Lightroom for Beginners: How to Import, View, Organise Photos in Lightroom

Mastered the art of taking good photographs using DSLR camera settings and composition techniques? Well, that’s great! Friend, it’s time you take your photography to the next level. Yes, we mean – giving your photographs the ‘Wow Factor’ with Adobe Lightroom for PC (Lightroom desktop version) which has powerful tools that allow you to enhance your photos by adjusting the white balance, brightness, contrast, sharpness, colour, certain parts of your photo using selective editing and more. 

What is Lightroom used for?

Lightroom is a photo organization and post-processing software. Steps include:

  1. Import & organize your photos (using Library Module in Lightroom)
  2. Edit your photos (using Develop Module in Lightroom)
  3. Export/share your photos (using Library Module in Lightroom)

Lightroom Editing: Nondestructive Editing

The adjustments that you make to your photos in Lightroom are stored in the Catalog which is a database that tracks the location and information about your photos. It shows a preview of your original photo combined with the list of changes you’ve made in Lightroom. Your original photos remain untouched.

Lightroom Editing gives you flexibility – if you don’t like any particular edit/change that you’ve made to your photo, you can easily & quickly undo that step. It allows you to create various versions of your photo without affecting your original image data.

How to Use Lightroom to Organize your Photographs

Import photos into Lightroom/ Import photos into Lightroom from SD card

Import your photos into Lightroom Catalog either from your PC/laptop, external hard drive or SD card.

  • Open Lightroom in your PC/laptop. At the top right of the screen, look for the Library Module. Then, in the Library Module, click the Import button which you’ll see at the bottom left of the screen.
  • Importing photos from your PC/laptop/external hard drive: On the left-hand side of the screen, below Source – select the hard drive and folders of photos you need to import. (Please note: Include Subfolders should be checked). At the top centre of the Import window (above the image thumbnails), ‘Add’ will be selected by default to enable import without moving your photos to a new location. Click the Import button (at the bottom right) to start importing your photos.
Import photos into Lightroom
Import photos into Lightroom
  • Importing photos from SD card: On the left-hand side of the screen, below Source – select the SD card from which you need to import the photos. (Please note: Eject after Import should be checked) At the top centre of the Import window (above the image thumbnails), ‘Copy’ will be selected by default since you’re importing photos from SD card). Use the Destination panel (on the right-hand side of the screen) to organize your imported photos by date into one selected folder, or by subfolder in your PC/laptop. Click the Import button (at the bottom right) to start importing your photos.
Import photos into Lightroom from SD card
Import photos into Lightroom from SD card
  • Once your photos are imported, you’ll see them in the Library Module in Previous Import in the Catalog panel which is on the left-hand side of the screen.

See photos in Lightroom using different view modes

In the Library Module, you can use different view modes to see your photos in various sizes and also compare them. You can switch between views using the keyboard shortcuts mentioned below. 

  • Grid View (keyboard shortcut: G)
Lightroom Grid View
Lightroom Grid View

This view shows all the photos (in All photographs in the Catalog panel).

  • Loupe view (keyboard shortcut: E)
Loupe View Lightroom
Loupe View Lightroom

In this view, you can view an entire photo or zoom in to see part of the photo.

Note: Zoom in to photos by using the options on the right of the Navigator panel (Navigator panel is on the left-hand side of the screen, at the top).

  • Compare view (keyboard shortcut: C)
Compare View Lightroom
Compare View Lightroom

This view shows two photos side by side, allowing you to compare them and choose the best one.

  • Survey view (keyboard shortcut: N)
Survey View Lightroom
Survey View Lightroom

This view shows the active photo along with all the selected photos on the same screen for you to compare them. (You can select more than one photo, but only one photo will be the active photo which will have a selection border).

Organize photos in Lightroom

  1. Give ratings to photos in Lightroom

You can rate your photos by giving zero to five stars and view them using any view of the Library Module.

Grid view: Select one or more photos, right click on any one of the photos – click Set Rating then select a rating that you want to give to the photos.

How to rate photos in Lightroom
How to rate photos in Lightroom

Loupe view/ Compare view/ Survey view: Select only one photo in the Filmstrip (Filmstrip is at the bottom of the screen) in either Loupe, Compare, or Survey view, then right click on the photo – click Set Rating then select a rating that you want to give to the photo. If you select more than one photo in the Filmstrip in any of these views, the rating will be given only to the active photo.

To see & work on the photos you’ve rated in Lightroom: On the right side of the screen at the bottom – Click on Filters off and select Rated. Click on the number of stars (on the left of Rated), say you click 4 stars, then it will display all the photos that you’ve rated 4 stars & above. After you’ve finished working on the photos, you can select Filters off.

2. Flag photos in Lightroom

Flags indicate whether you’ve picked or rejected a photo. You can flag your photos using any view of the Library Module.

Grid view: Select one or more photos, right click on any one of the photos – click Set Flag then select Flagged or Rejected to pick or reject the photos.

How to Flag photos in Lightroom
How to Flag photos in Lightroom

Loupe view/ Survey view: Select only one photo in the Filmstrip in either Loup or Survey view, then right click on the photo – click Set Flag then select Flagged or Rejected to pick or reject the photos. If you select more than one photo in the Filmstrip in any of these views, the flag or rejection will be applied only to the active photo.

To see & work on the photos you’ve flagged in Lightroom: On the right side of the screen at the bottom – Click on Filters off and select Flagged. Then, all the flagged photos will be displayed on the screen/Filmstrip. After you’ve finished working on the photos, you can select Filters off.

3. Assign colour labels to photos in Lightroom

You can assign a certain colour to your photos as per your choice in the Library Module. For instance, you can assign blue colour to photos where you need to work on the white balance.

Grid view: Select one or more photos, right click on any one of the photos – click Set Color Label then select the colour you want to assign the photos.

Loupe view/ Survey view: Select only one photo in the Filmstrip in either Loup or Survey view, right click on any one of the photos – click Set Color Label then select the colour you want to assign the photos. If more than one photo is selected in the Filmstrip in Loupe/Survey view, the colour label will be assigned only to the active photo.

To see & work on the photos you’ve assigned Color Label in Lightroom: Click on Filter (on the right side of the screen at the bottom) to see all the Filters. Then, click on the blue colour (show photos with Blue Label) – all the photos with Blue Label will be displayed on the screen/Filmstrip. After you’ve finished working on the photos, you can select Filters off.

4. Stack photos in Lightroom

In the Library Module, you can use stacking when you want to group/keep a set of similar looking photos together in one place without having them scattered across rows of thumbnails. For instance, stacking can be helpful to group photos where you had used continuous shooting mode since all the photos would be visually similar.

How to Stack photos in Lightroom
How to Stack photos in Lightroom

To stack photos, they must be in the same folder/collection. Grid view: Select all the photos you need to stack, right click on any one of the photos – click Stacking, then select Group into Stack. You will see the stacking order numbers in the upper-left corner of their thumbnail(s); top photo in the stack will be 1, the next photo will be 2, and so on.

To see all the photos in a stack, you need to expand the stack. Grid view: Right click on the stack you want to expand, select Stacking, then select Expand Stack.

To collapse a stack, you need to right click on any photo of the stack in Grid view, select Stacking, then select Collapse Stack.

5. Add keywords to photos in Lightroom

Adding keywords to photos in the Library Module will help you easily locate your photos.

Grid view: Select the photos to which you need to add the keyword(s), then type the keyword(s) in the box below ‘Enter Keywords’ on the right-hand side of the screen (enter keywords separated by commas). For more keyword ideas, select a category from the drop down (on the right of the Keyword Set, I’ve selected Outdoor Photography), then select from the keywords that display below it (I’ve selected Flowers & Plants).

How to Add keywords to photos in Lightroom
How to Add keywords to photos in Lightroom

Loupe view/ Compare view/ Survey view: Select only one photo in the Filmstrip in Loupe/ Compare/ Survey view, then type the keywords in the box below ‘Enter Keywords’ on the right-hand side of the screen (enter keywords separated by commas). For more keyword ideas, select a category from the drop down (on the right of the Keyword Set), then select from the keywords that display below it. If you’ve selected more than one photo in the Filmstrip, the keywords will be assigned only to the active photo.

Note: The keywords that you add to the photos will be stored only in Lightroom.

To locate the photos later, in Keyword List – select the keyword you’d assigned in Grid view – you’ll see photos with that keyword highlighted with a selection border.

6. Add metadata to photos in Lightroom

Adding metadata to photos in the Library Module means you can add details like your (photographer’s) name, copyright information etc.

Grid view: Select the photo(s) to which you need to add metadata, then type the details in the metadata text boxes in the Metadata panel (on the right-hand side of the screen below Keyword List).

(To add copyright symbol © : Press alt+0169; note: press 0169 from numeric pad which is on the right side of the keyboard; when you release the alt key, the copyright symbol will appear on the screen).  

Loupe view/ Compare view/ Survey view: Select only one photo in the Filmstrip in Loupe/ Compare/ Survey view, then type the details in the metadata text boxes in the Metadata panel (on the right-hand side of the screen below Keyword List. If you’ve selected more than one photo in the Filmstrip, the metadata will be assigned only to the active photo.

Using synchronize metadata will allow you to add metadata from a selected photo to other photos without having to type the metadata for other photos. Select a photo (which will be the active photo) in the Grid view that contains metadata that you want other photos to synchronize with. Next, select the photos that needs to be synchronized with the active photo. Then, select Sync Metadata (which is at the bottom on the right-hand screen). Next, check the box of the metadata (I’ve checked IPTC Copyright). Then, click Synchronize. Remember, the metadata you choose for synchronizing will overwrite any existing metadata in the selected photos.

How to Synchronize metadata in Lightroom
How to Synchronize metadata in Lightroom

Once you have a basic understanding of Lightroom, you can further explore and use Lightroom to better organise, edit and export your photographs. In the next blog, we will cover Lightroom Editing using the Develop Module.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic in which the Camera explains Jo how to organize photos in Lightroom with the help of practical examples

How to Import, View, Organize Photos in Lightroom

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

Have any tips on how to use Library Module of Lightroom? Do share them in the comment box below.

Did this blog help you with some ideas to improve your photography skills? For more useful photography tips, examples, ideas & inspiration, please subscribe below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. Thank you!

light painting photography

How to do Light Painting Photography with Long Exposure

Long exposure or slow shutter speed allows more light to reach the camera sensor and exposes your image for a longer duration. It helps in sharply capturing the stationary objects in the scene while blurring the moving objects.

Long exposure is used in astrophotography, light painting photography, creative photography, abstract photography, waterfall photography and more.

Light Painting Photography

Light Painting Photography is the art form of using a moving light source (a flashlight, light painting tube, light painting stick, light wand) as a brush to write, draw or paint in a dark scene with long exposure.

Light Painting Photography Kit/Equipment needed

  • Camera that has manual settings; allows long exposure photography (allows to open the shutter for 10, 20, 30 secs or more
  • Tripod and remote shutter release/self-timer mode to avoid camera shake
  • Light Source:

Flashlight/LED torch

Attach the flashlight to a universal connector

Then attach the universal connector to any of the light painting tools like White Fiber Optic, Light Sword or Opaque Light Writer to create different effects.

(Note: A cheaper alternative to the above-mentioned light painting tools include empty plastic bottles; you can simply attach the flashlight to the universal connector, then attach the universal connector to an empty plastic bottle to create Light Painting)

To get an idea of light painting photography kit, you can check this link amazon.com/Light-Painting-Brushes-Starter-White/dp/B07LC35339

Light Painting Photography Settings

Recommended DSLR camera settings for Light Painting Photography include Shutter Speed of 30 secs, Aperture between f/5.6 to f/8, ISO 100 or 200, Manual focus. (Settings may vary depending on the ambient light present at the location)

Composition techniques to try for Light Painting Photography

Use Centred Composition by shooting the light painting over a pool or a lake to show its reflection in water.

Other composition ideas to create eye-catching Light Painting photos include Foreground Composition, Pattern and Texture Composition.

Light Painting Photography Ideas

Light Painting Portraits
Photo by Juan Jose

Photo by Juan Jose – Light Painting Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/juanthelightpainter/

Light Painting Portraits

Light Painting Photography
Photo by Juan Jose

Manually set the focus on your model(s) before starting the light painting coz for light painting, you’ll be shooting in dark (lights should be turned off).

Camera Settings: Aperture: f/8, ISO 200, Shutter Speed: between 20 secs to 30 secs or bulb mode.

Equipment: A flashlight which is attached to the universal connector; the universal connector  is then attached to the light painting tools like Light Sword or White Fiber Optic.  

Turn off the lights. Start the exposure. Wear dark clothes so that you aren’t visible in the image, only the model is. If you’re indoors, go towards your model and illuminate her by tracing her body with a light painting tube/sword (preferably from bottom to top) facing the camera with only one pass of light while she stays as still as possible. (If you repeat tracing her body again after a few secs, the light will record her movement causing a blur image). If you’re outdoors and there’s ambient light around, the model will be visible, so – you can skip the above step of illuminating/tracing her with light tube/sword. 

Then, move the light sword in a circular or any other motion from behind or around the model to create a band of light or big circles of light. Instead of a light sword, you can also use a white fiber optic to create a smoky texture.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo, an aspiring photographer

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo the concept of Light Painting Portraits with the help of practical examples

Light Painting Portraits

Light Writing: Write a word/message with light

Camera Settings: Aperture: f/5.6, ISO 100, Shutter Speed: 30 secs or bulb mode.

If you want to keep the shutter open for longer periods than 30 sec, go for bulb mode that you can use only in Manual mode. In this mode, as long as you keep the shutter button pressed before taking the shot that much long will be the exposure. You will need a remote shutter release that allows you to lock the shutter button for longer exposures without having to keep the shutter button pressed with your finger for longer periods.

Equipment to write with light include a flashlight which is attached to the universal connector; the universal connector is then attached to a Light Writer.

Also, a colour filter with hood to illuminate the scene.

Turn off the lights. Start the exposure. Go to the spot and start your light writing backwards i.e. from right to left facing the camera. If you want to make it easier, write from left to right facing the camera and then flip it in post-processing. (Wear dark clothes so that you aren’t visible). While writing – physically turn on & off the flashlight (attached to your light writer) between each letter to prevent the light streak to flow from one letter to the other.

Pro tip: Instead of writing in the air, use the ground or a flat surface to write on so that the letters are lined up perfectly. You can use the ground for the bottom of the letter, then bring the height of the letter up to your eye level.  

After you’ve finished writing, remove the light writer from the universal connector and attach a colour filter with hood to it. Now, illuminate the scene using the colour filter with hood. Stop the exposure with the remote shutter release if you were using Bulb mode.

Light Writing with iPhone/android phone

If you don’t have a camera, you can capture your light writing using your iPhone/android phone and Slow Shutter Cam app. Though the quality will differ when compared to a light writing captured through a DSLR or any other camera.

Equipment to write with light include a flashlight which is attached to the universal connector; the universal connector is then attached to a Light Writer.

Download and use the Slow Shutter Cam app on your phone to capture the light writing. Place your phone on a tripod to avoid shake.

Settings to be used in Slow Shutter Cam app:

Capture mode: low light

Noise reduction: high

Shutter Speed: 30 secs; bulb mode if you want to keep the shutter open for a longer period

Set the ISO to anywhere between 30-35

Aperture is fixed which is f/2

Turn off the lights. Start the exposure. Go to the spot and start your light writing. Since the live preview in the app is reversed, it’s easier for you to write; you can write from left to right facing the camera. (Wear dark clothes so that you aren’t visible). While writing – physically turn on & off the flashlight (attached to your light writer) between each letter to prevent the light streak to flow from one letter to the other.

After you’ve finished writing, save the image.

Light Painting Photography
Photo by Kev Jay

Light Painting Orb

Camera Settings: Aperture: f/8, ISO 100, Shutter Speed: use Bulb mode along with a remote shutter release

Equipment to draw with light include a flashlight which is attached to the universal connector; the universal connector is then attached to the light painting tool. Here, either you can use one light painting tool or more which include a Plexiglass Rectangle and different coloured light swords to add texture and colour. The universal connector will allow you to quickly interchange these different light painting tools (Plexiglass Rectangle, Light Swords) while you capture the light painting in a single shot.

Light Painting Orb
Photo by Kev Jay

Photo by Kev Jay – Light Painting Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/kevjayphotos/

Turn off the lights. Start the exposure. Go to the spot with the Plexiglass Rectangle Light Painting Tool. (Wear dark clothes so that you aren’t visible). Then move the Plexiglass Rectangle up and down and turn the flashlight on and off (attached to it) while you turn your body in 360-degree direction. Try to keep your movements slow and hit the same high & low points. Each of these light trails will be recorded that’ll create an orb.

To paint some ambient light around the orb you’ve created, you can remove the Plexiglass Rectangle from the universal connector and attach a coloured light sword to it. Paint some ambient light by moving the light sword randomly around the spot. (You don’t have to switch on & off the flashlight this time).

After you’ve finished painting, stop the exposure with the remote shutter release since you are using Bulb mode here.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo the concept of Light Painting an Orb with the help of practical examples

light painting orb

Creating a Light Man/Woman

light painting photography
Photo by ASA PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo by ASA PHOTOGRAPHY. For more such amazing images, do check their Instagram profile here instagram.com/carlos.asanuma/

Camera Settings: Aperture: f/5.6, ISO 100, Shutter Speed: use Bulb mode along with a remote shutter release

Equipment to draw with light include a flashlight which is attached to the universal connector; the universal connector is then attached to a Light Writer. The Light Writer will be used for tracing the body to create a Light Man.

Also, a colour filter with hood, if you want to illuminate the scene.

Pick a position that will allow you to keep still. You can either choose to sit or stand. Sitting on a sofa/chair/bench will make it comfortable to trace your body with light. Turn off the lights. Start the exposure. Face the camera and start tracing your body with the Light Writer. Trace your body closely. Wear dark clothes so that you aren’t visible. The camera will record the movement of the light. This way, only the light trail of your body will show up in the image.

Begin by tracing your right leg (move the light writer horizontally) from the foot and make your way to the top till the knee, then trace your left leg from the knee to the foot.

Remember to turn off the flashlight (attached to your light writer) each time when you finish tracing a body part. Now, turn on the flashlight to trace your thighs. Similarly, after thighs – trace your stomach, chest, your arms, your neck and finally your head. Make sure to trace your entire body with the light writer.

After you’ve finished tracing your entire body, if you want to illuminate the scene – remove the light writer from the universal connector and attach a colour filter with hood to it. Now, illuminate the scene using the colour filter with hood. Stop the exposure with the remote shutter release since you were using Bulb mode here.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo the concept of creating a Light Man with the help of practical examples

light painting photography

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

Click here to read the blog on different types of photography – Landscape Photography, Portrait Photography, Wildlife Photography and more.

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

Have any tips or experience to share on light painting photography? We’d love to know about it, do share them in the comment box below.

Did this blog help you with some ideas to improve your photography skills? For more useful photography tips, examples, ideas & inspiration, please subscribe below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. Thank you!

aerial photography drone

Bird’s-Eye View with Drone Photography

Life is about perspective and how you look at something… ultimately, you have to zoom out ~ Whitney Wolfe Herd

From weddings and archaeology to environmental studies and movie production – drones have revolutionized and evolved photography! It has made it easier to capture aerial photographs of some of the world’s most amazing and hard to reach places.

As a photographer, it empowers you to discover and delight the viewers with never-before-seen perspectives of places, events across the globe. If you have good post-processing skills (in Lightroom/Photoshop), it will help you get the most out of your drone photos.

drone photography
Photo by Brandon Bester (Pic after post processing in Lightroom)
drone photography
Photo by Brandon Bester (Original pic as shot – before post processing)
Lightroom
Before-and-after post-processing comparison

Photos by Brandon Bester – Aerial Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/airtographyza

Composition Techniques

Go for Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, Symmetry, Pattern & Texture.  

Adding people in your shots will give the viewers a reference for scale and engage them with a visual story.

aerial photography
Photo by Conor

Photo by Conor – Aerial Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/conorcorbett

Drones with Camera

You can check out some of the best drones with camera here amazon.com/Best-DJI-Drones/s?k=Best+DJI+Drones

Use the DJI Go App

With the DJI Go App, you can connect your smartphone/tablet to a DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Phantom, or a DJI Inspire’s remote controller.

After connecting the app, you can check out your drone’s related functions on the app which includes: Scan QR Code, Academy, Flight Record, No-fly Zone, Find my drone.

The app allows you to see what your drone’s camera is seeing, adjust the camera settings, review, edit, share your photos and more.

aerial photos
Photo by Niek Vandenabeele

Photo by Niek Vandenabeele – Aerial Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/niekvandenabeele

Recommended Camera Settings on the DJI Go App

Use Manual mode; set ISO to 100 on sunny days & 400 on cloudy days.

To freeze the action/motion, set the shutter speed above 1/125 sec.

Keep the histogram enabled/switched on, to guide you to set the correct exposure.

Go for Autofocus mode.

Image size: 4:3 (Mavic Pro), 3:2 (Phantom 4 Pro). With any other size, you may end up with a cropped image; better to crop your image later in post processing.

Image format: RAW is recommended; if you’ve been saving in JPEG – you can also go for RAW+JPEG (but remember: both types of image formats will take more space on your memory card).

Timed shot: With timed sequence of images, you can create an aerial time lapse.

HDR: You can use HDR wherein the camera takes a series of images with different exposure settings and combines them together to create a single image that captures the details in the darkest and lightest elements of the image.

Go for HDR – only if you don’t have a post-processing software (Lightroom/Photoshop) coz the results aren’t that good. AEB is a better option over HDR.

AEB: The camera will take 3 photos at different exposures (at the set exposure, an underexposed image and an overexposed image).

Later, you can combine all 3 images and create a single HDR photo in the post-processing software.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo, an aspiring photographer

Click on the below Image to see the Comic.

drone camera photo

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

How has your experience been with drone photography? We would love to know about it, do share them in the comment box below.

Did this blog help you with some ideas to improve your photography skills? For more useful photography tips, examples, ideas & inspiration, please subscribe below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. Thank you!

underwater photography

Underwater Photography: Equipment, Camera Settings, Tips & more

underwater photos
Photo by Lawrence

Life below water is mysterious and mesmerising! Adventure activities like scuba diving & snorkelling give you the opportunity to see the amazing life below water and share your experiences through photography to inspire others to do their bit in preserving the marine life.

dive photo
Photo by Lawrence

Underwater photography is taking photographs while under water. It includes underwater wedding photos, underwater model photoshoot / underwater fashion photography, photos of the marine life (coral reefs, fishes, sea turtles), shipwrecks, portraits of divers, over/under shots (where part of the frame is above water while the rest is an underwater scene) & more.

underwater photography
Photo by Lawrence

Photos by Lawrence – Underwater Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/seaslugs_n_stargazers

Cameras for underwater photography

GoPro cameras, waterproof point-and-shoot cameras (compact digital cameras) are good for snorkelling. You can check out the best underwater photography cameras here amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Electronics-Underwater-Photography-Cameras/zgbs/electronics/3350171

For professional underwater photography especially while scuba diving – you’ll need a mirrorless camera or a DSLR with underwater housing, dome port and 2 underwater strobes.

Underwater photography equipment

Underwater housing:

Underwater housing helps to keep the water out and your camera safe. It is customized for each DSLR and different housing models offer different levels of control; choose a housing specifically designed for your camera. A housing includes pushbuttons, knurled knobs/dials, and levers to access the camera functions. Make sure to clean it with fresh water after every use to protect your camera.

Housing and dome port for underwater photography
Image source: Wikipedia

Dome port:

Wide-angle lens (at least 18mm or wider/fisheye lens) is ideal for underwater photography. But, due to the refraction of light in water (light bends as it goes between water and air), everything looks closer/ is magnified under water. So, you won’t get the full wide angle; your wide angle lens will give a zoom effect.

A dome port aka wide-angle port is curved; when you place your lens behind a dome port, it helps to retain the wideness of the lens and the image comes out sharp with good colours. (You will need to correct the distortion caused by the ultra-wide-angle lens/fisheye lens during post-processing)

For macro lens/shots, you’ll need a flat port. 

Underwater strobes:

If you’re taking a photograph of a sea turtle within 1-2 meters under water, you may still be able to see the colours on the turtle. But, the deeper you dive, lesser the light – you’ll find under water. After few meters down, much of the red and green wavelengths of light get absorbed; colours begin to fade, only blue light reaches down – so everything appears blue to your eyes.

Underwater strobe/flash/LED adds white light back which allows you to see and capture the beautiful colours of the marine life.

Underwater photography composition

To make your underwater photos stand out – use the Foreground Composition, Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio.

How to shoot underwater photos

ocean photographer
Photo by Ollie Clarke

Photo by Ollie Clarke – Underwater Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/ollie_underwater

Use the Live View mode of your DSLR for underwater photography coz it’s going to be difficult to look through the viewfinder with your diving mask and the housing.

Go for wide angle lens for scenic shots like the coral reefs, group/schools of fish and shipwrecks.

Use macro lens for macro photography to capture close-up pictures of the marine life that brings out the tiny details.

underwater photography
Photo by Thomas Heckmann

Photo by Thomas Heckmann – Award winning Underwater Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/uwphoto_by_toso/

Recommended DSLR Camera Settings

Shoot with underwater strobes/flash,switch on the AI Servo AF (for a Canon DSLR) & AF-C (for a Nikon DSLR) to keep your moving subject in focus.

Aperture: f/8, ISO 100 or 200, Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec or faster to avoid motion blur.

Pro tip:

Backscatter in underwater photography
Image source: Wikipedia

Backscatter (seen in the space between the lens and the subject) is caused when particles in the water are illuminated by underwater strobes.

Underwater strobes
Image source: Wikipedia

To avoid backscatter – keep your underwater strobes out wide, away from the lens port, and remember, not to point them towards the subject. (as shown in the above image)

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo, an aspiring photographer

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Underwater Photography with the help of practical examples.

underwater photography

Underwater Model Photoshoot/ Underwater Fashion Photography

Underwater model/fashion photography is done in swimming pools, seas or oceans wherein the professional underwater model(s)/artist(s) don’t wear any diving equipment.

underwater photography model
Photo by Thomas Heckmann

Photo by Thomas Heckmann – Award winning Underwater Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/uwphoto_by_toso/

Pro tips:

  • Try photographing during noontime for strong natural light
  • The model can wear a swimwear or a long, flowy dress that allows them to easily move under water
  • Let the colour of the model’s dress be in contrast with the background to create an attractive composition
  • Show buoyancy in your photograph – ask the model to glide down or free fall
  • Use underwater strobes to create good lighting
  • Use wide angle lens for full body shots
  • Show reflections, silhouettes in your photograph to capture the viewer’s attention  

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Underwater Model Photoshoot with the help of practical examples.

underwater model photoshoot

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

Have you tried underwater photography, yet? We would love to know about your experiences, do share them in the comment box below.

Did this blog help you with some ideas to improve your photography skills? For more useful photography tips, examples, ideas & inspiration, please subscribe below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. Thank you!

wedding photographer

How to Earn Money in Photography: Wedding Photography, Newborn Photography, Fashion Photography, Product Photography & more

Passionate about photography? Thinking of ways to make money with photography? Well, by enhancing your artistic/composition, technical, communication and networking skills, you can increase your earning potential.

Wedding Photography

wedding details photography

To start with, create a portfolio by practising at your friends or family weddings. You can also start as an assistant wedding photographer which will help you gain experience. Promote yourself – word of mouth, tell friends/family to recommend you, if they come to know of any requirement for a wedding photographer in their circle. Create a business account/page on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc. and showcase your best work to get wedding bookings.

A pre wedding photoshoot is a great way to know a couple; you get to know them – the poses they are comfortable with (open pose, V pose, closed pose, stacked on, the swing etc.), which helps you to create a photograph that reflects a mood: romantic, playful and so on. As you gain their trust and confidence; they may even ask you to shoot their wedding.

Some of the wedding styles you can incorporate in your wedding shoots:

Formal

wedding photoshoot

You set up the photograph by giving poses/directions to the couple and ask them to look into the camera before taking the shot.

Candid

wedding photographer

You do not give any directions instead observe and take shots that depict beautiful emotions/moments of the bride, groom or the couple.

Romantic

wedding photos

You use soft lighting to create a romantic mood in the photo; if outdoors you can photograph the couple during the golden hour for soft light wherein the couple can be shown embracing, looking at each other etc. You can also try capturing silhouette photos of the couple.

Photojournalistic

You document the day with Black & White photographs capturing the moments, the couple may not be a part of, which they can see later in their wedding album. People shouldn’t be aware of being shot, so use long/telephoto lens, do not use flash instead go for a high ISO, use wide angle lens and capture the different moments of the day as they unfold.

Pro tips:

  • Carry extra memory cards and batteries
  • Take informal/candid shots, formal portraits and detail shots
  • Try different angles, vantage points and variations in your images
  • If you have an assistant photographer, you can ask them to move around the venue and take candid shots of the guests while you capture formal shots of the couple and their family
  • For family shots – give directions, arrange everyone in a line and ensure there is balance & consistency in their heights
  • The wedding photos should tell a story – it should cover the moments prior to the wedding ceremony (haldi ceremony photos), wedding preparation, wedding venue – the exterior and the interior, wedding ceremony & couple shots, group shots of the guests and evening shots of the reception (formal & informal shots)
  • Recommended settings for group shots: aperture of f/8 to f/11 to keep everyone in focus, ISO 100 – 800, shutter speed of 1/125 sec depending on the lighting conditions (to avoid motion blur – do not use shutter speed slower than 1/60 sec)
  • In group shots, people may blink – so take multiple shots
  • Take detail shots which include photographs of the wedding rings, mehndi on the bride’s hands, betel nut used in 7 pheras, flowers at the venue, wedding cake etc. using shallow depth of field
  • Use Leading Lines, Rule of Thirds, Frame within Frame composition techniques in your shots
  • Take close-up, mid-length and full-length shots
  • With the fairy lights in the background, set the focus on the couple in front using the widest aperture to create a beautiful bokeh effect
  • Evening shots: To photograph the couple dance, take shots from different angles; recommended settings include wide angle lens, wide aperture, ISO 1600 – 3200 depending on the lighting conditions, shutter speed – not slower than 1/60 sec
haldi wedding photography

Photos by Omkar Kadam, a professional wedding and fashion photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/pixelerphotography/

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to an aspiring photographer named Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Wedding Photography with the help of practical examples.

wedding photographer

Newborn Photography / Baby Photography

As a parent, getting your baby photoshoot done is a great way to capture and preserve the best and precious moments of your life. As they say – it’s not possible to travel back in time, but in the future, these beautiful photographs of your newborn can certainly help you relive those amazing moments!

newborn photography

Photo by Shamiya Khan – Photographer: Newborn-Baby-Mamma-Family. For more such amazing images, do check her Instagram profile here instagram.com/stockbylovephotography/

Baby photoshoot includes taking photographs of babies from birth till they are 1 year old.

Pro tips:

  • Good time to photograph the newborn is just after they have been fed; they are sleepy which makes it easy for you to capture some amazing shots
  • Go for a wide aperture to create shallow depth of field that will give a dreamy look to the image  
  • Use fast shutter speed of 1/125 sec or 1/200 sec to avoid motion blur
  • Avoid using flash, it can upset the newborn; carry your studio lights to the client’s place and set up a studio there
  • Use lots of props like soft toys, cushion, wraps, headbands, baskets, etc. to add another element the baby can interact with
baby photography

Photo by Nancy Bindal – Photographer: Baby whisperer | Memory maker. For more such amazing images, do check her Instagram profile here instagram.com/nancy_bindal_photography/

Fashion Photography / Portrait Photography

Fashion photography

It is used to sell a product/lifestyle; it is a glamorous, fast-paced industry. A very creative field, it requires good communication skills to give directions & explain different poses to the model. Good understanding of lighting is needed –knowledge of how to use natural lighting, operate studio lights and how to use reflectors to create visually appealing photos. Technical skills are also required for post-production. 

Portrait photography

Portraits can be for weddings, for family, or to capture the personality of a person.

wedding portrait photography

Photo by Omkar Kadam, a professional wedding and fashion photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/pixelerphotography/

Pro tips for Portrait Photography:

  • Make your subject/model feel comfortable and communicate/suggest different poses for the shoot
  • Go for a wide aperture/opening (small f/number) to create a Shallow Depth of Field that will keep the subject in sharp focus and make them stand out and blur the background (you can also use aperture priority mode)
  • Your subject can blink/move, so use fast shutter speed of 1/125 sec depending on the lighting conditions, try to use a low ISO of 100 – 200 
  • Use props to add some visual interest and context
  • Natural daylight is the best light for a portrait photography or else you can create light with flash or use studio lighting
  • Focus on the eyes of the subject; the eye contact between the subject and the viewer makes for an engaging and powerful photograph that could tell a story about your subject or reveal your subjects’ mood or personality
  • Crop above any joints (avoid cropping through neck, elbow, knees)

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Fashion/Portrait Photography with the help of practical examples.

wedding portrait photography

Product Photography/ Food Photography

Product Photography

Product photography is used to attract customers to buy a product by showcasing great photos that give important information of the product – its shape, colour, size and so on. Product photography could be for a hotel that can be displayed on their website, it could be for real estate or food of a restaurant etc.

Pro tips for Food Photography:

  • Depending on the height, size & shape of the food, you can either photograph it from the front or from the top that best highlights its qualities
  • Use cooking utensils, tableware, ingredients, sauces, herbs, spices, spoons, jars, glasses, pepper grinder & other related props in the foreground or background to add depth to your photograph
  • Colour Theory will help you decide on what background to use to make the food photo visually appealing
  • Go macro, go close
  • As per your comfort, use natural light or club it with studio light and reflectors to avoid shadows that hide the details of the food

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Product/Food Photography with the help of practical examples.

food photo

Few more ways to earn money in photography:

  • Sell your photos on stock websites like iStock (Getty Images), Shutterstock, EyeEm etc.
  • Enter photography competitions/contests and stand a chance to win prizes
  • Be a photography tutor on any online course platforms or design your own photography courses with/without photography tours, conduct photography workshops
  • Place ads in your photography blogs – get paid every time a visitor clicks on these ads or place sponsored links within your blog content – get paid every time a visitor clicks on these links or makes a purchase through these links  
  • If you have good amount of followers onInstagram, you can collaborate with brands and take pictures of their products and sell/advertise them through your Instagram account
  • Some wedding photographers do need help in post-processing of the wedding photos – if you have good post-processing skills in Lightroom or Photoshop you can offer your services
  • Become a photojournalist or a freelance photographer for a travel magazine/portal etc.

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

Have you found your photography niche, yet? Do let us know in the comment box below.

Did this blog help you with some ideas to improve your photography skills? For more useful photography tips, examples, ideas & inspiration, please subscribe below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. Thank you!