starting a business. Or maybe you have been shooting for a while and have relocated to a different area of the country where you need to reestablish your existing business. You’ve invested in your camera equipment and accessories, computers and software, education and a new Zenfolio website. To make sure your business will be successful and profitable, you’ll need to plan your pricing strategy for your photography services and products.

 

Research Your Competition

With any business, it is important to know who your competition is and their prices. You can then decide, based on your own level of experience and the services and products you want to offer, how to choose your pricing. You should also consider, based on where you live, the socioeconomics of potential customers in your area. For example, a bigger city, more affluent suburb, or tourist area might have more customers with higher incomes who are accustomed to paying higher prices for photography services as opposed to a rural area where customers’ incomes might be lower and can only afford lower prices.

 

One way to research other photographers in your area is to ask friends and family what local photographers they have hired for their portraits. You can also go to your local camera store and talk to the staff about their customers who offer portrait photography services.

Once you have some names, go online and start doing search for your competition’s websites using a search engine such as Google or Bing and business directory websites, such as Yelp, Thumbtack and Photography Central. Also research the main social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Enter pertinent keywords such as portraits, children, baby, newborn, seniors, teens, family and event photography. Use additional keywords in your search such as the town, city, county, state or region. When you do those searches, take note of the portrait photographer websites that come up on the first and second pages. These photographers have done their homework to be sure that their websites are being seen, and if they also have paid advertising that indicates that they are doing well with getting new customers. 



Visit those photographer websites that you think most closely resemble the same services that you offer. You can then check out their portfolios to compare styles and see if they publicly show pricing for their sessions and products. If they do, bookmark those websites so you can refer to them later as you plan for pricing strategy.

 

Decide on your Session Pricing

Whether you have a little or a lot of experience, you probably have a general idea of the amount of time you will need to prepare, drive, shoot, post process and upload your photos sessions into your private client galleries on your website. And each of those sessions will vary in time depending on the subject.

Once you have a general idea of the hours per session you will need to do a great job, you then have to decide how much you need to make per hour to cover your time, costs, overhead and profit to have a successful business and price your sessions accordingly. Meet your new best friend, a certified accountant or CPA. They specialize in working with businesses to help plan for pricing, cash flow and taxes, and can provide some helpful formulas to use to be sure you will be making a profit. Make an appointment with one of them and bring your competition research, list of services and even your own rough estimates of your pricing. Doing this will give you the confidence that you are planning for your goal of having a successful photography business.

On your business website, you could then create webpages to list your sessions pricing to let prospective new customers know your price range. Because each session might have additional costs based on the customer’s needs and desires, you could write something like “Portrait Sessions starting at $xxx.” This way you are giving a minimum price, yet have the flexibility to add to it in case you have additional time and costs (such as far away locations, clothing changes, props and additional people to be included in the photos). For each of your specialty sessions, list your details and locations you shoot, what is included and the amount of time. Consider a call to action Book a Session button or link at the bottom of the page that links to your contact page.

Get a Session Deposit

Have you ever had a customer book a photography session with you and then not show up? It’s even worse if you hadn’t asked them to pay you a deposit upfront. Your time is valuable, and you simply must ask for a deposit.

 

You can set up a custom gallery page with an attached price list on your Zenfolio website to accept deposit payments for your sessions. You can even include your policy and terms on that page. Simply create self-fulfilled products just for your sessions deposit payments and then create a Sessions Price List. It’s that easy! You will need to create a JPEG image, using a graphics program such as Photoshop, to show the name of the session and the deposit price (usually 50% of the session fee), upload those images into the client’s own gallery then link them to your Sessions Deposit gallery page.

Price Your Products for Profit

Whether you are using your own lab or one of Zenfolio’s trusted partner labs, you will need to add your markup to the base price of each product you offer to ensure that you earn a profit.

 

There are a couple of different ways to figure out the amount you want to add for your profit for each product.

 

One option you can use on your Zenfolio website is to plan your markup by using a formula and apply that formula to all products. Typically, when selling a retail product, the markup might be 100-300% (or more, depending on the price sensitivity of your customers) more than the base price. Here are some examples:

 

An 8” x 10” print: Base Price $2.29 + 100% Profit ($2.29) = Selling Price $4.58

An 8” x 10” print: Base Price $2.29 + 200% Profit ($4.58) = Selling Price $6.87

An 8” x 10” print: Base Price $2.29 + 300% Profit ($6.87) = Selling Price $9.16

 

Zenfolio gives you a tool to customize your own pricing formula that includes adding a “fixed markup” and you can round your prices to the nearest $1.00, 99 cents or 95 cents.

 

Another option is to manually enter either your desired profit price and Zenfolio will calculate the selling price and vice versa. Use this method when, based on your competitive pricing research and experience, you know what the selling price should be appropriate to your customer demographic.

You can use the formula or manual pricing options for any products you want to offer, whether it is a product through a Zenfolio vendor, a self-fulfilled product or digital products.

 

Seeing Sales Results from Your Pricing Strategy

The best test to see if your pricing strategy is on target for your customers is the amount you are receiving from your orders. At any time, you can adjust your profit in your price lists if customers are mentioning that your prices are too high or low. Having the right pricing strategy for your photography business will also allow you to offer packages and create coupons for holiday and seasonal specials when you want to generate more product sales and still have your profit built in.

 



Shari Warren of Warren Creative Design has provided design, training and business consultations to hundreds of Zenfolio photographers since 2011. With her background as an art director in the software and publishing industries, she brings a creative, objective eye and marketing savvy to help portrait, wedding and fine art photographers showcase their photography and set up their websites and shopping carts to help accomplish their business goals.

 

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Nikon D5300 DX 24.2MP Camera + 3 Lenses + Accessory Kit $464 at eBay

eBay with phtovideo4less has the Nikon D5300 DX-Format Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm VR, 55mm Wide Angle, and 55mm 2x Telephoto Lenses for $479 – $15 off with coupon code CFLASHSAVE15NOW [Exp 9/29 at 10PM PT] (PayPal required) = $464 with free shipping. Includes a 2-Pack of 16GB Sandisk Ultra SDHC Memory Cards.

  • 24.2MP DX-format CMOS image sensor, up to ISO 25600
  • Built-In Wi-Fi + GPS, 1080p video @ 60 fps, 3.2″ 1037k LCD

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  • What is a Stop? The Common Currency of Exposure Explained

    What are stops? Are they the same as f-stops? How are they measured? Are they the same for different exposure controls? Are they still useful now?

    These are common questions for those just starting out in photography. They are good questions, and the exposure concepts surrounding them can be confusing. You have probably been told that a stop is a “doubling of light,” which of course is true. That is helpful, but it doesn’t show how stops really works and how they tie your exposure controls together.

    WesternLake

    What I want to show you in this article is how the concept of a stop acts as a common currency in exposure, and allows you to take complete control of it. Rather than being confusing, stops are really a simplification tool. Without stops, we’d have a hard time controlling our exposure between the three controls; aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

    Introduction

    I’m using the term “common currency” to describe stops. To see what I mean, think about the barter system before we had money. If you sold chickens, I sold apples, and someone else sold bricks, how would we all trade? And what if the person selling the bricks didn’t value your chickens as much as I did? It was a mess, which is why the concept of money was developed. Now we all value our goods using money and we exchange money with each transaction. This has proven to be a remarkably useful tool, which is why it has stuck around for a few thousand years.

    Similarly, in photography we faced trade-offs when it came to exposure. For example, how could we value a change in the size of the aperture versus lengthening the time of shutter speed? And then how would we value the sensitivity of the digital sensor (or film in the old days) as compared to these other two adjustments? It isn’t apples to apples. The concept of stops is how we square everything up.

    CameraBack

    Understanding this is a necessary precondition to mastering your camera and controlling the exposure process. Hopefully this will help you grasp your exposure controls better. First, we’ll take a brief looks at each of them and show you how they are measured in stops. After that, we’ll get into how to use them together.

    Shutter Speed

    Your shutter speed is a measurement of time. As you probably already know, when you open up the shutter, the camera is gathering light. The longer you allow the camera to gather light, the higher the exposure value. Most shutter speeds you use will be a fraction of a second, but here are the common values for shutter speed you will see when you look through your viewfinder or at your LCD:

    Shutter Speeds measured in stops

    The segments in this chart are 1-stop increments. Again, a stop is a doubling of light. Remember that shutter speed is a measurement of time, so a doubling of the time your shutter is open is the same thing as a doubling of light. Therefore, for example, a move from 1/250th of a second to 1/125 is a one stop change. You have doubled the time the shutter is open so you have also doubled the exposure value.

    Something that might confuse you is that your camera doesn’t change settings (each click of your dial) in 1-stop increments. Most cameras are set to move in 1/3 stop increments. So rather than moving from 1/250 to 1/125, each click of the dial on your camera will only move part of the way there. It will take three clicks to move a full stop. It looks something like this:

    Changes to Shutter speed in thirds of stops

    The point is to understand that we are taking a time measurement and converting it into a stop. Each doubling of the amount of time the shutter is open equals a stop. Conversely, you reduce by a stop every time you cut the shutter speed in half. We’ll be able to use that stop in connection with the other controls in a bit.

    Aperture

    Now let’s look at this in the concept of aperture. As you probably know, the aperture is the hole in the lens that lets light through into the camera, and it is adjustable. Making it larger lets more light into the camera; making it smaller lets less light in. To change your exposure value using the aperture control, you are changing the size of the aperture.

    Aperture measurements can be confusing. To begin with, the measurement is actually of the size of the aperture compared to the focal length (The F-number of a lens is the ratio of its focal length divided by the diameter of the aperture.). That makes it a ratio or reciprocal figure, which means that the larger the aperture the smaller the measurement, and vice versa. Secondly, different lenses have different maximum and minimum aperture values. With that in mind, here are common aperture values:

    Aperture values in full stop increments

    Again, remember that your camera is probably set up to change values in 1/3 stop increments. So, for example, you camera won’t go directly from f/5.6 to f/8.0. Instead, it will probably go from f/5.6 > f/6.3 > f/7.1 > f/8.0 as you click the dial.

    I’m ignoring the concept of depth of field here because it isn’t important for purposes of this discussion. All we care about now is converting these measurements into stops. So, on that front, what we have done here is convert a size measurement into a stop. That means we can easily compare it to shutter speed changes as we saw above. We’ll also be able to compare it to changes in ISO, which we’ll talk about next.

    ISO

    Finally, we get to ISO, the third exposure control. This is a measure of the sensitivity of your camera’s digital sensor to light. Making it more sensitive to light increases exposure but leads to increased digital noise in your pictures. Conversely, decreasing the ISO lowers the exposure value but also decreases digital noise. Here is a chart showing common ISO values in one stop increments:

    ISO values in full stop increments

    As you can see from the chart above, the ability to change ISO is pretty limited. Whereas there are 18 stops within the range of common shutter speeds, there are only seven in ISO. There are cameras with ISO values that go higher (such as ISO 12,800 and even 25,600), but they lead to pretty dramatic digital noise. This limited range though does show why increases are important.

    In any case, as you can see what has been done is create a system where we have taken a measurement of sensitivity to light and converted it into stops. Each doubling in sensitivity doubles the exposure value, which equals a stop. What’s great is that (unlike the aperture measurements) ISO is simple. It is easy to understand that an ISO of 200 is double that of ISO 100.

    Putting it all together

    Now that we have covered the concept of stops for each of the three exposure controls, we are ready to talk about them together.

    The key thing to understand here is that a stop, is a stop, is a stop. By that I mean that a stop of shutter speed exposure, equals a stop of aperture, equals a stop of ISO. In other words, lengthening your shutter speed by one stop is the exact same thing as opening your aperture by one stop. And that is exactly the same thing is changing the ISO by one stop. The measurements all equate.

    Why does this matter? Because you will face the need to change your exposure values all the time. This will allow you to take complete control over the exposure process. For example, when you want to increase your depth of field you know you need to make the aperture smaller. But that will cause your picture to be underexposed. By using stops, however, you can increase the exposure by the exact same amount using either the shutter speed or ISO.

    An example of using stops

    If this seems confusing, an example should help make it clearer. Let’s say you are out shooting a landscape scene and you hold up your camera and set up a correct exposure. It is 1/500th of a second at f/5.6, with an ISO of 100.

    That’s just fine, except that remember that this is a landscape photo. You want a much deeper depth of field than f/5.6 is going to allow, so let’s move that to something like f/11. You know that this is a 2-stop decrease (check the charts above for confirmation).

    Landscape shot at 1/125 of a second at f/11.

    Landscape shot at 1/125 of a second at f/11.

    If you made no other change, your photo would be very underexposed. But you now know that you can just increase (lengthen) your shutter speed by the same amount (two stops) to offset this move. In other words, since we have converted all these exposure changes to stops, we have a common currency that we can interchange freely. A 2-stop shutter speed increase takes you to 1/125th. In other words, you started at 1/500, twice that is 1/250, and doubling that again is 1/125 (again, check the chart above to see).

    You could also change ISO if you wanted (to ISO 400), but you probably don’t want to do that to keep noise to a minimum. Your new settings of 1/125, f/11, ISO 100 are much better for this situation.

    For those who do better with visuals, here is how the two offsetting moves appear:

    Two-Stop-Move

    Another example

    Let’s walk through another example to make sure you’ve got it. Let’s say you are photographing a friend or a family member and your camera settings are at 1/40, f/16, ISO 200. The camera’s meter says you have a correct exposure. Take a look at the shutter speed and aperture settings and you’ll see a few problems though.

    First, the aperture is too small for this situation. You don’t need a small aperture like f/16. Not only do you not need the small aperture, which costs you light, but you actually don’t want the deep depth of field that f/16 gives you. You’d rather have an extremely shallow depth of field to blur out the background. Secondly, a shutter speed of 1/40 is probably a too slow for this situation. This shutter speed could lead to a lack of sharpness due to the camera shaking slightly or your subject moving while the shutter is open.

    The good news is that both your problems can be solved by making changes to the shutter speed and aperture. You can use a stop as the common currency to make sure they offset and your exposure stays the same. You decide to open up the aperture all the way to f/4. That’s a 4-stop increase. Check the chart above, and you’ll see it goes like this; you start at f/16> f/11 > f/8 > f/5.6, and the fourth stop takes you to f/4.0.

    Now that you’ve made that change you have the depth of field situation fixed. If you made no other change, your picture would be quite overexposed though. But that’s okay, this just allows you to shorten your shutter speed which you wanted to do that anyway avoid any possible camera shake or subject movement. Now you know you can shorten the shutter speed by four stops to offset the change you just made to the aperture. Starting at 1/40, moving fours stop gets you: 1/40th > 1/80th > 1/160th > 1/320th, and finally to 1/640th. That’s much better.

    Shot at 1/620 second with aperture of f/4.0.

    Shot at 1/640th of a second with an aperture of f/4.0.

    Using stops to master exposure controls

    Hopefully you see the utility of the concept of stops. It acts as a common currency so that all changes in exposure equate. One click of the dial that controls your shutter speed equates to one click of the aperture control. And that equals one click of the control for your ISO settings (if you can adjust your ISO in 1/3 stops). It all works out, and that is extremely important in the exposure process.

    So many times you want to change one exposure control but keep the overall exposure setting the same. You may want to stop down the aperture to increase the depth of field, lower the ISO to reduce digital noise, or shorten the shutter speed to avoid any camera shake. Using stops you can do this with confidence.

    Why can’t you just rely on the camera to do all this for you? In other words, why couldn’t you just use Aperture Priority mode, set the aperture you want, and then watch as they camera sets the right shutter speed? You can just change the aperture and ISO settings until the camera sets the shutter speed you want. And, yes, you can do it that way. But even so, you should understand the process so that you know what is going on under the hood. In addition, if you ever use neutral density filters or find yourself in a situation where you camera cannot meter light properly, you’ll know how to do it for yourself.

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    The post What is a Stop? The Common Currency of Exposure Explained by Jim Hamel appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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    Add Motion to Your Fall Photography to Help it Stand Out

    This tutorial brought to you by The New York Institute of Photography. NYIP is the largest and longest running online photography school in the world. Offering ten online photography classes to choose from, the school makes learning photography fun and accessible to aspiring artists on a global scale. Whether you are interested in a new career or are in pursuit of a hobby, NYIP students get the personal attention they need to achieve their goals. They have access to professional photographers as their teachers and mentors to guide them through the course and help them improve.

    NYIP is a paid partner of dPS.

    Motion fall photography01

    If you are gearing up to capture foliage photos this fall, you may want to brainstorm some ways to adjust your typical compositional style in an effort to produce more unique shots within such a commonly photographed category. How to add some motion to your fall photography will help it stand out.

    Add motion to fall photography

    One interesting way to update a lackluster landscape is to display some motion in your image. People are more likely to be drawn to your pictures if you can effectively incite some feeling that may be attached to the subject you are shooting. Considering the topic of the changing seasons, including some motion is a fun way to invoke that feelings associate with a shift from summer to fall.

    Motion fall photography02

    Bulb

    Many photographers, new and experienced alike, overlook the BULB mode feature on their cameras. Some aren’t entirely sure what it does and therefore tend to skip past it altogether while adjusting their shutter speeds. This year, take a closer look at this functionality and explore its potential for adding some spark to your seasonal shots.

    When working in BULB mode, you will be able to use shutter speeds that are several minutes long. For example, by keeping the shutter open for a mere few seconds, you will have just the right amount of time to move your camera during the actual exposure, allowing you to create a dreamy effect many others are only able to achieve on a computer with the help of post-production tools.

    Motion fall photography03

    In practice, let’s say you are trying to capture a shot of two different sunflowers growing several feet away from each other in a field. Rather than stepping back to include both flowers in a static, motionless frame, this is a great opportunity to slow your shutter speed and get creative with some movement. To capture a fluid, wistful effect while including both plants in the shot, simply focus on one flower first, start your exposure, and then quickly move the camera to the second flower while the shutter is still open.

    Motion fall photography04

    Capture falling leaves

    Falling leaves are another perfect subject to explore when experimenting with slower shutter speeds. This autumn, try heading to a local park or hiking trail on a windy day to try out these new techniques. Find a tree with some pretty foliage that you’d like to use as your subject. Set up your gear and wait for the right moment to capture the natural motion of the outdoors.

    As a gust of wind blows a handful of leaves from the nearby tree, get creative with the ways in which you can capture that windy motion. One method could be to try zooming in and out mid-exposure. Another could be to get into manual focus mode. Start capturing your shot in focus, then abruptly twist out of focus at the end of the exposure. You could even physically start moving your camera while the shutter is still open.

    Motion fall photography05

    Fall décor

    If you’re interested in capturing some similarly unique shots of Halloween decorations, you can employ the same aforementioned techniques in an effort to add a dragging, spooky motion effect to candles or outdoor lights. Again, with open shutter exposure of a few seconds, you can create a look much more compelling than an otherwise stationary image of a home’s exterior décor. When experimenting with creative compositions such as these, you can toss the typical rulebook aside and just focus on trying to produce something innovative and exciting.

    Motion fall photography06

    Moving water

    If you’re traveling to a hiking trail in search of captivating foliage shots, make sure to keep your eye out for any opportunity to capture images of water as well. At a speed like 1/30th of a second, you can transform an ordinary waterfall shot into a compelling silky cascade with a flourishing fall backdrop. If you can’t locate a waterfall and are instead working with a more slower-moving subject like a stream or brook, you might want to try a speed a bit slower, such as 1/15th or 1/4th. In general, we recommend you try fluctuating between speeds of around ¼ and 1/60 until you find one that you’re comfortable with. Make sure to experiment with the exposure time to find your favorite water effects.

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    Getting Started

    Before you head out to try these new techniques this year, here’s a checklist of some last minute tips you might want to keep in mind.

    Keep the camera steady

    When you’re working with such slow exposure times, your shot is prone to be affected by even the slightest jostle of your camera. You might want to consider packing a tripod. If you don’t own one (or lugging one along isn’t practical for your excursion) try to find something outdoors like a boulder as a means for stabilizing your camera before you get started. If you can’t locate a helpful natural prop, you could also try using the 2-second timer and propping the camera up on your gear bag.

    Waterfalls

    When shooting waterfalls, if you want to capture a more even exposure without the often inevitable inclusion of heavy, distracting shadows, try to head out very early in the morning. If this doesn’t work with your schedule, a cloudy day is your next best option for avoiding this.

    Raise the ISO

    If you’re trying to photograph fall décor indoors but the exposure is repeatedly too dark, try cranking your ISO (and using a simple noise reduction software).

    Blur the background

    If you’re trying to focus on a foreground subject but struggling to effectively blur the background, try using the widest possible aperture, and the longest focal length of your lens. Slowly move your subject further and further away from the background as you capture your shot.

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    By effectively employing these tips and displaying the motion of your subjects, you’ll be able to capture the essence of autumn in a uniquely captivating way.

    This tutorial has been brought to you by The New York Institute of Photography. NYIP is the largest and longest running online photography school in the world. Offering ten online photography classes to choose from, the school makes learning photography fun and accessible to aspiring artists on a global scale. Whether you are interested in a new career or are in pursuit of a hobby, NYIP students get the personal attention they need to achieve their goals. They have access to professional photographers as their teachers and mentors to guide them through the course and help them improve.

    NYIP is a paid partner of dPS.

    Jacob Boller is the School Director at The New York Institute of Photography and has been in his role for the past decade. Jacob first fell in love with photography taking wildlife photos with his Grandfather and still uses that same Olympus 35mm from time to time. Jacob is honored to be the Director at NYIP, the largest and longest running online photography school in the world, and is proud that via the NYIP Online Learning Center, course updates are made as fast as the camera technology develops.

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